April 29, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee

Good Monday morning, my friends! How was your weekend? I hope it was just what you planned for back on Friday afternoon! Our weekend was full of family, food, and fun. As a self-described introvert who thrives on spending cozy time at home, I enjoyed a wonderful weekend not doing that! We went to dinner at Steve's brother's house Friday night. My sister-in-law and friend Beth made the most delicious meal of stromboli, a spinach salad with feta cheese, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pecans, and fresh fruit salad. It was so nice visiting in their beautiful home. 

On Saturday afternoon, we went to mass and then had dinner with my best friend Heather and her husband, Dave. We went to a local restaurant and ate, visited, and laughed until we had tears in our eyes. Peyton and Chris invited Flynn to spend the night at their house, and she had the best time. Christopher taught both Peyton and Flynn some archery tips. They made homemade pizza, watched a movie, and played games. Flynn had a blast.

Sunday afternoon, we visited my momma, which was wonderful! She cried happy tears, as did I, when she saw me, and the weather was so lovely we could sit outside and visit. It was Mom's first time outside this spring, and she was thrilled! After our visit, we went to dinner with my sister Margie and her husband Chris. We went to the same little pizza place we used to in high school, and I got the same delicious steak and cheese sandwich I got back then, too! And may I add, deep-fried mushrooms dipped in ranch dressing are highly underrated. 

Some people say Peyton and Flynn could be twins.

I'd have to agree. And how appropriate since Peyton has been caring for Flynn since she was born.

I can testify to the fact that the pizza they made is AMAZING.

In closing, Reminder to self: 

This is good.

And this is good, too.

Happy Monday, my friends!

Billie Jo

April 26, 2024

Random Photos From Ordinary Days

Occasionally, I go through the camera roll on my phone and delete pictures that I have already printed or shared with others. Before I do that, I like to post certain pictures here to preserve the blissfully ordinary moments of our lives. Have you ever gone back and read an old post from your blog and thought about how glad you are that you have those memories documented? It is a great way to relive the moments of long ago, ones you remember, but more often, ones you forgot. I was looking for a recipe I shared years ago and came across these photos from THIS POST  from 2013! My little Flynn was but three and a half years old! 

So, for that reason, I am sharing a few photos of some recent ordinary moments in our lives.

Last night, the moon was so beautiful that Flynn and I paused a movie to go outside and see it.

My Madison and her Nicolas are off on another adventure.

I do actually have a front yard, although most pictures are of the lake out back. And yes, if you look closely enough, you will see the handle of a snow shovel leaning up against the house. We are trying to decide whether we should make an effort to put it in the garage, literally right beside it, or keep it out until next winter. Stay tuned.

I was out to dinner with my dear friend Heather, and we happened to run into these two lovely young people! My Peyton and her husband Chris were celebrating their third wedding anniversary!

 I love it when Madison cooks. She made the most delicious chicken soup with all the fresh ingredients.

Meanwhile, I threw together a quick little lunch this week. Cutting up regular sandwiches makes them much more delicious. It's a fact.

 My Flynn and her pup. Always happy that one!

My Rhett still loves movies. When he was little, he helped his friends who owned a movie theatre, and they let him watch for free. He is still loving movies and sees them with his lovely girlfriend, Kyrstin.

That is what I have for today, my friends. This weekend is packed to the brim with family and friends. We are going to Steve's brother Todd's house for dinner with him and his wife, Beth. She is making stromboli, and her stromboli is amazing! We have mass tomorrow and a quick road trip with friends. And the highlight of my weekend is a visit with my Mom. I hope your weekend is full of all the happy, my friends. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

April 24, 2024


 Sometimes, you need this to get your day started...

And other days, you need things more like these...

It's all about balance, my friends!

Have a happy Wednesday.

Billie Jo

( Google for the fun.)

April 22, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee


Good Monday morning! The sun is shining today, and when I stepped outside to take Mocha and Cosmo out, I felt spring. Each season has a distinct feel to me, and although I am not good at describing it adequately, you know what I mean. It may be specific to each of us, but today, I felt spring here in Pennsylvania for the first time this year.

Along with that feeling came a brief nostalgia and memories of spring mornings past ~ Rushing out the door on my way to high school without a jacket and without having to wait for the car to warm up and the windows to defrost ~ Driving to work in the light of day knowing my precious second graders would start asking me if they have to wear their coats outside at recess ~ Snapping two little ones into the blue and white double stroller for a morning walk and pointing out the buds that will bloom and the leaves that will appear ~ Rising early to watch the world wake up as I sip my morning coffee. 

Although I am, at heart, an inside girl, content to watch all the goings on from the comfort of my cozy home, I am happy that spring has arrived. I look forward to open windows, longer days, green leaves, and afternoons on the porch. Now, I am off to check my supply of allergy medicine, which will surely come in handy along with all the good spring brings. Just saying. 

Have a lovely day, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

( Photo is from a favorite website, happi )

April 19, 2024

The Good, The Good, And The Ugly

Hello, my friends! Happy Friday! Before we jump into the weekend, I'm sharing a few pictures of the past week in Pennsylvania. First up, the good.

~ This little guy right here  ~ 

Cosmo is the sweetest, cuddliest, most loving dog ever. 

~ So much yummy food ~

Lobster Alfredo at Red Lobster when we went to dinner with my bestie Heather and her husband, Dave...

Our first summertime meal of Steve's smash burgers and fries...

 And avocado, soft-boiled egg, and tomatoes on a multigrain English muffin Madison made for me!

Another Good? 

~ This cookbook ~

I recently purchased this cookbook on Amazon and received it this week. It is a beautiful cookbook written by a dear blog friend of mine, Marilyn. It is filled with delicious recipes inspired by her time spent in the kitchen with her mother, made with fresh, homegrown food. I made the coleslaw the very day I received the book! If you want to have an opportunity to win a copy, just click Right Here to go to Marilyn's blog, Mountain Top Spice!

Now, The Ugly.

~ A Sticky, Smelly Mess ~

May I ask a favor? Please remind me never to buy the huge, heavy laundry detergent containers with a sickly floral scent. I don't know about you, but wiping thick laundry soap off a bathroom floor is not something I want to repeat—ever. Also, I will be purchasing scent-free from now on.

Well, that is enough for today! I hope you have a lovely weekend, my friends. Quiet here with mass and a visit to see my mom. More good things.

Billie Jo

April 17, 2024

Four Down, One To Go!

Hello! And Happy Wednesday! We have been back in Pennsylvania since Easter and have enjoyed many visits with friends and family, as well as organizing things like closets and shelves. I have also been checking off some essential things on my list. I scheduled all my appointments for this month, and I have one more to go. My friend Dannielle, who blogs beautifully HERE, always reminds me how good it is to "Check it Off. " If you have read here for any amount of time, you may remember I am diagnosed with OCD and suffer from Health Anxiety. I am thankful that through years of therapy and hard work, along with medication, I am doing much better and am no longer paralyzed with fear about these appointments and the results. I can see each as not something I have to do but rather something I get to do. I still don't look forward to going, but I realize I am blessed to have the opportunity to do so. So far this month, I have had...

a mammogram and ultrasound, 

a dental checkup and cleaning,

a yearly physical with my primary care physician,

and an annual skin check with my dermatologist.

Last up is my yearly eye doctor appointment next Monday. I am happy and blessed to report that all of these appointments went well, and I am good to go for a year! The anticipatory anxiety I felt prior to each, which, let's be honest, is very normal, was well worth the peace of mind I have now. I scheduled my appointments for next year and have tucked the appointment cards into my planner. Please know I do not share all this for any reason other than to encourage anyone needing a reminder to get these appointments scheduled and checked off. It is a good feeling, I promise.

Have a lovely Wednesday, my friends. After an absolutely glorious spring day yesterday, we will see a cloudy, rainy day here. I am ready to be cozy! Thanks for visiting, my friends. I am always happy you do.

Billie Jo

(Google for the images!)

April 15, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends. I hope your weekend was just what you wanted it to be. We had a nice one here. Steve and Christopher went hunting on Saturday, and Peyton came to spend the day with Flynn and me. It was like old times, I have to say! They baked a cake together, a yellow cake with chocolate icing from scratch, and we watched a movie I hadn't seen in years. Flynn recently read the book The Outsiders, so we watched the movie. It was one of Peyton's favorites when she was younger. And I remember reading it myself in Eighth Grade! When the movie came out in 1983, which I refuse to believe was forty-two years ago, it was THE movie to see. 


Saturday night, the entire family was here for dinner. Steve cooked steaks, I baked potatoes, and Kyrstin made a salad. It was so nice having all of us together around the table, talking and laughing—and enjoying the homemade cake, too! Sunday was mass, followed by a nap for me and the newest craze, Pickleball, for others. Then, a few of us went to the movies to round out the weekend. 

A few random things that have no purpose other than to jump from my brain to this screen:

~ Movie theatre popcorn is substantially better without the syrupy imitation butter substance added.

~ People who leave detailed, helpful reviews for clothing on websites need to be appreciated more than they are. 

~ You should always check your pockets before washing clothes. Also, torn, wet, clumpy, shredded tissues left in said pockets are evil pieces of torture.

~ No matter how busy or tired you are, you should always make your bed. Folding down the covers and sliding into a freshly made bed before you fall asleep instead of plopping down and tugging pieces of intertwined sheets and blankets to cover yourself is well with the effort.

Leaving you with these today, just because it's Monday.

Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo

April 12, 2024

Fun On A Friday

Hello, my friends! Happy Friday! I was just about to tell you that we have another cozy, rainy day here in Pennsylvania, but as soon as I started typing, the sun appeared, and the room filled with brightness. Let me check the forecast. Nevermind. Today, there is a 90% chance of rain and a high of 47 degrees. I used to get frustrated with the weather. However, age has gifted me with acceptance, and I realize it is what it is. Besides, I love a good rainy day. 

I also realized I have a distinct lack of photos to share with you today, but that is alright because I wanted to write about some of the things we are watching and anticipating. First, let me fill you in on a little secret we enjoy.

There was a day when the news was on in the background. Not anymore. I have always loved game shows, especially the old ones, as you know. I recently began watching Game Show Network during the day. Would you believe my family has become fans as well? We love it. No stress. No doomsday news. Just fun. We have a couple of new favorites, too.

Split Second

You can find the schedule online or on TV. You can also leave it playing in the background and watch whatever happens to be on! 

We are also watching and enjoying Manhunt on Apple TV. This series highlights the life of John Wilkes Booth following President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. It is very well made, and although I have read different reviews saying it is not historically accurate, it lends itself to research and comparing truth with fiction. 

This next one is a new documentary just released on Netflix. I have not watched it yet, but I am familiar with the story, which is very sad. This will be a good one for you if you are a fan of True Crime.

I am looking forward to this next show! Presumed Innocent is an upcoming television series on Apple TV. It premiered in June and is based on the Harrison Ford movie from the 1990s based on a book from the 1980s. I loved that movie and am anxious to see Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role because...Jake Gyllenhaal. 

Now, for movies! Last summer was all about Barbie and Oppenheimer. This year, we are anxiously anticipating another film in one of our favorite movie franchises.

Now. Hear me out. At first glance, you may think, "What the heck?" But honestly, these are really good movies. They are action-packed sci-fi with an actual storyline. Grab the popcorn and settle in if you have some rainy days and haven't seen the first three movies yet. This movie is coming out in May and takes place after the first three:

Rise of Planet of the Apes
Dawn of Planet of the Apes
War of Planet of the Apes

Those movies are for the kids too. This next one is not. I cannot wait for this movie! It is the sequel to  Joker, the outstanding film from 2019 that is not about a villain in a superhero universe as much as it is about the anguish of mental health issues seen through the eyes of one disturbed man. Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for his role as the Joker, and I am so ready to see him again in that role, along with Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. I will be waiting until October, but that is ok with me.

Well, there you have it. All the things you did not need to know about my viewing habits! I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, and perhaps I should be doing something more constructive with my free time, but this is me being real. Now, I am off to watch Match Game '77 while I eat my cereal. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

(Google for the images.)