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Showing posts from January, 2015

A Penny for your Thoughts - More and Less List

Since it is still January, I feel like I can still squeeze this post in :)  Rather than doing a New Year's Resolution list, I decided to take a different approach and do what I like to call a "More and Less List".  I have already started putting into action quite a few of these items, and am looking forward to focusing on them more and more.  I like the beginning of the year as it always gives me a chance to re-evaluate my priorities.  I remember every year that there is always room for growth, this year was no exception.  
As I look over these lists I know that God is so good to me that these are the things I can spend my time focusing on.  I would encourage you to make a list like this just to get your mind thinking this way.  This also gives you no ultimatums and just helps you to focus on priorities.  I think I often feel like a failure if I do not hit a goal, but this type of list helps me remember it is about reinventing the way I live and not a number on the scale …

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things - Christmas in Baltimore

Christmas in Baltimore was pretty close to perfect.  I haven't written about it yet, because I feel like trying to put it into words is impossible.  There was some magic in it though, that is undeniable.  Below are images that show a few of my favorite things about the Holiday Season.  Some things you will not find in the pictures but I hold close to me heart is the French pressed coffee every morning, the wine that flowed all week long, the hide and peek games (you read that right) with my niece, the laughter and tears, the wonderful meals, the genuine words, the sincere hugs, Christmas morning as a group, my parents welcoming hugs, my Italian sister-in-law's bonding, Christmas Eve Service in Baltimore, walking around the Inner Harbor, watching my niece try on all the items from the dress up box we gave her, and some dear friends that were there for it all.  I think our society is so obsessed with capturing a perfect image of their time together and posting it online, but I f…

Food I Ate Fridays - French Onion Soup

Another holiday idea that came from my other sister in law, Cirsinta, was for my sisters and mom and I to all buy the same cook book and begin cooking through it together.  I will share more on this in the future, as another blog is being designed for it as we speak, but what I want to share today is a recipe that my husband has requested I learn to make for years.  
French Onion soup is one of those things I put off learning to do because I was intimidated by the process, but as I embrace cooking and trying to cook new things that have previously seemed overwhleming, I am learning that simple meals really are simple, sometimes you just need to take the time to cook them well.  This soup turned out fantastic, and is definitely something we will make again.   I hope you find time to enjoy cooking and invest the time into making meals you and your loved ones really love.   
Directions
Heat in a soup pot over medium-low heat until the butter is melted:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oi…

Sister Bonding - The Pyrex Picker Sisters

You know those gifts that you get every once in awhile that are just perfect?  Someone spent time and energy picking them out just for you and they were dead on.  Well I actually got a couple of those this Christmas (Faith your box touched a very special place in my heart, Cristina those mugs were so wonderful and let's not forget the bike my husband is getting me!), but the one I want to highlight today is one that brought me and some very special women in my life together in such a fun and unique way.  My Brother and Sister-In-Law hunted through thrift stores and  found me and 5 other wonderful women two matching pieces of a vintage pyrex sets picked out individually for us and our personalities.  Mine is called Autumn Harvest and I could not love it more - I mean a sprig of wheat on a rust colored container... need I say more!
Each sister was requested to be looking for pieces to complete their own set and to help other ladies complete theirs.  To say this has been a fun bonding…

A Season of Reading - Wild

The Amazon synopsis reads: "Wild is a powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an 1100-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe - and built her back up again.
At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
Strayed faced down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, …

Food I Ate Fridays - Sausage, Kale and Spaghetti Squash Boats

Ingredients
1 medium spaghetti squash or 2 small spaghetti squash 1 1/2 lbs. Italian chicken sausage, casings removed (We got spicy) 1 yellow onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch kale 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling Salt and pepper 2 tbsp pine nuts, roasted (almonds worked just fine as well) 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften. Using a sharp knife cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halves, with the cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until you can poke the squash easily with a fork. Let cool until you can handle it safely.
Meanwhile, prepare the kale by removing the center stems and either tearing or cutting up the leaves. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add …

A 30th Birthday and a Surprise Vegas Trip

It feels surreal that I am even celebrating my close friends 30th birthdays, but Bill turns 30 in less than 2 months and his buddy James hit the big one in November.  Him and his lovely girlfriend and their sweet son (our godson) came into town for a visit and we surprised him with an overnight in Las Vegas!  I want to brag on James for a second, he is such a humble guy.  He always wants to bless everyone around him and would give his last dollar to make someone else more comfortable.  

In Vegas we ate, drank, played a little, walked a lot and went to a Cirque Du Soleil show at Treasure Island.  Even though it was a short trip, it felt sacred.  A lot of the time we spend together as a group feels that way.  It was just fun to be somewhere new experiencing it together and laughing and walking.  Sometimes all you need is good friends to make a trip memorable.

The entire time they were here felt fast and slow at the same time.  When we are with them time seems to slow down.  We love being …