Monday, February 29, 2016

Oscar Night

 

 

I have been to Oscar watching parties in the past, and while fun, this year I was equally happy to be at home in front of my own tv and very comfortable in my pajamas. A glass of wine seemed the appropriate choice for Oscar night, but I soon turned to my usual peppermint tea. Coziness rather glamour was my Oscar style for 2016.

All in all, and especially since I didn't see or don't really have interest in the big winner, Mad Max, the show was a little dull, until a few surprises at the end. Chris Rock had some good jokes, but was very one note. I miss the Billy Crystal type musical numbers, all about movies. One highlight for me was Lady Gaga's emotional song.

There were some really pretty and feminine dresses. As always I am drawn to color, sparkle and how the hair and jewelry work with the look. I also was a big fan of Julianne Moore in black with her pale skin and beautiful red hair. Cate Blanchett was flawless, perfect for the occasion and my winner of the night. Here are my favorite Oscar looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Snowy Twenty Four Hours

 

 

 

 

Yes, it's still February and a measurable snowfall shouldn't really come as a big surprise here in the snowy north. But, we haven't really had much snow to speak of and it's easy to get out of the rhythm of boots, hats, gloves and firing up the snowblower. I don't usually have to drive when it's so messy on the roads, but this time, I had to run an errand in the worst of it. However, as bad as it gets, Michigan drivers are tough and everyone slows down and safely makes their way to where they need to go. It gets a little tricky when it's snowing harder than the snow plows can keep up with and the lane lines are covered, but we adapt.

 

 

 

It was still snowing in the morning but, I was lucky enough to be able to stay home and just enjoy the view. Outside my window there were big flakes falling, snow covering the tree branches and even a bright red Cardinal at my bird feeder. Everything was white and very beautiful. As the end of February approaches, we are almost through winter (hopefully) and I'm going to try and enjoy the season as it winds down. There may be more snowy days, but there will also be warm and sunny ones too, that remind us that spring is coming. And here, after fighting our way through a northern winter, it is most welcome.

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Linking with

Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style

21 Rosemary Lane

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Baked Blueberry Ricotta Doughnuts

 

 

 

I am having so much fun with the doughnut pan that my daughter gave me for Christmas. There are so many different recipes and delicious combinations of ingredients to try and this morning's recipe is maybe the best yet. I had some ricotta cheese in my refrigerator that I needed to use and was delighted to see that with the addition of blueberries, I could use it to make light and fluffy doughnuts.

After baking, I made a simple vanilla glaze to complete the delishishness. The fresh blueberries add the perfect element of sweetness and the ricotta adds a cheesecake like texture to every bite. Making (baking) doughnuts at home is such a fun way to enjoy this sweet morning treat without any of the guilt or a trip to the doughnut shop. My morning coffee tasted especially good with a doughnut (or two) on the side :-)

 

Baked Blueberry Ricotta Doughnuts

 

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar ( I used Truvia)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup ricotta cheese

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup fresh blueberries (fresh will keep batter from turning purple)

 

Spray doughnut pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in eggs, ricotta, milk and vanilla. Stir with a large spoon until combined. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into doughnut pan, filling each section to the top. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees until firm and lightly brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes 6-8 doughnuts.

When cool, dip tops of doughnuts in glaze. ( 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, 2 T milk and splash of vanilla)

Enjoy!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Photos

 

 

 

 

We go a little crazy in Michigan when the temperatures are close to 60 degrees in mid February. Everyone's mood lightens, the sunglasses come out and the lines at the car wash extend around the block. Everyone wants to be outside and feel that sun on their face.

Friday night was my neighborhood Bunco, just down the street and though the wind had kicked up, it still felt amazing to walk there with only a sweater, instead of a heavy coat. It was wonderful to see my neighbors and hear and see pictures of the new granddaughter, recently born to the host's daughter and son in law. She had also just returned from a trip to New Zealand and was thoughtful enough to bring back dish towels to use for our Bunco prizes. I was lucky enough to to win one, plus some money for the most wins of the night.

Saturday we headed to dinner and a comedy club with a big group and had a fabulous time. I live in the suburbs, but this location has a busy downtown area with lots of restaurants, bars and nightlife and the weather made it a beautiful night to park down the street and walk to our destination. It is always fun to see our friends and the comedian made us all laugh out loud. It was a fun and different thing to do on a Saturday night. My husband and I left the group after the show and stopped for a late night coffee on our walk back to the parking garage. It was a lovely night all around.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fashion Friday

 

 

Spring does seem to be on my mind this week. It's usually at this point in the year that I start to get bored with the dark colors of winter and begin to crave the bright, happy colors of spring. I start to look forward to the Florida sunshine, Easter and warmer days where a sweater or a light jacket will sufice. I have been browsing some online clothing sites and bookmarking a few pretty things that have caught my eye. I don't need much, but a little updating of some basic, fun pieces may be happening soon.

Some new white jeans are a staple that my spring wardrobe could really use. Being healthy and losing weight is great, but it does mean that some old favorites will need to be replaced. I love to pair white jeans with sweaters or tops in bright bold colors. Casual, comfortable tops that can be worn with leggings are just my style too. Add in a cute pair of flats and I'm good to go. It's a classic style, but it definately suits my life as it is now.

 

Land's End

 

Land's End

 

Land's End

 

Land's End

 

Lily Pulitzer

 

Nordstrom

 

Gap

Nordstrom

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Future Flowers

 

 

Pinterest

 

There is something about the weeks between Valentine's Day and the beginning of March that have me dreaming of spring. And especially flowers. Of course, when I look out my window this morning, all I see is snow and intellectually I know that in Michigan there is still a lot of winter to get through, since we may even see snow in April. But, my emotions take over, and I start to dream of gardening, sunshine and vases filled with freshly cut flowers.

For the past few years, any additions to my garden must have two criteria. They must be long lasting for beautiful color all season and they must be cutting flowers. More than anything, I love to put together sweet vases of mixed bloom flowers, right from my backyard. My plan is to add some new varieties and also add to some favorites from last year.

 

Zinnias - perfect for cutting and so colorful

Pinterest

 

 

A new addition - Yarrow

Pinterest

 

 

Pretty Dahlias - in shades of pink

Pinterest

 

 

More sweet Daisies - they always bloom on my birthday

Pinterest

 

Hurry Spring!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cookies for Valentine's Day

 

 

 

We had a quiet, but really nice Valentine's weekend. It was bitterly cold, so we didn't do a whole lot that involved going outside. Gifts were exchanged and as is my tradition from the time we first started dating in 1977, I baked cookies for my hubby. It's such a simple thing to do, but something that has meaning for us and brings back memories of a special time in our life. I did try a new recipe this year and they were quite delicious. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies - a combination of all the favorites. The original pin and recipe can be found here.

 

 

We did brave the cold and venture out for breakfast on Valentine's Day. Going out for breakfast is my love language and we went to a favorite spot that always has wonderful specials to try. I had Brulee Orange French Toast and it was as good as that name sounds. It was crispy on the outside and was served with a sweet orange syrup- just delicious.

The empty nest life is good. Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Friday, February 12, 2016

2 Things on Friday

 

 

 

I just finished my Book Club's selection for February and I wanted to share my review. This book had me curious, because while the movie reviews based on the book looked intriguing, I wasn't sure if there was enough of a plot to carry a two hour movie. Brooklyn is a sweet, but sometimes heartbreaking story of a young Irish girl and her immigration to America in the 1950's. Her new surroundings in a neighborhood boarding house, her new job working in a department store and her relationship with an Italian boy are filled with wonderful detail of the post war period in America, as seen through her eyes. She explores Manhattan, goes to the beaches of Coney Island and attends Friday night dances at the parish hall. The conflict in the story arises on a sudden trip to Ireland where her longing to stay at home and everything familiar clashes with her plans to return to her life in America. This is a wonderful story full of rich details and the triumph of a girl who arrived in America with little, but in the end, achieved her American dream.

 

 

Grey's Anatomy was back last night after a three month hiatus and it was nothing short of amazing. It was centered around Meredith and proves that this show is at its best when it is about its star. Her relationships, her feelings and her mixed up emotions are what still makes this show worth watching after twelve seasons. This show can still take you on an emotional roller coaster and there is so much history in the relationships that at times, no words are needed. There was some fabulous acting in this eposode and it was directed by Denzel Washington too.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Valentine's Day!

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

40 Bags in 40 Days {2016}

 

 

Pinterest

 

Today is Ash Wednesday and when I go to mass tonight, it will be a time of reflection, a chance for quiet and an hours peace. As I have for the past few years, I will be taking on a Lenten challenge, rather than giving something up. I will be doing the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge once again and it is especially timely this year.

 

Pinterest

 

Life has been moving pretty fast lately and throwing more than a few curveballs my way. I think this project will be a much needed activity to move me toward many goals that are coming to fruition. Doing a little each day and seeing the process in tangible ways will be a positive step and a clear sign that I am ready for whatever life brings in the future.

 


 

So, there will be boxes to go through containing things I haven't touched in years. Some of these boxes have moved with us around the country and it's clearly time to let them go. My mantra will be when I move again, is this something I want to take with me? Most likely, for most things, the answer will be no. And, in the process, I may learn a thing or two about myself.

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chocolate Waffles

 

 

 

Since Valentine's Day falls on Sunday this year, what could be better than a special breakfast featuring chocolate? To keep things as simple as possible, these Chocolate Waffles are easily made with Belgian waffle mix and a few easy additions.

Follow the directions on your favorite waffle mix (for 4-5 waffles), but add 1/2 cup cocoa power and 1/3 cup sugar to the dry ingredients. The result will be fluffy and chocolately waffles that you can serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream. To make them even more decadant, add raspberries or strawberries.

For more chocolate goodness, I love to make chocolate dipped strawberries, especially for Valentine's Day.

 

 

My foolproof method really does make The Perfect Strawberry and I have been making these treats for years. Use good quality chocolate and dip in either milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate; whichever you prefer. Chocolate and Valentine's Day just go together.

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Halfway To The End - Downton Abbey

 

 

 

Every episode I watch of this final season of Downton Abbey means that it is getting closer and closer to the finale. I anticipate that tissue will be required, but at the same time I am hopeful that there will be happy endings to celebrate. It seems that many storylines are heading in that direction, though you never know what the writers may throw at us, considering Matthew died in the Christmas special.

 

 

Every Sunday, I sit enthralled with both the story and the sights on my television. This season is especially fun to look at with the flapper fashions the ladies are wearing. The dresses, necklaces and especially the headbands that Edith and Mary have been wearing, are just so fabulous.

 

 

Without giving away any spoilers, I do want to comment on the last episode and what happened with Robert and the shocking dinner party scene. The foreshadowing of his health problems was keeping me on edge and I even asked my daughter who has watched the complete season to tell me if something bad was going to happen (she wouldn't). What did happen was so shocking and emotional, I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing. But, hopefully all will be well now.

 

 

Sunday nights in January and February will not be the same without Downton Abbey to look forward to. The sight of that beautiful Abbey with its rolling green hills, long drive and stately entrance will be missed and I can't imagine any new series that could have such charm and opulence at the same time. The upstairs, downstairs dynamic is what makes this series so special and these actors have created characters that we will never forget. I plan to enjoy every episode we have left.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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