Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday Afternoon at the Breslin

 

 

 

It was supposed to be a quiet Sunday. Maybe a little grocery shopping, cooking something in the crock pot and reading by the fire. But, when you get an early morning text from your husband asking if you want to go the the Michigan State versus Michigan basketball game, of course you say yes.

Any day spent in East Lansing is a good one and the game against our biggest rival was great. Very close the whole time and happily a MSU win at the very end. The Breslin is an exciting place to be, with a lot of crowd energy and noise, especially from the crazy student section, called the Izzone, named after our beloved coach Tom Izzo.

After the game, we walked back to the car as the snow began to fall and decided we were not quite ready to head home. We decided to stay and have an early dinner and it really was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I know we will be coming back to campus for football games after we move, but the chances we will come back for a basketball game in the middle of winter are slim. So, we throughly enjoyed this spur of the moment chance to cheer for our Spartans.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, January 27, 2017

This and That

 

 

 

Have you seen LaLa Land yet? My daughter Melissa and I went to see it last weekend (it's not my husband's kind of movie) and loved everything about it. There was so much hype, I feared it would not live up to my expectations, but it really did. It's beautiful to look at, fun, touching and unique all at once. I love all of the old time musicals and it definately had that feel, but in an updated way. It's amazing to me that this kind of old school movie was able to make it to the screen, let alone be so successful. Definately Oscars are deserved all around, but especially for Emma Stone. It's a cliche, but she lit up the screen with her performance.

 

 

Just a little complaint - The Grey's Anatomy mid season premiere was last night and I have been looking forward to it all week. We were left with a huge cliffhanger regarding Alex and I assumed that would be the storyline of this episode. Well, the episode was about something totally different and while good, it was a huge dissapointment to me after waiting two months to find out if Alex will go to prison. I love Grey's, but sometimes the writers play with the loyalty of the audience too much.

 

( Photo from 2016 )

 

See this blue sky? We haven't seen any for what feels like weeks. Michigan is in a gray, January gloom that is really wearing after a while. When you look at the future weather forecast and it's day after day of cloudy skies, it gives you pause. It's one of the reasons we are moving to Florida. This girl needs some sun!

 

 

After the holidays, I knew I needed to buckle down and eat a little more healthy, especially for breakfast. I found this almost instant, steel cut oatmeal and it has become my go to breakfast. The packets are perfect portion control, it's low carb and sweet without any added sugar. I usually add a handful of fresh blueberries to make it even more delicious. If you love oatmeal, but don't love the instant variety, this is a great alternative.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mass Mob January

 

 

 

 

 

After taking a break for the holiday season, our Mass Mob group was back at it this past Sunday. If you are not familiar with my past posts about this, there are a group of us from our parish that attend mass together once a month at a different Catholic Church around the metro Detroit area. One person is in charge each month and picks both the church and a location for brunch after mass.

This month we worshiped at the beautiful St. Alphonsus in Dearborn and then went to the lovely and historical Dearborn Inn for a delicious brunch buffet. The Dearborn Inn was built by Henry Ford on the grounds of Ford Motor Company and is steeped in early twentieth history, like so much of Dearborn. It was a quiet and peaceful place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Our group was a little smaller this time, but we were able to talk to the whole table, so that was a bonus. There were a few others at mass, but they were unable to join us for brunch. We keep things rather informal and all are welcome to come whenever they can make it. It's fellowship and friendship like this that will get us all through these times when the world seems to have gone a little crazy.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Last Night's Book Club

 

 

 

 

 

A lovely welcoming table, delicious food, wine and good friends were a much needed respite last night. Between our move, problems with elderly parents and life in general, a night out was just what I needed. We were a small group of just six, but sometimes it's nice to be able to talk to everyone at once and really hold a meaningful discussion.

Our dinner was so good; salmon, cooked on the grill with a wonderful smoky flavor, a wild rice blend with mushrooms, carrots, celery and almonds (I need the recipe), perfectly grilled asparagus and homemade carrot cake with delicious cream cheese frosting and fresh berries on the side. As usual our hostess outdid herself.

 

 

I have to admit that I did not read the book, but was still able to contribute a little bit to the discussion. We read The Alchemist and you can read the reviews here if you would like to know more. The reviews from our group were mixed with some enjoying it and others finding themselves bogged down halfway through. It's more of a short story than a novel, so it's a quick read if you are interested. My only excuse for not reading it is that I'm in the mood for light, escapist reading at the moment, rather than something introspective.

I just love my book club and sincerely hope I will find the same type of women to share life with when I move. But, ten plus years of history and shared experience will be hard to replace.

Happy Thursday!

 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tuscan Bean Soup - Recipe Redo

 

 

 

Our weather is no longer frigid, but still plenty cold enough for a warming bowl of soup, especially on a lazy Sunday. I first made this soup a few years ago and had forgotten about it until I was looking for an idea for something to make in the crock pot. The original recipe with the original pin can be found here.

But, this is a true recipe redo because this time, I actually ended up not making it it the crock pot due to time constraints and it ended up being just as good. To make this stove top version - bring to a boil all ingredients, except for ham and beans, in a large soup pot, then turn down heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Add beans and ham and gently simmer for about 1/2 hour longer.

I also added and extra carrot or two, because I love a lot of veggies in my soup. The flavor is really delicious and it's hearty and filling. Serve with some warm bread and it's a perfect winter night dinner.

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

Skip To My Lou

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Momfessionals

Friday, January 13, 2017

Embracing Change

 

 

 

So, today let's discuss my move to Florida that I talked about here. It's starting to seem real now that the calendar has turned to 2017 and I'm starting to feel just a little bit overwhelmed. I'm still excited, still looking forward to living in Florida and moving into a new house and know that once I get there, I will be happy. But, there is just so much change to get through to get to that point. And, I don't really like change.

If I had to pick a theme for life in 2017 it would have to be "embrace change". I need to think about all the things I am looking forward to and take everything one day at a time. Because, the big picture - selling the house, packing and leaving Michigan, is a lot to wrap my mind around.

Our builders for our new house (sneak peek of model pictured) should be breaking ground this month and we have already picked out everything from doorknobs to appliances to paint color. We have been making decisions about what to take and the consensus seems to be that most of our furniture will not be making the move. We need to go lighter and brighter; more in keeping with a Florida house. So, furniture shopping when we get there will be something to look forward to. I'm especially excited about finding comfortable and fun furniture for the lanai, where I know we will be spending a lot of time.

Other things to look forward to: going to the beach whenever the mood strikes, dining outside year round, year round golf, yoga on the beach, walking the path along the intercostal, visits from my daughters and of course the abundant sunny days with no winter weather. Especially, no winter weather!

I keep telling my daughters change doesn't have to be bad and that it just means that things will be different. It's going to be a whole new life with new experiences, new people and it really will be an adventure.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Golden Globe Favorites

 

 

I had my glass of wine ready and the television turned to the proper channel to catch the start of the Golden Globes award show, but felt from the very beginning it was quite mediocre. Who doesn't like Jimmy Fallon, but after the opening, he was very quiet and under utilized.

As usual, there were nominees from a lot of television shows and movies I haven't seen, but having just finished The Crown on Netflix, I was happy to see it win best television drama. Also, seeing Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, accept the best actress award was fun, since her personality seems quite different than the tightly wound character she embodies. And, I must go see LaLa Land soon and see what all the hype is about.

My favorite thing is always the lovely and glamorous gowns, but I really had to look hard to find more than a handful of favorites. It really is amazing to me that so many of these actresses fall short of the mark considering they have so much help getting ready and a stylist to pick their gown. Still, there were a few overall looks that caught my eye.

 

Carrie Underwood

 

Felicity Huffman

 

Kristen Bell

 

Lily Collins

 

Laura Dern

 

Happy Monday!

 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

First 2 Books of 2017

 

 

The Christmas holiday season is fun, but it sure is a busy time. We were either entertaining at home or going out to meet family at restaurants for the whole week between Christmas and New Year, so when the festivities ended, it was really nice to settle in and catch up on my reading. For me, there is no better way to start the year. And, if I stumble across a couple books that are great reads, then all the better. Both of these books were on my Amazon reading list, which tends to get quite long at times. It was really nice to have the time to work my way through some books that had been on the list for quite some time. They both were books that grabbed me right away, had a few twists and turns and when I finished, kept me thinking about what happened and the characters - the sign of a good book.

 

 

It Ends With Us, starts off as a typical girl meets boy story, but quickly changes to something different. I don't want to give away too much, because what occurs is truly shocking. I read an interview with the author and it was interesting to read how she was tempted to change the story as she was writing, because she wanted something different for the characters she had created. This is a story about how the past shapes us, but does not have to define us.

 

 

Because I am in a book club as well, this book has been on my radar for a long time. But, it is so much more than the story of a book club. Sometimes while reading this book, you want to reach through the pages and shake some sense into both the mother and daughter, while still hoping in the end they will be ok. The author tells this story from many points of view that weave together the past and the present in a delightful way. How the story comes together at the end will surprise you.

Happy reading!

 

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