Monday, June 18, 2018

Weekend in Photos

 

 

Saturday night walk with Cooper

 

Sunday morning view

 

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

 

Margaritas just go with a Mexican menu

 

It was just my husband and I this Father's Day weekend and we stuck around the house for the most part. We are getting into the hottest part of summer here in Florida and if it is not early morning or near sunset, it's best to stay in the air conditioning. Or the pool.

When I asked my hubby what he wanted to do on Father's Day, his only request was to stay home and watch the U.S. Open. So we did that and I cooked fajitas and made margaritas. He received phone calls from the girls and I gave him a gift card to Top Golf in Tampa, so there is a fun outing in our future.

If the blog is quiet this week, it's because I am flying to Michigan tomorrow and will be busy, busy. The good: at the end of the week, Megan and I have appointments at the florist, the venue, the cake baker and for the final fitting of her wedding gown. And, I get to see the venue and the church, in person, for the first time. On Saturday and Sunday there are back to back wedding showers in her honor, in two different cities and we are so excited. The not so good: I'm flying back a few days early to help with my parents. My mother has had a bit of a set back, with a broken hip and the resulting surgery. Luckily, they are in assisted living now, and it wasn't quite the panic it could have been if they were still at home.

Happy Monday from the airport - I'll have a lot to post when I return!

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

4 Ingredient Applesauce Pancakes

 

 

 

I am always looking for quick and healthy ways to make a delicious breakfast. My preference is something sweet, rather than savory, but since I'm a diabetic, counting carbs is a necessity, if I want to stay on track. This recipe required a little experimentation, but in the end, I was happy with the result.

Pancakes are something I love to eat and also cook. I love traditional buttermilk pancakes, but lately, am drawn to the possibilities of healthier versions, like whole grain. These applesauce pancakes use oatmeal and while you could put the oats in a food processor to get a smooth oat flour, I prefer the natural texture.

My first experiment just used 1/2 cup oats, 1 egg and 1/2 cup applesauce for a try at three ingredients. They tasted good, but the texture was not what I hoped. I wanted a pancake, not an oatcake. So on attempt two, I added in 3 tablespoons of flour (I used white, but whole wheat would work great). It was just the thing needed to make these pancakes the perfect texture to easily flip.

This recipe makes 3 small pancakes, so breakfast for one. I added some blueberries on the top, but didn't add any syrup and didn't miss it at all. Since all the ingredients are pantry staples, this is a recipe I can make again and again.

 

4 Ingredient Applesauce Pancakes

1/2 cup oatmeal

3 T flour

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup applesauce

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. (Add a pinch of cinnamon if you like)

In a medium non stick skillet, melt 1 tsp butter, then divide batter to make 3 small pancakes.

Cook for 4 minutes on each side.

Serve with syrup or fresh fruit.


Happy Thursday!

 

Another recipe you might like: 3 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

 

{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Summer Reading List

 

 

Books for the pool, books for the beach, books for vacation. Summer reading lists are essential for finding the perfect book for those times when a book in your bag is as important as sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle and lipstick. The books on my summer reading lists are two types. Novels by three authors I love and know that I will enjoy. And, new offerings from three mystery series where the characters are familiar and the settings are as diverse as a rural Amish community, World War Two London and the city of San Francisco.

 

From author of Under The Tuscan Sun (one of my favorite books)

 

I can't think of an Anna Quindlen book I have not enjoyed. Her writing style is wonderful and so honest.

 

Another book by Paula McLain about a Hemingway wife. This time the setting is wartime Spain.
 
 

 

 

Welcome back Chief of Police Kate Burkholder, Her Majesty's Spy Maggie Hope and P.I. Sharon McCone.

Happy Summer Reading!

 

Monday, June 4, 2018

June Summer Lovin' Questions

 

 

Venice Farmer's Market - less crowded in the summer

 

Summer in Florida means one thing - it's hot! But, there really is an added bonus with all the snowbirds gone until the season starts again. No crowds in restaurants, no crowds at the beach and really just a wonderful few months ahead. Linking with The Blended Blog for some this or that summer questions.

 

TBB ASKS JUNE SUMMER LOVIN’

1. Walk or Bike Ride? I walk almost every day and I love it.

2. Favorite Picnic Food? Brie, French bread, grapes and a good Chardonnay.

3. Pool or Lake? I love the pool, but if given the chance, I love to be out in a boat on a pretty Michigan lake.

4. Favorite Flavor of ice cream? Key Lime Pie at Venice Creamery. Tart and pieces of graham cracker crust.

5. Ice Cream Cone or in a Dish? Sugar cone.

6. Flip Flops or Slides? I live in flip flops pretty much year around in Florida.

7. Jean Shorts or Jean Capris? Don't own either and no plans to buy. I'm a skort/skirt girl.

8. Favorite summer Fruit? Fresh strawberries to make Strawberry Shortcake.

9. Corn on the Cob or Cut Off the Cob? On the cob. Light on the butter, heavy on the salt.

10. Favorite summertime song? Kid Rock - All Summer Long

11. Favorite summertime activity? Used to be gardening and golf, but now I do both year around!

12. Favorite Berry? Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry or Blackberry? Blueberries (love blueberry pancakes)

13. Bikini’s, tankini’s or one pieces? Tankinis with a short skirt. I like to mix and match.

14. Dresses or Skirts? Skirts for golf and casual wear and sun dresses for going out.

15. One Word to describe Summer? Endless :-) (Florida description)

 

Happy Monday!

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Fix to Blogger Comment Issue

 

 

Housekeeping post today.

So, Blogger is having a bit of a hiccup at the moment. For some reason, comment notifications are not being sent to my email. Since this is the easiest way to reply to comments, it is a problem.

After some research, I found out three things: 1) This is a widespread problem 2) After no response on the Blogger Product Forum all day, one of the experts finally replied that Blogger is working on it 3) In the meantime, there is a fix that is working for me. At the bottom of your post's comment section, check the box that says notify me. This basically subscribes you to all comments on that post and they will show up in your email inbox. You will need to do this on every new post.

Hope this helps! And share this too :-)

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This and That

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a strange weekend weather wise here on the gulf coast of Florida, with Tropical Storm Alberto scheduled to bring rain and wind. It did rain a bit, was breezy, but no more than usual this time of year and I wouldn't call what we saw a tropical storm at all.

We did get out quite a lot, including a walk on the beach near the yoga circle, a trip to the nearby orange grove for orange ice cream and on Monday, a late lunch in downtown Sarasota at a new to us barbeque restaurant. We are trying to discover some non beachy type restaurants; less touristy and better quality food.

I was able to finish watching Little Women on Masterpiece and I loved it so much. The reviews gave this adaptation a mediocre rating, but I thought it was beautifully done, with a bit of a modern feel. For me, the heart of Little Women is Jo, and the actress who plays her had all the charisma needed for the part. If you love this classic novel and especially Jo March, you will enjoy this version.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Celebrating the Bride to Be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, there was a royal wedding this past weekend, but we had another wedding on our minds. It was Megan's bachelorette weekend in Traverse City and we had the best time. Megan definitely felt the love from all who were there.

Melissa, her sister and maid of honor, did a wonderful job planning the whole weekend, with fun touches like team bride hats and having the groom's photo on sticks for everyone to carry. The girls came from Chicago, Nashville and the Detroit area and I was happy to be invited and make the trip from Florida. They were a mix of college friends (University of Michigan), high school friends and elementary school friends. The mother of the groom and a few aunts were there as well.

Upon arrival on Friday, the moms and aunts did our own thing, while the girls hit the town in their team bride hats. We started the night at the beautiful rooftop bar at our hotel, walked a few blocks to town for dinner, also on a rooftop and ended the night back at the hotel rooftop for a nightcap.

After breakfast and a bit of shopping, we met the girls after their bridal brunch and proceeded on a bus to four beautiful wineries on The Old Mission Peninsula. It was so much fun and though it was chilly, the rain went away and we tasted some great wine. If you ever have the chance to go to Traverse City on a winery tour, definately go to Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery and drink the frose' (frozen rose) standing on the balcony overlooking the vineyards. Perfection.

That night, we had dinner in a private room at Red Ginger and the restaurant did a beautiful job with signage, flowers on the table and delicious food. After dinner, Megan opened presents and the girls convinced me to go to a bar with them for one last drink. I just love my daughters and all the girls in the bridal party. They are all beautiful girls - inside and out.

While the girls did a private yoga class, the moms and aunts had breakfast the next morning and my sister and I walked along the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, before our drive back to southeastern Michigan.

Like I said. So. Much Fun.

Happy Thursday!

 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Guest Posting Today

 

 

Laura was kind enough to ask me to write a guest post on her blog and she posted it today. It's all about how we downsized and became young retirees in Florida. This is my first time writing a guest post and it may be a fun way for you to learn something new about me.

Happy Monday!

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Visit for Mother's Day

 

 

 

 

A couple weeks ago, my daughter Melissa mentioned that she was free Mother's Day weekend (she travels a lot for work) and would I like her to come here for the weekend? Of course, I enthusiastically said yes and she was able to take a couple days off and stay Thursday night through Monday night.

Except for the weather not really cooperating, it was a great weekend, starting with a day at the beach on Friday, our only sunny day. It's always a treat to experience a beach day with those just arrived from the northern states, as they soak up the sun, sand and relaxation that comes with it. We came home, showered off the sand and ended the first day at our favorite beach bar for dinner.

Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in, but we still got in a few hours of pool time on Saturday, followed by Melissa's request of a home cooked meal. I made mashed potatoes (her favorite) for the first time since Thanksgiving. It made my mother's heart happy to cook for her. We ended the day with a walk to the beach, puppy in tow.

Sunday, rain was in the forecast, but we grabbed umbrellas and made the best of it. We headed north, to Clearwater Beach and met my mother in law for lunch. Luckily, the rain held off for lunch on the beach and only started falling once we were back in the car. However, a little rain didn't stop us from an impromptu stop at St. Armands Circle in Sarasota for a little shopping and dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

We tried for a few hours at the pool on Monday, but we only there for a few minutes before a storm rolled in. Dissapointing weekend weather wise, but still always fun with my daughter by my side. And, the best part of her visit is that it coincided with my trip to Michigan and instead of saying goodbye for months, I will see her (and Megan too) in just a few days.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Wedding Planning

 

 

 

In just three short months, I will be the mother of the bride at my daughter's wedding and I can't believe we are at this point. When an engagement comes there is a lot of happiness and celebrating. The planning starts, but it all feels a little abstract at that point. Over time, details begin to emerge, big decisions are made and deposits are paid. Then you are in a period of waiting to make final decisions, payments and work out all the small, but important details.

Everything is coming together, with the vision Megan wanted from the very beginning and I couldn't be more excited. I wish I could share the details, but we will keep everything under wraps until the big day and this is not the place to talk about them. Believe me, I will post many photos of events as they happen.

 

 

Next week I will be heading to Michigan for the bachelorette weekend in Traverse City. It is one of my favorite cities in Michigan and we will be celebrating Megan in a big way. A wine tasting tour is planned and she will be surrounded by some of her best friends.

June brings two bridal showers, the final fitting for her wedding gown and a meeting with the florist that I am excited about, since I love all things floral. I also will be seeing the venue in person for the first time!

So much to be excited about and I promise that I will take you along for all the celebrations.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sunday Funday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundays for us are usually relaxing, quiet days, spent watching golf or football, reading and maybe cooking something for an early dinner. Yesterday, we headed out bright and early for a round of golf with some friends who are headed back to Michigan for the summer. It was a fun time on the course, but bittersweet, since we won't see them until our daughter's wedding in August.

After golf, my husband and I headed to downtown Venice for one of the bigger festivals; The Venice Seafood and Music Festival. There was live music, and a long row with any kind of fresh seafood you could want. It was very hard to choose, but I went with blackened grouper and my husband chose jambalaya. Delicious. The margarita tasted really good as well, since it was the first of those hot and humid Florida days we experience all summer long.

Not wanting to go home quite yet, we set off to find an out of the way place we had heard about that sells orange soft serve ice cream. It actually is very close to our house, just down a road we hadn't been on before. There is an orange grove attached and the cute store has a walk up window for ice cream sales. I had the vanilla and orange flavor and my husband had pineapple and orange. It lived up to its billing and I think we will be back and it will also be a great place to take out of town guests to experience a bit of old Florida.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, May 4, 2018

May Book Club - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

 

 

 

What a charming book! This book is not one that I had heard anything about, but when I read the synopsis, I was immediately hooked. Harold Fry is an ordinary man who unexpectedly begins walking ( in boat shoes) from one end of England to the other. He believes that by walking to visit his old friend Queenie, who is in hospice, that she will stay alive, as long as it takes him to get to her. He meets many people along the way who each teach him something important and becomes an "Everyman" hero to the country. We also learn in bits and pieces the history of his marriage and how his wife Maureen comes to realize that she took him for granted and begins to miss him, much to her shock. There is a point in the book where the reader finally learns what lead to Harold and Maureens' painful life and this pilgrimage and it is quite shocking. Of course, the book nerd in me, couldn't help but compare this book to Pilgrim's Progress and I was transported right back to English Lit class.

And, much to my delight, there was wine and cheese served at book club! We sat around a small table, discussed the book and then stayed to chat even longer. It definitely broke the ice a bit more and I feel like I'm really getting to know these ladies. It was a very nice night of books and conversation.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

An Active Monday

 

 

 

 

 

It's a lifestyle at this point. Yes, being active is good for my health, but it has become something I love. I love the way I feel and I love exploring new places.

Mondays are my yoga days, right here in my neighborhood. I only have to walk the three blocks to the clubhouse, yoga mat in hand and I'm ready to begin. We are a small, but committed group (I'm the one with the green mat) and the instructor is really good. I really feel it, in all my muscles, usually the next day. We do a lot of core work and I believe it is so important for someone my age to stay strong and flexible. I'm slowly, but surely, building up my time on planks. I also go to yoga on the beach, but that is really more about the beautiful location, than getting much benefit from the practice.

It was such a beautiful night, still warm and breezy, so I grabbed my puppy, jumped in the car and drove the short distance to the beach. We walked on a path around a small lake on one side and the gulf on the other, shimmering in the pre sunset light. So peaceful.

A good day for both body and mind.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What I'm Watching

 

 

I rarely watch network television, except for a few favorites that I have watched for years (Grey's Anatomy) and one new show (This Is Us). And, I still watch the housewives, but I'm down to three (NY, OC and BH). Southern Charm on Bravo is a favorite too. On demand has made it easier to keep up and catch up with these kinds of shows. Lately, I've rediscovered an old favorite and finally caught up with the big Emmy winning hit from last year. Here's what I'm watching.

 

 

Yes, I was way behind on watching Big Little Lies, but we don't have HBO and I don't usually like book adaptations, so I wasn't that bothered. But, we had a week of free HBO and I knew it was the one show I wanted to finally watch. I did enjoy it and thought the acting was pretty amazing. Some of the changes from the book were choices I didn't really understand, but overall it was very well done. I would like to see Season 2, even with Meryl Streep, who I do not care for. If nothing else, that proves how much I liked it.

 

 

Once Upon A Time is one of those shows that used to be great, so I stuck with it the past few years. However, I just couldn't get through it last season and thought I was done. Characters left, new characters were introduced and when I read the last eposode would bring back pretty much everyone, I decided to get caught up, so I could enjoy the series finale. And, much to my surprise, it's a pretty good final season.

 

 

I love discovering a Netfix series that is binge worthy and Retribution is a great find. It's British, dark and twisty; just how I like my crime dramas. You won't believe the ending in this one.

Looking forward to watching: Little Women on Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) starting May 13th and another installment of The Great British Baking Show (PBS) starting June 22nd. I think it's our last season with Mary and Paul and I wonder if the new version will have the same charm.

Happy Wednesday!

 

Some blog housekeeping: I hope to do a blog design update sometime later this year, but it's bugging me that I don't have an Instragram button making it easy for you to follow me. So, in the meantime, here is a link to my Instagram page. I don't do a lot of stories, but I love them and am going to try to do more in the future.

 

Friday, April 20, 2018

No Bake Peanut Butter Bites

 

 

 

When I see a recipe I like, I save it one of two ways. (But as an aside, remember the days of ripping pages out of magazines?) I pin it to a Pinterest board, or I bookmark it to my recipes folder on my IPad. Either way, it gives me a running list of recipes I want to try. My diet lately has been a little all over the place; not bad, but not my usual routine that I know works for me in keeping my blood sugar where I want it to be.

I refuse to deprive myself, so I have my tricks and I thought these No Bake Peanut Butter Bites from Mix and Match Mama were a perfect compromise when something sweet is what I want. Anything bite sized is perfect for a carb counter, because in short, you easily control the portion size. These bite size goodies, also have healthy peanut butter (protein), healthy carbs in the oatmeal and for that sweet tooth; a sprinkling of butterscotch chips. Next time I make these, dark chocolate chips might be the way to go. Keep the balls in the freezer, as the recipe states and they are even more delicious.

Added note: After eating these for a few days, I am finding the butterscotch chips a bit too sweet for my taste. I would make them again, but use dark chocolate the next time.

So, three ingredients, quick as can be and portion control. All my favorite things in one little bite.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sunshine State of Mind

 

 

 

This weekend, I went for a walk with my puppy on my favorite walking trail that starts in downtown Venice and ends at the beach. It was close to sunset on Saturday, so dinner time downtown, with a lot of people strolling the avenue, eating at outside tables and just a generaly happy, vacation vibe. At the beach, there was live music playing in the pavilion, couples dancing and many people arriving with their beach chairs to watch the sunset. Again, happy people everywhere.

Since I have lived here, I have noticed that people are active and out and about, everywhere I go. There are walkers and bikers galore. People embrace this endless summer and the happiness is contagious. Yes, I live here and life for me has settled somewhat, but when you are around others who are on vacation, it puts you in that frame of mind too. Walking becomes more of a stroll, rather than purposeful. There are no heads down, tucked away from the cold, but faces turned towards the sun and smiles.

I get asked a lot, by my friends and family in Michigan how I like the heat in Florida, especially in the summer months. It really is not a problem, because every place is air conditioned. Otherwise you adjust your outdoor activities to the cooler times of day. Shade and ceiling fans mean you can still sit outside too. A dip in the pool or at the beach feel that much better when the temperature rises. Blue sky and sunshine when I wake up in the morning, blooming flowers year around and seeing green all the time is good for my health and good for my mood. It really is a sunshine state of mind.

Happy Monday!

 

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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, yoga

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