Friday, December 31, 2021

Top 3 Recipies 2021


As always, I like to end the year of blogging by looking back at the top recipes of the past year.  I was not surprised to see what recipe came in at number one, because I have had many people comment on either making it or wanting to make it.  I really need to make it again, because it is delicious.  I have also been told you can now find the pastries at other places besides Aldi if you are not an Aldi shopper.  

Happy New Year and may 2022 be peaceful and healthy for everyone.

1. Baked Aldi Pain au Chocolat French Toast

2. Easy Carrot Cake Muffins

3. My Try at the Trendy Tik Tok Pasta


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021 in Photos


We had a wonderful four days in Michigan spending time with family.  It was a whirlwind as usual, but low key at the same time.  My daughter Melissa and her boyfriend hosted us in their new home a few times and it is always fun to relax and just be together.  We were also at my sister’s house for Christmas Eve brunch and at my mother in law’s new home for Christmas Day.  We definitely ate and drank well and often.  We even were able to fit in a trip to East Lansing and the MSU campus which made me very happy, since it was my first time back in four years.

Not having a house in Michigan for the holidays is always difficult, but this year we found the perfect Airbnb and already plan to book it early for next year.  We love having room for Adam and Megan to stay with us and a location close to Melissa.  Plus, I upgraded this year and it was so worth it.

Happy New Year’s week and Go Green in the Peach Bowl on December 30th!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Glow Ride


Those of you that live in a neighborhood with an HOA know there can be both negatives and positives.  The Glow Ride organized by our social committee is definitely one of the positives.  This year was the biggest yet, and really the first large community wide event, post covid.  I’m sure the newer residents had no idea how vibrant our community could be and it was lovely to see.

I hosted a stop on the route with a neighbor and we went all out with jello shots, a festive cocktail and lots of food.  We had Santa and Mrs. Claus serving and mingling with all the other Santas too.  The bikes and golf carts were decorated with lights and it was a beautiful sight to see them coming down the street on a warm Florida evening, with a full moon shining too.

It has been a busy, but fun stretch of pre Christmas activities for me and once I put together the table for my golf group’s Christmas breakfast this morning when I arrive at the course, I can take a breather before the real festivities begin.  

Merry Christmas to all!


Monday, December 13, 2021

Life Lately


A lot of Christmas prep is happening here and things really start to get busy this week with a gift exchange party, hosting a dinner party here, a lanai cocktail party and hosting a stop for the glow ride in our neighborhood.  

What else have I been doing?


The group I volunteer with always helps to decorate a city park and the past few years, I have been assigned to the official city tree.  The whole park comes together so beautifully and it is a lovely and festive spot to walk through during the holidays.  I included photos of the volunteer day and later, the park at night.

All the Christmas Lights

I can never get my fill of Christmas lights, so we went to dinner at a great spot in Sarasota where all of the palm trees (100’s) are wrapped with lights that are synchronized to Christmas music.  It really is beautiful to have dinner on an outdoor patio and just soak in the holiday atmosphere.  Florida style Christmas at it’s best.


Shetland is an all time favorite show of mine and I have been searching for a way to watch the new season.  Britbox was having a free trial, so I signed up and I have one episode to go, but am loving it and Jimmy Perez, Tosh and Sandy.  Shows where the location fit the storyline and the characters so well are my favorite.


Anyone else finished the new Outlander book Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone?  It’s the kind of book that is good, so you want to read fast, yet you don’t want it to end, so you try to slow down a bit.  Unfortunately, there will probably be at least another five years until the final book in the series (Book 10) is released.  Jamie and Claire are back home on Fraser’s Ridge and are struggling to keep the war from invading their peaceful family days.  It wouldn’t be Outlander if chaos did not find them.

Enjoying Florida in December

December weather in Florida can be unpredictable, but we have had a stretch of sunny and 80 degree days that have me enjoying the pool during the day and savoring the warm nights on the lanai.  I may see snow in Michigan at Christmas, but for now, I will take this slice of paradise.

Happy Monday!

Monday, December 6, 2021

Easy Gingerbread Latte


When you can’t easily make it to Starbucks, this easy recipe has you covered.  And, even better, you most likely have all the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.  It has all the flavors of Christmas and is good both hot and cold.  If you don’t own a frother, I highly recommend getting one (an inexpensive hand held one works great) and stepping up your morning coffee game.  Happy Monday!

Easy Gingerbread Latte

3/4 cup strong coffee (prepared in advance)

3/4 cup milk 

1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2

1 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Put milk and 1/2 and 1/2 in a large glass measuring cup and mix in brown sugar and spices.  Whisk until well combined. Place in microwave and heat for 45 seconds or until hot.  Froth the milk mixture and then pour over top of coffee in a large mug. Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Thanksgiving, Anniversary and Boating Fun in Photos


We had a beautiful Thanksgiving Day, both weather wise and because of the time spent together.  I was ever so happy to finally sit down and have everything prepared (and delete all my lists).  It’s a great holiday, but I was tired by the end of the day.

We got up early the day after Thanksgiving and headed out for a boat day on Adam and Megan’s last day of their visit. We took their dog, plus Cooper, so that was fun and had a great day in the sun with a stop at Stump Pass Grill for a Pina Colada and then beached the boat for a few hours at Stump Pass Sandbar.  Not to mention, we hit the jackpot with so many dolphin sightings and even dolphins swimming right next to the boat as we headed south on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Finally, our 39th anniversary fell on the day after Thanksgiving as well and I can’t think of anything better than spending the day on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico with a tropical drink in my hand.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Week Visitors


We have had a lovely Thanksgiving week so far and plan to have even more fun today, before the cooking and baking begin.  We have the pool heater turned up, the sun has come out after a few overcast days, and we will definitely be swimming on Thanksgiving Day, before we eat our turkey dinner.  

We have been enjoying the time with Megan and Adam and their cute dog too.  We miss Melissa, but will see her soon for Christmas and look forward to all being together then.  

What have we been up to, besides pool time?  So far, lots of walks with the dogs, beach happy hour, delicious food, perfect sunsets and tropical drinks.  We have dinner reservations tonight at one of my favorite restaurants in Sarasota (Tommy Bahama) and will be taking a boat out on the Intercoastal on Friday.  The week is going too fast, but we will savor the time left and soak up all the sunshine in the forecast.  

Happy food prep day and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats


Oh Thanksgiving - the holiday that gets forgotten more and more every year it seems.  But, it is still a favorite of mine and anything made with pumpkin is what I want to eat during the next two weeks as we prepare our taste buds for that delicious and traditional turkey dinner.

This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats is both healthy and delicious.  I have tried many different flavors of overnight oats and many can be found by entering overnight oats in my search bar.  Maybe I am biased towards pumpkin flavors at the moment, but this one may move up to number one.  The addition of the chia seeds (an ingredient I am trying to incorporate in more things) take this to another level, both in texture and in nutrition.  It’s also very low sugar, which as a diabetic, is a win for me.

Happy Monday morning!

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

In a glass mason jar with a lid, add the following and stir:

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 T chia seeds

1 T maple syrup

1/2 cup milk of choice (I used low fat)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of sea salt

Place jar in refrigerator overnight.  In the morning add a splash more milk if needed and sprinkle some cinnamon on the top.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Boat Day


We had a boat day with friends planned for this past Thursday and while the rain held off, it was one of those hazy, low cloud, early fall Florida days.  Not your typical boat day where you keep applying sunscreen, but it was actually kind of nice to put on a sweatshirt and enjoy the gulf breezes without worrying about too much sun.  

The low sky was quite amazing with just a hint of blue here and there and the beaches we anchored at were pretty much deserted.  Now that is something to love, because it is very rare to be the only people at a public beach.  We were able to pick up so many pretty seashells and it was by far, the best shelling day I have had since I moved here.  There are always shells, but many times the prettiest and biggest ones are imperfect and broken.  (To find shells go to Don Pedro Island State Park and Stump Pass Sandbar via boat).  

Highlights also included finding our first really big haul of shark’s teeth and seeing a large group of stingrays swimming right off the shoreline where we were standing.

We stopped for lunch at Palm Island which is private, but has a fabulous restaurant open to all.  You can either arrive by private boat or take a short water taxi ride from the mainland.  The drink I had was quite delicious and per our waiter, is where the restaurant gets it’s name.  (Rum Bay’s Smash = light and dark rum, cream of coconut and tropical juices).

Just another day in paradise :-)

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, martinis, yoga, lilly

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