June 19, 2015

It's Vacation Time!

I'm off! It's time for me to say good-bye for now as I take an extended vacation with my family. This time feeds my soul like nothing else, and although it may seem like a long time, I'm sure you'll be too busy having some summer fun yourself to notice ;). I will be back towards the end of July with new pictures and posts! Here are some of my favorite posts (and yours) to keep you company until I return. Have a great weekend and a wonderful summer!

Decorating & Design:

Meaningful Color: Purple Love
The Way Life Should Be
The Art of Arrangement: It's Class Week
Design Inspiration: Art & Accessories
College Living
DIY Weekend: All Around the House

Health & Well-Being:

Prom Hair: Take One
Still Inspired
The Benefits of Lemon Water
The Health Benefits of Spinach

Food & Recipes:

Berries & Chocolate
Chicken Cacciatore (Cheat)
Let's Talk Salad
I Love Pasta
Kitchen Confidential
Marmalade Wings

Books & Writing:

Writing is a Process
There are a Lot of Books!
Life in a John Hughes Movie
Suspended in Air
Yes Please

Home & Family:

Family: Remembering the Present and the Past
A Week of Celebrations!
College Life
Snow Day... I'll Take It!
The Big Apple

And read last year's list.

Happy Summer!

June 18, 2015

It's Time to Take it Outside

And so it begins. Those endless summer nights, the warm breeze that lulls you to sleep, fresh fruits and vegetables eaten like candy... it's summertime! It's time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. And those of you in the Northeast can really appreciate that statement.

I'm looking forward to riding my bike, sitting around a campfire (one down, dozens more to come), eating outdoors, swimming after dark, feeling the beach sand between my toes, reading outdoors before going to bed, lots of gameCan Jam, cards, Bananagrams, Waboba (a great ball that skips over water), canoe races, and the list goes on and on.

Need a little inspiration?

15 Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

6 Element of Summer Entertaining

Summer Outdoor Dinner Party

16 Best Backyard Party Ideas

10 Tips To Help You Throw a Great Party Without Losing Your Mind (Or Blowing Your Budget)

May Summer Last a Hundred Years!


Photo: David Baxendale

June 16, 2015

Planning for Vacation (1000 Words)

For the last month or so, I've been editing my manual. Now that it's done, I'm revising the slideshow (PowerPoint) that goes with it. I. am. almost. done. So instead of looking at a sea of black and white, I now get to look at pretty pictures... and type words into teeny tiny boxes (sigh). I've never needed to add notes before, but I don't think my new instructors will be too pleased if I didn't give them my two cents on all of the photos they'll need to show their students.

This project has indeed turned into a monster. Once it's done, I can finally concentrate on other writing projects I desperately want to start and finish. I've been mentally packing away all of my books and notebooks for vacation. How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One by Stanley Fish is already among my stack of books (It was recommended to me, but the reviews don't look so hot). I recently snagged a beautiful notebook by Appointed (soon to be in stores and available online). And I've been thinking about taking along some old favorites. This one is good for writing prompts and these are a few of my all-time favorites. Of course I must bring along something by Anna Quindlen.

I've counted 12 books and 5 notebooks so far! I think they may take up more room than my clothes.

June 15, 2015

Sherwin-Williams Colormix 2016

Sherwin-Williams is taking color to the next level. Don't be afraid of the picture you see here. Although this may look very trendy and a bit out thereeven the color categories with names like Pura Vida and Mas Amor Por Favor make you wonder—it's all good. They're "...taking the best of everything life has to offer and indulging in the moment". Read all about these fabulous colors here.

June 12, 2015

Celebrate the Weekend!

I turned on my computer this morning and my calendar alerted me that it's graduation day tomorrow! I think I'm in denial. Amanda is my baby and I can't for the life of me imagine her not driving off to high school each morning. Between the tears and the laughter these next few days, I'm sure we'll make it. (I think.) She's worked so hard to get where she is and I'm incredibly proud of her.

We have house full of friends and relatives coming to celebrate with us. I hope you have something to celebrate this weekend too!

Here are some links you may enjoy...

Speaking of Pinterest... 12 funny beauty fails that will make you laugh, and 8 anti-aging myths you've got to stop believing.

Healthy reasons to drink that cup of joe.

An apartment makeover on a budget, and creative decorating ideas for kids' rooms.

Because cuteness has no boundaries.

Father's Day is just around the corner. Check out this list of gifts to inspire you.

Curious to see where Jim Halpert lives? Check it out.

Photo of her graduation cap. She'll be studying marine biology in the fall so the quote suits her well.

June 11, 2015

Designer Blogs


If you haven't checked out Designer Blogs yet, you should. These gals can help you with one tiny little problem or a large one. And if you're thinking about starting a blog, consider one of their $15 templates! We all have to start somewhere. When I first began, my blog looked nothing like this. As I've continued blogging, I've made changes as I can afford them. Designer blogs makes it simple for the new blogger, or the blogger who needs to graduate beyond the basics.

Click on their link located on my sidebar to see what they can do for you!

This post is sponsored by Designer Blogs.

June 10, 2015

A New Bakery is Coming to Town!

Quick, hide the croissants! Rumors started that a bakery would come to town when one of the more prominent buildings on Grove Street was refurbished a little over a year ago. Alas, it was not meant to be. As we strolled through town on Saturday, we noticed that the Waterhouse Restaurant is opening its own bakery right next door. Oh me. Bread is my kryptonite and there's going to be trouble. Of course I peeked inside. As you can see there doesn't seem to be a place to sit and eat, which is a bit disappointing. If I'm going to ditch my diet for something warm and doughy, I need to be held accountable. Grab and go is cheating. 

I have several go-to recipes I like to make, but I have never made just bread. And that is what I immediately think of when I hear the word bakery. So to entice your taste buds, here are some links to a few bread recipes along with a few baked goods. Enjoy!

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread (Add a little salt and/or EVOO, maybe some rosemary to the top...)

White Sandwich Bread

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Nutella Shortbread Brownies

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bread

June 8, 2015

Family: Remembering the Present and the Past

Last week, we all took Amanda to her college orientation. And because my parents summer home is located closer to the college than ours, the three of us spent the night while Amanda stayed on campus. My mother is always decorating and redecorating her two homes. She's been like this since I've come into the pictureI know this is where my house-shaped gene comes from. As I was putting away our things in the guest room, I noticed she added a photo board to this room. Then I spotted this one. I have photos of my parents when they were dating and first married, but I had never seen this one. Dad was/is always a sharp-dressed man (when he wants to be) and mom has always carried herself with such elegance. I think they look like a beautiful couple. (Those are my aunts on either side of them. Sadly, we lost my Aunt Diana four years ago.)

This board isn't too crowded. It's filled with photos of grandkids, children (that's us at the top), siblings, siblings grandkids, friends, and a few memorial cards. The black and white photo at the very top is my great aunt's class photo. Sadly we lost her two months ago and my aunt Diana's husband, my uncle Jim, just a month later. I think it's wonderful the way she honors both the present and the past.

My own inspiration board has gotten a bit of a makeover. I'm starting to add more photos in with the quotes and magazine clippings. Life changes too quickly. Looking at smiling faces every day makes me smile. I've also been working on a graduation video for Amanda's big day this Saturday. To see how she's grown from infant to lovely young women has taken me on a very emotional roller coaster. Photos are just one of the ways we can spend time we the ones we love.

June 3, 2015

Raw Vegetable Summer Rolls...

With triple sesame dipping sauce! Now that's a mouthful. I often cut up raw vegetables for dinner. Especially when I'm not quite sure what's for dinner. This recipe is easy, light, and can stand in for a lite supper or lunch. I found it over on Gourmande in the Kitchen. Check it out!