Welcome to my blog!

This blog highlights all my favorite picks and ponderings. I share book recommendations, yummy recipes and fashion favorites! I throw in some surprises every now and then and share my life happenings and LOTS of pictures of my adorable sons, Joey and Teddy:) Hope you'll keeping stopping by!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Recipe Tuesday: a Mix and Match favorite


Ok so we all know I am obsessed with Shay Shull aka Mix and Match Mama.  I am an avid reader of her foodie blog and her family blog.  The more I read, the more I am convinced we could seriously be besties!    Anyways that is neither here nor there.  The reason for this post is to share one of Shay’s seriously fabulous Bundt cake recipes!   I have made quite a few, but lately I have been making the original chocolate chip bundt cake recipe.  I make it every Sunday and then throughout the week, after Joey goes to bed I heat up a piece for my husband and me to enjoy for dessert.  Oh my goodness, it is a slice of heaven!  I am very suspect of people who do not treat themselves to dessert, how do you wash down your meal?? It’s the little things in life people.  I love me dessert!  In fact I love food in general.  I am definitely a live to eat kinda gal.  I refuse to deprive myself of the joys of food, just in moderation:) So I am sharing this fantastic recipe with you. Click here and treat yourself to dessert tonight!

 
As you can see I couldn't even wait to take a picture before I shoveled down a slice!

Mommyhood Monday

Happy Memorial Day!



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Beach Book Bonanza Kickoff


Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard's world changed forever—when Caitlin Somers chose her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomed Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha's Vineyard, a magical, wind-blown island where two friends became summer sisters. . . .
Now, years later, Vix is working in New York City. Caitlin is getting married on the Vineyard. And the early magic of their long, complicated friendship has faded. But Caitlin has begged Vix to come to her wedding, to be her maid of honor. And Vix knows that she will go—for the friend whose casual betrayals she remembers all too well. Because Vix wants to understand what happened during that last shattering summer. And, after all these years, she needs to know why her best friend—her summer sister—still has the power to break her heart....

 

 

Ok this is the perfect book to kick off my Beach Book Bonanza! I have read this book every summer since I was in 8th grade.  When I think Judy Blume I think Are you there God, it’s me Margaret and Forever, which is initially why I picked it up back in the day.  Well, Summer Sisters is neither of those books, not by a long shot. For a naive, sheltered awkward teenager, I "learned" some very intriguing things from this book. This is one of Judy Bloom’s novels geared to adults and the story is surprisingly engaging and complex. The characters come to life on the pages, and the storyline is brilliant in its normalness.  Summer Sisters is the perfect book to slip into your summer beach bag.  It’s deliciously sassy, unexpectedly riveting and fiercely nostalgic of childhood summers spent barefoot and carefree.  It has all the elements of an easy, breezy, beachy read ; friendship, romance, betrayal, and just the right amount of sauciness:)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pumpkin Chili for a UnSpring like day!

Brr it does not feel like spring today! In fact, it feels like fall, so therefore I am posting the recipe for my favorite fall meal.  It's my pumpkin chili! If you know anything about me you know I LOVE pumpkin  anything.  So it would stand to reason that I would add pumpkin to my chili and boy does it taste good!  It might just be the perfect day for a bowl:)

Ingredients:
1  lb of ground turkey (or hamburger, your choice!)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of pumpkin puree
1 can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of black beans(drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion finely chopped (optional)
1 TBS cumin
2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp of minced garlic (I also add some garlic to the turkey as I am browning it)
1/2 tsp salt


Brown turkey and sprinkle with a little garlic and parsley.  Meanwhile combine all other ingredients into a chili pot.  Add turkey and stir.  Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Sprinkle on a little shredded cheese and sour cream if desire.  This chili is so delish!  I always whip up a batch of cornbread as a side.

This recipe is super easy.  BELIEVE ME, if it wasn't, I would not make it!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Mommyhood Monday

Welcome to Mommyhood Monday! Every Monday I'm going to blog about my mom picks! The great thing about this blog is that even if I am the only one to read it, it will be enjoyable reading years down the road and seeing what I was picking at this point in my life! My mom pick of the day is Smiling Hill Farms. This past Saturday was Paladino Family Fun Day:) We left the house at 6:45 and went to breakfast at Becky's Diner. Then we walked along commercial street all the way down past the ferry terminal while enjoying a cup coffee from Port Bean! They have my favorite coffee jazzy Java by Coffee by Design.  It was a beautiful morning. Later in the day we went to Smiling Hill Farms. Joey absolutely loved it! They have lots of farm animals that you can feed, some they you can actually pet, and they have lots of structures that you am climb on. Joey loved the freedom to roam around. It only cost $4 a person and it was well worth the time we spent having fun! We ended our barnyard experience with homemade Smiling Hill Farm ice cream! They even had a baby size and Joey gobbled it right up! It was a a great family day:) 




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fly Away-Kristin Hannah


I disappeared for a while but I am back! And I have a book recommendation for this cold, cloudy day.  A couple of months ago I wrote about Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.  If you have yet to read it, you must, it is one of my favorites! It is the story of Tully and Kate, and their dynamic and at times tumultuous friendship as it spans three decades.  Click here for the review!  Kristin Hannah recently released a new novel, Fly Away.  Fly Away is considered the stand alone sequel to Firefly Lane, but I would highly recommend reading Firefly Lane first, regardless.   Fly Away revisits the characters we grew to love and by reading Firefly Lane, you will gain a connection to the characters and will have a better appreciation of their thoughts, actions and emotional distress in the sequel.  I definitely enjoyed Firefly Lane more as  Fly Away is emotionally exhausting.  Yet it is so realistic to the experience with which the characters face.  The highlight of Fly Away is the character of Dorothy, Tully’s absent, drug addicted mother.  Hannah gives the reader a revealing glimpse at the devastating cause of her dark, drug induced lifestyle that led to her abandoning Tully.   The library Journal review gives the following review.  Spoilers for those of you who have yet to read Firefly Lane!

 

Hannah's enthralling and touching sequel to Firefly Lane continues the tale of Tully and Kate's poignant friendship and the journey they still share even in death. Once Kate dies, her husband, Johnny, her daughter Marah, and her soul-sister Tully all fall apart as they struggle to deal with their loss and regret. Losing the only anchor she had, Tully counts on Johnny and the kids to help each other through this process, only to realize that she is shut out, leaving her to mourn alone. Tully quickly finds herself following in her mother's footsteps of addiction, ultimately ending up in a medically induced coma after an "accident." In this state Tully is guided and prodded by Kate to see where things have gone right, where they've gone wrong, and where they can be repaired with some healing and some forgiveness—especially if Tully is willing to face her own past and that of her mother, and not fly away with Kate. VERDICT A moving read about mothers and daughters, families, friends, second chances, love, heartbreak, faith, grieving, and healing.

 

Next week I will be starting a new series on my blog in honor of summer.  There is a certain type of book that needs to be read in the summer.  It needs to be light, easy and engaging, and preferably have a little romance.  When the sun is shining I don’t like having to think too hard, I want something I can gobble right up!  So next week I will start my Sweet Summer Reads Series, so stay tunedJ

Monday, May 6, 2013

Recipe Monday


It’s Recipe Monday!  I love pasta, but was getting a little tired of red sauce.  So I tried this new recipe and it is SUPER easy and VERY tasty!  Bon appetite!

 

Ingredients:

1 box of pasta (I use bow tie for this particular recipe but you can use whatever you prefer)

½ cup of parmesan cheese

I teaspoon garlic powder

pepper

4 tablespoons of butter (sliced)

 

 

Heat pasta according to directions on box.  Drain and return to pot.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to well combined! Add pepper to taste.  Easy, right?!  This could be a yummy side or add some grilled chicken or shrimp for a well-balanced mealJ

 

*NOTE  My sister is gluten free, and  so I tried this recipe with brown rice pasta and it worked well too.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mother's Day Guide Maxwell's Pottery Edition

 
Yesterday I blogged my top Mother's Day gift ideas!  Today I am blogging my top Mother's Day picks at Maxwell's Pottery. Rather then just tell you my picks, I thought I would give you a virtual tour! We have lots of fun things and it is a beautiful day to stroll down to the Old Port:) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Can't view the video?

My top picks from Maxwells are:

Flower of the Month bracelets.  Each month of the year has its own flower.  My bracelet is carnation for January.  They are fun, clean well, and adjust to any wrist size.  I love them, and your mom will too:)

Soy candles! Soy candles are soot free so do not burn black, and smell amazing!  My favorite is lilac, but we have a variety of wonderful scents.

Earrings- Handmade earrings from a local artist as well as swanky glass earrings made in Chile.

Soap- Our soap is from France and made with shea butter.  It is amazing.  I am currently using the coconut because it is fresh and summery, but I also like milk and rose petal.  We have a scent for everyone!

Linens- We have dishtowels, napkins and placemats in fun, vibrant colors! Can't go wrong with something for the kitchen:)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Guide




So the beauty of Mother's Day is that not only do I get to find something fabulous for my mum, but I get to find something fabulous for myself. After all I am a mother too, and I am of the philosophy of buy a gift for someone, buy one for myself:) Genius, right? Here are some of my top Mother's Day gift ideas!

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love me a scarf. It is the perfect accessory to add a little flair to any outfit. A nice, lightweight scarf is an ideal gift because it is affordable, versatile and super cute! I really love this blue printed gauze scarf from Old Navy. Click here to check it out! Or this cute leopard print scarf from Nordstrom! Shop online and get free shipping. What is better than that:) Check it out here.

Summer is almost here and every mom needs, NEEDS, a fun beach tote! There is no better tote in my opinion than a L.L Bean tote. They are spacious, durable AND they have a lifetime return policy! They have a variety of fun colors and you could get it monogrammed to make it a little more personalized! Click here to check them out. Want something with a little flair? Check out this adorable canvas tote from the Gap. Spend over $50 and get free shipping! Might as well throw in this speckled print infinity scarf:) If you are a real high roller then you MUST check out this to die for Tory Burch straw tote. It screams spring! Click here, but be prepared to fall in love.

So, I have never owned a pair of Toms. However, that may change. I just saw and fell in love with this crochet version. So cute! They have a variety of spring colors but I am kinda loving the lilac ones. Click here. Moms are always on their feet, why not be stylish with our footwear??

And FINALLY Mother's Day would not be complete without a little bling, am I right?? The new hot trend is Alex and Ani bracelets. Don't have one? GET ONE! Click here to see what they are all about. Keep adding to your collection for a really fun look, or wear them individually, whatever suits your style. I only have 3, but thinking I may need 1,2 or 3 more...hint hint hubby;) Get yours in silver, gold or mix and match!

Stay tuned tomorrow when I do a Mother's Day Guide Maxwell's Pottery Edition!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Diamond Ruby-Joseph Wallace

Holy moly people, it's May! I thought I would kick off the start of the new month with one of my favorite books! I know I say this about many books, but this really is one of my favorites!  Diamond Ruby is a truly enchanting story inspired by Jackie Mitchell, a teenage pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig only to find herself (and all women) banned from baseball by then Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.  It takes place in 1920s New York, and Ruby's story is set against a backdrop of women's fight for the right to vote, an influenza epidemic, prohibition, and the Ku Klux Klan. But at its core, the story is truly about the courageous and determined young Ruby Thomas, who dauntlessly maneuvers through the innumerable obstacles thrown her way.  The reader cannot help but root for Ruby along her journey.  There was something about the historical aspect of this story that really captivated me. The 1920s were an intriguing and explosive time that lend perfectly to the setting of a really engaging novel.  The fact that baseball was a relevant component was an added bonus! So grab a cup of coffee, a good book and enjoy the beautiful sunshine! It's the little things in life my friends:)