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, September 30, 2013

October Bucket List

Good morning blog readers! Not only is it Monday, it is the last day of September! Where the heck did this month go?! Usually on Mondays I do a recap of our weekend. But let's be honest, you probably marvel at how utterly boring my weekend is. You may just be in it for cute pics of Joey, or perhaps I've totally lost you and my mother-in-law is the only one still reading:) Thanks Marianne! Anyways, the big exciting thing of our weekend was going apple picking. I posted all my pics on Facebook so I'm sure most of you already saw then anyways! So today I decided to do something different. I follow Erika at A Little Bit of Everything and she is starting a new series at the start of each new month where you make a monthly bucket list! Technically, you can't link up until next month, but I thought it would be fun to start this month! Check out Erika's bucket list here. She is super cute and has two adorable kiddos!

My October Bucket List

Apple Picking
I know, I know we just went! But I hope to get back to an orchard at least one more time, if not for the drive alone. Our drive through Buxton was absolutely beautiful. I love Maine Fall foliage! Plus, we are already almost out of apples because I have made two apple crisps!! (Recipe to come later this week!)


Pumpkin Picking

Not only do I love eating anything pumpkin, I love picking pumpkins to decorate my porch and house!! And I also thought it might be fun to get Joey to decorate a pumpkin! ( I am already cringing at the mess this might make, but I'm going with it!) Also, I have never carved a pumpkin in my whole life! We just weren't a pumpkin carving family! Perhaps, with seven children my mom thought we may stab each other?? But I am making Andrew help me carve one this year, he's so handy I'm sure he'd be good at it!


Halloween Treats

I am not a fan of Halloween! At all. It is my least favorite holiday! However, now that I am a mom I feel like I need to embrace the spirit of Halloween. I have been pinning yummy looking Halloween treats like crazy  and I am determined to look all bakerish(is that a word? I'm going with it!) with my skills. 




Halloween costume shopping/Trick or Treating

I'm not a big costume person and doubt I'll dress up, but I'm excited to choose Joey's costume! This could be my last year to have all control over choosing! I know in a few short years he'll want to be something totally boy that is going to be either really expensive or extremely hard to create! Andrew will probably be the one to take him out trick or treating and I'll stay behind to pass out candy!

Here is Joey last Halloween!


Phewsh October is a busy month!! What do you have up on your bucket list!?


Don't forgot to pop back tomorrow for Get Pinspired!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Favorites-Fall Fashion

It's Friday Favorites Fall Fashion edition, finally!! One of my favorite things about Fall is the fashion.  What are some of my favorite Fall looks?!  Take a look.
 
Bet you can't guess what my first Fashion Favorite is!!
 
Friday Favorite #1:
A scarf, of course!
 
You didn't think I could go all spring and summer rocking a scarf and then leave it high and dry come Fall.  Fall is actually my favorite time to wear a scarf!! I wear one almost everyday and I get lots of compliments on my fun scarves. A scarf is basically an accessory and it is my go to!
 

 


Favorite #2:
Boots 
 
I am so excited for Fall because it means I can put away the flip flops and sandals and bust out some cute Fall boots!   Boots are fabulous with a skinny jean or legging.  I think a boot makes you look super chic.
 
How chic do these gals look in their boots??

 


Favorite #3:
sweaters
 
Whether it be a cardigan, a cable knit or a big oversized, I love a sweater in the Fall!  They are just so cozy and cute.  And very practical on a chilly day!
 
Here is the perfect combo of all three of my Fall Favorites!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall TV Lineup

I am something of a tv junkie. There's nothing I love more after putting Joey to bed crashing on the couch to watch some good TV!  I am super excited for the Fall premiere of all my favorite shows!! I have one just about everyday!

Sunday
I usually watch Army Wives on Sundays and I just found out it got canceled.  I am super sad:(

Andrew and I also watch Celebrity Apprentice. I'm not sure when the next one starts! I'm still bummed that Penn Gillette didn't win last season!

Monday 
Monday is chalk full of good shows!! And I have a little dilemma. I have three shows on Mondays and can only tape 2 at once!
 Andrew and I watch How I Met Your Mother. We have been watching since the beginning. Well we started watching a couple of years ago on DVD and have caught up to the current season. Hilarious! I think it is the perfect time to end the show however.

I also watch Dancing with the Stars. I have to DvR the first hour because it conflicts with HIMYM. Every season I always get pulled right back in!  I get totally invested with the stars! It's such a fun one to watch. 
 
I also watch Hart of Dixie on the CW. I LOVE this show! It is adorable. But no one else watches it!! I have no one to talk about it with! Someone please start watching, I swear you'll love it!
 
So now you see my conundrum.  If I am watching HIMYM and taping DWTS I can't also be taping HOD, because you have to have the TV on at least one of the channels if you are recording two shows at once. Boo, don't know what to do!
 
 

Tuesday
Andrew wanted me to start watching Marvel's Agents of Shield with him and I did.  I didn't hate it.
 
 I think I want to start watching the new show Trophy Wife on ABC. I really like Malin Akerman and it looks hysterical! I watched the first episode, not sure how I feel about it yet.

Wednesday 
Andrew and I watch Modern Family. I don't think I ever laugh so hard as I do watching this show! Seriously it's as funny as it gets!
 


 
I also watch Nashville.  I love me some country music. I love Connie Britton.  I love Nashville.  It is scandalous, saucy and so much fun to watch!

Thursday
I am still a faithful follower of Grey's Anatomy! That show never gets old. 
 
Parenthood has now moved to Thursday nights!! I LOVE this show! It is unbelievably good.  The writing, the acting--it is spot on! I cry every episode.  I am SOO excited for the premiere tonight!
 
 

Friday 
When we think of it we watch Shark Tank! Love this show. It's so entertaining:) 

What shows do you watch?! Am I missing out on anything that is must see?!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

I had a blog post all ready to go for yesterday and forgot to post it!! I know I am losing it people! I could have easily posted it today but realized that I have not been linking up lately with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday! Mainly, I haven't been wearing cute outfits, just throwing on my comfy cozies or workout clothes and calling it good! And on the days I dressed cute for work I totally forgot to take a pic! But this week was different! 
1. Fall has officially arrived! And I love Fall clothes!
2. My mom just bought me a huge selection of cute new maternity clothes that I was excited to start wearing! 


blue shirt, scarf and shoes are all from Old Navy.
skinny jeans-Motherhood
Technically, I don't need to be wearing maternity clothes yet, but they are just so darn cute I had to!  I was basically pulling up my pants all day.  The sacrifices we make to look cute.

shirt- Old Navy
jeans- Urban Outfitters (I got these during my Bachelorette weekend!)
shoes- Sketchers Go Walks
My younger sister calls these my mom shoes but hey, I am a mom! And they are super comfy! Personally this whole ensemble has me looking like a mom, a cute one though, right?

This is my lumberjack look!  Joey and I had some early morning errands and it was FREEZING! So I bundled up in this sweater and scarf and whipped out my Uggs.  Uggs are probably the ugliest footwear known to man, but they are also the coziest and I LOVE them:)
Jeans-Old Navy
Scarf-from a boutique in Kennebunkport--it was a Christmas gift!
sweater-Gap

So there you have it! I actually got dressed this week:)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Wrapup

Hello I'm back!! Did you miss me?? Last Thursday I came down with the bug Joey had and even though Friday I was feeling A LOT better, I was just too darn tired to post. But I am back and hopefully it will be a full week of lots of fun posts! As always I'll start the week with my weekend wrapup. 

It was a pretty uneventful weekend, which was a good thing. On Saturday we woke up and I made French toast! I'll post the recipe later! I had to work at 12 so we decided to hit up the mall for a bit before Andrew dropped me off. 
Love this little face:)
Here's Joey being silly before we left:)

First on our list was Babies R Us. Joey needed a new sleep sack. He is getting a little big the one he currently uses. We upgraded to an XL! We then walked around the mall and poked in Lids in search of a hat for joe ( no luck) and then we headed to Sears to check out space heaters in preparation for the summer. Before we left I got some sweet potato corn chowder from Kamasouptra to bring to work. It was delish!

I made Chocolate Chip pancakes for dinner that night and I read this really good book all night.

On Sunday morning, we woke up and got ready for church. 
 
This is a new face Joey started making! 

After church we headed home. I usually drive to work on Subdays because it's free parking and then Andrew did isn't have to come get me during the Pats game. Plus I work earlier on Subdays so there is plenty of parking! I left earlier than usual to ensure a good spot since it was raining and then I walked down to Port Bean to treat myself to breakfast!

It was wonderful!

I got home I time for the second half of the Pats game. 

Here's Joey munching on a little afternoon football snack. 

We had BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches and sweet potato fries for dinner, a perfect Football Sunday din in my opinion! And once again I became absorbed in my book for the night!!

See a very boring and relaxing weekend:)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Golf according to Joey

I try to take Joey outside everyday! I am a big believer in fresh air! I even open the windows for 10 minutes everyday in the middle of winter just to get a blast of fresh air! Shh don't tell Andrew he'd kill me! He doesn't like heat escaping the house. Anyways, Joey has a new favorite game he likes to play when we go outside. It involves a golf club( a sand wedge to exact) a golf ball and lots of work on mom's part. He take the golf ball and throws it into these big bushes we have on the side of the house and then has me dig it out with the golf club. This little game can go on for a good 20 minutes. We have lost many a golf ball that we won't recover until winter when the bushes disappear. 


Before we played, Joey and I went for a nice 3 mile walk. My sweet boy is feeling much better!

These are said bushes!

Here's Joey getting the golf club ready for me. 
Here he is firing the ball into the bushes. 


Here is Woodsy getting in on the action:)

Ahh the life of a boy mom. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An absolute must read!

I have an awesome book recommendation for you today!! Love love loved it!! I literally could not put it down. On Saturday afternoon I had a wedding in the afternoon and had SO much to do in the morning. Instead, I lay on the couch and finished this book!



In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

I am a big time sucker for historical fiction.  I am always fascinated to learn more about certain events in history.  Between Shades of Gray follows the Stalinist purges of the latter half of the 20th century and follows the life of Lina as she is deported from her native Lithuania with her mother and brother and their harrowing journey to a Siberian work camp.  Although the book was intended to be a Young Adult novel, there have also been several adult publications.  The author had geared it to young adults because she had met many survivors in Lithuania who were teenagers during the deportations, and they seemed to have a greater will to live than many of their adult counterparts.  The story is based on the accounts she had heard from the survivors, and as a way to make it easier for them to share, she wrote it as fiction as opposed to non-fiction.
I remember vividly reading Animal Farm in 8th grade and the comparisons we drew to the Russian Revolution and Stalin's reign.  It will always be one of my all time favorite novel studies. I was completely fascinated with this historical event, but never really learned much more than what we had discussed in class all those years ago.  When I started reading this book, I was again drawn in to this  extremely distressing part of history.  The story is told through the point of view of Lina. It truly illustrates the heart-wrentching hardship these people faced, yet also the triumph of human nature.   There is also a subtle yet beautiful love story that develops, despite the heinous conditions surrounding the characters.  You know I am a sucker for a little love.  
But what made this book captivating, was the little things these people grasped to remain hopeful.  This book is truly about courage and hope in the face of absolute adversity.

One of the best books I have read in a long time.  It ranks right up there with The Book Thief.  It is a must read!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up


This weekend was our last wedding of the season and it was a blast!! On Friday night we headed down to Flatbread for dinner with family in town for the wedding. I was suppose to work until 7:00 but since the weather was so awful, I got out early and my boss even dropped me down so I wouldn't have to walk in the monsoon!! I absolutely love Flatbread pizza so it was a treat!

Here's Joey with Andrew's Nana, his great grandmother!

So... in a whirlwind of trying to get Joey prepped to go with my mom for the day/night and getting myself together for the wedding I FORGOT my cell phone!! Ahh talk about feeling lost. It was probably a good thing to unplug for a day, but I didn't get to take pictures:(. I forced Andrew to with his cell, but let's be honest--I would have had way better ones and way more variety. But I had to make do, I was the idiot who forgot my phone!

The wedding was on Peaks Island and thank the good Lord it was a beautiful day!! The rainy weather was gone and the day was Fall perfection. 

Bridal party awaiting the bride!

The adorable flower girl and ring bearer 

Here comes the bride. She walked down to Here Comes the Sun. And at that moment the sun came shining through from behind the clouds. Couldn't have happened better!

I told Andrew to send me all the good pics from his phone. I know I took a way better one than this, but this is what I got. 

Here's Andrew and I:)

With Nana Shea


Our view of downtown from the dance floor! 

The wedding was on this big deck under a tent. But you could also be fully outside. It was perfect for dancing, you never got too hot!

Also at the cocktail hour they has these appetizers that were TO DIE!! It was kind of like bruschetta but instead it was bread topped with avocado, strawberry and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. OH MY GOODNESS was it good! I had AT LEAST 10, no joke. 

Andrew went out for some drinks after the wedding with his family but I came right home, this mama was tired from spending the night on the dance floor!! Well, I came home to my poor baby with the stomach flu!! THis is the first time he has ever been sick, so I suppose I can be thankful for that.  But it is still awful when your babe is sick:(

We basically spent the rest of the weekend cuddling our sick baby and nursing him back to health and believe me you don't want to see pictures of that! Hoping today he is on the mend!

Have a great week blog readers:)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Favorites!!

It's Friday and you know what that means--Friday Favorites! I was originally planning on doing my Fall Fashion Favorites today, but with this crazy week of unFall like weather I'm gonna do it next week instead! I can tell you one thing that is not my favorite, the weather. First the insane heat & humidity and then all the rain. Boo! 

So without further ado...my favorites:)

Favorite #1:


Um, yes please!! Enough said about this little gem:)


Favorite #2:



There is something about watching Sunday football and making yummy football foods that I love! I really love football season!

Favorite #3:



Having said that I am also loving my Red Sox! There's something about Fall baseball that is so exciting. And how can you not love this team?! They are reminiscent of the old Red Sox from back in the day. You know the ones that coined the term "cowboy up"?? If only I could make it through the game without falling asleep!!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

We all know I love all things pumpkin. I also really love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. So, last Fall I decided to combine the two! The result was beautiful. However, this year I couldn't find my recipe anywhere!  Naturally it had to be recreated!! The new product was perfection. Here's the recipe!

Ingredients 

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar 
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon if you don't have pps) 
1 can pure pumpkin ( I use Libby's)
1 egg
1  3/4 sticks butter
3/4 cup of oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt and sugars.  Add the butter and mix.  Add the egg and pumpkin and mix.  Add the oats and chocolate chips and stir to combine.  I used my kitchen aid, but I think a hand mixer would work well too!

On a baking sheet lined with parchment (parchment is the key to perfect cookies!) place a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the tops of the cookies are lightly browned!

How can you not love a cookie that is delicious AND has a veggie in them! It's practically like eating a salad:)


Enjoy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Red Sings from the Treetops

Tomorrow I start another year volunteering in the library at Holy Cross. I'll have 5th grade and I'll be volunteering every other week. I will be sharing my lesson plans with you. Most of what I will be doing can be tweaked for the appropriate age group! When I taught middle school we did A LOT of creative writing. Often times I would use picture books as prompts. Most people think picture books can only be used for younger children. Soo not true!! They are a very inventive way to prompt creative writing in all students!! Here is one of my favorite picture book lessons that I will be using tomorrow.

Red Sings from the Treetops
Skills:
Poetry
Sensory images
Descriptive writing
Adjectives
Vivid Verbs

Pre-Reading
Start by talking to the students about poetry.
Ask them what they think poetry is?
Tell them some stories are written in the form of poetry.
Show them the cover of the book and have them tell you what they think the poem will be about.
Read the story.  Be sure to show the pages as you are reading.  The illustrations are not only fabulous but add a vivid image to the story!
Guided Practice:
Have students list images that the colors represented and discuss.
Have students name vivid verbs they heard in the story.  Be sure to explain what a vivid verb is with an example.
Ask them to pick out any descriptive words they heard.  Explain these are called adjectives.
Independent Practice
1. Have students choose 4 colors that they think represent fall and make a Fall Color Chart. (This can be as simple as folding a sheet of paper into fourths and each box designates a color!)
2. Have them list 2 Fall images that come to mind with each color.
3. Have them share with each other.
Assessment:
Students will use their Fall Color Chart and create their own Fall Color Poem complete with illustrations.
This lesson can be adjusted for all age groups! I love doing Fall creative writing! There are so many things to write about!

Have a fabulous school week!
And don't forget to pop over to Blissfully Blessed for my Weekend Wrapup!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall Favorites

my fall favorites...

crisp air
pumpkins
colorful leaves
mums on my front porch
sweaters
boots
apple picking
pumpkin picking
rosy cheeks
smoky air
pumpkin spice coffee
chili and cornbread
football games
pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
cuddling up in blankets
foliage
apple cider
pumpkin bagels
scarves
puff vests
apple crisp
pine cones
apple glazed donuts
pumpkin whoopie pies
acorns
brisk morning walks




Stay tuned next week for my Favorite Fall Fashion!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chicken Salad

On Tuesday night Andrew made a yummy chicken dinner with all the fixings!! We had lots of leftovers! So, yesterday I decided to make chicken salad. I realized we had a bunch of cranberry sauce left, and thought rather than waste it, I'd try it out in the chicken salad. PHENOMENAL! It came out so good, my friends. It was also super easy!
This recipe is entirely based on your own taste preference and what exactly you have handy for the ingredients that I am not even going to give you measurements. Use your discretion!

The process:
Cut up your chicken into small pieces
Mix mayo( I used light) with equal part cranberry sauce.
Add mixture to chicken and sprinkle with pepper. 
Add to your bread. I used a yummy oat nut. 

This was a delightful surprise. 



Favorite Pins of the Week!


I've been pinning up a storm again! Here are some of my favorites of the week!

Ok I am totally loving this oversized sweater with leggings and cute boots look! This may just be my go to Fall and Winter combo! I'll be wearing the heck out of this fashion statement! I'm so looking forward to the cooler weather! (Don't hate!)

I found this prayer and absolutely loved it!! I have started saying it every night before I go to bed! What a perfect prayer for mothers:)

This pin made me super excited to decorate for Fall!! It also (pin)spired me to get my butt in gear and make my house festive for the season!!

What are some of your favorite pins?? Follow me on Pinterest and share what you love!

Missed out on my book recommendation yesterday?? Click here! It's a good one:)
Did you check out my Ocean Park pictures? Click here!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Year New Book!

I seriously read up a storm this summer! I just finished my 20th book of the summer.    But, alas, my Fall shows will be starting up in a few weeks and my crazy reading days will be over.  I am able to read so much during the summer because I don't have any TV that I watch at night, so I literally get sucked into a good book.  As my summer reads have dwindled,  I am here to pass on my first book of the new year. New year, you may say.  As a teacher, I always counted the new year in terms of the school calendar!  So here is my first read of the new year:)  I read it in two days!  It's fabulous.
 
 
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.
Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.
 
 
There are so many reasons I loved this book.
I loved the fact that the author is from Maine and that part of the story is set in Maine. 
 
The story focuses on a young girl whose family immigrated from Ireland in the 1850s.  Being from Irish descent, I always like a story that has deep seeded Irish roots.  I found it so interesting how difficult it was to be Irish and living in America at that time in history.
 
I found the Orphan Trains fascinating in a completely tragic way.  I never even knew Orphan Trains existed.  The concept of the Orphan Train is recognized as the first documented foster care in America.  Basically, these trains took "orphans" to places throughout the country where people would take them in.  Older children were mostly chosen for housework or farm work and not all living conditions were satisfactory.  It was a intriguing event in our history.  I am a sucker for historical fiction.
 
I like how the story bounced back from past to present and that the two characters lived a rather parallel existence.
 
The thought-provoking plot focus, rich writing and strong characterization makes this a perfect book club selection!