13 January 2017

Design Crush: Studio McGee

It's been awhile since I wrote a design post, but boy is this one worth it!!! I've long been a fan of Gen and Ben Shor of Pencil and Paper, Julie Richards of Shelter and have been tearing through Emily Henderson's Style, which I received for Christmas. But Studio McGee (McGee & Company, the shop) is a new addition to my list of favorites. Some of their rooms make my heart go pitter-patter!




08 January 2017

Seriously Special Eats

For ages, my mom hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day at my parents house-- and served exactly the same meal, right down to the appetizers and sides, for both. While other people were having ham or roast beef or even lasagna on Christmas Day, our family has TURKEY.

One year, I saw a Christmas Carol and the scene where Bob Crachit receives a turkey (which I mistakenly thought was a goose!) from the newly magnanimous Scrooge really stuck with me. So for Christmas Eve this year, the Sailor prepared a Christmas goose with all the trimmings and some!


He always puts his heart and soul into cooking a special Christmas Eve dinner, and it was even more of an effort for him this year since he was sick with a terrible cold the weeks leading up to the day.

Note that he actually used the ugly sweater coozie that I put in the Advent calendar

He didn't deviate from his normal planning routine and pored over cookbooks for hours, visited all of the local grocers for the best ingredients, and spent ALL of Christmas Eve Day scurrying around the kitchen like an elf in Santa's workshop.

Many cultures recognize preparing and sharing food as an act of love, and cooking for others is the Sailor's way of showing love. I so admire his patience, dedication and skill. It's especially inspiring since, although I am a better cook than I used to be, I'm still a total disaster in the kitchen! I have a few simple recipes for dinners and a bunch of baking recipes that I make regularly, but I really have no talent for it!

Here's what was on the menu Christmas Eve:

Apps: 
Oysters with Mignonette Sauce
Warm Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip
Cheese and Charcuterie Tray

Salad:
Clementine, Burrata & Prosciutto Winter Salad

Entree:
Christmas Goose and Gravy
Prune and Apple Stuffing with Sausage and Chestnuts
Cranberry clementine sauce
Kale Gratin
Rosemary Popovers

Dessert:
Bread Pudding with Amaretto Butter Cream Sauce
Gingerbread Ice Cream


29 December 2016

Our Christmas


Quick Christmas recap in photos! Sweet P was much more into the holidays than I expected. The girl loved opening presents and still is mesmerized by the "tttuh-tttuh." She was great about just touching branches and didn't pull down any ornaments. I'd say that's a Christmas miracle! The biggest hit this year was an LLBean sled that we'll likely use in the next day or so as we expect our first Nor'easter of the season to hit today. 




For decor around the house, I mostly stuck with natural elements-- a cozy, rustic charm. And the Sailor cooked a gourmet Christmas Eve dinner, which has become a tradition. Our parents joined us for the festivities and an out-of-this-world delish meal. The Sailor REALLY outdid himself this year with a Christmas goose as the main entree. We didn't get too many photos of the dinner, but the menu and flavors were superb!  




A full post on the holiday menu to follow!

17 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: Advent Calendars

We've added another element to Christmas decor-- or rather I should say festivities. It truly has added to the fun of the season. While everyone else is madly moving the Elf around, all I need to remember to do is stuff a tiny treasure into our new Advent Calendar. It didn't arrive until last week, so the novelty hasn't worn off yet. 




11 December 2016

Holiday Highlights and Sweet P at 15 Months

Hi friends! We have some catching up to do--First some holiday highlights and then P's 15 month update which is really more like 15 1/2 months!

Forecasts predict that we're going to get 3-6 inches of snow today, so it will provide the perfect backdrop to decorate our tree. We picked it out at the local nursery last weekend but didn't get the chance to put on the ornaments yet. While theme trees are all the rage, we go for a more traditional tree- colored lights and sentimental ornaments collected throughout the years.


Next year, we'll probably go cut one down, but I'll miss the tradition of visiting the local nursery where we see the family that does our landscaping. After picking out the tree, it's always a treat to go inside the store, have cider and Christmas cookies and see the owner's cats sleeping near the potbelly stove. It's a classic cozy Christmas scene!

Terrain Woven Basket- I opted to switch out the tree skirt for a woven basket from one of my favorite home stores this year. No more straightening it constantly only so that Lola can run underneath and knock it askew. No more vacuuming up needles daily. No more adjusting it to water the tree. It's such a simple change and so much more convenient!




Real Life RD- has some great advice for kicking dieting to the curb during the holidays. Eat with intention and enjoy it because it satisfies! And remember just because it is on the table doesn't mean that you have to eat it.

"...if we begin to just focus on taking care of ourselves, resting, loving on our friends and family, and serving others, then we obsess less, or better yet stop obsessing — and the food becomes a way we celebrate and share this season with others instead of something we exhaust ourselves over." 




Gingerbread Larabars- YUM! These are such a delicious treat that you wouldn't even know that they're healthy! Little did I know that this flavor has been around for a few years- Boy, have I been missing out!

I've always been curious about making my own Larabars, and there are plenty of recipes to try. Anyone ever make them? I've found a few different copycat recipes but can't decide which one to use.

So I Married A Chef
Nutritious Eats
Chocolate Covered Katie

Jeanne Oliver Designs Holiday Home Tour- Even though I say that I'm not a huge fan of contemporary style homes, Jeanne Oliver's house makes me think twice about it. With layered textiles, rustic touches and greenery, her "modern" farmhouse is so inviting and cozy. And look at that light!!!



        


Making Memories: Here's a fun tradition to look forward to each year! 





Sweet P
Pippa had her 15 month check up at the end of last month. She weighed in at 21.2 lbs. and is in the 75th percentile for height-- hard to believe that the little one was only in the fifth percentile for height and weight when she was born!






She is quite the snuggler and loves giving hugs and kisses, and we LOVE getting them! She still has only a handful of words (Mommom, Dada, cat, car, cookie, socks, up, down, uh-oh) but understands so much more than she can communicate. And it seems that every day she is trying out new sounds and words.


Pip is a ball of energy, running around, pulling everything out of its proper place and leaving a trail of toys, clothes, magazines, you-name-it behind her. She still loves peek-a-boo and never tires of being chased-- and Pip has proven her stability and speed when chasing Lola.



Pip still loves KidzLodge and is thriving there! We're so thankful to have found a place where she is so well cared for and loves going every day. At eighteen months, she will move from the infant classroom where she is now to the toddler classroom, and Mom is already dreading it! P's positive experience is all due to her amazing teachers in the "Bunny Classroom," and we credit them with her joyful nature. They report that she's the class clown, which is easy to believe. Whether wearing silly hats, making faces, dancing or jumping/somersaulting on the couch, she's constantly giggling and trying to make others laugh too.




As active as she is, Sweet P's favorite activity is probably sitting quietly and flipping through her books. It depends on the day, but some times she will even sit still for us and let us read to her, especially if it's Pout-Pout Fish-- her favorite book.


Thanks for sticking around to read this very long post! I'm off to work on Christmas cards and decorating! 














17 November 2016

Tiny Twinkle Toes

I am waaaay behind on my Christmas shopping this year. By this time in years past, I would have been about 50% done. I love to have most of my shopping done ahead of time so that I can enjoy the holiday season doing Christmas-y stuff-- baking cookies (eating cookies), listening to Christmas music, drinking cocoa or my favorite Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, staring at the twinkling lights on the tree, and catching up with friends. It really is a magical time of year if you can slow down and be in the moment rather than trying to cross things off of your to-do list frantically.


Christmas 2015

11 November 2016

~Duty~Honor~Country~


There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself,
 in acts of bravery and heroism. - Alexander Hamilton
 
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