Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Favorites #37

#1 Apple Cobbler

I have found my favorite Cobbler Recipe by Land O'Lakes. I LOVE apple pie and apple cobbler, basically apple anything. 


7 to 8 large (9 cups) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4-inch
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 Land O Lakes® Eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted


Heat oven to 350°F.

Place sliced apples in ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish.

Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in bowl; sprinkle over apples.

Combine remaining cinnamon, flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and salt in bowl; mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apples. Pour melted butter over topping. Bake 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned and apples are tender.

#2-A Desperate Fortune-Susanna Kearsley

For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing-for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

Susanna Kearsley is becoming my favorite author. I know I've probably said this before but her books are a great mix of history, danger, adventure, and romance. Maybe I like the  romance part because it is sweet and saccharine. Its not over done.  (I think I secretly just wish someone would find me a tall, handsome man with a scottish accent, but you know..its fine)
If you haven't read any of her books, drop everything and do it. 

I suggest starting with The Winter Sea.
Read my review here.

#3 Hiking Trip With The Family

My family and I went to 9 mile Canyon. We got to hike, play in the dirt,  hunt for petroglyphs made by Freemont Indians, and chase mountain sheep.
I am still a little upset that my oldest nephew is now taller than I am. 

#4 Far From the Madding Crowd

This is a movie that did not get a ton of buzz. I knew nothing about it, but my cousin wanted to go see it, and I was pleasantly surprised.  
I wouldn't say the movie is perfect. It took me a minute to get into the story and to understand what was happening. I don't know if it was the pacing of the scenes or if it was me. There are times when I feel more time had passed than what was actually shown, or at least depicted. I really did end up liking the movie however. Even though it is not part of my top 5 favorites, I thought it was entertaining. I would recommend it. 

That being said I would have changed the end. if you have seen it or read the book send me a comment or email and we can talk. 

#5 Crepe Blouse from Target

Looks at this cute shirt. I ordered this and a short sleeve version. It combines my two favorite colors and it was on clearance. $7. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Weekly Favorites #36

I was able to see a production of my favorite musical Into the Woods

Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from "Little Red Riding Hood", "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Rapunzel", and "Cinderella", as well as several others. The musical is tied together by an original story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, their interaction with a witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey.

The music in this show is great, I think I just love the energy-the music is so fast and there are so many lyrics, everything is going at 110 percent. I also really like the message of Be careful what you wish for and what you pursue. Somebody is watching what you do and what you say, whether you notice it or not. We are all connected and influence each other more than we realize. 
If you haven't seen, The American Playhouse Production from 1991 is fabulous. I also really enjoyed the Disney movie that just came out. who doesn't love Anna Kendrick. 


#2 Postmodern Jukebox 

I have just heard about this band. Maybe its my old soul, but I really dig most of what I have heard. Its so fun. They take mostly popular pop songs and turn the arrangements into a 20s era Jazz song, or a classic 50s Duwop or even a hit from the Mowtown era of the 60s. 
I really have enjoyed what I've heard because I really appreciate when an artist can make a song their own without making it unrecognizable. 

Here are two examples.
I Think I Did It Again

All About That Bass

#3 Chicken Picante

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Hot cooked rice, optional

Place chicken in a greased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the picante sauce, brown sugar and mustard; pour over chicken.
Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 30-35 minutes or a meat thermometer reads 170°. Serve with rice if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

This recipe really is so simple. Sometimes when we cook it, we will just cook the sugar, mustard, and picante sauce in a sauce pan with shredded chicken (pre-cooked or you can use canned chicken).
Then you serve that over rice and, if you so desire, crushed tortilla chips. So yummy!

New movie called Secret in Their Eyes

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Club-Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

You may have heard this is like "Mean Girls" for grown ups. 

Here is the summary from Good Reads.

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. .

This book is deals with some dark issues but is really quite funny. It takes a gifted story teller to make the mundane so entertaining.  

 One thing I really liked about the books was that most of the situations are realistic. Madeline is having a hard time having to share her time with her daughter. The petty, overprotective school moms gossip about each other. Violence erupts over the littlest things. We've all all seen these characters or somebody very similar. We've all experienced these emotions of anger, jealousy, and helplessness. We've all had problems admitting when we need help, Along with that, i'm sure many have all felt gratitude for the wonderful friends in our lives.  There is really only one subplot I really had a problem with. I won't spend anymore time on it but you'll know it when you read it. 

The other thing I really liked was the character development and the distinct voice of each character. I think it is a common device to use  the "new girl in town" to help the reader discover and meet the central characters in your story. I felt in this book it all happened in a very believable and natural way. As I stated before, you really can fell each separate personality of the main characters which helps you envision them in your head. Jane is plain but not ugly. She's demure, cautious and kind hearted. Madeline is bubbly, loyal, and such an extrovert. Celeste, is reserved, smart (she went to law school), self aware, and very beautiful.

I really enjoyed this book. There were no expectations when I started reading but I still felt pleasantly surprised. Have you read it yet? I'd love to hear what you think.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Favorites of the Week #35

Old Navy...I found have found so many great clothes from Old Navy-specifically t shirts for summer.

Slub Knit Tee is a relaxed fit. It runs slightly large but is pretty true to size. 
I have this in 3 or 4 different colors. 
It is 60% Cotton, 40% Modal. Rounded scoop neck and rounded hem. I love them.

Linen Blend (Linen and Polyester) Boyfriend Tee
It runs large but it is super comfortable. I have this shirt in a million different colors.
It is thin so I have to wear a camisole or shade tee underneath it. Love them though!

My newest purchase which is super cute.  Pixie Pants. Aren't these polka dots cute. You can wear them with flats or flip flops in the summer and boots in the winter. I am so glad I bought them. 

I got a fitbit flex and am really enjoying it. I love tracking my steps to the point where its become quite an obsession. I am more active and more aware of how much I am moving. I just barely found out tonight how to track my sleep finally! The only real complaint I have is the fact that the flex doesn't have a clock like the fitbit force and other bigger models. I am still so glad I got one. 

Crystal Light Energy. 

You mix these with water and it is such a good caffeine alternative to soda.
The strawberry is my favorite. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Catch Me Up

I want  to catch you all up on my life.
I had my birthday the end of May. I had a great girls night.
I went you with my friends. They surprised me with this cute green necklace, my favorite color.
We all went to see a play called "Over the River and Through the Woods."

Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey. His parents retired and moved to Florida. That doesn't mean his family isn't still in Jersey. In fact, he sees both sets of his grandparents every Sunday for dinner. This is routine until he has to tell them that he's been offered a dream job. The job he's been waiting for—marketing executive—would take him away from his beloved, but annoying, grandparents. He tells them. The news doesn't sit so well. Thus begins a series of schemes to keep Nick around. How could he betray his family's love to move to Seattle, for a job, wonder his I grandparents? Well, Frank, Aida, Nunzio and Emma do their level best, and that includes bringing to dinner the lovely—and single—Caitlin O'Hare as bait…we won't give the ending away here.

This play was so funny, and touching and amazing. It literally made us all laugh one minute and cry the next. It was really poignant for me because my grandfather passed away the day before. It really made me appreciate my family.

Then my friends and I went out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We were there pretty late so it took me three times ordering food before I found something the kitchen could actually make. It was actually quite funny. Plus, I got free Cheesecake. Score!

Then, one week later we were able to attend my Grandpa John's funeral. It was a sad day but also happy in a way because my grandpa had been sick for awhile. He was no longer suffering and we were able to celebrate his life. My grandpa wore a lot of hats. He was an educator, a sailor and veteran, a missionary, but most importantly a husband and father. He was such a great example to each of us.
He taught his family so much about working hard and passed down his love of music. 
The funeral made me cry and I teared up again at the grave side service as my grandma was presented with a flag and taps was played, It was so good to be with family. 

We will miss my Grandpa a lot. He led a good life . He and my grandma were together almost 70 years. She took care of him all by herself except for the last two or three months
Til we meet again..

Anchors Aweigh, my boys,
Anchors Aweigh.
Farewell to foreign shores,
We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night ashore,
Drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more.
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home