Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 48

Friday, November 29, 2013

LAST week in November!!!

You know, as well as I do that it’s all a blur from this point forward…my hope is to slow it down just a bit and truly enjoy the special moments of the holiday season.

I wish the same for you.

My favorites from the week…

Favorite cinnamon stuff

Shortcut Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

Shortcut Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

~~Recipe and photo…Iowa Girl Eats

Cinnamon French Toast Bake

Cinnamon French Toast Bake

~~Recipe and photo…Oh My! Sugar High

Cinnamon Roll Middles (the best part, right!!)

Cinnamon Roll Middles

~~Recipe and photo…Oh, Bite It!

Favorite positive post9 Things Happy, Successful People Choose to Ignore (~~Marc and Angel Hack Life).   Things I need to work on…ignoring each day’s little frustrations (even though I am getting better at this!), the necessary pain and hard work of growth (why do I always think it should come easy??), insignificant busywork (so easy to fall into), impatient thoughts (I always want it now!), the mind’s endless stream of doubts (no explanation necessary).

Favorite comboPraline Brownies (chocolate and brown sugar…umm, YES!)

Praline brownies

~~Recipe and photo…Cookies and Cups

Favorite nursing post10 Hilarious Types of Nurses You’ve Probably Met (~~Mighty Nurse).  I am probably closest to “the humorless nurse.”

Favorite yeasty recipe….I love my pizza dough, but this looks really good…Homemade Pizza Crust Recipe.  A little more work with more rising time but it looks so poofy 🙂

Homemade Pizza Crust

~~Recipe and photo…Sally’s Baking Addiction

Favorite “coming out” postComing Out as a Modern Family (~~The New York Times).  Love Maria Bello and love her son’s response when she said she was romantically involved with another woman… “Mom, love is love, whatever you are.”

Favorite indulgenceBrown Butter Pecan Gooey Butter Cake with Spiked Whipped Cream

Gooey butter cake

~~Recipe and photo….Willow Bird Baking

Favorite truth

Wonderful time

Published in: on November 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Catching up…(11/23-11/28)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Here’s what happened this past week…

*The leaves are FINALLY done.  Thank goodness.  We did two really good hard days of leaves — meaning, pretty much leaves all day.  Started in the morning and did them for about 3 hours, then came in for lunch and after eating, back outside for another couple of hours.  Let me tell you…food tastes really good when you’ve been working hard.  Let me also tell you…it is not very much fun going back outside after sitting down and eating…your muscles cool down, you start to get chilly, you are beginning to get achy…and yet you have to keep going.  I am just SO GLAD that they are done.  We had a total of 68 bags.  Of course the day after we get them all done it rains ALL DAY long.  I was so nervous that the bags were going to fall apart since it does say that if the bags fall apart, the city is not responsible for picking them up.  Thankfully, the day after the rain it got really cold and the leaf bags were almost frozen…when I saw them being picked up, the leaves inside didn’t even move…they were frozen!

*Dancing with the Stars is done 😦   Amber won and I truly thought she deserved it.  I can’t wait for the next season already!

*Izzy went to the vet to be checked out for all these lumps she is developing on her body.  There must be about 5 of them.  It was so funny, before we went we were trying to locate all the lumps and write down where they were so that when we went to the vet it would be easier to locate…of course Izzy thought this was a game and kept moving around!  Turns out that our options are 1) to have each of the lumps biopsied or 2) wait and see what happens.  We have decided to wait and see what happens.  So far Izzy has been acting the same, no personality changes.  The lumps are not getting bigger in size.  I truly think that they are probably just fatty deposits or cysts.  If they start to get bigger or Izzy isn’t acting like herself, we can always get it done then.  We just thought having her put under and then making sure she doesn’t lick all the incision sites could be a bit much.

*The scrap metal people came and picked up a bunch of scrap metal…2 old air conditioners, 2 dehumidifiers, 2 wheelbarrows, a lawnmower, a weed wacker, an old fan, and curtain rods…it sure has freed up a lot of space in the garage!

*My new ice cream maker came in!  I made ice cream in it for Thanksgiving…OMG…SO GOOD.  RICH and CREAMY!  The best part…knowing all the ingredients that are in it…nothing artificial.

*It was nice that I didn’t have to work the day before Thanksgiving.  Gave me lots of time to get my stuff ready to go over to Kimm’s parents — Butter and Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots, cranberries, ice cream, Chex Mix, green bean casserole.  We had a very nice Thanksgiving meal….all of the above with roasted potatoes, stuffing, crescent rolls, cheesy broccoli casserole, wine.  Of course pie for dessert — apple and pumpkin!  I did have to go to work that night, but thankfully only for one night!


Published in: on November 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

28 Days of Thankfulness

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I have so much to be thankful for.

This month, I took a moment each day to post one “thankful post” to FB.

Here is my month…

Day 1:  Thankful today simply for my life. Working in a profession where I see death way more frequently than I would like, I am grateful for each and every one of my days, whether they be wonderful or miserable. I’m just happy I still get the chance to welcome a new day which is FULL of possibility.

Day 2:  I am so incredibly thankful for my companion in this crazy journey of life. How lucky we are to form such an intertwined relationship with a person that knows us inside-out. Kimm…you make my life as comfortable as a favorite pair of jeans. Even though we have had some downs, the ups make up for it all. All of my happiest memories share a common thread…you. There isn’t anyone else that I would want to share all my tomorrows with other than you. I love you dearly.

Day 3:  Every day I am thankful for my fur babies–Izzy, Charlie and Madeline  Without them, life just wouldn’t be the same.

Day 4: Thankful for my parents. They helped shape me into the person I am today and for that I am kind of in awe…having never been a parent myself, I can only imagine how much time they devoted to giving me a safe, secure and happy childhood. I love you Mom and Dad. Even though we are far apart in miles, we are really only a phone call away…

Day 5:  “There’s no place like home.” This December will be 5 years in our first house and I have loved every minute of transforming it into our home. Each room is filled with memories that I will forever cherish…I’m so glad to have a comfy, cozy, personable home…I smile every time we drive up and see the white picket fence and I am happy every time I step over the threshold.

Day 6:  I’m very thankful to live in a place that experiences the changing seasons. Each season has so many things to be thankful for…I love fall for the amazing colored leaves, that even when they fade and fall, are so fun to walk through as they crunch beneath your feet, and I love pumpkins, mums, sweaters, pumpkin coffee, brisk afternoon walks, and Thanksgiving. Although winter brings cold weather, it also brings the first perfect snowfall, my favorite holiday–Christmas and all that it entails…a twinkling tree, Balsam & Cedar candles flickering at night, Christmas music, making Christmas candy…snuggling up inside watching movies and sipping hot chocolate, the silence that makes you feel so small as you shovel. And spring brings with it the hope of new life…the snow melting, the green shoots pushing up through the cold earth, the bright sun, daffodils, warmer weather. And summer makes us all feel like a kid again…warm days to spend outside, trips to the beach, grilling out, the sound of the lawn mowers around the neighborhood, drives at night with the car windows down and the music blasting, and of course ice cream 🙂  “To everything there is a season…”

Day 7:  ALWAYS thankful for days off 🙂

Day 8:  Thankful for sales! (although I do think that most of the *stuff* we are buying is WAY overpriced to begin with). But, that’s why I’m thankful for saving money when I can…living isn’t cheap and every bit staying in my pocket is greatly appreciated. Not to mention I always feel like Superwoman after getting some good deals 🙂

Day 9:  Thankful for my morning coffee. On the nights I work, I look forward to having a cup when I get home to wind down after the shift, and on my days off, I enjoy how it eases me into the day, one wonderful, tasty sip at a time.

Day 10: Today I am thankful for great co-workers…I feel lucky to work with such a talented group of intelligent, hard-working, funny, and helpful nurses, CNAs CMOs, sitters, and fellow supervisors…they actually make work enjoyable!

Day 11:  “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~~ John F. Kennedy
Today I am thankful for our veterans who allow me to enjoy so many freedoms.

Day 12:  Thankful for the ability to get lost in a good book! LOVE my after dinner reading routine 🙂

Day 13:  On this cold fall morning, I am thankful for heat! I STILL remember that week of no electricity in October 2011…completely horrendous…I have NEVER felt so cold and miserable. Ever since, I NEVER take for granted the ability to turn up the thermostat in my home, or blast the heater in the car on the ride to/from work, or the simplicity in turning on my warm electric blanket! Bring on the cold…snuggling weather has commenced 🙂

Day 14:  Thankful for TV entertainment…love watching all my must-see shows…Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, The Blacklist, Sean Saves the World, Parenthood, Elementary, Grey’s Anatomy, Downton Abbey… as well as all my favorite TV series that are done but I loved and still re-watch…Queer as Folk, The L Word, Gilmore Girls, ER, Friends, LOST, Will and Grace, Dawson’s Creek, CSI, House, Reba, Little House on the Prairie. There is nothing like a weekly date with your favorite stars 🙂

Day 15: Today I am extremely thankful for the telephone…so glad I can get in touch with loved ones far away immediately.

Day 16:  Thankful to be able to sleep in 🙂

Day 17:  So thankful to have the opportunity for lazy days…love the slow pace, reading for as long as I want, napping, baking bread, spending time with my love, not feeling rushed…I live for these moments of comfortable quiet where all is right in my world…

Day 18:  Thankful today for nature, a quiet force in a world buzzing one to go faster and do more. Love the sharp sun that makes you squint and warms you to the core, the breeze that ruffles through your hair, the feel of a summer rain pelting down, the promise of a rainbow, the amazing colors of fall, the pure white of the falling snow, the harsh cold of a winter day, the lushness of freshly mowed grass, the crunch of leaves disintegrating, the chirping of the birds in the morning, the inky black of the night sky, the twinkling stars, the huge full moons, the clap of thunder, the whip of the wind in a storm, the muggy summer days that make you long for a sip of something cool, the freezing winter nights that make snuggling a wonderful necessity, the peaks of the mountains, the safeness of a valley, the sounds of waves crashing into the beach, the rushing of water in a flowing creek, the first breath of fresh air when you leave the house. I could not imagine life without all these wonders…

Day 19:  Always thankful for music. It can motivate, evoke memories (happy and sad), entertain, and make the most mundane task fly by. The talent out there is crazy good and I’m just happy to be able to enjoy life a little more when I’m singing along to my favorite songs…

Day 20:  Thankful for always having good food to eat (which this morning happens to include a glazed donut!)

Day 21:  Thankful for my daily walks with my fur-baby Izzy–she gets so excited to go (as if every walk is her very first!) and I love the quiet time to contemplate life…

Day 22:  Thankful for the ability to do good, honest, hard work (as evidenced by my EXTREME soreness today…5 hours of raking/bagging leaves will do that to a girl!)

Day 23:  Thankful for all my friends, both near and far…each of you are special in your own unique way. I’m especially thankful for being able to pick up as if no time has passed at all with friends that I have not seen in such a long time.

Day 24:  Thankful for the opportunity to rest. I know that not many people get the chance to truly relax with no distractions…for every uninterrupted moment, I feel blessed.

Day 25:  LOVE my naps! Thankful that I can fit them in often…I’m always wishing I could take back every nap that I never wanted as a kid  🙂

Day 26:  SO thankful for my second family here in MA…Kimm’s parents and brother have welcomed me into their family so nicely! I’m so glad I have the opportunity to share holidays and ordinary days with them. They make not having my own family here a bit easier to bear. Every time I get a hug from Kimm’s mom or share a laugh with her dad, I’m reminded of how lucky I am.

Day 27:  Thankful to have the eve and day of Thanksgiving off to spend with my loved ones 🙂

Day 28:  Thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for…even though I remembered something every day I know that I am blessed with so much more. I wish all my family and friends a wonderful day.

Published in: on November 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Catching up…(10/28-11/22)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yikes!  WHERE has the time gone?  No…SERIOUSLY…where??

I feel like I just wrote a “catch up” blog and here I go and look and it’s been almost a month ago??!!

Well, not a moment to waste as there is always something to do but I just want to NOT forget a few things on this tiny little blog of mine…

So here goes–

*As far as work goes, I can’t believe that I’ve been off of orientation for almost a month now.  CRAZY.  Most days I just go to work and don’t really think so much about all the stuff that “could happen.”  I just try and deal with whatever happens as it comes.  One thing I do have to say is that sometimes I feel a little lost.  Meaning, before when I worked either on med/surg, IMC, or ICU, I had a HOME base.  A place where my peeps knew me and I could settle in.  Not anymore.  I roam the entire hospital, knowing a little bit about a whole bunch of people.  I can’t determine if I like this more or less.  Also, I have to say I’m kind of missing bedside nursing a little bit.  I would like to try to have an opportunity to work bedside again if I can.  At this time I don’t know how that would work, but it’s in my mind.  I’m still getting used to going in at 11 pm.  It’s just so hard when at that time of night I’m feeling like I want to hit the sack, not drive to work.  Thankfully, once I’m at work I’m fine.

*Kimm and I have been doing VERY well on our November challenges.  We’ve been keeping up on eating our fruits and veggies, reading 20 minutes daily (if not more…I’m REALLY liking this routine), and exercising.  I’ve dropped over 10 pounds and Kimm is happy with her progress as well.  Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up with all our good work during the month of December…hello eggnog and Christmas candy!

*I have really been loving this season of Dancing with the Stars!  I can’t believe that next week is already the finale.  Whoa…it seems like I just started watching!  I really wish I had started watching this show from the beginning…I like it THAT much.

*Kimm and I went over to dinner at our neighbor’s new house (she lives with her daughter and son-in-law now).  It is a HUGE house in terms of square footage.  She seems very happy.  We had a good time hanging out, but we were still glad to be home.  We are SUCH homebodies it is ridiculous!  Well, not to mention, we were over for dinner and we both felt like we could have eaten more, but we just felt a little self-conscious doing so…anyone else ever feel that way??  So when we got home we had to have a snack!

*SO MAD.  One of our bottom fitted sheets of our sheet set tore (we’ve had them for probably about a year and rotate between two sets).  Is anything made well anymore?  We replaced them with another set…bye bye $50.

*I’ve been enjoying our date nights this month.  So far we’ve gone to Barnes and Noble and to a movie (12 Years a Slave…which I loved, but Kimm thought was a bit slow-moving at times).

*I decided to do a “thankful” posting every day during the month of November.  So far it’s been nice.   I like taking the time to really think about what I am thankful for in life.  Believe me…there is a lot.  I think that I will post them all in one post after Thanksgiving (oh boy, here I am committing myself to a blog post when I haven’t written in almost a month!)

*I took a holiday day in the beginning of November to use up some holiday time and can I just tell you how much I LOVE having three days off in a row.  I think I truly took them for granted before!  Now they are a rare commodity and to be treasured.

*Kimm and I have finally stopped feeling so guilty about buying new clothes and have both outfitted ourselves with some new clothes for the fall/winter/spring.  It was SO nice to just buy some new things.  I have to admit, I DID still feel guilty about spending so much money on me but I’m trying really hard to just remember “you are worth it!”

*I cut my hair short once I lost 10 pounds.

*Still continuing with walking Izzy every day.   She LOVES it!

*My mom was admitted to the hospital after a fall.  She broke her tibia and her knee is very unstable.  They initially thought they were going to have to do surgery, but thankfully she was released and is walking with a walker and doing leg strengthening exercises.  She will see the doctor in two weeks to see what will happen at that time.  She is very frustrated that she can’t do everything she is used to doing or wants to do, but I am just so happy that she was not injured more severely.  This is one of those times it kind of sucks to live so far away from home.

*I read a GREAT book…The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle.  Disturbing subject matter, but so well written.  After reading it in ONE day I immediately went on to the library website and requested all the rest of the books that she has written.

*Kimm had a horrible cold for about a week.  Thankfully she is feeling better now but I think that is because she truly let her body REST this time.  Lots of days on the couch 🙂  I am also so grateful that I did not catch said cold!

*We finally started doing the leaves yesterday.  We are WAY behind this year.  The last pick up is next Tuesday and so that doesn’t leave very many days to do them.  We worked for FIVE hours on them yesterday and got 31 bags full.  I would say we are about halfway done.  SO SORE today.  Thankfully a reprieve as it is raining.  But now that means we have only next Monday to get the rest of them done.  I’m so crossing my fingers it does not rain that day.

*My parents have had snow twice already.  I see that it is on our forecast for next week.  WHAT?!  I am SO not ready for snow.

*How can Thanksgiving be next week already??

*We are getting our Christmas tree NEXT Friday!  And decorating the tree and house for Christmas NEXT SATURDAY!!!!  Can you tell I’m excited!

*I baked some banana bread today since I had some bananas going bad and some sour cream about to expire.  The house smells heavenly.

Well…I can’t think of anything else to report.  I’m SURE there is more but my mind is spent.

I’m looking outside and it is no longer raining but bright and sunny!  Izzy will get her walk today 🙂


Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm  Comments (1)  

Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 47

Friday, November 22, 2013

HOW can it be Thanksgiving next week?? (I really should be typing…”HOW can it be Christmas in two weeks?” as I am that far behind in blogging!!)

Anyways, here are my favorites from this week…

Favorite sweets

Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

Shortbread with toffee sauce

~~Recipe and photo…Willow Bird Baking

Biscoff White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Biscoff White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

~~Recipe and photo…Sally’s Baking Addiction

Homemade Snickers Bars

Homemade Snickers Bars

~~Recipe and photo…The Recipe Critic

Favorite nursing postListening to nurses is key to being a good doctor (  I truly wish more doctors felt like this (maybe they should read this article!)

Favorite sideHoney Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

~~Recipe and photo…Buns In My Oven

Favorite “makes me think” postHow We Seek Validation and Support (~~Olivetorun).  I’m thinking I do a lot more complaining than sharing…I want to focus more on what I have to be thankful for.

Favorite simple soup5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup (all I would have to do is substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth…I’m ALWAYS looking for quick easy soups for the colder weather!)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

~~Recipe and photo…Gimme Some Oven

Favorite financial adviceHow Does One Reach Financial Independence?  (~~The Simple Dollar)

Favorite truth

Thankful heart

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 46

Friday, November 15, 2013

More favorites from around the web that I’m behind on reporting!

Favorite fall desserts

Pumpkin Bars (you can NEVER go wrong with pumpkin and cream cheese!)

Pumpkin Bars

~~Recipe and photo…What Megan’s Making

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting (MORE CREAM CHEESE!!!)

Gingerbread Bars

~~Recipe and photo…Lauren’s Latest

Cherry Pie Cookies (LOVE cherry pie…these look delicious!)

Cherry Pie cookies

~~Recipe and photo…The Recipe Critic

Favorite finance posts

The Four Best “Personal Finance 101” Resources I’ve Found Online

How to Quickly Figure Out Your Retirement “Number”

The Extra Step

(~~The Simple Dollar)

Favorite sides

Corn Pudding (this reminds me of a dish I used to have a long time ago…)

Corn Pudding

~~Recipe and photo…Dixie Crystals

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts (I have STILL to taste  brussels sprouts in my life…but somehow I think I would like them!)

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

~~Recipe and photo…Living Well, Spending Less

Favorite positive posts

10 Harsh Realities that Help You Grow

10 Relationship Tips Everyone Forgets

(~~Marc and Angel Hack Life)

Favorite entréeBroccoli-Wild Rice Casserole…looks like a totally comforting cold-weather meal!

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole

~~Recipe and photo…Eat, Live, Run

Favorite funny… (it’s a little early for Christmas humor but I saw this and almost DIED laughing…LOVE it!)


Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm  Comments (1)  

Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 45

Friday, November 8, 2013

More of my faves…(again posted late!!)

Favorite breakfast treats

Apple Praline Baked French Toast…looks delicious!

Apple Praline Baked French Toast

~~Recipe and photo…Love Grows Wild

Banana Bread Crumb Cake…the best of both worlds–banana bread and coffee cake!

Banana Bread Crumb Cake

~~Recipe and photo…Cookies and Cups

Favorite “feel good” posts

9 Things You Need to Stop Caring About (~~Marc and Angel Hack Life)

Be Just 1% Better (~~Roni’s Weigh)

50 Happiness Quotes to Change the Way You Think (~~Marc and Angel Hack Life)

Weekend Quote: A Perfect Ending (~~Roni’s Weigh)

Favorite yeasty goodnessOne-Hour Soft Buttery Breadsticks–Salted and Cinnamon Sugar (vegan)…!!!


~~Recipe and photo…Averie Cooks

Favorite relationship posts…two COMPLETELY different opinions…which one do you believe?

Marriage Isn’t For You (~~Seth Adam Smith)

The Philosophy That Will Ruin A Marriage (~~The Huffington Post)

Favorite snackSalted Caramel Popcorn!!!!!

Salted Caramel Popcorn

~~Recipe and photo…The Recipe Critic

Favorite funny


Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 44

Friday, November 1, 2013

SO FAR BEHIND!!!! (this is actually being written on 12/11/2013!!!!)

Favorite LESS/MORE

The end of the less and more posts…I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have…

Less Bathroom Junk {Day 25}

Day 25 {More Personal Beauty}

Less Bedroom Clutter {Day 26}

Day 26 {More Intimacy}

Less in the Garage {Day 27}

Day 27 {Inspiring Garage Spaces}

Less Craft Mess {Day 28}

Day 28 {More Creativity}

Less Surface Clutter {Day 29}

Day 29 {More Art}

Less Holiday Overkill {Day 30}

Day 30 {More Memories}

Less Coming In {Day 31}

Day 31 {More Contentment}

LESSLiving Well, Spending Less

MORELife in Grace

Favorite breakfast on-the-goApple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars!

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

~~Recipe and photo…The Lean Green Bean

Favorite “feel good”

Replace Skinny With Healthy (~~Olivetorun)

10 Things You Should Never Say About Yourself (~~Marc and Angel Hack Life)

Favorite sweetChewy Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies {Anzac Biscuits}

Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies

~~Recipe and photo…Averie Cooks

Favorite finance

When Should I Invest?

Trick or Treat!  Halloween Candy as a Personal Finance Lesson

(~~The Simple Dollar)

Favorite truth


Published in: on November 1, 2013 at 10:28 am  Comments (1)