Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday Dinner

comfort food after an emotional and very busy weekend

bacon and sage wrapped tilapia, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans

 preheat oven to 400 degrees
 salt & pepper the tilapia, lay sage on top, wrap with bacon and bake for 30 minutes or until fish is cooked and bacon is crispy

i roasted the sweet potatoes for about an hour at 400 degrees and then let them cool a bit, peeled them and mashed them up with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger , 2 tblsp butter and 1/4 cup cream, salt and pepper

steamed the green beans from Avo's garden


Saturday, October 26, 2013

a bit of a disaster

So we've come to the end of another trying week. There was a moment where I almost wept with the tedium of it all...only to find out the next morning that a very close relative has a mass on his brain...I'll take tedium,  thank you very much. I'm not sure why I continue to be surprised when these twists and turns happen...and I wish that I was better at enjoying the time in between the stressful periods. I'm working on it. 

Work continues, incrementally, on the basement. I plan on immersing myself in it this weekend. I am finding it very therapeutic to transform this is amazing what paint can do.

We went to a party at Lils school last night, the Boo Bash...and made these cupcakes:

Doesn't she look happy? ummm, no....5 o'clock, after a full day of school is never a good time for a project...I get such a kick out of the strained, manic smile! ha!!!

Needless to say, the Boo Bash was a bit of a disaster for this girl....too late, too loud, just too much...we came home had risotto with peas and parm and went to bed...much better!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

all the cobwebs and spiders

Well, I did it...after 21 years in this house, and months before I am going to leave it, I finally started the disgusting task of cleaning/painting the basement. This past weekend, in a fit of hormones and fury I got started on the laundry side by moving/throwing everything out and cleaning all the cobwebs and spiders and piles of dirt and leaves and debris. I could not show you the real was too appalling. I did however, take a couple photos of it post cleaning...still pretty horrendous. I plan on painting and "decorating" this area over the coming weekend and will share with you the after shots and a couple of recycle/reuse projects that I have planned. So, in honor of Halloween in Salem, MA, I give you the horror shots...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

through the fields that run down to the Essex river

I am up early this Sunday morning, enjoying the quiet. It is completely dark outside, like the middle of the night. I love this time of day.

 My thoughts are jumbled up these last few days. I'm finding it hard to be calm and clear. This state of mind is half hormonal and half my own, anxious nature rearing it's ugly head. I want to move. NOW. And we can't....not just oldest girl needs to finish her last year of high school, it would be cruel to pull her out at this point and impractical,at best, to have her commute. So, we stay for a few more really is only just that, a few more months.

Yesterday we went to a beautiful place in Essex, MA. Cogswell's Grant was having a pumpkin festival. Our Lils didn't want to go...she has been waiting all week to go to her Nana and Papa's to sleep over and just wanted to get there as soon as she could on Saturday morning. Once M and I got to the festival I was so sorry we hadn't insisted that she come. It was lovely and quaint and old fashioned and sweet. There was a hayride out to a field where you could pick your own pumpkin. You could carve a pumpkin and do crafts. They had organized corn shucking contests and the kids could turn an apple press. Lils would have loved it.

M and I took a long walk through the fields that run down to the Essex river. As we were looking out, across the river, we realized that the field we were standing in is the very same field that we see while sitting in our favorite spot at Cox Reservation! It is in fact, my current blog header photo! We should have realized this...but we are directionally challenged and never made the connection ;)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

a soft, warm fall day

Today was that lovely sort of bonus day...a soft, warm fall day that took you by surprise and beckoned you to stay outside just a liiiitle longer...I went barefoot out to the garden and knit a few rows while the sun was low in the sky but still strong enough to warm my toes...just what I needed after an early and long day at work....this is what I am knitting

my knitting

Quince and Co. Chickadee yarn and Genevieve pattern...I LOVE this company! The yarn is sweet to knit with and the prices are very reasonable..I can't wait to finish this sweater (my first ever item that I've knit for myself) so I can get started making some hats and mittens with their gorgeous Puffin yarn...

wishing you a lovely day
xo Jennifer

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


ah longest day of the week...out to work at 5:45am and not home for good until 9pm

but I get to spend my evening at the barn...with goofballs like this one...he's trying so hard to bite/gum my shirt

love the smell of the barn...sitting and knitting while watching my oldest girl ride...she's so confident and capable...

here's to a good day! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


givers of unconditional love, support, encouragement and cake

so grateful to have these two characters as my parents :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

The plan

Well hello there! I find myself craving the creativity and relative calm that was my life before I decided to go back to work outside of the home. It's a tough world out there! So, I thought I might start blogging a bit again, even if only to have a reminder of all the lovely things in my life. A place to keep a memory of the beauty in all the mundane things that make up my life. Something to keep me connected to that creative part of myself while my husband and I work very hard at making another dream come true.
You see, we are planning on moving to the country next spring. After so many years here in the city I find that I have fallen out of love with it. M and I have decided that we want something different, a life that we create for ourselves in a more peaceful and quiet place. We have been getting all our ducks in a row and preparing our current home for sale and getting our finances sturdy so that we can take this leap into a new life. I kind of thought that I would chronicle this journey from here to there in this blog.

The projects: I'll start with the ones we have completed to make myself feel better...the funny thing is, as soon as we complete this stuff here in our current house we will be starting it all again in our new house. M and I knew when we decided to do this that we were signing on for a couple of years of hard labor...

Landscape backyard -Done!

Completed both bathrooms - wallpaper the downstairs bath and finished both with minor items like toilet paper holders, soap dishes/dispensers etc 

Paint outside trim and foundation and doors- Just completed this whole thing this weekend...what a difference a coat of paint makes! 

Spruce up the kitchen...removed some cabinets and replaced them with open shelving, painted the whole thing and got a new stove and dishwasher-Done! I love the way the kitchen came out and I will share the before and after for you in a future post

Now the projects that remain:

Clean and paint the basement...get rid of the cobwebs and spiders...yuck!

Wallpaper the master bedroom with beadboard and textured wallpaper to make these old, old walls look better , add trim and molding

Replace 2 basement windows

And that will be that...ready to sell and then we can look for our new home :)

So, I will be posting here more regularly. I'll share some projects and ideas for saving money...maybe a recipe or two...

until next time! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Birds in Flight

We had a lovely afternoon recently at the Essex County Greenbelt's lovely Cox Reservation.
Just so happened to be there while this amazing art installation by Dale Rogers was going on...Wow, just beautiful!