Back from Vacationing at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg
Hello! Well, the last week and a half have just gone by lightning fast! I have so much to catch up on… Where should I even start?

Well, before I get to the details of our trip, I have to mention that Noah turned 8! After a breakfast of his chosen “sugar cereal” (something I don’t usually buy except on the kids’ birthdays), he opened presents.


Then we headed over to Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. Even though I am terribly afraid of heights, I love it there (as long as I don’t get too close to the edge of the railing, LOL). 

Mid-Hudson Bridge

Walkway Over the Hudson

We decided to have an early lunch at IHOP, and then headed home. I made Hawaiian pizza for dinner (Noah’s request). All in all I think he had a great day.

Last Monday we got in the car for the very long drive (ugh, 8 hours) to Colonial Williamsburg for vacation. It was a lot of fun! I’ll be honest — I wish you could poke around some of the buildings at your leisure, but you’re limited to what you can see during a tour. I understand — there’s a lot of value in some of those buildings — but it would have been nice.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg
Some of the shops are only open certain days of the week, so there are a few we missed (like the Apothecary — something I had really hoped to check out). But we spent a lot of time at the Blacksmith shop. The boys were fascinated.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

One of my favorite buildings was Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. It was styled as the Rockefellers would have had it. Oh, I could so easily have moved right into that kitchen! 

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

On our last night we had dinner at Shield’s Tavern and it was excellent! I had the ale potted beef, which was like a pot roast with vegetables served over the most delicious mashed potatoes. Drew had “a dish of pork” — a huge, flavorful hunk of pork on the bone. Seriously, it was so good! I loved that the children’s meals all came with applesauce and mixed vegetables (a blend of carrots, broccoli, and green beans) and not just the standard potato and entree.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

There was a gentleman playing music, encouraging everyone to participate in a sing along. Such fun! After dinner we had tickets to the Tavern Ghost Walk. The boys were riveted by the spooky stories about some of the haunted buildings in Williamsburg. I kept snapping away with my camera, hoping to capture something — but I didn’t, LOL!

Colonial Williamsburg

The boys learned a lot, and although I’m not sure Laura was as entertained, she liked the horses and playing with some colonial toys. Speaking of which, Noah turned out to be an absolute champ at hoop & stick. So much so that he decided to use his souvenir money to buy one for himself!

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

We got back on Friday after spending the night in New Jersey to break up the trip home. And now we’re in the back-to-school “home stretch.” It’s our last full week of vacation. Oh summer, I will miss your lazy days!


It’s hard to believe that 11 years ago today I was at the hospital, having just given birth to my very first baby. While my White Plains Hospital experience left a lot to be desired (thankfully I only delivered there once), we came home a few days later with a pudgy, 9 lb. 6 oz. bundle of love! It seems impossible that over a decade has come and gone, but yesterday Jake celebrated his 11th birthday.

We had a party with family over the weekend, and yesterday was pretty low-key. I guess he has aged out of our sugar cereal breakfast tradition. He asked for pancakes and sausage instead! Nevertheless, we still set up a special birthday place setting — confetti and all 🙂


He was thrilled with the frame pack we gave him! It will make those Boy Scout camping trips a little easier, I think. It should also last him well into college, if not longer!


Jake wanted to invite a friend over, which turned into an impromptu sleepover, LOL… Anyway, the kids had fun playing and I made Jake’s requested dinner of chili dogs, chips, pickles (that my dad made), and I made a salad because well, you need vegetables even on your birthday 😉 Instead of cake we opted for make-your-own sundaes.


It’s been amazing watching this kid grow from a colicky baby to a smart, imaginative, caring tween. Middle school starts in a few weeks, which is just crazy to me. Wasn’t I just enrolling him in pre-school?

jake at 11

As the saying goes, The days are long, but the years are short. So very true!

In the Garden

welcome to my garden

Well, this year my garden is overgrown and underwhelming. The one-two punch of some heavy rains and two weeks of crazy hot weather made the weeds go crazy and sadly I’m just not motivated to keep up with it. (Happens every year — I’m a gardener in my head, but not in reality, LOL!) But I figured I’d share a few snapshots of the plants that haven’t died!

First, there’s my knockout rose bush. This is one of the hardiest plants we have in the front! And what’s amazing is that a few years ago, I bought the plant half-head on clearance for $1, just to see if it would take. I love how bright the pink is.


Then there are these Black-Eyed Susans that came from my mother-in-law’s garden.


And the Tiger Lily from my mom’s garden.

tiger lilies

Even though Queen Anne’s Lace might be considered a weed, I love having it around the house. It’s so pretty and delicate and when I feel motivated to cut some flowers to bring in the house, the Queen Anne’s Lace makes such lovely filler.

queen anne's lace

This one is called a Balloon Flower and I think we might have gotten it as a bare-root plant from Spring Hill. We placed an order when we first moved here and while a lot of the plants didn’t take, a few did! The flowers close up in the evening and look like little balloons.

balloon flower

And here’s the Spoon Flower my dad made. This one is pretty rare 😉

spoon flower

I found this spiderweb this morning and I never tire of how magical they look. I left it alone — I feel bad anytime I have to wipe one away. I know it’s silly, but they just seem like so much work and this web wasn’t in a place where it was bothering anyone.

spider web



And finally, my hydrangea. I had only one pathetic bloom last year and it doesn’t look like I’ll have any flowers this year (no idea why!). I did, however, find this adorable little toad hanging out on a leaf! 

tiny frog

Maybe in September I’ll put out some mums and marigolds and kale… I’ll try to take advantage of fall flowers and pretty things up for autumn. So, how are your gardens doing this year?

{Recipe} Indian Potatoes & Peas

Indian Potatoes & Peas

Last night I made a pot of chicken curry and while I had out all my spices and ingredients, I decided to make a batch of Indian Potatoes & Peas while I was at it. This originally started out as a filling for samosas, but because I have a fear of deep-frying, it has become a simple side dish that is even better the next day. I have also frozen small containers of this recipe with some quinoa in there, too, and it tasted fine! I know sometimes potatoes don’t freeze the greatest, but the texture didn’t seem to change too much.


Indian Potatoes & Peas
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  1. 4 med. potatoes, peeled and quartered
  2. 1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
  3. 1 med. onion, diced
  4. 1 cup frozen green peas
  5. 1-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and shredded
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove the seeds if you want less heat)
  7. 1/2 c. water
  8. 1 tsp. salt (potatoes absorb salt, so you may need to add more)
  9. 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  10. 1/2 tsp. coriander
  11. 3/4 tsp. cumin
  12. 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  13. juice from 1/2 a lemon
  1. Boil the potatoes in well-salted water until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. Melt coconut oil or ghee (or fat of your choosing) in a deep skillet or large pot. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add the jalapeno, peas, ginger, and a little of the water (a splash at a time, just so the vegetables don't stick). Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the peas begin to thaw.
  3. Break the cooled potatoes into small chunks and add to mixture (I just do this right over the pan). Add the rest of the water and the salt, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Squeeze the lemon juice over everything and give it a good stir.
  4. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Stir again before serving
  1. This is a highly nontechnical recipe. Use more or less water. Add more onion. Make it milder. Make it spicier. It's very forgiving, and very delicious.
Pure Sugar
If you have some mint chutney around, it will really complement this dish! But it’s just as good plain.

Holy Cow, It’s August!


Although I knew yesterday’s date was July 31, when I woke up this morning and changed the calendar page to August it still took me by surprise. While we’re still certainly in the midst of summer, August just seems so close to fall. But I’m going to squeeze every last drop out of summer vacation, and thankfully we live in an area of the country where kids don’t go back to school until September. So I’m trying not to occupy myself with pumpkins and scarecrows just yet.

It’s been such a weird week with Drew and Jacob gone! Although I have to say, FaceTime is a wonderful, amazing thing. We’ve been able to chat with Drew, and the kids love it. Just two more sleeps and everyone will be home — yay!


Tuesday night we had a bit of unexpected excitement. One of our cats, Pepper, is always trying to sneak outside. They’re indoor cats and really we’d prefer it that way, so this has caused a few problems. Well, I’d just made last-minute plans to visit with a friend when I heard the UPS truck pull up. Without thinking, I opened the door to get the package and Pepper ran out into the bushes.


I spent 20 minutes running through brush, pricker vines, lost a flip-flop in the process, and decided that I just wasn’t going to be able to catch her. So I got the kids ready and as I opened the garage door, in walked The Escape Artist. So we quickly shut it and got her into the basement. What an ordeal! Luckily, my friend had a glass of wine and plenty of laughs waiting for me when we finally got there.

Anyway! I need to get going. Looks like it might rain so I want to bring in my kitchen floor mats, which I left hanging over the deck railing overnight, while I’m thinking about it. But I’ll be back later with a recipe!