Happy Homemaker Monday, October 26, 2020

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well today. I am off from work for a few days and totally enjoying it! Today is my birthday, so I decided to give myself a bit of a break. Let’s link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM shall we?

The Weather
It’s cold and rainy today – no complaints, though! I’m enjoying a lazy morning inside before I head out this afternoon for a few errands.

Monday – 53 / rain
Tuesday – 52 / sun
Wednesday – 54 / sun
Thursday –  49 / rain
Friday – 38 / rain
Saturday – 43 / sun
Sunday – 52 / sun

How I am feeling this morning
I am in a really great mood! We had a really nice weekend and I am catching up on several projects so I feel really good about that.

On my mind
Starting to think about the holidays, what to make, what to do, etcetera.

On the breakfast plate
This morning was just coffee with heavy cream.

Right now I am
Listening to the washer finish up a load. I’ll switch it over to the dryer soon. Then I think I’ll make some tuna. I’m craving a tuna melt with bacon for lunch!

On my reading pile
I just finished reading Rage by Bob Woodward, and I would highly recommend it. Next up I need to read Delirium by Laura Restrepo for the library’s book club discussion in November.

On today’s to do list
Vacuum the house, finish up one load of laundry, grocery shopping.

On my TV
We finished watching “The Unicorn” on Netflix, which was really cute and great for the family! Funny and heartwarming without being too cheesy. I also finished “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” which I absolutely loved. It’s not that scary (though there were a few good jumps), and the story is sad and beautiful. I have one more episode of the new Unsolved Mysteries. I think this week we’ll be watching a lot of ghost shows and scary movies.

On the menu this week
Monday – Chipotle take-out, cheesecake (it’s my birthday!) 
Tuesday – Mississippi Pot Roast over mashed potatoes, green beans
Wednesday – Greek chicken wraps, roasted tomato soup
Thursday – Jerk chicken legs, red beans & rice, broccoli
Friday – Pizza & wings, salad
Saturday – Mummy dogs, turkey chili, cole slaw, French fries (Halloween)
Sunday – Meatloaf with gravy, potatoes, green beans

From the camera
We had some gorgeous weather last week and this tree by the library was just too perfect with the sun and the colors. I love fall!

Autumn in New York

Looking around the house
I need to tidy up the living room and run the dishwasher. Otherwise all is quiet for another couple of hours until the kids get home from school.

New recipe I tried last week, or one that we really enjoyed
Not really a new recipe, but last night I made delicious stuffed burgers. I mixed together some shredded cheddar, a bit of cream cheese, some bacon, and some diced jalapeno and made stuffed burgers. Everyone loved them!

To relax this week, I will
Work on some craft projects — catch up on memory planning/scrapbooking and maybe do a little sewing.

Something I want to share   
Hmm… can’t think of anything for this one.  

On my prayer list
For the safety of everyone voting early
For a more compassionate country
For family & friends

Happy Homemaker Monday, October 10, 2020

Happy fall! Happy October! Today I decided to work on this post during my lunch break. It’s been hard to motivate to blog these days, but October always has me in the mood for projects, so this is one of them. 

Anyway, let’s link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM

The Weather… It’s cold, gray, and wet out today. If I wasn’t stuck at work it would be the perfect day for tea, movies, books, crochet… all those cozy things! Looks like a decent week ahead weather-wise. I’m not complaining!

How I am feeling… I am so tired today. I think everyone I know is feeling tired, stressed, anxious… I also have my annual work evaluation tomorrow and while I know it will be fine I can’t help but be a little nervous about that as well.

 

On my mind… Already thinking about the holidays and what that may look like. I’m coming up with a couple different plans because who knows what things will be like in November and December. I’m trying to have a good attitude about it, though, and I’m determined to make the best of it no matter what we are faced with.

 

On the breakfast plate… Breakfast is long gone! I made a ham, egg & cheese breakfast sandwich on an English muffin. Work lunch was a burrito bowl with leftovers from last night.

 

On my reading pile… Nothing at the moment, though I have the Andrew Cuomo book sitting on my desk (it’s release date is tomorrow), so I may take that home to preview.

On my TV… Last week I bingewatched the newest season of Wentworth, and I also watched American Murder: The Family Next Door. Other than that I am watching Cold Case Files and eager to start The Haunting of Bly Manor, all on Netflix.

 

On the menu this week…
Monday: Chicken & chickpea curry, cauliflower rice, naan
Tuesday: Beef Stew (slow cooker), cheddar & garlic biscuits
Wednesday: BBQ riblets, macaroni & cheese, salad
Thursday: Jerk chicken drumsticks, red beans & rice, salad
Friday:  ?
Saturday:  ?

 

From the camera… Sadly, I have not been taking many photos. I should remedy that before all the leaves fall! The colors here in the Hudson Valley have been stunning this year!

 

Looking around the house… It’s a mess. I’ll just be honest about that, LOL! 

 

Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week… All of it! Just being honest about that too, LOL!

 

To relax this week, I will… Truthfully, if I can get my house clean I will feel relaxed and then feel like I can start a new project. I have a ton of this putty-colored yarn (not quite gray, not quite cream), and I want to make a new blanket for the couch in the living room. I am off on Wednesday (as usual), and because of the holiday today, my kids are off from school and will attend Tue-Wed instead of Mon-Tue, so I want to use that time in the morning to really tidy up. That way, when I have my vacation day of Friday I can feel free to actually take it easy! That’s the plan at least.   Well, I guess that is about it! Wishing you a great week!

Fall days, pumpkin coffee, and cozy PJs

Family fun lazyone PJs

Sorry summer lovers, I am so over this hot weather and ready for cool days, chilly nights, and fun family activities! With the release of pumpkin spice lattes this week I am now in full-on fall mode. One of my favorite things about fall is cuddling up in pajamas.

Every year I like to treat myself to at least one new pair so I decided to check out LazyOne family pajamas. Oh my goodness, everything I have heard about them was right. I could not believe what cute styles they have. If you like to have matching PJs for the whole family on Christmas morning, you will want to check them out. There’s even a Doggy and Me collection! Can you imagine dressing up your pooch in something this cute for Christmas morning?

Doggy PJs lazyone.com

I only wish they made kitty PJs, too! I can imagine my mother-in-law’s dog in something like this, though. (Hmm… that would be a fun Thanksgiving surprise, actually!)

I really wish we had cute PJs like this when all of our kids were little. I can only imagine the sweet Christmas card photos with all three kids in front of the tree. Of course, they have more than Christmas-themed PJs, too. There’s St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day… cute, themed PJs for pretty much every occasion!  I love holiday clothes, so I may very well have to order a few pairs of these comfy PJs to coordinate with the seasons. There’s even matching socks, slippers, blankets… even stuffed animals. You could seriously put together an Instagram-worthy photo shoot in no time! 

Smelling the Roses… and Hyacinth… and Lilies…

Plantshed NYC

“Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the things I miss lately is being able to take a drive (or train ride) into New York and spend a day walking around. I especially love looking for flowers in the city at places like PlantShed NYC florist, marveling at the beautiful orchids, roses, lilies, and flowers I can’t even identify! Right now with the weather being so hot and dry, my front garden has really taken a turn for the worst, so I really would love hit a NYC florist to get some new houseplants to perk up my indoor space. Ivy is one of my favorites, but anything easy-care is good for me.

PlantShed NYC
Of course, nothing beats fresh-cut flowers! I love having a huge bouquet on my kitchen island. It makes me happy every time I walk in there seeing them and enjoying their gorgeous scent. In the spring I gravitate toward tulips and hyacinth, but in August and September I crave huge bouquets of sunflowers! Is there anything more cheerful? Pair the flowers with some gorgeous candles and even better in my opinion.

I also am a huge fan of succulents, and my kids all love them as well. There are so many different types, all with their own unique beauty. I’ve had a lot of luck growing them, especially Jade plants!

Someday soon I hope to be able to enjoy a weekend in Manhattan and I’ll have a chance to visit the best NYC florist shops and splurge on some new plants to freshen up my home!

Happy Homemaker Monday, July 27, 2020

The last Monday in July! Can you believe it? A month from now it will only be four of us here — Jake will be moved into his college dorm. It will be so strange, and I’m trying not to think about it… at least for the time being.

On Saturday we went shopping for some basic dorm and college supplies. Still have a few things to get but we are set for the most part. Now it’s going to be on to washing and organizing and packing everything up in a way that makes sense.

I can’t believe I’m actually getting this post up in the morning… so proud of myself, LOL! Anyway, let’s link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM. Happy Monday!

The Weather…
It’s comfortable out now, but as I type it’s only 6:13 AM. Supposed to be horribly hot today. In fact the National Weather Service has put out a Heat Advisory. Not much else to say there!

How I am feeling…
Stressed about Jake finishing his Eagle project in time. The 18th birthday is in a few weeks and he still has a few things to finish up, as well as completing the paper work. I’ll be so glad when this is behind us.

On my mind…
We are thinking of adopting another cat! We have two cats, sisters, who are 7 and since before last Christmas we’ve been talking about getting another one. Yesterday Drew and Laura fell in love with one, so I am hoping to run over and see her today.

On the breakfast plate…
Not sure yet. I have just had a cup of tea. I am really hungry this morning, so I may make some scrambled eggs.

On my reading pile…
Haven’t done much reading in the last week, so I am still working through Survivor Song.

currently reading: survivor song

On my TV…
Norsemen Season 3 (Netflix)
Psych reruns (Amazon Prime)

On the menu this week…
Monday: Rotisserie Chicken (grab at Sam’s Club while out), crunchy kale salad, leftover macaroni & cheese
Tuesday: Chicken Verde Tacos (slow cooker)
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner – Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, fruit salad
Thursday: American Chop Suey, garden salad
Friday: ??? I have to work an evening program for the library. Maybe pizza
Saturday: Sausage & peppers with roasted potatoes, broccoli

From the camera…
The Blinded Sphinx moths we saw on our shed.

mating blind sphinx moths

Looking around the house…
The floors need a good sweep & vacuum and I have 3 baskets of laundry to fold, sort, and have everyone put away. I also have a large stack of paperwork in my basket that I really need to sort through and organize.

Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week…
Laundry! Just tired of it.

To relax this week, I will…
Work on my memory planner. I am several months behind, and I really want to catch up and start sharing my layouts! When the boys were babies I was an avid scrapbooker and lately I find myself missing it so much.

Well, I am going to make a cup of coffee and get started with my day. Stay cool, everyone. Hope you all have a nice week!

Lazy Wednesday

Hello, all! Thought I’d pop in and say hello. Actually feeling a little under the weather today — nothing concerning, just some tummy discomfort. As I get older some foods really seem to bother me and as much as I hate to admit it, coffee is one of them. If I don’t have something to eat along with my morning cup of coffee, it just doesn’t set well. I skipped breakfast today, so… After having lunch I started feeling better but I’m still kind of meh.

Check out these moths we saw on our small shed yesterday. I looked them up and I am pretty sure they are Blinded Sphinx Moths. Drew caught them in the act, and by the time I got home from work only one (what I believe is the female) was still hanging around. They were so big and honestly could easily have been mistaken for leaves. Amazing!

mating blind sphinx moths
mating blind sphinx moths

Not too much else to report. I did get a new menu board to replace a chalkboard I had in our kitchen. In case you don’t know, Joann is having a pretty great clearance sale right now (it’s heaven if you like Happy Planner products!) and I scored this dry erase board for under $3! There were sets of calendar clings, and I was sure to grab those too because they’re so cute. Drew drilled holes at the top and added the screw eyes so we didn’t have to remove the hooks and then patch the wall. I love it!

happy planner menu board

Another thing I’m loving is the new Paul Tremblay book! I am a slow reader when I’m enjoying a book — I tend to linger on the pages and savor the words — but I think I’ll finish it by the end of the week. It is a little odd reading about quarantines and pandemics while we are living in one, but in a way that’s what makes it even more compelling.

currently reading: survivor song

The weather is still so hot and humid. I sound like a broken record, I know.

I did finish my crochet candle mat, and I really love it! I’m going to work up another one and then I will share the pattern. I have it all written out, I just want to make sure my instructions are correct.

Well, I suppose that’s all for today. Nothing great for dinner tonight – just Italian grinders and tater tots. Feeling in a cooking slump at the moment. Nothing sounds good, and I don’t feel like standing over a stove either. Come on, cooler weather! Even a few days of relief would be welcome!

Happy Homemaker Monday, July 13, 2020

It’s Monday again! How on earth did that happen? Again, I was up extremely early so I am dog-tired. Plus, we had a really busy weekend getting ready to have family over and then hosting our small graduation party yesterday. I have a busy week ahead, and I’m already looking forward to the weekend, LOL!

Let’s link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM, shall we?

The Weather
Still hot, though today is somewhat tolerable. It’s supposed to get down to 59 tonight which is absolutely dreamy! I’m opening all the windows to get that cool, fresh air in! The week ahead is typical Northeastern summer: hot & humid.

How I am feeling
Starting to feel sad about Jake leaving for school next month. Yup, total pity party over here. I think the fact that he’s been home just about constantly since March is making it harder. We had a little graduation party yesterday and now that it’s over, that last big high school party, reality has hit.

On my mind
I need to follow up about some scholarships and awards. Also, hoping it doesn’t rain Friday night. We are able to hold our summer concerts at the library, but only if they are outside. I know the community really needs some kind of event, so I am praying for no thunderstorms!

On the breakfast plate
Rye toast with strawberry jam (mixing it up this week like a crazy woman, LOL) and a cup of coffee.

On my reading pile
The new Paul Tremblay book, Survivor Song, came in today and I cannot wait to start reading it!!!

On my TV
Finished the new Unsolved Mysteries and it was… okay. I enjoyed the one about the Berkshire UFO sightings because they happened not too far away. I do feel like some of the episodes were dragged out a bit. One of the things I love about the original series is that there were several different stories in one single episode. Laura and I also watched the new Baby-Sitters Club show and we both loved it! They did a great job.

Other than that, just continuing with Psych, and seeing what else catches my eye.
       

On the menu this week
Not feeling too inspired. I kind of have no idea, but maybe something like this…

Monday: Coconut shrimp and leftover steak, long grain & wild rice, steamed veggies
Tuesday: Grilled chicken, steamed veggies, salad
Wednesday: Hamburgers, waffle fries, cole slaw
Thursday: Crock Pot meatballs & sausage, pasta, steamed broccoli
Friday: ? I’m working a library program in the evening, so… pizza?
Saturday: BBQ pork chops, mac & cheese, cole slaw
Sunday: Chili dogs/chili, fries, salad

Looking around the house
I took Friday off last week so I could really clean the house and do some rearranging so honestly most rooms looks good. There is laundry (of course right?), and I do need to seriously clean out my craft area.

Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week
Same as last week since we never got around to it: We have an old TV upstairs that needs to come downstairs and get thrown away and it’s is big and unwieldy and I know it is going to a real ordeal. But at the same time I really want to get it done!

To relax this week, I will
I think this week I want to focus on reading. I have so many books to get through, and I need to stop scrolling on my phone before bed and get back into the habit of reading befor bed. Also, I’m working on some very simple cotton mats to go under candles, plants, etc. Not exactly doilies, but not exactly dishcloths.

On my prayer list
Thinking of someone I know who I just found out is really sick.

Hope you all have a nice week!

So Tired Today

My hydrengea’s looking so pretty!

I love Wednesdays because the library is closed so typically it is a day off for me. And with it being summer, I didn’t need to get up early to get anyone ready for school (and, obviously even it it wasn’t summer, with this raging virus the kids would all be distance-learning from home and not needing to catch a bus). Of course, the one day I can sleep in, I was up at 4 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. Does that ever happen to you? Anyway, I am beat.

I did take advantage of the early start though. I got out of bed around 5:30, make a cup of tea, tossed in a load of laundry and made out my to-do list. Then I took a walk outside to check on my flowers. Overnight the deer devoured the day lilies by the road, but at least the ones by the house are still fine. I just need the pesky critters to leave them alone until after Sunday when we are having our parents over!

Throughout the day I chipped away at little projects. You know how they tend to stack up after a while.

… Finally switched out the bedspread on our bed from our heavy quilt to a much lighter coverlet.

… I repotted a little cactus that was in dire need of a new home. Jake got this cactus years and years ago, and honestly if I remember to water it a few times a year that’s it. But it keeps on growing.

… Printed out a few recipes I need for the weekend.

… Made everyone’s favorite for dinner: burgers and fries.

While I was getting dinner started, Drew had to drive Jake into town to fill out an application for a summer job. The place where he worked last summer (and where he’d planned to work again during this tourist season) was not able to open due to Covid, unfortunately. He hates not working, so even though this would just be for about a month before heading to college, it’s something. So we will see.

As for now, the kitchen is cleaned up and I’m looking forward to a shower, fresh PJs, a little ice cream, and zoning out in front of the TV for a little while.

Happy Homemaker Monday, July 6, 2020

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! Ours was quiet, but good. Didn’t really do much for the 4th of July. Nevertheless, we enjoyed grilled brats and set off some low-key fireworks for the kids. Having a lazy day was fun, too!

Let’s link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM, shall we?

The Weather
The weekend was so miserably hot. I am not a fan of summer weather, and I really don’t enjoy being stuck with the windows closed and the A/C on, but it beat the alternative. It’s still really hot today, but so far things are comfortable with just the fan. Is it too early to be longing for fall?

How I am feeling
Excited to see my parents this weekend! I have not seen them since mid-March, and Sunday we are having a small celebration for Jake with my parents and Drew’s mom.

On my mind
I have to remember to order graduation photos before the free shipping deal expires! I keep forgetting!      

On the breakfast plate
Light multi-grain toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee.

On my reading pile
I feel bad, but I gave up on The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric (which I was reading for book club at work). I love the idea, but reading it was a struggle, and honestly the print was so tiny that it was physically hard to read. So instead I just checked out The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters. This should tide me over until all of the new July releases come rolling in (SO MANY GREAT BOOKS THIS MONTH).

On my TV
Psych
Unsolved Mysteries (the new episodes on Netflix!)
       

On the menu this week
Monday: Chicken Parmesan, whole wheat pasta, steamed veggies
Tuesday: Kielbasa, potato-cheese pierogis, green salad
Wednesday: Cheeseburgers, waffle fries, steamed vegetables
Thursday: Instant Pot chicken biryani, cucumber and onion salad
Friday: Make-your-own pizzas, salad
Saturday: ?
Sunday: Family over for Jake’s graduation party: beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, spinach au gratin, green salad, cheesecake

From the camera
My flower garden is doing so well this year – I’m really excited about it! In particular, I was pleasantly surprised to discover blooms on my hydrangea, which has not flowered since 2008. (Yes, I do actually keep track of these things, LOL)

hydrangea
hydrangea
hydrangea

My day lilies are looking great, too.

day lilies

Looking around the house
It’s the usual for a Monday. Enough said!

Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week
We have an old TV upstairs that needs to come downstairs and get thrown away and it’s is big and unwieldy and I know it is going to a real ordeal. But at the same time I really want to get it done!

To relax this week, I will
I have a new crochet blanket I plan to start, and I’m really excited about it! It is the WeekEnder Blanket and I love how the hexagons are connected to each other as you work it up, so no sewing it all together! It should be a good stash-buster, as well.

On my prayer list
Praying for everyone struck with the coronovirus, those who are still suffering ongoing symptoms, and those with loved ones who are sick or who have passed because of it.

Praying for wisdom for our local, state, and national leadership. Praying for the divisive rhetoric to stop because it is not helping bring anyone together.

Wishing you a great week ahead. I’m going to try to get back into regular blog posting – I’ve missed it! Wear a mask, be careful, and above all be kind!

Happy Homemaker Monday, June 29, 2020

Well hello there! Sorry I just kind of disappeared during the rest of the COVID lockdown. Honestly, I was so busy with work (working from home is not really my ideal, and managing a remote team of people who aren’t all comfortable with technology was sometimes a challenge). Also, the kids were in the midst of distance learning, so there was plenty of keeping them on task and on track.

But here we are, nearly July! New York is in a much better place than some of these other states because our governor took action, so for now I feel good, but I know that things will be rolled back at some point. With COVID running rampant all over the south and west, it’s sure to make its way back here. I really wish the federal government would take this seriously, but this is where we are at, so… For now I wear my mask in public, keep my distance and I still don’t really go out unless I need to. I have plenty to keep me busy at home anyway! Speaking of home, let’s kick off the week by linking up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

The Weather
It’s a little on the humid side today, but at least it’s not that hot. I hated having to run the ACs last week.

Monday – Partly cloudy, 84/61
Tuesday – Chance of storms, 75/61
Wednesday – Chance of rain, 77/62
Thursday – Sunny, 84/65
Friday – Partly cloudy, chance of rain, 87/63
Saturday –  Chance of storms, 82/62

How I am feeling
Hungry! It’s true. Dinner is finishing cooking and I am just starving right now.

On my mind
Thinking about the next school year and how it will end up being managed (distance learning vs. in-school). We will make it work either way! I also can’t help but think about the colleges. Right now Jake’s school plans to have students on campus, but we will see.             

On the breakfast plate
Light multi-grain toast with peanut butter and a cup of tea 

On my reading pile
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric (book club).
Milk Street Fast & Slow

On my TV
Psych
The Floor is Lava
       

On the menu this week
Monday: Arroz Con Pollo, salad
Tuesday: Turkey tacos
Wednesday: Cheeseburgers, waffle fries, steamed vegetables
Thursday: Quick chicken Parmesan, whole wheat pasta, steamed broccoli
Friday: ?
Saturday (4th of July): Grilled brats, pasta or potato salad, raw veggies
Sunday: ?

From the camera
My son’s high school graduation was Saturday night, and the school was able to have a social-distanced ceremony at the county fairgrounds (which happens to be in town) so the students could actually receive their diplomas in person. It rained all day, but cleared for the evening. The sunset was just stunning!

Sunset over RHS Graduation

As the ceremony was wrapping up, we heard some loud noises coming from behind. Everyone turned to look and there was a surprise fireworks display! Community members banded together to put on this show for our grads, and it was just amazing! I feel so much gratitude toward the school district and everyone who made this happen — really, it’s wonderful to be part of a small, tight-knit community.

Fireworks

Looking around the house
I will be honest: it’s a mess. I have so much laundry to catch up on, it’s crazy. The patio cushions are in the dining room because a mouse got in the deck box so we need to sterilize that. And no matter how I try, with everyone home all the time there’s just projects and books and music stuff everywhere. At this point, I’m just rolling with it.  

Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week
Going back out to the grocery store. There was several sale items I wanted to pick up at ShopRite yesterday, but when I went they were temporarily closed. I checked one more time after I hit my other grocery stores and it was just crazy inside, so I left. I guess they had a power outage or something because all the refrigerated cases were covered up. I’m really not sure what was up, but I decided it was better to just come back another day.

To relax this week, I will
I have some sewing projects I want to work on, and I want to replenish my dishcloth supply so I will get out the kitchen cotton and knitting needles.                            

Hope you all have a great week! Wear a mask, be careful, and above all be kind!