The First Weekend of Summer

The First Weekend of Summer

Welcome to Tuesday (that really feels like a Monday)!

What could possibly help this dire situation? Reliving the weekend thanks to Carole and her 10 on Tuesday request:

10 Things You Did This Weekend

The weekend arrived a bit early here, Steve only had to work a half a day on Friday. Summer arrived in full force as well, with temperatures into the 90’s here. But, all in all it was a great weekend with a full spectrum of things to do.

We finished a garden bed that we had been working on expanding this month. Whew!

It was also a weekend of discovery – that is discovery in muscles I did not know – or forgot – I had!

There were plenty of cocktails – thank you Blackberry Brambles, Frose’s, Shrubarb (Thanks Vicki for this FANTASTIC new word!!) coolers, and even a beer or two.

The grill got the maximum amount of possible usage for burgers, grilled chicken, and grilled asparagus! There was also Lobster Ravioli, which was not grilled but so delicious!

In moments of respite from the maximum heat and humidity, there was sewing. Specifically, 100 Acts of Sewing, Dress No. 1 in a lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen that I got from Spool in Pittsburgh. Bonus points were achieved in making and installing the best bias tape I have made and stitched in to date!

There was some spinning – I finished up spinning and plying the ITW batt that I got last year from Maryland Sheep and Wool – I love how it turned out – 400 yards of heavy fingering weight yarn. I almost finished the Shetland done for my sweater project. I just have a tiny bit of spinning to finish and then plying can begin.

There was knitting…I finished sock number one from Carole’s Picot Socks. I LOVE it! Sock number two will be cast on shortly. I also began my Summer Wish List of those WIPs I want to get done this summer – starting with Indigo Cones. Sitting and knitting under the pergola is really lovely, just sayin’.

There was reading – I finished Ann Cleeves White Nights and it was excellent! I thought it was much better than book number one, and I will definitely be continuing with this series this summer! Which is good, because I need a book set in another country for my Book Bingo card! I started The Goldfinch, and within a few pages I was enthralled. This book will be hard to put down – this is a very good thing because as everyone has reminded me this book has over 700 pages!

There was a spectacular Happy Hour under the pergola on Friday!

There was time spent just enjoying that it was the weekend, with deep gratitude that it was not over yet on Sunday night.

There was time spent in meditation and reflection of what the holiday really means, beyond a long holiday weekend, and being filled with profound thankfulness to those willing to serve and give their lives in defense of freedom.

So, tell me – what was your favorite part of your weekend?

Dessert First, Always

Dessert First, Always

It’s Tuesday, that means that Carole wants to know:

My 10 Favorite Desserts

And, of course, since I am trying NOT to eat desserts right now…because POINTS. I am going to have to list all the things that I am not eating right now.

That’s right, this is the list to avoid if you are on a diet.

  1. Crème brûlée, perhaps my favorite dessert of all time. If I am getting dessert at a restaurant and they have Crème brûlée on the menu you can be guaranteed I will order it. Every.Single.Time.
  2. Ice Cream…this is the one I struggle with the most. Really, especially anything with coffee or caramel!
  3. Cake, any kind at all – with butter cream frosting, and lots of it!
  4. Martha Stewart’s Almond Tart, to.die.for. Topped with whipped cream, of course.
  5. Pumpkin pie. Seriously, it is so good.
  6. Cheesecake…need I say more?
  7. Brown Sugar Cookies, they are really so easy to make and taste so incredible!
  8. Smores – with homemade marshmallows, toasted in a bonfire on the beach! Bonus points for not getting sand in them!
  9. Lemon Cake with icing. Mmmmm.
  10. Chocolate Budino, pictured below… oh man. So. Good.

20519951331_e5576aec4e_oAnd, what is on my “eat” list?

  1. For the foreseeable future – fresh fruits. Good thing the fresh fruit season is almost upon us!

There you have it – my list of no-no’s. But, I want to know – what is your favorite dessert?

Need a little help?

Need a little help?

Life doesn’t get more real than having a newborn at home. – Eric Church

It’s Tuesday and that means that Carole wants to know:

10 Ways to Help a New Momaffiche-hello-i-m-new-hereNew babies are one of the greatest joys in life…and the first weeks home for Mom (and Dad) can be amazing and stressful as a new family settles in together!

So, what can you do to help?

  1. Bring over a meal that is easy to heat and eat. Chicken Pot Pie (topped with puff pastry), a salad, and some homemade brownies were always my go to “quick and easy meal”.
  2. Cut the grass or shovel their driveway and walks.
  3. Offer to do some laundry (or fold laundry!) while Mom takes a nap with the baby.
  4. If there are older children, offer to do something special with them!
  5. Fill a basket with easy to eat snacks – fresh fruits, bottled waters, nuts. Nutritious foods that are easy to eat while holding a baby
  6. A Netflix gift card or two – so she has something to watch besides infomercials or reruns for those middle of the night feeding times!
  7. A basket filled with magazines, a book or two, an assortment of teas, or coffee.
  8. Some babysitting vouchers for when Mom and Dad are ready for a night out!
  9. Ask if there is anything on their “to-do” list that you could finish for them.
  10. And, my go to new baby gift – knit a Baby Surprise Jacket with matching hat and socks/booties.

New babies are just the best! What do you do when there is a new baby?

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Welcome to the Neighborhood

It’s Tuesday and that means that Carole wants to know:

10 Ways to Welcome Someone New To Your Neighborhood

Well if you are a regular blog reader then you know that I have some pretty crazy neighbors, so if you’d like to move next door – I would LOVE IT!

And, here are some of the ways I would make you feel so welcome that you’d never consider leaving!

  1. Some welcome to the neighborhood roses might just be the thing to help those boxes look a little chicer!
  2. A ready to cook meal to make your first night easier.
  3. A list of the local restaurants that have amazing food, including those that deliver!
  4. A list of all the branches of the Carnegie Public Library (and it is significant!)
  5. An invitation to our Friday Happy Hour – complete with good eats and beverages!
  6. A list of things to do in the Pittsburgh area!
  7. A basket of “essentials” – cheese, wine, crackers, meat, fruit, and nuts.
  8. A schedule of trash and recycling pick up for our neighborhood.
  9. A collection of “Pittsburgh” sports flag (so you feel right at home on game day!)
  10. A list of all the area Farmer’s Markets.

As you can see, you would be a welcome addition to my neighborhood and there is so much to do!

Wouldn’t you like to be my neighbor?

The Food of Love

The Food of Love

You can’t escape the taste of the food you had as a child. In times of stress, what do you dream about?

Your mother’s clam chowder. It’s security, comfort. It brings you home. – Jacques Pepin

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means! Carole wants to know:

10 Favorite Foods Your Mom Used To Make

Now this poses a bit of a problem for me… Why you ask? Well, truly my mom was good at many things, but cooking was not one of them. At all. And, while I loved her dearly – it was not for her culinary skills!

food collage

Rather, I will make this about the foods of my Nana and my dear Mother-in-Law (though I did not know her when I was a child, she made things that the child in me loved!) My list starts with 2 things from her and the rest of the items on the list are devoted to my much beloved Nana (my maternal grandmother) she was a fantastic cook and I spent hours in the kitchen with her. Add to that, the number of times I called her while cooking a meal to see what she thought – and it was LOTS of time! It is because of her that I am the cook I am today.

  1. My Mother-in-Law’s Sloppy Joes. So good, and my kids most commonly requested birthday meal. Very deserving of the #1 spot!
  2. In slot #2 would be her Æbleskiver’s – to die for!
  3. Nana’s mashed potatoes.
  4. Denver Omelets – a treat for breakfast if you spent the night there. These also could be a supper treat to eat while watching Charlie Chan movies!
  5. Baked German Pancake, especially delicious when topped with raspberries from my Nana’s garden!
  6. Smelt – key factors here, they must have been dipped by my Uncle Denny and fried outside on the Coleman stove.
  7. Coleslaw – she made the best!
  8. Knödel – German Dumplings. She made them by hand, grinding the ham and the potatoes to an exact consistency. Absolutely amazing!
  9. Potato Salad, while she was a good German – she did not make a typical German potato salad. How she made it is how I make it still today. Potatoes, celery, radishes, and Hellman’s. The best!
  10. Mexican Wedding Cake cookies – these were the ultimate treat! Getting a “care package” in college that contained them and made you extremely popular.

The foods of my youth that bring warm memories to my heart whenever I think of them.

What food takes you to another time? Please share!

Irresistible Movies

Irresistible Movies

I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse. Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather

It’s Tuesday and that means Carole is wondering this:

10 Movies You Have To Stop & Watch When You Come Across Them While Channel Surfing


So pull up a chair and see what we can come up with!

      • The Godfather
      • The Wizard of Oz
      • Holiday Inn
      • Any of the Harry Potter movies
      • Any of the Star Wars movies
      • Any of the Sean Connery James Bond movies
      • It’s a Wonderful Life
      • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
      • Hopscotch
      • The In-Laws

So many great movies, but if I am channel surfing, I want one of these to be on somewhere!

So tell me, what movie would you stop and watch?

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