“Hope springs eternal..”

By now you’ve probably figured that we are a skiing family.  We are in deep, all my kids ski competitively and as crazy as weekends can be getting from this mountain to that, it’s safe to say that we all really enjoy the ski life.  For us, winter is as fast as summer and here in the northeast that can be relatively quick.  That being said, every now and then I like to slip away from the crowds and go snowshoeing.  I can’t say enough about this ‘sport’ (not sure it is one), but the benefits are multi-fold, exercise for the body and centering for the soul, plus a healthy dose of fresh air.  When I snowshoe alone, the sound of the crunch of the cleats on the snow keeps me company.  A rhythmic timing to my steady climb up the mountain.  The tranquil scenery and the quiet give me time to enjoy the peacefulness of the winter and get a little lost in my thoughts.  Winter truly is the only season where you can go outside and there is absolutely no yard work to be done – revel in that!  The days can be long and cold for sure, but take that time to be grateful for the slower pace, each day brings us one closer to spring.  It has never been known not to come.

February

I woke up this Monday morning to an extremely blustery winterscape,……and school closings. Seems fitting enough  – February.  While many of us are starting to grow weary of winter, try to remind yourself of how much fun it was back in December!  Sorry, I know, winter can be long here in the northeast, but somehow when February comes along it seems as though we are that much closer to the end.  It’s a good time to pull out the flower catalogues and dream of gardening plans, and projects.  Nonetheless, dreaming aside, the reality is that we are still here in February.  This month I will show you some projects for bringing a little brightness into your home, some more great cold weather recipes, and naturally some charming Valentines tabletop inspirations.  Now I’ve got to get to the kitchen and whip up some fudgy brownies and cocoa for the kids who will inevitably wear out the hinges on the garage door with the constant in and out to enjoy the snow………..maybe I should introduce them to the shovel…….

January 2015

The busy hub of the holidays is over. Bittersweet. As much as we all love the anticipation of the holidays, they can be truly exhausting. Enter the quiet of wintry January.  Here in the northeast, we settle into a much more subdued pace, covered in a soft blanket of white, while nature around us sleeps. Some of us head outside for so many various winter sports and activities, and there really isn’t anything that quite rivals wrapping your hands around that much deserved cup of hot chocolate! The month for review, in our homes and our lives. Look for organizing and de-cluttering tips as well as recipes and ideas that are perfect for this time of the year. The time to reflect and nurture your need for comfort and warmth.  Cozy up with a cup of tea and enter January.

December

The pumpkins and gourds have all been put away and the turkey leftovers are but a fond memory.  It’s time to get out the wreaths, and colorful sparkling holiday decor, fluff the guest room pillows in anticipation of family and visitors, polish the silver and fill the wood bin, the time has come once again, to welcome December!  “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” sings Andy Williams, and I think most of us, especially children, would agree.  December is magical, no matter where you live.  However, between holiday parties, gift shopping, decorating and baking it can feel a bit hectic.  I have my own policies when it comes to the craziness – I don’t give in!  Look for my tips on how to truly enjoy this month.  I will share with you my tips for decorating, entertaining and how to slow down and savor the beauty of the season.  So, put that “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” DVD in the player, and whip up a hot chocolate, December is here!

Just a thought…

Everyone that knows me well, knows that I have experienced a great tragedy in my life.  And I am certain that there are many of you out there that have as well.  But, as difficult as it may seem at the time, some good is wrought from every situation.  Easy enough to say now, many years later.  I did come to peace and decided not to let that sorrow define me.  In retrospect, I can see how that experience has led me to become the person I am today.   I feel strongly about this thing I call “Home”.  “Children grow so quickly”, I’d heard it a thousand times, but now that most of mine are young adults, and it does pretty much happen overnight, I find myself looking back with fond thoughts.  I know when you are knee deep in things to do, then the dryer quits and the phone rings with the school calling to come pick up a sick child, it feels as though those are very long days.  But in a few very short years, your out of the woods and your children become more and more independent.  What am I trying to say you ask?  Make the most of your present time.  Mindfulness, used to be the buzz word – live in the moment.  Make your home the happiest, a warm safe place to come to at the end of the school day – or your day.  Make the effort to create memories, no matter how simple.  Think back to when you were a child, some of the most ordinary things probably became fond memories.  There are no do-overs, when it comes to raising children.  No matter what size or where your home is, give it your best, I promise you, the rewards will be great.

November

The Jack-O-Lanterns and the witches have been put away.  The costumes have been stored for maybe another use – or donation.  The candy – well, the candy probably still lingers.  October is officially over and November is here.  Signaled by unbelieveably early holiday commercials!  Regardless, I have to admit, ‘early’ is the buzz-word for my holiday motto.  I am a firm believer in getting tasks taken care of before the onslought of official holiday craziness.  This way I truly enjoy the season and have time for last minute parties and entertaining.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  November the forebearer of winter to come.  For sure the gardens have been put away and the last of the leaves has fallen.  This is a great month for putting away all things out-doors and truly moving inside.  There is a certain satisfaction in the feeling that all is in its place and now we can focus on the warmth of the indoors.  This month I will be sharing some of my entertaining tips, especially with Thanksgiving soon to come.  There will be more home-style recipes, a craft project or two and as usual advice on organizing and breathing some calm into the busy season ahead.  I always love to hear back from my readers and I am now on twitter and pinterest as well.  Enoy reading and enjoy November.

October

Old Father Time checked, so there’d be no doubt,
Called on the north wind to come on out,
Then cupped his hands, so proudly to shout,
“La-de-da, de-da-de-da, ’tis Autumn!”.

The trees say they’re tired, they bore too much fruit,
Charmed all the wayside, there’s no dispute,
Now shedding leaves, they don’t give a hoot!
La-de-da, de-da-de-dum, ’tis Autumn!

If you’ve ever heard Nat King Cole sing these lyrics from ‘Tis Autumn, I’m sure you’ll agree nothing else seems so captivating of the season.  Yes, October is here and autumn is certainly in full swing.  This is the month of clean-up, in the yard as well as in the home.  Time to put away and prepare for the busy seasons just lurking around the corner.  October is truly the time to marvel at the beauty of nature around us.  Watching as birds gather, preparing to leave for warmer climes, the scents, the sights, all on overload – a cacophany for the senses.  The last of the months in which to slow down and take it all in.  Unfortunately this season, favorited by so many, is fleeting, so I encourage you to take that time to yourselves.  Take a walk on a country road, visit the pumpkin patches or just have a seat out in the garden in the glow of the afternoon autumn sun, glass of wine in hand. Take a deep breath, savor.  This month I will be posting some of my most requested recipes, always with my infamous short-cuts.  Giving my tips on how to prepare a little in advance for the upcoming (I hate to say the word – sorry), holidays. Creating atmosphere around the house as well as some easy craft projects.  As always feel free to contact me, I love to hear from my readers.  Welcome to your October….

September 2014, Welcome Readers

Well it only seems fitting that I have launched my blog/website in September, this month that truly heralds the start of so many beginnings.  If you are a parent you are used to September being full of new beginnings, new firsts.  The bittersweet heartache of watching your children step onto a school bus for the first time, or the last, moving off to college or asking for the keys as they slip behind the wheel to drive themselves to school.  Another school year, another fresh start, a clean slate.

There is a certain stillness in the mornings too that gently heralds the change to come.  It is as though nature has taken a collective breath holding onto the last of summers’ sweetness only to finally exhale into autumn.

Roadside stands are brimming with produce, tomatoes, squash of every kind and…..the true symbol of early fall….pumpkins.

In this month I will try to inspire you with fall decor, bringing some of the last of that ‘outdoorness’ inside.  Look for recipes for the last of the summer bounty and some ideas of what to do on those less than perfect days – organizing, cleaning out a closet, maybe a project to tackle.

Time to get out the sweaters and embrace the season.  Welcome to Home.