Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend Recap (Holiday Happenings Edition!) was a weekend completely full of fa la la'ing!
I love this time of year for all of the old and new traditions that we partake in.

Lea and I enjoyed mass, the gym and coffee/tea to kick off our day.  Then it was time for me to head home and get some work done and prep for the shindig!

Friday Night
I hosted my 2nd Annual Holiday Recipe Exchange and this year it was the "Breakfast Edition" and my guests were invited to wear their PJ's.  You will see a separate post on this event this week-stay tuned!
Here is a cute pic of all of the girls though :)

Lea's company hosted a fun and free event for the kids.  They were having private showings of the new Disney movie Moana.  Diana and I went to support Lea and her company and ended up LOVING the movie.  If you have daughters, you must see it.  
 When Diana asked me what my favorite part of the movie was, I told her it was the relationship between Moana and her grandmother.  She agreed.  We both got choked up- it was very special.  I love the way the film showed a strong girl leading the charge too!
   I highly suggest this film! 
 And our obligatory selfie in the theater :)
(Diana was too cool and sitting with all of the kids)

After the movie, it was time for Mama to head to a bridal shower in town.  My fellow cheer coach Brittney is getting married and her mom through a lovely shower- here she is- just beautiful!

Saturday Night
We headed to the Stone Zoo Christmas Lights with my parents.  We had a ball and the girls got to meet Santa.  After the zoo, we headed to my parents' house for dinner and more fun.  Stay tuned this week for a separate post of all the fun pics I snapped!

It was time to start our day with mass.  I started working on our Christmas cards and then we headed up to Portsmouth with the Batsons for the Annual Christmas Candlelight Stroll.  It was unreal!  Yep you will see another post on this one too!

There ya have it!  It was busy but!
My kids are at the best ages...truly living the magic of Christmas through their eyes!

Prayers are welcome today as I head in for an ultrasound.  Having a little health scare- hope it's just a scare.  Thank you friends.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Favorites (December 2, 2016)

I missed doing a Friday Favorites post last week!  They are such a fun way to pull together your favorite happenings on MY favorite day of the week- ha ha!
Linking up with Erika, Narci and Andrea HERE 
Here are my faves from this week!

Black Friday Finds
The poncho...not only that...the boots...can you stand it?
Gotta love Old Navy!
Not only that, I scored both on Black Friday and everything was 50% off!
Find the boots HERE 
Find the poncho HERE

and how about this Robe?
Justice- was also 50% off on Black Friday
Find it HERE 

Wine (always right?)

Lea and my wine picks of the week
Both scored at Lucia's Bodega which is a boutique wine shop in our little town- Chuck, the owner, really knows his stuff!

Festival of Trees!
This is my mom's favorite event and I love going with her and watching how excited she gets.  This year both girls came with us and we had a ball!
You buy raffle tickets and put them at the bins at the trees you want to win.  Some trees you want because they are just so beautiful and other trees you want because of the prizes included with them.  The most tickets this year went into the American Girl Doll tree of course (and I am sure you can imagine who lead the charge on that!)  Mama liked the Holy tree best.  We will find out Sunday morning if we won anything but the fun of it all is just looking around.  

After the festival, Mimi took us out for an awesome dinner at The Chateau.  We had so much fun. Eva was really cracking us up especially when she put Mimi's gloves on! 

The Atkinson Tree Lighting

I was so excited when Jill asked if we wanted to have a "girls night" and attend this event together.  We had both heard awesome things about it so of course we said yes!  Jill picked us up in her very large car.  We were all packed in and Eva felt like such a big kid being able to sit in the back with Charlotte, Alice and Diana.  
Once there we got to see the ice sculptures, eat candy canes, pose for pictures with Miss New Hampshire and her friends, decorate cookies and then even see Santa and watch the big Christmas Tree being lit!  So hokey and oh so fun!

They also had hay rides there but by the time we came outside again they were done for the evening....the big girls might have been just slightly annoyed ;)


Favorite dinner from the week?
The roasted veggie salad with grilled chicken and homemade avacado dressing- Friends?  I can't even- SO FLIPPIN GOOD!
Find the recipe HERE 

Elf On The Shelf
and our "Relf" The Elf is back!
The first morning he appeared he was hugging the Nutcracker- so appropriate right?

Home Goods

I snagged some Christmas signs for the kitchen and my office but my favorite find this week was this Merry Pillow for my office- so cute right?

So as you can see, a whole lotta "Merrying" going on around here....getting ready for a great weekend!
My 2nd annual Holiday Recipe Exchange is tonight and it is the Breakfast Edition....tomorrow we have some movie fun with Lea and then tomorrow night is the Stone Zoo lights with Mimi and Papa....Sunday we are heading to Portsmouth with the Batsons for the Christmas much fa la la'ing!!!  Ha ha!!!  Heading out now to mass and the gym with Lea and then prepping for tonight- yippee!  Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Weekly Gratitude

This week, I am thankful for....

A wonderful Thanksgiving weekend filled with family, friends and good blessed to be surrounded by the best

My company....our business...and our clients that keep coming back

Being able to live the Christmas magic through the eyes of my girls

Diana....being bitten by the theater bug

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fig and Goat Cheese Bites with Honey

I wanted to share this recipe with you today.  
I have made variations of it, in Fall, for the last several years.

The original recipe I tried had me making this as a full dish in which you cut pieces off.

As the years went on, I modified it but really you can make this any way you want.  The key to this recipe are the flavors melding together.

I make it now for my mom.  She always brings it up every year.  She loves the flavors and I LOVE making it for her.  As you may know feeding people is the way I show my love sometimes- it is the Italian Girl in me!

1 box puff pastry
1 jar fig preserves
1 8 oz log of goat cheese
1 egg
Honey for drizzling
Optional: Dried or fresh figs for garnish/extra flavor

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper/foil and spray with Pam
Defrost your puff pastry
Roll it out and cut it in squares (this step can be changed if you want to make one large pastry- just don't cut it in squares)
Put a dollop of fig preserves in each square
Top the fig preserves with a bite of goat cheese
Pinch the pastry to make little pouches and make sure the ends touch so all that goodness stays inside the little bundles
If you want to add fresh/dried figs, sprinkle some across the sheet
 Brush the pastry pouches with egg wash
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown
When you take these little beauties out of the oven, drizzle them with honey immediately
Serve and Enjoy!

 They are the perfect little appetizer for Fall or anytime but they truly taste like Fall to me!
(Yes they go very well with LaMarca of course)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Scenes from Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

What a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving Weekend we had.  It was filled with family, friends, food as well as old and new traditions!!

By the end of writing this post, I will be exhausted but it will be so worth it!  :)

Thanksgiving Eve

Diana and I started our day with meeting Cass and her girls at Mary Ann's for breakfast.  The kids didn't have school so it was the perfect chance for the girls to catch up!  Wish I had snapped a pic but I forgot!

After breakfast, my friend and fellow Cheer Coach Coleen decided at the last minute to start a new tradition for the kids and that is a "Friendsgiving" Brunch.  Even though I knew we wouldn't eat after breakfast, I thought it was an awesome idea and Diana had a ball with the kids.  The bonus was that the moms had just as much fun!  Coleen is a jack of all trades- we always joke about how much she accomplishes in a day- takes care of her family, runs her own business, can fix anything around the house and is amazing cook!  She made pancakes and eggs for the kids AND THEN homemade bagels which the moms enjoyed.  It was a wonderful new tradition and we are excited to partake every year!

Action Shot- Making the Bagels!

Mamas Toasting The New Tradition

and the kids!

After Friendsgiving, it was time to get home and prep for our first annual Thanksgiving Eve celebration at home!  Rob's band agreed to play and I think we have created a new and fun tradition.
We enjoyed the band all night and had so much fun with family and friends.  The kids all had a blast running around too.  We did apps and cocktails and agreed that we would love to do this every year!

My girls loved listening to the band warm up.  Eva danced her little heart out for two straight hours!
Check out this clip from warm ups

and then she sang a quick one ;)

In the kitchen.....

Tracey, Greer and Heath

Laurel's parents Keith and Sherri with her hubby Tom

Cass, Gordon, Steve and Laurel

Lea, Brenda, Me, Beth Ann and Coleen

The awesome wine that Greer brought- we took a picture so we could all buy it!

Aaron and Marshall- such lovely gentlemen

Coleen and Lea being silly so I would send the pic to Lisa M so she would get there faster ;)

Coleen, Dave, Lisa M., Lea and Shawn 

and then it was time for Shawn to hop in with the band and do "Glory Days" for us- it was awesome!!

Check it out!

and the fans...

My beautiful parents

The Groupies- Dave, Mike and Pauline

Papa Bob


The First Loves- Cole and Diana

and the girls got in on the band action...check it out!

and the band ended the night with a Mannequin Challenge...well almost the entire band...Eric was a little confused ;)

Thanksgiving Day

Our Thanksgiving Day was full of all of our family traditions....

We started the day with a family breakfast.  Shay's recipes went over very well!  We did the Pumpkin Bread and Sausage Bake along with the Bacon and Gruyere Crescent Bake. 

Thank God we bought that selfie stick ;)

Then we headed to the Turkey Trot with our friends the Batsons.
We also met up with the Lees and Debbie and Madison.  We were a few minutes late but we still stopped to snap some family pics and so glad we did!

After the trot, we headed home to finish up preparations for our day.  I made an app and put it out with Prosecco while all the kids were still home- it was a big hit.  I made it for my mom because she loves it- puff pastry with fig preserves and goat cheese drizzled in honey.
 The SPBs were all trading pictures of what they were looking at- this was my contribution- Angela was golfing in FLA and Karen was golfing in NJ- the rest of us were home cooking- we had some laughs with all of the pics

Rob showed off his apple pie- Aaron's face kills me in this

The big kids took off to spend the day with other families and we got ready to host our parents and my brother.  We agreed that it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever- small- intimate and just really special

My new appetizer plate from Lea made an appearance :)

For dinner, we headed into the dining room which was both elegant and cozy

Black Friday
Well the BFF and I continued our tradition this year only this time, we got up earlier!  We were at Starbucks by 5:30am and immediately got to Old Navy after that.  Old Navy was better this year and we snagged several things for our kids!
The only pic I managed to get of us, as we were in the shopping zone, was the start of our day at Starbucks but glad I got this!

My thought on this tradition is that I could care less about the deals- they are great and all- it is the tradition and the quality time spent.  We don't get much time alone anymore so this will be a day I cherish.  On the shopping side, we did hit the following for the deals: Old Navy, The Hallmark Store, Christmas Tree Shop, Justice, Lord and Taylor, Macy's and Bath and Body Works.  

Once we wrapped up shopping, we had to stop at our house so I could do Diana's hair and makeup.  She had an all day and night dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker.  Snapped a cute pic of her ready to go!

After that, we grabbed lunch and cocktails
at The Lobster Tail....and we may have gone a little overboard ;)

 Lea and her friend Monika showed up and we laughed (we are always on the same page).
She was kind enough to give us rides home and then of course she stayed for awhile when we got to our house XOXO
Robby B snapped a pic of us- I know I look exhausted ;)

It was time to decorate for Christmas and enjoy the first of two Nutcracker shows.  I snuck in a little Hallmark too of course :)

Getting decked out for the big show

Some of Diana's fans waiting for the show

 Ally, Aaron, Lea and Sam came too and really enjoyed it.

It was a beautiful Nutcracker show and we really enjoyed watching Diana as a Polichinelle.  Aaron got some cute little clips!

and Rob got the entire routine!

Here is a professional shot taken back stage of Mother Ginger and The Polichinelles

 and a few with us after the show

We all headed back to our house for a fun little evening to celebrate!

It was time to head to mass and this week they did a blessing on all of  the children which was special. 
After mass, we finished our decorating and watched some more Hallmark.
In the afternoon, Rob and I headed to the Nutcracker to watch Diana one last time.  It was such a festive day.

 What a wonderful weekend- yep exhausted but LOVE this time of year and all of the traditions that we have created!

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