Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year.

I hope you had a splendid holiday surrounded by family and friends. 

My blessings are plentiful but I will ring in the New Year from the comfort of my bed whilst my family enjoys our traditional celebration with friends. The goodness of the season finally took it's toll and my body gave in to a hideous cold. 

So I bid you adieu as I slink into the comfort of my quiet house and cozy bed. 

I may be down for the day, but 


Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I am officially signing off for the year so I can remain present and truly enjoy the holiday season! 

But before I dash off to bake another round of cookies, 
I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! 

Here's to all the best this holiday season and in the new year!!  


Monday, December 17, 2012

What can we do?

When loss and sadness envelops, we, as compassionate human beings, have an innate need to help. To reach out. To provide solace in some small way. 

I know each and every one of you hugged your children a little longer and a tad tighter this weekend. I know most of you said more prayers this weekend than is your norm. And yet we still feel unsettled.  

We are simply left helpless and lost in our own form of grief for innocence lost.

So what can we do?

I posit that we can help those affected.

And ourselves by the following actions: 

Turn off the television. 

Watching and re-watching the horror unfold is not helping anyone, least of all the town of Newtown. We do not need to hear form every neighbor who knows a family who lost a child. We do not need to subject the surviving children to any further trauma. The media is only there because we are watching. The families affected and the entire community need time to grieve. In what little peace remains in Newtown, Connecticut. 

Lobby for reform. 

Whether you feel passionate about gun control or better care for those affected by mental illness, now is the time to scream it from the hilltops. Use social media. Call your congressman. Do whatever you feel led to do to spur change.  

Spread joy. 

We cannot undo what was done. And despite reform, we cannot eradicate the world of evil. We can, however, spread joy. We can be the good we want to see in the world.

Start small. Start at home. Show kindness to a stranger. Show kindness to every individual you encounter. Bring gifts to a needy family. Show love and compassion to a homeless person. To a troubled teen. To a friend who is feeling down.

The world desperately needs more joy.

Those in Newtown will not feel the joy today or tomorrow, but they need to be surrounded by a world in which joy exists.

We all do.

God bless you all this holiday season and in the coming year.

For those looking for a monetary way to contribute or help those affected, you can give directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund

Friday, December 14, 2012

Greatest story ever told.

I hope your holiday season is off to a wonderful start. 

I, for one, cannot seem to get ahead of my ever-growing list. 

But every now and again, I try to be still and 
remind myself of the true reason for the season. 

Download the free printable at A Pair of Pears

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cranberry Salsa and parties galore!

Last week was one of those weeks -- specifically, the one on which every social engagement of the holiday season inevitably collides. 

We enjoyed a couple social events for which all that was required was my attendance. I mixed and matched holiday attire like a champ and opted not to include shiny pants in the mix. 

You're welcome. 

We enjoyed dinner with Santa at our yacht club. Who can pass up a good buffet serving both macaroni and cheese and chicken strips?! Yes, there was adult food too. I also had bread pudding with a burbon sauce. Yummy. Yet another reason why I cannot wear shiny pants.

The kids are fairly certain I'm lying through my teeth about Santa, but I'm convinced they really want to believe. So we are leaving it at that. 

For now. 

Boy Genius would not sit on his lap.
Little Miss Thang says she's "little for her age." 
We entertained a very small group of friends at our home on Saturday night. I made undercooked fennel au gratin potatoes and the Hubs knocked a tenderloin out of the park. This is not usually how it works at our house, so I was glad to let him steal the show. 

Speaking of stealing the show, even the fabulous tenderloin was upstaged by my darling friends, one who arrived wearing a fascinator and another in a Dickensesque hat. Love those girls. 

A double batch of my cranberry salsa served double duty over the weekend. I brought it to a friend's house on Friday night and served the rest on Saturday night at home. I prefer it globbed high on a warm brie round and served with water crackers. The hubs prefers it straight. I'd even consider it a suitable pork loin relish.

Regardless of how it is served, it always receives warm reviews and requests for the recipe. 

For those requesting, here it is:

Cranberry Salsa

3/4 cup sugar
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno sliced (seeds discarded unless you like an extra punch)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. cumin
12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries

Add first 5 items to food processor or blender and pulse until evenly chopped. Add cranberries and pulse until chunky, but not slushy.

Serve as a salsa with pita chips. Or, over a warmed brie round with water crackers.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Have your festivities begun or are you prepping for the weeks ahead?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bear Candelier.

The 'candelier' chandelier, by New York based artist Kevin Champeny, is made up of 3,000 hand cast acrylic "gummy" bears . The polychromatic light fills a space with a cool saccharine glow. 

I'm pretty sure Little Miss Thang would love such a focal point in her room. Talk about sugar plums dancing in your head.  Sadly, the $2,400 price tag guarantees it will never find a place in our home. 

Too bad, though, because I'm totally loving it!


Any sugar plums dancing in your head this season!  What have you seen that astounded you lately?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A cup of lemon water a day . . .

After completing my 10-day detox in November, I vowed to implement many of the great eating habits I experienced. I loved the food so why not eat healthier more often?! 

As it turns out my "why" is threefold: (1) because a plate of pasta can be prepared in under 15 minutes after running kids from tennis to violin to gymnastics to choir; (2) because my kids refuse quinoa and butternut squash {as well of the many other very healthy choices I enjoyed}; and (3) because I inevitably attend a luncheon or a dinner or a party two to three times a week {especially this month}. 

As a result, I have not implemented nearly as many healthy eating habits as I intended. I am certainly more conscious of what I eat but have not made the strides I intended. 

One habit that has stuck, however, is the practice of starting each morning with a cup of warm lemon water. It is so easy and the benefits well outweigh the slightly cringe-worthy minute it takes to get it down. 

1. Boosts your immune system 
2. Balances pH 
3. Helps with weight loss 
4. Aids digestion 
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic 
6. Clears skin
7. Hydrates the lymph system

This article, extolling these benefits, sealed the deal for me.  Now, if only I could lay off the pasta!!!

What healthy habits have you made part of your daily routine? Inspire me!!

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