Date Night

Tonight J. & I have a date!


It's now become a tradition that every year to kick off the holiday season we attend The Nutcracker ballet at the Merrill in Portland. How this all started is when I was young I attended a few performances of The Nutcracker ballet at the Wang in Boston, which as a small child was just the most magical experience. It's my intention to pass this tradition on when we have kids, because let's be honest here, little holiday dresses and little bow ties make my ovaries hurt. My love for this ballet resurfaced when I went a few years back with one of my favorite people in the entire world (Hi Babs! I miss you!) so having a dude that actually digs the ballet is quite a treat.

After the show, drinks and dinner are a must. Why after the show one may ask? well, I tend to go in a food coma and whine for some yoga pants so, it's always best to carefully plan these outings.

All and all, I'm so so SO excited for a festive evening out in the big city and I have the most fantastic outfit all planned out. Proper photos will be taken and shared, I promise!

Also, happy Friday lovies.

Salmon, that's what's for dinner.

Have I ever mentioned on here how much I love to cook? or that I'm a bit of a food snob? Oh I haven't?

 

I made this last evening for dinner and it literally took me about 20 minutes to prep, cook and put it on the table. 

How it all went down:


The Salmon:
I purchased two North Atlantic salmon filets from my local grocery store (Hannaford for my New England readers) 

In a large pan I put 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Put the salmon skin side down, season with salt and pepper to taste and then cook for about 5 minutes. 
GENTLY flip over and let cook for 3-4 minutes. It will be a pretty light pink color throughout and a nice toasted color on top.

I pull off the skin when it's done, it skeeves me out. 

The Sauce:
I just created this on a whim but again, very easy but so stinkin' yummy.

In a small bowl,
I added 3 spoonfuls of  plain 0% Greek yogurt
1 spoonful of Trader Joe's (pre) mashed garlic
Half a spoonful of dill (I prefer the tubes, they're fresh, flavorful and I don't use dill that often when I cook so I don't waste fresh herbs)
The juice of one lemon
A pinch of salt and pepper
Mix all together until even and put aside.

The Greens:
I prefer mixed greens and a health portion of my faaaavorite green, arugula!

Put it all together:
Mixed greens on the bottom and arugula on top, the arugula wilts just perfectly when you put the salmon on top and keeps the mixed greens crisp and does not allow them to get soggy, because, who likes soggy mixed greens? not this lady. Then comes the beautiful salmon filet propped in the middle and then drizzle the yogurt dill sauce on top. BOOM a quick, easy, aesthetically pleasing, but most importantly healthy meal.

And since I'm at it, a wonderful wine pairing for this would be a pinot noir J. and I just discovered called Darcie Kent, it's from Cali. We brought it with us to Thanksgiving and it was a smash.

 Bon appetit.
 




NYC Ramblings

 I have this obsession with New York. Wait, let me back up, I've actually never been to New York (the airport does not count) but for some reason I have this deep love for it. But the NYC I'm in love with is somewhere between Breakfast At Tiffany's and Mad Men late 1950's to early 1960's. There is this part of me that whole heartily believes that some past life Maggie lived in New York in some fabulous Brownstone townhouse with a past life Charles. A lot of the blogs I follow are either based in NYC or DC, so on a daily basis I drool with envy their amazing city life.

J. & I always chat about this, that one day we will go, and every time he tells me the Gods honest truth that it's busy, it's dirty, it's stinky but it will blow my mind. I could get past all the negative to go visit at least once in my life, the only fear I have is that I will love it too much and never want to leave, the food, the fashion, the history, the architecture!  Oh, my heart aches to visit a place I've never known.


Autumn Bucklist: Revisited

- Apple Picking.
- At least one outdoor dinner party.
- Take our time when putting together our home (hanging art, furniture placement, etc)
- Antique shopping.
- Sunday River moon light chondola ride. 
- Attend the Common Ground Fair; pat every single beautiful velvety lamb nose.
- Visit the William Wegman art exhibit.
- Get creative in the kitch.
- Put cinnamon on anything & everything.

- Lot's of mulled apple cider.
- Carve pumpkins that we chose from a pumpkin patch.
- Network my bum off.
- Reserve time to get cozy (preferably in front of the of one below..)
- Use our living room fireplace every stinkin' chance I got.

- Have a strictly sister day. 
- Bake pumpkin seeds.
- Embrace the glorious slow cooker.
- Hike (or nature walk) one mountain.
- Take lot's of photos.

- Day trip to Rangely.
- Take the puppies on my walks.
- Decorate the house for all autumn-winter holidays.
- Press leaves.

- Go out on the boat.


15 out of 24. Not too shabby!

This autumn was perfect and I'm so grateful to all of you who tune in to read my posts and look at my photos (even if they are from my phone); it means a lot to me!

J. & I have been chatting more and more about starting work back up on the house, which is always exciting (want this massive project to be done so we can enjoy a whole house) Whats more exciting though is we are picking up our second pellet stove tomorrow. The front of the house will have heat! no frozen pipes! no cold puppies! and it's so eco-friendly and cheap to run it hurts so good. We heat the back of the house with a single pellet stove, we are not slaves to the propane man or the oil man, and it's waaaaaaaaay safer than any wood stove or open flame. Life is treating us good these days and hopefully next weekend the Christmas lights will be hung outside, which means there will be an aerial lift involved.. oy!

Happy Monday and I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and four day weekend.

XO
MLP

All I want for Christmas is..

One of everything, please.

Thankful

Today I'm beside myself with love. I don't think I could ever say "thank you" enough for all of the joys in my life, from the gigantic to the mundane.

If there is one thing that I'm the most thankful for on this day, it's without a doubt this dude, my favorite turkey. So Charles, this one goes out to you.

For the past six years, we have been a team. We've been through it all and from our highest highs to our lowest lows, you have stuck with me and always with unconditional love. Have there been times where I doubted having a dog? Of course, but thinking of giving you away and actually doing it are two different matters. You are not only a dog, you are a loyal (always on leash) companion, with the most tender westie kisses when I need them most. You never pass judgement on me and you are always down to go on an adventure.

So to you, my friend, thank you for all the love, joy, and funniness you add to me life. The corn chip smelling paws is something I could live with out but I could never thank you enough and would not trade our mother-pup bond for anything in this world. You're a good boy and I love you.

Ps. Did I mention how handsome you are?

Grateful Diaries: 4

Today is a very special day my friends.

 
Part One: One year ago today, J. & I pulled into this driveway and found the house of our dreams. (The whole story of how it went down is here!)

I'm grateful to have a place I can call my own. For the 2 acres I have, the huge apple tree planted on the side of the house and that J. did not follow my orders to cut it down, for all the flowers that we have planted, for all the hard work, money, time (mostly J) has put into this place. I'm grateful that we have saved such a beautiful home that had fallen to the wayside and brought life back into her soul. I'm grateful we took a big risk and it worked out, much to our surprise. This is the place I want holidays to be celebrated, babies to grow, vegetables to be harvested. This place and I were made to find each other and one day, she will be finished and brought back to her 1850's grandeur. 

Part two: Today is J.'s father's birthday. I've never had the pleasure to meet Peter, but from stories and photos and memories J & family have shared with me I feel that I truly missed out on meeting an amazing man. So, to Peter, I'm forever grateful to you for raising such an exceptional son and thank you for leading us to this house, I know you had something to do with it!

Images that postcards are made of

Gosh Maine.

Yoga Ramblings




 

I love yoga. For some strange reason it always seems to be such an effort to make it to a class. The timing wasn't right, it's too expensive, the list goes ON. For something that always makes me feel so relaxed and centered it's quite an issue of actually getting there.

So the plot thickens. I was browsing Wal-Mart yesterday morning for boring items (TP, soap, dust buster. OH I could go with the boring details of my domestic life) anyways, I found myself near the fitness isle when it all went down, Jillian Micheal's and I locked eyes. Yoga meltdown DVD? 30 minutes? under $10? LOSE 5lbs A WEEK? Sold to the lady with a sock in her hair.

Today will be the first day I attempt this yoga meltdown jazz. I may have put my yoga shorts, top, mat all together so I could jump on it when I get home from work. Pretty excited for this, I'm not banking on losing 5 lbs a week, but if it was to happen I would not complain.. jus' sayin.Maybe if I crank the heat in the living room it would be just like hot yoga. HAH. I crack myself up. With any luck maybe this motivation will keep my holiday binge eating bouts at bay. Fingers crossed, my friends. Fingers crossed. I will let you all know how I feel after a few rounds of trying this and if I see an improvements (in body and weight).

Now, let's get these three work days over with! I'm ready for turkey and family and rubbing my sister's pregnant belly.

Sticky Sunday

What better way to soak up the morning light than to have some homemade sticky buns and coffee in bed? That's right, there is none.

Saturday Country Drives

Bundling up & drinking gingerbread iced coffee, that's what dreams are made of.

Weekend Plans

Besides my normal weekend routine of cleaning house, misc projects, sleeping in, etc I think I've finally waited long enough off on decking my halls. Yesterday kicked off the start of the season for me when I purchased the FIRST Christmas gift for my soon to be godson and as Thanksgiving is fast approaching it seems only appropriate to get a head start. I want this year to smooth sailing on calm waters and not a huge holiday hot mess. Added bonus, I'm one of those weirdos who will sit in her living room with all the lights off, playing holiday music, staring at her lit up Christmas tree (always clear lights, the colored lights give me a headache.. in case anyone was curious)  It helps soothe me when the world outside is so meh. Ya know? Maybe if I keep practicing my snow dance it might actually work. Fingers crossed.

 

And since we are on the topic of all things merry & bright, I stole these three looks from my Tumblr as my inspiration for events, parties and who knows.. maybe grocery shopping ;)


  
Not sure what has come over me but I'm really loving red lipstick, cat eyes and high heels these days. 

What's on everyone's weekend agenda?

It's getting pretty adult around here..

Loving our new couch!

Grateful Diaries: 3

Here we are! the third week of November. Sigh.

Here is week three, myself.

 

I'm grateful to be me.
For my awkward ways, sassy, headstrong, shy, self.
For my lemon nose, my wonky eyes, my short little legs. It all belongs to me, this is who I am and no matter how many times I wish to be more like someone whether it's confidence or a prettier face this is what I got and I'm proud of who I am. There will never be another Maggie quite as quirky as me.
I'm thankful to have a heart to love, eyes to see, and so on. And my body, oh lord. I don't give my poor body enough credit for all it does for me, I feel this is the case for a large majority of us. We are only given one body, it's not like a cell phone, we can't upgrade to the latest and greatest when we tire of it (of coarse we can modify ourselves, but don't get me started)

 So to my body, I'm sorry for the years of shenanigans I've put you through. I always try to have the best intentions to fuel you with the healthiest things I can get my mitts on, but sometimes that relentless sweet tooth we both know and hate to love gets in the way. Since we're on the topic, I'm sincerely trying to make an effort to squeeze in fitness into our busy days.

I love you and I'm trying the best I can on a daily basis.


(and to my readers, I'm sorry for the two day hiatus- I was feeling a little creatively drained, but I think my supply has been recharged.)

What are you thankful for this week? 

Puppy photos. How could you resist?

Seriously, this is the coolest pup ever.

Puppy sitting

It's going great so far. But man, I tell you, to wear this creature out takes some time. I forget how much fun puppies are! Moxie is even better well behaved than my three adult dogs. Since we're on the topic, not saying names or anything but, someone with a fluffy white coat has a little bit of a jealousy issue.

Nothing says "Happy Friday" quite like..

A spritz of Burberry Brit in the eye to make sure you're really awake. Best smelling pepper spray e v e r.

And now, without further adieu, life lately according to my iPhone.












I know what you're thinking, my iPhone has quite the appetite. Right?

What's everyone's plans for the weekend? J. & I are dog sitting my father's 5 month old pup Moxie. Expect a ridiculous amount of adorable photos. It's going to be a straight up zoo around here with 5 dogs!

XO
MLP

Swooning over the first snow

I waited up till 9 last night (which is really pushing it for my bedtime) to see the snow begin to fall. No dice. I woke up in the middle of the night as I usually do, I opened up the curtain closest to my side of the bed and was so happy with what my eyes were seeing! mother nature covered the land with the most beautiful white blanket. As I laid in bed, snuggled up tight, cozy as can be; I watched the snow flakes fall so quietly and peacefully and fell back asleep. Now if that's not total and utter content, I'm not too sure what is.


 

The thing about snow days for me is, it really evokes childhood memories and sensations. The taste of blueberry pancakes my Grandmother made when she babysat me, the smell of wet mittens, the first sip of cocoa that burns your tongue, the feeling of your chilled body finally thawing out by the wood stove, the toboggan ride down the pine needle hill, the echoing sound of your boots crunching beneath you while you make your own path.

These days I thank my lucky stars for my volvo's heated seats and a big bowl of oatmeal to keep my morning coffee company. I was so envious of the puppies this morning before I left, they were sleeping in a pile all curled up snoring. Now that's living! I would not have minded staying home today, building a fort in the living room with a roaring fire, reading and eating stupid amounts of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Do snow days stir up any childhood memories for you? If so, please share :)    

SAD

 via


As the days grow shorter and the weather turns bitter, my mood sours. Since my teens I always get a raging case of Seasonal Affective Disorder which turns into depression. I can feel it now creeping into my life, when I have so much to be grateful for these days and yet I can't control this sadness. Yes, there are people way worse off than me in life and complaining on the internet is just about as lame as it can get, but I feel that to overcome these bouts of sadness and loneliness I need to talk about it. So there you have it, folks.

Anyone have any magic tips that have worked for them to help alleviate SAD? 
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