Happy Thanksgiving!

23 Nov

I want to take this time to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! For many of us it has come to be known as a holiday devoted to family, food and football but, it is also a day to stop and count our blessings.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Halloween Fun Facts

26 Oct

When witches go riding and black cats are seen

The moon laughs and whispers, ’tis near Halloween!

~Author Unknown

With October 31st  fast approaching, I thought I would share some facts and trivia to get you into the Halloween spirit.

  • After Christmas, Halloween is the most commercially successful holiday.
  • Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year behind New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday.
  • Chocolate bars top the list as the most popular treat with Snickers being the favorite.
  • Tootsie rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  •  Halloween was once called “The Night of Witches.”
  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.”
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.
  • In England, black cats are considered good luck and white cats unlucky.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday. When the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips, so the Jack o’ Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin.
  • Boston, Massachusetts, holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once (30,128).
  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.
  • Halloween comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve.
  • According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, you will see your future spouse.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween – Eat, drink and be scary-

It’s All Relative…

3 Oct

The other night, while searching for a recipe, I came across a letter tucked in an old cookbook, written by my great, great, great grandfather to one of his daughters describing his days during the Crimean War.  The date of the letter was July 10, 1854.  This was particularly fortuitous, considering it was discovered on Ancestor Appreciation Day – a day for learning about and honoring your family’s ancestors.  This was just the impetus, I needed to start a new hobby – researching my family tree.

For some, genealogy (the study of ancestry and family histories) is a pleasant pastime to satisfy a curious interest but there are also many benefits of tracing your roots.   Understanding your heritage can shed light on your family relationships, appearance, health, and the origins of your family’s surname.  Documenting your family’s history also provides a sense of continuity for the sake of posterity – a chance to connect to future generations and preserve cherished memories.

Growing up some distance from my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, I did not have the advantage to get to know them on a daily basis, but I do feel a deep connection and sense of identity acquired through letters, visits, pictures and stories passed down.  Personally, I hope this endeavor will help me connect the characteristics that I see in myself with my ancestors as I bring their stories to life.

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.
— Alex Haley

Autumn Appreciation

21 Sep

As temperatures cool, I am inspired to write about Autumn- the most picturesque time of the year. The climate is perfect; what could be more enjoyable than getting out in the crisp fresh air and marveling at the spectacular display of vibrant fall colors – especially in New England? Here the foliage is at it’s best on sunny days after cool, crisp nights from mid-September to early November .

Making the most of  the season is something I aim to do every year, but it can be hard to take advantage of the season as the days become shorter, which is why I’ve decided to make a list of my favorite seasonal things.

Apple picking – some farms also offer horse-drawn wagon rides

Bake an apple pie; enjoy the rich scent of cinnamon as it permeates your house

Candy Corn

Dunkin Donuts pumpkin muffins

Starbucks Spicy pumpkin latte

Kanes (Saugus, Mass) pumpkin donuts

Fall festivals and fairs

Haunted House

Navigate a Corn Maze


Make a Scarecrow

Topsfield Fair

Pumpkin picking/carving

Outdoor Sports and Games – Football/Soccer


Plant Bulbs

So there you go…enjoy! Does it get any better than this?

Nightwear in the Daytime

14 Sep

Let’s tackle a sensitive topic of age-appropriate dressing.

Is wearing pajamas outside of the bedroom the latest trend or the height of laziness?  Lately, no matter what time or hour of the day that I go to the market, I see grown women wearing their pajamas and slippers. 

During our senior year, we had a “Pajama Day” which allowed us to wear apparel, usually reserved for the privacy of our home or a sleepover at a friend’s house. It was fun and it was cute but it was for only one day!  We are no longer in high school or a teen, even if you do have the body of one; after you reach a certain age, some styles just don’t work, regardless of body type.

I understand that many women dress for comfort and sometimes it is tempting to take the easy way out and run into Walmart to pick up a few items, but really, is it a huge effort or time consuming to take off the fleece teddy bear pajama bottoms and pull on a pair of jeans?

Although, they are comfortable and less constricting, do you really want to look like you just crawled out of bed?  And…it’s not just about self-respect; it’s about respecting those around you.  I can only assume that if you did not have time to get dressed, then chances are you probably didn’t brush your teeth either!

So, why don’t you sleep on it and let me know; do you think wearing pajamas in public, is a fashion trend or travesty?

Friendship, it is the Key to Happiness…

10 Sep

It has been proven that having a strong support group of friends makes women happier, healthier, and less stressed. I have never been one those girls who has to have a large network of friends, but the small circle that I do have has become an integral part of my life. I have always believed that the quality and not the quantity matters most. I count myself very fortunate to have a tight-knit group, that loves me unconditionally, respects my opinions (even if they disagree) and endures the bad times as well as the good.  As we get older, it is harder to develop new friendships or maintain existing ones, so I try to seize every opportunity to expose myself to new people and experiences. Some of my good friends have started out merely as acquaintances but have grown over a common interest. 


 Not all friendships will stand the test of time; many end because of circumstances, a change in priorities, lifestyle or interests. Usually, one friend in the relationship makes more of an effort to keep the friendship going but eventually gives up because the other appears uninterested or distant. You slowly lose contact until you never hear from that person again.  There was no fight, no reason or wrongdoing; it just stops.  You then start referring to them in the past tense rather than the present, i.e. my former friend so-and-so. To keep a good friendship intact, it takes time and effort by both parties.


Although, it is sad that friendships do not last forever, remember that with every ending, there is a new beginning and you can build entirely new friendships.


“Good FRIENDS are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Author: Unknown

Nostalgia and the Rain

7 Sep

It’s raining again today, in southeastern Massachusetts and for me, rainy days evoke all types of emotions, but the strongest is nostalgia for England, my birthplace.  I was born on the southeast coast, in Hastings, an old-fashioned seaside resort on the English channel.  Our family immigrated to the USA right before I was to start elementary school, so I basically grew up here, but we used to return to visit my grandparents during the summer breaks.  As you know, the weather in England is can be very unpredictable, going from dry to dreary in a moment’s notice.  When it was less than ideal for outdoor activities, curling up next to a fireplace with a cup of tea and a scone slathered with jam, chatting with my Nan and Granddad was heaven.  It has been over 20 years since my grandparents have passed away, but when I hear the rain tapping at the windows, it is like returning “home”.

That said, I can’t imagine that I am alone in enjoying this weather. It’s like nature’s way of granting us permission to stay inside all day baking cookies, reading or watching chick-flicks … guilt free.

So, enjoy and I will leave you with this quote…

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” –anonymous

Labor Day

5 Sep

Can you believe Labor Day is here! I hope you are all doing something fun with friends and family. Well summer is almost over and I have been unemployed for almost a year.  After a difficult job, at a financial services firm (more on that in another post), I decided to leave to relieve a mountain load of stress and pursue other interests.  First order of business was to kick start my weight loss regime. Check…dropped 30 pounds!  Thank you YMCA.  Now, I can fit into my clothes again and I feel fantastic.  Now, I just need to find a fabulous new job so I can afford to supplement what I do have left.

It was also a great  time to pare down my wardrobe and give to those in need.  I donated all the clothing that no longer fit to a local charity.  No need to have them at the ready.  I suppose that elimates the weekly visits to  Cupcake Charlies.

 Next, I joined the local library and had planned to read a book a week; well that didn’t quite work out as planned but I did take out a couple of cookbooks.  Imagine the surprise on my husband’s face when he came home to a nice home cooked dinner!  Now, that doesn’t sound too impressive to those of you who are just getting to know me,  but you have to realize, I barely knew how to turn on the oven!   At this point, though, Paul Deen has nothing to worry about.
As blogging is a great form of communication, today being Labor Day, was the perfect day to kick  it off.

I  hope that you will find something that might be of interest and will visit frequently.


Lady Di