Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pesto Sausage Flatbreads

One of the perks of being a stay at home mom is that I get to make myself lunches like this. Warm, melty, delicious sandwiches...(really, the only kind of sandwiches worth eating...!) I started making a version of this a couple years ago, shortly after my life as a stay at home mom began. Lunchtime quickly became my refuge in the midst of crazy, chaotic days...and it felt important to make myself something delicious and satisfying - a reward for making it through another morning!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Striped Wreath

Before we moved into our Lemon Tree Dwelling, I had owned just two wreaths in my lifetime. Both were for Christmas, and both were Target clearance purchases made just after I finished college. For whatever reason, I was just not much of a wreath person. But then we moved....into a house with 2 front doors.....and I couldn't help but become one!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bacon Blue Cheese Gnocchi

As with so many things in life, I blame this one on my sister Carrie. She is just two years older than I am, and, growing up, was always the first to introduce me to the good things in life - things like coffee, candles, New Kids On The Block, fancy note folding, McDonald's french fries, and.......gnocchi. Strange list, I know....but my love of all these things can clearly be traced back to her "big sister" influence on me. (To be clear, her influence on me extends far beyond this short list...also, for the record, I am no longer in love with NKOTB.....or fancy note folding, for that matter.....but I have to admit I am fascinated by the NKOTB reunion tour...!?)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lucky Mugs

One of the things I love about St. Patrick's Day is that it's a holiday free from the expectation of gifts. And yet...since it's a holiday, and we love to give gifts on holidays, we decided to make these for a few "lucky" people in our lives!

Lucky mugs! Actually, I tend to think that all mugs are lucky.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

St. Patty's Vignette

I have never ever decorated for St. Patrick's Day. But as I looked around my house this week, all done up in red and white, I was faced with 2 options: either find where I stored the "everyday" decorations before Thanksgiving (!) or skip the search process and just put up some new ones! So.... I guess I blame laziness for the fact that my house is beginning to look a

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Grandma's Banana Cake

Today is my Grandma's birthday. If she were still alive, she would be turning 89. But my grandma died 14 years ago on Valentine's Day... 3 days before her 75th birthday. When I called my grandpa today, he reminded me of this (he's a numbers guy) and joked that if my grandma hadn't had a birthday, they probably never would have gotten married. So yes, today was an important day, after all. Even at the ripe old age of 94, my grandpa is witty.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lucky is a State of Mind

Have I mentioned my hellish week? Yeah, I thought so. (If you really want, you can read all about it here.) It's been a doozy. But at the end of it, you know how I feel...? Lucky.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Best Gift of All

I had a little bit of a hellish week. Between a sick Nora and a huge argument with Jorden and some hard news from a friend and a bunch of little things that built up into something that felt much bigger, I kind of had a meltdown yesterday. On the phone. With Jorden. While he was driving home from work. I accused him of not being supportive of my blog...and broke down crying....and hung up before things could get worse. And then he came home with this:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

French Onion Risotto


I LOVE risotto. Like love love it. I got hooked on it a few years ago when my friend Lisa sent me a tomato-sausage risotto recipe from Martha Stewart. Since then I've made about 10 different recipes and have yet to meet one I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Mushroom risotto, butternut squash risotto, roasted vegetable risotto with truffle oil, edamame risotto, red wine risotto....need I say more?! Rich, creamy, delicious.....and actually very easy to make!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Message Window


I kind of have a thing for putting unconventional decorations on my walls. Part of the reason is the difficulty I have finding affordable artwork I really like... and part of it is that I love the challenge of repurposing things I find at rummage sales, thrift stores, clearance shelves, or even my own house! I always feel like part of making a house a home is adding your own unique decorating touches... and being true to your own sense of style and innovation!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Breakfast Bundles

Before I was a mom of 3, and before I lived in my Lemon Tree Dwelling, and before I started blogging.... I had a whole other life as a Campus Minister at an all-girls Catholic high school. I led retreats, service projects, prayer services, reflections, social justice awareness activities, and community outreach programs for 600 high school girls....and I loved it! I put my heart and soul into my work and felt such a sense of purpose that, for a long time, it felt totally worth it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Posting Debut

Good morning, everyone! Or should I say lucky morning....!? It IS a lucky morning here....partly because the awful overnight snowstorm that had been predicted hasn't hit us (at least not yet....) and partly because today I am making my guest posting debut over at one of my favorite blogs - Just Us Four! It is both exciting and nerve wracking to post on someone else's blog....but for now I'm going to focus on the exciting part :) So thank you, Shannah, for the wonderful opportunity!! And thank you, lovely readers, for checking out my Lucky Mugs - made with my kids' fingerprints - at Just Us Four! For the full post, click here!

I'll be back later for more - hope to see you back later, too!

Thanks for taking a peek inside my Lemon Tree Dwelling!
I hope you feel right at home :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chicken Bruschetta Ravioli


Have you ever spent all night on a dinner recipe that you were really excited about? One that sounded so delicious you didn't even mind the fact that it had 27 ingredients and 18 steps and would take 5 hours to prepare? Yeah, me too. And more often than not, the end result is less than amazing....and definitely not worth the time and effort I put into making it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cinnamon S'more Blondies


I can't remember the last time we didn't have snow here. And I don't just mean on the ground.....I mean falling from the sky. It has been snowing daily for what feels like weeks much that we can no longer distinguish our driveway from the rest of our yard or remember what the world looks like in color! I know that sounds dramatic, but if you could see out my windows right now you'd understand!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Pizza


One of my favorite childhood memories is making homemade pizza with my dad. Maybe it's because it was the one meal he was always in charge of, or maybe it's because the whole family got involved in making it, or maybe it's because my dad would give us a little piece of dough to play with while he did the hard part..... but whatever the reason, homemade pizza nights were always something to look forward to!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

XOXO Framed Art


Valentine's Day is less than 2 weeks away, and my house has already been decorated in red and white for a month. It's probably time for me to get over it and start thinking about something more important (like what's on the Super Bowl menu...) but my mind is still spinning with Valentine's Day ideas that I wanted to get to, meant to get to, or had no intention of getting to but am now too excited to let go of! So...before I switch gears to what really matters in life (aka Super Bowl menu) I wanted to share one last-minute Valentine's Day idea with you. It's super cute, super easy, and makes a great kids' project, too!
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