Summer is almost over

You can tell summer is almost over in our house, the craziness that we call summer recess… no schedules, no alarms, no meal plans and birthdays are almost over, because we all look exhausted from no routine in our lives… time to get back into the groove of life… so with that said I actually did a meal plan this week, I shopped with a proper list of needed ingredients and apart from swapping Monday and Tuesday’s meals around I’m on track to complete my first whole week of meals planned this Friday for the first time this summer… Yay for me!
This weeks meals

Sausage meatballs with tomato, basil sauce, spaghetti, raw peas

Crispy and sticky chicken with squashed new potatoes and tomatoes


Sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake with polenta

Summer tomato pasta and Italian meats

Chicken Caesar salad, baked potatoes

Potato and chorizo omelette with parsley salad

All recipes are from Jamie Oliver’s ‘At Home’ book, my favorite of all his books!

This weekend saw the beginning of fall soccer for us, it wasn’t part of the season but it signaled the start of soccer again for me. Mabel had a tournament about twenty minutes away, 2 games on each day, with this in mind I decided to adapt Jamie’s crispy and sticky chicken recipe for the slow cooker, it worked well and was delicious… I put the veggies and seasoning into the bottom of the pot then covered the veggies with the chicken allowing all the yummy chicken juices to cook into the veggies, served it with a Trader Joe’s cranberry, pecan salad and a glass of chilled red wine… Soooo good after a full weekend of exciting soccer… Well done Madison Marvels, Mabel’s new team, the A team, which she is very happy to be on, they lost one, tied one and won two games, Mabel scored the third goal in the last game… Way to go Mabes!


Life on the Jersey Shore

3 days, 2 nights away is just not enough time away in my opinion, it’s a wonderful break away from home but I need more time away to rest, relax and rejuvenate! We are here on the Jersey Shore near Long Branch, a place I have been to only once before with my children and my parents… I hated it last time, but I think I must have gone to the wrong place because this time I love it, the beach is so clean and vibrant, Pier Village is a wonderful seaside shopping, eating experience and the boardwalk is so nice, not tacky, just very pleasant lined with palm trees!

Now I have been to Florida and California, believe me I know these places have fantastic beaches but for New Jersey, Long Branch has it all for me, that’s why next year we are thinking of booking a room at the Ocean Place hotel for a week… No long drives for hours and hours, it’s 1 hour 30 minutes away from us, no flights to book and pay for, the hotel is right on the beach, there is a swimming pool for the children, and we are loving the outdoor pools right now, and most importantly the hotel has its own Tiki Bar… What more could you ask for, cocktails overlooking the ocean! The best thing about New Jersey too is the summers are usually hot, hot, hot, even if it does rain, the sun arrives soon after! Long Branch, NJ… Summer vacation for us next year!

Right now we are in a hotel about 5 miles away… The children are loving it here, the pool is outside, which is perfect with this beautiful weather we are having, we have a free buffet breakfast and our room overlooks the pool, so Blu and Mabel can play and we can still see them… Perfect!
Yesterday Blu and Mabel were in the water all day, they had a morning swim in the pool, followed by riding the waves at the beach, then after our cocktail at the Tiki Bar, well that was Paul and I, they had soda, then another evening swim back at the hotel… Needless to say they are still asleep this morning as I type this!



It’s been quite a while since I watched the series Friends, on a trip to our l library I picked up a few box sets of friends for Mabel to watch,I told her she would love this show, it was such a big favorite in our house for many years… Of course I was totally right, she loved, loved, loved it, from start to finish she was hooked. Of course this in turn made me want to dive back into this beloved tv show and yes, I was totally hooked too all over again… This time I saw the whole thing with new eyes, older, wiser eyes, one of the things that totally struck me was the girls clothes, totally and completely addicted to what they were wearing, and now 10, 12, 13 years later the fashions are coming right back… It has inspired me to dig deep into my closet and drawers and pull out my beloved clothes and jewelry hidden away (now this I why I stash away my things and do not recycle them, one day they will be right back in fashion again).