Tuesday, October 8, 2019

the people you know

This morning I am missing some of the people I love back home in Massachusetts. I think of them going about their day, in meetings or picking up a coffee or sitting down to dinner with family or friends and I wonder if the people around them know just how lucky that they that. they get to be with them.

Do you ever feel this way? It makes me happy just to know that other people get to be part of their orbit.

Monday, October 7, 2019

happy food: Trader Joe's frozen croissants review

I love Saturday mornings. They hold so much promise. I usually like to start Saturday morning off baking something cozy and warm. This weekend I tried Trader Joe's frozen mini croissants.

The best thing (other than the way you house will smell while these bake) is that they can go directly from the freezer to your oven. (Typically, you would have to remove frozen croissants like Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants, from the freezer the night before so they can proof overnight.) There is an option to leave them on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking to get flakier layers. I took them out the freezer and left them on the baking sheet on the counter for 15 minutes while the oven heated up.

In just 25 minutes, our home smelled like a French bakery. I plated them with Trappist Preserves seedless raspberry jam. Even just looking at our kitchen table, I felt like I was wrapped in a cozy hotel robe at a lovely, small hotel in Paris, about to enjoy the quintessential room service moment.

The perfect croissant should be warm and crispy on the outside with buttery, light,  fluffy layers that pull apart ever so gently. These were perfect. Absolutely perfect. Wrapped in autumn morning sunlight, L and I savored these little pieces of heaven. (Even Waverly, at two years-old, loved pulling the croissants apart. She devoted hers.)  We enjoyed these with big mugs of hazelnut coffee but I can see also serving these alongside tomato soup for lunch.

I'm looking forward to our next guests staying over. I'll be baking these for breakfast along with fresh-pressed pink grapefruit juice, my favorite eggs (scrambled on low heat with herbed goat cheese) and crispy bacon.

Made in Belgium, each croissant is 140 calories with 2 grams of sugar. At $3.99, this happy breakfast treat is a deal.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Happygirl Guide to September 2019

I love September. The weather is perfect. Seventy degree days, light sweaters, new cozy recipes for dinner and cool nights sleeping with the windows open. L and I got married on the beach in September, Emma joined our family as a puppy in September and we had our first month home as a new family with Waverly in September.

Beaches are perfect this time of year, walks after dinner are cooler and the heavy summer humidity gives away to beautiful days. September also feels full of new beginnings.  I always buy new clothing basics, stationery, socks and delicates in September, my own version of back-to-school shopping. New television series start in September and so do the fall festivals and fairs. And of course, the pumpkin-flavored foods arrive at Trader Joe's. I love it all.

Here's what else there is to love about September:

Galaxy's Edge Opens

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge 

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, an all new land is now open at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Build your own custom lightsaber, design your own droid, sip the blue milk made famous by Luke Skywalker, and of course, the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run attraction is now open! This Know Before You Go FAQ is essential if you're visiting the park. From reservation questions to FastPass+ stations, this post will answer everything you need to know.

Plan Your Fall Foliage Weekend 

When is the perfect weekend to throw on a cable-knit sweater and sip some cider while admiring the peak foliage in your area? Check out this U.S. wide interactive peak foliage guide on SmokyMountains.com

My Favorite New Fall Candle

When I was home in Massachusetts a few weeks ago, I visited Kringle Candle in Bernardston. One sniff of the new Apple Basil candle and that was it. It's my new fall favorite. The scent reminds me of crisp, September days driving top down in New England while sipping cold apple cider. L loves the scent too. (Kringle Candle, 22 ounce candle $27.95)

Best Fall Festivals and Fairs

courtesy of Acadia Nigh Sky Festival (Acadia National Park, Maine)

If crisp air means hayrides, apple everything, livestock and fried foods to you, here are some of the best festivals and fairs happening this fall  in the United States.

The $8 Almanac You Need

Maybe it was growing up in New England but The Old Farmer's Almanac 2020 is something I think every home should have. From weather forecasts to home remedies and stories, this almanac is entertaining and iconic. America's oldest continuously running periodical is available on September 3. ($7.96 on Amazon)

Grandparent's Day is September 8th

September 8th is Grandparent's Day. A throw blanket is always a great present, especially for chilly fall nights. The best present, though, is time with you. Spend a whole weekend day with them and make it all about them.

Malcolm Galdwell's New Book Release

Malcolm Gladwell's newest book "Talking to Strangers: What we Should Know About The People We Don't Know" is a look at the tools and strategies we use to make sense of new people and situations. I'm a huge fan of Gladwell's books ("Outliers," "Blink," "What the Dog Saw") and I'm looking forward to Gladwell's insights on how our brain processes strangers.

The Lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner

Frances Scott Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner" on September 14th, 1814. Did you know that there are three more verses in addition to the one that begins "O say can you see. . ." and ends with " O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave"? Here are the lyrics for this touching piece of music.

The Downton Abbey Film Premieres

"Downton Abbey" is in theatres on September 20th. Find the best place to have afternoon tea before the film and make it a brilliant event

September 21st is the International Day of Peace

September 21st is the International Day of Peace. Sure, you can wish for world peace but on a smaller scale, start by making peace with someone in your life. Extend an olive branch. Today's the perfect day to do this.

The Calendar of Television Series Premieres this Fall

The season premiere of "This is Us" is on September 24th. Here is a list of when all of your favorite (and new!) series premiere this fall.

A Chart for Choosing Apples

I'm planning to make an apple crumble soon and I wasn't sure which apples to get. This chart from delish makes choosing the right apple easy.

Rosh Hashanah Begins September 29th

Rosh Hashanah begins September 29th at sundown. If you celebrate the holiday, may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year. If you'd like to know more about Rosh Hashanah traditions, this is a good place to start.

The Best Five Ingredient Mulled Cider Recipe

September 30th is National Mulled Cider Day. I've made Ina Garten's 5 ingredient Hot Mulled Cider Recipe countless times now and it's the best there is. It's autumn in a mug

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The good that you do

This weekend I was thinking about my group of friends from all of the different phases of my life from elementary school, high school, college, different career paths and I felt this surge of gratitude for every single person. These friends are all so different but when I think about each of them I become overwhelmed with this feeling that I am so lucky to have them in my life.

Each person has a gift that they bring to their circle of friends and family. I have a friend who makes the best salad and pasta I've ever had. She cooked for me when I just couldn't even think about food. I have a friend who always makes me feel happy whenever I am around him. I've never met someone as positive as he is. One friend gave me the best advice about having a baby ("I promise you will never regret having a baby. You'll regret not doing it.") This list is endless.

I believe that you have people come in (and out) of your life at exactly the right time which means that YOU come and go in and out of people's lives at just the right time. Your gift is being you. You are the only person in this world who can give someone a piece of yourself. The next time you wonder if what you are is enough, the next time someone makes you feel less than, I want you to know that the people you touch, whatever that slice of time is, are better just for knowing you.
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