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It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, for me, and I'm feeling good....

It's monday...a new week, a new beginning, a new perspective on things we have no control over, things we do have control over, and all things in between. Nina says it best....

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.”

Every morning during the week I have a routine. I know we all have routines but mine is a little different, sort of special (to me anyway). Mine is centered around coffee, music, and the pursuit of a calmness to prepare for the day. After all the craziness of my home (I'm not a baby I'm a child...yeah going on 17), the dog and cat playing under foot, the knowledge that we have to get out of bed (no matter how tired), and the reminder that no matter how much you would like to, you just can't open peoples eyes...I need a calming routine. Mine starts as soon as I climb into my subi and select the music for the mood. Nine times out of 10 its WRFG 89.3 for the morning blues but it can vary. I open the sunroof, crank the music and slip into another world. My initial trip is only about 3 minutes depending on traffic. Destination? Cool Beans Coffee Roasters for a beautiful latte creation by *E or *J. The aroma of all the beans Big Red has roasted through the years fills the air. The music selection whether it be something new, or some random opera reverbs off the hardwood floors. After *E prepares her masterpiece in milk I make my way outside to chat with the regulars about everything from fashion to child rearing to the latest news of the square. Again, my mind is calm. When I look at my watch and realize that I actually do have a job to get to, I stress out a tiny bit, but take another sip of the warm, sweet goodness, and go back to my happy place. The drive in continues the varying music selection, a pass by the fountain of Glover Park, and the bright lights of the Strand. All reminders of why I love it here and how you can start your day in the comforting arms of a latte in any small town :) What is your routine and how do you find your happy place?

Reminiscing of a Winter Pesto Dream

This morning I took myself back to a time when there was snow and a maple latte' in my presence.  There was a breakfast sandwich, not just any breakfast sandwich, but a local piece of heaven. It was located in a coffee shop, in an Inn in Woodstock, Vermont.  The name escapes me but the sandwich....never
(oh that and the parisian top I purchased in the gift shop). Here is my version:

Start with toasted pine nuts, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh sliced tomatoes, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, an egg and a toasted english muffin.
Whip up a quick pesto (basil, toasted pine nuts, EVOO, balsamic vinegar then add salt, pepper and garlic powder - I forgot them in the photo)

Toast your english muffin, slice your tomato, and throw on some pesto and extra sharp cheddar while you wait for your egg to cook just until slightly runny (todays...overcooked but I didn't mind)

Enjoy...I did...in about 5 minutes HA

A Tiny Glimpse of Things to Come...

My friend and I have been coming up with ALLLL kinds of blog ideas. One in particular is a feature on the local breakfast places and in particular, their bacon egg and cheese biscuit. More to come later on that but here is a glimpse of the first visit...it will be hard to beat ;o)

The Fashion Stylings of One Coco de Minifur

Minifur has her own very distinct personality....down to how she dresses. I haven't been able to capture all that she has put together like last week's knit pants pulled up over her knees as shorts, then add my target dollar bin socks that went above her knees, topped with ballet flats (heel of sock on her calf). It doesn't get much better than that. So in the spirit of that visual, lets take a look at some of her creations (now that I have brought them to your attention, I realize that most shots of her outfits are on my phone)

Modifying a Pioneer...

In the past we have prepared a many Pioneer Woman dishes. I mean why wouldn't you? they are AMAZING

But today we were looking for something that would last longer than a day and we could possibly freeze.  We started with the PW Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package see here:

I don't know about you but shrimp just isn't a great freezer option (maybe it is, maybe we will discover ways to make it so).  So we took this gem and modified it. Instead of shrimp we used chicken, and instead of parsley we opted for fresh spinach, basil and why not throw in buffalo mozzarella? I mean..cheese...need we say more?

here are the beginner ingredients (minus the chicken...which was thawing)

I unfortunately took these photos in the raw (greater than 25 mb each) and don't have time to edit...so you will only get a what was used, one prep shot and the final product.  Better planning next time....I mean..cut me some slack. We are very new to this whole blog thing ;O) I see why people make blogging a full time job..soo many ideas...so little time. 

Here is the pre-oven

and the final delicious product :o)

The coziness of a latte

Minifur and I have started a new tradition. It began with a chocolate stick while mommy got her daily latte at the coffee shop and has now transformed into her tiny love of coffee(decaf of course). Every weekend she asks for her coffee time with daddy. Minifur and I have a little girl time before work and school at our favorite local coffee shop. Just us, chatting with the baristas and the locals. Petting the puppy. Looking at the pretty flower in the frothy milk that *E so carefully created and recreated if not photo-worthy. First there were two...
But today we invited minifurs bff and his mommy to partake in our morning happiness. The kids had their coffee, hot cocoa and of course chocolate sticks galore...then they ran around like crazy people. I am pretty sure my friend was covered with a million kisses by the two sugar-junkie kids :) This is what it is about. Friends, fun times, and of course coffee. Our two became four and we couldn't be happier...well until we had to go to work and school LOL

It finally begins...the train to HOCKEY town!

Since before we were even pregnant, I dreamed of being a hockey mom. Boy, Girl, didn't matter. Early morning drives in the snow (I can wish I was up north)to take little bug to the rink for practice. Afternoon practices, weekend games....the SMELL OF THE ICE! For months I counted down the days until she could start ice skating lessons. NOW....after 3 years of fun with little bug, we get to take her to her first skating lesson. We took her a few months back just to see if she was interested. I had the fear that she would hate it and want to play something aweful like basketball (my home state is hooked). But, in her normal fashion she nailed it. First five minutes she could barely stand in those tiny skates, end of the hour we were getting "no mommy, I can do by myself" and then she took off running (in her skates of course)around the rink. Oh little bug..how fearless you are. So today she begins what I hope is the train to Hockey town! The rink told me that if she is good and shows desire she can start playing at 4. 4! can you see that little mini frenchie on the ice, red pigtails, checking her friends into the boards! HA I can..I have seen it a million times in my dreams :)

And we are live...

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity...." john muir