Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Move over PSL...there's a new pumpkin in town

I would not describe myself as being on the cutting edge of anything. So, if you have already had this, I apologize. 

Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything. 

But pumpkin spiced coffee? I just can't. 

Until now. 

Sunday was my mother-in-law's 83rd birthday. We gathered at my brother-in-law's for an impromptu get together and she partied like a teenager. 

Just kidding...she drank some tea. 

It's always fun to see and chat with my nieces and nephews. And as teenagers, they are on the cutting edge of everything. 

So, thanks to my niece, Vivian, I have found a new fall favorite. 

Behold the Iced Pumpkin Mocha.  

Per Vivian, for a medium, you should order it iced, with cream and one melted sugar. I think this may mean liquid sugar, but I'm assuming those in the know will know what that means. 

The iced pumpkin mocha is a game changer. 

While other coffee shops may offer the same, I can only vouch for Dunkin' Donuts. And thanks, by the way, to Dunks, for the free coffee after a Patriots win. Maybe your local Dunks has a similar promotion for your home team. 

It makes for a very happy Monday morning. 

This fall, I will be running on Dunkin's iced pumpkin mocha; no pumpkin spice latte for me. 

Thanks anyway, Starbucks. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mussels Mania...Mexillonada in a Tiny Galician Village

Start with a tiny seaside village in the northwest coast of Spain. 

Put up a tent...

With a bar...
Bring in a truck that turns into a stage.  
And some musicians for dancing into the wee hours of the morning...
Add a fire. 
And some mussels. 

Serve up some Galician style empanadas...
Filled with mussels...
Open up some wine...
Chat with the locals...
My husband and his tios. 

And let the good times roll. 

Even this guy's smiling...

And before the night's end, light the queimada for anyone who wants it. 

The Mexillonada is a highlight of our summer in Galicia. It's a time to celebrate with family and friends, eat great food, and join in with the community that will soon become our home. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Four: A Survey about Me

Since school's start, I have had a hard time getting back into a regular writing routine. This is especially troubling because I am teaching a blogging class next month and I haven't set the best example of late. 

Back in the AOL days, I remember seeing this 4 Things survey circulate among friends and family. It may have passed through the early days of Facebook as well. 

I forgot about it until it popped up again in my blog feed. 

So, thanks to Heather at My Little HEA and Kerry at Till Then Smile Often for the fun post idea. 

I mixed up a few of the categories to make it more of my own. 

Four Nicknames
1. Kells

2. Kelly Ann, but only when I was in trouble as a kid. 
3. KRod
4. Cariño, from the Señor

Four Careers I Would Love to Have
1. Life coach

2. Writer
3. Professor of Education
4. Voice over artist

Four Things in My Purse
1. My wallet

2. A date book...I once lost all of the appointments I had in my phone after an upgrade
3. Coupons for various sales 
4. A chestnut. My husband says it protects against envy. 

Four Places I Have Lived
1. Massachusetts
2. New Hampshire
3. Florida
4. Galicia, Spain...temporarily, for now. 

This view never gets old. 

Four Places I Would Like to Live
1. Temporarily in our car as we do a cross country road trip
2. In a beach town
3. In Paris
4. In a big capital city 

Four Foods I Love(d) Growing Up

1. My mom's baked beans, with steamed hot dogs, and New England brown bread
2. My mom's macaroni and hamburg, with a sauce made from Campbell's tomato soup. 
3. Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme two-layer cake with vanilla frosting...my Mom makes my birthday cake every year. 
4. My Mom's roast (pork or pot roast) with mashed potatoes and gravy and mashed carrots and turnip. 
There's no cooking like Mom's cooking. 

Four Places I Love to Shop
1. Target
2. Amazon
3. Whole Foods
4. The Apple Store

Four Books I Would Recommend

1. The Late Bloomer Series, by Betsy Talbot. So far, I have read Wild Rose and English Ivy. It's a fun romance series featuring over 40 leading ladies. Very fun!
2. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Small changes done over time add up.
3. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. You don't have to follow her schedule, but the idea of pursuing what makes you happy makes a lot of sense. 
4. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. We all can use someone like Jen in our corner cheering on our badassery. 

Four TV Shows I'm Currently Watching
1. Narcos...A Netflix drama chronicling the Pablo Escobar years in Columbia.

2. Frankie and Grace...A Netflix comedy with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. This is a gem!

3. Big Bang Theory. Still. 

Enjoy this blooper reel. So funny!

4. Scandal. I'm Team Olitz all the way. 

Four Musical Artists Likely to be in My Pandora Feed
1. Jimmy Buffett

2. Jack Johnson
3. Jason Mraz
4. Dave Matthews

Four Foods I Will Never Give Up

1. Pizza
2. Entree salads
3. Roasted veggies
4. Cadbury Creme Eggs

Not wrong...just more for me. 

I'll pass on the tagging option, but please share your answers to any of these questions, or better, do this on your own blog. Tag me so that I can read your answer and learn about you too. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2015

20 Lovely Things to Try this Fall

These days, it seems like September is the new January. This idea may stem from the fresh start that comes with the new school year. Perhaps it's the cooler temperatures that bring closure to the long, sunny days of summer as people ready themselves for new projects, beloved traditions, and the upcoming holiday season. 

If you like to set seasonal goals or if you are looking to create new traditions, here are a few ideas you can add to your list. 

  1. Make some hot spiced or mulled cider, or try an apple sangria. 
  2. Sign up for a fall road race to run or walk, or organize a team with your friends and do a charity walk.
  3. Dig out your crockpot and experiment with some new recipes. 
  4. Go to an agricultural or fall county fair. You can search for one near you here
  5. Go apple picking and pumpkin picking. Apple crisp and roasted pumpkin seeds for all.
  6. Host a chili cook-off or a pumpkin decorating party capped by a cozy fall fire. 
  7. Organize a fall food drive or a winter coat drive. 
  8. Try a share in a fall or winter CSA
  9. Go on a full moon hike or go for a walk in the woods
  10. Plan for a weekend away in case you hit the winter blues. 
  11. Host a football party or a football widows' party. 
  12. Take a seasonal cooking class
  13. Visit a small town bed and breakfast and wander its town's main streets and back roads.
  14. Read a classic book you never read in high school or college. 
  15. Try a ghost tour or haunted attraction. Check Groupon or Goldstar for deals.
  16. Plant bulbs now for a pretty spring landscape. 
  17. Learn how to roast vegetables
  18. Host a Friendsgiving bash. 
  19. Learn how to knit. 
  20. Start a gratitude practice.
Fall can be as much of a time of renewal as the New Year. How do you mark the transition from summer to fall? Share your favorite fall traditions.