Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday Musings...

Love This...

And This...

Absolutely Stunning...

These Too...

Yes Please!!!

And These...

So it's been awhile since we've were your Holidays? Did you go anywhere over Christmas break, or just stay close to home? We spent a White Christmas morning at home, and then went to our friends' house in the afternoon for a 'rustic' Christmas dinner in their barn (animals not included). Dinner was delicious...potluck style, and since there were about 30 of us who attended, there were many different dishes to try, not to mention an entire table full of desserts to sample. I took green beans with bacon, and the sweet potato casserole that I've shared the recipe for here numerous times on the blog.

We've gotten quite a bit of snow over the past several weeks, so we've been taking snowy walks, sledding in our backyard, and have also have enjoyed being tucked up in the house watching movie marathons of Star Wars and Harry Potter.
This past Tuesday we took our two youngest boys to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and being fans of all things Star Wars, they of course thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here are my 3 youngest back in's hard to believe they were that small, especially as much as they've grown lately.

I thought the new movie was quite good myself, and enjoyed seeing the familiar characters from my childhood days. You see...I was quite the fan myself, back in the day, and several years ago came across this tidbit of memorabilia that my mother had saved for me.

It's a Star Wars folder with Princess Leia on the front and Luke Skywalker on the back, made in 1977.
Anyone else remember when the movie first came out that year?
Did you get to see it on the 'big screen'?

Speaking of Princess Leia...

I love this quote from Carrie Fisher that came across my Facebook feed this past weekend. I once saw an interview where she was asked about her 'bikini' scene in Return of the Jedi, and she said she remembers feeling fat that day. If you've seen the movie, you know she was anything BUT fat...incredibly skinny, actually. From what she said, it seems that her self esteem was low during all the years of filming the Star Wars movies. I love that she is embracing the act of aging with a positive attitude, and accepting herself just as she is now. I personally think she looks beautiful.

Learning to love and accept myself no matter the number of 'laugh lines' and wrinkles on my face, or the size of my waist, hips, arms, or thighs is one of the areas I am continuing to work on as we begin a New Year. As I've mentioned here on the blog before, it's something I've struggled with for most of my life, and I really want to become a woman who ages gracefully, one that does not care if the numbers on the scale move up a bit, who does not care if her body's natural set weight is not the same as her 'happy weight', who does not care about the crow's feet, laugh lines, and other numerous facial lines that have appeared. I feel that over the past year or so, that I have gotten better about this, and have become a bit more forgiving towards myself. In fact, there are numerous items in my wardrobe that fit more snugly now than they did just 2 years ago, but I refuse to let that get me down. Do I wish that they fit me comfortably? Of course I do! But I also realize there is more to life than worrying about those pieces of clothing. Not to mention, that I quite enjoy eating a muffin, cookie, or enjoying a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows, so if it means that I will carry an extra couple of pounds, then so be it. Life is too short to constantly worry about the numbers on a scale, or your dress size. This doesn't mean I advocate no holds barred when it comes to eating, or giving up on exercise altogether, but after almost 46 years of life, I am finally learning that moderation in both of these areas is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and positive outlook on life in general. Yes, I'm a slow learner when it comes to this, but at least I'm learning. :)

Speaking of eating & is a recipe for another family favorite that you simply must try. Trust me, you're going to love it!

Gooey Chocolate Butter Cake


1 Egg
1 Stick of Butter, Melted

Combine above ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan.

Prepare the Filling:

1 8oz. Package Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Stick Butter, Melted

Beat Cream Cheese until smooth, add Eggs, and Vanilla. Add Butter and mix well. Add Confectioners Sugar. Pour over cake mixture.

Top It Off:

1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I prefer to use Milk Chocolate Chips myself)

Sprinkle chips evenly on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. DO NOT overbake. The cake should be gooey somewhat in the center. As it cools, it will set up.

(Prepare to have your teeth hurt!)

In shopping related news...
here are a few sales & deals taking place that are really worth checking out:

*Anthropologie: Extra 40% off sale items with code XTRA40 at checkout.

*J.Crew: Extra 40% off winter sale styles with code SHOPNOW at checkout.

*Madewell: Extra 40% off sale styles with code YOUWIN at checkout.
Check out the list of promo-priced items & recent markdowns here.

*Sundance: Extra 40% off sale styles during the Year-End Sale Event.
No code necessary, discount automatically applied at checkout.

*Tory Burch: Extra 30% off sale styles with code MERRY at checkout.

That's it for now...I've got plenty more to chat about and share with you, but seeing how I have already pretty much talked your ear off today, I'll save the rest for another day, or two, or three. Take care, and have a lovely, blessed, and beautiful day! :)



  1. Hi Melissa, sounds like you and your family had a great, white Xmas. I headed to upstate NY to visit family and we had 70 degree weather on Xmas Eve and only a little colder the rest of the trip. Almost bought a pair of boots similar to the UGGs you show. They were EMU and at my local Sierra Trading Post for $52 but I reminded myself that they are useless in snow/ice. I have UGGs reserved for non snowy/icy conditions and don't need another pair :) Love your comments about accepting yourself!! I am 60 and decided that I will never have a rocking body. But as long as I can do all the outdoor stuff I love to do, can sweat along side the youngsters in the hot yoga class, maintain my same size and pretty close to my 'happy' weight, it is all good. Plus my sister and I always say, if we were miserable people we would not have 'laugh lines'. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. Hi JRS! I'm so glad you were able to travel to visit family for the holidays. I miss being near my family, but it was nice to have the time with friends on Christmas afternoon. Do you know I wear my UGGs in snow and ice, and have not had a problem so far. I am just completely in awe of how incredibly comfy they are! I also own a pair of EMUs (which I purchased last year), but just don't think they compare to my UGGs in terms of comfort level. As far as a rocking body goes, those days have long passed for me. Like you said, as long as I can continue to do all the things I love, and be somewhere near my happy weight, then all will be good. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I always appreciate your comments! Have a lovely day!

  2. Love the Carrie Fisher quote. All those comments about Harrison Ford still being so hot but Carrie Fisher not aging well were disappointing but not surprising. People do change as they age but women are held to a different standard. I appreciate your thoughts on the topic and agree that we must seek balance by accepting the laugh lines and a few pounds while still taking good care of ourselves. You have a great attitude, Melissa!

    1. Thank you Jean! I am trying...still a work in progress, but much more accepting of myself than I was two years ago. I completely agree that it is a double standard when it comes to women and aging. Wrinkles on men give them 'character', but on women it means they just look not fair! I, for one, am going to try to not let it bother me so much. I've earned every grey hair and line on my face honestly!

      I hope you have a lovely day, and thank you so much for taking the time to comment! :)

  3. I struggle with those things too. Inside, I feel like I'm 20, so it's always (still!) surprising when I see an image of myself and I don't look the age I feel ;) I will always struggle with the weight, though. I don't carry an extra few pounds when I don't watch it, it's more like an extra 20-25 lbs, and that causes me health issues so I have to keep fighting it. I thought Harrison Ford looked his age just as much as Carrie Fisher (I loved the movie!). Mostly I wanted to cut his hair, it was kind of a mess wasn't it?

    1. Hi cate! I completely understand what you mean about feeling young on the inside, and my outer appearance definitely doesn't match up with my 'inner' age. Harrison Ford does look his age just as much as Carrie Fisher does. I actually thought she looked better than he did, so I really don't understand the comments towards her. It's really just that double standard that I mentioned before. So not fair, but I love the way she is handling it...go Princess Leia! I did really like the movie. Looking forward to more of them to come, too! :)

      Have a great day!