Low Fat Snack Ideas

Over the summer I’ve lost weight due to emotional stress. From there I decided to start eating healthy and cut back on snacks. All summer I pretty much just ate three meals a day with a rumbling tummy in between. Each meal had protein of some kind ( chicken, fish, venison to name a few), a generous serving of fresh veggies and sometimes  a very small amount of rice or potatoes. I drank lots of ice water and stayed hydrated and still do at school. IMG_0138 One factor in my weight loss has been staying active. All summer I helped Tom with cleaning the yard, stacking heavy wood, walking and gardening movement. Healthy eating and physical exercise go together in successful weight loss. IMG_0156   Recently I’ve talked to Christine, our school nurse, who’s lost lots of weight and her advice was to eat snacks and small meals every two or three hours. Otherwise you gain more weight when you do eat because of going so long and of the hunger. She gave me a computer generated list of snacks 100 calories or less. I’m grateful for Christine’s mentoring, which has aided me as I continue my journey. I’ll star my favorites that I’ve had the last few weeks.   IMG_0157  

Fresh cucumber sticks and hummus


15 almonds *


two tablespoons sunflower seeds *


One hard boiled egg ( I’ve been having two for lunch with cucumber and hummus)


1 Tablespoon peanut butter


one banana ( I use 1/2 a banana with 1/2 cup Grapenuts cereal for breakfast)


one apple *


one pear


1 1/2 cup fresh berries *


1 1\2 cup cut up watermelon *

        My advice with snacking is NOT to buy tempting sweets, chips or candy that you can’t say no to. I made chocolate chip cookies for a care package for my son and his girlfriend in Cambridge. I had one cookie and it simply was delicious and it tasted like another. But I asked Tom to hide the rest and he was satisfied with that, as the rest of the batch was his.       Happy snacking! Plan healthy and pack small amounts for work and trips. I believe the trick is planning from the grocery list to anticipating unusual circumstances where binge or fast food would be a temptation. If you are always prepared with bottles of water, it will make your snacking healthy easier!     All My Best, Heart and Soul 💕
This is my favorite family photo from my son’s wedding. I lost just under twenty pounds for the occasion.

Welcoming Autumn Days

As  September days commence, I am reminded everyday of why I truly relish the autumn season. The country air cools down, bringing relief from such hot and steamy weather this summer. Nearby maples sport orange tipped leaves. I’ve spotted a few pinks emerging in the landscape, soon to be immersed with golden yellows. Farm fields host endless rows of perky plump pumpkins, soon to be placed on porches. In Bath a corn maze has opened its business, a winding path of lefts and rights amongst tall green corn stalks.
Here leaves are turning a rich red in Maine.
Hummingbirds are gone on their long journey and will return in May. Robins have left too, for warmer temperatures. Crickets play their musical tune during the day…signs of a season change. As these sorrowful changes emerge, summer days dwindle and fall approaches. There’s a time and season for everything and even though summer was joyful and magical, it must end. Thankfully autumn replaces it and that’s fine with me as it’s my favorite time of year! IMG_0133 Last weekend I decorated my house with fall colors, artificial autumn leaves and scarecrows to welcome fall. Soon I’ll visit the pumpkin farm and buy a few plump pumpkins for our front step. We have one lone pumpkin on a vine out back in our compost pile. Last year we dumped our rotted pumpkins, little did we anticipate their seeds replanting. The round beauty still sports a green hue and hopefully with the sun and a weeks time it’s color will turn orange.       Are you decorating for fall? What is your favorite activity or aspect of the season? I’ll post my fall favorites soon! All My Best, Heart and Soul 💜

Goodbye Garden Days

IMG_0130.JPG Here we are immersed in September and as most New Hampshire gardeners know, that means gardening days are numbered. There’s a chill in the air and a pungent odor of dying plants. This smell emerges every late August, my warning sign of my gardens last days. It’s a stark opposite of the fresh spring garden scent in early June and quite sad too.   IMG_0135 Tomato plants topple from their weight, resembling small trees. Red plum tomatoes as well as Big Boy fruits ripen, almost ready to pick. Everyday I venture out to my plot to pick a few more gems. My deepest regret is not finding time to pick tomato leaves, especially the dead ones. Carrot tops are brittle as their orange color peeks out from the top of the dirt. Purple beets are globe shaped and neighbors to the carrots, awaiting to be pickled.         Broccoli has gone by and what’s left is greenish brown plants. Corn stalks wave in the breeze, swaying to and fro parallel to my sunflower patch. Scampering gray squirrels climb the towering plants to hoard the sunflower seeds. What a mess they leave, bending the stalks and scattering flower bits all over!       For a few weeks now I’ve made homemade spaghetti sauce from the plum and heirloom tomatoes. We are fortunate to enjoy our grown tomatoes well into winter. I’ve been cutting fresh sweet corn off the cob to freeze as well as freezing a few cobs for mid- winter meals.     Another garden season has come and gone, all fleeting days with racing time. Every year it seems to go by faster and faster! My true hope is that I continue to maintain a vegetable garden each summer until my final days. It’s not only a hobby but something vital to my existence. Are you putting your garden to bed? What did you put up from your growing season? All My Best, Heart and Soul💜

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

As I’m working on a few new autumn posts, I want to repost this from last August. It’s the best chocolate cake recipe I have. It can be made into bundt form, with a rectangular pan or mini loaf pans. Enjoy!


I’ve made this dessert recipe for years and it never disappoints.

During zucchini harvest there’s a bountiful never-ending process of picking and using it before the next few are ready. It’s common knowledge that the zucchini plant grows steady and hearty, unfaltering and even without constant care it continues to flourish. I happen to know that the devout gardener faces a challenge when the zucchini is ready. The first one or two is a blessing and exciting to use, but after that a surplus rages and time is ticking…when gardeners ask the question, what will I make with zucchini again? Stir fry? Stuffed? Lasagna? Bread? Chocolate Cake? Yes!

For many years I baked mini zucchini breads and froze them, mostly for Tom. They were the perfect size for a snack and easy to defrost. I’ve slowed down doing this, mostly because he couldn’t seem to eat all of them. Now…

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Why I love the Number 13 & 13 Things to do in New Hampshire

The lore of number 13 is that it’s unlucky. Superstitious people tread lightly on Friday the 13th and believe that terrible occurrences will happen on that day. It’s said that it’s bad luck to seat 13 at a dinner table and some restaurants go to the trouble of setting 14 instead.



Despite this superstition, my favorite and lucky number is 13! Even though people  talk  of it’s negativity, I associate it differently. You see, I was born on Friday the 13th and think it’s special that it was that day. My home address is 13 and it happened randomly. My little niece’s birthday is on October 13th, a day of fun and celebration.


A few great things that are 13, a baker’s dozen ( for who doesn’t want an extra yummy muffin or cookie), there were 13  original American colonies and in math 13 is a prime number and can be divided by any other number.


Have I convinced you that 13 just has a bad rap? I am not superstitious and so 13 will continue to be a special number to me.


Here are 13 ways to enjoy New Hampshire if you visit our beautiful region. 


1. Visit historic covered bridges in small towns of New Hampshire. The Windsor- Cornish Covered Bridge was built in 1866 and crosses from Windsor Vermont into Cornish, New Hampshire. Stop by and see the Bath Covered Bridge in Bath, New Hampshire. It was built in 1832 and has been renovated a few times. Nearby the Brick Store hosts a country atmosphere with homemade fudge, smoked meats and unique gifts.


2. Hike trails in Franconia Notch such as Lonesome Lake Trail and the Basin.


3. Go swimming at Echo Lake in quaint Franconia Notch. Rent a paddle boat or canoe or just lounge in the sand and enjoy the lake and mountain views.


4. Eat a yummy breakfast or brunch at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in beautiful Sugar Hill. They have a variety of tasty homemade pancakes and waffles in the renovated dining room.


5. Do the Zip-line at Loon Mountain in Lincoln. If you visit in the winter you can ski or snowboard.


6. Go fishing at peaceful Pearl Lake in Lisbon. This used to be the town reservoir.


7. Shop downtown Littleton to see thrift stores, clothes boutiques and Chutter’s Candy store. It sports the world’s longest candy counter!


8. Eat delicious pizza and drink an ale down by the river at Shillings in Littleton.



9. Shop the outlet malls in Tilton.


10. Attend the Keene Pumpkin Festival on October 28th.


11. Gaze at colorful foliage in late September into early October. Go on a road trip through the Kangamangus Highway. Stop by one of the many rest areas for a picnic lunch and panoramic scenic view.


12. Go bike riding on country roads.


13. Take in a movie at the Jax Jr Theater in Littleton. In 1941 the theater premiered The Great Lie starring Bette Davis. About ten thousand spectators attended the show.


If you ever travel to New Hampshire try some of these activities. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in all the beauty of its lakes and majestic mountains.


All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️


Wedding Blessings

It was a magical wedding on August 18th in a bucolic New Hampshire countryside. Although the weather was drizzly and cloudy in the morning, at the wedding time it cleared up enough for all to enjoy the event.

My first son Dylan James took his longtime girlfriend Alexis  Hite in marriage. Here he is proudly watching his bride approach him, with love and awe. She walked down a trail in the field holding on to her dad Jerry. Her look of extreme love and deep emotion shows on her face and is endearing. My dad and stepmom Corinne are in the background watching proudly. ( my dad is on the far right and Corinne beside him snapping a video.)

Wedding guests stood, sat in chairs or hay bales as the ceremony started. Their close friend Gary spoke inspirational and loving words. Lexy’s mother Arlene orchestrated the ceremony and married the two, being a Justice of the Peace in New Hampshire. How special that must have been marrying her only daughter!


Dylan and Lexy wrote their own personal vows and as we all listened, I was impressed and proud  with my son’s choice of words. He said that when he was with her he felt like David Ortiz knocking the winning homer in the ALS series, one of the greatest comebacks of all time. This was in line with Dylan’s 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞lifelong interest, baseball.  The crowd chuckled as probably most are Boston Red Sox fans as well. It’s a New England thing!

Dylan vowed to fix things Lexy didn’t mean to break. More laughter ensued. He vowed to protect her and keep her from harm.

Alexis promised to support him even when that meant having a deer hanging in their garage. These are powerful words coming from a vegan! Her vows were poetic as she  promised to love him with every beat of her heart.


The proud newly married couple danced their first dance to ” My Best Friend” from Tim McGraw. What a lovely moment for them.

My mother son dance, a special dance for me



My favorite photo of Tom and I. Proud groom’s parents

Another favorite of us

My niece Michele and I. We had loads of fun dancing at the reception.

Tom, our brother-in-law Chris, Tom’s sister Bev and I

Family photo of us, my husband and I, son’s and new daughter-in-law

Tom and I dancing

Tom’s sister Pam and my son Dylan









What a special day of celebrating love with family and friends together. There was barbecued food and vegan choices, and a lovely birch looking cake with sunflower cupcakes. Wedding guests had a red neck apple pie moonshine toast with wedding party speeches preceding it. Dancing and twinkly lights filled the tent. Towards the end of the evening the bride and groom and their friends danced to their music choice as we started cleaning up.


Tom’s mom Theo and her grandson, the groom



My niece Ella Kate, Emma Jo Anderson, my son’s girlfriend and my son Branden



All in all the wedding was a success with much fun and celebration. It was a day to remember and our photos will be mementos of the happy occasion.

Thanks to all who took pictures that I have shared, Tiana Sparks, Jojo Anderson, Glenn Castro, Wendy Wells, Barbara Payer and anyone else I may have forgotten. 

I hope you all had a magical month of August. Now my husband and I enter fall with an empty house. We brought our son to college in Cambridge yesterday where he is sharing a cute apartment with his girlfriend. We are extremely happy for them and look forward to having time together this fall.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕