Netflix Suggestions Part II

We are fortunate to spend under $50 a month on television entertainment. Years ago we were fortunate enough to have our employer pay for our satellite tv. Back then cable wasn’t available in our neck of the woods and that was the best you had. Now many tv watchers are rethinking the high cost of cable and satellite services and are resorting to downstreaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to name a few. We have those three services as well as YouTube available on our PlayStation console. I’m happy to report my avid tv watching husband is completely satisfied with all the shows, something that worried me in the beginning.

Here are a few Netflix suggestions that are downstreaming currently.

Wonder ( this is on the dvd plan but also available on Amazon’s Prime)

A sentimental family film featuring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. It’s about fifth grade Auggie who has facial deformities and his loving family who supports him throughout. It’s based on the book and years ago I read it in school with fourth graders.

The Holiday Calendar

This movie is about a motivated photographer who is gifted a magical advent calendar. The calendar could lead her right to love. It’s a sweet holiday story with that Hallmark feel.

El Camino Christmas

This movie drew me in and I don’t usually like robberies or violent movies. I’m not sure if it was the acting and their interesting characters or bonds that are formed…all I know is that it was a good movie and very entertaining!

Julie & Julia

An oldie from 2009 but a great movie. It is about a woman who cooks up all of Julia Child’s recipes. Meryl Streep is fabulous in this! I would recommend this to you if you love to cook!

Big Miracle 

This flick is also an oldie from 2010 starring Drew Barrymore. She is a reporter who writes about stranded whales in the Article Circle. Based on true events, the US and USSR work on rescuing the whales. A good family movie!

This time of year I get my Christmas movies out to compliment Netflix. Every weekend and some week nights I choose one to watch in front of our Christmas tree. Yesterday I chose A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. I remember long ago as a teenager watching it and loving his acting. It’s a calming way to indulge in a hot cup of coffee in my comfy armchair. Within the next few weeks I’ll view It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone and I’ll Be Home for Christmas. 

What movies do you watch this time of year?Are you also bypassing cable tv and opting for downstreaming apps? 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Advertisements

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

On the last snow day from school, I  decided to bake this delicious looking version of pumpkin bars from Together as a family site and will post the link to the recipe. I apologize for not having a picture of these but take my word, THEY ARE DELICIOUS! Check out the original recipe at https://togetherasfamily.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bars/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=433083832_14813236_267507.

Who doesn’t love pumpkin, especially in late fall? Chocolate is a huge favorite of mine too. A short time ago I  discovered both together in a recipe on Pinterest. The pumpkin has a bold taste and sweet and creamy chocolate compliments it, much like with peanut butter.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

adapted from Together as Family Blog, Jessica is the author.

My version is going to host semi- sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips. I used One- Pie pumpkin filling.

The ingredients
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce ( I used a packaged applesauce cup which was just under a half cup)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree ( I used One- Pie)
2 cups milk chocolate chips ( I used semi- sweet chips and it was delicious)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
In a mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients, flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter, applesauce, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth. I used my Kitchen- aid mixer on low. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
Gradually add dry mixture to wet ingredients until combined. Add chocolate chips.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The edges will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and will be golden brown and the center will look “puffy” and done. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with moist/dry crumbs.
Cool bars before cutting out of pan. Store in closed container. These are simply delicious and so moist! I made them last week for Tom and the girls at school and I think everyone enjoyed them!
Check out Togetherasfamily.com to see the original recipe!

T is for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving thoughts and plans

are underway!

I’m thinking of roasted succulent

turkey and pumpkin pie

which I’ll indulge in on Thursday.

The cherry and pumpkin pies

will be  made in my kitchen.

One of the boys’ favorites,

apple crisp and my daughter in

law’s vegan cheesecake

is also on the dessert menu.

My heart is thankful                                             

while I’m praising God

for all my blessings.

Thank goodness

for my two sons

whom mean so very much to me,

my loving husband Tom 

and his thoughtful act of brewing my coffee every morn!

Thank the good Lord for bringing us

our new daughter in law Alexis

to share her life with Dylan!

As I pen these words,

thoughtless wild turkeys

traipse in mounds of snow

across the way…

little do they know Thanksgiving

is almost here!

This day will be extraordinary

in every way.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. Wherever you may be or whatever you celebrate I wish you peace and love this day and every day! 

Love,

Mary 🦃❤️

Being Grateful Every day

This month of November it’s common to hear in podcasts and other media the theme of gratefulness. Thanksgiving reminds us all of what we have that we cherish…our family and friends, our health, a roof over our heads and food for meals. Although being thankful is truly what this holiday is about, I’d like to think that being grateful is my mantra every day of the year and not just the third Thursday in November! 

 

 

 

 

I used to have a practice of listing five things I was grateful for. Sometimes I listed Tom and the boys. Others my job and friends were included. I listed my health more than once, for despite a few health scares I’ve always managed to stay strong and healthy. Most times I thanked God for having Tom and the boys healthy too. 

 

 

 

 

I learned this habit from Oprah and did it religiously for a few years in my journals. Slowly it faded away yet I mentally go over my grateful list most days and continue to thank God for all the good in my life as well as the difficult challenges. It’s plowing steadily through those barriers that has built my character and fortitude. It comes full circle and after experiencing the rough bumps on this road of life, I am aware that the hurdles have strengthened me. I am extremely thankful for the gifts hidden along the way, for they have made me the person I am today! 

 

 

 

Now that I’m approaching 50 this coming year and my family is raised, I have ample time to reflect. Being grateful every day doesn’t mean a joy ride or perfect circumstances  but to me, it is finding special and maybe little things that can brighten my day. A kind smile or phone call from a friend or family member, feeling the rich soil of the garden and planting seeds for future days, being able to walk on both legs and cherishing serenity in nature are all things I’m thankful for. 

 

 

 

 

 

The more I think about this the more I realize that being grateful in some way every day is the key to happiness. If you notice what you have( such as being healthy or having a beautiful family) and not dwell on what you don’t have, you’ll truly appreciate what God has gifted you. I believe everyone has something to be grateful for and if you ponder over this you can generate quite a list.

 

What are you grateful for? Do you reflect on this just in November or everyday of the year? The more we notice all the good things in our lives, the richer your experience will become. 

 

 

I’m busy getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Today I’m vacuuming and shampooing my rugs, generating a last minute grocery list and planning my table setting. I’m grateful that I’m able to do this at home and Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris are coming, as well as my youngest son Branden. Dylan and his wife Lexy will come later for dessert , so both my sons will be here together. Excitement  is in the air as the big day approaches! 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🦃

 

 

Netflix Suggestions Part I

4BA9000A-9691-4656-97D9-9C440D82F763.jpeg

 

 

I don’t know about you, but this time of year I love watching Netflix at night and on weekends! There’s less to do outside with chilly temperatures and the gardens at rest, blessing me with ample reading and viewing time. My blogging friend Rhonda inspired this post recently with her question what’s good to watch on Netflix? Here’s my list…I hope you can find what you would like and enjoy!

 

Christmas in the Smokies

A young ambitious woman tries to save her family’s farm and wrestles with thoughts of her ex boyfriend as he arrives back in town. A heart- warming story set in the Smokey Mountains.

 

Dear Santa

Crystal finds a lost letter written to Santa by a young girl hoping for a new wife for her daddy. Another heart- warming story to enjoy.

 

A Holiday Engagement

Can you tell that I love Hallmark type of movies? My husband is a good sport and watches some with me. This movie is about a woman who fakes having a fiancé to bring home for Christmas. It’s a funny film and enjoyable to watch the story unfold.

 

Coffee Shop

A small town coffee shop owner and an ambitious writer from New York meet and you have to watch to see what happens.

 

Sixteen Candles

Young Samantha is feeling unimportant as her sister’s wedding overshadows her sixteenth birthday. I watched this flick in the 80’s growing up and still enjoy it with many laughs! It’s a funny and cute movie of her trials over her birthday and crush on a high school hunk.

 

National Treasure

A 2004 movie starring Nicholas Cage, Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger and Jon Voight. It’s about a historian who discovers clues to hidden treasure and the Declaration of Independence is involved. How hard can it be stealing the historic document to continue his quest? This is a fast paced adventure with a bit of history involved. It was my oldest son’s favorite movie from school and we have the dvd. Currently it is trending on Netflix.

Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End

Another movie installment of Johnny Depp’s interesting character Jack Sparrow. It’s fun and filled with adventure and Orlando Bloom appears once again!

An Unfinished Life

A beautiful film starring Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez and Morgan Freeman. It’s about a woman confronting her past. Set in the country on a farm with a nice story and scenic views. A must to watch!

 

A Beautiful Mind

I watched this years ago at the movie theater with Mrs. Geneen,  her sister Lois  and niece. It’s based on a true story of a brilliant mathematician  who suffers from schizophrenia. I watched most of the movie not realizing this was so. A great story and Russell Crowe delivers an outstanding performance!

 

God Knows Where I Am

A documentary based on Linda Bishop’s slipping through the cracks of the mental health system. Based in my home state of New Hampshire, Linda was released from a mental health hospital and she found an old abandoned farmhouse to live in. Living in secret and surviving on picked apples and rain water, Linda kept a journal of the solitary days hiding. It’s an eerie insight into mental illness and read with so much expression by actress Lori Singer. At the end of this film it shows from route 93 the farmhouse and barn, taking me aback!💜I know exactly where it is and have passed it hundreds of times back from trips to Concord. It’s about an hour and a half from us. 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

09D59704-D221-4E60-81B4-48F056B22B92.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Serenity in Fallen Snow

 This morning I woke to hungry mewing cats crawling all over my bed , yet even so, there was a serene stillness in the house. Glancing out my living room window I saw a magical snow dusting on the cars and blanketing the ground. Stray dancing snowflakes fell from a murky sky. Suddenly I had an urge to be out in this canvas of beauty. I quickly pulled on my boots and ventured outside in the tranquility. The air was frosty but exhilarating to my lungs. Everything was still and peaceful. 

 

3A80F565-289B-4C27-A9D5-FD68F4728D46

 

 

3F03CF2C-34DE-48F5-A41C-E2E2EF624F6DF1BCE0B8-DF1E-4974-BF64-B7DD68D61BF3BBAD261F-7998-4906-8CBD-FD7542A5DDE2

 

 

Tom’s truck was gone indicating he had to sand roads for the town. I trudged back in the house. First I fed the eager felines and then brewed a pot of coffee. The wood stove crackled in harmony as I peered out into the white world. How grateful I am  for this serene Sunday morning with nowhere to be but here in my cozy little house in the country! 

 

 

It is mornings like this that remind me to breathe and just be. Maybe today I don’t need to rush out into the world to make my mark. It all happens here in my snug home with a wintry white picture show in view.

 

On such a beautiful morning I remember that today is November 11th. Happy Veteran’s day friends! Thank you veterans ( especially my dad David Doyle and Tom’s dad Robert Blowey and my friends Laurie and Russ Burridge) for the sacrifices you’ve made for our country!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️❤️❤️

EB6E99DB-3244-4AA7-845E-62B3DA68D9E9

An Ordinary Day

IMG_0045

Good Monday morning to you all! I love browsing through my old posts for a revisit of what I wrote in past months and years. I found this post from a couple of years ago. Since it’s Monday, a dreaded day for many people who have to go back to work, I thought I would shower you with positive thoughts. The best kind of day is ordinary. Enjoy your ordinary Monday!

 

Blessings to you all ❤️

via An Ordinary Day