Thursday, June 25, 2015

Perfect Tiny Nursery


Twas the night before 5/16/2015 and all through the house,
everyone waited as quiet as a mouse....or sheep in this case! 
The nursery was finished and cloud mobile hung with care,
in hopes that the Twins soon would be there! 


Lolly painted gold stars on the wall 
while 
Pop worked on bookshelves & a window treatment....
(if you need some work done - just call!) 




A dresser repurposed,
A borrowed rocker recovered,
  




BUT THIS WHERE THE BABIES LIKE TO BE MOTHERED.....



***FYI .... know any new mothers?
These little rockers have been life savers!  







Tuesday, June 16, 2015

choosing a baby name is serious business....

These days baby names can be inspired by anything!
Celebrities are coming up with colorful names like Cooper Blue and Kingsley Rainbow,
Kim and Kanye choose North West .... Why?
The Royals have chosen family names .....  George and Charlotte.
Some baby names are inspired by fashion .... Yves, Coco, and yes, even Target!
TV Shows and Disney movies have always had an influence on baby names .... Belle, Elsa, Donald, Mickey.  How about music ..... Adele and Bruno, or Blake and Miranda?
I was Holly Hall in the days of Holly Hobby .... remember her?


I must admit, I am quite partial to Southern names like Jackson, Austin, and Emma Kate, or Georgia.
Coming from a huge Italian and Irish family, our kids had a lot of family names to choose from but in a BIG family most of their favorite names were already taken by cousins.
With a 'short' last name of Long (ha!ha!)....they had to watch the name jokes....
Miles Long, Bea Long, or after my brother ....
Skip A. Long



We finally welcome home our very special babies,
with very special names.....
Shane Kelley
and 
Mackenzie May
"The Long Twins" !




Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lolly and Pop!

May was an incredibly busy month...
Our daughter, Christy, at 7 months pregnant, was in and out of the hospital with scares of pre-term labor, contractions, and then weekly doctor visits and ultrasounds.  On 5/16/15 (love the date!) the nurses moved her from hospital bed rest, downstairs to labor and delivery "just to monitor her contraction" and in a few hours we had two, 6 weeks early, strong, breathing on their own, healthy twins! A boy and a girl!

I feel a special connection to these two already with the many hours of ultrasound ooh-ing and awh-ing!

I am in complete awe at the progress of neonatal medical care since I had my own girls 30 years ago!  The babies were able to get two rounds of steroids early to help with lung development. The doctors slowed the signs of labor so that the twins got an extra 3 weeks to grow.  Christy got excellent personalized care the entire time she was in and out of the hospital, and I can't say enough about the NICU unit at Brigham and Womens in Boston. All NICU nurses have angel wings tucked into their scrubs!


My husband and I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of grandchildren for a few years now and have secretly called ourselves Lolly and Pop. Or if they can't say L's (family trait!)......
"Wahwy and Pop"
either way we plan to indulge them with Lollypops!


So it seems only fitting 
to pass these out!


The babies are 2 weeks old today and changing every time I see them.
They remain in the NICU with the strictest security I have ever seen...
(and I have been to Russia!)



Friday, May 1, 2015

May is YELLOW in New England!


It's happening!
The Daffodils are popping up, the grass is starting to turn green,
and the Forsythia is in bloom......



Yes, New England has survived another winter!  

I  drive by this house everyday and could not resist this picture........
bright yellow forsythia against this yellow Colonial home 
on Main Street! 

It screams "it's finally May"! 



New baby lambs in the neighboring field.....

I'm thinking we may have some "new baby lambs"
making an appearance soon!  





Thursday, April 23, 2015

TripREvisor....Cooking in Cortona

Recently several friends have asked me about cooking classes in Tuscany ......
this blog is for you! You can Google Alessandra Federici's Cucina Cooking School
 and read all her praises on TripAdvisor, Slow Travel, and even You Tube!

Or follow me through a day of cooking with Alessandra....
First you must understand that this is a "real life" cooking class in Alessandra's family kitchen, in her home in the foothills of Cortona, Italy.  



She will meet your group in the main square in Cortona 
(a special Tuscan hillside village you will need another day to explore!) 
for a quick coffee and a look at your menu for the day. 
Alessandra is a big personality, with an engaging laugh, hilarious stories,
high energy and she is the most genuine host. 
You will feel like you have known her your whole life!
Did I mention - she is a fabulous, authentic, Italian cook!   


From there you will visit the butcher, the farmers market, maybe the 
wine store!
Your cars stay parked in Cortona and Alessandra drives you 
down the winding paths/roads to her farmhouse below.  
Usually this includes a side trip to her brother's for olive oil 
and the neighbor's chicken house 
for fresh eggs and herbs - 
ask her about the "bunnies" and make sure "rabbit" is not on the menu! 


Everyone gets an apron and everyone cooks....
When we were there in June the Electric Company was working on some lines and cut the power!
No lights, no oven!
Alessandra is big on making due with what you have. 
She stresses cooking with what is in season, what looks good in the market that day.
The roast she was planning was scratched from the menu
but our meal was fantastic! 
Don't forget to bring your appetite.....
This was my antipasto plate......


Tagliatelle alragu di Fungi can be cooked on a gas range! 




AND EVERYBODY EATS!


AND EATS, AND EATS!


I really hope you will give her a call the next time you 
plan a trip to Italy.  It will be the highlight of your holiday! 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

TripREvisor - Camogli was a mistake!

                    But it was the best 'Travel' mistake we have ever made!


Planning a trip can always be a challenge, especially in another country.
  I always start on-line, checking out travel sites and travel blogs, 
then I reach out to friends who may have vacationed in that spot for hotel and 
restaurant recommendations.  
Our trip.....Cinque Terre, the five villages on the upper Western shore of Italy!



With our friends Tim and Sandra, we planned to hike, explore, take the train, eat fresh seafood, 
and of course, sample the local wine.
This Hotel came highly recommended from friends and the reviews sounded perfect! 







AND IT WAS...ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!
AND SO WAS THE SMALL ITALIAN FISHING VILLAGE OF CAMOGLI!

(Which could, TO SOMEONE NOT PAYING ATTENTION, be confused with the middle village in the Cinque Terre known as Corniglia)
Que Sera Sera! Whatever will be, will be!
As it turned out Camogli was the perfect spot for us to explore the Cinque Terre by train, 
out of the busy touristy towns,
and return every afternoon for a refresher in one of the family friendly piazzas .
We witnessed the most incredible sunsets
before enjoying the catch of the day at a different restaurant every night 
and strolling down the boardwalk back to our hotel for a nightcap! 





Buona sera Tim and Sandra!
***More on the Cinque Terre to come! 





Monday, March 30, 2015

March FABness !

A Ladies Night Out with great food and cocktails, a spectacular fashion show, and tempting raffle items all to raise money for the Norwell Women's Club......
and my chance to reconnect with old and new friends!

This may not occur to someone who is not familiar with moving, but with every new adventure ~ in this case retiring and moving back to our home after being gone for 8 years ~
comes the challenge of "connecting". That is finding  a place to fit in, a group to belong to, friends who share common interests, a way to share talents and stories, and make new memories.


I volunteered for the food group and these two ladies were a blast to work with!
Mary Lou designed our matching aprons! 



Some of the food was catered and desserts were brought in by members.
My chicken salad on green apple slices were a big hit.....
Everyone seemed to be on their spring diet so the "no bread" choices were popular! 


........also the Antipasti on a Skewer!  


I can't tell you how many deviled eggs Susie made
but each one was perfect! 


We had adorable high school girls volunteer to serve for us
while we kept the food coming.
The decorating committee did a fantastic job of bringing a little spring 
to our otherwise dreary weather with 
hundreds of butterflies fluttering from the ceiling 
in pink and green.


It was just a "love-ly" evening!