Waiting….

waiting

waiting

Yes…waiting that’s what our little Cooper has been doing, waiting for his big brother Riley.  I see him wondering where the big guy is.  It is heartbreaking to see him go out first thing in the morning and sit or lay on the patio waiting for his brother to finish his breakfast….but Riley isn’t eating his breakfast, he isn’t coming out, he isn’t home anymore and I don’t know how you tell a dog that his alpha brother is no longer part of his world.

Friendship is important, even in the doggie world!

Friendship is important, even in the doggie world!

This is harder than I thought it would ever be.

I’ll be back next week I promise.

I’ll be back with delicious recipes.

I’ll be back with a smile.

I’ll be back.

Riley won’t and we are all wondering and waiting…..

Peace and Love

Isabelle

Goodbye Old Friend

Yesterday we had to say Goodbye to our wonderful lab Riley.  Riley has been with us since the girls were 3 and 5.  They are now 15 and 17.  12 years of friendship from a dog who’s only fault was to love us unconditionally.

This was by far one of the hardest things we have had to do as a family.

We spent the day together and had pizza for lunch; Riley’s favorite: DiGiorno…he was a simple man, nothing fancy.  Our wonderful vet came to our home and we said our goodbyes.

Here are a few pictures that I would like to share with you.  If you are not a animal lover you may not understand how difficult this was for us.  That’s OK.  I just needed to share this, because our home feels empty without him, because he was always a friend and a protector, because he loved us unconditionally…as we did him.

Our gorgeous Riley

Our gorgeous Riley

Riley's favorite sleeping position...so sexy!

Riley’s favorite sleeping position…so sexy!

Riley sleeping with Bear. She gave him this blanket for his final resting place

Riley sleeping with Bear. She gave him this blanket to be with him in his final resting place.

 

This is the day we brought Cooper home, look at Riley's face...he's thrilled! ;)

This is the day we brought Cooper home, look at Riley’s face…he’s thrilled! 😉

 

Friendship <3

Friendship ❤

 

Riley also liked to hoard the toys

Riley also liked to hoard the toys

Riley got a lot of love today from his human sisters

Riley got a lot of love today from his human sisters

 

for one thing Riley wasn't a very classy eater...but he LOVED food!

For one thing Riley wasn’t a very classy eater…but he LOVED food!

 

this picture breaks my heart, he was such a gentle soul

this picture breaks my heart, he was such a gentle soul

 

Goodbye Riley Old Friend. We love you.

Goodbye Riley Old Friend. We love you.

Peace and Love your pet,

Isabelle

Full Circle

Sometime last year I went for a run and found a wrench on the ground.  I shared my thoughts with you in this post (Found).  A few days ago I went for a run and found this:

a perfectly beautiful Lacrosse ball

a perfectly beautiful Lacrosse ball

I know everything happens for a reason.  I know things come full circle (yup…it’s a ball!).  I know that what you put out there comes back to you.  Isn’t it great that in an unplanned moment you are reminded that your heart is full?

The past 1 1/2 week has been full of emotions: our oldest got hurt playing Lacrosse, then she had a minor car accident, then our youngest learned a “protect your phone” lesson the hard way.  My parents came and went, now I won’t see them until fall.  Our older dog Riley is….well he is old, he is deaf, he is trying so hard to keep up, and it is part of life.

So when I look at this silly Lacrosse ball I need to remind myself about my wonderful Grandpa, the original finder of all things.  A man with a lot of health problems yet who smiled and laughed (often at himself) everyday of his life.

Yes, today it is that simple.  Smile, laugh, and choose to be HAPPY!

Have a Fantastic Friday!

Peace and Hope your heart is full,

Isabelle

 

I want to live there….

First let me apologize for my lack of recipes and overall contact this past week.  I have to admit: I am in over my head with the holiday season/parties/school/kids events….and on and on.

Between Holiday Parties that we are attending and parties I have nicely offered to make more complicated dishes that I should have, between the kids sports, tutoring, finals, student gov’t, work, etc….well I can’t see straight!

BUT….I have my Christmas Village.  Every year, I make my little village (or willage as I like to call it) Every now and then my peeps will find me in the dining room looking at it.  Yup, just standing there enjoying my little willage!  I try to make it different every year.  I love it.

The Willage :)

The Willage 🙂

see the handsome firefighter?

see the handsome firefighter?

the lovely Church...a little bit higher than the others!

the lovely Church…a little bit higher than the others!

grocery store (from Florida of course!) and even a "watering hole"...it is MY village afterall ;)

grocery store (from Florida of course!) and even a “watering hole”…it is MY village afterall 😉

one last overall look!

one last overall look!

Hope to be back on track with new recipes new week!

What is YOUR favorite Holiday decoration?

Wishing you all a Fantastic Friday!

Peace and Love,
Isabelle

Happy Bright Sunshiny Thoughts

The power of positive thinking…..let’s hope.  I am doing my best happy thinking.  Seeing the positive side of this cold weather.

stunning Sunrire

stunning Sunrise

a little bit creepy but still beautiful

a little bit creepy but still beautiful

Cold Weather versus Isabelle!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and Fantastic Friday!

Peace always,

Isabelle

Diving In

Here’s To Another Fantastic Friday!

Fountain Indiana University.

Showalter Fountain Indiana University.

Wasn’t I just in college?

In fact, wasn’t I just in High School?

Where does time go?

It’s as if I blinked and ended up at a college visit with our oldest daughter!  Arrrrrrhhhhhhh help me!

So last Friday, on the last day of our two-week fall break, Matt, Sunshine, Bear and I went to visit IU.  She is only a junior but that’s how life goes, you get older and you start looking at colleges for your kids.

She loved IU.  What’s not to love?  The campus is gorgeous.  But I do think it’s the kids in college that made a huge impression on her.  Mission accomplished Mr. Man (his idea), she is getting excited about college!

We still have plenty we want to visit….maybe perhaps my old college: Concordia University in Montreal????  OK that one might be a crazy wish of mine!

Indiana University Art Museum. Architect: PEI who also designed The Louvres in Paris AND Place Ville Marie in Montreal!

Indiana University Art Museum. Architect: I M PEI who also designed The Louvres in Paris AND Place Ville Marie in Montreal! (and many other structures)

Happy Friday my friends!

Peace and Love,

Isabelle

Found

Another Fantastic Friday to you 🙂

When I was a kid my maternal grand-father lived on the St-Lawrence River across from Quebec City.  He would take my brother and I for walks along the shore.  He was a notorious “finder” of all things.  I remember him finding: countless water skies, dentures (NO I AM NOT KIDDING!), lots of clothing, numerous oars, golf clubs, shoes, and plenty of $ (well plenty is a subjective word….certainly not enough to retire on!)

Today as I was running, and looking mostly down (clumsy….I have to!) I found this:

a wrench....odd find!

a wrench….odd find!

Not only did I have a huge flashback to my childhood but it made my heart sing to know my grandpa is still finding things with me.  So I picked up the wrench and brought it home (trust me there was no way I could find the owner).  Not only is this perfect for my tool loving husband but it’s a reminder that my grandpa was also a fixer of all things.

It’s the little things in life……

Peace and Love,

Isabelle

Spring Break 2013

a little self portrait! I am pretty happy to heading South!

a little self portrait! I am pretty happy to be heading South!

So here I am back home.  I did have the best of intentions in posting updates and/or recipes during our travel but unfortunately I was only able to post the Pork Milanese.  It is a great recipe and I love it but I kind of feel bad I couldn’t get my act together long enough to share some fun pics with you guys.

this is the kind of weather we had leaving Indiana....creepy!

this is the kind of weather we had leaving Indiana….creepy!

I have to be honest with you.  I am somewhat of a crazy traveler….in fact I should say “crazy pre-traveler” meaning I get somewhat crazy before we leave for our trips…here’s some of the crazy things that happens to me BEFORE we leave:

~  What if I forgot something?  I mean Lord knows there might not be 50 drugstores or Chez Target or The Infinite Walmart…all over our country.  Nope I need everything with me.

~  Will we have enough food and water for our trip.  Seriously?  I see the news show reporting people who were stuck somewhere in a storm or what not and they NEVER  have food or water with them.  Really?  We travel with enough food that usually we end up bringing some on our trip back….after a week!

~  Is Mapquest lying to me?  What if there was an error in the system and the map is sending me in the wrong direction?  It’s not like I can ask for directions….or you know look at the good ol’ map paper thingy….

~  Do I have enough workout clothes?  Do I have enough shoes?  Do I have enough underoos?  Trust me I pack as if I am going on a world tour!

~  Did I bring enough to keep me busy in the car?  Do I want to read?  Type?  Review Recipes?  Make paper mache pinatas?  😉

~  Will my dogs be sad to see me leave?  Will Jack (our house sitter) remember to feed Bob the fish?  Will my dogs remember I am their mommy when I get back?

~  Will I get an upset stomach while we travel?  I know TMI….but seriously I once made my husband stop the car 3 times in the first hour of a trip because I thought my bladder was going to explode!  (I truly apologize for crossing the bathroom issue for the first time in my blogging history…couldn’t help it…had to go there!)

by the way this is as "junk/fast food" as I like to eat....I am a pain to travel with!

by the way this is as “junk/fast food” as I like to eat….I am a pain to travel with!

OK so…we made it to Florida perfectly OK.  Here are some pics for your personal enjoyment!

On Sunday we went to Brunch with my brother and his family!  It was delicious.  Here’s our little gang:

I know I don't usually post pics of my kids but I decided to make an exception today (with my sister-in-law's blessing of course)

I don’t usually post pics of my kids but I decided to make an exception today (with my sister-in-law’s blessing of course)

On Monday I took the girls to Universal, against my better judgement…anyone who has ever lived in Florida knows you don’t go to Disney or Universal during Spring Break…that’s just crazy talk!

I really should have bought this cup! Isn't it cute! Maybe next time!

I really should have bought this cup! Isn’t it cute?! Maybe next time!

Matt went to his dad’s hunting camp….too many snakes for my liking!

On Tuesday the girls, Dee and I went to the beach.  It was AWESOME….packed but awesome.

Cocoa Beach. I don't know how I managed to make it look empty...it was crazy packed with peeps!

Cocoa Beach. I don’t know how I managed to make it look empty…it was crazy packed with peeps!

On Wednesday, we met up with my BFF, Janine.  Had a nice lunch, pedicures, some much needed girl shopping and then I cooked dinner for the whole group.  Menu: marinated grill pork chops with a vegetable and tortellini balsamic pasta salad!  Plenty of wine…enough to get the adults acting like we were in college.  (please read that we acted like idiots and that the kids quietly pretended we were invisible.)

Janine has the best backyard in the world!!!!!

Janine has the best backyard in the world!!!!!

gift from Janine...isn't that sweet?! :)

gift from Janine…isn’t that sweet?! 🙂

On Thursday we had lunch with Matt’s mom and sister.  We went to a cute little mexican restaurant called: Mexican Restaurant.  I love that name!  It is what it is!

Kerri and Grandma Penny, we had a lovely lunch!

Kerri and Grandma Penny, we had a lovely lunch!

Thursday night was adult dinner night, the girls “babysat” their cousins.  Dee, Christian, Matt and I went out to dinner and had the most amazing food!  I only took a picture of my plate because as you know I can get pretty annoying about food and I don’t want to be in the dog house on vacation!  🙂

Grilled Lamb Chops (medium rare) with Gorgonzola Polenta and Wilted Spinach...AMAZING!

Grilled Lamb Chops (medium rare) with Gorgonzola Polenta and Wilted Spinach…AMAZING!

p.s. Sorry about the ugly food pic…smart phones are not all that good for food photos!

Finally Friday.  We went running (as we did every morning Dee and I) then private movie showing of The Host.  A little more shopping before we hit the road around 4pm so we could avoid a bit of traffic….we didn’t but that’s a story I will keep to myself!

this is where I had the pleasure of running every single day.  Truly perfect!

this is where I had the pleasure of running every single day. Truly perfect!

Look at this cute cookie tin I found at World Market...I can't believe I didn't buy it! I guess the pink doesn't really work in my kitchen!

Look at this cute cookie tin I found at World Market…I can’t believe I didn’t buy it! I guess the pink doesn’t really work in my kitchen!

what I decided was a healthy treat for our drive back...no I don't regret it!

what I decided was a healthy treat for our drive back…no I don’t regret it!

OK OK I am almost done I promise….a couple more things I want to share with you.

at the beach my little Bear burned her face really really bad.  This little magic potion saved the day!

at the beach my little Bear burned her face really really bad. This little magic potion saved the day!

Note: I don’t know this company, they don’t know me but my kid’s face is healing and 100% better because of it!  If you ever get a bad sunburn, I highly suggest you find this little gem!

This is a picture of my brother and I, I don't even know how old we are but it makes me happy.  It is proudly displayed in their living room!

This is a picture of my brother and I, I don’t even know how old we are but it makes me happy. It is proudly displayed in their living room!

Well I hope this wasn’t too boring for you guys….I guess I better get cooking something fierce otherwise some might think I have lost my touch!

Peace and Love,

Isabelle

The Anti-Bucket List

Here I go again stirring things up and messing with the system…if you can call a bucket list a system.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate the idea of a bucket list, it is just that I don’t have one per say.  I usually find new things I want to do and just do them.  I know crazy, right?

So while driving around town, running more errands than necessary, I was listening to the radio and this comedian (John Pinette) was talking about ice skating.  He said, it is now on his no-bucket or anti-bucket list, something he feels he really doesn’t have to do again.  Well, that got me thinking about stuff that not only I don’t want to do again but more importantly things I don’t EVER want to do or try or attempt or….well you get the idea.

As always I will keep my list short, simply because I know your time is precious and frankly even I get bored with myself (on occasion).  I don’t want to lose you mid-way through a 100 items…here goes 10 (it’s a safe number)

1- Ski Diving: no need to jump off a perfectly good plane, maybe if the plane is going to crash and I need to exit quickly I might change my mind.

2- Bungee Jumping: same idea as #1. It’s a good bridge why chance it.

3- Eating at Golden Corral: no offense but I have paid my dues and it just not a place where I care spend my $.  (my blog, my opinion…don’t send hate mail) Actually, I will be honest and tell you that I have pretty much banned ALL buffets.

4- Driving a “speed/racing car”: I have no desire to even sit in one, I am just not that kind of gal…now give me a nice F150 4X4…oh wait, that’s my hottie husband’s truck! 😉

5- Going to a nude beach: truth be said: I have been to one BY ACCIDENT, I wasn’t nude (DEAR LORD I WASN’T) and still I can’t shake the damaging images I saw that day.

NOT a nude beach!

6- Entering an eating contest: I really don’t need to know how many pies or hot dogs I can eat in one sitting, the aftermath would be dramatic (to say the least)

7- Going on a submarine: there is not enough drugs or alcohol to make this happen.

8- Going to the North or South Pole: come on…I don’t even like the cold winters in Indiana.

9- Swimming with sharks: too clumsy.

Bear's fish: Bob and Bob (?!!) not sharks 🙂

10- Swimming the English Channel: I am in good shape but frankly I don’t care to look like a giant prune when I get to France.  I will take a plane or a boat thank you very much.

Peace and Love Always,

Isabelle

P.S. feel free to share your Anti-Bucket List items with the rest of the class 🙂

Mom! Make him stop and put this on MY anti-bucket list 😉

No worries….they are just playing!