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A beautiful Autumn weekend in Vermont

Now that we are done with Halloween and we turned the clocks back, I guess winter must be coming. Ugh, winter is so bleak. The lack of color really does something to my mental sate of mind. I just love the autumn. I love the colors – gold, green, red and burnt orange. The leaves are so beautiful now that I can’t imagine the bareness that is approaching.

I always wanted to do a fall foliage road trip. Well, we spent a glorious weekend in Shelburne VT.  First the ride up from Long Island on the Taconic State parkway was amazing. It was mid October and the leaves were at peak once we left the green of Nassau county, Long Island.With the Adirondack Mountains on one side of us and the Green Mountains on the other I was enveloped in a color explosion. We stayed on a sustainable farm adjacent to Lake Champlain. The crystal blue water meeting up with the majestic mountains was magical. It happened to be the coldest weekend in VT when we decided to do our road trip and it even snowed a bit. I could see snow capped mountains in the distance. I actually watched the snow travel across the Lake and land on the Inn we were staying at. Mother Nature at her best!

Photo credit: Me

As for the Inn at Shelburne Farm, Patricia Schultz lists it in the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” It’s a must! The Inn is a 19th-century country home on 1,400 acres of land and is a National Landmark and a non-profit organization promoting sustainable living. Everything that is made on the farm is used on the property. Vermont’s culture of sustainability is so cool. The people of this state are so respectful of their land and environment. I felt so alive breathing in the fresh air and my belly was so satisfied with the amazing food that is served with love and attention to every morsel. There were farm animals, walking trails, fresh bread and cheese, afternoon tea and scones, great cocktails and wine, fireplaces, superb food…it was a home run.

Oh, did I tell you the Inn has no air-conditioning and no heat! YEP…it is only open May to October and it would be prohibitively costly for the organization to heat the place. Well, we went the last weekend they were open and it turned out to be record cold. LOL…The Inn keepers do provide nice down blankets to keep you warm, but…. OMG…baby it was cold at night. I slept with a couple of layers and even socks (something I hate to do and find it cuts off my blood supply!) Although there are lovely beautiful fireplaces in the main lobby and library areas, the fireplaces in the rooms are not to be used. We found if we turned the shower on as hot as it could go, we could get warm by standing in the bathroom. Thank goodness for cocktails and wine with dinner! I won’t go into details but snuggling with a lover helps too!!Ok, forget about the cold room…. it was beautiful and I highly recommend it.

Jane xo

P.S. f you are interested in receiving a wonderful winter soup compliments of the Inn, complete the below form and I will email you the recipe.

I don’t want to feel stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving

This year Thanksgiving will be celebrated quietly at home with my immediate family. Because of the small size I decided to make everything from scratch…no short cuts! It’s fun to research great recipes and developed a beautiful menu. We will will have a turkey and my husband handles all the brining, cooking and carving with care. I am in charge of side dishes and we all will have input on desert. My daughter is saying pumpkin pie. You know what I hate about the holidays…it’s that stuffed like a turkey feeling!

At age 50-something, it is harder to get rid of those stubborn 5-10 pounds. I have to move more, sweat more, and eat better. Notice I didn’t say less….just better. I am of the peanut butter and grape jelly on white bread generation. I was eating PBJ’s for breakfast and sometimes having one as a late night snack…not good! I recently re-joined WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers). Their new more customized plan, myWW, really focuses on your lifestyle and what kind of eater you are. Their SmartPoints values are still based on calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. However, they now have three options: green, blue and purple, that are customized to enable you to lose weight, your way. I have chosen their purple plan. With purple I am eating more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. I am finding that by eating more vegetables and whole grains I feel satisfied for longer periods of time. I actually lost a pound this week.

My take on losing weight is don’t do it alone. Have a friend or family member join in on the journey. I have my network of people that are now on myWW with me and its great to share recipes and foods that work on our plan. Listen, it doesn’t have to be myWW…find a plan that works for you and just stick with it. Don’t give up if you have a crappy week and gain a little. Stay the course and be in it for the long term. You are what you eat and its never too late to lose those annoying few pounds. You are going to feel so much better and look great!

By the way, this year we are making a cauliflower stuffing. Since we wanted to stay “on points” I found this recipe on http://www.delish.com. It is low carb and full of flavor. It is not low fat, but hey, its Thanksgiving….be grateful and enjoy your holiday meal with your friends and family.

Jane xo

P.S. If you are interested in receiving my famous pumpkin bread recipe, complete the below form and I will email you my recipe. Note, it is not gluten free and can contain nuts if you chose.

Be You!

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

-Oscar Wilde

Every once in a while I will be sharing fun and inspirational quotes. A history buff, I just love to research. Who was this person? What were they famous for? Why did they say these now “famous” words? It’s always fun and never too late to learn new factoids and improve your vocabulary. Let’s begin with Mr. Wilde.

Who was Oscar Wilde? He was an Irish poet and playwright. He became famous in the 1880’s and 1890’s and became one of the most famous playwrights in London.

What was Oscar Wilde famous for? He was famous for many works of poetry and stories. His most renowned books are “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”. He was known for his ostentatious style and way of life and was even imprisoned for being a homosexual.

Why did he say these quotable words? He writes that is is important to be yourself. Be who you are and don’t live someone else’s life. Be true to yourself and live your life the way you were meant to live it.

I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.