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I feel like I’ve spent the last week in a cyclone. The weather was crazy in the Northeast. And while we didn’t get the traumatic damage that New York and New Jersey are coping with, it made things a little messy up here.

Thankfully, we just have debris to deal with. Broken branches, piles of leaves and such. Just a minor annoyance, really.

Right before we left for vacation, we had the boys help clear the yard of the piles of leaves that covered the ground like a thick down comforter. It took them an entire day to neaten the place up.

Good exercise, I pointed out! It’s easy to point things out like that when you are in the kitchen baking and not raking.

So, when I announced how they were going to spend today in the fresh air with the crunch of leaves under their feet, they weren’t all that enthused.

I guess raking up big piles of leaves is only exciting the first time around.

I don’t have the heart to point up and show them how many leaves are still clinging to the trees that will fall to the ground in the very near future. Newton’s law of gravity and all.

Beisdes the crazy weather, all of the hub bub surrounding the launch of A Beautiful Bite has left me feeling a little windswept too. I apologize for the posts this week. There just wasn’t enough “me” in them.

I detest having tons of giveaways back to back, but unfortunately it was the way things worked out this week. And with the holiday season quickly approaching, there will be more giveaway opportunities but I’ll try to space them out better.

I love offering giveaways because I like the idea of you getting rewarded for reading my stuff. Just not so many running at the same time that you can’t still hear my voice. That isn’t good.

So, this week coming up I’m focusing on balance. Balance with my writing and in my home life too. The holidays are so wonderful in many ways, but the hecticness of it all can be a real joy stealer. I purpose not to let that happen this season.

On that note, I wish you a very relaxing stress free weekend. May it be full of mugs of hot cocoa and nary a rake in sight!


  1. I’m glad your damage from Super Storm Sandy and Winter Storm Athena wasn’t any worse than all the debris, something to be grateful for at Thanksgiving. I hope you achieve your balance this holiday season and spend it safely and happy.

  2. Your trees are so beautiful! I love the sunshine and blue sky in the background.

    • It was a beautiful blue skies day albeit a little chilly! A good day to start a fire. If you have a fireplace that is. We don’t. Well, we have a gas one but that is absolutely not the same thing.

  3. While it’s great of you to offer them, we don’t need giveaways for reading your blog. Just being able to read it is enough of a reward! 🙂 I thoroughly enjoy your blog & love reading your new posts! And you have some gorgeous leaves. In Wisconsin around me they went from green to brown so fast we hardly got to enjoy any color (the only redeeming thing about fall…besides deer hunting!), so thanks for sharing your leaves with us.

    • Thank you so much Tabitha! Our colors weren’t so hot this year either. Not sure why. Some years they are spectacular and some years not so much. This was an off year.

  4. I doubt you’ll find anyone complaining about the giveaways 🙂 All those leaves you had your boys rake are in my pool 🙁 Every year I say I’m going to get a pool cover…and every year I wait until the pool is full of leaves to have that particular epiphany :/Oy.

    • That’s what husbands and sons are for. Leaves. At least that’s what I tell my crew. And I think a pool cover will definitely help your cause, but I understand the coulda woulda shoulda of getting one. Each year I say I’m going to buy an artificial Christmas tree during the clearance sales and I never do. It’s an ongoing issue, lol.

  5. Patricia N. says:

    Hi Melanie,
    I have to ask: How long is your driveway? Mine is 250 feet long, but it looks as though yours might be even longer. As for your boys having to rake, I hope you have a snow blower for when the winter storms come. Sometimes I shovel just for the fun of it, believe it or not. I was one of 6 kids, and we would go out and shovel and have snowball fights every winter. No snow blowers back then, just back-breaking work.
    We lost three trees in the storm that were dead anyway, but we left them up for the birds.
    By the way, have you ever tried just mowing the leaves and letting them mulch down? My lawn looks the best in the areas that we mulch with leaves.

    • Hmmmm, I’m not sure how long the driveway is. It’s quite long. And yes, we have a snowblower. Luckily we didn’t use it much last year. Hopefully this year will be the same. As far as mowing the leaves goes, I know zip zero zilch about Aidan’s lawn mowing strategy. I guess I should pay more attention, lol. My kids really don’t have many chores. I expect them to help with the dishes, mow the yard and help rake. That’s about it. So, I don’t at all feel guilty about them raking. With three guys doing it, it doesn’t really take that long. At least they don’t have to milk cows or plant rows of corn. 🙂

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