#schoolsout Memory Lane

As I sit drinking my coffee this morning and strolling through Facebook I am taken back to the hustle of the end of the school year I experienced with my own kids. Field Days, Award Ceremonies, Spring Concerts, Class Parties…….I see so many posts of the Joy of the last day and it puts me right back to the playground at Saints Peter & Paul waiting for my little blonde haired trio in navy blue shorts looking a bit more disheveled than their first day back in August to stroll out of their classes a little taller and hopefully a little wiser. I remember the relief of finishing another year, being so happy that there will be no more yelling to get out of bed tomorrow morning or scrounging up lunches and homework. Summer is not just a break for kids but a much-needed respite for Parents. I spent quite a bit of my kids Elementary years as a Single Mom and Summer was an extended vacation for me.

So as all you parents of young kids pick them up at the end of another year, enjoy your break…..sleep in….relish quiet mornings… REJUVENATE….trust me September will be here before you know it!!



Maryland Summer Sips!

Tis the season for Wine Tastings and Festivals…..

Don’t be so quick to grab that mass-produced California wine at the grocery store this Summer. With the onset of Wineries popping up in Maryland this is a great time of year to explore our own states viticulture.

I have to admit until I began working for a Winery here in Maryland I had never heard of the American Hybrids that we grow, more importantly I couldn’t pronounce them. Now that I have ventured to quite a few of Maryland Wine Festivals and had the opportunity to visit some of our local Wineries I have become a bit more versed in the Hybrid library. You will encounter Chambourcin, Vidal, and Traminette at most local Vineyards. Some will have more variety and grapes that you recognize but these 3 will become familiar to you the more you carouse the mid-atlantic region.

Now I am a bit biased and won’t miss the opportunity to throw in a shameless plug but I do have a few Maryland favorites. There are some great Summer Reds that are worth mentioning, not all Summer Wines need to be White. I love Boordy’s Chambourcin Merlot….http://www.boordy.com/



Insert shameless plug……..

Here at Layton’s Chance http://laytonschance.com/ we have a new release.. Picnic Red ….it is a light bodied Chambourcin perfect for Summer!



We also just released a Dessert Traminette and our seasonal Watermelon!

IMG_1466 (1) photo


There are lots of Events happening around Maryland this time of year, so plan a few road trips to see what’s going on in your own back yard.  Check out: http://www.marylandwine.com/learn-more/Maryland-Wineries-Association for a listing of Maryland Wineries and events.

We will be at the Annapolis Art & Wine festival this weekend……. http://annapolisartscraftsandwinefestival.com/www.theannapolisartscraftsandwinefestival.com/Welcome.html

This is a great venue to check out some local Wine and Craftsman all in one place.

Our annual Grape Blossom Festival held here at Layton’s Chance will take place June 15th. This is also a great opportunity to try some other Wineries all in one place and raise money for a good cause.


So the next time your out shopping for Wine check out the Maryland section…..

Happy Sipping!


Growing Pains…….

My days off are exhausting……

The kitchen re-do is coming to a close. I finished painting and cleaning, cleaning and painting….


011What is it about getting emotionally attached to objects? I am really trying to commit to downsizing, how many wine glasses do I need….or plates, or lids that have no matching tubs to go with them?

Growing pains don’t necessarily mean getting bigger, in my case it means discarding crap! The emotional roller coaster that goes along with deciding which material belongings have what it takes to be worthy of my time to dust, which is a rare occurence is painful, brutal and exhilarating all at the same time. I am not sure why we place importance on material things, or why I find it so hard to discard meaningless baubles that clutter my existence. We tend to associate our memories with objects to somehow validate that they happened…..I know I attended 20 Wine Festivals do I need to commemorate each one with a cheap glass to prove I was there?

De-cluttering is therapeutic , filling garbage bags is cleansing in more ways than one….I wonder if I form these attachments because I don’t have a lot of material things from my childhood or family heirlooms. I have but a mere small collection of my Grandmother and Mother’s glassware, hardly enough to fill a shelf in a china cabinet. So I find it hard to let go of things that represent milestones or memories….the objects prove I lived…..

Progress made I eliminated the clutter…………...Glasses of the Masses!!


So here are some after pics of the kitchen AC (after clutter)………

027 028 025 026 023 024 016 022014Cheers!



My Day ……Off

I am surely my Father’s Daughter…I find it very hard to do….nothing, although I would like to figure out how it’s done. I am reminded of a scene from

Eat, Pray ,Love”

where they are in the barber shop and the Italian is explaining to Julia Robert’s character how American’s don’t know how to RELAX, he referred to it as the art of doing nothing.

I was off today and unfortunately the weather here on the East Coast is still not conducive to me working outside. I decided to take a trip to our local Lowe’s and proceeded to wander the aisles for at least 2 hours. I needed some paint and a few odds & ends, I woke up this morning with a revelation to paint my kitchen on a whim. I lost track of time checking out lawn & garden accessories, rugs, lawn mowers, refrigerators, curtains, floor polish and a nice selection of bulbs that I decided would go very well in some of my pots, not in the ground mind you because of some pesky vermin who like to eat them.  Now this in itself would have been a stress free morning window shopping in a home improvement store if it weren’t for every employee (and let me tell you there was at least 2 for every section) wanting to know if they could help me. Don’t get me wrong I am the first to bitch when I have a question and can’t find anyone with a clue, but good grief can’t they see I am not seeking their vast knowledge at the moment. I just want to be left to my own devices, don’t hover over me waiting to pounce. I guarantee if I go in tomorrow with a specific question everyone will be out to lunch!

I came to the conclusion that my kitchen needed to be more neutral, the yellow was beginning to bug me, so khaki it is…..here is a few before shots….I just wasn’t feelin it.



I have builder grade cabinets that I painted years ago when we renovated and they needed some updating. I sanded the edges and added some glaze to weather them a bit, it’s hard to see that in the after pics but it really did make a difference. The walls in the after pics seem almost bluish but I assure you they are tan.016

015So this was my day off, I still have lot’s of painting to do but enough for today, and so my reward….

018Till the next project…Cheers!


Easy Lazy Morning Quiche

004 008

5 Large Eggs

1/4 cup Milk or Cream

2 tbsp. Sour Cream

1 Chopped Tomato

1 Cup Chopped Fresh Spinach

1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Blend Cheese

5 Slices Crumbled Cooked Bacon

1 Pie Crust

Easy Lazy Morning Quiche……

There’s nothing like a lazy weekend morning kickin around the kitchen.  This Easter morning I decided to throw together a quick Quiche with some ingredients I already had in the fridge.


Roll out unbaked pie crust in 9 inch pie pan

Whisk together milk, eggs, sour cream

Place crumbled cooked bacon, chopped tomato, spinach and cheese in bottom of pie crust, then sprinkle with salt & pepper

Slowly pour egg mixture on top

Bake 350 degrees for about 25 minutes…..

Remembering A Friend……


Above is a link to a note I had written to one of my closest friends after we lost her to Cancer in 2011, on the Eve of what would of been her 45th Birthday I am reminded of the many lessons she taught us. As you can see by the pictures her smile could light up the darkest of rooms, I miss her terribly and think of her often. I know her spirit lives on in her children and all of us lucky enough to call her our friend.

So Cheers my friend! Happy Birthday! SUMMER 2010 020 SUMMER 2010 024 stuff 517 SUMMER 2010 019 024