beautiful, birthday, books, confession, entertainment, family, fibro, food, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

In many of the ways imaginable, THIS has been a rough week. My heart is truly at it’s breaking point, and yet the sun rises and a new day dawns. It is so hard while we are within the seasons which are heavy, but trying to grow how we can and remember this is only a season… This is where I am at this morning. I’ve brewed some fragrantly inviting cinnamon cardamom coffee and I’m sitting down to gather my day and scatter myself as needed, across its blank canvas.

When that may not work then I will simply remind myself that I am thirteen days away from vacation.

Totally off the point and random, I am dating the idea of buying one of those instamax cameras. They aren’t super expensive but the film is. Will the nostalgic idea of it wear off, leaving me disappointed? Will I wake up one day, brightly colored piece of plastic magic in hand and realize I am not sixteen and would have been better off spending my money on an anti-wrinkle cream? These are the questions which plague me. I had the opportunity to borrow one for a while, but that didn’t work out, and so I am left debating… If anyone reading this little post has one and cares to weigh in, I’d LOVE your feedback.

This week… This week was a hard week. This week was a growth week. This week was so heavy in so many ways. That being said, it’s time… And after all, it is friday-

  • My job comes with many cool opportunities and very little monetary compensation. As one who really is in favor of the barter system, this is cool. While it doesn’t necessarily put food on the table or pay the electric bill, I am pretty grateful for what it does do. While I am typically directed towards more conservative projects, where work is concerned, this past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a screening for a sweet little film called Love, Simon. (While it is my heart to respect everyone, in this space, I also realize we can’t always please everyone. If it’s not your thing, don’t go see it. Don’t engage in conversation about it. Just show grace and move on…) For anyone else- this movie is lovely. It was hilarious and so heartwarming and a pretty vital tale, for such a time as these…
  • With the mere mention of keto, your brains may be turning to jelly and your gaze growing catatonic. I promise, there is only one (well, maybe two) things. But one of them, (this one) isn’t really a keto thing… It’s just an awesome thing. Did you know that, at Five Guys, you can order this???? It is brilliant, AND tasty, and on a Keto note- really nice because sometimes life is just in need of grabbing food which you neither have to prepare or clean up from.

Regarding that last statement. Here has been our biggest annoyance regarding this little Keto adventure… THE DISHES. Seriously SO MANY dishes, all of the time. I mean, it doesn’t help that I make our dog food too, but still…

Moving on…

  • I received these awesome socks as a gift, and have had them for a few months now. They’ve been worn (a lot), washed, dried, stolen by the puppy, retrieved by the puppy, etc… and I can honestly say they are THE BEST socks I have ever had. They are comfortable, warm, cute, cozy and make me happy every time I wear them.
  • This tea, from Panera, is pretty delicious (And carb free- good news for me, should I be in a situation where an overpriced beverage is called for, it absolutely does the trick! I enjoyed it twice this week.
  • The Bacon & Butter cookbook is amazing. That’s all I can say… (here it is, the second Keto-ish point)

Lastly though, the things which I truly loved this week were my amazing husband, the miraculous fact that he was in town and my sweet friends… I HATE, HATE, HATE that my nearest and dearest kindred spirits are no where near where I am, but they are pretty lovely people and I’m super grateful for them.

beautiful, birthday, confession, depression, entertainment, food, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, marriage, music, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

I can’t believe that it is already March!

I  am equally as disappointed as you must be, that I am sounding like every other over-forty year old whose first remarks of the day are always weather or calendar related. I know, I’m sorry. I get it. I post here once a week and I resort to beginning this week’s hello with boring (to the under-forty) nonsense like that. Please love me, despite my flaws…

My birthday is in twenty-six days. This seems like such an awesome and exciting thing, doesn’t it? It’s not. I have a very much wish-to-love/but-hate relationship with my birthday. It’s pretty sad, and despite my already established geriatric age, I never grow up enough to stop internally wishing this year will be the one that changes everything. It’s ok.

This is getting depressing…

Let’s take a moment to redirect our focus by looking at this vibrantly pink photo of fruit, that I can’t eat because Chw and I have decided to embark on a little spring Keto adventure… (errr, happy birthday to me????) What this means for the tradition of birthday cake, the jury is still out. Many factors considered, the birthday prospects are a little gloomy. (Not to mention that the biggest gift I get to give myself, this birthday, is new bi-focals because, well, I’m old.)

Also, I am not going to take any offense to the fact that a song I love just came on and as I began singing, my dog (who was lying content at my feet) immediately stood and left the room. Maybe I should just get to the actual heart of this post…

  • First and foremost… Did you guys watch the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics? I LOVE LOVE LOVE EXO (and K-pop is my go to genre to listen to, if you didn’t already know that) I would absolutely love to link their performance for you, except that after scouring the videos available on YouTube, I couldn’t find one I liked. Oh well. If you didn’t see it, you really missed something grand! The very highlight of this first bullet point is foremost that videos are FINALLY Available from the Olympics! (and since I shared before about this performance, I had to share the link with you.)
  • Ha! This… This video is amazing. (I adore Kalen!) While definitely NEITHER Keto or Birthday celebration friendly, it is hilarious. Seriously, Why ya’ll got to mess with stuff… this will have you on the toilet
  • This White Peach Rose’ & Peony Hempz lotion is my absolute favorite scent EVER! I am not usually attracted to florally scents, but this is perfection! (and I’m sure I’ve already shared that Hempz is my favorite body lotion! (Their Triple Moisture is my winter BFF.)
  • We were able to catch a couple of movies, over the weekend, which was great. Surprisingly we enjoyed them both, but we absolutely LOVED Game Night! It seems like it has been a long time since we’ve had such a great time at a movie! (seriously laughed til we cried!)
  • I love music. We all know this. And while I’ve known (and enjoyed) a few tracks by these guys, it wasn’t until this week that I really took the opportunity to dive deep into their stuff. Lyrically, musically, personally… I have fallen head over heels with Judah and the Lion!


books, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, fibro, food, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday I’m in Love…

I am IN LOVE with these flowers. Every January I find myself wishing February would hurry up and arrive, and then it does… And usually (not always) the weather is worse, I feel more tired (tired of winter, tired of cold, tired of being tired. Ha!) and at some point I am grumbling about stupid February and how much I hate February, etc…

But then I make my way to a super market or shopping center somewhere, clad in winter boots and braving the elements for something entirely necessary like dish soap or brown eggs, and my senses are straight-up attacked by flowers.

FLOWERS EVERYWHERE. And I melt and fall in love.

February is the beginning of fresh, beautiful flowers.

So yeah, I could talk about a hundred topics right now, and they would mostly end in grumbles or grunts, but then… FLOWERS. Flowers win.

Other than the Flowers (which are the obvious gold medalists in my life right now) there are a few things my week has held, which I’m excited to share with you.

Speaking of medalists… How about those Ice Dancers earlier in the week! Amazing…

1.) We ran to Chick Fil A for breakfast the other day, which might seem pretty basic to many of you. I get it, I used to live near one too. In those days it was grabbing Chick Fil A while heading to do something else. During this season though, Chick Fil A has become a coveted destination in which we wrap other errands and stops around. (but seriously, their Chicken Minis are worth every single liter of fuel we burn to get there) Anyway- while this was a tasty highlight to reminisce, it really has nothing to do with CFA at all… (you are SO welcome for this ramble) While we were out that way, I wanted to run into Cost Plus. I am looking for a particularly awesome thing, and figured if it actually existed, this would be the place in which I would discover it. (It may not, because I did not…) As I, belly blissfully happy on Chicken Minis, disappointedly rounded an aisle corner (so incredibly defeated in my search for that which does not exist) I stumbled upon these

Just in case you are reading this, and you knew me between the ages of 14 and 18, I know you are exhaling loudly because you know EXACTLY how much this discovery made my world! (I mean, I knew they “came back”, but I stopped looking for them (in every single convenience store) ages ago.)

2.) Since we are talking about things that we devour because they are delicious… Have you tried this? I mean, SERIOUSLY, you guys. And in a crackable tub… (that tub is probably the closest I will ever come to actual crack, which is ok because it was pretty great.)

3.) My Lent commitment, this year, is a little different from years past. I have vowed to spend 40 hours reading books which are more life helpful than fun. As a full-fledged grown up, reading seems to have become a big struggle for me. (Give me options and I will choose Netflix or Instagram every single time. SMH) But when the challenge is to read those things which will NOT capture my imagination and entertain me? Ugh. Fun fact though, so far I am loving it. I curl up in my awesome chair (see Instagram post) and more days than not (so far…) I am sad when the hour timer long goes off, because I might be contemplating staying there forever. (confession: a couple of times I felt like that hour lasted fourteen years and leapt from the chair as if it were about to swallow me whole.) First I read Uninvited. I genuinely like Lysa. Sometimes reading her feels a bit like a chore, but that could totally be on me and my Twitter sized attention span for reading. This book captivated me heart and soul. There is so much highlighter on these pages now, that I think the book itself doubled in thickness. GOOD STUFF, and this current season of isolation- that I’ve felt stuck in for far too long now- made nearly every page in that book so ridiculously relevant.

After I finished that book, I moved on to Of Mess and Moxie. And seriously, while I adore Jen Hatmaker, I can honestly say I have never read any of her books. (remember my whole adult struggle with reading part from before) I was a little nervous (it’s true, I won’t lie.) But honestly, I LOVE this book. It was the perfect book to follow Uninvited. In amazing fashion, it taps into all of the same raw places and balms them (while challenging me) just a little bit differently. I DEFINITELY recommend it.

4.) Oh so long ago, in a hobbling attempt to pick up a prescription that I did not want, at a pharmacy which I did not prefer to frequent, my eyes fell on a tiny little display of this… This stuff sold itself well, and it knew its target audience (obviously me, in so much pain I wanted to leap into oncoming traffic, except I couldn’t really leap due to the pain) and so naturally I bought it on impulse. The entire drive home (this was September, you guys) I thought about how I could not wait to get home and let it cure me of pretty much everything. By the time I was home, however, and settled in for a spell, I was beyond intimidated by it. Like an obedient little fraidy-cat, I put it on my bathroom shelf where my eyes would notice it whenever I walked into the bathroom.

Oh, they did. EVERY. TIME. And the guilt I felt over impulsively dropping $25 on something I knew the likely hood of me ever actually using was daunting. The longer it sat there, the more it resembled something completely unsafe and dumb to waste my time on. And then, the other day my back was screaming with the agony of someone 3 or 4 times my age (sad, I know) and in an attempt to do pretty much anything to get it to calm down, my eyes caught a glimpse of this brown bottle. I scanned the medicine cabinet before I willingly plucked the brown bottle from its dusty place on the shelf, (though honestly I am unsure what I was hoping to find- as the strongest meds in there are 800 MG Ibuprofen and that hasn’t touched my back pain in pretty much ever) but relented and read the instructions.

Pretty much the nutshell of this insanely long point: Get the Frankincense & Myrrh. (By the gallon, if you find that option, and then tell me about it because I might just like to bathe in it, daily.)

5.) The other day I got all fancy and roasted a chicken. Because the delicious chicken deserved something equally as tasty to accompany it into our bellies, I made this Asparagus recipe. When I grow up more than I am now, (to the be the full-grown, responsible adult who LOVES non-fiction books, that is) I want to be able to afford to eat asparagus every day. THIS asparagus, because it was seriously bright green heaven, in the form of a vegetable.

In fact, it was so vibrant that it was not unlike a beautiful stemmed flower, which brings us full circle and that is a truly lovely thing!

*If you haven’t already subscribed to my super cool, monthly newsletter, PLEASE DO! There’s an annoying little pop up which shows up right when you land on the page! It would be AWESOME if you’d sign up because then you’ll be “in the know” about exciting new projects, happenings, and get news more personalized than what I share here! (your information is completely safe!) *

What have been the best parts of your week? Show and tell, you guys, so show me while you tell me all about it! (Last week I had seven different people tell me Black Panther was theirs and they were sure it would be mine too. I did see it. It isn’t. My theory here is that one can read too many “great” things about a really good thing, thus leading to it being a little ruined. I know (and I’m so sorry!) …


books, confession, entertainment, family, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, list, marriage

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Surprisingly, despite only posting here an average of once per week, and with the many ways that blogging (and blog reading) have changed and morphed into something different, I still manage to have a fairly high number of subscribers and daily visits. When I logged in this morning, however, my landing page notified me that I had no visitors on Wednesday. As in ABSOLUTELY zero.

I think this news was supposed to alarm me, or make me sad, or something… Instead though, I literally grinned from ear to ear. While I am not the world’s biggest Valentine’s Day fan, (I believe we should be generous with our love every day of the year, not just on consumer driven ones) it made really happy to know that you guys were all way too busy loving to check in here! Of course, the second half of the day’s absence was probably more accurately because of the horror that was unfolding in Florida…

While I realize the whole point of these Friday posts was to share a bit of awesome/fun/cool/*insert other positive adjective here* stuff so that the heaviness of life did not drown us completely, and therefore the idea of using a Friday post to talk about those heavy things may seem a big off- I just have to say one something…

As human beings, absolutely every decision will boil down to one of three things. (Even doing nothing IS a decision.) We can choose:

  • Action
  • Inaction (no action/apathy)
  • Reaction

Let’s be honest- saying “thoughts and prayers” regarding a horrific tragedy does not mean anything. It does not count as action. Actually praying, actually using thoughts to help discern how we can better a situation, make an impact, ease a hurt (etc) IS taking action. Emotionally lashing out, threatening, and marching forward without considering/caring about the consequences or how your choice will affect others- THIS is reaction. This is the seed terrorism is grown from. So if you’re going to talk about how your thoughts and prayers are with Florida, make sure those prayers are being fervently prayed and your thoughts are geared towards HOW to make this better. If ONE person can cause so much hurt and have the entire country talking about him, then absolutely ONE person can make things better. Two can make them doubly better, and all of us who want a better world CAN work together, (stop being apathetic and stop reacting in offense to absolutely every grain of everything that isn’t inline with our own feelings) to make things better. Change is necessary- and this isn’t just about guns. People who want to hurt others can do that without guns. We do need reform, but we also need to change how we deal with each other, what we turn a blind eye to, and how we (as a society) are far too wrapped up in ourselves.

That’s all, about that. At least as far as this post goes.

Beyond the tragedy in Florida, my week here was a pretty quiet one. Elenor was spayed last Friday, and other than a major hiccup which had us back in the vet’s office for a small bonus procedure, things are going well. Lots of reading, some writing, a few movies and an assortment other quiet activities have been on the agenda. This will probably be reflected in the list of my week’s things to share with you.

  • Hopefully this is something that isn’t ever needed, (for those of you with dogs anyway) but just in case it is- I’ll share. The Comfy Cone has saved us NUMEROUS times. While it isn’t exactly a new thing, to me, it has been a saving grace this week. As much as Elenor didn’t love it at first, she’s grown used to it to. Compared to those disgusting, destructive plastic shields, this is a MUCH better alternative!
  • I acquired this oil book, over the weekend. While I have several really great books on essential oils, this one surpasses them all! I learned more in an hour of skimming sections than I have in most of the classes and educational meetings I’ve taken.
  • I cannot even tell you how much I loved this movie. Even having seen the trailer several times, so many things about it surprised me. It is as much sweet as it is empathy building. Overall just a lovely, relevant film.
  • I shared this book here awhile ago but I’m sharing it again because my awesome husband gave it to me on Wednesday. It is lovely and well written and absolutely everything I hoped it would be!
  • Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely devastated that I can not share a link with you here. The very BRIGHTEST point, in my week, was when The ShibSibs did their  Team USA Free Skate. I have watched it dozens of times, throughout the week. Chw will laugh at me when I play it again, (it stays cued up, on my DVR) but then he sits down, mesmerized by it, each and every time. He points out (again) his favorite parts, and I follow with the three parts which send chills racing up my spine, no matter how many times I have seen it. We both know what the commentators say leading up to the dance, during and after- by heart. If anyone were to ask me what piece of art moves me the most, I would HANDS DOWN say it is that skate. (I know they have skated that routine before, and I also know that it has never been anything close to as moving and raw as this particular time was) Even so, I’ll link you to their youtube channel, because they are adorable and so gifted.

Here’s to a weekend full of action following what our lips promise, which leads to hope and encouragement and comes BECAUSE of love…

beautiful, books, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, family, food, friendship, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys, it’s February! How?

Last week I received an email from one of you lovelies, and I loved it! It’s author was having a bit of a rough season and said:

I really enjoy getting in to the office on friday mornings and finding your post in my inbox. I often find new favorite songs, things I have to purchase as soon as humanly possible, a good chuckle or a reason to tear up. There is something so human about your sharing and transparency. Some days though, like today, I just want to sarcastically list the top five things I really don’t like about this week, in reply. That’s pretty transparently human too, don’t you think?

I DO! We had a nice back & forth exchange, over the weekend. The truth us, sometimes I do slip things that I might be disappointed, or am struggling with, into these Friday-Five posts. Life is not perfect. I do not want to give that Fake-Facebook illusion that my life is picture perfect. There are weeks so overwhelming that I really have to grasp to fill these five slots. While I do have a list of five ready to go, for this week, I could probably come up with a list of forty-five “bad things” almost instantly. Like, do you know what I don’t like? When my husband’s business trips get extended. When it feels like I spend less hours/days with him home than not, and all of the side issues that accompany that, and this particular season of ours. Do you know what I really, REALLY don’t like? When it is dark outside, and I’m walking the dog (close to home) and she stops, alarmed, and then follows something (with her eyes) as though there was actually something there, which there isn’t… Creepy dog. I DO NOT like that. And also, nearly crashing my car into the back of someone. (although I do really like that it was a “nearly” and not an actually.) Adding to the terrible list, cucumbers. Gross.

That is kind of the point, I guess. For most of us, it is super easy to find, list out and dwell on the bad. So I (try to) intentionally focus on a handful of things I love a little (or a lot, sometimes) to share with you guys, whom I also love.

1.) Let’s chat about wish lists for a second. I keep a running wish list for a few reasons, but the two biggest would be that A.) my husband will ask, come birthday and Christmastime, and I ALWAYS come up with nothing, when put on the spot. Also there is B.) the fact that my memory is pretty worthless and sometimes I see really great things that I might just want to buy one day… Even so, while I am known to ask a child what they’d like for Christmas or birthday, I try not to make any occasion super materialistic and consumer focussed. It is a pretty fine line, at those times, but what about the asinine Hallmark holidays? I have always prided myself on being the low maintenance Valentine wife, content with a bouquet of Costco flowers and cheap little date. Or not. That’s how easy I am. (Though between us, my heart always hopes I’ll secretly be surprised by a bouquet of peonies, because they are my absolute favorite. I can say that because Chw doesn’t give two hoots about this blog. I also know myself well enough to know that once I saw the amount spent on such an indulgence, I’d kick both of us and then go back to being just fine with Costco roses…) That being said, there is this book releasing which I absolutely want to beg my husband to buy me, and inscribe it with something heartfelt and lovely.

Who am I kidding? I already showed him this book, about a month ago. It sounds so delicious, doesn’t it?

2.) Speaking of my husband… The guy is a BIG fan of Emergen-C. (So much so that sometimes it almost seems like the Windex thing from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…) I’m not above taking it, if I am actually sick (or feel strongly that I’m getting sick) but I am not a masochist and so I have to mix it with orange juice. (or, best of all is several juices together so that I can pretend it is a mimosa or cocktail.) When we ran out, this month (GASP!!!! The Horror!!!) my husband managed to find the Army supply size at Costco, to purchase. I only half rolled my eyes though, because let’s face it- the guy is hardly ever sick, so he may really be on to something. To my surprise, on the side of the box there was a smoothie recipe.

Mind blown… Why hadn’t I ever thought of that?

This week I made my normal smoothie recipe, (forget theirs, their product already tastes like dehydrated floor cleaner, I don’t care to try their smoothie recipe) and added a packet of Emergen-C. I can honestly say that it was incredibly tasty, and I would do it again! (also, I’m not sick! which, I wasn’t actually feeling sick, but still, I’m not sick and we can pretend that my magic smoothie is why!)

3.) No link here, sorry. While at Costco, over the weekend, stocking up on our seven trillion packets of Emergen-C, I stumbled upon Cauliflower crust pizza, in the freezer section. What really caught my eye was that the toppings were Roasted Vegetable. There used to be these delicious Lean Cuisine personal pizzas that were Roasted Vegetable and i LOVED them. (Think pre-economy tanking, back when Godiva also sold the most perfect ice cream ever, in the freezer section of all supermarkets. Man, those were the days… Can we spend a second in silence, remembering gas that was well under $2 a gallon?) Even though I love cauliflower, I’ve been a little slow to embrace it taking over the world, but the Roasted Vegetable appealed to me and so I brought it home.

This is the best pizza ever.


Is EVERY Cauliflower pizza like magic, in your mouth? Is it just this one? Honestly, I am a little panicky about the whole thing because things I love at Costco have a habit of being temporarily available, and then I never see them again.

4.) I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone. Do you remember home phone days? When a phone bill would be around $25, and then long distance calls might bring it to a hundred dollars, on a really bad month… In those days I never would have imagined monthly phone bills of the cell phone variety. As I stated, I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone in which I text people and they text me, and I occasionally play Disney emoji. And sometimes I think it is ridiculous that I have this phone, and then an afternoon comes along when one of my oldest, dearest and truest friends and I spend four hours talking. In those four hours, the distance between Michigan and the West Coast shrank a little, and my heart was full. (and now I’m set on actual phone conversations for a good, long while.)

5.) I don’t watch the Grammy’s, they are pretty much not my bag o’ fun. I am sure there isn’t a person around, however, who hasn’t heard about the amazing performance Kesha gave, of her song Praying. Already deeply moved by the song, her performance (as seen absolutely everywhere, all over the internet) moves me to tears. Every. Single. time.

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I identify with every ounce of it. Even with the conflicted feelings I have regarding the #metoo sensation of right now, I feel the message of this anthem (I am totally calling it an anthem!) is EXACTLY the one we need to embrace. Empowerment involves many, many things. It is a layered process of several facets, but being a victim and cloaking one’s self in pity is not among them.

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name


It is on a somber note that this week’s post is ending, and that’s ok. Sometimes somber can be beautiful too.