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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, books, creative, entertainment, family, food, gratitude, journey, list

It’s Friday, I’m in love… {plus a little something…}

Happy Friday!

It is STILL my birthday month, and darn it if I’m not going to milk it, at least a little! I also officially received my first birthday gift, from my very sweet friend! (Thanks, friend!) I am so touched by generosity and love…

Anyway, This Week! (am I right? I’ve heard the murmurs and I just want to say- me too, you guys… ME TOO.)

This (never-ending) winter has been brutal in all the weather and a non-weathery ways. Maybe if we all join hands, squint our eyes, jump up at the same time while shouting “SPRING!” we can jump-start things! (get it? Jump start… Yeah, like I said, it’s been a week.)

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  • As I shared, last week, I have embarked on a Keto adventure. So far, (one whole week in… Call me an expert! Ha!) I am really liking it, for a multitude of reasons I won’t really bore you with. (unless you ask… then I won’t stop.) So far my biggest disappointments have been the amount of carbs in my beloved coffee creamer, how absolutely sick the Keto flag-fat Bulletproof coffee makes me, and that putting even five strawberries in my daily smoothie will throw my entire day’s carbs off. (can we take a moment of silence for daily smoothies, because guess who isn’t doing them anymore? This girl…) So yeah, that’s a lot of whining about the down sides, (which are the only ones, actually, for me) but there have been a lot more things I’ve discovered that i LOVE! (like, LOVE LOVE LOVE!) I’ve made my favorite 5 minutes food ever (sans recipe) and I want to eat it EVERY SINGLE DAY… I also discovered this amazing little snack. You guys… I can’t even tell you how amazing this is! (The mozzarella is my FAVORITE, which is so weird because I’m not a big mozzarella fan.)
  • Also, while I have shared products from this company before, (#foreverfan) I recently discovered their Peanut Butter Cups and… But when they are Keto friendly too, and so freaking delicious… I CAN NOT FAIL!

At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself this chick better not share another Keto related thing, or I am done. Well, sorry to sound like the annoying new girlfriend of the high school quarterback, but sit tight for one more thing? Because, while the first two things are totally delicious, healthy and for EVERYONE (#hailketo), this can be too. It’s super helpful…

  • The Carb Manager App has been a life saver. I was STRESSING out before I dove in. I mean, how would I manage all of the math and percentages??? Anyone who knows me knows my brain has limits, and most beyond third grade* math exceeds them. When I received my diploma, my brain retired from such nonsense. (*I mean the math I did in the third grade, not the intermediate college level stuff expected of children in elementary school now.)
  • Did you guys watch the Oscars? They were pretty fun, this year, which is a relief. Also, it helped that I actually liked many of the movies, for a change… Francis McDormand won for best actress and was so happy she won! Not only was her performance stunning, (Three Billboards is an incredible film!) but I absolutely adore her! While the public, at home behind their phones and computers, love to criticize her for being weird, I think she is doing a remarkably fantastic job of showing what her priorities are, while delivering beautiful performances that just might teach us something if we pay attention. Plus, her speech… COME ON!!!!! She’s a Gem, and we need to look to the gems like her if we want to admire Hollywood, and not the airbrushed, polished fake narcissists… (and once again, Guillermo Del Toro’s speech moved me incredibly! Can he come be my motivational life coach now, please?)
  • This one… This one might be my favorite of all of the things… I LOVE movies. (I know, I’ll allow you a minute to compose yourself over the shock you surely must be feeling regarding this most recent confession… *cough*) I love books, (notice the non-cap letters… This was intentional.) As a little girl, I loved books. I often surrounded myself, in a lump on the floor, with them. The first “big” book that I remember falling in love with was James and the Giant Peach. When they made the movie, well into my grown years, I was beside myself with excitement. I still, to this day, love the book SO much… While I didn’t love the movie nearly as much, I still hold the book among my most sacred of first loves…

TODAY, March 9, A Wrinkle In Time is finally here! (FINALLY!!!!!) I love this book too, (though it’s not my J & t G P!) and have been so excited, for the better part of forever, for this movie to be out. Every time I have gone to the theater, one of the several trailers have played, only building my anticipation more…

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the book or film- From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic that takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love.  The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Storm Reid as “Meg Murry.”

Storm Reid is Meg Murry and Levi Miller is Calvin O’Keefe in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timless classic directed by Ava DuVernay.

One of the things I really love about the story of A Wrinkle in Time is the timelessness and relevance.

In honor of what looks like an extraordinary adaptation, and of course my birthday month (!!!) I would like to give a $25 Fandango gift card away! For a chance to win, simply leave a comment with your favorite children’s book!

Good Luck!!! (and don’t forget to enter my other giveaway, for a Lifeway gift card!)

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!) …


beautiful, books, creative, entertainment, family, food, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in Love…

As you’re reading this, our sweet little Elenor (in case you’re new here… She’s an 8 month old Golden Retriever) is going under the knife today, getting her lady-bits taken care of. It’s sad, I agree. There are times when he coal-black eyes stare up at me and I nearly say wait, let’s think about this! She would make beautiful, snuggly little puppies…

But, the problem arrises when the reality that I would want to keep all of the puppies, exists. Plus, I would deserve to keep them because I would have been the one doing most of the care taking, birth coaching, crying over complications, etc… And then, while so enamored by all of the puppy love I would be LIVING, I would have to face the facts that:

1.) Elenor tests my patience and drives me crazy on a regular basis.

2) this ONE girl is far more puppy than anyone my age needs.

3) we live in a small apartment and logistically this would be an all out nightmare. (NIGHTMARE)

So, today Elenor says goodbye to the puppy-filled future that could have been.

Moving on… Well, Michigan, how about that weather? Well, America, how about that Super Bowl? Well, world,how about those Olympics? Yep, like I said: Pretty big week. Without further ado, here’s my personal top 5:

  • It was a great game, on Sunday. So good! (and I’m not a big football lover, but still. SO GOOD!) Less than cool, for me, what JT’s halftime show. It just wasn’t awesome (in my opinion.) He’s just not my favorite, but hey- the boy can move, and I do really (REALLY) love the bromance he and Jimmy Fallon have. Beyond that- Meh… Anyway, being an 80’s child who loved Prince along with all other 80’s girls, that beautiful city turning purple and bestowing Prince’s symbol was beyond moving. (also, to clarify, I do NOT hold JT responsible for one bit of that.)
  • After the Super Bowl was a pretty significant episode of one of my all time favorite shows, This is Us. (If you think I am going to say that finally knowing what we know was a highlight it wasn’t. In fact, the whole show was gut-wrenchingly miserable.) That being said, this week had two beautiful and moving episodes of this show, which I love so deeply. It, its beautiful development and writing, and it’s stunning multi-layered characters are very dear to my heart. (along with the hearts of millions of others, I know.) Spending two hours with the Pearsons was really good. (Also, if you’re caught up (so NOT my daughter) and feel the need for a good, balming and someone lighthearted approach to this week’s heartache, read this. It was a favorite read, this week.)
  • I devoured this book, like a true literary addict. Is The Wife Between Us the best book I’ve ever read? No. It doesn’t have to be. It was really a great February read. There are many things I could say, but they would only make sense to someone who has read it. (that would be your cue to read the book already, so we can chat!)
  • We have a small countertop and cabinet area, in our little kitchen, that is always dark. No matter what time of day it is, or how many lights are on, this countertop is always in darkness. The real complication here is that this countertop is the most practical work space for food prep. This is where we keep the coffee pot, which we use daily. This is where we prep breakfast and make daily smoothies. This is the place… And it can get super frustrating. (thankfully, no one has lost a finger!) This week we added these and I have to be honest- it was BRILLIANT decision. Since we are leasing and here temporarily, we couldn’t really do anything permanent and this was an inexpensive and awesome decision.
  • My husband LOVES Noodles & Company. It’s so weird, really. I mean, N&C is fine, I guess. To Chw though, that boy LOVES to eat there. On Sunday we somehow ended up grabbing a quick meal at N&C. As we are standing at the counter, ordering and checking out, (just like every other fine dining establishment- ha!) our eyes fell upon the small display of Rice Krispy treats and we unanimously said That sounds so good… And it was. I know this, because we shared one. We decided to stop by the supermarket on the way home and get supplies to make a gigantic pan of them. By the time our afternoon was over however, we both agreed we had been thinking in the moment and did not want to do that after all.

Then, on Monday I asked my love if he would stop by the store and grab some sour cream that I had overlooked in the recipe I was making for dinner. His response (via email) was that sour cream seemed like an odd ingredient for Rice Krispy treats. Of course he was joking, but we both realized they still sounded good, (which isn’t really like us, as neither of us have ever particularly loved RCT) and that must mean we were supposed to make some.

While dinner was in the oven, together we whipped up a pan of these treats (we made a few modifications involving extra butter and vanilla) and these were (truthfully) a high point in both of our week. Yum.

And there you have it… Highlight’s of the week to tickle your senses! What about you, what was a highlight in your corner of the world?