books, entertainment, family, food, friendship, gratitude, journey, list, marriage

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

This was one of those weeks where the good things were really good, and the less than great things were pretty low. As I’m typing this I am on a post recording high, from an episode very near and dear to me. Every single time I sit down to do an episode, it feels like the world opens up a bit wider and it somehow makes a little more sense. It is almost as though there are these full circle moments coming into clear focus, and leaving me in awe. In and of itself, the show is a very technically flawed free app. Beneath that though, where the gooey, glorious heart of it lives, there is something so much bigger than anything I could orchestrate and I am so grateful to be a part of it. This show is a humble little blip in the deep and ravenous sea of podcasters, sponsors and expense sheets. We are an every growing community of women, filled with a fire to make something better simply by being real and supporting one another. It is so odd to think, but that really does make the world better for someone.

If I am never a part of anything else, I think this podcast will never stop being my favorite.

Beyond that, it was a week which included cupcakes, coffee & sharing with women, family dinners, sunshine, pulling the summer clothes out of storage, packing the winter ones away, so much criticism, breaking pointes/boundaries, changes, possibilities, acceptance, so much tension dissipating into true peace and some of the most raw and transparent conversations i’ve had in ages… This blissful Thursday night/Friday morning finds me filled with gratitude and trust.

Beyond that:

  • Boise Boys. If you haven’t watched this, you should. It likely won’t evoke longings for home, like it does for us, but it is honestly just so fascinating. We don’t know either one of them, but we have about a thousand personal/real-life connections to Luke Caldwell, so we practically know him. Right?!?!
  • Goat Milk lotion. Have you used it? I am a constant hand cream user, and the problem isn’t the cream but it’s my skin. Super thirsty, I guess. Anyway, we were out of town on Sunday and I found a sample bottle of this soft scented goat milk lotion on a shop counter. I put a small dab on my hands and probably didn’t use lotion again until Monday. It was amazing and now, now I must acquire some. (note: adding to list of reasons why I need goats in my life.)
  • On Saturday I made Blackberry Cobbler. I totally want to claim that I made it for my cousin, and I really want to claim it is because I am so thoughtful and remembered that it was her favorite and that my grandmother always used to make it for her. Truth is, I didn’t remember that… (At least not consciously) also, I have never made blackberry cobbler before. My grandmother’s peach cobbler has been a stable in our summers, forever, but blackberry has never crossed my mind. Then I made it, and it was heaven. This summer we will not have cobbler- this summer will become the Summer of Cobbler. You’ll see…
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society Trailer. It appears that Netflix will have it in August and honestly, I cannot wait. I loved this book and am loving the trailer so much. (PLUS it’s like a Downton reunion!)
  • I have developed this odd little bad habit of setting beverages on the back of my couch. Where we are currently living happens to be the very first living room where my couch is flush against a wall. I eventually began to utilize the very convenient “shelf” that is the its back. It’s not a big deal really, no spills… But, my swell bottle and coffee cups sometimes scuff the paint on the wall. There have been times my husband has come home from a business trip to a few forgotten (empty) coke zero cans planted there. My husband found a few pieces of reclaimed wood and he put together a humble little “sofa table”. We didn’t need much, basically just a holder for Misty’s pluthera of beverages. (#drymouth) It was the sweetest thing and I LOVE it. As if the gesture wasn’t sweet enough, he also built an outlet, complete with USB plugs, right into it. Seriously, this guy is the coolest…
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books, chronic illness, entertainment, food, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, marriage, self care, travel

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

It’s just not possible…

I look outside my large Michigan window and curse life as I know it. The warmth that was Tennessee this time last week, while here, today, it is snow and bitter cold.  Again. So over it…

I am also battling a cold, and intensely sore from wild and crazy things like caving beneath the Smokey Mountains and a new workout routine, back here in the land of frigid. I am achy and congested, frozen-finger typing while I am bundled up in an oversized sweatshirt, scarf and yoga pants. Emma, my seven year old Aussie, is corralled in the bathroom due to some sort of doggy sickness that I honestly feel like I cannot muster the energy for and I am nursing my second Coke zero of the day (yes, I do realize it is only ten in the morning) because my throat is swollen and on fire and it just feels better to drink that over razor sharp water… My box of tissues sits to my left, stack of books to my right. Atop the stack, naturally, is my Let Go journal…

I feel miserable and terrible, and really pretty awful too.

Let it go, Misty

And maybe it is possible. Possible to feel all of the sad, bad, sickly things and still be a ray of shining something inside. Let’s try that, anyway.

Sharing the love, with you-

  • The husband and I went to Tennessee to celebrate twenty-four years since we first said I Do. The trip was wonderful! It was so great to take adventures together, just focus on BE-ing, and make new memories while investing in Us. The only really unplanned inconvenience was the traffic down, where we crawled at a snail’s pace along with EVERY SINGLE PERSON heading to Florida for spring break. Never would’ve thought, but now we know for next time… Among the AMAZING things we did in Tennessee, my favorite things to list (without making this an entire Knoxville area edition of the standard Friday post) would all involve Market Square, in Knoxville. Not only is trendy and yet somehow timeless, but it has an adorable little dog park right in the middle, and we got to meet lots of great little dogs! (It is safe to say that this part is not going to make Chw’s BEST list.) My favorite shop in the Square was the Knoxville Chocolate Company, not for what seems like the obvious reasons, however. The chocolate parts were more  earning of my husband’s adoration. For me, it was the artwork and gifts. They were featuring works from local artist Milk Moon House, and I fell head over heals for several of the pieces displayed!  It was a sad reality that they were pretty far out of my budget, and so with deep sadness I walked away… (also, shout out to the Blue Coast Bar & Grill for miraculously making the best french toast I have ever put in my mouth!)
  • When we first decided on Knoxville being our destination, a friend recommended a visit to McKay’s books. (If you’ve never had the overwhelmingly sensory experience of visiting this entertainment haven, you might want to consider a trip to Knoxville.) Nothing I can say would ever do it justice, and the place itself isn’t my second item here anyway. It is something I discovered while digging through their Vinyl. This album/movie is so fundamental to my childhood. You would have thought I’d dug and found a trove filled with gold and diamonds, for all of the enthusiasm I still have over this record.

The dark side’s callin’ now, nothin’ is real
She’ll never know just how I feel
From out of the shadows she walks like a dream
Make me feel crazy, make me feel so mean…

Moving on…

  • Because we love them and it’s what we do- the husband and I caught a movie at the local cineplex our last night in town. Him, (quite eagerly), and me (significantly less so) nestled in with popcorn to see Ready Player One. We had spent a pretty big chunk of the day adventuring through underground caves and I was feeling pretty tired. On occasion my inner grandma has been known to come out and nap through movies, and I was pretty certain this would be one of those naps. It was not. By principal and taste I pride myself on not being much of a Sci-Fi lover, but this movie… So crazy good.
  • I love to read. I don’t always have the time, but I am trying to be more intentional about picking up books. One thing I cannot do is read in the car. I just can’t. And my husband loves to listen to audiobooks, but the one thing he cannot do is read physical books. Something about holding a book just inspires his inner grandpa to pop right out and drift to snoozeland. Neither one of us can justify the regular cost of purchasing Audio books because… well, they are ridiculous. (and yes, he listens through the library, but the wait list is often unbearable.) Enter Otto. Maybe you’ve seen it pop up in various social media ads, promising to be the Netflix of audio books. That’s how I first heard of it, and skeptically, I looked into it. You guys, it IS the Netflix of audiobooks! We listened to a couple of great books, on our trip. Our favorite was The Woman in Cabin 10. (sidenote: I am surprised the consumer reader reviews aren’t stronger because this book HAD IT ALL…) Feeling super crummy this week (as I mentioned), and not playing entirely by-the-book with my Dirty Keto life, I have been self caring by some more reading. (We all need some self nurturing…) Am absolutely loving listening to This Is Me and recommend it to every woman/girl/person.)
  • I don’t usually watch New, midseason TV shows. (They aren’t usually very good and they also stand a greater chance of getting cancelled, so why commit?) I am a major fan of Zach Braff though, and as an Office lover, also adore Jenna Fischer. Their new shows Alex Inc. and Splitting Up Together are actually really good. I don’t know that they will get renewed because these are pretty smart and not the normal trendy types that do well… Fingers crossed! (Plus Emily Kapnek is bringing us Splitting Up Together and she was the brilliance behind Selfie– a show I deeply loved, that was gruesomely cancelled even though the internet went to war to save it! So you could say I’m a little jaded.)

What have you been loving lately? PLEASE share- I need all the joy I can get right now!

entertainment, food, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, Misc., self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

I had so naively hoped that I could rave about how gloriously beautiful the weather was, now that it’s Spring and all. In reality though, so far Spring is pretty much just like Winter, and let’s face it- many are open for disappointment…

I do enjoy saying that it is Spring though.

It is Spring. Spring!!!

So far, though Spring is on my naughty list, and therefore NOT making this cut, this week, I am cautiously optimistic at it’s potential in weeks to come…

1.) Around November, this woman that some of you may have heard of, (her name is Oprah, just in case you’re one of the few) released a list of her Favorite Things. I have, in all honesty, never found many things in her list to be things I loved (especially where the book club aspect of things fell) but still, curiosity spurred me to check it out. I cannot remember anything on that list, save one thing in particular. While I may have been the last person around to learn what an air fryer was- I knew instantly that I needed this miracle machine. Funny thing about new, well-reviewed products though, (especially when they make Oprah’s list) they are out of stock. For a long, long time. So, we saved our pennies, and waited. And waited. And waited. And then, one week ago today, the heavens parted and I was alerted that Macy’s was having a ONE day sale, and they had ONE in stock. And then, as strange as it may seem, that 40% off little miracle, was tucked away in the back room and no one knew why. (I did! It was meant for me! Happy birthday, to me! Air fried chicken for everyone! (and bacon! And everything! Let’s fry it all!)

2.) While at the miracle sale, at Macy’s, (A store I NEVER shop at, and reminded me of my Dillard’s employee days as soon as I walked through the doors) a display for these little diffusers was sitting by the register. As a part of the one day sale, it was $20. TWENTY dollars! I picked up a few other goodies from the Ellia table, and brought home this amazing little gem. I love it so much! I sleep to sounds of the ocean, and it runs beautifully… Plus, let’s be honest- it’s gorgeous.

3.) Today is the day! Season two of Santa Clarita Diet is here! I am thrilled! We LOVE T.O. & D.B. so much and the combination of them in such a metaphorical way is absolutely genius!

4.) Ok… Southern Sweet tea has saved my life, this week. I don’t want to hear about the sweetener in here being not super Keto friendly. I literally do not care. I drink Coke Zero, which also isn’t keto friendly, and this tea is probably better for me than that… At any rate, I LOVE sweet tea, and this tea is carb and calorie free. So yeah… And it is so incredibly tasty!

5.) I literally stumbled across this song by Needtobreathe this week and I have to say it really hit me right where I was, like an arrow to the pit of me. Thought I’d share. :)

As always, I love hearing what has stirred your soul and made you smile, this week.

Happy Friday!

books, entertainment, family, 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.

books, 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!)