Loving Lately 👜💄💍

I’m not one of those “a few steps ahead” people. I’m more like “a couple years behind.” It’s okay. I’m preoccupied with a happy life. But everyone once in a while, when I catch a late whim of something, I’ll think “I should check that out.” What’s better is when I love it- then I want to shout it out, like this is awesome! (…Pinterest, …kombucha, …things I don’t know about.) And everyone’s like “yeah, we know.” And I’m all like, “your long-time knowing will not curb my enthusiasm!” Such is the case with #fabfitfun. And I just want to encourage you that it is never too late to try something fun and new (to you 😉 ).

A couple weeks ago, I signed up to receive fabfitfun boxes. I’ve been trying to watch what I eat (gasp) and I wanted to reward myself- and not with food. Also, admittedly, being a stay-at-home mom for me at times, I feel like a drab disconnected hermit… and I thought this might be a fun and exciting way to keep in touch with what’s trending and current. (I’m already in constant pursuit of appreciating what’s old.) Anyway, I got my first box… and it feels like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. It’s possible that I squealed.

The first thing I noticed was the Mod Cloth. It was love at first sight. It’s a blanket scarf… probably my new favorite thing. The first item I took out of the box was the 18K gold plated necklace by Jook and Nona that says “Dream,” that’s what I’m best at! I put in on right away. The first little box I read was skin hydrating booster from #dermalogica. How did they know I have dry skin? (I may have mentioned I have combination skin when filling out their form… but I didn’t say ridiculously dry and need this immensely!) I gave my face a quick wipe and applied. I’m glowing. Best day ever! Next I took out the primed lip gloss stain by Manna. It’s a shade called “lucky”. I’m feeling it. Then I took out the Zoya nail polish box. That’s a brand I’m familiar with. I love that their product has no formaldehyde or several other toxic chemicals. Yay! I also received Marrakesh Oil, an Argan and hemp oil therapy hair styling elixir; Colored pencils and coloring book (I am not too old to color.); Mineral Face Peel by O.R.G., a gentle exfoliant face spray; and a “good morning gorgeous” travel mug. I’ll just say it, I saw that travel mug online and was hoping I would get one. I’m so excited!

The program is seasonal, they send four (winter, spring, summer and fall) boxes a year, full of surprise products that they select for you based on your preferences. The cost is $49.99 per box, but the value is approx $200+ worth of full size goods. They are always running specials such as $10 off of your first box and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Also you can opt to pay for 1 full year up front for only $179.99, an instant $20 in savings.) And if you like the products, they offer discounted “add-ons” to members available for purchase. For more information visit FabFitFun.com!

Pear & Blue Cheese Tart

Pear and Stilton are such a classic combination. As much as I like trying new food fusions, I always love the blends that are paired for a reason. So when I came across the gorgeous picture of the “Perfect Pear Tart in Nancy Fuller’s cookbook, Farmhouse Rules, I didn’t hesitate to put it on my to-do list. (Actually, there’s hardly a recipe in her book that I don’t want to try.) If you’re not a Stilton lover, it is possible that this recipe is not for you… However, if you are daring enough to try, it just might turn you into one!

Slightly adapted from Farmhouse Rule’s Perfect Pear Tart:

As organic as possible:

2 large ripe Bosc Pears, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

Juice of 1 Lemon

3 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Butter, cut into pieces

2 tsp (non-GMO) Cornstarch

1 tsp chopped fresh Thyme

1 tsp chopped fresh Sage

Salt

Pepper

1 refrigerated Pie Dough crust

2 ounces Stilton (or other Blue Cheese), crumbled

1 Large beaten Egg

 

Preheat the oven to 425°.

In a large bowl, toss sliced pears, lemon juice, brown sugar, butter, cornstarch, thyme, and sage. Season wit salt and pepper.

On a piece of parchment paper, roll the pie dough into about a 14 inch circle. Slide the parchment paper (with dough) onto a baking sheet. Spoon half of the pear mixture onto the center of the dough (leaving about a 2 inch rim) and top with half of the Stilton. Repeat.

Fold the crust up over the filling, over lapping and leaving an open circle in the center. Bake for 12 minutes, then brush dough with beaten egg and return to the oven for 15-18 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pear & Blue Cheese Tart

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe Bosc Pears, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp (non-GMO) Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh Thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh Sage
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 refrigerated Pie Dough crust
  • 2 ounces Stilton (or other Blue Cheese), crumbled
  • 1 Large beaten Egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, toss sliced pears, lemon juice, brown sugar, butter, cornstarch, thyme, and sage.
  3. Season wit salt and pepper.
  4. On a piece of parchment paper, roll the pie dough into about a 14 inch circle.
  5. Slide the parchment paper (with dough) onto a baking sheet.
  6. Spoon half of the pear mixture onto the center of the dough (leaving about a 2 inch rim) and top with half of the Stilton.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Fold the crust up over the filling, over lapping and leaving an open circle in the center.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, then brush dough with beaten egg and return to the oven for 15-18 minutes more.
  10. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://sadiesnest.com/pear-blue-cheese-tart/

 

 

Decor Dilemma… I Need Your Help!

My latest obsession is Wayfair. Truly, I don’t think there is any item that I have done a search for on their site that I haven’t found in one fashion or another. Amazing! Even better- a few weeks ago I received a $100 Wayfair gift card from a friend. (Cheer of jubilation!) Since then my mind has been reeling about making the right purchase. I’m not in a place in my life where I want to acquire things I don’t need or won’t use. (Which is not to say I don’t have an extensive wish list.) I just want the things I purchase to serve a purpose and have a function (even if that function is in the form of art that is pleasant to look at). There are just so many choices… So I’ve decided to include my readers in the decision making process! I’m going to show you my top faves and ask you tell me your favorite in the comments. Whichever item gets the most love is the one I’m going to buy!

Firstly, if I want to be completely practical, my daughter could use a new dresser. The one we have was passed on to us from an uncle. I appreciate the notion of re-using items and giving them more life. It was an ugly pressed-board set that we painted white and gave new hardware. It has done it’s job, but no longer works very well. The drawers never stay on track, they fall on the drawer below making about all of them darn near impossible to open. You know how it goes. This Beachcrest Home Dresser was made in the USA (an optional search setting on Wayfair.com) and is already painted white! Yay!

Next, I really like this stand up mirror. Isn’t it so pretty? I think it would be perfect on the wall in my bedroom! Look at the detail! And I have to tell you that it is called the Sadie Mirror. Sadie Mirror! I mean, come on. It’s meant to be.

I’ve been wanting to replace the art that hangs behind my living room sofa for a long time. My mom and dad bought us a very nice print for our first apartment. It was exactly what I wanted; whimsy, cheerful, colorful… and I’m just tired of it. My tastes have changed. I think this “Blue Nest” print would update my space and compliment my curtains nicely. It evokes the farmhouse feel that I love while keeping the colors and textures simplified. I just think it’s beautiful. (Side note: The name Sadie’s Nest, was more of an epithet to capture my home, but I am surprised how many birds, poultry, fowl, and the related items I literally have around my house. The endearment is real.)

 

The aforementioned fondness of bird decor is also why this “Usual Suspects Birds on a Wire” print is in the running for the same spot. How cute are those birds on a wire! Is it me? My mom has had this great, retro, pewter birds on a wire necklace that I love. My sister has it… it’s a sore spot. (Not really.) Needless to say, my affection runs deep, and I think this too would look great hanging above the sofa.

   

Wayfair has so much more than just furniture and home decor. I could go bananas in the kitchen department. Their selection of tableware, small appliances, cookware, gadgets, linens, etc. is huge! However, due to my already full storage I have to be selective. Which is why I’ve narrowed my search down to oven-safe soup bowls. For years I have wanted to place my individual servings of French Onion Soup under the broiler to melt and slightly brown my GruyĂšre… to no avail. So, it’s only right that they be included in the possibilities! But here’s the other thing, I can’t decide on which style… so if this is your pick, I am also leaving that up to you! (Be specific please.) The selections are: Graupera Pottery Artisans bowls made in Spain, the white Le Creuset, or the clear glass Luminarc bowls made in the USA.

Last, but not least, is the option of this bench from the Wayfair French Country Bedroom collection. I’ve wanted to replace the treadmill with a dainty bench under the window from the moment we set it up. (I’d probably use it a lot more too.) I think this Mayotte Two Seat Bench would really transform the whole space. La vie en rose.

I could go on… but I don’t want to overwhelm you with choices. Do you see my dilemma? And don’t even get me started on TV stands! Maybe one day I’ll do this again with only entertainment centers? (That’s a good idea!) Until then, I would truly be happy, over-the-top elated with any of these! I can’t wait to hear what you think and I am looking forward to putting my gift card toward good use on the winner!

Feature image courtesy of Wayfair French Country Bedroom collection.

Comments are closed and the decision has been made! Thank you everyone who took the time to comment below and on Facebook!

Loving Lately

So Spring is not exactly “in the air.” In fact, currently the temperature is below freezing. But it’s that time in the upper midwest when we are ready longing for Spring. And because Michigan has drastically fluctuating weather, I am aware that beyond this nearly 60° forecasted weekend, there is probably still a snowfall on the horizon. Actually being the true Michigander that I am, I’m okay with it all. But I am still loving the idea of Spring… the gradual bursts of opened windows… the flower buds… the recipes…

I am really excited about making the spring line-up from Farmhouse Rules by Nancy Fuller: Spring Fling Fiddlehead Soup, Tavern Ham, Roasted Asparagus, Buttery Braised Radishes… Fiddleheads and radishes! How spring am I! I am looking forward to the fresh garden offerings, and more time outdoors. It’s menus like this, little peeks of sunshine, and days with longer stretches of light that fuel my fire this time of year.

It’s a time of transition. And it’s not very beautiful. The trees are still bare, the snow has left behind brown patches of mud… But it’s hopeful. It has the promise that good things are on their way. (Photo courtesy of Betterphoto.com) I’m eager for the good things that lie ahead. I think we all get that way after a long cold winter. It’s the homestretch, our rite of passage. I can almost taste it… and I want to taste it!

Here’s a random goal: I want to eat nettles. (Photo of baby nettles courtesy of forageporage.) Apparently, they only grow in the Spring. Eiven and Eve Kilcher, from Alaska: The Last Frontier, make them sound like the most necessary and nutritious things I’ve never tried. In their cookbook, Homestead Kitchen, they include them in several recipes from tea, to Nettle Bread, and even Nettle Burgers! …Now, how do I get nettles?

The first day of Spring this year is March 2o. Yes, (small cry) still over a month away. We are smack dab in the middle of “The Thaw” phase (photo courtesy of Flickr). But thinking about Spring helps me get through the cold and gray. And enduring these last cold murky days makes the appreciation of what’s in store all the better.

Thank you refreshrestyle.com for my featured image and inspirational spring quote!

(And even more so, thank you to my readers who put up with my ramblings! Xoxo)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the day we show our love… I love my husband… I love my kids… I love chocolate-covered strawberries! They are little, red, sweet, and fruity gifts wrapped in chocolate packages. The best part is, well, eating them. But the second best part is that they require very little skill. I don’t know if you’ve made them before, but I want you to know that it is so easy a four-year-old can do it.

As organic as possible:

2 pints (16-18) fresh Strawberries

1 bag (approx 11.5 oz.) Milk-Chocolate chips

1/2 bag (approx 6 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

1/2 bag (approx 6 oz.) White Chocolate chips (optional)

I know in a lot of professional dessert shops, they don’t rinse the strawberries. They actually use a soft brush and clean them like you would a mushroom. I understand the reasoning: you don’t want the extra moisture content to separate the berry from the chocolate. I get it. That said, I’m a little weird about not rinsing my fruit off.

I do use organic strawberries; which is important to me, not eating all of the toxic pesticides, not to mention GMO’s
 But this is about Valentine’s Day -so let’s not go there! All I’m saying is that I rinse off my berries. Then pat them dry with a paper towel and let them sit until they are dry again. (I also realize that for someone who cares about the earth I use way too many paper towels.)

Now that we’ve got the dirty part out of the way, let’s get back to those clean berries. When they’re dry, all you need to do is melt your chocolate.

 

If you have a heavy bottomed saucepan, you could put the heat on low and let the chocolate slowly melt. However, it’s a more subtle and foolproof way to do the traditional double broiler method. Just put about an inch of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and set a glass bowl on the top (not touching the water) and set the heat on med-high letting the water come to a boil. Stir often until the chocolate is melted through, and no more chocolate lumps are visible. Carefully move the bowl to your work station (most likely the counter top).

Next, simply hold the berries by their green tips and dip and roll the fruit around in a chocolate bath until the berry is mostly covered with chocolate.

Let the excess drip off and then place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.

It’s a simple as that, and you can totally stop there and eat your berries -and be happy. But my sweetheart happens to like white chocolate so I took it a step further and melted a little more goodness. This time because of the small amount, I microwaved the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, then 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate was smooth.

Because I am not a pastry shop I just used a Ziploc baggy with a hole cut in the corner for my drizzle.

Using a back and forth zigzag motion, draw the white lines across your chocolate-covered berries. Let the kids help, this doesn’t have to be perfection! (Unless you’re selling them, then you need to be meticulous… please refer to another blog.)

The work is done! Let the berries set for a while until the chocolate cools and hardens. If you have a refrigerator large (and sparse) enough to hold the trays… Lucky you! Just kidding. It can help the chocolate set faster.

And if you have a little extra chocolate that you don’t want to waste… Consider dipping in cookies, or graham crackers!

 Or of course, cleaning out the bowl yourself is always a viable option.

I hope your day is full of LOVE! (and chocolate)

Loving Lately ☀

I read somewhere recently that Michigan had a record setting number of days in a row without sunshine. I’m not against a moody day to cozy up every now and then… and then it’s like -whoa, one day too many. And you realize that it’s not just the weather that’s stinkin’ gloomy. (Maybe you’ve read too many of those political Facebook posts?) Anyway, it sure makes one appreciate when the sun comes out.

Isn’t that laughter? How about sunshine AND laughter? Yes please! Image from http://buzzsharer.com

Today is one of those days, even a little blue sky to boot… so I’m going to keep this short and soak up some rays, albeit through the heated side of my window pane.

printables4mom.com

Shine on! 🌞

Featured image courtesy of (and available for purchase from) Lily & Val.

Carrot-Spice Oatmeal Muffins

Actually the original are called “One-Bowl Carrot-Spice Oatmeal Muffins” from the very informative cookbook Brown Eggs & Jam Jars. (How cute is that name?) The book is loaded with great tips on “urban homesteading,” i.e., composting, gardening, and collecting rainwater to name a few. The author AimĂ©e Wimbush-Bourque has an awarded food blog called Simple Bites that I should also mention, because it’s worth checking out. She and her team focus on whole foods, locally grown (if not right in her own backyard) and even closer to my heart- cooking with kids. Her recipes are easy to follow and yummy to eat! These muffins are a perfect morning treat you can feel good about; for those of us who love baked goods, but don’t want all of the normally applied sugar. It’s kind of like eating a baked bowl of oatmeal, lightly sweetened and packed with nutrition. Win!

Inspired  by Brown Eggs & Jam Jars:

Makes 12 medium or 24 mini muffins

1 cup Milk, at room temperature

1 tsp white Vinegar

1 cup old-fashioned Oats

1 Egg, at room temperature

1/4 cup raw cane Sugar

1/2 cup unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup + 2 Tbsp Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp freshly ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly ground Nutmeg

1 cup grated Carrots

1/2 cup dried Cranberries

Combine milk, vinegar and oats in a large bowl and let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan or 24-cup mini muffin pan with cupcake papers.

Crack the egg into the oat mixture; add sugar and beat with a whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter. I love the look of melted butter…

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to overmix.

Sprinkle grated carrot and cranberries into the bowl and combine muffin batter gently but thoroughly. Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins.

Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, 12-14 minutes. Cool in pans for a few minutes, then transfer muffins to cool completely.

 

Carrot-Spice Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp white Vinegar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 Egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup raw cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Carrots
  • 1/2 cup dried Cranberries

Instructions

  1. Combine milk, vinegar and oats in a large bowl and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan or 24-cup mini muffin pan with cupcake papers.
  3. Crack the egg into the oat mixture; add sugar and beat with a whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to overmix.
  5. Sprinkle grated carrot and cranberries into the bowl and combine muffin batter gently but thoroughly. Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins.
  6. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, 12-14 minutes. Cool in pans for a few minutes, then transfer muffins to cool completely.
http://sadiesnest.com/carrot-spice-oatmeal-muffins/

 

You know it’s all about that Game…

‘Bout that game, ’bout that game. No trouble!

Are you still looking for some fun ideas to serve your family and friends tomorrow? Because it’s time for the showdown of one of America’s favorite pastimes, Super Bowl LI! And let me start by giving credit to Hosting & Toasting for the watermelon cut-out of a football helmet. I love it! And they have some other cute ideas too.

We are a house divided this year. Two of my sons and I are rooting for the Patriots; my husband, daughter and baby boy are cheering on the Falcons. (To be honest I really don’t have a lot emotionally invested in the game.) Even though I am rooting for New England, I can appreciate how my husband has got my two-year-old going around doing the “dirty bird.” It’s fan-tastic. (Get it?)

Something we can all agree on are the snacks… not really. But we do all like to eat, so there it is! There are a few foods that seem to coincide with game day. I like to stay classic, but still venture into new flavors. However, I can say with confidence that finger food is the way to go! (Naturally, my very first food suggestion breaks the rule. Back and forth, back and forth…) Because people want to watch the game, not sit at a table!

But this table from Kara’s Party Ideas is pretty cute, am I right?

Almost everyone likes a game day chili and it really doesn’t get much easier. “Chop chop in the pot,” as Nancy Fuller would say. (I watch way too many food shows.) Here is my basic version of the classic, “Kid Friendly Chili“. It’s a family fave.

 

Last year I came up with a Yogurt Chicken Chili for a Chobani challenge. It was an instant hit at home. But if my chili dreams came true, this year I’d make Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili recipe from Food Network. It’s got 5 stars out of 449 reviews… and bacon. Did you catch that? Bacon!

Pizza is a football watching staple. Of course ordering from your local “pie shop” is the easiest. Next, you’ve got some frozen options. I don’t judge. My kids love Annie’s organic pizza bagel bites. We like to make our own Pizza Bagels too.

But if I had my pizza way, I’d have something like this Chipotle Candied Bacon and Smoked Blue Cheese Pizza from How Sweet Eats. Now that’s a game day to remember!

Chicken wings are almost synonymous with Game Day food. You can buy them ready to bake. You could dip chicken tenders in buffalo sauce. Eating tasty food isn’t really complicated. Southern Fried Chicken is about as exotic as my kids will venture with chicken on the bone. But for the mature people out there, there are thousands of Buffalo style chicken wing recipes. Furthermore, this is what I consider “finger licking good,” Sticky Honey-Soy Chicken Wings from Tyler Florence. (I wish these were available with delivery.)

Loaded potato skins are up there with all things you eat while watching football. I like mine crispy and traditional. I think The Pioneer Woman nailed it.

Of course you need to wipe your hands (and face) after handling all of this food. I love this idea from HGTV:

Really you can make things as detailed or keep them as simple as you want. This year I’m keeping it pretty low key, but that’s not to say that next year I won’t be busting out my football field replicated party dip… like this one from everydaygoodthinking.com:

The key is to have fun with your family and friends! Have a great weekend! And Go Patriots! (Unless you’re rooting for the Falcons) 😉

Loving Lately 🛏

This week I am seriously loving my new B&B. It’s perfect; charming, cozy and inviting. The warm seasonal fruit muffins are fresh from the oven and ready to serve. Owen is stoking the fire in the idyllically welcoming front lobby… It’s all in my head of course; my new dream.

It’s a natural transition really. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’ve long yearned for a cafĂ© and small farm. Except, I don’t think I do anymore; one of those “unanswered prayers” type of things. In reality, I’m much more of a homebody. A cafĂ© is a real commitment! Maybe, just maybe, something like this coffee station from In Your Back Pocket is more my pace?

I’ve really got this desire that won’t go away… So I’ve been scouring the internet for articles on starting a Bed and Breakfast, a dog with a bone I am. And I came along a great piece from entrepreneur.com (also responsible for my lovely featured image) that includes some great start up ideas. Oh, and I am deep into fantasy land. Look at how cute these welcoming baskets are from embellishedweddings.com!

Some people pay so much attention to the details! These signs from The House of Smiths Designs are over-the-top.

I know you’re thinking, “Sadie, you hate to do laundry!” That’s true. But in my defense, towels and sheets are the first things I tackle on laundry day. (They’re the easiest to put away!) And I’m in dream mode right now… So let’s just focus on fun things like all of the sunshine pouring into this dining room found at bedandbreakfast.com.

And these ridiculously cute Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries from Nerds with Knives.

Can you imagine how great it would be to serve those at my B&B? I would be beaming! …And I could stock a little community refrigerator for my guests to help themselves… it might look something like this from Live Simply by Annie:

Honestly, I think my chickens would just add to the charm. And obviously the eggs would be useful… this photo by Dreams Gather Here explains it all.

A delicious breakfast is a given… but equally important is the comfort of my guests. For the “bed” part of “bed and breakfast”, theBERRY.com has some really good ideas. I mean, I’d want to sleep here:

And who wouldn’t want to relax and enjoy a good soak in this tub captured by ollebosse?

Food for thought: Perhaps “Sadie’s Nest” is not just the name of my blog?

Please excuse me while I think about that all day.

All of this Life

My daughter’s birthday was over the weekend, sandwiched in between two separate family funerals (and a soccer lesson). It’s one of those delicate parenting moments. Of course you want your children to feel they are safe and secure while acknowledging the reality of loss… You still want your child to feel special on their birthday. So as life goes on, you are pressing dress shirts for your sons to wear to a showing, and explaining to your 4 year old how we are related to those who have passed. You need to make sure your daughter has her 22 snacks to bring on her appointed day to her kindergarten class. It’s important that your 5th grader still gets his homework done. And when you realize on one of the evenings you are too exhausted to stay up with him, you have to make sure you write the teacher a note explaining you’ve been to a funeral and ask for another day to make it up. (Then, if you’re like me, you judge yourself for not planning your timing better.) I am in remembrance that it was about this time last year that I lost one of my best friends, Barbara. I miss her. And sometimes all of this life feels like it’s coming and going so fast.

You try to keep it in perspective, right? It’s a balancing act. I have so much to be thankful for: My children are healthy. My two year old is having the longest period ever of clear skin on his face, and we haven’t been to ER in over a month. We made it through the last asthmatic attack right at home! We are warm, even though it is snowing outside… because I managed to locate two AA batteries to put in our digital thermostat that stopped working. We have food on our table… Which reminds me someone still needs to pick up the birthday cake…

What would I do without my support group?

My husband? Who takes the day off of work to attend my great-aunt’s funeral with me. And exits with my 2 year old when he claimed to have pooped during the service. Diapers still need to be changed.

My parents? …Who offer to pick up the cake and bring it to the party. Who say, “Do you and the kids have something to wear to the funeral? Do you need us to come watch the kids so you can go shopping?” I still have to get dressed.

And I realize that I have loved ones who just lost a mother, an aunt, a sister, a grandmother… It’s a time of reflection, grief, appreciation… But you can’t just stop. There are still wishes to be made.

Through all of the uncertainty that’s going on in our country, in the media, in our families, in our homes… You realize the significance of family and the strength in love. And sharing that love.

Hugs help.

At times, I know we all feel like we are in a wind tunnel… a storm with things coming at us from every direction. Sometimes, it’s really hard to navigate. My advice? To myself? Remember this is temporary…

Look for the good. Be the good.

Love.

Happy Birthday Naomi! Mommy loves you!