Friday Fun

This weekend is my birthday!  Woohoo!  Celebrating with my husband and kids, keeping it low key, and celebrating at a kareoke bar with my close knit crew next weekend.  What are you up to?

+ thinking about making this cake for my birthday weekend

+ did you know we average 23,040 breaths per day?  How many do you pay attention to?



+ just finished this book which I devoured in 36 hours, loved it minus the ending which I feel meh about

+ also just wrapped up this audiobook, highly recommend

+ I jumped on the essential oils bandwagon, and have recently been loving this and this

+ just started this workout program and it's kicking my butt (in a good way)

+ just checked this movie out from the library - I'm excited!

Have a good one!

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10 Years of Blogging

Somehow I managed to let a major blogging milestone slip past me in the last two weeks...January 7 marked ten years of blogging for me.  TEN. YEARS.  Holy cow...  It's hard to summarize everything that happened in those ten years, but ultimately a lot has changed, and I do appreciate returning to this little corner I've created.  It's my muse, my yearbook of sorts, marking special occasions, milestones, pitfalls and highlights in my life. 

These days, though I aspire for more, posts are fewer and far between.  Many bloggers I followed in 2008 have since retired or taken hiatus, but I sincerely still love it.  I always loved writing, perhaps because it's just one of those things that just flows to me. And though this blogging community has evolved significantly from those early beginnings of the late 2000's, it's still a space I find delight in returning to, time and time again.  It's also exciting to see how some of my virtual friends have flourished.  For example, I began reading Cup of Jo when it bore its original bare bones template, and Joanna and I used to comment regularly on each other's blogs, and these days, she's a household name garnering millions of followers.   I've enjoyed this community of blog friends, maintaining virtual friendships, some which have even translated to real life (Ashlee and Vivian).

So here it is.  10 Years!  Happy Birthday little blog.  I'm glad you're here.

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Dinner Last Night: Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup with Dry-Rub Sweet Potato Steaks & Green Bean Slaw

In light of a New Year's detox, I opted to make this easy slow cooker creamy lentil soup.  Pretty easy, just dump the ingredients, let them marinate for 7 hours and then puree 1 can of chickpeas, lemon, and water for the "creamy" factor.  Delicious!  

I paired with a recipe from Deb Perelman's newest Smitten Kitchen cookbook, dry-rub sweet potato steaks with green bean slaw.  Never had sweet potatoes this way, and man oh man, were they good!  The "slaw" is made up of blanched green beans mixed with a tangy vinaigrette.  Would post the recipe if I could find a link online, but alas, there was none...

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Quote of the Week

Thought this was a great quote to kick off 2018!

Winter Favorites

Hard to believe it's already the close of 2017.  This holiday season flew by, and a new year is just around the corner!  Any big plans for New Year's Eve?  I personally am a big fan of NOT doing anything on this holiday, just because everywhere is busy, crowded, and overrun with people.  We're likely playing this new game with my sister, brother-in-law, and my parents after the kids go to bed.  While we're anticipating 2018, here are some things I've been loving lately...Happy New Year!

+ just started The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime and loving it so far

+ saw Lady Bird in the theatre last weekend, it's fantastic, and packed with lots of great early 2000's throwback music, fashion, and the like

+ made these slow cooker chicken mole tacos the other night, pretty tasty

+ powered through The Crown season 2, I think it was even better than the first!

+ this book is amazing!!! Highly recommend!

+ soaking up all the wisdom from Brene Brown via audiobook

+ been playing this sleuthing fox game with my daughter 

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Last Great Book I Read

This book...just...wow!  Easily my top pick for 2017 undoubtedly one of top 5 favorite books ever, a title I don't give lightly.  Celeste Ng is a masterful storyteller.  This is a story of three families dwelling in the idyllic suburb of Cleveland, Shaker Heights.  The town is beloved for its preplanned nature; carefully mapped neighborhoods, orchestrated to be functional while aesthetically pleasing, even down to the paint color.  Hand in hand with its predictability is the perfect parks, friendly businesses, and foundational schools, which aim to produce a consistent output of successful future residents.

Embodying this spirit more than anyone is Elena Richardson, mother of four children, whose virtue is playing by the rules, her family a postcard of Leave it to Beaver perfection. Enter Mia and Pearl Warren, new tenants of the Richardsons whose single-mother status alone flags the antithesis of Shaker Heights convention.  Mia is a gifted artist with a mysterious past and Pearl, her kind, intelligent teenage daughter is drawn to the perfection that the Richardsons exude, having never lived a life as stable as they.  Then there's the McCulloughs, dear friends of the Richardsons who endeavor to adopt a Chinese-American baby, when a custody battle ensues, pitting Mia and Elena against on opposite sides. It's hard to elaborate much more without giving away significant plot lines, so I'll leave it at that...

However, may I say,  Celeste Ng is a truly gifted writer.  Her characters are cultivated with such depth and intimacy, their stories woven together into an immense, intricate, complicated fabric... I was so sad for this book to end.  One of those books you want to reread and wish it anew, just to experience the story again for the first time. 

I'll leave you with this quote, which resonated with me so soundly, I found myself rereading it over and over again, wondering how she was able to capture such a feeling in words.

“To a parent, your child wasn’t just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once.  You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she’d been and the child she’d become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously like a 3-D image.  It made your head spin.  It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in.  And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again."
p. 122

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Quote of the Week

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

Henry David Thoreau

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