Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 19 ~ Rest (or I love our bedroom)

Yesterday, as I cleaned our apartment, I noticed I was running out of energy. By evening, our home was clean, but I was starting to feel ill.

So today, while Dave is out in the suburbs preaching, I am reading a book ... one I could not wait to get my hands on.

New York Times bestselling author, Jan Karon, has (finally) written another Mitford novel. I love this series and have read it several times.

A  day of resting and drinking tea.

We should all rest when we feel crummy. I am glad the house is spotless. And, when I changed the sheets, I put out my favorite cheery pillowcase ... just perfect for these darker Fall days.

Two years ago, I spoke for a women's retreat at my home church in Seattle. It was delightful to be back and see so many friends.

In my lovely room, was a huge gift basket, full of all my favorititte things. Not many people know I like pillow cases, so I asked who did the gift basket. 

Victoria told me she reads my blog, and had been keeping track of things I mentioned ... pens, note cards, chocolate, nuts, lime green things ... and yes, pillow cases. (how sweet is that)

Pillow cases showed up in my post Top Ten Things I ALWAYS take on a mission trip.

ps. I often buy a book I really want to read, read it very carefully and then give it as a gift. (shhhh ... don't tell)

What do you do when you do not feel well? 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18 ~ Clean eating detox

Have you ever done a 28 day clean eating challenge? 

I have wanted to, so when my niece, Shannon, started working for Arbonne, and invited me to join her next Clean Eating group ... I was all in.

Here is why I chose this plan?

     *The fit kit comes with breakfast and lunch. 
       I get overwhelmed with planning 3 meals a day
       and now I only have to plan one meal.

     *Detoxing is no small thing. This program
       includes tons of supplements to really support
       your liver and your entire body while detoxing.
       (pre and pro-biotics, detox tea, fiber etc.)

     *I sampled the protein shake before I ordered.
       It was delicious.

     *The dinner recipes are delicious and work for
       my family.

     *There is a private Facebook group with 
       great information, recipes, a place to ask
       questions etc.

     *And, Shannon, is super cute and sweet.

Today, I finished day 9. I feel great and it has been pretty easy. I am looking forward to being a little lighter and a lot healthier as the holidays approach.

For the month of October, Shannon is offering a 50% discount off the 30 day fit kit supplies. It is a great deal. Check out her web site, or contact me if you would like her phone number.

I am off to drink another glass of water. 

ps. This is no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine, no sugar. What do I miss the most?
My occasional tall no-foam latte.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 17 ~ Solutions

There are so many things I love about living in our vintage apartment in Chicago.
We live on the top floor

Every day, I enjoy
          *hardwood floors

          *high ceilings
          *built in hutch

          *gorgeous details to the trim around
            the windows

          *a transom window

          *tall detailed baseboards

          *crown molding

BUT, there are a few things I really do not like:

          *lots (and I mean lots) of dust

          *really old windows

          *and, the biggest of all, only one bathroom

We host lots of overnight guests and get really creative with where to find a comfy sleeping spot for another person. (even six) But there is just nothing to do about only having one bathroom.

Recently, I did finally figure out a solution for a way to blow dry my hair, when the bathroom is occupied. (I know, small on the list of real life problems ... but made me happy.) Here it is ...

Yup ... that is a mirror hanging on the door knobs of my kitchen cabinet.

I am happy.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 16 ~ An afternoon of inspiration and a book I could not put down

Do you ever need a little change of pace, a good cup of coffee and some inspiration? I do. And, today was one of those days.

Chicago weather was a little dark and rainy, a perfect day for an afternoon at one of my favorite browsing places ... Barnes and Noble.

Christy had the afternoon off, so we went together.

I always start with a stack of magazine to peruse.
Then a gorgeous stack of books and a delicious coffee. (always a tall no-foam latte for me)

But today was a little different. First, I am not drinking coffee for the month, and brought a tea bag from home. And second, I started reading a book that I could not put down, and skipped the rest of the stack.

Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Ann Whiston-Donaldson, had me spell bound. Ann is a beautiful writer who honestly shares the story of the loss of their 12 year old son. 

My brother has buried a son, too early, and I was thinking of them, as well.

It was a different kind of inspiration then my usual afternoon at Barnes and Noble ... but I went away wanting to know Jesus a little more and wanting to be there for my friends in deep ways when they are experiencing loss.

Thanks, Ann, for sharing your loss. 

Where do you find inspiration?


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 15 ~ Hats and hands

Well, we have made it to day 15. In honor of all of us 31 dayers making it half way to 31 ... I bring you a special treat. 

Meet my grand baby, Lillian.


Isn't she the cutest?

ps. Go back and look at Lily's picture one more time. Dave thinks it looks like she is taking her first selfie. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 14 ~ARC's (advanced readers copy) and Maeve Binchy

There is a bookish girl that lives in our guest room. And when a bookish girl lives in your guest room, fun bookish things come in the mail.

My favorite are the ARC's that Christy receives. Advanced, pre-release copies of some really fantastic books.

Right now, I am reading Maeve's Times: In Her Own Words by a favorite Irish author, Maeve Binchy. (compiled after her death)

In our early years of travel in Europe, I received some smart advice from an expat. Susan recommended reading books from local authors whenever I could.

Thus began my love for Maeve Binchy (while I was in Ireland) and Rosamunde Pilcher (while I was in England).

ARC edition
This is a great book and I have learned so many fun and interesting things about Maeve Binchy. 

In October, 1968, Maeve was appointed Women's Editor of The Irish Times, when her father mailed them some of the many letters he had received from his traveling daughter.

This book is some selected writings from this season and it cover five decades of her essays. 

I loved this statement from The Irish Times, "Maeve's Times is funny and clever and kind, which are excellent qualities in both books and people ... what this wonderful collection of her work makes abundantly clear is that she was a superb journalist."

If you do not have a bookish girl living in your guest room, you will have to wait until the book is released on October 28. It will be worth the wait.

What are you reading?  


Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13 ~ Love your neighbor ... bake them scones

My amazing White Chocolate Apricot Scones have been featured on my blog many times.

The first time was when I baked these for our friends when their daughter was killed in a car accident.

The last time was when I baked 250 scones for our daughter's wedding.

Today, I want to talk about Love your neighbor ... bake them scones.

As a follower of Jesus, I want to be known on our block, as a family that is kind and thoughtful and fun.

So, each time someone moves into our neighborhood, I try to make it over in the first week with these delicious scones.

If you have moved recently (or ever) you will remember the exhaustion and confusion.

Where is the coffee maker, the measuring spoons,  the pillow cases? You will remember working hard and being hungry, with no time to figure out just where the grocery store is.

Enter ... me, with a plate of wonderful, just baked scones, to say "welcome to our neighborhood."

Would you like the super easy recipe? 

White Chocolate Apricot Scones  
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Glaze: 3 tablespoons butter
          2 tablespoons sugar, heated together

Combine dry ingredients. Add fruit and chocolate chips. Use a fork to stir in cream. Knead on a floured board 8 times.

Divide dough into 2 flat rounds. Cut each round into 6 triangles. 

Bake for 11 minutes at 425 degrees. Glaze while still warm.

Enjoy these delicious treats and share some with your neighbors.

ps. Thanks to a MOPS friend, Naomi, for sharing this recipe when we lived in Auburn. I have made them SO many times.   

What recipe do you most often share? 

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