Friday, December 31, 2021

Healthier eating habits for the new year

Image sourced from Pexels. CC0 License

Some ideas to eat healthier if you're looking to do that in the coming year:

More organic, less processed

We eat so much processed food in general, so cutting out a lot of packaged items that are processed is actually a good thing to cut out, even though cutting out anything is not necessary. Processed foods can have high fructose corn syrup, a ton of sodium, and may make you feel heavy and sluggish. .

Organic anything is better if you can swing it money-wise. Organic fruits and vegetables will have a specific sticker on it to let you know it’s organic, and there are sometimes organic sections of the supermarket. Shopping at farmer’s markets is also a great way to know that what you are buying is straight from the farm. Buy what you are going to eat so nothing goes to waste, and limit junk foods and sweets in the house if you're trying to cut back on those.

Eat Baked Not Fried 

Eating food that has been fried in oil is not great for your heart and overall health, so eating less of those foods and more foods that are baked is a quick, healthier substitution. French fries can be baked in the oven as can chicken, and both can be done in the air fryer without a vat of oil. There are so many baked chicken recipes, and if you find a really good oven baked chicken breast recipe you can keep it as a staple in your meal planning and make it once a week.

Pair it with grilled vegetables and you will find yourself with a well-balanced meal that is healthy, gives you energy, and will help you stay alert and strong during your workouts. 

Less processed foods

All white foods are not bad, but the general rule of thumb is that if something is white, it has been processed. Processed foods can have high fructose corn syrup, a ton of sodium, and may make you feel heavy and sluggish. 

If you replace these foods with less processed foods, you will be doing your body a huge service.

Eat Green

Broccoli and cauliflower are good carbs that will give you energy and they are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Roast brussels sprouts and mix them with broccoli or cauliflower for a delicious and flavorful side dish to your main course. 

Don’t Eat Too Late

Everyone’s schedules are different, but a solid rule is to try not to eat a few hours before bed. When you give your body time to digest your food completely before laying down for the night, you reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity. You will also wake up hungry and after you eat a healthy breakfast, you will be energized for the day. 

Eat Foods With Vitamin A

Foods rich in Vitamin A are good for your hair, skin, and eyes. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and if you are not well and not feeding yourself a balanced diet, it will come out in your skin. Foods like carrots and salmon and spinach, which are high in Vitamin A will help keep you looking young and vibrant. Add them to your diet and you will soon see how radiant you have become.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Talk a little while about the year, by which I mean actually do not talk much about it

The title comes from A Long December by the Counting Crows, of course. I will actually not be talking much about the year itself because I don't have the space to at the moment and frankly, it's not required of any of us so I'll be going gently into the next. I'm worn down, my dog died this week, and I have spent the rest of the week in an intentional drift mode that I need. Every year has good and bad, and this one was no different. I'm going to share a least favorite run on sentence thing and then a list of favorite things to remind myself and in case you want to try any of them out in 2022.

Least favorite thing
In many ways it feels like we’re stuck on a 2020 spin cycle, back to blurred work/life boundaries, government stuck in neutral on things that could really help people, most of us living in two distinctly different worlds surrounding an ongoing global pandemic and late stage capitalism resembling Squid Games/Hunger Games, and I now live in a world without Gus. 

Favorite things - some happened this year, some I found this year, some I've been using for years but wanted to include. If the link goes to amazon it is affiliate. If you do not purchase from Amazon I am sure it is available elsewhere. 

Reconfiguring small spaces in our shore apartment and Philly kitchen and larger spaces in the basement in Philly, moving two beds into one bedroom and and turning the then unused spare bedroom into a fully functional and set up home office. I have the same amount of space everywhere but more useable space almost everywhere

Wallpapering my closet with peel & stick (this one). MFD did the small bathroom at the shore with a tile version of peel and stick and grout and I'm super happy with it. 

Sunsets. I was Team Sunrise forever and I mean of course I still am but sunset is a nice way to put the day to rest and I made it a point to do that a lot this year

Mixing three types of Johnson’s popcorn. Barry's Tea. Hot chocolate icing from Cake Life Bakery in Philly. Frozen mixed berries from Aldi. Dried mango from Aldi. 

The integration of Billy Hicks. His unknown to me arrival still stresses me out a little LOL. Also Litter Genie

Dogs crowding onto an electric blanket

A solid rental season at the shore 

Rooting for good things for my friends and fam. Love is good and important, but really rooting for people is where it's at.

Some new windows and all new exterior doors at the shore, and then painting my shore doors 

Peloton stretching, daily walks

Mare of East Town, Ted Lasso, Yellowstone, select Hallmark Christmas movies (first time watcher in 2021) 

Seaglass, whelk shells, empty winter beaches

Vaccines. Boosters. 


Etsy shops: Islann Co (hair ties), TWSS Quote Shop (mug, tee, graphic design work)

Paula's Choice Omega+ Complex Cleansing Balm (to remove sunscreen after multiple reapplications on a beach day)

Vintage glass taper candleholders. Thrift stores. Small shops in little towns. Contrarily, HomeGoods. 

Target curbside pickup, Shipt

Knowing I never have to go back to my office in person unless I want to

A few trips into the city, being more conscious of slowing down, allowing myself to rest instead of do, letting people and things go, using my energy wisely, more eating out, other people's coffee, the return of a lot of things even if they were modified or different

Girls weekend at the shore, an impromptu night with Kim and Melissa and their girls at Melissa’s, a December day in Fishtown, a quick September weekend visiting Kim and Libby and Steve, running around Southern Vermont, family shore time throughout the year especially with my niece and nephew (hope to not push more sand wheelchairs again any time soon), driveway parties, my brother Sean and Nicole's engagement party, my Dad and Carol staying with us, Friendsgiving at the shore, a visit from Meem in January, July 4 weekend at the lake with Lori & many things I am not bringing to mind immediately...basically all the times I got to spend with people I love

Those of you who have been here for a while know I like to end the year by giving to (usually two) organizations that are not on my monthly donation list. Some years I don't have a lot to give and some I do, but the intention is always the same: help others while asking for or receiving nothing in return. It's a good way to leave the year and if you like that idea, I hope you'll do the same. 

I hope regardless of any personal, professional, or societal losses or challenges that may have made your year heavy, that you too have a list of favorites large and small to leave this year with. If you are so inclined, share a few with me below! 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Eating Healthier


There are so many different ways you can plan and prepare for eating right. You don't need to wait for the year to change to start eating healthier, or for tomorrow or this summer. It's a choice you can make every day.

Plan Your Meals

The best way to make sure you're eating how you want to be eating is to to plan and prepare your meals and snacks in advance. This is one of the best ways of being able to eat better and make mealtimes healthier. The lack of planning is something that can often contribute to unhealthy dietary choices, as many of us will choose convenience over health. However, by planning meals in advance, and preparing ahead of time, you can definitely ensure you're hitting any healthy eating goals you might have.

Variety is the spice of life

A lot of people believe that healthy eating is something that tends to be boring, but this is untrue. The range of fruits and vegetables, so many choices. Fruit can give you the sweet you often turn to dessert for, and some crisp bell peppers or celery or carrots give you that crunch you want sometimes. There are also just so many options out there for various healthier snacks that are packaged. Almonds. Popcorn. Even for people following specific diets, you can find foods like a keto tortilla chip that is a good option for a snack while also maintaining the diet you have chosen. Explore your options and see what's out there.

Begin Your Day in the Right Way

Starting your day off in the right way is one of the best things you can do to make sure you are eating as well as possible. This is why you need to make sure you focus on some of the key ways of being able to achieve this. One of the best things that you need to focus on is looking at easy ways to make your mornings healthier, and there are plenty of ideas that will help you when it comes to achieving this right now.

You have to try to make sure you come up with some of the best ideas you can use to help you improve your healthy eating right now. There are plenty of things that you need to consider this year, and it is important to try to make the most of this moving forward right now. Come up with some amazing ideas that you can use to help you eat better in 2022.


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

5 Basic Tips for Beginner Bakers

Baking can be tricky and intimidating, but it's also a lot of fun! You might feel like you need a degree or years of experience to bake, and that certainly doesn't help. But the reality is that baking is just like any other skill: you learn as you go. Here are five easy tips to get you started with baking.

Image credit

Practise Patience

Practice patience if you want a successful baking career. It's okay to start with easy recipes and work your way up. You don't have to bake complicated desserts right off the bat; you can start with something simple, like cookies.

Patience is also important when it comes to perfecting your recipe. Sometimes, this means putting in the necessary time and effort to get everything right. Don't give up once you've invested a lot of time and effort into your recipe!

Start Small

Baking is a skill that you can learn, just like any other. But it's also a lot of fun! So start small and build up your skills!

You don't need to bake an entire cake in one day. It's better to try something simple, like a batch of cupcakes. Cupcakes are easier to whip up than attempting a full cake. You can practice the steps and bake different batches until you feel ready for more complicated tasks.

Start with easy recipes, like the ones mentioned above, until you feel confident enough to tackle complex recipes, then move on to more complex bakes; try this recipe' for black forest cake.

Always Read the Recipe Twice

One of the biggest mistakes bakers make is not reading the recipe carefully. Read each ingredient and how it's to be used, along with exactly what each step means in the instructions.

For instance, if you're making a cake, don't just figure out how many cups of flour you need and start filling a bowl. Make sure your measurements are correct—and that any ingredients you might use are also on the list.

Another way to avoid this mistake is by writing down a recipe before you start baking so that you won't forget anything.

Get Organized

Before you start baking, take a moment to gather your ingredients. You'll want to know what kind of ingredients you'll need for each particular recipe. 

This will help you decide how many batches to make and ensure you have everything on hand when it's time for the actual baking. This includes all ingredients out and ready to be used along with all the equipment you will need.

You can also organize your ingredients ahead of time by using a cool tool like Merckens' Baking Pantry.

Another way to get organized is by creating an ingredient list by making notes about them or taking pictures of them with your phone or tablet. That way, once you're finished with all the prep work, you can just refer back to these notes and follow recipes with ease.

Make Sure You Have All the Ingredients

To make the best recipes, you need quality ingredients. Before you start baking, make sure you have all the ingredients you need on hand.

Keep your cupboards full with the basics at all times, and then add in different ingredients as the recipe calls for them. This way, you can be sure to have most of what you need without compromising on ingredients.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Show Us Your Books: 12 Favorite Reads of 2021

I love when people share their favorite reads of the year. I almost always find something to immediately add to my very long to be read list. I would rather die with books unread than be pawing around for something to read at any time, so keep sharing books you love. I'm going to do that in a different way this year, not saying a damn thing about why I liked them. I'm just listing them and you can do with that what you will. My dog died three days ago and this is what I have the bandwidth for. 

As of today I've read 143 books this year -  142 published plus one Beta read for Shelby. You can always see what I'm reading in real time by following me on Goodreads.. I think this link takes you to my year in books which I always like to look over. Yet another year with no cool diagrams like some people share and I always say I will make happen and alas I do not. 

You can go to this page where all of the original SUYB posts live in one place - the read in MONTH below means the book is in that month's SUYB post, maybe not read in that actual month since they don't go by calendar months. Out of 143 books, here are my 12 favorite reads for the year:

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters - read in January

Circe by Madeline Miller - read in February

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave - read in May

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker - read in May

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner - read in July

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau - read in July

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller - read in September 

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaughy - read in September

Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart - read in November 

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo - read in November

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult - read in December

No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield - read in December 

Important ALSO: I read #s 11, 12, and 13 in the Josie Quinn series by Lisa Regan this year, the first in a new series by Harlan Coben about one of the Myron Bolitar series characters (Win), and the 13th in the Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo and they were all great. I depend on series books and they don't usually make my year end lists. 

Happy birthday to Angie today!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Linkup Guidelines: 
Favorite Reads Link Up will be open until 1/9/2022 - please check back for later linker uppers!
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link
3.  The next regular Show Us Your Books linkup is Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

3 tips on cultivating better relationships in your home

Many people have a hard time with relationships. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know how to cultivate better relationships, or sometimes it can be due to the other person not handling the connection. This post will discuss four tips on cultivating better relationships in your home and show you how you can make them work for you!

Image via Pexels

Spend quality time together

One of the best things you can do for your relationship is to spend quality time together. This means uninterrupted time where you’re focused on each other and not anything else. Turn off the TV, put away your phones, and talk. You may be surprised at how much this will help strengthen your bond! Talk about problems early. If there are any problems in your relationship, it’s always best to address them as soon as possible. Waiting only makes them worse and can cause a lot of damage that may be difficult to repair later. Talk openly and honestly with each other, and work together to find a solution that works for both of you.

Ensure you eat one meal together daily

There are few things more damaging to a relationship than neglect. When you decide to eat together daily, it is an active choice that shows your commitment and affection for each other. It also provides valuable opportunities for bonding through conversation at the dinner table instead of in front of the TV or on cell phones. The mealtime gives both people time to unwind from their day before they hit another activity like work or chores around the house. Create weekly date nights. Date night doesn’t mean going out every week; there are plenty of creative options available if you want something different! You could go bowling, take dance lessons, or cook your favorite meals by following this recipe for greek pizza—any activity where you can reconnect with one another without distractions will work. Date nights help keep the spark alive and remind you both why you got together in the first place!

Offer emotional support to children.

If you have children, it’s essential to offer them emotional support. When they see their parents fighting or not being friendly towards one another, the message they receive is that marriages do not last forever and they may feel abandoned if a divorce occurs in the future. So make sure your kids know how much both of you love them by working together on activities each day that allow for quality family time! Also, be sure to set aside at least 15 minutes daily where everyone can sit down together without any distractions like TV—this will help reinforce good communication skills and show your children what a healthy relationship looks like from an early age.

Bottom Line

All relationships have their problems, but you can make them work with a little extra effort on your part. Do what it takes to rebuild or strengthen the bond between yourself and your partner. You’ll be glad you did!

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Save it til the morning after

The my dog died starter pack: candles and incense, tissues, water, tea, the best frozen mac and cheese (Trader Joe's hatch chile mac and cheese), book to get lost in, and wonton soup.

Yesterday as most know, Gus left us before 11, and we lost our shit for a bit of course (and I will continue to lose it at intervals and for years LOL, it's just the grief process), then settled to couches for a quiet day. I lit my candles, drank my tea, read, tried to reassure the remaining pack members, and my Dad and Carol got us Chinese food for dinner. Wonton soup, the great comfort provider. I went to bed early as the previous two nights I got a total of nine hours of sleep wrestling with what was coming. It's a hard decision even when it's the right one.

You know that Duran Duran song Save a PrayerDon't say a prayer for me now. Save it 'til the morning after. For me the worst day is not the day I have to put my dog down. It is the next day, because when I first wake up I forget for a split second, and when I am fully awake it is the first day without my dog in X years.

For us in this instance, 16. The first day without Gus on this earth in over 16 years.

Even when the life is good and full, it's never enough time with anyone or any animal we love. When people and pets we love die, we miss them forever, and their absence changes us. We grow around our grief and the spaces we make in our hearts for them to live there. We are not the same, and we shouldn't be. We'll be different but we'll be okay. Touchy as fuck for a few days, but okay. Tread lightly.

To anyone new or who has only been around for Gus’s very senior years, please know Gus was so very many things, but Gus was not a best good boy or a sweet boy so don't think I'm just forgetting to say those things when I speak about him. He was an unruly jackassser from the day he arrived to the minute he left this earth, who cared about very few things and beings other than himself, and he was loved, appreciated, and celebrated for exactly who he was. Here are some Gus posts so you get a feel for his personality: 

And a few more general dog ones:

I was going to go back to the shore by noon on Christmas and spend my week off there but this obviously changed things and I am not keen to split the humans or animals up as we reset ourselves. 

Thank you to everyone who has sent love and sympathy. We’re still feeling raw and navigating a new Gus-less world , and as I was going to reply to some comments on Facebook this morning I started crying so I stopped. Ben was looking at me like Jesus we are all lost at sea LOL. So if we do not reply to a message, please know we are appreciative and feel the love.

Since this blog is a record for myself, the social posts will live here too, as it is unedited (obvi with its run on sentences and numbers that should be words but aren't due to instagram's character limit) and most true to how I felt yesterday. Apologies for the repeat as most of you have already seen this. This is for me. 

First of the pugs, king of them all, our faithful companion since he arrived at our home in October 2005 (& went right back out to Michelle’s housewarming party, peeing on her new rugs), Gus left us today to go where it is always sunny with grass to snooze on and oceans to wade in, where his best first guard Geege has been waiting since Sept 2017 with a host of other furry & human loved ones to welcome their liege with offerings of burgers & bones & adventures free from pain in an old, broken down body. My first dog, he was glued to my hip though my formative adult years, and it is impossible to express how big of a part he is in my journey and how enormously hard it is to close that out even though it is clearly time to do so. Picked out by MFD, he bit through my shirt at first meeting. Sleeping wrapped around my neck like a boa constrictor for 2 years, sitting next to me while I read 1,000+ books, my egg sous chef. He made us dog people, introduced us to the lovely & bizarre lifelong dog nickname process, witnessed our best and worst moments, and initiated 4 other dogs and a cat into our family before his reign ended, passing the torch to no one because he would trust no one with the position. An outsized personality intent on living the full breadth and width of every minute with disdain for anyone who blocked his path. A hater of costumes. An exaggerator of injuries for sympathy and food. Obstinate and dramatic, Gus excelled at rallying all other dogs to join him in creating messes & mayhem on his many adventures in this life. His hijinks are legendary. How lucky are we to have Gus with us for 16+ years, over 3 years after his vet said he would not live more than 6 months due to cancer. He heard that, and he lived on out of spite (with help from CBD oil) because no one tells Gus when to do anything, let alone die. MFD was the majority caretaker the past 1.5 years, making sure Gus was comfortable always while I watched like a hawk intent on not prolonging suffering. Gus has been welcomed, loved and fawned over everywhere, which he of course believed was his due as the king. Thanks to all who loved him with us. Love you forever Gussie boy.  8/29/05-12/27/21

what to do when you foster children

Fostering children might sound like your dream role. For those who like children and are willing to open their homes to those in need, it might just be. You should know what’s involved before taking on such a high responsibility, though. It’s not just signing papers and then opening your door to your perfect child match! There is a lot required from both you and the social workers to make it work. To learn more, here is what you do when you foster children. 

Meetings with Social Workers 

Throughout your time as a foster parent, you will have lots of meetings with social workers. This is an important part of the process, as it ensures you can seek the extra help you may need while the social worker can make sure that you and your foster child are getting on well. You will likely have more meetings before the actual fostering, where you will be assessed. The ultimate goal of foster care social workers is to match children in care to the best foster family possible – these meetings help with that. If you are interested in applying to be a foster carer, contact a fostering agency in Hull to begin the process. 

Set Up a Bedroom 

In order to foster a child, you must have a spare bedroom for them to stay in – one that is a reasonable size. Before the foster child arrives, you should set it up to accommodate a child. Include a bed, a wardrobe, and storage for their belongings at a minimum. It’s better to avoid decorating too heavily, as you don’t want to paint the room bright pink only to find your foster kid hates that color. 

Look After the Child

Most importantly, you provide a safe, comfortable space with a loving family for the child. Whether you foster short-term or long-term, you need to do everything you can to look after the child to the best of your ability. That includes: 

  • Providing meals. A big part of looking after a child is providing meals. If you’ve never had a child before, you should look into the best meals for kids. Batch cooking is an excellent practice to get into, too, as it means you’ll have healthy meals available even when everyone is busy.  

  • Going on trips out. Looking after kids must involve some family fun! Trips out are perfect for foster children, as they will get to make fun memories with a foster family that cares. You don’t have to splash out on a fancy holiday abroad every year – a trip to the zoo, a museum, or a theme park is just as exciting. 

  • Discipline. Being a good parent isn’t just about the fun or positive moments. You must be able to discipline your foster kid responsibly. Make sure that they do their chores, finish their school work, and follow the rules that you lay out. That way, they have a better chance of growing into a happy and responsible adult. 

  • Emotional Care. Many foster kids have been through significant emotional hurt. As a foster parent, you must be able to provide emotional care and support. Lending them a listening ear when they are talking about their concerns and always making sure you are there for them when they are feeling low, even if that means giving them a hug and then leaving them in peace. 

Being a foster parent requires a great deal of energy and care. It’s not just about signing papers and having a spare room – it’s about helping raise a child in a comfortable and supportive environment.

This post was written with the Life A to Steph audience in mind

5 tips for planning a trip

Planning a trip can be filled with excitement but also anxiety. You want to make sure you have everything you need before your departure date arrives. To help you plan for the perfect getaway, here are five tips that will ensure your vacation is worry-free!

Photo by Chanaka Madushan Sugathadasa from Pexels

#1. Know your budget

The first step in planning any trip is establishing a budget. Decide how much money you are willing to spend on transportation, lodging, food, and activities. This will help you stay within your means and not overspend on your vacation. Keep in mind that there are many affordable options for all of these categories. For example, camping can be a great way to save money on lodging, while eating out at restaurants can add up quickly. Be mindful of your spending, so you don’t come home from vacation with a huge bill!

#2. Select your destination

There are many different places you can travel to on vacation. You can choose an exotic location like Hawaii or opt for a more familiar place like the beach in your home state. Deciding where you want to go will help narrow down activities and attractions that appeal to you. It is important when selecting your destination not only to think about what interests you most but also consider factors such as price point of food, lodging, transportation that you can get at edmunds, and attraction tickets; weather during peak tourist seasons; distance from the airport (if flying); public transport options; ease of booking flights/hotel rooms etcetera.

#3. Plan your activities

Once you have a destination in mind, start planning out what you want to do while there. This can include anything from visiting major tourist attractions to hiking in the mountains. If you are unsure of what is available in the area where you are going, do some research online or consult a travel agent. They will be able to give you ideas and suggestions for things to do based on your interests and budget. It is also important to book any tickets or reservations for activities ahead of time, as many popular tourist destinations tend to fill up quickly during peak seasons.

#4. Make a packing list

The last thing you want to do is forget something important while on vacation. To avoid this, make a packing list and check it off as you pack. This will help ensure you have everything you need without overpacking. Some essentials to consider bringing are sunscreen, insect repellent, hats and sunglasses, swimwear, and toiletries. If you are traveling with children, be sure to pack diapers, wipes, formula/foods, and snacks they may enjoy.

#5. Pack smart

Finally, when packing, be sure to pack light. You will not want to lug around heavy suitcases that could potentially break during your trip. Also, remember you can always do laundry if clothing becomes dirty or smelly, so there is no need to bring several outfits for every day of the week! Packing efficiently and lightly will make getting through security a breeze too!

Keep these tips in mind as you plan your next vacation and ensure it goes off without a hitch from start to finish!

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Monday, December 27, 2021

TWTW - the one with the Christmas

Friday Up and at 'em at the crack of dawn. Thanks dogs. I painted my nails, then Carol and I went to Cake Life in Fishtown to pick up my pre-order which included amazing herbed goat cheese biscuits. I came back and made eggs then relaxed and watched a Hallmark movie and took a Covid rapid test before going out even though I'm triple vaxxed because 202021. It was nice to return to a version of Christmas Eve traditions of Sandy's and my aunt and uncle's and the start of what will be a new one at Col & John's, whose open house landed in the middle. And where MFD dropped me and left me to deal with some volunteer work and also to check in on the dogs as Gus shit everywhere. God bless. When he got back I ran to see my Pop before he turned into a pumpkin and Mom and Rich had to take him home, then MFD got dropped off. We hung around for a bit, then dropped my brother Swan off, and  drove around listening to a few of our must hear Christmas tunes and taking in some lights. I was in bed by 9 with Tums, my stomach felt off. 

Saturday Nothing says Merry Christmas like your husband waking up and puking. Good thing we had planned to do nothing on Christmas Day! Ho ho ho, mofos. The dogs and cat enjoyed the morning (Billy's first Christmas experience), I loved stockings the most as I always do (ours made by Lori). I usually buy all gifts but MFD got me some this year from a woman, African American, veteran owned small business in Philly - Trunc - and I loved that so much. I popped over to see my niece and nephew and have bacon breakfast muffins. The rest of the day was amazing - MFD was asleep or on another floor all day so I could read, order slippers I wanted, order chinese, have chocolate cake, and watch Great British Bake Off holiday shows. Delightful. I dislike Christmas in general so doing the fun on Christmas Eve and nothing on Christmas day suits me well. 

Sunday Unfortunately I could not fall asleep and was up until 2, then up at 5 with Gus, and up for the freaking day an hour after that. That led to a grouchy Sunday. I put some of Christmas away and futzed around putting some new stuff out - how cool are the vintage candle holders Carol got me at a store in their new town? Purple, vintage, and reminiscent of the moon - ran to the grocery store, watched the Eagles in my new official Eagles gear which meant they won of  course, had salad for dinner, got a visit from my niece and nephew, and did some work. Yes, I am allegedly off this week. 

I hope you had the Christmas you wanted, and that you're going to have the week you want this week. And not the night MFD had last night, pulling a ribbon out of Billy's butt because he ate it. Merry Christmas everyone.

Show Us Your Books Favorite Reads of 2021 here on Thursday! 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas!

One of four ornaments on the tree this year - this one from Stanley Chester & Albert Ceramics, helmed by a local artist out of West Philly…two hung haphazardly by my niece and nephew and one rescued in November from my office filing cabinet where it was living since early 2020. Some years the tree doesn’t get decorated. Those years are my favorite. The lights are good for me.  

Wishing you joyful, healthy, lovely days that are exactly what you need them to be today and tomorrow. Maybe that’s noise and chaos, maybe it's stillness and quiet. Around here it’s a mix. 

Sending love and peace to anyone not feeling this season right now, or struggling with anything. 

Just remember, if it hasn't arrived, it still counts. 

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