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Cheryl, reads

4 Resolutions for 2017

present-over-perfect-bookHello friends. Happy New Year! Seems I’ve celebrated quiet a few New Years on this ol’ blog. And now we’ve hit 2017. Wow. Another year alive = always a huge win! It’s been raining non stop here, which is pretty wild for us Arizonans, so I’m sipping some hot “pregnancy” tea. Gotta take advantage while I can. I’ve decided to make some resolutions for myself this year. Things I really suck at you could say. Things I really want to work on. Here goes:

  1. Cut back (a lot) on sugar, especially the bad kind. Meaning no donuts. No tropical Skittles. No chooclate bars. Not as MUCH fast food. Meaning I need to read ingredients more and stop putting so much crap into my body (and Jace’s!). I still have my eyes on one of these recipes for Valentine’s Day, but I really need to cut back. Sugar should be more of a treat when the occassion hits, and not an every day thing.
  2. Spoil a friend once a month. This blog is also about GIVING joy, and I really need to do that more. So, watch out, you might be on the list!
  3. Save money, and not spend it. Be happy with what I got. This is going to involve unsubscribing from a lot of promotional emails (which I’ve already done today, including Brickyard Buffalo >> check!). Can’t be tempted to buy stupid sh#t I really don’t need. Especially with another baby on the way. Unless Oxford Trunk alerts me that this shirt is back in stock of course, which I don’t think will EVER happen :((
  4. And last, and probably the biggest – stop trying to please others. Find my center, whatever that looks like.  Be smarter about who I spend my time with and where my energy goes. Flat out say no and stop trying to please everyone. This book has been rocking my outlook on life lately (best Christmas gift ever, Rob!) and articles like this.

Hopefully this isn’t too much for me to work on this year. #1 and #4 might be the hardest .. wish me luck!

Cheryl, reads

What I’m reading

What are you guys reading these days? I’m actually reading a lot. Which is new for me. Instead of keeping my face in my phone at night or on my lunch breaks, I’ve been trying to put it in a book. Here are some of the books I’ve finished thus far or are currently reading. Starting with American Housewife, by Helen Ellis. Such a funny and lighthearted read. I highly recommend it.  I also always have the latest Sunset magazine in my possession. Makes for good reading around the house, too.

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Food, reads

I’m reading “Savor” and it’s wonderful

IMG_5746Since our move, you could say I’ve been a little… overwhelmed.. with life. This city is 10x the pace of Santa Cruz and I know that times as many people. And with a new job, I’m having to put myself out there all over again to make new friends and connections. I’m also having to push myself professionally in ways I’ve never done before. It’s all good though, so I’m trying not to complain. I have a beautiful family and finally a fabulous day care. New restaurants to try, a good fitness routine .. all is OK. I’m just still having a hard time adjusting to life here again. I guess life just feels different and I’m still trying to figure out the “now” and what’s best for us. Trying to find a good balance of down time with Jace and everyone else. A friend of mine recently recommended a book of devotions, called Savor, by Shauna Neiquist — Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are. Since starting it a couple weeks ago, I must say, it’s completely changed how I look at things, reminding me to cherish the every day splendors and gifts God provides. And to never forget the power of prayer. This one devotion in particular, titled “This is it”, has particularly stuck with me. I of course can’t share it all, but here is one of the lines: “This pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.”… Every devotion is the true-to-life, reality of God’s love and this life we are all living. It’s a reminder to focus on the present and savor every disaster, every triumph. It literally brings me to tears every night, and each devotion is only a couple paragraphs! I’m not a crier, but her words reach into my soul, into the whole purpose of living this mortal life. It’s wonderful. And what’s ALSO wonderful are the recipes! Mrs. Neiquist also has recipes sprinkled throughout the book — recipes you can enjoy around the table with your loved ones. I completely share in her love for food and dinner parties. (Shauna, can we be best friends, please?) So, this morning I got up early and made her Baked French Toast for my boys. I was going to start it last night to let the goodness soak into the cinnamon bread overnight but I passed out soon after Jace went to bed, haha. I had to cut the recipe in half, seeing that I wasn’t going to feast with a bigger breakfast party but it still came out just as good. The next time I make it I will probably use less cream cheese, but nonetheless, it was perfect. Not too sweet, not too plain. Just a traditional plate of french toast, with some creamy cream cheese. The syrup on top brings it to life, too. Soooo good!  Once I find some good peaches I want to make her grilled peach and caramel sundae! I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a little perspective on life. Beautiful scripture and life moments anyone can relate to. She is a eloquent, spiritual and honest writer. Once I get through this book I may get her other book, Cold Tangerines. Until next time, happy living friends!

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reads

New book recommendation: Poison from the Pulpit by Randall Johannes

I don’t know about you, but I think Fall is the best time to get lost in a new book. When you can cozy up in a blanket, stay up late, pour yourself some tea, dim the lights, and lose yourself in a good story.

If you’re looking for a new book to read, I’m excited to share with you a personal recommendation! My talented father-in-law just released his new book on Amazon, titled ‘Poison from the Pulpit‘. And this Sunday, November 9, he is offering a FREE download of his e-book, all day {for FREE!!}!

Here is the synopsis:

In the 1960’s South, a small town in Alabama has its hands full when a young preacher from the North is sent down to pastor an all White church. The preacher butts heads with the good ‘ol boys’ mentality of segregation, and hate. His desire for equality causes outrage amongst the congregation. In his zeal to do what is right he makes a horrible mistake. Now, he must decide whether to pursue justice and put a stop to the evil that has gripped the town, or flee to protect his wife and daughter. 

I’m currently reading it, too, and really enjoying it. Suspenseful, compelling and full of heart. Let me know what you think, and always feel free to leave a review of the book on Amazon. For more about Randall Johannes, visit his website. He’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

Projects, reads, Santa Cruz

Bookshop Santa Cruz & Laura Davis

Miss Heather and I are HUGE fans of Bookshop Santa Cruz. It’s our favorite place to go downtown. We literally could spend hours just walking around, browsing books, magazines, notebooks, gifts, and letterpress cards.

Heather introduced me to Laura Davis & The Writing Journey, and on Monday we attended one of her creative writing workshops at the Bookshop. Laura prompted us with different words like ‘vaseline’ and ‘chainsaw’ to get our creative juices flowing, and our hands moving. We were given 7 minutes to write about these different word “prompts”, then share them with your neighbor. All you’re allowed to say after listening to someone’s writing is “thank you”. I laughed at how sporadic my writing was. Must be how my mind works. I’m definitely a newbie to this creative writing stuff, so hopefully I’ll improve and be able to write more eloquently with each workshop.

It was a great crowd! A lot of creative minds out there, with different approaches to writing. I already penciled in the next few creative writing workshops, and will be doing Laura’s weekly writing prompts via email. In case you’re interested, every Tuesday Laura sends out a writing prompt via email. You then can take a few minutes out of your morning or day to complete it. I picked up a little notebook to get me geared up for my Tuesday prompts! What a great way to unleash your mind and get some things down on paper. Perhaps I’ll finally find my blogging “voice”.

Bookshop Santa Cruz also hosts different reading programs each quarter. Heather and I are doing their Winter Reading Program as well and are starting with Maisie Dobbs. If you finish 3 of the books on the reading list you get a free glass of wine at the Bonny Doon tasting room, a free Buttercup Cakes cupcake and a gift card back to the Bookshop. Worth it to me!

{I think my 2014 is already off to a creative start! Yay.}