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January 18, 2020

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Today’s book review is longer than usual because this book has been front and center in my family’s conversation for several days now. It’s that good. (I’ll try to keep the rest of this week’s newsletter a bit shorter to balance it!)

ON THE BLOG this week: Amazingly thin and delicate, these two-ingredient Cream Cheese Pancakes are much closer to a crepe than a traditional thick and fluffy pancake. We’ve been making these for years and I finally got around to updating the photos and notes on the recipe.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are for those of us who love traditional cabbage rolls almost as much as we hate the time it takes to roll them and bake them. Bites of juicy ground beef with fluffy rice and tangy tomato sauce are irresistible when tossed with fresh cabbage in this simple skillet meal.

What I’m CRAVING: These Cheddar and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats by The Garlic Diaries caught my eye this week and I can’t wait to try them.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this $6 towel. (link HERE) I bought it on a whim because I wanted a quick-drying towel I could toss in the back of the car to dry the mirrors after driving through the carwash. (I didn’t want a chamois, as I wasn’t terribly impressed with the ones I’ve tried in the past.) This simple microfiber towel is perfect!

What I’m READING: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (link HERE) I’ve been staring at this screen for almost 15 minutes trying to come up with words to describe this book without giving away any spoilers. I read it knowing nothing about it and I’m so glad that I did. (If you read pretty much any reviews online, you’ll know the entire story immediately.)

I loved this book. LOVED it. I read it in one sitting, staying up way too late one night. It’s technically a children’s book, but I didn’t even realize that until after I finished it. It’s a fairly quick read, but it’s deep, thought-provoking, and at times dark. It is an immensely satisfying read. It is an example of the invincibility of the human spirit and I recommend it for all ages. All three of my children will be reading it over the next couple of weeks.

My 9-year-old Nate started it the day after I finished it and on the very first page, he looked up and said, “I NEED to know this whole story. I don’t want to put this down.” He read the book almost non-stop before and after school for three days. Nate and I have talked repeatedly about this book over the past week and he has declared it to be one of the best books he’s ever read. It’s a book that will definitely spur discussion with children.

Side note: If you are concerned with your child reading about abuse (though not on a level that I personally felt was inappropriate) you might want to read this one before passing it to your child. This book tells the story of the healing and strength that came after the abuse. It is not primarily focused on the abuse itself.

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” - Eric Hoffer

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!
Mary

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