Life, laughter, and lots of great food!
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February 16, 2019

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We have family in town and I’m making the most of it. My sister Jenny and her girls are here, along with my mom. The kids are soaking up all the grandma time they can, while Jenny and I have plans for a few meals out on our own.

One week from tomorrow my boys and I will be getting on a plane and heading for Ohio. Sean will start the drive the same day and by Wednesday night, we’ll all be there. It is a big adventure for us all, so brace yourself for a flood of new Ohio photos on Instagram soon.

ON THE BLOG this week: Slow-Cooker Carnitas are one of my family’s favorite meals and I’m looking forward to making them again our first week in the new house. Carnitas are the perfect meal for the busiest of days (gotta love the Crockpot, right?) and the leftovers are always plentiful.

This Grape Salad with Vanilla Bean Sweet Cream is still my youngest son’s favorite fruit treat. He will happily wash and slice all the grapes for this recipe and help assemble the rest of it too. It makes a terrific side dish and it also makes a great light dessert.

An Old Fashioned Apple Crisp is a dessert guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. I love serving it with Homemade Ice Cream, but it’s also delicious on its own.

What I’m CRAVING: This Chicken Tortellini Soup by Show Me The Yummy looks perfect for a chilly day and this divine Carrot Cake Cheesecake by Shugary Sweets might need to be on my Easter menu. It looks spectacular.

My FAVORITE THING this week is my camera / laptop / travel backpack (link HERE). It’s the only way I’ll transport my camera gear. (I’ve had mine for almost 4 years) I’ve been working out of mine for the past month, while my studio is packed up and the house is kind of in chaos. Even if a kid were to accidentally toss it down the stairs (heaven forbid!) I can pretty much guarantee that everything is protected.

What I’m WATCHING: John Carter (link HERE) this movie is adapted from Edgar Rice Burroughs "John Carter of Mars" and it didn't disappoint. It was good enough that I bought the series of books (link HERE) for our Kindles - as a $.99 purchase for the set of 7 books, it was a no-brainer for this sci-fi loving crew.

What I’m READING: Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope by Wendy Holden (link HERE) This is the true story of three women who survived Auschwitz while pregnant. I’ve read many true stories of life in the concentration camps and this is one of the best. It isn't an easy read, but it's so good.

The following review was written by one of the real life characters in the book and it perfectly sums up how in-depth and accurate this book is:

“Wendy managed to write a story of three young women and their lives before and through the Holocaust, when, as prisoners, while pregnant. It was not an easy task from Wendy to follow the route from the homeland or ghetto or a different concentration camp for each of these women, yet she went and visited each of these places -- and then she met with the children, or as she calls them, babies. And.. all that without a hint of pathos or a false note. I know, because I am one of the "babies" and am infinitely grateful to Wendy for telling this story of our mothers in her compassionate and realistic voice.”

“One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” - Cassandra Clare

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


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