Lifestyle, Miscellaneous, Recipes

Look on the Bright Side

With all that is going on in our world today, finding the good in each day proves difficult for me on many days. I used to love sitting in the quiet early morning with my tea, watching Good Morning America and having a few minutes to myself before the rush of our days began. These days, I honestly dread turning the TV on, at least where news is concerned. The constant fighting, the hatred for others that have differing opinions, it’s all too much. And so, I have been looking for ways to actively show joy and hope in my routine. Here are the things that I enjoy focusing on to keep myself feeling hopeful that life will one day get back to some sort of normal.

Bake

Would you expect anything less from me?! Comfort foods are always my go to. When I don’t know how to help, myself or others, I bake. There is something about the smell of freshly baked cookies, pastries, and more that just makes our home feel a bit more cozy. Added bonus, often my girls like to ‘help’ pour in and stir the ingredients, so we get some quality fun time together. Now, if these delicious items all sat in my house constantly, that could be a problem, so instead I let the girls use them as part of their lemonade stands or make up little plates to walk around our neighborhood and deliver for sweet surprises. Here are a few of my favorite go-to recipes, all of which are, of course, GLUTEN FREE!

Mini Cheesecakes

Chocolate Crinkle cookies

Lemon Blueberry Cake (makes a great breakfast treat!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon Blueberry Bake with my matcha tea!

Shop

Hi, my name is Heather, and I live for a good deal. I’m sure if you asked Justin, he would tell you I spend too much, but what he never seems to remember is HOW MUCH I’VE SAVED! Does anyone else reason this way?! Shopping, even if it’s online, has become a little pick me up during my ‘stuck at home’ time. I have always preferred to shop in store because I am super picky about the fit of clothing and often fluctuate between sizes. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime where I get free shipping and returns, and other companies that offer this as well right now. Here are a few items that I am loving right now for me, for home, for whatever!

  • These shorts– Fit is TTS (I wear a small), they are comfortable and flattering, I wear an iteration of them almost every day. Bonus- they are on sale for $12 currently! Pairs perfect with tanks like this one.
  • Straightening up our garage will be more productive with THIS organizer for all of the kids sporting goods and toys in one place instead of constantly ending up in our recycling bin!
  • Essie nail polish is my weakness, and while I prefer bright colors like THIS on my toes, I just picked up THIS color for a more neutral color on my fingers
Topless & Barefoot, the perfect summer color!
  • The girls love to carry their drinks around the house and outside constantly, and because I do not enjoy stains all over the floor just waiting to be discovered, they often use cups that have coverings and require straws. I saw THESE REUSABLE STRAWS by Wonder Sip on a GMA Deals and Steals segment and decided to give them a try. They work really well, are easy to clean, and of course the girls have to take them into their bedrooms and shut off the lights, since we went wild and purchased the glow in the dark option.
Straws can be opened via the clasp to clean and dry, and then easily snap back together for use. I purchased a set of 4.

Read

I love having more (some?) free time during the summer to disappear into a good book. Sometimes that’s a thriller or mystery, other times it learning about myself and others or refining life skills that I struggle with. Here are a few I have recently read and really enjoy:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides- creepy and thrilling with so many twists and turns, I couldn’t guess the ending. This was a favorite!

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris- if you’ve ever worked in an office (and really, who hasn’t) or any business space, you have experienced some of these quirks or scenarios. So relatable and makes me look back at former coworkers with fondness (or sometimes annoyance!)

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty- I read this one over Christmas break and STILL think about it. Moriarty is a natural writer, she can draw her reader in and makes them feel like they are part of the storyline the entire way through. You never know how she will wrap up a book and I have loved every book I have read by her.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery– I found this book when trying to understand how to cope with a difficult student this year. Turns out it taught me more about myself, as well as the student and my relationships with friends, family, and more. It definitely makes me think more about the way that I approach interactions with others and the best way to arrive at positive outcomes. Also? The student and I were able to work together and both feel comfortable with our options once I put some of the tips into action. Super helpful and interesting read!

The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Julie De Azevedo, PhD-same thing with this book. Trying to learn to stand up for myself and my ideas and opinions without being walked on or looked at poorly. I like that this book gives scenarios and also helpful approaches in several different ways.