• Love & Valentine's Day,  Personal growth,  Self-care

    Spoil yourself

    “Self-care is about putting yourself first in a world that romanticizes overwork and overextension, a difficult thing to learn if you are used to people-pleasing. It’s about crafting healing routines as rituals for better health.” ~Maria Delblassie Here’s something to think about as Valentine’s Day approaches … You won’t have the energy to fully love and care for others until you’ve learned to love and care for yourself. When you look at it that way, you realize that self-care isn’t selfish. This is especially important for parents of young children as well as caregivers of elderly parents. (Been there, done both.) Self-care means taking time out for a nap or…

  • Fun stuff,  Health & wellbeing,  Motivation

    Strength and temptation

    “Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands — and then eat just one of the pieces.” ~Judith Viorst, author In any endeavor, success depends on discipline — otherwise defined as inner strength, as today’s quote suggests. If you want to build muscle, you must stick with your daily exercise plan. If you want to get published, you have to keep writing and submitting your work. If you want to kick a bad habit, you must be diligent about changing your routine. Personal discipline is hard. Temptation is everywhere. Oh, how easy it is to give up or get lazy — to…

  • Books change lives,  Creativity and discovery,  Motivation

    Who are your heroes?

    “One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.” ~Steve Jobs, Cofounder of Apple, Inc. In the sixth grade, I was deeply moved and inspired by the courage of diarist Anne Frank, who earned literary fame after her death with the 1947 publication of The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne started her diary after she turned 13, recording the details of her life in hiding (from 1942 to 1944) during the German occupation of the Netherlands. After reading it for the first time, I sobbed for days at the thought of how a young girl — not much older than I was then —…

  • Domestic arts,  Inspirational quotes,  Optimism

    Little sparks of daily joy

    “Joy has been leaking out of our lives. The small pleasures of the ordinary day seem almost contemptible, and glance off us lightly.…So, perhaps it’s a good time to reconsider pleasure at its roots. Changing out of wet shoes and socks, for instance. Bath robes. Yawning and stretching. Real tomatoes.” ~ Barbara Holland, Endangered Pleasures There’s not much happy news in the world lately. We can count on a depressing cycle of mass shootings; political turmoil; war casualties; vicious winter storms. Which is why I always look forward to David Muir’s “America Strong” segment on ABC’s “World News Tonight.” Concluding the nightly news show, “America Strong” highlights uplifting stories of…

  • Domestic arts,  Health & wellbeing,  Home & Family

    Everyday luxuries

    “Using fine china, updating bedclothes to something ultra-soft and cozy, framing a favorite photo, or polishing a cherished piece of silver fosters such delight. And it doesn’t have to break your back or the bank.” ~Cheryl Richardson A few years ago, I decided to start using a set of my “good dishes” every day. The set isn’t particularly fine or precious — but it includes several handy serving pieces, mixing bowls, and accessories. Most of these were stored in our basement, or otherwise out of reach, until we hosted company for dinner. To make room for the whole set in the kitchen, I sold my old everyday dishes in a…

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