Flashback Friday Favorite: Chrismas Download

Take Time to Enjoy the Season  Heather Stillufsen Holiday  image 0

It's technically time for Friday Favorites with ErikaAndreaNarci, but since this holiday season is especially busy due to the shortened time frame I am also turning this into a Flashback Friday. 

Yesterday, I wrote about finding Joy in the season, even when your tree isn't decorated. Since I heard from so many of you that we all seam to be in the same boat this year, I decided to turn today into a Flashback Friday about sprinting to the finish for the Christmas season. This is a Good one from 2016 and I hope it brings you Joy


Thankful Thursdays Holiday Season--Even When Your Tree is Not Decorated

We have finally made it to the holiday season and today I am linking up with my girl Holly for Thankful Thursdays to talk about the holiday season.  Pour a cup of your favorite holiday beverage and check out the link ups this month.

I am so thankful it is the Christmas season which is the holiday we celebrate this time of year. I love everything about it. I love the Christmas story and the real focus of the year. I love Christmas music and if you have been around this space for even a minute you know I love my Hallmark Christmas movies, even when I am watching them in July. 


What's Up Wednesday-December 2019

It's What's Up Wednesday and we are doing this a little early this year because the actual last Wednesday of the month is Christmas day. Which actually means that this is probably the first thing this holiday season I have been early for. With the late thanksgiving and a whole lot of rain, I am just so behind on everything. I am talking we just bought our tree but it is not decorated and I am starting to become one grumpy elf.  It's time to take a breath and link up with with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday! Let's talk December Besties!

What We are Eating This Week

Honestly, with school getting out this week I am just going to do my Best with the dinner plan this week but here is what I sketched out:

Monday-Meatball subs. I had meatballs with a veggie pasta and salad.

Tuesday-Since Running Daddy hit Costco and planned to pick up pesto, hopefully chicken pesto pasta.

Wednesday-Could be burger night or could be pork chops.

Thursday-It will just be Hockey Guy and me, so something super casual like a chicken burger or grilled cheese for him.

Friday-Pizza night


Friday Favorites: Good Hostess Gifts 2019

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We are in the thick of the holiday season. The lights are twinkling, well hopefully ours will be this weekend, and everyone is working on their tidings of comfort and Joy. Today I am taking a twist on Friday Favorites with ErikaAndreaNarci and talking Good hostess gifts for this holiday season. I even have a special guest for you in this post to help you with all of your hostess gift needs. 

I think I am now ready to say that today's hostess gifts edition is my third annual Hostess Gift post. You can read my hostess gift 2017 edition here and the 2018 edition hereI love to share ways of giving the unexpected hostess gift beyond thee usual bottle of wine or candle. I love both wine and candles and love to receive them as gifts, but sometime I like to give the unexpected at the same price point. 


Friday Favorites: Good Movie, Trader Joe's Tea, Warm Boots, Fun Sweatshirt

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Back at school, work, math tutoring etc. after a really Good Thanksgiving break.  As a family we have some big projects on our plate for the next month or so, but they are Good projects and will hopefully take us on wonderful new journey. Taking a quick break for Friday Favorites today and linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. 

1) Ford vs. Ferrari

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I am going to start by saying...run...do not walk to go see this movie. Everything about this movie is amazing, even if you are not a car person. I happen to live with two gear heads so we were so up for it. The acting in this is amazing and the story, especially from a business standpoint, was just so fascinating.


What's Up Wednesday: November 2019

I blinked and it is the end of November. I do love so many things about November. It's a busy week for all, so let's join up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday! Let's talk November Besties!

What We are Eating This Week

Honestly, I don't have much of a dinner plan this week but here are some ideas.

Monday-I taught a class, so the boys were on their own and they hit up Noodles & Co.

Tuesday-Sausage, polenta and steamed broccoli

Wednesday-Could be burger night or could be pork chops


Friday-Pizza night


Thankful Thursdays-A Month of Thankful

I know that today is technically not Thursday, but Holly and I decided our Thankful Thursday should really just be for the whole week of Thanksgiving. So get cozy and join us for a little month of Thankful. If you blogged about gratitude this month, feel free to link up with us below.

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While I am sleepy writing this, I just want to take a moment to reflect on what I am thankful for this month. It is just a quick list, but the feelings are heartfelt.

Friday Favorites: Badger Organic, Two Hallmark Movie Reviews

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Whew this week.  It was such a mush...the only word I can think of. The kids had two days off last week and we only have two days of school/work next week so it feels like everything is smashed into this week. Taking a breath and giving you just a few Friday Favorites today. As always,  I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. 

1) Badger Cuticle Care

Badger Cuticle Care, Soothing Shea Butter - .75 oz

With the colder weather coming in, it has taken a beating on my hands. My cuticles are especially dry and a little ragged. I picked up two tins of this cuticle cream and it is magic. 


Best Thanksgiving Tips 2019

Ok Besties, it's one week from Thanksgiving. Do you have a plan? Whether your are guesting or hosting, cooking or ordering I have you covered all the way. Let's dive in for my Best Thanksgiving prep tips.


I am not talking the Black Friday kind of shopping...yet.  I am talking about getting all of your cooking supplies ready for the big day. Have you taken a Good look at all of your cookware you will need and make sure it is proper condition? Did you throw out that meat thermometer or turkey baster last year because it was gross and you didn't replace it yet? This would be the time to do a quick run down of all of your cooking apparatuses and replace them if need be.


Friday Favorites: Good Coats, A Whole Lot of Bobbi Brown, Brighter Skin, Cozi Sleeping, Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

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Whew it is so cold here.  Not chilly, down right cold! Are you having a cold snap where you live? On this frigid Friday  I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. So pour yourself a warm seasonal beverage and let's settle in for Friday Favorites.

1) Good Coats

My mom always told me to put a little money into coats. I typically do and then because I buy Better coats, they really hold up. 


Friday Favorites:Seasonal Coffee, Little Mermaid, Hockey Honor, Leopard and Pink

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So Good to be back in this space this week after having to take a little hiatus last week. Since it is Friday, I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week.

1) Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce Coffee

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I have been missing the boat apparently on the Cinnamon Dolce coffee.  Late last week I was totally craving a seasonal cooffee and stopped by the grocery store hoping to maybe pick up some pumpkin spice ground coffee.  There was none to be found but I did pick up the Cinnamon Dulce. Oh Cinnamon Dulce...where have you been my whole life? It is so Good on a cold day. 


Thankful Thursdays--October 2019 Fall

Hey Besties.  This week is not shaping up how I would hope so for the moment, I am just putting up the link for Thankful Thursdays with Holly  and hope to be back to this post later in the week.

Thanks for understanding Besties and Happy Halloween. 

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What's Up Wednesday- October 2019

October is one of the Best months. So many things going on this month and the weather is finally Good. It is the last Wednesday of October, I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday! Let's talk October Besties!

What We're Eating This Week

Monday-grilled pork chops, steamed green beans and noodles

Tuesday-roasted parmesean shrimp, jasmin rice and salad

Wednesday- chicken stir fry and brown rice

Thursday-It's Halloween, so I will probably order pizza

Friday-I am going for happy hour so I am not sure what we will do yet for dinner

What I am Reminiscing About

Oh all things Halloween from years past. Here are two of my favorite Halloween costumes of Hockey Guy's.

Itsy Bitsy Spider age 14 months

Woody the Cowboy at Disney age 4


Friday Favorites-5K Race, Lilly Pulitzer Dog, Good Song, Good Shoes, Countdown to Christmas

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Whew! This week was busy but thankfully flew by. On this Friday when I am blessed to be able to work from home, I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. 

1) 5K Race

Mile 2-Almost there!

For the third year in a row Good Better Best was a race sponsor for the 5K race that Running Daddy helped found with our friend at Hockey Guy's school. He is also the race director and designed the very hard course. This is such a fun event with a fall festival after. We have such a Good team for both the race and the fair. It is so amazing that something that started as an idea at a wine festival has turned into a signature event and one that people use as their fitness goals. Everyone is cheering each other on and it is so cool to see how far some of the adults and kids have come with their running. 


Friday Favorites: PSL 2019, Trader Joe's Harvest Salsa, Hallmark Games, High Five Club and Fit Men Cook

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Whew Friday! Hello there.  This weekend is going to be a Good one with the Hawks 5K race at school that Running Daddy helped to found and a fun family Sunday planned. On this beautiful Friday , I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. 

1) Trader Joe's Harvest Salsa

Fall Harvest Salsa - product in jar

So this was a total impulse purchase. It sounded Good when I was in the store so it ended up in my cart. I opened this up the other night and holy smokes...this salsa is soooo Good. Spicy, sweet and totally delicious. Much like the Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread mix, I may be stock piling this salsa like a doomsday prepper. 


Friday Favorites: Faux Suede for Fall, Ellen, More Hair Product, Tart Cherry and a New Podcast

Oh fall, I think you are finally here and I hope you are here to stay. The image above is what I hope I will be feeling this weekend. This week was busy and productive for all of us but now it is finally the weekend and we do have some fun things planned.  Since the weekend is here, I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. 

1) Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil

***contains affiliate links

I know that it feels like about once every three months I am posting about a new hair product but I wasn't born with a Good head of hair. I have been using a leave in conditioner for years and finally looked at the ingredients last week. The product I have been using has wheat protein in it. Making it not gluten free. Probably not the Best idea to be spraying on my hair every day. 


Sewing Down South Party with Southern Charm's Craig Conover

In addition to watching a whole lot of Hallmark Channel, if you visit this site with any regularity, you probably know that I am also a Bravoholic. Big time. As is Running Daddy. When I saw on Facebook about ten days ago that the adorable Craig Conover from Southern Charm was going to be at our favorite store here in town for a pillow party for his company Sewing Down South, I immediately texted Terps Gal. 

Friday Favorites: Fall Scents, Chesapeake Shores, J Crew Tee, and Trader Joe's Chilean Wine


It felt like Friday would never get there this week. This week wasn't bad, it was just a little slow. Now that Friday is finally here, I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share what is bringing me Joy this week. 

1) Mrs. Meyers Fall Scents

It was time for me to switch up my fall cleaning scents. In the summer I love the Lime and Sea Salt all purpose cleaner but I wanted something to help will fall here. I decided to try Grove and order some of the fall scents from Mrs. Meyers. I chose both the Acorn Spice and the Spiced Pumpkin scents for the kitchen and they just smell like fall. They have a warm scent but are not too overwhelming. Since I am trying to green up my cleaning, Grove and Mrs. Myers help keep it fun with fun scents that are not filled with chemicals.


Thankful Thursdays: Friendship

It's the last Thursday of the month so I am joining my blogger friend Holly for some thoughts on friendship. It seems like such an easy word, one that we know beginning in childhood. A word that can be so beautiful, bring us much Joy and at times conflict and hurt. The older I get, the more grateful I am for all of it. The Good, the fun, the deep and then also for the friendships that have drifted away.

Most of us can remember our first friends and some of you are still either in touch with them or maybe still even amazing friends to this day. Those were such innocent friendships often involving moments of Joy, play and fun. The conflicts at this age were usually over something silly but still hurt our feelings. Hopefully those moments passed quickly and we were able to pick back up where we left off.  I think the real friendships today should be the same in many ways.

I know a lot of people and am blessed to have a lot of people in my life. Hockey Guy always says to me that I "know everyone" and sometimes says that I always run into people and we get into a conversation. It's true and just who I am.

While I know a lot of people, over the last few years I have kept my circle of friends, way tighter. Last year I posted about my ladies the Magnificent Seven and for work stuff, they are my go tos. They will never gossip about me, we help each other with questions and we always have everyone's Best interest at heart.

I am so grateful for a wide group of friends who love me for who I am. They don't like me for what I can do for them, they just like me for me. It has taken me decades, but I am starting to see who is a true friend and that it is ok to just let some go. 

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I am also grateful for those that I had to let run its course. At times these relationships were fun, but often they run its course and sometimes you just have to realize that certain people are not the Best match for you. That doesn't mean that if I have not talked to someone in a while that they are not relationships that have fallen away. If they have fallen away, there is gratitude and lessons in these relationships too.

Mostly I am grateful for the kind of people I am going to list here. Luckily, there are several people who can fit into these categories for the most part.

-I am grateful for my long term friendships where we can go to brunch or coffee and nothing ever changes. I have several ladies like this. 

-I am grateful for our school family friends, male and female, who are among the kindest, warmest, most faithful and fun people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. These are people who pray for you and mean it...and they can make you laugh hard.

-My Magnificent Seven ladies who I can ask the stupidest question to without judgment or just enjoy a walk to a cab with on a beautiful fall day after a political briefing. I had this Joy last week with one of them, and any of the six would have brought me the same simple Joy

-My hockey mom friends who help keep things in perspective in the often nutty world of kid's athletics. 

-I am also grateful for my monthly gratitude blogging partner Holly. We connected through our blogs a few years ago and this gal is a force and she is always there with a "you've got this Mama" when she senses I need it. That coupled with her shared love of Lilly and our New England roots I am pretty sure if we lived in the same town, she would totally be one of my girls.

-Mostly I am so very grateful, every single day for Running Daddy as he is my Best bud. Funny, sweet, focused, hardworking and a person with fierce love for Hockey Guy and me.

My message to you is if you are struggling with your friendships or the people you hang with are not bringing out the Best in you, take some time and maybe change your inner circle. Make sure you are spending time with people who bring you as much Joy as you are spreading. 

Did you blog about gratitude this month? If so, link up with us below.

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What's Up Wednesday: September 2019

Wow September, this was a month. Filled with a lot of Good things but whew, exhausting.  It is the last Wednesday of September, I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday! Let's dig into all things September Besties!

What We're Eating This Week

This is going to be a busy week and I didn't have a ton of time to food prep due to two hockey games about 70 miles away both on Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, we are keeping dinner pretty easy this week.

Monday-Burger night and steamed broccoli

Tuesday- Sheet pan nachos with salad

Wednesday-Chicken stir fry with jasmine rice and lots of veggies

Thursday-Pesto chicken pasta with salad

Friday-not sure as we all might be going out, but not together


Friday Favorites: Fall Fashion, Fall Food, and Importance of Rest

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Oh hello Friday, so Good to see you. While I didn't travel like I did last week, this week was almost as busy with some looming September deadlines. Now that the work week is almost complete it is time to start focusing on a fun weekend. Today I have a quick and simple list of things that are bringing me Joy and linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci.

1) Trader Joe's Gluten Pumpkin Bread Mix

If you don't like pumpkin spice or think it is too early for pumpkin anything...you might just want to move along to the next Friday Favorite item. I stopped into Trader Joe's last weekend and was happy to find that all of the pumpkin Goodness was in stock. When the gluten free pumpkin bread mix is in stock, I buy it in bulk. Almost like a doomsday prepper.


Hello Monday: Friday Night Fun, Trader Joe's Wine, and Fall Fashion

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 Since I  was traveling last week and had a big work event, I missed Friday favorites. I decided to mix things up a bit and jump into Hello Monday and tell you a little bit about my weekend instead. I am linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya, and Linsdsay for their Hello Monday link party. Let's do this!


Friday Favorites: Dallas Housewives, Best Sunglasses, Allergy Free Cookies and Fall Cider

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Whew. This was a week, even though it was a short week, it was a week. I have felt a little behind all week so it is only appropriate that this post is going up so late today. Although it is late, it is still Friday, so today I am talking about things that bring me Joy this week and linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci

1) Peepers Sunglasses

**contains affiliate links

When we were in Hilton Head I lost my Peepers Aviators in the surf when I got slammed by a wave. I was totally bummed because I really liked them and they have held up well over the last year. The thing is, I wasn't totally heartbroken because one of the Best things about Peepers is that they are under $30.

The other thing that I totally love about Peepers is that they come in a bi-focal reader. They are are a regular sunglass at the top and then provide a little bit of a reader at the bottom.  Genius.

To replace my lost aviators, I decided I wanted something a little bigger, so I chose the Del Mar. They are perfect for heading into fall.
**contains affiliate links

2) Stop, Breathe, Think

I have been meditating every morning since late April. I have only missed a handful of days and it has been a really Good option for me. One app that I think has some Good options for me is the Stop, Breathe, Think app. It asks you how you are feeling physically and mentally and then makes recommendations on meditations for you depending on how you are feeling that day. I think I may stick with this one for a bit.

3) Bold Rock Harvest Haze

Since I have been gluten free for nearly ten years, that means that there are several things I used to enjoy that I have not had in nearly a decade.  One of the things that I do miss in the fall is a Sam Adams Octoberfest beer. I was definitely intrigued when I saw the Bold Rock Cider Harvest Haze in the grocery store a few weeks ago. I initially hesitated as it was still summer when I saw this, I know how militant some people are about no fall food before a certain date. I decided to buy it because I wasn't sure if I would be able to buy it again because I was not at my usual Harris Teeter when I saw it.

I cracked it open last night and it did not disappoint. While it is hard cider, it definitely had the take of an Octoberfest beer. I also love that it is a local Virginia product.

4) Free to Eat Cookies

When we were in Chicago last weekend, Dancing Granny put together a snack bag for us. She included a box of Free to Eat Cookies. They were surprisingly very good and had a lovely oatmeal raisin taste. These will be perfect this fall with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea.

The Best part about these cookies, they are free of the top 8 allergens and they do not taste like a hockey puck. Dancing Granny purchased these at Walmart and I think you can also get them at Amazon.

5) Dallas Housewives

i love you leeannelocken GIF

While I only caught the last 30 minutes, and I was actually doing things around the house when I was watching, I am so glad the Real Housewives of Dallas is back. In my opinion, this is a totally underrated Housewives. These ladies are so Good and always bring it! I cannot wait to get caught up on the full episode this weekend with Running Daddy!

That's a wrap for this week. I am totally looking forward to a little rest this weekend. I need to meal prep and get caught up on the laundry but rest is in order. 

Hope you have the Best weekend!


Friday Favorites: Heavenly Hunks, COFFEE, Good Night Cream, Back to School and Meal Prepping

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Big week in our house as not only did Hockey Guy start school, he started his last year at his school. He has been at this school for eight years, so this is a big year. This week really flew by, thankfully, and I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to chat about the things that are bringing me Joy this week. 

1) C.O.F.F.E.E.


We always have coffee on the first day of school after the kids go to their classrooms. Now that I have a middle schooler I have been banned from walking him to class on the first day. Hey, that's ok that just means the Running Daddy gets the pick of the Krispy Kreme donuts.
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