Back to The Books

by HEAB on August 10, 2016

Books.  Every spare second, I’ve got my nose stuck in one – just like years ago when I could not get enough of Laura and her calico bonnet, Anne Shirley with an “E”, and later on, the Wakefield twins and all members of the Baby-Sitters Club.  I read every book assigned to me throughout high-school and college (except for The Grapes of Wrath.  Oh man, I could not get through that one).

After college I discovered exercise, and those hours previously spent reading turned into miles and miles logged on the roads.  I’m not sad about it though because running led me to my husband and gave me what I hope will be a life-long love of staying active.  CD and I met at a post 10K race party, and soon life was busy with marriage and babies and social media and play dates and meal planning and playgrounds, etc… I could have made time for reading, but for some reason, the focus was no longer there.  Every time I sat down to read, my mind wandered somewhere else – to the laundry that needed to be folded, to the birthday party gift I needed to make, to the email that needed a response, to the restless child who needed late night snuggles to get to sleep.  Some of these reasons not to read truly mattered, but most did not.  So, I’ve let the unimportant ones go, and I think I’ve read more books in the past month than I have in the last three years.

I inherited my love of reading from my sweet mom, who passed away this past February after being diagnosed with stage IV bone cancer in late December. We brought her home from the hospital on a Friday, and she left us that following Tuesday, less than two months after her diagnosis.  I will never forget her last breath. Nor will I forget the hours she used to spend reading.  She would somehow tune out the TV, our friends running in and out of the house, and our constant, “Mom, mom, mom” and lose herself in a book.  It was something that I always loved and admired about her.  There was nothing she enjoyed more than a good read, and I knew the pain had become unbearable when she could no longer focus on the words on the page.  So mom, I want you to know that I am reading again as I want Summer, Charlie, Katie, and Hannah to remember me with my nose in a book, just as I remember their beloved Nonna.  Love and miss you mama – Thank you for teaching me your love of reading, and I promise to never forget such an important lesson again.



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A Natural Alternative To Goo Gone

by HEAB on April 11, 2016

That sticky stuff left on glass after removing a sticker or price tag?  The worst, right?


After cleaning up a jar the other day to use for flowers, I thought I’d share one of my favorite life hacks.  I think I read this tip on the Internet years ago – it’s no big secret, but whenever I mention it to people, they’ve often never heard of it before.  So, here you have it – the secret to removing the goo…


Eucalyptus oil.  That’s it.  First peel and scrub as much of the sticker off as you can.  Then saturate a cotton ball with eucalyptus oil (available at health food stores in the essential oils section),  and simply rub the sticky residue until it’s all gone.  Then rinse with soap and water.  I usually run the jar through the dishwasher to get rid of the strong eucalyptus smell, and I toss the used cotton ball into the bottom of the diaper pail to make opening that thing a little more pleasant.

We re-use all sorts of jars for storing homemade sauces, holding crayons & markers, and for giving flowers to friends (or myself).  Sunflowers in a salsa jar went to some friends who had us over for dinner last night,


and that applesauce jar pictured above now adorns our dining room table.


Happy De-Gooing!

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Homemade Gift Wrap With Kids

December 5, 2015

The kids are really into Christmas this year – FINALLY, and I could not be more excited!  They always enjoy Christmas, but this is the first year that they seem to truly understand the meaning of the holiday and all of our family traditions (although Hannah still likes to hide and hoard all the Advent Calendar inserts, but […]

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Dragons Love Tacos & Birthday Parties

November 22, 2015

Yesterday, we celebrated Summer turning five and Hannah turning two (can you even believe it?!?).  Dragons Love Tacos is a favorite book around here, and we’d thought it be a fun birthday party theme.  Because who doesn’t love dragons, or for that matter a taco salad bar??? Still my favorite guac… And everyone’s favorite cashew […]

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Site Maintenance

October 9, 2015

Hey all, I have someone trying to fix a few kinks in my blog, and some old posts accidentally went out via email yesterday.  Sorry about that, and no, we’re not expecting again. 🙂 Thanks for your patience. -Heather

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Vegan Creamy White Bean Chili

August 28, 2015

We’re gearing up for fall around here (my favorite!) and made our first chili of the season tonight.  There wasn’t time to cook my own beans or get the crock pot going this morning, and so I came up with the following recipe using canned beans and gluten free flour as a thickener.  After taste […]

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No More Stinky Breath Hummus

July 6, 2015

Our kids like hummus, and they also like to crawl in bed with us first thing in the morning.  I love the early cuddles, but I do not love smelling garlic breath at 5:30 AM.  No thank you.  So, we stopped buying hummus in bulk at Costco and started making our own garlic-free version.  That […]

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Pregnancy Changed Me For The Better

June 26, 2015

Pregnant with Summer in October 2010… Thank you Emily for the beautiful photo! And 34 weeks pregnant with Charlie and Katie in June 2012… And last but not least, awaiting Hannah’s arrival in October 2013… Another favorite from Emily Smallcomb Family Photography. I did something I haven’t done in a while.  I wrote a guest […]

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Let’s Get Messy

June 16, 2015

Food: Hummus with chips and carrots, my favorite guacamole, more chips (you can never have enough tortilla chips in my opinion), crackers with peanut butter and apple slices, cheese pizza and hot dogs from Costco (so cheap/so good), deviled eggs, chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Beep, beep, beep…big fans of Little Blue around here. as […]

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A Sleepy Project

June 7, 2015

Anthropologie catalogs sure at pretty, no?  Of course my eyes just about pop out of my head when I see the prices, but I love perusing the pages for inspiration and styling ideas.  One arrived in the mailbox this week, and while flipping through the pages, I decided I needed to do something with those […]

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