Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sewing Wednesday...A couple projects from last week

" Good Morning!

Good Morning!

Nature hums when morning comes along!"

Oh, sorry...that's a song that I love to sing in the mornings...I could totally go on and sing the whole thing, but that might be really scary. Did anyone else have the Shirley Temple Sing-A-Long VHS tape for "their kids" when they were little? Daisy got that as a gift and I...whoops, we absolutely loved it! Little Shirley Temple bopping around singing these adorable songs. I used get my kids up in the morning singing that little song to them. (it probably drove them nuts, but I always got a little smile) In case you're curious...the next lines are:

"Day's Dawning!

Stop Yawning!

And begin to join me in my song!"

This song is called "Early Bird" it...I bet there's a youtube out there too! Just so cute.

Well, as you can see, I finished my little spring/summer hat last week! I really had wanted a worn out black hat...but MJ didn't have any old worn out black pants, so I cut off his hole-y dark khakis and got to work. It was so funny, b/c he was wearing his new khaki cargo cut-offs and I was wearing my new khaki hat...we matched. Heehee.

Um, I don't like modeling things for pictures. I don't mind being in a picture with someone else or a group...totally fine...but I feel like a complete moron "trying" to look all cool to model one of my hats or skirts or headbands. Matt has been a doll and has taken many staged pics of me...the kids, too, have played along. But, this day, I just didn't feel like asking anyone to take pictures of me. Is this weird...or normal? So, there I stood, when the house was quiet, turned that flash off, and snapped away in front of the mirror. You should see the ridiculous rejects! The first one was taken in the natural lighting in our entry way...the second in my main floor natural light. Anyhoo...I am loving my new hat!

"Early Bird...up at break of day

Early Bird...kiss the dark away

Early birdies always catch a worm or two!

So don't be late, you've got a date

the worms awaitin' you"
Here she is on the work table.
A little surprise lining!
I ended up not having enough time to work on my little patchwork skirts last I decided to tackle a lamp redo project. The wall behind the lamp is a work in progress. I'm planning on doing a whole collage of pictures and mirrors. Just haven't had the time to work on it. But, I knew that I wanted to take the eye lash fringe off this lamp and wanted to add a little ruffle.
I felt like I was sheering a sheep while trimming this stuff!
Then, the part I usually like the most...picking the fabric. Well, I have almost completely exhausted my gold/yellow fabric stash from all my curtain projects. I really wanted to use the gold gingham...nope not enough. I also wanted to use this yellow floral (not pictured), nope, not enough. So, in my quest to just use what I have, I used the white with gold flowers.
The hot glue gun attachment process.
Here she is.
I like her, but I don't love her. I'm almost thinking that since I used such a light color in the fabric ruffle, that I need to spray paint the base of the lamp white. I'm not sure yet what I'll do...just kind of living with it for awhile, but you might see that project down the road.
I just love this little seating area.

"Sleepy heads, never see the sun

Stay abeds, always miss the fun

Whistle in the morning....

Send the worm a warning...

Sleepy head, tumble out of bed

Be a little early bird!"

Today...I'm hoping to work on patchwork skirts. I'd like to find the design that just works and make up a few for Etsy. Speaking of Etsy...a little slow lately. Maybe that's just spring. Maybe it's my stuff. Maybe I don't list new stuff often enough. Maybe it's that Etsy is so stinkin' saturated with every handmade artist around the world that my stuff is just not seen. Part of it for sure is that I haven't given Etsy any time lately...I've really been enjoying sewing for myself and my home lately. I would love to just come up with one key item for my etsy shop and just keep it stocked with that. I just can't decide what that would be.

Here I go!


"First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life". Jesus speaks in Matthew 8:22 in the Message Bible

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Sneaky Green Smoothie

I had bought a jumbo pack of these Starbucks Frappuccino's at Costco awhile back...I thought they would be great for traveling. You know, when you need a little kick in the morning or late afternoon. Well, in my journey to be healthier, I have decided not to drink them anymore. They're actually not all that great anyway. But, I have saved all the bottles because they are just so cute and the kids love drinking their smoothies out of them. I also freeze our extra smoothies in these jars because I try not to freeze things in plastic. For drinking a frozen smoothie...I just remove it from the freezer in the morning, remove the metal cap, put it in the microwave for 60 seconds, take it out and put the cap back on it and give it a shake. There is still a slightly frozen blob in the center, but after every sip, I just put the lid on and give it another shake, and by the end it has all thawed. It think you can put it in the fridge the night before too, but I always forget. Here is the recipe that I make for my kids every day with lunch:

Sneaky Green Smoothie

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 scoop of protein powder

1 heaping handful of baby organic spinach

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 frozen bananas

1 cup milk

I just blend it all up (in my Vita-Mix) and we drink down our fruit, veggies, protein, dairy, etc...
This recipe makes enough for all 5 of us to have a full glass. You could definitely half the recipe or freeze your extras! The mixed berries are so fabulously dark that you can't see even a trace (or taste) of that spinach!

On Wednesday I'll share a couple of sewing projects that I worked on last week...and then on Friday I am going to share my recipe for my Whipped Coconut Oil (I had a special request for this from Brittany:).

Have a good one!


"The challenge of parenting is to love kids enough to allow them to fail - to stand back, however painful it may be, and let significant learning opportunities build our children". Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline MD and Jim Fay

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tiffy's Top Ten...March 2012

I have really enjoyed my journey toward simplifying my life. So I thought I would share the top ten ways that I have simplified. I decided on Monday that this would be my Top Ten for the month of March, and all week I've jotted down little things as I thought of them. I'm sure I'll post this and I'll think of another way...but these are the ten that I'll share for now.
OK...Here we go...
The Top Ten Ways I've Simplified My Life:
1. No Nail Polish.
Now, I really love nail polish...but, the reason I let it go, was because I would take the time to do my nails and they would look really great, and then...2 days later, there was a chip. Rats. Then, 3 days later, a couple of chips. After about 5 days, they look completely ridiculous and then I stress about finding the time to remove the polish, clip the nails, add my 3 coats of polish (base coat and two top coats...kind of like painting walls...huh), and then letting them dry. That's actually kind of time consuming...and I just didn't like the part of me feeling overwhelmed with yet another thing to add to my list. So, while this one seems so tiny and in-significant, it has actually made a world of difference for me!

2. (Almost) No Make-Up
I started this one last summer. I hardly ever wear make-up in the summer, and if I do, it's just mascara and lipgloss. Well, I love the ease of that! So, I challenged myself this fall to see how far into our Minnesota fall I could go without make-up. I figured for sure by winter I would be sporting some serious make-up b/c let's be honest, our winter's get long and us Minnesotans can get rather paste-y. But, nope. I got by with mascara and lipgloss all winter! I just loved the ease of only worrying about a little mascara and some lipgloss or chap-stick and heading out the door. It really freed me up! I know not everyone can do this...but wow has it simplified my morning routine. This winter I asked Matt if he noticed that I wasn't wearing much make-up anymore (just curious, you know, b/c he never said anything and I thought it was quite a change...I used to really wear the make-up people!)...and he said, "what? huh uh...I didn't notice." I think I giggled and gave him a big kiss. I thought that was an adorable answer. Oh, and the only other product that I use from head to toe is whipped coconut oil. Love this stuff! I'll share my recipe another time.

3. Homeschooling
Yep...this one has been amazing for me! Where do I start. Well, my mornings and evenings are mine. I don't have to wake kids up, quick feed them, and quick shove them out the door. I used to dread those mornings when the kids were in school. Stressful. The bus comes at 7:12am in our neighborhood and the winter is long and cold and dark. Not fun. Also, I don't miss the after school/evening chaos of homework. Everyone coming home with something different. Half of it I didn't understand (and that was 1st grade work!) and the other half I couldn't stand. Like, busy work...what's the point? I love that when we finish up our list for the day (usually around 1pm), we are D.O.N.E. The kids are free to play, head outside for free time, read, explore,'s kind of dreamy...I think. I love being able to plan around busy weeks, and making adjustments where needed. It has really made my life simpler! Huge fan!

4. I Don't Use Coupons
That's right. Oh, I used to. Yep, Sunday afternoons were spent pouring over ads, clipping coupons, sorting coupons and placing them into my little coupon caddy. Then, I'd make a long list of all the stores that I needed to go to for the best deals. Some weeks, I was hitting 10 stores. I was so exhausted and relieved when Saturday night finally came and then I would start it all over again on Sunday. Come on! Tracking all over town for things that I didn't even know I needed until I saw them in the ad! So...I stopped clipping coupons. And then...I stopped looking at ads. Advertisers know what they are doing! You see need it! I decided that I would rather decide all on my own what I actually "needed". And, big surprise...I don't need much!

5. I Only Shop at 2 Stores (for groceries)
Yep...Costco and Marketplace. Marketplace is our little local, in town, grocery store and I love them. They have every thing I would ever need, and if they don't have it, they will get it for me. And, if they can't get it for me, I go on Amazon. Like when I needed beeswax for some lipgloss I was going to make (still need to make that!). Or when I needed Citric Acid Powder for some Bath Bombs the kids were making. Amazon to the rescue. Free shipping and only minutes of time. Now, I love Target and Trader Joes...but I only go there about once a month. Just trying to keep it simple.

6. I Cook With Real Food
This is a new one for me. I thought this would be so much more work, but it's really not! Less options actually makes it easier. The kids snack on fruit, nuts, cheese...Dinner's have become much more basic with homemade breads or pizza doughs...We have more vegetarian meals and get our protein through our greek yogurt smoothies and beans. This topic is still a work in progress for me, but it has been amazing and one that just makes sense to me. This will not be the last you'll hear on this topic! It's kind of my new pet. I'm so thankful that the family is on board!

7. I Constantly Declutter
I used to designate a day to declutter a certain room or drawer or closet. Now, every minute of every day items are at risk in my home. I always have a bag or box in the garage ready to be filled. Any time I see an item or a piece of clothing or a kitchen utensil that we don't need or want, it gets the boot. Often I ask, "where does this stuff keep coming from???". It's wild...just when you think you're getting super de-cluttered, there's more! I will never stop. I saw this quote on Pinterest and just loved it:
“Have nothing
in your houses
that you do
not know to
be useful or
believe to be
By William Morris

8. I Say "No"
Super simple, but not always easy. You have to know your limits!

9. Cleaning Products
Norwex, baby. A microfiber cleaning cloth and water. So simple. I also love their window/mirror cloth and I have their toilet bowl cleaner and their mop. Hmmm...I never mop. I'm a total sweeper and spot cleaner. Our entire main level is wood flooring, and I'm sure it could use a really good once over with the mop, but I guess that always falls too far down the list. Hmmm...maybe I've shared too much.
10. My Kitchen Filing System
I shared this little baby back in January as I was getting organized for the new year. Well, this has been an awesome improvement to my old system. I love having a mini-file super handy...filled with the files that I use frequently. My master file cabinet houses everything else, but to have this one handy with: current bills, recipes to try/meal planning, current's been really great.

Well...I think that's it! I have a super crazy fun weekend ahead of me! I'm leaving in about an hour to meet friends at the theatre to see The Hunger Games and then out to dinner...then, tomorrow I'll be scrapbooking all day with two neighbor friends...and then we're meeting up for Ladies Night In at another neighbors house in the evening. Crazy! Sunday is church, small group, and a soccer game. Our weekends are usually busy, but so rarely is it so much stuff to do with me! I'm kind of excited!

I'll share a recipe on Monday...either my whole wheat cheesy pizza fries or my sneaky green smoothie. Not sure yet...I'll see what I'm feelin' on Monday morning.


"After we stretch - which hurts - there's a couple of hours of strengthening exercises - which hurt - and a five mile run - which kills". Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (in honor of the Hunger Games)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mama needs a new hat!

This is yesterday's sunrise...I went upstairs around 7am to shower and I looked out my bedroom window and saw I ran back downstairs and grabbed my camera. It's been awhile since we've had an outstanding sunrise. It was gorgeous.
For my Sewing Wednesday...I'm hoping to finish a little spring/summer hat that I started the other day. I'm also hoping to re-visit my little patchwork skirt. My first go at it wasn't quite right...I've got some other ideas of what I would like to do to make it better. But...I don't know how much I'll get done today! I'm taking MJ to the dentist at 12:15 to get some teeth pulled (recommended by the orthodontist). I mean, right smack in the middle of the day! Then, the girls have a friend coming over from 2:15-5:30. Maybe I can sneak in a little sewing there.

In the kitchen...I am making some HUGE changes about how the Millers eat. We have removed (almost) all processed foods. Still using up a couple of things and I have not removed sugar and white flour yet...though, last night I made Whole Wheat Cheesy Pizza Fries...the kids were a little scared and dissapointed at first, because I've made this with white dough in the past. But, they ended up loving it! Matt especially! I made the crust 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour. I'm thinking I'm just going to gradually add in the whole wheat to get their taste buds accustomed. I also made a blueberry pie and homemade vanilla ice cream. Probably one of my favorite dinners ever.

Here are my top 3 resources in our "Real Food" adventure:
Food Inc. (DVD)
Food Rules by Michael Pollan
100 Days of Real Food (Blog)

I'm sure I'll be chatting/sharing more on this topic in the posts to come! Have a fabulous spring day!!! *Beware...spell check was not working...

XOXO Tiffany

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". Food Rules by Michael Pollan

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Where has this day gone??? I am still in my work out clothes at 4:55pm and I still have not worked out. I can't figure out what happened? I'll have to make this post short and sweet because now it's time to get dinner going.

I just LOVE chicken pot pie! This recipe is my favorite chicken pot pie recipe. I can't remember where I got it from...maybe on the back of a chicken broth can???
Here it is:

Classic Chicken Pot Pie
1 package of pie crusts
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
3 cups shredded chicken
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cook for 2 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; stir. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. Add chicken and mixed vegetables, mix well. Remove from heat. Poor into crust lined pan. Top with second crust, seal edges. Cut slits in several places. Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I hope you try it!

Tonight we're having spaghetti and salad...I'd better get moving!

XOXO Tiffany

"Let me tell you why you're here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?" Matthew 5:13 from the Message Bible (oh how I am loving this Bible!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Good Morning! We've been having a good time this week bringing a little "green" into our lives in honor of St Patrick's Day. I've got three little things to share today...

1. A little craft I did on my porch

2. An amazing Mint Brownie recipe

3. A Shamrock Shake recipe

We have had this little duckie on our porch for about 13 years. We got it as a Christmas gift from Matt's boss at the time...he was less than thrilled...I absolutely loved it! This little duckie is weathered, but still so cute. I dress her up in a holiday bow all year round. Every St Patrick's Day she gets this little green bow, you know the kind of ribbon that comes on a spool for like $1. I was thinking...duckie needs a change.

So...I rooted through my fabric scraps and pulled out anything that was green. I had cotton, satin, flannel, chiffon... Then, I (roughly) trimmed the fabric into 15" x 2" strips. I grabbed a hair binder and tied them to it.

Then, I went out to the porch and gave duckie a new neck piece. I think she looks kind of cute:).

Something that I do EVERY March, is make these Chocolate Mint Brownies. My girlfriend, Kelly, made these years ago, and I couldn't ask for the recipe fast enough. Nobody knows desserts like my girl Kelly. It is outrageously yummy!

Chocolate Mint Brownies
1 pkg brownie mix for 9 x 13 pan
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
8 tbsp butter, soft
1 tbsp milk
Green food coloring
1 cup chocolate chips
6 tbsp butter

Prepare brownies according to package directions (I always under-cook them slightly). Cool completely. Mix next 5 ingredients. Spread over brownies. Refrigerate for ½ hour. Melt chocolate chips and butter together and drizzle over brownies. Store in refrigerator.

I try to slice them before the final refrigeration...otherwise the chocolate drizzle gets funky.

We also make a Shamrock Shake every year! You couldn't get me to drive through a McDonald's drive-through for anything...and for this, why would you? So easy!

Shamrock Shake

In a blender, add Ice Cream, Milk, Mint Extract, and green food coloring. Blend and enjoy!

Have a great weekend! We need to go bike shopping for the kids...they needed new bikes last year but we never got around to in the fall, we donated their bikes so that we would be forced to get out there. It worked. Hoping we can find something!

XOXO Tiffany

"All around were alps and grassy meadows almost smothered in flowers. Little streams gurgled and splashed between banks of king cups, while buttercups and cowslips, violets and pink primulae carpeted the ground. Clumps of delicate purple soldanella grew in vivid clusters, and all over the fields, glowing bright as gems, were gentians, more blue than the sky at midday, looking like jewels on a royal robe". Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sewing Wednesday...Slipcover Project

The great reveal! Yes, you've been on pins and needles (ha) they are! My two little beauties...all dressed in white denim ruffled slipcovers.
This is how they looked when I brought them home in December 2011 from the Goodwill. I spent $9/each on them. I was originally going to spray them white and then re-upholster. I'm glad I didn't do either of those options.

I like the slipcovers because they can be removed and washed...and I like the little brown legs sticking out the bottom. To do this project...I made 5 pattern pieces. I just draped the fabric over the chair (wrong side up) and used some colored tailors chalk to mark my pattern. I made a pattern for the seat, the front chair back, and the back of the chair. Then I just measured up the frame of the chair to make a 2" x ?" strip to connect the front and back. And, then, I made my ruffles 6" x 180" for each chair. These little slipcovers are far from perfect...but I'm happy with them.

This little project took me about 9 1/2 hours. Not including the time to pre-wash the fabric. Though, I bet I could have done it in 7 1/2 hours if:

1. Nobody was home while I was working.

2. If I not been so thrifty in piecing together scraps for my ruffle.

I had PLENTY of fresh fabric left on the bolt...I could have just washed up another section and cut the exact strips that I needed and made those ruffles. But, for some strange reason, I get a real kick out of using up scraps. So, I cut, measured, and attached 360" of 6" ruffle to make the hem of this slipcover. I'm happy that I tackled this little project...however, I will probably not look for another project like this. Not my favorite thing to do. I prefer to make clothing.

Today...I'm hoping to make myself a new spring/summer hat. I came up with a new pattern and I cut it out yesterday...this morning I'll cut out the lining and then assemble the little guy. I hope it turns out!

Have a great Wednesday...Friday I'm hoping to post my most favorite Mint Chocolate Brownie recipe ever...oh, and I made a little St Patty's Day craft last night that I'll share.

XOXO Tiffany

"Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity". Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Weekend to Remember...

Have you ever felt like you and your spouse are "ships in the night"? People, in general, are so crazy busy these's a bit ridiculous. I won't even go into detail about all the things we have going on right now...I know you've got your own list, and there's no need for us to compete! Heehee. Back in December (oh, speaking of crazy!), I read a post on one of my favorite blogs...Poor Pitiful Pearl...and I could totally relate! I immediately went to the site...A Weekend to Remember...and found out when this conference would be in my area...I chatted with my husband...and I booked it! Oh, and then I saw if the grandparents could help out with the kids. We are blessed to have both sets of grandparents live so close! The weekend was fabulous...there were some amazing speakers and I think we both walked away more knowledgeable and better equipped and completely inspired to work at having the best marriage that we can have. Here is a glimpse at our was first and foremost about our marriage...but a close second was the food.
We left the house on Friday around 4:30pm and drove toward Minneapolis. It's only a 30 minute drive and we stopped for dinner at one of my favorite places...French Meadow Bakery and Cafe. I had a gorgeous chai tea with coconut milk while we waited for our meal. I got their Fettuccine Bolognese and Matt got their pan-fried Walleye Sandwich. Then, we each treated ourselves to something out of their bakery case. I can't tell you how happy I was to start off our weekend at French Meadow!

Check out that view! One of the perks to Matt traveling so often, is that he racks up hotel rewards points. He is currently a Marriot Gold member...which means that when he travels...he gets free upgrades if they are available. Needless to say, we got an executive suite up on the 29th floor of the Marriot City Center. We had two full walls of windows. The views were outstanding. The tall building up the right hand side is the IDS.

This is the view out the other wall of windows. That's Target Field (where the MN Twins play) in the center back and the Target Center (white...where the Timberwolves play) in the front left of the field.

Here is one of the walls of windows.

The sunrise over the city.

THE most amazing breakfast I have ever eaten!!! If I am ever again downtown for breakfast...I am going to the Marriot City Center's breakfast buffet. I'm telling you...outstanding. We ate there both mornings. There was an omelet bar...I got a spinach, mushroom, green pepper, red onion, bacon omelet...why am I not making these every morning? Oh my goodness (I almost inhaled the whole thing before I thought to get a picture). Then, like that wouldn't have been enough food for a normal morning...oh no, I had a bowl of the best cottage cheese I have ever eaten, topped with pineapple and blueberries. I also had some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and some coffee with cream and sugar. Plus, a banana for the road. Seriously, outstanding. I got the same exact thing both days.

Here's Sweetie...I think he got the same exact breakfast two days in a row too. He does 2 eggs over easy (from the omelet guy), toast, bacon, bowl of fresh fruit, OJ, a banana muffin, and a banana for the road. I think I got it all. He was starting to get a little annoyed with me and all my "pictures of food"...but by the end of the weekend, he was like, "did you get a picture of that"? Heehee. I just really appreciate good food. Especially when I don't have to cook it!

Here is my new t-shirt! I am a super lucky lady to get to spend my life with this guy. Is it perfect? Neeewwww (fancy "no"). We've got problems just like the rest of y'all. I'm just so happy that I have a guy that is willing to work through those not-so-perfect times.

Sneaking in some reading time in my new animal print jeans!!! I saw these babies on Pinterest and would not rest until they were mine.

We managed to squeeze in a few games of Cribbage over the weekend. Unfortunately, I only won 1 out of 3.

We ate lunch on Saturday at the Oak Grill on the 12th floor of Macy's. This place is so fabulous. It has probably been 12 years since I have eaten at the Oak Grill...(or the Oak Room as we used to call it when I worked in the buying office at Daytons, which became Marshall Fields, which became Macy's).

I couldn't believe my luck when the hostess sat me down right next to the fireplace! I love fireplaces...I love to be warm. And, I just found out that this little fireplace was transported from England and is over 300 years old! I should have turned my flash off for this photo because it really was so dark and warm and cozy there. And, I'm a huge fan of their massive red chandeliers.

They're known for their popovers. Yes please.

Matt and I split the Chicken Pot Pie and a Caesar Salad. Perfect.

Just a little room left for their Key Lime Jar. This did not disappoint and was worth every little itty bitty calorie.

Not only did we get the sunrise...but we also got the sunset. They leave Saturday evening open for "date night". They're so smart.

This is a touch embarrassing...but we've had a $100 gift certificate to Murray's Steak House in our pocket for 3 years. Yep...we need to get out more.

A candle light dinner.

The best calamari!

Another Caesar's my Sweetie's favorite.

A 28 oz porterhouse steak (which we split) and some macaroni and cheese. Heaven.

Cheesecake. Mmmm Hmmm.

So, we had an awesome little dinner...but, funny story. Matt took a picture of us with his phone and posted it on Facebook...well, the angle was such that the drapes looked like he was wearing a giant turban. We really didn't notice it until a friend commented on the "giant turban" and we laughed hysterically for the rest of the night. Seriously...that was awesome. I'm still giggling.

Love those sky ways.

Our walk to the restaurant.

I really love being's probably the one thing I miss from my working days. Though it was good to get back to my sweet little suburban life. I would love it if every married couple that I know would attend one of these conferences. Being married is not the easiest thing in the world, that's for sure. It takes a lot of time and effort. Sometimes it's hard to make the time, but when we do, we are never disappointed.

XOXO Tiffany

"She always hated guys who fussed over her with fancy dates to Boston including five-star restaurants and valet parking...they were predictable, insincere, and boring". The Death and Life of Charlie St Cloud by Ben Sherwood

"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships". Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh