Browsing Category

Cherish Relationships

The Best Father’s Day Gift Idea: Books For The Dads In Your Life

Books, Family
father's day books

Are you prepared for Father’s Day this Sunday or are you frantically looking for last-minute ideas that don’t seem so last minute? It might be too late to pull off some of the great ideas I included in the Fierce Father’s Day Gift Guide, but don’t fret. I have a solution. (You can thank me later).

As your resident author friend, I’m obligated to share book ideas on all subjects. (It’s in the universal author contract. Right below the clause that says I can helpfully correct grammar and spelling. Hah!)

Back to sharing books. I read. A lot. Some might say too much. They would be wrong. But I certainly do a big chunk of reading.

So let’s have all the time I spend reading serve a purpose for you, my Fierce Friends. Whether it’s a gift for your husband, son, or your own father or grandfather, books are always the answer.

Books: The Best Father’s Day Gift Idea

Without further ado, a few suggestions for Father’s Day books (aka the best Father’s Day gift idea, in my unbiased opinion):

continue reading

Best Father’s Day Gift Ideas From My Family

Family
father's day dad

Now, I’m not going to assume that you’re keeping up with the events in my life, but if you follow me on social media, then you know this week all my darlings and grand-darlings are in town for a visit. All 12 of them.

Which means I’m extremely busy loving on (equally, of course) six wonderful little bundles of joy. Honestly, I was thinking I might take a break from blogging this week as I knew my week would be packed. Somehow though, every time I think I might take a break, part of my brain gets triggered and I end up stuck there until I just sit down and get my thoughts out. The kids are all napping and here I am, excitedly typing out my thoughts on the subject of: buying gifts for men vs. buying gifts for women.

continue reading

Hospitality 101: How to be a Fierce Host

Hospitality and Entertaining
hospitality 101

This blog is going to be on the short and sweet side because I’m a little busy today.

I’ve got to finish packing for my upcoming glamping trip with my mom (we’re leaving tomorrow morning), plant my porch pot flowers, answer the backlogged email, finish the laundry, run to the market, and make a batch of Fiesta Miracle Muffins for my husband to share with some of his old high school friends who are coming to visit while I’m away camping this weekend.

Oh, and when I ran into a couple of friends at my quilt guild meeting yesterday, I invited them to come over for dinner tonight. They’ll be here in 5 hours.

That’s right. Even though I knew I had a very busy day ahead of me, I went ahead and invited a couple of friends over on the spur of the moment.

Now, some of you completely get this but a lot of you are saying, “That’s crazy! Why would you suddenly invite people over on such short notice? And for dinner, no less. That just sounds so stressful!”

You have a point. Entertaining can be stressful – for you as well as your guests.  But it doesn’t have to be. Not if you keep a few simple principles that will make get togethers a pleasure for you as well as your guests.

Are you ready? Here’s my crash course on Hospitality 101.

continue reading

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Experienced Mom Edition

Cherish Relationships
mothers day gift guide
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

As I told you back in January, every year I spend a lot of time thinking through and writing down my goals for the coming year.

This year, one of my highest priority goals, involves my mom.

When I was a kid, she would come home from work on Friday, we’d load up the car with tents, sleeping bags, a cookstove, and the dog, and drive to one of many state parks. We usually arrived after dark and had to set up the tent by flashlight.  Since we were residents of the Pacific Northwest, we frequently found ourselves trying to build campfires with wet wood and or spending the weekend playing cards inside the tent as water dripped from the rainfly.

But rain or shine, off we went. And rain or shine, we always had a great time. Many of my very best memories with my mom were made on those camping trips. My mom’s enthusiasm for camping and love of the great outdoors was infectious, a love she passed on to me.

continue reading

Book Club Party Kit for ‘Hope On The Inside’

Books, Friends and Community
book club - hope on the inside
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

My latest novel, Hope On The Inside, has all the elements of a quintessential book club book. The quickly paced plot. The strong themes of creativity and sisterhood. It has the surprises. The lovable characters. The tear-jerking moments. And did I mention the food?

Don’t even get me started on my passion for book clubs! Although I guess I already got started on my love of book clubs in this post from last year.

Suffice it to say book clubs = books, food and friends. Basically a perfect recipe in life.

But throwing the perfect book club party can be a little daunting! What should I cook? What music should I play? What wine should I serve? What thought-provoking questions should I throw out to the group? 

Don’t worry, that’s the fun part.

If you’ve been debating on your next book club book and have made the (obviously very smart) choice to read Hope on the Inside, I’m going to make your life very easy when it comes to prepping for your book club party.

How, you ask? I made a Hope on the Inside party kit just for the occasion!

So, grab your best gal pals, your latest quilting or crafting project, and cook the books with recipes inspired by Hope On The Inside. You won’t have to dig very deep into the book to find out about the husband with an affinity for baking! If you need some help getting started with the book discussion, there are helpful suggestions and questions in the back.

Choose savory muffins, a rosemary olive bread, or the very best oatmeal cookies and offer along with iced mint tea and fruit. Because they are the fuel you’ll need for a lovely book discussion, if you ask me.

And in this case, the rosemary won’t be a bad omen. (You’ll know what this means after you get through the first chapter or two).

Download Your Free Party Kit!

If you’d like to have the full Book Club Party Kit simply enter your email address below and the whole kit-n-caboodle will show up in your email a few minutes later! Oh, the magic of the internet!

A Little Teaser

Just to make you drool a little bit, here’s a picture of the wonderful Rosemary Olive Loaf that’s included with the party kit! Serve warm, spread a little butter, slice on the diagonal (because, pretty) and you’ll be in food heaven!

rosemary olive loaf - hope on the inside

Alright readers, that’s all I’ve got time for today! Book launch weeks are busy – in a good way!

Have a great weekend, Fierce Friends, and maybe bake some oatmeal cookies!

Go Pro with These Three Healthy Super Bowl Recipes

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
healthy super bowl recipe chicken chili
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

It’s almost time for the Super Bowl (and the Puppy Bowl and Super Bowl commercials, take your pick of which one you’ll spend your time watching!)

No matter which you are watching it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be eating something. Because food and the Super Bowl go together like chips and salsa. (Or chips and guacamole, but more on that later!)

continue reading

Christmas Gifts For Men: Your Husband is Fierce Too

Cherish Relationships, Family
Christmas gifts for men
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

I’ve saved the best for last, a helpful list of gifts for those men in our life. If the saying is true that, “behind every good man there’s a good woman” (and it is!), then we are grateful to have those good men to stand behind.

There aren’t too many days left until Christmas. So if you’re still looking for ideas right now I’ll keep this short-and-sweet and get you right to my gift suggestions.

(Are you still looking for gifts for girlfriends, or grandchildren or book lovers? I’ve got you covered there too!)

continue reading

Fierce Grammy’s Guide: Best Christmas Gift Ideas For Grandkids

Cherish Relationships, Family
Christmas Gift Ideas for Grandkids
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

Let’s face it: grandchildren are the most fun to buy presents for, but can sometimes be the hardest. It’s difficult to keep track of what kids these days are interested in, and after you learn, it can change faster than you can say “iPhone!”

But there’s nothing quite as special as the look of joy on a child’s face when Christmas morning comes and they open presents. (And the inevitable hug afterwards!).

When I shop for my grand-darlings, I try to think back to being a parent and remember the practical side of gifts, too. Here are a few ground rules:

  1. SAFETY: Even if you’re buying for an older child, be sensitive to lots of small parts that could be dangerous to younger kids.
  2. SANITY: Keep parents in mind. Ask about things like an art set that might create large messes or a drum set that might affect the acoustics of home life. Your grandson might be the next Picasso or Ringo Starr but sometimes those messy or loud  gifts are best kept at grandma’s house!
  3. SMART: It’s no secret that all of our grand-darlings are clearly advanced, which is why it’s important to look for educational toys that help develop their young (and obviously brilliant) minds.
  4. LOCAL: Shop local when you can. ‘Nuff said.
  5. BOOKS ARE SUPREME: The last rule for me is that each grandchild always gets a book, no matter what. (Not that I’m biased or anything because I’m an author, I just think kids and books go together like partridges and peartrees).

continue reading

The Fierce Gift Guide for Girlfriends: Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends as Fierce as You

Cherish Relationships
Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

Girlfriends are sometimes the easiest to shop for. Many times, they love the same things you do. You share interests, hobbies, and passions. You do life together!

It’s hard to set foot in a store without seeing something and immediately thinking of one of your friends who would love it. That’s what makes shopping for friends so fun!

The challenge for me is that I always want to come up with the absolutely perfect, most thoughtful present for those friends who mean the most, but this time of year I always seem to run out of time to make them a quilt by hand, bake up artisanal cinnamon rolls, or craft up something spectacular and one of a kind. There’s also the issue that many of my friends aren’t local.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t knock it out of the park for Christmas!

My gift numero uno for my friends this year – and I already ordered in bulk – was the Living Well Spending Less planner (aka my secret weapon on managing my schedule and getting to do the things that matter most to me).

continue reading

The Fierce Way to Curb Holiday Spending

Cherish Relationships, Creativity and Crafts, Finances
holiday spending

As I mentioned in my recent post about love, gift giving is my love language. I show my love by sending the most thoughtful gifts to those I love. I must say I’m quite good at it.

But there’s just one little problem. 

Things can get, well, a little out of hand. 

It’s so easy to get caught up with the gift-giving spirit of the season, and the catchy Christmas carols don’t exactly help…Santa honey one thing I really do need, the deed to a platinum mine…or I want a hippopotamus for Christmas…or all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…or all I want for Christmas is you…

You get the idea. Whether it’s your Instagram feed or your friends or the displays at the store, everywhere you look, you are prompted to want something or buy something. Charge it and pay for it later.

I’m not saying gifts are bad. But really, do your loved ones and friends want you to blow out your budget on things you can’t afford? Probably not. 

This year, make a plan and stick to it. My friend and financial sherpa Peggy Doviak, whose book has been helping the Chairman and I get a handle on our finances, shares a few ideas on how to make this the best Christmas ever without breaking the bank. 

We had such a great response from Peggy’s last post on planning for retirement, I wanted to bringing her back to shower us all with her bright, shining financial wisdom. 

Here’s what she had to say. 

The Best Christmas Ever

Do the upcoming holidays fill you with joy or dread? Are you already wearing cozy holiday sweaters, drinking hot cocoa, and watching Hallmark movies? Or do you find yourself wondering whether Scrooge was right, and we really should be boiling people in their own plum pudding?

I think money is one of the leading causes of holiday stress for people. We want to create the perfect event, and we try not to think of the bill that will arrive in the mail around January 15th. Well, here’s the good news—it’s possible to have a great holiday season and stay out of debt. Planning ahead, being willing to spend hours rather than dollars, and knowing how to say “no” can help you have a wonderful, prosperous December. continue reading