Friday, January 26, 2018

Favorite Things: 2017 Top Ten

   It's a new year! So I'm looking back over 2017 as well as looking ahead to the fresh new year. What were some of my favorite things from last year? Let's take a look!

1. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark: Last January we surprised our kids one morning with the news that they had the day off from school and we were heading to a hotel in Niagara Falls, Canada that was attached to an indoor waterpark. I've seen the video clips of parents telling their kids they were taking them to Disney and our kids were just as excited for a short adventure that was full of fun and a taste of summer for 24 hours. My favorite part was the outdoor hot pool. We were in a steaming pool playing basketball while it was snowing!

2. Chatbooks: One of the things I love to do is keep photo albums for my family. Since the birth of my third child there has been less time and energy for keeping up with the downloading, uploading, and ordering of all the great photos. I was hesitant to try Chatbooks but I LOVE how easy it is to use the app and now I am caught up with our albums for the first time in five years. Now I can quickly pick my photos right on my phone, type the captions, and order. I can work on my albums anyplace because it's all on my phone. The kids are always super excited to get a new book in the mail with their picture on the front. My newest project is taking pictures of all their favorite artwork to eventually have enough pages for a coffee table book. Goodbye huge stacks of projects, hello beautiful book! Leave me a comment below for a free book if you'd like to try out Chatbooks for yourself.

3. 50 Days of Happiness: Every month I go to Bergen Family Chiropractic for my wellness check-up with Dr. Amy Mercovich. Some people don't see the value of chiropractic care but for me it has been helpful to keep my hips aligned since birthing three children and carrying them around for years. Dr. Amy has been an encouragement to me to keep my health and wellness priorities, and for the past couple of years I've participated in her Facebook Challenge called 50 Days of Happiness. She picks a topic and posts daily challenges to complete and then share on Facebook. Everybody who participates gets their name put into a drawing for a wonderful gift. Last year she surprised us all with a gift certificate for a massage! Yay for wellness in the coldest part of the year! Check out Dr. Amy's blog:

4. Run, Selfie, Repeat Podcast: Kelly Roberts is a great motivational speaker on this podcast. She talks a lot about attaining your goals and becoming the strongest version of yourself. I know I need encouragement to keep going as a runner and this podcast has been an inspiration for me.

5. Lime Olive Oil: On our recent vacation to Lake Placid my daughter and I had some fun tasting all kinds of infused olive oils at the Saratoga Olive Oil Company shop. We loved the Persian Lime oil! It gives basic dishes like sauteed cauliflower or tossed salad the sun-kissed flavor of lime. That's all the encouragement I need to enjoy more vegetables. I'm in trouble when this stuff runs out!

6. Rend Collective: Our family fell in love with the music by Rend Collective two years ago. The album we are enjoying now is called Campfire 2: Simplicity. The kids love singing along and I love how the lyrics inspire us to know God more and keep pursuing a life of faith.

7. Bristol High Ropes Course: For our 15th anniversary my husband and I spent a few hours at Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures . It was a beautiful June day to work together to overcome each set of challenges that did not involve child training, schedules, or differences of opinion. I discovered zip-lining and can't wait to try out their zip-line adventure once I find a coupon.

8. Our New Deck: This summer my husband worked hard at tearing down parts of our old rickety and rotting deck and replacing them with new white railings and a beautifully restored floor. I love drinking coffee, writing, relaxing, and watching fireflies at night from our deck.

9. Burdick Blueberries: Years ago my grandfather went blueberry picking out at Burdick's Blueberries aka Timbuktu. It takes forever to get out to the hills where this patch is located (ok 1.5 hours from my house) but the berries are organic and sweet and big and round and amazing even frozen. Once you get out there it feels like you are somewhere in France or Tuscany. For more info: Burdick Blueberries

10: Lake Placid Hotel: On our trip to Lake Placid my husband and I went to a magical restaurant that is part of the Crowne Plaza Lake Placid Hotel. Natural wood beams formed the beautiful arched ceiling and enormous windows gave the room an open yet somehow cozy ambiance. I can't wait to visit there again!

I hope you enjoyed my list! Who know's what this year will bring. I'm looking forward to new adventures and more blog posts here! What are a few of your favorite things from 2017? Leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, January 13, 2018


   It's a NEW YEAR!! So I thought I'd do a little housekeeping here at sarahswritingcafe. This time of year I love taking down the Christmas tree after a month of sitting in front of it and admiring the festive glow it adds to our home. Once it starts to dry up and the needles begin showering the carpet my admiration fades. The time has come to de-ornament the tree and drag it to the curb. Suddenly the living room seems brighter without dark green filling up a corner and I feel motivated to clean out a few more areas. Granted, the house is still filled up with plenty of happy clutter, as I call it. I have a feeling my husband would still love to pick the whole thing up and shake it all out if he could before stetting it back down. At least there are a few places that are cleaner that they were. So that's what I'd like to do here if I may, clarify a few things before moving ahead to 2018.
   There is a trend in blogging. It seems most of the blogs out there adhere to a main theme or topic. When I was asked recently what I my blog was about I answered Alzheimer's. But then I got to thinking about that. Yes, I want the blog to be a place where I can share my own experience with Alzheimer's. But I want to do more than that. I am an eclectic person. If you were to stop by my house today during the snow storm we're having you would find my home to be a mix of country farmhouse, modern, and shabby chic and that the decorations I have range from family heirlooms to, mementos from my travels around the world, to my kids' artwork. So that's what you will find here at my blog as well. I know I may confuse some people. You might want to see the next chapter of On the Other Side of the Wall, my Alzheimer's story and come upon a post about home-schooling or running or favorite things. Look at the title and it will give you the topic first and then the more specific title of the post. This year I will be adding more variety to my posts and I would love to see what readers find resonates with them. Comments, thoughts, and questions are welcome!
   Did you do anything to start fresh this new year? Leave a comment!