A letter to Grandpa

12/13/17

Dear Grandpa,

Everyone thinks their grandpa is the best, and that’s really nice and everything, but the truth is, mine actually was the best.

You were the actual best grandpa, great grandfather, dad, neighbor, worker, and friend. You’re the man everyone aspires to be, the one great character every reader is completely enamored with and that every author hopes to write about – but quite honestly, it may be impossible for even the best writer to capture your wit, smarts, quirks, and charm.

Last night, you died, and when I held your hand, it was still so big and warm, just like always. You looked like you; you still looked so handsome; you looked finally at rest. I can still feel you holding my hands, cupping them around mine since I was a kid to keep me warm, and until the very end, you were still my warm protector.

The one book of lessons you need to add to your collection

Thank you Gather As You Go for sending me a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.

As a writer, I’ve always found value in jotting things down, from words of wisdom during high school Speech class, hilarious and wise thoughts from my Gram, advice from friends and family, and memories. There’s something I cherish about physically documenting these experiences that make them more concrete and valuable. It’s not often I find all the things I love and value beautifully bundled up in one book, but I’ve come across a true treasure in Carol Lavin Bernick’s Gather As You Go.

This is more than “just another coffee table book,” (which you know I love); it’s truly your total life resource book, sharing personal experiences, lessons, and wisdoms collected through the author’s life, all bound together in one inspirational book, taking you everywhere from corporate America and one’s civic duty to navigating motherhood, life’s celebrations, pitfalls, and everything in between.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s fall, the best time of the year for so many reasons, especially pumpkin spice lattes. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a sugar-loaded coffee house drink because you can easily make a healthy pumpkin spice latte at home!  My love for pumpkin spice runs deep, and I set out to create my own because of the following  serious quandaries.

  1. I want pumpkin spice lattes every day.
  2. I can easily take a route to work to pass popular coffee shops.
  3. $5 a cup can start to add up.
  4. I’ve been actually starting to care about the junk that’s in my food.

I also have various specifications when I order, and sometimes I forget to mention my preferences (my old order was a tall skinny decaf pumpkin spice latte with coconut or almond milk). While I used to think the “skinny” part of my order meant healthy by cutting calories and fat, I realized that any sugar free foods are more dangerous for you. You can read about the dangers of popular sugar-free substitutes like Sucralose here. If you think you’re being healthy by ordering a sugar-free drink, think again – it would be better to have real sugar than a sugar substitute (that goes for your own cooking, too).