A Surprise Birthday Celebration and Sunday Morning Coffee


Last-minute surprises are often the best, and my husband, Dave, certainly outdid himself this time. For my birthday celebration, he came up with a wonderful idea.

Earlier in the week, Dave decided we should fly north to Marin County to visit our kids. I was thrilled by the thoughtful idea, which made my birthday celebration even more special. Thanks for joining me today for Sunday Morning Coffee. This is a place to share, learn, explain, dream, and have fun.

A woman in a pink sweater holds a baby in a room decorated with a "Happy Birthday" banner hanging from a window.
Season 4 Volume 23

About Me

Dave and I flew to Northern California on Friday and had the delightful opportunity to babysit our Graham, Andrew, Charlotte, Michael., and Ellie. Andrew and Char had a birthday party to attend in Napa, so we got to spend some precious time with little Graham. Watching him play, laugh, and grow is amazing; these moments are priceless.

Saturday was my actual birthday, celebrated in the most charming way. We enjoyed a lovely lunch with my sister Susie and her husband Craig and then had a wonderful relaxing day.

An older woman with shoulder-length blonde hair sits on a red chair outdoors, holding a smiling baby on her lap. Both are dressed in light-colored clothing. A hot tub is visible in the background.

The day’s highlight was the fabulous birthday dinner at Andrew and Charlotte’s home. Our steak was some of the best we’ve ever tasted, perfectly cooked and seasoned, making the dinner a memorable culinary delight.

Someone really enjoyed the dinner al fresco.

A baby sits in a portable high chair outdoors, surrounded by greenery. There is food on the tray and some on the baby's face and hands.

Adding to the weekend’s excitement, we saw Michael and Ellie’s new home for the first time. Their place is amazing, and we couldn’t be happier for them. It’s lovely to see them settling into such a beautiful space, and sharing their joy added another layer of happiness to my birthday celebration.

Dave’s impromptu idea became a birthday celebration weekend filled with love, family, and unforgettable moments.

A baby sits in a high chair outdoors, eating with one hand and holding food in the other. A blue sippy cup filled with water is placed on the tray in front of the baby.

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My Latest Project

My Latest Project

An older woman in a pink sweater and a tall man in a black shirt stand side by side in front of a window with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" decorations.
Me and Andrew, my oldest and the proud papa of Graham.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had lost some weight, and I am pleased to say I have now lost 19 lbs!

In just over two months!

Many of you want to know how I did it, but I realized I forgot to explain.

I signed up for a weight management program with Lindora in Southern California. It’s incredible because it is so supportive.

Plus, I have been working out in our new weight room!

The Lindora weight loss program, also known as Lindora Lean for Life, is a comprehensive and personalized weight management system designed to deliver rapid, safe, and sustainable results. It has operated since 1971 and has helped countless individuals achieve their weight loss goals through a medically supervised approach.

Our new weight room in the Carriage House.

Program Structure

The program starts with the Weight Loss Phase. During this initial phase, the program emphasizes a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-fat, and moderate-protein diet. I aim to eat three meals and at least three snacks per day, choosing from a selection of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and grains. This phase is designed to help the body burn fat efficiently while maintaining muscle mass. The average weight loss for participants is about one to two pounds per week when followed correctly and paired with moderate activity.

Next is the Lifetime Maintenance Phase: Participants transition to it after achieving their weight loss goals. This phase introduces a more balanced diet with moderate carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The goal is to help participants maintain their weight loss by eating various healthy foods and integrating lifestyle adjustments learned during the Weight Loss Phase.

My favorite part of the Lindora program is its emphasis on support and counseling. I receive daily one-on-one guidance from medical professionals who help me navigate the dietary plan, make healthier lifestyle choices, and manage stress. This includes a daily B12 shot, which helps boost metabolism and increase energy. The program also offers a variety of tools, tips, and strategies to help incorporate physical activity into your daily routine and manage cravings and hunger.

If you enjoy my blog, you can sign up to receive my updates here. .

My Biggest Challenge This Week

My Editorial Calendar

You all know that I blog seven days a week, and the schedule is a bit crazy because I never get a day off! No time was worse than when I was blogging full-time and writing my book. I think I was working about 90 hours a week.

And I am not kidding,

Since that crazy time, I promised to slow down and find a way to work farther ahead.

I aimed to have all my blog posts ready to be published one week in advance.

But recently, I decided I should be two weeks ahead.

Wait. What? And why?

The answer is simple.

Finishing a blog post two weeks before the scheduled publishing date requires organization and reduces stress. Nothing is last minute, and the content is also better.

Also, we have a lot of travel plans this summer, and I want to be able to travel without being tied to my laptop every day. If I work two weeks out, then that should be possible. Yahoo!

This week's to do list.
  • Finish cleaning my closet (and moving out winter clothes to make room for summer!).
  • June is my UNSUBSCribe month, and I am trying to eliminate the emails I never read. Decluttering your email is easy and an important task.

This Bee Hive Cake is adorable.

The 4th of July is less than a month away, and I love these Flag Day Crafts.

Who knew you could use Mod Podge on Styrofoam (Make a Tray!)

Summer has arrived on my blog. This past week, I shared my favorite faux flowers, some new berry recipes, and recipes for mocktails. I also shared Father’s Day gift ideas, tips for transitioning your decor to summer, and my flower crowns.

Martha shared wedding experts who weigh in on summer color trends and what they’d love to see more of. Let their ideas inspire you to bring in contrast and the colors you love.

I am so excited for next week! I am sharing how to make my live succulent wreath, a summer salad recipe, and a two-part backyard dinner party. Plus, I also am sharing my love of decor in my favorite Nancy Meyer movies and new summer decor in the dining room.

You Might Also Need…

This Week’s Top Sellers

We shared many of our favorite home items this week, and here are the top sellers!


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An older woman holds a baby while standing in front of a "Happy Birthday" banner during a surprise birthday celebration. The caption below reads "A Surprise Birthday Celebration and Sunday Morning Coffee.

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  1. Such a special birthday celebration! Getting to see my granddaughter in CA in about a week and I can’t wait to get my hands on her again. She’s 5 months old now and we do Grammie FaceTime about every week and half to stay connected.
    Congrats on the weight loss! You look great!!🙌

    1. Aw I love that! There is nothing better than the grandbaby snuggles ☺️ thank you- feeling good!

  2. What a heartwarming and delightful read! Dave’s surprise birthday celebration for you sounds absolutely perfect, blending thoughtful planning with spontaneous joy. The trip to Marin County to spend precious time with your family, especially babysitting little Graham, adds such a special touch to the celebration. Your recount of the fabulous birthday dinner and the visit to Michael and Ellie’s new home paints a picture of a weekend filled with love, laughter, and cherished moments. This article beautifully captures the essence of a truly memorable birthday weekend, showcasing the importance of family and thoughtful gestures. Thank you for sharing this joyful experience!

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