Sunday Morning Coffee 2

Volume 2

Today I am pleased to share with you Sunday Morning Coffee. This is a place to share, learn, explain, dream, and have fun.

Thanks for joining me for Sunday morning coffee. Today I am sharing my weekly thoughts about entertaining, decor, crafts, and recipes and how we can use these ideas to make simple changes at home and in our lives.

A Little Bit About Me

Things didn’t quite go this week as I had planned.

In fact, this week was one of the hardest weeks of my life.

On Tuesday, my mom passed away.

My mom was known as Nana to her 14 grandkids (pictured here) and three great grand children. She was the kindest, most caring and incredible mother. She had the best full-time job in the world and treasured it more than anything … being our mom. She was selfless and always caring and she was always there for my dad and the five of us kids.

We were a military family and moved every two to three years and yet she managed to always make our new homes feel like our forever home.

My mom taught me everything. She taught me how to cook and bought me my first oven … a Suzy Homemaker oven when I was six. She encouraged me to try new recipes and we use to send each other cookbooks whenever we found a “keeper”.

My mom also taught me how to sew and I used her Singer sewing machine for years. She encouraged me when I wanted to sew a new outfit every day for an entire summer. She loved that I wanted to make my own wedding dress. And on my wedding day, she told me that my dress was the most beautiful bridal gown she had ever seen.

The greatest gift I ever received from my mom was that every day she taught me how to be a great mother. I even wondered if I could raise our boys as well as my mom and dad raised us. They always encouraged us to be caring, kind, and to enjoy life. They taught us to always strive to do the best we could. And it worked.

My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years ago. We knew she had been struggling with her memory and it’s a very cruel disease. When my dad passed away two years ago, she lost her soulmate, and the transition was very hard for my mom. Fortunately, we found her a wonderful place to live and I have been so blessed to visit her often as she lives very close to me.

The past year has been incredibly difficult as in-person visits with my mom have been on hold since February as a precaution to the health and safety of all of the residents. Since then all I have wanted to be able to do, is hug my mom.

A few weeks ago mom was put on hospice and we were finally able to visit her! My siblings and I were in full PPE, but we were finally able to hug her and hold her hand. These past few weeks have been so hard. But I do find peace knowing that she is now with my dad, the love of her life.

I love you mom with all of my heart.

Around Our Home

In the Kitchen

Cranberry Orange Scones Gluten Free Recipe
Try my new Gluten and Dairy Free Cranberry and Orange Scones Recipe

Some of you may know that seven months ago I made a big lifestyle change. I made two big changes … with my diet and sleeping habits.

Our household is now gluten free, dairy free, meat free, dessert free and everything free! Just kidding, Basically we are eating very healthy.

And I love it.

So why did I do this?

Last year I read a book called The End of Alzheimer’s by Dale Bredesen. As the cover of the book says, it is the first program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. It’s a lot of information but there are things you can do now to help prevent Alzheimer’s. Having lived this disease with my mom, I would do anything to prevent this from happening to me.

It has been very easy to change my diet and I have also really tried to focus on getting more sleep. Three nights a week I try to be in bed by 10:00pm. And screen time before bed is not allowed. I have started reading a lot.

The next thing I must do is start an everyday exercise plan.

I should mention I just started seeing a doctor who works with patients to help prevent Alzheimer’s. I have had a lot of tests done (12 vials of blood and a brain scan) and I am learning exactly what I need to do to keep this disease away.

Given what is at stake, it has been a pretty easy lifestyle change. But I have a lot more work to do.

And if you want to hear it, I would be happy to share this journey with you,

A Decor Tip

Faux flowers on Amazon

I love fresh flowers.

But sometimes it is easier to use faux flowers. And I do love that they last forever.

We aren’t doing a lot of fresh flower shopping in Southern California these days so I have been using a lot of my faux flowers.

And for some reason, they are all pink. If you aren’t a fan of pink, most of these flowers come in a lot of different colors.

In the Craft Room

Look at these amazing fun craft ideas that I found this week.

I love this Valentine’s Day garland. It’s made from Pom poms and felt.

Click here to see the DIY.

I love these mini Valentine’s Day rolling pins. They are so easy to make and make such a cute gift.

Click here to see how to make these.

I love these Folded Paper Hearts from Martha Stewart Living. They are easy to make and would look good all throughout your home.

Click here for the DIY and the template.

Reflections on the Week

I only posted a few times on my blog this week. In case you missed any, here are my blog posts from last week.

Paper Cherry Blossoms DIY
Cherry Blossoms DIY

My Favorite Things

You have no idea how hard it is for me to narrow down all of the things that I love. But I am going to try! Every week I will share a few of the things I have found that I think you might love too.

Last year I had my website redesigned. I hired Gillian Sarah. It was the most incredible experience. Gillian not only designed a beautiful website for me, but she guided me through the process of rebranding and reorganizing my 550+ blog posts. She is amazing!

Apartment Therapy wrote a funny article titled “8 Things From your Grandparents Bedroom That Are Cool Again“. I won’t tell you how many I have (it’s a lot) but this Chenille Bedspread is one of my favorites.

How many of these Cool Items do you have in your home?

If you are thinking about leading a healthier life this year, you might enjoy 11 Healthy Morning Habits Nutritionists Swear By.

Here are Some Instagram Accounts You Might Want to Check Out

My tip for this week is to read a good book. I am making this suggestion because I am reading more but also because I need some good book suggestions! Please leave your book suggestions in your comments below. Right now I am looking for happy books to read.

My Favorite Comments on the Blog


Pam says:”I really enjoyed your first Sunday Morning Coffee. I especially enjoyed reading, “don’t put it away just yet.” We live in Indiana and we have at the very least 12 more weeks of gray ahead. I leave my “sparkle“, as I call our Christmas lights, up until the very end of January. Then I begin to get out my Valentine things … This year I think I’ll turn my little 1/2 bath Christmas tree into a little Valentine’s Day tree. It will be a nice little surprise for my family.

Leslie: Pam! I love that you are using some of your holiday decor to cheer up some of those gloomy weeks in Indiana! Your Valentine’s Tree sounds wonderful,

Barbara Mantel & Table: “This was so fun – what a great idea Leslie! I think your pine cone wreath has to be one of my all time favorites – so nice to see it make another appearance! I never got to make it with my mom before she died, but now you’re inspiring me to make one in her memory! Thanks as always for all the wonderful ideas and just plain eye candy! Happy Sunday!”

Leslie: Barb! You are simply the best. I am so happy you are going to make a wreath in honor of your mother. I think I am going to do the same. Thank you for the wonderful idea.

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Pink Things I Love for Under $30

Good Things from Martha

Yep, each week I am going to feature one of the gazillion Good Things tips that Martha Stewart has shared with all of us over the years. I have met Martha twice, at two of her book signings.

Next week I am going to share a fun story about Martha Stewart. And me.

Martha shared her top Good Things tips and these bottles are one of her readers favorites.

I have had one of these dishwashing bottles next to my sink for over 30 years.

Thanks Martha for this inspiration. Click here to see more.

What’s Ahead

I wasn’t online much this week so I need a bit of catching up to do. I will be sharing some fun decor in our living room and also a new version of my #1 craft project from last year. I can’t wait to post another gluten-free recipe, a craft, and how to update your front porch.

Pin the image below to your Pinterest Boards (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

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  1. Dear Leslie, My sincere condolences for the loss of your mom. May you and your family have strength during this difficult time in your life.

  2. Leslie – How terribly sorry I am to hear about the loss of your mother. After 10 years of caring for my mother I was finally able to move her into a memory care residence. Here in PA I haven’t been able to visit since October due to Covid. She has been under Hospice care since last year and has been holding her own. But as you know you never know when and what will happen with this horrible disease. My only hope is that she is happy from within. Thank you for the book recommendation. This will be one that I get. Every time I forget something I immediately think “is this the way this begins”. I have to remind myself that everyone forgets things and at 66 this is just part of the process, it still freaks me out. Your homes are beautiful and I love your blog posts. They remind me to just take time for yourself. I’m on the eve of retiring and I’m finally to the point that I’m looking forward to it and that I will have time for things that were only reserved for the weekends if I was lucky. My sympathy to you and your family and hope that you will find strength with each other. Sorry for the long post, I feel like you are a long lost friend that I have yet to meet.

    1. Pamela, thank you so much for reaching out and for your kind words. Our journeys sound very similar. I have loved the book and am embracing its recommendations, I definitely recommend it. I love that you reached out and love your sentiment about being long lost friends that have yet to meet. Thank you for bringing a smile today!

  3. Oh Leslie, what a lovely, intimate tribute to your mother. How lucky she was to have such a wonderful family who loved her so dearly and how lucky you all were to have had her. I am so sorry for your loss, but in many ways she is not lost to you. Every time you create something beautiful, or bake something deliscious or show your family how much you love them, she is right there inside of you. She sounded awesome and that awesomeness is in you. Take care Leslie and may her memory be eternal.

    1. Mary, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful comment. Your words touched me and resonated so deeply with me. I appreciate that you reached out and am so grateful for you. Have a great Sunday!

  4. I cried when I read about the loss of your Mom to this despicable disease. Losing our loved ones one cell at a time to ALZ is gut wrenching. The pain and helplessness we feel is indescribable. I am so sorry you experienced this and so sorry for your loss.

    I moved my Dad in with me 8 years ago and was his full time caregiver. So many times I tried to outrun his disease so everything would be perfect for him and every time ALZ outran me. It’s a cruel journey for both caregiver and loved one. He passed away one year ago and is finally at peace. I have yet to find mine but I will.

    And I’m terrified that I could be next. Never ever want to burden my children with the same journey. Thank you for the book suggestion. Will read it and learn how to live a healthy life that may prevent this disease. Take good care of yourself. Healing is a slow and very personal journey. No hurry.

    1. Oh Carol, my heart aches for you. Thank you so much for reaching out to me and sharing yourself with me. I’m sure you’re dad somehow knew whow much you did for him and how hard you tried to soften and shelter him on the journey. I hope that you do find a way to peace, it can be a circuitous path. Having the book has helped me immensely to feel a little bit in control of my future health. I cannot tell you how much your comment touched me. Please take care of yourself 💗💕

  5. Thank you so much for the book recommendation! I have read about 1/2 of it and look forward to implementing as much as I can into my lifestyle. As far as the supplements, since there are so many how did you decide which ones were most important? I’m good with the hormones as I added those about three years ago. My dad has suffered for about 4 years and has taken a turn for the worse since CoVid. Did you get tested? Thanks for the help.

  6. I met my birth mother at the age of 35. She developed dementia at age 60. Now I live in fear of developing this awful disease. I would love to read the book that you read to see what could be done to prevent this horrible disease.

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