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.

You can sign up to receive my blog updates here. .

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!

For real-time updates, follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

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  1. My sincere condolences. My Mom is in a home for dementia patients since having a stroke on Mothers Day. I look forward to your blog.

  2. Oh my dear Leslie , I’m so sorry to hear of your Moma passing away thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight of her ( I’m sure you made her so very proud as you have so many of her beautiful traits as well ) thankful that you were there to give her a hug and hold her hand one last time while she went on to be with her soulmate your daddy . I’m lifting you and your family up in prayer
    Love , Laurie

  3. I am so sorry for you loss. Your post was such a beautiful tribute to her, thank you for sharing it. Lots of hugs and comfort to you and your family.

  4. Leslie, Mothers are everything, and teach us about everything except how to live without
    them. So sorry, my condolences

  5. So sorry for your loss. What a gift to have a great relationship with your mother. Take care of yourself and your tender heart while you work through your grief.

  6. So sorry to hear your mother had Alzheimer’s… my dad is suffering through it now and it’s heartbreaking. I’m trying to prepare myself but I know the end is close and it will be hard. Praying for you and your family.

  7. Oh Leslie I am so saddened by the loss of your Mom..she will be in your dreams forever now, Im just so sure. Walts younger sister is in stage 4 Alzheimer, such a confusing time for us trying to figure out what is going on, his Mother passed a few weeks.
    May God wrap His arms around you and give you peace and hope.

  8. My condolences on the loss of your Mom. You were so lucky to have a full-time loving Mother who was such a role model. May God give you peace and comfort.

  9. Was saddened this morning to read your mom had passed away. Our moms are everything to us and when they leave us a part of us dies forever. Your mom must’ve been so proud of you of all your accomplishments. My thoughts and prayers and best wishes for you and your family. It’s never easy please give yourself time to grieve. I’d like to share this little quote with you and that helped me when my mom passed. “ What we leave behind is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter into another,’’ wrote journalist Gail Sheehy,

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. My sister and I lost our Mom to it as well. Couldn’t carry on a conversation with her for over three years. It is so sad to watch.

  11. So sorry to hear about your mom.I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s also it’s such a sad thing to watch someone you love go through this! Keeping you and your family in my prayers!

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. My mother in law has dementia and is in an Assisted Living Facility. COVID definitely makes things so much harder. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this difficult time.

  13. I am so sorry about your mom. It took me a few times to get through your blog post on Sunday morning, too many tears. I too lost my mom to Alzheimer’s but I was able to be with her as it was January 2019. My best friend just lost her mom and the guilt she is suffering through over not being with her for so many months because of covid is just heartbeaking.
    My dad passed away at 59 and his parents were lively and healthy into their late 80’s, yet 3 of my dads siblings have/had Alzheimer’s, one passed away last year. A brilliant man who kept his mind busy. My mother’s sister is 76 and showing signs. She knows it. She said she had a good life and is accepting it. I cannot accept it. I will get a copy of this book and change my diet. My daughter is vegan and I try. Curious to see what this book says.. Time for lifestyle changes. I adore your posts and your home. So sorry for your loss.

  14. I’m sad to hear of your mom’s death, Leslie. I lost my mom 5 years ago to stroke, and she was disabled by stroke for 2 years before her death. She couldn’t talk. I’m very sad about your loss.
    I would be interested in hearing more of your anti-Alzheimer’s regimen, and if your doctor is open to having his contact information shared that would be interesting to me, too–or if s/he has a website.
    Prayers for you at this time…

  15. What a loss. Your stories of your mom are absolutely heartwarming. What great love you two have.

    I recently read Eat Cake! by Jeanne Ray – it was fun.
    I also loved a YA novel Elenor and Park by Rainbow Rowell that is so sweet yet realistic.
    I liked Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane – warning that it may be too close to home now but good.

  16. Dear Leslie,
    So sorry to hear about your mother. Thankyou for sharing and including information on Alzheimer’s. I feel your grief, this past year has been so difficult for families with loved ones in care. My best friend from grade 2, her husband was diagnosed 2 years ago. When covid happened his daily group meetings and gym time were gone. He had to be put into care because his health was deteriorating. Your mother did a wonderful job raising you and teaching the life skills you use today. What wonderful memories to have. Take care.
    Eileen Ferguson

    1. Eileen, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate that you reached out. It is such a terrible disease. My mother was amazing and I am grateful, both for her as well as the memories that I have.

  17. Leslie-where can I find the white mugs inscribed with different words? I need the NANA mug for my daughter who will be a grandmother for the first time. My mom, her grandmother, was called Nana and since my mom’s death in April 2020 our daughter & granddaughter have chosen to carry that nickname on for the newest generation. I so need that mug for so many reasons. Thanks K

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