Five on Friday; Silver Linings...

“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining...”
-Matthew Quick 

This "Five on Friday" is a list of my own personal "silver linings"; the positive things in life that made me smile this week.  When my husband and I watched "Silver Linings Playbook" we were both overwhelmed by the powerful message of "excelsior"...ever upward!  Now, my son makes me smile multiple times a day; he is my ultimate silver lining and I could list all five things about him every week.  But life happens, and in times when my husband and I have had heavy minds & hearts, we have adopted the mantra "excelsior" to give us the hope, faith, and optimism we need to keep moving forward.  "The Mayo Clinic has defined optimism as 'the belief that good things will happen to you and that negative events are temporary setbacks to be overcome.' ...Now research has shown that optimists are the ones who can best deal with real life. Those who look on the bright side of things have the resiliency to survive defeats and disappointments. Under stress, they dig in their heels in order to fulfill their dreams and high aspirations. Optimism is a raft to cling to until the storm subsides." (Brussat)  I am an eternal optimist by birth, nature, and choice!

Thanksgiving Hand Towels.  I have a weird obsession with my kitchen hand towels.  I have towels for every occasion; Valentine's Day, Easter, Summer, Football Season, Halloween, etc...  My current Thanksgiving hand towels are a little "tired." So I got really excited with the idea of replacing them and I have found multiple options I like, which I've listed in order of preference.  Which one do you like best?
Williams-Sonoma Turkey/Bird Print Towel, $19.95
Sur La Table Italian Turkey Jacquard Towel, $15
Crate & Barrel Turkey Linen Dishtowel, $12.95
Pier 1 Gobble Turkey Towel, $8.95

BabyBjorn Bib. Now that W is eating solids and insists upon using his own hands (he does not like the spoon), our kitchen table and floor are were disgusting! Like, mango juice became the super glue that pancaked soggy cheerios onto the floor, disgusting! A couple of times I had to use a spatula to scrape up some of the food (which my SIL warned me about).  Of course our dog Daisy LOVED it! Too bad for her though because the other day I ran to Buy Buy Baby to get this bib I saw online and I'M OBSESSED!!!!  This BabyBjorn bib is perfect in every way! It's "ergonomically designed to fit your child perfectly. This soft and comfortable bib catches food that “misses” baby’s mouth. The neckband is a soft beaded ring and has an adjustable snap. This allows your rapidly growing child to use it for a long time. With the BABYBJÖRN Soft Bib, washing sticky bibs will be a thing of the past. Just rinse it off and use it again." NEED I SAY MORE!?

Desktop images. Like my hand towels, I enjoy having desktop images that go with the season; especially since I'm on my computer ALL THE TIME now. #bloggerproblems.  I'm always in search of the next image to use...anything that will make me smile when I open my laptop. I've had pictures of our wedding, honeymoon, Wake, Stand-Up Al, Michigan in the Fall, the Rockefeller Christmas tree, etc...  Right now I have this one cute right!?

However this week I found the most amazing desktop images on Nancy Swan Drew's website.  My family has always loved Nancy Swan Drew; it seems like we always had one of her prints hanging somewhere in my house. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, her older sister Barb bought her a painting that read, "Giving up is not an option dolly!! can do this! It is time to RALLY!! And revel... P.S. Find your many gifts and open them...NOW!" It hung in my mother's laundry room for years until she passed, and now it hangs in my kitchen!!  When I graduated from high school my mother got me the "Dear Daughter of Mine" print to hang in my dorm room and I still have it above my dresser today.  Nancy is a Michigander, and lives not too far from where I grew up.  Her work is beautiful and inspiring and I am so excited I have a reason to share her with you all!  This is my personal favorite desktop, but there are many more...ENJOY LOVIES!
Take them a As you may have read from last weekends shenanigans, a good friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful little boy. I'd like to spend every minute with them just hanging out and snuggling with him, but I know the importance of allowing a family time to bond.  Therefore in order to help as much as possible without "squatting", I set up an account for them on  One of the biggest helps for Joe and I was when a colleague of mine did this for us after Wake was born.  I didn't have to cook dinner for the first three weeks after coming home from the hospital, and it truly was the greatest gift ever!  So...I am happily paying it forward for my friends.  If you haven't heard of it, check it out!!! It is a website that eliminates the need for making and receiving time-consuming phone calls from friends and family.  You just create an account, fill out the information, send out the emails or posts via FB, and voila, FOOD! ...and food makes me happy! Here is what I made/took them...

For Dinner: Spicy Sausage Pasta

For Breakfast the next day: Cinnamon French Toast Bake. 

Scarves. I pretty much live in black leggings and white v-neck t-shirts...all day, every day.  However, this week when W and I had to run some errands I threw on my favorite new scarf that my SIL got me while she was in London, and I felt a million times better.  It's amazing how the right accessory can make your outfit AND lift your mood!  I know some of you are probably thinking, yeah I always do that!  Well...I'm a little slow on the up-take, okay!! So there are my current fave scarves...
Anthropologie Jewel Dusted Ikat Scarf

Stella & Dot Luxembourg Scarf - Wild Hearts 
J.Crew Floral Diamonds Scarf 

BCBGeneration Spot On

~ Excelsior Lovies ~


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