Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweeten Every Day With Love

The week began with an afternoon call from the assisted living center where my mom resides. They were worried about some troubling symptoms they noticed in her and were sending her to the ER to be checked out. This has been happening with more frequency as her progression with Alzheimer's continues. We spent 3 hours there and were eating dinner at 10 pm. Fortunately it wasn't anything too serious for mom and she was able to go back home. The next morning I was feeling unusually exhausted. My husband told me he thinks it is because of stress. While I am glad to be able to be my mom's caregiver I know he is probably right. Either way, I was trying to figure out how I could rise above my exhaustion and get going with my day. I decided to go outside and water the plants on my front porch. When I opened the door I saw the box in the above photo and I instantly started to feel a bit more energetic.

Recently I saw this delightful giveaway.
Of course I thought the giveaway items were fabulous, but I also loved how Tracy asked us to share a way that someone had sweetened one of our days with Love and/or to share a favorite chocolate treat that we enjoy.

I shared one of the ways my husband sweetens my days. I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Tracy telling me that I was the winner!!!

I was even more thrilled to open the box and see the beautifully wrapped gifts that Tracy had sent to me. Everything was coordinated so nicely. Look at this sweet little gift tag. Everything was so bright and cheery. I was truly feeling more energetic just looking at these lovely packages. Tracy surely has the gift for sweetening every day with love.

Oh how I love this plate. It has found a home on the kitchen counter that I consider to be my baking center. I will enjoy it's beauty and be reminded daily of the special community we share through our blogs. I also hope it reminds me to think often of things I can do to help sweeten the days of others.

Be still my heart!!
This apron was also included. How can you not feel upbeat and happy in this adorable apron? Polka dots and rick rack are a winning combination in the cheerfulness department.

There were some extra surprises in the box too.
Adorable recipe cards, a super cute note card with a cherry emblem attached and a super generous sized Dove chocolate bar. How did she know that is my hands down favorite brand of chocolate?

And, not to be forgotten, this sweet Gooseberry Patch cookbook full of chocolate recipes.

My day and week has been sweetened by Tracy's generosity. Thank you so much Tracy.
A week that started out a bit sad and stressful has ended on such a sweet note. I feel very blessed today. This afternoon I baked a recipe from this new cookbook. It is called Chewy Chocolate Cookies. Mmmm... they are slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
1-1/4 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Blend butter and sugar until creamy; add eggs and vanilla. Mix well and set aside. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; blend into butter mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes; do not over bake. Cookies will be soft and will flatten while cooling.
Makes 4-1/2 dozen

And in an attempt to sweeten somebody else's day with love, I have wrapped up a basket of these delicious cookies to take with me when I visit my mom tomorrow. The basket will be given to the CNAs who are with her every day. I am so thankful for their watchful eyes and compassion. This will be a small way that I can show them appreciation for what they do. I will also take a small plate to mom. The lady I visit now is someone very different from the lady I have known as my mom. Very little of that lady remains. However, there is one thing that has remained and that is her love of chocolate. She always was a chocaholic. So now while she doesn't remember most things she still gets a big smile on her face when I bring her anything chocolate and she still says yum after every bite. This warms my heart because it is one of the few glimmers of the mom I remember.

What a beautiful reminder sweeten every day with love is. Sometimes it doesn't take a lot to show someone else that they are appreciated and loved and it is something we all can benefit from.


  1. Oh, give me lots of red things and I'm a happy camper. Add chocolate to the list and I'm ecstatic. A Gooseberry Patch cookbook and I'm over the moon.

  2. I would have been lifted up with that lovely package of goodies too! That apron is wonderul
    p.s. take time to take care of yourself too...being a caregiver is so hard...extra hugs....

  3. God's timing is perfect to have that box be on your front porch just when you needed a pick me up. It's beautiful and very, very sweet. I know it must be so hard to endure the things your mamma is going through. I'm so sorry.


  4. Oh you received some wonderful gift there! And the cookies look wonderful. Hope you took some time to just relax!

  5. Congratulations!! What a wonderful giveaway. Your apron is too cute. Getting a box like that was sure to give you a pick me up.
    Take care and best wishes for your Mom.

  6. Oh Kim, I'm so happy to read that the package arrived on a day when you needed some extra encouragement. I've been a caregiver before...I know that's a tough road. So glad for God's perfect timing. = ) Thank you for those kind words. How precious that you immediately thought to bless someone else with those cookies. You are a kind soul, indeed. = )

  7. A very sweet surprise indeed! Such a nice way to brighten your day! I shall be keeping you and your Mom in my prayers - take care of yourself and enjoy your chocolate!

  8. Kim, As I sit here at my computer this morning, you have personally blessed my day with this post. First of all, I think you are so fortunate to have received that creative, artistic, and thought out gift from Tracy. She has a heart of gold and it shows in her package. What a special gift! Secondly, I think it is so good that you received it on the day that you did. I cannot imagine what you are going through with your precious Mother. It brought tears to my eyes when you wrote the last paragraph. I love that you were given that gift. Baking the cookies and packaging them so beautifully for the CNAs was a real act of kindness. Before our daughter was a Nurse, she spent two summmers as a CNA, at a local retirement home. She would tell me over and over, how hard these dear people work. It can be a thankless job...except for people like you. A wonderful post today!!

  9. Kim, awww what a great win that was and just when you needed a lift. I'm snagging your recipe and hoping that it'll bring a smile to my little charges when they need it most...sometime next week. Thank you. I know it's not easy to write about it, but you help so many. You're a blessing.

  10. I love Gooseberry Patch too and those cookies look so yummy!

  11. What a wonderful post...and how nice that Tracy's package arrived just when your day needed a little brightening. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be there for your mom on a daily basis. May you find the strenght you need to keep on be an the your family...and to all of us here in blogland.

  12. What a wonderful present! So many little things but yet, each of them special in their own way. I love that red apron as well - so cute!

    I'm with you on the Dove chocolate, that's my favorite too.

    Hope your mom is feeling better. Sending {hugs} your way. :)

  13. I'm so happy for you! Love the apron and all your goodies! Enjoy!

  14. What great gifts you received (red is my favorite color) and at a time that you could really use a pick me up.
    So nice that you have sweetened others life as well.
    Those cookies look delicious and I've copied the recipe to try.

  15. What a SWEET post. It inspires me to look for ways each day to sweeten every day with love. Congratulations on winning the give away. That plate looks beautiful in your kitchen. Love to your mother. Have a wonderful day! Twyla


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