Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out

My Favorites

‘These are a few of my favorite things’

Cue the music! ‘These are a few of my fav-o-rite things!’

 I am not quite technically advanced enough to play you the song …but if you know the Sound of Music, hear that little ditty as you read through a few of my Happily Whole favorite things!

As you read take each with a grain of salt. There are a few of MY favorite things. They don’t have to be YOURS. They may, however, give you some ideas or inspiration to generate your list of ‘go tos’ or even just let you in on a little more of what I fill my life with.

My Babies.


walking away at ballet studioEnough said! My two lovely little daughters, as wily as they can be at times, are at the top of the list as two of my fav-o-rite things! They are extensions of my soul, blessings to my life, purpose to my plan and evidence of how good God really is to entrust me with leading them along in this life! So, yes, they are my favorite!

My Home. 

I’m a bit of a homebody so many of the things you will see on this list live in my home…and I use or read regularly. I love my home space, it’s my safe place and my solace. My home is my earthly refuge and I feel most inspired when I am here homemaking, baking, reading, writing, working in the yard, crafting with the kids or yoga-ing on my mat. It’s another of my favorites….my home.

The Bible.

The B-I-B-L-E is one of my favorite things, books, sources of inspiration, gifts of guidance, etc.! I admit I have not always had this awe-inspiring love affair with the Bible. I’ve picked it up and put it down many-a-time in my life. Not necessarily ever walking away from my faith but unfortunately loosening my grip on God’s good grace in my life. At times, I’ve preferred digging into my devotions in lieu of the more difficult to decipher, small print, ancient wisdom of the actual Bible. But, I have to say that it is finally here to stay: a deep desire to grasp God’s Word, His real Biblical words and wisdom. I long to listen to how He speaks into my heart and soul in the moments I set aside for opening the Big Book. I must say, it’s refreshing and exciting for me to finally be in this place where I call the BIBLE one of my favorite things!

Inspirational Reads.

To go along with that, I still savor my stack of devotionals and inspirational reads that help me deepen my faith both in concept and cognition.  I love to hear how other writers, far more experienced than I, describe the scriptures as applied to their lives. Here’s a few of my latest favorites. This list is ever evolving so please check back frequently. Click on the links to read a little more about why I chose each of these titles to share:

One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Gurthrie

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George

Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers

Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

Jesus Calling (and some of her subsequent handy little inspirational devotions) by Sarah Young

The Single Mom’s Devotional: A Book of 52 Practical and Encouraging Devotions by Carol Floch


Online Inspirations.

Being a blog lover, I follow those that inspire me. Some nutritionally, some functionally, some for my mothering and some spiritually. This this is ever changing as is what captures my online attention in the hours after the girls are in bed. I will add sites as they inspire me so be sure to check back. These are in no particular order:

Live Simply I love her down home, sorta homesteading, traditional approach to living well. 

The Wellness Mama She is surely one of those moms I read about and wonder how she has the time! She does everything, I mean everything from scratch. 

Deliciously Organic Just love her recipes and food ideas! 

A Holy Experience I visit here at least three times a week, follow her on FB and read every new article. She is a talented writer who is led by blind faith. Awesome. 

MissFIT Complete, Inc.  For all you local Friends, this is my company offering in-home personal training and other on-site wellness services such as yoga classes, nutrition and wellness coaching and even massage. Stop by for an online visit if you live in Lake County, IL or Kenosha County, WI!

The Healthy Family and Home This is just a super fun online place to peruse.  Recipes and clean-eating information galore.

My New Roots Okay, so somtimes her recipes are a few more steps than I like. BUT, what a special treat from time to time! Just the photos are enough to start me salivating. 

Proverbs 31 Ministries This is a long standing women's ministry filled with Christian inspiration for the regular lady...like me! Most of the devotions are short, sweet reads. 

aNew Season I sorta want to put this one on the top of the list because I am a monthly contributer! But in efforts to be a little humble (and because I will be plugging it all the time!) I will list it here just telling you that this group of women writers is simply amazing and I am blessed to be a part of it!  

Oh She Glows You need some time and a cup of tea to visit this one. There is so much information here, mostly recipes. But, she inspires me to get in my kitchen, so I thought you might like her too. 

Tribe Wellness This mom blogger is as genuine and so honest about her family's journey to real food eating. I have to say, after reaching out to her and getting a quick response with advise for my own blog, I have a real soft spot for her!  


Fitness Favorites: Coming Soon!!


Foodie Favorites.

This is a tough category for me to list here. I love so much about food! I try and eat so many different kinds of real foods that this list could be limitless! My mainstays are as simple as a sweet potato and as complex as the new way I love to drink my coffee---ahh, it’s more of a ritual than a beverage.

So, rather than drag this list on to infinity, I plan to post a series of blog articles where I can more clearly articulate my favorite foods to consume on a regular basis. So, be on the lookout…sign up for the newsletter and become a member if you have not already so you will be alerted when I post those. Members: I will often share very specific ideas from my daily eating habits with you. (Not that you want to eat like me...but, perhaps I have a trick or two you might like!) Become a member so you don't miss a thing!

Here are a few food favorites to get you ALL started: Kombucha, almond butter, almonds, sprouted breads and English muffins, grassfed butter, sweet potatoes, whole grain cookies and bean-based brownies, Theo and Divine chocolate bars, coffee, greens and green smoothies, Talenti ice cream, homemade baked goods, squash-based soups, fresh ginger...ahh yes, fresh ginger every day!


Stuff I Savor.

There are a few items in my home that receive extra special attention….and are well worn-in.  Some in the kitchen, some in the basement and some in the bathroom! There is no rhyme or reason to how I list them here. But, these are some of the things that I use every.single.day. (or at least on a very regular basis).

Writing Journals—I keep one by my bed, near my chair, on my iPad, even in my purse. It’s a wonder I ever keep my thoughts and ideas straight!

My favorite spoon—it’s just a pretty little spoon I save for special desserts. Every bite feels a touch tastier and indulgent with the correct spoon.

My Canon Rebel Camera—and no, I do not know how to use it very well (as you can see in some of my photos!). It’s a work in progress and I am, at best, a flailing beginner. However, my Canon camera is a blessing because it has potential….just like my life: A work in progress, infrequently just-right, filled with potential, right? Really though, this camera was the last gift that Kevin bought for me. So it holds a special spot in my heart each time I use it. It’s like I can still look through his lens of legacy!

My iPad, laptop and iPhone. I never thought I’d say this, but technology has become my dear friend.

My homemade face cream and body butter (someday I’ll share the recipe…it’s delicious on my skin!)

My Kitchenaid Stand Mixer—my most used wedding gift

My Cuisinart Food Processor: the wedding gift I SHOULD HAVE registered for

My Cuisinart toaster oven (large size)—I prepare many things from morning toast to leftover pancakes to mini pizzas and small batches of roasted veggies in the toaster oven.

My yoga mat—any day of the week!

Books in general—I keep stacks of books I’ve read and books I’ve yet to read. LOVE BOOKS! I’ll provide a list of some favorites soon.

Toys and kids crafting supplies—gasp & gulp…did I say that?!—I don’t revel in mess or  clutter, but I like toys and crafting materials around…it reminds me of who we are and where we are at as a family…and is makes me stop to savor that!



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