Nourished Finds – Midweek Conversation Starters

There are so many fascinating points of view out there, and everyone has a story to tell or an opinion to share. Let’s get deep, let’s talk about everything. Here are some links that have been conversation starters for me lately.


Get the conversation flowing:

Chris, babe, you know I love you, and you just have to accept that Stanley Tucci will always have a special little piece of my heart. (Who would you choose as your celebrity boyfriend? Obviously Stanley is already taken.)

Read this article about Wild and Cheryl Strayed. The best review/deconstruction I have come across. I can’t believe I have just started reading Wild!

I am so fortunate that I have found the one I am head-over-heels for, but this study has some interesting points on what makes love happen when you deliberately choose to fall in love with someone. And, here are the questions that they asked each other. Dinner discussion points indeed!

National Geographic explores the evolution of our diets, and the fact that eating ‘like a caveman’ can mean so many different things depending on where you make your home. Fascinating stuff. (Also, that paleo doughnut probably isn’t anything like what our ancestors ate…)

It’s not about what you look like in the mirror – an appearance-driven diet can be dangerous, and distract us from our own inner cues for hunger and satiety, which may have long-term effects.

Notorious RBG for Chanel, Mo’Ne Davis for Céline. – yes please fashion industry!

Hacks for better homemade fries a.k.a. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People 2.0’

22 inspiring Australian women! Politicians, atheletes, movie stars – extraordinary ladies from Down Under!

And some yums from around the internet kitchen:

What have you been talking about lately? Any interesting finds to share?

Thoroughly Nourished Finds – Inspiration and Escapism

Things in the world are getting really real at the moment, and because I don’t listen to the radio, or watch the news I find out about them on the internet, or through friends (and then end up trawling the internet for more information). Bad people, bad things, big decisions about the future of countries and people, all of these things are flooding the pages of this big wide web world. In these times we can only reach out to each other, give a kind word, a kind touch, try to spread a message of hope. Without the intention of belittling the problems of the world, perhaps we can all share in some good things on the internet, some support for our fellow humans. This month my Thoroughly Nourished Finds are about inspiration and escapism and just a little hope that the end of 2014 will find the world walking a more peaceful track.


After reading this article in The Atlantic about Afghan girls who live as boys for a few years I cannot wait to read the forthcoming book.

Somedays I feel like I am too old (I know, I’m only 27 Mum) to start something new and creative like writing that book I’ve always wanted too, but this Manifesto for the Late-Blooming Writer is consolation and inspiration.

I want to gather my friends together in the summer light for feasts where I can  wrap myself in the protection of their laughter and light. I would serve them Baked Almond Pancake, or perhaps Grilled Eggplant Rolls with Cream Cheese and Herbed Millet, or Veggie Chilli with a big pitcher of Fresh Honeydew Margaritas. Nourish them while nourishing my soul.

Thank you Ben and Jerry’s. Love does come in all flavours.


Burning Man 2014 Artworks. I love ‘The Embrace’ although I don’t know where I’d put it in my tiny backyard, and the ‘Hayam Sun Temple’ is strikingly designed and perfect as a reflective space.

Wonder if they’d set up one of these mobile pools in my office car park this summer if I asked really nicely? I’ll bring the sangria.

The kick-butt princesses that Disney will probably never touch, but oh wouldn’t it be awesome to see some of these strong women on screen someday! (more here)

I dare you not to cry at this story and beautiful photo shoot for a single Mum with cancer.


Martin Luther King Jr once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I wish to see light and love change this world, so I will practice light and love in my life. Perhaps it’s naive of me, but if we all practiced being the light and the love, each little corner of the world would have light up with a spark, and slowly that would become a fire of light and love, tolerance, peace, justice, hope, creativity, that would consume all of humanity. That is my hope.

On My Shelf – Reading Appetite Regained

I am always reading something. I have always been that way. Ever since I was privy to the magic of letters transfigured into words, sound, meaning and understanding I have been a lover of books and reading. Sometimes, however, I stray from the path of literature and I voraciously consume other content: magazines, blogs, photographs. Lately I have regained my appetite for literature and I have been eating up book after book. Here are my latest reads and my thoughts on each. If you have read any of these, let me know what you thought in the comments below, or tell me what you are reading lately.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital 

Sheri Fink (Crown, 2013)

five days at memorial


This book follows the journey of the staff and patients at New Orlean’s Memorial Hospital as Hurricane Katrina rages and the flood waters rise. So many things went wrong with disaster management and after the storm clears questions arise about decisions made by the hospital staff. While the content is sad, I enjoyed Fink’s writing style and the amount of detail she weaves into her story. She has certainly done her research, and while we will never know the whole truth this book is an interesting look at what happens to humanity when life hangs in the balance. The whole end section of this book is full of references if you wish to continue your reading about the events surrounding the hospital and investigation.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts 

Susan Cain (Broadway Books, 2013)


This book explained so many aspects of my own personality to me! I have always felt like an introvert, but then I have no problem sharing my innermost thoughts with the right people. Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’ illuminated the spectrum of introversion and extroversion and the traits that may be present in both. Now I understand why I hunger for ‘real conversation’ and need time alone to recharge. I highly recommend this book if you want to gain insight into your own personality, and also relationships with those around you who may be similar, or lie on the opposite end of the spectrum.


Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

Peter Hoeg (translated, 1995, Delta)



I cannot decide whether I enjoyed or endured this story. It took me forever to finally reach the end and I was left with the feeling that I hadn’t quite understood the larger themes Hoeg was trying to convey through the story of the strange Smilla. Some of his descriptive devices are enjoyable, but overall I felt like I was viewing the deeper meaning through a snowstorm.


The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath (1963, reprinted by Faber & Faber)

the bell jar

I loved this book. I have written before about episodes of mild depression that I have experienced in the past, and the descriptions offered by Esther about the feeling of being inside a bell jar while life continues its hustle and bustle around spoke to my experiences precisely. More than that this story is about coming of age as a woman in a time where there are so many options open for you to pursue, and the pressure to choose your life path so early in life. I would highly recommend this to senior high school students or university students and anyone who is standing at the crossroads trapped in their own bell jar.



Geraldine Brooks (2006, Penguin)



Little Women‘ was one of my favourite books as a child and young adult, and Geraldine Brooks is my favourite author, so I cannot believe that it took me so long to finally pick up this volume. Rarely do I sit still for long stretches of time, but I finished this book over a weekend in large greedy gobbles. Against a backdrop of the American Civil War, March is a story about love, honour, family and the scars that our past choices leave on our conscious. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I don’t have to, the folks at the Pulitzer Prizes awarded it winner status in 2006.


The Language of Flowers

Vanessa Diffenbaugh (2011, Ballantine Books)

language of flowers

I struggled with the main character Victoria throughout this entire book; however, I think this may have been the author’s intention so that you could feel the inner conflict that haunts Victoria until nearly the end. As a flower lover (as you have probably garnered if you follow me on Instagram) I found the information about floral meanings interesting and the way Victoria uses flowers and bouquets to express the feelings she cannot speak aloud. This book swept me into its story and I didn’t want it to end. I do hope that Diffenbaugh continues to write because I really enjoyed her style.

That’s all folks! Right now I am deeply involved in ‘The Bronze Horseman‘, which was recommended to me by my friend Jess. I’m blaming her for the circles under my eyes because I cannot put this book down.

Tell me dear readers, what are you reading at the moment? Any opinions on the books I have been reading recently? Also, you can now find me on Good Reads if you’d like.

Happy reading.

Fear Of Missing Out

I am sure by now that you have all heard about the (possibly) social media fuelled phenomenon that is FOMO, that is, Fear Of Missing Out. In these days of constant connection and instant uploads the lives of others are accessible to us and only one click away. The downside of being able to see photos of Greek beaches, the New York City skyline, or rugged backstreets of Turkey is that we call into question our own lives. Suddenly the lustre of happiness and satisfaction with our little two bedroom house with undercover parking and excellent commuting possibilities dulls. Don’t even get me started on Facebook…

It’s the comparison game my dears, and humans are well versed in it. My theory is this: human brains are excellent at recognising patterns and when we see deviation from the pattern we are attracted to more intense study of the aberration. We start to compare the gap between the deviation and our own rhythm and conclude that our pattern is lacking, lacklustre.

Fear Of Missing Out has launched a flotilla of articles (this one and this one are very informative) and called us to question the ways we use technology to communicate with our ‘friends’ and update them on how our lives are going at the moment: the ethics of this new landscape and virtual community centre are currently written in chalk, there is no grand tradition or best practice to be relied upon here.

For example, are we always honest in our posts on various social media sites? Are we showing people the 9-5 of our lives, or just the highlights reel? I’ll be honest, I don’t show the majority of my life on any social media site. My days are spent in a grey cubicle, in an office, an hour’s commute from my home. Not something Pin-worthy or Instagram-able. I still do laundry, clean the bathroom, and spend a ridiculous amount of time comparing products at the supermarket before emerging empty handed. Again, not something I am going to write on my ‘Wall’. I want to share with you the delicious, the comical, the inspiring, and the special. We all know what every day looks like. We all have our own versions of it. Even those people who fill up our ‘feeds’ with palm trees and white sand and impossibly tiny bikinis aren’t always on vacation. If they are good on them. Perhaps they have FOMO on laundry…then again, maybe not.

The next time you feel FOMO falling down around you like a glittery jealousy blanket take a deep breath, put down your phone. Go outside and look at the sky, your own patch of sky. Play with your dog, run your fingers through its fur, and see the goofy tongue grin on her face. No matter how high definition your camera is you can’t capture that kind of love. Somewhere out there is someone who would love to live your 9-5 existence, or in your not-always-spotless home, or have your loving partner.

The only thing we should fear missing out on is our own lives. Sure, they might not always be glamorous, or fun, or interesting, but they belong to you and no-one else.

Don’t fear missing out on the beautiful things, they are right there at your fingertips if only you are wise enough to recognise them.

That is why I started my Gratitude List. Because the thing I fear missing out on the most is the gifts I have already been given.


Come back tomorrow for the Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Nine. Until then, do you have FOMO? How do you resist the urge to compare?

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Three

Chris and I are kicking back today and tomorrow and enjoying the Queen’s birthday long weekend. There is something nourishing about having an extra weekend day: extra time to spend with your family, extra time to just wander through the hours, time to put your feet up with a book, or snuggle in bed with a movie and your loved one. I hope all my Aussie readers are enjoying the long weekend, and enjoy this week’s Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Three:

Monday: Tonight Chris and I took a step away from the world and treated each other to a night in. He lit candles, I made dinner, and then we snuggled in bed watching Game of Thrones. I am grateful for this oasis we have away from the busyness of the outside world.

Tuesday: Today I woke up feeling blech. Flu-like and achy and after a trip to the doctor I took a quiet walk along the bay. Sometimes you just need to nourish your soul and today was one of those days. I am grateful that Chris told me to just stay in bed today and take care of myself. I am grateful that I was able to take this day off and rest my body.

waterfront run

Wednesday: Today was Mum’s birthday and tonight we gathered at Jess and Trent’s place for a small family dinner. I am so grateful for my Mum and grateful to be able to see her and celebrate with the family on her actual birthday. Jess made delicious tacos and I supplied a family favourite for dessert.

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice 4

Thursday: This morning I woke up after the best night’s sleep in a long time. I was super grateful when I walked out the door and Mum handed me a travel mug of green tea. Thanks Mum for getting the morning off to a great start. Tonight I caught up with an old friend and got my hair done for the first time in six months. I was grateful to pamper myself a little and to have some deep and meaningful talk with a dear friend.

Friday: A few weeks ago one of the big bosses told me I could have  few hours off before the long weekend. Which means super long weekend! I was grateful for the chance to leave early and have a great run at the gym. I am also grateful for my sweet Christopher who had flowers delivered to me today at work! I’m grateful for these romantic moments and that he took the time out to make my day.

flowers from chris

Saturday: First day of the long weekend! This morning I met Jess at the markets to have breakfast and shop for Mum’s birthday party tonight. I was grateful to catch up with Jess and for her help getting ready for tonight’s party. After that we went home, made Mum’s cupcakes, went for a walk and got ready for our family and friends to show up. We had a wonderful time gathering together: we drank wine, ate home made burgers and coleslaw, sang happy birthday and munched on cupcakes. At the end of the night Chris and I, Mum and Dad sat down and had a final glass of wine together. I was grateful for that time with just the four of us; a chance to share some laughs and some love.

mums cupcakes

Sunday: Today I woke up early for a walk with Jess and then shared a slow morning of breakfast and car washing with Mum and Dad. Then Chris and I retreated home to lay around and read books and watch some truly terrible television. I am grateful to Dad for helping me wash my car and to Mum for making us a delicious morning tea. Thanks for a great weekend.

Apricot Coconut Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I am now off to watch a movie with Chris and eat something simple and delicious for dinner (antipasto may be involved). Enjoy the weekend wherever you are readers!

Also this week:

Nourished Life: Small Great Things

All of my life I have wanted to do great things. I have felt that somehow my life was only worth measuring by impressive feats and grand achievements. I felt that I needed to ‘make something’ of myself in order to prove that I was worth being here, worth the love and support that my family and friends have always given me. I had to do great things: be famous, be out there, be a leader, be an overachiever. In high school I was ‘the smart girl’. I achieved academically and I was lucky because I love to learn. As my sister says “studying is what we know how to do.” I was doing great things in my little arena, my little community of students, teachers, and parents.

When I went to university that community grew exponentially. I struggled. I was now average in a group of people who excelled. I went through some difficult adjustments during those university years. I was lost when I wasn’t the one who was being held up for doing great things. Who was I if I wasn’t doing great things to the applause of the people I looked up to? Was I ever going to achieve great things again? Those were difficult years and it was only through the love and support and intervention of my friends and family that I survived.

When I left university I found work that I loved. I was helping people, making a difference in their lives, and that made a difference in mine. I was confident again. I was doing something great for the world.

I had adventures overseas. I had stories that were worth telling. I felt like I was doing great things.

Last year I lost the job that I loved. I was adrift. I am still adrift. Who am I if I am not doing great things for people? Who am I if I am not making a difference to the world? Who am I now that I sit in a cubicle from 8 til 5?

I am not doing great things if you measure my life against the great people of the world. I am living a small, simple, and mostly happy life. I struggle with my new reality sometimes. I want to stand up and say things and be counted, but who am I to make a fuss, I am not doing great things.

When I saw this inspiration on Clementine Daily it was like a message from the universe. A message to relax, to see my life as valuable and worthy even without the ‘great things’ that I feel I should be doing instead of what my life is now; a message to understand that doing small things with great love, great commitment, great passion, is just as important.

I feel this is the key to a settled heart. To live my life doing small things in a great way. I may not be winning an Oscar, but I can win a smile from my sister with a well-timed joke; I may not have my own cooking show, but I can bake something to warm the hearts of my workmates; I may not be on the New York Times Bestseller list (yet, I’m still holding out for that one) but I can write here, share my passion for words and storytelling with the world on my little space here on the web.

I will do small things in a great way. Because these are the things that touch the hearts of the people you love the most. And that is a great thing.

(I promise I will be back with some cookies tomorrow)

Happy Birthday Chris!

Today I am stopping to wish a happy birthday to one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for my Thoroughly Nourished Life – my darling Christopher!

Saturday (2)

Sweetheart, you are the reason my sun rises every day and sets in the evening. I couldn’t live a day without hearing that infectious, body-shaking laugh or seeing your smile. When the corners of your mouth lift and your green eyes crinkle delicately at the corners my face can’t help but respond in kind. You are the one I want to run through the cold night with and watch the stars fall down into the ocean at the end of time. I love your quick, curious mind and the way you know a little bit about everything and are hungry to learn more whenever you can.

You make friends easily, put people at ease with your charm and open manner, and I love the way the room lights up when you walk in. I am grateful for your talents with an iron, and that you will try anything I make, even the hippie-dippy-vegetarian-lentil-and-kale stuff. I am grateful that you show me affection whenever you are near and that you whisper into my ear just what I need to hear. I am happy that I get to build this life with you and I’m looking forward to all the adventures we are going to have on this long, winding road of life.

Happy Birthday my love. Here is to many more.

Chris and Amy b and w

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Eighteen

Yesterday I teased you with a pancake recipe, and oh I will deliver (Wednesday, I promise), but today I wanted to share my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Eighteen.

This week I felt really settled. Chris and I are finally living together full time now and not living like a nomad is contributing to me feeling like my life is moving forward in a beautiful direction. Here is my gratitude list for this fulfilling week.

Monday: After a long drive home from Roma on Sunday Chris and I had an extra day of vacation. We spent the day at home together. I went for a run, baked some cookies and read my book a little. I was grateful for the indulgence of a day off while the rest of the world was at work: just the thing to fill my heart with peace.


Tuesday: I blitzed my run after work and then came home to watch Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ while I slurped soup. I am grateful that Chris and I are falling into our own rhythm and we are dancing in time to our own music.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free Wednesday: This morning I watched the sun rise over the bay in a violent show of pink and orange. Tonight I drove home through the twilight and then Chris and I tried something new together: yoga! Although it was a new way of moving for him Chris made it all the way through and we had a great time giggling at each other’s attempts to move through the yoga sequence. I am grateful that we can have fun together while trying something new.



Thursday: Tonight after work I came home and mixed up some delicious muffins. Chris and I comforted ourselves against the cold weather with bowls of mashed potato for dinner. There really is nothing like a bowl of mash to warm the soul on a cold winter night. I am grateful for our little cottage by the bay and the love and peace inside.

Choc Chip Orange Muffins 1


Friday: Today I had lunch with my friend Jess for the first time in a while. I love our lunchtime catch-ups. This afternoon I got a wonderful surprise when a bunch of flowers turned up at the office for me. My boss had sent them to wish me ‘happy administrative professional’s day’. Very unexpectedly sweet. Then I went home to see my Mum and Dad! And Molly too of course! We had a great family dinner and watched Miss Marple together. I was grateful for the love and care that surrounded me today, and grateful to see my parents and Molly again.

flowers Saturday: This morning I went to the markets with Mum and Jess for our fortnightly ladies’ breakfast and to stock up on winter fruit and veggies: crisp Sundowner apples, sweet mandarins, and sweet potatoes for days! I went for a 6.5 mile run, which was a little challenging after eating a few too many peanut m&ms, but it felt good to run that distance. Tonight Chris and I caught up with friends for drinks. It was a long but good night. I was grateful for all the little adventures of today – and for Chris’s jacket because it was chilly!

Sunday: This morning we relaxed in the late autumn sunshine and Chris recovered slowly from a big night. I pottered around the kitchen and played with my new camera before going for a walk. Tonight we had a mixed dinner (including a few more peanut m&ms) and binge-watched ‘Bar Rescue’. Highly recommended for a trashy reality food TV show fix.  I was grateful for a relaxing Sunday at home learning our everyday ebb and flow.

bay walk

Also this week:

The coming week is filled with celebrations (Chris’s birthday and Mother’s Day of course), running , and assignment writing.

Tell me, dear readers, what are you grateful for this week? What are your favourite ways to warm up in the earliest days of winter?  

Midweek Mantra: Do it Every Day

When you have a dream, a vision, or a soul-shaking idea of what you want your life to be you are awakened to the gap between your current location and your planned destination. We are bombarded with success stories of people who have changed their lives, moved to faraway places, landed their dream jobs, or made radical lifestyle changes. We see the headlines, the big leaps that they have taken, the most daring acts of their journey. We don’t see the everyday slogging away that makes dreams into reality.

We see the ‘end of season reveal’, not the hour after hour spent on the treadmill or the meal by meal fight to eat well. We see the ‘New York Times Bestseller’ interview, not the days of staring at a blank white page and then the hours spent filling it with words, editing, manipulating, and creating.

It’s so easy to think that in our immediate gratification, instant data, and cheap fame society that creating something, changing your life, is just as easy. When we sit down to confront the real work of it, to take the giant leap, we realise that it isn’t going to be easy. It isn’t going to be immediate and there actually aren’t any huge leaps, just small steps and consistency of action day after day.

I struggle with this myself. Chris had it right when he reflected to me the other day that it seems that I want to do all the things. I want to write books, I want to blog, I want to teach people about a healthy lifestyle, I want to cook, I want to pursue further education. My problem is that there are so many things that I want to do with my life that I get exhausted by the thought and then end up doing nothing. All of these goals appear to need big leaps. I keep forgetting that it is the everyday action that will get me there in the end. Write a little bit every day and by the end of the year you will have many thousands of words to mould. I need to change the routine that leaves little time or head space for writing. I need to cut out the non-essentials and bear down on the creative moments that give me the most pleasure.

The same is true of any goal: if you want to run a marathon you need to train every day, if you want to lose weight then you have to work on that every day, if you want to build something you need to work on that every day.

Whatever dream or goal you have in mind you need to make it part of your life every day in a small but substantial way. One step at a time towards your destination.

Tell me, dear reader, how do you work towards your goal every day, whatever that goal might be?

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Eleven

This week I have felt like I am finally falling back into step with the world. Things just seemed to be working, and I felt an overwhelming sense of contentment. I’m doing some internal work at the moment on understanding how I view the world, and how I deal with stress, anxiety and worry. One of the best ways I have found is to focus on what I am grateful for and all the exciting things happening around me.

One of the most exciting pieces of news: last week my blog friend Jenelle, her husband and son welcomed a new member into their family. Congratulations and welcome to the world Miss E!

Here is the Thoroughly Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Eleven:

Monday: Today’s blog post got a huge number of views, so I was grateful for you: the people who read my blog regularly and those who just came to visit for the day. I hope you make my Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies and enjoy them. I wish I could send a tray to each of you.

Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies

Tuesday: Today I was grateful to get in a great run at the gym, and then come home to Chris and make an awesome dinner, which we ate while curled up on the bed watching True Detective. I am grateful for nights like this, even if there is laundry involved, because there isn’t a day that I don’t go to sleep with a smile on my face.

Wednesday: Today Chris and I had a gym date after work! I am usually a lone exerciser, but just knowing that Chris is there makes me work a little harder. I was grateful for his company, and for being able to share with him something that I love doing. Then I was grateful for leftovers for dinner and an episode of True Detective before bed.

gym date

Thursday: A few weeks ago one of my favourite baking bloggers Sally released her first cookbook and today my copy arrived! I was grateful for the inspiration, especially when I had two batches of cupcakes to make tonight! Sally’s recipes all look delicious and the colour photographs had me itching to get into the kitchen. Oh, and the salted peanut butter frosting I was making didn’t hurt either.

sallys baking addiction

Friday:  Today I woke myself up early to go for a run and I can tell that summer is losing its grip on the southern hemisphere because the sun is rising later and later. I was grateful for the silence that pre-dawn brings, and very grateful for getting a run in after all the buttercream I ‘sampled’ last night. I was grateful for doing some hard work today and completing my parts of a report due next week. Then coming home and curling up on the couch with some freckle chocolates and an action movie in the company of Mum and Dad – and my welcome home from the resident malamute wasn’t too bad either.

Saturday: Today was golden! I went for a really big walk before breakfast under the big blue sky and when I came home I made some delicious Carrot, Zucchini, and Thyme muffins for my breakfast (recipe coming this week). I must have been bitten by the baking bug overnight because I then made some Oatmeal Caramel Cookies (recipe also coming this week) – these ones are super dangerous I ate four in a very short space of time! This evening was spent catching up on some valuable couch lying and Midsomer Murder watching.

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies

Sunday: Today Mum and I are having a shopping date. I’m off for a really big walk, having a smoothie to make up for my Saturday treats and get me back on track for a healthy week, and then we are off in search for a dress for me to wear to the two weddings Chris and I will be attending in April. I am grateful for some fun, light, girl time with my Mama. Oh, and there’s more baking planned for this afternoon too!

Okay dear readers, I am off for my walk and looking forward to a big banana smoothie and some pretty dresses, what are you grateful for this week? What are you looking forward to today and next week?