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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just a Little...

We’ve all heard that saying - “just a little…goes a long way.”  I can think of numerous instances where this holds true.  The first thing that comes to mind is cooking.  Haven’t we all overdone it on the salt, pepper or garlic a time or two?  No?  Oh, okay, well maybe it’s just me.  Anyhoo – moving on.

Most evenings around 5:30 pm, I can be found throwing something together in my kitchen – anything - and quickly - while the kids are moaning nearby in unison, “I’m huuungry.  Can I have candy?  I’m starrrrving!  Is it ready yet?  What are we having?  Awwwwwwww!  Not thaaaat - I don’t like that….”  Etcetera.

If you’ve read about my grocery shopping adventures in “Ready…Set…Grocery Store,” you will better understand why I never quite know what makes it to my fridge.  My brother, on the other hand, can cook circles around me and truly LOVES the grocery store.  He and my sister-in-law will spend countless hours looking for the best-tasting, healthiest ingredients for their cooking.  He has an amazing palate and knows just exactly what a dish needs to be voila’ perfecto! 

Cucumber salad would seem to be fairly simple - not too many ingredients to mess up, right?  Well, my brother’s cucumber salad is ALWAYS more delicious than mine (my daughter even said so herself), so I begged him for the secret ingredient.  A hundred dollars later, he gave it to me (ha – only kidding!).

What was the difference between his fabulous cucumber salad and my so-so cucumber salad?  Just a little…sugar.  Yep, only ¼ tsp of white sweetness made all the difference.  Here’s the recipe in case you are now uncontrollably salivating and craving cucumber salad:  2 large cucumbers (peeled and thinly sliced), 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 6 Tbsp. vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper and ¼ tsp. sugar.  Toss and marinate overnight.  Mmmmm – enjoy!

Another time that “just a little” goes a long way is in the kindness department.  My husband is a wonderfully cheery guy first thing in the morning.  I’m, uh…not so cheery.  Well, he thoughtfully made breakfast for the fam last week – egg and sausage taquitos.  He and our son gobbled up a taquito or two and headed out the door.

As I was cleaning up the kitchen, I noticed the pan pork sausage wrapper…and the expiration date…which was a MONTH earlier.  I also conveniently noted that there were NO preservatives listed in the ingredients either.  Ahhhh!  I secretly wished this particular package would have been chocked full of nitrites!  Then, as I sucked up all the oxygen in the kitchen with my gasp, I felt the panic set in. 

Where does a mom in “Operation Crazy Mode” go?  Her trusty computer.  I frantically googled what could possibly happen to my poor son and husband after eating WAY OVER expired pork sausage.  Bad move.

My mind was racing and I won’t even tell you the horrifying stuff I read about food-borne illness, bacteria and parasites.  After a frenzied call to my mom, my friend, Linsey, happened to call.  However, I’m sure she wished she hadn’t afterwards.  She tried to ease my nutty mind with “just a little” chat and told me that it would all be fine.  Her ability to stay calm definitely helped me – thank you, Linsey!  But, of course, like some moms (or maybe not), I called Poison Control.  An angel answered on the other end.

She patiently listened to me go on and on and then she cautiously replied, “Step.  Away.  From.  The.  Computer.  Put.  Down.  The.  Mouse.  They will be fine, I assure you.”  She then proceeded to tell me a few stories of how her grandmother would leave a pot of soup on the stove all week and just add things to it.  She also described how her mom kept the lunch leftovers on the counter until supper.  She said, “And we lived.” 

Just a little…kindness, goes a long way.  Thank you so much, kind Poison Control lady.  You were the right person at the right time.  (By the way, my family was fine, if you were wondering.  I, however, had to recover from all the anxiety – heh)

Another aspect of “just a little” has to do with fabric and thread.  I am blessed to know many creative people.  One of my childhood friends, Jill, has an amazing gift of turning a random piece of fabric into a wearable work of art.  A few years ago, her dad bought her an old sewing machine at a garage sale and the rest is history!  After you grab a few Sips of Sunshine today, be sure to head over to Raspberry Market and take a look for yourself! ( 

A high school friend of mine, Alison, is able to turn “just a little” paint and décor into a masterpiece room makeover.  She has a unique eye for design and has recently stepped out to share her gift with others (like last week – recently)  You won’t want to miss her $150 special price through September 1, 2012.  Check out Alison’s gorgeous design portfolio and contact her with any questions at:   (

“Just a little” speech that shared a very BIG message was sent to me last week by my godson’s mother, Donna.  If you have five minutes, watch this...  What a pure example of a servant’s heart.  Thank you, Ryan Pittman.  (His speech begins around the 3-minute mark.)

And, aren’t we sometimes led by “just a little” child?  Akiane’s paintings will simply blow you away -  Her portrait of Jesus brings tears to my eyes.

Finally, don’t we all need “just a little” reminder from time to time?  Sometimes we need that gentle reminder to tell us we don’t have to travel far to see the Seven Wonders of the World.  They can easily be found within each and every one of us – to see, to hear, to touch, to smell, to taste, to laugh and to love.

Heck, “just a little” strawberry made us laugh for an entire day.  It’s the little things, it really and truly is:  the kids in daddy’s t-shirt with twenty pillows stuffed underneath playing sumo wrestling…the tea party in the living room tent…the angelic look on my son’s face when he received his First Holy Communion this past weekend.  Let’s savor the little things…and our little ones.


  1. Love it and thanks again for the reminders of appreciating "the little things", because when they are all put together in the big picture, they become "the big things".

    1. So true! Thanks for your insight - on my blog and throughout my life ;-)

  2. LOVED the story, Heather, and can totally relate! Thank you also for the sweet "plug" of my fledgling business!

    1. I'm so excited for you, Alison! Go "a.g. interiors!" Woo-hoo!