Hello friends and…just…wow…what a week.

I’d like to say it was a happy one but I think that all of us, whether we were in the direct line of Harvey’s path or not, are still reeling from the destruction that has whipped through and rained down on so many in Texas, now spreading to Louisiana, Mississippi and even Florida.

Heartbreaking. Looking at the photos of devastation there are really no other words. Except for one more: lucky. Lucky because except for the fact they couldn’t get to work or school, my sister, bro in law and nieces who live in The Woodlands, a suburb just 30 miles from downtown Houston, came out of the hurricane unscathed. But many of their friends, co-workers and schoolmates weren’t nearly so lucky. And really, that’s all it comes down to. Luck. With a little more wind force, or a change in the hurricane’s direction, or any number of variables, the fate of these Texas residents fell into the hat of either being lucky to be in the right place at the right time or oh so unlucky when they discovered themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I keep thinking back to my visit to Houston this past summer and our lunch at quirky Tacos a Go Go after visiting the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. I couldn’t stop wondering if the taco shop survived and how does a museum with invaluable art possibly prep for the worst?

I mean, think of all the small businesses, the coffee shops, the retail stores, the restaurants and bars, the mini-marts and mega-marts that are potentially devastated. Not to mention the homes, churches and community gathering spots. With every text update from my sister or news report of the rising flood waters, I couldn’t stop thinking of the workers who may not have a home to go back to after work, and if they would even have a job to go to when the timelines to rebuild grow longer because of the shortage of supplies and the contractors get greedy and those timelines get longer than expected.

The snowball effects and the aftermath of clean-up and rebuilding will be a very, very long and difficult journey.

The first hand account of this story, I Lost My Home In Hurricane Harvey, did find the words I couldn’t.

“We will not be able to rebuild our lives without the help of other people, which is a very conflicting feeling,” she said. “On the one hand, you’re so grateful that there are fantastic people in this world who want to help, but on the other hand, your pride makes you want to be able to do everything on your own.” 

“But I can’t. We can’t do everything on our own.”

So if you haven’t yet donated, do so today. I did. Because I know if it was my sister and her family who had these hardships land in their homeless laps, I’d hope and actually be counting on others like you who would be willing to help them too.

What and Where to Donate for Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Want To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims? Experts Say Donate Cash

Houston Mayor Establishes Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (my sister shared this link with me so it’s totally legit)

Best Friends Animal Society Hurricane Harvey Animal Rescue Hub

Texas Monthly: Here Are Ways You Can Help People During Hurricane Harvey

Texas Forever T-Shirts from Chip and Joanna Gaines (all proceeds from the sales from August 28  September 30 will be donated to hurricane disaster relief efforts)

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We Ain’t Beyonce, But Bloggers Are Helping Too

How to Make Hurricane Harvey Welcome to Austin Relocation Kits from A Taste of Koko via Marie Saba

Facebook Live Fundraiser with Grain Free Tahini Brownies with Ambitious Kitchen

Sugar and Cloth Donation Drive for Houston

Plus…

This is so sweet and inspiring.

Texans refuse to leave pets behind as they flee Hurricane Harvey.

Another reason to love Sandra Bullock, and how more stars are donating too. But its JJ Watts who has motivated us to open our wallets and pretty much wins all our hearts. $12 million and counting. Awesome.

Thank you all for visiting, reading and especially for donating today.

And now, on to our list of Friday Faves. *kisses to ya’ll*

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Did you see my #FoodieCrushHumpDayFollow on Instagram? I’ll be sharing another fave follow this coming Wednesday so come on over!

These lazy blackberry morning buns are definitely happening for breakfast on Saturday.

Seriously craving these easy meal prep bowls for lunches and dinners.

This to-die-for chowder has three of my favorite things in it, and it’s so perfect for an end of summer meal.

And here’s another (healthy) bowl I can’t wait to try. TACOS!

This fridge clean-out has me totally inspired, so I’ll be getting to work on my own this weekend!

Mmmm, I’ve gotta try every single one of these homemade salad dressings.

And I’ve gotta make these cookies! They’re the perfect size for a little afternoon snack.

4 make-ahead recipes to save your sanity:

I loved reading these because love wins.

Totally ready to do this challenge.

and…

11 ways to practice self-care (in 15 minutes or less). #8 can be hard sometimes, but it’s a big one.

Here’s what’s coming to Netflix this month.

And Humans of New York is now a TV SERIES and I could not be more excited. #worthwhiletimesuck

Also, I’m really excited for this new documentary. I love Anthony Bourdain.

Have you seen Tay Tay’s new video yet? Here it is, decoded (it gets deep, y’all).

So, did you watch the VMAs? It was the first time Smudge suggested we watch it together, and I was like, Hell ya! I’m all in.

I have to say I thought it was a bit of a hot mess except for this speech from Pink to her daughter where she said …“So, baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl, and we help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty.”

Preach it Pink. Watch her inspiration below … I wish I could be that cool, and if my daughter wants to, I’ll be her cheerleader all the way. BTW, how is Pink old enough to be getting a frigging Vanguard Award??? Time.Please.Stop.

How to make plant babies (because you can never have too many plants).

I’m a sucker for a home tour you could actually do at home.

Also…

I LOVE this bedroom makeover (the faux headboard is genius).

This iPhone case is gorgeous. My sister the geologist would love it.

Is it weird that I have a crush on a water filter? So stylish!

These pretty indigo dyed napkins make me wanna throw a dinner party. Who wants to come?

I need this tote for my next weekend getaway.

This crocheted sweater is such a nice transitional piece for fall.

How pretty is this dainty gold jewelry—perfect for layering.

Loving this new clothing line from Target, this shirt dress would easily go from work to play.

I want a pair of these flats in every color. But I’ll have to wear my arch inserts…maybe not.

and…

These are similar and I’ve coveted all summer long, just waiting for them to go on sale.

And don’t miss these stellar Labor Day sales this weekend!

Whew. Another long one but there was lots to link to. Please, donate today, and here’s to wishing you a safe Labor Day weekend, friends!

As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.  

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