Making Spirits Bright

December 19th, 2013 at 8:08 am
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I don’t have any new cookie recipes for you guys today. No lose-5-pounds-fast tips to help you fit into your New Year’s Eve dress in a few weeks. (Although if you want to do that, you probably shouldn’t be looking for cookie recipes right now.) No amazing dairy-free eggnog recipes or advice for setting New Year’s goals. No gift tag print-outs or eco-friendly wrapping ideas.

I truly hate to be a Grinch, but this week has been a downer for me. A number of little things have piled up to make it sort of sour, which I totally hate but it’s true and I don’t want to lie and say I’m all into cookies and gift wrap and New Year’s Eve dresses. Because I’m not just not. Not this week, at least.

This week I’m into getting through each day as best as I can so that I can cozy up by the fire at night and fall into bed exhausted and so hungry for sleep by 9 pm.

There hasn’t be a huge amount of stress in my life in the past few weeks, but somehow not having stress has caused me to create my own stress and start stressing out about not stressing out. (Did I just make any sense?)

Hopefully you can relate. It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve told myself not to get worked up over the little things, and then in an effort to not get worked up over them I’ve gotten worked up over them. Grrr, how I hate the mind games!


I watched this sunset from the living room the other night. It took all of 5 minutes for this vibrant sky to recede into murky winter darkness as the sun dipped. Five minutes and poof. The moment was gone. The magic was snuffed out.

I pulled this photo up on my phone yesterday as I tried to pull myself together and plow through a pile of work. It reminded me that much like the winter sky with its quickly changing light, this Christmas season will be gone from my grasp before I know it. Poof. A few days and the magic will be gone.

It stinks to have a downer week during the Christmas season. I feel like it sucks the magic out of the whole holiday before it even arrives. But that doesn’t mean things can’t turn around. A few “bad days” are only bad if we don’t rebound and learn something from them. Nothing will change about our attitude or circumstances unless we ourselves take the initiative to change.

Hopefully the next few days will be better ones for me, but regardless I am so blessed and so grateful to live the life I live. Even my worst days are far better than the best of many others in the world.

We all have our reasons for downer weeks. If you’re having one of them, too, I’m here for you! Remember that it’s just the ebb and flow. The good with the bad. The known with the mystery. The up with the down.


Maybe your spirits need a little making bright this week. I know mine sure have. Here are a few things that have boosted my spirits, sparked my appetite, and made me smile.

  • This Chocolate Cookie Bark from Ricki got me wishing she was my neighbor. I would totally take a tin of this.
  • My dad sent me the link to this video. What a testament to the importance of not judging. We need more kindness like this in the world.
  • Living by these words this week.
  • Another very festive video about the spirit of giving.
  • I love taking a peek inside other people’s kitchen. Ali’s newly remodeled one at Gimme Some Oven is stunning!
  • Craving these Orange Creamsicle “Shooters.”
  • Think Santa would bring me an office space like this?
  • Reading this devotional is a great source of encouragement. I’m usually not one for these types of “daily readers,” but I’ve been following along with this one since last February and I’ve enjoyed every day of it.

As always, thank you for reading and for being here. I love my people!


  1. I’m sorry your having a downer week! Sending hugs !!

  2. May you find more joy as Christmas nears!

  3. It’s hard to imagine you down Hallie, but we all go through it! Take some Vitamin D, push through it, revel in the small accomplishments (there are days, including today, where I put things like “make bed” on my to do list just so I have things to cross off and know that I’m doing), and look forward to the little things.

  4. Sorry it’s been a bummer of a week Hallie. :( Hope it perks up for you soon!

  5. I’m sure just writing this post and clicking publish made you feel better! I am so with you on the not-stressing and then stressing thing. I do that too Hallie. It’s a daily practice, this balance thing. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. xo

  6. What? But I really *need* to lose 5 lbs FAST!! (kidding. not really.). ;-)

    So sorry you’re feeling down, Hallie, but I know we can all relate. Sometimes the holiday season does just that to me–I know everyone is supposed to be over-the-top happy, and something about that very concept has the opposite effect. I hope you are feeling back to your usual chipper self asap!!

    And thanks for this great list of pick-me-ups. And for including my cookie bark!! (I wish you were my neighbor, too–would love to share it with you). :) xoxo

  7. So sorry to hear this hasn’t been one of your stellar weeks, and I can relate, as most of us can.

    I was really bummed Tuesday when a good friend, newly diagnosed with RA, decided that she was going gluten free to try and relieve the pain in her joints. She looked to me to help her get started and I spent quite a bit of time, not only talking to her, but sending her information including your blog address, only to find that by Wednesday morning her next door neighbor and husband convinced her not to do so.

    Wallowing in self-pity for awhile, I felt rejection as I have so often in our four-year gluten-free journey. Even my own family makes fun of me and my husband for the food choices we make. But my sweet husband sat me down and had a loving talk with me and kept me from going any deeper into depression.

    You and your readers all know we are on to something with the gluten-free, sugar-free, allergen-free food choices we make, but I don’t seem to be able to convince any one else that I come in contact with. Perhaps, that’s why I was never a sales person. I can only pray for these people.

    Thank you, Hallie, for again sharing the ups and downs in your life. I’m so grateful to know I’m dealing with a humanoid who has rough days like the rest of us and doesn’t try to paint a story any differently. However, the good days far outweigh the bad. I, too, am so blessed.

    Thank you, also, for the inspiration of the video, devotional, recipe, etc. in this blog.

    May you have a blessed Christmas with your family.

    • Linda: Thank you so much for sharing about your week and for all of your kind words. I’m blessed to have such encouraging readers in this community. You all feel like friends! :)

      Have a wonderful Christmas and great start to 2014.

  8. Hi Hallie,
    So sorry to hear you are having a less than perfect week!! Sometimes it can be overwhelming with what is expected to happen during the holidays and what you are able to accomplish. It’s just stressful rather we want it to be or not. I’m sure we can all relate and have been there one time or another. Relax, spoil yourself and know we all love you !!! :) :) :)

  9. I’ve recently had some downer weeks, so I can relate. But I’m back to myself now and feel good about it. I wish the same for you and joy and health in the new year.

  10. Susan in Salida said on December 20, 2013 at 9:15 am

    You do so much for us by sharing your recipes and healing strategies. So in return, sending hugs and a big dose of healing thoughts your way…

  11. That is a great devotional, Hallie!

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.