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Welcome to the first edition of “Our Favorite Things.” We’re collaborating with the team at (cool) progeny to share a new list each week — products, gift ideas, and more — to help you (re)connect with the important people in your life. COVID-19 has been the worst of times, but occasionally the best of times. From grandparents to front-line workers, people have stepped up to inspire us to make the best of it. That’s why we’re celebrating the best of the best this week! Some of this week’s favorite things encourage conversation about one of our inspirational heroes. If we didn’t pick your favorites to feature, most of the shops and stores that we linked to have other selections. This Week’s Favorite Things: Who Inspires You? Edition Mr. Boddington’s Activist in Training Kit Gift BoxBy Mr. Boddington’s Studio All the bits a clever youth needs to write the White House,…

In 2019 (which feels like once upon a time, oh, so long ago), if someone asked us who inspires us, the likely answers would have been chosen from a list of well-known people. The current leaders in government and politics are on the list, along with men and women who have made their mark in business, fashion, literature, entertainment and sports. This year is different. In a world that has been turned upside down by a pandemic, the most inspiring people are the ones who have just plain shown up and kept going and figured out things and taken care of us. The doctors and nurses and hospital administrators who have had to totally reconfigure hospitals – internally and how they work with each other – and navigate a crisis that they have never seen the likes of before. The first responders, and the staffs of government agencies who have…

Quinoa is My Favorite New Dinner Staple Quinoa, a pseudo-grain, is a super-food – high in protein, fiber, B-vitamins, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E, and naturally gluten-free. I’ve fallen in love with it lately and started incorporating it into salads for meatless meals. The citrusy quinoa salad below is the first recipe I tried and still my favorite. But it’s good with other fruits and vegetables and different kinds of beans. Another combination is a tossup for our favorite version: orange sections, corn cut off the cob, diced red onion, diced cucumber, dill, garbanzo beans. Cherry tomatoes, black beans, sliced scallions, and cliantro, ready for quinoa and dressing Do you have other suggestions for combinations? Citrusy Quinoa Salad Yields about 6 C salad 1 C Traditional white whole grain quinoa 2 C waterBring water and quinoa to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed…

The “She Inspires” campaign, launched this spring at Green Spring Station, is helping to raise awareness and much-needed funding for some of the stores’ favorite causes and charities. Bridget Stickline, owner of Wee Chic, has long supported the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, and proposed them. The mission statement of Baltimore Child Abuse Center, a non-profit subsidiary of LifeBridge Health, is to provide victims of child sexual abuse, trauma, and other Adverse Childhood Experiences in Baltimore and their non-offending caretakers with comprehensive forensic interviews, medical treatment, and mental health treatment with a goal of preventing future trauma. “It is important for people to understand that child abuse impacts everyone, in all demographics. One in four girls and one in six boys experience sexual abuse, often by someone they already know,” says LaDonna Morgan, Director of Strategy and Operations at Baltimore Child Abuse Center. Children who have suffered child abuse can be…

COVID-19 Stay at Home Goals: On to becoming a Master Gardener! Staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis brought out the desire to be a Domestic Goddess in many of us. Did you bake bread? Order sourdough starter? All of the grocery stores are still out of yeast and low on flour, so apparently many have now perfected those skills. Cleaned out the closets, reorganized the pantry and alphabetized the spices? Tried new recipes? Now that the weather is nice, we can move outside and turn our attention to becoming Master Gardeners. For several years, I have admired Carol Jean Young’s gorgeous zinnia garden in Cockeysville, Maryland, and wished I had one. Zinnias are the perfect garden annual to grow. They are low-maintenance, and tolerate heat and drought well. Give them a spot with full sun and they will reward you all summer with colorful blooms – and the more…

Not once, but twice, Maru Fava has faced a diagnosis of cancer. She looks fabulous, full of energy and has a healthy, vital, radiant glow to her. It’s hard to believe that five years ago (March 20th was her 5-year survivor date!), she was told that she had terminal liver cancer. After talking to her, you can see that not only has her body has returned to good health, she has also maintained the aura of peace, hope and spiritual growth that she found during her illness. Maru’s journey with cancer began when her best friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Maru helped her friend through diagnosis and treatment, accompanying her to chemotherapy appointments at Johns Hopkin’s Hospital. The experience gave her an introduction to the world of oncology and education in treatment protocols. When her friend successfully finished her course of chemotherapy, Maru and other girlfriends took her on…

Shawn Nocher and Kelly Gill met each other 30 years ago, as mothers of young children with their whole lives ahead of them. They couldn’t have known then that years later, their bond would become “mothers of addicted children” and that they would form an organization, Love in the Trenches, to help other parents whose children are suffering from the disease of addiction, either in active addiction or in recovery, or who have died from drug use. For several years, Shawn and Kelly were each other’s lifeline as their sons moved through addiction and recovery at different times. Kelly’s son was in recovery, while Shawn’s son was somewhere out west, actively using. In one of the ironic, unpredictable twists of addiction, at the same time that Shawn’s son moved into a recovery phase that he has maintained, Kelly’s son relapsed and tragically died of an overdose. Their stories are only…

Last fall, I met with Mikey Monaghan to hear her ideas for a She Inspires spring campaign at Green Spring Station. It almost hurts to think about how casually we took it for granted that we could meet face to face at a café over bagels and coffee. Feels like another life. It was another life. The Green Spring Station “She Inspires” campaign features the stories of a few of the many women we know who have faced difficult obstacles, family situations and illnesses. They have met their challenges with grace, courage and good humor. Their stories, and the organizations they support, encourage other women to share their experiences, feel more empowered and be moved to help women in need. Little did we know back then, the “She Inspires” campaign would be very timely, and these women will become an inspiration to all of us during the time of COVID-19.…

Our favorite bagels from the grocery store are Thomas’ Everything Bagels. Apparently they are everyone’s favorite because the store is often out of them first, and when grocery shopping during the COVID-19 crisis, you have to take whatever you can get. So one time when plain bagels were all I could find, I googled “Everything Spice for Bagels” to see if I could rig up my own mix. This recipe, and some variations, came up and it is so good, we will never go back to buying the store version of “everything.” We toast the bagel, spread some cream cheese on a half and sprinkle the mix over it. Sesame Seed, Minced Onions, Sea Salt, Minced Garlic, Poppy Seed I use 2 T white sesame seeds because they are readily available at the grocery store. But others go to an Indian or health foods store that carries black sesame seeds,…

Women’s Daily Post writer’s group Women’s Daily Post has several groups of women who meet monthly: the Writer’s Group, Transitions Group and the Women Business Owners Group. We get questions about what the groups are like, what their purpose is, and how the meetings are run, so we are using this morning’s Writer’s Group to give you a better idea. The Writer’s Group has such a dedicated core of members, it has earned the nickname the O. G. (Original Gangsta!) Writer’s Group. It meets monthly on a Friday morning at Taylor Royall, 6247 Falls Road. The group is limited to 10 participants, so everyone has a chance to share and learn. As always, today’s group was a blend – published and not-yet published fiction and non-fiction book authors, and a screenwriter. The meeting began with 5-minute updates from everyone about where their projects stand – hopefully sharing some great news,…

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