Tag Archives: moms

LoveGram: Mamma Mia


Happy Sunday to you, beautiful human!

How do I know you are beautiful? Because you are here, wanting to focus on love, appreciation, everyday joy, and gratitude.

You are here, wanting to make magical moments for yourself and for people you love.

I see you.

I see your generous, open heart.


Today, my LoveGram is about Mother’s Day — all of the joys and grief and everything in between.

I think it is important on these Hallmark holidays for us to remember the range of emotions people might be experiencing.

Listen to today’s Audio LoveGram by clicking through to this page now!  (Just scroll down on that page until you see the audio player. Press play. That’s it!)


I am just back from three weeks of exquisite travel, meeting the most amazing people and seeing such great beauty. I also got to connect with two very dear friends — one who lives in France and the other in Portugal.

Time like that with people we love is priceless.

I want to tell you more, but here in the United States it is Mother’s Day and it feels important to focus on that today.

I’ll tell you why.

These Hallmark holidays can be really rough for people who feel excluded in some way.

Mother’s Day can be such a joyful time for those of us who have mothers we love dearly or children we are deeply connected to. It can be a wonderful day to celebrate with our families.

However, it can be a heartbreaking day for someone whose mother or child has died. It can be emotional for someone whose mom is ill or dealing with dementia.

It can bring up deep sadness for people who desperately wanted to have children, but couldn’t. Or for people who are estranged from their children or mothers.

Years ago, my friend Roberta shared with me how hard Mother’s Day was for her as a single mom with a very young child. There was no one to celebrate her. There was no one to take her little boy to the store to pick out a box of chocolates or a flower for his mom.

I say these things because if you are someone who might be having a hard time today, please know I am here with you.

Know that you can respond to this email and have someone on the other end who is giving you a big ole virtual hug.

Please also consider reaching out to someone you are close with and letting them know you could use some extra love. It can be hard to do that, but it can also be such great self-care. And, we all appreciate being asked to help. Sometimes we just don’t think about it. And it feels good to be asked.

And — if you are someone who is not having a hard time today, would you consider reaching out to one person in your life who might be having a difficult day?

Maybe a friend of yours is grieving the loss of a parent or child? Or, maybe you know a single mom who could use some celebration?

Maybe you know someone who has a difficult relationship with her mom or child? Or one of your friends is someone who never had the mother or child she longed for?


This is also a great day to express appreciation to a woman who nurtured you like a mom. Think about baking some muffins for your sweet auntie who was always there for you. Or, for the woman who took you under her wing and offered love and support.

Let’s make this a day of love with many facets.

Let’s open our hearts and send out love to those who are celebrating and those who are sad.

Let’s be together in all of it, okay?


I love you. I’m here with you.

Whatever this day is or isn’t for you, we’re together. Hand in hand.

Thank you for being on this journey of love, celebration, grief,  confusion, messiness, and appreciation with me.

It’s okay (and natural) that it is all here on our journey.


Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

Great $8 gift idea for literature lovers! (Plus a happy story about a nun!)

Do you remember a couple weeks ago when I told you about my mom and how she always sends me boxes of books and what a great gift that is? (“Reason #4353 Why I Love My Mom!”)

Well, when my mom read that Simply Celebrate email, (because she always reads my emails, which makes me feel so loved, which makes that another gift, but that’s not the point right now), she immediately wrote to me and said, “We owe all this book lovin’ stuff to Sister Ida.”

Apparently Sister Ida was the person who encouraged my mom to read. Sister Ida was a nun at the school mom attended in Mount Vernon, Ohio. My mom remembers this sister saying to her, “Always carry a book. Read a book a week.”

My whole life I remember my mom saying, “You’ll never be bored as long as you have a book.” (See! That’s the quote on our l’il free library pictured above!) I’ve always carried a book with me wherever I go. And I’ve quoted my mom to my son countless times, ever since he was a baby. Now, my son is not only an avid reader, he is in the writing program at the School of the Arts here in San Francisco.

Suddenly, through my mom’s emails, I’m learning that all of us owe our love of literature to Sister Ida!



This is her!

Here’s the person who left the Belul clan a legacy of literary leanings.

Thank you, Sister Ida!





So you may be tapping your foot right now and saying, “C’mon, c’mon … where’s the gift idea you promised us?”


It’s this:

An idea dropped in when my mom was telling me Sister Ida stories. (She kept sending me emails with little snippets, like how she was the teacher’s pet so she got to drive the nuns around on the errands. “They were wearing full nun gear and had huge wooden rosary beads around their waists.” My mom also said she got to go to the convent and she would snoop around, “wanting to find out things like whether the nuns wear regular pajamas!”)

The idea I got was that I would write to my mom’s childhood parish to see if they had a photo of Sister Ida and then I would make a personalized bookmark with Sister Ida’s quote, “Always carry a book.”

Since my mom reads every day, I thought it’d be fun for her to have a bookmark to remind her of both Sister Ida and me!

It took some legwork, but I did finally track down the photo I posted above. And with a search on Etsy, I found someone who makes custom bookmarks.



For just $5 plus postage … I sent this to my mom, along with the backside message:



My mom loved it! And it started a whole new swarm of emails about Sister Ida. It was really fun to connect with my mom and hear her stories.
About a week later, I got another box in the mail, with some books from my mom. (And some candy!) If you missed it, the inspiration for my original post about my mom and books was a text from her that said, “A good book and a bag of candy is sometimes all it takes.”


Who can YOU send a personalized bookmark to?


If there is a book lover in your life who has inspired you, why not make ’em a custom bookmark? You can take a selfie of yourself peeking over an open book or use a favorite photo of you and the gift recipient.

It’s simple to upload your photo and type in some text for the front and back!

I’m not affiliated in any way with this Etsy seller. And I’m not responsible if you don’t like her bookmarks! I just wanted to share the resource I used to make it easy for you. (If you’re crafty, you can also just make your own bookmark!)

You can have the bookmark delivered directly to your fellow book lover. Or, have it sent to you so you can package the bookmark with a favorite current book and maybe some fancy tea to sip along while they read. What a great gift!


What legacy are you unknowingly leaving?


Thanks to my mom for inspiring this. (Hi mom!) And thanks Sister Ida for inspiring my mom. And thanks to whomever inspired Sister Ida to read!

We truly don’t know the legacy we leave behind. Sister Ida passed away in 1970, when I was just six years old. She couldn’t have imagined there would be something called email newsletters and that she would be the honored subject of one forty-seven years after her death.

But here I am, expressing my gratitude to sweet Sister Ida, who may be responsible for the fact that not only do I love to read, but I also love writing.

Never underestimate who you are + the impact you have in the world!

Happy reading — and gifting — and leaving a legacy,


P.S. Oh! And my mom inspired me to send a bookmark to the person who helped me track down Sister Ida’s photo. Here’s what I sent to her. Isn’t that fun?


P.P.S. I’m rather wow’d by the thought that 47 years after her death, Sister Ida is right here with us in this community of celebrators. That her spirit is alive and thriving through that one single sentence — “Carry a book with you” — that she spoke back in the 1950’s. Think about all of the sentences you’ve spoken in your life. Now imagine that one random sentence was the one that impacted someone’s life to the degree that this one has transformed my mom. And me. And my son. You just never know the ripple effects of your life!