Favorite Things

This week we watched the Chiefs come from behind to win the Super Bowl and I learned an interesting way to coach myself when I’m around people who are not as supportive as I’d like. I’m also talking about non-traditional Valentine’s Day Gifts, Cousins Meetups, and my favorite books, shows, and food.

A closeup black and white photo of a rose.
Rose Macro, Missouri 2014

Shawn is a nature photographer. This photo of a rose seemed perfect for Valentine’s week!

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Tennis Life Lessons

I played doubles recently with someone who I normally enjoy playing with. But on this particular day, she was quiet and edgy. It made me feel self-conscious.

When I get self-conscious in tennis (and in life), I start making mistakes. A lot of them.

So, you know what I did? I started saying to myself the things I wished she was saying to me. Things like, “Great shot, Marly!” “Ah, you missed that ball, but you’ll get the next one!” Or, “Don’t you look fabulous today!” Haha.

She wasn’t in a place to say these things to me, but I could say them to myself. You know what? It made all the difference!

If someone can’t be there for you, find ways you can be there for yourself!

Cousins Meetup

I got to meet up with my cousin, Melanie, recently. We have so much in common and I always enjoy getting together with her!

One of my favorite things about Melanie is her positivity. She and I are both motivated by self-improvement. So it’s fun to compare podcasts, books, and influencers we follow for motivation.

Marly and her cousin Melanie pose with their coffee and tea cups at a coffee shop.

It’s good to have people in your life who inspire you. That’s Melanie! I love her and am honored to call her cuz! You can follow her on Instagram.


I chose Shawn’s rose image this week in honor of Valentine’s Day.

I like finding alternative ways to celebrate because I don’t like the marketing side of days like this one. So, this year, we were at a plant nursery and we agreed on a really unusual plant. I prefer that to chocolates or fresh flowers any day of the week.

What are your favorite unusual Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day gifts?

What I’m Reading

I listen to audiobooks while I’m cleaning, driving, solo walking, or creating pinterest images.

I’ve read some great books and some ho-hum (to me). Here are some of the books I’ve read recently:

  • Whisper Network by Chandler Baker. ★★★★★ Fiction. Women finding ways to triumph over injustice. That’s always a winning topic for me! I enjoyed this book and the narrator was great, too.
  • Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister. ★★★★★ Fiction. A woman finds herself plunged in a sort of Groundhog Day drama where she has to trace her steps in time to save her son. This was an intriguing mystery and I really enjoyed reading it!
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. ★★★☆☆ Fiction. I’m sorry to give this book only 3 stars, but I really struggled to get into it. Was it too much detail? Or simply that I just couldn’t find a way to care about the plot? I’m not sure, but at some point, I simply returned it to let someone else enjoy it.
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. ★★★★★ Fiction. I enjoyed this book a lot. There are some scenes that even made me tear up, and I don’t usually do that when it comes to fiction. One thing that really stuck with me is a scene told from the perspective of one of the characters. He describes a day eating freshly picked peaches with his friends and how they compete to say how amazing it is. Then he says something to this extent: My life is like this peach. Ah, that stuck with me. My only struggle with the book is how much time the two characters spend refusing not to talk to each other. This hit a little close to home and made me sad since I have a sister who refuses to talk to me. But overall, the story is well imagined and very well told.
  • Room by Emma Donoghue. ★★★★★ Fiction. It’s hard to say too much about this book without unintentionally giving out a spoiler. But I can say this book is told from the perspective of a 5-year-old boy who has lived his life in one room. I truly enjoyed the innocent perspective of this little guy, Jack. This book has some dark moments, so I’d only recommend it if you can handle it. Read the back cover and you’ll understand more about it.
  • When Food is Comfort by Julie M. Simon. ★★★★★ Non-Fiction. This one is still on my list because I’m continuing to read it. I’m learning so much about the importance of attunement and how to recreate this important understanding of our emotional landscapes. It provides lots of topic ideas to write about in my morning pages journal!

On my list to read soon:

Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey, A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem.

I also have my own book coming out one of these days, The Girl Who Ate the World. Sign up to get more information, including how to pre-order. I’m very excited about it!

What I’m Watching

We made time for TV this month, and here are some favorites:

  • The Banshees of Inisherin. What a moving story! Is it a tale of what one man will go through to stop talking to another one? Or is it a tale of what man will persevere through to get his friend back? I’m not sure, but I loved this movie, from the interesting Irish cusswords to the beautiful landscapes, and thoughtful characters.
  • The Last Days of Ptomeley Grey. What an intriguing series! Samuel Jackson does an amazing job as always and this show keeps you hooked from beginning to end!
  • 1923. It’s a real struggle for us to watch a show like this because 1) we hate the way the characters treat animals and 2) our dog, Otis, watches tv and freaks out every time there’s an animal on the screen. There are a lot of animals on this show, so it’s a constant job of covering his eyes!
  • Jack Ryan. We just started watching the latest season of Jack Ryan. As you would expect, it’s full of intrigue, mystery, and occasional violent scenes. I always close my eyes on those scenes. Sometimes I even cover my ears and sing, “la-la-la.” I know, childlike, but it works.

Food I’m Loving

There’s no end to the food I’m passionate about, but here are some recent favorites I want to share with you:

  • Vegan Sour Cream — I am obsessed with Forager Sour Cream right now. I love adding it to my plant-based taco salad. It’s delicious! It would taste great on a vegan baked potato, too. I swear it tastes just as good as what I remember dairy-based sour cream tasted like.
  • CanDo Keto Krisp — My cousin brought these to our coffee/tea meetup and I really enjoyed the CanDo Keto Krisp Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk flavor. They’re plant-based, low-carb, and delicious!
  • Fast Bars — I regularly do intermittent fasting. Some days are harder than others. On the tough days, I have a nibble or two of a Prolon Fast Bar. Combined with a cup of hot tea, it really settles my stomach and I’m able to extend my fast and hit my goals. This is an affiliate link. I get paid a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Reader Spotlight

Here’s a review of my Vegan Pot Pie.

Reader Reviews

Our comfort food…have successfully made this twice with the seasoned tofu and it’s great! For the veggie mix I use peas, carrots and corn. Any leftovers go to lunches so it’s a keeper! Thank you for this recipe.

Looking down on a vegan pot pie with a slice cut out.

Recently On Namely Marly

I still cannot believe the Chiefs won the game on Sunday. Did you watch it? I thought the Eagles were so strong and when Mahomes hobbled off the field at half-time, I thought it was over! But they came back strong in the second half and won it.

Here are my favorite recipes to make on game day. You can also serve them any time you’re having a fun party. And here are even more recipes I shared on the site recently.

Vegan Super Bowl Recipes

Searching for tasty and delicious vegan recipes for your super bowl party? Forget carrot sticks and hummus: we've got vegan recipes that will satisfy everyone and make your super bowl party the talk of the town. From meatless meatballs to vegan guacamole, we've got easy and tasty vegan recipes to please all your guests. You'll also love this vegan spinach artichoke dip to serve with chips or crackers.
Vegan Super Bowl Recipes Recipe
A hand holds a tortilla chip with vegan spinach artichoke dip with the bowl of dip behind it.

How to Grind Chia Seeds

When you're using chia seeds in your kitchen, grinding them first is the way to go. It creates smoother puddings, and it's more nutritious too.
How to Grind Chia Seeds Recipe
A hand pours chia seeds into a bowl.

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Delicious vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy, and lots of tender chocolate chips throughout. These cookies are perfect for dipping in almond milk!
Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies Recipe
A stack of chocolate chip cookies beside a bowl of chocolate chips.

Boba Smoothies

These refreshing and flavorful boba smoothies combine sweet and chewy boba pearls with a creamy and fruity smoothie base. It's the perfect treat for a hot summer day, and it's easy to make at home.
Boba Smoothies Recipe
A closeup up of a boba smoothie in a glass sitting next to fresh fruit and another smoothie.

Vegan Mascarpone

This decadent vegan mascarpone cheese is so creamy and flavorful, thanks to ingredients like cashews and silken tofu. It's ready in minutes and creates the perfect creamy base for recipes or toasted vegan English muffins.
Vegan Mascarpone Recipe
A closeup of mascarpone in a bowl sitting around fresh strawberries.

Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup — Is there anything as comforting as a hot bowl of soup? Make your soup with plant-based chicken or chickpeas and add your favorite noodles. It can be ready in minutes!
  2. Vegan Creamed Corn Casserole — Make this cheesy corn casserole as a side dish with vegan lentil meatloaf and vegan mashed potatoes. it’s a perfect plant-based down-home meal!
  3. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls — I’m so happy to see this recipe on the most popular list because these creamy peanut butter balls are so tasty. Sometimes I’ll add rice krispy cereal to the peanut butter filling to make them crispy!
  4. Plant-Based Taco Soup — We love soup all year long and this taco soup has all the right flavors. I prepare it mild but serve it with my favorite hot sauce because I like it spicy!
  5. Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes — I was inspired by this recipe from a trip I took to Argentina. They used a lot of pumpkin and sweet potatoes to create layers that looked cheesy. I did that with these baked potatoes — added cheesy-flavored mashed sweet potatoes to make them loaded with cheesy flavor without ALL the calories.

Meal Plan

Monday — I like making a stir-fry early in the week so we can have the leftovers for lunch. That’s why this Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry is on my list for today. Serve it with some Microwave Steamed Broccoli on the side or some Roasted Vegetables for the ultimate healthy meal!

Tuesday — Another thing I like to make early in the week is a batch of Lentil Sloppy Joes. It creates a lot and so we get to enjoy it all week long, as sandwiches or even as a topping on salads. It’s a filling meal thanks to the fiber from lentils. Serve them with some Air Fryer Potato Wedges or some creamy Plant-Based Cole Slaw.

Wednesday — These Vegan Stuffed Peppers are easy to make and also create great leftovers you can enjoy for lunch throughout the week! Serve them with

Thursday — I like making a double batch of Vegan Black Bean Burgers and freezing the leftovers. That way you can throw a burger in the microwave and serve it for impromptu veggie burger nights any day of the week. Serve them with any leftover potato wedges and cole slaw from Tuesday. For a change of pace make some Vegan Baked Beans on the side.

Friday — I know Fridays are for pizza, but let’s mix things up this week and serve this Vegan Taco Casserole. It’s an easy dish to prepare and is great served with tortilla chips and salsa. Keep it light by using these Air Fried Tortilla Chips. And add some Corn Salsa on the side for even more flavor!

Saturday — Cook up your favorite pasta and serve it with this Vegan Pesto with Walnuts. I love pasta night! We oftentimes use whole wheat or bean-based pasta to keep it healthy. Then serve it with some Lemon Kale Salad, Balsamic Roasted Carrots, and don’t forget these Vegan Garlic Breadsticks!

Sunday — On Sunday, we focus on sweets. I love serving Vegan French Toast on the weekends. I usually make something sweet, like Vegan Samoas. So good! For dessert, let’s dive into something rich and delicious like these Vegan Scotcheroos.

OK, it’s your turn! What are the dishes you’ve been making or dreaming of making this week?

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