There’s nothing like getting slapped with a cancer diagnosis to make you realize how short life is. How often are we running here, there and everywhere, forgetting to take the time to celebrate and enjoy life as we go?

Ironically, it was getting cancer that, for some of us, caused us to really wake up to our lives, moment by moment, and to make the decision to enjoy each day for all it’s worth. This celebration of life can take place in big and small ways: dancing in the kitchen, singing along to your favorite music at the top of your lungs in the car, traveling to faraway places, running your first 5k, taking a bubble bath, spending quality time with loved ones, throwing a party “just because.”

One of the ways I love to celebrate life on a daily basis is by putting some spunk in my meals. This doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen to create a gourmet meal (although, for some, this is actually therapeutic and fun!). It does mean taking some pride in the food you’re creating to nourish your body and dressing things up a bit.

Dressing up your meal can be as simple as using some pretty linens or pouring your smoothie into a fancy glass and adding a little umbrella. Or turn on some festive music, light some candles and add some flowers to the table. Use your nice serving dishes. Try a new recipe – something healthier. Something decadent. Something seasonal and festive. Try taking your meal outdoors (I love picnics!). Serve water in a clear glass pitcher with slices of lemon, lime and orange for some color. Even if you’re dining solo or feeding your kids, there are so many ways to put life, love and beauty into mealtime.

As a mom to a two-year-old boy, one of the ways we’ve made mealtime a little more festive is by lighting a candle for dinner and saying a special rhyme about “fire fairies.” We also often use pretty placemats, and my kiddo helps put them on the table. Even with a busy toddler, we have found a way to make dinner a little more magical for all of us.

Whether you dress up your meal or dress up your life in other ways, just have fun with it. And whatever you do, whatever it is, celebrate the moment.

There’s no time like the present – celebrate your meal; celebrate your life!