Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving: Pumpkins and other decor

What do you do with all your leftover pumpkins?  You make some of these babies. 
Even if you've already painted or decorated them, all it takes is an extra coat of gold paint adding instant elegance to your table display. 

Table gorgeousness ( 

Gilded Harvest Place Cards (

Here are some felt leaves I found at the dollar store.  I gifted them to my beau's mom and she incorporated them in a simple yet festive display on her dining room table.  You can just as easily use branches and leaves that you find outside for your display.  Get creative and make it work with what you already have.        

What special touches do you add to make your table festive? 

Cranberry Sauce

This past Sunday I picked up a bag of fresh cranberries from Target for $1.99, which seemed like a good price to me even though it was my first time buying them.  This got me thinking about what to do with them.  Since this is my first year as the primary cook and I have a lot to make in a short period of time, I don't want to attempt anything too ambitious.  I'll also be working and busy with some other things all the way up to Thanksgiving Eve, so I'm choosing to keep it simple with the recipes.  Here's what I'll be using:  

Cranberry Relish (
Cranberry Apple Sauce (

Relish Shopping List
Fresh cranberries
2 Tart Apples
Large Seedless Orange 
Granulated Sugar

Apple Sauce Shopping List
Fresh cranberries
3 lbs of apples (Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh)
Cinnamon Stick 

*You should be able to make both with one bag of cranberries.

Have you ever made fresh cranberry sauce, or do you stick to the canned sauce?

Image Source: Simply Recipes

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving is Receiving

A friend posted this on Facebook, and I couldn't go without sharing it.  I once heard Cornel West say, "What is justice but love in public," and to me this video embodies just that.  I hope to one day love this much.  I hope to give this much in my lifetime.  This video is the perfect example of how we shouldn't underestimate the potential of even the smallest actions.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Inspiration

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
 1 Thessolonians 5:18

About a month ago, I volunteered to cook the big dinner for my family--this was before my days were consumed with work, but a sucker for a challenge, I'm sticking to the plan.  I'll be employing a combination of making and freezing things in advance as well as some early prepping to get the job done.  That being said, I have barely a week to get ready.  For the next week or so I'll be sharing recipes, decor inspiration, and other little touches to make the day extra special.     

Main Dishes + Sides + Desserts + Decor

What are your Thanksgiving plans?  Any special traditions?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tips to Start Your Day Off Right

The ultimate way to start everyday:

After that, do these as well: 

Rules for Great Mornings by Robin Sharma
(from the newsletter, "Rules for Great Mornings.")

"--Plan the first 60 minutes of your day the night before so you set yourself up for success in advance. 

--Eat breakfast within an hour of getting up.

--Use the first 20 minutes of your day to exercise so you jump start your brain's chemistry.

--While you're exercising, listen to something inspirational and of value (the influences that you expose your mind to at the beginning of your day set the mental tone for the rest of the day).

--Hydrate. You've been sleeping all night. Drink lots of water to get yourself fired up.

--Review your Big 5. This takes just a few minutes, but list your five main goals for the year on a mirror with a dry erase marker. Look at it every morning to renew your focus.

--Do your affirmations. Perhaps in the shower, recite words like "excellence" and "focus" and "mastery". Also repeat one line statements to prepare yourself for a world-class day ahead.

--Get into nature. As much as possible, get out into nature every morning. The fresh air as well as the environment has a superb effect on your creativity, productivity and sense of happiness.

--No news. Start your day in what I call "a tight bubble of total focus". Avoid the news, complainers and toxic situations. The first 3 hours of your day have the least distractions...and are GOLDEN. You know that the way you begin your day drives how you live it. So start it strong."

How do you get yourself off to a great start in the morning?  
How do you start your week on the right note?


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Desk Inspiration

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sleep On It.

Going to do some editing in the room soon, and a new comforter may be on the way.  I tend to stick to the same color palette, but I may add a little color for the fall/winter.  Right now it's light green walls, all white furniture and linens, and gray accents.  I'm also in need of a new storage ottoman as my current one is on its last limb.  Pretty soon I will fall right through.  Contenders:








And this dream piece.  This color is gorgeous, but it wouldn't work with my walls and furniture.  Another time...


Which is your favorite?  Suggestions for other places to look are welcome, especially for stylish storage ottomans!
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