Where I’d Really Love to Be – Sunday

Where I’d really love to be right in this moment is sharing the most wonderful pot of coffee or bold, red bottle of wine with some great friends in a cozy tavern on the corner of somewhere nostalgic, weathered, historic and mysterious.

The magic of the season is upon us and boy it is bright. As we celebrate our savior’s birth, we can look around us and give thanks and celebrate many other blessings in life as well. Today I’m blessed that I could share in the joy of my little cousins Christmas program at a church where I used to attend Sunday School. Funny how the sanctuary seemed to have gotten smaller since I was last there around the seventh grade. It was a cozy, dim lit space; a wonderful ambience for remembering the reason for the season. Even better, I got to share some holiday time with extended family who we’ve not celebrated holidays with in some time. I wrapped presents and added to the pile underneath our family’s Christmas tree. It’s a truly magical time for many reasons and I plan to continue to take it in. Every last glowing light.

So that leaves me wanting to take in every last drop of magic with a hot cup of coffee or great glass of wine in a place of wonderment to really soak in the day.

Tell me where you’d really love to be to reflect on the magical reasons of the season.

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Fun with Lights

Christmas lights really do give everything a magical glow, as is the case with the trees in the Blue Earth Plaza that are desperately hanging on to the last of the fall foliage for dear life. At nighttime during the holiday season, they take on new life and remind us of the wonder Christmas time brings.

Plaza Tree Lights

Lessons Learned

The day after Thanksgiving, I learned a lesson or two.

First, that I did not give thanks for the two family dogs and what they truly mean to us. Give thanks for all living things in your life.

Second, always introduce yourself to your neighbors and have a healthy relationship. You never know when you’re going to have to ask them to keep an eye out for your dog, because she is missing. (and you don’t want to have to suspect that it was YOUR NEIGHBOR who perhaps may have taken your dog because you don’t get along.)

Thankfully, our lost dog was found this evening after she went missing this morning. I cannot even begin to describe how elated we were to learn that someone had found her. Simply exhausted from the emotional stress today, but so happy that we can sleep soundly tonight knowing that she is home.

Cheers and Give Thanks!

Top 10 Must-Haves for Thanksgiving

We’re coming up on one of the best days of the year and I cannot wait! Yes of course there’s the food. I mean I’ve been watching The Chew over my lunch hour since the first day of November during their Thanksgiving specials wondering how I will ever choose which dish to try to change it up this year!

However there is more to Thanksgiving than the food (gasp!) and not to mention actually giving thanks (who knew?!), but all of the other moments that make the holiday  a holiday. Alas, here are my Top 10 must-haves for a truly authentic Thanksgiving holiday:

1. Waking up with the sensation that it is yes, a holiday. Even though it’s not quite the same sensation as when I was a child, but it’s still fun to know another Thanksgiving has come!

2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. No I don’t need to see a specific larger-than-life floating cartoon character making its’ way between the New York skyscrapers or the latest pop sensation performing at an exotic location, but by gosh the parade better be on! May it be the wonderful background noise while I’m helping in the kitchen with food prep or finishing my morning coffee, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade must be broadcast through the family room television.

3. Food Prep. I follow suit on this process yet. It is my mother’s kitchen, after all. In a smaller kitchen, the planning of the meal prep for the day is pretty strategic. Start on the things that can be started, need to rest, rise or marinate. Leave the things that can be quickly prepared until the very end. Oven space and timing will also be taken into consideration. I just try to follow instructions here.

4. Family Time. This is one of the parts I love most. Depending on what is happening outside it may be shifted to a different part of the day. However, I enjoy the time in the morning before the meal the most with my family. That is when everything is coming together, some of us are in the kitchen and some in the common room. Luckily it’s an open floor plan so we can all stay fairly engaged.

5. Dishes you’ve waited one year to have. Let’s face it. Their are dishes that are only consumed once a year and most of the time they are at Thanksgiving. I mean, how many times a year do you consume stuffing, cranberry sauce and candied sweet potatoes – not to mention turkey. Besides a regular deli turkey sandwich, how often do you really eat fresh roasted, fried or baked turkey throughout the year?

6. The Meal. Dun-dun-dun….
A meal filled with decisions. What to pick first? How much do I want? Is there even room on my plate for all of this?! Wait… there’s dessert? And we have FIVE pies??

7. Oh yes. The pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Peach and Pecan! And oh, Aunt Sue brought a lemon meringue. Luckily for me this year the apple harvest was bountiful so my family has had our fair of apple desserts this fall. This will make it easier to ditch the apple for dessert and maybe go full on for the pumpkin without hesitation.

8. Having the “at least moderately stuffed feeling.” Come on. There are multiple sides and main courses, appetizers and desserts. Even if you just pick one of each, you will be at least mildly full by the end of the day. “Safely stuffed.”

9. Entertainment.
Movies, games, whatever it may be. Fill your in between snacking time with some entertainment (or exercise) if you find that entertaining.

10. Love.
Fill your day with love. Love for family, love for friends, love for food or love for the celebration of why we observe Thanksgiving. How you show your love is up to you!

What are your Thanksgiving must-haves? Is it traveling to see family or out of the country on vacation? Is it setting up the Christmas tree? Or does your family have a crazy unique Thanksgiving day tradition? Tell me about it!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Thank You, Reality Television

Grateful and Guilty –

This might be one of the craziest thank you notes I’ve ever written, but I want to give a shout-out to The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the Kardashians.

Thank you for feeding my addiction to reality television, great bags, shoes and crazy fancy cars that I can probably only ever imagine owning. Also thank you for cluing me in to the luxuries of your world. (who knew of all the craziness people went through for beauty and health trends??) While I have no intention of moving to New Jersey, I would love to live among the palm trees where it’s always a sunny 75 degrees.

Thank you for entertaining the world with your craziness. That is all.

Grateful and Guilty

Changing it up for the season

I finally took the plunge a week or so ago and made a hair appointment I had been putting off for a while. I took in about five photos I found on pinterest for ideas on hair color (convinced the hair stylist would think I’m crazy) and let her do the work! Here are the results:

Soft ombré

Soft ombré

I’ve been wanting to do ombré for some time, but have not been brave enough to do it. She did the colors just settle enough to notice without too much contrast.

The Phoenix

Prompt: “Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

Many times I’ve kept faith in the advice that “good things will come to those who wait,” but as time goes on, I’ve realized there’s only so long a person can wait for the things they want. If there has been clues along the journey that signal this thing in life is not for you, then it’s possible that you need to quit waiting, take action or leave it behind for another journey. There is a certain level of patience needed for any process in life – relationships, jobs, etc.

So work while you wait, work for what you want. Simply waiting won’t get you there. In the wise words of Fall Out Boy, “You know time crawls on while you’re waiting for the song to start, so dance alone to the beat of your heart” – The Phoenix

However, if you’re on the wait list at a restaurant, I suggest no more than 30-45 minutes max unless you have a seat at the bar. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Waiting Room