Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Table: Quotes of Gratitude

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,
"thank you," 
that would suffice.  
~Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving.  A day to reflect on all the blessings we have in our lives and be grateful to God who makes it all possible.  It really is such a beautiful holiday - one I wish I lived more consciously every day.

Our Thanksgiving table has always been a fun project that my whole family creates together.  Each year we try to top the year before, or at least come up with something completely different.  But candles and colors aside, it's important to remember why we all come together on Thanksgiving.  Last year we tied quotes of gratitude and thankfulness onto sprigs of rosemary and stems of pears and set one on each plate.  Every quote was different - some funny, some serious, some famous, some unknown.   Each person read their quote out loud during dinner.  It was a lovely way to celebrate the season and be ever mindful of the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Gratitude Quotes
Google "thankfulness quotes", "thanksgiving quotes", 
"Gratitude quotes" or any combination of the above and pick out your favorites. 
Hand write or print out the quotes (in small text) on paper.
Roll up quote in a scroll-like fashion.
Tie scroll onto a sprig of rosemary or a stem of a piece of fruit with colorful ribbon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Turkey" Veggie Tray

Are you still looking for something you can make to contribute to all the Thanksgiving events this week? Try this Turkey Veggie Tray.  It is fun and festive - a great project to enlist some little ones to help assemble as well!

Lay out butter leaf lettuce on the bottom of a large plate.  Then add your veggies: A row of carrots, broccoli florets, thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers, and zucchini.  Save the top of the red bell pepper to make the turkey's face, and slice up some zucchini to make the legs.  Add 2 little eyes (from some cauliflower) and you're done!  Pair with homemade hummus or your favorite dips.

And be sure to let people know it's ok to "ruin" the turkey - it's almost too pretty to eat!

Kara, Kate, and Kacey

Friday, November 16, 2012

Buoyant, like a magnet

I trudge through 
the water, mud 
sucking up toward 
My knees.  Pulling me 
down unless I keep moving 
forward.  It's slow, treacherous 
work.  the boat is heavy weighing 
on my arms - shoulders, elbows 
ache with effort.

I barely look back.  Eyes always open 
and ahead. One. foot. after. the. other.

But then...

As I let go
the boat washes 
away - sucked
behind me and out 
of sight like
a vacuum sucks 

Black hole.

I am left standing, hands open
                                                      light and free - my face lifts up to the sun....buoyant, like a magnet.

and the sun
      golden on
                        the horizon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DIY Shimmery Fall Wreath

What is your go-to front door decor for the Fall season?  Mine is this DIY Shimmery Fall Wreath I made a couple of years ago.  This will be the 3rd year I've decorated with this wreath, and she's still holding up.  It's an easy and fun project - now is just the time to make one for your front door!

DIY Shimmery Fall Wreath
1 grapevine wreath
fake fall foliage - berries, leaves, twigs, pumpkins
hot glue and gun
spray paint in a variety of fall colors - golds, browns, shimmery coppers
Optional: wood letter and twine

1.)  Using scissors, cut off all the leaves and berries from the sticks and garlands they came on.
2.)  Divide up the foliage and spray each group a different fall color.  Flip over when dry and spray the other side.  Spray some leaves with full coverage and others with a light misting to let the original coppers and reds show through.
3.)  Begin tucking berries and leaves randomly into the grapevine wreath. Some leaves will stay without using hot glue, others you might want to secure with a dot of glue.
4.)  Optional final touch:  Spray paint a wooden (or cardboard, or chipboard) letter a deep chocolate brown.  Tie onto wreath with rustic twine for a more personal expression.

Below: wreath without letter

I personally like the wreath with the letter.  It fills up some empty space and makes it feel more personal and homey - just what Fall should feel like!

What do you have adorning your front door this year?


Linked to: Top This Top That

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Monday, November 5, 2012

Salmon with Tomato and White Bean Ragu

Every magazine, tv show, and healthy living website tells us how great salmon is for you.  I'm a big fan, and thankfully so is Billy.  Nothing like cooking up a big fillet o' fish in a household that doesn't support...well, mostly the smell!  Oh just light a sweet candle and open a window, haters :>)

Normally I make a super easy salmon dish - I sprinkle Molly McButter and Lemon Pepper over a freshly rinsed fillet of wild caught Alaskan salmon and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.   However, in an effort to branch out and try new things, I decided to make a new salmon recipe - verdict? Success!

Salmon with Tomato and White Bean Ragu
1 lb wild caught Alaskan Salmon
(I get about 1/2 lb salmon per person..we have some leftover then)
Molly McButter
Lemon Pepper
1 large zucchini
1 large carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 shallot
1 15.5 oz can white beans - drained and rinsed
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
Basil sliced in ribbons
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

1.)  Rinse and dry salmon.  Sprinkle generously with Molly McButter and Lemon Pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
2.)  Heat oil at med-hi in a skillet.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
3.)  Add the carrots, zucchini, and garlic and saute for about 7 minutes.
4.) Pour in tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth and stir together.  Reduce heat to med-low and cook covered until sauce thickens a little - about 15 minutes.
5.) Add basil (leaving a little left over for garnish) and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover to keep warm until salmon is done.
6.) Peel skin off salmon.  Serve ragu in a shallow bowl with the salmon on top. Garnish with more basil.

This was so hearty and delicious.  A perfect meal for a cool evening.  Serve with thick, crusty Italian bread...yum!


**The next day for lunch I warmed up the left over tomato and white bean ragu which had thickened even more overnight - it made a great soup!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Inspiration


Oh Happy Day for the weekend again!  I'm looking forward to a fun day of tailgating at the USC vs. Oregon game tomorrow and a fairly lazy Sunday.  Maybe we'll get around to a few more house projects - here's to hoping!  Check out these interesting articles I stumbled upon this week to get you through your Friday:

For all of us intent on taking the best pictures we can, check out Centsational Girl's tips on photo styling.

Funny and lighthearted advice from Apartment Therapy on how to throw an Election Night Party.

Lines you can actually use at your next Networking Event to aid in the awkwardness from The Daily Muse.

And finally a photo shoot that we designed, styled, and executed while I was living in Nashville was published on the esteemed Wedding Chicks website! Check it out here!

I hope your weekend is relaxing, inspiring, and replenishing :>)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Holiday Spotlight: Aunt Joy Stockings

It's the first day of November, and that means.....CHRISTMAS is COMING!!

Break out the carols, make sure the decs are in order! And if you don't have your handmade Aunt Joy Stockings, well be sure to order ASAP.  You want them in time for Santa to fill right?

I absolutely adore our Aunt Joy's Stockings.  You can pick your colors and characters - a different one for everyone!  They also come personalized...just look at some of these gorgeous details:

And here is a blurry, awful iphone pic of ours from a few years ago - you can't deny they are so precious!  Clearly I need new photos :>)