Gingerbread House Against A Background Of Christmas Tree Lights, courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Looking at the second half of November always makes me excited for the upcoming holiday season. In our family we celebrate Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas but no matter what celebrations you may have in store, food is usually the common denominator we all share.
I really enjoy food deconstruction–taking well-known food concepts and constructs and presenting them in new, delightful and, of course, delicious ways–especially when you want to surprise your guests. I’m not a chef but I love to entertain and I love to cook and when there is a trend I like to mull it over and see if it’s right for me (I do the same thing with fashion–not every fad works for my shape and frame). Usually that means starting slowly, taking a toe-in-the-water approach. Here are the ways I tried to tackle the deconstructed food trend this year that will likely end up on my table this holiday season.
I’m going to a few summer parties and I can’t wait. It’s alway such a blast to party in the warm weather and enjoy some fun in the sun, especially since now my kids don’t need constant supervision. I always like to bring something for my hosts that contribute to the meal, but what about hosts that tell you: “just bring yourselves.” That never seems right, right? Right.
IMHO it’s always important to express thanks with gratitude for an invitation with a gesture. I also want to make sure that what I share with my recipients aren’t run-of-the-mill. These ideas are gift pairings that are fine alone, but are truly better together
I watch the Pre-shows, the red carpets, the awards shows themselves, I cry, laugh, eye-roll and yell at the TV (in the same way men do during football season) at the acceptance speeches and winner disclosures and I absolutely watch the fashion wrap-ups. Now it’s not every esoteric one. I limit it to the Golden Globes, The SAG Awards, The Grammys, The Emmys, The Oscars and, of course, The Tonys. The Grande Dame of all of these–I actually have two but Grande Dames but not everyone agrees with me, major props if you can guess my #2–is The Oscars.
I’ve been contemplating transformations a lot lately. There are ones that take time, courage, wisdom and energy to step into–and sometimes we do a dance stepping out of them until we can call them our own. Then there are the ones that are sudden, perhaps because circumstance foists them upon us or we force immediate change. Regardless, transformation can be scary, daunting, invigorating and inspiring…not only us, but those around us. (more…)
Becoming a parent made me appreciate two distinct contributors to a child’s life like never before: the mother and the teacher. As a younger-self, I had teachers who made me look at life differently and encouraged me to pursue passions–I also had ones who taught me how to overcome criticism, but that’s another post. When you’re a parent though and your child has a teacher who has directly impacted how they related to the world in a positive way you want to dedicate a shrine to them and have a parade in their honor.
I’ve been abundantly blessed in that department. My children have the incredible fortune of having had unbelievable educators who loved and supported them, and some of them are still in their lives today. Additionally, because my brother-in-law (also my daughters’ godfather) is a teacher, these heroes are near and dear to our family.
UPDATED 12:30PM 11/24. The turkey is eaten and the guests have gone home, now it’s time to focus on the time honored tradition of trying to help retailers meet their fourth quarter numbers. To be honest, I prefer to shop in the solace of my living room…on my laptop or iPad, but every once in a while I will venture into mallville on Black Friday and go for broke (pardon the pun). Below are some online sales to check out this Black Friday weekend–and I’m continuing to update them, so check back if you like and feel free to post your own in the Comments section below.
Image courtesy of Stewart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you’re anything like me, you believe the best gifts come in small packages. That’s why I LOVE buying stocking stuffers. When I was a youngster, every year I knew that there would be one very special gift in my stocking among the little fun things that were also there and it was always so much fun anticipating where it would be–under the chocolate Santa…after the silly putty…before the socks? Below are some fun and unique stocking stuffer ideas (some links are also available to see some of my picks for each) meant to inspire and delight your recipients…and feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.
To gear up for Thanksgiving, and prepare for Chanukah and Christmas, I’ve put together a list of food and decor deals perfect for a host/hostesses, family gatherings or even a party you’re hosting (leave the centerpiece to someone else, and have it shipped too).
So enjoy these offers, feel free to post any others you know about in the comments, and look for updates and new posts as the season continues.
Summers and getaways go hand and hand, don’t they? And what better way to enjoy summer weekends than with friends and family…even better, when it’s not at your house. When you’re lucky enough to get an invite for an overnight or a weekend (score!) it’s important to be gracious and show your host the same hospitality they have extended to you, especially when it includes your brood.