People talk about their "slow seasons." Can someone please tell me when slow season is? Because if I knew I'd be jumping on that train — like today! Slow season...pffff...I think it must be a fictional thing. Or maybe I picked the wrong life. Or maybe slow season just isn't in my personality type. All I know is there is no such thing as slow season — ever. I look back about five years ago and I can see a glimpse of slow, but it is far in the distance, I can barely get a glimpse or remembrance of it.
People talk about "in the new year, when things slow down..." What?! Please sign me up for that life track. Really, slow? You're going to tell me that is still a thing?
As I type this blog post, I look around me...there is a pen, pliers, hammer, bills, a bag of chips, Christmas gift labels and a mug of lukewarm coffee. My life is anything but slow.
Rushing from crazy 2014 strategic planning at work to Thanksgiving travels to Christmas and straight into a brand new shiny year. Whew! Do you feel any slow in that?
My concern without slow season is that I may be missing the true meaning of the holiday season. Thankfulness at Thanksgiving. A Savior being born at Christmas. Time with loved ones. The splendor of it all.
Through this non-slow season I am trying to find a little bit of slow. In my current life, I need to create my own slow. Maybe it is only 30 minutes so sit down a type out a blog post or meet a friend for coffee or to sit in silence and trying revel in the meaning of the holiday season. But, I encourage you to step back for a moment and realize your current busyness and remember, holidays are about experiences and people. It is tuning in to the current moment. Don't focus on the mess and tasks all around you. Remember the reason for the season.
May God bless you during this holiday season and may we keep Him in our hearts all year long.
I cannot believe how soon until Christmas will be here! The stores are playing holiday tunes. Christmas lights are now on trees outside. People are starting to post pictures of their home decorations. And shopping season is in full force. Yesterday I received an email from Pinterest looking for the best holiday gift idea boards, and of course I have to participate in this because:
1. I love Christmas!
2. I have some great gift ideas for this year!
So here are my gift list for the home chef:
1. Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
2. The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home: Small Plates, Big Flavors, Potent Cocktails
3. Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle's Plum Bistro
4. Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cooking
5. Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts
6. Kitchen iPad Holder: It keeps your iPad off the counter and away from spills!
9. Wine Aerator
10. Thankful Sign
11. Recipe Box
16. Mandoline Slicer
18. Whirley Pop
19. Live Simply Mug
And for the big ticket item:
What are you holiday gift ideas this year?
A little known fact about me is that Thai curry ranks on my top favorite foods list. Over the years I have made so many curries at home, unfortunately none rocked my socks off like they do at my local Thai dining establishments. Finally, I have created a competitor: butternut squash red curry with chickpeas and baby bellas!
3 small butternut squash
1 package baby bella mushrooms, quartered or halved, depending on the size of the mushrooms
vegetable or olive oil
2/3 c. Thai red curry paste
3 - 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 - 15 oz. cans coconut milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
2 T. sugar in the raw (you could use brown sugar here too)
1. Peel the squash, cut it lengthwise in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes.
2. Heat a large heavy pot. Add the oil, then the curry paste. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the squash and stir to coat with curry paste. Stir in the chickpeas and season with salt. Add the coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the squash begins to soften.
3. Stir in the sugar in the raw, cilantro and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. The squash should be tender but not falling apart. Season to taste with salt.
4. Serve over a bed of organic brown rice and enjoy!
This recipe is so easy yet has unbelievable flavor. It packs a little bit of heat with a sweet creaminess. You won't regret trying this recipe out and you'll definitely have enough for leftovers!
Each year when my birthday rolls around, I cannot believe another year has passed. The time between 27 and 28, a lot has happened:
I traveled to 6 different countries and a few places around the US.
Moved out of Husband's and my first apartment where we started out marriage.
Purchased our first home. Yay for first-time mortgage holders.
Grew our little family with a sweet little pup, Braxton.
Received a promotion at work.
And so much more in between!
In my 28th year, I am going to release my restless soul, and it is going to be incredible. I am going to expand my boundaries. I am going to create and design when my heart speaks. I am going to write when the words are in my head. I am going to experiment in the kitchen to open new worlds of flavor. I am going to launch. I am not going to hold back. I am just a two mere years away from thirty and there is no sense in holding back the true me. Life is short and goes so quickly. I am going to allow my soul to be free - in whatever manner it may need. There is no use in waiting...Here I am world.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with the passing years. - Audrey Hepburn
So here's to a passionate 28th year. Cheers!
I love halloween. Well, let me clarify. I don't like the scary demon-like halloween, I like the fun side of halloween.
I like the kids in costumes. Especially the creative costumes and the homemade costumes — those are the best.
I like handing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters.
I like the mums, scarecrows and the glowing jack-o-lanterns.
I like the roasted pumpkin seeds that are so hot you burn your tongue right out of the oven. Well not the burn your tongue part...but you get it.
I like the smell of pumpkin pie candles burning.
I like the piping hot cider.
I like the crisp cool air and the sound of the excited children walking up and down the street.
I like watching an old-fashioned, black and white scary movie after all the trick-or-treating is over.
And this year, well I like my little dog in a costume. I know, I know! I always said I would never dress my dog up, but here it is...my dog...dressed up...as a halloween bat:
I'm so excited for tomorrow! Happy Halloween all.