Hi friends. How are you all holding up? Sorry I haven't blogged since the election post. Thank you everyone for your words of support and also your opinions and ideas. Love you guys!
I've been trying to think about what matters, what to chat about. The world around us is changing and I have some more ideas on how we can make a difference and not let this become the new normal. I'll include ways we can at the bottom of each post for a while. Please, please add any other good thoughts to share with us all who are feeling the same. I want this to be a safe forum where we can come together to share ideas to be the change.
Today let's take solace in Thanksgiving and upcoming holidays. That brightens my world a little and the thought of all the small joys that come with this time of year is something to cheer us in these unsettling times.
Some small bouquets I was working on for my home, below. Thanksgiving is a good time to shine everything up and make it festive and there's nothing like houseguests to motivate.
I dashed into Crate and Barrel this week as the boys/guest bath has been looking a little faded. I bought a new shower curtain, towels and bath mat. Just small things like that make such a huge difference. I don't know why I don't invest in home things more often. It's so easy for us all to say yes to a new pair of jeans or a top, but how rare it is we spend on the things we use and see everyday? Crazy as they are so worth the money if you think of how many days, hours, years our home things serve us!
I also picked up these wood grain placemats. Something about them felt very me and so I cleaned them out of this pattern and the matching chocolate napkins. We had friends from my husband's childhood over for a fun dinner the other night and I paired them with white plates and black napkins and flatware. They are still online here and also the brindle brown napkins which are reduced if you buy a set of 8, which I did.
At first I was going to get some other placemats and napkins from the clearance. I didn't love them as much, but was thinking I could make them work. I have this thing in my head I should always be looking for a bargain. Does anyone else have that issue? Well, actually adding it up, it was about a twenty dollar savings to get the sale set instead of the ones I was first attracted to and really loved. In the long run, that would be not a savings at all since I probably wouldn't keep them around for long. The old me would do that before getting the full-price set. I am trying hard to retrain myself to stop buying what I call sale stand-ins instead of what I actually want.
The result is a house full of items bought at a bargain, but many you just feel lukewarm about. If I think logically I can better save by buying what I really love- usually a more quality item, not because it's on sale, but because I need and adore it. If I shop like that I will have a home of things I cherish, and hopefully need less. It's a quality over quantity mindset which is smart.
Shopping as a pastime can fill your home with stuff, but do you really need it or love it? As much as I like Home Goods and places like that I think in the end I don't always spend my money so wisely there. When I see what I'm willing to part with when I'm purging, it's almost always items from such shopping trips. However, when I wait then splurge a little and buy something I really covet, I tend to keep it and love it year after year.
Anyway, this isn't rocket science, but something I've really been reflecting on more lately. This month I've tried hard to do this. The result has been the new placemats and napkins, the redone kid's/guest bathroom items, a pair of Paige jeans, and a new set of winter pjs from Anthropologie which I usually wouldn't get for myself. In all, this cost surprisingly a lot less than the 2-3 mindless shopping trips I would make each month to one of these discount places.
By the way, the pjs bottoms are super soft, have a darling deer motif and a great idea for holidays gifts if you are thinking of them already.
I also would like to have more time to watch some of these great series everyone is loving. Are you watching The Crown? I am absolutely transfixed by this series. It's been a wonderful escape from the real world. Love John Lithgow's Churchill! The characters of King George and Queen Mary are so good, as is Queen Elizabeth. The costumes and the sets are gorgeous. Each episode is an in depth exploration of an event or a character.
That Duke of Windsor, is quite the conundrum. I'm not sure if I love or hate the guy. What a character! I am trying my best to watch just one episode a night. I go to bed and think about it all and not the current state of things in the country. It's been good for me. I highly recommend it. My guys are history buffs and loving it too. An interesting piece here about the facts and the few fictions of this series.
Deb's version of making it...
The recipe is simply pumpkin puree (I used the Whole Foods one with only pure pumpkin), and flour, mixed by hand, turned out and cut into thin strips. You can let them dry a bit and pop them in a pot of boiling, well salted water until they float. There is an accompanying recipe for sage browned butter which is exactly what you want on this plus a little fresh grated Parmeggiano-Reggiano. It's the perfect fall dinner and total comfort food.
My lower-tech version, without rolling cutter or drying rack.... Still came out wonderful.
So how are you celebrating Thanksgiving? Cooking the whole thing with a giant group, ordering out or going to a restaurant, or just taking a turkey sandwich to the beach? It's all good as long as you do Thanksgiving your own way. I think it's more about being with those that matter to you.
I love being home during this week when many families are gone and it's quiet in our town. We can take a few days to catch our breaths a bit before Christmas is upon us. The being together without daily madness of life is the best part. I love the unplanned and spontaneous time.
Hoping you all have a lovely Thanksgiving week. This blog would mean nothing without the heartfelt comments and notes and visits here from all of you and I am truly thankful!
Regarding changing our country one person at a time, we can start by informing ourselves. One thing I said to my husband the morning after the election, was that I blame the results on Facebook! While that's oversimplifying it, it's one part of why Trump won. The amount of false news stories shared millions of times on Facebook was staggering and sad. Steve Bannon, the new right-hand man and advising the president-elect admitted he plotted to take down Hillary in any means he could two years prior using false news stories and propaganda. This story was on Fresh Air last week and made me sick.
The fact is a whole lot of us are getting our news through Facebook and it's being skewed for each of us to fit what we click on. If we read one article, then we get shown 10 more similar to it. It really prevents us from seeing other points of view, and other sides. We don't even know this is happening, we just assume we are getting all the news, when it's really a very narrowed feed.
One thing we can do is get off the internet or get news from many sources. We have always subscribed to a daily paper. The daily newspapers of this nation have long had reputations for journalism standards and have low amounts of propaganda. Even if you spend ten minutes a day reading it, even if it is at night for ten minutes, you get a more diverse perspective on what's happening in the world. The longer and more detailed articles are better than the junk food news that is often out there. Even better, there won't be any click bait crud on the sidebar. We are also all NPR and PBS junkies around here for the great stories more than anything, but it's also very fair and balanced reporting, not sensationalized at all. We all could use more of that.