Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving and Things I'm Trying to Do

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.

This year we are lucky to have Max's sister and husband who are traveling from Seattle to be with us.  My oldest is home from school and I am so looking forward to some quality time with everyone including a beach day, some long walks, board games, and movies.

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.

I'm also trying to read more books, and I'm trying to take a stab at one new recipe a week and to get out of my comfort zone.

In the cooking department, a new recipe I tried last week that met house approval was pumpkin pasta. One of my favorite local Instagramers, Debbscorner, who posts the most fabulous food, shared a this recipe for these from another lovely blog,  Wholefully. It's delicious, easy and it's even vegan.

Deb's version of making it...

A little glimpse of Deb's beautiful Instagram account! You'll want to follow her.

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.

 Here's the noodles before cooking. I forgot about the after photo which I'm mad about since the crispy sage makes it a very pretty dish.

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.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Kim!

    I enjoyed reading your life update! I so agree with you about a "bargain" not really being a bargain when you don't truly love the item. I'm trying really hard not to be influenced by a "good deal" but to only buy what I love (and a lot less). Your new place mats are beautiful; I'm glad you got what you really wanted! And your little flower bouquets are just gorgeous; what a beautiful table you'll have!

    I agree with the importance of making sure we get balanced news. I also see Facebook as a huge problem; it really creates a giant bubble for everyone. It feeds people what they already believe over and over (and therefore convinces them that's the truth), and lots of it is very flawed. I'm struggling with trying to figure out how to get people to listen to "the other side." Right now, I see lots and lots of people posting article after article on Facebook (and lots of them are good and I agree with), but I know that those who are "on the other side" won't listen and disregard them right away. Everyone is so focused on getting out "their side" right now that there is next to no true listening in my opinion. It's like people speaking different languages and repeating what they are saying over and over again and louder and louder. Like those speaking different languages, I think they will sadly never understand each other... I listened to an interview on NPR the other day where the interviewee said that she believed most people hold a wide variety of beliefs, and those in power often manage to appeal to one of them and therefore get the vote. But it is possible to appeal to their other believes. I'm just not sure how to do that... I think one-on-one conversations are a start...

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    1. Andrea, Thanks so much! Was fun getting my house a little fixed up! I couldn't agree more about the news bubble. We don't even realize we are in it. Listening is everything and probably one of the biggest issues right now. That's why I'm trying to hear other news and funny how people hold many opinions like you heard. I do believe that! Hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving with your family!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving...Your lovely post was just a joy to read...I had to smile at "sale-standends"
    Too much of what I buy is from sale mentality...Maybe I can change that....

    I love The Crown and enjoyed reading the People article on what is fact and what is fiction of this series...Claire Foy is wonderful and quite convincing...I have rationed out these episodes so that they will last...
    And for junk food consumption, I watch the older Gilmore Girls in preparation for the new series...

    I have had to limit my news consumption...Maybe I can get back with it but right now, I find it upsets me too much...

    Thanks again for a lovely experience...I look forward to hearing from you and I love having your blog to visit...a safe haven in the storm...

    The old adage...this too shall pass away...


    1. Dianne, Thanks so much! Your note made my day. Glad to know I'm not the only person feeling the same about sales things. Is this the American way? I think we were raised to be frugal always and what we think is frugal, sometimes is not. Isn't the Crown great? I will have to get into Gilmore Girls. I never watched and need to. Another good escape, away from the news a bit. Hoping you have a lovely Thanksgiving! Kim

  3. Hi Kim, I hope you have had a lovely Thanksgiving Day, enjoy the rest of the weekend with your family.

    I am so sickened by the results of the election, and I'm not even American! Most worrying for us, here in Canada I am reading about notices in public for white supremacist groups, swastikas on Jewish buildings, hateful speech towards immigrants, or people who look like they might be immigrants, etc. (Ha! we're pretty much ALL immigrants here!) The Trump win seems to have given some people 'permission' to spread the hate. What upsets me too is the idea that women's health may be compromised by the new administration's actions - I wish that all the women in America would just go on strike for one day to protest this!

    Anyway, I won't end on that note. Let me just say that I agree with deeds - your blog is a safe haven, so here's hoping that writing it also gives you some pleasure and some respite from the present reality.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving!
    This election may have devastated, angered or frightened people, but life gets real, real fast when a friend has a massive heart attack and it makes you realize what really matters.
    I am always happier when I buy quality things I really love.
    I won't discuss sex, religion or politics on my blog. It's not a forum for those conversations and hopefully, a calm respite.
    Let's plan a lunch soon!!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Dear! Loved having coffee with you the other day! Miss you! Yes, to buying what we really want, and the older I get, the more I appreciate quality. You know I skipped right over the cooking section of this post. Lol. Shannon & I ate Chinese take-out and binge watched Westworld for our T day celebration. Are you watching that? I'm kinda obsessed right now ... a fun escape!
    Love ya!
    Dawn Lucy

  6. YES, I too use to be a BARGIN SHOPPER!
    STILL AM To a degree...........
    However, I will spend MORE on something I JUST LOVE!I think that comes with AGE!
    Recently, I have decided there is just TOO MUCH STUFF OUT THERE.............I do not get the THRILL I Once did shopping at TJ MAXX or HOMEGOODS.
    ALSO, I am OUT of ROOM for most have some wall space left for some GOOD PORTRAITS.That will be a challenge to find at a BARGIN!
    DID YOU WATCH THE CROWN....................?
    I recommend!!!!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving Kim! You hit the nail on the head with the "bargains". It is always tempting to purchase an item that we don't really need because it is a great deal. I am trying very hard these days to think about an item when I pick it I really like this?, do I really need it?, am I going to like it in a year? Most of the time I am happy to say that I don't purchase the item. I have a very small place and we don't have any room or storage and we did a bit of purging ourselves this last week. We donated around six hefty bags of stuff to charity and six bags of books to the library. I have to say, it feels great! We are going to drag out our Christmas stuff this week, and while have gone through and let a few things go in the last few years, it is time to do a serious purge of that as well. My problem is that I become attached to sentimental items. Love your new table items! Kelley