some food for thought this thanksgiving

I have blogged through the holidays for the last five years and I just want to step away from the computer and enjoy some time with my family.  I suggest maybe you try it too.

But before I go, here are a few things of interest.

I am a Goodwill Industries shopper.  I always thought shopping the Goodwill was a responsible thing to do.  That is until I saw this report on Nightly News.

Before you buy your free range turkey, read this.

And finally if the stress is getting to you...this.

Have a simple and beautiful holiday!

*edited note.  it was brought to my attention that the uggs story was not true so i deleted it.
thanks little edie for bringing it to my attention!


my holiday survival guide

Well, well, it's that time of year again.  I started thinking about making myself a survival guide a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it with you here.  Now if you have a family where everyone loves pitching in on the work and getting together for the holidays (jealous) then you probably won't understand my guide.  But if you don't, maybe this can help.

1.  Consider the fact that you don't even have to do the holidays.  Who says they are right for you and your family?  There is no law dictating this!  Do what works for you.

2.  Do not go into debt for the holidays.  It is not worth it.  Stand your ground.  If you cannot afford to buy presents for 8 grandchildren, DON'T.  The commercialism for this time of year has gotten ridiculous.  Buying presents that you cannot afford is no way to show someone how much you love them.  The media is wrong.  Set a budget and stick to it.  Come January you will be so freaking happy you did.

2.  But if you are "doing" the holidays then now is the time to start cleaning your house.  Do all the deep stuff now.  Move the furniture and vacuum, dust the baseboards, clean the chandeliers or light fixtures, get the tile in the bathrooms too, wash the windows.  This way the day before Thanksgiving all you have to do is a light cleaning.

3.  Organize the pantry and refrigerator.  Prepare it for the onslaught of tons of food.  It's so nice to take everything out, clean the shelves with hot soapy water and discard anything past its due.  Also a good time to make note of what you need and what needs replaced, ingredient-wise.  When all that food gets bought it's nice to put it away on clean, uncrowded shelves.  Plus everyone usually gathers in the kitchen and they'll oooh and ahhh over your sparkling work.

4.  Decide what you are going to wear.  I always forget about this and wind up too exhausted to care.  Then everyone comes over all dressed up and there I am looking pretty bad.  This year I will decide this weekend and have that outfit ready.

5.  Plan your menu and shopping list now.  Start picking up those odds and ends so you do not have to go near a grocery store within 2 days of the holiday.

6.  I like to eat outside every year.  I think it lightens the mood and because our house is so small, it gives people room to breathe.  We have a lot of squirrels and rabbits running around so they provide the entertainment.  Plus everything tastes better when eaten outdoors.

7.  Speaking of eating...if you are vegan, don't make a big deal out that fact.  Trust me no one cares.  And if there is someone there that is genuinely interested in your diet or becoming vegan, they'll talk to you aside.  Don't let this occasion turn into a heated debate, it's hard I know, but don't.

8.  Remember that there is a possibility that some of your guests find these holidays as emotionally charged as you do.  Set aside resentments and try on an attitude of gratitude.  If things get too emotional, step outside.  Take the dog or a kid for a walk, get some fresh air.  No one will miss you and you'll come back refreshed.

9.  It is possible to look like you are intently listening to someone while silently repeating the serenity prayer to yourself. :)

10.  Focus on the good.  There is always good in every situation.  You may have to look hard but you will find it.

I'd love for you to leave your best survival tips in the comments...please!


what's happening here...neutrals

I have a tendancy to dress like my interiors, I always have.  I guess I'm just drawn to a certain look and I have friends that are too.  I love her style and her's too.  Their colorful lives are so beautiful. But I get weak at the sight of vanilla.  I know I've flirted with color in the past but my heart belongs to beige.  I realize just how boring that sounds but really it's not that bad!

Seagrass rug right here from

Everlane sweater right here
Love it by the way.

Neutrals allow quick change ups.  I must like that because I do it a lot.  All summer the house was in blue and white and now I've brought back the browns.  For Christmas I'm sure to bring in the reds again.  So that's what's going on around here.  Have a great weekend!


roasted butternut squash risotto

This will be center stage at my Thanksgiving table for sure. Stick to your ribs creamy deliciousness that happens to be easy and nutritious.

2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 small onion diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups vegetable broth
salt, pepper, fresh or dried sage

Roast your butternut squash that's been drizzled with a little olive oil and s&p on a sheetpan in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or so.

In a heavy saucepan saute the onion in a tablespoon of earth balance til soft then add the butternut squash.  Add the arborio rice and thoroughly mix it with veggies.  Add the white wine and cook until wine is absorbed.  Then add about 1/2 cup of hot broth to the mixture, stir until slowly absorbed.  Repeat this until all the broth has been added.  The slow stirring is quite medatative. :)

I taste at this point and if it needs adjusting then I add salt and pepper.  I garnish with fresh sage and cracked black pepper and serve.

I'm thinking of pairing a few salads, a hearty soup and assorted breads for our Thanksgiving meal.
Please add in the comments any vegan Thanksgiving ideas you may have up your sleeve.  Thanks!

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