Posted: 5:33 pm Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Welcome to November!
Welcome to… dum da da dum…. The Holiday Season!
They’re here folks! The days of planing and prepping, company parties, family gatherings, feasts and festivities! Stash those costumes, put away the fake spider webs, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!
Where do we start? Typically with traditions.
Traditions are those things that we do over and over again because they bring a sense of familiarity, of comfort, of BELONGING. Sometimes we know where, and why, and how they started, oftentimes not. But we continue with them because they brings us together and bind us in shawls of shared memories that we draw around us for strength when times aren’t so great.
I have a blended family; bio children, children adopted from foster-care, children from other countries, and step children. I have an adopted granddaughter living with me, a foreign exchange student, and folks that work for me that have become a part of my extended family… We have A LOT of traditions we recognize, not only during the holidays.
We have turkey and candied yams on Thanksgiving, but also lasagne (picked up from my time on the east coast,) rice (which my kids from Africa expect,) kimchi (prepared by my house-helper and friend from Korea,) and many more interesting sides that are on specific “must have” lists for the meal to feel truly special and elevated beyond the usual routine.
I want to know about YOUR TRADITIONS. What’s on your list for November and December and beyond? Routines? Recipes? Clothing? Music?
We’re going to be talking about traditions all month, so please write to me here and share your stories. I’ll be checking my box daily!!!
November Book Club | The Magnolia Story
Chip & Joanna Gaines
Fixer Upper? Magnolias? Chip & Jo? Monikers that have exploded upon the American scene recently. What’s it all mean? Who are these people? Why do we like them so doggone much?
Oh come on! You know who they are and you know we don’t just like ’em, we stinkin’ love them!
HGTV brought us the wild hit “Fixer-Upper” with Chip and Joanna (Jo) Gaines. The dynamic duo from Waco, Texas.
Chip is the crafty (talented, athletic, and handsome by his description…) contractor, and Joanna is the gorgeous, classy, creative (MY description) designer that transform lonely, forgotten, often quite sorry houses into warm and inviting homes for their clients.
They have won the respect of viewers with their undeniable skills, but the hearts of America with their honest, down-home sincerity, their integrity, their commitment to faith, family, and community, and of course, Chips silly shenanigans.
The Magnolia Story, my book club pick for November, is THEIR story. It is one of hope and hard work, of shaky ground, of seeking balance, one of losses… and one of Gaines. In essence it is the story of the Great American Dream come true.
Meander through the book aisle at the Gaines
for your copy of The Magnolia Story.
It’s such a fun and inspiring read!
I was tickled to be able to chat with this delightful couple recently and we talked about a whole lot-o things! Turns out they’ve been Delilah fans from waaaay back. I got the scoop on why the magnolia flower is special to them and so much more. Wanna listen in? Come on over to Delilah.com.
Creamy Ranch Buffalo Cauliflower | Moore’s Marinades & Sauces
I’m always looking for yummy side dishes for all the big family meals the holidays bring. This one for Creamy Ranch Buffalo Cauliflower is perfectly delicious and sure to be a hit with the whole crew!
• 8 cups cauliflower florets (about one medium head)
• 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup Moore’s Creamy Ranch Buffalo Sauce
• 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• kosher salt to taste
• 1/2 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt the butter and whisk in the Creamy Ranch Buffalo Sauce and lemon juice. Set aside.
3. Mix water, olive oil, and salt in a large bowl. Add cauliflower and toss until completely covered.
4. Spread cauliflower on baking sheet and roast for approximately 20-25 minutes.
5. Drizzle the sauce mixture over the cauliflower.
6. Continue roasting cauliflower until the sauce is bubbling and brown around the edges. (approx. 5-7 minutes)
Moore’s always has fantastic ideas and recipes as well as money savings coupons at their site, mooresmarinades.com. Take a peek!
Traditions, those things that we look forward to continuing with the people that we love the most… Such a lovely thing! Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of children in the American foster-care system that are looking for their forever families to create and share traditions with?
“On any given day, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the United States. In 2014, over 650,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care. On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years and seven percent of children in foster care have languished there for five or more years.” www.childrensrights.org
November is National Adoption Month, designed to bring awareness to the great unmet needs of these kids. Four of my children were adopted from this broken system. They came without instruction booklets; we’ve struggled, we’ve overcome, we’ve experienced frustration and heartache and love together. They have all been worth it.
If your heart feels a calling, even the tiniest seed of a calling to help a child in foster-care, please take some time to research how you might help. Volunteer, mentor, adopt… it’s up to you. Start here: Childwelfare.gov
Remember, write to me and share your traditions or thoughts on traditions, I can’t wait to open my mail! And also always, always, always remember to Love Someone!
Holidays? Woo hoo, bring ’em on!