The cookies are baked (all 100+ of them), the lasagna is thawing, the presents are on their way to getting wrapped, and my family is home. That can only mean one thing—Christmas is almost here. Though our holidays are small, they are filled with laughter, happiness, and appreciation. As I’ve grown up, I have found it harder to capture the Christmas spirit. When I was a child, I was in awe of the magic of Christmas, and while some of the magic has disappeared, the memories I have of my family and our many laughs remain. My family truly makes the holiday, and though the Christmas magic has wavered, my family has remained the same. Merry Christmas to all, and I look forward to posting more in the New Year!
In my last blog post, you may recall I was attempting to beat the impending power outage that was threatening to destroy our Thanksgiving. Well, do I have a story to tell you.
It was Wednesday night and my family and I were sitting in front of the fire, listening to music, and discussing the events of the following day. My Mom and I decided to go to bed in preparation for a long day of cooking, leaving my Dad and brothers in our living room. I just finished washing my face when the lights shut off. At first, I thought my Mom had merely turned off the lights and went to bed. It did not take long for me to discover that the storm had caused a transformer to blow, thus eliminating any source of power. We immediately began to gather lanterns and candles as I called our power company. The automated message informed me that 35,000 homes were without power and that we should not expect it to come back on until the weekend. There was nothing any of us could do–we do not have a generator–so we went to bed and prayed that the power would come on by the morning. Spoiler alert: it did not.
The following morning, my parents and I went to a local gas station and bought coffee. As I was filling up my cup, I overheard a man saying he spoke to a supervisor at the power company and was told the power would not come on until Monday. Now I’m not going to lie, this crushed me. This was the first time I did not watch the parade, the first time my Mom and I were not up cooking dinner, and the first time we did not know if we would even have a Thanksgiving dinner. We have experienced many power outages in the last five years, and each time our power took days to restore, the longest being a week. We were not hopeful, and the temperature in our house was already beginning to plummet. Begrudgingly, we made the decision to stay in a hotel for the rest of the day, if not longer. I woke up my brothers, helped pack things (including two pies, a container of freshly made whipped cream, and our Christmas filet mignon) into our car, and traveled a half hour to a hotel. We unpacked, lit a fire, put the football game on, and tried to forget that it was Thanksgiving.
Three hours went by and the re-run of the parade started when we got the call. The power had come back on! We shoved everything into bags, poured water on the fire, and ran to our cars in a desperate attempt to return home in order to cook Thanksgiving dinner. We got home around 2:30–too late to cook a turkey. The rest of the night was spent watching the remainder of the parade, eating mozzarella sticks and breakfast sandwiches, and playing Monopoly. The following morning my Mom and I went Black Friday shopping and returned home to cook a Thanksgiving meal.
If this were a Hallmark movie, I’m sure our family would have stayed at home, built a fire, and sang Christmas carols until the sun came up and the power returned. However, if there is one thing I have learned from watching an embarrassing amount of Hallmark Christmas movies, it is that those tales only exist in the world of fantasy. We were thankful that we were able to have a Thanksgiving dinner, return home on Thursday, and salvage the rest of the weekend. I am not going to lie and say it was not weird to go Black Friday shopping THEN cook Thanksgiving, have my brother work all day then return home in time for dinner, or lose a day for leftovers. I’m sure my family will laugh about this in the future, but I can tell you we were not laughing as we spent half of Thanksgiving in a hotel, thirty minutes away from our home. All in all, our Thanksgiving did occur and we were able to spend the meal together. Though it was not what we wanted, we were thankful that in twenty years, we’ll have one hell of a story to tell.
Now that that whole ordeal is over, I can finally welcome in the Christmas season. One crucial aspect of the season is my room decorations. Collected over the past couple years, I spend upwards of three hours listening to Christmas music and decorating my room. These pictures showcase my hardwork and show what I wake up to everyday in December!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and my house currently smells of melted chocolate, graham crackers, pumpkin pie, and Biscoff cookies. However, the day is clouded by the thought that our power could go out at any moment. Heavy, wet snow is rapidly descending from the sky and my Mother and I are cooking as quickly as possible to ensure our pies are not in the oven when the power fails us. Our Thanksgivings are always quiet—my parents, two brothers and I spend the day watching the parade and eating breakfast sandwiches, playing football in our backyard (though I do not think this will happen with ten inches of snow on the ground), and feasting on the delicious meal my Mom makes. This Thanksgiving is different, however—it is my “last” Thanksgiving at home, meaning that I will not be home for the Thanksgiving season next year, and this may be my brothers last Thanksgiving at home. After he graduates college this year, who knows where he will be. He probably will not be able to fly home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, as we crowd around our dining room table, I know I will be cherishing each moment, since it may very well be drastically different next year. Happy Thanksgiving!
My Mom and I have an unnatural obsession with Family Feud. Maybe it’s the fact that it is constantly on the television, or maybe it’s just because we love to laugh at the bizarre and incorrect responses of the contestants, watching the show has become one of our favorite ways to relax. The other day, I was watching an episode where Steve Harvey interviewed the contestants and asked them what their occupation was. One woman eagerly replied: “A domestic goddess.” Immediately, I liked the sound of that. Many women refer to themselves as “stay-at-home Moms” or “housewives.” To me, these titles do not nearly give these women enough credit. My Mom has always said to me that apart from being a Mom, she is a doctor, chef, baker, accountant, therapist, chauffeur, personal shopper, researcher, and many more vital occupations. When I heard the mysterious contestant refer to herself as a “domestic goddess” I realized that many more women should identify themselves as this. Being a Mom is one, if not the, most important job one could have, and I believe we should give these individuals a higher title. If a doctor can have a “Dr.” plastered in front of their name, why can’t Moms have a “Goddess”?
Do you want to hear a funny story? It’s called, “I Broke My Finger in Gym Class and Have Been Unable to Type or Write or Do Anything for the Past Three Weeks.” So here I am, three weeks later, still in a splint, attempting to type this blog post out. I figured three weeks is long enough to remain silent on the online-front. It is officially November and my favorite time of the year is here. I know a lot of people enjoy this time of the year, but I like to feel that I especially enjoy it. Maybe it’s because my Mom decorates our home with pilgrims and turkeys, lights fall-themed candles, and bakes cookies shaped like maple leaves. Actually, come to think of it, that is the reason I love November and December. The scents change, the Christmas tree replaces any signs of Thanksgiving, the shapes of the cookies differ, but one thing remains constant: the warmth my home exudes during the winter months. There is always a new scent to inhale, a new food to eat, and a new moment to experience. I keep thinking about how I’ll be in college next year during my favorite months, and even though I am excited and ready to start that chapter in my life, I am sad I won’t get to experience my home and my parents during these months. However, that will make coming home for the holidays that much more special–experiencing everything I love about the holidays for the first time, surrounded by people whom I love and who love me. It may be difficult to know this is my last holiday season at home, but I hope to make the best of it by baking an enormous amount of cookies, drinking hot chocolate in front of our Christmas tree, and watching the vast array of Christmas movies and specials that are currently plaguing many television stations (it’s November, can’t they have Thanksgiving movies?). In the meantime, I am planning the epic pumpkin pie I am making for Thanksgiving (homemade pumpkin pie with a Biscoff cookie crust), and researching the presents I will purchase for my family come December. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I am making sure not to rush November in anticipation for the Christmas season. Now that my finger is on its way to making a full recovery, I am working on a plethora of new blog posts for the upcoming weeks! Side note: don’t you love my Halloween costume? I was a lumberjack, complete with a stuffed beaver and axe I frantically made the night before!
It is officially October and that means we are entering into my favorite month of the year. I live in an area which experiences full-force the changing leaves, biting winds, and disastrous snowstorms that seem to constantly grip the nation. Though the snow can sometimes be an unwanted burden, the falling leaves and the promise of pumpkin-spice everything is not. My Mom and I have already purchased every seasonal food item from pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls to caramel apple Oreos. While these foods may not always taste the way I would like, there is something festive about scouring the aisles at Target in search of the limited edition staples. On a different note, the fall is also the time for me to wear sweaters and jackets (though I do this all year round, it is more “seasonally appropriate” in the fall). This outfit in particular is one of my favorites. My parents and I went out to lunch at a restaurant which overlooked a waterfall and I wanted to be warm yet stylish. My horse-print leggings are a fun alternative to your classic black and the oversized sweater is perfect for a crispy autumn day. Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying your fall. Although the leaves may not be changing and the temperature may never drop below seventy, you can still enjoy the occasional caramel apple Oreo while snuggled under a warm blanket.
P.S. I also did something ridiculously festive—I played defense at our school’s Powder Puff football game! Don’t believe me? I have proof!
The hiatus is officially over—I’m back! It’s been a very long summer filled with food (lots of food), fun, but unfortunately not a lot of fashion. During the summer I usually spend my days within the confines of my house, and when I do venture out into the world, I do not bother to put a lot of effort into my outfits. The summer is my time off from everything–wearing heels in the supermarket included. But alas, every summer must come to an end and that is why I found myself wearing this adorable romper. That’s right, what you’re seeing above is the outfit I chose to wear on my…wait for it…first day of senior year!!! The wait is over, I am finally a senior! Now I must brace myself for a long year of applying to colleges, waiting for replies, and waiting for graduation. As long as I have my trusty pair of heels, I think I’ll manage.
This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to see Paul McCartney perform live in Albany with my Father. I grew up listening to The Beatles—our family would listen to them as we were swimming in our pool, cleaning up our kitchen after dinner, or lying around on a lazy afternoon. Having the opportunity to see Paul McCartney in person, performing all the songs that were staples in my house as I was growing up, was unbelievable. Words cannot describe what it was like to be in an arena of twenty-thousand people, singing along to Hey Jude as Paul McCartney conducted us; to see the stage burst into flames during Live and Let Die; and to hear Paul McCartney sing “Yesterday” while strumming his guitar. I will remember that night forever because it was magical to see someone in live that you’ve heard so many times before. All I have left to say is that I hope I am as righteous at seventy-two as Sir Paul McCartney is.
When it comes to breakfast cereal, I operate along the same lines as Jerry Seinfeld. I love strolling down the cereal aisle, taking in all of the names, flavors, and boxes. While I normally only eat Cheerios or wheat squares, I do love the occasional bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. Ever since I was little I would always pick through the cereal and extract the clusters of oats. I remember a couple of years ago they came out with a bag of “just the clusters” and the feeling that ensued could only be described as pure, unadulterated bliss. However, as I have grown more “health conscience,” I have come to realize that those bunches, as well as many other brand name granolas, are high in fat and sugar, and are processed with unnecessary oils and chemicals. Instead of giving up my love for granola, I decided to make my own. I love homemade granola because it is so customizable. If you do not care for the dates and almonds I put in the following recipe, you can replace them with dried cherries, raisins, apples, walnuts, pecans, or whatever else your heart desires. I stick with almonds as my go-to nut because I am allergic to every other nut (besides peanuts) and I used dates because they are sweet, delicious, and taste like candy. In following recipes, I plan on experimenting with flax seed, sunflower seeds, or any other seed for that matter. This granola is just as good as the stuff you would buy at the store and it does not contain any processed ingredients!
To start you will need:
- 2 Cups Rolled Oats
- 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Sea Salt
- ½ Cup Slivered Almonds
- ½ Cup Dates
Preheat your oven to 300⁰F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt, almonds, and dates. Place the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until slightly melted. Combine with other ingredients and mix until combine (use your hands, it is much easier, trust me!) Spread evenly onto the baking sheet and place in your oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly toasted. The granola will harden as it cools, however, it will not form large clusters. Enjoy!
Feel free to leave me comments below telling me what you think of the granola and what recipes you would like me to make next!
Anytime I have an excuse to dress up I take it. It doesn’t matter where I’m going or what the dress code is, I immediately look for the heels and dresses that make up the majority of my closet. In the summer, however, dressing up proves to be a challenge. I don’t go anywhere, and when I do, it is usually to the grocery store to pick up eggs or bread or whatever my cabinets are lacking. That’s why when it came time for the senior class to graduate, I knew I had to break out the shoe boxes and extract a dress from the depths of my closet. Now a graduation is usually a formal event where a dress and heels would be acceptable, but you see, I sat on a beach towel sprawled upon a grassy hill overlooking graduation. In an occasion such as this, a pair of heels is not normally acceptable. I figured that I might as well make the most of the situation so I decided to go against what was normally acceptable and wear this outfit. I am proud to say that I did not once trip as I was climbing the hill.