Archive | November, 2015

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Ode to the Stepmom

I’m sure that most of you who regularly read our posts know that I have a blended family. I have two grown sons from a previous marriage, and my husband has two daughters. When we married, my boys were in college and high school, almost ready to leave the nest. The girls, on the other hand, were in second and third grade, still baby birds.IMG_1327

Sorry some of these older photos are grainy.

Because my boys were older, my husband’s involvement in their lives was more on an adult level. He was there to guide them and give advice, but he didn’t need to be involved in their day to day schedules. My role with the girls was a little different. They required more care, and although my husband has always been very involved in their lives, being girls meant that sometimes they needed more of a female presence when they were at their dad’s. I have been a step-mom to Nicole, 19, and Alyssa, 17, for nearly ten years, and have been in their lives a few years longer. I’ve always referred to myself as their “step-mom” or called them my “stepdaughters,” and every time I say that, I have to admit I cringe a little. I can’t help it. I ALWAYS think of Cinderella’s wicked step-mom, Lady Tremaine. Why does the word stepmom have to have such a negative connotation? Did it start with Cinderella?

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I’m proud to say that the girls and I have a wonderful relationship. We snuggle on the couch and watch movies, go for lunch, get mani’s and pedi’s, shop, share clothes, and talk about life like most mothers and daughters. In fact, I can’t imagine my relationship being much different if they were my own flesh and blood.

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When we’re all together, our blended family is its own unit. Both Bob and I refer to our step-children as our sons and daughters, because to us, they are just as much our children as our biological children. Even my sons’ wife and girlfriend have become part of our blended family. I recently had a little chat with the girls to ask how they felt about the word stepmom, and hear their thoughts about removing the word “step” from future posts, simply referring to them as my girls/daughters. They were in agreement with this and dislike the negative connotation surrounding the words “stepmom” or “stepparent”. Nicole says that our relationship is unique in the sense that there’s more opportunity to be friends because I’m not her biological mom. They still see me as a nurturing role model that compliments their mom in a healthy way.

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Now, I think it’s important to note that this in no way is meant to be disrespectful to or diminish a mother’s role. The girls have always called me Pam, and the boys have done the same with Bob. For many families, the role of mom is somewhat universal, extending also to in-laws and the parents of friends who have treated us like their own children.

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As you can see, I’ve gotten shorter over the years.

So, from here on out, the word “step” will no longer be used in future posts about my girls, and I just wanted to give an explanation as to why.

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Parenthood requires love, not DNA

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~May

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Gratitude

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, this is the time where we all think about our blessings and express gratitude.  While it is important this time of year, it is a good idea to express gratitude every day.  I often find that when I am out-of-sorts, it is because I am wishing for things to be different instead of being thankful for how things are at the moment.  To keep this in mind, I collected a few gratitude quotes to reflect upon:

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Gratitude is a Practice

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Gratitude Universe

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Thank You Quote

Happy Thanksgiving!!  May you and your family have a wonderful and blessed day! – June

 

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Slow Cooker Apple Crumble

We always enjoy a good fruit inspired dessert and with the abundance of apples during the fall season, a good apple crisp takes center stage. I’ve often made a traditional apple crisp in the oven which is always yummy, but sometimes you don’t have time to watch the oven. That’s where the slow cooker comes in handy. I’ve never used it for desserts, but found this Crockpot Apple Crumble from Life Made Full, and decided to give it a try.

Ingredients

Apple Mixture:

1/2 cup coconut sugar or organic brown sugar (I use coconut sugar)

1/2 cup raw honey

5-7 large tart apples, peeled and cut into chunks ( I use Granny Smith)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

2/3 cup oats (gluten free, if desired)

2/3 cup coconut sugar or organic brown sugar (again, I use coconut sugar)

1/4 cup flour (gluten free, if desired)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3-4 Tbsp softened butter or coconut oil (I use coconut oil)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

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Combine ingredients for apple mixture, and pour into bottom of slow cooker, spread evenly.

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Mix topping ingredients until combined and sprinkle over top of apple mixture.

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Cook on low for 4 hours, high for 2 hours. If you have time, turn to warm and let sit for 30 minutes to thicken.

Enjoy!! We like our apple crisp a la mode with a little ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey

~May

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Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Ok everyone, we have less than a week until Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday season. Are you ready?? May and June thought it was a perfect day to share how they get organized and prepared for Thanksgiving. Whether you’re hosting the holiday, or traveling to someone’s home, there are ways to make this bountiful day a little less stressful.

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For May, it’s all in the prepping. She has hosted Thanksgiving for family and friends for over twenty years, and has had a lot of experience on how to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. (Admittedly, some years better than others, but practice makes perfect.) She begins her work the week before the holiday. The sausage for the stuffing is browned, and the onions, carrots, celery, and cranberries are chopped and bagged, then everything goes into the freezer until the stuffing is assembled, the day before the feast.IMG_3176

A few years ago, May’s mom gave her a cookbook by Ina Garten ( aka The Barefoot Contessa), called Make it Ahead, which has become her favorite book for entertaining.

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Last year, she roasted the turkey ahead of time (Ina’s recipe), and had it all sliced and prepared the day before Thanksgiving. All that was required was heating before serving. It was delicious!! Guests always bring a dish to share which takes a lot of pressure off the host, plus it allows everyone to be involved in creating the meal, which makes it more special. Another great time saver is getting the dining room table set a few days ahead of time. May also uses the kitchen table for dining, which is set Thanksgiving morning.

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Remember, part of the fun of entertaining is enjoying the company of your family and friends, which is hard to do when you’re stuck in the kitchen.

June’s Thanksgiving is usually away from home.  June always traveled to her grandparents in Southern Missouri for Thanksgiving growing up, so long road trips are typical.  Many years, June traveled to her husband’s family in Buffalo, New York but this year she has it easy because dinner is at her aunt’s house only an hour away.  June’s family, like May’s, has everyone bring a contribution to dinner.  This year June is in charge of the vegetables and is going to bring roasted root vegetables.  Because there is so little prep involved she will chop the vegetables Thursday morning and put them in ziploc bags along with the olive oil and seasonings.  She will just transport them to her aunt’s home and roast them there.

It is nice when Thanksgiving is close to local because it gives some quiet peacefulness to the start of  the holiday season.  June plans to take a nice quiet walk on Thanksgiving and think about her blessings.  And she plans to slowly sip her wine, appreciate the work that went into all of the preparation of the meal and enjoy the company of her family.

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We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!  May you all enjoy the gratitude and beauty of the season. –May and June

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The Time I Met The Pioneer Woman

Two weeks ago, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman.  The Pioneer Woman was probably one of the blogs that introduced me to the world of blogging.  It has been interesting to see her blog evolve from a website where she simply posted about her family, the ranch and favorite recipes to the professional website and community it is today.

I admire how she has grown her business into several children’s books about Charlie the Ranch Dogs, four cookbooks, a show on Food Network and now a line of cookware, dishes and kitchen items at Walmart.  Whenever I dream about what this blog could become, I think about what she has been able to accomplish from the same platform.  I love many of the recipes in her cookbooks so when I heard that she was going to be in Naperville for a book signing of her new cookbook, I knew I had to go and take my mom with me.

The event was hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and it was packed.  I think they said there was more than 625 people there.  However, because I was so on the ball, my mom and I had tickets numbered 6 and 7, meaning that was our place in line to have our books signed.

Ree Drummond gave a quick introduction, including a giveaway of a Charlie cookie jar, which regrettably we did not win, and then it was right to the book signing.

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Ree Drummond was very friendly and approachable at the book signing, although I have to say I got a bit star struck and could not think of anything clever to say.  I could have told her that I made her  chicken enchilada recipe for 19 members of my book group and it was huge hit, or that olive cheese bread has become a family Christmas Eve tradition (and it is so beloved that my nephew requested my sister-in-law make it for his birthday dinner in July) or that I would like to grow a business like she has done.  Instead, I did get to have my picture taken with her:

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And went home with my signed cookbook

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And an extra goody

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I was very happy to meet Ree Drummond.  I’m looking forward to trying some new yummy recipes in her new cookbook and continue to dream about growing this little blog into a small fraction of the community and business she has created.  –June

 

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Making Memories

Every year, my oldest stepdaughter Nicole and I take a little excursion to the city for the day. We’ve done this since she was in grade school. In the past, my husband Bob and youngest stepdaughter, Alyssa would attend a Cubs game on the same day, and afterwards, we would all meet up in the city for pizza.

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We do this at Christmas time too, but more on that in December.  Now that the girls are older and have very busy lives, Bob and I find ourselves having to work our way into their ever-changing schedules. Our little tradition has taken a few twists and turns along the way, but that’s ok. It’s a reminder that change is constant, yet we’re still strengthening our family’s bond by creating long lasting memories. Nicole and I finally made plans to take our trip to the city this past weekend. Although we generally don’t let the weather stop us, I wasn’t sure if our November day would cooperate, but thankfully it did. It was sunny and in the 50’s with no wind (Windy City).  It was beautiful.

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The skating rink at Millennium opened this weekend

We usually don’t have a specific agenda – we are all regularly in the city and have seen it all – so we usually just throw caution to the wind and figure it out as we go along, which makes it more fun. One thing’s for sure though, there are going to be a lot of laughs, walking, shopping, and treats.  Did I mention walking?? We kept track of how far we walked….8.2 miles.

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Found these cute beaded bracelets

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Nicole ate them all

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Yes, that’s a Christmas tree behind us and it’s November 15

As you can see, we took a few photos of our day, but for the most part we kept our phones safely tucked away. Photos are great, but sometimes we’re so caught up in taking the picture, we lose the loveliness of the moment. Although baseball season is over (Great year for the Cubs!), Bob and Alyssa did meet us for pizza, and all was right with the world.

~May

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Instagram – Living In the Beauty of the Present Moment

We are not sure how many of you have noticed our tagline “Living in the Beauty of the Present Moment,” but it is a way that both of us are trying to live our life.  This means to live thoughtfully, not to dwell on the past, and not to fret about the future.  This is not always an easy task.  In fact, at times it is downright challenging.

We thought a good way to appreciate these “present moments” was to initiate  an Instagram project to document our tagline.  By taking a moment to look around and capture one object via photo, it gives you a moment to pause, breathe and bring the beauty of the present moment to life. There are no rules here. It can be anything that you find beautiful.

As we embark on this project we invite all of you to join us. Everyday, take a moment to simply stop, breathe, and be aware of what’s around you. We are always surrounded by beauty. Take your photo and document it with #livinginthebeautyofthepresentmoment.  We look forward to viewing and sharing all of the things that you find inspiring and beautiful.

 

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May and June

 

 

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Friday Night Lights

Comfort TV

I have been a little under the weather the last week, nothing serious, just an ear infection, but because of that I have spent some time lying on the couch.  I don’t know about you but when I am sick or tired, I often choose to watch movies or television shows that I have seen before and sometimes many, many times before.  I think there is something comforting with watching a program where you already know the characters and you know there is going to be a happy ending.

Some of my favorite comfort movies or television shows include:

While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping

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You’ll fall in love with WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, the hit romantic comedy that woke everyone up to adorable Sandra Bullock (SPEED, A TIME TO KILL). As Lucy, a lonely subway worker, she becomes smitten with a handsome stranger (Peter Gallagher — MALICE). But when she saves his life after he’s been mugged and fallen into a coma, his hilariously offbeat family mistakes her for his fiancee! Soon, the mix-ups escalate as Lucy fabricates a life between herself and a man she’s never met! And when Lucy falls for his charming brother (Bill Pullman — INDEPENDENCE DAY) the situation really gets uproarious as she’s forced to make a choice between the two!

This movie is fun for me to watch partially since it’s set in Chicago which makes it fun to see the city.  The Gallagher family has some quirky characters which makes it seem like all families.  And while the story line is a bit far fetched it works and is sweet.

The Holiday

The Holiday

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In Nancy Meyers’ The Holiday, a romantic comedy from the director of Something’s Gotta Give and What Women Want, two women trade homes only to find that a change of address can change their lives. Iris (Winslet) is in love with a man who is about to marry another woman. Across the globe, Amanda (Diaz), realizes the man she lives with has been unfaithful. Two women who have never met and live 6000 miles apart, find themselves in the exact same place. They meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Iris moves into Amanda’s L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda arrives in the snow covered English countryside. Shortly after arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris’ handsome brother Graham (Law) and Iris, with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Wallach), mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Black).

This movie was on a movie channel several times this past weekend, so I kept catching bits and pieces of it.  Both characters are unhappy in their lives and change locations and everything is fixed and they are happy.  A little unrealistic, maybe, but a fun story to watch.

Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

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This delightfully entertaining romantic comedy stars Reese Witherspoon (LEGALLY BLONDE) as sophisticated Melanie Carmichael, a rising New York clothing designer who suddenly finds herself engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. But this is no fairy tale romance for Melanie. She has skeletons in her fashion-filled closet that include Jake — the backwoods husband she married in high school who refuses to divorce her. Determined to end their marriage and sever all ties with her past once and for all, Melanie returns to Alabama. But home starts to tug at her heartstrings, and what she thought she wanted may not be what she wants at all.

Melanie Carmichael is engaged to a John F. Kennedy, Jr. twin, but she has secrets that he does not know.  I love stories set in the South (maybe because my grandparents lived in the South) and this movie is full of Southern charm.

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

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Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) is the world’s most famous movie star. William Thacker (Hugh grant) owns a travel bookstore in the quaint neighborhood of Notting Hill. When their paths cross, the couple comes to face the ultimate question: can two people fall in love with the whole world watching?

I feel like Julia Roberts almost plays herself in this movie.  A chance encounter leads to love between two people whose paths should never have crossed.  The ending is sweet and I really like the soundtrack.

Gilmore Girls

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A very atypical mother-daughter relationship is at the center of Gilmore Girls, a comedy-drama that immediately set itself apart from the herd with smarter-than-smart dialogue and an endearing mix of whimsical comedy and family drama. Set in the Capra-esque burg of Stars Hollow, where everybody knows everyone and eccentrics abound, Gilmore Girls was less a mother-daughter show and more of a screwball buddy comedy in which the two buddies happened to be parent and child. Pregnant at 16, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) left her rich parents to bring up her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) on her own terms; when Rory herself turns 16, Lorelai wants to send her academically gifted daughter to the prestigious Chilton school. The catch is, Lorelai can’t afford it on her own, and rather than let Rory go without, the elder Gilmore girl brokers an uneasy truce with her parents (Edward Herrmann and Kelly Bishop), who finally get a chance to bond with their granddaughter while financing her education.

It sounds like a premise potentially fraught with angst and trauma, but in reality Gilmore Girls was one of the freshest, airiest, most enjoyable shows to air on the perpetually melodramatic WB network, critically praised once viewers got hooked on its unique brand of humor. Rory’s growing-up adventures, including her acclimation to snooty Chilton and romance with townie dreamboat Dean (Jared Padalecki), gave the show a teen-friendly feel, but Gilmore Girls was anchored in the adult by the luminous Graham, a brilliant comedic leading lady who could turn dramatic on a dime and never break stride. The show’s hallmark was its rat-a-tat, whipsmart dialogue, delivered perfectly by Graham and Bledgel, as well as a host of wacky supporting characters who would go on to become invaluable cast members. The first season allowed the show–and its lead actresses–to bloom gracefully and establish a deep, humorous rapport that lent itself perfectly to weekly travails both comedic and dramatic. –Mark Englehart

Lorelei and Rory Gilmore are memorable characters.  The dialogue is nuanced with pop culture, music and literary references and is snappy and witty.  Stars Hollow is a town full of quirky people and traditions which puts the characters in sometimes ridiculous situations.  After a few seasons, the writers changed and I did not find the show as enjoyable.  However, Netflix just announced that there is going to be four new episodes written by the original writers, so if you have not seen Gilmore Girls now is your time to catch up on it.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

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TV’s hottest new drama, Friday Night Lights, touches down on DVD with all 22 Season One episodes in a 5-disc collection! In the small town of Dillon, everyone comes together on Friday nights when the Dillon High Panthers play. But life is not a game; and the charismatic players, new coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), and the passionate fans find that their biggest challenges and obstacles come off the field in the compelling day-to-day dramas of their tight-knit community. From producers Brian Grazer (The Da Vinci Code) and Peter Berg (The Kingdom) comes the critically acclaimed TV series based on the best-selling novel and hit theatrical movie. Discover why The Associated Press calls it “breathtaking in how it captures ordinary life set against extraordinary passions.”

This is my FAVORITE TV show ever.  I loved, loved this show and I still miss Coach and Tami Taylor.  I love Connie Britton so that alone makes the show worth your time to watch, but all of the characters are well developed and you become invested in their lives.  This show is about so much more than football, but is about family and growing up.  If you have not watched it I highly recommend it.

Do you have any movie or television shows that you watch when you are feeling a little down?  Any others I should add to my list of ones to watch?  –June

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Welcoming the Change of Seasons

What an amazing fall we’ve had here in the midwest. We’ve been experiencing beautiful sunny skies, warm temperatures, and the fall foliage has been a glorious palette of color, to say the least. As I’m writing this, it’s 72 degrees out, and Sawyer and I just walked in the door from our second stroll of the day. I’ve loved every single minute of it. I know a change is coming, in fact the temperatures are about to plummet to more seasonal numbers for our area, but I’ll worry about that tomorrow. It’s November and I’m outside in short sleeves. I’m such a warm weather girl and always have been. During the warm months, you will often see me out walking with my sweet doodle, or riding my bike with my husband, digging in the dirt, or taking a daily swim. I even take my work out to the patio table. I love everything about summer, especially the longer days.

Winter, however, is a different story for me. It usually starts to happen after daylight savings ends. The skies become a more gunmetal gray, the temperatures are cold and damp, and it’s dark by 5pm. I’m always in my pj’s early during the winter. This is the time when I want to turn into a bear, find a cozy den with lots of warm blankets, candles and my books, and disappear until spring.

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Artist Lucy Campbell

Think about how wonderful that would be for a minute. You wake up and it’s warm, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you’re skinny! Unfortunately, we humans are not built for hibernation, so we put on our boots, parkas, and scarves and deal with winter’s wrath. Now I know there are a lot of people out there who love winter and everything it has to offer like skiing, sledding, snow mobiles, etc….it’s just not for me. I don’t like being cold. The good news is my husband doesn’t like the cold either, and for this reason, we don’t have long term plans to stay here, though we do have a few more years.

So, my goal this year is to change my attitude, and take pleasure in what winter has to offer. Going for a walk with Sawyer after a snowfall and enjoying the stillness, a winter sunrise, reading or playing a game with my family by the fire while sipping hot cocoa (with marshmallows of course!), and who knows, maybe I’ll even try snow shoeing. Ha! That one may be a stretch, but stranger things have happened.

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January sunrise

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Brrrrrr……This was us on a particularly cold walk

I also purchased a “Happy Light” to use at my desk or when I’m reading, to help with the lack of light during the winter months. I found mine on Amazon.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

  –John Steinbeck

I couldn’t have said it better.

~May

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Happy Hour Friday- The Whiskey Sour

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to our November installment of Happy Hour.  Remember that song “Everything old is new again?” Well, that applies to cocktails too! Classic cocktails are making their way back to the mainstream and becoming very popular.  Old Fashioned’s, Gin and Tonic’s, and Manhattan’s are just a few of the many retro cocktails being served in popular drinking establishments around the country.

Today, we thought it would be fun to make a Whiskey Sour as our classic cocktail. Interestingly, this particular retro cocktail took both May and June back to fond childhood summers.  For May, the Whiskey Sour goes back to summers at her grandmother’s house. On hot steamy days, you could always find a cold pitcher of whiskey sours in the “icebox”. They would be served (to the adults) on the patio and May and her brother enjoyed eating the orange and maraschino cherries adorning the glass (and maybe a sip or a watered down drink).  June has never actually had an experience with a Whiskey Sour before our Happy Hour, but her grandpa used to have one whiskey and water on the rocks before dinner when her family visited in Southern Missouri.  And as soon as June smelled her drink, the aroma brought back all of those fun childhood memories of sultry, humid Missouri Fourth of July visits, making homemade ice cream with an old-fashioned ice cream maker full of rock salt and turned by hand.

 

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Fresh Whiskey Sours

(makes 4 drinks)

  • 3/4 cup of whiskey
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • slices of orange
  • maraschino cherries

Combine whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker half full with ice.  Shake for 30 seconds and pour into four glasses.  Garnish with slice of orange, maraschino cherry and ice (if desired).

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For our nibble we kept it simple with cranberry pumpkin crisps from Trader Joes and machengo cheese and brie cheese.

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Have a good weekend! –May and June

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Rushing the Season

Be happy in the moment, that’s enough.  Each moment is all we need, not more.” Mother Teresa

I was grocery shopping last Friday, October 30.  I was slowly making my way through my list in the produce department, apples, broccoli, zucchini… when I looked up and saw a display of loose filberts, brazil nuts, walnuts and candy canes.  CANDY CANES?!  There was still Halloween candy being sold for the next day’s trick-or-treating and my grocery store was already trying to sell Christmas candy.  I was taken aback.

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Now that we are in the first week of November, all the stores are selling Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and advertising for Christmas shopping.  I am a huge fan of Christmas.  Honestly, I love everything about it.  I deck out my house in Christmas decorations, festoon my house with twinkle lights (remember I love twinkle lights), bake several kinds of cookies, think Buddy the Elf is one of the best movie characters, play Christmas music on repeat and enjoy trying to figure out great gifts for my loved ones.  However, this crush of Christmas before Halloween gets me a little overwhelmed and feeling like the spirit and meaning behind Christmas is lost.

In yoga, one of the things that we focus on is the present moment.  It is a lesson learned on the mat.  If I am holding a balance pose and start thinking about what I need to do after class, a conversation that happened earlier in the day, or even the fact that the person across the room  just fell over, do you know what happens to me?  I lose my balance.

If I take this experience outside of the yoga studio, the same thing happens to me.  The minute I stop focusing on what I am doing now, I make mistakes and feel overwhelmed.  And I think this time of year when we are being constantly bombarded with reminders of the hustle and bustle of the season to come, we lose our balance.

So this November, I am going to appreciate this season.  That is not to say that I may not start my Christmas shopping list or purchase a few Christmas decorations at Target or watch Fred Clause when it comes on, but I am going to remember that this month of November is the season to be thankful for all of my many blessings and gifts.  And I am going to anticipate with joy the season that is to come and enjoy it with a full heart when it arrives. –June

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Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. The witch is off the door, and the jack o’ lantern off the porch, safely stored away until next year. Today is November 2, and for many it is a day of celebration.

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Day of the Dead, also known in Spanish as Dia de los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico on November 1st and 2nd. The belief is that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31st, and the child spirits who have passed away are reunited with their families. On November 2nd, the adult spirits come to visit. Beautiful altars are created in Mexican homes, adorned with photos, fresh flowers, candles, and delicious foods and beverages such as fruit, nuts, tortillas, bread, soda, hot cocoa, and water. There are also colorful parades in the cities and villages.

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On the afternoon of November 2nd, the celebration continues at the cemetery where families listen to music, picnic, and celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

Sugar skull art is made and sold by the thousands for this special day, and is usually displayed on the altars, intended for the visiting spirits. Some of you may note that Day of the Dead is on the same day as All Souls Day and All Saints Day, which also are devoted to celebrating the lives of deceased family and friends.

Day of the Dead has enjoyed recent popularity here in the U.S. Many stores carry sugar skull decorations, glassware, folk art, and party favors. I personally love the mysticism of the holiday and have a Pinterest board devoted to it.

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For our family, November 2nd is also a day of celebration. It is the birthday of my step-daughter, Nicole, who today turns 18.  Happy Birthday, Nicole!!!  XOXO

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Feliz dia de los Muertos!

Happy Day of the Dead!

~May

Check out this great link:

MexicanSugarSkull.com

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