Are you cooking next week for Thanksgiving or are you going somewhere?
I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week and then the shopping, decorating and baking madness of the Christmas season will be upon us. And in all the crazy madness there is also peace and happiness and a sense of renewal . . . it is a magical time of the year we just need to remember to pause and be in the moment.
Thanksgiving is a calmer holiday. My college girl comes home today and my tribe of 5 will all be under one roof for a week which makes for a happy momma. We are all flying back to Philadelphia to be with my family for the week. I describe it as going into the bubble . . . no outside distractions, no friends or parties to run off to just five days of hanging with extended family, eating amazing food, talking, watching movies and lots of laughter.
Once Thanksgiving is over and I mean like barely over we will all be shifting to holiday shopping. To help give you some ideas and gain inspiration I am adding Gift Guides up on the blog. Currently, there are two guides up – one for her and one for the fitness fan – and I will be adding stocking stuffer ideas, gifts for him, gifts for the dog lover, hostess gifts and a few more so be on the lookout.
No Friday Favorites next week as we will be traveling but let’s get started with this week!
The first Bark Box we got was a gift and it was such a hit we have continued all year long. Each month a new cleverly themed Bark Box arrives on our doorstep and really is a favorite day for our 2 dogs. They totally know what it is and sit in anticipation as we open it. The box comes with 2 toys and a few all natural treats. If you have a dog you should check it out at https://barkbox.com/ . . . you will have very happy pups in your house. And I find I am as excited about the box as they are . . . their reaction makes my day.
My Favorite Outfit of the Week
Every time I put this shirt on I want to start singing “The Lady in Red”!! But seriously I love, love, love this shirt and I am so happy to have added color to my wardrobe! I wore this outfit to a bday dinner last Saturday and felt great!
The jeans are my new favorite skinny jeans. They lay super smooth, I love the wash and they have a high rise so they keep your tummy flat!
Beef Barley Soup
Finding a soup that is not chicken based and one that my entire family loves is difficult. This is a keeper and a perfect meal paired with crusty bread and salad on a cool evening. It does take a few hours on the stove so plan accordingly. 🙂
- 1 tsp oil
- 1-1/2 lbs lean beef round stew meat
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 cups of beef broth
- salt, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2/3 cup dry barley
- fresh ground black pepper
Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil and beef, season with a little salt and brown meat a few minutes. When meat is browned, add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to the pot and give it a good stir.
Add the broth, a little salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer covered over low heat until the meat is soft, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Add the barley, adjust the salt if needed and add fresh ground pepper. Simmer an additional 30-35, remove bay leaves and serve. Makes 7 1/2 cups.
Favorite Graphic T-shirts
There are so many cute and fun graphic t-shirts out there and I love pairing them with jeans and a sweatshirt or with leggings or sweats. I love the messages and talk about a great gift idea though I find I am buying one for me at the same time I am buying for someone else. That is the danger of Christmas shopping, buying for you. 🙂
These say it all!!:)
Pistachio Cranberry Bites
These were at the check out counter at Trader Joe’s and I knew I just had to try them!! OMG, they are the perfect snack for when you need just a little something to keep you going and it’s healthy. Healthy snacking is key anytime especially at this time of year when we are getting tempted everywhere. Little bite size bars at only 110 calories a piece. Perfection! 🙂
What are you loving this week?
Enjoy your weekend and the upcoming holiday week! 🙂