Posted in Awesome Stuff

From This Moment On

Yesterday I was talking about flipping the way we plan for the new year – instead of talking about all of the things we will do without, how about we focus on all of the great things we are planning to do? I love it! As promised, here’s the start of my list for the new year:

  1. Spend more time reading! Plain and simple, it makes me happy – so why not do it more often? Yaa!
  2. Get back to yoga! I’ve been feeling stiff and shitty lately, and it’s not getting any better…I need to get my arse back into a regular yoga practice. I predict it will make me feel better, inside and out. I’m not going to go crazy and declare that I need to do it daily, because I know that won’t happen (sadly my schedule isn’t conducive to that!). I will set the target for 3 times a week, and consider anything more than that a bonus. Yaa! I’m excited!!! 😊
  3. More time writing – keeping a journal is an excellent thing for my mental health, and I’m going to do a better job of writing regularly in 2020. I started keeping a daily journal in March of 2019, and I wrote in it at least 5 days a week every week for the rest of the year – I noticed a difference in how I felt about things, and I noticed a significant difference in my stress levels. Success!
  4. Take up meditation once and for all – I keep dabbling, trying it out…but nothing ever sticks, and I have to say that I often feel like a failure when trying to meditate. I get so easily distracted (it’s ridiculous), and then I get disheartened and give up. Not this time.
  5. Eat better – I quit eating meat in September 2019, and it’s made a significant difference in how I feel. I have been eating seafood, and for now I will keep that going on – but meat is out. I’ve been working on getting more fruits and veg into the system, but that remains a struggle for me – I don’t know why. Actually, that’s a lie – I do know why. I like vegetables when somebody else prepares them for me, but I can’t stand them when I prepare them – go figure. It’s dumb. I’m going to try to do better with smoothies and get the fruits and veg in that way – as well, I will continue experimenting with supplements and see if I can’t improve my nutrition that way. All of the experts say that cutting out dairy is the way to go, but…it just makes me so sad. I love dairy – cheese, yogurt, cheese…. It’s all just so good. Yum.
  6. Stop sweatin’ the small stuff – this will likely be the biggest challenge for the year, you know that? I’m a world-class fretter, and I can worry about nothing like it was my damn job. I’ve noticed that in the past year I’ve been able to let a lot of shit go that previously would have caused me to obsess, but I’ve still got such a long way to go. Hopefully this will be the year that I quit reacting to stupid shit, and only focus on what really matters.
  7. Have more fun! I plan to embrace the idea of the return of the Roarin’ 20s with a passion – learn to dance the Charleston, wear a flapper dress (I bought a 20s style dress recently, actually…it’s gorgeous!), drink more gin, listen to more records, visit as many speakeasies as humanly possible, watch Midnight in Paris on repeat….all of it. Bring on the 20s – I’m ready!

This list is really specific to me and the things I want to focus on from a personal development perspective – of course I plan to spend more time with the kid and the family, enjoy them more, etc etc etc, all of that good stuff. I’m excited about all of it! Yaa!

What are you most looking forward to in the new year, friends?

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Accentuate the Positive

I’m really feeling excited about the start of the new year – it’s a new decade, and it’s the 20s!!! WOOHOOOO!!!! Bring on the flapper dresses, and the gin, and the Charleston…all of it! Mostly I want an excuse to focus more on the fun things in life – this past decade has been a roller coaster of serious shit for me, and…I’m done. I need some levity in my life!!

I subscribe to the Quartzy newsletters, and I REALLY love what they send out on Fridays. This week’s came courtesy of Oliver Staley, Quartz’s culture and lifestyle editor. Here’s what he wrote:

Happy Friday!

I’m Oliver Staley, Quartz’s culture and lifestyle editor.

As we approach 2020, much of our conversation revolves around what we won’t be doing. Next year, I won’t avoid exercising. I won’t eat a second (or third) donut. I won’t watch The Masked Singer.

But what if we turned that around and talked about what we’re looking forward to in 2020? What will we do that’s fun, stimulating, interesting, or just relaxing? We asked Quartz’s culture reporters to weigh in with what they are most eagerly anticipating in the new year. This is what they told us:


Gerhard Richter: Painting After All. Come March, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will put on the first major exhibit on German artist Gerhard Richter in the US in nearly 20 years. The show will span decades and encompass more than 100 of his works ranging from paintings to glass sculptures. Hits such as Betty, his enigmatic painting of his daughter, will be there, as well as lesser-known pieces and two new works. But what I’m really excited about are the abstracts.

His abstracts made me a fan before I knew the importance of Richter in modern art. I stumbled across some pictures online and they provoked an immediate reaction in me. He layers paint—often using a squeegee—in a way that gives it incredible depth, and his colors and lines make everything feel energetic. It’s going to be great to see so much of his work in person for the first time. (A 2020 bonus: The Whitney Museum of American Art will hold an amazing exhibit of Mexican muralists too.) —Marc Bain

Not Richter – some other beautiful abstract art

The Good Lord Bird. I have always been fascinated by American abolitionist John Brown: I wrote about him for my senior history thesis in college, and I have devoured virtually every Brown-related book available. His life story is ripe for cinematic interpretation, and yet the only mainstream Hollywood depiction of Brown came in the 1940 film Santa Fe Trail. Raymond Massey’s portrayal of Brown was both inaccurate and offensive, depicting the abolitionist as a mere two-dimensional villain against whom the hero, Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart (played by Errol Flynn, naturally), could do battle. Until now, that is. Or at least, I hope.

Actor-writer Ethan Hawke will star as Brown in the upcoming Showtime miniseries The Good Lord Bird, based on the 2013 National Book Award-winning novel of the same name by James McBride, told from the point of view of a fictional freed slave who came across Brown during the violent confrontations called Bleeding Kansas. I don’t know if it’ll do Brown justice, but Hawke is a talented actor, and as the first serious attempt to bring the abolitionist to life on screen in 80 years, the miniseries has more than piqued my interest. —Adam Epstein


(AP)

The Tokyo Olympics. I am an unrepentant Olympics geek. It has become fashionable in recent decades to badmouth the Olympics as wasteful, overly commercialized, and rife with drug cheats. Whatever. It’s an enormous spectacle, an opportunity to witness extraordinary athletes, and a chance to brush up on the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling. It’s also one of the few events that pulls together the entire world, and for no greater purpose than to play games. The 2020 version, which begins in July, is the first summer games in Japan since 1964, when Japan was emerging from the rubble of World War II.

The geopolitical landscape has changed, and as the Olympics have grown vastly more expensive, Japan emerged as one of the few countries with the wealth and will to hold them. Next year’s game features the return of baseball and softball (yay), the debut of skateboarding (ugh), and reemergence of stars like Simone Biles and Katie Ledeky from their four year hibernation out the limelight. I don’t know what else I’ll be doing this summer, but I do know what I will be watching. —Oliver Staley


Expo 2020 Dubai: Since attending the 2015 Expo in Milan, Expo 2020 Dubai has been on my calendar. For 173 days, over 190 nations will try to outdo each other in a grand showcase of soft power, design, and engineering. Spread across a 438-hectare (1,082 acres) space between the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the next world’s fair promises to be as bombastic and entertaining as earlier editions of the 168-year-old event.

The host city Dubai—known for its love of mega-projects—is feverishly building a “smart city” from the ground up. Attractions include a Bjarke Ingels-designed hyperloop, the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen, and ambitious structures using green technology.

Those who can’t make it to Expo 2020 can ogle daily attractions on Instagram. Follow #WorldExpo2020 and social media accounts of country pavilions. Apart from the architecture gawking, the fair also holds lessons about worker rights, ecology, and urbanism. —Anne Quito


House of Glass. After her grandmother’s death, Hadley Freeman, a journalist for the Guardian, found a shoebox in her cupboard. Inside were old photographs and a Pablo Picasso sketch—a most enthralling selection of clues. The result, 18 years in the making, is Freeman’s forthcoming memoir, House of Glass, which she describes as a tale of “family, art, fashion, war, betrayal, historical and modern antisemitism.”

The book traces Freeman’s family history, the difficult choices her grandmother and other ancestors were forced to make, and the extraordinary circumstances they found themselves in over the course of the 20th century.

Where one sibling would eventually rub shoulders with Christian Dior, Edith Piaf, and Picasso himself, another made a fortune as a microfilm pioneer. Yet another married an American, never returning to her native France. Freeman tells all their stories. Coming out in March, the book is already being heralded as “poignant” and “thrilling” in equal measures. I can’t wait to read it. —Natasha Frost

I’m going to start a movie nostalgia club. At our screenings, we will gather on my sofa and watch movies we grew up with—not so much inarguable classics like The Breakfast Club and When Harry Met Sally, but more forgotten personal favorites.

This came out of a conversation with my friend Emily about the 1987 Diane Keaton movie Baby Boom. We decided a screening was overdue. Everyone (okay, three people) who overheard us wanted in. Next up: Maid to Order (1987), starring Ally Sheedy as a maid in white ankle-boots with a chain-smoking fairy godmother played by Beverly D’Angelo. See also: Big Business (1988), in which Lily Tomlin and Bette Midlereach play a set of twins who were switched at birth. (They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore!)

I know I’m looking back instead of forward, but the thought of piling pals into my living room with popcorn and 30-year-old movies makes me feel happy and optimistic. Maybe by summertime we’ll be ready for the outdoor projector. — Jenni Avins

Have a happy New Year!

Isn’t this the best idea? I strongly dislike New Year’s resolutions anyway, and I REALLY dislike the idea of deprivation that is part of these resolutions – it’s all about what you’re not going to do/eat, etc…instead of the glorious things that you are planning to do with your life in the upcoming year. This email was a GREAT reminder of how to focus on the positive, and work on getting rid of the ‘elimination’ idea – let’s think about what we will have and do instead of what we won’t. I LOVE this!!!!!!! Stay tuned tomorrow for my list of things that I am going to LOVE doing in 2020!!!! 😊

Until then, friends!

xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Play That Funky Music

For whatever reason (or about 253 reasons), I’ve been super-deep in my feelings this week. I’ve felt overly sensitive and on the verge of tears about a hundred times; I actually turned my phone off on Christmas Day rather than have one more text full of questions from friends that I didn’t want to answer. I don’t know if I’m overly tired, suffering from allergies (that has been a big part of it, I’m sure of it), or what is going on, but…this week has had me riding the emotion train – and I’m not loving it. At all. My arse has fallen into a tremendous funk, and I need to find a way out – but how?

According to this list, getting out of a funk is so easy you can accomplish it in 15 minutes! Crazy, eh???! I know! Here’s the list:

10 Ways to Get Out of a Funk in 15 Minutes

It’s all about mind over matter. Here’s how to take an off-day and turn it into a productive one.

By Paresh Shah

This story first appeared on The Muse, a web destination with exciting job opportunities and expert career advice.

We all have off days from time to time. It’s human nature. But barring the occasional disaster or tragedy, a bad day is really only bad if you decide to stay in that frame of mind. As Martha Washington put it, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.”

In reality, there are some simple actions that can put a positive spin on things and flip your switch from “ugh” to “awesome.” Here are a few things that can help you turn your day around.

1. Create Your Own Talisman

I have an electric guitar in my office. I’ll slap my headphones on and play my guitar to snap out of lethargy or bad moods–or to simply help my brain start solving problems. Find a physical object that you puts you in a happy, energized state. In A Few Good Men, Lt. Daniel Kaffee needed his baseball bat to think best. You likely have something similar, and it’s not only OK but essential to use props like these to get out of a funk. If you’re stumped, consider Play-Doh, a doodling pad, or a toy you loved as a child.

2. Make Connections

Instead of glancing over your News Feed, try making a connection with someone real. Even chatting with the barista at your local coffee shop can help put you in a good mood. (Here are a few conversation starters.) At my company, we make it a habit to touch base with one another before getting down to business. Sharing something that’s inspired us or that we’re grateful for during the day not only helps form human connections and build a positive atmosphere, but also makes our meetings shorter, more productive, and action-oriented.

3. Make Someone Else’s Day

Choose a person–whether you know him or not–and decide to make his day with a random act of kindness. Leave a note to brighten someone’s day, pay for someone’s coffee in line, or buy extra muffins and distribute them to your team members. Ask a co-worker if you can help her with something. Giving to others and appreciating what we’ve been given are two of the shortest paths to shaking yourself out of a bad mood. On that note:

4. Express Gratitude

Whether you do it in person, over the phone, via social media, or just in your own head, taking a moment to express gratitude leads to improved health, happiness, relationships, and income. A popular restaurant in Los Angeles, Café Gratitude, has its staff practice this every day, and it has one of the highest levels of customer and worker satisfaction in the business.

5. Daydream

Imagine what you might be doing if you were six, 10, or 15 years old. Draw it or write it down, then take a moment to find a photo online that captures its essence. By accessing part of yourself that’s younger, you tap into a time before your aspirations and dreams were reshaped by society. Better yet, spend time with a child. Just watching and spending time around a child opens you up to the freedom and carefree feeling of being young. 

6. Breathe

As one of my yoga teachers says, shallow breathing results in shallow experiences. Deep breathing, on the other hand, helps clear your mind, reduce stress, and reset your mood. An easy way to get started is by downloading The Mindfulness App, which Healthline called “straightforward and simple.” The quiet alerts, regular reminders, and customization options can make breathing such a routine part of your day that you may even find yourself needing to take mood-calibrating breaths less often.

7. Avoid the 4 Cs

There are four things you need to avoid to stay out a funk (not to mention office drama) in the first place: comparing, competing, criticizing, and complaining. If you catch yourself engaging in one of these unhealthy behaviors, redirect your attention to something happy, like a funny video, for an instant mood booster. (Just make sure the funny video doesn’t lead you to the latest dark headline or celebrity drama.)

8. Find a Quiet Space

Even if it means taking refuge in a bathroom stall, find a place where you can have a moment of quiet or move around and shake off the negative thoughts and feelings.

9. Listen to Music

Everyone has a few tunes that never fail to lighten their spirits. Put on some headphones, and crank it up. Better yet, play it out loud in your car, and sing along.

10. Take a Walk

Go for a walk, or try having a walking meeting. In addition to the health benefits, walking has shown to have amazing mood-boosting powers. Sometimes you just need a quick change of scenery to improve your state of mind.

There are a variety of other techniques that can help you shift your day from bad to better. Sometimes escaping a bad mood is all about remembering that, as author Regina Brett put it, “No one really has a bad life. Not even a bad day. Just bad moments.”

A bad moment is just a tiny fraction of your entire day, and a bad day is just one out of your entire life. The more good moments you create, the fewer bad days you’ll have, and the less glaring the bad ones will seem.

So the next time you feel like your day is going south, put these tips into practice, and let the good days commence.

There’s a few things here I can work with – taking walks usually helps improve the quality of my day, as does listening to music. I’m ALWAYS seeking quiet spaces to be (another anomaly with me – I find the world entirely too loud these days…I want more peace and quiet), so that one makes sense as well. I keep hearing about the magical restorative powers of deep breathing, but…I struggle to make that one work for me. I find myself getting light-headed sometimes (especially during cedar season, which has hit my part of Texas with a bloody vengeance)…maybe it’s just me. I think the big one for me is the 4 Cs…comparing, competing, criticizing, and complaining. I’ve actively worked on the complaining bit for years – and I’m still trying to cut that shit right out of my life….it’s hard, though. I’m trying. I don’t think I’m much of a criticizer (out loud), so that’s one thing. The big struggle for me is the comparing and competing – I ALWAYS feel like I’m in a competition with other people, and I don’t.know.why. I don’t know why I have to compare myself to others ALL THE DAMN TIME, and why I ALWAYS come up short. It’s frustrating. It’s no joke that comparison is the thief of joy – but how do you overcome that? If you have ideas, please send them my way – I need the help.

 

I hope that you’re managing your holiday time with as little anxiety and stress as possible. It’s almost time for the new year, and it’s a new decade to boot! Exciting!!! Bring on the ‘20s…time to roar!!! 😊

Xxx

 

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Take Me Away

This post is from January 2017, and it still rings true with me now, nearly three years later. Let’s give it a read:

Take Me Away

I saw this article on Lifehack, and thought that I would share it with you:

Removing These 8 Things From Life Can Make You More Successful
By Amy Johnson

Lots of people think that the best way to become successful is to pick up lots of new habits and skills. While this can help, sometimes the best thing you can do is give up the things that distract you from your goals.

Instead of adding more things to your life, try removing some negative things that hold you back from success. Some are very easy to give up, while others require a little more time and effort.

Here are 8 things that you should remove from your life to be more successful:

1. Remove Excuses
Successful people don’t try to blame their family, their friends, their boss or their co-workers for their life. Instead, they understand that they are fully responsible for their own life and situation. They see this as a good thing as it means that they hold the power to significantly improve their life. When you make up excuses you are lying to yourself, which will hold you back from achieving your goals.

2. Remove Perfectionism
Perfection is unattainable, so trying to achieve it is a waste of your time. Instead of worrying about mistakes that you have made or physical flaws that bother you, simply focus on trying to better yourself with small steps. No one is perfect, but anyone can make the decision to be a better person.

Playing Twister is an excellent way to be successful, don't you think?!

Playing Twister is an excellent way to be successful, don’t you think?!

3. Remove Fear
Lots of people make themselves smaller without realizing; they keep quiet during discussions when they want to say something; they avoid taking risks; and they always think about the worst-case scenario. This fearful attitude will stop you from achieving your full potential, so remove it from your life and be brave instead; speak up, voice your thoughts and actively chase your dreams and goals.

4. Remove The Need To Control Everything
You can’t control everything, and trying to do so is a futile task. It won’t help you to become more successful, but it will make you feel stressed, upset and frustrated. Instead of trying to control everything around you, make an effort to care less about the things you can’t control and focus on the things that you can.

5. Remove A Fixed Mindset
Lots of people have a fixed mindset and they make no effort to learn more or change their perception. This makes it hard for them to become more successful as their mindset is stuck in the past. Try to embrace knowledge and learning, and remember that you can always become wiser.

6. Remove The Desire For Overnight Success
Some people believe that the majority of successful people became successful overnight, or that they became successful by chance. While luck can certainly play its part, you can’t rely on luck to become successful. In reality success takes time and dedication, so you should plan for the future as well as the day ahead of you.

I drank this on Christmas Day. Straight out of the bottle, no glass needed. I was VERY successful!

I drank this on Christmas Day. Straight out of the bottle, no glass needed. Never been more successful in my life!

7. Remove Toxic People
If the people around you are negative and pessimistic, over time you will start to become negative and pessimistic too. Remove the toxic people from your life and replace them with optimistic, supportive people who genuinely care about you and your dreams. You will find that you are more motivated to work on your goals, and you will be happier and less stressed.

8. Remove The Need To Say Yes (When Really You Want To Say No)
Some people struggle to say no to the people around them, even if they want to say no. This normally means that they end up wasting time doing things that they don’t want to do, and other people might start to take advantage of them. Be brave and say no when you want to; only you can make your dreams a priority, and it is difficult to do that if you are too busy helping other people with their dreams.

This list is golden, don’t you think? Instead of telling you all the things that you need to learn to do and add to your already-overflowing life, this one suggests removing the things that don’t feel good. I LOVE this. I am crazy about the idea of not doing the things that don’t make you happy – for example, I don’t hang out with people who make me feel shitty anymore. I’ve known people who used to like spending time with me because they would put me down, and in the process build themselves up – which is no way to treat a friend, if you ask me. I’m done with it. I didn’t have a dramatic scene where I spelled out just how bloody much they sucked – instead, I always found reasons to say no to making plans with them…and eventually they took the hint. Done with that crap.

I’ve written before of my refusal to keep saying ‘yes’ to every single damn thing that comes my way – if I don’t want to do something (and I don’t have to for work/life), I don’t. Again, no big dramatic moments ever go down…I just say no. It’s liberating! I’m master of my own domaine, and I get to decide how I spend my time and how I am going to feel about it. Woohoo!! 🙂 Just say no – you should try it! 🙂

I’ve never had the perfectionist gene, and I’m pretty good at taking responsibility for my shit and not offering up lame excuses. I am addressing the fear issue at the moment, as this is a biggie for me. I avoid doing all sorts of things that would probably revolutionize my life and how I live it  – all because I am afraid…which is silly. I have gone back to Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “May Cause Miracles” and I am working my way through it, day by day – I’m even doing the exercises and everything! Yaa me! This week, the focus was on being the witness of my thoughts, actions, and energy – and choosing love over fear. I love that. When things get shady and the fight or flight instinct kicks in – take a step back, and choose love. I will keep you posted on how this works out – I am a girl who could realllllllly use a miracle!

Have a good day, mes amis!!! 🙂

xxx

This stuff will definitely make your life better!

This stuff will definitely make your life better!

Posted in Awesome Stuff

The Boxer

Happy Boxing Day! I hope that your Christmas Day was loooooovely, restful, peaceful, and snuggly – the way that Christmas Day should be! 😊 Tell me all about it! 😊

Our Christmas Day was nice – the morning began early with presents and breakfast; after all of that excitement was over, we kicked back and did nothing for a few hours, until it was time to start prepping dinner. As I mentioned a few days ago, we were switching up the menu this year and making a Low Country Seafood Boil – it was DELISH! 😊 Such a great, different, fun idea – loved it! I will definitely give this one a whirl again some time! 😊

After dinner, I again engaged in doing nothing but listening to the TV and reading. It was awesome! I went to bed early – and I got up early this morning as it was back to work for me! Short holiday this year…such a difference from my years of working in schools! The good news is that I took advantage of the early alarm to run by the Lush store and partake in their annual Boxing Day sale – woohoo! Im SUCH a Lush lover…it’s ridiculous. I’ve loved them, their products, their business model/look/ethos for 20+ years….I wish I could go to work for them. I would be the greatest ambassador of their products – I LOVE them. Yaa!

I’m hoping for an easy day at work today, and a quick day tomorrow….then weekend! Yaa! Hope you had a beautiful Christmas, and that you’re enjoying your holiday time, however you’re spending it. Hugs and love!

Xxx

PS: I didn’t take one picture over Christmas – I didn’t make a conscious decision to do that, I just put the phone down and left it alone, preferring instead to enjoy the moment. It was a nice couple of days. 🎄

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas! 🎄 I’ll be back with limited content later this week, and back to my full posting schedule in the new year. Thank you for your tremendous support, encouraging comments, and all-around kindness since kicking off this new venture this month – I’m humbled. Thank you. ♥️ Happy Christmas to you and yours….hope Santa’s good to you, you deserve it! 🎄

Ho ho ho!

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Put It All On Me

Do yourself a favor and watch Ed Sheeran’s new video – it features real-life couples of all ages dancing together, and it’s AMAZING! The stories written on the bottom of the screen are their real stories, and it’s just so beautiful. ♥️♥️♥️ Ed and his wife are in the video as well – awesome!!!!

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Perfect

It’s officially the Christmas season around here – I watched “Love Actually” yesterday morning…and it was friggin’ GLORIOUS. I love that movie SO much – I don’t care that people say it’s cheesy and crap and whatever else….doesn’t matter to me one bit. I LOVE it, and that’s all that matters – taking time to do stuff that makes you happy is ALWAYS a good thing. 😊 Here’s a clip of one of my favorite scenes:


I hope someday someone finds me to be perfect to them. ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Biscuits

I’ve been writing about doing things to feed your soul lately…today I wanted to share about feeding your soul through your tummy! Here’s some recipes that I’m planning to make this week – we aren’t having a traditional Christmas dinner, as we had Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving recently…we are turkeyed out (and I gave up eating meat four months ago!). I’m going to contribute some dishes for our appetizer feast with my family on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas Day we will have a breakfast casserole thing in the morning, and we’ve planned a seafood boil for dinner that day – totally switching it up!!! Here’s some recipes I’m planning to try out this week (including my all-time favorite dip that I’ve been LOVING since I was a tiny kid):

Shrimp Dip

  • 1/2 cup chili sauce I used Heinz
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated onion use your cheese grater
  • 1 teaspoon creamed horseradish
  • 1 dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 dash or two, or three of Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 pound cooked salad shrimp or shrimp meat can sub small can shrimp, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  1. Use an electric mixer to blend the chili sauce into the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until very smooth. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the shrimp, and blend until well combined.
  2. Use a spoon to fold in the shrimp and chives, reserving a couple of tablespoons of shrimp for garnish. Cover and chill for at least an hour or two prior to serving.
  3. Pile the reserved shrimp in the center of the dip and serve with Ritz Crackers and celery sticks (or ripple chips…or a spoon, to be honest).

Country Shrimp Boil

  • 1 tablespoon crab boil seasoning (old bay) plus extra for sprinkling
  • 12 baby red potatoes or any small potatoes
  • 6 ears of fresh corn, cut in half
  • 12 ounce bottle beer
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 (one pound) packages smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, fresh or frozen
  1. In a stockpot, add the seasoning, potatoes, corn, beer, onion and sausage.
  2. Cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink.
  5. Drain the liquid into the sink and serve boil.
  6. Sprinkle with extra crab boil seasoning.

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 pound vegetarian sausage
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups grated cheddar
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 tablespoon Frank’s red hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Brown the vegetarian sausage in a large skillet, crumbling as it cooks. Drain grease and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the milk. Whisk together until well combined.
  4. Stir in the sausage, bacon, cheddar, onion, pepper, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until eggs are set and edges are golden brown.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Some years we go way over the top and make tons of dishes, traditional food, etc…this is not one of those years. I’m working most of the holiday time, so I’ve not got a ton of spare time to get things together, and I’m on a bit of a quest to simplify things in my life at the moment anyway, so….keepin’ it simple this year. Hopefully it will still be lovely and all will be nice – maybe I will be starting a new tradition! 🎄

What traditions do you celebrate during the holidays?

Xxx