November – Grateful & Thankful

 

Where did the time go?  Phew! What a month October has been. I’ve had so much going on, more than usual. I’ve had many challenges in my personal and business life, dealt with health issues, the continuous care for my parents and being present with my family. At one point I was so overwhelmed, it felt like the world was caving in on me. Then, one day, I had an epiphany. I suddenly felt the urge to step back, slow down, say no to many things and put my responsibilities into perspective. I realized that I did not have to do it all, I am not responsible for everyone’s happiness, and success is a journey that I will continue to pursue. I stopped pushing myself to the limit and started being in the moment.  This action reminded me to appreciate what’s present and to continue to be inspired by my challenges and experiences. It seems quite fitting that Thanksgiving is slowly approaching. I am grateful and thankful for taking the time to change old habits and start new ones that are much more gratifying and fulfilling.   It’s a great reminder to look around and be grateful for all the things you’ve overlooked. As I get ready to enjoy my family and the Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage you to pause and take note of the good things and people in your life.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Renate

 
 
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Food

Seasonal Dishes

 
 

I love food! And when the holiday season approaches, I am even more excited to pull out my menu and recipes to get ready for all the delicious dishes my family and I look forward to indulging in as we celebrate. I know many people are concerned about gaining weight during this time of the year and are afraid to enjoy the extra dishes that come with the season.  A question I often get from my friends is, “How do you manage to stay in shape and not gain weight during this time?” Here are my tips:

  • I eat as I normally do on a regular day, consuming my usual portions.

  • When there are many dishes and sides, I take a little of each. This way I get to taste everything without being stuffed.

  • Even though it’s the holiday season, I keep my normal daily exercise regimen.

  • And, most of all, when I prepare my food, I pay attention to the ingredients. If you can spare the time to cook your meals, do that! If time doesn’t allow, then select dishes that aren’t full of sodium, high sugars, and preservatives. 

Here is my delicious, quick and easy to make, fresh cranberry sauce recipe. Give it a try!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and drained

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • (5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) 1/3 cup water

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 3 whole cloves

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 orange, zest and juice

In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, sugar, and water. Stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and add the cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix well and let continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole. Add the orange zest and juice and stir. Remove from heat, remove and discard the cinnamon stick and cloves. Cool before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

 
 
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Fashion

Holiday Ready

 
 

Thanksgiving is always held at my house where I am the chief-cook-and-bottle washer, so I keep my style casual with a dash of modern, classy and of course elegance.  I like to look polished and pulled together even if our Thanksgiving celebration leans a little more on the casual side.

Here are a few fashion ideas I have discovered and am fond of for the Thanksgiving weekend. Whether I am going out to visit friends or family, they are appropriate and versatile:

  1. Leggings + Sweater + Flats

    Leggings are the ultimate casual comfort pants, but there’s a fine line between looking chic in leggings and looking frumpy.  It is important to have a top that covers your bottom and longer in the back than it is in the front. A beautiful sweater will create a polished look when paired with leggings along with flats or mules.

  2. Sweater Dress + Riding Boots + Scarf

    This is one of my favorite fall and winter styles. I love the easy-going look of a classy sweater dress with a pair of riding boots.  Add a beautiful scarf and you’re good to go!

  3. Skinny Jeans + Poncho + Booties

    This style is a good example of how to do easy elegance. It is simply jeans, a t-shirt (white) and booties with a poncho thrown over the top. This look is special because of the sophisticated individual elements. Choose a poncho that has nice color and color blocking (brown, purple, grey tones) with unique details and style such as pockets and fringe. Add a nice handbag to complement your outfit. All of these individual pieces are lovely in this outfit and will work well with other items in your closet. Be on the lookout for these kinds of versatile things!

I hope you find one of these outfits helpful and show up in style for Thanksgiving dinner.

 
 
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Family

Gratitude

 
 

Thanksgiving is a special time to be thankful for great families, fortunate events, caring friends, and all the other gifts of life. As my family gathers around our dinner table to enjoy the delectable feast, we share what each of us is thankful for. One thing we all have in common is that we are grateful for being a close-knit family despite the challenges we endure.

I’ve realized that life tends to whiz by without hesitation or any sign of slowing down and, in the madness, it’s very easy to forget to be thankful for all the awesome things we are given in life. Consistently keeping track of what you are thankful for and acting on those feelings of appreciation can not only make you happier, but it can actually boost your immune system and keep you healthier. So as you get ready to gather with your family and friends, take time to recognize the positive things in your life. Expressing gratitude can be a cleansing, wholesome experience!