Well if Julia/Maria isn’t singing about them and Oprah isn’t doing it any more… oh wait she still is? Whatever. Here is a list of my 14 favorite things for 2014!
While food tends to hold the visual spotlight on this holiday, we like to do a buffet set up in the kitchen and then enjoy our meal on a gorgeously set table in the dining room (there really isn’t anything appetizing about half eaten dishes piled on a table). The big question is where to begin? Pinterest has lent its hand at sharing many beautiful centerpiece ideas such as this one and this one, but we decided to go a more intricate route.
My family loves the little details, so we love our guests to have a lot to look at, while not being overwhelmed or feeling cluttered. This usually results in a color palate of about 3 colors, and special little touches like place cards, handwritten menus or dainty votives.
Some things I learned from decorating the table over the years:
- Don’t wait until the day before Thanksgiving to buy your flowers. Everyone was on the bandwagon WAY before you were… I learned this the hard way, when there were VERY slim pickings on Wednesday afternoon.
- Don’t forget to take height into accountability. I was very happy with how the centerpieces turned out last year, but the minute we sat down to the table, half of had to be removed because we couldn’t see each other.
- Always buy more. I tend to underestimate a space and am scrounging around for fillers to save me from a bare looking table. Now I always buy extra of whatever I’m working with (candles/flowers/vases), and then if there are leftovers use them to decorate your guest bathroom or entryway.
What tips do you have for prepping Thanksgiving decor?
My mom is a hairdresser, so I have always lucked out in the great hair care product department. I often mix things up and and have always been open to trying new things… but I wanted to share my tried and true favorites with you all today!
Shampoo/Conditioner: S Factor Smoothing*
Deep Conditioner (once a week): TGI Serious Conditioner*
After Shower Products: It’s a 10 Leave-in Product*
Thermal Product: Paul Mitchell Thermal Protection Spray
Hot Tools: BaByliss Flat Iron
After Shower Products: Matrix Vavoom Root Spray
Thermal Product: Matrix Biolage Thermal Active Setting Spray*
Hot Tools: Hot Tools Curling Iron*
* = tried and true and has been in my hair line-up for the past 10 years
As far as my actual hair care – I was a swimmer throughout high school and was constantly washing my hair, but as I’ve gotten older I’m trying to wean off my usual schedule and protect my hair more. Being blonde, “dirty hair days” aren’t as easy to hide, but I love good old baby powder and have tried about four different dry shampoos recently but haven’t been in love with any of them (I’ve heard good things about Oribe, so that’s next on my list!).
Currently I wash my hair every other day, and rock a good old top knot or fun braids on the “dirty” days. I also try to let my hair air dry a bit before blowdrying/using hot tools (lessen the damage). The fact I don’t color my hair and try to get semi regular trims (longer hair is more forgiving) has also helped me in the hair department… what secret (or not so secret) tips do you have for the hair department?!
I love dinners that transition well to lunches the next day. Considering most recipes make enough for 4 people, I have to make sure to I really LOVE what I’m making (enough for a couple rounds of leftovers). This salad is a great option! Super healthy, tons of Omega-3s, and under 400 calories per serving!
Southwestern Salmon Cobb Salad
adapted from Eating Well
- 1 lb wild salmon, skinned
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce framed canned chipotles + 1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobe
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt or reduced fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 10 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatos, halved
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- Make dressing by mixing greek yogurt/sour cream, vinegar, water, minced chipotles and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Store in fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat.
- Divide salmon into 4 equal portions and brush with adobo sauce and sprinkle with salt.
- Grill salmon, turning once, until opaque – about 3 minutes per side.
- Divide greens, salmon and toppings among 4 plates (or 2 plates and 2 Tupperwares for tomorrow!). Serve dressing on the side and enjoy!
*In a pinch I buy honey smoked salmon portions at Whole Foods. They can be served cold and are an easy addition to this salad if you don’t feel like grilling.
**If you are out of chipotles, I also recommend using dried chipotle powder in the dressing.
Per Serving (according to EatingWell.com): 385 calories, 22 g far, 91 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate, 0 g added sugar; 37 g protein, 7 g fiber, 696 mg sodium, Nutritional bonuses – 85% daily value of Vitamin A, 62% DV of folate, 60% DV of Vitamin C, 42% DV of Potassium
Last week I shared my Lemon Water recipe… today I wanted to share with you my “take to work breakfast shake.” My mom put this recipe together and it is so easy and delicious! The best part? You make the night before and don’t have to worry about prepping anything the day of!
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons PB2
- 12 oz Almond Milk
- Simply put all ingredients into a glass container and shake!
- Let sit overnight and enjoy in the morning.
- A mason jar is a great container, as well as the Nut Milk jars that Whole Foods sells (simply enjoy their in-house vanilla almond milk and clean out the container). I also found that Juice Shop uses the same bottles… so if you are in the city, you can snag one of those as well! I just fill the almond milk to almost the top (still need room to shake).
- Buy your chia seeds at Costco… you get way more bang for your buck (as usual).
- What is PB2? It is basically dehydrated peanut butter, thus removing most of the fat from it – only 45 calories a serving! If you don’t like peanut butter, this shake may not be for you… although they do have a chocolate PB2 that may taste more chocolatey than peanut butter, but I haven’t tried it yet.
- Make sure to make this the night before. The seeds need time to be submerged in liquid, so that you can get the full nutrients.