November was an absolute whirlwind of a month. I missed posting to the blog every week, which sucks because I had made a resolution to be better about posting four times a month. Oh well! Life happens.
Here are a few of my favorite things from the month of November:
Food – Will made his grandmother’s potato casserole for Thanksgiving and everyone that tried it adored it. Maybe I’ll have a guest post about it sometime soon? We’ll see!
Drinks – Recently I’ve been very into trying new wines and mulled ciders. I think it all started with Fran Acciardo’s vlog about Trader Joe’s wines. I miss having a Trader Joe’s in town, but for now the wines from Aldi will have to do.
Check out the video here: Trader Joe’s Cheap Wine Review Under $6
Books – While I wish I could say I’ve been able to read for fun during law school, I haven’t. My eyes are so tired at the end of each day that reading before bed seems like more of a chore than a pleasure. I do have quite a few new and noteworthy books in my TBR pile. You can check them out on my Goodreads profile!
I decorated my Christmas tree before I left for Thanksgiving break. I found some mini balloon dog ornaments at Walmart for my tree (which is basically a fluffier version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree). I’m tempted to get these giant balloon dog ornaments for my parents’ tree at home. How cute!
That’s all for now. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!
Will and I went to the State Botanical Gardens in Athens, GA this past weekend as part of our Valentine’s celebration. The gardens are broken up into different sections: the garden house, the greenhouse, the kids area, the trails, and the outdoor cultural gardens. I personally like the greenhouse best. It reminds me of going to the Biltmore House with Will back during our first spring break together. How cute!
This weekend the gardens were decorated for the lunar new year. Chinese lanterns were hung everywhere in the greenhouse. It felt absolutely magical!
There were quite a few educational activities. They were meant for kids, but Will and I checked them out anyways. I taught him how to use chopsticks!
This year’s the year of the pig. Did you know that some American kids are developing British accents because of Peppa Pig? Conversely, did you know that Peppa Pig is banned in China? Crazy, right?
That’s all for now! Zài jiàn!
A friend turned me on to taking the five love languages quiz at the end of last semester. My top love language is acts of service. While it came as no surprise, it was nice to have some affirmation that I like what I like and I know what makes me happy.
Acts of Service: Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.Five Love Letters
Affirmations are always nice (and they’re almost all of my friends’ top love language) and they go right along with acts of service if you’re making Valentine’s Day cards this week!
Delta Gamma got together and made cards for the visually impaired using puffy paint for the braille! If you go into stores, you won’t find many cards for the blind (or any at all if you shop where I shop). Making your own is super easy. Send them to a school for the visually impaired near you! Delta Gamma sent ours to schools in Atlanta.
Another card writing act of service I’ve done recently is through More Love Letters. My group of freshmen and I got together yesterday night to write cards for people going through hard times. More Love Letters is an organization that provides a short story about someone’s hardship (that’s asked for letters, or has had someone ask on their behalf) and an address for people to write notes of encouragement to them. You can find them by clicking here! My Freshman Forum group wrote more than fifteen letters for Joe, Shelby, Regina, Anthony, and Erica.
Those are just two small acts of service to think about this Thursday (or before!). Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!
While my blog might have gotten off to a rough start this year, my real life has been full of positive change. Here’s what I’m doing in 2019 to make this year the best one yet:
- Make more art
- Embrace the unknown (looking at you, law school)
- Drink more water
- Take an exercise class
- Focus on skin care and hair care
- Read at least three books from a genre I wouldn’t normally choose from
And there you have it! My goals for the new year are almost always flexible and simple. I don’t like attaching numbers to things, except for maybe how many books I want to read. This “freeform” type of resolution making helps me actually want to make some changes. I get to do it at my own pace, however often, whether that’s two minutes every day or twenty hours in one sitting.
Do you have any goals for 2019? Have you changed them or come up with new ones in the past two weeks?
People my age almost always ask for money or gift cards for Christmas. It’s easier that way. Mailing them $20 is less complicated than trying to fit an entire homemade chicken casserole in a FedEx flat rate box. That being said, there are some little things college aged kids could use whether they know it or not (and sometimes we know it we just would rather spend money on pizza than face masks or slippers haha).
Thanksgiving is always complicated when there’s one vegetarian in the mix. Questions like “does chicken broth count as vegetarian?” and “wait…do they eat eggs?” get throw around so often that it seems that more people have spinning heads than side dishes. Have no fear! Thanksgiving side dishes are easier than you think.
A few notes before we get started:
- vegetarians eat eggs – vegans do not
- this dish contains eggs, so it is not vegan
- chicken broth (not that we’re using it here) is not vegetarian
- yes, we do eat animal crackers 😉
Brussels sprouts are a great winter staple. They’re easy to cook and can be pared with most meats, like turkey and ham. Not only that, they’re versatile for different types of recipes too. You can pulse them in a food processor to add to a salad. You can toss them into a stew. Add them to a roast. Roast them in the oven with chicken for an easy dinner. So many options, so few days until the day of American feasting!
This recipe uses brussels sprouts, chopped nuts, olive oil, eggs, garlic, and spring onions. You can get fancy and add in some spices if you want, but I tend to keep things simple and sauté my aromatics before roasting them with the sprouts to get the most flavor out of my produce before adding anything else into the mix.
Garlicky Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Nuts
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or two table spoons pre-minced garlic)
- lemon zest (I used about half a lemon’s worth but feel free to add more or less)
- 4 jammy eggs made using Bon Appetit’s jammy egg recipe
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4tbsp Olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
- 1/8 cup spring onions (optional)
First, put half of your oil in a saucepan and set the pan on medium heat. Once hot, add half of your minced garlic. Saute it for a minute or two before adding in the chopped nuts. Stir occasionally, making sure the nuts are toasted but not burned.
While the nuts toast (which should take less than five minutes) prep your brussels. Preheat the oven to 400 F. The woody stem should be cut away and the brussels sprouts should be laid out evenly on a well oiled baking sheet. Drizzle the rest of your olive oil over the sprouts, sprinkle the remaining garlic on there, and pop them into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
Once the nuts are toasted, set aside. Toss the spring onion, salt, and pepper with the nuts. Once the timer on the oven has reached fifteen minutes, take out the brussels sprouts. Toss them with the toasted nuts, spread them out evenly on the baking sheet again, and pop them back into the oven to finish baking.
Once out of the oven, let cool before adding the lemon zest. Add jammy eggs to the top. I would recommend cutting the eggs after placing them with the brussels because the yolks can get messy fast.
This recipe would make a perfect side dish for all of the vegetarians in your life. If you need a vegan side, just take out the eggs and add more nuts. Allergic to nuts? Use toasted sesame seeds. This dish is full of protein and (almost) as savory as the turkey.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving sides?
Recipe adapted from Naturally Ella’s Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Jammy Eggs
Happy Fourth – celebrate with some classic American tunes!
I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying the holidays, staying safe, and taking advantage of all the warm fuzzies that are shared during this time of year.
Much love from my family to yours!