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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thanksgiving At Sista's

 Hello, dear friends.  I am so excited about this post. I  talked Sista into giving me the first scoop on her big news. 

As you may recall from my blog, my brother-in-law died unexpectedly in August. A silver lining of the pandemic is that Sista’s boys (neph 1 and 2) have been home with Sista.  As Thanksgiving was their family’s very favorite holiday,  they were bracing for a tough one.

Rather than allowing his absence to consume them, they decided to honor their husband/dad by writing a book about Thanksgiving.

It seems fitting as my Sista and her late Mista were known for fabulous holiday entertaining, and my bro-in-law instilled in his two sons a true love of food, wine, and cooking.

The working title for their book is:  The Ultimate Thanksgiving Playbook and will cover it all - from cooking, cocktails, conversation, table setting, and even cleaning.  It will make it easy for hosts to elevate their Thanksgiving game by providing cooking techniques, checklists, and resources.  It will be available August 2021, just in time to plan for next Thanksgiving!

Sista provided a sneak peek from their last few Thanksgivings.

Since the boys have been legal, (well maybe even before), they have created a Bloody Mary bar.  Their bar includes everything from homemade beef consomm√© to asparagus spears and celery foam.

Since tomato juice can be filling, they make clarified juice by hanging tomatoes in cheesecloth overnight. 

Here’s one of their signature bloodies made from clarified tomato juice, consomm√©, and vodka topped with celery foam. The rim is Lawry’s seasoning - yum!

Neph #2 is incredible in the kitchen.  
He insists on fresh turkey, which Neph #1 picks up from a local farm.

He even makes his own bread for the stuffing and organizes all the ingredients.

While the book will address different ways of cooking a turkey, my Chef Nef prefers separating the turkey into its parts.  He tells me that cooking the white and dark meat separately ensures that every bit of the turkey is perfectly cooked.

The kid gets his perfectionism from moi.
Have I told you that he was born on my birthday?

Neph #1 has made a study over the years of the perfect wines to pair with the turkey.

The kid gets his love for wine from moi.
His taste is a bit more refined than mine, though.

And last, but certainly not least, my Sista has set some beautiful tables over the years.  

And no one has more fun creating them!
Yeah, I think she gets that from me.

Thank you, dear Sista, for sharing your family Thanksgiving throughout the years.  

I can't wait until your book is published and I get my free autographed copy!!!

Need some gift inspiration?

I have some herehere, herehere, and here.

Until next time...

Lady Wiley in residence guarding the family bird. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

50+ Gifts Under 50 Bucks

Hello, dear friends.  I hope you are having a good week.  All is well here.  We've laid low but have ventured out to less crowded places on occasion.  

One such place is called Blue Print.  On my last visit here, my #1 couldn't wait to bring me to this breathtaking interior design shop.  It was love at first sight.  So we stopped in to browse, and I met Anne, who is so lovely.  It turns out that she is dear friends with Susan, the author of Sophistication Is OverratedI've been here for less than a month, and already I have a small world story.

If you find yourself in the Dallas area, treat yourself and stop by and feast your eyes on all the luscious furniture and accessories. Don't forget to ask for Anne - she's a delight.

 Over the weekend, we spent over an hour at our #1 choice of house prospects.    It's a beautiful house in a lovely small gated community in Dallas tucked into the end of a cul de sac.  It has a huge formal living room and a very large kitchen which needs a major renovation.  It has a pool and a very small patio.  It does not have a study, which the Mister wants, or a family room, which I would like.  There are many wonderful things about the house, but the floorplan is not one of them.  It is very quirky.  So after giving much thought, we decided to cross this one off our list. 

So now we are back to square one with a few maybes left on the list.  We are very comfortable in our little pad, so we will take our time in finding the perfect house for us.

In the meantime, I have been working on another gift guide.  Can you tell that I don't have a lot to write about?  I do miss the holiday house tours and fairs that I usually attend during November.  So bare with me while I tackle my addiction to gift guides.  

Lastly, I want to take a minute to thank all of my readers and loyal followers for your support.  Through the years, you have been at my side during the wonderful times, as well as the sadder days.  I appreciate all of the thoughtful emails as well as every comment that you write.  And if you don't leave a comment, don't worry, I still like you.

So this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for you and your friendship.  Although it is a difficult time, I hope your day is filled with love and laughter, whether it be in person or on facetime.

Next year, when I am decorating for Christmas again, I am ordering this pillow. 

And maybe these, too.

What's one more?

Oh boy, I better start making a list.

Love these too!


These darling melamine plates are channeling the old fashion paper plate, but they are so much prettier.
Oprah thinks so, too because they are on her 2020 Favorite Things list.

This beanie with speakers is great for the buddy who likes to walk and listen.  The sound quality of the earphones is phenomenal.  I own two of these.

For the friend who wants to step up her leggings game.

A woman can never be too thin or have too many totes.

For the pal that is always forgetting her mask.
This sweater has one that is built-in.

No size worries... one size fits all.

My #2 has one like this, so of course, I had to order this one.
Now everyone will think we are sisters.
Btw... it is so comfy!

So cute.
I think I need this in black.

My buddy, Jane, over at Blondie's Journal raved about this water bottle.

On sale.

I can't wait until we can start entertaining again!

I had some monogrammed napkins made up about three weeks before this nightmare of a pandemic began.
Needless to say, they are still in the package somewhere in the boxes in storage.
Hopefully, by the time I see them, we will be able to celebrate the vaccine.


I consider a planner an optimistic gift, especially this year.
Hopefully, it will be filled with lots of fun things to look forward to.
Don't forget to write in your birthday! 

It's the little things that I forgot to pack for our temporary nest.
Like a spoon rest.

I put this pitcher on my post last year.
Isn't it sweet?

Cute gift for the friend who is a ginger jar fan.

A candle is always a good idea.

Sweet sentiments.

Fancy jams!

This was on my #1's Christmas list.


I also forgot my ironing board, so I am borrowing #2's steamer.
I like it a lot better than ironing.

Cute idea for the pal who is doing over her office.

I had to order one of these, so I never forget this year and always appreciate the good times.

A sweet moment for the friend that you used to meet at Starbuck's maskless.

Do you want to get the scoop on your new neighbor?
Forget Bunco and have her over to play this game.
Be sure to serve plenty of wine.

I gave a few of these as gifts last Christmas.

Another brand that my girls are crazy about.
I'm game.
I want dewy skin.

This is a game-changer for my once frizzy, dry hair.

I'm a big fan of It cosmetics.
If you've your friend wanted to give it a whirl, this is a good gift set, and it's on sale.

This is my favorite neck cream.
It was sold out for a while, and now it is on sale.
So if you have a friend like me who hates her neck, this might be a good gift since it's on sale.  

It has a little color which I like, so I apply it with this.

Makeup brushes are always a good idea.

My girls love these!

Bloggers are loving this book.

Since I'm not decorating this year, I'll order this for the Mister's bathroom.

For the girlfriend who always shows up well-equipped.
Ahem, KTG.

Need some more gift inspiration?

I have some herehere, here, and here.

Stay safe.

Until next time...

Our little Diva had her first Dallas haircut yesterday.
Can't you tell how thrilled she is?

Linking up with:

J. Crew

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