Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving gems

These videos are Thanksgiving gems! 

This first one is too cute not to post. A dedicated man lovingly prepares a tiny Thanksgiving feast for his tiny, furry friends. Precious!

What can I say about the next video? #lol #funny #hilarious #youknowyoudothesamewhenyougohomeforThanksgiving

Be forewarned about the last video: it's a tearjerker. 

An Argentine boy receives a cutting board for his birthday. The grateful boy tells his parents he can't wait to use it to cut food. Then his parents surprise him with a second gift, a much-wanted tablet.

Apparently, his mother saved and saved so she could buy the expensive device for the boy. His reaction to his mother's generosity is just priceless. A beautiful, shining example of the true meaning of thankfulness.

Happy Thanksgiving, loves!!

Thanksgiving etiquette

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving dos and don'ts

There are some things that are simply imperative on Thanksgiving. Like a perfectly golden-brown turkey and cranberry sauce made from scratch (never, I repeat never, use the canned kind!). 

I grew up with a Korean mom who lovingly and painstakingly took up the American Thanksgiving tradition. For as long as I can remember we had the full Thanksgiving spread: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy made from the turkey drippings, green beans, buttered corn. On the other side of the American feast was its Korean counterpart: kalbi (barbecue ribs), a variety of kimchi, japchae (glass noodles), buchim (potato pancakes) and plenty of panchan (assorted marinated vegetables and roots). 

Mom cooked and prepped all week. Every chance she got in between her busy full-time work schedule and raising us young pups, she would slave away in the kitchen boiling and salting vegetables, marinating beef short ribs, making homemade kimchi and studying her trusted turkey recipe. 

Now that I'm a mother myself and raising my own young pups, I think of all the details my mom put into Thanksgiving to make it a beautiful and memorable occasion. In fact, I always think of her when setting a table or preparing a meal.

I came across this great article from Bon Appetit about modern Thanksgiving etiquette. I think it offers fantastic advice appropriate not just for Turkey Day, but any event where you find yourself a dinner host or guest. I think Mom would approve, too.  

Ten of my favorite nuggets:

> There must be music: a music-less house is missing something. 

> Organize your home: so there is room for coats, a place for children to play and somewhere for the adults to escape.

> Guests should be prompt, but NOT early: the unexpected early guest is a pest.

> Ignore the host who tells you to "Just bring yourself" -- you should never arrive empty handed.

> Hosts should take every care in creating a seating plan that encourages lively conversation, quarantines quarrelsome personalities, sparks new friendships and accommodates the delicate (consider the sample seating chart below).

> I LOVE this bit of advice regarding conversation: The victorians played a parlor game where participants stood in a circle and tried to keep a feather aloft by blowing. Too soft a blow and the feather falls; too hard, and it flies out of the circle. This is exactly how conversation should work: where everyone cooperates to keep a subject afloat, without wallflowers or blowhards deflating things (again, consider the chart below). 

> Argument is not conversation, and rudeness is never wit. Keep jokes short and stories shorter. Listen and laugh.

> Let kids be kids: it's a long day -- give them space to watch a movie or play outside.

> Phones are the nemesis of conviviality. Meals like Thanksgiving should be havens from the intrusion of work and social media. So Instagram your thumbs off before and after the meal, but in deference to the cook, turn off and put away all devices while there is food on the table.

> Modern technology has not yet replaced the handwritten thank-you note -- rather it has made it more precious.

Click here to read the full article.

Illustration by Mary Kate McDevitt. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

This week's obsession: cheap nail polish

Who doesn't love pretty nail polish? And who doesn't love it even more when it's cheap? My current obsession is Wet n Wild's Spoiled nail color line. I especially appreciate the thicker, larger brush (for easier application) and the formula sticks (even after two weeks, my manicure will rarely chip)! 

But the best part is the price tag. You can find all 72 shades at CVS for... what? Yes, $1.99 each!

Pretty ice blue nails, just in time for winter. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Every now and again, one comes across a set of words so beautifully crafted (like a lovely string of pearls!) that it leaves a mark on you. I feel that way about this Rudyard Kipling poem. 

Words of wisdom to last a lifetime. Hope you are inspired and blessed by it, too.



By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a [wo]Man, my [daughter]!*

(*adapted from the original poem) 

"Flying Bird" by Calum Margetts.