Monday, November 24, 2014

A Simple Thanksgiving


Well, Thanksgiving's here, whether I'm ready or not. In just a few short days, we'll have a house-full of family and friends. How I decide to embrace this day has a lot to do with how enjoyable it will be for us and our guests. If I'm striving for perfection in foods and decor, it'll bomb. If I remember that this day, this day of gathering, is more about the process of being together than it is anything else, it'll be a success. That's really hard isn't it? Hospitality is a mindset long before it's an action. Welcoming people into our imperfect homes and lives, immediately puts them at ease. They don't even want all that pretense of perfection we're trying to shove at them.

This Thanksgiving will have a casual aire of simplicity. This Thanksgiving will be about the act of gathering. This year's focus will be on sharing the day with those we love. Nothing more. Simple. I've done a lot lately that cleaves to simple. We had a simple fall, now a simple Thanksgiving, and starting Friday, a simple Christmas. That's all it's supposed to be, you know? Simple pleasures. The world has confused us and made us believe that complex is normal. It's not. Don't believe it for a second. 

If your week is starting off with you a frazzled mess, filled with deadlines and over the top decor for your Thanksgiving, give it all the gift of good-bye. There are still a couple of days left to re-center and focus on gathering. It's not too late my dears, not too late at all! Set this Thanksgiving apart from years past, focus on the simple pleasures.

I happened across these printable place-mats that I've highlighted in this post over at Ella Claire. I knew they would be perfect for our Thanksgiving table this year. Simple with the focus on thankful- perfect! I just loved how she added the pencil into the place setting so cleverly so each guest could write down what they are most thankful for this year. Here's more inspiration photos from all around blogland with lots of great and SIMPLE tablescapes. Follow the link back to Ella Claire's for getting to all those blogs

Wishing you a most blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving Day. See you right back here Friday as we kick off the start of the Christmas season here at The Little Farm.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vegetable Beef Soup

This is one of those soups that you're probably thinking, "what's the big whoop", "there's nothing special or post worthy about this soup"? But you know, sometimes simple is special. Sometimes easy is comforting and just what a busy day needs. This is that soup. It's hearty and healthy and you probably have everything you need to make it already. The husband and kids loved it and it makes plenty of leftovers for the next day or to store away in the freezer for a later time.

What you'll need:

2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
32 oz. chicken broth
2 14 oz. cans black eyed peas
16 oz. bag of frozen corn
Lg. bag of fresh or frozen spinach
1 medium onion diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 12 oz. bag wide pasta noodles
1 T. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste


Brown ground beef, drain and set aside. Add all ingredients {including ground beef} to stew pot with enough water to make a soupy mixture.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for at least one hour. Let soup stand 30 minutes before serving.

I serve this soup with a large skillet of cornbread. Honey, when you live in the south, you just have to serve this with cornbread..... it's required! Enjoy and stay warm y'all!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY: A Winter Rescue Kit

It's that time of year again! Cold and flu season. Yuck, yuck, yuck! The other day, I started to feel a little nauseous, and then panicky! I'm not ready for this......I'm not prepared for this.......what if I'm really sick.....I don't have any supplies. Thank heavens I felt better the next day, but it really got the wheels in my brain turning. Sooooooo, next trip out, I began stocking up a box with emergency supplies. Now if one of us goes down, I'm ready! I know what you're probably thinking, "why do you need a box stashed away for this, just put the supplies in the pantry". If you have kids, the answer may be pretty obvious as to why I felt the need to pack all this away in a crate and store it in the basement. If it's in the pantry- it will get eaten! Already, just since I bought these supplies, our seven year old has asked for some Gatorade and saltines! Unless I hide this stuff, there's no hope! So what's in my box you ask?

I wanted to include things good for colds and tummy issues that may strike. I filled my crate with lots of Gatorade, Ginger-ale, children's fever aides, saltines, cough drops, tissues, and ginger tea. I'm planning on adding more goodies next grocery day. Things like chicken soups, lots more Gatorade, and even some coloring books and crossword puzzles for those long, boring days stuck in the bed. 

I found this ginger tea which is great for soothing an unhappy tummy. It's delicious. I went ahead and gave it a try because that's just how thorough I am for my readers ;). I figure now that I'm all prepared, no one will get sick this winter and that's o.k. too!! Oh yeah, I'll take that! Until next time friends- y'all stay well and warm......... AE

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