The Table

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Hi guys!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday spent relaxing and having fun with friends and family. It is such a special, cozy time of the year. When it comes to Thanksgiving family traditions, being home in Dallas, TX first comes to mind! The day before Thanksgiving (AKA, today) our whole family is cooking and baking all day – it may be my favorite day of the year! We always plan the Thanksgiving meal plan a few weeks before, and then we go for it in the kitchen on Wednesday.

Every Thanksgiving morning, we wake up in our PJs and watch the parade.  You can guarantee that we will be drinking celery juice while watching! Since we are in Dallas, we go for a long walk almost every day, but specifically on Thanksgiving, we go for a walk to the park in the neighborhood and play football! It’s been a long standing tradition and it is so so fun. But on that Wednesday of cooking, we are in our PJs all day long and most of the day on Thanksgiving 🙂

We also have people over Thanksgiving eve for dinner that had no where to go for the holiday – usually it is close family friends that are not spending it with their kids that year because they are with the in laws or we have single friends over who couldn’t go home to see their family. It is extra special and always such a blast!

When it comes to the menu, we honestly always look up new recipes each year. They are all nutrition filled and extra healthy but so delicious! This year, these are a few things we are planning on:

A massive salad

A smoked tenderloin in the oven all day

A pastured turkey

Roasted sweet potatoes

A yummy veggie of some sort

Dessert from the Sweet Laurel cookbook this year

Homemade bread

This Thanksgiving Day I specifically want to say a prayer for California. It has been such a tough time recently for the State that Jason and I call home between the shooting and the wildfire, and we are thinking of the individuals and families who are walking through loss and pain right now. Praying that God’s comfort, love, and strength covers you every moment of each day.

With love,

Lo.

OUTFIT: tee | pants (c/o Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Clothing Line)

A Clean-Crafted Wine Website You Need To Know About

524 699 Melissa Mayer

Happy Friday, LSK readers! For those who are 21 and older, we write with exciting information today…meet a clean-crafted wine website you NEED to know about: Scout & Cellar. Their selection of wines are all clean-crafted, meaning free of added chemicals, the grapes are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, and there is no added sugar. Yes, please!

We were thrilled to connect with Mallory Martin- an independent consultant for Scout & Cellar. We were fascinated by the information she shared with us on the importance of clean-crafted wine and knew immediately that we wanted to share the news about Scout & Cellar with you- a one-stop-shop for an amazing selection of clean-crafted wines. Read the Q&A below for more and consider Scout & Cellar next time your adult friends & family gather around the table.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Mallory and, when I’m not sharing about clean-crafted wine, I’m working full-time for a non-profit organization and chasing my two cute (and crazy) kids around — Russell is four and Abby is two. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I’ve now lived in Dallas, Texas close to ten years and, though I still don’t own cowboy boots, I have fully adapted the phrase “y’all” and I’m not ashamed.

How did you get involved with Scout & Cellar?

The company launched in September of 2017 and I found out about it through a dear friend in my community group. As I heard her describe the wine and the difference between mass-produced wine and this newfound clean-crafted wine, I was immediately interested in what it would like to be involved. So, when I heard about this opportunity, it felt like the perfect way to learn more about wine and earn extra income on the side as an independent consultant. 

What do you love so much about Scout & Cellar?

I love that the wine we share is completely clean-crafted — which means it’s naturally grown and consciously bottled. Our founder, Sarah Shadonix, travels the world to find small batch, family vineyards who are making wine as it was intended to be — without all of the extra chemicals, added sugar and synthetic pesticides. We are all learning to care more about what we put in and on our bodies and there has been significant progress in the skincare, food and cleaning products, but — until now — no one was talking about the unneeded, harmful chemicals in our wine.

So, what makes clean-crafted wine different than others?

Winemakers these days are simply responding to the consumer. You and I decide that we love this one particular wine. We love it so much that we want it to taste the same this year, next year and the year after that. Wine is not supposed to taste the same year after year. But, in order to meet our demands of keeping predictable taste AND in order to continue to reduce costs, pesticides, chemicals and sugar are used throughout the process. There are over 250 commonly-added, FDA approved chemicals and additives used today in mass-produced wine. The average mass-produced bottle of wine can contain up to 16 grams of added sugar (more than a glazed donut). Clean-crafted wine has no added chemicals, no added pesticides and no added sugar.

Have you noticed a difference in how you feel drinking toxin-free wine compared to mass-produced wine including the chemicals, pesticides and added sugar?

Yes! The only headaches I experienced prior to Scout & Cellar wines were with champagne/bubbles. Though I loved the idea of a cold mimosa on a Saturday morning, it truly would lead to headaches more often than not. Currently, I can use a Scout & Cellar bubbly with a dash of orange juice and it’s perfect. 

Do you love to entertain? What is your favorite thing to cook + fav wine to serve?

Yes! Yes! Yes! This is one of the reasons I wanted to learn more about wine; my husband and I love to entertain and this component is a huge piece of the entertaining puzzle. Year-round, he’s in charge of the meat and I do all the rest. As we head into summer, his current go-to is grilling incredible dry rub ribs and I’ll pair those with a light tomato/mozzarella Caprese salad and grilled asparagus lightly dusted with olive oil, cracked ground pepper and sea salt. If we’re enjoying the meal outside, I’ll choose our 2016 Hannes Sabathi Sauvignon Blanc from Austria (pairs perfectly with the mozzarella), but if we’re inside, I’d choose a red to pair with the ribs — our 2013 Middle Jane Syrah.

*This post is intended for readers 21 and older only. Also, when enjoying wine, remember to drink in moderation and always responsibly!

SHOP WINE GLASSES WE LOVE:

Coffee Table Styling

768 1024 Melissa Mayer

One of my favorite parts about going to a friend’s home is seeing how they style their coffee table. Similar to someone’s wardrobe, a coffee table represents a person’s style, aesthetic, and gives you a peek into their interests and personal taste. From coffee table books to candles, a well-curated coffee table is truly a work of art in itself. Coffee table styling is a personal experience and there is no right or wrong way to do it, which makes the process that much more fun and enjoyable. Make it yours and let it make an authentic statement in your home! Below are a few of our styling tips, but again, you do you. xo

DESIGN BOOKS

There are so many beautiful design books (like this one + this one) that serve as great coffee table accessories and house guests absolutely love them. When you are gathered around the table, it is fun for people to flip through the books and be inspired.

FRESH BLOOMS

Fresh flowers add so much warmth and love to a home. We love picking up blooms regularly and adding them to our coffee tables. Much like a centerpiece on a dining table, the coffee table serves as a centerpiece to a living space, so adding fresh flowers will definitely make a welcome, homey statement. We are loving these vases to hold the beautiful blooms.

STATEMENT CANDLE (c/o)

Capri Blue is our absolute favorite brand of candles! They smell wonderfully, are long-lasting, and have a clean, stylish look. This one is pictured above, but we also love this one and this one.

CUTE COASTERS

Having coasters on a coffee table is a must! Guests always appreciate when coasters are readily available, but they also make a table look complete & will protect the table from glass rings. We are especially loving these coasters from Anthro– we both have them!

KEEP IT TIDY 

Last but not least, an organized table is a beautiful table! However, depending on your taste and style, the coffee table might be more full than others, or you might like the minimalist approach. Either way and regardless of how many things are on the table, it is nice when everything is kept organized and looks put-together, even in an effortless way.

 

When The Kitchen Becomes Your Happy Place

1024 681 Melissa Mayer

I find it so special to go over to our friend’s houses. I love it because it truly gives me further insight into who they are. How do they cook? How do they decorate? What are their habits? I so enjoy seeing home life! It also opens my mind to become inspired and introduced to new ways of doing things in my own home.

Enter a few months ago when we went to our dear friend’s house in Suncadia, Washington! Jase and I settled in upstairs, and I came downstairs into their lovely kitchen to get some water. Judah handed me a glass jar that looked like a cleaned out milk bottle, and said, this is yours for the weekend! I fell in love with the idea of drinking water out of glass jug; they are easily refillable, dishwash-able, and they don’t contain plastic. It’s a win on every level, and I immediately started incorporating that into our home habits + Jase and I take them in our cars every day to stay hydrated!

Fast forward to two weekends ago. Jase and I went to our dear friend’s house, and they cooked the most sensational dinner with the purest of ingredients. I am talking the fluffiest homemade bread turned into fresh garlic bread, pastured chicken with carrots, dark potatoes, and forty cloves of garlic! Yes. Forty cloves! We were greeted with roasted artichoke cooked in rosemary and lemon wedges, partnered with homemade ricotta cheese dip topped with fresh local figs. I realized they cook this way almost every night together – it’s their happy place, and they love experimenting with recipes that come to mind. They remind me of playing the piano by ear, but in the kitchen. I learned so much by their art and creativity, and left feeling inspired and motivated to get out of my cooking rut. This last week, I made that homemade bread and experimented with the most lovely recipes almost every night with the freshest of ingredients from a local market in Silver Lake. All of the sudden, my love for cooking revived, and now the kitchen is becoming more of my happy place, rather than a stress.

What have you learned from seeing how others do home life? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. xo

Afternoon Pick Me Up: Starbucks Refreshers® Beverages

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

This post was sponsored by Starbucks. While I was compensated to write a post about Starbucks Refreshers Beverages, all opinions are my own.

I always seem to be fighting for energy when the summer heat wave hits. Who’s with me? I absolutely love being at the beach and look forward to the fun vacation getaways, my birthday (yay!), laying out by the pool, and those country music-filled BBQ nights! There is nothing like the sweet memories of summer, but work still remains, energy lags more than usual because of that summer heat, and I try my hardest to stay excited about hot yoga when it’s blazing outside.

I tend to switch drinks from season to season – hot tea in the cooler months and homemade spa water in the warmer times (yes, please!), but those choices can get a bit mundane. My new favorite afternoon pick-me-ups are Starbucks Refreshers® sparkling juice blends, the Strawberry Lemonade being my favorite flavor. It is crafted with tangy lemon and sweet strawberry juices, and a blend of vitamins. Not to mention, all flavors are made with coconut water!

I love swinging by a Starbucks cafe after a work out, grabbing a Starbucks Refreshers® sparkling juice blend, and heading back out on my day full of errands or back to working on my blog posts. It gives me the perfect break from working on my computer + it is the perfect combination with a protein bar or a fresh salad mid-day.

The Starbucks Refreshers® beverages come in three flavors: Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Passion Fruit, and Black Cherry Limeade. They are an uplifting alternative to energy drinks (they don’t have nearly as much caffeine) and best of all, they don’t skimp on flavor!

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Table for One

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and asked for a table for one? If not, we are here today to encourage you to do so and talk through the initial discomfort that ultimately brings so much confidence, growth, and joy! Last month in NYC, I had lunch for one at the cutest restaurant, Friend of a Farmer, and enjoyed it so much. I walked into the restaurant excited to do something independently, but also a tad apprehensive. It was so worth it though, because I left the restaurant feeling empowered, strong, and happy.  Below are a few tips/thoughts on the dining alone experience that we hope inspire you! -M

Getting over the fear

For many, it is the fear of what people will think that causes us to hesitate from going to a restaurant or cafe alone. However, I have good news! More than likely other diners don’t even notice you, and if they do, they are more than likely totally focused on themselves, the people they are with, and the amazing food they are enjoying. In the very slim chance that they do notice you and have a thought about you- it is a positive one, not a bad one! They are probably admiring you for being confident enough to be there by yourself and enjoy it. Also, who knows, you might be inspiring them to dine alone soon, too!

Smile and enjoy yourself

Even if you feel nervous about the whole thing, act confident and soon your confident body language will translate to confident thoughts. Before you know it, you will truly feel confident about dining alone, instead of feeling nervous. As always, don’t take yourself too seriously 🙂 Not taking ourselves too seriously frees us to walk life confidently and joyfully, without worry or self-doubt. Smile and enjoy yourself! Having a light, carefree, and joyful demeanor will not only make you feel happy, but it will also give and attract positivity. So keep smiling, order your favorite meal, and enjoy.

Make the time yours

Having time to yourself is something to treasure, so make the most of your time while out alone. Bring a book or tablet if you want, or simply sit, relax, and reflect. Since you are alone, you can certainly be on your iPhone if you wish; text those that you haven’t had the time to get back to, answer emails, or scroll through Pinterest for inspiration. The time is yours, so make it what you wish! Being able to take the time to notice details about the restaurant, people watch, and just take in your surroundings is a special experience that is only possible when dining alone.

We hope we have inspired you to go to a restaurant or cafe and ask for a table for one! It is such an opportunity for growth and a great way to get to know yourself even better. If you have additional tips or stories about dining alone, we would love to hear them in the comments section below. xo

images by felicia lasala 

 

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