Updated: Feb 1
I’ll be quite honest, I’ve never been much on Thanksgiving. Its just that I’ve mostly been in the middle of finals or its been busy season at work. Its always something and I’m always trying to finish something up before Christmas. Its just never been the best timing. But, this year – I feel very different.
This virus, COVID19, has ravaged this nation among so, so many others. I cringe thinking about those we visited in Kenya in February (why does 8 months ago feel like years?) and hope that they’re dealing with the pandemic better than we are and praying for their health and safety. Our guide, Sammy, was one of the kindest souls and it's hard to think about how the tourism industry worldwide has come to a halt. I think about women and children in my own town who I know are at a loss when the one place they have that’s safe is taken away from them. Then I think about me.
Martin and I have barely been affected other than in menial and inconvenient ways. Really, our business has picked up if anything. Unfortunately, domestic violence has increased and disputes over in-person school or not has left parents litigating custody like crazy. I feel extremely undeserving for how blessed I am and guilty for how much this virus hasn’t negatively affected me the way it has so many others.
I started the Extra to help other women feel good about themselves and have an outlet to express some pent-up creativity. But, I know that I have a LOT more than so many others and that I have the luxury of making my own schedule and doing things on my own time. I don’t want anyone to think that I live in a bubble and that I haven’t noticed. I have – time and time again. My husband and I are already big nonprofit donors in our local community and this year we're trying to step that up. We give back in any way we can – with our time, our money, our efforts at work. Martin and I really do try and make this place a better world and working is my outlet for helping others in major ways – but that doesn’t mean I can’t help out here either. I want to hear your stories and be there and listen. If you want to share - I’m always here.
This year, let's lean into family and friends that feel like family. Lean into joy, go out of your way to be kind to a stranger, give your grandparents bigger and longer hugs. That's what feeds our souls and will keep us going. Luckily, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to do so. If I was hosting Thanksgiving for my family this year, this is what it would look like:
Thanksgiving Day Outfit with Betty & June
I've been a loyal customer of local boutique Betty & June for years now (so much so I've become friends with Jess, the owner!) and knew the first place to look for a great Thanksgiving outfit was her shop. Jess buys all of her limited stock at market in Dallas and California, so you know whatever you pick - you're going to be one of a handful of others that own that same outfit within at least 200 miles.
I was immediately drawn to this Robyn knit midi set (I'm wearing a Small), probably because Betty & June always has the best sets. [Check out this Frenchie Set + the Snake Lounge Set for similar styles] The Robyn is warm - perfect for a crisp fall Thanksgiving Day. I also adore the puff sleeve on the top and the long skirt. It makes the set look fancy while still maintaining its extra cozy nature.
My pink pearl headband is from Babe.Creates - if you follow me on social media you know I sing Brenda's praises all the time. She started her accessories shop during COVID and makes Lele Sadoughi quality headbands + accessories. My hair is super thick and long and I can't stand when headbands slip down my forehead or hair clips that don't fit even a little bit of my hair in them. That's not the case with Babe.Creates accessories, at all.
I don’t know about you guys, but for my family, it can take a bit of time between arriving at my grandparent’s house and when we actually sit down to eat. We always end up having appetizers as a full-on part of the meal, which is also nice as we sit and catch up with family that we normally don’t get to see too often. This year I’m in charge of the apps and I’ll be bringing a nice meal starter from Fromage & Honey to enjoy while I have a glass of wine and catch up with my family.
My family lives about 3 hours away, which isn’t too bad but we don’t end up going home very often – we’re normally so busy as both my husband and I are lawyers! I don’t get to see my parents and siblings as much as I’d like. That’s why getting back home for the holidays is so special to me. It’s one of the only times I get to truly sit and intentionally spend time with my family.
One of the things my family loves to do together (now that all of us kids are 21+) is sit around my parent's kitchen island and drink wine and talk all night. That being the case, I wanted to see if I could incorporate this past time into the appitizers that I need to bring, as well as have something fun for us to do late at night when we're all on our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, whatever helping! So, I reached out to Taryn, owner and founder of Fromage + Honey to help me out. Other than sharing a name with my little sister, she is also the sweetest to work with and put together this seriously fabulous wine and cheese pairing just for my followers to copy!
Wine Pairing and Charcuterie Board
Brie paired with Champagne
Machego paired with a Pinot Noir
Toscano dusted with Cinnamon paired with a Chardonnay
Smoked Cheddar paired with a Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet
Apricot, Cherry, and Cranberry Chèvre paired with a Sauvignon Blanc
When setting up the charcuterie and wine, I labeled the cheeses and tried to place the bottles of wine/Champagne closest to the wine's paired cheese so that wine is never out of reach for the perfect taste. If I was hosting a real party, I would open all of the wine/Champagne when the guests arrive so guests aren't waiting on you to open wine bottles. It also saves you the time of running back and forth between the kitchen to grab the wine opener. But, for the shoot - I just started with the pinot noir.
We started the "taste test" out first with a nice and easy Pinot Noir and the Manchego cheese.