Happy Thanksgiving!

GDI - links, Christmas list

Last night Truett began his Christmas list to Santa and so I thought I'd share it, with an interpretation, and then do a big link list since I'll be taking the rest of the week off to enjoy friends, family & lots of food :) I hope you have a warm & wonderful Thanksgiving and I'll see you back here next week - I'm thrilled to be working on a gift guide - which I will try to get posted next week.

Truett's letter to Santa: 

  1. BB Gon - it's been scratched out because daddy said he was going to advise Santa that True's a little young for one, yet.
  2. Lego Hobbit The Lonely Mountain set - yeah, this one is $136. When I gasped that that was a bit expensive for a gift, Truett patted me on the arm and said, "No, not YOU, Santa can make it." Comforting.
  3. Jack Stalwart series books. These are so cute.
  4. Four passes to Chuck E. Cheeses. Self explanatory, ever since they went to a birthday party there a few weeks ago. Pandora box = open.
  5. $2 bill, because they're rare.
  6. A live fish. Because someone may or may not have forgotten to put water softener in the bowl.

Ok, on to some links!

This book list looks amazing.

If you have a minute, this article on the history of insect control, is truly fascinating.

If you have anxiety... (thanks, Katie!)

A mother who lost her baby on his first day of daycare writes a heart wrench op-ed.

To Save Paris, Defeat ISIS.

New Campbell's soup ad, rocks on so many levels.

Anthony Bourdain compares Waffle House to The French Laundry. Ha!

Yummy soup that only June & I liked.

Would LOVE to read this. A friend of mine recommended it.

Have you ever heard of a brinicle? This is sooo cool and creepy.

Adele's reaction to her SNL-inspired skit. I am having a mad love affair with Adele at the moment.

These boots. Siiiigh. 

That's it - have a wonderful holiday!

I'm sorry, but if this doesn't make your day...

Adele as...an Adele impersonator. Look for the part where she says, "she's taking her time," LAUGH OUT LOUD. Happy Monday - and sorry about Friday's links, I got so caught up in the kids fundraiser at school I hardly took a breath. More for this Friday, then! xoxox

Smoothies to prepare your family for winter

GDI - green smoothie

We're heading into the bleaker - if festive - months, and, anticipating lots of decadent eating over the holidays - I'm trying to perfect our smoothie recipe. It is truly the only way I can get the kids to eat spinach, or kale or...whatever else I can cram into the blender.

This afternoon Truett & June helped me put a smoothie together - the more they participate, the more they are inclined to eat the creation, it would seem.

Here's what we blended (and ate all of!):

Frozen: strawberries, mangoes and cherries.

Apple (skin on but chunked up), mango yogurt & kale leaves.

One good tip I read, for getting kids to eat green smoothies - is to add greens slowly as your kids learn to love the flavors. For the first smoothie maybe only add one or two kale leaves, and so forth.

I'm also determined to get us out for long walks or bike rides before darkness & early bedtimes :)

GDI - green smoothie ingredients

(The picture above is of a smoothie I made with pomegranate seeds and I would not recommend it).

Planning a Christmas party

GDI - glam party

Last year, we had our holiday cocktail party at my friend Mandy's house (here was my inspiration post & here is one picture I managed to get from the actual party), so this year we're planning to have it here. 

GDI - outdoor bar cart

I'm envisioning a tent over our brick patio to house the bar, lots of string lights & Chinese lanterns to float into the sky, so everyone can make New Year wishes.

GDI - floating lanterns

Floating lanterns - everyone writes a wish on one, & then sets them off into the sky.

GDI - luminaries

As much as I loathe clutter, I am sort of a mason jar hoarder. They are perfect for just about anything. Thinking of lining the walk-way with them, like this. 

GDI - patio lights

Here is a helpful tutorial on how to string patio lights.

And lots of loaded cheese boards!

GDI - cheese platter

Honestly, let me know if you've got any genius holiday party tips, I would love to incorporate them :)

(luminary image credit here, outdoor bar cart image here, patio light image credit here, floating lanterns image here, cheese platter image here & glam party picture here

Friday tidbits

GDI - foraged fall arrangement

What will you do this weekend? I'm LOVING this crisp fall weather - perfect for foraging for bouquets (above). Tomorrow we're hoping to entertain some old friends coming through town & we've got the usual roster of soccer and birthday parties :) Hope you have a great weekend & see you back here Monday.

Links for your weekend reading.

I've been perusing this sight in the last few weeks and would highly recommend reading it whenever you get the chance (throw a dart! read any article!)

A town living under a rock. Literally.

This short video about a man and his gay son in the 1950s is so so so worth watching.

These DIY pet tags seem like a lot of fun to make.

The evolution of man's face over 6 million years. Trippy.

Made me laugh - Types of Foods That Are The Worst.

I just ordered these jeans and am equal parts nervous & excited. (sooo much money for a pair of jeans, but I feel like if they are as magical as everyone says, they'll be worth the splurge)

A woman photographed her hair growing back after chemo.

Simple one-pot meal that uses a surprising ingredient.

Lastly - has anyone every done a Club Med? We're thinking of taking a trip next year, but not sure if it's cheesy/awesome/terrible? Love to hear from you!

Truett as Macklemore

Truett as Macklemore from Elizabeth Sypert on Vimeo.


Two things.

  1. He asked me to film this. That's all the input I had.
  2. This does not help my mother credibility considering today was a sick day for him. Especially not considering the snarky email I got from his school. 

Our trip to see a mandala (being made!)

GDI - Mandala close up

On Friday I picked Truett up early from school so we could go see the Tibetan Monks creating a sand mandala for healing. 

This article explains what they were doing specifically here in Columbia, but here is a quote explaining Mandalas in general:

The Sand Mandala is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically dismantled once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. from wikipedia

When we got there, the monks were on their last day of creation, and so we were able to see the painting in almost its entirety. It was amazing - the feeling is quiet reverence, and Truett stood watching in silence for several minutes. It wasn't without playfulness, though - at one point June walked over to the little pots of colored sand and I grabbed her back in horror. One of the monks turned to me and smiled, almost laughing, not concerned at all. 

We also got to use meditation stones to weigh down our little prayer scrolls - June's was filled with T & Js (her two favorite letters at the moment) & Truett's simply said Mac Cheese.

Here are a couple of pictures I took of the ceremony, if you'd like to see. 

GDI - Mandala making

GDI - Mandala Tibetan Monks

GDI - Mandala Truett watches

Friday tidbits

GDI - travel, England, Friday links

What are you up to this weekend? Today after school my girlfriend Liz & I are taking the kids to see these sand mandalas, created by Tibetan Monks (how cool is that?!) & then tomorrow we're going to Edventure's Storyland Ball :)

Hope you have a great weekend & here are some links I found this week.

This man found his doppelganger on a flight to Ireland! 

A poignant post on anger.

How to set your table like the French - I love the thrown-together simplicity - but what is with everyone's French obsession these days (mine included!)?

A menorasaurus. Get. Out.

"Pulled in to gas station & was on wrong side of the pump for my gas cap. Drove around to other side & did it again. Drove away" These hilariously awkward stories made my day!

Chris Christie on drug addiction. Bravo.

On first world problems.

Shiny things! From Target!

A simple one-pot dish for busy week nights. I made this last night & we all (pretty much) ate and liked it (Truett pulled out the carrots and onions).

Beautiful cashmere turtleneck from Everlane. For your covet list :)

(top image via A Gentlewoman)

Some beautiful ideas from Airbnb

GDI - travel Charleston airbnb

Ever since my good friend Miriam turned me on to Airbnb, perusing it has turned into something of an obsession.

I once read a quote that said something along the lines of, "if you're always searching for your next vacation, perhaps something needs to change in your real life," or something equally self-righteous.

But I don't believe that's true. Part of what I love about travel is how wonderful it makes my real life feel. Ahh, my cozy bed, or, a kitchen where I know where everything is, and so forth. 

Recently we've been looking up rentals for some possible trips during the holidays, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

GDI - Hampton Park, travel

This home in Charleston - Hampton Park - is so pretty I could hardly choose a photograph. Lovely rooms, historical details & a beautiful kitchen. 

GDI - Charleston travel yacht

How fun would it be to stay on a yacht?? 

GDI - travel, Charleston, villa

And lastly, this Italian Villa - also in the Charleston area - is a bit over-the-top for me, but check out that deck! I'd spend all of my time there, sipping wine, reading & chatting.

(all images via airbnb, top image, second image same as top source, third image via this airbnb listing & last image here)

Halloween pictures

GDI - witches in a line, NG

On Saturday we headed up to the park where I put out black tablecloths, ordered pizza, & Bud manned the hay wagon ride. A ton of neighbors came out for the festivities and afterwards we all went in a giant blob to trick-or-treat.

June didn't feel well this weekend, so her night was short, but everyone ended on a happy and candy-filled note.

Here are a couple of pictures I snapped. June refused her wings - after hours of sewing, head-slap! - but Truett was thrilled with his wings, thank goodness.

GDI - Halloween June chicken

GDI - Truett falcon Halloween

GDI - Truett Halloween falcon wings

Hope you had a great Halloween too :)

(top image credit National Geographic)


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.