My Thanksgiving

November 28, 2014

Here are some photos of my delicious Thanksgiving meal yesterday...

Our table.

China, candles, and fruit-infused water.

Deviled eggs, my sister's specialty.

The pumpkin smoothie I talked about earlier. We didn't have pumpkin pie and this worked perfectly as a substitute!

Pecan-brown sugar sweet potatoes, my favorite!

Cornbread, deviled egg, caesar salad, rosemary roll, roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes. Who needs turkey?


Weekend Reading

This has been such a fun week. My sister picked me up on her way home from school on Tuesday night and we were home in time to beat the Wednesday snow storm. My Thanksgiving was pretty low key but still fun! Today I'm heading to a nearby shopping area to check out the Black Friday deals.

Here are some things that caught my eye this week:

1. Ree Drummond's Pumpkin Smoothies I made these for Thanksgiving and they were so good. They taste like pumpkin pie in a glass! They're so easy to make, too.

{ via NY Post }

2. 100 year-old woman sees ocean for first time It's crazy to think this woman went her whole life without seeing the ocean! I love that the workers at her nursing home arranged for her to visit it. 

3. How to Give Back this Holiday Season I love the idea of giving back, especially during the holiday season when I'm reminded of how fortunate I am. I always forget how many simple ways to give to charity or help your community. This is a good list!

{ via StyleCaster }

4. How to Wake Up Faster Although I don't have as much trouble waking up this year as I did in high school, it's still nice to have some tips for those mornings when it's hard to drag myself out of bed.

5. Ten Powerful Food Combos I love learning about nutrition and this is a cool article about which food pairings yield the greatest health benefits.


What I'm Thankful For

November 27, 2014

In honor of Thanksgiving, I've decided to reflect on and share a few things that I'm grateful for these days. I always try to remind myself of my blessings (it helps to put things into perspective), but I think we're all more conscious of being thankful around this time of year.

1. College experiences I've looked forward to college my whole life and I was afraid that I'd set my expectations too high and I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I thought. However, I am happy to say that I have absolutely loved college. I'm so thankful for how comfortable and happy I feel at school, all the opportunities it's presented me with, and all the amazing people I've met!

2. Family I've come to appreciate my family so much more since being away at school. I've realized how giving and selfless my parents are and how generous they are to provide me with so many things without hesitation. I also have a new appreciation for my older sister, who has been especially helpful giving college advice since she's been through it before. Everyone should have an older sister!

3. Friends I've never been the type of person to hang out with their friends all the time, but being surrounded by them at college has actually been a lot of fun. I feel so lucky to have met such nice and fun friends at school. I also am more thankful for my friends from growing up! It's so cool that we're all off having our own experiences in the world.

4. Mornings I used to absolutely hate weekday mornings, mostly because waking up at 6:00 is enough to put anyone in a bad mood. Also, I really dreaded the day because high school was not my favorite. This year has really given me a new appreciation for mornings. Getting up and out the door for class is so much nicer at school. I like to take my time and sit for a little bit eating breakfast or drinking chai at a café while catching up on news and blogs. I love the feeling of taking a few quiet moments on a bright morning.

5. Health Every day I hear a story or read an article that really makes me thankful for having the health that I do. Even just getting a cold is frustrating, and I can't imagine how chronically ill people go through life with so much positivity and perseverance. Health, for me, also applies to my physical abilities. When I'm dreading ballet class, I have to remember that it really is a privilege to be able to express myself through art and movement the way that I have the opportunity to with dance.

There's so much more I have to be grateful for, but, at the risk of making this post too long, I'll end it there!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Playlist

November 26, 2014

I've put together a playlist to listen to this Thanksgiving, if you'd like. I love Christmas music so I will definitely be playing that as well. This playlist is a mix of some of my favorite artists and songs, but I think it'll appeal to everyone!

If the embedded player doesn't show up, click here to listen.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Weekend Reading

November 21, 2014

This was such a busy week for me, but I'm so excited that we're a week away from Thanksgiving. It's really starting to feel like the holiday season which is always fun!

In addition to studying for a few exams, this week I picked up an assignment for the newspaper that included covering our school's events during International Education Week. It's actually been a lot of fun so far! I've learned a lot -- it's really fun to go outside of your comfort zone! When I do journalism assignments, I usually end up going to the events alone because I can't convince any of my friends to come. Yesterday I found myself playing a Vietnamese betting game with some international students, so there's that!

Here are some things I found interesting this week:

1. J.Crew Factory's Gift Guide I really always find things I love at J.Crew Factory. Their gift guide is pretty perfect -- I love how it's organized by color!

{ via Byrdie }

2. How to Be More Motivated I came across this on Pinterest, and I'm always up for any tips on motivating yourself! This article has some unique tricks based on studies, which is interesting. (Here's what I find motivates me.)

{ via Refinery29 }

3. Amazon Editors Pick Best Books of 2014 I love reading and need to make more time for it. I know it's so unoriginal, but I always like reading the books that everyone is talking about. For one, you know it's going to be good! I also like being able to relate to discussions involving the books. Out of this list, I want to read All the Light We Cannot See and Station Eleven

4. The Wanderlust Playlist One of my favorite bloggers, Brooke Saward, posted this playlist on her travel blog and I immediately listened to it on Spotify. A lot of the song lyrics have to do with travel (obviously), so it's a great playlist if you're on the road or heading on a trip this busy travel season. I also just found it a nice listen regardless! The playlist led me to discovering Angus and Julia Stone, and now I can't stop listening to them!

{ via YouTube }

5. Baby It's Cold Outside video by Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé This video is so cute and will definitely add some holiday cheer to your day. The video is for Menzel and Bublé's new rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside" but it features two young actors dancing along to the song. The little boy mouthing along to Bublé's deep voice is a little disconcerting, but the video is so much fun anyways.

Happy weekend!

Weekend Reading

November 14, 2014

This week feels like it went by so quickly! I think it's because we had Tuesday off. Tomorrow I am heading into Boston to meet up with my cousin, who is up from Philadelphia visiting colleges. I'm so excited to see her! I'm also going to tag along on a tour of Boston University, so it should be a fun day.

Here are some things I found interesting this week:

{ via Salon }

1. Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy I thought a lot more about Veterans Day this year than I have in the past, including reading a few articles about it that I found thought-provoking. This one, criticizing the American discourse of soldiers and police officers as infallible "heroes," is overall a good read, though it contains some biased language and is a little extreme. Some things I found to be useful takeaways:
"...calling [soldiers] 'heroes,' and settling for nothing less, makes honest and critical conversations about American foreign policy less likely to happen. If all troops are heroes, it doesn’t make much sense to call their mission unnecessary and unjust. It also makes conversations about the sexual assault epidemic, or the killing of innocent civilians, impossible."

"...if American politicians and pundits genuinely believed that American military members are 'heroes,' they would not settle for sloganeering, and garish tributes. They would insist that veterans receive the best healthcare possible. Improving and universalizing high quality healthcare for all Americans, including veterans, is a much better and truer way to honor the risks soldiers and Marines accept on orders than unofficially imposing a juvenile and dictatorial rule over speech in which anything less than absolute and awed adulation for all things military is treasonous."

{ via NY Daily News }

2. 100 year-old woman skydives for birthday This is amazing! I love how she began skydiving at age 90. I can only hope my loved ones and I are able to enjoy this kind of health for so long.

3. Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting How good does this cake look? Just looking at the pictures makes my mouth water. I'm going to enlist my mom to help me bake it when I go home for Thanksgiving break.

{ via Refinery29 }

4. 5 Quick and Easy Ways to Be Happier Now This quick read actually has some great tips to improve your mood and overall happiness. It discusses the importance of silence (something I've found particularly valuable to me) and optimism, among other things. It's all based around striving toward a simpler, less distracted lifestyle. The final tip is to learn to meditate. I did a meditation session last year during Psychology class and actually loved it. I would love to do it more.

{ via VSCO }

5. VSCOcam This app has amazing filters and photo editing capabilities -- I use it on all my Instagrams. It makes the photos look so much better but doesn't make them look overly-edited like the Instagram filters do. Many people don't know that the app also has a "social network-like component. My 15 year-old cousin showed it to me (I officially feel old that younger kids are showing me new technology), and it's a simple way to have a profile (and unique URL) to share your VSCO-edited photos. You can follow others but there's no way to like or comment. I like how simple it is! Here is my VSCO feed

{ via Buzzfeed; image via Pinterest }

6. How Those Magical Ballet Shoes Are Made There's a new 30-minute documentary coming out documenting the process of making pointe shoes, featuring the Freed of London company. I can't wait till I have some free time to watch this! I'm forwarding it along to my mom too because she is always wondering how these crazy things are made.


Latest Instagrams

© charlotte {b} harris | a new england-based lifestyle blog. Design by Fearne.