Giving Thanks

I am thankful for so many things:  my daughter, my husband, my family and friends, my company and my amazing girls that stand by me and help it run.  The list could go on and on.  Today, it’s so important to stand back, look at the big picture and remember how much we have rather than dwell on the things we wish we had.
Last year at this time, my daughter was very sick and we were told it was best not to bring her to my parents’ house and possibly infect others for Thanksgiving.  I was so upset to not be able to enjoy my mother’s cooking and see my family.  But then I realized I had family right where I was.  My husband came home with a turkey and Emily and I decided we would cook the dinner ourselves.  It was an awesome holiday.  I was surrounded by people I love, I learned how to make a turkey (tedious, but not as hard as everyone makes it out to be), and we all had a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company (and the wine and food!).
Not every holiday needs to be a big event.  The important thing is that you’re surrounded by the people you love and that you remember how fortunate you are in the little things you have.
All of us here at CUE wish you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday and remind you all to enjoy the simple things life brings us.

xoxo,

Danielle

The 1st turkey I ever made - in my tiny NY apartment kitchen

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Gobble Gobble Time!

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, you begin to consider many things: “What do I do first? How should I decorate? What should be on my menu? Dare I attempt the Turducken?” With that in mind we at CUE thought it might be nice to offer a few suggestions to help you get in the Thanksgiving spirit.

First, let’s start with a craft project.  A cute way to spice up your Thanksgiving table is to create a Turkey Bread Basket.

Turkey Breadbasket Centerpiece

Courtesy of Familyfun.go.com

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large wooden spoon
  • Tacky glue and a glue stick
  • Pair of googly eyes
  • Pencil and scissors
  • Construction paper in a variety of colors
  • Flat wooden craft spoon
  • Red marker
  • Colorful printed wrapping paper or pages from old magazines
  • Waxed paper
  • Thin wooden skewers (sold in the kitchen/cooking section of most grocery and department stores)
  • Basket to serve as the turkey’s body (it should be large enough to fit a loaf of bread or dinner rolls)
  • Florists’ foam or Styrofoam block (sold at many large craft or department stores) large enough to wedge into the basket
  • Cloth dinner napkin
Instructions
  1. To create the turkey’s head, turn the large wooden spoon so that the back of the bowl becomes the face. Use tacky glue to stick on the googly eyes. Then cut out a yellow construction paper beak and glue it in place.
  2. For the turkey’s wattle, use the marker to color the flat wooden craft spoon red. Glue the wattle onto the face at an angle so that the top slightly overlaps the beak. You can use a pinch-style clothespin to hold the pieces in place until the glue dries.
  3. From the construction paper, help your kids cut out lots of colored feathers that measure about 10 inches long and 1 3/4 inches across at the widest point. Cut out the same number of feathers from the wrapping paper or magazine pages, then trim them so that they are slightly smaller than the solid-colored ones.
  4. Cover a flat work surface with waxed paper (this makes for easier cleanup after applying glue), and you’re ready to assemble the feathers. For each one, place a construction paper cutout on the waxed paper and set a wooden skewer atop it so that the blunt end is just below the top of the paper and the pointed end extends about 3 inches below it.
  5. Next, use a glue stick to coat the underside of a printed feather. Then press it, glued side down, onto the construction paper feather, sandwiching the skewer between the 2 layers.
  6. Wedge the foam block into the basket (trim it first if necessary). Push the spoon handle into one end of the block deep enough to secure it. Stick the feathers into the opposite end. Cover the block with the cloth napkin, and the turkey basket is ready to fill with bread.

If you are  in the mood for a more elegant meal, then consider using a few leaves from your yard to create a subtle fall theme. Display autumn leaves beneath a sheer tablecloth and the dining room will look as brilliant as the trees in your front yard. First, place leaves between paper towels or waxed paper inside a phone book for a week to dry and smooth them. Next, if needed, use double-sided tape to attach foliage — in any grouping — to a standard white tablecloth. Then place a sheer cloth, such as organza, on top.

Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

You might also want to use a leaf or a sweet-gum-tree spur as a place card. Just tie a name tag with a bit of ribbon to the stem of your chosen item.

Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Finally, no Thanksgiving is complete without a bit o’ Pumpkin Pie. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Follow the recipe below.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of 100% Pure Pumpkin or Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

Libby's(R) Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

But remember, no matter what decor you choose or how many delicious treats you taste, Thanksgiving is ultimately about being grateful for the ones we care about and the meaning they bring to our lives. So, this Thanksgiving make sure to put a little extra TLC (Tender Loving Care) into each project or dish and it will certainly shine through to your loved ones!

This Is Not The Career I Ordered

Many people grow up knowing exactly what they want to be, from doctor or lawyer to astronaut or actor. But what happens once you have lived your dream? Is it everything you imagined? Are you satisfied with reaching your goal or do you set a new one and do all you can to achieve that one, too?

Caroline Dowd-Higgins is the author of This is Not the Career I Ordered: Empowering Strategies from Women Who Have Recharged, Reignited, and Reinvented Their Careers. She focuses on female entrepreneurs, the unique challenges of their individual journeys and how they overcame obstacles along the way. For some of these women, a change of career meant a dramatic change of lifestyle – a transformation both daunting and thrilling, and a chance they were willing to take. All of these stories are empowering inspiration for women who, thus far, have only dreamt about taking that next step.

Danielle Bobish was honored when Caroline asked her to be featured in her book. Talking about her career and company, Curtain Up Events, Danielle speaks with Caroline about her path from  actress to event planner. The journey was not an easy one, but it was a sacrifice that has led to great personal fulfillment and success.

You can read Danielle’s story at Caroline’s blog, notthecareeriordered.com.

To read all of these women’s inspiring stories, This is Not the Career I Ordered can be found at Amazon.com.


Keep up with Caroline at her websites: notthecareeriordered.com and carolinedowdhiggins.com