Finding Contentedness in the Everyday!
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Extra+Ordinary Newsletter

Welcome to the weekend, friend! Our week was filled with activity and food and the first real snowfall of this autumn. We've been keeping the gasoline companies in business running the boys to all their various activities and jobs. Our wood stove is once again home to a roaring fire most mornings and evenings instead of being a repository for our books, tea cups, and various odds and ends.

KEEPING ME SMILING:

  • I received two fun and mysterious surprises in the mail this week. I think I may have a secret Santa out there. It has to be someone who knows me well, though, because they sent me chicken coop and beehive Christmas ornaments. Anyone who has spent more than a couple of minutes with me knows I adore my 25+ chickens and my honey bees. So whoever you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
  • Are you ready for another hilarious animal video? My boys love this video of 13 cats and 1 dog having a Thanksgiving feast.
  • I got to hold my friend Sarah's 4 week old baby boy this week while our sons rehearsed for the upcoming Neglia Ballet Artists' production of The Nutcracker. The little man was born 4 weeks early, and he may be tiny, but he packs a serious wallop of cuteness. Would you just look at that face?
  • Thanksgiving is coming and it is one of my favourite days of the year. Our family opts to stay home and visit parents'/siblings' homes around Thanksgiving rather than on it. That makes the day super relaxed for us. We cook all day and then eat our feast in our pajamas if we feel like it. I am already looking forward to the relaxation!

EASY MEAL PLAN HIGHLIGHTS:
This week's Easy Meal Plan Week 123 is just in time for Thanksgiving week and those leftovers! It has some amazing food you won't want to miss like Tortellini Vegetable Soup, Southwestern Turkey Soup, Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad, Sticky Glazed Asian Ham, Mexican Turkey Breakfast Pizza, Leftover Turkey Pho, Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes, Bacon Fried Apples and Onions, Roasted Root Vegetables, Gingerbread Cookie Bars, Cranberry Eggnog Doughnut Bread Pudding, and Eggnog Chai or Coffee Lattes . CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S EASY MEAL PLAN.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG THIS WEEK:

  • Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs; Mercy. Can we have a word about these? They're all my favourite Thanksgiving flavours in a tiny, easy to make package. Ground turkey has a reputation for being dull, but there's nothing boring about these turkey and stuffing meatballs made with cornbread stuffing mix & onions, celery, sage, and garlic softened in butter. Serve with cranberry sauce and it's Thanksgiving on a fork!
  • Our Daily Bread: This Sunday we featured Ham and Cheese Croissants; homemade butter pastry is wrapped around tender ham and Swiss cheese and baked to brown, flaky perfection. They require a little time commitment but they're so worth it and make the ultimate Thanksgiving or Christmas brunch recipe. Looking for easier or different bread recipes? You can check out my already extensive bread recipe collection here.
  • I have a little SNEAK PEEK of what's coming on the blog tomorrow. You may want to bust out the stretchy pants, because these Caramel Stuffed Dark Chocolate Pretzels are going to be your favourite thing to gift (and nibble) this holiday season!

THINGS I LOVE:

These Warm Darn Tough Socks: I am well aware that I'm going to start sounding like an old lady if I keep talking about socks and arm warmers, but there we are. Warm socks in cold weather brings me joy. These socks are some of my favourites. They're soft, the designs are fun, they hold up to a beating, and they have an unconditional life-time guarantee, which also brings me joy.

The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland: For my money, this is the best recording of a live performance of The Nutcracker available on DVD. Baryshnikov and Kirkland dance superbly even if the quality of the recording is a little, well, 1977. Not coincidentally that is the year it was recorded for television, but the dancing makes up for it!

These Planners: My schedule is nutty. I think that's inevitable with five kids, but add in self-employment and life in general? I have to rely on my planner to organize my days. The Plum Paper planners are my all time fave (it's my second year ordering one) and I have spent mucho money on a variety of other planners over the years to come to this conclusion. I love that you can customize it with different sections like home, fitness, meal planning, budgeting, homeschooling, lesson planning, travel, baby, wedding, and brainstorming sections if you need them. You can also choose which month they start. And wonder of wonders, they come cover that you can design which is also rip proof and stands up to being stepped on by muddy barn boots. Ask me how I know this.

If you look over The Plum Paper Planners and like what you see, reply to this email and let me know and I can send you a referral code for $10 off on your first order from them.


This free online chess community: My husband and sons are avid chess players. Me? Well, I can muddle through, but let's put it this way. My 11 year old can put me in checkmate in 4 moves, so I'm not much of a challenge. Chess.com is 100% free as far as we have found so far. You can play a computer or you can play real people all over the world to improve your skills. Nothing beats an awesome, free resource!

Audible Audiobooks: With the number of hours we spend in the car weekly (currently at a minimum of 12 hours), we need to keep ourselves entertained and awake. We love to listen to Audible Audiobooks. The narrators are generally excellent, and our subscription provides 2 book credits per month. We've listened to everything from classics to modern young adults and everything in between.


BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND:
The Aquariums of Pyongyang: 10 Years in the North Korean Gulag by Chol-Hwang Kang and Pierre Rigoulot: This memoir by the first known survivor of the re-education camps in North Korea to escape and tell his story to the world is absolutely riveting. From a family that was -by his accounts- privileged in closed-off North Korean society to a resident at one of the most notorious work-camps at a tender age, it is part horror story and part political dissertation. This first-hand account of human suffering doesn't lose itself in self-pity, though. I learned so much through Kang's re-telling of his story. I came away from reading this grateful for my life and thankful Chol-Hwang Kang was willing and able to tell us about his.

Persuasion by Jane Austen: I'm one of those people who semi-regularly re-reads my favourite books over the years. A book I have loved is like a good, comfortable old friend. They're always welcome. I'm currently on my fourth or fifth reading of Persuasion and it just doesn't get less wonderful. It was Jane Austen's last novel and was published posthumously.
In Persuasion, Anne Elliot seems to have given up on romantic happiness and has resigned herself solitude. More than seven years earlier she was persuaded to view a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects as an imprudent match. Peacetime arrives, though, the Navy returns home, and Anne renews her acquaintance with Captain Wentworth. It's Jane Austen's most satirical novel, and is a bit more biting in its insight than the others. Bonus: It's only $2.99 on Kindle or $3.36 in paperback. Are you a Jane Austen fan? What do you think of Persuasion?

AUDIOBOOKS:
The End: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. This final installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events is keeping our ears glued to the car stereo. Will Count Olaf come out on top? Will the Baudelaires find justice for their trials and tribulations? Will they live? We're so excited to hear the conclusion!

May laughter, contentedness, and many tasty things find you in abundance this week.

Love,
Rebecca

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Copyright Rebecca Lindamood 2008-2018
Foodie with Family
NY
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