5 Tips For a Fun Thanksgiving Gathering

This is not a drill, people. We are less than one week away from Thanksgiving! Some of you may be headed to a traditional family gathering. While others of you may opt for a celebration with your friends – Friendsgiving. There may even be you  greedy lucky few, that fill their bellies at both occasions. Whether you’re having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or planning a Friendsgiving, I’ve got some tips for a fantastic holiday gathering.

 

5 Tips For a Fun Thanksgiving Gathering - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

1. Don’t waste your life away in the kitchen.

It can get easy to get stuck in the kitchen as your friends play or our family gathers around the TV. You can make a few items in advance and still get stuck in the kitchen preparing food. Here’s my solution: share the responsibility. As the host, you can’t get out of making the turkey, but you can relieve yourself of some of the work by letting guests contribute a few sides and desserts. My parents are driving up to Atlanta, so I’m not making them bring anything. However, my pops always brings extra sweet potatoes for pies and will grab drinks,napkins, aluminum foil and plastic bags upon arrival.  Honestly, I think she still fully doesn’t trust me with the turkey so she supervises with that as her contribution. 

Feel free to ask your guests what they’d like to contribute or assign them a dish. This is important because you don’t want too many of the same dish or someone to feel bad when no one touches their cornbread dressing.  Note, not everyone can make the macaroni and cheese. And Ms. “All I eat is zucchini noodles” probably shouldn’t be attempting to touch the greens. Like if  you don’t know what hamhock is — DON’T DO IT! Also, if you’re a guest and can’t cook, maybe just pick up drinks or one of Miss Patti’s Pies. 

 

Apologies for the language, but this video is still funny to me two years later.

2. Play a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade drinking game

Maybe save this one for Friendsgiving, but if your family likes to throw a few back I say go for it. Lay out the rules, and then get ready to do some pre-dinner drinking.  You could also watch  “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Take two sips (or a shot) every time Peppermint Patty invites someone to to Charlie’s dinner, or when she yells. Or just drink – that’s fine.

3. Remember what you’re thankful for.

Take time to go around the table with your friends or family and share what you’re thankful for this year. Your gathering should be about reconnecting and catching up over a great meal.  

4. Have a signature drink.

You could just go with the basics: wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages on hand, but consider  having a  signature drink. A signature drink is a nice way to add something special and seasonal to the mix. Check out Ace’s fall cocktails for some ideas.

5. Break Culinary Traditions

My second year in ATL (me thinks) Ace and I had a two person Friendsgiving. Sure, I made sweet potato pies, but there was no way I was cooking a turkey for two,  so we broke tradition and made some bomb Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa and a Thanksgiving sides cake. Still one of my favorite meals – EVER! P.S. We subbed out out their spinach layer for greens. 

5 Tips For a Fun Thanksgiving Gathering - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Image Credit: Huffington Post

If you’re looking for decor ideas or recipes check out this Pinterest board:

 

What are some of your tips for a fun Thanksgiving gathering? Leave your comments below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

7 Healthy Changes to Make Today

Healthy living doesn’t have to be be hard.

Well at least that’s what I’m repeating to myself until I am 100% living it. There are plenty of healthy changes you can easily implement. In my ongoing journey to live a healthier lifestyle, I’ve failed at making huge changes right away. Setting a goal to go to the gym five days out the week was a little ambitious right out the gate. However, I discovered that little changes can make a huge impact. Here are seven healthy changes you can make today to live a healthier lifestyle:

7 Healthy Changes to Make Today - The Palmetto Peaches -palmsinatl.com

P.S. I’m leaving out drink more water because just do it people.

7 Healthy Changes to Make Today

1.Don’t skip breakfast.

They call it the most important meal of the day for a reason! By eating breakfast, you’ll start off your day right, and you’ll also be less likely to have cravings later in the day. Enjoy a nutritious, light breakfast every morning.

2. Spend more time walking.

I love a good princess parking spot. But a simple way to get in some more steps is to park further away from your destination. According to the American Heart Association: Walking at least 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Break it down into three 10 minute increments if you need to.

3. Make time for self-care and prioritize your mental health.

I’ve written about self-care and mental health a few times. I plan to continue to do so because both are very crucial. Mental health is just as important as physical health.Seek help if you feel like you need it. I stress the importance of self-care because our mental health and overall happiness depend on it. Whatever self-care looks like to you make sure you make time for it

4.  Listen to your body

Look I’m not an expert, but listen to your own body. What works well for your favorite celeb or blogger may not be for you. Just because your best friend dropped 20 pounds when she became vegan doesn’t mean that you should now become vegan. Your healthy living should be determined by what you need and works best for you.

5. More LOLs

Seriously (haha) laugh more. Laughter reduces stress. It also burns calories and helps prevent heart disease. So just do it. Laugh more.

6. Don’t go grocery shopping hungry.

I have two rules I have to follow when I walk into Publix so that I won’t end up with a cart full of brownies and breads. I have to make a list and I have to have a full stomach. When you’re in the grocery store and your stomach is empty, you’ll likely make impulse buys of unhealthy foods. Think about it when you’re hungry every things sounds good and I’d be willing to bet it’s not veggies that have you salivating.

7. Discover the fountain of youth

Okay not a real fountain of youth, but if you incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet the effects would be as if you discovered a fountain of youth.  Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and water – all the good stuff. So indulge in seasonal produce; sneak a serving or two in your breakfast; get your juice on smoothie on; or experiment with meatless Mondays. Get those fruits and veggies in!

 

What are some little things you do that make a big impact? Leave a comment below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Happy Howl-o-ween – Barkbox Review

Happy Howl-o-ween, peeps! This year, I’m totally unprepared for Halloween. However, Sgt. Pepper has a costume. He’s going to be Reptar. Well to be fair, I purchased a $3 dinosaur costume for Target, but I’m going to tell everyone he’s Reptar. P.S. Did you know Reptar bars are now real? In honor of Pep’s Howl-o-ween, I am sharing this month’s Halloween themed BarkBox.

What is BarkBox?

BarkBox is a monthly subscription box for dogs of all sizes. Each box comes with two bags of treats, one chew, and two toys. Everything is tied together with a theme. All the treats are natural and made in the US or Canada. BarkBox is billed monthly. Additionally, the prices decrease if you commit to a 6 or 12 month plan. I pay $25 a month for a six month plan. You also have the option to join the Extra Toy Club for an additional $9 per month. The first box ships right away and subsequent boxes ship on the 15th of each month.

Happy Howl-o-ween: Barkbox Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Happy Howl-o-ween – Barkbox Review

This month’s theme was: Household Horrors. I love getting this subscription box for Sgt. Pepper. The box genuinely gets him so excited. He sticks his little nose in the box and starts pulling things out. It’s too cute!

Items in October’s Box

Happy Howl-o-ween: Barkbox Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

The treats usually match the theme and this month they didn’t. I reached out to Barkbox about this and they are actually sending Sgt. Pepper some Halloween themed treats for free!

  • Scare Dryer – ($8)  – Pep actually used to be pretty afraid of the hair dyer. So it’s hilarious he’s been dragging this around.
  • Rain of Terror – ($14) Sgt. Pepper is obsessed with the little raindrops that are hidden inside. He’s been carrying them around and napping with them since he found them.

Overall, I’m super pleased with this subscription service. I originally thought I’d cancel after the first month, but it’s been fun to open with Pep. I’m also saving money on treats and toys.

Interested in BarkBox?

You can get your first month free using my referral link: https://www.barkbox.com/r/HNK071JMMF.

Customize Your Pup’s Barkbox

You can choose from 3 sizes based on how big your dog is. This helps Barkbox send goodies that are the right size for your pup.

  • “small and cute” for smaller dogs in the 0-20 lb range
  • “just right” for medium dogs in the 20-50 lb range
  • “big and bold” for big dogs 50 lbs and up

Happy Howl-o-ween: Barkbox Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 Every barkbox is wheat, corn, and soy free, and there’s even a special allergy-friendly barkbox for dogs allergic to beef, chicken, and turkey. You just have to send them an email telling them about your dog’s allergies and you’ll get the allergy-friendly barkbox for no extra charge. 

And if a subscription box isn’t your thing you can always make some homemade treats.

Are you dressing your fur baby up for howl-o-ween? Feel free to leave pictures in the comments below or tweet us!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Best Life Autumn: 2017 Fall Bucket List

October wouldn’t be the same without creating a fall bucket list. It’s hard enough to leave a warm bed on a fall morning, but there are festive activities that make it easier. Fall’s greatest treasures include warm drinks, the satisfying death of mosquitoes and a casual countdown to Christmas. Here are other things I’d like to do this season. 2017 Fall Bucket List -- The Palmetto Peaches

2017 Fall Bucket List

Have a family-style outdoor picnic. 

My work family and I go to brunch every weekend. It would be fun to switch things up by bringing a dish, and eating outside.

Finally drink one of the cocktails from this Fall Cocktails You Need to Try list.

It’ll be easier this year, because I’m surrounded by pumpkin pie, apple pie and candy corn vodka at work.

Visit an apple orchard.

This is on a co-workers bucket list, so I borrowed it.

Go on a hay ride. 

Bless my allergies.

Actually buy clothes for the cooler temperatures. 

Because I can’t wear the same sweatshirt everyday. I guess.
Best Life Autumn -- The Palmetto Peaches

Unplug for a long walk.

Preferably a walk that involves leaves, so I can jump in them.

Attend a wine tasting. 

We’re planning on having a wine tasting for my sister’s birthday next month. May the odds be ever in our favor.

2017 Fall Bucket List -- The Palmetto Peaches

What’s on your 2017 Fall Bucket List?  Have you done any of the things on mine?

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist

I’m trying to be more intentional about how I waste my time. Stick with me for a moment. While I like to spend time reading, there are too many times when I waste time trying to beat a really hard level of Cookie Jam.  I’ve decided that in those moments where I’m just wasting time I’d prefer to do something more productive. I decided to start listening to more TED Talks.

What are TED Talks?

A TED Talk is a showcase for speakers presenting great ideas. Usually, the format calls for presentations on the shorter side. Think about all of the lectures we’ve all (almost) fallen asleep listening to. The talks are thought-provoking and stimulate conversation. They can be inspirational, funny, or mind-blowing and they cover almost all topics — from science to business to global issues.

One of my favorite TED Talks even ended up in a Beyonce song: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Here are a few of my favorite TED Talks that you may want to add to your playlist.

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist

MANOUSH ZOMORODI

How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas

Description: Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.

 

ELIZABETH GILBERT

Your Elusive Creative Genius

Description: Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius.

 

SARAH LEWIS

Embrace the near win

Description: At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives.

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#LemonPepperKickback Playlist

The Palmetto Peaches are basically Insecure’s Issa and Molly in real life, so not getting invited to the #LemonPepperKickback was very disappointing. The guest list included: Janelle Monae, Tessa Thompson, Donald Glover, Lil ‘ Rel, Luke James, Brian Tyree Henry, Mack Wilds, Samuel L. Jackson–pretty much everyone but us. What’s a kickback? A lituation with good friends where dance battles, card games and photo shoots will go down. There was a video of Issa getting her life to Project Chick, which made us think about the #throwback songs we’d want at our #lemonpepperkickback.

#LemonPepperKickback Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

#LemonPepperKickback Playlist

  • Shop Boyz – Party Like A Rockstar
  • Trey Songz – Bottoms Up
  • Drake – Fancy; HYFR; Forever
  • Sean Paul – Temperature; I’m Still In Love
  • T-Pain – Buy U a Drank
  • 702- Where My Girls At?
  • Soulja Boy – Crank That
  • Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like It’s Hot
  • Usher – Yeah
  • Kelis – Milkshake
  • Bubba Sparxxx – Ms. New Booty
  • DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win; We Taking Over
  • Chingy – Right Thurr
  • Beyonce – Party; Crazy In Love

So our playlist ended up having like 68 songs… You’re going to need to order more wings, people!

  • T.I. – Bring Em Out
  • Lil Wayne – A Milli
  • Ludacris – Stand Up; My Chick Bad; Moneymaker
  • Kanye West – Golddigger
  • Terror Squad – Lean Back
  • Rich Boy – Throw Some D’s
  • YoungBloodz – Snap Yo Fingers
  • Young Money – BedRock, Every Girl In the World
  • Waka Flocka Flame – No Hands
  • Huey- Pop, Lock and Drop It
  • MIMS – This Is Why I’m Hot
  • Nas and Damian Marley – As We Enter
  • Jidenna – Classic Man
  • Hurricane Chris – Halle Berry; A Bay Bay
  • Kid Cudi – Day N Nite; Pursuit of Happiness
  • Mariah Carey ft. Gucci Mane – Obsessed
  • Keri Hilson – Pretty Girl Rock
  • UGK ft. Outkast – International Player’s Anthem
  • Dorrough  – Ice Cream Paint Job
  • Destiny’s Child – Lose my Breath
  • Petey Pablo – Freek-A-Leek
  • Young Dro – Shoulder Lean
  • Ciara – One, Two Step
  • Cardi B – Bodak Yellow
  • Kendrick Lamar – Loyalty
  • F.L.Y – Swag Surfin
  • Ester Dean – Drop It Low
  • G-Eazy – No Limit
  • Erykah Badu – Next Lifetime ; Didn’t Cha Know
  • Chance the Rapper – All Night ;Juke Jam
  • Crime Mob – Knuck if You Buck
  • Goodie Mob – Thry DOn’t Dance No Mo; Beautiful Skin
  • Aaliyah – I’m So Into You
  • Chris Brown – Run It; Pills & Automobiles
  • Xscape – Just Kickin In; Understanding
  • Lil’ Kim – The Jump Off
  • Wayne Wonder – No Letting Go

 

What songs would you add to our #LemonPepperKickback playlist? Let us know after you’re done dancing.