family

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

5 Reasons Why I’m Not A Typical PANK

5 Reasons Why I'm Not Your Typical PANK - The Palmetto Peaches

PANK = Professional Aunt, No Kids.

Yes, it’s a real term I discovered while reading Annie Wermiel’s “The most undervalued women in America are childless aunts“. Since the sweet age of 7, I’ve been living the Auntie life. Fast forward to 21 years later, and I’m helping to plan baby showers and bachelorette parties AT LEAST once a year. As I type this, I’m mentally preparing myself for a gender reveal, 2 baby showers and a bachelorette party…within the next 4 months.

“Today, 48 percent of women of fertile age are childless, up 35 percent from 1976. In a 2012 national joint-study by Savvy Auntie, along with Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, we found 23 million North American childless women — or one in five women age 18 and up — have a special bond with a child in their life, by relation or by choice through friendship.”

-Annie Wermiel

This is the part where I tell you that in August 2017, I’ll have a total of 15+ special kiddos in my life. FIFTEEN. They didn’t live in my womb for 9 months, but they’re mine and I’ll fight you if you try to tell me otherwise. Although I love being #AuntieAce, I’m going to admit that I’m not as professional as a typical PANK.

5 Reasons Why I’m Not A Typical PANK

  1. I don’t change diapers. Clearly, I will if I have to but it’s a lot for my weak stomach to take in. In the article, Wermiel said she’s changed her fair share of diapers. Can’t relate.
  2. I’m not going to offer to babysit on a regular basis. Partially because I’ve lived with most of my nephews longer than I haven’t lived with them. Ace: The In-House Aunt. Give me a few years and I’ll be the “come spend the weekend with me” type of aunt.
  3. My favorite dishes to cook are Take-Out and Delivery. Cooking is not my strong point, but I’m can order food and tip very well.
  4. Newborns have to be a certain size before I hold them. Like bottles of wine, babies are precious cargo and they should be treated as such. Also like wine bottles, I would have a panic attack if I dropped a baby. Yes, I just compared children to wine.
  5. I use words and laughter to spoil kids, not gifts. According to The Savvy Auntie, “The average PANK spends $387 on each child in her life, each year, while 76 percent spend over $500 on each niece or nephew.” Remember when I said I’ll soon have 15+ kids in my life? Auntie Ace balls on a budget.

All that really matters is the kids love me, and their parents trust me. We’ll see how they feel after this post though. Are you a PANK or PUNK Professional Uncle, No Kids (LOL)? What’s your life like with your nieces and nephews?

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

What I’ve Learned from Being an Auntie

For 21 years, I’ve been an auntie, and lately, I’ve been noticing the similarities between my nephews and I. Not because we have the same physical features, but because of how much they get on my nerves. They say people closest to you get under your skin the most, but honey, no one knows how to get under my skin like the adorably annoying men in my life.

Everyone is your mirror.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
Too often we hold others to a standard that we impose on ourselves.

When my cousin Alaina posted this status on Facebook, I immediately thought about what I’ve learned from being an auntie.

What I've Learned from Being an Auntie -- The Palmetto Peaches

Through all the fights, juice spills and Paw Patrol episodes, there are things I’ve learned about myself, and life in general, with help from my boys.

What I’ve Learned from Being an Auntie

Life Lessons

Self-care is very important. Sometimes after I emerge from the darkness (also known as my room), the younger nephews hilariously say, “Well, well, well…what do we have here?” Business related tasks and the 24-hour news cycle can drain my brain and soul, so silence is golden to me. Like, gold Olympic medal golden. Although my mental health sessions can last for weeks, it’s not fair to deprive the little nuggets of my love and attention. It’s important to take care of myself, so I can be in good shape to take care of them.

Drama has no gender. I’ve heard people (mostly women) say they don’t want to have daughters because “girls are too dramatic”. I’m here to tell you: men, boys, males, whatever you may call them, are also dramatic. I comfort my boys when they cry, because news flash men are allowed to cry too, but they have SO MANY emotions and issues.

  • The teenager spends more time on his hair than I do
  • One toddler doesn’t like to get his shoes or clothes dirty
  • The other toddler is a real life Sour Patch Kid
  • And the pre-teen is ALWAYS adding his 2 cents in conversations, which usually never involve him

 

History actually repeats itself. My sisters and I live for embarrassing the boys in front of their friends, especially with our dance moves. My family got a kick out of doing the same thing when I was younger. Another thing I went through as a kid, is hating when folks said, “You’re growing up so fast. I remember when you were born!”, Watching my nephews has confirmed that kids really do grow up so fast, and I clearly the remember the days they were born. *wipes tears*

Personal lessons

I’m selfish.  The joy of Auntie Life is that I can return them when I’ve reached my limit. Being a parent is a job that NEVER ends, and I’m usually at a job for 2 months before I begin to explore other options. Everyday my nephews reiterate how much I’m obsessed with being the only person I’m 100% responsible for–OBSESSED I TELL YOU!

Forgiveness is hard for me. I can hurt my nephews’ feelings at 1:30pm, and by 1:35pm they’re telling me how much they love me again–even without bribing them with candy! Kids don’t hold grudges, at least not ones that last longer than 24 hours. Nope. Not I. Bare with me, I’m a work in progress.

As carefree as I can sometimes be, I still play it safe. Not only do my nephews have no-filters, they’re also stunt doubles. Being on a playground with them is the equivalent of watching Wrestle Mania. (Is Wrestle Mania still a thing?) They think they’re invincible + they rarely take “no” for an answer = carefree. That ain’t me. I’m not about that life. Sometimes I can over-think, over-analyze and over-complicate a situation in a matter of seconds.

What personal or life lessons have the kids in your life taught you? 

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Legends of…2016

Each year during Black History Month, the Auntie Karen Foundation hosts a concert and silent auction in Columbia, South Carolina. Legends of… is a tribute to the contributions African American musicians have made to history. “The series profiles a jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel or blues artist who has made a lasting contribution to the history of music.” (auntiekaren.org)

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Gordon the Jamaican Yam, Auntie Karen and Olivia the Octopus

Thanks to my Auntie Karen I, along with many other music lovers in Columbia, was able to see musical legends: Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Babyface and Ashford and Simpson (to name a few) perform live over the years. This year’s concert featured Al Jarreau with the South Carolina Philharmonic. Out of all the artists I’ve seen, Jarreau appeared to be the most passionate about the Auntie Karen Foundation and the importance of the arts.

“You must teach children to be sensitive, and the arts are a workshop in human sensitivity. Any programs of that sort, we need to be supportive. Karen and her organization understand what is so wonderful and so basic about the arts.” -Al Jarreau via Free Times

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Olivia and Al Jarreau Photo courtesy of Auntie Karen Foundation

The past 3 years I’ve been lucky enough to live tweet the Legends of…Concert & Silent Auction. In addition to falling in love with the open wine bar and yummy eats provided by local vendors, I’m also inspired by the guests’ energy level. They’re just so artsy! It’s great to see the community support the arts, as well as Black History Month. Not to mention how cool it feels to hear them say, “Oh wow! You’re Karen’s niece!”

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Auntie Karen and I at Legends of 2015

My Auntie Karen was the first person to take my writing seriously. When I was about 5-years-old, I wrote a series of poems about the meaning of life, freedom and Dr. King. My mom sent them to my aunt (who still has them), and it was history from there. She made sure every single person she knew, also knew I was a young poet. Thanks to her, I participated in any opportunity she stumbled upon. Opportunities like reading my poems (with my cousins and sister as interpretive dancers) at Spoleto events, played a big role in my School of the Arts acceptance…and y’all know how much I love my arts education!

When I read those poems now, I can’t help but laugh because they’re awful, but AK still had my back! Even though I’d love to have her attention all to myself, she shares the same enthusiasm with kids all over the world. Who uses Jamaican Yams to teach kids about sickle-cell anemia and diabetes? Who uses a jazz-singing octopus to give hugs to kids effected by natural disasters and deployment? Auntie Karen does! Her legendary acts in the community don’t go unnoticed, and I’m so proud of her and the Auntie Karen Foundation!

If you would like more information on how you can help Auntie educate, empower and enlighten through the arts, please visit www.auntiekaren.org!

acesiggy

Polka Dots and Pearls

I love old family photos–even when they’re not of my family! The stories behind them, the awkward poses and bad hairstyles…I just can’t get enough!

Karen Alexander, known to me and many others as Auntie Karen, took our family photos and other special occasions to the next level with Polka Dots and Pearls! From new babies to beach days and random cousin play dates–Polka Dots and Pearls adds a fun twist to our favorite memories. I love all of the images, but this post is to show-off the ones that are special to me!

 The “Back in the Day” is my personal fav because it features my 2 cousins, baby sister and yours truly. If you go to the house of any of my family members, chances are they have a version of this picture hanging around somewhere.

Polka Dots and Pearls--The Palmetto Peaches

The Proud Brown Lady also holds a special place in my heart. Auntie Karen created it after we went to SC Pride last year. It was done in just enough time for me to wear to Atlanta Pride a few weeks later!

Polka Dots and Pearls--The Palmetto Peaches

The Bourgie Baby is my super cute little cousin, who is now 13. He’s not so bourgie anymore. Haha.
As awesome as my family is, not all of the Polka Dots and Pearls images are based on our portraits. The African-American culture and traditions are also an inspiration.
Does your family do anything special with old photos? What are some of your favorite family traditions to capture? Comment below or tweet @PalmsInATL! Don’t forget to like Polka Dots and Pearls on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dotsandpearls, and follow on Twitter @PolkaDotsPearls!
Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Happiness is a Deep Fried Oreo

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
If you’ve read Donni’s latest post: Spring Cleaning My Life, you’ve seen how The Palmetto Peaches are embracing the Spring! On her Spring Cleaning To-Do List, Donni mentioned adding a little more happiness into her life. I’m tackling this by spending time with my nephews. Some of you may already know, but most of my G-Rated stories revolve around those fools, which is why having them in Atlanta for Spring Break is adding to my “happy” (even when they’re getting on my nerves). My squad’s ages are 3, 8 and 12–so you can imagine what my days are like: loud, adventurous and a little stank.

Yesterday we went to the Atlanta Fair. It was my first time going to a fair in 10 years! I first lost interest after realizing it was a “couples” thing, and again after some kid fell out of a roller-coaster in Columbia my freshman year of college. Despite all that, I was low-key excited to enjoy the amazing Atlanta weather aka try deep fried Oreos.

The 8-year-old got me to ride the Cliff Hanger: a ride imitating hang gliding. I managed to keep it together as he screamed the entire ride. I’ll admit I was a little freaked out, yet strangely inspired. Being able to stare into the sky (while wiping the drool from my mouth) was a little relaxing. I didn’t think about my overwhelming to-do list or sad bank account. My only mission was to take in the scenery, and laugh at the hilarious commentary. After that, we were tricked into playing about 5 games–all for the love of Ninja Turtles. About $20 and a few curse words later, we got that damn purple turtle.

Out of all the little adventures throughout the day, my favorite was being able to put my phone away and leave my computer alone for 6 hours. SIX HOURS Y’ALL! I used to take pride in getting bored easily. A little birdie told me everyday is different when you’re a publicist. I was all like, “Public relations is for me, because it’s more than sitting at a desk.” Long behold, that’s what I’ve been doing lately: sitting on the couch or floor with a hot MacBook in my lap. When I first began freelancing, I dubbed myself as #FUNemployed (meaning I could work from the beach, coffee shop or at happy hour). So, I’m adding it to my Spring Cleaning To-Do List to be #FUNemployed again. The Palmetto Peaches plan on taking this “Spring Cleaning My Life” to a-whole-nother level–so you’ll be reading my full list soon.
Atlanta Fair -- The Palmetto PeachesThe last few days with the boys have been a sketchy, local fair, roller-coaster ride. Even though my routine is all out of whack, it’s a great reminder of why living my purpose is so necessary. I want them to have plenty of “Remember when Auntie did this?” stories. However, I bought (and drank) two mini bottles of wine at 4:00pm today. It was much needed and deserved. And now I’m off to make Easter baskets. No worries–I have two more mini bottles left. Do you have any (kid friendly) Spring Break plans?

acesiggy