Giving Thanks in Thirty Minutes

Am I the only one getting my pallet ready for some good ol Thanksgiving food?!  I’m not having it this year but I will be heading to my sister’s house to eat up her food. For as long as I can remember, my sister has always been a good cook.  I think the best cooks are the ones who enjoy cooking.  Michy is one of those.  When she is done with you, you’ll have to roll your a$$ out of her house cause she fed you to capacity.

So since I’m going to be on the receiving side of things this year.  I have a little more time on my hands and I’ve curated some great recipes from my favorite bloggers and chefs so you can wow your guests when they come by, to top it all off every single dish can be done in under 30 minutes.   I’m not one to eat dinner at 6PM especially since I am on a tea and crackers diet for the day to save up all the room for dinner.  So if you want to wow your guest and not take up too much time trying to make the dish, please try one of these dishes.  I’ve tried each and everyone of them and highly recommend them for you and your guests.  Sorry but not sorry for the premature salivating.

Mac & Cheese (Trinidadian Style) 

My mom is from Guyana and my dad(who doesn’t cook at all) is from Trinidad.  So it wasn’t until I was at someone’s house that I discovered Trinidadian Mac& Cheese.  This is not just any mac&cheese this is heaven in a pan, the kind that make you wanna slap your mama man.  Even if you don’t try it this year, be sure to try it some time before  your New Years’ resolutions.

Mac & Cheese



  • 8 
ounce (2cups)Macaroni
  • 2 Tablespoon sunsalted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoon jalapenos pepper minced, seeded
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 
cup evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounce mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 ounce sharp cheddar cheese
, grated
  • 1 
teaspoon salt (I used creole salt)
  • ½ 
teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoons dry mustard (optional)
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.Be sure to salt water before cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, sauté the garlic, thyme, Jalapeno pepper, smoked paprika for about 1 minute in 2 tablespoons butter.
  3. Then add onions and continue cooking for about a minute more.
  4. Proceed by adding the flour; whisk until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until mixture thickens. Remove about ¼ cup of the mixture and slowly whisk with the egg making sure it doesn’t curdle. Dump the tempered egg back into the pan.and mix well to incorporate all ingredients.
  5. Stir in more than half of the cheese (leave the rest to sprinkle on top) creole salt and pepper until smooth.
  6. Drain macaroni and add to sauce; stir until coated. Adjust seasonings. Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish or 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle remains cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 -30 minutes or until heated through.

Sweet Potato Casserole  (Boston Market Style)

I love me some Boston Market sweet potato and I pretty much eat it like dessert whenever I do go there.  Before I take a single spoonful, I have to observe the goodness of it.  The different textures from the smoothness of the sweet potato and the fluffiness of the marshmallows added with sweet and salty crunch oatmeal crumbs.  Its definitely the food version of love.  If you don’t want anyone to go home, than please make this casserole because its bound to change and reevaluate lives.

  • Sweet Potatoes 3 ½ – 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Topping
  • 2 cups marshmallows
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Fill a large pot with sweet potato pieces and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until fork tender. Drain potatoes and place back into pot. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or blend with an electric mixer, until mostly smooth. Add remaining ingredients (except topping ingredients). Mix until combined.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8”x10” casserole dish (8×8 or 9×9 works too).
3. Spoon sweet potatoes into casserole dish and smooth out. Sprinkle top of sweet potatoes with marshmallows.
4. Melt butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Mix with a fork. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until streusel is crisp and marshmallows are golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!

Cheesy Sausage Bread

This cheesy sausage bread is the best thing since the sliced one.  I mean if you’re not into meat it can even be done without it.  I love the fluffiness of this bread and if you do decide on getting the pesto sauce then you may have potential family turned stalkers, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.




  • 8-oz bulk Italian sausage (or Italian turkey sausage)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 1/4-3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina cheese (6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz)
  • 1 cup purchased basil pesto (or make your own, here)


  1. In a large skillet cook sausage and onion over medium-high heat until meat is brown, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Cover and chill sausage mixture until needed.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and Italian seasoning. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, butter, sugar, and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; add egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size. (about 1 hour).
  4. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in thirds. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl combine sausage mixture, fontina cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese.  Set aside.
  5. Roll each portion of dough into a 30-inch-long rope. Cut ropes into 1-inch pieces. Divide one-third of the pieces between the prepared loaf pans. Divide one-third of the cheese mixture between pans. Repeat layers two more times.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans; peel off parchment paper. Serve warm with pesto.

Freezer Instructions: Before baking, place prepared loaf in freezer.  When frozen solid, you can remove the bread mass using the parchment the pan is lined in.  Wrap well in plastic and/or foil and seal in a zip top bag.  When ready to bake, unwrap and return parchment lined bread to pan.  Let sit at room temp for 3-5 hours, until thawed and then bake as directed.

Spicy Ginger Lemonade

Now listen, I love lemonade so much that I didn’t think I could love it anymore, until I had a spicy ginger lemonade.  Now I always try and convince myself that I’m not a ginger person but most of the things I love to eat has ginger in it.  Spicy Lemonade is my new found crush.  I even love it with a little vodka in it or you can always remix it and put some ginger ale which makes it a little more fuzzy.  This drink can wash all the goodness down and get you ready for some good dessert.

spicy ginger lemonade-3


Makes 11 (1-cup) servings
  • 10 ounces fresh ginger
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 10 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice (from about 15 lemons)


  1. Peel the ginger and chop into roughly 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Combine the ginger, sugar, and 4 cups of the water in a medium pot over high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the ginger with the back of a spoon.
  5. You should have about 3 cups of syrup. Cool to room temperature.
  6. Combine the lemon juice and remaining 6 cups water in a large pitcher or pot. Stir in all of the ginger syrup. Chill before serving or serve over ice.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to adjust the amount of simple syrup based on your personal taste.
  • The ginger pieces left from making the syrup make for a delightfully spicy, slightly sweet snack. Store them in the fridge to eat throughout the week or add them to your favorite muffin recipe.

I have so much to be thankful for this year! I’m also so thankful for you guys and for you taking the time out to read my posts and like and share.  Love you guys!

*hit the source link under pics if you want step by step instructions on each recipe 


Friends…How Many Of Us Have Them?


How many of us have them?


Ones we can depend on


How many of us have them?


Before we go any further, lets be


Whodini made this popular song back in 1984 and depending on how you say the word “friends” someone just may finish up with “how many of us have them?”  

So when I decided to write this post, this was the first song  that came to mind.  Some of us have a lot of friends and others just a few.  As for me, I have very few friends (by choice).  Some people weigh the fact that you have a lot or a few based on what type of person they think you are.  But to state the obvious, it’s so much more to have a quality set of friends than to have a whole bunch of people in your lives polluting it.

People have friends for different reasons, some because they love the camaraderie or consider their friends, “family” and others because they want a sense of belonging.  To some level we all “need” to have friends whether it be the friend that is another mom at your child(ren)’s preschool or someone that you met at work or someone that you’ve known forever. It’s just super important to know how to treat them and how to navigate your 1:1 relationship with them.

However, all friends should NOT be treated equally and this isn’t solely based on the how long you’ve known someone but more about the fiber of their being.  What type of person they are and how they carry themselves.  Do they talk about other people with you? Do they motivate you? Do they listen to you? Are they genuinely into you and vice versa?  There are many factors on weighing your friendships that I simply cant add up in this post, but the idea is to be cautious about who your friends are and if they should just be kept as “associates” instead.

In today’s world we have things like Facebook and Instagram and so we are constantly in contact with people we wouldn’t normally be in contact with such as grade, middle and high school friends.  Some that you didn’t really speak to much when you were there but since everyone is on this FB  platform and you know of each other, than it just seems appropriate.   They may even throw you a like or a heart or an “LOL” every once in a while and that’s fine.

I’m just here to serve this Public Announcement to inform you on the importance of knowing what kind of friends you have.  Now none of these friends are bad friends, it’s just good to know how to categorize them so you don’t set high expectations or lower your standards for the certain people in your life.

I’m a huge Bishop TD Jakes fan and I recently finished his latest book called “Destiny”.  Destiny is about improving yourself and working on your dreams and aspirations.  He discusses discipline, lifestyle, motivation, sacrifices and the company you keep.   As I read the friendship portion of the book, things just made so much sense that I needed to pay the enlightenment forward, so that you will be able to compartmentalize your life in a similar way you see fit.

Bishop Jakes says that there are 3 types of friends (or family members) that are in your life and we need to know how to handle our lives around them.  I’ve included some illustration for you and examples of what these 3 types of friends may look like. No Shade

So here they are:


1. CONFIDANTS- You have very few of them – these are people who welcome you unconditionally. They are into you whether you are up or down, right or wrong, they are in it for the long haul. You can share anything with them. Having a good confidant is one of the keys that unlock the Kingdom.

These are people who you can share your deepest and darkest inner thoughts with, who won’t judge you but will feed you instead of draining you.

Have you ever had relationships where the person was emotionally immature and consistently draining you? It’s okay to help others but you must have someone who feeds you so you can feed someone else. They will confront you; they’ll get in your business and get in your face and tell you when you are wrong BUT will also come back and be by your side no matter what. They will never leave.


2. CONSTITUENTS – They are not into you but are into what you are FOR. They are for what you are for. As long as you are for what they are for they will be with you but never think they are for you. If they meet someone else that will meet their agenda they will hook up with them and leave you. Don’t mistake a constituent for a confidant. By the time you fall in love or are connected with them in a relationship, they will hook up with someone else and break your heart, leaving you wondering, “I thought our relationship was deeper than that.”


3. COMRADES – These are not for you nor are they for what you are for. They are just against what you are against. They are strange bedfellows. They are the enemy of your enemy who will team up with you to help you fight a greater enemy. They will only be with you until the victory is accomplished.

They are like scaffolding that is there until the building is built but is later removed because the building is built. Don’t be upset when they leave. They were not supposed to be there anyway. Don’t tell your dream to your constituents they will try to fulfill the dream without you. Don’t tell your dream to your comrades because they will not support you because they are not for you in the first place.

This was some serious food for thought and I hope it gave you a different perspective on friends and life itself.  I thank you for stopping by and hope that you can share this post with whomever you see fit, but know that it’s not done in “shade” but is so important to know how to choose carefully on who you let in you life.  Hope this was a great lesson to you as it was for me.

I’ll leave you with this and hope you have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

5 Easy Steps to Decorate for the Fall

It’s that the time of the year where we swap out the summer colors for the fall/autumn colors in our home.  I personally do this every year and think its important because it really sets the mood and festivities to come for the holidays. It’s also ideal that you trade out those linen or light cotton drapes for some heavier material ones that can keep your place a bit warmer in the cooler weather.

I think the only mistake people have when changing their decor to Fall inspired pieces is that they go with the typical deep earthy colors such as the oranges, reds and browns. Although these colors are a no-brainer, there are other colors that scream fall and also say cozy, latte, fireplace and flannel onesies paired with Netflix no chill . 

So just for arguments sake, I’m going to serve up some pieces for the living room that you can easily change out to remix the home for the fall and there as simple and inexpensive to achieve.

  1. Window Treatments: You want to make sure that when you choose your window treatments, they involve a heavier material such as a jacquard, velvet or something with a heavier cotton finish.  This will keep those drafts out, versus using  sheer or lighter materials. Colors can also vary, I choose colors that are pretty neutral and that can also transition for the winter so something with a little metallic in it or a monochromatic pattern on pattern will work
  2. Pillows: Swap out your pillows for textured pillows in any colors of choice, the idea is that if you have texture it will add the variety you need for the fall and the winter.
  3. Throw: Everyone needs a nice throw that we can either drape over the arm of the couch and of course something that you can snuggle with.
  4. Décor Pieces: These are pretty fun, it can be absolutely anything that makes your heart pitter patter, just make sure they go for the season so golds and bronzes other pieces with warm undertones will work perfectly in this arena
  5. Candles: Nothing sets a mood like a candle! And these days not only do they smell good but they look good and will definitely work on a coffee or side table on top of some books.

Here are some options on how to mix up your space for the season.  I also put the links if you’re interested in any of the pieces featured

Cozy Metallic Fall Décor 

Metallic Fall Decor

Vining Velvet Curtain|| Chenille Toss Pillow ||  Metallic Yarn Throw || Metallic Decor Box || Gold Candle

Jewel Tones Fall Décor 

Jewel Tones Fall Decor

Tiled Crest Curtain||Velvet Pillow|| Faux Throw|| Symmetry Decor|| Candle 

Rose Gold Fall Décor

Rose Gold Fall Decor

Brushed Stroke Ogee Curtain|| Jacquard WeaveCushion|| Metal Bowl || Horizontal Throw|| Scented Candle

These pieces are all affordable and take no time to spruce your place up. They also make a great transition into the winter season so you don’t have to worry about changing out anything. I love every collection because they all bring something completely different but exemplifies fall without being pumpkin  and leaf obnoxious.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thinking with the Sharpie 

Sharpies are my absolute favorite. We have all types of uses for a sharpie but their usually to make some signs or put our kids names all over things for preschool. I’ve used mine for sketching purposes and since they come in all types of colors the possibilities are endless. So one day upon looking through the sharpie collection, I came across all try different types they have.

In my demonstration I use the most awesomness waterbased sharpie in metallic gold and came up with a really cool design pattern to fit into the banquet portion of my dining room. The pattern is complete, now I just need to change the lighting at some a simple wall art that will complete the art design.

The next quick and easy project I DIYed was using the black medium point sharpie. I used this on a clay planters pot for 5 dollars at IKEA but you can pretty much use it on anything clay like a plate or a cup or tile…anything. I used a mudcloth pattern on my pot and it took all of  20 minutes to complete, take a look at the video and see the magic of the sharpie.

Hope you enjoyed and I’ve inspired you to use the sharpie in many ways.

Let me know if you would do a sharpie project.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Going from 100 to Zen Real Quick

I celebrated my birthday yesterday and it was a great one! I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed it because I was living my day in full retrospect.  The hubs made me breakfast in bed, took me shopping and we just had a great time enjoying each other’s company. But apart from the actual day I was able to look back at the last 32 years that I’ve been here and am thoroughly grateful for what I have achieved and super exciting for things that are about to happen.

I owe my contentment and drive to meditation. See when you meditate, you clear and compartmentalize your mind and life and the feeling of being overwhelmed is not as prominent as it once was and the frivolous things and people no longer affect you.

For the last year or so I made the sound decision to start meditating.  I started for many reasons that I think you all can relate to.

  1. Juggling: I had/have too much on my plate where it would keep me up in the middle of the night.
  2. Forgetfullness: It was so bad, I would easily forget what I had for breakfast, could never find my keys (among other things) and do things like lose my phone twice in 3 months.
  3. Depression: With owning my own business, having high expectations for myself, being a wife and new mom, I was constantly over analyzing things and feelings of inadequacy.
  4. Wellness: I needed to balance my life mentally, I was consistently overwhelmed and something had to give.
  5. “Attention/Time Thieves”: Things that pull me away from the task at hand, but mostly includes people and their negative energy such as stupid Facebook subliminals and rants (just kiddin) not really 

I started to clear the energy in my home and work space by keeping it tidy and smudging at least 4x a year. If you’re interested in reading more about smudging, go here.


I also got started with meditation by reading this book by Deepak Chopra, I think its a great place to start.  He also has many books that can lead you in the right direction.


I’m a very spiritual person and I believe in God and his Greatness but meditation is not to be confused with having to be “religious”. It’s simply a state of awareness and being. Understanding that we live in a Universe that is filled with positive and negative energy and to always try to channel the positive.

Here are some steps on how to meditate: 

  • Sit or lie comfortably, there is no wrong or right way as long as your comfy.
  • Close your eyes
  • Take deep but effortless breaths similar to how you breathe when you’re sleeping
  • Keep a clear mind and try to focus on your breathing.  If your mind starts to wonder, just go back to focusing on your breathing. It will take some time in the beginning but it gets easier with time.

Mala (Prayer) Beads:  Also known as prayer beads.  If meditation is hard for you and you find your mind wondering more than you would like to; get yourself a pair of mala beads like these.  They usually come in 108 count and you hold them while your meditating and each bead represents a breath, it makes it a little easier.  I truly love my beads and carry them with me most of the time, because sometimes you need to have that moment.

meditation beats

If you’re still a non-believer about meditation, here are some facts and benefits with consistently meditating.

Benefits of Meditation are as follows: 

  • Less Anxiety
  • Less Stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Relaxation
  • Organized thoughts
  • Even temperament

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to let me know if you meditate and have any cool ideas on how to easily do it or if you’re thinking about it?

Nate Berkus’ Trendy NYC Home

If anyone knows me they know that I love me some Nate Berkus.  Nate just celebrated 20 years in the design industry and I can say that Nate’s style is one that I completely adore and aspire to.  Some of you may know Nate from being on Oprah and then he had a design show of his own a couple of years ago. Nate is one of the stylish designers out there and his trademark is a use of neutral colors, particularly black, brown and white. You will be able to go see that through his home that he shares with his husband Jeremiah and their adorable little girl, Poppy!

Check out Poppy’s new nursery and the adoring NYC apartment that they live in.  It’s to die for

This is Poppy’s little classy and and trendy nursery, which happens to also have a sitting area

NB Nursery

NB Nursery

Of course Nate and Jonathan would have the latest trends of the gold kitchen hardware and black cabinets.  This could work because they have a lot of natural lighting.

NB Kitchen

NB Kitchen

If you noticed, their home includes brown, black and white.  These colors are harmonious and because they are neutrals they create a serene setting.  They have included a lot of texture and interested in the room but incorporating a lot of layers.

NB Living Room

The foyer is beautiful

NB Foyer

Their bedroom is also another relaxing and trendy space.  They have a lot of gold accents and of course the brown, black and white surround this room.  NB Bedroom

Check out this shower!! I think I may get dizzy but its super cool!

NB Shower

The marble wallpaper and gold accents in the bathroom are the best and the finish on the repurpose floor boards are everything.  NB Bathroom

Let’t talk about the closet for a second.  I mean do they not have shoes for days?!?!?! I’m so jealous.
NB Closet

Their beautiful stairs that lead to the bedrooms and Poppy’s nursery.

NB Stairs

Their dining room speaks simplicity but shouts so much style.   NB Dining Room

That sums it up for the Berkus/Brent home and I simply can’t get enough of it.  If you want a taste of Nate’s style you can always find his line at Target, where his clean lines, gold elements and beautiful decor can be found.