in pursuit of more

living with just a little less

20 Favourite Holiday Recipes

The next message you need is always right where you are. Ram Dass

Can we believe it’s already the end of another whole year? I know this is said every year but I can’t help but feel that somehow time is speeding up even more in this new age we are living in. I sort of blame technology, but in recent weeks have come to the conclusion that this fleeting feeling we have might be more within our control than we realize. As we look to 2017, I am making little mental notes of my resolutions, with the goal this year of making a series of small but positively minded decisions rather than any grand, sweeping declarations of how I might be a better person next year. After all, I’m pretty in love with my life as it is. What a grand notion! No major changes, just small adjustments that will make savouring all that is wonderful simply more meaningful and more satisfying.

So what am I doing? A few little things, starting with reclaiming my time. I’m not afraid to flat out admit I spend way too much time on my phone. From checking Instagram (the number one time suck by far), to compulsively scrolling through the rest of the apps I use to see ‘what’s up’ elsewhere, I’ve justified this behaviour as necessary, since this is ‘how I make my living’. Since there are so many of us marketing, sharing, interacting (and don’t get me wrong I love all of it), it’s hard without stepping back to realize that this totally new normal, while exciting and hugely beneficial in so many ways, is robbing us of the ability to be present. And more importantly, we are allowing it. We are so busy wondering who commented or messaged or liked or tweeted, that we are slowly, cumulatively over time losing the ability to actually enjoy the present moment – even despite the new movement towards mindfulness (I chuckle a little at the irony of reading inspirational quotes while scrolling manically through a social media feed). I realized this the other day while I was doing a hands on task that I don’t particularly enjoy, and I usually manage to distract myself from it by periodically checking my phone. It has started to really bother me this distracted state I live in, and I decided the other day to try to fully, completely embrace my hands on task. I decided right in that moment to be grateful for the ability to use my hands. To be grateful for movement, and for a body that lives without pain. Grateful for a body that is healthy, and a present moment that is gracious, and generous, and inherently peaceful all on its own. No wondering what was going on outside the time and space that was right in front of me. No waiting for someone outside of my immediate surroundings to send me a message. None of that alarming feeling of getting a message and needing to respond. I realized in quite a profound way that me and only me, has been robbing myself of being present, and fully living in the now.

So I’m not giving up my phone, because that is not practical, or possible. But I am going to check it less. And I am going to turn it off for periods of time and allow my hands and my mind the freedom to be present. I want my precious moments back, and they are mine to take anytime I want them, each and every one of them. And you know what? This fleeting feeling is simply not real, since if you think about it each day is crammed full of these moments that are ours to enjoy. What a beautiful, freeing, and empowering realization. Our time is ours to take. For those of you who are also pondering what the new year looks like for you, I’ll be listing mine in a ‘less’ and ‘more’ format, as through the years I’ve found great value in journaling this time of year, as it gives me something to look back on, and a real sense of satisfaction to look back and see the progress made (and in some cases a stand still or even regression). If you are interested in seeing it in full, let me know.

For those of you who are still planning those last minute dinners or sides, I’ve rounded up a few of my personal favourite holiday dishes. These are the ones that I make year after year, and the ones that my family requests the most. These are meals that memories and traditions are built upon, and I’m happy to share the recipes that have formed the foundation of my own personal holiday memories. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, and sending all my love outwards. I am so grateful to be able to share with you. xx

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