Be Well & Celebrate


Last Friday, I had an amazing brainstorming session with the brilliant Brittanny Taylor and Ashley McMullen of 1AM Beauty. Within minutes we came up with 20 blog post ideas, 1 post per day to take me right through Thanksgiving. The list included, a shopping list for a Thanksgiving feast, various recipes, tabletop decor, hostess gift ideas, and a Friendsgiving party and photo opp. After that meeting I came home and promptly fell asleep. (I didn't mention that I woke up feeling pretty lousy Thursday morning, but I was doing my best to fight it). By the time Saturday rolled around, it was all I could do to get myself out of bed and into a hot bath.

The long and short of it, I surrendered. I went dark for a few days. I sat with my sickness, tended to my body, went to the doctor, got some meds, and drank lots and lots of green tea. And, that very elaborate, fantastic, chock-full-of-good-content list, was whittled way, way down.

This week, I will be posting more frequently, but I've decided to rely on a little help from my very talented friends. Keep your eyes open for a piece from Sophia Palange, an extrodinary Natural Food Chef, who will share some healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes, and Michelle Sousa, of Snowberry Studio, (an incredible Floral Designer who responsible for the fabulous arrangement featured on the & celebrate homepage, which set the tone for the entire & celebrate brand). Michelle will be sharing some tips for creating a floral centerpiece fit for your Thanksgiving table.

I am not super-human. I really wish I was. I often think, if I could only get my hands on that pill Bradley Cooper's character was after in Limitless, oh what I could accomplish!

The pressure begins to build this time of year. Family gatherings, holiday shopping, work events, outings with friends; it is easy to get caught up in the hustle bustle and attempt to take on the world. But, we must remember, we are not super-human. The busier it gets, the more important it is to take care of ourselves. Here are some tips for maintaining self-care over the holidays:

Focus on what you have. Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful for the all the wonderful people and things we already have in our lives. As Zig Ziglar says, "The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for." If we are rushing around trying to be, do, and buy more, we lose sight of what is already in front of us. For many of us, what we have is pretty damn good. If we slow down enough to simply "be" with friends, a loved one, ourselves, or we have the opportunity to hold space for a stranger, we'll realize we have everything we need.

Learn to say, "no." "No." can actually be a complete sentence. Shocking, I know. (This is a tough one for me. Ma, if you're reading this, please know I am working on it). The truth is, just because you have always done something or attended something doesn't mean you have to do it this year. There are 365 days (and a bajillion reasons) to celebrate every year, so perhaps you will consider postponing a holiday gathering to create a brand-new tradition in the New Year. It will be something your friends and family can look forward to after the holiday-haze has lifted and one less gathering you have to get your butt to in the next few weeks.

Stick to your exercise routine. It is so easy to indulge in all our favorite goodies during the holiday season and traditions//family members//friends lead us to believe that it's what we must do. But, then after eating the entire bowl of Nan's famous vegetable dip using everything but veggies to clear the dish, we are left feeling lethargic and bloated and full of regret. Do your best to indulge in small doses and stick to your normal exercise routine. Your body will thank you for it and I'm sure your partner//hubby//wife//boyfriend//girlfriend//(significant other) will too.

Order the bird. There are excellent catering companies and delis in every town that offer specials on prepared food for the holidays. Let's face it preparing a turkey dinner is A LOT of work. This may be controversial, especially coming from someone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen, but I say, order the damn bird. Use the time you would normally spend in the kitchen to visit with the ones you love. You'll feel more rested and you can feel good about supporting local businesses in the process. (You don't even have to tell your guests if you don't want to. Pull a Mrs. Doubtfire, then secretly bask in the glory of how you pulled it off). For you PVD locals, Easy Entertaining has an awesome menu of made-to-order Thanksgiving items they're serving up this year. Orders are due this Thursday, November 20! Visit the Easy Entertaining website to download your order form today.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself and each other. Try to remember the true reasons behind every whacky, zany, extravagant holiday tradition: communion, love, laughter, connection, giving, and joy. Let those feelings lead you into the New Year.

Be well & celebrate! With love, P

Patsy Culp

& celebrate, 616 Hope St, Providence, RI, 02906, United States