Awesome in November

I can’t believe November is coming to a close, which means 2013 is almost over. This month was super busy at work, but a promotion for my husband means we now get to spend our weekends together. When I don’t have to work that is. Life never stops. But I’m enjoying every moment of this long weekend, and sharing some of the best bits from November.

Awesomest way to eat booze and bacon

Photo by Jessica of How Sweet It Is
Photo by Jessica of How Sweet It Is

You know I love sweet potatoes, and when I saw this dish on How Sweet It Is, I swooned. Dudes, there’s bacon on these sweet potatoes. The girl is wonderfully insane. These bourbon bacon whipped sweet potatoes sound hardcore awesome. I cannot wait to give these a try.

Awesomest why didn’t I think of that idea

Photo by Rebecca of Foodie with Family
Photo by Rebecca of Foodie with Family

You have to understand that for home cooks, Thanksgiving is the most exciting day of the year. Is it any wonder that I spend the entire month of November thinking about food? Rebecca from Foodie with Family made this homemade jellied cranberry sauce, and it’s brilliant. I love making homemade cranberry sauce, but I actually prefer the texture of the smooth jellied stuff. Just strain it. Duh! She’s a genius! I’m definitely doing this next year.

Awesomest way to burn your fingers

photo by Tracy of Shutterbean
photo by Tracy of Shutterbean

Okay, just one more food thing, and I promise you’re going to love it. Normally, I’m deep-fry-phobic, but I’d face my fears for these sausage jalapeno hushpuppies from Tracy at Shutterbean. From the very instant I spied a photo of these puppies, I knew I needed them in my life. She put sausage in her hushpuppies, kids. So so so so ridiculously good.

Awesomest under age heroes

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Believe it or not, I did actually leave my house for something other than work a couple of times this month. We saw two movies based on novels I love, Ender’s Game and Catching Fire. Both of these are stories of kids who save the world. If you haven’t read these books, drop what you’re doing and get on it. Of the two films, I preferred Catching Fire. Possibly because I have a big fat crush on Jennifer Lawrence, and also because bits of it were filmed on my island. Just in case the world didn’t already know, it’s beautiful out here. I love going to the movies, and it’s almost awards season. I’m so excited. But that’s a story for another month. Go see Catching Fire, and please don’t bring your small children. I thought that would be a no brainer. Apparently, it’s not.

Things you thought were awesome

Many of you were looking for a twist on pumpkin pie, and I know for a fact that this Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake made an appearance on at least two Thanksgiving tables. It’s pretty fantastic.

You still want fluffy crunchy potatoes in a matter of minutes. Parmesan Fried Gnocchi is going strong. Maybe if I ever get through the food in my fridge, I’ll have to make these again. So good!

By far your favorite post was peanut butter fudge. I don’t blame you. I literally cannot stop eating this stuff. My mom would love that you loved it.

November was awesome, and I’m still digesting my awesome meal from last night. It’s a whirlwind to the end of the year. I can’t wait to spend it with you.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce from Awesome on 20
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Holiday Brie from Awesome on 20

Be Awesome: Be Yourself

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As a blogger, a professional, and just as a human, I find myself constantly comparing myself to others. It’s a truly nasty habit, and one I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to break most of my life. I need constant reminders.

I’m different, and that’s awesome! I know a lot about Harry Potter, and as a Ravenclaw, I will feel compelled to share that knowledge. I geek out about music. I will talk for twenty minutes in a bar about how Prince’s “When Doves Cry” is an awesomely epic pop song and deserves your respect. I like to listen to smart people talk, especially about how and why they created their art. People who don’t read books are utterly incomprehensible to me. I know the foxtrot, the charleston, the tango, and tae kwon do. None of this is normal, but it’s me, and most days, I love that.

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There’s only one me, and there’s only one you. That’s exactly how it should be. That pressure to fit in never goes away 100%. The nagging thought that you could be more successful if you were just more normal will always be hanging around. I know some people who are fantastically self-actualized. I admire them so much! But I think most of us are still full of insecurities.

Today, let’s be our most awesome selves. Let’s be unapologetically proud of the things we’re in to. If you like to take pictures of the food you cooked, then write about it on the internet, don’t let people’s crazy open-mouthed stares make you hesitate for one second. Be yourself. It’s who you were born to be.

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The more days we can spend being in love with life, the better life is for everyone. That happiness extends beyond our known reach. Be yourself. Critics be damned. You are awesome!

Sweet Soaps from Suds n Cash

Soaps from Suds n Cash

I know so many brilliantly creative people. I love it when they turn their creativity into something that can help them feed their families. Getting paid to do the thing you love is supremely awesome. 

I recently discovered that one of my co-workers at my new job makes her own handmade soaps out of natural ingredients like goat milk and shea butter. She has all sorts of yummy flavors including lime cupcake and amaretto. The goat milk soap looks so rich and buttery my husband almost ate it thinking it was white chocolate. Maybe you can’t eat candy in the shower, but you can make your shower smell like candy, and that’s pretty great.

You can even buy soaps with cash hidden inside. That sounds like a pretty awesome surprise to me. Imagine enjoying a nice hot bath, then next thing you know, you’re holding a $50 bill. Don’t worry, it’ll dry.

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You can find her handcrafted soaps, bodyscrubs, and lotions on Facebook or at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. If you find yourself out there, make sure you stop and give these soaps a sniff. If you don’t live on Oahu, you can buy them straight off of Facebook or at her Etsy store.

I am a total sucker for handmade, yummy smelling soaps. It’s a great little bit of indulgence for a very small price. Being able to support a friend’s growing business makes the whole thing even sweeter. 

Disclaimer: I received two sample soaps to try. Telling you about them was my own idea.

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