Category Archives for "Holidays"

Bring Something New to The Table This Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving draws closer, thoughts of turkey and stuffing are beginning to fill our heads. For me, another dish that comes to mind is scalloped oysters.

As I was growing up, my parents made scalloped oysters every year for Thanksgiving. Imagine my surprise when I realized that oysters were not a standard dish at everyone’s Thanksgiving table.

So this year, I thought I would share my family’s tradition with all of you. Maybe I can even inspire you to bring something new to your family’s table this Thanksgiving!

Look through the recipe below:



Remember the History of Veterans Day when Celebrating Today

Military uniform with faded boards painted in American USA flag

Veterans Day. Everyone knows it and everyone knows that the day is used to thank veterans for their service. But how many people actually know the history behind why we celebrate it?

November 11, 1919

President Woodrow Wilson declared the first Armistice Day in remembrance of the end of WWI (which took place a year earlier).

June 4, 1926

Congress requested annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11th.

May 13, 1938

Armistice Day was officially declared a legal holiday as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace”.

May 26, 1954

President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the idea that Armistice Day should celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in WWI. President Eisenhower had been given this idea by a WWII veteran in 1945 before he became president.

June 1, 1954

Congress amended the law to replace “Armistice” with “Veterans” which leads us to the Veterans Day we know today.

So how are you celebrating Veterans Day today? Are you taking a moment to remember all veterans who have served our country? Maybe you can think about just how much our country has gone through. Or maybe you just thank the veterans in your life.

However you choose to celebrate this special day, remember the history behind it!


Reward Yourself: Enjoy the Extra Hour of Sleep You Need!

woman-601568_1920Tonight only! You get the sleep you so desperately need and deserve!

Daylight savings time ends tonight at 2:00 AM, which means that all of the clocks (except for most in Arizona) are falling back an hour. So if your alarm goes off at 5:30 each morning, tonight you get to relish in the fact that 5:30 will actually feel like 6:30 when you wake up.

Now, if you still have an alarm clock that you have to manually change, don’t forget! Nothing is worse than waking up an hour early simply because you forgot to change your clocks. So switch all of your clocks back an hour tonight and reward yourself with an extra hour of sleep.

After all, it only comes once a year!


Have the Best Halloween Night without Leaving Home!



So this year Halloween is on a Monday – which is absolutely no fun. However, it also means that the celebrations start tonight (Saturday)! Therefore, before I embark on my own adventures this weekend, I thought I would share some of my better ideas with you.

Maybe you want to have a low-key Halloween celebration at home on Saturday night, or maybe you just want a good way to celebrate Halloween on Monday. Either way, I’ve got some great ideas for you!

How to Have the Best Halloween Night without Leaving Home!

1. Decide who is sharing this wonderful night with you.

Invite some friends over, snuggle up with your significant other, or just relish in the quiet  of having the house to yourself. Whatever you choose, first decide who you are spending your night with.

2. Pick out some movies!

There are lots of options when it comes to Halloween movies, but they generally fall into two categories. Either you want to go the scary movie route or you want to watch some heartwarming movies instead. Whatever you prefer (or if you want to do a mix of the two, check out my short lists below!


*Disclaimer – I don’t actually enjoy horror movies. Therefore, I bugged my husband until he gave me the best scary movies to watch this weekend – I hope the suffice!
  • Scream: A high school girl receives a flirty phone call that quickly escalates and leads to her boyfriend being murdered and then her being murdered as well. The story-line continues and more people are stalked and then murdered. The town starts to suspect an urban legend come back to life and don’t discover the true culprit until the closing scene.
  • Child’s Play: This is the original Chucky movie. A well-known serial killer is killed in a toy shop and manages to transfer his soul into a doll. This doll is then purchased for a young boy. The movie follows the boy and the doll as Chucky tries to continue living his life by killing his ex-henchman among other people. The family of the boy spends much of the movie trying to kill Chucky.
  • Friday the 13th: This is a classic 1980’s horror movie. Ultimately, this movie is about a summer camp where, when camp counselors have sex, they are murdered. Ultimately, the characters (who have not been killed) discover the killer as well as the motive behind the murders.
  • Nightmare on Elm Street: A teenage girl, has a mysterious dreams about a disfigured man named Freddy Krueger chasing and killing her. When she awakes, she realizes slashes on her nightgown. When she falls asleep a second time, she is killed. The story then follows the girls best friend who also begins having these dreams. The movie then follows this second girl and her mother as they attempt to bring Freddy Krueger into the real world and kill him.


  • Halloweentown: This is actually a series of 4 Disney Channel movies that came out between 1998 and 2006. Now don’t be deterred by their “made for TV” status – these are actually wonderful movies. In this series, all of the magical creatures that are known for scaring little kids on Halloween actually exist, but have separated themselves from the human world. The series follows two siblings as they become part of both worlds.
  • Bedknobs & Broomsticks: This is a classic Disney movie that takes place during WWII. A witch in England is forced to take in 3 children who have been evacuated from London. The story follows the witch and the children as they attempt to learn the spell that will help win the war. They even enter a magical (animated) world where the animals talk.
  • Hocus Pocus: Another classic. Three humerus witches are inadvertently resurrected by two children who are exploring an abandoned house. These witches are determined to steal the souls of each child in town and it is up to the two main characters to save everyone.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost: A wonderful story, and if you haven’t seen the live-action movie, you need to. A father and daughter move into an abandoned mansion in an effort to evacuate it’s ghostly guests. In the process the daughter meets and befriends Casper while her father gets turned into a ghost himself.

3. Find some festive snacks.

Pick out some good movie snacks, maybe some Halloween candy, caramel apples, hot apple cider, popcorn, or pumpkin spice anything! You really can’t go wrong – just pick something you will enjoy.

4. Curl up on the couch and enjoy your night!

Have a happy Halloween!



The BEST Way to Change Your Life


Happy Tuesday!

Today I’m on a mission. I’m on a mission to change your life (and my own)! How many times do you catch yourself saying “I wish I had time to…” or “I miss doing…”? For me, it is quite a bit. I say, I miss reading. I wish I had time to journal like I used to. I really do want to get through that list of magazines on the coffee table.

Everyone has a list like this. A list of things that you want to do, but feel like you don’t have the time. Well, earlier today I was watching a TED Talk by Matt Cutts and, as TED Talks often are, I was inspired.

What was the message of this TED Talk?

Try something new.

Now, here is the best part. You don’t try something new just once, you don’t try something new forever. You just have to try to do something for 30 days. I’m a numbers person, I survive on being organized. So when I heard this idea I immediately thought, “30 days, I could do that”.


Proof of my plan!

You can do something little. You can cut your sugar intake, read for 15 minutes each day, go for a walk after work. Or, you can do something huge. Write a book, remodel that bathroom, train for a 5K. Whatever you choose to do, it is guaranteed to be memorable. And as a bonus, if you do something small, it might just turn into a habit.

What is my personal challenge for this month? I think I am going to journal for at least 5 minutes a day. But I’m already thinking, “What if I forget? What if I don’t have time?”

Well, here is my plan (and maybe it can be your plan too). I have downloaded the Morning Routine app to my phone. When you add a new alarm you can choose the “sequence” option. This way you can scan a specific bar-code (I scanned the one on the back of my journal) and until you scan that specific bar-code, the alarm will not turn off! Okay, maybe you aren’t as stubborn as me, but I need this!

So what is your challenge for the next 30 days? And how will you accomplish it? Comment below and tell me about your plan!

So this month I challenge you,

Do something different for 30 days!



My Favorite Obscure “Holiday” is This Month!


Happy Monday everyone, and more importantly, Happy National Book Month!

Books are some of my favorite things. Nothing quite compares with curling up on the couch with a good book, and I think October is the perfect month to observe this national “holiday”. October is when the temperatures start to drop, apple cider and pumpkin spiced coffee flows freely, and it starts to get darker sooner.

Is there anything better than curling up in  your favorite blanket in front of a fire, feeling the crisp air around you, sipping on something warm, and reading one of your favorite books by the light of the fire? I think not.

And so I welcome the month of October with this blog post, and my list of some of my all time favorite books.

Here are my favorite (magical) books of all time:

  1. The Naming by Alison Croggon – If you enjoy reading about magic, history, and medieval lands, this book will have you hooked by the end of “A Note on the Text” before the first chapter. Let me warn you though, this is the first book of the Pellinor Series and if you get hooked as quickly as I did, you will be rushing out to get the next three books as soon as you finish the first!
  2. The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine – This is a great book that is a pretty short read. It takes place in a medieval land and is centered around the journey of two sisters. If you want to read about the bond of sisterhood or the power that women posses, this is a perfect read for you!
  3. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce – This book comes with a great big warning! If you start reading this series and are anything like me, you have a lot of reading in your future. This is the first book of the second series of books in this “universe” of books. If you want to start at the beginning (which I probably suggest) the actual book you should find first is Alanna: The First Adventure. This is a really wonderfully in-depth story that spans generations. If you want to fall in love with some characters (and want to be reading consistently throughout the winter) these books are for you. Here is my big warning, there are 5 series in this “universe” which total 18 books to read – but, if you are up to the challenge, they are definitely worth it.
  4. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – I couldn’t help myself. Everyone has read these books, and if you haven’t, you need to (although, in my honest opinion, the new screenplay is not worth your time). My favorite in the series is The Goblet of Fire, simply because of the other schools that are introduced and Hermione’s dedication to the house elves! If you want another series to take you through the winter, start at the beginning and go through the original 7 again!

Now, here is my bonus. Since you are reading this blog post, chances are you know about The Back Forty. And if you don’t, check it out! This is The Back Forty Blog after all. What is my bonus you ask? Co-Founder of The Back Forty, Darrell Gurney, recently published two new e-books!

  1. The Birth of the Back Forty by Darrell Gurney – Both of these bonuses are available on This one is only $2.99 and a great short read about how The Back Forty came to be.
  2. Crisis or Opportunity compiled by Darrell Gurney – This is another great option if you want something a little longer. It includes not only his story, but also the midlife success stories of 6 other authors, comedians, and more.

If you’re still not sure, check out the eBook trailer below!