Welcome to November! Welcome to the Month of Gratitude!!!
I strive to be grateful every day because I've found that gratitude is the one single thing that can get me through the rough times. Whether it's the day-to-day annoyances, the inevitable clashes and skirmishes with children, friends, family, or business dealings, or the dark embrace of grief, when I extend my thoughts toward Gratitude, Gratitude reaches out a hand to me and lifts me over the bump in my path, and away from the edge of the abyss.
So while I try to practice gratitude daily, I do LOVE to really double down during the month of November when there is a spirit of thankfulness in the air and folks are generally in a fairly good state of mind.
November is when seasonal changes are the most obvious. Deciduous trees have shed their camouflage and now stand sentinel over our streets and pathways, promising to be the watchmen over the harsh realities of winter. The morning air is crisp and hits our lungs like and exclamation point at the end of a sentence, filling us with excitement for the day ahead. And, unashamed, we leave our homes and face the world draped in layers of what we like to call "sweaters and scarves" but what we really know are security blankets that help us to feel a little better and more protected against the world.
So before Winter and her short, dark, and sometimes gloomy countenance becomes The House Guest That Would Not Leave, I encourage you to get serious about this gratitude stuff too - because it will see you through to the first green shoot, the first little bud, and the longer brighter days of Spring!
November Book Club | A Snowy Little Christmas
The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! And what better way to greet them than with a sweet collection of Christmas romances?!
My November Book Club choice, A Snowy Little Christmas, is a trio of short stories by beloved authors, Fern Michaels, Tara Sheets, and Kate Clayborn; each easy little read comes with more than a touch of romance, a dusting of snow, and a sprinkling of Christmas magic…
STARRY NIGHT by Fern Michaels
The first in the series, Starry Night, is the kind of delightful treat we've come to expect from Michaels (The main character seems vaguely familiar to me…) As the host of a radio program for the lovelorn, Jessie Richmond is surprisingly lonely, especially with the holidays approaching, so she decides to make a trek to her uncle's bookstore in rural New York state and hold a speed dating event—only to find herself snowed in—with one very special single on her radar.
MISTLETOE AND MIMOSAS by Tara Sheets
And from Sheets, the story of a successful woman who has accomplished many goals and THINKS she's got it all in Mistletoe and Mimosas… After years of hard work, real estate agent Layla Gentry has her dream home on Pine Cove Island and perfectly content to be on her own. Until her childhood nemesis, Sebastian, comes to town that is! When a snowstorm and a stranded kitten bring them together on Christmas Eve, Layla discovers he's all grown up—and she may have one more dream left...
MISSING CHRISTMAS by Kate Clayborn
The finale, from Clayborn, Missing Christmas shows us that we often find love where we least expect it. It's all work and no play for two longtime friends-turned-business-partners Kristen and Jasper—until an unexpected kiss all of a sudden makes things very personal. Will it mean the end of something, or the beginning? With a major contract in the balance, Christmas around the corner, and a lot of unspoken feelings, it may take an unpredictable blizzard in New England to seal the deal . . .
So find yourself a cozy reading nook, a cup of hot tea, and a little time to curl up and immerse yourself in some warm and fuzzy Christmas feel-good stories with A Snowy Little Christmas!
The publishers of A Snowy Little Christmas has generously given me a stack of books to share with you. Want one? Write to me HERE and tell me why. I'll give them away on a first come-first served basis until they're all gone!
Podcasts | Cathy Parker, Natasha Bedingfield, Max Lucado
One of the things I am so very grateful for this year is the direction my podcast has taken! I dabbled in this arena for a bit and had some really great conversations with some incredible people, but once I felt I had a firm footing, I decided that I wanted my podcast to have a very specific aim; to inspire and encourage my listeners to make a difference. How? By talking to people who have done just that - made a difference. So that's what you'll hear when you subscribe to LOVE SOMEONE with Delilah!
Last month, I had the privilege of sharing some time with Cathy Parker, a mother, wife, and bank employee who was moved by an ESPN clip to help out a struggling town in the far reaches of the Alaskan tundra... she did. What and how will absolutely blow you away! Cathy wrote a book about her experience called Northern Lights, which I featured this summer as a book club pick. Get into the game with us.
Natasha Bedingfield hit pause on her busy busy schedule and made a visit to the farm! Yes, she's a recording artist with a new album out and an upcoming tour. She's also a wife, a brand-new mommy, and a passionate activist raising awareness of a heinous practice - human trafficking. We talked about all these things during her visit, and we got kind of silly at times too. I don't want you to miss out. Listen here.
And, beloved minister and best-selling Christian author, Max Lucado joined me recently to talk about his new book, How Happiness Happens. Max tells us (and backs it with research) that tapping into joy and fulfillment that goes deeper and lasts longer than the "next new thing" is about being "other focused." When we spend our time and energies on making life better for others, the payback is profound. Like most of my conversations, we do digress quite a bit, and share more than a few laughs. Won't you join us?
Do you know of an individual or an organization that is making a positive difference in the world? Share their information with my podcast producer so that I can keep making more episodes of LOVE SOMEONE with Delilah! Tell us all about them by writing HERE.
Recipe's | Waffle Cake & Tomato Basil Bisque
I've got two great fall recipes to share with you, though I wouldn't necessarily call them complimentary dishes. Made in the same week, yes, for the same meal, probably no.
The first is all about me catching on to a new trend and sharing it with you (in case you haven't tried it already.) It's all about the waffle cake!
Yep, you can turn any cake (or dessert bread) recipe into a waffle cake. Just mix your batter, pour it into a waffle iron, and layer those waffles with icing... voila!
The staff tried it out using a Carrot Cake recipe with Cream Cheese Icing and it was truly delish. Follow the link to my blog for the full recipe and story. And, if you try it, tell me what flavor you waffled up and your thoughts about it!
The second is an easy, but super tasty, Tomato Basil Bisque, a specialty of our studio engineer, Jessica. Fall is soup weather for me, and there is just something so quintessentially fall about tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, that I look forward to it every year. For a tasty twist on an old classic try this soup out!
There are many great recipe and food ideas at Delilah.com. Visit us often, AND, send me your ideas!
I really cannot emphasize enough how much I believe in the PRACTICE of gratitude, dear readers. And I do mean practice - being mindful and active in your gratitude. May I make a suggestion?
Start a gratitude journal, jar, or bowl. Choose a time of day that works for YOU - perhaps it's in the morning as you face the day ahead, or perhaps it's in the evening when you're reflective of the day behind, whenever it is that you feel you can find a few moments, write down 1-3 (or more!) things that you are thankful for.
However you do this, and whatever practice you develop for yourself, is up to you. What matters is that you put some effort into establishing the practice and that you don't repeat the same things on the list twice. Science now backs the this as an effective way to rewire your brain to be happier.
Give it a try, tell me all about your results, and remember, let's all Love Someone! Blessings to you and yours,