A Green and Barefoot Thanksgiving

There is one more week until Thanksgiving! What will you be serving? How will you be decorating your table? I am not the biggest Turkey lover, but I especially love Thanksgiving when we are with great family and friends…and when there are lots of yummy sides. I am thankful that this year that will be the case. And I will be cooking much of it.

I love to cook for the holidays and one of my very favorite chefs is Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I enjoy her casual, easy style and her love of local, fresh foods. I also share her Parisian and Provencal inspiration. Just over a week ago, I had the great opportunity to meet her at a book signing at Books & Books in Coral Gables.( more on this Miami Fave in an upcoming blog) While she is so personable, it was a bit disappointing that she had no time to chat or personalize her signature. Still, her new cookbook, Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics: fabulous flavors from simple ingredients is wonderful.

While reviewing her new book, I thought, what a wonderful cookbook and gift for those who would like to Greenify Thanksgiving.

Here are a few tips from Ina that are absolutely Green:

  • Focus on simplicity, quality & flavor to bring out the essence in your foods. Use the best ingredients and less equipment & kitchen gadgets.
  • Shop locally and at fresh markets.

“Each ingredient has a season, and that’s generally the time it’s most flavorful. Not only is it more likely to be grown or raised locally-and ripened on the vine-it’s also likely to be fresher and less expensive."

  • Fill your home with wonderful smells like of baked apples and pumpkin pie.
  • Entertain simply and with beautiful flower arrangements – perhaps handpicked
  • Enjoy friends and family.

    Our CLB Decorating Tips:
  • Bring in leaves or mini pumpkins/squash to use as place card holders, simply write your guests names on them.
  • Use a mix of tea towels, china or antique tea cups for a personalized table.
  • Create a centerpiece with fresh fruit or pumpkins.
  • Give a donation to those less fortunate.

Here’s my Barefoot & Green menu with a few personal touches:

  • Ina's Pomegranate Cosmos
  • My Mom's Squash Soup which we LOVE and which happens to be similar to Ina's amazing Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple soup with Curry, scallion, cashews and banana condiments (optional)
  • My sister in law's Turkey with Dried Fruit
  • My favorite Mushroom Stuffing by Jacques Pepin
  • Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier ( I think this is also Ina's)
  • Ina's Over Roasted Vegetables: potatoes, fennel, asparagus and string beans
  • Ina's Pumpkin Roulade and/or my sister in-law's Pumpkin Bread with Apple Butter

    Happy Thanksgiving


Giving Gifts of Thanks to Baby & Mom

The holiday season is upon us! Well, officially after Thanksgiving but we are really just a week and a half a way, so it is time to start thinking about the gifts we will be choosing. Meaningful, heartfelt gift giving for our family and friends may be more important this year than ever with the elections just over and the hard economic and environmental challenges ahead. It is actually a very inspired time to reflect and cherish those who are important to you.

Here are a few gift shopping tips for the new moms and their little ones on your list:

Treat them to one of a kind and affordable luxury items that you know they do not have.

Buy from a wish list or ecommerce/retail for easy returns.

Select Natural and sustainable materials to avoid allergies and bad reactions. Bamboo and organic cottons, if you have not tried them yet are sooo super soft. Also purchase toys that are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and toxic free.

Take the time to find Made in the USA items. It is so important to support our local businesses. Chances are, you know where they are located; less toxins are emitted into our environment from less travel and they are sweatshop free. It’s all good.

Personalize your gift (when you know the family well) and they will cherish hand painted artwork or a book that is customized with the child’s name…for years to come.

Give Back – Companies today are proud to give back. Find a gift where a portion of the proceeds is donated back to a worthy cause or an organization that is meaningful to you. This is the greatest gift of all…and a special way to share the cause with your little one.

For our Holiday Must Haves visit us at http://www.citylivingbaby.com/ and for more tips on gift giving and How to Find Affordable, Green & Stylish Gifts for your Girlfriends, visit our Guest Blog at Girlfriendology or contact us directly.


Our 1st Blog - We are so excited

Welcome, we are truly so excited to begin our City Living Blog. I am the co-owner of City Living Baby and Manhattan Living Baby and an interior designer, wife and aunt to 6 nieces and nephews. My partner is my sister; new mom, wife and Real Estate Broker.

We are City Living Girls from New York. We love the city, the quaint little neighborhoods, beautiful parks, amazing shops and yummy foods that are unique to New York. Not too long ago my husband and I relocated to Miami and we have now made it our quest to find those things that are uniquely Miami. City Living is what helped inspire our company and this blog is for all of you out there who are City Living Girls as well. If you love City Life, (in any city); Implementing a little Green and City Chic Style... I hope you'll love this blog as well.

Please feel free to comment and let us know what you would love to read about. I am thinking of posting our Must have gift ideas; Design tips for city living; Green Tips for Greenifying your home; New York and Aventura, Miami hot spots; Favorite Finds and much more...stay tuned.