November 2020 Newsletter
A little real estate
A little me
November. Did anybody else go from watching Halloween movies and listening to spooky music to blasting Mariah Carey's festive Christmas music within 12 hours? Just me? Well, before I get too into the Christmas holiday just yet, I compiled all things November to help you navigate this month. May this be our first and last holiday season in a pandemic.
Life Hack of the Month
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when you don't have a knife, a cutting board, or you just don't feel like cutting a lemon and making a mess, this life hack is brilliant. Yes, it is juicing a lemon without cutting it. Enjoy.

Home Improvement 101 - Top 5 Countertops
There are so many decisions to make when it comes to upgrading your kitchen. And then there is the question of must haves and what is worth the splurge. Countertops are the cornerstone of a kitchen upgrade and definitely worth a prettier penny. Check out these 5 countertops that are worth all the pretty pennies:
  1. Quartz: beautiful, low maintenance and great for handling all the bacteria and moisture that comes their way. Using quartz is also great for resale, as buyers are LOVING quartz.
  2. Granite: classic, scratch & heat resistant, but requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep
  3. Soapstone: sleek & unique to make your kitchen but definitely $$$
  4. Green - upcycled wood & recycled glass: reduce your carbon footprint and have the most unique kitchen on the street, in your family/group of friends, etc.
  5. Solid surface: easy to clean; think granite but not as expensive (a combo of manmade materials and resins) and more color options to give your kitchen more character
Gift Shopping 101
While it may not quite be belt out Mariah Carey Christmas songs season, it is certainly holiday shopping season. This holiday season is looking different, and harder, for a lot of people. Check out these excellent tips for navigating gift shopping this year:
  • Set a price limit: 1st and foremost, determine how much you can and want to spend. In total and on a particular person.
  • When in doubt, write it down: really just write it down when not in doubt. Quickly jot down lists of individuals' interests and needs. Think hobbies, activities, colors, shows and movies; new puppy, new house, new job, and new educational pursuit; relaxation, organization, and increased fun.
  • Combine the first two: considering your budget, brainstorm ideas based on the list you created.
  • In all you do, do it with love. Seriously, as long as it is coming from a place of love and caring, any gift will be wonderful because it is the thought that counts.
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Things to do this month
  • Forma Gym Virtual Turkey Trot - anytime during Thanksgiving week. More info here

  • Football Sunday Funday: Niners + Raiders Watch Party w Rotating Food Trucks - Every Sunday from 12:30pm-9pm @Retro Junkie in Walnut Creek. More info here.

  • Curry Point to Balancing Rock Hike - Saturday November 7 from 9:30am-12:30pm. Curry Point in Mount Diablo State Park. Pull-out on East Side of South Gate Road Danville, CA 94506. More info here.
Recipes of the Month
Cider Pumpkin Waffles w/Salted Maple Butter

Now this is a Thanksgiving recipe...but think brunch the day or two after Thanksgiving. Leftover turkey and eggs. Cranberry mimosa. And these waffles. I made them last week and they were to die for. My favorite waffle recipe ever. Perfect for the kids and adults.

Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Oven-Toasted Garlic Herb Cheese Ravioli

Thanksgiving Day (at least, for me) is always a whirlwind of cooking and literally too many chefs in the kitchen all day. Nobody eats until the big meal & everyone gets hangry. That's why these ravioli are so great. They can be made ahead of time and make an excellent appetizer! So a day or three before Thanksgiving, whip up these bad boys, and store them until that perfect time where people are hungry and need just a little something to hold them over until the feast.

Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Quote of the Month

You are the sky. Everything else - it's just the weather.
-Pema Chodron