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Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

  • Cecelia Zook

Pumpkin Pie Taste Test

Updated: Dec 7, 2020



Happy Foodie Friday! These recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

www.thefrankincensetree.com

info@thefrankincensetree.com


Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!


Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite dessert on the Thanksgiving table, so this recipe had high expectations! I am happy to say it met every one of those expectations. This pumpkin pie had every fall flavor all in one bite, and it was such a delight to enjoy. It was very quick to make with only about 30 minutes of prep and 60 minutes in the oven. I will definitely make this again next Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie
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Makes 8 servings (1 pie)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


Ingredients for 1 pie crust (or buy already made):

*1 cup all-purpose flour

*2 teaspoons sugar

*1/4 teaspoon salt

*6 tablespoons unsalted cold butter and cut into 12 pieces

*1/4 cup sour cream


Preparation for crust:

*Make the crust first by combining flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Pulse to combine.

*Sprinkle butter pieces over the mixture and pulse again until coarse crumbs form.

*Add sour cream and pulse again until mixture begins to clump together.

*Carefully remove the dough from the food processor and use your hands to shape it into a ball.

*Flatten slightly into a disc and wrap in cling wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

*Remove chilled pie dough from refrigerator and transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface.

*Allow dough to sit for 5 minutes and then roll dough out into a 12 inch circle.

*Gently lay the pie crust into a 9 inch glass dish, folding the excess dough over and under the pan’s edge then crimp the edges with a fork.

*Put crust into freezer until it’s ready to fill.


Ingredients for pie filling:

*1 - 15 ounce can (about 2 cups) pumpkin puree

*3 large eggs

*1 1/4 cups packed light or dark brown sugar

*1 tablespoon cornstarch

*1/2 teaspoon salt

*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

*1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

*1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

*1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

*1 cup heavy cream

*1/4 cup milk

*egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk


Preparation for pie filling:

*Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined.

*Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk.

*Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.

*Preheat oven to 375F.

*Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm, pre-baked crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up.

*Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes. A small part of the center will be wobbly – that’s ok.

*After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown.

*Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours.

*Serve pie with whipped cream, if desired.


Recipe and Taste Tester - Cecelia Zook

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