Giving Thanks Under an Open Sky

Ah yes, Thanksgiving! It’s my husband’s favorite time of the year, and why not?  Football and an unlimited supply of food while lounging with the guys yelling at the TV, and looking forward to a mountain of leftover sandwiches for days to come! It’s any man’s dream! Of course, if your family is anything like mine, it can get a little cramped in the house. So this year, take thanksgiving…OUTDOORS! If you live in the south or have warmer weather during the holidays like I do, try to enjoy it out amongst the beauties of nature! It’s a fresh new outlook and offers a comfortable amount of space for large parties.

For all of you who love a little something new, below are a few of ideas on what you can do to make this into a reality!

TREES, TREES, EVERYWHERE!

What could be better than the natural canopies provided by trees? If you’ve been blessed with many trees in your backyard, it’s a perfect fixture to set and decorate your table. Hanging lanterns and fairy lights off the trees can add a little sparkle to your table décor and also help provide that soft glow if the natural light fades.

BOUQUETS FOR DAYS

Centerpieces and table décor doesn’t have to be a huge expense! The best thing about fall is the changing of the leaves, and what better to adorn your tables than a bouquet of beautiful red, yellow, maroon and green leaves set with red and purple berries tied with twine string! This is a great way to get the kids involved in making some creative bouquets for the table settings!

CANDLES, GOURDS AND PLACE CARDS, OH MY!

Get creative with your left over Halloween décor! Chances are you still have a few of those tea candles and decorative pumpkins left over from last month! Recycle your décor brilliantly by experimenting with candles and small pumpkins as part of the table centerpieces. Candles of different sizes add dimension and a little fun to the whole theme of the table, and using simple place cards with a personalized message can be a beautiful way to show how much your family means to you.

DON’T FORGET TO ADD A LITTLE HEAT

Even with the warmest of weather, the evenings can get a bit chilly. Space heaters to the rescue! Help warm up the nights with a little heat so you can enjoy the outdoors a little longer without compromising that comfort.

Of course, there is no end to the creativity! These are just a few ways you can change up the holiday to add more space and sparkle and a little bit of your own custom touch to a meaningful get together!

 

MyFairLady is the latest addition to the Belles & Books writing team, so of course she’s an avid reader  ^_^ .  She’s a surgeon with a quirky side.  An ‘artsy’ mommy-to-be, she’ll be writing about design, decor, and DIY.  In her free time she indulges in new food finds around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 
All images used in this post are from Google images.
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Glow: My first time doing Bikram Yoga

Dearest Belles,

If you are like my sisters, you love the gym and can keep a great workout routine going for years. I, however, get bored with anything once it becomes “same old, same old”. That’s why I am always looking to try something new. My latest find on Groupon has been Bikram Yoga. I found a great deal ($36 for 10 classes!) so I decided to try it. I was looking for a new challenge anyway.

Darlings, was I in for a surprise! Now, I’m not a complete newbie to the yoga world–I attended a few Yin Yoga classes at my old gym but those were more for meditation than for balance and flexibility. The first thing that surprised me was the humidity. Yes, yes, Bikram Yoga is by definition heated yoga, But I wasn’t expecting to break out my sweat mustache for at least the first 5 minutes! Turns out, it’s practiced in a room heated to 95–108 °F (35–42 °C) with a humidity of 40%.

And I thought Houston was bad…

Well, I got through most of the poses alright with the exception of the Patient Tree and the Bow postures, but it really made me realize how much flexibility I’ve lost since high school. I used to be able to touch my head to my knees and arms to my toes with knees locked! I definitely couldn’t do that anymore.

My towel was soaked and I nearly passed out at one point from keeping my muscles so taut but honey, it was worth it. I felt great and I looked great. For the past 90 minutes, I stretched in several ways that promote blood circulation and sweated out what felt like every toxin I had ever come into contact with, and I was glowing!

Don’t believe me? Here’s a photo I sent my sisters right after my workout.

I’ve been going every few days for the past 3 weeks and I’m still completely loving it. But alas, the Groupon comes to an end soon and I must flit like a butterfly to a new buttercup. Hmm… maybe I’ll try boxing next?

Hah! Keep it adventurous, Belles!

xoxo, Zahra