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Week In Review: Looking With a Lens of Gratitude

Week In Review: Looking With a Lens of Gratitude

Happy Monday, friends

Many – though not all – of you celebrated Thanksgiving last week. From what I gather from my lovely American friends, that day is rather big down there. I sincerely hope each of you enjoyed whatever the week brought you: time with family, some friends, time around a table with others, good food, relaxation, a dip out of your norm, and most importantly, a feeling of connection. 

And as the holiday suggests, I hope you also felt a little extra gratitude for what there is around you. 

Gratitude is not something I’m good at. It’s not something I like to admit, but I tend to be the type of person that doesn’t see the little things as “enough.” I hold very high expectations and am rather perfectionistic, so it can be hard for me to come down off my high seat and be grateful for what I do have. I usually want more. But I’m working on it. A place of gratitude is definitely a more peaceful place to be. 

So with that, although it wasn’t Thanksgiving up here, I decided to join Meg and take the opportunity to practice some extra thankfulness, myself. 

To look at my achievements with a lense of gratitude, last week I…

Felt so grateful to have the time to cook – like, real food! – again. As I told you in my What I Ate Wednesday post, I made some wild rice chicken soup in my slow cooker, which ended up being even better than I had hoped. 

week in review gratitude

I also made this spaghetti squash casserole bakebut revamped it Mexican style. I changed the herbs to taco seasoning, substituted black beans for the chicken, added cilantro, and threw in 2 cups of cheddar cheese. I really just wanted the cheese…

week in review gratitude

week in review gratitude

Besides these alterations – for taste preference purposes (and #morecheese) – I felt really grateful to be at a place where I no longer look to change recipes (to make it “healthier,” or more “fat free,” or fit my levels of what I think “should” go in a recipe). I’m grateful to follow a recipe as is, because I know whatever the recipe calls for will make the outcome taste better, and that now, happiness in taste actually matters That usually means more butter, sugar, and oil. I’m really grateful for that. 

I baked this pumpkin gingerbread loaf – a sort of segue between my fall and christmas baking? – and it was exactly what I wanted. I had been craving a solid, moist slice of gingerbread like I used to get from the farmers market (this baby right here) and thought I’d never make a homemade version as good. But I absolutely did it. 

week in review gratitude

I also made Kat’s pumpkin spice caramel rice krispies with the caramel I made last week. I’ve got a lot of gratitude for that caramel sauce. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. 

week in review gratitude

Oh, and for my comfy couch and essential oils, too. 

I felt grateful for having the opportunity to be part of a University study, where actors were being hired to come in and improv a variety of personality traits. It was surprisingly a really good practice opportunity for me. I also made a quick $40, which I was very grateful for, because I left and immediately used it on good quality treats for myself. 

Like local, organic, grass fed meat products. 

week in review gratitude

I’m grateful to be at a place where I want to pay more for products that I know are good for me and the environment. I can still be a frugal brat, but I really feel good spending this extra money, knowing I am giving my body good things (and not giving it harmful things) and supporting the best farming practices for our planet. I’m grateful for this good feeling I get when I do so. 

I’m also grateful for really nice butchers who will take the time to have a lengthy conversation with me, as I learn what questions it is that I want to ask. 

And tea that – even though the prices blew my mind – I was happy to have treated myself with. 

week in review gratitude

I’m grateful for online shopping, not having to stress about biking to different stores in the snow, and coming home to receive parcels in the mail. 

week in review gratitude

I’m grateful for time in the mornings to make perfect pancakes from scratch

week in review gratitude

And for finally making homemade popcorn that didn’t burn

week in review gratitude

I’m grateful for time in-between work and my show, where the early darkness of the outside settled me into a cozy state of relaxation, and I’d sit with a tea and finish reading plays that I’ve been trying to finish for weeks now. …..and where I’d also fall asleep in a public space. 

week in review gratitude

I feel gratitude for the people I got to work with these last few months, and for the chance to watch their work up until their closing show this past weekend. And also for not screwing up any of our shows :). 

Week In Review: The Gratitude Edition @cleaneatsfast #gratitude #thankful #thanksgiving #time #food Click To Tweet

Tell me,

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? What was your favorite part?

What were you grateful for last week?




  1. Emily Swanson | 27th Nov 17

    Online shopping is a tremendous blessing; I just thought about that when you mentioned it, as I got this really comfortable dress that I really love last week from Amazon, and i didn’t have to go looking for it. Of course I do like to clothes shop if it’s with good company.

    And the ability to just stop and cook meals and bake goodies is SUCH a blessing. That pumpkin gingerbread loaf sounds so good. I just cooked a bunch of pumpkin and froze it on Saturday, so I’m hoping to continue the pumpkin baking for a little while.

    Thank you for reminding me to be grateful! God is SOOO good.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Comment on Week In Review: Learning the Joys of Waiting by AlyssaMy Profile

    • Cora | 7th Dec 17

      Oooo FRESH pumpkin!? That’s a luxury – and an extra step I’m too lazy to take. What have you made with it??

      And yes online shopping is turning out to be one of my new favorite things.

  2. danielle | 27th Nov 17

    what lovely list of things to be grateful for! i agree with being grateful for quality products. i have always been frugal but as i get wiser (and older) i understand that thing my mom always said: quality over quantity. YES!
    we had the best thanksgiving that i’ve ever had: started the morning with turkey trot 10K (yes i was badly injured but grit my way through it… i’m still hobbling but dare i say it was worth it? shrugs shoulders) then went over to my inlaws for a later lunch where there were many kiddos and our babe was completely happy playing outside with all the little kids. so much grass!! it was great. the evening ended perfectly at home where we put up her felt christmas tree to decorate, then our tree with all the ornaments, then D and i drank his bottle of birthday wine, and we all watched The Holiday while enjoying Lulu, good wine, and Gouda cheese from Amsterdam… yes it was the best day πŸ™‚

    • Cora | 7th Dec 17

      There are still places I need to fully own the “quality over quantity” dedication (cough clothes cough) but I’m getting there, and when I do, it really does feel good. Makes me feel like an actual adult! Ha!!

      This day is MAGICAL. So full of love and comfort!! I’m so glad. SO so glad to hear it. Especially the wine.

  3. Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off | 27th Nov 17

    What a wonderful post idea! My Thanksgiving actually was right in line with this post because I decided to ask everyone at the table to say one thing they’re grateful for this year, which just made the whole atmosphere feel so much more close-knit and sweet. Definitely a new tradition. For last week, I’m grateful for being able to spend time with friends and family whom I haven’t seen in a while, and also for the extra time I had to relax and just be lazy without worrying about all the tasks I was neglecting. Blissful laziness is very necessary sometimes. πŸ™‚
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off recently posted…Thanksgiving Weekend RecapMy Profile

    • Cora | 7th Dec 17

      “without worrying about all the tasks I was neglecting.” —-> This is ABSOLUTELY necessary sometimes. What a gift to be able to rest in those moments and just know that everything is… okay. You know?

      Your Thanksgiving sounds exactly like it should be. Having everyone say what they are thankful for is a big tradition for my family.

  4. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 27th Nov 17

    I’m so glad you joined the gratitude party. I’m always thankful for extra cheese. Also those food pictures are looking pretty on point. Did you take them outside? They have that fantastic light.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: The Thankful Edition (#110)My Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      Yes I’ve been doing some – when I can/not lazy – out on my deck. Natural light makes everything soooo much nicer.

  5. Kat | 27th Nov 17

    As last week was Turkey Day for me, I was grateful for a lot of things! My family of course, but mostly for my husband, who made the one dream that I’ve had since I was a little girl come true by moving us up here so that I could actually BE with my family on Turkey Day. It’s been two years now since we’ve moved and whenever these big holidays hit I just feel so grateful to him. God provided the way but my husband was willing to do it – to leave his own family, friends and everything he had ever known to bring me home to my Daddy. Words really can’t even express how full my heart is.

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      Sigh πŸ™‚ :). This is magical. Your hubby is very special. I’m so glad you made the move.

  6. chasetheredgrape | 27th Nov 17

    Frugal brat – yeah as harsh as it sounds we both know we are. I went shopping this weekend with david and got a new pair of shorts (needed) and a tshirt (not so needed) which was way more than I would normally have spent. Honestly I would have walked out without buying if david hadn’t been there… Which is crazy because I really needed the shorts, the quality is fantastic and the tshirt fits like a dream (which is not the norm for me). So I am super proud you treated yourself to some wonderful things this week. I bet that tea is amazing!

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      And I’m proud of you for making those purchases! Finding something that fits like a dream can be pretty rare, so its very special and well worth it to get them. Makes you feel damn good when wearing them, too πŸ™‚

  7. Casey the College Celiac | 28th Nov 17

    Girl, can you please be my personal chef?!? All of this looks absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! And I’m grateful that I survived my gum graft surgery and am (SO SO SO SO) slowly recovering…
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…7 Things People with Dietary Restrictions Want You To Know About Thanksgiving DinnerMy Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      YAY!! It’s done and your survived!!! Sending you so many heart warmed recovery vibes <3

  8. Misti | 28th Nov 17

    I’m grateful for online shopping, too, because I do NOT like crowds of people. Or shopping, for that matter. It sounds like you had a great week, and those desserts all look tasty!

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      Right!? Why didn’t I realize it was such an option until now? Sometimes shopping can be nice, but in general I’d so much rather not spend the time trucking around in the cold.

  9. Naomi @ Naomi Why: Roots | 28th Nov 17

    I love that you shared so many lovely little things you’re grateful for. I need lots of reminders to be grateful for things I often take for granted.
    And now I have a serious craving for gingerbread. The pastor of the church I’ve been going to while I’m at school and his wife invited me over for lunch a few weeks ago, and they made the most delicious gingerbread bundt with homemade lemon curd drizzled over the top. Not a combination I would have thought of, but it was scrumptious.
    Last week, I was grateful to have the whole week off of school. I spent the week staying at various friends’ houses, and while that would have turned me into a stress monster not too long ago, I felt so, so relaxed, which I’m so, so grateful for. I didn’t set my alarm, didn’t wake up early to work out, ate my fair share of homemade cinnamon rolls, and went on a beautiful hike.
    Looking with a lens of gratitude is such a helpful way of putting it–thank you!
    Naomi @ Naomi Why: Roots recently posted…Intuitive Eating and Body Image during the HolidaysMy Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      I think we can all use a daily reminder to practice gratitude. Sometimes its just really hard.

      I am all over gingerbread EVERYTHING right now. That loaf your pastor made with the homemade lemon curd drizzle? Oh MAN. I’m drooling.

      I’m so grateful you had the last week you did, too. Spending time just seeing where the day takes you and not setting an alarm is a gift. Flow. Freedom. Cinnamon buns. The best things in life.

  10. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 28th Nov 17

    I honestly don’t know what I WASN’T thankul for last week. It was just such a magical set of days. Sure, I would have loved to have been off of crutches completely, but I have to have patience, I need to remember that we have to walk before we run, and part-time crutch before we walk. I am jut so thankful for life right now. I am just so happy.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Times Like These: Palmetto Bluff Thanksgiving 2017My Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      It sure sounded like a wonderful set of days, and its been even MORE wonderful reading/feeling the happy vibes coming from you and your words. Seriously. Its wonderful Suz <3 <3

  11. Evangeline | 29th Nov 17

    ‘Gratitude’ is good word. It’s special to me, similarly to how you described feeling nourished a few posts back. I wish gratitude came more easily for me too. This week especially, it has been something I’ve had to work at. There are so many good, good things to be thankful for, but feeling down or overwhelmed can cloud my ability to see them all.

    I’m really thankful that this time of the year is especially focused on gratitude.
    Evangeline recently posted…Comforting recipes to make over the holidays.My Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      “but feeling down or overwhelmed can cloud my ability to see them all” —-> Oh yes. 100%.

      I like that you linked the word itself – gratitude – to the feelings that “nourished” brings up for me. Its amazing what a word can bring up for you.

  12. Hannah | 29th Nov 17

    I need to make some pumpkin gingerbread of my own! That sounds so good. Plus I have some pumpkin left over from making my pie…

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      Man that pumpkin gingerbread was SO good. I’ve seen lots of other recipes out there. You can’t taste the pumpkin so I totally justify it as a Christmas bread, not a fall bread.

  13. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 30th Nov 17

    Such a great list of things you’re greatful for! I am grateful for finding your blog and enabling it to let me get to know YOU! xo Your line about not changing recipes to make them healthier now makes me so happy – what a wonderful realization to learn to seek food that tastes good and nourishes us in a different way.
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…How to Plan for an African SafariMy Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      Well shucks. That’s a darn nice thing for you to be thankful for. Thanks, Sarah <3

  14. Kat | 30th Nov 17

    I enjoyed reading this! All of the food looks delicious, and I am also very thankful for online shopping!

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      Food and online shopping…. two things I’m totally down with putting today. Sounds like my kind of day!

  15. Kristy from Southern In Law | 2nd Dec 17

    So many things to be grateful for!

    We do celehrate thanksgiving here in Australia now because of Jesse and I love it! It’s the perfect time to get together before the silly season whilst also acknowledging all of the good things we have to be thankful for amongst the stress of this time of year too!

    I have SO much to be thankful for.
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Date Nights and Christmas LightsMy Profile

    • Cora | 8th Dec 17

      πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Definitely – especially in this time of year that tends to be extra chaotic and busy, it is so important to stop and remember all we have to be grateful for

  16. Kaylee | 14th Dec 17

    Oof, late to the party again but I am so grateful for all the recipes you share!! That pumpkin gingerbread loaf looks like the perfect fall/winter holiday baked good.
    Like you, despite being a thrifty with my money most of the time, food is one place where I am willing to spend those extra dollars especially if it’s at local farmer’s markets!

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