I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away! As I speak my boyfriend has already begun the Thanksgiving festivities at a friends house enjoying “Practice Thanksgiving” (I’m babysitting but the children are all asleep nestled in their beds….but hoping to go over there once the parents get home). “Practice Thanksgiving” is an annual celebration- a bunch of young adults get together, bringing a traditional Thanksgiving side-dish while the host prepares a turkey. Everyone chows down on thanksgiving food a week before the actual holiday.
If you are anything like me, Thanksgiving is not just a holiday of thanks- but a meal to be savored. Sometimes, however, with lots of friends and family to celebrate, you end up eating the same Turkey-mashed-potatoes-and-gravy meal, over and over again. Thanksgiving can often turn up to be like a clip from “Groundhogs”day.
How about sprucing things up a little? For this lovely thanksgiving week, here the first recipe in my Thanksgiving Treat series : (By the way…this is a grill recipe- for all the men out there!)
Sweet Potato Stacks
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon mesquite seasoning
1/4 cup pecans chopped
1/4 cup bacon pieces
2 teaspons while balsamic glaze
Preheat grill your grill and combine potatoes, oil and seasoning until coated evenly. Place each potato slice onto the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes until potato is golden. Once potatoe is done cooking, place on a dish and drizzle remaining combined ingrediants on top of potatoes. A drizzle more of balsamic glaze can be added as well if desired.
|Victoria and her husband Brent
She is a wife, mom of four-year-old Clarke. and owner of Mendhi Designs- a henna design business. I interviewed her about how pursuing a business and career at home has benefited her and her family.
Victoria, tell me a little about yourself and your business?
V: I’m a wife and mom, I have a degree in musical theater and work as a film and commercial, actor, model and voice over actor. I also do henna on the side. My henna business is called Natural Henna Mendhi Designs.. “Natural” because I use only natural ingredients; no hair dye or PPD (which is a toxic chemical used in “black henna”) My henna is also organic. “Mendhi” is the traditional Indian Style of henna, which I love and which my style is derived from.
How did you get started?
V: I started henna in college. I had never heard of it before, but some of my friends started getting kits at Hot Topic and we all hennaed each other (rather badly, I’m afraid). I started doing research into how to mix henna and began buying my own and doing it at parties for my friends; then I moved on to doing small events.
What is your favorite part of this business?
V: Learning by practicing a lot drawing patterns out on paper. I also made friends with a really awesome local henna artist, who introduced me to the Henna Guild of Orlando, whose meetings I attend, and I have recently taken a class with her as well. I love that henna is a gift the artist gives the client. It not only makes them feel beautiful, traditionally Mehndi is often a blessing for a life event, such as a wedding or birth. I love being able to bless someone with the gift of a beautiful design that they love. This may sound strange, but when a friend hennas me, I feel their good intentions and wishes for me each time I look at the design. Somehow that positive energy and friendship stay with me as long as the henna lasts. I’ve heard the same from many people. A friend of mine was pregnant last year, and I hennaed her belly. She went into premature labor that week and spent a lot of time wearing a monitor. She told me that each time they monitored her, she looked down and saw the henna design peeking out from under the belt and it brought her comfort in a very stressful situation. I hope to be able to bring feelings of love, blessing, and friendship to everyone I henna.
What benefits have you found for you and your family?
V: I love that my family supports my business. My husband and son have gotten henna, and I regularly do designs for my sister and even sometimes my mother (who was skeptical of it at first). It’s been a great little business to have in my back pocket for parties and little events, and I like getting to know someone by talking to them while I do their design.
|Applying Henna to friends
Touch is also a big part of this business; I feel it builds a stronger relationship and helps move past the initial awkwardness of getting to know someone when I am holding their hand or moving them around as I have to in order to get the design placed correctly. I was greatly influenced by the gentleness of my dance teachers’ corrective touch as a child and young woman; it means a lot to have someone connect with you physically with gentleness and caring, and I hope my clients feel the same with me. It’s almost a spa sort of vibe.
How much time do you invest a week?
I don’t invest more than a few hours a week into henna usually, because I just don’t have that many events right now. I want to promote the business more, but it’s become difficult as my film, voice-over, and directing businesses continue to grow. Still, I am enjoying connecting more with local artists who encourage and inspire me to do more with henna, and “advertising” via hennaing my friends and sending them out with business cards. Good work that’s visible to the public is as good as any ad in this business.
What would you say to a woman who wants to start a business from home?
I think starting a home business is a great idea. It makes you feel like more than a cook, babysitter, and maid (which, let’s be honest, we all feel like sometimes). It makes you remember you have value for more than just your homemaking and parenting skills (which are incredibly valuable in themselves and should not be underestimated!). Doing something you’re good at and something that contributes to others’ lives helps you feel more like yourself, and gives you confidence and joy. I have done a LOT of home businesses, some of which did well, and some of which fizzled. So don’t be discouraged if your first, second, or eighth attempt doesn’t work out. Try something else. Find a need and fill it with something you love.
To contact Victoria or learn more visit:
Always being one that has been fond of writing and journaling, I found a book called “Ms. Doonwoody’s Guide to Excellent Housekeeping” very intriguing. Ms. Doonwoody, a fictional character based on the ideas of woman who lived (happily) without modern convienences, collorborates all of her ideas for homemaking into one book. She encourages her readers to journal and jot down ideas, proved, tried, of ways to make their house into a home. As she states:
“Our family members wil carry the atmosphere we create in our homes for the rest of their lives”(pp7)
It is a charming book, full of wittiness, morality, and plain-good-common-sense ideas. From cures of (illness here) to recipes of quick deserts and how to accent and decorate your home. It is a must read. And following in her footsteps, I decided to start my own journal of home-keeping to be not only passed on to my children (Lord willing) but to also be shared with other woman who are looking for just a few creative ideas suitable for their homes.
This blog is in response to that. It is an electronice form of a book I’m making for my daughters- if I so should have them- everything I know about making a home into a welcoming haven. As I’m continuing to learn and grow so will this blog. So come and grow with me.