The Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Ever

the best thanksgiving turkey recipe ever

Last year I stepped it up and hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house for the first time.

I was a lot less prepared than I am this year, but nonetheless my Thanksgiving turkey was absolutely ah.ma.zing.
 
I’m talking finger licking good.
 
My husband’s mom is 70 years old and said it was the best turkey she’s EVER had!
 
But I can’t take all the credit, my dad sent me the New York Times Essential Thanksgiving guide which is where I got the original recipe. Head over to their site and follow the “Simple Roast Turkey” recipe. Make sure you give yourself 1-3 days in advance to prepare, as this turkey needs to sit in a dry brine in the fridge for a few days.
 
It was so easy to make and a total crowd pleaser. Can’t wait to do it again this year!

 

Peace and perfect turkeys,

Alexis Signature
 
 
 
 
 
P.S. If you haven’t signed up for my FREE Crazy Wild Love Holiday Challenge yet? Get on over their, girl!
 

Let’s get this party started with the Crazy Wild Love Holiday Challenge!

challenge5 big
 

The Crazy Wild Love Holiday Challenge is back and better than ever!

 
Before I dive in with all the juicy details, I’m going to share with you a delightful story about how the little things have made a big difference in my life and those I love.
 
I started my journey in self-love when I was 25 years old. I was burnt out from grad school at Harvard, a broken heart, string of bad relationships and treating my body like garbage with too much alcohol and food. I felt slightly broken, exhausted, dis-empowered and just being taken along for the ride.
 
So I made a conscious decision to move to Hawaii for four months and work on a farm in exchange for a place to sleep and $50 a week for food.
 
I was terrified. But it was something I had to do, and it launched me into a lifelong practice of self-love.
 
I didn’t have to answer to or feel obligated to anyone. If I wanted to spend an entire weekend reading I would do it. My days had a flow and ease to them, and I also learned the value of hard work. I woke up at 5:30 am to dance, do yoga or write in my journal before tackling the days chores. I nourished my body with wholesome foods. I tried new things like hitch hiking, snorkeling, drum circles (my inner hippie) and camping under the stars. I learned how to say no and when to say YES. I learned to love myself and let go of past love and heartache. Most importantly I learned that I could create my life with intention and joy.
 

Now let me tell you how the little things have made a difference from the people I love…

 
When I was a kid, my mom used to leave notes hidden around the house for me. She had a stack of cards that said fun things and she’d always sign them “xoxo mama”.
 
I’d find one in my violin case, in my lunch box, on my pillow. It was a game between the two of us that reminded me in small ways on a daily basis that I was loved.
 
happy playing
 

I’m also lucky enough to be married to a man who knows the value of showing our love for each other consistently.

 
When he was on a business trip, he sent me a postcard with our picture on the front and the story of our relationship on the back. “It all started with a cold ride on a motorcycle, a glass of wine and takeout Chinese food…” (more on that in another post).
 
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat Zinn. Tweet it!
 
I find it equally important and beneficial to give ourselves a little token of love each day.
 
I also know that, especially women, we tend to put ourselves last. And during the holiday season we can particularly feel stressed-out, burnt-out and spinning out of control.
 

This is why I’ve created a fun and easy way to help you spend some time this holiday season creating the most joyous, luminous life you can imagine.

 
Starting on December 1st, I’m hosting my annual Crazy Wild Love Holiday Challenge and it’s completely free. We had an amazing turnout last year for the challenge, some women even said that it launched them into a lifetime practice of self-love.
 
While we may not have 4 months in Hawaii, we can spend 14 days together creating our lives with intention and joy.
 
Everyday, you’ll receive little prompts, pep-talks, affirmations and inspiration to fill your day with calm, love, and joy with the support of the Crazy Wild Love community.
 
Think gifting yourself things like fresh flowers, sitting quietly for 10 minutes or going for a long walk (yes, even if it’s cold!).
 

Because self-love isn’t about being selfish. It’s about giving ourselves enough love and energy that we are literally bursting with it so that everyone and everything around us will benefit.

 
With the framework of the challenge and the amazing community we have, you can’t help but make sustainable change.
 
Because those people who take time to enjoy their lives get…well….to enjoy their life. 
 
You can sign up here.
 
You may be wondering why I’d take this on during such a crazy time of the year? Well, because I’m a little crazy ;) And I want to thank you for always making Crazy Wild Love so special to me.
 
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’m cooking the WHOLE meal for the 2nd time in a row. It turned out awesome last year so wish me luck and stay tuned for the recipes I’ll post on the blog in case you’d like to incorporate them into your own Thanksgiving meal!
 
I’d love to have you join us. Make sure you sign up now for free and tell your friends to come along. You can save the above picture to share and send them to: http://alexismeads.com/crazy-wild-love-14-day-challenge/

 

Hugs and holiday fun,
Alexis
 
 

P.S. I almost forgot the most exciting part! The winner of the #cwlchallenge gets a FULL free lifetime scholarship to the Crazy Wild Love Academy ($497 value).

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

10 things I wish I Knew when I was 20
[Image via Pinterest]

When I was in high school, I can distinctly remember my psychology teacher asking us what age people are the happiest.

So certain that we knew the answer, we all raised our hands and guessed that it was 20.
 
I mean… why not?
 
You’re out of your parents house, you have freedom, you’re young and the world is your oyster.
 
Right?
 
But we now know that it’s not always that easy. And our answer actually wasn’t right.
 
As I approach 30, an age that not too long ago seemed impossible to me, I still feel like my college days were just yesterday. I have so many ridiculously fun, amazing, whirlwind memories from that time in my life.
 
But beautiful young person, before you stop reading and turn back to your smartphones, let me share with you the 10 things I wish I knew when I was 20.
 
I hope that they save you some pain and regret, or at the very least, help you to realize that you’re not alone.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

This was a BIG one for me in college! I went to a small liberal arts school where everyone knew everyone and gossiped a lot. Girls drove fancy cars and carried Louis Vuitton bags. Greek life was big at my school and there was this looming feeling that you needed to fit in at all times. I was someone who kind of marched to the beat of my own drum, but I found myself in constant comparison to others. Which of course made me miserable! I wish I knew that life wasn’t a competition and it is better to just be yourself than to blend with the crowd.

2. Don’t feel like you have to have it all “figured out.”

What’s your major going to be? What’re you doing after college? Where are you going to live?
 
Ahhhh! These questions drove me nuts! Every time I’d go home for a holiday it seemed that everyone just wanted to ask you if you had it all figured out. Pretty much up until I went to college I had nothing figured out, and now there was this crazy pressure to get my ducks in a row for the rest of my life. Every choice suddenly felt like a major life-ending decision, which only added to the pressure. I would have told myself to relax. You don’t need to have it all figured out right now because you will never have it all figured out. Life is a series of trials and adjustments. That’s the fun!

3. Listen to your mom when she tells you that having more than five drinks in a night is not healthy or normal.

Ohhhh, college drinking. The weekend parties, Tuesday bar night, Thursday $2 pitchers night, Sunday something. It was like every night of the week had a theme around drinking. Me and my friends now cringe when we remember what a “normal” night of going out looked like. And the hangovers were terrible! But that seemed to just be the way it was if you wanted to fit in.
 
I can remember my mom one day saying “Lexi, I’m a little worried about you. I saw on Oprah that having more than five drinks in a night means you’re an alcoholic.”
 
An alcoholic? Wait, what? But everyone does it! Mom, but it’s fun! Besides, what else am I supposed to do?
 
Looking back I realize that this is not normal or healthy. And that there are lots of other fun things to do. No wonder I ballooned up 20 pounds sneak-eating peanut butter out of the jar at 3 am when I was in college.

4. You can relax a little; you don’t need to do it all.

When I was 20 there was enormous pressure to do it all. This theme actually hasn’t changed much as I’ve gotten older. It seems that as women we feel like we need to be the perfect wife/girlfriend, get straight As, be a good daughter, have an active social life, exercise daily, look hot, participate in every club or organization or job… it’s exhausting just writing it. It felt like to be “perfect” you had to do everything, all the time, all at once.
 
I wish I knew that I could relax a little. That the world would not collapse because I took a break. To look at what I actually enjoyed doing and do more of that and less of the stuff I felt like I should do.

5. You are smart.

Growing up, my sister was always the smart one. I was always the one who just seemed to get by. Don’t get me wrong, I was smart, but I didn’t apply myself like she did. Therefore in college when I started doing well in school, being selected as top violinist, writing papers like a whiz and ace-ing my tests I was like WTF? Something must be wrong here. I must just be really good at cheating the system.
 
That’s seriously what I thought. That if I could write a 15-page paper in one sitting and get a good grade that I must be working the system because I wasn’t really applying myself. Then I went to Harvard and I did start really applying myself. Because I wanted to do my best. But hey, it turns out I wasn’t cheating, I actually was just smart. Or at least good at certain things. We all have abilities and talents unique to us. Play up those talents and own them.

6. Don’t straighten your hair and wear fake tanner every day.

The majority of girls at my school seemed to look like Barbie. They were pretty, tan, with straight silky blond hair. I was a bit of a late bloomer and did not consider myself very attractive in high school. Plus I’m extremely pale (I prefer fair, but I’ll go with pale here) and have super curly hair. But I wanted to fit in to be considered pretty too, so I started straightening my hair every single day and wearing fake tanner. That’s all fine. But now I realize that curly hair is kinda cool. And so is fair skin… like Nicole Kidman or Scarlett Johansson. Rock your own beauty.

7. Enjoy young love, because it’s so sweet. But don’t put everything on that relationship.

When I was 18 I fell in love for the first time. And it was so sweet. In a young and innocent sort of way. We both thought that for sure we were “the one” and we’d be together forever and get married. Summers apart felt like a lifetime. Then as things seemed to falter in the relationship it was really hard to let go. Like so many relationships, we held on longer than we probably should.
 
And when you’re going through heartbreak, its so easy to look back on a relationship (especially your first) with only fond memories instead of any bad ones. At that age you’re really learning what love is for the first time. And enjoy it! Because it’s beautiful. But you’re both still learning who you are and how to be in a relationship. So if it doesn’t work out realize that it isn’t the end of the world. It was a wonderful thing that you learned a TON from and can take that learning with you down the road.

8. Practice saying no.

This came up a lot with the young women I spoke to at Harvard. One girl asked, “If a guy offers to buy me a drink or a gift, and I know they’re expecting something out of it, should I say no?”
 
Good question! When I was 21 I struggled a lot with saying no. To anyone, including myself. I had this strange inner-feeling that if I said no, I somehow wasn’t being kind, or nice, or loving and that I’d be letting them down. Turns out quite the opposite is true! It’s not kind OR loving if you don’t say no when you know in your heart what’s right for you. Tune in to what feels good to you, and if it doesn’t feel good and you don’t want to do something, practice saying no. It feels awesome.

9. Don’t take your parents and family issues onto yourself.

When I was 18 my parents drove to my college to tell me they were getting a divorce. It came as a big shock to me at the time, although looking back it’s really no surprise. But I suddenly felt like I needed to take responsibility for my parents and their feelings, that I had to be there for everyone and make sure that no one’s feelings were hurt or that neither of my parents felt left out on a holiday. I’m not sure why I took this on myself, as though I were the parent, but I did. Inside I felt like a five-year-old child, and my heart was breaking and I just wanted to go back to how things were. I wish I knew that — that I was still the child and they were the parents and their decisions were their own. And that I couldn’t learn their lessons for them.

10. Stop obsessing over guys. Claim your own self-worth.

This is another theme that kept coming up the other night, and if I’m being honest with myself it doesn’t really ever end: this obsession over guys and “oh my god, did I say the right thing, he didn’t text me last night, do you think that he’s not into me and holyf–king shit I just know he’s going to break up with me. One simple thought would snow ball into this barrage of craziness that I was making up in my own head.
 
And then if the guy I liked did text me back or did ask me to that “exclusive” date party it was like “Yes! Thank you, God! I am loved!” Almost addictive. But this is a dangerous thing because when your self-worth teeters on an external source (like a relationship/job/grade) than what happens when, as it will in life, something doesn’t work out?
 
I wish that I reclaimed my own self-worth and validation — that I knew how loving, kind, smart, sexy, beautiful, etc. I am simply for being me. And that goes for all of you too! You are perfect exactly as you are, without needing anything or anyone else to validate that for you.
 
 
Peace and 20s love,
Alexis
 
 
Like this post? Click here to receive your copy of Alexis’s FREE Digital Book!

 

 

25 Ways to Put the Spark Back In Your Relationship

25 ways to put the spark back into your relationship
 
[Image via Pinterest]

You know the thrill of a new relationship? When everything feels perfect and exciting?

Perhaps you laugh a little longer at their jokes, you take more time getting ready for a date or you try sushi for the first time even though you think you’ll hate it.
 
You find yourself enchanted by this new person, hanging on their every word, thinking about them throughout the day.
 
But somewhere along the way, the newness and excitement starts to fade. It transitions from romance to real love and caring. That’s where the magic happens. But you may find yourself missing the thrill that you had when you were first dating.
 
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to end.

Try any one of these 25 tips below and I promise they’ll definitely put the spark back into your relationship.

 

  1. Act like you did when you were first dating.
  2. Get dressed up for your partner, if only because it’s a Tuesday.
  3. Buy them a gift unexpectedly.
  4. Send them a card while you’re away that tells the story of your relationship (my husband actually did this!)
  5. Flirt.
  6. Hold eye contact longer than what feels comfortable.
  7. Kiss a little longer and deeper than you normally would.
  8. Ask them to tell you about their day and really listen.
  9. Book a night for just the two of you in a nice hotel without going on vacation.
  10. Be fully engaged and present during sex.
  11. Learn your partners love language and speak it regularly.
  12. Remember to keep your relationship a priority.
  13. Laugh with each other until it hurts.
  14. Try something together you’ve never done before.
  15. Have an at-home picnic with your favorite meal, blanket spread on the floor and candles lit.
  16. Send a playful text about all the things you want to do to them later.
  17. Compliment one another and mean it.
  18. Show small displays of affection like holding hands or a quick kiss.
  19. Spend a full night just giving each other massages.
  20. Put on music while making dinner and slow dance in the kitchen.
  21. Give each other a deep, long hug with all the emotion you can.
  22. Turn off the television, put away your phones and just talk.
  23. Be adventurous.
  24. Shake up your normal routine.
  25. Tell them how much you love them.

 

To lots and lots of love,

Alexis Signature

 

 

 

P.S. Stay tuned! Next week I’ll tell you how to get in on the Crazy Wild Love Holiday Challenge – starting December 1st. Can’t wait :)
 
Also published on two of my partnership sites MariaShriver.com and Good Men Project.