When Silence Is Betrayal – Why It is Important To Speak Up About What Matters To Us And Make The World A Safer Place

I shared these thoughts about last night’s events of the storming of the Capitol on my personal facebook page this morning but felt that it was worth sharing them here too:

My friend Ahmed put it eloquently: “But the ones that deserve the most blame are the ones who voted for him. Every single one of you knew this would happen and knew this group of violent extremists would be brought out front, and you were fine with it. We told you this would happen, that this is what he’s really about, and you were still fine with it.” This gets to the root of my feelings about the election, that no matter what else, voting for Trump is/was saying that this rhetoric, this culture, this POV is not just accepted but literally endorsed.

And while the people who stormed the Capitol with their wooden gallows and confederate flags may have been outliers, they are still representative of the party as a whole being willing to not just accept but incite this thinking. 147 representatives (almost all white men) STILL voted to overturn the election results even after and probably because of yesterday’s actions. If the people storming the Capitol were outliers, these representatives believe they should be the voice of the party, regardless.

I believe a third party or a new Republican Party is necessary for our democracy to sustain itself and that without it, this extreme, theatrical, violent, and domineering ideology will only escalate. To associate yourself with it in its current form is both shocking and disturbing. It was before and it is even more so now. If you believe otherwise and are willing to own up to your vote, message me privately, but as it stands, I can’t see any other perspective, and that’s frankly saying a lot from me.

Courage means being willing to look at our own blind spots and values and stand up for what’s right. It means having to draw some hard lines in the sand and pick some values over others as more important right now in this current moment and for the future health of others. It means breaking away from things that are broken and wrong and using your sphere of influence to accept, acknowledge and admit to yourself and others that you were wrong, and that you are willing to change, that you are willing to make hard choices for the betterment of the world and not just for yourself.

History repeats itself. We have a violent and disturbing past to use as a guide but even in our sordid past, this has never happened before. At what point will standing up for what’s right be too little too late? Our leaders must be held accountable. We as individuals must be held accountable. As Martin Luther King, Jr said “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

Word of the Year & New Years Resolutions – Free PDF Workbook Download

Every year I look back at some of the things that worked and didn’t from the year before and I try to set some gentle milestones and habits for the one ahead. I also like to set a “word of the year” which serves as a touchstone and guidepost to future choices. When I am deciding whether or not to pursue something I can look to that word that I’ve set and it helps steer me back toward my intentions, especially when things get muddy as they often do.

Free 8-Page PDF Workbook - Word of the Year & New Year's Goal Setting

I’ve created a free pdf workbook that you can download for yourself. I like to do this exercise on New Year’s Eve with my family. In the week leading up to it I’m often thinking towards these ideas so that it is easier for me to clarify them when I do take the time to sit down. I also think that it is helpful to write these things down long-hand versus on the computer where so many of us spend our time. Our brain processes things differently when we write them by hand and the things we write down we remember more easily.

To download the free 8-page pdf workbook just enter your email below and you will receive the workbook automatically. I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do and that it helps to make powerful and impactful growth in your life.

If you enjoy digging deep and want more. I’ve created an online course that helps clarify & align your goals called “Discover & Create A More Fulfilled Life” that I offer at the beginning of each year. The aim of the course is to help you find purpose, passion and self-acceptance and to gently guide your path forward. If you’d like to find out more about the coure and sign up for the waiting list for next year visit courses.gathergoodsco.com

Gift Guide, For the Foodie

  1. A handsome linen towel towel to clean up in style
  2. A beautiful cookbook dedicated to innovative drink recipes that encourage a good-night’s sleep
  3. A perfectly petite salt cellar for keeping by the stove
  4. A collection of delicious hot sauces that can be given all together or broken up to gift to a handful of people
  5. A four pack of locally made almond butter to keep at their desk
  6. A hydroponic grow-your-own kale & arugula kit for the kitchen window
  7. A trio of honey for sweetening up recipes and drinks
  8. A teal serving platter for making a pretty presentation
  9. Locally made spicy pepper relish for crackers and cheese
  10. A trio of jams for Saturday morning biscuits

Gift Guide, For Your Stylish Friend

  1. Brass Circle Pendant Necklace – For Making a Simple But Striking Statement
  2. Super Chic Sunglasses – A Daily Wardrobe Staple
  3. A Long Hanging Necklace Perfect for Wearing with Sweaters
  4. A Delicate But Edgy Infinity Bracelet
  5. A Note Card Featuring a Vintage Inspired Portrait
  6. An Art Deco Inspired Opal Ring
  7. Palo Santo Body Oil – Because if “Cool” Had a Smell This Would Be It
  8. Half Moon Earrings – For Dressing Up or Dressing Down
  9. Vegan Leather Backpack – For Toting Around the Essentials While Biking Through Town
  10. Rattan Clutch – For Beachy Vibes
  11. A Note Card Featuring A Portrait of A Chic Woman in A Straw Hat, For Their Aspiring Elizabeth Bennett/Lady Farmer/60’s French Ingenue Aesthetic
  12. A 14k Gold Filled Infinity Bracelet – That is Subtly Unique

Last Day To Sign Up For My 12-Week Online Course Until Fall 2021

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to sign up for my 12-week online course “Discover & Create A More Fulfilled Life” until I teach it again in the Fall of 2021.

Create community & intention in your life this coming year. This year has brought so much to the forefront, continue on that path with intention, joy and community alongside others who are on a similar journey.

You can find out more and sign-up here: https://courses.gathergoodsco.com/

Gift Guide, For Nature Lovers

  1. Porcelain Planters – for elevating your house plants in a beautiful, heirloom-quality vessel
  2. Champagne Poppies – a windowsill garden to grow your own flowers
  3. Peony Embroidery – for keeping your hands busy while watching your favorite show
  4. A Real Fern Embedded in a Tear Drop Necklace – because it’s a great touchstone when you can’t be outside
  5. Forest Bathing – a book about the healing power of walking in the woods
  6. A Vintage-Feeling Art Print – so that you can have a bouquet of flowers year-round
  7. Protea Flower Paint By Number – for a little plant therapy
  8. Fern Letterpressed Art Print – simple and sweet
  9. Beautiful Ceramic Wall Hangers – for a wall full of foliage –
  10. Houseplant Book Markers – The prettiest way to save your page
  11. Vintage Inspired Enamel Pin – For wearing on your jacket
  1. A seed shaker full of bee-friendly pollinator flowers – for growing all the flowers
  2. Leaf page markers for noting your favorite quotes
  3. Round Hanging wall planter – for making an impact
  4. Beautiful super sharp scissors – for trimming and deadheading
  5. Plant ladies puzzle – for whiling away an afternoon
  6. A needle-felting craft kit inspired by a beautiful houseplant
  7. A mixed media flower print for creating cheer
  8. Hand-forged copper feather necklace for a wearable totem
  9. A DIY Gardening book for making hanging kokedama (plants suspended without a pot and bound by its roots)
  10. Ceramic bird coasters – for art on your tabletop

Holiday Gift Guide, For The Hostess

  1. An oblong cutting board – For serving snacks and cheese in a pretty way
  2. Dried Flower Bouquet – For an everlasting arrangement to display on the dining table or on a mantle.
  3. A sweet black bud vase – For making a simple statement.
  4. A decadent & divine smelling lotion to keep by the bathroom or kitchen sink.
  5. A pair of matching ceramic mugs for tea.
  6. A box of insanely good peppermint bark to say thank you (or to keep on hand for a personal treat), because who doesn’t love chocolate?
  7. A multi-purpose turkish throw perfect for picnics, tables, a wrap or a towel, in a cheery bright pink.
  8. Pink polka dot ceramic coasters – to keep near coffee tables
  9. A beautiful glass tea pot with loose leaf diffuser – for afternoon tea, of course.
  10. Statement-making, hand-dipped, black candles for a dramatic tablescape
  11. The Art of Edible Flowers cookbook for creating impressive treats enhanced with petals from the garden.

Holiday Gift Guide, For the Teens

  1. Be Kind Sweatshirt – For Wearing Their Values & Staying Cozy
  2. Frida Kahlo Puzzle – For Being Inspired by a Strong Female Role Model
  3. Grow Your Own Bonsai Kit – For Nurturing A Green Thumb
  4. The Magic Is In You Flag – A Reminder For Their Room (in Black, Natch, To Match Their Teenage Angst
  5. Square Stud Earrings – For Dressing Up Their Sweats
  6. Yes She Can Embroidery Kit – For Quality Time Away From the Devices
  7. Find Me Under the Stars Pin – For Budding Astronomers
  8. 52 Lists of Calm Journal – For Making Lists & Getting Out of Their Heads
  9. Eye Sticker – For Their Diary, Their Laptop, Their Bulletin Board or Water Bottle
  10. Bath Salts, Grapefruit & Lemongrass – For That Coveted Alone Time & To Unwind From Hours of Virtual Learning
  11. You Are A Radical Woman – A Reminder For Them To Have On Hand
  12. Yes, Washi Tape – For Hanging Prints, Adorning Snail Mail & Collages
  13. Crystal Gemstones – For All The Good Vibes on Their Desktop

14. Frida Kahlo Paint By Number Kit – For Low-Stress Unwinding from Hours of Zoom Classes
15. Houseplant Embroidery Kit – For Creating Something Cute
16. You Got This – For Helping Them Ace That Math Test
17. North Carolina Pullover Shirt – For Showcasing Their Local Love & Being Cozy At the Same Time
18. Swim Cap Print – For Whimsical Wanderlust on Their Walls
19. Ceramic Rainbow – For Groovy Texture & Positive Sentiments
20. Be Gentle With Yourself Print – Because They Could Use The Reminder
21. Inquire Within Deck – For Manifesting Dreams and Possibilities
22. Dream Big Dreams Embroidery Kit – To Inspire Them To Keep Dreaming
23. Love Is All Around – To Foster Hope
24. How To Be A Wildflower – For Sweet Journal Ideas

All of these items are available on my online store GatherGoodsCo.com. Everything on the site is “Free Shipping” for the holidays. If you are local you can shop our open by appointment only online shop showroom by sending me an email. We also offer free contact-less curbside pickup and free delivery within 5 miles of our downtown Cary, NC location. Happy gifting.

Gentle Reminder: Today is the Last Day to Get $50 Off My Online Course

You’ll still be able to register for the course through December 15th (but it will be full price.)

This 12-Week Online Course Runs from January 21st-April 8th 2021There are Limited Spots Available. It is Only Offered Once A Year.

I’ve worked really hard to create an experience that allows you to gently excavate the things you aren’t able to access every day. Also, this is not a business course. It is for anyone who is seeking more clarity in their lives and looking for positive change.⁠

I hope to see you there!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe. Photo by Michelle Smith Creative for Gather Goods Co

As I’ve gotten older my tastes have evolved and I’m less interested in making the status quo and I’m more interested in shifting tradition slightly and improving upon it. While pumpkin pie is a classic, it has felt a little bland to me in recent years. So this year, while we have Thanksgiving at home with just the three of us, we are going to change the traditional pumpkin pie to pumpkin cheesecake and make it in individual sizes for extra appeal. I recommend topping each mini cheesecake with whipped cream and sugared pecans. Because, you know, calories don’t matter on Thanksgiving, right?!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe


  • 2 packages 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar reserved for graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers, crumbled in a food processor
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, reserved for graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl or mixer and beat until smooth.
  • Add in eggs one at a time until blended.
  • Grease a muffin pan.
  • Mix together graham cracker crumbs, reserved sugar and cinnamon until well blended.
  • Press a layer of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom third of each muffin tin reservoir.
  • Take out 1 cup of batter in the mixing bowl and spread it into the bottom of crust, filling it about halfway full.
  • Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir until blended.
  • Add the remaining batter to the top of each muffin tin.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center is almost set.
  • Let it cool and refrigerate overnight or for 3 hours.
  • When serving, top with whipped cream and sugar pecans, if desired.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe. Photo by Michelle Smith Creative for Gather Goods Co
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe. Photo by Michelle Smith Creative for Gather Goods Co

Photos by Michelle Smith Creative for Gather Goods Co