Quick Pensacola trip and Christmas prep

December 14, 2019


Book signing in Pensacola, FL by author Leslie Anne Tarabella

It’s a last minute sort of plan, but tomorrow, Sunday, December 15, 2019, I’ll be doing a pop-up book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Pensacola, Florida! I grew up there (In Pensacola, not the Barnes and Noble) and after this week of horrible, shocking tragedy aboard the Pensacola Naval Air station, it just feels good to go home. I taught school just outside the main gate of NAS and most of my children belonged to Navy families. I remember teaching them the words to “Anchors Aweigh” and how happy it made their parents!

If you are in Pensacola, pop in to say hello (after church, of course!) Even if you already have a book, I’d love to meet you and say hello. Meeting my readers is one of the best parts about writing a book.

Southern Veranda Florist in Fairhope Alabama, decorated for Christmas.

I thought I’d show you how great Southern Veranda Florist in Fairhope looks this year. The downtown merchants go all-out for Christmas. Carl always has a great display and I love going there. It’s even more sparkling on the inside!

Leslie Anne Tarabella - leslieanne@tarabella.com

Here’s my living room so far. It was the one day we’ve had that was cold enough for a fire — a Southern fire, which is anything below 65 degrees. The painting of Santa over the mantle was done by my Aunt Jo when she was 7 years old. My mother laughed at her and said, “One of his legs is longer than the other.” She replied, “He’s going downhill.”

Carrot ginger soup.

Sick-sick-sick over Thanksgiving, I made carrot/ginger soup with crunchy baked kale sprinkles on top, and it was loaded with so many vitamins, I’m like Super-Elf now. I only sneeze glitter.

I Hope all of my Pensacola readers can stop by Barnes and Noble on Sunday and I also hope all of you are feeling great and getting ready for Christmas!

immune boosting carrot ginger soup

  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD- from delish knowledge
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten-free, healthy, vegetarian, low-fat


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more/less to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and remove from heat.
  2. Add the slightly cooled carrots, ginger, orange juice, turmeric, vegetable broth, salt and freshly ground pepper to a blender and puree until creamy and smooth.
  3. Serve! I garnished this with an extra drizzle of good olive-oil and freshly ground pepper.

Leave a Reply

  1. Oh I love your living room, it looks so cozy and comfy and very stylish like you. How adorable you have the painting from your aunt to hang and enjoy. Wish I could come down during the Christmas season to shop. I’m sure all the shops are decked out for the holidays. Wish I’d had this recipe while I was sick! Have a great book signing in Pensacola…………..I have my book from your signing in Birmingham……..Make merry this week…….

    1. You would love Fairhope this time of year. Millions of twinkling lights, and lots of SALES in the shops! The only thing better than eating this super soup while you are sick is having someone else make it for you! Glad you are on the mend!

  2. Hi Leslie Anne… So glad you are all well again as Elf duties are truly exhausting!! I just sat down for the first time today and the oven will be on bake until late on 12/24 … “if” this Elf is still standing!! Love your very cozy living room and especially the beautiful Shiny Brites on the tree!! I decorated a Sugar Plum Tree yesterday only to find the SP Fairy had decided to slide down the tree overnite!! ? The tree is on a table so it’s approx 9 ft tall. I’m 78 and 5’ 2” and “forbidden” to climb for obvious reasons!! An Elf can’t give
    up so I swatted with every yard stick, Swiffer pole, etc but finally gave up to wait for my daughter to help. I decided to take pic to post on FB and discovered the tree top is now leaning to the right where it’s determined to stay with said SPF hanging on!! ? And just now, as I was taking the Christmas Cake from the oven, I heard a crash and found the garland over patio doors was on the floor!! Command strips have never failed me … until today!! ? Tomorrow I will attend our HOA Christmas Drop-In and stay out of the kitchen!! Love reading your blog & Insta)!! Wishing you & your family a Merry Christmas & Blessings in the New Year!! ?♥️??

    1. Oh, how I love your determination! Height never stopped a true Southern decorator. You seem to have all the tricks ready to go with yardsticks and such. The daughter is your secret weapon! Happy decorating to you, and thank you so much for reading! (Oh . . . those command strips. I’m not sure I trust them! Go ahead and whack a nail in the door. You’ll be glad next year when you can use it again!)

    2. Barbara, I feel your pain! Ever since I jumped off a ladder and shattered my heel, I’m forbidden to climb too. It’s so frustrating. The Santa on top of my tree starts to list dangerously as the holiday progresses (too much eggnog while we are sleeping?), and I whack him back with a broomstick! I don’t trust command strips anymore after my garland crashed down, and now have permanent small screw eyes around the door as Leslie Anne suggested! Your decorations sound beautiful!!

  3. I think I would like your Aunt JO! Good luck with your book signing tomorrow. Glad you are feeling better. Your version of the carrot soup looks much tastier than the original. Hope you have a great holiday.

    1. Thanks Ellen. Aunt Jo was one of the sweetest most dear ladies I’ve ever known. You would have loved her. North Alabama girl. Nothing can be healthier than this soup. It’s a miracle in a bowl. Happy decorating and jingling to you!

  4. Another great story loaded with your humor – that’s the best part! Love your Aunt’s painting and that you display it with pride.?

  5. That painting…what a treasure! Hope you have a great turnout for your book signing. Prayers for everyone at the NAS, what a senseless terrible tragedy. Yesterday I threw a big party for my cleaning lady to celebrate her retirement from Clemson as a custodian. She worked in the frat dorms (can you imagine that mess?), and “her boys” all showed up at her official Clemson party with gifts to wish her well. I’d like to think their mamas raised them well.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
%d bloggers like this: