How to Get Through Holiday Shenanigans + Tangerine and Herb Roasted Root Veggies


Many, many years ago, I had an epic holiday season which consisted of a string of memorable events. And not in a good way.

I found myself in the car of my nemesis on Halloween. I was offered crack on Thanksgiving. I was hungover as shit on Christmas. And on New Year’s I had huge red splotches all over my body and I wore nothing but short cut offs, a sparkly gold bra, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat.

It was the worst of times. And today I’m sharing them with you. Trust me, if I got through the last few months of 1998, you can get through anything.

Let’s start with Halloween.

I was at a big house party and I was drunk as a skunky skunk. I was 18 – this was normal behavior for me.

At this particular party though, I got so drunk that I followed some people I had been hanging out with outside and we all piled into the backseat of someone’s car. I had no idea who the car belonged to or where we were going. It was all a drunken blur.

A few minutes after we took off, the car pulled over to the side of the road and I heard the driver say “Get her the fuck out of my car”.

Oh snap, drama – I wondered who she was talking about.

I couldn’t see who was driving because there were so many people piled into the car. We were drunk anchovies and probably smelled just as bad.

The driver said it again, “Get her the fuck out of my car!”

Oh damn, she’s serious! Why isn’t anyone exiting the vehicle?

When I caught a glimpse of the person behind the wheel, my drunk brain made the connection that it was me she wanted out. I couldn’t believe what I had done.

I had managed to get into the car of my high school nemesis without even realizing it.

This girl was a terrible bully and she had hated me since our junior year when her best friend switched teams and became one of my best friends.

She made it very well known that she hated me and we avoided each other at all possible costs. And now I was in her car.

This girl had a temper and she liked to beat people up, so once I realized what was happening I wasted no time removing myself from her car and stumbling back to the party.

Now let’s bounce over to Thanksgiving and see what we have here.

I was at another house party. This one was smaller in size, more intimate. The house was small and there were 10 of us sitting in the living room – some people on chairs, some on the couch and some people on the floor.

It was a relaxed, grubby scene. Bob Marley was playing in the background and the air was thick with smoke from incense, cigarettes and joints.

The windows were covered with sun faded tapestries and the TV was on with no sound, but that didn’t stop people from staring at it. There were a few people wandering around the house and the kitchen was used purely as a fill up station for beer and vodka.

This wasn’t a potluck type of scene. There was no pumpkin pie, no sight of stuffing, and mashed potatoes and gravy were totally out of the question. There might have been a bag of corn chips being passed around – but that was it in the dinner department.

This was purely a getting high and drunk type of scene. There wasn’t conversation. There wasn’t banter. There were no jokes or stories being told. There were random noises coming out of people’s mouths and the occasional stoned, slow laugh. Ha…ha…..ha…..d-u-u-u-u-d-e …..h—a—a—-a

I was sitting on the couch in the living room having one of those what the hell am I doing here moments. I mean, I knew how I got there – I drove.

But what events and turns in my life brought me to this house, hanging out with these people, on Thanksgiving day? I started down my rabbit hole, questioning my very existence, but was quickly interrupted by the dude on my right when he handed me a lighter and a tinfoil pipe filled with crack.

Oh it’s THAT kind of party. This explained a lot – namely the noises that were randomly coming out of people’s mouths. I thought about putting that tinfoil to my lips and inhaling crack smoke for exactly one second, and then something stopped me.

The thought of my mom and dad watching me smoke crack flashed through my head and the amount of sadness they would have in their hearts at that particular scene was enough for me to pass on the crack pipe and to leave the party.

I wanted mashed potatoes and gravy, and I knew just where to get my fix.

I went home to my mom.

Time for Christmas.

This time it wasn’t a house party. It was a car party and it was Christmas Eve.

One of my best friends and I decided to forgo the Christmas eve festivities with our families and instead, we bought a 12 pack of Bud Light and a pack of Blue American Spirits with her fake ID.

We collected our contraband, drove to a secluded place, and proceeded to talk about life, drink beer, and smoke cigarettes while jamming to the sounds of Sarah McLachlan, The Indigo Girls, and TuPac.

When all of our beer was gone, my friend brought me to my car and I managed to drive home in the snow and ice without being pulled over or getting into a car crash.

My parents woke me up with the rest of my family bright and early the next morning where there was breakfast, coffee, crumb cake, and presents waiting.

My dad had built a cozy fire and there was a blanket of snow outside, and more falling on the ground. Historically, this was my favorite morning of the year, but when I woke up this Christmas morning, I had a pounding headache, I felt like the room was spinning, my lips were cracked and dry, and I felt like I was going to throw up.

No amount of presents, or love, or warmth, or beautiful snowy scenes could make me feel better. I was hungover as shit, and pissed off at myself because I was physically not capable of enjoying my favorite morning of the year because of my poor choices.

On to the final stretch – a new year was about to reveal itself.

Thank god.

This time it was a New Year’s Eve bash, equipped with a theme.
The theme: Pimps and Hoes.
Super wholesome and classy – I know.

My best friend and I decided to leave 1998 in the dust and go out with a bang as matching cowgirl hoes. Our outfits consisted of cut off shorts, sparkly gold bras, cowboy hats, and cowboy boots. We had everything we needed, and we were almost convinced that we would win the prize for best hoes (because there was such a prize).

We came to the conclusion that the only thing that might get in our way was our pale, winter skin, blinding people as we took off our jean jackets to reveal our hoe-ness.

After serious consideration, we decided to go to the tanning salon and bake ourselves in a tanning bed so as to not blind people during our big reveal.

We walked into the salon and were sold on a special bronzing oil to help make our skin a richer color brown as we baked in the tanning bed.

Okay – so I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a picture of me, but I’m as white as they come. I practically glow. I’m convinced I was one chromosome short of being albino.

Brown skin and me just isn’t realistic. I understand why the tanning lady sold it to me – I needed all the help I could get, and I was going to try my damnedest to be a tanned hoe.

It didn’t work. Five minutes into the tanning session my skin started itching and burning. What the fuck? I bolted out of the bed, looked at my skin and saw huge red splotches all over my body. This was not the look I had in mind. I quickly and painfully wiped off the oil and chalked it up as a failed experiment.

The redness wasn’t as shocking the next day, but it was still there. I bought some concealer and covered up the splotches as best I could.

Concealer or not, we did not win the prize for best hoes. But we did party until midnight, avoided the acid laced punch, and I woke up to a new year and a fresh start with only a mild hangover, and fading red splotches.

The year was finally over. Thank fucking god.

Things weren’t good for me and I knew it. I was unhappy, my life had no direction, and I knew that if I didn’t make a plan, get my shit together, and leave my small town, things would continue to go downhill fast.

So that’s what I did. I left town and I got my shit together.

I’m telling you this because I know first hand that the holidays can be rough – I’ve been through it. But if I made it through these holiday shenanigans, you can most definitely make it through yours.

I just hope it’s sugar cookies you’re confronted with at your next holiday party, and not a crack pipe. 🙂

Okay – to help you get through the rest of the year all in one piece, follow these 3 tips and you’ll breeze right on through.

1. Accept and get over it.

Out of the entire year, people generally eat the most unhealthy during November and December. That’s a fact.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to shun vegetables for the next two months and only eat items in gravy form and / or covered in whip cream.

It does mean that if you eat something that you normally wouldn’t eat, think of it as a treat and move on. Wallowing in guilt and feeling bad about something you eat doesn’t do a damn thing except take the pleasure out of it.

A little trick to help with this is to consciously think about what you’re about to eat, and if you decide to go for it, give yourself permission before you chow down on your treat. And then, ENJOY.

2. Pick one healthy habit and make it non-negotiable for the rest of the year.

Going through the rest of the year while keeping up your normal routine might not be realistic, but regardless of what your current diet looks like, if you pick just one good for you thing to do every single day for the rest of the year, you won’t get totally off track.

Here are some ideas:

  • Drink one green smoothie a day.
  • Eat one raw green salad a day.
  • Eat a piece of fruit instead of sugar once a day.
  • Drink warm lemon water each morning.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s realistic for your routine and let that be your anchor for the rest of the year. And anything healthy that you squeeze in after that, think of as a bonus.

3. Own every second of it.

If you want to eat an entire pumpkin pie, then do it. But do it because you understand that you want to do it and not because “It’s that time of year”.

Making excuses is awesome when you’re trying to get out of a parking ticket, but when it comes to what and how you eat, excuses only keep you stuck.

One of the most important things about keeping up a healthy eating routine (regardless of the time of year) is being accountable and taking responsibility for yourself and your well-being.

So when you eat stuff that you normally wouldn’t eat, own that shit and don’t blame it on the time of year.

Recipe time.

Today’s recipe proves that you don’t need oil to make a badass batch of roasted root veggies.

Tangerine + Herb Roasted Root Veggies

Author: Molly Patrick


  • ½ red onion cut into large chunks
  • 1 smallish sweet potato cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot sliced in quarters lengthwise, and then cut in half
  • 1 turnip cut into large chunks
  • 1 rutabaga cut into large chunks
  • 1 beet cut into large chunks
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
  • 1 cup fresh herbs you can use a mix of things - whatever you have will work. I used a little fresh sage, some fresh basil, a rosemary sprig or two, and fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of tangerine juice or so, use orange juice if you can't find tangerines
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • a few turns fresh cracked black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place all of the veggies into a large mixing bowl and add the herbs, tangerine juice, mustard, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir until all of the ingredients are combined.
  • Place the veggies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until they are done to your liking. When you add the veggies to the baking sheet, be sure to add all of the liquid in the bowl as well.
  • After the first 25 minutes, take them out of the oven and flip the veggies over with a spatula . Place them back in the oven until they are done.


If you want your root veggies softer in the middle, you can parboil them first.
To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the veggies and boil them for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take them out of the water, drain them, and continue with the recipe - cut the veggies, add them to a bowl, add the liquid and herbs, etc.
You can use whatever root veggies you want or that you happen to have in your kitchen. I never peel my root veggies, but you are welcome to do so. You can cut them however you like. Some people like big chunks, other people like smaller, more manageable bites.
Bottom line - there's no right or wrong way to do this, and you can't screw it up. The two most important steps is to make sure you add liquid before you bake them so they won't get dry, and to make sure you place the veggies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they won't stick to the baking sheet. You got this!






root veggies collageI hope that you have a happy week.

May you love yourself through every twist and turn and take comfort in the fact that none of it is misguided – it’s all part of your journey and every turn has led you to this very moment.

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.

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