How we gift

This episode is sponsored by Audible. Our listeners can get a free audiobook and 30-day trial. Abby loves the audio version of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Sarah always comes back to The Royal We by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks. If you need more suggestions of great audiobooks, check out our book recommendation page to see some our favorites.


Life lately

Abby is excited to be part of a in-person book club for the first time in years, while Sarah shares a rant about book fairs.

Reading lately

Abby listened to John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down, a YA novel that tells the story of Aza, her anxiety, and her deep teenage thoughts.

Sarah (finally) finished the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, which is a dystopian series composed of four books–Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter–where each book reimagines a different fairy tale.


Gift giving

‘Tis the season! We share our overarching gift-giving philosophy, how we budget, collect ideas, and shop for holiday gifts, how our families handle gifts for our kids, extended family, stockings, and Santa, and whether we find gift-giving joyful or stressful. We’d love to hear your thoughts on gift-giving and what works for your family.

Eating lately

Sarah and Abby both share casseroles–sausage for Abby, and green bean for Sarah. Here’s Sarah’s family’s recipe:

Green Bean Casserole

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dehydrated minced onion flakes
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 16-20 oz frozen French cut green beans
  • 1 can French fried onion rings
  • Swiss cheese slices

Melt butter over low heat. Add flour, salt, pepper, onion flakes, and sugar. Stir. Add sour cream and stir until smooth. Increase heat to medium and cook until sauce is bubbly and thick, stirring consantly. Remove from heat. mix sauce with beans and place in a large casserole dish. Layer cheese on top and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Spread onion rings over cheese and bake for five more minutes. Enjoy!

If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at, or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!

5 thoughts on “How we gift

  1. I do love giving and receiving gifts, I think it is one of my love languages. It’s been hard to slowly un-do some of that—I also grew up with Christmas being a Big Deal and we always got piles of things. Mostly because we didn’t get a lot through the rest of the year and birthday’s weren’t even nearly as big of a thing–ie: hardly ever had parties etc.

    With my son I am definitely seeing and wanting a trend to have less, and I often have a hard time coming up with things for people to get him because he already has so much. Clothing wise he doesn’t need much because we already have a lot of hand-me-down items—shoes would be one item we do seem to need every 3-6 months of course.

    This year I am opting to ‘regift’ some items that my husband and I had as a kid and I’m trying to come up with some craft ideas to make things instead of buying more toys.


    1. I find it hard to think of ideas too, especially for my three year old. Neil and I were talking last night and I felt the twinge of “is it enough”? And then he reminded how every year I wonder that and every year there is MORE than enough. It’s hard not to get swept up in the season! Regifting things from your childhood seems like a great way to go and definitely something we have done in the past.


  2. Random question about your green bean casserole- what kind of cheese do you usually use and how much? And do you ever make it ahead and then freeze it to bake later? Hoping to make it for a family get together next week!


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