Thanksgiving 2014

We came. We played. We ate. And we ate some more.

IMG_8539

Since we got hit with a pretty good sized snow storm on Thanksgiving Eve, we all awoke to a beautiful blanket of snow covering everything in sight on Thanksgiving morning. Now if only we could make this happen again on Christmas, RIGHT?!

We tried bringing Lucas out to play in the snow but it wound up being a pretty big fail. The snow was too deep (I think we got about 10-12 inches), it was also too heavy/wet for him to walk through, and the child hates anything on his hands. Like, haaaaaates them. So he’d pick up the snow then look at us like, “Ohmygod maaaaa it’s cooooold! Get it off!”

IMG_8544

Soooo, our time outside was short-lived. Ahh well, whatcha gonna do?

Luckily, our meals on Thanksgiving were anything but a fail. Mmm mmmmm.

IMG_8510

We had my in-laws over to the house for breakfast and I ended up making the same sausage, spinach, and egg casserole that I made a few weeks ago.

IMG_8512

I was planning on making a batch of my Cinnamon Chip Scones too (but with pumpkin spice chips!), but I ran out of time so a can of cinnamon rolls took their place. Not a bad substitute, if ya ask me.

IMG_8511

We also cooked up some bacon and my in-laws brought a fruit salad to round out the meal.

IMG_8514

Round 1…plus another cinnamon roll, fruit, and whatever was leftover from Lucas.

IMG_8515

IMG_8529

We put Lucas down for his morning nap, which was timed perfectly for the day, and once he was up we headed over to my parents’ house.

Of course, we had to snack on plenty of homemade Chex Mix before dinner was served.

IMG_8555

Turns out Lucas likes his grandma’s Chex Mix. Especially the Cheerios. Not surprised. Winking smile

IMG_8560

Let me tell ya…it is NOT easy getting this child to sit still for photos these days. It wasn’t until the end of the day when I realized that we never got a family photo of Jay, me, and Lucas. Darn it!

At 3pm on the dot (impressive, mom!) dinner was served.

IMG_8570

I filled my plate with all of the usual suspects: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls with homemade honey butter, and mom’s applesauce.

IMG_8575

Lucas wasn’t a huge fan of it all, but he did enjoy some turkey, sweet potatoes and applesauce. Oh, the amount of applesauce he ate…

IMG_8576

Not long after dinner, the food comas set in.

IMG_8580

You’d think by now that he’d know better not to fall asleep.

But there’s always room for dessert! Homemade apple and pumpkin pies.

IMG_2522

Yum and YUM.

It was a wonderful day, filled with family, great food, and good laughs, and I went to bed that night with a full heart and a not-too-overly-full belly, which was nice for a change! For those of you who celebrated, how was your Thanksgiving? Any big highlights to share?

*****************

Shape & Men’s Fitness Fitbit Blogger Challenge – Week 3

We’re already into week 3 of the challenge! Has anyone else been following along, taking up any of the challenges? East Coast is still representin’ on the scoreboard, woop woop! We got this week’s challenge yesterday, and here’s what we have on tap:

FITNESS BLOGGER CHALLENGE Week 3
Break the monotony this week and pick up a new workout that shocks your muscles into working harder making the daily goal of 10K steps that much sweeter when you hit it!
Hmmm…switch things up? I think I’m about ready to do that! Now what to do..what to do? Have any good workouts for me to try? Send ‘em my way!
Be sure to check out the scoreboard either on Shape or Men’s Fitness and while you’re there, enter to win your own Fitbit Charge!
*****************

Alright my friends, I’ll be back tomorrow to share the rest of our weekend, but for now, happy Monday! And happy DECEMBER?! WOAH.

P.S. – Be sure to check out yesterday’s post in case you missed it!

Thanksgiving 2012

We came.

We ate.

We ate some more.

And we had a great, great Thanksgiving.

IMG_4658

I didn’t wind up taking too many photos yesterday, other than the food that was on the table (which you’ll see in a second), but that’s just because I was too busy having an awesome day. Hopefully everyone else was doing the same!

Jay and I headed over to my parents’ house a little before 1pm yesterday afternoon to hang out with the little bro, the parents, and my grandma. Yep, we’re a small family, and that’s a-okay in my book. We snacked on some homemade Chex mix and enjoyed a few yummy beverages while we waited for dinner. Winking smile

IMG_4659

We had to eat early since my brother was going to be leaving early so he could go down to the Jets game (poor guy), so by around 2pm, dinner was served…with all the usual culprits.

Turkey, sweet potatoes…

IMG_4668IMG_4661

Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole…

IMG_4665IMG_4666

Stuffing (this is my special one mom makes with apples and cranberries)…

IMG_4663

Plus, my other contribution which you may have caught on Pinterest…

Pineapple upside down biscuits.

IMG_4667

I found the recipe for these off the Food Network years ago, and every once in a while I’ll pull them out of the ‘ol recipe binder. They are SO, so good you guys. I love ‘em!

My plate…a little bit of everything, plus mom’s homemade apple sauce which, believe it or not, does not have any food coloring in it. That was all from the apples.

IMG_4669

Everything was absolutely delicious, and one of the great things about having a small family is that there’s almost always lots of leftovers. My parents cooked a 22 pound turkey…so that meant leftovers for meeeeee.

IMG_4671

I stocked up on lots of goodies!

A little while after dinner, it was dessert (#1) time.

IMG_4673

We had my apple caramel cheesecake and mom’s homemade chocolate pie.

IMG_4674

Both were delicious but that cheesecake totally blew my mind. WOW, that was good!

IMG_4675

Once dessert was finished, we said our goodbyes and made the trip over to Jay’s aunt’s house for dessert #2. By this point I was still incredible stuffed, but I managed to dig deep for just a little more. Besides, I’d been looking forward to that pumpkin cake roll allll day.

IMG_4677

I only got a few bites of the cheesecake in, but you guyyyyys. The pumpkin cake roll was everything I could have wanted and more. I will absolutely, 100%, be making this again.

IMG_4679

After a couple hours of catching up with family, we made the trip back home, changed into our stretchy pants, and totally crashed on the couch for the night. I’m pretty sure I only made it until about 9:30pm before falling asleep so I called it an early night (besides, the Jets were atrocious to watch).

Today, Jay has the day off (yay!) so we have a pretty ambitious list of things we want to get done. We’ll see how well it goes…

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Question for the Morning:

What was the best thing you ate yesterday??

Want To Know How My First Thanksgiving Went?

Well, I did it! I successfully hosted my very first Thanksgiving!

IMG_0117

Let me tell ya, it is not the easiest task to do, and for someone who suffers with horrible time management skills, it is definitely a process that will take some practice. But nonetheless, it all still worked out great, thanks to a bunch of help from everyone.

IMG_0107

Despite the fact that I felt like I was running around like a turkey with its head cut off (<—bahaha) Jay and I still managed to get the table set, the house cleaned, and appetizers out before anyone arrived. Phew!

IMG_0118

I ended up finding these printable place cards online a couple of days ago, along with the rest of my Pinterest projects. I used some cardstock, printed them out, and wrote out everyone’s name for a nice, personalized touch at the table.

IMG_0109

For appetizers, I kept things fairly simple; I wanted enough to keep everyone satisfied in case I ran late with my estimated start time (which I most definitely did), but I didn’t want anyone to stuff themselves either.

IMG_0115

Shrimp cocktail (you’re welcome, Dan)

IMG_0114

Cheese, pepperoni, and Wheat Thins (which Jay did an awesome job of putting together, right?)

IMG_0112

Caramelized Onion Dip with chips and celery (amazing, btw…I’d definitely recommend making this for your next get-together)

IMG_0116

Before our family arrived, Jay and I actually had quite a few amusing moments while preparing the turkey. For one, he cannot stand to look at the innards; for me, I could care less and dug right in. Then, we realized the turkey was still semi-frozen. I freaked out, Jay kept me sane, and we eventually thawed that puppy out by placing it in a bucket of water for about an hour.

IMG_0104

When I went to prep the bird, I realized we had no twine to tie it up so I sent Jay out to the store to pick something up. He ended up coming back with some crazy metal spike things which, in turn, resulted in us naming our turkey “Franken-Turk.” Eventually, I got our herb butter rub on there and into the oven he went.

IMG_0106

Done and done.

Shortly after, the family arrived, everyone hung out, enjoyed some snacks, and chatted away while watching football.

IMG_0119

I also finally got a chance to relax and pour myself a much-needed glass of wine.

IMG_0129

IMG_0131

As much as I was totally enjoying hosting Thanksgiving this year, I was equally excited to just have the whole family together for the day. I <3 my family. Smile

IMG_0120

IMG_0126

IMG_0123IMG_0127

I was also super excited to be able to have hosted a Thanksgiving meal for both of my grandmas.

IMG_0124

Even if one of them doesn’t like getting her picture taken…ahem, ahem!

IMG_0125

Thank GOODNESS I have a family who is also very loving and understanding about dinner being slightly behind schedule. And when I say slightly, I mean that I told them we’d probably eat around 3:00-ish, but didn’t sit down until almost 5:00pm. Whoops!

In my defense, it is pretty darn difficult to try to time seven different foods to finish cooking at the same time AND have them all fit in one oven/stove top. To anyone who has mastered this, major props to you!

We were hard at work for sure, and my mom was an unbelievable help. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without her.

IMG_0135

Of course, we still managed to have some fun along the way…

IMG_0132

Even if the rest of the family was sitting and waiting very patiently at the table for their food.

IMG_0139

Sorry, fam! It’s on the way!

Finally, the turkey was cooked and ready for carving.

IMG_0134

Not too bad, right?

IMG_0138

The rest of the food eventually started to finish up and come together. To round out the table, we had:

The turkey

IMG_0145

Apple Cranberry Stuffing, my mother-in-law’s amazing corn bread

IMG_0141

My mom’s stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, and homemade cranberry sauce

IMG_0143

Homemade dinner rolls which, despite the browned bottoms, were quite tasty.

IMG_0144

Unphotographed brown butter mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, and a of course…

A couple of happy hungry faces. Smile

IMG_0142

By this time, I was pretty darn starving. I didn’t snack nearly as much as I usually do from being so busy in the kitchen, but that’s probably a good thing anyways. I needed to save room for the main event!

IMG_0147

I enjoyed a little bit of everything and also went back for another roll and piece of corn bread. If there wasn’t dessert awaiting us, I probably would have gone back for thirds.

BUT, there was dessert awaiting us…and LOTS of it, too!

IMG_0155

Apple pie, my Skinny Pumpkin Pie,

IMG_0156

Homemade French Silk pie made by my in-laws, and my Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake.

IMG_0157

I honestly couldn’t choose; I wanted all of them. It is Thanksgiving right? I decided to skip the apple since it was store-bought, and ended up taking a small piece of the three homemade desserts.

IMG_0159

Everything was absolutely delicious, and I was so happy with the way the cheesecake turned out. It is so rich and full of flavor. YUM!

IMG_0160

By this time, the family was starting to get a little sleepy and SOMEbody may have passed out on the couch…three different times.

Fall asleep once? We’ll let you be and just laugh at you.

IMG_0162

Fall asleep twice? We’ll throw peanuts at you.

IMG_0149

Fall asleep three times? Well now you’re just askin’ for it.

IMG_0154

But hey, I have no idea who did that. Winking smile

Gotta love family, right?!?

*****

Today has definitely been a FULL day but an amazing one at that.

I am so incredibly thankful for so many things; the loving, supporting family I have, my amazing friends, my health (for the most part), my wonderful husband, my adorable fur ball Cody…I really could go on and on.

But anyways, I hope everyone who was celebrating today had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ate lots and lots of delicious food, and were able to spend time with those you love. I know I sure did!

So now it’s about time for me to go slip into some cozies and zonk out on the couch. Luckily, I don’t have anyone else here to throw peanuts at me in case I fall asleep.

Questions for the Evening:

What was the best part of your Thanksgiving?

What was your favorite thing you ate today? Did you try anything new?

If you weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving today, did you do anything fun?