Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’
December 2, 2013
This was the first year Scott and I have ever attempted to host our own Thanksgiving. As nervous as I was, I have to say it was a great success!
With Scott’s parents in town and spicy chili dinner on last year’s menu, we wanted to move back towards more of a traditional holiday and eat the regular Turkey Day staples we agreed upon serving. Before company arrived, I put together a list of sides I would like to make, and most of them were more on the healthy side.
While the thought was great (and I did sneak in two things I was rooting for!), we agreed that for this one day we don’t need to fret about calories and substitutions like I normally would in the kitchen, and eventually my arm was twisted. A standard Thanksgiving menu it was.
The morning started early with Scott working the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit. Last year, the three of us (Scott’s Dad, step-mom and I) went with him. This year, we decided to stay home and start cooking, just in case he didn’t get back home until the afternoon. In the end, it was a wise decision.
The day before, we planned out the entire menu down to the grocery list with every ingredient needed. We also went to a few grocery stores to buy everything so it was home and ready to go in the morning. Even so, we ended up sending Scott’s dad out two times for last minute purchases.
I know Scott was exhausted by the time he got back home on a more than chilly morning of being outside. While I anticipated him resting for a bit, he hopped in the shower instead and got right to work on a handful of dishes he wanted to prepare. Kay and I started early, and the three of us worked throughout the day and early evening putting everything together.
(In the butternut squash scooping zone, clearly.)
While the three of us worked hard side by side, I can’t take much credit for what ended up on the menu. I voiced my ideas and helped with everything, but in no way was I the head of the kitchen here. Kay has years of cooking experience as well as a culinary degree, and Scott has more knowledge of putting recipes and spices together than I ever realized.
My job was to help out with everything, clean up, and make it all look good.
With less than ideal lighting after sunset, some of these photos turned out blurry but are way to great not to include here. ^^^ I just can’t with these slippers anymore.
Friends started arriving around 7 p.m. and a few of them came armed with side dishes and dessert. I was very grateful to have them!
It was a lot of hard work and planning, but it was really neat to see everything finally come together ready to serve around 8 p.m. Here’s what was on the menu!
• Scott’s Homemade Spicy Queso Dip and Chips (<- I swear I will share this with you one day…)
• Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly Dip with Crackers (similar to this Sweet & Spicy Cream Cheese Dip)
• Scott’s Cream of Butternut Squash Soup
• Scott’s Roasted Corn and Bacon Wild Greens Salad
• Kay’s Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (<- recipe coming to you tomorrow!)
• Jalapeno & Corn Casserole (<- similar to this recipe. Can you tell our family likes spicy?)
• Adam’s Homemade Mashed Potatoes
• Cranberry Sauce
• Dinner Rolls
• LIBBY’s Famous Pumpkin Pie with homemade whipped cream
• Spiced Pumpkin Bread (<- recipe coming to you soon!)
• Maw Maw’s Blueberry Salad (<- recipe coming to you later this week!)
• Dutch Apple Caramel Pie from Yates Cider Mill
We might have outdone ourselves on the menu a bit, but I am never one to complain about having Thanksgiving Dinner leftovers for the days following.
As the night went on, people we invited over trickled in and out, most of them leaving fuller than they arrived. Even through the stress of the anticipation and pressure to be responsible for hosting a holiday dinner, it was a great feeling to know we tackled our first Thankgiving Dinner! (With the help of this wonderful woman, of course.)
Thank you so much, Kay, for teaching us (well, mostly me) your ways! We had such a great time with you guys in town and can’t wait for the next visit home.
Cyber Monday Deals
You probably thought I forgot, but I didn’t! As soon as I hit publish I plan to peruse the online deals going on for Cyber Monday and thought you might like some I found in my email inbox:
• 30% off everything Reebok, including the CrossFit gear (except for custom shoes and the Nano 3.0s) with promo code CYBER30.
• 40% off everything Saks Fifth Avenue (Saks outlet!) <- visit website for details.
• Super savings on Nordstrom boots and fall accessories. <- visit website for details.
• 15% off and free shipping over $75 from Macy’s with code CYBER.
• 50% off bracelets and 20% off silver jewelry from Things Remembered, plus free shipping with the code CYBERSHIP5.
• 25% off your entire online Bath and Body Works order with the code HAPPYMONDAY.
• Free shipping at Hearts with the code MONDAY2014.
*Most Cyber Monday sales are only valid online, until midnight EST.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and Happy Shopping!
Questions of the Day
• Did you do much of the cooking for Thanksgiving this year?
• What is your favorite recipe to make and bring to dinner parties?
• Any recipes you’d like to share? Link ‘em up below!
November 29, 2013
Hello, hello! Is anyone out there?
I have a feeling most of you are out and about taking advantage of these crazy Black Friday sales going on. Kudos to you for getting it done!
To those who celebrated yesterday, how was your Thanksgiving? I hope you were able to spend it with loved ones next to lots of yummy food! I will be sure to share ours with you tomorrow.
I apologize for the delay in this week’s installment of Friday Favorites and #FFavorites link up. You know that turkey coma you get into after a full day of cooking and preparing Thanksgiving food, eating it, then cleaning it up? Yeah… it got me. Bad. Scott’s parents left early at 5 a.m. this morning, and while I had every intention of going downstairs to work on today’s post afterwards, I think you get who won that battle… Mr. Pillow.
It’s fine though, because after a week of no-sleep, I needed to rest up for tonight! We have a home game against the L.A. Lakers AND a halftime performance with TLC! I really can’t wait!
But enough with the chatter, let’s get to the goods already.
Friday Favorites #13: Week of 11/29
• super-softening paraffin hand lotion
On her visit up to see us last year, my mom came baring gifts. This Look Ma, New Hands paraffin hand lotion from Bath & Body works has been my favorite hand cream to get through the winter thus far.
The thick texture is perfect for those pesky cracks and sensitive spots! I take it everywhere and am just about ready for a new bottle. (<- hint, hint Mom!)
• Save the Dates + Baby Announcements on our fridge
This week I noticed that the side of our refrigerator is becoming a personal collection of our closest friends’ wedding and baby announcements!
I love it, and reminds me that there will always be a potential trip home to look forward to.
• Foxy Feet socks
I received these fun yoga (or Pilates/barre) Foxy Feet socks in the mail last week and just adore them.
I think this might just be the extra push I needed to get my booty back into barre classes again. How I miss them so!
I like how this Foxy Free pair are made of spandex with (cute!) pink mesh on top of the toes. The grips on the bottom are perfect for holding positions and are comfortable enough to keep on all day long!
They retail for $13.99, but are offering a $1 off coupon to Housewife Glamour readers. Simply enter the promo code HOUSEGLAM upon checkout. (Offer expires late December.)
• Buzzfeed articles
They’ve been killing me lately! Especially these this week…
31 GIFS That Will Make You Laugh Every Time (Umm, all of the pet related numbers are hilarious.)
32 Things That Will Make You Feel Warm And Fuzzy Inside (Not aimed at being funny, but very true.)
• hand painted Detroit coasters
There is a store in The Somerset Collection mall Scott and I try to visit every time we have visitors from out of town. It’s called The Detroit Shoppe and is filled with local and small business products and merchandise from our area!
While picking up a few favorites for Scott’s parents, we also scooped up these colorful coasters by the Motor City Coaster Co. & Iconic Detroit Art.
We could have gotten more, too. I just love how they tell a different story of the city’s culture on each one!
• new guest towels
We have been needing a new set of good bath room towels ever since we registered for them when we got married! For two and a half years, we have still been using the same ones and finally upgraded our guest room set to match the room.
They were a steal too… from Meijer. Yup, a grocery store. Hey, they look fluffy and do the trick just fine for me!
• holiday music
And last, but certainly not least, I am oh so excited that it is now socially acceptable to play and listen to Holiday music. (Not like I haven’t been listening to it for the past few weeks or anything…)
What are some of your favorite stations or songs you look forward to hearing this time of year?
Happy Shopping this Black Friday!
November 28, 2013
Good Morning and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you!
And to those who it applies, Happy Hanukkah, and Thanksgivukkah too!
There is a lot to celebrate here in the U.S. today and I intend to enjoy every moment of it.
Scott’s parents ended up arriving in town Tuesday morning and we have had a great time catching up with them this week.
Yesterday we took them to The Breakfast Club, our favorite Mom and Pop type of restaurant in the area. It’s a quaint little set up, isn’t it?
For as causal as it is, the menu is anything but ordinary. They always have daily gourmet specials and a specialty dish for every kind of breakfast lover.
I stuck to my usual, some form of egg white omelet. That might sound boring, but I loved Penny’s Favorite!
Ingredients included egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, black olives, light cheddar, avocado and pico de gallo with a side of tomato slices and fruit.
A plate of cold chocolate covered strawberries appeared with our guest checks, which I think is an adorable (and extremely yummy!) special touch.
Since yesterday was also a game day, we didn’t have much time to show them around our new hometown, but we did stop by Yates Cider Mill to pick up some deliciousness am really looking forward to diving into later tonight.
Caramel Apple Pie made with cider mill apples… ummm… drooling. With the cooling temperatures out, our trip was short lived, but we showed them the property and what usually takes place on weekends here in the fall.
We even caught the tail end of an apple pressing! That was the first time Scott had ever seen it, so he was pretty excited.
Love cider mills!
After taking a few scenic routes, we dropped Scott off at the arena for work before the game and spent the rest of the afternoon gathering all of the ingredients we needed for today’s eats. I arrived a couple of hours later.
The game was a fun one, missing a win. When it was over, a friend from Chicago sent me this picture and it put a huge smile on my face!
It’s always fun to have family come to see us in that environment. We all had a great night!
Before I get carried away, I need to sign off and get ready for a full day of cooking. I mentioned earlier this week that I might do a Turkey Trot 10K today, and for those of you who are wondering about it, I was unsuccessful in signing up for it two different times. I saw it as a sign to just let it go and hope to at least fit in an afternoon run (out in the snow!) if time permits.
I was really bummed about it, but can’t complain about being all warm and cozy inside this morning. Hopefully I will be able to participate next year!
I really can’t wait to share the menu (and a handful of standout recipes) with you in the near future. Off to the kitchen!
And a very Happy Thanksiving to you and your loved ones!
November 22, 2013
You guys. I literally had ninety percent of this post typed up and ready to go when my toe hit the power button on the extension cord and unexpectedly shut my entire computer down.
<Enter panic mode, extreme pouting, and second thoughts of trying again.>
Somehow, all of my windows re-opened and saved except my drafts here. Wonderful! While I could choose to let this get me down, I’m going to ignore the
huge and extremely annoying inconvenience of re-typing the entire thing and just get to the good stuff. Because it is Friday after all… am I right?
To celebrate, here are a handful of things I am loving this week. I encourage you to also show me your #FFavorites by linking up at the bottom and/or playing along in the comments section. TGIF!
Friday Favorites #12: Week of 11/22
• the ambiance of a lit Christmas tree at night.
Yes, the decorations are up already! And I am loving every bit of it.
Something about a lit Christmas tree in a dark living room makes me want to stay in my sweats, curl up with a blanket, a good holiday movie, the animals, and sip on hot cocoa every chance I get. Don’t mind if I do!
• this article about Michigander’s slang and their accents.
Because people from home (Florida) think I talk like a Canadian with my new “somewhat nasally” o‘s and a‘s.
Because people from here (Michigan) think I over-pronounce everything and say my i‘s extremely southern.
Because they still can’t figure out what the heck Scott is saying half the time. (<- Arkansas boy!)
• Chinchilly nail polish by Essie.
I went into Walgreens for a greeting card and came out with this.
I have been obsessed with grays this year and already have my eyes set on a few more shades for future purchases. Actually, this set of four looks right up my alley!
• Amy’s Light & Lean Bowls
I have been a fan of Amy’s Kitchen products (<- Non-GMO brand!) for about a year now. There isn’t anything I haven’t cared for so far, and this week I tried the Light & Lean Quinoa & Black Bean with Butternut Squash & Chard bowl and didn’t miss the meat one bit.
It tastes way better than it looks, swear!
I’ll be sure to buy a variety of bowls in the future and share my thoughts.
• Degree Clinical Strength Deodorant
This might be too much information, but I’m just going to go there.
I have been using Secret Platinum deodorant ever since I can remember. For some reason or another, it hasn’t seemed to do the trick lately and I have caught myself re-applying around five times a day… including at least two times during games which seems a bit ridiculous.
After consulting a friend, I tried out her Degree Clinical Strength suggestion and haven’t turned back since!
• True Religion skinny jeans
We went into the True Religion outlet store to find a good pair of jeans for Scott and walked out with these for me too.
Whoops! After the past few years of buying my jeans strictly from Forever 21, we both fell in love with the silver stitching on the back and felt I deserved them.
Definitely one of my favorite purchases of this season so far.
• the return of the Starbucks red holiday cups!
Skinny peppermint mocha, get in my belly!
• O.N.E. coconut water
To hydrate, (… you know) when I’m not all hyped up on pumpkin spice lattes and holiday coffees.
And, last but certainly not least…
• this popping up on my newsfeed the other day.
I’m sorry. #dying
As much as I could keep going, I think it’s time to see what you’ve got. Go on and link them up!
If you are a blogger, I would love it if you could grab this button and include it in your posts by simply copying the code and pasting it into your text as well.