Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

 

 

 

Once all the cooking and serving of the turkey was accomplished on Thanksgiving afternoon, it was time to relax and settle into a fun weekend with my family. My daughters and I went on a quick Black Friday shopping trip to Old Navy on Friday morning and it was less crowded than in years past. We got some fun socks, slippers and sweaters and moved on to an outdoor holiday market in our city. It was rainy, but not too cold, so it was fun to shop local for a few items. I found some lavender mint soap that smells just lovely.

Saturday was game day and we headed to East Lansing for a fun day of tailgating. It was very cold and none of us were crazy about preparing food, so we decided to go to a bar close to campus for some pre and post game fun. The game was chilly, but very exciting, as we stayed warm under our blankets and watched the Spartans win and advance to the Big Ten Championship.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday is our favorite day to go to brunch and we headed to our favorite spot in Birmingham. It was decorated for the holidays and we enjoyed our mimosas (blackberry for me), yummy food and the festive atmosphere very much. We also walked around a bit and found a few fun Christmas gifts at Anthroplogie.

Everyone heads back to work today and I'll be busy decorating for Christmas. It's sad for such a fun weekend to end, but Christmas will be here soon and I look forward to more family fun.

Happy Monday!

 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving and Our Anniversary

 

 

 

It's early on Thanksgiving morning, my house is still quiet and I guess you could call it the calm before the storm. My table is set, most of the food has been prepared and the turkey is waiting to be stuffed. We will be making the stuffing soon (my husband likes to help make it) and enjoying coffee, a special breakfast and the parades. Champagne is chilling for Apple Cider Mimosas too.

Our anniversary is today (33) and when it falls on Thanksgiving, we delay our celebration for a day or two. It's nice to be able to spend the day together, even if we are hosting fourteen for dinner :-)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a relaxing holiday weekend!

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Morning

 

 

 

It's the Monday morning before Thanksgiving and if you are like me, busy as can be. I generally like to take my Monday mornings slow, but not this week. There is much to do and since I am having the carpet cleaned in a few rooms this morning, things will be torn apart, before they are finally put back together. But, everything will be fresh and clean and all ready to be decorated for Christmas.

We woke up Sunday to brilliant blue skies and about eight inches of heavy, wet snow. It was pretty, but I prefer our first snowfall to be in December and not before Thanksgiving. We went to see the new Hunger Games movie in the middle of the snowstorm and it was a mess to drive in, but worth it because the movie was great. I love Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.

And finally, what can I say about my MSU football team , but how proud I am to be a Spartan. Beating Ohio State was a very sweet victory indeed. My heart cannot take too many more of these last second wins.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, November 20, 2015

So Simple, So Sweet

 

 

 

I spotted this idea for a simple Thanksgiving place setting and immediately knew it was what I was looking for. It is such a sweet concept; just a bit of burlap (which I had plenty of in my stash of fabric and ribbon) and a fresh sprig of rosemary. It's very adaptable to other holiday occasions too. Wouldn't it look just as lovely with a branch of holly at Christmastime?

My table is not set, quite yet. This was a trial run, but when my daughter arrives home for the holiday, this will be the perfect job for her. She can cut the lengths of burlap, wrap the silverware and then insert the rosemary right before our guests arrive, so it stays fresh and green. The countdown begins for those of us hosting, but it is a simple idea like this one, that will help move things along with ease.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Sunny Simple Life

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

No Minimalist Here

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Thanksgiving Menu

 

My Thanksgiving menu will include old family favorites, as well as a few new recipes. For the most part, I find that Thanksgiving is best suited to traditional dishes; the tried and true recipes that seem to be as much a part of Thanksgiving dinner as the turkey. My menu will include mashed potatoes made with real butter and half and half - no low fat worries for us on Thankgiving Day. We will also have green bean casserole, roasted asparagus and homemade cranberry sauce.

The star of the meal is always the stuffing, made from my mother's recipe. It is a classic white bread stuffing; simple, yet delicious. I plan to try a new salad, as that's one dish I don't mind experimenting with. Also, a simple breakfast starts our morning and my egg soufflé, served with fruit, is pretty enough for guests, but easy to pop in the oven, since you prepare it the night before. I've picked three recipes to share and inspire; two I've made many times and one new.

How many trips to the grocery store in the next week for us all?

 

My Mother's Stuffing

 

Egg Soufflé

 

Beauchamp Orchard Salad

 

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Sunny Simple Life

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

No Minimalist Here

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Chilly Tailgate

 

 

 

When the calendar turns to November in Michigan, you never know how the weather on a football Saturday will be. You know it will be cold, especially in the early morning hours, but if the temperature is above freezing and there is no snow flying, I call that a win. Saturday dawned bright and sunny with temperatures around 40 degrees, so we put on our cold weather clothes, jackets, hats and gloves and headed to East Lansing for game day.

We were more than prepared, with two tents with sides to block the wind , a propane fire pit to sit around (that's my sister sitting next to me) and our usual spread of good food and drinks. The fire kept us toasty warm and the mimosas helped warm us up on the inside too.

 

 

 

There is an art to tailgating and we believe in going all out. We bring the green and white in full force, use real glasses for our mimosas (no plastic for us) and have two grills going for our early morning pancakes and sausages. The pancakes were made to order with a choice of blueberries, chocolate chips or warm strawberry sauce. No one leaves hungry from our tailgates, especially the college students who stop by.

 

 

It was wonderful to win the game, but even better were the Veterans Day celebrations throughout. There were flags, military members and tributes by the band. A moment of silence was observed at the start of the game for the people of France and there is something especially moving about the solidarity and heartfelt thoughts of a stadium full of people. It was a beautiful day for football.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, November 13, 2015

This and That

 

 

 

This week I've been a busy bee and am almost done with the painting in my guest bathroom. My cabinet doors need one more coat, as does a small table. Bathrooms are hard to paint and I had to be a contortionist in some spots, but it looks like I imagined and I can't wait to see everything come together.

 

 

The season finale of Home Fires was this past Sunday and I love everything about this show. There is going to be a second season and that makes me very happy. The finale left a lot of story lines up in the air and it will be interesting to see how the village copes as the war progresses.

 

 

We will be tailgating on Saturday and I will definitely be breaking out all my cold weather gear. My brother in law has informed us we will have a heater, a fire pit and sides on the tent, so we should be fine, even if it is cold. The Salted Caramel Vodka Hot Chocolate I am taking in a big thermos, should help keep me warm too. After MSU's heartbreaking loss at Nebraska last week, we will need to get back to our winning ways and I plan on cheering as loud as I can.

 

 

Thanksgiving is in the back of my mind every day and I need to start making some plans. Next week I will start gathering paper products, some things for a centerpiece I have in mind and making my menu. The menu pretty much stays the same every year, but it still needs to be written down and a timeline prepared. I love hosting Thanksgiving, but it's definitely not a meal you can prepare at the last minute. And, the best thing about hosting - the fridge full of leftovers the next day.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Overnight Cranberry French Toast {recipe redo}

 

 

 

When I am at the grocery store this time of year and I see a bag of cranberries, I just can't resist putting some in my shopping cart. I never have a plan in mind to make something specific, but I just know that something yummy will eventually be made.

I searched for recipes for a baked oatmeal that used fresh cranberries, but didn't really see one that took my fancy. Then, I remembered that last year, around this time, I made a delicious version of overnight French Toast using cranberries.

Putting it together last night, I remembered why this is such a great recipe. I made it with wheat bread last time and just so happened to have a partial loaf of wheat bread in my freezer that would be perfect. Using frozen bread to cut cubes for French toast is a great idea and makes the cutting process so much easier. I like to think this is a healthy version of French Toast with the use of wheat bread, low fat milk and just a little sweetening from the maple syrup.

It was as good as I remembered and the cranberries were bursting with autumn flavor. I will keep this in my refrigerator and enjoy a slice for breakfast all week long.

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Sunny Simple Life

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

No Minimalist Here

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, November 9, 2015

Guest Bathroom Update - Getting Started

 

 

This will be a busy week in my guest bathroom update. I have been busy making decor decisions and gathering all my painting supplies and now the actual hard work starts. It all began with a Pinterest board some time ago and now that the tranformation will begin, I think I have been able to be pretty faithful to the original inspiration.

I plan on having everything done in the next two weeks, including all the installation of plumbing fixtures and lighting. My kitchen will be in chaos, while I paint the cabinet doors, so the sooner I finish, the happier I will be, because I don't like chaos. All in all, I am very happy with my choices and look forward to seeing it all come together. It is difficult, especially with paint color, to trust your vision until you actually see it on the wall. Wish me luck and speedy painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From top to bottom: towel ring, toilet paper holder, lighting, waterfall faucet, cabinet knobs, wall shelf, mirror frame, wall color, cabinet color.

Happy Monday!

 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

 

 

Isn't it fun that my daughter Megan has turned into such a great cook, that I am now making her recipes? She loves pinning recipes on Pinterest and I am always impressed with her results and the beautiful food photos she posts on Instagram. I love it that she has inherited my love of cooking and it's nice to know that our family recipes will continue on into another generation.

She had made these Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas for us once before, but I never got the recipe from her when she moved to Pittsburgh last year. She recently sent me the recipe at my request and I made them for dinner one night this week. It is a very easy and quick way to make fajitas and they really are delicious. We added all kinds of yummy toppings like guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and olives and everyone made their fajita just as they liked. This would be a great recipe for a party and could easily be doubled for a crowd. Is there anyone that doesn't like Mexican food?

 

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

 

3 chicken breasts

3 green bell peppers, sliced

2 large onions, sliced

1 package dry fajita seasoning

2 T butter

1/2 cup salsa

Small flour tortillas

Toppings: guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, black olives

 

Set crock pot to low, add butter and let it melt. Add sliced peppers and onions. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Sprinkle fajita seasoning on top of chicken and then add salsa. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. Remove chicken and shred, then add back into crock pot. Stir with onions and peppers and let it absorb juices for a few more minutes. Serve with tortillas and toppings.

Happy Thursday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Sunny Simple Life

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

No Minimalist Here

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome November

 

 

 

There is something so special to me about the month of November. I love the beginning of the shorter days and all the coziness that they bring. Savoring these last autumn days, before winter arrives and the inherent busyness of the holiday season gives me room to pause. Since I host both Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will be much to do, but for now I can happily make lists without a sense of urgency. Thanksgiving is a joy to host and my plans are essentially the same, year after year. I love having family here on that day and love the traditions that go along with a day set aside for giving thanks and just being together.

I will be finishing my guest bathroom update this month; just in time for the holidays. I have plenty of time and don't plan on having too strict of a deadline for the renovation. It's a small room and I should be able to finish fairly quickly and if I don't, a few last minute touch ups in December will be fine. The hard part is done, with the removal of the wallpaper and I find painting fairly relaxing. I look forward to starting the holidays with a freshly updated room.

So, hello November. It will be equal parts relaxing with a book, a blanket and a hot drink, as well as preparations for the holidays. That sounds perfect to me.

Happy Monday!

 

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