Friday, November 21, 2014

The last Friday before Thanksgiving!

This week flew by!  It was the perfect feeling of getting a lot done, but not feeling stressed about it.  That is ideal in my book!  A few highlights:

I saw my dad yesterday... and I get to see him and the rest of my family in six days.  I love when that happens!  I am so lucky he travels here for work fairly often.  He insisted we eat at 12 Bones and I did not complain.

Did I mention that I get to see my gorgeous niece in six days?  We chatted on the phone last night and when Amanda asked her if she missed me, she cried.  That obviously means yes.

I spent $100 on yoga pants.
You know where.
I have mixed emotions about this.  I cannot believe I paid that much (with a gift card, does that count?) and I also want to go back and get another pair.  They are super thick and high waisted, and have that just-tight-enough fit.  I just got rid of all my crappy, pilled-up, stretched out leggings so here's hoping these live up to the hype!

We hosted an impromptu Friendsgiving last Saturday and I did not take one photo.  I made Indian Lentil Cauliflower soup (odd choice, but everyone loved it) and my momma's crock pot mulled apple cider (so homey and even better with the Kraken !).   It ended in an old-fashioned, high school era cuddle puddle in the living room watching Mortified.

I really want to make these!  I love tiny little things, and apparently you can actually buy a set of these toy animals that are only North American wilderness folk.  I think that's pretty neat.  
(Thank god I have a child in my life to legitimize myself here.)


Happy Friday before Thanksgiving! What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did you know, Thanksgiving is soon?!

I just wanted to say that... I am excited for the holidays! 
Oh, you too? 
Weird, I thought I was the only one.

I often reference the fact that I am an old person but... It's true!  And it may never be clearer than when it comes to holiday traditions!  In my normal life, I am not big on structure (although I am working on it).  But when it comes to events like Thanksgiving, I am all about it.  Here are some highlights that I know will repeat themselves again this year

Beef Burgundy

Every year, the night before Thanksgiving my dad whips out the Joy of Cooking and makes this dish.  It takes all day and uses every dish in the kitchen.  It also creates a mountain of leftovers.  Exactly like the very next day.  Two full days of cooking, cleaning and eating...who doesn't love that?  Well, one would be my mother, but she continues to lose that battle.  Even though none of us will ever understand his impulse to cook a huge, filling meal the day before turkey-day, I still love it. It's another excuse to use the fancy dishes and drink wine with the people I love most. 
Also, I call baby holding.  Called it!
Edit: my dad texted me this about an hour after posting, because apparently, Julia Child's recipe is much superior to The Joy of Cooking:
 The real name is Boeuf Borguignon. Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Louisette Berthold and Simone Beck

The Run

Each Thanksgiving morning we wake up and start cooking.  Around the time that we are all waiting on a lump of meat to cook for a few hours, any number of family members will sneak off for a family run.  Last year it was just me and my sister, (and Louisa in her belly!) but this year hopefully my brother-in-law and Heather will join us!  I really love this tradition because we always run on the rail trail near our house and it is insanely gorgeous.  It passes in front on lots of quaint little farms and creates a very festive, country scene.  There is even a buggy repair shop along the route.  I couldn't even make that up if I wanted to.  There are mile markers on the trail too, which give me extra motivation to run for more pie! 

Chocolate Pecan Pie

AKA a sugar coma in a dish.  
My family often eats at Cracker Barrel when making the 600 mile journey up and down Route 81.  Mainly because my Southern parents can't get fried okra way up in Pennsylvania.  One time we were there around the holidays and discovered their chocolate pecan pie.  
Game over.  
My dad is a very skilled baker and cook and has helped me to recreate this super healthy dessert every year since.  Most years I try to hide it from everyone else because it is my favorite.  Thankfully, we usually have a pretty large gathering and lots of dessert to choose from, so I get to stuff at least half on my special creation in the fridge without too many complaints from the rest of the crew.

What are you most pumped about this holiday season?

Friday, November 7, 2014

High Five for Friday

Thank goodness it's Friday!  Here's a recap of five moments from this week:

I have almost forgotten that Halloween was last week.  I feel as if the transition from September to October is all about pumpkins and skeletons.  Two of my favorite things, actually.  But then, Halloween happens and suddenly it's time to plan for the holidays.

(Sorry for the poor photo quality)
A cat and two bats:

Adding to that holiday feeling was the snow we got Halloween night.  If it is going to be 30~ degrees, I want some snow! I resisted buying Christmas decorations, but I did try to watch Elf. 
It's not on Netflix, in case you were curious. 

I'm trying out The Everygirl 30-day challenge and not purchasing anything for 30 days, just paying attention to what items in my closet hit the heavy rotation. I'm not much of a shopper, but I like the purposeful process of rethinking a lot of pieces that have gone unworn for quite some time. 

I will never buy enchilada sauce again.  I literally licked this stuff out of the saucepan.  The scent of toasting garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and cayenne with a bit of oil and flour was heavenly.  This was another Oh She Glows recipe. 
I do not regret my obsession with that cookbook. 

I have never cared much about interior design or making my art/furniture/knick knacks "work" together.  I think my time working in an art gallery where clients were mostly concerned with matching a color scheme and not that feeling had me jaded.  
 But now I suddenly want my space to look more streamlined.  I was inspired by this photo of how Christina gathered and displayed what could potentially have been a messy situation.
I like it. 


Happy Friday!