11.28.2013

Thankful



Happy Thanksgiving my friends! I hope you're all enjoying this day with the people you love most!

I'm spending the day with my family at my parents and I couldn't be happier. It's so nice to be away from the city and relax up in the foothills. Today I'll be helping my mom and aunt make our delicious Thanksgiving feast, playing with my nephew, watching a little football, and playing a game or two of hearts.

I am thankful for so many things in my life, but today, I am feeling especially thankful....


I am thankful for Andrew...last week when I was sick he took such good care of me and was so lovey. Making me dinner and always asking what he could do to make me feel better. I'm such a lucky girl.

All my friends. I'm blessed to have so many wonderful, lifelong friends. Even those that live far away, are always close to my heart. And when I see them again it's like no time has passed.

I am thankful for my nephew. He's shown me a new kind of love and how fun it is to have babies around! It makes me look forward to someday having a family of my own. 

I am thankful for my sister. She has always been there for me and is so supportive and encouraging. 

I am thankful for my parents, for always being so supportive and loving.

Thankful for my family, those that are with us here today, and those that we're missing.

I'm thankful for Louis, I didn't realize what I've been missing. Having a dog is the greatest thing ever. I love how he greets me at the door when I get home from work, tail wagging, making sure I know he's happy to see me.

I am thankful for my job, even though I don't always love coming to work, I know I am lucky to have such a secure job at a great company.

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for blogging. My readers, all the new friends I've made, confidence I've gained, and the happiness it's brought me over the past year. I've learned a lot about myself and most importantly, had fun!

I am thankful for our Thanksgiving traditions. My favorites are...
- that we eat spanakopita with our turkey
- playing hearts
- all the girls cooking together
- reminiscing on old times 
- remembering Gram and that she instilled a love for this holiday in all of us
- drinking good wine
- going for a walk after dinner
- being surrounded by family
- laughter
- lots of hugs

I could go on forever, I am thankful for my life!! 



Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 



11.27.2013

Friendsgiving Menu - Bacon Turkey!!


I have to say, I am quite impressed with all of the food we served on Sunday. Our turkey was a HUGE hit. Our friend even told Andrew he was too young to cook a turkey that well!

We decided that we wanted to brine the turkey because Andrew's family did that last year, and he said it was the best turkey he'd ever eaten. We found this recipe from the Pioneer Woman for our brine. We used a brining bag and left it in the fridge for almost a full 24 hours, flipping it once.

Once we were ready to cook the turkey, we followed these steps by Alton Brown.  We rinsed the turkey thoroughly so it wasn't too salty, then patted it dry and followed his instructions. The only thing we did differently was baste the turkey, while he advises against it.

Now, the fun part! We added our own twist to the recipe. Andrew wanted to make a bacon weave for our turkey. We made a weave of bacon and placed it in wax paper in the fridge. When there was about an hour left before our turkey was finished roasting, we took the bird out and laid the bacon weave over the breast. We sprinkled brown sugar and cracked black pepper on top, then placed it back in the oven to finish roasting.

Oh my word....this turkey was amazing. Our friend said her husband talked about it the entire drive home. So please, from now on brine your turkeys. And a little bacon never hurt anything either. I'm not sure if I'll ever try a different method!



In addition to our amazing turkey, our friends brought some delicious recipes as well! My favorite appetizer was the crab stuffed mushrooms, they were to die for! Our friend Corrie went crabbing in the bay on Saturday, and caught a TON of fresh crab. I'm so happy he decided to share with us. Andrew also made his sisters famous cheese ball that was a big hit. It's really simple, I'll post the recipe soon!


It was such a fun day, and we get to do it all over again tomorrow! I can't wait!! Thank you to all of our friends for bringing so many wonderful dishes to share and making our first annual Friendsgiving so wonderful!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Safe travels to those of us who will be on their way to visit family!



11.26.2013

First Annual Friendsgiving

Our first annual Friendsgiving was a huge hit! Andrew and I were busy busy all weekend getting everything ready.

Thankfully, our friends all brought something to share so Andrew and I could focus on making the turkey. We also made an apple pie, pumpkin pie, and cheese ball appetizer. There was no shortage of food, that's for sure. I'll post our menu and links to the recipes we used tomorrow. I want to make sure we have them saved for years to come, everything turned out so great!

The first of our friends arrived around 10am Sunday to watch the football and help us set up and get appetizers together. Everyone else started to trickle in around 1:00. It was so fun to have all of our friends together at our home. Since I was playing hostess, I feel like I didn't get to talk to anyone, but I loved hearing the chatter of everyone talking, watching the game, laughing, and toasting their glasses to celebrate our new tradition.

We enjoyed our Thanksgiving feast around 2:30, and continued to celebrate into the evening. It was so nice just relaxing, drinking wine and visiting with everyone. At one point I think we spent an hour talking about our personality types (inspired by this post)! It was so funny, people were taking the test on their phones and it was surprising to see the similar results within our group. There are 3 of us with INFJ, even though we decided I was more like an ENFJ. And it turns out that three of the guys are ENTJ (Andrew included). We decided that we're officially old since that was such a large portion of our conversation after dinner.

It was such a great day. I can't help but smile when I think about it. We had friends from our college days, our San Francisco friends, and high school friends, all celebrating together. It was so fun getting all the messages yesterday from people thanking us and saying how much fun they had. We're so blessed to have so many friends here in the city with us! I know this was the start of a great new tradition, that will continue for years to come!



I wish I had taken more photos, I didn't even get one of Andrew and I! Bummer. But I guess that's a sign of a good night, I was too busy having fun with my friends to stop and take pictures.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends?


11.25.2013

Blogger Holiday Wish List

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10


Hello lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I'm still recovering from Friendsgiving last night, it was SO much fun! I can't wait to tell you all about it and share the pictures! But today, I thought I'd share a little blogger wish list!

Blogging can be a dangerous thing. We're constantly surrounded by and exposed to the beautiful things our fellow bloggers share. It can be the cause of a pretty lengthy wish list! These are a few of the things that have been popping up on my Pinterest and Bloglovin' lately. I wouldn't be upset if Santa put any of these under my tree :) 

Is there anything on your wishlist this year that was inspired by the blog world? 




11.22.2013

Thanksgiving: A Family Favorite


For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been the big holiday in our family. We always had large gatherings with my Dad's side of the family and it's a day that we look forward to all year long.

Even from a young age, I always loved Thanksgiving. We would get together with family that we didn't see any other time of year. Everyone was always so happy; catching up, telling stories, and eating delicious food.

Originally, I think the location of Thanksgiving switched between my Gram's house, and her twin sister's house. But in more recent years it was mostly with my Gram. After my Gram passed away, we started a new tradition. Every other year switches off between my parents house, and my Aunt Cheri's house in Oregon.

One of my first memories from Thanksgiving was listening to my Auntie Alice tell us about the big flood that happened in Guerneville, where she lived. I looked up the flood, and it was in 1986 (unless there was another one), so I'm sure she must have been just re-telling the story. Because I doubt 1 year old Theresa would remember it so clearly.

She worked at the Safeway there in town, and talked about how the store flooded and she had to go up on the roof to escape the water. Maybe it's my 1 year old memory, but I think she was taken by helicopter from the roof of Safeway.  I can remember sitting there in awe, completely captivated by her story. I'm interested to hear what my family says after reading this, because I could have completely made that up. But that's how my memory tells it.

I don't know if this is more recent, but I always associate Thanksgiving with my Auntie Alice. It was usually the only time we saw her all year, and she was just so fun to be around, always making us laugh. Specifically a few years ago, when she had us all howling in a fit of laughter around the table after our Thanksgiving feast. Something about a "bitch on the couch" that would be too hard to explain if you weren't there with us. Sadly, we lost my Auntie Alice to cancer in 2011. And since Thanksgiving was also her favorite holiday, last year we had something extra special planned for our family in her memory.

It was my Aunt Cheri's turn to host Thanksgiving in Oregon, and my generous cousin had the idea that we should rent a house on the coast in Seaside, and all spend the week there as a family. We rented the most amazing house set right on the cliff with an ocean view. It was basically a slumber party for 16 of us, and it was without a doubt one of the best Thanksgiving weeks to date.

Not only was the house we rented amazing, but spending those few days with our family was so much fun. We went for walks, played games, watched football, random episodes of Duck Dynasty, cooked, ate, and drank to our hearts content, and really just appreciated spending time together.

A few years ago, my Aunt Cheri started a tradition of making the girls aprons to wear while we cooked on Thanksgiving. This year, our aprons all had family pictures on them with my Auntie Alice (who is Aunt Cheri's sister). It was so thoughtful, and a fun way to celebrate her memory and have her there with us.

The most special and memorable part of our trip, was the night before Thanksgiving. As you know, in Oregon it rains A LOT. And after dinner, there was a break in the rain. So my Aunt Cheri seized the opportunity for something special she had planned. She had purchased Thai Wish Lanterns for us to to light in memory of Auntie Alice. I'll never forget being on the beach with my family lighting them and watching them float off in the distance. It was really, really amazing. And I know it is something that meant a lot to each of us, and no one will ever forget it.

As you can imagine, I am so looking forward to seeing my family next week. We'll be in the foothills at my parents house this year. I'm so happy that Andrew gets to join us, and see why this holiday is so important to me.

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for our families and the blessings in our life. And I couldn't be more thankful for mine. Last year, Christine was 24 weeks pregnant with little Phillip, and this year he'll get to join us in the turkey, cranberry sauce, and spanakopita feast! It seems like each year, this holiday becomes more and more special.

I hope that each of you are able to spend time with your family and friends on Thanksgiving next week! And know that I'm so thankful for all of you, my readers, that have made blogging such a fun and rewarding hobby!


Queens of pie making :) 
our house was up on that cliff
We woke up to a rainbow from Auntie Alice Thanksgiving morning
My sister made a "Thankful Tree" and we all wrote down things we were thankful for
My sister always does the tablescape...my Aunt brought everything from home to our rental house in order to make it feel festive!
My cousin Steve got a special apron since he's always on dish duty :)

These pictures make me so happy. Everyone says their family is the best, but mine actually IS the best! I can't wait to celebrate next week!!

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