Time to Ring in the New Year and Time for a Quick Update!

Oh, heyyyyy! Yes we are still alive and kickin’ over here! Last time I checked in was just after my 30th birthday so over a month ago. Monthly posts are what is happening these days I guess. You know what else? I don’t hardly take any photos (besides of Bode of course!). But ya know, It is what it is!

So, since my last post here this is what has happened…

1.I thoroughly enjoyed my favorite meal day of the year, Thanksgiving, and so did Mr. Bode! I was much too excited to eat therefore no food photo was taken. Before we ate, we ran in our favorite 5k.

2. A couple of days after Thanksgiving, Bode got to hang out with grandma and grandpa for a week while Dana and I went on a Caribbean cruise. The cruise sailed from Miami to Panama and stopped at Cayman Islands, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. In Cayman Islands we swam with the stingrays and got to hold a big female stingray! In Jamaica we climbed up a bunch of waterfalls and laid by the beach, and in Costa Rica we took a pontoon tour and got to see sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, and other beautiful wild life.

The cruise itself was exquisite. Everything was included so we ate and drank like kings and queens. It was my mission to eat bacon everyday, and mission was completed.

crystal cruise

Formal night/Captain’s dinner…

crystal cruise

The “elves” decorated the boat while we were there! So pretty!

crystal cruise crystal cruise

As fun as the cruise was, I was sooooo excited to get home and snuggle my baby. That is the longest I had ever been away from him!

3. After the cruise we were busy into the holiday season and lots of fun holiday parties! We all got hit with the stomach bug pretty bad, and after that we all got colds. In fact, my whole entire year was this way. Bode gets sick, mom gets sick. Welcome to parenthood, right? Thanks daycare! 😉

4. Christmas was celebrated in Colorado with Dana’s family and then back here in Minnesota with mine. I still can’t believe Christmas is over! We had so much fun with our family and friends.

5. Now here we are about to kick off the New Year! Where on earth did 2015 go? It surely was a great year but as always, I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store for us. I wish you all the best of health and much happiness as we ring in the New Year!

Check in with you all who knows when! 😉

xoxo

Extended Thanksgiving & Now It’s Time for Christmas

Well, hello. How’s everyone holding up after the holiday weekend? I know I’m a little late with checking in as Thanksgiving was officially last Thursday, but many of us continued to celebrate over the weekend so I’m not too far off!

The last time I checked in I was recovering from Thanksgiving food coma #1. I’ll catch you up from there as the celebrations continued over the weekend.

On Friday, I started the morning off right with a slice of homemade gluten-free almond bread with peanut butter and a touch of organic maple syrup.

almond bread with peanut butter

Mid-morning I got a four-mile walk in on the treadmill while watching Gossip Girls, again. 🙂 For lunch, LEFTOVERS of course!

thanksgiving leftovers

After I filled my belly with turkey, Dana and I headed out to find our Christmas tree. Every year we go out to a tree farm and chop our own tree down. This year we went to two different tree farms, trekked around for a good hour and a half, and realized we were much too picky when it came to finding our tree this year and we left with nothing.

We weren’t finding one that was full enough or fat enough, so instead of settling, we moved on….to Costco. After our long hunt all bundled up in winter gear in the tree farms, we ended up buying our tree at Costco this year. It is absolutely perfect and was half the price too! We can’t say we didn’t try.

We set it up on Friday but didn’t decorate it until Sunday because the tree needed to settle, but here is the finished product from Sunday! Da da da da………

christmas tree

Moose was unimpressed but I’m impressed myself. It turned out great!

moose close up

On Saturday we headed over to Dana’s parents to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. They made my favorite cheesy veggie recipe which I go crazy for.

cheesy vegetables

Au gratin sweet and russet potatoes…

au gratin potatoes

I contributed a fruit salad made with whole cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, grapes, walnuts, and whipped cream. This was so easy and very tasty.

fruit salad thanksgiving plate

I cleaned my plate and loved every bite. Apparently I didn’t snap a photo of dessert but it was a very delicious piece of homemade pumpkin pie! Num num num. I love celebrating Thanksgiving twice!!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is officially time to think about Christmas. Who am I kidding, I was already listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. But now it is in full swing: music, shopping, treats, snow, potlucks, mint mochas, family, friends, parties! I am excited!

Happy day to you all. I hope you had a great weekend!

The Food!

Thanksgiving was a huge success.  I had so much fun with family and friends.  I don’t think I stopped smiling all day.

I started the day off with my first 5k run in goodness knows how long!!!  This particular 5k is my all-time favorite and I get excited for it every year. It has probably been 4-5 months since I’ve run a 5k but I ran the whole thing alongside a great friend and it felt fabulous.

My body is aching a bit today but I am okay with that! I am ready to start running again! I am extremely motivated to get back in shape after the rollercoaster past four months or so.

I hadn’t planned on running so my pre-race fuel wasn’t exactly the most nutritious, but it sure was tasty. We started the day off with cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven! My mom would always make these for us on holidays so making these in the morning definitely brought back a lot of memories.

cinnamon rolls cinnamon roll

Not much needs to be said about the food on Thanksgiving except for OMG. My all-time favorite meal of all times.

To appetize….Kevi brought crackers with cream cheese, olives, and bacon. These little babies are wayyyyy too good. I stopped myself at three but it was a struggle to keep my paws off of them.

appetizers

The glorious 20# turkey…

turkey thanksgiving turkey cranberry thanksgiving

Dressing/Stuffing…

stuffing thanksgiving

Sweet potatoes…

sweet potatoes thanksgiving

Green bean casserole (I brought this one), recipe courtesy of Alton Brown with a few changes made by moi.

green bean casserole thanksgiving

I forgot a photo of the mashed potatoes—one of my favorite parts of the whole meal!

My glowing plate. Oh wait, it was me that was glowing, not the plate.

thanksgiving 2013

My homemade desserts: Pumpkin pie and caramel apple pecan pie!!!

thanksgiving pie pumpkin pie and apple pie

caramel apple pecan pie thanksgiving

I finished the holiday feeling perfectly satisfied—not so stuffed I could hardly walk, but enough to satisfy my favorite meal food quota.

I am so thankful for this meal, for my friends, for my family, and for hope and faith.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving to those who celebrated and a great Thursday to those who didn’t! Happy FRIDAY! 

Anticipating Thanksgiving

Before I go into the planned post, I just have to say…we got snow last night!

first snow of the season

The reason I’m excited about this is because 1. It’s really pretty and 2. I know it isn’t going to stick around. I’m not really ready for permanent snow yet. It was kind of fun seeing that first thing this morning.

Anyway, I know Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away but if you’re anything like me, I go NUTS over Thanksgiving. We do the same thing almost every year. In the morning we participate in a 5K run/walk with a bunch of friends which is a blast, then we shower up and head over to either mine or Dana’s parents for a big Thanksgiving feast. Last year we actually hosted at our house and it went really well (minus the fact it took wayyyyyy too long to cook the turkey due to a fritzy oven), but I’m leaving it to the parents this year. 🙂

thanksgiving 2012

I love the intimacy of Thanksgiving; being with family, not stressing about presents, but just being together and enjoying each other’s company. It’s the best.

And don’t get me started on the food. Okay, get me started. I really want to talk about the food. Ever since I was little this has been on my top five of favorite meals. I only wish I could grow a second stomach just temporarily for the day so I could enjoy more of my favorite meal on the actual holiday. I know there’s always leftovers, but they aren’t the same.

My mom and I always discuss our Thanksgiving menu when the time rolls around and we joke about how I never want to deviate away from our standard spread. It’s just so darn good—why change a good thing?!

1. The turkey: my favorite part is the turkey breast.

thanksgiving turkey

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2. Mashed potatoes with gravy with some extra gravy over the turkey.

thanksgiving mashed potatoes

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3. Green bean casserole

thanksgiving green bean

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4. Stuffing

thanksgiving stuffing

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5. Whipped sweet potatoes

thanksgiving sweet potatoes

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6. Cranberries

thanksgiving cranberries

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7. Relish tray: pickles and olives (they are a must in our household!)

Thanksgiving olives

8. Some type of warm roll—I usually skip on this to save more room in my belly for other foods but the rolls are really good for leftover turkey sandwiches.

thanksgiving rolls

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9. Pie, usually pumpkin

thanksgiving pumpkin pie

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Don’t these lil babies look good?!

thanksgiving pumpkin

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For years, I would end Thanksgiving with a trip to my cousin Betsy’s house where we would get cozy in our sweats, eat leftover turkey sandwiches and watch White Christmas. It was always something I looked forward to to end out the wonderful loved one-filled day. This tradition still continues but I can’t always make it over there! I’m always there in spirit. 😉

The day after Thanksgiving Dana and I always go pick out our Christmas tree. I can’t believe in three weeks we will be putting a Christmas tree up in our house! Eeeeeee! I love this time of year.

My mouth is officially watering for some Thanksgiving food. Let the countdown begin to one of my favorite holidays!

Do you love Thanksgiving? Why?

What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods?

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?

One of My Favorite Meals

Thanksgiving 2012 was a success! 

The day started off with a pre-run breakfast of banana with peanut butter and cinnamon and a cup of coffee.

Then off to Hale to the Bird 5k for a gorgeous morning run. It was mid 50’s and absolutely perfect running weather. I ran my fastest 5k ever yesterday and am super pumped about it!

Photos courtesy of the beautiful Amanda 🙂

I was a co-sponsor of the event and Beautifully Nutty made it on the back of the shirts! I was a whole lotta excited about that!

After the race, Dana and I made our way home to get the turkey in the oven, look through the Black Friday ads, and have a couple of snacks to hold us over until dinner.

Dinner Time

Our guests arrived at 2:00 pm and we enjoyed delicious appetizers, drinks, and company. I also opened up birthday presents from my mom and dad and Kevin. Now my birthday is officially over. Bummer! I guess three weeks is long enough. 🙂

The turkey took a lot longer to cook than I expected (ahem 5 plus hours in the oven–are you kidding me?!), so when it finally came time to eat everyone was pretty darn hungry.

But you know what, it all worked out. Here is our lovely Thanksgiving meal…

Ta da! My very first turkey!

Cornbread stuffing, gluten-free (recipe to come!), and cheesy broccoli and cauliflower.

 

Mashed potatoes with a few lumps which is my FAVORITE. One big dog sitting by our feet while we ate just in case something were to drop. Sorry, no luck there pup.

 

My pretty plate. To the upper left of the photo is homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce often gets neglected. It was good though!

I cleaned my plate and then had two more bites of mashed potatoes before calling it quits. I wish I could temporarily grow a second stomach just for Thanksgiving so that I could eat a little bit more of this delicious meal. This is one of my favorite meals of all time.

Birthday Dessert

When dessert rolled around everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me and I blew out my birthday candles! I feel like my birthday is not complete until that song is sung. I love that my mom always harmonizes when she sings it.

 

For dessert I had a piece of mom’s homemade french silk pie (she made it gluten-free for me) and a small piece of pumpkin pie (minus the crust). Both were delectable!

With only a few minor set-backs during the meal preparation, I would say it was a very successful Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my family for keeping my stress level under control when things don’t go as planned.

Now it’s time to start thinking about eating up those leftovers! I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday and were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

Catch up with you all soon! xoxo