Renewed Thriftiness and Thankfulness

Hello Friends!

How are you all doing? Did you survive Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday?? I try to get a lot or most of my Christmas shopping done that weekend to spend more time enjoying the holiday season, but I still have six gifts left to purchase; which is not too bad out of 22 people we (me and hubs) have on our gift list this year. I am so blessed with a wonderful family and great friends that I am happy to be out shopping for them.

Although my thanksgiving was less than ideal (see my “Thanksgiving Debacle” post) I am still very thankful for time with my family (husband, children, grandchildren) and to have days off from work. It was a much needed break.

In pondering thankfulness, I want to focus my next month of posts (from now until Christmas) on styling clothing items I already have, instead of new items. I think this thankfulness will challenge me to be creative with the clothing I have and push me to think more outside the box in using my older items! Think: Shop Your Closet!

So let the days of thriftiness and thanksgiving begin!! Join me if you would like; comment how you will be participating in my special thankfulness leading up to Christmas!

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Thanksgiving Debacle

Hello friends!

I’ve recovered from thanksgiving (I wasn’t planning on needing to recover so it took a whole day) and I thought I would share 😉

I decided previous to thanksgiving that I’ve baked for enough years that I would like to relax a bit. So I did some searching online and found a local store (Smiths or Kroger- yes I’m throwing them under the bus) that offered a full thanksgiving meal: large turkey with all the fixings for $80 which is less than we normally spend on a big family meal like this.

I ordered our meal to be picked up on thanksgiving day at 11am and the website said I would only need to reheat the food. Sounded good to me.

So yesterday morning as I was having the most relaxing thanksgiving on record, hubs went to pick up the food. He returned about 30 minutes later: “I don’t think this is what you had in mind” are the first words out of his mouth. I had a positive attitude and unwrapped his boxes which included a cold bloody turkey, fresh green beans, cartons of cream, pats of butter, a loaf of bread (A LOAF OF BREAD???- if you’ve ever done any baking before- you KNOW a person does not make stuffing with a fresh loaf of bread without some serious time and effort!) sliced mushrooms, onions, sealed packages of potatoes, sealed packages of sautéed vegetables, and thankfully there was a cooked pumpkin pie and a package of fresh rolls. These are accompanied by recipe cards!! Whaaaaaat?? (Actually the stuffing ingredients did NOT have a recipe- WTF!)

I have 15 people coming over for dinner at 1 and a freakin cold turkey and several entrees that need to actually be prepared! Friends I almost popped a gasket! Not to mention cooking a dinner at the last minute and a kitchen full of dishes/pans with everything cooking as I have guests/family and everyone hungry. (This is not my usual manner of a big fancy important dinner-traditionally 😂)

So it takes 3 hours to heat up the bird and we have hungry children- as we’re cooking we are also popping frozen pizzas in the other oven- which is crazy cause in only an hour the dinner is done but everyone’s already ate frozen pizza so don’t have a big appetite for a huge turkey dinner. You can imagine my distress? The website I ordered from never suggested “hours” or “recipes” or “time to prepare dishes before serving”😂🤣 this is the craziest thanksgiving I have ever ever ever experienced.

Hopefully it never happens again. But I was reminded-no one in my family likes turkey! Is it really the holidays without a bit of drama and comedy??

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Fun

Hello Friends! How was your Thanksgiving?? I hope everyone enjoyed their day! Hubs and I had day off. Seriously it was lovely, just the best day ever! Well until today and then today is wonderful! And can you believe the weather here in Utah?? Oh my goodness, yesterday and today are above 60 today. No need to wear coats while Black Friday shopping 🙂

So we went to Zermatt Resort and Spa for Thanksgiving dinner and the drive up Provo Canyon was beautiful, although it feels like September and not the end of November. We had a wonderful dinner, the turkey was tender and tasty. I tried three different desserts and my favorite was a chocolate mousse type of thing, it didn’t have a label but was very pretty and so I took a picture of it before I took the second bite. I believe it is covered with chocolate ganache, it was very rich.

Then we came home and relaxed until family came for snacks and crafts! We really had a lot of fun! My sister and her husband came and she brought a hot spinach dip and her craft is a snowman made out of glass bowls. Oh my goodness, it turned out so cute (my niece made one exactly the same last year, it was very cute too). My daughter in law and I made large colored (soccer size) balls into outdoor ornaments with cute tin pails as the top of the ornaments. (My treat was white chocolate covered popcorn, white chocolate pecan caramel maple fudge (in my previous blog) and paleo coconut oil fudge). My daughter modge podged glitter onto styrafoam balls and cones for decor’ for her new home (She is recently married and enjoying decorating her own home).  Two of my nieces are working on a special layered t shirt project that they did not finish last night and my other niece has a project but chasing her two little ones kept her from getting it out (she brought a cranberry-jalapeno cream cheese dip and crackers).

After completing our crafts and sampling all the treats it was getting near 9pm and we discovered that Ulta and Old Navy were open! Hmmm what to do??? We were dressed and awake with a Christmas list that needed checking; it sounded like a good idea to head out now instead of getting up early and going shopping. (You know there’s no way I’m getting up that early if I don’t have to work…interestingly enough I did wake up at 7am anyway-who knows why, I hadn’t near enough sleep)

So myself, hubs, daughter and her hubs (my sister went to the Ulta closer to her home, probably a good decision as we got back around midnight) headed out to brave the 5,000 other women at Ulta! Ok there weren’t 5,000 but it seemed as if! I got some great deals there for the cuties on my list and then we found out that Old Navy was open til like 3am (we thought they closed before we got there) and we hit Old Navy too, 50% off man! So at midnight last night I had about 1/2 my Christmas shopping done which is real nice because then I can spend all of December just enjoying the season, putting up Christmas décor, visiting friends, making treats and taking them out and focusing on the reason for Christmas- The Birth of Jesus Christ. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas as we all enter this wonderful time of year. I hope you and yours are well and safe.

Traditions New and Old to be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

I thought I’d take this time to share some of my Thanksgiving traditions.

Usually my sister Michelle and I get together with all our children/grandchildren and have a big dinner. Each of us has different dishes that we make and some that we’ve perfected. I usually do pies and rolls. I use my mom’s buttermilk rolls recipe which is just to die for! I’ll add it here at the end of my post. I also make a mean apple pie which my husband loves. Both of these dishes are out of bounds now for me because for the last two Thanksgiving’s I’ve been gluten free. I have an autoimmune disease that gluten consumption appears to exasperate, so I do not consume anymore. Sad day. One night I had a dream that I ate a roll….I have a long and colorful family history surrounding bread. My family are big bread eaters. When in high school, every Saturday morning I made eight loaves of bread. Boy there was a wonderful smell in our house, I love the end of freshly made loaf of bread slathered with butter (good thing I’m not hungry now, I would be hungry and sad). There’s nothing like homemade bread or rolls 🙂 So…no rolls this year or big dinner with the family BUT we are starting a new tradition.

Hubs and I are going out to dinner at a resort, but I’ve already  blogged about that right?

So I’ll tell you about our other traditions afterward.

We always have some sort of craft every Thanksgiving after the big dinner. This year myself, daughter, and daughter in law have planned (from Pinterest of course) styrafoam balls covered in glitter (décor), cones decorated in glitter to resemble trees, and large rubber balls (red, green-my colors purple,pink-daughter in law colors) with tin buckets glued on top with the handle flipped up to hang as ornaments on our front porch. I’m super excited to do the crafting and have been scouring the local Hobby Lobby, Target, ToysRUs, and Walmart to find all of the crafty materials we need for our projects. I will add pictures on here afterwards to show all our glittery, creative fun!

You might already know that one cannot craft without snacking. I think it’s a rule? Well it’s a tradition for us! LOL Since we aren’t having a big dinner together, we are all bringing some sort of fun snack to keep us going throughout the evening. I will be making my coconut oil fudge (Pinterest find) and a regular fudge for the non GF SF crowd, along with a white chocolate covered popcorn. Seriously doesn’t that sound heavenly?? One year for Christmas I made about seven batches of fudge to distribute as neighbor gifts, and let me tell you in all honesty these fudge recipes are the best ever. I’m adding all my special recipes below.

In closing, I’m very thankful for my wonderful family and great friends. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving.

Paleo Coconut Oil Fudge (Pinterest)

1/2 cup melted Coconut Oil

1/2 cup creamy almond butter

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/8 tsp sea salt

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or line a muffin pan with muffin cups. In a small pan, combine coconut oil, cacao, almond butter, maple syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat and whisk until smooth. It does not need to boil or come to a certain temperature. As soon as it’s smooth, pour itno prepared pan. Place in fridge and let set for at least 2 hours. Store in fridge or freezer.

Maple Pecan Caramel White Chocolate Fudge

3 cups white chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup butter

2-3 tsp maple flavoring

1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted & chopped

1/4 cup Kraft caramels, chopped fine

Directions

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and then spray lightly with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over low to med/low heat, stir the white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the maple flavoring, pecans, and caramel. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in fridge until firm enough to cut, at least an hour. Use the parchment paper to lift the fudge out of the pan so it is easier to cut.

Buttermilk Raised Rolls (family recipe)

Dissolve 2 Tbls yeast in 2 cup warm buttermilk (not hot, not cold). Add 1/3 cup sugar and let set a few minutes. Then add: 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 tsp soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 beaten eggs. Blend lightly then add enough flour to make a soft dough (you can tell by the feel of the dough- not sticking to your fingers but not stiff/dry with flour). Shape and put in baking pans, rise for about an hour until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes and enjoy.

The Big Week

Happy Thanksgiving Week my friends!
I thought I’d write to help prepare you all for Thanksgiving and Black Friday fashion. Yes there is such a thing as Black Friday Fashion! You know how you get up early to catch smoking deals and it’s 25 degrees so you bundle up and then get in the malls and it’s 95 degrees, there are hundreds of people and you wish you were wearing shorts?? Yes this is what I’m speaking about.
Things start out on Thanksgiving of course; I’m usually up cooking a storm and only at the last hour or so get to relax, so I normally wear a cozy sweater or sweatshirt and jeans while most of the time wearing one of my many full coverage aprons! You never know what might spill, sizzle, or flip on your clothes and I want my clothes to last forever! LOL But this year is different and by different I mean it’s a new tradition. Most of our adult children are married and have in laws who live in our same area. Yes Connor, I know you aren’t married, although I don’t think you will be awake for Thanksgiving 😉 My son Connor works grave yard shift.
Earlier this fall, my sister Michelle and I were talking about Thanksgiving and usually we get together, but this year it is her husband’s family’s turn to gather, so I found myself in an odd predicament. It’s difficult to expect married children to be with us for the whole day when they have other family close by and I didn’t want to cook a big dinner for me and the hubs so I thought we would go out for Thanksgiving dinner. There are many restaurants/resorts nearby that do a big shindig for Thanksgiving and it sounded like fun to try that out! Me and Hubs are going to dinner up beautiful Provo Canyon to Zermatt in Midway and then that evening our children are coming to have snacks, football, and a Christmas craft. I think that will be a lot of fun and to me sounds more relaxing than cooking for a couple days and doing dishes for hours. Doing dishes is not my favorite holiday tradition FYI….
Since I’m not cooking and cleaning up a storm, you guessed it, I can wear something fun for Thanksgiving. I’m planning on wearing my “Amore” Old Navy sweater, with my curvy Old Navy jeans (dark wash), and my gorgeous new heels from JCPenney! I’m super pumped about being able to dress up a little bit and kick back. Remember fashion really feeds my soul and getting dressed up for a holiday and going somewhere is super fun and makes me think of Cinderella getting dressed up for the ball! I’m a fairy tale girl at heart!
Then the hard work (?) of Black Friday! Don’t be scared, here is what I’ve learned: Take a coat in the car just in case but don’t wear your coat into the mall/Target/Walmart/Costco/BedBathandBeyond/BathandBodyWorks etc… Leave your coat in the car (I know that sounds counter productive, but it’s gonna be warm in most places because of all the people, you will only need your coat in the car and maybe not that cause I think we all have heated cars!) LOL I usually wear a sweater or sweatshirt with some jeans or joggers and comfortable shoes or boots depending if we have snow on the ground. Even a vest would be better than a coat if your climate is super cold, but it’s always super heated in stores (more ways than one right? I’ve never seen anyone get angry on Black Friday, but I typically am not up at 4am either. Maybe the people that get angry are just hungry and tired? I’ve usually got eight hours of sleep AND breakfast, so I’m pretty cheery 😉 Remember to eat before heading out IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP! LOLOL
I’ll be heading out with the hubs and we have really so much fun he and I. It’s the only time of year that he will shop with me (he’s not a big shopper) and we have fun going from place to place and planning our Christmas. We usually make a list ahead of time and only buy the things on our list if they happen to be included in the big sale. We’ll grab some lunch somewhere and it will be a fun day listening to Christmas music and feeling the fun of shopping for our loved ones 🙂 Just remember to be prepared to say hello to many people! Try to smile? (I wonder if I took snacks if that would cheer people up?)