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The Little Things:: Like a HUGE dinner!

Happy “Coma day” friends! I hope you didn’t eat so much that you are still feeling it today! I know I kept it in moderation and was so proud of how differently I ate this year compared with Thanksgivings past! Hubs and I had a wonderful day full of little things that made it amazing!

We got up early and got everything ready and a cookin’! This jump of the gun led to us having “dinner” at about 1:30. We liked it better as Thanksgiving lunch (I was aiming for around 3-4, so we weren’t that early) and I think that is what helped our tummies not go to bed so full!

I love the smell of celery cooking! About to add the onion to complete for the stuffing addition!

While I let that sweat it our in the skillet, we were able to sit down and enjoy tradition we started a few years ago: Panera for breakfast! Talk about yummy:

Yummy cranberry walnut bagels with cranberry orange cream cheese ūüôā

We of coursed watched most of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade… before we realized our turkey was almost done!!

Back in 2009 we bought this roaster when we hosted Thanksgiving in our tiny little apartment and knew a turkey just would not fit in the oven. It produced the best turkey then, and this year was no different! Thank you Rival, for helping make Thanksgiving that much easier!

There of course were Naps::

My boys napping during the parade!

Then it was time to get ready for a delicious feast and celebrate all the things we have to be thankful for:

I knew the counter space in our dining room would eventually come in handy! Also, notice that awkward three dish buffet? Another thing to be incredibly thankful for! All our food stayed nice and warm!

Then the turkeys came out and cooled down! Yes, we went with two tiny turkeys, didn’t even eat one, and have plenty of leftovers! I was not juggling a huge turkey though!

Don't they look pretty on our Turkey Plate?

Of course, I was most thankful that the table was able to be set for two with our Thanksgiving plates that were in storage in VA last year, and our nice glasses! It was so special to share another Thanksgiving with my amazing husband!

This is one of the most beautiful things to be thankful for: Dinner with my husband!

Then of course we have our world class carver::

He is a Pro... for the most part!

The funniest thing to happen all day happened while he was carving away! You can kind of tell the electric carver is plugged in on the wall behind¬†him. All of a sudden it stopped working and Hubs said “That’s awkward!! It must have overheated!” All I could think of is “Well, why don’t you use a regular knife? It’s a five-pound turkey for heaven’s sake!” We bantered back and forth and then at the same time realized and said “Oh, it’s unplugged! Problem fixed!

Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without dessert! We went the cobbler route::

Deliciousness in a bowl!

I hope you enjoyed your day, friends: wherever you are and whoever you were with! I’m off for breakfast with my love (which will consist of cookies in the kitchen) followed by Pilates and DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS!

Follow me on instagram¬†(TheYoungRetiree) to see it all go down live ūüôā Have a happy weekend! Don’t forget about 30% off in my shop until 11pm tonight with “BLACKFRI30” then 25% tomorrow with “THANKS25”!


Thanksgiving 2011 :: So Very Much To Be Thankful For

Most of you will not be reading this on Thanksgiving, as you will be spending time with your loved ones, cooking up a storm, and of course watching those NYC Rockettes on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade! It is so important that we pause and remember all of the things we are thankful for in our lives on this busy day, during this busy season, and of course throughout the entire year. So often we get caught up and we forget what is really important.

The day becomes about baking the right pies and if we’ve having corn or carrots (both of which are high in sugar and should be eaten as a vegetable in moderation!) and if we are stuffing the bird or just baking the dressing separately. We are so caught up in the sales ads in the paper and getting ready to leave the house by 9 to get in line at the doors of our favorite stores.

This year, my heart is so heavy and calling to mind all of those things I have to be thankful for is what gets me through. There are a million reasons to complain::

  • deployment looms over our heads and every second can so easily become one second closer to D-Day instead of one more precious second with my Prince Charming.
  • We have sparse decorations and I am neither crafty or wealthy enough to decorate the way I want. It is hard to remember we’ve been “together” less than a year, and as Newlyweds nobody has every decoration they ever wanted! As we break our our Christmas Decorations though we will discover we have more than some folks married 15 years have and the spirit will fill our house!
  • We are away from family and my heart aches to be with them… they are with me in spirit though, even though we shall sit at a table for two.

There are a million reasons to be thankful::

  • Our health! We both have good health and that is certainly not something to take lightly.
  • Our Family! It might be just the two of us right now and our three furbabies, but it is our little family and we are always there for each other.
  • A roof over our heads: we are blessed with a house big enough for our love!
  • Food in our bellies: we will dine this afternoon on quite the feast! (and then again tomorrow… and then again on Saturday!)
  • Creativity: I have found such joy working in my shop! The process of coming into my little space and creating something is amazing. I can’t wait to grow my supply¬†inventory and learn some new techniques!
  • The love we have for each other! I have an amazing husband who takes me for all the good and all the crazy. Who could ask for anything more?

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! What are you thankful for?

You Jive Turkey!

Friends: can you believe Thanksgiving is only a week away? Well, a week and a day! Where does the time go?!? Today I blogged over on Happy Homefront and shared a mashed potato recipe that just might save your sanity next Thursday! I would love it if you were to head over there and read it and perhaps shared it with your friends! You know you want to!

Also, follow me over on pinterest and particularly my “Jive Turkey” board for any of your last-minute goodies!

Dinner for …? :: PCS Gems

It was the summer of 2009 when Hubs and I pranced around Bed, Bath & Beyond¬†equipped with the magical scan gun that placed every item we wanted onto our wedding registry! I wish I could link it to you without giving away my personal information, but alas, I can’t. Take my word for it though, it’s a doozy! Apparently I thought we¬†were the Gatsby’s and would be hosting these lavish parties with tons of people. It’s awkward since we’ve been without¬†our HHGs for so long, and married going on two years, to just be getting all of our wedding gifts! We¬†obviously have not been hosting lavish parties and won’t be for the next year. It’s hard to remind myself that one day we just might have to have ten people over for dinner and I will be more than pleased with our 12 place settings of our autumn dishes. Yes, our autumn dishes.

12 dinner plates and 12 salad plates. We only got 4 bowls.

We went a little crazy in the fall of 2009 when we were hosting Thanksgiving in our tiny apartment before we moved away. We got some gorgeous plates at Target… and we liked them so much we went and got 12 dinner plates and 12 salad plates just knowing one day we would have a house full of people for Thanksgiving! I am slightly regretting this decision as I try to find cabinet space for them all! Not only do we have these, but we have our “everyday” plates (which we scaled down and only have a set of 6:: dinner plates and salad plates and only three bowls. I guess I need to finish the set.), we have our Christmas dishes (set of 8:: dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, and mugs) we have our budding china set (set of 6 from the 12 we registered for:: dinner plates, salad plates, bowls. We also have 4 pasta bowls from the 12 we registered for and a few serving bowls. Finishing our China set is on my deployment shopping list!) we have “summer” plates (set of 6 smaller salad plates we use for everyday dining on the patio in the summer as well as several various sized platters for the grill).

I think it’s safe to say we know a certain gal who enjoys mixing up her table settings. Am I the only one? I also have Christmas china back at Nan’s house! Where in the world did I think we would be storing all of these place settings? Oh, and don’t get me started on the glasses! That’s a whole new post of its own!

How do you protect your precious dinnerware collection in moves? I wrapped every plate in bubble wrap myself and placed in small boxes and our china was still in the boxes from the store. The next time we move, nothing will be in their boxes! Do you buy those containers to keep your dinnerware in, trust the packers, or do it yourself?

Advent :: How Pinteresting!

As we approach the middle of November and prepare ourselves for the feast of Thanksgiving, I am getting ready to begin traditions with my Husband! We missed our first Christmas as husband and wife and this year I am working really hard to make the most out of the holidays since we get to spend them together! First and foremost we are going to start an Advent tradition!

Pretty Packages!

I found this wandering around on pinterest and have decided we are going to make something similar this year! What a fun weekend project! We are headed to Michaels¬†or Lowe’s today to maybe get a board to paint and decorate! clothespins are an easy find at the Dollar Store and we can paint those with craft glue too! I’m thinking this will be the perfect piece to hang over our fireplace!

We also have set a budget of $100 per person. I wanted to go with $50- that’s $2 a gift on average. Hubs was not at all feeling that challenge and wanted it increased. Fine, on average you get $4 a day for cute little gifts! Every day in december we get to open one and spend a little quality time with each other celebrating. I think the fun part will be shopping for each other and really finding things that speak to each of us. I already have a few thoughts in mind for things I’m going to make him! Sneaky, sneaky!

The most fun will be making these this year, and having them for years to come to celebrate the season! It is also killing me to wait until the 25th of November to place out my Nativity! It was a wedding gift from Nan and we have yet to enjoy it!

I know we’re still celebrating Thanksgiving, but we’re preparing ourselves for Christmas too!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

A Turkey.

Image via Wikipedia

That is correct, today I am celebrating Thanksgiving with Nan and Hubs… and we’ll see if anyone else shows up. Last year was such a sad Thanksgiving and I know this year will be to. Moving away from family and being far enough that you can’t travel all the time takes a toll on me. I was most looking forward to this day in our trip!

We got up bright and early (7:30!) and got to work on our bird! Of course nobody in the family bothered to call and say they were coming, so who knows how many mouths we have to feed! We got a big ol’ 24 pounder, so I think Nan will be eating turkey for months! I definitely plan on having my fill because it is smelling delicious and has only been cooking an hour!

We aren’t going all out… just the turkey and stuffing, then mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and corn. Oh, and gravy! No casseroles, no pies, no snack trays out all day to nibble on. I have to be honest though-¬†I don’t like casseroles or pies, and what we’re making is my dream¬†Thanksgiving dinner. I only just now remembered Hubs like cranberry sauce! I guess I’m taking off my Forever Lazy snuggie and heading out to get some! Do they even sell that year round? (Nan has assured me they do!)

Sure, there is no Macy’s Parade either, but I guess in another month, while we eat pizza rolls and sip coke we can hang out and watch the parade, and that would be ok! I wonder if they play it super early and live in California, or pre-recorded and not until regular time… there’s something to look forward to!

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend, friends! If I can get into my gmail¬†account, I have a VERY awesome post coming to you tomorrow on a beautiful etsy shop! You don’t want to miss it!

Mama, I’m Comin Home*

Posted on

Autumn brings with it bountiful harvests and a time for thanksgiving. Last year, Hubs and I sat in a barely furnished house with no Macy’s Parade of football while¬†one of those (soon to be discovered by us, DISGUSTING)¬†processed turkey breast baked away in the oven. It was depressing and all I wanted to do was cry. We were celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one weekend as deployment was days away. Military life finally made me realize how I missed my family, however dysfunctional they are. Oh, and trust me: you couldn’t script the crazy my family is.

When I knew we would be going home (home, home) this autumn I knew it was going to be a whirlwind! We’re meeting the movers, packing our stuff and heading back home (to California home). I knew the one thing I wanted was to celebrate the family I hadn’t seen in a year and that¬†I might not see for the next two years! I planned a fun “feast of Thanksgiving” for the Sunday we’ll be in town. Then the question arose: since it’s a family gathering, do I invite my mother? The mother whom I haven’t spoken to since around November 2009? The mother who I was made to invite to my wedding, and who didn’t even bring a card? (I know it’s petty that I hold onto that, and I own that, but I mean: who goes to an event such as a wedding and doesn’t even take or send a card?)

I e-mailed Dr. J (my life coach, not the famous basketball player) and outlined the three possibilities

  1. I do not send her an invitation. She catches word that there was a family event she was excluded from, but I’m already gone and she takes it out on my grandmother (since it will be at Nan’s house).
  2. I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” by having the audacity to invite her out of the blue. She thinks she is being spiteful and doesn’t come. (this is the best case scenario in my book)
  3. I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” but actually comes (out of spite, because she is hateful) and I have to slap a smile on and play it cool. (this is the worst case scenario in my book)

Dr. J called me this morning and we talked about it. After much prayer and discussion with both Nan and him, we came to a conclusion. I send her the invitation, fly into the freak show that is my family (Hubs calls it a war zone and I think he would take a year in A-Stan over a three-hour family get-together with my mother in attendance, true story, no exaggeration.) and let the pieces fall where they may. I do not own their reactions because quite frankly, when it comes to my family, there is no right.

The adorable invitation/notes sent out to family asking them to join us! Oh yeah, I use the very things I sell!

¬†I’m not going to lie: her “note” is a little snarky and more to inform her it is happening than to invite her to join in. I’m trying God, I’m trying, just not hard enough when it comes to the woman who has hurt me for the last 27 years of my life. (Well, 27 years as of next week! Man, I’m getting old!)

Next step is to work out a survival strategy in the event she actually shows her face. If you are reading this thinking “what in the world is that girl’s problem?” think of it like this: my mother is worse than the worst mother-in-law horror story you have¬†ever heard. I’ll be sure to share how it goes down and my survival strategy with you all once Dr. J and I come up with it!

How do you handle those horrific family members or in-laws? I am not looking forward to being home with my family. I am only very, very, very excited to be home with Nan!

Oh, and I thought I would make this my song of the week for Amber’s link up!

“Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m comin home
Times go by, seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I’m comin home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized, yeah
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can’t stand to say goodbye
Mama, I’m comin home
I could be right, I could be wrong
It hurts so bad it’s been so long
Mama, I’m comin home”

I’m gearing up and am ready for the inevitable emotional journey that will be going home this time.

*Oh, you didn’t think I was an Ozzy type of gal, huh? Well, I am!