3 Christmas Traditions to Celebrate with your Husband

It’s Christmas time. Snow is falling, Holiday Music is playing all around us, and we’re all out shopping for the perfect gift (or thinking about what to get that certain someone). It can be such a fun time of year even through all the stress that the lack of sun and more spending gets us. It’s also a time of traditions. Think about it, I bet you can think of at least one thing your family does every single year. I always look forward to traditions so I thought it would be fun to come up with a short list of traditions that you and your husband can share together. Me and my husband have a few that we love to do this time of year that leaves us extra excited for this time of year so I couldn’t wait to share some ideas that you guys can start up with your husband. These idea’s can also be traditions you share with someone else, or maybe even a group of people, but some things are nice to keep between you and hubby! :)

1.) Watch your favorite Christmas Movie every year on Christmas Eve: This one is simple but yet so enjoyable. Every year my Husband and I watch Arthur Christmas on Christmas Eve while we snuggle up and sip on some cocoa. It gets you relaxed and excited for the next morning. In our case it provides lots of laughter. Arthur Christmas is hilarious. This time of year has tons and tons and tons of Christmas movies playing. AMC plays quite a few and let’s not forget ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas that plays classic Christmas movies along with the modern ones. If you have DVR I suggest recording your favorites- or all of them- and watch them on and off all month long, saving your favorite for Christmas Eve of course. It’ll get you in the Christmas Spirit all month long. I also like watching The Great Light Fight on ABC.

2.) Cookie Night: How often does your husband join you in the kitchen? If he doesn’t often you will especially enjoy this one. My husband doesn’t get to join me much so when he does I treasure our cooking adventures together. Spend a night in the kitchen with your hubby cooking up some yummy cookies. You can make one kind or a few different ones. If you make some sugar or gingerbread cookies, you can expand the fun and decorate them. I promise spending a night baking cookies will produce many smiles, not to mention the happiness you’ll get chowing down on some fresh baked cookies afterwards. Oh, and don’t forget the milk! :)

3.) Decorate Christmas Mugs for each other: or for yourself. It’s really easy and you don’t have to be creative for this project. This one is especially sentimental because you’ll have mugs or the rest of your lives made from each other. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Buy a blank white mugs that leaves you room to decorate. You can usually find them at the dollar store for $1.
  2. Wipe the mugs down with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
  3. Take some sharpies  in whatever color you want and go to town drawing and doodling on your mug. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want.
  4. Let the Mug sit around for 1-2 days (2 is best) so the sharpie ink can dry.
  5. Put the mugs into a cold oven and bake on 425 for 20 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven off and allow them to cool inside of the oven.

Wah lah! Don’t forget to put the date on the bottom, that way you can always remember which Christmas you made these. You can wash them in the dishwasher but I prefer to hand wash most of the time.

The holiday’s can be both magical and stressful. Little traditions like these make them all the more merry.

What are some traditions you have with your husband? Share below! :)

My Testimony: God’s Healing Hands

If you’re religious, you know that God is the ultimate healer. By no means in this post am I under minding Doctors. I think God lead many people to become Doctors to help heal his people. I know several doctors have helped me many, many times in my life. From Surgeries to Allergy Shots, I’ve always visited the doctor when I felt less than perfect or something was up. Which is why I went to the doctor almost 2 weeks ago, and this leads me into my testimony.

About a month ago, I went to my allergist for a yearly check up and was diagnosed with Bronchitis while I was there. I had been coughing severely and had felt “out of it.” I felt disconnected from everything and everyone. Kind of like when you get so tired you can’t process anything. I wasn’t exactly tired constantly but I was getting winded easily so I just thought I felt that way because I was sick. As time went on and I got better, the “out of it” feeling never went away. In fact it became worse. As it became worse, I also began to be depressed. I had no reason to be upset, I am very blessed. Yet I still felt extremely upset and continued to disconnect. Then I had became anxious, depressed, and apathetic. I couldn’t take in any information. Everything went in one ear and out the other. I felt no emotions. Just numb. Since I never feel this way it began to frighten me. I was so uncomfortable feeling that way, I felt out of control of my own emotions and I wanted it to stop. As I thought about how I felt, the worse I felt. I spent a few nights just crying to my loving, patient husband about how I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. He told me to go see my doctor first thing Monday. He knew this wasn’t me and something was going on.

Monday morning I headed to my Doctor’s office feeling some what relieved because I knew she could help me figure out what was going on with my body and get me on the road to recovery. As I talked to my doctor about my past month she came to the conclusion that she thought my menstrual cycle may be to blame. I believed her. I had switched from an IUD to the birth control pill a few months ago and this was the first time in years that I had gotten a menstrual cycle. She told me to keep a mood log and come back to see her in 6 weeks to check in and see if my symptoms went away and came back around that time of the month, then we know the issue and she would change my birth control to a different hormone dosage. She gave me something to help my emotions out in the mean time.

I’ve always prayed and followed God my entire life. I may not attend church weekly but I pray a few times a day and try my hardest to follow what he wants from me. I love God and know that he can get you through anything. Before I saw my doctor, I prayed about it, fasted, and tried my hardest to just give it to him and let it go. This did not change even after I spoke to my doctor. In fact, it increased. My mood was not changing regardless of the medicine and the time that had passed since my monthly friend had left. I continued to seek God’s comfort more and more, it reigns over any medication out there. I asked my mother how she knew the difference between when God was speaking to her and when you may just be imagining what you would like God to say to you. She told me she would pray over her bible and ask God to guide her to the message he wanted her to read. I took her advice and did the same. The first time I did, he sent me to Corinthians and had me read about having faith. During this time, I kept my faith regardless in the change of how I felt. I kept praying and kept telling myself that God would get me through even in those moments when I was afraid that my feelings may not ever go away.

The second time is what really opened my eyes to God’s power. I prayed over the bible, I asked him to guide me to the right scripture, just as I had the first time. But then I felt the urge to Google my Birth Control, Orsythia (generic for Alesse). I wasn’t sure why but I felt that I should. So I did. I spent the next hour reading about women who felt the same way I had been feeling that had been taking the same birth control I had been. I googled the side effects and sure enough, Depression was a common one. It all made sense. That was the first month my birth control had completely made its way into my system so naturally if I were going to feel Side Effects it would have happened around then. I then read about women who stopped taking their pills and how after some time their natural hormones took over instead of the synthetic hormones that are in birth control, and they had felt like themselves again. I then made the decision to throw away my pack. I was only 2 pills in which was an ok time to discontinue them (Doctors say as long as you don’t stop in the middle of a pack, it’s ok.)

The next day I called my doctor and told her nurse about how I hadn’t felt better and that I no longer was taking my birth control and how after only a day I was feeling a little better. She told me she would send my doctor the message and get back to me. 2 days went by since I had stopped my birth control and each day I felt the fog I had been feeling lift a little more each day. The nurse called me back and told me not to discontinue use- regardless of how I felt- and to just try a new birth control that my doctor had called in for me. I hung up feeling disappointed. I had began to see a change, as small as it was, it was a change that I hadn’t felt in weeks. I didn’t want to jump back into the birth control boat and risk the chance of feeling like I had been. I wanted to keep letting the hormones work their way out so I could feel like myself as soon as possible. If I tried a new one, I would just have to stop those and start my progress all over again. So I prayed about it and called my Gynocologist (the doctor who prescribed me my birth control) for a second opinion and she said it was perfectly fine for me to stop if it were making me feel bad and there is no reason to continue taking hormonal birth control if I had a back up plan to prevent pregnancy. I had all that so I felt even more confident about my choice to stop usage of my birth control.

It has now been almost a week since I stopped my birth control and each day I feel more and more like myself. I only have bad moments now if I stop and think about how I had felt. It will take time for the hormones to leave my body and for my body to adjust back to it’s normal self after years of constant hormonal birth control flowing through my system but I am getting there. Before I didn’t know when I would feel better, or if I would. I stopped my pill on Thanksgiving day and weighed yesterday. I had lost 3 pounds. After all the crazy non-stop eating, I had lost 3 pounds just from dropping my birth control. My hair also stopped falling out. My birth control was effecting me in many ways that I didn’t even realize. When I visit my doctor again in 6 weeks, I will have to stand up and explain to her that even though she wanted me to try another, I had to do what I felt was right for my body.

I am incredibly thankful for God. Had he not lead me to look up my Birth Control, I would still be on it, waiting to feel better from a Side Effect that could have stayed in my body as long as I remained on the pill. He heard my prayers and answered them. I still pray to him for strength while I wait for my body to balance itself out and he continues to help me. The best thing we can ever do in any situation, regardless of what others may say, is to pray to God and let him lead you. He will never steer you wrong.

This experience has opened my eyes and made me see that God hears us, all of us, and he will bring us through whatever we may be feeling. It has also taught me to re-evaluate and become more conscious about what I put into my body. I stopped the birth control, I have laid off caffeine, and eliminated anything with Aspartame. I continue to exercise daily and do yoga every night along with meditation and prayer and journaling. I am working on replacing junk food for whole foods and other dietary changes. All of these things help control anxiety and depression. There is so much stuff…stuff you wouldn’t even expect..that can flare up anxiety, depression, along with many other health issues. I’m not the type of person who is obsessed with organic foods, working out like crazy, and against everything that isn’t natural. I know I am human and will want to enjoy junk foods from time to time and will need medicine for other things. I am simply a person who didn’t think twice about what she put into her body. I never worried about side effects. I never thought that too much caffeine would make me feel bad or that too much junk food could hurt me in more ways than just weight gain. Now I do think twice. If we don’t take care of our own bodies, who will?

I encourage all of you to try and be more conscious of what you put into your body and to always lean on God for everything. He will guide you in every choice you make and help you see things you would have never even bothered to look at before.

Please feel free to re-blog this and/or share this. There may be someone who is feeling how I felt without an answer. If it weren’t for God leading me to other women’s stories, I would have never found what was causing me so much distress.

EVERYTHING Turkey

Thanksgiving is now 8 days away! I’m so excited for it to arrive. I love cooking for my family and I am ready to have my husband off of work for 4 whole days. When you think of Thanksgiving, we all have different memories but most of us picture a Turkey some where in the background. For those of you who may be making the Turkey for the first time this year or those of you who just want to brush up on some Turkey knowledge, I am going to break down everything you need to know about the famous Thanksgiving mascot.

So, before you go to the store…let’s talk about the different kinds of Turkey.

There are actually more kinds of Turkey than you would expect. When I first started my Turkey journey I just thought there were maybe like 2 kinds tops, but no. You actually have quite a few options. Which is a good thing. So many different families have different lifestyles, allergies, expectations, etc…So let’s take a look at the options you have as far as Turkeys go.

Fresh or Frozen:

I put both of these together because no matter what Turkey you get, you’ll be looking at which of these you prefer. It is kind of self explanatory but it is something to consider.

Fresh Turkey is obviously not Frozen and is already thawed. I suggest buying a Fresh turkey just a couple of days before Thanksgiving so it doesn’t sit too long.

A Frozen Turkey is just that, Frozen. It will last up to 1 year in your freezer. So if you are buying your turkey any more than 1-2 days before Thanksgiving, I suggest getting a Frozen one. Just be sure to give it plenty of time to thaw. Thawing Time is 1 day per 4 pounds.

Young Turkey: This is probably the most common turkey you will see at the store.These turkeys range from 4-7 months old. The meat is very tender and typically the preference of most families. I am serving a young turkey this year.

Organic Turkey: Organic Turkeys are only fed Organic Food. So if your family is organic conscious this would be the way to go. Be warned though, Organic Turkeys do tend to cost quite a bit more than your average turkey. But if Organic is your preference, then I imagine it is worth it. On The Chew yesterday Michael Symon said Organic Turkeys tend to have more white meat than dark and that is the reason he buys organic. So that may also be something to keep in mind.

Free Range: Free Range Turkeys are just like anything else free range. They spend at least half of their life (the USDA says 51% of their lives) roaming outdoors, instead of a tight enclosure. Free Range Turkeys aren’t always Organic, so be sure to check the label and make sure it is if you want a Free Range AND Organic Turkey. They too also tend to cost a bit more than the average turkey.

Kosher: Kosher Turkeys are Turkeys that have been dealt with in accordance to Jewish Law. Kosher Turkeys are already pre-seasoned so if you wanted an unseasoned turkey to season yourself, you may want to skip over buying a Kosher turkey. Even though I have heard they are amazingly delicious.

Natural: Natural Turkeys have not been seasoned and have no color added to them. This doesn’t mean they don’t have other additives though so check the ingredient list.

Basting and Brining

When it comes to Basting and Brining, it always comes down to your own preference. Some people don’t baste or brine, some people do one or the other, some people do both. It all comes down to what your family likes. For those of you interested in basting and brining, let’s take a look at what both mean and different ways to do them.

Brining

Wet Brining

Brining is to soak your turkey in a solution before cooking it, in order to add moisture and flavor to your Turkey. Every basic wet brine contains water, salt, and sugar, and then you can add whatever seasonings you like. There a million recipes online for great brines. I recently saw Mario Batali create a coffee based Brine, yum! You can get really creative when it comes to your brine and they are really customizable.

When it comes to how long to brine your Turkey, I would follow the instructions that are suggested by the brine recipe you choose. It all comes down to the strength of the brine. It is usually better to under brine than over brine if you ever feel weary about what a recipe suggests, but typically the recipe creator knows the perfect amount of time because they have personally tested it themselves.

When brining, get something large enough to hold your turkey and enough brine that covers every inch of your turkey. That may be a pot or even a plastic tote. Whatever you use, just make sure your turkey is fully covered in the brine.

Try your best to fit it in your fridge to soak. If you can’t, you can use ice and a cooler or if it is cold enough outside and you have a safe place to put it, and a way to cover it, you could even do that. Just make sure your solution stays at, at least 40 degrees.

Dry Brining

Recently dry brining has become popular. With a dry brine, you just have a mixture of salt and whatever spices you like, and for a period of over 2-3 days, you massage the seasoning under and around the skin. There are plenty of recipes for this online too.

When Dry Brining, be sure and have a bag to keep your turkey in. The turkey will be sitting in the fridge during the process and the bag keeps your turkey from any cross contamination with the surfaces in your fridge and keeps your spices from going everything.

Basting

Basting is the art of taking the juices from the turkey or your own basting solution, and pouring it over the turkey as it cooks.

As your turkey cooks, it creates its own juices and the juices drop to the bottom of your pan (see my last Blog post on the important of not letting your turkey touch the bottom of your pan). If you baste, you can take a turkey baster, a cooking brush, or a spoon and drizzle the liquid all over your turkey. Some people go ahead and make their own baste solution (you can find recipes online) instead of using the juices that the turkey produces. If you seasoned your turkey (by brining or just by adding seasoning) a whole separate recipe for basting isn’t necessary since you don’t want to over salt your turkey.

The standard rule is to Baste every 30 minutes. It isn’t a fancy process and it shouldn’t take too long to avoid too much heat escaping your oven. If you can remove the turkey from your oven while basting I suggest that so you can keep your oven door shut as much as possible to retain heat. If it is too hard of a job (some turkeys can get pretty heavy), then feel free just to pull your rack out a bit, but make it as quick as possible.

Seasoning

I already went over Brining as a seasoning option and some Turkeys already come seasoned themselves. So this isn’t always needed. You don’t always have to heavily season your turkey. My turkey is coming just seasoned with some butter and salt on the outside so I am taking an extra step and seasoning the inside of my turkey as well.

Like Brines, there are a ton of recipes out there that you can follow to season your turkey and you can even really make up your own. You can buy seasonings at the store or you can use fresh herbs and veggies inside and under your turkey. For mine, I am placing some Onions and Celery with a little garlic on the inside of my turkey as it cooks.

How ever you want to season it, go for it. Each family has their own favorite flavors. Just make sure to not over do it so your turkey doesn’t come out too salty. Always take a look at the ingredient list of your turkey to see what has already been added.

Stuffing

Some people cook their stuffing in their turkey. Some don’t. Like everything else, it all comes down to what your family prefers. If you want to cook your Turkey with Stuffing inside, here’s the 101 version on how to do so!

  1. Find a good Stuffing Recipe and prepare it. There are tons of yummy recipes online that you can use. Make sure your stuffing is using all cooked ingredients.
  2. Fill the Neck Cavity with your Stuffing.
  3. Fill the Body Cavity with your Stuffing.
  4. Tuck the Turkey Legs back in place.
  5. Cook Turkey as instructed.
  6. Scoop out Stuffing into a separate serving dish before serving.

You want to be sure your stuffing reaches 165 degrees and be sure not to over stuff so everything can cook nice and even.

Ways to Cook Your Turkey

The most common way to cook your turkey is Roasting, but there are a few other ways to cook it. Let’s take a look!

Roasting

The most common way to cook the Turkey. This is how I plan on cooking mine. You of course Roast your Turkey in an oven. Last week I wrote about getting a roasting pan and I find them very important. It makes the roasting process SO much easier. When cooking a turkey you don’t want it to touch the bottom of your pan so it doesn’t stew in it’s juices and can roast all over. I also saw on The Chew that if you don’t have a roasting pan you can put veggies on the bottom of your pan and sit your turkey on them instead. How ever you do it, don’t put your turkey straight on the bottom :) Ok, now, on to roasting!

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Let your turkey sit out while it is preheating. The key to roasting is a longer cook over a medium temperature.
  2. Take out all of the giblets and neck.
  3. Rinse your turkey off and pat it dry with paper towels.
  4. Place your turkey on to your roasting rack breast side up (or down for the first hour but be sure and skip step 6)
  5. Rub your turkey inside and out with your fat of choice, either oil or butter or a mix of both. This allows it to get a nice brown color while roasting.
  6. When the turkey is 2/3 of the way done, cover the breast and the top of the drumsticks loosely with foil so it doesn’t over cook.

I got this Cooking Time Chart right off of Butterball’s website.

Turkey Times

Your Turkey is finished when it is 165 degrees in the thicket part of the Turkey.

When your Turkey is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes to let the yummy juices settle before cutting into it.

Slow Cooking

When I first heard about slow cooking a turkey I was doubtful. It sounded too easy to be good. But it really is a genius idea and so many people like to go that route because of the simplicity. I love Slow Cooker meals, they are so stress free and on a stress filled day of cooking, I can see why this is a nice choice. For this you will want a smaller turkey, around 10-12 pounds is best.

  1. First you will want to prep your turkey. Removing the Giblets, Washing it Off, Seasoning it, Rubbing it down with butter, Stuffing with veggies or stuffing.
  2. Place stock at the bottom of your pot (chicken will work just fine but you can use your favorite). About 1-1.5 cups will do the trick. You don’t want it sticking to the bottom.
  3. Place Herbs around the turkey for flavor (optional).
  4. Cook on High for 2 Hours then Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. Remove, let rest, and then carve per usual.

I like that this is an easy, sit it aside and leave it turkey. This can come in handy for extra busy cooks!

Fried

Mmm. Fried Turkey tastes SO good. I think everyone should have a friend turkey at least once in their life. If you are wanting to make that time this year (or every year), this is all you have to do!

  1. Remove all giblets and packaging from the Turkey.
  2. Rinse Turkey and Pat dry.
  3. Add in your oil. Make sure it is below the maximum fill line or enough to cover your turkey.
  4. Preheat to 400 degrees.
  5. Season your turkey.
  6. SLOWLY lower your turkey down into the oil.
  7. When the turkey is finished (see guidelines below) SLOWLY remove it and place on paper towels to drain the extra grease.
  8. Let it rest 20 minutes before carving.

As usual, your turkey is done when it has reached 165 degrees in the thicket part of your turkey. The cooking time is suggested to be about 3-4 minutes per pound.

MAKE SURE YOUR TURKEY IS COMPLETELY THAWED. This is VERY important. So many people deal with Turkey Frying fires due to skipping this step. If you aren’t sure, keep thawing by letting it sit longer or rinsing it under cool water until it is finished thawing.

Make sure you have a fryer large enough to comfortably fit your turkey. You can purchase extra large fryers for extra large turkeys or divide the legs and thighs and fry them separately.

Leftovers

More often than not, you are going to have some leftovers. It’s important to store them correctly so you aren’t eating bad turkey.

  • Store it by itself in a separate container
  • Store in your fridge
  • Leftovers are good from the fridge for 3-4 days
  • Frozen turkey is good up to 3-4 months.

There we have it! The 101 on cooking a Turkey. There are so many ways to season, prep, cook, and eat Turkey, always go with what feels right and tastes the best to you and your family. We all have different taste buds! :) Enjoy!

Do you have any questions regarding your Turkey? Any Tips? Comment below! I would love to hear from you!

 

Easy to Forget Thanksgiving Items

Thanksgiving is SO close. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. For someone who adores cooking, hosting, and eating, this holiday is right up my ally. I also appreciate it for the obvious reason, being thankful. Life is always so quick to fly by that very rarely do we stop to take in just how blessed we are. It’s one thing to thank God for your blessings but it’s another to realize what they are. It’s so easy to say you are thankful but when you truly sit and think about all that you have to be thankful for, it can’t help but warm your heart. 

For my lovely Thanksgiving host readers, I’m compiling a list of all of the basic kitchen items you will probably (I say probably because what some of us cook, others may not) need to have on hand that you may think you already have enough of or forget. The last thing you want is to get up ready to cook and realize that you need this or that and don’t have it on hand. Thanksgiving already comes with some stress (can we say cooking a ton of food in a short amount of time?) so the last thing you want is any extra stress that can be prevented. So get ready to read this list and go check out your cabinets. 

A MenuListBefore you do anything, write down everything you are cooking that day. This will come in handy quite a few times. Including when you go shopping for everything you need. Make the list and beside it, list everything it requires. That way when you make your shopping list, you won’t miss anything.

A Cooking Schedule

Go ahead while you make your list, and make out a cooking schedule. It seems like something you probably won’t need but it’s very helpful. You may get up, put your turkey in, and then realize that you now don’t have room for the ham and the casseroles and the rolls and whatever else you are cooking! Unless you are BLESSED with multiple ovens it’s important to know how long each item needs to be cooked or else your guests will come and the casseroles may not even be in the oven yet. I suggest starting with Dinner time and working backwards, cooking your items that require the least amount of time, last.

Casserole Dishes

Casserole DishesIf there is anything you need to be absolutely positively sure you have, it’s these babies. Think about your side items…how many of them are casseroles? Chances are, a few. I am making 3. Think of your desserts…how many of them require 9×13 pans, or how about an 8×8? Making any kind of brownie? You’ll need one of these babies. Automatically you may think “Oh I have quite a few of those” even if you think you have enough, check. Look at your list and count how many food items require one (don’t forget to make sure one dish will be enough for all of your guests. You may need to make 2 of one item to be able to feed everyone) and then go count the dishes you have. You may need 1 or 2 more. You don’t have to go out and buy a new fancy set either, especially if you won’t use them outside of this occasion. You can get a set of 2 disposable ones (sometimes they even come with more) for just a few dollars at practically every single store out there. I would get these a couple of weeks ahead of time too. Staples like disposable dishes will go fast the week of Thanksgiving. This is about being prepared! :)

Eating Essentials

Dinner Wear FancyDinner Wear Plastic

You know, plates, cups, utensils, napkins. What good is serving food if your guests have nothing to eat on? Not that I think any of you would forget to have these kinds of things, but hey, like I said, there’s pressure, it can make a forgetful person forget anything. So make sure you have PLENTY of this stuff. Enough that everyone can have two plates if they need it (it IS Thanksgiving), and don’t forget about eating dessert, you’ll want a separate plate for this. And again, doesn’t have to be fancy. If you have a smaller party and want to bring out your glassware, by all means, go for it. But if you are having a ton of people or simply don’t want to deal with a lot of clean up, go the disposable route. Nothing is wrong with this. Nothing. You can even get cute little Thanksgiving themed ones. Whatever route you take, just make sure everyone has enough of everything. It’s better to over plan than under.

Roasting Pan

Turkey

You’re gonna want to invest in one of these babies. Now, obviously if you are frying your turkey or some other way, you won’t need one of these, but for the standard roasting way, this is a life saver. You can buy a roasting pan with everything included or if you already have a roasting pan but not the most important part, the rack, you can go and buy the rack by itself. By having the rack, you are keeping the turkey off of the bottom. If the turkey sits on the bottom it will stew in its own juices instead of getting a nice even roast all over the turkey. You can get these at most stores. You can get just a standard one for around $25 and get just of a nice result as a big fancy $200 one. You just want to keep your turkey off of the bottom. Another key feature, the pan is also sturdy enough to hold the heavy turkey and it makes for easy transport.

A Meat Thermometer 

Turkey ThermometerThis is such an important thing to have handy. No one wants a dry turkey. You get a dry turkey by relying on sight to tell you when your turkey is done. By having a meat thermometer you are 100% sure when the turkey has reached a safe temperature to eat and you won’t have to worry about “cooking it a little bit longer just in case” and then ending up with an over cooked turkey. They aren’t expensive and any basic one will work. You want to insert it into the thickest part of your turkey and make sure it reads 165 degrees. Then you can pull your turkey. 

Aluminum FoilAluminum Foil

This is an item you don’t realize how much you need it, until you don’t have any. This will be used many times on Thanksgiving. It will come in handy when cooking your turkey but it will also come in handy at the end of the day when your guests want to take some leftovers home and they need something to wrap a dish up in, and if your dishes don’t have lids, you’ll need it for your own personal leftovers too. Just make sure you wrap everything up good and tight so air doesn’t get to it. 

Serving Spoons

Serving Spoons

They can be plastic, metal, wooden, whatever your heart desires. Just make sure you have plenty of these. Without them your guests may be tempted to use their silverware to help themselves. Not only will this take forever, have you tried scooping mashed potatoes with a dinner spoon? But it also poses risk for people to stick that fork in their mouth before helping themselves to some food. I don’t have to explain the bad reason for that. You can get them cheap and in bulk and will use them a ton, not only today but later on and you can get a pack for just a few dollars. They are WORTH IT.

Thanksgiving is such a joyous time, I want all of you to enjoy it. So just take a 2 minute trip to your kitchen and make sure you have all of this. We don’t want any added stress on the holidays that can be avoidable, which is why I made this handy list. It can be easy to forget things when you are running around like the good host you are trying to make everything awesome for your guests. 

What are some things you have forgotten on Thanksgiving? Do you have anything to add to the list? Comment below! I would love to hear from you! 

DIY: From Oatmeal to Glamorous Decor

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I wasn’t sure which to put into the title, Storage Container…Vase…Decor… because really you can use it for whatever you want. Since I’m using it for Decor I went ahead and threw that in but seriously you can use it for whatever your heart desires.

The thing I missed the most after my wedding was over was all of the crafts. It was SO fun to sit and make ordinary things into glamorous things. So anytime I have a chance to DIY anything, I jump on it. This project was SO easy that anyone can do it. I also had everything already on hand so I didn’t have to buy anything. For those of you who may not have the stuff on hand, it’s a very cheap craft and it is completely customizable so you can use whatever colors you want.

This is what you need:

  • An oatmeal container- any size
  • Acrylic Paint Color of your Choice
  • Paint Brush
  • Modge Podge- original or gloss
  • Glitter the same color of your paint.
  • Piece of Paper
  • Water

Now, the fun part! Putting it together…

I recommend putting down a towel, things are going to get a little messy.

Paint your Oatmeal Container with the Paint color you picked out after cleaning out the inside. Our bedroom is black and gold so I chose black. You can paint the inside if you want to, but I just let it plain.

IMG_0194 (1)Go ahead and let it dry at least 2-3 hours. Acrylic Paint dries fast but it’s good to use your best judgement. You want the paint to be completely dry.

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When it’s dry, it’s time to make it rain glitter!

Take your paint brush and paint a strip of Modge Podge. After you paint the strip, sprinkle the glitter on it making sure to hold your container over a piece of paper. If you skip holding it over paper you will run out of glitter fast! The paper catches the glitter and allows you to pour it back into your glitter container.

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Continue until the whole thing is covered in Glitter. Then let it dry over night.

The next day, mix 2 parts water to 1 part Modge Podge in a bowl. Paint your water mix all over your glittery container. This will seal in the glitter so your vase isn’t constantly shedding glitter everywhere.

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Continue until the whole thing is covered, making sure to get each and every inch. Don’t worry, it dries clear :)

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Let that dry over night.

When you wake up, you have a fabulous, inexpensive, very glamorous decor piece for your house.

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I sat it next to a candle and another DIY Bottle Project I made about a month ago on our dresser. I love it and plan on adding in some of our leftover wedding flowers! When my other thing of oatmeal runs out, I will probably make a gold one.

This is easy, inexpensive, and so fun to make. Buying a glitter vase like this at the store…I can’t even imagine how much they could cost and the fun is taken out of it.

Be sure and let me know if you plan on making this and what you plan to use it for. I love hearing from you!

Date night indoors

Minus all of the getting dressed up because I am still recovering from this awful bronchitis. It’s the holiday season which means it’s time to start saving up money for Christmas and staying more at home. That doesn’t mean we have to compromise on having nice little date nights, we can just have them at a fraction of the cost in our own home. Needless to say, we enjoyed it. It was scrumptious! Steaks, baked potatoes, and rolls with hand whipped homemade honey butter. All for about $20 vs $50.

What did you guys have for dinner this weekend?

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Celebrating Halloween with your Husband

Three years ago I met my Dear Husband at a Halloween Party. I was so close to not going. I had just started becoming friends with the girls I went with. It was my new friend’s, friend’s party. I’m a pretty introverted person and was just then starting to get out and do more things socially so I convinced myself to go. I saw my husband the second I entered the house. He was extremely handsome and captured my attention. He was being loud and brought so much excitement to the room. He was drunk, and this is why he was acting this way. He is also pretty introverted and probably more shy than I am, so I’m thankful he had been drinking that particular night. The next thing I knew, I too was drunk and was no longer a bit shy. We ended up dancing in a group circle along with some of his friends and then as the others paired off, the two of us did as well. I don’t remember anything past that other than staring in his eyes and going in for a kiss as my friend’s told me it was time to go (what a bummer). We exchanged numbers and he texted me the very next day. We were flirting friends for awhile, he said he wasn’t interested in a girlfriend and I needed to make sure he wasn’t some random guy at a party looking for a one night stand. We were both very wrong and became close friends who clearly wanted more from the other. Us being the shy kids we were, we tip toed around everything until we couldn’t take it anymore. I invited him to my Birthday Party, then over to my house to watch Finding Nemo (he had never seen it!), and that night we had our first offical sober kiss.  Soon, we were quite the item and were extremely inseparable. 3 months after our first official kiss, he moved in since he practically lived with me anyways, 9 months after the kiss we were engaged, and 4 days before our 2 year dating anniversary, we were married. Needless to say, Halloween is a very special holiday for us now. Without Halloween, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Halloween is mainly focused on children and trick or treating. That’s the first thing you think of when you think Halloween. It probably brings up some of your best memories too. If you have children, it’s probably the reason you look forward to it. Dressing the cuties up into little costumes and taking them out for some candy. For some adults, it’s about dressing up and showing as much skin as you can and going out to a party filled with alcohol and candy is just an added bonus. My husband and I fall in between those two things right now. We don’t have children and as thankful as we are for Halloween parties, that isn’t our scene anymore. There are so many neat and creative ways to celebrate Halloween that you can enjoy with your husband and I just had to share them with you.

  1. Candy and Scary Movies: Yes, it may sound cliche, Scary Movies on Halloween. But that is part of the fun! Half of the Scary Movies are cheesy but some out there are actually frightening, even if it’s just from jump scares. Go to the store and stock up on some of your favorite candy and bring up Netflix and get ready for a sugar filled night full of giggles and screams and enjoy it. Here are some scary movie’s on Netflix you may consider:
  •  Dead Snow- Apparently this one will also make you laugh, Nazi Zombies.
  • The Paranormal Activity Movies- I actually like these movies. They are creepy and have a following story.
  • The Caller- Any movie about someone dead calling you, CREEPY.

2. Halloween Inspired Snacks: Check out all of these cute Halloween themed foods. If you like to         cook like I do, you will have just as fun making these as you will eating them. They will certainly             put you in the festive mood! Check these fun treats out!

3. Haunted Houses: I promise you, as cliche as they sound, they are actually a lot of fun! Even if            you don’t get scared that easy it’s fun spending a night holding your husband’s hand as you walk            through some pretty creative Haunted Houses/Trails. You probably will have a scream or two, but if        you really don’t think you will, I promise you will have some laughs and make some memories. It’s          worth participating in and almost every town has a few to choose from.

What do you and your spouse do to celebrate Halloween together? Share your idea’s and tips below!

Have a Happy Halloween

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