Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bring on the holidays...we're ready.

I can't believe our 5 day weekend is over. It went so quickly. We had such a nice Thanksgiving in North Carolina with my husband's extended family. It is so awesome to see our kids together and to know that even though we are so far from 'home' we still have family close. This year the holidays are going to be much easier than last year. Our first holiday season last year being 3,000 miles away from family and friends was a little tough.

I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed 'Thanksgiving' food this year. I couldn't wait to come back home and try my hand at cooking it again. It had been a couple years so I was for sure a little rusty, plus, as I said before it's not my favorite meal to cook. Yesterday morning I gathered all my supplies and just had at it.
I decided early on that if I was going to attempt this meal that has been my nemesis for so long I was going to keep it real simple. In the past I have gotten too caught up in whatever the hippest, trendiest recipes are, trying to keep up with the Food Network's chef's...whatever, I am o.v.e.r. that. Now it is time to get down to the nitty bean casserole (recipe from the back of the onions, not the 'new' version by some fancy TV chef), dressing (or stuffing, whatever you wanna call it) without any fancy nuts or fruits or anything, just the simple stuff, fried okra and the turkey. My in-laws were bringing the mashed potatoes and gravy along with the biscuits.

there I am preppin away

Well everything seemed to be going real good. I got the bird on, the house was smelling great (oh and btw for the turkey I consulted and went totally old school) and I was real thrilled with how it was all coming along. My husband brought in the two tons of Christmas decorations that we have hoarded kept for the last 17 years or so and I got my decorating on. (pictures to follow, I need to finish this turkey story first). Five hours later, I had made the two casseroles, my in-laws arrived and it was time to pull ole' Tom out of the oven....oh wait, I forgot to give you this tip, which you may already know about, did you know that the EXACT same size turkey, the EXACT same brand is like half the price if you buy it frozen? I had no idea. Back in California I was always under the impression that we were the Rockefeller's and I bought the expensive 'distel' turkey and ordered it from the expensive grocery story where the real Rockefeller's shopped...well y'all we learned our lesson and this year I bought a $15.00, 16 pound turkey. The same size turkey, also Butterball brand but 'fresh' was $35.00. Shoot y'all I felt like I was extreme couponin' I was looking for the camera crew! Okay, back to the story, so we pull that bird out of the oven and it was real pretty. All brown and fabulous looking and I knew right away that I had finally nailed it. Then I saw it. Red. Red 'juice' coming from that dumb turkey. I was so mad. After five hours and following those directions from the website that darn bird still wasn't cooked. ugh. In stepped my father in law (do you hear the angels singing) and he went at that bird like he was a trained professional. He tore that thing up into pieces and cut out the back bone and 'butterflied' him and put it back in the oven for another hour and...VOILA! we had an amazing dinner. It was just delish!

After dinner was cleaned up my youngest wanted to start making gingerbread houses. This year I was smart and bought the pre-assembled version. What a difference! Getting that roof to stay on is half the battle. This time all we had to do was make it look pretty.

Here we are getting our building on

Here are the houses complete, mine is the one with the white roof, Gianna got all fancy with her roof....showoff.
We had so much fun making these bad boys. I might have to head to the Wal Mart and buy a couple more next week and we can do it again. This time we will do it when Allison is home so she can make one too.

I mentioned before that we had alot of Christmas decor. I think we have so much because our house in California had a much bigger downstairs than this house so when we bought that house I added to my Christmas collection by quite a bit. I love all of it. I have gotten rid of some stuff over the years but the stuff I have left I just love. Here are a few pictures of our two trees and all the other random stuff around the house.
I love these cookie jars
The main tree
A close up of some of the ornaments on the main tree

The kitchen tree.

He is one of my very favorite pieces. I just love him.
So in case you haven't noticed, I kind of have a theme. Snowmen. I have tried to venture away from the theme a little bit lately but I have been collecting them for quite a while so they have accumulated. My main tree has the snowman theme going but the kitchen tree is lime green and red. I am not the kind of mom who puts handmade ornaments on my tree. I know this isn't really all that nice, I know that I sound a little "Mommy Dearest" but do.not.mess.with.the.decor. for reals. I am totally aware of my neurotic tendencies and have no problem admitting it. I have kept the stuff my kids make, I just don't put them on the trees. Whatever. Don't judge.

Well I hope you have enjoyed the little peek into my home. I am looking forward to sharing the rest of our holiday season with you.


  1. Stop it with all your decorations up so soon!!! THEY LOOK GORGEOUS!!! Boo, now I really feel behind . . . but getting there!
    Your home looks so pretty and festive and I love seeing that sweet picture of you prepping. I miss you; thank you for the visit and congratulations! Please give my love to everyone and I wish you so much luck with your shop this Christmas!
    (ps could you please FB / email me your new address?) xoxoxoxo

  2. Oh! And when you write "Girl" I swear I could HEAR an accent!!! Just sayin' xoxoxo