turkey day ’16

it was turkey day! yay! i love thanksgiving! it kicks off the holiday season and i love the holidays!

i took a pretty long break posting on the blog. one, i was soooo busy with thanksgiving coming up, planning olive’s birthday, hosting olive’s birthday party, and just living life. things just got a little hectic but i am finally catching up!

we did our usual routine – hc’s aunt wendy always has turkey ‘dinner’ ready by 1:30pm so we always head over there first to visit with his family. we got there a bit earlier and hung out and visited with everyone. olive was, of course, a bit shy and quiet around everyone but as soon as her sister grace showed up, she was all giggles!

once food was served, we just sat around and chilled. we ate, talked, and caught up with life’s happenings. olive started to warm up with everyone and really took to kait! kait is sooooo darn sweet with the girls and had so much fun playing with olive. olive’s giggles and smiles were proof she adored kait too!

after a few hours at aunt wendy’s house, we had to leave and drop grace off so she could continue on with her festive celebrating with her step dad’s side of the family.

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[how adorable is kait with ellie?!]

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[chef wendy]

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[not yet warmed up to anyone]

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[daddy is hungry and ellie is bored]

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[trying to hide from the world]

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[gramma jane]

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[my baby]

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[sister besties]

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[auntie missy]

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[giving thanks to the chicago cubs]

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[kait and morgan]

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we then headed to my parent’s house to continue our thanksgiving tradition of eating dinner at 7. we do that every year and our holiday always works out so perfectly. once we got there, i dove into helping my sister with the cooking {as much as i can because i am no cook!} and drinking! thanksgiving would not be complete without a good bottle of wine! yum!

we drank, we cooked, we laughed, and the kids played. it was a cozy, fun, warm evening together. my brother dan decided, this year, to fry a turkey! it would be our first time doing it! it was the highlight of the night…putting a turkey in a deep fryer and boy, that sucker cooks that bird super fast!!

olive was quite spent from a few active days with very little naps that she was totally agreeable to a nap at my parent’s house. baby girl slept for several hours but she so needed it as it would be another late night for her!

more family came by and soon it was a full house {close to 20 people}. it was pretty awesome because i don’t think i held ellie once. all the ladies and gents took turns holding the baby…who doesn’t love a cutie baby like ellie? she’s so darn sweet!

dinner was ready by 7 and we all sat down to eat! my dad said a blessing and we got to chow down. the food was super good, as usual – my sister always does an amazing job with the menu and the delicious dishes!

overall, it was a wonderful, wonderful thanksgiving. the holiday feelings were all there. i love how festive it feels and looks, i love seeing family, i love being together on this special holiday, and i love eating and drinking together…hahaha, who doesn’t?!

i am thankful for our health, our family and friends, our blessings in life, and most of all, thankful for our two beautiful, healthy girls.

happy thanksgiving indeed!

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[super auntie thuy]

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[yummy turkey stuffing]

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[working hard in the kitchen]

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[kitchen cooking shenanigans]

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[family time]

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[face time with huy]

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[dad loving the face time with huy]

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[olive being grumpy from her nap]

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[i love this babe…i know, i say it all the time but she’s amazing]

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[these two…so sweet]

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[our first time frying a turkey…well, dan fried it and it turned out awesome!]

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[mama]

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[thuy brought home sake from japan]

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[yummy chocolate silk pie]

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[he’s sooooooooo sweet with her]

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[i love these two]

xoxo

turkey day

another turkey day has come and gone. of course it was yummy and awesome as always. every year, we always hit hc’s side of the family for our first thanksgiving meal and then head to my parent’s house for our second meal of the day. it works out perfectly every year although we try to not overeat, in which case, we do every year. ugh!

well, in typical fashion, we were running so behind. we were hoping to leave for his aunt’s house by 12:30 pm but it turned into after 1 pm. we arrived in no time and everyone was already there hanging out and having drinks. we said our hello’s and happy thanksgivings and settled ourselves in. as in the prior post i had written {about olive’s birthday party}, hc’s side of the family missed her birthday party due to the snowy weather, so auntie missy had brought the birthday present she had for olive. it was oh so very sweet of her!

of course, olive was sheepish and shy in the beginning. she didn’t even want to open her gift. she just kept hiding her face and turning away from everyone. oh, poor baby girl. i just wish she’d be more open to people but she isn’t.

supper was served and we all chowed down and filled our bellies full of not so healthy bites. after eating, we just relaxed, conversed, and enjoyed our time to chill with family. after a few hours over aunt wendy’s house, we gathered out belongings and left to head out to my parent’s house for dinner number 2!

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[looking at the photo book gramma gave her]

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[the best pic we could get]

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[gramma, daddy, and aunt missy]

when we arrived at my parent’s house, the making of our turkey dinner was in full force {thanks to my sisters} and heaping mounds of apps were being served! this is what i call a day of gluttony!

our family friend lan, pete, and avery were over as well. it was great that they were able to spend thanksgiving with us. as always, the more the merrier! immediately, i started helping out and hc hung with boys {natch}. my sister, kim, is the head chef when it comes to this meal {or pretty much any holiday meal}. she is an amazing cook and always makes the most delicious entrees. everything is always oh soooooo yummy!

they also set up a kid’s table, where the kids could draw, doodle, and get creative. so cute! and draw they did! they had so much fun creating cityscapes, shapes, pictures, and it let their imagination run wild as they continued to get creative.

after the delicious dinner was served, the boys went upstairs to watch the bears play and the gals cleaned up. oh my gosh. it takes almost as long to clean up as it does to cook! hahaha!

i had made a few batches of my yummy sugar cookies for the kids the night prior. i whipped up a few dozen cookies, i do this every thanksgiving so the kids can have fun with their desserts! i bring icing, sprinkles, and frosting; the kids go wild and get creative decorating each one of their cookies. after they decorate a few dozen of them, i gave them the green light to eat ’em! i must admit…i love my sugar cookies, they are so buttery good!

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[yummy apps and lan’s kettle corn]

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[the kid’s table]

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[she was very excited to draw]

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[full concentration]

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[hc and my brother dan]

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[soooo yummy…truffle cheese]

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[thuy, lan, moi, and kim]

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[cousin love]

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[my sister’s fabulous centerpiece]

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[ready to eat!]

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[family]

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[the kids decorating sugar cookies]

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[the works of art]

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[eating their works of art]

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[happy thanksgiving and an early start to a merry christmas!]

after the dishes were done and the desserts were served…we j u s t relaxed. it can be so exhausting eating so darn much! i was stuffed like a turkey and so flippin’ tired!!

we had such a great time hanging out with both sides of the family for thanksgiving. it’s always good to be around family. of course, i love hanging out with my family so much! there’s nothing better than that. i love thanksgiving and i am very thankful for all the blessings i have in my life!

xoxo

thankful

happy thanksgiving y’all!

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i am thankful for so much. my heart is full because i am truly blessed and grateful for all the goodness that surrounds me.

i am thankful for…

my health. my family’s health. the same for our siblings and our parents who mean the world to us.

for my hubby charming who is patient, kind, loving, sweet, understanding, and a person who definitely puts up with my crap. and i like to shovel a lot in his direction. hahahaha! this life of ours would not be without his generosity, graciousness, and dedication to our marriage and our family life. he is the best partner i could ever ask for. life without him would never be complete.

for olive. the gift that keeps on giving. she is amazing, smart, funny, joyful, quirky, hilarious, stubborn, bossy, delightful, beautiful, loving, sweet, affectionate…and so many more of everything good in this world. she is the light of our lives and i never imagined such joy until she came into it. her mere presence melts my heart, my soul, my being. i am so utterly grateful to be blessed with this beautiful little girl.

for my family. through thick and thin, we will always stand by each other. life can bring many ups and downs but family always stays together, supports one another, and loves each other no matter what, my dad taught me that. he’s always been a strong force in how we should treat each other. he taught me that my mom, dad, and my siblings will always stand by my side when i feel most alone.

for my house, our beautiful shelter that we call home. we’ve created a wonderful environment that is cozy, comfy, and a sweet place where we create so many fabulous memories. i am grateful that we have a place to call home for miss olive, a place where she’s going to grow up in and have so many fun, fond stories to share with her own kids.

i am so thankful for sooooo many joyful things in my life. i appreciate the little things in life. like olive’s giggles and hugs. coming home to my hc and olive. having days where we can just hang out and relax. eating a delicious meal together. my glass is always half full and i couldn’t see it any other way.

happy thanksgiving everyone!

xoxo

sugar cookie making and baking

as i stated in my prior blog post, i love making sugar cookies for our thanksgiving get togethers. it’s a fun activity for the kids {decorating & eating them!} but it definitely gets me in the holiday spirit when making them. it reminds me of all the times i made sugar cookies as a kid and how excited i would get to make ’em and then eat them all {yum!}!

so the day before turkey day, hc and i broke out a bottle of wine, put on christmas music, and i got to work on making some yummy cookies. this recipe is a classic and so easy to do. the recipe will yield up to five dozen cookies, give or take a dozen {depending on the size of your cookie cutters!}.

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[let’s start with the first ingredient…wine]

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[cheers]

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

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[a few ingredients]

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in a large bowl, cream together the {soft} butter and sugar until it’s smooth. then beat in the eggs and vanilla. then stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. split the dough into two halves and wrap it each with saran wrap and chill in the freezer for an hour.

after the dough chills, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start rolling out the dough {about 1/4 inch thick} onto a floured surface. start cutting out all your fun, festive shapes and then transfer your cookies onto a greased baking sheet.

bake your cookies for 6-8 minutes {or until the edges are slightly browned}. don’t over bake your cookies or they will be too crunchy and hard! after you take your cookies out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack so you free up your baking sheets to start the cycle all over again!

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[whip it good]

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[wine + baking = some damn good sugar cookies]

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[decorated sugar cookies by my nephews and grace]

there you go! some delicious, soft, yummy, sweet sugar cookies to festively decorate and eat! tis the season to overindulge. i hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i do. it’s such a great way to keep kids entertained, get them to be creative, and start a fun holiday tradition.

xoxo

turkey day

oh goodness. i have been so behind with blogging/posting. life has been so hectic and busy. i’m trying so hard to squeeze in some much needed sleep as well…which i have been terribly lacking in. that does not make me happy. i love sleep. loooooove it. but of late, i have been so very sleep deprived and that is no bueno. hello…that is why they call it beauty sleep and i am currently no beauty…just way tired looking!

anyhoo, i’m finally posting about thanksgiving. yeah…that was how long ago? but better late than never, non?!

we started off our morning right. relaxing, coffee, and just us being together. olive took her nap and after that, we gathered our stuff together and headed over to aunt wendy’s. they always have thanksgiving ‘dinner’ early. usually around 1:30pm. so, it always works out for us because my family has always had thanksgiving dinner around dinner time…6-7pm. we are able to split our day between both families.

we got to aunt wendy’s and settled in. we had brought a birthday cake to celebrate olive’s first. she was born one day before thanksgiving last year, so this year, it fell on thanksgiving day! the food was ready within the hour, i grabbed a plate for olive first. i fed my little babes her first thanksgiving meal {it was only colostrom last year!} and then grabbed a plate for myself! yum. the food was good…and very, very unhealthy! just keeding…it was all fat free 😉

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[olive not having a meltdown in auntie missy’s arms]

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[daniel and missy ready to give miss olive her birthday present]

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[birthday gifts from auntie missy]

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[my little babes]

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[daniel and olive…cousins]

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[me and lori]

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[gramma and olive]

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[‘lunch’ is served]

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[darling morgan and miss olive]

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[sister grace]

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after we ate, we hung out for a bit. we caught up with the family and olive played around. she has to get warmed up and become familiar with her surroundings before she gets comfortable. once she is, she will start to explore and become friendly with the people around her.

after a bit, we decided to break out her birthday cake since the other desserts were being served. we lit her birthday candle, brought out the cake to the dining room table, and sang happy birthday! she didn’t even wait for us to sing. she saw the cake and dug her finger right into it! ha!

after her cake, we chilled for just a little bit longer and then headed over to my parent’s house to another round of thanksgiving dinner and birthday cake!

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[birthday cake!]

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[before we sang, she had already stuck her finger in the cake! // make a wish!]

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***

when we arrived at my parent’s house, we were delighted by the cute little presents waiting for miss olive! my sisters did such a wonderful job putting her presents together! so sweet.

my sister kim was downstairs, still whipping up our delicious dinner. we all pitched in to help finish it up while the kids played around. every year, my sister kim always makes the yummiest thanksgiving dinner. it’s soooo good! everything is delicious, tasty, and savory. my favorite dishes are the brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. this year, though, i was really loving the mushrooms. like i said before…it’s all fat free!

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[cutest gift…a ‘target’ shopping cart and goodies inside!]

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[if you’re vietnamese…you’ll know what’s inside the container thuy is holding!]

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[cheers!]

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[my sweet brother dan]

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[thanksgiving table]

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[happy birthday olive!]

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[here comes the food!]

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[cheers!]

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[the boys were super excited mom found the wishbone!]

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[bennett ended up with the winning part]

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once we were done with dinner, we relaxed a bit at the table, and then the clean up began. of course, in old school fashion, all the women cleaned up while the kids and the men chilled.

after the dishes were done and the food was put away, we brought out olive’s birthday cake. kim and thuy got olive the prettiest cake and candles! it was covered in sprinkles! who doesn’t love sprinkles?! we sang happy birthday and she made a ‘wish’.  so perfect!

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[my sweetie]

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[olive with her crazy aunties]

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***

after cake, the big kids were super excited to decorate cookies. every year, i bake a few dozen sugar cookies {a blog post to come!} and bring them over so the kids can have fun decorating cookies! it’s creative, fun, and yummy {maybe a few get eaten before it’s all done 😉 } it’s entertaining to watch them, how creative different they all are and what fun designs they come up with on each cookie.

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[fun festive decorated cookies]

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[olive and grandma]

while the kids decorated cookies, we opened up olive’s birthday gifts from her aunties and cousins. i loved every little detail! the purr-fect card, the ‘target’ cart, the french word blocks, the best baby book {it’s so fun and interactive}, and the cutest, coziest cat hat for miss olive! so perfectly thought out and alls so useful! olive is so lucky to have such generous aunties!

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[a cat card for my cat baby]

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all in all, it was the best ‘first’ thanksgiving for miss olive! we had such a wonderful time celebrating her birthday, eating the most delectable foods, and spending time with our dear family. pure success in the ‘it’s a wonderful life’ department. woot. woot.

xoxo

happy thanksgiving + hb to miss olive!!

i am thankful for sooooo many wonderful things in my life.

i am thankful for my hubby charming of 3/6+ years. he is the light of my life and i am so grateful for him. he {insert cheesy line} really does complete me.

i am thankful olive was born on this day last year and it’s been the best ride of our lives thus far. she is the most wonderful little person evah. she brings us so much joy, laughter, and love. i am still amazed that we did this…created the most perfect little human being.

i am thankful for my wonderful, wonderful family {my cooking crazy mom, my giving and loving dad, my two beautiful sisters, and my cool dude brothers}. they have been the most supportive people in my life. when the tough gets going, they are there for you. no matter how hard i fall, they will always be there to pick me up and i am incredibly thankful for them.

i am thankful for my fantastic in laws. dick and jane are the most loving parents and friends. they have always been there for us and we are so appreciative of them!

i am thankful for so many, many more things! i am grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones around me. i am thankful for the beautiful house we live in and how much more beautiful it will be as hc works so hard on the remodeling of it. i am thankful for grace and what an amazing big sister she has been to little miss olive. i am thankful for my friends, who love me for who i am and i get to engage in mindless gossip talk with them. i am thankful for so much beauty in my life. period.

stop yourself and think how wonderful this world we live in can be, stop to smell the roses, see the glass half full, enjoy the people around you, slow down and be kind and thoughtful.

this thanksgiving, count your blessings and give someone a great big hug to make their day a little brighter.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST LITTLE BABES!!!!

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xoxo