Monday, November 30, 2020

A Covid Thanksgiving and getting Christmassy ♥

Hello Friends!  

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!  Like most of us, our day was quiet.  I decided to start a new tradition... decorating the tree on Thanksgiving!  I thought it would give us something special to do on Thanksgiving morning, so I purposely waited to put the tree up until the night before. That morning, I brought out the decorations and off we went.  Since 2020 has been so upside-down, why not?! There are no rules to these things, are there?
Do what you like, I say.  And this is what I like. 

I think most of you know that we live upstairs from my parents.  It's been a blessing because all through Covid we've been quarantining with them which means we get to celebrate the holidays together. 

My Dad's delicious turkey! 

Our Thanksgiving was delicious and still remains my favorite meal of the year.  We had a very relaxing dinner and spent the afternoon basking in our fullness.  It was nice to be able to stay in stretchy pants and not have to rush around.  It was rainy and I was quite content being home.  
Belly full. Tree decorated.  Me happy! 

After dinner we had a zoom call with some of Rob's family that was fun.  It was nice to be able to see everyone.  Although, I sometimes feel very awkward on zoom.  I never know whose talking to me so I mainly just look and listen.  Am I the only one who feels that way?  Regardless, it's the way of the future and I'm still getting used to it.  We are lucky to have the technology! 
The Christmas Eve zoom is already in the planning stages.  

Back to home, I'm starting to feel the Christmas spirit.  I love having a tree in the house.  One of things I love most about Christmas is seeing the Christmas tree lit up in the very early darkness of the morning.  Drinking coffee while the tree glows is one of my favorite things and a lovely way to start a day. 

Our tree is small and very imperfect and that's just the way I like my trees.  A few years ago when we moved we downsized a lot of things, and one of them was our tree.  The problem is I didn't downsize the amount of ornaments I decorate with.  So hence, this tree is fully loaded with decorations.  I just can't bear to leave any off.  Rob always says it's the ornaments that make the tree, not the tree itself.  
I agree. 

Our weekend was spent eating leftovers (which I think we can all agree are the best part :) and our fair share of napping.
 Why does eating make you so tired?  It's the magic of the turkey.....😴

So now there's things to do like shopping and wrapping and card writing.  I'm taking my time, how about you?  This spot is just too cozy.

Have a wonderful day my friends! Can you believe tomorrow is December 1st?  
Are you feeling Christmassy yet?

Stay safe and be well! xoxo  


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Funny Story...

I've said before and I'll say it again... One of the things I love most about this little blog of mine is its a place to store my memories.  From very serious events to the most lighthearted moments. Everything I want to remember about my life is right here, and I love that. 

 I was scrolling though some old posts today searching for a recipe and I came across this little story that I shared years ago.  It's still funny to me, and if you know my husband you'll know why.... 

(I copied this excerpt from my blog post in 2013! 

One Sunday Rob was watching a football game and I offered him some hot cider.  To my delight he said yes.  I prepared it for him and put it an a fancy mug with a cinnamon stick.  "Enjoy!" I said as I left the room.  A little while later when I came back to collect the cup I noticed the cinnamon stick was gone.... I asked how he liked the cider and he said it was really good, but he didn't care for the cookie! OMG - he ate the cinnamon stick!!! Has anyone ever eaten a cinnamon stick??? I didn't think it was possible???  When I told him that he wasn't supposed to actually EAT the cinnamon stick he said "good, because it tasted terrible".  True story ♥

I remember this day so clearly and the feeling of confusion and shock when I realized the cinnamon stick was gone.  He didn't??? Yep, he did! LOL  

Looking back on this story now I was thinking to myself why did he continue eating the cinnamon stick if he thought it tasted awful? It must have been not to hurt my feelings, and that's really sweet. 

And there you go.  Thank you old self for documenting this on the blog.  I got a chuckle today and I hope you did too!  😄

PS - Here's the link to the post if you want to see how I prepare the hot cider.  I still prepare it this way.  In fact, I had some yesterday! : ) 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Socially Distanced Visit ♥

Hello Friends! 

This is what visiting family looks like in 2020.  

Today was my mother in laws birthday.  We haven't seen her in months and we won't be seeing any family for Thanksgiving so today we stopped by for a short visit.  

We stayed outdoors on their patio the entire time.  It was a chilly day (44 degrees) but my father in law lit this toasty fire and set up some heaters for us.  Just like outdoor dining in the city! : ) 


My mother in law had blankets in case we needed them, but we didn't.  We all dressed in layers and were quite comfortable. She prepared some snacks for us... all in individual baggies.  Even the marshmallows for the hot chocolate were in individual bags so we didn't have to touch anything.  

She thought of everything 

It's amazing what you take for granted. 

We ordered pizza and sat around the fire and talked.  We had so much fun catching up in person!  The sad part is that now that the weather is getting colder who knows when we'll be able to do it again.

 But I'm grateful for today.  

It was a lovely afternoon and I'm so glad we were able do it.  I know so many people where it's just not possible for them to see family or friends, so I know how lucky I am.  

Someday we will look back on these times and wonder how we got through it.  But we will get through it.  And it will be wonderful (Sitting indoors, enjoying a meal, hugs! Can't wait!) 

I hope you all are having a nice Sunday.  We are home now.  Getting warm.  Some of us are napping.  Some are watching football.  I'm having tea talking to you : ) 

I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving, which means another round of pumpkin pie!  Something else I'm eternally grateful for! (because it's so good!)

Happy new week, friends! 

Stay safe & cozy!  xo 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken (crock pot recipe ♥)

Without question the crock pot (or "slow cooker") is one of my favorite inventions known to man!! It is the best feeling when dinner is bubbling away on the counter as I go about my day.  The smell wafting through the house reminding me how little I have to do come dinner time.  
It's blissful really ♥

 I'm constantly searching the web for new recipes to try.  I came across this one the other day that sounded right up my alley.  I've done a baked brown sugar chicken before (recipe here if you want to see it) that always comes out good so I thought I've give the crock pot version a try.  I had chicken thighs in freezer all ready to go and the other ingredients were minimal.  This was a no brainer.  

The recipe comes from Dinner Then Dessert via Pintrest 
(where all the good and not so good ideas live....: ) 

Easy as pie: 

5-7 boneless chicken thighs
2 tbls minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
dried parsley for garnish ♥

Add chicken to the bottom of the crock pot.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  
Mix it up so both sides of the chicken are seasoned.
Sprinkle the brown sugar on top. 
Cook on low for 8 hrs or high for 4 hrs.

You'll notice there is no liquid added which surprised me too.  The brown sugar plus the juices from the chicken create it's own sauce.  Not a lot, but just enough.  

I served this chicken similar to how I serve my sweet & sour crock pot chicken (although they are very different in taste), which is over egg noodles.  There was just enough sauce in the bottom of the crock pot to coat 1/2 a bag of noodles which was perfect.  I think this would be delicious over rice as well! 

It's very garlicy, hence very yummy!!!  

If anyone has any crock recipes they could share I would love that.  Leave them in the comments below so I can try them.

Thanks for visiting and have a cozy day! xx 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Warming Station ♥

Good Morning Friends! 

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  I spent yesterday puttering around the house, cleaning, and slowly bringing out Christmas.  I brought down my storage tubs from the attic and bit-by-bit started decorating.  I've got everything done but the tree. I saved the best for last.  

For the first time ever I set up what started to be a hot chocolate bar...but I added tea, so let's call it a warming station.  

What do you think? 


(ok, technically these guys are salt & pepper shakers, but I cleaned them and added powdered sugar in one and coco powder in the other : ) 

I'm happy with the way it came out.  

It looks festive and puts a smile on my face when I look at it!  I need to add more cocoa (I am low!) and  I also want to pick up some Christmas teas.  Any suggestions?  I'm thinking apple cinnamon would be a nice night time tea 

How about you? Have you started decorating yet?  

Now I have to start shopping.  I haven't bought one gift yet.  Amazon, here I come!

Have a great day friends! 

I hope you are cozy and warm today 

Friday, November 13, 2020

10 Things I Love ♥

 Hello Friends! Happy Friday!

I haven't done a 10 Things I Love post in a while so I thought today would be a good day to bring it back.  Everyone is starting to talk about the holidays and while they will obviously be different this year I think it's important to focus on the good things. I will miss seeing my family & friends and having a big celebration, but on the bright side, there is something cozy about staying home and keeping things simple.  

With that being said, here are 10 random things I love about this time of year.  "This time of year" being 2 weeks before Thanksgiving when I'm starting the feel the tingles of the start of the holiday season. 

Hearing Karen Carpenter Christmas songs on the radio.  I wait for her voice all year.  The voice of a Christmas angel. She's my favorite.

Pepperidge Farm gingerbread men cookies.  So good!

Pumpkin pie spice sprinkled in my coffee.  A pro tip for a friend (who's a pro at coffee!)

Making holiday lists.  Checking them twice.  I'm not going to say shopping is my favorite because it's not. (I actually hate it) But the list making is my key to success.  Settling in under a blanket with my laptop, a stack of catalogs, and a pad of's so satisfying! 

Breaking out my Christmas pj's and slippers.  I have a Rudolph theme this year : ) 
I have been trying for YEARS to get my family to agree to matching jammies. They are not interested.  Humbugs. 

Decorating, which will start this weekend.  I am one of those people who like to have their tree up before Thanksgiving.  I don't feel that it takes away from Thanksgiving. I think it adds to the festive coziness of the holiday.  Plus then there is no rush/stress to get it done that weekend.  I can jump right into Christmas mode.  

Night rides.  John and I have been doing this since he was little.  At least once a week we go for an evening ride, with hot chocolate & in our pj's, and drive around town to look at Christmas lights.  
We have a specific route we take and certain houses we like to see.  I wish they knew how much it meant to us.

All the holiday specials on TV!  Rudolph, A Christmas Story, and Elf are all favorites around here.  And of course A Charlie Brown Christmas.  And I've always loved Christmas episodes of TV shows.  The Christmas Brady Bunch episode where Florence loses her voice and can't sing in church...a classic!
I'm also partial to Hallmark Christmas movies but I have to watch those alone because the boys can't stand them.  Again...humbugs.

Christmas candles.  I'm obsessed.  I just ordered 2 online that I'm waiting for.  I will show you when I receive them.  I love candles all year but the Christmas/winter ones are by far my favorite.  It's got to be that #hygee feeling they give, when it's cold and frosty outside and inside there is a glow of a candle with the scent of a Christmas forest.  Lovvvve it. 

Holiday makeup. Now is the time of year when I usually break out my sparkly eyeshadow.  
Even though I'm working from home I still might do it : ) 

I would love to hear some of the random things you love about this time of year.  

Last November & December were hard for my family because my mother was in the hospital. And even though this season will be disappointing because of Covid restrictions, I am very grateful that all my family is home, safe, and healthy.  
Whether we are eating around the same table or not, my heart is happy about that.  

I am also grateful for FaceTime! 

Have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.  I'll be back on Monday with some holiday cheer 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Easy Pumpkin Pie ♥

I've always had trouble baking pumpkin pies and I am forever searching for an easy recipe.  The ones I have made in the past have never turned out well for me.  They either don't set properly or aren't the right texture...and if you're a "texture person" like I am, that's a big no-no.  

I am determined to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year but I decided WHY WAIT?!  I wanted to try out this recipe I found on Pinterest so I guess you could say this was my test run.  Luckily it turned out perfectly and I will be making it again in a few weeks!  
What's wrong with pumpkin pie all month?  
Not a thing! 

What I loved most about this recipe is not having to make the filling on the stovetop first, like I have in the past.  It totally skips that step.  Just mix up the ingredients, pour into the pie shell, and bake.  

In case you want to bake one for Thanksgiving (or just to enjoy right now) here's how to make it. 


It only takes 5 ingredients! 

1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
15 oz. can pumpkin
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 pie shell, unbaked

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Pour mixture into the pie crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool 2 hours.
Serve or refrigerate until serving time. 
Store in refrigerator.


I highly recommend clicking the link to Julie's Eats & Treats (above).  She gives tons of tips and tricks  on how to make the perfect pie~ 

 ~ Yum ~ 
(I got a thumbs up from everyone in the family so this recipe is definitely a keeper! )

The weather here has been glorious this week.  I've been trying to push myself to get in the holiday spirit and even considered bringing out some Christmas decor but it was just too warm. I can't be Christmassy when it's 75 degrees out!   

We are supposed to be going into a cold snap by the end of this week so who knows... you may be seeing some jingle bells on this blog very soon!

Have a great day friends! I hope you are all well!  

Thanks for stopping by : ) 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Is this Too Much To Ask?

I don't think so 💓

 I've been working on this my whole life. I'll never stop : ) 

I know a lot of us are tired and stressed today.  Hallmark helps.  Just saying. 

Keep the faith, friends!  Happy Wednesday xo 

Monday, November 2, 2020

How was your Halloween? ♥

Good Morning Friends! 

I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!  

We spent a quiet evening at home Halloween night.  It was cold and frosty and felt more like January than October.  We didn't see one trick or treater....not that we expected too.  I made some festive food and we watched Shutter Island, starring a very creepy Leo DiCaprio which I loved move than I thought I would.  It was John's first Halloween not trick or treating which made us a bit sad, but we made the best of it and it was certainly a Halloween we'll never forget.  

A cozy fire set the tone for the weekend.

So did leisurely lazy egg breakfasts in front of the TV...

John carved his pumpkin while we watched Charlie Brown.  
A tradition that can't be broken (no matter what age : ) 

 Mummy dogs and turkey chili were on the menu.

And a store bought Pepperidge Farm cake with Milano cookies that I transformed into a graveyard. 

Hot chocolate and a movie to end the evening 

Before bed I remembered to step outside and catch a glimpse of the full moon which was shining bright right above me : ) 

She was beautiful.  I'm glad I didn't miss it 

And just like that another Halloween in the books and it's November. 

I'm welcoming the month with a calm appreciation of the season and what's to come.

Have a great day everyone!