Happy Thanksgiving – 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to all my amazing bee readers! What’re you thankful for this year?  Every year, I’m always amazed and reminder at how lucky B and I are for our life and all of the amazing people we have surrounding us.

I’m also thankful for winning a fun little portrait mini-session earlier this month (see below) by the talented MML Photography, Michelle Loufman. B and I did a quick little session and the photos just captured so much of our love and personalities while being timeless photos for us to have for years to come.
Em and B Mini Session 2019
Photo by Michelle Loufman at MML Photography

I’ll have to admit that I’ve been a little jaded over this Thanksgiving holiday, especially this year — all the demands of family wanted me to shut it all off and just hide.  But all of my amazing friends listened to my stresses, frustrations and as much as they supported me, they also worked to share a different perspective for me to maybe change my mind… which ultimately ended up happening (yes, I know I’m being cryptic – what else is new?!)

So, I’m heading into this holiday with patiences and gratitude — Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday Reminders – Grateful

On the eve of Thanksgiving, it’s time to take a moment before all the crazy starts tomorrow and really reflect and remember what we’re truly grateful for.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m grateful for the wonderful people in my life.  My family, my friends, our neighbors and my coworkers — we are lucky to have so many thoughtful and caring people in our lives that we can call family.

We have been blessed with such a wonderful life and that in part has been because of the fabulous people in our lives and the opportunities they’ve provided for us to get to where we are today.  I hope you all have a blessed, happy and stress free Thanksgiving and remember to squeeze your friends and family a little tighter this year!

xox.

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Weekend Recap – Thankful

I had full intentions of getting a few posts out last week with the long weekend and holiday break; but I was enjoying my time “off” far too much.  But, I hope you all had a blessed and happy thanksgiving this past week.  B and I were lucky enough to have three thanksgivings and spend some time with friends in between too.

Our Thanksgiving was a bit reshuffled this year, we normally have two on the actual day, but one was early so we only had an evening dinner.  We had the whole day to ourselves, it was kind of amazing!  Knowing this ahead of time, we had signed up for our local Turkey Trot, which offered a 5k race or a 5-miler, of course we picked the 5-miler. *smiles* The weather was mid-40’s and a misty drizzle, but in my opinion, perfect for a run. There were 9,000 participants in this year’s Turkey Trot! B stuck it out and ran with me the whole way, not to mention we both loved the race course.

We were home by 11AM, got cleaned up and then headed over to the neighbors for some snacks and beverages before everyone had to get to their various family dinners.  It was so fun spending a quick, impromptu few hours with the crew, we’ve gotten to know them well over the last year and a half and we’re grateful to have such awesome neighbors!

We spent our Thursday night dinner with B’s family, laughing, playing games and watching football!  Friday we headed to one of my aunt’s for my family’s Thanksgiving, there was plenty of food, whiskey sours, buckeyes, stuffing, laughs and dogs to go around. But by dinner number three, we were definitely  beyond stuffed, and thankful for our thanksgiving dinners to be over!

It was great catching up with everyone and being reminded how blessed we are with all the amazing people in our lives.  This past weekend was a busy one, but the long break was definitely needed.  Now it’s an official kickoff to the Christmas season!

 

Wednesday Reminders – Thankful

On the eve of Thanksgiving it’s nice to be reflective and going into the day overlooking the typical superficial parts of the holiday like family drama , worrying about eating too much, the travel and running around.

So I wanted to list a few things that I am thankful for;

  • My loving and supportive parents
  • My patient (sometimes) and best teammate, B for nearly 5-years
  • Our adorable puggle – Moz; she has our hearts
  • Strong and trusted friendships (especially all the awesome women in my life)
  • Having great “in-laws”
  • Our beautiful house and all we’ve been able to do this past year

It’s the people in my life that truly make it special and bring true joy, without them I would be living a very different life.  I wish all of you and your families a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Apple Pie Bites – The Recipe

I’ve got another awesome and may I add, EASY dessert for your last minute holiday prep!  Before we get to the good part, let me quickly tell you why I love this recipe. (1) SO easy  (2) Low cost! (3) Delicious! (4) Portable and snack-able for everyone to enjoy.

I adapted the recipe from theblondcook.com and did a lot of no measuring baking this weekend when it came to the seasoning and topping, I just eye-balled a good portion!

Mini apple pies

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Will make 24 Apple Pie Bites

Crust:

  • 3 rolls of Pillsbury Crescents (8-crescents per roll)
  • Roll your crescents out flat so that you can add the seasoning

Filling:

  • Cut apples into 8 slivers
  • Mix brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon together so that there are equal portions (I did small bowls at a time for each crescent roll pack)
  • Melted butter (about 1/3 of a stick)

Next Steps:

  • Spoon and flatten the filling seasoning onto the flat crescents across the whole triangle
  • Dip your apple slice into the butter and place at the larger end of the crescent
  • Working from the larger end with the apple slice, roll your crescent up
  • Make sure to grease your baking trays well
  • Brush melted butter on top and add seasoning dusting over top
  • Repeat!
  • Fill your tray up and place in the oven for 10-minutes until the tops are golden brown!

Enjoy and Happy Feasting!

Hosting Thanksgiving

Although I won’t be hosting a big thanksgiving dinner… maybe one of these year’s I’ll have the honor – that inner hostess in me can’t help but get excited at all the fun and easy ways to make an impact on your family and friends this upcoming meal.  Here are some easy ways to make this holiday personal and unique.

Name Tags: this is your time to get creative and personal, the more unique you make this, the better chance you have of making a genuine impression on guests.

  • Mini pumpkins are easy, inexpensive and cute as a place setting – paint the person’s first letter or name, they can even take these home as a keep sake.
  • Write each of your guests a person note upon their arrival at the table, tell them a few things you’re thankful for in regards to them and your relationship.
  • Find some free downloadable name tags like the ones here to print out and customize!

Accents: mixing up different napkin patterns and glasses gives the dinner an eclectic look, it will also add a layer of effortlessness to the occasion and not make it feel so stuffy.

Ambiance: candles, lighting and music will also add an element to your entertaining.  My personal picks for music would be of the Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra era on Pandora.  A scattering of candles around the table and seating areas will add that cozy, welcoming feel.

With the big day almost a week away, there is still plenty of time to put the finishing touches on the menu and the table!  I can’t wait to host a dinner one of these years and start new traditions while incorporating old.

DIY – Give Thanks Door Tags

I initially shared some of my wood crafts (see here) that I hoped to do with all of our left over wood from our attic.  Well I’ve made some progress, and wanted to share one of the first ones finished, it’s an easy DIY for your outdoor decor.

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Just a reminder: all wood was reused from our house, so I worked with what we had.

After the cutting was complete I wanted to create a faded chevron pattern, so I free handed the pattern with white paint on the tags.  After that dried, I sanded down significantly so the pattern was faded, enough for the wood grain to show through. Next I carefully free-handed the ‘give thanks’ on the tags, with a permanent marker. For the finishing touches, I found some old rope that the previous owners so generously left at our house and eyeballed the length and cut! Tied a knot, and done. Please I was able to use supplies from around the house, this virtually cost me $0 to make, just a couples hours here and there after work!

Finished
I gained inspiration for this from ‘That’s My Letter‘ – although the tags she made are much larger, I might go back to the drawing board and see if I can make mine a bit larger (with more scrap wood). The best part about these, is they can be reversible for the next holiday, I plan to share the flip side in an upcoming post (hint: green and red).

Mini Apple Pies – The Recipe

After hosting our brunch, I found these Mini Apple Pies were the perfect, hand-sized treat for party goers, no mess, easy and delicious! So I just had to share the recipe with all of you, either for a fun and easy weekend treat or an upcoming tray to bring to Thanksgiving!  Of course, I first found the idea for Mini Apple Pies on Pinterest – but quickly adapted the recipe based on my mom’s go-to apple pie recipe! I did try and attempt to make these with the homemade ‘push’ crust (see original recipe below), that did not workout, so I was forced to make a normal sized pie (which turned out amazing!) … after testing and trying, I think I found the perfect combination of crust, filling and topping.

Ingredients Overview

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Will make 24 Mini Apple Pies

Crust:

  • 2 boxes of Pillsbury Pie Crust (they come in 2-packs)
  • Take a wide coffee mug (I used a Starbucks mug – or a mason jar) to cut your circles for each pie crust, try to get 6-circles out of one crust
  • Grease cupcake pans
  • Place circles into cupcake openings

Filling:

  • Skin and chop apples (6-large apples) I used McIntyre
  • Top 1/2 cup sugar and 1-teaspoon cinnamon with a pinch of salt over chopped apples
  • Fill your cupcake tin with filling

Crumb Topping:

  • In a mixing bowl; use 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • Mix until forms pea-sized crumbs
  • Sprinkle generously over each mini pie

Bake for 18-20 minutes – once cooled, use a fork around the edges and they should glide right out!

Enjoy!

Original Recipes: Genesee Valley Apple Crumb Pie (NY State) || Mini Apple Pies

Wednesday Reminders – Gratitude

With the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, there is no doubt that everyone is thinking about all of the wonderful things in their life. For me it’s simple. I am thankful for the wonderful people in my life; family and friends, co-workers and furry friends. No one big thing stands out, but it’s all of the small ones.

“Sometimes, the Best Way to Make a Big Difference is Adding Up Lots of Small Ones.”  – Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

This time of the year is always fun, family comes together because of tradition, and with tradition new memories are made. For my family, the tradition is as simple as getting together, and as I’ve gotten older, traditions are starting to change. People can’t always make a weekend, too many things are going on, the weather prohibits travel, work isn’t as flexible…  I am not always a fan of change, especially when it comes to traditions and holidays, but I’m trying to look at it as an opportunities for new memories and traditions. With all the change, it reminds me to be more thankful for the time I do get to spend with my family and friends.

I think we all need to remember to be grateful, around this time of the year… but even more importantly always.