Friday, November 21, 2014

Hallmark Is Why My House Isn't Clean

I mentioned this in a post the other day...but seriously, Hallmark has ruined me for all of this week. I have never been the girl that was gaga over tv movies. I have recently learned that is because I never really took the time to sit down and watch them.

This changed last weekend when Tony was working and I had some time on my hands. I ended up catching the movie 'Let It Snow' with Candace Cameron Bure and I thought it was so cute! I really enjoyed it and while it was on there were commercials for a few other movies that were coming up and so I recorded them. Big mistake...

I am supposed to be completely packed for our trip to Boston tonight and I have found myself otherwise occupied. Oops.

These are my favorites so far and I have recorded plenty more for when we are gone!

North pole. Hands down favorite! This was really cute and I loved it! The acting was good and I really want to visit their version of the North Pole...but seriously, come get me Santa.

Finding Christmas. This was on and Tony kept proclaiming this to be the 'men's version of the movie 'The Holiday' (for the record maybe the same premise, not even on the same playing field. We're talking JV vs Varsity) and it takes place in some made up North Carolina town. And of course...they make us look podunk. haha

Help for Christmas. I really enjoyed this one too! The acting was some what decent and I have always really loved Eva Larue.

Let it Snow. I just love Candace Cameron Bure (holla to TGIF) This was second favorite of all the movies I have watched thus far.. I think that the setting was so beautiful, plus it took place in Maine, one of my favorite places!

Window Wonderland. The acting was a little ridiculous and you could see the ending coming from a mile away, but I still enjoyed it while I drank my eggnog mocha.

Which ones are your favorites? I want to watch Snow Bride and a few others once I get back in town!

Linking up with FF, Hey Friday, Five On Friday

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turkey Day Plans

Every year we rotate our travel schedule for the holidays. If we are in Boston for Thanksgiving, then we are in Virginia for Christmas and swapped the next. The best part about traveling is that we get a commpletely different experiences at each place. 

This year we are scheduled to be in Boston and head up there this weekend. I am trying to prep myself for the cold. Which no matter what I do, I am never prepared. My in laws have a lovely house with plenty of wine and a fireplace, I really see no reason to leave. at all.

Thanksgiving in Boston is always at my in laws. There are usually about 25-28 people, depending upon who is there that year. My mother in law does a beautiful table setting, gives everyone a sweet recordo to commemorate the time and we have courses...on fine china. 

The first course is the Italian staple of Antipasto, followed by tortellini soup. Then the big guns come out...and there is enough food for days. It's a mixture of your usual dishes: Turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, roasted potatoes, pasta, yams and green beans. Then there are the Lebanese additions. Meat & spinach pies, hummus, tabloueah and pastries. And so many others I can't come up with off the top of my head. 

I try to southern it up with my grandma's macaroni every year. Obviously;)

Everyone pitches in to clean and get everything done so that my mother in law won't be stuck doing it herself.  Then we watch football, go for a walk and gossip for a few hours. Later, a few more stop in and we indulge in a few more desserts. That night I always go and stay with Tony's aunt and the next morning we get up at dawn and head out for Black Friday. I don't think that we do it as much for the sales as we do because we have so much fun being together. 

Now, on the complete opposite spectrum is when we are in Virginia. All of the men in my family go hunting the morning of Thanksgiving (sans Tony because I married me a Boston boy;) They all show up to my grandma's around 1 for lunch...all decked out in their camo. 

There is usually about 40-45 people and it is set up buffet style. Ham and Turkey are both center stage. macaroni, chicken casserole, green bean casserole, creamed corn, butter beans. (most of the veggies are straight from our farm) chocolate chess pie, pecan pie. Some jello dish with pecans and marshmallows that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole but everyone else fights over. and of course, sweet tea. 

100% opposites in how the day unfolds but both are absolutely perfect. They are full of good food and lots of laughs...and while both worlds are completely different , the people at each place are some of the best I know.

And that is what Thanksgiving is all about~!

Linking up with Joey and Kristin

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Decorating Timeline

Often times, our decorations for the holidays are based on our travel schedule for that year. Normally, if we are going to visit my family in Virginia, we get a tree and go all out. On the other hand, if that year we are going to Boston, we tend to decorate on a smaller scale and usually abstain from having a tree. Due to the fact we are normally gone for about ten days, it's just not worth it. 

Plus...there is the small detail of huge arguments tend to come up when we do the tree. I have little arms and for some reason he always thinks I can hold the tree up. No, me and my T-Rex arms cannot.

The one thing I am habitual on is when I actually decorate for Christmas and that date is always December 1st. And it has nothing to do with being bah hum bug as much as it has to do with fall being my favorite;) Growing up we always did it the Friday after Thanksgiving and it was a tradition I adored. Now half of my friends have had their houses decorated since the beginning of November! 

And for once...I am kind of jealous. Not jealous enough to change how I decorate but seeing some of these photos from friends with their fires, trees and hot cocoa while watching Hallmark movies may be making me slightly green with envy, but only slightly. 

 I have definitely watched more Christmas movies at this point in November than ever before. And I am not sorry about it. I did bring out my Christmas Cookie candle and burn it as I watched North Pole the other night...Maybe that counts for something;)

Another reason I wait until December to decorate is that we don't take our decorations down until Jan 6th, the day after "Little Christmas"  also known as ' The 12th Day of Christmas' We usually have a dinner and celebrate Le Befana with an Italian dinner. This is my favorite new tradition since we have gotten married! And it is one I am sharing with my family as well.

What are your decorating traditions? Do you prefer doing it any specific date? Is there a tree farm you go pick from? Does your family make a day of it? 

Linking up with Liz and Shanna

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Traipsing Around Bull City

This past weekend we spent the day looking at cars for me. Fingers crossed that we find one soon! While we were out and about we ended up stopping by the Historic Stagville Plantation in Durham. I got some lovely photos. It was a chilly, but perfect, fall day. 

Later that afternoon, I was in full on hungry rage and had to be fed immediately. We ended up at some burger joint that is very similar to Steak N Shake. It was fine and hit the spot, nothing to really write home about. Except for the huge oreo stuffed with their frozen custard. Oh my gosh, it was so good!

Then on Sunday we hosted supper club and had a few friends over. We made tacos and Tony got cupcakes. One of which was an oreo mousse cupcake. Entirely too good. 

This was our weekend. How was yours?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Girl Nights & Sangria

I am not sure that I can parlay exactly how much I love getting together with my girlfriends. There is just something about being with your favorite ladies and letting go. Over the years 'ladies night' has taken on many different versions. And I have appreciated each phase. 

Some were weekly events with girlfriends at a local restaurant that had half price desserts and cocktails on Thursday nights. And the pours were never held back just because the price was less than usual. Those weekly meetups saw different people come and go from our core group, but each time held plenty of laughs. More than enough were on my behalf because sometimes... I am really blonde and the tipsy version of me shows that off rather well. But I am a damn good time so there's that.

Then as we each got married and moved to different directions of town, girls night became a monthly meeting with no set location. We tasted our way around The Triangle. Those were some of my favorite memories. 

More so lately though, with almost all of the group being mothers, ladies night is an intermittent gathering, usually at someone's house. Cocktails and dessert are still very much present, as is the never ending stream of giggles. You know the kind, you laugh so hard you are making squeaking noises. Those are the times I look forward to the most.

The older I get...the more I appreciate my girlfriends. And any moments I get with them.

  This drink was from my last get together, simple and easy to whip up and it only packs a punch if you want it to. 

Apple Cider Sangria

1 bottle of red wine 
4 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup spiced rum
2 apples cut up
1 orange sliced
bottle of 7 up

In a large pitcher combine all ingredients except for the 7 up. Stir and refrigerate for about 3 hours.. 

Fill glassed 3/4 full and top with the 7 up. Or I have used sparking wine or once I even used Crispin hard cider instead. Each version is yummy! Just depends upon how much alcohol you want to add.