Dec 4, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 and Christmas Prep

{ I have a guest post up today on Amanda's blog, Diary of a Semi-Health Nut, about staying organized in college. Be sure to check it out and say hi! }

Look at me! I uploaded my Thanksgiving/holiday decorating photos before Christmas. This whole quitting my job thing has me so motivated and well, incredibly happy. I've been floating on cloud nine since I made the decision, which is so reassuring that I made the right one.

And I think this is the first Christmas in a long time that I've really been relaxed, yet motivated to enjoy the season and embrace it. But first, let me recap Thanksgiving. I know this is way overdue, but I love sharing beautiful food photos. And I'm just a wee bit proud I actually made it all myself.

Thanksgiving 2012-13

I found that the key to making Thanksgiving dinner (yes, even if it's just for you and your husband), is organization. I made a timeline and got started by prepping most of my dishes the night before.

Our tradition is to have bacon sandwiches for breakfast on Thanksgiving. Because? Well, I love bacon and I put the bacon grease in the green beans. Totally takes them to a new level, but bacon tends to do that to everything.

Thanksgiving 2012-2

Hey there, gorgeous morning sunshine! I had this plate times two.

As the beans simmered in the Crock Pot, we turned on Pandora to the Mariah Carey Christmas station and decorated our apartment. Sadly, our decorations a minimal, but they are growing.

Thanksgiving 2012-4

While "themed" trees are really beautiful, we keep our tree traditional, filled with ornaments from our childhood and gifts that we've received throughout the years. Our favorites: a wooden star that Brandon's late father carved in his wood shop and an old photo ornament of my late grandparents, both of which sit at the top of our tree.

Thanksgiving 2012-5

The mini nativity scene was a gift from my mom and I love the symbolism of having it underneath the tree, as it is the real gift of Christmas.

Oh and that's a dish towel. Tree skirts are so overpriced.

Remember how excited I was about our Pottery Barn (free shipping + free monogramming) stockings? Well, they were beautiful...

Thanksgiving 2012-6

... but they were also two completely different sizes! Mine was much bigger than Brandon's (more gifts for me, hehe). I took them back to Pottery Barn but couldn't order new ones because they are sold out for the season. Whomp. Whomp. Next year, I will get these back...and let's hope they will be the right sizes.

Thanksgiving 2012-7

Man, I love World Market.

Soon afterwards, the cooking fest began. I don't know how people do this for tons of guests and keep their cool. I was nervous enough cooking for two. But I managed to not burn anything or injure myself in the process. Practicing for that one crazy day when I have the nerve to throw a dinner party...I'm not there yet.

Thanksgiving 2012-10

Thanksgiving 2012-11

I need to start making stuffing more than once a year. It's truly amazing.

Thanksgiving 2012-12

And there you have it.

A small, yet festive Thanksgiving with some Christmas fun thrown in.

We booked our flights (using points!) and are so excited to spend a full two weeks this Christmas in Virginia with our families; eating my mom's sugar cookies, watching White Christmas five times, and snow tubing with some close friends. Oh, and I am determined to see the lovely Sarah.


Themed tree or traditional one? 
I'm hoping that when we get a larger home, we can do one of each. You can never have too many Christmas trees.


  1. Ah, I love your white stockings!!

  2. Sarah @ The Smart KitchenDecember 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I am SO bad at the TIMING of preparing a dinner. I think that's why I like appetizers so much, and would really just prefer to entertain with them. You can get them finished at all different times and either people don't notice, or you can say you planned it that way. When I try to do a big dinner, something is always unfinished, or has gotten cold, or whatnot.

    Also, I don't think you should get new stockings. You should ALWAYS get more presents. :)

  3. Yes, it's the timing that scares me the most and I agree - an appetizer party is much easier to prepare! Dips can be put in the frig and served when the guests come and veggie trays are easy to prep. Maybe I'll stick to that kind of entertaining...and we'll just order pizzas for the entreƩ :)

    Stocking big or small, I will always get more presents. It's in our wedding vows.

  4. I am with you Sarah!! Or since I don't want the food to get cold, it's not ready when people arrive and I feel bad. I'm so glad I don't have to do thanksgiving by myself!!

  5. I do not envy all that cooking you did!! My friend April and I were discussing why Thanksgiving dinner is such a big deal and kind of stressful...and it's probably because we don't cook like that on a regular basis! It's hard to remember how you did it a year ago lol!

    Yay for Christmas tree and stockings! We still haven't put mine up at my dad's...not sure where it will go this year haha.

    Thanks for posting for me friend!! <3


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