From my Hart: Our First Thanksgiving

Hello all! I’m sorry to be coming to y’all on Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday but I’ve had so many wonderful things going on, this is the first time I’ve gotten to sit and relax.

On Thanksgiving we hosted my and my fiancé’s immediate families. It was a wonderful time!! We all mixed, mingled & enjoy delicious food together!

With a bit of rearranging, we were able to extend our dinning room table to fit everyone! We leaned on our families to help bring side dishes & cooked the big bird!

I got some wonderful table setting items from Walmart & Amazon, a new tablecloth from HomeGoods & the table was set!

I made my go-to appetizer: bre with caramel topping served with ginger snaps. We got Wegmans mashed potatoes because they are a top favorite in our family, and also served mac’n’cheese, brussels sprouts & rolls.

We had the most wonderful time with everyone & think we’ll be making this our tradition for the years to come!

From my Hart: Thanksgiving Prep

Hey y’all! Can you believe that this time next week, Thanksgiving will have come and gone and it will be Black Friday?

I personally, cannot wait so that I can deck our halls. In every house we looked into purchasing, my realtor was sure to comment on two things: “Okay which wall do you want to tear down & where are you putting your Christmas tree?”

Since I was little, I have always envisioned myself decorating my own home for Christmas- so this truly is a dream come true. My fiance and I stood outside on Halloween night and planned out how we would add wreaths and lights to our home. But I digress- that will be another post 😉

We, in the sweet exhaustion of moving, decided to host Thanksgiving! I wanted to quickly share with y’all some tools that I’ve been using to help keep ourselves from going insane.

Tip #1: DELEGATE

I must have been somewhat in my right mind when agreeing to host Thanksgiving because I told my fiance I was on board- so long as we delegated. I have been using this lovely sheet to help me keep things organized! We are going to prepare the Turkey, drinks, table setting, etc. and have asked others to fill in the gaps! This really has helped alleviate the stress.

IMG_8437

Tip #2: Stay Organized

I’ve also printed off a guest list tracker & a timeline to help. I tend to get up in my head and panic, and these help me see exactly what needs to be done when, and for exactly how many people.

 

You can find them here, and I keep everything in a nice folder right in our kitchen so we can access it easily!

Fun Things:

We got an adorable table setting, complete with a fresh new tablecloth from HomeGoods! I’ve kept our fall decor out & my fiance ordered us a fresh bird from the butcher around the corner. I cannot wait to show you all next week how it all turned out, but hope these items help you stay calm and collected during Thanksgiving! Remember, it’s all about being present, not perfect, and enjoying time with those you love.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

From my Hart: Brie Appetizer

I don’t mean to toot my own horn…. but yes I do! Y’all this appetizer could not be more simple and festive! I’ve been bringing this to holiday parties for years now & people cannot get enough of it.

Ingredients:

IMG_5707

  1. Brie cheese wheel, on in this case quarters
  2. Caramel nut topping from Wegmans
  3. Ginger Snaps

Of course, you could get really fancy & make your own topping. I’ve done this before by just crabbing caramel sauce, some dried cranberries, nut of my choice, dried apple slices & spices. However, when Wegmans makes this by the tub, I just grab it to go and assemble at home, or work!

 

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place brie wheel in an oven safe dish & top with topping
  3. Let the brie warm through in the oven- about 15 minutes
  4. Remove from oven, add ginger snap and enjoy!

 

The ginger snaps really set this dish apart. I had been using crackers, but the snaps just help elevate the flavors of the already delicious dish. It’s so festive, and addictive!

IMG_5728

 

Dishes:

I usually use my Temptations Cookware from QVC, because it is dishwasher, freezer & oven safe. It also comes with a lid, trivet and wire carrying rack, which is perfect for entertaining! My set in currently in storage, but I HIGHLY suggest getting this for all of your holiday dishes.

 

 

From my Hart: Thankful

2017, thus far, as been a whirlwind year. Not only do I feel as if we have flown through this year, but I have had so many unpredictable things happen, that as I flip back through my planner, I cannot believe it.

In reviewing all that has happened in this year, I thought it would be appropriate to do a thankful post. These moments that I highlighted below were hard for me to be thankful for at first, but in the end, I trusted God and it all worked out just swell.

Kenzie:

kenzMy sweet little pup is something I thank God everyday for. This year, we had some scary moments where we thought we would lose her. Kenzie has always had a sensitive tummy, and over the summer she gave us quite the scare. We recently found out that both her stomach and intestines are thick, and eventually she will no longer want to eat. This is when the vet says she will have cancer.

That is not something you ever want to hear. This dog is my best friend, she is always there and loves me unconditionally. We have no way of knowing when this will happen; it could be tomorrow, it could be in four years! So, we take each day as it comes, and soak up every moment with her while we can. I am so thankful for every additional day and all the love and fun she brings into my life.

Job Opportunities:

IMG_5591February began a new career for me. I was over the moon to have finally found “the one” job that was a career I could see myself in for the long term. When that didn’t pan out, you can read about that here, it sent me spiraling. I couldn’t see how things could so drastically switch into the negative when they once were so positive.

Now, three months past that door closing, I am standing on the other side with fresh eyes. I am in a career that I love, where I am valued, challenged, and can enjoy the work and people around me. This new job has everything I always wanted, but never thought I could have all at once. I have the opportunity for growth and am just enjoying each day as it comes.

Name Change:

15493744_351560088555987_6702106668457174979_oOne of the best examples of something in 2017 not going as I had planned would be my adoption. There are moments where I am entangled in the negativity and anger of it all, but as I said in my initial post, I feel as if I am being protected from something which I cannot see. My Dad and family have rallied around me once again, and I can easily pull myself out of the negative thoughts and rest easy in the peace that I’ve got the Dad I always wanted, and a piece of paper can’t change that.

In a cool twist, one of my friends changed his name too! It was so nice to learn that I wasn’t the only one who felt their “step-father” was their real Dad. We don’t have to have adoption papers to prove who our ‘real’ Dad’s are. They are standing right behind us, always.

What else…?

I am so thankful for my friends, family, home & finances; the usual, but just as awesome suspects. In retrospect, there are a hundred things that I am thankful for in this year. Moments shared with friends over tea/wine, puppies, babies, good health, vacations, weddings, tattoos, technology & this blog! I try very hard to stay in the positive, I just thrive better that way. It’s not easy, but looking back at this year, I’ve got more to be thankful for than ever!

give+thanks

the feature image from this post can be found here, I found it by searching on Pinterest
Give Thanks image can be found here