Week In Review | November 23 – November 29, 2015

In last week’s review post I talked about how “blissfully uneventful” the calm before the holidays took us by storm seemed.  This past week was the complete opposite!  Well, not exactly, I suppose, because it was still a week filled with joy but quite eventful at that!  I’d like to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram with you.

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week in review thanksgiving prep 12-01-2015

My week was dedicated to all things Thanksgiving, starting with more house prep, grocery shopping, and organizing my kitchen before a big day of baking and cooking on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s eating fest.  It was a long day on my feet, but well worth it as I was quite pleased with how all of my baked treats turned out.  I made Three Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins as take home treats for our guests, my chocolate chip cookies, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust, and Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust.  I also whipped up my Grandma’s sweet potato casserole recipe, giblet stock, and made the brine for my roast turkey.  All in all, it was a very productive day in the kitchen!

week in review thanksgiving 12-01-2015

We kicked off the holiday with Thanksgiving eve supper at my parents house with family who was visiting from out of town.  My Mom sure knows how to set a beautiful table!  She made her mouth watering delicious beef bourguignon, which was out of sight!  It was wonderful to catch up with loved ones while enjoying a scrumptious meal together.

On Thursday, Don and I hosted family and friends for our 9th annual Thanksgiving feast, starting with football and snacks in the early afternoon and supper served in the evening.  It’s always a very relaxed occasion (for everyone but the cooks, of course, but we don’t mind).  I love that our guests have the opportunity to spend time together catching up and making memories in our home.

Don and I split the main cooking duties.  He makes chicken wings (as a hot appetizer), a smoked turkey, accompanying gravy, and the mashed potatoes, and I make the roast turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, and desserts.  We lay out a spread of cold snacks and our family fills in the rest of the sides and hot appetizers to share.  Family friends help clear the dishes and load the dishwasher after dinner.  It truly is a group effort!

week in review thanksgiving aftermath 12-01-2015

I was pleasantly surprised that Thanksgiving came and went without a hitch and I was able to keep up with my usual hostessing duties despite being eight months pregnant.  My feet definitely paid for my efforts, but that happens every year, pregnant or not!  I spent most of Friday cleaning up and putting the house back together with the help of the guys.  By the end of the day we even had our two big Christmas trees up, which is an annual tradition for us, just in time to watch White Christmas in front of the fire.  It never felt so good to put my feet up and get into the holiday spirit with this classic movie!  My dog, Winnie, felt exactly the same, as you can see.  😉

week in review weekend 12-01-2015

We spent our weekend split between transforming the house for the holiday season and with our families.  On Saturday night we celebrated the one year wedding anniversary of my cousin and his partner (who you might remember we threw a wedding reception for last Thanksgiving weekend).  They’ve actually been together for 38 years!  It was fun to take them back to Ruth’s Chris where we held the reception last year for a trip down memory lane.

It was a whirlwind week for sure, but one filled with so much light and laughter.  
I am beyond grateful for all of the love in my life! ❤︎

I vlogged sharing my Thanksgiving prep and party last week:

I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving if you celebrated and care to share.
I hope your holiday season is off to a great start!


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17 thoughts on “Week In Review | November 23 – November 29, 2015”

  1. Wonderful video. Thanks for sharing your day with us. I am bummed that I forgot to take any pictures of our day. We hosted here as well. We have three grown children and two still at home plus my husband’s brother who came. It was a full house for us. A great day!

  2. Everything looked amazing; kudos to you for getting it all done! I’m going to have to give the pie and cheesecake recipes a try!I’m really curious about how you reheated the turkey without it getting dry.

  3. What a wonderful video. Thank you so much for sharing your Thanksgiving with us. We also hosted a fairly big crowd. It is such a joy to be with family and all those you love. Hope you have recouped from all the activity and can rest up!

  4. Your spread looks amazing. Do you have a particular recipe you follow for your turkey prep and stuffing? Love your videos!

  5. You are such an inspiration. I hope to become half the hostess you are. I’d love to have a pdf of your checklists! I wonder if you could offer that to your readers? I’d also love an update on your Thanksgiving binder. I know you did a video years ago but it would be great to see this year’s. Hope you enjoy some well deserved rest.

  6. Hi Jen, I’ve watched your Thanksgiving video for four years now, and somehow this was my favorite. I think it’s knowing that you’re carrying a little blessing is what sets it apart from the others. I’m beyond happy for you, Don and your families, and was beyond impressed with what you were able to do on Thanksgiving. Both you and Don’s dishes looked amazing, and your filming was flawless. I’ve said it before, but, I am so grateful for what you and Don do for all of us. Its very much appreciated and such a joy to watch. Like our holiday movies, it’s becoming one of my holiday traditions. Blessings, Lisbeth.

  7. I am such a fan I check every night for a new one I love to be so inspired I can’t clean house or cook till I have seen your video
    I am 59 years old will be 60 next month I feel it too but watching you it makes me feel a little bit younger
    I used to be so busy like you and I still want to Love the decorating the cooking the organizing the tips on what’s is new and trendy even all the baby stuff I am so excited for you love the hauls also
    You cover everything I know you will be busy soon with the baby
    But leave time for us thanks

  8. Looks like you had such a brilliant weekend! I love how you and your family go all out with the table settings and everyone bringing a plate along, it’s what families are for that’s for sure! I love that about this time of year, everyone coming together, it’s so humbling and fun!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  9. How did the apple pie look when you cut it? (do you have a picture?) Did pre-cooking the apples keep them from settling down in the pie as you had hoped? If pre-cooking the apples solves the problem then I know I will be making that change in my favorite apple pie recipe!

    1. It did collapse a bit but not as much as in previous years when I didn’t par cook the apples. I feel like maybe I could have baked it a touch less long, but everyone seemed to enjoy it, so I guess it worked out!

  10. Hi Jen, have you ever posted a video of recipe of your grandmother’s sweet potato casserole? It looks so good, I would love to make it for Thanksgiving!

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