It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!!

Hey yall!!!  How is your week going?  We are still hanging on over here.  Life is good, I’ll never take for granted being alive, healthy (and not in the hospital).  That time in my life still all feels like one big blur even though it was months long.  I owe you guys an update and someday (hopefully sooner rather than later, I will get around to it.  But for now, know that I am still feeling great (regarding the GI/abdominal surgery issues).  I’m still working on getting my neck and back to get back to normal… or at least a more sustainable normal.  I’ll get there… eventually. 

I did actually do a second nerve block injection this week, which was once again successful.  For the nerve block, the doctor just injects a local anesthetic and if you feel relief for at least 8 hours (which I did both times), the doctor will proceed with scheduling the radiofrequency procedure which cauterizes (aka burns it).  So yesterday I got the go ahead to schedule the radiofrequency procedure for next week.  I’m a little nervous, but SO hopeful that this will be a positive step in the right direction to feeling better.  The last couple months I have been in so much pain, it is hard to function and complete daily tasks.  Coupled with the neck and back pain is severe migraines.  This is the worst side effect of the pain because it is very hard to concentrate when you can feel your pulse in your head.  Ugh!! None of the migraine medications have even touched my pain.  It is awful.  

But in true Taylor fashion, I know yall are here for the good stuff.  I’m more than happy to write about more these issues (if yall want to hear about them), but I’m a positive person and I try not to dwell on the crappy parts of life.  I like to focus on the good.  But if yall would like to see more “real talk” about the hard parts of life, I can go on forever. 😉

Now let’s chat about the holidays!  Such a great time of year and it has been so fun decorating our new house.  

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I love all things silver, gold, and red for the holidays.   IMG_0293

My favorite wreath that I bought last year from Home Goods.  They have the best stuff, don’t they?

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I love these fun dish towels for a pop of red in the kitchen!

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We are traveling to see my in-laws for Christmas this year so we decided to just put up the fake tree instead of getting a real one (my favorite!).  

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A few Christmas bowels, a santa, and a fun Christmas pillow!

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I usually put these gold beads on the tree, but I unpacked them after I decorated my tree this year so I just threw them in some vases.  Does anyone else have like 500 vases like me?  It is becoming a problem. LOL

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I love being in my house with a glass of red wine, relaxing with my husband and pups and just soaking in the holiday spirit.

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I bought these red throw blankets last year and love adding them to our decor during the holidays. 

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More stockings, reindeer, and ornaments!

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I put up lights outside on 4 pillars in front of our house, but ofcourse when I was almost finished… they all suddenly went out and we can NOT figure out the issue.  So I suppose it is time to invest in some new, nice lights.  We are thinking LED lights.  Do you guys have any that yall love?  

I am off to work for another day of information overload and taking it all in.  🙂  Is it Friday yet? LOL.  I hope you guys are having a great week!!! 

Questions:

  1. Do you decorate for the holidays? 
  2. If you celebrate Christmas, do you get a real tree or use a fake one?
  3. What is your favorite holiday treat?

Nashville Weekend Recap… Just a Little Late ;)

Hey friends!! I hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend!!  We did and boy, was it needed.  I was SO exhausted after my first week at my new job.  I know all new jobs are exhausting, but I’ve never learned more in one week than I did this past week.  Pair that with a bathroom remodel and my husband leaving on a business trip… it was quite the week.  But we are on the other side of that crazy, stressful week and I feel well rested and rejuvenated going into a brand new week.  Monday’s can be hard, but I always try to look at them as a new, fresh start and a chance to make this week better than the last.  

Speaking of last weekEND when we were in Nashville for our friends wedding.  My momma and stepdad took us out to dinner Sperrys, which is one of the best restaurants in Nashville, if you haven’t been.  It is perfect for a special occasion.  

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I got the red snapper and it was the most amazing piece of fish ever.  SOO tasty!

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After dinner, I dropped Jon off with his boys and headed to meet my girlies!!!  My two besties, Rachael and Lissa.

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After a couple drinks, Rach and I headed back to her fiance’s shop (he’s a fashion designer), where the boys were having a poker night.  Literally my favorite couple ever!

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So while the boys pokered (is that a word??), Rach and I had a fashion show. 😉 

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Love this girl more than words can explain. It has been a hard adjustment not being able to just pick up the phone and see my besties that day.  We were so blessed to live in Nashville near family and friends… even if it was only for a year and a half.  One day we will get back there for longer… 🙂

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My ride or die. 

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My sweet man, Rach, and our bestie, Jason. 

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Always having a blast with these guys.  We never miss a beat when we are all back together.  Great friends are hard to find so we aren’t letting these two go …ever!

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On Saturday night, we went to our friends wedding.  The ceremony was at a beautiful church in Nashville and the reception was downtown at Woolworth.  This is what I got when I told the boys to smile for a picture… 

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My sweet girl, Lissa, was a bridesmaid and looked absolutely stunning!

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Such a fun night celebrating good friends!! I love weddings so much!

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Me and my forever wedding date. 🙂 

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They had a huge buffet with the best food!  It was all sooo yummy! 

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My husband and I went home a little before the reception ended because we were exhausted from the night before and we had an early flight on Sunday morning.  My dad was out on Broadway after the Predators game and sent me this picture of him with the bride and groom!!!!!! How freaking funny is that!!

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That’s all I’ve got for today, but I’ll be back soon with another weekend recap… and before and after pictures of our bathroom remodel.  We just have to get glass (for the shower) and counter tops installed and we are about done!  I can’t wait.  I would love to hear about your weekend in the comments!!! xoxoxo

Questions:

  1. How was your weekend?
  2. Have you been to any weddings recently? 
  3. How long have you been friends with your very best friend?

Running On Thin Ice… and Very Little Sleep

Yall, I’m tired.  No, wait.  That doesn’t accurately describe how I have felt this week.  The better word is EXHAUSTED.  I’m not sure I have ever felt this level of exhaustion before.  

We are in the middle of our master bathroom/laundry renovation, still getting settled in our new home, I’ve been meeting with so many new doctors and got a nerve block last week and have one scheduled for next week (the first one was successful and if the second one is successful, they will proceed with the nerve burning in my neck, I have been doing Arrosti therapy a few times per week (it’s a mix between soft tissue work and physical therapy), my husband was out of town for work this week… and I started a new job on Monday!  So to say this week has been crazy is no understatement.  I am so so so tired.  I am ready for the weekend… although we have a to-do list (mostly consisting of things we need to pick out for our new bathroom like countertops, mirrors, light fixtures, ect. 

It’s just all been a lot while starting a new job.  But you guys, this is literally my dream job.  I actually interviewed with this company for a different position and they called me and said, “we really think you are a perfect fit for this other position!” so I interviewed for that one and got a call that same day that they chose me.  And the offer was one that I just could not refuse.  So I am extremely excited about this new position, but with any new job, there is SO much to learn and it is all a bit overwhelming at first.  I like being a month or two into a new job when you hit that sweet spot and feel like you finally know what is expected of you and what your role really is within the team.  

But yall know me, I like to be positive.  I just think perspective is so important in life.  I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and I’m ready to really expand my knowledge and skill set.  So let’s back up and reflect on all the GOOD stuff from last weekend!!! 

Last weekend we headed to Nashville for our good friend’s wedding (this friend is also a realtor and actually sold our Nashville house!!).  It was so nice to travel home after spending Thanksgiving in San Antonio and it was nice to look forward to this trip after feeling a little homesick since moving.  

The weekend was so amazing.  I keep remembering all the fun times and it always just reminds me how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and the opportunity to travel and witness important days in our friends lives.  We are truly so blessed.  

This sweet face was pretty hard to leave.  We found a couple great dog sitters in San Antonio, which I am so grateful for.  We were SO spoiled in Nashville having so many friends (lissa mostly) and family to depend on when we needed help with the pups.  

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We arrived in Nashville late on Thursday night and headed to my dad’s house.  My husband planned to work from the Nashville office on Friday so I dropped him off and headed to my mom’s for the day to do our annual Christmas cookie baking!! 

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We made about 4 different cookies, my mom had pre-made some gingerbread men (and froze them), and I iced the cookies and made chocolate covered pretzels when I arrived back to San Antonio.  This picture is from the boys poker night in Nashville on Friday.  I asked my friend, Eric, if he had any platters to put the cookies on (they boys played poker at his shop… he is a fashion designer) and this is what he gave me…. 😉 

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Once we got home (cookies and all), I assembled cookie boxes for my husband’s coworkers, our neighbors, and friends!

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They turned out super cute!

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These pups were hoping for some crumbles!!!

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I will pick back up with my recap very soon!! Can’t wait to share some more pictures with you guys!!! I have seriously missed yall and I hope you understand that it has just been a crazy time around here!  It will all settle down soon (I hope!!!) so I can get back to regular posts.  

I hope yall are having an amazing week!!

Questions:

  1. What is new in your world?
  2. Tell me the best thing you ate this week!
  3. What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

Thanksgiving Recap Part 2!

Hey friends!!!  Are yall still hanging in there?  The week after Thanksgiving is tough!  I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things over here.  I did manage to get up all of our Christmas decorations the other day so I will share those soon!  It’s always fun to decorate a new house and figure out where things will go.   

The workers are almost finished with the bathroom demo.  I am so excited this project is underway.  I will be glad when it is done because the dogs do NOT like people in our house. 😉 

We are heading off to Nashville later today for a long weekend at home.  We have a good friend’s wedding on Saturday night, which we are really looking forward to.  I have plans with my momma on Friday to bake Christmas cookies!! I’m so excited!  I was really bummed when I found out we were moving that we wouldn’t be able to have our Christmas cookie baking weekends in December so I am really happy we were able to fit it in this trip!  

We played a lot of games over Thanksgiving, but my favorite was clue.  Did you guys used to play this when you were younger? 

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Callie was not impressed.

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The Thanksgiving spread!! 

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We had turkey, cranberry sauce (homemade and from a can), sweet potato casserole (with a pecan and maple syrup topping with pecans from our backyard!), potato casserole, stuffing, rolls, green beans and almonds dish, corn casserole, and roasted brussels, butternut squash with pecans and goat cheese!  

It was all so so so delicious!!!! We had leftovers for days!

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The whole fam including the pups!! We had a full house!

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My sweet man.  He drives me nuts each and every day, but I’m not sure where I’d be without him. 

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My sweet sister, her boyfriend, Max, and their pups.  

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Daddy and his kiddos! 

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So happy these two came all the way from Nashville to spend Thanksgiving with us.  

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You guys may remember my dad is not really a dog person, but my dogs (especially Riley) love my dad.  Riley wasted no time finding my dad each time he sat down.  

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I got so lucky in the sibling department.  These two are my fav!

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More clue!  Notice Otis asleep on the table.  🙂

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Whenever anyone was eating.. there were always 4 little faces staring until the plate was put away.  

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Catchphrase!

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My sister and Max brought two pies from a local place in Dallas that we all love and we used one as a birthday cake to celebrate my daddy!!!  

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We got him an applewatch for his birthday and he texted us a few days later and said, “well I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong… but then I realized it was just out of battery.”  We laughed so hard… yes, dad, you do have to charge the watch each day. LOL 

Look how sweet my sister is!  She surprised my dad with this game of Dad trivia!  My brother and Jon were on a team and Max and I were on another team.  

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It was SO much fun.  We all learned a lot about my dad and we learned that Jon pays more attention to his stories than any of us. 😉  My dad joked after Jon got a few questions right in a row… “I bet go change my will.”  LOL

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This is how Max typically ended the night.  He just couldn’t hang.  

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I was sitting on the couch one day and all of a sudden I had 4 puppies on me.  This is what my heaven looks like.  Jon, can we get one more PLEASEEEE??

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On Friday my sister and I got our nails done to celebrate her getting sworn in as an attorney.  We are all so stinkin proud of this girl!!  She’s such a smarty pants!

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We took the dogs to the dog park on Saturday to get their energy out!

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On Saturday night (my dad and brother left Friday  because he had a hockey tournament in Nashville that weekend) Jon, my sister, Max, and I went out for sushi!

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Such a fun little date night!  

IMG_0196After dinner we went to a comedy show!  It was really funny and such a fun night out!  

As exhausting as holidays can be, they are so much fun.  I love having traditions with my family and creating new memories each year.  We are really excited for Christmas with Jon’s family this year!!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Questions:

  1. What is hard to get back into a routine this week after the holiday?
  2. What are you looking forward to in December?
  3. Did you do any black Friday/cyber Monday shopping?

Thanksgiving Week Recap Part 1!

Hey friends!!! How are you guys doing?  Recovering from the Thanksgiving holiday like me?  We had the best time with my sister, her boyfriend, my dad and little brother last week and I am definitely having some of those post holiday blues this week.  It’s so crazy how much time and preparation goes into Thanksgiving (the meal and festivities) and then it is all over just like that in the blink of an eye.  

We got to celebrate our first holiday in our new house in San Antonio, which was super fun.  Our new house is one story (compared to our 4 story house in Nashville), which is much more conducive to entertaining and hosting guests because everyone is always nearby at all times.  It made the week even that much more fun.  Speaking of the new house, the master bathroom renovation project is underway!  The workers started Monday morning… and I am already ready for them to be finished. 🙂  Those of you that have lived through major renovations (our is just a bathroom), I don’t know how you did it.  If the builder gets all the drawings approved by the city, they should be starting our new carport next week!  I’m excited to get these projects moving so we can enjoy them.  

Back to last week.  Relieving these fun moments makes the post holiday blues worth it.  We really did have the best week with my family. 

My dad and brother arrived to San Antonio late Tuesday night so I picked them up from the airport.  Another great thing about our new house location in San Antonio is that we are only 7 minutes from the airport.  7!!! It is amazing … for us and guests!  Riley went straight to Jacob and my dad when they arrived.  My doggies definitely recognized them and ran right up to them both.  

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My sister and her boyfriend (and their two pups) actually arrived from Dallas (they drove) late Tuesday night too!  My husband, sister, and her bf all had to do some work Wednesday so my dad, brother, and I decided to go to the Alamo.  I had just driven past it previously.  

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There are audio and guided tours available, but the neat thing about the Alamo is that it is completely free to tour.  We had fun walking around the old church, watching a short film, and seeing a few different reenactments.   

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After touring the Alamo, we walked over to see the River Walk before it started raining and we headed back home.  

Wednesday night we had plans to go out to dinner and then go to the Spurs game. 

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We had dinner at a little local Italian restaurant before the game.  It was so delicious!

It was such a great game that came down to the last second.  Unfortunately, the Spurs lost, but it was still a really fun evening.  

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Cheering!

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My sweet Jonny!

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I’ve got the best siblings around! 

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The whole gang at the game!

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My sister’s boyfriend’s parents sent us this yummy package to enjoy!!! 

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Thursday morning started off bright and early with the San Antonio Turkey Trot!  My husband I have made this an annual tradition each Thanksgiving no matter if we are in Nashville, Indianapolis, or even San Antonio!!  Starting Thanksgiving on an active note is my favorite.  Especially since the proceeds of each race entry went to feeding a family in need a Thanksgiving dinner.  That alone is reason to run! 

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This year, our fury friends were allowed to tags along so you know we brought the whole crew (all 4 dogs!).  They were all very curious in the car. 

My dad and little brother walked the race and since Riley can’t run too far anymore Jacob walked with them.  

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My dad carried walked Otis too since he has bad knees.  

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My sister, her bf, Jonny, and me ran the course with Callie and Murphy. 

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The race was just a 5k, which was the perfect distance for a morning run.  It was a little chilly at the start, but we all ended up a little hot by the end.  I am not hating this warm weather one bit. 🙂

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I gave my husband one job this Thanksgiving and that was the turkey.  I love cooking and have made a Thanksgiving meal myself a couple times over the years, but this year I really wanted to enjoy the day and not spend the entire time in the kitchen.  I prepped a lot of the side dishes ahead of time and I didn’t end up really starting to cook until about 2pm (we ate at 6pm).  

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When we moved into our new house last month, my husband told me our old grill didn’t survive the move and that we needed to get a new one.  This is his department so he decided to buy a wood pellet Traeger Grill.  He told me he was going to cook the turkey on the grill this year… I was a LITTLE skeptical, but hey, I don’t even eat turkey so if that turns out badly, at least my sides will be good.  This grill actually smokes meat and I have been told that the turkey was the star of the show this year.  I mean my casseroles were really good so…. 🙂 Magically our old grill just started working the other day…aka I’m pretty sure it was never broken and my husband just wanted an excuse to buy a new grill.  Men and their toys. 😉 

My husband’s coworker that is originally from Puerto Rico stopped by for a drink in the afternoon and brought us some homemade Coquito, a popular holiday drink from Puerto Rico.  This isn’t the exact recipe she used, but it was similar.  We eat had a couple sips and wow, it was strong!  It honestly tasted like a pina colada and now I want to go to the beach. 🙂

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I’m going to save the rest for tomorrow!  I’ll be back soon with the second half of my Thanksgiving recap!!! I would love to hear all about yours too!!

Questions:

  1. How was your Thanksgiving holiday?
  2. What is one Thanksgiving tradition you do each year?
  3. What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

I’ve Been Baking All The Things!

Hey yall!!  How’s it going?  We have had a busy couple of days over here with appointments, meetings, and getting ready for our visitors and Thanksgiving!  All good things so no complaining here.  We have been running around getting all the supplies for our bathroom renovation that will start in a few days so that is exciting.  

I showed you guys my new stand up mixer that my parents got me for my birthday, and you guys, it is changing my life.  I also have a little extra time on my hands right now so I have been taking full advantage of that and have been baking and cooking up a storm.  My mixer is making all my baking dreams come true.  I didn’t realize how much it would change my baking experience not having to mix everything by hand.  It’s amazing.  

First up on my list was banana bread! 

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I made small loaves/big muffins and individually wrapped them for my husband’s coworkers and our new neighbors.  I used this recipe and it got some rave reviews!  I made extra for my husband and he has been eating it up! 

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We brought some of my mom and stepdad’s honey from Tennessee so we could give them a little gift of homemade banana bread and honey.  

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I had some gluten free flour in the pantry so decided to make a gluten free loaf for when my family is in town this week.  My sister is sensitive to gluten like me and we both feel much better when we avoid it.  

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I used this recipe and then frozen the loaf to keep it fresh (and away from my husband) until my family arrives. 🙂 

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My husband was craving homemade chocolate chip cookies one night and I needed an excuse to use my new mixer so I whipped up a batch for him.  I used this recipe when I realized I didn’t have any brown sugar on hand (I also added in white chocolate chips) and my husband loved them!! I made extra dough and froze it to pull out this week when my family is here.  I’m all about spending the least amount of time in the kitchen when family is around so prepping ahead is key for me.  

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I also whipped up a few batches of my favorite butternut squash soup to have on hand for easy lunches this week (I froze it in batches).  

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I have been using this recipe for butternut squash soup for years now and it is by far my favorite.  

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I think the secret ingredient is the curry powder.  I promise it does not taste like curry.  But it gives the soup SO much flavor.  It is just so so so good.  I sent my husband to work with a bowl of it for lunch the other day and he has been asking for more ever since. 🙂

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I sent my husband to Costco the other day for a few things and he came home with a huge back of frozen riced cauliflower.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I do 90% of our grocery shopping because my husband never sticks to the list.  Well this time his impulse buy turned out to be a great choice.  We decided to make homemade cauliflower crust pizzas.  

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I have no idea what recipe my husband used, but it was pretty basic with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, spices, maybe some herbs, and eggs.  I topped my pizza with artichokes, pesto, mushrooms, shaved brussels, and I feel like there was one more ingredient, but now I can’t remember!  My husband hand onions, mushrooms, and pepperoni.    

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I mean is there anything better than bubbly crispy cheese?? 

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Don’t yall worry, I still have been having lots of salads with salmon.  Can’t kick my salads.  

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My mother-in-law sent me a new cookbook and all these different types of dried beans for my birthday (we discuss our mutual love for beans often) so we decided to try out a black bean chowder recipe one night.  

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I topped mine with avocado.  It was amazing.  I’m usually a canned bean kind of girl (hey, I’m a little lazy and dried beans take a long time to cook), but these beans were definitely much better than canned beans.  They had a lot more texture and flavor.  

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Well that’s all I’ve got for today!!  Off to get working on my to-do list!!  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family!! 🙂 

Questions:

  1. Do you like to bake? 
  2. What is the last thing your made from scratch?
  3. What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Weekend Recap X 2!

Hey friends!! I hope you all had a nice weekend!!  We sure did.  It was a nice mix of fun and productivity and relaxing at home.  I’m combining the last two weekend recaps into one because well… I am behind and truthfully, they looked quite similar. 

We have been taking lots of walks in our new neighborhood.  The weather has been pretty funny… 70 one day then freezing the next.   

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But we will take all the good weather we can get!  We even explored a new park last weekend with the pups! I love my crew. 🙂

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There has been a LOT going on over here between getting settled, job hunting, interviewing, renovations, etc.  I have a few posts planned that will fill you in a bit more very soon!  One of my aunts sent me this amazing Harry & David’s snack box for my birthday and we have been eating it up!! Such a fun and delicious gift!

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We went to a nearby Mexican restaurant with some new friends last weekend and it was delicious!!  

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We’ve been working hard to get our house all organized and set up (pics to come!) so anytime to lounge on the couch with these three is right up my alley.  They pups are really adjusting well to the new house so that makes me so happy.  They are also super spoiled right now because I am home all day with them. 🙂

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And the pecans keep on coming!  I’ve been shelling lots of pecans from our backyard for our Thanksgiving meal this week!! So fun!!  My sister, her boyfriend, my dad, and little brother are all coming into town this week so we are really excited for our visitors!!

I spent some time this weekend organizing my pantry.  I am going to have Jon build me some shelves that pull out (it is so hard to see everything with a deep pantry), but until then, putting things into see-through containers with labels make it easier to find things and not have so many bags and boxes in the pantry.  

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Whether I am applying to jobs, blogging, or reading, these two are always right next to me.  PS I finally finished Lisa Gardner’s, The Other Daughter, and it was really good.  It took me a long time to read because of the move, but I am already excited to start the next one.  I am determined to read all of her books this year.  She definitely my favorite other right now.  

Lord help me… after a few weeks of figure out our carport and bathroom remodel plans, we have officially hired a two different guys for the two projects.  We have been searching around for flooring, new cabinets, and tile for the shower and we finally made a couple decisions this weekend.  I am never building a house from the ground up… too many decisions.  I was overwhelmed when just redoing ONE bathroom.  Ugh!  I’m really excited for it to be started… and finished.  The bathroom remodel and laundry room floor project will begin right after Thanksgiving!! Yay!!  The carport requires quite a lot of approving where we live so we are waiting for the builder to hear back from the city on our permit.  

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That’s all I’ve got for today!!  Off to do a little more shopping and some errands before my family starts arriving tomorrow.  So excited!!! 

Questions:

  1. Highlight of your weekend?
  2. Have you ever built/designed/remodeled a house or even just a room?
  3. Are you traveling for Thanksgiving?