All the Holiday Activities

Hi guys!!  Can’t believe it is Monday already!  Do you all have to work today?  Jon has the day off, but I don’t.  Oh that reminds me… I am still working on a post of our new dining room table he made.  He actually just recently made me a new bench for our front porch with the help of his brother and once it is stained I will show you all that too!  It sure is nice having a husband that loves projects and is good at them!

While my sister and her boyfriend were in town, we made sure to fit in as many outings and adventures as possible!  Our family friends, Harry and Jeanne, invited us out to breakfast one morning at Le Peep, but ofcourse I forgot to take a picture.  We also took about 100 walks and trips to the dog park, but it was just too cold to document. 🙂

On Tuesday we all decided to go see the movie  Downsizing. Have any of you guys seen it?  We all thought it was horrible, but hey, we enjoyed the popcorn and comfy recliner seats. 🙂

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On Wednesday night, my sister, her boyfriend, Jon and I went out to dinner at Park Cafe and it sure did not disappoint.  We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals, which were devoured before I could take any pictures.  We then headed over to Neighbors for an evening of bar trivia with some friends!  We ended up coming in 2nd place!  

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On Thursday night, Jon and I had plans with his old boss (from when we lived in Cincinnati) and his wife for dinner.  We suggested Sea Salt and it was soo yummy!  We all got fish dishes and loved them!  

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Such a fun night!

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On Friday night we had dinner plans again (do you see a common theme food with a lot of our activities?).  We met my mom and stepdad at Sperrys for an amazing meal!  Love my momma! 

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The whole crew!

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After dinner my friend Rachael came over with her pup, Cooper, for game night!  We played a few games and my mom requested a picture with all the doggies lined up in a row.  This was as close as we got.  🙂 

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Murphy, my sister and her boyfriend’s puppy used Riley’s old crate while they were at our house.  While we were playing games, we kept noticing Callie sneaking into the crate (probably to hide from the small, crazy dogs who wanted to play with her).  She’s the cutest.  

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My sister and her boyfriend had plans on Saturday night to attend a wedding so I opted for a girls night with my bestie, Lissa.  We decided on Tavern for dinner and got a seat where we could watch the Predators game too!  

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Jon’s brother, Ryan, came to town for the game.  They had a blast! 

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I should have titled this blog post “the most times dining out in one week.” 🙂  Sunday around lunchtime we headed to the Gulch for brunch at Biscuit Love before the Titans game. We all really loved our meals!  This place is a must if you are in the area!

 

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After brunch we headed downtown to see the Titans play!  Thankfully we were able to snag tickets in a suite through my husband’s work.  Otherwise, I think I would have been watching from my couch.  I couldn’t believe how many people sat out in the freezing cold to watch the game.  I enjoy a good sporting event, but I don’t like any sport THAT much. 😉 

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Me and my sistaaa!

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and Max!!

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Lots and lots of games were played throughout the holidays.  Notice Otis’ eyes in the first picture and then the second picture.  And….he’s out! 🙂 

We had a few ideas for plans on NYE, but after the Titans game, we were all wiped!  We headed to bed early for a good night’s rest.  My sister, her boyfriend, and their pups hit the road bright and early for their long drive back to Dallas.  Jon and I spent New Year’s day cleaning the house, organizing, and cooking before deciding to head to the mall for Dillard’s New Year’s Day sale.  We really love this sale and try to stock up each year.  I got a few things, but my husband really cleaned up.  He got 2 new suits, 6 pairs of pants and 4 new shirts!  It was a major deal!  He really needed a new suit after I put his nice one through the wash a while ago and ruined it.  Whoops. 🙂 

There was one more activity we did over the holidays, but that deserves it’s own post so that will be up soon!  I hope you all really enjoyed the holidays this year too!  We sure did!  I was tired from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but I certainly had a case of the post holiday blues when they were over.  Until next year!

Questions:

  1. Did you travel for the holidays?
  2. What was your favorite activity you did this holiday season?
  3. Did you eat at any yummy restaurants over the holidays? 

The Holidays Continued…

Happy Friday friends!!!  I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready for a low key weekend at home.  We hosted my husband’s team at work for dinner last night at our house and I was up way past my bedtime.  Also, we need to talk about the weather.  Yesterday it was 70 (!!!) in Nashville and today it is 30 and snowing… It is supposed to continue throughout the day so we will see what happens, but I am ready for some tea, my couch, a blanket and a good book! 

Picking up from where I last left off on Christmas eve.  On Christmas morning we were up bright and early to begin the festivities.  The presents were overflowing in my living room that morning. I guess we were on the good list this year. 😉 

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It was such a treat to wake up in our own house this year on Christmas morning!  Since we were staying in town this year and hosting my sister, her boyfriend, and their two pups, we agreed to host Christmas brunch for part of the family and Christmas dinner for the other half of the family.  We were just happy to get to stay home all day! 

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My mom, stepdad, and our family friends, Harry and Jeanne (they are both in their 90s!!!) came over for Christmas brunch with us!  We made brioche french toast, homemade granola, a big bowl of fruit, a veggie frittata and a bacon and sausage quiche.  It was all delicious! 

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After brunch we headed upstairs for a couple games of ping pong.  Are Harry and Jeanne not the absolute cutest ever?  Jon and I want to be like them when we grow up. 😉 

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Just call me the dog whisperer, yall! 🙂 

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My mom makes every person who comes to our house play ping pong with her.  Even though Harry is in his 90s, he was no exception. 😉 He’s still got it! 

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After a while we headed back downstairs to start opening the presents! Jon decided Callie needed a little Christmas spirit. 😉 

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My mom egging Murphy on with the ribbon. 

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My mom insisted on this picture below and I am sure glad she did.  My mom and grandma used to make lemon bars for parties and family gatherings all the time.  Well my mom let me know (at least 100 times) that she was no longer able to find the lemon bar mix at the grocery store.  So I did what any logical person would do and I order a case of lemon bars (12 boxes) off of amazon for her. 😉  And I wrapped each one individually.  She didn’t catch on until opening about the 5th box. 😉 We all had a pretty good laugh!

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I feel like I was in the kitchen for a few days straight over the holidays, but luckily I had a lot of helpers so it was really fun! 

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After our guests left, we took the pups to the dog park then came back and relaxed before round 2!  I had a few little snuggle bugs who were equally as exhausted. 🙂 

Next up was Christmas dinner with my dad, my little brother, my dad’s girlfriend and her daughter.  We made a fun Christmas champagne punch, rolls, steak, swordfish, a big salad, a potato and butternut squash casserole, a corn casserole, broccoli, and lobster mac and cheese.  Another great meal in the books! 

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Callie LOVES my little brother.  It is so sweet.  After dinner we opened more presents.  My sister and her boyfriend won the best gift award giving my little brother a drone!! Lucky kid!  My dad was equally as shocked when he open his new kayak for the lakehouse from all his kids!  After presents, we played a few games then called it a night!  

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That’s all for today friends!! I am going to finish my holiday recap next week!  I hope you all have an amazing and warm weekend!!!! 

Questions:

  1. What do you have planned for this weekend?
  2. Do you have a favorite soup recipe?
  3. What is one food you could eat every day for the rest of your life? (Mine would be peanut butter, bananas, or apples!) 

 

 

Christmas Celebrations 2017

Hi yall!!! How are you all doing?  I am feeling a lot better this week than I was the past few weeks.  I actually came down with an ear infection a few weeks before Christmas and could not get rid of it, but I am finally on the mend!  

Today I am getting back to recapping one of the best holiday seasons ever!  But first a picture of my sweet boy, Riley.  🙂 I just love this doggie more than anything.  He is my little cuddle bug.  

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My two nephew dogs were with us for 10 days! Did you notice the duck tape on the front door?  My husband put that up there because sweet Callie scratches the door when she gets excited when someone comes to the door.  Does anyone else have this same issue? 🙂

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Me, my daddy, and my sister! 

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This guy.  I don’t know what I would do without him.  

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On the Friday before Christmas my sister and I had a date at the nail salon. 

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Then my sister and her boyfriend had a party to attend and so did we!  Our friend, Bridget, had a potluck dinner at her apartment with a bunch of friends to celebrate her birthday!!! We all had a blast chatting, sipping some drinks, eating and laughing! The boys did come, but they weren’t allowed in the picture. 😉 

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Even little Cooper made the party!

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My sister’s boyfriend’s family sent LOTS of treats for all of us (even the dogs!!!) and my mom wasn’t hesitant to start the taste testing at 10am! 🙂 

You guys…. we did SO much cooking.  SO much.  I seriously needed a break from cooking after Christmas day.  We made homemade granola, mini spinach and feta tartlets, and cranberry brie bites.  

Murphy and Otis helped too. 😉 

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On Saturday night we had plans to attend our best friend Eric’s 30th birthday party! 

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We had a blast! 

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And even got to play corn hole! 🙂 

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We celebrated Christmas Eve at my mom and stepdad’s house.  Isn’t their dining room table beautiful? My mom always outdoes herself.  🙂 

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We had a delicious meal of salad, salmon, and lots of roasted veggies.  

All the “kids” after dinner.  

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Jonny starting the fire for us!

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We all got to open one present on Christmas Eve (this is a tradition my mom started with us when we were little… it is still just as fun and exciting today!).  The boys got new tool sets and the girls got cookie shooters to make all different types of cutout cookies.  We all laughed because if that isn’t gender stereotypes then what is? 😉 

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I am going to end here and show you a glimpse of our crazy Christmas next time!! I hope you all have a fabulous day!!! xoxoxo

Questions:

  1. How were your holidays?
  2. Are you relieved they are over or do you have the post holiday blues?
  3. Did you make any resolutions or goals for 2018? 

How is it Already 2018 and Remembering a Sweet Grandma

Good morning!!! You guys.. I can’t believe the holidays have come and gone and we are already 10 days into 2018!  Where has the time gone?? I had all these grand plans to start the new year with lots of blog posts and recaps, but life has been quite hectic lately to say the least.  

Right before Christmas we lost our last grandparent on this earth.  My husband’s grandma passed away at 94 years old.  She lived a long and happy life and left a lot of sweet memories and traditions behind.  How sweet is this picture of her with my husband when he was a little boy?  My heart just melts. 🙂 

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We spent this past weekend in Cincinnati remembering her life with all of our family.  It was a beautiful weekend full of memories and laughter.  It has been 3 years since we lost my grandma and I still think about her every single day.  Grandparents are just the best.  


I have lots to share with you guys from the holidays to DIY projects to recipes and more!  Maybe this year I will get it together and be able to start blogging on a schedule again.  Until then…. 🙂 

This was the first year since high school that we haven’t had to travel for the holidays and it was wonderful.  We usually put up a few decorations and small fake trees, but this year we were SUPER excited to get a REAL tree for the first time ever!  There is nothing like the smell of a real Christmas tree. 🙂 

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We were determined to keep it alive and we .succeeded! Yall… this is a huge accomplishment for the girl that can barely keep herbs alive. 😉 

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All dolled up!

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My sister and her boyfriend surprised us at 6am on the Friday before Christmas at our front door!  We thought they were arriving that afternoon, but they drove through the night with their 2 pups all the way from Dallas!  

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I have got to run, but I have the rest of my holiday recaps coming atcha very soon!!  Have a great day friends!!!! 

Weekend Recap 12.17.17 Family Time and A Holiday Party for a Cause

Good morning!! How is your week going so far? I am a little tired after a long road trip yesterday for work, but hey, it is almost Christmas so I am feeling great!  Last weekend was one for the books so I will tell you all about it!

On Friday night my little brother had a sleepover at our house!  The boys played video games, we made pizza, ate cookies and stayed up too late!  They had a blast!! Jon is going to be the BEST dad one day.  He is one of a kind.  

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Saturday morning I got a much needed haircut then rushed home to set up for our Holiday Party for a Cause!  Jon and I were wanting to have a Christmas party this year since we have a lot of family and friends in Nashville, but my heart was calling me to do more.  I have had the idea of filling backpacks for the homeless in my head for awhile and I thought that the idea to combine the Christmas party and charity event was perfect!  

We invited all our friends and family and gave them a list of items that needed fulfilled.  We bought 50 backpacks, but we needed some help filling them for distribution to the homeless around Nashville.  Our friends brought crackers, chapsticks, gum, lotion, wash cloths, sausage, cookies, muffins, granola bars, floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste.  

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They also brought McDonalds giftcards, wet wipes, muffins, waters, deodorant, tissues, scarves, pens, and notepads.  

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They brought socks, hand warmers and combs. 

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I literally get tears in my eyes when I think about how amazing our friends are.  They all showed up to contribute to our event.  Even the ones who couldn’t make it, dropped off items beforehand so that they could be a part of giving back to those in need.  

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We ended up with a LOT of stuff.  I was worried it wouldn’t all fit in the bags.  🙂 

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After everyone arrived, my mom had us play a little icebreaker game.  She made us all stand in a circle and passed out scratch off lottery tickets randomly.  She read the Christmas Story out loud and when she would read the word “right” we all passed the cards to the person to our right and then she would read “left” and we all passed the cards to the left.  At the end of the story, the people with the lottery cards in their hands were the winners! 🙂 

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Who’s gonna win!?!?!?

After the game, we all got in line and grabbed a bag to walk around the room and start filling! 

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Around and around we went to fill the bags!

With all the people who showed up to help, the bags were filled in no time!

Little Cooper was exhausted from watching all the bags get filled! 😉 

We have the most generous and sweet friends ever!

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After we finishing filling 60 50 bags we had some drinks and munchies!

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Jon and I plan to hand out the bags on Christmas eve and Christmas day around Nashville with my sister and her boyfriend.  I know there will be some very happy people around town!  My heart is so full and so happy knowing how many people were willing to help us with our little idea.  Jon and I have already discussed how we want to do this again next year and make it an even bigger event and fill even more bags!  

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We plan to document the distribution of all the bags around Nashville so stay tuned for another post coming your way!  Thank you to all our friends for helping us give back to those less fortunate this holiday season.  Your generosity will never be forgotten.  xoxo

 

 

 

Friday Favorites and Life Lately 12.15.17

Good morning!!  You guys, life has been crazy these last couple weeks.  Between getting sick (ugh!), traveling for work, making Christmas cookies, sending out Christmas cards, getting ready for a holiday charity event we are hosting, and trying to enjoy each moment, life has been going a million miles a minute… and with the holidays right around the corner, I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.  🙂 

I’m not complaining one bit… all of these things are good (besides getting sick), but it has left me with little time for blogging.  So here I sit today with a million pictures on my computer, a million thoughts in my head, and a limited amount of time so today is going to be a hodgepodge of thoughts. 

We are still loving the Predators games and attending as many as we can.  I was able to go to one last week with my daddy and we had a blast!

 

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It sure helps when they win!!

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I can’t get enough of this sweet girl.  I find her in this spot all the time and don’t have the heart to move her.  She is so gentle and just wants to be loved on all day long.  

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Yall, if I never see another cookie ever again, I won’t be mad about it.  My mom and I finished up our Christmas cookie baking last weekend and I am officially exhausted.  

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But seriously, how cute are these gingerbread men?

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Chocolate covered pretzels made the cut this year as well. 

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And more cookies… 

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They are never ending… 

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Jonny even helped a bit!

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We gave platters to neighbors and family. 

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And filled 60 boxes to give to friends and coworkers! 

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They all loved them and were so grateful, but I am not baking another cookie until next Christmas. 😉 

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A couple of weekends ago we got to try a new-to-us restaurant with a couple of friends called The Butcher and Bee.  We got all (yes all) the small plates and a couple larger plates and shared everything.  It was amazing!! The food was delicious and it was fun to try a bit of everything!

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I channeled my inner Khloe Kardashian and made my cookie jars pretty.  My husband is appalled that the cookies are for decoration only.  He keeps sneaking them when I’m not home. 😉 

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I know you all have seen a million pictures of Riley in our front yard just lounging, but one more won’t hurt. 😉 . My dogs are so funny and have such different personalities.  They both get super excited to go out, but once we are outside Callie does her business immediately then whines to go back inside (she is the same on walks and pulls me the whole way so we can hurry up and get home…) while Riley takes his sweet time, marks every tree, pole, fire hydrant he can find, and then plops down in the sun.  We usually just let him stay out there until he comes to the door to get let back in.  He just LOVES to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  

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Since it is getting a little colder outside, I have been making a lot of soup/chili lately.  My favorite is this black bean/sweet potato chili.  I use the recipe as a base, but then switch up some of the ingredients each time.  I used fire roasted canned tomatoes last time and they gave it such a great punch of flavor.  I always make at least a double batch and freeze it to have on hand.  It is so nice to not have to cook every night especially when it gets dark at 4:30pm and I am ready for bed by 7pm. 😉 

Last week, Jon and I had a date night at Zanies comedy club.  I bought us tickets to see Matt Bellassai a couple months ago and had been counting down the days every since.  Have you guys seen his whine about it videos?  He drinks wine while complaining about things like fall, facebook, coworkers, etc.  He is hilarious!  We also got a copy of his book at the show so I am excited to dig in for some laughs!

The lighting was terrible in there, but here is proof my husband went!  When we walked in he quickly turned to me and said, “I am the ONLY guy here!”  While that wasn’t quite true (there were maybe 5 other men in the audience), it was pretty close.  He was a trooper and enjoyed the show.  

When I got home from traveling for work last week, I noticed Callie was acting a little guilty funny.  I couldn’t find anything wrong or out of place so I just played it off.  

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Then I walked upstairs…. bad girl!  She chewed up this thing that goes under the door to keep air inside a room.  She does NOT like to be left at home and usually goes with my husband to work 4 or 5 days a week.  This particular day he couldn’t take her and she was not having it!  When she does stay home, she likes to sleep in our bed or in her bed in the master bedroom.  Well my husband doesn’t like the dogs on our bed so he closed our bedroom door.  Poor thing tried as hard as she could to get in the bedroom.  I can’t even be mad at that face for a second.   

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On Monday night we had plans to meet my cousin’s brother-in-law downtown for a drink (he was visiting Nashville for business) so we decided to take the opportunity for a date night.  A friend suggested we try 5th and Taylor for dinner.  It is a nice, big open concept restaurant and the food did not disappoint.  

We both really enjoyed our meals and the fun atmosphere!

I am off to get ready for an event we are hosting on Saturday to help the homeless in Nashville.  I will share all the details about it early next week!!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!! 

Questions:

  1. Have you tried any new restaurants lately?
  2. What is your favorite holiday treat?
  3. If you have a pet, have they chewed/ruined anything you own? 

Thanksgiving 2017 in Indianapolis

Hey friends!! How are you this morning? It is always hard to get back into the swing of things after a nice holiday break, but it sure feels good to be back in a routine.  We celebrated Thanksgiving this year in Indianapolis with my in-laws.  We switch each Thanksgiving and Christmas between my parents and my in-laws and it seems to work pretty well for us.  We are on the same schedule with my sister and her boyfriend/his parents so my parents either get all of us or none of us. 😉  This Christmas we will be in Nashville, which will also be the first time we haven’t had to travel for the holidays since living at home in high school. 🙂 I am pretty excited to get to enjoy our decorations this year and spend a little more time enjoying the holidays rather than traveling.  

Last Wednesday we left for Indianapolis.  It is about a 4 and a half hour drive so it wasn’t bad at all.  We arrived to see our “agenda” on the nightstand.  My mother-in-law is the cutest.  

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We had some soup for dinner at home and called it an early night.  Somehow both dogs and my husband ended up in my bed (my TWIN bed) for a movie to end the night.  I kinda love the snuggles though. 😉 

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Thanksgiving morning we woke up bright and early to head to the annual Drumstick Dash.  The proceeds from the race go fight homelessness in Indy.  My brother-in-law and I ran while my husband, other brother-in-law, and mother-in-law walked.  

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Thanksgiving day was spent just hanging around the house, watching movies and playing cards until it was time to start cooking.  

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We only eat in the dining room on special occasions so that makes it kinda fun!  

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This year we opted for a less traditional meal of surf and turf and lots of sides!  We made steak, lobster, scallops, a delicious salad (romaine, goat cheese, craisins, apples), green beans, roasted carrots, a mashed potato casserole and a sweet potato casserole!  We all agreed it was one of the best meals we have ever had!! 

 

Riley is sporting a new look these days and he wanted to show ya’ll… 🙂 

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Friday evening we headed downtown to the Pacers game!  It was a really close game and they ended up winning it right at the end!  

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I am SO thankful for this guy.  He is my rock.  

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As you can see I didn’t take as many pictures as usual.  I am really trying to focus on being more present and living in the moment.  We had such a fun time in Indy with family and I am already missing my mother-in-law’s amazing cooking.  🙂  We headed back to Nashville on Saturday afternoon to avoid the Sunday traffic and to have some time at home before heading back to work.  We cleaned the whole house, unpacked, did a few loads of laundry, did grocery shopping and meal prepping, completed some Christmas shopping and put up more decorations.  It is such a wonderful feeling going into a new week feeling refreshed and prepared!  I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving with your loved ones!!

Questions:

  1. What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving?
  2. What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
  3. Do you travel each year for the holidays?