Oh man you guys. Thanksgiving. The best day of the year!!
This year with 7 adults and 1 toddler we will be dining on the following:
The cinnamon rolls and cheesecake are in the freezer, along with the sage butter to make sage bread for sandwiches later. Our general timeline: on Tuesday we make the turkey brine, mashed potatoes and cranberry relish. On Wednesday we make corn pudding, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole and the crispy sweet potato roast. On Thursday morning we prep the turkey and get it in the oven, make the dressing and get all the premade side dishes out to begin coming up to room temperature. As the turkey is coming out the carrots and Brussels sprouts get made while all the other dishes go back into the oven for heating. Last but not least, make some gravy and serve it all!
Lets all pardon & eat some turkey!
Oh and make sure to wear your Thanksgiving pants
Prior to Gracie’s tumble down the porch stairs, she could not be bothered with television in the slightest. She’d watch 5 minutes of Sesame Street and then go about her business. We put Frozen on once or twice as a treat and she was interested for 4.6 seconds and then moved on. However, when we were in the hospital we watched an infinite loop of movies, Gracie lying on me, intermittently napping, sometimes watching. After that she decided, like 99.4% of American children, she was down with Frozen (she still requests Sesame Street, watches 5 minutes, and is done). I don’t want to insinuate she watches the whole thing, but she will watch for 5-10 minutes, play a bit, then watch another 5-10 minutes. She likes the music best and bops along to the singing. This weekend she was watching the coronation ball scene and as Anna got engaged to Some Dude She’d Hardly Met Who Turns Out to Be a Villain, Gracie began yelling “CWAZY, CWAZY” at her. As the fight between Anna and Elsa ensued over the potential nuptials, and Anna accused Elsa of shutting her out, Gracie began finger wagging at her, yelling “NO SHUT OUT, NO SHUT OUT.” There you have it. Life lessons from Frozen.
Gracie’s language continues to explode. She has started stringing together sentences “Dadddy phone hand” (Daddy is holding his phone in his hand), “My nose running” (My nose is running) followed by “Tissue pease”. We’ve begun prompting her to add “please” to her requests, and she knows the answer to the question “What do you say if you want this?” is “pease!” Last night she was playing with her fridge magnets and slowly moved them across the fridge, counting under her breath, all the way to ten (but would not repeat it when asked). When she wants to FaceTime with her grandparents and I know it isn’t a good time, I always tell her “Papa is flying an airplane and Gigi, Grandma and Grandpa are sleeping!” Yesterday a friend of hers from daycare came over to play (and his parents! adult conversation!) and they were playing with a wooden airplane and she said “Papa in airplane. Gigi sleepin” which, haaaa. Oops. She is insistent on which chairs belong to Mommy and Daddy, the remote belongs to Daddy, the MacBook belongs to Mommy and she gets very irritated when we don’t conform to her expectations (Mommy holding the remote, Daddy using the laptop, either of us sitting in the chair she hasn’t deemed ours).
Gracie loves trains, and living in the city we have the opportunity to drive under the El (elevated train aka Chicago’s subway) tracks a lot and she loves when a train goes by as we drive under. She claps and yells “choo choo” and her delight is obvious. Our grocery store is near train tracks for the larger suburban commuter trains, and while we enjoyed doughnuts in their café (two weekends ago) a train went by AND BLEW HER MIND. “MO MO TRAIN! MO MO TRAIN!” FYI, mo mo = more more = more. No idea how that one started.
Her eye is doing much better, the swelling has gone down and her lid is only slightly bruised, the under-eye still has some black and blue but is fading daily. I’m glad it is healing so people stop asking about it at the grocery store (yes, thanks, I know she has a black eye) and she seems nonplussed by the entire incident. Our first follow up appointment is this week and I’m hoping for all good news.
Beyond that we spent much of the weekend at home, playing with toys and reading books and preparing for Thanksgiving. My sage butter is in the freezer along with last weekend’s cheesecake and cinnamon roll efforts, groceries have been purchased and I’m making our timeline of events and dishes tonight. I’m so excited for a full house of family and friends, for good food and football and family time. Gracie has an awesome turkey dress she is going to wear and on Friday we will break out the Christmas tree and the stockings and Christmas books….I can’t wait!
Sponsored content ahead!
I don’t know about you guys, but I do a lot of my holiday shopping online – the ease just can’t be beaten. However, every year I always save a few things to go buy in person. It gives me an opportunity to enjoy some décor (hey, stores often have great holiday decorating), drop some change in the Salvation Army bucket and check things out in person. B and I have decided that every year we plan on buying Gracie a toy from a local toy store, and this year I think we might head over to Best Buy to oogle some electronics. One thing in particular they have this year? LG OLED TVs. You guys, these things are amazing. I could imagine one in my house. (Sadly, there is not one in my house. Santa?)
This baby has a curved screen and amazing contrast. I didn’t think amazing contrast mattered (or was noticeable) until I saw images on the LG OLED screen. These televisions have self-lighting pixels that are able to switch on and off individually, offering the first infinite contrast ratio. This, in my limited technology speak, a big deal and a gorgeous image. They also have 4 color pixels (as opposed to the standard 3) that allow for deeper colors. The television is only about as thick as a pencil (say whaaat). With this television you won’t need any extra tv streaming devices either- it has a web browser and you can hook it up to all your accounts – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon. Some of the models even have voice enacted remote, which, I don’t know, THE FUTURE IS HERE.
Of course an LG OLED television isn’t inexpensive ($3499 at Best Buy which is $500 off the manufacturer’s price) but if you are looking for a fantastic family gift, this one might be it.
Happy shopping and of course, happy #hintingseason.
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. (Daisy’s additional disclaimer: gift card, sadly no free televisions for me)
Listen, I know. I see the calendar, the turkey has yet to come and go. But I’m also working on Christmas. I like to start slow, buy stocking stuffers so they are tucked away and purchased saving me the “Oh, hmm, gotta fill that up don’t I?” panic on December 20th, when Amazon Prime shipping is the only option, but of course what you want is available for Prime. Always.
(Amazon links affiliate, all items I love or want for my own self, nothing is sponsored)
Anyway, if you too are in charge of filling a stocking or five, and you are looking for ideas beyond the typical “chocolate orange for the toe, socks for the mid section” and need a few more nifty things, look no further.
Portable battery charger. In today’s device filled world someone is always looking for a plug, a car charger, a something, please, get my phone over 20% battery. These suckers are awesome for traveling (you can watch a movie and your iPad isn’t dead when you land) or for the car/office when you are away from an outlet. They are also really nice to have during bad weather so you know that if you lose power for awhile, you can recharge your phone and stay in touch with loved ones or on top of the weather reports.
All Clad measuring devices. They are definitely more than the average person is going to spend on something for their own kitchen, but I think that is what makes them an awesome stocking stuffer. I have a set of these and I *love* them so much- worth the investment. They are so much better than the cheap ones from Target or Bed Bath and Beyond. There are measuring spoons and measuring cups in evens and odds.
Nielsen Massey vanilla items. If you are shopping for someone who loves to bake, all of the vanilla products by NM are amazing. I’m partial to the paste, which gives pale items (like cheesecake or ice cream) pale vanilla bean flecks within.
Gear Ties. These things come in a million sizes and colors and are awesome for anyone who likes to stay organized. These heavy duty reusable twisty ties are perfect for bundling up headphone cords, charging cords, cords behind a desk, closing a bag, etc. Awesome (again) for people who travel to keep your suitcase from looking like cord/bomb central in the x-ray machines.
Infrared thermometer. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Good Eats, you know that Alton Brown is always checking on the surface temperature of his pans/grill/etc with one of these things. My husband long admired it and it was an easy way to fulfill his inner gadget geek on Christmas morning. Warning: you will have an infrared beam pointed at every surface in your house for a few days. Once the initial glee wore off we do use it pretty frequently, particularly when cooking and grilling.
Fit Bit. Ok, I know, this is a little pricier than your typically $20-and-under stocking stuffer, but man if it wouldn’t fit nicely in a stocking. Fitness trackers are taking the world by storm (I suppose time will tell if they stick around) and I want the new FitBit something fierce. If you can’t wait for the pre-order, check out the old faithful model, the FitBit Flex.
Microplane. I think I recommend one of these every year, but honestly, they are just that amazing for anyone who likes to cook. The fine ones are awesome for zest, spices and hard cheese, the larger ones are perfect for a block of cheese.
Quirky Cordies. This is something on my list- I want one for my bedside table and my desk. Perfect for anyone who loves gadgets and has a lot to charge.
Ice molds. A few years ago everyone was all about whiskey stones (still very cool, B loves his) but now the new way to drink your sipping whiskey is with a huge ice cube the size and shape of a pool cue. Last year we gave a lot of these to friends in small gift exchanges and I realized around December 20th that B didn’t have any of his own so I ordered a pair for his stocking. We’ve used them all year and find them easy to fill/work with. They also make a great boo-boo ice cube for bumps and bruises.
Tie travel case. I know, another item for traveling. Truthfully though, when B travels for business or for a wedding he was always trying to figure out how to pack his nice ties without them getting rumpled. This inexpensive solution is just what he needs to pack them in his suitcase.
Gas gauge. Two summers ago it seemed like we ran out of gas for our barbecue at the most inconvenient times; always when dinner was halfway cooked and both of us were grumpy with the two solutions: finish it inside on the stove or run to the hardware store. I bought B a little gas gauge to help us know when we were running out. It isn’t 100% accurate (mostly near the end, you never know if you have enough for one more thing or if you’ll run out in 5 minutes) but we always know when we are running low and make sure our second tank is full and ready to be swapped out. B thought it was very cool when he opened it up on Christmas morning.
Jack Rudy fixings. If you have a cocktail lover on your hand, consider one of Jack Rudy’s accessories- tonic syrup, grenadine syrup, or bourbon cocktail cherries. These are specialty small batch items for making really delicious, high quality cocktails.