Why I Love Thanksgiving

Typically around this time of year, people begin to talk about everything they’re grateful for. Thanksgiving is, by definition, a time to give thanks – to reflect on all you have and love. It’s a holiday I’ve always loved. When I was little it was the parade, and I still dream of one day being in Herald Square on Thanksgiving Day. As I got older, it was the food, and later the football. Most of all, it’s a time I love to spend with my family, and one that’s usually drama-free.

Abbie Veggie Straws

Abbie is hoping for more veggie straws at Thanksgiving. (Photo by Mathy Shoots People)

There’s another reason I love it though – Thanksgiving is an American holiday.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, you don’t need to be a certain religion. You don’t need to be a certain color. You don’t need to be a certain gender, age, or military status. You don’t need to come from a certain place. You don’t even need to be here long or at all. Any American can celebrate Thanksgiving, no matter their circumstances, how they got here, or where they came from. While there are traditions, they aren’t required. You can celebrate Thanksgiving however you want. It’s one of the very few that’s universal in our country.

The holidays can be so polarizing. When you live somewhere that’s a melting pot of many different people, you never know what people are celebrating, and it’s often difficult to say the right thing, even with the best of intentions. With different cultures come different traditions. With Thanksgiving, while there are typical traditions, you’re free to celebrate as you see fit. What’s important is not the actual tradition, but the spirit of thankfulness.

So I hope you celebrate. Eat turkey, or lasagna if that’s your thing. Watch the Macy’s parade, or don’t. Play a game of touch football, or donate your time to charity. Spend time traveling to see your family, or stay home and connect with them on Skype. Do whatever it is that you want to do on Thanksgiving.

Just make it a happy one.

 

 

Our Life Lately

I feel like as the holiday season approaches, I have less and less time to hang out here. Not that I don’t want to, but there’s just so much to do that it’s hard to carve out time to write. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way, and I’m just trying to enjoy the holiday season with my little family. So what’s been happening around here?

  • We had family pictures taken for our holiday cards back on November 1. We’ve gotten about 25 teaser photos so far, and I LOVE them – as usual, our photographers, Mathy Shoots People, did a great job. I’m trying to save some for our cards, but here’s a few of my favorites you may have seen on my Facebook page and Instagram.
Photo by Mathy Shoots People

Photo by Mathy Shoots People

 

Photo by Mathy Shoots People

Photo by Mathy Shoots People

Photo by Mathy Shoots People

Photo by Mathy Shoots People

  • My in-laws came to visit. They were here at the beginning of the month and stayed with us for the end of the time they were here. This was their last visit home until they move home for good – my father-in-law is retiring in January. They’re currently living it up in Rome – talk about a great place to finish your career! We were so happy to see them and it’s really nice to know that the next time they’re here, they won’t be leaving again.
  • Abbie is trying harder and harder to talk. She understands SO much and sometimes it really frustrates me that she isn’t talking more. We celebrate each new word and I work with her on picture books, but it’s hard when we have such limited time. I’m hoping her vocabulary will just explode all at once and we won’t be able to get her to stop talking!

Abbie & Daddy

  • I’ve been checking off people on our Christmas list, getting closer and closer to being done. Abbie’s been done for a while, but it’s hard to stop buying her things!
  • We’ve tried some new recipes. This is the one from last night – Farfalle with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. So good!

Farfalle with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • We are SO looking forward to Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday, and I can’t wait for all my favorite traditions – watching the parade with my sisters, eating lots of stuffing, and just spending time with my family. No pressure, just togetherness.

What’s been going on with you  lately?

Stitch Fix #5

Stitch Fix 5

My most recent Stitch Fix arrived last week, and as always, I was so excited to see what I got. This time I asked for the same stylist as last time since she seemed to really get me (Aileen). She sent me all tops, which is pretty unusual for me – I usually get a mix. Here’s what I got… just don’t mind the laundry in the background.

Lemon Tart Pax Cable Knit Raglan Sweater

Item 1 – Lemon Tart Pax Cable Knit Raglan Sweater

I love love loved the color of this sweater. Deep colors like this generally work really well with my fair skin and dark hair, and this was no exception. It was super soft and fit well, but it was just a bit too short – I prefer my sweaters longer. If it was just a few inches longer, I probably would have kept it. Sent back.

41Hawthorn Ivy Abstract Floral Print Blouse

Item 2 – 41Hawthorn Ivy Abstract Floral Print Blouse

I really loved the print of this, although Chris wasn’t a big fan. I don’t have anything like it already in my closet, and I feel like it’s a shirt that’ll still look good as I lose weight – it’s slightly snug on me now, but I can see myself still loving it when it’s a bit looser. This top also has the option to shorten the sleeves with the tab. It was a little tight across the bust, but not overly so. Kept!

Market and Spruce Taber Foldover 3/4 Sleeve Sweater

Item 3 – Market and Spruce Taber Foldover 3/4 Sleeve Sweater

I didn’t really know what to think of this at first. I like the color, and it’s soft, but the neck is just weird. I didn’t really know what to do with the collar, and the seams on the sleeves hit me in a weird spot. Sent back.

41Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse

Item 4 – 41Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse

This was actually Chris’ favorite item that I got. It’s a great color on me, but this was too tight across the bust and caused a gap between the buttons. I like the style of it and have seen similar tops at other stores, so I’m glad I got to try this on. Sent back.

Pixley Malynn Asymmetrical Soft Moto Vest

Item 5 – Pixley Malynn Asymmetrical Soft Moto Vest

I asked for a vest in this fix after seeing the great ones other people have been getting lately, but this just wasn’t my style. I generally don’t like asymmetrical things, and I felt like it looked funny on me. It did fit well though, and I liked the fabric – it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Sent back.

Want in on Stitch Fix?  It’s super easy!

  • Log in to stitchfix.com and you create your style profile.  (Use my referral link pretty please!)
  • You pay a $20 styling fee (which goes toward your order), then the Stitch Fix stylists picks out  5 items for you to try on.
  • The box arrives at your doorstep.  You try them on and decide what to keep, then send back anything you don’t want.
  • Checkout online, giving feedback about what you did and didn’t like about your fix.
  • If you keep all 5 items, you receive 25% off your order.
  • You get to choose your price range, so your stylist has an idea of what you’re willing to spend.

Thoughts on my fix? I’ve really been enjoying Stitch Fix and find it a great way to try new things. What do you think I should request in my next one?

Coffee Talk, November 18

So, I know it Tuesday, but it truly feels like a Monday to me. Maybe I need more coffee… Starbucks needs to hurry up on that delivery model they’re talking about. Let’s pretend we each have some, huh? Here’s what’s on my mind today…

  • I picked up one of these camis from Target over the weekend, and it’s seriously the most comfortable one I’ve ever owned. I’m about to go buy about five more. It’s soft, comfortable, and doesn’t have that stupid built-in bra that so many of them have. Plus, it’s on sale. Seriously, perfect. #targetdoesitagain
  • My parents came up over the weekend so we could celebrate my mom’s birthday… and she requested cheesecake. I always make this recipe with a few modifications. It always cracks, but it’s always delicious, so we don’t care. Abbie was just excited to play with Grandma.

DSC_0231

  • Winter has hit Virginia for sure. It was only 26 degrees when I got in my car to head to work this morning, and our high today was only 34. I know there are parts of the country that get way colder, but it’s crazy for it to be this cold here so early. Prime example? I just looked it up and this day last year, the high was 70. So not ready for it to be this cold.
  • I’m always working on incorporating more movement into my everyday life. I think it helps me more with weight loss than doing actual workouts, because I’m more likely to actually do it. I get so much help from apps that help me track it – from my FitBit one of course, but also from this app, simply called Stand Up! You can set it to go off at whatever intervals you want, and it’ll come up and remind you to stand up. I have mine set to go off every 40 minutes during the work day, Monday-Friday. I’m not always able to stand up and take a quick walk, but it’s a great reminder for me and helps me take a break every so often. I feel better when I take a minute to step away every so often.

Stand Up App

  • The other thing that’s really helping is my new Weight Watchers Active Link 2.0. I was an early adopter and lover of the original one. The other week I upgraded, and I love it. The new one syncs via Bluetooth, so I’m able to see my progress all day. I can still wear it on my bra like I wore the other one, but this also has the option to wear it on your wrist. So yes, because I also wear my Fitbit every day, I wear two activity monitors, but that’s what works for me. I’m a crazy person.
  • I know people are just excited about Christmas, but I get a bit annoyed by all the early Christmas decor. Seriuosly, why the rush? Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I refuse to have Thanksgiving while surrounded by Christmas decor. Calm down, people!
  • On that note, I’ve seen so many wishlists posted the past few days for a link up… and all I can think of that I want for Christmas is house stuff. Oh the life of a homeowner.
  • We regularly have to stop Abbie from eating cat food… as in, she cannot go into the kitchen without us anymore. I’ve had to dig in her mouth to get it out. Toddlers are so gross.
  • I read this article today, and sadly, it didn’t surprise me at all. I spend so much money on groceries this week, and now I know it isn’t just me, it’s my state. Highest grocery cost in the country is nothing to brag about, Virginia.
  • Abbie’s favorite new game is hiding under the covers in our bed. She even goes as far as shhh-ing us as she hides. It’s the most adorable thing ever.

Abbie Hides

How’s your week going? What would you tell me if we had coffee?

Oh Hey Friday {11.14.14)

Happy Friday guys! How was your week?

ONE

There are Thanksgiving recipes popping up everywhere, and that makes my heart happy. It’s my favorite holiday, and the fact that it’s less than two weeks away makes me even happier. Pass the stuffing, please. Not the boxed stuff – I kind of feel sorry for people who don’t know the deliciousness of homemade stuffing.

TWO

There is no doubt now that winter is on the way, and some parts of our area even saw sleet and flurries yesterday. While I know there’s so many places it’s colder, I am not looking forward to how long this winter seems it’s going to be! Abbie and I will stay snuggled up inside, thank you very much.

IMG_4807

THREE

WVU suspended all Greek life activities this week after a fraternity pledge was found unconscious. I’m hoping that that young man is going to okay, but stories like this just make me sad and frustrated. I had a great experience with my sorority and had ZERO hazing, but other organizations and schools unfortunately keep doing things like this. this isn’t helping the Greek community, and it’s important for these students to understand they’re part of a larger experience and community. They’re endangering students and giving the rest of us a bad rap we don’t deserve.

FOUR

The photos circulating of a certain celebrity I can’t stand (to the point that I refuse to have her name on my blog) have really got me thinking lately about Abbie and the role models I want her to have. I don’t want her to look up to women like that, who just objectify their bodies for attention. My hope is that she looks up to accomplished, driven women who follow their dreams and make a difference. Having a daughter means I need to shield her from some things and make sure I pull her up with others. I consciously think about my praise to her. While I think she’s a beautiful girl (biased mama here), I try to make sure that that’s not all she’s hearing. She needs to hear from an early age that she’s smart, that she’s kind, and that we’re proud of her for trying things. So, so important.

FIVE

My holiday shopping is slowly getting done. Normally I’m nearly done at this point, but this year is proving to be tougher for gift ideas. I’m hoping to wrap up by Thanksgiving so we can just enjoy the holiday season!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!