Archive | Thanksgiving

5 Comfortable Thanksgiving Outfits

It’s Friday Friday Friday!  Did you sing that too?  Friday’s around here usually mean 5 Things!  A random list of 5 Things to help you celebrate better.

Today it’s 5 Things to wear on Thanksgiving to stay comfortable while eating the biggest meal of the year.

I did a post like this a few years ago and it’s still a highly visited article.  It’s all about making sure you have room for turkey.  Read it here.

5 Things To Wear On Thanksgiving To Be Comfortable

5 Thanksgiving outfits to be comfortable, how to dress comfortably but still cute on Thanksgiving, what to wear on Thanksgiving

I broke up these five things into categories because there are too many good options out there.

Thanks to a few bloggers like Cassie at Hi SugarPlum, Mallory at Style Your Senses, and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me To, I have insight into some of the best clothing options out there.  They all do a great job sharing super cute, affordable, and comfortable fashion choices.

If you like any of the options below just click on the picture to purchase it.

Sweaters with Room for Turkey and Pie

You can never go wrong with a roomy, fall hued sweater on Thanksgiving.  It’s likely to be cold so a sweater will certainly keep you warm.

Just watch out, if you’re the one doing all the cooking, opt for another option because that oven heat combined with a sweater will make you so hot.

I remember most Thanksgiving’s having to change into something lighter because I was getting so hot.

Dresses with Room for Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes you spend Thanksgiving with people other than family and want to feel a little dressier. These are some great options because they are nicer but still have a very generous cut.

I love that you could add a scarf, cardigan, and boots for a full fall look.

Shirts with Room for That Second Roll

Why do I always feel like I need to get another roll at the end of my Thanksgiving meal?  If you do the same any of these shirts have lots of room to hide that food baby!

Tunics with Room for Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Tunics are another great option because they are usually fairly flowy and they’re longer to cover your tummy and behind.

This one from Amazon is very highly rated, so I’m sure you’ll love it too. Pair it over leggings or with your most comfortable jeans.

 I personally own this next tunic and it is perfect for covering your bum in leggings.  I’m fairly short so it’s long on me.  But it’s a great shirt with lots of room.

Leggings with Room for Your Second Round

And with most Thanksgiving dinners, you’ll probably eat an entire second round of food.  This is especially true if you do more of a Thanksgiving lunch.  Then you obviously have more for dinner.

The most comfortable way to eat so much in one day is to wear leggings!  Here are a couple of great options that will keep you totally comfortable.

I own the second pair and love them.  They are completely opaque and don’t show any skin through them. I also love the high waist band.

 

What do you typically wear on Thanksgiving?  I hope these options give you a comfortable choice so that you can enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

Eat lots and not worry about your pants cutting into you or your shirt being too tight!

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2018 Thanksgiving Cooking Timeline Printable

It’s that time of year again!  Thanksgiving and ALLLLLLLL the cooking.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love all the cooking and gathering people around the table to celebrate together.  That’s the main reason I love hosting so much.

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We typically host at our house, but haven’t the last couple of years because other friends’ have, so I’m excited to do it again this year.

Surprisingly, I haven’t put a ton of thought into the day yet, but I have my menu planned out.  I never do Thanksgiving without this sweet potato casserole and this stuffing.

Here’s the thing though with cooking so much all in one day.  Your oven is basically on all day.  Plus, it’s a delicate dance to figure out when you need to put certain things in the oven, at what temperature they need to be cooked, and how long they need to cook.

So every year, I come up with a fun and super handy Thanksgiving cooking timeline printable.   You can see all the past ones here, here, and here.

And here is this year’s cooking timeline!

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I don’t have two ovens, but the one I do have does some heavy lifting on Thanksgiving.  However, everything still has to be ready at the same time.  So, I have to write it all down and figure out what cooking order makes the most sense.

See, delicate dance!

Thanksgiving Oven Rotation Cooking Timeline Printable

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Here’s how I use my printable to make sure everything gets cooked and on the table at the same time.

First, I double check all of my recipes to see how long everything needs to be cooked and at what temperature.

I write that all down, then figure out in what order things should be cooked.  I use my tips below to help me figure that out.

Next, I start working backward from the time that I plan on eating and write in the time that each dish should go into the oven and come out of the oven.

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I typically do this a few days before Thanksgiving so that I’m prepared the day of.  More importantly it lets me figure out if there are any parts of the dishes that I can make ahead of time.

Thanksgiving Oven Rotation Tips

To make cooking everything and having it all done around the same time with just one oven easier try some of these tips below.

  • Cook the dish with the highest temperature first, so all day you’re just turning the oven down and not wasting time waiting for the oven to preheat.
  • Bake as much the day before and just reheat on Thanksgiving.
  • When the turkey is out and resting, use that time to warm everything back up that you cooked the day before or earlier in the day.
  • Reduce the number of times you’re opening and closing the oven so you don’t lose heat.  Just turn on the oven light and check things through the window.
  • Cook savory things together and sweet things separately so flavors and aromas don’t mix.

Thanksgiving Cooking Timeline Printable

Be sure to click here or on the picture below to download your own cooking timeline printable.

What I love about this is that if you have it out in your kitchen, it’s pretty enough for your guests to see.

Hosting such a big holiday focused on food can be stressful.  But with a little planning and this printable I hope it can help relieve some stress of the day.

 

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3rd Annual Thanksgiving Cooking Timeline Printable

Every year I go on and on about how I don’t have double ovens, and then every year I do this post because it’s so helpful.  If you only have one oven like me, then you need this oven rotation cooking timeline printable.  It will save your life!  One of these days I’ll get double ovens, even if I do only use them on Thanksgiving, ha!

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It’s so helpful because it allows you to plan out when and how you’re going to put things in the oven to make sure everything gets cooked and is still hot when it’s time to eat.  Just click here or on the picture above to download and print out your free cooking timeline printable.

You can see the last two years printables here and here. Looking back I think my design skills have improved a ton too!

Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Here are a few of my top tips when it comes to cooking Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Always cook things with the highest temperature first, so there is less time for the oven to cool down rather than heat up
  • Be sure to thaw your turkey WELL in advance
  • Brine your turkey so you can cook everything else while it rests and it won’t get dried out (brine recipe I used last year)
  • Do as much prep work as possible in advance (chop, cut, mix things the day before)
  • Bake pies a day in advance, they can sit for 24 hours and still be delicious
  • My favorite Thanksgiving recipes here
  • Check out last week’s post about a stress free Thanksgiving

What are your top tips for cooking Thanksgiving dinner?  Is there a favorite dish you must have? Please share in the comments below, I love seeing what you have to say!

I sincerely hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving surrounding a table full of delicious food that brings back memories and surrounded by those you love and those that love you!  I’ll be taking a little blogging break this week to spend time with my family.  I hope you can do the same!

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10 Ways to Host a Stress Free Thanksgiving

We’re a week away from my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving!  Is anyone else as excited as I am?  I know some people get really stressed around the holidays though.  They can be stressful because of family, all the cooking, and gift buying, or expectations for everything to go right.  Well I’m here with a great list of ways to host a stress free Thanksgiving this year.

If it’s your first time ever hosting Thanksgiving, you’re in the right place to calm those nerves!  I’ve been doing it for almost ten years and while it does get easier with practice, you can have a great holiday even as a novice.

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1. Menu plan

If you’ve never hosted Thanksgiving before, or aren’t a very seasoned cook, the menu can be daunting.  Be sure to plan out your menu at least a week in advance.  Go over recipes, make a list of ingredients you’ll need and be sure to plan when you’ll need to start thawing the turkey.  Making a list is key!  You can get more menu planning tips here, including a great shopping list.

2. Set up oven rotations

Again with all the cooking, planning out what goes in the oven, when, and for how long can be consuming.  If you are like me and only have one oven, it’s a juggle all day!  Figure out how long everything needs to cook and at what temperature then you can plan when you’ll bake your dishes and in what order.  Try this oven rotation printable to help.  I’m also planning on making another one for you next week, just in time to start planning your oven rotation.

3. Celebrate with a potluck

If all the cooking and planning is just too stressful, then celebrate Thanksgiving with a pot luck!  Make the dish you’re most comfortable with, then ask everyone to bring everything else.  Pot lucks work best when there is a theme or assigned dishes for everyone to bring.  Be sure to let your guests know how many people (adults and kids) will be eating so there are enough portions for everyone.

4. Have a separate kids activity area/table

Hosting a variety of people can cause stress too.  If there are a lot of kids attending your Thanksgiving, give them their own space.  Setting a kids table is a great way to get them all in the same area.  Having activities to keep them busy when things are still cooking or after they get done eating will help keep them entertained.  Try having a small craft for them, or some special toys, a group game is a great way to keep them occupied.  Click here for lots of ways to entertain kids at a party.

5. Multiple TV’s

My husband and I always jokingly argue on Thanksgiving about who gets the TV.  I love to watch the Thanksgiving day parade, and he loves to watch football.  If you have multiple TVs there won’t be any arguing!

6. Exercise!

If you’re feeling extra stressed, exercise is a great way to reduce it.  Especially on a day where you’ll be consuming extra calories, getting a little exercise in benefits you in multiple ways.  There are so many ways to get in a workout when the gym is closed.  Try to find a Thanksgiving Day 5K, organize a football game, or do a circuit workout with the whole family.

7. Plan the seating chart

If family drama is typical on Thanksgiving, plan for it.  Be sure to sit people next to others that won’t start a family argument.  Telling people where to sit reduces the possibility of an argument breaking out and your stress level.

8. Limit alcohol

Sometimes the family drama can be fueled by a few too many glasses of wine, so be sure to limit how much is served.   Buy only enough alcohol for everyone to get a limited quantity.  Another way to limit alcohol is to make a signature drink so you can be sure how much alcohol is in it.  Cut back on how much liquor is in the drink and no one will even know!

9. Stick to a budget

Once you start planning your menu and preparing to serve a lot of people it can be overwhelming to see how much everything costs.  If spending the money is stressing you out, be sure to set a budget you’re comfortable with and stick to it.  If there are things that are out of your budget see if you can ask someone else to contribute financially, or get creative with things around the house to diy if necessary.

10. Be realistic

In the end, reduce your holiday stress by being realistic with yourself.  It’s ok if everything isn’t perfect, in fact, it probably won’t be.  And that’s ok.  Mishaps make for great memories!  As long as you’re with people you want to celebrate with and you can find something to be happy about, then the day is a success.

I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, aren’t too stressed, and get to eat lots of turkey and gravy.  Be sure to come back next week for your printable oven rotation sheet.  Happy planning, be sure to use some of the links above to get a head start on your Thanksgiving plans!

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Tablescape Tuesday: Eucalyptus Centerpiece

Well folks, Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  Who is excited?  I love the holiday because it’s all about the food and just being together.  It’s such a cozy holiday with friends and family gathered around the table.  No party decor necessary.  But, I can’t let a holiday or get together go by without some sort of decor. Enter an inexpensive bunch of eucalyptus to pull this tablescape together.

Thanksgiving is a great time to put all your effort into the tablescape.   You’ll be spending a lot of time eating delicious food around the table anyway.  So today’s Tablescape Tuesday is an inspiration for your Thanksgiving table.

Thankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceI made this centerpiece for less than $15 and I am completely in love.  I bought the pumpkins and gourds to use as part of my fall front porch several weeks ago.  The bag full was less than $5.  Thank goodness the random hot fall days didn’t make them go bad.

Thankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceI later got the biggest bunch of eucalyptus from Costco.  You should have seen my face when I saw that they had eucalyptus.  I thought I had won the lottery, because a massive bunch was only $9.99.  Almost every bunch they had came home with me, but I restrained myself a bit.

I used what I needed from the bunch for an event I was planning, then had a lot left over.  So, right before we hopped on a plane for a quick trip to our hometown for my son’s baptism, I put this tablescape together.  Nothing like a deadline to make you jump into action.

Thankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceI laid the eucalyptus down the center of the table making sure all the stems were covered with leafy areas.  Then I placed the pumpkins and gourds randomly on top of the eucalyptus.  I wish you could have smelled the centerpiece.  So delightful and refreshing.

Thankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceI like that this centerpiece is low so you can still converse with all of your guests.  There is also plenty of room around the eucalyptus to place your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Thankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceThankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceFor the place settings, I used my trusty white everyday dishes and some neutral cloth napkins.  Although, looking back at the pictures it would have been a lot nicer had I ironed them first.  But you know, that whole plane to catch thing had me cutting corners.

I loved the touch of tying a name card onto a sprig of eucalyptus.  It ties into the centerpiece, but could also be a cute way to label leftovers for everyone.  Just tuck the stem with the name card into your wrapped up leftovers.  Last year I bought to go containers for Thanksgiving leftovers and they worked so much better than a bunch of paper plates wrapped in aluminum foil.

Thankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceThankgsiving tablescape with eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus and pumpkin thanksgiving centerpiece, thanksgiving pumpkin table centerpieceWhile my husband was loading up our luggage I was feverishly snapping pictures to share this tablescape with all of you.    Does this make you want to run out and buy all the eucalyptus like I do?  I’m probably going back to Costco to see if there is more before Thanksgiving.  My only complaint is that this tablescape doesn’t last very long.  If the eucalyptus isn’t in water it dries up pretty quickly.

I hope you have a great Tuesday, and be sure to keep your eye out for bargain eucalyptus!

 

 

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Celebrating everyday!