Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gobble Gobble

Who has their stretchy pants washed and ready to wear? I do. Plus a nice long, non form-fitting chambray shirt.

One of our good friends who recently moved out of state is back for the holiday weekend, so we're planning on sticking a giant frozen lasagna in the oven and having a little game night tonight. Then in the morning- Baileys, coffee & pie making!

If you're feeling bad or worrying about a that third helping of stuffing, just keep singing this song.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

History of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

 Macys, Inc.

I'm so looking forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here are some random facts and history, if you're interested...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Charleston, South Carolina

Boone Hall Plantation

We recently found out that my grandparents on mom's side of the family are hosting a family reunion.

We are a pretty small family on my mom's side, but this will be our first reunion. Since we're spread across the country, grandma picked a vacation spot for us to all travel to, as opposed to having it at one of our houses. The place happens to be somewhere that I've always dreamed of traveling to...Charleston, SC!

We'll be staying at a big house within walking distance to the ocean. When I say big house, it's big, but not quite big enough for everyone. This means we'll get to spend lots of time together and get to be really close. (Yikes!) Since half of the family lives out of state, Kelly has yet to meet most of them. It will be nice for him to finally meet some more of my family, and I'll get to see cousins (first and second) that I haven't seen or spoken to in years.

I'm a reality TV junkie and this past spring a new show, Southern Charm, premiered and I was all over it. It's based in Charleston on the lives of a few socialites. It's not a terribly meaty show, but it does showcase a lot of the beautiful, historical buildings and gorgeous countryside. 

We're so excited to have a trip in our near future!

Have any of you been to the Charleston area? Any reccomendations?

[Photo via Boone Hall Plantation] 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Weekend Everyone

Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center

Isn't that a nice, fall picture? A real time photo would be much more white, as it's been a blizzard here in our little part of the mitten for a good chunk of the week. The roads were so bad on Monday that I missed horses, then Tuesday night lessons were cancelled.

To fill time after work, I've been doing a lot of crocheting, playing with the dogs and even went on my first hunting extravaganza with Honey. I've also been racking up a lot of wins in Skip-Bo. My hair dryer died (I don't know why, it's only about ten years old), so I threw that out and have been standing in front of the pellet stove fan in the morning to dry my hair. Heaven forbid that I just go get a new hair dryer. It's not so bad as one might think, if you flip your head over it actually gives you some pretty nice volume. HA.

On Tonight's agenda- hitting up our town's old movie theatre with my sister to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.

How was your week? Anything exciting going on this weekend?

Plus....pumpkin recipes, sunflower fields, and putting things in perspective.

(Photo via Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions

What kind of traditions do you practice at Thanksgiving?

On Thanksgiving Day, I've always watched the Macy's day parade in the morning while cooking, baking or cleaning and simultaneously consuming a pot of coffee (with a smidge of Baileys:). After that, I get to catch a glimpse of the National Dog Show before heading out to visit with family.

My favorite tradition started when I was a child and actually happens the day after Thanksgiving. My sisters and I slept in, then woke to Christmas music being played throughout the house. All of the decorations were brought up from the basement and we spent the day in a wonderland of carols, decorating, potpourri simmering on the stove, and leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches.

When I moved into my first home, my sister would stay the night with me and help to decorate the next day.

Since this is the first year that Kelly and I have lived together for Thanksgiving, we don't have any traditions as of yet. Although, I'm very excited to have a new house to decorate!  I've already started getting boxes out of the attic and stacking them in a corner upstairs so that they're ready to go. We're even planning on hanging lights outside the house, I'm so excited it's sickening!

I love traditions. They give us a sense of season, a sense of belonging. Something to look forward to and something to remember fondly.

Here are a few ideas that would be fun to start...
  • Break out the home videos. After everyone's eaten, dig into that old tub of VHS or DVDs and laugh at all the old times. Kelly and I have never seen videos of eachother back in the day, I think it would be fun!  And getting to laugh about so-and-so's stylin' mullet or cousin Susie's floral mumu? Bonus.
  • Take a hike- two and four-legged family together. Between my parents & sisters alone, we have 8 dogs between the lot of us. It would be great for everyone to get all bundled up and, with the dogs, head out as a family to walk off that pie!
  • Gametime. Growing up, we were a family of all girls so afternoon football wasn't really our thing. On the other hand, we do love a nice competitive round of Catchphrase or the name game.
I'd like to know, what are your Thanksgiving traditions?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Have a Wonderful Weekend

What are you up to this weekend?

I have a mentor group meeting at the barn in the AM, then we're leading the new volunteer orientation and afterwards doing a training for mounting and dismounting. After that, I'm booking it home to shower so that we can head over to Grandma's house for the annual pool tournament and dinner before they head out to Arizona.

Is anyone else having a horrible problem of thinking next week is Thanksgiving? Maybe I just have a chronic hunger. I keep having to tell myself two weeks, two weeks.

Also-- I am absolutely digging this song right now...

Just click here and know you want to

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Your friend who just cannot bring themself to walk past that puppy.

Ready for the first installment of my Holiday Gift Guide? This week's gift guide brings us my personal favorite... Animal Lovers! Click on to see what I came up with...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let's get into the filling...

I'm talking pies, people. Thanksgiving Day pies. Last year was the first time my mom has ever let me bring anything to our Thanksgiving Day dinner. I always ask and it's always, 'No, no need to bring anything, just be there with bells on!' What does that even mean, mom?!

It's very sweet, but in the past few years I have realized that I really adore cooking and baking. I love it. So after begging last year, I now get to bring the pies! All but pumpkin, because that's her man's favorite and she likes to bake it for him (I secretly think she's afraid I'll ruin it!).

Anywhoo, I must have done a good job because she's letting me keep up with the new tradition!

A Beautiful Mess

This Carmel Apple Cheesecake recipe from A Beautiful Mess was my one complicated 'pie', then I didn't even get to try it! I used the caramel sauce that we bought when we went apple picking at Crane's Orchard. My sister vouched that it was yummy, so I'm definitely making it again and tasting it this time. I don't care if Kelly has to roll me out of the house.

Any guesses for this one? I'll give you two's my absolute favorite, and it's also a song by Warrant. Yep. Cherry Pie.

And for the life of me I cannot remember the other one I made. Oh well. So cherry pie and the caramel apple cheesecake are on my list again this year, then I'm going to try and swing a raspberry pie along with Kelly's request for chocolate.

Which brings me to the predicament of transportation. We're just two of us, so we travel to our families houses for the holidays. Do you know how hard it is to transport a bunch of pies in pie plates? And if you take a corner a little too fast- forget about it!

Pie Box

My solution? I ordered this adorable pie box. It will save at least one of our pies from splatting against the car window. And I'm super excited to use our new Thanksgiving pie plate that we recieved as a wedding gift from Kelly's grandma!

I'm already salivating thinking about stuffing and mashed potatoes. What are your favorite dishes? Do you have any specialties or family recipes?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day!

A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of our Veterans.
In honor of Veteran's day, Renew Therapeutic Riding Center is hosting a special showing of the documentary 'Riding My Way Back'

Here is a short synopsis from the film's website:
  'Riding My Way Back is a short documentary that chronicles one soldier’s journey back from the brink of suicide. In 2010, Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker returned from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in addition to third-degree burns and nerve damage from a roadside bomb. At his most desperate and isolated, on 42 medications and suicidal, Aaron is introduced to the unlikeliest of saviors: a horse named Fred. Through caring for Fred and building mutual trust, Aaron begins the difficult process of reconnecting to the world around him and healing the terrible, invisible wounds of war that had nearly defeated him.'
To read some amazing words from retired Air Force Staff Sergeant Heliker himself, this link will take you to his short version of the story on his facebook page.
The documentary will be shared at the Park Theatre in Holland, Michigan on Thursday November 13th at 7pm. Tickets are $10 at the door, so if you are in the area please stop by to see what can be accomplished by the wonders of EAAT!  
This will be my first time viewing the documentary. I'm very excited because, although I've worked with therapeutic riding programs for over seven years now, I've never had the opportunity to work with a Veteran's program. I'm anxious to see what this film is all about. 
Do you have any special Veterans close to your heart that you remember or honor, especially today?  

Holiday Gift Guide

Hello Dears!

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting gift guides for the Holiday Season. Make sure you check back every Thursday- they'll be full of creative ideas that fit most every budget and personality. Not only for the big holiday itself, some could dual as hostess gifts for gatherings with family and friends.

I've had a lot of fun putting them together, I hope that you enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Family Photo Sesh

A couple weeks ago, my sister spent the weekend with us.

For Christmas last year, she got a very nice camera because she has always loved doing photo shoots. I remember a few years ago when my Rottweiler Crue was just a few months old. It was around Christmas time and one of the news channels was doing a contest for the cutest puppy. My sister came to me and said that we just had to do it. The rules were simple, you had to send in three photos of your puppy in three different, creative scenarios.  I can't find any of the photos on my computer, but he was dressed as a jazzercise puppy on the treadmill (sweatband and all), he was 'sitting on the dock of the bay' with a fishing pole (in two feet of snow), he selected some wine from the wine refrigerator and he was also a pinball player. 

I mean, this girl is like Austin Powers in 'The Spy Who Shagged Me'- give her a camera and she can go all day. So needless to say that on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, she was doing a photo shoot. She went through my closet and she went through Kelly's closet until she had three different outfits, then she went outside and picked three different areas to take the photos. This girl cracks me up. 

Anyhow- she's sent me the photos that she took of us with the dogs, so let me introduce you to the pack...
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