Our Little Turkey

I always suspected that the holidays would be so much more exciting with a little one in tow, but I never imagined just how special it would be. Especially all of her first holidays.

Let me just say, I'm a sucker for all sorts of cheesy holiday traditions - from advent calendars to Oreo turkeys, I love them all.

My mother is a first grade teacher, so there was never a shortage of holiday crafts or traditions. I am also a December birthday baby, and as a child my mother always made sure my birthday was a big deal - just to be sure it was overshadowed by the holiday season.

There was never an option as to whether there would be a party - just when, and how long it was last. From about age 8 to 15 my birthday's included a sleepover, piling in the car to go see Christmas lights and crafts - lots of crafts. We made gingerbread houses and ornaments, mini pizzas for dinner and decorated cookies. It was a given that every attendee would leave with a craft of sorts to hang on their tree or adorn their bedside table for the holiday's.

So it's not surprising that at 5 months my child is already crafting!

We also made pumpkin muffins and cookies last night - Tis the season! - and bagged all the ingredients for Oreo turkeys for Annalee to take to her friends at daycare today... so they could make their own as well. 

We are looking forward to a fun-filled first Turkey Day for Miss Annalee. On the menu for the next couple days:

   Turkey Baking {overnight of course, so we wake to the smell on Thanksgiving morning}
   Gobble Wobble 5K & Fun Run
   Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 
   Lots of cooking
   Turkey day lunch at home, including Annalee's first taste of solid foods. Did i mention I'm a sucker   
   for cheesy traditions? Of course her first food has to be on Thanksgiving.
   Dinner with friends

We are looking forward to a beautiful Thanksgiving surrounded by good friends and some very special time with our little family of three. What are you looking forward to most? 


Italian Sausage and Spinach Tortellini

Back with a delicious dish for Tasty Tuesday! We have enjoyed this meal a couple times and even made for a friend who just had a baby. It's a great make-ahead and re-heat dish. Modified from KevinandAmanda.

1 tsp. olive oil
1 large diced onion
2 links Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
9 oz. tortellini (fresh or frozen)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
The best part of this dish is that it requires only one pot, which in my house, is a big win!
 First heat olive oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until fragrant. 
Add sausage by squeezing from casing directly into skillet. Break into bite sized pieces and cook over medium-high heart until browned. 
Once your sausage is cooked through reduce heat to low, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Next add broth, tomatoes, tortellini and whipping cream to skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Cover and cook 15 minutes until tortellini is soft and cooked through.
Finally, add salt, pepper and a couple big handfuls of baby spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted - about 2-3 minutes. 
Serve with toasty garlic bread and enjoy!
And easy week-night meal for all.


Thankful thoughts on Monday

To kick off the Thanksgiving week I thought it would be fun to highlight a few things I am thankful for today.

ONE. A night out with my hubby! On Saturday we got a sitter {for the first time} and got all fancied up for a night on the town benefiting our local women's shelter. It was such a fun evening out with friends and we came home with lots of big wins from the silent auction!  {It's for a good cause, right?}

TWO. A sunday well-spent with my little family. We are all still getting over a head cold, and my voice is officially gone now, so a lazy Sunday was just what we needed. Lots of relaxation, a little trip to Wally to stock up on Thanksgiving goods and a visit with good friends to check out their new house progress.
Annalee doesn't seem to be fazed by her constant runny nose.

THREE. New warm booties to keep my toes warm in this chilly weather. How cute are they? I'm sorta in love and trying to find any excuse to wear them. every. day.
They are also on sale right now at Asos.

FOUR. A new warm rug in our den. We finally made a decision and I'm so happy with how it warms up the room. Rugs USA is the way to go!
Sorry for the dark photo, I'll snag a better one soon!

Happy Thanksgiving week friends! Hoping for lots of rest to kick this cold and lots of good food on the horizon.


Life Lately

Life lately has been busy. And o so good. I had four work events in 10 days then we packed up and hit the road to NC to visit Jesse's mom for a long weekend. We were back at home less than 24 hours and then set out again. I booked a flight home to be with my family for 4 days while the hubs left for a work trip. 

Needless to say, we are all happy to be home for the Holidays! Here is a quick recap of our last couple weeks. 
On the road to Gramma's.
Enjoying brews at The Lazy Hiker.
Sporting my new hat.
More on this delicious dish coming up. 
Loving my taggy blanket and play mat. 
Snuggles with Gramma. 
Next up... Florida! 
Enjoying a picnic at the park with Papa Sam and GranDe.
Tuckered out from a long travel day. 
Christmas Jubilee with Mom and my sister-in-law. 
And lunch with both brothers, one niece, Karen and Mom and Pops! 
Still working on tummy time... And perfectly content staying put. 
My sleepy traveler back to Virginia.
Until next time P'cola! 

We loved getting to see family and friends - such a treat! Now looking forward to the holidays...shopping, decorating, and lots of baking.


Our pick of the Patch | Annalee's first Halloween

Miss Annalee had a wonderful first Halloween! We decided to join the trick-or-treat madness downtown on Friday afternoon to show-off her lil strawberry costume. Which lasted approximately one block, ending with a wine tasting at the local wine store for mommy and Kara instead.
Hadley was a little octopus. So precious!
Our next stop on Friday was Brew Ridge Taps for some brews and to let the girls relax and play. How precious are these pics?  We love that they are so close together.

And of course, we had to have our own little dress-up session on Saturday.

Saturday was spent at the Braddick's, handing out candy around the camp-fire and enjoying some good old' hot dogs - a Halloween favorite! 

Kara had the cutest decorations too - I just had to share a couple of my favs. 
Yes, I may have tasted-tested some of the candy corn - it was still tasty!

I hope everyone had a spooky Halloween.