Thanksgiving Tablescape + Thankful For...

23843505_10213299006061469_1478351681522165678_n.jpg
23844901_10213299005741461_4320798038806861450_n.jpg
IMG_6219.jpg
IMG_6226.JPG
IMG_6229.JPG
IMG_6230.jpg
IMG_6231.JPG
IMG_6233.JPG
IMG_6237.jpg
IMG_6254.jpg

Click here to shop the eucalyptus garland

Click here to shop candlesticks

I hope you all had the BEST Thanksgiving yesterday!!

We hosted my parents, my uncle, and his girlfriend and it was such a fun, cozy get together! But I'll be honest - hosting STRESSES ME OUT. haha I just get SO incredibly anxious about whether or not everyone is enjoying themselves and has what they need, and it's just too much social sensory overload and I just was EXHAUSTED by the end of the night haha...and that was a pretty small group of my CLOSEST family!! Geez louise!

Tomorrow we are hosting Ben's dad's side of the family, so this introvert has been resting up today, recharging in preparation of Thanksgiving Round TWO! :p

I asked you guys in a poll on Instagram if you would be interested in seeing my Thanksgiving tablescape and you voted an overwhelming YES, so today I'm sharing pictures of my tablescape. I'm pretty happy with how it all came together!

I made the centerpiece, and I honestly feel so crafty now, haha. I carved a Cinderella pumpkin, put some of the floral foam in it and stuck flowers in it and voila! Autumnal floral centerpiece win! Super easy and a really pretty touch! :)

My heart was set on a eucalyptus garland for the table and my mom searched high and low and found one the day before Thanksgiving!! *Thanks mom!* Click here for a similar one!

The table cloth that we used was my Grammy's, so that was really special! I love the burnt orange color of it - so Fall-ish! I kept the rest simple with white plates and napkins. I added place cards from Papyrus, and two white candlesticks to finish off the look. I love these candlesticks (click here) - they are so elegant and classic AND they are on sale for $8!!

I will wrap up this post with sharing a few things that I am feeling sososo thankful for:

  1. My husband. Ben is the most caring, selfless, patient, loving, hard-working, funniest person and I thank God every single day for blessing me with such an incredible man to spend my life with.
  2. James Henry. There are no words. This little boy has changed me in practically every way. He has completely turned what I *thought* I knew about love upside down and has made my life so brilliantly beautiful it hurts.
  3. My health and the health of my loved ones. Health is something that is so easy to take for granted. I am so thankful for a healthy, whole, fully-functioning body and mind, and that my loved ones have their health as well.
  4. My home. This is our first holiday season in our beautiful new home, and I feel so blessed that we get to live HERE, in this amazing house that Ben has worked so hard for.
  5. Getting to be a stay-at-home-mom. I nearly cry when I think about how blessed I am to be able to stay at home with my baby boy and watch him grow and learn. Our days together are so precious and I am absolutely soaking in and cherishing every single minute.
  6. Ben's job that provides so well for our family. He is such a hard worker and incredible provider for our family.
  7. Gunner...sweet sweet loyal little Gunner. He brings so much joy and gentle companionship to our lives.
  8. My parents. They are the best. That's all there is to it. They get me and love me and support me no matter what, flaws, and quirks and all, through the ups and the downs.
  9. My extended family, for loving me. Being loved is a beautiful, special, precious thing. I don't take for granted those who love me. Family is so dear and special and I am so so thankful for everyone in mine.
  10. Our country. I feel incredibly thankful to live in such a beautiful, safe country where I am free and where I can pursue my dreams and explore and learn and strive for the highest of goals. We are so blessed to live in the United States of America. I'm thankful that my son gets to grow up in this place.

What are you feeling thankful for?

Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 2.16.27 PM.png

Thankful

This is the BEST time of the year...amIright?!? Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and then it's CHRISTMAS SEASON!! haha I can't wait for the holidays this year. It is going to be so much fun because it will be James' first time experiencing Thanksgiving dinner and then all of the beauty of Christmas! I realize he's still very little, but he is very aware of what's going on and he is just going to have so much fun - especially when all of the Christmas lights start popping up. He LOVES lights!

Anyways, as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself in awe of how blessed my life is. I have SO much to be thankful for this year. I thought I'd go ahead and make a list of just a few of the things that I'm feeling really really thankful for at the moment:

  • my family
  • our home
  • ben's and my jobs
  • baby james
  • that i get to do parenthood with ben
  • my marriage
  • gunner (our dog) and rainy (my parents' dog) and the joy and companionship they bring to my life
  • my health and the health of my loved ones
  • that james and i both made it safely through that pregnancy and delivery
  • that i got to experience pregnancy and carrying a baby to full term and delivering him safely
  • that i live in a beautiful country where i'm free
  • that i get to stay home with my baby
  • that i have a strong, capable body
  • travel and all of the other exciting things in store for next year

As I said, just a few things. I could go on and on, because truly, I am so so fortunate. What are YOU feeling thankful for right now? I think it is such a great practice to write down what you are grateful for. Then, you can look at your list and visually see just how very very blessed you are! :)

Wild Eats: Spicy & Meaty Thanksgiving Stuffing

This isn’t your average stuffing. In fact, this stuffing is anything BUT average! If you want to step things up this year, whip up a batch of this spicy & meaty stuffing, and prepare to have your mind (and taste buds) blown away. 

Here’s What You’ll Need: 

  • 8 tbs butter
  • 2 cups chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 lbs andouille sausage
  • 1 lb ground red meat (we used venison)
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs hot sauce
  • 2 cups stock (we used venison stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups of very fine and dry bread crumbs (we used Panco)

Here’s What You Do:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt 4 tbs of the butter over high heat in a large skillet. Then, add in two cups of the onions, one cup of celery, and one cup of the bell peppers. Saute this mixture until the onions are dark brown.  Stir occasionally. Add in the andouille sausage and the ground red meat, and cook until brown. You’ll want to stir this frequently. 

Once all of the meat is browned, you’ll add in the rest of the chopped onions, celery, and bell peppers, the rest of the butter, the garlic, and the hot sauce. Stir all of this well. Then, reduce the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, you will stir in the stock and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Cook this until the oil rises to the surface (about 10 minutes). Stir in the bread crumbs. 

Then, you will remove the skillet from the heat, and transfer all of the contents into an ungreased baking dish. Bake the stuffing uncovered for bout 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes you will want to stir the stuffing, making sure to scrape the bottom of the baking dish. 

Voila! You have some seriously GOOD stuffing that will be a game changer for all future Thanksgiving dinners. Enjoy!

Wild Eats: Stuffed Baked Apple Crisp

Aaahhh, the holidays! 'Tis the season for gatherings with loved ones and feasts brimming with delicious food. Impress your friends and family at the next holiday party you attend, and whip up a batch of these yummy Stuffed Baked Apple Crisps. These are a fun twist on the classic Apple Crisp recipe, and they are easy and quick to make. 

Here's What You Need:

  • 7-8 Fuji Apples
  • 1 stick of chilled butter (8 tbs)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Here's What You Do: 

First things first. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Next, let’s prepare the crumble topping. Whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, salt, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Then, cut your stick of butter in half. Cut one half into cubes. Then, add those cubes into the dry mixture, and combine with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Go ahead and set this bowl aside for now. 

Take three apples and peel them. Then, chop them up into small cubes. These are going to be the filling for your stuffed baked apples. Add the chopped apples, the other half of the stick of butter, the rest of the cinnamon (1/2 tsp), and the rest of the brown sugar (1/3 cup) to a medium sized sauce pan. Saute these ingredients over medium heat until the apples are tender. Then, remove the sauce pan from the stove top.

Take the remaining 4 apples, chop the tops off of them, and carefully use a spoon to scoop out the insides. You wont need the insides of these apples. You can throw them away OR use them in a different recipe! Don’t worry about getting every little bit of the insides of these apples out. You just want to make sure that you have enough room to stuff them with the filling. 

Now the fun part! Fill your scooped-out apples with the apple filling mixture from the sauce pan. Then, top with a hefty amount of the crumble topping. Put the stuffed apples onto a baking sheet, pop them in the oven, and bake them for about 15-20 minutes. You want the scooped-out apples to be soft, and the crumble topping to be getting kind of crispy. 

You can serve these warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and a bit of caramel sauce. Enjoy!