Weekending Highlights {Thanksgiving}

Happy Monday! I hope you're all recovered from the turkey comas of Thanksgiving! I can't believe how quickly the weekend went by, but let's recap all of the fun!

My weekend highlights included:

~My in-laws arriving Wednesday afternoon (and their dog got sick on the way down which was a bummer)

~Going out to dinner at the Chart House in Old Town, on the water--we all got the most delicious meals. my crab stuffed shrimp was out of this world delicious
~up early Thursday morning to get the turkey going (well, MG was in charge of that 19 lb bird)
~my sister-in-law and her family arriving late morning; having my nugget run into my arms (not so little anymore!)
~cooking and prepping while also getting to enjoy how beautiful the weather was; even got in some time on the deck since it was so nice out!
~my parents arrived and we wrapped up cooking. On our menu: the 19 lb turkey, green beans, balsamic brussel sprouts, my family's traditional squash casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls and stuffing. There was SO much food, but it was all so good!
~celebrated hosting another successful Thanksgiving at our house, this time with double the amount of people we normally have
~apple and pumpkin pie for dessert

~lounging after the clean up, nursing the food comas, and some couch cuddles
~spending time with the fam

~getting everyone packed up on Friday morning and going for a little hike before they all got on their way
~did some online shopping for hubby's birthday....and maybe a little for myself too #oops

~had leftovers for lunch and Cooper recovered from all of the excitement of having a packed house with a pup-nap
~cleaned up the house and got the Christmas decor, tree, ornaments and outside lights up!
~pizza at our favorite spot and went to see Bridge of Spies which was long, but really good

~Saturday started at 4am with Cooper getting sick--he must have gotten whatever my in-laws' dog had

~ran some errands to return a few things and drop off a bunch of stuff at good will

~rooted on our nephew (and brother-in-law who coaches their team) from here, as they won their eastern region football championship in NJ and are headed to Florida in a week for the national championship that will be on ESPN3!
~had a low key night at home, taking care of our sick pup

~rainy Sunday errands and a lazy day at home, reading and watching some football--my Skins ended up moving into the top spot of the suckiest division in the NFL (not much to be proud of there)
~got my hair cut and colored (why do I almost always have hair appointments on days that it rains?)
pardon the lack of makeup in this one
It felt like the weekend totally flew by, but it was really great hosting almost all of our family at once, having the space to have everyone stay here, and getting to spend time being thankful, with the people I'm most thankful for!

I hope your weekend and Thanksgiving were fabulous, too! Enjoy this last day of November (how is it already December tomorrow?!?!)
Linking up with these pretties today:
Mingle 240

What's Hap-"Pinning"? {T.H.A.N.K.F.U.L. edition}

Today's What's Hap-"Pinning" post, for me, is going to be focused on things that I'm thankful for:
In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd write out things that I'm thankful for, in an acrostic poem kind of way (I saw this on another blog last week and loved the idea).

T-thoughtfulness; I think you can really tell how someone feels about you by the thoughtfulness that they show. Whether it's picking up something small that someone knows you would like, or just checking in when you know someone's going through something big. That thoughtfulness touches my heart more than most things, and I'm so thankful for the people in my life who have shown it to me.

H-husband; because life wouldn't be as fun or happy without him. I love this man with all of my heart and know that whatever happens in life, as long as we have each other, we can make it through. Having his support, love, kindness and helpfulness are some of the best things I could have asked for. Oh, and the laughter, because this guy can make some of the darkest days shine a bit brighter with his ability to make me laugh :)

A- an amazing family; I'm talking about my family I grew up with--my mom and dad, and my in-laws. I've said it before but I'm completely blessed to have my parents who have supported me through good and bad times, and made me feel special and important.
I'm also lucky that my in-laws are amazing and treat me like their own. I know not everyone has a great relationship with their in-laws, and I feel so lucky that I truly do. I'm additionally blessed that I've gotten to spend Thanksgiving for the last 4 years (including this year) with my parents and my in-laws all together. I love that we get to spend the holidays together, as a whole family.
And Cooper. Because he's obviously the best dog ever :)

N-nieces and a nephew; although I inherited them when I married MG, I'm so thankful that I got 5! Being an only child, these are the only nieces and nephew that I'll have, and luckily I got a great bunch. I've loved watching them all grow up and can't believe how quickly it's happened. I feel so lucky to be a part of their lives. 
this photo is about 4 years old at this point, but it's one of my favorites--look how little they all were!!!
K-kids; the ones that MG and I will have one day. They may not be here yet, or in the timing we had planned or hoped for, but I know that they will be one day, and I'm already thankful for it.

F-friends, who are there, no matter what. No judgement, no drama, just there. I'm so lucky and grateful to have a solid group of people I can turn to when I need them. We celebrate one another, no competing, and lift each other up when we're down. Life would be extra messy without my friends, and a heck of a lot less funny.

U-understanding; I'm thankful for people who show understanding. We may not always understand why someone does or says something, but I appreciate the people who take the time and energy to try and understand someone else's point of view and the shoes they're standing in. Understanding solves a lot of useless drama.

L-laughter; it's the best medicine for a crummy day, and makes a good day brighter. Having a partner who can make you laugh on your worst days is the best blessing of all.

Lastly, because there wasn't a B in Thankful, I wanted to share that I'm thankful for this Blogging community. I've met so many amazing people through this space--people I'm grateful to interact and talk with on a daily basis--who I wouldn't have met otherwise. You all have been the best surprise and my favorite part of blogging. I'm so glad that I know you guys and I hope to get the opportunity to meet so many of you in person!

I hope your days are filled with lots of people and things to be thankful for.
Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

You can link up with Jessi and I below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you lately, or things you're thankful for...anything!

{Recipe Files}: EasyStovetop Chili

Since it's Fall and the weather's gotten chilly out, what is more warm and comforting than a bowl of chili? Especially when it's super simple to throw together!

The easiest 5-ingredient chili recipe ever (except mine has 6...oops!):

This one has a kick to it, so keep that in mind if you don't like a little bit of heat.

What You Need:
~1 pound lean ground beef
~3 cans Rotel (tomatoes and green chiles)
~2 cans beans (I did one kidney and one black bean); drained and rinsed
~small onion, diced
~2 Tbsp chili powder (less if you don't want as much heat)
~a couple sprinkles of cumin

Optional Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro

What You Do:
1. In a large skillet or stock pot, cook the ground beef on medium-high heat until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain and return to the skillet.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients (cans of Rotel, beans, onion, chili powder and cumin) to the skillet and stir to combine.
3. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure the onion is cooked through.
4. Serve that bad boy up in a bowl, and top with whatever chili fixins that you like!

If you're looking for some other tasty recipes to try, check out my Recipes Page which has a TON of great ones!
Martinis & Bikinis

Weekending Highlights

Happy week of Thanksgiving! I seriously can't believe in 3 days we'll be cooking and eating with family!
Luckily this weekend was relatively low-key so we could get ready for all of the festivities!

My weekend highlights included:

~a really cool post-rain sky on my drive home Friday evening
~pizza and a movie at home--we watched Trainwreck which wasn't as funny as all the hype made it out to be. Really disappointing.

~was up super early for a doctor's appointment (work up earlier than my work day alarm!)

~Cooper got his fur did at the groomers--love when he gets groomed and is all soft and puffy!

~and some Cooper cuddles, because what's a weekend without puppy snuggles?
(I swear, he puts himself here...I just take the photos when it happens) :)
~Dealt with Macys and their ridiculousness--I seriously hate that store and their customer "service"--waited there for 45 minutes just to be told they couldn't help us; then, we eventually got an item that was defective, that they had repackaged and sold as new #iofficiallyhatemacys

~a trip to Home Depot because MG was the best husband ever and got stuff to make a blanket ladder for the basement

~lent a helping hand during the construction part of the blanket ladder
~Made our way to Tysons to deal with Macy's again, to get this beauty:
loving this more than Keurigs we've used in the past!
~dinner at Brio with the world's most delicious lobster bisque ever, and the strawberry fields salad....I could eat my weight in that lobster bisque, it's so freaking good!
~fell asleep on the couch after an early morning and running around all day

~started Sunday morning with chocolate chip pancakes made by MG
~Sunday morning errands to get everything we needed for Thanksgiving...our cart was full at every store we went to!

~stopped by TJMaxx to return something and saw this amazingly ugly Redskins youth sweater--I was so tempted to buy this hideousness, but I refrained and got some Christmas towels instead...but I kinda wanna go back for that ugly sweater lol
~Got out some of the Christmas decor to decorate a bit (but not the tree....yet!)
the white pillow has little strands of gold in it--so pretty!
~Reveled in the beauty of the totally stained and set blanket ladder #besthusbandaward

~ordered this set of blankets to add to our blanket ladder:
~got these perfect sea urchins at Target and found a spot for them on the wall in the basement
~watched football, cleaned up around the house, did laundry, and relaxed. 

Feeling a lot more prepared for our biggest Thanksgiving yet! Hoping the week is full of wonderful things! :)

Linking up with these pretties today:
Mingle 240