Thanksgiving Week/End

happy thanksgiving!

+ EARLY BLACK FRIDAY SALES: It’s already begun…there are great Black Friday deals to be had at Shopbop, Nordstrom, and J.Crew Factory (where right now, everything is 50% off until Sunday night). A few of my sale picks include this sweater, this jacket (which you can get an extra 15% off of with code GOBIG14), and this sweater dress (I actually bought this early in the fall and love wearing it with tights and boots. At the sale price? It’s an amazing find). I’m sure the deals will get even better come Friday and next Monday too…and on that note, be sure to stop by here Friday, as I’ve rounded up a ton of great sales, from big and small businesses alike. One additional sale that’s close to home and perfect if you are a fellow blogger or small biz owner: right now, The B Bar is offering 20% off your entire purchase with the code THANKS20!

+ GO TO LONELY STARBUCKS LOVERS: Ok, it was oddly reassuring that I was not the only one mishearing that lyric in Taylor Swift’s new song. You too? Here’s the science of why we keep thinking she’s singing something else.

+  A HERITAGE BIRD: Unsurprisingly, these used to be all the rage in SF. Have you ever tried a heritage turkey?

+ DON’T BE THAT GUY: The absolute worst things you can do on a plane. If you’re traveling this weekend, please take note.

+ IN VINO VERITAS: Last year I rounded up my favorite Thanksgiving wine recommendations, and they definitely still hold. Reference this if you’re bringing wine to your celebration!

+ TRAILER PARK CHIC: Can you believe Ellen Pompeo’s set trailer makeover? It just goes to show you that with a little ingenuity, even the tiniest places can feel amazing.

+ DOGS WEARING SNOW BOOTS AND TRYING TO WALK: Need I say more? This provided a much needed laugh this week!

+ POP SONG POP CULTURE: I had noticed that most pop songs were always close to the same length, but never knew it was for a reason. There’s actually a bit of history behind it

+ HEY, DON’T FORGET: To enter the Minted giveaway! It’ll close this coming Sunday — get your entries in now for your chance to win a $250 gift card to!

We made it to Wednesday! I sometimes think the day before Thanksgiving is almost as fun as the actual holiday — mostly because the anticipation, cook prep, and the half day I usually take off make me so excited. Long time blog readers will know that Joe and I switch off making traditional Thanksgiving meals with non-traditional. Last year, we roasted a Turducken and had all the trimmings, so this year we’re due for a non-traditional meal. We’ve decided on Tex Mex Cantina Night: I’m going to be making us cheesy beef enchiladas, the requisite rice and beans, and of course, margaritas. It definitely wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without our usual hot baked spinach and artichoke dip to start, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches for dessert. No matter the menu each year, those two things always make an appearance.

What is everyone doing for the holiday? Are you traveling? Do you have any favorite traditions you are looking forward to? Our Christmas tree is being delivered Friday afternoon and I can’t WAIT to decorate it and the rest of the house.

A little update for you guys on Lucy, too. She’s in good spirits this week and her personality has definitely returned, which is such a big relief. She’s beginning to stand more on her own, but won’t do it for too long as she gets tired and her balance is really off! There’s definitely improvement though, and our visit to the vet last Friday for her first post-op checkup went really well — the vet was thrilled with how she’s doing, so even though some days progress seems slow, we’re staying patient and just giving her time. The vet said she might even begin trying to walk by the end of this week, and we’ve noticed when she stands up, she tries to take a step or two, but always falls over in her bed. But still, it’s great progress!

I hope all of you have a wonderful, restful, peaceful Thanksgiving weekend. Cheers to you and yours!

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Image: from Foodie’s Feed, with text graphics added by Victoria McGinley

This month's quote: "Trust the timing of your life."

Giveaway: $250 to!

Here to spread a little holiday cheer...

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Thanksgiving is late enough this year that even though Turkey Day isn’t until this Thursday, December follows very soon after! Have you started thinking about holiday cards yet? If not — or even if you have — I have some good news. Just like last year, I’ve teamed up with my friends at Minted to offer one lucky reader a $250 gift certificate to use on the site!

A few weeks ago, Minted sent me a huge box of their newest cards and holiday goodies for this season, and I had a great time sorting through them and picking my favorites (and then photographing them here, so you could see them too!). I’ve already selected and ordered our family holiday cards (I was so charmed by these little birds), but I also really love Minted’s photo holiday cards (this one is just beautiful). I’m especially a fan of ordering their cards on Triple Thick paper — it feels SO luxe and chic. This year, Minted is offering complimentary envelope printing, so you can select from a number of designs for the front and back of your envelope to make them feel more personalized and match the card inside.

Beyond holiday cards, Minted has lots of other holiday goodies, like unique gift tags, stickers, and even personalized wrapping paper. However, even if you don’t want to order holiday stuff, you can use the gift card in Minted’s awesome art shop — did you know they sell limited edition prints? I’ve had my eye on this photograph and this abstract ink print for a while now.

Ready? Let’s do this thing. You can enter the giveaway to using the Rafflecopter widget below! It’s open to U.S. residents, and it’ll close next Sunday, November 30 at 11:59pm EST (giving you plenty of time to order your cards — as a heads up, I’ve found that from the date you order, if you approve your proof quickly, cards will arrive about a week later!). Good luck and happy holidays!

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Images styled and photographed by Victoria McGinley

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Recipe: Winter Pasta Salad

The perfect recipe to make post-Thanksgiving -- or any time this winter!

couscous pasta salad with thanksgiving leftovers

pasta salad with thanksgiving leftovers

With Lucy recovering and needing extra care, we’ve been homebound, doing less cooking and ordering a lot of take out. I had already been brainstorming a recipe idea I could share with y’all which would use up post-Thanksgiving leftovers (or to make to go along with your leftovers next week). So after three days of delivered deli sandwiches, I ran out to the store late Tuesday to grab ingredients and whip something up to satisfy both needs. The result was this wonderful couscous pasta salad! For us right now, having a big bowl of this around means we can have a healthy meal on hand without having to stress too much; for you, I’m happy to report that this is an awesome dish that you can shop for specifically, or create using what you have on hand following Turkey Day next week. Pasta salad with Thanksgiving leftovers? Yes, I promise, you’ll like it!

For this recipe, I used a mix of roasted butternut squash, onions, garlic, and fennel — all things many of us will have around after Thanksgiving anyway. The pasta salad has a little twist too: I shredded Brussels sprouts (the same way you might shred cabbage), and sauteed them, creating a new texture for the salad but packing an extra nutritive punch. Toasted walnuts, a citrus scallion vinaigrette, and Israeli couscous are all tossed together with the cooked veggies for a colorful, tasty final dish. One thing I wanted to add to this was dried cranberries, but my grocery store was out of them; however, if you can find them, I highly recommend adding some in for extra color and a sweet-tart flavor!

If you’re making Brussels sprouts or roasted squash for Thanksgiving, you can always use up any leftovers right in the pasta salad and do away with sautéing and roasting these ingredients, respectively. If you end up making this recipe with fresh ingredients, it’d be a great accompaniment to leftover turkey, or you could even try cubing or shredding the turkey and throwing it in. I like that this salad features autumnal flavors, but won’t taste exactly like Thanksgiving dinner — which, as much as I love, I’m usually sick of after eating 3 times in a row. Here’s how you make it:  Read the full post +

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Images: by Victoria McGinley