We had some snowfall here yesterday and this is what we woke up to this morning… Beautiful, white, fresh-fallen snow – not much, but just enough to make everything gleam. So today, I put on my warm, green, turtleneck sweater and sipped my peppermint mocha latte while enjoying the view out the window. Hello winter.
We had a fun, busy, Christmasy weekend. We kicked off our weekend with some Midnight Madness fun in downtown Ann Arbor to finish up our Christmas shopping and we stopped into the Old German for a drink and to share their delicious, baked soft pretzels with spicy mustard and cheddar fondue. Downtown Home and Garden had a petting zoo for the weekend, complete with alpaca, goats, sheep, a donkey, and a zebu. The zebu had the best eyelashes! I wanted to get a good picture of the zebu, but it didn’t want to pose for me – oh well, you know how zebus can be. We hosted a holiday brunch at our home on Sunday and really enjoyed having everyone over and sharing such delicious food with friends; Ezra (who shares my love for strawberries – in fact, I’m pretty sure he loves them even more than I do) even showed me the proper way to patty-cake – thanks, Ezra! During our brunch, the snow started to fall outside (it really was perfect timing) and 3 different groups of friends at the brunch were heading directly from our place to pick out their Christmas trees.
Over the weekend, we did our annual it’s-Thanksgiving-weekend-let’s-decorate-the-house-for-Christmas flurry of activity; which included 1 tree, multiple strands of lights, many ornaments, 3 stockings, 2 strands of garland, 2 wreaths, 1 mistletoe ball, and various other holiday accoutrement. I will always feel like there’s something magical about sitting in a dark room enjoying the glow of Christmas tree lights…especially if there’s a warm fire nearby.
We had a very large bowl of leftover mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce from our Thanksgiving (or, should I say, Thanksgivingukkah) feast and I like a little variety in my life so when I stumbled onto this recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes I smartly suggested to Ryan that it might be a great thing to try. What better way to celebrate the marriage of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, after all?
Instead of using scallions, we used shallots – because that’s what we had in the fridge. And instead of using sour cream to top them with, we used our leftover homemade cranberry sauce. It was delicious! In fact, to be honest, I actually liked the potatoes better in this form than I did in their original mashed potato form…shhh…don’t tell the mashed potatoes I said that.
I like to have “adventures”, which – for me – can be anything from driving to Ikea to brave the insanity that Ikea can be, to trying a new restaurant, or even taking a hike in the wooded area near our house…and that’s just what we did today. We had an adventure in our own backyard, so to speak. Frozen ponds, evergreens, various plant life, and Melody is an excellent tree stump model – she was really working it!
We’ve been occasionally mentioning to each other, since we moved into our home back in June 2012, that it would be nice to have a table or island we could use for additional work space (at counter height) and/or a space that just the two of us could sit and eat at in our kitchen – not a necessity, just something that would be nice to have. We didn’t want anything too big and we wanted something that would fit our tastes and the needs for the space we have to fit it in. Ryan suggested we visit our local reuse center today as they have a good selection of reasonably priced and discounted hardwoods for sale; what we ended up walking away with was a very nice piece of live-edge maple (from Raven Farm) which we got a good deal on ($100 off due to a split in the wood at one end, which we’ll cut off anyway) and we’ll use to cut down and make a table for our kitchen with. This will be our big Christmas and Anniversary gift to each other and something we can enjoy for years to come.
We ordered legs for our table here and 2 stools for our table here. We even laid out the approximate space it would take up in the center of our kitchen, with painters tape, to get an idea of what it would be like in the space. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together and having another usable surface we can enjoy in our kitchen!
We picked up this beauty at the local farmer’s market – I really enjoy having a fresh, evergreen wreath on our front door during the winter months. I was also admiring some beautiful, evergreen trees in the sunlight on our neighborhood walk this morning to a nearby park.
…for family and friends, for our dog Melody (she’s so cute it hurts), for good food, for our beautiful home, and for my amazing husband – who is a great cook, is always easy on the eyes, who lets me put my cold feet on him when I first get into bed to help warm them up, has a wonderful sense of humor, and who happily makes me lattes whenever I ask him to.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving brunch with friends and a quiet, relaxing Thanksgiving dinner at home with just Ryan, Melody, and me. Deviled eggs was the first thing we made, followed by pumpkin pie (which is a long, sad story – but it’s ok because we bought one from the store today to make up for it), bourbon whipped cream, fresh cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey. On the floor, under a blanket, by the fire is where I found myself falling asleep early in the evening, with Ryan and Melody by my side.
We served our deviled eggs on a lovely Russel Wright piece. I really love Russel Wright serving dishes; they are so simple with beautiful, muted colors – we’ve picked up a few in recent years at garage sales and resale shops. I think it made my deviled eggs look extra sexy – well, as sexy as deviled eggs can look, I suppose.
Today, Ryan made me waffles with fresh apple compote for breakfast and we took a walk to a nearby park with Melody. Later, we’ll enjoy some Thanksgiving leftovers and I’m sure to find myself by the fire, under a blanket again, likely watching some holiday movies.
I like the idea of sleeping in on the weekends, but sometimes, despite my best efforts, that doesn’t always happen – nevertheless, I take joy in the fact that I have the option if I want to. Although, it’s also nice to wake up early and get a lot done and still feel like you have the whole day ahead of you. Today we woke up earlier and got lots done; including visiting 3 different grocery stores, among other places as we ran errands, and picking up a few supplies for our Thanksgiving dinner.
As you may have heard, for the first time in 125 years, the first night of Hanukkah will overlap with Thanksgiving – making it referred to by some as “Thanksgivingukkah”. As a person who absolutely finds the term “shooties” (yes, this is a real thing and I didn’t make it up – it’s a woman’s ankle-high bootlike shoe) annoying as all get out, I actually find the term “Thanksgivingukkah” fun. Maybe it’s because I love holidays and the idea of two combined seems like an extra dose of awesome to me. We are having a more traditional Thanksgiving menu (I’ve seen some weird…I mean “interesting” menus out there, in honor of Thanksgivingukkah), but will light our Menorah in honor of Hanukkah that night as well.
I enjoyed putting together a couple of flower arrangements with rose hips and alstroemeria – which we’ll enjoy on our Thanksgivingukkah table. My mother-in-law gave us this beautiful crystal vase below so it seems extra special and appropriate for the holiday. Here’s wishing you a very happy Thanksgivingukkah!