Our First Ever Hosted Thanksgiving!

Hi, Everyone!!! Happy Sunday to youu! Currently it’s Saturday night, we’ve got some Elton John playing, and DJ is working on a graphic for work! It’s a goooood night. Time to recap Thanksgiving week!

Monday the 19th I ran on the tready while doing a bunch of reading for school. Then I headed over to Peet’s, chatted with my favorite barista, Connie, and then get started on listening to lectures.

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After studying up, I did the big ole’ trip to Safeway for alllllz the Thanksgiving goodies. I haven’t shopped at Safeway in forever since discovering TJ’s, but there were a few items I wasn’t sure TJ’s would have, so I just did my whole trip there using my Safeway account. I hardcore lallygag when I grocery shop. I love grocery shopping. I look forward to it during my week, and truly get lost in the aisles while listening to my podcast. Anyone else see grocery shopping as the equivalent of going to the park?

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I went to Peet’s again on Tuesday the 20th, and witnessed the most horrendous parking job of all time. It’s super hard to find a good parking spot in this lot- so I was a bit miffed. I truly don’t know why I’m sharing this- but it’s cathartic- so here we are.

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I whipped out my major assignment for the week and wrapped up my discussion boards, so I could focus on Thanksgiving activities the rest of the week!

For starters, Wednesday November 21st I designated as a full on prep/clean/cook day. I relish in days like this. They make me so happy. Also, for the first time in a long time it was raining!! You can hear my reaction in a tragic run-on sentence. tehehe.

This was much needed after the fires and totally purified the air. I will never take for granted fresh luxurious air again! My runs outside since have been filled with the smell of pine and a crispness. Anyways- first, I picked up few last minute items I forgot in my first trip (did you actually host a thanksgiving without multiple trips last minute to the store?). Once home, I grabbed some tea to warm me from the chill outside (I already had hit my coffee limit for the day), listened to Up and Vanished and cooked my heart out! (Also DJ had the day off, which added an element of warmth to the apartment just having him there).

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Now, I am a bit mischievous, I must say. I secretly made a couple vegan dishes- and only waited till after they were confirmed delicious before divulging that they were in fact vegan 😉

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First up- vegan cauli. mashed taters!!! I also made regular mashed potatoes the day of, but I didn’t get pictures. So for these ones, ya just boil your cauli, put in a food processor with butter, salt, and pepper, and then you are good to go! I loveee them, especially with a little gravy on top!

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Next up- my vegan stuffed acorn squash! This was my “main course” for the big day. I was going to use the chicken I discovered at TJ’s, but was craving these even bit more.

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Next- pumpkin hummus ! Mmmm mmm so good! I served it with the pumpkin cranberry crisps from TJ’s. Golden combo (and of course I had to taste test the day before 😉 ).

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Nowwww- some vegan sweet potato casserole!!!

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I waited until actual Thanksgiving day to top with mallows to make sure the mallows wouldn’t get stale overnight or overcook.

Oh, and is it actually thanksgiving without green bean casserole?! This has traditionally been one of my favorite dishes (although this year I think I even liked the sweet potato casserole more!). I used this vegan recipe from Delish. I will say it does need a dash of salt at the end to top it off- but besides that it was scrumptious!

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And totalllly not vegan, but totally necessary- mac and cheeeeeeseeee!

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DJ rated this a “10” and said it was the best mac and cheese he has ever had. (He doesn’t blow smoke either- always gives it to me straight!). He even said it was better than Homeroom’s *gasp*. I mean it was great, but I don’t know if I’d go that far….

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And the last thing I made that day was DJ’s requested dirt. I love/hate when he requests it because the stuff is so darn addictive!

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I don’t have a rolling pin to crush the Oreos, so I use a wine bottle lol. Works like a champ.

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I also de-grouted my kitchen floors. They needed it badly!

Before

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After- Not perfect- but much better!

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Ready to go 🙂

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I topped off the evening with my usual nightly ice cream cone (I just rotate through flavors year round- currently we are on a chocolate brownie kick, and always have to add the cashews).

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Thanksgiving morning I had a stellar 15-mile run in the clear air under beautiful blue skies.

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I returned home around 11 am and then got started on the Turkey. My mom was a lifesaver answering my questions over the phone about the giblets and whatever-the-heck else I didn’t understand for my first turkey roast haha.

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And now for the final spread left to right: roasted multicolor honey herbed carrots/corn muffins/green bean casserole/croissants/regular hummus, grape, and pecan pumpkin butter, pumpkin hummus/turkey with stuffing/stuffed acorn squash/mac and cheese/mashed potatoes (vegan & regular)/sweet potato casserole/apple pie (Amy’s homemade!)/pumpkin pie/deviled eggs!

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Amy and her boyfriend joined us for the feast!! (Yes, that was only for only four people, haha). If you want leftovers please stop by because we have sooo much.

Unfortunately, I did make one boo boo. I forgot to take the chilled cranberry sauce out of the fridge. How do you forget the cranberry sauce??!!?!

After stuffing ourselves to the brim, we played the first season of Hunt a Killer. It’s a detective subscription box where you try to solve a murder (Amy and I are total true crime junkies). We actually solved it fairly quickly with four minds working together.

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After, we played Office trivia while eating Amy’s amazing apple pie and then they headed back to the city.

Ah, so much to be thankful for. God is so darn good. I think where I was mentally & emotionally this time last year, and it’s amazing to see all the goooood that has happened since. Even though we missed a big part of our family this year, I was reminded just how grateful I am for them and the small blessings of each day. Love to you all.

Questions for you: 

  • I gotta know- favorite Thanksgiving dish?

xo <3

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Candytopia!

Happy happy Saturday, everyone! I hope all my American friends had the most wonderful Thanksgiving and everyone else had a beautiful week. Currently I am sipping on a cup of coffee with the OSU vs. Michigan game on in the background and DJ working on a project next to me. I have just been relishing in this long weekend. I can’t wait to share how my first time hosting Thanksgiving went- but I don’t want to pass over last Sunday November 18th! So, without further adieu, let us jump into the land of Candytopia!!

Candytopia is a pop-up interactive candy experience- basically a Candyland come to life! I loveee my candy, so when I heard about this I couldn’t pass it up. My sister in law, Amy, joined me!

Our tickets were for noon, so I drove down from Cupertino around 10 am to make sure we had plenty of time for parking, etc.

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All the sculptures in Candytopia are made of candy. It’s pretty sweet!

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Time to go inside!!

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We all shuffled into a lobby-type room before starting the tour while they explained the rules, explained how to use the app, and gave a general intro. I was shocked at the creativity just in this room alone. I mean look at this dragon- entirely made of candy. They have a sign next to each piece saying what it is made of and how long it took to construct.. this took 542 hours!

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Also in each room you enter there is a box of candy with yummies for the taking.

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My candy corn lovin’ self was lovin’ this fox

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We all congregated into the next room as Lindor Truffle’s propelled down on the other side of a clock from the ceiling! I LOVE these. Some of the yummiest chocolate.

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We then took an escalator downstairs into another room…

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This room was bright and playful! It felt like we were in Willy Wonka’s factory.

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My favorite part of the room was this little toad stool.

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The next room was a chandelier room with epic recreations of some prominent figures & just fun photos.

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Then there was a little crossover area with large blow up balloons and a photo op!

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Next room- the underwater room! This one may have been my favorite for the actual aesthetic effect.

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But the room with the most laughs- the Unicorn room!

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Yes- you are interpreting this photo correctly– there is a pig farting confetti. Only in SF, folks, only in SF. hahaha.

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I am still finding confetti around the house even after vacuuming several times, hah!

And now.. onto the marshmallow pit! We had a hard time getting a solid picture.. oh well. It was SOO much fun. Talk about feeling like a kid again!

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We ended in the gift-store with some fun, unique finds! We were gushing over how cool this Candy Sushi was!

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Amy and I grabbed a quick cup of coffee at Starbucks, and then I headed back to Cup to meet up with DJ. Time to get our tree!!! We usually don’t get our tree until after thanksgiving, but this couple of weeks is crazy busy & I didn’t want to fight the masses that would be going to get them this weekend.

This year we went to a place in the mountains of Los Gatos called Tabacco Ranch.

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We had an extra hard time this year finding the right tree, on top of my general indecisiveness. I don’t know if it was a bad year for trees or if the thick smoke damaged a lot of them, because there were many that seemed to be missing entire halves and branches. But finally- we stumbled across THE one! *cue angels singing Hallelujah chorus in unison*

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Okay, time to go eat some leftovers & then work on the Thanksgiving post! 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Favorite candy?
  • Christmas tree- real or fake? Colored lights or white lights? I always love hearing what everyone prefers to do!

xo <3

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