Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It's the final countdown

It's the fourth quarter. Bottom of the ninth inning. The second half. 

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Let the preparation commence!

I have been making almost daily trips to the grocery store to make sure I had everything on my lists and what happened? I forgot butter and whipped cream. Butter! Who forgets butter for a dinner? And whipped cream! Who forgets the most important part of the dessert? You can have an absolutely terrible pie, but if you blanket that thing with whipped cream, yum. Yeesh. I gotta get my head in the game. Crunch time. I can do this!  Good luck everybody! We will rock this Thanksgiving and force our families to eat turkey sandwiches for days afterward. Why? Because we said so!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oh... Christmas Tree!

It is almost time for the Christmas decorations to make their way out of the garage & closets and up onto the walls. Growing up, we would always hold off on displaying the decorations that scream "Christmas is here!" until Thanksgiving weekend. Those were the four days when we put up trees, yes is in multiple, and really get into the spirit. We take Christmas Decorations very seriously in my family. Just look at my Mother's front door last year:

Pinterest worthy!

My mom was always the one who made sure everything was decorated for the holidays when we were little. Now that me and my three sisters are older, we help her decorate the house each year when we are in town. Every year, each sister gets her box of ornaments that have been collected over her lifetime and we go to town dressing the big foyer Tree. And yes we play so much Christmas music while decorating it would make your ears bleed. A Rosie Christmas album to be exact! Yeah, I know, judge away. You have total and complete permission to with that admission. 

Now that I have my own home, I will carry on the decorating tradition. It only feels like the Holidays to me when you can see it all around your home. I love having the tree being the only source of light in the living room. Smelling the Pine/Fir scent is what takes me back to being 5 years old and running down the stairs to see what Santa left me. That little bit of magic comes back when I have my house set up like a wonderland of Christmas goodness. 

This year I have decided to decorate not only the inside of our home but the outside too. But it is a little tricky to deck out this house. We live in a town home. No front yard, porch or accessible roof to hang any lights or garland from at all. Tricky. But I did find this picture and it inspired me with what to do this year.   

I love the wreaths on this house so much I can't stand it. It is the perfect way to put a little holiday cheer on the outside of my flat, flat house. We have the perfect windows that open not only from the bottom, but also the top. So I can just rig it from the inside of the house, instead of needing a four story ladder to secure it to the outside of the window pane. I am so excited to begin this project. Be sure to check back for some Christmas decor updating in the coming days. It will be a decorating party just like when I was little, but without the Rosie songs this time :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 on Friday {8}

Good morning everyone. It's Friday again! Let's all take a moment and be very grateful that the weekend is upon us :) Despite the fact that I get the pleasure of spending a few hours in a doctors office later today, this week has been a really good one. I actually put my procrastination Sammy side away for a bit and worked on a few things that easily could have been pushed back by my astonishingly excellent ability to procrastinate.

   First thing's first. My blog is completely different and I absolutely love it! I have been wanting to re-do it for a while but I always convinced myself to put it on the back burner. This Wednesday I finally sat down and just did it. And I could kick myself for waiting so long. It is perfect. I am one happy lady.

   I actually got some Christmas shopping done. Shocking! I am the consummate professional when it comes to week-of-Christmas shopping. Oh yeah. I brave those stores and weave my way around people, carts and strollers in the mall. I am good at it too! But this year a friend invited me to an open house she hosted at her lovely home and I could not think of a better way to scratch a few gifts off of my list. There were consultants for Pampered Chef, Thirty One and Stella and Dot there! You know there are some lucky ladies getting gifts from "think ahead Sammy" this year. I also might have finished off my kitchen wish list along with some new selections from Scentsy. It was a really good day :) 

Oh Stella and Dot how I love you

   I have decided on my final menu for Thanksgiving and I think I have my over all color theme done too. The test kitchen is now closed and I have learned a few very important things along the way: It is a lot cheaper to purchase a ready made Pecan Pie then to make your own and bacon will make anything taste phenomenal. Burlap, gold, white, and maroon are my colors this year. Along with candles and pinecones for the festive feeling. I hope it feels as cozy as I imagine it will.

I love the warmth
   Our guests for Thanksgiving arrived last night. My mother in law Linda and brother in law Steve trekked cross country to spend the holiday with Hubby and I. This will be the first holiday we will host in our home for anyone. Of course I am nervous about everything turning out alright and everyone having a good time, but really I am looking forward to spending a little girl time with Linda in the kitchen. I want some of her cooking secrets.

Winging Day Family Photo

   I am thinking of making Christmas Cards this year. Hubby and I have only spent one Christmas together in our married life. The past two years he was deployed for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will be on the same side of the world this year and we could even take a photo for the card! Maybe I'll toss the dog in there wearing a Santa hat. Hmmm...decisions, decisions.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New, new, new everything!

Looking for the Modern Navy Wife page? If you are confused and think you went to the wrong page today, no worries, you are at the right site. I just re-did everything! I love it so much. I have my bright, white space. It feels so fresh and new.

{deep inhale}

{long, relaxing exhale}

I feel like I have a clean blogging slate with this new design. It feels less crowded and more open to me. Does it look less crowded? While I am still working out a few kinks in the overall look, I am very happy with the results! Do you like it?

I really hope yall do!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gotta itch that scratch... or something like that

I am feeling the blog redo itch. I am thinking I want a nice bright, white space now. I love grey, but I'm feeling the need to lighten up my page. So yea or nay on the change? I need help!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Luna Mae's weekend

 To say she had a good weekend might be her biggest understatement to date. She had a fabulous weekend full of shenanigans!

PETAs national offices are here in Norfolk and they have a fantastic dog park that is open all year round. Rain or Snow, blue skies or winds, they always leave the gate unlocked. She loves it there. Luna is a champion runner and tries her hardest to round everyone up, children included, and play together. What a ham! She was definitely enjoying her afternoon.

The Saturday park trip was our one outing as a family this weekend. Yep, we were shut ins. It was the humans' turn to sit around and sleep all day. So worth it for Lu. While the humans were sleeping, guess who helped herself to the forgotten pancakes that were on the table? Oh you guessed it...Luna Mae did. Thank goodness they were gluten free. Too much wheat is not good for her little belly. We didn't even realize they were gone until that night when I was picking up our weekend rats nest we made in the living room. lol. We are so gross when we veg out.

Now it is onto the new week ahead. More Thanksgiving prep, bills to be paid and a house that desperately needs a good scrubbing. Hmmm...what should I do first? I know, I'll take Lu to the park. It is her happy place after all :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

5 on Friday {7}

Let's wrap up the week in style people. 

   The Test Kitchen a la Sam is going off splendidly. Turkey, check. Green beans, nah. Next up on the chopping block, pumpkin pie. Hubby has been looking forward to this one all week. It will really feel like Autumn when the smell of baking pie is filling our apartment. Mmmm.

I want a guarantee it will look like this when it's done
   Half of November is gone! Can you believe it? I feel like every year goes by a little bit faster. It is almost time to switch to full on Christmas mode. Gifts, trees, lights and wreaths will soon be on my agenda, and I love it!

Our mantle last year :) 

My favorite new ornament from the OSC exchange
   Speaking of Saint Nick, Hubby and I decided to make this year's holiday trek by car. Virginia to Florida, Florida to Texas, Texas to Arizona, and all the way back. It will either be a huge success or an epic failure. I hope it is not the later. Did I mention we are taking Luna with us? Yep. We're gluttons for possible punishment :)

   My New Shirt! I bought this baby yesterday from Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants to Work. I love it! Totally my sense of humor. I hope it comes in soon so I can wear it around and feel like a blogging bad ass :) If you haven't been by her site, go now. Right now! She is beyond hilarious and honest. Trust me, you'll love her by the time you get to the second paragraph.

   As soon as I hit publish I am heading to Target for a well deserved bit of retail therapy. Why you may ask? Why not!? lol

Until manana...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Results of the Turkey Trial

Sweet success! Rotisserie style turkey was on the table last night and it was delicious. Crispy skin, juicy meat. Yumm. It might look a little iffy, but I plan on carving that baby up and serving it on a platter all nice and pre-sliced. So it does not matter how ugly it looks, as long as it tastes good. If Martha Stewart does it that way, I can too.

Thanks for the inspiration Martha 
I don't want our little family to get too overloaded with Turkey before the big day so I'm thinking about keeping some for lunches and freezing the rest. Cooked turkey can last for up to 6 months in the freezer! I have found a decent amount of after T-Day turkey recipes that use the leftover meat for things other then sandwiches. My guess is we will be eating turkey until Christmas and possibly even into the new year!  

With last night's trail run going so great, I moving on down the test kitchen list to some lovely veggies. Green Beans to be exact. Now...this one will be a bit tricky. Hubby does not like green beans. He barely likes any vegetables that aren't lettuce. He can eat a mean salad but broccoli and carrots, forget about it. So my goal with this recipe is for him to eat them all without my constant encouragement to eat them. :)

 I found this Rachel Ray recipe and I am dying to try it. It has bacon in it! What is more manly then Meat Candy aka Bacon? Hopefully it is as big of a success as the turkey was. I would love to cross another thing off of my T-Day worry list. Yes I would. The results will be up tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Prep Begins

My inspiration
Tonight begins the Thanksgiving Prep Test Kitchen Madness! Yes, it has an official title. And the first victim shall be the piece de resistance, The Turkey. I found this gorgeous turkey and recipe in Southern Living magazine over the long weekend. If you are still looking for thanksgiving dinner recipes, go pick up a copy or head to the website today! They have amazing recipes for everything from turkeys to chutney and tarts. Yumm.     

I started the prep last night by brining the turkey overnight. I have never made a turkey before but I do make a killer roasted chicken and I always brine that little baby too. All you have to do is make a salty water solution based on how much your turkey weighs. I like a more "traditional" brine without all the crazy add-ons since my turkey will be a salt and pepper turkey. This was my go to brine for this turkey. 

Just look at that baby go!
You only have to brine meat that hasn't already been injected or pre-brined by the packager. Fresh birds are almost always injection free, so they need to be brined. While frozen ones are mostly pre-treated. But it can be a toss up either way, so read the packaging carefully as to not get a super salty turkey on the table. I bought an organic, non injected bird so that baby was begging to be soaked in salt water.

I'm starting the cooking late today since Hubby isn't getting home till after 9 and I want an out of the oven opinion from him. A full review will be up tomorrow on the end product. Wish me luck that it comes out delicious and even bigger luck that I can do it again on the day.  :) 

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 on Friday {6}

Yay, first post of the week! 

I am a slacker. A big one. But it is time to link up with The Good LifeCarolina CharmA. Lizz Adventures and Hello! Happiness for another fantastic addition of {5} So with this being my first update of the week, I shall make it about all of the fun stuff that has happened this past week and weekend. I hope I can fill it all in in five spaces. 

   Halloween was a nice, mellow night in our house this year. Since we don't get trick-or-treaters at our house, Hubby and I put on some last minute costumes and went to the Chipotle down the road for their costume discount! Yeah, mellow. And our costumes...bah....high school shirts, a tiara, a crown and letterman jackets. I had to dig through some boxes and a few closets to find everything but it worked! Who says you need to shell out 50 bucks for a crap costume you will never wear again? On the contrary, thanks mom for buying my letterman sophomore year. It's still getting its money's worth!   

   Halloween was the debut of the costume I made for my friend Katie's son. Here is the finished product. Ta Da!

Little marshmallow man! So stinkin' cute! His little smile is what kills me the most. He was so happy in the body pillow fluff thing that I made, that he fell asleep sitting up with a smile on his little face. His mom and I were laughing for about 5 minutes straight when we put it on him.  

   The weekend after Halloween was a travel filled one for Hubby and I. Friday night we went up to DC for a Navy Ball/ Marine Corp Birthday Ball at his alma mater G.W. Thankfully it wasn't just he and I at the party. Our friends Kenny, Bob and Adam, who also graduated from George Washington, made it to the military festivities. It was weird being the "old ones" at the dinner. And when the dancing portion started, yeah, we high tailed it out of there and went to the first bar we could find. 

Yes, we were looking for the perfect place :) 
Hubby and I decided that night, that we are waaay past college fun. When the youngest person at the party was born in 1996 you can't help but feel old and immediately want a glass of scotch that is older then them just to prove a point!    

   Saturday was another day of travel, this time to Philadelphia for our friends Tim and Marisa's engagement party. It was good party at the City Tavern in Old Town Philly. Great food, even better company and John Adams even made an appearance with some great pearls to give the new couple about marriage. 

That's Tim giving his speech and his adorable fiance Marisa. 

Tim is mildly obsessed with John Adams so his appearance was very appropriate.

My little cutie Audrey was there! And naturally, we had to take a couple selfie. I think it turned out pretty good

   This week was full of Thanksgiving preparation purchases. Plates and serving bowls. Silverware and gravy boats. All of things that people told me to not bother registering for I suddenly needed and kicked myself for not putting on my wedding wish list. This is my first Thanksgiving away from my family so naturally that means it is the first one were I am in charge of ALL food preparation. I am trying to make it as idiot proof as possible; hence the pie tan ring and turkey pop timer. But I have a feeling that the oven rack is going to be my new favorite kitchen tool. You cannot beat doubling your oven space! 

Now all that is left is making a menu and giving a few new recipes a trial run. I am sure Hubby will not mind being my taste tester.