to the weekend, friend! Our week was filled with activity and food and
the first real snowfall of this autumn. We've been keeping the gasoline
companies in business running the boys to all their various activities
and jobs. Our wood stove is once again home to a roaring fire most
mornings and evenings instead of being a repository for our books, tea
cups, and various odds and ends.
KEEPING ME SMILING:
received two fun and mysterious surprises in the mail this week. I
think I may have a secret Santa out there. It has to be someone who
knows me well, though, because they sent me chicken coop and beehive
Christmas ornaments. Anyone who has spent more than a couple of minutes
with me knows I adore my 25+ chickens and my honey bees. So whoever you
are, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
- Are you ready for another hilarious animal video? My boys love this video of 13 cats and 1 dog having a Thanksgiving feast.
got to hold my friend Sarah's 4 week old baby boy this week while our
sons rehearsed for the upcoming Neglia Ballet Artists' production of The
Nutcracker. The little man was born 4 weeks early, and he may be tiny,
but he packs a serious wallop of cuteness. Would you just look at that
is coming and it is one of my favourite days of the year. Our family
opts to stay home and visit parents'/siblings' homes around Thanksgiving
rather than on it. That makes the day super relaxed for us. We cook all
day and then eat our feast in our pajamas if we feel like it. I am
already looking forward to the relaxation!
EASY MEAL PLAN HIGHLIGHTS:
This week's Easy Meal Plan Week 123
is just in time for Thanksgiving week and those leftovers! It has some
amazing food you won't want to miss like Tortellini Vegetable Soup,
Southwestern Turkey Soup, Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad, Sticky Glazed Asian
Ham, Mexican Turkey Breakfast Pizza, Leftover Turkey Pho, Loaded Mashed
Potato Cakes, Bacon Fried Apples and Onions, Roasted Root Vegetables,
Gingerbread Cookie Bars, Cranberry Eggnog Doughnut Bread Pudding, and
Eggnog Chai or Coffee Lattes . CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S EASY MEAL PLAN.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG THIS WEEK:
- Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs; Mercy. Can we have a word about these? They're all my favourite Thanksgiving flavours in a tiny, easy to make package. Ground
turkey has a reputation for being dull, but there's nothing boring
about these turkey and stuffing meatballs made with cornbread stuffing
mix & onions, celery, sage, and garlic softened in butter. Serve
with cranberry sauce and it's Thanksgiving on a fork!
- Our Daily Bread: This Sunday we featured Ham and Cheese Croissants; homemade
butter pastry is wrapped around tender ham and Swiss cheese and baked
to brown, flaky perfection. They require a little time commitment but
they're so worth it and make the ultimate Thanksgiving or Christmas
brunch recipe. Looking for easier or different bread recipes? You can check out my already extensive bread recipe collection here.
have a little SNEAK PEEK of what's coming on the blog tomorrow. You may
want to bust out the stretchy pants, because these Caramel Stuffed Dark
Chocolate Pretzels are going to be your favourite thing to gift (and
nibble) this holiday season!
THINGS I LOVE:
These Warm Darn Tough Socks: I
am well aware that I'm going to start sounding like an old lady if I
keep talking about socks and arm warmers, but there we are. Warm socks
in cold weather brings me joy. These socks are some of my favourites.
They're soft, the designs are fun, they hold up to a beating, and they
have an unconditional life-time guarantee, which also brings me joy.
The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland:
For my money, this is the best recording of a live performance of The
Nutcracker available on DVD. Baryshnikov and Kirkland dance superbly
even if the quality of the recording is a little, well, 1977. Not
coincidentally that is the year it was recorded for television, but the
dancing makes up for it!
These Planners: My
schedule is nutty. I think that's inevitable with five kids, but add in
self-employment and life in general? I have to rely on my planner to
organize my days. The Plum Paper planners are my all time fave (it's my
second year ordering one) and I have spent mucho money on a variety of
other planners over the years to come to this conclusion. I love that
you can customize it with different sections like home, fitness, meal
planning, budgeting, homeschooling, lesson planning, travel, baby,
wedding, and brainstorming sections if you need them. You can also
choose which month they start. And wonder of wonders, they come cover
that you can design which is also rip proof and stands up to being
stepped on by muddy barn boots. Ask me how I know this.
If you look over The Plum Paper Planners and like what you see, reply to
this email and let me know and I can send you a referral code for $10
off on your first order from them.
This free online chess community: My
husband and sons are avid chess players. Me? Well, I can muddle
through, but let's put it this way. My 11 year old can put me in
checkmate in 4 moves, so I'm not much of a challenge. Chess.com is 100%
free as far as we have found so far. You can play a computer or you can
play real people all over the world to improve your skills. Nothing
beats an awesome, free resource!
With the number of hours we spend in the car weekly (currently at a
minimum of 12 hours), we need to keep ourselves entertained and awake.
We love to listen to Audible Audiobooks. The narrators are generally
excellent, and our subscription provides 2 book credits per month. We've
listened to everything from classics to modern young adults and
everything in between.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND:
The Aquariums of Pyongyang: 10 Years in the North Korean Gulag
by Chol-Hwang Kang and Pierre Rigoulot: This memoir by the first known
survivor of the re-education camps in North Korea to escape and tell his
story to the world is absolutely riveting. From a family that was -by
his accounts- privileged in closed-off North Korean society to a
resident at one of the most notorious work-camps at a tender age, it is
part horror story and part political dissertation. This first-hand
account of human suffering doesn't lose itself in self-pity, though. I
learned so much through Kang's re-telling of his story. I came away from
reading this grateful for my life and thankful Chol-Hwang Kang was
willing and able to tell us about his.
Persuasion by Jane Austen: I'm
one of those people who semi-regularly re-reads my favourite books over
the years. A book I have loved is like a good, comfortable old friend.
They're always welcome. I'm currently on my fourth or fifth reading of
Persuasion and it just doesn't get less wonderful. It was Jane Austen's
last novel and was published posthumously. In
Persuasion, Anne Elliot seems to have given up on romantic happiness
and has resigned herself solitude. More than seven years earlier she was
persuaded to view a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor
prospects as an imprudent match. Peacetime arrives, though, the Navy
returns home, and Anne renews her acquaintance with Captain Wentworth.
It's Jane Austen's most satirical novel, and is a bit more biting in its
insight than the others. Bonus: It's only $2.99 on Kindle or $3.36 in
paperback. Are you a Jane Austen fan? What do you think of Persuasion?
The End: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. This
final installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events is keeping our ears
glued to the car stereo. Will Count Olaf come out on top? Will the
Baudelaires find justice for their trials and tribulations? Will they
live? We're so excited to hear the conclusion!
May laughter, contentedness, and many tasty things find you in abundance this week.