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Thanksgiving Dinner

 Ever since I was a little girl it was always up there as one of my favorite holiday's next to Halloween. I love everyone coming together, watching football, reminiscing of what everybody is grateful for on a cool fall day while we all partake in one of my favorite activities: eating. So as soon as I could I take over cooking our Thanksgiving feast, I did. 

Beverages - 

Mulled Wine in 

Starters

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Acorn Squash Soup shooters with crispy pancetta, pomegranate seeds, and a fried shallot ring over the top. 

Easy Cheese Fondue - keep this going on in the background with a 

Recipes i have used in the past: Gougeres cheese puffs with apple topping 

Sides

Green Bean Casserole - Alton Brown's recipe - i have put my own spin on it however - after year of trying to - I recommend you making this the night before and baking it off the day of. 

Mashed Potatoes - I make these early the day and store them on low in the crocpot, keep them warm stirring in a little milk/cream and/or butter every now and then to make sure they don't dry out. A few tips: make sure to heavily season the water using salt and add whole garlic cloves,  pour some milk in the water. 

Cranberries - I always keep this really simple, I have tried a few different recipes but none that I have liked as much the jellied canned stuff. So I keep it simple with that and offer it up for anyone else if they have a recipe they might really like to feel free to bring it. 

Stuffing - I never cook the stuffing inside of the turkey because it's not as sanitary although since people have been doing this forever I find that to be a bit of an over exaggeration. My reasoning for not doing this is because I think both the turkey and dressing cook better separate. Having the stuffing inside the bird can often lead to drying it out and then on the other side the stuffing won't get those beautiful crispy edges. 

Yams - Again, this has never been one of my favorites so a few years ago I asked a good friend is she had a good recipe. She did and ever since it's always been her bringing the yams. 

Main 

My turkey - brine, with foil covering of the breast and a temp gauge in breast to know when its done. After the first time brining a turkey I decided i would never go back. 

Dessert 

Every year I have two pies I have to make! 

My pumpkin cheesecake which replaces the traditional pumpkin pie

Chocolate crust burbon pecan pie 

Tips 

Grab some to go box to give guests left overs 

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Beach Day Picnic

Tomorrow the weather is suppose to be decent weather so us and a few of our friends. The benefits of living in California, going to the beach in February. I'm gonna pack a picnic along with all the beach essentials and I though I would share my lists with all of you. The beach can be a fun place but if you aren't prepared it could end up a sandy disaster.

The Basics

  • SUNBLOCK! You're probably thinking duh..., but I can't stress this enough.You can get burned even if it's overcast.
  • A bathing suit
  • Beach towels
  • Sunglasses 

The Good Ideas

  • Extra towels
  • Trash Bag
  • Large water jug
  • A sun hat
  • Napkins/Paper Towels

The Extras

  • A big umbrella

  • Water Shoes
  • Beach chairs
  • A kite
  • Charcoal & lighter
  • Beer or Wine, a nice rose would be great because it goes well with BBQ.
  • Wine opener, link to buy Cooler
  • Ice

Picnic Menu


Quinoa Salad    
Beef skewers, make these yourself or pick them up from your local grocery store premarinaded. Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas for skewer recipes.

 

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A Valentine's Day Candy Bar

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A Valentine's Day Candy Bar

Get a few tips to set up a candy bar for this Valentine's Day! Whether you're hosting a party or just want to do something fun for all the loves in your life this candy bar might be just what you are looking for this year.

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PInspired Halloween Party

THE HALLOWEEN EXPERIENCE

Since there are so many things about halloween I adore it was hard to choose just one special thing to blog about. So we get a little bit of everything in my pinspired party. For a lil inspiration and to put all myself as well as my guests in the Halloween spirit  I thought I would first show off the decorations around my house.

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Here is my Halloween tree, I kept it very simple but you can definitely go all out. The tree lights up when it is dark and I got little ghost ornaments to hang from it. the tree is from Joanns and the ornaments Michaels Crafts. The tablecloth and runner you see is from Ross. The leaves candle is from Bath and Body Works. Which is such a good smelling candle, I think it smells like cider. The rest of the items on the table are all from good ‘ol Dollar Tree.

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This banner is one of my favorite simple decorations that I got from the dollar section at Target. And the sign I got last year, which you can find halloween signs all over the place at all kinds of stores.

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I’m kind of a hoarder when it comes to candles. So I have a ton everywhere, don’t mind that. Haha, I believe that you can never have too many candles. The “turkey, pie and football oh my!’ sign is from TJ Maxx. The fake flowers and leaves you see are from Dollar Tree. Those are a favorite as well, I love how they look. And the perfect pumpkin, that is from WalMart. (: I also have orange and purple lights strewn across the house.   (banner from Dollar Tree)

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In my home we have started the tradition of doing a pumpkin carving party. Which this year we had 20+ people. We definitely had a full house which was a great time, so the next few photo’s are what I got to prepare for the party.

These are the kits I wanted to try out, I really thought the 360* one was pretty cool! Then I bought paint and brushes from Michaels. Just so there are some decent options.

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Then I got my two buckets from Dollar Tree for the pumpkin guts.

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And of course you can’t have a party without dessert! So I made orange and yellow cupcakes because I find that color set to be very halloween-ish. All these ingredients I got from my local Albertsons.

I simply followed the directions on the box, only adding 1 cup of sour cream. Which makes it so fluffy and delicious! I also suggest doing this to your pancakes sometime. Delicious. Then when I have all my mix all mixed up I separated them into two different bowls and used the food color gel to make orange in one and yellow in the other.

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I liked using the food color gel versus the foot color dye. Just seemed to be a lot more colorful to me but whatever works best for you.. and when you put it in your cupcake pan all you do is a bit yellow first, then a bit of orange for the top layer. I also did orange on the bottom and yellow on the top. Either or works.

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And I think my messy cupcakes show they don’t have to be perfect half and half (; they will still come out cute.

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Ta-da!

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And what does it look like when you take a bite? Love them!!!!

Then for a fun addition to the party I made a photobooth. But, this was a mugshot photo booth and it was awesome.

It was super fast and easy to make. All you need is: black marker, black paper, silver or white marker, white poster board.

I measured out to 6 ft, you can do it to whatever you want though. My measurements weren’t exact because I assumed that I knew 5 ft because that is how tall I am. As you can see I am a little under the 5 foot marker. haha.

And on the black paper you can pretty much write whatever you would like, I made up an inmate number and wrote the date along with the title of the pumpkin carving party. And though the measurements weren’t exact people loved it and had a ton of fun with it

And it was another successful pumpkin carving party, here’s to another successful one next year. Happy Halloween!

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Pumpkin Carving Party Guide - Night 1

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Pumpkin Carving Party Guide - Night 1

Last year we started our 10 of Night's Pumpkin and it was a hit so of course we are bringing it back this year with better recipes, tips, and fun to enjoy! We're kicking off night one with one of our party guides to a good old fashion pumpkin carving party. 

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St. Patrick's Day Dinner for Two

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St. Patrick's Day Dinner for Two

Instead of planning a wild night out and fighting the masses while you're making your way to the front of the bar to order green beer. I opted for a different route this year planning an Irish themed menu for two. I thoughtfully chose some recipes that paired well to create a satisfying and festive meal.

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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Drinking Game

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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Drinking Game

Make your Tuesday guilty pleasure a little more pleasurable by calling over your best girls and gays to watch Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Enjoy watching the posh and lavish lifestyle of the housewives with a cocktail in one hand and this drinking game in the other. Pour yourself a drink and arm yourself with a glass of wine to throw in someone's face and then go from classy, to sassy, to trashy!

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10 Dates For $10

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10 Dates For $10

I know I sometimes find it challenging to carve out the time and money—and to dream up new ideas—for date night! Here are a few ideas that keep it simple and won't break the bank. 

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