It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving! Are you feelin’ the holiday season yet!? Earlier this week, Ryan said, “I’m really feeling Christmas this year,” and I agree 100 percent. I loved putting our decorations up early and think they’re contributing to the holly jolly feeling we have in our household right now. Don’t worry though, we aren’t overlooking Thanksgiving! We’re definitely looking forward to celebrating with family and friends on Thursday and plan to kick off the day with a turkey trot in the morning.

We have family arriving on Sunday and cannot wait for everyone to get here! It’s our first Thanksgiving in our new house and we’re hoping it will be a good one.

Though Thanksgiving craziness is about to kick into full gear next week, in true Things I’m Loving Friday fashion, I wanted to take some time today to slow down and chat about a few simple things that are making me smile right now. I’d also love to hear a little bit more about something you’re loving this week and your Thanksgiving plans in the comments section of this post if you’d like to share. Enjoy your weekend, my friends!

Things I’m Loving Friday

(Planner + Best pens ever!) 

Every year, a new planner is on my Christmas list. And, every year, I feel a little flustered as January approaches and I don’t have a calendar on hand to jot down upcoming events for the following year. This year I pulled the plug and ordered myself a new planner from Rifle Paper Co. and I love it so much already. I don’t typically opt for weekly planners as I feel like they make me miss something and gravitate toward planners that allow me to see the full month on one page. My new planner does just that! It’s thin and beautiful with multiple pages for notes at the end. Also, if you happen to be on their site browsing their planners (they have weekly and monthly planners in a variety of sizes), don’t miss their holiday mugs (I bought 2 as gifts already — I love the holiday book mug for bookworms) and their stitched notebook sets (a favorite of mine to divide up and include with teacher gifts).

  • Vintage Christmas + Home Finds

Last night, my friend Lauren and I had a festive girls’ night out at a little vintage market pop-up at Camp North End in Charlotte. The pop-up wasn’t huge but it was jam-packed with eclectic vintage and beautiful handmade holiday decor, ornaments, gifts and more. I was especially excited about the vintage brass angel candle snuffer and the kissing Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers I found! The boys were thrilled with the ornaments I brought home since we got them their own mini 4-foot Christmas tree for in their room this year!

Oh my gosh this candle. It was an impulse buy at Whole Foods earlier this week and I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying ILLUME’s woodfire candle for its unique, woodsy scent. As someone who gravitates toward balsam and cinnamon-scented candles this time of year, this one is blowing me away for the way it makes a whole space feel a little extra cozy. I’ve been burning it at my desk as I work every day and it brings me so much joy. For me, candles have always been a little indulgence that equals big happiness.

I had no idea our boys would flip for these slippers the way they did. They put them on the minute I took them out of the box and are raving about how comfortable and warm they feel on their feet. (I included them in my toddler + little kid gift guide for good reason!) I think they’re well worth the $13 I paid and Chase immediately asked if he could wear them to school the next day. (I actually then looked for an ankle boot version that he actually could wear to school and ordered these lookalike UGGs from GAP for only $13 with the code ADDON. They haven’t arrived yet but hopefully they’ll be a hit, too!) Also, a quick note about the slippers: They seem to come in and out of stock a lot. I had to check back a few times for the sizes we needed so if they don’t have the right size for your little one, don’t give up hope yet!

  • Thanksgiving Menu Planning

As I mentioned above, we are hosting Thanksgiving this year (my sister and her family, my parents and a couple of friends) and cannot wait to have our house filled with people we love so much. I must admit, I’m feeling thankful we tackled decorating our house last weekend because I’m not feeling the stress of getting everything ready for our family’s arrival on Sunday. That is DONE!

One thing that isn’t quite done is our menu planning but I’m getting a jump start on that as well and that’s making me feel a little less stressed about the food side of things. My family will be staying with us for 6 days and everyone is so good about contributing but I still like to have a rough outline of meals planned so we aren’t all looking at each other at 5 p.m. like, “Umm, what’s for dinner?”

Here’s what I’m currently planning for all of us to enjoy:

Breakfasts: An assortment of eggs and sausage or bacon, super seed oatmeal, cottage cheese zucchini breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, yogurt bowl bar with fresh berries, granola, etc.

Lunches: Instant Pot chicken soup with grilled cheese, Greek yogurt rotisserie chicken salad, tuna salad, dinner leftovers, sandwiches, shrimp and edamame salad

Dinners: Instant Pot butternut squash beef stew, shepherd’s pie, Whole Smiths’ whole chicken (I always triple the veggies), crockpot chicken corn chili, Thanksgiving dinner, Thanksgiving leftovers, pizza night

As for Thanksgiving itself, everyone is chipping in (bless my mom for making her stuffing!!!) but I’ll be making the following dishes: The turkey (Ryan is handling that one and we swear by Diestel Farms organic turkeys!), slow cooker holiday mulled wine, Bubbee’s glazed carrots (Ryan’s grandma’s recipe), sweet potato casserole, my winning cornbread recipe, pumpkin pie (the recipe on the can never steers me wrong) and oatmeal apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream

My rating: B+

Having thoroughly enjoyed A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin, I put the follow-up novel on hold at the library and was thrilled when it became available earlier this week. A Lady’s Guide to Scandal has all of the wit and fancy-schmancy upper class intrigue of the first novel and is another fun, lighthearted read. While I preferred A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting, the character crossover in A Lady’s Guide to Scandal was enjoyable and the book was a little escape I looked forward to at night before bed.

The book begins soon after the passing of the Earl of Somerset when Miss Eliza Balfour, now Lady Somerset, finds herself widowed and no longer tied to her much-older husband and a marriage that left a lot to be desired. Eliza is now rich and free and determined to make her new life one she actually enjoys. The caveat? She must avoid all scandal or her fortune, controlled by her late husband’s nephew, who also happens to be the man who’s held her heart for years, will be revoked.

Eliza’s first move is to relocate to Bath with her cousin Margaret where she quickly takes up with an interesting assortment of people, including the handsome and infamous Lord Melville. As Eliza begins to enjoy life for the first time in years, she must keep the conventions of high society in mind while staying true to herself, something she is realizing may be increasingly hard to do.

Blog Posts: Everything I Read in October (Grace’s blog is a go-to for me for book recs!) / Organized Thanksgiving Meal Plan / Black-Eyed Pea Salad (I made this earlier this week and it was wonderful. I just omitted the hot sauce.) / Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu

Current Sales:

40% off + and extra 20% off at GAP with code ADDON — price appears in your cart after you enter the code! (I ordered these UGG lookalike boots for Chase for $13 and these Mickey Mouse socks for Rhett. At $16, these sweats are calling to me because I’m all about that cozy life this time of year. I love the teal!)

30% off Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans (These jeans are SO good. I bought them in 3 washes thanks to @morgbullard‘s recommendation.)

30% off Melissa & Doug Toys at Target (Some of our favorites: Wooden Puzzles — 10/10 recommend for toddlers! / Ice Cream Scoop Set — I gave this to my nieces and it was a huge hit / Tool Set — We’ve had this for years. The boys have played with it HARD and it’s still held up! / Water WOW! Books — so helpful for road trip/travel entertainment)

20% off my favorite ankle booties (Very comfy + I have the black and cognac colors. I love them dressed up or down. You may see them in the first pic of this past Recent Looks post!)

20% off Natural Gemstone Advent Calendar (For anyone else with little ones who are gem-obsessed.)

10 Recipes to Make for Thanksgiving (A collection of our favorites!)

10 Thanksgiving Recipes

My Mom’s Stuffing Recipe (The dish that makes Thanksgiving taste like Thanksgiving to me. It’s comfort and home in one deliciously savory dish.)

Mom's Stuffing Recipe

Question of the Day

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Hosting? Traveling? Relaxing at home? 

What recipe/dish is the one that makes Thanksgiving feel like Thanksgiving to you?


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