Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

if only this were true!

As I'm writing this, it's late on Thanksgiving "Eve." The house is quiet, the kids are asleep, the table is set, all the dishes are done, and I'm eating a bowl of week-old mac and cheese on the couch. Ahh, holiday bliss, right?

Tonight I gave the kids their special Thanksgiving present that had their matching Christmas PJs and Christmas books! They look so cute!

And here's a sneak peek of my table - this year I went for chalkboard paper placemats and instead of name cards, I wrote in each person's name - not as "formal" as I usually do, but a fun twist.

Hope you have a LOVELY Thanksgiving filled with love and laughter!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I'm spending the day getting the house ready to have company over, prepping a few dishes and doing some errands!

I got my groceries a bit last minute this year - normally I shop on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, but it's always a mad house, so this year I decided to cut out of work a bit early on Tuesday and shop then. It was perfect! I hit our local market and there was plenty of delicious finds and none of the crazy madness.  I even snuck in my first carton of Eggnog for the season! Delish!

In case you're still looking for recipe ideas, I posted mine here.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hostess Gifts

When invited to an occasion, do you bring a hostess gift? It's always a bit of a grey area, and while the gesture will almost always be appreciated, I always think it's nice to bring a little something to a formal holiday or get together. According to Emily Post, "In some parts of the country, a hostess gift is considered obligatory, while in other places a gift is brought only on special occasions." 

I thought it'd be fun to pull together a little list perfect for the holidays.  Here are some other fun ideas ... 

Christmas Hostess Gift Ideas

Godiva xmas ornament / East of India bar tool, $6.27 / String tag / White kitchen towel / Food drink, $16 / Fall candle / Kate Spade bar tool / Red home decor / Kate Spade round coaster / Cost Plus World Market Castelbel Vintage Christmas White Pine Bar Soap

Given the time of year, a simple ornament is an inexpensive and fun idea.  A festive soap, dish towel, coasters or even chocolates are always nice and won't break the bank. My go-to is always a bottle of wine, and during this time of year I like to put a festive ornament and big ribbon around the bottle's neck so it's a bit more special.

What's your go-to hostess gift? I'd love to know!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Week!

Let the holiday week begin! Not only is this a short week (I took Wednesday off too!) but we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and get our Christmas tree!! To say I'm excited is an understatement. I'm spending the week prepping my menu, getting the house ready, figuring out my place settings (last minute!) and getting our Christmas decor out of the attic and ready to go. Whew! Where's my cocktail!?

This weekend we had our annual "Friendsgiving" with a group of friends. We all got babysitters and had a lavish Thanksgiving feast! I made a spinach/walnut/cranberry salad and loaded mashed potato casserole. Delish!

Heading out the door all gussied up!

Mashed potatoes in the making ... if you'd never tried making them this way it's a DELICIOUS treat! 

Check out that beautifully carved turkey! Our gracious host not only made turkey but also a prime rib that was SO GOOD! 

Sunday my parents took Lila on a special outing and out to lunch, so after we dropped her off at their house, we put Owen down for a quick nap and Grant and I got to relish a serene moment of P&Q (peace and quiet!). It's kind of nice to have quiet downtime at someone else's house because you don't get caught up in household chores or feeling like you "should" be doing something more productive!

Then we had a quiet afternoon at home. The kids both napped until after 5 p.m.! Never happens, so we started getting our Christmas decs out and I even snapped up a few new items! SO exciting!

Hope you have a great week! 

PS - I'm linking up today herehereherehereherehere, here and here so check them out too!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend Ready!

It's Friday!! Thank goodness. Let's just say this week started off on the wrong foot. Both kids had colds over the weekend, and Sunday night Lila woke up in the middle of the night twice - covered in puke. Poor thing. Nothing worse!!! SO, needless to say, she stayed home on Monday and Tuesday, and Grant and I both had crazy weeks planned at work so we both worked from home to tag team taking care of the kids in-between conference calls. Thankfully, she recovered quickly and went back to school on Wednesday and none of the rest of us have more than a simple cold.

Here are my weekly highlights!

+ My Sweet Girl. Being home sick is no fun. Here she is showing how she feels... 

+ Working from Home. I'm so thankful that both Grant and I have jobs where we can do most everything remote. I normally go into the office everyday, but sometimes working from the couch with a giant coffee, in a plaid shirt and leggings is a nice little treat. 

+ All Things Thanksgiving! I posted all Thanksgiving-themed items this week, including our Thanksgiving Menu (including recipes!) ... these Gruyere/chive popovers are one of my favs!

Thanksgiving day outfit options, both casual and dressy ... 

 And some of my family's holiday traditions both new and old. Check them out! I'd love to know what your Thanksgiving traditions and festivities are!

+ Trying to Walk. Owen has really been only wanting to stand and "cruise" along furniture and his toys! He's even trying to take a step or two! He's so proud of himself!

+ Christmas Pose! How did Lila's preschool know I was obsessed with Christmas!? Her school pictures came back this week and I was overjoyed to see they included a Christmas pose!!! And I love the little dress-up beads she insisted on wearing too, so sweet. 

This weekend we're having a "Friends-giving" celebration - a full Thanksgiving meal with friends and we all have babysitters so I'm really looking forward to it! Have a great weekend!! I'm linking up hereherehereherehereherehere here, so check them out too! 

PS!!! Today is the last day to sign up for our Christmas Cheer Blogger Exchange!!! You'll be assigned another blogger to send a box of Christmas goodies to and you'll get one in return! Then we'll feature all on a link up! It'll be so fun! Email me (littlegoodiesblog at, or read Astleigh's post with all the details! If you already signed up, keep your eye out for an email with your assigned recipient! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

image via pinterest

As I did last week, I'm continuing posting what I'm thankful for this holiday season. I think one of the things I always need to remember is what the holiday is about. It's easy to get wrapped up in the frenzy that is preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, racing through the day to get onto the Christmas Season, or even rushing through dinner so you can make it to Macy's when they open at 6 p.m. (I can't believe how early some of the stores are opening this year!! It's not "Black Friday" if they open on Thursday, but that's another topic ...). 

I thought the above definition was a good reminder that the day is about giving thanks for what we have. The Pilgrims' celebration was to give thanks for their plentiful harvest, and so we too give thanks for not only our ability to have an amazing feast, but for family and togetherness. 

Today I'm dedicating my thoughts to new Thanksgiving traditions I'm starting with my own family!

+ "Green" Friday. Instead of braving the malls for Black Friday (I'd rather do anything BUT shop on Black Friday), it's "Green Friday" in our house because we always get our Christmas tree!!! When I was a kid I always wanted to get our tree as soon as possible, but my Dad always said it was too early. So now that I get to decide, I make everyone bundle up and head out to pick up our tree! Then we spend the day decorating the house and grazing on Thanksgiving leftovers. It's perfect!! Here's Lila's first trip to the tree farm in 2011!

And here we are last year when I was HUGELY pregnant!

+ New Books and PJs! We LOVE books in our house, especially "seasonal" books. One new Christmas tradition I started last year for Lila was to have a wrapped book waiting on her bed on Christmas morning (as a surprise!). My mom had seen the idea somewhere, and I thought it sounded so fun. This year, I decided on Thanksgiving morning I'd have each of the kids open a new Christmas book and Christmas PJs! I haven't found the perfect PJs yet, but I did snag a couple books!

This Movie. This is more of an adults tradition for now, but ever since it came out (in 1995!!! Whoa!), my Mom and I have always watched "Home for the Holidays" at least once a season. When I lived at home we used to watch it the night before Thanksgiving. It's funny, a little sad, but really a fun reminder of family and Thanksgiving. Robert Downey, Jr. is great in it - and looks so young! And I love Aunt Gladys!! I also knew my BFF Tanya and I were kindred spirits when soon after we met she revealed she and her mom had the same tradition! Have you seen it? 

+ Zoo! I don't know if this will become a classic tradition or not, but last year on Thanksgiving morning we went to the zoo. It was an impromptu decision, but it was so fun! It wasn't crowded at ALL, it was a beautiful sunny but crisp cold day, and it was so nice to get outside and sip hot cocoa before the craziness of the afternoon! I think it'd be a fun tradition to keep for now, especially while the kids love it so much. Here we are last year, all bundled up!

I'd love to know what your family traditions are!! If you're looking for ideas, I thought this list had some really good ones too.

I'm linking up here for Thoughts for Thursday, so check it out.

PS!!! Are you a blogger?! Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for our Christmas Cheer Blogger Exchange!!! You'll be assigned another blogger to send a box of Christmas goodies to and you'll get one in return! Then we'll feature all on a link up! It'll be so fun! Email me (littlegoodiesblog at, or read Astleigh's post with all the details!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What to Wear - Thanksgiving Edition

If you're anything like me I never quite know what to wear to family holidays. You want to be comfortable, but you don't want to look like a total slob. And, for a holiday that's centered around a hearty meal you definitely don't want to wear anything too tight or restricting!

Last year I was 9 months pregnant at Thanksgiving, and while wearing maternity jeans was nice, I definitely won't be doing that this year (sorry, Joey!). 

I tend to go more casual, but it is fun to get a little fancy too, right? So, no matter if you spend the day with family or friends, relatives or at a restaurant, I came up with four outfit ideas for the more casual and more formal affairs.

I like this outfit because it's super casual, but also adds a bit of fun into the holidays with the sassy sweatshirt. Paired with boyfriend jeans, flats and a simple scarf and you're all set! 

This outfit is casual but also a bit more "cleaned up" with the button-down and dangle earrings. I love the maroon tank and dressier hair ribbons. Boots and jeans add an element of comfort. I've also had this Foley + Corinna "City Tote" purse for years now and it's seriously my favorite purse ever!

Thanksgiving Outfit

I love this outfit because the skirt, jacket, booties and tights make it seem more formal, but the stretchy-waist skirt from J. Crew factory is SO comfortable (I have it in black!) that it doesn't feel like you're in anything stuffy. I also LOVE a good tassel necklace and heart studs! 

Thanksgiving outfit

American Eagle Outfitters purple dress / Aéropostale nylon stocking / Sole Society high heel boots / Danielle Nicole clutch / Kate spade watch / Kendra Scott rose gold jewelry / Fresh nude lipstick

What do you prefer to wear for the holidays? I would love to know!! I think I may lean toward either #2 or #4, but since I'm doing most of the cooking maybe option 1, ha!!

 I'm linking up herehereherehere and here, so check them out too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Menu

When I was a child, every Thanksgiving we had an early dinner with my parents, cousins and grandparents, followed by everyone going ice skating! Then we'd return home and have turkey sandwiches. It was such a fun tradition I'll always remember, and the ice skating was a good way to not feel so stuffed after a big meal. I think mainly it was so my grandma could get everyone out of the house while she cleaned up, but it was fun for us nonetheless.

Since I got married six years ago and we started to make our own traditions, we've always hosted both of our families at our house for Thanksgiving. We are lucky to have both of our families live very close, and while initially it was a bit daunting to host such an important meal (no Clark Griswold turkey, please!), it's now one of my favorite traditions!  And while we have traditional menu items we always have, every season I scour the November cooking magazines and check out all the new recipe ideas.

So, I present to you, the Goodall family Thanksgiving menu! 

Appetizer - my family tradition has always been to have shrimp cocktails before dinner. They are light, refreshing and we love it! We simply add finely diced celery to the bottom of a small cup (honestly, we usually use the clear plastic ones for this given so many other dishes, but I've also done them in martini glasses to look extra chic!), top with shrimp, then top with cocktail sauce and add a cracker as a garnish. Easy and delicious. 

1. Rosemary Citrus Turkey - One of our unique Thanksgiving traditions - we BBQ our turkey! It tastes delicious and frees up valuable oven space. Plus, since it's BBQ'd, the men love to ooh and ahh over it outside, keeping them out of the kitchen :) To prepare, we brine ours for a couple days, then rub with olive oil, coarse sea salt, rosemary and stuff the inside with whole lemon and oranges with a few holes poked in them. It's delicious! 

2. Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest - Growing up we always had canned cranberry sauce, sitting perfectly formed on the platter, still shaped like the jar. Then I realized how easy it is to make your own! I highly recommend this recipe, it's easy and the orange zest adds a delicious flavor. Also, I always make this in advance so it's easy to whip of the fridge before dinner. 

3. Popovers with Gruyere & Chives - When I was a novice chef (OK, I still am, ha!) there's no way I would have attempted making my own rolls, but I started making these a few years ago and they are now a requested family favorite. If you haven't had or made popovers before, this recipe is SO good! I make them a bit in advance since it's a two-step process that ruins them if you aren't careful, but not too early that they are cold by dinnertime. 

4. Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes - One of my Thanksgiving tricks is to make as much in advance as possible. I make my mashed potatoes on the morning of Thanksgiving and then throw them in the crockpot on low until dinner's ready. One less thing to worry about and the crockpot keeps them nice and warm! 

5. Artichoke Parmesan Stuffing - This is one of Sunset Magazine's "top stuffing recipes ever" and for good reason! The artichokes keep it extra moist and it's now another family fav.

6. "24-Hour" Layered Salad - OMG. This is my absolute FAVORITE thing my Mom made as a kid, and is still my favorite thing she makes to this day. It's called "24-hour" salad because you're supposed to make it 24 hours in advance so the flavors blend. Even though it's a salad, it's terrible for you, but it's SO GOOD. My mom makes this for every special occasion our family has ever had (and even brought a batch over to me when each of the kids was born!). If you're looking for a decadent salad, this is a must make. 

6. Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus - No description needed, but this is a fun way to serve traditional asparagus. Not really in season now, but if you can get it, a fun side dish for sure!  

7. Brussels Sprouts Gratin - I haven't made this recipe before, but it looks too good not to try! Yum!!!

8. Creamy Baked Orzo with Goat Cheese - I normally make a side "pasta" dish of some sort (since carbo-loading is apparently the norm on holidays). Sometimes it's baked mac and cheese, sometimes wild mushroom risotto, but this year I'm going to try this baked orzo. 

Dessert!!! Who's still hungry!?

This year we're eating early so everyone can lay on the couch (in a food coma, of course) in time to watch our beloved Seahawks play at 5:30 pm. We normally always have pumpkin and another pie option. 

I would love to know what your food traditions are!! Please share! I'm also linking up here today for a holiday link up party that'll feature everything from Thanksgiving decor, recipes, and more, so check it out!!

PS -  I by no means make all of this myself! I delegate for sure! But this a fun sampling of all of our favorites and I hope you enjoy too! xoxo

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Lovely Weekend

Hi, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. It's still crisp and cold around here, but sunny and gorgeous! Our yard was covered in leaves and frost this weekend. We bundled up and played outdoors, but all of us have managed to get colds yet again (thanks Lila) so we also had a lot of cozy R&R inside watching a combo of football and Toy Story.

Friday afternoon Lila and I went to my parents' house where my mom was watching Owen for the day and they weren't home from a walk yet so we sat in the front seat while we waited and took selfies, naturally.

Owen's staying cozy in his little arctic winter hat and down jacket!

Saturday we ran errands, hung around the house and in the afternoon I headed out to get my hair colored. I look like I should be able to pick-up a few foreign radio stations with this look, ha!

I got home in time to put the kids to bed and Grant had surprised me by setting the table and having a lavish Italian meal on the stove! We don't "get out much" anymore so having a special date night at home was so much fun! We opened a bottle of wine and sat by candlelight at our dining room table (which we usually only use for holidays or company).

Sunday Grant's parents came over and we watched the Seahawks lose (boo!), followed by some fun outside.

Lila blew bubbles ... 

While Owen caught the action from the comfort of Papa's shoulders.

Hope you had a great weekend as well!! I'm so excited for Thanksgiving and all the excitement that is to come!!!!

PS - I'm linking up today herehereherehereherehere, here and here so check them out too!!
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