Things I Wish I Knew Before Cooking My First Thanksgiving

Last year, we found ourselves scrambling to make Thanksgiving plans amidst a global pandemic. Unable to gather with local family and unable to travel to out of state family, we decided to host our very own Thanksgiving celebration at home for the four of us.

While I am a decent cook, I’m not a chef. I’m far from it. No one at my house is going to go hungry, but I’m not used to cooking large holiday feasts.

Dinner turned out well, and it tasted great, but there are still a few things I would like to share to make your life easier.

1. Plan ahead!

Do as much as you can ahead of time. Plan your meal in advance. Make your shopping list early and buy the ingredients a week in advance- that way, you have plenty of time to make changes or pick up additional ingredients. If there are any dishes you can make a day early, do it. Save yourself some time and last minute planning.

2. Not everything has to be made from scratch.

Not everything tastes good premade but you can get away with using some canned or premade goods. Why not save yourself some time by using frozen yeast rolls or canned yams? If it works for you, and your family is happy, why does it matter?

3. Make sure you have extra cookware on hand

Most of us don’t typically use three or four pots at once to cook dinner, so a lot of us don’t have that many pots. Try to calculate when you will be cooking what so you can ensure you have enough pots before you get started. This way, you can borrow or purchase extras in advance.

4. Research unfamiliar recipes

Never cooked a turkey before? No problem! Just research the recipe that meets your needs! We are a busy family with small, picky children who won’t eat just anything. I searched for a few weeks before I found a turkey recipe I thought everyone in our family would enjoy!

5. And lastly, don’t stress over the small details

Your kids and your family aren’t going to remember whether everything is perfect- they are going to remember how much they enjoyed family dinners with their loved ones. Don’t stress on the small details- remember to relax and have a good time with your family.

Have a great week!!

Make something Monday: fall crafts

I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to get a minute of free time so I can do some fall crafting (whenever THAT happens). I decided to share some of my favorite fall crafts with you all- this weekend, I will share some all new crafts with you.

1. Fall plunger tree

My aunt made this fall tree from a dollar store plunger and some floral picks. I attempted to make one, but hers turned out so much better. Here is the link.

2. Pool noodle wreath

Want to know how you can make this wreath from a pool noodle? You can read all about it here.

3. Free fall printables

Want some pretty and FREE fall printable art? You can find it right here.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief round up! I have so many fun things headed your way this week and next.

Fall decor at Michael’s!

I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely love decorating for fall. We have over a month until Christmas comes and it seems to me that fall decor is getting harder to find in the stores.

Recently, I popped into Michael’s to look at ribbon and was pleasantly surprised by all the fall decor they still had in stock. I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds with you all.

This cute little metal sign was less than $20.

Colorful burlap pumpkins, anyone? Less than $10.

There were a lot of cute fall pillows to choose from. These were less than $20.

These faux pumpkins were by far the most expensive thing I found at $30…but they’re so cute though.

What fantastic fall finds have you found lately?

Back porch refresh: a mood board and a plan

Our back porch currently looks like this:

We had it pressure washed and water sealed recently and we haven’t put our porch furniture back on it yet. Currently, it’s a big blank slate.

Prior to pressure washing, our porch looked like this: not bad, but kind of boring.

I’d like to change up the porch a bit, and make it more cozy. I created a mood board to pull all my ideas together.

We already have a rug and chair cushions that I love, but I would love to build this couch and table. I’d also love to swap out our porch railing for vinyl and metal and screen in the porch. I also plan to stain the porch boards and string up some Edison lights.

Of course, this will be done a little at a time. We will keep you updated throughout the process.

What porch projects are you currently working on?

Life as a Lumber: what we have been up to

Whew! What a busy week! I shared our fall wreath last year and then I didn’t share anything else. Meant to, but time got away fro me. So instead, I’m going to share what we have been up to…before I get back at it this week.

Us, at Mosaic. We enjoyed a concert this weekend with our kiddos.

Work is keeping both adult members of our household super busy. If you are new here, I’m a teacher and my husband is a fire marshal. In our spare time (haha), we do woodwork and play at learning how to hobby farm.

We went with our church’s children’s ministry to Boo at the Zoo, a trick or treat and Halloween celebration at the NC Zoo. The kids really enjoyed it.

If you follow us on Instagram and Facebook, you have already seen some of these. We have really just been trying to slow down and make some memories since the girls are growing fast.

Tomorrow, we will be spending time worshipping at church and catching up on some house and farm work. Bless you all- thanks for sticking with us!