Our Thanksgiving 2021.

Our Thanksgiving 2021! We had my side of the family over our house and it turned out great! It was very calm, peaceful, and low key despite how many people we had in our home. We had about twenty-ish family members plus the kiddos.

We have folding tables we keep in our attic for entertaining, and then our regular dining room table we use also. We had plenty of room since a few family members didn’t come this year. The table cloths on the long tables were paper from Meijers, and then my regular fall table cloth on the regular table. The centerpieces were plain eucalyptus greenery, mini pumpkins, and candles.

Banners made out of cardstock! I love making anything paper, these were all handmade by yours truly.

Pumpkin pie banner for the dessert table. We had two pumpkin pies, two apple pies, and apple fritter bread.

The bar cart. We had two bottles of wine, a decanter of Wellers, and a sparkling pomegranate juice recipe. The sparkling pomegranate recipe can be found by clicking here!

Cardboard turkeys for the kids to color! We used cardboard from the boxes we already had on hand, painters tape, and that’s it! Hadley and I grabbed a few of her washable markers, and let the kids go to town. It was a cute easy idea to entertain the kids!

I do paper plates for Thanksgiving! I don’t want to mess with a million plates to wash afterwards, plus they make pretty cute paper plates for the holidays so it works perfect for us. In the three-tiered metal tray is a fall chex mix that I made. It consisted of chex mix cereal, muddy buddy’s, pretzels, candy corn, reeces pieces, and roasted peanuts. Yum!

My husband putting together his new fryer, with his tool box just cracks me up. Never met a man that loves to cook as much as he does! We had two turkey’s, one was smoked, and one was fried.

The smoked turkey.

The fried turkey.

Hadley named the turkey’s, Tom and Pam. Tom got smoked, and Pam got fried.

And there you have it, our Thanksgiving 2021! Everyone left with their tummies full, which is always a good holiday. It was nice to get together with the family, it had been a long time since we’ve seen everyone. I’m glad those that could come did so, it was good to see everyone and catch up!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Invites.

We are hosting Thanksgiving next week for the second time! My husband and I alternate each year with our families, this year is my side of the family, and next year is his. We have alternated holidays for probably ten years now! It’s what works for us and we love it.

Thanksgiving with my side of the family is pretty standard as far as food goes. We provide the main dishes, most importantly Tom the turkey. We’ll have two turkeys, and Hadley has named them Tom and Pam this year! My aunts, uncles, and cousins bring most of the same sides each time, it’s been the same for forever it feels like.

When it came time to spreading the word on what everyone was bringing, I started making the invitations. Trust me, there was no need for invitations, mainly because everyone brings the same thing each time, but it’s just what I do. What’s the fun of throwing a party without a real invite? I love anything and everything paper!

In addition to the invites, I made these little menu cards for each family member. I made these the same way as the invites, except smaller and omitted the address info, etc.

The envelopes are plain white, with washi tape on the back and a Thanksgiving stamp. I use washi tape on almost every single piece of mail I send out. Even boring bills, why not make sending out old school bills in the mail prettier?!?!

I created the invites in Photoshop, and printed them on kraft paper. Love how they turned out! Simple invites + envelopes. I have a ridiculous amount of envelopes that need to be put to good use. Plus, we’ve already got the majority of our shopping list done, the extra tables and chairs all set up, and Tom and Pam defrosting in the fridge!

30 days of Thanksgiving.

This year I’m doing a little project where I post a photo of something I’m thankful for each day of November, using a few different hashtags but the main one is #30daysofthanksgiving. I’ve done this a few years ago, and wanted to bring it back this year. My goal for this project is to focus on something everyday, to help me feel more appreciative. Thankfulness is what it’s all about! The ten photos above is what I’ve done so far! The 11th day will be posted later tonight.

I encourage you to participate or just follow along! Instagram handle: @lifewithmandyjoy.

P.S. Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to those that have served.

November is here.

Oh, November.

We made it through the first week! I predict great things this month, and fully intend on enjoying each of the 30 days. October was good and our normal busy, but I foresee November being a bit more on the faster pace side of things. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, being busy helps me prioritize and plan things better believe it or not.

Can you believe all the Christmas ads and deals that are everywhere you look? I feel like Christmas is being rushed even earlier this year. I mean, it’s just the beginning of November! I have to focus on hosting Thanksgiving, not buying Christmas presents already!

Here’s a little recap from our first week of November…

Hadley was off school the first day of November, her school met their goal for the Walk-a-thon which meant a day off! I remember when private schools used to have the day after Halloween off for All Saints Day, but not our school.

Celebrated a work anniversary last week, and by celebrated I took this selfie while working in the office and posted it on my Instagram stories. (Follow my IG stories @lifewithmandyjoy). That’s about the extent of celebrating around the office.

The best helper around! While I was blowing the leaves after cutting the grass, this little one goes into the garage and grabs a rake and starts raking the leaves without being asked! She must’ve been out there for a good 45 minutes just raking away. Just love her willingness to help all on her own.

After ordering my favorite chai tea latte from Starbucks, the barista wrote the nicest message on the cup. I didn’t even notice until I got back to work! Never heard of Thursday being called Friday Jr.! Little things like a message on a cup can definitely brighten the day!

Hadley had her first ever basketball game! She is in the middle shooting a basket. At the first grade level, they practice before the game, and then have two halves, and they play at half court. She did very well! She had two baskets, and dribbled the ball pretty good for not playing before.

First cheer competition in the books! This was her first season cheering for football, and they ended the season with a competition. It was a fun long day, filled with makeup, hair, and waiting for their time slot to perform the routine. They practice for only three weeks, and did so great for first timers! Go Vols!

Welcome November. I’m glad you’re here.