Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Thanksgiving Tradition ....year 2!

So with Thanksgiving fast approaching next week everyone is getting their guest list finalized and their menu dialed in. I must say, I came up with a new family tradition last year and plan on sticking with it, well...forever!

My guest list consists of nobody and my menu consists of nothing! How can that be you ask? Let me explain. Since the birth of my son I never have a day off of HAVE TO's. Even on the most fun days it is full of have to's. When Thanksgiving was rolling around last year we were going over our invite options and looking at nap schedules, eating schedules, etc it just seemed like so much more work to even go to someone elses house for Thanksgiving. That is when the brilliant idea struck. How about we don't go anywhere, don't see anyone, don't do anything and don't really eat! Perfect!!!

Here is the breakdown. I do pretty much all of the cooking at my house, so come holiday meal time.... it's me! I do all of the shopping, I do all of the planning, you see where I am going. Not to mention I run two of my own businesses, all of the accounting and office stuff for the dudes business, most of the big boys everything, most of the house stuff and lets just face reality run the whole deal! You know how it is.

So last year I grabbed some great food, and just put it out in case anyone got hungry. It is amazing how you can live off super yummy finger foods all day long. The best part was I considered it to be my first day OFF all year. Needless to say, next Thursday will be the first day off since LAST Thanksgiving!  So you are understanding why I am loving the new tradition!

The plan for this year:
Appreciatively decline all invites -check
pick up great fruits, crackers, cheeses, dips
wake up whenever (if the boy gets up and wants to eat daddy will handle it or he can go to his approved snack box or the fruit basket)
Hang out, maybe bike ride, maybe the zoo, maybe Fiesta Island with the dog.....maybe none of them.
Maybe some online shopping later in the evening


What about the food you ask. It's just food! If we had gone somewhere I would have to make the meal later in the weekend anyway so we can have leftovers. Saturday or Sunday I will be skipping the turkey and fry up some chicken, do some twice baked sweet potatoes with walnuts, a huge fab salad with some fresh dressing, some hot sauce, pepper jack cheese bread and call it done.

I will spend the Thursday being THANKFUL for what I have, who I have and what I can do with them. Great family traditions that work...THAT'S what's for dinner.

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to prepare for Black Friday shopping!

Okay... I LOVE a deal!
Who doesn't????

Plus I appreciating getting the biggest bang for my buck.

That being said, sometimes I am not finished shopping come this time of year. I do have a handful of gifts yet to get so I am prepping with the black friday momentum. Who else does this?

Sure there is a certain level of crazy, have to get in line, the crowds, the check out lines, the traffic, the limited number of items, the middle of the night, the this really isn't worth it realizations that have come to be associated with black friday shopping.

Now here is the thing, come Thanksgiving I want to relax.  Last year I decided to make a bunch of food that we could graze on throughout the day. This year I am doing the same as I decided that is our new tradition. I am taking the day off from working other than making a baked brie! :-) So the idea of scouring through the paper in search of fantastic deals then coming up with a game plan and strategy has simply no appeal to me. 

I do however want some of the good stuff. So what to do.  Well in case you don't know there is actually a Black Friday website.  It releases ads early! A friend told me about this site maybe five or so years ago. I have been doing my planning for 2 weeks now.

What is even more awesome, you get to see who opens when, what deals you can get online AND you have time to think about it vs. having the shopping panic and then ending up with a bunch of stuff you may have not REALLY wanted to get. We have all been there, you find a deal, get it...wish you really hadn't... too much of a hassle to return it.....give the gifts, pushes you over budget and vow to not do it again next year. Yes my friend, I too have been there!

You will have time to figure out when you need to be where if you do indeed have to leave the house, but I much prefer the midnight deals online when I just walk into my office, order them, have them shipped to the store or pay the nominal holiday shipping vs. all of the yuckiness to get the stuff then standing in line for 1.5 hours. 

So do some research, make your list, shop online, buy unique gifts, have fun and remember this time of year is supposed to be amazing, not stressful!

Just like everything else in life...having a good plan is key! Happy Black Friday!