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Links & Things: Thanksgiving 2012 Edition

Are you cooking Thanksgiving Dinner this year? I do every year, and I love it.  I usually spend all day Wednesday baking and prepping so that my kitchen isn’t such a mess on Thanksgiving day and I can take some time to enjoy being with family in-between putting things in and out of the oven.  This year we are blessed to host 17 for Thanksgiving (7 adults and 10 children).  I’m very excited!

Another tradition we have is participating in preparing meals with a local charity that provides over 100,000 Thanksgiving meals in our area.  Each year our children try to outdo their record of packing meals from the previous year. I was pleased to be able to go with them this year.  Usually they do this on Wednesday and I’m home cooking.  It feels good to let our children participate in acts of service. To show them that  they don’t have to wait until they grow up to have an impact. God can use their little hands, feet and hearts now.


Because the weekend starts early, I’m posting my links early.


For those cooking Thanksgiving Dinner:

Everything Thanksgiving by Martha Stewart

Top 10 Turkey Tips from Food Network

USDA Safe Turkey Thawing Tips

News & Politics:

Everyone’s a blogger. Even a billionaire software designer on the run from a murder investigation.  If you can’t get enough also read, a Bizarre Visit to John McAffee’s pleasure palace in Belize from CNN.

I have to admit that I’m addicted to the Petraeus scandal involving Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley.  I know it’s bad, but I can’t stop following it.  Apparrently neither can the folks at SNL.  These are my 2 favorite skits: Winners & Losers skit & Situation Room Spoof.

For Laughs

If the holidays seem a little overwhelming for you, you will enjoy In Which I break up with Martha Stewart by Cara Sexton.

I went back and forth about whether or not to link this Thanksgiving Video from Saturday Night Live. It’s really over the top, but I did laugh out loud.  Watch it without your children in the room because you may not find some of the physical comedy appropriate for them.  The language is fine.


Happy Thanksgiving!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

One Day: November 14, 2012

One Day at Hollywood Housewife

Yesterday,  I joined Laura from Hollywood Housewife in her One Day Challenge.  The idea behind it was to capture one day, November 14, 2013, in your life.  From start to finish.  Capturing the everyday moments that usually get forgotten.  Including yourself, if you’re usually on the other side of the camera.

Heading out to start our day

This challenge was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  First of all, Wednesday is our busiest day.  In our family we call it “Crazy Wednesday” because I live in the car from 9am till about 8PM, driving kids to/from various extra curricular activities.  I know it’s a hectic pace and some Wednesdays I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown, but by cramming most of my driving into this ONE day, I free up the other days a little bit more.  This allows me larger blocks of time to homeschool each of our children without feeling tied to a clock or 50 minute lesson plans.

My Mom Uniform. Skinny Jeans and Flip flops.
Glitter on Floor courtesy of Art Studio my kids’ attend.

It is a day filled with Speech Therapy, Swim lessons, Art lessons, horseback riding lessons, Tae KwanDo and church.  There isn’t much time for anything else.

Art Class

Looking back, this project didn’t  turn out how I thought it would.  But I’m glad I tried this, because it’s honest…and it inspires me photograph the every day  and not just the special.

I think that’s why I adore Instagram.  It encourages you to share the snapshots of your life with others and make art of your everyday moments.

Heading out to our LAST activity of the day, now evening.


What I learned:

Only when I capture the every day moments & things of my days, will I truly document this season of my life. 


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Embracing Fall and Decorating with Fall Leaves

I realize that retail stores are pushing Christmas decorations (and have been for awhile) but this year I made a promise to myself that I was going to embrace each season and I just can’t start thinking about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over.

Please humor me as I share some ways that I am embracing fall and decorating with leaves this year.  Embracing fall in Sunny South Florida is no small feat!

Bring the outside in.  Find elements of fall from outside and bring them inside.  If you live in Sunny South Florida, don’t be shy about asking your northern friends to mail you some of the leaves they are raking up in their yards! Seriously. This fireplace mantel never fully came together until I added (authentic) fall leaves.

The smallest details can have the biggest impact. The greatest thing about fall decorating is that it doesn’t have to be expensive.  No matter your budget you can undoubtedly find something that you can carry throughout your home.  For me, I chose fall leaves this year.

When decorating with natural elements from the outdoors, remember to keep things a little imperfect.  Throwing some leaves around in unexpected areas will add to the decor. This antique trunk sits in a walkway in-between our foyer and dining room and it makes me smile every time I round the corner and see it.

Use nature as your color palette.  This floral arrangement was (professionally) done inside a pumpkin and I scattered fall leaves across my dining table to coordinate.   The contract was exactly what I wanted.  When setting the table I would use dishes and linen that pulled those same fall colors.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Next week I’ll share my Thanksgiving table…

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Links & Things: An Unintended Hiatus Edition

I apologize for my unintended hiatus from writing. I just hit the wall and needed a break.  Each day I would tell myself that tomorrow things would be better I’d get back on track…and then tomorrow became 10 days later.  Has that ever happened to you?

The good news is that I found myself taking a week off of homeschooling and just enjoying hanging out with my kids without an educational plan.  Sometimes it’s hard for me  to turn off Teacher Mom and just be Fun Mom.  One of the things that I did was surprise them with a trip to Lego Land Orlando.  It felt great to just play together…and forget about school for a week.  To say that we had a great time would be an understatement.

Around the web:

Did you see that Instagram now was profile pages? I haven’t decided how I feel about that yet.

My homeschool blog, Passport Academy, was nominated in the Homeschool Blog Awards for Best Homeschool Blog Design.

I’m planning my step-daughter’s wedding…so of course I made a Wedding Pinterest Board to  inspire myself.   It’s been exactly nine and a half years since I wore the Event Planner/Invitation Designer Hat.  A lot has changed.   There are even wedding apps!  The wedding will be in the Caribbean and we are all truly excited. However, and I say this with all the love in the world, I hope it’s a few more years before the next family wedding.  I’m exhausted!


Although I haven’t written a post about it (and I’m not sure I’m up to going there) I cannot stop thinking about and praying for the Krim Family and following the latest developments in the news.   It is so frightening and truthfully I am both horrified and saddened by some of the things that have come out about the case.  Like the fact that Yoselyn Ortega (the nanny) had some sort of beef with the Mother and is trying to justify her heinous actions by calling the victims’ mother’s character into question, or  the resentment she felt towards her employers both from their economic status and the fact they would “tell her what to do”…seriously?  This justifies killing 2 innocent children in such a brutal way?  My dear friend said it best.  Who of us has never left our child, even for a few minutes, with someone else?  This isn’t about who has a nanny, housekeeper, babysitter, aupair or works or stays home…this is about the lives of 2 children, cut short in a horribly savage way…and a mother who has lost her  anchor and her world. I am devastated for her and frightened for the rest of us.

The Election is over and sadly apparently so are many friendships.  I think it really shows how divided our country has become.  Read: Why it’s okay to end a friendship over political differences. Do you agree?  I prefer the Thomas Jefferson quote myself.  And if your party lost, you aren’t alone. Here are some reasons for Republicans to be cheerful.


Have you read, The Mom Stays in the Picture, Perfectly their Mother {Ivy League Insecurities} or The Mom Avoids the Picture {Her Bad Mother}? Read them. It will make you see the importance of being in the picture.

I remember when I was preparing our adoption book. A (very mean) social worker commented, “Do you have any pictures from when you were with them? It looks like they are being raised by a nanny or something.”  Of course, leaving aside her own false perceptions of my family and the fact that  I wasn’t in the picture because: who the heck did she think was taking all of the pictures?  Oh yeah, the nanny we don’t have.  She was WRONG.  I wasn’t in the picture because I don’t like how my hair looks, I don’t have any make-up on, I feel ugly today, I didn’t get enough sleep, my outfit looks weird,  blah blah blah blah blah.  The truth is, so what?  And aren’t we more beautiful through our children’s eyes?  My children see me every day. I want them to have pictures to remember our moments by. I don’t want my great grand children asking “Why wasn’t Grandma’s Mom ever around?“  Do you?

Need more encouragement?  5 Tips for taking pictures of yourself {Baby Rabies}

I want to encourage moms to link up a photo of them with their kids in the Parenting Pics Link up this week.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.