Galentine’s Day 2017

What’s Galentine’s Day?

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I love Galentine’s Day! I’m a firm believer in the importance of having strong women in our lives and a holiday that allows you to celebrate these women, what could be better?

If you don’t know what Galentine’s Day is, it was invented by Leslie Knope on Parks and Recs.

“Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

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A holiday that gives you an excuse to eat breakfast food and celebrate the women in your life who lift you up when you’re down, inspire you to do great things and challenge you to be the best you can be. Honestly, can you think of a better holiday?

From Snow to Sun, California

Happy New Year! Don’t you just love the start of a new year? To me, it’s like crawling into a freshly laundered bed or opening a new book for the first time.

A clean slate where you can think about what you want out of life and step back and appreciate what you have.

2016 was a rough year for me and I was very much looking forward to the new year. So much so, I jumped the gun and started working on my 2017 goals  before 2016 ended.

That’s why, right after Christmas, I found my head in the clouds and zooming across the country to visit some of my favorite people.

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My first day in California was very laid-back. Family sitting around, talking over one another in excitement to catch up.

I didn’t even think for a second to pull out my camera because I was so caught up in everything until evening started rolling in and the sun began to go down, illuminating the lemon trees lining the yard.

Nothing quite says you’re on the other side of the country quite like the sun illuminating a fruit tree, is there?

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As the sky turned to gold, we drove home only to be greeted by the best welcoming party a girl could ask for.

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We sank down by the fire, big glass of red in our hands and chatted until our throats were sore.

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I’m pretty sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

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I have so many California photos to share with you, I can’t wait but I just had to share my few snaps from my first day with the family.

There really is something so special about being so wrapped up in someone’s presence you forget to pull out a camera!

 

Thanksgiving

A little late in the game (as always) but in my opinion, it’s never a bad time to talk about the holidays.

Thanksgiving was almost an entire week ago, can you believe it? It seems like it was just yesterday.

I think one of the best things about Thanksgiving is how differently people spend the day. Some have big parties, others see family members they haven’t seen in a year, some travel, some stay host and others, like my family, keep it small and cozy.

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Every year, our day begins lounging around in bed, getting out just in time to watch the parade (flipping back and forth between New York and Detroit) and enjoy Tazo’s Joy tea (my absolute favorite) and homemade coffee cake.

We lounge around in pajamas, oohing and ahhing over the new floats, singing along to Christmas songs and not-so-secretly hoping Underdog will float away.

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Still full from breakfast, we start preparing dinner (the key to not eat everything when you’re still cooking. Not that I do that) and bring out box after box of Christmas decorations.

Once the potatoes are peeled, veggies are chopped and the turkey is snug in the oven, we pop a needle on a Christmas record. It’s time to dance. I mean, decorate.

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We started putting Christmas decorations up on Thanksgiving a few years ago and it’s one of my favorite traditions.

With all the craziness that the holiday season brings, it’s so nice to have a day to spend in pajamas, slippers and makeup free.

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When the house is fully aglow, we grab a cup of cheer and settle down with our feet up as the house began filling with the smells of garlic and turkey.

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While little gremlins feel the need to slow down the cooking processes to taste . . . for poison of course. It’s for the betterment of the family, really.

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I love Thanksgiving. The time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is my favorite of the entire year.

It’s the time to reflect on your life, both the good and the bad. To realize all the good you have, remember that the bad will pass and that everything that happens, both good and bad, has led you to where you are.

On Thanksgiving, no matter how bad a year has been, my family has always found something to be thankful for and for that, I’m thankful.

 

Memorial Day

Did everyone have a good long weekend?

I believe 100% that there are few things as fantastic and as satisfying in life as a long, summer weekend! Plus, how lucky are we that this year Memorial Day was absolutely beautiful!

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I spent most of the day running errands and out in the yard with Lupin but at night we had a good, old fashioned barbecue. The first of what I hope to be many this summer.

Some of us were very excited about it all.

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It was nothing fancy – just a few of us sat around with cocktails, chatting away. No makeup, no shoes, no worries.

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What did you do for your day off?

Did you go boating? Barbecue? Spend the day bumming around the house refusing to put on pants (don’t even try to deny it. We’ve all been there)?

 

Mother’s Day

I’m not sure who was more excited for Mother’s Day this year – my mom or I.

My Mom and I typically do everything together but these past few months we’ve been like ships passing in the night. We’ve both been ridiculously busy and our schedules just haven’t matched up.

As the day got nearer, I was afraid something would come up. There’s no way we’d be lucky enough to get the same day off to spend the holiday together.

Finally we got our schedules and it was a miracle, we were both free women!

Sunday morning, we woke up to a clear day of blue skies and took the wolf out for a little walk.

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This past weekend was the local “paint the window contest” – kids register to paint a picture on the window of shops that fit into a theme.

This year was something space related (I’m not quite sure what) there was a lot of Star Wars though which made Lupin (Darth Wolf to his enemies) very happy.

Personally, I loved the one of a monkey in an astronaut suit floating in space. Classic.

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We took Lupin home to spend quality time with (terrorize) his sister and we raced off to a matinee of Hello Dolly.

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Which you enter through a garden labirynth of blooms and an arched entrance of the brightest flowers you’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of all these colors!

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Of all the musicals I’ve seen in my life, somehow I’ve never seen Hello Dolly before.

I sincerely hope you get the chance to see it at some point so I won’t say too much and ruin the surprise – I’ll just leave you with my favorite line:

“And what do you do for a living, Mrs. Levi?”

“Some people paint, some sew… I meddle.”

After the final bow, we rushed home, grabbed the wolf in one hand and pans of mashed potatoes in the other and headed over for a big pot-luck Mother’s Day dinner.

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In a room stuffed with family we got to eat, drink, celebrate our mothers and the mother who started it all.

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Of course things took a turn after the second round of drinks when we threw our best behavior out the window and let our true selves shine.

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Add whipped cream to the mix and it’s complete mayhem.

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If you’re ever in Michigan, you’re more than welcome to a family dinner.

We believe whipped cream is one of the core food groups of life and have our own ideas of what the proper dessert:whipped cream ratio is.

It’s fantastic.

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In the end, it was a low-key day spent with good food, laughter and all my favorite people. I couldn’t have been happier.

How was your Mother’s Day? Any good traditions to share that I can maybe add to our next family holiday?

Come Join The Family

You know in a good rom-com there are big, weekly family dinners?

You have the funny uncle, intelligent grandpa, sarcastic teenage cousin, etc. Well, that’s my family. Very stereotypical but there’s never a boring minute when we’re together.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I love Sundays. Waking up and relaxing with a book and big mug of coffee, not needing to rush.

Then at night, it’s time for family dinner. I look forward to it all week and I figured it was time I invite you along to be part of the family for a night.

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Even I need to check my own recipes sometimes.

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When everything is chopped, arranged and cooking in the oven – it’s time to sit around and chat . . .
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And make long-hair into facial hair.

What? Your family doesn’t do that?

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When everyone starts complaining that they’re “so full” and “couldn’t eat another bite”, it’s time to pull out dessert.

Belts will immediately be loosened and you’ll hear a chorus of “well, maybe just a small piece . . .”.

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The sun has now set and everyone has gone home.

I’m currently staring at a mountain of dishes (and I’ve already washed half) drinking a big cup of tea to counter the effects of one too many glasses of wine.

Just kidding. There really isn’t such a thing as one too many glasses of wine.

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There really is nothing better than a meal shared with all your favorites.

Do you have family dinners too or some other tradition you look forward to?

Christmas

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are my two favorite days. I look forward to them all year and somehow they never seem to disappoint. I love the decorations, wrapped gifts, music and the excuse to eat anything and everything. The lights shine brighter, food tastes better and everyone seems to laugh louder.

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After a few last minute tidings on Christmas Eve, I had a few of my favorites over for brunch.

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Stuffed with cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, I shooed everyone out of the house to get started on Christmas baking.

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^ My little secret.

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Hours later, officially covered in chocolate and flour, it was time to tidy and dapper up and head out to dinner.

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Stuffed full of pasta and wine, we headed home, put on our party pants and exchanged gifts.

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It’s safe to say, Lupin thoroughly enjoyed his very first Christmas

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After the unanimous feeling of being spoiled, we all headed to bed, waiting for Santa to come.

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Come Christmas morning, we were finally fully digested from dinner and started out on round two – cinnamon roll, apple coffee cake.

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Stockings were unloaded, cake was eaten and naps were had. Then we got dressed up again and headed over for round three – dinner and presents with the entire family.

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With full bellies and happy hearts, we all crawled home into bed, planning to sleep until the new year.

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