Showing posts with label OOTD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OOTD. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Celebrations

One thing I love about the month of December is that it's a month full of celebrations. From my birthday on the first day of the month to New Year's Eve on the last day of the month, it's really like one big party. And even though we're only a few days into December, so far my month has already been pretty fun-filled. 

As I mentioned on my birthday, my friend Wendi and her husband James flew in from South Carolina last Wednesday (I can't believe it's already been a week, time is flying!) and we had a really great time while they were here. The weather was beautiful the day they flew in, so we were able to spend the afternoon walking around downtown Denver.

Eating at The Market at Larimer Square...can you tell I love this area of Denver?

Wendi and James

Thursday (my birthday) was really cold and snowy, but we did manage to do some walking around downtown Boulder.

Some snow falling on my head...awesome...not.
I took them in my favorite Boulder pet supply store, Farfel's Farm, because the owners are super nice and they have this adorable dog named Cloud who just sits on the counter all day...hilarious.
For my birthday dinner, I chose this place called The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse and I'm so happy it did because it's an awesome restaurant! What makes it really special is just how exquisitely beautiful it is inside and out. The teahouse was actually constructed in the country of Tajikistan; everything was hand carved and hand painted and then shipped to Boulder piece by piece.

The menu was very eclectic and had dishes from all over the world. We started our meal with some hummus, Indian Saag Panir, and bhakti chai to drink. (I didn't really care for the was very authentic aka very spicy!)

I totally forgot to take a picture of dinner, but it was a yummy French-inspired beef dish. The Teahouse has a really extensive tea menu (duh) and so it was fun to get a pot of tea there because they take it very seriously. (And dessert wasn't bad either!) Definitely check this place out if you're ever in Boulder!

They bring out your pot of tea with a little timer so you know exactly when to take the leaves out to avoid over-steeping it!
My delicious green tea
Birthday desserts :)
I'm so glad that Wendi and James came to visit, and it was so much fun to celebrate my birthday with them! (Also, thanks Wendi for letting me steal some of your photos!)

Lola was clearly thrilled by our visitors.

For my birthday, I got the ski jacket I'd been wishing for as a gift from my sweet hubby (and my lovely in-laws who helped out with the jacket as well), and then I got two beautiful flower deliveries from my parents and grandparents in Michigan! I am really blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.

Please note the Disney princess wrapping paper, Cam knows me too well.
My new jacket...I love it! (Source)
Flowers :)
Then this past weekend, Cam had his holiday party for work. We were both feeling a little under the weather, but managed to have a nice time despite our colds! The party was held at a hotel in Loveland, CO and it was a really nice event. I find it funny how at a big corporate function like this you get quite the range when it comes to dress code because people tend to interpret the dress code "holiday attire" differently. Overall, most people were dressed very nicely, but a few people were a little more casual (think jeans and a snowflake sweater) while others were wearing floor length ballgowns (literally, and more than one person). I tried to find something in the middle of those two extremes: 

Nothing says class like a cell phone pic in the bathroom...
I didn't really get as many photos of the night as I would of liked because I only had my cell phone and all the pictures were coming out blurry. Oh well. But the best part of the night is that I won an Ipod Nano in the prize drawing!! Technically, they called Cam's name, but since he was in the hotel bar watching the Big Ten Championship game when it was called, I went up to claim the prize (obviously). There were all these little bags with tissue sitting on the table and I had to pick one, so I just picked the bag that I thought looked cutest and when I opened it up the slip said Ipod Nano! I was really stoked about getting so lucky, and Cam's letting me keep the prize. 

Someone shaved and got a haircut! :)
My prize!

 I'm looking forward to more holiday celebrations with family and friends as December continues! Xoxo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Happy Thanksgiving Week everyone, I can't believe it's finally here!

I meant to write this post last night so it would be up first thing this morning...but then Lola got sick. She seems like she's doing alright now, but last night she was throwing up/going to the bathroom in the house (more specifically on our bed/cam's leg...gross). When she was throwing up yesterday, she threw up a rock (wtf?), so I'm hoping that's what was upsetting her tummy and that she starts getting better. I stayed home with her this morning, and Cam is working from home this afternoon just to make sure she is doing alright. She did eat her food this morning, so I think she is on the mend! So I'm sorry that this post wasn't up sooner, but that's life and shit (literally) happens. Ha.

Anyway, I'm super excited because today is the only day I work this week--woo! Monday = Friday = Awesome. My last Intercambio class is tonight, and I baked some goodies for my class which I can't wait to eat! (Can you believe I didn't even have any last night? Me either!) And then my parents fly in tonight, and my sister gets in tomorrow from NYC--woo woo!

As for this weekend, a lot of it was spent doing some Thanksgiving prep. (I did model in the Boulder Community Hospital Fashion Show Saturday and it was SO much fun, but I'm waiting to see if I can get some of the photos before I post about it!) Sunday Cam and I took a massive shopping trip to the grocery store, and even though it was insanely crowded, working together it wasn't that bad. Our menu for T-day is pretty set, so I thought I'd share with y'all what we are planning on making:

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Our Thanksgiving Feast

Appetizers: We are keeping it simple for appetizers this year mainly due to the fact that we're not going to have that many people (only 7 total) and since our kitchen isn't exactly huge, we're going to be lacking in oven space. We decided that we're going to do a veggie tray (with blue cheese dip and hummus as dips) and then a simple cheese tray with some baked brie, herbed goat cheese, and a few other types of hard cheese that cheesemonger Cam threw in the cart on Sunday. This way hopefully people won't be too stuffed by the time dinner starts!

Bread (not pictured): I'm going to making Pumpkin Muffins; Cam's family always has these for Thanksgiving, and it's not Thanksgiving to him without them! We'll also have some more traditional rolls; I wanted to be super ambitious and bake them from scratch, but I decided there's just not going to be enough time so I'm picking them up from Great Harvest Bread Company on Wednesday.

Soup: We are going to be starting off the meal with a small bowl of creamy butternut squash soup. Whenever we make butternut squash soup, we generally tend to improvise but it will be some sort of combination of this recipe, this recipe, and this recipe. We're planning on potentially adding a little bit of heat to the soup, and then topping it with some blue cheese...and maybe a little crumbled bacon to really get crazy.

Turkey: We are having a 12-lb turkey that is currently thawing in our fridge. I'm really not getting involved in the turkey prep/cooking at all, and I'm totally leaving it up to Cam's discretion. He was nerding out this weekend about the best method to cook the turkey (because there are a lot of opinions on this subject!) and he's decided he's going to do a traditional brine, and then we bought a new roasting pan yesterday (with gift cards leftover from our wedding nonetheless!) so we should be all set.

Stuffing: This is one area that I struggled over all weekend, what kind of stuffing to make?! Growing up my parents usually made a cornbread based Southwest style stuffing when we had Thanksgiving, but when Thanksgiving was at my aunt and uncle's house, we had a more traditional style sage and sausage stuffing. The problem is, I love both kinds. The other problem is that I love sausage in my stuffing. Why is that a problem? Since my sister is a vegetarian and already won't be eating the turkey, I figured I probably shouldn't put meat in the stuffing too. (You're welcome Melissa) After much deliberation, I decided on a Southern-style Cornbread Stuffing courtesy of Paula Deen. I don't love all of her food, but this stuffing recipe looks amazing, has lots of good reviews, and doesn't include sausage. So there you have it, problem solved.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: Keeping the mashed potatoes simple and classic, but I'll probably throw in a little garlic to kick them up a little. As for the gravy, it goes with the turkey so Cam is taking care of it.

Sweet Potatoes and a Vegetable Side Dish (not pictured): My mom's cousin who lives about 30 minutes away is joining us for Thanksgiving, and so she is bringing these two sides. Yum yum!

Carmelized Brussels Sprouts: I wanted to include another green vegetable side (I need to balance out all the brown food!), so I decided on the Carmelized Brussels Sprouts from Eat Live Run because 1) they're easy but delicious and 2) they're made on the stove top and won't take up space in the oven. The recipe includes toasted pecans, and I'm thinking that I'm going to add in some dried cranberries as well for a little extra color and flavor. (I couldn't find a photo of brussels sprouts with cranberries, the picture is actually of this fun recipe for pomegranate bacon brussels sprouts!)

Apple Crisp: Cam and I decided on having one fruit dessert, one pumpkin dessert, and one chocolate dessert for Thanksgiving (if I had it my way we would be having triple the amount of dessert, but my husband the realist thinks it's excessive to have more desserts than the number of people...pssshhhh). For my fruit dessert, I'm going to make a traditional apple crisp (Cam's Grandma's recipe!) instead of making an apple pie. I love a warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, and my plan is to stick it in the oven after the turkey comes out so that way it will be finishing up just as we're ready for dessert. The recipe I'm using is similar to this one from Martha Stewart, pictured above.

Pumpkin Cheesecake: Personally, I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie, but I absolutely love pumpkin cheesecake. And since Thanksgiving is at my house, that's what we're having! I know from experience how time consuming it is to make a good cheesecake from scratch (I did it for the last holiday I hosted!), so I decided we're going to get a pumpkin cheesecake from Costco. Yes, you heard that right Costco pumpkin cheesecake, and it is AMAZING. Has anyone else besides me tried this? It's seriously SO good. They only make them once a year, and I always make my mom get one for me every Thanksgiving because they are that delicious. Like so good that I was literally thinking about it for all 5 miles of my run this morning. Sad but true. In a perfect world where time didn't exist, I'd be making this Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake (pictured above) that I've had on my pinboard all fall because it looks like it's to die for. Maybe next Thanksgiving.

Chocolate Dessert: This is still up in the air, hence the questions marks...I know I want to make something chocolatey for Thanksgiving, but I have no idea what yet. I keep going back and forth between some kind of brownies/bars, cupcakes, a bundt cake, or a layered trifle. (That so makes me think of Friends!) I have all my baking ingredients well-stocked, and I'm thinking that this is going to be a game-time decision Wednesday after I poll my family.

So there you have it, the menu for my first Thanksgiving! I think it looks pretty good on paper/in the example photos, but the real test will come Thursday when we actually have to cook everything! I'll definitely be taking lots of photos, and I look forward to sharing them after I emerge from my tryptophan-pumpkin cheesecake coma.

As for getting in the Thanksgiving spirt, today I'm wearing an outfit that seems particularly festive. (Thought I'd share an OOTD since I haven't in awhile!)

Tie neck blouse: J.Crew, Vest: Target, Corduroy skirt: J.Crew, Tights: Target, Riding Boots: ? (They were a gift!)
 The tie-neck blouse, argyle vest, and corduroy skirt are all very school girl-esque, but the fall plums and browns make me think Thanksgiving. And then I thought the plum tights were really fun, and although they look Barney purple in this picture, but in person they're much darker and almost look brown! I love fun tights and tall boots when they weather is cold, so comfy and cute :)

That's all for now lovelies, check back tomorrow for another Thanksgiving-themed post...I'm going to be sharing some table inspirations and a super easy craft-project I made this weekend! Xoxo


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