5 Reasons This Week Will Rock!

5 Reasons November 2014 _ ATG FINAL

1. | A Honey Baked Ham is on the way…

Naturally, we have to turn our attention to the important part of this week and that’s the amount of food that will be consumed. Without question, I always, always, always get excited for our new Thanksgiving tradition of indulging in the best ham EVER from the Honey Baked Ham Store. We add a few of the necessary sides that we order from Bristol Farms: mashed potatoes, candied yams, honey glazed carrots, and their green bean almondine; bake a pie; and sit back and eat…and eat…and eat. The caveat is that we tend to burn-out on ham because we eat it for breakfast and dinner the next 3 days after Thanksgiving as leftovers. By the following Monday, I’m usually so sick of ham I can’t stand it…until the following year comes and I’m excited all over again. Hooray for ham! (image via.)

2. | A short work week…

It’ll be a relatively quick and quiet work week ahead. This is in large part because a lot of people are taking the entire week off. I’m opting to work through Wednesday and save the vacation days to take a longer Christmas vacation in late December through early January instead (for a much-needed and restful 3 week break!). I have 3 big things I want to get crossed off my to-do list on the work front and then I’m ready to leave it all behind in favor of food, a good book, and finally correcting the error upon learning that my boyfriend hasn’t seen all the Rocky movies, which happen to be streaming on Netflix (minus the last one, which we’ll borrow a copy of) and make it a Rocky movie marathon this holiday weekend.

3. | Snow in LA…

It’s no secret that it doesn’t quite feel like the holidays to me until I make a stop at the best place in LA to get in the spirit, The Grove! (Yes, you read that right). I’ve written before about why The Grove makes me happy around this time of year, so I won’t go into it again. I will say that it’s become a bit a tradition after Thanksgiving to stop at The Grove over the holiday weekend to see the 100-foot REAL Christmas tree, the lights, the music, the people, and Santa’s “mansion,” because there’s no place in LA that does it better when it comes to channeling the magic of the season. I’m willing to overlook the usually way too crowded venue, grab a hot chocolate with my guy and walk around to take it all in, just before they drop the faux snow at 7:00pm. (Hey – it’s LA and the only way we’ll ever get to channel our version of a “White Christmas.”) It makes me smile just thinking about it.

4.| Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

That aforementioned good book that I hope to lose myself in is Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. It’s my next book club read that the gals selected for December and I’m excited for it. I don’t know much about it to give you a thumbs up or down since I plan to start it this week, but I’ve have heard that it’s a great saga set during the Christmas season and a wonderful way to compliment to the holidays if you’re looking for something heartwarming and charming.  (image via.)

5.| The Holidays are here…

I like to think that the holiday season officially kicks-off the day after Thanksgiving (though every store I’ve been in somehow got the memo that Halloween was an appropriate time to start shelling Christmas stuff at you). I love the idea that just a few short days from now, it’ll be time to pull out the Christmas music, make lots of cocoa, and go about the business of celebrating.  So I won’t wish you  a “Happy holidays” quite yet, but go ahead and make it a point to save my well wishes for first thing Friday morning. Happy Holidays to you (on Friday)!

I hope you find 5 reasons this week will rock for you, too. They’re there, I promise. Have a lovely week ahead! x

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Highlights: Thanksgiving Day

Wow, where does the time go? All the build-up and the planning, coordinating; then eating, sleeping, eating, watching a movie, and more eating until it’s all over. Thanksgiving was a complete success on my end. In large part because I had the best company, and we ordered the most delish ham from The Honey Baked Ham Store, with a slew of sides from Bristol Farms. Let’s just say we had Thanksgiving dinner two nights in a row, ham and eggs for breakfast twice over the long holiday weekend, and at some point this week a ham sandwich will be in my immediate future.

As I look back on an amazing, relaxing, and food-filled Thanksgiving Thursday these are the parts that made me smile and what I’ll always want to remember:

I stopped on Wednesday afternoon (in the actual chaos of last-minute grocery shoppers…I did it for the drama!) and got a fresh bouquet of flowers to give my place a bit more of that festive Thanksgiving vibe! They were perfect!

How the food arrived. 🙂

Thanksgiving entertainment. We tried to find movies that were themed for the holiday (and I just thought E.T. would be awesome to re-watch). We eventually got through everything during those 4 days, but Planes, Trains and Automobiles was the perfect flick to kick-off a movie-filled weekend.

Thanksgiving dinner: honey baked ham, glazed baby carrots, green beans almondine, mashed potatoes, and candied yams. That’s a little sparkling apple cider in the wine glass. Words cannot describe how happy I was at this moment – yum! 🙂

Dessert: Pumpkin pie, naturally!

The BEST surprise and my personal favorite, this Esque candle that my boyfriend gave me as a little Thanksgiving day present. Aww! I was totally shocked because I was admiring it a few months back at Z-Gallerie, but didn’t get it. It’s so pretty I don’t even want to burn it!

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday this year. There was much more for myself on the horizon as the long weekend got started (posts to come) but it truly was a day to be remembered. Thank you to my awesome guy for making it such a special day!

On to Christmas….yikes!

Thankful

I loved this festive cake I saw in a bakery while in San Juan Capistrano recently.

It’ll be pretty low-key on my end for the long Holiday weekend. We went the total lazy route and ordered our big feast from a combination of The Honey Baked Ham Store and Bristol Farms. We even decided to change things up this year and have ham instead of turkey. Such rebels!

While I write a weekly post (sometimes twice a week, or when I can’t think of anything else compelling to write) where I reflect on the “Highlights” of the simple things happening around me; I thought this would a good time to reflect on what I’m truly thankful for in life in the grand scheme of things that is the year of our Lord, 2012.

My first apartment! I moved into my own place earlier this year and words cannot describe the sense of accomplishment and independence I feel every time I walk through the front door. This is my favorite wall in my humble abode and I’m thankful for having a small place in the world to call my own.

My best friend, who happens to be my boyfriend, for being the awesome guy that he is! This is an old picture I took last year while in Catalina Island. It’s a favorite of mine of us.

I’m beyond grateful in the midst of a tough economy to be working and working in the field that I actually studied in college.

I joined a book club this time last year and one year later, not only have I given myself the motivation to actually begin and finish a book (rather than juggle two at a time and never finish either one of them); it’s also opened my world to a whole new group of girl friends. We’re all ages and from different walks of life, bonded by our nerdiness for books. 🙂

One of the happiest things I’ve done this year was start this blog. It’s really given me the creative outlet that I had been craving for such a long time. Thank you to those that read, comment, or like even one of my posts. I’m grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!!