Friday, November 28, 2014

2014 Thanksgiving Highlights

How's everyone feeling today?? Stuffed like a turkey?

If I were to guess I'd say that people consume the most calories on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Eve.  On the other hand, I'd say they consume the least on the days today!  It's like an organic cleansing day because your body can only handle so much! lol

So we had a wonderful Thanksgiving day & dinner with family.  I can't believe it came and went so fast! (kindof like running a half marathon....or planning a wedding!)

Among everything else there are 2 highlights that I wanted to share from yesterday....#1 - the Turkey Trot & #2 - a gingerbread contest!

Highlight #1 is a tradition that my sister and I have been maintaining for the last 3 or 4 years.....a local 5k Turkey Trot!

At 6:00am I wasn't too excited....

But once I got there I was excited!!

The weather is usually cool (in the mid-50s yesterday!), the crowd is large and energetic & the race is very well run (no pun intended!)!

We ran together for the first almost 2 miles, then I broke away to gain some speed but we both did awesome! I finished in 29:09. Not a PR but WHO CARES?!?!?  It was a great race & is such a staple on our Thanksgiving day, which I love!

Highlight #2 is a tradition that we sort of borrowed from Halloween (& that we also do around Christmas!).  Our family has a thing for building gingerbread houses.  It went from buying 1 where we all worked on it now buying 3, we make teams and it has turned into a (friendly!) competition!

The kids usually end up eating a lot of the decorations (and part of the houses lol) - but there are a lot of laughs....and this year we were all in our pjs which made it even more fun!

((Sorry for the blurry pictures!))

What are some of the highlights from your Thanksgiving??

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

{Happy Thanksgiving} Sammy's 8 Days of Healthy Tips Before Thanksgiving - TIP #8


I am thankful for my family and friends and ALL OF blog-friends that read and comment - or lurk! ;) - and follow along with P,L&IC all year long! Thank you!!

I hope you enjoy a day with loved ones remembering all that you're thankful for!!

On to my last tip...Tip #8....
I think I saved the best TIP for last....this is really the perfect one to finish off my #ATipADayBeforeThanksgiving series!

It's actually more of an order than a tip - so I really really hope that even if you just follow one of these tips, it's this one!! :)

Remember that when all is said and done, this is a time to relax and enjoy yourself.  If you indulge (or over-indulge!)'s OK!  If you don't have a chance to get in a formal's OK!  If you accidentally burn a side's OK!

Be IN THE MOMENT with your family and friends!  Cut yourself some slack (if you haven't realized it deserve it!!)

So, my last TIP order is to simply Relax and Enjoy yourself!!  BE THANKFUL!  Be REALLY thankful!  Think about what it really means to have all of the things that you have!  With the good comes the bad, I get that.  But it's all a part of this wonderful journey called life, isn't it?  :)


Thank you guys for being so receptive to these posts and for being as excited as I was about this series!  I really enjoyed bringing it to you and I hope, if nothing else, it brought a smile to your faces each day!
2014 UPDATE:  I'll be back (probably) tomorrow with a recap of the Turkey Trot from this morning - a Thanksgiving tradition for my sister and me!


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sammy's 8 Days of Healthy Tips Before Thanksgiving - TIP #7

Hump Day!! And time for Tip #7! 

I hope you guys are enjoying these healthy tips - and now that you're armed with 7 (almost 8) healthy holiday tips you will be able to navigate Thanksgiving like a champ!!

We are only a couple of days from Thanksgiving - which means we only have a couple of tips left!!  On to TIP #7... dinner, that is!!

This is a reminder to SIT DOWN WITH YOUR FAMILY!  I know we all get caught up cooking, and cleaning up, and making sure that everyone else is fed/served/happy/satisfied....but don't forget about YOURSELF!
Especially when you are hosting at your feel like you're all over the place, right?  It's fun, yet exhausting!

Also, don't spend all day nibbling in the kitchen (but, by all means, nibble a little!).  You'll kill your appetite!  You have to leave yourself enough room to eat the actual meal come dinnertime!

The dishes will wait, the mess in the kitchen will wait, the dirty plates and empty glasses scattered throughout the house will wait!  So SIT DOWN TO DINNER...AND ENJOY YOURSELF! :)

Is Thanksgiving at your house this year??
When you are hosting, is it hard for you to relax and sit down to the meal?
2014 UPDATE: As a mother do you ever really sit down?? ;)  But seriously, since we're going out to dinner this year I plan on doing a lot of sitting!!! :)

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sammy's 8 Days of Healthy Tips Before Thanksgiving - TIP #6

It's Tuesday! I hope you all enjoy Tip #6!
I really feel like this tip doesn't require much explanation, but of course it deserves it's own post because it's super important!  TIP #6 is...

Start a new tradition with your family and/or friends!!


Holiday memories are centered around special traditions!  Traditions that are unique to your family, that you look forward to every year - whether it's the food you cook and eat, where you gather, what you wear, who you're with....literally any little detail can be considered a tradition if it's special to you and your family!
  • Wear your flannel pajamas to dinner?  New tradition!
  • Buy an ornament that describes a milestone from the year? New tradition!
  • Make a new recipe (from Pinterest!)? New tradition!
  • Go around the dinner table and name one reason you are thankful for each person sitting there? New tradition!
What is a new tradition that you would want to implement this year??
Happy Thanksgiving Week, all :)
2014 UPDATE: LOVE this one!! New family tradition in our house this year?? Gingerbread house competition.....oh it's on!!!!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Sammy's 8 Days of Healthy Tips Before Thanksgiving - TIP #5

It's Monday.....during the last week of November....which means it's almost December....which means it's almost 2015 - craaaaaazy!

We had a great, quick weekend in NJ for our friends' wedding! It was a beauuuuutiful wedding at a magnificent country club with great food & a GREAT band.  It was a brisk 35-ish *F......but we were just so happy to be there to celebrate with them it didn't even matter!

Now it's back to reality - and back to my Thanksgiving tips!  Here is Tip #5.....

This tip is sure to boost your mind, body and spirit!  Tip #5 is...

We often take for granted 'simple' things that we have - whether it be a loving family or a roof over our head or a hot meal.  Not because we are ungrateful, but because it's hard to imagine that there are many people that live without these things every day.....

Charity is a beautiful thing.  It should come from the heart and you should never feel pressure or uncomfortable about should give what you can, where you can, how you can.

Some ways to GIVE this holiday season (and all year 'round!):

  • Time - Volunteer at a soup kitchen or help to pack boxes to send over to our military or to send to the victims of the recent natural disasters.
  • Money - Don't have the time but have the ability to give money, do so!  The charities will use it where they need it most.  Even $5 is helpful and appreciated.  It's not the amount, it's the fact that you're donating...because every little bit helps!
  • Goods - Donate old clothes, toys or furniture.  Clean out your closets and play rooms - some charities will even come to your house to pick up your donations.
Find a charity that you believe in, that you want to help - since it's YOUR time and money that you are giving away!  You want to make sure that where you think your goods/services are helping and what they are actually going towards are the same thing!

How are you planning to give back?
Doesn't it feel good??
2014 UPDATE:  I wish I had all the time (& money!) in the world to help everyone that needs it.  {Spoiler Alert: that's NOT the case! lol}  However, around this time of year we always donate what we can to Miami Children's Hospital - the hospital & their doctors, nurses & staff all hold a very special place in the hearts of our family. 

See you tomorrow for the next tip! :)

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sammy's 8 Days of Healthy Tips Before Thanksgiving - TIP #4

So it's Saturday and we're on to Tip #4!  

I hope you're planning for ways to put my first 3 tips into action (anyone sign up for a Turkey Trot yet?? I did! I did!)

Hi guys!!  It's Saturday - WOO HOO - hope you're all having a great day!!  Since Thanksgiving is only a handful of days away, I'm sure some (most!) of you are taking advantage of this weekend time and starting on TIP #4....

This is a feast of a holiday - the mere mention of the word 'Thanksgiving' and my brain goes straight to thinking about turkey and cornbread and stuffing and cranberry sauce....and so on!

I think, for a lot of families, it's not only food that's made in the kitchen....memories are made there, too!  Cooking together, sharing recipes and the stories behind them, getting messy and pouring your love into the dishes that you're really makes them taste even better, I'm sure of it!

Now I'm not telling you to dive in and cook a 20 lb turkey!!  If you're up for the challenge though, go for it!

I'm just suggesting you make appetizer, a side, a dessert.  What's your go-to dish?  What are you great at making?  MAKE THAT!!

If you have the time, try something new a few days before Thursday and see how it goes!  If not, just make what you know.  There is so much else going these days it'll be way less stressful to make something already in your repertoire!!

Cooking is also very exciting because you're in control....of the ingredients!  You can make substitutions, swapping out high fat/calorie foods for great alternatives, or not!  You decide!

I think it's healthy for mind and body - so get in the kitchen with your loved ones and help prepare this awesome meal for your family and friends!

What are you making for Thanksgiving??
I'm planning to make a green bean casserole and something yummy for dessert!

2014 UPDATE: We're going OUT for dinner this year! Takes some of the pressure off & best of all...we don't have to clean up!!  It's not as intimate but it's easier since we're a lot of people this year!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Sammy's 8 Days of Healthy Tips Before Thanksgiving - TIP #3

TGIF my friends!!  It's time for Tip #3! {Here are Tip #1 and Tip #2 in case you missed it!}

By now we're all familiar with this game I'm playing, so I'll get right into TIP #3....

This is a healthy tip for your mental well-being rather than your physical well-being, but in my opinion it's just as important as TIPS #1 and #2!

Have a conversation!  Sounds simple, I know....but please let this be your reminder to DO IT!  

Sit down with your grandparents....your children....your friends...and have a meaningful chat!  Put away the video games, shut off the TV and grab a coffee or hot chocolate and just TALK!  This is time together that you won't get back.

Tell stories with each other, share things and connect - or reconnect! - with the people that mean the most to you!  Take the time to let these people know that they are important in your life.  It sounds small but it really feels good, and means a lot!

I have close girlfriends that I don't see or speak to all the time because we're...well...busy.  After college we all went off to do our own thing - I got married and started a family, some friends moved to the Big Apple and started the "Sex and the City", single-gal life, others went off to graduate school.  

We may not see or speak to each other every day or even every week, but when we do we pick up right where we left off.  We can see updates from Facebook and pictures, but it's nice to connect sometimes...not through text or email, but through real conversation.

Take advantage of (free!) video chat to connect with loved ones that can't be with you physically!

Sometimes you need a reminder to make that extra call, or close your computer, to make the most of the moment that you're in, with the people you love!

Stay tuned for TIP #4 tomorrow :)

Do you have family or friends that you may not see or speak to all the time but when you do it's like no time has passed?


2014 UPDATE: Let's make a Thanksgiving-resolution together.... Make 1 phone call to a friend or family member that you haven't spoken to or seen in a while. I PROMISE you that you will feel so good after you're done! And keep me posted :) 

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