A Glimpse into Thanksgiving Break!!

“And if someday you’re lonely,
or someday you’re sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you’ve been bad…

just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass… in the smell of
the sea… in the clouds floating by…
at the top of a tree… in the sound
crickets make at the end of the day…

“You are loved. You are loved. You are
loved,” they all say.

Wherever you are my Love will Find You – Nancy Tillman

This is one of my favorite books and I bought it for the girl’s for Christmas last year.

Time honestly flies by way too quickly!!

My All Time Favorite Children’s Books for the Season

More Christmas Magic!!

During the holidays, we always try to make time to read Christmas stories with the kids.  It’s something that we have all come to look forward too.  And, it’s always a great idea to teach our kiddies to LOVE reading!! Here are some of our favorites!!

The Polar Express

** You can add this DVD to your collection!! or Check it on Amazon Instant Video!!

The Sweet Smell of Christmas (A Scented Storybook) by J.P.Miller

Room for a Little One by Jason Cockcroft

Another Great After Thanksgiving Recipe – Turkey Dumpling Stew

Turkey Dumpling Stew

Another After Thanksgiving Recipe - Turkey Dumpling Stew

Photo Source: Food Network Magazine

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time:
50 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
4 hr 0 min
6-8 servings
  • 1 leftover roasted turkey carcass, plus 3 to 4 cups shredded turkey meat
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered crosswise (save the leaves for the dumplings)
  • 1 pound carrots (3 quartered crosswise; the rest thinly sliced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • Dumpling dough (recipe linked below)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Chopped fresh chives, for topping


Make the stock: Pull the turkey carcass apart into smaller pieces; set the meat aside. Put the bones in a large, deep pot and add cold water to cover, 4 to 5 quarts. Add the onion, celery, the 3 quartered carrots and the bay leaf. Tie the parsley and thyme together with twine and add to the pot, then cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook 3 to 4 hours. Remove the bones and vegetables with a skimmer and discard, then strain the stock though a fine-mesh strainer. Return the stock to the pot and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half, 30 to 40 minutes (you’ll have about 8 cups stock).

About 45 minutes before serving, prepare the dumplings . Keep covered with plastic wrap while you make the stew.

Make the stew: Melt the butter in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually add the stock, stirring, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sliced carrots and parsnips, cover and cook 5 minutes.

Stir in the turkey meat, lemon juice and green beans. Add the dumplings in a single layer (leave as squares or pat into rounds). Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls; top with chives.

Photograph by Con Poulos

Is Christmas Magic as Important to you as it is to your Kids?

I have always felt strongly about preserving the innocence of children, for as long as possible. Through their eyes, I have remembered what it is like to be a kid and have even been able to relive some of my own childhood memories.  So, I try to pack as much magic into my children’s lives as I can.  They have so many years ahead of them to deal with the harsh realities of life. I try to hold on to that little bit of Magic, for as long as I can.   If you agree with me, this post is for you, follow the links below and start creating amazing Christmas Memories!!

Christmas Magic

Do You Want your Child to Receive A Letter from Santa – Click Here!!

Photo Source: USPS

Photo Source: USPS

Countdown the Day’s Until Santa’s Arrival with this Free Printable

Link and Photo Source courtesy of invitingprintables.blogspot.com

Head Over to Our Stage Present’s Etsy Shop for a Personal Lesson from Santa.

Personalized Letters from Santa found in Etsy Shop stagedpresents

Personalized Letters from Santa found in Etsy Shop stagedpresents

Free Downloadable Christmas Gift Tags at Design Editor

Getting ready for Elf Return Week.   Our Family Christmas Elf, made his debut on Saturday Morning.


Looking for ideas for #ScoutElfReturnWeek — Check these out on the Elf on the Shelf Website.

Stay tuned for.. for more MAGIC!!

This post has been updated. 11/28

After Thanksgiving Recipes: Open Faced Sandwiches

What a Face! Open Faced Hot Turkey Sammys with Sausage Stuffing and Gravy, Smashed Potatoes with Bacon, Warm Apple Cranberry Sauce

Open Faced Hot Turkey Sammys with Sausage Stuffing and Gravy, Smashed Potatoes with Bacon, Warm Apple Cranberry Sauce

Recipe And Photos courtesy of Rachael Ray

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
25 min

4 servings


Smashed Potatoes:
2 pounds new potatoes or baby Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter
3 strips par cooked bacon, crisped in microwave and chopped (recommended: Ready
Salt and pepper
Warm Apple Cranberry Sauce:
1 cup store bought apple sauce
1 (14 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 slices whole grain bread

Open Faced Roast Turkey Sandwiches with Mushroom Gravy

Open Faced Roast Turkey Sandwiches with Mushroom Gravy Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse 2007

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2007

Prep Time:
8 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
15 min
4 sandwiches


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
10 to 12 ounces thinly sliced roast turkey breast
4 slices home-style white bread, toasted, optional

For More After Thanksgiving Meal Ideas follow this link.


Thanksgiving Aftermath!!

Normally, after Turkey Day, we find ourselves having to revamp to make up for eating way too much.  This year, I don’t have that dilemma   I was actually able to eat responsibly, or umm… I didn’t go back for seconds.  (I am kind of proud about that, lol.)   So I just have to try to stay on track until, Christmas the next holiday when I normally eat way too much.

So for the last month of the year, I am going to commit to trying some new things to end out the year, and increasing some of the things I am already doing.

Here are some exercise routines that caught my eye!!


Getting Ready for Thanksgiving… what’s on your list?

Here is something that you should know about me, I am a “List-a-holic”.  I like to have a list for everything, much to the chagrin of my hubby and kids.  So with Thanksgiving coming up.. I am checking my lists… once maybe even twice, lol… Here are some other great lists I found all over the web.

Whats On Your List

Check out this list found on Epicurious.com.  They start 6 weeks out, but we are going to jump in where we are..

Monday Before Thanksgiving:

  • Buy the rest of your perishables today or tomorrow.

1 day to go

Wednesday Before Thanksgiving:

To make tomorrow manageable, do as much cooking as you can today. Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Defrost pie crusts and turkey stock.
  • Assemble and bake pies; store them at room temperature (unless they’re custard-based, such as pumpkin pie, which should be refrigerated).
  • Prepare any side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, that can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave.
  • Clean and dry salad greens and store them in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Set the table; arrange chairs; set out flowers, candles, and any other decorations.
  • If brining your turkey, prep it and leave it in the brine overnight.

the big day!

Thanksgiving Day:

The big day! Here’s a schedule to help you sail through with ease:


  • If stuffing your turkey, prepare the stuffing and fill the turkey.
  • Put the turkey in to roast.
  • Defrost breads and any other prepared items that have been frozen.
  • Chill white wine and beer. Set up the bar for any other drinks you’ll be making.


  • While the turkey is roasting, complete all the other dishes. Let them stand at room temperature or, if ready more than one hour ahead, refrigerate.

half an hour before dinnertime:

  • When the turkey comes out, let it rest while you make the gravy and reheat the side dishes on the stove top, in the oven, or in the microwave.
  • Dress the salad.


  • Carve the turkey and serve the meal. (Don’t forget to save the carcass for turkey soup.)

after dinner:

Readers Digest Thanksgiving Check List

A Thanksgiving Cooking Check List at Blissfully Domestic:

Being Prepared, is a Major Part of Any Successful Holiday.  What is your favorite go to list for Thanksgiving Prep?