thanksgiving

It’s the most wonderful time…

The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is truly magical. There’s something so heartwarming and pure about it.

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I’m back home at my condo after spending a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with my family & per usual, I feel so calm & rejuvenated. I’m sitting in our living room – Christmas tree lit, yummy candles burning, hot cocoa in my hand and the only Will Ferrell movie I’ve ever enjoyed playing,…and I’m having one of those moments. One of those moments where you’re simply happy to be breathing.

photo 4

Do you ever have one of those moments? They’re the best.

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving – we all have a lot to be thankful for. I’m enjoying my last night of this mini-break relaxing & putting a fresh topcoat on my mani!

OPI – Every Month is Oktoberfest (short nails & cut on middle finger = Christmas tree decorating casualties – bummer)

I’ve got a busy week ahead! I plan to enjoy these last few hours & go to bed with the intent of starting the week on a fresh & positive note. I hope you all do the same! 🙂yellow-wake-up-001XO

Thanksgiving Dessert

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away! It seems like Halloween was just yesterday. Time is going by way too quickly – luckily, this is my favorite time of year and I cannot wait to indulge in all of the holiday traditions, recipes, movies, decorations & nail polishes 😉

Thanksgiving will be spent in New Jersey this year. My Aunt does an amazing job cooking for our large family. She takes so much pride in her recipes, place settings, centerpieces…literally everything! It makes the holiday extra special. I recently got our adorable invitation:
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I LOVE that all of us “kids” are responsible for dessert…honestly, it’s really the only thing that I’m good at making anyways. I immediately knew what I wanted to bake this year & I thought that I would share the recipe here.

First off, have you ever seen a photo of something super delicious posted on Facebook with the complete recipe in the caption? Usually it’s been shared and “liked” by thousands of people. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but my friends & Aunts seem share them all of the time! There is never a link to a website or anything, it’s just all of the ingredients & instructions right there. Anyways, I like to screen shot & rename the files so I can make them at a later date.

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My screen-shot recipe folder!

About a year ago, I found a Peanut Butter cheesecake recipe and couldn’t wait to make it!

Took 3 screen shots to save this one!

I whipped it up for my sisters birthday this past April, and loved it!

Can you spot it?
Can you spot it?
Did I mention that it has a chocolate rice crispy treat crust?! Huge selling point.
Here it is! Did I mention that it has a chocolate rice crispy treat crust?! Huge selling point.
Had to take an aerial shot ;)
Had to take an aerial photo as well 😉

As a (borderline dangerous) chocolate/peanut butter lover – it was probably the most delicious dessert I’ve ever had – really, I still have dreams about it! It takes a bit of time to make and is very rich – not something you’d want to serve on the regular – so I decided that this Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to give it another go! (Plus, I know that everyone will have Apple/Pumpkin on the brain – so I figured I’d hit them with something different)!

I’m not going to make you take a screen shot of my blog, so I’ve typed up the recipe below (with a few alterations/changes that I recommend)! I hope you give it a try! Let me know how you like it 🙂

Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 1/2 cups rice crispy cereal

1 (8ounce) package cream cheese – softened

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup frozen whipped topping – thawed (I used cool whip)

2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce for decor

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter for decor

Mini peanut butter cups for decor

Directions:

1) In a medium, microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave for about 1 minute (or until melted). Stir together until combined. Add rice crispy cereal and stir well to coat.

2) Press coated cereal into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ spring form pan (I used an aluminum pie dish  which worked fine). Place crust in the freezer to chill while you make the filling (about 10 minutes)

3) In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk and 3/4 cup of peanut butter – mix until thoroughly combined.

4) Add the vanilla and lemon juice to filling. Mix until combined.

5) Gently fold in the whipped topping. Once folded – pour the filling into the prepared pie crust

6) Heat the 2 tbsp’s of  fudge and peanut butter in two separate small bowls in the microwave for 20-30 seconds . Drizzle each over filling. (I used the Breyers Hot Fudge Topping that you microwave in its package & squeeze, but the peanut butter I spread with a fork)

7) Freeze for 4-6 hours or until pie is firm (I HIGHLY recommend freezing for longer – like, overnight. I made it about 8 hours before serving the first time & it was still far too mushy – however, the leftovers the next day were perfect!) Remove the cheesecake from the freezer for about 10 minutes before serving to make cutting easier.

8) Garnish with mini peanut butter cups. (I loved this part 🙂 )

ENJOY! XO

Family Fun: Black Friday

So this year on Black Friday…..I slept in and avoided the madness, because that is not my style lol.

I actually had a lovely day with my Mom & Sister! We decided to run some errands together & grab lunch.

One of my favorite things about going home is that I never have to worry about packing anything cute, because I have full access to my little sisters wardrobe – which gives mine a run for its money. I picked out this great sweater to wear on Friday- it had a pocket in the front and a lace up back! It was so comfortable, I would have definitely taken it home if she hadn’t just bought it lol.

She picked it up on clearance for $3! That’s my girl 😉

The three of us went to lunch at O’Neils, a small local spot that we love – they have the yummiest sandwiches!

They completely decked out the restaurant for Christmas 🙂
How cool is this photo that was next to our table? These trees are actually in my hometown!
I got my favorite sandwich: the “Emily” -turkey with lettuce, tomato, cheddar and bacon with thousand island dressing on the softest seven-grain bread. SO good!!

Afterwards, we went shopping to pick up some things to send in a care package to my cousin Donny who is currently serving over seas.

I love this picture of him <3
I love this picture of him <3
Stealing his FB pcis ;)
Stealing his FB pcis 😉

My Aunt has been collecting items from family members, friends and co-workers to send to his unit, so we picked up some things they’ve been asking for.

Some things in my basket 🙂
How cute is my Mom?! She was picking up some puzzle books
Lot’s of goodies 🙂
…and more goodies!
I didn’t want to neglect the ladies who are over there too! So naturally, I picked up some festive nail polishes 🙂

We had a lot of fun shopping for them!

**Quick pause for a mini Spanish Christmas Jam-Sesh**:

My sister and cousin scoping everything out![/caption]

So many delicious snacks!
…and more snacks!
I loved this collar necklace
Katherine modeling a pearl & ribbon necklace from their Christmas collection
I was loving this necklace too!
My sister & cousin
I ended up ordering this choker plated necklace. I really adored it; it is the perfect piece to wear through the holidays!

Black Friday was a lot of fun this year! I never do the crazy early-morning shopping madness thing – I’m more of a cyber Monday chick ;), but it was fun to spend time with my family, shop for others & pick out some jewelry for the holidays!

Family Christmas Tree!

The weekend after Thanksgiving I love putting up the Christmas tree & decorating the house with my Mom & Sister – my Dad & Brother usually opt out…I think they were golfing this year lol. We always play Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, dance around & just enjoy the day. We don’t purchase a real tree anymore, when we were all younger we were insistent on finding the tallest, fullest tree there was – we’ve since invested in a phenomenal pre-lit fake that is just as effective, 80% less the hassle & looks even better!

We took all of the tree decorations out of storage
We had a little trouble with the star LOL
Even Lily got in the spirit!

I love our ornament collection because each one has some kind of memory, joke, or sentiment to it. There are even a few faces on the tree 😉

This was a bridal shower gift for my Mom!
This one is so old & chipping away, but it’s still one of my favorites 🙂
How cute is my little sis in her 3 fingered homemade ornament LOL?!!
This one of my brother cracks us all up! He’s suuuuuuch an angel 😉
…And that’s me…in 1st grade!
…aaaand Katherine called it quits
All done! So pretty 🙂

Naturally, after all of that work it was manicure time!

Fun Gelish mani on Katherine! Midnight Reflection & Twinkle on her index fingers 🙂

I love spending time at my parents house during the holidays. It’s so warm, festive & comfortable. It’s so darn hard to make my apartment feel that way! …Stay tuned for that post though…we did make an effort!

Do you and your family have a Christmas decorating tradition?

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