Things I’m Loving Friday
It felt like Thanksgiving began a few days early for us this year as family began arriving on Sunday and we had a completely full house by Tuesday. This meant we spent a few days prepping for Thanksgiving and our house was filled up with the best smells and my favorite people.
We kicked off Thanksgiving with a neighborhood turkey trot and the weather could not have been better.
It was sunny and temperatures hovered right around 50 degrees! Since the race was very family-friendly, scooters, dogs and strollers were all welcome which suited our crew well.
Chase and Ryder rode their scooters the entire time while the younger members of our crew wagon and strolled hopped with each other throughout the race. The kids were especially thrilled to win a medal but we all joked that no one was more thrilled than my mom, as she was still sporting her 5K medal at dinner later that night. In her words, “This is only the second medal I’ve won in my life, so I’m going to wear it!”
Once we made it back to the house, we spent our day cooking, hanging out in the backyard around a bonfire, coloring a giant cardboard playhouse I got for the kids and enjoying the time together.
Of course dinner was a highlight and we filled our plates with all of our Thanksgiving favorites… a few times!
I went to bed with a full belly and a full heart.
Our friend Ben joined us for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and when he asked what he could bring to contribute to dinner, we assured him we had plenty of food and encouraged him to simply come and enjoy! He was so kind and showed up like Santa with a gift for each of our boys and they were absolutely thrilled. One of his gifts was particularly unique and something I’d never seen before so I wanted to give it a shout out today, as it’s definitely something that would’ve made my Gift Guide for Big Kids had I known about it a week ago!
Ben surprised Chase with Snap Circuits, an electronics exploration kit that makes it easy for kids to snap pieces into place to create more than 100 different electrical projects. Chase was laser-focused on this gift and it was the first thing he wanted to do this morning when he flew downstairs! I think this would be such a great gift for a big kid who likes to tinker around, experiment and create and just had to share it here in case it might be a hit with a kid in your life this holiday season!
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: A-
My mom and I regularly share book recommendations and she’s usually the queen of great recommendations for books that fall in the mystery/suspense/thriller category while I’m the one who gravitates toward historical fiction. When my mom came to me with a historical fiction novel recommendations, I couldn’t read it fast enough! It’s captivating, beautifully written, thought-provoking, layered, poignant and interesting to me as someone who knows very little about horse racing and the history of horse racing in our country. I broke my heart on numerous occasions, shocked me once or twice and kept my interest until the very end, despite its length.
Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.
This is a random share but I had to give these cinnamon rolls a shout out because they’ve been such a hit with our boys. I actually ordered RoRo’s rolls to be delivered to my mom and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day before and was thrilled when I saw them for sale locally at Harris Teeter. Let’s just say the love our kids have for these cinnamon rolls is strong and I knew I wanted to make them a part of our Thanksgiving Day morning. Our boys honestly like RoRo’s cinnamon rolls 10,000 times more than the cinnamon rolls I’ve made from scratch on Christmas morning that take me 100 years to make. The RoRo’s rolls are light and not too dense which I think makes them appeal more to kids and I always slightly underbake them by a few minutes. They’re so good and the two packs I heated up for our family before our Turkey Trot disappeared in a flash!
Black Friday Sales
Just in case you’re hoping to take advantage of Black Friday sales to do some holiday shopping today, here’s a roundup of the sales that jumped out at me!
- Up to 70% off at Pottery Barn Kids (The vegan leather loungers we use non-stop are $80 off! / We have and love this refillable advent calendar / $80 of the Foamnasium couch our boys use all the time / My nieces love their Anywhere Chairs / I bought this Santa crib sheet for Chase’s crib when he was a baby and all three boys have loved it)
- 30% off at Anthropologie (Their Gifts Under $25 section is always amazing / I ordered a few of these beaded bracelets to include with gifts this year / This match cloche is on my personal wish list / We have these clover sconces in our powder room + this capiz light in our primary bathroom and I ordered them both on Black Friday two years ago)
- Up to 40% off clothing and boots + Up to 50% off toys at Target (The satin hair bow I love is only $5.60 / The sweater I have in 3 colors is on sale for less than $20 /$50 off this Tonies starter set / Up to 50% off Lego sets)
- 50% off everything at Madewell with code LETSGO (This tennis bracelet is lovely)
- 50% off everything at Old Navy (Two long-time favorites: My fav holiday onesie pajamas / Pull-on Toddler Jeggings — the best jeans for slim kids)
- 40% off at DSW plus a free weekender bag with code PLAID (I ordered the next size up in our boys’ favorite slip-on New Balance sneakers + These are the New Balance sneakers I have in multiple colors that I love so much — size up 1/2 size!)
- 50% off everything at GAP (Their modal pajamas are a favorite of mine because they are so soft but still lightweight)
- 20-25% off sitewide at Hati Home (Black Friday is when I ordered our kitchen island stools last year after waiting for more than a year to order them. They were a huge splurge but worth every penny. They are family-friendly, wipe clean and are incredibly comfortable.)
- 20% off everything at Branch Basics (I use their safe + all natural cleaning products for everything from bathroom cleaning and laundry to kitchen cleaning and more. I also love refilling everything in their glass bottles!)
- 30-40% off everything at American Eagle + Aerie (I love their High-Waisted Super Flare Leggings)
- Up to 50% off McGee & Go. (Sales are basically the only time I shop this site. We ordered our extension dining table on Black Friday last year! We also have and love these mirrors in our primary bathroom.)
- 25% off lots of rugs + 20% off everything at Ruggable with code BF22 (We have the Kamran coral runner and kitchen sink mat in our kitchen and the runner in our mudroom, the Kamran ivory opal rug in our living room and Kamran ivory opal mat in front of our vanity in our primary bathroom)
- Up to 70% off at Serena & Lily (These lidded baskets are our favorite to hide the boys’ toys. The quality is fantastic — our boys literally sit on the lids and they hold up!)
Question of the Day
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you travel? Stay close to home? Host?
Are you taking advantage of Black Friday sales and shopping for anything fun today?