Post Thanksgiving - Pre Christmas

Happy Last Day of November! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with you family and friends.  November flew by and the minute we put our turkey dishes away, my youngest daughter changed our letter board to this :) 

Today's post covers all sorts of things-- like how to do a seasonal table scape with lunch sacks, ideas for where to buy a letter board (and what to put on it), how to make a birthday cake topper from pipe cleaners, a recipe for a holiday treat, where to go hiking if you want to see real dino fossils, and the best place to get a kiss under the mistletoe. Sound interesting? Keep reading below! 

But before we completely moved on to December, we did give Thanksgiving a lot of love. I co-hosted the Staff Thanksgiving Lunch for our middle school. I found those cute pumpkins for 80% off at Hobby Lobby. It's amazing what you can find on sale when you wait until 'the last minute'. Then I made a little decor for the table with cute white bags. This would be a great idea for a Christmas/Holiday table too! All you need is letters (I used my Cricut) lunch bags and tissue paper.  

My girls have totally taken over my letter board. This was my daughter's post on the first day of Thanksgiving break. Middle schoolers- lol! I bought my letter board at Tuesday Morning for $15. There are cute ones at Michael's here, Target here, and Hobby Lobby too- don't forget to use your 40% off coupon! And if you think "but I am not funny enough for a letter board!" Trust me, you are. You just need some 'Pinspiration'-- check out my stash of letter board ideas here

We celebrated my Dad's 63rd birthday at our house, so once again the letter board had to be changed. This was a fun way to get Afton to do some math :) 

I made the big "63" with pipe cleaners and then hot glued them to wooden skewers. I was happy with how it turned out. This idea would be cute with those sparkly pipe cleaners too! 

Thanksgiving preparations at my house included cookie making and frying a turkey. I didn't even cook one thing! Which kind of made me sad. But I suppose I should count myself lucky that my SIL was sweet enough to host this year. 

Doesn't that look like the shape of a heart?! 

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Grammy and brought her some cookies. They are turkeys and emojis (with the wackiest eyes!). The idea we originally pinned used candy corn for the tail feathers. But we found out that all the stores consider 'candy corn' a Halloween candy. So by the time Thanksgiving week rolls around, there is no more candy corn. 

Lesson learned: If you want to put candy corn on your Thanksgiving cookies, buy it during Halloween. If you want people to eat your cookies and actually like them, use Reese's Pieces instead.

This is my mom's pretty Thanksgiving table. She always makes everything feel so welcoming. I ate a bowl of her infamous "Champagne Salad" before the Thanksgiving meal even began.  (Don't let the name fool you, it doesn't contain champagne or salad! See the recipe on her blog here. ) This the dessert that tastes like 'home' to me. Do you know what I mean? 

And here we all are- me, my girls, my mom (aka Grammy, aka Jemma the blogger) and my sister Amanda - with her two kiddos. Can you tell we are all related? Look at my niece with at her big old Thanksgiving turkey leg. Ha! 

The day after Thanksgiving, Jeff went golfing, we the girls and I decorated the house for Christmas. I had no idea how awesome it would be to have two daughters, ages 8 and 11. They are SUPER helpful. They cut my decorating time in half. It's like having two little friends around all the time.  

To kick off the season and since they were SO helpful and since Jeff was gone.... we went to the American Girl Doll store for a fancy lunch. That store is still magical to me- somethings you never outgrow.  

If you have never lunched at the AG store, you have to try it. Make reservations at least 24 hours in advance, possibly more if it is the 'busy season'.  If you have a doll bring her to the cafe! If you don't have one, they will give you one to borrow. All dolls get to sit in a special high chair and they get a little plate and cup with the meal that you get to keep. The meal is a flat rate, $15 per person. Which sounds pricey, but everyone gets an appetizer and an entree. I think the food is good and for the amount you get, it's worth the price. If you don't want an entire meal, they also offer a fancy tea service with sweets and tea sandwiches for $13 per person. Or you can just pop into the cafe for dessert at the counter.

On Saturday, we did a family hiking trip. Have you been to Dinosaur Valley State Park? It is in Glen Rose. Amazing views, great hiking, and real fossilized dino footprints. So cool. (This is not to be confused with Dinosaur World. Dinosaur Valley is an actual Texas State Park, full of natural beauty.)

We wrapped up Thanksgiving break with a visit to the Christmas Capital of Texas. Which just so happens to be Grapevine. Every year, downtown in transformed into a magical display of lights, scenery and music. My Maisy was such a photo ham - she wanted me to take her picture everywhere.

I don't know where she gets 'her need to take pictures' from!! #guiltyascharged

But what fun would Christmas be without the enthusiasm of a child? Seeing it all through her eyes is such a gift.

How did you like this super long post??! Are you feeling the Christmas spirit?

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