This week has gone by in a flash so far. The thought that Thanksgiving is next week is boggling my mind! This past weekend we went down to St. Pete to celebrate my birthday early with my family. It falls three days before Thanksgiving this year, and the thought of adding another celebration that week was a complete eye-roll to everyone. I wanted to share a few things we have done this past week, plus a new crockpot recipe as a hodgepodge of randomness, because that is how my brain feels on this hump day!
- Hidden Gem
We love hiking the nature trails in North Florida. The county we live in is filled with trails that are right by our house. I know…we are spoiled. We most recently went on a short hike and decided to take a new route that led to an amazing find. An abandoned limestone quarry was tucked away behind the trees and truly looked like another world. I could not get over the beauty of the quarry and wanted to jump right in the lake at the bottom of the trail. As soon as I stepped closer to the edge of the water, I saw a thick layer of algae on top and realized I didn’t want to contract some brain-eating amoeba.
But hey, it still looked gorgeous!
- Fresh Change from Candles
I am in LOVE with the essential oil diffuser that my mom gave me for my birthday. I have had one on my radar for the past few months, and I am thrilled that she bought one for me. She purchased this Ellia Homedics ceramic oil diffuser and it has since filled our house with the most wonderful scents.
The diffuser comes with a starter pack of oils, and the scents they give you with are so soft and comforting. The “fight it” oil is the perfect balance of orange & spices. I love using water and essential oils in our home rather than burning candles all the time. Seeing my family before the start of the holiday season was so wonderful, and I am beyond thankful for their generous gifts and our ability to get together with each other and enjoy a meal. I wish we could see each other more often!
- Poor Kitty-Kitty
Our dog Mojo has quite the personality. From the moment we walk in the door till the late hours of the night as we settle into bed, he wants to play play play. What better way to keep him occupied than to adopt a friend for him? A kitten was the perfect playmate for Mojo. He would rub faces with the kitten, play chase with the kitten, and get slapped in the face by the kitten. We loved the kitten. Notice how he has no name? Hours into bringing the kitten into our home, TJ broke out in hives all over his face and his eyes completely swelled up. What we thought may be coming down with a virus miraculously cleared up every day at work. After each day that passed, we knew he was highly allergic to the kitten, and we knew we had to say goodbye – quickly. It is the sweetest kitten in the entire world and we are very lucky that a coworker of mine was able to find a very loving home for him. We wish the kitty well and we confirmed that we are strictly a dog family! Mojo still looks pretty happy 😉
- Easy Crockpot Chicken Thighs with Apples and Carrots
I am on strike with using my beloved crockpot during the summer. I can’t justify having something hot in our counter top all.day.long. Alas, the cool weather is upon us, and I can go back to using my crockpot as a personal kitchen heater and come home to warm meals after a long day at work. I combined an assortment of things I had in my fridge & pantry for this recipe, and it ended up being a total slam dunk!
4 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 pack Lipton onion soup mix
10-12 baby carrots (2-3 regular carrots chopped up)
1/2 medium yellow onion
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Chop up the onion and apple into 1 inch pieces and throw into the crock-pot with the carrots. Add in the garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, and soup mix. Pour in the water and give everything a good stir. Place the fresh thyme sprigs on top of your mixture. Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and set them on top of the ingredients in the crockpot. Leave the crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. I served the chicken along with some mushroom herb stuffing. This was the perfect comfort meal for a cold weeknight.
I hope everyone has a great rest of their week and finds time to relax before the busy Thanksgiving week begins!
Questions for you:
Are you a crockpot person?
Have you began any of your holiday shopping?