Giving Thanks

We had a lovely Thanksgiving! We hosted 21 people for Thanksgiving dinner in our new home. It was so nice to have a larger home to entertain with outdoor space a larger kitchen to have people hang out in and to be closer to our families.

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img_0793We were in charge of the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and I made a fun iced tea/cocktail from Martha Stewart’s Living magazine. I love getting my magazine each month and always enjoy trying new recipes out. It was a black iced with fresh orange and lemon juice plus slices of each and mint. Adults spiked it with gin or whiskey. It was definitely a hit. We ran out of my double batch during appetizers and I had to make a new batch during the party.


 

Orange and Lemon Iced Tea (from Martha Stewart Living)

  • 8 black tea bags
  • 12 mint sprigs, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup of sugar (I cut this down to 1/2 cup and it was still sweet)
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice, plus thinly sliced orange rounds for serving
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice, plus thinly sliced lemon rounds for serving
  • Whiskey or gin (optional)

Pour 8 cups of boiling water over tea bags and mint. Let steep 5 minutes, discard tea bags and mint. Stir in sugar. Let cool then stir in lemon and orange juice. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Serve over ice. Add optional whiskey or gin. Garnish with citrus rounds and mint.


 

And … our turkey was a little too big for the turkey cooker so we had to weigh the lid down with some wrenches.

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We had a lovely sit down dinner and finished off with a crack at the mannequin challenge. I hadn’t heard of this but watched a version with a boxer that was pretty great. My sisters and cousin knew about it and we gave it a try. Not perfect but pretty fun!


I created a banner on one counter for people to write what they were grateful of. It turned out to be really sweet to have everyone put something down on paper throughout the night. We finishing off with chatting and games, of course my favorite Heads Up.

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We spent Friday doing a Gilmore Girls marathon. It was fun to watch it all with my mom, sisters, Neil’s sister Kira and even my little brother. We took breaks to eat leftovers, drink mimosas and lots of coffee. We even played basketball for a longer intermission with the new hoop Neil built for me when i was out of town at my yoga training. It is so fun to be able to go outside and shoot hoops. Charlie loves to try to steal the ball.img_0806

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The rest of the weekend we cleaned up and got out the Christmas decorations, went to cut down a tree in the rain with our friends and started some holiday shopping. It made for a very wet husband and puppy/elf! It was so worth it!

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It was a lovely weekend filled with family and I am so glad we were able to host in our new home. This next week I am looking forward to my surprise birthday trip. Unfortunately I found the airplane tickets Neil booked so stealthily when I booked our Christmas tickets. So I know we are heading to Nashville Thursday for my birthday. I am so excited and will still be surprised by the show he has booked and the great adventures we will have and music we will hear.

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Look out for pictures of our trip this weekend! Would love any recommendations for Nashville. Comment here or message me on Instagram.

Yoga for Mamas and Yoga for Community

img_0606I have been MIA over the past couple weeks as I did an intensive prenatal yoga teacher training. I have always wanted to become a prenatal yoga teacher, in fact I thought of doing that before I ever began my original teacher training.

It was great to be immersed in the training and to learn and teach so much at once. But after 10 days in San Francisco I am glad to be home! I am can’t wait to start teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga in my new yoga studio we are going to renovate in part of our garage.

bellyIt was also nice to be surrounded by great women all day and to make new friends which I have not done in our new hometown. I have been focused on working on the new house, unpacking and then puppy training. I need to get out more and make connections. It will all come in time but I think I realized that I have been in my own way a bit. I keep thinking I just need to get through these things and then I can make my life here but they should both be happening in tandem. I realize I need to get out there and start practicing and teaching yoga in the community to find my tribe here.

We have been trying to stay in touch with our friends, but lives are busy (especially this time of year). We hosted a Halloween party and a few dinner parties but also need to make an effort to visit our friends in the Bay Area.

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With that said, we have gotten to see our families more. We see my family weekly since they are so close and watch the puppy for us often. I have loved being able to drop by and have a coffee with my sister, or have my mom come hang out before she referees in the evening. We will be hosting a joint family thanksgiving next week for just under 20 people. I am prepping my lists and getting the house ready this weekend and early next week. We will be cooking the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes as well as a few fun things I am trying from my magazine inspiration. I am having everyone else bring a dish to round out the menu and make my life easier.

How do you do thanksgiving? What are your favorite dishes/recipes? Have you ever done pre or postnatal yoga? How have you made new friends in a new city as an adult?

Follow along on Instagram and Snapchat  @eatlovenourish next week as we get ready for thanksgiving and the Gilmore girls marathon Friday!!!!

Welcome Charlie!

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We got a puppy! I hinted in the last post and included a sneak peak photo for those who went read the blog post.

Her name is Charlie, yes a girl Charlie, and she is a 13 week old chocolate lab. She also goes by Charlie Bear, Chunk, Chunky Monkey and Charlotte Brontë. When we were trying to think of names after picking her up my mom suggested we name her after an author since I am such a book worm. My first thought was Louisa May Alcott and to call her Lou or Lulu. My mom suggested Charlotte Brontë and I immediately thought Charlie. When I was in elementary school I used to say I would name my first child Charlie whether it was a boy or girl, so it seemed meant to be. My mom still calls her Charlotte sometimes when she is checking in on her favorite puppy, who greets her with a full bladder every time.

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We got her five weeks ago and have been settling and getting to know each other. I am learning how to potty train a puppy and it has been quite an adventure. It definitely feels similar to having a newborn with bathroom trips throughout the night and staying close to home in the beginning. I have definitely felt a little cooped up as we can’t go out much until she finishes her shots and she can’t hold it more than about two hours right now. I have started leaving her home longer and more often but it is still much different than an older dog. Here are photos from our first day with her. The photo of me is right when I chose her out of four puppies. She got up from her full sprawl (see above) and came over and sat in my lap for snuggles.

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She is a growing girl and will be a large dog. We think she will be at least 70 pounds judging by her paws and her parents. We got her at eight weeks old and she was just under 15 pounds. One month later she was nearly 25 pounds. She is sweet and cuddly, she loves to play fetch and chase, and is a chewing enthusiast (aren’t most puppies?). Also she loves being anywhere near Neil :)!

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We were unfortunately unable to keep our previous dog who we loved very much. It was with heavy hearts that we gave her up but are glad we can give our love to this dog and feel safe and comfortable with her as a part of our family.

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Charlie loves new people so come on over for a visit and get lots of attention from this chunky monkey. Now that the cat/dog is out of the bag, look out for puppy pictures on instagram and snapchat, @maebulger on both.

P.S. She sounds like a chimp when she whines and is food motivated, thus her nickname.

Another Room Bites the Dust

We have been making progress slowly but we finally knocked out painting another room and it feels so good. We painted our main living room which also allowed us to move in move furniture and shuffle items around to where they will live. It looks so good and I am glad we are one more step closer to being settled.

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AFTER

We have also started having people over, whether it is for wine and appetizers or lunch, we are slowly getting back to entertaining. Hosting people is one of my favorite things to do and we have not done as much of it in the last six months or so.

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Neil’s grandmother is such a wonderful hostess and one of the best pieces of advice she has given us was to always keep our home ready for a party, so we can host at a moment’s notice. While we definitely haven’t had the house in shape for hosting but it is something I strive for. I also started recently following the home DIY blog Chris loves Julia and listening to their podcast. One of the things that really stuck with me was that they have to host while they have projects in progress, because they are always working on something. I kept thinking I wanted to at least have certain things done before we had a housewarming party or before we had too many people over.

BEFORE

These two thoughts made me realize there will always be more projects and I want to have and maintain my community now, not after all the rooms have been painted. Setting a date to have a party has also given me a goal to work toward and set out which things we will get done and come to terms with the things that won’t be done.

So here is to many drinks, meals, and quality time spent with the people I care about no matter what my to do list says.

How do you prep for a party? Any tricks for hosting while working on a house or project?

P.S. A little game of I Spy in our AFTER photo … check out our new chocolate addition to the family. More in the next post.Also check out Neil’s sister Kira and my sister Tracie both featured helping in different stages in the living room! Thanks and love to our family.

Back to the essentials

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It is almost the weekend, and it is almost October! How did that happen? Time is flying by as normal but I think I am finally ready for fall. We had a few days this week with temperatures over 90 degrees. During the peak of the heat I stayed inside, drank bubbly water with lemon ice cubes and tried out some new essential oil recipes.

I use essential oils everyday in my skincare and health routine as well as in my home. From the tea tree oil on my face and lavender on my feet at night to many blends in my diffuser and in my mopping concoction they are essential.

I tend to make mixtures as I go and store my oils in the white box my iPhone came in. This is not the most efficient way and I am sure I would find even more great uses for my oils if I had some combinations prepared in bulk. This is the story of our lives though, right? If we would take time to prepare things ahead of time life would be easier, better. Well, I definitely haven’t gotten a handle on everything in my life but I finally got out the oils and bottles and other ingredients this week and made a few things that I have been planning for a while.

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I started with some roller bottle recipes I found on Pinterest and wanted to try. The main one I was interested in was a bottle for this sweet dreams lavender blend I put on my feet at night to help me fall asleep. I used almond oil as the carrier oil for all of these recipes. I also used two blends I already had and just put them into roller bottles with oil for easier use. The recipes for the new blends are from The Happy Little Oiler.

Here are the ones I made:

    • Bitch Stick: 10 drops Clary Sage, 10 Lavender, 5 Frankincense
    • Energized #2: 15 Rosemary, 10 Peppermint, 10 Grapefruit
    • Owwie: 10 Drops Tea Tree, 10 drops Lavender, 10 drops Frankincense

I also made a facial toner spray. I had been using the SW Basics toner and loved it but have been wanting to switch it up and add tea tree to the mix for some issues I have been having with my skin. The recipe is from a blog called Scratch Mommy and I added tea tree and frankincense. I have just started using it this week so I will have to report back but my skins feels soft and smooth after using, just like it did with the toner I used previously.

 

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Finally, I have been trying to add more regular HIIT and yoga workouts to my week and have been rolling out my yoga mat more. I realized I hadn’t cleaned my yoga mat in a while and after a sweaty HIIT class I need to give it a good scrub down. I mixed up a recipe from Detoxinista in an old spray bottle and cleaned each side with the yoga mat cleaner and a rag. I then left it outside to dry before rolling it up.

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils? What are your favorite recipes?