Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

thanksgivingdinnerCan you believe that Thanksgiving is in just two days? Time just flies this time of year. Normally, I consider Thanksgiving my favorite holiday but due to the nature of this year I’m not quite as into it as I usually am. Nevertheless, I’m doing my best to make it a good holiday.

As usual, we will be hosting at our house. I don’t find the cooking to be a chore, and honestly we really like not having to drive anywhere on Thanksgiving. (Plus, I can have an extra glass of wine — ha!) Drew’s mom and aunt will be coming up, but that’s all so it will just be seven people.

My Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change much from year to year. I keep it pretty traditional, though I’ll try a new recipe or two sometimes. Usually one of the appetizers or desserts will be something new.

Here’s my list…

Cheese ball and crackers
Devilled eggs

Roast Turkey with sausage-cranberry stuffing
Gravy
Mashed potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes
Asparagus (it happens to be on sale this week and Drew requested it)
Cornbread with cranberry honey butter (new recipe)
Tossed salad
Corn
Cranberry sauce

Sugar-free blueberry pie
Pecan pie or sugared pecan topped cheesecake

For wines I have a riesling, a vino verde, and a petit syrah. I also found a non-alcoholic black currant cordial that I thought might be nice either mixed with seltzer or kicked up with vodka. So we will try that, too! 

A couple weeks ago I made a 9-lb. chicken, so this 12.5-lb. turkey won’t be too far off! Of course, I will also have my Crock Pot ready with onions, celery, and carrots to make an overnight turkey stock. I look forward to the soup as much as the roast bird! And of course I also love a turkey sandwich on Thanksgiving night. I always like to have it on white bread with American cheese and lots of mayo. It’s one of those things from my childhood that still just makes me feel all happy and at home!

Today I also started a cranberry fluff, which we will be taking to the “feast” in my daughter’s class tomorrow. If it comes out good I’ll be sure to write about it.

What about you? Are you hosting Thanksgiving or travelling somewhere? Anything new and exciting on your menu or do you also keep things fairly simple and traditional?

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Bits of October

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It’s been over a month since I posted – yikes! Well, October was busy and I’m still kind of in a funk. This has been a really hard year and we’ll just leave it at that for now. I’m really hoping that by the time Jan. 1 rolls around things will finally be going our way. Stress is just exhausting.

But life does go on, doesn’t it? I thought I’d just share some photos from the last month to try to jumpstart my blogging mojo.

So. Let’s start with some crochet. I have actually been hooking up a storm. I finished over 10 dice bags for my husband’s Kickstarter project (one of the premium rewards includes a dice bag), I’ve been going dishcloth crazy, and I finished the C2C blanket I made with the new Caron Cakes yarn. This color is called “Rainbow Sprinkles” and I love how bright it is. I do still have to finish the border, though.

C2C Blanket with Caron Cakes Yarn

C2C Blanket with Caron Cakes Yarn

I love it so much, and thanks to the 20% wool content is is very warm & cozy.

One day Drew and I took a walk through Ferncliff Forest. Every so often I feel the urge to attempt climbing the fire tower again. I am really afraid of heights, so I don’t know where this desire comes from! Needless to say, I did not make it this time, either. I froze halfway up the second flight of stairs. It was a gorgeous fall day, though, and I loved being in the woods.

ferncliffcollage

I also had my birthday! Yes, I turned 41. It was much more enjoyable than 40. Thanks, Starbucks for the free birthday coffee! Pumpkin Spice Forever!!!

Birthday coffee!

We also all enjoyed some delicious cupcakes with emoji decorations. How can you not love emojis? So fun!

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The next day we had our first snowfall! It was beautiful and now we probably got at least half of the snow we got last year. I hated our snowless winter and I hope that this coming year is not a repeat.

First snow 2016

First snow 2016

First snow 2016

Last weekend Laura and I went to visit my parents up in Massachusetts. We had a great time! We got to surprise my niece at school and watch her class’s fall play (so cute!), we went trunk-or-treating, we went thrifting, and I also got taken out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants — Rovezzi’s in Sturbridge, MA. Oh, it is always so good and this was no exception. Laura enjoyed dressing up and going to a “fancy” restaurant, complete with cloth napkins, LOL!

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We started with their eggplant rollatini, which is THE BEST I have ever had, anywhere.
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And the for my entree I chose stuffed chicken in a Gorgonzola cream sauce. It was absolutely delicious!
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And then, of course, we came to Halloween. This year was a little different. Last year was Jake’s last year trick-or-treating. He felt very out of place around the little kids, he said, and I can relate. So he still went into town with us, but instead of going house to house he hung out with a couple friends. Laura ended up going with a friend at the last minute, so it was just me, Drew, and Noah (who dressed as a banana). Actually, he made out like a bandit with all the candy. He didn’t have anyone slowing him down, LOL!

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For the most part, the village really gets into the spirit of things. Some of the houses are elaborately decorated, and the fire station goes all out too. This creepy skeleton was hanging off one of the ladders. It totally startled me!

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And that brings us to where we are now. November! These last few months of the year always fly by so quickly, don’t they? Well, I’m going to try to be better about keep up with my blog. I love going back and reading old entries and I really need to keep documenting our life (along with sharing recipes, and crafts of course)!

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Free Printable | Scalloped Event Stickers for Your Planner

 Free Scalloped Event Stickers for your Planner

While I definitely love using cute, decorative stickers in my planner, basic functional stickers are my go-to. They add pops of color, but also draw attention to important events or notes. One way to make a basic box a little more exciting is simply by making the edges scalloped. I created these myself in bright, cheerful colors. Here’s an example of how I used them in my Erin Condren Life Planner:

 

A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@planwithcarol) on

The width is 1.5-inches, so it is a perfect size for the EC Vertical layout. It also works well in the hourly and I’m pretty sure they will fit the MAMBI Happy Planner, too.

Download my Free Scalloped Events Stickers

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As usual, my free planner printables are for personal use only and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo to cut your stickers, print them out on regular printer paper and then cut and paste into your planner using a tape runner, or else print them on full-sheet labels and just hand-cut the stickers. I always appreciate being tagged (@carolwrites) in your IG pics if you use any of my free printables in your planner!

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Sixteen Years

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Well, last week I renewed this domain for another year, so I figure I should really make an effort to get back into blogging. The entire summer went by with barely a word from me. I do have my reasons, but it’s time to get it together and start writing again. Monday marked my 16th anniversary of owning puresugar.net, can you believe it? I’ve been blogging longer than that, but still… Isn’t that crazy? I remember hand-coding. I remember when Blogger was in danger of going out of business! I remember Movable Type, pMachine, and GreyMatter. These new whipper-snapper bloggers probably don’t know what I am talking about, LOL!

Anyway.

So, what’s been going on with me? Oh, just life I guess. My husband lost his job in May, so things have been tight and stressful, but we’re getting through it. Luckily, I have my job at the library. It might not be much, but it definitely helps.

School has started for all of the kids, obviously. I have a 9th grader, a 6th grader, and a 2nd grader this year. The time does go by so fast!

I haven’t picked up my pointed pen in quite some time. With the kids home for the summer it was hard to find enought quiet time to sit and work on my calligraphy. I’ll get back to that soon enough, though. I am, however, crocheting. I hopped on the Caron Cakes trend and I’m almost finished with a C2C lap blanket! I love it so much, and I can’t wait for the cooler weather to hit so I can cozy up with it. I’m also working on a scarf using planned pooling. It’s magical how it works!

I still enjoy making planner stickers, though I have not uploaded any freebies in ages. Tuesday I got my new Erin Condren planner (and I loooove it!), so I’ll try to work on getting some printables up here for you.

Well, I suppose that’s good for a check-in for today. I do miss my little space on the web and ignoring it doesn’t help anything, so I’m going to try to get back into a routine. If you’re still reading, thank you!

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Back Mad Match on Kickstarter!

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Do you like puns? Do you like tabletop games? Then please check out my husband’s Kickstarter for Mad Match! He (and we) have worked very hard on this game, from concept, to card design, to play testing… And trust me it is a ton of fun and easy to learn.

Today we are having a special promotion since it’s the 3rd and the game works in 3’s. Join our 3 on 3 pledge blitz – add an exclusive expansion to your pledge for only $3 on August 3rd! It’s a great deal and you’ll help get this awesome game funded. We are halfway there — please check it out, share, and support if you can!

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