Happy Monday my friends! Hope your Thanksgiving weekend was everything you dreamed it would be. Ours was a fun combo of activities, cooking extravaganza and relaxing. Mostly I was grateful to have our family together! It’s really the little things that matter the most.

Since Wednesday was an off day for everyone in our family, we decided to go on a hike in Sabino Canyon. There are both paved roads and rough terrain trail, waterfalls and deep canyons, something for everyone and very kid-friendly.

Funny how everything started off so well and then turned into a bit of a disaster. Geared with a backpack carrier for the little Miss, water and snacks we arrived at the starting point pretty early. But when we unloaded, Maria refused to go in the carrier. HA! That should have been the first sign.

We walked for a bit and soon realized we won’t make far at this speed. Maria is strangely obsessed with rocks, and of course she had to collect them along the walk. Finally we convinced her to get in the carrier (there was bribing with chocolates involved).

fit in progress

You should know the cautious nature of our daughter to imagine her complete distrust in the contraption she was placed in behind her dad’s shoulders. She threw around suspicious looks and it was clear the meltdown was brewing.

A mile into a walk (which was mostly uphill) she was screaming her lungs out, Dmitri was complaining that his legs were too tired to move, and the husband was close to bailing out of there.  We had a quick snack and turned back.

In the end, it ended up being a 2.5 mile hike for us and we felt great for spending the morning outside. Truth be told, it may be a while before we attempt this again HAHA! If you have any tips on hiking with toddlers, please help.

Thursday morning was alllllll about cooking and feasting. Husband took the kids to the park, while I worked my magic in the kitchen. I really enjoy the process when I am alone, and my dishes come out tastier. You’ve got to show some love and attention to your food as you cook 🙂

thanksgiving weekend

The bird came out perfectly roasted with golden crispy skin and flavorful meat. This Ina Garten’s recipe will definitely be repeated next year. See my other meals and recipes I used for our Thanksgiving HERE.

I also had a lot of fun setting up the table. Since we got married, I’ve been adding a little bit of new decor each year. This year I picked up these cute napkins and napkin holders from Pier1 on sale. The sale is still going on, and it’s a great time to pick up discounted Fall decorations!

Thanksgiving weekend

So if you were hosting at home, how long would you say you spent cooking on Thursday? Because I felt like my time in the kitchen was inadequately long despite multi-tasking attempts.

At one point I had several dishes cooking at the same time (gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes) and I kept messing up the timer on the microwave. It’s a pure miracle that nothing got burned or ruined. I thought of omelet station chefs at hotel buffets and realized I could never be one.

thanksgiving weekend

When all cooking was over, I told my husband I’m eating and then spending the rest of the evening on the couch. Who was I kidding. That didn’t happen, of course.

By the way, how about kids sitting with their mouths open while my husband is carving the turkey? They are equally impressed and terrified like it’s some kind of a monster HAHA!

thanksgiving dinner

After dinner we went on a walk around the neighborhood and checked out the Christmas lights some of our neighbors had already put up. It felt so good to be out on fresh air and moving after a stuffy dinner.

Friday was super exciting too because my best friend flew in to visit us from California. Both kids remembered her and giggled their little hearts out as she chased them around and tickled their feet.

Saturday we had the ultimate girls date and it was something I’ve dreamed about for a while! We browsed around La Encantada, did some shopping, had dinner at North Italia, and watched Bad Moms 2.

thanksgiving weekend

I totally forgot to make reservations but the hostess kindly found us a prime spot outside so we could enjoy the nice weather and people watching. It was perfect.

We shared a chef’s cheese board which was to die for:

thanksgiving weekend

We also made sure to stop by Lush Cosmetics. I love that the brand uses only fresh ingredients, like bananas, oats, mango, papaya, spinach, etc. The products are amazing but they have to be stored at the fridge, like other food, and the shelf life is usually only 3 weeks.

The store is full of samples and amazing aromas. I couldn’t get enough of it 🙂

thanksgiving weekend

Luxurious bath bombs are definitely what Lush is known for, but I absolutely LOVE their face masks!

My favorite is Oatfix – it’s both deeply hydrating and slightly exfoliating. A nice little boost for your skin during cooler temps.

thanksgiving weekend

My girlfriend and I both prefer natural cosmetic products. She relies mostly on coconut oil and I swear she keeps looking younger every time I see her. So needless to say we were both in beauty heaven at Lush!

Sunday was a fun brunch at First Watch. Kids inhaled their scrambled eggs, a giant sausage and pancakes. I’ve never seen them eat so much for breakfast! Haha. I went for my usual avocado sandwich with a side of an egg over-medium. It felt good to enjoy a meal that I haven’t cooked after a labor-intensive weekend.

In the evening we put on Christmas carols and decorated our Christmas tree. Out with Thanksgiving in with Christmas!

What about you my friends? Did you cook this Thanksgiving? Any Black Friday deals you scored? Is your tree out yet?

P.S. Find motivation to stay in shape this Holiday season in this post about getting back into running and this post about full body exercises you can do at home.

Have a great Monday!


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