Leftover Turkey Recipes + Weekend Recap

Normally on Monday mornings I like to post something deep, heartfelt, or inspirational to start our weeks off right. But let’s be real, we’re all in a Thanksgiving coma right now, so today I’m going with a good ole’ traditional weekend recap + low maintenance delicious ideas for that leftover turkey in your fridge.

Friendsgiving 

low maintenance turkey recipes

Thanksgiving for us began on Tuesday evening. Mr. M and I combined our respective small groups that regularly  meet on Tuesday night for a Friendsgiving extravaganza. I started roasting the turkey that afternoon, only after realizing I had to let the turkey “temper” from the fridge. I, of course, documented the whole ordeal on my Instastory, probably making my vegan friends unfollow me with grotesque images of raw turkey flesh.

But! Alls well that ends well. The turkey was delicious, and fellowshipping with friends was even better.

Thanksgiving 

weekend recap

On Thursday, Mr. M and I traveled to my hometown to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Since Mr. M’s family doesn’t have a set Thanksgiving routine, they’ve joined us the last two years for Thanksgiving. If we’re all being honest, none of us remember much from Thanksgiving last year since we were all in wedding mode, so it was nice to have a more relaxed atmosphere this year. I made green bean casserole halfway from scratch (when I realized I ran out of cream of mushroom soup) and now it’s my designated dish. The key to good green bean casserole? Buckets of fried crispy onions.

Holiday Traditions

low maintenance turkey recipes

Growing up, my mom always rolled out buckeyes around Christmastime. Now when we come home for Thanksgiving break, I like to sit down with my mom and make buckeyes. It’s an office favorite, and I love carrying on traditions from my mom into my sphere.

Blogger Meet Up

weekend recap

Last year,  I noticed that Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog lived in my hometown, so when I came in town, we met up for a little coffee blate. It was so fun to hear more about each other’s lives, turning our online friendship into IRL friendship! She even brought me a little gift, which absolutely warmed my heart. She picked up a bangle from her sister’s wedding and a cute little Christmas scarf! She and her husband Ankur love to take weekend trips, so we’re hoping they’ll come check out our town for a visit!

weekend recap

Professional Tree Decking

weekend recap

Sunday afternoon after Mr. M and I got back, I helped his sister decorate their family Christmas tree; I’m considering making this a profession. If you are feeling joyless but want your house seasonally decorated, call your girl. Mr. M and I spent the evening snuggled up on the couch watching The Holiday and drinking hot tea. It feels as if the Christmas season has finally begun <3

Leftover Turkey Recipes

Delicious Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Last night while Mr. M was playing FIFA 18, I was scrolling through Facebook and happened upon a yummy looking leftover turkey recipe, so I thought I would share some yummy recipe ideas with you all so you don’t have to make that dreaded grocery store run this week!

For Breakfast: 

Waffled Leftover Thanksgiving Brunch 

Turkey for breakfast? Yes please! This spin on chicken and waffles sounds EVEN better. I’m thinking I can make our turkey last until Saturday so Mr. M and I can enjoy a nice little brunch.

Lunch 

Turkey Caesar Sandwich

This turkey caesar sandwich makes for a great lunch or a light dinner. I made this for Mr. M and I last night with a bow of chili on the side. It was quick and easy to whip up, and left our bellies feeling full and satisfied.

Dinner 

Caramelized Onion & Cream Cheese Turkey Enchiladas 

Ready to move away from comfort food? These caramelized onion & cream cheese turkey enchiladas sound delicious and low maintenance.

How was your Thanksgiving holiday? 

4 Reasons to Travel w/ Your Spouse’s Family

4 Reasons to Travel with your Spouse's Family

When Mr. M and I started spending more time with each other at our family’s houses, we learned a LOT about our family structure. For instance, Mr. M’s family is chill. Even though there are four kids, they are all close in age; all but one are now adults. His youngest sibling was 10 when we started dating.

In contrast, all six of the kids in my family are all close in age, but there are SIX of us. My parents went on the 2 1/2 – 3 year plan, so we are all evenly spaced out. My youngest sibling was 5 when we started dating. His family is pretty low-key, my family is high octane. We spent a lot of time at his family’s house sitting around and talking; we spend a lot of time at my family’s house sitting around and talking and doing and there is always noise in some capacity. Most of the members of my family have busy personalities, and all of us kids speak loudly. You would think we have Italian roots, but nope. We’re Scotch-Irish.

About a year after we first started dating, I went on a family vacation with Mr. M’s family. We spent a week at the beach with no set schedule. We stayed up late playing Settlers of Catan, slept in until 11am or so, spent the afternoon on the beach, and took turns cooking in the evening. Our vacation mirrored the way the M family live their life.

Last weekend Mr. M and I flew to Las Vegas to see the Thunderbird Air Show with my entire immediate family + my pappaw. This was the first “family vacation” Mr. M had gone on with us. We had been invited by a colleague of my dad’s who had been a Thunderbird back in his day. The reunion show was breathtaking. Planes were zipping everywhere, performing amazing tricks. Having the Thunderbird Air Show on Veteran’s Day Weekend also put a lump in my throat; I am so thankful for the men and women and their families who sacrifice to fight for our country and our freedom.

Aside from the Thunderbird Air Show, we tried to pack as much of Vegas into the short weekend as we could. The weekend was very reminiscent of how my family operates – high octane. I love it. I am always wanting to go and do. I get it from my mama. We spent the weekend walking through hotels, eating good food, watching my brave sister jump off the Stratosphere, and getting very little sleep.

On the way home from our trip, I asked Mr. M, “What did you learn about yourself this weekend? What did you learn about my family this weekend?”

I think every couple should go on a vacation with each other’s family either while they are engaged or while they are at the foundation of their marriage. I love to compare and contrast how our family’s do things – not in a bad way, but because we are combining two different cultures and it makes for a lot of fun and intriguing conversation. Really, any marriage is the combining of two family cultures – even if you are both from the same area. Each family has their own way of doing things, and that is what your spouse is used to. So when you are able to observe and discuss how your respective families interact, you are able to grow closer to each other and each other’s family.

4 Reasons to Travel with your Spouse's Family

1 – You learn about each other’s family dynamics

When I went on vacation with Mr. M’s family, I saw the realities of working in ministry: even when you’re on vacation mode, your ministry isn’t. Papa M spent many a late night or early morning on the phone with his ministry coordinator’s in Zimbabwe. Knowing that one day Mr. M and I will be assisting in the coordinating of his family’s ministry stateside, I learned a lot of what it would take to coordinate even on vacation. It sparked a conversation between Mr. M and I surrounding his family’s ministry and the opportunities we will have when we are more involved one day.

When Mr. M went on vacation with my family, he got to see how my family coordinates pulling together the desires of 11 different people each wanting to experience a piece of Las Vegas. While some of us all wanted to do the same thing, there were a few of us who wanted to do different things at different times. The younger kids would want to do something that catered more to their age and style, and the older kids wanted to check out the different hotels. At times we would split up and at times we would come together. Experiencing vacation together with my family allowed Mr. M and I to laugh about how a family of eleven operates versus how a family of six operates. It also allowed us to compare and contrast cultural differences between Americans and Zimbabweans and how we approach family dynamics. This is what happens when a psychologist marries a sociologist.

2 – You see how your spouse responds in “vacation mode” 

Vacation mode with just your spouse is vacation mode with just your spouse. Vacation mode with your spouse and their family is a whole ‘nother animal. When Mr. M and I went on our honeymoon last year, we were the ones calling the shots. We only had to compromise with each other. When we went on vacation with each other’s families, we had to compromise with several other people.

When I went to the beach with Mr. M’s family a couple of years ago, I had to learn to slow down. I was so used to going going and going as how that is how my family’s vacations are usually structured.

When Mr. M went on vacation with my family this past weekend, he had to learn to go go go with the flow. Usually I am the one who likes to know the plan in the relationship, and Mr. M is the one who wants to go with the flow. But when you are coordinating a large group of people, sometimes you only get a partial piece of the puzzle – the piece that is most important to you. I was okay with knowing the most important details, Mr. M wanted more details. In general, this is quite opposite of how we interact at home.

4 Reasons to Travel with your Spouse's Family

3 – You spend quality time with each other’s family 

Gosh, you guys I love love love my family and I love love love Mr. M’s family. Going on vacation with Mr. M’s family was the first time I really felt like I was truly getting to know his family well. Although I had spend countless hours with them, I started to get closer with Mr. M’s family members when we went to the beach. This was also when I started to pick up more Shona words. Although I have it as a life goal to learn to speak Shona fluently, it’s hard to do so when it’s just Mr. M and me and we both speak English most of the time. The only opportunity I get to listen to Shona is when I spend extensive amounts of time with his family.

Having Mr. M spend time with my family – and especially spend quality time with my brothers – brings a lot of joy to my heart. My youngest brother has spent almost half his life with Mr. M being my boyfriend or my husband, so he truly sees him as a brother. Mr. M has even stepped into the older brother role with my sisters – he teases them and also asks them the hard questions concerning their relationships with their boyfriends.

4 – It sets up expectations for how YOU do vacation

Mr. M and I like to say that we get to take the best of both worlds and merge it into one. We get to take our favorite family traditions and implement those into our family. Last night we were laughing about how much I like to do activities and how much he is okay to just sit at home and talk. I said, “Listen, I grew up doing, and you grew up not doing, so we’re just going to have to do.” So on our vacations, we have to have a good mixture of down time but also an exciting excursion.

4 Reasons to Travel with your Spouse's Family

Have you gone on vacation with your spouse’s family? How do you and your spouse navigate the differences between your family?

WARNING: Photo Heavy Post {Birthday Recap}

Because I don’t want to blow up Instagram with a ton of photos (I may or may not have posted, like, four yesterday. Whatevs, it was my birthday) I’m going to just make a really picture heavy blog post. 

 

Please allow for a moment of narcissism. 

 

Yesterday was probably my favorite birthday that I can remember. As I tucked myself in bed at the ungodly time of 2:30 am, curled hair matted into dreadlocks and beyond exhausted, I thought “My heart is so full.” 

 

I was surrounded by family, my childhood best friend, Kendra, and my loving boyfriend. The only way my day could have been better was if my best friends from school could join. But alas, that is the curse of summer birthdays. In all honesty, I had low hope. I was worried the day would be a bust because I had such high expectations of what I wanted my birthday to be like that I was afraid I would be disappointed. I wasn’t. The day was just absolutely perfect. 

 

Family photo – it’s hard to believe we are all getting to be so old!

Can we just talk about how adorable this salt & pepper shakers are?! *property of AKW*  

*property of AKW*

I don’t know about y’all, but I like white wedding cake for my birthdays. Also, my real name is Christina. My mom doesn’t like my nick name “Nina” because she never intended me to have a nick name. 10 year old me changed alll that. True story. *property of AKW*

Look at these handsome studs! My brother Luke LOVES Pai. He basically wants to be just like him, and is his constant shadow at home. It’s really endearing except that I get really selfish and don’t like to share my Pai Time. *property of AKW*

#sisterselfie *property of AKW*

Post-Saki face at a shmancy sushi restaurant. I was not a fan. *property of AKW*

This lady has been my best friend for almost 11 years. We’re goofy old ladies who spend most of our time reading books in bed together. *property of AKW*

This guy. Heart faced emojis all over the place. *property of AKW*

I can’t believe my sister is an adult with me! I can’t wait to spend a year making memories at the same college with her! *property of AKW*

And then, of course, I wouldn’t be here without the parentals. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for raising me 21 years, teaching me to love God and love people, to work hard, and for teaching responsibility. Also, thanks for the good genes. I still dance like a white girl without rhythm, btw. *property of AKW*

 

If you made it to the end of the post, thanks for following along. I felt all the love from you bloggers and tweeters and facebookers yesterday. I just love this blogging community, and I love getting to know all of you, and I’m just full of happiness and love today! (Yes, I’m sober. I’m just a happy person sometimes.)

 

But now, I must go eat some more cake. 

Hashtag Cake Face. And all my people sang “cake cake cake cake cake” *property of AKW*

 

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Trek to Texas: Day 1

Day 1 of the Trek to Texas and we’ve already had someone pass some rank gas in the backseat of the Burb. #wasntme

 

Yesterday afternoon 8 of us loaded up in our Suburban and started the trek to Texas for my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary. We’re having a family reunion with all of my grandparent’s kids and their families

Packing 8 of us into a car is getting harder and harder these days. We’re all growing taller, and by taller I mean not very tall at all, and our booties have become something of substance rather than having the normal childhood case of Buttlessness.

 

One time in high school this guy prank called me and said “Hello, I’m Dr. So and So and we heard you’re suffering a serious case of Noassatall, I’d like to prescribe something for you.” Yes, sir, I’d like to prescribe for you a hundred leggos to step on barefoot. 

We’re breaking up the trip to Texas in 3 parts. Today, we’re in Memphis.

 

Because we didn’t want to pay $300 per room per night at the Peabody Hotel, we’re staying at the *insert Pitbull voice here* Hotel Motel Holiday Inn.

 

BUT. We did march ourselves over to the Peabody Hotel, promptly at 11 o’clock, to witness the ever adorable Peabody Marching Ducks.

 

 

 

I hope that video upload worked, cause they’re stinkin’ adorable. 

 

 I’ve decided I want a pet duck. Ahem: my birthday is in 14 days. The Duck Master mentioned that several people get married at the Peabody Hotel. Wouldn’t it be the ultimate to get married, and have the ducks be the ring bearer? Ultimate and expensive. Which is why I will never do that. But it’s a fun thought. 

 

 

 
This will be my child’s sippy cup.

The rest of the family went to Graceland, but Charis and I, being the punks we are, decided to stay back at the hotel and lounge by the pool. Only to find out that A) my other sister accidentally took my bathing suit with her and B) the pool is closed. Who the heck keeps an outdoor pool closed when it’s 80+ degrees of pure humidity outside?! Crazy people, that’s who. So here we are. Chilling in the humid hotel room. Blogging. But all will be right with the world when we get our hands on some Memphis BBQ for dinner. Thank you Jesus.

 

No open pool??? Thanks Obama.

 

I’m helping my baby sister set up a blog. She’s taking after me. What can I say.

 

She even let me cut her some straight across bangs the other day. I had never cut hair before. Muahahaha. 

 

 Sorry not sorry that my upcoming posts will be boring, vacationy, and iphone picture heavy. Thanks for sticking by me. The sarcastic me will be back momentarily.

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My Inner Monoluge (Clean Edit)

Legend says this one guy ran 26.2 miles from one place to another to let the other place know that they won the war and then he collapsed and died. For some reason the Greeks thought “Hey, this dude died after running 26.2 miles, why don’t we make it a sport?” Well, those Greeks are crazy people. And those people who run 26.2 miles are cuhrazy. But not me, I only ran 13.1. So I’m only half crazy, and I’m going to get a decal for my car to prove it.

 

5:30 am: Why does the world start this early. Why does life hate me. Gonna snapchat a selfie to complain to all my friends.

6 am and now we have to leave: Nervous poops. Find a bathroom.

In the car: I need food. And a bathroom. Again. And water. Ok, pour water into camel back. Pour in Chia seeds. According to Abigail, these look like gnats. Let’s hope they work. 

At the start line: WHY THE HECK IS IT ONLY 33° outside?!

Ready, set, go!: This is the only time I will listen to Rocky Top and enjoy it. Yeehaw. Yay Tennessee.

Mile 1: Steady pace, keep it up. Oh, bye sister. Have fun. 


Mile 3: Ok, stay hydrated. And energized. I’ll take a powerade. I can totally drink this while I’m running. LOL NO I CAN’T. Powerade in the eyeballs. Ahh it burns! I probably have blue all over my face. Great. 

Mile 4: It is hawt now. I’m too sweaty for my shirt. Too sweaty for my shirt. Words. Maneuvering a pull over from a camel back and iPhone holder take some skill. Thank you to the nice man who saved my iPhone from getting trampled on. 

Mile 5: Great. I have to pee. I should have stopped at those port-o-potties. What would happen if I peed myself? Oh that guy smells good. He must have put extra deodorant on this morning.Wait a second. Did I put on deodorant this morning? Nope. I most definitely did not. Oh well I guess I’ll smell bad anyways. 

Mile 6: I need my knee to stop aching. In pain. Mind over matter. You got this. Just look at the funny signs. Why are they pointing out all the animal sounds? I know a cow goes moo. Where are they going with this. Wait a second . . . “There is a sound no one knows . . .” “What.” “Does.” “The.” “Fox.” “Say.” OH MY GOSH THAT GUY IS CHEERING US ON IN A FOX COSTUME. Wow I would hate to be those people to listen to that song over and over and over again for hours on end. They are such nice people for cheering us on like this. 

Mile 7: Grumpy Cat says “I ran up Noelton Hill. Once. It was awful.” Oh it can’t be that awful. See, that hill wasn’t too bad. Oh. That wasn’t the hill. Holy crap. Need to breathe. 

Mile 9: All these old people are passing me. Am I really that slow? Ok, time to get powerade again. I’ll walk this time. Power up! Super Mario. 

Mile 10: 3 left! That’s only 25 minutes. This is so easy. Tweeting because I know my 372 followers are waiting with bated breath to know if I’m still alive. 

Mile 12: This is literally the worst mile of my life. Why so long.

Mile 13: Alright, .1 mile left. Sprint full speed ahead! I’m a winner. 

 

 And then I collapsed into my sisters arms and walked around freezing and in pain for most of the day. But I finished the day with the best massage of my life and delicious Japanese food. One of my hardest and favorite days 🙂

 

FINALLY. Dr. Pepper is back in my life.

 

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