thanksgiving weekend recap + goals for the week of 12/1

Wow, what a Thanksgiving!! I hope you all had a great one with yummy food and lovely company. I feel like I’m still getting back to reality… and acknowledging the fact that it is officially December. How did that happen so quickly?! {Silver lining: Christmas Pandora station, here I come!}

I know this is a bit delayed, but I still wanted to share some pics with you guys from my Thanksgiving weekend at home with my fam ūüôā

We hosted twelve of my brother’s MBA classmates for Thanksgiving dinner, which was incredibly fun. They could not have been more gracious guests. Many of them were international students far from home, and a few had never experienced American Thanksgiving before — it was a special treat to be able to introduce them to one of my favorite holidays!

Here’s a selfie Greg took of our whole group:

I loved helping my mom in the kitchen. Our menu included turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, a sweet potato casserole that we refer to as “Henrietta’s yams” after my Grandma’s cousin who used to bring it to Thanksgiving every year, vegetarian chili, dinner rolls, a big ol’ salad… and, for dessert, pumpkin and apple pie and pumpkin muffins! Plus, some of our guests brought delicious brownies, black forest cake, and more pie!

greg thanksgiving


Two of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes... Henrietta's yams and my mom's classic stuffing!

Two of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes… Henrietta’s yams and my mom’s classic stuffing!

While I enjoy turkey with cranberry sauce on top, my favorite Thanksgiving dishes are the sides! Anyone else the same way?

The Friday after Thanksgiving, we went out for a family dinner at Brendan’s, a local Irish pub {my parents are still hooked on Irish culture and cuisine after their trip to Ireland a few months ago!} I love everything about Ireland and was excited to try out this pub, which I thought was extremely authentic both in cuisine and atmosphere… it felt like being transported to Ireland! Definitely planning to go back when I’m in town for Christmas.

Irish pub fam

After dinner, I drove Greg back down to USC and stayed with him overnight, and on Saturday morning I tagged along to his MBA student tailgate before the USC-Notre Dame football game. It was a blast to hang out with his friends — such a fun group of people! And soaking up extra time with my brother is always a gift.

usc tailgate

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my parents, reading, relaxing, going for walks around the neighborhood, visiting my Gramps, and giving lots of love to Mr. Mur-dog.


Look at that face! Such a cutie-pie.

Before I wrap-up Thanksgiving 2014 completely, I just want to say that I am SO grateful for all of you! Thank you for taking time out of your day to visit my cozy little corner of the blogosphere¬†ūüôā

Now… time for goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from the past couple¬†weeks:¬†
–¬†finish editing/preparing manuscript for submission
update my website
set date for Winter Writing Camp
–¬†go to¬†yoga class
connect with two friends

Here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– write a new chapter of my memoir
– finish holiday cards
–¬†finish student evaluations
Рpublicize my Winter Writing Camp
–¬†go to two yoga classes
– connect with two friends

Finally, here are a few of my fave Thanksgiving recipes from the Woodburn family table:
my favorite mashed potatoes
– henrietta’s yams {recipe coming soon!}
– my mom’s classic stuffing {recipe coming soon!}
pumpkin pie

Questions of the day:

  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

the USC game yesterday!! also, goals + meal plan for the week of 11/17

WOW. The USC game yesterday was one of the most thrilling football games I’ve ever watched! It was so amazing to be there, cheering on my alma mater alongside my family and friends. My parents and I spent the afternoon tailgating on campus with a bunch of my brother’s business school friends. It was great to meet them!

family tailgate

The game itself was a nail-biter and came down to the wire, but ultimately USC pulled out a victory over Stanford with a long field goal. WOO!! We were all jumping up and down and screaming with joy. It was so much fun! I hadn’t been back to a football game in the Coliseum since I graduated, and I forgot how amazing it is to be there. I love all the traditions: Traveler running down the sidelines, the marching band and spirit leaders and song girls, lighting the torch at the beginning of the fourth quarter… And I love how you become friends with the people sitting around you as all of you go crazy cheering on your team! We had a blast.

me and Ben at game

beat stanford!

after the game

We drove home from the game last night and arrived back at the house just in time to watch Lady Gaga host SNL … what did you guys think? I was pretty impressed. Lady Gaga isn’t in this skit, but I randomly loved Kenan’s character Mr. Senior … his “special report” telling people to STOP with early Christmas and enjoy Thanksgiving had me cracking up:¬†

All in all, it’s been a whirlwind weekend! I can’t believe I’m already headed back up to the Bay tomorrow. Today has been a peaceful, quiet Sunday at home … went to church this morning, grocery shopped with my mom, and now we’re watching football while waiting for my Gramps to come over to dinner soon. My mom is spoiling me and making my favorite stuffed chicken breasts! YUM.

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
write 15 pages of new material
send out my novel chapters for Dec. fellows workshop
– submit fellowship application
–¬†exercise at least twice
–¬†finish reading¬†Happier Endings: a meditation on life and death
connect with two friends

Here are my goals for the week of 11/17:
– write 15 pages of new material
– submit fellowship application
–¬†exercise at least twice
–¬†finish reading¬†Happier Endings: a meditation on life and death
– connect with two friends

And here are some recipes I’m planning to try out:¬†{if you can’t tell, I’ve already got Thanksgiving on the brain!}
healthy green bean casserole via The Lean Green Bean
sweet-filled acorn squash bowl via It’s Progression
greek yogurt biscuits and mini pumpkin cinnamon rolls via Two Peas & Their Pod
pumpkin and kale stew via The Pajama Chef

Questions of the day:

  • What were the highlights of your weekend?
  • What are your goals and menu plans for this upcoming week?