Holiday Gift Guide for the Exhausted Mom

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I’m in the trenches of sleep deprivation, so this gift guide is a reflection of my life haha. Husbands, if your wife is tired (which let’s face it all moms are tired) this list will help her feel a little more rested, rejuvinated and appreciated! Everyone knows the saying “happy wife, happy life,” so this list is my Christmas gift to you…

Staycation (tell her to go for one night with her girl friends)

I recently did this and we stayed at the Westin Sacramento; It was local, but happens to be off the beaten path near the Sacramento River and various wineries such as Bogle Vineyards, Scribner Bend and the Old Sugar Mill; we felt soooo rejuvenated after just 24 hours of relaxation time

Spa or nails gift card (include a note about how you’ll watch the kids)

I hardly ever feel like I have the time to get my nails done anymore, but always feel so much better after I do; a massage at a local spa would be even better

Maid service

Weekly, bi-weekly or just a one time deep clean; ANYTHING would be much appreciated – trust me on that

Gift card to her favorite store (again, include a note about watching the kids)

Surprise date night “save the date” card

Plan EVERYTHING from the babysitting to the restaurant reservations; tell her to go get her make-up done beforehand so she can feel extra pretty (Mac will do it for free)

A bottle of her favorite wine

If she doesn’t have one but likes wine, anything from Rombauer, Runquist and Frank Family is a safe bet; I’m also a huge fan of Butter Chardonnay

A Keurig

There’s nothing worse than a night of no sleep than a night of no sleep plus waking up to no coffee; snag this one to make her mornings a little easier

A cute coffee to-go mug

Like this Kate Spade one I started using mine at home because I was tired of microwaving my coffee 7,246,376 times each morning; kids make it impossible to drink coffee in a timely fashion

Drop in daycare gift card

The one I’ve used is Kids Camp, but just Google “drop in daycare + your city” to find your local ones; I recommend doing a temperature check with your wife beforehand to make sure she’s comfortable leaving her kids in said daycare

Black Friday Picks from Nordstrom and Anthropologie

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Black Friday gives me major anxiety because there are so many deals out there that I have trouble making decisions. It’s like too much pressure. SO. MANY. STORES. I decided to keep things simple by only checking out the two stores that I shop at the most, Nordstrom and Anthropologie.

My picks are below…hurry up and check out the sales before everything’s gone! I’ve already had stuff in my shopping bag sell out before I could buy!

Nordstrom

Tory Burch Mini Robinson Convertible Leather Shoulder Bag

Was: $275.00
Now: $192.50

TopShop Moto Leigh Ripped Skinny Jeans Black 

Was: $70.00
Now: $40.00

La Double 7 Plaid Woven Scarf

Orig.: $25.00
Was: $12.98
Now: $10.37

Sam Edelman Paloma Over the Knee Boot

Orig.: $224.95
Was: $129.90
Now: $103.91
Was: $245.00
Now: $171.50

Lush ‘Karly’ Shift Dress

Orig.: $48.00
Was: $32.16
Now: $25.72
Orig.: $225.00
Was: $110.98
Now: $88.77
Orig.: $98.95
Was: $59.37
Now: $47.49

Anthropologie

Get 30% off your entire purchase with coupon code LETSGO 

Sofia Faux-Fur Stole

$88.00

Plumology Drops

$54.00

Inamorata Dress

$128.00

Tulle Midi Skirt

$168.00

Now: $99.95

Magnolia Lace Dress

Was: $168.00

Now: $99.95

**All photos used were pulled from Nordstrom.com or Anthropologie.com 

Rustic Thanksgiving Tablescape

 

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In true Bethany fashion, I procrastinated and just curated my Thanksgiving tablescape yesterday. I literally just threw it together with some help from various pins. If you’re cool like me and waited until the last minute, my tablescape is totally something you can steal ideas from. I didn’t have time to fuss too much over this because I’m more focused on getting Thanksgiving dinner all prepped and ready. You can view my menu if you’re curious. So. Many. Sides. But for me, Thanksgiving is all about the sides.

I purchased the greenery at Hobby Lobby yesterday, but honestly I considered going up to our neighborhood park and just cutting off some of the Eucalyptus branches (I decided against it because it’s probably illegal). I also bought the cut wood there, but you might have these on hand already — or if you have a handy husband that can cut some real logs, you’re golden. The birch candles are from World Market (I’m obsessed)  the chalk tags and place cards are from my craft stash, but I think I originally got them from the Target dollar bin. The plates are from Crate and Barrel, the wine glasses and placemats are from Home Goods.

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Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving prep day! We are sickies over here, but I’m doing what moms do and pretending I’m not sick for the sake of making family memories haha.

 

Our Thanksgiving Menu

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One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is enjoying family recipes that have been passed on by generations. This is the first year I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving completely on my own. However, I have a helpful husband who’s agreed to be on turkey duty, which takes a major load off my plate. He’s pretty brilliant with all types of meat, so I’m confident it’ll be a turkey to remember. I also took a shortcut by picking up a frozen apple pie last weekend at Abel’s Acres in Apple Hill, but they do such an amazing job with their pies I really don’t feel guilty — I’m basically doing my family a favor. I LOVE to cook but don’t have much interest in baking desserts. Plus, every other item on this menu is made from scratch.

If you’re still searching for the best recipes to use, I highly recommend all of the ones below. I pulled from some of the best of Ryan’s family dishes as well as mine, then threw in some of my own flare. Everything on here is guaranteed to leave your guests satisfied and Thanksgiving stretchy pants full, which is what we all strive for isn’t it?

The Turkey

Brine Recipe

Roast Recipe

The Sides

Danelle’s Bread Stuffing

Great Gram’s Sweet Potato Casserole

Chive and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Parmesan Peas 

Slow Cooker Creamed Corn 

Cranberry Sauce **I hate every single cranberry sauce I’ve ever had – trying this one out for the first time**

Homemade Gravy

 

Fall Fashion Must Haves

Top Picks from NYC Stylist Phoebe Elizabeth

 

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I’m definitely late on the blogger train to do a fall fashion write up, but it literally JUST got cold here in the Sacramento area so I’m just now finally thinking about dressing warmer.

I’m also not one to flaunt my fashion sense and I do NOT consider myself a “fashion blogger.” The thought of taking daily selfies in my mom getups makes me laugh hysterically. My body has changed since having kids and I’m definitely guilty of wearing leggings too often. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to feel cute on my nights out sans kids. Once upon a time in the early 2000’s I was voted “Best Dressed” at my high school — there is still a fashionista longing to make an appearance, it just gets buried with sick kids, sleep deprivation and constant messes.

No mom wants to look like the SNL mom jeans era mom when they’re out with their girlfriends or husband. Sometimes I get stuck when I finally have to put an outfit together – like it doesn’t come as naturally to me as it once did. Stuff that was cool five years ago was like yesterday to me and is probably still in my closet. But to a 25 year old, five years ago was like what ten years ago feels like to me. Make sense?

This is why I need help. Like if it weren’t for all the real fashion bloggers I follow on Instagram, I probably wouldn’t have the balls to wear chokers this season because they remind me of 6th grade. (some of my favorite fashion bloggers are Cara Loren, Sassy Red Lipstick and Ella Brooks Blog).

Thankfully, one of my best friends just happens to be a stylist in NYC and I’m pretty much obsessed with everything she wears. You can read a little about her background here, but I’ve got the exclusive on my little blog about what her top fall fashion must haves are.

  1. Plum colored lipstick: Tom Ford Bruised Plum Lipstick

  2. Velvet denim: PAIGE Verdugo Deep Emerald Velvet

  3. Lovely lace: Club Monaco Ahorn Lace Top

  4. Plaid & oversized scarves: I love a ruffled plaidor blush coloring for a more feminine take on the plaid print

  5. Suede over the knee boots

  6. Chokers (Nordstrom has a ton of cute ones)

  7. Silk scarves tied around the neck Dolce & Gabbana Tulip-print silk scarf

One question I had for Phoebe was whether or not I can still wear tights (I wore them in my holiday photos). I used to wear tights all the time, but I feel like I never see them anymore. I think it’s partly because its warmer here than in NYC, but it was friggin’ cold last night! If I want to wear a dress, I want to know I’m not going to look stupid wearing tights! Here’s what she said…

“YES, tights are still in!! Black tights with a black dress is divine. Pretty socks with heels is still in, too (I remember us talking about this years ago!). People wear tights with everything here – with shorts, dresses, skirts, under jeans… though if it’s under jeans it’s usually knee high socks, not full tights. Knee high socks with skirts and dresses and with knee high boots is also a great look.”

Could I be any luckier to have this girl at my fingertips? Comment below with any fashion questions and I’ll be sure to get you an answer! Happy shopping! xo

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Potato and Leek Soup

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Soup is a major staple in the Mitchell house, mostly because when Porter was about one and a half we discovered that he LOVES soup so it provided some dinner table harmony where we aren’t constantly on Porter’s case to eat his damn dinner. We eat soup literally all year long – I’ve even been known to make soup when it’s 105 degrees out.

Now that we’ve reached November (when normal people start making soup) I thought I’d share a family recipe that was recently passed down to me from my mother-in-law. It originated with Ryan’s grandmother, but his mom added/tweaked some ingredients to make it even more delicious. Ryan grew up eating it and now Porter can’t get enough. He literally asks for “Nana Danelle’s soup” for breakfast if he has it for dinner the night before. I must admit, it’s pretty bomb, it’s fairly simple and it incorporates my current favorite, leeks.

I make my own chicken broth from scratch because it’s just too easy not to, but if you want to use store bought I’d recommend you splurge a little and get some of the good stuff; don’t buy the cheapo ones in the can.

Recipe is below. Hope you and your families enjoy! Xo

Potato and Leek Soup

Aka Nana Danelle’s Soup

Ingredients

3-4 lbs russet potatoes, chopped 1-2 inch pieces, peeled or unpeeled. I leave them unpeeled because that’s how Danelle does it and we like it that way. If you choose unpeeled make sure you scrub the potato first.

1 celery stalk (include some of the leaves), chopped into ½ inch pieces

2 white or yellow medium sized onions, diced

3 leeks, use white and tender green parts, ½ or ¼, thin sliced

2 bunches of kale, roughly chopped

½ cube butter (unsalted)

¼ extra virgin olive oil

1 qt. chicken broth

1 pint cream or half and half (I used 2% milk and it turned out fine)

1-2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Assembly

In 8 qt. stock pot, melt butter, add onions, leeks, ½ of the celery, saute 3 min (or so), add potatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper.

Cook for 15 minutes, potatoes should be ½ cooked, add kale and rest of celery.

Mash the mixture (we like it chunky), add your cream or milk (whatever you decided to use), taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed.

Sometimes we serve the soup with sour dough bread or ciabatta (something with nooks and crannies for soup) to dip in the soup.

Protein Options:

Add halibut, shrimp, tilapia, scallops or chicken.