Thanksgiving Pin Roundup


I can’t tell you guys how excited I am that this week is Thanksgiving! I love the holidays, and I especially love Thanksgiving because it really kicks off the season of time with family, amazingly good bad-for-you food, and that general cozy fall feeling. One of my favorite things to do on weekend mornings is make a cup of coffee, climb back in bed, and browse Pinterest … while I try not to think about my kids completely destroying the living room. I’m not as active on Pinterest as I would like to be, but as I was rummaging through my boards this weekend to find my favorite pumpkin pie recipe, I realized that I have a great collection of Thanksgiving-related pins. All these great ideas I’ve saved, and then completely forgotten about!

On top of that, *I* have actually created some really great crafty/fall content … which I had also completely forgotten about. So, call this a shameless plug, but make sure you check these old posts out:


Keep your kiddos occupied on Thanksgiving, while at the same time reminding them of the important things in life with this Thankful Turkey Feather Hunt!


Grab a cuppa coffee and a few of these cinnamon applesauce mini muffins and let the fall-feelings wash over you!

And here’s the whole board – there are some GREAT ideas for decorating, eating, and craftiness for both you and the kiddos. Everyone have a happy, thankful, and safe Thanksgiving week!

Follow Tottums’s board Happy Fall Y’all! on Pinterest.

Kid’s Turkey Craft and Feather Hunt

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for almost a year – I wanted to blog about it last year after it happened, but realistically, who wants to read about a Thanksgiving craft in December? Exactly. So, here it is … apologies for jumping the gun before Halloween, but I need to get it up or there’s a good chance it won’t happen!

Let me start by saying this entire project was my mother’s doing. My mom is one of those special moms who really does holidays well – she always has, but as my sister and I have gotten older, and we’re not always all together for holidays, when we DO all get together, she tends to go all out. I have her to thank for my overwhelmingly romantic notions, and my OCD-perfectionist tendencies. My mother’s main goal in life has always been, and continues to be, to make other people feel happy, and welcome, and year after year she knocks it out of the park. Since she and my dad live about 5 hours away from us, we do holidays on an every other year rotation with the Husband’s family. Last year, we did Thanksgiving with my family, and Christmas with the Husband’s (this year, we’ll do the opposite), and because my mother couldn’t help herself, she came up with this amazing craft/feather hunt for the boys to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Kids Thanksgiving Thankful Turkey Craft

To start with, she bought a couple of styrofoam balls, covered them with cheap craft store feathers, and then added a beak, feet, and googly eyes – she also bought a big bag of long, brightly colored feathers for the tail feathers, but intentionally left those off. So, when we arrived, we arrived to Thom the (somewhat) naked turkey … sorry, I neglected to get a photo of said naked bird, but I mean, he deserved a little dignity, right?


On Thanksgiving morning, my dad took the bag of tail feathers out into the back yard and “hid” them. We then sent the boys out back to find all the feathers, rescuing Thom from his indignity. They marched his tail feathers inside, excited to see what grandma had in store for them.



My mom pulled Thom down, and told them that they needed to stick his feathers back in, but for every feather they found and returned to Thom, they needed to say something they were thankful for.

At first, they were thankful for the things you would expect 2.5 and 5.5 year olds to be thankful for – candy, Spiderman, cartoons, bugs, etc – but as the rest of the family added in our feathers, you could tell they were listening and starting to really think about things. Their answers became shifted to things like – daddy, shoes to keep my feet warm, my toothbrush, my teacher, my house. It was neat, as a parent, to watch that shift occur, to see them start thinking about the bigger picture.


We won’t be at “home” for Thanksgiving this year, but I still plan on doing some version of this game with the boys again. Between all the food and festivities, it’s always important for us all to remember how lucky we are for everything we have. We might not have a ton of money in the bank, but our family is rich in other ways, and I want my boys to be aware of that – always.


The [sometimes] inconvenient job.

I had debated on writing this post because it’s such a ‘hot topic’ in the blogosphere right now – I really feel like everything that can be said, has been said. All of that aside, I’ve basically been writing this post in my head for the past 5 hours, and if I don’t get it down in text now, I’m going to drive myself insane. So, here it is – my take on being thankful this holiday season, and shopping.

Being a ‘retail wife’ is something that I’ve had to come to terms with – and I’m not going to lie, it’s taken me a lot of years. Even when the Husband wasn’t the husband, and we were wild and free in college, his retail schedule drove me batty; especially around the holidays. Twelve years later, I’ve made peace with the fact that we’re a ‘retail family’. Does his ever-changing schedule drive me crazy? Yes, sometimes. Do I wish we had all of our weekends together? Absolutely. But this is what he does, and honestly, it’s what he really enjoys doing – so, we make it work. We make the late nights work, we make the short weekends work, and we make the holiday schedule work.

I’m thankful that he not only has a job, but it’s a good one that he likes, with a great company.

I guess it was about a month ago when the Husband came home and told me his store was opening on Thanksgiving evening. Was it his company’s choice? Nope. But they signed a contract with the shopping center the store is in and the store has to abide by the center’s hours. So, the store is opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving evening – just like many other retail locations this year. Now, luckily for us, he’s the store manager, so in circumstances like this he can pull rank and he won’t actually have to go in that early … but that means someone else does.

But here’s the thing – there was somewhat of a line of employees who wanted to work that night, because it meant time and half pay. While there will always be the people like me [who also used to work retail in college] who would do ANYTHING to get out of working holidays, there will always be those who would prefer to take the hours and larger pay check. There will always be those who don’t have that Rockwell Thanksgiving family meal to go to, and who will go shopping instead. Or to the movies. Or to Denny’s to eat. And until circumstances like that don’t exist any more, there will always be retail or entertainment venues open on holidays to cater to them.

Those of us who sit at home eating turkey and spending time with our loved ones – are we watching football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV? Because someone has to operate those television cameras. Did we forget the cranberry sauce and run up to the grocery store? Because someone had to open that store. Did we run out of gas on the way to Aunt Martha’s house? Because someone is probably manning that convenience store. Did we head to the movie theatre after dinner? Did we choose not to slave over a stove and have a restaurant cook it? Did we try to cook the turkey and almost burn down the house and have to call the fire department?

Did we fly home to Dallas, because our store is opening up early on Thursday evening but we still wanted to spend time with our family in San Antonio for a few precious hours that morning? Because someone had to fly that plane and load those bags.

You see what I did there?

Truckers are hauling goods. Nurses are changing bedpans. Printers are busy making sure newspapers are distributed. Ranchers are taking care of their animals. Restaurants are making sure people who want to eat are fed. Television stations are monitoring programing and airing live broadcasts. And yes, stores are sometimes open to cater to those who want to shop. LOTS of people work on holidays – for a plethora of reasons. Some jobs don’t come with 9-5 hours – and that’s honestly the way some people like it [the Husband included]. Are there circumstances where people are forced to work and absolutely hate it? Sure. Would the Husband rather have more time off during the holidays? Sure. Should we try and not be such a consumer-driven society? Absolutely.

That said, all we can do [as consumers] is make the choices we’re comfortable making and then do everything we can to be pleasant to those who ARE working on holidays [or ANY day, for that matter] as possible. And I think we all need to remember [myself included, because MAN am I guilty of this] that life isn’t a Norman Rockwell painting. The world doesn’t shut down because the calendar says it should. People are deployed, people have to keep the country running, and people have to earn a living.


Don’t feel bad for my Husband or our family – I promise, we make all of this work. We rearrange things, we get creative, we remember that Thanksgiving isn’t just about a meal at 3pm on Thursday afternoon or the football game immediately following, it’s about being Thankful for everything in our life … including the [sometimes] inconvenient job. If you’re not comfortable supporting retail establishments who have caved to longer holiday hours – I can’t fault you for that. What I WILL say is that if you ARE comfortable with shopping on Thursday or Friday, I won’t judge you for that either – as long as you promise to spend lots of money on sneakers.

Small Business Saturday 2012!

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving break! We’ve already done the big Turkey Day {and stuffed ourselves silly, and Black Friday {and shopped at obscene hours of the day}, now it’s time for Small Business Saturday – let’s support some awesome small, local businesses!

If I was a truly awesome blogger, I’d have planned for this weeks ago, and would have a whole page of small businesses who paid for optimal space on my site {since I too consider my blog a small business, and Tottums would love a little extra spending cash} … buuuuuut I didn’t. So instead, you guys get a list of some of my personal fav. small biz and Etsy shops, free from any sponsoring etc etc. {my gift to you, lol}.

Enjoy your shopping this weekend, but make sure to shop SMALL today!

  • Nicole Elaine Designs – gotta plug my BFF, first. She’s a great up and coming designer, but more importantly, homegirl can plan ANYTHING. She’s first an foremost an ¬†awesome event planner, so if you’re in East Texas, be sure you look her up for help with visualizing, planning and hosting any type of event!
  • Jumping Jax Designs – My friend Becca is behind this awesome site … she does greeting cards, biz cards, BLOG LAYOUTS, branding – all of it. Also? The girl has the whole ‘customer service’ thing down to a ‘T’ … tell her I sent you!
  • The Belle and the Beau – Boymoms? This is your new favorite Etsy store. Bowties? Neckties? Suspenders? ADORBS. I ordered a couple last Easter for the boys and they were the sweetest things EVER.
  • Bowrene’s Things – Adorable crocheted items of all kinds. I personally have some of her dishcloths, but the animals and kiddos hats are amazing too.
  • Almost Sunday Designs – Pretty much the best place to buy subway or graphic art on Etsy. I have a birth announcement poster for the Froggy from her, and I still love looking at it in his room.
  • Reese’s Pieces – original, hand painted children’s and nursery art and growth charts. AH MAY ZING.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!



Today I am thankful for them.


Happy Turkey Day everyone! Stay safe, stay warm, stay thankful! And if you’re going out into the BF madness tonight, stay thrifty!