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Weekend: dumplings, a yard sale and a goodbye

First, thank you for your kindness and support with the post I shared yesterday. One day at a time. <3

Second, Thanksgiving week is here. We are heading to Tanner’s mom and step-father for the holiday and we’ll go to my family for Christmas. I am in charge of bringing a salad and a dessert. I created a great salad that I tested and photographed yesterday. I’ll be posting it tomorrow. I’m still researching dessert options. I want to try something new this year. Let me know if you have a favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipe.

And if you’re still in search of recipes and ideas, don’t miss 18 of my tried and true family and personal favorite recipes.

Okay, let’s talk about the weekend.


We spent Friday night driving all over Charlotte picking up folding tables for a yard sale on Saturday morning. When we got home I finally made the shrimp and shitake dumpling recipe from Blue Apron.


The verdict? These little things were super tasty but oh my god so time consuming. I think I spent 30 minutes filling and sealing the dumplings. That said, I will definitely be making dumplings again.


Tanner got subs for his classes on Saturday morning and we set up shop in the front yard. He recently cleared out a storage unit that he’d had for two years and we had a bunch of stuff that needed to get out of our house so I thought it would be a good idea to have a yard sale.

Let’s just say this was our one and only yard sale experience. The good news is that it confirmed that we just needed to box up our stuff and take it to be donated. It was definitely not worth the time spent. We took my dad’s advice and stood strong in, “anything that goes outside is NOT coming back in the house,” so at least there was a lot of great purging done.


I went to teach my 11:15 a.m. class at the studio and brought back lunch for both of us from Namastay Kitchen. I have to give it to Tanner. He sat out front for 5 hours, handled all the negotiations and loaded everything up and took it to be donated after the sale. I was very thankful.


We kept the cleaning/organizing wave going on Saturday afternoon and got a ton accomplished. Between last weekend’s closet clean out and this weekend’s yard sale, things are feeling much better around here. I have said this before but I feel so much more calm and focused when my surroundings are clean and organized.


I had to go to the studio to help set up for a workshop around 5 p.m. and stayed to take a class after. I got home around 6:30 and Tanner arrived home from the gym shortly after with flowers and an offer to take me to dinner at one of our favorite spots. I had been a tad bit emotional/stressed on Saturday between the events of the previous week and the yard sale.


His gesture was welcome and so sweet but I asked if we could stay in instead. I was feeling really tired. We ordered Thai food from Monsoon from Postmates. (FYI: Postmates newbies…use code EZ8IN for a free delivery up to $10 on your first delivery. I’ll get delivery credit too.)


We had fresh spring rolls, green chicken and veggie curry over rice and this crazy “salad” called Yum 3 Crob with crispy shrimp, squid and chicken tossed with cashews, red onions, lemongrass, chili peppers and shredded green mangoes in Thai old fashioned sauce. Not sure how this classified as a salad but it was really, really good.

We started the new Jason Bourne movie but not even 20 minutes into my eyes were closing sitting up. I decided to lay down to watch the movie and was out cold. I slept for about an hour on the couch before we went to bed at 10:30. I joked the next day that I swear they put sleeping medicine in my Thai food. I hadn’t felt that exhausted in a very long time.


I slept nine more hours on Saturday night and then woke up and wrote my coffee chat post on Sunday morning. Tanner came in the office and he and the girls had their morning cuddle party. It’s an every day occurrence. πŸ™‚


I made breakfast.


There were two sweet goldens who were very interested in breakfast.


I stopped in Wal-Mart to grab a couple of dog things on Sunday afternoon and couldn’t believe this sign. 1) Wal-Mart will be open on Thanksgiving Day and 2) is having a 6 p.m. special shopping event complete with wristbands. I’m sorry but I am NOT on board with the holiday shopping madness beginning on Thanksgiving Day.


After Wal-Mart I made a quick stop in ALDI where I bought ingredients for the Thanksgiving salad recipe I’ll be sharing tomorrow. I spent the rest of the afternoon making the salad before teaching at 4. I had 57 people in my class!!! I think that’s the most I’ve ever had on a Sunday. Guess everyone is trying to get it in before Thanksgiving.


I changed into running clothes when I got home and this is how Zoey stood while I searched for a playlist on my phone. She was like, “don’t forget me mommy.”


We ran 5 miles. It was a dark and cold run but it felt really, really good. I think we averaged an 8:28 pace. Zoey is such a great running buddy. Tanner walked Sullie while I ran Zoey because I feel ALL THE GUILT for leaving her behind.


I got showered and dressed after my run for my friend Lina’s going away party. She and her husband are moving to Brussels, Belgium in December for his job. I am so sad. Lina and I have been friends for six years and she’s one of my closest friends in Charlotte. At least I can go visit her in Europe and we have SnapChat.


Party food. This plate x2. My salad + one chicken taco and one beef taco.


We changed into PJs as soon as we got home and when I walked out of the bedroom, Tanner laughed and took this picture of me. I think my outfit is pretty awesome, don’t you? πŸ˜‰

I hope you guys enjoyed the weekend.

Have you ever had a yard sale or garage sale? If so, how’d it go?

Stores being open on Thanksgiving Day for holiday shopping…yes or no?


{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Lauren C November 21, 2016, 4:14 pm

    Totally with you on the holiday shopping madness…which is why I really only shop online. Having an amazon app pre-installed on my phone is a blessing and a curse for how easy it is to shop now!

    For Thanksgiving desserts – a family favorite we have is something just called “The Chocolate Pie.” It’s a simple pie with homemade chocolate filing, nuts on the bottom in a graham cracker out shortbread crust (when we make it), but can totally be customized. It’s rich and delicious and in no way healthy, but is one we all LOVE.

    I hope you’re able to enjoy time with family as you’re dealing with such pain. The holidays can be especially hard when grieving lost loved ones. It’s wonderful you have such great support from friends on your life. Wishing you the best and a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Mary Gorman November 21, 2016, 4:17 pm

    Jen, we also had the shrimp and shittake mushroom dumplings from Blue Apron last week. So tasty — but such a labor of love! Also had Monsoon Thai last week — clearly, we have food ESP πŸ˜‰

  • Rebecca November 21, 2016, 4:57 pm

    Haha, as someone who works in retail (spent years in store management, now on the corporate side), you’d think I’d be against this trend of Black Friday starting on Thanksgiving. But I really don’t think it’s that bad. I personally won’t do any shopping on Thanksgiving day (I hate crowds and like to spend the evening in a food coma), but there are so many industries who have always had to be open on Thanksgiving: airlines, hotels, news stations, police/fire, hospitals, etc. Most restaurants are open as well. Even if you’re shopping online, there are people fulfilling your order and customer service available to help you. And when I was an hourly store employee, I would have jumped at the chance to get holiday pay!

  • Kate November 21, 2016, 11:16 pm

    I love purging too, my fiancΓ© is a hoarder…so I don’t think we could ever have a yard sale, he’d never follow your dads rule!
    We love Monsoon, we live close by and pick it up maybe once a month? The best Thai that I’ve found!!

  • Meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) November 22, 2016, 5:43 am

    I love steamed vegetable dumplings which I order whenever we have Chinese food but I can imagine they are time consuming! I’m all about the comfy sweatshirts when I am home. I like your outfit πŸ™‚

  • Traci November 22, 2016, 8:30 am

    Totally with you on Thanksgiving Day sales… Why can’t we all just wait until Black Friday?

    The Thai food and dumplings look great! I’ve made homemade pierogis but not dumplings – but if they’re anything alike, it’s incredibly time-consuming but like you said, totally worth it. I also like just grabbing a bag of the frozen dumplings from Trader Joe’s (they have a shrimp variety), haha. They’re very good!

  • Jessica November 22, 2016, 9:02 am
  • Joy November 22, 2016, 9:08 am

    Me and my family held a yard sale the day after Thanksgiving years ago and we made a little money, but I honestly don’t know if it was worth the time. Everything was already priced to sell but people were negotiating on pennies and it was tiresome.

    As for Thanksgiving Day shopping…NO! It’s time for family and any shopping can wait.

  • Katie November 22, 2016, 10:47 am

    I also feel incredibly guilty running one dog while the other stays at home (he doesn’t like to run!). Or I feel bad running myself if I haven’t walked them first. Mom guilt.

    I really appreciate your honesty and openness in your blog and hope this week brings less stress and more joy.

  • Courtney F November 22, 2016, 11:19 am

    This is what we are trying this year: Cheesecake-Marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie!!
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/11/cheesecake-marbled-pumpkin-slab-pie/ … I definitely think it would be an easy recipe to travel with!!

  • Jolene November 22, 2016, 4:01 pm

    I had a lot of luck with garage sales when I lived in AL. It was so worth the amount of stuff I sold and how much money I made! Now that I live in Florida, my neighborhood is very, very against yard sales. I’ve tried Craigslist, FB and just no luck since moving here. Imagine the stuff with 4 kids? The food pics look delicious. I made the pumpkin muffins Saturday and they are fabulous!:)

  • Teri || a foodie stays fit November 22, 2016, 5:02 pm

    ugh, I had the same experience when I had a yard sale. 100% not worth the time or effort!

    Sad your friend is leaving, but awesome place that you’ll get to visit!! xo

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