Monday, November 28, 2011

Gloriously Ordinary Night In and Christmas Decorations

Happy Monday to all of my blog-world friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We returned from our Thanksgiving festivities on Saturday and have been busy cleaning, decorating for Christmas, and de-cluttering a little bit.


You know, tonight was a gloriously ordinary night in at the Confessions House.  I’ve been so busy this fall.  Don’t get me wrong—I love everything I am involved in—Girls on the Run, teaching Zumba classes, taking Zumba classes, Wedding festivities for my sister Adrienne (who is getting married in less than three weeks!!!) and countless other activities.  I would say this is the busiest season our family has had in a long time.  So tonight it was so nice to have time to actually cook dinner and eat it at the kitchen table.  That has not happened very often this fall. 

We had one of my favorite items tonight: chicken thighs.  I know, what a random favorite item, right?  Well, chicken thighs are a great dinner option for several reasons.  First, they are cheap.  A pack of 4 thigh pieces usually costs about $3.  (For more info on how to save money on groceries, see this post.)  Second, you cannot overcook them.  No matter how long you cook them, they’ll be tender and delicious.  Third, they are easy to prepare.  Here is how I made ours tonight:

I started by seasoning them (in the package).  Don’t worry—you can season the other side when you put them in the pan.  You can use any seasonings you like.  I usually use salt and pepper and tonight I added some garlic powder.


Heat an oven-safe skillet sprayed with cooking spray over med-high heat on the stove.  When the pan is hot, add the chicken, seasoned side down.  (Then as that side cooks, season the other side.)  Let it cook about 6-8 minutes before you flip it over.  The chicken should be golden brown. 



Cook another 6-8 minutes on that side.  Then cover and put into the oven to finish cooking.  (*NOTE* If you are cooking with boneless chicken thighs, you may not need to finish these in the oven.  Boneless and skinless thighs are smaller and will cook much more quickly.)

Typically you’ll only need to keep them in the oven about 15 minutes longer—which is the perfect amount of time to steam some peas and whip up some couscous!


Voila!  Dinner on the table in 30 minutes! 



So let’s talk about holiday decorations!  It’s a tradition in our house to decorate right after Thanksgiving so that we can enjoy it as long as possible.  As soon as we got home on Saturday, we got to work.  Here’s a little glimpse of our work so far.  We’ve still got the dining room and the outside of the house to work on, but the inside is looking pretty Christmasy!

Kitchen table… (this is my everyday holiday china… I use my Spode Christmas Tree china in the dining room and for entertaining.)


Mantle with stockings… (don’t jump to conclusions when you see the 4 stockings… one is for Baylee.)



Sadie’s favorite item… the Nativity set.  My mom adds a piece or two (or more) each year and Sadie LOVES playing with all the pieces.  Here you can see that she’s got all the animals watching over Baby Jesus.  (So.  Sweet.)




(I just noticed the curtains are falling!  Oops!)

We don’t use a star or an angel on the top of ours—more decorative picks, branches, and swirly thingies!


Most of our ornaments have special meaning, so I love unpacking them and remembering them.

This was an ornament for my very first Christmas.


Here’s another one from my childhood. 


This one was from our first married Christmas!


Here’s Sadie’s first Christmas ornament!


I think it’s really neat to have so many ornaments that help to tell our family story! 

Have you started decorating?  What are some of your traditions?  Share them by leaving a comment below!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE pulling the ornaments out and remembering where they all came from and why! I love my childhood ones...I have one with a photo of me, too!


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