Easy Thanksgiving Meals With HoneyBaked Ham And Turkey {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.)

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? What if I told you that you could have a delicious Thanksgiving meal cooked and on the table in less than an hour? Now THAT is something to be thankful for because it means you can get out of the kitchen and do more important things like spend time with family and watch football (especially since my Chicago Bears are playing!).

Sinisa headed to our local HoneyBaked Ham store and picked up ham, turkey, five different side dishes, a Pecan pie and a dessert tray. Everything but the turkey was ready to heat up in the packaging they were in which meant less dishes for me to wash. To make things even easier, the ham and turkey came with detailed instructions on how to heat up the meat.

One thing I love about the ham and turkey is that both have a delicious glaze on them. They are also pre-sliced. (Told you this was a super easy meal solution!)

The very best thing about the Thanksgiving meal, as everyone knows, is the leftovers. We had four adults and four children for dinner and we didn’t even eat a quarter of the food we bought. That means I have a week worth of delicious leftovers. Today I made myself a plate of food for lunch but for dinner I’m making turkey sandwiches, one of my favorite ways to use up the leftover turkey.

I’ll share more about the sides and desserts in my next HoneyBaked Ham post so stay tuned!


From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this amazing limited time coupon for $8.00 off any Bone-in Ham and Turkey Breast or Boneless Ham and Turkey Breast from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious! (This offer is valid only at the following locations: Rolling Meadows, Orland Park, Villa Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Mesquite, Hurst, Lewisville, Houston, Austin, Spring, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Indianapolis, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Roseville, Birmingham, Troy, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Canton Township, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg, Monroeville, San Antonio, Bellevue, and Lynnwood. For store addresses click here.)

HoneyBaked Ham is giving away $500 in Gift Cards to some of your favorite places! You can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Food To Be Thankful For

(Disclosure: I am a Campbell’s Brand Ambassador and this is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.)

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away! I try to keep a thankful attitude all year long but, like many, the holiday really makes me concentrate on what I’m thankful for. This year I am thankful for so much. I’m thankful for my family and especially that we are all healthy and that my children have grown so much since the beginning of the school year. I’m thankful for the fact that both Sinisa and I have jobs and can support our family. I’m also thankful for blogging and everything it’s brought my family and I am thankful for you all, my readers, since I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

Jacob & Lucas, Thanksgiving 2012

I thought it would be fun to ask my children what they are thankful for. Here is what Jacob said: Daddy, Skylanders, Mrs. D (his teacher), and my friends. Lucas said: brother, Daddy, a robot, and Thomas. Do you notice how “mommy” did not make either list? :/ That’s okay though, since I know I have made their list of things to be thankful for in the past and I’m sure they are thankful for me.

One thing we often overlook are the simple things. Things like the air we breathe, the sun peaking out from behind clouds, and the food we have to eat. All those are things to be thankful for!

And speaking of food…Campbell Soup Company has some great ideas for the Thanksgiving table that are kid-friendly. Check out these adorable mini ideas!

Mini Green Bean Casseroles


Mini Chicken & Stuffing Cups


Don’t forget to ask The Wisest Kid if you’re forgetting anything on your Thanksgiving table! He can help you plan your Thanksgiving menu. Check out this cute Thanksgiving commercial from Campbell’s. I love Green Bean Casserole! What new recipe will your family enjoy this Thanksgiving?

10 Thanksgiving Crafts For Families To Do Together

I’ve shared Thanksgiving Turkey Crafts for Kids, Thanksgiving Themed Lunches for Kids, and Thanksgiving Crafts for Adults and today I’m sharing 10 Thanksgiving crafts that families can do together. Any of these activities are perfect for spending time as a family this season!


Fall Leaves Candle Jar from Kids Activities Blog


Paper Roll Turkey Craft from Learn Create Love


Handprint Turkey Keepsake from School Time Snippets


Fine Motor Cornucopia from Lalymom


Thankful Jar from Teach Beside Me


Autumn Leaf Bowls from Red Ted Art


No Sew Autumn Garland from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots


Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies from How Wee Learn


Mayflower Craft & Science Activity from Fantastic Fun & Learning


Corn Craft from Learn Create Love

15 Thanksgiving Turkey Crafts For Kids

I’m so excited to share some amazing Thanksgiving crafts for kids with you all. There are so many that I had to split them up into different posts. Here are some adorable turkey crafts I found.

Handprint Turkeys from East Coast Mommy


Bobbling Turkey Hat from How Wee Learn


Turkey Snack from The Chirping Moms


Pumpkin Turkeys from The Chaos And The Clutter


Pine Cone Turkey Craft from Learn Create Love


Hand and Footprint Turkey from There’s Only One Mommy


Paint Chip Toilet Roll Turkeys from Happy Hooligans


Thanksgiving Turkeys from Imprints From Tricia


Yogurt Turkey Cups from School Time Snippets


Doily Turkey from Green Owl Art


Leaf Art Turkeys from Sow Sprout Play


Felt Turkey from Kids Activities Blog


 Watercolor Coffee Filter Turkey from Play Dr. Mom


 Toddler Fine Motor Craft from Dirt & Boogers


Cute footprint turkey that Lucas made at school :)

10 Ideas For Teaching Generosity & Gratitude To Children

It’s November 1st which means the start of the season of Thanksgiving. While I’m always trying to teach my children to be thankful for what they have and generous to others, the month of November always seems to be a time when I really focus on new ways to teach these two things to my kids. I’ve rounded up 10 great ideas that I’m hoping to put into practice over the next couple months.


Gratitude Tree from Kid’s Activities Blog


The Grateful Five from Homemade By Lauren


Christmas Giving List


Being Grateful For Gifts We Don’t Want from Fit Kids Clubhouse


Jar of Sacrifice from The House of Hendrix


Gratitude Wreaths from Critters and Crayons


Gratitude Jar from Paper Coterie


Teaching Children To Think Of Others from Moments a Day


Being Grateful For Their Home from The Educators’ Spin On It


Thanksgiving Banner of Gratitude from mom.me


and as a bonus….

15 Ways to Teach Children to be Grateful from A Holy Experience

60+ Ideas For Fall Family Fun {Bucket List}

I’ve spent the past week or so thinking of all the fun things my family has done during the Fall season in years past. Here are over 50 ways to enjoy the Fall season.

1) Go apple picking

2) Bake a pumpkin pie

3) Stuff a scarecrow using old clothes

4) Rake leaves into a pile and jump into them

5) Go on a nature walk

6) Drink apple cider

7) Play with apple pie and pumpkin pie scented playdough

8) Go to a football game

9) Make a list of what you are thankful for

10) Make a bird feeder

11) Pick a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch

12) Have a bonfire outside (don’t forget the smores!)

13) Make a leaf rubbing

14) Go to the library and checkout Fall themed books

15) Have family game night

16) Carve pumpkins

17) Make cinnamon apples or mini apple pies

18) Dress up in costumes and go trick or treating

19) Have a football watching party and cheer on your favorite team

20) Go on a hayride

21) Make apple prints using halved apples dipped in paint

22) Paint pumpkins

23) Take a drive to look at the trees changing colors

24) Make a leaf collage

25) Go to the zoo or a farm

26) Donate food to a local food pantry

27) Drink a pumpkin spice latte or other pumpkin flavored drink

28) Make a Fall wreath for your door

29) Go camping

30) Bob for apples

31) Go to a turkey farm

32) Fill a box for Operation Christmas Child

33) Decorate your house for Fall

34) Make spooktacular cake pops

35) Go tailgating

36) Have a special Halloween lunch

37) Take a family photo

38) Make crockpot applesauce

39) Go through a corn maze

40) Host (or attend) a costume party

41) Eat candy apples

42) Make leaf print art

43) Bake pumpkin seeds

44) Have a family movie night and cuddle under blankets

45) Make chili

46) Attend (or watch) a Fall parade

47) Eat a big Thanksgiving meal

48) Go horseback riding

49) Volunteer in a soup kitchen

50) Make lollipop ghosts

51) Watch Charlie Brown Halloween and Thanksgiving movies

52) Attend a Fall festival

53) Make a paper turkey and on the paper feathers write what you are thankful for

54) Bake homemade pumpkin bread

55) Watch a Casper movie

56) Eat candy corn

57) Listen to spooky music (like Monster Mash)

58) Make tasty treats for Thanksgiving

59) Make corn cob prints

60) Make a fun Halloween craft with the kids

61) Throw a home canning party

Thanksgiving {Wordless Wednesday}


Brothers in their matching outfits


Cousin Sandwich!!

Apple Mallow Sweet Potato Bake {Recipe}

1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Apples, sliced
1/3 cup Pecans, chopped
2 15 oz. cans Princella or Sugary Sam Cut Sweet Potatoes, drained
1/4 cup Margarine
2 cups Miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss apples and nuts with combined brown sugar and cinnamon. Alternate layers of apples and sweet potatoes in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Dot with margarine. Cover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows over sweet potatoes and apples. Broil until lightly browned.

(Recipe and image courtesy of Allens Vegetables who shows us that eating our veggies can be delicious! Disclosure: No compensation received.)

Bacon, Toasted Pepita & Mango Stuffing {Recipe}

Had to share this recipe from Target. Check out their blog for more great Thanksgiving recipes using delicious Archer Farms items.

(Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Target sent me the recipe to share if I wanted to.)

Free Printable Downloads: Gratitude Jar

What are you grateful for?  Get ready for Thanksgiving with a printable gratitude jar.  Simply print a label for your jar and fill it full of your family’s responses to a series of fun and unique gratitude prompts.  Want a creative and meaningful Thanksgiving activity?  Read through your family’s responses before or after Thanksgiving dinner. Click on the image above to be taken to Paper Coterie’s website to download the printables.

(Image and printables courtesy of Paper Coterie.)

7 Fun Ways to Teach Kids about Thanksgiving

The below is a guest post from Mary Evett on how to share the meaning and history behind “Turkey Day” with your children.

Though kids may view Thanksgiving as the first stop on the school holiday vacation train, there’s a lot more for them to know about it than simply no class, stuffed turkey and whipped cream-topped pumpkin pie. Considering Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays in which children can learn about sharing, community, gratitude and compassion for others, it’s important to take the time to talk about its meaning.

This November, teach your children historically accurate facts about this important holiday by learning about the events that led up to the well-known first feast and doing creative Thanksgiving activities together. Share these activities with your nanny, so she can do them with your kids too.

  1. Read Together
    Share an educational story time with your children, no matter their age, by reading a Thanksgiving-themed book. Take turns reading or ask questions about the pictures, depending on individual reading levels. Use the opportunity to discuss similarities between people and the importance of treating everyone with respect. Check out books like: “The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving,” “Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast,” “Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy,” or “P is For Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet.”
  2. Journey to 1621
    Use the topic of Thanksgiving to investigate the journey of the pilgrims. Children can learn important historical facts in a fun, interactive way. Plimoth Plantation, a Massachusetts-based living history museum about the Plymouth Colony, provides an award-winning and free downloadable Thanksgiving activity that’s appropriate for children of any age. The site introduces children to a Wampanoag child and an English settler who lead them on their journey to uncover the truth and debunk popular myths about the first Thanksgiving. It provides different points of view on important historical events that happened between the Wampanoag people and the English settlers leading up to the first Thanksgiving in 1621 in an interesting, high-tech way.
  3. Visit the Mayflower
    The education experts at Scholastic have developed a complete and thorough unit on their websitededicated to Thanksgiving. In addition to holiday-themed book recommendations, printable worksheets and informative videos, the site allows children to take a virtual tour of the Mayflower. Kids can also learn what daily life was like for the pilgrims and Wampanoags by comparing their living quarters, schools, chores and games.
  4. Complete Thanksgiving Activity Sheets
    Find coloring sheets, word searches, hidden picture sheets or puzzles online that relate to Thanksgiving. Print a turkey pattern and its feathers, and have kids write what they are thankful for on each feather before gluing them to the turkey.
  5. Do Crafts that Teach Gratitude
    Children can construct a “Thankful Paper Chain” to count down the days until Thanksgiving. Have them write what they are thankful for on strips of construction paper and then loop them together. Another craft they can do is create a “Thankful Tree” by tracing your child’s hand on pieces of red, orange and yellow construction paper, and having them write why they are thankful on each. Then attach with glue to a brown tree trunk made of construction paper. You can also add pictures to a photo album or scrapbook of people, places, foods, pets, toys, movies or events that are special to your family. Include interesting stories of gratitude or explanations in your “Blessings Book.”
  6. Decorate the Feast Table
    Since Thanksgiving centers around making peace with people and sharing food, pay special attention to the table setting. Encourage children to make it special by constructing Thanksgiving-themed table decor themselves. Talk about what the pilgrims and Indians would have had available, and use those objects in your decorations. They can also use cardboard tubes, construction paper, pompom balls and googly eyes to make pilgrims and Indians to set at each place setting. Kids can cut leaf shapes out of construction paper and write the name of each guest on one side and why they are thankful for them on the other.
  7. Plan Games
    Games are a great way to learn anything in a competitive, but fun way. Have a relay race in which children pass holiday-themed items like acorns, cranberries, nuts, peas and corn kernels to each other using chopsticks. Play trivia with fun Thanksgiving facts or create Thanksgiving bingo cards with historical information or Thanksgiving foods in the squares.

Today, Thanksgiving is a holiday signified by loved ones coming together to share a meal and give thanks for each other. By taking the opportunity to explain its origin to children in creative ways, they can not only understand its historical importance, but its relevance in their everyday lives.

Guest Author: Mary Evett is a Contributor for Care.com, the largest online care destination in the world, and freelance writer covering all things Houston.

Orange Ginger Pumpkin Cake {Recipe}

Pumpkin is my favorite Fall flavor so I’m excited to share this recipe for Orange Ginger Pumpkin Cake created by the founder of the Matt’s Pantry iPad App, Private Chef Matthew Shields. He says this cake is perfect for Thanksgiving and I agree. Enjoy! :)

Orange Ginger Pumpkin Cake


½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, one separated

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tablespoon grated ginger

¾ cup all purpose flour

¼  cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

couple pinches of salt


Juice of one large orange

¼ cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Butter or spray with cooking spray a baking pan and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the whole egg and the yolk one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl.  Beat in the pumpkin, orange zest, and ginger.

Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt.  Add to the pumpkin batter in three or four stages, blending thoroughly after each.  In a small bowl whip the egg white until they hold soft peaks.  Fold into batter, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least ten minutes.

For the syrup, combine the orange juice and sugar in a small sauce pan over low heat until the sugar dissolves and then increase the heat bringing to a boil.  Boil with out stirring for 1 minute.  Allow to cool.

Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are 10 of my favorite pictures from our two Thanksgiving celebrations yesterday:

Lucas eating like a big boy at Papa's house


Lucas in a turkey-induced sleep after that meal :)


Jacob showing Cousin Camden one of his trains


Daddy helping Lucas set up the train track


Jacob and Lucas and their cousins looking out the window at the neighbors


Lucas dancing around the room


Lucas and Cousin Maddie playing together


Jacob and Cousin Camden sitting waiting to eat dinner at Nana's house


Mommy trying to get a picture for our Christmas cards (this wasn't the shot I chose)


Lucas opening one of the fake presents

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

Have turkey leftover from Thanksgiving dinner?

Here are a few ideas to make those leftovers new again!

{Click the pictures to be taken to the recipes}

Leftover Panini


Turkey Cranchiladas


Turkey Potpies


Artichoke Turkey Casserole


Gluten-Free Turkey Soup


Baked Turkey and Noodles


Turkey and Squash Risotto


Turkey, Bean, and Pumpkin Chili

Happy Thanksgiving! {And A Video}

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you enjoy your day with family and friends today.


Below is a wonderful video to help remind you of how truly blessed you are:

First Thanksgivings {Wordless Wednesday}

Jake's First Thanksgiving {2008}


Luke's First Thanksgiving {2009}

Ten Things I Am Thankful For

Thanksgiving is only a couple days away so I thought it would be great to share what we are thankful for. Here are my ten:

1) I am thankful for my family and that they are healthy.

2) I am thankful that my favorite holiday, Christmas, is almost here.

3) I am thankful for a group of wonderful, supportive mommy friends.

4) I am thankful for Starbucks{and chocolate, too!}

5) I am thankful that I have a warm house to live in.

6) I am thankful for the opportunity to work from home so I can be with my kids everyday

but still contribute to our family financially.

7) I am thankful that my boys are getting the services they need for their special needs.

8) I am thankful for modern inventions like my DVR, smartphone, and laptop.

9) I am thankful for blogging and the opportunities it’s brought my family and I

and for all the wonderful blogging friends I’ve made.

{Special thanks to my Collective Bias community and my fellow Chicago Social Media Moms!}

10) I am thankful for Christ being born

and that I can share the real reason for the season with my children.


What are YOU thankful for?

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Desserts

I love pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner but I wanted to share some non-traditional Thanksgiving desserts that I found online. {Click the picture to be taken to the posts they come from.}


Little Gobbler


Turkey Cupcakes


Pilgrim Hat Cookies


Pumpkin Trifle


Handprint Turkey Cookies


Mini Pumpkin Cake


Corny Cookies

Thanksgiving Themed Lunches For Kids

I had so much fun putting together my Halloween themed lunch post so I figured I’d put together a post of Thanksgiving themed lunch ideas to share with you all!

Here are some of my favorites {click the pictures to be taken to the posts they are from}:

Turkey Shaped Sandwiches


Thanksgiving Muffin Tin Meal


Thanksgiving Bento Lunch


Muffin Tin Mom’s Thanksgiving Meal


Ravioli Turkeys


Bento Box For Turkey Day


Round Turkey Sandwich


Allergen Free Lunch


Lunch With Tommy The Turkey


And for a snack…

Thanksgiving Cornucopia Snack In An Ice Cream Cone


Want to find more Top 10 lists? Check out OhAmanda!

Thanksgiving Crafts {For Adults}

I’ve been sharing lots of kid’s crafts lately but here is a roundup of some Thanksgiving crafts for adults.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they are from.

Paper Towel Wreath


Thanks Board


Turkey Placemat


Gratitude Mobile


Turkey Countdown Calendar


Thanksgiving Banner


Jars Of Thanks

Thanksgiving Crafts {For Kids}

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here! I wanted to share some Thanksgiving themed crafts I found online. Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they are from. The crafts for children are here and the crafts for adults will be posted later today. Enjoy! :)

Handprint Turkey


Cute Lil’ Turkey


Corn Craft


Toilet Tube Turkey


Leaf Feather Turkey


Colorful Turkey