thanksgiving and shopping

Welcome back everyone! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

We started out Thanksgiving at my parents' house, where I ate entirely too much food and cheated on my meatless diet. And I'm pretty unapologetic about it, because this was GOOD. My contribution to the dinner was smothered sweet potatoes, made with local sweet potatoes (that my mother bought from a farm in central Louisiana) and local smoked sausage. It was pretty easy (especially with doing the prep work the night before, allowing you to only have to wake up at 8am on Thanksgiving!)

And since there were leftovers for days, my boyfriend and I have taken to calling it Tater Snasage. It's the little things in life. Also, I swear it gets tastier after a couple days.

We only get cold Thanksgivings every so often, and this year was one of those times. There's really nothing better than a cozy house with a fire going in the fireplace.

I participated a little bit in Black Friday shopping at two places and remembered why I don't shop at certain big box stores, ahem, after three trips to get more Christmas lights, and still ending up with peach-hued white lights. At the other (nice) store, I had a pleasant trip and found so many great gifts.

And then I accompanied my boyfriend to the LSU-Arkansas game, which turned out to be a really fun afternoon. I don't consider myself an LSU fan, but I think it's my newfound Friday Night Lights obsession that has renewed my interest in football.

And then Saturday was Small Business Saturday! We ventured out to a local burger place for lunch and saw the biggest crowd I've ever seen inside.

After lunch we headed out to River Ranch to check out a bunch of local shops. While we didn't purchase anything, I did find a few items to add to my own Christmas list, and I got ideas for gifts for parties and swaps.

Sunday, we hung out around the house and decorated. I'm so proud of the holiday burlap wreath I made. And once Christmas is over, I'll be able to change the green bow to a black bow and make the wreath UL-themed, so it can be used all year round! We went to the Christmas tree lot Saturday evening and picked out a great tree for the living room. There's nothing I love more than the smell of a live Christmas tree in the house. And there are already gifts under the tree! (And the cats love to lounge on the tree skirt!)

But of course the fun is not over yet, with the designated shopping days still going on. Are you finding any great online deals today for Cyber Monday? I haven't even looked yet! (Hint to my family: Y'all might want to share some lists so I can take advantage of some sales!)

And tomorrow is the culmination of the holiday shopping season kickoff days, with Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday serves as a reminder to give back during the Christmas season, after the big shopping days are over. It's easy to participate in Giving Tuesday. You can join in on social media and become an ambassador. And then, visit the Partners page to see which nonprofit organizations are participating. You can choose to support local organizations, or ones that are dedicated to causes you are passionate about. (Cheers to The Green Project for being the only Louisiana environmental organization to be a partner! Hopefully there will be more next year!)

In the past few years, I've loved including charitable donations as part of my Christmas shopping and plan to do what I can this year. Why not be a Santa Claus to a nonprofit organization!?

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