{Thanksgiving circa 1993}

The Thanksgiving holiday this year was exactly what I needed: familiar and cathartic.  We celebrated last weekend with Don’s family then enjoyed the official “turkey day” and long weekend with the extended McCormick clan, making the holiday happiness flow all week long and keeping my appetite for quintessential southern comfort food perpetually satiated.  I came back to school with a happy heart and refreshed perspective, all signs of a good break indeed.

Over the past few weeks, I made it my pointed November mission to enter a season of thankfulness all month long.  In the hecticness of everyday life, it is so easy to overlook all the little joys and blessings intertwined with simply living and I find my outlook is much more positive when I step back from my “to-do” list and quite literally count my blessings, both big and small.

Throughout the weekend I found myself much more perceptive of the little things: the perfection of my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, the chilly air and crunchy red leaves, the hearty laughter of cousins.  I was thankful for long hugs and happy stories, particularly of 3 little girls clad in pilgrim attire sewn by our mother, watching the Macy’s parade and eager to show off the homemade candy-adorned gingerbread turkey we so excitedly helped mom create to fellow lunch goers.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday that was exactly what you needed.  Here’s to Christmas music and the invasion of fruit cake… and keeping a thankful heart all year round. -xx-

lake weekend5

Since Independence Day also doubles as my dad’s birthday, my family always makes an effort to celebrate extra sufficiently.  Don and I lionized the actual 4th in (moderately) traditional fashion with fireworks over the water and a sushi picnic, then joined my family for a weekend of eating/relaxing/water sports cajoling at our lake house.

Weekend highlights include an afternoon paddle with my dad, Mason’s infamous “bug bomb”, and the seemingly never-ending pan of garlic cheese grits that graced the fridge.  In acknowledgement of my inability to ever make it through an entire movie, I am happy to report I stayed wide-eyed through not one, but two, drippingly feminine flicks, keeping true to my styrofoam penned contract above and scarring every male in attendance with a midnight viewing of Kirstie Alley’s “Drop Dead Gorgeous”.

I hope everyone had a fun holiday relishing the simplicities of summer and finding time to lounge around enjoying what and who you love!  Now let’s go scoff some coffee and bars….. #gladysleeman


{making chocolate-covered strawberries for my cute Valentine}

This week was lovely for many reasons.  A surprise visit from the baby McCormick sis, celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, and an improptu camping trip with my favorite guy all made me feel full and happy.  Another culinary highlight of the week was experiencing my first authentic oyster bake, complete with 200-pounds of seafood goodness cooked to perfection under steamy burlap sacks. Although impending anaphylaxis prevented me from sampling any of the little gems, the way the other party-goers raved let me know they were fabulous.  Here’s to a wonderful (halfway-over, oops!) week!


{coming home to a box of perfect homemade petit fours on my counter}


{aquisition of my first set of dental tools at school}


{enjoying my first authentic South Carolina-style oyster bake}IMG_4855

{Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Alice and Tobias}


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