Friday, December 2, 2016

Random roundup: the family visit

I know Thanksgiving is long gone and everyone is hyper-focused on Christmas, but I couldn't not post a recap of Thanksgiving week with my family in town along with everything we did and what I wore. This blog is my diary, so to speak, and it's nice to be able to read back on these things and reminisce! Anyhoo, let's get started!!!

My parents, sister, and nephew flew in around 7:30 on Tuesday evening. You can see that outfit in Wednesday's post here. We didn't have time for much that day obviously, other than dinner. I wanted to take them to Lu Lu Seafood. If you recall, we had a blogger event there last fall. After that event, I immediately told the husband that if my family ever came in to visit that we needed to take them there. It was right up their alley and reminded me of their favorite restaurant in SoCal they used to take us to that is now closed. My premonition was right, they loved it! Especially my nephew who went to town on the noodles!!

--- Thanksgiving night with my sister, brother, and his wifey --
Outfit details: American Eagle striped chambray (old) and American Eagle olive skinnies

Let me go ahead and fast forward to Thanksgiving for a second! We were having the husband's family over at 2pm, so the cooking started pretty early in the morning. My parents marinated the turkey the night before, so we had a good head start on that. We also (took out a second mortgage) bought some Honey Baked Ham that just needed to be set out a half hour before we were ready to eat. Luckily, that was the bulk of the work. The husband made the stuffing and the gravy. We had some sweet potato casserole, Brussel sprouts, and mac and cheese for sides that needed to be heated. Otherwise, I was just running around trying to get the house all situated for the guests along with getting myself showered and ready. I chose a super not interesting outfit to wear - just a chambray and my faithful olive skinnies. If I had planned better, I would have had a cuter hostess outfit on, but at that point, I just needed something easy and fast and I really didn't care much actually.

His mom and aunts also brought over food - we had polish sausage, green bean casserole, yams, mashed potatoes, along with some appetizers and desserts. Needless to say, we had a crap ton of food left over! There was a second grazing that happened at dinner, but not enough to vanquish all of the food! Oh well, better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it, right?

Jacket: Express (similar) | Necklace: Paperdolls Boutique (c/o) | Sweater: ExpressBralette: Express | Jeans: American EagleBoots: Frye "Melissa button"

Ok, so back to sequential order, sorry. My brother in law had to come in a day after my sister because of work. He came in around 11pm on Wednesday evening. My brother and his wife arrived a little bit after, so my brother in law waited around for them with a rental car. They ended up not getting to our house until almost 12:30 in the morning, and naturally we had to wait up for them! To entertain ourselves for the day while they were all still en route to St. Louis, they requested to walk around the mall just to kill some time. We were originally going to go to the Galleria mall which is just under a half hour from our house, but when the husband and I saw that the entire car full of people fell asleep, we decided to let them nap longer and we drove another 15 minutes to get to West County Center.

We ended up getting my parents their Christmas gifts early and upgraded their iPhones. They were both 100% out of storage on their phones, not to mention their phones were a few generations old anyway and they were both eligible for the upgrades. Needless to say they were crazy excited. We walked around for a couple of hours then ended up having dinner at McCormick and Schmick's. The husband and I have eaten there before, so we knew it was good, but the service was extra outstanding that night.

Necklaces: CS Gems, Kendra Scott "Rayne"Sweater: Express | Leggings: Spanx (budget option) | Boots: Vince Camuto

By the time Black Friday came around, I was (hungover) exhausted, but I had to push through for the sake of shopping. You can see my Black Friday shopping outfit in Monday's post here. I ended up getting a flat tire while at the mall, which was quite awesome. I won't go into the gory details of that story, but we were able to get roadside assistance to come break the lug nut caps off the wheel since Audi apparently doesn't equip the car with the proper tools. Otherwise, my brother could have just changed the tire for us. By the time we got done with shopping and a late breakfast, I was defeated! I excused myself and took a well-needed 2 hour nap. When I woke up late afternoon, we decided to do dinner, Christmas lights, and bowling!

We ended up not having any time for bowling, but I don't think anyone was heartbroken over it. The general vibe that I was getting from everyone is that they were happy to relax and not have to constantly be on the go. We had taken them all to one of our fave pizza places called Peel the last time they came to visit, and they requested it again this trip. Who are we to deny them good food? We did end up taking them out to the O'Fallon location instead since it's bigger and we figured it would be easier to accommodate a party our size. Afterwards, we stopped by Our Lady of the Snows Shrine so the nephew could ride a pony, pet some animals, and we could drive through and admire the Christmas lights.

Jacket: Express (similar) | Scarf: Dillard's (similar) | Top: Express | Leggings: Paperdolls Boutique (c/o) | Boots: Naya "Fisher" boot (c/o Naturalizer) (other colors here)

Everyone left Saturday morning with the exception of my brother and his wife. I'm glad they were able to stay a little longer so I didn't have to quit family time cold turkey. We drove everyone to the airport that morning/early afternoon then headed out to Plaza Frontenac because I had to spend the husband's birthday month discount at Kendra Scott before the month was over!!! You can see what I ended up picking for myself in Monday's post here

We only perused a couple of more stores then headed back to this side of the river for a late lunch at our most favorite restaurant, Cleveland Heath. I felt victorious when the sister in law told me that they had the best Brussel sprouts she has ever eaten because that place is single-handedly responsible for my large NEED for sprouts. After we ate, we went to see Hacksaw Ridge. It was very gruesome in parts, but overall the storyline and portrayal of real life events were very, very good. I cried a lot during the movie, actually. It was very touching and I think it impacted me so much knowing it was based on a true tory. All that gore though made me watch something a little bit more light and airy so that I wasn't having nightmares. We ended up watching Bad Moms when we got home!

Jacket: Capulet (budget options here and here) | Top: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bralette: Express (limited sizes) | Bottoms: American EagleBooties: Dolce Vita

Sunday was a "lay around and do nothing" day. Well, actually, I used the time to get my Black Friday purchases all rounded up for the blog, and we left to go get some lunch in a drive-thru, but otherwise, I didn't get out of my PJs until almost 5 that afternoon. Yes, it was magical. I was worried my brother and sister in law would be bored, but they were the ones requesting to do nothing all day, and we were both totally fine with that! Our only plan was to go to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Not super exciting, but after all that turkey, we were craving some red meat! 

Sweatshirt: Express (similar here) | Bottoms: Express

We ended the night with another movie and watched War Dogs. (I think I watched more movies this week than I have in a year! It was nice, though!) Another good movie based on a true story! Although I couldn't believe their lack of jail time! What the heck! Anyway, this plush sweatshirt and camo pants combo was the perfect movie night outfit! I sized down in the bottoms, btw, so they fit me more like leggings. I can't tell you how soft both of these are! Seriously.

Monday was the last full day my brother and his wife were here. My sister in law agreed to take a Pilates class with me that morning, and the husband and brother worked out at the gym while we got our Pilates on. Afterwards, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Sgt. Peppers and some Sweet Green juice at Source. We wanted to keep the day relaxing and low key, and the boys agreed to get pedicures with us! It was my brother's first one ever! Ha! Afterwards, we had delish sushi at my fave local placed called Nori. When we got home, we kept the "based on true story" theme up and decided to watch Snowden. All in all, a very good week for family, food, and movies!

I will leave you with some random photos throughout the week. While we were waiting for the rest of the family to arrive Wednesday night, the nephew and I had some fun with Snapchat. My sister isn't on Snapchat so the filters were all new to him and he was quite excited, despite how unimpressed he looks in this photo! He is seriously the cutest 2-year old ever. I know I'm biased, but his little voice makes my heart all melty!!!

My dad was adamant on taking a family photo because it's pretty rare that ALL of us are together at one time. We set up the tripod and I used the remote to take a round of photos! It's impossible to get a 2-year old to sit still, so while he is waving his beloved plane in the air like he just don't care, it is a Christmas miracle that we were able to get one with his face still and in focus!! I'm so so thankful that they were all willing and able to fly here and spend their week with us! We normally do all of our holidays in California, so it means a lot for them to turn the tables and come out our way for a change. And to have the husband's family here for Thanksgiving AT THE SAME TIME blows my mind. I know those that have both families in the same city struggle with having to visit multiple houses in one day, but it really is a blessing to be able to share the holidays with both families. Very thankful to do that this year. It was so very worth the stress.

I couldn't end this post without including our fur babies!! They were pretty overwhelmed with the house guests and I think my parents and my brother felt a little slighted because Petie didn't seem interested in visiting with them much. I honestly don't think it's a matter of him not remembering them, I think it is more to do with 1) a house full of a million people and their routines being thrown off and 2) him just being an old man. I will say though that once everyone left and it was just my brother and his wife here, Petie seemed a little more affectionate with my brother, which was sweet. They both got groomed before everyone got here and look how happy they are to be so fresh and so clean clean!

If you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there with me, not only with this post but with my sporadic schedule. Things should be back to normal again for next week's posts, so I hope you'll be back to see what I have to share! Have a great weekend!

Linking up for:  Fashion Friday, Friday Favorites


  1. This post is awesome and it makes me wish I had a big family. I legit read the whole thing lol. I see how you would be sad after they left.


  2. Wow, what a busy few days that was! Definitely see how you had no time to blog! Ha! It's also just fun to read how other families spend their time on the holiday in between the key meals and things. And I love that you included all the outfits too, of course!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  3. I loved this post getting to know you and your family better. The family photo at the end is the bomb! Be well!

    Missy D.

  4. It sounds like you had a great time with your family! I love all of the outfits you rocked! Jess at Just Jess

  5. Looks like so much fun! And I love all of your outfits - MAJOR BOOT ENVY. Every single pair is so cute!

    Rachel's Lookbook

  6. Sounds like such a great time! I love it when all the family is together too. You have me wanting a burgundy moto jacket now. Love how you wear yours!