Make Thanksgiving Easy This Year

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It's so easy to get overwhelmed by the holiday hustle with shopping, cooking, decorating and hosting, I have been looking for a way to make my life just a little bit easier. This year I am enlisting the help of Nestle so I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time entertaining my friends and family. Recently while shopping at Walmart I discovered Stouffer's Mac & Cheese Party Size Entree and thought this would be a great time saver to help make this Thanksgiving an easy meal, not an all day showdown in the kitchen. Not only is their Mac & Cheese delicious, it comes in party size, perfect for feeding 6-8 people. But then I thought, how can I make it more interesting?

It's true, Mac & Cheese is delicious all by itself, but I wanted to make it even better by adding some delicious toppings to mix in. After I put the Mac & Cheese in the oven to bake for about an hour, I got started on the toppings. Within the time it took for the Mac & Cheese to bake, I cooked a couple packs of bacon until they were crispy, steamed some broccoli florets, sauteed some mushrooms and emptied a container of crispy onions into a bowl.

When it comes to decorating for Fall and Thanksgiving, I am a dollar store lady all the way. I love that I can turn a $1 bag of leaves and stickers into decorative food labels and also decorate my table with items from the dollar store too. 

Everyone loved being able to mix up their Mac & Cheese to make it their own. I loved the broccoli and crispy onions, the kids really loved the bacon and I was able to sneak in some broccoli for them to eat. I was able to sneak in the broccoli since I had a surprise for them for dessert. (Yes, I am the mom who bribes my kids with dessert.)

It's so easy to get lost in the food and fun times over the holidays, so I wanted to make sure to put the word "Thankful" up for everyone to see and have a little reminder about what this day is all about. This way everyone can take a minute and remember what they are thankful for. 

Here is a closeup of my bowl of Mac & Cheese. Although, I only used the crispy onions, bacon, broccoli, and mushrooms, we couldn't help but talk about what other toppings would work well. More veggies would be great, crumbled sausage, or even chorizo. 

I love getting together with my family. Days and months and years go by so fast, it's so important to spend time together with the ones you love. It was great to be able to actually spend time with my family, rather than spending the whole evening cooking in the kitchen. 

Here are some more tips for making the holiday gatherings easier. 

  • Roll out a blank sheet of paper for the kids table or find an activity table cloth like the one I found at Walmart, add a box of crayons or markers for the kiddos to entertain themselves.
  • For dessert, you don't have to go crazy trying to bake something, grab a box of Nestle Drumstick sundae cones. There are so many varieties now, everyone has a favorite, including the new Peppermint and crispety, crunchy, peanut-buttery Butterfinger Drumstick.

Now that you're ready to plan Thanksgiving dinner, when you head out to do your holiday grocery shopping put Mac & Cheese Bar on the list. stop by Walmart and pick up the Stouffer's Mac & Cheese Party Size and Nestle Drumsticks to save yourself some time in the kitchen, and spend more time with the people you care about.  

Need some more inspiration for Thanksgiving? Check out this Pinterest Board: 

I am Thankful for..

I am Thankful for the amazing people in my life. 

First, my husband. He is hard working and a wonderful father. Although what seems like the majority of the time I am exasperated at him, I love him and I love that he will always try to make me smile. I probably wouldn't trade him in for anything. 

My kids. These girls are smart, funny, silly and exhausting. And, now that I have them I couldn't imagine my life without them. They make me feel old and drive me insane from 6 in the morning until 9 in the evening, but, they also fill some of those hours in between with really great memories.

My home and my parents. Nobody ever plans to move back in with their parents, but that is the hand that the Lord has dealt us. I appreciate it every single morning while I sit, drink my coffee and watch the news with my Dad and every night while I clean the kitchen after dinner with my Mom. I also, feel very grateful that my girls are being raised in a loving household. 

I am thankful for my best friend Debra, because although we don't see one another very often, when we do see each other it's kind of like a free therapy session. 

I am thankful for my in-laws. I hear a lot of horror stories from so many others and I am so so grateful that we don't have drama. 

I am thankful for my extended family. I grew up with a big extended family and I know that if I ever need anything I could call on them, and they could do the same. 

Lastly, I am thankful for the So Cal Lady Bloggers. I stumbled upon this wonderful group of ladies earlier this year and I am so glad that I did! I have met so many amazing women bloggers, kinda like me. They have been my source of entertainment, advice, and knowledge since the day I was accepted into this group. Seriously, these women have helped me to feel like my feelings are valid and that I am not alone. 

Also, I am thankful for you! If you are reading this, then you are supportive of me and how I have chosen to spend my extra time. So, Thank you!! :)