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We Survived the First Year of Marriage….and all we got was a trip to Thailand!

Photo by Julian Mackler, Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica, Day after Blewish Wedding

People LOVE asking newly-married people the same question:

“How is the first year of marriage???”

That is QUITE the question. Do you give the expected, “It’s been wonderful!” and go about your merry way?? Or do you keep it (too) real with the “It’s mostly great, except for the times I want to kill him/her!” and laugh like it’s a joke even though you really mean it? I tend to go with a big ol’ grin and say “We made it!”

So, you’re probably wondering, how WAS the first year of marriage??

It was beautiful. It was terrifying. It was heart-breaking. It was educational. It was earth-shattering. It was hard. It was easy. It was enlightening. It was full of breathtaking highs and gut-wrenching lows. But most importantly for us, it was a strong and enduring partnership between two people who (thankfully) really, really like each other.

I can’t and wouldn’t want to give people marriage advice because every relationship is so singular. But I do have a couple of suggestions. These might feel painfully obvious, and if so, use them as needed reminders:

  • Regardless of who you are with, those highs and lows will happen. Be with someone that you can’t WAIT to celebrate those amazing moments with and who will never leave your side during life’s darkest days.
  • Take some time to learn who you are and how you operate within your marriage/relationship. We are all constantly learning and evolving as individuals, but I had to understand what type of a partner I am. Be patient with yourself and your significant other as you learn how to function as a team. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t organically happen immediately.
  • Spend time with each other and if you can, get the hell out of dodge! Maybe you don’t have the time or credit card points to go across the world (what, you thought we actually had the money to go to Thailand??); so road trip an hour away to a B&B or shut out the world for one night by turning off your phones and computers, make dinner, and talk to each other.

So yes, we SURVIVED the first year of marriage. If I’m being honest, I think I love Jay a little more than I did in April of 2015. And that, to me, is the biggest indicator of a successful first year of marriage.

SOOO….THAILAND????

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Okay, yes, Thailand, the important part!  Our wedding anniversary is the same week as both of our birthdays (I know, so obnoxious, right???). So for our first anniversary and 32nd birthdays we went to Thailand!! I wrote a very, very, very long post about our trip, so I’ve broken it up in parts.

Want to read about what we ate and loved??? Check out the Thailand Eats post.

What to read about what we drank??? Thailand Boozing!

Want to read about the most disappointing $450 meal ever at the TOP restaurant in Asia. Read on about Gaggan. Be warned, lots of snark.

 

 

 

 

Dessert Gatherings Holiday Recipes Sides Thanksgiving Vegetarian

Oh, it’s you, Holidays….AGAIN! SO SOON!

The keyword for my Thanksgiving favorites is *traditional*. I’ve done the kicked up stuff. I’ve tried new recipes. And they often come out great. But I still go back to craving things that I grew up eating. After all, it’s only once a year that you get to eat these goodies.

One big reason I revert back to these classics is because they remind me of my grandmother and her sisters. Born and raised in Ashburn, GA, they are the epitome of southern women who throw down in the kitchen- take some of the most basic ingredients, don’t measure a damn thing and create absolute magic. How can you not love that??

My Thanksgiving favorites are macaroni and cheese, stuffing (or dressing as some call it), sweet potato pie and apple cake. I even do weird things like mix my mac and cheese and sweet potatoes. If you like sweet and salty, it is so good. No, I’m not pregnant.

Below you will find links to recipes of these favorites. I’ll also be posting Emily’s vegan chocolate silk pie if she ever give me the recipes. If she hadn’t told me the pie was vegan, I wouldn’t have had any idea.

Yes, there is no meat or veggies on my faves list. If you ever look at my Thanksgiving plate, it is not…balanced. But dammit, it’s the holidays, so take your judgment elsewhere. That being said, we grew up eating Cornish game hens and Honey Baked ham for Thanksgiving, because mom never felt the need to stress over a turkey. And little hens are so CUTE and way more flavorful.

If do you need a great veggie dish, I highly recommend this Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Bacon Vinaigrette dish. It is SO good. I usually omit the the chestnuts because, what do I look like, Mrs. Claus who just has chestnuts laying around??

We hosted a few friends to test all of our recipes. Instead of making a turkey, Jay roasted two chickens. We woke up the next morning, hungover and so excited for leftovers to find there were NONE. NONE! I wept. And then patted us on the back for a successful dinner.

An appropriately sized bottle of bubbly for one during the holidays.

An appropriately sized bottle of bubbly for one during the holidays.

Tell me, readers, how do you plan to spend your holidays? With four families in four different cities, I always stress about pleasing everyone. This Thanksgiving, we’ll be heading to Atlanta to spend it with my mother. December holidays will be spent with Jay’s families up north. Next year, I’m hoping to start a new tradition where we host Thanksgiving and moms come one year and dads come the next. I think this would be a good way to maintain my sanity and keep the parents relatively happy.

Thanksgiving links are below. Get excited….there will be a latke post for Hanukkah.

Candace’s Bomb Ass Macaroni and Cheese

Southern Stuffing/Dressing

Apple Cake with Easy Caramel Sauce

Sweet Potato Pie

Corn Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Silk Pie (to come)

Dessert Gatherings Recipes Thanksgiving

Fall Apple Cake

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m OBSESSED with apple desserts. I love them. If it’s on a menu, high chance I’m ordering it. Continue Reading

Dessert Gatherings Holiday Thanksgiving

Sweet Potato Pie

I know – buying pie is really easy. The internet has recently lost its mind over a viral video of a guy raving over Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie.

I’m sure Patti’s pie is delightful – and Lord knows I’m not trying to step on Ms. Patti’s toes —  but if you have 2 hours and some basic ingredients, you can make your own and brag about it. Continue Reading

Dessert Recipes

Brown Butter Blondies

I’m a rusher.

If I have a task, I like to get it done in the shortest amount of time possible.

At 31, I’ve finally learned that this is actually not the best way to get the most optimal results. Some things take time; finesse; a little extra effort.

Like Brown Butter Blondies.

Blondies are good. They scratch the itch. They get the job done. But the 10 extra minutes that Brown Butter Blondies require are life-changing. They are worth the additional 600 seconds that browning the butter requires. The flavor they give the blondies is so warm, nutty and delightful, it makes you wonder if we should be browning butter for EVERYTHING.

(The answer is yes).  Continue Reading