Tuesday, December 6, 2016

7 Must Have Items for Your Next Holiday Feast

*This post is sponsored by Boar's Head but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.*
I've been a part of throwing several holiday parties over the years. I've been in charge of decorating, in charge of the food, in charge of the entertainment... and through it all, I've come to realize that there are certain things you absolutely must have in order to make your holiday feast a smashing success.

1) Appetizers. I really wanted to say "apps and zerts" and be like Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec, but I refrained. You're welcome. Usually your guests will arrive to your party/feast before everything is totally ready to be set on the table, and if that's the case you have to keep your guests happy! The best way to do this is to have delicious appetizers. A great appetizer is vegetables or crackers paired with Boar's Head hummus. The best part about this hummus? It comes in 9 delicious different flavors!


2) Stunning decor . I personally love these placemats that a co-worker made for me as a wedding gift. They're especially perfect for holiday parties! Your guests will want to see decor that fits the holiday you're celebrating, and this red and white is perfect for Christmas!

3) Great music. It's important to have something playing in the back ground just in the off chance that there's a lull in conversation. Chances are your party will be amazing and lacking in lulls, but you never know. Make sure you check out my Twitter poll for the worst Christmas song ever.

4) Games. Ok ok ok, I realize that games aren't everyone's cup of tea. But take my word for it: they're fun! We typically play games at my family holiday parties. Everything from pictionary to poem contests to holiday trivia contests! The winner gets to wear some kind of festive hat for the remainder of the evening, and it's a hat that only comes out during these special feasts, so everybody realizes just how important it is to win!

5) Napkins. I mean come on, I can't be the only messy eater, right?

6) Artistic displays. I love seeing how people arrange their food. Everybody does it so differently! Also, did you know that Boar's Head hummus makes a perfect (and delicious!) accent to an appetizer plate?? 

7) Good friends and good family. The best holiday feasts are ones your share with the people you love. And the best part? Since everybody is different and has different tastes, there's a Boar's Head hummus for EVERYONE!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Another weekend wrap up!

Hello, happy tuesday, and welcome to December and oh by the way did you blink? Because December is basically half over and Christmas is in less than three weeks. So... that's fun. Anyway, I'm back (by popular demand, name that song, it's Beyonce) with another weekend recap because I had a super fun weekend AGAIN and I must tell the entire internet about it before I internally combust which this next picture makes it clear I am about to do!


The girls in my family were all getting together to go wedding dress shopping with my younger sister. Her wedding is in July and she hadn't been dress shopping yet so we made it a big deal and told her if she didn't buy a dress we chose for her we would never forgive her. Joking, obviously. She did still appease us and try on dresses that she hated but we loved... that's the love of a family.

But let's back up. I was ecstatic to be able to spend all day Friday with my nieces Katelynne and Kynlee. You've met them before. Katelynne is 3 and Kynlee is just about 9 months and together they're the must fun little girls ever.We started the morning bright and early at about 6:45, and I had no idea a 3 year old could be so wide awake and ready to go before 7am! 


She's a little camera whiz so she was talking pictures of everybody, and then I introduced her to... drumroll please... SELFIES! Ok ok ok, so she wasn't impressed. It's fine I'm fine we're all fine.


We watched a movie, she played with Dominoes, and then it was time for MAKEUP. I had to get ready to go see my Grandma and then go to the Christmas parade so I really had to begin the spackling process. Katelynne was right there with me wanting to use everything I used.

"Dis go on your eye?"
"What dis?" "It's an eyebrow pencil for your eyebrows." "Kay. I'mma need ta do my eyebrows now."


There's a small chance I got too into it and I just kind of painted her face. I tried to give her a pink nose but you couldn't really see it. But isn't she just the cutest little kitty cat you ever did see??


SIGH, shes too much.


AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT HAIR. HOLY COW.


We went to visit my Grandma, who will be 101 years old next month!! Time sure does fly, I tell ya. Katelynne loved seeing her Great Grandma and Kynlee in typical Kynlee fashion just basically tolerated the rest of us.


Here's my younger sister (the bride!) getting some cuddles with lil' Kyn.


And here's me and lil' Kyn being adorable. (Her, not me)


Then, it was parade time! We all bundled up because ... California. I think it was 45 fegrees but you would have thought we were in the middle of Russia. Katelynne got her very first kid's hot chocolate and she didn't hate it but she didn't pose for a cute picture with it either so IDK how she really feels.


Kynlee started giving kisses - look! Kissing her mama, melting my heart.


Kynlee fell asleep in my arms and have you ever carried a giant baby around a parade? It's not easy. But she's so cute and kissable I just love it!! Plus I got to wear my blanket scarf so I felt like SUCH the blogger.


This net picture was taken when Santa drove by. Apparently Katelynne loves Santa. That isn't really surprising since this kid loves EVERYONE and eeverything. 


Then I fed her some garlic cheesy bread because I'M THE FUN AUNT!


The next day we went wedding dress shopping. Left to Right is: my mom, our sister-in-law Amy (who is doing remarkably well following the loss of her and my brother's baby in October), my Aunt, The Bride Angenette, older sister Kathrene, and yours truly.

Angenette did NOT pick out her dress but we all told her we didn't find our dress at the first store either (which was a lie because I didn't even want to go looking so I just went to a store and was like yeah ok this one let's do this let's starve myself for a month YEAH!). She found a few top condenders but nothing really screamed HER. You know how clothes do that? Well, these didn't.

We went to a delicious dinner at Novo restaurant in San Luis Obispo and ohhhhh they have the best salmon salad of your life.



The next day after church and lunch I visited Keith's aunt and uncle, who are partially kind of largely responsible for getting us together about seven years ago. Then I went to see my aunt, grandma, and aunt's gigantic cat (his name is Drogo, guess what the petite female cat's name is?) who finally showed me his belly so I got to pet him!


After a long weekend away and a long drive him, I found the cat hiding in my bag once I'd unpacked. Is it like, "Never leave me again!" or "You don't get a choice in the matter, you are never leaving me again." I guess we'll never know!


All in all, it was a pretty special weekend. I had the privilege of talking to John and Amy for a few hours about just life in general, but also how they're doing after the loss of Hannah. Oh, you guys, it is so hard and I don't know how anybody actually gets through this. It's not something we're supposed to have to endure. It's so amazing though, even in their sadness and despair, they have so much faith in Jesus and hope in the knowledge that they will see Hannah again, even though it won't be for a long time. I still cry every time I think about it and my heart aches so badly for them, and for our entire family. SO thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words and prayers. They truly do so much.

And on that lighthearted note, I'm signing off for the day. 

Kevin my dude.

Love you bye

(points for you if you get that reference.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Well, I guess the secret's out!

Yesterday, I did something completely mortifying. I always knew there was a chance of this happening, I mean, people make mistakes. Iphones make mistakes. Fat thumbs and not paying enough attention to things causes mistakes.

So yesterday, I made a mistake. I accidentally sent my aunt a link to my blog. Most of you are probably just thinking, "This is not a big deal," and I'm here to tell you, "Why yes, in fact it is." You see, I've kept my blog a secret from my family since the beginning of The Other Juliette, which was 3 1/2 years ago. I kept it a secret through my job working in finance, through the beginning of dating Keith, through moving to the mountain, through our marriage... it's still a secret. Of my real life friends (who I haven't met from the internet) I think a half dozen know about the blog. Fewer even read it.

How have I kept it a secret? I don't advertise my blog on Instagram (but I wish I could). I have a secret Twitter account, My name on my blog profile is Jay T. It obviously wouldn't be impossible to find me if you really wanted to look, but I don't want to just hand people the information.

But why keep it a secret if there's nothing "bad" on it? Well, to tell you the truth, internet, I'm embarrassed. I don't think my family would understand and I'm afraid of being embarrassed. I'm afraid of having to explain that those people who were at my wedding weren't friends from German class. I've never even taken German. The trips to Canada weren't trips to see a friend from college. The trip to Texas wasn't to see another German class friend.

IT'S ALL A LIE.

I started documenting my life on the internet because it was fun for me. At the time I had a boring job and during the day I had a lot of time to read blogs and work on my own, so I did. I thought up crazy posts, funny posts, posts retelling the crazy stuff I did before, list after list after list after list is on this blog. And I'm not ready to get rid of it. I love this blog and I love the friendships it's created.

I have had the opportunity to make money, to meet new people, to push my creative boundaries, and to have an outlet and a hobby that is just mine. Oftentimes I go back back baaaaack into my archives and read posts from 2015 or 2014 and I just think how incredibly grateful I am to have written so many things down and documented so many things. It might be weird, but it's my weird, and I love it.

So, Janet if you're reading this, welcome to my blog! I'll tell you all about it someday. Not today though. Today I have to go do some laundry. Love you....please don't tell anybody else.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The 10 most absurd things about Gilmore Girls (the original, NOT the revival)

You might not be aware of what I'm about to tell you. It was hardly in the news and I think only maybe 2 1/2 people actually cared, but.... Gilmore Girls has done a revival! Before we get any further I feel I must inform you all that I have NOT yet seen the season 8 revival. Therefore, any spoilers or anything that could possible misconstrued as a spoiler is not welcome in the comments beneath this post. Go discuss the revival somewhere else. THIS post is for those of  us who have ever wathced Gilmore Girls THE ORIGINAL and have found many, many, flaws.

1. Lorelai and Rory never actually eat anything. They order plates and plates of food, take one measly bite, and then they either leave the place where they're eating or the camera cuts away for 3 seconds and when it comes back you see those two still annoyingly skinny with empty cartons of Chinese food, pizza boxed with crust in them, mounds and mounds of marshmallows, ets. This is usually after they're ordered a cheeseburger, fries, a milkshake, and pie at Luke's. Or, on the rare occasion you actually see them taking a bite, it's the smallest and most minuscule bite of food ever. It's just crazy. If a cheeseburger made by Luke Danes was on my plate I would NOT take one nibble from it like a church mouse and leave it at that.



2. They very obviously carry empty coffee cups around with them all the time. They don't every even TRY to make it look like their coffee cups are full. You don't just casually carry around a hot coffee cup and wave it in the air like they do. No. When you have a full cup of hot coffee YOU PROTECT IT. You take whatever precautions you can so your precious drink doesn't spill. GEEZ! Below is a gif that is the closest I can find to what I mean. I promise, if you just watch one epidode you will realize what I'm talking about in the first 5 minutes.


3. They eat out all the time and always seem to have money. I have eaten out for days, even weeks at a time. Let me just say, IT'S FREAKING EXPENSIVE. The Chinese food they eat easily costs $60, and then they blow their money on sweet treats like it's going out of style. Now, I like to eat out and eat candy more than most people, but I've accepted that I can't do that and live til 30. I feel like Emily and Richard are the only two people who could afford that lifestyle, and lord knows they aren't giving Lorelai money to just give her cavities also.

4. Luke and Lorelai switch what side of the bed they sleep on ALL THE TIME. Speaking as a married woman who sleeps with a man every night, I'm here to tell you that having "your side" of the bed is basically a sacred thing. I have my things on my side of the bed. I know what positions are comfortable on my side of the bed (SLEEPING positions, you perv). I know exactly where to reach for my phone on my side of the bed. You get it, right? This first picture is of Luke and Lorelai about to make out. Lorelai is on the right side of the bed (if you're lying in it). You see it? You're with me?


Then, like 6 hours later, they're like this! Different sides!! I know they must get freaky but do people actually get so freaky that they fall asleep on opposite sides of the bed? Comment below if you do, so I can know. Actually, I take that back. I absolutely do not want to know the answer to this question.


5. We're supposed to believe that Rory tied this corset all on her own. Rory goes out to experience the life and death brigade and while the whole thing was unbelievable, the most absurd thing we're supposed to believe without questioning it is the fact that Rory tied this corset herself. Like, What?? I sold wedding dressed for years and have tied hundreds of corsets just like that. It's impossible to do it yourself! I don't care how many stupid things you're good at Rory, you did not tie that corset yourself.


6. That Rory didn't know exactly what she was doing when she slept with Dean, HER MARRIED EX-BOYFRIEND WHO ACTUALLY WAS AN ASS. Dean was awful. Is awful. We do not like Dean. But Lindsay? She's fine. Nothing against her. Rory knew exactly what she was doing when she seduced Dean. Obviously Dean is to blame as well, but Rory is supposed to be a genius and geniuses should know when they're making a stupid dumb huge decision.

7. That Doose's is the only market in town. I actually live in a town that has one small, family owned grocery store. It is probably 20 times larger than Taylor's because hello, it's the grocery store FOR THE WHOLE TOWN! There' no way Doose's stocks enough stuff that nobody needs an Albertson's or a Vons or an Aldi. Just try amd make that happen in real life.

8. That Lane could bleach her hair, dye it purple, then dye it black again and she still had hair left on her head. That's like, serious trauma to your head. Your head isn't made for that. Your hair is supposed to fall out. You're not supposed to look perfect, then perfect with purple hair, and then perfect again, all in less than 5 hours. No. GO AWAY LANE, GO EAT SOME KIMCHI AND PRAY TO JESUS FOR LYING TO US ALL.




9. That Jess got bit by a swan. Does anybody actually believe this story?

10. That Max proposed to Lorelai with 1,000 daisies and she still abandoned him at the altar. This chick is cruel. Maybe all those years of breakfast poptarts clogged her heart arteries and clogged her ability to feel any remorse or any sense of common decency? Who knows. 

Ugh with this whole show.

Now please be quiet so I may finish season 7. Thank you and goodnight.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekend Recap is Back: Thanksgiving!

Well, my favorite holiday is officially over and it's time to bombard the interwebs with pictures and a really detailed (and by detailed I mean "probably very boring") recap of eeeeeverything we did from Wednesday night to Sunday! Yay! You're welcome! Actually, writing this recap posts takes me back to "the good old days" where it was standard to post about your weekend on Monday and to link up with the host (usually Sami may her blog rest in peace) and read recaps from everybody else in blog land. Oh, how the times have changed. But anyway, back to my point: my exciting post about my weekend. YAY! again!
Since we stayed on the mountain this year and didn't drive to see my family in SLO, I offered to cook the turkey, the dressing, and some pies. There were going to be about 17 people at Keith's parents' cabin and nobody had planned to cook a turkey so genius me was like, "Oh, I get a free one from work. I've helped my aunt make a turkey a few times. Sure I can do it on my own! So, Wednesday night I got to work slicing the crap out of apples (sidebar: how do you slice your apples? Thin or thick? Peeled or unpeeled? Dump the apples in the crust or lay them carefully slice by slice? I sliced my thin, mostly peeled, and I laid them very nicely next to each other and it turned out pretty good), cleaning Herman the turkey, and slicing onions and celery for the stuffing. And wine, there was wine involved. And I only sliced my finger open once! The blood didn't even get on the apples! Wins allllllll around! I did not take any pictures of this because I didn't want to risk salmonella getting on my phone and then not properly cleaning my phone and then salmonella getting into my ears and then going deaf and then well, you see where this is going.

Back to Herman.

This year I tried something different with the turkey: I injected him with butter. With an actual syringe and a gigantic needle. It was super disgusting but the turkey was DELICIOUS. So, while I was basically performing surgery on a 21 lb dead turkey, Keith kept himself busy researching Black Friday deals and we ended up finding a great deal on a laptop for me (which hopefully means more blogging... gotta give the people what they want, amirite??) and a few other things we don't necessarily "need" but have been wanting for quite a while.

Thursday morning my rude alarm clock went off before 7 and told me it was time to start cooking Herman. I put him in the oven at 350 and loosely covered him with aluminum foil, and then I tried to go back to bed but Clementine decided to crawl under the bed and puke right in the middle of the floor. It was the most inconvenient thing ever, and there were lots of profanities shouted by me and lots of grunting from my still-sleeping husband. I decided to go watch Gilmore Girls by myself and get closer to being able to watch the revival (still have a little over a season to go, ugh).
Cooking Herman wasn't easy. I was really worried about him being dry, so I took him out too early and started carving. Here he is all crispy and golden and delicious looking:


It turns out he wasn't quite done, which I realized when I had carved a bunch of him and started finding pink meat. Apparently just waiting for the meat thermometer to tell you the bird is at 165 degrees doesn't cut it. You have to be REALLY SURE. I was pretty concerned about people thinking my turkey cooking skills were sub-par (and also kind of worried about food poisoning I guess) so I put the sliced meat back in the oven to hopefully cook out all of the salmonella. I guess it worked because I didn't hear anything about people puking.

One of my pies turned out to be an earthquake pie. In my family we affectionately refer to disastrous desserts as "earthquake ___." It's fun.


Thanksgiving afternoon was wonderful. There was a ton of food, a ton of people, and a ton of fun. We finally got to meet our 5 month old nephew Joel (the son of Keith's brother and his wife; they live in Tahoe) and oh my goodness, he is just the sweetest and most cuddly and squishy baby boy ever! Keith is really enjoying me telling him how good he looks with a baby. He loves it when I talk about having one. He can tell that they're very quiet, basically free to raise, and require minimal effort.(Can you sense my sarcasm?)
There were naps and puzzles.



The next day, we repainted our deck. This deserves another post altogether. Keith and his dad spend two full weekends repairing and replacing parts of our deck - the deck we use to park on. Finally it was ready to be painted and I was the lucky lady who got to do the painting. It really wasn't bad so I won't complain. I also won't complain about how much I hate the color


After the deck we went "down the hill" to pick some things up and get new chains for my car. A snowstorm was predicted for that weekend and I would pretty much be stranded if I didn't get chains. We finally found a place that sold us cables and I wasn't quite sure I believed I'd be able to get them on.

Friday night was at the cabin again, mostly watching football but there was also food and some games involved, too. I'm really blessed that I love hanging out with my in laws. They're wonderful, kind, inviting people who have always made me feel a part of the family and for that I will always be grateful.

Also we made dominoes fall perfectly.

Around 10 that night we convinced Keith's dad Greg to drive us down the hill to look at some Black Friday deals. We had a blast just the three of us running in and out of stores grabbing the most random things (at wal mart we got extension cords, candles, and ziplock bags) and watching all the people, some of whom were actually camped out! The store is open, what are they waiting for? I am actually curious about this.
\
Saturday Keith went to the cabin again to watch some football games (apparently Michigan played somebody and then USC placed like, Notre Dame or something and it was all A VERY BIG DEAL, JULIETTE. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I went on a walk with my mother in law Brenda, my sister in law Jackie, Jackie's baby Joel, and Jackie's mom Connie. Make sense? Juiette, Brenda, Jackie, Joel, Connie. We went to a craft fair which was really fun, they had a ton of stuff and I wish I had gone back and looked at more things. Then we walked around the lake. It was freezing and I was not dressed appropriately. Is windburn a thing? Like a sun burn? Because I'm 99% sure I got windburnt.

Joel got to meet Santa for the first time!

Anyway, we all went back to Greg and Brenda's cabin, and just as we sat down for lunch a huge hailstorm started! I wasn't nervous at first, I mean, what's a little hail? Well, a little hail is fine, but then it turns into a lot of hail and it accumulates and doesn't melt. Super fun! I figured we would just wait it out at the cabin, but Keith said "RAWR. I AM MAN. WE FIX CHAINS. WE NO GET STUCK AT CABIN. RAWR." And I was like... "K just let me finish these delicious freetos.






Eventually it started actually snowing. HUGE flakes! I could catch them on my sleeve and actually see the intricate designs in each one. It's crazy that there are so many different ones and it's even crazier to think that God knows what each one of those flakes looks like. That's a lot of flakes!

Keith drove home (thank God) and we made it with only one small possible misshap whe  a red van parked in the middle of the road, blocking everything, and we almost didn't make it up our hill. But, if you follow me on snapchat (@jliette) then you already know everything that happened.



Sunday we didn't do much at all. In the evening Keith and I went to see Jeff and Jackie again (they had been stranded due to car trouble) but I'm secretly glad that happened because I got to snuggle up with a sleeping nephew and I was in heaving. Keith was too because I kept whispering, "Don't you want one?" and it wasn't annoying at all. I think I was actually very subtle about it. Now tell me, what did YOU do this weekend? Any fantastic Black Friday finds? And drool worthy Thanksgiving meals? Hit me!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

10 tips for a perfect Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. I love the emphasis on family and thankfulness. And obviously, I love the food. In years past my aunt and I have cooked dinner for a dozen or so family members and it has always been so fun (albeit tiring) to stay up late on Wednesday night prepping the turkey and slicing vegetables.

This year, however, I'm staying on the mountain with Keith, his family, and some of in my-laws' in-laws. I think the last time we counted there were going to be close to 20 people there. Like the genius I am, I said I'd cook the turkey. And the stuffing. And two apple pies. Send help. And wine. I'm actually pretty excited for it and I'm already looking forward to my Thanksgiving afternoon nap.

I decided that since I'm such an expert at cooking Thanksgiving food, I'd share my top 10 tips to make sure you have a perfect Thanksgiving.



1. Boob down! I know it looks prettier and more photo-worthy to cook the turkey boob up, but cooking the bird book down makes all the juices settle in the part of the bird with the most meat.

2. Dry the WHOLE thing. After you've thoroughly washed the inside and outside of your bird, make sure to pat the whole thing. Especially the inside! Otherwise your turkey will be gross and your Thanksgiving will be ruined.
3. Use the right potatoes. If you're making mashed potatoes, Yuma gold potatoes are the best ones. They're incredible creamy and when you mash them you only need to add a little bit of milk. But really, the basically mash themselves.

4.Butter the bird in all the right places. Make sure you sensually rub salted butter in between the skin and the meet. Get friendly with each other, it's fine.



5. Don't make your own cranberry sauce. It's way more trouble than it's worth (probably) and nobody will care if your sauce is from a can.

6. Wear gloves. Raw poultry can give you diseases and you don't need to see your Thanksgiving dinner twice, if you know what I mean.

7. Don't forget the yams! One year we made a big deal about having yams with dinner but then we forgot to take them out of the oven until halfway through dessert. So now, our running family joke is, "Don't forget the yams!"

8. Delegate. You can't do everything yourself and nobody expects you to.


9. Use paper plates. Who likes doing dishes? Bueler? No. Nobody likes dishes. You can get really pretty and sturdy paper plates for really cheap at basically any store. Do it and then thank me.

10. Let it go. At the end of the day, Thanksgiving is about family and any major mishaps will just turn into good fodder for future family stories.