Why I Am So Very Thankful This Year

You guys... where did this year freaking go?! I cannot believe that it is Thanksgiving time again. I just can't! I probably should since I have to cook a feast right now. It's my very first time cooking a Thanksgiving feast, and I did over prepare. I went grocery shopping two days ago, prepped the crap out of everything last night, and have my Keurig working overtime. I've always helped with side dishes or cleaned, but this year I get to do it all. Which includes channeling my inner great grandmother and trying my hand at baking pies.

So while I'm cooking and while you are dreaming of all the Black Friday sales or in turkey comas, I wanted to give you guys a list of things I'm extremely grateful for.

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A home

Around the same time as Hurricane's Harvey and Irma, I was moving into my new place. I was pulling out flooring and putting more back in, scrubbing walls and then having to paint them. I complained almost the entire time, even though I had people helping me. But then it snapped... At least I had a home. There were so many people who were now without even the basics. Everything in there life, all of their possessions were gone, and here I was whining. I decided that unless it involved physical injury I wasn't going to complain from that point on. Because I have a home and I'm thankful for everything it means.

Wonderful friends

This year I think I have relied on my friends more than I ever have. I'd forgotten how wise in their own ways that they were. When I needed advice, to vent or even just a girls day I always had someone there. I can't wait to see what we do next year. I am so thankful to have each of them in my life.

My supportive family

I don't know where I would be without my family this year, especially my little brother. I don't give the kid a lot of credit, but he has been my biggest ally this year. I am so very thankful that I got to see my great grandmother before her passing. I'm thankful that my grandparents always try to feed me. I'm thankful that my parents are always there to talk to me, and that they love me despite all of our many flaws. My family, no matter how separated we are, is my rock and I will always be thankful to them.

My job and side hustle

I've been at my job for almost 9 years, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. There are days where I don't like it or I'm just having a hard time, but I have a job and a great boss. To top that, I have awesome people that let me watch their house and animals... and pay me to do it. No matter how many times I've been unavailable or lacked in communication, they still  allow me to do something that has helped with a number of bills.

My health

I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am to be healthy this year. After having been to the hospital twice in under 5 years and having surgery, I was worried that I would be jinxed forever, or that the universe was conspiring against me in some sort of way. This year has been relatively illness free (knock on wood) though, and I cannot be happier.

All of you

A final thank you to all of you. Whether you clicked on a post occasionally or have read every single one, thank you. Without you I probably would have given up a long time ago. Thank you for hearing my random antics, helping me through my difficulties, and supporting me through thick and thin. I'm so thankful that you let this little space of internet live.

Happy thanksgiving to all of you. I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your families and friends.

So I tried making my own Pasta

For Christmas this year, I was blessed to have such a loving family that loves my baking. I would say that most of them love me. Lets face it though, you give a person a cheesecake and their putty in your hands. So when I asked for a KitchenAid mixer, they all pitched in and got me the exact one I wanted. Not only that but I was also gifted with the pasta maker attachment!

You guys, I get to make my own carbs!

I damn near started sobbing as I unwrapped the package to the pasta attachment and drying stand. I hadn't expected this one like the mixer, heck I had told my family how to buy it for me and gave them the amazon link. But the attachment was WAY more than I thought it would be. So when I said it jokingly I didn't think it would actually happen. But it did! So I chose the New Years weekend to test it out, since we all know how social I can be.

So for New Years I tried making my own pasta....

I found some basic recipes on Pinterest, but couldn't find the one that I really wanted. So I went to my favorite source for food inspo, The Food Network. I got my basic pasta recipe, opened up a bottle of Chardonnay.

Here's the recipe:

3 1/2 Cup of flour

5 Large eggs

Step one: Build a little flour basket.

Step Two: Mix the eggs and the flour.

Step Three: Knead the shit out of it!

Step Four: Wrap in Plastic Wrap, wait 30-60 minutes, need a little more in the plastic.

Step Five: Use attachments to flatten and cut the pasta.

Viola! You have pasta!

You guys should try to make your own pasta at least once in your life.

The Velvet Taco in Dallas,TX

During my business trip in Dallas, I was dying to go to a good restaurant or two and hang out with the people from our other offices. I secretly was hoping for a really great coffee shop, but sadly that is not Texas's specialty. But food, Texans know their food!  During that week, I had gone to all of my normal places that I could spot like Pei Wei and Panera, but I also bought some snacks and wine for my room because I’m a fickle eater when traveling or well in general. As a company and sister company, the office went to a FANCY steak house where I'm pretty sure that the entire office ate the equivalent of a cow. And later in the week I went out to eat with a vendor and had some amazing Beef Stroganoff. My time in Dallas, despite the amazing food, was the worst week of my career. I’m not afraid to admit that I hated almost every single thing about that trip, with the exception of the food. I cried every day of the week, had to sneak into hallways to call my work wife just to vent and cry, and worked from 7am to 9pm every day until Friday. I did have an ally at the office for a couple of days, but after he left I was done. Friday I got up halfway through the day, packed my laptop bag, and left that damn office without saying a word to anyone. It was childish, yes, but I could not pretend that it was okay for their behavior to stand.

Filled with frustration and exhastion on Friday night, I went on the search through Yelp to find the perfect dining establishment. That's when I found it. The Velvet Taco! My mom and I worked our way to a cool part of Dallas and ordered the two largest margaritas a girl could get.

the velvet taco

Now I love, love, LOVE tacos!

I love them more than I love pizza, which is pretty much a major food group in my world.I scoured the reviews on Yelp, typing in almost every combination of Margarita and Taco that one can imagine. There were thousands of places! But one caught my eye.

The Velvet Taco

When I saw their unique combinations, I had to try them. I was really looking for non tex-mex food and tequila based drinks, but hey happy accident that yelpers rated it so freaking high.

The Velvet Taco had an amazing menu, and even a special for Fridays. That Friday was a fried green tomato taco and I about died! They also had an amazing selection of craft beers that were local to the area that make me wish I had been more acceptable to beer at the time. Let's not forget  to mention Red Velvet cake the size of my HEAD! I didn't get a picture of it, but boy it was good!

My favorite Taco, was the 3.5- Picnic Chicken. Though it really was hard to choose between the three that I had gotten for myself. Now enjoy some pics, drool a little, and then get your butt over to The Velvet Taco. They are amaze-balls!