Thanksgiving is just around the corner and ya’ll better believe we celebrate this holiday not only once but TWICE! Canadians celebrate in October and Americans in November… so ALL the Amens and hallelujahs for TWO turkey days! Leni Bow is our little American so we embrace as many American Holidays as possible! And now that I’m a Mom, I literally live for these precious memory-making days when my family and friends are all together. As much as I love for the day to be full of special details, I am now LIVING for the hacks that make some of it happen in a snap. Thanksgiving should be spent in a deer stand, ground blind, dinner table, and/or couch napping with family…not stressing over little things that can be easily avoided. Here are some of the BEST Thanksgiving hacks I’m using this year!
Prep ALL Veggies Beforehand
I love to cook, and we do it all the time at my house–but I kinda wish I had a sous chef sometimes! Cutting tons of veggies isn’t my favorite part of cooking, and definitely isn’t my favorite on Turkey Day. Cut your veggies to your liking before Thanksgiving and store them in airtight containers in the fridge so you can just toss them in and get things going when you’re ready!
Use Your Slow Cooker
Okay, I’m kind of guilty of forgetting the wonderful joy of having a slow cooker or Crock-Pot. Let them do some of the cooking for you! You can even leave it on low heat for a few hours while you are outside having a few drinks, hunting, throwing the football or running a last minute trip to the grocery store. Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and more can be extremely tasty coming out of the Crock-Pot–and it still counts as homemade! That’s a win-win for me. Just don’t forget to pick up some liners for an even easier cleanup.
Can you say, “Traeger”?
If you’ve followed me for awhile, you’ll know I love, love, LOVE my Traeger Grill. We use it to grill/smoke at least 4 times a week. Thanksgiving is the PERFECT excuse to bust out the grill (or buy yourself an early Christmas gift – nudge nudge) for an easy peasy Turkey dinner that keeps the mess out of the kitchen and tastes AMAZING. If you’re looking for Thanksgiving recipes on the Traeger, click HERE for all the recipes you could ever want.
Have Extra Coolers
Few things are as frustrating as having to clear out space in the refrigerator a billion times while trying to get things going on Thanksgiving. It’s like a much more frustrating game of Jenga, and ain’t nobody got time for that when it comes to food and family time! Have a few extra coolers on hand with ample ice, and make sure they’re out of the way so people don’t think they have fun drinks in them! You can prep TONS of holiday dishes ahead of time (like my famous Elk Jalapeño Poppers!), cover them with foil and lay them in the cooler. I have a collection of Yeti Coolers and you better believe that they are welllllll used during the holidays.
Grate That Butter!
Holy smokes do I LOVE Thanksgiving desserts! But, I will say that this takes a lot of time. Besides the turkey, this is one of the most “labor of love” intensive items on our family’s menu! I always forget to take out the butter to get to room temperature (and then over-microwave it and make a mess!), so this year I’m freezing my butter. Yup! I’ll use a cheese grater to shred the butter into whatever I’m baking and within a couple minutes, it’s room temperature and ready to mix — this might be a game changer this year.
Make Holiday Decor a Breeze
I absolutely love decorating because it ties everything together! All of these ideas are super simple and look GREAT together, especially when you add your own touches and mix-in natural elements from outside. First, I get ALL the mini pumpkins. I buy them in September from local farms and they last all the way through Halloween and until Thanksgiving! White pumpkins are my jam, but sometimes I’ll mix it up and throw some orange ones in too. Put them everywhere. In bowls, cluster them on counters, mix them with larger pumpkins and mums on your front porch – the more pumpkins the better!
For my wedding a few years ago, I took some of the antler sheds we found and spray-painted them gold – swoon – now they’re PERFECT for holiday decor! Make sure to do any painting outside and with an old t-shirt on because this can get a bit messy. Depending on the size… I place them around pumpkins, flower vases and anywhere else that needs a little bit of shimmer and shine.
Lastly, wooden coasters and trivets really complete the rustic and homey look! I’m getting ready to do an entire blog about easy ways to “bring the outdoors-in” when decorating your home, so stay tuned!!!!
So… there you have it… the Shockey tips and tricks for Thanksgiving 2018! I hope these pointers save a little bit of time so you can kick back a bit and relax. What are your family traditions for the upcoming holiday?! Being a toddler-mom, I need ALL THE TIPS!!! Share in the comments below!