Tag Archive for: Thanksgiving dinner made easy

Easy Organized Thanksgiving


easy Organized Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is our national holiday for gratitude.  We are abundantly blessed in our country with privileges and resources.  The celebration focuses on an abundant table, set with all sorts of fabulous food.  It can be a overwhelming to prepare for this holiday.  Let’s plan an easy organized Thanksgiving this year.

  • Thanksgiving is when our family and friends come together to celebrate.  Start with a guest list and a meal plan.  Knowing how many guests are coming makes setting up easier.  Knowing your meal plan makes for easy delegation and participation for guests.   Everyone wants to help, so when asked you are ready to share responsibility for side dishes.
  • Write down a time line for food preparation. Frozen turkeys often take longer than expected to defrost so start early. Starting with the Sunday before the holiday, write down what you want to accomplish each day.   Be sure to include dates for grocery shopping, pie baking and making side dishes.
  • Not enough oven room? Think about crockpot dishes for sweet potatoes or green bean casserole.  You can even do your turkey in the crockpot!
  • Ask your family to help.  They can set your tables early and make table decorations too.  Set out your table ware and serving pieces and label these with post it notes.  For guests bringing dishes, be sure to have serving pieces and spots available.
  • Purchase inexpensive dollar store cartons for leftovers for yourself, your family and your guests.  Sending leftovers with guests is a special gift for them!


Join me for more Thanksgiving tips on food and crafts on pinterest  Happy Holidays.

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Hugs and Happy Organizing: Pantry Organizing

Hugs and happy organizing is all about client success stories. Here you will find a pantry organizing success story.



hugs and happy organizing pantry

Families, family dinners, family holidays all focus on the pantry!  Is you pantry chaotic? Is it a jungle of different cans, granola bars and seldom used mixes? Difficult to know what to make for dinner? It’s time to organize your pantry to make your life and your family meal times easier.

  • Remove all the items from the pantry, tossing what is expired.  Everyone has their own opinion of “expired”. Decide on yours and follow through on it.
  • Group the items together by use and like the grocery store. Typical categories include baking, breakfast, canned veggies, canned meats, beverages, pastas, rice, snacks and condiments.
  • Use plastic bins to help group items together and take advantage of deep shelves.  Bins help you “reach” to the back of a deep area.  Place a front and a back bin so you can move the front bin and reach the back bin.
  • Remove snack items from boxes for easier access for your kids.  Place these bins on a low shelf for easy access for the kids too.
  • Label the bins so everyone knows where items belong.
  • Place items into your pantry by use. The more frequently used items should be stored near the entry.  Extra storage of bulk purchases should be in the back and at a lower level.
  • Keep the floor clear.  Just like a closet, blocked access creates disorganization.

Keep a grocery list dry erase board easy to access in the pantry. Family can add to the list and it’s easier to grocery shop too.

More Hugs and Happy Organizing success stories on pinterest.

Want to rethink the gift giving? Clutter free gifts make the difference! Join me on pinterest for Happy Holidays.

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Thanksgiving Preparations: Food for Thought for the Early Bird and Procrastinator

Thanksgiving prep for the early bird and procrastinator


It’s all about the food at this time of year! And getting your Thanksgiving dinner together takes planning and organizing.  Some of us start our plans in early November and some of us start…well…not too early!

Early bird preparations

  • Getting the menu together early is a good first step!  Our family continues the tradition of turkey, bread dressing, mashed potatoes and pie. However, your family may be more adventurous!  Recipes can be found online at www.allrecipes.com, in magazines like Southern Living, or just on the can of French fried onion rings!   Deciding on your menu early means you can take advantage of sales throughout the month using your list of ingredients.
  • Early invitations for guests really make them feel special.  An early invitation also means you can ask your guests to bring a dish to share at your meal.  New cuisine and added camaraderie make the meal more fun too!
  • Keep it simple with simple meal prep. That includes preparing ahead as much as possible, using the best tools for the job and creating structure to your plan with lists.
  • Getting ready for Thanksgiving also includes getting your home ready for company.  Starting early is a good way to take baby steps in decluttering and decorating for the holiday.  You can work room by room, decluttering and cleaning for several weeks.  Your family will enjoy the holiday atmosphere and you will feel less pressured by time.

Procrastinator preparations

  • Instead of turkey (which takes days to thaw), choose cornish game hens or ham.  Both are easy to prepare.  Ham can be purchased that day and heated.
  • Choose to shop at a one-stop location. It is easier to purchase it all at one retailer, rather than running between stores.   Choose your store by the sales items on your grocery list.
  • It’s not about perfect or made from scratch!  Check out ways to use convenience foods in preparing your meal.  Sandra Lee of FoodTV fame www.foodnetwork.com  uses ready-prepared items to make your meal special.
  •  Ask your family what treats and sweets are most important to them. You can purchase ready-made desserts at a reduced cost at holiday time.
  • Check out the options for pre-made Thanksgiving dinners. In Houston, we have choices like Luby’s and Randalls.  It all comes nicely prepared and ready to eat.
  • Dine out!  Just google Thanksgiving Houston and you will find loads of choices!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving hints for your family dinner?

No matter your style, I wish you a moist turkey and a sweet pumpkin pie for your holiday event!

What can you do early for Thanksgiving?

Want to save a little time? Be ahead of the game? Here are are few tips on getting things done for Turkey Day! 


Weekend before Turkey Day

Set your table

Lay out serving pieces and serving ware

Create centerpieces

Organize movies or games for Turkey Day afternoon



Monday before Turkey Day

Make cranberry sauce

Defrost turkey in refrigerator

Make soups


Tuesday before

Prep veggies by peeling and cutting

Prep bread for dressing (to dry it out)


Wednesday before

Prepare casseroles like sweet potatoes or green beans

Prep relish tray

Bake pies

Make rolls


Famiy and Friends

Invite early! Delegate appetizers and side dishes by asking friends to bring these.


Happy organizing and Happy Turkey Day!

Holiday Dinner

Getting the holiday dinner together is first task for Thanksgiving and the last task for Christmas.  It is the time we cherish as we gather together, talk about the holiday with family or friends, and enjoy traditional goodies usually passed from other generations.  Here are some simple ways to enjoy the meal.

Invite your guests early.  Most of us are thinking of the holidays just after Halloween. Is it too early to plan? Not at all!  As you invite your guests, this is the first step in knowing the numbers for your dinner.  AND as you invite, ask your guests to bring an item they can share.  It can be something they remember from their childhood or something they can easily cook or pick up.  Mindfully delegating the goodies shares memories and work!

Choose your recipes and make your grocery list early.  Most ingredients are on sale early on.  With your list in hand, you can take advantage (with coupons) of the sales.    Plan an area not in the kitchen where you can gather these items before the big feasts.   Shop at off hours so you are not in the crush.  Take a few minutes to type up the list for the next year and place the list and the recipes in your holiday notebook. 

Make preparation a family event! Even the youngest can share in cooking.  What gets in the way? Perfectionism! Remember that it may not turn out exactly as Martha Stewart but it will be yummy!  Ask your family to do what they do best whether it is baking, peeling, table setting or other tasks.  Being together in the kitchen is a remarkable experience.

Sit down together and have a moment of prayer.  There is abundant blessing in our homes. Take time to be grateful.  Share with your family out loud what are you most grateful for this year.   

What works for you in holiday dinner preparation?