Thanksgiving is a month away. WHAAAAT?! I know I'm freaking out a little bit because this time of year always seems to go by so fast. Every year we host Thanksgiving for our extended family. I love making the turkey. The smells of sage, butter and citrus bubbling in the oven are heaven to me. I remember being SO nervous when I made my first one. I think I read the directions for the recipe 20 times to make sure I didn't miss anything. 

If this is one of the first times you are making a turkey or if you are hosting a small dinner gathering for friends and family I highly recommend simply cooking a turkey breast in your slow cooker instead. It's faster, easier and a no fail approach to making delicious turkey for your Thanksgiving feast. Plus, your over is free to cook all of your tasty sides.

When creating a Thanksgiving feast for my Home for the Holidays post a month back, Brendon discovered this amazing recipe on Pinterest. We tried it and it was SOOOOO good. It looked beautiful too because you crisp up the skin in the oven after it has fully cooked in your slow cooker. Just make a tasty gravy to go with it, and you're set! These are pictures of how ours turned out. Be sure to visit Recipe Tin Eats for their recipe notes, nutrition information and various cooking times depending on how large your turkey breast is. 

by Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

PREP TIME 15 mins

COOK TIME 8 hours

TOTAL TIME 8 hours 15 mins

Serves: 8-12 depending on size


  • 2 kg / 4 lb turkey breast bone in (if using frozen, thaw it)
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 onion (brown, yellow or white), unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 5 sprigs of thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme leaves)


  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 grinds of black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil


  • 1 - 2 cups chicken stock/broth (or water)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place Rub ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towels. Slather with the Rub, using most for the side and top.
  3. Place the garlic, onion, thyme and 1 half lemon face down in the slow cooker. Place the turkey breast on top so it is elevated.
  4. Squeeze over the remaining ½ lemon and then push it down the side.
  5. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  6. Remove turkey from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before crisping the skin.

Crisp the Skin

  1. Preheat gril/broiler to high.
  2. Place in oven 1 foot from the heat source.
  3. Remove turkey breast from the slow cooker into a heatproof serving dish.
  4. Place on the oven shelf and broil for 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is crispy. Keep an eye on it - it browns very quickly!
  5. Serve immediately with gravy on the side.

Click here for the tasty gravy recipe

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; Recipe prepared by Brendan McCaskey 


Fall is such a wonderful time of year. From the turning leaves and chilly temps, to the good food and even better company--what's not to love? Unlike other holidays (looking at you, Christmas) Thanksgiving is super easy to decorate for. All it takes is a few simple fall accents to make your home Thanksgiving ready. In fact, you can even recycle your Halloween pumpkins while doing it!

Here's how to make a gorgeous centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table using a pumpkin and some fresh mums:


If you have an un-carved pumpkin leftover from Halloween, now's the time to give it new life. If not, head to the supermarket or your local farmer's market and pick up a medium sized pumpkin. While you're there, look for some mums or your favorite flower in autumn tones. Cut these down so the stems are about 2-3 inches long. 


Next, all you'll need is a skewer or other sharp pointy object. Use this to poke holes in a ring around the stem on the upper 1/3 of the pumpkin. Doing so flower by flower will allow you to better space the flowers and ensure that you've got full coverage. Keep adding flowers until you achieve a full, luscious look.


How easy was that? The great thing about this arrangement is that it will last. Since the holes in the pumpkin are so small, the pumpkin will not rot with the same speed of a carved pumpkin. Make this arrangement a few weeks before Thanksgiving using fake flowers so you can enjoy it's beauty all the way up to the big day. If you want to use fresh flowers take three minutes out of your busy cooking schedule and pop the flowers into your pumpkin. SO EASY!

The Hammer of Thanksgiving


Seasons of warmth and of cold. Seasons of beauty and of ugliness. Seasons of contentment and discontentment. Life is made up of many seasons, and I'm thankful for each one. We would never know what joy or happiness is without experiencing loss or sadness. I have been reading a great book called, One Thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp. It has been life changing to read it. One of my big takeaways from this book is the idea of taking time to share what I am thankful for every day. By practicing this discipline, slowly discontentment begins to chip away and disappear. Hammer! Hammer! Hammer! Be thankful, thankful, thankful!

It doesn't always have to be the big things like family, health, a child...It can be small things like the wind on your face, the way clean sheets feel when you nestle into them, red lipstick...

Today I am thankful for...

1. The smell of coffee when you first open the bag. 2. Elle's smiles when I first wake her up 3. The joy of bubbles 4. The excitement of seeing photos or a video from a shoot I did 5. Handwritten letters 6. Singing really loud to the car radio 7. Drive-by lickings from Wendy 8. Light flickering through trees 9. The stillness when everyone is asleep 10. Worn pages of a journal

A Thankful Heart


I'm so glad we have a holiday the makes us reflect on all that we are thankful for. There is a lot of selfishness in the world, but this is a holiday that should be anything but that. Of course, this idea of giving thanks should happen every day. I really do try to live my life that way, but I'm so happy to get to spend all day celebrating with family and a feast. I know that holidays are a hard time for many because they are reminded of what they have lost, but if you are reading this that means you are alive. That means that you are here on this earth for now and for a reason. I really do believe that with all my heart. I want you to know that I am thankful for YOU. I'm thankful for you taking one minute out of your day to read my words. It is truly an encouragement to me. You matter, you matter to many.

So, if you find yourself a loss for what to say you are thankful for, I guess start with the air you are breathing and you heart that is beating.

Image from I Heart Nap Time 


This past Thanksgiving was very memorable for me because Ryan and I hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner in our new home, AND I survived my first turkey encounter. Well, meaning, that I cooked my first turkey and it turned out picture perfect - as you can see below in my before and after picture...I credit my success to all of the advice my family and friends gave me, and the Italian Food Network beauty, Giada. That girl knows what she's talkin' about!

You may be surprised, but the day after Thanksgiving I never go shopping. No way! My day-after-Thanksgiving-tradition is to decorate for Christmas. So, Ryan and I enjoyed a lazy morning, and spent the afternoon putting decorations up around the house.

This was a totally new and fun experience because it will also be our first Christmas in our own house. AND therefore we had to learn how to properly hang lights.

All I can say is thank goodness for staple guns. Amen!

Thanks to Ikea I found some rad wreaths for the three windows of our bright door.

I thought it would be fun to draw a Christmas tree on my chalkboard door too. I got the idea from a CB2 catalog. Although, their drawing was WAY better than mine. hehe.

If you haven't noticed yet, I don't really decorate in the usual Christmas colors. I love the idea of a modern Christmas. Case and point my white Christmas tree.

Oh, and you may be wondering why in the world it's way behind my couch...Well, let's just say my dog, Wendy, likes to eat ornaments.

BUT, I will say, I think we're going to get a real Christmas tree as the big day approaches because pine scented candles just don't do the trick. Of course, this tree will be wrapped in ribbon and lights only, and not tempting, shiny ornaments. =)

How was your Thanksgiving? What type of decorations are you doing for the holidays?