family, friends, holidays, reviews, thankful, thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, wine, friends & family time

Over the last few years Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. As a child I looked forward to my birthday, Christmas Eve, and trying to stay up until midnight on New Years Eve. Sure, Thanksgiving had pumpkin pie but it didn’t hold much excitement until I went away to college and it was the first holiday home. Getting to sit around the table with all my family, fighting over the last of my grandmother’s infamous stuffing, waiting for coffee to be poured, biscotti to be dipped, and stories to be told, there really was no place like home.

When Joey and I first started living together, Thanksgiving was the first holiday we hosted, really making the house into our home. Now we deep fry our turkey every year, I make my grandmother’s stuffing, and the dogs hope food falls on the floor. We make all the food at our house and then transport it to my Mom’s. This way we don’t have to do a crazy family style deep cleaning of the house or worry about setting the table and all the clean up. I get to do what I love (cook) and my Mom can clean (which she loves) and host.

my grandma’s stuffing ready to bake!

traditional antipasto tray
Let’s be real though. While this is all sweet and warm like a nice hot toddy, it definitely can be a stressful and crazy time trying to get everything ready. This year we did a Friendsgiving along with our normal Thursday meal so it was double the prep. Joey ended up going back to the store about three times because of things I forgot. So what got me to relax and enjoy it all?

Wine. Lot’s of wine.

I was lucky enough to have some Little Black Dress wine to share with my girlfriends and a charcuterie board. LBD sent me a complimentary Diva Red and the Pinot Grigio to try and we all loved them!! I loved the Diva Red’s flavor, with hints of cinnamon and chocolate. My girlfriends finished the Pinto Grigio in no time, loving the crisp citrus taste of tangerine, apple, melon, and lemongrass. Honestly, I loved the wine, the name, and how fun it was to drink with my girlfriends. I love how it really adds to the atmosphere of whatever we’re doing. Each bottle is $11.99, an excellent price point, especially when you’re buying 3-4 bottles.

So all in all, it was an amazing Thanksgiving with family and friends. Tons of foods, family, love, laughter, and craziness. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, Barbara and my Grandmother wearing matching pearl outfits?


bianca, friends, friendship

The one where you lose a #squad member

I wrote this about 10 months ago and never posted but came back to it and it still rings true. Not ready to write about losing Bella yet but missing someone has been on my mind…

Breaking up is hard to do. Everyone knows that and millions of songs, books, movies, etc are based on that concept. It’s not rocket science right? But I think that breakups that hurt the worst aren’t the romantic ones. They’re the ones you don’t see coming. Friendship breakups.

Don’t get me wrong, losing a romantic partner absolutely sucks. You cry and bitch and rehash every little thing that every happened between the two of you to your best friend. You stalk their new love interests (oh please, EVERYONE does that) and make fun of their stupid haircuts or clothes or anything you can find to make yourself feel better. You stay in sweats and eat cookie dough. Then one day your friend slaps you, tells you to get your shit together and throw on some makeup, and you go out and get your “Stella’s got her groove back”on.

But what happens when the one who was your partner in crime turns into a missing person in your life? I’ve talked about how to know when you have a frenemy but sometimes it’s not having a bitch for a friend that ends things. Sometimes it’s just life. Marriage, babies, a new partner, a move, a job, it could be something slow that you don’t see coming. Sometimes it’s not bitch but just crazy which is also sad.

Maybe it’s because I am so happy with JoeyWaffles and know he’s the right guy for me and the reason it never worked out with anyone else (ugh I know so corny but true!). I guess I never look back and miss any of my exes. I miss some of my old girl friends.

Ironically two of the girls I miss are both old co-workers. Both are really similar and I met them during chaotic times in my life.

One of them was going through a lot and in a crazy relationship and we bonded. I was at my heaviest weight, taking a job in a restaurant after I graduated college because the ecomony was awful, and was lost in life. We both worked liked the same music, going out, shared a lot of smiliar values and what not. Life got really chaotic and she was a much bigger drinker than I (that’s not saying much, I rarely drink but still). After a time, the drama got to be more than the fun and she ended up quitting/getting fired from our job. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you know it’s a crazy world and you all have a bond and get close fast. So we lost touch. I have never met such a kind soul and who I could be completely crazy and ridiculous and who made me feel good about myself when not much else did. We are still fb friends and I am happy to see she is in a great relationship and doing amazing in her life. We’ve grown up so much in the last few years and while yeah, we could still try to hang out again, it would be impossible to recreate the easy and open and raw friendship we had. The saying that people come into your life for a reason and some aren’t meant to stay forever, that’s how I feel about this girl. I will always look back on our crazy adventures and smile and feel wistful. If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have stayed at that job and JoeyWaffles and I wouldn’t be together.

The other friend I miss, well that is more complicated. I worked this girl, was her boss and we spent hours and hours and hours together. Like multiple days in a row. We just clicked and talked about anything and everything. She is beautiful and drama follows her wherever she goes. She burned me pretty bad and out of the blue towards the end of our friendship and while she tries to reconnect now, I just can’t. It sucks. I would love to see her and laugh and enjoy the crazy inside jokes and easy rapport but I can’t forget how she turned on me and quite frankly a few other people. So it’s bittersweet when she tries to talk to me because I am smart enough to not get close or engage enough to get hurt. I wish we could just have the simple fun but that baggage and drama that comes along with it just isn’t worth it.

I am lucky to have amazing friends and so I don’t often get sentimental about my old besties but there is always a joke or song or something that reminds me of those crazy times. Remembering the first Valentines Day JoeyWaffles and I spent together as friends and then his ex showed up at midnight and I ended up drinking tequila at a gay bar in Boystown with a 10 minute notice to my friend, those are the moments I miss her.

I think that’s why people like sad songs. Because sometimes you need a reminder that if you feel sad, it means you felt strongly about it. Strong emotions mean we feel, we care, we invest part of ourselves to something. No matter the outcome, I wouldn’t trade the late night drives, crazy sing alongs, shopping trips, hours of nothing that always felt like something, well I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

At the end of the day though, as much as I miss the people who aren’t in my life, it just makes me appreciate the ones people who are in my life. Reconnecting with Kristen, Saturday Greyhound adventures and sushi with Alex, Criminal Minds and wine with Caroline and group texts with both Alex & Caroline, talking to Jodi every night, working out and crazy adventures with Carly, always laughing with Samantha, wine making and laughing at the boys with Sarah, and sharing my life with my best friend/sister Bianca who I have known over 24 years now. When I think of these strong and beautiful woman who have never let me down, who have strength and integrity and are so special, I know just how lucky I am.

Do you have a friend you miss more then an ex?