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Thanksgiving Recipes & Decorations

Thanksgiving is coming up so quickly this year! It seems like just yesterday was Halloween, some of you may still have your decorations up in the yard.

Here at Just Like Family, we love a good Thanksgiving meal. It brings everyone together around a shared common interest: food! It’s a great way to get everyone thinking about the present and what they are grateful for, right before the rush of Christmas and the winter holidays comes along.

If you’re like us, you can’t wait to start making that delicious stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. We have some fun recipes that are a little different from the usual, along with a few decoration ideas to make your space feel festive.

At the bottom of the article, we also have links to a few of our other Thanksgiving-themed posts that include tips for not going crazy during the holidays and more fall decorations and recipe ideas.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

We’re starting with dessert! Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie are two favorites for this holiday, so why not combine them?

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Bacon Cheddar Chive Petite Scones

Don’t force yourself to eat plain rolls this year. Spice things up with these scones that have bacon, cheddar, and chives.

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Stuffing Cupcakes

These stuffing cupcakes are so cute! Use stuffing for the base and mashed potatoes with gravy for the “icing” part.

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Apple Cider Moscow Mule

Have a little pick me up ready for the big day with this made-for-fall drink recipe.

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Apple Pie Turnovers

Too full for dessert? These bite-sized apple pie turnovers are just small enough that you won’t feel too guilty about eating them.

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Maple Bourbon Tamarind Toast Turkey

Of course we can’t forget the turkey! To spice things up from the traditional turkey, add a bit of maple, tamarind, and bourbon.

Bonus!

If you haven’t seen our other holiday related articles here are a few you should check out. They cover topics like staying sane during the holiday rush, decorating ideas, recipes, and more.

How to enjoy the holidays without going crazy

Thanksgiving recipes

Age-friendly Thanksgiving

Fall decorations

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How to enjoy the holidays (without going crazy)

The holiday season is upon us, and boy are we excited! Halloween just came and went, now we get to look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah. It’s no wonder this is the “Most wonderful time of the year”.

But for many of us, we greet the holiday season with a sense of dread. We think about the money we’ll be spending, all of the relatives and guests we’ll have to host and see for multiple days on end. And don’t forget about all the cooking, decorating, and preparation that goes on.

The holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful, but many of us have let it become just that. Here are some ways to start enjoying the holidays this season without going crazy.

  1. Limit or forgo gifts
    You don’t have to do this, but if buying gifts and receiving them makes your heart race and your palms sweat, maybe this is a good year to start this tradition. Now, it’s harder to do with kids, because they all want tons and tons of gifts. It may be best to ween them off the gifts slowly. If you have very little kids, order a box of toys on eBay and save yourself the hassle of going to the crowded mall. Your family and friends my call you a Scrooge or cheap for doing this, but if it helps relieve some stress, then it’s worth it. Ask friends and family not to give gifts, and if they must they should abide by the 4 gift rule.
    Not only will this help limit the stress of thinking of and buying gifts for others, and receiving things you don’t really need, it will also help you feel relieved when you look at your bank statement on December 26.
  2. Pay attention of bad holiday habits
    This is a tough one, because certain traditions and routines are a staple of the holidays. Many of us don’t stop to think “Why am I going to the mall and stressing myself out just to buy someone a bottle of perfume I don’t even know they’ll like?”
    Think about what caused you stress last year. Was it going to visit family? Was it stuffing yourself for Thanksgiving? Think about these habits and routines that occur during this time of year. Once you acknowledge them, you can start to work on them.

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  1. Set aside “me” time
    You need some time to yourself. If you have family staying at your home, or went to go stay with family, or even if you just need to get away from your own family, do it. Maybe you just need to sit in the park with a nice book, go for a run, take a walk. Whatever it is, do it. It will allow you to reset and feel calm enough to get back into the rush of the holidays.
  2. Say no
    It’s ok to say no sometimes, but many of us feel a sense of guilt when we do. If you have too much on your plate, and a friend asks you to go shopping with them, just let them know this isn’t the best time and that you’d love to reschedule for another time. Saying yes to everything will only continue to add stress to your busy holiday schedule.
  3. Savor little moments
    Stop and take in the holidays. We spend too much time rushing around: the mall, the store, buying a tree, decorating, running to get new Christmas lights, buying last minute gifts, cooking. Many of us don’t stop to take in the holiday season. Sit down with that cup of eggnog or hot chocolate and savor it slowly. Take a stroll down 5th Avenue South here in Naples and enjoy the decorations.
  4. Get some sleep
    It’s never a good idea to run on empty. Sure, it adds hours to our day, but it takes away from our health and well being. Many of us end up grumpy or in sour moods which can ruin the day. It’s best to set a time to sleep and set an alarm for 8-9 hours later if you’re worried about keeping a set schedule.


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Decorate for Fall and Thanksgiving

Fall means Thanksgiving, and with this season comes the changing of the leaves, the browns, reds, oranges. You see more dark colors, a more earthy-woody feel. For those of you who love doecorating in conjunction with the season, we’ve got some great ideas to help you get started. We’re going to include table decorations for Thanksgiving, cute mason jar lights, and mantle pieces, among others. So grab your Michael’s loyalty card and start making a list of all the items you’re going to need to decorate for fall.

Magnolia Wreath
thefrugalhomemaker.com
wreath fall

Burlap “Give Thanks” Banner
thefrugalhomemaker.com

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DIY Thanksgiving Sign
thehappytulip.com

thanksgiving sign

Autumn Leaf, Mason Jar Candle Holder
Sparkandchemistry.com

mason jars

21 Festive Wreaths to Make for Thanksgiving
Goodhousekeeping.com

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8 Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Now that October is over, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You already started taking down the Halloween decorations and pulling out the Thanksgiving boxes from the attic. The best part about Thanksgiving? The food! Nobody can deny that the ample amounts of food on this day will cause you to gain a few pounds, but not to worry, you workout daily…right? If you are looking to change up your Thanksgiving day foods, here are some tasty recipes!

dinner rolls

Rosemary Dinner Rolls
These rolls from Cooking Classy are a nice twist on your ordinary fare.

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Sweet Potato Casserole
Some tasty sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows and pecans from Le Creme de la crumb.

mini pumpkin pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies
Teeny, cute pumpkin pies that will make you go Aww, from Home is Where the Boat is.

mini apple plies

Mini Apple Pies
Who doesn’t love apple pie? Especially in miniature form. (Pillsbury)

pumpkin french toast

Pumpkin French Toast
Start Thanksgiving Day off with this tasty pumpkin french toast. (Cooking Classy)

caramel apple cream cheese

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread
Let your guests snack while you prepare! (She Wears Many Hats)

crispy potato roast

Crispy Potato Roast
Those potatoes look so delicious! Make them as a side dish for the big day. (Joyously Domestic)

caramel apple bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars
Finish off dinner with these tasty Thanksgiving-inspired treats. (Averie Cooks)


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Travel Tips for Seniors

Travel Tips for Seniors

travel tips for seniorsThe Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. And although heavy media attention focuses on crowded airports and bus and train stations on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving, when personal vehicle trips are added to the mix the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reveals that Thanksgiving Day is actually a heavier long-distance travel day than Wednesday.

But, getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling. Now is probably the best time for you to get out there and see the world. There are many discounts you can take advantage of at museums and other attractions. Traveling through the airport is now easier than ever, especially with the added convenience of wheelchair assistance. You can book your whole trip online or contact a travel agent to assist you. Here are some travel tips for seniors on how to maximize your experience other cities, states, and countries.

  • Check out elderhostel.com. This is a budget friendly site offering affordable rooms during your travels.
  • Utilize sites like Kayak and Hipmunk. These sites allow you to compare different airline costs, getting you the best deal for your flight.
  • Medication. Be sure you are well-stocked for your medication.
  • Rolling luggage. If you are worried about lugging bags through the airport, make sure you get one on wheels.
  • Request a wheelchair. If you have a hard time walking long distances, it is a good idea to request a wheelchair at the airport. Wheelchairs also have the added benefit of allowing you to skip security lines.
  • Ground-Floor room. If you have difficulty walking up and down stairs, request that your hotel put you on the ground floor when you make your initial reservation.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Many activities like museums, plays, and tours offer discounts for seniors. See if you can snag some for your trip.
  • Don’t overexert yourself. You just got to a new country and already want to see and do everything. Pick your top three or four activities and focus on them first. This way you won’t tire yourself or your companion(s) out just on the first day. If you feel weak, be sure to sit and rest for a while
  • Drink water. It is important to stay hydrated while you travel. In other countries, the water may not be as safe as you’d like. In these instances you should purchase only bottled water.
  • Travel Insurance. If you want to be extra cautious, you may want to invest in travel insurance. This can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency. Some of these plans will pay for emergency evacuation by air back to your home country. Without insurance this evacuation can put you in debt.

If you have some travel tips for seniors feel free to share!