Sunday, November 28, 2010

history of hanksgiving

Dear lovely friends,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day full of turkey, mashed potatoes and, my favorite, cranberry sauce.

I know I've built up this whole Hanksgiving thing for a little while now and I promise I won't disappoint. For those of you who don't know what Hanksgiving is, here is the official history of our family Thanksgiving tradition.

When my sisters and I were younger, we would get together with my Aunt Ces and all of her kids for Thanksgiving dinner. To keep us kids busy, the adults organized games for us to play. Year after year, we'd get together with Aunt Ces and her kids to play games. Being the competitive family that we are, we created a scoring system and scoreboards to keep track of everyone's individual points. Typically, there's a couple of individual games to rack up points. For example, for the basketball throw, you have ten throws to make it into the basket. If you make eight out of ten baskets, then you write eight on the scoreboard by your name under the basketball column (yes, Hanksgiving is that organized... We are as meticulous as we are competitive). We also have a couple of team games that we play, like horseshoes and an egg toss. Since our Hanksgiving is an all-day, FUN-FILLED event, we've collected quite a large crew to come every year. Last year, the count was 41 at the dinner table. As people arrive, they know the drill and start playing games. Around 2:00 in the afternoon, we gather for a delicious dinner and then head back outside to finish up games. At the end of the day, we total up the points, sit in the living room and pass out prizes, white-elephant style. My family buys gifts for everyone for participating and wraps them in Christmas wrapping paper. This is also a way to celebrate the start of the Christmas season. Some gifts are really great and some gifts are really lame (giant bras, tampons, and toilet brushes are some staple Hanksgiving items). We start by announcing the person in last place to pick a present and open it. The next person can either steal a gift or pick from the pile. The whole present-picking process is hilarious. Once present-picking is over and the winner has been announced, Hanksgiving is officially over.

The reason we call it Hanksgiving is because my dad is Hank. He's the whole reason why we even celebrate Thanksgiving this way every year. He spends a lot of time, energy and dollars putting this silly, family event together. Hank literally is giving us the special Thanksgiving we are lucky to have year after year. I know- I have a pretty cool dad.

So now that you know all about Hanksgiving, here's a little recap of this year's Hanksgiving:

While our Hanksgiving is usually HUUUGE, we had a small 25 players this year. Next year should be a big year again.

Hanksgiving dinner: the head table with famous Hank himself (in the hat)

The rest of us.

Oh! We also have a football pool. This year the New Orleans Saints played, which was awesome because Aunt Ces and my mom's side of the family is from Louisiana. Everyone was glued to the TV at the end of the fourth quarter. Saints won!

This year we had a "Mystery Game," suggested to my dad and me by Ryan, my sister Page's new husband. We had a paper airplane throw outside! Everyone had to make their own paper airplane and throw it as far as they could. My other sister, Lauren, put two cigarettes on the back of hers to make turbo boosters. Funniest thing ever. Ryan, the mystery game creator himself, won the competition... Were we set up by him? I think so!!

Ryan, the champ.

We had our traditional egg toss. There's my dad, Hank, again in the hat, with some sweet egg toss action.

Tallying up the final scores... Don't you love the score board?!

Ryan ended up winning Hanksgiving this year! Here's a picture of the newlyweds:

He's come quite a long way since his first Hanksgiving. The very first Hanksgiving he won a pink toilet seat. Now, six years later, he got to sign a toilet seat (a new tradition we started this year... every year we're going to have the winners sign the toilet seat).

Like every year, Hanksgiving was wonderful. It is by far my favorite day of the entire year because I get to eat great food, visit with my family and play a ton of weird, fun games.

Did Hanksgiving disappoint? I hope not. Because it's awesome.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

whack this

P.s. Here's an adorable post from Holidash on how to make a cupcake liner pinata! It's so pretty that I just want to make christmas pinatas and hang them everywhere! I'm very much into the Christmas spirit this year... I've already started listening to Christmas music and it's not even Hanksgiving!

Happy almost Hanksgiving!

we are the champions

Dear friends,

Can you believe it? I forgot my camera memory card at my home in SLO. I haven't taken a picture since I've been on Thanksgiving break!! It's the saddest thing ever.

The McCarthy-Schiller golf reunion was fabulous, as always. This year, MY TEAM WON!!! Props to Uncle Ed, Keith and Danielle for being an awesome golf team! We tied my dad's team and did a putting contest to determine the winner. Since Keith had left already, we borrowed Grant, our sweet 10-year-old cousin, who helped us win it all.

Here's a stolen photo (Thanks, Anne!) of the McCarthy-Schiller golf tournament gang.

Up next: HANKSGIVING! I promise I'll whip out some kind of camera to take photos.


Monday, November 15, 2010

hanksgiving, then...

p.p.s. I have so much to say tonight.

Not to break any Thanksgiving-before-Christmas rules or anything but...

The Christmas tree is up downtown!

Hanksgiving comes first... Hanksgiving comes first... Hanksgiving comes first...

forks on my neck

p.s. I can't believe I forgot these guys:

If they're still at the craft sale tomorrow, I may go buy them.


crafts! crafts! crafts!

Dear friends,

There's an AMAZING craft sale going on at Cal Poly.

I'm obsessed with the crocheted beanies, adorable magnets and cute fabric bow shoes.

I want to buy everything!!

Check out more pictures of the craft sale on SLOmade. If you see anything you like, let me know! I'm in Christmas-shopping mode already!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

a little bit of baking

Dearest friends,

Check out my new post on to get the recipe to these delicious strawberry crumb bars.


Remember that sweet apron pattern I shared with you last month from Look for a post on for that pattern in action!

A sneak peak at the material I used for the apron:


p.s. Here are some posts from around the lovely web. Enjoy!

Paris versus New York (thanks, Joanna Goddard, for this adorable find)

Adorable birthday decorations (birthday shoutout to my brotha-in-law... it's coming up!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

filed under "d" for donut

Dearest friends,

Donuts are dangerous.

Ever since SLO Donut Company opened right down the street, Krisin, Robbie and I haven't been able to stop ourselves from going nearly every night.

FATTIES. Yep, that's us.

A few nights ago, after stopping at the donut shop, Robbie said on the way home that he was going to sleep on a chocolate pillow. Kristin and I gave him a courtesy laugh because we totally didn't understand what the heck he was talking about until we got home.

His donut, we later found out, was called a chocolate pillow, and it was the size of two donuts put together. That's his donut under all of the ice cream and chocolate sauce.

That's pretty much how our midnight snacks look all the time.

Stay away from donut shops.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

top of the mark to ya

Dearest friends,

I can't believe the weekend is over already. Robbie and I had a lovely, short visit to San Francisco to visit Page and Ryan. Although out trip was short, it was just enough time to make me remember just how much I loooove hanging out with those two.

Robbie and I took off on Friday after work and got up to SF by about 8. Page and Ryan showed off their adorable home and we all took a walk to get pizza.

The next morning, we went to the Academy of Sciences, a museum that Page and Ryan have been raving about for the last two years since Ryan moved to SF.

(We had a good, inappropriate laugh at these little guys... We're so immature.)

One of the coolest things about the Academy was its "living roof." It's a self-sustaining habitat that grows on top of the museum. How amazing is that?!

Favorite picture of the trip. Handsome.

The museum was kind of like a zoo too; there were a ton of living animals (including stingrays- my favorite).

GIANT frog. He was so funny to look at. He must've been about 10 inches in height. SO big.

Night at the Museum?! Anyone?! That dinosaur reminds me so much of that movie.

After the museum, a nap and a quick check on Zenyatt and the Michigan game (Robbie was beyond bummed that he missed the most epic game in Michigan's history) we headed to the Top of the Mark, a restaurant at one of the highest points in the city.

Walking the hills in heels. Page is such a trooper.

Being the type of people who make inappropriate jokes about little deer named dikdiks, we continued to greet each other at the restaurant by saying, "top of the mark to ya" in weird, fake irish accents. We would.

Robbie ordered a pink martini. Please check it out in the bottom right corner so he'll be completely embarrassed.

The newlyweds.

Top of the Mark crew ready for some brewskies. We headed to Lefty O'Douls (I think?) for a giant dinner and beers, then caught the Muni back to Ryan and Page's house.

Since Robbie was missing Gin Fizz, a biannual party that his fraternity puts on that involves waking up at 7 a.m., eating a breakfast burrito at Frank's and drinking Gin Fizz, a smoothie made up of sherbert ice cream, bananas, 7-Up, Sunny-D, Gin and ice, until the late afternoon, we decided to celebrate Gin Fizz, San Francisco style.

The boys mixed up the drinks while Page and I set up Cranium.

The events that followed will probably never disclosed to save the four of us from complete embarrassment.

Robbie and I had such a fabulous trip and we both look forward to visiting again.

Sadly, I won't be seeing Page and Ryan until the Schiller-McCarthy tournament (those darn McCarthys would probably call it the McCarthy-Schiller tournament, but us Schillers know the true order of the names).

Until then... top of the mark to ya!


Friday, November 5, 2010

star wars nut

Dear friends,

Many, many, MANY of you know that I'm a Star Wars nut. I don't remember dressing up as anything other than Princess Leia and Queen Amidala for Halloween when I was younger.

I found the GREATEST Star Wars photoshoot in Vanity Fair today. Please look at it and fall in love with it as much as I have.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

coffee shop with a german name i can't pronounce

My dearest friends,

I stumbled upon the loveliest coffee shop ever. It has a German name I can't pronounce and it has two long bookshelves lining the walls AND it has sweet, iced chai.

Favorite. Place. Ever.

This little coffee shop with the German name I can't pronounce just opened and last night they were having you pay only what you thought you should pay for coffee and food. Adorable. I went up to order an iced chai and come to find out, they were only taking cash. I told them to cancel my order because I never, ever carry cash and the barista girl told me, nonsense, and gave me a free chai! I told her I would be returning with cash and friends soon.

One free, sweet, creamy delicious iced chai.

"I love to read" written on a cute chalkboard painted on the wall. The internet code is written on there and its poorbutsexy. Love that.

There was a little musical corner with a piano, an acoustic guitar and an old violin on top of the piano. I wonder if they'll have little jam sessions here in the future.

Favorite thing about the coffee shop with the German name I can't pronounce: the books. The shelves were filled with used books in pretty darn good condition (The Secret Life of Bees was on there- wonderful, wonderful book). The frames above the bookcase are filled with portraits of famous authors.

By far the coolest coffee shop I've ever been in.
Please come with me and we can jam, read and drink chai together!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

save me, san francisco

p.s. Did i mention that I have a group presentation to give this week as well?

Who's ready to catch senioritis?


Thank goodness I'm heading up to San Francisco to visit the sistah and brotha-in-law.

SF... I'm coming for you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

one chai frap to go, please

Dearest friends,

One chai frap plus a stack of books plus an essay due plus a midterm tomorrow equals a heck of a lot of work to do tonight.

Hope your night isn't looking as dreadfully painful as mine.


p.s. Check out this adorable foody website Carizza sent to me today! Makes me hungry just looking at the delicious photos. xo