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9 Ideas for Celebrating a Pandemic Thanksgiving

9 Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving In 2020 🦃

This year’s Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different than any previous year – no matter where you stand on safety, which state you’re in, what type of risk factors your family has, the level of shut down in your area, etc. For us, we’re doing Thanksgiving with just my household, cooking a turkey, watching movies, eating too much since there will be no guests and no reason to share, lol. For more great tips, check out this info from Sara Skirboll at RetailMeNot, a leader in holiday shopping tips.

Throw a Thanksgiving Picnic or Backyard Bash

Okay, so if you live in one of the Northern U.S. states, this might be a harder sell, but if the weather is good to us this Thanksgiving, why not celebrate outside? The CDC has said that being outdoors reduces the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and plus, fall foliage makes a wonderful backdrop to your Thanksgiving celebration.

Move what might have been an evening Thanksgiving dinner to brunch or lunch, and you’ll get more hours of natural light (and more time to celebrate, of course).

If you have yard or deck space, host a small gathering outside with tables, chairs, blankets, warm drinks (use that slow cooker or Instant Pot!) and maybe even an outdoor heater or fire pit. If you’re having a larger gathering, instead of one big table, break up seating into smaller parties based on households to make mealtime safer. A local park or special outdoor spot also makes a great setting!

Eddie Bauer Cabin Plaid Throw Pillow and Blanket Set at Bed Bath & Beyond

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Crock-Pot 4 qt. Cook & Carry Slow Cooker at Bed Bath & Beyond

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Single Servings

Many of our Thanksgiving meals revolve around buffet-style servings that everyone digs into. But more hands on serving ware means more germs. (PSA: Remember to frequently wash your hands!) Instead, pick a designated person or “head chef” to serve up turkey and sides onto individual plates instead of everyone passing around that green bean casserole.


Have a Taste of Home

Can’t make it home for Thanksgiving? Order a piece of home instead. Many iconic restaurants from across the country ship nationwide, offering you a slice of nostalgia or a taste of your favorite meal even if you can’t travel this year. Some of our favorites? Junior’s Cheesecake in New York, Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana and Blue Owl Bakery in Missouri. Dig in!


Set Up Outdoor Entertainment

If watching the game is part of your Thanksgiving tradition, set up a projector outside to screen football or a favorite family movie.

For those looking for other activities, setting up a competition or tournament outside with games like bocce ballcroquetbadminton or corn hole (personalize your family name!) can be a fun way to safely get together while social distancing.

GoSports 90mm Backyard Bocce Set at Amazon

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Personalized Bean Toss at L.L. Bean

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Decorate Your House in Festive Flair

If the gathering just isn’t happening this year, you can still get festive by decorating your house to the max with gourdous fall accents. From fall foliage garlandsdried flowers and colorful maize to knit and plaid home decor, there are a plethora of ways to bring Thanksgiving to life inside your home.


Order Thanksgiving To Go

Many local restaurants and chains have started offering family-size meals to-go, and Thanksgiving is no exception! You’ll be supporting your local restaurants and community while saving time and the stress of preparing a traditional turkey meal at home. Check back soon for a list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving meals!


Get Creative With Family-Friendly Crafts and Activities

It’s tough being stuck inside, especially with young kids and everyone being under the same roof more often than usual. But there are plenty of ways for the whole family to stay entertained and happy over the holidays. While the adults are preparing the meal, keep the kiddos entertained with crafts, like a paper bag turkeyDIY handprint turkey hat or Thanksgiving wreath. Or create your own Thanksgiving-themed advent calendar with leaves or construction paper where each family member expresses what they’re grateful for leading up to the big day.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Delivery

For families or individuals celebrating Thanksgiving with only those in their households or alone, a great way to show thanks this year is by preparing your favorite recipes for family and neighbors—especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19—and delivering them in a contact-free way. So even if you can’t spend Thanksgiving with the grandparents, they’ll still be able to indulge in your famous pumpkin pie.

 

Big thanks again to Sara Skirboll from RetailMeNot for these great tips!

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Fall is My Favorite Time of the Year!

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

I live in the PNW – in central Washington state, a mid-sized city called Yakima. We grow apples here, and are right next to Wenatchee, which is considered the apple capital of the world. 77% of the hops grown in the United States come from the Yakima Valley. And we’re fast becoming a major wine tourism destination. We’re the 11th biggest city in Washington, but still a MAJOR agricultural area too. We get four distinct seasons here, and fall is my favorite – the colors of the trees, the harvest of all that fall produce, the U-Pick farms that turn into corn mazes and haunted tours and pumpkin patches. Fall always feels like new beginnings, fresh starts, an embrace of changes – and the start to some of my favorite things like hoodies and boots, holidays and entertaining, football and fun!

Fall favorites quote

Since the fall weather here is so beautiful, this is the time of year that Abby and I like to get our family photos together. Last year we used a local photographer for a s’mores themed photo shoot, outside of town at a big ranch with horses and open fields and beautiful views. My favorite was one that was kind of out-take… Abby thought it would be funny to eat a s’mores like Lady and the Tramp ate their spaghetti. The photographer caught us in the middle of that, and it’s so funny. ;)

fall smores photo shoot

I love to entertain. And being just a few hours away from Seattle, the Seahawks are our JAM here, man. So we throw a lot of game-day parties here. And if you love football parties too – you have got to check out my Snackadium tutorial! These pics are from a few years ago – I’ve made bigger and more elaborate versions the past two years, but never took time to post them. This year tho, I promise! This original post though – it is honestly NOT hard to create, it’s pretty cheap too – you can get all of the supplies you need at your local Walmart super cheap {pro tip: order it all online, do ship to store, and then just pop in and pick it up, easy peasy!} – it just takes a little bit of time. Totally worth it though, it’s a pretty rad way to serve your snacks during football season!

football party food snackadium tutorial

Another thing I absolutely heckin’ LOVE about fall is …. HALLOWEEN! Abby {she’s NINE now, can you guys believe it?} and I into witchy stuff, we love dress up, a black cat lives with us…. lol. It’s totally one of our favorite holidays. A few years ago I got a black pre-lit tree from Treetopia, that I put up in late September, to decorate for Halloween. Our last theme was a DIY Nightmare Before Christmas tree – lots of Dollar Tree decor, Sharpie markers to draw Jack and Sally on the big shiny ball ornaments, and some extra lights for pizzazz. After Halloween, I take the themed ornaments off, and stuff some fall flowers and leaf garlands on it for Thanksgiving. Then we decorate it up for Christmas too. It’s a tree for the whole holiday season. We are festive as all heck over here. 

diy nightmare before christmas black tree

What are YOU guys excited about when it comes to fall? I love to hear from ya. Leave me some comments below – or chat with me on Twitter at @sunandsipcups, or on Facebook at Sunshine and Sippy Cups!

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How to Style a Swing Dress

Thank you to Cents of Style for this amazing Remi Swing Dress and Tribe bracelet, to show you how easy it is to style this fall. Post includes affiliate links. Want to work with Cents of Style to promote more adorable and affordable fashion on your site? Learn more here: Cents of Style sign up.

So… Some of you know a bit about my major life changes this year. A break-up after 11 years. Life changing health diagnoses. I’ve been out of work all year, until just recently. So, I’ve been sorta living in sweats, leggings, pjs…. The health stuff has caused some big changes too – I lost almost 70 pounds. I’ve thankfully gained 25-30 back {first time I’ve ever celebrated gaining weight!} But my body is all oddly proportioned now. Different than it was. And it fluctuates, since I have ascites, which causes big-time fluid build-up in my belly. So my clothes don’t always fit right. What does this have to do with fall fashion? Well… I want to introduce you guys to an awesome new piece that is a must-have in everyone’s closet. If this Remi Swing Dress from Cents of Style can work for me, I can guarantee that it will work for anyone! :) It seriously looks great on EVERY body type, coming in sizes from  Small – 3X, and you have your choice of 17 amazing colors, from basic neutrals to beautiful jewel tones for fall and into the holidays. [Read more…]

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The Perfect Boots for Fall

I was compensated to create this post as part of the Earth Footwear #WalkYourWorld Campaign. The opinions are my own and based on my own experience, as always.

Ah…. Fall. Here in central Washington, fall is fully upon us. My neighborhood is filled with a ton of different types of trees, so the colors of all of the different changing leaves is just gorgeous. The air is crisp enough for sweaters and hoodies, but there’s still usually enough sunshine that all of my fall flowers in the gardens are still blooming. The wineries are gorgeous this time of year, and since central Washington is the apple capital of the world, it’s a wonderful time to visit the farmer’s markets for fresh produce. This is my favorite time of year. And when it comes to fall fashion, my very favorite change from summer is getting new fall boots!

The Perfect Fall Boots for Any Weather [Read more…]

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Caramel Apple Sangria Recipe

This week I made my Sweet’N Low Caramel Apple Sangria Recipe as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars…. Hope you love it as much as I did!

So…. I’m sure you’ve heard it a few times already, but… It’s fall, ya’all! :) Which is honestly my favorite time of year. Here in Central Washington, the leaves are changing, the weather  is getting crisp, and it’s fabulous. So, I was inspired together a seasonal cocktail that fit the weather and the mood – but made it a little healthier by substituting out the sugar. Ready for it?

Caramel Apple Sangria Recipe [Read more…]

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Pumpkin Spice Cocktail Recipe

Today I made my Sweet’N Low Pumpkin Spice Cocktail as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars.

I love fall. Honestly, as much as I love summer and pool parties – fall is really my favorite time of year. I love hoodies, boots, crisp and cool weather, apples, {I’m in central Washington, apple capital of the world, pretty much.} I love how fall is like, the gateway to the super-fun holiday season. And I love the foods and flavors – especially anything pumpkin-y.

How to make a pumpkin spice cocktail

So, since I love this time of year, and do a lot of entertaining, I wanted to create a new drink for our fall celebrations. Something totally delicious, fall-flavored, and of course – find a way to shave a few calories off of a party drink too. Check it out – my Pumpkin Spice Cocktail! #Ohmyheckyum

Pumpkin Spice Cocktail [Read more…]

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White Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites

This fall treat post is sponsored by Global Influence with super yummy fall candy provided by Hershey’s.

I’m lucky to live in a place where we have four very distinct seasons – Yakima, Washington. And while it’s very hard to choose a favorite, I do think fall is it. I live in a really agricultural area, filled with farms and orchards and vineyards, so not only is it beautiful here this time of year as the leaves change colors – it’s a delicious time of year too. There are so many local produce and farm stands to choose from, and there are tons of fun pick-your-own pumpkin patches. And speaking of pumpkin…. Here in Washington, we’re also the home of Starbucks, and the un-official drink of fall, the Pumpkin Spice Latte! And since I’m a big fan of all things pumpkiny, I created a sweet treat inspired by my favorite flavors of fall – White Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites. Yum-mazing.

White Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites Recipe [Read more…]

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