Monthly Musings-December 2020


Happy Holidays Besties! Welcome to the last Monthly Musings of 2020. This link up with Holly has truly been a highlight of this year. I love reading everyone's entries and if you read her blog, then as you can imagine, Holly is the Best blogging partner. Are you ready to talk holidays and jumping into the New Year? I sure am.

1. If you celebrate Christmas, what are your traditions?
Well, typically we go to church late in the afternoon and then gather with a group of friends after church for a cocktail party. That will not be possible this year. On Christmas we open gifts, call my family and then typically head over to Dancing Granny's. 

2. If you celebrate Hanukkah, what are your traditions?
I do not celebrate Hanukkah but love the traditions and miracle of Hanukkah.

Topics for Dec 2020 Monthly Musings


Hey there Besties! Typically Holly and I host Monthly Musings on the last Thursday of the month, but since the next two Thursdays are Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, we are making this link up available this Thursday all the way through the end of the year. Please join us, and keep on topic, for our last Monthly Musings of 2020 on Thursday. 

See you back here then!


Friday Favorites: Plumberry Lotion, $50 Cashmere, USS Christmas, and New Christmas Tree


Happy Friday Besties. While I have been here on the site, it's been a couple of weeks since my last Friday Favorites. I have been shopping and trying to shop small as much as I can.  TodayI am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that have brought me Joy this week
**This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

1) Mrs. Meyers Plumberry Body Lotion

I have been working really hard over the last year to clean up my beauty game. I have really been loving the body lotion from Mrs. Meyers. I used the rain water scent in late summer and that was a Good choice. For fall and winter, I chose plumberry and it is the perfect light spicy fruit scent for this time of year.

You Can't Cancel Christmas


Oh 2020, you are really testing us all the way to the last minute. So many times this year has not turned out like we thought it would. In moments of frustration I have heard people say "what, are we just going to cancel Christmas too?????" There is usually a little bit of a shreaking tone when these words are uttered in most cases. Well Besties, I am here to tell you, you can't cancel Christmas or Hanukkah for that matter.

You see, Christmas is not something that can be cancelled like other dates on the calendar. Christmas is not a baseball game or hockey sleep away camp that you talk about all year. Christmas is not a graduation or a wedding. Christmas is not a vacation or your 50th birthday. These were all very disappointing things that were cancelled in 2020, even in the Good Better Best household. Christmas is so very much more, and thankfully you can't cancel Christmas.


What's Up Wednesday--November 2020


Here we are for Thanksgiving week Besties. Are you ready? I am ready for some downtime and enjoying some food and wine this week. It's the last Wednesday of the month and as I do almost every month, I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday to talk what's been happening here in November. Let's do this!

What We're Eating This Week

Monday-Greek ground turkey with rice and steamed broccoli

Tuesday-Beef short ribs, roasted red potatoes and salad

Wednesday-Not sure yet, probably something light heading into Thanksgiving

Thursday-Thanksgiving dinner from the Mount Vernon Inn. I am pretty excited about it. 

Friday-Take out.

Hello Monday-Thanksgiving 2020


Happy Monday Besties! While Thanksgiving is going to look a little different in the Good Better Best household, I did want to link up with the lovely ladies at Hello Monday and share what our Thanksgiving will look like this year and some tips from Thanksgiving past. Pour a hot apple cider if you have it and join me for Thanksgiving 2020.

Thanksgiving 2020

While we typically gather as a family in Maryland, we are staying home this year. Not only to keep our family safe, but to keep the community safe. Our dinner this year will be the three of us and well Stormy, waiting for a bite to fall from the table.

We are picking up Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday afternoon from the beautiful Mount Vernon Inn. Yes, that Mount Vernon as in George Washington's house. We live right the road from the mansion and it just seemed fitting to get dinner from there this year.


Friday Favorites: Christmas in Vienna, New Housewives, Gluten Free Oreos, Mega Stella Sale and Heated Blanket


Oh hello Friday. The last couple of weeks have really zipped along and I am loving it. We are just a few days from Thanksgiving and I headed into the weekend and I am cherishing this time. Since it is Friday, I am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that have brought me Joy this week. Settle in and find some comfort on this brisk Friday.

1. Christmas in Vienna

Oh Hallmark Channel you knocked it out of the park with this movie. I am not going to lie to you Besties, going into Countdown to Christmas, Christmas in Vienna was the movie I was most looking forward to. I have to tell you, it was even Better than I thought it would be. 

Monthly Musings: Holiday Preview


Thank you for joining Holly and me today for Monthly Musings. For this month's link up we are talking all things holiday. We are not trying to rush anything, we are talking holidays from Thanksgiving all the way through the end of the year. Whatever holidays you celebrate, my friend Holly and I want to hear about them. Link up with us, share in the comments, whatever, we want to know how you holiday.  'Tis the season.

1. Favorite holiday traditions?

When I was little, we used to go into Boston to the Enchanted Village every year. A few times here in Washington, DC we have been lucky enough to be able to go to the White House at Christmas. 

We also love a Good drive through light display. We need to look into those this year because a drive through light display is totally safe holiday fun.

2. Must have holiday wardrobe staples?

I love a Good pair of velvet pants or velvet jeans. Due to pandemic, I I will probably be wearing a pair of velvet jeans more often than velvet pants. I also love my ugly sweater leggings and all of my Hallmark Christmas shirts.

3. Favorite holiday recipe/dish?


Monthly Musings November topics


Join Holly and me this Thursday for Monthly Musings. We are a week early in November as next Thursday is Thanksgiving. We are not trying to rush the holidays, we are including any and all holidays you want to chat about from Thanksgiving all the way to the end of the year. We want to hear about it all.

Join us as a blogger and link up, as a reader or both! The link will be up early Thursday morning.

See you back here Thursday!


Friday Favorites: First Ironman with Downs Syndrome, J Crew Vest, Bachelorette Switch Up, White House Shelter Dog and Fall Chicken Bake


Happy Friday Besties! This has been a quiet and productive week and one that I am cherishing. As I do on most Fridays, I am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that have brought me Joy this week

1) First Ironman with Downs Syndrome

We saw this story leading up to Iron Man Florida on the news a couple of weeks ago and we have been following Chris Nikic every since. This past weekend, Chris Nikic became the first person with Downs Syndrome to complete an Iron Man. We know in our own household the type of dedication this takes because Running Daddy was training for his first Iron Man this year until it was cancelled this fall. Thanks COVID. 


Already Better Chicken with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Wild Rice Bake


While this recipe takes some prep work, it is so Good. Perfect for a chilly night when you have some time or a busy night when you can do some prep work earlier in the day and then finish the cooking process when you get home. Chicken, wild rice, butternut squash and cranberries give you all the fall feels with healthy ingredients. The wild rice gives you a whole grain so this recipe is already Better.


1 cup of wild rice blend

Chicken broth

4 Tbs olive oil (divided)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

1/2 onion minced

1 small butternut squash (peeled and cubed) about 4 cups

Dash of kosher salt

Dash of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup parmesan cheese divided


Friday Favorites: Election Day Outfit, Good Raincoat, Time with My Ladies, and the Magic Wall


Hello Besties! I finally made it to the end of Election Week 2020! Whoo hoo. As of when I am writing this post we still don't know who the President will be, but what I do know from my years in this business is that elections and democracy is a sacred thing. I believe in the process and that the men and women counting every vote are working hard and we will end up with a fair election.

Now I am ready for some much needed downtime and I am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that have brought me Joy over the last few weeks

1) Election Day Outfit

While we have been trying to figure out how long we have been getting together on election day, my group of ladies and I have been getting together for lunch to laugh, make all kinds of predictions and tell stories for the last few weeks leading up to the election. We typically get together as a group every other month, but you know...COVID. We have spent every election day lunch together since at least 2012, and probably since 2010. We emailed and figured out that we could still try and spend election day together in a safe way. The Magnificent Seven needed to get together and do it safely. 

Monthly Musings: Thanksgiving Preview


Welcome to Monthly Musings with Holly and Patty. Today we are focusing Thanksgiving. I know we are still in October, but Holly and I wanted to talk Thanksgiving as a way to share ideas as we head into November. Are you ready to talk turkey, no matter what that looks like in 2020? I know I am in.

1) Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

Typically Running Daddy and Hockey Guy do a five mile Turkey Trot morning of Thanksgiving. They have been doing this for years. From when he was a baby in a baby jogger, to a three year old who would run a few blocks, to a kid that has easily run the entire race the last few years, this has been part of our family Thanksgiving for over a decade now.

I don't know what is going to happen this year with this race, but I do know that we have always had so much fun at this event.

What's Up Wednesday: October 2020


Wow, Besties here we are at the end of October. We are hopefully in the final act of this crazy year called 2020. It's the last Wednesday of the month so I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday to talk all things October. Are you ready for all the fall feels? I am!

1) What We Are Eating This Week

Ok, I am struggling in the dinner department right now. I typically pride myself in having dinner under control but I am super busy with work so I am not so Good in the dinner realm. Once the election is over I need a Costco run to get things under control. Here is what we are attempting to eat this week:

Monday-Smithfield bacon pork tenderloin, steamed broccoli, and brown rice.

Tuesday-Hockey night so probably a grilled cheese with fruit for Hockey Guy and whatever for Running Daddy and me.

Wednesday-I am making baked chicken tacos for a friend so I will probably just do a super sized batch and make some for us too.

Thursday-Another hockey night so I may just do burgers and dogs. Told ya I was struggling!

Friday-Take out. Thank heavens.

What I am Reminiscing About

I post this photo every October, I know, but it makes me happy. Oh how I would love to be at the happiest place on earth right now. The cast member asked for his autograph.


Topics for October Monthly Musings: Thanksgiving Preview

 Join Holly and me on Thursday, October 29 for our monthly link up Monthly Musings. We are going to get ready for turkey day and we are talking all things Thanksgiving! Questions below.


Friday Favorites: Bacon Pork Tenderloin, Halloween Gummies, Stella Holiday Launch, Mask Lanyards and more SNL


Oh Friday, Good to see you. This week was a lot. Nothing horrible just a lot and I am so happy it is the weekend. I am looking forward to planting some bulbs, making some food and just enjoying some time as a family. All the nurturing things I really need right now. 
To celebrate Friday, I am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that bring me Joy. 

1) Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Pork Loin

Oh Besties, this applewood bacon pork tenderloin from Smithfield is so Good. You can find it right in your local grocery store and it is perfect for fall. We have roasted it in the oven and also put it on the grill. I think I might prefer it in the oven. It is so easy and all you do is add a really Good salad and roasted potatoes and you have the perfect fall meal. 


In Praise of Pears


It's pumpkin spice and apple everything season and I am totally here for it. That being said, we have a favorite fall fruit in the Good Better Best household that I think is totally underrated. We love pears in our house and use them in a few unexpected ways. I am sharing those ideas with you today. 

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is a staple for fall food. I am here to tell you that I think that my butternut squash with pear soup is one of the Best things I make.  Most recipes for butternut squash soup call for apple but adding in pear, just gives the soup a totally different and unexpected flavor. It adds a certain sweetness and depth. Adding in pears is also a really Good way to use up pears that get too ripe too quickly.


Friday Favorites: Fall Flowers, Best Pesto and Cream Cheese, Breast Cancer Awareness Bag and SNL Premier


Oh Happy Friday Besties! I hope it is a long weekend for you. It is for two out of three of us in the Good Better Best household. I am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that bring me Joy. Fall in general brings me Joy

1) Fall Flowers

There is something about digging in the dirt a little and popping some flowers in pots that is so soothing to me. This weekend I cleaned off our little terracotta pots on the back patio and added in some mums and pansies. Now that our patio is finished, it was time to get some fall flowers back there.

Friday Favorites: Camo Utility Pants, Trader Joe's Harvest Salsa, Real Housewives of Potomac, Best Fall Pullover and Breast Cancer Awareness Boutique


Hello Friday! This was a busy week, but it was a Good week and I am looking forward to a little fall fun in a safe manner. As I do on my Fridays I am linking up with up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that bring me Joy. Pour your favorite seasonal beverage and settle in for Friday Favorites.

1) Camo Utility Pants

***contains affiliate links

I am a total camo convert. I only started wearing camo this spring and now I am obsessed. I just didn't think it was "me" for so long and that is odd because olive green is one of my Better colors. 

What's Up Wednesday: September 2020


Hey Besties. I cannot believe that we are at the end of September. One thing that means...just a few more months of 2020! There have been some Good things in the month of September, but I know that Running Daddy and I are so glad the end of this month is here. 

It's the last Wednesday of the month and I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday. Settle in to find out what we have been up to this month.

What We're Eating This Week

Monday-Sausage, polenta and salad. I know this typically shows up here every month. This is basically because that is when it comes up in our dinner schedule.

Tuesday-The boys have a long hockey practice and I am going to a safe shopping party with wine on our patio after. 

Thursday-We have another hockey night so we typically have something easy on Thursday nights. If I have enough chicken left over from Wednesday, I will do sheet pan nachos. If I don't I will probably do chicken pesto pasta.

Friday-Take out

Monthly Musings September 2020: Fall and Halloween


Happy Fall Besties! The last Thursday of the month kind of snuck up on me as it fell a little early. Never fret, Holly was here to remind me that today is Monthly Musings and we are talking fall and Halloween this month. How fun! I am so ready for fall and curious to see how you are preparing for Halloween this year. Grab some candy corn and a cozy beverage and settle in for Monthly Musings.

1) Favorite Fall Tradition

I used to say that my three favorite days were Christmas, Easter and the Hawks 5K. The Hawks 5K is race at our old school that Running Daddy helped design and found. He was hoping to finally run the race and hit the course that he helped design but of course COVID got in the way so things are virtual this year.

Topics for September Monthly Musings


See you back here on Thursday for my monthly link up with Holly where we will be talking Fall and Halloween. I hope you will join us to link up, read or both!


Friday Favorites: Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Bagels, Best Slippers, Daylight Sunscreen, Cooler Temperatures, and Block Scheduling

Oh hey there Besties! Are you still here? I promise that I am. I have just been a little MIA lately. I have had some matters to take care of that needed all of my attention and needed to take a pause from this space. All of us in the Good Better Best household are ok, I just have some matters that need my full focus at times. 

This week has been filled with productivity at work, cooler temps, the bailing out of the washing machine (sigh)three times, praying for one friend and Good news from another. I am so ready to step back into this space and provide a little fun heading into the weekend. Today as I do on most Fridays I am linking up with ErikaAndreaNarci to share the things that bring me Joy.

1) Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Bagel

If you are not into pumpkin spice, you can just ease on down the road. I do think there are a lot of kind of weird pumpkin spice items this time of year, but this gluten free pumpkin spice bagels are not weird. They are so Good. A half a bagel, a schmear of cream cheese and you are Good to go for breakfast this fall. 

Monthly Musings: End of Summer and Back to School


Hello! Welcome to August Monthly Musings. Holly and I are so glad you can join us for our monthly link up today. We get together at the the end of every month and throw out some themed questions. In August, we are talking the end of summer and back to school...whatever that looks like. Let's jump in.

1. Do You Have Kids Going Back to School and What Does That Look Like? What Is Your Plan?

Hockey Guy is starting a new school for the first time in 9 years. All of this brings fun new challenges as we navigate high school for the first time and in a pandemic. He will be in the building 2-3 days per week and then will be online the other days of the week. This ensures 50% capacity.


What's Up Wednesday--August 2020


Hey Besties. Here we are at the end of summer and most things look like they did in say...May? We are still plugging along over here and trying to embrace the end of summer, even if this summer looks like no other summer that we have ever experienced. We are doing our Best to get everything done and enjoy these days.

It's the last Wednesday of the month and I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday. Settle in to find out what we have been up to this month.

What We're Eating This Week

We have high school orientation this week and the start of hockey with a brand new hockey club. We have the need to have ease and nutrition this week when it comes to meal planning.

Monday-We are going to try Mix and Match Mama's sloppy joe bowls but with ground turkey

Tuesday-Physical conditioning with a long hockey practice means burgers and dogs. This will be an early dinner with plenty of time for things to settle in the stomach.

Wednesday-First day of school and that means the request was for black bean and corn baked chicken tacos.  

Thursday-Brown sugar garlic chicken

Friday-Hopefully take out again from the Lost Dog Cafe. 
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