1. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday yesterday! Our family deep-fried a turkey for the very first time, and everyone concluded that it was the best turkey they’ve ever had. It looks like we have an official tradition on our hands! I bought this indoor turkey fryer on a whim last week, and now I’m so glad I did!

2. Confession: I have never watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I feel like this is some sort of sin against humanity. There have been years where it’s been on the TV in the living room, in the background, but I’ve never actually sat down and watched it. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

3. Do you do any big shopping today? Did you hit the stores at midnight last night? I’ve never camped out or stood in line for items, but my Chief Culinary Consultant and I are on our 5th year of our own little Black Friday tradition. Each year, we bundle up and head to the outlets about an hour away. For some reason, maybe because everything is so spread out, it never seems as insanely jam packed as the malls. We get to listen to the Christmas music piping outside, enjoy the fresh, crisp air, and sip on hot chocolate while leisurely shopping. We hardly ever get actual Christmas shopping done, but it’s such a fun day!

4. Aaaand… a little Black Friday wisdom to keep everything in perspective today :)

5. Movie recommendation of the week: you must go to see Lincoln! I was totally blown away by it; such an amazingly done movie, gripping storyline, and a fascinating insight into the politics of that time. Two thumbs up!

6. Do you see the model train made entirely of… CHOCOLATE?! It just set a world record as the longest chocolate structure in the world. Made by a Maltese chocolate artist, Andrew Farrugia, in honor of Brussels Chocolate Week, it’s 112 feet long and weighs almost 2,800 pounds. I wonder how long it would take me to eat it? Who wants to help? Mmm, chocolate!

7. So, I usually can’t stand when I hear the same song over and over again on the radio. I easily fall victim to overplay and end up despising said song. My caveat? Mumford & Sons. I started liking them after seeing their Grammy Performance in 2011, and now can’t stop listening to their new single, “I Will Wait.” LOVE.IT. I really need to download the entire album. Has anyone else heard it? Thoughts?

8. I can’t wait to start watching Christmas movies and specials with reckless abandon. I love this time of year!

9. You may have heard the news that Hostess is going out of business. As in, no more Twinkies, Ho Hos or Ding Dongs. If you didn’t hear the news, you probably saw that your grocery store had been wiped clean of all Hostess products. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it! Wow, people are passionate about their snack cakes! I decided to take matters into my own hands and whip up some homemade Twinkies…

Recipe coming on Monday!

10. TGIF! If you’re thankful for a pet in your life, raise your hand!