remembering the holidays: thanksgiving

we’re approaching the holiday season fast, gang!  are you ready?  me either.  they’ve already got Christmas decorations up at Target.  yikes!  to get us in the holiday mood, this week on the blog, we’re talking holiday memories.  we’ve got a real special treat for you:  each day, we’re going to bring you a guest post from one of my family members sharing one of their favorite holiday memories.  today, my daughter-in-law, Kelly, will be sharing her favorite Thanksgiving holiday memories. 

outfit of the day

i’ve got a really fun preppy fall outfit.  i’ve paired a Talbots plaid blazer with an Everlane cashmere mockneck layered on top of a J.Crew stripe shirt.  it’s been all about blazers for me this fall.  so much so, that i put together a how to wear a blazer guide. make sure to check it out if you’re looking for ideas on how to pair your blazer.  

Talbots plaid blazer | lug-sole loafers | Everlane cashmere mockneck | J.Crew stripe shirt | similar belt | similar leather satchel | similar leather satchel 2 | (unseen) pea coat

preppy plaid blazer

for those of my regulars, you’ll know that my go-to aesthetic is preppy.  i’ve featured it a lot this fall and even wrote an entire post about fashion confidence and one’s own personal aesthetic.  i found this perfect (similar) leather satchel (similar leather satchel 2) to compliment my outfit today.  every women needs a black leather satchel.  period.  

Talbots plaid blazer | lug-sole loafers | Everlane cashmere mockneck | J.Crew stripe shirt | similar belt | similar leather satchel | similar leather satchel 2 | (unseen) pea coat

Thanksgiving holiday memories

guest post by Kelly 

“When I was young, every Thanksgiving we spent at my paternal grandparent’s house. Each year my grandmother hosted a big Thanksgiving dinner party. It was a Thanksgiving celebration turned family reunion. From near and far, cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles, once and twice removed, would make their way to Santa Clara, California to celebrate together in my grandparent’s tiny 1951 cookie-cutter ranch style home.

My grandfather was of Mexican descent and my grandmother was Greek, each side of their blended family had so many members I hardly knew most of them. But those closest to my grandmother never failed to appear, so we did come to rely upon seeing certain family members year after year.

Besides my grandparents, the person I enjoyed seeing the most was my great grandmother, Elvira. She was eccentric and fascinating to me when I was young.  Elvira, was my grandfather’s mother. She was a first generation Mexican American, born and raised in Texas.

She was small in stature but she had a “don’t mess with me” type of personality. She always wore her nails long and painted red; her slender hands and wrists adorned with costume rings and enormous glass baubles that reminded me of candy. She smoked long skinny cigarettes and wore her hair in a bouffant.

Of course she always dressed well; as if headed to church or a fancy dinner. She continued to wear gloves when she was out and about in the daytime, long after that went out of fashion.There were so many people that dinner was served buffet style and everyone would make do with our plates on our laps, or standing at the counter – any available space was occupied.

The football game on TV was drowned out by the many conversations happening simultaneously; conversations periodically interrupted by whoops and hollers by those few who were actually watching the game. It was raucous and it felt like my sister and I were being allowed to attend an adult party, since we two were the only children – the only grand and great-grandchildren on my dad’s side of the family.  Being Greek and Mexican, the food was the most important part of the party and the dinner preparation began days ahead of time.

My grandmother would make not only an American-style Thanksgiving, but she also made tamales – and this was my favorite part of our Thanksgiving.  Now that I am married, and we are moving into our new house, I look forward to adding tamales to our Thanksgiving dinner menu. I think spending the day before the holiday preparing tamales would be a wonderful family tradition to begin with my husband.”

walking comfortably into thanksgiving 

this fall, i’ve gotten a lot and continue to still get a lot of questions on fashionable but functional footwear.  on friday, i gave a shoutout to these lug-sole loafers.  they’ve appeared several times on the blog, and i can’t recommend them highly enough.  they’re comfortable and go with just about anything.  make sure you grab yourself a pair.   

and if you’re looking for more footwear suggestions, check out Easy Spirit post.  i’m one of their fall ambassadors this year, and cannot recommend their footwear highly enough.  whether you’re looking for something casual or something more formal, you’ll find something you love over at Easy Spirit.  they’ve got a big pre-Thanksgiving sale going on over there right now.  so make sure to check it out. 

Talbots plaid blazer | lug-sole loafers | Everlane cashmere mockneck | J.Crew stripe shirt | similar belt | similar leather satchel | similar leather satchel 2 | (unseen) pea coat

in case you missed it 

all week on the blog, we’ll be sharing guest posts of our favorite holiday memories.  toady, my daughter-in-law, Kelly, shared her favorite Thanksgiving holiday memories.  stay tuned tomorrow for Christmas. 

last week was self-care week.  the highlight of the week was our Friday’s post: breaking fashion rules when you’re over 50 post.  there, we give 5 rules everyone over the age of 50 should break.  make sure to check it out if you missed it. 

and for those that were following us two weeks ago, it was travel week over here on the blog.  i gave you an inside view of my French river cruise.  and if you haven’t hopped over to my YouTube channel channel, we posted highlights from that cruise in our French travel vlog.  i’ve attached it below, so make sure you watch it. 

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23 Comments

  1. Terry wrote:

    Hi Kelly! Yes! Tamales for the holidays! Enjoy your first holidays as a married lady. Beth is fortunate to have your expertise in helping with the blog.

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • i am so fortunate to have an amazing team with jr. style behind the camera and kelly behind the scenes.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  2. Cindy Bulharowski wrote:

    Enjoyed reading about Kelly’s Thanksgiving memories. Would like to have seen a photo or two if she had them.

    What’s up for the Djalali famiy this year?

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • thanksgiving dinner at my place! all the kiddos will be here. can’t wait!

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  3. Georgia Peach wrote:

    Oh I loved reading your daughter in law’s Thanksgiving memories.
    So important to bring your traditions to the marriage. How fun to add the tamale tradition to Thanksgiving.
    We always celebrate Thanksgiving. I think it’s so important to take time to be thankful for the blessings we enjoy in this wonderful country.
    I just can’t start decorating for Christmas until we’ve celebrated Thansgiving
    Looking forward to reading more memories from your family.
    Love your ootd.

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • i’m of the same mindset. christmas decorating always waits until the day after thanksgiving. isn’t this outfit so dang cute?! i could wear it every day.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  4. Holly wrote:

    Love hearing from your family! All the best to you and your family during the holidays to come🍁🍗🎄.

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • thanks so much, holly! thanksgiving has a special place in my heart as it was my father’s favorite holiday!

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  5. stephani Tyler wrote:

    Thank you Beth for Kelley’s family Thanksgiving remembrance..I too remember those holidays at Grandma’s House… Italian and American food….So sad, as you get older and family is not nearby, how lonely these Holidays become…
    Thank you on reminding me…

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • God Bless you, Stephani. I hope you will adopt a friend or two and spend Thanksgiving with them. The holidays can truly be a lonely time but that’s when we need to reach out to others. They may be feeling the same way.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  6. Judith wrote:

    Ugly shoes

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • you don’t know what you’re missing! these babies are my new style crush. comfy and on-trend.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  7. Kathy Ludgate wrote:

    I enjoyed Kelly’s memory. What a delightful “daughter” you have added to the family. I love blazers and this year purchased the Talbot’s blazer in the pink and burgundy tweed. It looks great with jeans and a multitude of pant colors in my closet. I always start my day with your blog and amazed how many similar looks I have in my c loset.

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • thanks so much for following along! and you can’t beat the versatility of a blazer. that’s for sure.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  8. oh Beth, those shoes almost made me stop breathing. I love them in the black and the white. Even though I am not afraid to drop the mother lode for shoes, these might just be a tad above my normal level. I will admire them from afar on you! Saved the outfit as I want to try to duplicate it. SO DANG CUTE!

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • aren’t these shoes the BOMB, shelley?! i linked something similar the last time i wore them at a much more reasonable price point. but i think i’ve already gotten my money’s worth since i’ve been wearing them non-stop.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  9. Linda wrote:

    Haven’t you been over doing the jeans lately. Jeans should be part of every women’s wardrobe. I still haven’t gotten over your wearing them to NYC. NYC is the fashion capital of the U.S. , jeans a comfortable but not a fashion statement! If your not trying to making a fashion statement in NYC then where!

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • you may ore may not have read that i was visiting one of my kiddos when last in NYC. so my wardrobe was planned around that.
      but, hey, i’m a blue jean mama from way back when. if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you know what my
      style uniform is all about whether in nyc, paris or ho chi minh.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  10. Jude wrote:

    Great to hear about Thanksgiving. You cannot wear jeans too often. They go anywhere minus the rips. IMO. Those loafers are fantastic and although I can afford them, the price is not reasonable for many.

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply
    • well, i like distressed jeans. so we’ll have to agree to disagree. and, yes, the pricepoint for these shoes is higher than your typical Steve Madden, Vince Camuto, Franco Sarto or J.Crew. but they are so well made and definitely worth every penny as they are comfortable to boot. but it’s good to know style doesn’t have a pricetag. similar shoes can be found for less.

      Posted 11.11.19 Reply
  11. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    Lovely memories of Thanksgiving. And I love that Kelly plans to incorporate that into her ongoing traditions. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday–it’s early on, so it’s a bit less stressful than Christmas, and it’s truly all about family and traditions. My grandparents were both immigrants–one set from Scotland and the other from Romania, so we had lots of traditions to uphold as well. My grandmother always told us “never forget your British heritage.” (Hah–I remember that all the time, but what about my Romanian heritage, too!?) and of course, American. Family–gotta’ love ’em! Happy almost holidays. I can hardly believe they’re upon us already.

    Posted 11.12.19 Reply
  12. Susanne wrote:

    Oh I have had my eye on that blazer; I think you’ve convinced me that I absolutely need it. I hope it looks as stylish on me as it does you!

    Posted 11.12.19 Reply
  13. AOA wrote:

    Loved this post, especially Kelly’s recounting of her great-grandmother’s tamales! Being of Mexican-American decent, as well as a Texan, tamales are a staple for my family during the holidays…and let’s be honest…as soon as the weather outside dips below 50 degrees! I recall my own grandmother having us form an assembly line to make tamales at Christmas. Sadly, I haven’t made tamales since; however, this post has inspired me to bring up the idea of making them once more with my mother as we celebrate our first holiday without my father. It may be just what we all need to get through this delicate time of year. Lovely post!

    Posted 11.13.19 Reply
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