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Awkward Thanksgiving Photos

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. It is a time for friends and family to gather together for food and celebration of the most important days of the year. In the midst of that time together, many photo opportunities arise. Some will be brought out for years to come to bring back treasured memories of past holidays and time with relatives. However, some other photos will also be brought out every year to humiliate their subjects with horrible fashions, awkward adolescent phases and those sweaters your mom once made the whole family wear for the Christmas card photo. In my opinion, these awkward photos are the true gems of the photo album.

They are not meant to be hidden away in a drawer, but to be shared. Revel in the awkwardness and enjoy reminiscing with your friends and family. If your family is anything like mine, you cannot spend Thanksgiving or Christmas together without at least one family member regaling everyone present of the embarrassing moments of your childhood. And, if there are photos to accompany these stories, all the better. So, to get you more in the holiday spirit and prepare you the inevitable photo-taking and photo-sharing moments that come hand in hand with holidays that are spent with the family, I have some of my favorite awkward Thanksgiving photos for you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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baby dressed up as thanksgiving turkeyturkey carving fake death thanksgivingturkey costume thanksgiving phototuxedo shirt thanksgiving photounhappy girl thanksgivingunhappy pilgrim girl thanksgivingunhappy thanksgiving dinnerunhappy thanksgiving photowaving turkey drumsticks thanksgivingweird thanksgiving photo



For more awkwardness,  check out photos from Christmas, Easter and Halloween this year and last year.

You can also check out When Wedding Photos Go Wrong {editions onetwothreefourfivesixseveneight and nine} and awkward engagement photos.


photos @ Awkward Family Photos 



My Trip to Italy ~ Traveling in Rome

You may remember my posts from awhile back when I went to Europe and traveled to many places such as Dublin, Paris, Rome, Athens, Rhodes, Santorini, and back again to Dublin. Well, I traveled back to Europe this summer! I went on an archaeological dig in Northern Greece for six weeks and then bounced over to Italy for another two weeks with my boyfriend. Sadly, I did not post last year about my archaeological dig in Israel {I may write about it in the future when I have more time}, but this time, I had to write about my time in Greece and Israel. My posts on my time in Greece are coming, but I decided I to write about Italy first, because it was my time for vacation rather than work.

My boyfriend and I began our Italy trip by traveling in Rome, where we returned to many sites we both had previously visited and we found many new ancient and modern spots as well.

Like any tourist traveling in Rome, we began our sight-seeing at the Colosseum.




Stairs leading to the top decks of the Flavian amphitheater.



Mosaic at the Colosseum exhibit showing a bestiarius, a gladiator who fights animals.

After the Colosseum, we stopped for a moment at the Arch of Constantine and then headed south to the entrance to Palatine Hill.


The Arch of Constantine



The ruins of the Hippodrome of Domitian

We quickly made our to the various domus on top of Palatine Hill. We passed the Hippodrome of Domitian, which was used for chariot racing. Interestingly, it overlooks the Circus Maximus, which was also used for chariot racing.


We then walked over to the Domus Augustana, the house of Augustus where we saw the remains of a once great peristyle.


Since bothy my boyfriend and I had visited Rome before, we only browsed the Palatine Hill a bit  and headed over to the Roman Forum. I did get to the see an amazing depiction of a Roman eagle.


Roman Forum


The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina


The Temple of Castor and Pollux


I saw some great art remaining on the ruins of marbles such as the laurel wreath of victory.


One of my favorite sites in the Forum – the “naval” or center of the city of Rome. It is from this point that the distances of Rome are measured; as the sign says, it is also where the earthly world comes into contact with the Underworld. Its mythological founding goes back to Romulus and it still survives to modernity, although it had been renovated during the empire.


Forum Iulium, the Forum of Caesar

Our visit to the Roman Forum was also brief, because we have both visited it before. I am a Classics major, so this was difficult to do. . We exited past the Arch of Septimius Severus and then the Forum of Caesar.


We quickly went by Trajan’s market…..


And the Column of Trajan….


and the Altare della Patria, the altar of the fatherland..


We then walked around down many, many streets and stumbled upon tons of sites, such as a waterless Trevi Fountain before finally hitting the Pantheon.


The famed engineering feat, the oculus.


We visited the Pantheon on a Sunday when church services are held multiple times per day.


We then meandered over to the Piazza Navona to check out the obelisk, fountain and more.


Max also found this new favorite street performance. The restaurant we planned on dining at was closed, so we had to choose one nearby. It was no tourist trap, though. We had our first taste of rabbit there and our first pasta dish on the trip. We then got some gelato to complete the meal and headed home for the day.

The next day, we went across the Tiber River to the Villa Farnesina, which date to the 15th century. It is full of art by famous and talented artists, but sadly the statues do not remain. Fortunately, we later traveled to Naples where we saw some of the Farnese collection.


The Villa Farnesina and its back garden


The art in this room depicts the wedding between Alexander the Great and Roxanne.

We were struggling to find museums and sites that we had not yet visited on a Monday, since that is the day most attractions are closed in Europe. We had looked at many villas to visit that day, but this one was coincidentally located across from the National Museum of Ancient Art in the Palazzo Corsini. The extent of their collection is mind-blowing. It was also shocking how empty it was. We saw maybe three other tourist groups during our entire time there.



Afterward, we made our way to get lunch at Sette Oche.


We saw many little Madonna on building corners along the way.me-in-rome-italy

A photo my boyfriend took of me at lunch.


We had some amazing pork and pasta dishes and finished it off with tiramisu.


We then crossed the Tiber River again and checked out the remains of the older part of ancient Rome. The Forum Boarium was the first marketplace in Rome and the Temple of Hercules Victor and the Temple of Portunus still stand there.


The Temple of Hercules Victor



The Temple of Portunus

Nearby is one of the first permanent amphitheaters in Rome, the Theater of Marcellus. Its construction was begun by Caesar and finished by Augustus and named after Augustus’ intended heir.


The Theater of Marcellus now has apartments built into it.

We then walked to the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcare. This church has ancient ruins built into its side and below its floors.



Remains of pagan temples and early churches dating back as far as the 8th century BC can be found below the church.



We then hopped on a bus and went to the Column of Marcus Aurelius. Like the Column of Trajan, it is a long battle scene winding up from the base.




We stopped to get some gelato and nosed around. We saw the Mausoleum of Augustus in the distance, but were too tire to visit it.


We also briefly stopped by the Spanish Steps before heading home on the Metro. After only two days of extensive walking, we were tired and needed to get some rest to be prepared to visit new cities, which we would do beginning the following day.




Easy Banana Bread Recipe {With Olive Oil Instead of Butter}

easy banana bread recipe

Maybe it is the fall air or maybe I just use that as an excuse, but I have been craving a sweet bread for weeks. My boyfriend, being the ever-s0 picky eater will is not interested in seasonal breads such as pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, cranberry bread and so on. He only likes banana bread. He does not like bananas by themselves, but that is the only type of bread he likes to eat. I do not understand the logic, either. Rather than fight him, I decided to make a batch and then another . . . . and then another. By the end of the four-day course, we had gone to the store too many times, gained a few pounds and tailored a banana bread recipe.

Banana Bread Recipe

Banana Bread Recipe
Serves 12
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
This scrumptious banana bread is full of spices and perfect for a cold day. Due to the fact that it calls for Olive Oil rather than butter, it contains much less saturated fat and cholesterol than other bread recipes.


  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 bananas
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 dash cloves


Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°.
Step 2 In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Step 3 In a separate bowl, smash the bananas and combine with oil until the consistency is even
Step 4 Stir in the eggs, vanilla followed by the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
Step 5 Pour in the flour mixture and mix until the consistency is even.
Step 6 Pour the batter into an 8×8 inch pan.
Step 7 Bake for 50-60 minutes. Make sure the bread is fully cooked by poking a knife in the middle of the bread.


You can lessen the amount of both the white sugar and brown sugar by a few tablespoons total to suit your tastes. I lessened it a bit each time as the batched amounted.

Enjoy the bread with a bit of butter or on its own. It was the perfect amount of sweetness for us and we loved to eat it for breakfast on the weekend with a glass of milk. Hope you love this banana bread recipe as much as we did!



Simple & Creative DIY Thanksgiving Decorations

I have always loved Thanksgiving, but I have come to love it more and more as an adult. I now appreciate all the tradition and effort that goes into this day of family and food. I now love to contribute to it through food and decor of my own. If your family is like mine, we keep our Thanksgiving decorations and display them up for years to come. If you want to begin this tradition or just add a few more items to your collection, I have found a few lovely DIY Thanksgiving decorations to help you do just that in an easy a festive and easy way.

For Hanging

Thanksgiving Corn Wreath

Dress up your front door easily with this colorful corn wreath. Its harvest feel is not only perfect for Thanksgiving, but for the entire autumn season. You can find the easy tutorial at Stone Gable.

fall wheat wreathIf you want a simpler wreath, this wheat wreath may be for you. It has a harvest feel to it, but with less dramatic color than the corn wreath. It may work more easily with your door or wall depending on the color. You can find the easy tutorial at Finding Home.

DIY Thanksgiving pumpkin wreath

This DIY pumpkin wreath is great for Thanksgiving and all of autumn. Get the tutorial {and other lovely tutorials} over at Sutton Place.

fall leaf mobile

This fall leaf mobile from Happiness is Homemade is a beautiful craft that you can hang up for years to come. It take a bit of work, but the end result is beautiful and it is a craft that kids will want to make as well.

thanksgiving glitter leaves bunting

For a shinier look, try this glittering leaf garland from 6th Street Design. It is made with fake leaves, so you can create this wherever you live.

diy leaf garland

For a mix of natural and manmade, try this bunting highlighting the changing colors of the season against book pages. Simple as That has the complete tutorial from pressing the leaves to stringing the pages together.

fall pinecone garland

With a few pinecones {real or fake}, some ribbon and a few clips of your choice, you can make this beautiful pinecone garland. You can also add a scent to the pinecones using the tutorial below.

diy pinecone decoration on lamp post

With wire, burlap and a few pinecones, you can make this gorgeous pinecone hanger as apart of your DIY Thanksgiving decorations. It also makes for a great autumn and winter decoration.



A floating apple candle vase makes for a festive centerpiece or a welcoming front door decoration. Just choose a vase and cut a hole in the tops of a few apples using either a knife or a spade drill bit to hold the votive candle securely. That is all there is to it. This is not only beautiful, it is also simple and it adds a rustic and homey feel to any space.

DIY fall gourd candle holdersLike the apple votive candle holders, these gourd candle holders can be made using a knife and/or a drill with a spade drill bit. They can be used as centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table or as festive touches around the home on side tables or window sills. Check out Revel Blog for the full tutorial.

diy thanksgiving leaf candle

This DIY leaf candle decor is as easy to make as it is lovely. This tutorial from That’s What Che Said uses fake leaves, string and some burlap if you so desire. They can be used for the entire autumn season, but are particularly festive for Thanksgiving.

diy mason jar leaf candle

You can make your Thanksgiving table or side table glow yellow, orange and red with these mason jar leaf candle holders. They are a simply and glowing reminder of the season. Spark & Chemistry gives a tutorial using mod podge, leaves {real or fake} and raffia for a finishing touch. Use scented candles to complete the autumn feel.

fall table centerpiece

This rustic Thanksgiving centerpiece is colorful, rustic and easy to make. For a complete tutorial, check out the Idea Room.

diy cinnamon candlesPeople often associate cinnamon with Christmas, but this should not be the case. Cinnamon goes with cranberry sauce, apple cider, sweet potatoes and of course, pumpkin pie. You can waft the sweet aroma of cinnamon throughout your home and have a beautiful decoration using this idea.

diy fall pumpkin candle holders

Pumpkins and cranberries are also staples of Thanksgiving and the smell of pumpkin is a must for Thanksgiving. Just use a knife or a drill with the proper size spade drill bit to create with pumpkin. Your can check out other pumpkin candles and more here.

popcorn vase candle holder

Corn is a traditional must for Thanksgiving. Although you may not want to eat it, you can still decorate with it. Try filling a hurricane vase with popcorn kernels for a simple yet beautiful look. You can add raffia for a finishing touch if you like. This and other corn-filled ideas can be found at Passionate Penny Pincher.


fall pumpkin vase

This pumpkin vase from Jenny Steffens shows just how to bring the colors of the season into your Thanksgiving centerpiece. We have decorated with pumpkins before this lovely vase is one of my absolute favorites. She has a fail-safe tutorial on her blog. Check it out to impress your friends and family.

diy book pages pumpkin fall craft

This pumpkin may look like it requires some work, but it is actually quite easy. It is also a fun Thanksgiving decoration for your kids to make. Check out Kids Activities Blog for the rundown on this Dollar Store craft.

fall canning ring pumpkin

If you are a canning fanatic like my mom, then you have dozens of canning jar rings lying around. If this is the case, find a bit of wire or string, cinnamon sticks and burlap and make this cute pumpkin. Yellow Bliss Road came up with this idea and I cannot say how much I love the simplicity and creativity of it.

autumn sweater pumpkinThese cute sweater pumpkins are almost too easy to make. With some fabric of your choice, filling and twine, you can have your own DIY pumpkin in a new minutes. I love these with a sweater design, which you can find on Jill Ruth, but she and many others have used other fabrics to make this such as sacks and flannel shirts.

diy fall wooden pumpkins decorationThis tutorial from Finding Home used wood salvaged from the home her grandfather built with his own hands. If that is not enough to make you swoon, then hopefully the end result of your crafting is. This decoration takes a bit more work, but it is something that you can use for years to come. Be sure to check out her lovely wooden wreath as well.

orange painted pumpkin wood slice

A Night Owl shows just how easy it is to make these cute wood slice pumpkins. And, with some chalkboard paint, you can turn these pumpkins into signs and spell out a message for the season for Thanksgiving Day.


diy gobble gobble sign

One of my favorite DIY Thanksgiving decorations from the Happy Tulip. It also uses repurposed wood to create some light-hearted, homey decor. I love the originality of the sign and the beautiful autumn colors.

diy give thanks blocks sign

This colorful and playful block sign can easily be made with some wooden blocks {which you can either buy or make} and some stenciled painting. It is also a fun project for the kids to join in on as well.

turkey stuffing pumpkin pie topiary thanksgiving decor

Soda Pop Avenue has a tutorial for this cute stackable box/block signs. Head over to her website for dimensions and instructions this and other stackable block crafts.

The Rest

diy autumn leaf bowl craft

Grab a fake leaf garland, mod podge and a bowl of your desired shape and you can make a festive autumn leaf bowl. It is perfect for laying out some candy, just like Hello Lucky did, for Thanksgiving guests. I love the natural-looking edges of it. Best of all, you can use it for years to come.

kids thankful tree craft

With just a branch, some string and paper, you can make a thankful tree for your kids or your entire family. This is a beautiful and thoughtful decoration and activity for Thanksgiving and a wonderful tradition to take up.

cinnamon pinecone tutorial

It is easier and cheaper than you think to make your own scented pinecones. Cinnamon is an aromatic spice of the season and it is a homey smell to have float through your home on Thanksgiving. It also makes for a great touch on pinecone crafts for the autumn and winter.

fall popsicle stick scarecrow fridge magnet craft

If you are searching for a craft to keep the kids occupied on Thanksgiving or if your kids want to get in on the decorating fun, help them make this popsicle stick scarecrow. This Girl’s Life Blog shows you how to do it.


Hope you find these tutorials useful in your DIY Thanksgiving decorations. If you make one, let us know. If you have suggestions for other crafts, let us know below as well.


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