Our Thanksgiving Spread

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was filled with warmth, love & full bellies! I am thankful for every day. Every sunrise or sunset I get to see makes me filled with gratitude. However I'm thankful most for my husband, Gilles and our fur baby, MaQ. They are my family and without them I'm not sure where I would be today. Their love makes each day worth getting up for. I love these two more than anything else in the world. Thank you both for always having my back.

Today's post is all about my cook-a-thon from yesterday's feast! I've been cooking our turkey's for the past 7 years and I must admit, this year's turkey was the best yet! I got a decent-sized bird to last us for days, just shy of 14 pounds! I panicked the first time I handled a turkey. The idea of cooking the darn thing was intimidating enough, let alone preparing all the side dishes and appetizers, cocktails, etc. Secondly, I was honestly grossed out. But now, with persistent practice in the kitchen, I prep faster and with more confidence, therefore with much more ease. It's a breeze now and I relish the idea of cooking a 20+lber one day, ha ha! This year was also the first time where I never felt overwhelmed! My cooking skills are improving, and I'm so happy to share with you my progress thus far! Here are a few tricks of the trade I've learned from the many Thanksgiving dinners I've made in the past years:

ALWAYS PREP IN ADVANCE! I can't tell you how many times I was that dingdong who'd rush to the market on the day of Thanksgiving. BAD Suz! BAD. Life is continuously hectic in New York, and I never could seem to manage to prepare anything beforehand and made everything on the actual day! This year in particular, I bought everything I needed the day before. Lol. I also made the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Eve, which definitely helped take off a little pressure from all the cooking on the day of.

BUTTER, BUTTER & MORE BUTTER. What's the secret to French cooking? That's right, folks, the more the better. If you want your turkey to have a super moist, rich taste, the key is where you put the butter. I like to season mine first with a variety of herbs & seasonings, then take the mixture and place it under the skin. The trick is to not to rip the entire skin off though. I will poke a hole through each end on both sides, and will especially be generous with the butter when it comes to the breast. I put most of the butter in this section because this part of the turkey has a tendency to be the most dry.

COVER TURKEY WITH FOIL. Remove the foil when there is only 1 hour left to finish cooking the bird. This is the time to baste the turkey from the cooked juices, I usually try to do this every 10-15 minutes (for an hour), giving it a nice brown on the skin. Doesn't it look delicious?!

USE UNFLAVORED DENTAL FLOSS TO TIE THE LEGS. It's easy to remove and even easier to tie if you have an extra pair of hands. (Thanks, hubby bear for the awesome teamwork!) I'm not sure what everyone else uses, but I've been using this method for years and it's never failed to secure them tightly!

A VARIETY OF SIDES GOES A LONG WAY. Some of my favorite trimmings are mashed potatoes and stuffing (or dressing as the South calls it). I could literally survive on the stuff! But you never know who's going to show up, so it's a good thing to mix it up and try different and new recipes. I also made my version of candied yams & apples, which is on the sweeter side comparatively to the other dishes. Salad is also a great starter. I mixed mine with mushrooms, red & yellow peppers, onion, cucumbers, tomatos and shredded carrots. I also will normally have some kind of bread at the table but I totally forget about it in the photo! Last are the cranberry sauce and green beans which are always winners.

HOW TO GET THE FLUFFIEST MASHED POTATOES. A whisk! Just whip those taters up like you're whisking eggs and it'll be the airiest potatoes of your life! Secret's also in the right amount of butter and milk. Don't forget the salt too!

APPEARENCE DOES COUNT. Any kind of decorative effort brings liveliness to a place/setting. Whether it's flowers, funky-looking squash and pumpkins, or a fabulous table runner, I try to keep the spread looking simple yet appealing. Plus, you'll still have all your decorations after which will still keep your place looking fun and festive, unless you like to jump into Christmas right away.  :)

What are some of your favorite tricks for Thanksgiving dinners? Favorite sides? What about your least favorite dish you still come across? Like fruitcake during Christmas? Ha ha! Have a safe rest of your Black Friday and enjoy the Holiday weekend! <3

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz


Are you ready for Halloween? We are! With less than ten days to go, I wanted to get into the 'Trick or Treat' spirit and do something I used to do as a kid with my mom especially, who was the ultimate master at this; carving pumpkins. And I'm not talking about the typical easy-faced jack-o'-lanterns, we did everything from spiders to Frankenstein, to mummies and skeletons. The more difficult sketches were left for my mom, who happily accepted the challenge. (And I wonder where I get my competitive nature from...)

I always wanted to carve a German shepherd onto a pumpkin, but since I never had a dog as a child (I know, such a shame), I never got the right opportunity or time to do one! Being a city girl, I've never carved pumpkins since being in NYC! But now with MaQ, of course I had to make one, just for him! Ladies and gentlemen (and furriends), I present you, the maQ-o'-lantern! :)

Yes, I did this carving all by myself! The most difficult and time-consuming part was the etching, which are the parts that are not cut all the way through, just the skin peeled. I think the funniest part of the whole experience was waddling down the streets of New York with an 18-pound pumpkin! I couldn't stop giggling at myself after I had left the market! Let's just say I got my workout in this morning! ;)

What a pair! MaQ has never had an up close & personal meet up with a pumpkin of this size. He, at first, considered it to be just a big toy for him, (maybe a giant ball perhaps?) but once he got that enormous black snout of his on it, he went crazy! I think he smelled all the gunk and goo and pumpkin seeds inside and got really excited. At some point he started clawing at it but I had to have him stop since I didn't want him scratching the poor thing! He seemed a bit confused watching me scoop out all of the pumpkin's guts, as if he was watching mommy murder his newfound friend... LOL!

Here's a close-up shot of the sketch. I found mine online and just printed it and used it. Should you want to make one of your beloved pooch, there are tons of sketches you can find on the internet just by googling what you're looking for. It's really easy. The actually carving part? Not so much. Be ready to have time and LOTS of patience.


Here are a few outtakes from our shoot! We've got a variety of fun, serious, and oh so model-y! I love the first one where by chance I got him looking like he's saying, "Boo!" but rather just an in between shot where he was just licking his chops. It's too cute though, right? I had to share it with you guys! Below you can find MaQ doing what he does best: modeling. 🎃

Kill them with your smile, dude! I think he started getting more comfy with his pumpkin towards the end of the shoot. I'm still surprised by his initial reaction toward the pumpkin! Do any of you have a dog that wasn't a huge fan of something at first but grew to love it? Most GSDS hate vacuum cleaners, brooms, or golf clubs (I know a sheppy who DESPISES them), but a pumpkin?! I have the silliest fur baby!

I'm glad I introduced him to yet one more thing in life to experience, because that's what life should be all about! And I really do think he started to feel on that pumpkin because when I started putting down the studio, I caught him licking the crap out of it! Someone is in love...! Ha ha ha!

We can't wait to show you our Halloween costume! My hubby is even partaking in the fun! So excited to share! Stay tuned, it'll be up on Halloween Day, naturally. Hope y'all had a great Hump Day!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

October Beauty Favorites

TGIF! October is officially here and there are a few beauty products that are my must-haves at the moment. And one of them, you will laugh at, but it's something I love to have from time to time! Don't judge me, I fully embrace myself just the way I am!

From left to right, clockwise.

  1. Formula X For Sephora Nail Polish in Ignite
  2. Fresh Sugar Cherry Tinted Lip Treatment - Sunscreen SPF 15
  3. Cartier Pasha Édition Noire Travel Rollerball Cologne
  4. Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara
  5. L'Oreal Glam Bronze GG Cream

I actually wore this Formula X nail polish the day I married my husband. We married in the Fall almost two years ago, and ever since, I have been constantly stocking on this particular deep red for the Autumn/Winter seasons here in New York. A definite must-have! They give my nails a modern, classic look and the rich hue complements my skin complexion very well, even when my summer tan is starting to taper off. ;)


Okay, let me just say, I cannot get enough of Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment! This season is the first time I'm trying an actual color from this line, and I went with 'Cherry' to go with my red nails. It provides 6 hours of moisture, leaving you with only soft, supple lips. Most women I know can rock full red lips, but I look like a blow fish if I go the scenic bright rouge route! I am loving it's subtle tint!

Normally I'd talk about my current perfume, but my current aromatic obsession is this new cologne by Cartier I got for my hubby. It's style is authentic and elegant (just like my man) with hints of mint, rose wood, coriander, mandarin, thyme and lavender. It's a very masculine perfume, and you cannot deny the expressions of virility and pure sophistication in it's scent. Perfect sexy vibes for Fall. I'd recommend it for any man who enjoys the finer and more beautiful things in life. And... (here's the laughable part), I like to spritz it on one of my hubby's shirts and wear it around the house sometimes, especially on rainy days like today! ❤︎❤︎❤︎

I've been using Lancôme's mascara for years. I sometimes use one from Kiehl's, but for everyday usage, this doll lash effect mascara gives a wide-eye look but also with perfect volumized, extended, luscious lashes. (Without looking like some cartoon character!) And the comb is really good in those hard-to-reach corners.

And now, last but not least, my favorite current bronze cream from L'Oreal. I love how weightless it feels and the coverage is very natural, giving my skin the perfect glow. It is a very sheer cream and has a very summery, floral scent to it. I love it! It doesn't give you much coverage, but I'd like to think of it as a lighter kind of contour for your face.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed some of my monthly beauty faves! Have a wonderful, super cozy weekend!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

PS The beauty products laid out on that super snugly faux fur blanket is from one of my all-time favorite stores, West Elm. :)