6 Easy Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving Featuring the Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast

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Make this Thanksgiving the easiest Thanksgiving ever by taking a few short cuts along the way! With the help of the Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast, this Thanksgiving can be stress free and enjoyable!

Thank you to Bob Evans Restaurants for sponsoring this post.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is no small task! If you are the one providing a full meal for 10 or more people, it can become overwhelming to figure out just exactly how much food you need, how long it will take to prepare and how to keep it all hot by the time your guests arrive!

Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast

Bob Evans Restaurants recently released the findings of a survey they conducted about Thanksgiving Dinner. Those who have hosted a Thanksgiving dinner reported that they spend 7 hours shopping, cooking and cleaning up during the holiday but only 1.5 hours actually sitting and eating at the table. Two thirds of the survey respondents reported that the idea of hosting a thanksgiving meal “causes me to feel stressed or overwhelmed”.

The Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast Can Help You Have A Stress Free Thanksgiving: 

When Bob Evans Restaurants reached out to partner with me to host a “Stress Free Thanksgiving,” I had only previously hosted Thanksgiving once! I wasn’t exactly sure how stressed I was going to feel when the day arrived. I arranged to pick up the heat and serve meal at 4:30 PM on a Saturday evening and by 6:30 PM my guests were sitting down to a full Thanksgiving spread!

picking up Farmhouse Feast at Bob Evans

Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast in Box

Thanks to the pre-cooked Farmhouse Feast I spent a total of just 1.5 hours of active cooking time. And the bulk of that time was spent standing around talking to our friends as the food baked in the oven!

Everyone at the table raved about the food. The food was delicious! It tasted homemade – maybe even better, to be honest. I have never made stuffing that didn’t come from a box and my own mashed potatoes have never tasted that good! And even though I like to cook, I don’t think I could have matched the taste in my own kitchen!

Friends and Family at Thanksgiving meal

My guests guessed that the meal cost $200-$300 and were amazed to find out the largest Farmhouse Feast only costs $114.99 here in Columbus! The average Thanksgiving meal costs $20-$30/per person so my guests weren’t that far off. We all considered the price of the Farmhouse Feast to be quite the deal, especially if you add in the time saved in preparation. The Farmhouse Feast for 4 starts at just $49.99!

Here are my tips for hosting a Stress Free Thanksgiving featuring the Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast:

1. Set out your serving dishes in advance

Table Set for Thanksgiving Meal

When you bring home your Farmhouse Feast, you will be transferring most of it from the containers it comes in to containers that can be baked in the oven or microwaved. Think ahead before picking up the food to how many dishes you will need and have them ready to go when you get home with the food instead of spending your precious cooking time looking for the appropriate dishes.

2. Read the instructions carefully

Bob Evans Farmhouse Feast Instructions

Your Farmhouse Feast will come with a set of instructions and allergen information. The instructions were very easy to follow and I would check things off as I went. Start with the items that take the longest to cook: the turkey and the ham. Everything is cooked at the same temperature (325 degrees) so I used a the timer on the stove and the timer on my phone to keep track of the cook time of the various side dishes.

3. Employ a combination of oven, stovetop and microwave

thanksgiving turkey from Bob Evans

By using a combination of cooking methods, you can cook more things at once. I had the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and stuffing in the oven all at the same time while cooking the corn and green beans on the stove top. At Bob Evans’ recommendation, I used the microwave for the gravy, mac and cheese and rolls.

3. Use a mix of disposable tableware items

Thanksgiving food on table

Of course you don’t have to use disposable items, but when it comes to cleaning up, you can spend more time with your family and less time standing over the sink if you substitute even a few disposable items! Consider doing disposable dessert plates and coffee cups or disposable cups for the kids. Adding in a few disposable items will save time and space in your dishwasher.

4. Provide table top entertainment for the kids

thanksgiving place mat

Let’s face it, kids don’t usually stick around the dinner table for as long as the adults. You can increase the time spent with family by using some table top entertainment for the kids. I recommend a coloring sheet placemat and crayons! Or have a game table or craft table in the same room where kids can be entertained nearby when they’ve finished eating.

kids coloring

5. Decorate with reusable decor

letter board that says Happy Thanksgiving

Another way to keep costs and stress levels low is to use multi season decor. Don’t spend a ton of time and money shopping for the perfect Thanksgiving decor. Instead, use things that can be reused no matter what the holiday such as a letter board, string lights and candles. A letter board is perfect because it can be customized for every holiday!

Are you ready to create your own Stress Free Thanksgiving? You can place orders for the Thanksgiving Farmhouse Feast at Bob Evans Restaurants by calling, ordering online or in restaurant at any Bob Evans location now through Thanksgiving. Click here for all the details on the Farmhouse Feast.

Thanksgiving food on a plate

Not up for any of this? Bob Evans Restaurants will be open until 8:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day and offer delicious, holiday-inspired entrees. You can have the full Thanksgiving meal in the restaurant without any of the cooking or the clean up! Find the closest Bob Evans Restaurant.

Thanksgiving Food


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Mark Your Calendar: Slice of Columbus, Ohio’s Largest Pizza Event

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This post was written in partnership with the Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Slice of Columbus.

Slice of Columbus is Ohio’s Largest Pizza Event!

How does all you can eat pizza sound? Make plans to be at Columbus Commons on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM for Ohio’s largest pizza event!

Once you’re beyond the entrance of Columbus Commons, all pizza samples are unlimited! Plus enjoy live music by The Conspiracy Band and children’s activities like putt putt, face paining, bounce houses, crafts and more!

My kids and I attended this event last year and had a great time, despite the fact that it rained the whole time! We actually made fun memories running from tent to tent to try all of the pizza!

You can get a discount on tickets by purchasing them in advance! Discount Ticket Price is available until Midnight on Tuesday, September 11. Day of Ticket Price begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, September 12 and can still be purchased online.

Ticket Info for Slice of Columbus:

  • Tickets include: entry, all pizza and entertainment.
  • Children aged 5 and under are admitted for FREE.
  • Adult Ticket: $15 Advance, $18 Day Of Event
  • Youth Ticket: (6 – 17 years) $8 Advance, $10 Day Of Event
  • Family Package: $40 Advance, $45 Day Of Event: Includes: Entry for 2 Adults and up to 3 youth (6 – 17 years). Includes 5 free Pepsi products in addition to all pizza and entertainment.
  • VIP tickets are available for private tent access, no pizza lines, complimentary Pepsi products (soft drinks and bottled water), complimentary Craft beer and wine (21+), comlimentary snacks and sides (salads, bread sticks, desserts, etc.), and free parking with ticket purchased prior to September 7.
  • Purchase tickets here.

This fun event hosted by the Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital benefits The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Patient Champions for 2018 Development Board Events

The Development Board features Patient Champions each year as they hold several events to raise money for research to find cures and treat patients. The following information, provided by the Development Board, is about this year’s Patient Champions, Kaleb and Mia:

Kaleb (7) and Mia (8) both had their first seizure in January of 2013, within just three weeks of each other. Tests determined that Mia and Kaleb both had epilepsy. However, their neurologist in Florida wanted to do further testing since the anti-epileptic drugs were not working.

In August of 2013, the Diaz family had genetic testing done. In November 2013, they received their diagnosis; both Mia and Kaleb had Batten disease.

Batten disease is a progressive neurological disease. Currently, there is no cure. Patients with Batten’s experience cognitive impairment, loss of developmental milestones, epilepsy and sight impairments. Life expectancy for those with Batten disease is 8 to 12 years old. Researchers at Nationwide Children’s are working to slow down the regression of the disease and move closer toward finding a cure.

Photo provided by Slice of Columbus

A few months into treatment at Nationwide Children’s, her family noticed that the seizures were shorter in duration, not as intense and not as frequent.

It’s been a little over three years since Mia’s first infusion and she hasn’t had a seizure in over two years. She is still able to eat by mouth and retains her vision. Mia loves being her friends and going to the playground. She loves Chick Fil A, swimming, riding roller coasters and jet skiing.

With there being limited spots in the trial, Kaleb began treatment 19 months after Mia.

In the words of his mother, Barbara, “He is able to give those amazing cuddles that only he knows how to give. He is taking steps in his gait trainer and able to eat by mouth again. He is happy and getting stronger each day.” Kaleb loves music, being outdoors, swimming, Mickey Mouse and Nutella.

Every other week, Mia and Kaleb are admitted for infusions and stay overnight each time. They also come in for therapy and to see their specialists in neurology, pulmonology, GI and optometry.

“To our family, Nationwide Children’s means hope. It’s a place that has provided us optimism in a time when we thought all hope was gone. Because of Nationwide Children’s, we get to make more memories and we get to enjoy more time with our children. I can honestly say that Mia and Kaleb are still enjoying life and that they wouldn’t be here today without the enzyme replacement therapy – a treatment that wouldn’t be possible without research,” says Barbara, Mia and Kaleb’s mother.

More information about the Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Click below to watch a video to learn more about the Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/giving/ways-to-give/affinity-groups/development-board

Will we see you there?


Want us to mark our calendar for YOUR event? Click here!

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Kids Eat Free or Cheap in Columbus and Central Ohio

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9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

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Fall is such a fun time in Central Ohio! Here are 9 things you can only do during the Fall in Columbus and Central Ohio!

What Are Some of the Best Things to do with Kids During the Fall in Columbus?

Here are 9 things we enjoy doing as a family during the fall!

1. Attend a Skull Session at St. John Arena

My kids love instruments and any kind of band, so we were excited, though a little nervous, about taking them to a Skull Session at OSU! It’s a great way to get caught up in the football spirit, even if you don’t have tickets to the game!

A Skull Session is basically a pep rally where the marching band plays, the players come out and the coach gives a little speech . . . it’s very high energy and really a lot of fun!

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I’d recommend either parking on West Campus (parking is $20!) and taking a shuttle or parking in a neighborhood along the Olentangy bike path and walking up the path to St. John Arena.

The Skull session happens 2 hours and 20 minutes before each game and lasts an hour. When it’s over, you can mull around amongst the tailgaters, pick up some free samples (1/4 of a Sugardale hot dog, anyone?) and enjoy the energy of game day.

We were nervous because we weren’t sure what would happen to our strollers when we got there! We were able to take our strollers (yes, we had two) into the arena, but we left them outside the gymnasium, along the outer wall. It was a risk, but no one decided to walk off with a stroller on game day. Phew! I don’t know where else you could put your stroller, as the seating in the gymnasium is very tight. It worked out for us and we were really glad we did it!

You can see the schedule of OSU games here! Friends recommended arriving 20-25 minutes early to get good seats, and I will pass that advice on to you. We got there around 9:20 AM for the 9:40 AM Skull Session and were able to get good seats facing the band.

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

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There are so many pumpkin patch options, it’s kind of amazing! Every weekend in October is filled with Fall Festivals – honestly, I had no idea before I started this blog how many there are! Make sure to visit my post, Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals for a complete list!

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We recently visited Jaquemin Farms on a Monday! This one is great, in my opinion, because it is open during the week and for only $2 kids ages 3-10 can play in the corn box and run through the straw maze! Kids 2 and under are free! During the weekends, they have bouncy houses and the price is a bit higher. So if you have preschoolers at home during the week, this is a great way to spend an inexpensive morning at a pumpkin patch! Other weekday options include Circle S Farms, evenings at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm.

If you want the BIG pumpkin farm experience complete with kettle corn, a zip line, a huge pumpkin trampoline, mazes, corn bins, pedal carts and more, make sure to check out 15 Things to Do at Leeds Farm!

Another place we love to go is Smith’s Farm Market! The picture below is a few years old, but they always have a large selection of pumpkins and picturesque settings for fun pictures with pumpkins!

smith-farm-market

3. Go Apple Picking

I’ve shared about our visit to Orchard and Company, and Branstool Orchards, and here’s a list of more apple picking ideas from Columbus Moms Blog! It’s getting late in the season, but there are still apples to be picked at many farms and a lot of them have farm festival weekends as well! If you’re looking for some options during the week (as opposed to the weekend), a few farms are open on select Fridays: Lynd Fruit Farm, and Cherry Hawk Farm, to name a few.

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4. Attend Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo

boo-at-the-zoo

Boo at the Zoo happens for two weekends in October, the 19th – 21st, and the 26th – 28th, 2018. Dress your kids (or yourself!) in costume and visit a lot of vendors in different areas of the zoo who want to fill your kid’s basket with candy! It’s also totally acceptable to take your baby in a cute pumpkin costume in a stroller and accept candy on his or her behalf! 😉

5. Take a Road Trip

I shared 6 Ohio Road Trips to Take This Fall here, one of them being the Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek. Even if you can’t make it for the festival, a drive to Amish Country will be beautiful when the leaves (finally!) start to change!

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More fun road trip ideas include:

Fall is my favorite time of year for a road trip!

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6. Visit a Metro Park

Once the leaves start to change, there are some great options for leaf viewing in our local Metro Parks! A great one is Battelle Darby! There are walking paths through the woods and also bison viewing! While you’re there, check out the living stream in the Nature Center!

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Inniswood Metro Park is also beautiful in the fall. Seriously, check out this picture I took during the fall (below)! It felt like a fairy tale! It was amazing!

7. Visit a City Park

Don’t underestimate your local city park for fall beauty. Here is a list of all the Columbus City ParksFranklin Park is particularly beautiful in the fall! Keep an eye out for the Harvest Parties at Columbus Rec Centers. You don’t have to go far to celebrate! 🙂

columbus parks

8. See Model Railroads at COSI

Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI (October 31 – November 4, 2018) My kids LOVE this special couple of days when several model railroad clubs take over a few galleries at COSI. There are a lot of model trains to see and also trains to play with! It only comes once a year, but it’s one of those things my oldest son always asks about!

model railroad days at COSI

9. Visit the Huntington Holiday Train at Main Library

This is something I consider a Christmas tradition for our family, but it does arrive before Thanksgiving, so technically, it’s a fall activity, right? 😉  In mid November, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! It’s really beautiful, and if you have train lovers, like I do, it’s something you have to see!

Huntington Train

What else would you add to the list of “can’t miss” fall activities in Columbus?

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9 things to do with your kids this fall in Columbus, Ohio


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