• US@UO: Friendsgiving

    In honor of a season all about coming together, we’re starting a new tradition: Friendsgiving, which brings together our UO family to cook together, hang out, and celebrate friendship and community. This fall, we gathered up a bunch of our UO friends from all along the West Coast and piled in a van, headed for magical, beautiful Big Sur, CA. Read on to see more from the trip, and read our stories and tips for starting your own Friendsgiving.

    Top 5 Friendsgiving Takeaways:
    1. Stuffing is always appropriate, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
    2. Friendsgiving is the official start of the holidays — we like to follow dinner with a round of Christmas movies. 
    3. Come to Friendsgiving with a new game (or two) for the group to play
    4. No shame in loving pumpkin spice
    5. "Instagram or it didn't happen"

    What’s your favorite dish to bring to Friendsgiving dinner — [insert new turkey emoji here.]
    "Garlic bread that has been baked with tons of fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs between each slice" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "My favorite thing to bring to Friendsgiving dinner are little turkeys that are made out of cookies and different types of candy! They are super cute and taste pretty phenomenal too. Not to toot my own horn or anything." — Michelle Moore, Sales Associate
    "Pie, because I’m a terrible cook." — Mischa Hester
    "I’m a big snack person.  Chances are when you arrive to Friendsgiving, the food won’t be completely done so I would bring my favorite cucumber vegan cream cheese dip!  It’s a great snack and not too heavy so you still have room to eat dinner!" —Ebonee Shanay, Events and Marketing Manager at Space 15 Twenty
    "Pumpkin spice mac’ n cheese (vegan). No shame." — AJ Greene, Assistant Store Merchandising Manager 
    "You can always count on me for the booze: it’s everyone’s favorite part of dinner, and I don’t have to worry about burning anything down!" — Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser

    Who is a dream Friendsgiving guest?
    "Morgan Freeman, so he can narrate everything." — AJ Quon, Men's Manager
    "Ina Garten so she can cook a delicious, bougie meal for us" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "Keeping up with my best friend is hard, so having Bey and Blue over to catch up would be great." – AJ Greene, Assistant Store Merchandising Manager 
    "Leslie Knope. Not only is she the best event organizer in the fictional universe, but she's also an excellent gift giver. I hope she draws my name in Secret Santa!"—Markie Mae, Store Merchandising Manager

    What songs are on your Friendsgiving dinner playlist? 
    1. "Spice Up Your Life" by the Spice Girls. But we would obviously change the lyrics to "Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life" in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
    2. "Crew Love" by Drake, because I love Drake and I love my friendsgiving crew. 
    3. "I'll Be There" by Jackson 5. Because my friends and I will always be there for each other. We are so cute like that. — Michelle Moore, Sales Associate

    1. Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” (for karaoke)
    2. Harry Belafonte “Jump in the Line” (Who can forget the dinner scene from Beetlejuice)
    3. Drake “Hotline Bling” (Because you know you want to do the dance) — Ebonee Shanay, Events and Marketing Manager at Space 15 Twenty

    (PS you can stream our special UO Friendsgiving playlist HERE!)

    Favorite Friendsgiving tradition (or one you think should be started)?
    "Go to a new destination every year so we’re always exploring together." — Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser
    "S'mores and a campfire are always a good idea" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "Go around the table and say why you are thankful for the person to your left." — Mischa Hester
    “Where my good friends and family come over and each bring a different type of pumpkin beer to try.” — David Bugarin, Manager

    Best story from the Big Sur friends giving trip?
    "We had a pretty awesome karaoke party one night...but karaoke is always a hit with me" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "I don't even know how to choose just one! I suppose I'll have to go with the time when all the friends sat together in a giant circle, right at the edge of the backyard overlooking the ocean, playing the game Heads Up. This moment brought us all even closer as friends and we laughed so hard that we could barely breathe. Yeah...that was epic." — Michelle Moore, Sales Associate

    Best Friendsgiving….
    Vegetarian dish? 
    "Any roasted vegetables, especially cauliflower or rainbow carrots, and mashed potatoes is a given"— Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "Pumpkin ravioli" — Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser
    "Sweet potato anything!"  — AJ Quon, Men's Manager
    "Biscuits and Gravy" — AJ Greene, Assistant Store Merchandising Manager 
    "Casserole...green bean or sweet potato"—Michelle Moore, Sales Associate

    "Figs and salty cheeses" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser 
    "Stuffing" —AJ Greene, Assistant Store Merchandising Manager 
    "Cinnamon apple chips" — Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser
    “Chips and guacamole. #CaliThanksgiving” — AJ Quon, Men's Manager

    "Pie. Any kind."— Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "Oreo balls" — AJ Greene, Assistant Store Merchandising Manager 
    "Pumpkin bars" — Michelle Moore, Sales Associate
    "Pumpkin pecan cobbler" — Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser

    "Mulled wine" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser
    "Spiked eggnog" — Brian Cook, Men's Manager
    "A nice Hot Apple Toddy." —AJ Quon, Men's Manager
    "Champagne: it goes with every meal" — Mischa Hester

    Funniest Thanksgiving memory from your childhood?
    "One time my sister and I confused the champurrado, which is a Mexican style hot chocolate for gravy, and put it over our mashed potatoes." — Brian Cook, Men's Manager

    "When I was like 10, I made this ice cream dessert that looked like a watermelon that I was super stoked on. When it was time to bring it out, I pulled it out of the freezer and it fell right to the floor, and I cried."—AJ Quon, Men's Manager

    Best movie to watch in a post-dinner stupor?
    "It's A Wonderful Life" — Kara McCulloh, Store Merchandiser 
    "The end of Thanksgiving is the start of Christmas movies. So I'm probably watching 'Home Alone.'" — AJ Greene, Assistant Store Merchandising Manager 
    "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" — Brian Cook
    "Love Actually" — Mischa Hester
    "When Harry Met Sally"—Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser
    "Mean Girls. What a great movie to make you laugh so hard and help distract you from all the pain you're in from your after Thanksgiving feast food baby." — Michelle Moore, Sales Associate

    Favorite Thanksgiving moment in pop culture?
    "The Thanksgiving episode from season three of Friends where they play football and Ross and Monica compete in hopes of winning the "Geller Cup" once again." — Michelle Moore, Sales Associate
    "Slapsgiving from 'How I Met Your Mother'" — Kara McCulloh
    "If we're talking pop culture, let's never forget the Thanksgiving episode of The O.C. When Seth Cohen was hiding Summer and Anna from each other, so that he could carry on his mischievous love triangle. Oh Seth."—Markie Mae, Store Merchandising Manager

    Or what about games — what’s your game of choice for a big group?
    "Cards Against Humanity" — Kara McCulloh 
    "My two favorite games are Twister and Scattergories and both are great for a large group of people."— Michelle Moore, Sales Associate
    "Guess the Celeb. A game where you have celebrities written on paper and people hold them to their forehead. The guesser can only ask yes or no questions. Everyone gets one guess, as it continues in a circle until everyone guesses their celebrity." — Mischa Hester
    "I just learned about a charade card game we played pretty much the whole way to Big Sur in our van called 'Heads up'" — Brian Cook, Men's Manager

    The number one rule of Friendsgiving is… 
    "Bring plenty of wine" — Kara McCulloh
    "To be surrounded by your closest friends, eating, playing games, being merry and just being thankful for each and every one of our friendships!"—Michelle Moore, Sales Associate
    "Eat and eat some more." — Brian Cook, Men's Manager
    "You have to sing on karaoke night!"—AJ Quon, Men's Manager
    "Instagram or it didn’t happen."—Lauren Trenkle, Store Merchandiser

    Shop Eat, Drink, and Be Merry