picTORIal: Our Coastal Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we had the opportunity to keep our aprons in the pantry and pots on the shelf. We headed to Dana Point near Laguna Beach and spent a long holiday weekend being #grateful at The St. Regis Monarch Beach. We packed up all 5 kids (Jack, Liam, Stella, Hattie & Finn) and headed to the resort on Thanksgiving morning. We arrived to crisp sunny weather and the most amazing view from our hotel room…

Rcp49o6c9NLMa7giaQIBjHHP.jpeg:Amazon:photoJack & Hattie admiring the view

Miss Stella on the balcony.


Liam’s excited for Thanksgiving!


Finn’s first Thanksgiving!

8cwp3Il5v48K0UkT4JTo5E70.jpeg:Amazon:photoThe kids took a bath before we all dressed for Thanksgiving dinner…


Hattie had a little room service snack before dinner


Liam & Stella strike a pose


And more posing…


And, here’s my babes all dressed for dinner…


Here’s Finn in his 1st Thanksgiving dinner outfit.  He suddenly looks like such a big man!


The kids head down the hall to dinner with a now fully mobile Hattie in tow


Dad and Hattie take in the buffet sites


Stella makes cutlery artwork


Such a California Thanksgiving dinner!


Dean took full advantage that the TG buffet had everything from breakfast to dinner!


Dive in!


Smooches for the mama…


All vintage of course…


The boys!


Stella’s dessert choices


Stella after dessert…


Everyone watching a movie all cozy in the room after dinner


We hit the pool the next day…


And lunched poolside

After lunch we headed to the Kid’s Club where the kids got crafty and decorated gingerbread houses

Liam, hard at work

Miss Stella, aka the crafting goddess


We ended our amazing stay by getting the opportunity to attend the resort’s annual Christmas tree lighting

In fact here’s the switch and Liam & Stella actually got to flip it and light the tree up. It was amazing!

hha9HU0aro85sQhm81oc0UaW.jpeg:Amazon:photoLiam & Stella found a new holiday friend

And, here’s our whole family in front of the magnificent tree

Thanks St. Regis Monarch Beach for an amazing Coastal Thanksgiving! So grateful for my family and the time we got to all spend together!

What did you and your family do for Thanksgiving this year? Tell me all about it in the comments below.


  • Ashley Taylor

    Fantastic pictures! :) Loved seeing them! Thanksgiving is the greatest! I am still full!

  • Lemon Meringue

    Aaaaah, that looks like a well deserved and VERY relaxed Thanksgiving Weekend! Probably just what you all needed, glad for you that you got yourselves some quality family time. And love the last picture of the whole McDermott bunch in full regalia! I’d say you should keep this laid back approach for the Christmas.

  • Ann Crook

    What a beautiful family! Stella’s poses crack me up. I love how she always puts her hand on her hip! LOL. Reminds me of my 7 year old daughter.

  • Carrie Nugent

    Lovely! Lovely! Lovely!
    Every time I see pics of your girls, I keep thinking what a fun time they would have if they met my girls. My girls are a bit older ( 15 & 10 ) and their lives revolve around dance, musical theater, ballet, tap dance, costumes etc… Stella would have a blast hanging out with them!

  • Jeanne Tutt

    wow! Dean’s son is taller than he is! what a wonderful family picture! Glad you were able to relax with just the kids and that you included Dean’s son!

    I wish my family was even HALF as great as yours when I was growing up! need a sister? :) kiddin!

    Peace and love,

  • Elizabeth Rosario

    Just loooooove! wonderful and well deserved….looks like a really good time was had by all.


  • Kiara Ramirez

    all the brothers and sisters get together in one home with all the kids of course, and we cook and eat and play mexican bingo. This year we were blessed to have dad with us, he lives in a different state and our mommy passed away last year, so it’s not as “happy” as it used to be but we make it happy for our children. We always have a great time.

  • Shakingthesugartree

    Just love your precious family pics! As a Momma to 5 kids and step-mom to 2 more, my hat’s off to you T. You always look beautiful and I know how hard that is with the kids being so young! Happy Holidays to you all :)

  • Becky Layfield

    Tori you have a beautiful family!! Cant believe what a handsome young Jack has grown into!! I love Thanksgiving and all the new traditions of family!! Thanks for sharing with all of us and God Bless Yall!!

  • Wanda Pender

    What a wonderful kick-off to the Holidays! I have wanted (secretly, MANY times) to just sneak away, just my hubby and kids, and enjoy a simple, pampered, and totally hassle free Thanksgiving, so KUDOS to you for doing it!! The kids are getting SO big, ADOREABLE as always, and Jack is all grown up now, wow!! You are like me, we have never used the word ‘step’ in our family, we’re just family, and I have always loved the fact that he has always been included, typical McDermott’s! ;] Absolutely love the family photo in front of that beautiful tree, it’s perfect! Here’s to a wonderful holiday season ya’ll, and to the making of lots more gingerbread houses, lollipop trees and sweet treasured memories!! It’s on!!! :))

  • Denise Kuntzman

    I can’t believe how much Jack has grown. Such a beautiful family. Just love you guys.

  • Luce

    Hi Tori and everybody!

    I live in France and it’s not a tradition here to celebrate Thanksgiving but I have family in the US and I wanted to take the time to think and be grateful even if it’s not a french tradition.
    So nothing fancy like you guys but I think that the most important thing is to be “together” :)
    My parents are divorced and seeing how Jack fits so perfectly into your family and how you seem Tori to love him so much is wonderful. I’ve been blessed too with amazing step-parents :) and it’s not an easy job !!!
    Now back to your Thanksgiving recap, the place is beautiful. I can totally feel the crispy weather by watching the first pic ;)
    Liam is SO grown up !! it’s crayz, he looks like a young man, he is so handsome and is taking very seriously his role of big brother I’m sure !!
    Stella is beautiful beyond words and kill us everytime with her poses, the “hand on the hip” famous one cracks me up everytime !
    Hattie is so alert, so adorable, her big eyes looks so interested in everything around :)) she seems to be a wonderful little girl
    and Finn, my god, so big already !! Looks like Liam a lot, who looks like you Tori ;))
    Jack is very tall and handsome, how cute is he showing the view to Hattie :)
    You and Dean, amazing pair ! Vintage to die for as always ;))

    That’s one great Thankgiving, it’s nice to laid back a little and enjoy to the fullest :) and as @LemonMeringue said you should do that for Christmas too

    Love you guys
    (sorry I tend to write A LOT :)) )

  • Luce

    Didn’t mean any harm by saying that Jack fits so perfectly into your family … HE IS YOUR FAMILY. By re- reading, I thought I didn’t explain what I wanted, the good way.
    sorry guys

  • Psr

    Tori, what a super family…..sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving, having ALL your children there with you and Dean…. The setting was special and the kids took full advantage of what the surroundings had to offer…. And then for you to have the day off to just enjoy your family, what a blessing that truly must have been after the rough few months you had just gone through…… So happy for all of you… Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures of them all…… They are growing up so fast! Can’t wait to see what kind of fashionista Miss Stella becomes! LOL she’s got such a rocket start!!! Enjoy what is left of this year and the Christmas holiday….. I hope 2013 brings you all together and happy many times over………..

  • TifisNeat

    I simply LOVE your family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Boosmom

    Love your family, really wish the show was back on so sick of all the crap on tv your show was cute andmy 3 year old liked to watched it too! please come back!!!

  • Saundra Finlan

    I had an awesome Thanksgiving! It was the first time in 23 years that I had Thanksgiving with both my parents & sister. My parents we’re divorced during that time so I always had Thanksgiving twice a year. It wasn’t bad or anything plus I never did think we be a family again. We’ll on November 7 of this year, they got married again! Both never did remarry but had to grow. They are learning from their mistakes & my dad is communicating more this time around then before.My husband said since they remarried, it doesn’t count as a second marriage.LOL!Your family is getting so big and cute!

  • desi

    You have a beautiful family! What a great idea to spend Thanksgiving at the beach and what a view! I love the picture of the kids in the floor watching a movie. I always liked eating and getting my kids to our hotel room and just feeling safe and cozy!

  • Lily M

    It’s so nice to see you all together. You are a beautiful family. I hope you will be blessed with many many happy days like these ones.

  • D

    Thanks for sharing your TG pictorial, love watching your family grow…& Fin, so big already! oh my….but I know all too well how fast baby time flies, watching my own grandkids on that speeding train! We celebrated TG with a few family members: Four sisters, their hubbies and offspring……Rob, Dawn, Cory, Jim, Andy, Sam, Tracy, Phil, Paxton, Sienna, Nick, Kristine, Gay, Don, Donny, Dustin, Kim, Darci, John, Dawn, Gio, Danny, Angel, Debbie, Jim, Marilyn, Terry, Michelle, Clint, Rebecca, Lexi, Bella, Holly, Vince & Russ. Yep, thats 35! + Two turkeys, a ham and a bounty of love! Woo Hoo!

  • Maureen Villanti

    Hi tori, what my family did this year was to spend a nice quiet relaxing dinner together. After 32 years in an abusive relationship i decided to get out. So this year was the first peaceful holiday in a long time. Plus, my daughter’s mother in law has cancer and had just gone through chemo the day before Thanksgiving and couldn’t travel to be with family, so I didn’t want to see her alone, so I brought her a big plate of food and hoped she enjoyed it. glad to see you and yours had a great time and hope to see you guys on tv again. we really enjoy your family and the show. Happy Holidays tori, Maureen

  • Sharon Coffini

    Beautiful family holiday!! My husband does competition BBQ and we were just there in Dana Point (right next door from the Regis at the park actually) in September. We walked over the St. Regis and got some wine and enjoyed their beautiful grounds. There was a wedding going on and it was simply stunning the views from there!! I had never even heard of Dana Point before this (we live in AZ) but we will be sure to be back. Would love to stay there!! Looks like you guys had an amazing time!! We cooked a huge dinner and had 16 people at our house which is our annual tradition. Happy Thanksgiving to you guys!! (few days late ;-)

  • Lady Googoogaga

    I hosted a run at my house for 43 people in the morning and then dinner for 26!!!

  • Jackie C

    Ohh I SO wish I lived in California sometimes. Where else can you have turkey and sushi for Thanksgiving dinner, then lounge by the pool afterward? Anyway love the pics! I had a very nice holiday. My husband and I spent it at my sister-in-law’s. She had about 15 people there, all aunts, uncles and cousins. It was so nice to get to know my new in-laws more. :) The food was great, my new aunt made an amazing cream cheese/marinara dip with shrimp that is apparently a family recipe. I made these adorable (if I do say so myself) turkey sugar cookies, I found the idea on pinterest. I will post a pic of them on my profile.

  • ladyplatinum

    God blessed you all on the lovely day. Great looking time you guys had on Thanksgiving. The highlight of my day…devouring everything on my plate (Mom used to say, “People are starving somewhere, so eat all your food.”)and relaxing in front of the TV and cable networks. I like my Thanksgiving Day to be quiet and peaceful after I say my traditional Thanksgiving prayers thanking God for everything big and small that I’ve been blessed with in the past year…even if the year wasn’t the best year of all.

  • Nich

    Hi Tori and family, Thanks for sharing such beautiful pics, glad to hear your family’s Thanksgiving was festive and fun. My Thanksgiving was okay, it was nice to share with my teenager and boyfriend. Have a blessed week.

  • Ingrid Ruiz

    Hi Tori & Dean, Beautiful family and May god keep blessing you both. You both INSPIRE me to believe in things I did not know were possible. Thank you so much for share these amazing pictures! :) <3

  • Kristina Carter

    Thanks for sharing the pictures! Just beautiful! Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Me, the hubby and our two little ones head up to Tennessee where we rent out a house on a lake with my husband family from Ohio. There are 12 adults and 9 children…the house actually fits us all! We play games, get crafty and eat alot! But a really fun family tradition!

  • Julie Appio-MacKinnon

    Hi Tori and Family, you have a beautiful family. The pictures of your trip are amazing and the St. Regis looks so inviting. This Thaanksgiving me, my husband,and our 3 children headed down to Orlando, Fl where we rented a timeshare with some of my husbands family. There were 13 of us (5 adults and 8 children). We had a magical time in Disney watching the Osbourne lights and the castle lit up for Christmas. This Thanksgiving was special as it was our childrens first trip to Disney!

  • Patricia Meyer

    Blessings to you and your wonderful family. The kids are precious…LOVE

  • jlvsr2004

    Hi Loved seeing the pictures! We spent our first Turkeyday in AZ at one of the local casino buffets. All the goodies with no post dinner clean up ;->

  • Becca

    Hi Tori. Loved seeing all the pictures. Your family is gorgeous! We spent our first Thanksgiving in our new home, having just recently moved from NJ to Texas. What was really special was that my whole family flew down from NJ to be with us here and that my husband’s family, that lives here, all came together in our new home. It was so special to have everyone. A great memory.

  • Gina Boyd

    Tori, your thanksgiving looks so cozy and perfect:) I’m glad that you guys went to a resort and pampered yourselves. Sometimes it’s nice not having all the dishes and clean up that comes with holidays. Kids are all smiles (as usual :) and look relaxed and that they had a nice time too. We had a quiet thanksgiving here, looking forward to Christmas!!

  • Donna

    I just love your beautiful family! You are an amazing mother and the children are so lucky to have Dean and you as parents.My family came to my house in Rhode island and my husband cooked because I had just gotten home from the hospital after surgery where I was in for 5 days.
    Your thanksgiving looked special. When are you going to start tori and dean show on oxygen? I gphavent seen it on for awhile?

  • Donna

    I just love your beautiful family! You are an amazing mother and the children are so lucky to have Dean and you as parents.My family came to my house in Rhode island and my husband cooked because I had just gotten home from the hospital after surgery where I was in for 5 days.
    Your thanksgiving looked special. When are you going to start tori and dean show on oxygen? I gphavent seen it on for awhile?

  • VG

    Love the photographs! I really like the way your site is designed..look forward to checking it out.

  • Donna Connaughton

    Hey Tori,

    Adore your style. I would love to see some pics of the interior of your home. What I have seen looks so cozy and welcoming!

  • Jewel.lm61

    This is my first time seeing the Thanksgiving pictures. Great job capturing the spirit of the holiday! I had a quiet Thanksgiving with family. No man to cook for me, but I take my Blessings whereever I find them. Thanks for sharing the family photos!