Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Favorites: That's It 2016

It's the final Friday Favorites of 2016.
Thanks so much to Erika, Narci and Andrea for hosting this linkup throughout the year!

The after Christmas deals sure were hard to beat. 
If you have a 
or Target 
in your area, check out the deals!
I love grabbing wrapping paper and ribbon that's on sale! 
I stock up for the next year and then are set when it's time to wrap!

 I received my first Life Planner yesterday!
I haven't had a chance to get it all situated, but I will be doing that over the next few days!
 Any Oklahoma people out there?
My cousin just accepted a job in Oklahoma and we're looking for any tips about Oklahoma City or good places to live!

First off I want to thank those of you who stop by this little place of space that I call my blog. 
I've been a blog connosieur for years. 
I would jump from post to post, mostly never leaving a comment. 
Then, one day I thought, "you should try it yourself."
I spent all last winter on snow days and 2-hour delays creating my own blog-design and all. 
It's not fancy or perfect, but it's my own little space. 
I was a doubting Thomas for a while and thought no one would ever read it, but I buckled down and started posting this past fall. 
I've learned a lot about blogging, life and met some great blog friends. 
With that I'm looking into updating my site a bit. 
First off, I'm looking into adopting a new design that's less sporadic and not created by myself. 
In addition, I'm planning on only blogging on Monday's, Wednesday's, and Friday's. 
I used to love to scrapbook, but it took so much time that I got away from it. 
I don't want this to turn into that. 
There have been times that I've skipped out on other fun experiences because I needed to make my blog post for the next day. 
I'm nixing that in 2016. 
I work full time throughout the school year and have a husband.
I don't want to be staying up super late or missing out on nightly walks or evenings out with my husband. 
So, I'm cutting back on my blogging days. 
If there's a linkup that I love and can work on it ahead of time, I may participate. 
Otherwise, I will probably just blog on 3 days. 
It's a great way to meet new people, get new ideas and share life, but I don't want it to get out of control. 
Come back next week for hopefully a new design and a fresh outlook on 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Year in Review 2016

Today I'm recapping 2016!
It's been one heck of a year. 
If I had to choose one word to describe it I would use CHANGE. 
There were so many changes for me in 2016. 
Let's get started...


We started out 2016 celebrating in Niagara Falls!
It sure was chilly, and I might have had a little anxiety of tight spaces when we went down the elevator behind the Falls.
Regardless of that and the fire alarm evacuating our hotel when someone shot off a firework in the stairwell at 3 a.m., we had a great time!!


 I enjoyed ordinary winter days and snow days. 

 We started shopping for my wedding dress, and the third store was the charm!
The first dress that I tried on at the Winner was it!
What a fun experience with my mom and aunt!


I really have no idea what happened during these three months. 
I think I was planning planning and doing more planning for our wedding. 

My aunt also threw me the best bridal shower you could imagine!


This month was huge!
Key West

We got married in Marathon!!

We went on a cruise for our honeymoon!

Visited CocoCay

Nassau and Key West, again!

and we had an open house for those who couldn't make our wedding. 


I moved the rest of my belonging to our new house and tried to get into a regular routine.
I tended flowers like normal. 

We went on a friend's trip to Mexico!


I enjoyed ordinary days at the pool.


I really don't like the beginning or end of anything, so I'm certian I was trying to get used to the new school year and all that it brings. 


I took a huge jump and decided to stop being a chicken and start this blog. 
I'd had the ambition for the past year to start my own, but never thought I was good enough for it.

Our school took our annual trip to D.C.


We went back to NYC to revisit the spot where Alex proposed!
In addition, we got to see Alex's sister and her boyfriend and their new apartment.


Lots of baking, decorating, hosting our first Christmas Dinner and a fun girls' spa day!

At the beginning of this year I wanted to slow down. 
I'm that person who goes 99 miles an hour from the minute they wake up. 
I think that's why I sleep so good is because I use every waking moment that I'm up. 
My grandma passed away on the final week of my master's classes in October 2015. 
I really learned the importance of family and not worrying so much about getting a perfect score in my classes. 
Even though I visited her as often as I could, I felt like I spent too much time studying or worrying about grades than I did about family. 
I really wanted to slow down and enjoy the ordinary days with people in 2016, along with traveling. 

We visited Niagara Falls, several parts of Pennsylvania, Key West, Marathon, the Bahamas, Mexico, NYC, and other parts of New York in 2016!
It was a very fast year. 
I can't wait to see what 2017 brings. 
I'm still contemplating goals and words for the new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Weekend Recap

It's Wednesday, and I'm just now getting around to posting our Christmas recap. 
I feel like Christmas was the whole weekend this year, not just one day. 

I think I finished up my wrapping on Christmas Eve Eve
I finally found a good use for our pool table/ping-pong table!

Christmas Eve we started our baking some more baked goods for Christmas Day.
I pretty much stayed in the kitchen all day. 
I did get to watch The Holiday and the Grinch as I baked. 

I made potato soup for the next day 
and peanut butter cookies

and molasses cookies
and apricot filled cookies

 and frozen peanut butter pie

 and more peppermint mocha mini bundt cakes

To my dismay I even watched the end of the Browns' game. 
That is a definite no-no in my family. 
We were waiting until the next day to cheer for our team!!

Christmas Eve was so warm. 
We took a plate of cookies across the street to our neighbors and thought "Wow it doesn't feel like Christmas!"
We went to Christmas Eve candlelight service at my home church, and then we went to Alex's grandma's and my grandma's. 

Christmas morning we were up bright and early to open gifts, and then headed to Alex's parents for breakfast and then my parents for breakfast round 2.
We opened gifts and chatted there, and then headed home to cook. 
As I've mentioned in the blog earlier this season, we decided to host Christmas dinner. 
I grew up in a family that never ran out of food. 
So, my menu was as follows:
Trail Bologona, Cheese, Crackers
Salami Rollups
Sheaffers's Apple Toffee Dip
Cocoa Dip
Half Ham
2 Pork Tenderloins
Potato Soup
2 Corn Casseroles
Lima Beans
Cranberry Jello Salad
Fruit Salad
2 Lemon Meringue Pies
2 Frozen Peanut Butter Pies
Tons of Cookies

We had 18 people, so I was really anticipating a lot of eating.
But, we had SO SO much food left!
Not one persons touched either of the PB pies, and we had 1.5 of the lemon leftover.
Next year I think I will cut back. 
I think there were too many options. 

A few pictures of our food. 
I didn't get many pictures as we were just too busy. 
I will work on that for next year!

 Everyone got a piece of chocolate that represented them in some way. 
My grandma loves music, so she got a musical note.
My aunt is a beautician, so she got a pair of scissors. 
My dad likes to hunt, so he got a gun.
Everyone got a cute piece of chocolate that represented them. 

Since there were so many people we put up two long tables in our basement and most people ate down there. 
I hopped back and forth, checking the food and all. 
What I didn't realize was that my brother disappeared. 
Honestly, I never caught on because you never know what he might be up to. 
When we came back upstairs and my grandma was going to present her cookie story, they told me to sit on the couch. 
I then saw this
A T-Rex head had replaced my clock!
My brother had been asking what we wanted as a wedding present, but we didn't have anything to tell him. 
So, being him, he threatened to buy us this, and sure enough he bought it and installed it. 

I really wasn't sure of a gift for my cousin, so I got him money and froze it!
He open a box with two cool whip containers of frozen money!!

Christmas evening we hosted dinner, and then were supposed to be up and at Alex's parents for their Christmas at 9 am. 
We didn't make it!
We did swing by Walmart to pick up another gift, and I grabbed some Christmas decorations on sale. 
We spent most of Monday at Alex's parents and ended our day going out for a drink to celebrate my cousin turning 21!
Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment and ran errands. 
So, today I'm hoping to get things back to normal.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!
On tap for the rest of the week:
Tomorrow: A year in review!
Friday: Friday Favorites and Changes in the New Year!

Have a great day!
If you are as lucky as me, you're still in your pj's and enjoying another relaxing day. 
Today is one of those days that I love the perks of being a teacher! :)