A year ago, I wrote of A Clichéd New Year’s where everyone’s resolutions were the same. As with every year, that aspect hardly ever changes.
I made a few goals for myself last year, though. One goal was to read more. More as in at least one real book per month instead of my favorite Literary Smut. Well… what can I say? I read one book… but only one. Honestly, I think The Hunger Games hardly counts as a real book. So sadly, I didn’t reach that goal. I did however buy a new NOOK… so maybe that will relight my reading fire (I could make an awful Catching Fire joke right now, but I will exercise restraint).
Another goal I made was to further embrace my creative side starting specifically with this blog. I don’t want to say I missed the goal, but it didn’t really start to shape up until I began Blog Everyday in September. Beginning with September, I started to be a bit more original with my posts and definitely a lot more frequent. This blog became a thing that I thought about without even meaning to–a huge difference from the beginning. My creative side has also been showing more in my graphics for the blog as well as the photos I take and post on here as well as Instagram. I even ventured out and posted a video on my YouTube account retelling The Tale of the Spoon from last Halloween! Overall, I think we can consider this goal a success.
Moving past my intended goals, I mentioned a few resolutions that I could have made for this year but never put into action. I jokingly said that I could lose weight and hit the gym. Well, I definitely didn’t hit the gym, but I lost a few pounds without trying so that is kind of cool. Learning new things was also on the list: check. Have you seen the type of edits and graphics I’ve been doing on here?! Not too bad to be self-taught if I do say so myself! I also brought up spending more time with my family. This I definitely feel like I accomplished. I made sure to be off from work for certain events, talk more with my family, and really enjoy their company.
The next possible resolution that I didn’t make was to land a new job. I haven’t spoken of work directly in any of my posts until now, but back in July, I blamed the lack of action on this blog to the fact that I picked up a second job: that was no lie. From February through the end of June, I only had maybe two days off between both jobs. I took the second job in hopes that it may turn into something more promising faster than my first job had.
As fate would have it, about a month after I took my second job, I received a promotion at my first job as well as a transfer to a less-stressful location (win-win!). I continued to work both jobs until I realized the second one was awful. Really, though: I could write a short presentation on how awful that company is. Once I came to terms with that fact and that there was not a promising future there, I left.
Fast forward to more recent times (think mid-late November): I’m still with my original job… one thing has changed, however: I was promoted once again, this time to a salary position. Two promotions in one year… I count the year as a success. Better yet, with this promotion, everything else I would like to accomplish will fall into place!
Never at the beginning of the year did I think I would be capable of meeting resolutions that I never really intended on making, but only mentioned in passing. 2012 shaped up to be quite the year for me which was a nice change from a pretty lousy 2011. Here’s to hoping 2013 continues where 2012 is leaving off and continues to soar higher and higher!
- Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions (axialmarket.com)
- A Simple But Powerful Tip For Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolution (yourmindyourbody.org)
- Setting achievable goals for 2013 (winecountrymom.com)
- 5 Tools to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions (barefootwinefounders.com)
My family has always been a Christmas Eve kind-of family. With the exception of Santa’s gifts, everything was finished before bed on Christmas Eve.
I love that.
Growing up, we’d run around on Christmas Eve like crazy people getting here and there. Cooking food for my grandparent’s Christmas and getting everything ready for there. Then we’d always come straight home and open our presents to each other–usually not calling it a night until around midnight. Bed would then call our names and Santa would show up with all of his gifts for a magical Christmas morning.
Now that Santa no longer visits me, Christmas Eve is really the whole shebang. Once it has passed, there is not much else going on. But one thing that remains the same is the time spent with family. Truly my most favorite thing about Christmas, and since a lot of the childhood magic has left, it has revealed itself more and more with each passing year.
Hot peppermint tea and cinnamon candles
Red velvet cookies and Nooks but not Kindles
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.
Buddy the Elf and white sparkling snowflakes
Coffee from Starbucks and candy with cupcakes
Cooking too much and constantly feasting
These are a few of my favorite things.
Watching the snow fall with nowhere to go
Spending time with my bed and my pillow
Late night iTunes sprees for songs to sing
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the sun sets
When the bell rings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.
A couple of days ago, I shared a little recipe for cake cookies. Something fast and simple to make it look like you tried this holiday season. I have one more thing up my sleeve, though: peppermint bark. Similar to everything else I do, the beauty is that there is little effort on your part.
Last year, I gushed over my obsession for peppermint bark. This year, I decided to step up my game and spend the same amount of money but get a lot more out of it. I present to you: peppermint bark.
- Wilton Candy Melts (both Dark Cocoa and Candy Cane Colorburst)
Things You’ll Need:
- wax paper
- cookie sheet
- microwave-safe bowl
- decorating bags
- silicon molds
- cookie cutters
You’ll notice something here straight from the get-go. There really isn’t much to this: if you can operate a microwave, you’re good to go!
Let’s get started!
- Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and position your cookie cutters on top.
- Place the Candy Cane Colorburst Candy Melts into your microwave-safe bowl and microwave them at half power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Return to microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is smooth.
- Pour the melted chocolate into a decorating bag.
- Squeeze equal amounts of the chocolate into both the cookie cutters and your silicon mold, making sure to fill them evenly.
- Tap the cookie sheet and molds on your work surface to make sure the chocolate is settled.
- Place the chocolate into the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow it to set.
- Once you have allowed the chocolate to harden, repeat steps 2-6 only this time using the Dark Cocoa Candy Melts instead.
- Once both chocolates haven been used and the chocolate has solidified, it is time to remove them from the cookie cutters and the molds!
There you go! It is really that simple!
A few pointers from me, though… I don’t recommend using cookie cutters for all of them, they turned out alright, but weren’t the best. I highly recommend using the silicon molds if you can find any. If using molds of any type aren’t your thing, then just pour the chocolate directly to wax paper on your cookie sheet!
There you have it, one of the most simple candy recipes I have ever come across. Add these to some beautiful cake cookies and you may just trick people into thinking you are quite the chef… I know it has worked for me!
- In the Kitchen: Peppermint-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies by Giada De Laurentiis (abullseyeview.com)
- Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies (inherchucks.com)
- Peppermint Crunch Cookies & Peppermint Cookies Recipe | Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com)
- Peppermint Popcorn Bark (nomadicnomnom.com)
Today marks quite a few things. Most notably the end of the world according to the Mayans. But seeing as this post has been published and you’re reading it, it is safe to say that they were wrong. Today is also the winter solstice: marking the first official day of winter.
Snow is both pretty and a pain. As a child, I was always excited about the thought of snow since it meant a day off from school. As an adult, I see it as the annoyance that it is: a challenge to get anywhere. For every beautiful flurry shining under a streetlamp in the dark night, there is that one patch of ice waiting to spin your tire and cause you to have a panic attack. For each snowman built, there is the nasty road salt buildup on your fenders.
What would be a post during the 12 Days of Christmas without mentioning Christmas?! There it is: my other love/hate obsession during winter. I feel it is obvious that I absolutely love this time of year simply for Christmas. But at the same time, I dread dealing with it. What makes it suck? People are increasingly more rude around Christmas. Very strange as you’d think it would be the opposite, but in my experiences, it is true. Then you give those same people cars. They drive their cars around town trying to pickup the perfect gift for that special someone. Said people in cars shopping for gifts create traffic. Awful traffic.
This brings me back to my main point: snow. Traffic in snowy conditions? I hate it. Unfortunately, for a functioning human, hibernation isn’t an option so one must persevere. Who would think something so beautiful could be spun into creating a dreadful feeling toward something otherwise considered the most wonderful time of the year?
Here’s to hoping for a green Christmas and an extremely warm winter!
In recent years, there has been an ugly Christmas sweater fad. For those of you out of the loop, an ugly Christmas sweater is nothing more than a tacky, dated, gaudy sweater (typically from the nineties) that goes a bit too far. I haven’t fallen victim to this trend, but I can tell you that I was there the first time around and this photo is proof.
Let’s paint the picture: pudgy, awkward, third-grade me immediately following the opening of my $5 gift from some random classmate, pretending to be pleased, obviously. Notice the sweater. The ugliest? Not really, but it certainly doesn’t qualify as gorgeous. Is it tacky? I’ve seen far more tacky. This is homely more than anything.
What makes this sweater so awesome is that it is an original. The ones out and about today are nothing more than impostors. This is the real deal.
If I remember correctly, it was nothing more than a simple sweatshirt with an iron-on Santa outlined in that strange t-shirt paint/glue stuff. The one detail that really sets off the sweater is the contrasting turtle-neck underneath. Only in the nineties can something so amazing be pulled off flawlessly.
Here’s to wishing I still had that sweater. I’m certain I could still fit in it though I may have to explain to some people that it is actually from baby Gap and is a slim, vintage fit. Would definitely be worth the trouble.
- Web Traffic Quadruples for Popular My Ugly Christmas Sweater Ecommerce Store (prweb.com)
- Your How-To Guide for Ugly Christmas Sweater Shopping (dualshow.com)
- Why we buy those crazy, ugly holiday sweaters (lifeinc.today.com)
- Hilariously ugly Christmas sweaters (lostateminor.com)