2016 Year in Review

Well friends, 2016 is almost officially behind us and I can’t help but reflect on so many amazing things that we have done. It is always so bittersweet to go into a new year with so many great memories knowing that you get a whole year to make more! I am extremely grateful for how our 2016 turned out and can’t wait to see what this next year holds!

Last year I did a post that allowed me to reflect on the year and it was definitely one of my favorites. So without further ado, here is my 2016 in review.

JANUARY
– Got Snowed in by Winter Storm Jonas
– Got hooked on Making A Murder!

FEBRUARY
– Started the PopSugar Reading Challenge

MARCH
– Easter Dinner with Bobby’s Family
– Sleepover with our Nephews

APRIL
– Made our first herb garden
– Saw the Sound of Music on Broadway
– We brought our Lola Girl home ❤
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MAY
– Our Annual Memorial Day Party
– I turned 26!
– Went with my gal pals to see swan lake at the Boston Ballet
– Business trip to Nashville
– Tulip Farm adventure with friends!
– Foxwoods to see Kevin James
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JUNE
– Brantley Gilbert Concert
– Showered the Bride to be Izzy at her Bridal Shower
– Dixie Chicks Concert
– Matilda on Broadway
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JULY
– We attended on of my cousins weddings
– Bobby turned 29!
– Our wonderful Nephew Austin turned 4
– We celebrated our friends Izzy & Nate wedding
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AUGUST
– We spent a wonderful week up in Maine
– We celebrated our 4 years
– Country Fest
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SEPTEMBER
– Patriots game
– Nicholes 13th birthday bowl
– Did a major upgrade to our house
– Attended a family friends Pig Roast
– grams birthday in boston

OCTOBER
– Our first pumpkin carving party
– Salem trip
– Annual Mylod Halloween party
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NOVEMBER
– Took our family photos
– Celebrated Thanksgiving with Bobby’s family
– Picked out our Christmas tree
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DECEMBER
– Helped my cousin get ready for her first school dance
– Participated in the It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year link up
– New Hampshire to go to the Annalee store
– Mylod Yankee Swap
– Took Lola to visit Santa for the first time

That wraps up my pretty awesome year that I am sad to see go, but I know next year will bring so many fun and exciting things!

How did 2016 treat you?!

 

Weekend Recap

Holy Crap…its the week before Christmas already! This weekend was such a fun one that I thought I’d share a few photos 🙂

Saturday we woke up to our first snow! It was Lola’s first time playing in it and can I just say how cute my pup is playing in the snow!

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We also had our family friends annual yankee swap. As always it was such a fun night with!

 

Sunday we went to see Santa! we had tried 2 other times before this and the wait was so long, I guess its true third times a charm. Lola loved Santa – she kept giving him kisses.

 

This week is going to be a busy one. I have to finish my shopping ( I hoped to be done by now), bake goodies, my company holiday dinner, lasalette lights, and a few others.

How did you spend your weekend before Christmas?!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Friends! I cannot believe that we have only a week left until Christmas weekend! I have so much to do so little time, but I am in the merriest of moods because I love nothing more than this time of year! Except the artic temps we have here in Massachusetts, I don’t know how it is where yall live but its so cold here it hurts. Here’s a few things I’m loving this week, enjoy!

  • Our Christmas Cards! This was my first year using shutterfly and I LOVE them. They seriously provide the most beautiful cards, from start to finish, and the creation process is fun and simple! I love receiving and sending them out and I have so much fun creating them.

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  • Ugly Hat Yankee Swap: Family friends of ours have a holiday party every year with a $15 limit for yankee swap, it is so fun and one of my favorite events we have during the holidays! This year instead of ugly sweaters, we have to wear ugly hats! I’ll be making my own headband for it, here are some of my fav’s from pinterest!
  • These Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies are spot on. My friend Holly made them for a  cookie swap she had and let us girlies have some on our girls night….I ate 4….and I will be making these this weekend!
  • Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. I love all her books and this one is perfect to read around the holidays!

My Favorite Holiday Goodies

The holidays are the best time to not only spend with family but fill their bellys. I love to try out new recipes and test them on Bobby and I’m pretty sure he likes it too.  But I also love having people over and nothing makes me happier than when I feed them and see that they like what I made. Thanks to Victoria & Sarah’s It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year link up I am sharing a few of my favorite goodies to get you through the holidays!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup oil (canola or vegetable)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease your cookie sheet.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and egg. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with the milk.
Add both the dry flour mixture and the wet baking soda mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
Add in the chocolate chipsand stir until evenly combined.
Using a medium cookie scoop, drop mounds of the cookie dough on the cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

My Favorite Fudge Recipe:

Spoon Fudge
(via Southern at Heart)

Ingredients:
Cooking Spray (for baking pan)
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
a candy thermometer

Directions:
Spray the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Line the baking pan with overlapping pieces of parchment.
Spray the pieces of parchment with cooking spray.
Combine the corn syrup, sugar, whole milk, cocoa powder and butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer over medium heat.
Stir until the sugar and butter melt. Stop stirring and let the mixture continue to cook until the thermometer reaches 238 degrees F, 7 to 10 minutes.
Once the mixture reaches 238 degrees F, stir in the vanilla extract and turn off the heat immediately.
Pour the spoon fudge into the prepared 8-by-8-inch baking pan, tapping gently so the fudge is evenly distributed.
Cool to room temperature, and then place in the refrigerator to set until firm enough to cut, about 1 hour.

These are the only two recipes that I have been making for a few years consistently. The best part is that both can be great gifts if wrapped in some pretty Christmas tins. They never fail to let me down and are so easy to make. I make those pumpkin cookies at least 5 times throughout the holidays for just Bobby and I!

Do you have any great recipes to share that you go back to year after year? I’d love to try out something new!

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Christmas Gift Guide for the Food Lover

We all know that one person in our family that is considered the “foodie”, you know the person that is always first in line for family dinners, and will take you up on a family dinner any day of the week. It just happens that the person in Bobby & I’s family is…me!

I’ve put together for you a gift guide that I know will make any food lover in your life happy!

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I love this Mini Food Precessor this is perfect for any person with a small kitchen.

This will be on my wish list one day, this Dutch Oven is perfect for the soup or pasta lover

I have such a large collection of paper baking cups, but these silicone baking cups would be such a cost saver!

I love these latte bowls!

We have this veggetti and I swear once you try it you’ll never want regular pasta again (well maybe but not as much). We use this once a week if not more.

Have I told you guys how much I love linking up with Victoria and Sarah for their link up?! I have found so many new blogs that I can read because of it 🙂 I love this large world of blogging!

Do you guys have any other foodie gifts to recommend?!

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Holiday Home Tour 2016

I have always wanted to do a home tour, but 90% of the time I feel like the house isn’t put together enough to get some nice pictures. The other day while we did the tree was the perfect time to take some of our living area. They are the only rooms we really decorate for the holidays right now.

Here is our living room, it’s super small but I still like to make the most out of it and decorate for each holiday. Here you can see our tree in the corner which is the perfect spot because it can be seen from our front window but it doesn’t block our view of seeing outside. Because we have a raised ranch we have this ledge that is perfect for holiday décor! Normally I would put my Annalen’s here, but they stayed packed this year because of Lola girl. This year we have a variety of Christmas decor!

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Here you have our mantle. I love the simplicity of it with just our stockings, my new Annalen, a banner and a poinsettia. I know we are a stocking short…Bobby’s grandmother makes our stockings so this year she is making Lola girl a stocking 🙂

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Next up is our dining room! Again very simple because Lola is still a little rambunctious we decided not to put all of our decorations out. One of my favorite decorations is that snowman sign in the corner. Bobby’s Pep made that and a few other pieces that are around the house and they are just the cutest! The runner on the table is also made by bobby’s grandmother – she is such a talented woman! And if you haven’t noticed it matches the tree skirt in the first picture.

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I keep it really simple in the kitchen with just a few decorations on the stovetop and some cute holiday towels!

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I hope you enjoyed the few areas of our home! I have enjoyed linking up with Victoria and Sarah for their It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year link up!

 

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My Favorite Family Christmas Traditions

One of the greatest things about the holidays is the amount of time spent with family. Bobby & I are huge family people so we see our families a lot but the holidays just make it that more special. I love having a second family to create more holiday traditions with!

Cranberry & Popcorn – Since I was a little girl my parents and I have ALWAYS strung popcorn and cranberries for our christmas tree. We would gather in the living room together and each do a string while watching whatever christmas movie was on TV. When I moved into my own place I knew that tradition needed to keep going and for the past three christmas that we have been in the house we have done it. In my opinion the tree just doesn’t look as beautiful with out cranberry & popcorn.

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Weekend After Christmas Christmas – When I started dating Bobby seeing everyone on Christmas day was extremely hard, and to be honest it stressed me out, thankfully I found out that Bobby’s family hosts their Christmas the weekend after Christmas. I look forward to this every year and it definitely makes our holiday a lot easier not having to run around.

Christmas Cards – I started doing this last year and it’s so much fun to see how Bobby & I have changed from year to year. Last year it was just us two and this year we added our fur babe Lola into them. I will continue to do this for years to come, even putting them into pretty frames so they can be seen during the holidays! No photos of this years card until next week’s link up, so you’ll just have to come back!

Annalee Elf’s – Since I was born my grandparents have collected Annalee’s for us grandkids. It is something that I look forward to getting every year. This year my grandma took me and my cousin up to their store in New Hampshire and we made our own elf! Check out my amazing work!

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As I get older I cherish these traditions so much more. I look forward to the day that Bobby & I have our own little ones to share in these traditions with and create more as the years go on.

Do you have any fun traditions to share? I’m always looking for ways to make the holidays more meaningful so if you do please share!

I linked up with the ladies again today! Check out Sarah & Victoria’s holiday link up!

 

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