"Winter-bread Houses"

Two of my grand kids weren't  here for Christmas because
their Dad had a conference schedule in our city a few weeks later
and they decided to tag along then.

We had lots of special activities to cram into the 
short amount of time they were here.

One night I had the three youngest grand kids for a sleep over
and we decided to build gingerbread winterbread houses.

Aunt Melissa picked up three gingerbread house kits after Christmas
for a steal.  I had been collecting winter themed candy for us to use.
We initially thought we'd go for a Frozen theme but as they were
decorating, they integrated more and more Christmas candies also.

I  pre-made the houses so they could just concentrate on decorating.

I know I'd lose the attention of some of them if it took too long.

I may be biased but I'm pretty sure we are closing in on being ready to
compete in Food Network Gingerbread House Competition in Asheville next year.  HA!

I do believe they ate as much candy while they were decorating as actually went on the house.


Nana and Poppy thought it would be a great idea if they took their houses home with
them so mom and dad could enjoy them too.

Being a grandparent definitely has it's benefits.

I love moments like this.  

After we were done with our houses we watched movies,  played kitchen/restaurant and
finally crashed on comforters in the grandkids room.  Instead of beds, they all
wanted to sleep on the floor together.  I remember doing that a time or two
when I was younger.

We may or may not of had some additional snacks.  

Auntie Carrie joined us for movie time.


To do gifts.....

One of my favorite kind of gifts to give or receive
are things "to do", especially as a family.

Every year my Dad and Step-Mom send gift cards for all the adults
to a local restaurant so we can go together as a family.

It's becoming a rare occasion that we are all in town and available
at the same time so I really treasure these times together.

Just my immediate family is large.  Can you imagine with my much larger extended family.

Thanks Dad and Margaret.  

We really appreciate your gift and have a new memory to file away and keep.  

Love you.


funny things they say.....

I wasn't sure how to title this.
Grand kids sayings

I just know I want to remember things my kids, grand kids, nieces and nephews said
when they were young.

Instead of relying on my ever increasingly aging mind, I'm gonna post them just for me.

Brody:  Hey Nana, come take a picture of us so we can always remember we looked
at turtles together.


Brody:  Nana, I wish I could live with you in Florida.
Nana:  I wish you could too buddy.
Brody:  Mommy, can I live with Nana in Florida.
Mommy:  When you grow up you can if you want too.
Brody:  Nana, I will absolutely move in with you as soon as I grow up.
Nana:  I would love that Brody.

(Insert melting heart)

Somewhere I've have a list written down of some of the things Carrie and Taylor said
when they were young that struck me as funny.  As soon as I find them I'll have to
play catch up.


What's on my nightstand...

I'm determined to get through more books this year.

Currently on my night stand are books I'm either re-reading
or am planning on getting to this month.


Radical  (4th time, it's just good for my soul)
The 5 Love Languages
The Hole in our Gospel
Made to Crave
Antelope in the Living Room (hilarious)

Reading for the first time:

In this House We Will Giggle 
(after reading this I'm sure I'll want a do-over in raising my kids)

Balancing It All

So far I'm loving both

I tend to have multiple books going in the same time period.

What are you currently reading?


Winter Decor

I love winter so it's probably a strange thing that I still live in Florida.
I love the cold, snow, icicles, snowmen, ski lodges, cabins, sleds
hot chocolate, soups, sweaters, blankets.....

You name it, I love it.

Some say that unless you've had to deal with
the slushy melting muck, scraping ice off of cars,
heating bills or going to work in it you may not know
what you're talking about.  That could possibly be true...

But in my wishes, I love it.

So after the Christmas decor comes down I put up a few 
winter decorations so I can imagine I've having a winter.

Because I'm committed to purging all of my holiday decorations this month
I decided just to put up very few little touches.

my snowball wreath

loving my deer plate that my sweet Melissa gifted me for Christmas
I think it is meant to be a Christmas decoration but I'm loving it for winter.

Anthropologie had the most lovely plates this holiday season

I'm kind of regretting not getting the deer pillow but I just couldn't justify the price.
I'm pretty cheap frugal that way.  

I believe I just might have an addiction to the winter Bath and Body Works
soap scents, especially "Winter"
my favorite soap and candle scent from BBW

I was lucky to nab up quite the stash with their after Christmas sale

I wanted a few snow candles but I really did not want to invest in 
anything else until I'm done with the "Decor Purge"

I know you've seen this project all over facebook and Pinterest

I was going to do a tutorial but it was quite frankly 
so easy there is no need for it.  

All you need is:
Kosher Salt
Mod Podge
white candle
sponge brush

all of which I had on hand

Brush on Mod Podge, sprinkle on salt and let dry

I have my winter scented candles in a few different rooms of the house.
They smell divine.  Similar to my all time favorite, Volcano.

and now I'm off for a walk to enjoy my nice 70 degree winter day


Word of the year

Even though I decided to change it up by not
doing New Year's Resolutions, but instead coming
up with manageable monthly goals, I still wanted to have
a "word of the year" to inspire me.

I don't know how people who participate in this custom
choose, but I just let the word come to me.

Something that I personally want to to aspire to.


My goal is to try to show kindness to everyone
in small and big ways, as in Random Acts.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, 
is ever a waste.
                                                     - Aesop


And so it begins.....

Like most of you, I look forward to the new year to begin while still
sad to leave the holidays behind.

I always make tons of New Year Resolutions only to forget about them by February.  
So this year I decided not to make the big yearly list of resolutions
and instead make  "reasonable" monthly goals of what I would "like" to accomplish.

I got the idea from Heather at Notes From The Nelsens.

Have you seen her blog?  She is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E and just
had the cutest little baby boy with the best smile ever.
She named him Ryan Matthew.  My son's name is Matthew Ryan.
Pretty perfect names in my opinion.

Love her!

And so it begins......

My monthly goal list.  I'm hoping to have better luck keeping up.
No promises though.  ha

January 2015 Goals

1.  Restart my morning walks.

image from Asics website
The above shoes were the Asics Breast Cancer shoes for 2013.
I've been wearing them 1.5 years having logged many, many miles
and they are just beginning to wear down.  Luckily I bought a back up
pair when they were being cleared out this past summer.
Best tennis shoes I've ever owned.

2.  Completely purge, repack and store my holiday decorations.
That means every holiday.  Yikes!  We have tons.

This is the before picture.

I will divide everything into three piles.

                                                             1.  Pass on to family
                                                             2.  giveaway
                                                             3.  keep

Saying this is going to be hard for me is definitely an understatement.

  I love holiday decorations (especially ones attached to
memories of when my kids were small).

I just have too much stuff.  It feels like I'm drowning in material items. 
As I have aged matured, I've realized I like a much simpler look and  I find myself 
drawn to more soft and neutral colors that can be used in many ways. 

This is also going to be hard for my husband as he is a major collector accumulator.

Wish me luck on this one.

3.  Blog at least 10 posts this month.
(I've been so bad about finding time to blog this last year)

4.  Make 3 healthy dinners per week.
A year ago I was doing this every day, 3 meals a day so this should be manageable.

Why on earth did I ever stop?

I'm very intrigued by Pioneer Women's
Stir-Fry Cauliflower.  I definitely want to try this.
Looks yummy.

5.  Keep up on my emails daily and take the time to
take myself  of the numerous junk mail.  I've been so lazy about this.

There is my phone, ipad and computer.

I'm sure there is a way to link it up so I  only have to delete it once.
I really need to get on top of this as I receive over a hundrend emails daily and
go days sometimes without looking.  Ugh!!!

(Does anyone else have this issue)

To hold myself accountable I plan on posting my successes and 
fails (of which I'm sure they'll be some) on the last day of the month.

To everyone who made resolutions, good luck
and Happy New Year.