Happy New Year!

Phew!  What a busy couple of weeks it's been!  I've missed hanging out here with you guys and I'm so glad to be back in the swing of things.  I love the holiday season and all that it brings, but it is also great to get back in a routine, get my house back together, and make goals for the new year!  

Today I thought I'd share a quick glimpse of our holidays with you.  We traveled for Christmas to Arizona to spend time in the warm weather and celebrate the season with my parents who have lived there for the last 7 years.  It's always a nice reprieve from the gloomy Ohio weather and a great time to recharge and spend time relaxing with family.

We started our holiday out with our annual baking contest.  The kids love to bake cookies and decorate them.  My mom (bless her brave soul) takes on the task of helping the kids bake and rewards them each with a small gift in the baking contest.  Each child is assured a win in one of three categories we make up! I stay as far away from the sprinkles flying as I can!  🙂

After the cookies are decorated, we take them to a local nursing home and distribute them to the residents.  It's something we've been doing for years now and the kids not only enjoy it, but it's awesome seeing the residents happy with their little presents.

This year, we decided to take a small getaway from Phoenix down to Tucson.  We have been north of Phoenix, but never south of Phoenix so it was a great time seeing the sites around the area.  We went to the Biosphere, the Titan Missile, the Desert Museum and ate lots and lots of Mexican food.  A highlight was horseback riding one morning along the trails at the resort.

After our getaway, we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas morning.  Santa did find us in Az!  

My daughter, Olivia, turned 12 on the 27th and my mom organized a mall scavenger hunt for her which was a blast!  We followed that up with the traditional cake and dinner out with family.

The rest of our time in Az was spent enjoying the park, hiking, and taking walks.

Our trip was lovely and a much-needed respite.  

While there, I read a great book, Ruth Ware's, (affiliate link, see full disclosure here.)  In a Dark Dark Wood.  It's a thriller and a New York Times Bestseller. I loved it, but don't read it when you are home alone at night!!

Back at home, we had a small New Years gathering and celebrated the new year with a traditional dinner of pork roast, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes.  

Taking down our Christmas decorations is always bittersweet and never quite as fun as putting them up!  This year, I tried out this hack that I saw on HGTV.  It really worked and I am now a firm believer!  

Here is my wrapped tree!

I hope you had a blessed holiday and your new year is off to a great start!

Tomorrow I'll be doing a quick round up of my favorite projects from 2016 and then we'll kick off 2017 with some great new content and projects!

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To life feeling like home!



  1. Linda says:

    Your pictures are beautiful…and I might add, so is your family! Being a New England girl…wow..the desert is beautiful. I enjoy your blog..keep up the good work!
    Happy and Healthy New Year

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