Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Inspire Me 2014 Blog Challenge

Hello friends and Happy New Years Eve! This year has come and gone so fast but I've loved every minute of it. I feel so blessed to have met you all in this blogging world! I was hesitant to actually open an account and put it off for awhile but I'm so glad I did.

Today I won't be sharing a recap of 2013 or my top moments on instagram. Today I'm excited to announce that one of my favorite bloggers, Lisa from Showered with Design, and I have created the "Inspire Me 2014" Blog Challenge. I know what you're thinking, a challenge first thing in the new year? Another task to put on your never ending list! It's not that bad, we promise! What is the challenge? It's basically a blog everyday type of thing, just like 'Blog Every Day in May' was. I don't know about you, but within the past few months it's been hard to come up with meaningful posts. We as bloggers (and humans in general) tend to lean towards pleasing others sometimes. Sometimes we may see a link up going around or a certain  popular topic being discussed and we try our hardest to also write something about it. Sure, we may be able to actually write a decent post about the topic but there's so much pressure because you want to make sure your post is funny, worth reading and going along with whats "in" at the moment. I know I've felt that which then leads me to not write at all or not care as much. It's also hard when time is an issue. You want to crank out this great piece of writing but you don't have enough time to make it what you think it should be. So you either write something that is just some rambles or you dont write at all. Either can be fine sometimes but then you feel guilty either way for not producing what a blogger should. There are no rules to this blogging thing, which I tell newbies all the time. This blog is for you. For you to sit and write, for you to experess your thoughts and get creative!

That's why we've created this challenge. Let's get back into what we once knew blogging to be. We've come up with fun, fresh and creative topics for you to write about everyday!


Really, there aren't any! Take these topics and run with them. We want you to enjoy blogging for awhile without the pressures of "what should I write about?" and maybe even make some new friends!

Please take the button below if you'd like! Place it on your sidebar or in your post, whatever you'd like. Otherwise, please link our names up in your post. 

We've been so kind and have left the weekends to you. Topics have been set for weekdays only. Weekends are for relaxing and being with loved ones!

Speaking of weekends, don't feel you have to make every single post this month one of the topics. Please write about things you normally would, if you wish! If you want to skip a day, no big deal! Feel free to make it up on a weekend or not at all. 

Everyday we'll have a linkup section so you can link up your posts and go visit others.

The topics we have come up with are fun, serious and creative. Take them however you want. There isn't a right or wrong way to do them! Just start writing and see where your imagination takes you!

Thursday, January 2: Lets make the first day easy! What did you do for New Years?
Friday ,January 3: We’ve seen everyone do it this week on Instagram and their blog…recap your favorite moments from 2013. Or post one random picture from each month of the year
Monday, January 6: What changes were made in 2013 to better yourself, or what changes will you make in 2014 to better yourself
Tuesday, January 7: When is your birthday?! We’d all like to send some wishes.
Wednesday, January 8: It’s no secret we all ‘Paid it Forward” in 2013, what are some Random Acts of Kindness you’d like to accomplish this year? Heck! Make it into another challenge for yourself.
Thursday, January 9: A list of top 5-10 things that make you happy. Be creative! Serious, funny, embarrassing. Spill some beans :) 
Friday January, 10:  “The Side of Me Nobody Knows” – write down 2 or 3 secrets that no one knows about. Mix it up and write two secrets and a lie and make your followers guess the lie!
Monday, January 13: Best advice for the New Year
Tuesday, January 14: Best Blogging tips & coding that could be beneficial
Wednesday, January 15: Write a letter to yourself and don’t open it until the end of the year. It’s fun to see the difference a year can make!
Thursday, January 16: I’m a New England girl and used to taking pictures of the beautiful snow but some of you don’t get to experience that. Take a photo of what your “winter wonderland” looks like.
Friday, January 17: What inspires your blog posts? Get a little deep and pick a past post that is meaningful to you.
Monday, January 20: Write about a struggle you overcame in 2013
Tuesday, January 21: Do you have any awesome vacations planned for the year? If not, where would be your ideal spot?
Wednesday, January 22: What are some personal goals you’d like to work on this year?
Thursday, January 23: Many new babies have been introduced into the blogging world in the last year. Tell us about one of the funniest moments you’ve had with them.
Friday, January 24: Share some new trends/makeup/online shops you’ve found recently and include a few photos!
Monday, January 27: The littlest thing can set us off. Right about a pet peeve and try to get creative!
Tuesday, January 28: The worst gift you’ve ever received
Wednesday, January 29: Only photos
Thursday, January 30: Tell us something you always remind your husband/fiancĂ©/boyfriend about. For example “happy wife happy life.” Let’s face it, it’s fun to tease them!
Friday January 31: Last day of the month! Reflect on how 2014 has been so far. 

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Come join us in 2 days, Thursday January 2nd, to inspire a wonderful 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Wrap up!

This morning my mom told me to take all our nice Christmas cards down. So, what did I do? I hid in the other room/took forever (maybe not that long..) to get ready so I didn't have to do it. Last Friday I sat on Blogger seeing everyone post about how family and friends have come and gone and how they're trying to get back into the swing of the real world. I'll admit that I kind of felt proud knowing we still had two Christmas celebrations in our future.

Friday night we met up with my aunt, uncle and cousins at one of our favorite restaurants to exchange gifts. It's always so fun to hang with them! We only exchange with them and not any other aunts/uncles because of godchild/godparent things. It's nice, though, because it's more meaningful! We spent 2 1/2 hours laughing, playing the game "heads up" (yes, we aren't exactly the most formal family even in restaurants), and eating delicious food. We ended the night visiting the house with the amazing lights again. They took them all down the next day...crazy! Saturday we spent the day with my mom's side of the family and once again made amazing memories! 

But now Christmas  has gone. I'm still holding onto the fact that we're keeping our tree/decor up until the weekend. It's been a great year and I can't wait to see what 2014 brings! Next celebration? My birthday in just two short weeks!

*Stay tuned!*
Later on today I'll be posting the info for the 

which is the blog everyday challenge I have created! Let us come together as bloggers and as friends to make the start of 2014 great! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

High Five for Christmas!

Merry Christmas friends! I hope you all had a day of eating too much, making so many family memories, soaking in every minute of relaxation! We had a good week so far! Tuesday night we went over to my aunt and uncles. My aunt has her side of the family's Christmas that night and she decided to invite our side too. We had so much fun, eating, laughing and doing a Yankee swap. On Wednesday we opened presents here, then Brian and I went to his grandfather's for their family party. The week isn't done though! Tonight we are having dinner with another aunt, uncle and cousins and then tomorrow is my mom's side family Christmas. Whew! So many places to be!

Here are my five for the week:

a) LOVING all my presents from Santa. Not everything is in this picture either. My two favorites are that "OCD' shirt which stands for "Obsessive Castle Disorder" and that book!
b) Brian's grandfather lives on a lake. Their house is always decorated gorgeous and the view gave it the extra touch
c) I've had so much chocolate this week it's crazy. Those cookies are chocolate with the mint candies spread  on top. Way too good.
d) Did anyone else's dogs do nuts Christmas morning or was it just Bailey? Santa must have brought some extra puppy energy. He was NUTS and wanted to get into everything.
e) Mom made some strawberry cheesecakes for my aunt and uncle's party. 

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Is it really December?!

I promise I'm not crazy. Want to know what is, though? This weather! It was perfect this weekend. Saturday was cloudy and misty but was in the high 50s. The streets have been covered with slush, water and dirt since Friday when the snow started melting. Yesterday it rained all day and felt colder than it was. 

Despite that we went out and did some last minute shopping. It's kind of difficult to get around parking lots when there are crazy drivers plus a bunch of piles of snow! Yesterday morning we got up wicked early and went to my 8 year old cousin's hockey game and then to eat at a local waffle house, yum! Oh! and on Friday I spend the after afternoon/early evening with my grandmother. We had such a nice time. Watching the movie "The Christmas Shoes", having dinner, watching some Michael Buble holiday shows and doing a few crafts. 

a) saw this at the mall. Perfect for this time of year
b) my grandmother has amazing taste in decor and candles for her condo. This candle smelt so good and it's blue :)
c) Feel so loved with all our Christmas cards!
d) a sleigh I got for my first Christmas from someone who meant so much but left us much too soon. Such a special meaning behind it
e) so delicious! How could I ever say no to a waffle?
f) Perfect night in! The wine glass is so funny!
g) So so good. Luckily after two I get full :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas, challenges and needing prayers

Last Friday before Christmas! Oh how I wish I was still in school for this reason. I've been seeing many friends on Facebook who are teachers saying how today is pajama day or they are doing something festive. For me, though, it's just another day of last minute list making and preparing for all the festivities and parties next week. This week has been in full swing of shopping and running to a million different stores. Oh, and embracing a bunch of snow!

I'm going to spend the afternoon/evening with my grandmother because my dad is taking the people that work with him to dinner. I promise I'm not a chicken who hates staying alone in the dark. For now tough, here's my five for the week!

I ate way too well this week. And I don't mean "well" as in healthy. My mom, Brian and I went out for dinner Monday while my dad was up north. On Tuesday dad came home early due to the snow. For the last year I've been obsessed with Wendy's chicken cesar wrap. Dad and I have our tradition which includes me getting Wendy's once a week or so. I haven't gotten it since the week before Thanksgiving so I've been craving it. Because I'm his favorite, my dad drove in the snow storm to get it for me. So sweet! He also brough back cookies for me from the hotel. I'm not spoiled :)

Let it snow! We got a bunch of snow this week. I'd say about 21 inches between two days. Except for having to drive during it, it was so pretty! We're getting a warm front this weekend so lets hope it doesn't melt all the way and we get a white Christmas!

I want to take a moment to say thank you to the new friends I have made in this blogging community this week. I'm participating in the #2014Bloggerchallenge created by a  wonderful blogger, Gaby! I've met some wonderful people this week through it and love how close we've all become in such a short time!


We took a drive to the town next to us to see a house who puts up about...well, I don't even know how many! It's crazy but they do a fabulous job. There are animations, things move like they are real and the little trees "dance" to a station on the radio. It was even prettier this year with the fresh snow! After we got home we hunkered down to watch one of our traditional movies. You can find our top 5 here

I think I mentioned it the other day but I'm excited to unofficially announce that I'm creating a blog everyday challenge for January and would love for you to join in! We all need some inspiration in our lives, especially with starting the new year. What better way to reflect on the past year and hope for the new one then with other blogging friends? Stay tuned on Monday for the official guidelines and questions! 

I put that in all caps because my heart is heavy this week and so I ask you for prayers. There's a girl who I know through Facebook and from school. Her and her hubby graduated the year after me. They got married back in 2011 and welcomed a baby boy this past year. Just a few weeks ago, on December 1st, the hubby went out for some ATV fun. He got into an accident and was rushed to the hospital. I'm not sure of all the details because I heard the story on Facebook from mutual friends. He was doing well for the week and then took a turn for the worst. Last Tuesday he passed away at age 22. He was in the military so he and his wife lived down in North Carolina on base. All her family is up here in NH, so she took their little boy and drove home all this way. She is such a strong woman but I can't even imagine this. So young and right before Christmas. This little boy will never know his father. It's just so sad. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Boys Behind the Blog Link up

Happy Thursday Friends! It's the third Thursday of the month which means it's time for Boys Behind the Blog and I've decided to take part for the first time and ask Brian some questions!

Mind you as I was asking he was in the middle of an "intense" game of hockey on the PS3. He must like me today because he NEVER lets me talk to him during a video game session.

Lets get to it!

1. What is your favorite cereal?

Brian: Um....Honey Nut Cheerios I guess

Me: What do you mean I guess?

Brian: I dont have a favorite so I guess

Me: Well that's boring

2. Pancakes or waffles?

Brian: Pancakes

Me: What?!!! You don't like my warm Belgian  waffles that I nicely make in my fancy waffle maker for you? It's pretty much breakfast in bed

Brian: *long pause*....I do.....but I like pancakes alot more

Me: Ohhh thanks.

3. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Brian: Turkey

Me: What? What about turkey? We're talking baout traditions

Brian: Turkey dinner for Thanksgiving

Me: That's nice but at the moment we're refering to Christmas...

Brian: Oh well um....turkey

Me: moving on....

4. Finish the sentence: All I want for Christmas is...

Brian: *longest pause ever*

Me: Hello????

Brian: *continues pause* I dont know

Me: Alright if you say so. That meqans my mom doesn't need to get you any gifts then right? :)

5. What was your best moment of 2013?

(Me thinking he's going to say something about me or something about our niece)

Brian: No doubt getting my pilot's license

Me: Oh, right...I forgot. Well I guess I cant top that (goes to show how much I remember these things!)

Boys Behind The Blog

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Time for some Christmas spirit - favorite movies!

Christmas is my favorite time of year, no doubt. When I was younger I looked forward to all the little traditions and details. I got antsy if we were going to go somewhere. The days leading up to the event felt long. I always wanted everything now (but what kid doesn't?!) and wanted to be on the go. When things would happen I'd be so excited that I never really took it all in and then it'd be gone so much faster. As I've gotten older, I've realized time is important. Every second counts for making memories. That's why I've become way more relaxed. I'm not as anxious to do things. If there's a party, I dont sit staring at the clock. If we don't do something one day, we'll get to it eventually. 

I think it's because I was away living with Brian for a year but I enjoy spending every minute I can with my parents also. They are the best and I love when they are home. I especially love spending time with them around Christmas. Decorating, going to see Christmas lights, listening to music and going shopping. Another thing we enjoy is watching TV together. We do this all year long but at Christmas it's extra fun. Call me old but as I sit on Facebook and watch my friends post pictures of themselves doing fun holiday things, I'm in my pj's at 8pm, Christmas lights are on and we're getting ready to watch Hallmark Christmas movies. It's so relaxing and that's what I'd prefer.

We have those traditions of watching the same movies every year. The ones that just never get old. Today I wanted to share a few of those movies. I hope I can help you find some new ones to put on your list :)

The best movie. If you need a good cry, watch this. It's about two families.  One family where the husband is a work-o-holic and doesn't embrace the magic and meaning of Christmas until he gets a big wake up call. He cares more about making money and working  The other family doesn't have much money. They find out that the mother has a devastating illness and she will pass away within a few months. Her son fights hard to make her last Christmas the best yet. 

Such an inspiring story of dedication strength and encouragement. This is an older movie yet never gets old. It's based on a true story of a husband, wife and their baby who are embarking on a trip to go to a family members funeral. They take the wrong turn due to lack of direction after a huge storm. They end up stuck in the snow and mountains for 8 days. Prayer and the will to fight for their family keeps them going.

All I can say about this one is that the true meaning of Christmas is the most magical thing...especially when you are a little girl

Such a funny one! These are usually my favorite type of movies. The girl/guy promises to bring someone home for Christmas and then has to fake a relationships, until they actually fall in love

Always way too funny. Jessica Biel is great. A coupe is supposed to be going home for Christmas together, until the boyfriend does something stupid. He gets lost and has to find his way home in a Santa suit, without a car and being so many miles away. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taste of Tuesday - Party sangria

Next Saturday we will be having our annual Christmas party with my mom's family. Just yesterday my uncle emailed everyone and asked if it was time to talk about the menu. As I've mentioned it's always pretty much the same food, with a few new extras this year. For our beverages we have simple things such as water and sprite. And then there's the alcohol. Not really a party without it right?! We normally do beer and wine. This year, though, we're mixing it up and adding a third drink. Sangria! We got introduced to it at a family party last year. My mom made some for Thanksgiving last month but we haven't really experimented yet. Here are a few Pinterest inspired recipes that would be nice to try!

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter wonderland shenanigans

What a winter wonderland weekend! We got a bunch of snow Saturday night so we made ourselves comfy and pretty much stayed home the whole weekend and did some Christmas type stuff

It was a cloudy day and we got some dustings of snow. My dad, Brian and I went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner..always so so good!

I love our snowflake lights!

It doesn't look appetizing in the picture, I know. The lighting is dark in there so it's hard to get a good picture. They have the BEST salads!

Day of the snow. Dad and I did a few errands in the afternoon. Let me just say, preparing for a snow storm plus Christmas shopping makes for too many people. It was crazy how careless of others many of them were! We spent the night in front of the TV and doing some Christmas stuff. My mom had to work so we headed out around 11pm to go pick her up because it was terrible to drive on her own. We've been doing this for years if we get snow on a day she works. I always look forward to it! Late at night, driving, watching the snow fall and listening to music is just perfect! We listened to a Vince Gill Christmas CD. By far my favorite!

Nothing but snow picking up my mom!

We love our bank and when they give us hats!

Dad and I hung around. I know, so boring! Honestly though, it was nice to know I didn't have to worry about school work and I could enjoy a relaxing day.

Post snow. We have a bunch of trees behind our house so it's nice to see the snow on them!

Apparently Santa already has his mind made up about Bailey's behavior this year...

Santa is right too. This little guy slept almost all day. Reason? He figured out how to open my mom's work bag to get the left over sub roll (just the bread) my mom was bringing back to work

Have a wonderful Monday friends!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snow, celebration and reflection

Happy Friday friends! I am so excited to say that today starts my month long vacation from school. Finally I can relax, sleep in and fully enjoy these next two weeks until Christmas. I hope all your finals have gone well also :) Today also marks a month until my birthday. Yes, I know, I've been caught between the lucky 13 and the infamous Friday the 13th. I'm getting ahead of myself, so for now lets see some things I'm high fiving!

- One -
We've been getting a little snow this week. A dusting to enough that we shoveled a little Tuesday. It's been extremely cold also! There have been so many car accidents around here these past three days due to black ice. Many of them occurring during the day also. Tuesday night, which was the main day of the semi-snow, a 17 year old boy was driving home and flipped over a guard rail onto the other side of an exit ramp. Unfortunately, he passed away. For us, my mom and I went to my grandmother's for the day. It started snowing that afternoon again and the view out my grandmother's back door was beautiful! Now for the drumroll....we're supposed to be getting a major snow storm tomorrow into Sunday. Bring it on :)

Outside my grandmother's window.

Who wants to come and be stuck inside with me all weekend?! 

- Two -
Yesterday concluded my finals. I only had to take 1 in class one. The other could be done at home while we didn't have one of the third class. I've been ready for this since the middle of October, or to be honest, the end of September. It's been a hard semester, which seemed like it was going to go on forever, and one I'd never want to repeat. I celebrated with this yummy goodness!

- Three -
The other night I spent time reflecting on a few certain things and feeling a little down. And then this happened...

- Four-
I know I said the other day I'd have pictures of Disney up but I've been so busy catching up this week. I'll have the post for you on Monday! It was such a magical time. Every single aspect of it. Here's a preview of the awesomeness we experienced.

- Five -
I'm going out on a limb here but after getting approval from Jenni to use her idea, I'm excited to announce that I'll be starting my own blog-every-day challenge. I'll be posting more info next week but I wanted to start the New Year off with inspiration. A question each day starting January 1st reflecting on the 2013 year and our hopes for the upcoming year. I'd love for you all to join me to share inspiration and encouragment with each other!

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's looking alot like Christmas!

I'm so excited to be linking up with four lovely ladies today for their Christmas Decor link up. Christmas? Hands down my favorite time of year. While I love every aspect of it, we've created many traditions with our decorations over the years in our house. My dad is the main one that creates this magical place. He's just a tad OCD about where things go and how they are placed. We have many things that were once my grandparents' so it's nice to keep their memory alive during this time. Now that I've gotten older wIe don't really decorate the outside of our house. We put our effort inside so that WE can enjoy it. 

Go on over and link up so we can enjoy your decorations too!

Lets Get Bananas

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