December 2015Back Home Again: December 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 In Review

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before? Ran. A lot. Three 5k races, a 10k and a half marathon!
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yes and no. I made a resolution to start running and I did, but I also made one to get back to grad school weight, and that failed miserably.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not super close, but I have several friends who gave birth. One to twins!
4. Did anyone close to you die? No
5. What countries did you visit? The good 'ol USA although I did add Mississippi as a new state.
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? No credit card debt and one less student loan...we're getting there!
7. What date(s) from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I'm too lazy to look up the exact dates, but here are a few things:
Ewan's birthday
Starting and finishing c25k 
Finally planting our garden 
Going on a girls' winery day 
Nashville trip and Tennessee Renaissance Faire 

Running my first 5k race 
Traveling to Stillwater, MN for a friend's wedding.
Running a half marathon 

Celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary and my cousin's wedding on the same day.   
Cecily's birthday 
Traveling to Chicago for work and catching up with friends and family I haven't seen for years.
Celebrating New Year's Eve then going to Disney World tomorrow!  
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Completing a half marathon!
9. What was your biggest failure? Not paying off as much credit card debt as I'd hoped
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? My plantar fasciitis came back during half marathon training. And I discovered that I have a bulging disc and bone spur on my spine.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Our Disney trip, my Garmin running watch
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All the people who have supported my running
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People who are supposed to be "close" who can't be bothered to tell you important things going on in their life and you find out via mutual friends on Facebook who ask you about something they posted.

14. Where did most of your money go? daycare, debt, vacation, running
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My garden, running
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2015? Umm...?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? about the same

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter, even though I'm running...I have the problem of being rungry!
iii. richer or poorer? Richer
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? enjoying the little things instead of stressing out all the time
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Trying to be friends with people who clearly don't want your friendship.
20. How did you spend Christmas? You can read more about it here, but the short version is we celebrated Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve morning then went to Louisville and celebrated that night with Alan's extended family. Then we celebrated with his parents, brothers and their families on Christmas. We'll celebrate with my family after we get back from Disney in January.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? More in love with my husband and kiddos
23. What was your favorite TV program? Downton Abbey, Blacklist, Once Upon A Time, Reign, Big Bang Theory
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No, but I am definitely frustrated with a few!
25. What was the best book you read? I read SO MANY books this year! I honestly can't name one that was my favorite. I'm just excited to be reading again.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? In terms of my own music, sadly I haven't had much time for it because life and work have been so crazy. 

27. What did you want and get? A newfound passion

 28. What did you want and not get? A trip to Iceland
29. What was your favorite film of this year? Did we see a movie in the theater this year? I'm pretty sure we did, but I don't even remember what they are!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 34 and here's a detailed account of my day.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Comfort, as always
32. What kept you sane? Starbucks, running
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? No one.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? birth rights, gmo foods
35. Who did you miss? Friends and family I don't see often
36. Who was the best new person you met? Running friends
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016: Same as last year: You can't make people want a relationship with you and even though it may hurt incredibly, it's ultimately their loss 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Have You Ever Tried Garcinia Cambogia?

I received this product for free through Tomoson in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Seeing that I have gained all of the weight I had lost a few years ago and then some, I have decided that 2016 will be the year that I am really and truly done. Over the last few months I have read numerous blogs and articles about the magical properties of Garcinia Cambogia Supreme 85% HCA Standardized and have been dying to try it. It's made from the rind of an Asian fruit, Garcinia Cambogia and supposedly helps with weight loss because it helps to inhibit glucose absorption.

I really wanted to like it, I really really did. It's top allergen free and vegan. It also contains no soy, additives or stimulants. However, about 20-30 minutes after I took it, I got sick. I wanted to create this awesome post about how I lost all this weight in a couple weeks. But it made me sick every time. I'm not one to take dietary supplements normally, but I thought I would give it a shot. While it may work for others, it clearly is not for me. However, the service from Life & Food was wonderful and I would purchase other items from them in the future.

Have you ever taken Garcinia Cambogia? Did it work for you?

It's Ok December 29, 2015

...that I got some crazy deals at Old Navy!

...that I got to Target too late the day after Christmas to get any good clearance.

...that I really enjoyed watching the Harry Potter marathon this past weekend on ABC Family.

...that Ewan will be five in a week!

...that we leave for Disney in four days!

What's ok with you this week?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

Let me preface this by saying that I am a goof and forgot my camera when we went to my in-laws for Christmas so the only photos I have a from Christmas at our house. D'oh!

We actually opened most of our gifts the Saturday before Christmas because I got impatient. However, we did still sprinkle reindeer food on the 23rd and Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve. 

While they got some toys, they got a lot of educational stuff too. Ewan is learning to read and got some phonics books and a science "game." He loved them both. Cecily got a bunch of puzzles, which she loves, but probably her favorite gift was her pink "Sheriff Callie" star to go on top of the tree. She kept talking about how Santa was going to bring her this star to go on top of our tree. She was so excited when she opened her last gift and there it was!

I then went for a quick Christmas Eve run before heading to Louisville for Christmas at Alan's parents' house. We all had a great Christmas there too!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's Ok December 22, 2015

...that it's 9PM and Cecily is still awake...for the third night in a row.

...that Alan and I have been watching Friends on Netflix and I love it just as much as I did watching every episode for the first time.

...that I still have that awful cold from last week.

...that I'm not sure how much I will be able to blog over the next few weeks with Christmas and our Disney trip right around the corner.

...that Christmas is in three days!

What's ok with you this week?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It's Ok December 15, 2015

...that a mom in a mom's group I'm in basically invited her family to Cecily's birthday party and then didn't invite us to either of her kids' birthday parties this month. 

...that I'm trying to be the better person but I really want to call this mom out on it. 

...that Alan is out of town this week again.

...that the cold I have been fighting since Thanksgiving finally caught up to me. 

...that Christmas is next week!

...that we go to Disney in two weeks!

...that my baby boy turns FIVE in three weeks!

What's ok with you this week?

Monday, December 14, 2015

New and Old Traditions

I have written before about our tradition to go see the Christmas lights at the Winter Carnival at the local 4H fairgrounds. It's something we do every year and the kids love it, even if this year we didn't get to see Santa because the night we chose happened to be the only Friday night Santa's Workshop was closed because he was at a dinner that night....oops!

This year we have also started a tradition that we always did with my family growing up. I lived with my mom and grandma and when I was young my grandma made Holly Hobby dolls out of scrap material and then decorated my own birthday tree with them. She put this tree up every year for me and after she died it was something I wanted to continue in my own house. Except that I couldn't find the dolls until this year. They were stashed in a closet and I came across them when I was helping clean out my mom's house earlier this year. 

I was so excited to finally find them because I had been asking about them for years, even before she passed away. Most people that see them probably wonder what the heck they are, but they're one of the few things I have of my grandmother's and putting up my own Holly Hobby tree is a tradition I want to start in my own home. This year I have them on a small tree - another find from when I went "shopping" at my mother's - and I intend on getting a larger tree for next year because they're are SO many dolls that only a fraction of them are on this tiny tree. But, it makes a great addition to our dining room!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Cookie Party 2015

We started the tradition of a cookie decorating party last year and it was a total hit. This year was too!

We invited new and old friends and I made even more cookies. Sugar, Nutella and "Gingerbread." I cheated and used the Nutella cookie recipe but switched out the Nutella for Cookie Butter. They were fabulous. I also made stuffed pasta shells and everyone brought a side dish to share. Since there were two birthdays that weekend and another the following weekend, we had birthday brownies too.

The kids had a blast decorating cookies and just playing with each other. I'm so glad we were able to do it again this year and I know it will be a blast when we do it again next December!

Speaking of cookies, don't forget about the $20 Paypal cash giveaway to help you #SpreadCheer!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to Enjoy a Stress Free Holiday

With the holidays right around the corner I know I’m not the only Mom feeling a little stressed out. I already have a jam-packed schedule: a full-time job, cooking healthy meals, carting my children to and from school, working on my blog and staying active. And now I’m supposed to find time to buy and wrap presents, plan delicious holiday meals AND prepare the house for my family coming to dinner? There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

While this time of year is supposed to be a joyful time, it’s easy to find yourself a little overwhelmed. Sometimes we need some help decompressing so that we can actually enjoy the time with our family. Check out these tips to keep your yuletide season merry!

Travel Smart

Not having Christmas at your house this year? Lucky you! Unfortunately, airports around the holidays can be quite hectic. Crowded flights, long check-in lines, and not to mention astronomical fees to get all your gifts from point A to point B. Thankfully Orbitz offers amazing deals on flights and hotels to make your travel plans as easy and affordable as possible. Say goodbye to your sister-in-laws futon mattress and hello to a plush hotel bed!

Avoid the Supermarket

There is likely no worse place than the supermarket the week before Christmas. Friends and neighbors become enemies. Elbows are being thrown left and right to get your hands on the last bag of fried onions to go on top the green bean casserole. Lines at the cash register wind for miles. OK - I might be over exaggerating a bit, but it is a nightmare. Avoid all of that this holiday season with grocery delivery service, Peapod. You can order online and have your groceries delivered to your front door, totally pain free!

Help Others

You may think that adding another thing to your never-ending to-do list seems counter-intuitive but hear me out! Volunteering at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter will remind you to appreciate what you have. You’ll leave this good deed with a renewed perspective on what’s important this time of year. All of the holiday hoopla makes most people forget what this season is really about - giving.

Treat Yourself!

When all else fails, do something for yourself; you deserve it! Make time to do something you love, whether that be cozying up by the fire with a book or going out for drinks with your best friend. Don’t forget to buy a little something for yourself while doing your holiday shopping! Maybe you need something to make yourself shine again, in which case a Birch Box subscription is the gift that keeps on giving cosmetic samples for a whole year. Whatever it may be, don’t forget to take care of yourself this season!

Now I can’t promise a totally stress free holiday, but if you follow these easy tips you’ll find yourself enjoying the important things: food, family and friends. Don’t let the holidays get the best of you this year. This season is supposed to be joyful and it doesn’t matter how good your pecan pie is if you’re a stressed out grump at dinner!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's Ok December 8, 2015

Airing My Dirty Laundry

...that I share a birthday with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's son.

...that I think the name Saint is ridiculous and little blasphemous.

...that I have almost all of our gifts wrapped for Christmas.

...that I'm not entirely sure when I'll get the rest wrapped because Cecily doesn't want to go to bed unless I'm with her.

...that I'm really liking this #RWRunStreak business. be giving away $20 in Paypal cash!

What's ok with you this week?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I Turned 34 Today

I had intended to write a philosophical post about getting older, but I'll be real I got nuthin.' Today is my birthday and at the ripe old age of 34, it's still a national holiday in my world. I'll say it again.


I started out with 3.4 miles to celebrate turning 34. Which if I had written that statement last year I would've just laughed. But now it's totally me. Which is so crazy. But, I digress...

Since I'm always complaining that December birthdays get the shaft, Alan always makes a big deal out of my birthday and planned the day for us. I had breakfast waiting when I got back from my run, then we went to lunch and then to the Candy Cane Holiday Express, which is the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra's holiday kids concert. Sidenote - Alan had bought tickets several weeks ago but when I mentioned that I thought it would be fun to take the kids, he was like heck no, there's no way they'll sit through that and I wound up complaining about it to my saxophone sectionmate at my band concert last week...oops! He said that to throw me off....tricky tricky Alan!

With Santa after the concert. 

It was the kids' first concert and I totally cried through most of it. It makes me so happy seeing them experience the things I love and after this afternoon, I have pretty much determined that my kids will be in music at some point in their life.

We then went to the very end of the local gingerbread competition. We missed most of the fun and only got to see the final creations, but it was still neat to see. Here are a few of my favorites.

Our daycare provider is having a free childcare night tonight as her Christmas present to her daycare families so we dropped the kids off awhile ago and came home to eat my favorite Chinese takeout and watch The Holiday, one of my favorite movies. Kind of sounds like a lame ending to my birthday, but I wouldn't have it any other way after a busy day.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's OK December 1, 2015

This post may contain affiliate links. 

...that today is the first day of December and I'm still wondering where the heck 2015 went.

...that I had my kids take an early nap on Sunday because they were driving me crazy.

...that I decided to partake in the Runners World holiday run streak between Thanksgiving and New Years #RWRunStreak

...that I ate WAY too many cookies from our #SpreadCheer cookie baking fun this past weekend.

...that I'm excited I can finally listen to Christmas music.

...that I am OBSESSED with the Pentatonix Christmas album

...that I'm giving away $20 Paypal cash on the blog.

...that my birthday is on Saturday!

What's ok with you this week?
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