Friday, December 31, 2010

Big Changes Ahead for 2011

Clinique Cheron by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen c 1905 

The past week was a flurry of activity.  Not only was it Christmas, complete with the hustle and bustle of fun filled activities, but also I was in the midst of a major life change.  After 8 years of practice ownership, I have sold my Veterinary Clinic.  I am in the midst of a swirl of emotion:  sad to leave my wonderful staff (and friends), sad to put my career on hold, sad to leave a business that was so good to me.  However, owning a business is not without its challenges.  I also find myself elated at finally being able to be home with my children.  I had 3 days (yes, days) off after my first child was born, and 3.5 months semi-off for my second.  This was not by choice, but by necessity.  I will forever be sad to not be able to have those precious early days of motherhood back.  I plan on taking 2 years off (or maybe even more!) from Veterinary practice:  one for each year of maternity leave that I missed with my children. 

Another challenge awaits our family in 2011:  our big move, and the ultimate reason why I sold my practice. 
My husband has been offered 2 jobs in 2 different cities, and we must decide in the coming months, where our future lies.  I am a bit nervous about making such a huge decision, but very excited about the possibilities ahead.

While I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, I do think establishing goals for the year ahead is a good idea.  This year's goals: Spend more time with my family (and less time at work), and enjoy my new found freedom; prepare our home for sale, and find a new home & city where we will create special memories, spend more time with the hobbies I love, and of course share them with you.  I would also love to perfect my photography skills, and a few less pounds off the ole bod wouldn't hurt either!

Source: Southern Living

I am so happy to have this blog, my creative outlet and journal for our families journey ahead.  Thank you for coming along!  I can't wait to share it with you all! Happy New Year's!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #9

Festive Favorites #9


Afterall, what is a celebration without friends and family to share it with?  This is without a doubt, my absolutely favorite part of the season.  Seeing your child's faces light up when they first see under the tree on Christmas morning. Sharing a wonderful feast with children, parents, grandparents and more.  Passing your families traditions onto your children, so they can pass it along to theirs.  Absolutely precious, and worth the 364 day wait until the next year. 

Merry Christmas!  May all your favorite traditions be shared and honored, and your wishes for 2011 come true.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #8

Festive Favorites #8

The Christmas Feast

What dinner is more special than a table full of delicious offerings and family favorites, served on Christmas Day?  We are traditionalists, offering Turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings!  I also love leftovers and turkey sandwiches for days on end afterwards.

I hope you too, enjoy the spoils of the Christmas table, come this December 25th!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #7

Festive Favorite #7

A Beautifully Wrapped Gift

I have a confession.  There is one (and only one) thing that I don't love doing at Christmas:  Wrapping Gifts.  I have no patience for it, and while I try to choose beautiful papers and use ribbon, rather than a pre-fab bow, that's as far as I go. 

I do, however, love and appreciate a beautifully wrapped gift.  My mother has an incredible talent for wrapping (she's renowned for it) and I delight in seeing her wrapped creations each year.  Her gifts are often adorned with ornaments, embellished with greenery, or tied in the finest ribbons:

Are you an elaborate wrapper, or do you prefer the ease of a gift bag?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #6

Festive Favorites #6

Christmas Decorations

My second most absolute favoritist(ist) part of Christmas!  You've probably seen many of my decorations and tree already, but I can't resist a few more pictures for you.

Many of my friends don't understand why I spend so much time decorating my house, but it's one of the most special parts of the season for our family.  I love it when a child (or adult for that matter) comes into our home, and their eyes widen in delight at all the pretty, sparkly things.  I know my children will remember it fondly too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #5

Festive Favorites #5


Yes, we do stockings for everyone in our family (even our four-legged members!). They are such fun!  Gifts small, yet no less special fill these beautiful socks. Certainly my favorite part of gifting on Christmas morn.

Madelyn, Christmas morning 2009.  I think stockings may be her favorite part too!

Does everyone in your family enjoy the fun of the Christmas Sock?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #4

Festive Favorite #4

Cozy Nights by the Fire

When else do you have a license to laze about longingly staring into a blazing fire, for hours on end?  I find it mesmerizing to watch the flames lick the logs, and feel the warmth on my cheeks.  Ok, ok, so we have a gas fireplace in this house, but certainly hope for a wood burning one in our next!

We love to watch our favorite Christmas movie (Alastair Sim's Scrooge is an annual Christmas Eve tradition), play a family game, or work on a jigsaw puzzle.  I long to sit under a cozy blanket and cross stitch, or perhaps finish that binding on my latest quilt.  Lights are dimmed, and sweetly scented candles are burning.  Oh, how I love these cozy wintery nights.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #3

Festive Favorite #3


Each year I spend the weeks before the big day baking up sweet and savory delights, and this year is no exception.  On the list today is Christmas Sandwich Cremes, Butterscotch Icebox Cookies, and Browned Butter Sugar Cookies.  I usually bake about 6-10 different types of cookies, homemade Nut's and Bolt's (not exactly a baked good, but worth a mention as it's sooo buttery delish!), and many other delicious bites.

I try to add a few new recipes each year, but am sure to keep the family favorites also.

Some of my clearest memories of Christmas at my Grandparent's home is the glorious food and baking that was created lovingly by my Grandma.  I hope that my children too, will think back fondly on Mom's Christmas baking!

What do you bake each and every year?  Do you have treasured family recipes, or try new each year, or say to heck with it and buy from the bakery?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate: #2

Festive Favorite #2

Christmas Carols

I utterly love Christmas music. While I enjoy all types, this is, afterall, a list of my favorites, so while difficult to narrow down, here they are:

Diana Krall's jazzy melodies are the perfect backdrop for a soiree with friends. I also love Michael Buble's Let is Snow, and Sara McLachlan's rendition of Noel.

I absolutely love Celtic Woman, and their Christmas album is no exception.

I love Classical Christmas music. The staff at my clinic make fun of me for this, as they all prefer more light hearted renditions of Frosty and Rudolph. I listen to these as well, more for the sake of my children, but a good ole classical piece really gets me in the Christmas spirit.

If asked what one Christmas song is my favorite, it is without a doubt, Carol of the Bells. It gives me tingles whenever I hear it.

What is your favorite Christmas music?  Classical, or the Classics, fun and lighthearted?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Enjoying the Christmas Season: Our Favorite ways to Celebrate

I'm now at the point in the season that I can actually slow down and enjoy the Christmas festivities. Gifts are bought and wrapped, house is decorated in all it's sparkling finest, cookies are baked, and advent is in full swing.
Over the next few days, I will share with you my favorites of the season, for it is all too short, and soon it will be on to planning for the New Year ahead!

I present to you, in random order, my favorite things that the Christmas season brings to our family each year:

Festive Favorite #1:

Brandy Slush

Oh so sweet, oh so delicious!


8 cups water
1.5 cups sugar
6 teabags
1 lg can frozen orange juice
1 lg can frozen lemonade
2 cups apricot or peach Brandy

Boil water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
Steep teabags in 2 cups of boiling water. Cool.
Put all ingredients in ice cream pail, or large container and stir. Place in freezer for 24 hours.

Put 2 scoops of slush in glass, and fill with Sprite or Ginger Ale and enjoy!

I have many friends who insist on this seasonal favorite year after year. Try it this year, and tell me what you think!

What are you favorite seasonal drinks?

As a side note, when one must prepare a Brandy Slush at 8am in order to take a blog photo, it is only appropriate to drink aforementioned slush so it not go to waste.  It works in delightful combination with toast!

On another side note, I'm rockin the Canon Rebel!  I love how my pictures have improved.  Today I did not need the use of Picnik, but I'm having fun experimenting with it as well!  Thank you to all of you who wrote me with suggestions on improving my photographs!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas 2010 Home Tour

There are so many fun holiday linky parties this year! I love all the Christmas inspiration. Today I'm joining in on a few parties, and taking you on a tour of our home, dressed in it's Christmas best.
Come in, make yourself at home. You'll be greeted by a vocal, fluffy (and rather rotund) dog, the sweet smell of holiday spice candles, and two very excited little munchkins, anxiously awaiting Santa's arrival.

To the left you'll see my favorite room, the Living Room. This is where we keep our family Christmas Tree, and where you'll find us all on Christmas morning.

How about we continue our tour through the french doors, into the Dining Room? This is where we will dine on our Christmas feast.

And now, on to the kitchen, where cookies will be baked, and turkeys will be basted.

As we move into the Family room, you'll see the mantel, where the stockings will be hung on Christmas eve.

And in case you need to freshen up, you'll find festive cheer in the powder room as well.

And that concludes the tour of my home.  If you'd like to see more, check out my previous posts on my Christmas tree, crafted projects, paperwhites, vignettes and mantel.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and glorious New Year!

Linking to my favorite Parties! and to these holiday parties: