Monday, December 31, 2012


I always love thinking about everything I've done at the end of every year. 2012 was a pretty big year, lots of changes this year, but definitely all learning experiences. I graduated school, started subbing five days after I graduated, enjoyed the summer, and started my full time job with my preschool kids in August. I also took on giving piano lessons, which I love, and have been able to spend time with lots of family and friends. It has been quite a year, and this year the holidays were fantastic. It was so low key, but I enjoyed it so much (and I got to see Les Miserables on Christmas Day. Phenomenal if you haven't seen it yet! Go!). It's been a great year.

I have been blessed with so much in 2012 and cannot wait for all that 2013 has in store. It is going to be exciting! I do pray for more peace and unity this next year. Lord knows we all need that. Thank you all again for coming and visiting my little corner of the blogosphere! It truly means so much to me. Be safe and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Fancies: Christmas Eve

Happy Friday ladies! I have been so under the weather with a horrible stomach flu virus. I don't think I had ever been this sick. Today I am resting and trying to get myself back to normal, since Christmas is almost here! I can't wait to celebrate with my family, starting this weekend.

christmas eve

It's a tradition in my family to always go to Christmas Eve Mass at our parish and on Christmas we all tend to get a bit more dressed up than we usually do for church. It's the holidays. Why not? I actually have this alice + olivia little black dress (found on sale!) and I absolutely love it! It's peplum, and it's black. What's not to love? I love adding sparkle and a little black heel. Just perfect!

Christmas morning we spend in our pajamas (obviously!) and then this year we're heading out to my grandma's Christmas Day, and then we host the day after Christmas for more celebrations. Did I mention I love the holidays? What are your holiday plans? I hope you ladies have the best holidays yet!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yes Virginia

So I was babysitting the other night and we were watching Christmas specials on TV (thank goodness they still keep the good ones like Rudolph going!). But a new one caught my eye called Yes Virginia. It is the cutest 20 minutes you will watch this holiday season about a girl named Virginia in the early 1900s who believes in Santa ,but a bully in school convinces her that Santa isn't real. She and her best friend Ollie write to the local paper asking them to prove if Santa exists. I'm making it sound so cliché, but really, it's worth watching, especially with the way things have been lately, it just brightened my night.

Watch it now, or watch it later, but here's the first part. Trust me, you'll want to keep going til the end!

image via here

Monday, December 17, 2012

There's only so many Tomorrows

All weekend, all I was thinking about was the victims. the families. Newtown. What a heinous act of violence and I am just saddened and mournful for all of those affected. As a teacher of young, young children, it pains me to see any child hurting, especially when in school. I am praying and will continue to pray for all of those families, victims and people of Newtown as they try to make sense of this. It is a great reminder that time is so short. In this case, way too short.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Fancies: Serious Sparkle


Happy Friday ladies! My computer is back and all is well at the end of this very busy week. So why not end it on good notes with some sparkle? I've seen this dress at Anthropologie and it is just as gorgeous in person! It would definitely put a spring in my step and make me feel like it is truly the holidays (another snowless December is just weird, isn't it? I love snow!). I love sparkle!

Have fabulous weekends! I can't to read and catch up on my blog reading, get in some holiday wrapping, shopping, cookie baking, etc! In other news, my sister Mary and I just finished watching Downton Abbey again! We cannot wait for January 6th, can't come soon enough! Did anyone see that PBS special on Downton that Angela Lansbury hosted? First of all, I love Angela Lansbury and it was such a good sneak peek! Who's obsessed? Have a great weekend and go check out the rest of the fancies on Long Distance Loving!

Monday, December 10, 2012


That is the word I used to describe my lovely computer! It crashed at the end of last week, so pardon my M.I.A-ness as of late! I've been working, working and working some more, so maybe it's good that my computer crashed when I've been too busy to even look at it! I hope you ladies have been having a lovely holiday season and have been able to enjoy it! I definitely have so far!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Get on my Bookshelf!

Though I don't read as much as I want to, or be in the mood for (let's be honest: I could replace reading with knitting!) but these are books that I could just flip through time and time again. Have you picked them up yet? I got Pippa's book from our library and I love it! I literally talked in a British accent while reading. The pictures are gorgeous and the ideas are fantastic for every holiday all year round. Of course, Ina can do no wrong either. We have all of her books and use them daily and I bet this one would be no exception. Then there is Nate's book which I have heard so much about. It looks fantastic. Have you read it?

Books are great gifts too and I bet any of these would make your friends and family smile! What books are on your wishlist?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've never shared this recipe before! I know you've seen lots of chocolate chip cookies here on this blog, but let's be honest, they're my favorite! This was probably the first recipe I ever baked with and has been a staple in our house for years. It is supposedly the recipe of the Mrs. Fields cookies that you could get a Neiman Marcus. Have you ever had those before? Ahh so good!

Though they're a bit time consuming, they're worth it and such a great gift to give this holiday (or just because it's a Tuesday, that works too!). Here's what you do:

Preheat your oven to 375
You will need

5 c. oats
4 c. flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

Process the oats in the food processor until smooth so that it has a flour-like texture. Add all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together.

Then, in a separate bowl, mix
4 sticks of butter
2 c sugar
2 c brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter first, add sugars, eggs and vanilla. Cream until smooth and combined. Then, add the dry ingredients using a measuring cup. This way you won't have flour coming up in your face! After all the dry ingredients have been added, add 24 oz of dark chocolate chips and mix until combined. It makes a lot of dough!

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop tablespoon sized balls on to the sheet (I usually can fit 9 on one). Bake for 7-9 minutes. They will look a bit underdone but will cook on the sheet once out of the oven. Let cool.

Enjoy! (and I might have had way too much fun with my dad's new camera taking these pictures!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Snapshots and sparkle!

I cannot believe today is already the 3rd day of December! It feels like May around here with all of these balmy temperatures. I want my cold and snow back, please! Even though the weather around here feels like we live in the South, I'm still savoring as much holiday as I can muster! I brought out my book of Christmas carols, played my favorite Christmas CDs and even started a little baking to spread some holiday cheer.

I think that the best daily cheer I receive is my nightly walk to the train station from work. I immediately get in a good mood on this little walk! The suburb I work in does holidays up right, as seen here by the thousands of lights that are present in just one block!

How are your town's holiday lights? Does it feel like December in your town? 

*By the way thank you for all of the birthday wishes! They all meant so much to me! It was such a fantastic day filled with homemade pizzas, chocolate cake and Julia Roberts movies!