Happy Friday Everyone!
One – Christmas Recap!
Happy Friday, friends! First up, I just wanted to say that I’m going to have a few weeks where I’ll be back down to 1 blog post instead of 2, due to general busyness on my end. I just don’t have enough time in my day.
I’m going to do a little Christmas recap, I promise to keep it short. I hope all of you had a WONDERFUL holiday season! First up, I started the week of Christmas with a little holiday cookie baking. Since we are new kitten owners, I decided to try out the new cat cookie cutter that Ashley got me. As you’ll see, Ollie Bear and Princess Aurora are my little shadows. How do you like my Ollie Bear cookie? Kinda hard to decorate a cookie with an all white cat that has some slight gray ombre colors, but I think I nailed it. Lol. Sorry if I talk about these two cats too much, but they are just the sweetest things!
I was really craving an egg casserole for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning! I haven’t made one in quite some time. It’s fun to look up recipes for them, because there is just SO many ways you can make them. I settled for the diced potatoes (instead of hash browns) and sausage. But, what was really unique about this recipe was that it used a Ranch seasoning packet! It was REALLY good! THIS is the recipe I used (I used sausage and the diced potatoes instead of bacon and hash browns).
Here is a couple photos of the food from the Christmas lunch that we hosted at our house. I enjoyed making a holiday charcuterie board from yummy finds from Trader Joe’s and we got mini bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes. I wish these photos were better, but inside photos are never the best. 🙁
And, here is our family photo for Christmas 2023. We are just missing my dad, who didn’t feel up to coming over. We had a great time together and my brother and SIL were able to meet Ollie Bear and Aurora finally (our 2 new kittens).
Two – New Year’s Eve/Day & Brian’s Bday
On New Year’s Eve, we celebrated at The Melting Pot. It was SO good and I was stuffed… so stuffed that I decided to run a New Year’s Day 5K with Nathan the next morning! Ha, ha!
Shop Sycamore Shirt:
On New Year’s Day, we have a tradition of going to Top Golf. The teens love going there so much! I love the drinks and food! I’m wearing one of my Christmas gifts from my mom in this photo, which is Vuori’s Sycamore Shirt Jacket. It is SO soft and warm! It comes in a warm brown color too and I advise to size down one size. I typically wear a small and I sized down to an extra-small and the fit is perfect.
We celebrated Brian’s 49th (next year will be a milestone!) birthday at Casa Don Alfonso. We did not stay at the Ritz this year like we typically do, but this is the restaurant inside the Ritz in St. Louis and it is FABULOUS. The lasagna reminds me of a lasagna I had in Venice our last day there and the owner is from Italy. I REALLY need to try some of their other dinner offerings, but I’ve ordered this lasagna 3 years in a row! I’m a loyalist, what can I say?
Three – Latest Happenings
Autumn has been busy performing at basketball games and she has a competition and state (in Kansas City) in the next two months. We will be busy! Nathan will be starting tennis the last week of February. His last h.s. sport season!
We have had some light dustings of snow, but we finally got a couple of inches and it was warm enough the next morning that I got out and ran on the trail. It was so much fun, but by the time I was done with my 6 miles it was really starting to melt. I typically get new running shoes every 1-2~ years and I’m loyal to Brooks, especially their Adrenaline line. I got the Adrenaline GTS 23 and I love the neutral color with the pop of lavender/purple. So fun!
And right after Christmas break, poor Ollie Bear had his neuter! He did REALLY well. He was SO extra sweet afterwards, I think he was still doped up on the drugs! Poor guy! Here he is after the surgery, just all stretched out on the couch with his fluffy tail inbetween his legs. He has such HUGE paws. Ragdoll males can get up to 20 lbs and he is 6 months and already 8 lbs! Aurora has her spay scheduled in March.
Four – Latest Book I’ve Read & A Movie I’ve Watched
The Wives by Tarry Fisher – This book was a page turner and it didn’t take me long to finish it. This is a book about polygamy and mental health and it truly keeps you guessing until the end. Imagine your husband having two other wives in another city and you only see him on one day of the week, which is Thursday. Your name is even ‘Thursday’. All three wives know about each other, but have never met. Except, you find a slip of paper one day and decide to do a little “research” to see who one of the wives is… except, it turns into a lot more. A very twisted, yet good book!
Books Read in 2023
Here is a collage of the 20 books I read in 2023! I keep track of all of my books on Goodreads.com. If you’d like to follow me on Goodreads, you can by clicking HERE. I typically read half of these and the other half I listen to them while I drive (since I am still driving Autumn around a lot!). I would say my ABSOLUTE favorites out of all these books this year were The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post. What was your favorite book you read this year? Let me know in the comments!
Ok, so I HAD to watch Leave the World Behind on Netflix, I’ve been hearing everyone talk about it. OH BOY! I should not have watched this modern day apocalyptic thriller before bed. I know it has mixed reviews, but I really liked it! Do yourself a favor and watch it!
Five – Latest Finds that I Love
I just love my Javasok, my sweet friend Ashley told me about these first. They come in many colors, patterns and sizes. I ordered the Medium sized one for my Starbucks Venti drinks. It really keeps the ice from melting and you don’t get all of that gross condensation on your desk.
I’ve been trying to find a shampoo and conditioner that leaves my hair soft, manageable and tangle free. I’ve tried COUNTLESS kinds and I finally was WOW’ed (ha, like the name!) by WOW Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner. This is not sponsored and this is the second time I’ve purchased it. I do sometimes trade it out for Colleen Rothschild Shampoo + Conditioner, which is really good too!!
With two new kittens, we need a lot of cat toys, so I decided to subscribe to the KitNipBox, which is a monthly cat subscription box. You can order it with the food/treats or with just toys. We have gotten it for 3 months and I’ve been really impressed with it so far. If you’re interested in trying one out for your cat, I’d love for you to use my referral link HERE, it’ll help Oliver and Aurora earn a free box! Yay! The Hostess Chocolate Donut catnip treat was a fave this month!
Shop Cat Water Faucet:
Oliver has been IN LOVE with the master bathroom sink faucet. So much that I thought it was time to buy him his OWN cat faucet (click here to see it!). LOL. I settled on this stainless steel faucet and it has been a huge hit!
Shop Topiary Trees (Set of 2) & Velvet Ribbon:
I’ve been working on updating my front porch so it doesn’t look so empty and dull in-between the holidays and the spring. I purchased this topiary tree set of 2 and it is such a good quality and they look real! Then I purchased some velvet ribbon to tie a couple of bows on top of them for Valentine’s Day. You can also check out my post last year, ‘Items to Update a Winter Porch‘.
I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing weekend!