2011 in Review

I did Linda's annual quiz last year-ha ha, guess what? I just checked to link up and discovered that I never posted it. Oops. Well, anyway, I still think this is a good exercise. So, here goes:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

Complete a half marathon!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I managed to complete some of them, but not nearly enough. Yes, I'll try to stick with a few resolutions-complete 2 half marathons, finish a few decorating projects...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but my dear friend Anne is close-maybe even on my birthday! I can't wait.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

Puerto Rico (technically not a separate country, but it’s a territory, it counts) and The Cayman Islands!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011?

A sense of peace about my career.

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

Just the big dates like birthdays and our anniversary. Boring, I know.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Completing the Half marathon. I had so many false starts I began to worry that I would not reach my goal. It sucked in parts, and was hard, and fun, and hard. And, I’m really glad I did it!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Organization. I spent countless hours redoing things or undoing something, or looking for what I was supposed to be doing. 2011 was discombobulated!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, just a touch of the flu. But, man, my poor kids were sick this year. 2011 was the year of vomit and I am glad to see it go!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The Property. I feel like it’s going to be such a great thing for our family. It has already become a favorite getaway where we can fish, explore, and hunt (the girls and daddy!). On the other side of the spectrum, well fitting bras. On the advice of Pam, get fitted. Then buy quality, it makes such a difference! (HInts: Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Soma)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My kids handled lots of changes really well (new school, new friends, etc). I'm really proud of them both.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Sandusky. Enough said.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Taxes, school, and The Property.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Britney Spears and Bon Jovi concerts.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

"Forget You", "Pumped Up Kicks," and "Til the World Ends."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

I honestly have no idea. I'm richer in laughter and love, how's that?!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Organize and plan better.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

At home, with my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Still in love with my husband and kids.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Homeland, The Vampire Diaries, and I wish I could say Mad Men-PLEASE come back soon!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don’t hate anyone (most of the big baddies died this year. It’s rough being a despotic tyrant). So, how about love- I kind of (totally) love Manny Diaz. I was afraid of how losing Muschamp and his defensive mind would impact Texas. I needn’t have worried, Diaz is freaking awesome. Total crush on that man now. Offense, listen up-you are free now to actually create an Offense, please do so.

24. What was the best book you read?

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" was really interesting,I also enjoyed "Bossypants."

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Adele, did I know about her in 2010? I don’t know. She’s amazing.

26. What did you want and get?

I found some great vintage dresses this year

27. What did you want and not get?

A Pippa Modalu bag, sue me, I’m shallow. That purse is pretty, pretty.

28. What was your favorite film of 2011?

"Crazy, Stupid, Love"-a great flick.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I honestly can't remember. Around my birthday I went to New Orleans for Mom 2.0, does that count?

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

The two Ryans-Gosling and Reynolds.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?

Classic with a twist in heels and Kendra Scott and kate spade jewelry.

32. What kept you sane?

Define classes. Seriously awesome.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Healthcare- it impacts my family and my career and honestly nobody is doing near enough to change what needs to be changed. Change will only come will enough Baby Boomers force the system to change-do you know there are something like 7,000 new Medicare enrollees every day? That’s a huge fiscal and resource impact…ok, got to get off the soapbox

34. Who did you miss?

Tons of people-friends and family, all who live too far away.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

My new co-worker. She’s wicked cool.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

It isn’t worth it to worry about what you can’t change.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“You can’t always get what you want. But, if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”

Friday Favorite- Christmas Family Time

Today we spent time as a family just hanging out and doing little projects to get ready for Christmas.
We worked on gingerbread houses...
Ok, modified gingerbread houses. I wasn't going to bake or make a real gingerbread house. So, the girls went to town on these arts & crafts houses I found last year on super sale. They had fun, we watched Christmas movies-win-win.
Ta-da. Gingerbread house. Even though we didn't bake this house, we did some actual baking to prepare for our sweets drop off tomorrow for our friends. Lots of chocolate, cookies, and treats happening in our kitchen. Of course, we realized once we were done that one of our friends has a darling daughter with a nut allergy and all our treats have nuts in them-whoops. Gotta think of a Plan B! All in all, it was a wonderful Friday full of fake and real baking, family snuggle time, and relaxing Christmas time. I hope your Christmas Eve Eve was just as fun.

Family time-my Friday Favorite!

Christmas at our House

It's Christmas at our house. I didn't quite get everything done that I envisioned (what's new). *I reserve the right to edit this and add any projects I finish in the next 72 hours! But, the house is how we like it (Ok, me and the girls, I'm sure my husband doesn't really care). I stick with pretty traditional colors and themes- red, gold, green, and glitter. Ready for a little tour?
Our dining room-you can see our creche in the background. There's no Mary or Joseph yet since they journey throughout the house to arrive on Christmas Eve. We wait to put baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas morning. The wise men keep traveling around the house until Epiphany. I apparently have rules that must be followed in Christmas decorating!
"New" decor from glass I found at our property. Looks remarkably similar to this one from Pottery Barn. I think I'm might try to rig some lights in these next year. I placed a shed antler next to them, I think I saw West Elm selling those too. I could go into business just from all the stuff I find walking around our property! More deer, this one on our stairs. We could play a game called-guess how many deer are in our Christmas decor. Answer-LOTS!

See?!- another deer. This one is on our mantel with our Elf, Max.And, of course the tree. This year I went with traditional beads instead of ribbons. I didn't fluff any branches. I think it looks a little "Charlie Brown" as a result. Oh well, I still love it. I love that our tree has ornaments that mean things to us, we have bookmarks and pictures and pipe cleaner snowflakes; I wouldn't want it any other way. You can have your perfectly decorated and fluffed tree. I'll take my memory tree any day. Not shown-I couldn't get our tree topper in the photo-our poor crooked little angel. It's hard putting that thing on straight! Just keeping it real here folks.
I'm linking this post to Thrifty Decor Chick's Tree Party and Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes.

That's the tour, at least until I finish another project or two...

Also, look at my pretty, pretty packages! I just had to add them. So cute.

Friday Favorite- Christmas Ornament

I love the Christmas season. One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating the tree (artificial, pre lit, I know-it's almost sacreligious). Our tree isn't themed or decorated for an editorial.It has years of memories, handprints, even some dried pasta.
Bookmarks, pipe cleaners, and construction paper with feathers. Why not? Each year I try to add an ornament or two to remind us of the year, maybe a trip we've taken or something we've done. This year, I really enjoyed going to antique markets and finding cool retro objects. It's not surprising that my favorite ornament this year is from the Marburger trip (with Eddie Ross and Tori Spelling). The little reindeer ornament below is part of a set of six intact sweet little ringing ornaments. I have no doubt that it was originally red, but I LOVE the burnt orange color she sports now. Hook 'em! Plus, my life is full of deer now (See also: Ted Nugenty husband and turning into Ted Nugent daughter, talk about deer, multiple purchases of deer corn, where to hunt them, etc.).
My Friday Favorite- my vintage Texas reindeer ornament!

Sharing is Hard

My daughter needed a candy bar for a school project. (Tangent, I don't recall ever getting to bring candy to school when I was a kid. Hmph). I ended up buying two packages of Reese's, just in case. This meant that we had an extra package of candy in the house tonight. This is a rare occurrence. Somehow the kids convinced my husband to let them have some of the candy before dinner (pushover!). As he was cutting one of the cups in half, our younger daughter M, had the following conversation with him:

"Daddy, there are two."
M, I'm getting it now.
These are two. There are two. There are two. (Said with increasing urgency and volume)
Grabbing his arm forcefully, "Daddy, didn't you hear me?! There are TWO!!"
Nice try, you're getting half.

Love Thursday-Family Traits

Love Thursday is back! Whoo. Or, more accurately, I finally remembered to actually write something. Whoo?!

It's pretty well established that my husband has somehow turned into Ted Nugent. (Him-"I'm not at all like Ted Nugent, Elz. Ted uses a bow. I use a gun." Me-"The fact that you know that means that you ARE Ted Nugent.") This season, my husband decided that our older daughter can go out hunting with him now that she is 7. This doesn't mean that she's shooting anything, or at least I hope she's not! She basically goes out with daddy and sits in the blind reading or playing with his phone while he hunts. But, it's their thing they do together. Meanwhile, M and I use that time to sleep and snuggle under the warm covers. That's my kind of girl!

Last week my husband took a few days to go on a hunting trip in South Texas. He found a nice buck on Sunday and sent me a text. I briefly looked at the text and photo and thought, "Ugh, gross." I told the girls, "Girls, come over here and see the deer daddy got." Em- "Wow. Daddy got a BIG buck." M- "That's disgusting."

As a follow-up, my husband's statement concerning the deer: "Don't worry, Elz. I didn't order a big mount, I ordered a Texas mount. That means it's just the antlers and the skull." Me-thinking *Lovely.*

Nothing says love like family traits!

Friday Favorite- Christmas List

December already?! Ack. Time to start making that list. I love making lists and picking out my favorite things; I should have been Oprah. Here's five of my Christmas list favorites:
Cloth bound classics from Penguin
I love the idea of a set of cloth bound books on display (and for the girls to read). I love this copy of "Anne of Green Gables," and would add "Little Women," Emma," (Ok, all the Austen books!) and "The Secret Garden."
*Edited to add- Guess what was on sale today at Anthropologie? Ha! Got a couple for the girls' room. And, so the collection begins!
Target Swanepoel hat
I saw the Swanepoel hats for Target the other day and I had to take a moment. I guess it's really not a surprise that I love something from a Target designer collaboration (see also: Missoni, Orla Kiely, and Liberty for Target!). I love these hats, they look like something from the 1940s. Since I love that aesthetic, the hats are perfect. The hats are also completely impractical for my life. Plus, I look terrible in hats. I can't deny it. I MUST have this hat. WANT.

Roma bag from Ona
While I love the camera bag/purse I have (Lola from Epiphanie), sometimes I want to take another bag out and about. There are times I don't want to take my bag traveling; it would be nice to be able to take whatever bag I want and know that my camera is protected. The Roma camera organizer looks like it might be exactly what I want. At $50, it's the right price too. From Ona bags.
The Pippa bag from Modalu. I'm not going to lie. This purse is really the only thing I am DYING to get this Christmas. It is really tough to find nice gray accessories. From what I've read online, the bag has great reviews. It is a bit expensive, but I can see using this bag for years to come. Completely worth it. Also, you can sort of pretend that you have a link to the royal family carrying the bag...maybe?!
J. Crew Heart Me sweater- this is a cheat item since I already bought it! I just love this sweater from J. Crew so much. I think it almost crosses over to the twee, but straddles the line. I plan on wearing it with a beige/tan skirt at work and with skinny jeans on the weekends. Unfortunately, it's sold out online. But, available in stores. J Crew ran a great deal the other day on its sweaters, I called and they found it for me. Crossing my fingers that it fits!