Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Life Lately | December

life lately december
We plan and God laughs, right? I *thought* I was doing well this week with 2 posts scheduled and this one (that takes the longest for me to write each month) about an hour away from finishing. Then I woke up Monday with a migraine that lasted 3 days! And I was completely OUT-OF-SERVICE guys. Like asleep literally all Tuesday and most of Wednesday. So this post is going live a little later than I wanted and I'm a little behind with commenting, but it's all good. Matt basically thinks I'm superhuman since he was the one running the household for a few days (and that is never a bad thing)! Haha! 

Books I've Read
  • The Gift by Cecelia Ahern- I recently joined a local book club and this was the December book. The story is about a man named Lou Suffern who has a successful, demanding career which often takes priority over his wife and children. One morning on his way to work, Lou meets a homeless man named Gabe and buys him a cup of coffee then gives him a job—something completely unlike Lou.  Gabe begins to pop up at the oddest of times and making Lou rethink his life and priorities. With Lou’s personal and professional fates at important crossroads, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show Lou what truly matters, hopefully before it is too late. The book had a good message to it, although the main character was difficult to like. Overall I'd rate it a 3/5.
Products I've Been Using
Life Lately | December
  • Scent Beauty- I got some new fragrances from Scent Beauty this month I was excited to try! The Cher scent is unisex with notes of bergamot, clove, orange flower, sandalwood, and neroli to make this spicy, sensual scent once that we all will love! And can we talk about the packaging and bottle please? It's so fun! Don't forget to use code IDODECLAIRE if you order!
  • IPL facial- Late November and early December I got IPL facials. If you aren't familiar with IPL facials they are targeted lasers for your skin (normally face) to help remove excess pigment from melasma or sunspots. Ever since I was pregnant I had some issues and tried lightening creams, microdermabrasion, Vitamin C, and more. It had lightened, but I wasn't quite happy. There was an amazing deal on Groupon for a nearby place for 2 facials so I booked them. Honestly, it was not a pleasant experience. The laser feels like a rubber band snapping on your skin over and over again. I had redness immediately afterwards then my spots darkened over the next day or so. But then once those spots sloughed off, my skin was so much more clear and even! I notice a big difference and need much less makeup! Now if only I could do something about those under eye circles! Haha! If you have questions about my experience, feel free to ask! I am an open book. I would definitely do it again if needed. The end was definitely worth the means! 
Life Lately | December

Recipes I've Tried 

Life Lately | December
  • Turkey Croquettes- This was one of the recipes I recommended to help you use up leftovers. They did need some extra eg to help them hold together, but were quite tasty! 
  • Ham Stromboli- Super fast and good! I wish I had brushed the outside with a bit of butter or olive oil before baking though. 
  • One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner- This had good flavor, but the chicken came out really dry. I think if I made this again I would marinate it for at least a day. 
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch Pie- We had extra cereal I wanted to use up since the kids weren't eating it. Honestly I think this had potential, especially the crust, but it needed more cinnamon flavor to the filling. 
  • Red Pepper Soup- Matt and I really liked this! I used the immersion blender to make it a bit more smooth and it was so easy and tasty! 
  • BBQ Chicken Soup- We had this for dinner on Christmas Eve night. I made it in the slow cooker. It was SO quick and easy! I loved the taste! Even Avie and Claire had every last drop! 
  • Funfetti Sugar Cookie Cake-Claire didn't want cake for her birthday so I made her this cookie cake. It was very good and we LOVED the almond frosting! 
  • Beginning- I am hoping to begin getting quotes for a few house items like painting our master bedroom and entryway. We'd like to get wainscoting in this area as well and trying to decide which will come first! 
  • Feeling- I'm currently feeling hopeful. We have 2 vaccines and people receiving it so I am hopeful it is the beginning of the end of this pandemic! Only 1 year taken from our lives (eye roll). 
  • Organizing- I'm just finishing up organizing all of the new Christmas toys we received! The girls were very blessed! Thankfully we had gone through most areas prior to Christmas so there was room for the toys and such. 
  • Resolving- I recently joined an online book club. It's local, but online for now. Hopefully to be in-person later in 2021. I am resolving to continue with their book selections each month. It's a great motivator to read at just the perfect time when I am struggling to find the time!
  • Wondering- I'm wondering when we will get some snow that sticks! Part of me is happy because it makes running much easier, but the other part of me wants some fun for my kids! 
  • Family Update-
    • Aveline- Avie had a wonderful Christmas and absolutely loved every bit of the Elf on the Shelf and Santa and opening gifts. Last year she had just turned 2 and didn't quite understand, but this was her year. If you are a parent you understand how fun seeing the anticipation of it in a child and how excited they get! 
    • Claire- My little (not so little) 8 year old! Claire had a wonderful birthday and Christmas, too! We were able to have a socially distanced breakfast with Santa outside and there was a Santa that drove past our house one night, too! We even went to see the Morton Arboretum lights display on Christmas night. SO magical! Both kids were absolutely entranced. Claire has been going through her arts and craft kits she got as gifts like crazy already. She had an absolute blast with her cousin who visited for a few days after Christmas as a birthday-type celebration. Aubrey (her cousin) is a fantastic big sister and both Claire and Aubrey were really sweet including Aveline on many of their activities!
    • Me- It was a busy month, but since we started getting things ready and purchased so early the week leading up to Christmas wasn't nearly as hectic as it normally is. I really enjoyed it! And thankfully the weather has held so I can still run outside a few days a week. The past week has been bliss having Matt at home full time! We all enjoyed being able to attend a drive-in church service for Christmas Eve. We've really missed actually going to church the past year!
    • Matt- I think Matt's Christmas was good. He got a much-needed new grill and was really excited about his drink-smoker. It infuses smoke into drinks! He's been playing around with it at night and having fun! He only had to travel once this past month and I was really thankful for that. 
Life Lately | December

Life Lately | December

Life Lately | December

December Goals Recap 
Life Lately | December
The Partners in Crime! 
  1. Sort and organize dresses and skirts- Done! And I was able to donate a few items, too! 
  2. List things on Poshmark- This just didn't happen. Things were too busy! 
  3. Bake a Christmas cookie batch a week- I made 5 different recipes. Not as many as last year, but we didn't really give any out so more than enough for the family! 
  4. Schedule/plan Claire's birthday sleepover and order cake- Claire wanted a homemade cookie cake so we ordered an LOL topper and she loved it! Normally she doesn't eat cake so I'm happy she picked something she enjoyed! She had a really fun time with her cousin.
It doesn't look much different, but I swear, it's much more organized!
January Goals 
  1. Strip wash my towels- I keep reading about this method of cleaning your clothing. I would love to try this with my towels and see how it works! I have a feeling it is going to be addictive! 
  2. Start the process of switching blog platform- After 8 years it is time guys! I have noticed my posts taking over a minute to load and if it is driving me nuts I'm sure it is frustrating to other people. I've been putting it off because I was worried about finding time to figure out how to use a new platform, but I'm sure it will be fine! 
  3. Read the January book club book- It's a non-fiction one this month which isn't my typical pick, but I'm still looking forward to it! 
  4. List things on Poshmark- We will attempt this again! 
  5. Hang pictures in guest bedroom- We have a mirror and 2 pictures in the guest bedroom that we need to hang. Not that we will have any guests soon, but it would be nice to get it done! 

linking up with Anne & Gretchen + KristenWhat's Up Wednesday

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