How did my baby turn 4? This was probably the best year in terms of his excitement. He could barely contain himself waiting for Christmas, his birthday and then New Year's Eve. I think he's a little overwhelmed with all the toys and craziness but I'm hoping a week or so of regular bedtimes and being back on schedule and he'll settle down a bit.
Everyone starts back to school or work Monday. My plan was to drop the Tornado off at school and then treat myself to a McDonald's biscuit but they've already announced that school will be delayed by 2 hours so the indulgence will have to wait a few days.
Chef of the Month -
This month I used cookbooks from Southern Plate and The Pioneer Woman. These books were much more approachable than the books I've used in other months. The ingredient list was always under 10 and generally the instructions were only around 5. My favorites were probably the "Bama" Steak & Cheese Sandwiches and the Big and Juicy Burgers from Come Home to Supper and the chicken fajitas from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays. Also I adore the Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Pancakes and her Creamy Mashed Potatoes are the standard I hold all mashed potatoes too. There were so recipes that I wanted to get too but couldn't. This month may have to have a repeat in a few months.
Next month will be the chefs from The Chew - Mario Batali, Michael Symons, Carla Hall, Daphne Oz and the 2 books from the show.
A ridiculous amount of my life involves Pinterest. In fact part of my New Years resolutions involved organizing my boards so I can use them more effectively. This past month I spent some time playing around with my fitness boards. There's so many great workouts on Youtube but I don't always have time to hunt them down. So my plan is to pin one I like after completing it and add how long it takes in the description.
I did a lot of craft pins this month but the one that I was most looking forward to recreating was this outfit from Lilly Style. I have the sweater and loved how it looked with the gold jewelry and the boots. My boots only come up to my knee and my necklace was a bronze pendant instead of the heavy chain she's wearing. Since I pulled the sweater out of the back of my closest I've come up with several other ways to wear it!
These Brown Butter Cranberry Crumble Bars from Crumbs and Chaos look absolutely divine. I'm also really looking forward to making this White Cheddar Beer Bread from How Sweet It Is. I think it will go just perfect with a pasta soup I'm planning on making for dinner this week.
This month wasn't my favorite Birchbox but I'm still having lovely dreams about that mint cookie Ghiradelli bar. I have re- discovered the amika Obliphica Perk Up Dry Shampoo that I got in my September box. I wasn't overly thrilled when I got it since I'd never had much luck with dry shampoo. I have to say I'm 100% on the dry shampoo bandwagon after picking this up in a moment of greasy hair driven desperation a few weeks ago. This stuff is magic.
Ipsy did a fantastic job this month. My favorite thing is the Mirabella eye blender brush which I've used pretty much every day since I got it. It some how does a perfect job distributing just the right amount of shadow exactly where I want it. Plus it retails for close to 3 times the amount I paid for the entire bag.
Then there's my new favorite indulgence - Golden Tote. I can never rationalize buying one of the more expensive subscriptions and while love other people's Stitchfix reviews I'm not sure I could talk myself into that either. Golden Tote is the best of both. I got the $49 bag which meant I picked out my very favorite owl sweater and then got 2 other pieces. I love all 3 and the dress makes me feel like Kate Middleton. I'm going to make some outfits with the pieces I got and bombard you with pictures Monday. Right now I'm just anxiously checking the Golden Tote sight waiting for them to put up their new January stuff.
Looking Ahead -
I love a new year. Something about getting to start fresh makes me all energetic and productive. I have given completely and totally in to my list making tendencies and now have notebooks for everything. Menu notebook, spending notebook, recipe notebook, house ideas notebook, holiday notebook and finally the reappearance of the To Do List notebook. I'd done a daily To Do List for years but sometime during the summer it just kind of quit working for me so I abandoned it. I've decided to jump start it again but do a weekly instead of a daily. Big exciting times around here! Also, January's goal seems to be clean out. I seriously doubt I'm alone in this. There's just something so liberating about having organized shelves. And it's even better if you get to cross organizing shelves off your To Do List!