2017 was an incredible year for our little family. We welcomed our miracle, Parker, in January and spent the rest of the year loving on him & getting to know our sweet boy, and settling in with our new roles as parents and, for me, as a stay at home mom. My blog has allowed me to keep channeling my creativity and passion for photography, photo styling and writing, so thank you again to everyone who has been here to support me. Blogging got a whole lot harder this past year (you can read about that here) and I've been trying to decide whether to keep doing it or not, so for those of you who have been here with me, thank you so so much. You support honestly means so much.
I took a peek back at my new year's goals that I put forth last January, before Parker arrived. You can read that post here. The three main goals that I set out to accomplish were to learn how to cook, continue to date my husband, and to take care of myself (self-care) after baby. These were good goals for this past year and I'd say that I accomplished all of them to some degree. I loved cooking for Todd and trying new recipes this year, but I'd still like to try to have a family dinner at 5-5:30 each night, which I could improve on. Going on a date night every week was a little ambitious, but we've been good about enjoying each other's company after Parker goes down at night and getting a sitter for an occasional night out. I think your marriage must come first in order to be the best parents you can be. I'd like to think that Todd and I do a really good job of making sure things are going well between us so that we can create a peaceful, loving home for Parker to grow up in, that is centered on Christ. I have also been lucky to have a lot of help, mostly from my mom and her husband, so I have time for me as well. This has enabled me to grow my faith by going to BSF and Mom's Morning at church, connecting with other moms, and also helped give me time to workout (BBG) and play tennis.
2017 was a good year, filled with so many blessings. My heart is very full.
As I start to think about what I want to accomplish in 2018, a few things come to mind...I try to only choose 3 things each year so I am not overwhelmed, so here they are. :)
Strengthening my Faith & Serving Others - I aspire to think less of myself, and what I want, and more about what God wants for me, and how I can serve others and help them feel the love of Christ. I used to look to material possessions or people for happiness, and I was constantly feeling disappointed and like something was missing in my life, I was always searching for more. When I turned to Christ, He fulfilled me in a way that nothing else could. This has also helped me want to serve others and extend His love. Serving and loving others not only blesses them, but blesses you, too and I've experienced this first hand.
To be more Present
As a new parent, I try to spend time reflecting - and one of the questions I ask myself is, if I were to look back, are there any things I am doing that I would regret or want to change? The one thing that comes to mind is the amount of time I spend on my phone. I noticed this early on after I had him, and have made a conscious effort to try and only go on my phone when he's napping or in the care of others, but I can do better. My emails, Pinteresting and Instagramming can wait. Parker is growing up so quickly I don't want to miss out on all of these moments. He deserves to have my full attention. And, the less time I can spend on my phone and getting caught up in the evils that come with it - comparison, in particular, the better for both me and my family.
This one is rather light compared to the other two goals, but I really want to drink more water! I drink a lot of coffee and Spindrift sparkling water but I really want to drink plain water because I think the benefits are so great. I'm hoping to infuse water with different flavors to help make it more flavorful and enjoyable to drink. I want to try to stick to only 1 big cup of coffee in the morning and then drink water throughout the day. I totally quit soda, but love sparkling water... now I just need to drink more plain water. I'm hoping it helps hydrate my skin and just help my body and energy. I could also forego my evening glass of wine more often, too.
Here's to a happy & healthy 2018, filled with love!
Thanks for reading.
Lori Wildenberg came to CPC to speak at Mom's Morning this past fall, where I signed up to receive her emails. I happened to have a really awful day the other day, and right there in my inbox was the encouragement from the spirit that I needed. I loved this post of hers so much, I had to share it here, too. It was titled, 10 things to get rid of this Christmas.
From Lori's Eternal Moments Blog...
During this season, with God’s prompting, I have challenged myself to ditch the qualities that look more like me and less like the babe in the manger.
Here’s my list of 10 characteristics to stop hoarding and 10 qualities (plus a prayer) to replace them.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Today, I'm excited to share a few of my favorite hostess gift ideas with you guys! It takes a lot of time and energy to host a gathering, so I love to give a little gift to the hostess to show my appreciation for having us. Here are some of my favorites... things that I wouldn't normally buy for myself but would love to receive!
O N E
Desk Calendar - This is seriously the prettiest calendar! And I love the gold stand it comes on (you can order it in silver too, if that's your jam). I love it when a new month comes around and I get to turn the card to a pretty new one on my desk.
T W O & S E V E N
Luxury Candle - I can't usually justify spending a lot on a candle, but when it's a gift I can. This candle smells sooo good! I also love the Frasier Fir for the holidays!
T H R E E
This is the cutest little recipe box! So cute it could stay on your countertop. This is another gift idea that I wouldn't normally buy for myself, but would love to get!
F O U R
Who doesn't love a monogrammed hand towel, and they are under $10! I have gold J's in our bathrooms and love them. They add such a nice elegant touch to the bathroom.
F I V E
Copper drink ware! Moscow Mules are a popular cocktail year round and they are the best served in copper cups. You can also monogram these.
S I X
I recently went to a happy hour in my neighborhood and the hostess had drink napkins that had her zipcode on them. They were new to the neighborhood and got them as a moving in gift and I just thought that was the cutest idea.
E I G H T
Monogrammed hand towels and soaps truly make a guest bathroom feel luxurious.
My grandma passed away before I really had the chance to develop a relationship with her. I would've loved to have gotten to know her better and for her meet Parker. I also would've loved to learn all of her tips and recipes for the kitchen. My mom always talks about what a wonderful baker she was. Every year since I can remember, I use her cutout cookie recipe and I think of her as I bake them. So I thought I would share it here in case anyone is interested, the cookies are SOOO yummy! I usually make homemade frosting too, but the cookies don't turn out as pretty, but taste WAY better than the ones with the fancy decorating frostings.
Grandma Dilly's Cutout Cookies
2.5 cups of sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine (I use butter and typically add a little extra)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Sift together flour and salt.
2. Cream the butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla, beat thoroughly - I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment.
3. Stir in sifted dry ingredients.
4. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. I usually just keep the dough in the mixer bowl and cover it for a few hours. You want the dough to be easy to handle and not too sticky otherwise it's a pain!
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Roll out dough, a portion at a time, on a prepared pastry cloth to 1/8 inch thickness (I use a cutting board or parchment paper that is lightly floured. I use a lot of flour on the surface, on the dough and on the rolling pin so it doesn't get sticky. I also make my cookies a little thicker because they are easier to handle.)
7. Use your favorite cutout shapes and then carefully transfer them to a greased baking sheet. (I don't grease mine, I think they are pretreated and theres already so much flour on the bottom of them I don't have a hard time with them sticking.)
8. Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees) until lightly browned on edges - about 7 minutes.
9. Let cool completely, frost/decorate and enjoy!
Grandma Dilly's Homemade Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
1.5 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Add a dabble of hot water
I usually make 3-4 different bowls of this frosting and add food coloring to make the colors I'd like to use to decorate. This frosting is seriously the best, way better than store bought, it's just kinda thicker and isn't as pretty.
I took some close up shots to show how I decorated these. :) I tried to stay consistent with my neutral theme and go with an all white, gold and silver decorating theme. I've linked my pans and favorite decorating goodies at the bottom of the post.
The finished cookie is the one below - middle left - I just added three little prongs at the end of each tip and then lightly sprinkled white sprinkles on top. Ignore the super burnt color, haha! I was feeding Parker while they were baking and got totally distracted.
The frosting I used came out kinda chunky here, but that's ok! I just covered it in white sprinkles anyway so it didn't look so bad.
First line the cookie (make sure you have a pretty fine tip - I used this sparkle frosting from Target). Then draw a straight line out to each point but leave a little space between the outline frosting and the tips. Then create little V's at the end, when finished, add a pearl decorative ball on each of the points for some dimension.
I then added little V's with a dot above them to the center to give it a more fully decorated look.
For this cookie, I just spread the frosting around and added decorative pearls on each of the tips of the snowflake.
For this polka dot decorated cookie, I added large dots of frosting in each corner, then added two smaller dots in the center and put pearls on those smaller dots. I added sprinkles to the bigger dots for different textures.
For this cookie, I piped the outside, then drew lines to each point and then added the decorative pearls.
If colors are more your thing, I did these little reindeer and candy canes too! I did red and white stripes and then covered them in white sugar sprinkles.
You can shop all of my favorite cookie baking things by clicking on any of the pics below!
Hi, welcome to my blog! I started my blog as a way to channel my creativity and document our life happenings. From the pretty, styled shots to the real, raw experiences, too, like our journey to start our family. I love to share about my faith, my personal style for interior decorating, holidays and entertaining & for our little guys. too. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support. XO, Lindsay