Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Belated Christmas Recap!


(Our pretty tree and living room all decked out in Christmas cheer!)

So I know that Christmas was almost a month ago and the store shelves are now filled with a bipolar mix of red hearts and chocolate bunnies… but you know what? I’m a rebel (well a procrastinator, really), so darn it, I’m going to post Christmas photos anyway!

Hope you enjoy taking a peak into how we deck the halls in my home (we admittedly & proudly go slightly over board) and some special moments from my Christmas 2013… even if we are already half way through January 2014! ;)

Christmas 2013 -



Picking out a Christmas tree! It was an usually freezing Texas day but this is one of my favorite Christmas moments so I didn’t care. You just cannot beat the smell of a real tree! The loveliest aroma! And then some (but definitely not all) of our pretty ornaments.


PicMonkey Collage5

Another picture of our Christmassy living room and some more holiday décor!




Christmas in our kitchen! The pink tree is definitely a favorite of mine, it adds a little Christmassy quirk! And for the second year we made the cute (& super easy)cupcake liner Christmas tree on the door (idea courtesy of Pinterest). The “Joy” and “Noel” banners are from a craft kit from Hobby Lobby. My sister and I both made one when she was visiting in October. It got glitter everywhere (almost a month later & still finding glitter all over the place) and would not stay up for nothing but it was really cute… and that’s all that matters right? lol

And yes, that is a Pillsbury Dough Boy cookie jar wearing a Santa hat :D.

PicMonkey Collage22

Christmas dinner place setting. A close up of kitchen décor. And the adorable Christmas aprons my sister bought for my mom and I! The elf belongs to me and Mrs. Santa is my mom’s. Too cute!



Christmas desserts! A Black Tie Mousse Cake Trifle that I made and my dad’s traditional White Chocolate Raspberry Cake (wouldn’t be Christmas without it).

The trifle actually started out as a cake. I was making a copy cat recipe of Olive Garden’s Black Tie Mousse Cake but half way through baking, I encountered a little problem. After baking the cake in a regular cake pan your supposed to transport it to a spring form pan to assemble. Well the only spring for pan that I have is huge, way bigger than the cake was. So needless to say, I had no choice but to improvise. Still turned so delish (& pretty too, I think). Definitely want to try and make it the right way at some point.

PicMonkey Collage4

More Christmas treats! Staying warm with some sweet apple cider on Christmas Eve. Wouldn’t be the holidays without peanut butter blossom cookies, would it? And Raspberry Linzer Cookies (delish & so festive)!

PicMonkey Collage1

Some sugar cookie making! So to state the obvious, we cannot decorate cookies to save our lives lol. But it’s tradition and it’s fun!


So my mom and I got all creative and “Pinteresty” wrapping some of my sister’s Christmas gifts… and when she opened them up on Christmas day (over Skype, cause she lives in GA) she… didn’t even seem to notice a thing lol. But to her credit, she later said she was just sleepy and did in fact think they were really cute (well… actually she called them “hipster” but whatever).


My favorite Christmas gift!!! My parents bought me this lovely purple coffee maker! I’m completely in love with it, let me tell ya! So this is my little coffee corner, if you will. And yes, even the cow creamer gets a Santa hat in our house… cause you know, why wouldn’t it? ;)



New Years Eve with my family! My mom & I made tamales (not pictured) with my sister over Skype early in the day. It was my grandma’s New Years Eve tradition and we’re trying to keep it alive. They turned out so amazing! We also had some cheese fondue with French bread, played with sparklers, watched the ball drop, and prayed & toasted the New Year with some sparkling grape juice! A lovely start to 2014!


Last but not least, Christmas décor at the bay in my town!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Oh Hello 2014!



Hey lovelies! I do not know how 2014 snuck up on us so fast but I really hope yours is off to a great start!

If I’m being honest, when I look back at 2013 I’m tempted to feel disappointed. There were a lot of major goals and life changes that I had on my list last year that, for one reason or another, just didn’t happen. I kinda feel like I was so close but yet so far. I was thinking about all this on New Years Eve and in the midst of enjoying tamales, cheese fondue, and sparklers with my family, I started feeling a little bummed about it.

Today was the day I supposed to start school at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin (blogged about it here). I was supposed to don an all white outfit and chefs cap (that would inevitably make me look like a marshmallow) with ugly black work shoes and join all the other obsessed bakers in one of the beautiful Le Cordon Bleu kitchens and learn about one of my biggest passions, baking. And I was looking forward to it like crazy! Well, best laid plans. For a few different reasons, it’s just not going to happen right now. Set backs… not a fan.

So what am I doing tonight to help me feel better… I’m getting in my kitchen and baking a freakin’ cake lol. Even though, yes, it does go against my New Years healthier eating goal.

But you know what, set backs happen, that’s life. What matters is that I pick myself up and keep on moving and trying. As cheesy as it may sound I really do believe that you only fail when you don’t try.

I know what I want. Hallelujah, for the first time in my life I know what I want. That in itself is a small miracle. And I’m not content with letting set backs stop me. Not anymore. So obviously, my biggest goal for 2014 is getting myself to Austin and becoming a student at Le Cordon Bleu.

new year2


So yes, while 2013 was marked by set backs it was also marked by some other things too. It was marked by stepping out of my comfort zone probably more than I ever have, it was marked by believing that I really am capable of living my dreams, it was marked by not just sitting on my behind but actually taking steps to living out those dreams, it was marked by growth, it was marked by exploring new territory, and it was marked by believing that God placed specific dreams in my heart for a reason.

So because of those reasons I refuse to look at 2013 as a failure. I choose to see it as a success. I won’t look back with disappointment but instead will see how far I’ve come and look forward with hope. The hope of taking more steps in 2014 to get to the place that I’m supposed to be.



A lot of people pick a certain word as a theme for their life in the new year. In previous years words like “free” and “forgiveness” meant a lot to me and were themes for the year. For 2014 I really wasn’t sure… there are a lot of words that speak to my heart about what I want 2014 to be and to hold. Some of them are: journey, milestones, bravery, courage, dream, create, new, do, live, adventure, experience, explore. But I think that the one word that encompasses it all is simply, fly.



My sister gave me this lovely butterfly necklace for Christmas. Being as amazing as she is and always believing in me, she said she wants it to be a reminder of courage. A reminder around my neck to fly. Maybe butterflies are our thing since I got her a butterfly ring years ago for very much the same reason. She’s kinda awesome. So my word for 2014 is “fly”.

Other Random Goals for 2014 -

*Learn French – It’s such a lovely language and I’m obsessed.

*Eat healthier and start working out again – This is the typical new years goal but I just really want to be healthier. This is also tough because of my little baking hobby/addiction. I really want to learn how to live with moderation and balance.

*Take a pottery class - Found one that’s really close to where I live.

*Improve my baking (& cooking) skills – Making my “to bake” list for 2014. Perfecting French Macarons is definitely high on that list.

*Sell more of my baked goods – Did this a little bit over the holidays and really enjoyed it. I can honestly say that it can be really stressful but really fun all at the same time lol. And I actually have already taken a step to doing more of it!

*Learn sign language – Ever since I became a crazy fan of the show Switched at Birth (on ABC Family. It’s so awesome!!) I’ve developed a fascination with ASL. It’s such a beautiful language! I already know the whole alphabet in ASL so that’s a start, right?

*Do more crafts, art journaling, & smash booking – These creative outlets are so so fun and really keep me sane!

*Keep blogging and get better at blogging – I was so about ready to throw in the towel last year but somehow, thanks to a blog a day challenge that I did back in September, I have fallen in love with blogging all over again.

*Yes, this contradicts the goal above but nonetheless, less computer time in order to make more time for things like – Writing… you know the old fashioned way, pen and paper. Reading, praying, crafts, working out, … anything other than holding a computer for hours at time.

So those are some of my smaller goals in addition to the biggest one. Wish me luck… or rather just say a little prayer for me, will you? I’ll need it. ;)