Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Things I Loved Over the Holidays // late-December to early-January

Halfway through January?! It's been a minute since my last post. Our holidays were relaxing, quiet, indulgent, and Covid-free. Who could ask for more? The following is a shit-ton of sweetness that I had planned to share several times and never got around to... until now.

Cake in a cup

Take a peek at this sweet surprise! Piper joined a club at school this year that is a part of a larger, national organization "Cookies for Kids' Cancer" which hosts bake sales in support of  pediatric cancer research centers. She scoped out Pinterest and came across this sweet idea to make a mini-cake trifle in a plastic cup. They turned out very cute and were so simple (though, a little time consuming). With the re-rise of positive Covid numbers this season, keep this idea in your back pocket for occasions when individual servings would be appreciated. They're incredibly versatile with different flavors, toppings, and even baked goods (consider brownies, crumbled cookie chunks, or pre-bought angle food).

The Nutcracker

What a JOY it was to see the Nutcracker this year! I haven't taken the girls to see this show since 2013 when Geneva famously said upon leaving the theatre (in her 7 year old voice), "Ugh. Please tell me we don't have to do THAT again. I can't believe they tried telling a story without using any words!" Ha! Well, with maturity comes a new appreciation. We all absolutely loved the show. It was especially amazing to watch Piper's sweet friend, Mary, in the role of Clara.

Dinner Parties and Gathering with Friends

'Twas the season for dressing up and indulging! After months of low-key to no gatherings, it seemed like everyone was ready to get after it this holiday (pre-Omicron, that is). I certainly was and I did! Thanks to the gracious and lovely hostesses who put on the most delightful soirées --giving me a reason to get out of my jammies.

Can we always just tie our napkins like my friend, Loren?

Lifter Gloss

These have been favorites for a long time --ever since my friend, Gretchen, introduced me. These "holiday" colors were a go-to this season and are honestly super sheer and versatile for any time of year. Here I have three wrapped to gift in a "White Elephant Favorite" exchange I had with girlfriends. Affordable and luxurious. Who doesn't love that?

Telling Her Stories

This girl has always been great at providing a debrief of her day. Here she was on the verge of tweendom and in the second shot, on the verge of 15. She sometimes still confides in me --but for the sensitive stuff, she has her dog. :) In all seriousness, if you're looking to find ways to start conversations with your tweens and teens (or improve conversations with really, anyone) look no further than Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen by my friend, Michelle Icard. It's developmentally appropriate for kids to start pulling away during middle school on their journey toward becoming fully functioning adults --and it might seem like it's easier to just stop trying to talk to them altogether, but they really DO still want you to engage. Figuring out a "new language" and approach for continued and better conversations is what Michelle specializes in teaching parents everywhere.

Anniversary with Michelle

Speaking of my friend, Michelle Icard, in December of 2020 she came to me with a crazy idea: to help her out with her social media platforms. I was like, "I don't do that." And she was all, "Right... but I think you should." It's been such a fun job and my boss is so cool! We share as many laughs as we do strategies and plans and she never (outwardly) expresses frustration when I miss every single typo. Cheers to her continued success --because, as I've already mentioned, parents everywhere gain so much wisdom and insight from her work.


Holiday Concert

What a pleasure it is to listen to the Myers Park High School Bands perform! My freshman French Horn player is in the Symphonic band and my sophomore flutist plays in the Wind Ensemble. Their band teacher also directs a super impressive Jazz band that is really something else! For those of you listening to your little ones squeak out "notes" on their new instruments of choice, do grit your teeth through the early stages because the quality grows with the kiddos and before long, they will knock your socks off!

The One by John Marrs & Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Wintrop

Here are two quick reads that I found totally enjoyable and entertaining through the holiday break. In The One, John Marrs presents a story in the not-so-distant future where DNA technology allows a simple cotton swab of the cheek to match you with your scientifically accurate romantic match. Sounds too good to be true --but it's not --until it's true but no longer good. I didn't want to put it down. Very Sincerely Yours was a sugary-sweet romance that read like candy and was just what I wanted for the moment. I enjoy a variety of stories and this one fit the bill for light and fun just right!

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