Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Out With The Old

This time of year can be especially difficult with all the extras.  There are extra goodies and candy, extra parties with adult beverages, and extra rich food in general.  Somewhere along the line, and I'm not even sure when, I made up my mind I would not let those things control me this year.  I think it had something to do with realizing that I feel so much better physically when I don't overdo it on any one of those things.

So, even though all of the above mentioned, plus more, has been around, I've been doing fine.  I have been able to allow myself two chocolate covered cherries  or one piece of peppermint bark, and then let them go.  Maybe it's knowing that I can and will have them anytime I choose again?  I'm not sure but it has been working out very well for me up to the point where I've had a couple days with no extras at all.

Christmas Day went very well, even with the extra people.  I even figured out how to get everyone seated in my tiny "dining room." It's sort of funny to me that I was so super stressed in the days leading up to this.  The seating was really worrying me a lot and out of nowhere on my drive home from work Christmas Eve, I figured out what to do.  If I have this same group next year, I'm sure I won't feel stressed in the least.

Getting everyone a seat meant I was able to use my beloved Christmas china (rather than paper plates), except for 1 plate.  I planned to use the non-matching, but still pretty plate myself but sweet, independent Gracie claimed that plate as soon as she saw it.  She was actually proud that she had the only peacock plate lol!

We had our usual meal of a tenderloin roast with gorgonzola sauce, brown sugar cured spiral ham, our special holiday potatoes, spoon bread, rolls, green beans almondine, Caesar salad, and blueberry salad.  To say we dined sufficiently would be an understatement.   I also made my usual champagne cocktail that several of us enjoyed.

This year, for the first time in forever, I did not receive one piece of jewelry or new bottle of perfume. That was a bit my doing though.  About 2 months ago, my food processor didn't want to work unless you pushed down on the bowl while it was on.  Something broke in the mechanism that was created as a safety feature so it didn't think the bowl was seated properly.  I found the receipt for it while cleaning files and turns out, it was 20 years old!  I'd say I got my money's worth.  So, I had put that on my list, along with a new product called the Ninja Coffee Concierge.  It's a machine that will either brew a pot of coffee or a travel cup or a smaller cup. This appealed to me because sometimes I just want one cup of coffee after dinner or on a cold Saturday afternoon. I know a lot of people have gone to Keurig but we drink too much coffee to make that cost effective.  I had also asked for new running shoes, and a new led nail light as I've been doing my own gel nails for a few years now. Well, between Mr. Helen and Little Helen, I got them all!   Plus I received a bunch of other smaller items and the aforementioned seasonal candies I love.  While it might have been the year of practical, I was every bit as happy as if I'd been given a diamond.

This week has been a week of getting back to somewhat normal - at least the mall is closing at regular hours again, though it's full of teenagers at night since there is no school this week.  It's very quiet at my regular job as well, which always makes me wish I'd taken time off.  On the other hand, why take time off when the weather is so-so? I'd rather save it for summer.

We have no plans for New Year's Eve so that usually means we fall asleep on the sofa trying to make it to the ball drop at midnight.  I still need to take down the Christmas tree and de-holiday the house, so maybe I'll do that in an effort to stay up later!  

This new year looming feels very different than our last year filled with big events. Though Christmas seemed to be themed "out with the old," there are no specific plans or goals towards that in 2016. In fact, the older I get, the less I seem to like resolutions or very specific goals.  I think I've learned you never know what life will throw your way. So, for the Helen household, we'll just plan on a continuation of seeking our best happy, healthy life.  I wish that for all my friends too.


  1. I must go check out that coffee pot we have used a 4 cup Mr. Coffee forever (over 10 years now) so I fear it is on its last legs. We always wait till after Christmas sales to shop you get better deals than the lead up to Christmas.
    I am like you I don't like resolutions or setting goals the older I have gotten. This is the first year probably in my whole adult life I have no weight goal to achieve and it feels glorious I love right where I am at.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  2. Blogger just ate my whole comment. Grrr.

    2015 was quite a year for you. I hope that you have a wonderful and happy 2016 (and beyond).

    We have an Aeropress for single cups and I love it. The coffee tastes great from it. I am tempted to ditch the Bunn all together and just use it, if it wasn't so time consuming to do each cup.

  3. I need that coffee maker! I can't count how much coffee I waste by brewing an entire pot for just one cup.
    Fantastic Christmas!!
    Love ..."seeking our best happy, healthy life." Beautiful!

  4. I love that your holiday went well and you got some loot you can use! I've worked so many New Years Eve's that I am more than happy to stay home. I think Hannah and Jacob and I will go out to dinner tonight though. 2016 is going to be the year of me - and not having to take of anyone else but myself and not feeling guilty about it either :D

    Happy New Year my friend!

  5. Your Christmas dinner sounds delicious, and I not only know which peacock plate you are referring to, I love that Gracie picked it. Your gifties are sweet that your family takes care of you like that. :)

    Here's to an even-keeled 2016, for all of us! Happy New Year, Helen!

  6. You got some fun presents there--the kind I always enjoy getting. Happy New Year Helen!

  7. That is the best way to be.......just making the new year the best and happiest! Thats the biggest and best!

  8. I've been reading your blog for years, and I still love it as much as ever. You're so down to earth and upfront with your life. It sounds like you had a great Christmas (I love that you do your own nails - me too!). And now your are going to have a great new year.

  9. Happy New Year Helen.

    I wish that 2016 will be a fantastic year for you and Mr. Helen.

    PS: I love the gifts that you got for Christmas.

  10. Cheers to a wonderful 2016 Helen!!!!! (love that Gracie claimed the non matching plate. That is adorable!)