Sunday, January 1, 2017

Out with the Old

I usually wouldn't post on New Year's Day but I prepped about 90% of this one prior to today so I didn't actually have to sit down on my extra day off and write a post.

Here's a bit of catch up from our holidays.

I was once again totally spoiled by my gifts this year.  Among other things, Mr. Helen got me Angel shower gel and lotion.

Some less expensive Asics shoes that I will use for walking and workouts other than running.

And these super cute galoshes, which I have been wanting for a long, long time.  I've already gotten to wear them since when everyone else was getting the big snowstorm last week, we had pouring rain.

Little Helen and husband gave me this gorgeous Le Crueset Tea Kettle and matching dishtowels so I can get a new color scheme going in the kitchen!  She actually will enjoy this a lot as she only drinks good tea.

I also received some new running things - this hat and gloves by a company called Trail Heads.  The hat is reflective so that's good for my early morning winter runs, and the gloves are the warmest gloves I've ever owned.  If you have trouble keeping your hands warm, consider these gloves.  I wore them on a 20 degree day for a 3 mile run and about 1/2 mile from my house I took them off because my hands were sweating!

They also completely shocked me by giving me a new Garmin!  They got me the Garmin 235 which I am loving.  My old Garmin had gotten to the point where I had to charge it every two days, and just the day before Christmas another piece of the strap broke.

This Garmin does the usual Forerunner stuff - GPS tracks your runs, but also has features that I've been enjoying outside of running.. Depending on the options chosen, it acts as a watch, counts your steps, calories burned, you can see text messages/alerts, check the weather, etc. If you download the app to your phone, you can see all the data, plus a map of your run, if you run outside. It will also track runs done indoors, although the one time I tried that it didn't pick up my cadence well.  Maybe I did something wrong. These are all shots from mine one day last week. I don't know if I'll keep wearing all day like I have been but I'm having fun with it for now!

We got our first ever fake tree this year.  Mr. Helen has been wanting to try that for a couple years now, and I found an unlit one at Target for 50% off and decided to buy it.  We wanted unlit because we like to put both white and colored lights on our tree. Then I got a great deal on LED lights on Black Friday - only $4.88 for a string of 150 at Home Depot.  It was the only thing I went out for that day.  I think it turned out pretty, even though it took a bit to get used to it not being a real tree.

Little Helen brought me these two gorgeous ornaments from a Christmas market she went to while on a business trip to Chicago.  They're from Germany and are handpainted.  They looked just gorgeous on the tree.

We also did outside decorations and were lucky enough to get one quick snowstorm to show them off.  Of course it had melted within 24 hours but I was happy to get this picture!

There was an Ugly Sweater gathering at my job.  This is the first year we've done that and it was fun. I'm sort of in the middle and have on the white sweatshirt with the big Christmas Tree (it lit up) and on my left as you look at this photo is the winner.  She took a regular winter sweater and pinned Christmas Tree decorations to it. Hilarious!

I managed to find time to make a couple kinds of cookies this year. I did the family cut out sugar cookie and made one of the mittens a Hanukkah mitten for my son-in-law.  I also made Sandies because they're MY favorite.  Then I made Mud Puddles for the Ugly Sweater thing at work, and I finished off by making Mini Pecan Pies to have a bite of something sweet after our Christmas dinner.
Everyone had their fill and on December 27th when Mr. Helen went back to work, all the leftover cookies went with him!

On Christmas Eve, Little Helen and husband went to my sister-in-law's for her annual lasagna get together. As usual, Mr. Helen had to work until 5:30 so we stayed home and shared a charcuterie platter as our dinner. I put proscuitto, salami, Manchego cheese, Boursin spread, smoked almonds, olives, and cornichons on the platter.  Served with these homemade Parmesan Thyme crackers that I make every Christmas, and some store bought crackers.

Then on Christmas Day, I made the Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Quiche for breakfast - everyone was ready and hungry by 10:00 when we were done with gifts. I also did my traditional champagne cocktail "Rudolph's Nose" even though Little Helen and I were the only one's drinking it.  Shown here in one of the beautiful Twelve Days of Christmas Champagne Flutes I'm blessed to own.

Even though I talk about changing things up, everyone always wants the same meal so we had Roast Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce, spiral ham, Lighthouse Inn Potatoes (named after an inn where I live that always served them - made with cream and butter so not for the faint hearted), roasted brussels sprouts, blueberry salad, and my mom's famous potato rolls. Plus those mini pecan pies for dessert.  Little Helen said she was proud of me for making the sprouts so that we had one green thing since it seems like holiday food concentrates on carbs and protein.  I was too busy eating to remember to take a photo of my plate but trust when I say it was all good.

Even in the midst of grief, it really was a very lovely holiday, but now I'm ready to be done with the old and bring on the new. Happy New Year friends, may you find peace, joy, and love - and any other thing you need in 2017.


  1. What a wonderful sounding Christmas /holiday season for you!!!

    Happy New Year!!!

  2. So happy to hear that your Christmas was a good one! And I am especially thrilled that you got a new Garmin! I use the phone app more than I thought I would, and of course I use Garmin Connect on my desktop just because I need to see things bigger, LOL. Also, I'm intrigued by those super warm gloves...

    I have a snow question - those galoshes are super cute, btw. Do you wear the galoshes whenever you have to walk outside in the snow, and carry a pair of shoes for when you reach your destination (like work, but even shopping?). How many pairs of shoes get ruined each season due to snow?

    Yes, that was a weird tangent. ;) Happy New Year, my friend!

    1. So, if it's actually snow and ice, I wear snow boots. The galoshes are used for rain and slush. We tend to get a lot of snow followed by rain which just makes for wet, nasty conditions. And yes, I wear the galoshes and carry shoes!

  3. Shelley likes the Garmin, but I LOVE the Le Crueset Tea Kettle. How beautiful. It would look really pretty in my kitchen :) I'm glad to hear you had a nice Christmas too.

    1. That was a total surprised as while I had asked for an aqua colored tea kettle, I had put a Chantal model on my wish list. Little Helen spoiled me with that Le Crueset.

  4. Your family loves you! I have the Garmin 230 (no HR monitor) and I love it! It was an upgrade from my Forerunner 10--and wow, what an upgrade! Gives me data that I really don't need, but I'm such a numbers gal, I love it!

    1. I had the Forerunner 305 so this was REALLY an upgrade! I am enjoying it so much.

  5. I love Angel perfume! We have a dupe of it that we sell. It's pretty close, but not quite like the real thing.

  6. I had to laugh because this was the first holiday that I didn't cook very much. Love that you continue your traditions though - and we've had an artificial tree for about 10 years at least, and I don't regret the decision at all. This was the first year the built in lights didn't work, so Hannah bought white strings on sale and we were good to go.

    Happy New Year!

  7. What a great Christmas you had and you are so spoiled. Lovely gifts you got. I use Angel too sometimes, love the smell of it.