Happy New Year!

posted by Andrea | 01/2/2013
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I’m back!

First things first though… I know I’m biased, but isn’t this just the cutest picture ever?

Today I’m sharing a little recap of the past 2 weeks… but tomorrow it’s back to simplifying and organizing!

Christmas Parties:

We had 5 Christmas parties this month and a few more “casual” events — so yeah, we were busy partying away 🙂

Fortunately, our two immediate-family parties were the only parties where we exchanged gifts — and I’m grateful that none of our parents or siblings went over-board with gifts for Nora. The “damage” was minimal and she absolutely loves her new toys and books.

Dave and I don’t really do gifts — we never have — so my “gift” this Christmas was that Nora not only took a nap on Christmas Day (a rare event in itself), but she also fell asleep on my lap (which hasn’t happened since she was a tiny infant!) I’ll take that over a tangible gift any day.

I guess all the parties finally wore her out!


I love a good project — especially if it’s a quick project that can be tackled in an hour or two. Here are some of the projects we worked on during our “vacation”

  • Decluttered and reorganized all our wrapping supplies (I’m blogging about this tomorrow).
  • Decluttered and reorganized all our holiday decorations — as well as a general basement cleaning (I’m blogging about this next week).
  • Made lots of homemade applesauce (I’m blogging about this on Friday).
  • Cleaned out our office closet and we’re in the process of turning it into a little play area for Nora (more on this in a couple weeks).
  • We went through our closet, Nora’s closet, and the laundry room and purged any clothing we didn’t want, need, use, love. (this is a continual process by-the-way!)

This might sound like a lot of projects… but please don’t think I “slaved away” the entire Christmas break. Each of these projects were quick little things that only took an hour or two. Plus, I LOVE doing projects — especially when Dave is around to watch Nora or help me when needed.


Even though Dave and I spent some of our Christmas vacation working and trying to “get ahead”, we still definitely made time for fun.

We used a few gift cards to go out for lunch/dinner a couple times, slept in as long as Nora let us, hung out with family and friends, played in the snow, and basically just relaxed as much as possible.

We also watched a bunch of our favorite Christmas movies:

  • Elf
  • Christmas Vacation
  • Polar Express
  • A Christmas Story
  • 4 Christmases

Knowing us, we probably won’t watch another movie until next Christmas rolls around!

My sister and her husband stayed with us for 2 long weekends — which was actually really nice because they played with Nora and kept her occupied so Dave and I could get stuff done — and even go out on a couple dates!

Dave read books and played on the iPad with Nora for many, many hours… and I’m certain she’s still not sick of hearing the same stories and watching the same Curious George episodes over and over again!

Obviously, the time went way too fast — it always does — however, I’m extremely thankful I was able to take a two-week break.

I’m looking forward to another New Year, a fresh start, a new beginning. I have a bunch of ideas, recipes, projects, giveaways, and tips to share with you in the next few weeks… so get ready to get organized!

Happy New Year!

Filed under: FamilyHolidays


Leave a comment


  1. Barbara F.


    Wow, Andrea, you are the most “together” gal I know! I wish I could be more lie you, but I am old enough to be your mom and don’t have energy or ambition like I used to have. The last photo with Dave and Nora is priceless, a perfect father-daughter moment. Frame it and give to Dave for his desk or office for Father’s Day! xo


  2. Angie


    Soooo glad to see you back! Missed you! Sounds like a wonderful Christmas and time off. I remember when I was teaching (taught first grade for 28 years), I would love my 2 week break and tried to get so much done. Now that I’m retired, I can do projects along and along without rushing. My husband is retired too (he was a college professor for 36 years) and he has his own projects. Loving life and loving your helpful blogs! You and Nora make me smile 🙂


  3. kalynbrooke | Creative Savings


    Even though you took a blogging break, did you still work on the blog during that time? Or do you prep beforehand so you didn’t have to do much later?

    I took about a week’s break over Christmas and still felt behind, but the New Year has given me some great ideas and a push to get more things done ahead. 🙂


  4. JoAnn C.


    So glad you’re back. Happy New Year to you and your family.


  5. Katy


    My kids also have the little shape sorter toy Nora got for Christmas. They LOVE it! I’m sure she’ll have a lot of fun with it…and it’s a great way to teach shapes and colors! Glad you had a great break!


  6. Candis


    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
    I was so happy to see a post from you this morning I had to restrain myself from clapping – lol
    Sounds like you guys had so much fun and a much deserved break.
    I am so looking forward to another year of “simplifying and organizing” with your guidance
    YAY!!!!! 🙂


  7. Christina


    Happy New Year and welcome back!
    Is that Russ’s behind you in that one picture?! And I just saw you have a class through the library. I am out in Cascade, so I don’t know that I will venture out to either class, with snow and all, but would love to meet you sometime! Your blog has been such a help to my household. I am pretty simplified, but you always manage to teach me something useful.
    Thanks Andrea!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Christina!
    Yes that is Russ’ in the background 🙂 and yes, I’m speaking for many different groups in January. I think the closest one to you (that’s also open to the public) is the Gaines’ Township library on Jan 19th — but I totally understand about not wanting to venture out in the snow!


    Christina Reply:

    I may just head that way, as there is a bread outlet (Aunt Millie’s, I think) on 68th between Clyde Park & Division. YOU have to go to Horrocks if you are over that far and have a sitter! I promise you will love it! It will inspire you. I love the smell in the atrium of the fresh earth & flowers in the dead of winter!

    And Shelley, that’s too funny that we all know it’s Russ’! I grew up in Grandville, obviously.


    Shelley Reply:

    I also recognized Russ’ in the pic. How funny!


    Paula Reply:

    I recognized the Russ’. We made it there last week with our 3 DD’s. We now live in GA so we don’t get to experience that very often. I miss Horrocks too.


  8. Tammy Skipper (@Tammy_Skipper)


    Sounds like the perfect Christmas vacation, Happy New Year!