Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012...Hello 2013!

Happy New Year!

I thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at the top five most popular posts from 2012. After all, you should never forget where you came from! Before I leave you all to your festivities, I thought I'd wrap up the post by giving you some insight into what 2013 has instore for the Winslett family. But, first thing is first! Let's reminisce, shall we?

The Top Five!

Not too much of a surprise, three of the five top viewed posts were from my wedding series. I can't complain about that because I did spend a lot of time on those posts. 

Now then, as for 2013, what antics will R.J. and I be getting into? Well, we hope to start house-hunting soon which will be a scary BIG adventure! With house-hunting comes some other notable decisions/efforts for 2013. R.J. has been studying up for his CDL license in hopes of moving up at Buffalo Rock. Together, we've decided to tackle our finances for the coming year the good ole Dave Ramsey way. Our goal for January is not to eat out AT ALL for the whole month - gotta pay those student loans off somehow!

As for my contribution, I will continue to be working part-time at the daycare with my precious two-year-old class. However, the most notable upcoming change for me involves my stationary designing business. After having some confuse my Etsy shop with this blog, I decided to rename my official business to PaperLark Studio

I have decided to make PaperLark my second part-time job and go at it full throttle. While it may not seem like an earth-shattering announcement, it is a huge decision for myself - one which I am quite proud of. Previously this year, I had an experience in the workplace that rocked me to my core. I found myself lacking in self-confidence and severely questioning my abilities. 

Through my work with my Etsy shop and this blog, I have realized my new dream and rebuilt my confidence. While my old passion for writing has not been thrown to the wayside, I have found a way to incorporate both my love for writing and thirst for creativity into one dream - PaperLark Studio. With unrelenting encouragement and support from my husband and family, I now feel prepared to take the risk and run at my dream full-fledged again. 

So, what does this mean? More designs will be hitting the shop, craft shows galore, completing my business plan, learning the ins and outs of accounting for my business, some hefty marketing schemes and so much more exciting things! I hope each of you will support me in my future business venture and will look forward to working with you any way possible. Any and all prayers will be appreciated as will any advice or help!

As 2013 creeps closer, I hope you are as excited as I am for coming year and all it holds. May 2013 bring you and your loved ones thrilling adventures, lots of love and an abundance of blessings. 

Until next time!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

12 Dates of Christmas: RECAP!

Greetings readers!

Hiatus is officially over. Woot woot! So, jumping right in...

The 12 Dates of Christmas were so much fun and rewarding for us. Besides the fun you have already seen, we went Christmas light seeing, baked cookies, had a mini-Christmas party, decorated rice krispy houses and went to see a Christmas play at the local theater. 

The holidays are busy - plain and simple. With our "dates," we were able to slow down and enjoy our first married Christmas together.

As for Christmas itself, we had such a wonderful one. We feasted on wonderful food:

Spent it with our HUGE and beautiful family:

And Bentley (somehow) managed to be good enough this year to earn a visit from Santa:


I've got a small side story to wrap it all up for you. Among the toys Bentley received from Santa, he got a Grinch toy. The Grinch slips over an empty plastic bottle and makes glorious crinkling noises when played with. Of all toys, I think Bentley's favorite was the Grinch because it gets the most playtime. 

Yesterday morning, Bentley began crying in the bathroom. When I walked into the bathroom (after relentless wailing from my fur baby), I found this:

Poor Grinch had mysteriously found himself floating face down in the potty. Bentley - being a Yorkie - could not rescue Grinch from the potty because he was too little to reach him. As you can see from Bentley's face in this picture, it is a complete mystery how Grinch ended up in the potty or why Grinch would want to swim in the potty. Bad Grinch!

Until next time!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just popping in!

Greetings my faithful readers!

I'm sure you've noticed I haven't been up on my blogging game this month. I promise I have not forgotten about you. For starters, the hustle and bustle of the holidays has gotten the best of me this year. Of course, I've been enjoying every minute of it!

I also got my feet knocked out from under me mid-hustle and bustle with a horrendous upper respiratory infection. I'm still in the process of getting over it. However, this crazy weather we have been having has not helped a bit.

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! And to let you know, that my short-term hiatus will be over next week. I've got a 12 Dates of Christmas recap for you and some recipes that have passed the husband taste test.

Now then, to help tide you over until after Christmas, here is a cute picture of Bentley's first play date with his new lady-friend Meeko. Aren't they adorable?!

Until next time!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear hubs, I had so much fun on our date tonight. Thank you for putting up with my crazy Christmas antics!  And you just made my day by confessing that you weren't paying attention because you were reading Roseanne's tweets on Twitter. Dear tomorrow, I am looking forward to getting our early Christmas present! You know you are an adult when you are this excited about getting your very first washer and dryer. Dear work, I may be having a little too much fun making Christmas crafts with two year olds. Dear sinuses, you are kicking my butt. That's not nice. Dear 2013, R.J. and I both hope that you hold a new house somewhere in your 365 days. We're ready to get settled, have more space and get Bentley an actual backyard. We're getting tired of walking him CONSTANTLY. Dear Bentley, you have a very good fur daddy. He didn't throw you out the window when you tinkled on his side of the bed the other day. Although, he has become more vocal about you getting neutered...

Until next time!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The 12 Dates of Christmas: Christmas Ornaments

Welcome to our next date of the 12 Dates of Christmas! (If you missed the last one, don't worry! You can read it here.)

One evening after work, we both decided to unwind and spend time together on a 12 Dates of Christmas date. Our date of choice? Making Christmas ornaments!

I saw the idea for the first ornament on Pinterest and found a recipe to use with ingredients I already had. (You can find the recipe here.) When I saw the paw print impression ornament someone had done with their pooch, I really wanted to do one with Bentley! Surprisingly, he was really cooperative. 

I had some dough left over, so we got creative and made an ornament out of the impression of our wedding rings.  

We stuck them in the oven for about 20 minutes. While we waited, we made our last ornament together.

Our last ornament started a new tradition for our little family. I bought a simple, glass ball ornament and using a Sharpie, together we wrote our favorite memories from the past year onto the ball. 

Under each memory, I wrote the date so we can remember it for the future. Some of our favorite memories that made it onto the ball this year were: getting engaged, getting married, graduating college and Disney World! It was really wonderful to sit down together and talk about happy memories. This year has presented its fair share of challenges so it was nice to reflect on the positive and reminisce. Not to mention, it provided us with a good dose of laughter when remembering some things. We had so much fun doing it we'd like to make it a tradition to do every year. 

Curious to know how the other two ornaments turned out? Well, take a look!

Bentley's paw print ornament

Our ring ornament. Below the rings, it reads: 09.08.12
Bentley enjoyed making his ornament, but I think that's because he thought it was a treat. I had to move it up higher and put it on the opposite side of the tree because he kept begging for it. I think I even saw him licking his lips once while staring at it like he is below.

Until next time!