Happy New Year!!

If you remember this time last year it was New Year and hence a new word, my word for 2012 was "IMPROVE" and I think I did a pretty good job. I definitely think I need to create something of a journal for all the things that I have done that I think relate to my chosen word. Here are a few things that I know I "improved" in 2012.
  • cooking - I definitely upped my cooking skills and I am cooking a lot more at home as a result. I even treated myself to a new dutch oven at Christmas.
  • food consciousness - I became a lot more conscious of what I was eating, mostly thanks to my good friend Ariella, a holistic nutritionist. She helped me recognize a lot of what I was eating and what to cut out and what to focus more on. She's been a huge help to me!
  • creatively - While I, honestly, didn't do much last year in the way of projects, I did come up with lots of new ideas and I think I have improved my creative process.

This year I guess I have a new word "TRY" and a new motto "TRY NEW THINGS". It might sound a little basic, but I find I get stuck with doing the same thing over and over and not adding something new to the mix, or at least trying...
I started off the year by trying something new with a polar bear swim on New Year's Day with my sister and brother-in-law. I have also tried to be handy in my apartment and I did fix a part on my dishwasher, haha. I am continuing my improvement in cooking and made an awesome salmon and asparagus with pesto dish for dinner last night.... I'm on my way! :)

Holiday Style - Sparkles

I am obsessed with the holiday look of sparkles on everything! I have a few sparkle pieces, but I have been dying for some more!! Here's a few favorites I found on the interwebs this week.

From BetsyJohnson
From Penningtons
From TheMetropolitanMuseumofArt
From ManiSharambles

From JacquelineJarrot
From unknown
From JenniferLopez
From TheShoppingBagStore

From Pernia's
From TopShop
Do you have a favorite sparkle piece for the holiday season??

Christmas Decor - Mantles

I have to make a confession before proceeding with this post, I do not have a mantle or a fireplace. There was one in most of the houses when I grew up, but I have never had to opportunity to decorate one myself. The next time I move, I definitely want one, so this is my post of what I'd look for in a mantle and how I would decorate it for Christmas :)

From TheHouseofBelonging
From DigsDigs
From CentsationalGirl
From The36thAvenue
From SmallBirdBlog
From BetterHomes&Gardens
From TheOldPostRoad
From TheHouseofSmiths
From Remppahaikara
How do you decorate your mantle for Christmas? Do you like the two non-mantles that I included? I really do!

Holiday Gift Guide - Shopping for a guy in your life...

There have been a few guys added to my Christmas list in the last few of years as my siblings have gained significant others. :) Sometimes, I'll admit, they aren't the easiest to shop for. So, I put together a gift guide that I think they will mostly all go for, maybe a few more than others...

 Flap Jacks from LazyOne

Handmade Journal from Etsy

Handmade Wine Rack from Etsy
From LazyOne

From Etsy

Bottle Opener from Etsy

Custom Guitar Pick from Etsy

BBQ Rub from Etsy

Speaker from Etsy
From LazyOne

Bread Conditioner from Etsy

Handmade Iphone case from Etsy
Toiletry Kit from Hammacher

There you have it. I tried to fit in a few things each for each of the guys in my family. Would anything fit for one of the guys in yours??

Happy shopping!