January 01, 2017

2016 Favorite Things

Just thought I'd take a few minutes to share some of my 2016 favorite things!

Favorite Home Improvement--
My dad has been painting my house from cream to white over the past year and it has changed my life!  Benjamin Moore- White Dove is my love language.  I am perfectly happy even if I never get white woodwork or white cabinets because this white wall paint is a beautiful contrast to my wood.

The girls got some color on their walls, but white is my favorite!  

Favorite Make-Up--
I am simple with cosmetics.  This NYX butter gloss is one of the few make-up items that I have ever used completely up and bought a replacement for.  This is the lipgloss I transfer from my drawer to my purse.  I love it.  Loreal mascara has my favorite wand and texture.  

Favorite Christmas Present--
We bought Creative QT Peel & Stick Baseplates for Christmas and just stuck them onto 4 pieces of wood we already had.  These have become the best for our four Lego lovers to play together on the floor and then save their creations on a shelf.  (We also have plastic storage containers.) 

Favorite Picture Spots--
I have a few.  I love taking a picture of my backyard (see above) during every different season.  I also LOVE a first day of school line-up out front (see below).
I love shoe pictures of big groups.
I love our temple touching pictures.

And, I love our traditional "out to ice cream" pictures.
Every picture I took this year was on my iPhone.  Someday I might regret this.

Favorite Nature Collection--
We found FOUR of the most adorable bird's nests this year.  I just know that they are probably covered with germs but I love them so much.  Right now, they are on the top of a bookshelf in my living room.  I'm not sure I can keep them.

Favorite Trip--
With my brother to BYU Education Week.  Oh, going to Education Week just fills my soul!
Second favorite-- the American Mother's Convention with some of my favorite mothers
And third favorite trip was spending the week in Nauvoo with my Sister in Law and lots of kids!

Favorite Upgrade--
I've never used nice perfume before.  But this year I have loved upgrading to Coach with Chanel Chance on my 2017 Wish List.  Smelling this perfume lifts my spirits.

Favorite Drink-
Ever since Todd and I took a dreamy trip to Germany, France, and Switzerland, I have been buying myself San Pellegrino.  I love it.  It's healthy and it makes me feel fancy as I'm folding laundry.  I even like that most people don't like it, so I'm certain it stays in the pantry longer.

Favorite Book--
Jon Klassen's This is Not My Hat book had me laughing for days.  I made everybody read it.  It's classic and funny and my favorite.

I also really, really needed the mental boost that I've felt studying for the GRE.  My kids are very smart, and very independent.  I haven't studied math since college or maybe even high school. It's been so fun having my teenagers teach me concepts buried under 20 years of child-rearing!

The McConkie commentary has been a new way for me to study scriptures in the morning.  I've needed a fresh perspective.  

I also appreciated the new perspectives from Christ's Emancipation of Women in the New Testament by the adorable Lynne Hilton Wilson.  Alonzo Gaskill's Miracles of the New Testament is great and I read Seven Miracles that saved America by the Stewarts, to my family.  It often brought tears to my eyes even though the non-fiction narrator is a bit annoying at times.  

Favorite Planner--
Haha!  What a messy, real-life picture.  I took over the finances this winter and I have come to love GRAPH paper.  I know.  Simple and silly in this digital age, but I really needed to see you what I'm dealing with.  I can feed our family of 10 comfortably and healthy for $1000 per month (this includes food and household expenses) and I think that's pretty good.  We should be millionaires in no time!

Favorite Mom Activity--
Mom Dates are my favorite.  Topping the list this year was a Christmas-Week date with my teenager.  She came VERY close to getting nothing but coal for Christmas based on some serious sassiness.  I picked her up early from school and told her that I had made an appointment for us to see a therapist.  She was so mad at me until I pulled out silly glasses and began acting like a therapist.  (Note- I actually love real therapists but this afternoon I felt we needed TIME more than therapy.)  We talked and ended up at a salon where she got her nails done.  It wasn't the nails, it was the talking, laughing, and surprise that changed things.  This small date REALLY changed our home.  I need more mom dates in my life!  My 2017 goal is one mom date every month with every child and Todd.  If I add temple dates, thats two date per week.

Favorite Food--
Pioneer Women's Cinnamon Rolls played a big role in our life this year.  Which I find quite ironic because I met and fell in love with Ree's mother this year.  I think of them both everytime I roll out this decadence.

I also fell in love with the perfect pie crust.  It tastes good and is as easy to make as playdoh.  We have made some fun pies with this recipe!
Pie Crust from Sister Kerr
makes 2 single crusts or 1 double

1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter Crisco
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour

Add 1/2 cup boiling water to 1 cup butter Crisco shortening and stir until melted or close to it.
Add 1 tsp salt and 3 cups flour and mix until it feels like playdoh.
Let it sit in a ball for a few minutes, break it in half, and roll out.
You should have extra to decorate the top with.
(Note: if you're going to double this recipe, make two batches.  Add one cup boiling water to two different bowls of Crisco.  It mixes better that way.)

Favorite Artist--
I love Kim Youngsung.  This picture is "I shall Not Want" and it speaks my love language.

Favorite Shirt--
I really loved having matching shirts for our family reunion.  I hope we do this every year.

Favorite Pants-- (pictured inside out)
By far, I found my favorite pair of black pants.  I honestly wear them 3 out of 7 days per week.  They are from Old Navy and my tag says OPP Leggings Black Jack.  I love them because they are comfortable like leggings but are more modest like pants.  My honest opinion is that leggings only look cute on children under age 10.  These pants have a 3 inch elastic waist.  They are thicker material and I got a size large so they are not cellulite-tight.  I can't find them online but I find them in the store by the exercise pants.

Favorite Idea--
I really wanted my kids to have voice lessons this year, but we couldn't afford them.  So, we found the most amazing teacher who barters with us.  Anna, Ellie, Jakob, and I clean her house each week in exchange for lessons.  It was humbling at first, but is honestly my favorite thing.  My kids actually work to earn a privilege and it's fun to work with them.  I also love serving someone who is serving my family.  

Favorite System--
Laundry became a rythmn in our home when I made a few simple changes this year.  1- I gave my six youngest a designated spot in my laundry room cupboard.  2- I decided I was not allowed to take clothes out of the drier without folding them.  So, I cannot start a new load without one load folded.  If you don't have time now to fold one you won't have time later to fold two.  Trust me.  3- I removed all laundry baskets from closets leaving only one 3 sectioned laundry sorter in the hallway.  4- I occasionally give candy inside empty laundry baskets (mainly when they are all emptied except for one or two).  
Favorite Christmas Tradition--
We had two new traditions this year that I loved and feel we will continue.
First- all the kids wrote 2 reasons they love their Great Grandmother GG on $2 bills and mailed them to her.
We also did the 25 days of Christ Advent as our morning scripture time in December (along with a Lego Advent and #lighttheworld).  It was really lovely.  I'm excited to do this for years to come.

I could probably go on and on about my favorites, but my time is up.  

Here's to a 2017 full of many more!! 

1 comment:

Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

What a lovely list . . . and I'm grateful to read about your $1000/month food budget. I need just slightly more (for our family of 14), and I often feel badly that it isn't less than that. I'm reassured to find that your spending is comparable to mine.

Happy 2017!

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