Tag Archives: 2012

One A Month ~ 2012 In Review

Happy New Year!

Twenty-twelve was unique and held many new and wonderful moments, however, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in Twenty-thirteen.

As in the past couple few years, I challenged myself to come up with 12 photos, one per month, that represent just a dozen moments in the past year and again, it wasn’t easy ~ there were so many.


{January morning in Redondo}


{Big Top Birthday for this 5-year old}


{Reading award for this 1st grader in the month of March}


{Little prayers at Easter Mass}


{Birthday sleepover to celebrate our mermaid who turned 7}


{Celebrating Popsi’s 80th at the Happiest Place on Earth in June}


{Meeting new friends in HOT July}


{Two full time scholars in August}


{Legoland with Nor Cal cousins over Labor Day Weekend}


{Annual Yosemite trip over Fall Break}


{This long haired boy and the start of the season in November}


{A small, comfy, cozy & perfect Christmas!}


It always saddens me when we box up the ornaments and vacuum up the pine needles, but when I look back on this year and recall all these moments in time, I realize that life is going by all too quick. In what seems like a matter of a few months, we’ll be digging the Christmas boxes out of the garage again. As much as I love the holiday season, I need to remember that there are eleven other months out there that we can make just as beautiful.

Again, thank you for following along here this past year….my hope is that in 2013 this little blog will share lots of new ideas, thoughts, recipes and ideas.

As you visit this space in this new year, please know that I appreciate you!

Let’s do this…..


P.S. I’ve included links to 2010 & 2011 month-by-month posts, too!

Front Of The Line

This past Sunday we went to the early mass and then decided it was a good day to go and see Santa.

Yes, we are that family that visits Mr. Claus before Thanksgiving.

But, please hear me out, I don’t put up any Christmas decorations and we don’t get our tree until the weekend after Thanksgiving. I just like to visit Santa at the mall before the crazy crowds hit and for lack of a better term, “get it out of the way”. I am also a creature of tradition when it comes to our pictures with Santa. We have been going to a Westfield mall to sit on his lap for the past 8 years. I cannot and will not break that cycle. I like to display the timeline of pictures every year during the holidays and I love that they are all from generally the same place {if you’ve seen one Westfield mall, you’ve seen ’em all} ~ obsessive compulsive, I know.

There was a mix up with the mall website and Santa and his elves….website said 11:00am and Santa had noon on his schedule. We were in line minutes before 11:00 and when it hit quarter after, I called the concierge and complained. She sounded surprised and got someone on it. At 11:30, Santa’s helpers casually strolled in and by this time several kids and their parents had lined up anxiously awaiting the man in red. They explained to us that they weren’t supposed to open until noon. UGH! We were not going to lose our front of the line privileges, so we waited.

I present to you this year’s adorable photo…

I went through their closets a week before and plucked these out instead of buying anything new this year.

Red and black plaid in her closet.

Red and black plaid in his closet.



We also have a tradition where we get an annual family ornament and the kids choose one and have it personalized with their name and the year. This way, when they are grown up and out on their own {don’t want to think about it} they will have a collection of ornaments from throughout the years to hang on their trees and be a reminder of childhood Christmases.

This year I {made} them both get soccer related ones since I like to try to have them pick something reminiscent of the past 12 months. Sometimes I cave and let them choose, but this time I put my foot down and they didn’t seem to mind since they both loved their first season of AYSO.

{photos of their ornaments to come}

Here is 2012’s glitterrific choice…


Even though we were eagerly in front of the line six weeks early, we still haven’t forgotten about Thanksgiving!

The turkey is in the brine, the pantry and ‘fridge are filled with side dish ingredients, the table is NOT set, but it will get there and the wine is chilling.

A very Blessed Thanksgiving from our family to yours.


Rainbows & Washi Galore ~ The Happy Day Project Recap

This year’s Happy Day Project was on my radar and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to hear of it’s arrival.

I was up at the crack of dawn last Monday and had my Pen & Paint {Oh Happy Day} notes printed and perfectly sliced on the school paper cutter by 8:15am. I came home, sat and wrote quick little heartfelt notes to a few people and popped them in the mail. I have yet to hand deliver one of them, but just sitting down and writing it brought a smile to my face.


On Tuesday morning I drove through Mickey D’s and grabbed a $5 gift card to affix to one of these….

I didn’t do much running around that day, so I still have the gift card ready and waiting for the first person I spot that could use nourishment of the body and soul.

I’m saving the rest of these darling notes from Hope Ink to attach to more gift cards throughout the season.


Wednesday we were able to treat our teachers to some caffeine and sugar first thing in the morning.

Elliott’s teacher is more of a Big Gulp girl rather than a Starbucks girl, so I planned ahead and grabbed a bottle of Coke and attached a little handwritten note to it…

We snuck into her room as she was grading papers and surprised her. She loved it…

We left the house early and went through the Starbucks drive-thru for Holden’s teacher and delivered her an extra hot Pumpkin Spice Latte.

She also loves Skittles so Holden sifted through his Halloween candy and put aside a bag for her…

30 Handmade Days provided this fun pillow box to house your {treat} of choice, too!

{Click here to print}


Thursday brought us to blessing bags and these sweet notes from Julie over at Joy’s Hope….

A friend and I are going in on the blessing bags together like we did last year and have just a few more things to purchase before we can get them stuffed and ready to go. I did, however, start to find some quotes to write on these notes that I will tuck in their bags.

{Click here to print}


For Friday, I printed out Blossom & Vine’s super cute tags and will bake cookies/treats on Monday when the kids are home from school for Veteran’s Day and we will deliver to deserving servicemen and women that afternoon before soccer practice. Also, my local Starbucks sells pounds of coffee to send to the troops at Thanksgiving so I plan to purchase a bag and ask them to tape a little hand written note from our family onto it.

{Click here to print}


It was five days full of rainbows, glitter pens, washi tape and opened hearts.

And that, my friends, is a lot of happy.

Stop by Life Rearranged to see how others spread sunshine last week!

P.S. I have included links to all these sweet printables…consider printing and keeping them close to your heart for use during the upcoming holidays and throughout the year. XO

Spread Some Sunshine

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I like to sit back, count our blessings and acknowledge what we’re grateful for. It’s also nice to conduct random acts of kindness and spread a little sunshine.

Here’s a fun way to do that…

Starting this coming Monday, November 5th, you have the chance to participate in {The Happy Day Project} and touch the life of someone you know, someone in need or even a complete stranger. As seen below, each day has a fun task, an adorable printable graphic to adorn your treat with or pop in the mail to that unsuspecting someone and a charity that you can donate to on-line if that is more convenient.

Please go to Life Rearranged each day to download the printables and to see how Jeannett and her sweet family are spreading sunshine.

Last year I was a little tardy to the Happy Day party and participated a week or so later…doesn’t matter as long as you do it and do so with a kind & happy heart. You can read about the giftcard to someone in need here and the blessing bag assembly here.

Click here to see recaps of all the wonderfulness that was spread last year. So great. So so great.

But, I am on it this year and will be taking part with the masses. This weekend I’m going to make a list of who the handwritten notes and snail mail will go to for Monday, grab a few gift cards at local fast food restaurants for Tuesday and be on the hunt for a baked treat to deliver to deserving bodies on Wednesday. You could also {treat} someone to a morning coffee or take a friend or co-worker to lunch. It’s so much fun to see how everyone serves and carries out these heartfelt acts.

Won’t you join me for five days of spreading sunshine…..let’s have a HAPPY week together, K?