Getting in the Christmas Spirit

With Christmas right around the corner, it seems like everywhere we turn, there are trees up and holiday tunes playing. I love Christmas and the holiday season. I love to get totally into the spirit of the season. Here are some ways I get ready for the holidays!

Decorating

This is my favorite part of the holidays. I love decorating my home. Even though we just moved two weeks ago, I have still managed to do a fair amount of decorating. Usually I go more all out, but at least we got a real tree, and I filled up our shelves with decor.

Huge icicles!

Connor gets a little holiday cheer in his room!


 

Shopping

Of course, a huge part of Christmas is the shopping. I have a lot of my list done but still have a few more people to buy for. I love Christmas shopping, and try to do at least some of it at the stores because it always feels so exciting and cheerful in the stores at this time of year. Of course, a big part of my shopping is done online. I usually end up buying myself a gift or two because I come across things I can’t pass up! This year I’m eyeing these comfy but nice looking pants for my upcoming trip to Europe this spring. Betabrand has tons of comfy but nice looking pants and they fit so well with my current lifestyle of being casual but still wanting to look put together. 

Hot Chocolate

For some reason, hot chocolate is one of my favorite things about Christmastime and winter in general. Last year when I was pregnant,  I got hot chocolate almost everyday towards the end! I have been making it at home this year a lot to try to save a little money. I love hot chocolate as a sweet treat at the end of the day, and it helps me get some calcium from the milk. Totally healthy šŸ˜‰ I have the tree turned on, and love cozying up with a nice warm mug of hot chocolate and a warm blanket.

 

How do you get into the holiday spirit?

Recent Happenings

I don’t have a formal post but thought I’d check in! We moved last weekend so it’s been all consuming. We went from 1400 square feet to 2400 square feet so we have much more space and need to fill a few empty rooms. Unpacking with a 10 month old is challenging but I’ve been keeping him entertained with random boxes and Tupperware, and doing most of the unpacking during his naps. 

We renovated our new house so I plan on doing a full post of before and after pics and survival tips for anyone doing a renovation. 

We are currently just unpacking and putting together our new furniture. It’s fun but also I just want it all done! 

Setting up furniture requires wine! Haha


Ive been enjoying homemade cookies a little too much lately. They are just so delicious straight out of the oven. 

My brother’s best friend got married and I got to be my mom’s plus one. It was so fun and I just love weddings! The whole night was just beautiful! 


Jim made a yummy dinner of pasta with meatballs and we had a delicious bottle of wine from Kamen wines in Sonoma. It was a nice way to end the weekend. I got to take home a centerpiece from the wedding and I’m obsessed with it! I aspire to be able to create flower arrangements like this! 

Finally, we got our first real tree this year. It was really fun to pick it out and it smells amazing! 


I hope you had a great weekend! 

I’m back!!

After a long, long break from blogging, and lots of consideration as to where I wanted to take the blog, and if I even wanted to continue blogging, I have decided to return!  I have decided to keep my son’s life private, so you won’t be seeing many baby photos on here, but I will still be talking about parenting, and all of the challenges and joys that come along with having kids. I have decided to stay true to the name of the blog and focus mainly on the following:

Yoga- and all things fitness related

Wine- and all things food and drink related

Happiness- my constant quest to be happy and fulfilled in life

 

I hope you will continue to read and encourage any comments and feedback you have!

 

Julia

2015

This year has been a great one! Pretty much everything in my life remained the same- same job, home, etc. The obvious highlight of 2015 for me was getting pregnant! There were lots of other great things too.  One of my brothers got married, one got engaged and moved, and the other one is halfway through his junior year in college. My mom moved and we said goodbye to my childhood home. Jim and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Three friends got married and we went to some fabulous weddings. We welcomed a new niece into Jim’s family. Jim and I took our first trip to Cape Cod together. We also went on our third trip to Napa together. All in all it was a great year! Can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

    
    

    
    
    
   
    

    
I am not doing the typical New Years resolutions this year, like losing weight and getting in shape, because those are not things I can work on, or really need to work on right now. I do have two goals- to go to church more, and to not let people’s opinions of me bother me so much. I struggle with trying to please everyone, even though it is impossible to make everyone happy. I also struggle with taking things personally at work, and I am deciding to only check my emails when I am at work to create a better work- life balance. 
I hope you have a great New Year’s! 

Thanksgiving Weekend

I had a wonderful 5 day weekend and feel like I haven’t been at work in weeks! I didnt take many pictures this weekend, and decided to just enjoy the family time instead.  

 
Our weekend started on Wednesday. We noticed the refrigerator didn’t feel very warm and it turns out it was 57 degrees. We called a repair man and it would have cost $300 to fix it. Our fridge is 16 years old so we decided to bite the bullet and buy a new one. We spent a long long time in Home Depot deciding. I’m excited to have a new one on Tuesday! 

Thanksgiving was a fun and busy day! We hosted Jim’s family and then went to my aunt’s house after that. We were able to get our old fridge to come back to life so thankfully were still able to cook. It was really fun hanging out with our new niece!  

   
Friday morning I met my mom bright and early for some Black Friday shopping! We have been doing it for a long time, and we just go to Carson’s. It is always fun to kick off the Christmas shopping season! 

Then we went to New Buffalo for the weekend with my mom and brother! We rented a really cute house, and did lots of eating and relaxing. It was just what I needed. I found our house on Home away  and we were really happy with it! I loved the beach house theme and the rustic touches. 

Kitchen and eating area 

    
Jim’s pride and joy- Bourbon County Stout… Only one of the many he got!

  Kitchen 

Living area  
 
Living area 

  
Second bedroom

  Master bedroom  
    
   
Sunday afternoon we decorated for Chrismas! I am so excited that the holiday season is here!  

 

Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for this year! Here are just a few reasons I feel blessed to have the life that I do. 

Jim

Obviously this guy is my number one reason I’m thankful! He is my partner and my friend. We have so many fun times together. He has been my rock during some really hard times and I am forever greatful for this. I can’t wait to become a family of three with him in two months and navigate parenting together!  

 
Family

Words can’t even express how thankful I am for my family. Both of our families are wonderful and I feel so lucky that we live so close to both families and are able to spend holidays with everyone.  My mom and little brother are two of my best friends and I would be absolutely lost without them. 

 
Friends 

Most of my friends I met in college and we’ve remained close ever since. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we would like, we pick right back up where we left off every time.  

 
My job 

My teaching job is challenging every day, and it can sometimes be quite stressful. I enjoy the challenge and like being kept on my toes. I have an amazing class this year and am so thankful to be in a good school in the city! 

Yoga and running 

Although I’m on a hiatus from running, I still love it. Yoga has been my go-to workout during pregnancy. The combo of running and yoga keeps me healthy and does wonders for my stress levels. If I didn’t work out I would be a crabby, stressed out lady!  

 Healthy pregnancy 

I am thankful to be healthy! It is amazing what your body can do- carry a baby and teach 6 and 7 year olds all day! I am happy that I have had a relatively easy pregnancy and still feel pretty good at 31 weeks preggo!  I am beyond thankful I am pregnant! I expected it to be a long journey to getting pregnant and was shocked by how lucky I was that I happened easily. 

 
Coffee, tea, and dessert

It sounds silly but these things have been my favorites during pregnancy. Many evenings we would have a glass of wine to end the day, but now I have a sweet treat and some decaf tea.  I have eaten a dessert every day of pregnancy. While this sounds crazy, I think it’s all about balance. Sometimes that dessert is a small piece of dark chocolate, and sometimes it is a more decadent dessert. Even a tiny treat makes the day feel happy to me!   

 
This blog

I am so glad I started this blog! It has been so fun to get some words out. I hope to increase my posting in the future. I am thankful for my readers who faithfully read all of my posts!! 
I hope everyone has a great holiday week and takes a few minutes to be thankful this week! 

 

Friday Peaks of the Week

This week has been a good one! We had Wednesday off for Vereran’s Day and today I have a conference about reading! I love when the schedule is broken up with different things here and there! Here are some Peaks of the Week! 

Coffee

It’s no secret that I love coffee! I don’t have a problem with the red cups, and love getting a latte once a week as a treat! 

 
A day with my mom

On Wednesday I had a doctor’s appointment and my mom took the day off to hang out with me! We went to lunch at the and did some shopping. It was amazing!  

 
Shopping, shopping, shopping for baby!

We have been buying a ridiculous amount of things for baby lately. Most of it is all necessary, but I also bought a few fun things as well! 

     
The little bears are too cute! 

 
Physical Therapy

I started going to physical therapy for my back this week and will go twice a week for 6 weeks. So far I think it has helped a little. The massage definitely helped relax everything and my physical therapist sent me home with some exercises and stretches to do. I am so happy to have some relief! 

 

Weekend

It was another super busy weekend packed with family and friends! Friday Jim and I went to see The Martian which was awesome! Before that we had sushi. Even though I miss raw sushi, I have been making due with California rolls and shrimp tempura!  

 
Saturday morning we had our nephew’s third birthday!  

 
As soon as we got back to the city I changed and went to my friend’s to set up for my friend’s bachelorette party! We had dinner and presents and games at the house, then everyone took a party bus around the city. I went home after the party because pregnant ladies and party buses don’t mix very well :) it was so fun to see my friends and we are all so excited for the wedding next weekend!  

 
Finally, Sunday we went to my mom’s because my little brother was home for the weekend from college! It was great to catch up with him. 
That’s the weekend! Back to the weekly grind!

Adding some fallĀ 

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the changing weather, the leaves, and the excitement of the new school year. While I miss my laid back summer days, I am happy to replace those with productivity and all things pumpkin! Here is how I added some fall to our home this year!  

I bought these pumpkin dish towels from Target on a whim. 

  Orange candles and some mini pumpkins on our table.   

An orange vase and fall leaf display.

  A welcome sign by our door downstairs 

  
Apothecary jars with fall leaves and pumpkins, plus my favorite fall scents from Bath and Body Works.

Fall bouquet and a pumpkin plate.

  
A black cat for Halloween šŸ˜‰ 

 

Now that October is almost here I am excited to add some Halloween into the mix!

Friday Peaks of the Week

Starting School

It is our first week back at school, so I didn’t take many pictures, and most of my energy was focused on getting my first graders into the swing of things. Teaching first grade while pregnant is nothing short of exhausting! I could go to bed at 8:00 every night if that were possible! My class is adorable, as usual, and it seems that it will be a great year! 

Thursday Dinner Out

Jim’s best friend is getting married this weekend and his other friend is staying with us for the weekend. It’s definitely going to be busy and crazy so we went to a nice dinner last night. It was really nice to not worry about what we were cooking for once! I had bolognese pasta. Yum!  

  My date! 
Overnight Oats

I’ve seen people post about overnight oats for years now, but I never tried tj myself. I have been making them each night and they are so good and so easy for weekday breakfasts! I just throw in some oats, a Greek yogurt with fruit, and some milk. It sits overnight and becomes a delicious breakfast!   It doesn’t look pretty but it tastes good! This was yesterday’s eaten in the car. 

Coffee

I used to rely on caffeine in the beginning of the school year- a cup of coffee in the morning, and another or a tea in the afternoon. Now I can only have about 6 ounces of coffee a day so I’ve been savoring it, and also having some decaf to try to trick myself into thinking it’s the real deal :-)  

  Quickie workouts

I’ve been relying more and more on 30 minute workouts this week because I have to squeeze it in before getting to work. I have still been loving yoga and T25. 

 
No Chip Manicure

I had seen the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel no chip nail polish in the store but haven’t tried it. Sally Hansen Miracle GelI figured I would try it out because my nails chip so fast usually. I don’t know how long it will last but hopefully longer than just a few days like normal nail polish.