Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Year In Review

Almost time to say, "2010, See Ya!". As I have done on my blog every year since 2007, I like to write a little recap of my year and look back and reflect. So here goes!


I dealt with the post-holiday blues by dabbling with the thought that I would take up knitting. I did NOT learn how to knit this year. Maybe next year. I had a bulb garden.

You should always stop & smell the flowers, says Noodles!

Cats really are curious! That's Baxter
And Noodles modeled his latest winter sweater.

This cozy sweater features a fur collar

And I shopped A LOT and spent a lot of money. I recapped some of my spending here. On January 20, I had an epiphany. I needed to put down the plastic and start living on cash only. I made it my goal to only buy essential items only and declared it My Year of No Shopping. I started a second blog to chronicle my journey.


Eric and I flew to Southern California for a winter getaway. I actually won 2 round-trip tickets on Sun Country Air on Twitter and off we went. We flew into San Diego and spent time at all my favorite places - La Jolla, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Fashion Valley, Fashion Island, Sprinkles Cupcakes, The Melting Pot.

Yum! Red Velvet

I got to hang out with my girlfriend, Angie, one day and my other friend, Jodan, another day.

Champagne brunch

I spent Valentine's Day alone because Eric had to fly to Jamaica for work, but I got a big bouquet of flowers, an orchid plant and See's chocolates.

Gorgeous Valentine's Day bouquet


Eric started a new job in March after 14 years at his former company. It would turn out to be a "mistake", but we wouldn't realize that til later! My friend Amber and I went to a book signing for Jodi Picoult's new book. And I entered Noodles in a Cutest Dog contest. He didn't win even though I pestered all my friends on Facebook and Twitter to vote for him.


I ALMOST accepted a new job but instead I ended up going from 32 hours a week to 40 hours at my current job. What a difference it has made in my paycheck--ha ha! I did my yearly volunteer work at "Ever After Gowns" to make sure that all deserving high school girls can have a beautiful prom dress, shoes, accessories and a lovely prom experience.


I went to Vegas on a family vacation (my husband and I, my mom, and Eric's parents as well) and stayed at the Wynn Encore and we had a fantastic time.

My mom had a penthouse room - here is the view from the top!

Vegas all lit up at night!

Eric and I saw Holly Madison in Peep Show. I had the most delicious Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity.

Frrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity

Went to the top of the fake Eiffel Tower in a windstorm.

Eiffel Tower at Paris Hotel - in a windstorm--I was seriously freezing

Ate a lot, shopped (a little), drank a lot. A mention as to the shopping - Vegas is when I fell off the No Shopping wagon and bought a Kate Spade clutch. Oops!

Pretty Kate Spade clutch was my shopping downfall

This was also the month that Noodles and I did our annual "Walk for Animals" to help raise money for the Humane Society.

Noodles takes a break!

A wagonful of cute pups!


My favorite part of this month was when my favorite part-time dog, Roxie, a little Shih Tzu came to visit. I think she ended up staying about two weeks. I love her! Little Roxie Fox. I can't wait til her owners go on vacation again!


Another favorite thing about this month was my first Minnesota Bloggers Dinner with Margaret, Cathy, Lisa, and Marcy. The gang! We have since had one other dinner and a Christmas Cookie Exchange and added Michael to our little group.


Easily my favorite part about this month was our weekend getaway to Mackinac Island, Michigan. We took Noodles with us and bicycled all over the island. I love this island. No cars allowed--you have to walk, bicycle, or get around by horse. It is lovely! There are cute boutiques, fudge shops, Starbucks, wonderful restaurants. It is lovely!

On the ferry

I rode this bike everywhere!

Mackinac Bridge


In August I was off to New Hampshire to visit Eric's family and it included a trip to Boston and Newbury Street, one of my favorite places to shop. It also included a trip to Salem, Massachusetts home of the witches. I love it there, the history and the magic. And we also went to the Yankee Candle headquarters in Deerfield, Massachusetts which was very cool. August was also State Fair month here in the Midwest. I went to both the Iowa State Fair and the Minnesota State Fair.

Ferris Wheel!

Iowa State Fair

Minnesota State Fair

Another thing worthing mentioning about this month is when my blogging friend, Michelle, interviewed me for her blog. You can read my interview here. I was honored!


I was a very bad blogger in September; my posts were practically non-existent! Between two blogs, I only had 5 whole posts. One thing that stands out about September was the horrible idea to get all my medical appointments done in one day. On one day I went to the gynecologist and had a pelvic and pap smear and then a mammogram and then I went to the dentist. What was I thinking??!! Afterwards I went to lunch with my husband and then went shopping and had a cookie at Macy's. At least those appointments are out of the way!


My favorite month. I celebrated my birthday at The Melting Pot.

My birthday dinner at The Melting Pot

I celebrated Halloween.

A witch & her familiar

And then two days after my birthday and four days before his own, my husband lost his job. I threw him a surprise 40th birthday party anyway.

Surprise! Does he look surprised & delighted??!!

It was a very interesting and crazy month and I was slightly worried about being poor, but I also knew we would prevail. This was also the month that I decided to start a new blog and phase out the other two. I felt like Pretty Random Thoughts was no longer fresh and I had failed in my No Shopping at Girl In Kate Spade Mittens. So I started a new blog where I hoped to combine the best of both worlds. I gave it the same birthday as me - October 13.


Hooray, my husband was offered a new job and he really likes it. We had our first snowfall on November 13th. We had a low-key Thanksgiving at home, just the two of us.

First Snow of the Season


I missed my other two blogs, so I brought them back. I now blog at 3 places and I am happy with that. December had some down days. As in, I wasn't always my usual perky self, but my friends helped to cheer me up. And December had a ton of snow, well over 30 inches on the ground.

More snow!!!

Eric and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on December 13th. You can read about that here!

What I will remember about December is how many people touched my life and the true spirit of Christmas. I made a wonderful new blogging friend, Tina, who I know will be my friend in the New Year, too! A friend from high school sent me a box of fun Vera Bradley items which she totally did not have to do. She is very kind! And something touching happened on Christmas Eve that I have not mentioned on any of my blogs. A friend's mother died of cancer earlier in the month. Her mother was very special to me and often sent me hand-made cards. She made them with rubber stamps. Well, on Christmas Eve no less I received one of the most special rubber stamps--a cat holding flowers - that was the stamp she used to make me a birthday card years ago. My friend included a very sweet note about how she knew I was the person whom her mom would most want to have this stamp. I cried. And I realized I am very blessed and surrounded with many, many lovely and wonderful angels.

Christmas Eve, always my favorite day of the year - with my pals, Noodles & Baxter




Nicole said...

What a beautiful year! Makes me wish I took more photos :) really must do that from now on (maybe that'll be my resolution). I'm glad the work situation got sorted out for your husband, my partner had a two month dry spell thanks to awful weather (painter) so very happy that's over with! Hope you have a great New Years :)

The Arrival, book one of the BirthRight trilogy, available on Amazon 1.1.2011

Lesli said...

Thanks, Nicole!

Good luck with your new book!

Happy New Year!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

What a great recap!! I want to do one on my blog too... maybe I will have time on Saturday? :)
I'm so sorry to hear about your friends mother. That is so sweet she gave you the stamp!

Sandra said...

You had me at Kate Spade clutch!
Wow, you put in a lot of time making this post and it was terrific. I think February was my favourite month in your life: a free trip! I need to spend more time on Twitter.
Happy New Year!

Chihuahua Girl said...

You had a fantastic year. Love it and all your pictures! :-)

That Kate Spade Clutch was so worth it. That is probably the cutest clutch I have ever seen.

One thing that I have learned throughout my life and is so true....everything happens for a reason and it will all work out for the best (even if it doesn't seem so at the time). We all must have faith which I know you and I both have a lot of!

So very glad that I met you through blogging last year. You are such a sweetie! I look forward to a great 2011 my friend. :-)



Laura said...

love all your pictures! looks like a great year