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Monday, January 2, 2017

Creating a great year ahead

Oh my goodness! Were the holidays a marathon, or what?

I had a few gifts that I made near the last-minute, that I didn't show to you.

some individual packages of cocoa mix

jars of homemade vanilla-plum jam, in jars from Goodwill (20 cents/jar). tied up with raffia and twine

a small batch of guest soap

On New Year's day, we woke up to some snow on the ground and the sun shining. A stark, but beautiful, beginning to another year. We had our last holiday gathering in the late afternoon/evening, on January 1st, hosting another family for a belated Christmas dinner. Once the dinner dishes were cleaned up, the freshness of the new year could settle in with me.

In planning the year ahead, it occurs to me that great years don't just happen. We have to make the choices that make the year a great one. Here's to creating the best year yet, despite what happens all around us.

Happy New Year!!!


  1. The individual packages of cocoa mix are so cute, Lili. Where did you get the packages to put those in?

    How neat that you all received some snow. I hope it lasts a while and doesn't melt right away. Unfortunately fr us most of our snows here melt by afternoon. Hopefully yours will stick around for a while.

    I hope your 2017 is wonderful. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Thank you. The cellophane packages were from Michael's Craft stores. I bought them last year, after Christmas, on clearance.

      There's still a little snow on the ground. It usually does melt within a day or two. It's pretty while it lasts!

      Wishing you a wonderful 2017, too!

  2. Happy New Year!

    New Year's Eve was spent visiting grandparents having the kids saying their "good byes" for their time away. Mom was doing well on Saturday and even cooked her annual Ollie Bollen!

    Sunday we brought our youngest to the airport and all the plans were shattered since one of her connections was delayed thus preventing the group from catching another connection. Eventually, they got it figured out and then they were flying in and out of an entirely different airport for one of their connections. This morning she is almost to her destination.

    This morning we took our oldest daughter to the airport for her early morning flight. We were very surprised to see so many people and almost panicked when the lines were so long and with only 1 1/2 hours to move through it all. She barely made it and she is also on her last leg of her trip.

    I'll clean some today since I have the day off although I did vacuum on Saturday so that is done. Our son is still home and he will leave tomorrow.

    The refrigerator is empty and the pantry has really been picked through. Maybe I'll sort through that today. I'll see.


    1. Hi Alice,
      You'll have to explain to me what Ollie Bollen is. I've never heard of it before.

      There must have been a bit of sadness, taking your daughters to the airport. I'm glad they're getting to their destinations, without any further complications or delays.

      It sounds like a quiet day at your place, today. I hope you have a few minutes to just enjoy your day off.

      Wishing you a wonderful 2017, Alice!

    2. Ollie Bollen is like a fried donut ball. It might have diced apples or raisins in it. Powdered sugar is sprinkled over it. The dough is thick and dropped my spoonfuls into hot oil to fry. We loved them as kids but now I eat only one since I don't love fried foods anymore.


    3. I looked up a photo of Ollie Bollen. They do look tasty! Thanks for your description, Alice!

  3. I also like your hot chocolate packages! I've never had vanilla plum jam--sounds delish!

    I worked Saturday and today--it's easy to pick up work hours around the holidays. Tomorrow I need to catch up on shopping and at some point this week, it's time to take down the decorations and do some cleaning. It's a lot of work, but our house always seems so much larger afterwards. Kind of like when you return home from vacation. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm almost ready to take the decorations all down, but not quite. I also like how the tree looks with nothing underneath it. But I understand how much cleaner and more spacious it all looks when it's put away.

      The vanilla-plum jam is really good! I'll be making this again and again. The hot chocolate packages came out cute, I thought, too. And so easy with those cellophane bags. If I see those on clearance again, I'll pick more up.

      have a great day, Kris!

  4. The gifts are very nice. The hot chocolate,jam and soap is great for emergency gifts. We always have some of those on hand. Then we are not caught off guard. I can't believe the holidays are over! We still have a couple of gifts to pass out. The decorations are packed up and I am doing inventory on the cupboards and freezer. Cupboards done working on the freezer. This year I think I might write up a monthly menu and cook loosely from that as I don't always want to cook whats on the menu and then I have more choices. Then
    the food gets used in a timely manner. I used to do this along time ago.
    Have a wonderful day,

    1. Hi Patti,
      I agree. As emergency gifts these are so nice to have, and welcome by practically everyone. I gave a lot of homemade gifts to people who don't make things themselves, so much. For the most part, they were surprised that things could be made at home. That's always a fun response.

      Oh, please, come inventory my freezers, next! One of my goals is to get those things cleaned out, so I can start fresh, later in the year. It is so hard to find anything in the freezers, these days. First world problems!!

      Have a wonderful day, yourself, Patti!


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