Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of 2011

Farewell 2011! I can't believe how fast the time went by but I'm so grateful for such an amazing year that I had. Just thinking of all the memories makes me giddy with excitement for what's to come in 2012. Do you make new year's resolutions? I love the idea of them to reflect on the things I want to change (or need to change) and then work to make them happen. But I tend to enjoy doing things instead of changing things, like crossing things off my bucket list. I decided to take a stab at some resolutions anyways so here it goes:

Find a balance: Being smart with money yet still having fun is a big thing for this year. I'm at an age where the spending opportunities are endless with weddings, traveling, or investing so balancing spending and saving is at the top of my list.

- Do more for me: Pretty straight forward but I'd like to make sure I do things that I love. I want to paint more, be active, continue with the blog, and learn to say no and not feel guilty about it.

- Step out of my comfort zone: I tend to be very comfortable with many things in my life and because of that I don't really step out of that. This year I already started to try new things that weren't necessarily 'comfortable' but would enhance my life. So whether it be running a half marathon (I'm not a runner at all), baking or meeting new people, I'm going to try it.

Some beautiful moments from 2011:

Cheers to 2011!

{Photos © Laura Clarke Photography}  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Keeping Traditions

Traditions are what I live for during the holidays. I get nostalgic and giddy just thinking about them. My family has been doing some of the same things since I was little and then there's some that were added in once my sister and I were older. I love the idea of keeping traditions going strong but I also love creating new ones. My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our second Christmas together in our place and I'm so excited to keep the traditions going. Some of the things I'm looking forward to most:

- My mom and I blasting the holiday tunes, dragging the boxes and boxes of ornaments from the basement, and spending a day decorating the tree.
- A night of cocktails and building the best gingerbread house ever!
- Champagne, ice cold shrimp, blueberry teas and gathering around the fireplace on Christmas Eve.
- My dad always leaves his shopping and wrapping to the very last second so I spend Christmas Eve being his little elf wrapping all the gifts (even the ones from "Santa").
- Waking up super early on Christmas day and running downstairs to check out the loot before anyone else is awake.
- Toasting mimosas, warm cinnamon bread, and listening to classic Christmas carols while my family opens our stockings.
- Opening gifts one at a time, we're a family that takes our time opening gifts and it's all about the giving and seeing each reaction.
- Once the family time is done it's time to head on over to my BFF's to visit her family and see all her loot. Then we go back to my parent's place so she can visit my family.
- Endless hours of cuddling with dogs in front of the fireplace.
- An extended Christmas for my b/f and I to open each other's gifts and stockings.

Have a wonderful holiday!

{Photos © Laura Clarke Photography - shot with my Canon G9}