Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back... is it New Year's Eve already!!  I haven't even recapped Christmas...I am really loving this vacation thing!!

I thought I'd take a bit today to look back and reflect on the year that was on the blog.  2015 was a big year.  I blogged more this year than ever before. There were link-ups, challenges, and posts, oh my!! And one blog became two as I entered into an exciting new collective, The Blended Blog, with my best blogger friends.  Today we are linking up to share our year in review posts.  These are my personal favorite posts from The Mishaps and Mayhem of  a Solitary Life. These are the ones I loved writing the most and sharing with all of you (in no particular order!!)

Often times, my posts focus on my family and friends...and I thank you for letting me share them with you!  This year was a big year for my family.  In January, my mom turned 65.  We celebrated her with a surprise bash. And in August, we celebrated Happy Heart Day with my dad.  It was 10 years since his heart surgery!  We do a lot of celebrating in this family!!

Also in August, I linked up with one of my faves, Leslie, to celebrate Friendship Day in An Ode to Besties! I loved that my readers were able to get to know my bestie, Mel better!!

Some of my favorite posts focused on my life as a teacher!    My I am a teacher post, was over a year in the making, and ended up being one of my absolute faves!!  And my Paradise post back in March really got me thinking!

One of the most fun weekends of the year was the one I spent in Florida for Mother's Day!  I recapped it all {here}!

I was really excited when I was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, by Shelly at The Queen in Between,  this past August.  I enjoyed answering the questions and nominating fellow bloggers, creating my own set of questions for them.  LOVED reading all their answers!  Check out the post I put together {here}!

Before we became the ladies of The Blended Blog, we continued our collaboration as The Style Me Bloggers for the first half of the year, linking up a number of times.  One of my favorite link-ups was when I shared This Place I Call Home.
My favorite and most well-received posts of 2014 was my Solitary Life post! I posted another one in 2015.  Read it here!  They are so much fun to put together!!

This November I dubbed every Thursday, Thankful Thursday!  These posts were some of my favorites of the year!!  Find them all here!

2015 was a fantastic year on the blog!  I am excited to see what 2016 has in store!!  I also wanted to thank you all for coming on this journey with me!  Thanks for your support and encouragement.  It means more to me than you will ever know!!

Wishing you all the best in, laughter and all that good stuff!!  Cheers!!


Don't forget to go check out The Blended Bloggers 2015 Review posts!!
 Shoes to Shiraz | Two Teens and Their Mama | Making the Most of Everyday | Foxy's Domestic Side

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Christmas Gift Exchange!!

So excited to be participating in the Christmas Gift Exchange with the ladies of The Blended Blog this year!! The swap is coordinated on Elfster, which I love because it's super secret (not like the Secret Santa I participate in with my family!)

My gift arrived last week and I debated opening it until it was time to write this post, but I just couldn't wait. I was super-excited that sweet Leslie was my secret Elfster!

 She filled my box we so many wonderful gifts. I was touched by the sweet message in her card and how hard she worked on the gift to make it me!!

 Here's what was included!
This super cute wine grass ornament is just perfect and right at home on my tree!!

This pretty snowflake wine stopper is awesome...and so needed!! I was just thinking about how I wanted to get one!!

These cute Christmas cocktail napkins will be the perfect addition to my Christmas Eve gathering!!

So will this raspberry chipotle dipping sauce. Yum! It says for grilling, marinade, and dipping and dipping! So I am going to serve some for dipping on Christmas Eve so we can all enjoy it!!

And last but not least Leslie sent these, too cute for words, wine bottle koozies!!

I was so touched that Leslie sent one for me and my best friend, Mel. You may remember that back in August for Friendship day, Mel and I joined forces with Leslie and her sister Valerie for a blog post about best friends.   Leslie is always so sweet to comment on my insta pics with Mel and tell me how our lifelong friendship is so special!! It was so kind of her to remember us BOTH this Christmas!! WE LOVE YOU LESLIE!!!!

A huge thank you, Leslie for my gifts!! I love them know me so well!! LOL!
During this Christmas season, Leslie, I wish you and all your family the most Blessed of holidays. And nothing but great things and good health in 2016. So many exciting things to look forward to for you all!!

Much Love,


Now please head on over to Sheila's blog to see what I sent her in the gift exchange!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Faves...NC Style!!

Friday's here!!  Only a few more school days til a much-needed Christmas Break!!  This week was a quick one for me!

Here's a few faves from the week...

My trip to NC last weekend was definitely a fave!  I didn't get to post a recap! Since this five is filled with snip-its of my trip, it's kinda like a recap though!!   It was a great time!  Lots of laughs and memories made with family I don't get to see as often as I like!!  I mentioned in last week's 5, that I was going there for my cousin's gender reveal party!  It was so cute!  She had the house decorated with sweet touches (who knew they made this stuff?) and guests wore stickers with what they thought the baby was.   It's a BOY!!  Can't wait for him to arrive in April 2016!!  I was totally Team Blue!

One of the things we did while I was in NC was travel to Asheville for the day!  My cousin Kevin lives right outside Asheville, so we spent the day hanging at his house, then headed to dinner in Asheville, for a little Irish Session and some good food.  While we were there, I got in the holiday spirit, drinking some Sierra Nevada Celebration (An NC brew!!).  When it arrived I noticed on the back of my coaster, it said if you hastagged a photo cheers-ing your Celebration, Sierra Nevada would send you two free pint glasses!  So of course, me being me, I did it!!  And guess what...2 free pint glasses are on there way to me!!  Woo Hoo!! It will probably take forever to get them, but that's ok!!  I LOVE free stuff!! And that's two more pint glasses for my collection and two less that I have to steal !


I had a later flight out of NC on Monday, so my Aunt and I spent part of the day shopping!  One of our stops was World Market!  I saw the store on the way back from the airport Friday night and mentioned that I had just been on their website.  My cousin said that it was THE BEST store, so I was on a mission to get there at some point during the weekend!! (And pretty much talked about it all weekend...after my cousins' houses were filled with goodies from World Market!!) And seriously, can I just say....where has this store been all my life?"??  They have everything!!  And I mean EVERYTHING!!  Even WINE!!  Basically my dream store! :)  I came away with as much as I could fit in my carry-on, joined their rewards program, and have plans to shop on their website more soon!!  C'mon NY...get with the program and bring World Market here to my town!!

No judgement for this next one!  But while I was away, my cousin shared with me her love of Justin Bieber (and Jordan Smith!)!!  LOL.  The Drive home between Kevin's house in Asheville and Kathleen's house is about an hour and a half.  On the way back we listened to Justin's new album, Purpose. I am not ashamed to admit I really liked it.  Not every song was great, but I will say for the last four days I've had about a half a dozen of them in my head.  I am not totally on board with purchasing the album just yet, but I have been casting it on YouTube every night!  HA!  Definitely worth a listen!!
Purpose Deluxe

After the weekend and having Monday off, I feel like these last few days before Christmas Break have been worse than usual.  We go through to the 23rd but this week and next, there are days with Christmas fun scattered throughout so the kids are a lil bit crazy...which is kinda making me cranky.  I feel like such a Scrooge this week!! I have been trying to stay in the holiday spirit this week though...especially with my blog posts! And today I am looking forward to a dress down!  Any Friday in my jeans is a good day!!  But I am certainly counting down the days til the 23rd!!  EVERYONE needs a break!!

Hope you all get to enjoy some time off and time with your family this Christmas!!
Merry Merry!!

Linking up today with ErikaAndrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites !

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Cheer Box Swap!

Happy Thursday and Happy Holidays!! Hard to believe that Christmas Eve is one week from today!! YIKES!! I may not be ready for Christmas, but I am certainly ready for Christmas vacation!!

I was really excited when I saw on Vanessa's blog that she was doing a Christmas Box Swap. I thought it would be the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!

I was super surprised to get my package in the mail....I wasn't expecting it that day!  I received such fun stuff from my gift giver, Jennifer who blogs at Jenuine Happiness!!  So many cute items were packaged up! It was so thoughtful.  I was grinning from ear to ear!

I loved receiving her family's Christmas card and with a sweet note on the back, too!  It was actually the first Christmas card I got so I put it right up on my card ribbon

I just love this journal.  I've already started writing down 2016 blog ideas in it! 

This super cute bamboo cutting board is perfect too!!  It's packaged up so nicely that I am already displaying it in the kitchen but I have yet to open it.  The recipe cards will come in handy!  One of my New Year's Resolutions is to cook more.

The next couple of items are Christmasy and fun!  Gift very needed!  A notepad, perfect for my purse and a cute little ornament that found a home on my tree!!

A big THANK YOU to Jennifer for my goodies!  They are much appreciated! I am so glad to have "met" you during the Christmas Box Swap and so enjoy following your blog!!  Wishing you and your sweet family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year!!


Find out who I sent my gift to here!

Linking up today with Vanessa and Penny!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Home at the Holidays!!

Christmastime is here!   The halls have been decked!  Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do.  So I'm super excited to be participating in today's blog hop with the ladies of The Blended Blog!  If you're visiting from Christy's blog, WELCOME! Thanks for stopping by!

Come on my home at Christmas!

This year my tree was up before Thanksgiving, November16th to be exact!  But I didn't start decorating it, or the rest of the house, until the day after Thanksgiving.   Being such a small place, there's not much to decorate, but I do what I can!!  I actually feel like I've decorated less this I'm missing a box or something!

My tree all decorated and lit up!  It right in the corner, when you walk in the front door.

 This is the front window in the entry way.  This year I added some poinsettia swag above the window.

My house is the lower level of a condo. So it's basically one great room.  This is the TV stand in my living room!  With the TV on the wall, I have plenty of room to display things during the year.

The Living Area

The WANTED {Jolly Men Bearing Gifts} sign stays up all year! HA!

Doesn't everyone put their Nativity on the Wine Table?

This stocking was mine from my first Christmas in 1980.

The Kitchen has a few Christmassy touches as well.

My new thing is displaying things on the cabinets above my microwave!  I like this sentiment!

I display the cards I receive on a ribbon on the pantry. Last year I feel like I had a ton more cards!  I haven't gotten many cards yet!!

One last thing I want to share is the door of my guest room.  This room houses all of my gifts, boxes and wrapping stuff! When I was little my Nana would put the same sign on her guest room door at Christmas time, to let us know to stay out!  Even though I don't have anyone to keep out of the room, I thought the sign was a great idea!  And is a little something that when I pass it, I smile thinking of my grandma!

It's was so much fun sharing my decorations with you!  Now hop on over to Shaunacey's blog at Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy to see all her beautiful decor!!

 Wishing you all a Happy Holiday!!

*Play a little game of "Spot the Differences" from this year and last here!*

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Favorites!

My favorites this week come from the last couple of weeks, since I didn't post much!

{ONE} My blanket scarf obsession had hit new heights!  Over the past few weeks my collection has grown to six!!  And I decided, it's totally ok!  Blanket scarves are great for the days when you just wanna throw your hair up and go,  but still look cute!

{TWO} Now that we are well into the Holiday season, I am totally Christmased out!!  I'm loving it.  I've been busy wrapping, sending, and receiving gifts already!  And I can't wait to share with you some of my Christmas touches on the blog on Monday during The Blended Blog's Home Tour Blog Hop!!
Check out last's year's tour here!

{THREE} My love of Adele has not waned one bit in the weeks I've been away from the blog!  I am still loving her CD and just love the newest single Water Under the Bridge!  Set your DVRs because Monday night at 10 is her concert special, Live at Radio City!  I'm bitter I wasn't there!

{FOUR} One of my favorite things to do ever is LAUGH and I have been doing it so much lately...and at the most inappropriate times!  HA!  But I just can't help it!!  Like... I live alone and will bust out laughing randomly or be walking down the street and do the same.  Weird I know!

{FIVE}  I'm off to North Carolina for the weekend to visit  family!  My cousin's going to reveal the gender of her baby in her birthday cake on Saturday night.  It will be a quick visit but I'm really excited!!! It should be a lot of fun!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend no matter what's in store!!

Linking up today with ErikaAndrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites !