Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review

2016 has been a rough one for my family.  The year started off with a cancer diagnosis and various surgical procedures for me, all during my busy tax season.  My husband lost two brothers to cancer within a two-month time span later in the year. Our parents are having aging and health issues that has required more of our time. Surely 2017 has to be better, right? In glancing back through this blog, which is basically a journal for me, I have evidence of the positive things that happened during the year.  I grew creatively in many areas, including making my first-ever quilts. I hosted teas and various family events. My granddaughters and I had a lot of fun times in the kitchen. My backyard gardening continues to be both stress relief and a source of pride for me. As bad as the year felt at times, there are also a lot of good memories and accomplishments.


January found me joining an online weekly sew-along where I progressed on my first quilt.  Each week we would get instructions for a new block. I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot, too.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with my tax season schedule but it was actually a great source of relaxation for me.  I would come home from work and do a little each night before going to bed. It was enough to distract me from numbers and dealing with clients. We finished the quilt in May and I've made two quilts since.  I'm about to start another sew-along in a few weeks!


In early February I hosted my family's annual tea.  Normally, our teas are held in December, but due to my granddaughter's role in the Nutcracker ballet we moved the tea until after Christmas. As it was so close to our next major holiday we had a Valentines themed tea.


I taught myself to cross stitch when I was home on maternity leave with my son 34 years ago. I started a new sampler at the beginning of the year and, by March, hadn't gotten very far with it. I'm still plugging along on it, should have it finished in the next week or two! I'm not a slow stitcher but I have so many hobbies and projects and only so much time to spend on each! I did manage to complete two pieces that had been languishing in my to-do basket so I did make some visible progress! I have two other cross-stitched marriage samplers that I've made throughout the years and have ordered a pattern to make another one.  I think a 2017 project may be a marriage sampler gallery wall in my bedroom!


The end of tax season and the beginning of strawberry season coincides in my area of the world.  I always look forward to my first trip to the strawberry field and the big, red, juicy berries. Instead of traditional strawberry shortcake I tried a Tres Leches Cake from the Barefoot Contessa.  It was so good and remembering it has me craving some just-picked strawberries!


We added a storage shed to our side yard, in the form of a small barn.  It added a lot of color, character, and functionality to an awkward part of the property.


My granddaughters are growing up much too fast and scheduling time with them is getting harder and harder. They have so many things to do and that doesn't always mean hanging out with Nana! My two oldest and I had a fun morning in the kitchen making these decadent cupcakes!



Mid-summer finds my garden at its peak.  It's full of color and blooms, birds and bees. It gets very hot here at that time of year. I have to do my gardening chores very early in the morning, but the rewards are worth it!



I love fresh pasta and find each time I make some, it gets easier.  I expanded my repertoire a little with this pasta dish, adding lemon pepper to the dough.  It was very pretty and added a lot of flavor to the dish.


One is never too old to play with dishes is my motto!  A new table runner, and a visit to a local store where some plates caught my eye, found me mixing and matching things and making sugar cookies to come up with this table setting.


I went way out of my comfort zone when I decided to strip down an old door and convert it to an outdoor beverage station.  It took me longer than planned, was more work than I envisioned, but I'm in love with the end result!


Each year I squeeze a gazillion pomegranates to make jelly for family and friends.  The juice makes a great cosmo, too!


My granddaughters have quit ballet so we were able to have our family tea in December once more, thus I hosted two teas this year. The woodland theme was very "Christmasy".  Our wonderful family tradition continues on!

Thank you for visiting my blog this year and sharing your comments with me. Who knows what 2017 will bring, but I look forward to sharing my domestic adventures with you.  Happy New Year!


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your look back on 2016 and I hope the coming year will be a good one. That Tres Leche cake looks divine and I had forgotten about it until I saw it on this post. Believe it or not we are just getting in strawberries from S FL so I may be making that cake. Our S FL strawberries are absolutely delicious, they will do a second planting and we will get them through March and after that all our strawberries come from CA.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Carolyn

    1. Like every other Ina recipe I've tried, it's a good one! Very moist and creamy, you will enjoy it. Happy New Year!