Friday, December 19, 2014

Favorite Things, 2014

Katie at Words for Worms recently asked why "My Favorite Things" was considered a Christmas song. I've always wondered that, too. But then, the song gives a nice little lead-in to my favorite 2014 discoveries, so I'm going with it. Cue Julie Andrews....

1. Bedroom carpet
Husband and I have been talking about getting bedroom carpet for the over three years we've been in our house. The room has hardwood floors, but it's a north-facing room that's very cold. The previous owners were nice enough to leave us a big area rug, but we really kinda hated the rug. So for our anniversary, we told ourselves we were going to replace it.
   Do you know how expensive large rugs are? My goodness. So we ended up buying the softest, cooshiest remnant we could find and bought a good padding to lay under it. We cut it to size and that was it. It's a pleasure to walk across the room now.
   On a side note, I chose green because I love green and the bedroom is painted green, but after paying for it, I realized I'd just committed a cardinal rule of decorating: green is the hardest color to match. But you know what? I've got mad carpet-matching skills, because it was a dead on perfect match.

2. Bo learning to ride a bike
We've been trying to teach our grandson, Bo, to ride a bike for several years now. Finally, this spring something clicked and he just learned one night and he was off like the wind. I'd felt bad that he was 8 and didn't know how to ride. Even though I was *ahem* 30 when I learned.

3. My new jewelry box
I've been looking to replace my huge "jewelry armoire" for years now, but I couldn't find just the right box to replace it with. I happened up the perfect thing this fall and ordered it for about a fourth the list price. Now it's out of stock. I'm not sure if they'll get more or not, but this puppy is worth every penny. Beautiful leather (I bought the espresso version), optional monogram (yes, please), LOTS of room. Bought from Red Envelope. Note: It is large--about the size of small dorm fridge.

4. Clementine
Do you follow strangers' blogs only to feel like a part of the family after awhile? No. Just me? Anywho...This wonderful family just adopted their eighth child from China. They've named her Clementine, and she's the sweetest, happiest baby I've seen. Follow their story and you'll be hooked. (If beautiful photos of beautiful kids is your thing, this site will absolutely slay you.)

5. Laura Hillenbrand
I read both Seabiscuit and Unbroken this year, and I am over the moon for Laura Hillenbrand. Period.

6. Downton Abbey
I usually come to things a little late (see item 2), so now that season 5 is set to begin, I've become addicted to Downton Abbey. The beauty, the splendor, the DRAMA. Thank you, PBS. (And thank you hubby for buying me the first four seasons.)

7. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Had I a choice in who I married, I might have married a documentary film maker. Or someone who comments in one. Or writes reviews one. Anyway. I loved this documentary SO much. I hope someone buys it for me for Christmas.

8. Thom McAn loafers
(Am I the only one who squeals over loafers?) I have to tell you, I hate shoe-shopping, and I always will. Nothing is ever comfortable enough for me. But then I discovered Thom McAn leather loafers--and bought three pairs.

9. Cincinnati Chili
I've been meaning to try Cincinnati Chili for years now. I mean, chili with chocolate and cinnamon in it? That you put over spaghetti noodles? It was either going to be love or disaster. I used this recipe, and as one reviewer suggested, I boiled the beef in the broth (it looks gross, but it's worth it) and let it break down first. Thank you, Ohio, for your presidents and your chili recipe.

10. Girl time
I have one of those marriages where the couple spends every available minute together. We miss each other when we leave the room to use the bathroom. And yet, it was becoming more and more obvious that for various reasons I need a little more time alone. So we've instituted "girl time" in which my husband is banned from the house for several hours a week so I can do my thing without loud electric guitar or other boyish interruptions. Yummy.

What's on your list of 2014 discoveries?

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