Friday, January 7, 2022

THE HOLIDAY RECAP. {2021}

Hello, 2022!!

This is my first post in the new year and I just wanted to stop and thank you all for sticking with me for so long! It's hard to believe I'm coming up on 5 years here in this little space! I know I've been sporadic here (at best) this past year as I learn how to juggle a new (and booming) business with Modere, my little Etsy shop, the Daily Deals Group on FB, and this blog on top of mom/wife/household duties. Sometimes it can all get overwhelming and my head just spins thinking of what I need to do each day with each of them. Do you ever get like that? So overwhelmed that you just get paralyzed and then do...nothing? #hi #itsme 🤦‍♀️ 

I'm determined to be better this year.

So thank you for continuing to read here and for your sweet comments both here and on social media. Thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, cheering me on, and being so KIND. It means so much and I just appreciate it more than you know. ❤

And now...a huge photo dump from December.


The Saturday before Christmas, we packed up and headed to my hometown of Texarkana, TX. It's about 2.5ish hours from Mckinney so not bad at all for a weekend trip.

My mom is basically the Cruise Director when we come to town and since the boys hadn't been to Texarkana since before Covid hit, she went all out to make sure they were never bored and had as much fun as they could stand.

She bought a croquet set which they actually seemed to love...


...and the next day they set up the net so they could play badminton...


...and volleyball. The boys were not great at volleyball. We chased the ball a LOT and smashed several of Nana's precious flowers but they were pretty impressed that their Mom could hold her own. 😉


This is the little house I grew up in and even though it is small, it is so warm and cozy.


We headed to my granddad's house for our big family Christmas that Saturday and I made my favorite Chocolate Chip Gooey Cake to bring. (My brother insisted I only do chocolate chips in half this time because he likes it plain so you can skip those if you want but why would you?!)


The boys parked themselves in front of checkers as soon as we got there and played an incredibly painful game that caught the attention of the entire room. And by painful, I mean, "How do you not see that move?!". 🤦‍♀️ Sometimes I feel like a failure as a mother. 😂


My sweet cousin, Kaci, is always my favorite person to see when we all get together. (Sorry to everyone else. 😂) She's got 2 boys too who are precious and she's always felt like the little sister I always wanted. ❤


My granddaddy's house is always bursting at the seams when we all get together but we make it work. This is just a portion of the kids.


Maddox always lights up a room. He's going to be one to watch!


And I caught his older brother, Jude, being adorable with his little cousin, Charlie.


We've been doing this exact thing every year since I can remember. All the kids on the floor waiting to be handed their present while all adults sit back and take pictures or help open boxes, find batteries, etc.
We used to do it on Christmas Eve when I was growing up and I remember always looking out the window on the way home to see if I could see Santa's sleigh. (I never did, by the way, which I always found highly disappointing.)


How cute is my 86yo granddaddy!?! Sharp as a tack and still climbing and cutting down trees.


These boys always have fun together. Nathan and Noah are twins and the same age as Matthew.


We always have chili and pizza (for the kids) and then everyone plays outside until it's time to wrap it up and head back home. 

We will be making it a point to get back there to visit more often this year for sure. The boys are at that age where in a few more years, it won't be as cool to head to Texarkana to stay with Nana and Papa on weekends. They'll be more concerned with their social lives. (I remember those days well! 😍)

And speaking of social lives, I got to see so many of my friends in all my different friend groups last month!

The night after we got home from Texarkana, I spent 6 hours with my 2 besties (Dani and Pam) eating the best almonds ever and chatting about all.the.things on Dani's couch. How we never run out of things to talk about is beyond me but we never do. Definitely the sign of a best friend.


And seriously...these almonds? Highly recommend.


This cat, y'all... 😂


I also got to go to dinner one night with my Culdesac Crew and while we planned on taking a picture since we don't all get together very often, we failed.  All I have is this one from that night. 😬


Nights out with my girls are always fun...(the IG filter we used makes me look a little orange… 😬🤣)

(Off-the-shoulder top HERE)

...and so are brunches! My friends Brandi and Jamie (the ones on each end below) are my neighbors and have boys Mason's age. They have been talking about going to this Hip Hop Brunch by The Star (Dallas Cowboys practice facility) for weeks so we decided to make reservations for the day after Christmas. We grabbed our other neighbor, Megan, and sat on the patio for more hours than I care to admit eating yummy food, drinking mimosas from champagne towers and listening to a DJ play old school hip hop that took us back to our college days and then some. If you are local, it's every Saturday and Sunday from 10-3 at The Common Table in Frisco. (Star District) Grab your people and go! If the weather is nice, try to get a seat on the patio. We monopolized our corner table all day but left a pretty solid tip to try to make up for it. 🥴



Can you even call yourself a blogger if you don't take pictures of everyone's food before they're allowed to touch it? 😜




I am an introvert at heart and most of the time there's no place else I'd rather be than curled up on the couch with my dog and Netflix. Throw in some twinkly lights and fuzzy slippers and it's going to take a LOT to get me back up. 


I started re-watching The Queen's Gambit because I loved it so much the first time. If you still haven't seen it, it's so good!

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Christmas Eve is always spent doing our traditional things like...

...Chick-fil-a for lunch because it's Matthew's absolute favorite.

I had to throw in a 2020 pic to compare to 2021 because look at how much these boys have grown in one year! I had to go back and double-check the date on that first picture to make sure it really was just last year.


That is a huge difference!

We always go to the Christmas Eve service at church.


(Again...when did he become a man?)


So peaceful and so beautiful.


After church, we come home and decorate cookies for Santa (although they are starting to lose their enthusiasm for this one so it may be on the way out)...


...and then we jump in the car to check out the Christmas lights in Tucker Hill which is the cutest neighborhood ever and looks like a movie set.  Then we hit up the 2 or 3 really, really good houses in our area like this one...(this picture does not do it justice)


...and this one. (This one is just out of control amazing.)


Home again to watch a little 24 hours of a Christmas Story and then we tell the boys to go upstairs and not to come down again until at least 7am. 



Not that they ever listen.

Mason ALWAYS tries to sneak down before it's time. This year he snuck down way too early and Santa had come already but I was also still on the couch watching TV. 😂 I heard him and called out to him to turn around before he could turn the corner and see anything but still... #busted

Christmas morning breakfast. This one is quick and easy.


Mason was very clear on what he wanted for Christmas this year and that included this jersey and this gold chain with his number. Apparently these gold chains are all the rage right now when you're 11.


The calm after the storm.


My sweet boy can't stay away.

(Slippers HERE)

Another sweet boy was ready to shoot his new BB gun in the backyard.


He's a great shot!


By New Year's Eve, we were all feeling a lot like Chuck. Lazy and bored.


We have a little NYE party at our house every year (minus last year b/c of Covid) so I spent the day cleaning, decorating, and watching Sweet Home Alabama.


My new flare jeans and sweater were delivered right before I had to figure out what to wear so that was helpful! These jeans have great stretch, hold their shape, and aren't super long. I'm 5'5" and went barefoot all night but they'd be perfect with some heels too. (These are being restocked today so if you don't see them yet, check again this afternoon! I'll try to update the link once they come back.)


The sweater was light and soft and the neckline made it ultra-feminine and pretty. ❤

This is an old picture but I always make this Buffalo Wing Dip for parties. If you've never had it before, put it on your list and use my recipe!


By 7:00 we were ready for our people!


This year was smaller than previous years but might be one of the most fun ones we've ever had!

Kelley on the left is my next door neighbor and the second we met 14 years ago, I knew we had totally  lucked out in the neighbor department. I still remember the first time she came and knocked on our door in November 2007 with her girls, Lauren (maybe 3?) and Tori (about 5). I was just a few months pregnant with Matthew and we stood on the doorstep chatting while the girls darted through the front door to come check themselves out in a wall of mirrors in our dining room that we ended up getting rid of. 😂 When Kelley found out I was pregnant, she looked like she'd just hit the jackpot. She loved my baby boys like they were her own. They have been like family ever since.


Tori (left) and Lauren (middle) are now 19 and 17 and played inappropriate games like What Do You Meme with us this year for the first time. 😂 They definitely made us feel young and somehow it wasn't even that awkward when it most definitely should have been. It's been so fun watching them grow up. I've obviously never had a daughter but I'm always happy to live vicariously through Kelley when it comes to that. ❤ I'd look good as a girl mom, right?? Can I claim them? 😉


This is our core NYE crew and this has been our tradition for years now. Eat, chat, hang out in the kitchen for a couple of hours and then it's time to move on to game night in the dining room. (We literally use this room twice a year. Once for Thanksgiving dinner and once for NYE game night.) What Do You Meme has been our game of choice in recent years and this year I dominated. 🙌 I needed the win this night. Sometimes you just need a win, ya know? Even at something as stupid as this.


The kids are always upstairs doing their own thing and hopefully not listening to what's going on at the table. 😂 And then we all always gather in the living room right before midnight, pass out champagne and count down. The only picture I got around this time was with my big teenager.


Love him. 💙

And that's about it, friends.

Are we caught up now? Maybe for the most part?

I have no plans tonight (as of now) but tomorrow night, I'm headed out with friends to a fun new (to us) restaurant called Bottled In Bond in Frisco. Anyone local and been there? Any other places locally that I'm missing and we should check out? Comment below or message me on IG (@amandanall) or FB (Amanda Crain Nall)! We're always looking for fun new places to try.

And one last thing before I run! Tonight, Modere is dropping 2 brand new products and I can't not tell you about them! One is their very own collagen-infused self-tanner. It goes on like a foam...almost identical to the Body Firming Foam if you have that. Only this is also going to give you a warm, healthy, gorgeous, non-toxic glow in about 4 hours as well as those body firming benefits! Plus it's only $35 or if it's your first time ordering anything with me, it's actually $10 off that! Also comes with a free mitt while they last!



And then we have a new COLLAGEN!! Immune is very similar to Life in case you already take that. But it's also got Zinc & Elderberry PLUS all the good stuff you've come to expect from our collagen! So if you want to step up your collagen game to include some immune support (b/c why not?!), do it now!! This is a Limited Time Only product from what we've been told although I hope they keep it around! Who wouldn't want their collagen AND vitamins all in one?!


Liquid BioCell® Immune is the super nutraceutical that supports healthy aging and enhanced immune response in one groundbreaking formula. Multi-patented Collagen/HA Matrix® Technology improves joint mobility and lubrication, reduces joint discomfort, and promotes healthy cartilage and connective tissue, while also reducing wrinkles from the inside out. Our exclusive Modere TriPlex Immune Complex™ adds elderberry, zinc, and 13 phytonutrient-rich superfoods to bolster your immune system and support respiratory and cardiovascular health. All in a unique liquid delivery system that provides fast absorption and unparalleled results.*

Product Benefits
Improves joint mobility & lubrication*
Reduces joint discomfort*
Reduces wrinkles from the inside out*
Improves skin’s hydration, firmness and elasticity*
Promotes healthy hair, nails, gums, and eyes*
Bolsters your immune system*
Supports respiratory & cardiovascular health*
Boosts vitality*

As with all supplements... *FDA disclaimer: These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    These will both be available on the site sometime tomorrow night around 6pm MST. I'll post them in my stories with direct links once they are live. I honestly cannot tell you how excited I am about the Immune! Is it not exactly what we all need right now?! And I've been testing self-tanners for about 6 months now so I feel like a pro at that and can't wait to get my hands on it. From the girls who got to test it early, it's supposedly PERFECT! No transferring to white sheets, non-toxic, gorgeous, natural glow, no orange...what more do we want?!

Anyway, you can shop the site HERE and grab yours as soon as it becomes available! If you need help, just let me know!

Happiest Friday, friends!


 

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6 comments

  1. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Loved this recap and so happy you're back!! Just love your style / humor / overall vibe. And your family couldn't be sweeter! Happy 2022!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So proud of you and how hard you have been working. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Friend, every single picture here makes me miss Christmas all over again! Your house, your food, the festivities! I loved this post! One of my faves! I also love your sweet husband's comment above too :) !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Amanda. I love reading your blog and I loved this post. It showed such a loving and cozy and family/friend oriented special times. Just a feel good post. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete

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