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Happy New Year to all of you!…5 days late.

I, for one, am very happy to see 2015 here. 2014 was an eventful year for our family: moving to a new house, Allison’s wedding, visiting Oregon, Season 4 of Downtown Abby…and now am looking forward to a bit of calm. I am definitely one of those people who takes down their Christmas decorations on the 26th, anxious for simplicity after a jam packed Holiday. By the end of the season, even bending down to plug in the Christmas tree and garland on the mantle begins to feel arduous.

That being said, our Christmas was wonderful and full of family. Brian and I are blessed to live in the same town as our parents and so were able to see everyone on Christmas Day. Between us, we had two sets of parents, four siblings, two sib-in-laws, 1 girlfriend, one aunt, one uncle and two neices. That makes 19 people for dinner including our family of four. It was such a blessed day.

Brian and me on Christmas Day

Brian and me on Christmas Day

James and Caleb in their new Ninja Turtle Robes

James and Caleb in their new Ninja Turtle Robes

I also have to show you my favorite ornament of the season, given to me by none other than my favorite neighbor, Laura–author of this recipe and this recipe, and unlike all my other Christmas ornaments, this one did not get packed away and stored in the attic, but retained and hung in my office as an excellent reminder when feeling bogged down. Words of Wisdom from Elizabeth Taylor!

My January is always full of Thank You Notes and New Year’s Resolve–resolutions are too easy to break–both of which I’ll be writing about this month. My verse for the month is Romans 12:11

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor,

serving the Lord.

In other words, get excited about the Lord and about what it means to serve him. We have just celebrated one of the most special days in the Christian faith, lets not forget about that just because the holidays are behind us.

If you are in the midst of detoxing yourself and your kids after the calorie, candy Christmas overload, you will want to stay tuned for all the recipes I’m cooking in La Cucina. Every single meal is healthy! You can also check out my La Cucina Pinboard for more.

I’ve decided to take a new turn with my Style Wheel posts. Each month, I will chose one of my favorite closet must-haves, The Style Wheel Big Deal if you will,  and demonstrate how versatile you can make that piece. Style has everything to do with creativity and taking risks; don’t limit your wardrobe with a paint-by-number mentality. Experiment!  This month the Style Wheel Big Deal is a (faux) shearling vest.

photo credit to McKinney Foto

I kid not when I type this, I wear mine 3-4 times a week! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how easily a shearling vest can incorporate into your wardrobe. If you don’t have one already, go ahead and get one. The cutest ones I have found are at Target, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. I bought mine on the downtown McKinney Square at Me and Mrs. Jones, and they do have a couple of versions still in stock!

Again, happy January to all of you!

-ciao for now-





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