Hi friend! I’ve missed you! I took some much needed time off after Christmas to rest and recharge and it really did me good. While the kids were gone, I cleaned house, worked out, took myself out to lunch and to the bookstore and visited with a few friends.
There were late mornings and also some glorious naps thrown in for good measure. The house is a clean slate with all the Christmas decor down.
I was so happy that I went through and donated all of the Christmas decor that we weren’t using that didn’t fit in our new house. It make packing it up and putting it away so much easier!
And I got these new ornament storage bins to hold all of our ornaments. I like this style better than what we had because you can remove an entire tray at a time to get to the bottom easily. It’s also super sturdy and has a front pocket for additional storage.
Now I’m feeling ready to go and get back to sharing with you. Before I get to the best of December, I wanted to give you a little recap of our Christmas since I didn’t get to do that yet. It really was a wonderful time spent with family and even Jordan declared it the “Best Christmas Ever!”
The kids woke up around 6:00 a.m. and actually James was the first one up, which surprised me. We headed downstairs and opened gifts, ate breakfast and the kids started playing with their new gifts.
My family came over around 3:00 for dinner and our gift exchange. If you’ve been following me on Stories, and I’ve also mentioned it here, we have an unwelcome guest living here – a fat rat!
Jordan first spotted it a few weeks ago in the kitchen near Luke’s dog food. Since then, I’ve been trying like heck to catch the guy. My exterminator has been out several times, we have traps all over our kitchen and in the mudroom where I’ve seen evidence of him – but still no luck catching him.
Originally, I was only putting the sticky traps out at night because I didn’t want my dog or cat getting stuck in there. But Johnny said rats are smart and they’ll avoid new things, so we need to leave them out 24/7. So, he came and make little covers out of cardboard boxes to make it safer for my pets.
But, we also have the old fashioned traps and an electric box – none of which have worked.
Since Jordan first saw him, I’ve seen it TWICE! But it always got away.
It seemed to be going under the stove and dishwasher, so we pulled out the stove and definitely found evidence of it back there – along with a totally chewed stove cord. The cord was literally chewed to the wires in several places and I couldn’t believe I had been cooking with it that way!
I called an appliance repair company out and they quoted me nearly $300 to replace the cord and $590 for labor.
But, once I was able to get behind the stove myself, I realized all I had to do was order a new cord and I could plug it in myself. The cord simply plugs into the stove at one end and into the wall on the other end. I thought the company should be ashamed to quote me that much in labor to PLUG IN A CORD!
I was kinda freaking out that I wouldn’t have a new cord in time for Christmas dinner at our house, but I found a Wolf parts place in Dallas and was able to pay expedited shipping to get the $30 cord here by Christmas Eve! Whew, one bit of good news!
Once my family was all here, we started preparing our Christmas dinner. My sister Carrie wanted to heat up her ham in the convection oven since we had other things cooking in the regular oven.
I turned on my convection oven for the first time since living here and IT CAUGHT ON FIRE!
My sister Jessica must have said about three times, “it smells like something is burning” before we realized the oven was on fire. I opened the door and saw bright red flames inside. It literally looked like a full blown fireplace inside.
We ushered all the kids outside, I reached for my fire extinguisher, turned the oven and burners off and my brother and I pulled the stove out from the wall to make sure it wasn’t on fire back there or that the fire had something to do with the cord. Thankfully, everything looked normal and the fire hadn’t spread.
Y’all, my heart was beating through my chest as I envisioned my entire kitchen going up in flames. Jessica kept a cool head and was saying that since it was the first time I turned this oven on, maybe a brochure or paper packet had fallen in there and caught fire. She didn’t use the fire extinguisher, rather, we waited and the fire eventually burned itself out.
Thankfully, the fire was totally contained inside the convection oven and didn’t spread to any parts of the house.
The next week, I called the Wolf appliance repair person out and found out that what caused the fire was rat feces and nesting materials he had drug into the oven. I mean, how much worse can it get?!
Luckily, he was able to clean and disinfect the oven and no repairs were required because there was nothing actually wrong with the oven. But, that visit cost about $300.
Later that day, my exterminator Johnny came out to pull the dishwasher out to see if any damage had been done to the wires back there and so that I could get back there and clean.
I was at an appointment when Johnny pulled the oven out and guess what was back there staring him in the face?! Yes, that stinking rat– plus the disgusting pile o’ poop and urine!
As if it couldn’t get any worse.
But the rat ran past Johnny and under the sofa. Johnny tore the sofa apart trying to find the rat, but he couldn’t locate it!
O M G !!!!!!!
You guys, I am dying inside over this rat. When I got home, I scoured the couch, gave it a good vacuum, along with the floor and cleaned and disinfected behind my dishwasher with bleach. Could not be more disgusting.
Today, Johnny is bringing poison for the rat. I cannot believe it’s come to this. I hate that this rat is living here and that it’s done so much damage to our home and could’ve caused the kitchen to burn down or seriously injured someone!
I really hope that someday we look back on this and laugh, because right now I could cry!
As for the good stuff, my family is awesome and the meal ended up being fantastic. My grill master brother fried two turkeys and they were delicious.
My brothers were Santa’s elves and helped assemble the soccer goal that the kids got for Christmas.
I love this family of mine so very much!
DECEMBER BEST SELLERS
I always love seeing what y’all are loving and here’s what topped your list for December!
FASHION BEST SELERS
AMAZON FASHION BEST SELERS
BEAUTY BEST SELERS
HOME BEST SELERS
AMAZON WINTER BEAUTY
Our Houston weather has gone from freezing cold to 80 degrees and my skin is feeling it! Below are some of my beauty faves, in winter and all year long!
December was also a fun month for dressing room finds. We had holiday outfits, weekend styles and more!
A huge THANK YOU for subscribing to my blog! To show my appreciation I do a Loves Giveaway every month. Congratulations to this month’s winner – Stephanie in Hazel Park, Michigan!
Did you do your fair share of binge watching during the holidays?! With giving up cable, SlingTV has been a great, affordable option to watch our favorite shows for less.
Amazon for the win again and again! I just got my latest fashion order in and can’t wait to share it with you! But first, we found some gems in December too- the faux leather leggings being at the top of the list!
Shop Amazon Holiday Hosting
If you are reading via email, click here for shoppable images
Did you catch our holiday home tour before all the festive touches came down? I really loved decorating this new home for the first time- everything looked fresh and new and it caused me to pause and reflect on what I actually wanted to display and let go of this year.
I have to give a shout out to Kohl’s for coming through with the cute, affordable fashion over the years. I’ve ordered several things from Kohl’s that I really like, especially the Cuddl Duds pajamas!
We absolutely scored some great finds at Bloomingdale’s, Evereve and Loft- most of it on sale!
For those of you with chilly temps, here are winter accessories (all from Amazon) to liven up your wardrobe.
I was home on NYE, but these stunning outfits could easily translate to a fun girls’ night out, party, or date night!
Shop NYE Outfits
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I’m so grateful for your continued support here, how you show up and share the love on a daily basis. I hope you get as much out of being here as I do.
Now let’s go kick 2023’s booty!