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Hello and Happy new years eve! Reporting? from sunny?California…where the weather is just perfect in?every sense. Sunny, warm, 70’s, zero humidity…….it is heaven especially coming from cold, icy NY! I prepared this post in advance……?I just cannot believe 2013 is over. Hard to believe we are about to start a whole new year…wow this one really flew. I feel like I say it every year but this year I really really mean it. It was a good year, a productive year and a year filled with many highlights. There are still many many things on my “to do” list and I am hoping that 2014 will allow me to bring those to fruition. I have a penchant for even numbers and 14 happens to be one of my lucky numbers so I am quite looking forward to 2014!

As I have done the last two years (wow cannot believe I have been blogging that long) I have created a post on reflections from this past year as well as a favorite post from each month of the last year. Hope you enjoy…I cannot thank you enough for your support, friendship, I feel incredibly fortunate and look forward to another wonderful year together! I will be back on Jan. 4th and very much look forward to resuming?blogging and starting off 2014 with a bang!

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JANUARY….One word with Tina from The Enchanted Home, I had fun answering my own questions on different things.

FEBRUARY?? Building a blue and white collection. A fun post for any blue and white aficionado and how to start building a blue and white collection.

MARCH Three cheers for cherry blossoms. This post is so appropriate for March…cherry blossom beauty at its best!

APRIL Dining al fresco.….nothing quite like it!

MAY The perfect little getaway.? A recap from my wonderful trip to the beautiful Mayflower Inn and Spa.

JUNE Party central part 1. A fun look at the prep behind a birthday luncheon I threw for a friend…..

JULY Hamptons Panache. Love any excuse to talk about the wonderful Hamptons!

AUGUST? Why the beauty of fall sometimes makes me cry. One of my personal all time favorite posts.

SEPTEMBER How my home came to be. A look at how it all happened……it was fun to go down that road again!

OCTOBER Fall in the Hamptons. A fun post on visting my favorite beach town in the “off season”

NOVEMBER Yearning for urns part 2. A great post on so many wonderful ways to use urns…..

DECEMBER By Invitation only…..Christmas cocktails. Loved and enjoyed putting this fun post together!

Reflections on 2013…….

Taking advantage of time. It is a cliche but a true one at that.? I have learned how precious time really is…and to try to take advantage of “living in the moment”, seizing opportunities when they happen. I have gotten pretty bold about just going for it as opposed to saying one day I would like to do this or that. Time is so precious and it is a gift, don’t let it pass you by and then one day you have no choice but to?look back with regret because that moment of opportunity has come and gone.

Quality vs. quantity in relationships. I have been very very blessed to have some incredible friendships.?As with all things in life, some come and some go.?????????? Many I have had for over 20 years and they are still going strong. Some have proven their friendship more than others…..I have learned that it is far more valuable to have a few close true authentic friends than a bunch of people who might not have your back or just be there when it’s fun and fabulous. You know a? good friend by how they react during a tough time, they know when you are?sick or?stressed and are there unconditionally with support, a hug and?a smile. They are by your side not through not just the fun times but the tough ones, when you are sick or down….those are the friends who are the “real deal”.? I value and cherish the friendships I have and am incredibly thankful for them. You?know?who?you are……a million thanks!

Becoming an empty nester. I honestly feel way way too young to almost be an empty nester. Just saying the word makes me well up. My “baby” all six feet of him will be off to college next year fulfilling his dream of playing college lacrosse…it is a dream we are so happy to share with him but it is a chapter closing to what has been virtually my entire life. To any of you who have young kids…..I cannot stress enough how important it is to find the enjoyment and joy out of even the small every day happenings….one day you will wake up and they too will be heading off to college. I have no regrets, I devoted my life to my three kids and wouldnt’ have it any other way. Take all the pictures you want to, even if people make fun of you for it (my family sure did) they will one day be the one thing that can “take you back” to their childhood and fond family memories.I know the silver lining in all of this is more time to myself to pursue dreams and ambitions that maybe had to take a backseat to my most important job, motherhood. More time with my hubby to work on projects together, and travel more……a new stage which will take getting used to. I am thankful to have so many amazingly fond memories of my kids when they were young and still “in my nest” but know there are many special times ahead……

Travel. I really miss traveling the way we used to. All except the flying part!? But thankfully there are meds to get me on the plane and keep me happy and calm! I plan to resume more traveling in the coming year and already have a few ideas for trips including that southern road trip that didn’t happen! I LOVE this quote and think it is so on the mark. Travel makes you feel alive and helps you see a different perspective both of the world all the way until you get home….you know that feeling of??walking?into your home after being away and looking at things with a whole new set of eyes and renewed vigor! Travel really does invigorate me.

Slowing down. Up until about 6 years ago?I was my happiest being busy 24/7. I was known as the one who was never home and if someone caught me at home it was? a surprise. Now (possibly in part thanks to blogging) I LOVE being home. I have in fact become a bit of a homebody, go figure! I am definitely my happiest being home, being in comfy yoga pants and doing things like blogging, reading,?cooking up something yummy, sprucing up something around the house or plotting my next project:) I dont’ miss my frantic lifestyle of going morning, noon and night and love and relish this more relaxed stage of my life. I take it slow and am not afraid to say no to doing things…it is liberating!

Great food. Hey, whats life without something good to eat! I do not fit into my size 6’s anymore and of course I miss looking so svelte but I have to admit I do love good food, love cooking it, buying it and tasting it. Life is too short to not enjoy it. The only thing I want to do different in 2014 is to incorporate more exercise into my life. This might help offset my habit that is here to stay of eating great foods. Life wouldn’t be worth living without cheese, bread, a bit of chocolate,etc…..can’t give those up, no way. But I will start getting back to a regular exercise regimen! Goal for 2014……………of course while enjoying a nice chunk of parmigaiano and a good glass of wine 🙂

Everyone is fighting a battle. I totally believe this. No one and I mean no one goes through life unscathed. Everyone is fighting a battle, some big and some small. I love the saying ” the grass is greener where you water it”. It is easy to look over your shoulder to someone who might seemingly have it better than you but truth is things are not always what they seem. If you walk through life assuming that everyone has something they are battling….you might find yourself being more compassionate and empathetic towards people. I have adopted this and have found its made a difference in how I treat people.

All things worth having are worth waiting for. Boy is that ever true. Case in point my bedroom. I so believed in getting wall to wall carpet for my bedroom that it was worth the “standoff” with my husband for almost a year and a half! But finally we got it and I have been unstoppable in getting the room completed!! Window treatments got put up within weeks, my new lamps were placed on their nightstands, new down comforter and pillows ordered to fill the new linens…indeed the room has come together in just weeks because I felt inspired to finish it at long last. I walk into my room now and am overjoyed with how it makes me feel. It is truly my private oasis. A refuge to get away from our chaotic world, it is everything I wanted and dreamed of. It made me realize and confirmed how very true it that it is indeed worth the wait to get what you want, so don’t?compromise?if you don’t have to. Carry on with a little more fight…..think you will be happy in the end:)

Hope you enjoyed this post…..what are your own reflections from 2013? Learn something new or did something inspire you to carry into the new year? I like closing the door to the current year having learned a thing or two and starting the new year feeling inspired and enlightened.

?I thank you again for following along…without your support, friendship, encouraging words and countless emails (which I LOVE to read) this blog would cease to exist. You give me a great reason to get up and?excited to blog and share so?sending a?great?great big thank?you! I look forward to an even better 2014! Cheers to a new year filled with all great things, good health, happiness, love and plenty of laughter:)

Because of this trip…my “Christmas magic” contest dates are slightly changed.
Instead of the deadline for submissions being Jan. 1st it is now Jan. 4th and
the contest will run Jan. 5th through Jan. 7th
. I will announce two lucky
winners on Jan. 8th. Details are below……

I also want to announce the start of my
final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of
today through Jan. 4th.? I will hold the contest on Jan. 5th- 7th and announce
the winner(s) on Jan 8th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of
anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped
gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are
always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray
for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to
use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will
be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!!
  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get
    tons of emails )
Please email your pictures to [email protected]

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