December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Happy New Year’s Eve! This day always hits me hard. Every year I look back and think—where has the year gone?

2013 was a big year for me though, I can list the significance it has had, feel blessed that I had a great year and wave farewell as we head forward into 2014.

Here’s what tops the list in 2013!


Officially became a homeowner! Signed for my house on Fat Tuesday and received keys on Valentine’s Day. Spent a romantic Valentine’s day evening staring renovations on my new house!


Brought home the furry love of my life, Gunner. I can’t imagine my life without this goofball. And I can’t believe how he has grown in the past 9 months!


My baby sister graduated from Timberline High School


Family Vacation! DISNEY WORLD! One of the best vacations I can remember, and probably one of the last trips we will do with just the 4 of us.

Was a bridesmaid in my close friend Katie’s Wedding. It was a night to remember!



My sister Lise joined the Vandal family and flew the nest for University of Idaho! I was sad to see her go, but so excited for her next adventure!


Left CLM after 2+ wonderful years, said my heartfelt goodbyes and started my NEW JOB at the Canyon County Fair!


One of the most amazing holiday seasons I can remember, celebrating with friends and family!

It really has been an outstanding year! I cannot wait to see what 2014 brings!

Happiest of New Year’s to you friends!!!
post signature

December 27, 2013

Christmas Traditions - the Re-Cap!

Hello friends! I hope you had a beyond amazing Christmas! Mine sure was!

We have lots of traditions in my family. Do you have traditions?

Each Christmas Eve we drive out to Emmett to my Aunt Janie’s house to celebrate with my family. I have not missed a Christmas Eve at Janie’s in my entire life – now that is quite a tradition! We always have soups for dinner on that night, chili, clam chowder or minestrone. Those are preceded by lots of snacking on all sorts of yummy appetizers. Usually I can barely finish a bowl of soup by the time we get around to that.

Another Christmas Eve tradition is that Santa always makes a special stop at Aunt Janie’s on his way around the world. I used to sit patiently at the window and look for Rudolph’s nose glowing in the distance and listen for sleigh bells. These days, I instead get to see that excitement and joy in my little cousins. Santa has changed a little over the years too – he is a tradition passed down through the men in my family and the past few years it has been my dad. I can barely control my laughter when he arrives, trying to mask his voice and mannerisms. He really does do a good job though!
My sister Lise and I sitting on "Santa's" aka Dad's lap

Christmas Day is always spent at my parents’ house. This year was the first year I didn’t spend the night there. I wanted to wake up in my own house with James and Gunner for Christmas. However, I did rush over to my parents’ place the second I got up (James had left to work by then).

We always start with our stockings, followed by a beverage of choice. This year we opted for bloody maries. Yummmmm.

Next are the presents under the tree. Every year I am beyond spoiled by my parents – I admit it. Spoiled rotten.  But this year some of my main gifts were “needs” not “wants” as I like to say. You know you are starting to be a grown up when you get excited about a new snow shovel and a vacuum cleaner. But hey I’m thrilled!

After all the gifts are unwrapped and we say our thank yous and exchange hugs, it’s time for breakfast. Each year my mom makes quiche, my all-time favorite breakfast. It is special because we only get it at Christmas.
This is actually the quiche I made for James and I the day after Christmas. Turned out pretty good I think!

Then I spend the day lounging around the house with my family enjoying our gifts and time with each other. This year we had a new addition. Gunner loves to spend time at “Grandma and Grandpa’s” with his best friend Bailey. We all had a great day.

So handsome

This year however, I added in a few new traditions – mostly involving the man in my life :)
After doing Christmas dinner later that night with his family we headed home to exchange presents. 

He had been at work all day and hadn’t gotten to open anything yet.
I was finally able to SURPRISE him this year with an Xbox One. He was like a kid  - couldn’t wait to set it up and play with it!

Overall it was an absolutely WONDERFUL Christmas. I am so blessed for everything and everyone in my life. Here’s to happy New Year as well!!

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hoping you and your loved ones are having an amazing Christmas. 
Tis the season for love, family and friends. 
I am blessed to have all in my life.
Thank you for stopping by and reading Life with Lolo!

December 23, 2013

Holiday Weekend Re-cap

Hello Lovelies -

I had a WONDERFUL weekend and I hope you did too!

Friday night I left work a little early as the snowpocalypse had begun out in Caldwell. I am so glad I left early because driving around later that night was the scariest freaking roads I have ever been on, and that includes places like McCall and Moscow.

The snow couldn't keep me from my Jessie bear's birthday dinner though. Left an extra 20 minutes early to make sure to arrive there safe. I enjoyed the dinner so much, catching up with her and her family and laughing until my gut hurt.

Me, Jessie and Carissa at dinner -some of my favs!
Dessert time!

Just a note - if you are one of those crazy people who drive fast and carelessly while there is a ton of snow on the ground. I HATE YOU. BE MORE COURTEOUS TO THOSE OF US WHO WANT TO LIVE. Seriously - I drive like a granny in the snow and I am proud of it.

Gunner of course did like the snow and we made sure to play in it a little.

James was out of town this weekend - something sadly I was looking forward to. Saturday was an entire ME DAY. So fabulous. I slept in, did laundry, watched the entire contents of the DVR, and only left the house to take Gunner to the dog park and rent a movie. It was perfect.

Gunner always takes advantage of the clean sheets and made bed first.

Freshly made bed - the first one on it... always
Gunner on the couch during our lazy day
Plus I did my nails for Christmas too! My toes are different holiday sparkles too - but they are too toasty in my boots to show off.
Sparkle French Manicure Christmas style!

Sunday I went to brunch at Hillcrest Country Club with my family. It is one of my favorite things to go do with my family...and the champagne, waffles and Eggs Benedict don't hurt either.
Impromptu family photo

Then I grabbed Gunner and we went over to my to my parents to play with Bailey while I helped my mom and sister decorate Christmas cookies. I wish I had documented this - it was kind of a struggle for me. At one point the entire tube of chocolate piping frosting EXPLODED all over me. I mean, I am still finding chocolate in places... 

James got home from Sun Valley and we went to dinner with his parents and sister that night at Yen Ching, our favorite Chinese restaurant in Boise. It was a perfect ending to a great weekend!

Now it's only hours until Christmas.... I can't believe it!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday! - Simple Holiday Pleasures

Happy Hump Day friends!

It’s What I’m Loving Wednesday! And it’s the one day each week I actually seem do a post so it’s EXTRA loveable! Maybe I’ll get a few more in before Christmas – but don’t hold your breath.

Here’s what I am loving this week…

  1. Vanilla Bean Noel hand cream (early Xmas treat from my mom). Sits pretty on my desk, so I can obsessively put it on about once every two hours…
    Cute packaging makes it even better!
  2. Chex Mix. This is a holiday staple in my family. My mom (man she’s on a roll!) makes the best original Chex mix EVER. Seriously, I wish you could try it. She puts her own twist on it and it’s extra crispy and garlicky and amazing. This year I decided to try it on my own. I saw on Pinterest that you could do it in the crock pot, so I tried it! First batch was so so, but the entire batch was eaten at our little Ugly Sweater party this weekend so it couldn’t have been that bad. Batch two? Awesome.  By batch three I’ll be about 95% of the way to my mom’s epic mix. I promise a tutorial soon!!!
    My snack baggie of Chex mix at work today
  3. Lite 107.9. All Christmas music, all the time. Enough said. 
  4. My Christmas cards are all sent, and from what I have been hearing, have been recieved by family and friends. I think they are pretty cute myself...
  5. The photos that resulted from our "photo booth" at our Ugly Sweater party this weekend. Here's a few examples.

TTFN friends! Hope you are having a magical holiday season!