Happy New Year friends! I had a nice little blogging break in the 2 weeks between Christmas and New Year’s, spent enjoying lots of family time. I sort of relish the days when the kids are home on break and our schedule has slowed waaaaay down, and I have time to just savor life and all its simple moments.
While the kids were busy playing with all their new toys, I had time to put a dent in the stack of new books I received for Christmas. My husband knows the way to my heart under the tree is in the form of a good read.
This year he purchased me the new autobiography of Chip & Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Story. I have to say, I was already a fan of this DIY + shiplap-loving couple, but reading their back story really put things into perspective for me. They are a true example of how if you work hard, stay ambitious and put your faith in your dreams, big things can happen. I would highly recommend it, as it was both an amusing and a very inspiring story.
He also gave me a book Five Fat Hens, by Tim Halket, which is sort of written like a diary of a man who keeps backyard chickens in England, but it’s also part cookbook, with several delicious egg recipes included.
My grandfather also gifted me a subscription to Hobby Farms Chickens Magazine. Beginning to see a trend? Raising chickens inspired a lot my gifts this year! Our chickie babies have been so much fun to have since they hatched last May, and it’s even more fun now that they’re grown and laying all sorts of delicious eggs for our family.
On a side note – our backyard chickens continue to thrive and are doing well despite the frigid temperatures we’ve been having here in Wisconsin lately. I plan to share some tips on what we did to winterize our coop, later this month.
Aside from the reading, we even managed to squeeze in a mini vacation to our cabin up north for a few days. Last year, we did the same thing the week after New Year’s to celebrate my mom’s birthday. You can read all about that cabin fever trip in a post I wrote here.
This time we knew it was going to be pretty cold, like to the point of dangerous cold. The day we arrived at our cabin the actual temperature was -15 degrees. That’s not including the windchill factor which made it feel about -30.
But despite the cold temps, we had a fantastic time, as usual. Lots of time spent inside the cabin in front of the roaring fireplace.
We played some new games that we got for Christmas, like Pie Face, which sent everyone into hysterics!
We took a trip into town to poke around the local craft store which was having a “going out of business” sale, where most everything was 30-80% off. I found some really beautiful faux pine branch garland, on clearance for literally dollars a strand.
And I even bravely ventured out into the cold temps to capture some really beautiful winter scenes outside.
This time of year is so very different from our trips up here in the summer, when the mosquitoes are thick and we barely leave the fun of the water.
But winter is still beautiful in its own unique way, especially in the Northwoods.
I love the way the pines glisten with ice and how the wind creates patterns in the snow across the frozen lake.
This trip totally inspired me to go home and recreate a winter cabin look to our family room, which I’ll be sharing here on the blog next week.
It also made me realize that no matter how cold our hands may be this time of year – and believe me, mine are always freezing like ice! – our hearts will always be warm when our family’s together.