Hi, Friends! Wow it feels like I haven’t blogged in a while. I took some time off to enjoy the holidays with my family and have been busy with MsModify Cookies!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year! I had plans to post this recap last week or even yesterday, but I’ve been down and out with a bad cold (or the flu… I’m not sure) so I’ve been resting and trying to feel better.
On social media I recently asked what you would like to see more of on MsModify, and I got many private messages saying you want to see more of my personal life! Of course, the primary focus of MsModify is to be a resource for the gluten free community, so that won’t change… but I think I’ll sprinkle some of my life in here and there.
I do agree, I follow many bloggers and enjoy when I get a glimpse into their lives…. it gives me that personal connection to them. So, today I thought I would recap some of my holiday season with you! I must say, it’s not very exciting since my entire family got sick when we were in California and then I got it when we got home.
When I look back, the ordinary days when I’m just spending time with my loved ones are my favorite days! Sit back and enjoy a bunch of pictures (if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of these)!
Since this is our first year in Arizona, I was unsure what the holidays would be like in the desert… let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint! Scottsdale, you sure know how to do decorations! 🙂
Christmas in the desert!
Some decorations in our house…
Don’t mind our 75 inch TV that takes up the entire wall! Ha… Erik “surprised me with it” (it was definitely more for him to watch sports on! ).
Erik feeling festive!
Getting ready for a Christmas party and sending a pic of my outfit to my mom! (I’m so not a fashion blogger! Ha)
And we’re ready to go! We haven’t even lived in Arizona a full year yet and we’ve already met an amazing group of friends! We truly are blessed!
For Christmas we gifted ourselves a Hydrow exercise machine (rower). It was delivered the day before we left for California, so I’ve only used it twice (since I came home sick from CA). I will be sure to give an update on how I like it once I use it more.
We packed the car and headed 5 1/2 hours to Orange County, California on Christmas Eve. It was crisp, yet sunny on our drive so we had the sunroof open… all my hair ties were packed, so my hood helped my hair from flying around! Ha
And we arrived! Bella (my family’s Chihuahua) was excited to greet us!
Christmas day with my brother, George.
My brother and I with our mom!
My favorite people! We loaded up in the car and headed to San Diego for Christmas at my cousin’s house.
Christmas Dinner. My mom had a delicious dinner waiting for us on Christmas Eve when we arrived, so I packed leftovers for me to eat. I also packed myself appetizers! I just put my food on the plate that everyone else had (no one wants to eat Christmas dinner out of a tupperware!).
The dessert table. We brought two gluten free pies from Whole Foods- typically I would have made them but I didn’t have time since we drove in the night before and it was hectic. As you can see, I served myself first so I didn’t have to worry about cross-contamination!
Enjoyed lazy mornings with my Bella.
Lots of snuggles with this sweet (yet feisty!) girl!
As much as I love the life we’re creating in Arizona, nothing compares to the beach. I miss it (and my family!) so much!
When I’m home in CA I always make sure to stop by my favorite gluten free restaurants to eat. This is the everything bagel from Vibe Kitchen in Newport Beach. It’s 100% gluten free, vegan and delicious!
And this is the chicken curry box from Asian Box in Irvine (yup…100% gluten free!)
Enjoyed quality time with my dad!
This is what my family does! Growing up we’d always all hang out in the kitchen before dinner while my mom and I cooked, George played guitar and my dad would hang out! Some of my best memories are in the kitchen doing this!
My mom made SO many incredible meals while we were home… but this is the only thing I took a pic of. This is white fish in a lemon caper sauce. I was too busy enjoying everyone… & the food to take pics! Ha
We got to spend time with my cousin Cathy’s family! If you’ve been a reader here for a long time you might remember we got engaged and married around the same time. Now she has a 1 1/2 yr old little boy and is expecting a baby girl next month!
By New Year’s Eve, my entire family and Erik was sick (I was so excited that it missed me!).
We did make a gluten free Vasilopita (lucky Greek New Years Cake)… and guess who got the coin!? ME! Oh yeah, it’s going to be a good year!
New Years day we drove back to Arizona. Check out the mountains in California with all that snow!
I woke up Thursday not feeling well…. darn, it got me too! Spent the past few days resting, drinking tea, eating lots of soup and watching Hallmark movies (I’m not ready to end the season yet!).
Choice Organics Teas are all certified gluten free!
I made my Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle-Less Soup but added rice the last 2 hours of cooking.
These helped a lot too! I got them at HomeGoods, but they’re on Amazon also!
I know this was a long post, so before I end it I just want to say as the past decade came to an end, I reflected a lot on the last ten years and the future. There have been incredible highs (graduating grad school, marrying Erik, creating a life together and moving to Arizona, continuing to have an amazing family and great friends), but also lows that I never imagined (struggled a lot with my health, getting diagnosed with celiac, getting diagnosed with ITP, navigating how all of that impacts having a family, etc).
With that said, I want to say thank you! Thank you for giving me an outlet to share some of those times and being able to turn them into a positive. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and thank you for creating this amazing community together! You all have really helped get me through those hard times, even if you don’t know it!
Cheers to a new year and a new decade! I’m excited and optimistic for the future and am blessed to have you all along for the journey!