Although this year was hard for us all in many ways and was a continuation of the C-19 mindset and environment, we all came out stronger. First I’ll highlight the highs of the year and just touch on a few lows, again which we all had. Early in the year, we thought that maybe this year would be better in relation to the pandemic but it was more of the same.

I was working all year again with Pam Hodges and her virtual assistant guidance with Content SOS which has continued to be a blessing and helped me grow in so, so many ways. We’ve been working and building in Trello and changing our strategies on a monthly basis with other programs and productivity on the side (Cara Harvey-Purpose Driven Mom Club). I built a team to help me in all areas of my goals; blog and social media spaces. I have Maddie now doing Pinterest for me, Bonnie manages my Facebook page, and Lindsay helps me with backend updating the website and stuff. I am so lucky to have them and I hope they know how appreciative I am of all their hard work.

In early spring, we decided to bring Justin back out for a visit in May over my birthday weekend for two weeks. We were still in Covid times so we stayed home and didn’t go anywhere really, but the guys were happy playing games and eating good takeout at home. And as cases continued to climb- we finally chose to schedule our vaccines 1 & 2. They happened to fall right in the middle of that period, so we were able to go get our first C-19 vax done and for us, that felt like a huge gift. Around this time, I also chose to get back on anti-depressants and find a new therapist to continue mobile counseling. I tossed around a few meds for months before finding one that seems great for me- I have to stay diligent to not forget to take it! But I feel it working so I know I have to do that for me to feel my best. We also had my birthday get-together with his parents, Steph and Dillen, Sean and Justin, and myself. It was an overwhelming day and soon after we were told that Stephanie are expecting! Yay! I am so excited for them. He’s coming so soon now…

Much of our year was pretty uneventful (and full of stressful health problems) other than waiting all year to get our turf installed which was a great project we had done by Cascade Greens. It was finally completed a few months after it was scheduled to be done. The project took only two days and I am so glad we chose to have it done. We love using it with the dogs and all the neighbors seem to love it walking by our property. There is zero maintenance and it’s easy to keep clean and look nice year-round, all I need to do is rake it and rinse it.

While we waited for the turf to happen, right before, I slipped holding Maggie going out the back doorstep and fell down. I got a nasty bruise and broke my second to the last toe on my right foot. I had an x-ray and was in a boot for 8+weeks, it was hard with the three dogs going out every few hours to potty. I managed to recover but it was a slow one and I had like ghost nerve pains from my toe when I slept for weeks following.

Later in the year, we had a family scare with my mother-in-law, she had a grand mal seizure one day and was rushed to the emergency room. When it was discovered that she had a large brain tumor, they immediately had to have it removed. They found it to be as big as a goofball but luckily benign. She has a long road to recovery but everything went so well and it’s just a matter of therapy for when she can go back to work safely-if at all. We love her and are so, so glad she’s okay. We will obviously help in any way we can.

Eevee’s training has been a roller coaster this year but overall good. We had to have a long break in September-October-November because we had house projects and then her first heat came as well. We resumed in December and it was back to refreshing her mind and she surprisingly knew all her commands that she had cemented beforehand. She is still working on quite a few (heeling, longer time, more repetitions, etc) and upping her skills so she becomes the calmest, well-behaved, most well-rounded dog possible. She will finally be a grown-up dog after her spay, I am hoping she will have a more chill personality after she becomes a lady officially. We shall see!

My Christmas present is a remodeled master closet! I’m so excited- I designed it myself with the help of Home Depot and it’s scheduled for the build-out at the beginning of March. It’ll be so worth the wait! More optimal placement and better use of space so we can enjoy the clothes and things we own and the other items we have to store in there.

Although this year felt long and undesirable- I am still thankful for everything and everyone we have in our life. My life may not look like yours but it’s still a very full and sensible life.

The start of 2022 will be here in a matter of hours actually and I always love doing these posts. I am trying to get just a few goals to work on and look forward to making progress.


Start a daily writing habit- any writing just actual constructive writing

Read daily as well; I enjoy it a lot when I do it regularly

Blog consistently while finding my optimal audience and message

Get health and fitness to the forefront

Self-care is not an option it’s a priority!


I am hoping to use the word inspire to reflect what I want to do in my blog and with my plans of brainstorming and writing a book in the coming year or two. My personal story has involved a lot of inspiring others through the struggles and triumphs I have had in my life and finding the lesson in that. I believe that there is always something you can learn from every experience; good or bad. I am also here hoping to inspire you every day to do better and be better than yesterday- that’s what I believe in most lately is slow steady growth and inspiring others to chase their dreams as I do the same.

What’s your goals for 2022? If you have a Word of the Year- what is it and why?

Seasonal Holiday Playlists You Might Have Missed on Spotify

Music can make you feel better in any situation you may be in and this time of year lifts your mood. The good old classics like Jingle Bell Rock, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Merry Christmas, and Silent Night are always there when we need them but I personally am liking new seasonal tracks. I want to share what I’ve been listening to and enjoying this holiday season so far.

Happy Holidays Page


New Music Holiday

Snowflakes & Snow Boots: My December playlist

Winter Chill|Cozy Lofi Vibes

seasonal sadness

Easy Christmas

Christmas Pop

Your (my) Top Songs of 2021

I have found a few songs I really loved that are new by popular artists and well-known singer-songwriter types. A lot of these songs I like now are in these new playlists-so feel free to favorite the ones you really enjoy and curate your listening playlist. Just a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas and so forth. 

I’ll leave you with one more: 


6 Places to Buy Holiday Decor and more

With it being the tenth of the month already I think everyone would be in the decorating mode by now. Whether it’s trimming a tree or setting up decor for a holiday party- with these companies you can find everything you will need or want. Some of these places you may not have heard of but we’ve loved them. It’s made the holiday season so much easier and less stressful for us so I’d love to share them with you here now. 

  1. TRIMLIGHT-This company we found shortly after we moved in and wanted to install permanent lights on our house. We had them out to install which only took a day or two and they were the nicest people who worked so hard and got them up before our first holiday in our house. They are customizable and change settings easily. You can change colors and patterns of movement and set them on a timer as well. We have many people always walking by and knocking on the door asking about them. 
  1. BALSALM HILL- If you aren’t familiar this is a popular company for top quality faux and life like christmas trees, wreaths, decorations, storage and fall decor. Under fall decor there is even a section on decorating tip for the outdoors that may be helpful if you are not a naturally born decorator or need a professional eye. 
  1. TARGET- A great place to find all kinds of decor and seasonal goods at low, low prices. No matter the style of home you can find things to fit into your holiday here and of course an upside to Target is their ‘dollar spot’ where you can get all sorts of neat random small knick knacks for 1$, 3$, 5$. If you are in the market for an ugly sweater, this may be a place to look or the second would be amazon.
  1. HOBBY LOBBY-The craftopia’s dream place where you can find all seasonal items in a store dedicated to home decor. Here you can find florals and lights, paint for projects and more. The themes I’ve come across lately for winter decorations are GNOMES. A hot ticket item you can find just about anywhere now including.
  1. AMAZON- I couldn’t leave this one out because well hello it’s amazon and we all love this online mecca. I think we all shop for everything at Amazon and that doesn’t exclude holiday decor and seasonal home items. From tree skirts to ornaments and more- amazon has it all at low pricing compared to other online market retailers. 
  1. Goodwill/secondhand/St.Vincent DePaul etc- I would also think if you are on a much tighter budget or care less about your goods lasting a long time- second-hand is the way to go. There is always a influx of seasonal decor and tablewares, clothing,  probably even garland and more will be available at a extremely low price compared to brand new items. 

Just because you want to decorate for family or for yourself doesn’t mean you have to drop a lot of money. This year with family health concerns and the endemic still among us; I only decided to decorate for fall and winter generally. And I don’t think we will put our tree up or have a big dinner due to mobility issues. But a fun activity for your whole family could be creating DIY decor or tablescapes for that dinner party. Stockings and stocking stuffers can be found almost anywhere as well- Target and Amazon have great options and the things you stuff in their stockings for kids may not be important you can grab all kinds of fun things at DollarStore or go for things they need like socks or school supplies or creative items like crayons and fidget toys. I was always happy with the mid-year socks and a chocolate orange, that’s pretty much what we always got in our stocking every year. 

15 useful Amazon gifts that should be on your wishlist

The most helpful thing I could bring you would be ideas of the best presents I’ve found to gift someone from Amazon. Because you know it’ll come on time! Well if you have prime anyway- and if you don’t what are you doing with your life?! It’s worth it I promise! The items on this list are useful home and personal related things that I wouldn’t want to do without now after getting them this past year or so. Maybe these aren’t the most exciting top items from Amazon but they are ones that are at the top of my list for most helpful buys that I purchase again and again (or use all of the time). 

Powerdrill Scrubbing Attachments

I gifted these to my best friend and I’m sure that she took two days to write me back about them because she was scrubbing her floors, rub and grout putting it to the test before she thanked me for it. It’s a true testament and when they are so popular I’ve seen them on many Amazon bestsellers videos. 

Ember coffee mug

I did it. I dove into the most expensive mug you’ll ever buy. However, it’s so convenient! I sip my coffee most of the time or u know those moms who pour it, set it down, and only to find it at 3 pm by the back door or something weird. This keeps it hot and drinkable for many hours on end. Tea, coffee, you name it- it goes in there to be cozy all day. 

Rice Cooker

This was a last-second replacement. The rice cooker I had for two or three years finally DIED on me. Didn’t heat up before the done button popped. Having soggy, cold rice- not ideal and not edible. So I wanted a big daddy of rice cookers without it being a serves 20 size. I believe this is a standard 6 cups which is enough for two people up to I’m sure 4-6 depending on serving size. 

Affresh washing machine and dishwasher tabs (both on the listing) These are so dang handy! We had an old washer/dryer that STUNK from previous owners, while I couldn’t get the disgusting stink out of that set, they never cleaned it and the funk was just not going away. It works to keep my machines now running smoothly- I got the dishwasher tabs too that help the bottom of the dishwasher stay clean. 

Clear Rear Bidet 

Yes, I got this right after seeing this on a YouTubers video for the top items that she recommended. Listen here it works, it’s wonderful, try it for yourself- this is the most cost-effective and easiest one to install. 

The Pink Stuff 

This scrub I discovered after a cleaning Instagram account also told me about it. It cleans everything sticky gunky, funky, that is on any hard surface. Try it and keep it handy you’ll use it a lot! 


The best clean carpet, miracle stain spray that I’ve ever used! You will be dumbfounded as to what it will get out and how it disappears before your eyes- I haven’t been disappointed yet. 

Heavy Duty Double Sided Tape 

I bought this to hang a sign on my house on the siding where I couldn’t put a nail- it has stayed perfect for the last 4 months. 

Cloud Puffy Jacket

A new find! This cloud puffy jacket is going to be a cold-weather staple this year when the ‘real winter’ comes in January! Big enough to layer and small enough that it doesn’t swallow me and fits just right. It had a high neck but no hood. 

Fruit & Vegetable Storage 

A lifesaver is when you immediately chop up all your products to save for a longer time period. It stays freshly sealed in this container with a divider in the middle that’s removable. Comes in a few sizes. 

Silicone body scrubber 

A great alternative to a loofah which just creates more and more bacteria and honestly falls apart way too fast. These are indestructible and feel so great on the skin. Lasts longer and stays basically bacteria-free! 

Mug Cozy Wrap

One of my favorite #mood Items. Just a vibe. Helps me hold a hot cup of anything. Great for pictures and to sit with a book. 

Benebone for dogs 

My dogs love these! They keep them busy and last for weeks or months. These help big chewers and puppies with teething. 

Adjustable weight set 

Such a deal. An excellent idea for people low in space or who don’t want to trip over a whole rack of weights. Adjustable and convenient! 

Jersey sheet set

My FAVORITE SHEETS! Honestly, so good. So soft, not hot, and great in any season. This set comes in all sizes and matches any color or pattern comforter. I just bought another set in red for the holidays. 

 These are a few of my favorite things that I’ve found in the Amazon world. It might be items you’ve seen or found before, but these are things I use almost daily. I really enjoy these products and I love to share what I use every day with people I love and care about. 

What are your best amazon finds for the gift-giving season? Or any time of year! I know there are a LOT of great genius amazon finds from TikTok too. Give them to me!

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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