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New Years Goals, Cheese Fondue & a Look Back at 2016



It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

R.E.M


Happy New Year!

How was your break? I don't mean to brag but I had one of the best holidays I have had in years.

You know how I know? I have not had one canker sore. I tend to grind my teeth and clench my jaw. I usually get really bad mouth sores when I'm stressed out. I have not had one the entire month of December!

That. 

Is how good my holiday was. 😜

Which is a good thing… Because as I look back at 2016 I realize, it will not go down in my memory as being a great year. For me personally it was a pretty good year! I found out I was going to be an Auntie again πŸ˜‰ and we had an incredible summer holiday but I didn't get to see my Winnipeg Besty and that's kind of a big bummer. My Cousin became a Mom, I got to visit with my other Cousins and their kids 😊, my other Cousin graduated nursing school, my family did not lose anybody this year, SBean started Preschool, and business was very very good.

I certainly cannot complain. It has been an incredible year with my amazing husband and the life we have built together continues to make me extremely happy and grateful.

On a global note though… 2016 will always be in my memory as one I will remember like I remember 2001. 

There was so much of... too much. 

So much war. So much terror. So much discrimination. So much misinformation. Too much information. Too much death. Too much hate. Too many overdoses. Too many refugees. Too many fires. Too many homeless. Too many suicides. So much Kardashian. So much Donald Trump. Too many guns. Too many closed minds. So much racism. So much disrespect. Too much leniency on terrible crimes. Too much disrespect for authority. So much fake news. So much gossip. So many break ups.

Too much crazy.

I honestly cannot believe that Donald Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States in less than 3 weeks. Politics aside, I cannot believe that The Donald that I grew up hearing about and subsequently watched on reality TV is going to be the motherfucking president of United States in less than 3 weeks! 😳

In years to come when I reread this post I wonder, will I be sitting there saying to me now, "oh dear God girl if you only knew what a monumental year 2016 was… It was the last year of the world as you knew it." πŸ˜‚

It very well may be. Only the future generations will know the impact of 2016 as our lives unfold. I mean, nobody could foresee what would happen in 1919 when Hitler joined the German Workers' Party. Not comparing the 2 men just comparing the historical significance.

I for one am feeling positive about 2017. 

17 has always been my lucky number. It was my baseball number and my ringette number. Both the girls were even given 17 as their number in soccer 😊. I have a good feeling about this year.

Speaking of good feeling January 2 start date for the bachelor: Nick Viall! πŸŽ‰❣🍷. Hells yeah! They even gave us a sneak peek on January 1! This is how every year should start.

I'm just going to put this out there... I don't read spoilers. I do however, read the bios of the contestants. After reading I picked my top 4:


Whitney
Liz
Danielle L
Raven

After I watched last night I am worried about my picks. I had no idea Liz knew him already and I don't see that as a good thing or maybe it is. Plus Whitney and Raven were totally forgettable. I did like Christen and Vanessa though. So I pick...

Danielle L
Vanessa
Christen
Liz

Now on to this years Goals!

When I look back at last year's goals I think I did ok. I managed to at least try all 10 of them πŸ˜‰. This year I would really like to continue on with many of last year's goals and add a few more as well.

1. This year I want to take a picture a day. Ok Ok, I know, I take A LOT of pictures already but I want to take a photo a day and post to Instagram. A picture maybe of me or something I am doing. Not necessarily the kids, but of life.

2. HBear bought me wonderful Body Butters from The Body Shop for Christmas. I forgot what it was like to put on cream after a shower lol. I always make sure the kids are creamed every day but my skin is looking rough. This year I want to take 2 seconds out of our routine, for me. To lather up and moisturize my body. Water will help too. I need to get back to drinking my water. Over the holidays I have been drinking more eggnogs and wine than water
  πŸ˜³.

3. Running. I've mentioned a few times about my Fitbit challenges. I love them. Just knowing that there are other people out there working hard, pushes me to try to do the best that I can do. I always try to meet my goals. Some days, usually swimming days, I have no problem meeting my step goal of 10k. While the Girls are in swimming I sit at the floor to ceiling windows above them, watching, with my earbuds in and running. There is a little ledge and I step up onto it and back down. I jog for their 45 minute lesson. If I have a slower day where I've done a lot of computer work, I may not get all my steps in. After the kids go to bed I go into the garage and "step". I pretty much dance around until I make my step goal. Ninja bought me a Bluetooth speaker and I can crank my music and just dance or move around. Lately I've been jogging on the spot. The other night I did 5.5k 😳 I didn't stop and I didn't even realize I was running.


Don't get me wrong I will not be running any marathons anytime soon... And by that I mean I will never run a marathon. πŸ˜‚ I admire the dedication needed to do that but I just honestly have never enjoyed running. I spent a whole year on the cross country team so I could go on the overnight trip to Jamestown, North Dakota πŸ™„. It was terrible. I hated getting up early, I hated running, I hated sweating and I just found it so boring. Which leads me to my resolution. I've gone running off and on in the past six months and I have actually really enjoyed it. I think I would like to do it more often. It really is relaxing yet invigorating. My goal is to step it up and work on running on a weekly basis.

4. Book reading. Last year I started a book challenge. I did ok but not as well as I had hoped. I found the Outlander series took up most of my year. That is good though became it meant that I was still reading! I loved getting back into a good book/series. This year I hope to read even more books. I had been on the waiting list for a certain book at the library for months. I finally got the call and I was so excited but it was the busiest 2 weeks and I only got 4 pages in. I had to take it back and go back on the waiting list. My MIL got it for me for Christmas! I can't wait to start it, the book is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. This year I am going to take the Popsugar Reading Challenge. It is a list of 40 books so I know I'm not going to finish it but I am going to try to complete 12 of the themes. Wish me luck!

5. Last year I talked about focussing on what comes next in my life. Well, 2017 is the year! In September SBean will be in Kindergarten... I picked up her registration forms today πŸ˜³. It is now time to start planning and getting prepared to get back out there in the workforce. This year I will become a working Mom. My goal is to choose wisely and find a path that is right for me and my family. 

6. I love blogging. Last year I hoped to grow my Blog and in a small way, I did. This year Ninja and I are very excited to start a new Podcast with each other! I will let you know more details once we hash a few things out. Read: when he sees MY vision more clearly πŸ˜‚.

7. Yoga. Every year my goal is to do more Yoga. I love yoga and who knows maybe in the future I could see myself teaching a class.... maybe πŸ˜‚.  This year I would like to strengthen my core, practice mindful meditation and treat my body well.

8. My phone. Oh my phone. This year I am setting a goal to put the phone down. Somedays my neck hurts from looking down so often at my freaking phone. This year I want to stop constantly checking my phone, especially Facebook. It gives me a canker sore πŸ˜‚.

9. This year I would like to go to Winnipeg. It has been years since I was back "home" and there are so many people I am missing and so many reasons to go back and visit. I hope the new cheap airline is up by Spring break as I would love to take the Girls with me and visit my Grandpa, Brother, SIL, Nephew and WpgBesty, oh and so many others that are in my  heart and thoughts often. Perhaps even another trip in the summer... I mean especially if there was something super special happening this summer πŸ˜‰.

10. This year I seem to be making more goals about myself. After 8 years of being a Mom, sometimes I forget what it is like being Me, Ninja Girl. I was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 the other day, hilarious btw, and they said, "remember you were a girlfriend before you were a Mom." That's right! I was! This year I want to work on being Me. Worry about me and less about others. Take care of me by dressing nicely (even if it is workout wear), by wearing makeup more often, or maybe even wear something... sexy πŸ˜³. The point is I'm not just a Mom. I'm not old, I'm not ugly and I don't just cook, clean and drive a mini van. 

I'm young, vibrant and have an incredibly charmed life. This year I am going to put my face up to the sunshine and enjoy every day of it!

I hope you do too!  

We had a super chill week after Christmas. The Girls were awesome! We spent a FULL day in Kelowna... shopping.


I took the Girls sledding at the school. We met HBear's KISUBesty and her Mom and Sis. What a fun morning! SBean loved sledding! She had NO fear. On her second "run" she insisted on going over the "jump". We ended our morning with hot chocolate and gingerbread men.

 



The Girls got along so well this break. Actually, SBean has been amazeballs since her birthday... that is until Sunday when we took down the tree πŸ˜‚. This was a really great break with HBear. She had less attitude and she was extra helpful this past 2 weeks.


For New Year's Eve this year we did a few things differently. Ninja started the day doing Lego with the Girls and I slept in. Actually, Ninja has let me sleep until 9am every day since school let out. SBean has been up but I can fall back to sleep no problem. Best. Husband. Ever.

After building the Popstar Stage, we headed out to the Lakeside for a little skate. Ninja bought new skates on Boxing Day and we picked HBear up a pair second hand while we were in Kelowna the other day. It was a bit chilly, the wind was pretty cold compared to what we are used to. It was so much fun! HBear wasn't a big fan of skating the first 2 times we put her in lessons so we let it go. With SBean starting her lessons next week we thought we would give it another try. She was great! The ice is very small but it is a super pretty location right on the beach. It would be nice to go in the evening under the lights.










When we got home we had lunch. Actually SBesty gave be a huge brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese and I used it to make an super good cheese fondue. HBear loved it! It was so good!

Cheese Fondue

1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese


In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. 


Add the cream, milk and stock. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth. 


Reduce heat; add cheese about 1 cup at a time, stirring well. 

 

Cook until the cheese is melted.

Transfer to a fondue pot or small slow cooker.



This cheese is so good I couldn't bear throwing it away so I used the leftovers to make potatoes gratin tonight! Delicious!





After lunch we played the Game of Life. Some valuable lessons were taught during our game. Ninja and I both picked career and the Girls both picked College. They beat us πŸ˜³ LOL.


Ninja and I asked Dad to watch the Girls while we went out for dinner. He had reservations at Bogner's for 8 so we went there at 5:30.


It was a 3 course dinner, Caesar Salad, NY Striploin and then flourless chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream and cherry mousse. It was ah-mazing! We bought Dad a bottle of wine and asked it to be placed at his table, to thank him for watching the Girls. It was so nice to spend 2 hours having a nice meal with Ninja. We haven't done that on New Year's Eve in 10 years!






When we got home I brought out a little Belgian chocolate Fondue from my favourite Epicure Rep. The Girls LOVED it!



After a hot tub in the lightly falling snow, we danced to Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve and popped our confetti crackers. We did the Beat Bugs Countdown on Netflix and the Girl's were in bed by 9 and we followed shortly after. The whole house was snoring by 11pm 
😳 πŸ˜‚!




Ninja bought me beautiful red roses to ring in the New Year! I am a very lucky Lady.


January 1st was a great day! We took down Christmas and began organizing. The Girls worked on their Goals for 2017 and cleaned their room!

 





HBear played with her new dress clothes and pretended to be a Chef and a Firefighter!



Ninja and HBear finished all the Lego sets and began the Millennium Falcon!




SBean finished all of her sets too and has now begun working with all the classic pieces they got for Christmas.



It has been COLD! Like really cold! The Girls got bundled and spent the last afternoon of their break playing in the snow!



Happy New Year to all my readers, friends, family and loved ones! I hope this is a great year for you all. 

As I always like to remember, a new year is a new chapter. 

A blank page waiting to be written upon.

Write a good one πŸ˜Š.
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