Another day, a new year. Gone is the year of the house fire. Gone is the year of my little babe, and here is the year when she turns 2, my ever growing, ever changing girl! Two!

So much has changed, and now is when we reflect on that... though really, only one more day has passed. What is it though, about New Year's, that makes it so inherently magical? The same amount of time passes between New Year's Eve to New Year's Day as between any other two days, yet somehow it feels like more. 

This year I decided not to do resolutions so much as just try to keep work on finding a balance in my life, and doing things that I want to do anyway. I'm going to try to keep up with my 101 in 1001. And I want to take better pictures again. Lately its just been too easy to snap a quick pic on my iPhone, which is convenient, but its sacrificing quality. I want to take more quality photos.
Are you doing resolutions? I'd love to hear them. 

As for the holiday itself... lovely. Four-day weekend, one of which was just Trav and I for a number of hours, one of which was just me, all-day. It was rejuvenating. A perfect way to end the crazy holiday season.

The Breakdown.
Wore: I'm a big fan of The Working Closet, and recently she recommended a pair of skinny jeans. I've never owned skinny jeans, and never thought I'd own skinny jeans. My thighs... not skinny. But the Lands’ End Ultra Fit Slim Leg jeans were supposed to be good on everyone, and they were on sale. And (cue tears) my beloved Joe's Jeans had just ripped. So I got them. And I LOVE them. They make you look skinny. Stop holding out and buy a pair. Tuck them into your boots (easily and comfortably!), and wear a soft sweater. Hot.

Saw: Friday we slept in a bit, then got up, got ready, dropped the babe at daycare and headed to see Hugo. Its beautiful, touching, fun... more then just the sweet, kid-friendly movie I originally thought it would be. There is so much more to the story then the trailer shows (which I didn't know, having not read the book). We both loved it. And the French setting, ses magnifiques!

Ate: After the movie, Trav and I enjoyed something super rare... a meal alone! We headed to Uno Chicago Grill... nothing super fancy, but definitely yummy food. Walnut-encrusted goat cheese salad for me (Mmmmm), deep dish personal pizza for him, all-you-can-eat soup for both of us. For dessert, fresh baked (still warm and gooey) chocolate chip cookie topped with a scoop of ice cream and some whipped cream. Top that off with eating everything while its warm, not having to stop anyone from throwing anything, and being able to talk about whatever we wanted, regardless of little ears and without the need for any "in your mouth, not on the floor" or "feet don't go on the table sweetie" -- well, it was a winning meal!!

Cooked: Homemade pulled pork BBQ. First time ever! Slow roasted a pork shoulder in the crock pot all day Friday, then Trav removed the fat and shredded the meat, while I made some fresh BBQ sauce (ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic salt, garlic powder, onion powder). Ate a little for dinner that night, but was easy to reheat in the crock pot for sharing on New Years Eve when Ro, Pat, and the girls were over. Delish.

I also made some chicken, corn chowder yesterday. I used this recipe as my base recipe, but eyeballed it and tweaked for what I did or didn't have on hand.

It was tasty and filling. 

My pretty new Dutch Oven... isn't she lovely?

Up for later in the week... roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Pumpkin, Pear, and Fennel soup!

Lounged: Yesterday, my "me day" started off with getting the babe ready and them both off to daycare/work, then hopping back into bed until 10:15!! I ate some breakfast, then took a long bath (can't remember the last time I did that!). Read a magazine while in the bath. Put away some laundry. Ate lunch (turkey, ham, and cheese, on 12-grain bread with honey mustard, and half an avocado pureed with a smidge of lemon juice, salt, and pepper). Pumped. Caught up on blogs. Put away more laundry. Then did dishes, dashed to the store, and came home to cook. Lovely.

Nothing extraordinary (well, yesterday was a little extraordinary!), but a promising start to the new year.

Welcome 2012, I can't wait to get to know you.

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~ Meegs