The Future Starts Today!

Winter has arrived, and I am such a wimp about cold weather! As we are exploring our home, we discovered that our thermostat was original to the house- meaning that it was older than me. Although I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing…

Anyway, we started to research fancy new techie thermostats. In order to save energy, I really wanted to be able to control our home’s temperature while we are out and about. With a learning thermostat, our system would learn about our lifestyle and turn off the heat when we weren’t around. We got advice about various models from a few friends and decided upon the Nest.

After watching their awesome video tutorial, I wasn’t sure if our wiring was compatible. I took a quick photo of our wiring and sent it over to the smart engineers at Nest. Within 24 hours, they emailed me back a customized wiring guide and we were good to go!

Let me preface with the fact that I am NOT a handy person. When we removed the original thermostat, I actually almost broke open the mercury vial when I slammed it down on the table. Way to go, me… Anywayyyyy, within 30 minutes we had removed our “vintage” thermostat and installed our modern Nest! The screen on the thermostat literally walked us through the entire set up process, and looks so pretty.

We have used the Nest for a few weeks, and have seen energy savings! I love that I can look online at our energy history and the Nest will give me tips on how to save energy in the future. And if you have seen the commercials, my legs muscles are still going strong and as far as I know the internets haven’t come to life! 🙂

2015/01/img_1037.jpg

Advertisements

New Year, New Traditions

New Years always seems to be a time of reflection, and this year is no different! As I say goodbye to 2014, I am so grateful for all of the wonderful experiences I had in the last 365 days. I celebrated my first wedding anniversary with my incredible husband, grew closer with friends and family, bought a house, and started another school year with a great group of kids!

I used to make a big deal of New Year’s Eve- attending big parties, buying an obnoxious sequin dress, obsessing over my resolutions for the New Year. As I get older, I find that I am at my happiest on the couch with a glass of nice champagne on NYE. This year, I was craving a low key evening at home with just my husband and puppies.

I stopped by the store, and picked up all the fixing for my favorite meal- filet mignon, asparagus, potatoes, and sourdough bread. We cooked a fantastic meal, and took the opportunity to reflect on the past year. I found these amazing free printable conversation starters from Alice and Lois. My husband and I had such a great time laughing about all of the fun things the past year had brought- personally, professionally, and in pop culture!

2015/01/img_10721.jpg

I hope that this is a tradition that we can continue to keep, it was just what I needed after the busy holiday season. Happy New Year to you all!

2015/01/img_1073.jpg

2015/01/img_1075.jpg

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Every family has their own Christmas traditions that we hold near and dear to our hearts. When I met my husband, I was so excited that he enjoyed the holiday season as much as I do! Both of our birthdays fall around the holidays as well, so we associate this special time of year with lots of celebrations with loved ones.

In our home, we look forward to chopping down our Christmas tree in the mountains. When we get home from our adventure, we can’t wait to decorate around the house and trim the tree while watching White Christmas. Finally, we sit back with a warm fire and admire our beautiful work.

2015/01/img_1035.jpg

As a special treat, I enjoy baking a special cookie from my childhood: Santa’s Whiskers. These cherry and coconut cookies look festive and are delicious! They don’t last long in our house. Below is the recipe I have used since childhood, and it never fails! Just be sure to plan accordingly, as the dough does need to be chilled.

Santa’s Whiskers: (makes about 5 dozen)

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

3/4 cup flaked coconut

Cream butter and sugar, blend in extract. Stir in flour, cherries, and nuts (if desired). Form n 2 rolls, each 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. Roll in coconut. Wrap and chill several hours or overnight. Slice 1/4 inch thick; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until edges are golden.

2015/01/img_1025.jpg