HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Or, good riddance 2014!)

Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone had a fun, festive, and/or drama-free holiday season. I decided to unplug for a bit around the holidays (and by unplugging what I really mean is still taking lots of instagram photos and watching everyone and their mother announce pregnancies, weddings, and engagements on facebook). It seems, from reading peoples' reflections on 2014, most people had a pretty great year. Which is awesome (really, I'm not being snarky). But...and I hate to be that person...but I am so, SO glad to say GTFO to 2014. Not a good year over here, and I'm happy to be moving on.

I have one, single new year's resolution: do everything in my power to make 2015 as rad as possible. 

Anyway, we'll get back into recipes next week, but I wanted to share a little iPhone photo/instagram run down of the last couple of weeks of 2014. If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen some (but not all!) of these already. If you don't follow me -- please do! My handle is helloitsmel.

So, the end of the year. First, I made a lot of baked goodies for coworkers as holiday gifts. And didn't blog about much of it. But, they included homemade cheez-its, vanilla-rum caramels, marshmallows and homemade hot chocolate mix, gingerbread cookies, and the cranberry-orange-white chocolate biscotti and homemade peppermint oreos below.

biscotti
peppermint oreos

We flew to California to visit home for a few days. Obviously, the very first thing we did after navigating the hell that is the Southwest baggage claim at LAX: ate IN & OUT. So good. 

in and out

We re-realized how odd my home town is. Weird signs pointing to otherwise very clearly marked coffee shops and mannequins gettin' crazy at the town mall. We had some tasty beer, and went to the Ventura Harbor. And we went to LA to see Brandon's family and afterward drove to Beverly Hills for the sole purpose of finding the Bouchon Bakery over there. Totally worth it.

coffee

Of course, we went to Disneyland. It was crazy crowded, but still fun. We made friends with goats, took a selfie on Thunder Mountain, and Minnie Mouse tried to steal my boyfriend.

disney pano

We also played a round of mini golf (which I lost), and learned how to shoot with a bow and arrow. And Brandon grilled on Christmas.

One cat had to go to the vet and was on drugs. The other one wore a sweater.

And we had an incredible dinner at The Publican on New Year's Eve!

 

I'll be back next week with recipes! I've got a few new ideas to work on for you all, including a cocktail of the week series and a hot chocolate/marshmallow series. You'll also notice "Sprinkles" in the top nav of my site -- that's just were all the random life and travel posts are gonna be from now on.