The Friday Five

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Happy Friday, world! It’s the last Friday of 2016, and the beginning of a very busy weekend.  After a wonderful three days of Christmas with our families, I returned to work Tuesday through today, and have been trying to knock things out. We’ve got an action-packed weekend planned, catching up with friends from out of town who are home for the holidays.  ‘Tis the season!

To anyone reading, I’d like to wish you the happiest new year.  May 2017 be filled with all the best for you!

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One | This year, I had so much luck with recipes for Christmas.  I am always reluctant to try new things over the holidays, but it’s such a great excuse to make things we wouldn’t normally have.  The biggest hit of the weekend by far was Half Baked Harvest’s Poinsettia Spritz Punch.  I made it at my mom’s house on Friday, and between the four of us and the neighbors who stopped by, we went through six batches.  I did make one change, which was using prosecco instead of champagne, because that’s my preference. Next time, I’ll nix the cranberries in the pitcher and simply add some frozen cranberries to each glass.  This was an outstanding recipe, and I’ll keep it in my rotation, along with the killer Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake we took to my dad’s, and the Italian Pear and Almond Cake we took to L’s parents’.

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Two | After a rollercoaster of a year, a lot of people are complaining about how bad 2016 has been, but I loved this article from CNN about great things that happened in 2016: “Dear world, I wasn’t all bad. Signed, 2016.” It’s a great, uplifting read.  I’m grateful for so many things that happened in 2016, from getting engaged to my best friend to finding a job in a library to traveling to five other countries to simply having my health and happiness and family.  I’m grateful for so much, and even though plenty of things could bring me down, I won’t let them. Thank you for all the good, 2016.

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Three | This week, I picked up a stand up case for my Amazon Fire and I am really liking it! It gives me the option to stand my Fire up on its short end (portrait), so I can use it to look at recipes when I’m cooking. Such a small thing, but it makes a huge difference to me, and they’re tough to find!

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Four | I’m fairly certain I’ve written about this before on here, but I would like to take a moment to celebrate my favorite socks. Yes, I have a pair of favorite socks. Wrightsock makes a double-layer hiking sock, and it is the best sock ever. Warm, not bulky, and prevents blisters on my blister-prone feet.  I bought a pair last January in preparation for our trip to Peru and Chile, and then my dad kindly gifted me a few more pairs for Christmas. These are the best socks, and if you are even remotely interested in hiking, you should own a pair. (Note: Thoughts are my own. Wrightsock hasn’t sponsored me, but if they did, I would not be opposed to modeling socks and giving them away on this little blog!)

Five | I’m really looking forward to my 2017 Reading Challenge, which I’ll post about next week.  I got my first haul of books in preparation for it, and I am so excited!  There are some light books as well as some heavy books here.  Have you read any of them?

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