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Year in Review

This was when I was so nervous about Baby Larkin that I wouldn’t highlight my hair. Yikes. ;) (Read my Guide to Buying Hunter Boots!)

Oy. Another late post. 2017 is off to a rocky start, haha.

Anyway:

One of the reasons I love blogging so much is that it almost serves as a little diary. When looking back on 2016, it’s easy for me to sum up my year in a sentence or two: “2016 was great! Emma was born!”

But when I scrolled through my posts (which, yes, took a while), I was amazed by just how much occurred. So I thought I’d take myself on a trip down Memory Lane today. WARNING: This post is crazy long, and if you somehow make it to the bottom, you deserve a gold star. ;)

But here’s my year in review!

A Cozy Christmas

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Outfit #1: Sweater, Jeans, Pumps, Scarf, Poncho
Outfit #2: Sweater, Scarf, Jeans, Sparkle Flats (Also love these and these.)
Emma’s Outfit: Cardigan and Plaid Leggings
Home Decor: Wreaths (Also love this one, this one and this one), Ribbon and Wrapping Paper (Available in-store), Wine Stopper, Ornament Pack, String Lights and Stocking Holders
c/o Kohl’s

This year, our little family is spending Christmas break in five different locations: Lincoln Park, Chicago; Bucks County, Pennsylvania; New York, New York; Long Island, New York; and Lake Bloomington, Illinois. (Right now, we should be in NYC… or Yardley. Who knows. How fantastic is scheduled content?!)

A Few Good Links

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Leather Couches / Rug / Similar Plaid Pillow (Actually, this one is perfect!) / Ornament Set c/0 / Tree Skirt (And love this one!) / Striped Pillow (Also here) / Stocking Hangers c/o / Fireplace Set / Plaid Blanket

Hi! I’m in such a good mood today. Work is winding down, and I’ve been getting more quality time with Mitch, Emma and Noodle. We spent last night decking the halls finally trimming the tree we picked out last weekend. So fun! Did you see my Instagram Stories of Mitch trying to put ornaments together? Hysterical! The house isn’t done yet–we still need to hang our wreaths in the windows and put out one last tub of decor, but everything looks magical and I’m so glad we finally got our acts together.

White Elephant

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Have you guys ever participated in a White Elephant Gift Exchange? This’ll be my first time, so today, I’m sharing what to give, what to serve and what to wear for ’em.

~

For as long as I can remember, we’ve spent the holidays in Vermont with my cousins, who are really more like siblings. (Read about their recent trip out to Chicago to meet Emma here!) This year, though, we’re spending it at home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where my parents live. It’s for a couple of reasons: my brother is an E.R. doctor, and he won’t be given the time to travel up to Vermont for Christmas, and then there’s the fact that holiday traveling almost kills Mitch and me every year. We drive from Chicago to Pennsylvania to Long Island to New York City to Vermont to Chicago (pit stop) to Central Illinois and then finally back to Chicago… all in an effort to see my immediate family, my dad’s side of the family, my mom’s side of the family, Mitch’s immediate family and my in-laws’ two sides of the family during the holidays. It was challenging without a baby, so I’m truly not sure we could even pull it off with Emma, who will only be about five months old by then.

 

While we knew it made sense to celebrate the holidays in Bucks County this year, everyone was kind of heartbroken about not being all together like we’ve always been. So we’re having a “Gallagher Christmas” the weekend before actual Christmas, and it’s going to be EPIC. I know it. Everyone is getting super excited, and I even convinced everyone to sleep over. We’re also going to be doing a “White Elephant Gift Exchange,” which is sure to be a blast!

Home for the Holidays

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The title of this post is misleading. ;) I will not be spending Christmas at our home in Chicago. Instead, we’ll be spending it in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; on Long Island, New York; and on Lake Bloomington in Illinois, where our families live. But this is our first Christmas as parents. And while Emma surely has no idea what’s going on, we’re going ALL OUT with decorating and warming up the house for the holidays!

Cozying Up at Home

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Cuddl Duds Softwear with Stretch Cowl Neck Top and Comfortwear Leggings / Kate Spade Mug / Vince Camuto Sneakers (All c/o Bon-Ton)

Even though it’s where I work, I love spending time at home. I make sure to get myself out of the house every day, whether it’s for a walk, errands, a short work session at a coffee shop, or dinner out… and don’t get me wrong: I adore exploring Chicago and taking advantage of everything the city has to offer. But I’m happiest (and most comfortable) at home, hanging with my family and relaxing. Home is where the heart is, for sure!

Three Online Friends

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Image from my friend Meg’s blog!

Over my 3.5 years of blogging, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have met a ton of inspirational and fun ladies–some in-person and some not (YET). Blogging is crazy sometimes. It connects me with people from all over the country (and sometimes even the world!), and I’ve become close with girls via cell phones and computer screens.

And here’s the thing: Before I started this blog, I would have found all of this a little creepy. But it’s not creepy at all. My online friendships–many of which are with you guys!–are amazing and very real, even if the face-to-face isn’t there. (Though it’s the coolest thing when you finally meet in person. You’re like, “You have an ACCENT?” “Wow, you’re TALL!” “OMG it’s okay if I hug you, right?!”)

On some of my darkest days, my online friends have lifted me up. And on some of my best days, my online friends have been there, cheering me on. And whenever I’m confused about how to decorate a room or what shoes to wear to an event, my online friends come to the rescue! It’s this wonderful little support and love network, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.