Our Year in Review. 2016.

2016 has been a year full of new experiences, stepping out of our comfort zones and challenging ourselves like never before. We feel like we have accomplished so much in the past 12 months and thoroughly enjoyed looking back and thinking about some of our most favourite moments and proudest achievements.

On the 12th Blog of Christmas: December Bucket List Review.

We can happily say that after our not so great attempt at getting everything ticked off our Fall Bucket List, we have definitely redeemed ourselves with our December bucket list! Here are the things we managed to accomplish during this wonderful festive season! :) 

On The 11th Blog of Christmas: Boxing Day in Pictures.

With the holidays being a time to switch off and relax a little, today we wanted to make the most of family time and step away from the computer and social media a bit. Boxing day for us is always a time to put our cozy socks on, keep our pajama's on that extra bit longer and see how much Italian cake we can get away with eating for breakfast. Of course being bloggers, we naturally find it a tad tricky to completely switch off and our brains have been quite excited about different blog ideas as of late. So today we thought we would share with you our Boxing Day in pictures. :) But first, for those of you who have no idea where boxing day came from...

On our 10th Blog of Christmas: Christmas on The Moor.

You know how excited we get when it comes to visiting home. We miss little old Stockport terribly when we are away in America, so it's always lovely to come back to comfort and all the cozy familiarity that we love so much from the town we grew up in. Over the seven years that we have been away many things have remained the same, but there have also been some new additions to home that have made us eager to wake up bright and early and experience all Heaton Moor has to offer. Today we share with you how to enjoy Christmas on the Moor! 

On the 9th blog of Christmas: Getting into the Christmas Spirit!*

We have been well and truly full of festive cheer since the middle of November. We just couldn't resist putting up our Christmas trees early this year and enjoying the build up to Christmas with our husbands, in America, before coming home to England for the holidays. It has been so much fun, because while we are usually 1st December kind of people for starting everything Christmas, doing things that little bit earlier has meant we have fit so much more of our favourite festive things into our holiday season. Plus, we got home early enough this year to put up our childhood Christmas tree with our little sister and start the festive proceedings all over again with everyone in England. Today we thought we would share a few things that have bought joy to our worlds and helped us get into the Christmas Spirit this year.

Book Review: Completely Yours by Erin Nicholas!

Release Date: 20th December 2016.
Publisher: Forever.
Twitter: @ErinNicholas @ForeverRomance.

This is the first book by Erin Nicholas that I have read and I have to say it was such a fun read. It was a little more steamy than I had expected but I loved the characters and the setting of the story. Having comic con as the place where the characters meet and having our heroine be a complete geek, was a really cool concept, that was right up my alley! 

On our 8th Blog of Christmas: Manchester Christmas Markets.

Without fail every time we are home for the holidays we get super excited about making a trip to the Manchester Christmas Markets. We never used to be huge fans of going, but the more we saw pictures of everyone with their mugs of hot chocolate and festive treats, getting in the Christmas spirit, we knew we had to make the effort and join in. It also feels extra special to us, as when we are away from home all year we long to wander around Manchester and catch up on all we have missed. In addition, it is especially fun for us to show our husbands how magical Manchester can be this time of year. Last year we enjoyed Nutella crepes and Bratwursts and this year we were just as keen to delve into some more delicious treats while taking a stroll around all the little stalls. So last Friday afternoon we headed into town, met up with our awesome friend Sam and tucked in to some holiday treats while having a mooch around and chatting away! :)

On the 7th Blog of Christmas: Protein Christmas Treats!

I officially finished my cut on Tuesday and have to say that I feel good. We have been back home in wonderful Stockport for the past week and both my heart and my stomach are happy! Since I had the photo-shoot on Tuesday evening I have simply been intuitive eating and enjoying my Mum's delicious cooking and all the British/Italian treats that I miss when in the USA. I do feel that I am still in the mind frame of paying attention to what I eat, in that I don't wish to go overboard and ruin all the hard work I have been putting into a healthier lifestyle over the past 40 plus weeks. I have learnt so much during this year of hitting the gym hard, and especially over the past 5 weeks of doing my cut, that I still want to be mindful and continue to eat sensibly. Therefore, today I thought I would share some delicious Protein snacks perfect for the holiday season, that allow you to have fun and enjoy food while sticking to a healthier lifestyle.

On the 6th Blog of Christmas: Books to get you in the Festive spirit!

What's better than curling up by the Christmas tree in your most comfy pajamas with a cup of cocoa and a really good book? Not much we hear you say!! Ahhh well, what about all of that with the addition of a book that is so gorgeously festive that it makes your Christmas spirit sore through the roof?

Book review: 'Love Connection.' by Camilla Isley.

Release date: 23 September 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Twitter: @camillaisley

I have to say that I apologize that it has been a hot minute since I did a book review. I feel like I haven't sat down to read in the longest time. I felt like life got rather busy over the past few months and I couldn't focus on curling up and reading, I had to be up doing stuff. Yet, I had this gorgeous book from Camilla Isley waiting for me to dive into it's pages and finally I couldn't take it much longer and began reading it while doing my Cardio this past week. Boy did it make cardio less painful and fly by so much quicker, thank you Camilla! :)

On the 5th blog of Christmas: Stocking Stuffers.

We love our Christmas traditions and we adore creating new ones. We never really did stockings when we were younger, but since getting married it has become a tradition that we share with our husbands and in-laws. Stockings are now something we get so excited for each year, so today we thought we would present you with some idea's for the perfect stocking stuffers. :)

On the 4th blog of Christmas: The Magic of Christmas!

There is something about this time of year that wraps us in a warm hug and makes us feel like anything is possible. We get excited about the fairy lights, the decorations, the candy canes, the music, the movies, the food and the drink, but when we sat and thought about it for a few minutes the other day, the biggest thing we get excited about is the MAGIC...yes the magic. You see when we were younger believing in Santa Claus was probably the first thing we were taught to believe in that wasn't something our Mum and Dad could prove, all we could do was choose to believe in what they were telling us. And we did.

On the 3rd Blog of Christmas: Italian Christmas Cookies.

We absolutely loved having Paola Pica on our blog this past Monday, sharing her Italian Christmas traditions. You see, it wouldn't really be our blog if we let Christmas go buy without jumping up and down and squealing with glee as we tell you all about our favourite Italian treats and all the yumminess we are going to get to dig into when we go home, now would it? Of course it wouldn't. For those of you who may be new to our blog, hello and thank you for stopping by, we are half Italian, on our Mum's side and therefore all things Italy hold a special place in our hearts. Reading through Paola's traditions made us smile so big, as many of the things she mentioned are traditions in our own household. In past years we have shared our love for Pandoro, talked about devouring Baci and just last year we whipped up an Italian Hot Chocolate for the first time. This year we wanted to experiment once again and try our hands at a simple, traditional Italian Cookie, so without further ado, we give you these delights...

Book Review: The Governess's Secret Baby by Janice Preston!

Release Date: 1st December 2016.
Publisher: Mills and Boon.
Twitter: @JaniceGPreston @MillsandBoon

As a book blogger I shouldn't really admit that I have moments where I feel I can't possibly explain just how much I loved a book, after all, it's the whole point of blogging about the book in the first place. I'm supposed to tell you all about it, in the hopes that you will be moved enough to pick up a copy for yourself.

On the 2nd Blog of Christmas: An Italian Christmas by Paola Pica!

Christmas preparation in Italy starts on the 8th of December, which is an important Catholic Festivity.  Families usually take out boxes containing Christmas decorations and Crib scenes on that day and start decorating trees and houses.  The operation may be completely done on that day or may last longer. What matters is to start creating the Christmas atmosphere.

On the 1st blog of Christmas: Our December Bucket List!

As you may have noticed from Wednesday's Fall Bucket List review, we definitely need to step up our game this December. Luckily for us we absolutely adore the Christmas Season and therefore feel we have a slightly better chance at completing all tasks on our list.

Book Review: Brides and Bouquets by Rebecca Raisin!

Release Date: 24th November 2016.
Publisher: HQ Digital UK.
Twitter: @jaxandwillsmum @HQDigitalUK

Eeek Brides and Bouquets is the second installment in Rebecca Raisin's Christmas series and after finishing this one it's safe to say I am a firm member of the Cedarwood community. Reading book 2 is like jumping back into line with those friends that you know are going to be with you for life, even if you don't see them all the time. After a brief time away after reading book 1, I was right back into the swing of things, happily enjoying the change in the weather at Cedarwood and getting excited by the upcoming event at Cedarwood lodge.