Best of December & Our Christmas with a Rat

Hi friend!  I’ve missed you!  I took some much needed time off after Christmas to rest and recharge and it really did me good.  While the kids were gone, I cleaned house, worked out, took myself out to lunch and to the bookstore and visited with a few friends.

There were late mornings and also some glorious naps thrown in for good measure.  The house is a clean slate with all the Christmas decor down. ♥

I was so happy that I went through and donated all of the Christmas decor that we weren’t using that didn’t fit in our new house.  It make packing it up and putting it away so much easier!

And I got these new ornament storage bins to hold all of our ornaments.  I like this style better than what we had because you can remove an entire tray at a time to get to the bottom easily.  It’s also super sturdy and has a front pocket for additional storage.


Now I’m feeling ready to go and get back to sharing with you.  Before I get to the best of December, I wanted to give you a little recap of our Christmas since I didn’t get to do that yet.  It really was a wonderful time spent with family and even Jordan declared it the “Best Christmas Ever!” 

The kids woke up around 6:00 a.m. and actually James was the first one up, which surprised me.  We headed downstairs and opened gifts, ate breakfast and the kids started playing with their new gifts.

My family came over around 3:00 for dinner and our gift exchange.  If you’ve been following me on Stories, and I’ve also mentioned it here, we have an unwelcome guest living here – a fat rat!  

Jordan first spotted it a few weeks ago in the kitchen near Luke’s dog food.  Since then, I’ve been trying like heck to catch the guy.  My exterminator has been out several times, we have traps all over our kitchen and in the mudroom where I’ve seen evidence of him – but still no luck catching him.

Originally, I was only putting the sticky traps out at night because I didn’t want my dog or cat getting stuck in there.  But Johnny said rats are smart and they’ll avoid new things, so we need to leave them out 24/7.  So, he came and make little covers out of cardboard boxes to make it safer for my pets.

But, we also have the old fashioned traps and an electric box – none of which have worked.

Since Jordan first saw him, I’ve seen it TWICE!  But it always got away.

It seemed to be going under the stove and dishwasher, so we pulled out the stove and definitely found evidence of it back there – along with a totally chewed stove cord. The cord was literally chewed to the wires in several places and I couldn’t believe I had been cooking with it that way!

I called an appliance repair company out and they quoted me nearly $300 to replace the cord and $590 for labor.

But, once I was able to get behind the stove myself, I realized all I had to do was order a new cord and I could plug it in myself.  The cord simply plugs into the stove at one end and into the wall on the other end.  I thought the company should be ashamed to quote me that much in labor to PLUG IN A CORD! 

I was kinda freaking out that I wouldn’t have a new cord in time for Christmas dinner at our house, but I found a Wolf parts place in Dallas and was able to pay expedited shipping to get the $30 cord here by Christmas Eve!  Whew, one bit of good news!

Once my family was all here, we started preparing our Christmas dinner.  My sister Carrie wanted to heat up her ham in the convection oven since we had other things cooking in the regular oven.

I turned on my convection oven for the first time since living here and IT CAUGHT ON FIRE! 

My sister Jessica must have said about three times, “it smells like something is burning” before we realized the oven was on fire.  I opened the door and saw bright red flames inside.  It literally looked like a full blown fireplace inside.

We ushered all the kids outside, I reached for my fire extinguisher, turned the oven and burners off and my brother and I pulled the stove out from the wall to make sure it wasn’t on fire back there or that the fire had something to do with the cord.  Thankfully, everything looked normal and the fire hadn’t spread.

Y’all, my heart was beating through my chest as I envisioned my entire kitchen going up in flames.  Jessica kept a cool head and was saying that since it was the first time I turned this oven on, maybe a brochure or paper packet had fallen in there and caught fire.  She didn’t use the fire extinguisher, rather, we waited and the fire eventually burned itself out.

Thankfully, the fire was totally contained inside the convection oven and didn’t spread to any parts of the house.

The next week, I called the Wolf appliance repair person out and found out that what caused the fire was rat feces and nesting materials he had drug into the oven.  I mean, how much worse can it get?!

Luckily, he was able to clean and disinfect the oven and no repairs were required because there was nothing actually wrong with the oven.  But, that visit cost about $300.

Later that day, my exterminator Johnny came out to pull the dishwasher out to see if any damage had been done to the wires back there and so that I could get back there and clean.

I was at an appointment when Johnny pulled the oven out and guess what was back there staring him in the face?! Yes, that stinking rat– plus the disgusting pile o’ poop and urine!

As if it couldn’t get any worse.

But the rat ran past Johnny and under the sofa.  Johnny tore the sofa apart trying to find the rat, but he couldn’t locate it!

O M G !!!!!!!

You guys, I am dying inside over this rat.  When I got home, I scoured the couch, gave it a good vacuum, along with the floor and cleaned and disinfected behind my dishwasher with bleach.  Could not be more disgusting.

Today, Johnny is bringing poison for the rat.  I cannot believe it’s come to this.  I hate that this rat is living here and that it’s done so much damage to our home and could’ve caused the kitchen to burn down or seriously injured someone!

I really hope that someday we look back on this and laugh, because right now I could cry!

As for the good stuff, my family is awesome and the meal ended up being fantastic.  My grill master brother fried two turkeys and they were delicious.


My brothers were Santa’s elves and helped assemble the soccer goal that the kids got for Christmas.

I love this family of mine so very much!


I always love seeing what y’all are loving and here’s what topped your list for December!


December Best Sellers Fashion



December Best Sellers Amazon Fashion



December Best Sellers Beauty



December Best Sellers HOME



Our Houston weather has gone from freezing cold to 80 degrees and my skin is feeling it!  Below are some of my beauty faves, in winter and all year long!

Amazon Winter Beauty


Dressing Room Holiday & Winter Styles

December was also a fun month for dressing room finds.  We had holiday outfits, weekend styles and more!

Red Sweater, Sparkle Skirt, Heels

SweaterSkirtSimilar ClutchHeels

Striped Sweater, Jeans, Booties


Striped Tunic Sweater, Jeans, Boots


Fair Isle Sweater, Jeans, Boots


Fair Isle Sweater, Jeans, Booties


December Loves Giveaway

A huge THANK YOU for subscribing to my blog! To show my appreciation I do a Loves Giveaway every month.  Congratulations to this month’s winner – Stephanie in Hazel Park, Michigan!

December Loves Giveaway

Boll & Branch Sheet SetBarefoot Dreams Hoodie CardiganCuddle Duds Pajama SetGibson BlazerRothy’s Sneakers

Bing Watch For Less During The Holidays

Did you do your fair share of binge watching during the holidays?!  With giving up cable, SlingTV has been a great, affordable option to watch our favorite shows for less.

Sling TV

New Fashion Amazon Haul & Holiday Hosting

Amazon for the win again and again!  I just got my latest fashion order in and can’t wait to share it with you!  But first, we found some gems in December too- the faux leather leggings being at the top of the list!

Tunic Sweater, Leggings, Booties

SweaterFaux Leather LeggingsBooties

Black Sweater, Leggings, Booties

SweaterFaux Leather LeggingsBooties

Merry & Bright Sweatshirt

SweatshirtFaux Leather LeggingsSneakers

Jumpsuit, Heels


Amazon Holiday Hosting


Shop Amazon Holiday Hosting

If you are reading via email, click here for shoppable images

Holiday Home Tour

Did you catch our holiday home tour before all the festive touches came down?  I really loved decorating this new home for the first time- everything looked fresh and new and it caused me to pause and reflect on what I actually wanted to display and let go of this year.

Red Puffer Vest, Jeggings, Boots, Home Mat, Wreath

Similar Mat •  Amazon WreathRed Berry Branches

Milk and Cookie Tray

Christmas Crate

Similar VaseSimilar BranchesRed Berries

Willow Nativity Scene

Star BackdropNativitySimilar Wooden Stand

Utensil Carraffe, Plates, Tree

Utensil HolderSimilar Target PlatesSimilar Target TreeAmazon Toothpick HolderAmazon Lazy Susan

Cute & Casual Winter Style

I have to give a shout out to Kohl’s for coming through with the cute, affordable fashion over the years.  I’ve ordered several things from Kohl’s that I really like, especially the Cuddl Duds pajamas!

Gray Sweater, Jeggings, Boots

  Sweater • JeggingsBoots

Cardigan, Blue Plaid Scarf, Jeggings, Boots

Cardigan • JeggingsBoots

Cardigan, Blue Plaid Scarf, Jeggings, Boots


Orange Zebra Print Cardigan, Jeggings, Knee High Boots


Cuddle Duds Pajamas


Dressing Room | Winter Weekend Outfits & Holiday Party Styles

We absolutely scored some great finds at Bloomingdale’s, Evereve and Loft- most of it on sale!

Red Thermal, Jeans, Booties

TopJeans Similar Booties

Embroidered top, Jeans, Heels

TopJeans • Heels

Camo Print Sweater, Jeans, Booties, Crossbody

SweaterJeans BootiesSimilar Crossbody



Cut out Top, Jeans, Heels

BodysuitWit & Wisdom JeansHeels

Rothy's Tennis Shoes


Sparkle Top, Pleated Skirt, Boots

TopSkirtSimilar Boots




For those of you with chilly temps, here are winter accessories (all from Amazon) to liven up your wardrobe.

Amazon Winter Accessories


New Year’s Eve Outfits

I was home on NYE, but these stunning outfits could easily translate to a fun girls’ night out, party, or date night!

NYE Outfits

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Shop NYE Outfits

If you are reading via email, click here for shoppable images

I’m so grateful for your continued support here, how you show up and share the love on a daily basis.  I hope you get as much out of being here as I do.

Now let’s go kick 2023’s booty!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Happy New Year!!
    I look forward to your holiday recap every year! Thank you for always sharing your family with us!
    As for that rat…oh my gosh!! I’m a humanitarian but, in this case, let’s kill that thing!! He’s been free loading off you for far too long and causing too much stress and chaos!
    Sending you good vibes that he’s caught/taken care of before the week is out!!

  2. I’m so sorry you are dealing with a rat in your beautiful home. We dealt with rats a few years ago and I was ready to burn my house down. I learned it’s almost never just one. And while it is gross, the kill snap traps are the best. We ended up killing more than 25 in our attic and crawlspace, and found out that they were digging themselves into our house under our HVAC system, we could not figure out how they kept getting in. That is the key and then killing them. I also don’t recommend glue traps at all because then you have a suffering sad rat on a glue trap that you have to figure out what to do with. Learned that the hard way too. At least if it’s dead, it’s dead and not looking at you. I hope you get it figured out so soon I remember how awful it was.

  3. That rat! We are in Houston and see them all the time in our backyard. What a nightmare to have one invade your home and set up a nest in your kitchen. I hope that poison works fast!! Happy New Year!

  4. Wishing you health, wealth, and new blessings to count each day in 2023. Happy New Year! May this one be your best year yet.

    I am chuckling at the “rat” drama. I sure hope you can look back and laugh.

  5. Ugh, so sorry about that rat, what a nightmare!! Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas… Happy New year! Looking forward to following along with you in 2023!

  6. Oh my goodness, you poor thing! How frustrating with the rat… and your cord… and convection oven… and just ew factor!!

    It’s nice to have you back!

  7. Bless your heart, I’m so sorry to hear of the rat issues! Hope he gets ~dealt with~ quickly! Glad you had safe and happy holidays otherwise.

  8. Wow what a story!! We had a rat in our backyard that took FOREVER to catch…yuck. Love your blog…thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  9. 😢 Sending good vibes your way. Get that rat trapped any way you can and don’t feel bad about how you do it! I hope you’ve caught it by now!

    Happy New Year! 🎆

  10. Hi there Megan! I raise peafowl and pheasants in northeast TN… I too had a rat and they are sooo smart. I set up a Critter Cam and the thing was huge! Looked just like Templeton on Charlotte’s Web! This one has a great water source and egg diet so I went to work. Bates did not not (the thing much preferred feed and fresh eggs), evaded traps etc. It took months and I finally laced a split hot dog with mega poison and put it in a place only a rat could find but not my prized gamebirds. That did the trick! Good luck!

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