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Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Around Chez Ary | 0 comments

Happy Holidays from Chez Ary!


Family, Friends, Loved Ones, and Strangers,

Happy Holidays!!!

If you’ve landed on the blog for the first time from our card, welcome! This is meant to be a spin on the traditional “annual family update” that finds its way into Christmas greetings across the land. I hope you’ll like getting a glimpse into our world. I know I’ll be glad to have this to look back on next year!

I started Betty Becca back in January, and I feel like I can call myself a blogger now that I’ve done it rather consistently all year. I attended a Food Blog Forum in October, and it was an honor to experience presentations by some pretty big names in the food blog world. I also met lots of my peers who passed along insight and inspiration. It was an amazing weekend, and I got to know some great people who love to do the same thing that I do…experiment in the kitchen, take a few photos, and record it all for others to enjoy. Over the past month, Mr. J helped me pack up the site over at and move them over to, another step that makes me feel “grown up” in the blogging world.

Now, on to the year in review!

The year started off in 2011 with some wonderful classes I received as Christmas gifts from Mr. J. At Sweetwise near Opryland, I attended a cake decorating class and left with a 6” decorated cake and lots of new skills. I loved this one! At the Viking Cooking School in Franklin, I attended a knife skills class and also learned pasta making. I had a great instructor and team, and the meal we prepared was beyond delicious. Experience gifts are the best!

Mr. J is a professional hobbyist. I like to kid him about his hobby du jour because he likes to mix it up. A few of his current hobbies are

Mr. J and I celebrated our 10 year dating anniversary in June. It was also our 3rd wedding anniversary. Since we’re both in new jobs, we really didn’t take a big vacation this year, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t squeeze in a few adventures. In June, we took a day trip on the motorcycle to Fall Creek Falls with another couple. It was a fun drive with a beautiful hike through nature. In the fall, we had an awesome weekend away in Atlanta. We each planned portions of the trip to be a surprise for the other, which made for a great little get away. You can read all about it here.


+ Steeplechase

Friend from the Internet (Hi, Marie)

Guest post and feature by a major brand

Acting debut

Epic layer cake

I turned 26 in November. I had two great family dinners and lots of birthday “happies” that made the occasion very special. Looking back on this year, a few things I’m proud of include decorating for a friend’s wedding reception, coordinating weddings at church, creating a digital update system for my sorority’s alumnae association, putting together fresh flower arrangements, and starting a monthly meet up with a group of remarkable women.

New favorites
Wine: Cab sav
Shoes: Riding boots
Books: The Hunger Games
Grain: Quinoa

Mr. J and I both have new work homes, so we’re getting settled in. I’m working for a custom content / publishing company in a digital media and technology ambassador role. I love the company, my co-workers, and the job I do day-to-day and I look forward to growing there. Mr. J recently took a position as a senior software developer for an emergency notification company. He’s helping develop a new platform which will cover a variety of situations internationally ranging from natural disaster broadcasting to amber alerts to fire brigade and nuclear disaster responder notification. Working to improve systems that already save lives has been a nice breath of fresh air coming out of the finance world. He’s enjoying working with new technologies and having a say in the design from the ground up.  Work isn’t everything for us, but it is nice to enjoy what you do for a living!

Becca’s New Year’s Resolutions
+ Send cards to mark special occasions and give thoughtful gifts
Live on purpose – eat good food, be present, cherish each moment, give, spend time with interesting people, etc.
Plan meals by the month and try freezer cooking
Experiment with new cheeses by purchasing a new kind each time I grocery shop

We marked the second year in our house in July. We painted the third room of the house this weekend…well, fourth if you count the garage as a room. Both the office and the garage have been made gray which is quite the stark contrast to our vibrant green living room and golden amber kitchen. We’re thinking about tackling the bathrooms next after we get a desk, couch, and curtain update in the office.

Favorite Recipes
Entree – Lasagna rolls
Side – Dilled Carrots
Dessert – Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Waiting for Santa

Tucker and Oscar are doing great! The boys switched over to grain-free food over the past few months, and we’ve noticed some subtle improvements in their skin, coat and eating habits. They’ve been good boys this year, as long as there isn’t a “chewie” (aka rawhide) to fight over! Santa has lots of great goodies to bring to them. They’re going to love it!

Well, there you have it, hope you’ve enjoyed our reflection on all of the happenings! 2011 has been a great year at Chez Ary! Wishing you and yours a healthy and prosperous 2012!

Betty Becca and Mr. J




  1. Notes from Betty Becca » Blog Archive » Happy Holidays from Chez Ary! - [...] from the past: Holiday update from 2011 and [...]
  2. eat/make/do [6]: Welcome, 2015! | Notes from Betty Becca - […] old ones. I’ve really taken up the “try new cheeses” one (I mentioned that in 2011, ya’ll. Dang.) lately…

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