Winter 2021 Tips and Giveaways!


Happy New Year! Unfortunately, for us, 2021 is not off to the greatest start (home repairs) and sometimes, it seems like it’s December 40th, 2020! We’ve also got a few more months, at least, of life not going back to more “normal” yet. However, in New England, we’re used to long winters and being inside a lot – as a farmgirl, I know how to keep busy and to make do! Today, I’m sharing a few tips to help make things a bit easier, as well have some great farmgirl giveaways to help kick-start the New Year!

I won’t weigh you down with my (several) home repairs, but the bad news is that this is how my New Year started:


We’re okay, no one is hurt, no major damage, and the good news is I found a really great electrician in my area!

My daughter starts back for her second semester of college soon. Unfortunately, it will not be “live” yet. One of the most often complaints I’m hearing from everyone right now is how kids of all ages are having a hard time focusing during virtual school. Online classes are hard on teachers, parents, kids, and adult students, as well. My daughter decided before the pandemic that she wanted to stay “local” for university, but she never expected to be home 24 hours a day! I wanted her college experience to be different – not just feel like a “continuation” of her last (virtual) months of high school. I can’t do much to help with the online stress, but changing her room a bit brightened her spirits. If she’d been going into a dorm, we would’ve decorated it, so we revamped her room and work area.


We packed up anything from her high school days. A “grown up” desk and comfortable work chair (with good support for long hours)  make things feel “official” for classes, and a cozy throw chases away chills. You don’t have to spend a lot on a desk, but marking a specific area as an “official” workspace helps concentration. It should be a clutter-free, yet cozy spot. Fun, remote-controlled, color-changing LED lights around the perimeter of her bedroom add pizazz and set the mood – whether it’s class time, study time, or time to relax. 


Breaks are important too – so I set up a “quick hot beverage/treat station”. Using the vintage Cosco cart that we use for camping, I put a variety of quick-grab tea bags, hot water in a carafe (it will stay hot all day), and a single-serve coffee machine that was a gift many years ago.


I prefer perked coffee with a classic percolator, but with an Ekobrew reusable filter, we can use our favorite coffee for a single cup without landfill waste. When my daughter has a fast minute between classes, she can grab a quick “cuppa”! You can use a part of your kitchen or a cozy corner somewhere – presentation and convenience make it special. I also keep a variety of healthy snacks on hand for quick brain-food boosters. 

Masks aren”t going anywhere anytime soon. Unless you’re in healthcare, cloth masks have been recommended as an effective choice, so I’ve been sewing them for months. I love picking out fabrics to match my personality, clothes or mood, making the best of the situation. I’ve gifted masks to friends and made bunches for my family. Masks are like underwear – you don’t want to share them. (Eww).



I organized ours by our basement garage door, using a bulletin board and tacks. They’re convenient and out of the way, but at eye-level and easy to grab on the way out. On the way back in, we deposit the dirty ones in a repurposed clothespin bag (I use one from Prairie Pin Pouch. The handmade bags are adorable and durable). You could also use hooks on the wall, individual baskets, or cute farmhouse style buckets for mask organization. You can’t control the need for wearing a mask, but you can keep them organized!

When winter comes, I want comfort food and hot, hearty meals. Y’all know I love my vintage tools, like my old mixers and my Pyrex bakeware. I don’t often fall for “modern” kitchen gadgets. I love to cook, and can happily spend a whole day in my kitchen, blissfully cooking and baking. However, there are days that I don’t have the energy to make a complicated meal, or come home later than planned. We’ve cut out a lot of take-out on those kinds of nights because of two additions to my kitchen repertoire. (I also love to try new recipes)!


Last year, my mom and her husband gifted me an Air Fryer. It makes the most unbelievable homemade chicken fingers, home fries, and juicy roasts, using less fat than traditional methods. I don’t know how I lived without it before! Frozen food comes out crisp, roasted veggies are fast and delicious, and meats like chicken breasts cook all the way through, evenly. 


Another winter lifesaver in the kitchen is my Insta-pot. Before the pandemic, I attended a potluck, and the ladies all raved about their Insta-pots! I ended up purchasing one, and love it! Registering it on the website gives access to all sorts of recipes, as well, and the app tailors recipes to your particular model. I can make dried beans into an amazing quick meal – going from dried to delicious and soft, in less than an hour, for example, and I am now a master at Chicken Fried Rice! The nice thing about both of these tools is that they open you up to a world of new recipes, but you can also make your favorite recipes in warp speed time! I will be taking mine with me next time we go glamping in Gidget!


I still also like to whip up fast, comforting meals in my classic can’t-live-without-it, cast-iron skillet. Right now, my family’s favorite winter meal is my Brussels sprouts skillet: Cut the ends off of two pounds of washed fresh brussels sprouts, and then slice the sprouts in half lengthwise. Using two tablespoons of olive oil in the cast iron skillet, brown the sprouts on medium heat along with two cloves of chopped garlic, a large chopped sweet onion, and one package of organic chicken and apple sausage, cut into “coins”. Using a spatula, turn constantly. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of cumin. Cover and let cook down until sprouts and onion are soft, about ten minutes or so. 

At the FDR Museum, 2016

At the FDR Museum, 2016

After a good meal, try doing something different than turning on the television. We love visiting museums, and hope they’ll be able to open up again soon. Until then, did you know that you can visit many of the world’s museums virtually? 3-D technology makes it seem like you’re right there, in the museum, looking at the exhibits. Virtually visit one of my favorites, The FDR Museum, in Hyde Park, NY. Here in Connecticut, virtually visit The Mark Twain House, or head across the globe to see beautiful art in my favorite part of Denmark, at The Skagen Museum. The Met? The Louvre in Paris…where will you go next? The virtual possibilities are endless, and “travel” to destinations you might never get the chance to go to in real life! Search under Google, and you will discover many hours of virtual museum tours to explore!

I think one of the hardest things about life during a pandemic is the lack of things to look forward to. Holidays, gatherings, and events we always look forward to are cancelled, and days seem the same for many folks. I think we have to give ourselves a few treats, and create things to look forward to. 


Now’s a good time to subscribe to all your favorite magazines, and have them delivered right to your door. I’ve never missed a single issue of MaryJanesFarm Magazine since discovering it eleven years ago. Make sure your subscription is up to date HERE. When I get a magazine in my mailbox, it always feels like a nice surprise, and I spend a little “me” time relaxing in my favorite chair with a cup of tea – news off!


I took this photo on a recent hike on a trail nearby my house. Winter can be so pretty!

Scheduling a daily walk or winter hike, weather permitting, boosts mood, too. Daylight hours are already getting longer, seed catalogs are starting to emerge, and soon it’s time to plan our gardens! Spring won’t be too many months away now. 

My home made New Year’s Eve meal...

My home made New Year’s Eve meal…

At my house, we plan special “theme” evenings, trying new meals, along with watching a special movie. For New Year’s Eve, I made an Asian-style dinner, something I haven’t tried completely before.


We watched New Year’s-themed movies and dressed for the occasion, just the three of us. Scheduling, planning, and executing a special evening gives us all something to look forward to.


To help you schedule YOUR special evenings, ZOOM meetings, and 2021 plans, we are giving away FIVE MaryJanesFarm 2021 Calendars, courtesy of our dear MaryJane! Five lucky winners will receive this beautiful calendar in their mailbox! What a great way to start the year! To be entered in the drawing, leave me a comment below, telling me what you are doing to make 2021 a bit brighter, share a favorite recipe or kitchen gadget, organization tip, or just say “hi” so we know you stopped by!  I will draw FIVE lucky reader names at random! Winners will be notified via email. 


Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy New Year for 2021! See you next month!


Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs,



  1. Joanna Ziolkowski says:

    Thank you for the lovely reminder that we can all have a bit of fun and make things special, even if circumstances aren’t yet back to “normal.” Here’s to a better new year for us all!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joanna, thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks you so much for reading and commenting. Happy New Year to you and yours! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Michelle Reid says:

    Greetings and Happy New Year!!

    Going to write more letters~create Butterfly Gardens with children in the spring~

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Michelle, yes, handwritten letters are so wonderful. I cherish many of the ones I have been sent through the years – so much more personal than a text or email. Enjoy the spring and your butterfly gardens. Did you know that because of efforts like yours that the Monarch numbers are coming back? That is great news! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Irene says:

    Hi Nicole
    I’ve been working on a cross stitch picture for a friend of mine. We are unable to visit since she lives in another state. I also have a money saving tip. Instead of buying costly cleaners for your dishwasher buy a bottle of distiled white vinegar and pour some in bottom of washer and run normal cycle. If you also use a dish drainer put it in also. It works great in your washer also.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Irene, how wonderful! I know your friend will treasure your cross stitch work. I love to cross stitch, too. I have a few projects to start – you have reminded me I need to start them this year! Great tip – thanks for sharing! Vinegar is such a great natural thing to use. It’s a good time to do your tip – start the year with a clean dishwasher! Thanks so much! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Bonnie I. says:

    I really love to cook, but at this point I would enjoy a lovely night out at a luscious restaurant. I’m in my 60’s, as is my husband, I thought I had better step it up on the home front when it comes to staying engaged. I am planning a nice valentine day dinner and entertainment this year.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Bonnie, I am with you on that. I miss getting dressed up once in awhile for a fun date night out, but until then, I am planning on a great meal on Valentine’s Day, too. Enjoy! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Amy Barker says:

    To make 2021 a little brighter I have resolved to not work so much!!! Last year I was working 6-7 days a week and it about killed me, and left me with no free time for anything fun. I need to spend more time on me, in my gardens, or with my chicken ladies.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Amy, Wow! 6 – 7 days is HARD! I am glad you are taking care of YOU. Enjoy some me time, and enjoy those chickens! Mine bring me alot of joy, too. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Lucy Beard says:

    Making sourdough from MaryJanes magazine, feb,March 2009! I kept it since it has so much info on bees and the bread recipe. Right now its sitting on my kitchen counter bubbling! The kitchen is cold in the winter so I run a space heater to keep me and the the bread starter happy!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Lucy, Aren’t MaryJane’s bread recipes the BEST?!? I have kept every issue and keep a list of my favorite recipes in each issue. Enjoy! Happy Bread! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Maureen says:

    I decided this year I was only going to craft “happy projects”. My first was a beautiful broken dishes quilt in a pink floral Liberty of London print that was gifted to me. So cheerful! My second is a crocheted Afghan with bands of tropical colors offset by white. It makes me smile, like I am headed to the islands every time I work on it. I am trying very hard to find joy and a blessing every day.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Maureen, Busy Hands, Happy Heart! Your projects sound so beautiful (and joyful, love it)! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Elisabeth Perkins says:

    I am trying to do a five year journal. I have never been successful at journals before. But this one is just like one line a day. I keep reminding myself that’s not to hard!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Elisabeth, Good for you! And I like the one line a day idea. Thanks for reading and commenting, and Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. Kathy Marx says:

    In 2021 I am DETERMINED to go outside more. I always have chores outside with chickens and horses but I need to go outside to putz – just breathe in the air, check out the sky, listen for birds…:) !

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Kathy, it is a proven fact that spending time outdoors in nature boosts mood. Good for you – enjoy nature! Although, sounds like you have a bit of heaven there with chickens and HORSES! 😉 Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Jada Mathis says:

    I am journaling more and reading interesting books. This is helpful and gives me hope in this new year!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jada, two great things to do! I haven’t done a journal in awhile. Thanks for the reminder! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  11. Marge Turner says:

    I love the way you made your daughter’s room more special for her virtual college experience. Having that set apart space for classes and the extra little touches like the lighting is so fun! I’m passing the idea along to my daughter she could set something up for her son-it will make it easier for him to focus if he has a ‘classroom’ to work in-he’s in kindergarten

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge, thank you! Awww – kindergarten! How sweet! That is such a precious age. I bet he will enjoy having a special area to work in. Enjoy that grandson – they grow up so fast! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  12. Carleen Sisler says:

    Hi..I am preparing my home for the arrival of a new puppy..I lost my beloved best friend corgi 2 years ago and decided it was time to have another best friend and companion .Blessings to all

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carleen, I am so sorry you lost your beloved corgi. My dear friend just lost hers at New Years. He was a great dog, corgi as well. I will miss him too. She had him 16 years, I think! Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on your new puppy!!! I can’t think of a better way to start a new year. Enjoy! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  13. April G. says:

    Happy New Year! Two things I am doing to make 2021 a bit brighter at the moment are 1. ordering/organizing flower seeds for the upcoming season! I ordered some, was lucky enough to receive a special tin of various seeds from the Monticello gardens as a Christmas gift and even swapped seeds with a fellow gardener in my town, who I met online and 2: stockpiling beautiful postcards and notecards to send randomly to friends and family. We can all use a pick-me-up in some way or another and getting nice mail always helps with that!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      April, both are wonderful ideas! I love that. Getting mail in the box is like sunshine in the box, I always say. Enjoy your gardening, sounds like spring will be really great at your house! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. Patricia Miller says:

    I just love your ideas for planning theme meals and keeping things fresh!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Patricia, thank you! We really enjoy those evenings and feel happy and relaxed. I love when my daughter gets in on the planning, as well. Valentine’s is next! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Bonnie McKee says:

    Hello All!
    I will be planting more flowers in 2021 !!!
    Looking forward to Spring!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Bonnie, I am with you on that! I planted a bunch of new bulbs for spring last fall, so I can’t wait to see what pops up! Happy Gardening! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. Judy says:

    In 2021 I am planning to plant a “victory” garden. After the last year, we all need to celebrate. Why not with good food and time in the sunshine. Here’s to a victorious 2021!

  17. Lorraine says:

    For 2021 I’ve decided to give my little garden space a do over this year I’ve ordered all new seeds am looking forward to digging in and getting my fingers dirty!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Lorraine, a “farmgirl manicure” – sounds like a wonderful plan! Happy Gardening! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Colleen Maki-Varney says:

    In the New Year, I plan to continue whittling down my collection of fabrics, by continuing to sew warm hats and mittens (we live on the shores of cold Lake Superior) for the homeless shelter in our area. With scraps, I plan to make quilts, something I did for many years, and have somehow wandered away from that joyful project. Less television, more walking, and planning our gardens for this summer, are on my list of “life improvement.” Happy New Year to you all, and may this year bring better health and happiness, to our world.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Colleen, what a lovely, lovely thing you are doing for the homeless, so wonderful, and your list of “life improvements” sounds wonderful. Happy, Happy New Year to you. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  19. Julie says:

    Enjoyed your blog…I am interested in finally getting an insta pot. Glad to hear Air Fryers are great! That will be a “Happy” plan for 2021. Making tasty New recipes with “modern” gadgets!!
    What a novel idea for your clean and soiled masks…instead of tossing them into a hamper placing them into a retro style clothespin bag!
    Thanks, for ideas to lift our spirits and give us a smile.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Julie, thank you! I have really enjoyed both of the air fryer (think “dry” foods – roasts, potatoes, veggies, meats, etc), and my insta-pot (“wet” foods – soups, stews, rices, beans). Between the two and my skillets I am excited to see what new food I will make next. The clothespin bag is just the right size and easy to carry to the washroom and back – all while looking pretty! May 2021 be a great year for you and yours. Much love your way, my friend. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  20. Marjorie Long says:

    I have received the regular size calendars from our Church, Banks and Electric Co-ops, but for some reason the size of the daily squares are so small, I can’t record anything in them. I am looking for a bigger daily square on a calendar. MaryJanesFarm will be great. I am a canner. I will can just about anything. During the Christmas season, family came for a visit, wanted certain canned items. We found them up on the shelves, but after a while the shelves become unorganized. It was a searching and moving of canned goods. So I decided it was time to straighten the shelves up, make room for the cast iron pots and skillets and the crocks. This took time also. The shelves look very organized now and no one is tripping over crocks and cast iron pots!
    I made a new year resolution to try to keep the canning shelves organized this year. We are receiving all kinds of seed catalogs and going through them with a hopeful heart of a much better year for gardening. 2020 was not a good year for a lot of things. 2021 brings hope for a better year. Let us all focus on the hope that we have for this year. Thank you and God Bless all the MaryJanesFarm folks.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marjorie, canning and organizing and gardening – oh my! You are a true farmgirl! Love it. Enjoy the new seasons, and thank you for reading and commenting! May 2021 be a better year. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  21. LynB says:

    Hi! I enjoyed your post! I haven’t planned anything intentional yet to make 2021 brighter, but I love what all you’re doing.. Thanks for the ideas!

  22. Susan Campbell says:

    Just trying to take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute and second by second. I am also sending out more cards to people.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susan, That is good advice. Live in the moment. I am also getting more cards and letters in the mail than I have in awhile and LOVE it. That is a positive. Keep your chin up, farmgirl! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  23. Victoria Elwood says:

    Good morning. What a beautiful day. My ray of sunshine is growing our local chapter here in Colorado. I am planning our first tea for February. And my daughter is hoping that we get some young cultivators ( she is feeling the old lady crunch, she is the only one so far). I would have to say our favorite kitchen tool is the toaster oven. My daughter says its”sick”. I day its “the bomb”. We love it because she can go in and make snacks when ever and what ever with out help. (She is 11 the stove is yet a bit overwhelming). I am hoping to get my garden started here in the near future, I have never had above ground space before first for that. It will be eventually our little space of serenity for time with friends and family. Thank you for your kind and supporting words, have a beautiful day untill next time, your fellow sister vicki8257

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Vicki, Lovely comment. Good for you, mama, for teaching your daughter to cook and garden! I miss seeing my farmgirl friends in my chapter. When this pandemic is over (we have a spike in my area currently) I want to get my chapter up and running again. Thanks for visiting the blog, and Happy New Year and Farmgirl Hugs to you and your girl! ~Nicole

  24. Toni says:

    For starters, you just reminded me to renew my subscription! Lol! I’m making good use of like-minded groups online to motivate me with things like decluttering our home and losing weight. Feeling very positive about where my life is headed for the first time in a LONG time.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Toni, good for you! Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people. I believe happiness IS a choice, and misery loves company. Keep up the good work! Are you on the Farmgirl Chatroom? Lots of positive, inspirational farmgirls there! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  25. Nancy W. says:

    Your posts are always so interesting and encouraging! Thank you! This year brings so many things to be grateful for. We will be celebrating the first birthday of my great grandson, new home for a son, two graduations and a new baby this summer. Spring will be coming and today the sun is shining!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nancy, BIG CONGRATULATIONS to you and your family! You have much to look forward to. Happy New Year! Enjoy!!! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  26. Laurie Marie Carlson says:

    I found a photography class at the local college, dug out my old camera, and I’m learning to really use it. That gets me outdoors a little bit even on cloudy days. Gives me something to drive around a little looking for a perfect scene. Now I appreciate winter a little bit better and I’m hoping for more snow to capture in photos.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Laurie, great idea! That is awesome that you are embracing a wonderful new hobby – the art of photography! Enjoy! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  27. Brenda Cervantes says:

    I love my MaryJane magazine. It keeps me up and full of ideas and Hope!! Thank you!

  28. Mary Grace Almleaf says:

    What a lovely read to brighten my cold snowy day in far Western New York! ❄️ I am baking up a storm for my family and grandchildren especially, and getting my retired body moving in the winter is a daily goal. Blessings to all in your day ❤️

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary Grace, first off, I love your name – Mary Grace. So pretty. Wasn’t it a cold day today? Good day for baking. I made cookies today. Enjoy those grandchildren! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  29. Emilie K Wacker says:

    Thanks for inspiring us to think outside the box. This year I have been and plan to continue to think on at least 3 things a day that I can be thankful for.

  30. Dana says:

    Thank you for such a positive post with great ideas! I’ve been focusing on finishing quilts for family and friends that have been in the “Unfinished Object” pile for too long. Taking a bit of time everyday to do something I love, even if for only 20 minutes, helps to make me a better mom (furry mom, too!), wife and friend. And I get to gift things to people I love that are made with love!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Dana, thank you! I love your comment – what a great way to do things. I love that even if it is 20 minutes a day you take care of you and do something you love. I think people get bogged down by pressuring themselves too much to get things like hobbies done by a certain time. A positive to current times is a slower pace, and when you do finish something, how special it is to the recipient! Nothing better than something handmade! Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year to you, your family and furbabies! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  31. Meredith Williams says:

    Hi Nicole! This winter I am taking advantage of having lost my job due to Covid, and I’m paring down all the STUFF in our house! I long to have a more streamlined, organized, easy to clean abode, and as I go from room to room I have realized how much I have held on to for no good reason! I hope you have a cosy winter and enjoy the extra time with your daughter, a blessing for sure❤️

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Meredith, I am so sorry to hear you lost your job. This is such a hard time for everyone with all the losses. However, sounds like you are a true farmgirl and making the best of it! May you have a Happy, healthy New Year and a better 2021 than 2020! Much love your way! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  32. Joan Piercy says:

    Nicole, Great blog today. You’ve given me lots of inspiration. We have been trying new recipes & I got an air fryer for Christmas. I already have an Instant Pot that I love, but am looking forward to all the things I can cook in the air fryer. Hope you have a good 2021!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joan, thank you! Having those gadgets really opens up a world of new recipes, doesn’t it? SO much fun! Enjoy and Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  33. Karen Kudla says:

    I am learning to crochet! My daughter signed me up for a monthly crochet kit and I’m currently crocheting a kitchen dish cloth and towel. So fun!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Karen, what a great time to learn to crochet! I teach knitting and crochet and love to share my favorite hobby. Your daughter gave you a great gift! Enjoy and Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  34. Your post was spot on for our lives now…my daughter decided to complete her second year of college remotely, too. The university was open, but somehow, this just seemed like a safer choice, and all the classes she needed were online, so it felt as if it was meant to be. I’ve been thinking about an airfryer…hmmm, maybe it’s just what we need. Quick & easy, with less oil sounds like a winner! Yes, a slow cooker is a must and I’ve been using a huge cast iron skillet that was my mother-in-law’s for hearty breakfast-for-dinner meals. Now I’m deep cleaning…people will giggle asking how can I spring clean when there’s still snow on the ground, but us farmgirls know when spring actually arrives, we’re outdoors…at least for me, there’s no time for spring cleaning then! Always enjoy your posts!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary, I love having my daughter home doing college. When she is “in class”, her door is shut and I don’t disturb her. It is nice to have meals with her and hear about what she is learning. I agree with you – now is the time to clean and organize! Once nice weather is here I will be outside! Happy New Year to you and your daughter! Thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  35. Lily D'Angelis says:

    I just loved your stations for your college student. I have a college student at home too. I will use your ideas to create a mask station for clean and dirty ones and will make a snack station for him.
    He has been very excited about putting together a PC for himself and it is almost completed. He placed that in a desk in his room. The masks and the snack stations would be a great addition to his “Study” room.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Lily, I am so glad you like my suggestions! I like to move things around and try different things different ways, and I wanted my daughter to feel like she had “grown” a bit, not just have the same room, etc. I think she did a great job picking out what she wanted. Awesome that your son is putting together his PC! Very cool! Happy New Year to you both! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  36. Donna Kozak says:

    Hi, Nicole – What a lovely uplifting post- we’re in for a bit of snow up here in Beautiful British Columbia, so I’ve got to get outside and enjoy our warm winter before that happens ! Hopefully 2021 will be better than last year for all of us !

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Donna, Today is really cold again, but lovely sun peeked through all day with bits of snow here and there. Happy New Year, and yes, wishing us all a better 2021! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  37. Toni Hauge says:

    I love your magazine and blogs.
    I am trying to spend more time with my dad this year. We do special outings that don’t involve exposing him to other people. No covid risks.
    Thank you!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Toni, Thank you, I am so glad you enjoy MaryJanesFarm, and the blogs. 🙂

      It is great you are spending special time with your dad. I miss my family – they are all in other states but I do like to speak to them on the phone as often as I can. I missed seeing them in 2020. Happy New Year to you and to your dad! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  38. Lauri Neumann-Grable says:

    My husband and I have instituted tea time at 4 pm. We have a lovely pot of tea and a slice of ‘quick bread’…this week’s offering is mincemeat quick bread made with homemade mincemeat (vegetarian). It’s great to have a quiet time together for 15-20 minutes.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Lauri, that is awesome! I love that. I whole-heartedly believe in a tea/coffee break everyday. Such a great thing to do as a couple, too. Happy New Year to you both. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  39. Carol Slater says:

    Oh how nice this calendar would look in my office. I will certainly be trying the Brussel spout skillet. I am truly focusing on self love in 2021 to make this year one of the best ever.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol, Happy New Year! Good luck in the drawing – your name will be added to the hat! Enjoy the Brussels Sprout Skillet. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  40. Andrea Maliszewski says:

    Last year I learned sign language and this year I have decided to add some new hobbies to my life. Since joining the sisterhood, I’m excited to do some embroidery/cross-stitch work. I used to do it as a kid and look forward to bringing it back into my repitoire as well as learning to crochet. Other goals as the weather warms, natural composting and gardening (starting small with room to grow). Looking forward to 2021!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Andrea, you have the right idea, and are doing some great things! My daughter and I both have often said we would like to learn sign language. I used to be almost fluent in Danish, so I am brushing up on that, as well as doing my sewing, knitting and crafts. Composting and gardening are great hobbies, as well. Enjoy, and Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  41. Marlene Burns says:

    Always enjoy your blog. Actually on the list of things I look forward to each month. So many great suggestions of things to do. It is a letdown after the holidays but planning something special for Valentine’s day is a great idea and something to look forward to. Love hearing house hold hints. Think I may subscribe to some fun magazines. Also have been doing more pen friends from Mary Jane’s website and more swaps. Stay safe until we can all get the vaccine. Your friend, Marlene

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marlene, SO good to hear from you! Did you get my Christmas card? I think I mailed it to the correct address. I hope we can start writing more again! I miss your letters. I am so glad you enjoy the blog! That makes me happy. Stay healthy and safe. Happy New Year, my dear farmgirl friend. Hugs, Nicole

  42. Denise Woods says:

    Hope your new year is wonderful and creative!

  43. Sue Leto says:

    Hi, Nicole! Thanks for all of the great ideas! My mom is now confined to a hospital bed. So, I’ll be spending lots of time with her, and I’ll be doing more crafts…beading, scrapping and I’ll get her involved in making Valentines decorations to put in the window so she can enjoy them. She also loves coloring with colored pencils in the adult coloring books. We’ll leave the Christmas lights on the mantel and change out the Christmas items with her beautiful ruby red glass. This will also serve as her nightlight.. Movie night is an excellent idea! We’ll implement that to make our time spent together extra special! With lots of popcorn and treats, of course! Best regards, Sue Leto

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sue, Happy New Year to you and your mom! It sounds so nice what you are doing with her. My mama lives in another state and I miss her so much, though we talk often if not every day. I love the Christmas lights mixed with ruby glass – ruby glass is one of my favorites. It looks great and festive no matter the season! Please wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to your mama from me, as well. Farmgirl Hugs to you both! Nicole

  44. Christine Box says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for all the great information. I think we will try visiting the museums on line. My husband and I moved to Idaho just before everybody knew about the Covid 19. So everything seems to be up in the air. Your information is really inspiring me.
    Farmgirl Christine

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Christine, I am so glad you liked this post! I know it must be doubly hard to have recently moved and then have a pandemic! Hopefully this year brings some normalcy, and we can all do fun things like REALLY visit museums one day! Until then, enjoy what you can! Thanks for reading and commenting! Good luck in the draw! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  45. Patti Dmytras says:

    Hi Nicole, I really enjoy and appreciate your stories when you send them out. I work form home now, and hardly ever get out because of the pandemic. Your stories take me away to another world. I live in Wisconsin and we have the same weather, so I understand what you go through with snow. I have been trying to clean out closets this year and would like to organize better. I didn’t know about virtual museums. I’ll have to look into that. Keep sending the great stories. I have been reading your stories for the past 3 years. Patti

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Patti, Thank you so very, very much! Your comment means alot to me! I am so glad you enjoy my posts. I feel very fortunate to be able to share with farmgirls here! I have a friend that lives in Wisconsin, and she has wanted us to visit, but so far, we have not had the chance. I understand it is very pretty there! I have a few more closets to clean out, myself. I have been working on those here and there, as well. It is nice to have time to do those kinds of things, especially while things are slower. Thanks again for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  46. Rosie says:

    Happy new year! I’m glad to wish 2020 a good bye and look forward to the possibilities of 2021. I’m baking more, cooking, reading more, doing more of everything I don’t take the time to do when rushing here and there! Slowing down has it advantages!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Rosie, right? I agree! I am cherishing the extra time I have with my daughter, and doing the things I love most. Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  47. Teresa says:

    I love snow! Extreme cold not so much. I have kept myself busy buying and building a long arm quilting machine. It’s together and for the rest of the winter I will be teaching myself how to free motion quilt!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Teresa, I like the snow and cold, too. I figured out it is the wet, heavy humidity in any season that I do not care for. Nothing better than a crisp, cold day, especially with beautiful snow. We have not had a whole lot this winter; it has actually been a really nice, pretty winter so far. Enjoy your quilting! Making a quilt is still on my bucket list! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  48. Marla says:

    Working more hours at my job and trying to organize and get rid of things here around the house.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marla, I hear ya…organizing things always makes me feel so much better! I just reorganized my pantry yesterday! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  49. Rebecca says:

    I got an air fryer from my daughter at Christmas and love it. I’ve tried several new recipes and they’ve all been good. I am definitely going to try your Brussel sprout dish as well. In my favorite iron skillet, of course! Happy 2021 to you and your family.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Rebecca, isn’t that air fryer nifty? I really love mine. My daughter does, too. Enjoy my brussels sprouts recipe. You can also add more spice, or use greek or cajun seasoning for something different, as well. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  50. Tiffany says:

    Thank you for the skillet recipe! What a delicious and hearty meal to warm up a snowy weeknight. This year I finally carved out space in my home for a craft corner. One of my resolutions is to make sure each family member receives at least one hand made gift from my crafting. Wishing you and your family peace and happiness!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Tiffany, thank you! The sausage I buy is the organic chicken and apple one – not greasy at all and the flavor is so great with the brussels sprouts. I love that you are hand crafting gifts. It makes them so special when they are made with love! Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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