Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

bucket list item #15

15. Visit Gaylord Opryland Resort at Christmastime.

For real, how beautiful is that?? I think that's what Heaven may look least I hope so :)

the end of a decade, for real?

If you know me then you know that I loooooathe New Years. I don't like the parties, the champagne, the dang ball, the countdown, the anything! Plus people act like idiots on New Year's Eve so I'm scared to go out my back door. All of this hatred is due to the fact that I am a Christmas Crazy and when it is New Years then it means that Christmas is over (aka the world is a dark place). However, this year I'm not nearly as sad as I usually am post-Christmas but I'm also not even the teensiest, weensiest bit excited about January 1. Really, another year has gone by? And we are closing out a decade at that?! Ahh! All of that to say, its going to be hard for me to find a New Years quote to post for "quote of the day" (and yes, I'm well aware that I missed a few days due to Christmas festivities). Well, here goes:

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
Oprah Winfrey

my kind of new years. yes please, and thank you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

we're baaack

We returned to PA tonight after a loooong drive north. We had a wonderful Christmas, thank you sooooo much to all of the family and friends who helped make it so incredible! Thank you to everyone for the incredibly thoughtful gifts, for all of the warm hugs, the amazing food and uplifting conversations. It does my heart good to be in the South with those that I love. Now to get back into the swing of things...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

your Christmas day quote

Mary wrapped the first Christmas present.


I pray that you enjoy this blessed day with those you love. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

your daily (christmas) quote

There is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exists, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.

Charles Dana

PS-My dad told me at lunch today that Santa was flying over Russia, so I'm assuming by now that he's in the New York area or so...Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

christmas in dixie

We have officially arrived in NC safe and sound! Thank the Lord! For real, I was going to lose it near DC...we were pushed back 2.5 hours due to DC traffic. Anyway, we are here and enjoying the (slightly) warmer weather. Dixie is running around like a maniac in my parents' backyard and we've already baked at least two cakes, yay! Now that's my kind of Christmas! We're so excited about the family that we'll see over the next few days and we will most definitely be missing the family we don't get to see! Kelly clan, you are in our thoughts and hearts! Love to all! Merry early Christmas!

your daily (christmas) quote

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

congrats anna and matthew!

Our sweet friends Anna and Matthew are now engaged! Yay! Let the wedding plans begin! We're so happy we were able to celebrate last night, thanks for coming out! And we look forward to experiencing this lovely time in your life together with you :) Congratulations!!!

he put a ring on it :)

you can't really tell in this picture but Matthew picked out a beautiful Celtic ring :) go irish!

happy bride to be :)

happy couple!

the group gathered together to celebrate Anna and Matthew and to bid Phil farewell

Caitlin, me and bride to be

Phil and I, BFFs...please don't move!

one last picture with the newly engaged lady!

miracle on 34th street

I believe...I believe...It's silly, but I believe.

I love this movie, it is such a precious, magical movie.

this version

and this version

they are both wonderful!

jingle bells/our house mash up

I really dig this mash up. Hope you enjoy!

your daily (christmas) quote

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.

Andy Rooney

This is the mess from just my present. Oh yeah, and some laundry.

Monday, December 20, 2010

christmas came a week early

John and I decided to exchange gifts a few days early this year before we hit the dusty trail to NC. And this is what I got:

That's right folks, I got a Singer sewing machine! Which is exactly what I asked for. The intent is to have it so that I will be able to fix and create things. I'll be able to hem my pants, dresses, fix curtains and (God willing) create gifts! I would love to be able to make cute little pillows or bags, maybe even some (simple) clothing items! We'll see what happens. Nonetheless, I'm very excited about the new adventure I'm about to dive into. If you have any sewing books, patterns, blogs, crafts, etc. to recommend just let me know, I appreciate any helpful tips!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

yes please

How cute are these?! And they're edible! Yes please! I'm totally making these when I get to Goldsboro (you're welcome ahead of time family).

gingerbread cookie recipe

Gingerbread Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup molasses
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, overnight or until easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Decorate with frosting if desired.

Happy baking!

the epitome of laziness

I have moved off the couch for only a few things in the past two days.

1. to bake cookies
2. get pizza
3. use the restroom
4. wrap John's presents
5. go to bed

Other than that I haven't moved. Maybe it's the cold weather, maybe it's being sick, maybe it's the beautiful Christmas tree lights that literally draw me magnetically to them...oh I don't know, it's probably just my general state of laziness. I like it. I just thought I should update my blog pals on what a bum I am. Oh yeah, hubs and dog haven't moved a whole heck of a lot either. Laziness loves company, right?

your daily (christmas) quote

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

Hamilton Wright Mabi

Saturday, December 18, 2010

christmas came early...

For one little dog. I wouldn't so much call it her Christmas gift as I would call it her new jail cell. Merry Christmas Dixie Girl!

(and yes, it doubles as storage space...when she's not in it of course)

christmas cookie mania

bored (and maybe a little pissed due to lack of attention) dog before the baking began

naked little gingerbread people/stars/snowmen, etc.

aww look at all those beautiful and yummy cookies!

me and betty crocker are tight.

close up of some of the creepers. as you can tell i began to lose patience and just put sprinkles on a lot of them

if you look close enough you can actually see pounds being added to my body. see? haha.

Gingerbread cookies are some of my favorite cookies to eat during the Christmas season. They are just so tasty and Christmasy! Warning: I am coming off of my sugar high and am about to pass out...

white chocolate-peppermint scones

Now I'll be the first to admit that I don't like white chocolate. I don't even consider it chocolate. So you can quote me on this: these scones are ahhhhmaaaazingggg! I don't know if it's the peppermint, the Christmas cheer floating around in my head or what, but these things are wonderful! I've given the mix in a jar to a few family members and friends but this is the first that I've tried it. Let's just say I couldn't eat just one after they were finished baking, oops!

waiting to get their turn in the oven

just done!

let's plate those pretty things!

what number scone is that? hmm...i'm not telling :)

White Chocolate-Peppermint Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. all-vegetable shortening
3/4 cup white-chocolate morsels
2 tbsp. crushed peppermints
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Stir in chocolate and peppermints.
2. Add buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla extract, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2 in. thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter (I used a wine glass), cut out scones. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. (side note: I ended up baking mine for 11 minutes, I guess my oven is a beast)

your daily (christmas) quote

A balanced diet is a Christmas cookie in each hand.


And that's just what I'll be doing today. Bake, bake, baking until my heart's content (which may be never because can you really ever have too many Christmas cookies?).

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I was able to see this tonight with a couple pals and I must say that it is amazing! The acting: a tad cheesy. However, the music, the costumes, the dancing, the performances...oh my!! They are wonderful! I know that Christina Aguilera could sing, but man can she sing!! When she sings I'm scared that the notes she belts out are going to break her tiny body. But she seemed to live through Burlesque so I guess she's good. Wow, it really made me happy to be a female and it really made me want to do something as fabulous as that. Although, I think I'm too modest to wear those costumes in public. But hey, if the make up artists that worked on the movie want to come doll me up I'm OK with that. Really, if you're looking for something entertaining it's a must see. As Anna put it "if you're looking for something Oscar-worthy, maybe not". Good thing we were looking for the entertaining type :)

things that make you go oooooh

Jessi's advice on when you know you need to buy something: when you see something and you are either physically drawn to it (if in a store) or when you see it you say "oh mah gah". That's exactly what I said when I saw this beautiful thing on this site. So I will make sure to cart my little booty over to H&M right after Christmas (or whenever they release their spring collection) to purchase this beaut! And you know it can't be that expensive because it's H&M!

blah. gunk. eww.

I officially have some sinus thing going on. This thing better get going stat because I'm not having it during Christmas. I've been doped up on meds for a little over 24 hours. It feels like its going away but then it sneaks back up. Last night I kind of choked on phlegm while sleeping, gross, I know. I'm taking Theraflu and some day/night sinus medicine. It's basically your general runny/stuffed up nose, phlegm in throat kind of deal. If you have any surefire home remedies please post asap, I want this junk gone with the quickness. Thank you!

your daily (christmas) quote

Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.

Lenora Mattingly Weber

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

tired thoughts

I'm tired and I'm still up, don't ask why because I can't give a legit answer. I swear I act just like a toddler sometimes, I know that I'm sleepy but I fight going to sleep. Yet I love sleep, what is going on? Anyway, on to some thoughts in my tired state of mind:

1. It's freaking cold. I don't pay too much attention to the weather until I'm putting on my clothes and walking out the door but from what I hear (i.e. facebook statuses and comments from friends/family) it's pretty dang cold everywhere, even in the South! Right now it's 13 degrees here and the weather website says "feels like 1 degree". For real? Yeah, for real.

2. I love the snow. Let me just type in that same breath that I know I will eat those words in T-minus 2 months. But right now I love it. It's so beautiful and it looks like a winter wonderland outside, ahh that adds a nice touch to the Christmas season. Even when your tires skid on the snow going down a hill and through an intersection while you have a red light at 7:40 in the morning, I still love the snow. Thank the Lord that no one was hurt and yes, I was the driver of the car. I did beep while flying through the intersection, to be fair. You never feel quite as helpless when you can't stop your car from disobeying a major traffic violation and potentially putting yourself in danger.

3. The smell of freshly baked pound cake is heavenly. And I mean heavenly.

4. Brinner is awesome. Breakfast + dinner= brinner. I had a craving earlier today for some brinner and thank goodness it was fulfilled tonight :)

5. Hot chocolate=wonderful. Last night I had it piled high with mini-marshmallows. Tonight it had whipped cream with little mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top (inspired by Caribou Coffee). Mmmm!

6. Nothing brightens your day like getting a Christmas card in the mail from someone you love :)

That is all. Must go to bed. Now.

your daily (christmas) quote

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

Charles Dickens

Monday, December 13, 2010

your daily (christmas) quote

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

Bob Hope

i heart max

We watched The Grinch (the original) today and I was reminded of how much I love Max! I do believe that he's my favorite character! Forget the Grinch and Cindy Lou Hoo, Max is where it's at! He's very funny and he doesn't even have a speaking part! Only a true actor can pull that off. I also feel really sorry for Max because he didn't choose his grumpy ol' owner and he's forced to go along on the expedition of ruining Christmas. However, he does end up enjoying a piece of roast beast at the very end and probably gets to play a lot with Cindy Lou Hoo, I guess all's well that end's well (what does that phrase even mean?).

Oh, and before John and I were married and before Dixie came along I told John that once we had a dog I wanted to dress him/her up as Max for our first Christmas together. He laughed but I was serious. Now it's our second Christmas with Dixie and no Max costume...I'll see what I can do :) Also in this little quest I was going to dress up as Cindy Lou Hoo and John as the Grinch, I think he's just opposed to the green make up. We'll see...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

girl, interrupted

I've been meaning to write a review on this book for a few days now. It's very interesting, especially if you're into psycho analysis and the ins and outs of mental illness, which I am. What? I was a Psych major, this kind of stuff thrills me. If you're not into it or don't want to read a swear word here or there then I don't suggest you read it. It is a very honest memoir in which Kaysen is sent to a mental hospital after her first and only visit with a new physician. I was astonished at this, but hey, I didn't live through the 60s so what do I know? I still think its crazy, even for the 60s. Anyway, enough of that...its a really good book and I do suggest it, let me know if you want to borrow it.

christmas partay 2010

Last night we had our second annual Christmas party! Lots of great food, fun, gifts and friends! Thanks to everyone who came and helped out, it was a blast!

host and hostess

Taylor, my very first friend in Pittsburgh!

Someone got a hold of my camera :)

Some of the ladies: Gorana, me, Tay, Antonella and Anna

Oh Phil, please stay in PA, I hear TX really isn't that great...

Just hanging out...oh and there's the MD 40/40, best $5 gift ever!

Andrew trying to be a stud

Happy boys :)

Sweet Michelle and Kyle

Lovers and friends. Haha, I think this picture is a perfect representation of their friendship.

Stephen and Lauren (fellow NC Staters)


Anna, the party elf :)

Antonella, our sweet neighbor :)