Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: In Review

Hello all! Hope you are having a great New Year's Eve! Can you believe 2012 is almost over? This year has just flown by! Its been a very fun and eventful year for me and I can't wait to see what God's got in store for 2013! So first, here are my top ten most memorable moments from my life in 2012! Let me know what you think!

1. After 21 half-marathons, my dad finally ran his first marathon!

2. My "backstage pass" to my city zoo

3. My sister threw me a surprise party for my birthday!

4. My cousin was deployed to Afghanistan

5. I got to see Wicked for the first time!

6. I got to meet Olympic gold-medalist Alyson Felix!

7. I stepped out of my comfort zone and played the piano at my school's spring recital

8. I ran the 5-Mile Thanksgiving Day Race with my Dad

9. I got to see my two favortie movies on opening day 

10. I read all these books:

A Year Without Autumn 
Esther: The Peasant Girl Who Saved a Nation
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
The Magician's Nephew
Praying for Your Future Husband
Stuck in the Sky
Diary of a Teenage Girl- Not so Simple Life
First Date
The Inferno 
Summer Promise
Asking for Trouble 
Cross My Heart
The Color of My Words
Make a Wish
A Whisper and a Wish
Yours Forever
Mixed Bags 
The Running Dream
Bully for You Teddy Roosevelt
The Clue in the Jewel Box
All Quiet on the Western Front
Animal Farm
The Scopes Monkey Trial 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Pearl
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 
Harry Potter and the Prisoner and Azkaban
With Daring Faith

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christ the Savior is Born! ~Day Twenty-Five~

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a blessed day and remember the reason for the season!

 "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.'"

                                 -Luke 2:13-14

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas' the Night Before Christmas! ~Day Twenty-Four~

Hello all! Hope you are having a fantastic Monday! Can you believe its Christmas Eve? I still remember when I was a kid not being able to sleep at all on this night. My sister and I used to share a room (oh the memories...) and we would go to bed at like 6 p.m. thinking if we were asleep Santa would get there faster and we'd get to wake up and open presents earlier. Which of course we did :) I remember waking up at (no joke) 4:30 a.m. one year on Christmas morning with my sister and having to wait until five to storm into my parents' bedroom. And every year we did that they would send us back to our room and tell us to go to sleep. Now that we're older it's all backwards. We go to bed around 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve and get up around 9 or 10 a.m. I have so many memories of this night and tomorrow morning. I will treasure each and every one :) Got any fun memories? I'd love to hear!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Keep Calm... ~Day Twenty-Three~

Hello all! Hope you are having a great Sunday! Two more days until Christmas, so keep calm! :)

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Deliciousness! ~Day Twenty-Two~

Hello all! Hope you are having a lovely Saturday! Today I wanted to share with you all a festive and easy cookie recipe! Let me know what you think!

Kiss-Stuffed Oreos

Twist the Oreos apart and scrape off the cream (you can leave it, obviously, if you want. I chose to leave the cream on for the candy cane kisses, but after some taste-testing, I decided I like these better without the cream).  

 Place half of the cookies on a lined baking sheet and top with your favorite Hershey Kisses– I used Candy Cane, Mint Truffle, and some Rolos (they hold up to the “smushing” a little better than the Caramel Filled Kisses). Place baking sheet in a preheated oven (350ยบ) for 1-2 minutes, until Kisses are slightly melted.
Top each Kiss with another cookie. Let cool to harden.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Bucket List! ~Day Twenty-One~

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful Friday! Here's an awesome bucket list for winter and Christmastime that I really want to do! Let me know what you think!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Two Things We Can Do to Help the People in Newtown, Connecticut ~Day Twenty~

Hello all! Hope you are having a great Thursday! So, I had this fun Christmas post planned for today, but I felt I needed to post this instead. My heart broke on Friday when my mom told me about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Even though I didn't know anyone affected by this shooting, it still brought tears to my eyes. During times like this, I know we all want to do everything we can to help the people affected by such tragedies. So here are two things we can do to help!

1) Welcome Students to a Winter Wonderland

When the students of Sandy Hook Elementary return to school in a new building later on, parent-volunteers and school faculty want to make sure they are welcomed back by a winter wonderland of paper snowflakes! They plan to decorate the entire school with paper snowflakes made by all of us. They ask that we make these snowflakes as unique and creative as possible to remember no two snowflakes are alike! Please do take part in this!! It is the least we can do to help bring a little joy to these students who have been through and seen so much. Send your snowflakes to this address below by January 12th, 2013

Connecticut PTSA 
60 Connolly Parkway 
Building 12, Suite 103 
Hamden, CT 06514

And also, please pass this on!! Tell everyone you know about this, they need as many snowflakes as possible! And don't use the excuse, "Well I don't know how to make a paper snowflake" because I have this handy video for you :) 
(This is a legitimate address and activity. I was informed about this by a public school faculty member from where I live.)

2) Pray

Alright, the second thing we can do is pray for the citizens of Newtown, the families of the victims, and the family of the shooter. Now, you may think its a little weird to pray for the family of the shooter. Jesus says in Matthew 5:44, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,"
Seems a little eccentric, huh? Think about it for a moment. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,"
"All" doesn't just mean the murderers and the thieves. Its all those people and you and me. We all make mistakes and we all need grace. So, yes, we should definitely be praying for that family. They need it too. 
Especially pray that God will bring peace and comfort to each person affected by this tragic event.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside! ~Day Nineteen~

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a fantastic Wednesday! I have a confession to make. I have this problem with not bundling up when getting ready to go out during the winter! Of course, my caring and concerned parents won't let me leave my house without being warm...and I end up looking like this once their done with me:

So this year, I refuse to look like Randy! Here are a few ideas and inspirations to stay bundled up and warm this holiday season and look great at the same time! :)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear Santa, ~Day Eighteen~

Hello all! Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday! Anyone have a "letter for Santa" this year? Here's my letter to Santa for 2012. Okay...some things I probably won't get, but a girl can dream, right? Haha :) Let me know what you think!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Lights Around the World ~Day Seventeen~

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a great Monday! I don't know about you all, but I love looking at Christmas lights! Here are some Christmas lights all around the world. Let me know what you think!

Christmas lights in Chicago! 

Beautiful lights between buildings in London, England!

Shiny lights in Paris, France!

Gorgeous lights in Moscow, Russia! And a random person... haha :)

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meanwhile at My House... ~Day Sixteen~

Hello all! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday! My family loves a lot. Here are our Christmas decorations! Let me know what you think! :)

Here's the Christmas tree in our family room!
Here's the Christmas tree on my desk in my room 
I put lights around my window and a snowman garland.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Deliciousness! ~Day Fifteen~

Hello lovlies! Hope you are having a great Saturday! One of my favorite recent traditions for Christmas is to make gingerbread men with my mom. We spend hours making and decorating them! Here's a yummy recipe to make some yourself. Let me know what you think! 

Gingerbread Men
(Courtesy of
 *Makes approximately 40 cookies
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
In a large saucepan, stir together sugar, molasses, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add butter. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and incorporated. Let cool for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture (after it’s cooled) with a wooden spoon. Mix until combined.
Place dough into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and flatten the dough evenly into one sheet. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 375F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a clean, flat surface with a light dusting of flour. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness, adding flour as need. With a floured cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks before icing.
Royal Icing
1 Tbs meringue powder
2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 Tbs of water
red & green food coloring, if desired
Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until icing is smooth and matte, about 8 minutes. Color and pipe icing as desired.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Nails! ~Day Fourteen~

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a fabulous Friday! Anyone going to see the Hobbit today? :) Anyways, there's nothing more festive than Christmas nails, don't you think? Here are a few ideas to try on your nails this holiday season! Let me know what you think!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last Christmas- Who Did it Best? ~Day Thirteen~

Hey there everyone! Hope you are having a lovely Thursday! One of my favorite Christmas songs is Last Christmas! There are tons of different recordings of this song. Here are three popular versions. Who do you think did it best? Let me know in your comments below! 

Britt Nicole (My favorite!)

Taylor Swift

Ashley Tisdale

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do Not Open... ~Day Twelve~

Hello all! Hope you are having a terrific Wednesday! It's 12/12/12 today! Pretty cool. Anyway, I've been looking for some ideas for gift wrapping this year and I saw these tag ideas that I'd definitely want to try to make. I'm not sure which design I want to do yet though. Let me know which one you like best! 

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