Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The agenda for my night after I left the office was going to be: watch the intramural game, run, do laundry.  The first two happened, the latter did not.  And I even had such plans to do laundry tonight that when I went to the bank today, I cashed an $18 check and got it all back in quarters.  But anyways, I got home from the gym, sorted all my clothes, got my extra hamper down from the shelf in my closet, loaded everything up and into the car, drove up to the laundromat, and...someone had just gotten in there before me and was using all the washers.  Boooo.  Needless to say, laundry did not get done tonight.  But, as long as I have clean underwear, I can manage.  I have been known though, to just go buy more underwear as opposed to just washing my dirty clothes...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Answered Prayers and Grocery Store Giddiness

I've been praying for quite some time now for friends, and for community.   Some of you might be thinking "Aren't you with your friends all day long?" "Don't you lead a small group?"  And the answer to those questions are yes.  I get to spend my days with incredible students, many of whom are good friends.  And yes, I lead a team and we meet as a small group Bible study on Sundays.  So yes, I have friends and yes, I'm in community; and I am so thankful for all that that brings me.  The only "issue" is that 98% of those people are students, and I'm the one leading the team and Bible study.  I've been wanting just one area of my life that is spent with people closer to my age, and where I could just participate without planning and facilitating.  And I think I have found that!  I have been able to join a community group through my church and I went tonight for the first time.  It was a fun night and I am so excited to see where we go together!

After I left tonight the plan was to go to the gym, like really, it was.  I packed my gym clothes and everything, but then I realized I didn't have my ID.  And even though I had planned on going, I wasn't that disappointed that it didn't work out, because, well, I didn't really want to go.  So, I took advantage of the extra time to go to the grocery store.  No exercise + buying food = perfectly logical, right?  Well while I was at the store I made a wonderful discovery!  My favorite coffee creamer is Coffee Mate's Peppermint Mocha, but you can only get it at Christmas (despite what the sticker on the bottle said).  But tonight I saw that International Delight has a York Peppermint Patty flavored creamer!  I think I did a little happy dance when I saw it.  York Peppermint Pattys are my second favorite candy and I can't wait to try it tomorrow morning!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Favorite Obsessions

Tonight was a good, quiet night at home.  I put in my most favorite movie ever, You've Got Mail, made some hot chocolate, wrote a few cards, painted my nails, and am writing this post very carefully since my nails are still a little sticky.  

The hot chocolate was a Christmas gift from my friend Ashley.  She put together hot chocolate mix, sprinkles, marshmellows, and crushed peppermints into a cute little jar and attached directions.  It's been sitting on my counter since Christmas and it's looked so cute I haven't wanted to use it.  But I did tonight and I am glad because it was quite yummy, and once it's all gone I'll get to find something fun to put in my new, cute, little jar!

 That box on the coffee table is my stationary box.  I'd been on the lookout for a new one for a while because my old one was just too small for my huge card collection, and then I saw that one on clearance at Michael's several weeks ago and got quite excited because the alphabet is one of my new favorite things.  I go through stages where I like different things, currently its old skeleton keys, stamps, post cards, and the alphabet.  Pinterest does not help with these obsessions; here are some of my favorite finds so far...

alphabet pillow

alphabet tote
alphabet wall

postcard tote
I own this one, thanks to T.J. Maxx
key collection

key ring

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching Up

Every time I go days without posting, the first thing I say is "I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted!"  But I don't want to say that again, so I'm just going to get into a summary of my week...

Monday - Had dinner with Jenni!  We saw each other on New Year's Eve, but before that it had been August, so it was very good to catch up.  We laughed quite loudly at times, in fact one time the couple sitting a few booths away turned around and gave us dirty looks.  Ok, so, I knew them, and they were only giving us pretend dirty looks, but still, we were loud.

Tuesday - Was at the office til after 1am working on a project...I enjoyed what I was working on, I got to paint and be creative, but still, I was at the office painting til 1am...

My late-night painting attire...
It wasn't until the next morning that I realized I apparently don't know the order of the days of the week...

Wednesday - Had an eye appointment.  Good news = I don't have eye cancer, which I was beginning to think I had.  My right eye has been irritated for a few weeks and there was this nasty gunk on it that I could not get rid of (I'm sure you want to know that), but she said it was just allergies since this weather has been so crazy.  I was quite relieved.  I'm not one to freak out about every little medical issue, but I really was beginning to think something was wrong with me.  Bad news = My right eye is getting worse... And The Well was Wednesday, it was a great night, with free Krispy Kreme doughnuts afterward!

Today - Spent time with Stacie and Jillian.  And took my car to see about getting it fixed (I had a little fender bender on Friday : / ) and unclogged my bathroom drain which was, well, obviously clogged.  It's days like this I find myself muttering under my breath "Oh my gosh, I need a man," but I'm glad that I know that I can mostly take care of myself.

If headlights were like eyes, my car would obviously have eye cancer...

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I love days that turn out to be surprisingly productive.  I thought most of my day was going to be taken up with a project at the office, but it turned out to not take nearly as long as I thought.  So then I came home and straightened up, took trash to the dumpster, emptied the dishwasher, reorganized a drawer in my kitchen, and now I get to watch my Patriots take on the Ravens and make snacks for small group!  Post on that to come later!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

Monday is Chinese New Year, and that seemed like a good reason to eat Chinese this weekend.  And since Lauren had just posted a recipe for General Tso's Chicken on her blog I thought I'd be ambitious and give it a try!  I was surprised that it turned out so well, considering a had a few glitches.  For one thing, I don't have a large skillet, so I had to split the batch between two medium saucepans.  And since the saucepans are different, it took the chicken different times to cook and was kinda crazy.  And then I was supposed to cover the saucepan while the snow peas were cooking, but my saucepans don't have lids either.  So I got creative and laid cookie sheets on them, but it worked!  The only thing that would have made the dish better was if it was real Chinese food and I was eating it in China!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I hate that I haven't posted since Monday!  I've had something every night this week, and as much as I love the blog, I love sleep too, and it won out this week.  My last post was about the 80's skate night, and after I left the skating rink, I had to go to Kroger.  I took out my side pony tail and took off the striped leg warmers, but I still felt ridiculous walking in there with my yellow tights and and bright blue eye shadow!  But I had to get ingredients to make dessert for The Well band Tuesday night.  Last week Sherri had posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Cookies; they looked delicious and I knew I wanted to make them for the band.  They were easy to make and chocolate peanut butter perfection!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
  • extra sugar to roll dough in
  • Preheat oven to 350* and place Reese's in the freezer until ready to use (this allows the wrappers to come off cleanly).
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt with wire whisk and set aside.
  • Beat butter and peanut butter.  Add sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.
  • Add four mixture to wet ingredients and mix well.
  • Roll dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar.
  • Press dough into the cavities of a mini muffin tin, and then push an unwrapped Reese's into the dough.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

Monday, January 16, 2012

One More Mug Monday

I got a new mug for Christmas!  And it's one that I had admired for some time while I stood in line at Starbucks.  It's simple and classic, and oh-so-Starbucks.  Thanks, Jonathan!

And tonight we had an 80's themed kick off party for Ministry Teams.  We started off at the church with food and games, and then headed to the skating rink for some roller skating fun!  Other than the blister that I got on my right food, it was a great night and I can't complain about a thing!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Do you know what brinner is?  It's breakfast for dinner.  I love having breakfast for dinner, and decided to have some girls over last night for a brinner party.  I made a hash brown casserole and a quiche, and the girls brought over some fruit and chocolate milk, all the makings for a good brinner party!
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
via myrecipes.com

  • 1 (30 oz.) package frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Preheat over to 350*
  • Combine hash browns, Colby Jack, Swiss, onion, and garlic in a large bowl.
  • Stir together milk, soup, broth, butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Add to hash brown mixture and mix well.
  • Pour into lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes.
* I actually halfed this recipe since there were only 4 of us; and since I love a crunchy topping, I melted a tablespoon of butter and mixed it with 8 crushed Ritz crackers to make a topping.

Ham, Swiss, and Spinach Quiche
via merecipes.com

  • 3 cups packed baby spinach, chopped
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1  9" frozen pie crust
  • 1/4 pound sliced ham, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place in oven, and preheat to 375*
  • Mist a medium skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat.  Cook spinach, stirring often, until wilted.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry.
  • Combine eggs, half and half, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  • Arrange spinach in the bottom of pie crust.  Scatter ham over spinach, and then top with cheese.  Pour eggs into the shell.
  • Place quiche on baking sheet and bake until set and crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

The top and crust got a little browner than I would have liked, but other than that, it turned out well for my first quiche!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY Party Ideas

Last night we (The Well) finally had Drew's going away party, since the fall semester was his last on staff.  I was put in charge of pictures and a basket for the cards, two things that are right up my alley!  I knew I was going to put together a slide show of pictures, but I wanted to find a way to display some hard copies as well, and then it all just came together in my head.

I still have the shutters that I pleaded with Drew to let me buy and haul back to Johnson City when we were on a spring break missions trip in Florida two years ago.  He let me do it, but gave me grief about it the whole time.  They have since been cleaned up and repainted and I decided they needed to make an appearance at his party.  My first thought was to glue small craft clothespins onto the slats and clip the pictures in there, but I didn't want to do something that would be permanent.  So then I figured I could somehow attach twine to the shutters and still use clothespins to clip the pictures up.  So I brought my shutters into my living room a few nights ago and started messing with it.  I put a nail in the back of one panel to tie the twine to, and draped it across the front and then kind of zig-zagged the twine by wrapping it around the edge and then through the slats, and I just did that over and over again to cover the top half of the panel with twine. I put in another nail to tie the end of the twine to.   And then I did the same thing to the other side.  I don't know if that makes any sense, it's kind of hard to explain.  But I love how it turned out!

This kind of shows how I wrapped it around the edges and through the slats.

And as soon as Samantha asked me if I would mind making a "crafty" basket to put cards in I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Making little pennants that spell out things are very "in" in the crafting world right now, and I've been wanting to make one, but never had a reason, until now!  I went to Michael's to get the  basket, paper, and letter stickers and then got to work.  I started by using some old, thick crafting paper to make a pattern for the pennant flags.  I ended up with a diamond that was 3" wide and 6" from top to bottom.  I used the pattern to trace out flags on the paper I bought, and then I put on the stickers to spells out CARDS.

I got that purple pencil at the MoMA :)

I laid them down upside down, placed a piece of yarn across the fold, and used a glue stick to glue them together.

I wanted to attach the yarn at each corner edge of the basket, so I used a crochet needle/hook thing to pull the yarn through one of the slats a few times.

Finished product;  I was quite pleased with how it turned out!  It was pretty cheap and only took about 35 minutes or so.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I made Snickerdoodles tonight!  I thought they were going to be ruined, because the dough was kind of crumbly and then they didn't flatten out while they baked, they stayed very round, but when it was all said and done, they turned out ok! 

  • 1 c shortening
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 375*
  • In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar.  Stir in eggs.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt.  Stir into the cream mixture until smooth.
  • Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Roll dough into walnut sized balls, then roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  • Place on cookie sheet two inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes.
* The dough was still quite round when they were done, so I used the bottom of a ladle to kind of flatten them out a bit.

I love using the new mixing bowls I got for Christmas!  There's a red, blue, and purple one too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It has been raining off and on all day, and when I pulled into my apartment complex on my way home for lunch I saw this beautiful sight!

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD... Ezekiel 1:28

I meant to take a picture of my feet in my rain boots but I forgot.  I actually haven't taken a picture of my feet in almost two weeks - I'm out of practice!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Passion 2012

The day after we got back from New York I drove back to Johnson City, and then just a few days after that I was in Atlanta with almost 45,000 other people for Passion 2012.  In case you aren't familiar with Passion, it's a conference for college students (and their leaders-that's why I was there).  There are amazing speakers, Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, John Piper, and Beth Moore to name a few, and incredible bands and worship leaders, like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Hillsong United, and David Crowder Band. 

David Crowder*Band
DC*B after their last performance as a band.

Charlie Hall (and a large Miller Lite).

 The Main Sessions with worship and speakers are one of the main aspects of the conference, but the other huge part of the conference is Do Something Now.  Every year at Passion they raise money for a variety of worldwide needs such as clean water, food, livestock, health care, human trafficking etc.  This year, however, everything was focused on human trafficking.  And until a few months ago, I knew very little about human trafficking, which really is saying it too nicely, it's slavery.  Human trafficking is when someone is held against their will, usually for the purposes of commercial sex, labor, or warfare.  And there are currently an estimated 27 MILLION people - men, women, boys, and girls- in slavery today; that's more slaves than any other point in history.  And slavery isn't just an overseas issue, it's happening in America too.  In fact, Atlanta is one of the cities with the highest rate of human trafficking.  5,000 girls are coerced into the commercial sex trade every year.  So Passion set a goal of raising 1 million dollars to give to a variety of organizations to help fight human trafficking.  1 million dollars, from "poor college students?"  Well, after a day and a half 1.2 million had been given!  One of the specific causes was to fund the training and implementation of a task force in Atlanta to help educate young people about trafficking and prosecute those responsible.  And at one of the afternoon Main Sessions we presented the mayor of Atlanta with a check for $100,000 to make that task force possible!  And on the last day Louie announced that we had given a little over 2.5 million dollars AND that a couple who had been at conference had been so impressed by what the students had given that they wrote a check for $500,000!  So, in four days 3.5 MILLION dollars was given to help END human trafficking!  And this isn't money that was pledged - it was given.  Cash was given, checks were written, credit cards were swiped.  It happened.  God moved and students responded and 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS was given!  And to go along with everything, Passion created an interactive art project.  A huge sculpture of a hand was assembled, and if you gave towards the causes you got to be a part of it.  The whole huge thing was made up of lots of panels and pieces, many of which were covered in materials that are made by forced labor - clothes, shoes, plush toys, rubber items.  The final product was amazing, and on the final night of the conference there was a candlelight service.  All 45,000 of us assembled around the sculpture.  But with 45,000 people that meant we were still pretty spread out.  Close to midnight we lit our candles, and it was neat to stand up on a bench and look out as far as you can see and see lit candles.  And then right at midnight the hand sculpture was lit; I literally gasped when I saw it!  And the sculpture is going to stay in Atlanta to serve as a reminder that that we are standing up for the powerless and are doing our best to end modern day slavery!

With the flags we got to write on to add to the hand.

And click here to see a news report that CNN did while we were there!

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