Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I found this adorbale little dish at a Goodwill about two weeks ago.  It caugh my eye because at first I thought the design on the front matched a set of serving ware we had when I was growing up, but it turned out to be different.  Even so, I still really liked it.  I liked the milk glass, and the retro little veggies on the front.   It will be perfect for cooking a single serving of chicken or something, and for baking lots of yummy fall breads!  I don't remember how much I paid for it, but it was at Goodwill, so we know it was cheap.  I'm thinking it was the $2-$3 dollar range.

Monday, September 24, 2012

That's A Wrap

Someone at The Well has a birthday today...And someone else wrapped their office last night...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I used to do posts called Goodwill Goodies whenever I had some good finds at Goodwill, but I've decided to start doing Thrifty Thursday posts instead.  For one thing, covering a specific topic on certain day frees up the stress of having to come up with something to blog about.  Secondly, like I said in my thrifting posts on Sherri's blog, thrifting isn't limited to Goodwill, although that is where I do the majority of my thrift shopping.

So let's get to the good stuff!  I visited two different Goodwill's about two weeks ago and this is some of what I got...

This Vera Bradley place mat for $1.97.  I'm not planning on actually using it as a normal place mat, but I thought it might be a nice backdrop for when I want to take pictures of food for the blog.

This skirt.  I don't remember exactly how much it was, but it was around $3 or $4.

This pan for $4.97.  I didn't have an ovenproof pan/skillet and had been wanting one for a while.  I can't tell you how many times I have been reading a recipe that sounded so good, and then it would say "in an ovenproof skillet..." and I would just stop reading because I knew I couldn't make it, but now I can!

This knitted blanket for $1.67!  I love knitted blankets, and have been searching for one I really liked.  This one is a good size, and for $1.67 I could not pass it up!  I feel like I kind of have a granny living room, but I don't care, it's cozy and I like it!

And now I realize that my picture frames are crooked.  Oops!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yesterday I made my most favorite fall food, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!  These things are ahh-mazing; they're like a little edible piece of fall heaven!  You should get the recipe, make them, and spread some fall love by sharing them!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Won Wings!

Since I work with, and spend at least six days a week with students, I often find myself doing things that I probably wouldn't otherwise be doing.  What I did Sunday night/Monday morning is good example of this...

Another good fact for my 11 Questions post would have been that I really like wings (as in chicken wings).  And because of this, and the encouragement demands of a few girls, I found myself camping out at Buffalo Wild Wings to try to win free wings for a year.  The restaurant had its grand opening Monday and it was doing one of those deals where the first 100 people in line when free wings for a year.  So after small group ended at 10:00 Sunday night I headed over with Lauren to meet Ashley and Heather, who already had a tent sent up.  The way the system worked was that every hour on the hour they gave out a sticker, and in the meantime you could do whatever you wanted.  You didn't have to actually stay in a line, as long as you were back at the patio on the hour.  So for the first couple of hours we just hung out.  We had games to play and I had brought some magazines to read. 

Our friend Ethan also joined us, and a little before midnight we decided to order a pizza.  After we all got our 12:00 sticker, two of the girls went to pick up the pizza and I went to the tent to try to get some sleep.  Someone opened the flap of the tent around 12:45 to announce that the pizza was there and as I was crawling out I remember thinking, "This is nuts.  It's almost one in the morning and I'm crawling out of a tent to go eat pizza behind a wings restaurant...Oh well."  Between the hours of 1:00am and 4:00am all of us girls would sleep in the tent.  Lauren had her alarm set so we could get up to get our sticker, and then we would just go back to sleep.

Well around 4:30ish in the morning we were all woken up and none of us quite knew what was going on.  For a minute we thought it was raining but then we figured out that the sprinklers had turned on, and they were right next to our tent!  We just ignored it for a while, but eventually the bottom of the tent started getting wet, because it wasn't on a tarp or anything.  We were going to have to brave the sprinklers, get out, and move the tent.  So picture it, we're all groggy, half awake, and tangled in blankets and sleeping bags.  Ashley was going to go first.  She unzipped the tent and was immediately blasted with water so she starts screaming.  The next several moments involved lots of yelling "hurry, go, go, go" and lots of screams and shrieks as each of us stumbles out of the tent into the water.  We were gathered on the sidewalk, out of the spray of the sprinklers, trying to decide the best plan of action.  Heather covered one of the sprinklers with something and I ran over and threw the empty pizza box on the other one, and Ashley and Lauren picked up the tent and awkwardly ran/scooted out of the way with it.  And we were all doing this barefoot, because none of us had worn our shoes in the tent and we didn't take time to put them on.  We moved the tent to the front corner of the restaurant and then went back to collect our stuff, which included my soaking wet Toms (which are still in my car as I write this, probably stinking it up).  At this point it was 5:00am so we ran to get in line to get our sticker, and when we came back to our site we realized a second set of sprinklers had come on and everything was getting soaked again!  We moved everything even further up the sidewalk and then tried to get some more sleep.  Even though I was basically laying on the sidewalk and was a little damp, I managed to fall asleep until the 6:00am sticker giveaway.

It was much harder to fall asleep after 6:00 because the sun was coming up and I guess they forgot to turn off the music that they played during the sticker giveaway, but I manged to get a little bit more sleep.  This whole thing wasn't going to be over until 10:00, but we had realized that the girls would be able to get a sticker for me even if I wasn't there, so after I got my 7:00 sticker I went home to shower and change and get ready for work.  So I did all that, picked up breakfast at McDonald's for everyone, and was back around 8:45.  At 9:30 they started lining us up around the restaurant.  Everyone who had all 12 stickers was first, and then those with 11 stickers, and so on.  

Heather and Ashley sleeping when I got back.

In line with my stickers!

I was in line a couple people behind the guy in the yellow shirt.

At 10:00 they started letting us in.  A lot of people actually sat down and ate, including Heather and Ashley who were in line ahead of me with 12 stickers.  Lauren and I only had 11 stickers, but we just went in and got some pictures and then headed out.  I had to get to work!

I guess we look ok for sleeping off and on in a tent in the parking lot all night.

Inside the booklet are coupons for a free 6 piece wings - one for every week in the year!

This whole experience was nuts, but I'm glad I did it!  Has anybody else ever done anything crazy to win free food?!?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Banana Pudding

I needed to make dessert two weeks ago for Friday lunch and decided to make banana pudding, which I had actually never made before.  So I went to and chose the first banana pudding recipe that came up, because it had 5 out of 5 stars.  Other than licking the beaters, I didn't even taste it, because when I went back to get dessert it was all gone!  I hate that I can't tell you exactly what it tasted like, but I'll let the dish that was scraped clean speak for itself!

Banana Pudding

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
This looks like an ad for Kroger!
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.  
I would have liked to have had more whipped topping on top, so in the future I'll get a 16 oz. container.  I also put some vanilla wafers on top, before the final layer of whipped topping.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Interstate 180

The series we are currently doing at The Well is called Interstate 180.  It's about our journey through life, especially college, and how God can get a hold of our lives and turn them in the opposite different direction, hence the 180.  Each week during the message we share the story of one student and their 180.  We also created a website just for the series called  On the site are more students' 180 stories, among other things.

I'd really encourage you to check it out, and watch each of the students' stories.  What I love about visiting the site is that I know these students.  These aren't videos we've pulled off of the internet, these are scripted interviews, these are students who have allowed their lives to be radically changed by the Lord - and I get to see them, serve along side them, and lead them on a weekly basis.  I emphasize the get to because my job really is nothing short of blessing and an honor that I in no way deserve.  God doesn't need me to make his name great, he could do that all on his own, but he let's me be a part of how He is moving.  He let's me play a part in other people's stories.  This year I have the incredible opportunity to lead a team of upperclassmen students who will each be leading freshman small group Bible studies, and I recently shared this passage of Scripture and thought with them:

1 Timothy 1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.   Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This made me think a lot about what we talked about this past weekend.  Yes, we are sinners, but Christ chose to save us.  And he saved us so that our lives may be an example of his love.  Being a small group leader isn't something we get to do for God because he needs it, it's something he allows us to do for Him!  

So take some time to be encouraged and challenged by the students I get to work with every day!  Every single testimony is powerful, but Lauren (green shirt) and Jillian (floral shirt) are extra special to me.  They were each freshmen in the small group I led my first year on staff.  I have seen them grow tremendously in their walks with the Lord and now they're seniors and are continuing to follow hard after Him!

We recorded one more video this afternoon, and I got to hold the boom mic!  That's the fuzzy microphone on a long stick; I kind of wanted to use it to tickle people in the face with :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cupcake Wars

Monday night was our second Class '16 event and it was Cupcake Wars!  This is absolutely nothing like the show on Food Network.  We play games and have relays using the cupcakes!  Some of the events were a cupcake toss, a cupcake on the head relay, bobbing for cupcakes in batter, and then it ended in an all-out cupcake war!  I managed to stay clean until the very end, when I was eventually jumped in the cupcake battle myself and got quite messy!

So Lauren joined my Class 13 small group after she became a believer during her freshman year of college.  Now she's a leader for Class 16 during her senior year!  God is faithful!

Class 16 leader pyramid!

A washed my hair 3 times to make sure I had all the batter out of it!

11 Questions

Last week my friend Sherri at life of a wife tagged me for The Liebster Award, this thing that is currently going around in the blogging world.  I was so excited, I love random facts and stories!  I knew I wouldn't have time to do it right away, but I thought about it all week, usually in the mornings when I was straightening my hair...But anyways, here are the rules:

1. Create a blog post including 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 random questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3. Pass the award on to at least 5 blogs and link to them in the post.
4. The blogs you nominate are supposed to have less than 200 followers.
5. Let the people know you nominated them.

So here are my 11 random facts.
1) I have lived in 10 different houses/apartments in 4 different states.  Two in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I was born.  Then we lived in upstate New York for a couple of years, and lived in three different houses there.  I spent the rest of my "growing up" years in Lynchburg, Virginia where we lived in one apartment and two different houses.  And now I lived in Johnson City, Tennessee where I am living in my second apartment post graduation.

2) Growing up I never believed in Santa.  We still wrote him letters and visited him at the mall, but I always knew it was made up.  However, my favorite Christmas story is The Night Before Christmas, which just happens to be all about Santa coming, so I don't know exactly how that worked out.

3) When I was 10 my family went to Brazil for about 10 days to visit some missionary friends of ours.  All of the little girls at the church taught me how to count to 10 in Portuguese, and I remember thinking that it was so cool that it was warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts, even though it was their winter season.  This trip is also what lead to one of the worst passport photos of all time; check Exhibit A below.

4)  I was on the yearbook staff my junior year of high school, and was the editor-in-chief my senior year.  I was kind of (but not totally!) a yearbook nerd too.  I had yearbook for two of my classes, often ate lunch in the yearbook office, and loved getting new red pens to edit proofs with.

5)  I still drive the same car I got when I started driving at 16.  A 97' Geo Prizm; it's black with lots of scuffs, scratches, and few smalls dents.

6)  I'm a pretty organized person.   My books and DVD's are arranged in alphabetical order, and my closet is organized by type (tank top, t-shirt, cardigan etc.) and then by the colors of the rainbow - pink, red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, white, gray, black, brown.

7)  I have this weird thing about what color pen I write with.  I hate to fill in forms/worksheets with a black pen, it's too much black on black, so I always try to use blue or purple.  And I don't like writing on notebook paper with blue pens, because it's blue ink on blue lines.  I try to use black or purple for that.  And to make all this easier, I have a lot of purple pens.

8)  I love children's books!  My bookshelf has four shelves that are totally full of books, and one and a half of those shelves are of children's books.  And think about it, children's books are pretty thin, so that's a lot of books!  I collected most of these when I was still in school.  Every time I got paid I'd go to Mr. K's, this great used book store in town, and buy lots of books because they were super cheap, like 50 cents to $2.00 on average.  And because I was a Child Development major I got to order books through the book order too!

9)  I'm part Irish.  My mom's side of the family is Irish, and her maiden name was Murphy, which I'm planning on using as a middle name for a son one day.  I also have tons of natural red highlights.  Because of how I part my hair, you don't always see them, but when I'm in the sun they're pretty noticeable, see Exhibit B below.

10)  I am named after people.  Aimee comes from my great-grandmother on my dad's side, except she spelled it Amy, and my middle name, Dianne, was my mom's middle name before she took her maiden name as her middle name.

11)  I am terrified of birds.  Ugh, I don't like them!  When I was in high school I had to park my car near a tree in our front yard, and when I would walk toward the house it would fly behind me and try to peck at my head, and it scarred me for life.  I have made a fool of myself so many times by ducking, shreiking, running away, or coming to a complete stop when I see birds near me.  And when we were in New York in December we were on the lower lever of the ferry coming back from Ellis Island and a pigeon flew right in front of me while trying to fly out of the window.  I just saw it coming at me and screamed loudly, ducked, and wedged myself between my mom and the back of the bench we were sitting on.  I looked like I was 5, not 25!

Now, to answer Sherri's questions:

1. Why did you start blogging? To find a fun way to keep my friends and family up-to-date on the crazy happenings of my life, and to have an excuse to keep taking pictures of my feet.
2. What's your favorite way to exercise? Running, it's really the only exercise I do.  But don't get the wrong idea, I'm not good at it, I say I run when really it's more of jog. But I am running the Color Me Rad 5k in just about month and can't wait!
3. What is your morning routine? Get up, stumble around for a few minutes, straighten my hair, eat breakfast and usually read my Bible, do my make-up, get dressed, try to do something with my hair, gather all my mess together and head out the door. Oh, and lots of checking facebook, twitter, and blogs in between all that.
4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In elementary school I wanted to be a nurse, and then there was a stage in middle school when I really wanted to be a medical examiner.
5. Are you saving up for anything special/specific right now? 
Not really, but if I come across some money I want a new pair of glasses or new running shoes, and if I come into a whole lot of money, a new car.
6. Would you rather have an entire closet full of shoes or purses?
Shoes!  I used to change purses all the time, but not so much anymore, so definitely shoes.
7. What is your most memorable vacation? 
Our trip to Brazil was obviously memorable for great reasons, but I think my most memorable vacation was also my worst!  I don't remember exactly how old I was, but I was in middle school, and we went to Assateague and Chincoteague to watch the pony swim.  I was absolutely miserable, and unfortunately didn't make the trip any better for my family.
8. If you could choose, where would you want to live next?
A big city in the States, or England.
9. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving!  It's in my favorite season, fall.  I always get to spend it with our closest friends in Lynchburg, or my extended family out of town.  And you totally get to eat all day long and it's ok!
10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Being interrupted, or talking to someone who is on their phone the whole time.
11. Where is your favorite place to shop? 
Well you can always find cute things you don't really need at Target, and I do get a lot of clothes from Plato's Closet.  Oh, and Goodwill of course!

The friends I am going to nominate are:
Allison at ReCreate
Kathryn at Add to the Beauty

And my questions are:
1) If you could live in any other time period/decade what would it be and why?
2) What was your favorite book or series of books growing up?
3) What was something silly you were scared of as a child?
4) If there was going to be a movie made about your life, which actress would you want to play you?
5) How would you spend a perfect Saturday?
6) Coffee, hot tea, or hot chocolate?
7) If you could have any talent, what would it be and why?
8) Describe the dress you wore to your senior prom.
9) What is one of the best gifts or surprises you've ever gotten?
10) Would you rather be hot or cold?
11) What is something you always keep stocked in your kitchen?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

You can see all the red in my hair really well in this picture, and excuse the fact that I look a little rough, it was the end of a week-long mission trip.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mug Monday

I haven't done a Mug Monday post in so long!  And I've actually had this new (to me) little guy for a while, but just hadn't used it yet.  I found it at Goodwill and loved it instantly.  I loved its stoneware look, short little shape, and brown and blue colors, and for less than a buck, it was mine!  It's small, cozy, and fits in my hands perfectly!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Weekend Is Here and Fall Is On Its Way

Yesterday and today I was a guest poster on my friend Sherri's blog, the life of a wife.  You should head over there and check them out! 

And even though the high today was 88 degrees, I'm very much in the fall spirit.  Sniffing all of the fall scented candles at Bath & Body Works just added to the issue, I wanted almost all of them!  But I finally settled on these two - fall, FALL, FALL!!!

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are, and I hope it's fallish!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Layered Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars

I've made these twice in the past three weeks, and they have been quite a hit!  The first time I made them one of the guys said they were addicting, and Sunday night I made them for my ministry team and it was one of the guys that asked for the recipe.  So ladies, if you need to bake something to impress the fellas, this might be one to try!

Layered Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars
adapted from Jif recipes

No-stick cooking spray
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 c. quick rolled oats

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with a no-stick cooking spray. Melt chocolate chips in dry, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100% power) 1 minute. Stir. Microwave at additional, 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until chips are melted. Set aside.
  2. Beat together brown sugar, peanut butter and butter in large bowl with an electric mixer, until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture. Beat just until combined. Stir in oats. Press 3/4 of dough into prepared baking pan. Spread evenly with melted chocolate. Dot chocolate layer with remaining dough.
  4. Bake 24 to 26 minutes. Cool. Cut into 24 bars.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder

So, when I crave something, I pretty much have to have it.  This has resulted in lots of late night trips to the drive through at Cookout for milkshakes, or inconvenient, last minute trips to the grocery store for ingredients to make something, and that's kind of what happened yesterday.  All afternoon I was craving baked potato soup, so I decided I would just make some for dinner.  I remembered that a while ago I pinned a website on Pinterest that had a bunch of fall soup recipes, so I checked them out and found this one for Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder.  It wasn't baked potato soup, but it was close enough!

It took some time to prepare, but it was really good!  The corn and cream made it sweet, and the onions made it tangy.  I went ahead and put some in the freezer so I can enjoy it when I want a good meal and don't have much time.

Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh dill or parsley for garnish, chopped 
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or medium soup pot.
  2. Stir in the onion and celery.
  3. Partially cover the pan and cook the vegetables over moderate heat for 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chicken stock, corn, potato, and salt and bring the mixture to a low boil.
  5. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and flour.
  7. Stir the mixture into the soup with the pepper.
  8. Bring the soup back to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  9. Serve hot, garnished with herbs.
Not a great picture, I know.  But there was no more natural light, and I was hungry and didn't want to spend time messing with the camera!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Toms Twins

We had our first Class '16 event tonight, and when Lauren showed up at the office I noticed we both had our red Toms on!  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

End of Summer Sweet Treats

Thursday was Toasted Marshmallow Day, which obviously meant I needed to eat something with toasted marshmallows - like smore's!  I didn't really have the time to find somewhere to make a fire and toast marshmallows myself, so I looked at Rita's website for their flavors of the day, and sure enough, they had smore's!  I texted a few girls and we met up that evening.  Apparently lots of other people had the same idea we did, because they were out of the smore's flavor by the time we got there.  That was a bummer, but we all got something else anyways. And lucky for me, they had my favorite flavor - Swedish Fish!

We sat outside at the tables, but were joined by bees not too long after.  After much swatting, screaming, and running around we decided to relocate to the curb.  Well, the girls sat on the curb, I just sat on the ground.  And since school has started and Well activities are well under way, sitting in a parking lot enjoying a cold, sweet treat was a very good way to wrap up the summer!

This child makes so many faces...

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