Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last Day of 2017 {A Year in Review}



Hello All!!

To start off this year I decided to try to make sure I did a couple of new things for myself. I didn't want to just create a couple of resolutions that I just forget later. It was important for me to achieve goals. This year was tough. It challenged all of us and it was also a great year. 


I started off the year going to see this guy and enjoying skiing and snow for the first time in a long, long time. It was super fun! We went to West Virginia and skied for the weekend. 






After I got back to Florida, my little Chi-O family got a little bigger. I got 2 new gg-gLittles. They definitely made me feel old, but I wouldn't have anything else. They are the best family a girl could ask for!


Then I headed up to Maine in April for some more fun with this dude. We went to a Gala for his work which is why we got all dressed up. Then we headed out to explore Maine, my new home away from home. 


My sister's prom in May. She looked like an absolute princess.


My sisters and I went to the Hurricane Hunter's expo. We got to tour the inside of the different Hurricane Hunter's planes and take to all the people that track hurricanes.


In May my GGLittle also turned 21. We took her out and stayed out until 3am. I'm definitely too old to be going out that late regularly. It was so fun! 


To kick off our countdown to leaving FL we decided to get a freak-shake. It was a Nutella milkshake. It was delicious and absolutely impossible to finish it alone. 


In August my sisters and I decided to go watch the sunrise on the beach. It was one of the last FL bucket list things we did. 


My wonderful Red Cross family sent me off with a potluck party. It was a surprise and I couldn't believe just how lucky I am to have so many amazing people to work with in my life. Until next time.


Then we officially moved my baby sister into her dorm. It was a whirlwind of a month. I cannot believe that we are all off in college and out of Florida, it is surreal. 


Then it was my turn to move. Sammy and I packed up and headed north!


Naturally, I was working for the Red Cross in Maine while I was on vacation.


We got to see the Navy Air Show it was absolutely amazing. I so enjoyed seeing all the planes and all the different tricks they did. It was incredible that the pilots could do such precision work with the planes.


Then Hurricane Harvey hit and it was all hands on deck. We needed to get to work and start mobilizing our volunteers. It was so incredible to see such a work of the heart. So many people with such full hearts dropped everything to head to help people they had never met and will never be able to say thank you. There is something truly amazing about being able to help someone that will never be able to Thank you. 


Quick work break to see the breakwater and Owl's head. We went to the Owl's Head general store, hung out at the pier in Old Orchard Beach, then explored York for a little while.



In York we met up with my best friend. The zoo there is amazing. I loved it! I would absolutely recommend going there. We even got to feed the deer. They were so friendly. The best part is that I got to see Otters!



In October, we headed to Salem! It was so fun! They really fully embrace their witch hunting history. They dress up and have witch museums. It was pretty cool. The weekends in October they have carnivals and all sorts of other fun stuff.





I LOVED Fall this year. It was the nice and crisp weather of the season. We enjoyed Apple cider donuts, lots of fallen leaf piles, and all the pumpkin!


Shopping in a winter wonderland.


My first snowfall of the winter season. It was absolutely magical.


Happy Holidays to yours from mine.


Sammy is thanking his dad for the beautiful UM bow, now he can cheer on his favorite team in style.


Finally, we wrap up the year with a Winter Wonderland. We did enjoy some really fun skiing and now I sit on the couch totally sore and in pain. I'm excited to start 2018, it has been a really great year. I know that we all have our ups and downs, but more ups than downs. 

I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous, and amazing new year. I hope you make it your own. Get all the things you hope for and work hard to achieve all your dreams!

Happy New Year!
XOXO

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Year's Eve Dresses

Hello Friends!

I cannot believe 2018 is knocking right around the corner. 2017 went by so quickly! It has been insane. I have to say it has been a pretty great year for me personally. I had some pretty fun life changes and I am looking forward to next year. I think this is one of the few years I can look back and say "I'm not sure I want it to be over". 

New Year's Eve Dresses


So naturally, for a good year, we need to celebrate in style. Here are a couple of my favorite affordable dresses for the occasion. I also like this one and this one


New Year's Eve Dresses     New Year's Eve DressesNew Year's Eve Dresses

New Year's Eve Dresses         New Year's Eve Dresses      New Year's Eve Dresses


New Year's Eve DressesNew Year's Eve Dresses           New Year's Eve Dresses


What are your NYE Plans?
XOXO

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

Hello Friends!

merry christmas

Thank you all so much for all the wonderful things you have done and helped me achieve this year. I have had a wonderful time with you all. I hope you have a magical Christmas and a blessed new year.

Merry Christmas!
XOXO

Friday, December 22, 2017

21 Quotes That Will Wake The Christmas Spirit

Hello, Lovelies

Today I’ll be sharing 21 quotes that will wake up your Christmas spirit. So if you aren’t feeling the holidays, this quotes will definitely help you to feel more festive. We know that sometimes is hard to keep up with the celebrations when you are dealing with the stress of work or school. But Christmas is around the corner. Exactly 2 more days until Christmas Eve! Time is definitely flying. 

Christmas Quotes

1. “One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” ― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

2. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. SeussHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!

3. “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” ― Charles Dickens

4. “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder

5. “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

6. “Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ” ― Mary Ellen Chase

Christmas spirit


7. “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” ― Charles M. Schulz

8. “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” ― Norman Vincent Peale

9. “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” ― Roy L. Smith

10. “And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans -and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused-and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.” ― Sigrid Undset

11. “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

12. “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” ― Garrison Keillor; Leaving Home

13. “Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” ― Eric Sevareid

14. “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ” ― Washington Irving

christmas spirit


15. “Peace on earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day.” ― Helen Steiner Rice

16. “I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.” ― Norman Vincent Peale

17. “As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.” ― Eric Sevareid

18. “Jesus soon is coming, and Christmas too, a Good reason for being happy, Helping people to do.” ― Válgame, Zori 1ª Parte

19. “At Christmas, a man is at his finest towards the finish of the year; He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season’s here. Then, he’s thinking more of others than he’s thought the months before, and the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for. He is less a selfish creature than at any other time; When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.” ― Edgar A. Guest

20. “I know what I really want for Christmas. I want my childhood back. Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of our hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.” ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

21. “God is here. This truth should fill our lives, and every Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with G-d when we allow his light and grace to enter deep into our soul.” ― Josemaría Escrivá, Christ Is Passing by

Which one is your favorite Christmas quote? Is your favorite not on this list? Let me know in the comments!
XOXO


Friday, December 8, 2017

Cookie Swap {Recipe}

Hello Friends!!

Yesterday, I did something really fun and totally new (to me). I participated in a cookie swap. It was part of my Junior League fun. We had to make 4 dozen cookies. As part of the Cocktails and Cookies, every participant brought cookies and their recipe. At the event, we could eat cookies, enjoy drinks, and meet people. It was nice to finally meet some new people in Boston!

Snowball Christmas Cookie Recipe


The event was so much fun! About 20 of us showed up with 4 dozen cookies each. The table was so packed with cookies we had to start combining Tupperware in order to get them all to fit! I had some AMAZING cookies. There were some that were super cute. Everyone did an amazing job, I was so pleasantly surprised.


Snowball Christmas Cookie Recipe


My favorites were a Nutella stuff chocolate chip cookie, chocolate chip snowball cookie, and an M&M cookie. It was hard to narrow it down. Ultimately, I had so many cookies that I didn't end up having dinner. For the swap, I made about 50 Snowball Cookies. They were walnut flavored. I had seen them quite a bit on Pinterest. When I asked friends to choose from a couple of cookies this one won by a landslide.


Pecan Cookies

Snowball Christmas Cookie Recipe


Cookie Swap Recipe


The cookies are not hard to make, even though they look super hard to make. They are sweet and melt in your mouth. I really enjoyed making the cookies. I made them fairly small in order to get a lot so that was time-consuming, but they bake very quickly.

Cookie Swap Recipe


Here is the recipe I used:


Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:14 minutes
Total Time:1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: About 6 dozen
also known as Russian Teacakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks/226 grams) unsalted butter, softened slightly
5 tablespoons (63 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) salt
2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour,
2 cups (about 240 grams) finely chopped walnuts
1½ cups (about 188 grams) confectioners’ sugar, for dusting cookies twice (will need more)

Directions

  1. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla and salt. 
  2. Gradually add flour; beating after each addition. 
  3. Stir in the nuts; mix until fully incorporated. 
  4. Divide dough in half and refrigerate in plastic food wrap for approximately 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, arrange the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. 
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. 
  7. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside. 
  8. Measure dough using a small, 1-inch spring-loaded scoop making sure each scoopful is level. 
  9. Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball.
  10. Place dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. 
  11. Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are just beginning to brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The underside of the cookies should be only lightly browned. And the cookies should not crack—a sure sign of overbaked teacake cookies.
  12. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire racks for approximately 2 minutes. 
  13. While cookies are still warm, gently roll them in the confectioners’ sugar. ** IMPORTANT TO DO*
  14. Place the sugar-coated cookies on wire racks to cool completely. Roll cookies once again in the confectioners’ sugar.
Yield: Makes about 6 dozen (about 72) small cookies when using 1-inch size (very small) cookie scoop as indicated in the recipe. Of course, larger cookie scoops will make larger sized cookies and yield less of them.
Which cookies do you like for the Holidays?
XOXO
Cookie Swap Recipe