Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tis the Season for Baking

WARNING: This post will make you drool. You will see many photos of sweets and then you will be hungry! Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Or so it seems in my house! I'm packing on the winter weight. =/

It started on the Friday before the busiest Saturday in my life in awhile. Seriously I never do anything on the weekends and all of a sudden I'm invited to two parties on the same Saturday! 

The first party that I was invited to was a graduation party for Santana, who has been my cousin's roommate and best friend at ODU for forever! The 3 of us have celebrated all of our graduations (all at 3 separate times) together!

The second party was cause for all the baking. I was getting together with a couple of my Dinwiddie Girls for a Tacky Sweater/Cookie Swap party. 

Which led to baking all Friday night! Thank goodness I had the help of my youngest sister because I certainly know how to make a mess while baking!

Leave it to me to choose something I'd never baked before, something that required strange ingredients like light corn syrup and kosher salt. 

I chose Mini Black and White Cookies. 

I was baking until 11:15 p.m. And that icing is super messy!

Ever since that night, the baking has not ceased in this house since. Aspen and Lynn made a ton of chocolate cookies on Saturday night. And I brought home so many sweets from the party!

Then my mom's boyfriend is a track coach and Aspen is an architecture major and this is what happens when you add those two together and the fact that the store didn't have the cookie cutter they wanted. 

Yes, they made that themselves. They used this cookie cutter and several others for a couple of batches of gingerbread cookies. 

Then Dani made peanut butter cookies with chocolate Kisses and Aspen made more sugar cookies!

Needless to say, we haven't been at a loss for dessert at all this week!

What are you favorite holiday desserts?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Virginia Tech

I wish that the cliche, "Lightning never strikes the same place twice," was true. 

I know everyone affiliated with Virginia Tech feels the same way. 

Unfortunately yesterday, Virginia Tech was struck again with tragedy, and the feeling was very reminiscent of the tragedy that occurred back in 2007. While the outcome did not compare to that of 2007's incident, any loss of innocent human life is tragic. 

I was a freshman at James Madison University when the 2007 shooting occurred, a close two hours away from Virginia Tech. As a college student, it felt as if my way of life had been threatened. I couldn't imagine a tragedy hitting any closer to home. 

Until yesterday, that is. I was working at the middle school yesterday in Dinwiddie when I found out what was going on in Blacksburg. I had received a text message from my little sister. She is a freshman at Virginia Tech. 

I must say it felt much better hearing about the events from my sister first than hearing it from another source. She kept us updated about the ordeal. I also began following Virginia Tech on Twitter when my sister started attending. 

My sister was thankfully in the architecture studio with some classmates when the shootings occurred. I was thankful for this because where the police office lost his life is a short walk from my sister's dormitory. Neither she nor her roommate were in the dorm or the area at the time. 

It seems VT did a great job of getting the word out to students and I'm grateful that the situation did not escalate into any further violence. 

As you go about your day, please keep the students, faculty, staff of Virginia Tech, and the family of the slain police officer in your thoughts and prayers. This university has endured too much pain but has a spirit that will never be defeated. 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fall and Winter Blues

My birthday is in April. I am a spring baby. And I love the summer with everything that is in me. 

So when fall and winter roll around every year, it makes me a little sad. I don't like the cold weather (even though I did 4 years of really cold weather at JMU!), the lack of sunlight, the stress, etc. I miss the lighthearted atmosphere of spring and summer. There are more people to hang out with. Those seasons just aren't as lonely as fall and winter seem to me. 

This year on top of fall arriving, I was working as a long term substitute for an 8th and 9th grade business class. Which added to my fall blues even more because it was very stressful and the kids weren't always nice to me. I'm not going to lie; I was excited when their teacher returned on Thursday. It was good money, though.

So now that my days are a little less stressful, I'm gonna try to kick the fall and winter blues with a list of things that makes the fall and winter not so bad after all!

  • Thanksgiving! - I'm a fan of food, family, and football. 
  • Skinny jeans and jeggings tucked into boots. Okay so even though I'm more of a flip flop or slip-on Sperry's kind of girl, I am totally getting into this pairing tall boots with skinny jeans and jeggings for fall and winter. I just need more boots and more jeggings (so comfy! - Those pictured I purchased from Aeropostale for $10) 
  • Matching scarves with long sleeved shirts. I am addicted to Old Navy scarves! Especially since most of them I bought for $1 back in my JMU days with my roomies, Patti and Natasha. I like to try out different shirt/scarf color combinations.
You can never go wrong with purple and yellow!
  • Pea coats! I love the way a pea coat really completes an outfit. No matter what you are wearing, you look a little more formal while wearing a pea coat!

Old photo, still have that pea coat though!
  • Even though I absolutely hate cold weather because I would rather be warm than cold any day, I love that I have a legit reason to live in my Snuggie (like I don't already).
  • Christmas, of course! I love getting presents and when I have money, I love buying gifts for my family! 
What's your favorite season? What do you like most about fall and winter? And hey, while we're at it, what do you hate about fall and winter?