Monday, December 31, 2012

Welcome 2013 ~ New Years Bloggers Ball

Happy (almost) 2013!
I'm joining Niki, Rachel, and Jessica for the First Annual Bloggers Ball. 
This was such a great idea, ladies! I'm excited to be joining in.

Welcome 2013

Welcome 2013 by alyssalianne featuring a collar necklace

A New Years Party outfit is not complete without sequins! I love this dress because it just screams "New Years". Also, I would die for these shoes. (If only I were able to wear them without falling over)...A girl can dream. 
Unfortunately I won't be wearing an outfit like that this year, as we aren't going out. I'm working on NYE, have been sick, and just want to stay home! It'll be perfect, though!

1. What was your best part of 2012?
Probably moving into our apartment in February. We lived at Chris' family house for 6 months before this, and although I am extremely grateful for this, I was excited to put my beloved housewares to good use again (ha!) and have our own space.

2. What was your favorite song/book/movie of 2012?
Just one of each? Ohh... that's hard.
Song: "Home" by Phillip Phillips. Or any country song.
Book: "Room" by Emma Donoghue (this book didn't come out in 2012, but I read it this year... so that counts).
Movie: Either Magic Mike or Pitch Perfect... each for very different reasons! :)

3. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2012?
It's probably a tie, both career-related. Getting a promotion was a huge accomplishment for many reasons. Then switching jobs was also a big accomplishment. I couldn't keep my previous job due to factors completely out of my control. The whole ordeal was a blessing in disguise and I'm extremely proud of myself and grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I am now doing exactly what I always wanted to do- proving therapy for children, adults, and families. 

4. What are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
Stability. We are moving (again) in a few months when our lease is up, but I'm hoping we'll be able to stay in our next place for at least a couple of years. Also hoping that both of our careers become stable and reliable so we can focus on other things... like living our lives without worry! Imagine that.

5. What are your New Years Resolutions?
I probably have a lot. Realistically...
-Earn my LCSW-C license. This is the highest level of social work licensure I can achieve and I'm very close. I'm hoping to achieve this in the next few months.
-Stick with a darn hobby. Besides blogging. I have so many crafting supplies and can never focus on one enough to complete one project. Maybe it's the ADHD. Not maybe...definitely.
-Meal plan more and cook healthy meals. "Cook" being the operative word, not "go to restaurants". Save money on food.
-Be a better girlfriend/daughter/sister/friend. I haven't been terrible, but I believe there's always room for improvement in any relationship, and this is important to me.
-Take a trip to see my grandparents. I was supposed to do this last year and wasn't able to. This really needs to happen in 2013.

I have a few more personal goals that are being kept private for now, but I think the above resolutions are a great starting point. Notice: nothing about losing weight. Nope. It's always been a resolution (along with every other person ever) but I actually did that in the past few months. I would like to get in shape, but I always find when I make this a resolution, it just puts more negative pressure on myself. It just doesn't work for me.

Tomorrow I'll be posting my year in review. Come back to see what the highlights of 2012 were!
Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Happy Friday!
This week has only been a 2-day work week but somehow feels so much longer.
Thanks for everyone's well-wishes, I am feeling much better and actually ate dinner last night, so that's a good start. Here are my high five from the week!

1) I was disappointed that Chris and I didn't get any pictures together since I was sickly throughout the holiday time. Then I remembered we took a couple pictures over the the Christmas tree... so these will suffice as our holiday pictures this year!
We were at Chris' brother's and sister-in-law's for lunch on Saturday, and their adorable cat ended up photo-bombing. Love it.

what a goof. He'll hate me for posting this.
Chris' brother can cut off Champagne corks with a knife. They end up like this. Pretty freakin amazing.

2) B.S. (Before sickness, it's my new acronym to describe my past week), Chris got me a manicure for my birthday! I haven't gotten my nails done in.... let's just say it's been a while. I went all out in holiday red and love it!

OPI Gel Big Apple Red
 3) I feel like I'm bragging about my boyfriend, but he got me one of the best gifts ever. An ICE CREAM MAKER ATTACHMENT for my Kitchen Aid!!! I can't contain my excitement. Currently I have 32 cups of vanilla ice cream base in my fridge waiting until tomorrow so it can be churned into glorious ice cream (I'm making Butterfinger! Then maybe chocolate chip, cookies n cream, and Reese's! Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.)
In Love.
4) Nashville Soundtrack~ I've recently become obsessed with this show and LOVE all the music. When I spotted this soundtrack at Target the other day, I knew I had to have it. *Somehow* Chris' mom found out and gave it to me for Christmas! Lovelovelove.
It's hard to pick a favorite song, but if you haven't heard Lennon and Maisy, you NEED to watch this video. Two sisters, age 13 and 8 were cast for the show as the main character's daughters. They perform this amazing version of "Telescope" on the show...

Gives me goosebumps! These girls are amazing.

5) Last but not least, I just found out a Nordstrom Rack is opening right down the street from my house! My bank account just cried in anguish, but I was jumping up and down when I found out. We have a couple Racks in the area, but both are at least a 40 minute drive. With every other store in the world imaginable nearby, I can't believe we don't have one yet but am so glad it's coming. And it's going to be right next to Target. Double whammy.

I hope everyone had a great week, and an easy one if you had to go back to work. If you didn't have to work, I'm extremely jealous of you. I was all set up to take this week as a week of vacation then had to switch jobs all of a sudden! Life is funny like that.

Linking up with Lauren!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day after Christmas...

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) or Happy Holidays in general!

I was pretty much out of commission the past couple days... right in time for my birthday, I caught something (food poisoning, possibly?) and was completely out of it on Christmas Eve (birthday) and still not feeling well on Christmas. Today has been a little better, but still feeling pretty "blah".
I was honestly too sick to care that it was my birthday, and decided I'll get a re-do birthday another time soon. It was disappointing to have to cancel my birthday lunch with my family, but we'll make it up very soon when I can actually eat. I've eaten about 10 crackers in the past couple days to give you an idea of what it's been like! Christmas was nice and I did get to see most of my family for a little while. Then it was back to bed!

We did have a great weekend and I'll do a re-cap soon. Even with being sick, I was so happy that it finally definitely made the past couple days a little brighter even if I couldn't enjoy them like I would normally do. Here are a couple pictures I managed to take and I promise to be back with more once I feel a little better. The past couple days have been a blur and if it weren't for pictures I probably wouldn't remember any of it...

Snow on the drive home on Christmas Eve...

 Tree at Chris' family house

Snow this morning at Chris' family house... thankfully we managed to make it back home in this snow/sleet today!

Monday, December 24, 2012


It's my birthday!
24 was eventful, and I'm excited to see what 25 will bring.
I'm looking forward to spending today with my family and wonderful boyfriend :)

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Oh, Friday! 
I'm so glad you're here.
Especially today. 

It's also the first day of winter! And the world didn't end, so that's good too.

~After today's day of work, I have 5 days off! Yeah, I went ahead and took an extra day off even though I wasn't planning on that. I just didn't want to feel rushed to get back to work after Christmas. I'll still have a 2 day work week, but I'm not complaining!

~Baking and drinks last night. What could be better? In case you missed it, I made Spice cookies over the weekend. Last night was Snickerdoodles! The recipe's in that link right there. These are two of my favorite holiday cookies!
 Is anyone else OCD about having cookies line up exactly right while baking? No?

~Finally finished up the holiday shopping. Just a couple little things left to get, and we're not doing a lot of gifts this year anyway. Most people are getting a variety of homemade cookies in cute containers (hopefully I didn't ruin that for anyone reading :) )

~We actually cooked a good amount of dinners this week instead of going out to eat. That's a really great accomplishment for us!

~I'm finally feeling better after a bad cold and ear infections.. it feels so good to be back to normal! Just in time for my birthday and Christmas :)

I'm not sure how much time I'll have for blogging over the next several days, but I hope that everyone has a great Christmas and if anyone is traveling, have a safe trip!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle Cookies are another one of my favorite holiday cookies.
They're light, fluffy, and the perfect combination of cinnamon-sugary. Yum.


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups white flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
2. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar,
baking soda and salt. I also like to add cinnamon to the dough, but the original recipe doesn't call for this. It adds a little more cinnamon flavor which I love!
3. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar
mixture. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes 4 dozen cookies
adapted from the Betty Crocker recipe

Do you have a favorite holiday cookie?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Random Wednesday

Thank goodness it's Random Wednesday.
This time of the week, my mind is always feeling pretty jumbled and this week's no exception. Linking up with Shanna!

I can't wait until Friday evening when work is over and I know I don't have work for 4 days and can celebrate my birthday (Christmas eve!) and Christmas. No, I don't get the full week off work. If I had stayed at my old job I would have that entire time off work, but obviously I couldn't do that. I wouldn't trade this job situation for anything different at this point. I'm just looking forward to having any time to spend with Chris and our families. It'll be really nice. Here's last Christmas...

I made Spice Cookies this past weekend. They were gone so quickly and I didn't even bring them out of the apartment. Shameful :) I'm probably going to make more so we can get fatter  enjoy this time of year ;)
If you missed the post, you can find the recipe here! This is what they look like, in case you were wondering or missed it...

I just started watching Nashville on Hulu. It's been on my "to-watch" list for a while now and I'm loving it. It just makes me happy.... and makes me want to sing 24/7. Anyone else love this show?

Today is my baby brother's 13th birthday! I can't believe it. I was a pre-teen when Jake was born. He was "my baby" and also my birth control! I sure stayed out of trouble as a teen because I knew what it was like to take care of a baby and no thank you. I learned so much from him then, and learn so much from him now. He is so smart, articulate, hilarious and such a good kid.

Happy Birthday, Jake!!! I love you!

Hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Spice Cookies

There's nothing better than homemade cookies around the holidays. Growing up, my mom would make various cookies this time of year. The kitchen counters would be covered in cookies. We would give them out to teachers, friends, and neighbors. Mom still makes them, but I've definitely continued the tradition in my house.
Spice cookies were always the most popular, and the ones I always make sure to bake. They're always a hit when I bring them to work parties and I've given the recipe out countless times. 
Now it's time to share it with all of you! Enjoy!

Spice Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

12tbs. butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup molasses
2 and 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
sugar for coating

1. Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg and molasses and blend well.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and beat them into the mixture. 

3. Chill dough for about 20 minutes.

4. Form the batter into balls about the size of a walnut, roll them in the extra sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven. Careful not to overcook! 

6. Let cool completely before serving. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container and stored on your counter, but I doubt they'll last long enough to necessitate that. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silence and Support

In the wake of the tragedy that struck an elementary school yesterday, many bloggers have been posting this in support of the victims, their families, and the town of Newtown. 
Innocent babies were robbed of their lives and futures. Educators who pour their hearts into protecting these children were also taken.  I cannot imagine the pain these families and loved ones are feeling at this time. Although we feel helpless during times like these, there is something we can do.
(Copied via Erin, feel free to share on your own blog)

Thank you to Nelly, Meg, and Michelle for putting this together.
To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Yesterday, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. 
We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to: 

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World 

p.s. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

High Five for Friday!

Oh, Friday, I'm so glad you're finally here.
I'm sitting on my couch on Thursday night at 8pm and have been in bed for the past 3 hours. I woke up before 6am with an ear infection and took myself right to Urgent Care. From there I went to work for a few hours and I'm so lucky to have a flexible and understanding new boss who let me leave without any question. I went on a wild goose chase to find these ear drops I was prescribed, because apparently everyone and their moms have an ear infection right now.

Who didn't let me down? Target, of course. I can't stay away from that place to save me life. After loading up on holiday candy and snacks while waiting for my Rx, I headed home to rest. And wow I'm exhausted! 

I'm hoping and praying I feel better by tomorrow morning because my work's Christmas party is tomorrow and I'm getting together with friends tomorrow night. Please please please kick in, antibiotics!
I don't know about you, but I always get a little loopy while taking antibiotics or steroids. I'm not sure if that's normal.

So, these are my "High Five" this week... things I'm thankful for. It's much better than recapping my week, which was pretty boring anyway :)

-I'm so thankful to have health insurance to be able to get what I need to get healthy without paying an arm and a leg. 
-I'm thankful for an understanding job. 
-I'm thankful for a patient and caring boyfriend who has taken care of me for the past few weeks while being various types of sick. 
-I'm thankful for a warm bed and comfy couch because not everyone gets that luxury. 
-I'm so thankful it's Friday.

I'll leave you with my favorite (and most comfy) outfit from this week. Because I'm all about comfort!
Scarf: Kohl's (it's really a wrap, but same thing), Sweater: Old Navy (old), Shirt: Target, Pants: Kohl's, Shoes: Lucky Brand

I hope you all have a great and stress-free weekend. I know this time of year is busy and stressful, but as a therapist I feel like I need to say... make sure you take care of yourselves. If you are healthy and happy, everything will go just right. (Now I need to take my own advice and get better!) :)

Linking up with Lauren!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Whole Lotta Random Wednesday

Wednesday means the week is almost halfway over! 
Thank goodness gracious for that. I'm already exhausted and it's only Tuesday night as I'm writing this. Here goes a whole lot of random.
Linkin' up with the lovely Shanna!!!

-I'm having a serious problem and I need your help.
Mondays. Can we talk about this for a second? Totally repulsive and unacceptable. Monday needs to be eliminated ASAP. Here's my "Monday face". (This is what happens when clients don't show up and I'm new with hardly any work to do) Professional, I know.
I used to work from home on Mondays. I could sit in my PJs and totally ease into the week. Not the case anymore. Needless to say, it's been an adjustment. So now that I've lost some readers with that disgusting face... I'm moving on...

-Why have I been to Target 3 times this week? Also, why does Target make it into almost every single blog post?

-I think I have arthritis. My hands hurt so bad! Typing right now is actually hurting. Along with the wrinkles on my face, I'm a wreck. I haven't even turned 25 yet (13 more days and I'm holding onto every single one of those days like they're gold)

-I'm finally not feeling sick anymore! Along with getting older, apparently my body's not great at fighting illness. Stress probably doesn't help.

-I want to thank everyone who reads this little blog! I've never been all about the followers, I'm more focused on making my blog something that represents myself, something I want to read, and making connections with other bloggers. Wow, have I done that. I'm so surprised how much blogging has done for me in the past several months. It's kept me sane through tough times, kept loved ones (and creepers) updated on my life when I've sadly been too busy to do so, and plain given me something to do. Even though I haven't had time lately to keep up with sponsors, giveaways, guest posts, and all that as much as I'd like, blogging has been a great outlet and little getaway for me. You all are so great and I promise to have some fun stuff coming up once my life calms down a little!

-Meanwhile, there's still a little time to enter Emily's giveaway, and I'm giving away a Starbucks gift card! Check it out!

-If anyone is interested in swapping ads, check out my sponsor page! Like I mentioned I'm not doing any paid sponsorships right now but would love to swap with you!

Oh my, I could keep going forever but I need to go to sleep and you are probably tired of me. Congratulations if you made it through ;) I hope everyone has a great Wednesday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Update

I hope you all had a great weekend!
This weekend was full of food, family, and relaxation....perfect.

When I came home from work on Friday, I was so exhausted. As I've mentioned recently, I'm really adjusting to this new schedule. It's been pretty hard. So, naturally, we headed out for margaritas. And queso. Hello, extra 5 pounds this weekend. It was so worth it.

I continued the holiday decorating by putting lights up on the balcony...

And celebrated the first nights of Hannukah! Yep, we do both holidays! I had "Chrismukkah" growing up :)

We threw a birthday brunch for my Mom...
It was so nice to spend time with my family and even more fun that it was at our place! We usually don't do this because our apartment's small... we don't even have a kitchen table... but it worked out nicely and was a great time!
I made a Pumpkin French Toast bake. Yum.

And then we watched our Redskins win a great game!
Best "outfit of the day" ever...

The weekends are way too short. I've also done no Christmas shopping.. usually I'm on top of it but not this year... no way. We did go to Target on Saturday and could hardly move throughout the store. No thanks, I'll be doing my shopping online.
Now it's time for another week of work. Only a couple weeks until Christmas and my birthday (which is Christmas Eve ;) )

Linking up w/ the Weekend Update ladies as usual!


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