Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcoming in 2015

Here we are at the end of another year. I don't know about you, but I tend to get a little depressed around Christmas and New Year's. I have gotten better in the last couple of years when it comes to Christmastime, but I still have to fight melancholy when New Year's rolls around.
As I have gotten older, I recognize that this annual low mood has a lot to do with my issues with anxiety. The "commercial" build-up to New Year's, the thoughts of change, & loosing another year can lead me to feeling anxious, and anxiety leads to depression for me. But I am working on choosing a better outlook when it comes to a new year. Count my blessings & be thankful for all I have. Realize that another year means new experiences, new people, & time to grow.
What do you look forward to in 2015?
I hope you all have a wonderful & safe New Year's, & a blessed 2015!

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, October 9, 2014

chilled cookie dough

I have said it before & I will say it again. I love cookies. I really love baking cookies. Even more than that, I love to eat cookies. I enjoy trying new tips and tricks when it comes to baking made-from-scratch cookies. One of my favorite tips I learned is chilling the cookie dough.
What are the benefits to chilling cookie dough? Many believe that letting the dough chill for at least 24 hours will allow the wet ingredients to absorb into the flour & will allow the dough to age & develop more flavor. I agree with this thought. I do enjoy the taste and texture of aged/chilled cookies. But the main reason I really like is trick being able to bake a smaller batch & save the rest of the dough for later. I would always like to eat my cookies warm & fresh out of the oven, & this technique allows me to do just that.  

As you can see I like to wrap and save my dough in a "log" shape similar Pillsbury. After mixing the dough, wrap the dough in parchment paper and roll into the "log" shape. After this I wrap the parchment-covered dough in cellophane to keep it fresh while stored in the refrigerator. When I am ready to bake a batch of cookies, I just slice off as many as I need from my chilled dough, bake & then enjoy. Just place the remaining dough in the frig until next time.
Do you have any cookie tips?
God bless!
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Monday, October 6, 2014


I thought this would be a good time to express some gratitude.
I am thankful for the simple things such as warm pajamas, fuzzy socks, and fleece blankets. I enjoy a good mug of strong coffee to start my day, or a relaxing cup of tea to end it. But I always fancy my hot drinks in a fun cup. I enjoy holding it from the curved handle, or if I am cold, holding it in both hands to warm me up.
I am thankful for the changing seasons. I am glad to have the variety. So many of us enjoy the autumn time & what it brings. I am thankful for the colors, the slight chill in the air, & the smell of bonfires on cold nights.
I am thankful for family & friends. I am thankful for time spent in deep, thoughtful conversations that  then turn into pure silliness & giggles. I am thankful for where & what time I am living.  I am thankful for my Savior & His love.
What are you thankful for?
God bless!
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blogtober, day 4: instagram favs

I am still trying to participate in Blogtober14. So far, so good.
The suggestion for the day 4 post is my favorite Instagram photos. Here are three of my favorites:

Here is the very pretty, yet very strange, Lily. She is one of the family cats.

My mom & me Mother's day weekend this past year.

And here is a recent photo of a super cute little tree frog I found last week :)

Happy weekend! God bless!
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Friday, October 3, 2014

high 5 Friday: Oct. 3, 2014

I thought I would give high 5 Friday another try. I think it will be a good addition to #Blogtober :)

1) For the past couple of weeks I have been ordering the London Fog steamer (a.k.a. London Fog Latte or Earl Grey latte) from my local coffee shop. I usually will get a chai tea latte this time of year but I am really digging the London fog.

2) My hair hadn't had so much as a trim in about 10 months. It was getting very unruly so I had to make a trip to the hairdresser's this week to tame the mane. I am glad to get that over with. I am not one who enjoys the process of getting my haircut, but I am always happy with the outcome.

3) For many years now, I have been a big fan of dark, fall nail colors. I like navy, dark purple, burgundy, oxblood, chocolate brown, & hunter green. I will have to paint the digits this weekend.

4) Here is the Bible verse I have been thinking about this week:
  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,    plans to give you hope and a future.  - Jeremiah 29:11 
I try to focus on the fact that God is always in control. Good times or bad it makes no difference.  

5) I am also thankful that the Lord has been watching out for my family. Dad was in a car accident last week & was unharmed.

Did you have any favorites from the past week?

I hope you have a great weekend!
God bless!
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

what I love about fall

Here it is the second day of October. I am so excited about the changing season. It takes a little longer for the weather to get cooler here in North Carolina compared to other parts of the US. So we do take notice when the temperature does drop. There is something about the Autumn time that excites many people including me. Is it maybe something biological engraved in us so we will have motivation to start the harvesting & prepare for the coming winter?  I don't know. I, like many other girls, love Fall fashion. I am ready to wear scarves, sweaters, & cute boots. I love drinking hot drinks such as chai tea lattes and London fogs. Burning candles, warm blankets & cuddles from the fur babies while binge watching Netflix are some of my preferred ways to spend my free time during this time of year.
What are some of your favorite things about the fall time?
Have a wonderful day & God bless!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What if Money were no Issue?

Happy October 1, 2014, everyone! Wow, October. Two months away from Christmastime!? Yikes. Lets not get to far ahead of ourselves, Hannah! Let's just enjoy Autumn for now. It being the first day of the month, I am going to write about the prompt from the list I found,which is,"What would you do if you won the lottery?". Well, I don't play the lottery, so I do not see this happening, but I understand the purpose of this prompt. If I happened to come across a great sum of money, what would I do with it? Whenever I hear scenarios such as this my mind jumps to those reality t.v. shows about how winning the lottery ruined the winners' life. I try and keep in mind that money will not solve all the problems in a person's life. Money is merely a tool. And if I somehow acquired a great deal of "tools", I would like to be a good steward of what I am allotted.
For one thing, I don't think that I would be able to stop work in some capacity even if I had enough money to live on for the rest of my life. But, a wonderful benefit to having enough money is that you have more freedom to pursue an occupation you enjoy. With that freedom I would choose I job where I could be creative. Maybe I would even "flip" a couple of houses to re-sell. As to what I would do for fun; I once read that people find more happiness in spending money on experiences rather than material possessions. I happen to agree with this school of thought. This being the case I would do some travelling. Tokyo, most Europe, Cape Town, to name a few. And of course I would hope I would have the decency to use the money in helping others. I really love charities that help individuals with an occupation. A "teach a man to fish" type of thing. Such as charities that give sewing machines to under privileged woman so they can create merchandise, or donate farm animals for a family to raise and to sell the products.
I want to also remember to be prepared, and save some cash for a rainy day.
Well that is all I have the energy to think of at the moment.
What would you do in this case?
Have a wonder day & God bless!
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a month of writing

Hello, all you lovely people out there. I hope you have had a wonderful start to Autumn.
I am wanting to start blogging regularly again. I have seen that some fellow bloggers are making the commitment to blogging everyday in October. After seeing this I said to myself,"Self, this would be a great challenge for you to attempt".  I stumbled upon some writing prompts on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago that might help with inspiration (Check out The Daily Tay's Blogtober14).
To any bloggers, or any other form of writers reading this, from what or where do you draw inspiration? I am curious.
I hope your September was wonderful! And here's to October!
God bless!
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

25 things I learned in 25 years

I have been meaning to post this for over a month now. This past July I completed a quarter of a century of life. I am now 25 years old. Bam. I honor of my birthday, (over a month after the fact) I thought it would be a good idea to post 25 lessons I have learned in my lifetime. Now, I am not saying that I am perfect at practicing these facts I have learned. I have just found them to be true. And they are listed in no particular order. Here we go...
   1) Do not take yourself too serious
   2) It is better to give than to receive
   3) Show more gratitude
   4) Count you blessings everyday
   5) Take the time & effort to show others that you care about & love them. You never may know when it will be your last chance.
   6) Laughter is GREAT medicine
   7) Do not worry about having many friends, put the effort into quality friends
   8) It is good to break a sweat everyday
   9) Find a hobby that you love, & DO IT
   10) Try to take your experiences, especially the hardest one, and grow & learn from them
   11) DO NOT let bitterness into your life!
   12) When having a conversation, listen. Don't just wait to talk. (Thanks, Pulp Fiction)
   13) Sometimes is best to just shut up, Hannah!
   14) Do not let your expectations get in the way of enjoying the moment, or what actually happens
   15) You can't judge a book by it's cover
   16) Worrying is pretty much useless, & causes more trouble than it is worth
   17) Always be polite
   18) There is no reason not to show kindness
   19) Make whatever life gives you an experience
   20) Try to encourage others as often as possible
   21) But, you cannot please everyone (some people are impossible to please)
   22) Start my day in prayer & scripture
   23) Be patient with others because you do not know what they are going through
   24) Making others happy will lead to your own happiness
   25) Forgiveness is more for the one who was wronged more than it is for the one who committed the wrong

God Bless!
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day: a re-post of My Hero in an Eye Patch

To commemorate Father's Day, I decided to re-post a blog entry I wrote for my dad's birthday this past January. I think it is funny & sweet.
Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there! Enjoy!

I thought that since it is my father's birthday I would write about him.  This is about a discussion my brothers and I had about our dad a couple months back.
My whole family and I watch AMC's The Walking Dead. If you are not a fellow viewer of this zombie filled soap opera I will give you a little explanation of the character, known simply as "the Governor", who is much more scary than any of the flesh-eating zombies on the show. ( Maybe I should call them "walkers", because none of the characters living  in the Walking Dead universe have ever used the term "zombie", nor have any of the characters, before the first day that zombism began to spread, known that the only way to kill a zombie is to SHOOT THEM IN THE HEAD! That was, unfortunately, learned by trial and error. It gives me some comfort knowing that I am well informed on the whole zombie exterminating thing if a break-out ever occurs. I digress; let's return to the Governor and my dad.) The Governor is a super bad dude that is a little wacky. But he reaches his pinnacle of bad & wackiness when he looses his eye.

AMC c/o
Look at The Governor (actor, David Morrisssey) with his big, bad gun, his bad snarl, & of course his bad eye patch!
It seems that, at least  in American cinema, that the eye patch gives an antagonist  more of an evil persona compared to the average two eyed bad guy. But when I asked my brothers about their thoughts, they agreed that they feel the same way as I do. The three of us have feelings of comfort and nostalgia from a man in an eye patch. That is because our dad only has one eye. He lost vision in his left eye when he was an infant and had been blind in the eye ever since. When I was less than two, and my brother Jordan was about 5 months-old (our youngest brother, Jamison, wasn't born yet), our dad had his eye removed due to pain and vision loss the atrophied eye was causing in his healthy seeing, right eye. The left eye's removal was a success and ended his pain and deterioration of his right eye. It was not traumatic for him since he was never able to see out of the eye. (I know it is a completely different for others loosing a seeing eye). He was able to get a wonderful prosthetic eye. It is one of the best I have ever seen in real life. Most people have no idea that it is a prosthesis. He is comfortable enough to joke about his eye.We sometimes play and mess with his spare glass eye. Jamison would take naps on our parent's bed when he was a very young child, & when my mom would go check on him she would find him asleep, wearing a pair of dad's jeans and dad's glass eye on top of his. This was one of Jamison's very weird ways of emulating our father. (Of course when you put the prosthesis on top of your eye it looks like you have a protruding blue eye, which is both creepy and hysterically funny. If things get a little boring with our guests, we just bring out the spare eye and let the good times roll). Another thing I remember about dad's glass eye is when you are about six years-old it is a great trump card against anything considered cool. "Oh, your dad is a policeman. That's nice... My dad has A FAKE EYE.". Or if you need something interesting to add when introducing yourself; "My name is Hannah. My favorite color is purple and,,, my dad can take his eye out". I don't know how many times I caused my father to be swarmed by a herd of elementary school children begging him to take his eye out. He never would oblige the kids (bummer). When I was six years-old  I felt that he missed out on a lot of opportunities to shock and awe. I have told him he could work in a haunted house tour on the side. He would just need to take out his eye, add some ketchup for blood, scream, "MY EYE! MY EYE!" and freak people out. You know, for supplemental income.
If I were ever to write a story, I would make the hero wear an eye patch. Why should all the bad guys get all the glory of monocular swag? Here is my real life eye patch wearing hero:

Happy Birthday, Daddy! Love you,
Happy Father's Day!

God bless
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Friday, May 23, 2014

high 5 Friday, 5/22/2014

Hello dearies! How was your week? It is starting to feel like summer in your neck of the woods? Have you been rockin' shorts & a pair of cheap sunglasses? (Insert ZZ Top song here).  Maybe you have this Monday off for Memorial Day, therefore having a long weekend, & have plans for a mini vaca?  
If you are curious about what I did this past week, here is a list of my favorite things that happened in my life.

1) A Jo-Ann's Fabric & Craft Store opened in my town! About 7 minutes from my house! You have no idea how happy this made me. Until last Friday, we did not have a craft store in my town.  The closest craft store was about a 30 minutes drive on a ridiculously congested highway. Yuck! Now I have a store at my back door! I am so excited :)

2) Mulberries are blooming. This my not mean much to you but this is a sign in my household that a super delicious treat is on it's way.  
You see my dad is a one who loves to experiment. He experiments in many ways including when it comes to food. Many people I know make home-made ice cream in the summer months. Most make, or start out making vanilla ice cream. Why not? It is a very reasonable starting point, especially for a beginner. But not my dad. No ma'am. He decided to use the mulberries that started blooming in our yard. None of us had ever heard of mulberry ice cream, but my dad wanted to give it a shot. This is some of the most delicious ice cream I have ever tasted!

3) I am really loving the Spotify app. I heard about it a couple of weeks ago & have been listening to all kinds of music lately while getting ready, cleaning, baking, etc.

4) I am happy that I am on the cusp of finishing a crochet project. :-D

5) I am enjoying the iced coffee season. I have had a couple chilled coffee drinks this week <3

I hope you have a great weekend!

Check out the link party 
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God bless!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tunisian Tuesday

I think I am coming to the end of my first Tunisian crochet project. It has been fun learning a new technique in crochet. This will be a throw pillow, a small one, but it will be MY pillow :)
I just have a few rows to finish, stuff it & sew the edges together, & it will be done!
Have a wonderful day!
God bless!
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Friday, May 16, 2014

high 5 Friday

Happy Friday Everyone! How was your week? I hope it was great. How was mine? Pretty nice..

1) Mother's Day. It is always nice that we take time to remember & be thankful for our moms! I love my Momma dearly.

2) Baking cookies is one of my favorite hobbies. I love it! I love trying new recipes & techniques. It is hard to beat a fresh, made-from-scratch cookie. Recently I discovered a new technique for baking cookies. Oh joy! So excited! I will post more about this in the future ;)

3) Earlier this week one of my "adopted" brothers (who is a member of our music band) return home for the summer from college. He spent a few hours at the house laughin' & jammin' with the fam :)

4) Referring back to Mother's Day; we had a Sunday dinner with the family in honor of our moms. It is wonderful when you can enjoy good food & good times with loved ones. (We are Baptist; We love to eat).

5) I love the warmer evenings. It is so relaxing when you can spend time out on your porch taking in creation.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Try the link party :)
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God bless!
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

hummingbird cake

Dad trying to sneak a taste :)
This is the cake that both my mom & dad requested for their birthdays this year. Even though this cake contains fruit, do not think that it is like a traditional fruit cake you have at Christmas time. This is a super moist dessert to have with a good cup of coffee. My mom discovered this recipe a couple of years ago. I use the original Southern Living recipe {here}. Southern Living first printed this recipe in 1978, & it has become one of their most popular cake recipes.
The Hummingbird cake has bananas, pineapple, pecans, & cinnamon topped with cream cheese icing. Yummm :)
God bless!
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Friday, May 9, 2014

high 5 Friday

Hello dearies! Happy Friday to you all! I hate that I have been slacking on my blogging. I want to write more than just once a week. I will try to do better.
I hope you have all had a wonderful week. I know I did. Here in North Carolina, the temperatures have been pushing 90°F. Summer is coming. Surprise! I don't like being out in when it is super hot, but I have been enjoying taking the dogs for walks in the morning before it gets hot. The temperatures have been ideal for me in the mornings.
Are you ready for Mother's Day? Don't forget it is coming up this Sunday. Remember to do something special for that special lady that you are blessed enough to call "Mom" (or whatever you call her).

Week in review

1) My grandmother (a.k.a Nina) turned 80 years-old this past Monday. We celebrated her birthday by having a family & friends over for a semi-outdoor lunch. The weather was beautiful & there was a lot of love shown to my grandmother. I am glad she had such a nice time.

2) I have really enjoyed my Julep Maven subscription. I have been going through a nail polish crave in the last few months, & Julep has been helping get my fix. I am really loving this beautiful blue polish I received in this month's box, called Jeanne. It is a happy, summery, robin's egg blue. So fun.
If you are interested in subscribing to Julep Maven, click here.

3) We have had a nice taste of summer before it gets too hot. Perfect time to rock the shades.

4) I finished shopping for my Mom's Mother's Day gift, yeah!

5) I am glad that I have a plan for what I will fix for Mother's Day lunch. I found a similar recipe on-line: Chicken Eugene from allrecipes. I think this is a predominantly "Southern" dish. I have only tried it with the dried corn beef, chicken breast & cream of mushroom soup. I have never used beacon & sour cream in this dish, but I am sure it is delicious. It is simple to prep & I can put it in the oven before I leave for church & it will be done be the time we are back home. It is a wonderful recipe for inexperienced cooks. I serve the chicken over rice & with steamed broccoli.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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Have a wonderful weekend! 
God bless!
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Friday, May 2, 2014

high 5 Friday

Happy Friday People! I hope you are enjoying the beginning of May 2014. Let's review my top five highlights of the past week, shall we?

1) I was able to have a little jam session with one of the bros this Sunday afternoon, after church. It is always nice to make music! I played my ukulele & he played his guitar. I need to post a video of his playing. My brother is an uber talented guitarist!

2) From Monday, until Thursday morning our area was on high alert for a severe thunderstorm. This storm had done some horrible damage, even costing some lives in other parts of the country. The weather experts were predicting that we would have sever thunder storms, hail & tornadoes. We were all on the lookout and preparing. I mowed my grandmother's like a wild woman I went so fast. My dad prepared the lawn for rain. All my area saw was a light shower Wednesday night.
So I am thankful we were spared a terrible storm.

3) My mom had a successful cataract surgery last week, and received a good bill of visual health from my boss, an optometrist, Yesterday at her post-op. Hurray for good vision!

4) I finished watching the first season of the British reality show An Idiot Abroad. This is a travel show that follows someone, Karl Pilkington, who never travels & captures his reactions & utter confusion to the new cultures he experiences. I watched most of the episodes by myself & would laugh out loud. I love Karl. He makes the funniest observations. Being a Southerner, I feel that Karl is the British equivalent of what is know around here as a "good ol' boy". I also watch the show just to hear Ricky Gervais' awesome laugh.

5) I have been looking forward to celebrating my grandmother's 80th birthday this weekend. I am hoping for a nice time with friends & family!

How was your week? Any fun weekend plans?
Check out some more high fives from the past week on Lauren Elizabeth's blog!
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God bless,
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