7+ Exciting Things To Share

(1) Here in the NC Mountains we got a White CHRISTmas and it was so beautiful! You can find more pictures of our snow covered Winter Wonderland HERE.

(2) I finally got something that I had been dreaming about getting all year long for Christmas this year....I lucked out and received a beautiful Canon EOS Rebel XS 1000D!!! I. Am. Blessed.

{This is the photo that made Top 10}
Click HERE to see all of my 5 entries

(3) I am one of the 10 finalists in the Timeless Wonders Photography Contest that was/is being hosted by Rachel Kei and Miss Raquel. Please click here to visit Raquel's top fave 5 photos......leave a comment on the post about my photo if you wish! Thanks so much Misses Rachel & Raquel for putting on this uber cool themed photography contest! =)

{image via: bestsellerhdtvs.com}

-My GelaSkins Kindle cover-
{image via: amazon.com}

(4) My momma and I both just ordered ourselves Amazon Kindles on Christmas Eve day and they should be here by tomorrow! I am extremely excited to be able to download ALL of the Classics from Amazon as well as Kestrel's Midnight Song by: Jacob R. Parker, once I get myself an Amazon Kindle Gift Card to purchase e-books with. Momma and I picked out super cute GelaSkins covers for our Kindles too....can't wait to get my hands on my Kindle!!!

(5) Interview swaps are in the works.....the first one will probably be posted either this week or within the first week of 2011. I'll give you a hint about the first person I'm interviewing: she is a Daughter of God. *Big Smile*

(6) I finally got my PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG (Neo-Victorian Photography) up and running, so please feel free to stop by and FOLLOW ALONG if you will (because I will be posting the majority of my photos up on my new blog now instead of on my main blog). Also, do you remember when I said I'd be posting pics up on my photography blog that went along with my So In Love With The Holidays post? Well they are up for your viewing pleasure on my blog right now! CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PICS.

(7) With a NEW YEAR rapidly approaching there comes new thoughts, desires, dreams, goals, friends, fears, experiences and things to rejoice over. With all of these new things I feel I should open up the transparent box that I've been sitting in even more, and continue to be transparent me...perhaps with a bit more of a stand. I'd also love to have a new blog design...not sure if I can afford to swing into purchasing a new blog design right now or not, but maybe I'll at least be able to get a new look going for the New Year by gathering a new look for myself. Any thoughts on a new design...name? A new blog name (not the URL though) is in the possible works....the gears of names are grinding heavily in my mind currently. What did you think of the old vintagey pink heart and flower background and header that I had up before the Christmas-y one that was from Robin Blogs?
So blogger love-lies and handsome-lies are there any excitements going on in your life right now....anything you'd love to share with me....because I'd love to hear them! Are there any things that are the exact opposite of excitements in your life right now....anything you want me to pray for you about, or specifically for you? I'd love to be in prayer for you....

My prayer right now is that I would feel like I belong in a Church again. I've been feeling disconnected lately, and well, I've been struggling to let go of some past wrongs that were done to me...there's some forgiveness to be done and worked within in me and my un-forgiving and un-forgetting heart yet. I know that the Lord can do this. He can do ANYTHING! I just want to forgive, not necessarily forget, because past things, strife and wrong turns have made me into the young woman who is typing before your very own eyes right now. I want to spend more time with My King....which in all honesty has been lacking a bit lately. At times, when I am stressed out I seem to avoid myself and Him too. I know this hurts God...it surely hurts me too. My goal in 2011 is that I will grow deeper in Him (in Faith, Love, Hope and His Word) and in His Church.

Sorry to hit you all with my random thoughts at the end of this post. If you really want to be random, and do something extremely fun, do that Music Shuffle Tag. Believe you me, you will be astounded at your answers, and wherever you are typing, whether you be in your room, a comfy chair by the fire, in an internet cafe or sitting at your family computer you will be sure to burst forth with later from the sheer epic amount of random hilarity. (I love you guys/gals for putting up with my random thoughts....and you still comment...totally amazes me at times...)

Much LoVe to YOU,

So In Love With The Holidays...

Merry Belated CHRISTmas Daydearest Blogger lovelies!

 I was trying to get all of this typed out early last night, but our power went out, probably due to all of our White Christmas accumulation, and it didn't come on until early this morning some time while I was asleep. I've been away from my blog for a few days now, but back I am with much to tell.....

This past Wednesday and Thursday I traveled deeper into the heart of the NC Mountains (where I live at) and visited with my bf Jared and both of his sets of grandparents. I had a wonderful time visiting...there's so much to talk about and tell you all! Can you tell I am uberously excited to tell you about my Holiday trip and gallavanting through the Blue Hills and all about my Christmas with my loved ones!? I think I'll just continue on with this post in Dear Diary Format, and then you can head on over to my photography blog to get a looksee at all of my Holiday pictures that I took while away in a Dear Picture Diary, okay? (You can find my photography blog button that will lead you to my other blog on my sidebar. I'll have the photos up within the next day or two.)

{Wednesday-Christmas Eve Eve Eve}
On Wednesday morning I drove deeper into the heart of the mountains to see my guy. (Jay was working delivering water for a little while up in the mountains and was staying with his grandparents while he worked up there during the Holidays.) The drive was there was so beautiful, and really it didn't take me near as long to get there as I thought it would have. It did rain a little bit on my way there, but it wasn't too heavy so I could see pretty okay through my windshield, thank the Lord!

I arrived after a little over an hour after driving through the mountain fog and light rain at the Fisher's Home....just in time for breakfast. Jared's two cousins Kylie and Lacie were though, and they just love me, so I was subject to being led around the house with my hand held in Lacie's for most of the time....she showed me how messy Jared's room was at the Fisher's house too (she tattled on him...hehe).

After talking and hanging out with Mammaw, Pappaw, Kylie and Lacie Jared and I headed out to the mall where we spent most of our day. It was really a nice time out at the mall, and usually I hate shopping or being in crowded places, but really it wasn't too terrible and I quite enjoyed mine and Jay's time together. All in all Jared and I spent around/over 5 hours at the mall. We bought new leather jackets that kind of match each other...hehe...Jay took me out to Sbarro for lunch (I swear they have the best pizza ever!) and then we headed to the B&N where we spent a good deal of time. I purchased a book on photography/how to use my new camera, and I spotted a copy of Dante's Inferno which Jay had been wanting and looking for for a while. Jay and I purchased our books, and then we headed to the Starbucks which was also located in the B&N. Jay grabbed a table and sat down with his book and I went and stood in line and got myself a Mocha Frappe and the both of us an Asiago Cheese Pretzel (if you haven't tried their pretzels you so need to!) 

After our day at the mall, full bellies, books in hand, coffee energy within me, lots and lots of laughter, and new leather jackets Jared and I headed to visit his other set of grandparents. All I have to say about the Bradley's is that they are indeed a precious couple! Pappaw Bradley loves to talk, about everything from brownies, to old western films, to the people in his life, to Oprah and the list goes on and on...he loves old cars and trucks too....he had my interest piqued there lemme tell you. After we left from visiting the Bradley's it started snowing lightly on the way back as Jay drove us back to the Fisher's.....just a glittering of sorts though really. It was still beautiful! After we got back to the Fisher home we talked for a bit about our day out together, showed them our books and then we talked about Dobro's. If you don't know what a Dobro is just type the word in on youtube and have a listen okay? =)

{Thursday-Christmas Eve Eve}
Thursday morning I woke up early and got ready for the unplanned adventures of the day. I knocked on mister sleepy head's door (aka my guys door) in the hopes that he was awake and as eager to get up and start our day together as I was. After Jay woke up and got dressed we ate breakfast with Mammaw and Pappaw Fisher which consisted of fruit with lemon yogurt (so yummy!) and cinnamon rolls with orange glazed icing over them....yumo! After breakfast and more talking I grabbed my hat, gloves and leather jacket and headed out the door with Jay at my side. We drove to the Grove Park Inn, to go see the National Gingerbread House winners for the 2nd year in a row. Last year Mammaw Fisher and Jay's younger brother Seth went with us, but this year it was just Jared and I. Jay and I had a lot of fun getting lost in the maze that is called the Grove Park Inn, and we had a blast looking at all of the creations by those artsy fartsy baker people that took a lot of patience and artistry to say the least to create Gingerbread houses like those. The grand prize winner was a Gingerbread "House" that looked like a set of Nesting Dolls. 

After checking out all of the edible "Houses" Jay and I started to get hungry so we stopped by the ye olde Mickey D's and ate lunch. After lunch Jared and I drove up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and went to the Folk Art Center (a favorite place of mine to visit when up there on the Parkway). We had so much fun driving and listening to, of all bands RED (which is funnier in more ways than one), while we were up on the Parkway.....and then it started to dust with snow again ever so lightly. I think Jay really had a good time looking through all of the different arts and crafts that the Folk Art Center had to offer. I am so glad my guy appreciates things like nature, simplicity, music, art, RED and just being ourselves as much as I do! It's truly a blessing to have found someone to love as great and as special as him! *blushes* =)

After driving up on the Blue Ridge I had the brilliant idea of driving downtown and walking around......it was freezing and the wind had a very bad temper as she bit our flesh over and over again. Walking around town was lovely and so much fun though. Jared and I found a used bookstore, Malaprops which was a bookstore I had heard about a few years back and had always wanted to visit and then we saw three men on the side of the street downtown and guess what.....one of the men was playing a Dobro! We had just talked about Dobro's the night before so it was very cool to hear one in person and to see the trio of musicians play together on the cold biting downtown city streets. We then found an art store, which was timely because Jay needed a new pocket sized sketchbook for his frequent ideas that pop into his head so we went in the store and he purchased what he needed. I am not terribly artsy, like sketching, painting, clay making, things of that nature but I am somewhat artsy and I could definitely appreciate the art store as much as Jay could I think.

................after two full days of bliss I packed up and made my room back at the Fisher's and drove on home.

{Friday- Christmas Eve}
I slept in.....and stayed in my pj's for most of the day. Momma and I (in our pajamas) ordered both of our Amazon Kindles, and we had a blast picking out our leather Kindle covers and our artsy gelskyns for them too. *I am getting a KINDLE!!!* Later on that evening my family and I headed up the hill to my grandparents' house (yes, my grandparents live next door) for Christmas Eve supper. Goodness, was the food and fellowship with family ever so nice, warm and full of laughter. The meal consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, stuffing, green beans and for dessert we had the best pie ever: New York Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake. After we ate both dinner and then later on dessert we exchanged presents and then watched It's A Wonderful Life together......love love love my family and the precious times I have to spend with them while I am still a stay at home daughter.

I woke up around 8 am or so....and then I went into my sisters room to jump on her and her bed to wake her up for the family festivities. My sister Mary and I always open our stockings together first thing in the morning before we go and wake up our parents. So Mo and I opened up our stockings together and laughed and talked and took pics of each other next to the tree. Dad was already up and preparing breakfast so Mary and I went into our parents bedroom to get momma up.......and then I saw it.....out the window......we had a WHITE CHRISTMAS blogger lovelies, oh yes we did! (It's still all white outside too right now still....and it warms my heart to walk in it and glimpse it even though it is frigidly cold and the air nips at me.) 

After breakfast with the family we headed to the piano room to gather around our Christmas tree and exchange gifts. I got daddy a humorous cd, momma a set of 3 novels, and for Mary I got wild prismic eyeshadows and a Lecrae cd. I only had one BIG box for me under the tree and I already knew what it was, but I didn't care because what was inside that box was something I've been drooling and dreaming over for a loooong while now. My loving awesome parents bought me a Canon EOS Rebel XS 1000D, and I am in LOVE! The rest of Christmas day was just spent looking out at the snow...

So how has your Holiday Season been? What lovely moments did you share with the loves in your life?

 I love my SAVIOUR and I love all of you, yes you, my dearest blog readers,

A Winter Season's Greeting

Wishing All Of You Blogger Lovelies A Merry Christmas! 

Much Love To You All, & To All A Good Night,

Happy Birthday My Dearest One

{my lovely momma}

I just wanted to wish my wonderful-amazing-awesome-totally hilarious-beautiful-momma a very happy birthday today! 

Momma you've no idea what you mean to me and to our family. Truly you mean the world to us! It has been so odd being the one to take care of you (after your major surgery this past week) when usually it is you taking care of all of us, but I am honored that I am able to still be living at Home during this time in my life so that I may be of service to our wonderful family...and especially to you.  Thank you so much for all you do...so graciously without any want in return, other than to see your daughters fall in love with Him all the more deeply and be prepared to be great wives and mothers some day in the near future.

I love you dearest momma, with all my heart!

Semi-Homemade Holiday Baking

{Me and my semi-homemade mint chocolate chip cookies}

I finally got around to doing some semi-homemade baking this past Monday evening that I had been wanting, and meaning, to do for a little while now. *digressing only momentarily now* I have a confession to make....baking is not really my thing, although I am capable of baking and not burning down the kitchen (however there was the infamous 'brownie fiasco' a few years back where the brownies almost were lit afire in the oven because of an extra amount of vegetable oil that was added in by me into the brownie batter *sheepish grin*). 

My lovely little sis, Mary, is the resident baker and cake maker (hey that rhymed!), and I myself am more of a regular foodie chef specializing and taking pride in being able to cook all dishes Italiano-style. 

I may not be a bake-from-scratch kinda gal, but I do have my occasional successes in the semi-homemade department. I can however make excellent looking and tasting pound cakes, and chocolate chip cookies from scratch though! So I guess I am not completely hopeless in the realms of bake-dom! Okay, well, enough jibber-jabber! The real reason I am ranting about baking is because I REALLY want to share my easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy Chocolate Turtle recipe with all of you blogger lovelies! So here goes.....with photos to boot!

Chocolate Turtle Recipe with Step-By-Step Instructions

{I actually bought one too many bags of pretzels and pecans...but now I know how the ratio works...you need double the amount of bags of Rolos to every one bag of pretzels and pecans.}

Here's a list of what ingredients you'll need: 
(2) Bags of Rolo's Candy
(1) Bag of Snyder's Square Pretzels
(1) Bag of Fisher's Pecan Halves 
*you can use another type of nuts instead of pecans if you'd prefer*

And Here Is What You'll Need To Do:

*Preheat your oven to 350º*

Step 1- Grab a metal non-stick cookie sheet, or a stone bar pan.

Step 2 - Grab your bag of pretzels, open them up and lay them out on your baking pan of choice salt side up.

Step 3 - Grab your bags of Rolos and get to unwrapping (this is the hardest part...the unwrapping of said golden covered delectable candies.) Then place one Rolo at a time on each pretzel on your baking pan.

Step 4 - Grab your bag of pecans *or another variety of nut* and place them in a wide shallow dish or bowl. You do this step to get the pecans ready to slide down into the melted chocolate Rolo's directly after you pull them out of the oven. 

Step 5 - Place the baking sheet with all of it's finely laid out and precisely centered ingredients into your 350º degree oven. Then put on your timer for 4-5 minutes, and let the Rolo's start to melt and heat through a bit in the oven.  *I'd suggest turning on your oven light and just eye-balling them though, because really they don't take too long to heat through and melt the Rolo's a bit.*

Step 6 - Pull your baking sheet out of the oven as soon as the Rolo's are very soft, but not quit melty. As soon as you pull them out of the oven, place the baking pan on a trivet and quickly begin to press the pecans down directly in the middle of each pretzel/melted Rolo.

*I made a minor boo boo in my baking endeavor, but they still tasted amazing*

 Step 7 - After you are finished placing the pecans onto the pretzels 'n' uber goodness place the baking sheet of turtles in the fridge (or outside because that is how I do it...making sure that there are no stray cats, coons or possums on your back deck of course! lol!) to cool and harden.......and you are finished! Enjoy! =)

If you try these Chocolate Turtles out let me know how you liked them okay? Happy Holiday Baking To You!