Friday, December 31, 2010

3...2...1...

TONIGHT
I really wish I was getting a kiss from this boy at the end of a dramatic countdown.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take Two

Please excuse the following plug.
A while back I started a little bloggie graphic design business.
Not a whole lot happened so I decided it needed a new look and feel.
I have upgraded Shannon Elizabeth Designs to it's own blog.
At my design blog you can view the services I am offering, the pricing and packages, and place an order. In addition a percentage of all profits will be donated to Safe Harbor Inc.- a local non-profit that helps victims of domestic abuse.
I will also post tips, tricks and links to inspiration for design projects and feature all the bloggers that I have designed for!
So if you are looking for a new blog look for the new year or you need some custom graphic design services for a reasonable price be sure to check it out!
As a special "promotion" I am offering a free header or button to a random commenter.
{If you want to enter leave a comment along with a link to your blog and say whether you'd want a header or button. Feel free to leave some love/encouragement even if you don't want to change your look.}

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Daily Deals

I have been introduced to some awesome online deals and some great ways to save a buck-which is something all college students, recent graduates, and... well... everyone is looking to do!
Get deals, discounts and daily emails on weekend getaways, dinner out on the town, and hundreds of things to do around your hometown!
Like living social you get daily emails on deals around your hometown! Share deals with friends for further discounts. You can even get both Groupon and living social on your smart phones and save yourself the trouble of printing out coupons.
Discounts and sales on ALL your favorite stores. Print out the coupon or shop online at places like Amazon, Macy's, Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, Kohls, Target, etc. Get grocery store coupons as well!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I am still stranded in the smokey mountains. But boy, is it beautiful!
(I took these photos on my iphone using the app Hipstamatic. The setting: lens- John S; film- Blanko; flash off)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flashback Friday: Christmas Edition

Tonight we will be doing what we have done every Christmas Eve since forever: Opening one gift, always pajamas, and listening to my dad (or possibly my grandpa) read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. I will eat too many cookies and I will try my darndest to feel those butterflies and the pure joy of knowing that tomorrow is Christmas. Do you remember that blissful-overwhelming-can't fall asleep-will morning ever get here-feeling? I can and it makes me ache!

Rewind to 4 years ago..
The last time I celebrated Christmas in Tennessee was in 2006.
I was just a freshman in college.
My parents and sister still lived in England.
My hair was a lot longer than I remember & my cousins were a lot younger.
It was my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.

Rewind to 17 years ago...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Me Time?

My roommate left yesteraday.
Peter left on Friday.
Sister left on Wednesday.

I officially have a lot of time to myself until I get to leave. Not sure how I feel about that but here's how I'm spending it:

1. Talking to Charter for the zillionth time to figure out why my cable and internet are not working.
2. Meeting with a family I am hoping to start babysitting for in the New Year.
3. Hopefully talking with someone from World Vision about a potential position.
4. Playing solitare and Words With Friends on my phone.
5. Yoga classes! I'm committed to not sitting on the couch all day. Perhaps that is why Charter has decided to fail me.
6. Journaling, starbucks, quiet time. Lots to think about these days...
7. Packing.
8. Christmas shopping... ohh boy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Conflicting Christmas Couture

Last week I went to Peter's fraternity's closed night
and I wore this:

On Saturday I went to his fraternity's "Grinch" party. It's their tacky outgrageous Christmas party.
I wore this:
Yes Peter's sweater has a fur collar and yes my dress is covered in multi-colored ornaments and lights, and yes it belonged to my friend's mom and was most likely a huge hit in the 80's.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wish List

I may have been a little excessive this year, but I by no means expect everything/anything on it, but it's still fun to make a Christmas Wish List!
1. This lovely "Taupe of the Morning" colored coat from Old Navy.
2. Frye boots. My list had a few different styles.
3. A new daybed slip cover and bolster pillows from Pottery Barn.
4. Books and Movies: Pillars of the Earth, The Help, the final season of The Tudors and LOST.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Countdown: 10 days


1. What does it mean to have the holiday spirit?
I think it means that you are filled with the hope of the season and the promise that this time of year brings. I think means that you don't get caught up in the stress of travel plans, or the amount shopping or baking or cleaning you have to do. I try to focus on this...

"Long lay the world, in sin and error pining till he appeared and the soul felt it's worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn! Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices. Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born!"'

2. What sits atop your tree?
An angel. Why, because it's the season.

3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?
Probably when I got a positive response to my resume and cover letter from a potential future employee/contact. It gave me encouragement and hope!

4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?
My sense of smell. I can sniff out butter creams and candy canes from anywhere in the house! I also have to keep myself from sniffing out the presents!

5. What do you have too much of in your kitchen?
Mis-matched Tupperware, and leftovers.

6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big Meal? Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it?
Christmas eve we usually have a huge Thanksgiving-esq feast! Shrimp cocktail, turkey, stuffing and all the fixings. We open the cookie tins and have at it after every meal. Christmas morning we have a yummy breakfast casserole in between stocking gifts and under the tree gifts. Christmas meal is usually honey baked ham and left overs and more cookies!

7. What is the best thing about winter?
Snow days, butter creams, time off from work, and time with the family!!

8. Today is the last day of exams for people who have exams, which means Peter and sister are both leaving me here... ugh! On the bright side there are 10 days till Christmas Eve and then I get some holiday time too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cornbread Muffins with a Twist

Tonight I made chili. I just crave a big bowl of chili on cold days. Nothing better. I also LOVE cornbread with my chili. Here is my recipe for Pimento Cheese Sweet Corn Muffins! They are so moist and yummy and you don't have to like pimento cheese to love these. Really they are just a version of glorified corn bread. Here is the official recipe (but scroll down to the bottom and I'll tell you how I cheat to save time and money).

What you'll need:
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2/3 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 Cup yellow corn meal
1 T baking powder
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup diced pimento
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 Cups of milk
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
3 T butter or margarine melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease or line muffin tin.
Combine ingredients. Mix well. Scoop into muffin cups filling 2/3 full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick cokes out clean.

OR
The cheating method:

You can use a box of cornbread muffin mix like Jiffy brand and then kind of ad lib the rest.
I use 1 egg instead of 2, a little less milk about 2/3 cup, only about 1-2 T of sugar (since there is already sugar in the packaged mix). Same or a little less butter. Add the cup of cheddar cheese and the pimento and then you can entirely leave out the flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt, and vegetable oil. It wont look thick but it's not supposed to. Scoop into muffin tin and bake 18-20 minutes. This recipe makes about 12 muffins, the original recipe makes more.
Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apartment Cheer

* I am reposting my apartment holiday decorations! So if you are visiting from Kelly's Korner or The Nester, welcome! Please feel free stick around and maybe check out my design page- top right of my side bar!

Here's a little story and some pictures about my apartment!

My roommate and I have been putting off turning on the heat in our apartment. Since both of us are pretty much gone most of the day it hasn't really been a problem. However yesterday was sooo cold and last night was brutal. So when I came home from work last night and saw my roommate sitting in the arm chair bundled up in a blanket, hoodie on with hood pulled up over her head, wearing a scarf and gloves. I said, "um.. we can turn the heat on if you want. I think we've put it off long enough."

Our cold apartment however, is looking quite festive, and I am quite pleased!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Restless Reflections

So I am still struggling with blog content and it's annoying. These days I am also struggling with feelings of resltessness-probably why I can't pin down anything interesting to blog about. I am frustrated with my job, with how I spend my time, with the same routine. I am anxious and ready for my life to get going! I feel like I am supposed to be doing so much more than I am right now.

Don't get me wrong I am still so thankful that I have a full time job, in a nice environment, with great people and benefits- it's a job I enjoy. But now...I'm ready for something new and more challenging, I just can't figure out what! I read about these clever people coming up with original wonderful ideas (like this one , shared by a fellow ADPi blogger) and then actually seeing them become a reality. Why can't I think of something like that?

In the mean time, while I patiently (or not so patiently) wait for the Lord's guidance and direction, I am looking for ways to give back and volunteer, basically add a little more substance to my life while helping the community. But if anyone knows about any jobs that combine design, with creative marketing and have a heart for service I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sleigh Bells....


1. Have you ever been on a real sleigh ride?
My family was blessed with a wonderful winter vacation to Austria, where we took a cozy, but cold sleigh ride to this beautiful castle:

2. What's your policy on chain mail?
Well... honestly, I pretty much just delete them all. If I do read one I pretty much never pass it along. Sorry to the people who send them to me.

3. Who is your favorite character in any of the Christmas movies? Why?
Probably my favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas! I love the whole awesome cast but I just LOVE the "Hayne's Sisters." My sister and I used to reenact their duet "Sisters." Plus Judy Haynes (aka Vera Ellen) is such a beautiful dancer!
4. Share a favorite quote.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

5. What is your favorite holiday scent?
I like the combined scents of the season. The warm fire, the dozens of different kinds of cookies we'll bake, and hot cider.

6. Does the Christmas season stress you out? In what way?
In the past the Christmas season has always been a relaxing, peaceful time for me. I realize that those times are probably behind me now that I am done with school and no longer have a luxuriously long stress free vacation. This year is a little different. I have to negotiate time off and that stresses me out.

7. What's the best thing about your life right now?
Wow, mom- this is a broad question! The best thing is that even though it may be stressful and not exactly like the years before, I WILL get to spend the holidays with my family!

8. Ok a friend posted this link on facebook and I shared it with some of my friends because I thought it was sweet, sad. However my friends thought it was totally cheesy! While I can't deny the cheesiness I still think that it's message is good. Love to know what you all think.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Tunes: T-Swift Needs to Breathe

That's right folks, if you couldn't tell from the title, the best concert ever will be coming to a stadium/concert place near you in 2011! Needtobreathe (probably my favorite band) will be joining Taylor Swift on tour! Pause for screams of jubilation and much jumping up and down.....
I like Taylor even more than I already did now that I know she's a Needtobreathe fan! I am going to that concert!

Also, if you haven't already done so, go right now and download Needtobreathe's Christmas song: Go Tell it On the Mountain!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holly Jolly Hodgepodge

Happy December!
I am home from my little Thanksgiving vacay and it was just what I needed. I will take time and go through some of the highlights later but right now I am just going to participate in the hodgepodge. And it's not too late for you to do the same!

1. What is the most interesting thing you've done in the last year?
Graduated from college. Not just the actual graduation ceremony mind you, but the whole being a senior and the culmination of 4 years of work and play. And then making the transition to the real world. It's been interesting to say the least.

2. What is your most meaningful family heirloom?
Well, in honor of the season I'll say that this time of year it's the pickle ornament. We have some very old ornaments that have been passed down and are really old, and the pickle is a favorite. Every year my dad hides the pickle somewhere on the tree (or as we've gotten older, anywhere in the whole house). Then sister and I race to be the one to find it and whoever finds it first gets to put it on the tree and they get a year of good luck. I think this is a German tradition but don't quote me.

3. What food festival would you most like to attend?
Well they all sound yummy. But I have to go with my mom's choice and say the Christmas Champagne Market in France.

4. I LOVE snow!!! It just reminds me of some of my happiest childhood memories. Sleeping with my pj's inside out and backwards, snow dances with the neighbors in the middle of the street. And then the moment of elation when you fling open the shade and see nothing but white. I love seeing my school's name run across the bottom of the news station under school cancellations. When we lived in Maryland we got tons of snow. Highlight of my childhood, and I'm not even kidding, was the Blizzard of 96! Peter was also living in DC at that time as well so we can share fond memories of endless snow days.

5. Can you ski? Do you ski? Are you good?
Yes I can ski. Yes I do ski-with my dad, preferably in Chamonix, France or Seefeld, Austria, but I'm not too picky. Am I good? Yes, sometimes- no tricks or super duper drops though. I have to start slow and build up my confidence, since there's so much time between each ski trip, but once I get going I'm up for most of the slopes and I really enjoy it (although I have been known to throw a temper tantrum on the top of a steep icy slope at the end of a long day-my dad can attest to that.) I also love the ski towns, food and shopping that comes with a ski trip!

6. What quality in your spouse or best friend are you most thankful for?
Sense of humor. And a sense of adventure-willing to try new things!

7.Describe the coziest place in your house.
I don't have many nooks and crannies in my little apartment but I love to snuggle on my couch/bed with a good movie and my honey.

8. So since I ended up not having work on Monday or Tuesday this week I got to change my flight back to South Caroline and stay an extra 2 nights! It was so nice to have little longer with my parents since I don't know what kind of time I'm going to get off at Christmas. ug. Oh! Also, I got to open the first day of my advent calendar and start putting up decorations today! I will definitely post pictures!