Monday, December 31, 2012


2013 2

2012 was quite a year. My final year at Syracuse, flying across America for interviews, hosting a Valentine's Day party when Peter visited in February, Spring Break in Puerto Ricograduating collegebuilding a craft roomhosting Syracuse in Chicagogoing to Big Bearembarking on an icecream adventuregetting bracesstarting school at Northwestern, Peter surprising me for my birthday and visiting again for Thanksgiving, celebrating the 12 days of Christmas and documenting all of this in a single album.

I thought 2012 was going to be the year of my life. I was figuring out where I would be for the next six years, taking the summer off for the first time to just enjoy not having to do anything, starting a PhD program. However, as many of you know, I decided to take a leave of absence from school for more reasons than I can count on my two hands. It was the hardest and easiest decision to make. I was feeling every possible emotion (besides regret) and I'm still feeling most of those things. I have no idea what I'll be doing since my initial plans for the next year fell through but I'll figure something out. It's scary not knowing what's going to happen because I'm a planner. I have planned everything with plans and backup plans and backup plans incase my first backup plan fails. For everything. And now I have no plan. No plan for something pretty significant (otherwise known as MY LIFE). But it's funny because I've never wanted a predictable life. So this decision is somewhat liberating and I'm not afraid to explore. And ten years later I can look back and laugh at the worries that I had at 23. 

So, 2013 will be yet another scary and exciting year. But I trust that there is something for me. That I was made to do something. And I'll just have to find that something even if it takes time. Taking a leave was right decision, even if I decide to return to the program. So we will see what happens. Although I'm super worried and trying to plan plan plan, there's not really much I can do in terms of controlling what will happen. So I will hope and dream and explore. And I don't want to have to feel bad about that. For the first time, I get to take some time for myself to really figure out what I want and not necessarily what will work or what seems reasonable. And even though it's scary, I know that God is faithful. I am fully aware that He has blessed the 23 years of my life tremendously and I don't believe that He will stop now. I hope that I will be taken to new places and jobs and be provided with new opportunities. Because sometimes doors close and paths lead to dead ends. And that's okay because you learn a zillion things on the way like I did even during my first quarter at school. So here's to another year full of adventures and exploration and failures and successes.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Christmas Story


So cute. The donkey and glow stick party is the best.

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry christmas


12 days of christmas - one






So I needed an ugly Christmas sweater for our Christmas Eve service performance and there was just not enough time this year to do holiday shopping and errand running. It has been insane. I think I'm really hating how Christmas falls on a Tuesday because that means Christmas Eve is on a Monday which is right after the weekend when it's already busy enough which means you have to try to get everything done the week before but for some reason that was impossible this year. This probably makes absolutely no sense and I might be crazy but for some reason Christmas shopping was terrible this year and I'm blaming it on the fact that December 25th falls on a Tuesday. Anyways, I had no time to buy an ugly Christmas sweater so I just made Joyce's sweater as Christmas-y and ugly as possible with things I had at home. I really wish I had bells to add. It didn't really end up turning out ugly but just kind of awkward and weird and stringy but that's okay I think. And I don't really think this counts as a craft but I don't think anyone is judging.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 days of christmas - two








It's not quite done yet but almost! I just have the second half of the machine quilting left and then the binding. I'm surprised that I ended up liking the colors once it was all pieced because I just grabbed random bolts at the store and had second thoughts at the cutting counter. But it ended up coming together nicely and I'll have a grey polkadot border around the edges soon. It's not as big as a twin size because I tried to lay down on the couch with my first quilt and it was just way too big. It was hanging off the couch and getting so heavy that it was sliding off since there was so much extra fabric. I don't know what the exact dimensions are but I think it's a good size for napping on our living room couch (which we've been doing a lot a lot a lot of lately). Once it's done I'll have better pictures up. Please don't judge my very crooked lines. I'm actually terrible at using the sewing machine and very imprecise when it comes to sewing. Very. Oh and we're quickly discovering that Duke is obsessed with blankets. As you can see.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 days of christmas - three




We cheated and made these with cookie mix and they turned out so good. Since we made them in mini muffin trays, they were a lot more dense than normal cookies so they came out kind of like peanut butter brownies/blondies. I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies but I loved them in brownie form so next time I'll try making them in pans intead of as cookies.

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 days of christmas - four

Cakepops1 copy

Joyce made these amazing snowman cakepops so I wanted to share. I think she saw them on pinterest. They are yellow cake + cream cheese frosting with white candy melts. They turned out so well right!?

My second quilt is almost done and things have been insane around here with Christmas shopping and errands. Our stockings are starting to get full. I think stockings are my favorite part.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 days of christmas - five



PC208226 PC208232


Today Joyce and I just made a bunch of edible things. Chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, cookies and more cookies. These were made with candy melts (instead of real chocolate chips) that we'll use to attempt snowman cake pops soon. I absolutely hate melting chocolate so for me, these are the way to go. More ice cream, cookies and quilts to come.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 days of christmas - six





Crocheted in the dark until my eyes almost fell out. Today was just one of those days. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 days of christmas - seven


Blurb book

So this was for day seven but the actual book won't get here until the first week of January. It's 76 pages of all my favorite photos from graduation. I originally planned on making a scrapbook or minibook with all my graduation pictures but since there are way too many I went with a blurb book. And I wanted it to look nice and clean. It was kind of pricey but I used a coupon and I think it'll be worth it for me to have later on. Once it's here I'll have a real blog post about it!

Monday, December 17, 2012

12 days of christmas - eight (adventures in ice cream // the darkest chocolate ice cream in the world)

Chocolate icecream





recipe #7: the darkest chocolate ice cream in the world

source: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home recipe book

rating: 9/10

modifications: totally messed up the recipe and added the cornstarch at the wrong time with the wrong ingredients

So so so so good. It has fresh brewed coffee and bittersweet chocolate along with cocoa. It wasn't freezing well so I churned it in two batches and froze it for four hours. If I hadn't known that it was suppose to be dark chocolate, I would have guessed that it was either a really rich regular milk chocolate ice cream or somewhere between milk and dark. So maybe next time I'd add more bittersweet chocolate. I also could have added peppermint essential oil for dark chocolate peppermint but I didn't have any so I just left it as is. There's a recipe for homemade marshmallows in her book so next time I think I'll add that. That's #7 in my ice cream adventure and #8 in the countdown until Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12 days of christmas - nine





This is quickly becoming my new favorite project. This was made using the 2013 calendar kit by paislee press (she's one of my favorites too) and it's the second digitial project that I've done using her photoshop templates. I've never been a digitial scrapbooker (nor do I even fully understand the concept of digitial scrapbooking) but I really enjoyed the process using her first kit and I love how her projects turn out. I knew when I saw her 2012 calendars that I would be making one for 2013. I love love love how they came out. I wish there were more months in the year so I could make more but I could only choose 12 of my favorite photos. This is the first one I made (for me to use in 2013) and I've made some revisions for the ones that I'll be sending as gifts. I would include more pictures here but I didn't want to post photos of the ones that I'll be gifting so I included the ones that I'll be replacing for family and friends. Because I don't think people want pictures of me on the beach or my feet next to pumpkins.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 days of christmas - ten







I DID IT. I MADE A QUILT. I have never ever in my life finished a quilt. I always make the top and then I get stuck on the batting and binding part. I made 90% of this quilt back in September and just had the binding to do but then school happened and it sat in a bag for three months. Finally I finished it up and now I just have to wash it to get it to be texture-y. The pattern isn't fantastic because this was actually for a class and they had this pattern set already. Since it was only three sessions, the center is one giant piece of fabric because if the entire quilt top was pieced it would have taken way too long. I'm actually a little scared to use it after I wash it because there's a slight chance that there are some loose pins in there somewhere. Like, actually inside between the layers of fabric. That would be so so so bad. Well it's too late now so just as long as nobody sits on it really fast or jumps onto it, I don't think it'll poke anyone. I hope. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 days of christmas - eleven






I bought this fabric in September knowing that I would use it for something during the holidays. I love it. I have a decent amount of it but it's not the right material for a quilt so I had to make something else. I went with a simple pillow with a hidden zipper and I'll use the leftover to make some pillowcases for my bed because it's super soft and I love heavier weight cases.

This was the third hidden zipper installment I've done and I did a terrible job. It's already falling apart and it's been 30 minutes. I wanted to use a zipper so I could take out the pillow form and reuse it for when the holidays are over. Then, when next Christmas rolls around, I can just replace the case instead of having a bunch of seasonal pillows laying around that aren't doing anything. If I had enough fabric I would just use it as a sheet for my bed because I love it so much. 11 days left!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 days of christmas - twelve


 Walnut heath bars



Today was my last day of the quarter. Finished my exam at 5. I'm free.
Today also happens to be 12 days until Christmas. To celebrate my freedom and to count down to Christmas, I'll be trying to make something every day. I've been eating Almond Roca by the containerful lately so I made some saltine heath bars that I learned how to make in elementary school. Super easy and delicious because they're made of 4 ingredients, one of which is butter. I wish I had the original recipe from my very first cooking class in 2nd or 3rd grade because these didn't turn out how they were suppose to but here's the general recipe I followed. I don't recall baking them in the oven but I did this time around so maybe that's why they were different. Anyways, I can't think straight because I'm running on three hours of sleep. Check back tomorrow for day 11!