Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend fun!

Hey y'all,
I thought I would fill you in on my fun-filled weekend in Gatlinburg. One of my best-good friends (name that movie) and I went on a weekend getaway to the Winterfest conference held at the Convention Center. It is mainly for teens, but anyone can attend and the worship is always awesome! Oh and we dragged her Mom along with us...

The picture below was taken before I left as I was packing my suitcase... Maggie wanted to go really bad. Some friends, Sarah and Luke, were so nice to keep her for me. Thanks Luke and Sarah! Maggie had a blast.

Here is the nice welcome sign. The theme of the weekend was all about The Veil. We talked about how we are sometimes blinded to seeing the Truth that God wants us to see. We are blinded by veils, and these veils can be many different things. It can be any sin that keeps us separate from God. They had many guest speakers. The main guy was Jeff Walling. He did a great job in making these points.

Cara and I on our first night of Winterfest, we are so excited!!

There were over 6500 people on hand to join in a wonderful worship weekend! Most people brought big huge youth groups, so in order to keep everyone together, they made big signs on tall posts to make sure all the kids could find their groups. All of the signs were cute, and I wish I would have been able to get some close-up pictures. One creative group had a big tree branch that they carried around like a Christmas tree.

Cara and I pause for a photo-op while waiting to go into the Convention Center.

Cara and her mom, Stephanie... I hope we didn't wear her out!

Here is a view of the set-up inside. We had great seats!

Gatlinburg is not short on supply of beautiful views. This was our view at The Peddler, where we ate supper on Friday night. This is a really nice old restaurant which is known for its' salad bar and steaks. I have never seen so many toppings for a salad in my life. The "steak peddler" comes to your table with a two big slabs of beef. Our peddler had a huge cut of ribeyes and NY strips, and he cut our steaks to our specifications. You can also order off the menu... Try call-ahead seating at 4pm, in order to get creek side seats as seen below...

We also went to a restaurant called Park Grill Steakhouse. They are owned by the same people who own The Peddler, so they also had the awesome salad bar. The restaurant looks like a huge lodge on the outside and the inside is no different... high ceilings, "lodge" type decorations, beautiful hardwoods and great food! I got the pecan crusted chicken with garlic mashed potatoes, and it was pretty good. However, the dessert was so awesome. Pictured below, you have a brownie on bottom, then a layer of vanilla ice cream, and another brownie, all topped with chocolate sauce and caramel. They even put a cute bear-print on top of the dessert with cocoa powder!

So in case you can't tell, we had a great time!! I didn't get a whole lot of sleep, but it was so worth it! It was absolutely beautiful every day with sunshine and bright blue skies. The temperature was very warm on Saturday and Sunday!!
Now, its back to the real world, and today is really special too. I start school tonight to begin work on getting my RN degree! One of my BFFs sent me some pretty flowers to celebrate going back to school. The card says, "Good luck on your first day of school. Kick butt and take names!" I just love her, we went through nursing school together about 5 years ago, so she knows how difficult it can be! Here is a picture of the flowers... aren't they beautiful!
So, I did a long post, because I am not really sure how often I will be able to blog with all this school going on. I will try to keep up when I can, but I am not making any promises!! I should be done with school in about a year! Woo-Hoo!
Prayers are greatly appreciated!! Until next time, be blessed! S :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Metamorphosis

It's time for Metamorphosis Monday... Valentine's edition. A few weeks back I posted a scrumptious cookie recipe for Foodie Friday, involving both peanut butter and chocolate. They were so easy and yummy I thought I would spruce them up a bit for Valentine's day.


All it took was a little shaping and they were transformed into cute hearts.

I was in the baking mood to celebrate today, so I baked these up this morning before going to bed. I thought my co-workers would like a little treat, so I used some treat bags that I found at Wal-Mart and added in some cookies...

All dressed up and ready to go!
So there you have it, short and sweet. Click on over to Between Naps on the Porch and see all the lovely transformations. Thanks again Susan for sponsoring this fun Monday tradition!! Here's the link:

Happy Monday! Until next time, be blessed! S :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

*February 12, 2010*

Good morning to all,
It is a chilly 11 degrees here this morning!! I hope everyone is staying warm with this big snowy mess coming through the South. I know one thing, I am tired of snow! I made the mistake of whining about the fact that I haven't seen a good snow since moving up here! Well, did I ever get what I asked for!!

Last weekend, I was in LA visiting my Dad and step-mom. The weather was sunny and warm for the most part. Then on Monday, I fly back to Tennessee and what is waiting on me... snow! 4 inches of snow fell that night! So needless to say, y'all can have the snow... my cup runneth over! :)
Here is a picture from my fast weekend trip to California

We drove out to Palm Springs on Sunday and enjoyed the 68 degree weather! How nice!!

Okay, enough whining and pouting, moving on to Foodie Friday!! Since it's Valentine weekend, I thought I would post a chocolate recipe that I just found. I haven't even made this one yet, but you better believe I will be making it soon!!
Fudge Brownie Pie with Caramel Sauce (from Betty Crocker)

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened per box directions

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cups AP flour

3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

1 cup chopped pecans

1 (14 oz) bag caramels, unwrapped

2/3 cup half-and-half

Heat oven to 350. Place pie crust in 9 inch glass pie plate as directed on box. In 2-qt saucepan, melt butter over low heat; remove from heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and eggs until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, and salt until smooth. Stir in chocolate chunks and pecans. Spread evenly in pie crust. Bake 45-50 minutes or until set. Cool 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in 2-qt saucepan, heat caramels and half-and-half over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Serve hot caramel sauce over each serving.

Be sure to stop by Designs by Gollum to see all the other yummy recipes! I am sure she is already overflowing with Valentine's Day recipes! Here's the link:

*Another sweet treat, my nephew was born at 1:53 this morning. He was 7lbs 4 oz and 20 1/2 inches long! Welcome Caanon!! I can't wait to meet you!!*

Happy Valentine's Day! Be sure and be thankful for your Valentine.

Until next time, be blessed! S :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More than Peanut Butter Cookies

Well, it is time for Foodie Friday again! I found the most awesome recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies at Betty Crocker! I just had to try them!!
Here's the recipe for these cookies:
1 pouch Betty Crocker peanut butter mix
1 T. water
3 T. oil
1 egg
1 c. Reese's pieces
24, individual bite-size Reese's peanut butter cup
Preheat oven to 375 and pour peanut butter mix into mixing bowl. Add in 1 T. water.
Next, comes 3 Tbsp oil.
Finally, add the egg.
Stir all ingredients until fully incorporated.
Stir in 1 cup of Reese's pieces.
The best thing about baking with candy is the samples you can take!
I use a scoop to drop even spoonfuls onto nongreased cookie sheets.
Ready to bake! Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
While the first batch of cookies are baking, open all 24 Reese' cups.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, place 1 cup into each cookie.
Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet, and then, move them over to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Put them in a pretty dish for display, but just know, they won't be there for long.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
I am linking up to our gracious Foodie Friday host, so don't forget to stop by Designs by Gollum to see all the other yummy recipes. Here's the link:

I hope everyone has a good weekend! I have a good one planned, and I should be able to tell you all about it Tuesday.
Until next time, be blessed! S :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow Day!!

SNOW! And my first Met Monday!
We had A LOT of snow here in Tennessee! I took a few pictures yesterday, and I thought I would post some of them today! (I am typing and talking on the phone with one of my BFFs Michelle, so I hope all of this makes sense!)
Here is Ms. Maggie, walking around in the cold stuff! She was trying to stand on three legs so that she didn't have to put all four feet in the snow!
Here she is, showing off her new jacket!!

Shown here, matching in her pink and brown sweater, with her fluffy pink jacket. She is the Queen of Fashion!

And in this picture, she has had enough of her Mom taking pictures and is ready to go inside to warm up with some doggie treats!

Here is one last shot looking across my driveway to my side yard! So pretty!

I hope you enjoyed these pictures of my snow day! I am linking up with Metamorphosis Monday since my yard was transformed into a winter wonderland!!
So head on over to Between Naps on the Porch and check out all the wonderful projects!! Here's the link...

Until next time, be blessed!! S :)