Sunday, December 25, 2011

Every Day Should Be Christmas

Don't you wish it was Christmas every day? I do. And it's not just because of the presents. It's because everyone's lives calm down for 24 hours and life is more fun than usual. Restaurants and stores are closed, families are together, and people are excited about food and gifts. 

I love the feeling I get when I wake up Christmas morning and know I'll be getting to spend a lot of time with my entire family IN THE SAME ROOM. That doesn't happen often for us. My thankfulness for this day is at its peak. Today was perfect and I'm so glad it's not over yet. I still have a delicious meal of London broil to eat and tomorrow, mom, Webb, and I are going to Richmond. Can't wait.

But of course, since it's Christmas and I'm so excited about all my gifts, I thought I'd share some of my favorites.

1. AE-1 from my brother! He knew I needed a new film camera and he gave me one of his! I can't thank him enough. That was probably my favorite gift.
2. Kindle Fire. This little guy is awesome and I cannot wait to read books on it. That's all I have to say. 
3. My wallet!!! It's so colorful and now I'm organized! Finally!
4. Nice headphones! Dad had some free money to use at the AT&T store for turning in our old iPhones and we got some Altec headphones that are great! Listening to music is even more fun now.
5. My Jawbone wristband. This was also a free gift! Thank you AT&T. This is kind of creepy but this wristband calculates your steps, workouts, how you sleep, etc. It hooks up to your iPhone at the end of the day and then shows you the data. It's really neat!

So, those are my top five gifts. :) And I know Christmas isn't about presents. I think we forget what we really should be celebrating sometimes, but everyone admits that gifts are fun. They bring everyone together and give you a sense of gratefulness for the people who gave them to you. So here I say thank you to five people. First and foremost, Jesus. Second, my mom and dad. Third, my brothers. Thank you.

Now, what did you get for Christmas?! Do share!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Days

Two more days. My mind is blown, especially since it was 50 degrees outside today. That is not winter weather and although it's nice, I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I want it to snow!!!!!!! But because of the nice bipolar weather, I was motivated to take some pictures this past week. :)

This week hasn't been insanely busy but I've had enough to do so I haven't been bored. The week is already flying by and I just want to enjoy this break while it's here. Monday and Tuesday I had school and worked out afterwards, Wednesday I did absolutely nothing, Thursday I cooked with my mom, and today I went ice skating in Charlottesville. 

Today was by far my favorite day of the week, SO FAR. Christmas day might outdo it. We'll see. Haha. But today I woke up to the sun shining and left with three of my best friends to go to Charlottesville for some ice skating. I LOVE ICE SKATING. I'm not very good at it but I would go every day if I could. :) So that's what we did for an hour and a half and then we ate a late lunch at this precious little restaurant called Eppie's. Then when I came home, I was greeted with cookies and the movie Elf. :) It was a good night and I'm ecstatic for tomorrow!

Tomorrow afternoon my older brother will be home, my family will hopefully be going out to dinner, and then my late night of movie-watching begins. You see, I have to stay up late on Christmas Eve because when I don't, I get up really early and have to sit by myself in anticipation for what the day will bring. It's just too hard. So, for the past few years I've just watched movies on my computer for hours and it's always awesome. :) I just adore Christmas. What a wonderful time of year.

 Do you guys have any traditions?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway Winner

Well, first of all, THANK YOU to everyone who entered this contest. I mean, it is free stuff, so I'm not sure why you wouldn't enter but honestly, I thought no one would enter. I was a little scared to do the giveaway at first but I was blown away by all the kind people who entered. And I got some new followers, so welcome, welcome! So glad you're here. :)

But I'm sure everyone just skipped that whole first paragraph to find out the winner anyway so I should probably get to it. :) I used a random generator so I promise this was fair. :) And you could only win if you told me what you loved to get at Starbucks, if you "liked" my Facebook page, and if you followed the blog. SO, with that said, congratulations to.... KARI! 

Hahaha. This is so hilarious because Kari is one of my very best friends and since I used a random generator for the first time, I did a test run the other day that obviously didn't count since it wasn't the twentieth but she won then too! I guess she needs this gift card. :) Soooo, Kari, I'll just give this to you when I see you! As for everyone else, thank you for entering! I will definitely be doing more giveaways in the future. If you're interested in donating something for a giveaway (that you've made, etc.) to be recognized, let me know. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Weekend

One week until CHRISTMAS?! Wait, what? What happened to this year? I definitely can't answer that. I've had my ups and downs this year but I've gotten really good at just remembering the good things so mainly, I only have good things to say. Makes sense, right? Especially now that I'm done with my JMU application, I have time to myself on the weekends -- time to think, time to read, time to write, time to relax, time to cook, time to listen to music, etc. It's basically been awesome. I love weekends simply for the reason of being able to do whatever I want. Sure, I'm procrastinating on my scholarships, but that's okay..... Haha.

This weekend has been a blur but because I only have two days of school this coming week and will then be on break, I'm okay with it passing by. Yesterday I only left the house to go to Sheetz. Usually, I'm the type of person who can't sit at home all day and I always want to go somewhere but laying on my bed with the sunshine pouring through my windows onto my shivering body is a day hard to beat.

Today I woke up fairly late, did the usual to get ready, and have since been on my computer. I've tried not to be on my computer as much lately but today has been an exception. I've been listening to music and watching shows on Netflix all day. And while I'm on the topic of music, everyone needs to go download Hunter Hayes' new album!! I've been listening to it nonstop and it is amazing! His lyrics are so fun and relatable. :) As for Netflix, right now I'm watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. :D And I decided in the middle of an episode that I was craving some iced coffee. Realizing I had bought some VIA a few weeks ago, I went in the kitchen to fix myself a glass, hoping it wouldn't be disgusting. And it wasn't! I was pleasantly surprised! So here continues my day of laziness.

What have you all done this weekend?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway

Hellloooooo everyone!!! I'm super excited about this giveaway. I'm not sure how well it's going to work out but I now have 100 followers on my Facebook page and I promised I'd do this if that happened. SOOOO, it's happenin'.

I love coffee and I love Starbucks so a gift card from there was the first thing that came to mind! All you have to do to enter is 1) become a fan of my Facebook page if you haven't already, 2) start following my blog if you aren't already (there's a "Join this site" button on the bottom of my right sidebar), and 3) comment on this post saying what your favorite thing to get at Starbucks is. A lot of people get confused when it comes to commenting, thinking that you have to have a Blogger account, but you can just enter your name. :D And if you still want to enter but have never been to Starbucks, you can just tell me what your favorite type of milkshake is. :D WOOOO. But you do have to do all three of those things to be eligible.

And here's a picture of the totally awesome gift card you might receive. :) It's $10 for everyone wondering. You have a until December 20th to enter! :) Be sure to check back on this here bloggy a day or so after the 20th to see if you won. If you'd like to leave your email in the comment box so I can get in touch with you easier, please do. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Miscellaneous Ramblings

The title of this post is not my own. I got the idea to do a post like this from Carlotta, so please know I didn't come up with it. I just thought the idea was brilliant since I can never form coherent thoughts and always want to blog random pictures. So with that, I have a few things to share.

As I've mentioned numerous times, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love how everyone comes together and decorates their homes. Every house is so different; homeowners all have their own style and preference. It's so fun to ride around on Christmas Eve and admire the homes that are elegant and simple, the ones that are outrageously colorful, overdone, and totally awesome.

And speaking of decorating, what's done inside the house is just as great. Maybe not as many people see it, but it always means something to each individual family. The Christmas ornaments that are hung all tell a story. New ones are added each year that are strategically placed on the front of the tree, to be seen better. Some ornaments are expensive and very breakable, some are handmade from years ago. I've always thought decorating a tree was an odd tradition but a favorite, nonetheless.

Starbucks is a year-round obsession for me. It's not only something I love only during the winter, but the precious cups do make it more enjoyable, in my humble opinion. I love branding. The sayings on each cardboard, thermal cup make the experience one more exciting.

While I was at the Botanical Gardens in Richmond the other night, I got thirsty and decided to try an Izze drink. I was expecting it to taste like juice and to be absolutely delicious but I was quite wrong. I thought the fizzy drink was a little disgusting, actually. The cute, glass bottles convinced me, but the drink inside disappointed me. :( Haha.

And last but not least, does anyone listen to Michael Buble? You haven't? Well, let me burn you a copy. I am in love with his Christmas album... Oh goodness. I die. Christmas music is the greatest. I agree with those of you who hate to hear it after Christmas, but before, it just gets me so pumped. I love it. :D

Christmas Girl

I'm a Christmas girl. I'm the one who is always listening to Christmas music when it gets close to the holiday, the one who wants to make desserts for myself and as gifts for our neighbors, the one who LOVES shopping for people (and myself), the one who is always trying to plan activities to make Christmas more memorable. 

This year, I was really aware of the fact that I wanted to do some fun stuff! I didn't want to sit at home and watch movies on Netflix all day, even though I absolutely love doing that. Haha. I wanted to go places! So I asked mom if we could ride to Short Pump and walk around the mall for the day, getting awesome gifts for my brothers and other random people. But because she doesn't like shopping, I figured she'd say no when I asked. Annnddd my guess was correct. She didn't want to deal with of all the holiday shoppers. BUT, instead she came up with this great idea for our family to go to downtown Richmond, eat a nice dinner, and then go to the Botanical Gardens! You're probably thinking, "Botanical Gardens? That's about the lamest thing I've ever heard." Yeah, I was thinking something along those lines when she first said we should go, too. But I'm always up for doing something different so that's just what we did. 

We left our tiny little house around eleven yesterday morning and drove to Richmond. When we arrived, looking out the windows was something I couldn't stop myself from doing. I long to live in the city, even more now than ever. Passing under giant, city stoplights, while mesmerized by the shiny buildings, full of windows, we carefully looked for a parking spot where we couldn't get towed. We then walked a few blocks over to where the streets were made of cobblestone and adorable restaurants and stores lined the strip. This brought back great memories of when I was about five because we used to go to Richmond and watch plays before life got complicated. At the time, I wasn't a huge fan of that, but now, I wish I could go every weekend. So after we picked a restaurant to eat at and downed a delicious meal, we drove over to these Botanical Gardens. I was immediately excited when I saw that everything was adorned with lights. I love Christmas lights. Haha. So from there, the night was fantastic and we walked around this amazing place for a couple hours enjoying ourselves. I took a million pictures and I could not narrow down my selection for this post so you'll just have to deal. :) But I hope you enjoy!! It was just stunning! I definitely recommend going!