Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 9

It's Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Today's topic is:

Favorite Holiday Recipe

YES! I'm loving this topic & I knew exactly what recipe I want to share with all of you: Egg Casserole! My mom makes it every year and we eat it after we open our gifts. It's one of those special occasion dishes that we don't eat too often, so it's such a treat when we do have it. Here's the recipe:

Egg Casserole

1 lb. pork sausage
9 eggs (beaten until fluffy)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 slices white bread in 1/4" cubes
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Cook sausage and drain. Blend milk, cheese, eggs, bread, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Fold in sausage. Pour into 9x13 baking dish. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of it, but you'll have to trust me - it's good!This recipe is SO easy to make, and it tastes SO good. I always look forward to it on Christmas morning :)

Thanksgiving Break

I know I've been blogging almost every day for the 12 Days of Christmas blog challenge, but I thought I would do a post over all of Thanksgiving break!

I had school on Wednesday, but on Wednesday night I went out with some of my friends, and we saw Harry Potter again! It was fun because I went with some newer friends as well :)

On Thanksgiving I went to my aunt's house for brunch. For dinner, I went to my grandma's house. The food was great, and I ate way more than I needed to, but what would Thanksgiving be like if we didn't?

Black Friday!
I woke up at 4:30 to go out shopping. It was SO much fun! It was also a very successful shopping day.

I got this jacket in pink on sale for $30:

My best find was this $90 diamond necklace, that I ended up getting for $28!

In the afternoon, we set up our Christmas decorations :)

Friday night I went out shopping (again) with my friend & one of her friends. I ended up having a really good time with them, and they came back to my house for a little while afterwards as well.

I didn't do a whole lot on Saturday as compared to Friday. But we did get our Christmas tree set up and decorated.


Chili Peppers:

Finished and decorated:

On Saturday night I went to a surprise 16th birthday party. I was a little hesitant about going because I didn't know a lot of the people who were going to be there, but I was glad that I went because it ended up being a really fun time.

{photos thanks to my friend's Facebook!}

I went out to the mall with my mom to get some Christmas ideas for my dad, which turned out to be a little unsuccessful, but we did get a present ordered for him today!

Then I went driving for a little while, came home, and watched Christmas Vacation with a mug of hot chocolate ;)

My mom & I watched my little cousins Maddie and Sydney. We had a lot of fun with them. We did some Christmas crafts, watched The Polar Express and Rudolph, and played outside!

"I've got a mystery to solve!"

I had a pretty slow day today, but it was nice! I got to see Maddie and Sydney again! I also went to lunch at Chick-fil-a with my Mom. After lunch we came home and turned on some Christmas movies and got some presents wrapped and put under the tree.

I'm really not looking forward to facing reality (a.k.a. my alarm clock) tomorrow morning!

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 8

Once again, I decided to skip yesterday's blog challenge because I don't have any good DIY's to share! But I thought I would be back with today's topic!

Day 8: Least Favorite Thing About the Holidays

I think this one is an easy topic for me to answer. The holidays don't last long enough! I would LOVE to be able to celebrate them for at least a little bit longer!

Another thing I hate about the holidays, which kind of goes along with the fact that we don't celebrate them for very long - Christmas always goes too fast!

Christmas is one of those days that I look forward to for so long, and before I know it - it's gone! I HATE taking down all of our decorations and putting the Christmas ornaments back into storage.

I always dread when Christmas is over. It's like I enter a post-Christmas depression because I hate the long, dreary months of January and February. I would be totally happy with just skipping from the end of December to the beginning of May!

I'm interested to see what everyone else hates about the holidays!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 6

Today's 12 Days of Christmas blog challenge is all about gift ideas....for me! YIKES. I've had a rough time coming up with things that I actually want for Christmas this year. I think I am going to be very surprised this Christmas considering I really didn't have a lot on my Christmas list. But here are a few things that I did have......

1. New Boots
I've been wanting a pair of gray sweater boots for awhile, and I actually know that I am getting some for Christmas since I was there when my mom bought them.... ;)

(They are similar to these, but not exactly the same)

2. Fancy Perfume

I am obsessed with the smell of this perfume! I've never really had a bottle of real perfume. I've always gone for the body sprays - but I love this scent!

And, that's about it. Those are really the only specific things I want this year. I can't wait to read everyone's lists!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 5

I skipped yesterday's 12 Days of Christmas, but I am back today with my Favorite Holiday Movie.

1. Christmas Vacation
This is by far my favorite Christmas movie EVER. I laugh so much every time I see it!

2. Elf
I LOVE Elf too. Again, I just think it is super funny.

3. The Grinch
This movie is just such a classic, and I love watching it every year.

4. The Santa Claus Movies
I also love the Santa Claus movies with Tim Allen. I think all 3 of them are super cute movies :)

I think that's about all of my favorite holiday movies!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blog Makeover

First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!

I decided to skip today's 12 Days of Christmas because I really didn't have a whole lot of good tips, but you can check out tips/tricks to budget friendly Christmas here. I will be back tomorrow with the Favorite Holiday Movies!

And last but not least, did you notice that my blog got a little Christmas makeover? I used Aqua Poppy Designs for the background. They have some really cute FREE holiday backgrounds.

And I actually made my header myself. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

Today's 12 Days of Christmas topic is about the most meaningful/best gift you've ever received.

I had to think about this one a little bit, but I've finally narrowed it down to my 2favorite gifts I've ever received.

1. My First American Girl Doll
When I was in kindergarten, I got my first American Girl Doll, Samantha. I used to LOVE American Girl Dolls, and I can still remember getting my first one! All of my cousins had American Girl Dolls too, so I thought it was cool when I got Samantha.

I used to always get American Girl Dolls for Christmas, and I currently have 7 of them. The ones I have are Samantha, Lindsey, Kailey, Kit, Kaya, Marisol, and Jess. I've gotten all of these dolls from Santa. When I got Kit, I actually got a gift card to the American Girl Store, and when I went to Chicago I got to pick my doll out.

Was anyone else totally into American Girl Dolls like I was??

2. Trip to Disney World
I think I was in 2nd grade when I got a trip to Disney World as my Christmas gift!

My mom wrapped up a box with a letter saying we were going to Disney the following summer. I will always remember that because I was so surprised!

I'm loving this blog challenge so far. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving tomorrow :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 2

I'm really excited about today's topic: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks.

I LOVE Black Friday, and I don't mind the lines, crowds, and waiting. I hate waiting for anything, unless it's Black Friday - ha!

But anyway, I thought I would post some of the things we do on Black Friday that have seemed to work out for us in the past.

1. Look through the ads
Does anyone else totally look forward to the Thanksgiving day newspaper just for the ads? I think they are so fun to look through. We always look through them and see if there is anything we really want.

2. Figure out a Plan
Figure out what stores you want to go to at what time. I think everything goes so much smoother on Black Friday when we have an "agenda" that we kind of stick to.

3. Bring the ads with you
I know that they have the ads in the stores, but I think it is so much easier to bring them along. That way you can remember exactly what you're looking for.

4. This is my favorite part: Just have Fun!
Like I said in my last post, I love finding that perfect gift for someone (especially if you can get it on sale!). Last year my dad and I went to Dunkin Donuts while we were out shopping. I thought that was fun and yummy, and I think we are going to do that again.

And I was looking around at some Black Friday tips online, and I found a really funny one. It said "Avoid drinking too much coffee or soda, so that you can make it through the lines, without needing a bathroom break." HAHAHAHA I just thought that sounded so funny. I guess some people really plan ahead for Black Friday - ha!

I can't wait to see everyone else's Black Friday/general shopping tips. You can head back over here to check them out!

12 Days of Christmas: Day 1

I stumbled upon a blog today that is hosting a blog challenge, and it's on Christmas! Once I read the topics, I knew that I wanted to participate, so I will participating in the 12 Days of Christmas for the next 2 weeks.

The first topic is Christmas/Holiday traditions:

1. Christmas Tree
We always decorate our Christmas tree with tons of ornaments. We get a real tree every other year, and this year is our year to use our fake tree (which I don't like as much), but I'm sure we'll have it up pretty soon!

2. Christmas Cookies
My mom's side of the family gets together in December and we bake a ton of Christmas cookies. I LOVE this tradition because it is always so much fun and the cookies are always so yummy.

Here is a picture of us baking cookies a few years ago:

3. Festival of Lights
At our zoo, they have a spectacular lights display that we go to every year. It is so cool because everyone where you look, there are lights. They sell hot chocolate and fun little treats. I can't wait to go this year!

4. Christmas Shopping
I know that basically everyone does Christmas shopping, but I think it is SO much fun. I love finding a gift that I know someone will absolutely love. I also love seeing people's reactions when they open your present!

5. A Christmas Carol
Every other year we go and see A Christmas Carol, and we are seeing it this year! No matter how many times I see this play I still love it!

I think that's about all I can think of for my Christmas traditions. I'll be back tomorrow for the 2nd day of the blog challenge!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Power of Prayer & the Weekend

So, I haven't been able to blog in a few days, and I have a lot of things to catch up on. First, I want to talk about a great experience at my school last Friday, and then I would like to blog a little bit about the weekend!

On Friday, my school had our Thanksgiving prayer service. Going into it, I didn't expect it to be so meaningful!

We had Eucharistic Adoration, which I have never been a part of before. We started off be hearing a testimony from a young man who had made a lot of bad decisions throughout his life. Then he spoke about how the power of the Eucharist changed him, and how he turned his life around. It was an awesome testimony that really set the stage for adoration.

The adoration was fairly simple - the Eucharist was displayed in the monstrance, which was placed on the altar. That was basically it - there were no readings, the priest didn't talk. The only thing was that there was music. And the music was just beautiful.

They started off with O Come Let Us Adore Him.

Then we moved on to Come to the Water, which was a song that I had never heard before, but I thought it was great!

Then we sang Our God is Greater, which I instantly fell in love with.

The whole thing was pretty simple, yet it was beautiful and powerful. At one point, almost everyone was kneeling on the ground, and everyone seemed so touched.

Afterwards, they took the monstrance and put it in the chapel, and during our religion classes, we were able to go into the chapel and pray, if we wanted. It was totally optional, but when I went into the chapel, I thought it was cool how many people were there. How many people choose to be there. At one point, the chapel was almost full, but yet, no one said a word. Which, is very rare for a group of teenage girls! So, I thought that was really cool.

I just wish we had something like this more often, because it was SO touching :)

And now, I am going to shift gears completely and blog about my weekend!

On Friday night I went with my friend Abby to a benefit concert. It was alright, but we felt really out of place because everyone was dressed up and we didn't know anyone! But we got Starbucks afterwards, so it made it all worth it.... ;)

On Saturday I had to work the HSPT (high school placement test) for the 8th grade girls. It was alright, but getting one of the great cookies made it all worth it. (Do you see a theme with me and food - ha!)

And, guess what I did on Saturday night??? I went to see Harry Potter! I got a group of my friends to go, and we ate and shopped a little before we saw the movie. It was SO good, but it was the first Harry Potter movie I've cried during.

Is it just me, or is Dobby just the cutest thing ever?

Today has been a pretty average day. I've been working on homework a lot. But I also got out driving for about an hour, and then my mom and I walked around this outdoor shopping center for a little bit this afternoon.

I'm so happy I have a short week this week - I only have 3 days of school. I hope everyone has a great week & Thanksgiving :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I haven't participated in YOU:create in a long time, but I thought I would link up today! I don't have a whole lot to show today, but I do have a scrapbook page that I recently made.

"There are two ways to look at life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is." - Albert Einstein

(and yes, I did include a quote from one of the Friday giveaways. I LOVE those quotes!)

My family recently went and got our Christmas card pictures taken, and I am loving them this year! You can see all the rest of them here.

Hop on over to Gitzen Girl's blog and check out the other YOU:create participants this week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

100th Post

This is my 100th post! WOW! I can't believe I've already reached 100 posts. So, in honor of my 100th post, I thought I would post 100 facts about myself. I doubt anyone will want to read it all, but it should be fun to write ;)

1. My name is Allison (if you couldn't tell - ha!).

2. I am an only child.

3. I have a dog named Coco.

4. She is a Shih-Tzu, and she is spoiled rotten.

5. She is allergic to everything, including grass, dust, trees, weeds, and mold.

6. We have to give her shots once a week to help her with her allergies.

7. She does this crazy scratching where she yelps. It sounds like someone is seriously hurting her.

8. I am in high school right now.

9. Everyone in my school has Tablet PC laptops, and I think they are the greatest things ever.

10. I can't imagine high school without them.

11. I've known my current friends for a really long time.

12. I love to listen to music.

13. I LOVE going to concerts.

14. My favorite concert I've been to was Nick Jonas and the Administration in Chicago.

15. So far this year, I've been to 5 concerts.

16. I am going to the Allstar Weekend concert in December, and I'm really excited.

17. I also love Cher, and I would LOVE to go to her Vegas show, but it's really far away :/

18. My parents keep telling me that they are going to take me to Vegas for my 21st birthday, and I hope that actually happens.

19. I love Twitter.

20. I update Twitter a lot, but I hardly ever update Facebook.

21. I've tweeted 2,000 times since January 1, 2010. I tweet a lot ;)

22. I love Christmas.

23. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is baking cookies.

24. My birthday is on May 3, and I love having a spring birthday.

25. I love to read blogs, and I probably read way too many.......

26. My favorite candy is Milky Way Midnight.

27. My favorite movie of all time is Legally Blonde.

28. My favorite Broadway show is Wicked.

29. I saw Wicked in Chicago, and the theater I saw it in was beautiful.

30. I have the entire Wicked album on my iPod.

31. If I had to move away and live somewhere else, I would want to live in Chicago.

32. I am a girly-girl.

33. I own WAY too many purses.

34. I consider it an inherited disorder because my grandma was the exact same way ;)

35. My favorite food is chocolate.

36. I especially love Ghirardelli milk chocolate caramels.

37. Last year during Lent, I gave up chocolate. I was proud of myself that I only cracked once, but I don't think I am going to give it up again this year :)

38. I love going on vacation.

39. My family loves to plan our vacations in advance. For example, we have vacation ideas for the next 2 summers already.

40. I want to visit all 50 states before I die.

41. The farthest place I've traveled to was California.

42. I would love to go to Paris.

43. One of the things on my bucket list is to zip-line through a jungle. I think that would be so cool.

44. My favorite accessories are scarves.

45. My favorite number is 3.

46. My favorite TV show is Grey's Anatomy, and I've watched it for years.

47. I like math, and I've always been pretty good at it.

48. One of my favorite bible verse is:
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

49. I also love the verse:
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you.
(Jeremiah 29:11-14)

50. I have always loved the song Peace by Christa Black. It is one of my favorites.

51. I love to shop.

52. I especially love to shop on Black Friday.

53. Black Friday is my favorite shopping day of the year.

54. I love looking through all of the store ads on Thanksgiving.

55. I have 2 scars on my knee.

56. The one I've had for as long as I can remember.

57. The other one I got from falling over the summer a few years ago.

58. I once stepped on a straightner and burned my foot.

59. I have brown hair and green eyes.

60. I can't stand Coke or any type of pop.

61. I used to not like pizza when I was little, and I have no idea why.

62. My favorite day of the week is Friday because I have the whole weekend to look forward to.

63. I am obsessed with Rita's Italian Ice. Strawberry gelati is to die for.

64. I also love Yagoot. Frozen yogurt + toppings = super yummy!

65. My favorite color is pink.

66. I'm not athletic. At all.

67. One of my favorite stores is Macys. It helps that my dad works for them too :)

68. I used to love to watch Mighty Joe Young when I was little. I've definitely seen that movie more times than I can remember.

69. I use Paul Mitchell shampoo, and I love it because it makes my hair really soft.

70. I never use conditioner on my hair. I'm not really sure why.

71. I love the quote "Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."

72. My favorite drink at Starbucks is their peppermint hot chocolate. It is SO yummy.

73. I'm right handed.

74. I'm the opposite of a procrastinator. I like to get things done early.

75. I love airplanes. And anything that has to do with airports.

76. My favorite color of nail polish is Strawberry Margarita by OPI.

77. I'm also really into brown nail polish. I especially love this Chocolate Shakespeare color.

78. My ringtone is some random tune that came with my phone. I haven't changed it since I got my phone in June. I just never feel like changing it.

79. The background on my phone is a picture of Nick Jonas that I took in Chicago. I haven't changed it since January. (and yes, I took this picture without zoom)

80. When I was in Chicago for the Nick Jonas concert, it was freezing but my friend & I waited outside to see if we could see him before he went into the venue. We did. And he sang to us while being about 10 feet away. I will always remember that.

81. I sleep the best during thunderstorms.

82. My favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid.

83. I have a fear of bugs and spiders. I cannot kill them or throw them away even if they are dead. :/

84. My hair is naturally ugly. Therefore, I have to straighten it every day.

85. I have never dyed my hair, and I have no desire to because I like my hair color.

86. I used to wear glasses, but my eyes got better so I don't need them anymore!

87. I've never seen the movie Mary Poppins, and a lot of people think that's really strange.

88. I've also never seen all of Aladdin.

89. Last year we had 2 concerts at my school. They were both American Idol people: Kris Allen and Jason Castro.

90. I've always had a dream of running a marathon, but I'm very unathletic and hate to run, so I doubt that will ever happen.

91. I love having my nails painted, and it annoys me when they start to chip.

92. My grandpa is one of the most generous people I know.

93. I clean his condo once a week, and he pays me way to much to do it.

94. This post has taken me a very long time to write.

95. I wish more of my friends had blogs.

96. I like to read.

97. One of the best books I've ever read is called Breaking the Silence. I read it in less than 24 hours - it was so good.

98. I just finished reading The Alchemist. It was really different from a lot of books I've read, but I liked it because it had a lot of deeper meanings and themes in it.

99. My favorite quote from The Alchemist was: "The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

100. YAY! I finally finished all 100 things. I think this is the longest post I've ever written. :)