On the 1st Day of Christmas…


Greetings all!

Many exciting things are happening and I’m so happy to share them with you. As I sit writing this post, there is 14.5″ of snow outside my window. We are on snow day #3 from school and will have snow day #4 tomorrow. There is just something magical and peaceful about snow at Christmastime, don’t you agree? Since I’m snowed in, I’ve had time to plan and think about where I want to take this blog.

  1. If you haven’t noticed, the blog has been designed! I decided it was time for a change and finally landed on a layout I love. There are still a few more edits to make, but overall, the blog is updated and easier to use.
  2. New additions to the blog include a shop! Yes, I’m linking my Teachers Pay Teachers shop to my site for all the hard-working educators. Also, I’m working on a fun Easy shop that will be debuting soon. These shops are the perfect places to get resources for teachers and gifts for you or a loved one.
  3. For the next 12 days, I’ll be bringing you Christmas fun and joy in my 12 Days of Christmas! On our first day, I give to you —– shortbread bites!

Shortbread Bites: 


1 1/4 c. All-purpose flour
3 tbsp. Powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tbsp. Red and green sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 325º. In a food processor or blender, pulse flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, and butter until combined. Move mixture to a large bowl and knead until combined. Add sprinkles and knead.
  2. On waxed paper, roll dough into a thick square. Freeze for about 15 minutes.
  3. Cut dough into 1/2″ squares and place onto a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake until cookies are golden, 18 to 20 minutes.


Check back tomorrow for day #2.




Give Thanks


I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! Stop and give thanks for your many blessings. Thank you for following along on this journey with me!



The Picture that Shook the World

I was going to share a recipe today, until I saw a picture on social media. One that made posting the recipe impossible until I’d posted about the image. It was an image that stopped you in your tracks, pulled at your heart strings, and left you crying. It was the picture that shook the world.

Omran, a four-year-old Syrian boy

Last Wednesday, after an airstike hit his neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh was photographed in an ambulance. Daqneesh was pulled from the rubble that once was his home. Shock covered his face as blood and dust covered his body. In a video, Daqneesh rubs his eye and wipes his face. Then, he looks at his blood stained hand, before wiping it on the seat. The “boy in the ambulance” picture has been shared by millions throughout the world on social media.

This blog post has taken me a while to write. Yes, the first time I saw the picture was last Thursday, when it hit the airwaves. But, still to this moment, very time I look at it, my heart breaks. All I can think about are the thoughts going through his mind; how scared he must have been and how uncertain things were.

With no words, Omran Daqneesh told the world that we must do better to help our fellow human-beings. It’s more than loving them, we must reach out a helping hand to those in need, those who are hurting, lost, and in need of comfort. Volunteer in your community or with charities throughout the world, open your home and heart to those who need shelter, and feed those who are hungry.

According to an article posted on today.com, several ways to help include:

The UN Refugee Agency: Plans include distributing sleeping bags, thermal blankets, raincoats, socks, clothes and footwear to the most vulnerable refugees. “Harsh weather conditions are likely to exacerbate the suffering of the thousands of refugees and migrants landing in Greece and travelling through the Balkans,” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said.

Save the Children: Supplies food for Syrian kids and supports education in Syrian refugee camps.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders: MSF is operating two rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea that can carry hundreds of people to land.

Unicef: It delivers vaccines, winter clothes and food for children in Syria and neighboring countries.

Operation Refugee Child: Grassroots organization led by American moms who distribute backpacks of supplies to refugee children whose families are fleeing war and terror.”

Sadly, Daqneesh’s older brother passed away from injuries of the airstrike. But for Daqneesh, all we can hope is that he is well and on his way to a better life. A peaceful life that everyone in the world deserves.

Now, every time I pull up my blog, I am reminded of the picture that shook the world. For me, the boy in the ambulance will always be a sign of help and a sign that we must do more for our fellow human-beings.



Source: http://www.today.com/parents/syrian-boy-ambulance-reminds-world-war-s-horror-t102013?cid=sm_fbn



Stay Humble and Kind

Humble and kind. Two words full of meaning and two of the most important things a person can be in this world.

Country superstar Tim McGraw has struck a cord with the world with his new song, “Humble and Kind.” The song tells the story of different events in life, but no matter what, you always need stay humble and kind. In response to the song,  McGraw has created the hashtag #StayHumbleandKind, for people to share their stories of making a difference on social media.

“Humble and Kind” is one of my favorite songs. It is a true testimony to the phrase “don’t get too big for your britches.” Wherever life takes, all of your accomplishments, and success, don’t forget where you started. Don’t forget what it took to get you there and always stay humble and kind.

Let’s keep the momentum going and share your #StayHumbleandKind stories with me! I might even repost a few 🙂




Frozen Hot Chocolate

I LOVE, LOVE a good cup of hot chocolate, but sometimes I don’t want it hot. I want it….well, cold or more like frozen. Try this recipe the next time you want this chocolatey drink. Works great for summertime, too! 


  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp hot cocoa mix
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 4 1/2 cups ice
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate chips 
  • Marshmallows 


  1. Combine sugar, cocoa mix, and butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir until melted.
  2. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mix until mixture is smooth. 
  3. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. 
  4. Combine chocolate mixture with the remaining evaporated milk and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. 
  5. Pour into frosty glasses and top with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate chips,  if desired. 




Throwback Thursday

Happy throwback Thursday! I’m throwing it back to a post from earlier this year.



The Magic of Moving Pictures 

We all have a movie we watch when we are sad, need a laugh, or need a good cry.

This past year, Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a lively and memorable musical that described the magic of moving pictures. The song took you down the Yellow Brick Road, to the pottery scene with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost, and back to the Oscars, all within a few minutes. The purpose of this monologue was to show the meaning movies can have on audiences.

So, what is it about moving pictures that make them so magical, so invigorating? The answer: they are stories viewers are able to connect and identify with, in some way or another. Their scenes lead us to unknown worlds, familiar scenarios, and give us a break from reality–even if it is just for a few hours.

As an actress and a journalist, I view myself as a storyteller. What story or stories do I want people to know and experience? For me, I always think about the moving pictures that take me away, the moving pictures that inspired me to go into acting, and the moving pictures that I always turn to, no matter what.

And those movies are:
1. White Christmas
2. Gone with the Wind
3. The Sound of Music
4. Dirty Dancing
5. Steel Magnolias


Playing Catch-Up

Have you ever been so busy that you didn’t have time for things, such as blogging (in my case)? Busy to where you have to play catch-up? As I cover my eyes in shame, I admit that is me right now and I apologize.

Sometimes life can be so busy that you have organize your responsibilities. Prioritize your time to where it is spent effectively and efficiently. Do the hard stuff first and end on an easy note. Make a to-do list, buy a planner, do whatever you have to, to make sure you stay on top of things. But, to be realistic, there are times when staying up to date isn’t enough and you will fall behind. Never fear, though, because you will catch up on everything and become that over-organized person once again.

One thing to remember when prioritizing- never sacrifice time with your loved ones.



Throwback Thursday

Happy throwback Thursday! I’m throwing it back to one of my previous posts, “When Goodbyes are Hard to Do.”


“I’m not scared of hello. I’m scared of goodbye.” -Anonymous

Saying goodbye scares the daylights out of me. I’m not fond of change. So when a person goes out of my life for a time being and I don’t know when or if I will see them again, I’m frightened.

There have been enough goodbyes during my lifetime; goodbyes from either moving, graduating school, or just life. Yes, saying goodbye is a part of life, but does it really have to be?

For me, the most suspenseful moments in life are the ones when you just said “goodbye” to someone and walk away. A thousand thoughts race through my head. “Will I see them again?” “Talk to them?” “Cross their path again?”

My advice-if you care about someone, make time for them. Hopefully, they will make time for you. Some goodbyes don’t have to be permanent ones.



My Fall Bucket List


Fall- my favorite season of them all! We are TWO days away from the start of the season and every year, there are several things I MUST do before it ends, so here is my fall bucket list:

  • Tailgate at a football game.
  • Go apple picking.
  • Buy school supplies.
  • Watch Halloween movies.
  • Decorate with tons of pumpkins and DIY fall crafts.
  • Travel through the mountains to see the leaves.
  • Visit the county fair.
  • Carve a pumpkin.
  • Make an apple pie, apple butter, apple pie, and homemade apple sauce. (Can you tell I like apples…alot?)
  • Stuff myself during the holidays.
  • Go on a hayride.
  • Eat s’mores at a bonfire.
  • Wear a hoodie, while snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate.

It’s fall, y’all!



Why I Travel 

  “To travel is to see the world and make beautiful memories.”

To travel- it’s a verb with a heavy definition. What exactly does it mean “to travel?” Well, it means something different to everyone, so here is my definition.

Growing up, I remember watching Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown and her shows, Great Hotels and Passport to Europe. For each episode, I kept thinking “Samantha has the best job in the world and I would love to have it.” As I watched the shows, I quickly realized I have a passion for traveling.

The reason why I travel is simple-to see the world and gain experiences. There is so much learning to be had outside of your comfort zone. My travel philosophy is to travel as much as possible, while learning about the history of an area and the people who live there. It also includes being adventurous and making memories. This philosophy plays into my five step travel list.

For every trip I take, I must:

  1. Take tons of pictures. I always come home with about 1,000+ photos.
  2. Meet and talk with the locals. You’ll get the best information about where to eat, what to do, and learn more about the area from a person who lives there.
  3. Research the location’s history and plan out my must-sees. However, I am careful to not plan too much and allow time for adventures.
  4. Get lost—on purpose. Take a back road, walk down a different street, just get out and explore.
  5. Go back to that same destination. It might not be the next year, or the year after that, but sometime in my life, I will make the time to go back.

If you want to get out of your comfort zone and see the world, you must travel. It doesn’t have to be a three week excursion. It can be a day trip to a nearby city or even a stay-cation in your own town. Just travel!

Trust me-adventure is out there. You just have to make up your mind and go!