This morning my dad and I got up very early...for a Saturday morning. Once we had our breakfast of eggs and apple juice and lots of water, we bundled up in our winter coats and went out to the car. First we stopped at a place to get donuts for the family, since my dad had a good coupon, I put the donuts in the back seat and we drove on.
By the time we got to the church I was fairly nervous, but I was trying to remain calm at the same time. We signed in and eventually I went into the little "room" with the nurse to answer the standard questions. And that's when I found out that I didn't weigh enough to give blood. :P Apparently you have to weigh a much higher amount than the standard 110 pounds to give blood if you are seventeen or eighteen. My heart dropped a little and I had to go back out and wait for my dad to be finished with giving his blood. One of the lady volunteers chatted with me while I waited for dad, and then we walked out of the church.

Yup. That's right. I couldn't give blood. And now I have to wait until I am nineteen in February to donate.  Ah well. I guess God didn't want me to give blood today.

  The weather has been extremely winterish as of late. It snowed on Thursday night, and it's snowing very hard at the moment. It's a winter wonderland outside. And it's still October. It is almost November, but still, it's only October. Which brings me to my next topic. [If you do not like to read about NaNoWriMo, then please stop reading now ;)]

  NANOWRIMO!!!! *screams* Okay. I was sooo nervous about NaNo this year because I had barely anything planned for my story, but I finally got some things figured out (not as many things as I should) and I am getting pretty excited now. I also got the free NaNoWriMo version of the Scrivener trial download, which is super fun. If you win NaNoWriMo you get 50% off of Scrivener, so I think that I might actually get it after the trial expires. :)
This year (like last year) I am writing a murder mystery set in Fenwick/Old Saybrook, CT, with the main character being Bianca May Lawrence, a twenty-two year-old librarian that loves to paint. I won't bore you with any more details, but I just want to say that now I am a lot more excited. :)

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Please share your username with me! I won't publish your comment if you request not to. :)


Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese

According to my poll (please vote! It's on the right sidebar) some people are interested in seeing recipes from me! I actually don't remember if I have ever done a recipe.
  My first recipe is...Macaroni & Cheese!
This recipe for macaroni & cheese has been a favorite in our house for many many years, and I made it for supper tonight! It's a delicious recipe and is super easy! The only downside is that it takes quite a while when you are stirring the sauce. We use the recipe from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, rigatoni, or spinach egg noodles (about 6 oz.) [we usually use elbows, but we didn't have any in the house, so I used ziti instead.]
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter 
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 8 oz. process sharp American or Swiss cheese, process American cheese loaf or process cheese spread loaf, cut into 1/2-inh cubes [we always use Cheddar cheese and just grate it in the food processor, but you could really probably use whichever cheese (cheddar, american, pepper jack, etc.) is your favorite.]

Cook macaroni. [Boil according to package, and drain.] Cook and stir margarine, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until onion is slightly tender. Blend in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted.

Place macaroni in ungreased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stir cheese sauce into macaroni. Cook uncovered in 375 degree oven 30 minutes. 5 SERVINGS.

Well thank you for reading! And now I will reward you with some pictures of the Mac & Cheese! :)

Cheese sauce after it's finished cooking


Mary "sampling" it :)

 All put together!

 Crispy goodness

Mom modeling the food on a princess plate :) 

It's bubbling all the way to the right...Mmmm!

Let me know if you make the recipe, and I would love to see pictures! :)

{Unedited} Fall Photo Shoot Part 2

 I love the colors in this one

 Me and Hannah

I love this one :D
 Me, Hannah, and ---> Samuel
 Me, Calvin, and Hannah

Mary, Calvin, and Hannah


Fall Shoot

Hello people. :)
There are a few things that I just wanted to bring to your attention.

1. My parents instated this new rule in our house that we are only allowed to use electronics (use the computer, watch a movie or television, play Wii) on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. And that is why I might not be posting quite as frequently as I had before. :)

2. My stats levels are way down (this may be from my lack of posting). :P So to try and understand what my faithful followers like to see me post, I have put a poll on the sidebar, and I would love it if you took just a moment to answer, "What types of posts do you like to see me do?" :) It would mean so much to me if you could try and answer so that I can know what you girls like to see! :)

3. In November I will be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so I probably will really not be around once November rolls around. The goal is to write a 50k word novel in that one month, so it takes up quite a lot time. :) (I posted about it here)

And now I have a mini picture post for you! I did not have time to edit these photos before posting them (so they are all unedited! :S) but I did manage to get my watermark on there before Lightroom ran out. I did a photo shoot with Calvin, Hannah, and Mary, last Saturday, and that is what the pictures are from! :)
Calvin Russell (7) 

 Hannah (22)

Mary (16) 

God bless!

Giveaway Winners!

All right! My giveaway has come to a close! Thank you so much to everyone who entered! I'm glad you decided to do so. :)
So, winner #1, winner of this beautiful necklace is....
Comment number twelve...Nela! :)

And the winner of the Swarovski crystal earrings is...
Comment number nineteen...Alli!

Congratulations girls! Please leave a comment with your email address and mailing address (I won't publish it) ASAP, so that I can get your prizes to you! :)

**If winners do not contact me by Friday October 28th, new winners will be chosen**

Thank you again, and have a great day! :)



These may be the last "quality" pictures for a while since my free trial of Lightroom is now coming to a close. :(

Photo credit to my sister Mary



Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allen Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

I first read this poem maybe about a year and a half ago and I loved it. I'm not sure if I really paid attention to the words the first time I read it, because I was only conscious of two things about the poem.
1. It was a poem, for goodness' sake! Poems are beautiful. Poems are lovely. I love poems.
2. It is a LOVE poem! Love poems are doubly beautiful! Love poems are doubly lovely! I love poems!

So today I felt like reading this poem, and I actually read it this time. I read the words and comprehended them. (well, somewhat) And I find that this poem is still beautiful because of the plain facts that it is a poem and it is a love poem, and it is lovely. But it is also an epically sad poem. So romantic and sad and deeply darkly beautiful. Sorry. That's enough of my rambling. :)


Music and miscellaneous

I love music. I really really do. I love to play music on the piano or listen to it. I love haunting soundtracks and wistful melodies. I love songs with words or without words. I love rock songs and worship songs. I love pop songs and folk songs. I love Celtic songs and funky songs.
Here are some of my favorites.

Favorite #1: NeedtoBreathe

My favorite band at the moment is a band called NeedtoBreathe. They are Christians (although not all of their music has extremely Christian lyrics) and I probably started liking them about five years ago (wow! I didn't know it had been that long! :)) when their first CD ("Daylight") came out. They have come a long way since then, and I still love their music. I have actually heard some of their songs on the radio before (namely, "Something Beautiful" and "Slumber" and "Drive All Night"), and last month they performed on the Jay Leno show. Now, let me just say, I think that they are amazing. :) Here are a couple of my favorite songs from their newest album "The Reckoning" which came out in September.

Okay, to tell you the truth, I like almost every song on their new CD, but these two are...really good. :D I also love "Oohs and Aahs", "White Fences", and "A Place Only You Can Go".

Favorite #2: Ludovico Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi is a Italian composer who is in his mid-fifties. My friend Sam S. introduced me to "Nuvole Bianche" which I  absolutely loved. I probably listened to it about a million times. I found the sheet music to it and can now play it. (I actually played it for the baccalaureate service at my church when I graduated.) I have since discovered his music for myself, and I am crazy about it. I am hoping to one day be able to go to a concert of his. Some of my favorite songs include "Il fuori dalla notte", "Primavera", "Divenire", "Bella Notte", and, of course, "Nuvole Bianche". :) Here are two more of my favorites.

Favorite #3: Various

What do I mean by that? Well I mean that BarlowGirl used to be my favorite band, I love different soundtracks (Like "How To Train Your Dragon", the new "Robin Hood", "The Last of the Mohicans", "The Secret Garden", and "The Village", to name a few), I like some of Owl City, I like "Indelible Grace" (they take old hymns and put a new tune to them, while keeping the original words! I love it because the lyrics to hymns are usually wonderful, while the tunes can be a little dreary at times.), "Newsboys", "Phil Keaggy", "Leahy", and "U2". I am a huge fan of instrumental music (soundtracks or composers), especially haunting (usually piano) pieces. But my favorite piano piece (perhaps of all time)?? Yann Tiersen's "Comptine d'un autre été: L'après-midi" from the French movie Amelie (which I have never seen).

It is so gorgeous, so haunting, so amazing and so fabulous! It makes me want to close my eyes and let it sink into me. *happy sigh*

Here is "Forbidden Friendship" by John Powell from How to Train Your Dragon. (another favorite)

I think I could cry listening to this song. It is just so beautiful and sweet. I love how the music really builds. :)

"The Gravel Road" by James Newton Howard from The Village (which I have also never seen).

Soooo haunting and almost creepy but amazing and beautiful at the same time. I love to just sway as the violin plays the high notes as if it's a soprano voice singing its heart out. :)

I really think I could go posting videos on here forever, but I don't that any of you will listen to each and every one of these songs (I don't blame you, but you really SHOULD!), and I know that if I posted more and more that that would further deter you from sampling my favorite music. So I shall leave those music pieces with you to listen to and contemplate, and (hopefully) learn to love, just as I have.

On another note (hee hee, pun not intended), I went n a bike ride with my sister Meghan today. It ws very nice to get out and exercise. I even made the oh-so-practical choice of leaving my precious camera behind, since it would most likely be a hindrance. But I did so want to take some pictures of the leaf-strewn path. *pouts*

I also thought of a seriously possible name for my laptop. Mortimer. And I shan't tell you why. :D Let's just say it's a little inside name. Just like Fisher (sort of). I'm not certain that that's his name, but it is a very good possibility. :)

I felt like I had something else to tell you all, but perhaps not. Oh! I might have remembered.
Well, I won a giveaway! Two giveaways, in fact! The first one I won was a prize where the name was being redrawn since the original winner had never responded. So I am getting some yummy pumpkin pie soap! And then the second was winning Gloria's Fall Giveaway #2 which was an 8x10" photo print from Something Beautiful's Etsy shop. :) I am so excited!

On the 29th I am going to give blood for the first time, at my church! I have felt very strongly that it is important to give blood, for a while now, but I wasn't able to because of weight restrictions, but I am finally able to! Of course, I am very nervous (especially since my sister fainted last time she gave blood!), but my Dad is going to donate as well, and I have wanted to do this for so long, that I am glad to go. :) Have you ever given blood?

Well I do believe that that is all for now! Have a blessed evening!


Rain is a Photographer's Dream

Even tires and drains can be beautiful in the rain, right? ;)

Numbered Comments

Have you ever wondered how to number your comments? It makes it a whole lot easier when you're using Random.org to pick a winner for a giveaway you might be doing. ;) Now, I know that probably many of you have figured this out already, but I didn't know how to do it, so I thought I would post the link to the website that successfully showed me how to do it! (This is using the latest Blogger interface, by the way)
------------> Number your posts now!  :)

{my friend's little sister :) }

Have fun!


I have been challenged!

 {linking up to Kelsey's unedited photo challenge}

{linking up to Mary Ann's happiness photo challenge}

{linking up to Olivia's self-portrait contest}

Rainy Day Thoughts

This comic is so totally me! Is it something you would do as well? I just love it. It is now happily taped inside my journal. :)

  On another photographer's note, it is raining today. I think rain must be a photographer's dream. Rain means puddles. Rain means raindrops dripping off things like leaves and flowers and the tire of an upside down wheelbarrow. Rain mean getting wet. And your camera getting wet. But being a photographer in the rain means not caring about getting wet or the camera getting wet. Rain means wishing that you had another DSLR to take a picture of the first DSLR that is now soaked. Rain means taking pictures of leaves and raindrops dripping into ponds that have formed inside the top of the backyard sandbox.

Rain = wetness. Wetness = happiness. Therefore Rain = happiness. :)

*pictures to come soon*


{A Photo} Challenge

The theme for this photo challenge is Vintage.
Here is my picture for the challenge:

{A Photo} Challenge


Hey there!
 So I attempted to create a signature for myself on here...I just want to see how it looks before I decide to keep it permanently! How do you like it?
As for the picture, yes, that is me. The reason I am posting the picture is because I trimmed my bangs *myself* the other day, and so I wanted to show you how they came out! I rather like them. :)
Anyway, that's all I have for you today - a boring post from moi. :)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic