Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

On the very cusp of a new year, I find it hard to believe that 2012 has already come to a close.  Seriously, where does time go?  I'm not sure how it always seems to get faster, but somehow, it does.  While I'm reflecting on the events of the past year, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the things that have happened in the last 12 months - 2012 has been good to me and I am looking forward to what 2013 has in store.

On that note, I am making resolutions for the year.  Some thoughts. A. I think this is the first time I am actually making resolutions.  I have given it some real thought, chosen reasonable goals, and feel confident that they can be achieved.  B. Alex thinks that we shouldn't make "resolutions" but, rather, "life changes."  I think I like it.

My goals:

  1. Work out 3 days a week. (One workout must have a minium of 30 minutes of activity)
  2. Finish 13 books in 2013.
  3. Blog once a week.
(It should be noted that these are minimum numbers of course.  I can go above and beyond, but am striving to not fall below.)
In addition to my new goals, I have adopted a motto for the year by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I stumbled upon it earlier today, and I just love it. A lot.

P.S. I made this little image! Working on these skills.
So, Happy New Year everyone!  Be silly, be honest, and, above all, be kind.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Need a laugh?

Today has been one of those days that gives you the sensation you just lost your footing on a treadmill going way too fast.  You know the kind?  When you can't move quite fast enough, no matter how you flail your arms or make ridiculous faces?  I usually look something like this:

It seems like several kind folks that I know have had a day like this, too.  So here is my new, very favorite joke.  I giggle every single time.

So, if your Tuesday was anything as crazy as mine, have a laugh and a grilled cheese.  My night certainly has turned around since I did.


Friday, September 21, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!  I don't think I could possibly welcome this weekend with any more enthusiasm - anybody else in this boat with me?  Anyway, it's here!  So here are some of my favorite Instagram photos from this last couple of weeks.

National Grilled Cheese Day.  Amen.  I didn't know this even existed!  But considering I celebrate this holiday more days than not, I was happy to join in the festivities.  What a happy little lunch it was :)

As I have mentioned, Alex has moved to ATL for grad school.  The plus side of being long distance, is writing letters.  The plus side of writing letters is getting to use my neutral stationary and washi tape.  Oh, and Pixar stamps.

The Deathly Hallows were written on the chalkboards in my Music Bibliography class.  Does that mean I kinda go to Hogwarts?

 The first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.  Sweet goodness, these things are delicious.

449 all decked out for football season.  #GBO #VFL #RockyTop

I hope everyone enjoys your weekend as much as I plan to!  Happy Friday and Go Vols!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back in Action

As you can tell, I have taken a little break from the blogging world.  But I'm baaaaaaaack.  So here is a brief update on all things Jenny.

A.  I have started my Master's Degree at the University of Tennessee in Choral Conducting.  It is hard work, but I basically love it.  Rocky Top, you'll always be...

B.  I have an awesome new apartment. Seriously.  Downtown is too cool for school.  Stay tuned for posts about my new neighborhood!

C.  Alex moved to Atlanta and is getting his Master's there.  Many, many letters and Skype dates are in our future.

D.  Still working at Church Street UMC with the unbelievable youth program.  Look at these faces - what's not to love?

E.  I am now an outreach teacher with Joy of Music School which provides free music lessons to at risk kids in the Knoxville area.  It is such an incredible opportunity - I mean, how cool is it to bring music ed to kids who might not get to experience it?

The moral of the story is: life is good.  More to come. :)

Love, love, love, 

Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday

1.  Ok. So this wasn't really this week.  But whatever.  A great Saturday with my best friend, Cari.  Her evening's outfit has been dubbed "Hippie Princess."  Maxi skirt in action.
2.  My new book, "The Perfectly Imperfect Home."  All about how to decorate happily and live well.  It is filled with all kinds of beautiful watercolor images.  There is one problem - I already think enough about my new apartment without its help...
3.  Reedo and I at the Red Pig.  We named this little fella Cordarrelle.  35 days till kickoff folks!
4.  Date night with my favorite guy.  What is better than a new Batman flick and dinner at your favorite Mexican spot?  [By the way, Alex and I both give The Dark Knight Rises 2 thumbs up]
5.  Mama D's Strawberry Cobbler.  This stuff speaks for itself.  I'm talking some serious yum.

Hope your week was fantastic too! 
Happy Friday, and more importantly, HAPPY OLYMPICS!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July

Happy July 25th!  Only 5 months until my favorite day of the year :)  Here are some of my favorite Christmas ideas for this coming holiday season!

May your days be merry and bright!


P.S. Check out the rest of my Pinterest Christmas board here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

bring on the R A I N . . .

I have to say, there is nothing quite as wonderful to me as a rainstorm.  Even as a tiny girl, I would sit in a chair in our living room, and just watch the lightning strike, the rain fall, the wind blow.  

I've never been afraid of storms - probably because I have been blessed enough to never been in a terribly dangerous one.  Don't get me wrong, I adore the beauty of the sunshine, but if I had to pick which day I prefer, sunny or rainy, I would pick the puddles 9 times out of 10.

Rainy days have a cozy factor built right in.  And falling asleep to the symphony of a thousand raindrops hitting your window is hard to beat as far as I am concerned.  So here's to a day with a promising forecast.  May your day be full of cuddles and falling rain.


Monday, July 16, 2012

define: comfort

There are things in this world that inexplicably bring us comfort each time we call on their services.  One of these things for me happens to be Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedies.  There is something about curling up in my nice, cozy bed and whisking away into a land that is not my own, but feels like it could be.  I love You've Got Mail especially for this reason - the quaint Shop Around The Corner, New York in the fall, reading a book at the local Starbucks.  It just has that something.

There are days when a feel good movie, a grilled cheese sandwich, and your favorite striped PJ pants make everything feel a little better.  I am a big fan of life's little blessings and a firm believer that God shows up in unexpected ways.  One of my favorite ways is the sigh of relief you feel when unexpected comfort falls into your lap - even if it arrives in the form of a movie about dial-up internet connections.


p.s. If this doesn't look like a movie watching dream, I don't know what does.

Friday, July 6, 2012

High Five for Friday

High Five for Friday is a new type of post I will be doing on Fridays.  I have recently started following two awesome blogs by a couple of sisters.  Kate at and Lauren at are creative and fun.  Check them out!  Anyway, Lauren hosts this event of sorts called "High Five for Friday," where you post images from your week - your "happy" things, if you will.  I will be using my favorite Instagram photos...I know, so trendy and hip.  Without further ado, here is my first shot at H54F!

1.  ALEX IS HOME.  For those of you who don't know, this mountain man has been out in the wilderness of the West for 47 days...but who was counting? [Photo cred - AM]
2.  Alex and I hiked the Chimney Tops of Great Smoky Mountain National Park last weekend.  Talk about a view!  Good grief I love East Tennessee.
3.  Ok. Here is the deal.  I have had my eye on these Target journals for months (I have frequent flyer miles to Target in general, especially the paper goods aisle.)  I finally broke down and bought them.  Aren't they precious?
4.  DIY 4th of July clothespins.  So pleased with how they turned out!  Sadly, I didn't get the chance to use them.  I will next year though!
5.  America. This is my brother, waving our Star Spangled Banner in his newly acquired stars and stripes polo, on top of my Aunt Jen's red Suburban during the firework display.  If this doesn't say "I'm Proud to be an American," I just don't know what does. [Photo cred - Mama D]

So happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sea Anemone Tutorial

Summer is officially in full swing!  And I figured it was time for my first tutorial.  This is an easy, simple, and [cheap] way to decorate for an Under the Sea party or event.  I was in charge of music at Vacation Bible School this summer.   Our theme was "Operation Overboard," and I was in the "Choral Reef." (so punny).  I saw a couple anemones like this floating around the church, so I decided to try my hand at them myself!  I hope you like them and can use them at your next summer bash!

Tools needed:
  1. pool noodle
  2. yarn
  3. scissors
  4. tape

Begin by cutting a regular size pool noodle into pieces varying between 2 and 4 inches in height.

Use any type or color of yarn that you like.  I suggest using bright colors that contrast the color of your noodle.

Begin by wrapping the yarn around your fingers to create the top of your anemone.

Once you have reached the desired thickness, cut the remaining yarn a little longer than twice the length of the wrapped piece.  Pinch the end (the pinky side) so that it has about half an inch free.

Use the loose end of the string to wrap 2-3 times around the base of the loops.  Then, wrap the string through the vertical loops twice and pull through. (You are not actually making a knot, simply securing the tie.)

Pull the loose end of the string tight until it becomes the length of the rest of your yarn loops.  Then, cut the loops so that you create the top of your anemone.

Now, stuff your yarn tops into the holes of the noodles!  I did not feel the need to glue them in place, but now we be the time to do that.

Your finished anemones should look like this.

To group your anemones together for placement, use tape as shown below.  DO NOT USE HOT GLUE.  The hot glue will just melt the noodles.  If you would like to use a Tacky Glue or another form of adhesive, I think that would work well, too.

Use two pieces of tape, about 3 inches in length and make a cross - sticky side up.  Then place your anemones on to the tape.

I used groups of 3 and 4, but if you would like larger groupings, just use longer strips of tape and more anemones!

To finish, had some blue fabric and a fishing net or two.  This is great for a center piece or table decoration for any Under the Sea or Happy Summer Celebration!

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tutorial!  I love taking something I've looked at a hundred times and turning it into something fresh and exciting.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Crafting!