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Friday, November 11, 2011

Cranberry Apple Crunch--So Much Better Than Cranberry Sauce!

Cranberry Apple Crunch...
NOT your average holiday cranberry goop  "sauce."  

On your marks...
     Get set...
          Go, holiday season!

Whether we are ready for it or not, it doesn't matter...
The holiday season is here!  It's time to get to work on fulfilling those Christmas lists, transforming your home into a cozy seasonal atmosphere, preparing Thanksgiving menus, starting the fire place, dreaming of a "White Christmas," etc., etc., etc.

Any formally-fat person (and even most forever-skinny people) LOVES the holidays because of food!  I mean, let's face it--you can have family time any time of the year if you'd like.  We give gifts for many occasions.  Men sit around a TV to watch football most Saturdays all fall and winter.  We should be thankful all the time.  We should remember that God sent his son to earth to die for us all the time...and we also celebrate this at Easter.  The thing that really sets the holidays--or at least Thanksgiving--a part from other times of the year is the menu!

Let me just tell you I LOVE dressing, turkey, green beans, corn casserole, pumpkin pie, and all of that jazz, but the one thing I don't like is cranberry sauce (...or sweet potatoes, but that doesn't fit this posts' purpose haha).  However, this dish turned my tastes around!  

I'm not really sure where this recipe originated.  It came from my Dad's side of the family when I was about ten years old.  (I know that because I had many a years of that gelatin, cranberry nastiness put on my plate before then.)  My mom got the recipe from my Dad's aunt that year, and we've been eating it ever since!

So if you're like me and you think that canned stuff is totally disgusting, you might want to give this a try!  It's the PERFECT alternative to cranberry sauce.  Take it to your family Thanksgiving and/or Christmas this year, and I promise you your family will be thoroughly impressed!  The best party?  It's oh-so-simple.

I'm cheating a bit here and showing you the finished product before even listing the ingredients.  If you'll notice, the "casserole" (for lack of a better word) should be shallow in your baking dish.  You want it shallow so you have a good ratio of of cranberry and apple to that yummy topping!  :)
    Cranberry Apple Crunch

Ingredients:
  1. 3 cups peeled & chopped apples   (typically 3 or 4 small to medium apples.  I use Granny Smith.)
  2. 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  3. 1/3 cup white sugar   (I use Splenda with fiber and it's just as good.)
  4. 2/3 cup brown sugar   (I use Splenda brown sugar blend.  If you do the same, you'll only need 1/3 cup since it's twice as concentrated as regular brown sugar.)
  5. 1 cup oatmeal
  6. 1/3 cup flour
  7. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  8. 1 stick of margarine (I use "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.")

Directions:
  1. Combine chopped apples, cranberry sauce, white sugar, and 1/3 c. brown sugar into large bowl.  Mix together.  Spread evenly into casserole dish.  (**Note:  If using Splenda brown sugar blend, use only 1/6 c. brown sugar...which is half as much.)
  2. Combine oatmeal, chopped pecans, flour, and 1/3 c. brown sugar in medium-sized bowl.  Mix together.  Spoon topping mixture on top of cranberry/apple mixture.  Spread evenly.
  3. Cut up a stick of margarine, placing pieces evenly on top of oatmeal mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Well, it's as simple as that!  You have the easiest, most delicious alternative to that nasty cranberry goop people try to pass off as a side dish!  :)

Let me know if you try it or plan to try it!  I'd love to know what you think...even if you hate it.

Also, I'd love to know what your "different" alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving sides are.  Please share if you have awesome recipes!  Don't hesitate to comment and follow.  I'd love to know what you think!



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday--Dressing for the Unknown

What I Wore Wednesday...
So, I did much better taking pictures this week!  The only day I missed was Saturday...which I spent with the family because Brian had to work.  Mom and I went to Christmas Made in the South (a traveling craft show) before eating lunch at IHOP and picking up Dad and the dogs to go play at Amerson Water Park.  

I changed to take the dogs on their outing...but they really did have a BLAST!  Here's a picture of Bella and me from that day! :)


(I can do a WIWW really fast...everything was Victoria's Secret!)

So, as most of you know after my last post, Brian and I are just awaiting a phone call (that could literally be any day) to find out when and where we'll be moving.  No word yet...and honestly, it's kind of tough living every day with that unknown.  Thank goodness for our faith in the Lord and his plan for us or we'd be insane by now, for sure. :)

Well, anyway...If you're a follower, you already know this, but for first-timers...WIWW wasn't my idea. A blogger named Lindsey came up with an idea to share outfits as motivation to put effort into getting dressed. Visit her blog by clicking the button below!

pleated poppy


Thursday, November 3, 2011
Work

Gray jersey knit cardigan: Marshall's (Lavish)
Jean skinnies: Old Navy
Brown flat boots: Target
White tank: New York & Co.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Work


Olive green dress:  Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Camel-colored, heeled boots: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)

Bangles:  Charming Charlie

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Church and shopping

White sweater:  Express
Scarf:  
gift! (not sure where it came from)
Black tights:  Dillards

Black, flat faux suede boots: Wal-mart

Monday, November 7, 2011
Work

Black skinnies: Old Navy (on sale)
Cow-neck sweater:  Express
Gray suede boots:  DSW

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Work (Election Day!)

Navy dress with sequins:  Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Cropped cardigan:  Charlotte Russe
Bangles:  Charming Charlie
Camel-colored wedges: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Work
Brown cow-neck tunic: Old Navy
Black leggings: Forever 21
Black, flat faux suede boots: Wal-mart
Bangles: Charming Charlie


That's it for this week!
Be sure to comment and follow!  (I love those!)
I also love to follow the WIWW of others, so let me know if you decide to start!

xoxo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday--Playing Catch-up

What I Wore Wednesday...
Ok, so I'm most definitely playing catch-up here!  I've been just plain terrible about taking pictures the last few weeks or so.  For last week's post I had only taken one picture the whole week...so I skipped the post all together and decided to add it to this week.  :)  However, I must say that I haven't been that good at taking pictures this week either.

You could say I've been distracted:
*We're moving soon (like, within the month)...but we still don't know where or exactly when.
 *We've launched a new news operating system at work that's caused us to log some MAJOR overtime hours.  (Great on the pay check, bad on the exhaustion level)
*The month of October meant baseball playoffs and the World Series for FOX (good for the station, hard on the news crew).  This meant loooong hours, more major overtime, and little sleep.
*Brian was gone for 3 weeks in October taking an Interim Management class for Chick-fil-A (hence the imminent move).  I missed him, barely got to talk to him because of opposite and intense schedules, I was always on edge coming in after late hours at work, and this list goes on etc., etc., etc.

Combine little sleep with high stress levels...and let's just say it's been a hard month.
I've been sick a lot...it seems that I have this horrible cold that's sooo persistent.  I get rid of it (so I think), and then it just comes right back!

Ok, now that I vented about that...LOL...I'll say things have definitely eased up and taken a turn for the better.  After a busy, busy weekend...I realized JUST how much I needed sleep (ya know, because I literally crash at my brother's baseball game for the first time in my life!)...and I've definitely caught the past few days.  I can already tell my immune system is stronger, and I'm kicking this cold goodbye for the FINAL time...(please?!)

Another sign of better days to come?  I've actually managed to put together a What I Wore Wednesday post! haha.  What's that?  Thanks for asking...

If you're a follower, you already know this, but for first-timers...WIWW wasn't my idea. A blogger named Lindsey came up with an idea to share outfits as motivation to put effort into getting dressed. Visit her blog by clicking the button below!

pleated poppy

Friday, October 21, 2011
LONG work-day!  And the picture is taken AFTER work...haha.  Can we say rough?!
Black skinnies: Old Navy (on sale)
Brown flat boots: Target
Gray sweater:  Kohl's (Lauren Conrad)


Friday, October 28, 2011
Work day


Blue sweater tunic:  Express (years ago!)
White tank:  New York & Co.
Black leggings: Forever 21

Black, flat faux suede boots: Wal-mart (and I love them!)
Bangles:  Charming Charlie


Sunday, October 30, 2011 (evening)
Headed to a "Halloween" get-together.
I didn't dress up because I wasn't feeling well at all.  Sad. :(
Light orange-"ish" and gray striped tunic:  Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Gray leggings:  Forever 21
Brown riding boots: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Work day

Rust-colored dress:  Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Brown belt:  Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Brown leggings:  Forever 21

Camel-colored, heeled boots: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Work day

Multi-print tunic:  Ross (Angie)
Black leggings:  Forever 21
Black scarf:  
Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Black, flat faux suede boots: Wal-mart


Ok, so my goal for next week...
is to take a picture EVERY day. :)

Be sure to follow and comment...I love to read them. :)
Also, let me know if you're doing WIWW blog posts because I love reading those as well.

XOXO

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday--Crazy Week!

Ok, so this is probably my worst What I Wore Wednesday post yet!  The past few weeks have been crazy, crazy busy...not to mention emotionally stressful...so sometimes pictures have just slipped my mind.  Other times, I simply don't like what I wore when I rushed to throw on clothes!  (Wait, isn't that supposed to be what this is for...to put more effort into getting dressed?  Oh well!)


If you're a follower, you already know this, but for first-timers...this wasn't my idea. A blogger named Lindsey came up with an idea to share outfits as motivation to put effort into getting dressed. Visit her blog by clicking the button below!

pleated poppy

Friday, October 14, 2011
Work
Maxi dress: Charming Charlie
Cropped cardigan:  Charlotte Russe
Bangle and necklace:  Charming Charlie
Taupe flats with bow: Ross (Rampage)

Saturday, October 15, 2011
Trip to south Georgia to see family

White shirt with gold sequin stripes: Marshall's (Ellen Tracy)
Denim skinnies: Old Navy
Flat, camel-colored boots: Old Navy

Bangles, Necklace, and Sunglasses: Charming Charlie



Tuesday, October 18, 2011 
Work day

Ruffled blue and white striped blouse: Old Navy
Denim skirt:  Old Navy

Camel-colored, heeled boots: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)




Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Work day
Sweater tunic: Old Navy
Black leggings: Forever 21
Ivory scarf: Wal-mart
Brown riding boots: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)
Bangles:  Charming Charlie


That's all for this week! :)  Comment and follow, lovely people! :)

XOXO

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cards for Kody--1 Thessalonians 5:11

"There are two ways to journey through life.  You can march...or you can dance."

Those are the words than caught my eye as I stood on the card aisle of the grocery story last week.  I couldn't imagine more perfect words for the purpose.  I wiped the tears that had begun to well up in my eyes and progressed to the check-out counter.

You see, as a member of "the media," it's easy to become desensitized to the stories that air on a daily basis.  We see horrible and wonderful stories come and go through the air waves and headlines, so for the sake of not becoming jaded, we're forced to somewhat block emotional attachment.  However, in my few short years of being a News Producer, there are a few horrible and wonderful stories that clung to my soul.

Of course, the true producer comes out in me.  I'm going to share the most timely of those stories with you right now.  :)

Kody's Story...

Kody Lucas is a Central Georgian living with a brain tumor; a stage three Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain tumor, to be exact.  When diagnosed, doctors gave Kody two years to live.  It's now been four years, and Kody even graduated from high school--a day he didn't think he'd see.

As if that isn't a remarkable miracle in and of itself, that's not the reason I want to share his story.  
I want to share Kody's story because of the 960 lives he's saved.

I was first introduced to Kody through a story by one of our reporters, Michelle Quesada.  I was immediately inspired by Kody's spirit.  While he had the most remarkable survivor and fighter tale, it was never his focus.  Michelle's story detailed how blood transfusions help Kody gain strength while in the hospital fighting against cancer.  That's where Kody discovered a calling: to hold annual blood drives.

Every year since his diagnosis, the teenage boy (now 19-years-old) has chosen to celebrate each year--that could easily be his last--by holding a birthday blood drive bash.

Kody's impact over the last three years?
960 lives saved
Over 40 gallons of blood donated

Now comes the more solemn news...
On October 13, we reported that hospice recently entered Kody's life.  The news brought tears to my eyes because of the inspiration Kody and his story have been to so many people...including myself.

Kody's family reached out to our station and let us know that there is one thing that helps get him out of bed each morning--greeting cards.  Not "get well" cards, but "thinking of you" cards are what brings a priceless smile to his face.

So they asked that we air an address for people to write to Kody, and of course, we did.  I've already sent my card to Kody.  
Here it is below:

It was perfect.
I realized that if I could bring a smile to the teenager's face just by letting him know that his story mattered to me, I'd do it a hundred times over.
I've never even met Kody Lucas in person, and if it weren't for our reporter Michelle following his story, I'd have never heard his story.  
But I can promise you one thing:  it's one I'll never forget.

So I have a request...
Please send Kody a card of your own!
Could there be anything more simple to put a smile on someone's face?

Here's the address.  Please spread the word. 
Let's make sure Kody's mailbox is full to capacity every day of the rest of his life!


"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up."  
1 Thessalonians 5:11a


Meet Kody Lucas:





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIWW-- Awesome Autumn!

What I Wore Wednesday...
I can't believe I only missed one day because this has been one heck of a week. And technically I didn't even miss an outfit because I pulled the same thing that I did last week...I wore the same thing on Sunday night that I wore to work on Monday...haha. I used to be able to get away with stuff like that easily because it's two totally different group of people. However, WIWW tattles of me and tells my little secrets...lol.

If you're a follower, you already know this, but for first-timers...this wasn't my idea. A blogger named Lindsey came up with an idea to share outfits as motivation to put effort into getting dressed. Visit her blog by clicking the button below!

pleated poppy


Thursday, October 6, 2011
Work day

Jeans: Marshall's (7 for all mankind)
Orange tee: Old Navy (on sale)
Yellow floral scarf: Old Navy (on sale)
Taupe flats with bow: Ross (Rampage)

Friday, October 7, 2011
Work day

Navy, polka dotted dress with bow belt: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)
Camel-colored wedges:
fab'rik boutique
(Macon, GA)
Red, over-sized ball earrings: Hand-me-down from my Mom.
In other words, they're vintage!



Saturday, October 8, 2011
After I got home from the Georgia National Fair!

Denim skinnies: Old Navy
Pink pinstripe blouse: Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet

Flat, camel-colored boots: Old Navy
Brown bow belt:
fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)
Bangles: Charming Charlie

Monday, October 10, 2011
(and I can't lie...Sunday evening to church too! :-x)
Work
Plaid shirt dress: Target
Black leggings: Forever 21
Brown, braided skinny belt: Charlotte Russe
Brown riding boots: fab'rik boutique (Macon, GA)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Work day

Black skinnies: Old Navy (on sale)
Gray and black tunic (it's crooked and it bugs me!): Ross (ny collection)
Black, flat faux suede boots: (ready for this?!) Wal-mart! And I love them! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Work day
Trouser skinny jeans: Marshall's (Forever 21)
Dark gray tank:  New York & Co.
White ruffled cardigan:  Charming Charlie
Grey Pointed Toe Flats: DSW (on clearance)


Look of the Week!
Kendall Herold

My co-worker and friend Kendall Herold (our fabulous ABC 16 anchor)  was so great to be my photographer Wednesday, and she herself looked adorable!  I totally want to steal this outfit.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  Her precious over-the-knee black boots have a chunky heel.  Here blue tunic was a gorgeous color.  I just loved it!

SO...I might do a "Look of the Week" every week!  (Or just some weeks when I feel inspired.)

And that's all for this week, lovelies!  Not feeling great, so I'm keeping this short and sweet.  Comment, follow, and let me know if you start a WIWW blog so I can follow as well!

Until next time, XOXO.