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What 20-Somethings Want

29 Jan

I saw this article from The Thought Catalog and it made me chuckle and choke up a bit at the same time. I follow them on twitter and they usually have some pretty insightful ramblings. It has some interesting observations so I thought I would share Β (though some of them are a little crude lol, but honest I guess!) A couple things really hit home with me. I feel myself wanting to go out and explore the world, to move on to bigger cities and bigger things, but the pull of home is always there, tugging at my heartstrings and saying “Don’t move too far away!” After all, what’s more important than family? Knowing I am surrounded by people who love me unconditionally and who will always be there for me is better than anything a big city has to offer. One of my favorite quotes kind of says it all…”Follow your dreams but always remember the road that leads you home.” We can still conquer the world and accomplish all those things we want to in life, but to me, home and family is the most important priority. And having that sense of my place in the world is the best accomplishment I could ask for. Anyways, I’m not usually one to bare my soul on my blog, but I thought it was an interesting read πŸ™‚

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Spending My New Years in Gatlinburg, TN

4 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! I love starting a new year; it’s an opportunity to start fresh and make big plans for the future. I had a great weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, TN with some friends. We spent New Years Day hiking in the park. My boyfriend’s family did a lot of hiking there when he was younger, so we found one of their favorite trails that led down to a river and hopped around on the rocks for a bit. It was gorgeous! A great way to start the year. Here are a few pictures from the day… can you tell we are Kentucky Wildcat fans? Everyone is representing in their wildcat blue πŸ™‚

Friendsgiving and My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes!

22 Nov

Last night my friends and I got together for our first annual Friendsgiving! I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the result. We had all the fixings of a traditional thanksgiving dinner, and everything tasted pretty darn good. Pretty impressive for a group of twenty-somethings who aren’t all that experienced at cooking. We actually ended up with waaaay too much food. But my boyfriend was pretty happy when I brought him a heaping plate of leftovers πŸ™‚ I have to say – good food, good wine, and good friends make for a fabulous evening.

My contributions to our evening consisted of my mom’s world-famous cheesy potato casserole and Kentucky Derby pie. My siblings and I have literally fought over cheesy potato leftovers. It’s one of those dishes that we ask my mom to make for every family get-together. And the Kentucky Derby pie is one of my favorite desserts. Both are super simple to make. I was actually at work late so I rushed home, whipped everything together in about 20 minutes, then let them bake for 45 minutes while I got ready for the evening. Check out the recipes below if you are looking for ideas on what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m headed home to WV tomorrow for the holiday weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let me know how your cooking adventures go this weekend.

Cheesy Potato Casserole:

  • 32 oz. bag of southern style (cubed) hash browns
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crushed cornflakes

Mix the potatoes, soup, sour cream, cheese, and most of the butter together and spread in a greased baking dish. Top with crushed cornflakes and drizzle with the remaining melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Kentucky Derby Pie:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • pie shell

Mix all ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Zipping Through the Red River Gorge

12 Nov

My boyfriend and I are both lovers of the outdoors. A couple weekends ago, we went ziplining at the Red River Gorge here in KY. It would have been an expensive date, but with a half-off Living Social deal, we had a great time for a very reasonable price. One of our guides referred to the area as Red River Gorgeous, and he was right! I have been to the Gorge several times, but never seen it from this vantage point. The first few ziplines took us through the tree tops, and the fall colors were beautiful. The last two ziplines went over one of the canyons, literally hundreds of feet up in the air, and the view was amazing. And they were dual ziplines, so we got to race! Dave beat me both times 😦 But it was still an absolute blast. Here are a few photos from the day:

I know I’m a little biased but I think my boyfriend is such a stud πŸ™‚ This was a great date… It was a bit of a thrill and the setting was gorgeous. We finished up the last two ziplines right as the sun was setting, and topped off the day with some pizza and beer. All around an awesome day!

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