Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook & Newtown CT

PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way.

GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.

PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?

GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad.

GANDALF: No. No, it isn't.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook

I wasn't going to offer any commentary of my own on the school shooting in Newtown, CT, but I want to get it off my chest. And then I want to offer a way to help.

I have seen countless posts across my Facebook feed and the internet where people have been posting pictures of themselves with their children. Discussing how much they love their children. Broadcasting to the world at large that their children are still alive and safe. Which is wonderful. And don't get me wrong; I understand loving your child. I understand the empathy and sympathy people have over the shooting in Newtown - it was a terrible tragedy. But what I find almost offensive is the showboating mothers have done concerning their children. Yes, your children are alive and that's great. But guess what? 20 children are not and you don't need to constantly remind the rest of the world that your child isn't one of those 20. Because it's not about you. If you love your child, then hug them, love them, be grateful for them. There's nothing wrong with that. But you don't need to post to everyone about how happy you are because you get to have your child for Christmas when 20 other families will not.

Pray for those families who lost not only those children, but the adults as well. Sympathize with a community who lost so many. Donate to charities, support organizations that wish to change the world so these things don't happen. Hold your children and your family close and thank God they're alive - but do it privately. Someone else's tragedy shouldn't be your microphone to talk about your love for your children.

And don't feast on the mass media culture. Don't sit and soak up the news coverage. Don't sit there and watch as news crews thrust distraught, traumatized, and grieving people in front of a camera and exploit them for the sake of a good interview and more information. And don't, please, use this as a political platform. Should we have stricter laws allowing people to gain access to firearms? Yes. Obviously. But don't take this tragedy and turn it into a soapbox. You don't like that we - as a multi-religion country - don't say a Christian prayer at the beginning of the school day? Too bad. Don't use this as a soapbox or a "told you so" point for that either.

Just feel sad. Just be grateful you're alive. Just pray for those who lost family and friends, pray for the world, pray for yourself. Donate to charities, spread the word on helpful organizations. Don't fear-monger, don't politicize, and don't brag about how you made it out of this unscathed while others did not.


To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Yesterday, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

(thanks to Neely, Meg & Michelle for putting this together)

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that’s it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services.

Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:

“Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

We can’t imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let’s make a difference and use blogging in a positive way.

Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World

p.s. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recipes | Roasted Chickpeas

Okay so... the other day I was craving a snack. Not to mention, I was severely lacking something crunchy in the salads that the BF and I had been eating lately. After rummaging through our pantry, I found a can of chickpeas I had forgotten about. After seeing Rachael Ray do it on her show and after reading via the internet how others had given it a go, I decided to make my own attempt at roasting some chickpeas.

Let me tell you; they were delicious!

And super simple! You literally just toss them in a little bit of olive oil, whatever seasonings you like, and pop them into the oven. Presto! Delicious, crunchy chickpeas that are great just to snack on, but they're also pretty tasty when you throw them into a salad. Even the BF approved, and he's a pretty picky eater.

Now, the recipe below is just for your basic roasted chickpeas with salt and pepper. Nothing fancy. You can add any variety though, to mix it up. Some cayenne, some garlic powder, whatever floats your boat.

Roasted Chickpeas
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 400. Let your chickpeas drain for a while, until they're dry - the drier, then better. I just left mine in the colander for about half an hour, but if you're impatient, you can dry them with a rag. :) Next, toss the chickpeas in the olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper (I used a combo of white and black).

(Forgive my ugly pan and oven; the pan is a hand-me-down and the oven is the apartment complex's travesty!)

Once they're coated, pop them into the oven for about twenty minutes. Open it up and shake them up a little; move them around the pan so they get a nice even roast. Let them bake for another 10-15 minutes (until they're all a pretty, golden brown color) and then take them out of the oven. You can let them sit until they cool a little or, if you're like the BF and scorching temperature doesn't faze you, just go ahead and chow down!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Wow, it's been far too long since I've posted here. This past week was the wrap-up of my semester, which meant finals, lots of studying, and little sleep, so I apologize for disappearing! The end of the semester tends to suck up all my energy and I just couldn't find the inspiration to blog. But no more! Today, I'm going to recap what I did this weekend, which was my BFF's annual Christmas cookie swap.

The Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange started back in 2009 and we've been doing it ever since. It typically takes place on the first Saturday of each December, but we held it on the second this year. We all make 3 dozen of whatever cookie(s) we like, bring them, swap them, and enjoy a delicious brunch while we all catch up. It's tons of fun!

We had a whole table full of all sorts of cookies this year, and the brunch was fabulous as always. Here are some pictures of the spread:

They all look delicious, don't they? I'm already on the look out for my cookie recipes for next year!