Goodbye 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016

 Some of my favorite photos from this year...
 Beautiful butterfly from Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in Massachusettes.
 Taken at the Butterfly Conservatory...the ice cream on the left was Mary's and it was yummy!
 It was a fun date for us! I miss my galaxy hair!
 This was from a fun photoshoot we did! My daughter took the pictures. She;s getting really good!
 When Mary moved in this year we not only got her but this awesome doggy named Noah. He's such a ham! He loves his picture being taken.
 This was in the summer when we (Mary, Justice, Annabelle and I) went to an animal sanctuary. Of course we had to stop and take silly pictures.
 This is my favorite picture from a photoshoot I did for my son and his girlfriend.
 My favorite from Our Star Wars Reads troop in Montpelier, VT. Just an Abby Road moment.
 I finally Graduated from college! 
 This crazy bunch are some of my favorite humans! I love My Green Mountain Cats (squad)
"I woke up like dis..." This was Christmas morning and my daughter took this picture.
 This is Mary's parents dog Daisey who is super adorable! She loved Cody!
 My daughter made a hat out of all of the bows!

Happy almost new year! I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Instead of posting all the craziness that happened in the media and everywhere else, I wanted to reflect on some of the moments that I loved this year. My favorite moments always included spending time with my kids and Mary. I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to have them in my life, especially with all the up's and downs I encountered in 2016. My generalized anxiety was at an all time high mixed with PTSD, yet they were there with the support I needed. We also didn't have a lot of money at one point because I had lost my job, but we still made the best of everything we did. Now that the year is ending and my birthday is just days away, I'm even more grateful for my family, especially my parents and Mary's parents who helped us have a wonderful Christmas! I'm also grateful for all the new friends we made. I hope 2017 can bring even more great moments! I'm looking forward to a lot more traveling, and trooping with the 501st!

Happy New Year Everyone!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Thursday, December 22, 2016

As I was making my travels through the blogging world I happened to have stumbled upon Ms. Katy over at Oh So Geeky and her awesome Merry Fictional Blog Challenge! I just love these types of posts and seeing other peoples answers. Of course I had to join in!

Advent Calendar: Traditions you celebrate during December?
We celebrate Bodhi Day and Winter Solstice with all the traditional American/Pagan decorations (tree, lights, etc..).

Carols: What’s your favorite song(s)?
"A Marshmallow World" By Dean Martin

Coal: A naughty character you’d send coal to?
Senator Palpatine, aka The Emperor, aka Darth Sidious. He was not a nice guy. 

Fireplace: Favorite Christmas movie that melts your heart?
Elf, and Nightmare Before Christmas, and A Christmas Story!

Gingerbread: What’s your favorite holiday snack?
Cookies and pie!! I know pie isn't really a snack...but it can be!

Mistletoe: Character you’d like to meet under the mistletoe?
Thor!!!! Hellooooooo nurse! He's a hottie!

Mittens: A cozy outfit that keeps you warm during winter?
Leggings and over-sized sweaters.

North Pole: If you could spend Christmas anywhere (even fictional), where would you go?
Hands down that would be Hogwarts! Can you imagine how magical! Not to mention all the food you can eat...yes please!
Via: Nerdist

Naughty: Three characters who’d make the Naughty List.
Tarkin, General Hux, Captain Phasma.

Nice: Three characters who’d make the Nice List.
Rey, BB-8 and Eleven from Stranger Things. (Yes I do watch other shows and movies besides Star Wars, lol)

Presents: A book or movie on your wishlist?
Both book and Movie version of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Rudolph: What’s your favorite TV holiday special?
All the parades and The Doctor Who Christmas Special!

Via: Vickster51corner
Santa: A character you’d love to exchange presents with? What would you get them?
The Ninth Doctor! I would get him a banana.

Scrooge: A villain you’d help see life in a different way?
Kylo Ren of course. I would help him see the light.(ha, ha)

Snowflake: Something that makes you feel special?
Mary and my kids. When I'm having a bad day they are always there for me. I love them so much!

Tree: What do you decorate your house with for the season?
A Tree and lots of lights!

BONUS: Ugly Christmas Sweater: Would you wear a sweater Molly Weasley made you or avoid it like the plague?

Of course! She is one of my favorite fictional Moms! 

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season! If you want to join in on the fun too head on over to Oh So Geeky and say hi and see her answers too on the original post! If you end up doing a post, comment me your link so I can see your answers!

Happy Holidays friends!


Star Wars Rogue One & A Nerd Engagement

Sunday, December 18, 2016

This is our squad in the front of the T-Rex theater posing for photos. 

"Move along..."

 The Jawas are intrigued by the strange droid-like machine...

 They found a droid!

The Jedi was nice to the curious Jawa, so Jawa didn't steal the glowy stick.

Little did that Jawa know that this was just a set-up...

 Could we get any more nerdy? We probably could! What a week! Now Christmas is almost here. Rogue One was so awesome and I can't wait to go see it again! Our morning started off with us on the news, and I'll share the clip below. I couldn't believe how nervous I was. You would think that because I had a mask on I wouldn't be nervous at all, but when I walked into the studio my legs got shaky. I survived though! My friend Flounder helped talk me down from my anxiety attack.

After the news we went back home to nap because we were going to be at the movie theater all night. Of course I couldn't nap because I felt like a kid waiting to go to Disneyland. I barely ate which is not like me at all. We arrived at 5 and didn't leave until 12:30 but was well worth it and so much fun! My kids were their too along with my son's girlfriend. They all knew that I was proposing and were really excited! A Star Wars engagement was what I wanted and around 6:45 was when I proposed to Mary, yup that's me in the Jawa costume on one knee. She had no idea that I was going to do it, which was the best part! Apparently it's very hard to surprise her.

I've been asked a lot of questions since I popped the question so here are some of the answers in case you are wondering:

Q. Will it be a Star Wars wedding?

A.Yes, but more of an inspired theme with subtle hints of the Empire and maybe a couple of our 501st friends wouldn't mind posing for a couple pictures.

Q. Isn't this a little soon?

A.No. People can get engaged whenever they want, for as long as they want. This question also reminded me of this famous quote:

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Q. When's the big day??

A. We haven't picked a day yet, we haven't really talked about it yet either because she had no idea I was even asking her. Maybe in the next year or two? All I know is it will be in either spring or fall, or early summer? Preferably a day without snow or extreme heat. (ha!)

We also will not be wearing our Jawa costumes, though that would be funny.

Well this week will be crazy for us because of Christmas and I hope all of you will have a great holiday season! I can't wait to share our upcoming road trip and the silly shenanigans!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

That's me! The smallest Jawa!


Gluten Free/Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Now a days there are a lot of people that have food allergies or food preferences. A lot of the time when you are vegan or gluten free you can't enjoy deserts freely like everyone else. I always try to make sure to bring something for just that reason. I remember when dairy use to make me deathly ill. I would have to avoid a lot foods, which sucks when you are at any party. These cookies are perfect. I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like chocolate chip cookies...well except one girl who was allergic to chocolate, poor thing!

Now, I'm not going to lie, but these cookies were a little tricky. I was really worried that they would be too hard and then no one would like them, but they ended up coming out perfect! 

Prep time: About 30 minutes   Cook Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 40 minutes

Here's what you need

  • 1/2 cup vegan or dairy butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg or 4 tbs of avocado
  • 1 cup gluten free baking mix*
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used vegan Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)

  1. Using a mixer, or by hand, cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add egg (or avocado) and vanilla and beat again until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Add gluten free baking mix in two batches and mix again. It shouldn't so thick that you can't continue mixing it, but it should appear "doughy." If it seems too wet add 1/2 cup more of flour very slowly until doughy.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours until thoroughly chilled. You should be able to roll the dough into balls before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  6. After they are chilled, scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough, roll them into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. If you are using avocado you will have to flatten or press the cookies with the round side of a spoon, because they will not spread.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. We didn't have any leftovers but if you do you can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days. You can also put thme in the freezer for longer term storage.

I melted 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tbs of vegan butter in a double boiler and then drizzled the melted chocolate over my cookies just to give them an extra chocolate kick!

*Make sure that you use a gluten free mix that has Xanthan Gum. I found that most gluten free cookie recipes required it.

I was so happy that everyone at the party loved our cookies. In fact I was surprised when I went to retrieve our serving plate to see that they wee all gone! My daughter helped me bake and if you look closely at one of the cookies you can see where she stuck her finger in it! I love cooking with my kids, there's never a dull moment!


501st Legion Green mountain Squad Holiday Party

Monday, December 12, 2016

That very last one is my son, sitting in the corner in all his Kylo Ren greatness, ha ha. What an awesome party! We had so much fun! There was a lot of awesome and yummy food. My favorite were the cookies! There were jawas and droids, and of course storm troopers. My kids came with me which was nice. I'm so happy to be a part of a group that is fun and does amazing things! Even at this event we brought in donations for the Human Society. 

Our next event is in just a few days which is the Rouge One movie release! I can't wait!

Cupcake Sunday - Holiday Cupcakes

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Via: Bakella
Via: BakedBree

We are in our second week of December and my first holiday party is today! I'm making my daughter in charge of pictures and I'm sure it will be lots of fun! You know I will back here posting about it!
Today for the party I actually made Gluten Free-Vegan chocolate chip cookies. It's not an easy task, but I did it. Don't worry I'll share the recipe soon! Here's a post on super easy Gluten free cupcakes that I did last year. I always try to bring something that is vegan or gluten free because there are a lot of people with allergies and I don't want them to feel left out. I hope everyone has had a great weekend! I'm off to get ready!

How To Take Christmas Card Photos At Home

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tis the season for taking pictures! No matter what holiday you celebrate, it's nice to have some pictures of the family. Now I don't know about your kids, but my kids hate taking pictures, especially together! Over the years I have become a pro at it, but I guess it helps that I'm a professional photographer. From newborn to teenager (and some grown ups!) taking a nice family portrait can be a huge challenge!  Don't worry though, I promise you can get at least one good shot.

Step 1.

First things first, gather up all the patience you can muster. I'm only partially joking about that! Getting a good shot can take a lot of patience, so make sure you do it during a time where you have no time constraints. You don't want to have to rush. It's important to have a good time too. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your subjects will be. They might even listen too! 

*With young children I suggest blocking out an hour of your time, just in case!
Step 2.

Once that patience is ready, start setting up. Get your camera on all the right settings. I like to use my 50mm lens for these shots. Make sure the lighting is how you would like it, because you don't want to spend forever on editing (at least I don't!). 

Step 3.

Get everyone together! Place them where you want them and pay attention to everyone's clothes and hair. Fix anything out of place. Tell everyone to sit or stand tall and smile! You can now start taking some practice shots to make sure they are ready. I always take some practice shots to make sure my lighting is good. That way you can see if the pose is good, or if anything needs to be fixed. 

Step 4.

Keep this a positive experience! Make sure you're telling everyone that they are doing a great job, even if the little ones are bickering! My kids are teenagers and in the pictures you see above they were punching and biting. That's right, they don't grow out of that! Ha ha! They also had a hard time paying attention. I told them they were doing great and then the funny faces happened. Which is great! That meant I was close! So then I told them I needed just a couple more with bright eyes and bright smiles and we will be done, and that's when it happened! They sat up, smiled and posed. What a relief! 

Step 5.

You're done! Congratulate your family, kids, and especially yourself! If you survive this with no tears everyone gets cookies! At least in my house they do. 

Of course you're not actually done, next would be to edit (if you need to) and get them printed and mailed off! I recommend Shutterfly, aside from the printing lab I use, I find them pretty easy to use and they always have good deals!

Good Luck!