Christmas Randomness

Monday, December 30, 2013

         Guys, I've been terrible at blogging since Christmas. I've had so much going on leading up to Christmas that I needed a break once it was all over. I'm sure most of you can relate to somewhat being just a tiny bit relieved that Christmas is over. I feel like now I can go back to real life. I'm totally posting this on my phone right now, by the way. I'm at Rory's parents house sitting on the couch, while Rory is busy being a total nerd and playing video games. Ha! With that said, these photos aren't going to be edited, but at least you can see a little bit of what I've been up to lately.

                                          A purse I made for Rory's cousin
                            I made a few of these bundles of coasters to give as gifts for Christmas.

                                    My dear sister and I in our pj's on Christmas morning.
                                     Aaron ( sisters husband) and Rory on Christmas morning.

                           Our traditional strawberry waffles on Christmas morning.
                        Burlap sacks that I made and filled with gifts for my niece and nephews.      
                                                       The boyfriend and I.  
                                                                   Christmas dinner 
        One of the presents I got from Rory. Real pearls, ladies! I couldn't believe it. He also got me an awesome peacoat. He did good!

         I didn't get as many pictures at Christmas as I would have liked to, but it was honestly kind of nice not having to worry about taking a ton of pictures. I really enjoyed relaxing on Christmas. I spent the entire day in my pajamas. I'm not kidding, either. I even ate fancy Christmas dinner at Rory's parents house in my pj's. That's the way I roll, my friends.

                                                          How was your Christmas?

Five on Friday

Friday, December 20, 2013

   Happy Friday, everyone! I'm so glad this week is coming to a close, because once again, I've been very busy. I can't seem to slow down right now, and I feel like time is just getting away from me. I'm having to skip an event tomorrow, because I have to get the rest of my sewing done. It's nice to be able to save money by making my own Christmas presents, but it's not as fun when you procrastinate and wait until the last minute to finish everything. Story of my life, I tell ya!

1/  Monday I spent some time catching up on my sewing when I got off work. I love sewing so much, but when you feel like you're in a time crunch, it becomes more of a chore, and that's not what I want. I want to enjoy it, and enjoy my time at home, listening to music and sewing my little heart away.

       2/  I don't think I've ever talked about this on my blog, but I take dance lessons twice a week: Ballet and Tap. I was a dancer all growing up; my life pretty much revolved around dance. I started teaching dance classes several years ago, and one year I was up to teaching about 12 classes a week. I eventually stopped dancing, because I moved away and took a couple of years off. Well, now I'm back again. I'm taking classes to keep up with it, and I'm absolutely loving it. Dance is something that I feel will always be a part of my life, at least I hope it will be. The desire to be on that dance floor is something I think I'll have until I'm old and grey. I don't have pictures of this, but on Tuesday I went to my ballet class, and then my tap teacher and I decided to whip out some Advanced tap cd's, and it was SO much fun! Despite the fact that it's been a couple years since I've taken Advanced tap, it's crazy how my feet remember it all; I don't even have to think about it. I'm convinced they have a mind of their own.

 3/ Wednesday night I went to a Christmas dinner party with the boyfriend. It was a lovely time. I, of course, took it as an opprotunity to buy a new dress. A girl can't have too many dresses! I didn't get a picture of Rory and I, but I got a picture of our desert. Do you guys like cheesecake? Because if you do, then you would have done a giddy little dance after biting into this. ( I really do little dances when something is good--I can't help it).

4/ Last night was spent doing more sewing, shopping, and making some sweat treats for another party I have this evening. Yes, another Christmas party. This one the annual Christmas party for the bible study that Rory teaches at, and it's always a fun, realxed time. Rory and I are blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people. 

5/  This is what my morning looks like today. Coffee and goodies. I've seriously been given so much candy recently by different people my company works with, and I feel like I'm going to gain 5 pounds just looking at everything.

Tell me, do you have everything done for Christmas? Please tell me I'm not the only one in the procrastination club. 

He is worthy of all my praise

Thursday, December 19, 2013

  I thought this would be a good day for me to share a little bit about myself. You've seen bits and pieces of my life, but that's not even a fraction of it, my friends. I definitely want this blog to really be me. I don't want to write about things or post things, just because I think that'll make other readers like my blog. I truely want this blog to just be Allyssa, so today, you're going to get deep in the heart of Allyssa.

For the last 5 years, Christmas time has really been bittersweet for me. I've had a great loss in my life, and been through an experience that has forever changed me. In 2008, a few months short of my 20th birthday, I lost my dear mother. If you've grown up with me, then you know that my mom and I had a really close relationship; she was my best friend. You would also know that losing my mother was something I feared my entire life. My mom didn't suffer any major illnesses growing up, so I really had no reason to be so fearful of her dieing, but I was always terrified of it. I think deep in the heart of everyone we all have a fear of our parents passing away, because we know it's something thats inevidable, but I'll tell you that nothing can prepare you for the moment you hear those words. Nothing can prepare you for the deep,deep hurt and pain that you suffer after losing a mother--especially at the age of 19.

What I am here to tell you is that even through all the hurt I've experienced, God's peace has held me  through all of this. I've experienced the comfort, love, and hope that I have in Him, my glorious savior. I'm not saying that I haven't had moments the past 5 years where I sat at my mothers grave, bawling my eyes out, wishing I could talk to her about the daily things in my life--the amazing boyfriend I have, someone I know she would love for her daughter. I wish he could have met her, and that's a part of me that he'll never know, and that's a really hard thing. I wish I could lay on my bed and watch back to back episodes of Gilmore Girls with her again. To hear her laugh, because it was the most contagious laugh I've ever heard. She was a little petite lady, but boy you could hear her from across the room. She was beautiful, and her smile lit up a room. She was a mother to all my friends, and the person that several of my friends would go to for advice.

I miss her. Everyday.

You know what's so awesome, though? The Lord has promised us that He'll work all things together for our good, and you know what? He's used this. He's used my mom's death in so many ways to grow me as an individual, and to lean on and trust in Him even more. My life has forever changed without my mother in my life, but I've come to know a new "normal". The Lord has provided me with so many Godly woman in my life that has brought me in as their own; teaching me how to sew, bake, and guiding me in the way of Christ. Christ's love has just poured out on me the past 5 years, and I've experienced the peace which passes all understanding that's talked about in the bible.

  God doesn't promise us that we won't go through hard times, and that we won't exerience pain. Look at Job in the bible. He experienced a ton of pain! But God's there for us when we need Him, and he really will carry you through it all--no matter what it is. With Christ, we are capable of making it through difficult times. We are able to experience heartache, but feel the peace of God all at the same time.

While I'm missing my momma this holiday season, I'm overjoyed by the grace the Lord has given me. God has done so many great things in my life, and it is only through Him that I'm able to experience true joy.

 I rejoice in Him, because He is worthy of all my praise.

Thank you for reading this, friends. I'm really loving getting to know you guys, and to be able to share peices of my heart with people from all over the world. I am so blessed.

Me and my mom snuggled up in my zebra blanket. October, 2007. 

My Christmas Wish List

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


1/ Aren't these boots just adorable? I've been drooling over them for awhile now. I'm in love.

2/  This scarf has been on my mental list for quite sometime. I just can't bring myself to spend almost $40 on a scarf, which is why it's on this list. ha!

3/ I grew up watching the Anne of Green Gables movies, but I have yet to read the books. My hope is to read these soemtime soon, but who know's if that'll actually happen. I tend to fall asleep after about 2 pages of reading, because I'm so exhausted from my day. I would actually love to have the movies, too, because my VHS copies are kinda out of date, wouldn't you say?

4/  I have a dear friend who has a cricut and loves them to pieces. This is just something fun that would be a nice addition to my little craft corner in my house. I just love crafty things! 

5/   I dream of DSLR camera's when I sleep. I love good quality pictures, and I would love to learn how to work with different lighting; it's such an art. 

                                                                                      P.S. I'm on bloglovin' now!

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Remembering the true Gift

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Saturday morning Breakfast

My best friend, Adriana. We were at a coffee shop downtown discussing plans for her upcoming wedding!

More wedding planning

Panera Bread. Oh my....delicious!

Part of the courtyard at the venue Adriana is getting married at

White Elephant gifts for party #2 I attended this weekend 

Hello, my dear friends! Can I just say that I'm really happy that the weekend is over? Friends, I have been so busy. SO busy! I know this month is incredibly busy for everyone, but I feel like I don't even have time to sit back and enjoy it, which makes me so sad, because I love this time of year. The pictures above are just some snapshots of my weekend. I didn't get a ton of them, because I didn't really have time to do much picture-taking. I want so badly to have just a few days where I have nothing planned and can sew to my hearts content, watch back to back episodes of Downtown Abbey, and catch up reading all of your lovely blogs. 

 I was in Kirklands on Saturday doing some shopping, and I was waiting in line to pay for my item, I was looking around at all the people hussling around, trying to decide on Christmas gifts. I stood there in complete disgust, knowing that I, too, was one of those people. Where was Jesus in all of this? Christmas has always been my favorite Holiday. I love how magical it feels when you're sitting on your couch by a nicely decorated tree, sipping on some tea and watching It's a Wonderful Life. I find joy in that; however, the reason I have any joy at all is beause of Him. In fact, the reason I am capable of true joy is only because of Christ, because without God sending His son to this earth to die for my sins, I wouldn't ever experience true joy. It is because of Him that I can have peace, hope, and that I'm capable of making it through tough times in this life. We should be rejoicing, my friends. 

This year, I want to incorporate Jesus into the gifts that I give. Even if it's just a notecard with a scripture pertaining to Christ--anything. We need to remember Jesus this Christmas, because we're so lost without Him. 

I pray that I'll be constantly reminded of the true gift this Christmas. 

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Five on Friday

Friday, December 13, 2013

My life this week

 {1} Our church gets cookie baskets together during the Holiday's for all the people that are sick ( mostly elderly people) and can't make it to church on Sunday's, and this year I volunteered to make the containers for the cookies. I was a little nervous about how they were going to turn out, because I've been so busy that I didn't have as much time to work on them as I would have liked to, but I think they ended up turning out great.

The stamp I used for the tag is from a set I bought at Target for $7! You can find it here.

 {2} I teach AWANA at my church on Wednesday nights, and this week was our Christmas party. Rory (the boyfriend) is in charge of doing the games for the kids. He's so good at it. He always comes up with the best games. Since it's been really cold outside ( cold for California), we did the games inside our fellowship hall. In this game, Rory would give them a letter, and say " I need 4 people to make the letter F", and so they would all rush into a group, lay on the ground, and try to make the letter. It was SO funny to watch all the kids throw themselves on the ground, trying to make the letters Rory would shout out. 

Aren't they cute? I'm so blessed. 

{3} I haven't mentioned anything on my blog about my job, so I guess I can write a little bit now since it's something that takes up 40 hours of my week. I work in a corporate office, and so I spend a crazy amount of time on the computer at my desk every single day. This place is my home away from home, and so I try to make my cubicle as cozy as possible. I made the hanging flower decoration on a whim one day while I was sitting in front of the TV. I literally just rolled up old pages from a book,  and used a glue gun to secure it to a shoe box lid ( yes, the back of it is a lid of a shoe box and that's what it hangs from--you'd never be able tell!) I feel like people who work in the corporate world and live their lives in cubicles need to make use of their space the best way they can--and hey, if we're going to be in it 8 hours a day, then we need to make it cute, right?! Right.

{4} I haven't been able to see much of Rory this week. I've seen him every day, but we haven't really been able to spend quality time together. The poor guy has been sick, and I've been crazy busy with so many different things. I'm hoping tomorrow we can spend some time together, and maybe do a little bit of Christmas shopping, because I'm not even close to being done yet. Someday I'll write about how we got together. It really is an incredibly story, and one I definitely wouldn't mind spending time writing. God is good, my friends. I'm always wondering how I got so lucky to end up with a man like him.

{5}Every Friday night I go to a bible study that Rory teaches at, so that's what I'll be doing this evening. I've been a part of this group for quite awhile now, and I really can't imagine my life without these people in it. It's brought about so many special relationships in my life ( including my relationship with Rory). 

I am fully aware that I could have picked a picture with much better quality, but isn't this hilarious? These are some of the guys in our bible study. We were having a contest to see who could be the best reindeer. What a group of characters, right?

Did anything extra special happen with you this week?

Mary and Elizabeth

Thursday, December 12, 2013

   "My Soul Magnifies the Lord  

And my spirit has rejoiced in God 

my savior..."

Luke 1:46-47

My friends mantle this Christmas. Isn't it amazing?


       Once every month I meet with a group of woman at my church to fellowship, eat good food, and have a bible study.  Last night was our annual Christmas party and we went through the chapter which talked about Mary, the mother of Jesus. You guys, can you imagine being in Mary's shoes? I certainly can't. All I can say is that I would be completely and utterly terrified to tell a man I was betrothed to (Joseph) that an angel came to me and told me I was going to have a baby (as a virgin). You just know the instant the angel came to her and told her she was going to give birth to a son that she had a ton of questions and probably a ton of fears going through her mind, but she totally submitted herself to the Lord and completely surrendered to Him. In fact, her very words were " Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your will". What a response! What's so awesome about this story, is that Mary went to go visit Elizabeth after this. If you know anything about Elizabeth, then you know that the Lord really did a miraculous work in her life, as well. Elizabeth was pregnant at a really, really old age ( I think she was in her 80's?), and she was pregnant with John the Baptist at the this time. Do you see what I see? Two woman spending time together, talking about how much the Lord had blessed them. I can just imagine them encouraging one another, and worshiping God together during this special time in both their lives. I find it really neat that Mary had someone older and wiser to turn to who was also going through something similar to her. I think in a lot of ways we can relate to Mary's desire for someone to connect with; someone who is going through something similar, so we can encourage and be encouraged. This story just makes them seem so human, don't you think? Mary was just a young girl; she was human just like you and me, and for some reason the Lord chose her to give birth to His son who would become the savior of the world. Wow. 

Let Christmas be all about Jesus this year. 

Just something to ponder, my friends.

One of my favorite things

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

            I can't help but sing that song " Favorite things" from the sound of music when I think of this recipe. Partially because I watched the Sound of Music Live on TV this past week, and partly because this truly is one of my favorite things.  I'm going to confess that I probably make this a little more often than I should, but it's SO good! I promise you'll love it just as much as I do, and if you don't, then I'm going to have to call you crazy--it's THAT good! 


One of the very many things you should know about me, is that I'm obsessed with Italian food. Although Naan is technically Indian, I think it works just perfectly for a quick and easy, very Italian pizza! I should probably throw out there that I'm a vegetarian, so a meal like this is perfect for me, because it's so versatile and easy to adjust to my liking. 

           This recipe couldn't be simpler. All you do is spread the marinara onto the bread, add some minced garlic, throw on your mozzarella cheese, add some sun dried tomatoes, sprinkle some Italian seasoning on before placing it into a 400 degree oven ( I used a toaster oven), and once you're cheese has melted and the pizza is golden brown, then you're ready to chow down my friends--seriously, could it get any easier? Sometimes, if I'm feeling like I want to add something a little more on the healthier side, then I'll throw a hand full of baby spinach in the middle after I take it out of the oven, and then pour some balsamic vinager on top. Deeeeelish!

                                   Do you have a go-to recipe that you're in love with?


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