Monthly Archives: December 2012

12 Things I Learned in ’12

Here we are, the last day of 2012, and boy, am I glad to see this year end! It was not the best of years for me. I was handed a huge bag of sour lemons, but fortunately, I have learned to make sweet lemonade!

They say everything happens for a reason, right? When I was first hit with my curveball, I had a really hard time finding that reason. The situation was completely unfair to me, I did not do anything to deserve it, and I was left hurt, angry and, most of all, confused. However, as time marched on, I began to realize that it didn’t matter whether or not I deserved it and whether or not I thought it was fair. The fact was, it happened, I couldn’t change it (God knows I tried) and so, I had to deal with it. With this realization, came the understanding of what the reasons may be and one of the big reasons I discovered was that there are still a lot of things I have to learn about myself. If I wasn’t thrown this curveball, I never would have given myself the opportunity to do all of the growing, learning and maturing that I have been able to do over the past six months. And, I should tell you, this blog has played a huge part in my learning process and has helped me pick up and move on with my life by giving me a new sense of direction at a time when I was feeling lost. So thank you to all who read and support A Curiously Chic Life!

Most people start their new year with resolutions. I, however, feel as though I can’t begin a new year without acknowledging all of the things that I learned in 2012 because those things are going to shape my resolutions and New Year’s goals. So, here is my list of 12 things I learned in 2012…

  1. I am a much stronger person than I have ever given myself credit for.
  2. I am independent.
  3. I have a great deal of ambition.
  4. I have been blessed with many talents, some of which I’m still discovering.
  5. I have more courage and confidence than I have ever given myself credit for.
  6. I am finding it more and more important to continually create.
  7. I have a loving family who supports me no matter what and has helped shape the person I am today.
  8. I have an amazing group of friends that I am thankful for everyday, because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today (I’d still be face down in the dirt, crying most likely… So thank you to all of my friends, for pulling me up, brushing me off, and walking with me down this unknown and exciting path!)
  9. It does not do to dwell on the past and the things you cannot control or change. It will only make things worse, not better.
  10. Everything happens for a reason and that reason is always because there is something so much better in store. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis
  11. Ladies, you don’t need a man to make you happy. Find out who you are, what you want, do what makes you happy, and you will be even happier than you ever were with any man.
  12. Keep moving, no matter what. Even when you think you will forever have “down” days, keep moving, stay focused on you, and turn to the people who love you for support, because slowly the “ups” will begin to equal the “downs,” then the “ups” will outweigh the “downs,” and one day, you have only “ups.”

So, to 2013…May it be a year of “ups,” a year of new experiences and dreams, and a year of continual learning and growing! Happy New Year, everyone!

Stay Curiously Chic! xo…Alane

Featured image via: http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/01/monday-quote-118/

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Wheel Throwing Update – Finished Pieces Pt. 2

I have a couple more pieces of mine photographed! Here is the mug I made (I’m very happy with the way it turned out!) and my favorite bowl. I absolutely love the glazing on the bowl, especially the areas where the red and white mix.

Mug Bowl

I still need to finish photographing the rest. Hopefully I’ll get to it this weekend.

If you missed any of my previous wheel throwing posts, you can check them out here:
Wheel Throwing
Wheel Throwing Update
Wheel Throwing Update, Pt. 2
Wheel Throwing Update – Finished Pieces Pt. 1

As a Christmas present, I signed my dad and myself up for the next ceramics class. This one is 8 weeks long and runs from the end of January to the end of March. We’re both really excited to continue with it and see where the next class takes us!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane

Happy Holidays!

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and enjoyed good company and good food! We had a quiet holiday at home – relaxing by the fire, sipping eggnog, watching A Christmas Story for 24 hours and indulging in Christmas cookies. And we finally had a white Christmas! I was so excited to see snow falling on Christmas Eve. Those white flakes really do make the holiday feel more magical!

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Our tree Christmas morning

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Dana dog is wondering where her presents are

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

Stay Curiously Chic! xo…Alane

Hand Printed Wrapping Paper, Pt. 2

Saturday, I printed another roll of wrapping paper (check out my first two designs here) with the tree stamps I used on my first batch of Christmas cards. I used red, green and gold ink and created a geometric pattern. I really love the way this one turned out!

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Tomorrow is the big day! Does everyone have their gifts wrapped and under the tree? Mine are finally all done so today, I am going to lounge around, watch my favorite Christmas movies (Elf, Love Actually, Christmas Vacation…), maybe do some more baking, and wait impatiently until A Christmas Story comes on TBS at 8pm. Yes, I am one of those people who watch it 24 hours straight. It is my absolute favorite Christmas movie!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas Eve and enjoys time spent with family and friends!

Stay Chic! …xo Alane

Christmas Gingersnaps

Every Christmas I look forward to making – and eating – Gingersnaps. They are my family’s favorite cookie and make great gifts! I just baked a batch this morning (I made the dough last night) and wanted to share the recipe with you!

I don’t know where the recipe came from. I think my mom found it in a magazine a long time ago. It is a very simple recipe to follow and I’m sure most of you will already have all of the ingredients. (They’re very similar to the ingredients in my Spiced Pumpkin Bread recipe)

Ginger Cookies
Makes 7 dozen

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups softened butter (3 sticks)
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I like to give an extra dash)
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Sugar

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Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl beat sugar, butter, molasses and eggs until light and fluffy.

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Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level off. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Mix well.

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Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 1 hour. (The dough can be made ahead of time. Just keep refrigerated until you are ready to make the cookies)

Shape dough into 1- inch balls and roll in sugar.

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Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

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Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until set. (I baked mine for 8 min this morning and they came out perfectly) Cookies will puff up and then flatten. Cool 1 minute, remove from cookie sheets.

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And enjoy!

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Are any of you doing any last minute baking? Do you have any recipes you look forward to every year? I hope you will share them with me! 🙂

Stay Curious! xo…Alane