Camping Adventures!

On Sunday, at 7:30PM, my fiancé and I made a last minute decision to go on the camping trip we planned one month ago. Earlier in the morning on Sunday we decided we were not going to be going because the weather forecast showed nothing but rain, but then it got to be later in the day and the rain had disappeared. I didn’t want $26 dollars and our smores supplies to go to waste, so we drove up to Red top Mountain and spent the night.

We pitched the tent in the dark, my flashlight died, we roasted weenies, burned marshmallows (okay, that was just me), and we woke up to a beautiful autumn view on Lake Altoona. I forgot how much I enjoy camping and we will definitely be doing this again, but maybe with friends! Camping is such a cheap and rewarding leisure activity; it is also a nice way to unwind if you feel you’ve been spending too much time around technology, work, and the general stressors in life.

Pepper Jelly- YUM!

I made pepper jelly for the first time with my stepdad several years ago. We used peppers from his garden and it was slightly spicy, but so good!! In recent weeks, I have gotten a craving for pepper jelly again and I also received some requests from my best friend because she loves it as well!

I picked this recipe and it made about seven 8oz jars of jelly. I don’t have a tall pot or a canning pot, so I improvise, but it always comes out delicious!

Pepper jelly is best eaten on a cracker with cream cheese. If your pepper jelly is too spicy, the cream cheese will help to dull the burn!

They can take up to 48 hours to set, so don’t be discouraged if they are still liquidly.

It’s Halloween Time, ya’ll!

Yesterday I made Halloween cookies inspired by this recipe! They turned out really cute! It was my first time making royal icing and I would say that I prefer the taste of buttercream; however, decorating the cookies was easier with royal.

I didn’t realize how hilarious putting eyes on pumpkins would be, but I love it! I ran out of black gel food coloring, so I used brown and blue and I think it came out just fine. I put purple sprinkles on top of that to give them a little more sparkle! I have to be careful about when I choose to eat some of these, because they will stain your teeth! Luckily, with most stores requiring masks, no one actually sees my mouth!

I am actually quite proud of my Frankenstein cookie. He is one of a kind and I don’t think that I will be making any more of him. I am not the best free-hander when it comes to cookie shapes, so next time I will make sure to have a Frankenstein shaped cookie cutter.

So, my owl friend was created because I am participating in a bake-off at work and one of the categories was “Spooky in the woods/Forest creatures”, so I thought an owl would be a good options. Unfortunately for me, owls are a little more difficult to make and I am not too proud of what happened with the icing colors. All in all, for my first time making an owl, I guess it wasn’t too bad.

A Life Update

I have been back in Georgia for almost 3 weeks now. I am pleased to announce that I have found a part-time job in Decatur, GA and a house (with 2 roommates) in West Atlanta. I am also registered for 5 classes (1 is online) for the upcoming Fall Semester.

In these past 3 weeks, I have felt every emotion known to man. The first week was definitely mostly confusion, boredom, and a feeling of a lack of purpose. The most “productive” thing I did during that week was color my hair. I’m pleased with it.


I spent the second week visiting with friends, apartment hunting, and applying to many a job. Unfortunately, it was also during this second week that I had my first severe panic attack since I was in high school. It’s been years. Allow me to set the scene:

It was Wednesday, May 15th and I decided to see the new movie, The Hustle, in the next town over. I drove the 20 minutes to the theatre and watched the movie. After the movie, when I got back in my car, I thought I might stop by a nail salon and get my toenails painted for the first time in a year. I looked up the closest one and drove to it. I wasn’t sitting in the large massage chair with my feet in the warm water for but 10 minutes when an old but familiar feeling of panic hit me hard. My legs started to shake and my arms went tingly and my chest got tight. I felt myself begin my “chronic hyperventilation” and I couldn’t get a full breath. I did manage to sit through the pedicure, but the drive home was even worse. What was normally a 20 minute drive turned into an hour. I was on video chat with my Omi (my mother’s mother) because she is quite skilled in breathing techniques and exercises; she’s helped me through many a panic attack before. At one point, I had to pull into a gas station because I just couldn’t function. Eventually, I made it home.

It’s been over two weeks since that day and I’ve done my best to continue life like I did before Wednesday happened, but it’s not been easy. I’m trying new coping skills, preventative measures, and I’m really trying to practice new breathing techniques several times a day so my body can get used to them. The newest and most effective breathing technique and explanation for why it works [that I found] can be found here. It so simple, but has been really effective for me. Two YouTube videos that have also helped me are ones by Conscious Life Hacks and Harmony Restored.

Since AmeriCorps has ended and I have slowly exposed myself to the “real world” again, I have found myself overwhelmed and somewhat lost. Things and events from my past appeared out of nowhere and I am now having to deal with them head-on. It’s been a little scary and totally nerve-wracking; however, I do feel like things are finally looking up once again and I’m ready to tackle what’s next. Updates to come.

2 Weeks Until I’m Home!!!!

AmeriCorps NCCC has me for approximately 14 more days. My team and I leave for Vicksburg on Monday, so in 3 days. We’re leaving at 5am, as per usual. We will be spending nights in Kingsport, TN and Memphis, TN. We will drive to Vicksburg from Memphis on Wednesday and hopefully arrive around lunchtime.

Today is Friday. We didn’t have to work today because most of the employees from HomeFront take Good Friday off, so there wouldn’t have been any staff to direct us. Instead, we went to the Grounds for Sculpture.

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