Friday, December 31, 2010

Fab Find Friday: Spicy Chicken Biscuits Are Almost Here!

Remember that New Year's Resolution to save more money? Well I've got five words for you: Get your FREE spice on!

Visit to be one of the select few to try the new Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Biscuit--for FREE. All you have to do is make a reservation for anytime between Jan. 3-8, print out your confirmation, and show up. Kyle and I made ours for Tuesday morning before work and school and I'm kinda (unreasonably) excited!

Kudos to Chick-fil-A for once again being the most awesome fast food chain. Ever.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Once Upon a Time

My inaugural trip to Disney World was absolutely wonderful, every time I think about it I can't help but feel giggly and warm and fuzzy inside! The Christmas decor was just magical. It truly was a dream come true and a fantastic Christmas present from my in-laws. I can't wait to go back! Kyle and I didn't get back to Augusta until midnight on the 20th, so it was super hard for me to get up and be at work by 8 a.m. the next day. But the good thing is that all I had to do was turn around and I was off again for the Christmas Holiday! Gotta love this time of year.

Here are a few highlights from our trip:

Jenny's boyfriend, Zach, scored us some free backstage passes to "The Seas" ride/aquarium in Epcot. We got to see the workers feed the sting rays, conduct a psychological experiment with the dolphins, and see all the facilities and work that goes into maintaining an aquarium. There were no pictures allowed back there, but trust me, it was really neat!

Our whole group, from left to right: Zach, Jenny, Kyle, Me, Lynn, and Eric. We spent the second part of our first day at Magic Kingdom (the park I was most excited to visit!).

We had great seats for me to witness my first Disney parade.

We literally walked around the whole world in Epcot to find a place to eat dinner, and we finally settled on Via Napoli in Italy. But first we paused to take this photo with the totem poles in Canada!

My first picture with Mickey, all decked out in his Fantasia costume!

The Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios was my favorite evening show. All those lights kinda hurt your eyes at first, but eventually you got used to the over-the-top-ness, complete with fake Florida snow! Check out the video below to see for yourself. :)

We searched high and low for Belle, and I finally found her! I was on a mission for this specific picture. She's my favorite Disney princess!

And it goes without saying, I am SO EXCITED about the new Be Our Guest restaurant Disney is building. I can't wait to come back and try it out.

And now, here's a little Disney Christmas spirit brought to you by yours truly. Enjoy the Spectacle of Dancing Lights. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dawn of Redeeming Grace

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

{Isaiah 9:6-7}

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

{Day 12} Christmas Decor!

Our townhome has been decorated for Christmas since the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which was the only time Kyle could help me before all of his finals kicked in. But it still took me a while after that to get everything just right, so now I am happy to give you a peek at our little Winter Wonderland! We'll start off with my favorite ornaments:

We bought this one to commemorate our recent trip to Disney World, and I love how it matches our Christmas color scheme of red and gold. Seeing as we just got back from our trip on Monday night, we haven't had time to put a picture in it yet. But there will be one next year!

I especially love the swirly gold ornament hooks we found at Hobby Lobby. They are the perfect touch! And here's our lone outdoor decoration, our lovely wreath:

Our table centerpiece that didn't cost us a dime. We used branches from our tree, candles from one of my wedding showers, and leftover gold snowflake ornaments to go underneath them. I'd eventually like to get a "real" centerpiece, but this will do for now!

We bought our stockings from Pottery Barn on Cyber Monday, so we got free monogramming and shipping. Pretty sweet deal! And yes, our coffee mugs are once again being used for a purpose other than drinking coffee. We ran out of our money budgeted for Christmas decor so I had to get creative!

And here's our first Christmas tree. I absolutely love it!

I wanted to include this one of our tree at night because I like how it turned out blurry.

Pillows stolen from my Mom. Thanks Mom! :) Well that's it for the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge, y'all! (I'm skipping day 14, wasn't a big fan of the topic). I hope you enjoy drawing near to your family and friends over these next few days! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{Day 13} Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet Cookies
I got this recipe from a co-worker, Janet, who is the sweetest Southern lady and the most phenomenal baker you will ever encounter. I think of her as my work momma! Anyway, this recipe is super easy since you make it from a box of cake mix instead of from scratch, and super-delicious (these beauties don't sit around for long!}. I didn't take any pictures the first time I made them, but I found some to suffice since they are pretty popular cookies {Mario Lopez and Paula Dean have even made a batch together!}.

1. So first, the cast of characters.

1 18.25-ounce box Red Velvet Cake Mix {I used Duncan Hines}
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
{Ignore the butter in the picture. Unless you want to throw it in there!}

2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cake
mix, oil, eggs, cocoa powder and vanilla in
the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large
mixing bowl with a hand mixer or wooden
spoon, until well combined.

3. Roll into 1-inch
balls and place on parchment-paper
lined baking sheets. The texture will be sticky and doughy.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on racks.
When you initially take them out of the oven, they are going to look like they aren't done but after they cool - they harden like they should. They will have cracks on them too, but don't worry, they will be covered by the icing!

5. Now for the best part, the icing!

For the cream cheese icing, you will need:
1/2 of an 8-ounce block (4 ounces) cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter, milk, vanilla and confectioners sugar until smooth. Ice each cookie. Refrigerate on baking sheets until icing is set, then store in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Yields three dozen cookies.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can do so many things with it! You can make them into cookie sandwiches, red velvet cupcakes, or use a heart-shaped cookie cutter for Valentine's Day. They will certainly be a Christmas tradition in the Fenton household for many years to come!

Photos: 1. The Pioneer Woman. 2, 4-5. Squidoo. 3. How Sweet It Is. 6. Pineapple Grass. 7. Orange Truffle.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Carols & Resolutions

Kyle and I are both suckers for the Christmas Hymns, they are all just so rich in Scripture and theology. Now that I'm older, I can especially see how these hymns were meant to usher us into worship of our glorious Savior.

My ultimate favorite is O Holy Night, particularly these lines:

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease


But I also love Angels We Have Heard on High, Carol of the Bells, and a new favorite this year-Christmas Canon by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (which would be a wonderful processional song for a Christmastime wedding-am I the only married woman who still thinks about that stuff? Haha hopefully not!). And you can't forget N'SYNC's Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. Stop your judging, it never fails to get me in the Christmas spirit!

Kyle's personal favorites: We Three Kings and O Come All Ye Faithful. He can play a good rendition of these on the piano, and he's a lot better than me because he can actually play the accompaniment!

An honorable mention, my favorite Christmas album: Point of Grace's A Christmas Story. My sister and I loved listening to #2 (When Love Came Down) on repeat, but the entire album is so good!

1. To strive to know the Lord better every day.
2. Learn how to be a better wife to Kyle.
3. Get back on a regular exercise/working out routine {It's all too easy to live a sedentary life with my office job}.
4. Work towards getting an MBA {any advice/words of wisdom about this is much appreciated!}
5. Save enough money for a DSLR Canon camera. And then actually buy it.
6. Get over my fears and jumpstart Two Yellow Shoes Photography!
7. Find Doc.

A good mantra for anybody and everybody in 2011: Life is too short to play small.

Our Christmas Card

Now that our cards have hopefully arrived at their destinations, it's time for the reveal. :)

To all you lovelies out there in blog land, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Fentons!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

{Day 9} Favorite Holiday Recipe

Sweet Smells of Christmas

I don't know if you can technically count this as a recipe since you don't eat it, but because it involves ingredients, a stovetop and a saucepan, I'm counting it! Growing up, this was probably my favorite thing my Mom would do at Christmas. It simply involves simmering these decadent spices, and you can make it last as long as you want. Hopefully these aromas will trigger sweet, nostalgic memories for you like they do for me!

2 sticks cinnamon, each stick cut in fourths
1 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon crystallized ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
1 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg

To make one packet, combine preceding ingredients in center of a 7-inch square of cheesecloth. Gather corners to form a bundle and tie with a string or ribbon. Place 2 cups of hot tap water in a small saucepan with a packet. Heat on high to boil. Simmer to send fragrance throughout the house. Additional water may be needed.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

{Day 8} Least Favorite Thing About the Holidays

It's hard to complain or think of something negative during the Holidays, but if I had to choose, it would be that we never get snow at Christmastime. A wintry mix, ice on the roads, or flurries maybe, but never a full-blown blanket of white gracing the ground. But considering the weather lately, a White Christmas might just be a possibility for us this year!

Now that's snow. This picture via Living the Swell Life cracked me up. I don't know if I would ever want that much snow, though!

Friday, December 17, 2010

{Day 7} Holiday Craft/DIY

Christmas Tree Bow Topper

I originally got the idea to make a Christmas tree bow topper from my sister, Ashley. It's a great alternative to the traditional star or angel. Here's the one Ashley made for her tree, isn't it gorgeous?

Unfortunately, she couldn't find the tutorial she used, so I was left to my own devices to make a bow topper happen for mine & Kyle's tree. And then I found this video on YouTube by Lady Bug Wreaths, starring the cutest little lady you've ever seen. So gather the following supplies: ribbon of your choice {wire-rimmed works the best}, scissors, pipe cleaner or florist's wire, and a ruler/tape measure to measure out your ribbon.

Next, watch Nancy's video to help you shape your bow. And I don't know about you, but I think little old ladies sure do know their stuff when it comes to bow-making!

Since I literally had my hands full, I couldn't take any pictures of the process of making ours. But here's how it turned out:

I'm pretty pleased, but wish that it was a little bit fuller. I may or may not finagle with it everyday. :)

Some other fun DIY projects: Gift Card Snow Globes by One Charming Party and Felt Poinsettia Flowers by Living the Swell Life. Happy crafting, y'all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{Day 6} Gift Ideas

This year, I've been using WishPot to compile all my gift ideas. WishPot lets you add items to a wish list from any site on the WWW, all gathered in one place. Very convenient! Too bad I didn't know about this while Kyle and I were engaged, it would have been a great place for a miscellaneous registry. So click here if you want to take a peek at My Wish List. Oh and I ran across these Tiffany yellow diamonds on Truly Smitten, there are no words. A girl can only dream!

We're Going to Disney World!

Y'all are never going to believe this, but I have never been to Disney World. Unthinkable, right? All those conversations people had growing up about Space Mountain this and Magic Kingdom that, I never could join in. But that's all about to change! This weekend will be my first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, and even better it will be during the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! So needless to say, I am super excited. Kyle's parents offered for us to go with them, and we are also meeting his sister and her boyfriend, Zach, there. It will be so great to see all of them and get to act like kids again together (or maybe we do that all the time?). Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend-before-Christmas and I will be back soon with pictures of this dream come true. :)

P.S. In the meantime, I have some scheduled posts to continue the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

{Day 5} Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special

Hands down, my favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney {George's aunt!}. I grew up watching it, and Christmas never feels complete until I sit down and soak in all the over-the-top dance numbers, vivid colors, and general goodness. My sister and I especially get a kick out of singing the "Sisters" duet together {Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen pictured below performing it, who had blue eyes and brown eyes, respectively, just like my sister and me. Those who've seen the movie know why I'm referencing this!}.

{My favorite scene, "Mandy"}

Kyle's favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone {with How the Grinch Stole Christmas coming in a close second}. He even insisted on watching Home Alone one Christmas after he just had surgery involving an incision in his abdomen, against the advice of his doctor not to do anything that made him laugh. Home Alone = not the best option there!

What about you? Let us know your favorite Christmas movie or TV special!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge: Days 2-4

While Black Friday has come and gone, it doesn't mean all the good shopping deals are over. These days, the early bird doesn't only get the worm!

For all you last-minute shoppers out there, this Friday, Dec. 17th is Free Shipping Day. Check out for a list of participating stores, including Harry & David, Ann Taylor Loft, Zappos, and Victoria's Secret. Oo la la!

Another site with great deals is I did a Google Analytics project for this site while I was at UGA, and WantNot has greatly improved its look and feel. The founder, a mother of two, updates the site daily with coupon codes and sales at relevant retailers, including Amazon, Old Navy, Land's End, Eddie Bauer, and Target this week. It's definitely worth checking out!

And finally, before you finish your holiday shopping, check or to find promotions and deals for a wide variety of store favorites, ranging from Best Buy and Pottery Barn to Gap. Or if you're willing to wait on buying yourself {okay or someone else} the perfect gift, register it at, and they’ll email you when it goes on sale. Perfecto!

Christmas 2007-my first real pearls. Kyle gave them to me, a necklace and matching earrings set, but I think it was the letter he wrote to go with them that sent it into "best gift" status. Kyle wrote about how pearls are formed, and then went on to say that I was his pearl, his rare and prized possession. It was a beautiful letter, and I just can't resist a man who is good with words! Good thing he's my husband now. :)

First and foremost, you should never pay for gift tags again! There are so many free gift tag printables out there, in a variety of designs and aesthetics, there is just no reason to fork out any money for them at the store. You can find them at Gift-WrapIt, Eat, Drink, Chic, Creature Comforts, You + Me Lifestylists, Twig & Thistle, the list goes on and on! Once you find some you like, just print them out on some card stock, cut, and attach. VoilĂ ! You've got yourself the cutest gift tags under the tree.

Next, hit up the dollar store for your gift wrap! The dollar store has lots of cute gift wrap, usually each a dollar per roll. The same amount of gift wrap could easily be $4.99 at a place like Micheal's, and you just have to think about how it will immediately go in the trash once your presents are opened.

Make a Christmas budget and stick to it! Kyle and I allotted a specific amount of money for decorations, Christmas cards, and gifts, and anything leftover will be put in savings toward our anniversary trip. It's been fun to be creative & thrifty with our gifts to see how much we can save!

And finally, along the lines of making a budget, one thing that helps to save is planning ahead and taking advantage of holiday sales. We bought our Christmas stockings from Pottery Barn on Cyber Monday, and got free monogramming and shipping! They are probably my favorite decoration we've bought this year. We also got our Christmas cards for FREE from Shutterfly, so just be a savvy shopper and monitor what's going on out there with promotions, starting as early as September/October.

Photos: 1. The Pioneer Woman 2. Style Me Pretty 3. The Resurgence

Saturday, December 11, 2010

{Day 1} Christmas Traditions

I think one of the best things about newlywed life is getting to start your own unique Christmas traditions together! Throughout this whole month I've had a feeling this will always stand out as a very special Christmas for us.

First and foremost, we want everything we do at Christmas to point to Jesus. It's so easy to get caught up in the stress of all the shopping, preparing and figuring out plans that we often lose sight of our Savior, the one who really deserves our wholehearted attention during the Christmas season. Kyle and I want to make it a tradition to read scripture centered on the birth of Jesus, not just on Christmas Day, but leading up to it as well. And this will be especially important once we have kiddos!

We also want to combat the sense of selfishness and greed that surrounds the Christmas season by making sure our family is giving generously during the holidays. This year Kyle and I participated in Operation Christmas Child, but we might try out World Vision Gifts next year. You can give a needy family a goat which not only provides healthy milk, cheese, and yogurt, but also a much-needed income boost through selling its dairy products at the market! How neat is that?

As for the Christmas tree, we want to make a tradition out of going to a Christmas tree farm and picking one out every year (Fraiser Firs all the way!). Pictured above is "the one" for this year!

On Christmas Eve, Kyle and I want to start a tradition of building a fort in the living room (made out of blankets and chairs like when we were little) and sleeping by the Christmas tree. This will especially be fun when we have kids, though I'm not sure how that's going to work out with the whole Santa thing. We'll figure it out when we get there.

Something we'll continue from our dating years is going out on a Christmas date, which Kyle likes to handle and he usually attempts to surprise me. I use "attempts" because I'm pretty darn good at figuring it out, haha! ;) This is us at The Cheesecake Factory on our Christmas date last year.

And finally, we are going to start going on a drive to see Christmas lights while listening to music and sipping cider/hot chocolate. We've already gone to Lights of the South with our newlywed Sunday School class this year, but we also want to go on our own personally-mapped out one in some nice neighborhoods in Evans. The thing about this tradition is it's very susceptible to hit or miss, so hopefully it will work out!

{At Lights of the South with our newlywed small group.}

And that's all, y'all! This post turned out longer than I thought. Sorry about that!


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