New Year’s Eve, 2013

Another year has come and gone. People are checking off their list minute hopes and dreams for 2013, while excitingly awaiting to make new ones. As we ring in 2014, people across the world celebrate the New Year with unique traditions and resolutions. 

A few of my favorite Southern traditions are: the traditional New Year’s Day meal with collard greens and black-eyed peas and the pickle drop in a small NC town. 

Each year, I am remembered of this quote, from the movie New Year’s Eve, “As you all can see, the ball has stopped half way to its perch. It’s suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop, and reflect on the year that has gone by, to remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken, the times we opened ourselves up to great adventures… or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt, because that’s what New Year’s all about , getting another chance, a chance to forgive. to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more, and to stop worrying about what if… and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other, and not just tonight but all year long.”

I hope 2014 treats you well and may everything you wish for comes true! Happy New Year’s, y’all! 
 
Source: New Year’s Eve 
 
 
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364 Days to Go…

“Don’t you get the sense tonight, that for now the world is right. And as another Christmas ends my mind drifts and once again. I’m thinking like a six year old…only 364 days to go.”

Brad Paisley had it exactly right when he sang the above chorus in his Christmas melody “364 Days to Go.” You might be like me and think December 26th is the saddest day of the year. All of the magic and spirit of the holiday season is gone.

With each year, Christmas brings something different. For me, this year, it wasn’t about the presents or the food, it was about the family. We could have had pizza instead of a turkey and that would be fine, because my family was together. There is no better feeling than having all of your loved ones gathered around.

As each year changes, so do we. We grow, we adapt, and we change. You might have had short hair last year and now it’s long…get where I’m going with this? The one thing that doesn’t change from year to year is the spirit of Christmas and the magic of that holy holiday. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, the time I get to celebrate my King’s birthday. For just a few, short 30 or so days, we are able to break-away from reality and focus on what’s important. There is a feeling of joy, happiness, and peace in the air. People are rushing around, shopping here and caroling there all for one reason…to be together with your family and friends and celebrate a very special person’s birthday.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are short, but joyous breaks-away from reality. During that time, nothing else matters and our troubles go away. So what if there is wrapping paper everyone and dishes stacked up? On December 26th, everyone has to go back to reality, but on the 24th and 25th there is peace on Earth.

A Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day 12

Today is one of my favorite days of the year- Christmas Eve. Children are preparing for Santa, the lines are long at the stores, and memories are being made. To end our 12 Days of Christmas, I thought we could make a memory or two with this unique tradition.

Recently, I read an article about a father who filmed his children and their reactions on Christmas morning to Santa’s presents for 25 years. Then, the footage was given to his children for them to keep. Such an awesome and sweet tradition! Who doesn’t want to remember their reaction to Santa’s gifts when they were 5?

I hope you’ve enjoyed our 12 Days of Christmas as much as I have and you and your family make tons of Christmas memories this year!

Merry Christmas!

A Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day 11

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve! Today, thousands of people are finishing their shopping or starting it, wrapping their last set of presents, and cooking up a storm for their big Christmas meal! Remember to take some time to enjoy the season with your family and friends with this classic Chicken and Dumplings recipe, courtesy of country singer Tim McGraw.

Ingredients:

1 small chicken
Water
Pinch of salt
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. butter shortening
½ cup buttermilk

Directions:

1. Boil chicken in a pot, adding salt to taste. When tender, pull chicken from the bone and return to the pot, adding broth.

2. In a bowl, combine shortening and flour, mix together with a pastry cutter, then add buttermilk to form a doughy ball

3.Sprinkle flour on cutting board. Pinch off part of the dough and roll into a thin sheet and cut into squares. Drop one square at a time into broth. Continue this until all of the dough is used. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer until tender.

4. Allow the dumplings to thicken in the broth for 2 hours until it is a creamy consistency.

Enjoy!

Source: http://greatideas.people.com/2013/12/23/tim-mcgraw-faith-hill-chicken-and-dumplings-recipe/

A Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day 10

It is hard to believe we are already celebrating day 10 out of our 12 days of Christmas! When they say time flies, they really mean time flies! Every year at Christmas, I like to take a moment to stop and reflect on the past year and the meaning of the season. Also during this time, I like to make new memories with my friends and family by reliving our Christmas traditions. Below are my top 5 favorite Christmas traditions!

5. Reading the Christmas story from the Bible before Christmas day lunch: Every year on Christmas day, right before my family’s meal, the youngest in the family (who is able to read) reads the Christmas story, Luke 2:1-20, to everyone. Helps everyone remember the true reason for the season. 

4. Christmas Eve Lovefeast: Being from North Carolina, the traditional Moravian Christmas Eve lovefeast is something you grow up with. My favorite part: the congregation singing ‘Morning Star’ and the church sanctuary being lit by all the candles as everyone raises their candles to the ceiling.

3. Busting through Wrapping Paper on a Doorway Christmas Morning: Who doesn’t like waking up Christmas morning and wanting to see what Santa brought? But before you can do that, you have to bust through wrapping paper that covers the doorway to the tree first!

2. Listening to Christmas songs as We make Christmas Cookies: Bring out the George Strait, Scotty McCreery, and this year, ‘Duck the Halls!’ A few days before Christmas, my family makes Christmas cookies, while listening to classic country Christmas songs.

1. Spending time with my family: Ok, this might not be a true tradition, but family members always seem to come home during Christmas time. I guess it’s the magic in the air! 

A Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day 8

Happy Wednesday and the eighth day of Christmas! I hope you are enjoying a Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas just as much as I am!

What’s a better way to celebrate day 8 with a little Scotty McCreery? Last year, McCreery released his Christmas with Scotty McCreery album, featuring hits, such as Elvis’ ‘Santa Claus is Back in Town’ and ‘The First Noel.’

In addition, McCreery helped spread a little Christmas cheer to President Obama and the first family. He took part in TNT’s “Christmas in Washington 2012,” with singing ‘Santa Claus Is Back in Town’ and ‘Mary, Did You Know?’

Video Credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJGaBRUffw

A Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day 7

A Country Belle Chic’s 12 Days of Christmas: Day 7

Watching Christmas movies, sipping hot chocolate, and turning on the tree lights is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. My favorite Christmas movies would have to be White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. However, several … Continue reading