Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

1:00:00 PM

I'm writing this a few days before New Year's Eve comes around, as I'm not sure what my internet connection will be or if I will even have plans to post this! This year has been quite different. I guess I can say that, though nobody really expects it to be the same as the year before, I think it's pretty common to wish each year were different in a good way. 

 This year I learned a lot of good lessons, had to make some tough decisions, and made some pretty great friends. Reflecting back on the year, I don't think I would say I would regret any of it. Here are some of the lessons I have learned looking back on this year. 

People leave. Whether you have known each other for years and at one point thought you'd be best friends forever. It didn't stick. It's different when you go to college or uni, especially for me since I chose to stay at a university near home. But I didn't think I would be the one to leave the group. Honestly. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, even though it was really tough at first.

Numbers don't matter. No matter how many "friends" you can count on your facebook page. It's better to have closer ones you can count on your fingers. For me, they came later in the year, and my best friend came right when I needed her the most.

Being sincere changes the world. Telling someone "hey you make my day" can really change their life. Try it. Tell your best friend she's inspiring, tell someone "hey that thing you did just now really made me happy." Because maybe they're having a bad day and you wouldn't know, but when they go home they might smile because of that.

I learned some smaller things too like, if I want to buy a fish I can even though my parents may not love it as much as I do, though shuttling the fish to someone's home so they can care for it is not the best. (My fish's name is Latte.) I learned that with people leaving, 
people will stay. And they are the best, and you should never let them go. I learned that ice tea is very addicting and I also don't care, I love it so much. 

Along with a New Year on the horizon, I am also excited for what it has to bring. 
 I'm going to the One Direction concert in Milwaukee in August. I might be going to Chicago for a weekend (stay tuned). My really good friend is getting married. I might visit New York City at the end of the year too (stay tuned for that). Maybe since I'm ending 2014 traveling and starting 2015 traveling..it'll be the year of travel for me? We'll just have to see. 

       I hope you all are having a great end of the year and I hope your holidays were incredible as well! What are you looking to the most in 2015? 
     Thanks for reading! See you next time! 


Christmas Eve

10:25:00 AM

It's Christmas Eve! Depending where you are, or what time it is when this post actually goes up, it's almost time to wake up and open the presents!

Christmas has been building up for about two months for me now, since I started making Christmas presents early. And I've actually brainstormed a few more today for  next year, but honestly I'll probably forget and figure something else next year. 
This Christmas eve day, I'm working. I'm bringing my homemade Christmas cookies and a few get their own plates. Then I'm off to church and a christmas dinner. 
Then tomorrow, when I wake up I'll open presents with my family, have some breakfast and hop on back to work. Don't worry, we close early. And honestly, I don't mind work. I actually like it. A lot. But watch for the New Years Eve post, I'll have a proper ramble about that. 
After work, I'll go on to my mother's house to open presents there, maybe have dessert as I work through dinner time. 
I'm ready, for Christmas. Though it will be different this year as I have to work and there will be one less filled stocking with my dog gone this year. Which is still hard for me, and no I don't really want to talk about it. 
Then on the 26th I'm off to Arizona, which will bring plenty of posts of my time out west. 
I do hope you all have a great Holiday, and that you get everything you asked for and more. I'm thankful for you reading this post right now. 
Are you doing anything similar today or tomorrow? Do you have any traditions that always happen during these two days? I would love to hear them so make sure you leave a comment!
I love you. 
See you soon! 


A Christmas Mouse

11:18:00 AM

Christmas is so incredibly close, I can hardly wait. I have my cards sent, my gifts partially finished but on the calendar to be given out and the cookies all baked. It's been different these past two years as I have really gotten into Christmas. I'm not really sure what happened, I just started getting really excited about it. It was probably watching Vlogmas last year and some of Zoe's enthusiasm rubbed off onto me (that can happen right?)

   Anyway, it started off as a regular day, I planned on finishing up my final paper, and studying for my first exam of exam week over at one of my favorite coffee shops where my friend works. Except, when my sister came upstairs to say there was something in her window well...well I had to check it out. 
 Sitting in the rocks, trying to make sense of how he had possibly gotten stuck in such a mess, was a Vole...which are also called field mice. I'll be honest, mice are not my favorite animals, though when they're separated by a glass window with no way of getting inside, it's fine. 
  This little guy was quick. He scurried around amongst the rocks and looked sort of cute. He, whether or not it was actually a male or female is a mystery, became known as Dexter. 

My sister and I watched him run around and even surprise us by jumping up onto the window sill. 
He had white fur by his mouth that looked like teeth, and I was slightly glad they weren't.
After watching the little guy run around for awhile, I decided that I wanted to save him, as I did with the rabbit this summer which you can read about here 
But unlike the rabbit, Dexter was not to keen on getting into a box and would scurry away. Did you know they can run up to 6 miles per hour. That's pretty quick, and when it's small and caught in a small space, it's not an easy catch. So defeated, I had to give up and wait for my step dad to come home and figure something out. I went off to stick my nose in my books and huddle behind my laptop drinking ice tea and trying to concentrate. 

Once I came home, there was a board leading down to the bottom of the window well, in hopes that he would climb out and go off. They only live for about 2 months in the wild, and Dexter surely did not want to spend the rest of his little life stuck in a window well, where we could watch him and gasp whenever he jumped up onto the window sill. 

It was nice of him to come visit...though I hope he doesn't get himself stuck in a window well again and I definitely hope he doesn't bring any family or friends with him. They can live in colonies of up to 300? Please stay home Dexter. 

I hope you all are having a great week so far, even though it's only Monday! I have a busy week ahead so I'm not too sure when my next blogpost of this year will be so if I don't post before the end of 2014, which I probably will. But I hope you have a great Holiday! 
See you next post!


Holiday Letters

11:30:00 AM

Writing Christmas letters is one of the many things I personally love about the Holidays. Writing letters in general is pretty great, but sending out Christmas cards to places all over really makes it exciting. 
Yes it is easy to communicate through social media these days, and maybe getting letters have gone somewhat out of style and it isn't done as often, but I genuinely enjoy writing them. 
This year I'm sending six. Three out of the country, and three within the states. For me, it's really fun to see when people get theirs and what they think of them. I love that a card can hold so much meaning within them. The person who wrote that letter took time out of their day, thought about you and sent it out. Writing letters that go far distances is a great reminder that the world is so much bigger than you think it is.Getting and sending cards from all over is a great way to learn the differences between your life and another persons, which is really interesting! Once, I had a pen pal from Africa, though I'm not even sure that she even received the letter it was really cool to think about how different our lives were. 
If at anypoint, you want to mail me a letter then you can! And I'll mail you one too don't worry! Just email me at Behindhazeleyes06@gmail.com or tweet me on twitter (Kenziedear22). 
There's just something about writing a Christmas card that makes me even more exciting for Christmas Day! 
Who have you sent Christmas cards to? I've already written one that's made me quite emotional and honestly, I cannot wait to give it to the person. 


Christmas Tree Hunting

12:00:00 PM

 Every year either a few days or a week after Thanksgiving, my dad, sister and I venture out. 
We dress in our warm outfits and drive a few miles, to a Christmas Tree Farm. 
There are many different ways people get their Christmas trees, you can either pick one up in a store, have a fake tree, or gather one from a parking lot. Where I live, it's pretty common to chop down your own at a Christmas Tree Farm. These farms are family owned, fun places to go and get one of the most important symbols of Christmas time!
 The past few years or so we've been trying out new places, this year was no different and it was just as fun!

Fresh, Christmas trees have the best smell. 
There are always tons of trees to pick from and in any variety! Tall, Round, skinny, small..you can always find your perfect tree. 
The place we had visited this year had such a cute set up! I couldn't help but feel more excited for Christmas than I did the day before. They had little elves, and also a horse drawn sleigh! Though we didn't actually ride it, I did not hesitate to get my picture taken by the horses and give them a little pet. 

 After cutting the tree down, you pay the fee and load it back into the truck to take home and decorate!
Here's our finished product!
I'm not sure whether or not we'll return, but I did have fun and enjoyed the place while we were there getting a tree!

Do you decorate a tree too? Real or synthetic? 
Hope you're getting excited for Christmas! 
Make sure you leave a comment and follow me on bloglovin as well! 


Christmas Gift Idea: Mason Jar Brownies

12:00:00 PM

Here we are, back again. In the spirit of Christmas (and a small wallet) I decided to make all of my Christmas presents! Mostly using Mason Jars. Because for some odd reason, I have a slight obsession right now. 
Last time I told you all about the Happiness Jars. This time I'm going to tell you about the Mason Jar Brownies. I found this recipe over at iheartnaptime.net and you can visit the exact page here!
Though that recipe is almost the same as this one, I did have to add my own twist to it!
Making these was not an easy task. Let me warn you. 

You'll need:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar 
1 cup Andes crushed mints. (on the website it says peppermint but they were no where to be found!) 
1 1/4 cup flour 
and a pinch of salt

When you do make this, I would suggest putting down an old newspaper because it got quite messy when I gave it a go. 
 I also didn't have a mason jar big enough for the last 1/4 cup of flour but for the second one I did, the jar happened to be big enough! So if you can't fit anything just add it to the tag. 
The tag is what you use to write down the "wet" ingredients of the mixture and the directions at which to cook it. 
1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
Bake in a 9x13" pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes and 
This jar also doesn't have to be a Christmas present, though if you do use peppermint then it would imply that it is, but it would be a cute birthday or Mothers Day or even Fathers Day gift as well! 
I hope you give it a try! Let me know what you think!


Holiday Tradition: Truffles

12:00:00 PM

Some things never change when it comes to the holiday season. Whether it be waking up and getting to open your stockings stuffed with gifts for St Nick's Day, decorating your Christmas tree with your family, or baking certain foods, it's something that you've probably come to love when the lovely month of December rolls in. 
 Something that I've always liked to do is make truffles with my grandma. Chocolate truffles are probably one of my favorite, closely tied with the cookies that hold the Reese's cups inside them (already planned a post about those, stay tuned!) It's a fairly simple recipe and doesn't take that much time at all! 
 If you love chocolate, then you'll love this post! At least, I think you will! 

The recipe my grandmother follows calls for: 
 45 Oreo cookies (regular or double stuffed), we use two of the packages. 
 1(8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
 2(8 ounce) packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

First, you want to crush 9 or 10 of the Oreo cookies and set the crumbs aside. Make sure their small parcels, as they're going to be on top of the truffles! 

 Secondly, grab a large bowl, putting in the creme cheese and follow up by crushing the first box of cookies and a few of the other box. After you've done this, you can now mix the crumbs with the creme cheese. 

 This is when you bring out your baking sheet, setting some wax paper on top in order to keep the mess at bay. Roll the creme cheese-oreo combination into small balls, setting each on the pan. It doesn't matter in this case, how close you set the balls because you're not putting them into the oven so no need to worry about them spreading! 
After you've rolled the mixture into the balls, drop them into the chocolate. To make it a little more runny, my grandmother added a bit of cooking wax. You roll the ball in the chocolate and drop it back onto the pan, sprinkling a bit of those extra oreo crumbs that you've set aside, on top! 

Once you've done this, you can now put them into the fridge to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. 
Then you can enjoy this excellent treat! 
Like I said, I love making (and eating) these during the holidays! And I hope you give them a try! Let me know how they turn out for you! 

Christmas is getting closer!! 


Christmas Gift Idea:Happiness Jars

12:00:00 PM

It's finally almost here. 
It's almost Christmas! 
Being a college student who loves writing cards, and having Christmas as an excuse for giving people gifts..actually affording to give gifts can be pretty tough!
If you're looking for some great DIY Christmas-y gift ideas, you're in luck..I've got a few! 
The first one I chose to do, was a Happiness Jar. 
Happiness Jars have been going around for ages, you write down happy things you've done throughout the year and read them at the end of it to remind yourself of what a great year it has been.
I decided to put my own twist on it and create Happiness for people. 
Things that will make people happy in case they're ever upset or sad or even lonely, they can just pluck one of the color strips of paper from the jar and hopefully
 it'll make them smile!
You will need:
-A mason jar (or a couple, depending on how many you're going to make)
-Colored pens or markers
-Labels (I used chalk labels because they seemed fun!) 
-Tissue Paper
-Colored Paper

Make a list, on a separate paper. I had the bright idea that I was going to do 365 happy things. It's harder than it looks, but it's also good to list them before putting them in so you don't have repeats! 
I used a small variety of colors for my colored paper pieces and wrote from the list what the happy moments or things or quotes were. 

After you've put everything inside, put on the label and write Happiness, or the persons name if you'd like. Then grab the tissue paper. It doesn't matter what color it is, I found some sparkly paper and decided it was perfect. I took the middle part of the lid out and dabbed a bit of glue inside the lid, setting the tissue paper inside. 
Careful it doesn't rip, tissue paper is very..fragile. 
Tie your tag to the bag after putting in the jar, or before, don't forget to write the name! 
I made two of these jars and each person had different happiness things in them. As they're two very different people!
I hope you give these a try and let me know what you think! 
My next idea is coming up soon! 


The Christmas Tag

2:00:00 PM

With everyone doing Blogmas, I decided that I would attempt, and I do mean attempt, don't hold me to posting everyday because I just might...not do that but I will try my best to post more often this month! (Maybe three times a week?) 
 My good pal Heidi over at heidis1haven had tagged me in this tag. As it's too late to do the Autumn Tag (sorry Heidi) I thought I would dive right in and do this one. After all, it is Christmas time isn't it? 

1.What is your favorite Christmas Movie?
This was a really difficult choice, as there are hundreds of Christmas movies out there. I think right now, Prancer the 1989 movie about santas reindeer that gets lost and a little girl has to fix him up and basically save Christmas has got to be one of my top choices. 

2. Do you open your Christmas Presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Depends on where I am. I usually have Christmas Eve dinner at my step-grandmothers house, where we get small gifts, but I still have the joy of getting up on Christmas Day and opening gifts.

3.Do you have a favorite Christmas Memory?
I'm not really sure if I haven't always liked Christmas or what's happened but all of a sudden I really love Christmas. I think this year might be my favorite. But in the past it was when my friends and I did Secret Santa! 

4.What is your favorite festive food?
The Christmas Cookies of course! 

5.What tops your tree?
A star

6.As a kid, what was the one crazy, wild, extravagant gift you asked for but never recieved?
I wanted a pokemon. A real one. Yep I was that kid. I never did get that though...must've gotten lost in the sleigh. 

7.Do you prefer a real tree or synthetic? 
I love the smell of the real trees, though I'm lucky enough to have both.

8.What's your favorite scheme for decorating a tree?
The most important ornaments go on near the end. The ornaments that sparkle the most and the colored bulbs (mostly red ones) go in the inside of the tree. 

9.Giving or Recieving?
Giving. This year I made all of my own presents to give away, so I'm really excited and I hope everyone likes their gifts. 

10.Christmas Day fashion?
Morning? My Christmas pajamas I bought last year, and during the day one of my favorite Christmas time sweaters, or one of the new pieces of clothing I had just bought. 

11.What's your favorite Christmas song?
Like the Christmas movie question, this was quite difficult..and I'm not sure if I actually have one. 
I do like "Do They Know It's Christmas" the one done by the various artists for Band Aid.

12.Christmas Cards or Texts?
Christmas Cards, though everyone in my contacts does get a message, I love getting cards in the mail and I love sending them out. It's the best. 

I tag Anna
and Jenny
to do this tag! 

Are you getting more excited for Christmas now? 


Thanksgiving USA

1:38:00 PM

Whether you're from the United States or not, you have probably heard of Thanksgiving. Not everyone celebrates the holiday, though most do, it's not a very religious one. If you haven't heard of the holiday before don't worry! I'm here! 

Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November every year. This came after the pilgrims (those people who came over from England to a "new world") had their first harvest in 1621. Back in 1621, Thanksgiving was celebrated for 3 straight days. Ever since then, we've been having a great time with the holiday. 

 Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving differently, especially now that we have our mothers and fathers sides of the family and sometimes we can't always get to every meal. And as much as you really think you can, you cannot possibly go to more than one meal and clear your entire plate of food off. No matter how strongly your grandparents might persist. 
Usually guests arrive about an hour or so before the meal actually begins. This is a good time to catch up with family members you might not be able to see during the rest of the holiday season. It's also when the smaller snack-type food is set out. 
A lot of families celebrate Thanksgiving by going to various meals. Brunch (breakfast/lunch), Lunch or Dinner. My first meal was at my Grandparents house. 
When you think of Thanksgiving food you might first think of Turkey or Ham, depending on what you've grown up with. Along with Turkey or Ham, we also have Green Bean Casserole, Squash, Mashed Potatoes, Strawberries and Creme, Stuffing and rolls. There's also champagne, milk, wine, sparkling apple juice for the kids and sometimes coffee. 

 You might also think of pies. Usually, Pumpkin pie is the most popular around this time of year, at least at my house. Otherwise there is also Pecan and Apple Pie. 
                                          (Pecan Pie)                                                            (Apple Pie)
(Pumpkin Pie)

The Pecan and Apple Pie both showed up at my second meal, a dinner at my Step-grandmothers house. Thanksgiving is a time when families come together, and catch up. It's nice to see everyone once in a while after you've been away at college or busy with work. 
                     It's filled with great homemade food and you're eyes are definitely bigger than your stomach is. You really can't eat THAT much, but at least you tried right? 
      And now that Thanksgiving happens to be over...It's officially almost Christmas! 
 If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what do you see on your table the most? Anything different than mine? What's your favorite food?! 
Thanks for reading!