20

Yesterday was Brendan’s (my boyfriend) 20th birthday! And it was the perfect day for a birthday celebration. After church with my family and Brendan’s brother, we went over to my grandmother’s house for a birthday celebration. We all had lunch together and then enjoyed some cake and watching Brendan open his presents. It was such a beautiful day with temperatures in the 60s! Since it was so warm, I took the opportunity to go outside and take some pictures. I am so thankful that my family, Brendan’s brother and his best friend got to help Brendan celebrate this special day in his life. Later that evening, Brendan and I went to Starbucks and then to see Saving Mr. Banks (which is a wonderful movie, in case you were wondering). We had a very nice evening together!

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Post-Valentine’s Day Lunch

My boyfriend had the wonderful idea to make dinner for my grandma on Valentine’s Day. Since our one year anniversary was at the beginning of February, we decided that we would put more emphasis on celebrating that special day together instead of Valentine’s Day. So, we were going to go over to my grandma’s house on Valentine’s Day to cook her dinner, but due to the snow storm, we had to post-pone until Sunday (February 16).

My boyfriend and I decided to cook Spinach Lasagna Rolls for my grandma. My boyfriend’s mom introduced me to this dish last summer and I loved it! It was so nice to be able to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal in the kitchen instead of eating food from the dining hall on campus. This meal was special because it was the first meal my boyfriend and I cooked together. I used the Spinach Lasagna Roll recipe that I found on Gina’s Skinny Recipes. However, I used a bit more sauce than the recipe calls for because I really like sauce! The dish was simple and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

My Valentine’s Day

Snow day number two! I was very thankful that I didn’t have to spend my Valentine’s Day sitting in classes all day long. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I did homework in the library and then went out to eat for dinner to celebrate our second Valentine’s day together.

After dinner, I went to Liberty’s Tower Theater to interview several of the actors from the musical Little Women, which opened last night, for my next article for Liberty’s newspaper, the Liberty Champion. It was an awesome experience to meet and interview the actors from the play! I am looking forward to seeing the show next weekend with my boyfriend.

Snow Day

Snow. Cold, wet snow. While I would rather be basking out in the sunshine reading a nice book on a lovely summer day, I have to admit that seeing everything covered in snow was quite beautiful. School was canceled on Thursday (February 13) and has also been canceled today. I can’t complain about the weather if it means I get two snow days in a row!

Yesterday, I mustered up enough courage to venture out into the frigid tundra that was the campus of Liberty University to take a few pictures of the beautiful white stuff.

My boyfriend and I spent yesterday afternoon studying at Panera Bread. I was working on writing an article for my copy editing class when the employees at Panera announced that they would be closing early due to the snow. And since they were closing early they gave away all of their baked goods for free! I definitely picked the right place to study.

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Some of the free baked goods I got from Panera

 

Pinhole Photography

I am currently taking a Conceptual/Fine Art Photography class At Liberty University this semester. It is different from any of the photography classes that I have taken thus far in that I have a little more free reign in the pictures that I take. Instead of being told specifically what to take pictures of and how many pictures to take, my professor has given us an assignment, such as pinhole photography, and then we use that method of photography to take pictures of whatever we want and whatever speaks to us. I find this way much more creative and enjoyable.

The first assignment that was assigned in this class was pinhole photography. Instead of using the traditional film version of pinhole photography, my professor had us use our DSLR cameras for this assignment. My professor took the body caps from our DSLR cameras and drilled a hole through them. We then took a piece of metal and poked a tiny hole through it and attached it to the body cap. After putting the body caps back on our cameras, we were ready to experiment with pinhole photography. This is what my body cap ended up looking like.

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Inside of the body cap
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Outside of the body cap

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The finished product

My professor drilled the hole in my body cap and also cut the metal for me and my classmates, so I don’t have hands on experience with that. But if you want a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own pinhole camera body cap, then check out this blog post from How-To Geek.

These are a few of the pinhole pictures I ended taking for my class.

Pinhole photography is so unique and creative, I definitely recommend giving it a shot! I will be posting more of my photography projects from class in the future, so keep an eye out for them.

College Life – Sunsets, Basketball and Hall Meeting

These are just a few pictures I took of the various things I did on Tuesday. There is never a dull moment on the campus of my school, Liberty University. In the future, I will be sharing more stories and pictures of my college experience.

I spent the majority of the afternoon studying in the Jerry Falwell Library (check out some pictures of the library on my boyfriend’s blog). I was studying biology when the beautiful sunset gleaming through the large glass windows of the library caught my attention. Naturally I chose to put down my biology textbook, and pick up my camera to go take some pictures from the terrace. Lynchburg, Virginia really does have some of the most colorful sunsets.

I took a study break and went to the Liberty Flames men’s basketball game. My boyfriend works for the Athletic Facilities department and tonight he was in charge of doing the flame effects (for more on his job, check out this blog post). So I was able to sit with him and get some pictures of the basketball game. The animals in the pictures are the Zooperstars, who performed for the half-time show.

My Tuesday ended with a Valentine’s Day themed hall meeting. There was a quirky photo booth set up, so my roommates and I decided to take advantage of it. Throughout the semester, my hall usually has several different themed hall meetings. Last week we had a Black and White themed hall meeting where everyone dressed up and last year we had toga and gangster themed hall meetings. I will definitely post more themed hall meeting pictures in the future!

Snapshots of a February Afternoon

February is a very bleak month. Now in the heart of the winter season, the bitter cold weather has cast a silent hush across the land. Everything seems to have a dull gray hue around it and the chill seems to emanate the feelings of loneliness. As I write this post I am longing for spring. I want to feel the warm sunshine on my skin and see the radiant colors of life all around again.

But that does not mean we should idly sit back and let the winter pass us by without reaping the benefits that can be found during this frigid month of the year. Have you noticed all of the beauty that can be found in nature during the month of February? While life may not seem to be thriving, there is still beauty in the bleakness. God’s beautiful creation is present throughout every season, sometimes you just have to look a little closer to see and appreciate it.

So here are a few snapshots from my bleak February afternoon. I spent Sunday at my grandmother’s house and decided to document my afternoon through pictures. Look closely, I promise there is beauty to be found in this season.