Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cagle Christmas

The day after Christmas, Susan's (Alan's mom) whole side of the family gets together. This year we had everyone come to Alan's parents' house.
Susan, David, Chip, and Carol
It was so much fun catching up with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins!
Alan got a "Lawyers" calendar from Mimi and I got a scarf!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Home for the Holidays

This year was the rotation where everyone was home for Christmas...it was wonderful! We started out the holiday weekend festivities with a trip to the outlets in Pigeon Forge on Friday afternoon. This has become an informal tradition for the Moore family and we had a great time shopping the sales, eating dinner up there, and just spending time together. On Christmas Eve, I had to work but Alan got the chance to make a last minute shopping run and wrap up lots of presents. Then we went to my parents' house for dinner and then to the 11 o'clock candlelight service at Cedar Springs.
Alan and I have a little tradition where we give each other an ornament on Christmas Eve. I gave Alan the Cardinals ornament and Alan gave me the Knoxville ornament. 2 special reminders of this past year for us!

Merry Christmas!
We began Christmas day at my parents' house with the whole family: mom & dad...

Elizabeth & Patrick
Maggie & Ben
Rachel & Colin
Annie & Christa

We started out with a delicious breakfast and then headed into the living room for stockings and presents. It was so much fun to enjoy the morning with everyone and see the thoughtfulness and time put into all the gifts.

We are so blessed!

Next, we headed to Alan's parents' house for Christmas brunch and stockings and presents with his family. Most of our (mine & Alan's) Christmas stuff is still packed away in boxes but I did manage to find our stockings which we filled up for each other this year :)

We had such a good time with his family laughing and admiring all the fun presents. Our afternoon got even better when we decided to play a game, Imagine If, that Alan got for his parents, it was hilarious! We are so happy to be back in Knoxville celebrating Christmas with our sweet (and crazy) families, but most importantly, so thankful that Jesus is the reason for this season and the most precious gift of all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cookie Exchange

Monday night was the 4th annual Christmas Cookie Exchange, and what a party it was! In the past, I have invited girlfriends over for appetizers and drinks and to exchange Christmas cookies. Well this year, I decided to progress it a little and go ahead and serve a dinner. The menu was set: beef tenderloin, cheese grits, strawberry salad, rolls, and dessert (in addition to the cookies of course!) I was so excited! Well, literally at the last minute (ok, maybe a few hours before the party) I had quite a few people cancel due to various reasons. Well at first I was bummed and then a streak of brilliance (and a little bit of craziness) hit me: I would call everyone who was coming and invite their families too. Well, this not only made up for the people who were't able to be there, but actually ended up doubling my guest list. But the more the merrier right?! So with the help of my sweet mother-in-law, we scrambled to set additional places at tables, locate more chairs, etc. It ended up being such a fun night! All the husbands and babies got to come which they loved (and let's face it, at this point in life, most of the guys probably helped in one way or another with their wives' cookies too) God was so good in letting there literally be just the perfect amount of food and I think almost everyone had a place to sit too! The cookie exchange itself was great with Kendal being awarded prettiest cookie, Susan being awarded best cookie story, and Clayton (Danielle's husband) being awarded most festive attire. I made Oatmeal Cookie Cream Pies for the exchange which you can get the recipe here All the cookies were delicious (yes, I stayed up after everyone left and tasted each one!) and although the night was a little bit more chaotic than I had originally anticipated, we were all able to enjoy our familes and friends who make this time of year so special!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Last night Alan and I had Date Night at the Tennessee Theatre downtown to see the the Christmas movie classic: White Christmas. Alan got the tickets (which were free by the way!) a couple of weeks ago and we decided to make a night out of it!
The theatre was beautiful, holiday excitement was in the air, and we really did just has the best time. We even had our picture taken with Santa!
I can't believe I'm admitting this, but this was actually the first time Alan and I both saw this movie all the way through, and we loved it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cheers from our home to yours!

The Christmas cards went out today! Despite Alan not being in the midst of exams (for the first time ever) as he's trying to write the letter, it was almost harder to get everything done this year since he is now working! It was a bit harder for me too since I'm a little OCD about things like this and want everything to be just right. We are happy with the finished product though and there's nothing like stuffing cards for an entire evening to put you in the Christmas Spirit!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Gifts from Liza Moz

Every year my girlfriends from Girls Night and I get together to make beautiful Christmas decorations and/or gifts. Last night we met at Liza Moz in the mall. Amy made a platter, Kristy and Miriam both made plates, and I made an ornament. It's so much fun getting together with friends to prepare for the Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas in Dixie

This past weekend, Alan and I, along with his parents, Katie (and I guess I'll include their dog Halle too!) drove to Memphis to celebrate Christmas with Nonnie, Alan's sweet grandmother, and the rest of the extended Moore family. We had a great trip! Despite the yucky weather and the fact that our visits never seem long enough, we managed to squeeze in: a nice long walk on Saturday morning, the SEC football championship, lots of yummy food, more football, the Christmas story, a fun gift exchange, church on Sunday morning, shopping, and a redbox movie night! This time of year I am reminded how incredibly blessed we are to be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus with the people we love the most!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Southern Living Chocolate Truffle Cake

My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year was a Chocolate Truffle Cake from one of my Southern Living cookbooks...it was a huge success! It was a sweet (and pretty) treat if I do say so myself!
It took a little while to make and decorate, so I would advise planning ahead for plenty of time to try it out!
The finished product before...
...and after! Enjoy!
Cake Ingredients
  • 8 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • unsweetened cocoa
  • Chocolate Truffle Filling
  • Ganache
  • 2 (14 ounce) containers of Pepperidge Farm Pirouline hazelnut rolled wafer cookies
Microwave chocolate in medium glass bowl for 1 minute or until melted. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and then chocolate and vanilla and mix until blended. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended after each addition. Pour batter in 3 greased 9-inch cakepans dusted with cocoa. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooking racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Truffle Filling
  • 4 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped
  • 6 TBS. butter
  • 6 TBS. whipping cream
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
Microwave chocolate and butter for 1 minute or until melted. Stir in whipping cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until blended and smooth. On cake stand, place first cake and then spread truffle filling between each layer as you stack.

  • 10 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped
  • ½ cup whipping cream
Microwave chocolate for 1 minute or until melted. Add whipping cream and stir until smooth. Spread ganache on sides and top of cake. Break cookies into long pieces and and line the sides of the cake with them. Decorate with thick ribbon and tie or hold in place with a long pin.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Give Thanks

Alan and I had a fantastic Turkey Day. We are blessed beyond measure with each other, our amazing families, great jobs (in Knoxville!), sweet friends, and so much more. We began the day bright and early with the 'Hot to Trot' 5K in Turkey Creek. Alan's parents, Katie, Patrick and Elizabeth all joined us. Some of us ran while others walked and it was a great excuse to get out of bed and start the day!
Around noon, we went to Alan's grandmother, Mimi's, house for a delicious lunch with most of the aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Heather, McNeill, Tinsley, and Brittany

Later that afternoon, Susan and Mitchell went to pick up the 2 kids they mentor through the KLF Amachi program: 2 adorable twins- Tionna and Tion.

Then we went to my parents' house for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Yum!
The whole crew (minus Colin and Rachel)!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday Funday

Yesterday was a super fun and super busy Sunday! Alan and I went to church bright and early and then went over to my parents' house for lunch to see my wonderful aunt Claire and uncle Peter who were in town for the weekend. Claire and Peter live in Connecticut and we have missed them like crazy!
That afternoon we went to the Knoxville Convention Center for me to help with Tinsel and Treasure, which is my committee this year for Junior League. We had some GREAT vendors and it definitely got the wheels in my head spinning with Christmas ideas! I told Alan that he was lucky we don't have a house yet, or our credit card might have gotten a little bit of a workout!
That night we went to...
to celebrate Will's 29th birthday! It was so much fun going out with them and several other couples from our small group. They are just the greatest friends and we are so blessed to know them. Happy Birthday Will!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Very Merry Unbirthday

Lyndsay, Liz, me, Lindsey
Saturday night Alan and I joined in the celebrations and raised a glass to my good friend, Liz, who had a very merry unbirthday and turned the big 30! Her super creative sis, Mimi, planned a Mad Hatter b-day extravaganza which was oh so fun! Liz moved from Knoxville to Wilmington, NC last year so I do not get to see nearly enough of her now but we had a fabulous time catching up! Happy Birthday Liz!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Living...Southern Style

This past Sunday, Alan and I drove to Nashville for reasons of our own:
Alan's Reason: go to a Titans game
My Reason: see the 2011 Southern Living Showcase Home

Let me just say, if you think Pinterest gives you great ideas, you (are right of course but) haven't seen nothin' yet! A...MAZE...ING is all I can say. Not only do you get to walk through a beautiful home, each room custom designed and decorated, but you also get to speak to the designers, ask them any questions you want, and the best... open up every drawer, closet, etc to see all the incredible details. The pictures below do not do this home justice but enjoy:
front door (already decorated for the holidays, I love it!)
living room
breakfast nook
mud room (this was one of my faves)
awesome sliding glass doors opened from the living room to screened-in porch
master bedroom
this little detail was one of my faves...double doorway
beautiful hallway upstairs, notice Elizabeth's "slippers" we had to wear, ha!
family room (this was Alan's fave)
After a late lunch, we went on to the Titans game.
cool display of the American Flag during our National Anthem
Elizabeth and Patrick... thanks for inviting us, we had a blast!
Such a fun day!