October 5, 2017

EUROPE // Part 3

Now that it's around 2 years since I got back from Europe, I'm going to finish my last post about Europe. 

This is the post where I throw in a few more "real camera" pictures, but after that I will share the pictures that show more of the moments and the people I hope to never forget. They aren't the best quality, but they captured the realness rawness of our trip to Europe.


So hang with me for a bit longer while I share these last few pictures.


We did get to tour the inside of Neuschwanstien. Let me tell you, that castle was a DREAM!
I would tell you all the crazy details and all of that, but then you might not want to go yourselves, so I will refrain from spilling the juicy details, so that you want to go yourself.






"Little townnnn, it's a quiet villaaaage."

That's what these two pictures remind me of... Beauty and the Beast.  There is something about the narrow cobbled streets, the vines climbing up the Hotel Reichskuchenmesiter - it just seeps disney princess town. 



The End.

Not actually though!
Now I'll let you all see the behind the scenes phone pictures! Some of these ended up being my favorites, just because of all the memories.



^^ This is us singing in Holland. 

That was a day with many lasts in it. The last concert in Europe. The last time the program would ever be sung. The last "goodbye's", "I love you's, and "I will miss you" to new friends. One last "see you someday," because who knows.... Maybe I will get to see more of these people again on earth. I have already gotten to see one sweet lady who came to visit the United States, and that was such a sweet reunion. 



These scene below is one that happened over and over. These are just a few of the people who welcomed us with open arms, took care of us, and loved us, and then sent us on our way with many prayers. I know the likelihood of me ever seeing them again is so low, but I still exchange emails with many of them!



<3





These girls.

Thankfully, speaking the same language isn't required to be friends. Sometimes, friendship comes from tickling, laughter, being around the same hight, and laughing at trying to speak each other's language and failing... But that's okay! Through many different words and actions, they managed to tell me that they would miss me, and the feeling is extremely mutual.



I still email back and forth with them and when a friend recently went to Germany, they sent back a card for me. I keep it in my Bible, and every time I see it, I pray for them.

My trip to Europe was incredible. And now that I've actually finished posting about it, I will have to start working on a post about my trip to Africa. 

But that trip is still too close to my heart and describing just how much Africa changed me is impossible, so it will have to wait. 



xoxo,
Anna Rose
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February 27, 2017

Hannah || Portraits

Looking back, I guess part of it was my fault...
Not that I was driving the Prius, but I definitely did say that we should try to make it up the mountain.
And it went really well.... for the first 20 feet. At that point, our progress slowed slightly. When I say slightly, I mean that we stopped. completely. After trying again and again we decided to face our fate.
We were REALLY stuck.

We struggled for the first 20 minutes until finally deciding that calling my brother to pull us out was probably going to be the best course of action. Unfortunately, we forgot that Prius's don't really have much metal with which to attach a strap to... So it ended up that pulling us out turned into digging us out. Man! I got myself one great Big Bro!

Don't worry tho, I thanked him later on by making Blueberry Coffee Cake. 

Back to the story! 
That was the beginning of Hannah's photo shoot. I had a few days at home so I contacted another local photographer (shoutout to Dakota) and she let me tag along on this photoshoot.

I can't remember a photoshoot being quite this exciting.... except for the one engagement session that involved a flat tire and a lost cell phone. 
But that's another story.

Anywho! So I'm off to finish editing a few other pictures. Enjoy!







Hannah, twas quite a pleasure getting stuck with you. 
Let's do it again sometime! 
(Minus the getting stuck part. ;)

xoxo,
Anna Rose

February 14, 2017

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies


These cookies are the best of both worlds and the bomb.com all at the same time!
There's that incredible peanut buttery taste, and the super smooth-melted chocolate taste... These cookies disappear like crazy!

My biggest tip for this recipe is to not over bake the cookies. I'm one of those people who like cookies super chewy and warm.... and it doesn't get much better than when you add a chunk of chocolate on top. 







Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (Stir the flour and then scoop it, so it's not packed into the measuring cup/spoon.)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 30+ Hershey Kisses

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix well and scrape the bowl.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once and mix until just incorporated. *this is where you set aside a bit of dough to eat later. ;)
  4. CHILL dough for 2 hours in fridge or 45 minutes in the freezer. (This keeps the dough thick and puffy / helps it not spread too fast while baking.)
  5. Scoop dough and shape into balls, about 1 rounded Tablespoon each. Place 2-inches apart on silicone lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately place a single Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie while still warm. Rest for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Enjoy!!
xoxo,
Anna Rose



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February 2, 2017

Europe || Part 2

Okay, So when I left off, We were floating down the Rhine River...I think. 

This river was INCREDIBLE. Castles galore and such cute little towns situated in a straight line. This was due to the rocky hills that go steeply down into the river, not allowing much room for the towns to grow anywhere but sideways.





Our next stop was BERLIN >> GERMANY
It was decided that we would get a better experience if we walked around Berlin. We definitely got a better idea of what life is like in Europe! Most people walk or ride their bikes when they want to get somewhere.




This is the World Time Clock. It was neat watching it move and see all the different times and places around the world.
Also, there were street artists all over the place in Europe...  I saw accordion players, guitar players; some people would even bring their keyboard and play in the middle of a square.




The Brandenburg Gate was a must-see place while we were in Berlin. We also stopped to see the Berlin Wall, as well as Checkpoint Charlie. After a long day of walking around Berlin, I was thankful to have a few minutes to sit in our bus before the next concert.

*Story Time*
 I was in the airport recently, and I met a older man from Berlin. It was fun to show him some of the pictures that I took in Germany and hear him say, "I know where that is!!" 
It made him so happy to see someone who knew the places he knew and loved. 




Ohhh my. This youth hostel was gorgeous!!
We had a little extra time on this specific day for some reason and I was making my way to breakfast (carrying my camera, as usual) when I saw a door that was opened slightly to let a breeze through the building. I walked over, took a little peak and gasped because what I saw was exactly what I imagined the Secret Garden would look like. 

The walls were stucco white, and there was an arbor of blooming roses. There was a little wicker chair in one corner and the ground was cobbled. The raindrops from the night before glistened as the morning sun hit them, making it look like there were thousands of diamonds among the roses.

A few minutes later, a lady came and told me to leave. I think. She said it all in German, and I assumed that was probably what she meant.

So I guess I snuck into her private garden on accident.... but it was definitely worth it. 







I thought maybe.... JUST MAYBE I would be able to finish up about my Europe tour in this post, but I'm running out of room, and there are things to do today, so I will leave you one last shot.

This, my friends, is Neuschwanstein Castle.
It is often better known as the Cinderella Castle, and is nestled at the base of the Bavarian Alps

I walked around a corner in the forest and then I saw it through the trees,
and it took my breath away.



Next time, I will share some of the things that God taught me while traveling and singing with my team. They are like my family, and I made friends and memories that I pray I will never forget. 
xoxo,
Anna Rose