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I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Call Me....

The Annoyed Army Wife.

No, don't really, because I wouldn't want to steal her name, but that moniker fits me to a "T" right now. (If you don't know who she is, go check her out, she rocks!)

Anyways. I'm super annoyed today. Not really at the Army, more at myself. I'm annoyed because I committed the cardinal sin for a military spouse. The one thing we're never supposed to do, I recently did.

You MilSpouses may already know where this is heading. Are you ready for it?

*I made plans.*

Yep. Stupid, I know.

It gets worse because I proceeded to get excited about the plans.

Head smack.

Anyways, as you can probably guess, the dates changed and the plans are being scrapped as we speak.

Don't worry, nothing was actually booked or anything, but man, I really wanted this to work out. Like I said, I'm not even annoyed at the Army, I'm annoyed with myself, because I know better.


Faaabulous Family Fotos

I really debated whether or not I should use the word "fotos" in the title, especially since I'm not one for that sort of misspelling. In the end, alliteration won out and fotos it is.

On to the post, folks!

When we went to Hometown, USA over the 4th of July we had a family friend (who also happens to be a photographer) take some pictures for us, both as a family and just of AJ. We ordered several of them and they came in the mail today!

I'm really happy with the way they turned out, so I thought I'd share them with you guys!

I think she looks angelic in this one!

I love her face in this one.


A great family photo.

D thinks AJ looks like Fat Bastard in this one, but I like it!

I love this one of D and AJ.

This last one is everyone's favorite. I seriously laugh every.single.time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spicing Up Your Summer Meals....

The past few days we've had some yummy meals in our house. I attribute this to my awesomeness and also how bored I get of eating the same things over and over again. I also think part of it has to do with the fact that there isn't really all that much to do around here (i.e. restaurants), so I'm experimenting with ingredients that I wouldn't normally use at home.

This week's meals are as follows:
  • Friday: Cubano Sandwiches, homemade guacamole and tortilla chips
  • Saturday: Linguine with Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Feta, and Shrimp
  • Sunday: Steak with Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions, Balsamic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic.
  • Monday: Green Chile Turkey Burgers, Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Tuesday: Taco Tuesday!
  • Wednesday: Quiche with sausage, cheese and scallions, and spinach salad
  • Thursday: Left overs
The reason I'm posting? Well, because we're 4 meals into this week and they have been excellent! I'm so glad that I have been taking the time to make healthy dinners and branch out. I have always been fairly comfortable in the kitchen, but lately I've really been coming into my own and I'm really starting to feel comfortable experimenting!

I guess that getting int he kitchen and not being afraid to mess up really does pay off. I'm not going to lie, there have been a few nights when I told D, we can order out if this is really bad, please feel free to let me know if you hate it. You know what? Most of the time if its bad, we still eat it, and make notes on things to change for next time (or maybe a not that reminds me not to make it next time ;).

I've included links for recipes above. If I didn't link it, its because I made the recipe up. You can ask me to share if something sounds particularly yummy to you, and I'd be happy to try and recall measurements for you!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The New Workout Update

I've decided to move my workout updates to Sundays because I think its just a little bit easier to talk about the entire week as a whole instead of breaking it up to report on Wednesdays.

Of course, by moving the updates to Sundays the name doesn't quite have the same "ring" to it as the alliteration of "Wednesday Workout Update."

Such is life.

On to the update.

This week was week #1 of my half marathon training plan. I'm using Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon Training Plan, in case you were wondering.

Here's the schedule for this week with what I actually did in italics:

Monday 8/23: Stretch and Strengthen. (Nothing.)
Tuesday 8/24: 3 mile run. (Nothing. AJ and I were driving)
Wednesday 8/25: 2 mile run or cross train. (2.1 miles)
Thursday 8/26: 3 mile run + strength. (3 miles)
Friday 8/27: Rest
Saturday 8/28: 30 minute cross train. (3.7 miles)
Sunday 8/29: 4 mile run. (I'm planning to run tonight)

Honestly, I was hoping to start out my training a little more consistently than I did, but I'm happy with the mileage I got in. I know that getting out and running on the weekend is always my downfall for exercise, so I'm not surprised that I haven't gotten around to running yet today.

I know that the next 12 weeks are going to go by quickly and so I'm going to really make a concentrated effort to not let myself slack over the next few weeks. The snowball effect will kill me. If I start slacking now then I know I'm going to be miserable when the time comes to run 13.1 miles on November 14.

Is anyone else training for a big race? Anyone planning on running the half (or full, kudos to you!) marathon in San Antonio in November? Wanna be training buddies?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Run For The Fallen 2010

Well, we're all up bright and early in my house this morning because we're heading off to run in the Run For The Fallen.

Well, AJ's not running it, but D is going to push her in the jogger, so I get to run without the baby! Yippeeee!

I'm sure that most of the MilSpouses know someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice and I think its really important to do things like this race to honor them. I'll be keeping a few people in particular in mind while running this morning, but also thinking about the sacrifices the men and women of our Armed Forces as a whole have made for our country.

I ask that you stop for a minute today to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Freedom.


Friday, August 27, 2010

A Question For The Moms....

I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but AJ has recently started crawling scooting and it won't be long before she is full out crawling around our house. I also want to mention that we have no carpeting in our house. Seriously, every square inch of the floor is either wood or tile. My problem is that since AJ is not super steady yet, she keeps flipping over accidentally and smacking her head on the hard floors.

So mamas out there, have you had this problem? How did you rectify it?

Obviously its a temporary problem because eventually she'll get steadier and won't be flipping over, but then we'll get into the whole standing/walking stage when she'll start falling again. So I had the idea to get some of those soft puzzle piece mats that go on the floor to cushion her falls a little bit.
Something like this.

Does this seem like overkill to you or no? I should also mention that we will only be in this house until December, then we'll be moving somewhere else (where we'll more than likely have carpeting in at least part of the house).

What do you think? What have you done?

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Welcome back to another week of the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In sponsored by The Wifey over at Wife of a Sailor! I'm sure no one noticed, but in case you did, I missed last week's for a number of reasons the first being that I couldn't think of answers to the questions namely, I was in the car with my parents and daughter for 7 hours last Friday. But anyways, I'm back (!) and here is this weeks' questions (and answers!)

You might also notice that there is a blog name in parentheses after the question. That is because this week the questions are all taken from last week's meme. If you find a certain question particularly amusing, you can follow the link to find out more about the blogger who came up with it! Enjoy!

1. What secret indulgence do you act on while your spouse is away? (from Devil Dog Darling)
I tend to watch terrible TV that D loathes. Seriously, if he knew the amount of time I spent watching shows like Real Housewives, Army Wives and Jon and Kate Plus 8 (they were still together last time D was deployed), he would probably not be surprised, but he might throw up in his mouth a little bit.

2. If you were a spice, what would you be? (from New Girl On Post)
Garlic because I would make everything more delicious! LOL Seriously, we eat a LOT of garlic in this house, its kind of my go-to spice, so if you don't like it, you should steer clear of pretty much any dish I make (aside from desserts).

3. Where do you go for support when your significant other is deployed? (from Texas Meets Washington)
My biggest support system while D was gone was actually his friends. They kind of took me in and helped me to realize what he was going through. It was interesting to think about our situation from the military member's perspective and they helped me a lot. We were very close and I was present when a few of them met their significant others! My mom also helped me out quite a bit. Even though she doesn't really know what its like, my Mom has this way of putting everything into perspective for me. For me it was important to have people around who weren't going to let me feel sorry for myself.

4. What is the oldest thing you own? (from A Troop's Girl)
Oh geez. I have no idea. I guess my Care Bear, named Cousin Bear, from when I was a baby. I don't have it here with us though, its at my parent's house. Cousin Bear is actually an elephant. She is a Care Bear cousin, so I guess that is how she got her name, not sure though!

5. How did you vision your future pre-military? (from Daddy's Duty)
I'm going to be honest and say that a lot of how I envisioned my future turned out to actually happen. Some things in reality are vastly different from what I envisioned (like how much money D makes) but for the most part, I saw us getting married and having a family. We weren't located in a specific place in my visions, but I guess that is because I just assumed that we'd be close to Hometown, USA. I've never been a career-minded person, so I never really had big plans for myself. I guess I'm lucky that the whole "get married and have kids thing" worked out for me so quickly! Ha ha.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh the Excitement!

I'm so excited!

"Why?" you ask.

Because my little brother is coming home from London tomorrow! He's been living there since January (was only supposed to be there until April) for work and he finally comes home tomorrow! To top that off, he's moving to the big city that is closest to where we're located right now!

I got to chat with him tonight while he was packing up and we were talking about all the time we're going to spend together in the coming months. It got me really excited!

I'm also really looking forward to seeing him next weekend in Florida. We're heading down South for Labor Day weekend and he's going to be there (along with my parents and baby sister).

Our conversation this evening just made me laugh because he told me that he was disappointed that I didn't post on my blog today because he reads it when he's bored at work. So, B, here you are! Maybe you'll have a chance to read this tomorrow at the airport before you head home! Can't wait to see you again, brother!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trip Recap

Friday afternoon we got into town and checked into the hotel. After a quick nap for AJ we headed to my Aunt and Uncle's house (my Dad's brother) to see some family, including my grandparents and some aunts, uncles and cousins. Although I'm not the oldest grandchild in our family, I'm the first to have a baby, so it was kind of a big deal for the family to meet AJ.

My Uncle Paul (Dad's oldest brother) holding AJ.

Four generations together!
Me and my cousin, Allison, with AJ.

Saturday we headed across town to my other grandparent's (my mom's parents) house so AJ could meet some more family!

Another four generation picture, this time with my mom and her parents.

My cousin, Molly, and AJ.

AJ and my Grammy, hanging out.

It was really good to be able to see all the family that we did and I am also glad that they were all able to meet AJ. We don't get to see them that often, so it was important for me to be able to go when we had the chance.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We're Home!

I just wanted to stop in and make a quick post to let you all know that AJ and I made it home late this afternoon.

The hubs had the house nice and clean (he even sparkled the bathroom) and dinner was prepared, he just had to throw it on the grill. It was a pretty chill evening and I'm not looking forward to all the stuff I have to do tomorrow. I have to unpack still, get some laundry going and make a massive trip to the commissary to start with. I also should run since my training officially started yesterday and I haven't actually done anything yet. I swear that I'm going to stick with the training once I get started this week!

Anyways, I'll be back tomorrow with pictures and a recap from our trip! I'll also be attempting to catch up with all of your blogs and hopefully get back to commenting again soon!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday

This week's Mamarazzi Monday is from this weekend when AJ met my Grammy and Grandad. Its kind of blurry, and you can't see AJ's face, but this is her and her Great Grandparents on my mom's side meeting for the first time. They all seemed to get along pretty well. Once we get home I'll post pictures of her meeting her family on my dad's side. This picture was taken with a cell phone so its the only one that is online so far. The rest of the pictures are on my camera. Come back Wednesday to check them out!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's Skyline Time

I haven't really had a chance to get online since we got to the "Land of My Grandparents" so since we have a little downtime now I decided to hop on my phone and check in with y'all! This will be a quick post and I'll go into details once I get home.

AJ has officially met most of her relatives on my Dad's side of the family. Tonight she's meeting my Mom's parents. Pictures will follow early next week.

The highlight of my weekend/trip so far was our trip to Skyline Chili for lunch! My Dad and I both love Skyline and since there aren't that many Skyline franchises outside this area, it's always a treat! If you know what Skyline is, you can probably guess which state we're currently visiting!

Anyways, I'm off to watch the Little League World Series with my patents while AJ naps! I'll be back soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shopping Report

First off. Massage=heaven.

On to shopping. My sister and I went to the mall after lunch yesterday and we also stopped in at the world's biggest baby store (Buy Buy Baby). All in all it wasn't a bad trip, but I was prepared to spend some money and I didn't really get a lot of the stuff that I was looking for.

Normally the Gap is like "what do I not want?" and yesterday I didn't buy anything. I did get AJ a few cute things from Baby Gap that were on clearance though, so that was exciting. Our trip to Buy Buy Baby was insane. We were there because I wanted to buy more 8 oz bottles and small town doesn't sell the bottles we use. Well, I was planning on looking at some of the baby clothes while we were there and it was so instensely overwhelming that we just got the bottles and left. In case you've never been there before, I'll explain.

Have you ever been to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Well, this baby store is owned by the same company and is set up exactly the same way. It is huge and has walls of things that go all the way up to the ceiling! I'm not kidding when I say that it was overwhelming. I'm not one to be freaked out easily and I seriously looked towards the clothes and then turned to my sister and said, "let's GTFO of here!"

My main goal was to find a swim suit for our FL trip. I should have known better than to wait until the end of summer to find a suit. We really didn't see that many and the only store where I actually saw a few was in Victoria's Secret. Um, no thanks!

Speaking of VS, we went in there and their computer system was down so they were writing down credit card information manually. Well, I took a look at my hand written receipt when we got home and the girl forgot to (or just didn't) write down the last four digits of my credit card number. I'm assuming that means that I won't be seeing a charge from them.

Does it make me a bad person that I didn't call or try to remedy the situation at all? What would you have done?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not a Workout Update

I've been really really terrible about working out lately, so instead of boring y'all with my update I am going to hold off for another week. Monday August 23 marks the official start of my 12-week half marathon training program, and I will be working out 6 days a week. So, with that being said, Wednesday Workout Update will return next week.

So, today is Wednesday and my little sister, AJ and I are heading out to meet my mom for lunch and then to go shopping! There are a bunch of things that I need (like a swim suit for our upcoming FL trip, a shopping spree in Victoria's Secret, and to go crazy in Gap, BR and J.Crew) and some things for AJ too! I might even throw a quick trip to Tarjay in there too! (Sorry, hunny.)

Then later on I'm leaving AJ with the grandparents and I'm heading out to the spa to get a much-needed massage. My back and shoulders have been so sore lately and I'm super stressed out (for no real reason) so it should be heavenly. I can't wait! I'll be back tomorrow to update you all on my purchases!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Quick Visit....

AJ and I are on a road trip of sorts. We headed out this morning and made it all the way to Hometown, USA this afternoon. The purpose of the trip is to hang out here for a few days before we get back in the car and drive to yet another Midwestern state. AJ will officially be meeting all four of her great-grandparents on my side of the family this weekend (yes, I'm super lucky and all of my grandparents are still alive)!

She met her great-grandparents on D's side over the 4th of July since they live in Hometown, USA so now its my turn! Unfortunately, D has school so he couldn't make the trip with us, but I know he wishes he were here.

Not only will AJ be meeting great-grandparents, but also great-aunts and uncles and some of my cousins live in the same town as the g-g-parents so she will be busy entertaining all the relatives with her adorable-ness! I promise to post pictures next week once we're back. D needed my computer for school-related things, so I'm posting on my mom's for a few days=no pictures... :(

The best part about being back in Hometown is that they have every.thing. Seriously, my sis, AJ, and I are going to lunch and shopping tomorrow. Can't wait!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday

Some pictures I took with iPhone 4...I was hoping to get a few of AJ's teeth (yep. She's 5 months old and has more than one tooth! Crazy girl!) If you look closely you can see them in a few of these....

Mom! Get out of my picture! *Notice her 2 teeth!*

I like this last one because her arm makes it look like she's taking the picture!

New Toys!

So yesterday we decided that D needed a new phone. He had decided to finally get an iPhone and since

1) I had just gotten mine replaced for free;
2) I thought he might have a complete mental breakdown due to his current phone;
3) I was eligible for upgrade and he wasn't

we decided that we'd upgrade me to an iPhone 4 and he'd take the brand new 3GS I had.

So yesterday afternoon I headed out to AT&T to get it all straightened out. Our town is so small that the AT&T store doesn't carry the iPhone. I had to go to WallyWorld to get it. Seriously! I was so confused!

Anyways, we're all set now and AJ and I are headed home to see the grandparents and stuff this week, so I may be a little MIA. No worries though!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just a quick update to let you all know that date night went well and we had a fun day at the river yesterday. AJ and I only stayed for an hour or so, but the rest of the crew was there most of the day. They ended up back here last night and I made dinner for them.

Today I'm off to the USO to volunteer for a few hours. Should be a fun time.

In baby news, AJ has decided that she doesn't want to lay in her crib to nap anymore. She likes to be rocked to sleep and then as soon as you set her down she wakes back up crying. We're currently on hour 2 of trying to get her down for her morning nap. If you've got any, send some good "sleeping baby" vibes our way!

I'll be back tomorrow!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Date Night!!

My wonderful friend, M, has bravely volunteered to watch AJ tonight so that means D and I are going on a date! I'm pretty sure that this is the first time we've actually had a chance to go out to eat and see a movie since before AJ was born. Sure, we have gone to friend's weddings and her grandpa watched her, but that was different, those were weddings. This will just be us. (!)

I'm not even sure what movies are currently playing (and in case you were wondering, yes, we do have a movie theater here in the middle of nowhere). I have no idea where we will go for dinner. It doesn't matter. What matters is that we will be leaving the house for no less than 3 hours without AJ!

Don't get me wrong, I love the girl to death, but we (me especially) have not had a night out without her to reconnect in a really long time. I'm so excited to not have to rush through dinner so we can make sure AJ won't have a meltdown. I really hope there is something good playing at the theater so I can make the most out of my rare movie-going experience. I really cannot express how thrilled I am that we (I) will have a break from Miss AJ and spend some QT together!

Hooray for date night and hooray for awesome friends who are willing to give up their Friday night to watch our baby!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Poor iPhone...

Did I mention that my iPhone broke? No? Well, Sunday night I was up feeding AJ at 4 am and I was perusing Facebook when my phone shut off. Literally the screen went black. I thought, "well, that's a little disconcerting." When AJ was done eating it still had not come back on and I couldn't figure it out. So I just plugged it back into the charger and went back to bed. Nothing good was going to come out of trying to fix my phone at 4 am.

Well, I woke up Monday morning and it seemed fine. Sometime between 4 am and 9ish my phone had turned back on and seemed to be in working order again. Fast forward 45 seconds. Screen goes black. Again. Grrrr. I decide that my best course of action (as any iPhone user knows) was to "Restore" my phone to its original factory settings and go from there.

Well, in the middle of restoring my phone, it shut off again and the restoration could not be completed. I grabbed my computer and got on Google to try and self-diagnose the problem and possibly fix it. No luck. D hopped onto Apple's website and suggested that I talk with one of their "Experts." Sure, sounds good to me. I set up a phone call on D's phone and a few minutes later was being informed that since I don't have the Apple Care Extended plan I don't have free phone support. BUT, if it is determined that my phone needs to be repaired or replaced they will do that for free since I'm still covered under my 1 year warranty. So basically, they'll fix my phone for free, but they can't tell me that its broken unless I pay $70 to talk to someone.

GRR. I decide to purchase said plan and they are able to tell me immediately that I have a few options.

Option #1:
I can take my phone to the nearest Apple store. Nope. I'm not 100% sure, but I think the nearest Apple store is over 2 hours away. I'm not doing that.

Option #2: Apple can send me an envelope and then I can send them my phone. 5-7 business days later I will receive either a replacement phone or my fixed phone back. 5-7 business days? That's a long time to be without a phone. Not doing that.

Option #3: Apple can send me a replacement phone and the packing materials to send my phone back to them. The catch? They're going to charge the amount of the replacement phone to my credit card until they get my broken phone back. That amount? $600. Nope. I don't want to do that.

Option #4: I can drop my phone off at a UPS retail store and they'll pack and ship it to Apple. Then in 3-5 days I'll receive either my fixed phone or a replacement phone back. Okay, fine, I'll do that. Its only 3-5 days, right?!?

Nope. We can't do that because the UPS store in my location isn't able to do that. Basically I can be without a phone for a week or I can have them charge my credit card $600 and hope that they take it off in a timely manner.

I decided that since I'm going to be out of town next week that I don't want to take any chances and not have a phone for my trip. I'm sucking it up and forking over the $600 (even though I'll get it back, eventually).

Guess what. FedEx came on Tuesday to deliver the phone. Guess where I was? The commissary. Yep. And they couldn't leave it on the porch or with a neighbor because a signature is required. ARG! I ended up having to wait around the house all day yesterday until they finally came to deliver it at 3:00 pm.

Oh well. At least I have it now.

Have you ever had to deal with something like this?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update!

OMG. I'm the biggest slacker. Ever.

My friend came into town on Thursday, so I didn't run Friday, Saturday or Sunday of this week. Of course, that really doesn't give me any valid excuse for not running Wednesday or Thursday, but I didn't.

I had to physically threaten myself to run on Monday. Then I skipped Tuesday! I will admit though, I had a terrible migraine Monday night that sent me to bed with AJ at 7:30. I decided to spend Tuesday hydrating so I wouldn't run into the same issue again.

Today marks the start of a new week and I resolve to run at least every other day. Even if I don't want to. (I know I won't want to.) We have a 5k race at the end of August that I want to be able to finish with a decent time.

What are some tricks that you use to keep yourself motivated?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Okay, who's ready for summer to be over?!

::Raises hand::

I'm just so tired of this super hot weather. I mean, seriously, when its too hot to go to the pool, there's a problem. And the humidity. Don't even get me started on the humidity. I guess I should be grateful for it. The heat advisories and humid climate here in MO will make Florida actually seem refreshing when we go over Labor Day!

The checker at the commissary this morning told me that an area near us had the highest temperature in the country yesterday. Hotter than Phoenix. Hotter than Florida. Hotter than LA. We win! Hooray?

Anyway, in case you couldn't tell, the weather has made my life so incredibly boring that all I have to blog about today is the weather. Blah. Hopefully I'll think of something exciting soon!

Oh, and is anyone else shocked that its already August 10th? Where has this month gone?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday

Hello and welcome to another edition of Mamarazzi Monday! We've had an exciting week in our house! AJ started trying out some rice cereal and she has been eating in her new high chair! She also has started to sit on her own. the biggest news of all is that she now officially has not one, but 2, teeth!!

Here are some cute pictures from her first time eating cereal!

And I'll leave you with one of her after her first trip to the pool, which was also last week!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Hair Dying Experiment

I recently announced my intentions to save a buttload little bit of money and dye my own hair. So about a week ago I dyed my hair from a box. I haven't really ever done this before (aside from the mishap during my college years) so I was a little unsure about what kind of hair dye I should buy. I have seen all the commercials for the various products on the market and that is approximately where my knowledge of hair dyes ends.

Sorry this picture is so blurry.

I went to the PX and purchased a box of dye based on what the model looked like on the front. You might be thinking that this method of selection is not the best way to do things, and you may be right. Who knows? All I know is that my hair is approximately the color that the box promised it would be. I consider that to be a success!
This is what I looked like during the process.

Yep. I'm wearing a garbage bag. D thought it would be a good idea so I didn't ruin one of my super nice t-shirts (dripping with sarcasm). Anyways, it took a really long time. I thought that it would be quick and after the recommended minimum of 20 minutes I would be able to wash the dye out. Not so much. I think I left it in for almost an hour before it became obvious that we didn't do a good job getting it on everything evenly. I washed it out and sent D back to the PX to buy a second box to do the touch-ups (read: roots).

This is the close-up of the shoddiness of the first round.

In the end though, I am happy with the way it turned out. Immediately after, the contrast was a little intense for me. I was afraid that I looked ridiculous, but after it faded a little bit I ended up liking the outcome and will most likely attempt to dye my hair myself again.



Friday, August 6, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Okay, so lots of you have asked how the home hair dying experiment went and I did dye my hair at home and will update you all tomorrow (with pictures!). Today, however, is MilSpouse Friday Fill-In!

So, without further ado, I bring you this week's edition of Wife of a Sailor's fabulous meme, the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In!

1. What is something you wish you'd learned to do earlier in life?
I wish that I had learned to be more patient. I also wish that I had learned to be a better listener. Both of these are things that I have recently learned to do and I'm not good at either of them. I have to work at it really hard everyday. I know that everyone has times when they don't listen or lose their patience, but for me, that is the norm unless I make a point to actively try to do one of those things. Looking back, I can't believe I still have friends based on how self-centered and impatient I was!

2. What is your biggest pet peeve with the military?
Oh, where to start? I guess it is the way everything seems to always be ass-backwards. Seriously, that seems to be the norm. I just can't stand the fact that my hubby telling me something means that it will never happen. Despite knowing that I still get disappointed when it doesn't happen or plans change.

3. What tourist attraction near you have you never seen?
Well, I'm from Chicago originally and I've never been to the "bean" in Millennium Park for the purpose of taking my picture in the reflection. I've walked past it, but never stopped. I have to admit though, it hasn't always been there, so that might seem like an easy choice. As far as tourist attractions where we are...there aren't any, so yeah.

4. What are you avoiding doing right now?
Making dinner. I have an excuse though. My friend is coming into town tonight and she won't be here until about 7, so I don't want to make dinner now and then have to wait around or something. I'm just waiting to make it so that its hot when she gets here.

5. Wine, beer, or liquor?
Yes, please! Seriously though, don't mess with my vodka. I'll take it with tonic and lime thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yummy Summer Eats

I've been trying out some new summer-y recipes lately and I thought I'd share some of the favorites from our house! A few are ones that I made up, but the rest are from random places. I noted any changes that I made to the original recipe and included a link so you can check it out for yourself!

Nectarine and Plum Tarts

(via Me)

one sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter cut into 12 pieces
2 nectarines
2 plums

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cut puff pastry into 12 equal rectangles and place on baking sheet. Core and thinly slice fruit, placing in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl. Toss.

3. Place one slice of nectarine and one slice of plum on each square of puff pastry. Top with butter and sprinkle extra cinnamon sugar over top. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until pastry is puffy and golden brown.

Pork Tenderloin with Maple Garlic Glaze**

2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin

1. Combine mustard, sesame oil, garlic, pepper and maple syrup. Place pork in a shallow dish and coat thoroughly with marinade. Cover, then chill in the refrigerator at least eight hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sear tenderloin on all sides in a large, oven-safe skillet. Pour marinade over pork and transfer skillet to oven. Roast for 20 minutes or until pork reaches internal temperature of 145 degrees.

**I added a bunch of olive oil to my marinade, totally did not marinate for 8 hours and didn't grill my pork as the original recipe directed.

Zucchini Gratin
(via the Neely's)

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 zucchini, sliced into half moons (I used 2 HUGE ones and 1 yellow squash)
2 plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves (I used dried)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup half and half (I used skim milk)
1/4 cup grated white Cheddar (I used mexican blend)
1/4 grated Parmesean

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 x 8-inch casserole dish (I used a 9 x 13-inch dish).

2. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add zucchini and tomatoes, about 7 minutes. Add thyme and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Add mixture to the buttered casserole dish.

3. In a medium sized bowl, add brown sugar, eggs, and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture over the zucchini and sprinkle with both of the cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pork Tortas**
(via Cooking Light Magazine)

1/2 the Maple Garlic Glazed Pork Tenderloin, sliced thinly
1 (12 oz) baguette, cut in half horizontally
1/2 cup canned pinto beans
2 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used sliced Cheddar Jack because its what I had)
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1 large tomato, cut into 8 slices
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

1. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 3/4-inch-thick shell. Place bread halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Place beans and salsa in a small bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth. Spoon bean mixture into the bottom half of baguette. Top with pork and cheese. Place sandwich bottoms back under broiler to melt cheese.

3. Top sandwiches with onion, tomato, jalapeno, avocado and top half of baguette. Cut into 4 pieces. Yield: 4 servings)

**Please note that for this recipe I used leftover pork tenderloin, so the nutritional information and my directions are a bit different than what they have on their site.

My Special Apple Chicken Salad
(via Me)

1 large or 2 small chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 Braeburn apple, cored and chopped
1 package fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
cayenne-citrus dressing

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Enjoy!

Cayenne-Citrus Dressing
(via Me)

juice of 2 oranges
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl (or dressing container with lid). Whisk (or shake) until mixed. Pour over salad and enjoy!

I hope you get a chance to try some of these out and enjoy them as much as my family and friends have!

What are some of your favorite summer-time recipes?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update!

Not a bad week, all in all. I was true to my word and after I posted last week I got out there and really ran! I got some decent mileage in the second half of the week and then the weekend came along. I have trouble getting motivated on the weekends normally, so no big surprise there.

Unfortunately, that lack of motivation carried over to Monday as well. I just couldn't bring myself to get out and run Monday morning. This seems to be a recurring problem for me, looking back on things. Its definitely something for me to work on, I suppose.

This is what my week looked like:

Wednesday 7/28: 2.53 miles with the jogger
Friday 7/30: 4.04 miles with the jogger
Tuesday 8/3: 2.31 miles with the jogger

Total: 8.88 miles

I think my goal for this week is not so much the mileage, but making a point to consistently get out and run every day (even if its just 1.5 miles or so). I'll let you all know how it goes!

I'm also thinking about taking some of your suggestions to heart and incorporating some cross training into the mix. I've heard some good things about the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I'm thinking about ordering it. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Beloved Flip Flops

I have a certain pair of black flip flops that have been with me since college. They rock. Seriously. I have worn them so much that my feet have left impressions in the soles. I wore out the rubber on the bottom of them. I lurve them.

Try not to gag.

Well, D finally convinced me that we’re not poor I should buy a new pair of black flip flops. Its not that I don't think they're gross looking or anything, they're just soooo comfortable that I was hesitant to get rid of them. Sure, the company still makes them and I could just order another pair of the exact same flip flops, but that's not the point.

I decided to branch out. I bought a different brand. (Ooooooh. I'm such a rebel.) The new flops are a brand that my little sis recommended to me, so I figured I'd just try them out. I mean, honestly, I'm not too worried about dropping $15 on a pair of flip flops that could potentially last me through the next Summer Olympics. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous buying a new brand since we don’t have stores here have a limited shopping selection that most certainly does not include brand name stuff. My fears were put to rest though, when this was delivered to my doorstep a mere week and a half later (yes, our mail takes a long time to reach the middle of nowhere).

I mean, how could you not be happy to see that? So I tore into the box and there they were! The sandals that will carry me through the next 5 years of my life season.

These are the new black flops.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I really like them. Also, I got a few other things too. Like these bad boys.

Oh, and also, D wasted no time putting the old ones in the garbage and then promptly taking the garbage out to the can (there's a first time for everything, folks!).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday!

This week's version of Mamarazzi Monday is a video! AJ started rolling over on her own this week, and I was able to catch her on video. Every time I lay her down on her back she flips right over onto her belly. Its so funny to see the look on her face afterwards!

So, here you go!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend Recap

Friday night we went out to a local steakhouse for dinner with some friends. This place was out in the middle of nowhere and had an amazing view of the valley behind it. The walls on the inside were covered with signatures of people who had eaten one of their T-Bone steaks. The funniest part about it was when you first walk in, the front porch of the place is crawling with cats. Yep. They literally just lay around everywhere and we had to step over them to get inside!
The boys at dinner.

Yesterday while D did some homework took a nap, AJ and I went to the spring with some friends. It was pretty close to our house, but definitely hidden back in the woods. We had a super fun time! The place we went was where the spring meets the river and while the spring water is cold (58 degrees) the river is warm and shallow, so AJ was able to splash around a little bit. We will definitely be going back again soon!

Saturday night AJ fell asleep early which kind of messed up our plans to go to a friend's house for dinner, but luckily, they live about 4 houses down from us so we switched off. I sent D and his buddy, N, over first, then D came home and let me head over for some fun. After a while N was getting tired, so he came back to "babysit" while D and I finished out the night! All in all, it was a fun time!

We don't have any big plans for today, so I decided to write this update a little early instead of waiting for tonight. I think I'm going to go try my box of hair dye now. Eek!