Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Had Gator Tail At Frogz

To get the bad out of the way first, I went to the doctor AGAIN Friday. A slew of doctors determined that I was not on steroids long enough, so now I'm on a nine day regimen. If I end up with moon-face, we'll know why, and if you don't know what that is, don't google it. Trust me. I've isolated everything I've tried that's new, and I'm beginning to think it really is allergies or my skin climatizing. I took it upon myself to book a dermatologist appointment just in case, so one way or another- I'm getting rid of this ish. In case anyone thinks I'm overreacting, my doctor actually said, "Well, I don't think it's Shingles..." WTH?

Will is so understanding and amazing that he offered to put off our plans for the evening because he knows I don't like to wear foundation or powder, but I wasn't going to let this crap put a damper on my plans. I slapped some makeup on and off we went.

We had a great time at the Art Walk they have downtown, but the best part was our belated Anniversary dinner. Obviously, my hot date was the best part, but said hot date took me to one of the coolest restaurants I've ever visited. Sure Frogz is in the middle of nowhere, built out of an old dilapidated house, and might not shine in a big city, but the ambiance was great, it was only a few miles out of town, and the food was TOODIEFOR.

Just a little bit of paradise in the middle of the country...

True to form, the boys decided that graduation called for a BBQ on Saturday. Everyone was mad at me because I couldn't drink, but I told them I was saving them from the witch I could turn into while mixing alcohol and steroids. Good news is, I still had fun and we didn't have to walk home. There were some nice ladies there too, and I did get invited to a Tupperware party, but then they didn't ask to exchange info. Of course, I could have just offered mine up, but I feel like a guy who doesn't want to be that guy shoving his number in girl's faces. Hence why military spouses compare finding new friends to dating.

By Sunday, we were both spent. I feel like life has been non-stop since we got here, so we had a much needed day of rest. We hit up Redbox for a movie marathon and parked our butts on the couch all day. Will had to carb load for a Physical Fitness test the next day, so the only thing that got me off that couch was makin' some banging spaghetti. I decided to put my own spin on The Pioneer Woman's Spaghetti Recipe, and I got to use the fresh herbs and veggies from my MIL's garden! Oh, how I love the real stuff.

1 lb ground beef (as lean as you can get it)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 whole large yellow onion diced
1 whole bell pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup dry red wine
2 cans (14 Ounce) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
1 cup Newman's Own Marinara Sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
2 whole bay leaves
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Noodles of choice (I used sweet potato noodles, YUM)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and set aside.
You won't have a ton of grease with the lean meat, so just soak the excess up with a napkin, but DO NOT clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil, when it is heated, throw in the diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic to saute for 7 minutes.
Pour in wine, allow it to bubble up, and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce, ground beef, and seasonings. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Half an hour before serving, add the minced parsley and grated Parmesan. Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer until supper!

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Sure, I wish I wasn't having to deal with my stupid face, but other people have worse problems. I just keep reciting one of my favorite sayings... 

“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.”- Regina Brett

Just marinate on that, and enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, April 28, 2014

I Wish I Knew These K9 Tips Years Ago

I always want to recap the weekend on Monday, but I don't have time between Sunday night and Monday morning to get it done, especially since I had a puppy with a tummy ache keeping me up all night. Between the fact that he's part Weimaraner (they have very sensitive stomachs) and mild levels of anxiety from being a rescue, it's no surprise that he has tummy problems, but finding new food after the move has proven trying. No one around here stocks anything that isn't full of fillers, so thank goodness for Amazon Prime sending some our way. I'm not even plugging them. I'm paying all $53.99 for the 24 lb bag, and I'm just relieved that I can get food that won't upset his stomach.

But let me just confess...I'm not a pet person. Please don't stone me, but I wouldn't have a dog if Will didn't demand one. Before you judge me, know that I had my very own dog when I was little. Precious followed me everywhere, protected me with the ferocity of a lamb, and was my best friend all the way up until the day that she was DOGNAPPED. Gasp! Can you imagine being a six year old girl, and your grandma has to tell you that some bad man stole your best friend? In case you can't, it scarred me for life and ever since then, I've never wanted another pet. What about Weiser you say? Well, he's kind of the best dog ever and if I have to have a dog, he's the only one I want. Plus, even though he's 'Will's dog', Sir William is always gone between deployment and training, leaving moi to play dog-mom and dad. This is why I have learned a TON about taking care of this little nugget. It's sad really, I think I'm better with him than people. Now I'll share my knowledge with you, you're welcome.

Food is actually a tricky thing, because what works for one dog, may not work for another. #1 make sure you are feeding your dog the right amount. Too much and you will have a fatty, too little and they are like a baby in Uganda. Check with your vet or use this cool Food Calcuculator I found. #2 The crappier the food you feed them, the crappier they will be. Literally. If you feed them better quality food, their bodies will use more of it, and poop less. Not to mention, if the food doesn't agree with their stomach, it's going to come out of both ends. It may be more expensive to get good food, but I'd rather not clean up that nastiness, if you know what I'm sayin'.

None of us want to give our dogs a bath every day, so you have to find ways to combat odor. Your best bet, is to brush them daily and use baby wipes to get rid of dead skin and hair, but you can also sprinkle Baking Soda or Baby Powder on them to soak up the oil too. While you are at it, mix Baking Soda or Vinegar with water in a spray bottle to spray on beds, furniture, and other pet areas. Just don't mix the Baking Soda and Vinegar or you'll get a volcano.
Don't say I didn't warn you.

For Unruly Fur-Children
 Make sure they have lots of exercise and toys to keep them entertained. If you think your dog is 'dumb' and doesn't need to be stimulated then a) you probably have a lot of chewed up chews/furniture or b) you should question your desire for a pet. Anyhow, fetch will keep them healthy and get them tuckered out, walking them will keep their nails filed down (just make sure the ground isn't too hot. If it would burn your feet, theirs will too), and if all else fails, a spritz of water to the face or coins in an empty water bottle are great deterrents for bad habits. Keep some cheese or treats on hand to reward them when they make improvements. Punishment doesn't actually work, but distraction and rewarding good behavior does.

For Allergies
Luckily, we are almost past allergy season, but this year was a killer. What you may not realize, is that your pets get allergies too. I noticed that Weiser was shaking his head more and sneezing, so the vet told me to put him on people Benadryl (not Benadryl D and not if your dog has a heart condition). You may think that those little sneezes are cute, but if your dog gets a Hematoma or has an ear infection, it ain't cute. I only give him two pills one or two times on the days he has problems, and he's all better.

Disclosure: I'm not a vet {duh}, so before you do anything with your dog, use your OWN common sense and/or consult with YOUR vet. I'm not responsible, and if you are going to have a pet, then you BETTER be responsible for your own little nugget.

Have you guys tried any of these or have any more tips?

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Best Four Years Of My Life

Yesterday, was our four year anniversary. FOUR YEARS!  It is passing by in the blink of an eye, but holds the memories of a thousand years. It's so strange that neither of us ever daydreamed of marriage growing up, and look at us now- we wouldn't be who we are without this union. We've both always been 'happy' and content people, so we weren't looking for happiness in another person, and yet, we are now celebrating the happiest four years of our lives.

Is this to say that we haven't had our fair share of problems?
Absolutely not, and you all know that I enjoy telling you about the lows just as much as the highs, because I cherish the good as much as the bad. Every problem has added richness to our story, and I am so thankful that I have the capacity to see it that way. As Will put it to me once, you don't have truly funny tales to tell without a bad situation from whence they came, and he couldn't have been more correct.

As a matter of fact, we have a new story...

Scene 7:00AM on the morning of our anniversary.
Will: Momma and I are going to the store to get tea, and it'll give us some time to hang out.
Me: We have plenty of tea here, so don't go buyin' me anything.
Will: {deer in headlights, thinking how did she see through me?}
Me: {cue tears, assumes the worst}
Will: {swoops in, envelopes me in his arms} Yes, I'm going to Walgreen's to buy you a card, but I swear I ordered your present last Monday and didn't forget.
Me: {cue more tears, mostly of joy with a dash of shame}

Moral of the story guys? Waiting to say 'Happy Birthday' or 'Happy Anniversary' could bite you in the butt. Even if you haven't bought that card yet, make sure you recite those salutations so she knows you at least remember! He's not the only one that learned, though. My lesson is not to underestimate my wonderful husband. The man has been living in barracks for five weeks, under intense pressure, building our future, and he STILL remembered our anniversary. Shame on me for underestimating him...How did I get so flippin' lucky?

Now that things have calmed down around here, we'll be hittin' the town tonight to celebrate his promotion, being reunited, and our marriage all in one. I don't know if we can do it all justice in this little town, but we are sure going to try. As long as I get to make some more memories with my prince charming, I'll be one happy girl. Cheers to sixty more years, my love!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Real Military Wives Of Blogland...We Ball So Hard

Today is one of the most exciting days of this Military life we live, because the day of Will's WOCS graduation is officially here! That also makes today the perfect time to celebrate the life we live with Samantha and Mallory, as they try to break the stereotypes that we Military Spouses are inundated with. As Sam puts it, Most people think military wife? You must be overweight, cheat on your husband, have 800 kids, and wed straight out of high school. Yes, this applies to some people I've come across during my time as a military spouse but majority of the time, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Mal Smiles

Those of you that have been around here for awhile know that Will and I don't fit into any of those stereotypes, and those of you that are new? Well, let me tell you a bit about our story. Meet Mr. Bogert via 2010 Basic training...

But really, we should go back a bit farther than that. I am originally from Pensacola, Florida, and I wanted to get the heck out of that 'Military town', heading straight to Florida Atlantic University post high school. About two years in, I happened to work with a cute boy named Will, and whodathunk, my life changed forever. He always knew that he wanted to be in the military, and I always knew I never wanted to leave Florida or date a military guy, so obviously, we were a match made in heaven.

Long story short, after two years of dating, I was ready to sign my life away right along with him, so he enlisted, he put a ring on it, and we eloped surprising no one.  Since then, we've been stationed in Georgia, Colorado, and now Alabama, and {other than the actual moving process} we love every minute of it. One day we may have kids, but for now? Raising my 29 year old man-child  and six year old fur-child are MORE than enough.

Now, we are only supposed to share one thing that we wish people knew about being a military spouse, but I could share pages worth of 'things' you should know. In order to maintain brevity, you should check out 35 Things We Want Civilians To Know, and then I'll just tell you that when you truly love someone, it doesn't matter where they work, where you will have to move, or how much time you will have apart. Sure, I could pick a guy that had a stable job, but there is no one else in the world I could love the way I love him. Somedays, I feel like I was meant to be a military spouse, and others, I was just meant to be his wife. I live a life I swore I wanted no part of, and now I wouldn't trade it for the world. You either satisfy your heart or your brain, but you really can't be happy unless you lead with your heart.

At the end of the day, we are just two people in love that live for each other. Take away the Military, the deployments, the stress of this high speed life, and we are no different from anyone else. The funny thing is, I wouldn't have picked this life six years ago, but now... I don't think I could ever go back to a 'normal' life. Home is where your heart is, and right now this #milspouse is heading to watch her heart become a Warrant Officer!

Wish me luck that I don't fall on stage when I pin on his new rank ;)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Let The Graduation Festivities Begin!

Today, we start the process of graduation. I actually realized that I haven't really explained much of what is going on, so long story short- the next twenty months are filled with many schools, training, and lots of  {worthy} stress. Basically, it's as if Will is going to Helicopter Pilot school, and the first step in that journey is becoming a Warrant Officer, which happens to be pretty prestigious. He wasn't interested in being a Warrant Officer just to be one, but when you add "Flight" in front of "Warrant", he knew that was the career choice he wanted to make. In case I haven't mentioned, his parents both put in twenty-two years on helicopters and whatnot for the Air Force, so again, it's a pretty logical choice.

Warrant Officer Candidate School, or WOCS for short, is pretty much Basic Training all over again, but it's a much bigger deal after the fact. We have family coming in town, there are classes we attend, ceremonies, and mucho excitement. It's going to be some early mornings and long days, but totally worth it. Don't worry, I'll take pictures.

Technically, the festivities kinda started yesterday when I got to take him HOME instead of going to church. Okay, so we are bad and missed Easter Sunday, but c'mon, he hasn't been home in a month and we only had eight hours together! I know this sounds like a strange arrangement, but it is the Army's way of giving the soldiers a 'day pass' to decompress before all the hullabaloo of graduation. I don't think I need to go into detail about how we 'decompressed', I'll just say...I'm not frustrated anymore, and I'm not as upset about having a house full of family when he officially comes home.

Happy Monday, and live a little!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

So....I'm On My Way To The Hospital

I woke up this morning to bumps and inflammation on my eyelid, which freaked the heck out of me. Obviously I'm not dying, but after having weird inflammation on my skin that has spread to my eye area, I'm a little alarmed. I chalked up the inflammation to a reaction with the new lotion I was using, but I stopped using it a week ago and the problem is spreading. Normally, I wouldn't freak out, but when it's so close to my eyes...that does not seem right.

I immediately called my doctors office {crying}, and luckily they can get me in today. They told me to take Benadryl and Motrin, so I've done that, made a list of new things I've used in the last couple of weeks, and now I'm just anxiously awaiting my appointment.What sucks, is that I just want a hug from Will. I have to walk into the hospital with what looks like acne all over my face, a little more scared than I'd like to admit, and I just wish I didn't have to go alone. These are the times that I can't be as strong as I'd like to be.

The doctor confirmed that it is, in fact, an allergic reaction, and she thinks that it's from the lotion since it is only on my face. She prescribed me Zyrtec, Zantac, and Prednisone, and I'm not aloud to use anything on my face but a mild soap. I don't really like not being able to use my regular skin care regimen, but I'll do whatever will make this better! I did question using the Prednisone, but after everyone weighing in on Facebook, I decided to take it. I can type really, really fast on steroids...let me tell ya. Let's just pray that my face doesn't look crazy for Will tomorrow! He doesn't care, but I do.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Family Says The Darndest Things

I'm in Pensacola again, SURPRISE! I'm getting in one last visit before I get my sexy soldier back, and soaking up every minute home. Today, I want to share some great memories that have been  made in the form of hilarious statements by my wonderfully-zany family. Not only am I cracking up over them, I'm happy I'll have these memories forever. Daddy and I even built a table, but that'll have to wait until another day.

Throwback from 2010 or '11? Ignore Paula's panty shot.

Don't they look fun? Oh just wait...

I had a breakfast date with my baby brother (Marc) and his BFF (Adam) at Golden Corral. Obviously, it was the perfect setting for the following convo...
Adam: Do you like, burp or fart?
Me: Heck yeah, I get giddy when I can fart on Will, and get him back for doing it to me.
Marc: I have the best sister ever.

Grandma's neighbor: Who was over at your house?
Grandma: My gran'baby.
Neighbor: But I saw a truck...
Grandma: Isn't that something? She's a girl and drives a truck!

Great Aunt Margaret: So dahlin', where are you working at now?
Me: I'm not.
Great Aunt Margaret: That's wonderful! You got you a good man {winkwink}.

Mama: Look! There's a Kitchenaid on QVC!
Me: This one from Brad's Deals is less than $200.
Mama: I need this one because it has higher wattage.
Me: Okay, then how about this one, still under $200 and has an even higher wattage.
Mama: I need the extra attachments too.
Me: Yep, we've got those too.
Mama: Brad's Deals isn't QVC and doesn't have an app.
Me: Is this even about the mixer or because you want to use your new app?
Mama: Now just you hush, {insert extra Southern drawl} I need to figure this app out.

Me: Marc and his friends are surprised that hanging with me is like hanging with any of their friends, and not someone ten years older. I said proudly.
Dad: So basically he's calling you old....
Me: Well, I hadn't thought of it that way. Hangs head in shame.

Grandma on being old and having a daughter 'take care of her': I done got'a new momma. My momma died, and now I gotta new momma and this'uns worse. So bossy.

Here is just a proud moment of mine...and yes, I have an Aunt Boots.
Grandma on the phone with Aunt Boots: Well, I've lost two pounds in three days! You see, I have a grand daughter that is hypoglycemic so she has to eat healthy. I've been eating the way she eats, and I'm feeling better than I have since Weight Watchers!

But the best, was when I was talking to my Aunt and Uncle about Will and I eloping and how the whole family reacted upon receiving the news.
Me: Grandma, do you remember what you said?
Grandma: No m'am.
Me: You said, and I quote, "I'm just glad you aren't livin' in sin anymore."
Cue laughing from everyone, including Grandma.

Anyone who doesn't live near family knows that when you go home to visit you are more of a guest to entertain, than just a regular member of the family like you used to be. However, when you spend almost a month reacquainting yourself, it ends up feeling like you never left. Only now, everyone gets along, we are all grown, and we actually cherish the time together. Like the whole family going for Marc's Senior pictures...

Don't ask me how I ended up in the pictures especially since I had nappy hair that day, but for what my parents paid for these pictures, we should have had the entire family in them. I'm talking extended family. Like seriously, since when did getting senior pictures start costing more than wedding photography? Sheesh. He's lucky he's worth it, and I'm lucky he wasn't 'too cool' to take pictures with his big sis.

All the precious moments add up to a lifetime of happiness.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Heart Ulta...And Sales

Would you believe me if I told you that I didn't step foot into an Ulta until last year? Now I'm a card carrying member, and I live by their sales. Full price? Nah, but when it's 21 Days Of Beauty or some other promotion, I'm totally in! This is why I went a little nutso two weeks ago...I also blame Shanna, "Because Shanna Said So". She told me my life would change from using some of these, and she was right.

Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo is the ONLY dry shampoo that can hold a candle to good old baby powder or corn starch. Not only does it get rid of the oil, it smells great, doesn't leave a residue, AND adds volume. VaVaVOOM!
Physician's Formula Warm Nude Palette may be my favorite eye shadow ever. Someone gave me the Classic Nude palette, which I liked, but Warm Nude is more my color. Don't ask me what that really means, because I'm really not that good at this stuff. Just trust me.
Physicians Formula Powder Palette in Healthy Glow is my go to bronzer. You don't want to overdue it with this stuff, but that's the good part. It doesn't take much and by picking and choosing the colors you use, it can be very versatile.
Maybeline Falsies Mascara has great coverage, and I can usually find it B1G1.
Wigo Brush has only been used once, but it seemed to work great considering I have no clue how to tease my hair. Why did I buy this?
Ulta Lip Liner in Rustic was $2 bucks on sale, so I now consider it amazing. I think it's only the second lip liner I've ever tried, but it was fun getting a little artsy fartsy with it.

The only product I didn't like was the Mario Badascu Face Lotion SPF 30, and it is going back. Thank goodness for their return polo]icy, because this stuff made my face and chest look like a pizza pie. What does everyone use for Protective SPF lotion? I'm tr'yna not get skin cancer, but any lotion other than Clinique's Moisturizing Gel makes my skin freak out. Seriously, why does skincare have to be so flippin' difficult?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Some People Probably Hate Me

Recently, I read Sarah's post about 32 Things I Hate More Than April 1st, and while I giggled at most of it. It got me to thinking. I know that her list was all in fun, but I see people saying they 'hate' so much stuff via social media, and since I do some of those things, they must hate me too. Do you ever feel that way?

Originally, I wanted to talk about this when I read 20 Things Your Friends Wish You Would Stop Posting On Facebook, but I wondered if I was the only one that disagreed with some of it. Let's use the following, for example:

"Holy announcement overload

Of course you can update your status when you get engaged, married or have a baby, but you don’t need to inundate your friends’ newsfeeds with photos of fabulous parties, quotes about love and anticipations about family life. There’s a fine line between sharing your good news and rubbing it in everyone’s face."
I have never once thought that someone on my Facebook, or a blogger for that matter, was trying to rub their fun life in my face. I just don't think like that. I think 'Wow...Look at so and so living it up, and embracing life!' or 'Congrats for whatever awesomeness is happening!' Maybe I'm naive, but I don't see where it's my place to read into what they are posting and why they are posting it, and it's DEFINITELY not my place to dictate what they are sharing. Who knows, maybe I'm an over-sharer...anyone reading who's an FB friend of mine...don't tell me, haha. I'd like to stay naive. Here are some things that I know I do, and I'm not a bit ashamed:

I take pictures of food.
I LOVE food. I love food I make, I love food from restaurants, I love seeing other pictures of food that people post. Yes, they should be pretty/appetizing pictures, but I'm all for them.
I love PDA (PG Rated of course)

I don't mind hashtags.
I don't ever want to have twenty per post or picture, but I think they are a neat-o idea. Especially on Instagram. I think it's fabulous I can find #fitness or #fashion inspiration so easily, and some hashtags are hilarious.
I like selfies.
Okay, so I actually don't post many selfies with just me in them, but I love sharing pictures of me with friends or family. I used to always be the one behind the camera and have years worth of pictures that are of travels or people I love, but I was never in them. I don't always want that to be the case. I love looking back at a picture that holds a special moment with myself and that Lauren. Now that she's gone, I look at these #selfies, and it still connects me to her. Don't hate on people's selfies because you don't know what they mean to that person. Just not ten a day, people.

I post baby pictures of my nieces, so just imagine if I had my own kid...
I post fitness pictures, and have even checked in at the gym!
If I feel so inclined, I will pass on inspiration.
 I will never be the kind of person that shares 10 inspirational memes or quotes a day, but I won't judge others for doing it. I just hide them from my newsfeed.

And there are even things outside of social media:
"Same Side Sitting", as Miss Venus put it.
Will and I sit across from each other 8 out of 10 times, but sometimes I just want to snuggle next to him while we wait for our food. Holding hands across the table doesn't always cut it, and yes, we are those people that hold hands 98% of the time we are near each other. It's why we have great stress management.
I'm cheap.
Sure being frugal isn't cool, and no one wants to hear that they need to quit shopping and buying lattes, but I would rather be able to provide for our future {possible} children, know that we are taken care of for retirement, and have a fat savings account in the bank, than spend money on random stuff. I have had friends that practically get mad that I don't want to do something stupid with my money or buy their {insert multi-level marketing product here}. Not saying I won't buy something every now and then, but don't 'hate' me if I don't.
I'm not politically correct.
Along with telling you that you need to quit spending money on stupid stuff if you complain to me that you have no savings, I will tell you if you have a booger, I will answer any question honestly (but kindly) even if it's not what you want to hear, and I will flat out tell you that you are wrong if I must. However, I don't judge anyone and I take into account that everyone makes mistakes, which is why people keep excepting my honest opinion {I guess}. Politically correctness is the popular thing these days, but honesty is my policy.


I hate things like child/pet abusers, pedophiles, and dirty politicians, and I don't think we should waste 'hate' on our friends for what they post on Facebook or their blog. Let's focus on celebrating the passions of others instead of bashing them. Mmmmkay? You may see a food picture as 'non-picture worthy', but the person posting it is sharing their passion with you. You don't want anyone to stifle your passions, so don't do it to them. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate, and treat others how you would like to be treated. It's as complicated and simple as that.

Sorry for the deep post, but let's remember I'm 'sexually deprived for your freedom' right now. Gotta get my 'frustration' out somewhere!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Dog Isn't A Big Talker, But He Can Hold A Paintbrush

Just kidding, I wish I had a video of Weiser painting, but other than stealing a paintbrush off the table, I don't believe he's the next blind-painting dog. However, he is a great listener. I talk to him every time Will is gone, he just doesn't usually talk back. Usually. That's what's good about blogging, even though I'm technically talking to myself, you all leave sweet little comments and inspiration to keep me sane. In case I don't say it enough...thanks for that, and thanks to Shanna for allowing me to be random on Wednesdays.

+ We still haven't fully unpacked {go figure}, and I keep taking on new tasks before finishing others. I assured Will that I would have the house together before he graduates since all the family will be in town, but I'm going to have to buckle down and quit taking on new projects before I finish the last. I did finish the following, though. I decided I hated having these gorgeous photos of our loved ones stuck randomly all over the fridge, so I painted some frames, added magnets, and voila...

I already had the paint, so I just bought some cheap frames from Big Lots and Goodwill, and now I have a lovely de-cluttered fridge. Just call me Miss Crafty.

+ I've been writing A LOT. I joined a 30 Day Writing Challenge, and it's been quite inspirational. I've been a writer all my life, including having a poem published when I was twelve, and now I actually have time to do it. So far it's mostly been a journal {because I have no one to talk to}, but it's been sprinkled with some pretty deep stuff. I actually chose to do the challenge, because I wanted to create a habit of writing every day. Obviously, I'm creating content for the blog everyday, but I want to make sure I write for myself too. I think it's very important we remember to write for US.

+I mowed with a gas mower all by myself! Do you know how hard it is to hold the handle down and toggle the gas by the engine when you have short arms? Let me tell you, someone should have recorded me using cement blocks and practically pulling my arm out of socket. For a mere $45 smackers, I could have avoided this situation, but we all know I will take that $45 to my grave. HashtagI'mcheap. We actually entertained the idea of paying someone to do pest control, lawn care, yadda yadda, but I just can't bring myself to do it. We are young, able-bodied, and not lazy, so I think we should keep doing these things ourselves. Plus, I'd much rather have all that mon-ay chilling in the bank than in someone else's pocket. In two years, we will have saved ourselves about $2,000 on top of all the other stuff we do. Cha-ching. We've gotten our savings to where I want it to be, and I'll be damned to take money out for superfluous things.

I really need to write up a post about how we've been saving money, and how I've been making extra money. I'm feeling pretty good about how we've started out this adventure of me not 'working'. The World is my oyster, and I want to share my pearls.
Would you like some of my pearls?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Girl Talk And Tornadoes

I'm not entirely sure I will be able to post this, because I'm in the middle of a tornado watch with thunder and lighting popping all around me, praying that we don't lose power. I think I may only be calm because I'm having to hold myself together for Weiser. Poor thing is NOT a fan of thunder. I have him wrapped in his favorite blanket, though, and at least I don't have to leave him to go anywhere. This is definitely a new perk of not working; I don't have to worry about my house being destroyed by an anxiety filled dog!

I was planning on going to the gym today, but that doesn't seem smart. The good news is, I am so used to working out at home, that I can get in some HIIT Circuit Training even without power. In fact, I may wait to see if it goes out, because that would be a great way to kill time. Either way, I can't let this weather keep me from working out, during the #1800MinuteChallenge.

Today, we are supposed to share what music gives us inspiration, so I'm going to tell you my secret weapon. Have you ever heard of Mash Ups? They are basically 'Bastard Pop' songs that have been created by overlaying songs to create new songs. Something about them really gets my blood flowing, and I either have to dance them out or work out like a beast. I was first introduced to Girl Talk a few years ago, and my obsession has grown. My iPod is now full of mash ups, and I don't want to ever go back to 'regular' music.

While you check out some mash ups, you can also read the New Rules Of Fitness. I usually don't agree with mainstream 'rules', but these are pretty good. We are starting to realize that we actually know nothing about our bodies and what to do with them. I know that sounds sad, but it really is a positive. It shows that we {not including the dang genetically blessed} are all in the same boat, and we can learn what works for our own bodies. Instead of thinking "Why doesn't this work for me if it is supposed to work?" We can say, "Well, that didn't work, so onto the next workout!" Workout freedom.

 It's time for me to trick Weiser into going outside again while the lightning and thunder have calmed down for a bit. I know homeboy can't hold it all day, and he's going to have to get used to this weather out here. Sorry Weezy-booboo, we aren't in Kansas Colorado anymore!. Hope you are all having a less exciting Monday, haha.

Friday, April 4, 2014

No-Guilt Homemade 100 Calorie Brownies And Some Other Stuff

When you go home to invade your parents house for two weeks with a dog in tow, you pretty much have to bring baked goods. If you happen to be trying to teach your family how to eat healthy, then sneaking veggies, protein, and cutting out the bad stuff is the way to go, and the following recipe will blow their mind.

However, if you are like me and usually don't want to share, but feel guilty about eating the whole pan, THESE are for you! The entire 8x8 pan doesn't even contain a thousand calories, so a decent size slice only has 100 healthy calories. Yep, that's right...most brownies have 300+ calories, and these only have 100!

1 Can Black Beans  ||  1 Banana {Frozen works best}
1 Small Sweet Potato {Uncooked, cut into pieces}
3/4 C. Sweetener {Sugar, Splenda, Agave, etc.}
1/4 C. Coconut Oil { or 2TBSP Coconut Oil and 2 TBSP Coconut Butter}
1/3 C. Cocoa Powder  ||  1 TBSP Vanilla
2 TBSP Boiling hot water  ||  1 TBSP Applesauce
1/2 tsp Instant Coffee {more if you want a strong coffee taste}
1/4 tsp Salt  ||  1/4 tsp Baking Powder  ||  1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 C. Carob or Chocolate Chips {Optional}

Preheat oven to 375.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until it is a batter consistency. Bake for about an hour. Top will split apart, but that's okay. You just want to make sure the middle has solidified. 1/9th of the pan is approximately 100 calories, and even when you use the chocolate chips, it only gets up to 135.

It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but I made it up using ingredients I already had. That means you can play with it too. Personally, I think they are PERFECT, but you could put your own spin on it, if you are so inclined. I change every recipe I've ever used, so I can't blame you. I can officially say that the whole family approves of them, which was as surprising to me as it was to them. I call it a win.


Hey...another linkup!
I pretty much always have a journal and I enjoy sharing little moments, so I think Kate's Daily Diaries is a pretty good idea. A lot of people do a weekly recap, so this gives you a great little way to connect and review with others. She's actually a Brit that lives in Germany, so maybe I just want to participate because she's so cool, and I'm enamored with her life.
Daily Diaries with Diaries of an Essex Girl

+My dad and my aunt spend Mondays at grandma's, so grandma made us lunch and then we weeded her garden. We're talkin' in the dirt, gloves on, pullin' roots, and getting ant bites- weeding. Perhaps weeding isn't a big deal for everyone, but I'm not a big gardener {I tend to kill anything that grows} and it was so fun to sit and chat it up with my aunt while we did it.

+First workout of the #1800MinuteChallenge! I actually have a lot going on in my mind about working out, healthy eating, and the transition I'm in, but that will have to wait for another day. All you need to know, is that you should jump on the bandwagon and join us! It's so fun having all the support and motivation.
+I had lunch with a girl that I was born and raised with, I was a witness when she eloped, and have been through thick and thin together. I love that we think so much alike and will always be friends. You can't say that about a lot of people, because you never know what life holds. With Carmela, I know.
+That evening, I spent traipsing around town following my brother and two photographers while they captured his senior pictures. I mostly carried the equipment, but I also learned a lot from them and had fun with my baby brother. I still can't believe he's graduating.

+Poor Weezy boo-boo was sick. He always gets a tummy ache while Will is gone, so it might have been separation anxiety or maybe he got into something. Either way, Grandma and I babied him and now he's better.
+Took grandma to get her car serviced. The guy only charged her $26.94 for a full service, and then only took $26. Obviously, I get my charm and hustlin' skills from her ;)
+Talked to Will! No explanation necessary.

+Picked up PB2 and chocolate tea trying to get my family to make healthy substitutions, which was followed by making dinner with the family. I snuck in BBQ cauliflower and they didn't hate it...Baby steps!

+Going to volunteer at the 30th Annual Gulf Coast Regional Mustang Show! Mustangs are a pretty big deal in my family, so I'm happy to be home for it.

Everyone have a great weekend! If you go make yo'self some brownies, I know you will, and I'm positive I will, because I get to see my handsome soldier. Adios amigos!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Confession: I Was Once A Stripper

I have a major blog crush on Kathy from Vodka And Soda, so I decided to have a little confess sesh with her. Plus it always feel good to have a little confession.

I confess...I was an English major, but I couldn't teach you how to use grammar. My major mostly focused on Literature, so I could read and I write a damn good research paper {IMO}, but if you asked me to break down the nouns/adjectives/adverbs, past participles, or sentence structure I use, I would not be smarter than a fifth grader. I have saved my textbooks from ENC101-02, which means there is hope. One day, I will refresh those old skills that I bluffed my way through.

I confess... I found wine from my favorite vineyard in Napa and bought six bottles, and then saw my favorite ketchup at Kooter Brown's and stole one. Yep, you read that right...I took that ish from the table and stuffed it in my purse. Basically, I'm a lush that enjoys her lycopene. I guess you could say I'm a tidge bit of a ketchup freak that usually uses Heinz, but I just can't say no to Monarch Ketchup!

I confess... I had more fun with my Grandma at the senior center than I have in a long while. I mean, the sex talks made me blush, but as they pointed out- I'm married too.

I confess... I still run to Grandma's house when I'm having a bad day. It's THE best thing in the world, and I spent a whole day last week with BOTH Grandmas. It will go down in history as one of the best days of my life.

And last, but not least...
I confess... I was once a stripper. You see, someone at the grocery store once put a quarter in my diaper, and apparently, I got a kick out of it. From then on, all the cashiers would pass baby-me around and fill my diaper with change each time we visited the grocery store. Dad said he made out like a bandit, and just made sure my diaper was a fresh one before we went in. Don't hate the playa hate the game.

Poor Maddy will have to find some other way to pay for college, because she doesn't like ANYTHING in her diaper. Little miss priss is lucky she's so darn cute ;)

What's on your mind to confess? It's okay if you confess you want to steal Maddy. I wouldn't judge you for it, because I want to take her back to Enterprise with me ;)


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