Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Introducing .... Duke!

I told you guys to buckle up right?
Introducing ......... Duke! 

A Marine Corps Puppy already :) 
Some pics on the way home <3 

Silly boy

I think he missed Jeff when he went for his run .. what do you think?

Here he is! 

Comfortable already

Sweet boy! Look at those ears ... and eyes!! :)

Duke loves to sleep on my feet while I cook in the kitchen

And he ALWAYS wants me to hold him :) 

Duke's first trip on base to see Jeff! 

Sorry I haven't posted in about a week! I've been busy getting used to this new life of mine.
I now have a job! I now have a puppy! I now can't get any sleep ... LOL Okay, after two or three sleepless nights, Duke is accepting his crate a little at a time. He hasn't cried ALL night in a few nights which makes me one happy chick. I NEED MY SLEEP. I had no idea I'd feel like that. Thank God we are getting over that bump in the road ...

I promise to try not to be a crazy dog person here on the blog. BUT.. how sweet is he???

And he's only eight weeks! <3

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where Were You On 9/11?

Where were you on 9/11?
Where were you when the first tower was hit?
Questions that has been asked many, many times.

Everyone knows where they were at that exact moment on September 11th, 2001.

I was 14 and a half years old. I didn't even have my drivers license yet.
It was a Tuesday.
I was ending my second hour math class at my high school.
I remember the teacher.
I remember the kids who sat in front of and behind me in that class.
But most of all I remember watching that plane hit the first tower on replay over and over.
My mind couldn't comprehend what I was seeing.

The class was over and we switched to our third hour. I had computer class next just down the hall. I remember the buzz in the hallway was different this day than any other day. I still couldn't comprehend what was happening. I understood ... but didn't. The TV was turned on and we watched the second plane hit and it finally clicked in my heart. I needed to go home.

My memories are gone until it's fifth hour. I was in History class, and we went to the library to watch the coverage.

Finally I got home and found my mom on the back porch holding two of our daycare babies. The babies on her lap were nervous and frazzled. It was crazy to see how it effected them .. even not knowing and understanding the horror going on that day. My mom said she had been strong all day, but they still knew something was wrong. My dad got home and hugged my mom and she finally cried.

This is what I remember of September 11th. I was scared beyond belief when I finally let it all sink in. I didn't know anyone in New York at the time. I wasn't scared for someone in one of those towers. I just was scared for what this meant for our country. Our always strong, stand tall country.

Please remember your day. Remember to never forget. Remember those first responders, the people they saved, tried to save ... and all of their families. Remember those who didn't make it our of those towers and all they gave for our country, without even knowing it. Please also remember all of our men and women who have ever served over seas, as a direct result of 9/11.

I didn't write this today because I am a Marine Wife now ... I write this today because everyday I see the signs that Marine families hang on the fences and post along the streets welcoming their heroes and their Marine's home from being overseas .. and those "Welcome Home" signs touch my soul in a way I can't even explain. On September 11th ... and for all the years there after, there are so many families who can't hang a welcome home sign for their loved ones...

#neverforget #godblessamerica

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Missing Michigan, Loving California

We all knew it was inevitable. We knew it would hit. Here's my (short version) list:
- My family (Thank God for FaceTime)
- My friends
- My daycare babies
- Downtown Plymouth
- Fall Fest (I missed Fall Fest this weekend!)
- Jimmy Johns ('nuff said)
- Cidermill cider and donuts!!!! Our favorite fall treat and one of our favorite date nights!
- Having people stop by house, all the time
- Going to my regular classes at LifeTime
- LifeTime fitness classes with SUE
- A kitchen full of food that my mom bought :) 
- The fact that my mom had everything I could possibly need for just about anything I could be doing. Tape? Yep. Meat hammer thing? Yep. Every spice ever? Yep. 
- Everything being close to where I lived
- Target (omg)
- My own church with MY church family
- My paycheck! (Although, I got a job.. that's good news!)

- Not missing my husband every day and night, finally! I'm with him!
- Being a real Marine Wife
- Beautiful sunshine and heat almost all the time
- Exploring new places
- Setting up our house (& decorating!) 
- Keeping our own house the way we like
- Cooking in my own kitchen
- Keeping healthier foods in the house without anyone else bringing goodies in to tempt us
- Having people I know at the pool all the time
- Making new friends
- Seeing the mountains everyday
- Amazing sunsets over the mountains
- Stargazing in Joshua Tree National Forest
- Being close enough to see Jamie for a weekend
- Getting a puppy! I couldn't have done that living in my parents house in MI!
- Blogging more! I have the time and new stuff to talk about! 

So there you have it ... reasons I miss Michigan and reasons I'm loving California ... 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Homemade Potato Chips

Recently I told you guys I made some homemade potato chips ... Now, if I told you I completely took "Lays" out of my life .. it wouldn't be true. BUT, I wouldn't share a recipe here if I didn't love it.

Here ya go! 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Use a mandolin to slice your potatoes thinly. I only used one potato this time. 

Dip each potato slice in olive oil. I let the oil drip off as much as I can.

Place on a sprayed / greased cookie sheet. Salt chips to your liking.

Bake at 400 for 12 minutes and flip. Bake another 10-12 minutes .. keep checking them. You'll want to make sure they are crisping up but not burning :)

You'll love these .. and they aren't fried, so they are "healthier"! 
They sort of taste like french fries, so sometimes we dip them in ketchup! :) 
Super easy! Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

I mentioned this recipe before.. it was so much better than I thought it would be :)

Look weird? Give it a chance (said the girl who never had cauliflower before she tried this)

I intended on taking way better pics for you this time ... turns out, not the case. I made it tooooooo easy and forgot to take good pictures along the way.

I cooked chicken for dinner last night, so I made double and had the chicken ready for tonight.
I cooked turkey bacon with breakfast this morning, so I made double and had that ready too.
I even had the cauliflower cooking this morning so it would be ready too. Everything else was!
Nice, right?

Okay, preheat the oven to 350:

This time, if I'm honest I only measured three things:
2 chicken breasts (chopped and cooked)
8 turkey bacon strips (cooked and cut into bite size pieces)
2 heads of cauliflower (steamed or boiled until cooked accordingly)

I didn't measure the cheese, green onions or garlic salt. But really - just make it look good ;) 

Here it is, all mixed together.

Then ... add more cheese on top ;) again .. I didn't measure that either.

Side note: Recently we changed over to grating our own cheese, instead of buying it done already. I doubt you care, but in an attempt to save some money on groceries ... I have been looking into doing things differently. Again, I doubt you care, but we are getting a 10 oz. block of cheese for the same price as an 8 oz. bag of already shredded cheese. We also think it tastes fresh and is better this way and we are getting more for our money. Anyways, onto the cooking...

Cover and bake at 350 

For 25 mins 

and you'll have this when you're done :) 

For the real (whole) recipe ... click HERE

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Goals

But first ... a quick update on my --August Goals--
If I'm honest, a few of these babies were completed over Labor Day weekend when I had my husband around!

1. Read at least one book. Just FINISHED reading Tatiana and Alexander .. The Bronze Horsemen #2 - by Paullina Simons on my Kindle Touch. Wow. I think it was 810 (or something close) pages ... It didn't have a happy ending, like most of the stuff I read but honestly I had already gotten "so far" that I had to push through and finish. 

You can see ... it was a lot of work ...
But I finally made it to ...


2. Get my photo wall up in our new living room. CHA CHING! I'm in love with this. Super thankful for a husband who can do things like this, no problem. (with his lovely assistant of course!) I'm really happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

3. Get EVERYTHING off of our kitchen table .. True story! I got that bad boy cleared off!

I put this mail organizer in the pantry, so it's hidden but it's a place for our mail, bills, lists and coupons to go.

4. Get 5+ boxes out of the guest room (more unpacking / donating / throwing away!) 

I ACTUALLY did this. 5 boxes at least. Are you serious? I didn't donate or throw anything away though. We still have so much junk up there in our poor guest room, but I made a dent! I truly don't know if this house will have a room for guests to stay ... the boys usually just sleep on the couches! I know you can't see a big difference, but I swear there is.

5. Try two new recipes. 
Can I please tell you how excited I am that I KILLED this goal? (13 in all, I think!)

Turkey Bacon Ranch Wraps (ok .. not a real recipe, just a new combo for us!)

Lemon Greek Chicken

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Pronto Pasta Bake (no pic)

Zucchini Lasagna (twice!)

Stuffed Red Peppers (I'm making them again tonight!)


Carrot, Apple, Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Popsicles

Chicken Stuffed Zucchini

{Crock-Pot} Apple, Turkey Bacon, BBQ Chicken

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
I'm making this again this week .. this pic is terrible .. I'll make it again and write about it. YUM!

Home made potato chips (no pic) I'm making more of these this week, I'll post pics and recipes :)

6. Truly start lifting weights on a schedule.
Ehhh ... I decided on a schedule .. I did a solid week .. Friday killed me and now I never want to do legs or abs again .. but I'll start again today (Wed) Wahhhhhhh :( 
This one is going back on the goals list for next month.

Okay!! On to September Goals!!! 

1.  Get a puppy ... eeeeeekkkk!!!!!! Okay, that's not a goal .. it's an announcement! Jeff and I are getting a puppy! I'll totally be posting pics when we get him in a few weeks, so buckle up. I'll try not to be a crazy dog person .. but they're adorable .. so really, buckle up for puppy pics.
So I guess this goal will be a multi, multi, multi part goal, all to be completed before we GET the puppy:

  • Read about puppy training / crate / house training
  • Purchase baby gates for the kitchen
  • Purchase crate for puppy
  • Set some house rules
  • Get / make a few rags for puppy clean up
  • Purchase puppy accident cleaning up supplies
  • Research a VET close to our home
  • Research puppy immunizations
  • Research boarding dog fees while traveling
  • Research a dog tag / license?
 Holy crap. It's okay, I'll get it done. I actually have looked into a few of these already ;)

2. Come up with a YUMMY dessert (not healthy!) to take to Jamie's when we visit for the weekend... I can't WAIT to see Jamie and Brad in San Diego in a week!!

3. Purchase a plane ticket home for CHRISTMAS for me? This is up in the air..I would LIKE to purchase tickets, but there are a few reasons it might have to wait. We'll have to see.

4. Get to mass (church) THREE weeks in September.

5. Send two pieces of "just because" mail to anyone I see fit. I love mail.

6. GET ON A LIFTING SCHEDULE! (Yelling at myself .. not you..)

7. Watch the stars in Joshua Tree at least once in September. 

I feel like that's a lot .. but we will see what I can accomplish! 

Do you have any goals for September? What are they?