Monthly Archives: December 2012

Thank You, Everyone

I have read several meaningful blog posts today about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, and am overwhelmed with the support and love that the world has shown my hometown.

It’s very difficult to write about food, working out, saving money etc… right now, when there are so many emotions running through my mind right now.

Please take a minute or two to look at the following pictures. I want the world to think of Newtown, CT as a place of beauty and happiness, not as one of sadness and grief.

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Saturday Happenings…

I can’t believe the weekend’s already halfway over….

Yesterday was a tough and stressful day, as I waited to find out of my neighbors in Sandy Hook are okay. I didn’t get a whole lot (if anything) done in the morning, because I was plopped in front of the computer waiting for news updates.

A Picture to Cheer You (or maybe just me) Up:

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Charlie (our cat) often drives us crazy, and we joke about sending him to the circus, but this weekend he has been absolutely the best. I swear he has a sixth sense about things…because whenever I’m feeling upset he jumps on my lap. Oh, and we’ve been letting him sleep on the bed (which is never ever ever allowed because he usually makes a big racket) – he’s been sleeping on my pillow and next to me:

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We have the best cat. Seriously.

Breakfast:

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Overnight oats 4 a.m. oats in a nearly empty peanut butter jar.

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • Granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Some extra peanut butter Smile

*I only let it sit for about 5 minutes before eating…it actually tasted pretty good!

Also enjoyed with a hot cup of gingerbread coffee in a new Christmas mug (thanks Mary Frances & Becky!)

A few hours later, after being glued to the computer waiting for more information about my hometown, I ate some greek yogurt. I wasn’t really hungry at all, but it had been probably 4 hours since breakfast so I needed to eat something…

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*The Commissary on base sells these in a 4 pack for $1.75…a complete bargain, since greek yogurt cups usually cost about $1 each!

Lunch:

Bud and I had peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with a sliced granny smith apple…an easy and delicious lunch.

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And we had some delicious chocolates for dessert:

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Yum. We love Christmas candy. (Good thing, because we have a LOT of it in the cabinet…thanks Mary Frances, Becky, Uncle Andy, and Aunt Kelly!).

Dinner:

After running some errands, we shared a pizza (half chicken, half sausage & pepperoni) at Sal’s Famous NY Pizza. I’m glad I looked up a place before we left – it was really good!  (picture’s on Bud’s phone…sorry!). I know it’s way cheaper to make pizza at home, but hey, it’s fun to go out sometimes!

And besides, when you go out, you can laugh at license plates like this on the road:

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Hahahaha. We actually saw quite a few funny license plates last night, but this was the only one I thought to snap a picture of…

Sandy Hook Update:

Ever since Friday morning, I cannot stop thinking about my hometown. I think about how my parents are doing, how my neighbors with children are doing, how the teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary are doing, how the families who lost a loved one are doing…

It’s a very, very sad time. I found out last night that all of my neighbors are ok, which is a relief, but I also know that their lives will never be the same.

I’m having trouble putting into words exactly how I’m feeling right now, but I want the world to know that Sandy Hook, CT was and will continue to be a wonderful place to live. It is filled with caring, intelligent people who will do anything for each other. The fall foliage is gorgeous, snow-covered trees should be in a White Christmas remake….I could go on and on

I am grateful to have been raised in Sandy Hook, and am proud to call it my hometown.

What A Day…

Today was a horrible, horrible day in Sandy Hook, CT. I still cannot believe that a shooting could ever happen in the elementary school that I went to as a child. It’s unreal. My heart is going out to those who have been affected by this tragedy…

It’s been difficult to get my mind off of the shooting today, so I’m hoping that writing here will help a little bit. Besides, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted and we have some catching up to do Smile

The Moving Truck Has Arrived!

Our stuff finally came on Tuesday, and boy oh boy do we have so much unpacking to do!

Exhibit A:

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This is my favorite of the Tuesday pictures….our kitchen is clearly a bit too small for all of our appliances, dishes, glasses, etc. etc…..

Exhibit B:

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Bad news: our bed rails didn’t make it here. Not sure how that could have happened (it’s not like they were in a small box!), but it’s a huge bummer. Oh well, we’re still grateful to be rid of the air mattress!

Exhibit C:

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The office. Not completely horrible, now that my printer’s hooked up! Hello, Internet coupons!

Exhibit D:

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The living room. Yep, it still looks like this after 3 days… at least our Christmas tree is nice to look at!

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Especially with this bad boy!

We got him on clearance at Target last year…I’d been eyeing him all of December but didn’t want to pay full price for a garden gnome ornament Smile with tongue out

Other exciting news:

Charlie & Artie have a new litterbox!

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I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back, and finally decided to make it when our things arrived on Tuesday and we had Christmas decorations inside this container! Score! So far, it’s been amazing…no more litter on the floor and the smell is a lot more contained too!

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Isn’t this shirt hilarious! Even funnier…Bud’s parents sent it to me! I’m still debating if I should wear it in public or not…Winking smile

Food pictures & more excitement coming atcha tomorrow!

Homemade Gingerbread House :)

Happy Monday Smile

Once again, the weekend flew by and I’m already looking forward to Friday!

On Friday night, Bud and I went to the School of Music’s annual holiday concert – the band playing was a mixture of Navy, Marines, and Army instructors, with a few students too. It was really neat to see what Bud will be doing once he’s with his fleet band (we’re hopefully finding out which band this weekSmile

Before the concert, we had dinner at the mess hall:

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They have the best peanut butter cookies!

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And Bud put hot sauce in his potato chowder. Heh heh heh.

Nothing too exciting happened on Saturday, but we did enjoy some english muffin tuna melts for lunch!

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Bud had to practice and be on watch on Sunday, so our afternoon was spent on base. I hit the gym and did some grocery shopping at the commissary, and when we got home we had some cooking fun! Bud cooked dinner while I showered…he’s the best Smile

HEB (grocery store we loved going to in Texas) has the best cranberry gorgonzola turkey burgers, and Bud mad some last night that were pretty darn close to the real thing!

*I had so much trouble picking out the cheese at the commissary…they only had one (very expensive) type of gorgonzola, and I didn’t know if feta or blue cheese was similar to gorgonzola! Thank goodness for cell phones! I picked up a package of pretzel buns and asparagus to go along with the burgers…yum!

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*The pretzel buns were really good, and fresh from the bakery, but I think I prefer burgers on whole wheat buns. Not to worry, I have plans for the leftover buns!

In the burgers:

  • Ground turkey
  • Dried cranberries
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Other spices? Not sure what all Bud used!

After enjoying our turkey burgers (and some frozen yogurt!), we got started on our gingerbread house…

A Homemade Gingerbread House!!!!

We picked up this bag of gingerbread cookie mix last weekend at Target, and baked it on a baking sheet Saturday night.

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Oh, and check out this frosting we bought!

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Soooooooooo tasty!

The finished house:

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Well, it didn’t turn out as beautiful as we’d hoped…but gosh that homemade gingerbread tastes SO much better than the pre-packaged house kits!

We decorated it with peppermint frosting, spice drops, and crushed candy canes.

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I have a feeling this house isn’t going to last very long – it tastes so good.

We actually are keeping it in our refrigerator, so the cats don’t attack it. Ever since we put candy canes on our tree, we’ve been finding broken candy canes (both wrapped and unwrapped) all over the place!

Which brings me to this picture:

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Yep, Charlie had a candy cane stuck in his belly hair this morning! It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Oh goodness….

We had to cut some of his hair off to get it out. That’s how stuck it was!

Now for today’s eats!

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with bananas & peanut butter!

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  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon
  • Spoonful of peanut butter (WOW it looks huge in the picture!)

After a suuuuper easy hour (I didn’t even get sweaty!) on the elliptical, I enjoyed a cup of greek yogurt back at the apartment.

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This was my first time trying Yoplait’s cherry pomegranate flavor – it’s a winner!

Time to start getting the apartment ready for our moving truck’s arrival tomorrow…can’t wait!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever made a homemade gingerbread house?

Freebie Friday…Well, Kind of :)

It’s almost the weekend!!!!!!

This week has been really busy for Bud at the music school, so I haven’t been able to see him very much…we’re definitely looking forward to having most of Saturday & Sunday together Smile

Yesterday was a really blah day for me – my stomach was bothering me all afternoon, so I spent the day reading this book:

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Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, but this book was a bit too slow-paced for me. It was still a good read though, and had thought-provoking parts…definitely check it out if you’re a fan of hers!

Breakfast:

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Overnight apples & cinnamon oats (are you surprised?!)

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 red delicious apple, chopped
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Spoonful of peanut butter

Enjoyed with a piping hot cut of gingerbread coffee!

After dropping Bud off on base, I hit the gym for a nice long but easy workout. I was planning on going to my first pilates class this morning, but got hooked on the E! channel while on the elliptical. Keeping up with the Kardashians is pretty darn good workout entertainment!

*I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on cardio equipment with personal tv’s attached for my whole life…they’re amazing!

After getting my guilty pleasure reality tv on, I did a quick dumbbell workout, focusing on arms & shoulders.

Snack:

I stirred a scoop of vanilla protein powder in a cup of almond milk when I got back, and decided it was not worthy of a picture (I didn’t stir it very well, and there were powder chunks floating everywhere Smile with tongue out).

Next Tuesday cannot come soon enough….I miss our blender so much! Other random things on our moving truck that are hard to live without:

  • Keurig carousel (our k-cups are all over the place, in bags, in plastic bowls, in boxes…it’s crazy!)
  • Christmas decorations (especially our tree ornaments)
  • Vacuum (Charlie has been shedding like crazy lately!)
  • Printer (there are so many coupons I want to print out right now- so frustrating!)
  • Candles (especially the pumpkin pie Yankee Candle I’ve been waiting to light until Bud finished boot camp!)
  • Picture frames
  • TV
  • Bathroom floor mat
  • Bathrobe
  • Bed & other furniture. Folding chairs are not very comfortable Eye rolling smile

Oh, and I also miss having more than about 10 articles of clothing to wear. Definitely should have brought more in the car with me!

Lunch:

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A random bowl of deliciousness:

  • Broccoli
  • Chicken
  • Raisins
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Honey balsamic dressing (one of my new favorite dressing flavors!)

Snack:

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Yum, I love greek yogurt. Black cherry’s one of my favorite Oikos flavors, and the grocery store had a 4 pack on sale today  – score!

And now….try to contain your excitement….the cute picture of the day!

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Charlie, Summer 2011

In honor of Freebie Friday (which I haven’t been keeping up with very well…), here’s a great giftcard deal!

McDonalds will give you a free 2013 calendar with a $10 or more Arch card (McDonald’s gift card) purchase.

We did this last year, and the calendar was awesome. Every month, there are three coupons, and one is for a FREE product! For a list of the 2013 calendar’s coupons, you can get your very own calendar (or just read the list here!). The great thing about the free items is that they’re all drinks, so you can order them as healthy (or indulgent) as you want SmileAnd with your $10 Arch card, I’d recommend you get a Holiday Mint McFlurry. They are SO good. Yep, we’ll probably be sharing one this weekend!

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite wintertime dessert?

Holiday Shopping Deals!

Good Morning (and happy Thursday!).

It’s time to do some catch-up from yesterday…I don’t know where the day went, but I’m glad it flew by (one day closer to the weekend!).

While watching Something Borrowed (a really interesting movie – check it out if you have HBOGo!), I enjoyed a big bowl of kettlecorn Smile

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That popcorn filled.me.up! Later much later on, I made a tuna sandwich for lunch.

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I melted a thin slice of provolone and thin slice of colby jack cheese on a whole wheat roll in the oven, and put a can of tuna on top! Those whole wheat rolls I got are so good…definitely need to buy some more!

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A small plate of cooked baby carrots on the side.

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And a small bag of Hershey’s kisses for dessert! I wish they made little bags of their seasonal flavors, like candy cane!

Dinner:

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Leftover sweet potato fries (eaten cold – my new favorite potato temperature!)

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Chicken & broccoli bowl (with raisins, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and honey balsamic dressing)

Breakfast:

I woke up reeeeally early this morning (around 5:00?) – well, not as early as Bud. He had to wake up at 3:00 to go on watch from 4-6 Sad smile

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I decided to go all out and make a fancy breakfast sandwich with eggs, turkey sausage, and a honey wheat english muffin. It tasted great, but was really difficult to eat (it kept falling apart!). Also enjoyed with a hot cup of gingerbread coffee!

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After doing a 30 min. yoga video (hulu.com has a bunch for free!), I had a Yoplait apple crisp yogurt. Oh, and a bunch of pb&j mixed nuts. Those things are dangerously delicious! I have a feeling I’ll be eating another late lunch today Rolling on the floor laughing

Cute Picture of the Day!

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Charlie & Artie, 12/5/12

For some strange reason, our cats love hanging out in their carrier!

Freebie Alert!

This morning I ordered two free bottles of nailpolish from Crabtree & Evelyn Open-mouthed smile If you use the code: Holiday94, you can get $10 off any purchase of $10 or more (and everything’s free shipping!). I went for the red (apple) color and white (snowdrop) color, so I can *hopefully* paint candy canes on my fingernails! They have several colors to choose from, and their nailpolish is on sale 2 for $10….perfect!

Another really good deal:

If you go to Amazon.com’s facebook page, they have an offer for $5 off a qualifying purchase of $25 or more. I bought some Christmas presents with the offer this morning – it worked out great!

Question of the Day:

How do you save money while holiday shopping?

Cute Picture Alert!

It’s Wednesday already?!?! This week has been flying by…wow!

Yesterday afternoon was busy busy – I ended up making two trips back and forth to the Navy base (Bud needed various articles of clothing), but it worked out because I was able to pop in the gym and do a quick dumbbell workout before eating dinner at the mess hall Smile 

The mess hall only charges $4.55 for civilians to eat there – a pretty good deal! They have a line of hot entrees, salad bar, fresh fruit, soup, dessert, and drinks (soda fountain, coffee…).

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None of the hot entrees looked appealing last night, so I made my own taco salad with taco meat, lettuce, salsa, and cheese.

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I also had a hot (PIPING hot!) bowl of minestrone soup. Oh, and an apple and peanut butter cookie (both with peanut butter on top). It was a delicious dinner, but the taco meat was not pleasant to my stomach last night Sad smile

Breakfast:

I was really excited for breakfast this morning, because we got a special surprise in the mail yesterday (thanks Andy & Kelly!)….Gingerbread coffee!!!!

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This coffee is really good. I like it better than the pumpkin spice flavor, but chocolate glazed donut still is my #1 favorite!

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With my coffee, I enjoyed a jar of overnight apples & cinnamon oats.

In the jar:

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 medium gala apple, chopped
  • 1 spoonful peanut butter

I was originally planning on going to a yoga class at the gym today, but have decided to find a free yoga video or two online and workout at home instead….the gym’s class is at 11:30, which is probably the most inconvenient time ever for me (that’s when I eat lunch!).

And now, a cute picture for you to enjoy! I’ve decided to post one picture of our cats, Charlie and Artie, every morning. They are just too darn cute!

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Charlie and Artie, Winter 2011

Question of the Day:

What flavor of coffee gets you in the holiday spirit?