Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Table for One

I've been on quite the healthy food kick lately, but I rarely actually cook myself a meal.  I really don't like wasting perfectly good food and I do not have a microwave, so it makes it difficult to deal with leftovers...and it isn't that easy to prepare recipes for 1 person.  Anyhow, I decided that I was going to start trying to have better things for dinner than what I have been eating...such as an apple with peanut butter, a bowl of peaches or a piece of string cheese wrapped in a corn tortilla.  Let's face it...those options are probably not considered "meals" by most people...they are really more of snacks.

Last night was my first attempt to cook for me, myself and I.  It wasn't a complete failure, but it wasn't the best either.  I made garlic/lime pork chops with cilantro and lime brown rice (think Chipotle).  The pork chops were pretty decent except they were a bit on the chewy side.  I don't eat them often enough to know if this is normal?  The rice was a disaster!!!  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make this stuff.  I used the proper ratio of water to rice, yet after around 30 minutes of cooking all of the water was gone and a good portion of the rice was burned to the bottom of the pan.  Lovely!  I salvaged the rice that was not burned, transferred it to a new pot, added more water and continued boiling...and boiling...and adding more water...and boiling some more!  Still after all of that time and all of that water, it was still hard and crunchy.  If I wasn't on a no white stuff eating kick, I would simply cook white rice next time, but I will not let the brown rice defeat me!  Next time it will be better.

Also, in the spirit of thriftiness I will not waste perfectly  decent food, so I have reheated the rice and pork chops in my oven and had it for lunch today.  I will be having it again for lunch tomorrow and again the next day since the pork chops came in a package of 4.  Are you beginning to see the issue with cooking for one?!

Double Digits

I am in the under 100 club!!!!  Remember that cute little counter that my friend Ashley made me?  Well, I no longer need all 3 hooks...I only need TWO!  I can't tell you how excited I am.   Trust me, I know how things can change so quickly with the Army, but as of now this should be pretty accurate.  And if it changes by a few days or a few weeks, it will be OK because it is still getting close...no matter what.  And...I am an eternal optimist and I live in my own little world where I am going to keep hoping for the best until I hear otherwise.  So that is that!  :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Master Blogger


How sweet of my friend, Kelly, to give me this special blogger award!  This honor came with an assignment to name 6 things that I am a master of.  Then to tag 6 more "master" bloggers.  I'm not sure I am a master of 6 things, but I will play along and give it a try.  Here it goes:

1.  Baking tasty treats:  I wouldn't really consider myself a "master" of baking, but I do love it!  I love to try new cake flavors and I love learning new techniques and trying out new skills.

2.  Count Downs:  Seems like I am always counting down to something.  Either a deployment ending, a vacation coming up, the next holiday, etc.  I have become really great at thinking of new and fun ways to count down to whatever it is that I am looking forward to.

3.  Shopping:  I have been practicing this skill since...well, pretty much my whole life.  I AM a master at this! :)

4.  Adapting:  Since become an Army Wife, I have learned how to adapt.  I have adapted to new cities, new people, new houses, new cultures and new units.  It is actually really fun!

5.  Multi-tasking:  I stole this one from Kelly.  I think this is a God given trait to all women...because let's be honest, men just aren't  that great at this.  :)  I can talk on the phone, return an email, put on my make up, and watch TV all at the same time.

6. Being a Friend:  Maybe I am tooting my own horn, but I think a am a pretty darn good friend.  I really try to make an effort to keep up with far away friends in Texas and other states, and I try to be a good friend to my local friends.

Ok, that was 6.  Here are my 6 blogger friends I am awarding "Master Bloggers" and challenging them to complete the assignment.  Have fun!

Amy
Kristen
Whitney
Abigail
Lauren
Andrea

Just a little challenge

Last week when I was home with my family, my Mom mentioned that she was leading a team at her office for a 100 day workout challenge.  I'm not really sure what her challenge consists of, but it got me thinking. Thinking that redeployment is roughly 100 days away and that I should create my own little challenge.

So...that is just what I did.  I am challenging myself to workout 100 times before Mark gets home.  I bought some little sparkly star stickers that I will put on the calendar for each workout.  Some days I might workout twice and get two stickers and other days I might not workout at all, but all together I want to get 100 stickers on the calendar.  I also gave myself a little head start and started counting my workouts with 105-ish days left, so I have roughly 5 extra days to take off.

Hopefully this last little leg of this deployment will just breeze on by one workout at a time! :)  Anyone want to join in on the challenge?  Or come up with your own goal!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

$10 and 10 minutes

From this....

To this...


I have been looking everywhere for a chair that would be cute at my little desk in the kitchen.  I have found a few decent ones that would have worked, but the cheapest was around $50 at Target!  Not in the budget! So, Amy and I made it up to the on post thrift store and I found the world's ugliest chair for $1.50!  And...it smelled like syrup!  After a quick trip to Home Depot for a $4 can of rustoleum and a $5 piece of fabric at JoAnn's, I was able to create a perfectly adorable little chair for my kitchen.  Love it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where have I been?

In Texas, of course!  It was a wonderful 10 days full of all of my favorite things...family, friends, baseball, fun, shopping and eating...eating lots of mexican food.  I lost count of how many times we dined in a mexican restaurant after about the 6th trip.

The trip started with the baseball tournament in Round Rock.  The guys played really well and finished with 4 wins and 2 losses.  Not too bad.  I feel like my brother has really "grown up" over the last few months.  What happened?!  I am beyond proud of him.  His leadership qualities and his love for the game of baseball are really shining through.  He LOVES the game and in my opinion he is pretty darn good at it. :)  I will be really sad if he doesn't continue to play for at least a few years after high school.

In between ball games, we did a lot of shopping at the Round Rock outlet malls.   SO MUCH FUN!  I stocked up on some spring basics and also restocked Mark's collection of Polo shirts.  It is fun to start thinking about Mark getting home and I want to make sure he is looking just as stylish as ever!

We headed back to Arlington after the tournament and the rest of the week was spent on errands, helping out my mom, watching MHS beat AHS, a little more shopping, more mexican food, catching up with friends, a few work outs and snuggling with my Daisy.

Speaking of Daisy, who knew that a shih-tzu could turn into such a little guard dog.  She barks at everything now!  She got us in trouble at the round rock hotel because apparently we got 7 complaint calls.  I'm sure she barked at every single person that passed the room!  Her extreme cute factor totally makes up for it, but seriously...enough with the barking!

I'll leave you with a few cute pics from the tournament...

 BFF's (Pitcher/Catcher team since they were 7!)
Just a cool pic!


The proud sisters!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Time for a fill up

I have people ask me all the time how I deal with a deployment?...how can I be so strong?...how often do we get to talk?

Trust me...it isn't easy, but I take it one month, one week, one day and one hour at a time.  First off, I am not strong!  I am weak, but the Lord gives me the strength to make it through each day.  I rely on Him first and trust that everything will be OK and that this deployment will end soon!

Every time I talk to Mark it is like filling up my gas tank of optimism and helps me get through until the next time we talk.  I think my gas tank is shrinking as the deployment drags on.  It seems like before I was OK until about the 4th day I hadn't heard from him and then the worry would really set in and the tears filled my eyes.  Then my tank shrunk...and now each day that passes without hearing his voice is hard.  Harder than usual!  The good thing is that the days are going really quickly, and we only have about 17 more weeks to go!  So, today I really need a fill up!!!!  I think I have been a little on edge and extra worried about the Iraqi elections that took place yesterday/today and of course I haven't talked to him while all this has been going on.  It is a little stressful!

This calls for some retail therapy!  I got some great JoAnn coupons in the mail yesterday and they are burning a hole in my purse.  I must go use them and get some new scrapbooking supplies.  And then...I'll scrapbook and look at the memories of the fun times and dream of the great times to come!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Key Lime Cupcakes

Another day of fun in the kitchen!  I am a huge fan of key lime pie and 2 weeks ago when I was at Hilary's wedding her grooms cake was key lime flavored with a margaritaville theme.  It was possibly the yummiest cake I had ever tasted, so I was dying to replicate it.  I'm going to a get together tomorrow and offered to bring cupcakes....perfect excuse to try out the key lime!  I paired it with a cream cheese icing, because in my opinion it is the best!  Here is the recipe if you would like to try these at home.

Key Lime Cake:
1 box lemon cake mix
1 1/3 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (3 oz.) box of lime gelatin
3/4 C. Orange Juice
(Bake according to box)

Cream Cheese Icing with a twist:
1/2 C. butter
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (they didn't have key limes in the store yet, so I just used regular limes)
4 C. powdered sugar
*Cream butter and cream cheese and then add lime juice and sugar.  Using only 4 C. of sugar produced a rather runny icing, so I continued to add powdered sugar until it was a thicker consistency.  Then I chilled it in the fridge for about 10 minutes for a little more thickening.  

The results were YUM!!!!!



Monday, March 1, 2010

Taste of Heaven

This is what I just finished making in my kitchen!  It is a dark chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing and mini chocolate chips on the edge.  Stop drooling on the keyboard and come visit me! :)  I know that anything with peanut butter and chocolate is great, but I underestimated this tasty little morsel.  They are AMAZING!  I'm feeling like I need to have a second workout today, but this little calorie packed treat is well worth it!