Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Find my Recipe Collection

Originally this blog was intended to keep family and friends updated on our life. It has slowly developed into my creative outlet for any and all things I enjoy: craftiness, reading, my walk with God, music I love, projects, funny Baxter stories, adventures of being a military wife, etc. Now that cooking is a hobby of mine, most posts are about my cooking adventures. With that said, I made a new link under our picture, entitled "Cookin' For My Man." Under this section header I will keep all the recipes I have made. I thought that it would be an easy way for people to go and get recipes I have made, that they might want to try out. As you can see when you go there, they are labeled by category. 
 
Happy Cooking All!!! :D
 
 (Tell me whatcha think about this, I love feedback!)
 

Mason Jar Pin Cushion

I haven't shared much of my crafty projects in awhile. Mainly due to I have not done many, but that's besides the point. Here is one I was waiting to share until after Christmas, but now that it is waaaayyy past, here it is: A Mason Jar Pin Cushion. I used the tutorial from the link over the words as my guide. It was SUPER easy and very fun to do. Since I had gotten a bunch of mason jars from my grandma, I thought that was such a cute project to utilize one as a gift to my SIL, Laura. Since she's always working on some sewing project, I thought, what a great pin chushion, that will also give her storage. Badda-bing-badda-boom. If you're interested in making this creative, simple gift, I would suggest going to the link and check it out!

 *Theirs* 

*Mine*

 *Mine, stuffed with added goodies :) *

 Happy Crafting! :D
 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Food Challenges to the Test

I originally created the blog series "Food Challenges" for adding new recipes to my recipe collection, so when Adam came home from Deployment I could spoil him with as much good cooking as possible. I wanted to give an update of the recipes I have made him thus far, along with the ratings he gives each meal. This has been fun for me, because every time I cook a meal, I'll ask him "what do you rate this dish and would you want to see it on your plate again." Let me tell you, he's one tough critic, but glad my cooking most always gets good reviews from his big appetite!! (score!) Let the fun begin:


Crockpot Salsa Chicken, with black beans, served over a baked potato (even made my own Taco Seasoning instead of buying it, for the recipe!): SCORE! He loved it!!

*Their picture (did not picture mine)*


Penne Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce, served with Lemon Lovers Asparagus: I've made this twice so far, so you can tell he is a big fan of this one!!

 *mine*

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken, served with rice and Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks: Double thumbs up!
*Mine*

Lemony Asparagus Pasta: He Loved this pasta. Next time, he told me to add chicken to it and it would be that much better. But he did like it a lot.

*Mine* 
Sloppy Joes (already have a family recipe for Sloppy Joes, but this recipe is AMAZING!, especially if you like your food to have a little kick of spicy flavor (not too spicy if you're wondering) but it's just so good!!): He liked these a lot
*Mine* 

Crockpot Chiken Marsala: I made these tonight (substituting the wine for chicken broth), and he gave this a 4 out of 5 stars. It came out pretty good, better than I thought!

*Theirs (did not picture mine)*

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken, served with Polenta and fried green beans: He loved the flavor of the chicken and the fact that the meat just falls off the bone, but he would have preferred it boneless. Still would give it 4/5 stars ;)
*Mine*

Easy Garlic Chicken, served with mashed potatoes and Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks: He loved this meal!

*Mine*

Crockpot Vegetable Lasagna: He loved this meal. He went back for seconds, so you know it was good!

*Theirs (did not picture mine)*

I even ventured out and made some breakfasts for him (nothing, too out of the ordinary, just creative breakfast ideas):

Instead of "Egg in a hole," Egg in a Heart, (also did this same concept in a pepper instead of toast, and he loves it that way, too) breakfast, including, fruit salad, egg, sauteed veggies, and toast: He thought it was cute :)


 *Mine*

 Mini, make-your-own Omlettes: It's his favorite asked for breakfast!!

 *Mine*

Looking back over the reviews, guess Adam has liked most all of the dishes. Guess a wife can't complain too much. ;D

One of the things that I haven't been able to do in about a year and a half is Menu Plan. Since Adam has been gone at boot camp, A-school, and on deployment, there's been no reason for me to menu plan. Cooking for one is like, cooking whatever you have on hand (except when I started this blog series, I would plan my menus, but wouldn't stick to it if something came up; very flexible when cooking for one). Now I have been LOVING that I get to do this now!

Here is what's comin' up next in our household:

Tuesday: Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta
Wednesday: Honey-Soy Salmon with vegetable fried rice
Thursday: Onion Soup Mix Pork Chops, with Mashed potatoes and lemon-lovers asparagus. (I made the soup mix!!!)
Friday: Spicy Chicken Rigatoni
Saturday: Stuffed Bell Peppers


What's cookin' in your household? I'd love to know!
Happy week all!


 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Reuniting Roadtrip

 As stated in my last post, when Adam came home we quickly planned a WA, B&B roadtrip. When I say quickly, I literally mean in 2 hours!! Let me take you on a picture tour of our adventure together.

An we're off...

Destination #1: Port Townsend

We started our Roadtrip going to Port Townsend (We forgot to take pictures there, but it was pretty!)

Destination #2: Leavenworth, WA
 We stayed 2 nights in Leavensworth (all the way on the other side of WA from Port Townsend), at this lovely B&B.
 To our surprise, it was snowy!! This is the view from our hotel and you would think we were staying somewhere at the alps. But we weren't!
 In Leavenworth we got to feed their pet goat named Shorty,
 Have our first snowball fight in over 3 years!!
 Relax in the spa, while it was raining, in the snow!!,
And have our first date night in over 8 months!!

 Along the way in all of our destinations, 
Adam and I have found our new found hobby: antiquing!! 
It's a great thing we love doing together!

Destination #3: Coupeville, Whidbey Island

 Our cute & cozy B&B, down the street from the water. Look at that view!
 We did our 2nd favorite hobby there: hiking, as we hiked Deception Pass.
 The beautiful scenery!

We then came home for 2 days, and in those two days we went on a day trip to:
 Sequim, WA

Isn't it just beautiful there!!??!!

 My handsome hubby on our hike on the Dungeoness Trail Lighthouse path.

 We took a day trip to Seattle. We even brought Baxter for his first ferry ride!

Then Adam found a brochure on our ferry ride to Seattle of Victoria, B.C., so of course that became our 4th destination. We stayed there 2 nights.

 British Parliament
 A view of the Olympic Mountains from Victoria
 Craigdarroch Castle. The richest family in Cananda during the late 1800's built this as their home. Imagine living in this!!
 Another view of the Castle
 Posing for a quick pic infront of the entry
 When we got home from Victoria, we've just been hanging around, enjoying being just an average couple. We've even been able to have our first Wii match in over a year!!!

 Adam's been able to take me on a tour of the ship,
 I've come home to hand written notes with the hose,
and even gone to a Blake Shelton Concert!!!

 We've gotten to go to Poulsbo and endulge at our favorite bakery, Sluy's,
 Hang out with one of my old roommates, Joanna
 (In Poulsbo)
 get a Blizzard from DQ (promise we only did this once so far!!)
 and Adam got to buy a new toy,
so we had to make beef jerky!!!

Life is simplistically beautiful right now.

Hope you like the picture tour of our reunification!

 

The Surprise

I'm baaaacccckkk! Sorry I've been MIA for the past month, but my hubby is home (and we didn't have internet for awhile)!!!!! Before I go into any detail, let me just start the story.

 The week of February 13th, I was busy, busy, busy getting my "End of Deployment To-Do List" done. I was expecting to borrow a friends carpet cleaner to clean the carpet, freeze some meals ahead of time, get the car cleaned, bathe Baxter, etc. By the end of the week, I still hadn't gotten most of these things completed, since I was expecting to still have two weeks left of deployment and I was going to take my time.

On Wednesday at work, the director asked me if the following day, Thursday, I could work 6-12pm instead of 12-6pm. I told her that was fine, thinking in my head that was a much better start to my weekend, since I had Friday off, thus a 3 day weekend. Where I work, usually the schedule for the following week gets posted either on Thursday late or Friday morning. So when I left work on Thursday the schedule hadn't been posted yet, so I thought, well I'll call in on Friday and see what I work on Monday.

On Friday, the Stennis (Adam's ship) ported in Hawaii. I knew that he was going to have watch the first morning, and help bring the ship in, so instead of waiting around for his skype call, I planned on using this waiting period to clean the carpet. I moved all of  the furniture into the dining room and kitchen, and started the task. Man, is that a workout! Geesh! By the time I was done, Adam still hadn't called. And nothing irritates me more than someone telling me they're going to do something at a specific time and not follow through. If you're not going to follow through, then why did you go ahead and be specific? I'd rather someone be vague and follow through, then be specific and not. So yes, I was irritated at Adam. When he finally called, it was a 2 minute phone call letting me know he wasn't going to be able to skpye. YUP, I was definitely irritated! SO....in a bad habit of mine, I was very sharp with him on the phone. Being that he knows me oh so well, he knew I was irritated and asked me why. We talked it out and I eventually came to turns with the scenario. He told me he would skype with me in the morning, bright and early. (I know it seems like I'm ranting, but it's needed to tell my story :). I finally went to bed, leaving the carpet to dry over night and all of the furniture off the carpet still (I wonder if you know where this is going...) So, I set my alarm for 6am and hit the sack. I didn't even realize that I had never even called my work to see what I worked on Monday!

In the morning I got up, brushed my teeth, went to the bathroom, kind of fixed my hair, and put on yoga pants and a college t-shirt. I got a text saying, be ready on the computer in 30 minutes. I got on the computer, made sure I was on skype, and waited. And waited. So I decided, why not look at Pinterest while I'm waiting? So I was browsing, and browsing, pinning and pinning, all the while checking to see if Adam was on skype yet. NOPE! So I kept browsing and pinning, when all of a sudden "DING-DONG," the door bell rang. It was 640 AM! Immediately, I thought to myself, "Who the heck would have the guts to ring MY doorbell at 640 AM??!!?? But then another thought came into my head, what if.....that was Adam?? I immediately turned that thought down. No way, it couldn't be!! So I cautiously walked to the door and looked through the peep hole, while Baxter was frantically barking. I first couldn't see too well, because it was so dark outside. Also, because it was 640 AM and my eyes were drowsy. So I took another look. Oh boy, oh boy, I LOVED what I saw out of that peep hole!! It was a man, who looked just like my hubby, holding a lei and wearing a back-pack. I suspiciously opened the door and surprise, it was no other than......

ADAM!!!!!!!!

He said "surprise" and put the lei over my neck and we par-took in the longest hug ever. And then of course we kissed. It wasn't until this point that I let him inside, haha. Then we hugged again, and I looked up at him and said, "Am I still dreaming? Is this a dream. Someone wake me up!!" We then spent the rest of the morning talking, catching up, and just delighting in the presence of one another.

Here is what was supposed to happen:

Adam's dad was going to go on the 4 day tiger cruise the ship holds from San Diego back to Bremerton.
His mom was going to fly into Bremerton March 1st, and we'd spend the day together.
The ship was planned to come in March 2nd and we'd both go see the ship pull into port.
Two days later Adam and I were going to go on a vacation together, for the rest of his 2 week leave (because I asked for 2 weeks off, too).

This is what happened:

The day I started working, January 6th, I told my director that I would need two weeks off work for Adam's arrival, starting March 5th. Adam called this day an spoke to the director and told her to ignore my request of leave starting on the 5th, but rather to have 2 weeks off starting Monday, February 20th. (Can you believe he did this??!!?? A little side note: my director changed my schedule on that Thursday on purpose: so I wouldn't see the schedule and notice I had the week off!!)
On Friday, February 17th, when he called me and we only had a 2 minute conversation, he was at the airport!!!! (Silly me for being mad!!)
Adam surprised me on Saturday, February 18th at 6:40 am.
He told me around 7:30 am that his parents were on a flight to Bremerton and would be here in 3 hours.
We planned our vacation together.
They arrived at 9:30 am.
When his parent's arrived we talked, Adam opened up some Christmas presents, we walked around our community, went to an early dinner, and then went to the Pudget Sound Naval Musuem.
His parents left to Adam's uncle's house in Bellingham around 3pm.
We woke up on Sunday and made the 3 hour drive to his Uncle's house to spend the day with his family.
At 2 pm on Sunday, we embarked on our vacation, and started our...

WA roadtrip!! (A picture blog of the trip is coming next).

A lot of people asked me how did you feel right on the spot. Let me explain all of that right now.

Adam loves the element of surprise. Not necessarily for himself, but he loves surprising me. From secretly planning the proposal, to surprising me during our wedding ceremony on writing his own vows, to surprising me with his appearance on our one year wedding anniversary, to this: he never seems to allow for a dull moment in our relationship. Surprising me has become one of his strengths, and it has become one of the reasons why I love him. :) With that said, I kind of suspected that he was capable of surprising me early, but whenever I thought about it, I always quickly ran the thoughts out of my head because I didn't want to be let down if it didn't happen. So, I was definitely surprised when he was standing on the opposite side of the door at 6:40 am!!

Other people have asked, did you cry? Let me explain something. My emotions are very strange. I'm not a huge crier. Something has to definitely get to me for my body to produce tears. For example, I cried when we had to put my dog Chester to sleep. I cried when my grandpa passed away. I cried happy tears walking down the aisle to Adam, and I cried tears when Adam left. However, on this day, I was more shocked more than anything, so joy and amazement came out more than tears. It wasn't until about an hour later when I was taking a shower and had my first moment alone, that I actually cried, a little bit. All I could think in that moment was, "I can't believe this. I must mean so much to him, for him to plan all of this!" Seriously, for the first 2 days, I literally experienced shock and amazement, never fully believing that Adam was home!

Then there are others who asked if I thought it was a good thing that he was home. Let me rephrase that. Since I wasn't expecting him to be home for another 2 weeks, some people might find if a little irritating if they hadn't gotten their legs shaved yet. Nope, that definitely NOT me! Who cares if my legs weren't shaved, the living room was bare because ALL of the furniture was in the dining room and kitchen, the car floors were not vacuumed, Baxter was not bathed, his signs weren't hung up outside and inside, and that I was wearing yoga pants on our first greet and NOT A NICE DRESS!!! Who cares right??!!?? Right??!!?? I really didn't care about all of this. It just made me laugh more than anything! Anything to get my hubby home safe and sound, and early on top of that!! :D

 Isn't he just fine and dandy??!!??

I LOVE L-O-V-E him!!! :D

This was the BEST, by far, Saturday Laughs, I've had of the WHOLE deployment!! :D