Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Goal Review

If you're feeling bad about the monthly goals you set, keep reading. My complete and utter failure this month should make you feel pretty good. ;) Surprisingly, I'm not feeling the usual guilt I feel at not completing any of my goals.

1. Read 2 - 3 books.
2. Write 5 or more letters. I wrote 2.
3. Workout 3 - 4 times per week and lose 5 pounds. While I did much better than last month, I didn't quite go 3 times every week and I certainly haven't lost any weight. But I haven't gained any more either. ;)
4. Send March birthday presents and cards. I fell off the wagon this month (sorry, Hellie). 
5. Plan for April birthdays. Not quite. Maybe I should spend some time doing that this weekend.
6. Organize Manny's closet. HA! no.
7. Decide on a school from which to get my Master's. Sadly, no. I plan on applying to several in the next couple weeks though.
8. Finish crocheting my scarf. Also no. It got so warm I kind of gave up on it. But I should finish it so it's ready for next fall/winter!


So there you have it. My failings. ;) Like I said before, I don't feel that bad about it because I've really enjoyed myself this month. But now it's April (omgareyouserious?!), and it's time to pick it up a little.

Did you set goals this month? How did you do?

Cake Pop Easter Basket

So as I was going over the photos to put in this post I realized I've been taking some truly crappy pictures lately. *sigh* My cake pops deserve better. Unfortunately, these were taken several weeks ago and long before the post where I complain about my complaining. Anyway, y'all don't really care about that, so I'll just tell you about what I made.

A couple weeks ago we went to the Dining Out. Our tickets were actually purchased by someone else. In thanks, I made them some cake pops. This person has several small children so I figured I'd do a little "Easter basket" of cake pops.

Truth: It was Manny's idea to put in the Easter grass and make it super Easter-y. But the rest was me. ;)


First up are these cute little chicks which I affectionately refer to as "cheep-cheeps." Aren't they the cutest!? I had seen them in Bakerella's book, and couldn't wait to try them. Perfect opportunity!





Then I moved on to Easter eggs. Some with Peeps on top. Get it, they're laying Easter eggs? They didn't come out quite as planned but I just had to do it.



Then finally I did some other Easter eggs sans Peeps and flowers and put them all in the basket.


Is that not just the cutest thing? Apparently about half the box got eaten right there in the office when it was delivered. And they guy couldn't believe I had made them. Picture it: two guys, in uniform, holding sparkly and or polka dotted Easter cake pops and discussing decorating techniques. Oh to be a fly on that wall. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Today I am...

...being a procrastinating fool. There's so much I want to do around the house but just don't have the motivation for it at the moment.

...loving the Hunger Games trilogy. I'm about halfway through the second book.

...still in my pajamas. It's 11:30am.

...bringing dinner to a friend who just had a baby! :)

...trying to get my lazy butt in gear! 

Hope everyone's having a great Friday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Complaining

So the other day I was complaining to myself (I've been doing that a lot lately) about how I never use the "big" computer (the one on our desk) to blog anymore and I'm constantly stuck using my little laptop. Wow. First world problems, anyone? Anyway, as I was complaining to myself, I got to thinking about why I use my laptop so much more often than the desk computer. I love using the desk computer for blogging so what's my problem?

There are two. One, the desk is a mess. And rather than just clean it up, I just complain about how messy it is. Wait, do things not clean themselves when you complain about them? *hmm* Second, I've been taking nearly every picture for the blog with my phone. iCloud syncs my pictures automatically to my laptop but not to the desk computer so it's really a pain to get pictures onto the blog if I use the big computer. Oh wait. I have a dSLR, 3 lenses, and an external flash at my disposal. WTF. Why am I still using an iPhone to take blog pictures. Laziness? Good guess. ;)

So basically what I realized is that most of the things I've been complaining to myself about, I can fix if I do less complaining and more doing. :) But now I'm off to read the Hunger Games. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 3/26/12



1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries. But I spent $15 dollars less than last week!

2. Today I am thankful for sunshine! It's been so sunny and warm here lately. We're cooling off a little again this week but nothing crazy. :)

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did this week that made me happy was visit my dear friend and her new baby! I think I held the baby for about 40 minutes and I was in heaven. :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I run 3 more times. :)

5. One thing I love about my home is the people/dogs in it. I do like our little townhouse, even though we're already growing out of it. But there are just some things about living in rented property that aren't great. That's why my favorite thing about my home is my family that lives there. :)

As always, I'm linked up over at My Pretty Pennies!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Accidental Barefoot Runner

Wednesday night is date night. It's the only night that I'm guaranteed to get off work at a reasonable hour. Usually we go out for sushi because sushi is amazing. Anyway...Wednesday night I left work a little late and didn't get home until almost 6:30. Manny was in the garage building something and so I went inside to primp a little bit until he was done. I was about halfway through changing, wearing only skinny jeans and a white tank top when I hear this loud banging on the front door. I go downstairs and realize I have accidentally  locked Manny out of the house. As I go to open the door the dogs rush forward and before I can say "Watch out, Ella's going to get out"...she was out.

I think I need to take this time to say that when Ella gets out she thinks it's a big game. She doesn't run very far or very fast...until you get close enough to catch her. But she doesn't exactly come when called either. So you kind of have to chase her if you don't want her to get hit by a car. I digress.

As soon as she was out I took off after her. Barefoot, wearing only skinny jeans and a white tank top (the kind that's supposed to be worn under another shirt). I'm sure I looked really classy. After running a big loop around our complex, she left the relative safety of the gated part of our apartments and out towards the street.

I would also like to say that I didn't have time to throw Louis back in the house before going on this chase. Fortunately he listens, as least better than Ella does, and mostly just followed either me or Ella during this whole ordeal.


No sooner did Louis and Ella dart across the street, than a car comes down the street and Ella darts back into the street. Heart. Stop. I scream "ELLA STOP!!!" more as a reaction than out of thinking that might actually help the situation. At least the driver heard me and stopped before she hit my dog. As I jogged across the street to continue the chase I thanked the driver (her window was open) for not killing my dog. Yes, I literally said "Thank you for not killing my dog!" And I meant it. I continue the chase down towards a little pond but I'm worried about getting too close because I really don't want Ella to jump in the pond. It's really gross and I was not in the mood for swimming.

After about 5 more minutes of jogging behind them, and lunging and failing to catch her several times, we cross back closer to our part of the complex. Crossing the street again, but this time there were no cars coming. Ella sees some geese she wants to chase and goes towards another gross little retention pond. Louis finds something smelly to rub his face in and Ella stops to lick something disgusting. I can't quite reach her but as she comes back towards me I lunge at her like a defender trying to stop the run in the red zone. And I catch her, by the scruff of her neck. I'm on my hands and knees in the mud, white tank top splattered with dirt, panting like I've just run a mile. And there were witnesses. Great. Since the weather was so nice there were people everywhere as I run around looking like a hussie trying to catch my dog.

It was at this point that Manny finally caught up with us. I picked up Ella to carry her back to the house (of course I didn't have a leash either) but I really wanted to carry Louis. Bless his little heart and his tiny Dachshund legs, he was exhausted. We all went back to the house dirty, tired, and a little smelly.

We all survived and the only injuries were some scratches on my feet and some bruises to my ego. But at least my dog didn't get hit by a car. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Liebster Award

I've been tagged by Sam over at Steady As We Go for the Liebster Award. (Truth be told, she tagged me over a week ago and it has just taken me forever to get this done.) I met her when she started reading my blog and emailed me as a fellow Athletic Trainer who's boyfriend is in the Army. Y'all should really click over and check out her blog!

Here are the rules:

1. Choose five up and coming blogs to give the Liebster award to. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers your gave the award to with links to their sites. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've recevied the award.
4. Share five random facts about yourself!

My 5 Award Recipients:
1. Bre @ A Not So Small Town Housewife
2. Jess @ Dream More
3. Nicole @ (L)ife as a (S)ocial (W)orker (In Progress)

Yeah, I'm going to cheat and only tag 3. :/

5 Random Facts:
1. My biggest fear is getting run over by a steamroller.
2. I love to swim but open water scares me because I can't see what's underneath me.
3. My dogs are named after jazz artists Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
4. I have a very large family. 2 moms, 2 dads, 5 brothers, 1 sister.
5. I love organization but seem to still be very messy most of the time.

That's it! Now y'all should go over to those other awesome blogs! ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekly Money Check-Up: 3/19/12



1. The most I've spent this last week was on a little splurge for myself...post coming soon!

2. Today I am thankful for my awesome little family. They make me the happiest girl around.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was go to the Dining Out! It really was free because the tickets were a gift and I wore a dress I already owned!

4. I will consider this week a success if I look at our grocery bill and figure out some ways to lower our bill. We've had some pretty expensive bills the last couple weeks and I'm convinced we can easily lower it.


5. If I could afford one unnecessary luxury, I would have a beach house.

I'm linked up at My Pretty Pennies.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

GPS Running Watch

I've recently been contemplating whether or not to buy a GPS running watch. I know they're super expensive but I really like the idea of being able to know just how far I ran every time. Right now I use MapMyRun to get a pretty close estimate...but I want more! ;) I've been reading lots of review, but I really want to gather all the information I can before making a purchase (if I end up purchasing this at all). So, that's where y'all come in! Do you have a favorite? Have you ever used a GPS running watch? Here are the two I'm looking at...

Product Info and photo credit


Product Info and photo credit


They both have some pros and cons. The Nike one is prettier and cheaper. I know another blogger who uses the Garmin and loves it. And I've read good and bad review on both. So I open the floor to you, dear readers! Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon



First: this recipe is amazing.

Second: It's not mine. But you can find it here.

You really should check out her whole website. It's amazing. She's hilarious and her food always looks amazing and if this recipe is any indication, always tastes amazing.

The other amazing thing about this recipe. I made it. Yep, for real. Ok, I didn't do the whole thing. But I did everything except actually put it on the grill. I made the marinade and the glaze (and our salad but we ate that before we took a picture) and Manny did the grilling.

It was literally one of the best meals we've ever made. I highly encourage all of you to try it. ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 3/12/12


Hey y'all! It's Monday again and I'm liked up with Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies. Monday's seem much further apart when I don't have to work on Saturday. Two whole days off work, for like 3 weekends in a row. It's been amazing. I think I have one more left before my Saturdays are taken over by spring sports. Anywho, let's check up on that money.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries. This was a heavy grocery week anyway, but I spent a little extra on something special for Sunday dinner. (Recipe post coming soon. Yes, I cooked.)

2. Today I am thankful for warm weather! Oh how I love it! I wore a short sleeve shirt all day Sunday!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was do some relazing at home.

4. I will consider this week a success if I go for one more run (maybe two!).

5. My favorite spring flower is...I have no idea what it's called, but it's on a tree and this is what it looks like!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Experimenting with Cake Pops

I've been doing a lot of research lately. And it looks a lot like this...


I love this book. She also has a website. A-mazing. I have spent a lot of time over the past few days reading and researching.

On Saturday, I finally got to put some of my researching to practice. We got up early (though who knows why, we were up late finishing some cake pops for a friend)...



 and went to a store called Woodcraft for Manny and then to the Joann Superstore for me. I got a few new toys....


When we got home I packaged up the cake pops we had made for a friend for a baby shower. (I forgot to take a picture of the final packaging.) Then Manny went out to the garage to build some stuff and I watched some Downton Abbey, took a nap....and then made more cake pops! I still had some rolled up dough left over so I decided to do a little experimenting!

Penguin friends...there were three, but hubby (and I) ate one.


Cupcakes...(I got this idea here...)


And some Eater eggs...they didn't turn out the greatest, but I learned from them and can't wait to try again!


I also made one that (in my mind) looks like a Mario Mushroom...


And lastly, a flower....another one that didn't turn out quite as planned, but I have some ideas for next time. :)


Now I'm off to calculate how many miles I need to run tomorrow to work off all the cake pops I'm about to eat. :)

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Random Friday

This has been a random sort of week. I've been working on a few different projects at once, not spending a whole lot of time of any of them. But, hey, I'm having fun so it's ok, right? 

Lately I've gotten re-excited about cake pops. I've been reading my cake pop book, cruising the web, and playing around using some good old-fashioned trial and error. Truth, I've had more error than anything else. But it's been fun and it's been a learning experience. Also, I may have too many sprinkles...

Here are some of my "practice" creations.

As you can see we had a lot of trial and a lot of error. Also, husband got water in the candy coating which ruined it. Good thing we were almost done. I also tried to make some of Bakerella's cupcake pops. That did not go well. Though I have some ideas on how to do it better. (She makes it look so easy!)

Also this week I've been reading this fantastic book. 
photo credit
It may or may not be why I haven't gotten out of bed before 9 on my mornings off this week. ;)

I've also been continuing to crochet my scarf but to be honest that's the project I've spent the least amount of time on. Oh and blogging, haven't done a whole lot of blogging either. However, my best friend sent me a link to a free printout blogging calendar that I'm pretty excited about!

Hope everyone has a great Friday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Just Don't Get It

***DISCLAIMER: This is not one of my regular happy, upbeat posts.***

A few things that have happened lately have left me staring at society in disbelief. The most recent of these things was a 10-year old girl who ended up dead after a physical fight with a classmate. I just can't help but wonder what led this cute little girl to engage in a "planned fight" (according to CNN and the police). How on earth did these two young girls come to the understanding that a physical altercation was going to solve their differences? And this was not just a playground shouting match that spiraled out of control. These two met in an alley, with the intent of fighting one another.

I think the easy thing to do would be to lay blame. Parents. Teachers. School administrators. The environment in which they grew up. But what's the point in blaming anyone if we (the people doing the blaming) aren't doing anythin to try and help fix the problem? What upsets me the most is that we see this more and more and it seems to be a society wide problem. Children turning to violence to solve their problems.

Also recently there was a school shooting in Ohio. When I first started writing this, three had died. I think a fourth may have now passed. Again I wonder what happened to this child (and yes, I'm referring to a teenager as a child) to make him think this was the best way to solve whatever problems he was having. What led him to believe that the only way of handling his situation was to end another person's life.

People always talk about warning signs. They always talk about the kids who are quiet, sullen, and withdrawn (which isn't always the case). They talk about Facebook posts and how many school tragedies have been thwarted thanks to social media. Again, the easy thing to do is lay blame. The teachers didn't notice. The parents didn't notice. None of his peers alerted the authorities after his disturbing Facebook posts. But what about everything that led up to that?!?!!


Is it society? Is it video games? Is it parenting? Who knows. One man (I don't remember where I read it) simplistically stated that we should regulate who can have a gun so that kids can't have guns. Are you serious? People who want guns will find them. Period.

My point is that sometimes the world makes me sad. I hardly ever read or listen to the news because all the stories of people killing each other over differences of opinion and politicians bad mouthing each other left and right just hurts my heart.

My simplistic advice? We should just be nice to each other. ;) In a way though, that is how I feel. I wish people would be more accepting and more understanding of others. I understand that we will have differences in opinion, but why can't it be discussed, or even argued about? Why does it have to get so ugly? I can only think and hope that when I have children I will raise them to be kind and thoughtful and to stand up for what they believe in, but in the right way.

Please keep in mind that I am not an expert in any of these fields, these are just my opinions on the subject.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 3/5/12


It's Monday again and time to check in on those finances!


1. The most I've spent this last week was at Kroger. I actually went to Kroger 4 times in 3 days. Long story.

2. Today I am thankful for my puppies. They bring me so much joy and happiness. :)


3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was go to the gym with my hubby Friday morning. (Yes, the gym reallyI  is free since we go to the ones on base.)

4. I will consider this week a success if I contine my good gym-going habits from last week!

5. I consider myself an introvert masquerading as an extrovert.


Linked up with Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Goals

Yay! A new month! I don't know why I love beginnings. Maybe because their so fresh and untainted. If you remember (and I do...vividly) I didn't do so hot on my goals for February, so a few of them will carry over. I'm really hoping for some warm weather. Ohio has been teasing us with random highs as high as 66 degrees! But I'm still wary that an epic snowstorm is going to descend on us this March. Enough chatter, here are my goals. :)

1. Read 2 - 3 books.
2. Write 5 or more letters.
3. Workout 3 - 4 times per week and lose 5 pounds.
4. Send March Birthday presents and cards.
5. Plan for April birthdays.
6. Organize Manny's closet.
7. Decide on a school from which to get my Master's.
8. Finish crocheting my scarf.

For some reason that doesn't seem like much even though there are 8 goals. But, since I had a serious motivation problem last month, I didn't want to get too crazy. Here's hoping I get a lot done this month! :)

2nd Blog Anniversary!


It's my 2nd Blog-iversary!! Can you believe it!? I can't. So much has happened in the last 2 years and I'm so happy that I have 2 years worth of posts to look back on. Like this belated blog anniversary post from last year.

Since I kind of forgot (again) to plan anything for this blogaversary, I'm going to share some of my favorite posts from the last year. I hope y'all enjoy!

April 5, 2011: Homemade Tomato/Artichoke/Olive Pizza

April 26, 2011: Adult Bullies Suck

August 23, 2011: Mama's Potato Salad

September 11, 2011: Thankful for My Freedom

September 24, 2011: Half Marathon

November Thankfulness

Our Love Story

January 7, 2012: New Years Eve Cake Pops


Thank you all for reading. :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

It's the first Friday of the month, which means it's time for MilSpouse Friday Fill-In. In case you don't know, MilSpouse Friday Fill-In is a (now) monthly link up hosted by Wife of a Sailor.

1. What is your favorite/most unique anniversary/birthday gift from your spouse? suggested by Bel at Being a Better Me
Hmmm. I don't know. He's a really good gift giver so my gifts are always wonderful. I think my most favorite is the beautiful necklace he gave me for our wedding.

2. What's your first thought when you see it's snowing (or what would you say if you don't live somewhere with snow)? suggested by Poekitten from Many Waters
Last year: *EXPLETIVE* it's snowing AGAIN!!!!!
This year: Oh look! Snow!! :)
We've had an uncharacteristically mild winter here in the Midwest so dare I say I miss the snow a little.

3. What's one thing in the past month you would have changed? suggested by Erika from Chambanachik
I wish I would have gone to the gym more. :)

4. What was your favorite thing that happened in February?
We got a new puppy! (Ok, she's not a puppy, she's two...but still)

5. What are you looking forward to in March?
Hopefully some warmer weather so we can spend more time outside. :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Goal Review

1. Read 2 - 3 books. Kind of. I finished one, read a whole one, and started another one.
2. Write 5 or more letters. I think I wrote one....
3. Work out 3x - 4x per week. Funny story, I worked out only three times this WHOLE month!
4. Lose the weight I've gained since the wedding. See above. *sigh*
5. Send February birthday cards/presents.
6. Plan for March birthdays. Not really
7. Complete the 29 Day Organizing Challenge (hosted by I'm and Organizing Junkie)
8. Set savings goals and begin working towards them! Nope.


Wow. I knew I didn't get a lot done this month but geez! I honestly just didn't have much motivation this month. Funny story, I was going to blog about it and then didn't even do that. I'm going to blame the weather. The cold, wet kind that makes you want to do nothing but curl up under a blanket. But it's getting warmer so maybe that will help with my goals for March!

29 Day Organizing Challenge: Final Progress Link-Up

Here it is. Moment of truth. The truth is that I didn't get nearly as much accomplished on my bedroom/bathroom as I wanted to. I let a lot of other things, and some good old fashioned laziness get in my way. But while my bedroom isn't perfect, it started a trend in my house of organizing, cleaning, and getting rid of stuff we don't need. Rooms that were not on the list (such as the living room and office) benefitted from this project simply because once you start organizing one room, you inevitably start working on the others. I'm going to share some before and after pictures even thought they're not fantastic. :)

Bedroom Before...





There are a few more pictures in the Original Before Post, but I think you get the gist.

And now for the afters! I apologize for the poor picture quality, I took them with my iPhone this morning.
The bed, still with laundry to be attended to (but not the same laundry that was there a month ago!). And if you'll notice there's now a small bookshelf on hubby's side of the bed.
Oh the dresser. I cleaned it off and it looked so lovely...and the a couple weeks went by. Truthfully this could be cleaned in about 5 minutes, but I wanted to be honest.
I know you can't tell, but I did do a little closet organizing last weekend.
This space used to have a pile of junk...no more!
Again, there used to be a pile of junk there. Gone! :)
The bathroom (obviously) still needs some work, but it is better. :)
A lot of these spaces could have looked a lot better if I had taken a half hour or so to clean before taking the pictures. But I didn't feel like that would be right because this is really what my house looked like this morning.

Now the Organizing Junkie has some questions she wants answered at the end of the challenge.

1. What space did you decide to organize and why? I decided to organize our master bedroom because the clutter was getting out of control. There's no way to get a peaceful night's sleep when there's junk laying around everywhere.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline? I did have a "Plan of Attack" but it obviously didn't get executed very well. I think setting dates with my plan rather than just a generalized plan may have worked better.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it? My biggest challenge was focus. And I don't think I overcame it very well. :/

4. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space? We had a lot of things in our room that just didn't belong and had a home elsewhere. But I did start a giveaway pile while organizing my closet!

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge. Last week my husband cleaned the carpets in our room, and he was actually able to get to all the carpet with the carpet cleaner!

6. Explain any organizing "tools" you used to help create additional space and establish some limits and boundaries. This is still a work in progress....

7. What is ONE piece of you'd give to someone else to encourage them on their organizing journey? Don't give up. Even though I've failed a bit at this challenge, hubby and I still have a lot of organizing goals and projects for our house.

Ok y'all, if you haven't already, hop on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out how everyone else did!