Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 21: A recipe

Oh wow... okay.. lets see. One recipe?! I found this one somewhere, printed out, made it, and it became an instant family favorite.

Beef Burgundy

1 1/2 pounds beef round steak or beef stew meat
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup red wine (I use beef broth instead)
1 can (4oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 package (1oz) dry onion soup mix
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Combine all ingredients into a (at least) 4 1/2 quart crock pot, Cover, cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beef is tender.

Let me tell you! This is a FANTASTIC recipe! It feeds us 4 with maybe a little tiny bit of left overs. Basically it's enough juice to put on some rice for lunch the next day. I made a double batch of this for when my parents came to visit, with some potatoes, and there were a few left overs, but not many! This can be served with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles. We like it with potatoes! I like the left over juice with rice.
This is worth the hassle of making it. (C'mon, how much easier can it get than throwing everything in a crock pot, turning it on, and throwing a lid on it be?!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 20: A hobby of yours

Hobbies... wow.... I have a few!

I'm a budding seamstress. Granted, I'm not that good, but, I'm getting better.... slowly. I like the fact that I can take some fabric, and cutting here, and cutting there and putting it back together in a different way that is completely different and makes it so wonderful and wearable!!

Another hobby of mine is candle making. It's really fun!! I like to melt the wax, color it, fragrance... and making it my own. I love the fact that I can make a zillion lilac candles and have one in any color that I would like! If I want a bright orange lilac candle, I can HAVE a bright orange lilac candle. Can you get that if you go to Yankee Candle? NO!

I also like to write. Not that you would be able to see that by my blog as of late. I really need to start writing again like I used to. Things are just not the same. It's like the difference between regular plain vanilla flavored ice cream and ice cream that has REAL vanilla bean in it! Oh! The difference is like seeing a picture of a field full of beautiful wild flowers in color and in black and white! It's just so different when you can write expressively.

Gardening is another hobby of mine. I love to work in the dirt. I was always a tomboy growing up, so, I guess being an adult doesn't exactly change that. Both of my parents handed their greenthumb-ness down to me. I once got a popcorn seed to sprout! That's a pretty good feat! Eventually I want to put more flowers out front. I want to put flowers around the mailbox, around the Crepe Myrtle, around the other tree that we planted out front. When I have time (before our vacation) I will have to take a picture of our Crepe Myrtle. It's starting to bloom more and it's looking really fantastic!!

Another Giveaway!!

Wow! There have been some really interesting giveaways here lately!!

Whitney over at Everything Happens For A Reason is having a giveaway! If you would like to win some DaVinci Beads, head on over there and enter!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I got an award!!!

Yes, I know, I've been slacking on my "30Days" It's okay tho. I'm alright with that.

Anyways! I got an award! The most awesome K from Navy Nest bestowed this award on me. I was very excited. :-) The rules are pretty simple. You just need to tell 3 things that you love about yourself and then pass it on to 5 more people. Pretty simple, eh?

1. I love the fact that I'm becoming more domesticated. I have all these plans for things that I want to make. I have plans to make some clothes for Bug, some curtains for the back door, for Bugs room, and for the master bedroom.  I also would like to make a table cloth and some place mats, or maybe just some matching napkins for the table cloth. I have some plans for clothes for myself as well!

2 I love the fact that I am a pretty decent cook. I mean, I can't just go "Hmm. I wonder if I mix, this, this and thiiiiiiis together I bet it would taste really good!" I follow a recipe, and it comes out pretty good! I can usually tweak a little bit and it still come out pretty tasty. When my Momma came for a visit, I made Beef Burgundy. My Mom really liked it! I impressed my Mom with my cooking! That was pretty awesome.

3 I love the fact that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I'm stronger than most people every gave me credit for.

Now I have to pass this award on to 5 others!
1 Momma at Meanderings
2 Heidi at Empty Nest, PCS, and All The Rest
3 Katie at Take Me Down to the Little White Church
4 Nicole at Flip Clops and Combat Boots
5 Bethany at A Southern Belle and Her Officer

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bethany's Giveaway!

Yes, so I know that this totally isn't a 30 Days entry... that will be later today!!

My friend Bethany is commemorating her "graduation" from her 30 Days with a giveaway! It's a cause that I feel great about as well!!

So, if you would like to enter her giveaway, just click here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just a lil sumfin special!

I know I don't have that many people that read my blog, or at least, not many people read my blog and comment! So, I thought I would give a lil love out to the ones that do. :-D is a website where you can pick up gift certificates to local restaurants for a fraction of the cost! For a local Mexican restaurant here in Jacksonville, NC a $25 certificate is $10. Now, ordinarily, this would be a pretty good deal. Oh no! There's more!! If you enter FUN in the promo code box, you will get an ADDITIONAL 80% OFF!!!

You need to hurry tho, this offer does expire on July 12th!!

Don't worry.... I love you guys too. ;-)

Day 19: A talent of yours

Well, I don't really consider myself a very talented person, but, I guess to some I might seem so.

From the time I was young, I always wanted a horse. I remember the first moment that I decided that I wanted one. We lived out in the country, and one of the neighbors horses had gotten lose and made it's way to our house. My sister caught it and had it in the front yard. I remember seeing her out there with the horse, and how beautiful that it looked. I was in awe. Some time later, after growing up my tomboy self and always wanting to play with horse figurines instead of any Barbie or other doll, my wonderful Mom decided that maybe I should take some lessons. I took lessons on a wonderful little horse named Rags. I loved that horse to DEATH! She was bombproof! I also took lessons with another girl named Holly. She had Dusty. I always had my eye on other horses tho. Mom decided that it would be a nice thing to get me my very own horse. I did this for several years, and if we could afford it, I would still have them now. I think it's a fantastic idea for a kid to have responsibilities like that. I guess I was a pretty good rider. I never did horrible at shows or anything.

Another talent I have is musical instruments. I'm not the only person in my family that has this talent, tho I'm not near as talented as my cousin Robin is! He's an instrumental genius! I started in 5th grade playing the Flute. I pretty much played the Flute until about Sophomore year of high school. My Junior year, we had a new band instructor. So, when we all showed up to meet the "new guy" and learn about different things that we would be doing and whatnot, he asked me if I would be willing to switch instruments. Why not! I was already the best Flute player in our school, not that it was a big accomplishment to be better than 5 or 6 other flute players that haven't been playing as long as you in a band of approximately 23, which included flags! So, I started to learn the Tenor Saxophone. I played that for Marching Band, and then for Concert Band I would play the Baritone Saxophone. I like the Baritone a WHOLE lot better than the Tenor! It was HUGE!!! I didn't even need a neck strap! I could just put my foot on it's side and set it on there. Boy did that make my instructor mad! "Jacque! That's not proper form! Where's your neck strap!?!" Of course, it's hard to take a guy serious when he's only a few years older than you are. When I graduated high school, I kept my gorgeous Gemeinhardt Flute because I wanted to be able to give it to MY little girl when she was old enough to learn. Alas, it was not meant to be. (That, in and of itself, is another story.) I picked it back up a few years later when I played the flute for the church band. I also picked up the Clarinet then as well.

A talent that I'm just recently starting to cultivate is home domestication. I've started to be more creative and crafty. I've picked up sewing! I haven't really made a lot yet, but I'm hoping that very soon I will be able to pick up some more fabric and make some more things. I've already planned on making my own Ball gown. We will see how that goes!! I can also crochet a little bit. I can honestly say I'm not very good at that. Anything other that "stitch, stitch, turn and go again" I can't do! So, if you want a fancy scarf or something made, don't ask me!! ;-) Cross stitch! I used to LOVE to cross stitch. It's been a while since I've done it, but I'm sure I could pick it back up and do okay. I used to do cross stitch to help me with my concentration. It worked pretty well... I just never managed to FINISH anything! Cooking is coming along quite nicely. I can say that I've always been a decent cook, but I'm getting better! I find recipes that look good, change them a bit to make them how we like them. It works for us. Of course, there are still some of my family favorites that Sam can't stand. Like, soup beans, corn bread, and fried taters! C'mon! How can you not LOVE that?! I guess it's just a Southern thing. (Yes yes, I know I'm from Ohio, but my Momma grew up in the South, so we ate Southern food a lot!)

Other than that, I think I'm pretty untalented. I'm not a great Mathematician, I can't do simple math in my head, a trait that I've, unfortunately, passed on to Monkey. I'm not a History Buff, tho I do find history interesting, I just have never been able to remember when this important battle happened, or that important treaty was signed. So, I just like to go and learn things and even though I will probably not remember who was involved, what made it significant, or why it happened, doesn't mean that I don't enjoy going!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 18: Whatever tickles your fancy

Ahhhhhhh!! I'm so glad that I get a free day today! To be honest, the 30 Days of Me is starting to get a bit much!  I start looking forward to these days! I get to talk about all the things that I have been going "Oh! I should blog about that!!" There have been contests that I couldn't exactly enter because I didn't really want to stray TOO far from this! It's okay tho. There will be more contests to enter at other dates. :-)

For my "fancy" today, I want to talk about some GREAT blogs that I follow! I read a lot of blogs. I used to not! I used to read only my Moms blog. She was the only one that I cared enough to read. Then it branched out to some random ones I found by hitting "Next blog" on the top of my blog. I've lost touch with most of those people, but I still read my Moms blog when she actually gets around to writing.

Lately, I've been reading a bevy of military blogs. I'm not going to play favorites, so I'm just going to name a couple that are closest to me by distance. Nicole over at Flip Flops and Combat Boots is such a sweetheart! She just recently got married. She does some giveaways, some recipes, and she did a Summer Essentials Swap! I signed up for it, and my partner is from Lexington! Lexington is one of my 3 favorite places in Kentucky. The Kentucky Horse Park is there! That is like my heaven right there! I have some ideas of what I want to send to my swap partner, but nothing concrete yet. Another local lady that I have grown to love is Katie! Now, she has TWO blogs! She just recently got engaged, so, she started another blog to keep up with all of the wedding prep. She is also another awesome local blogger! I hope to get an invite to Katies' wedding, just so I can blow bubbles as they walk out of the church. Does it matter if I'm the only one blowing bubbles? No! I just want to blow bubbles! *giggle* (Just kidding Katie!! ;-) )

I also have a bit of a crafty streak in me. So, I like to read about different crafts. I especially like the ones that give DIY home crafts. I think my favorite of all of the crafty blogs is Design*Sponge! They have some of the MOST awesome things on their blogs. Be warned though. Do NOT click the link if you don't have an hour to burn just reading through all of the awesome projects and whatnot! Another one that I just recently found that I fell IN LOVE (like head over heels!) with is Positively Splendid. Oh my GOSH! I love this site! If I could marry it, I would give it my wedding ring right now! On my Google Reader, I have a tag for Recipes, Stuff I want, and Stuff to make. Just about every single post at PS has the Stuff to make tag on it! (Yes, I'm serious!) She makes me wish that I could be more creative and that I knew more creative bloggers so I could come up with the awesomeness that's on her site. My favorite sewing blog is by leaps and bounds LittleBlueBoo! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LBB! She makes the absolute cutest clothes!!! They make my heart do little flutters and then it sort of sinks a little bit because I know that I'm not as creative as her. That doesn't mean that I don't love her blog any less!! She does sell her creations and patterns, and one of these days, I will get enough gumption to actually buy one and try to do something awesome like she does!

Another group that I want to talk about are the "combo" blogs and cooking blogs. On the advice of a fellow Military Blogger and Twitter friend Bethany for the tip on this one: ThePioneerWoman is hands down an AWESOME website! Yet another blog that you need to make sure that you have some time to waste spend checking out all of her awesomeness! She's got recipes, photographs, funny stories, giveaways, home decorating, you name it, it's there!! I'm always happy when I see her pop up on the Google Reader. I've entered another one of her contests and I'm anxiously awaiting to see if I've won an 8 piece dinning set of Fiestaware plates! Oh, I would be that happiest girl in the world! *happily looking slightly upwards and to the left with a smile* A girl can dream right?! My favorite cooking blog is A Year of Slow Cooking. Now, anybody that knows me, knows that I can be a bit on the lazy side. I don't always like to cook or clean, but, if I don't have a zillion pots and pans to worry about after dinner is done, I'm more likely to clean up. There are more than 365 recipes to make in your crock pot on this blog. That's my kind of cooking!!

The last set of blogs that I'm going to talk about are my miscellaneous blogs. They don't exactly fit into any of the above categories, but for some odd reason, I love them just as much! The first one I was turned on to when I used to work at the book store. Cake Wrecks is one of the most awesome sites! Some of the cakes they put on there are just... wow! How can they even display or offer them for sale to the general public?! You will just have to check it out to know what I mean! From the same "author" comes EPBOT. It's a sort of hodge-podge of geeky goodness. I can't exactly pin point an exact reason why I love EPBOT so much, other than the geekiness! The last blog I'm going to post about tonight is one that makes me giggle with glee. AwkwardFamilyPhotos is just about the most hilarious, safe for families, websites on the net.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 17: An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

A few years ago, I went to Washington DC. I went with a woman that I had been friends with all through school (Elementary and high school!) and when her husband deployed she asked me to come help her. Needless to say, I found out some not so wonderful things about this person, and we are no longer friends.
I still had fun on this trip tho! We all went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and then we went across the way and seen a bunch of brass statues! This is one of the "clean" pictures from the statues. I'm not exactly sure that I'm supposed to be sitting on the marble taking a picture of this statue, but, if I wasn't, then the security guard that was watching my (former)friend and I act like fools and take "dirty" pictures with the statues! LOL

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 16: A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

Sam first told me about this song that he heard on the radio. (We both listen to KLove most of the time.) He told me how this song was powerful and moving, and he really liked this song, and that he wanted me to hear it. I believe we were headed to base for some reason or another. It's quite a drive out to Court House Bay from our house, so we normally go through the back gate. It takes 45 minutes or so depending on traffic and such. While we were driving, the song came on, and he was right. It's a strong, emotional, moving song! The first time I heard it, I teared up, and just about every time I have heard it since, I tear up as well. Monkey doesn't much pay attention to music, but Bug and I do, and she is humming this song now because I just played it for the video that I'm attaching. I couldn't find an "official" video, but this one has some beautiful pictures and the lyrics as well. I'm also including the lyrics for those of you who don't want to watch the vid. You really should tho. It's AMAZINGLY moving when paired with the music.

Lead Me
Sanctus Real

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're in independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 15: A fanfic

Fan fiction. I'm sure we all have one of these... even if we haven't read it any in years.
I think my favorite Fanfic series was Goosebumps by R. L. Stine. It was a great series!! I always had fun reading it. They were a little bit creepy, a little spooky, but always a great read.
Of course, this series is supposed to be for kids, so I haven't read any in quite a while. I think I may try to get my kids interested in them tho. See if I can get Monkey a little more interested in reading. We try to pick books that are just slightly above his reading level to give him a little bit of a challenge. Maybe some Goosebumps books will do that for him! I guess we will have to see.

On another note, I'm half way done with the 30 Days of Me. I should be way more done than that, but, some days I forget, some days I don't feel like it. I started my diet and exercise program over. The July 4th holiday was NOT good to my weight! I gained back the 3 pounds that I had lost the week before. I guess that means that I need to get a little more serious with my work out! Tomorrow I'm taking my friend Hannah to the airport, then I will go to Britts and work out. I'm trying to get the gumption to work out today. I really need to. I know I need to. The kids are up, and I just can't get the motivation to pop in that DVD!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 14: A non-fictional book

Wow.... non-fiction. Not my favorite genre to read. I'm a fiction kinda girl. I've read a few tho.

I think that my favorite non-fiction book would have to be the autobiography of Jim Morrison. I read it in about 2 weeks. Yeah, I know, that sounds like a long time, but, I was in school at the time as well, and by school, I mean high school!
I know I really should read more non-fiction, but, I simply don't. What more can I say?!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 13: A fictional book

Wow. I have to pick ONE?!

Okay. Here's the problem with that. I love to read. I love that I can pick up a fictional book, and be magically transformed from my home to some far away land at a different time where nobody even knows I'm there! How in the world am I supposed to pick just one book?! There are so many good ones!!

Wow. I really know know what my favorite fiction book is. I guess I will just start with something I've read recently. I really liked The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was a very good book! I read it in a couple of days, and it was a thought invoker. It's worth a read.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy

Shew!! I've been trying to keep things on topic with the 30 days of me, which has turned into a whole lot more than 30 days, but, that's okay! LOL

Today! I get to write about whatever I want! SO! I'm going to write about me working out again, and the dress I want to make for me to wear to the Marine Corps Ball. (Hopefully Sam is still in at that point in time!)

I can't lie. I'm fat. At least for me. When I first started this exercising adventure, I was 195 pounds. I don't think I have EVER been that heavy in my life, including when I was prego with Bug!! So, I made up my mind that it was time to go on a diet!! I started a while back, I lost some weight. But, I got busy and exercise didn't fit into my busy schedule, so, I stopped. Well, I decided after I quit smoking (3 weeks and 3 days ago! Wewt!) that I need to lost weight and get back into shape. Well, my friend Britt also wanted to lose some weight and get in shape, so, we started working out together. A week ago today I was 3 pounds heavier than I am right now. I know it doesn't seem like much, but, I'm proud of myself! Sam said he can already notice a difference in my shape. I can get into some pants that I haven't worn in a while. I feel good!! I'm hoping to get down to about 140, maybe 135. I'm not worried so much with the weight, I just want to look good again!!

Anyways! The dresses! As some of you know, Sam bought me a sewing machine for our Anniversary. I've always wanted to learn to sew. I do okay now. It's not like I could make anything very extravagant, but, this year I want to try! I want to try and MAKE my Ball gown this year. Of course, I'm not sure of how wonderful it will look. so, I'm going to make one first with a cheap cloth, and THEN do one, so that way I will know if I need help with anything and seek that help before I make the real one.

So, without further ado, here's the dress that I want to make for the ball

I figured that for the "practice" I can make the short one. Make it out of something that might hang. Besides, it's a practice run anyways, so if it doesn't hang, I won't be horribly tore up about it. I haven't decided if I'm going to make the middle one,l or the right one. The only difference is that the middle one has a contrasting bodice and straps, the right one doesn't. I'm leaning towards the one on the right for now. I don't know tho.
What do you guys think?