Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm planning something for you guys!! Be on the lookout!! :-D

Monday, November 29, 2010


So, on Monday I usually try to find the most awesome giveaways for you guys, but, today is a little different.

I'm going to talk about Shutterfly! We LOVE Shutterfly!!

Last year we ordered our Christmas cards from Shutterfly. We thought we were going to be sending out A LOT of them, but it turns out that we weren't, so we still have a ton some left. (oops) Sams' great idea was to just resend the old cards from last year so we could just use them up. Two problems with that. 1) Pretty much the same exact people are going to get the card. We can't just keep sending the same card year after year until they're used up!(Well, we COULD, but I think a Christmas card with an 11 year old Monkey and a 6 year old Bug might look a lil funny in 5 years!)  2) We added a member to our family AFTER the picture was taken, so, we can't have Doc and Lilly in the picture, and neglect poor Dusty! We need a new card, with all of us in it. Last year we had a FANTASTIC experience with Shutterfly. We ordered our cards late (Who would have ever thought we would do that?!?!) and we still got them in time to send out! Hooray for fast shipping!

So, I took the liberty of picking a few of my favorites out!

I think this one because it has a nice layout
And this one because not EVERYONE celebrates Christmas (and it's super cute!)
I like this one because it's bright!!
The models on this card are just adorable!
This one looks interesting as well!
But, I think that this might be our Christmas Card this year. It's BEAUTIFUL!

But these cards aren't the only thing that Shutterfly does!! They do Christmas Photo Cards, Holiday Cards, Photo Calenders, Holiday Invitations, and cards for Mom and Dad! Oh! And don't forget Birthdays!!

Shutterfly is also giving bloggers 50 free prints!! If you click here you can find out about this offer as well!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

So, for Thanksgiving we made a GIANT decision. It was, again, going to be just us 4 for Thanksgiving, so while doing our grocery shopping, I ask Sam if we should invite our friends Bob, Keona, and kiddos over for Thanksgiving if they're not having one of their own. So, I make a quick call and they were just going to go to the USO for dinner, so, I tell them they're coming over to our house. Next comings selecting the bird. I'd never cooked Thanksgiving dinner for anyone! Last year I wouldn't really call it a "feast" but more of a larger than average meal with a turkey breast, not a turkey. So, since I had never selected a turkey to cook, I asked the other women that were gathered at the floor freezer that had all the frozen turkeys. One of the women asks how many people I'm cooking for, I tell her 4 adults and 4 children. She then says to me "OH! I would go with AT LEAST 20 pounds!" So, I, being the naive Thanksgiving dinner maker, select a 22.8 pound turkey for 8 people. We then get 2 boxes of stuffing, green beans, and potatoes to round out the dinner. I tell Keona she's in charge of dessert.

This past Saturday, I check the turkey to see how long it needs to be in the fridge to thaw. It was a good thing that I did! It needed to go in THAT DAY! Shew!! Glad I checked!! I then made sure I had all of my supplies and put them all in my roasting pan on top of the fridge, save the produce that I was going to put in the stuffing.

Wednesday I spent the day cleaning my kitchen, making it a mess, and cleaning it again. (Multiple times might I add!) I made the deviled eggs, and Bug and I made the Parker House Rolls from scratch. She used some of the left over dough and made "Bug Truffles"  I only used half of the dough for rolls, I had an entire sheet of rolls and still lots of dough! So what do I do? Make Cinnamon rolls for breakfast!! Hooray!!

Thanksgiving morning I wake up and get everything ready to put in the oven. Man oh man was it a process!! I brought the turkey out to soak for just a few minutes and rest from being in the fridge. Of course, but this time I'm freaking out because.... well... I have no idea what I'm doing! I'm just sort of winging it!! I mix the onions, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic into the stuffing and toss it into the bird. I would have added celery as well, but Sam ate it all... LOL I stuff the bird and I say "What am I supposed to put on the OUTSIDE of the bird?" A few frantic, unanswered, phone call to my Momma, I decided that I would just put some Olive oil on the skin and then cover it in Garlic and Herb mix and throw it in the oven at 325. After some more frantic cleaning and Monkey brushing the dog and both the kids making a few last minute touches to the bathroom and us running the sweeper (Len is allergic to dogs, so we try to make sure there is as little dog hair as possible for her).

Unfortunately, I COMPLETELY forgot to take a picture of the food, or any of us enjoying the food, but, everyone chowed down. The turkey came out beautifully! When Sam went to carve it, he couldn't, simply because every time I put the knife to the bird it started to flake off! Here are a few pictures

Sam and Bob enjoying a pre-dinner movie
Bug and Len cheesing for the camera!
Monkey and D rolling on the ground
Bug and D waiting for food
A little after dinner game of Monopoly Deal
The baby is tired!!
She wasn't exactly happy to have her picture taken

Keona twisted my arm really hard to go with her for some Black Friday shopping. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to purchase much of anything, if at all because we don't have much money in the bank, and we're trying to pay off our credit cards. It was okay tho. I wasn't exactly doing anything and Sam does tell me that I need to get out more often! So, I took a 2 hour power nap and Keona came and picked me up at 10:30 and off we went to WalMart to catch a few sales. It was CRAZY!

 But not near as crazy as waiting 4 hours outside of Target!! When we got there at about 12:30 there were about 50 people outside waiting in front of us. That number kept getting bigger, and bigger! Around 1:30, a fight broke out towards the front of the line and the cops were called. A short woman was apparently using some foul language and a very large man asked her to contain herself and I guess she wasn't willing to accept his request. It was a bit crazy. I think my favorite quote of the night came from the Target security worker. Right before 4, a BUNCH of people started to congregate directly across from the doors, and of course, the people that had been there since the beginning of time (at least it felt like it at times... LOL) were getting a bit testy! While we were walking in he's screaming to the people that are inching ever closer to the ONE entrance they have open and roped off "If you line cut, you will be banned from Target!" This made me laugh. It's not that serious!! It's only shopping! I only went because I didn't have anything else to do and my friend asked me to go with her. I wasn't buying anything. 

Apparently it was much worse at Toys R Us, which opened at 10PM. When we drove by at 11, the line to get in the door was wrapped almost completely around the parking lot!! It was CRAZY! I guess they were actually doing it in a pseudo-rational manner. They were letting 50 people in the door at a time. I can COMPLETELY understand their thinking behind this. After seeing a woman at WalMart almost attack another woman because she thought that she was trying to cut in the check out line (she was really just trying to get thru!) and women at Target threaten physical harm to another woman for bumping into her with a cart, I can totally understand! I was rather upset when we found the $3 sandwich makers! A woman loaded her cart with about 10 of them! I understand wanting to get a great deal, but, let others take advantage of the deal as well!! I was tempted to take one from her cart while she was picking up the last one from the floor. 

I made it back home around 5:30, told Sam about all of the funny things that had happened over the night (including cat calling the 2 very handsome police officers that were there), and fell asleep about 6. Sam let me sleep in, took care of the kiddos, made them breakfast, and cleaned the kitchen! SHEW!! What a good day it's been so far!! :-D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Tuesday!!

So, since I missed Giveaway Monday yesterday, AND last week as well, I thought I would post some today. Look out for random posts!! I have over 1000 blog posts in my Reader... *sigh* I have been SO busy! I don't know that all of them will be read, which is very sad because I'm sure all of them are great posts. :-(


CSN Store giveaway and Fall Project link party @ Hand Me Down House (Which is a blog I <3!!)
Silhouette Machine Giveaway @ The Idea Room (Oh please oh please oh PLEASE let me win!)

Monday, November 22, 2010


Yes, so, I missed the 2 year anniversary for my blog! It was yesterday. *sigh*

We have been SO busy here lately!! I know, I know! It's not excuse! I should MAKE time to at least write a little blurb on here every once in a while to let you that I'm alive! Well, I am alive and doing quite well.

Saturday started the big prep for Thanksgiving! I put the bird in the fridge to thaw, did a run down and made sure that I had all the necessities. It also started the "cleaning season" as well!! Monkey and Bug cleaned and organized their rooms.

Bug's room is SO clean and organized now! We took the 208972934823 posters of Miley Cyrus off of her walls. She now has 1 up, which is fine. Her walls look a little bare, so, we're going to have to figure out what to do about that.  We relocated her backpack and winter coat inside of her closet on some Command strips, and even put her Lowe's Build and Grow workshop apron and goggles on, and another one for her hats. We also moved her bed and netting as well. We switched out her lighter bed clothes for her heavier winter ones. We went from girly flower quilt type bed clothes to yellow gingham and a solid yellow comforter. Her shoes and toys got a re-organization as well!!

Monkeys room got a re-working as well! We didn't move anything around other than in his closet. I'm sure that his will get some more TLC while they're off of school for Turkey Day. In his closet we cleaned out a bunch of the old toys that he no longer plays with and changed moved around the things that were sitting on his closet shelves. We also hung his Indian wall covering in his closet as well. He's got SO much stuff on his walls that there's no room for it in his actual bedroom.

We came up with a way for the kids to be able to make a little extra money! We have a local craigslist sort of website called LeJeune Yard Sales. They picked out things that they no longer need, want, or don't fit any longer. For being willing to get rid of these things, they will get half of the monies earned. They both are in love with this idea, and I am as well. It puts a little more money into the Christmas pot, which *I* like a lot, and they're trying to decide what to spend their few dollars on. Monkey has decided that he wants to buy some Christmas presents with his money. What a great kid.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Maple Chicken

So, Friday night I made a new recipe. I like to make new recipes. I'm just always worried that they're going to turn out WRONG and my family will hate it and then we will have to order pizza or something. It's a terrible feeling. I know that more often than not, everyone LOVES what I cook and I'm just self conscious.

So, I make this new recipe on Friday night called Maple Chicken. The menu actually had oven baked chicken, but I thought I would switch it up with this recipe. Oh my GOODNESS it was SO good! I wish I would have made more just so I could have HAD more! Alas... I only made enough for the 4 of us. *tear*

Anyways! Here is the recipe. They only thing I modified was the amount of chicken I used, didn't have any tarragon (I don't even know what it is! :-O) and I didn't have a lil brush thing so I just used the Jacque patented pour method. ;-)

Maple Chicken


  • 6 chicken breasts (About 6oz each)
  • 1 Tbsn vegetable oil
  • 1tspn paprika
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn ground cumin
  • 1/2 tspn tarragon
  • 1/2 tspn ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsn maple syrup
  • 1Tbsn melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (I used a dab of vegetable oil spread with a paper towel.. hehe) place the chicken on the baking sheet and brush with the vegetable oil.
  2. Combine paprika, salt, cinnamon, cumin, tarragon, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Coat the top of the chicken evenly with the mixture and bake for approximately 15 minutes
  3. Combine the maple syrup and the butter in a small bowl. Brush with the mixture and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is done and juices run clear when pierced.
Simple and tasty!! Trust me, you will want to make enough for leftovers! While it was baking Monkey came in the kitchen and said "I thought you were making chicken?" I said that I was and then he said "Well why does it smell like pancakes then?!" 

I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans, but, I would have rather have had rice. Blame Sam, he was the one that said make the mashed potatoes! ;-)
This would have been very good with the remainder of the spice mix sprinkled over some potatoes and baked with the chicken! Obviously not on the same baking sheet tho. I'm not so sure how roasted potatoes would taste with maple syrup! 

I'm also making a roast today in the crock pot for dinner. It's also a new recipe. It called for 2 cups of coffee to be blended with some cream of mushroom soup. (Later you make it into gravy...) Well, we don't drink coffee that much in this house, and I knew there was some coffee in the freezer (probably left over from the last time Momma was here) and I decided that I wasn't going to buy any more because we just simply don't drink it. Well, this morning I get the roast out, slice holes for the garlic, get it all ready to put in the crock pot, slice my onion up, then I go to get the coffee to brew it. Wouldn't you know it, it's FRENCH VANILLA FLAVORED! *sigh* Oh well. I guess it will give it a bit of a twist! :-D I'll let you all know how THAT went on Monday with my giveaways!! LOL

Friday, November 5, 2010

I hate the cold!! and other news

So, just so we're clear here, I grew up in Ohio. It's cold in Ohio. We like to joke that there are 4 seasons in Ohio; cold, winter, construction, and almost warm. That being said. I DO NOT LIKE BEING COLD!

When I moved to North Carolina I got on the plane in Cincinnati, Ohio and it was 32 degrees. I had my "Eskimo" coat, my cat, and my Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide as carry ons. I made a stop in Atlanta I think it was, and then boarded a small plane to fly to Wilmington, NC. When I stepped off the plane in Wilmington, North Carolina, it was 72! I was in HEAVEN! That was almost exactly 4 years ago today! Sheesh! I wish it were like that today! No sir! It's was a beautiful 48 degrees this morning! FORTY-EIGHT! NO! This can't be right! when I first got here I was walking on the beach with no shoes and a tank top on! How can this be?! *sigh*

Yes, I realize that 4 years ago my body was used to always being cold most of the time. I realize that if I went to Ohio right now that I would turn into a Popsicle and die because right now in Ohio it is 36 and it is 45 here... wait... it got colder?!?! *sobbing* I'm not liking the fact that I'm wearing my fleece Eeyore pajama bottoms and fuzzy Halloween socks to try and stay warm. I DO like the fact that I just made myself a pipping hot mug of spiced apple cider! YUM!

I always feel bad for Doc and Dusty this time of year as well. Greyhounds don't like the cold either. They don't have a lot of hair to protect them from the cold. They don't like a lot of heat either because they can get heat exhaustion so easily. Basically, they need to retire to Northern Florida with the rest of the old people. I'm kidding! My friend Keonas husband Bob makes fun of us all the time because we put clothing on our dogs. Just Doc and Dusty tho. Lilly does have a shirt, but that was because when she first got here she had no hair, and we didn't have any trees in the back yard so we were worried about her getting a sunburn.

In other news!! I've decided that I'm going to link up with Giveawayscout! It's a place where you can find different giveaways! They had contacted me some time ago about linking up with them, but I just hadn't yet! I guess I should just start trying to find more places for giveaways, eh? :-)

What kinds of things would you guys like to see for giveaways??

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I know that my blog has been a little dark and twisty as of late. I apologize. I'm not usually this down and depressed. I think it's a combo of things that has been really working on me here in the last couple weeks. It doesn't really help that I'm dealing with Greggs passing either. I also know it's not fair to blame me being in a dark and twisty place on a man that isn't here any more. I'm not actually blaming him, but he sure didn't help matters any.

Today would have been Greggs 32nd birthday. Today should have been a happy occasion for his mom. Her baby boy turning 32, but instead, she has to visit a grave and lay flowers on a tombstone. It's just overwhelmingly sad to me. I know that I have a good husband who loves me so very much, but, I just can't help but feel a great sense of loss because of it. Gregg was my first love, the one that you never ever forget. I haven't. I can't.

I guess that the one thing that his passing did for me was restore a vigor in me to help those that are overweight. Gregg was always battling his weight. Even while he was in the Navy, he was overweight. He liked to drink and those extra "el-bees" really showed in the form of a pot-belly. He had such severe PTSD that he would drink to shut his mind up. It's actually quite common among vets who have such bad PTSD. It's unfortunate that the only solace he found for all of the terrible things that happened while he was fighting for this country could be found at the bottom of an empty liquor bottle. I'm more passionate about people getting in shape. I'm not even talking about fitting in size 00 jeans that need to be altered and looking like a tooth pick! I'm talking lets get our hearts pumping today! Lets be at a healthy weight for our hearts and joints. It's not healthy to carry around excess weight.

I just want to thank all of you (any of you? LOL) that take the time to read my random crazy rantings about seemingly nothing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween!! and other randomness

So, we did our traditional Trick-or-Treating in the "ritzy" neighborhood this year with our friend Keona and Bob and their two kids. We had a BLAST! Monkey was Dracula with blue hair (my mom had made his cloak for him a few years ago. It USED to almost be to the ground, it was to about his knees... LOL). I tried to get him to get black colored hair gel, but nooooo! "It will be cool with blue Momma! Just watch!" Ultimately, he got to be a "cool Dracula with blue hair." Bug was a clown with BRIGHT pink hair (Mom had also made the clown costume as well!)! Len was a Zombie Vampire (I think....) We started right about 5:45. We tricked and treated all the way around this neighborhood. Here is a pretty good picture of all 3 of the lil ragamuffins at around 8:10

We were trying to make it back to the car at this point. They were all pretty tired! There were still a few houses handing out candy at that point. There was one "haunted house" that had me laughing pretty hard. The kiddos went up to go into the garage (the haunted house) and all disappeared. I then hear one of the girls screaming. Monkey comes walking out like it's not a big deal, Bug comes out a little more quickly, and then poor Len gets chased out by a nun with a chainsaw! LOL When we finally make it back to the car at right after 8:30, we all decide that we're hungry! Wendys it is... no it's not! There were about 15 cars in the drive thru and we didn't really feel like walking any more than we already had and really needed to, so we went to BoJangles. (Think Cajun style KFC) We came home, ate, then we had to wash hair because I didn't want to have to wash sheets! Finally both kids were in bed just a shade after 10. That's really late for the kiddos!! 
Being that it was Sunday, they had school the next day, and Sam had to go to work as well. He had to cut his hair, which meant I had to stay up longer! I finally got into bed around 12:30. Monday was killer! (Which was why I didn't post any giveaways! Sowwy!)
I drug booty all Monday long, and Sam had to go for a sleep study so they could figure out what kind of CPAP machine that he's going to be getting. The tech told him that he is a "mouth breather" which is REALLY funny because I would have never thought that. What *I* thought is that he snores so loud that it's impossible to tell the difference! Both of the kids had their check up at the Dentist as well. Monkey had one cavity in the very back, so we had to make an appointment to have that filled. Monday night was very chilly, so I had turned on the heater. Which in turn made all kinds of crazy noises, which kept me up! Logically, I KNEW nothing was in the house, it was just weird hearing them, and every time I would start to drift off I would hear a knocking sound coming from some part of the house. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that well.
Yesterday was a bit of the same. Very tired when I woke up!! Monkey had an appointment to get his cavity filled, so we went and did that. I picked lil man up from school and we headed over to the Dentist. I LOVE our Dentist. He's in his late 30's, so he's a younger guy. He reminds me just a tiny bit of the Dentist I had growing up, Dr Robson. We talked about "old school dentistry." You guys know what I'm talking about! Where the Dentist was in the room with you, for the most part, alone. He did all the suction, and spitting, and instrument changes and everything all by himself, with the occasional help from someone else. There wasn't one person that did cleanings and then he would come in and check. Newp! he did the cleanings, and the fillings, and pretty much everything else. The assistant helped with the x-rays. He didn't wear gloves, and he didn't wear one of those paper masks either! I remember looking up my Dentists nose, always looking for boogers and watching him work on my teeth in his glasses! (Yes, I was a strange child, why do you ask?)
This time of year always gets to me. It's the time of year that it starts to turn colder. It's the time of year that those of us that live in the country don't particularly like. We didn't have this problem last year... either that or we didn't notice it last year... either that or I've blocked it from my memory... but there are MICE in the house! (EEEEEEEEEEEK!) So, I set some traps. Not those wooden traps with the springs that if you ACCIDENTLY set it off it tries to sever your finger. NO! These are plastic traps. I'm not sure of I like them or not. Yesterday afternoon, I heard the trap snap. HOORAY! I caught one! Now I can just throw it in the trash and be done with it. Oh no! It had to get it's leg stuck in the freakin thing!! So, here is this mouse, trying to run away on 3 legs, with a big plastic trap stuck to it's 4th one. I simply let it be. Sam can deal with it. So what does he do? Decides to bonk it with a crow bar! *sigh*
Today is another story. TODAY Monkey has an appointment for his ADHD meds and then he's done with appointments for a while. Then Sam and I have an appointment on base for Thursday! ACK! Busy busy busy!!

*linking this up at Fun On A Dime*