Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pokeball Pizza

I'm a girly girl. And I like girly girl stuff. I like the color pink. I own more than one thing adorned with sequins. I watch romantic movies. And check out the latest styles on all my favorite retail websites. I'm not THAT high maintenance. I like to be outdoors. I clean the toilets. I take care of the dog. I can kill a spider when needed. I know how to  pull my weight. But there are some things I don't do.

I don't wrestle or try to break my bones on purpose or think body functions are particularly funny. I don't understand how one can ruin a new pair of jeans in the 6 hours spent at school. Or how a pair of tennies can only last a month. I don't get the Skylanders craze or Power Rangers! And I don't understand the fascination with sticks, rocks, or why it makes perfect sense to stuff your pant pockets with used kleenex. But, I have two little boys who love all of the above.

Every once in a while, I want to get on their level and be cool. I only know two ways to do this: 1) listen to a 20 minute monologue about Skylanders, Pokeman, or Power Rangers OR 2) pretend I love the previous three.

This weekend while my daughter was at a junior high dance, the boys and I stayed in. I made homemade pizza with a twist. I borrowed a Pinterest idea and made a Pokeball Pizza. I didn't say anything until it was finished cooking. When the boys came in the kitchen, the were full of compliments. They were so excited. Now that is what I love about boys...they are easy to please!



The original pin no longer links to the picture. I couldn't leave you hanging without at least a recipe. I'm sharing my homemade pizza sauce with you. It's easy and inexpensive.


1 (8oz) Tomato Sauce
1 (3oz) Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic powder
1 teaspoon Paprika

Mix Well. Ready to use.



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday...24

Another Wednesday linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.
I decided to pull out the animal print. It just wouldn't be right to get out of my comfort zone
without wearing this dress.

 Dress: Target
Sweater Tights: Target
Shoes: Me Too!

I bought this in October. Four months later, I decide to wear the dress.
Typically, these lengthy contemplations happen a lot. 
I'm breaking a very bad habit.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's Talk Spring!

Last week I didn't want to talk about 'Spring'. It seemed so far off. 
Then I looked at my calendar and...OMG...March 1st is on Friday! 
Can you believe it? 
I'm pretty sure spring starts in March, right? The 21st, maybe?? 
The weather isn't quite spring-y yet but it's coming.
I feel it in my bones!
Actually I don't. I don't feel nothing but frigid mornings here in SoCal.
 I'm just super excited about my new Pinterest board, EASTER
So many cute things I found to pin. 
You can follow the Easter board HERE 
It's much easier than scrounging around in your free time looking for 
equally cute stuff!  

Here are a few of my favorites:

Our Best Bites


Do you notice a common theme?
No, not Easter. That's a bit obvious!
The pins are all easy stuff. That is the name of the game.
I've got three kids and a husband who is MIA.
I want to pack a punch with as little prep as possible.

Hop over and check out some more great pins
On the Easter board.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Cara Box Reveal

Today is Linkup Day with Kaitlyn at Wifessionals to reveal February Cara Boxes.
It's fun to check out all the packages delivered this month 
between new found friends.

 What is a Cara Box? It's a monthly "gift exchange" for women. Yes, you heard it, "NO BOYS ALLOWED". Every month women, bloggers and non-bloggers, sign up to become pen pals of sorts. Each person has two pals; one to send to and one to receive from. I sent my box to:

and received a box from:

Kristin was a fantastic Carabox match. She sent thoughtful questions and sincere responses. By the end of the month, I could honestly say 
'I like this girl'! 
Please hop over and say 'hello' to Kristen!  Her blog is full of love and sweetness of two young kids in love. Newlyweds in their first year of marriage, remember those days? If young love doesn't make you smile, then her much loved dog Frappy will! 

 How about I show you what was in my Cara Box now?
Here was the package I found on my doorstep.

Here are the contents:

Lots of goodies screaming warmer weather, flowers, and sunshine!

And you see that zigzag ring directly above this sentence?
I'm wearing it to Homecoming!
Thanks Kristen. And I might do a trial run on the dress for Easter. 
Just cause trial runs on Homecoming outfits are super important!

 And I've got a jumpstart on my Easter decorating with a cute egg garland and window clings. My kids will love deciding where to put these holiday items.
 Plus new makeup (yay)! And chocolate (double yay)!

Cara Box was a great experience. I'm heading over to join March's exchange. 
You wanna join me???


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gratitude Journal

I feel like I'm coming back in full swing this week. All the craziness has subsided and things are getting back to normal. A big yay for normal, mellow, and stress-free! I vote for it staying this way...indefinitely.

I am so thankful for my video chat with my husband. We hadn't been able to video chat since October. Which is a long time (in general) but even longer when you are married. Sometimes I feel like he is in prison somewhere. No freedom to do what he wants. People making decisions for him. I'm sure he feels the same. But it's all in the name of freedom and I believe it's important. So we keep on keeping on.

I am thankful for the February Challenge. Not only blogging every day which has given me an opportunity to be more open with you. I have implemented the challenge in my daily life. I have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. I've put myself out there with people and it has been really good for me. On Day 23, I feel more confident and happier.

I am thankful for my Skype date with my friend H. We filled our glasses with wine and had some girl talk. Despite two little boys over my shoulder showing off their food and toys, it was my adult time.

I'm grateful for all the babies in our Bible Study. Three babies join their mommas on Fridays. I just soak up all of those sweet smiles and baldy heads. I'm not interested in one of my own but I need my fix.

I'm thankful for a long hike around the lake. Instant mood booster! The weather was perfect Saturday morning.

I'm thankful for quality time with the kids.

I'm thankful for dog walks with a friend. As much as I love being drug around by Charlie on his walks and stopping to sniff every .single. leaf. I have a lot more patience when I'm chatting with a friend.

I'm thankful for...

energy to make dinner every night this week.
kids who keep me company.
help with the laundry.
cereal for dinner.
smart phone apps that help keep me organized.
emails from the husband.
sunny but cool days.
a dwindling countdown to homecoming.

What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments what good things are happening in your life! 


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Good News!

Because I share the downs of deployment, it's only fair I share the ups too. I finally got to video chat with my husband last night. I haven't seen his face since October. I love technology! I wish we could use it a little more often though!

We tried to wake the boys so they could talk too. 
They just weren't having it.
Still makes an adorable picture.

Thankfully my husband is so handsome and a good sport.
The Lord knows he would be in so much trouble if he posted unedited closeups of me on a blog.
Just another reason to love him!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Fitness Friday

I am designating Fridays as Fitness Friday. A day to post exercise, nutrition, and related goals of my week. I have been trying desperately to reach my goal of losing ten pounds during this deployment. But I am doing a terrible job. I lost 3 pounds in three weeks. Then I gained 2 back the following 2 weeks. I need accountability. I feel blogging my goals and progress may be a way to stay on track. I need to stop moving backwards.

Every Friday until May, I will be checking in with my weekly exercise and nutrition recap. I will try to add any helpful tips and information which motivates me to keep going. My hope is this weekly check in will encourage me to skip the milkshakes and zucchini fries. Both are my weakness.


Monday- OFF
Tuesday- Zumba/50 situps
Wednesday- 1 hour walk/hike (3.5 miles)/ 50 situps
Thursday- 20 min. Zumba via Youtube/ 50 situps


Monday- BLT/Zucchini Fries/ Milkshake (Bad News!!)
Tuesday- Chinese Barbecue Chicken (Weight Watchers), Couscous, Salad
Wednesday-Mexican Pork Stew/Brown Rice/ Green Pepper (Weight Watchers)
Thursday- Crispiest Oven Fried Chicken (Weight Watchers)/ Baked Sweet Potato


Work out every day
50 crunches every day
Go to Combat Cycle
Attend one new fitness class at the gym
No milkshakes or zucchini fries!

I will see you back next week for another Fitness Friday.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

More Thursday Ramblings

I'm starting to get to the point where I doubt my commitment to blog every day. I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea. I guess blogging every day without something worthwhile to share is one way to be real. As much as I hope to share our Adventures on this blog, sometimes my daily adventures are grocery shopping and laundry. Every once in a while I mix it up and go shopping. Life is more fun when the husband is home.
Today I had my appointment with the insurance appraiser. I am very happy with the way they have handled this accident. I haven't stressed much about what happened or what will happen with the car. The company has made my life so easy. I need to exchange a couple emails with my husband regarding the where and what of the car, then it goes to the repair shop.

I did a little shopping. I was in need of more shower gel from Bath & Body Works. My MIL gifted me a gift card for Christmas and I had yet to spend it. Unfortunately, I missed all the after Christmas sales so I had to pay full price for my goods. I got my favorite, Japanese Cherry Blossom and a bottle of 'stress reliever'. Pretty disappointed I didn't know about this miracle body wash four months ago! I hope it works as well as my other bottle of 'stress reliever'!

I managed a few other errands before picking up the carpool kids. Now we've made it through the afternoon and night routines. I honestly can't believe tomorrow is Friday. This week has gone really fast for me. I can not complain! The quicker these weeks fly by the sooner I get to see my husband!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I Wore Wedneday...23

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday. 

Top- Banana Republic
Pants- Ann Taylor Loft
Shoes- Steve Madden

 Ann Taylor Loft

Top- Ann Taylor Loft
Jeans- Banana Republic
Bracelet- ATL

The above outfit is a longtime pin from my Pinterest Style board.
A simple, cute look.

I'm linking up with the Saw it. Pinned It. Did It. Link up.
Another favorite Pinterest blog linkup.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pinterest Fanatic, That's Me!

When it comes to blogging everyone seems to have their speciality. Some blogs have a cool niche with tons of followers, others have loyal and interactive readers, some do a killer link up, and others clever Tweets. I have yet to really succeed in any of the above. I'm mediocre at best! My specialty is none of the above. My speciality is Pinterest. And girl, I love me some Pinterest!

With a deployed husband, I've got time on my hands. I put the kids to bed at night and I scroll through boards and boards AND boards of random stuff. I go to my favorite blog linkups and pin from there. I 'google' all kinds of topics to find great pins. And I love every stinking minute. 

Second to my love for Pinterest is a Pinterest linkup. Oh How Pinteresting is one of my favorites. I literally get to blog about stuff I've pinned on Pinterest. How great is that?!? Of course, you don't have to wait for a blog posts to see what I'm pinning. You can follow me by clicking the Pinterest button {P} on the side bar or follow this LINK.

*IMPORTANT* Please do not pin anything from this blog post. Please follow through to the Pinterest link provided in picture captions. I would like the original person to receive all credit for their posts. Thank you so very much!

Monday night I went crazy on my style board. I have lots of new pins. I'm not quite ready for spring. It's too cold for short and tanks. We've got plenty of time for all that. Let's stay focused on sweaters and boots for one more month, shall we?

Pinned Here from JEverydayFashions
Pastel jeans and polka dots. Two trends I'm loving right now.
This girl has got the market on Pinterest. I see her everywhere.
I l-o-v-e her classic style.
The blog name is J's Everyday Fashions.

Pinned HERE from Lilly's Closet

Another girl populating Pinterest. 
Lilly's Style. 
Neon paired with classic tweed. Genius!
I like it's pink and not neon yellow
Have you noticed how trendy the neon yellow has become?
I'm hoping it passes quickly because I will never pull it off!

Here is my most popular pin lately:

Pinned HERE from Fashion Worship

This outfit comes from Fashion Worhsip.
I haven't explored the website yet. 
The tag line is 
'Womens' apparel from 
fashion designers and fashion design schools".
It appears to be a Polyvore/Tumblr hybrid.
Lots of styling ideas.
It's probably worth your visit.

My friends I could change gears and clutter your computer screen with Easter crafts and recipes galore. However, I feel this is a good stopping point for us!

Please visit my Pinterest boards and follow along.
It's win-win. 
You save time and get cute pins.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Luck & Probability

What are the chances you would stumble upon a patch of four leaf clovers?
I'm not that lucky! In fact, I envy lucky people.
I don't gamble, play the lotto, or enter contests
 because I'm not a winner.

However, when the odds are as good as my Ad Space Giveaway I reconsider!
I'm a little bit better with math and probability.
And the chances of winning one of 4 spots for the giveaway is pretty good!
Have you entered? It's free.
Another concept I understand!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Speaking of luck...
Would you believe I got into a minor car accident today?
If you know how this deployment has been, then you would believe it.
That would be luck. Bad luck.

Totally not looking forward to having this email conversation with my husband.
He loves his cars!
And he already thinks I'm a bad driver.
Which means he would argue:
 My accident while he is deployed is more about probability than luck!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gratitude Journal


Lately, I feel like I'm holding on to 'yesterday's junk'. Oh, Louise Smith would be so disappointed! Frankly, I should be disappointed. It's a terrible way to go about my daily business. Gratitude journaling is my way of letting go of negative things and filling myself up with the positive. I shouldn't be surprised my foul mood has stuck around for this long. In all honesty, I haven't been reflecting on the good things. I've been hanging on tight to the bad things happening.

We are dealing with deployment days around here. Oh, how I miss my husband. Lately, I am finding how quickly those feelings can create a lot of other negative emotions.  On Saturday nights I begin contemplating the Gratitude Journal post. The past two weeks I have wanted to skip it. I'd rather concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. If I could just post 'I am happy one more day is over' OR 'I am thankful we are one day closer to homecoming', then I wouldn't feel like such a fraud.

Honestly, some days that IS what I am most grateful for.  Hmm...I feel like I shouldn't admit these things. For the sake of realness, I should. I want you to know sometimes life isn't butterflies and flowers. Not just for military spouses but for everyone. For you, the negative feelings may come from a never ending laundry pile, a paycheck that won't get you through until the next, illness, loneliness, or too many responsibilities. At the end of the day, why make time to be thankful for coffee and sunshine? Here is my short answer.

For every trial I endure, there is always something amazing happening simultaneously. It's a matter of choice to decide what to focus on.  We control our thoughts. Our thoughts control our mood. Sometimes, gratitude is a constant redirection of the mind. I am thankful for {blank}...oh thankful for {blank} Nicole?...pretty lame...why not just admit this {negative thing} sucks and wallow in it. You deserve it! It's worthy of your sadness, anger, etc. And there I am in my funk for one more day. Terrible cycle.

Today I am breaking the cycle. I'm counting these as my blessings...

I am thankful deployment is temporary. My husband will come home. The days are dwindling down but we still have some time. When I compare deployment with civilian life it seems unfair. When I compare my life with those who have lost their spouses, I feel like spoiled child.

I am grateful I am married to a good man worth missing. I miss so much about him because he is an active part of our family. He's sweet to me. He's a great dad. He comes home every day from work taking time to say 'hello' to every one of us before taking off his uniform and getting into his regular clothes. He's a master griller. He doesn't hesitate give me a hand with the housework. He takes the kids when I need a break. He goes along with any plan I concoct. Really, how can a girl not miss all that?

I am thankful for warm sunny days. East coast, don't hate, but we've been basking in 80 degree weather this weekend. Beautiful weather means lots of time outside.

...a trip to the library for some new reads.
...dinner at my favorite restaurant.
...a visit from the S family.
...chats with my sister.
...notes of encouragement (and a little gift) from my parents.
...mindless television from Netflix, namely Melissa & Joey.

And now my hand's are empty. Are yours?


Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Boy and His Dog

This is Charlie, our foster dog.
Fostering was an epic fail for our family.
Charlie was our first and only foster dog.
He just kind of fit in our family.

We don't know Charlie's past because he was found in a park.
He has his good days and his bad days.
I suspect he wasn't treated the best by his previous owner.

He cowers. He has an aggressive streak.
He isn't a big fan of men, in general.
He makes me shake my head, read a hundred dog behavior articles, and feel like giving up on him.

But the dog isn't going anywhere.
He is too loved and spoiled by 'his' kids.

And he loves them right back.

I'm sure Charlie never had it so good.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Ad Space Giveaway

Be prepared. Changes Ahead! 

Thanks to a V-Blate workshop hosted by Hooah and Hiccups and Wifessionals.
Our video meetup provided me with a wealth of knowledge and encouragement to consider my blog in a new light. I haven't quite decided about my direction but I have decided to branch out a little. All in the name of my February goal of 'exiting my comfort zone'. 

The first branch is creating ad space on my sidebar. Under my discretion, I will post your blog or Etsy button for 30 days free of charge. Ads will begin Feb.25.
There will be four spots raffled. 
Buttons can be a maximum size of 150 x150.

Warning: There may be some hiccups as I navigate this new terrain. That's kind of why it's free. However, we all know the saying "Nothing in life is free", right?
Well, it's true here too. Your entires will be earned by following me on social media sites.You earn one raffle entry for each follow:
GFC, Facebook, and Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the stats to entice you, as of 02/14/2013:

68200+ pageviews total
15,148 monthly pageviews (January 2013)
123 GFC followers
25 Facebook followers
67 Instagram followers
557 Pinterest followers


Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine

"Together forever, never apart. Maybe in distance but never in heart."
Valentine's Day 2013


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Treats

Do you need an easy crowd pleasing treat for Valentine's Day?
I've got a quick and easy recipe that will wow the littles or anyone really.

Do you ever have that 'duh' moment when you see the plate of crispie treats at the bake sale?
Why are they always the last thing I consider making?
It has to be the easiest, cheapest treat on the planet and cookies are still my go to.
With cute variations like this, rice crispie treats are my new signature dish! 

I'm kind of hoping you know how to make Rice Crispie Treats. 6 cups cereal, 10 ounce bag of marshmallows, 4 Tbsp. butter. If not, the recipe is on every pack of marshmallows and box of Rice Crispies on Earth. Or as my husband would say, 'Google' it.

There are several options for your chocolate coating. I used Baker's squares which work pretty slick. Melt 3 bars in the microwave for one minute. 
You could also use chocolate chips, almond bark, chocolate candy disks from the craft store.
If you don't have a heart shaped cookie cutter, then improvise. Cut squares or triangles. No big.
You've got to let the chocolate set. Which takes hours in my experience.
Just a word of advice since no recipe ever thinks it's important to estimate 'set time'.
And for procrastinators like myself, it's kind of important.

There you are! My Pinterest test.