Sunday, October 31, 2010

Guest Blogger (Mrs. B.):

I am the worst blogger ever. I totally forgot to post her blog URL! Please, check her out! She's amazing, as you can see by this post. http://thediaryofamrs.blogspot.com/


Hi ya’ll, I’m Mrs. B from The Diaries of a Mrs., I hope you come and check me out. This is the first time I’ve ever been a guest blogger and I’m so excited about it. I had been following Mrs. Ma’am for a while and seen some of you other awesome bloggers’ guest posts, I think they are all so fun and I wanted to join as well. Since Mrs. Ma’am is a mil-spouse and my husband is leaving for Air Force BMT I thought it was a good time to share our story.

I met my husband Ryan in the spring of 2007, at the time he was taking the semester off of school, since he didn’t do very well his first semester, working full time and trying to get his life back on track. That fall he headed back to school, it was important to me that he got an education and did well, even if he didn’t know 100% what he wanted to be. He was thinking of becoming a male nurse, but that just didn’t sound like a “good” path for him to go on (in my eyes, don’t ask me why I thought that because I honestly couldn’t give you an answer), so I suggested business (mostly accounting). He switched his major and started taking classes for a business degree. He continued taking classes through this past spring, but was getting really frustrated with his school loans only increasing and felt as if he wasn’t making a dent in the classes he still had to take. I knew I was graduating in December and it would become even more difficult for him to go to school. I remember we were sitting at dinner one evening and I said, “Ry, have you ever thought about the military?”



After I asked him, I quickly wanted to take the question back…after a long pause he said, “It’s never been an option, but maybe I should schedule an appointment with a recruiter.” What did I do? Why did I ever ask him that? I tried to stay calm thinking he would never actually make the appointment and go., he did say it had never been an option. Boy, I was wrong! In the beginning of June, Ryan scheduled an appointment with an Air Force and Army recruiter. He seemed to like the Air Force better than the Army (the Army flat out told him that they didn’t need him), he talked with friends from each branch (A.F. and Army) and made his decision on the Air Force. After about a week or so, he was scheduled to take his ASVAB (scored in the high 80s) and got all of his medical and personal records in by the end of June. At this point, everything became extremely real to me, the process was going so fast, and I began preparing myself. I remember a conversation that we had, he said, “I would be really disappointed if I backed out or was not able to go for whatever reason.” In the second week of July, Ryan was headed to MEPS and swore in under the Delayed Entrance Program. Throughout this entire process, I began googling (is that a word?) everything, reading mil-spouse blogs to get first hand experiences from other wives and looking for forums and websites that helped “teach” me more about what our lives were about to be like.



Ryan and I were both expecting quite a long wait before he got his call informing him of when he heads to BMT. After doing some research, reading forums and talking with his recruiter we were under the impression that it could be a really long wait. It was the end of August and Ryan sent me a text in the middle of the day telling me to call him and that it was important while I was at work. I called him and he said, “I’m leaving in November.” I remember my heart feeling heavy and my stomach drop; I was silent momentarily before I finally found words…or more like rattled off 100 questions in seconds. Ryan couldn’t talk too long since he was also at work and he didn’t know all the details. When he got out of work he called his recruiter and sent me a message full of details. He was leaving November 2nd, he wasn’t able to sign a job and had to go in as open general (something that made me go from excited and anxious to REALLY scared).  Have any of your husbands, fianc├ęs or boyfriends signed as open general? Did it work out for you?

Both, Ryan and I were hoping he would be able to sign a job, he would know exactly what he would be doing, when his tech school was and how long it would be. “Open general? Are you sure? Is there anything you can do? Is there anything your recruiter can do? What if you get a really bad job? What are your options? Can you not go?” I had so many questions but kept asking the “Are you sure it’s open general?” question.

I asked him if he still had to sign or if you could figure something else out, if he wouldn’t go. While I was only mildly serious, I was scared shitless. He told me he could not, not go. At this point he had done so much running around and research, began training, and was preparing himself mentally and physically for going. He told me that he thought he would regret his decision if he just didn’t go. I respect his decision and despite my fears and anxiety I would never be able to tell him no or hold him back. Eventually his regret would turn into anger and then would be shifted towards me and I too would regret holding him back from something he’s worked so hard to achieve. It seemed he really found his calling, he was excited and it was something he REALLY wanted to do.


The past two months we have been able to do a lot and I’m extremely grateful for the time we’ve had together (especially since I used to wish he would get a call saying he had 24/48 hours). I didn’t think I would like knowing he has X amount of days before he leaves and doing the whole countdown. Just in the month of October we went from boyfriend and girlfriend to being engaged and now married in a matter of 2 weeks. We had dated for 3 ½ years, we were engaged for 13 days, and as of October 21, 2010, I married my best friend. While it wasn’t my dream wedding, I married my prince. At first I was disappointed because I didn’t get the “excited, this is everything I ever dreamed for day”…but then when I sit back, I did get everything I have ever dreamed of just not put into one day, I got a best friend and the most amazing man I could ever imagine and I get to enjoy that for the rest of my life. We are tentatively planning a vow renewal and reception for June of 2011. While it’s somewhat difficult without knowing when Ryan’s technical school is and how long it will be for, we are still so very excited for it.

I’m scared of the future, the unknown and everything the military has to offer, my anxiety is often through the roof, AND I have been more emotional as time gets closer than I have in my entire life. I no longer take the small things for granted (laying down at night with him by my side, help with the dogs, and even the things that would normally annoy me I try to let slide), I squeeze a little tighter and kiss a little longer knowing Ry will soon be jumping on a plane and I won’t see him until graduation. With all those scary emotions, I am still proud Ryan took a step that so many will not, I am his biggest fan, I am excited to potentially travel and for all the other…benefits, and I am happy to say that I am [going] to be a “Milie”!

For any and all of you Milie’s, I’m always open for advice, suggestions and pick me ups. I am expecting my days to go by much slower beginning November 2nd, but I have faith in our relationship and believe in our love.

Thank you, Mrs. Ma’am for allowing me to share my story and thank all of YOU for reading my story about why we chose the military. I hope you all will visit my blog or send me an e-mail just to say hi or even to give me any advice, suggestions, show your support OR even send a funny little joke. J   

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fun Game:

First off, I want to welcome my new readers. I have gotten so many emails and comments on new followers. Not all of you have a reply back email address listed, so I can not personally say 'hi! When you get a chance fill in your email address on your account, so when you leave comments, I can email you back!


I have not really updated you all on the last doctor's appointment. It was on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. All the doctor did was check the baby's heart rate, my weight, and ask lots of questions. Like always! Baby C is doing great, and everything is going good. I got an estimated week that we will have the gender ultrasound done, so I thought it would be fun to play a little game. We have 5 to 6 weeks until the gender ultrasound is done, so I wanted to start this now. 


I am sure most of you have heard of the game. It is the "Baby Pool." I will provide a link for the website and our game. For those of you that enter before our gender ultrasound and get the gender correct will have the opportunity to enter a special giveaway for only you. No outsiders will be allowed to enter. This is to make sure that no one tries to add in after the ultrasound. Unfortunately, it is not guaranteed that everyone will win, but since there is a 50/50 chance that everyone will get it right, I can not afford to give all the winners a gift (although I would love to!). So for the first game, be sure to go in and guess the gender. I will try and post this once a week for everyone to have the opportunity to make a guess. After you go and guess, (which you will also be able to guess the arrival date, weight, heighth, etc) be sure to leave a comment stating that you entered before my gender ultrasound. I will also try my best to keep track of it before the gender ultrasound to make sure there are no cheaters! 


Later on, after the ultrasound, you will be able to edit the other parts of the pool. You will be able to edit your pick throughout the pregnancy. When the pregnancy gets close to the end, I will host another giveaway for the winner that guesses the closest with the lenghth, weight, arrival date, sex, etc. 


I am sure a lot of you are going to ask me questions like 'how am I carrying', 'what do I think it is', 'what is the baby's heart rate', etc. etc. So I will try and fill you in the best I can at this point. Be on the look out for belly pictures, so you can decide if I am carrying high or low. 


The heart rate was at a 157 at the last appointment. It seems everyone keeps calling him/her a 'him'. My gut tells me it is a girl; however, in the beginning of the pregnancy, I had 2 or 3 dreams about finding out and it was a boy. I have no cravings (yet). I have gained 7 lbs up to now. I am 17 weeks pregnant. Be sure to check updated belly pictures for how you think I am carrying. If you have anymore questions that you would like answered before you put in your vote, post them and I will try and update information as time goes on. 





In case that handy dandy little graphic thing does not work, the URL is http://www.expectnet.com/games/BabyClementine.


I know there have been a lot of questions regarding the pregnancy, registries, and other baby related topics, so I will get back to you all with that information as soon as I can. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake:

I have been thinking about which recipe to post for the Fall season that involves pumpkin. Last year, I share my Pumpkin Bread recipe. It was a hit, so I will still definitely share it. But this year, I decided to try one of my friend's recipes that have been a tradition for her. 

It is the famous Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake. I am a part of this group of girls that like to host events and share recipes. Some I know personally because I was able to meet and others I do not know because I moved away before they joined in. One of the girls shared this recipe, and it is one I plan on trying before Thanksgiving, before Ireland. Since I have not tried it yet, I can not say how delicious it is. But what I can tell you is that it comes from a woman that has decided to create her own recipe book!



Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake



Ingredients:
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons butter (melted)
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Directions:
1. Mix the gingersnap cookie crumbs, sugar, ginger and butter and press into the bottom and up 1 inch along the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan.

2. Bake the crust in a preheated 350F oven for 5 minuters and set aside.

3. Cream the cream cheese.

4. Mix in the eggs one at a time followed by the sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla and then the spices.
5. Pour the mixture into the spring form pans.

6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is set, about 60-70 minutes.

7. Let it cool completely.

8. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge overnight.

If you try it, you must let me know how it is! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We received our first piece of baby gear!!

We have not really had the time to shop around and make purchases for the baby since we found out we were pregnant due to Mr. Man's work schedule. However, people have been buying for us. Mostly little odds and ends here and there. But on Tuesday when we got back from Wales, we had several packages waiting on us. One of them was a gift from my Mawmaw. It was the car seat and stroller frame!! I was so excited when I saw it. I just about had a heart attack because I am such a planner and organizer, and all this busy-ness has been driving me insane. I have a hard time getting past the fact that we have done so little for the baby. We have bought one outfit for the baby, and that is about the extent of what we have done (other than rearranging and organizing the house). When I opened the box for the car seat and stroller frame, I was nothing but smiles. I was so very excited. I was so anxious and impatient to put it together, too. I just felt like it would make it seem more real. Poor Mr. Man was sleeping upstairs (because he's on nights), and I was downstairs putting it together - hammer and all. When he woke up, I had to show it to him. I made him push it around a little and play with it, too! We played with it until we figured out the easiest way to put the car seat on the frame and remove it. At first, it was hard for me, but I found a secret to make it easier. I was so proud and happy for that moment!

So after that, I was like, "Yay, we have the most important thing for the baby!" Mr. Man could tell I was so excited about it, so he told me he would get me a baby doll to use in it for the time being! Haha. He's hilarious!

But since I did want to make all of our big purchases before it got too close to the holidays and mail got crazy, I decided to order the bedroom furniture set. I am super duper excited to get that here. It will probably be a bit before we can put it together, but the comfort of having it purchased and in my home is such a relief. Just being able to walk by the room every morning and night and seeing the baby car seat and stroller frame is enough to make it seem so realistic for me.

So now, I am really starting to get excited. It has definitely sunk in, too.

My belly is definitely growing. I went from my stomach measuring 30-30.5 one week to being 31.5 this week! I know I am due to show the next 4 pictures, so as soon as I get them uploaded to the computer, I will share them. Mr. Man says I actually look pregnant now. I am definitely feeling the baby starting to move up in my stomach, too. It's pretty amazing. Last night, Mr. Man wanted to listen to the baby while we watched the football game. I laid down by him so he could listen. I pointed to where the baby was positioned because I knew he/she had moved up from where he/she was. Mr. Man's facial expression was priceless. It looked like he was in shock because he could hear the heart beat a whole lot better, and it sounded like the baby was very close. He was so amazed. He was shocked that I knew exactly where the baby was, too.

Yesterday for the first time I had 4 people rub my belly. So uncomfortable I must tell you, but thankfully most of them were people I am really good friends with. Only one person made me feel super uncomfortable about it, so I told her to ask before she touches. Just so I am prepared. I dread the day that strangers do it. I really do not like people touching my belly unless 1.) they ask or 2.) they are a good friend. Not to mention, I am only 17 weeks, which means I have a long time worth of this belly touching! Yikes!

For now, I am going to go lay on the couch and read. I am just waiting for Mr. Man to wake up, so we can take our pup for a walk.

Until next time..

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Update on the progression of 101 in 1001 Days Project

I wanted to update you all on my progress with 101 in 1001 Days. I have accomplished a few things within the last couple of months, so I thought I would update it while I am thinking about it. My end date is the middle of February of 2013. I can't wait to see how far we have gone in life and how much of these I actually accomplish. This will be an exciting next few years. 

If you want to join in, you can create your list athttp://www.dayzeroproject.com. I hope you enjoy my list and get inspired to create your own!

My Project:
1. Go horseback riding.
2. Get a job.
3. Go to a concert.
4. Go camping.
5. Dance in the rain.
6. Visit Egypt.
7. Buy a car.
8. Try 5 new foods.--Main dishes. 
9. Visit Italy. 
      -Rome
      -Florence
      -Siena
      -Pisa
      -Milan
      -Verona
      -Venice
10. Visit Germany.
11. Visit France.
12. Try 5 new vegetables.
         -parsnips
         -leeks
13. Visit an aquarium.
14. Go biking.
15. Use only reusable grocery bags.
         -working on that.
16. Crochet a scarf.
17. Eat at 5 new restaurants. 
        -Gandhi's (Indian Restaurant)
       -Teri-aki's (Sushi Bar)
18. Finish a scrapbook.
19. Buy new couches.
       -Purchased on Monday, June 28, 2010
20. Graduate from college. 
21. Donate to a charity.
        -East Anglia Hospice
22. Learn how to make sushi.
23. Visit 5 castles.
24. Try 10 new wines. 
        -White wine  from Siena.
        -White wine from Siena.
        -White wine from Milan.
        -Red wine from Venice.
25. Visit Ireland.
26. Paint a painting.
27. Host a BBQ.
28. Stretch everyday for a month.
29. Start a family.
        -EDD- April 5, 2011
30. Learn to Crochet.
31. Redecorate a room.
       -Started on our living room.
       -Started on baby's room.
32. Learn how to eat with chopsticks.
       -Teri-aki's.
33. See a musical in London.
34. Go scuba diving.
35. Swim in a large body of water.
        -Lido, Venice, Italy.
36. Find 100 things that make me happy.
37. Make 5 New Friends.
        -AW
        -SY
        -AF
        -SG
        -SM
38. Clean out my closet and donate the things I don't use.
39. Run a 5K with others.
40. Go to church every Sunday for 3 months straight.
41. Have 2 sets of family photos done within 2 separate years.
42. Go on a last minute mini vacation.
        -Wales.
43. Read 5 books (not including my school books).
        -What to Expect When you are Expecting
        - Week by Week Guide
        -Hypnobirthing
        -Breastfeeding book (forgot the name)
44. Go on a fossil hunt.
45. Attend 10 museums.
       -I can almost guarantee I did this in Italy. I will put them all on here once I gather their names.
46. Pass the teaching certificate test.
47. Climb to the top of something high.
        -I did a lot of this in Italy. I will name the places once I gather their names.
48. Make all A's and B's in school.
        -So far all A's!
49. Build a sand castle with Mr. Man.
50. Visit Snowdonia.
         -October 2010.
51. Print out pictures of vacations and put them in memory books.
52. Touch an animal that I am scared of.
53. Get a second Miniature Schnauzer.
54. Find 50 things that inspire me to be a better person.
        -Obseity
        -Teen Moms
55. Support a cause.
        -We actually support many every year. We do Christmas Operations. I write to military members from other branches that are deployed. Etc.
56. Collect refrigerator magnets or postcards from major places. 
       -Italy-(Siena, Rome,  Pisa)
       -Wales
57. Drink protein shakes regularly for a month.
58. Send care packages to troops from other military services.
59. Write a story about how I see and want my future and open it later in life.
        -Will do this before baby is born.
60. Say No to people who ask me for favors when I am already busy.
        -Now that I am pregnant, I have no choice.
61. Go to the eye doctor every year.
62. Celebrate my birthday in style.
63. Have movie night once every 3 months.
64. Get lost somewhere and find my way back.
65. Get fit! (The way I see it.)
66. Sell/Pay off our house.
67. Do not complain for a week.
68. Do not eat ice cream for a full summer.
69. Submit 5 photos to a digital photograph school.
70. Start Master's Program.
71. Renew our wedding vows in a Catholic Church.
72. Open a TSP or IRA.
        -Working on this now.
73. Keep $10,000 in savings.
        -So far, so good.
74. Start a separate savings for our children.
       -Will do this very soon!
75. Lay out at night with Mr. Man and look at the stars.
76. Crochet a pair of booties.
77. Attempt to learn how to play a PS3 war game. 
       -Accomplished on  June 9, 2010.
78. Only buy necessities for a month- 3 times.
79. Stay on Mr. Man's butt to finish school.
80. Take a fitness progression picture every couple of months.
81. Make 5 baby blankets.
82. Attempt to Ski or Snowboard.
83. Go hiking again.
         -Snowdon.
84. Try 3 new fruits.
         -Pomegranate.
         -Mango
85. Learn how to use the weed wacker.
86. Drive somewhere using only a map.
87. Take professional bodybuilding pictures.
88. Give 10% of income to church for 5 months.
89. Recycle a Christmas tree.
90. Go canoeing, kayaking, or paddling.
91. Use no butter for a week.
92. Make homemade cards for an event or holiday.
        -Christmas 2010
93. Cook 26 dishes in a row from A-Z.
94. Do not eat Chinese Food for 6 months straight.
95. Volunteer at a local school or nursery.
96. Commit to a date night every 3 to 5 months.
97. Do morning cardio outside during the summer months.
98. Let 5 people know how much I appreciate them.
99. Go to Disney World, Disney Land, or Euro Disney.
100. Learn a new dancing style.
101. Donate a dollar for every thing on this list that I do not accomplish to any organization of my choice.

I will add links to the different things that I have posted on my blog once I have more time. This was a last minute "Oh, I want to see how much I have accomplished." 

I will be sure to keep you updated as I check things off my list!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wales:

We made it to and from Wales. We had such a great time. We climbed Snowdon just as we wanted. It was 8.8 miles and very very steep. It was exhausting, but well worth it. We reached the top, all 4 of us. It took us 8 hours to accomplish, but we all made it safely. We took pictures at the top and even took a picture of the belly to signify that the baby made it to the top, too. Of course, our baby boy got a picture at the tip top, and so did Mr. Man. The walk was amazing. We took the most scenic route, which explains why it took so long. We took so many pictures. It was absolutely amazing. We saw ruins from a castle, cathedral, and old houses and farms. They have a train that also goes up to the top and back down. The climb was tough. I'm not going to lie about that. I was taking Granny steps, and I would have to take a break after walking up some steep areas. It was funny to see other people not finishing it because they got too tired. There was this one really intimidating part where a lot of females decided to stop and let their partners finish the climb and come back down for them. I thought they were crazy! They made it so far, and then just stopped. But what made it even funnier was that some of them that decided to finish it would find others that they were climbing with to beat them as motivation for them. Like I said before, I was taking Granny steps because I was worried about falling and I did not want to get my heart rate up. There was this one girl that used me as her motivation. It was really funny when I realized what was going on. Mr. Man said, "Let her be your motivation, too." I was like, "Really, are you encouraging this womanly competitiveness." Of course, I took my time. Although I did pass and beat her. When I reached the top, I just wanted to scream that I was 15 weeks pregnant. I really did. When people saw us taking pictures of my belly, they asked if I was pregnant, and when I told them they were in shock. Many people were in shock that Mr. Buttons climbed it, too. And walked it back down. I had a couple of women ask me if I had to carry him or anything. I found it interesting. He is a puppy. Dogs love nature. And my baby boy was extremely happy to be out in this area. He was the happiest little doggy ever!

The next day we went down to the beaches. We wanted to go to the Irish Sea and touch it since that is our thing now - touching all the seas and oceans that we can. We went down to Lluando to the pier. It is similar to the one in San Francisco. We saw Buttons's brother. He looked just like Buttons - curly hair, unclipped ears, and a tail. It was so cute to see because it is rare to see a Schnauzer with all of those. The pier was nice, really nice. It was relaxing and in a great location. We did a little shopping, and we bought a wool blanket since that is what they are known for. I am in love with the blanket now. I thought I would not like it because I do not like itchy blankets, but this blanket is not itchy at all. Super comfy. We bought our boy a dragon because Wales is known as the "Land of Dragons". We got him a stuffed dragon. That is about it that we did at the beach.

We also went to Swallow Falls. It is the largest natural waterfall in Wales. It is beautiful. We saw many waterfalls while there, but this one was really awesome. We could feel the mist from the waterfall, and it was really high. I actually almost had a panic attack looking down at it. We also had a waterfall located right behind our cottage. It was the Conwy waterfall. Every morning we took Buttons out to it to use the bathroom before we headed out on our adventure. It was really pretty, and I love the sound of water. It was so relaxing and refreshing.

We spent a lot of time walking in the woodlands, checking out the nature, and walking the local villages.

Overall, our trip was amazing. We both wish we could have stayed a bit longer. But it will give us an excuse to go back. We love little nature trips like this. It was definitely just what Mr. Man needed after all these long weeks of work.

I will try to post pictures very soon. I still haven't finished our Italy pictures. I am way behind, so please bare with me. We also got some video footage of the tired Mommy and Baby, so I may share those with you all, too. So for now, this is it! We are home, safe, and refreshed!

By the way, this is my 200th post! Time sure has flown. Should I do something to celebrate? Yes, No, Maybe so. What do you think? I do have a few things in mind for giveaways, and one thing in mind for a game. For now, I am out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guest Blogger (Two days Late):

Another guest post from Sam! 

Five Small Changes You Can Make with Big Environmental Impacts
The awareness of environmental changes and its importance to our future is increasing. Green actions such as being energy efficient and recycling are now integral to many people’s daily lives now when compared to 5 years ago.  There is an ongoing pressure for us to pull up our sleeves and do our bit to help the environment. However, when you start trying to do your bit you quickly understand that every action in your home can be made a little bit greener and through no more effort than usual.
There are many that argue there is simply no way you can address every issue you are presented with in the greenest possible way. Time and money are often the reasons why living a greener lifestyle all the time is just not possible and this is understandable so we have tried to outline ten small changes, which can really help make a big difference to the environment at not much cost or time.
1. Drink filtered water
Not only do countries spend millions every year on bottled water, but the sheer amount of plastic needed to hold the liquid reached 1.5 million tonnes in 2005. On an annual basis, the combined total of the world's consumption of plastic materials has risen drastically from circa 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to almost 100 million tonnes today. By using a refillable water bottle and filtering your water it will save you a lot of money and greatly reduce your waste.
2. Ride or walk
Clearly this will be situation dependent; sometimes you will have the time to leisurely stroll to work or meeting some friends and other times you may need to rush. But if you can, put that little extra effort in and try walking or cycling. You will be reducing air pollutants and hopefully getting fit at the same time.
3. Switch off your electronic equipment
Did you know that around ¼ of homes have electronic products on standby at this very point in time? There is simply no need for your electric equipment to be on standby and is often a result of bad habits. You may think that you can’t make a difference and that  you are insignificant which is exactly what the rest of the America thinks too – and why the US wastes more than a $100 million worth of energy each year.
4. Recycle
Recycling is one of the main ways we can join together and save energy. The vast majority of household products can be recycled, including plastics, glass, polystyrene and aerosol cans.  Recycling is important for a variety of reasons; primarily the most important cause for concern is the preserving natural resources for our children and future generations. As time goes on and the population of the world continues to soar we are running out of space for our waste.
5. Inflate your Car Tyres Properly
Sounds strange doesn’t it? But it is really worth checking your tyre pressure every day. The average person that drives 12,000 miles annually in the US on under-inflated tires uses around 145 additional gallons of fuel, which equates to $300-$500 a year. More importantly this extra fuel is accountable for 1.5 extra tons of greenhouse gas.
This article was written in association with Yale front doors for homes. All Yale doors adhere to the strict new U value legislation which ensures doors are as energy efficient as possible.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SUCCESS:

Guess who just fulfilled one of the best accomplishments in my educational career? ME!

I am so proud of myself; however, it was nothing I was planning for. Actually, I did  not even know it existed. But boy, does it feel awesome when you get that phone call! So, for now, this achievement will stay between me and University of Phoenix until it is official official. Although it is pretty official since I have already done the paperwork. I just want to be 100% positive before I jinx it.

This week was one busy, busy week, but it was the most successful that I have had in a long time. As you may (or may not) know, we are going to Snowdonia National Park in Wales this weekend. We leave tomorrow. Monday was Columbus Day and Mr. Man had off. I had finals this week, along with many other to-do's. Remember, how I doubled up this term? Finals this week with only 2.5 days to get it accomplished! SUCCESS! I am pretty proud of myself. Two long research papers, one quiz, and one math test later, I am free for Snowdonia! Awesome!

2 Apple Nut Breads, 24 Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, and 12 Blueberry Muffins later, I am free for Snowdonia!

Now, off I go to finish packing. Only a few more things need to be tossed in the bag before I bring it downstairs for Mr. Man to load in the car when he gets home!

I will be sure to eat plenty of good food, along with taking tons of pictures. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and I will see you all soon enough!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Weekend:

Our weekend was so laid back, yet so awesome. I do not think we stuck with a single thing planned other than hitting the market on Saturday.

Friday- Mr. Man came home from work at about midnight. We went upstairs showered and hit the hay.

Saturday- We woke up at about 10:30am, but did not get out of bed until closer to 11am. We had no set times for anything, so we took our time getting up, cooking breakfast, and getting dressed. Mr. Man cooked us some eggs with cheese, and I made us some orange cinnamon rolls. Yummy! After we ate and cleaned up the kitchen, we headed back upstairs to get dressed. Mr. Man asked me what I was wearing, so I told him "sweats, a shirt, and my boots because not much more fits me." As I am sitting at my vanity doing my makeup, he walks up in sweats and a t-shirt! He says, "well I thought I would match you so you would not feel bad." I am not going to lie... it has kind of been eating me up that I can hardly fit in my clothes, which means I can not dress up like I normally do and I generally dress up everywhere we go! I laughed at him and told him thank you. He's such a sweet heart. Mr. Man got our baby boy dressed and ready, too. (We always take him to the markets with us!) We packed up the car with a grocery bag, money, and some water. When we got to the market, we went straight to the produce stands because that has been a favorite of mine lately - fresh fruits and veggies. We stocked up! I let Mr. Man grab some fresh seafood, but he was so sweet and let me choose what I thought looked appealing, too. I chose "Dover Sole" and stuffed crabs. We came across a duck stand that normally only has fresh duck eggs, but this time they had some teal. I am not a big duck fan (it's too tough for me), but he loves to make a stew with stuff like that, so he grabbed a couple. We filled up our grocery bag then brought it back to the car. I paid to park for 4 hours because we generally will get the things we want from the market, then take Buttons to the gardens to run around and we will picnic. Well, since we still had over 2.5 hours left of parking, we brought the food back to the car and went back for the gardens. The ducks and swan are out, so we sat on a bench by them and ate some ice cream. It was very relaxing. After that, we came home and did absolutely nothing. Well, I lie. Mr. Man cooked the Dover Sole, which is a fish. I heated up the stuffed crabs and roasted lots of veggies. We ate dinner and watched movies.

Sunday- We missed church because we woke up again at almost noon. (Our schedules are totally screwed up.) Mr. Man had to go to work around 5pm to take care of some business, and we needed some everyday groceries. We went and did some shopping, Mr. Man got himself a hair cut, I picked me up a new jacket for our hike, and we grabbed groceries. We walked on base for about 3 miles because it was too close to when Mr. Man needed to get to work. So we waited around for about 20 minutes, and he went and did his business at work. When he was done, we went home. I had put red beans and rice with sausage on to cook overnight on Saturday and let it cook for most of the day on Sunday. By the time we got back home, we just heated dinner, I made cornbread, and we ate and watched TV.

Today- We did a little more. We went to a river and walked with our baby boy. We walked about 5 or more miles. I forgot to look at the sign after 5 miles, so I have no clue how long we walked. We love to be in nature, and this place was pretty amazing. We brought snacks because it was during my lunch time, and we ate on a bench by the ducks and swans. It was awesome. Except for the fact that the swans were mean. Not all of them, but two of them were. They would walk up to Buttons and hiss at him. Poor little guy was just sitting on the bench by us and watching the ducks. Mr. Man would scare them away. Poor Buttons did not even care. He had no idea. But after we ate, we continued the walk. I wanted to walk the whole thing since I really want to climb Snowdon next weekend while we are in Snowdonia. I think I can do it :)

I will share a couple of pictures of today with you all. Pictures are a nice change of pace I would say!






^^^ This is the mean swan!! 


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fresh Apply Nut Bread:

Fresh Apple Nut Bread


I make tons and tons of breads during this time of year. My most asked for is my Pumpkin Bread, so I will be sure to share that one with you, too. But for now, this is the one I am baking this weekend for an event, so I thought I would share. 


I got this recipe from one of my grandma's through email when I got married. She loves to cook, and always sends me recipes! I hope you enjoy. 


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes





Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Grease and flour a 9" x 5" x 3" loaf baking pan.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Step 4: Add eggs and vanilla, and sour cream and mix well.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Step 6: Add flour mixture, a small amount at a time, to the wet mixture and stir until combined.
Step 7: Stir in chopped apples and nuts, if desired. Batter will be thick.
Step 8: Pour into a greased baking pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until done.

**To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf 5 minutes before baking time is over. When a toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.

You can also visually check if the quick bread is done by looking for a nice medium brown color and also checking that the bread has pulled away from the edges of the baking pan.

Friday, October 8, 2010

This Week:

This week has had nothing exciting happen! Mr. Man is on 12s, yet again. Well actually, only for half of the week. We have a 3 day weekend, but guess who has to go in on Sunday? Mr. Man. Wow, what's new? Absolutely NOTHING!


We are going to go to a market this weekend and pick up some fresh veggies, seafood, fruit, and olives. We are going to take the pup with us, so he can get some time out of the house. Then on Sunday, Mr. Man will tend to his business. Monday is a holiday, so we are going to do some shopping for me and the baby, which is exciting since it will be our first experience with it because Mr. Man has been so busy.

But this last week has been boring. My symptoms really have not changed much. I was able to cook and eat chicken successfully. I was scared to even attempt it, but I swallowed my fear and went with it. I am so glad I did. I get tired more often, especially when I try to do a lot in one day. My lower back has recently started aching. It has not been too bad, though. The spare bedroom is cleared out. I just need to bring the things we are donating to the charity shop. Other than that, same ole stuff.

Next week is finals. I am so excited. I have started on them way early, so I can get a break between the next classes. We are going to Snowdonia, so I do not want to have to worry about them or school. We are excited about going on a mini-vacation again because our last experience was amazing. We love lazy getaways that involve sleeping in, cooking late, watching the sunset and sun rise, letting the pup be a pup, and relaxing. We have no set plans, and we will go with the flow. Although we will go up Snowdon, unless something that we can not control stops us. Knock on wood. We do not want that to happen.

So, see why I have not really been blogging much? Nothing to say, really. But after November, there will be tons to say - once again! YAY!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blog Award/Tag You're It #2

Normally, I am behind on thanking people for the awards and sharing the love; however, this time I told myself I would not let that happen. To make sure of it, I am posting the two things in one post to guarantee I do not forget!

First, I recently received a blog award from Jenn At Chances Im Taking. If you have not checked out her blog, you should. She is the one that started up the (Mil)ing It Over, and she is absolutely amazing!

The award is:
 The rules for this award are:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. List 3 things you love about yourself.
3. Post a picture you love.
4. Pass it on.

List of 3 things I love about myself.
1. My determination to stay healthy and fit while still enjoying food.

2. I get a lot of compliments on my eyes and my smile, and I do not think they look so bad either.

3. Since my "Pouch" is a part of me, I love him/her! My "Pouch" is my baby bump that is not fully a baby bump yet. It just sounds better than pooch.

A picture I love:
Realisticly, there are a ton of pictures that I love. Every picture that I show on my blog is a picture that I adore. I thought I would show you one that you have not seen before. This one is Mr. Man was he was deployed to Qatar. Remember, that 6 month deployment that turned in to almost 8. Yea, that one! :)

Now, to pass it on. I am going to be slightly rebellious, and tell you that if you have not received this award, it's all yours now! Most of the people I follow have already received it, so I will try and spread the love elsewhere.

The next thing is that I got Tagged once again. This time from Staci at The Crafty Military Wife. The way this works is she listed 8 questions for me to answer. Then I pass it on to 8 fellow bloggers and list 8 questions for them to answer. Since I already did this once, I am going to just answer the questions. However, if you want to play along, I will list 8 questions for you to keep it going if you want!

Her Questions to Me:
1. Where do you picture yourself in 5 years? In 5 years, I will be 27. In 5 years, I will have a 4 year old. In 5 years, I have no idea where in the world we will be located, how many deployments and TDYs we will have gone through. But I can tell you some of the places I would like my future to have. I would like to have completed my Bachelor's with majority of my Master's done. I would like to have a job if I am in the states. I would like to have at least one other child. I also would like to still be a gym-aholic and still have passion for health and fitness. Other than that, I have no idea what else would be there.

2. What would you do if you won the lottery? I would pay off our house in Texas. I would pay off my student loans and pay cash for the rest of my schooling. I would put some aside for our retirement. Another big chunk for our children's futures. I would put down a down payment on two new cars since we will need to purchase new cars soon.

3. What is your favorite season? My favorite season has always been fall. I have always enjoyed cool weather and the colors of everything changing. Here in the UK, it is 100 times prettier. I also love the winters here. They are very pretty, and like I said before, I love cold weather.

4. What is your favorite sport, if any? I enjoy playing softball and basketball. I miss softball way more, though. Hopefully one weekend before I get too big, we can hit the batting cages one last time. I miss cheerleading, but some do not consider that a sport. But I can not wait until we have a little girl and I can push here in that category (if she enjoys/wants it). I like watching football and ice hockey in person, and I enjoy watching fighting on TV. I really enjoy sports.

5. Do you have any pets? Yes, I do! If you read my blog, you know I do! His name is Buttons Harley, and he is a Miniature Schnauzer. He steals everyone's hearts, and is so very sweet, cuddly, and obedient. We just recently taught him "no kids in the kitchen" rule. We do not even put up a gate or anything. He just lays at the kitchen entrance and watches us. Totally content. 


6. Where is one place you hope to go in your lifetime? Places I would really like to travel is Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Wales, Spain, Belgium, Greece, and Egypt. France if we have the extra time, and Jamaica at some point later on. In two weeks, we are going to Wales. In November, we are going to Ireland. In December/January, we are hoping to go to Germany. We have travelled a lot around the UK, too. My biggest place in life that I would like to go is.... making a difference, being successful, and achieving all that I have ever dreamed of.

7. Can you describe your dream home? Not really, but I will try. We want an Acadian Style house that we designed and had built. It must have at least 4 bedrooms with 2 or 3 full bathrooms and 1 bathroom with just a toilet and sink close to the front door for all those times Mr. Man comes in the door all muddy and stinky from fishing and hunting. I would like a lot of land for animals, maybe a pond. Maybe an outside pool, maybe not. If you can not tell, I am "iffy" on a lot of things, but I have plenty of time to decide! 12 more years, at least.

8. Do you have any blogging secrets or tips to share? I do not have any secrets or tips. I wish I did, but sadly I blog strictly about my life and the things surrounding me. But you have any tips, feel free to share!

Like I said before, this game is fun and it is interesting to see what other people have to say. So if you want to play, just leave a comment going to your blog where you answered my questions, so I can read what you had to say.

My Questions to You:
1. What is your favorite color and why?
2. What is your definition of dressing up? Give an example of one of your outfits you would choose.
3. What is your favorite snack food?
4. If you have children, what is your fondest memory of them? If no children, how about your pet? If no pet, how about your spouse? If no spouse, I give up!
5. If you could get a degree in anything (money and time was not an issue), what would you choose?
6. Do you like seafood? If you have never tried a type of seafood, would you if someone swore it was yummy?
7. Do you recycle? Do you wish it was more convenient to recycle (speaking of stateside)?
8. What is one piece of advice you would share with your kids, family, or close friends that you have learned in your life thus far?

I hope you have loads of fun. Don't forget - if you decide to play along, please let me know so I can go read your answers!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

5 Top Tips to Remove Stains from Carpets and Rugs (Guest Post)


5 Top Tips to Remove Stains from Carpets and Rugs

Ok it might not be the coolest subject area to talk about BUT one topic that every homeowner has an interest in (even if they are too cool to read about it) is how to remove stains from carpets and rugs. I recently experienced this on two separate occasions. One as a result of a house party and the other an accidental slip of the hand on a quiet night at home – Either way stains on a carpet or rug can be very stressful to remove and hard to get them back to their original glory.


To help everyone else I thought I would put together a quick top 5 tip list that will hopefully act as a small guide to remove all types of stains from your home, ranging from spaghetti bolognese to the dreaded red wine.
1.       Don’t just sit there when it happens and put your hand to your mouth – it is very important to act immediately and soak up as much of the liquid or food stain as possible. For this process ensure you use a soft absorbent material like a towel or napkin, preferably white as this will show how much of the stain is being soaked up. Unfortunately, the longer the stain remains in the carpet, the more permanently it sets into it.

2.       If you notice the stain after the sin was committed, your first instinct is to try to rub the stain off – DON’T.  Make sure you NEVER scrub or brush the stain; scrubbing will harm the fibres and can lead to an adverse reaction of making the stain set in to the carpet or rug.

3.       This is more common sense than a tip but not a lot of people follow this stage of the process. Try to pre-test any removal agent you are using on an inconspicuous area of the rug or carpet. Always follow the instructions carefully. If the stain resides on a rug with various colours ensure you apply a few drops to each colour in the rug. Press and hold a clean, white towel or napkin lightly over it for approximately 30 seconds. Check both the towel (and napkin) and the rug for colour transfer, colour change or any other damage.

4.       If you can ALWAYS try to work from the edges of the stain towards the centre of the spot to prevent it from spreading. This is one of the most common problems people encounter when trying to remove a stain. Continue this process as long as the stain is producing residue onto the towel.

5.       You have made it this far so just one more step to give you the best chance of removing your stain. Lastly, after the spill has been removed completely, run some warm water and rinse the affected area. Continue to press dry the affected area to remove the cleaning solution completely as any remaining residue that is left will soak up dirt and cause damage to the carpet. When you are blotting up the water ensure you use clean dry towels and weight them down by flat, heavy objects like a book. Do not over wet the affected area as this may cause damage to the rug.

This article was written in association with The Rug House. The Rug House sell a large range of high quality rugs including large rugs and washable rugs across the UK and Ireland.