Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve in DC: Part #2 National Christmas Tree

After the ICE! event, we jumped back into the car and headed for the White House... sadly we forgot to swing by the Capitol building to see the other tree... but it was still fun.

We found street parking for free after driving around the block a couple times, then we hit up a street vendor for some much needed hot chocolate, and we were on our way to the White House! The National Christmas Tree and the Pathway to Peace sit in front of the White House on the Ellipse.

It was quite a site! We even found our home-state trees... check out the photos:

I would never voluntarily live where we do... but I am grateful that I've been able to see so many great things while being here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve in DC: Part #1 ICE!

Since DC is a close enough drive from where we are, we thought it would be fun to hang out down there after church service on Christmas Eve. There was a lot more traffic getting into the city than we thought there would be, but it was a fun-filled evening.

We decided to once again buy tickets for ICE! this year... they are VERY sold out and the prices went up from last year (not really surprising considering what an instant hit the event became) so needless to say we were VERY grateful for military discount.

I saw many small children (I'm talking infant-5yr olds here), my husband and I agreed that if we actually lived in the area, we probably wouldn't take the kids until they were old enough to remember. Kind of like our views on Disneyland... too much money for a memory they won't have. Who knows, maybe your view on that changes once you actually have children?

Here are a few shots from the event:

If you are in the area and can get tickets, I once again would recommend you go. It is quite a sight to see!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crazy Weekend

So in my last post I talked about my attempt at driving in snow... and how my husband was probably going to be irritated about taking me to get groceries...

When he got home he was completely soaked.

I knew he was doing a CFT, but I didn't know it would be for 3.5hrs outside in the 16* snowy weather...

Either did he.
It wasn't suppose to take that long.
Evidently their hands were freezing up doing the ammo lifts.
The cold air made their lungs burn while running.
Any spit/snot (sorry) was icing up.

He took a hot shower while I made a complete list of items we needed until Christmas... we decided to trek to the Wal*Mart supercenter instead of on base (there had been 2 accidents near the closest gate to our house) so we could get everything... groceries, guinea pig supplies, etc.

What I didn't know... after his shower he put on 4 layers of clothing, 4! Yes, it was freezing outside, but you have to understand-my husband is a heater. I wrap myself up in fleece blankets +the sheet/comforter, and cuddle up to him in order to sleep at night. He's lucky if he uses the comforter!

Post Wal*Mart trip & dinner, I notice he was still wearing all of his clothes and shivering... he also looked completely exhausted. He went up to bed at 8pm and I called my dad (who is an EMT). After telling him symptoms we figured out he had mild hypothermia.

I ended up waking him up EVERY hour that night to check his heart rate, his breathing, and his temperature. Needless to say, I didn't sleep. At 6am, I had enough... his breathing/heart rate were fine but his temperature was still 95.7* I sent him to medical... they told us the same thing:"He has mild hypothermia, this weekend he is NOT to go outside. Keep him warm, feed him soups and hot beverages but stay away from caffeine it slows the bodies ability to heat itself."

The exact same things my dad told me.

So this weekend was "simple."
If we did go anywhere, I started the car and warmed it up before he even ventured outside. We got to hang out with a friend visiting his wife after being stationed in Japan for 2mo. Then we enjoyed a movie night with another couple of friends, Finally, we went to church... so... he was only outside to get in/out of cars, and I've NEVER seen my husband wear this many layers of clothing or be so cold before.

I'm so glad he's doing better now...
Praise the Lord.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugar overload? & I'm home!

I'm sure you are all experiencing a sugar overload from my 9 Days of Christmas Cookies, but anyways...

Just wanted to say that I'm back from sunny, warm AZ (I'm not cool enough for guest bloggers, or maybe I just didn't plan ahead enough, so the cookies were what you got!)... and as beautiful as the white stuff falling outside my window is... I HATE DRIVING IN SNOW. My little manual sports car does as well, I had all my Christmas shopping planned out for the day. Half way through I called it quits and prayed the entire way back to my house. I made it (obviously) but not without fish tailing 6 times, and a ridiculous curb bump on the OPPOSITE side of the road turning into my neighborhood (fyi: I was turning right, SO glad there weren't any cars going the other way).

I didn't get to the commissary... we were gone for 9 days... we have no food. My husband is not going to be happy when he gets home since he's going to have to drive me there in his truck =(

This is what I left:

{not edited!}

This is what I came home to:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day #9 Buckeyes


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 bags wilton chocolate candy melts
Using hands mix together butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Shape into balls and place on cookie sheets. Freeze for approx. 10min.

Melt chocolate in microwave (1/2 bag at a time, 45-60sec, do not overcook!).

Using a toothpick, dip frozen peanut balls in chocolate to resemble a buckeye. Set on wax paper until chocolate hardens.

Yields- 100

My husband probably cringed when this post was created...
being a die-hard Michigan fan and all...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day #8 Sandtarts


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (set aside white part for later)
  • assorted sprinkles
Heat oven to 350*

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk and mix well. Add flour and baking powder- mixing in by hand. Split dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45min.

Roll onto floured surface and cut into shapes. Mix the egg white with a small amount of milk, brush over shapes and add sprinkles.

Bake 10-12min.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day #7 Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar +more for rolling
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
Heat oven to 325*

Mix all ingredients until a crumbly dough forms. With hands, shape into 1in balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20min watching closely until just set, do not let them brown!

Slightly cool on cookie sheet, roll in powdered sugar and place on wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, roll in powdered sugar a second time.

Yields 36-48

These were my contribution to the cookie exchange, a tradition for Christmas that I am carrying on from my grandma! I miss her so much.

Here are a few more yummy photos:

Melt in your mouth goodness.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day #6 Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar +extra for rolling
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 24 large marshmallows
Heat oven to 350*

Beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar in large bowl until lights and fluffy. Beat in corn syrup, egg, and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl- add to butter mixture. Beat until well blended. Cover and refrigerate dough for 15min, until firm enough to roll into balls.

Place extra sugar in a shallow dish. Roll tablespoon sized (1in) balls of dough in sugar to coat. Place cookies 3in apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10-12min until set. Remove and cool on wire rack.

To assemble sandwiches, place one marshmallow on flat side of one cookie on a paper plate. Microwave on high for 12sec or until marshmallow just begins to melt. Immediately place another cookie, flat side down, on top of hot marshmallow, press together slightly.

Yields- approx. 2 dozen.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day #5 Old Fashioned Snickerdoodles

Old Fashioned Snickerdoodles

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 375*

In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on med-high speed for 30sec. Add 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tarter. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined, add flour. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour- or until easily handled.

Combine 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon.Shape dough into 1in balls, roll balls in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place 2in apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10-11min until edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day #4 Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chunks
Heat oven to 375*

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chunks. Drop by tablespoon on to an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 9-11min until golden brown. Let cool for 2 min on cookie sheet, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day #3 Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies

Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies

  • 1 pouch (1lb 15oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 package (12oz) of dark chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375*

In a large bowl stir cookie mix, butter, orange extract, and egg until a soft dough forms. Stir in apricots until blended. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookies sheets 2in apart.

Bake 8-10min until edges are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cook on cookie sheet for 3min before removing to cool completely on wire rack.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips are melted. Dip each cookie halfway into melted chocolate, letting excess drip off. OR drizzle chocolate over the top of cookies. Place on waxed paper and let stand until chocolate is set, at least 2 hours. To quickly set chocolate, refrigerate cookies 15 minutes. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day #2 Traditional Sugar Cookies

Traditional Sugar Cookies

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter - softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 375*

In a small bowl mix all dry ingredients together, set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until completely smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoon fulls of dough into balls, place on ungreased cookies sheets.

Bake 8-10min until golden. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2min then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day #1 Soy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12oz chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350*

Cream brown sugar, white sugar, and butter. Add the soy milk slowly, cream well. Then add vanilla. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add to creamed mix. Finally mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 8-10min.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

9 Days of Christmas Cookies!

9 whole days of Christmas Cookie Recipes?

It's true! Why?
I just attended an AWESOME cookie/recipe swap!

Check out the goods:

Are your taste-buds watering yet?

All of the sweet-sugary goodness will begin tomorrow!

On the menu:
I love my friends.
They spoil me. We always have fun.
Sad I'm moving soon because I will miss them.
However, I will not miss this state [a whole other post needed for this...]

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Postponed & I'm okay with it!

First- Thanks to EVERYONE who gave me amazing tips for PCSing =)

Now, onto the story. TMO was originally scheduled to do our assessment earlier this month. Then come back Dec 1-2 to pack up our house {aka: NOW!}. Three-ish weeks ago hubby's orders got pushed back, why? Well... he's going to do some special training a couple states away for a month come this spring. So, TMO will come in the spring instead...

I am SO happy about this! I mean it stinks that things got pushed back after I mentally prepared myself for all of the crazy changes, no holiday decorating, and living with friends that was going to take place, but here are my reasons for being happy:
  • For my husband, he's been waiting for this training for over a year. (even though it's kind of scary training...)
  • While he's gone I'm moving home, which seems silly to go all the way across the country with my car for only a month & a half... but there are multiple reasons for this as well:
    1) Driving the guinea pigs to fly out from AZ because it will be too cold here.
    2) I get to spend a lot of time with the family/friends before moving across the ocean.
    3) I am the MOH for my best friend, and the time I am going home was already planned for her wedding events, ie: bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, etc.
    4) Hubby will most likely be able to attend the wedding, before it would have cost too much for both of us to fly back, and after just checking in at a new duty station he didn't think he could take leave anyway.
    5) My dad has offered to sell my car, it's registered in my home state anyway.
    6) I can got to decorate for Christmas!! (not to mention live in my own house)
Things will be a bit tricky with TMO & the car shipping company right before we both leave, but it also means we only have to send one shipment. Then the last couple of weeks when we both come back here, our friends have offered up their guest room for us. Since I won't have a job I offered to cook/clean in return. They are both very busy so I think that will be a good "payment" of sorts.

This doesn't happen often, but- "Thank you Marine Corps." I'm sure things can will change, but as of right now all the travel except our final departure date has been set and he has all the orders written/printed out.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Luggage & Traveling

The holiday season always seems to equate travel, so between that and our upcoming PCS, I would absolutely love to get my husband and I new luggage sets! It most likely won't happen considering we've already bought plane tickets and gifts so we're a little low on $$$, but hey, a girl can dream right? =)

Check out these:

Caribbean Joe - Coral Reed - 5 pieceI definitely wouldn't lose these at the airport!

CalPak - Palm Springs - 3 piece
I absolutely love brown and tropical flowers, so this set is awesome!

Traveler's Choice - Two-Toned Navy - 4 piece

My husband loves simple & navy blue, so these would be great for him.

Britto Collection - Spinner Case - 4 piece

Alright, so I absolutely love the randomness of these, however I'm not sure if I would ever own a hard case set. I've always had soft/expandable. Anyone have a preference?

Hope your holiday travels are everything you had dreamed of and your luggage doesn't let you down {or get lost along the way!} =)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reasons Why...

We don't have children.
  1. Obviously #1 is the fact we've only been married for a year.
  2. I'm terrified of pregnancy/delivering. Yes, I'm serious. Does that make me a terrible woman?
  3. We enjoy sleeping through the night... aka: not getting woken up at 12am, 3am, and 5:30am.
  4. When you need to use the bathroom/shower there isn't banging and screaming coming from the other side of the door.
  5. All of your breakable items (ie: candles, glass decorations, vases) don't have to take up all of the counter space in your tiny kitchen to avoid being broken.
  6. We've never had to clean our nice TV- until we got sticky hand prints on it...
  7. Weights are for working out, not dropping off the first stair onto the tile floor.
  8. Guinea pigs nibble on fingers that smell/taste like food- which ensures screaming & crying.
  9. We can actually find the remote control and it isn't covered in spit...
  10. We can go where we want, when we want. Yeah it sounds selfish.
We love our little nephew. But whew... quite a handful! Now to figure out where everything is, so I can put my house back together...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

235th USMC Ball? Oops...

Uh, yeah... the ball was exactly two weeks ago (10th) and I managed to skip over telling you all about it! My apologies, although I know that most Marine Corps SO's will already know most of this.

Rumored to have been made by "Ace of Cakes."

To begin the ceremony the Honor Guard marched in followed by the special guests and guest of honor, then the Color Guard presented the flags. Afterwords the Chaplain offered a prayer for the group, the food, and the remembrance- I absolutely love that this is still part of the tradition, that prayer is still allowed, and at the number of "Amens" we heard all around the room. This year they paid a special tribute to the Korean Veterans with a video from the commandant... After the video the guest of honor spoke and then the cake was brought in, per tradition the first piece is cut with a sword then given to the guest of honor. A second piece is cut and given to the oldest Marine in the room- who then gives the piece to the youngest Marine (this year born in 1991! whoa!). When the cake detail left, the "Missing Man" table was presented and described. At this time the drummer and bagpiper came in... I did my best to hold back tears. I think bagpipes are the saddest yet most honorable instrument next to the trumpet for honoring those that have left us. Once the remembrance and formalities were completed dinner and dessert were served followed by dancing. It was a fun night, we won the glass pitcher centerpiece at our table, which has "235th Marine Corps Birthday Ball" and an EGA etched into it. We each received a bottle opener saying the same thing with Iwo Jima images on the back.

I'm the furthest one to your right.
{click to view larger}

Sunday, November 21, 2010

USMC Ladies- *Please Look*

Hello ladies!
With Christmas literally right around the corner (can you believe Thanksgiving is on Thursday?!), product lines changing, and my upcoming PCS, I have decided to throw a HUGE sale on my remaining inventory. I'm sorry I only have USMC items in-stock still...

Check out these beauties:For prices and ordering information, please follow this link!

These make great gifts and are a fun & fashionable way to show support for your marine.
Or for female marines to show their pride while "off-duty."

*Note- if you are one of the women who find these bags distasteful please just close out my blog and don't leave nasty comments. To each their own. Thank you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Photo Contest, entry #4

Fall Foto Contest

This is my fourth entry to this contest. The sun finally came out here... I was so excited! This was taken at the playground in our community.

[click to view in higher resolution]

Please go here, view all the entries and vote for your favorite!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Veterans Stories - WINNER

Well... the votes are in!



Congratulations Lauren!
Everyone should go check out her blog:

An e-mail was sent your way lady =)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lemon Fresh

I am beginning to think I have an obsession with lemon... although, it's been a long time coming... when I was little (like baby-toddler) I would take all of the lemons from the water glasses around the table and eat them straight up! No joke. =)

Lemon Pepper Chicken is a frequent dish at our house.

I have a "fresh lemon" candle in the kitchen.
I also have a citrus fresh reed diffuser in the kitchen.

Besides Coconut Lime Verbena, Kitchen Lemon hand sanitizer is usually in one of my purses/work bags.
I cannot get enough lemonade, regular, pink, mango... whatever. Lemon iced tea & Arnold Palmer's are also on the top of my list!! (I don't drink soda)
If these are not in the freezer... my husband may throw a fit. Which is perfectly fine with me, haha.
I am also pretty much addicted to any lemon-esque candy:

I found this recipe this afternoon, I am almost certain these cookies will be made by next week. #1- lemon, hello! #2- shortbread, I love shortbread cookies. {remember these shortbread truffles I made?}


So ladies...
Any fruit you are especially fond of?
Or am I just a total weirdo?