Monday, January 31, 2011

More PCS woes...

Sorry for being such a downer lately...

However, I thought I should share this so you can learn from our mistake. Before we were married, the fiance got a new truck through the cash-for-clunkers program, which ended up being a great deal for the piece of junk he was driving around. Since he didn't have the cash to pay for it in full he ended up taking out a loan through SunTrust. He had borrowed money from them before, so there was no "red flag" in turning to them for a car loan.

Well, the past two weeks we've run into many "red flags" to put it lightly. Because we are taking the car overseas evidently they think we're going to try to get out of paying back the rest of our loan or something? It's been ridiculous, we are on our 4th trip to the loan office, 8th written document because they've been nitpicking the heck out of the prior 7 that they "required" from him. Not to mention that between the 2nd & 3rd visit there was a 5 business day mandatory wait for him to get approved? Yet during the 5 days something changed requiring more documentation and they didn't even have the decency to call him and tell him about the new requirement!

The first and main issue I understood- his orders were for two months later, so he needed to give him the new orders for the closer departure date. Done & done. Then they kept throwing stuff in our face, ie: we needed to set up a direct deposit to ensure they got their money (done), we needed a notarized letter signed from his CO saying we were actually leaving the state on military orders (are you kidding me!? Done.), we needed the insurance policy number for the truck showing it would be transferred to our new location (uh, hello it's USAA- they go where we go, done.), and on and on until we hit the 8th document! Quite the ordeal.

Like I said, learn from our mistake. Since you never really know where your next PCS will take you be sure to choose the military safe, friendly, and understanding of a reputable place such as USAA or Navy Federal for your loans.

And SunTrust, I hope you know that once we arrive at our new location- we will be refinancing our truck through USAA. You just lost some reliable customers.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Please be helpful.

Goodness gracious...
Preparing for training and a PCS at the same time sure can be frustrating.

Dear Mr. Cashier @ Henderson Hall's Uniform Shop,
We drove 45min to get to you, through DC no less! We had our 604 form for husband to get his 2 extra sets of cammies for training. Yet you wouldn't even look at it once you saw that the supplier # wasn't there (everything else was, FAN #, CO, and a signature). You simply turned us away! Telling us to come back tomorrow. Seriously?

Dear Mrs. Cashier @ Bethesda's Uniform Shop,
Thank you so much for being willing to look up the supplier's # for my husband's shop. Thank you for taking the few minutes out of your day to help us get the uniforms he needed for the training he will be attending.

Dear Bethesda,
Or National Naval Medical Center or Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Get it together already! Every time I step through those doors something has changed, moved, or disappeared all together. I realize you're going through an identity crisis as well as on-going construction but I feel that it's a bit ridiculous that inpatient & outpatient (dependents/active duty) medical records are located in four different places!

What a day.
It's getting so close!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard Bloghop

Currently, this is my backyard:

While I would love to go outside and take wintry photos, I feel like this:

So, I figured why not join in?
Blizzard  Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 Diva

For those of you who are stopping by for the first time, I'm known as "Skinnie" around these parts. There's some background about that here, but basically I'm a 20-something Marine wife currently undergoing our (my) first PCS. Goodness gracious can it be stressful. I'm originally from AZ and will always consider myself a "Zonie," I miss the dry heat, humidity baffles not only my mind but my body!

I'm still trying to grasp the military lifestyle, as I said before this will be our first PCS as a married couple, before he just moved barracks to barracks. Previous to the actual PCS he'll be going through a month long training while I head home to allow adequate time for our household goods and car to get over the ocean, we had to give away our sweet little piggies (the other half of my blog's name) just last week for the move. Times are changing quickly!

I have yet to experience a deployment, however I know it is looming in the near-ish future. It is inevitable... but I don't like to think about it. Many of my friends are going through them at the moment and my heart hurts for them and their children.

Anyway, enough of the sadness. I write about military experiences, goofy times, recipes, and more. I hope you'll join me in my adventure!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baking, cooking, food galore!

Goodness gracious, I love baking.
(it's also time to clear out the pantry for the PCS)

I don't know if it's like therapy for me, or if I just like being adventurous, or if I make things simply because they look delicious and I HAVE to try them... either way... baking happens a lot around my house. This is good & bad. Good because I discover new things, bad because... well... you can only eat so much "junk" before it catches up to you.

The funny part is, I'll eat a certain amount of what I bake... hubby eats even less, and then it sits there on the counter/stove/in the tupperware (hubs used to take leftovers to work, but all the Marines in his shop are on this uber-fitness kick). So, the new rule is I can only bake for events or if guests are coming over (which I generally did anyway).

Do not mistake my love for baking for us eating unhealthy... no-sir-ee! I love cooking as well... give me some fresh veggies, meats, and a pot of rice/potatoes and be prepared to be amazed! Okay, okay, that's stepping over the line. Neither my cooking nor my baking are anywhere near amazing. But, I do love trying out new recipes.

Within the last week we've had:
  • Spaghetti with homemade turkey meatballs, and "cheaters" homemade garlic bread
  • Chicken with an orange glaze complete with freshly sauteed onions accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes
  • Buffalo chicken with freshly steamed broccoli & rice
  • Ground turkey tacos
  • Pot Roast with red potatoes, carrots, celery, & onions
For the baking:
What can I say... the "Skinnie's" love food.
I guess that's a bit ironic.

This is a good resource for foods to eat. Although I don't entirely agree with everything, and there is NO way I can afford "organic" or "free-range.'

What are some of your favorite things to bake/cook?
How hard is it for you to keep a healthy diet with the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life... I know that some days I just don't want to cook at all and wish I could just pop something into the microwave... lame.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A rifle, in bed?

Back story: We had gone to the range this weekend, so the guns were out in the "man-cave" awaiting to be taken apart and cleaned to perfection.

Hubs had a long day at work, we made dinner together then he must have gone upstairs and passed out on the futon as I was washing the dishes. Once I was done I walked into the "man-cave" and woke him up so he could get ready for bed. Instead he grabbed me and we ended up having a nice conversation cuddling on the futon until...

I saw something crawling on the ceiling in the corner of the room.

Me- EWWW, Is that another spider?
Hubs- I dunno let me check.
*reaches over the side of the futon and retrieves his rifle*
Me- Seriously?
Hubs- Well I can see it through the scope!
Me- *rolling eyes* ...only a Marine.
Then we both started cracking up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hit the wall.

UGH. How does everyone do this every 2-4yrs?!

First of all, I have only been here since Nov. '09 while hubs has been here since Aug. '07. It's time for him to move... but I'm not ready. At all. I finally know where I am going without the GPS, I had a great job, an amazing group of friends, and an awesome church. You know it takes time to get all of that, then you enjoy it for awhile, then move. Nope, I stopped at the "it takes time to get all that" part.

Now I am less than 2wks from TMO arriving and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. THIS SUCKS.

I don't even have children.
My guinea pigs aren't coming.
Just me & hubby.

Although we are doing some crazy separation thing right before the actual move: him training, me going home, then coming back and living with friends then going to our next duty station together. Sheesh.

Talk about complicated.
This is frustrating.

What can I do to make it easier?
How do you handle these moments?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Hate Calling the Cops.

Let me be the first one to say that I am not normally the "nosy neighbor." People deal with problems and issues differently, I mean we live in townhouses... the walls aren't that thick we've heard yelling and I'm sure the neighbors have heard us a time or two.

Anyway... yesterday was my clean, organize, do the laundry, and downsize for the move day. I was upstairs going through my craft supplies when there was a knock on the door. I went down and it ended up being UPS, so I grabbed the package and was about to go inside when I noticed 2 women, a soldier, a dog running around without a leash, and a small child walking down the middle of our street... this isn't highly unusual but we do have sidewalks and the people in the middle of the street are usually kids on bikes or skateboards.

Five minutes later I grabbed my clothes from the dryer and walk to the couch where I fold them, my couch is directly in front of the window, and I like to keep the blinds open during the day to let the sun in. I heard it before I looked up to see it... the women were screaming. So naturally I glance up and that same group is now fighting over the little boy! Literally pulling him from all sides, at one point his pants flew off causing the woman who was holding him to stumble backwards and fall, then the other lady tackled them while they were on the ground. I had enough, I ran upstairs to grab my phone and dialed 911.

Evidently I wasn't alone... it was loud, people were standing on their front porches, middle of the street/parking lot is not exactly the ideal place to fight over your child's custody. The detectives stayed late into the evening interviewing witnesses, the victims (little boy's) neighbor actually told us that the cops showed up right in time because one of the women pulled a gun on the other!

Scary times.
People are crazy.
That poor little boy...

Monday, January 17, 2011

My babies...

We believe this is our last full week with Twix & Beans.

Technically it doesn't HAVE to be, but we want the little guys to be able to settle in to their new home without so many drastic things going on around them before we give them to our friends (ie: movers, hotel, etc).

We got our "guinea pig permits" (I'm not kidding!) and were prepared to take the boys with us! We knew it would cost a fair amount and would take a little juggling, involving driving across the country to my parents and ultimately having them drop them off at the airline after we had a house lined up. However, after a ridiculous ordeal with airlines and attempting to plan different ways to get them over the ocean that were ultimately over-priced with no guarantee for their safety/well-being... I'm so blessed that my friend Michelle fell in love with the little guys. Last monday she came over to get the "guinea pig rundown." We changed their playpen, cut their nails, bathed them, washed their water bottles, cleaned out their cages, and went over a list of recommended food.

It doesn't make it any easier.

I know, I know, they are just animals. Just pets.

But to me, they are different. They are there for me when I get home from work and hubby is working late/has duty. Beans gets ready with me in the mornings... he runs around the bedroom floor while I get dressed and then sits on the bathroom counter while I do my hair & make-up. Twix is a little cuddle-bug, he will sit with you on the couch for the entire duration of a movie. Best of all, you can talk and talk and talk to them, and they just sit and listen then cuddle with you afterward.

They are my little babies.

Hubby has promised that (if I choose) we can get another piggie once we're all settled into our new home. This is nice and all, and if I feel right then I will... but right now I just want these piggies, my piggies. =/

Friday, January 14, 2011

Orange Rum Zum

So... with the upcoming PCS, I've been:
  • ONLY buying- fruits/veggies, meats, milk/juice
  • USING anything/everything in the cupboards
I have WAY too many cake mixes (10 for $10 sale awhile back) and hubby threw a guys night a month ago and we managed to accumulate a whole lotta alcohol.

Enter one of my mom's lovely bridal shower gifts to me: "The Cake Mix Doctor." I LOVE this book, it takes a simple cake mix and turns it into something amazing!

I made this yesterday afternoon to take to our Bible Study that evening, the result- Everyone raved & wanted the recipe.

Orange Rum Zum

  • Vegetable spray & Flour for misting/dusting pan I used crisco spray & whole wheat flour
  • 1 package (18.25oz) plain yellow cake mix I actually used classic white
  • 1 package (3.4oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice (approx 5 oranges) or from carton I used Simply Orange
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest I used 2
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  1. Make sure rack is in the center of the oven, pre-heat to 350*
  2. Lightly mist your bundt pan with vegetable spray then dust with flour- shake out excess flour
  3. Place cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, melted butter, rum, eggs, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Blend with a hand mixer on low speed for 1min, stop and scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula. Then on medium speed beat for 2min. The batter should be thick and smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with spatula. Place in oven.
  5. Bake for 45-50min, until it springs back when lightly touched and has just begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Remove from oven, place (in pan) on a wire cooling rack for 20min.
  7. Run a long knife around the edges, invert onto serving tray to finish cooling.
  8. Prepare the glaze- place butter, sugar, rum, & orange juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 2min. Remove from heat.
  9. Poke holes in the top of the cake with toothpick/wooden skewer.
  10. Spoon the warm glaze over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides and center.
  11. Cool completely before slicing.
This cake can be stored at room temperature covered in plastic for 4 days. In the refrigerator for 1wk, or frozen wrapped in foil for 6mo (thaw cake overnight in refrigerator before serving.)


The orange slices on top were my little addition... I sprinkled them with sugar then baked them in my toaster oven for 20min at 225* (draining the foil they were on every 5min).


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


There is absolutely no denying that I am an avid TOMS fan... I own three pairs. I love the "one for one" movement. As far as I know TOMS was the first company to start a program like this and even more amazing was how it started from the ground-up... it wasn't an established company, it was one man's dream.

Which is why Airwalk's Good Shoe Project kind of irks me...

Not for the reason you may think either.

I don't care that they are giving shoes to children in need... EVERY child deserves a pair of shoes, especially in third world countries where simply having shoes solves many health problems! I absolutely LOVE that they are donating through World Vision, my parents actually sponsor multiple children through them. (My husband and I sponsor through Compassion).

It's not that Airwalk is giving back, it's the way they went about it. Even if they wanted to do a "one for one" type of giving, did they really need to COPY the shoe style from TOMS? That is what irks me.

Take a look:

I can personally say that I won't be purchasing these Airwalks... they are not comfortable to me (and in my personal opinion-not made to the same quality standards) compared to TOMS. I do own other Airwalks, mainly dress shoes. I realize TOMS are more expensive... ranging from $49-$99, while these shoes only cost $19.99. So for those who would like to own a pair of shoes while giving back to children in need this can be much more reasonable.

I guess I just don't like how they went about it.
Your thoughts?

Monday, January 10, 2011

"I'm Not Alright"

Last week the news wasn't good to me.
Not that the majority of the news is ever good.

Remember those incendiary devices that were all over CNN?
Well, we currently live pretty darn close to some of those government buildings.

Arizona has had not one, but two shootings within the last week?
That is my home. My home that has been on the news WAY to often lately, not for anything good either.

Or how about all of the birds just falling out of the sky?
The mass amounts of fish that have shown up floating?

What on earth is going on?
I don't understand.

In the middle of all this craziness, I have to figure out how to sell my car, make sure all my household goods are ready, get my medical items in order, give away our baby piggies *sigh*, and so much more... I am struggling thinking about starting over again. How come every time you finally feel like you fit in, it's time to leave? It seems to have always been that way for me- high school, university, my internship with the Coast Guard, my time here at this location.

It's at these times I have to remember to turn to God...

If weakness is a wound
That no one wants to speak of
Then “cool” is just how far we have to fall

I am not immune
I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall

Can I lose my need to impress?
If you want the truth, I need to confess

I’m not all right
I’m broken inside
And all I go through
It leads me to you

Burn away the pride
Bring me to my weakness
Until everything I hide behind is gone

And when I’m open wide
With nothing left to cling to
Only you are there to lead me on

Honestly, I’m not that strong

And I move closer to you

I’m not all right…that’s why I need you

~"Not Alright," Sanctus Real

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year. New Rules.

Hey everyone,
You may be noticing some changes around here...
  • posts being deleted
  • pictures disappearing
  • messed up layout (will be done soon... be sure to grab the link to my new button)

Here's why...
  • We are PCSing
  • Hubby's new location, he can't have pictures floating around the open internet.

Don't be sad for me.
I have a personal blog for my family's eyes only.
So things deleted here won't affect us.

Hope you have all had a great start to the new year!