Saturday, December 31, 2011

One last post for 2011

Dear 2011,

You've been good to me.
While you were around, I finished my teaching degree.
I had a baby girl.
I got a new car.
Sure, there were some bad things along the way...
but all the good outweighs the bad.
I can only hope that 2012 can be as good as you.

Love,
Jamie

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Casualty of War

Has your heart ever broken for someone you didn't even know?

Mine has.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

If you haven't noticed, I've been in kind of a blogging funk.
It doesn't help that I'm working all of the time
AND
the holidays are here.
Maybe I'll come back soon...
until then
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas is coming....

There are lots of new items in my shop...
Perfect for all the little divas girls in your life.
Have you started shopping yet?
Because these would make great stocking stuffers.
Or these.
And what good is a bunch of bows without a cute bow holder?
Save 15% this week with code LOYAL15

email me at jaksart@rocketmail.com for custom bow orders!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For rent

We recently found out that when Aaron leaves for training, I won't be able to go with him. I knew that I wouldn't get to see him very much, but I at least thought that they would allow us housing. Apparently not.
Our lease at our current apartment is up in July & I won't be able to stay here longer because they require tenants to sign a 12 month lease. I know his training won't last that long, so I'm not going to even bother.
Not to mention my job is a whole hour away, so I might as well just move back 'home' temporarily, right?
This is where it gets sticky.
As of right now, on the days that I work, my grandmother keeps Adelei for me, & then we spend the night so I won't have to commute an hour each way. Which was fine when I was only working 3 days a week. But now that I'm working 5 days a week & every other Saturday...it's getting a little stressful. I think she still sees me as a child even though I am an adult with my own child. I love her & value her opinion, but I don't think I can emotionally handle staying there FULL time & not having an escape.
As of now, I will continue doing it this way because I refuse to pay rent on two apartments. But once our lease ends in Troy & Aaron leaves for training, I was thinking about getting an apartment closer to my job & to my grandmother.
Part of me is scared to even mention this to her because I don't want to upset her.
I need help! I need advice! Have any of you been in a similar situation?
What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Food

Last night Adelei tried green beans for the first time.
Other than not understanding the spoon, she really liked them!

Please tell me it gets easier [the transition from bottle to spoon]!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Things are getting weird

I know that kids toys are supposed to be silly, and sometimes they don't make a lot of sense, but this thing
....RIDICULOUS.
I saw a commercial for this while watching Adventure Time today, and all I could do was sit there with my mouth open wide wonder if I had just seen a faux commercial.
But after seeing it for the third time in less than an hour, I realized that it was a real toy. Or game. Whatever.
All I know is, I would never spend money on a toy for my kid where the whole purpose is to watch it poop.
We have a real dog for that.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh, pinterest.

For a while, I ignored the pinterest fad.
My sister kept telling me how addicting it was, & I knew I didn't have time to get addicted to something else.
But then I caved.
& She wasn't lying.
I think I spent several hours the first day just looking at pins & repinning.
I got so excited, I mean really...I was SO inspired.
Almost 3 weeks later & I'm still enjoying it.
I'm not as addicted as I was [I don't have time to be!], but I love getting new recipes, new home ideas, craft ideas, etc.

So here are some of the things I've tried:

This stuff was awesome [if you like spicy + seafood]. You could definitely tone down the heat [just don't add as much Sriracha] and I'm pretty sure this stuff would be just as good with chicken!

I love love love lo mein, & this was it's spicy cousin. Instead of angel hair pasta, I actually used chow mein noodles. Also, instead of red pepper flakes, I used ground red pepper. SUPER SPICY, just the way I like it. If you don't like real spicy food, stick w. pepper flakes & use less than 1tbls.

I've made crab rangoon so many times I can't count. It's always so delicious. The only way I've ever cooked it was by frying it. So, my inner wanna be health nut jumped at the chance to try it baked. DISASTER. Seriously. I know the filling was good. The wrappers just don't taste good to me baked. Maybe it's a texture thing, but it's most definitely a taste thing & it was NOT right. Try at your own risk.

It took me 3 different times to get this to work for me. Regardless, I now have cute nails. Even if they will only last a few days.

What are some things that you've seen on pinterest & actually tried? Did it turn out how you expected?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

4 months


Time is flying.
Can you believe it?
Adelei is 4 months old.



She totally knows her name now & will look at you when you say it.
She is starting to teethe, and get highly irritated when she can't stick something in her mouth. She grabs everything & holds on with a death grip.
She has learned how to fake cough for attention [which is quite possibly the most annoying thing ever], and also how to gag herself with her fingers [scary!].
She is only waking up once [most nights].

Oh yea, & she LOVES to kick her fur sister, Kami!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You Don't Know Me

Favorite song this week




Check out my give away on Sara's blog!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Best Turkey Burgers, Ever.

Until recently, I wasn't a huge fan of turkey.
Mostly because every time I've had it,
it has been bland and dry.
But since I've decided I wanted to start eating healthier,
I've been using turkey in the place of ground beef.
Not only is it healthier, but also cheaper.

Once I had my mind made up that I was going to start eating turkey more,
I had to find ways to make it appealing.
So I tried, and succeeded.

Introducing
French Onion Turkey Burgers
[aka the most moist & delicious turkey burgers in the whole world]

1 lb of ground turkey
1 pkg french onion soup mix
1/4 cup of water

Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl [I like to use my hands and squeeze it all together to make sure that the seasoning gets thoroughly soaked into the meat]. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and allow to set in fridge for at least an hour. DON'T skip this step! This allows the meat to soak up the seasoning and the water, allowing for super moist yummy burgers. If you skip this, you are setting yourself up for burgers that will crumble apart. After all the flavors are married ;) form your patties. I like to use a George Foreman grill, but a skillet works fine, too. Cook to desired doneness. [Usually 6-7 minutes]. I like to put them on kaiser rolls topped with a little mayo, lettuce, & mozzarella cheese.

{Yields 4 burgers--recipe can be easily doubled}

Try them out and send me feedback!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Better Run


My new favorite song..this week at least.

P.S. Don't forget to enter the give away!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Want to Win?

Hey ya'll!
Head on over to Erika's blog
where I am currently sponsering a
bow give away!
Don't miss it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

3 months



My mini me is 3 months old!

She now
smiles, giggles, 'talks' [I swear some of her coos sound like 'hey' & 'yea'],
sucks on her fist, holds her head up very controlled, has crazy arms, is trying so so hard to sit up on her own, pays attention to faces, seems recognize people she is around often, is obsessed with staring at fans & lights, tries to grab at things.






Thursday, September 29, 2011

25

I've been wondering about you a lot lately.
What you'd be like now.
If you'd have kids or a wife.
A steady job.
I wonder if we'd still keep in touch,
or if we'd ever hang out.
If you'd still be rapping.
I wonder if you would have made it big by now,
or if you'd changed your ways.

But always, when I'm overwhelmed with my 'what if' thoughts, I remember that it doesn't even matter because you're in a better place.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Wait Is Over...Sort Of.

We got the big news today.
WE'RE GOING ACTIVE DUTY!
*phew*
It was a tough decision I'm glad someone else had to make for us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blessed



For months after I found out I was pregnant something I wished for was a newer, more reliable car. Since I was interning [unpaid] I wasn't able to work. And obviously you can't afford a car payment if you don't have money coming in.
After I started back to work in August, though, this thought became a little more real. It was something that I researched and thought about quite often. Especially when I found out I need a whole new set of tires. And then when my car started shaking when I drove. And then again last week when it rained for three days and my car flooded [on the inside] for the umpteenth time.
So after working up a budget, thinking looooong & hard, and talking it over with my husband, Nanny, & my aunt [my biggest supporters], we headed to the car lots yesterday.
We got to the Toyota dealership at 9 am. Looked around & decided to test drive a 2011 Corolla. It was nice. The pedals were a little too sensitive for my liking. I felt like if I barely tapped the gas I would zoom forward going way faster than I intended. Same with the brakes. It didn't seem like I could just 'ease' on them. The slightest tap seemed to induce whip lash. It seemed a little smaller than my car, but it was in my price range where the Camry wasn't.
Onward to the Chevrolet dealership.
My current car was a chevy, and until recently [11 years old, over 100,000 miles on it, & 2 car accidents], I haven't had any serious problems with it.
I had my eyes on the Chevy Cruze, so I decided to test drive it. It drove like a dream. It just felt so natural because it literally drove just like my car, the only car I have driven on a regular basis for the past 7 years. So in we went to do paper work.
After 5 hours of haggling and signing our lives away, I am the proud new owner of this:
2012 Chevy Cruze

I can't even begin to tell you all how grateful I am that this has happened. Driving an hour away for work and having my baby in tow is going to be so much less stressful now that I have a car that I will be able to depend on.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wake Me Up When September Ends

For months we have known that September is the month that we would find out what's in store for our future.
National Guard or Active Duty Army.
Here we are, 18 days in, and I'm constantly thinking about it, wondering when the big day is.
My head has been going crazy with 'what if's'.
Of course there are pro's & con's to both.
Active Duty means moving out of Alabama, seeing the world, financial/job security, ability to be a stay at home mom, health insurance, housing, having to move away from family.
National Guard means staying close to family, being able to 'put roots' down/buying a home, having to get a full time job.
Either one could possibly mean deployment.
I wonder if they're going to wait until the end of the month to tell us, or if we'll find out tomorrow.
For a planner, this is torture. I just need the peace of mind.
Luckily, once we find out, we'll still have 7 months to plan for our life as a National Guard family...deciding where we want to live, applying for jobs, etc. If it's Active Duty, it's another waiting game. We won't find out details about his BOLC or first duty station until Spring 2012.
*sigh*
This is definitely a test of patience.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sometimes Cheaper Isn't Better

Saturday afternoon, we ventured to my MIL's house.
While there, she was telling me all about how her boyfriend went to this local grocery store and found such great deals. One of these great deals included a whole case of beef broth for $2.
Can you believe that? I was surprised, but agreed that that was an awesome deal seeing as I usually can't get a can of it for less than $1.
As we're leaving, she sends me home with a few cans, I thank her, and on we go.

Fast forward to today.
I get out my crock pot, and am getting out all the ingredients to make french dip sandwiches.
I don't even think twice as I open a can of the beef broth that she gave me until I notice what looks like mold on the top. I grab the top of the can that I had just pulled off....
IT EXPIRED IN MAY OF 09! I thought maybe it was just a freak accident, so I checked the other two, & both of them were expired as well.
Are you kidding me? No wonder they got 'such a good deal' on this stuff.

I immediately called my MIL to tell her & she checked her cans. All I could think of after that was 'Thank God I actually looked before I just poured it in the pot". We could have really gotten sick from this stuff. I can't believe that a grocer would feel OK with selling out of date products.

Lesson learned: If it seems to good of a deal, CHECK the expiration date.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sweet & Salty

Have you tried the Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks?

It's not often that I splurge on coffee drinks, but when I saw it, I knew I had to try it. And I did. And it was amazing. If you're a salty/sweet combo lover, this is the drink for you. I savored every last sip, and was a little sad when it was all gone.

Since then, I've been craving that salted caramel taste, so when I came across this recipe, I went right out & bought the ingredients. [I made mine in a 9x13 pan as opposed to jars]

It was so hard waiting for the brownies to bake, for the icing to set.
Ugh! But the time finally came for me to try one, and they lived up to my every expectation. These things are so wonderfully delicious. Definitely a guilty pleasure.

If you're looking for a new dessert to try this week, give this one a go. It's so good & super easy to make!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not Mad




I recently started watching Mad Men.
I had heard good things about it, but had never seen it myself until it became available on Netflix streaming.
The first episode was hard to get into, but I figured one episode wasn't really giving it a chance, so I watched more.
Seven episodes in and I'm not really seeing what people have been raving about. I mean, sure, there's 1960's charm and a few good looking actors, but like my husband said, if it were set in present day, it would probably have flopped after the first season.
I'm going to continue watching because I'm not a quitter.
But please, please tell me that some of you watch this show & that it gets better?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two Months + Drama


Can you believe it?
Adelei is 2 months old already!








Where does the time go?
Current stats:
12 lbs 14 oz
23 inches long






At her 2 month check up, her regular pediatrician was out of town, so we had to see his partner.
I was not happy about this, but went along with it anyways. She got her vaccinations, and then had a physical.
The doctor insisted that Adelei is gaining too much weight and that I should substitute a few formula feedings per day with water.
UMMM, seriously? That sounds like putting my baby on a diet. It really upset me, to the point where I was almost in tears & have seriously considered changing doctors. I decided to call my nutritionist as soon as I left.
I went in for her to check the baby out. She is in the 96% for her age, but based on her eating habits, she is NOT over eating. The nutritionist told me that she would definitely not recommend me doing feeding her water. & then I didn't feel like a crazy mom anymore.

Have any of you been told things by your pediatrician that you disagreed with or thought was wrong for your child? If so, how did you handle it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adi's Vlog?!

Happy Labor Day!


video

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sometimes Blogging Is Hard To Do

Well Friends,
work is kicking. my. butt.
Yes, I'm only working 15-20 hours a week, but between taking care of the baby all night [yes, she's still waking up several times, some nights are better than others], then getting ready for work, dealing with the public for 4-6 hours, and then heading home.....
I'm absolutely DRAINED!
So if you're wondering why I haven't been blogging lately, this is why.
When I get home at 7pm I literally eat dinner, feed the baby, and then pass out while trying to keep up with my shows.
I look SO forward to my days off.
I always have so many things on my mind that I want to get done, but I usually just spend my FREE time napping, relaxing, watching tv, & cooking.
You can call it being lazy, that wouldn't bother me.

What I want to do is to be a stay at home mom. 100%. This part time working thing is for the birds. When I'm at work, I think about Adelei constantly. When I get home I feel like I'm too exhausted to even spend time with her. I know, I'm overreacting, but I will be SO glad when Aaron graduates & commissions so I will be able to spend all the time in the world with my baby.
After all, being a mom is a full time job!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just another day...



Tomorrow is the big day.
Yes, I've left my baby girl a few times, but only for an hour or two at a time.
But tomorrow...
I start back to work.
I know it will be nice to get out of the house more.
And I'm definitely grateful to have a job,
but it's going to be so hard to leave this beautiful face every day.
Okay...
I realize I may be overreacting a little bit.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Put some SPICE in your life

All during my pregnancy, I craved anything & everything spicy.
I couldn't get enough.
While most of my cravings subsided since I had the baby, this one did not.

The newest way to get my fix?
Jalapeno Popper Dip.

Ingredients:
8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 bacon strips, cooked & chopped [OR you could use bacon bits!]
1/4 cup canned green chiles
2 fresh jalapenos, chopped & w/o seeds
Fresh Parmesan Cheese to top [optional]
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly [make sure there is NO lumps in cream cheese!] in large bowl. Spray baking dish, scoop all ingredients into dish, top with parm. cheese, & bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

*I used chicken flavored crackers & it was AMAZING! It's cheap & very easy to make. Seriously, try it & let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Taco Tuesday...sort of.


Often times, when I want to make something but am not sure how, I'll look up a recipe.
The first time, I will try the recipe exactly as it is written.
If I give it a chance and love it, I'll keep it the same. If I just like it, I improvise the next time.
That's what happened with this recipe. I've made it several times going by the recipe, but today I decided to change things up.

Here is my version of
Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas


Ingredients
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 pkg taco seasoning [hot or mild]
1/4 cup water
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheeses, divided
3 cooked bacon strips, chopped
1/2 of an avocado, cubed
4 large flour tortillas

Directions
HEAT oven to 350°F.

HEAT large skillet spayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 min. Add chicken, cream cheese, taco seasoning & 1/4 cup water; mix well. Cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

SPOON about 1/4 of the chicken mixture down center of each tortilla, add avocado, green onions, & bacon pieces; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with shredded cheese.

BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until heated through.

Add toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, & onions.

Friday, August 12, 2011

If you like ridiculousness...

...you will like this.
If you have no sense of humor,
hit the X at the top right of your screen now.










Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lesson Learned

I love my husband, but...
I hate it when he goes with me to the grocery store.
& he's probably the only man in the world that likes to go grocery shopping.

Every week I make a meal plan. I write a grocery list & it contains ONLY things that we need for THAT week. This is how I save us money. It generally has things for breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks.
Most of the time, if I buy breakfast items one week, it will last for two. Same goes with lunch. But dinner & snacks need to be bought every week.
When I walk in, I grab a cart & am armed with my list, coupons, & have planned everything out mentally. As I am shopping I will keep a running tab in my head so I know I'm not spending too much.
When Aaron comes with me? He grabs things. Things that are NOT on my list. Things that we do not need. This bothers me because a] we end up spending more money than I have planned. b] we have limited storage so there will probably not be any room to put these extra items.
We've talked about this a few times in the past, but it never 'stuck' with him, I guess. But today...I almost lost it in the store.
When I saw him reach for cottage cheese, knowing it wasn't on my list I snapped my fingers at him & said 'get back here'....I didn't even realize what I did until after it happened. & I laughed about it. I was calling him back to me like a dog. OOPS.
I explained to him that we could only get things I put on the list. So from now on, if he wanted anything from the grocery store, he has to write it on the list. [I can't tell you how many times we've had this convo] He agreed, & on we went. Where he promptly picked up bagels...that weren't on the list. I just stared at him with an 'are you freaking kidding me right now' look on my face. I asked him if he had just heard what I said and he replied 'Yes Jamie, but these are the items that are on the list in my head.'
HAHA

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me :)

Today is the day! This is the year that I quit pretending to be 21, and actually admit that I'm the big 24. Scary.
I had big plans [in my head] that this birthday would be spent at the beach...lounging, shopping, eating. Until we found out that Aaron was supposed to be scheduled for drill. So instead we decided to 'celebrate' yesterday by taking advantage of the whole tax free weekend. We went shopping at the local mall and then Aaron took me out to lunch at TGI Friday's.
Here were a few of my gifts:
Unicorn Wallet!

Reebok Easytones
TrueBlood Tshirt!

After a long day of walking around in & out of the sweltering heat, we came home exhausted. ONLY to find out that Aaron's drill weekend has been rescheduled. Awesome.
I think we're just going to spend the rest of the weekend catching up on shows/movies & relaxing!

But don't worry, I didn't forget about you guys!
The winner of my birthday give away is
Erika @ chambanachik! Leave me your email address on this post :)
Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the rest of MY day! Hope ya'll have a great weekend.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Birthday Giveaway

This year, in honor of my birthday, I am having a give away.
That's right, I'll be giving one of you lucky readers a gift on MY birthday.
So sweet, I know.
So, what's up for grabs?
A sassy homemade headband, a really cute/inspiring set of note pads, and a very sexy smelling body spray.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post [be sure to leave me your email in case you win!].

Extra entries will be given to those who:
  • become a NEW follower
  • mention this give away in a blog entry [link back in comment]
  • mention this give away in a tweet [link back in comment]


Give away will end on August 6th, 2011! So be sure to check back to see if YOU are the winner!

*only for U.S. residents.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Like little orphan Annie

For the past month I've pretty much written non stop about the baby.
What I have refrained to do is go on and on and on about how much I miss my husband.
He's been gone [to Washington State for military training] since the day after we came home from the hospital. I haven't even been able to speak to him since the day after he left.
But that all ends tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I will pick him up from the airport and we will resume our lives like we've been on pause.
It's always been hard [emotionally] when he's gone, but it's the life we chose.
What I am thankful for is that I have someone that I can miss that much. That I have someone to share my little bundle of joy with. That we can pick up the pieces right where we left off.
Tomorrow will be a very happy day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

1 month

Adelei Jane is one month old today.
I can't believe it.
It has been such a blur whirlwind, I can hardly keep the days straight.

In one month she has:
  • gone from eating 2 oz at a time to eating 4 oz at a time.
  • started sleeping more at night and less during the day.
  • gained a little over a pound.
  • had her very first photoshoot.
  • started getting used to sleeping in her own bed [most of the time].
  • began drinking juice [watered down!]
  • met lots & lots of people!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Professional

A few weeks ago we had Adelei's newborn pictures made.
I got them back yesterday, and was so so happy with the results!
Here are a few of my fav's: