Monday, November 29, 2010

Toys for Tots!

The local Marine Corps Reserve Center is in need of toys for the Toys for Tots program. 

Read Here to learn more about Toys for Tots!

It is such a good program, helping out the local communities.  They accept new, unwrapped toys for newborns to teenagers.  I noticed today when I went to their warehouse that they are in need for the following: toys for girls of all ages, and boys 11 and up. 

If you know anyone who can't afford toys for their children this holiday season, refer them to  They can request toys for their little ones!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I decided to have some friends over last night to get into the holiday spirit!  It was a nice gathering with good food and good friends! Thanks for coming over!
The Menu:
Vegetable tray
Beer Bread with Dip
Chips, Salsa, Taco Dip
Roast Beef Roll Ups
Mini Homemade Pizzas
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
German Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Spice Muffins


Penthouse Party Room!

Megan and Tara

Gift bags from Marta Writes with my personalized twist!

Meghan and Megan

Megan and Ellen

Dawn and Dan

Marc and Mel

Jimmy and Megan

German Chocolate Cake!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Appetizer

Yesterday was Thanksgiving with the family.  I was asked to bring an appetizer, so I found this recipe for stuffed mushrooms.  They were super easy to make, and were amazing!  Gone in minutes, so I am going to assume everyone liked them!  I used about 2 cartons of mushrooms, but I would suggest using 3, because I had so much of the filling left over.

My stuffed mushrooms!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am thankful for so many things, and am happy that I have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with my family again this year.  From 2004-2007, I spent Thanksgiving with my Navy family.  I spent 2004,2005, in port on the USS Iwo Jima.  2006 was spent out at sea returning from deployment on the USS Iwo Jima.  3 years in a row on that great ship.  2007 I spent the holiday with some friends from the USS Iwo Jima, Brian and Misty.  They hosted Jerry, Joe, and I to a wonderful southern holiday with their little girls.  Amazing how you remember every single one.  2008-2010 I have celebrated in Chicago with the family, which is great! 
My boss said he never saw me smile so wide today, and I said, "Sir, its Thanksgiving, of course I am smiling!"

I am thankful for so many things in my life.  My health, my faith, my family, my friends, my pup (love that dog), my job, and my freedom.  I am grateful that I have and continue to serve, and that I have friends, shipmates, standing the watch on days like Thanksgiving, so that other people may be free.  Friends like Ang, Adam, Joe, Kayla, Reid, the list goes on..because I am sure I am overlooking someone.  But you get the point.  I was there in 2006, standing TAO while crossing the pond on Thanksgiving day with one of my favorite Master Chiefs. 

When you gather around the table this week, please keep in mind those that can't spend the holiday with their families, because they are off defending freedom and democracy around the world.

USS Iwo Jima Superstructure taken from the Flight Deck 2006.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines from Camp Pendleton, California have suffered many losses this month.  Please keep them in your prayers.

3rd Battalion, 5th Marines

Monday, November 22, 2010

Food Shortcuts

I know around the holidays, everyone gets bogged down with having to cook, bake, etc for whatever party or function they may be going to.  I have found these two websites to be lifesavers! 

Tastefully Simple
King Arthur Flour

My favorite things from Tastefully Simple are:
Beer Bread, Cinnamon Muffin mix, Corn and Black bean salsa.  They have a wonderful cookbook as well, and I have made a few dinner meals from it. 

My favorite things from King Arthur Flour are:
All of their muffin mixes.  So easy and delicious.  The pumpkin spice is to die for.  I have bought three boxes so far this month! 

I try to make as much as I can "homemade" but I don't always have the time.  These two websites have given me many shortcuts to buy some great quality food!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I went to Annapolis, Maryland this past weekend to surprise my friend Nick for his 30th Birthday.  His fiance, Colleen, planned an entire weekend of fun..and truly did surprise Nick!

Good to see old friends, and meet some new people.  Can't wait for Colleen and Nick's wedding next year!

The Capitol Building

First taste of steamed mussels.  Yum!

Oysters Rockefeller from O'Briens

Me, Nick, Brad at the Federal House

Jen, Me, Col at the Federal House

Friday night the surprise party was at the Federal House.  I went to O'Briens before to get some seafood and some of my favorite beer.  The next day we tailgated, saw some of the game (Navy won!), and went to two bars.  We hit up Rams Head and Pussers.  Good times.  The next day we had brunch at Reginas before I                                                     had to catch my flight home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have been swamped by midterms lately.  Not fun, but at least they are over!  Gives me time to relax for a week or two before school gets hectic again. 

Current BookAnything in the JMO/NSDM curriculum.  Not much free time for "fun" reading.

Current Album
I really want to buy the Ray Lamontagne his music.

Current Songs
Like a G6, Far East Movement and Crossroads.  One just gets me going on B-96 in the morning on the way to work, the other helped me relax when I wrote all my papers the past two weeks.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure
NCIS..need I say more?

Current Drink
Soda water and water.  Need to lose some weight.

Current Outfit
Uniform. Yup.

Current Celebrity Crush
Don't have one. No time for that.

Current Mood

Current Excitement
I'm getting excited about the holidays. Looking forward to a trip out West.

Current Anticipations
My upcoming trips!

Current Film
Watched "Life during Wartime" recently.  Good IFC flick.

Off to class for the week.  Looking forward to a day off tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have you voted today?

Everyone should go out today and go vote.  Why? 
Because you can. 
Because you live in a free and democratic nation. 
Because the 19th amendment says you can, regardless of sex. 
Because the military of our great nation goes out every day to fight for this freedom.
Because you have no right to complain about stuff you can you vote!

Go vote.  I did.