Saturday, March 31, 2012

Arugula Salad

I found this amazing salad recipe on  You can find the recipe here.

The recipe was super easy, and fresh.  I love a fresh salad, which is why I remember the two best salads I have had this year (Hotel Viking and Castle Hill).  Both of these restaurants ensure they have the freshest ingredients in everything they make.

Arugula Salad
I am definitely using the leftovers to make another fresh salad today.  I used freshly grated Parmesan cheese, because that is all I had in my fridge.  I really hope this go around on WW helps me lose weight.  You will see me post a lot of recipes from Gina's site because the food is amazing.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On a Roll

Do you ever have those days, where you get so productive, that you just don't want to stop?  I went to school, planned my move, planned my deployment logistics, and did my taxes today.  Wow.  I wish I had tomorrow off to facilitate more of this "roll", but I will have to settle for a half day. 
I think I may buy a lottery ticket today.  Seriously.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Recap

Due to some random days off of work this past week, my guy came out to Newport, RI to visit.  What an amazing weekend. 

Buskers, La Forge, Tennis Hall of Fame, Act of Valor, Hotel Viking, many walks with Bella, Tour of Marble House, lunch at Pour Judgement, dinner at White Horse Tavern, homemade brunch, complete with mimosas. 

Sunday Brunch

Bella getting some sun on the deck. 

Me n Bella on the pier. 

USMC Memorial out in town.

Marble House.  Backyard Tea House

Me at the beach

Tennis Hall of Fame

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Florentine

I decided to try some of the Philadelphia Cooking Cremes the other day.  I made my enchiladas with the container, and was very impressed.  I thought, I'll try another recipe.  Enter the Savory Garlic 10 oz container.  I just made the recipe on the back, and it was awesome. 

Here is the recipe.  I used some whole wheat penne pasta, ready made chicken from Purdue (need shortcuts on busy days), and yes, I actually bought the pine nuts.  This pasta reminds me of my favorite dish from an Italian place in Chicago, so splurging on pine nuts was not an issue. 

If you need a meal that tastes like home this week, try this.  It was pretty damn good. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I am "it" !

Victoria tagged me!  I would tag all you crazies, but I am exhausted and want to upload the billion pics I took this weekend!
My Questions:
1.What always makes you laugh out loud?
My classmates.  They do or say silly things that make me laugh.  I snort when I laugh, so this generally causes even more laughter.
2.Which celebrity(ies) can you just not stand?
Anything Kardashian or any other celebrity that jumps on a bandwagon.  I don't like people who are all about themselves and are just generally selfish.
3. Do you chew gum;what kind?
Yes, teeth whitening. 
4.What is your favorite tv show?
NCIS.  I heart Gibbs
5. Where in the world would you travel?
I have been all over the world.  I want to go to Petra, Israel, Ireland, and a few other crazy remote locations.
6.What is one current fad/trend you just won't participate in?
Duck face.  WTH is it?  Why? 
7.Which celebrity(ies) do you adore?
Don't really adore any of them.  Eh.
8.What is your favorite chocolate/candy?
Love all chocolate. 
9. Do you watch "reality" tv? What shows are your favorite?
Beyond Scared Straight.  Love reality shows that have a purpose.  Not just fluff. 
10. What is your favorite snack?
I love fresh fruit. 
11. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving.  Hands down.

What are your favorites??

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Recap

I had a fantastic weekend in Rhode Island! 

Friday I went to Providence to go to a spa.  Then treated myself to dinner @ Zoomas, and stopped by a local bakery (Scialo Brothers).  Delicious food all around!

Fruit Tarte from Scialo Brothers.  Amazing!

Saturday I attended the Newport St Patricks Day parade.  Had fun with my friends!

Me and my girl K

Navy Band!

Navy Fire Truck

Dancing Cop.  He was Hilarious!

Never Forget.

Sunday I relaxed, cleaned, did laundry, and ran a ton of errands.  Have to prepare the house for next weekend!

How was your St. Patricks Day?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Working for the Weekend

This week has flown by.  So fast.  I was sick earlier, and now I feel like I just have to get through tomorrow to get to the "good stuff"..aka..the weekend. 

I need to prep for St. Pats, some Rest and Relaxation, and perhaps some more adventure! 

What are your St. Patrick's Day Traditions?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Truth About Kony

I have seen so many people blogging, facebooking, etc about Kony.  Most of it has been negative.  The Navy just put out this article concerning the Invisible Children's financial status, mission, and what the Navy is doing about the LRA.  If I even shared with you the tirades I have seen, you might actually be surprised.

When you donate to a charity, make sure you research them first.  I worked with a military/government fundraising campaign for a year, called the Combined Federal Campaign.  This campaign works for 3 months to raise money for charities, while educating people on how much money the charity actually gets.  If most of the money is going to admin and NOT to the people, there is an issue with that charity.  It is spelled out in the first page of the CFC booklet that is handed out each year. 

I would brief groups of people each week on why the CFC is important, and answer their questions about charities.  I would never "sell" one charity over another, because I believe donating money to charity is a personal thing.  I do believe, however, that people shouldn't jump on a bandwagon, and should see where the money really goes.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in the media hype concerning a cause, charity, etc. I mean hell, every time I see an ASPCA commercial with that Sarah McLaughlin song, I about damn near cry, and then pet my dog and give her a treat.  Stupid animal abusers.  But I digress..
I am grateful for my experiences seeing war torn areas, disaster areas, etc, seeing these causes first hand.  I have also seen how the people's governments make it worse.  Case in point.  Hurricane Katrina.  I was there doing relief work.  I was there with the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin.  He actually told us he didn't need our help, and didn't know why we were there.  Our ship went on our own program, and we did our own relief projects.  We restored hospitals, communication towers, water services, you name it.  It is just amazing how you only see one thing on the news, because that is what the media wants you to see.  If they reported the truth, and what was really going on, the sensation revolving Katrina may have been different

Bottom line.  Read multiple sources, and do your research.  I am not saying that the Kony project isn't one worth supporting.  I don't like warlords who abuse children as much as anyone else.  I am leaving it up to the Special Forces to find him, arrest him, and have him tried for war crimes.  I don't think that donating money to an organization that keeps over 80% of the money for them, and NOT for the kids will help this situation.  When the organization can prove to me that they want to help the kids, and not just be an over hyped sensation, I will believe it.  When people, like many friends of mine have, are lining up to go to Africa to help those kids, then maybe I'll believe it.  Until then, I will just pray for the kids over there, and hope that our wonderful Spec Ops guys work swiftly to put another "W" on our side. 

Friday, March 9, 2012


I got off work early today, and was quite productive.  I ran so many errands this week, cleaned, and now I am onto organizing.  I took some random photos of today to just capture the moment. 

She was nice enough to actually pose for me.  Love this pup!

It is amazing how fresh flowers can spruce up a place!

I love wine.  And decorating with wine motifs. 
 What are you doing with your weekend?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Caved..

and got a cleaning lady.  I always thought it was something I would never spend money on.  I clean my own place, don't get me wrong, but I am moving soon, and I know that if this place isn't spotless, I will get hammered on my security deposit.  This wonderful lady found toys from the owners of the house in places that I don't even know where they found them.  Scary Lego men everywhere! 

I came home during lunch, and found the house to be spotless, clean, and even just smelled clean. 

Best money spent ever.  I have a feeling I will do this more often, especially when I get my new apartment in Florida.  Mostly because I work so many hours each week, and would rather spend time working out, reading, relaxing, playing with my pup, etc..than scrubbing a floor for the 5th time in a week.

I thought I would feel guilty about doing this, but after how exhausted and sick I was last week from work and not sleeping, I feel great about it.  Best. Decision. Ever.   

Do you ever feel guilty about purchases/services you have done? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Deployment Readiness

I have known for quite some time that I would be deploying in the future.  Just found out it is much sooner than later.

Trips to the doctor, lawyer, etc are in order to prepare.  Anyone have any best practices they would like to share?  I have always followed the Fleet and Family Support Center Checklist to a "T".  It is very useful.

Off to class..and off to plan!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Have you ever had one of those weekends where you tried to have a good time, make plans, and just really crazy stuff happens?  Yeah, that was this weekend.  I honestly felt like I was being challenged to be a better Christian this weekend.  My patience was overloaded, and I had many ethical challenges put in my face.  Luckily I dealt with each one the best I could.  Now it is Sunday night.  I just finished a book, and am about to study and go to bed. 

I know sometimes you read blogs that are nothing but puppies and sunshine, or the opposite of nothing but bitching and moaning. 

I try to be somewhere in between.  I am just in a place right now where work and life are tending to push me to the limit and I am trying to find a happy medium. 

I was trying so hard to be a good person this weekend, be a good Samaritan, be a good neighbor.  It is tough when other people test you, and make you into an ugly person.  A person you do not want to be. 

I really hope the good Lord gives me patience to be a better person this week.  Praying for peace of mind this week. 

After finding this prayer, I think I need to listen more and talk less.  I have many heartaches, especially with life right now, and in the past.  I think these life experiences have made me a better person, and have taught me valuable lessons about life in general.  I am having a hard time dealing with these on my own in the face of uncertainty, so I vent to people.  I feel like venting to those I trust is okay, but now I feel like maybe I am overburdening them.  I guess I need to find a happy medium for it all. 

Teach me, my Lord, to be sweet and gentle in all the events of my life, in disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied. Let me forget myself so that I may enjoy the happiness of others. Let me always hide my little pains and heartaches so that I may be the only one to suffer from them. Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes across my path. Let me so use it that it may mellow me, not harden or embitter me; that it may make me patient, not irritable; that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow or proud or overbearing. May no one be less good for having come within my influence; no one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble, for having been a fellow traveler with me on our journey towards eternal life. As I meet with one cross after another, let me whisper a word of love to You. May my life be lived in the supernatural, full of power for good, and strong in its purpose of sanctity. Amen.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Go for the Goal! February Progress

February flew by.  Literally.  Now I must focus on March.  Ahhh..glorious March!

Here is my post from January.   I have definitely made progress in some areas!

1.  Make a cook book.  Did cook a bit, but not as much as I would like.  I had my finals this month.  Needless to say, I am recovering from being the walking dead.  I have some amazing recipes I want to try, and have my friends over after I already tested it!

2.  Invite friends over more often.  Success.  Had out of town visitors, dinner guests, and tomorrow I am hosting another brunch for the folks that live in the barracks. 

3.  Work out more.  Success.  I have had such a good routine until this past week.  I had my final, and got a stomach bug.  Getting back on that horse Monday. 

4.  Photography.  Success.  I took my camera out and about in Newport and Chicago a few times.  Love learning its features, and capturing the natural beauty of what is around me!

My next goal was to do 30 for 30.  I didn't do it..but then again, I never wore civilian clothes last month.  By never I mean about 2 weekends of wear.  Need to get my list together tomorrow.  I am also doing my Lent goals.  I am helping a friend raise money for a project, and also doing 40 bags in 40 days.  I swear, having easier classes now feels nice, but having to move again in about 8 weeks...yikes!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

I was talking with some of my friends lately, and they were complaining about cooking shows on tv.  I am a huge fan.  Huge.  Giada is my hero.  No lie.  There is one issue though.  Most of their recipes are pretty difficult to make/people who work crazy hours like us Navy folk don't have the time to make a 10+ step meal. 

Insert my recipe for the evening.  I made my Hearty Barley Soup Sunday night.  I had leftover onion and canned tomatoes, so I decided to make some Enchiladas.  So easy, so good.  Seriously, a dude could make it.  No pun intended.

Here is the recipe.

To make life easy, I got some pre-cooked Purdue chicken strips (grilled), to make the meal.  Takes less than 30 mins start to finish.  I know gasp I used something that wasn't living, breathing, etc before cooking.  But lets keep it real here, I just took a huge test today.  Last thing I want to do is cook a gourmet meal.  So instead, I made some yummy enchiladas, and I am totally ok with that.