Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, friends! Since I have a bit of time before the eggs start boiling, I figured I'd post about what we're doing today.

We took the girls to Mass this morning, and it wasn't nearly as traumatic as I though it would be. The families sitting around us kept commenting on how well they were behaving. I didn't think that was the case, but I'm more concerned about others being disturbed, so that's really all that matters.

I left the baked French Toast cooking in a roaster on top of the stove while we were at church. When we got home, it was perfectly ready. So delicious!! I actually cut out a tad bit of sugar and it was still sweet enough.

After breakfast we let the girls hunt for eggs in the front yard. Veronica was a little speed demon! We had to tell her to slow down, so that the baby would have a chance to get some. The baby was mostly interested in the candy, so she'd grab the eggs, empty them, and drop them. Smart girl!

We have some friends coming over later his evening, so we're cleaning up and cooking right now. I've been planning (and stressing) like crazy to make sure that everything is perfect. Hubs keeps reminding me that it's just our old friends who we always have dinner with anyway, so it's not a huge deal, which is completely true.

The first thing I'm going to do is make the deviled eggs, since they're relatively easy. Want to know the key to preventing the egg shells from cracking? Slowly raising the heat and a bit of salt in the water.

We did a lot of the prep work last night, which is going to make the actual cooking part much easier today.

On our plates tonight, we'll have:
Spinach Salad
Rack of Lamb with Balsamic Dressing
Bacon-wrapped Asperagus
Potatoes au Gratin
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Brunch - Baked French Toast

Good morning folks! I hope everyone is having a nice relaxing weekend so far. I woke up with a headache, due to the fact that I may have had a glass too many of wine last night. It's a good thing that the plan for today was just to clean up and do some food prep for Easter dinner. Tonight I'll also be putting together our brunch for after church.

Last year, while both of our husbands were deployed, one of my best friends and I celebrated Easter together. She brought over this baked French Toast casserole thing, and to this day, it's one of the best breakfasts I've ever had. I'll be making it again this year, and letting it bake while we're at church.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 5 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 loaf Challah bread, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  1. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, cream and vanilla. Mix well.
  2. Grease 9x13 inch pan. Spread bread evenly into pan. Pour egg mixture over the bread and mix until evenly distributed. Allow to rest in refrigerator over night.
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Set pan with bread into a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with water to half inch below the top of smaller pan. 
  5. Sprinkle bread with 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 tsps of cinnamon. 
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until the top browns. Mixture should be firm.
  7. Serve warm
Not the best pic :/

As you can see from the ingredients, this isn't the healthiest option, but once or twice a year won't kill you.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quick Hello, a Blog Hop & a Giveaway

Good morning friends!! Things have been bust lately, as we're getting ready to move from Georgia to Missouri. I'm headed to the gym in just a few minutes, and currently trying to get the kids to eat before we run out the door. I wanted to post now, because I know I won't be able to this afternoon. I've got a bunch of good posts lined up in my head, I just haven't been able to sit down and get them typed up. Hubs has a four-day weekend and I no longer have to attempt to keep the house spotless, so I might actually get something done over the weekend.

A cool thing happened last night..! I won a new blog design from Munchkin Land Designs. I'm super excited, since I've been wanting to win one from her for forever! I love Jenn's work, so I can't wait to see what she comes up with for me.

I'm also co-hosting Jenni's (Marine Wife, Mommy & Life) blog hop and giveaway in celebration of her adorable littlest baby's first birthday. Check it out below.

Have a great day! (:

From Grandma With Love


Welcome to the weekend everyone! 
The Weekend Social Mix Blog Hop: 
Kick off your shoes, pull up your chair and let's get Social!

Marine Wife Mommy and Life
Grab Our Button!!


Please Follow the Hosts & Co-Hosts!


Link your blog post up using the linky tool below! It can be

Why? Because it's FINALLY the weekend! 

Visit 3 or more other blogs, say hello & make some new friends!

Add the Weekend Social Mix Blog Hop button in your post or on your sidebar.

Please leave a comment with how you're following and your bloggy address so we can return the L♥VE!

Most Importantly: Have a Great (and Safe) Weekend Everyone!

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Giveaway Posted Below the Hop!!!



We're Celebrating Marine Wife Mommy & Life's 

Lil' Marine's & From Grandma with Love's youngest Grandson's FIRST Birthday on 5 April!!
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Getting Ready to PCS

So it turned out that the family that came to check out our house last week had a crappy credit score. We were still willing to rent to them since their current landlord said they were good people, and they had good jobs, BUT, yesterday a second family came by to check out the house. They also fell in love and had to have it. They left our house and went immediately to the office to fill out the application. Their credit rocked, so they were able to sign a lease right then and there.

I'm excited by the fact the the house was so easy to rent. It was on the market for just over a week and got two serious inquiries. Why did it rent so quick? Who knows. It could be because it's PCS (permanent change of station) season and there are tons of new Soldiers and their families flooding into the area. Maybe because it was a great price. Or maybe because of our open plan which is good for entertaining. Whatever it was, it means that now WE have to find somewhere to live.

I've been scouring for a nice place for us to settle for six months. Since it's only 6 months, I'm not overly concerned with it being the perfect dream home (and thankfully so, because I can't find anything even close). We won't even be unpacking the majority of our boxes.

In the mean time, I've created a PCS binder for myself. An idea that I'm stealing from Jen (The Adventures of Our Army Life). I've started making all sorts of checklists, so that we don't forget anything in the process. The movers will be here in less than two weeks, so it's probably time to get started with throwing crap out.

Check out this week's Wednesday Walkabout and the great giveaway over at Ramblings of a Marine Wife that I'm participating in.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 5

Welcome to week number five of meal planning! For the past four weeks I've been posting up my family meal plans along with links to recipes where applicable. There have been about 28 (maybe one to two less) different dinner ideas so far, with another seven new ones for this week. Planning ahead has helped to keep from falling into the rut of the same meals week after week.

Posting the plan on the blog has helped me a bunch to be able to easily come back and click the recipe link when preparing dinner.

Week 5 Menu:
Monday:  Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki
Tuesday: Taco Pie
Wednesday: Boneless BBQ Chicken Wings with celery and carrot sticks
Thursday: Pasta Salad
Friday:  Lemon Butter Tilapia
Saturday: Mini Sliders with sweet potato fries
Sunday:  Lamb Chops with Potatoes Au Gratin

Hop rules:
1. Follow your hosts. Alejandra at Munchkins and the Military and Lisa at Sorority Life to Army Wife.
2. Link up your weekly meal plan.
3. Check out a few other blogs!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hearty Turkey Chili

If you follow Meal Planning Mondays, you'd know that we had turkey chili last night. I attached a link for turkey chili that was closest to the chili that I actually make. The link to this post will be replacing that link, since this is the chili that I actually make. I normally don't follow recipes exactly, but there is little measuring when it comes to this one, so it's quick.

The recipe is so simple, that almost all you have to do is open cans and dump them in. Although it's turkey chili, you really can't tell the difference versus beef chili, and this one has an extra special secret ingredient. Cocoa. Chocolate and chili all in one? Sign me up. It might sound weird, but I promise this will be the best chili you've ever had.

  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can corn, drained
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 generous shake of oregano
  • 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and peppers, stirring until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the turkey and crumble/stir until completely browned.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, stir, and allow to simmer on low to medium heat for at least 15 minutes.

After softening the vegetables, I don't see why you couldn't just crumble the meat and toss everything in a crockpot, but why dirty two pots? I don't mind standing in front of the stove for this one since it's less than half an hour from start to finish. Once everything is mixed up, you can even leave it on low heat for a couple of hours

As with most chili recipes, this is better the second day, and even better on the third.

Anyone brave enough to try this completely in a crockpot and let me know how it turns out?

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

That Was Quick

Good news! The family that came to check out our house on Thursday, is interested in renting it! All we're waiting for now is their credit to check out, and we'll be good to go! It's such a relief that the first (and only) people who came to take a look at the house are interested. I now have one less thing to worry about when it comes to PCSing.

I creeped around the neighborhood while the family and realtor were here. They looked like decent people, which gives me hope that our house won't be trashed when they move out. In the event that it doesn't check out with this family, there are also others who are interested in house.

This weekend will be spent getting stuff ready for the move. We'll be doing a partial DITY (do it yourself) move, which means that the movers will take the majority of our belongings, and we'll take the rest ourselves. We'll be compensated for expenses, mileage, and weight of the items that we move ourselves.

I've started making lists and putting together a binder to help keep ourselves organized and keep track of all of our paperwork and receipts. We read the general rules last night, and there isn't anything too crazy. Mostly your common sense stuff.

This is my second time doing a partial DITY move, so I hope to be able to enlighten some newer military spouses.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Longer in the Lead

Last night was the Company's first Family Readiness Group (FRG) meeting with the new leader. It felt so weird not having to show up a couple of hours early to get everything ready. I pulled into the parking lot about 10 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start and felt like I was running late. I have to admit, not having FRG as a responsibility has relieved a huge weight from my shoulders. After the meeting, the reality that I'm no longer the FRG leader finally sunk in.

Even with the drama and complications that the FRG sometimes brings, it's something that I have loved doing for the past three years. It feels good to help people and make a difference. There was always something new for me to learn as well. I started getting involved with the FRG almost as soon as I moved to Georgia as a new army wife. All of the classes and experiences gave me a jump start into army life. You also meet tons of wonderful people which can be difficult when moving to a new installation.

It's bittersweet to finally be taking a break for a little while.

Hubster finally got his orders today which means we are officially heading to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The movers should be here in less than a month, which is pretty exciting! After the movers come, we'll have about a month to visit family, vacation and then get ourselves to Missouri. It's the first move we'll be doing as a family with two little ones, so I hope I don't stress myself out too much. Planning and preparation will be key.

In other news, we have people coming to check out the house this afternoon. It's a bit nerve wrecking and kinda just weird. Imagine, strangers, in my house, poking around and opening doors. My closet needs a little bit of work and now I've got to spend the afternoon cleaning up the kitchen since the dog decided to throw trash all over last night.

I'm not sure what's gotten into Caesar lately. I used to be able to leave him home alone with no problems. Now anytime I leave him unsupervised, he tears the house apart. Yesterday it was the TV remote while I was grocery shopping. Last night, a container of dip that I left in the sink. I can always tell when he's done something too, since he walks up to me in a scared depressed mood.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Good to Be Back

Traveling with kids is no joke; it's stressful and exhausting. I now know that I won't attempt to take a vacation with the kids for a couple of years, because it won't be a vacation at all. Even with all of my preparation, it felt like things still didn't go how I had planned. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible, and it definitely could have been much worse, but it just wasn't a vacation.

Overall, we had a good time in New York. When we arrived Friday morning, we drove around a bit and headed over to New Jersey to visit the areas where Hubs had lived and grown up. Friday evening was the wedding rehearsal which followed a good amount of drinking at the hotel bar. The wedding on Saturday was spectacular. Good food and a great atmosphere. Sunday morning we headed to New York City for a bunch of touristy things. And Monday we flew back home.

On Friday and Saturday night we stayed at The Thayer Hotel at West Point and Sunday night at the Element in Times Square. The Element was fantastic!! The Thayer Hotel, not so much. Hubs and I, along with the other friends in our group were extremely disappointed by the quality of Thayer, considering the price. But that's  whole other post!

While in the city we visited the 9/11 Museum and the memorial itself. If it hadn't been so cold, I would have liked to stick around and explore some more, but with the wind and everything, it was too much for the babies. Oh, and of course my camera refused to work while we were at the memorial, so I only have cell phone pics. Although, I was able to do a panoramic photo of one of the fountains.

We road the subway, which along with most of the rest of the city, wasn't very stroller friendly, had great Chinese food, and visited the Empire State Building after dark. We used this cool app called Uber to get ourselves around with SUVs that work pretty much like taxis, but more sophisticated. You use the app to hail your private vehicle and pay afterwards. There is also an option to rate your driver. It's a really cool app, but really only available in major cities.

Empire State Building & our anniversary

Although I hate Georgia summers, I'd take them over New York winters any day. I'd love to visit New York again when it's warmer and probably without kids. I really can't complain though. It was a good trip. Considering we were in the city less than 24 hours, I'd say we were able to do a lot.

What are your must do's for New York City?

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 4 (updated)

I dropped the ball with meal planning for this week. We've been in New York, so the only think on my mind has been good Chinese, pizza, and hot dogs. When we get back to Georgia tonight, I'll be updating this post with my meal plan.

In the mean time, link up your meal plan or recipe for the week and give me some ideas to steal. (:

Here is my updated meal plan for the week. We had Papa John's last night, which means my breakfast and lunch are pretty much taken care of for the rest of the week. Don't you just love left over pizza for breakfast?!

Week 4 Menu:
Monday: Pizza Delivery
Tuesday: Cabbage Rice Casserole
Wednesday: Imperial Rice with hardboiled eggs
Thursday: Crockpot Italian Sausage and Peppers on fetuccini
Friday: Orzo Stuffed Peppers
Saturday: Turkey Chili with cornbread
Sunday: Baked Ziti

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Get Lucky!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Traveling With Toddlers: Flying

Well, today is the day! Hubster and I are hitting the road with our two little humans. It's not time for us to permanently leave Georgia yet. This is more of a test run, except we'll be on an airplane. Thousands of feet in the air. With other people. For two and a half hours.

Terrified doesn't even come close to what I'm feeling. Not of flying though. Nope, I've been flying all of my life with plenty of situations that felt like near death experiences. I'm terrified to be flying with two uncontrollable beasts.

Hubs insisted on booking a direct flight to try and make it as quick and painless as possible. I was hoping to have a layover (or two) to be able to switch up the scenery and give the girls a chance to walk.

But, in preparation for our trip, I did some grocery shopping and picked up some items that I think will be essential in keeping the peace at 35,000 feet. Each girl gets their own backpack filled with plenty of goodies.

In each backpack (as well as my purse) you can find:
Welch's gummies (tons of them to help with ear popping)
Cereal bars
Granola bars
Animal crackers
Happy Yogis
Happy Munchies
Mini muffins

I baked chocolate chip zucchini cookies to eat as breakfast.

I picked up some new books and crayons at the dollar section in Walmart. Something new should keep their attention for a little bit.

Wish us luck!! These guys get cranky when they're suck in one place for too long
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