Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cara Box Reveal

This was my second month doing Cara Box. It's a fun box exchange where bloggers (and non-bloggers) are paired up and have the task of sending each other themed boxes. This month's theme was Take Me To The Fair. I was super excited to participate again since I had a wonderful experience last month. This month I was paired up with Becca and Laura.

I spent all month getting to know Becca who is a fellow Army wife. She's stationed all the way up in Alaska. She did a fantastic job of putting together a box for the girls and I to enjoy.

V has had so much fun playing with the fair games. Her favorite item from the box though is the photo booth kit. She absolutely LOVES playing with the "sticks".

Adri's favorite item from the box has been the book, My Mom Is The Best Circus. I read this book no less than six or seven times a day. Each time I finish, she insists "more, more".

Also in this awesome box were "Twinkies" (because what says fair more than deep fried Twinkies), animal crackers, icee flavoring, and funnel cake recipe. After all, half of the fun of going to a fair is the food! Becca included a very cute notebook which I have already used for blogging purposes.

I was SO SO happy with the contents of this box. Becca really did a fantastic job of putting together something that we'd really enjoy. Thank you Becca!

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Operation Inspiration - Tune In

It's the weekend! Yay! I'm so glad that so many of you enjoyed my first vlog! I'm looking forward to doing some more! Maybe next time I'll actually have something to talk about.

This weekend we'll just be hanging out around the house. Hubster's mom is visiting until next weekend, when we'll be vacationing with our Army family. Up until then, we don't have too many plans. Next weekend will be expensive, so we're attempting to be frugal.

If you'll be home this evening, you might want to tune into NBC's Operation Inspiration. Operation Homefront (one of my favorites) and Eckrich have teamed up to honor three service members/veterans as well as their families. Hosted by Al Roker, this episode will also feature special guests Richard Petty and Aric Almirola from NASCAR. You can view a preview below from the episode of the volunteers redoing a backyard, giving a deserving wounded veteran a specially modified car, and even a new house.

To help support America's military families, text 'INSPIRE' to 27722* to donate $5 to Operation Homefront.

I was not compensated in any manner for this post. 

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Easy Peasy Key Lime Pie

Do you like Key Lime pie? No? Me either. At least, not until I tried this recipe. Being from Miami, Key Lime pie was one of those desserts that was at every get together. My mom always made it, but I hated it because it was just too tangy for my taste. I altered her recipe a bit and cut out about 15 gallons of lime juice, and now it's something that I'll eat.

I don't know how or why I started making Key Lime pies, but during our time in Georgia, it became the famous dessert between my friends and I. So famous in fact, that one friend requested it as one of the first things he wanted when he returned from Afghanistan. After a while, I got kind of sick of making it every weekend. Since it's been a while, I figured I'd make it for dessert this weekend. It's a light and refreshing dessert, perfect for warm evenings. I'll be making it again next weekend when aforementioned friend visits us in Missouri.

  • 1 9" Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 1 Egg White
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3/4 cup Lime Juice (it can be fresh squeezed from Key Limes, or the bottled type)

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350.
  2. If you like your pie crust nice and crispy, brush it with egg white and bake for about 10 minutes. If you like a nice chewy crust, skip this step.
  3. Combine your egg yolks and Greek yogurt/sour cream in a large bowl. Make sure to do these two first to avoid getting chunks of yogurt/cream later on.
  4. Add the full can of condensed milk and mix well. Just try not to add to much air to the mix since it will cause bubbles.
  5. Add your lime juice LAST. The lime juice will cook the eggs and thicken the mixture, so you don't want to do this until it's all mixed. You can use more or less juice to your liking, but I find 3/4 of a cup to be the perfect amount. Half a cup of juice results in a slight taste of lime.
  6. Tap the bowl on your counter a few times to help push out all of the bubbles. The bubbles don't make a difference, but I prefer my pie to be nice and smooth without little holes in it.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes. Just make sure there isn't any change in color.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before placing in the refrigerator. Keep refrigerated.

Hope you enjoy this! I prefer to use regular lime juice, but you get the same result with actual Key Limes or their juice.

Don't forget that you can still vote for me daily in the Top 25 Military Moms competition.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

My First Vlog!

*Sorry guys! I'm not sure what went wrong before. Hopefully this version works!!*

Hey friends! Not much to talk about today, but I thought a short video would be a fun way to meet some of you. 

Have I convinced you to make your own video??

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Picture Packed Wordless Wednesday

I have a ton to get done while the girls are in daycare in preparation for my mother in law's visit tomorrow, so here are some recent pictures of the girls and other things. And tomorrow, I hope to have a vlog up! (:

Please, if you're a fan of my blog, vote for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Moms competition. My goal is to finish in the top 10.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mommy is Getting a Break

Woo! The girls started daycare yesterday! Although I spent my entire time alone grocery shopping, it was marvelous! No having to yell at little people to stay in the cart or stop grabbing things. Glorious!! Shopping took a little longer than usual because I went to both Walmart and the Commisarry to compare prices. I downloaded a couple of apps the night before that also got me a little tied up in the stores.

If you aren't already using them, download: Ibotta, Shopkicks, and Field Agent. I used them while shopping yesterday to get money back on items that I purchased and even items that I didn't have to buy. Once I get these apps figured out a little bit better, I'd like to share how to use them. In the meantime, check them out. You can get rewarded for doing what you already do.

Over the weekend Hubs and I discovered a new show. We're big Hulu and Netflix addicts and since we've finished all of the episodes of our regular shows, we decided to try something new. Have you guys seen The New Normal? We were looking for something along the lines of Modern Family, and this was close. So far, we're only a few episodes in, but we love it! Not only is it hilarious, but it has a good storyline as well. And it's got my girl NeNe Leakes.

What are some of your favorite Hulu and Netflix shows? I get in my Mad Men and Breaking Bad when I can, but Hubster doesn't watch either and obviously they aren't appropriate for the girls to watch.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 16

The meal plan for this week is a little late today. The cable man didn't show up until later in the afternoon. I've learned my lesson, and will start scheduling in advance. Most of you have seemed to have pretty experiences with scheduling your posts. Hubster's mom comes later this week and we'll be out most of next weekend, so it will help to keep the blog updated.

Week 16 Menu:
Monday: Chilaquiles and Refried Beans
Tuesday: Pulled Pork Egg Rolls
Wednesday: I forgot.. LOL
Thursday:  Crockpot Meat Loaf and Mashed Potatoes
Friday: Orange Chicken with Rice
Saturday: Lasagna Pockets
Sunday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with Parm Roasted Veggies

I left my menu in the car with my shopping list, so I'll have to update later.

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 or favorite recipe.
3. Check out a few other blogs!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Why I Need To Schedule Posts

Just my luck. Our internet modem/router fried itself yesterday and the cable company won't even be available to return our call until tomorrow morning. So that's why I'm blogging from the Fort Leonard Wood library. I was hoping to share my beautiful Scavenger Hunt Sunday photos with you, but the internet is honestly too slow to get these puppies up on PicMonkey and then upload them. I might try with a few of them though. Or not. All of my other pages are taking ages to load. And that is why I need to start scheduling my posts.

Not only would scheduling posts help me avoid not posting due to unforeseen circumstances like the internet not working, but actual real-life issues as well. Like a kid with a tantrum or a sick baby. Things like emergency errands like taking Hubs his lunch wouldn't interfere with my ability to get something posted in time to actually be read that day.

Also, have you noticed that having a scheduled post helps relieve some stress and seems like it gives you extra time in the day? In the past when I've scheduled stuff ahead of time, I've noticed that I don't have to scramble in the morning to get something typed up. It allows me to spend the mornings hanging out with the girls instead of sitting them in front of Netflix while I'm in the kitchen typing. Now that I'm trying to take the girls out more in the morning, this would be a huge time saver! We can get out before the sun becomes insanely hot, and maybe spend nap time blogging.

As much as I love blogging, lately I've realized that it has started to take over family time a tad. I think if I could find a good chunk of time (like nap time) to knock out a few posts for the week, I'd be set. My only hesitation is that I really enjoy posting about our day to day life. But who knows, maybe scheduling will help me in my quest to become more organized.

Do you schedule your posts? How far in advance do you do it, and when do you find the time to get it done?

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Spanish Saturday

One of the toughest parts about being a military family is keeping our culture while constantly being relocated around the world. Hubs and I both grew up speaking Spanish, because our grandparents were responsible for a great part of our upbringing and that's all they spoke. Now that we're outside of Miami, mostly away from the Hispanic community, and our parents all speak English, there really hasn't been an emphasis on teaching the girls another language.

My little Puerto Rican

When I was pregnant with V, we swore up and down that our kids would be raised bilingual. We've failed in that department. Without the grandparents around to help, it really isn't convenient to teach the girls. Although Hubs and I are familiar with the language, we're both much more comfortable speaking English, so that's pretty much all we speak at home. Dora has helped with some of the basics, but that definitely won't get the little ones speaking fluently.

Enter Spanish Saturday, or Spanish Sabado. We've tried it in the past, but I'm even more committed to sticking with only speaking Spanish on Saturdays to at least get the girls familiar. My Midwestern-raised dad picked up Spanish by being around my grandma contantly for 20-something years.

Luckily I was able to add bunch of great recipes to my repertoire by watching my grandmother in the kitchen. There is no lack of Cuban food on the menu in this house. Lately, I think my meal plans have even had more of a Hispanic flair to them. At least the girls aren't missing out when it comes to that. Oh, and let's not forget that the day can't start until there's a pot of Cuban espresso on the stove.

Even though maintaining our culture as a military family may be difficult, there are a couple positives that come with being a military family. For starters, there's always the chance that we'll pick up an additional culture by being stationed overseas. Germany is one of the duty stations near the top of our list because we'd love for our daughters to see Europe. The commissary does a great job of stocking familiar foods so that we can always have a taste of Latin cuisine at home.

How do you maintain your family roots while being away from family?

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Get It Together

I've been wasting a lot of time lately. Putting off projects that I should/want to be doing. I started using printables a month or two ago to help get myself motivated, but I kinda dropped the on those as well. I've become perfectly content with just hanging out at home all day, doing the bare minimum. That needs to change.

Bless my husband for dealing with my craziness. He barely has a clean uniform to wear to work in the morning, and a few times he only has one because he reminds me that he needs one the night before. So, I scramble to toss dirty ACUs in the machine before bed. Sure, he could do his own laundry, but because of failed previous attempts at laundering, I've banned him from even looking at the machine. Some times the dishes for dinner come straight out of the sink. That's rare though. If only the dish washer worked a little better.. :/

SO! Today, the girls and I have a fun filled day out of the house! I have to go to Walmart to pick some stuff up and then visit the post office to get some stuff sent out. From there, We'll head to the park and then back home for lunch. Hopefully the park tires them out enough that they nap. I've had a hard time getting Adri down this week. During nap time, I really want to work on my little craft corner. Or at least finally get around to researching Ft Carson a little.

Once Hubster gets home from work, I'll have him help me start next week's meal plan. I definitely don't want a repeat of this week.

I'm also going to work on getting more organized with my blogging. I've scheduled posts before and it seriously takes off so much pressure. I don't have to worry about blogging while Hubs is home and it gives us more time to enjoy being a family.

I've kinda tried...

Don't forget that you can vote for me daily in this Top 25 Military Moms program!

How do you keep your life organized and get everything done?

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Broke My Face

I had all intents of doing a vlog today, but I woke up with a giant swollen eye, and decided not to subject anyone to that lovely view. I scratched my eyelid while at the daycare orientation on Tuesday, and it's kind of just gotten worse since then. I sat around this afternoon with a warm compress on, and it's kind of helped. If I don't think it's better by tomorrow, I'll go to the ER. I just need to figure out a time that it won't be insanely busy.

I dropped the girls off with a friend/neighbor this morning to give myself some free time. I can't wait for them to start daycare next week!! We only live 5-10 minutes from post, so it will be a million times more convenient than it was at Stewart. I'm excited for them to start here. My only complaints are that they won't be in the same room, and V's room will have six year olds in there since you have to be in first grade to participate in the school-aged activities.

While I was childless this morning I got a bunch of laundry and decluttering done. Hubster's mom comes next week and we still have some PCS clutter hanging around. I happen to suck when it comes to folding and putting clean clothes away, so a bunch of that was done.

For about 45 minutes I chatted with Sara from You and Me are We. She does blog consults and is positively fabulous! She pointed out some areas where I might be able to make changes for the better and answered all of my questions. It was an overall wonderful experience. 

I'd like to try again for a video tomorrow, but I highly doubt I'll be camera ready.Pray that I don't wake up with a golf ball on my face. I'm trying so hard not to touch it, but it's irritated and annoying.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Candy Crush Cheat

My name is Alex, and I'm a Candy Crush addict. You too? Have a seat.

I only started playing candy crush about a month and a half ago. That might explain why I still haven't given up and chucked my phone at a wall. I guess you can say we're still in the honeymoon phase, CC and I. One thing that can always manage to annoy me though, is when I run out of lives. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have a solution. 

My sister tipped me off to this, but since she doesn't have a blog, I'm taking the credit. You can easily get more lives when playing Candy Crush on your phone by setting the time forward in half hour increment. Yup. It's that easy.
On the iPhone, you can head to: Settings  > General > Date & Time. Turn off "Set Automatically" and set the time forward half an hour for each life, up to five lives. Simple right?! Just don't forget to fix the time when you're done.

I recommend doing this just before bed or some other time where you won't be playing for a while because after you correct the time and have it set automatically, it'll be like 675:00 minutes until your next life. My strategy is to only set the time forward to just before the time I plan on waking up. That way, I can use all of my night time lives and still be good to go in the morning.

I'm linking up at the Wednesday Walkabout today.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Fail

I'm sorry to say that meal planning for this week has pretty much not happened. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, and even when I sat down to try to plan, I wasn't inspired at all. I'm going to have to get to it eventually, because I refuse to go grocery shopping more than once a week. For some reason, none of the websites that I normally use have any recipes that stand out. Wanna help out? Link your meal plan or just a favorite recipe or two below and I'll be eternally grateful.

In the meantime, this is what we did this weekend.

On Friday Hubs got home early as expected. I was hoping to go to the pool early, but he preferred to go later in the afternoon. Fine. We had lunch, hung out a little and then tried to put Adri down for her nap. It was a huge fail. She's been acting cranky as hell lately. Well, two hours later I figured the nap wasn't going to happen and we should just go to the pool. We weren't even there an hour when Adri started flipping out. Being in the water didn't make her happy, neither did being out of the water. Nothing really. The lifeguards (who didn't look like they could save a living person) took their break, so we decided it was a good time to leave. Adri fell asleep on the five minute car ride home. Back at home, she refused to lay down.

Saturday Hubby woke up before everyone and went and got us doughnuts and coffee. Good job babe! We drove an hour and a half to Springfield to visit the mall since all of those semi-annual sales are happening. We really only went to Express though. I had to exchange a shirt that I bought last time and we both picked up a few new tops. Although we were kind of ready to leave the mall, we were kind of stuck due to the insane amount of rain outside, and having to wait for Caesar to finish up his grooming appointment at Petsmart across the street. Instead of leaving, we had a late lunch at the Ruby Tuesday's inside of the mall.

By the time Caesar was done, the weather had also cleared up. Both girls were asleep almost as soon as we were on the road. Thank the LORD! For the majority of the drive back home, we talked about all of the features that the house that we're going to build in Colorado is going to have. Yeah, no assignment to Ft Carson yet or anything, but for a few reasons, I think it's made it to the top of the wishlist.

We started Sunday by taking Hubster's car to get an oil change. I came home and made some awesome greek yogurt pancakes. I'm really not a pancake fan, but these are good! I'm trying to work on perfecting the recipe that I use.

The girls were awful all day. Nothing we did made them happy. Unfortunately, Father's Day could have gone much better for Hubs..

I'm hoping that this week goes better for us. I have an orientation for the girls' daycare tomorrow. I can't wait to finally get them in a few days a week! Some time apart will do us good. It'll also do them good to get some structured social interaction.

And now to attempt to meal plan some more...

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

I've gotten pretty lucky when it comes to dads. I grew up with a wonderful dad who was always a great example. Now, I've got a fantastic hubby who is an amazing and loving father to our girls. I k ow how truly blessed I am to have both of these men in my life.

Happy Father's Day to all of the awesome dads and father-figures out there!

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thank You (:

Yay! I feel so loved and thankful for all of the support that I've received from friends old and new throughout my blogging journey. Never in a million years could I have imagined creating the friendships and bonds that I have via the internet. It's almost like I'm online dating a bunch of women. I love you guys!

I started blogging mid-way through Hubster's last deployment out of boredom. Bored really can't even begin to describe what I was. I figure this would be a great way to keep busy or at least help document the year that Hubs was missing. Did I think I'd end up like this, with a bunch of followers and friends? Nope. If you knew me outside of the internet, you'd know that I have like three friends. Yep. I'm a real life hermit.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw the amount of votes that I have in the Top 25 Military Moms list. It isn't a huge number, but much more than I was expecting when I opened up the page. Even if I don't make it into the top 25, I'd be happy with knowing that I have the kind sentiments of some wonderful ladies in the blogging community. If you'd like to vote for me, you can go here, and just click "vote". No registering or anything required.

Thank you friends for the love, support, and entertainment that you provide on a daily basis.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Fun!

It's finally Friday! Yay! It seems like this week has been longer than usual. We have some exciting plans that should help to break up our tedious weeks. Hubs should be home by 10:00 this morning, so he gets to participate too! Family fun!

This morning started out with some frozen yogurt drops for the girls. It was something I saw on Pinterest, but never imagined how much they'd love it. We're almost out, so I have to make some more. They were so quick and easy to make too! I bought a big tub of yogurt to use for it, but I think that a single cup or two are probably the perfect fit for a large cookie sheet. I used the baggie in a cup trick, also from Pinterest, to fill the bag, snipped off the tip of the bag, and started making dots. ONLY the TIP! Like the width of a fingernail. I always snip off too much when I use Ziplocks for decorating and if you do that with this, you'll end up with a yogurty mess.

Since Hubs should be home early, I'd like to make a trip to the splash park. It doesn't open until 11 anyway, so I was planning on taking the girls for an hour or so before lunch and nap time. They'll appreciate some time away from home. It's nice and hot out too, which means they might actually go near the water.

The fair is in town through this weekend, so if this evening isn't too hot, I'd like to go check it out and walk around. Hopefully I can get some Cara Box inspiration while I'm there. I was phenomenally creative when it came to putting together care packages for hubby, but when it's for someone that I haven't met, there's so much pressure to get it perfect! The girls should have a blast with all of the lights and sounds that fairs bring.

I'm not sure what the weekend has in store, but I'm kind of hoping to make a trip down to the mall. I think the semi-annual sales are going on right now. Either way, I got a tank top at Express that I need to exchange because it has a little hole.

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June Sponsor Highlight with Giveaways!

I'd like to introduce my readers to some of the great sponsors that my blog has gained in past few weeks. Even before they became blog sponsors, I was a reader of their pages, because they really do have interesting content vc. Each of these ladies blogs about something completely different, but for the most part I am able to relate to all of them, and I hope you are too!

I'm Angel. I blog about family, crafts, cooking, gardening, sewing, and much more. You'll find Mommy Mondays, Craftastic Tuesdays, Blog Hop Thursday, Recipe Swaps, Giveaways and so much more. Hope you will come and visit.

Caitlin is an Air Force pilot's wife, Mama to Matthew, and her two furry children, Moose and Chewie. She blogs over at The Pearl and The Pilot about military life, her family, being accidentally crunchy, almost Catholic. Caitlin has a thing for wine, coffee mugs, Texas, and daffodils. Stop by, say hi, and stay a while!

Another one of my amazing sponsors, Glossy Blonde currently has a couple of giveaway up on her blog: here & here.

And finally, I am helped to sponsor one of my all-time favorite's blogiversary giveaway and you can enter below for a chance to win $300!

I CAN NOT believe it's been a year since I started my blog! You always remember the first birthday right? Happy blogiversary to me! To remember my day just a little more I have come together with some AMAZING sponsors to give you $300 in CASH!
Say what? Yep, cash baby!!
PLEASE, thank these amazing friends and supporters of Raising Reagan and enter below!
From Top Left {clockwise}:
Please also stop by and thank these lovely supporters and friends of mine as well ... I couldn't have brought you this amazing giveaway without them!
♥ April - 100lb Countdown ♥ Leslie - Violet Imperfection ♥ Rosey - Mail 4 Rosey
♥ Krystal - My Life of Travels and Adventures ♥ Jessica - Girl Booklet ♥ Ruth - Viva Veltoro
♥ Dara - Not In JerseyDatevitation ♥ Kera - Nugget on a Budget
♥ Koren - My Full Time Fit Life ♥ Josi - That Suburban Momma ♥ Paulina - Discovering Simply Me
It's a $300 CASH blogiversary giveaway!

Giveaway open worldwide | Winner MUST HAVE a PayPal account | Entries WILL BE verified
Winner will have48 hours to respond to winning email or new winner will be chosen
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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