Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We Got A List

Oh boy! Yesterday was an exceptionally exciting day! Mostly. Hubster finally received the list of the slots that will be available when he finishes up the Career Course. Although it's only a list of what's available, it was exciting to see where we could be heading in a few months. We'll have to create our wish list in the next couple of days and submit it to the Assignment Officer.

I spent the better part of the evening and afternoon researching some of the spots that will most likely be at the top of our list. I was excited to see that there are three Command spots available in Hawaii, but after researching the pet quarantine policy, I'm slightly concerned. There is also availability in Germany, but after visiting the post website, I'm kind of discouraged. I think I might be too lazy to try to read German words mixed in with English.

One of the places that I was kind of hoping to go, Fort Carson, Colorado, wasn't on the list at all. Even though I knew not to get my hopes up, I really really wanted to go there so that we could have the opportunity to buy another house while the market is still good for that. For now it's looking like we'll have a pretty good chance of ending up OCONUS (outside Continental US), which is exciting and scary! And since Hubster has relatively low dwell time (amount of time since he's been home from overseas), it's more likely that we'll get something at the top of our list.

I'm excited to get our list figured out. Once we figure out our top five, I'll be sure to share! Hopefully it won't be too long until we get actual orders.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July Sponsor Highlight

It's time to introduce you to my wonderful sponsors again! This month I was lucky to have some great ladies on the blog. All three of these lovelies blog about almost completely different topics, so I can just about guarantee that you'll be able to connect with at least one of them. Please stop check them out and say hello!!

Also be sure to check out a few of my other favorites: Adventures of a Semper Fi Family, Not in Jersey and Army Wife Style.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 20

Annnd it's Monday again. The weekend always goes by way too quickly and the week just drags on. Saturday was pretty low-key for us. After a long week of work, all Hubs wants to do is hangout on the couch. We watched LOTS of Million Dollar Listing New York, which made us realize that we're living life completely wrong. These guys make like double our yearly household income in a day!

Sunday started out slowly for us, but eventually picked up. I really hate sitting at home when we could be out doing stuff as a family. We started at Lowe's where we picked up a few things we were needing. We also looked at the Keurigs, but they didn't have the model that we wanted available. From there we hit up Walmart in search for the machine. Walmart didn't have it either, which led us to the PX. The PX had it, and on sale! And tax-free!

After shopping, we picked up lunch and had a picnic at the park. V totally loved it! The girls played for a while and then we came back home. We got a bunch done without being totally exhausted, so I'd say Sunday was a success also! We absolutely love our new Keurig. I feel like we've been missing out for years. Well, not Hubster, he had one like the one we bought in Afghanistan.

Anyway, on to the meal planning. Can you believe that I'm at 20 weeks of meal planning already?! It's hard to believe! That's just about five months! I started out trying not have any repeats, but it's happened occasionally with some of our favorite meals. Make sure you link up your own meal plan or recipe below!

Week 20 Menu:
Monday: Taco Calzone
Tuesday: Spinach Artichoke Pasta
Wednesday: Chicken Teriyaki with Rice and Steamed Vegetables
Thursday: Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers
Friday: Slow Cooker Beef Cabbage Rolls
Saturday: Steak Burritos with Beans and Rice
Sunday: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Taco Calzones

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!

Check out my fantastic sponsor:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Sergeant in the House [Review]

I received this book complimentary for review purposes. All thoughts are my own. 

A few weeks ago I received an email asking me to review a new children's book. Normally, I'm pretty hesitant to accept book reviews since I simply don't have a plethora of time to sit down and read. However, since this was a children's book we were talking about, I knew it would be a perfect fit! Both V and Adri absolutely love to read and being that this book has an absolutely adorable little puppy on the front, I knew it would be a huge hit!

A Sergeant in the House was written by Betty Turnbull and illustrated by Susan Senning. It's the story of military child Lenny, and his desperate want of a puppy. After learning that his father was injured in combat though, Lenny's priorities change from wanting a puppy to wanting to help out his dad.

I would say that this book is probably geared towards the six or seven year old range, but even at three years old, V sat contently listening to me read. Over and over again. It does help that she loves reading though. Even though the book keeps everything pretty light, I couldn't help but choke up a time or two, even after reading it several time. I guess it was the reality of being a military family and knowing that this could have happened to us or someone that we know.

This was charming book with a lovely message. I would definitely recommend it to other parents and especially other military families. One of the great things about this book is that the author is donating her royalties from the sale of this book to Hope For The Warriors

You can learn more about the author, Betty, here. A Sergeant in the House is available through her website or on retailers such as or and special order through any book seller.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Berry Sexy Vanilla Sunrise

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and SlimFast. This post is brought to you by SlimFast. All thoughts and content are my own.

TGIF! If your week has been anything like mine, you're probably in dire need of a drink or four. Lucky for you, I have a fantastic drink recipe to pass along. Slim Fast sent me a product sample as well as drink recipes to try and share. Now I have to admit, I wasn't all that keen on trying an alcoholic drink with Slim Fast in. For me, alcohol and dairy type drinks don't mix. I've never had a White Russian, nor do I know what it is, or anything like Bailey's. I've never tried SlimFast either.

Even though I was a bit hesitant, I am so glad I tried a Berry Sexy Vanilla Sunrise. It was GOOD! This drink, and a few others, were created exclusively for SlimFast by DR Mixologist, Darryl Robinson, host of “Drink up” on The Cooking Channel. You can check out the recipes for the delicious cocktails and mocktails here. Each of these drinks contains only 130-190 calories per serving*. I'd say that's a win.

  • 2 oz SlimFast French Vanilla Shake
  • 1 oz white rum OR 1 oz raspberry rum
  • 1/3 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1-2 pieces of fresh ginger - to taste
  • 1 tsp agave syrup OR 1 tsp honey
  • 1 ice cube; Add more as needed for smooth consistency
  • Additional berries for garnish

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy responsibly.

Prior to this I had never tried SlimFast, I'm almost positive that I'll be picking up a case when I go shopping next week. Not only was the cocktail great, but the shake itself was good! I'm looking forward to trying the other cocktail recipes.

Check out the new SlimFast cocktail/mocktail recipes and start slimming** for summer by visiting

*Cocktails are not a part of the SlimFast 3-2-1 plan. Only occasional use recommended. You must be 21+ to consume alcohol and please drink responsibly.

**Losing more than 2lbs per week is not recommended. Exercise 30 minutes daily and follow the SlimFast plan.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Ad Bomb & A Free Printable

Was anyone else as distraught as I was when they found out the Passionfruit was going to start charging? In case you're unfamiliar with Passionfruit, it's an ad management site that makes it easy to buy and sell ads for your blog or business. Until recently, it was free to use. The only time you had to pay was if you wanted to purchase ad space, and of course there was the free swap with a promo code option. Not anymore.

Starting September 1, Passionfruit is going to start charging a $9 monthly fee, or you can shell over $50 before then to get access for a year. For some reason I panicked when I saw this. It's not like I have to use Passionfruit. I am fully capable of simply editing a little HTML to add or remove buttons on my own. Plus, I rarely actually sell ads, so I'm mostly missing out on the convenience factor. I could leave swaps up forever and it really wouldn't be a huge deal.

In all honesty, I haven't decided whether or not I want to take the plunge yet. I don't run a huge blog where I constantly have people purchasing ads. I'm super thankful for the ones that have though! I'm curious to know what some of your guys are doing? Have you had luck with selling ads so far, or if you only use it for swaps, will you start paying for the service.

Until I actually figure it out, I've decided to create this sheet to help me really stay up to date with what my sponsors have going on and to try to keep them happy and hopefully coming back. Writing everything down is seriously the only way I can remember. Go ahead and steal if you'd like.

Oh! And in an attempt to find some new sponsors and see if I will be able to maintain a paid account, my ads are ALL 55% off at the moment with the code: PASSION

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dad is a Parent Too - Letting Go

I am a huge control freak. I like things done my way, because I know that my way works. In most cases, I'd rather just do everything myself than ask for help. Lately though, trying to be mommy around the clock has left me overwhelmed and exhausted. I've found it difficult to just sit back and relax or do activities that I once enjoyed because of the constant need to make sure the girls are being taken care of to my standards.

Recently, I've been letting go and trying to give Hubster an equal hand at parenting. Going out last weekend was a gigantic step for me. Although, it has been a little difficult to find a balance since he has a job outside of the home and being a mom is my job. I have to admit, I'm not exactly doing a great job. I step in a lot when I probably should just let Hubs figure it out. Since I am the one who knows the routines and the likes or dislikes, it's been somewhat of a frustrating learning experience. It's just easier for me to step in and fix situations when I know the solution.

One of the most difficult aspects of letting him take some control is that Hubs literally missed Adri's entire first year of life. She wasn't a huge fan of him when he first returned from deployment and even though she's finally started to warm up to him, there are times when she'll scream and cry if he tries to help or hold her. Thankfully, V is a daddy's girl and his absences didn't seem to have a huge effect on her.

I'm linking up again with Lanaya and her parenting series over at Raising Regan.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Bloody Mary's Count as a Salad Link Up

Guess what?! I'm co-hosting this week! Come join the link up!

Welcome to Bloody Marys Count as a Salad # 3

Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

What's with the name?  We named it Bloody Mary’s Count as a Salad, because anything goes in this hop! Need to vent? Go for it! Need to say something snarky? DO IT!  Or do you just want to share your blog and/or a specific post?  We'd love to read it!  Anything you want to share, we want to see it!

Of course, there are a few rules, we aren't going for hop chaos here!

  1. Follow your hosts and each weeks special guest co-host.
  2. Link up your blog or specific blog post.  Whatever you’d like to share is ok with us!
  3. Visit 3-4 other blogs and say hello!  Try to be nice and follow those who follow you.  And don’t forget to say hi to your hosts if you are new!
  4. Grab the link up button and put it in your side bar, in your post, or put our link on your link up party page.
  5. Not mandatory, but we’d love to have you share our hop with others.  Tweet it, post about it, or share it on Facebook.  We’ll love you forever if you do… And it might help you grab a co-host spot next week.

Don't Forget to follow your Hosts and special Co-Host:

Special Guest Host: Alex- Munchkins and the Military

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Meal Planning Monday - Week 19

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was good and bad. Since Hubs usually has a packed week, we decided to just hangout at home. No splash pad or dog park or anything like that. Just hanging out on the couch.

Saturday night we rented two Redbox movies, This is 40 and Django Unchained. This is 40 was pretty funny, and I can almost imagine that being my life in 14 years. Django was good, but disturbing. There were parts that I had to tell Hubs to mute it, because covering my eyes wasn't cutting it.

On Sunday I had these cramps from hell. I hardly ever get them, but when I do, its freaking awful. The same thing goes for when I get sick. I spent the afternoon curled up in the living room while my awesome hubby took care of getting the kitchen area cleaned up.

Week 19 Menu:
Monday: Chicken and Rice Casserole
Tuesday: Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noddles
Wednesday: Spinach Quiche
Thursday: Plantain Soup
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Sunday: Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast

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!

Check out my fantastic sponsor:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Introducing Zinio & Free Magazines!

Recently, I received an email asking me to help spread the word about Zinio, a magazine subscription site that allows you to purchase magazines for viewing on your electronic devises. Zinio has a ton of the magazines that you would normally subscribe to or pick up at a store all at your fingertips. You can browse and purchase full subscriptions or single issues instantly.

A cool feature that Zinio has is the Explore section, which allows you to read thousands of articles without even having a subscription.

From now until July 26, Zinio is offering five subscriptions for $5. You can click here to see which magazines are available. Some options are Cosmo, Elle, and Food Network Magazine. There's also Z-Pass which allows you to get three magazines for $5 every month.

In an effort to familiarize everyone with this really cool (and green) subscription option, I am giving away NINE (9) free subscriptions. There were 10, but I'm keeping one for myself. (: If you're interested in claiming one, go to Zinio, let me know which of their magazines you'd like. I'll also need your first and last name along with email address.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

My Favorite Apps for Making Money

Being that I'm a stay at home mom, I don't exactly have a source of income. When celebrations like anniversaries or Husbter's birthday (which is in a few weeks) come up, I find it kind of weird to give him gifts purchased with the money he earned. Even though I have a pretty sweet blog, pennies a day aren't cutting.  Thanks to a friend, I discovered some really awesome apps that I'm so excited to share with you guys!! In about a month I've made a nice small amount of money, but every little bit helps, right?

  • Gympact - about $8 in a month: I've shared this one before. It rewards you for meeting your gym goals each week. For each day you complete, you make some money. Lately, the rewards have been $0.45-0.55 for each day. If you don't work out, it charges you a predetermined amount. I have mine set to charge me $5, and thankfully that hasn't happened yet. You can either use the app by checking into your gym, or like me, keeping it on you while you're moving for at least 30 minutes. Once you've earned over $10 it's easy to transfer to PayPal.
  • iPoll - $31.58 in less than a month: This one is my favorite by far! It's been so easy to earn a ton of money. Just two days ago, I had a $10 mission to go into Walmart, take a photo of an aisle, and then answer some questions about it. Yesterday I did a similar mission for $5. Not bad, huh? There are also a ton of surveys that you can take that earn you a pretty decent amount. Think $1-$5 per survey. Not the $.25 that I'm used to with other survey sites, plus it seems a lot easier to qualify. The downside to this app is that you need to use the website to cash in. They have options for all sorts of gift cards, magazine subscriptions, and PayPal.
  • Field Agent - $3.00 in a week: Field Agent is great because it offers much higher paying jobs, but they're also a bit more difficult. There are some surveys, but the bulk of this app, or at least the best paying part, is taking pictures of store displays and product placement. It's been a little bit difficult for me to make a ton of money using this app because the selection at our Walmart isn't the largest. Often times the mission asks for an image of a bar code of a product that I can't find. 
  • Shopkick - 394 kicks this month: This app is perfect for those of you whole live in larger cities. You can earn "kicks" to use towards gift cards simply by checking into stores. I've used this when visiting St. Louis and it was great! After checking into Macy's I got around 200 kicks as well as a 15% off coupon. Not a bad deal. I've also been able to earn kicks the the local Walmart by scanning products and then answering a few questions about the product. 
Obviously, this won't be replacing the income that the military provides, but it's a nice little extra each month that I can spend guilt free. 

Do you have some favorite money making apps that I didn't mention here? I'd love to try out some other ones!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013


I just got home from my appointment. Oh boy. I was not expecting that at all! Unfortunately, the numbing shots are not as painless as they were when I was a kid and the right side of my face feels like I was punched. Lucky for me, I prepared for the worst and I'm currently drowning my sorrows in Ben & Jerry's Half Baked. I probably should have picked an ice cream without brownie or cookie dough chunks, but this is what makes me the happiest. Don't worry, I'm chewing all the yummy goodness on my left side.

Since I was anxiously anticipating today's appointment, I forgot to fall asleep last night. Lack of sleep and anxiousness led to me forgetting the girl's backpacks. Yup. I was that mom that sent her kiddies to daycare with no extra diapers. Hubster had warned me that the gates on to post would be a huge mess since there is a graduation or family day happening. They were. Because of this, I was in a rush to leave the house early, and since it took over 20 minutes to get on post, I really didn't have time to turn around and get the backpacks and still make it to my appointment. Big mommy fail! I was honestly anticipating a call letting me know that V peed her pants and didn't have a change of clothes. Awful!

I've got to go get the girls in a few minutes and I'm looking forward to just relaxing for the rest of the afternoon. Thank you all for your kind words regarding my dental visit. I'll never go four years between check ups again. In case today wasn't enough of a reminded to keep regular appointments, I have to go back in a few weeks to do the left side. No bueno..

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