Friday, April 29, 2011

On Repeat: Love

Another song titled "Love". It's a popular subject, you know.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week...





Sunday: Decided to wage a war with the weeds in my backyard and lost.
Monday: Lunch at Panda Express with my husband's boss' boss' wife. FRG has taken over my life. Began a search for some unsweetened shredded coconut.
Tuesday: Dog sitting. No unsweetened shredded coconut in Store #2. Finished a book and started another. Had a night out with some great ladies at a yucky Mexican restaurant and resisted eating even a single chip. I prepared by eating a veggie burger beforehand in order to stick with my diet. Yay me!
Wednesday: Dog sitting. Routine oil change turned into a nightmare and now I'm on a hunt for new tires at a reasonable price. Went to two more stores and still could not find unsweetened shredded coconut. Got a haircut spontaneously and now hate my appearance more than ever. Three hour FRG Leader course in the evening. I wanted to bang my head on the table. Stayed up late to work on my other blogging gig. 
Thursday: Splurged on a tall soy chai tea latte from Starbucks. It made me happy inside. Sam's Club with friends. Completely cheated on my diet by scarfing down two sides of Mexican rice and a beef fajita burrito. Totally worth it. The Hubby told me I looked skinny. Also made me happy inside. Three hour FRG Leader course part two. I wanted to bang another girl's head on the table.
Friday: Baking and lots of food in store. Maybe get new tires.
Saturday: Heavy cleaning of the house in preparation for a potluck on Sunday. Volunteer appreciation ceremony.

Will catch up on blogging later. Looking forward to less busy days, but also thankful that time is flying by.

XOXO.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trapped

What happens when a very bored human realizes that a dog can fit perfectly under the coffee table when it is sleeping on its side.

make avatar

make a gif



*GIFs made specifically with Spencer and Rebecca in mind using Picasion.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Surrounded by Love

One of The Hubby's groomsmen is also currently stationed in Iraq. It's too bad that they're not in the same area or else maybe they could actually be having some fun. He sent me this photograph in the mail weeks ago, and I found it incredibly clever.

make a gif
In case you can't tell, that's a picture of me at our wedding being surrounded by a bunch of dancing Army fools. On the back, he wrote: "I hope you remember that even though The Hubby is gone, you're still surrounded by people who care about you."


It's amazing how many wonderful and kind people I have met over the years just simply by being a part of my husband's life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shattered Baking Dreams

I have been saving recipes for various bars, cookies, brownies, and muffins that I want to either ship to The Hubby in Iraq or make for dessert when he is back home. These are the ones that I want to test out the most:



Yesterday, my husband told me that he has been on something called a Paleo diet for the past four weeks. He described it as only being able to eat foods that cavemen had access to, things that could be hunted or gathered. This means no processed foods, grains, dairy, salt, or refined sugars. More specifically, it means no bread, cereals, pasta, pizza, ice cream, cookies, brownies, cake, In N Out, Freebirds, Round Rock Donuts, Rudy's BBQ...all the things that I LOVE. 

Also, rice isn't a part of the diet. The dude knows that I'm Chinese, right? This girl grew up on a bowl of rice every single day. And we all know that Asian people have longer lifespans so we have to be doing something right. Right?

But I'm going to try to be as supportive about this as possible. The Hubby says that this new diet feels great and that he has lost weight. Grocery shopping and cooking meals for us is going to much tougher when he comes home because I don't plan on giving up bread EVER. I think we'll be able to find some middle ground, although eating out may be really difficult. At least he said that he will be willing to have cheat days and that he still wants some beef brisket when he comes home. 

He asked if I could send him Caveman Cookies. There is a company that sells a bag of 12 cookies for $9.95, which I think is a sort of ridiculous price. I've found some recipes online and I will attempt to make them myself. Instead of regular sugar, butter, and flour, the ingredients include ground almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, carrots, and dried fruits. In all honesty, I think they look like something that came out of a horse's arse.



A lot of other recipes require things like coconut oil, blanched almond flour, almond butter, and fake chocolate chips. I'm hoping that our local grocery store carries these items as the nearest Whole Foods is more than an hour away.

If you ever invite me to a potluck, sign me up for desserts because I need to satisfy my baking urges.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

PSA



Never rest your feet on the lower level of your coffee table and let your dog sleep under your legs. 

Because when someone unexpectedly rings your doorbell, your suddenly alert dog will stand up as quickly as possible. 

Your legs will then be trapped against the edge of the coffee table while being pushed up by your pet who is scrambling to get to the front door. 

Then you will scream in pain and curse filthy words.

The person at the door will hear your cries and you will be thoroughly embarrassed because she has never seen that side of you before.

And you will have a bruise along your ankle two inches long, just in time for shorts season.

This has been a public service announcement.

Thank you for your time.

120

*Long, drawn out diet entry ahead! You have been warned!

It's no surprise to you when I say that I love to eat. Fifty percent of my blog is Bella. Forty-five percent is food related. The other five percent is on crafts, The Hubby, complaints about Texas, and other miscellaneous tidbits of my dull life. 

So it should also be no surprise to you that I no longer count my daily calorie intake. It was making me miserable and I was hungry all the time. My stomach should never be growling if I have food in the house and I should not equate food with guilt. After over two months of recording every single piece of food that entered my mouth and exercising almost daily, I did not see any changes on the bathroom scale. 

My weight has been consistent, swaying around 120, no matter how much I will it to go lower. I've grown to accept that 120 is the weight that is perfect for my body, and I should be happy that this number is smaller than that of my our wedding day. But my hard work has not been a waste of time as all of this effort has greatly increased my endurance level, strengthened my body, and toned up a lot of areas that needed to be less flabby. 

I can finally do proper pushups without collapsing on the floor. In fact, I'm so proud of this feat that I randomly drop down and do some every few hours out of boredom. I have even worked my way up to the final level of my 30 Day Shred DVD, something that seemed impossible when I first started. 

And I have to tell you that this decision to eat what I want and the acceptance of 120 has made me a much happier person. 

I think my calorie counting days were absolutely necessary to where I am today. I may not stick to a daily caloric budget, but I have developed cravings for healthy snacks and I have a better understanding of foods that fill me up in the long run, rather than give me a few seconds of tasty bliss.



I have certain foods that I must eat every day in order to be satisfied, and I'm sharing with you because I think you should give them a try, too. Quakers Chocolate Crunch rice cakes are 60 calories each and have 10g of whole grains per serving. Each cake is the perfect balance of sweet and salty and there are even little bits of chocolate pieces embedded in each cake. They're so good, in fact, that I can't just stop at one. 

I start off each morning with a large serving of Egg Beaters egg whites. I lightly pepper my eggs and drizzle them with ketchup. Lots of protein, very few calories, and no cholesterol. I pair off my eggs with a cup of dark chocolate almond milk from Silk. Holy cow almond is it delicious! I buy it at Target for a little less than $3 per half gallon. I savor every single sip and I also find it to be extremely filling.


The picture above is from a shopping trip a few weeks back. I was really surprised at myself for my healthy choices. This was a smaller grocery run. Typically, you will also find fat free fruit snacks, frozen Lean Cuisine meals, and frozen veggies in my cart, too. These items (sans the fake cheese) have become staples in my house. 

I eat an apple a day. I'm completely addicted to apples. Why are there so many types of apples? So far, I've conducted a very scientific taste test and have decided that the Fuji apple is supreme (over red delicious, golden delicious, granny smith, honeycomb, roma).  

I would not recommend this fake brand of fake cheese. It was an impulse buy, and the "cheese" smells like feet. It does melt quite nicely, but the Daiya vegan cheese brand is much better. 

The Hubby is coming home a few months earlier than we had expected for his R&R, and I'm still not at the point that I wanted to be in so I hope I can rev up my workouts and stop eating five cookies at a time. 

I have another diet related post in mind that I need to get out and get some opinions on. I'll save it for another day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Calm and Assertive

Cesar Millan came for a meet and greet at the Fort Hood PX this afternoon. I texted a few friends last minute to see if they wanted to come with me and I was so thankful that they agreed because it made the wait seem so much shorter. 

I wanted to send in a video to get help for Bella because she has several issues, but it was too much trouble. And, honestly, did I really want a tiny man telling me that it is all my fault? He really is tiny, too. I had to crouch down really low to get in my picture with him.

There was a huge crowd of Dog Whisperer fans there and a few brought their dogs with them. Well-behaved dogs were allowed in the store so Bella was definitely left back at home.


A dog in front of us took a big dump and a few women nearby were entirely freaked out by it even though a store employee cleaned the mess up right away. One woman absolutely overreacted and went to grab a sample perfume bottle to spray in the area! Thankfully, her friend stopped her before she actually began squirting away.


The store had set up different display areas with his books and pet supplies and they sold quickly.


And then it was finally my turn to meet Cesar. The experience was completely different than what I had imagined in my head. I brought a picture of The Hubby and Bella and I wanted to ask him to write, "Your wife is always the pack leader" as I thought it would have gotten a big laugh. But I was completely rushed by the people running the meet and greet.

I handed someone the photograph I wanted him to sign and someone else my camera. I walked over to Cesar and he didn't even glance up at me. I said a quick, "Hi!" and he looked up for a millisecond to respond. Then we both glanced up to take a picture and I was ushered away. This explains why my nose is flared and my body is in such an awkward position.

I'm so glad that I didn't bother to buy a book for him to sign. I understand that he had a hundred more people behind me to meet, but really I think he could have at least said a simple "Hello." He really only smiled when a photograph was about to be taken.


Also, how ridiculous is it that he is dressed in a pair of ACUs? I know that it was just a huge publicity stunt, but they really didn't need to give him any patches to wear. How is Cesar Millan given a higher rank than my husband and, also, a deployment patch is something that is earned. I felt it was slightly disrespectful.

They also had someone in a giant inflatable dog suit walking around the store and it ran into the Easter Bunny. I think the picture below is the strangest picture I have ever posted on my blog.


Cesar took a little bathroom break mid-way and passed by us. He was not smiling at all and looked pissed off. I'm sure book signings are incredibly stressful, but he really could have attempted to be a bit more friendly. I guess it doesn't help that crazy women like me snap away with their cameras every few minutes.


Oh, Cesar. You may be good with dogs, but you're awful with people. 


And here is the picture I had him sign for The Hubby.


Although I had a poor experience with The Dog Whisperer, I had a wonderful time talking with the women I was with and getting out of the house.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hot Dogs

The Purina Incredible Dogs Team came to Fort Hood on Tuesday for three short demonstrations throughout the day in front of the main PX. I wasn't going to go watch because I didn't want to be out there on my own under the sweltering sun, but I am so glad that I made the trip out there. The energetic dogs were absolutely amazing and you could just see how much fun they were having. 

create avatar

Bella has never been that energetic of a dog. The only exceptions of this is when she is about to be fed, after a meal, after a good poopy, when I leave the house, and when I return home. I once bought her a frisbee and I had great dreams of playing fetch with her, but she barely glanced at the foreign disc when I threw it. 

A Shepherd mix named Hammer was spectacular. She could catch up to five frisbees in a row with multiple frisbees in her mouth at one time.


Purina representatives handed out free toys, treats, and a variety of other goodies to the crowd. There's something about the aspect of free things that drives people a little crazy. Everyone turned greedy and began to grab as many possible things as they could. And if they somehow did not get one of the free items, they would complain as if this was some great wrongdoing. 

One woman literally ran my foot over with a stroller in order to get a cell phone holder after she had already asked for two of everything else. I was extremely satisfied with the stash that I ran out with. I'm going to give the treats to Penny's mom when I next see her since Bella can't have any due to her allergies. Poor Bella doesn't know what she's missing!

I was able to get her to pose with all these items. Amazingly, she took more of an interest in the squishy hot dog toy than the bag of Beggin' Strips, which is so uncharacteristic of my pooch. My favorite item is the reusable and collapsible water bowl. I've been meaning to purchase one for years and now I have a free one!

animated gif maker

Did you notice Bella's new bed? After she peed on her last one, I went out and found her a nice one for $20 at Big Lots. She had the exact one back in California when we lived there. It's of pretty good quality, quite large, and the cover is machine washable. I think she purposely peed on her old bed just so that she could get an upgrade.

Bella absolutely loves her new toy. She hasn't had much of a chance to play with it because I only let her have it when Penny was in the backyard. When Penny sleeps over, I have to hide all the soft toy in fear of her ripping them apart.

create avatar

I honestly love dogs in an almost unhealthy obsessive way. The Hubby always teases me when we're in the car and there is a dog being walked and I turn my head all the way just to keep it in my line of sight for as long as possible. 

"Don't look at the dog!" he would say.
"What dog?!" I would reply excitedly. And then I would plant my face against the passenger window and stare. 

It is almost physically impossible for me to let a dog pass by me without giving it a good pat on the head or scratch behind the ear. I give Bella hugs throughout the day along with a kiss her on the forehead, and I find it to be incredibly calming. I also have a habit of saying, "Good night, Bella. I love you" every single night before I rest my head on my pillow. Seriously. 

Life without a canine companion is no life at all.


*GIFs made by Picasion. Pretty nifty, eh?

What a Life

If you don't factor in the fact that I haven't seen my husband since the beginning of February and am constantly worried that he will be hurt, I have a pretty wonderful life. 

I don't wake up to an alarm clock, but my body stirs me when it has decided that it has rested enough. That, or my hungry dog will strategically make a noise to let me know that she is up and ready for the day. Then, I eat a healthy breakfast of egg whites and light chocolate soy milk--both of which are my current obsessions.

While I eat, I check my e-mails, see what people are up to on Facebook, and watch videos on either Hulu or Netflix. I let my delicious morning meal digest for a bit and then I exercise. Then I snack, usually a juicy and sweet apple, in order to hold my hunger until lunch. I shower without rushing, and the rest of the day is also spent at a leisurely pace.

Recently, I have taken a liking to tanning in the backyard for an hour before my showers. I sit on a towel in one of my swim suits with a reusable bottle of iced water, my cell phone in case The Hubby calls, and a book. I have Pandora radio playing in the background and I snack on mango Luigi's Italian Ice with a large dollop of lite Cool Whip. 

Bella keeps me company and basks in the warmth of the sun, too. I think she knows that in a few weeks the heat will become unbearable, as it is Texas after all. The first few times I did this, diva Bella insisted on sitting on the towel with me. But the heat radiating from her was too much for me so I eventually kicked her off and she now gives me my space. I let her lick the dessert cup when I'm done and she leaves me alone. We have an understanding.

I am so lucky to be able to spend my days in this manner. Having a job and bringing in extra income would be great, but for now we are comfortable so it's not necessary for me to find work at the moment. I'm waiting for the school district to open up positions for substitute teachers. And I'm enjoying my free days while I can because I'm sure that my new FRG leader role will pick up quickly.

I'm beginning to take advantage of our library on post. I miss the convenient online catalog and hold system that was offered by the library back at home, but the ability to get free entertainment is truly wonderful. I wish I could say that I choose to read classic novels like The Great Gatsby or War and Peace on my free time, but I actually like fluff novels. I love Chick Lit. I'm not necessarily in the mood to read anything that makes me rethink my life or makes me cry. I mostly just like happy endings. 


I tend to read multiple books at one time, depending on my mood or even which part of the house I'm in because I have books in different rooms so that I always have something to read. I picked up The Lightning Thief because I really enjoyed the movie version, but I was quite disappointed to discover that the book is nothing like the movie. I'm sure original fans of the Percy Jackson series were disappointed to find the movie nothing like the book.

I read The Undomesticated Goddess quite quickly. It took me awhile to get into it, but once things picked up I couldn't put it down. And The New Yorkers won me over simply because there are dogs in the novel. I actually have the recording on CD and I play it in the car. I love books on CD during drives, especially when the story is so good that you want to sit in your car just a few minutes longer.

I'm about to begin Queen of Babble and I hope I enjoy it because it is the first of a series. I'm always trying to find a good series to read, especially because I've already re-read Harry Potter three times.

Anyone have book suggestions for me? Light reads for now until I'm ready for something a little deeper.

And now my baby girl is nudging me to go to bed as it is way past our bedtime. It's pretty fitting that she is the beginning and end to my day, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good Deed #2

I watch my friend's dog, Penny, just about every week for at least a couple of days. I don't get paid, nor do I expect anything in return. I do it simply because I know she is in need of help and I am happy to do what I can to make her life a little bit easier.

But this also means a lot more barking, squeaking, and early mornings. And double the puppy cuteness!

When I have to leave the house and run some errands, I lock Penny in the laundry room and Bella in her kennel in a separate room. While I unlock Bella's cage and let her out, Penny barks in a somewhat aggressive manner that is both annoying and frightening. Penny has a tendency to bark at other dogs as if to say, "shut up!" while Bella just barks when she doesn't get what she wants.

Ignore all that mess on the ground. Those are remnants of Bella's blanket that used to line her kennel...that I probably should pick up before TH comes home.



I need an Advil. Thankfully, the unbearable Texas heat is beginning to set in and all they want to do is sleep on the cool hardwood floors of the living room.

Axis of Awesome



via WongFu's blog

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Una CombinaciĆ³n Perfecta

My taste buds have had an extremely happy weekend. I'm not sure if you understand what it is like to go from eating hummus and carrots for lunch every day to scarfing down platefuls of juicy homemade beef brisket. It is an amazing feeling that makes my eyes roll to the back of my head. 

I invited a group of women over for some apple pie Friday afternoon because I had been craving some for quite a long time and needed an excuse to bake. I was expecting to serve seven, including myself, so I decided to make a full apple pie instead of my usual flat apple pie or apple pie puffs. I followed a well-reviewed recipe I found online and decided to top it with stars instead of a lattice work top. 

My first apple pie!
The pie tasted wonderful, but the result look was not what I was going for. Next time, I won't try to brush the top with the sugar paste and instead I will just toss the apples with the mixture instead. But, really, anything with that much butter and sugar will taste absolutely delicious!

One very talented guest brought huge servings of tortillas, potato salad, pico de gallo, rice, and slow cooked beef brisket to share. And holy crap was it amazing! Such legit homemade Mexican food! I went back for thirds and I savored every single bite. The chef said that she still had another half of brisket left at home so she told us to keep leftovers for ourselves, and of course we did so without complaint. I have been eating two servings of brisket and rice for lunch these past two days. There is a bit of meat left and I am trying to ration it to last because I do not want it to end.

The amount of food would have been perfect if everyone expected had shown up, but only two women came despite expressions of excitement and RSVPs from the other expected guests.

But, in the end, I couldn't be happier with how my Friday afternoon turned out. I was able to strengthen my friendships with two spectacular women and we had amazing and real conversations. Small, intimate groups is really what I am better at, anyway. Plus, we were able to have two slices of apple pie instead of just one, and that is always a good thing.

I've included Bella in this post because while I was busy baking my apple pie and sugar cookies, she decided to pee on her bed in the living room. She was going through a weird phrase that day about being able to walk through certain parts of the house so she didn't make it to the back door. This was her second accident in less than two weeks. I had to toss the bed like I did with the Green Girl so now she is just using a towel to rest on.


What am I going to do with this baby?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Poopy Diapers

I attended my first baby shower this afternoon for a lovely Army wife who is due mid-June. I had a wonderful time while eating my weight in chicken, crackers, and cake. We played several games and I won two! 

The first game was an easy one where each guest had to grab a diaper out of a large bag and the person who picked the poopy diaper won a prize.


I opened up this diaper and found this lovely surprise inside. I was assured that it was just spread Nutella, which I usually find absolutely delicious, but in this case I wanted to gag. This sight completely turns me off from having children anytime in the near future.


 I was gifted with some great smelling Bath & Body Works goodies and each guest also was given a little box of chocolates.

I also won a trivia game about the guest of honor, which was incredibly surprising since I've only spoken to her twice and there were people at the shower who have known her for much longer. Out of 25 questions, I was able to answer 11 correctly. I suppose I'm a good guesser or maybe I've just learned a lot from Facebook stalking. I actually tied another woman with the same amount of correct answers so I forfeited my chance of winning by letting her win a prize, too.

She seemed to like my gift packaging and was surprised that I had made the tissue flower on my own. I think she liked the little bodysuit set I had chosen for her baby girl, but she seemed more excited when she thought that it was a box of See's Chocolates instead of more clothes. I don't blame her!

There were plenty of babies, toddlers, and children running around the house. I think the fact that I was more interested in petting her black Labrador is a sign that I am not quite ready for children yet... although I definitely did my fair share of swooning over all the tiny socks, frilly dresses, and colorful pacifiers as she was opening up all of her gifts.

Zombieland

I'm back from my hiatus! I know of only one person who has been affected by this break, and he is actually the only reason why I'm up writing instead of in bed right now. C.C., this one is for you.

It's almost hard to get back into the game because my mind is still completely discombobulated and my body is tired. Let me preface this by saying that everything is fine and nothing is wrong. I think when I tell people that things have been crazy around here they begin to worry. Things are crazy in the busy sense. Nothing emotional involved for once! Well, except stress. I am so incredibly happy that this week is over.

I haven't had much sleep lately because my brain won't allow me. Things are a-changin' around here, and when I am trying to fall asleep and dream of my dreamy husband, I instead run through in my head every little thing I need to take care of. I even took a Tylenol PM a few nights ago and I still couldn't fall asleep. My body would jerk itself completely awake despite my pure exhaustion. This frustrated me to no end and I was on the verge of tears when I could not get my much needed rest. I ended up getting out of bed in a complete zombie-like state and eating two rice cakes to minimize my sudden feeling of starvation. 

One morning, I opened up our pantry door and thought that it was the refrigerator. And then a few minutes later I went to place some clean tupperware in the refrigerator, thinking that it was the cabinet. 

On Tuesday morning, I went to the post office to ship a package off to The Hubby. When you send anything overseas, you have to fill out a form and list the contents of the package along with each item's value. I had only filled out the total value as $20 when I brought it to the counter and was asked by the employee to fill out each value. No matter how far back I dug into my brain, I could not figure out how I could easily divide four into twenty. I started putting in numbers and when I got down to the fourth slot, I just was not able to figure out the last number. 

Then I had an "Aha!" moment. Eleven was the correct number! Somehow, I was convinced that 4+4+5+11 equaled a perfect $20. Seriously. I was completely embarrassed and told the guy that I was on four hours of sleep and walked away blushing. I went up to AP Calculus in high school and took two college math courses, and this was the result.


I had purchased a puny monthly planner book for a buck on clearance at Target, thinking I just needed something to keep track of birthdays and any of The Hubby's important dates. Check out my sad little schedule for March. I had to write in when to mail birthday cards so that I would have something to write.


And BANG! Oh, what a change a few weeks makes! I think I need a fancier calendar book. I wish I could say that this change was due to something remarkably exciting, like a sudden life altering desire to save the world. But, alas, my life is not that interesting. 


With The Hubby's promotion to an Executive Officer position at another company, I have experienced some changes myself. I "took" a leadership role for our Family Readiness Group. I use the word "took" lightly because it was more pushed onto me through guilt, but I am prepared to go at it with a positive attitude. I will write more about my new FRG responsibilities later on my other blog when I get the chance, but basically I have been put in charge of the well-being of the 130 or so families that soldiers left back home. It is a huge and important task, and I have a lot of work ahead of me.

 Zombieland Rules
But this whole FRG business was the least of my worries for the week. My sister kindly hired me to write over 7,000 words on sunglasses as part of something she had to do for the internet marketing company she works for. She gave me two weeks to finish this assignment, but of course I waited until the last few days and ended up having to chain myself to a desk for four days, chugging away about polycarbonate lenses and UVA/UVB rays. "Just think of the money!", I reminded myself.

I assumed that I had more time to work on this, but with the sudden FRG job, I was left juggling numerous things at once. I approached this entire thing as a project for school, and it brought me back to the time a year and a half ago when I was going to college full time, slaving away over twenty hours a week as a waitress, and planning our wedding extravaganza all at once.

Also, I haven't shared this with you, but I have a side weekly writing job for a UK savings blog. I get to pretend that I have a flat in London and invite my mates over every afternoon for a cup of tea. The pay is minimal, but it's something. My favorite part of it is that having a weekly deadline makes time go by faster because it always sneaks up on me.

Lastly, I am an idiot and decided to plan for a gathering of wives come over for some apple pie today. I don't know why I like to create trouble for myself, although I think it is crucial for me to have guests over every few weeks or else I would never clean the house.

I had grown accustomed to my easygoing days where I never had to look at a calendar in order to keep track of my plans for the week. I've become one of those, "Let me check my schedule" people, and I can't decide whether or not I like it.


I have a lot of blog entries lined up, but the quality of the pictures won't be the best since I was so rushed this week. I hope to get back into a good rhythm soon. I've taken a major setback in my diet as I think I have been confusing exhaustion with weakness from hunger. I haven't exercised in a week, either.

Signing off with my eighth cookie in my mouth,
Married Minzilla

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Is This Creature?

This is Bella in her true form. Unapologetically goofy, and will get into whatever position she finds to be the most comfortable, even if she looks like a vampire while doing it.






Geez, I love this girl.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hiatus

Things are hectic here so I'm taking a blogging hiatus until Thursday-ish, although I'm probably going to cheat because I love using my blogs as a way to release all that is cooped up in my crazy mind. Promise to fill you in later!

Source: imgspark.com via Min on Pinterest

I Want. Now.

I've decided to be a dress person. I've always had a love for dresses, even as a kid. I remember refusing going to a birthday party once and locking myself in the bathroom because my mother would not let me wear my favorite dress and wanted me to wear overalls.

I have started wearing them for any occasion whether it is a day-trip to Austin or to get some groceries. I'm completely obsessed with these dresses from H&M. It's just too bad that the closest H&M store is three hours away. That's always the case, isn't it?



Source: m.hm.com via Min on Pinterest

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not a Lady

Bella is mighty ugly when she is upside down. Gravity is not kind on any girl, even canines.

Here is a video of her sleeping on her back on the sofa. Legs wide open, of course. My daughter needs lessons on how to be a lady.

Friday, April 8, 2011

On Repeat: Love

Sorry, Green Girl

The Schmidt household suffered a loss this week. 

I had to throw away The Hubby's Green Girl after it was torn to pieces by Bella a few weeks ago and then thrown up on. I had meant to try to patch up the torn corners myself, but I never did. So when Bella upchucked her entire dinner on it the other night, I could not throw it in the wash like I normally do under similar circumstances. 

As you can see (and I'm sorry that you can), Bella does not chew her food when she eats. She swallows her kibble whole as evidenced by the following picture.


This green comforter was used all four years of The Hubby's time as a cadet at West Point, and it kept him warm during many New York winter nights. It then lived on to become a picnic blanket during an outdoor performance of "Annie" in Austin, and later on as the tortilla to a winter Bella Burrito.

You've done well, Green Girl. We will miss you. Sorry you never got a chance to meet Future Kiddo.

Sincerely,
A Negligent Married Minzilla

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh, Awesome.


Have you heard about this? Since I have numerous other Army Wives as friends on Facebook, my news feed has been filled with talks about military personnel not getting their next paycheck on the 15th.

Did you know that there are military families using food stamps to feed their families? How about that there are soldiers risking their lives to defend our country and yet are only getting paid less than $18,000 a year? I always wondered just how wealthy we would be if The Hubby was paid minimum wage per hour he is working. There is no overtime pay or time and a half for holidays. Do you think he gets Thanksgiving or Christmas off in Iraq?

While the Army provides basic housing allowance for rent and groceries and free health care, the system is entirely flawed. The rent for the house we live in is hundreds higher than what we are alloted. We chose to sacrifice having cable television and other nice things so that we can live in a house that we feel safe in. Although we can get "free" post housing, the homes provided by the Army are filled with pipe and mold problems along with other safety issues. And I only hear horror stories about the doctors and hospitals we are allowed to go to under our free health care system. There are women who go home to another state in order to have their babies and refuse to give birth at the hospital on post.

Even though The Hubby is an officer in the Army, his salary is not as high as some may imagine it to be. Before we got our tax refund and he deployed, we were living paycheck to paycheck, and thankfully we have a little bit of a cushion now. The end of the month was always incredibly stressful as we would watch our bank account carefully and hope that we were capable of paying all the bills. I don't know how enlisted soldiers and their families make it, especially with multiple children.

Again, we still have most of our tax refund in our checking account because we've treated the money as if we didn't have it. But imagine how devastating it would be if our paycheck does not arrive this month if we had already spent that money. I would have to use our credit card to pay for groceries and ask my sister for an advance to pay the water and electricity bills.

I've spoken to The Hubby about this situation, and he is very adamant that this will not happen, but I told him that his attitude would be totally different if this was going on three months ago.

And you know what's even more incredible about this whole thing? While the wives and other family members back home may complain, the soldiers overseas will continue doing their job with no hesitation. Yes, they will worry about feeding their families and keeping the lights on in their house back in the States, but the noble and courageous nature of an American soldier will keep them going. Not a paycheck.

Because we all know that no one signed up to join the Army for the big bucks.

*You can read the full article on this topic here.

Ugly Betty

Have you ever felt wildly unattractive? Typically when I have my face painted on, I can look at the mirror and be happy with what I see. But a couple of nights ago, I looked in the mirror and was extremely unhappy with my appearance. I've been dieting for over a month now, and while I've seen changes in my body, I am still far from where I would like to be.




I wish I could say that I had this poor perception of myself because I binged on junk food all that day, but I did quite the opposite. Breakfast was a whole wheat English muffin and a cup of dark chocolate almond milk. I had a tuna whole wheat pita bread wrap with a side of strawberries for lunch. I went out to eat that night at Razzoo's--a restaurant with a menu completely filled with fried foods-- and ordered a chopped salad with grilled chicken, no cheese or bacon, and dressing on the side. Good choices all day long.

I would still say that I have a good self esteem. I know that I'm not unattractive, but I have been having a lot more "Ugly Days" than usual. And I have correlated this with my husband's absence. When I am around The Hubby, I feel prettier. It's as if I am an entirely new person.

This is because TH always told me how beautiful I looked or I would catch him checking me out. After almost seven years together, he still finds me attractive and never forgets to show it. But now that he's gone, I no longer feel sexy or wanted. Instead, my eyes automatically focus in on the blemishes on my face or the roll of fat in my midsection. And while he can still tell me over Skype that I "look pretty today," it is still not the same.

Isn't it amazing how much one person in your life can alter every part of you? I know that there is that stereotype where once you get married you stop taking care of yourself because you have already "caught the fish." But I don't think this is because you stop caring. I think it's because you no longer have to jump through hoops to feel attractive anymore. Because in his eyes, you are beautiful no matter what.

Don't worry about me too much though. I'm sure that in a few days I'll be more content with myself again. The most important thing is that I didn't go bake cookies because that's my typical coping mechanism.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love

I really want to watch this movie, coming out on July 29th. And not just because Ryan Gosling is shirtless a lot. Really.



(That's just a bonus.)

On Repeat: Darling, I Do

I heard this song on an episode of "Parenthood" last night and I immediately fell in love with it. I'm not too fond of the fact that it's connected to the Shrek movies, but it's still a lovely song.



[Landon Pigg]
Golden leaves looked brown to me
The world had lost color without you 

[Lucy Schwartz]
Shapes in the sky looked plain to my eyes
The world had lost color without you 

[Both]
I know plenty of people
With eyes closed
They don't see you like I do 
Darling, I do 

[Landon Pigg]
Notes on the keys meant nothing to me 
The world didn't sing without you 

[Lucy Schwartz]
Birds in the trees fell silent for me
The world didn't sing without you
Without you, oh

[Both]
I know plenty of people
With eyes closed
They don't see you like I do 
Darling, I do 
Darling, I do see you 



Landon Pigg is the artist behind another one of my favorites, "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop". I guess I'm a sucker for love songs.



Also, if you're looking for a new show to watch weekly, give "Parenthood" a shot. I initially started to watch the show because I wanted to support my Gilmore Girl, but I continued to look forward to each new episode because it has a dynamic cast with story lines that you can easily connect with emotionally.

Grammar Police

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm a bit of a Grammar Nazi. I cringe when I hear or read anything that is obviously grammatically incorrect.

In one of my college writing classes, my professor was so astonished by the poor writing abilities of my classmates that he had us do grammar worksheets in class together. He would go down each row of students and ask them to say their answers to the class, and 90% of them gave the incorrect answer. It's amazing to me that college students believed that the plural of "woman" is "womans". Oh, and I happened to take classes with adults who were working to be teachers of the children of America. Comforting, isn't it?

And yet my grammar isn't always perfect, either. If you see a mistake in my writing, please comment and let me know. This will not offend me one bit, but will actually make me feel relieved.
Source: weheartit.com via Min on Pinterest


Source: dailyinfographic.com via Min on Pinterest


Source: etsy.com via Min on Pinterest


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quivering Ovaries Again

People around me need to stop having babies. Seriously. Because shopping for baby gifts is driving me absolutely crazy and it makes me want one now. And everyone seems to be popping out little girls, opening up a vast merchandise selection that is so wonderfully pink and adorable. 

I was invited to my first baby shower, and although I don't know this woman that well, I can see us being great friends in the future. I at first wanted to take this chance to sew something, but fabric is so expensive that I ended up deciding to buy something pre-made instead. 

I picked up this three-pack of bodysuits by Carter's. Eeee! So cute! I will tell you that it took me over half an hour to finally decide on my purchase because I had so many options to choose from. 


I put a lot of heart into every present, and my favorite part of it all is of course the gift-wrapping. I rolled up each of them neatly and placed them in an empty See's Candies chocolate box lined with tissue paper. I hope that she finds the baby clothes as a welcome alternative to chocolate, although I would take See's Candies any day.


And then I wrapped the box with this gorgeous paper. Can you believe I found this wrapping paper from The Dollar Tree? What a wonderful find! I added some girly ribbon that my sister gifted me when she visited last month.


I topped the entire thing with a handmade tissue paper flower and used hot glue to attach it. You can find a tutorial on how to make these flowers here.


It seems like a lot of people are getting married now. I guess I'm at the age where these kinds of things happen. So who's next to have a baby? Not me!

*You can see how I packaged another baby gift here.