Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Memories From This Last Year & More

I've got several blog posts written in my head, but haven't got them actually typed out. So here's one I can check off. Planning on blogging more but we have so much going on that I might not get a lot of chances too. But I'm working on it. : ) So here is the last year (plus a little more) in a summarized blog post, with pictures of course!

We have lived in Maryland for a little over a year now. In just 19 days we will be moving to the west coast. So much as happened to us in the past 2 years that I thought I would write down some of it so I can have it documented to look back on someday.

Before I married Matt, I had lived in the same house for my entire life. I didn't travel often unless it was to a surrounding state of Oklahoma, even though I really enjoy seeing new places. We spent most of 2011 apart since Matt was deployed to Afghanistan. It was a hard year. I was enrolled in college full time and working. College and work is stressful enough, but I worried about Matt everyday. He was literally moving to a new place in Afghanistan every week and I was so worried each time he headed to a new place. We got engaged when he was home on R&R in July. We honestly didn't talk about much about wedding plans because I hardly got to talk to him while he was deployed. I would get a 20 minute (sometimes longer) phone call almost everyday and once we were talking wedding plans were furthest from my mind. I just wanted to know how he was doing and we talked about what was going on in each others lives. Not to mention that our families are in different states and it would have been hard to coordinate a wedding with such distance between our families. So when he finally got home in December of 2011, all we knew was we were tired of being apart and just went to the courthouse and got married. My family threw us a wedding shower before we made the move to Maryland and I am so thankful for everything we received. It really helped us out a lot since we had nothing to fill up an apartment. Matt had only lived in the barracks on base and I lived in the school dorms. So we were just starting out with nothing. Now we have a lot of stuff that is not packed up yet even though we are moving so soon. Ha.

So once he was home and we were married, we made the move from Oklahoma to Maryland. 1,300 miles from the only place I had ever called home. Leaving my Mom was hard. I was home sick and sad leaving her and everyone else. I was so excited to start my life with Matt, but at the same time so sad to leave them all. Looking back, I can't put into words how thankful I am for my Mom. She's been SO supportive of my decisions and loves Matt and I so much. I couldn't ask for a better Mom and she will never know how much I appreciate her. 

We packed up Matt's jeep with everything it could fit. Literally every inch of that car was being taken up by something. I kept finding something I wanted to take and just shoved it into an empty space in the car. 

So here are some pictures from the last year..

When we got to Maryland we got the keys to our first apartment together. 
Right before we moved in our stuff
Valentine's Day 2012 Matt got me a puppy. I'd been wanting one for when Matt was gone on an FTX or had CQ duty so I wouldn't be completely alone at home. We adopted Bentley and he was the best present ever. He was with me on those lonely nights when Matt was gone and he's brought us so much joy. He's such a fun dog and we love him so much. 
Valentine's Day 2012

The first night at home with Benny
Watching TV with me while Matt was at work

In March we turned 21 together. Our Birthday's are only 10 days apart.

Trip to D.C. Summer 2012

Summer drive. He was loving the breeze.

Then towards the end of summer we visited family. I took a trip to Oklahoma by myself while Matt was on an FTX and then when I got back to Maryland we went to visit his family in Seattle for 3 weeks.

Love this city.  Seattle 2012

Out on the boat with family

Matt & his little sister Grace

Family Camping Trip. September 2012

Matt with their family dog. Buddy : )

Then when we got home, Matt and I began discussing him re-enlisting in the army for 4 more years. We talked about it a lot before he actually committed to it. He re-enlisted in the Fall and we knew we would be going to California but we didn't get official orders until around December.

Then Thanksgiving rolled around and we couldn't visit family since we had seen them just a few mother earlier, so we went to P.F. Changs. Haha.
I know the waitress loved our drawing on the receipt. : ) Who wouldn't?

Shortly after Thanksgiving we got an email from the man we adopted Bentley from. He told us they had some miniature dachshunds. 8 weeks old. We decided to meet up with him to see the puppies. We quickly picked out one and took him home. We didn't talk about the decision much. We just knew we wanted him, because he was so stinking cute!
One of the first pictures we have of Jax
We debated on names for about a week before we finally named him Jax. We got the name from one of our favorite shows. Son's of Anarchy. : ) But before we decided on that name we were debating Ollie. Then we realized that name was just a little to close to the my name. Molly. Ollie. Too confusing. ; )

We spent our first Christmas together as a married couple.
Christmas 2012

We received orders to California around the start of the year with our report date. Now we are working on moving and starting a new chapter in our lives. I'm excited. I am so glad I am doing all of this with my best friend.

Hopefully I will get the chance to post some more this weekend. Planning on relaxing since Matt didn't get a weekend last weekend. He had a 24 hour duty shift on Saturday, then he spent Sunday catching up on sleep. Hard working man. 


Friday, February 8, 2013


My husband designed a new header for my blog. I'm working on changing everything to make it better.  So slowly but surely things will be getting upgraded : )

Speaking of changes, we are going to be moving to California very soon. I've started packing a few boxes and getting ready. I've never made a move like this. I moved from Oklahoma to Maryland when Matt and I got married but we didn't have a lot of things, and we also didn't have 2 puppies. When Matt and I moved to Maryland we loaded up his jeep with whatever it could fit and hit the road. Now we are  moving an apartment full of stuff and taking 2 dogs along for the road trip. I'm excited but also a little anxious about everything. It's stressful figuring out everything and getting everything in order for the move.

We're stopping in Oklahoma to visit family and friends before we actually get to California. I'm so excited to see everyone. I haven't seen everyone since...August I think? It's bad when you can't remember the exact month. I will for sure be posting updates about our move. We love road trips so I'm sure we will have fun even if it's stressful.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Music I can't stop listening to...

For the past few weeks I feel like I have been listening to the same songs/artists. So I thought why not share some of my favorite songs with you? : ) I will just share 3 songs for now. I'm really into indie folk music right now and I realize not a lot of people share my taste in music. However, I really like ALL music. Honestly. I feel like people say that all the time, but I really have a little bit of everything in my itunes library. But lately I just can't stop listening to folk music...I don't know what it is, but maybe you will fall in love with it too after listening to these songs.

The first artist I want to share with you is The Head & The Heart. I first heard a song of theirs while watching Grey's Anatomy. I fell in love with them and bought their CD. My favorite song on their CD is Down In The Valley. Go watch the music video. Such a great song. I honestly love all of their songs. Maybe I love this song so much because it mentions Oklahoma, and I just miss oklahoma.

I know you have to go to youtube to actually watch this video, but I promise it's worth it.

The next artist is The Avett Brothers. I love all of their music, but this song is great. February Seven.

The last artist is Jake Bugg. I don't remember how I found him but I am so glad that I did. He has such a unique voice, and when I saw this video of him singing Someone Told Me I was surprised. I guess I didn't picture him looking the way he did. So young. I don't think his voice matches his body. But nevertheless, I love his music. Some of his songs are really different, but I really like them.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think : )


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Our weekend

Our weekend seemed to pass by so fast! I love spending quality time with my husband and enjoying the time he has off from work. He has a super busy work week so we welcomed the weekend with open arms, but then again when do we not? ; )

Friday when Matt got off work we went to run a few errands & do our grocery shopping, which actually took a lot longer than I thought it would. I had everything planned out perfectly. I downloaded a new app for my macbook & iPhone called "Evernote". Which basically lets you write anything you want and organize it. You can make different "notebooks" and then write things within each one, which makes it so nice to save useful information I have found online, rather than simply bookmarking things and then forgetting about them. I am also interested in the idea of going paperless (or even cutting back on the amount of paper we use in our house) and this seems like a great way to use less. But the reason I mentioned that is because I used Evernote to write down my meal plan & grocery list. The app allows you to put boxes next to items you write down, so when we got into the store I just pulled up the app on my iPhone and then checked things off as we got them. It was so nice not to have to carry around the stuff I usually do when we shop. It's just really convenient! I spent some time this weekend writing more stuff into my notebooks and organizing things I have saved on my computer. I am not sure if this app is available on other devices or not. I think it might be on androids but I have no idea. It's definitely worth checking out though. 

I also picked up this cookbook for only $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond while we were out! It was such a great find. I highly recommend it if you are as obsessed with asian food like we are. : )

I loved it because it has pictures to each step so we know if we are doing it right or not. We had a hard time picking between crab wontons or beef pho, but in the end we went with the crab wontons. So on Saturday afternoon we went to an asian market to buy the ingredients. Once we arrived we realized that there was an amish market farmer's market right next door to the asian market we were going to. After we got the things we needed for the crab wontons we checked out the farmer's market and left with these goodies...

Some everything bagels, sandwich bread & chia seeds. We got inside the farmers market around 2:30 and they closed at 3:00 so sadly a lot of the fresh food was already being put away. We will be going back there again before we move to California though because I loved it!

Once we got home we used our new cookbook along with a cookbook that Matt's sister got us for Christmas and ended up making the crab wontons and some sushi. The sushi book was SO helpful. They wouldn't have turned out so well if it wasn't for the tips it gave in the book. One of the best things I read in there that helped us a TON is that you can dip you hands in a water & rice vinegar mixture before dealing with the sticky rice and it will not stick to your hands. However, Matt read that AFTER I already had rice stuck all over my hands ; ) haha

It was a great dinner and we both had so much fun making a new recipe together. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but we were both happy with the results!
Let me know if anyone wants me to post this recipe with pictures of the process. 

 Then today we really just spent the day relaxing. I cleaned the house really well on Saturday so I didn't have much left on my to-do list for today, which was a relief! I did accidentally fall asleep for an hour in the late afternoon, which explains why I am still awake right now.

Here's a couple pictures I took this weekend..

Family picture with our puppies : )

I hope everyone else had a great weekend too!


Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

Last Sunday it was super cold and snowy so I took advantage of the cold weather and pulled out the slow cooker. I wrote down this recipe a while back in my recipe notebook and finally decided to try it. Not sure where the original recipe is from, but it is SO good. I already have it written down on my meal planning list for next week. I love making dinner in the slow cooker because once dinner time rolls around, the kitchen is already clean and dinner is ready to eat. It's perfect. We ate our soup with some garlic bread. Enjoy!

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (I am going to try using skim milk next time)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese (I used shredded and then grated some fresh parmesan over the soup before serving)

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don't be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trader Joe's, Recipes & My First Ipsy Glam Bag

Since moving to the east coast, I have been introduced to new stores that I've never heard of. Such as Costco (Which I love now) and Safeway. But Trader Joe's has been my favorite of all. The first Trader Joe's I ever went to was in Federal Way, WA while we were visiting Matt's family before he deployed. I had never been to a store like it before. Where I grew up we only shopped at Wal-Mart because that's really the only store nearby, besides a Homeland (which I haven't seen since moving to the east coast). So I think I really loved TJ's because it was a new change and we have found some really great food that we now buy all the time. We are planning on going there this weekend and I will post pictures of  some of our favorite things from there. 

But I was wondering, do you shop at Trader Joe's? Are we missing out on some things from there? I ask because we recently went and I found some seasoning that we love now. 
I used this to season some turkey burgers the other night and it was delicous. So now I am wondering what else is at Trader Joe's that we are missing out on ; ) 

When Matt and I got married I didn't have much knowledge on cooking (besides basics) or recipes that I loved. I've just been learning on the job ; ). Over the past year though I've built up a large stack of recipes I want to write down instead of just having them saved on my computer. So I found this little journal at Wal-Mart the other day for $7 and thought it would be perfect for the job. 

Now I am just working on gathering all the recipes I want to have inside it before I start writing them in. At the same time I am trying to change up our usual food routine for something healthier. Which means I have a lot more research to do. I've been curious about people who cook with coconut oil but I don't know anything about it. I don't know what benefits you get from switching or if it effects the taste of the food. But I am definitely interested in it. Do you use coconut oil to cook? I'm wondering if I should make the change or not. A little tub of coconut oil at the store was pretty expensive, so I decided I would look into it more before I bought some. 

One more quick thing before I end this post...

I signed up for an Ipsy subscription last month

It is only $10 a month so I thought I would give it a try. I love makeup so why not : D
I just got my first bag yesterday and I am so excited to try all of the things out!

My package had..

A silver makeup bag
Lipgloss - Be A Bombshell in the color "Hot Mess"
Mirabella Prime - Primer for face & eyes
Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eyeliner in black
Mai Couture Highlighter Sheets 
NYX Ultra Pearl Mania - A loose powder eyeshadow

I am really excited about the primer. I've been looking for a better primer for my eyeshadow. I'm ready for my next bag already : ) 


PS I've literally had Ed Sheeran on repeat for like a week. Two of my favorites right now are "Small Bump" & "Lego House". I just love his voice. You should go check him out if you haven't heard of him. He has such a great voice. 

Christmas Decorations & Cards

Towards the end of November a friend on Facebook posted a link to with a coupon code for 70% off your order. Unfortunately it was a coupon only good for that day and I saw the link too late. But, I went to the website anyways and they had another deal going. If you spent $100 you got $75 off! I couldn't resist so I filled my cart with $100 worth of Christmas cards. At the checkout I applied the coupon code and after taxes and shipping was applied it was about $43. I paid for 3 day shipping, but I just got the package yesterday. They don't ship them until they have them made, so I am glad I paid for the faster shipping so they got here in time for me to send them out.

How cute are they!? I love them. Plus the box came with cute stuffing that I keep telling myself I will find a project to use them in. Probably not though. ; ) 

Anyways, I am working on filling out envelopes and thought since the cards do not have a place to write something to our family & friends that I would make a little card to insert into the envelopes. I went to pinterest once I had the idea and found some cute ideas.

I think I've decided on making the little wire snowman on tan paper then writing on the back of the card. But since I like so many ideas, I think I might go ahead and make 2 different kinds. I really love the Christmas tree in the first one, but I thought I would just make the tree bigger and not glue it to anything and write on the back of the tree. So many decisions! What do you think? Any suggestions?

Also, we went out and bought our Christmas tree at the start of December, but I am just now getting around to posting pictures. Last Christmas, Matt had just returned from a 10 month deployment, and we  were finding an apartment to move into, and traveling across the states moving all my things, so needless to say we didn't get to celebrate Christmas like we would have wanted to. I think we spent the day watching movies and eating on our single piece of furniture, a leather couch, but I was so thankful to have him home that it was such a great Christmas. 
With that being said, my family always bought artificial trees to go in our house while I was growing up because my Mom is allergic to the real trees. But, Matt's family always had a real tree, so I wanted to give it a try this year because I knew it had a special meaning to him. He loves the house smelling like a Christmas tree, and I have to say I love it too! We got our tree from a little stand on base. It's about 6 feet tall and I love it. Here are some pictures...

I made the tree skirt after seeing some pictures on pinterest of some DIY ruffle tree skirts. I originally wanted to do some burlap, lace & muslin. But when we got to Hobby Lobby I saw some green burlap and I thought it was festive so I used that instead. 
I also added some life to the wreath sitting in the closet waiting to be used. Bought some ribbon at the dollar tree and used some of the trimming off the tree and put it on the front door. What do you think? 

With this being our first year, we had to buy all new decorations which was pricey, but I loved finding new ornaments, especially at Hobby Lobby. The ornament section there was almost overwhelming. We had already bought so much that I only left there with one ornament that only cost me about .75 cents! 

It's so simple, but one of my favorite. I love it. 

We also have these ornaments..

Even though we didn't have a tree last year, we went out and bought an ornament together for our first Christmas as a married couple. 

Then this year we went to the same ornament store in a local mall and I didn't like any of the couple ornaments, so I found this one with a big "M" on it. Then I had the sweet lady at the store put our last name on it and write "2012" above our name. Once we were leaving the store we noticed the ornament we picked had a small crack in it, but I told Matt it just adds some character to it ; )
I'm really enjoying the holidays with Matt, and getting ready to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary. 

On the topic of holidays, Matt and I have been thinking about traditions we can start during the holidays. All I have right now is christmas pajama pants with a movie (The Christmas Story) and our  favorite snacks for a Christmas Eve gift for both of us. I thought it would be fun to snuggle up in some new pajamasand drink some hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie together. 

What does your family do at Christmas every year? Anything special?