Thursday, March 31, 2011

It Was Just One of Those Days

I hardly ever let things get to me anymore.  I've come to the conclusion that you can't reason with people who don't know what reasoning is in the first place.  This allows me to ignore most people's idiosyncrasies....MOST of the time...Unfortunately today wasn't one of those times, which is why I decided that we are doing sushi and Saki for dinner.  I don't drink very much, so Saki seemed like a happy medium.
In case you have never heard of Nigori Saki, I am here to tell you that it is my #1 FAVORITE!  It is what you call- unfiltered Saki.  It is a milky white color and has a sweeter, almost coconut-flavor, and the best part is that it's a higher alcohol content at around 15%. 
That's what I call WIN/WIN,and no, that is NOT a Charlie Sheen reference.

Source: via Tamara on Pinterest

Try some next time your at a Japanese restaurant...You will not be disappointed!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...Dedicated to Weiser

(he's so sexy) just can't help myself ;)


Our first family outing to go get food and a bed for our new son!

*All photos by Moi except for the last one, which was taken by Mr. Aaron Bratkovics!  Weiser's first professional Photo ;)
How cool is our dog?  Gotta love Pet Adoption!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Fairytale...Chapter 1

I've decided it's about time I share our story...Are you ready? I hope so ;) 

Once upon a time there was a young girl.  She was in college, living life, working hard, and in and out of a long distance relationship with a lovely boy who was just not right for her....In walks an even lovelier boy who happened to be just what the doctor ordered, and let the story begin!

One day I was at work minding my own business, when I looked up and saw we had a new guy.  I remember thinking he was cute, but didn’t think much else of it and our paths didn’t cross much over the next few months.  I do remember one particular day when I came to work and wasn’t on the schedule, but figured I might as well work and asked around to see if anyone wanted to give up their shift.  I ended up having to ask Will (that’s his name) if he would like to have the day off and when he said sure, I was sad he was leaving…I didn’t realize why at the time, but it all makes sense now.  It took another couple of weeks till we actually worked together and by chance we were put in sections next to each other, which allowed us to chat it up all night.  The conversation easily flowed and I remember thinking- “I wonder if he wants to have a beer after work?” and before I could even mention it, he asked me if I would like to watch the game and have a beer when we got off…Obviously I said yes.  Wouldn’t you know we did not watch one bit of that game, as we were both rapt in conversation.  This is the point where we fall madly in love and live happily ever after right?
          WRONG!  As embarrassed as I am to say it, I ended up spending a good bit of the night talking about my ex and how we were still trying to work things out.  Talk about dense!  Now that I look back, I know that I was already into Will (and probably had been since the moment I saw him) but at the time I thought we were just clicking as friends.  Oh and it gets worse…That night Will said that he was going to be going to play volleyball in Miami, but didn’t know the area very well and asked if I would be interested in being his navigator.  I hadn’t been to Miami in a while, so I thought it sounded like fun and gave him my number.  I should have gotten his too, since I almost blew it when he text me a few days later.  I thought he was another Will from school who had just gotten my number for a project. Oops.  He actually allowed me to keep believing it, since he took offense to it and almost left it at that, but THANK GOODNESS he thought better and admitted that he was not who I thought it was.  Again, thank goodness he did because that one misunderstanding could have ended “Us” right then and there.
          Now let us fast forward to Miami and the good parts ;)  After he played some intense volleyball while I played with all the kids at the Rec. center, he offered to take me home.  That seemed like a waste of a whole trip to Miami, so I said we should go to Bayside and grab some dinner.  Not only was I hungry, but I wasn’t ready to call it a night for some reason…Out of all the great spots at Bayside, we both thought Chili’s sounded like the best option for the evening and considering we stopped paying attention to everything around us about five minutes into it, we could have been at a McDonald’s, and we wouldn’t have cared.  He made me laugh more than I have ever laughed in my life and somehow “grabbing dinner” turned into dinner and drinks, which led to walking Bayside, which lead to dancing to the band along the water, and then chatting in the moonlight on the dock.  The best part is that there were no awkward moments, no confusion or pretenses, just a free flowing, fun-filled evening that felt as natural as if we had known each other and been friends forever.  My mind was so clear that I was completely in the moment.  It wasn’t until we were in his truck on the way home and he placed his hand atop mine, {shooting FIREWORKS through my veins!} that I realized this {here comes proof of just how dense I was being} was a DATE.  To this day I tell everyone that it was “THE best date that I never knew I had.”

on our way to VA Beach!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

TGAAD- I'm Making The Commitment!

In the state of our Economy, a "Consumer Diet" sounds pretty necessary.

What is a "Consumer Diet" you ask? 
 It is a movement that has begun within circles of people that hope to lessen their carbon footprints and/or lessen their spending.  With an economy such as ours, some are practicing out of necessity, while others are pledging to go green in hopes to better our earth. All of the Diets were interesting, but The Great American Apparel Diet was the one that appealed the most to me.  TGAAD is a pledge to not buy ANY new clothes for one year, and here is my reasoning that I posted on TGAAD once my profile was officially activated!

I have been seeing different sites and blogs that suggest “consumer diets” and have slowly built an interest.  At first I thought “Good for them!”, then I started thinking “Could be fun…” and now I’m thinking “I can do this!!”  I do shop very frugally, enjoying the hunt for sales and thrifting, but have now turned my focus towards home decor and cooking, so why not just cut out buying clothes altogether? I have a whole closet room-so no need to purchase more clothes, my hubby and I have begun our financial planning for investing and retirement-so I can contribute more toward that with the money I save and honestly I think it’ll do me good to face this challenge.  I would like to believe that I am not a materialistic person by nature and this will be proof to me that I have my priorities in order and am not consumed by consumerism. ;)

  Unfortunately, I am a late joiner since the Diet was started last August (2010) and ends this coming August (2011), but I plan to make it to the end of their year and hopefully continue until next March, so that I do it for a full year! Even if you join late, you are only on the hook for the duration of their countdown, and for most, that is probably the loop hole you were looking for, but if you really want to test yourself then do the WHOLE YEAR!

Check it out- here!
Be inspired and pass it along!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let The Luck O' The Irish Be With You!

Outside my window
Sunrise, illuminating Pikes Peak
I am thinking
that it’s going to be a fun St. Patty’s day at work. I love when I get to dress up
I am thankful for
My husband, our families and friends, our simply wonderful life, our future together and this experience we are having in Colorado. Oh and food.  I love food.
What I am learning
  I am steadily learning more and more about cooking, nutrition, health, creating menus, shopping frugally and getting the most out of it.
I am creating
 A home and a life for Will and I.  For example- yesterday I turned a little shelving unit into an extended pantry.  It’s so neat to turn a house into a home and make it one’s own.
I am going
 To work in a bit, to Denver with my best in a few weeks, to Florida in a few months (hopefully) and a big vacation with my lover in July.
I am hearing
 The morning news.  I watch every morning.  I like to not live under a rock
I am reading
 Do as I say (Not as I do) by peter schweizer It is a somewhat biased book, but he has interesting views and points, nonetheless.  I recommend it whatever your political orientation.
I am hoping
 That all our hard work planning our financials, life insurance, investing and retirement plans pays off and doesn’t put us in the hole in the process lol.
Around the house
  New pantry
 Put wall sconces above our bed along with a few new pillows and wowed my husband because he says that really made the bedroom homey and nicer than he’s ever had
 Organized the closet room (well, it’s almost done ;), and I hope the guest bedroom and garage aren’t too far behind. 
Our husband/wife project is decorating the large wall across from the kitchen with photos, art, signs, knick knacks, etc.  It’s going to be fun!
One of my favorite things
FOOD. I talk about it, I blog about it, I photograph it and more importantly I eat it.  Luckily, I'm getting it down to a science, so I can eat my fill without going overboard and it’s usually healthy.
A few plans for the week
  I work a lot the rest of the week, but Saturday Will and I plan on enjoying the neighborhood by walking to the dog park, library, maybe lunch or dinner out…just enjoying each other and this wonderful weather we’ve been having lately…well, as long as that weather doesn’t turn into rain…
A picture

This is From Last March!  In honor of St. Patty's Day I'm wearing GREEN!!

Have some Corned Beef and Cabbage and Green Beer!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Belated-Belated Valentine's Day. It's never Too Late.

<3 Our OFFICIAL Valentine's Dinner <3
Celebrated late due to Will's training, but it's the spirit of the holiday, not the date that is important. 

I didn't want to waste too much time cooking, so I decided to use the dutch oven! (Absolutely LOVE my dutch oven, by the way ;)

Ginger slow-cooked Tenderloin

This was a super easy recipe!  Light, healthy and more importantly-YUMMY!

Now, the original recipe was to grill a turkey tenderloin that was marinated in the ingredients, but A) I couldn't find turkey tenderloin at the store and B) we haven't converted our grill to gas yet and the charcoal doesn't work well out here.  Thus a new recipe was born.

(original recipe)
1/2 lb Tenderloin (Turkey or Pork)
2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs. fresh ginger
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbs. crushed red pepper (I use more ;)
1/2 tbs peanut oil
(what I added)
1/2 cup OJ
1/2 cup white wine
1 head of califlower
1 red onion
1 green bell pepper
4 tbs minced garlic
6 scallions

Throw it all in the pot while the oven heats to 300 degrees, and cook it till the meat is to your liking!  You might even want to lower the temp, but we have to do it at 300 because of the altitude.  I made sure to stir the veggies in the middle and baste the tenderloin with some juice, just be careful not to over cook it and dry out the tenderloin!

For grilling, marinate the Turkey in the original ingredients for at least two hours.  Remove meat from marinade (discard marinade) and grill over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. It needs to have internal temperature of 165.  Let rest for 10 minutes and serve!

Here is our finished product:

Wanna know the best part about having a belated Valentine's Day?  I got everything 75% off!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not Every Recipe Comes Out Perfect...

So...If you ever come across a "Skinny Tofu Alfredo" Recipe-...


Ok, ok, so that's going a bit overboard, but I definately deleted it off my recipe list!  I think the main problem, was that the recipe had the Tofu pureed with all the other ingredients, and that left a chalky, bland consistency.  Oh, and that's AFTER I had already DOUBLED the herbs and spices AND added a stick of butter (egad!).  I ended up tossing in some splenda and Sriracha and calling it edible....Will liked it, but not enough to attempt saving it for leftovers.
I still think the idea is there, but next time I will cube the Tofu and let it soak up the sauce, so that it doesn't over power the whole dish.  Basically, that means find a decent alfredo recipe, sub all the low-fat/no-fat ingredients you feel like, throw in some fun herbs and spices, cube up some Tofu and get to cookin'!  I want to try it over Spaghetti Squash, but whole grain pasta is another decent alternative.  If anyone tries it and has luck, LET ME KNOW!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My First Encounter With Tofu...

I've never been that interested in using Tofu at home due to the pesticides, genetic variances and negative effects on males, but it was on sale at Costco ($4 for 2 pckgs!!) and I figured it can't be worse than anything else I buy in a grocery store.  I wanted to, at the very least, have some experience with the product, ergo I scooped some up and scoured the internet for recipes.  Will is always very open to everything I make, and thus I was not worried about him not eating it, but I did want him to look forward to the meal.  That's why when I stumbled upon a BBQ TOFU recipe, the deal was sealed.  What man can say no to BBQ? 

Even better news, it was extremely easy to make and decently yummy. 

For 2-3 servings:
1 package of Tofu
1 bottle of BBQ sauce
(I used Stubbs because it had the lowest calories and still tastes great)
yep that's it ;) 

Just cut the Tofu into 1/4 inch slices, press out the excess moisture, coat with BBQ and lay in a greased baking sheet or pan.  Bake at 425-450 for 30-45 minutes.  Tofu doesn't have to be cooked, so just bake it to the crispiness you desire!

I suggest pairing it with a vegetable medly that is well seasoned, so that the BBQ Tofu doesn't over power the meal.  My medley consisted of broccoli, spinach, peas, carrots, cilantro, garlic, pepper and a bbq rub thrown in during the sautee to connect it with the Tofu.  I was able to cook the medley while the Tofu baked, so it was extremely efficient!


Add some BBQ to dip and you are complete ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Soldier!

It has only been nine months since Will joined the Army.

He makes me so proud

But I feel like he's come farther in nine months than many can hope to accomplish in nine a few years.

With the College years he had under his belt he started off as PFC (Private First Class) Bogert, which was a higher rank than most of his peers.  He made it through basic, A.I.T. (Advanced Individual Training) and our move to our first duty station, shining with high test scores, high P.T. (Physical Test) Scores and even simply how surprised they were with his life skills, money management and drive. 

Here is a short picture synopsis of the past Nine Months:

they break you down, so they can build you up their way...

In the field at Basic.

love this...

LOTS of running. Good thing he's a soccer player and is used to running.

be vewy qwiet we're hunting wabbits...ssshhhh

Also lots of playing with guns...I hear that might be important, although I wish it wasn't.


He was the only Soldier that was allowed to be Guidon Carrier for all of Basic Training!  
Usually the Sargent fires them ;)

At the real graduation!!

Reunited at Graduation!!  His uniform is so big because of all the PT!!

Graduating from A.I.T <3

With some of our faves!  They're all big soldiers now.

He already looks the part ;) My Soldier

He never ceases to amaze me...I could not be more proud and can't wait to see what our future holds together.  My dad says that I picked my perfect match and I must say, that I agree.  Couldn't be any happier with our life <3


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