Hopes & Plans {Link Up}

Welcome to the "Hopes & Plans" link up! Any hopeful or goal-oriented post is welcome! It can be your life's dreams, aspirations, monthly goals or simply your chore list. Share with us! I hope for this to be a place where we can come to be inspired and motivated by the things other people have in the works. The possibilities are endless! Most things in life begin by first having a hope and then some kind of plan.

Happy Monday! 

Lets take a look at last week's hopes & plans...

|| Continue sleep training with Mally. We've kept up with things pretty well. She still doesn't go to sleep as well for me as she does with Kyle, but thankful Kyle has been willingly picking up a night shift here and there if needed.

|| Schedule my tire change overAlright, so I did things Kyle's way and got the tires changed over before the first snow and still had to jump through my ass to get it done. ERRRR!

|| Schedule Mallory's 1 year appointmentScheduled and executed! I will be sharing all about that and her first birthday later on this week. But here is a sneak peak... :)

|| Get off my behind.  Ehhhhh. The house isn't a total disaster... that halfway counts, right?

This Week's Hopes & Plans :

one || Create my shopping list. Nordstrom's Beauty Event is just around the corner and I pretty much have Nov. 1st booked solid at their various beauty counters. Kyle is penciled in for baby duty so, I should have both hands free to boot!  (Army if you mess this up for me; I'll be pissed. LOL) Everyone seems to offer a gift with purchase that day, thus a shopping list is required to prevent things from getting out of hand. 

two || Wake up earlier. Now that Mal is sleeping on her own and in a semi regular fashion, I want to start waking up a bit earlier. A few quite, alone minutes with my coffee before the day gets started sounds nice..

three || Pack for our trip more than ten minutes prior to leaving for the airport. Mallory and I leave later this week for Milwaukee. Somehow I always find myself scrabbling like a crazy person as we are trying to get out the door. Why do I do that to myself?!

Your turn!

Copycat Recipe || Chipotle Burrito Bowl

One of the biggest (and probably only) complaints Kyle has about living in Alaska is the lack of Chipotle locations. Zero, zip zilch! Chipotle's steak burrito bowls are a favorite of both of ours. Thankfully, another military spouse whose family was also having to do without the coveted burrito bowl, shared her homemade chipotle bowl recipe. We frequently make a slightly tweaked version of this recipe and only recently nailed down the perfect homemade Chipotle rice to go with it. So, for those of you who are living in a place where you are denied access to Chipotle, here is the next best thing!


Ingredients ::

- 1 pound steak (we just buy cubes for stew then cut them into even smaller chunks)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- black pepper to taste (we use about 1/2 tsp)
- 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cheyenne pepper (adjust if you like a bit more kick)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt to taste (we use about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup water

Directions ::

- In a small bowl, mix oregano, pepper, chili powder, cheyenne pepper, garlic, cumin and salt. Add your water and olive oil then combine.

- Cube steak.

- Combine your marinade and steak in a large pyrex container. (Ziplock baggies work fine as well.) Shake until your steak is well coated in marinade.

- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

- Cook in a skillet over medium heat.

Now for the cilantro lime rice!

copycat recipe

Ingredients ::
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter 

Directions ::
- in saucepan melt butter 
- put uncooked rice in saucepan with butter and mix until rice is well coated
- cook for 2 minutes over medium heat stirring regularly
- combine water, cilantro, lime juice and salt in your rice cooker
- add buttery rice
- cook rice
- stir rice before serving

Now you have the staples for your steak Chipotle bowl! Don't forget to include your favorite toppings. We make sure to have shredded parmesan cheese, black beans, sour cream, lettuce and salsa on hand for ours. Kyle even insists on creating his bowl in the correct Chipotle order! Like, pretends he is in the restaurant, "black or pinto beans" style.

The copycat steak chipotle bowl is even Mallory approved!


Alphabet Lovin'

It's been a hot minute since I did a "getting to know you post" so I figured, what the hell! Here are a list of my favorite things A-Z... enjoy! 
A - Animal || The boring answer to this one is obviously dogs. But, if we are feeling adventurous I'd have to go with penguins! How cute are they?!

B - Brand || Apple. Does anyone else even make electronics? 

C - Color || My favorite color changes with the wind, but lately it's either green or purple. 

D - Drink || Let's do a favorite in multiple categories, shall we? Coffee, Diet Coke, Orange Juice, Bud Light. If I had to pick one drink forever and always it would be water. Just plain ol' water. Womp, wooommmmpp..

E - Exercise || Running! Although I don't even feel honest typing that since it hasn't happened regularly since before Mallory was born. :(

F - Flower || Tulip or Sunflower. (I'm not sure Kyle has ever been privy to that information...hmmm, fresh flowers would look great on my kitchen table. Cough*)

G - Garment || Again, the boring answer to this would be dark skinny ankle cuff jeans. I hardly ever wear any other type of pants! The less expected answer would probably be my puffy vest from Old Navy. I wear it constantly up here!

H - Human || No way. There is no possible way I could pick a favorite. Mallory and Kyle...I dig both of them ;) 

I - Instrument || iPod? I can play roughly zero instruments myself, unless you count the recorder or wood block. I love the way the trumpet sounds though. Props to those who are musically inclined!

J - Job || Hands down being a mom! Being a wife is pretty great too. [I wrote all about my dream job here.]

K - Karaoke Song || You would never catch me dead singing karaoke! My favorite song lately though is "Dirt" by Florida Georgia Line.

L - Lunch ||  Panera (you pick two : broccoli cheddar and frontage chicken) or Zoe's Kitchen (steak kebobs), neither of which we have in Alaska. :(

M - Movie || Kyle and I have been out of the movie game for approximately 11 months now (although we did get to see Gone Girl while my mom was in town.) So, this movie is going to be a throwback... I'm going to go with V for Vendetta. I could watch that movie anytime!
N - Name || I'm going with names that I won't name future children, but really love... Charlotte & Malachi. 

O - Object || My phone. LAME

P - Photo || How about a few of my favorite photos? 

Q - Quote (s) || "It is what it is." & "I will hold my self to a standard of grace not perfection."

R - Restaurant || I think the moral of this post is that I have a tough time choosing a favorite anything... I'm going to go with Carrabba's I think. 

S - Season || Fall or Winter. I hate being hot! I say, you can always put more clothes on but you can only be so naked. 

T - Trend || Not groundbreaking, but a trend I'm happy to see returning these past few years...oversized sweaters! Gone are the days of baggy looking frumpy! AAAAA-MEN!

U - Umbrella || This one! Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I even own an umbrella...

V - Vacation || Our honeymoon! We went to the Sandals resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica. All inclusives are now the only way to vacation. 

W - Weather || I'm a chilly, thunderstorm, curl up on the couch kind of gal.

X - X-tra favorite ;) || My favorite time of day = mornings. They are when Mallory is in the most fun mood!

Y - Year || I'd say 2014 was pretty darn good...

Z - Zoo || Eh. Zoos kind of make me uncomfortable. I don't love seeing animals forced to live in confinment for our entertainment. I really enjoy the Wildlife Conservation Center here in Alaska.
I totally copied Rebecca on this post. If you decide to do an A-Z favorites let us know so we can stalk! ;)
Happy Thursday!