31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!!

 Wishing you a very happy Halloween! 

Halloween Pregnancy Announcement

From our GROWING family to yours. 

Halloween Pregnancy Announcement
Due : May 2015

27 October 2014

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.

We are diving right in! Here is how I did on last week's hopes & plans...

|| Create my shopping list.  Oh girl! It's on!!

|| Wake up earlierYes. I woke up earlier than Mallory. Was I productive? Absolutely not. Oh well, baby steps.

|| Pack for our trip more than ten minutes prior to leaving for the airport. FAIL! I'm typing this just a few short hours before we need to leave for the airport... My suitcase is still in the crawl space and I'm waiting on laundry. I suck.

This Week's Hopes & Plans : (Wisconsin trip edition)

one || Stock up at Victoria's Secret. Alaska is the land of no VS. Insanity I tell you!Victoria's Secret also happens to be one of the stores whose shipping rates to Alaska I just can't deal with. 

two || Have my rings serviced. He went to Jared. No, for serious. He did, and was smart enough to get the lifetime, she would have to try really hard to screw this up warranty. The only catch is, Jared has to lay eyes on my ring every six months. Since, once again Alaska is lacking, I try and do this whenever I visit the lower 48. (Technically, Jared has an agreement with Kay jewelers that Kay will ship my ring to Jared in California for servicing... but, pass.)

three || Eat EVERYTHING. I have a week to hit all of my favorite spots. First stop is coffee from Dunkin Donuts!

four || Enjoy! Spending a week with some dear friends. Not bad. Not bad at all!

Your turn! What are your hopes & plans this week?

22 October 2014

Currently 2.0

Today I'm collaborating with Rebecca from the Rebecca Chapman blog! Rebecca has a few "currently" posts on her blog and they are some of my favorites. I think these are a fun, cute and quick way to kind of check in. :) 

With this post, Rebecca provided some photos of what she is "currently" and I provided all the verbiage of what I'm "currently." 


Thinking || I should really be doing laundry and packing for our trip to Milwaukee. It's weird to be traveling to Wisconsin and have to plan for warmer weather! Mallory and I are traveling overnight for the first time since she stopped nursing. Should be interesting...

Listening || To the sound of static on the baby monitor and absolutely nothing else!! Wooo hooo!

Feeling || Content. :) I have a napping baby and a little bit of quite time after a morning full of books and toys. Not a bad day so far.

Hoping || That the weather stays nice enough to hit the playground when Mallory wakes up! It's been a few days and I think she is itching to eat some rocks. 

Wanting || These! My closet is lacking the black riding boot staple. That's borderline unacceptable!

Wondering || How long it will take me to save up for this bag. I mean come on... (If anyone is near Kyle, please begin CRP.)

Needing || To clean my house! I feel like this is always on my list these days. It stays "picked up" for approximately 30 seconds before tornado Mallory comes tearing through. I'm convinced she thinks everything belongs on the floor.

Cooking || We may be having left over shrimp étouffée (I used this recipe as my guide and made adjustments for our family's taste buds.) for the third night in a row... Either that, or I'm really in the mood for some stroganoff. Mmmmmm!

Loving || My new iPhone 6plus. I was initially concerned that it would take me a while to get used to, but I'm already obsessed! It is so much faster plus the battery life and camera are amazing! 

Wearing || Ha! You don't even want to know...

You can find my first "currently" post here and don't forget to stop by and say "hey" to Rebecca

Happy Hump Day!

21 October 2014

Mallory's One Year Update

Our girl is ONE! We aren't huge birthday people, so nothing Pinterest worthy here. ;) We kept thing simple with cake for breakfast and a few birthday toys. Mallory typically prefers savory over sweet foods but certainly had a ball with her cake! She didn't eat much but it was so fun watching her play in it. Schatzi and LT were grateful for the mess. 

At her one year check up Mallory weighed in at 22 pounds and measured 29 inches tall. Not much weight gain, but her doctor gave her rolls a little pinch and said she is doing juuuuussst fine. ;) Mally still only has 6 teeth but is definitely working on a molar or two...

Mal still isn't walking but her confidence is growing by the day! (Her mom and dad are in no hurry for her to meet this milestone...) She loves standing, using her walker and walking along furniture, but the power crawl is still her go to. In the clothing department not much has changed since last month. Still in size 4 diapers and 12-18 month clothing.

Major changes this month in the sleep and eating department. Not only is she sleeping in her own bed AND napping, but she is no longer breastfeeding! (I think i've finally stopped crying over the no breast feeding part.) "Real" food is now her primary source of nutrition and she is quite pleased with that. We have enough of a freezer stash for her to continue having at least a bottle or two of breast milk for the next month or so. I'm working on writing up our co-sleeping to crib experience soon!

Mallory has made great strides in the vocabulary department lately! She now says : Mama, Dada, Nana, "og"- dog, yes, this, that, "ook" (either book or look, we'll get back to you on that) shakes her head no, waves hello and bye-bye, and points at anything she wants! Still sounds like she is speaking a foreign language when she is babbling and frequently looks at us like we are crazy for not understanding her. Who knew that look started so young?!

We love you Mallory Susan! 

20 October 2014

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!

17 October 2014

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!


16 October 2014

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!

14 October 2014

A Short Day Trip || Talkeetna, AK

Last week, while my granny and mom were both still in town we ventured a bit north to the small town of Talkeetna, AK. One of the greatest draws to this charming place is the stunning views it offers of the Alaska Range and Mt. McKinley. Hard to believe we have lived here over a year and a half and had yet to make the short and stunning 2 hour drive. Sooo glad we finally did!





We took Whitney's recommendation and had lunch at Roadhouse on the main little street downtown Talkeetna. What didn't know was that it was also a lodge, so when we got to the door and read a sign that said "Roadhouse : bakery, showers & laundry" we were a little skeptical. ;) But the atmosphere and food did not disappoint! Malloy and I shared a reindeer meatloaf sandwich then played a little tune on the piano. (Neither of us can play the piano by the way.)





After lunch we walked around the vacant streets of Talkeetna and grabbed some tea at the sweetest little coffee shop! (Apparently Talkeetna draws many summer time tourists and summer it is not. Very few restaurants and shops were actually open. Oh well!)


After stopping at a gift shop or two we started to make our way home, but not without stopping for the coveted shots of Mt. McKinley. Word on the street is it is tough to catch a clear enough day to take in the powerful view...i'd say we were pretty damn lucky! Take a look...




Kyle wasn't able to join us, but we have an overnight trip penciled in for next summer!

13 October 2014

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.

Alright, lets just get right to it! Here is how I did on last week's hopes & plans...

|| Get a massage! Check! So good. So so good. 

|| Schedule a "date" for this coming weekendPlanned and executed. We had an amazing dinner date :)

|| Complete each of last week's failures.  1 out of 3 done.... whoops! We did visit Talkeetna and I will be sharing our trip with you tomorrow.

This Week's Hopes & Plans :

one || Continue sleep training with Mally. Holy cow. I never thought the day would come where I could say that our daughter is sleeping through the night in a place other than our bed. We have happily co-slept until this point and well...it was just time. She has been handling things beautifully so far! I almost feel guilty for keeping her in our room for so long as she seems to sleep longer/better on her own. Someone pass the tissues! 

two || Schedule my tire change over. Last year I kind of stepped on the rake with this one and waited until the first snow like everyone else did...(hey! I didn't want to drive on studs when they weren't needed!) Needless to say, Kyle is still "I told ya so-ing" me. While the snow isn't on the ground yet, I may as well knock it out since the white stuff while be here to stay in the not so distant future...

three || Get off my ass. Ever since I moved out of my parent's home I've suffered from what I like to call the "mom effect." Whenever a mom (doesn't have to be my own, Kyle's mom has this effect on my too)comes to visit, I turn into a total slug! Like anti cleaning, anti showering, anti cooking, anti productivity of any kind slug! I'm in for a rude awakening when my mom leaves on Tuesday. [shhh. Kyle's mom arrives just about a month from now, then I can return to my lazy "mom effect" ways.] 

four || Schedule Mallory's 1 year appointment. Don't even get me started. I don't have a one year old yet...

What about you? What do you have on the books for this week?
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