Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July in Review

Well, July was a nice (sometimes hot, mostly raining) calm month. There has been a lot going on in the army side of things - I'm glad I don't take too much personally and don't get super involved, otherwise, July would've been my "I'm Clinically Insane Now" month. But I'm banking on August being awesome. In July, we went to the zoo and in August, I hope to go to the lake, the library, a local ice cream "stand", and Old McDonald's Farm. Hopefully, weather-permitting. *fingers crossed*

On the blog:
  • July 1st started out with the Summer Lovin' Readathon. It was such an amazing readathon, full of lots of really fun activities (like this Bingo board) and a whole new group of book bloggers that I didn't know about :) Here was my daily updates post and my second updates post.
  • The Monday "Life Happenings & Tummy Grumblings" posts are still my favorite. I'm glad to actually put more than just fluff, nails, or book reviews on the blog. 1 July // 8 July // 15 July // 22 July // 29 July
  • In June, I started to update my monthly TBR post throughout the month. So July is all marked up with what I finished reading and how my reading challenges are. You can see my July TBR list: here.
  • I shared part of what the battalion is doing during the deployment: the Run 4 Resilience. I talked about it for part of my Deployment Tales "series". We also hit the 3 month mark and I talked about it.
  • Nail Files has switched hosts and Jennie, nail awesomeness extraordinaire, is the new host. Still loyally linking up and very excited Jennie is keeping this link up going! Week 79: Zoya Sooki // Week 80: Zoya Wednesday & OPI Goldeneye // Week 81: Zoya Heidi // Week 82: Wet 'n Wild Pinky Sweet & Pure Ice Electric.
  • I talked about my garden and shared pictures, but I need to do an update of how the on post community people decided to take out all the shared garden beds and landscaping and replace it with grass and/or rocks. So now it looks like complete crap :(
  • I came straight out of Summer Lovin' and went to the three day long Once Upon a Readathon readathon. Here's my updates post.
  • One of my deployment bucket list goals was to exercise 4 days a week regularly. I blogged about it. Duh.
  • I've not been as good about participating in my BBFF (stole that from her) Melissa's linky: Things I Don't Love Thursday. Is it weird to run out of things I'm not loving? I talked about bugs in mid-July.
  • Stop! Pinning Time is a newer series here on FFTB to take place of The Pinspiration Project. I posted about some recipes I found via Pinterest I've tried lately and loved! I also shared some of my most repinned pins from the week. I might make this more frequent.
  • I read 18 books this month compared to 13 books last month. This literally blows my mind. I cannot believe I got through so many books. I'm 20 books ahead of my Goodreads yearly challenge. Book reviews posted this month: Under the Never Sky // Shatter Me // Mila 2.0 // Insatiable // Diary of a Wimpy Kid // Hex Hall // Hot Six // Reached // Something Borrowed


hoo hoo!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Something Borrowed [Book Review]


Stats:
#1 in Darcy & Rachel series
Paperback, Movie Tie-In, 388 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published June 1st 2004)
ISBN: 031299317X
Find on Goodreads

Monday, July 29, 2013

Life Happenings & Tummy Grumblings


Things have been a little hectic this week...my stepdad ended up in the hospital. He has a slew of health problems (including having survived colon cancer and a stroke due to massive blood loss, plus chronic bronchitis and stomach ulcers) and was admitted with a blood sugar level of 920. If y'all are aware of blood sugar levels, that is insanity. A normal blood sugar level is around 100. The nurses were surprised he was still alive (and that's not the first time he's heard it). Thankfully, it was just an overnight stay and he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He was released after some dietary "counseling" and getting a bunch of information on diabetes. I've been talking to my mom and trying to help her with a switch in diet that's a little less carb heavy and more fresh foods (without sacrificing flavor and good eats!).

The weather is cooling down - summer is definitely fading fast :( But we've had some gorgeous sunsets lately since it's not really raining every single dang day.

Recently, the civilian company that does housing here at Drum got rid of all the "shared" landscaping. Basically, the garden I planted is gone, plus all the gorgeous hostas and brick decorations. You can see a before shot of my front yard before this disaster: here. I saved the stargazer lilies that literally JUST bloomed yesterday (I'll have to get pictures this week) and one of my other bulb plants. My veggies are also sucking. It's starting to cool down and I haven't gotten ONE tomato or pepper. It's just depressing that the one year I was able to garden, it didn't work out for me.

 The second half of the week was full of this cute doggie, Peanut. He is our friend's German Shep and he is the biggest sweetheart ever. She had a long work day on Thursday and she went to visit her sister-in-law for the weekend. This picture was Thursday when we went to go check out him and let him go potty. We played tug 'o war a little bit and the kids ran around with him.

Friday, Peanut came over and hung out here while his momma went on her trip :)
Here he is eating a treat, while Muffin looks on. She was NOT happy.

 Bella is much more tolerant and brave, but this picture still cracks me up.
She looks so angry, but she came up to him and let him come up to her and sniff her plenty of times while he was here. Muffin freaked and would spit & hiss any time he got near her.

 Probably one of my favorite things about Peanut is that he is so incredible with Matthew & Cami. He is so gentle (despite his size) and he loves them. When they went downstairs to play, he would whine for a minute or two at the top of the stairs and then lay down there until they came back upstairs. :)

A little Fantastical love...
click the picture to get the recipe





hoo hoo!

Bout of Books 8.0 - Sign Ups Are Open!!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

This is my fifth time participating and I cannot wait! On the 11th, I'm posting my goals and book list for the readathon :)

hoo hoo!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stop! Pinning Time: {Popular Pins} Edition


I decided to share some of my most repinned pins this week - just because :) All of the following pins were repinned over 20 times. If you don't follow me on Pinterest, you totally should - because I'm pretty awesome. Although I do daily occasionally post things with cursing, so if you're easily offended by cursing, you may want to steer clear of my funnies board. The links below the images will take you straight to my pin. I hate the new embedding system and it doesn't seem to work the right way anyways.

These small tattoos are so awesome. It makes me want to get a bajillion of them. 
I love the cat one especially above the center of the image.


This is so true, it's not even funny. But it is funny. :)

These Caramel Caffe' Mocha Cupcakes are from one of my favorite bloggers: Jocelyn of Inside BruCrew Life. Don't they just look so incredible? 


And Jocelyn's other gorgeous cupcakes were really popular too. It's easy to see why. 
I actually love Golden Oreos more than regular ones. 


Snickerdoodle Cupcakes from Brandy's Baking, however, were my most popular pin this week with over 80 repins. I am not surprised at all. They look AMAZEBALLS. 
That's a very technical culinary term, by the way.


I can only assume this dude was in The Sopranos, although apparently this picture and the story are unrelated, but both true. The story was with an American football player. Still funny though.


And finally...I'm always happy to see one of my own pictures get a lot of love on Pinterest. This particular recipe was for the Pass the Cookbook Club for July. It was out of one of Ina Garten's cookbooks and it was the best blondie I've ever had. So so so so so GOOD.

hoo hoo!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reached [Book Review]


Stats:
#3 in Matched trilogy
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Dutton Childrens
ASIN: B007FEFDFQ
Find on Goodreads

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nail Files #82


Wet n Wild Megalast Pinky Sweet & Pure Ice Electric

When I started my garden back in May, I had painted my nails like this the day before. Yes, I'm posting mani's from back in May...in July. Because I did this after gardening, I took it off like the day after...I got dirt underneath my nails and the black tips just killed me. I want to try this again with white tips, like a traditional French manicure. The Pinky Sweet...is a sweet pink! haha. No, but really...it's a shimmery, holo-like pink. Perfect subtle pink for a French manicure.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deployment Tales: Third of Third


So we have hit our third month mark and are now 1/3 of the way through this 9 month deployment. I said on my facebook that I didn't want to jinx it, but it seems to be flying by super fast. I'm not sure how fast it is going by for Nick, but he is always busy. And the only days he is NOT busy are the days where I am - Murphy's Law of deployments. But I pretty much talk to him from 9a to 8p each day on Facebook on and off. He alternates calling and Skyping on his day off, so he can get one on one time with the kids.

Matthew and Cami still have rough days here and there, as do I, and I'm sure Nick does too (probably more than us). Mine are mostly just random moments where I really miss him and will cry a teensy bit for no real reason, no real trigger.

But honestly it really doesn't feel like it's been 3 whole months already. I think it feels more like a few weeks. I'm going to post at some point about our cake a month thing we do. This month we had a delicious carrot cake to celebrate one more month gone. We've also been sending care packages like crazy - Monday we sent out the 5th care package and yesterday I got some stuff at the store for a 6th :)

My only worry is that once September hits and both the kids are in school full-time, that it'll go slooooooow. Both Nick and I are going to be working on our bachelor's degrees, so I'm hoping 4 classes will keep me busy enough.

But until then, I'll just appreciate that the time is flying...and now for some pictures :)



One thing that makes me proud is that in nearly every picture someone else has taken of Nick, he is smiling. Everyone else may have a serious face, but he is grinning :)

hoo hoo!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hot Six [Book Review]

Stats:
#6 in Stephanie Plum series
Kindle Edition, 340 pages
Published 1 April 2012 by St. Martin's Press
ASIN: B0017DC5UC
Find on Goodreads

Monday, July 22, 2013

Life Happenings & Tummy Grumblings


We had our first busy week of the summer - with two FRG functions and a dentist appt for Matthew. It was also mega hot - high 80s, feels like 99* - and having my a/c broken in my car made for some very uncomfortable car rides, so I borrowed Nick's car for 2 of the days.

Our first FRG function was our monthly FRG meeting and the second was the July Run 4 Resilience. We missed last month due to Matthew's school having their field day that day. It was at Thompson Park where the NY State Zoo is (we went last week) - and it has a really gorgeous view of the town.

The kids were real troopers, so we hit up BK afterwards. Unfortunately, we got there at right around 12 which is when everyone is there. Usually if you get there between 11 and 11:30, none of the soldiers have gotten there yet.

We ate our BK at home and then Matthew crashed on the couch. Then Cami and I fell asleep too. I woke up to Matthew playing DS quietly so he wouldn't wake us up, Muffin laying next to Cami, and Bella laying on my legs.

If she fits, she sits.

 Matthew's last dental cleaning landed us 4 appts with the local (and only) pediatric dentist. Because he's the only dentist, we didn't have the appts until Nov & Dec. Fortunately, Dr. Amy came to help out her classmate and did 2 of Matthew's 8 fillings on Thursday. She's going to be in town for a few weeks, so Matthew is getting the other 6 done this week. I love their dental office and the staff is all so amazing. And hopefully Matthew won't have to see them again after the rest of his cavities are fixed because he's finally gotten the picture when it comes to midnight and 2am snacking of sweets.

They give the kids tokens to get a prize and Matthew always picks the mustache :)

He let his sister test it out too.

This week should be pretty chill - hoping to weedwack my sideyard and vacuum and wash my car since it's cooled down. We may even go to the water park on the weekend, but I'm not sure yet.

This week on the food blog...
Click the picture to go the recipe.







hoo hoo!