Anchors Aweigh : May 2013


Summer Salad

Summer is upon us, and the time has come when we all try to eat a little healthier to look our best in that itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini. Today I am sharing my favorite summer salad. Yes it's healthy, but it's also delicious! It's perfect for those days by the pool and just makes you feel good. I've listed the ingredients I use, but you could literally mix and match anything into this recipe that your little heart desires, and it would probably be just as good if not better. Give it a try!


1 package of spring mix salad
1 can mandarin oranges
gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
chopped pecans
Ken's fat free raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing


1. Mix all ingredients together except for the dressing. Drizzle with dressing when ready to eat. Serve and enjoy!

I mentioned you could easily mix and match this recipe, so here are a few ideas: try walnuts instead of pecans, feta or bleu cheese instead of gorgonzola, pineapple chunks and grapes with or instead of mandarin oranges, or balsamic vinaigrette instead of raspberry vinaigrette to make it a little less sweet. Get creative with it and feel good about choosing the salad over the cheeseburger.

The Turquoise Desk

I shared a little sneak peek of my new desk on Friday's post, and I'm excited to show you the finished product today! Yall, I am in love. Parker designed and built it, so I thought it would be only fitting for him to write the post. He halfheartedly agreed to do so ;). Disclaimer, despite his dry sense of humor that comes out towards the beginning of this post, he actually does love me. Well enough of that, here's Parker's story on my new favorite piece of furniture:

As many of you may know, Chelsea has been working from home for over a year. During this period, she has had the pleasure of using a desk purchased at Target that is approximately the size of a large cafeteria tray. It barely has enough room for her keyboard and monitor, much less a phone and mouse. Obviously I never hear the end of this.

Since I had a little free time between Primary and Intermediate flight training, I "volunteered" to make Chelsea a new desk. We started with very basic design requirements:
1.     Left hand drawers
2.     Large(r) surface
3.     No hutch
Since Kingsville only has one major home improvement store (Lowes), I bought all the supplies from there.
One disappointment from the Lowes in Kingsville was the quality of their cuts. Since my Audi A4 doesn't have much trunk space and my table saw can only do a 24'' cut, I am limited by what I can do at home. I thought the guys at Lowes could help by using their cutting station (this is a normal practice). There was a red flag when it took four guys to operate the cutting station when it should take just one. I decided to add a few inches to each cut so that they couldn't mess anything up too badly (usually cuts are not cut at the right size). But when I got home, I had a different problem: not one rip or cut they had performed was square. All cuts were done at a diagonal! There was a two inch difference between one side of the sheet of plywood and the other!

The pencil line represents a straight cut measured from the factory cut side of the sheet. This is where the saw should have cut the first time!

These poor cuts had two major impacts. First, I would have to shrink the initial design since the plywood was cut too small. Second, none of the plywood was cut square and my table saw was too small to fix the problem. Long story short: the plywood used in the project was not perfectly square and thus the entire project had issues.

The plywood box that holds the drawers. Since this was a little out of whack, the drawers all had sliding issues (originally) and there were noticeable gaps between it and the desk
Coming together

Finished with paint

I am super pleased with the way it came out. Parker is his own worst critic and doesn't realize how amazing he is at building furniture. I got pretty blessed in the husband department :). The color is something way out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad we chose it. It's called Turquoise Tint from Lowes. The new desk definitely makes work a little more fun!

Switching Places

I wrote this for a guest post for one of my blogger friends, but I thought it would be a fun story to share with you all as well! If you know me or have read this blog, you know I have an identical twin sister. (I'm on the left, she's on the right)

We have always looked a lot alike, and senior year of high school, we decided to take advantage of that. After all, it would be criminal not to switch places and have a little fun, right? That was our view anyway. We switched places once in English class and got away with it, but we wanted to really have some fun with it. She ran track in high school, and I played tennis. I was at her track meet one afternoon to cheer her on, and she told me she didn't really feel like running her second race (the mile). We grinned and instantly saw an opportunity. We went to the bathroom as ourselves and came out completely switched. Let me preface the race with this: I am not a runner. Never had been, but this was just too good to pass up.

I did some obnoxious stretches on the field as word got around the stands that it was actually me about to run.The gun went off, and everyone sprinted off! What?! I thought this was the mile and we were supposed to pace ourselves. I ran my little heart out and expected "my" coach to tell me I was doing a great job. I could tell by his face he was disappointed with my performance, so I pointed to my stomach and yelled "cramp!". I was feeling fine, but I needed an excuse for why I was apparently running so much slower than usual. Everyone in the stands was cheering for "me", which was quite the adrenaline rush! I ran the fastest mile time I have ever run and actually came in second to last place- I saw this as an accomplishment in and of itself since the poor girl I beat actually ran track.

So here's the downside. The coaches found out, and the athletic department decided they needed to make an example out of us for other twins (cue giggling from us), so we both had to sit out on our next meet. It happened to be district, which was a huge disappointment that I had to deal with for a while, but it's a fun story to tell and a great story for the twin and I to look back on.

Here are a few throwbacks from that wonderful senior year of high school. Can you tell us apart??


This weekend was all about unplugging from the real world and escaping reality for a few days. We spent the weekend at my aunt and uncle's ranch house, and it was just what the doctor ordered. We had no Internet or cell service, so we got to completely immerse ourselves in this:

 So beautiful. Nature pup was in heaven!

My twin sister and her husband came down, and it's always good to be reunited with your look-a-like! We were very happy twins, and our pups were equally excited to see each other.

We spent time with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins doing nothing and everything. The boys shot guns until their hearts were content, we all hiked and swam, and the dogs wrestled like it was going out of style. Oh, and we all came back about 5 lbs larger, but since it was a mini-vacation, that was implied.

There is something so wonderful about "unplugging" from the rest of the world. I couldn't waste time on Facebook or send texts, so I was forced to just enjoy the beauty around me. I am so thankful we got this little weekend away to simply relax. A lot of our vacations are go-go-go because we want to make sure we see and do everything, so chilling out all weekend was a welcome change.

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend! Anyone do anything exciting?!

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day and enjoy the Monday off! Not going to work, BBQs, cook-outs, and lake houses are all wonderful, but please remember the reason we get to experience all that. A big thanks to all those who have and are serving our country to protect the freedoms we are enjoying today. I am hugging my aviator extra tight today!

Happy Memorial Day!

High Five For Friday!

Is there anything better than the Friday before a long weekend? Nothing seems to be coming to mind, but I have vacation on the brain! This weekend we are headed to my Aunt and Uncle's ranch house for a little R&R and family time. So excited! Here's what made our top five for the week:

1. This dinner. We are becoming mildly obsessed with our grill and loved everything about this plate of deliciousness.

2. New desk. Parker was in the shop making me a desk this week, and it is finished! He did such an amazing job and I absolutely love it! He'll write a post all about it next week, but here's a little sneak peek. Yes, it's turquoise, and yes, I'm obsessed :).

3. Jenny. Nothing in particular, but snuggling with this little girl and watching her explore outside is one of our favorite things to do. She is going to think she died and went to heaven when we get to the ranch house.

4. Togetherness. Parker starts ground school next week, which means all the stress and craziness is about to start back up. I have loved all the family time we have gotten to have these last couple of weeks!

Parker was doing his impression of Jenny. Jenny was not impressed.
 5. Rescuing puppies. Our next door neighbors (who we don't really know) left town and abandoned two precious little puppies in the backyard. We had no idea until yesterday when a guy came over to give them water and food. My fantastic neighbor across the street found them a home, and they should be adopted today! We went over to love on them throughout the day, and my heart just melted. If it weren't for hurricane Jenny, I would have taken them in a heartbeat.

I'm linking up with Lindsey and Lauren for Friday highlights!

Prayer warriors: I am asking for prayers for my husband's family. His uncle had a stroke and is being taken of life support today. Please pray for strength during this difficult time. Thank you!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Buttermilk Pound Cake with Homemade Whipped Cream

Plain and simple, pound cakes are perfect for summer. A slice of pound cake, some homemade whipped cream, and fresh strawberries makes for a very happy girl. Today I am sharing my favorite pound cake recipe!


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 t. lemon extract
1 t. vanilla extract (you can also substitute this for almond extract- both are delicious!)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1. Cream butter and gradually add sugar, beating at a medium speed until well blended.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in extracts.
4. Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for one hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
5. Invert pan and remove cake. Cool completely.

Want to add a little homemade whipped cream? Simply buy a pint of heavy whipping cream and drag out the sugar. Beat the whipping cream on high and add in 1 cup of sugar. Continue beating, tasting a little every 30 seconds or so to see if you need more sugar. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time until whipped cream is sweet enough. Beat until you have reached the desired consistency (until it doesn't run off of a spoon). If you want to frost your cake, wait until it is completely cool!

Making Lemonade Out Of Those Lemons

Thursday afternoon we were SO excited for a little weekend getaway to San Antonio. I don't know about yall, but we love staying in hotels and being typical tourists in different places. San Antonio is only 2.5 hours away from our house, so we got the vacation without the long car ride.

 Score! Or so we thought. This is how our evening went down:

Left Kingsville.
Drove an hour and a half, stopped to eat BBQ. Meat was delicious, sides were disappointing for this side-loving girl.
Drove another hour and arrived at the base we were staying at.
Tried to check into base hotel. Realized we were at the wrong base. 
Drove 40 minutes to the other San Antonio base. 
Tried to check into new base hotel. We were at the wrong hotel. 
Took 20 minutes to navigate to the other base hotel three minutes away.
Finally arrived, exhausted.
Promised each other tomorrow would be better.

So it wasn't the most fun start to a vacation. It's easy to get frustrated with each other in these kinds of situations. It's easy to place blame on the one who messed up the directions or the one who led us to the wrong base. But really, what good would that do? Instead, we were on a road trip getting to spend time with each other. We had dinner, we listened to music, and we caught up on life. It was a good reminder to enjoy the simple moments. It would have been nice to get to the hotel earlier and just chill and relax, but we were also given some uninterrupted quality time, and when you're with your best friend, it's always such a gift. Thursday was a nice reminder to just enjoy the simple things (and double check the directions next time :)).

Sea World

I get excited about all aspects of vacations- unplugging, husband/wife togetherness, food comas, you name it. Combine all those things with Sea World, and life just got perfect. Parker and I were so pumped for Sea World Sunday and couldn't wait to act like little kids around all the attractions. We are big animal lovers too, so this was our cup of tea. Here's our day, in picture form of course!

Ready to go!

The first show we watched was Cannery Row Caper, and Parker and I have decided we want need a pet sea lion. I mean seriously, just look how cute these babies are!

Just seeing these two blubbery things was enough for us to fall in love...

And then one started doing push-ups...

And then they became detectives with their magnifying glasses...

And then one gave a kiss... and we died. Too much cuteness!

But wait, there's more. The walrus made his grand entrance...

 And then started doing sit-ups because he was feeling large and in charge. And we died of cuteness all over again.

Too much, right? We also saw the main attraction, Shamu, at the show One Ocean. It was really neat to see Shamu, but coming off of the adorable sea lions, it was slightly underwhelming.

Our last show was Azul, and who doesn't love dolphins and beluga whales?!

We rode most of the rides (Yall, there were NO lines! We literally just hopped onto each ride whenever we felt like it. Amazing). Last but not least, we fed the ducks! I was probably a little more excited about this than I should have been.

We loved talking about bringing future little Phelplets to Sea World one day. It was so kid-friendly and I know my parents took me when I was little. Fun to think about, but Sea World is a blast even without little ones! I highly recommend! San Antonio was a perfect weekend getaway, and we got to cross something off our Kingsville Bucket List :).

San Antonio on the River Walk

This weekend was a whirlwind. We have blisters on our feet, bags under our eyes, and soreness in our legs, but it was an absolute blast! We wanted to jam-pack as many activities as possible into our little vacation, and I think we did just that.

Friday night we ate dinner at Iron Cactus on the River Walk. Can I just say it's so wonderful to be in the land of good Mexican food again? Delish. Most of the touristy activities weren't open for the evening, but we did manage to complete the Mirror Maze (giant dark maze made up of mirrors-definitely entertaining). Parker decided we should be all romantic-like and order a couple of glasses of wine while we sat on the river. We got suckered into ordering the whole bottle, and that was the night for these two lightweights. Tons of fun though!

River Walk

Saturday we put on our tourist caps and set out into the city! The Alamo was our first stop, and it was so neat to see it again. If the Alamo doesn't make you proud you are from Texas, I don't know what will. State pride was strong Saturday!

The foodies in us were very pleased with our lunch choice of Hard Rock Cafe, and we waddled on out to our next destination, Tower of the Americas. I have to admit, I had never heard of said tower, and I still don't know why it is significant, but I do know we paid $20 to ride a giant elevator to the top. It was a great view of the whole city, and it was super windy because it wasn't completely sealed at the top.

Nailed it.
My cousin had a soccer game in San Antonio Saturday, so I was so excited to get to see family on our little weekend getaway. Loved seeing these people!

Saturday night we ate at a local pizza parlor we stumbled upon and called it a night. We were exhausted! Pretty sure I was asleep before 10 PM, but we had to get rested up for Sea World in the morning! Part 1 of the vacation was a success :).


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