Anchors Aweigh : September 2013



This was the first time in a while that we have had the weekend all to ourselves. We have absolutely loved getting to see our families so much over the past couple of months, but constantly being on the road catches up with you. This weekend was just what the doctor ordered. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary. In fact, Saturday consisted of a nature walk with Jenny, errands, and watching the Ags take on Arkansas (crazy, huh?), but it was perfect.

We took Jenny to an open field with a pond on base and just enjoyed a beautiful morning as a family. In those moments, I was so content. Life is going to speed up and get busier as we near the end of the year, but those few moments of quality family time were so perfect. Honestly, had we not been traveling so much and constantly on the go, I probably would have taken those moments for granted. Time is such a gift.

And as Jenny knows, all good things must end in a bath ;)

Busy season is upon us, but I am so thankful for simple moments like these.

Friday Confessions and Random Happiness

I really do feel like the older we get, the quicker the weeks go by. Now that I have made myself sound like a 90 year old, here are a few random bits of happiness from the week.

I must confess that I become re-obsessed with Fall every year. I forget how wonderful it is when the weather gets a little cooler and pumpkins start appearing on doorsteps. And by cooler, I mean the weather has dropped to the 90s. It's south Texas- I'll take what I can get. Sitting on a hay bail means it must be Fall, right?

Jenny had a fantastic time last weekend playing with cousin Bella. Love those cuties to pieces!

I have an unhealthy obsession with ice cream. I could eat it every day. This week I tried Greek froyo, and it is a nice alternative. Is it Bluebell? No, but it's also not 1000 calories.

We received a letter from our sponsor child, Faith! It totally made my day! We are excited to write back and send a Christmas gift soon!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Pinterest Fail

We all love Pinterest, right? Great recipes, DIY ideas, and another way to waste countless hours in front of the computer. I like trying new projects just as much as the next person, and I use Pinterest for new recipes weekly. I would love to say I am that person who replicates the beautiful food on Pinterest every time she tries, but that would be a bold-faced lie. Normally the dish comes out just fine, but there have definitely been times when I labor in the kitchen, take a look at my masterpiece, and say "Pinterest FAIL".

A few examples...

Baked Mozzarella Cheese Balls

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Banana Pudding

These aren't the only three recipes I have ever messed up...just the three I chose to document ;). I love to cook, but it's so frustrating to spend so much time on something only to have completely ruined it by the time I'm done. After looking at the final product on each of these recipes, all we could do was laugh. This kind of stuff is supposed to happen in young marriages, right? Thank goodness for the Taco Bell right down the street.

Ring Dunk

This weekend Parker and I went back to Aggieland to watch his sister dunk her Aggie ring. Getting your Aggie ring is a huge deal, so when my sister-in-law called me with the date of her ring dunk, I immediately blocked it out in my calendar. Here is what dunking your ring entails: filling up a pitcher with beer, dropping your ring in, and chugging the pitcher until your ring is the only thing left.

Are you still there?...

Good, because this is actually a real thing, and we Aggies love it. Sister girl Bree made the family proud and dunked her ring in 36 seconds. Now all the Phelps kiddos have properly dunked Aggie rings!

Bree's group of friends before they dunked their rings

Those of you who know me know I don't really drink. I don't have anything against it and certainly don't judge those who do, but I can probably count on one hand how many times I have drank this year. When I do drink, it's a girly, fruity concoction. I hate beer. That said, I was definitely going to dunk my Aggie ring when I received it back in 2010. It's a tradition and I wanted to be a part of it. Here are a few throwbacks from my ring dunk. I dunked with Parker, my twin sister, and her now husband.

Ready to get it over with!
Mom and Dad have never been prouder, let me tell ya!
Rings are dunked...and I wasn't feeling so hot at this point...

I know this sounds like the silliest tradition, but it is a tradition we Aggies get so excited for. Receiving your Aggie ring is a milestone, and dunking it solidifies that accomplishment. It was a great experience and an honor to participate, but I would never voluntarily decide to chug four beers in a row again, that's for sure. :)

Tailgating Tuesdays: Crockpot Cocktail Weenies

My friend Emily used to make us these BBQ weenies at football parties in Pensacola (the good ol' days!), and I was so excited to get the recipe from her. Parker and I munched on these babies while watching the A&M vs. Alabama game, and they definitely helped ease our pain during interceptions 1 and 2. Seriously though, these are so simple, so delicious, and so perfect for football parties.

2 packages of weenies
8 oz jar of grape jelly
12 oz BBQ sauce (we love Sweet Baby Ray's)

1. Place all ingredients into your crockpot and stir so that jelly and BBQ sauce are mixed.
2. Cook on high for 1-2 hours or low for 2-4 hours and enjoy!

Babies and the Military

After last week's post about Jenny being ready to be a big sister, I had quite a few people tell me they thought it was going to be a pregnancy announcement. Sorry to disappoint on that front! I know I have talked about baby fever a little bit on this blog, and I really think Jenny would be the best big sister, but there is something that complicates baby plans quite a bit: the military.

They say there is no perfect time to have a baby. You'll always want to travel more, experience more, and prepare more before you bring a little one into this world. Having been married a couple of years and at that stage where a lot of our friends are having babies, this makes sense. However, the military adds a whole new dimension to baby planning. Of course there is still the financial aspect, the time aspect, and the stability aspect. Those are constant factors for any couple. The military adds deployments, relocations, and daily schedules that will change at the drop of a hat. It's pretty overwhelming!

Short story is this: of course Parker and I have talked about when it might be a good time to start a family. We've talked about it a lot, but more importantly it's something that we continue to pray about. Deployments are going to happen. Parker is going to have to leave for months at a time, and we were both aware of this reality the minute he took that oath. Unless we wait until we are in our late 30s or 40s to have a baby, Parker is going to miss something. So instead of worrying about when the right time might be and crunching numbers to strategically plan the part of our children's lives Parker will be away for, we choose to give this situation to God. When is the perfect time for us? I honestly have no idea, but I know God has known since the beginning of time, so we are trusting His good, pleasing, and perfect will for our lives.

Military spouses: I would really love to hear when you chose/plan to choose to have children and why. We all do things a little differently, but the unpredictability of the military effects us all equally. Did you wait until the first round of deployments was over? Did you have children while your husband was still in training to ensure he wouldn't miss those first few months? Can't wait to hear!

Linking up for Military Monday!

College Is Expensive, Books Don't Have To Be

College is expensive, and I think that is one thing we can all agree on. Whether you put yourself through college, your parents pay, or you take out loans, tuition is painful to anyone writing the check. You know what else can be expensive? Textbooks. I spent almost $500 my first semester on textbooks, and I wish I could go back in time and kick the 18 year old version of myself for paying so much. Why? Because I didn't have to. At Texas A&M, most students start out buying books from the bookstore and then wise up to the situation around their sophomore year. The secret? RENT! would have saved me a few hundred dollars that first year, and here's why I'd like to go back in time and knock some sense into baby Chelsea:

Why should you rent textbooks?
  • you save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • free shipping BOTH ways
  • you can highlight in the textbooks...I was a major highlighter
  • flexible renting periods to accommodate your semester
  • donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented
You know those professors who require a certain edition of a certain book, and purchasing the previous edition is forbidden? Don't worry, has the largest selection in the nation with 21 day risk free returns. Seriously, I so wish I would have known about this from the get-go.

Guess what other new and glorious concept has graced the world of college since I graduated? Rentback. Rentback is a new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own to other students, which is awesome considering it will make them up to 4x more than they would with normal buyback options. So if you're like me and spent $1,000,000 on buying books your freshman year, Rentback just became your new best friend.

College is expensive, but books don't have to be. I wish I could go back in time and redo my freshman year. I could think of a few ways to use the extra $500 I spent now that I'm living in this beautiful thing called the real world. And just for fun, here are a few throwbacks from my graduation from Texas A&M almost 3 years ago. I'd like to go back now please.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

The Boy Behind The Blog: September Edition

Well friends, it's that time of the month...the time where I ask Parker five fairly simple questions about himself, and he looks at me like it's the hardest thing he's had to do all week. I enjoy the Boys Behind the Blog link-up, and I always think it's fun to hear the random answers he seems to come up with. So without further ado, here's more from the boy behind the blog.

Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in blue):

1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Bald eagle because I love flying AND America
No surprise on this one, but I have to say I do love his answer :)

2. What is your favorite meal?
Steak, mashed potatoes, and corn
Such a man answer. Actually if we go to a restaurant, this is what he will order 9 times out of 10. 

3. Do you use any forms of social media? What is your favorite?
Uhhh Facebook? Twitter is totes lame
Haha, someone was drinking the haterade!

4. Beer, wine, liquor, other, or none of the above?
Beer or wine...don't care, not a big drinker
Neither of us are. We will occasionally drink socially, but we aren't the type to pop open a beer at home. 

5. Complete the sentence: Never have I ever...
Made a status about Miley Cyrus
Hahaha, we had just finished talking about how people are obsessing about every thing that girl does. That said, we both serenade each other with "Wrecking Ball" on a daily basis. That song is catchy!

Well, that's it for this round! Thanks again Parker for such willing participation! I know you're so excited for next month! ;)

Anywhere In The World

If you could go anywhere in the world and money were no option, where would you go? My answer may not make a lot of sense, because I would go somewhere I have already been. I got the opportunity to go on a leadership trip glorified vacation with 8 fellow students to Greece the summer before my junior year of college, and it was the most amazing experience. I was there 2 weeks and never spent more than 2 nights in one place. I got the opportunity to visit Athens, Meteora, Patras, Nafplion, Santorini, Delphi, and a few others. Santorini and Meteora stuck out to me, and I have been itching to go back ever since! Parker and I were just dating when I went on my trip, but I couldn't help but think how amazing it would have been for him to join me. If I could go anywhere in the world and money/time were no option, I would grab Parker and jet set to Greece without thinking twice about it. It's such a gorgeous place filled with rich culture and history. It was truly the experience of a lifetime, and I would love to do it again! A couple of throwbacks from that wonderful trip back in 2009...

I asked my sponsors where they would go if they could go anywhere in the world, and these are the fabulous places they came up with:

To sponsor Anchors Aweigh, visit my Sponsors tab. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would YOU go???

Woolzies Dryer Balls: Review and Giveaway

When Woolzies asked if I'd like to try their eco-friendly dryer balls, I couldn't say yes fast enough. Other than cooking, the chore that has increased the most since getting married is laundry. For two people, it seems a little ridiculous the amount of laundry I do. All I can say is thank goodness for Woolzies!

Woolzies dryer balls are an all-natural fabric softener. They contain no chemicals unlike normal dryer sheets, which was one of the biggest selling points for me. Since Parker flies jets for a living, it is my responsibility to make sure his clothes keep their fire retardant qualities in case anything ever goes wrong. The chemicals in dryer sheets can destroy the fire retardant qualities in clothes, so knowing his undershirts are safe with Woolzies definitely makes me sleep better at night.

Oh, and get this. Woolzies dryer balls decrease drying time by 25%! I was skeptical at first, so I put Woolzies to the ultimate test- I threw them in with a large load of sheets. We all know how long sheets can take to dry, but I checked the sheets about 3/4 of the way through the drying process, and they were completely dry! These dryer balls really do work, and I am so excited to keep using them in the future. Each box lasts at least 1,000 loads, so that's about 2 weeks worth of laundry! Kidding kidding, but seriously, I won't need another box for 1,000 loads. That's hard to beat!

Woolzies is giving away a box of Woolzies dryer balls to one lucky reader! Enter below, and good luck! These dryer balls will save you time, energy, and money. Trifecta!

Disclosure: I was given this product free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Jenny Is Ready To Be A Big Sister

Jenny hasn't been around a lot of kids, so we are weary when little kids come up to her because we don't quite know how she will react. We rescued her at 6 months, and we really don't know much about her first six months of life. We know she has a BB gun bullet lodged in her side, so it couldn't have been too pleasant. For all we know, kids did that to her, so we are cautious around children.

A couple of weekends ago, we got to spend time with Parker's extended family, three of which are small children (2 small boys, and a 10 week old baby girl). Yall, I couldn't believe how she reacted. When I was holding the baby, she stayed by my side the entire time, trying to see the little baby. Wherever the baby was, Jenny was. At one point the baby was taking a nap in the back room, and she started crying as she woke up. Faster than any of us could even rise from the couch, Jenny was sitting at the back room door patiently waiting to see the baby. Little Jenny seemed to know the baby was fragile. She didn't make any sudden movements around the baby and kept very quiet, which was out of character considering Jenny is quite spastic by nature.

Jenny also made time to play with the boys, which made me nervous at first since little kids can be rough without meaning to be. Jenny yet again proved we had nothing to worry about. She kept watch over them while they were in the pool, and she played chase with them once they were inside. Watching her chase the boys around and let the boys chase her completely melted my heart. Very few times have I seen Jenny so happy. She absolutely loves kids!

Seeing Jenny with those three kiddos completely relieved any fear Parker and I had. Jenny had the best day with them and is so ready to be a big sister! We all know I have baby fever, and I am now fairly confident that Jenny does too ;).


So bloggers, you know those times when you have a few random bullet points and pictures that don't quite merit their own post? Well this is one of those days. And it's Friday, so there's that :).

It's been raining like crazy in Kingsville, which is pretty uncharacteristic for South Texas. This gorgeous rainbow was such a treat to see! Sometimes it really is the little things.

I'm usually not one for the selfie, but I took this as proof that my hair can now hold a curl. Two words: curling wand. My hair has never been able to hold a curl in my 24 years of living, but there is something about that curling wand that does the trick. If you have always had to live by the motto "straight hair, don't care", try the curling wand. It worked for me!

Parker got home early yesterday, and Jenny snuggled up to him like it's her job. She hangs out with me almost every second of the day, but she's such a daddy's girl. We've got a definite stage 5 clinger on our hands.

I made a homemade chicken pot pie this week for Parker, and I made sure to keep with family tradition and draw a big old "P" for Parker before I popped it in the oven. My Nana does this for me every time she makes me a pie, and I love getting to do it for Parker.

The Aggies take on Alabama at Kyle Field this weekend, and I can't tell you how excited we are! Hoping for a good outcome for the Aggies, but regardless, we are excited to watch what will hopefully be a really good game! Happy Friday friends!

Love and Jets

Parker had his first solo in a jet a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't be prouder! I get excited for every milestone he achieves throughout his military career, and this one was no different. I've mentioned before that Parker has wanted to be in the military ever since he was a small child. Seeing him live out his dream right in front of my eyes is such a special journey to be a part of. Every love story is different, and ours happens to involve planes. I could be frustrated by the fact that flight school and the military have grueling, time-consuming schedules, or I could embrace the fact that God chose this journey for us to live out together. I love this adventure, I love this man, and I love this perfectly imperfect life that we have.

I also want to wish a very happy birthday to my father-in-law! Parker's dad is one of his greatest cheerleaders, and he has been a constant support for Parker as he lives out his dream. This post happened to be scheduled on his birthday, but I don't think it was coincidence. I love it when God's providence shows up in neat little ways like this. Happy birthday Tim!

You Wouldn't Call It A Drinking Problem... Guest Post and Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I am so excited to introduce you to Tammy Jo over at You Wouldn't Call It A Drinking Problem! I have loved getting to know her- she's real, down to earth, and her blog is full of laughs. Specifically, I think we can all relate to going on the "seafood diet" at one point or another. That post had me giggling and nodding in agreement. Take it away Tammy Jo!


Hey guys! I'm Tammy and my blog home is You Wouldn't Call It A Drinking Problem. I'm super excited to be guest posting for Chelsea!!

I LOVE her! She is super sweet and she makes me believe in love again :).

First off who doesn't LOVE FREE THINGS?!?!?

Secondly who doesn't love free things for a good cause?!?!?!

That's what I thought :).

About a year ago a young lady and her 3 small children were killed in a bad car accident. Elizabeth was a year older than me in school and I'm from a small town where everyone is friends with everyone at some point. Elizabeth and I were close in middle school and slowly drifted apart, but she was a super sweet girl! After high school I kept up with her and her family on facebook (such an awesome invention right?!?!). Her death hit hard and you can read more about that here.

Her mother (Julie) has also started a blog and I can promise you if you don't have tissues you will need them. You can check her out here.

So I tell you all this because I'm doing a GIVE-A-WAY! Her mother makes the most beautiful door wreaths I've ever seen and since fall is right around the corner (unless you live in Texas... it takes longer to make its debut), I'm giving away this beautiful wreath!!  Julie has started a scholarship fund and the profit from the wreaths will go to help that get started. You can read about the scholarship for Elizabeth here and the boys here

Enter below to win this beautiful Fall wreath! (please wait 10-15 seconds for giveaway to load)

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Tailgating Tuesdays: Buffalo Chicken Tacos

For some reason, buffalo sauce and football go hand in hand. I'm not sure why. All I know is you are going to want to make these tacos for your next football party. They took me 15 minutes from start to finish, are super easy to throw together at the last minute, and they're very guy-friendly.  Try them out!

Ingredients (makes 10 tacos):
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp garlic powder, or garlic salt if you don't have any
1/3 cup your favorite buffalo wing sauce (we used HEB brand medium and will probably use mild next time. They were hot!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
your favorite tortillas- we used white corn

avocado slices
chopped green onions
ranch dressing
optional: shredded lettuce (I didn't have any on hand, so I left this out)

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and garlic powder. Season the chicken pieces with pepper, then dredge in flour mixture.
2. Place a pan on the stove over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add chicken and cook on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side).
3.  Once done, set chicken aside in a bowl and toss with buffalo sauce.
4. Place buffalo chicken pieces in tortillas and add toppings as desired. Enjoy!

Linking up for Taste of Tuesdays

Sweet Home Aggieland

We have been so excited for this weekend. Yes it was another weekend of traveling, but it was also a chance to go "home". If you've read this blog long, you know that Parker and I are Aggies and absolutely love our alma mater. We were graciously given tickets to the game, so off we went to watch the Aggies BTHO (Beat The Hell Outta- it's an Aggie thing) Sam Houston State, catch up with family and friends, and eat our little hearts out. After all, it wouldn't be a proper weekend if we didn't start Monday out with a need to hit the treadmill.

Back in the land where these little rings of gold originated

Wet hair, don't care. It rained the majority of the first half, but it was still a blast!

We got to spend time with members of both families while in Aggieland, which was such a treat. 

Sister-in-law and future brother-in-law

7 person selfie? Why not. We were even missing two from this ever growing bunch!

College Station is so important to us because it's where we met. Our first date was at Kyle Field, so it's always nostalgic being back. Aggieland is home, and it's where our story began. I can't wait for our next trip down, and we are so excited to bring little ones to their first football game in a few years. Gotta start them early!

I hope you all had a good weekend too!


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