Anchors Aweigh : November 2013


Thankful For You

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I will be taking the next few days off from blogging to spend precious time with family. Thanksgiving is such a great reminder of all we are blessed with. One of those blessings for me is this blog. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made and the wonderful people I have met through blogging. I pray that each of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with those you treasure.

From my family to yours, happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for YOU!

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Remember Sloppy Joes? Or as one of the Olsen twins calls it in It Takes Two, the big gooey messy burger? I told Parker I think it had been at least 10 years since I had eaten one, but I saw this recipe and instantly wanted to bring the Joe back from my childhood. Sloppy Joes are just a fun, easy weeknight meal that is very husband and kid friendly. Plus, this recipe really couldn't be simpler to throw together in a flash. I served it with sweet potato fries and corn on the cob, and the combination was perfect. I'll be making these Joes again!

Ingredients (makes 8-10 burgers):
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 10.75 ounce can tomato soup, diluted
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
hamburger buns

1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain fat if necessary, then add in onion and saute a few minutes until tender.
2. Stir in soup, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic powder. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
3. Serve on buns and eat up! Eat like a hamburger or eat open-faced with a fork if you're feeling fancy and don't want it all over your face. We opted for the messy face option- enjoy!

Bring Your Wife To Work and Wear Matching Flight Suits? Yes Please.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a picture of Parker and me in matching flight suits. Last Friday, Parker's squadron had a spouse day. We had both been looking forward to it for weeks! The wives and significant others got to come to base with our husbands, fly in the simulator, try on their gear, and tour the tower. Oh, and we also got to wear flight suits the entire time. There isn't much more exciting than getting to wear your husband's flight suit around all day! Parker and I both absolutely loved it.

The first thing I did was receive my call sign- Parker had already revealed the name he had chosen, but I still giggled when I saw it written. He gave me the call sign "Moose", and here is the story behind it. When he first heard about spouse day, he called my twin sister to brainstorm potential call signs for my patch. Let me preface this by saying things typically do not go in my favor when those two get together. Danielle suggested Moose because it's a long-running family joke. When I was younger, my mom took us to one of those shops where you get to stuff your own stuffed animal. I saw a moose, and my mom said "Chelsea, that's perfect because you look like a moose!" She swears it was a compliment, but to this day I really don't see how. Nevertheless, Moose it was.

They have this tradition where the wives/significant others bring a pair of heels to wear with the flight suit. I have to be honest, I thought we all looked ridiculous. Thankfully it was just for the picture, and those heels were quickly replaced with comfy shoes. I'm all about the comfy shoes!

Those flight suits are super comfortable! I wouldn't complain too much if I had to wear one of those every day, but after seeing what Parker does on a daily basis, I think I'll leave it to the professionals. I tried my hand at the simulator, and it was not easy! I got to take off from the runway and fly over Kingsville. With extreme guidance from Parker, I managed to do those things semi-okay. He wanted me to practice landing on the boat, which obviously I knew I would not be able to do. I told him to tell me what to do every step of the way and really help me. Two seconds in, I crashed in the ocean. When I asked where my help was, he shook his head and said "There was just nothing I could do for you there". Helpful, but it was neat getting to fly the T-45 in the simulator.

I tried on his G-suit and all of his flight gear next, and they aren't messing around with that stuff! It's pretty heavy duty, but I guess that's a good thing!

This day was just a really neat opportunity to see what Parker does. I have toured the bases we have been on before, but I think the biggest thing this experience gave me was a deeper appreciation for how difficult his profession is. I'm constantly in awe of the things he is able to really is an honor to just get to stand on the sidelines and watch it all happen. This squadron has been great about involving me, and I am so thankful for that. It isn't always that way at all, but getting to see Parker fly last week to experiencing a day in the life this week has been a gift. Hanging with my best friend in matching flight suits was a blast for both of us!

How To Not Gain 5 Pounds During The Holidays

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the DJ said the average person will gain 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and the Superbowl. What?! I don't know how scientific that number is, but gaining weight around food-centered holidays does make sense. I know it's about to get cold, but we aren't grizzly bears. We don't need to pack on any extra insulation. This time of year I am surprisingly mindful of what I put in my mouth. Will I eat my weight in stuffing and deluxe mac & cheese on Thanksgiving Day? You betcha, but Thanksgiving is just one day, not the entire month. I want to enjoy the holidays, but I don't want to completely fall off the wagon the days leading up to it.

I don't know about yall, but the 3:30 PM munchies are what get me. Without fail, I get hungry each afternoon. I think snacking can be the most dangerous. It's easier for me to eat healthy during meals- breakfast is usually a healthy cereal, lunch is some sort of sandwich with a fruit and some cracker chips, and I control what we eat for dinner since I am the main chef at Casa de Phelps. I am by no means a model eater, and Jillian Michaels probably would not be too proud of me, but I try to make good decisions at meal time. Snacking, that's a different story. When I get those afternoon munchies, I just want to eat everything! I often eat more for a snack than my body is actually hungry for. Healthy snacks are key, and that's why I am glad I was given the chance to try LÄRABAR.

These fruit and nut bars are delicious and packed with all of the good stuff a healthy snack needs. I am obsessed with the Apple Pie flavor! These babies are also gluten free and vegan, so you can feel safe eating them if you have special dietary needs or goals. Every bite is packed full with fruit, nuts, and spices with no more than nine ingredients in each bar. Pure and simple. One bar leaves my belly full and satisfied until dinner time.

In addition to healthy snacking, working out during the holidays is a must for me. Since I am training for a half marathon, I have a set schedule to adhere to that has kept me focused. Of course I will take a break to enjoy time with friends and family, but there's no need to get crazy and take a month off. It's all about moderation in my book! For a healthy start, check out LÄRABAR online or at your grocery store.

What are some ways you stay healthy during the holidays?

The Boy Behind the Blog: You Asked, He Answered

As I mentioned last Friday, I absolutely love the Boy Behind the Blog link-up. I'm kind of a big fan of Parker, so I love hearing his answers to different questions. This round of questions was geared around favorite music and bands, and Parker is just not the guy that ever listened to a lot of music or went to concerts. So I turned to you! I asked yall if you had any questions for the boy behind this blog, and you came up with some really good ones!

Your questions for Parker (my responses to his answers are in blue):

What is your least favorite chore? -Katie, Going Coastal with the Plumes
picking up dog poop and folding laundry
You would think if it were his least favorite chore, that would imply he actually does it. This husband hasn't so much as folded a shirt since we have been married! I actually don't mind laundry at all, so it works out.  

What is your absolute favorite thing about your wife? -Karla, Forever Newly Wedded
I like how thoughtful she is of other people. She really is an inspiration.
Well that was sweet! I really expected sarcasm in response to this question, so his answer was a pleasant surprise.

How did you get into the Navy? Noor @ Noor's Place
I had a lifelong dream of military service, and I got into it through the Corps of Cadets and ROTC at Texas A&M. I always wanted to serve my country and the Navy seemed like the best way for me to do that.
This is just the way he is wired, and I love that.   

What is your favorite thing (meal/snack/drink) that Chelsea makes? -Katie, Going Coastal with the Plumes
That's hard. Either pumpkin bread, cowboy casserole, or potato soup
Random choices huh?

If you were forced to watch one movie for a solid week, what would you choose? Amy, Taking Steps Home
Of all of the questions you guys asked, this was the one I knew the answer to immediately. He tricked me into watching it a few years ago by telling me it's a love story. He failed to mention the girl dies in the first 15 minutes. Worst love story ever. 

That's it for this month!


November brings Thanksgiving, which reminds us all to be thankful for what we have. It's an awesome time for reflection to remember all of the gifts God has blessed us with.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."- James 1:17

We all have so much that we take for granted. I know I do. I remember to thank God for my family, for friends all across the world, and for His love for me, but I forget to thank Him for so much. One of those things is my health. When I'm healthy, I completely take it for granted. Being healthy is "normal" for me, and I know I am blessed for that. It's only when I get sick that I remember that good health is a gift and a blessing, not a right or a state of normalcy. It shouldn't take something bad happening, like getting sick, for me to remember that health is a gift from above. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have gotten a stomach bug. And then BAM, out of the blue I came down with a bad one earlier this month for no apparent reason. It was a miserable 48 hours, but it reminded me how blessed I am that this is a rare occurrence. I really think God used this to keep me in check, and I can honestly say I am glad it happened. This Thanksgiving has reminded me to be thankful for the gift of a healthy body and healthy loved ones.

I asked my sponsors this month what they are thankful for. Be sure to check these amazing ladies out!

For more information on sponsoring Anchors Aweigh, visit my Sponsors tab. 

What are you thankful for?

Crescent Sausage Breakfast Casserole

My parents came to visit us a couple of weekends ago, and I wanted to make a quick and easy breakfast casserole for us all to enjoy in the morning. Breakfast casseroles are a dime a dozen, so I really just wanted to find a simple recipe that I knew would be delicious. This recipe ended up being just the ticket. My family loved it and yours will too. (This made up for the overdone cake I served them the night before!)

1 can of crescent rolls
1 pound of Italian sausage
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
a few shakes of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2. place crescent roll pieces across your baking dish so that the bottom of the dish is covered. Set aside.
3. Brown the sausage in a skillet until crumbly and cooked and drain any grease.
4. Meanwhile, whisk your eggs in a small bowl and add milk and salt and pepper.
5. Once the sausage is browned, spread it out over your crescent rolls in the pan. Pour the egg mixture over sausage and top with cheese.
6. Pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are browned and the center is set. Cut and enjoy!

Just Another Day At The Office

Friday I got to experience something really neat. Parker had a solo flight where he was going to be landing and taking off on the same runway. His instructor told him to bring his wife so I could take pictures and get the chance to see him fly. I had never seen Parker fly before in person, so yall, I was pumped!

His instructor was so nice to me. I was trying not to be the giddy clueless wife, but I am fairly confident that's how it came off. I was being such a groupie. Regardless, he answered all of my questions, talked to me about what was going on as it was happening, and even let me talk to Parker on the radio. I said "Charlie", "Roger ball", and "Wave off, wave off, foul deck". I have absolutely no idea what any of that meant. At all.  I loved talking into the radio knowing Parker was listening up in the sky somewhere though.  I know he giggled when he heard my voice.

Parker's Thoughts:
For anyone who was wondering, we were doing Field Carrier Landing Practice. We were developing our skills for landing on the boat ... It was pretty awesome to have Chelsea out in the LSO shack and she sounded awesome (and adorable) on the radio!

For Parker it was just another day at the office, but for me it was the coolest experience ever! I loved it!

On another note, wishing the happiest of birthdays to my favorite sister in law! Love you B!

Bullet Points

Can yall believe we are halfway through November? It is seriously going to be 2014 before we know it, and that's just crazy to think about. So what's going on with the Phelps trio lately? Life has been good for us. Let's break it down with a few Friday bullet points:

  • My twin sister and I have decided to train for a half marathon! This is something I was planning on doing when Parker deploys, but I guess there's no time like the present. We came up with a running schedule and began training this week. We live hours apart and may never run together before race day, but we're identical twins, so I think we'll fall in sync ;)
  • Of course when I decided to start training, Texas decided to become an arctic tundra. So that was fun. Parker and I have loved bumming around the house in the evenings in pajama pants and sweat shirts. Does anyone else think guys' pj's are so much more comfortable than girls'?
  • Our Wednesday night obsession is in full-swing. We just can't get enough of Survivor. Anyone else out there still drinking the Survivor kool-aid? We just love it. 
  • We said goodbye to some sweet friends this week as they head to their next duty station in California. I think I am always going to hate goodbyes, no matter how normal they are in this military lifestyle. It's fun having friends all over the world though!
  • One of my favorite link-ups is the Boys Behind the Blog, but the questions this month don't really apply to Parker. I love featuring him each month, soooo let's do a grab bag. Feel free to comment with any questions you have for the boy behind this blog! I'll feature them with his answers in a post next week!
It's Friday, yall. It's a good day :)

Datevitation Giveaway!

I love giving gifts to my husband, but boys can be such a challenge! Parker never really needs anything, and I always struggle to find the perfect gift that will show him I care. One of my sponsors this month, Datevitation, provides the perfect solution with their custom date books. I have always loved giving sweet and thoughtful gifts to my husband, so creating a custom coupon book to give him was so much fun! He is getting his book for Christmas, so he has been instructed not to read this blog post!

All I had to do was go to, search their plethora of creative date ideas, and pick the ones I think Parker and I would enjoy! They have a library of over 500 creative date ideas for you to choose from.  I tried to get creative on a few but also use things that we enjoy doing together. I also personalized each page with cute little notes or inside jokes between the two of us.

One of the coolest features about Datevitation is that you can upload your own faces for the cartoon images. It was so fun playing with all of the different hair styles... I may have gotten a little distracted and tried every style on Parker before finishing my book. How cool are these little vouchers for Parker to redeem?!

One of the items on our bucket list while living here is to go to the aquarium, so now we have incentive to do so!

Lazy Friday nights with take-out dinner are sometimes just what the doctor ordered!

He always warms up so much better than I do, but when we go to play, I beat him every time. He'll get it one of these days ;)

We are way too dependent on technology these days. I am excited to take a Saturday and stay away from video games and phones and just focus on us!

My coupon book arrived a few days after I ordered it in this cute little brown envelope. I had Parker take a picture with it, but he has no idea what's inside! I can't wait to give it to him for Christmas.

A few facts about Datevitation:
  • is the web's first online platform to create a custom love coupon book. Unlike the pre-packaged love coupon books on the market, you pick the dates and can customize the text to your liking. Once you are done customizing the text in your book, Datevitation will print it out and ship it to you. 
  • Books normally start at $25, but as a special gift for my followers, you can use the code AWEIGH10 for $10 off your purchase plus free shipping. That means you can get your loved one a one of a kind Christmas gift for just $15! The order cut-off date for guaranteed delivery before Christmas is December 13th, so make sure you get your order in before then.
  • Datevitation is a family business run by the husband-wife team of Alex and Olga Karpman. You can get to know them on the Datevitation blog, where they offer video guides to date ideas and romantic gestures. You can even watch Alex propose to Olga on a video they posted on Youtube as a Save the Date, which now has over 1.5 million views (video here)!

Datevitation is giving away a free custom 5-page book to one lucky reader, just in time for Christmas! Be sure to use promo code AWEIGH10 for $10 off a custom date book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tex-Mex Lettuce Wraps

We are big fans of Mexican food in my house. We could eat tacos with chips and guac weekly and probably never get tired of it. Mexican food isn't always the healthiest for you, so I was so excited when I stumbled upon this recipe. It uses the crockpot, which of course makes this an instant winner in my eyes. It's also healthy and extremely flavorful. I have always associated lettuce wraps with Asian cuisine, but boy was I living in the dark! Tex-Mex and lettuce wraps were made for each other. I will be making this again!

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 large chicken breasts in my case)
1 pkg taco seasoning
16 oz jar of salsa
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced (optional)
iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping
sour cream, tomato, avocado, cilantro, etc. to garnish 

1. Line crockpot with crockpot liner for easy clean-up or spray with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in the crockpot and sprinkle with taco seasoning.
2. Place diced onion and jalapeno slices over seasoned chicken and top with salsa.
3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours
4. Remove chicken breasts from crockpot and shred. Return to crockpot and stir to combine.
5. When you are ready to serve, place a couple of spoonfuls of chicken mixture in the center of the lettuce wrap. Roll up and enjoy!

Family in Kingsville

This weekend was one Parker and I have been looking forward to for weeks. Instead of traveling to see family, the family came to us! My parents made a weekend trip to Kingsville that could not have been more perfect. When you're a "grown-up", there is just something about having your family come to visit you. You want to show off your house and bake them yummy treats and just give them a taste of what life is like in your neck of the woods. Our town is small, but we love living here and were excited to show it off.

Friday night we took them to our favorite little restaurant in Kingsville, and boxing champ Roy Jones Jr. happened to be sitting at the table behind us! I have no idea what this boxing legend was doing in little old Kingsville, but he seemed so nice and down to earth. People were coming up to him all evening to get an autograph and take a picture, but we just sat back and watched. We felt badly bothering him! Pretty cool way to start the weekend off though :)

I think everyone's favorite part of the trip was seeing the base and the jet that Parker flies. This is a huge part of our lives, so I love that Parker got to share it with them.

We took advantage of my parents being in town and recruited them to take our Christmas card picture (can't wait to share those later!) and then headed into Corpus Christi for lunch on the water. It was a beautiful day and we got away with wearing shorts in November, which is always a victory in my book. Not to mention, we had out of this world fish tacos. Definitely some of the best fish tacos I have ever had!

We perused the town a bit before heading back to watch the Aggies take home a win. Is there anything better than pizza and wine on the couch watching your favorite football team? I was in Heaven. Jenny was so thrilled to have company as well. She offered up her best pupper hospitality for her grandparents!

Family is so precious to us, and getting to spend a weekend showing my parents our lives down here was such a gift. Wish it didn't have to end!

Happy Veteran's Day to all of the brave men and women who have served our country! Thank you so much for your sacrifices and dedication to this great nation.

A Week of Ups and Downs

Friday happy dance! There is just not much better than Friday at 5:00, so that's what I'm looking forward to on this fine Friday. This week was good, but it definitely had its ups and downs. Here's what's been going on with the Phelps trio.

1. The week started a little on the rough side for me when I came down with a lovely stomach bug Sunday night. Being sick is so not fun, but I am so thankful for the three things that got me through: Jesus, Parker, and Saltine crackers.

2. Texas fought the good fight for a while in not getting chilly. I wore shorts all week, and it just finally got cold. I am going to miss walking Jenny without having to put on multiple layers. Aint nobody got time for that!

3. Parker and I were talking yesterday, and he asked what the big deal was about this fox video people keep talking about it. So we Youtubed "What does the fox say?" and wasted three minutes of our lives. We both thought it was pretty dumb, but then Parker couldn't stop singing that silly catchy song! He drove us both bananas. Lesson learned: don't Youtube silly videos with catchy songs. You can watch it below if you too would like to waste three minutes of your life :)

4. Jenny was looking for a little fatherly advice this week. Also I just like taking pictures of Parker and the pup.

5. It's November, which is the month we tend to remember to be thankful for all we are given. Today, I'm thankful for my perfectly imperfect marriage. And I'm thankful for Friday. Yes, both of those things.

Happy Friday friends!!

Twin Tales and The Story So Many of You Asked to Hear...

I received a lot of questions about my twin sister after last week's post about being a twin, so I thought I would answer a few of them for you!

So you want to know about twins (round 2)... 
The first round was typical questions that all twins get asked. Here is a little more information about me and my twin, specifically.

So what's her name? 
Her name is Danielle. I am glad we have names that are distinct from one another. I imagine having rhyming names would get confusing!

Who's older?
I am older by 42 minutes. Most twins come out within a couple of minutes of each other. 42 minutes is a pretty long gap for twins!

Which twin told the other twin what to do?
I'm not sure if it was because I came out first, but that was definitely me. Anytime someone asked Danielle a question when we were little, I answered for her. My parents would ask what we wanted to drink, and I would answer "we'll have milk". Danielle was fine with this, and it carried on until we went to kindergarten. They had to put us in separate classes so she could learn how to talk for herself.

Have you ever switched places?
If you have been reading this blog long, then you might have read this post. Yes, we switched places three times. Once in kindergarten (amateurs), and twice senior year of high school. You can read all about how I ran her track meet for her here.

A couple of other fun facts...

We are mirror twins, whatever that means. It's a term twins hear fairly often. One of us is right handed and the other is left handed. Our hair also naturally parts on opposite sides.

She was the cooler one growing up. I like to think we have evened out now haha.

We have been really easy to tell apart for the past couple of years because she started dyeing her hair. I have never colored my hair, so we tell everyone I have our real hair.

And because so many of you asked...

I mentioned in last week's post that our husbands have never had a problem telling us apart with the exception of an incident at Parker's bachelor party. He gave me permission to tell this story, so this is how it went down. A big group of us were staying at Parker's parents' house for the weekend. The guys left for Parker's bachelor party and the girls stayed back and had a girls night. When the boys came home after a night at the bars, Parker stumbled into the house towards my direction. He looked closely and said "Chelsea?! Which one are you? You're Chelsea right?" He walked towards me with his hands out in front of him and squinted at my face. He was half laughing but figured out it was me pretty quickly by my stare of disbelief (my twin found the whole thing hilarious). By the time I decided how to respond, he was off entertaining the rest of the group. It clearly didn't bother him that he had trouble telling us apart at the time, but I made sure he remembered the next morning...and I haven't let him forget it since. :) I tease him about it from time to time. He wanted me to throw in that he was pretty confident it was me, but he didn't want to risk accidentally hugging the wrong twin. Better to be safe than sorry I guess? So that is why our husbands have never had a problem telling us apart...except once at Parker's bachelor party ;)

We Bleed Maroon

This past weekend, we went home to Aggieland. We had tickets to the football game and were excited for a weekend with my sisters. It's a rarity that we are all together these days! Family and Texas A&M are about as good as it gets in our books.

 Can you tell which one is my twin? We all look pretty darn alike in my opinion! (Littlest sister Faith, me, twin sister Danielle, little sister Natalie)

The football game was against UT El Paso, and the Ags won 57-7. It wasn't much of a nail biter, but it was still a blast to get to see the Aggies play. There are a lot of opinions about Johnny Manziel from the world, but I have to say, seeing him in action is really fun. He is one talented quarterback and I am glad he has represented Texas A&M for the past two years. It was an evening game, and we did our best not to freeze to death. It only got down to 50 degrees, but we are from Texas! We don't do cold. This game also happened to be the military appreciation game, so I was super psyched about that! It was neat to see how many veterans and active duty were present when they asked them to stand up.

Parker and I always get nostalgic going back to Texas A&M. So much of us is on that campus. It's where we met, it's where we fell in love, and it's where we got engaged. It's where our story began. Something about this trip was different though. We were still nostalgic and commented on every different landmark and its associated memory, but we really took it all in this time. This was our last football game for the next few years. This time next year, we won't be in Texas, and the luxury of getting to drive up to our alma mater will disappear. Our football stadium is getting a makeover for the 2014 season, so this was our last time in the old stadium. Our first date was in that stadium, and we can't wait to bring future little ones to the new stadium. 

Life is moving quickly, too quickly sometimes. We are growing up. Our lives are changing, and Parker and I are moving onto bigger things. One thing I can confidently say through all the uncertainties is that Texas A&M will always be our home. Aggieland will always hold a special place in our hearts. We will always bleed maroon.


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