Anchors Aweigh : August 2014


Aggie Football Season is Upon Us!

I've mentioned before that Parker and I aren't huge sports people. NFL, MLB, NBA... not what you will find us watching on a Friday night. However, there is one very large exception: Aggie football. We live for this stuff. Going to football games as students are some of our very favorite memories. We've seen our team be really good and really quite terrible, and the whole thing's just plain fun.

Today is the first Aggie football game against South Carolina, and we couldn't be more ready! Honestly, I have no idea if we will win or lose, but I can't wait to watch and find out. We are really interested to see how the Ags do without Johnny football. People either love or hate Johnny Manziel as a person, but most people can agree that the man can play football. He made our debut into the SEC a successful one, and we are going to miss seeing him successfully pull hail mary plays on the field every single game. I'm excited to see how we do in the post-Johnny era.

Since we are grown-ups now (so overrated), we can't attend every game at Kyle Field like we want to. Thanks to football parties, games are still just as fun. We started hosting football parties with our Aggie friends in Pensacola, and I think we can all say those were some of our favorite Saturdays. What's not to love about obnoxious amounts of food, pups playing, and the Aggies winning (sometimes)? Football parties are back, and I am so excited to hang out with friends tonight and watch the Aggies hopefully kick some South Carolina butt. 

In honor of Aggie football season, here are some throwbacks from attending footballs games as students. We typically took pictures either before the game started or after it ended. The stands were so packed that we all literally stood sideways on the bleachers the entire game, so picture-taking went out the window. Yes, we stand the entire game, but we do sit at halftime! Sweating in 100+ degree temps, being packed in the stands like sardines, making sure not to lock your knees so you don't pass out... ah the good old days. Take me back!

These next two pictures are from our all-time favorite game. We played #8 Nebraska our senior year and won 9-6. The only points scored were field goals, and it was so close and intense the entire time. After we kicked the final field goal and won, everybody rushed the field. That's the only time I had ever seen everyone rush the field, hugging, screaming, cheering. It was seriously the best moment. 

Fun fact: today is our engagementiversary! On this day 4 years ago, Parker asked me to be his wife. He asked in Aggieland of course, so let's call it loosely related to this post. I wrote all about our engagement here if you'd like to read about it!

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Top 5 Resources I Use For Blogging

I've been doing this blogging thing for a little over a year and a half, and I've definitely learned a few things through trial and error through it all. Every blogger does things a little bit differently and has methods and tricks that they swear by, so I thought I would share mine. I know there are a lot of people out there thinking of starting a blog, or maybe you've started one but have no clue what to do next (don't worry, half the time I still have no idea what's going on), so hopefully these tips are helpful!

1. Picmonkey. I seriously use this website for everything ( You can pay for an upgraded version, but I don't really see the need for it. You can do anything from editing photos to creating blog buttons all for free. I am by no means a graphic designer (quite the opposite, actually), but I wanted to design my own blog. It probably took me 10 hours longer than it would a professional, but it was fun to put time into creating something myself. I have always designed my own blog templates, and I use Picmonkey for everything. Literally, everything.

2. A nice camera. I'm not saying you have to have a DSLR to be a blogger, but many blogs will benefit from nice pictures. I take almost all of my recipe images with a basic Sony DSLR and try to use it for as many photos as I can. I don't lug the thing around every day, so I still post plenty of iPhone photos too. For photos in which I am looking to showcase something, like recipes or crafts, I like to use my DSLR.

3. Pinterest. I share a new recipe with you all every Tuesday, and I find many of them on Pinterest, but that's not exactly why it's such a great resource. I did a blogging series called Pinterest 101 about the most effective ways to use Pinterest to help your blog. I get the most traffic each month from a couple of recipes I pinned a year ago on Pinterest. Pin your content, install a "pin it" button, and get verified on Pinterest. Pinterest and blogging is like peas and carrots, yall. 

4. Google. When I see HTML, I might as well be reading Japanese. My husband was a computer engineering major in college, so he gets it. I was a marketing major, so I don't. At all. Any little change I make to my blog, I google it first. Google will be your best friend with blogging, and there has been a tutorial written about every little thing you could ever want to know. When I need to make an HTML or design change, I google the heck out of it before I touch any code.

5. Time. This is the resource every blogger uses the most. You can have the greatest ideas for post topics in the world, but you have to find the time to sit down and type it all out. I try not to carve out time to blog because I don't like the pressure that brings. Sometimes I just don't feel like writing, and other times I want to crank out 5 posts in an afternoon. I write when I feel inspired to write or feel I have something worth saying, but I do have to find the time to do so.

What is the biggest resource you use in blogging?

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Tailgating Tuesdays: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sliders

These sliders are the perfect crowd pleaser for a football party. There is just something the men love about buffalo sauce, so these are right up their alley. I really enjoyed these too, and I loved how simple they were to throw together. When you are hosting a football party, the last thing you want to do is reheat or constantly stir things. These crockpot buffalo chicken sliders will be a hit, and you can adjust the recipe to make the perfect amount for your party!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
17.5 oz bottle of buffalo wing sauce
1/2 packet dry ranch seasoning mix
2 Tbsp butter
green onions, chopped for garnish
ranch dressing
slider buns

1. Place the chicken breasts in a lined (for easy cleanup!) crockpot, and cover with 3/4 bottle of buffalo wing sauce. 
2. Add the dry seasoning mix and stir together.
3. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. 
4. Place butter in the crockpot and shred chicken with a fork.
5. Place chicken into your bun, drizzle with dressing, and top with green onions.


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Oh College... I Miss You, But I Don't

This time of year always has me feeling so nostalgic. Pool parties are coming to an end, back to school shopping is in full swing, and brand new 18 year olds are headed to complete the most amazing four years of their lives. College. It's just awesome. 

I just jumped on the bandwagon and downloaded the Timehop app (for my daily dose of nostalgia, of course), and I have been flooded with pictures of my old dorm room and sorority recruitment over the past few days. Take me back! I lived in the dorms freshman year, the sorority house sophomore and junior year, and an apartment with friends senior year. Each one was an awesome experience that I would love to relive in a heartbeat. The late nights with friends, ice cream binges in the sorority house while 25 of us gathered to watch The Bachelor each Monday, and sneaking in a lunch date on campus with my now husband... that's the stuff that made college for me. That's the stuff I miss so much. 

I'd say the thing I miss the most about college is living in the sorority house. I was a Delta Gamma along with my twin sister, and we met our best friends in that sorority. Call me crazy, but living with 50 girls under one roof was a total blast. Because no nostalgic college rant is complete without a few throwbacks...

So that's the part of college that I miss more than anything: the social part. The part I don't miss? The studying. Graduating and officially being done with studying for finals and cramming for quizzes was the best feeling ever. Finals week about made my hair go gray every time it reared its ugly head. Eeesh. 

The other part I don't miss? Paying for textbooks. As silly as it sounds, this was one of the most annoying parts in my opinion. The textbooks were extremely expensive, and half of the time, the professor wouldn't really even use it. I hated that I would foot the bill for a textbook and be unable to sell it back at the end of the semester because classes were "no longer using that edition". I would pay $150+ for a book and get $5 back. Pretty frustrating. I wish I would have known how much renting my textbooks could have saved me over the years!

For anyone going off to college this year, I encourage you to check out Campus Book Rentals! You could save 80% when you rent instead of buy! A few quick advantages to renting:

-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

After you are done with your book for the semester, you can also participate in Rentback to earn up to 4x more money! The Campus Book Rentals team will rent your book to another student, and then another, and then another, and each time it gets rented, you get paid. Check it out, college goers. 

 I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

What do you miss most about the college days?
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Friday Confessions

I am doing that Friday happy dance right. this. minute. Thank you Lord for another Friday! Some confessions from the week...

I confess... Parker surprised me with seasons 1 & 2 of Friends, only the greatest show ever made, and we have been watching the oldies but goodies on a nightly basis. He watches Friends with me, and I watch Game of Thrones with him. I know, so not a fair trade.

I confess... I plan our dinners at the beginning of each week so I have an idea of what I am going to cook. Meal planning is harder than actual cooking in my mind. I had bacon wrapped BBQ chicken on the menu one night, and the husband was so excited. That's man food, after all. I then decided to nix that and replace it with hot dogs in crescent rolls. So we ate like 5 year olds, the husband had to wait another day for his man meal, and I was happy as a clam. Marriage.
I confess... I didn't plan on really liking Virginia too much, but I was so wrong. We really love it here. Thanks, Navy! You did it again.
I confess... I took the dogs for a walk yesterday, and they saw a cat. The next series of events was something out of a movie. They both bolt for the feline, and I am literally being dragged by their leashes. I can handle one dog when she sees a cat. Two is a totally different ball game. Eeesh. 
I confess... This is the first weekend in a while that we have had no plans. I love it. Right now, nothing sounds better than sleeping in on Saturday morning with nothing to do when I wake up. 
I confess... This picture of Jenny makes my heart happy. I just love her so much.
Happy weekend friends!

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Life Update: Going From One Dog To Two

I blogged a few weeks ago about the newest furry edition to our household. Little Darla came to live with our family while her mom is away for a while, so we have quietly and not so gracefully been transitioning to life with two dogs instead of one. It's been quite the little adjustment, but having Darla around finally feels like the new normal, and we are all back to our daily routines. Parker works, I work, Jenny sleeps, and Darla runs around like someone fed her a dozen cupcakes. Yep, that's the norm over here!

In all seriousness, going from one dog to two definitely took some getting used to, so I thought I would highlight the differences and some of the pros/cons of having multiple furry family members. I like to end on a positive note, so we'll start with a few of the lesser attractive aspects of having two pups around.


1. Learning a new dog. I have said this before, but I tend to think I know Jenny better than she knows herself. I have been around her almost every day for the last 3.5 years, so I've got her down to a tee. Adding a new dog into the mix that doesn't behave the same way as the one you're used to is bound to throw a few curveballs your way. One barks at random noises, one doesn't. One pees when she gets overly excited, one doesn't. One fights at the dog park, one doesn't. Little things, but things nonetheless. 

2. Training a new dog. By the same token as learning a new dog, there is also training a new dog. Since Darla is going to be with us for a sizable amount of time, we knew we wanted her to play by our rules. Jenny is trained to our standards, so we don't have to put a lot of effort into her behavior. Darla is newer and needs a little more work, so we have had to devote time to get her where we want her to be.

3. The noise. Oh good grief, the noise. Jenny and Darla love to play, and I love that they have each other now. However, they have got to be the loudest players known to man. When they are wrestling or playing tug-of-war, it sounds like two cows getting run over by a lawn mower. So obnoxious. It wouldn't really be an issue if I didn't work from home. My job entails being on the phone throughout the day, and these pups couldn't care less. When you are in the room with them, they think they are putting on a show for you, prompting them to amp up the volume even louder. They're loud. Cute, but loud.  


1. Built in playmate. I wondered how Jenny would handle having another dog around 24/7. Would she be jealous? Excited? Annoyed at the idea? Sometimes it's hard when they can't just tell you how they are feeling. I don't know if it is like this in all cases, but Jenny seems to love having Darla around. She's her built in playmate!

2. More love to go around. Bringing Darla into the mix has just increased the amount of love in our home. We have grown to love her, and I think she has grown to love us. 

3. Giving another dog a good home. If you have read this blog long, you know we love Jesus and we love dogs. Being able to help out another pup and give her love and attention just makes our hearts happy. Before Darla came around, we thought about adopting another dog many, many times. The big reason was we just wanted to save another dog. Jenny is a rescue, and we will likely always go through rescues and shelters in the future, which is a just a personal decision.

Overall, going from owning one dog to two isn't earth-shattering. It is an adjustment, but the pros outweigh the cons.

Have you ever added another pet to the mix?

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The Boy Behind The Blog

I know the boy behind the blog trend has sort of phased out in the blog world, but I just really like it, so it's still making a monthly appearance on my little slice of the interwebs. I'm kind of a big fan of Parker, and I always love hearing how he answers random questions. So, with that being said, here is more from this month's boy behind the blog:
Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in grey):
1. What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
Marrying you
Well that was the sweetest answer ever. I was ready to hear what Navy accomplishment he was going to choose. That would have been my answer too, but he has achieved much more than I have in 25 years!
2.  What is your favorite thing that you have built?
I guess maybe the guest bed since it's the newest thing I have built, but each project just gets me more and more excited about woodworking. 
I LOVE that he is so into woodworking. I think it is such a neat, productive hobby, and I love looking around at all of the furniture in our house knowing he made it. He just designed a new coffee table since ours was broken in the move, and I am so excited to see it come together.

3. If you could vacation anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Austrailia/New Zealand, because they speak English.
I get it. It would be nice to visit another country without having to worry about the language barrier.

4. If you had to choose to settle down in some place other than Texas, where would you choose?
Pensacola. It's like Texas, but with nice beaches.
The man has a point. We really loved Pensacola so much. We would go back in a heart beat.

5. What is your favorite thing about being an aviator?
I like how dynamic it is. I like that my job changes and I don't do the same thing every day. 
I'm such a groupie. I think he has the coolest job in the world. It's also a job I would never, ever want to do. I belong on the ground, supporting the cool job ;)

6. What is your favorite chick flick?
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
Parker is a fan of the action/sci fi/amazing story type of movies (typical guy), but we both lose it every time we watch this movie. It's just so darn funny!

Stay tuned for next months edition: the twin behind the blog!
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Tailgaiting Tuesdays Is Back!

Football season is my absolute favorite thing about Fall. Okay, I really couldn't care less about the NFL, but college football is my jam. Parker and I get so excited about watching the Aggies play. So excited. We are counting down the days to when we get to host our first football party this season. Football, friends, food... the trifecta. 
Last year, I created a series called Tailgating Tuesdays to showcase a few tried and true recipes that are perfect for game day. I am bringing it back in full force for this season and can't wait to share some more favorites! I thought this would also be a great way to challenge myself to create new recipes that would be perfect for the occasion. So, starting next Tuesday, I will be sharing my favorite tailgating foods! For now, here are some recipes I showcased last season that would be perfect for any football party!


What are some of your favorite tailgating recipes?

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Three Generations Take On Virginia

This weekend we had our first wave of visitors to our new home on the east coast! Virginia is a really fun state to host family because most of our family hasn't experienced this part of the country. We certainly hadn't before we got here! My mom, nana, and twin sister flew down for the long weekend, and we had so much fun. They couldn't get over how cool it is here. After living through a Texas summer, VA was a welcomed change for everyone!

Parker had to work Friday, so the girls took a little trip to Colonial Williamsburg and the outlet mall. We used to hit up the outlet mall every year before school started as a little tradition, so it was a trip down memory lane plus who doesn't love outlet shopping? Parker and I made a weekend trip to Colonial Williamsburg a couple of weeks ago, but it really was so neat getting to go back and experience all of the history with the fam. They loved it too, and did I mention the weather was gorgeous this weekend? I know I sound like an 80 year old talking about the beautiful weather, but when you're used to August in Texas, August in Virginia is like winning the lottery.

Also winning the lottery: getting to be related to these beautiful people!

Parker got to show us the C-2 after work which was exciting for everyone. I actually had never gotten to see the inside of one and be so up close and personal to the plane Parker is going to fly, so I was pretty pumped. I really am like a groupie with all this flying stuff. I just think he has the coolest job in the world, and I love that I get to be a part of it. I also love that my role as a supporter means I stay on the ground.

The rest of the trip was spent wandering around antique shops, eating, movie nights on the couch with multiple bowls of popcorn, eating, putting our toes in the sands of Virginia Beach, and eating. There was also that time where I got dressed for the day and Danielle decided it would be fun to come out wearing the exact same thing. The twins that still match when they are 25 are a different kind of special. Luckily we look 12, so we can blame our mom for dressing us identically down to the shoes. When you have the same face, I suppose you might as well just own it and wear the same clothes too.

I felt like this trip was a vacation for everyone. I didn't do any cooking, we did touristy things around the city, and everyone waddled home about 5 pounds heavier. Sounds like a vacation to me! Parker was such a trooper putting up with all of the estrogen all weekend. Mad love, husband. We have been looking forward to this trip for weeks, so it's hard to swallow that it's already come and gone. Not seeing these people until Christmas is going to stink, but I am so thankful for the time we got to share on the east coast!

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Building The Guest Bed: Parker's Perspective

If you have read this blog long or know us personally, you know Parker is really into woodworking. He has built almost every piece of furniture in our home, and he absolutely loves it. I love it too, obviously! I blogged about our new guest room earlier this month, and Parker decided to write about the inspiration and work that went into the guest bed. Take it away, husband!

For sometime now I have been looking forward to building a guest suite. For whatever reason, be it space in our house, space in our new house, or .... flight school, I haven't gotten to create anything. Lucky for me, between assignments here in Norfolk I found a little time to build a guest bed.


I originally imagined a sleek bed design, similar to something you might see in a hotel. Simple lines, low profile, and a dark stain. After browsing around a little on the pottery barn website, I found something a little different. To be precise, two things a little different.

Upholstered Headboard

Crownmolding Headboard

The Build
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. I could tell you all about what I did, but at the end of the day, it is more fun just to look at pictures!

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Some of you may know that we recently moved to Virginia. One of the difficult parts about working at our new home is that there is no “shop” aka garage. Lucky for me, the weather cooperated and my gorgeous assistant was always there to help!

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There are two ways to do most things in life: the right way and the cheap way. What ended up being the most challenging part of the bed making experience was using 2x4s instead of glued 1x4s. Although inexpensive (The bed frame itself only cost like $24), the wood was hard to work with because it was not perfectly square. Not a problem on the last bed I made with 2x4’s because my grandfather has both a joiner and a planer. Definitely a problem for this project! You can kind of see it in the picture of the bed frame above

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Proud carpentry moment: I used my router and a chisel to make an inset for the bed hardware. Although Slightly sloppy, it ended up looking good with just a little putty and some paint!

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Assembling the frame was a cinch with Kreg screws

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And adding trim and the topper was a cinch with my little helper!

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We also tacked some trim onto an old side table to serve as a nightstand. For the record: this is just a placeholder till a future date. It can be very fun thinking of ways to reuse things you already have.

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One part of the project that I always seem to forget about is the finishing part. No matter how cool a project is, it is not finished until you add some combination of stain/paint/poly. And of course, this always seems to take way longer than actually building the thing. If I could make one part of woodworking disappear with my mind, it would be this part.

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The last part of the project was figuring out how to upholster the head board. Not pictured: the janky back with a mismatching pattern of staples, bunting and fabric

The final product!

Final Thoughts
Hopefully you have had fun seeing a (little) bit of the process of building a bed. Chelsea and I had a lot of fun making it and look forward to having family and friends in town to enjoy it.

And for the numbers people out there:
Total Days: 7
Build Days: 3
Finishing Days: “4”
Kreg screws: 18
Paint used: ½ gallon (this includes chelseas desk and the nightstand)
Approximate Cost: $350 (sans mattress)

PS As a little sales pitch, not only is carpentry productive, but it is economical and entertaining. Chelsea has had a few people contact her privately and express interest in a blog series about getting into woodworking as a hobby. Where to start, what to buy, and how to get those creative woodworking juices flowing. Let us know in the comments below if that is something you would be interested in.


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