Anchors Aweigh : July 2015


Friday Confessions

We made it, yall. Friday is here and just as glorious as ever. This is what's on my mind at 2:30 PM on everyone's favorite day.

I confess... Tomorrow is August 1st, which means it is (almost) officially college football season! I'm gathering my maroon, scouring Pinterest for new party recipes and just plain hoping the Aggies have a good season.

Throwing it back to 2009. 

I confess... I have no idea how I'm not bald. I feel like I pull out hair by the handful. I am aware that it has everything to do with the fact that I'm a girl, and we girls just lose a lot of hair. Lately, I shed more than a German Shepherd in the summer heat. 

I confess... Big Brother has to be one of my 5 favorite parts of summer. Love that show and love that it comes on 3 times a week. Winning.

I confess... I cannot decorate worth a flip. I can't even identify my style, which I think is step #1. When asked if I prefer rich, traditional decor or the sleek, modern decor, my answer is yes. I have no idea how to choose decorations for a house. Someone come decorate my house! #I'llPayYouInBakedGoods

I confess... My boss sent this picture and said this is what the White House is going to look like if Donald Trump gets elected President. White House meets Trump Tower... made me laugh. 

That's all I've got. Yall have a great weekend, and someone please figure out how to stop Monday from happening. #PleaseAndThankYou

Life's Too Short

Yesterday, I found out a fellow blogger passed away. Leslie Sisti was the brilliant writer behind A Blonde Ambition, one of my all time favorite blogs. Her writing has always captivated me, and I love reading her positive, witty posts. Leslie had a heart complication that worsened after the birth of her second daughter, and Monday morning, she went home to be with Jesus. She was 30 years old. She had a husband. She had 2 gorgeous daughters under the age of 2 who will grow up without her. She had a beautiful life, and now it's gone. 

I've never met her, but I think when you read what someone plasters on their corner of the interwebs for long enough, you start to feel like you know them. When I read she had passed away, I couldn't help but cry for her husband and the babies who will grow up without a mother. 

And then, all I could think about is a stupid argument Parker and I had on Monday. It was so stupid, I don't even really remember what it was about. I was tired and stressed and lashed out at him for no good reason. I think we've all been there, but I wasted a night we had together. I wasted it being stubborn and grouchy instead of loving and intentional. 

Yall, life is too short for that. 

It's unrealistic for me to think I'm never going to get impatient with my husband again or a family member for no reason. It's inevitable, but I want to be more intentional, more appreciative, of the time I have with those who I love so much. We so often live life like it's going to go on forever, but everything can change so quickly. It's not worth little fights, little arguments, little grudges. It's not worth it at all. 

Today, hug your mom/dad/brother/sister/spouse/babies a little tighter. Practice patience, see the good, and let love in. Life's too short to live any other way. 

Please pray for Leslie's family, especially her husband, Stephen, and the two precious girls, Caroline and Ainsley, that will grow up without their momma. If you feel led, Stephen has set up a donation page to assist with their daughter's future college funds.

Fitness Fanatics

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerInProtein #CollectiveBias

I used to be that person who dreaded working out. I did it because it was good for me and it felt great afterwards, but I needed to have about 10 different internal pep talks just to get my rear end to the gym. Now, the tides have turned and working out is one of my favorite elements of my daily routine. I need to get that workout in to feel productive and have loved coming up with new ways to exercise.

My favorite part of working out? Definitely my workout buddy, aka the hubs. I've found that exercise is so much more fulfilling and exciting with a buddy. I used to think that Parker and I couldn't do things like go on runs together because he is so much faster than I am. Well, that's still true and probably will be forever, but it doesn't mean we can't still make each other a part of the experience. We can cheer each other on and be a source of motivation and encouragement. 

We've recently started coming up with little challenges to keep things fresh and build muscle in different target areas. I'm trying to tone up my arms more, and Parker's working on his chest and arms. We are both big into running, so I think we get a good amount of targeted legs and cardio in the runs. Coming up with new challenges to meet gives us something to work towards and also lets us be an accountability buddy to the other one. In honor of that, I thought I would share a few new challenges you can use to spice up your fitness routine.

1. Do 200 pushups a day for 2 weeks
Modification: If 200 is too many, try doing 100 per day. 
Tip: Break it up into as many segments as you need to achieve the goal

2. Run 31 miles in 31 days
Modification: If 31 is too ambitious, try 20 miles in 31 days
Tip: Try doing a mile a day if distance running isn't your thing

3. Power walk 4 miles a day, 3 times a week
Modification: Walk 3 miles a day, 3 times a week and gradually build up the speed/distance
Tip: If 4 miles at one time is too daunting, try doing 2 miles in the morning and 2 in the evening

4. Reduce your mile speed by 20 seconds
Modification: Train to a point to where you can run a mile faster than you could before
Tip: Try sprint workouts some days and distance workouts other days to strengthen that mile time

5. Complete 5 pull-ups
Modification: Complete 1 pull-up
Tip: If you can't do an entire pull up to begin, try doing a half pull-up and building to a complete one 

Another way we like to mix up our work-out routine? Healthy foods and protein-packed snacks. Living an active lifestyle is great and all, but if we aren't fueling our body with what it needs to keep up, the workouts are miserable. I like to make smoothies packed with chia and flax seeds and snack on carrots and hummus, but sometimes it's tough to find enough protein to build the muscle we want. Working out is only half the battle, and a little protein will go a long way in the muscle-building department. 

I found EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control protein drinks at Walmart and decided to give them a go. I remembered that Parker loved the EAS protein powder in college and thought the drink could be an awesome way to get lean and toned while still getting the good, complete nutrition we need. I also liked that each drink was only 100 calories. I don't know about yall, but after I've worked out, the last thing I want to do is consume a 500 calorie protein drink. There is something about that that seems so counterintuitive, so thanks EAS for having my back. 

I found EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control in the nutrition aisle near the pharmacy at my local Walmart, here:

Fellow fitness fanatics: I'd love to hear some fun challenges you have set for yourselves! What keeps you moving?

Friday Confessions

I know I am a broken record and say it every week, but this week absolutely flew by. I think it's because it's summer (aka busy season), but hey, I will not complain that another Friday is upon us! Here's what's been going through my head this week:

I confess... I know our neighbors by the names of their dogs. That sounds bad. Let's back up. We met all of our new neighbors on the same night, and I tried to remember as many names as I could, but for some reason the dogs' names are what stuck in my brain.

I confess... Parker told me to lay low on the baked treats so he wasn't so tempted to eat them all the time, so I didn't make any dessert for us to eat over the last few days. A couple of nights ago, Parker complained that there has been "a serious lack of desserts this week". Men. You can't win. 

I confess... I never wish people Happy Birthday on Facebook anymore. I just don't ever think about it. So, to friends and family on Facebook, Happy Birthday from me to you. 

I confess... I started watching the early seasons of Grey's Anatomy again on my lunch breaks. George and Izzy and Meredith and Christina = happiness.

I confess... Everyone else is ready for Fall, and I'm over here praying that it stays Summer forever. Vitamin D is good for the soul!

I confess... I was wearing jean shorts and a plain v-neck Wednesday when Parker got home, and his response when he saw me was "Awww, you look so cute!". It's sad that because I am usually in work-out clothes, old shorts and a v-neck constitutes cute. I'm not sure if it is a marriage win or fail that I have set the bar so low. 

If you need me, I'll be doing a whole lot of this over the next 2 days:

Happy Friday yall!

Losing Taylor... 8 Months Later

Has it really been 8 months since our first baby went home to be with Jesus? That seems crazy. I haven't written about this journey in a while, but when I looked at the calendar and realized today marks 8 months since we lost her, I decided I wanted to document how I'm feeling and where I am with it all. Hopefully this can be an encouragement to anyone walking a similar path.

If you don't know the story of Taylor Grace, you can read it here

8 months later, the emotion is still raw. I actually just read what I wrote on the link in the last sentence and finished with tears in my eyes. I lived through it, but sometimes reliving it, I can't believe it actually happened. 

I think part of the reason the journey has been so tough is because she had an identity. It's funny, because the first trimester is when you are more likely to miscarry. I was really careful those first 12 weeks and tried not to focus too much on the little human growing inside of me for fear of losing it. Once I passed that first trimester, all bets were off, and I was really going to have a baby, or so I thought. I got to see my body change and bond with the baby inside me, but more than anything, we knew her gender and her name. She had an identity. From that point on, it could never be abstract for me. 8 months later, it still isn't. I can honestly say that not a day has passed where I don't think about our journey or what life would look like had she lived. She would be about 3 months old now, and I see her in friends' babies and the little babies at church. 

Though I feel like I have experienced every emotion in the book, I am thankful that guilt, anger, and self-hate are excluded from the list. As heartbreaking as it was to lose her, I have never blamed myself or Parker. One of us released two of every chromosome instead of just the one we were supposed to. We don't know for sure who, but based on the ultrasound, it was probably me. I don't blame my body or God for what happened, but I don't think it was a mistake or a "lightning strike" as the doctors called it either. I think God had a plan, and He carried it out. I have friends who have miscarried that blame themselves, and that breaks my heart. I did everything I could to keep our baby alive, and I believe that completely. 

I remember a friend came over to bring us dinner about 3 days after we lost our baby. She said to me, "I don't know how you are even out of bed", and that stuck with me. When you go through something like this, you have a choice to make. You can let it destroy you or let it strengthen you. It hasn't always been easy. There were days where all I wanted to do was cry. There were times over the holidays where I literally hid in a closet to cry because I just couldn't take it anymore. I got through those days though, and I'll get through any tough days ahead as well. 

Losing a child will change you life. It changed my life and rocked my world to the core, and it still effects me. Life keeps spinning even when your world stops, and eventually, you figure out how to do life again. I miss that little girl every day, and 8 months going by hasn't changed that, but I still find comfort in the same thing I found comfort in the day she left us. She's with her Creator, and she's waiting for me there. 

10 Weird Things About Me

I just thought this sounded like a fun post idea. We all have our weird quirks and habits that most would find totally strange but somehow work for us, so today I am sharing 10 of those for me! I asked Parker if he could think of any before I wrote this, and he came up with 3 right off the bat. Nobody notices all the weird stuff like the person bounded by vows to live with you for the rest of your life. #marriage

I'm sure I have way more than 10 weird habits, but here's what I came up with:

Hi, This is me. 

1. You Have 3 Seconds To Turn It Down
Parker pointed this one out. If someone turns on the TV and it's really loud, I get super annoyed and cranky about it. You can gradually build up the sound as we watch, but I get mad when it starts out too loud. 

2. Glass To Dishwasher, Now
I am not that person who keeps her house immaculate 365 days out of the year, but for some reason, if there is an empty glass laying around, I will go put it into the dishwasher as soon as I see it. There can be a table filled with clutter and an empty glass, and I'll put the empty glass in the dishwasher and leave the clutter.

3. For The Love Of Laundry
I legitimately like doing laundry. I don't mind folding clothes one bit and actually kind of enjoy it. Here's why: Laundry means Parker is home and not away. On the flip side, I hate doing the dishes. That's my least favorite chore by a long shot. 

4. It's Time To Eat...Right Now
Parker came up with this one too. In his words "You don't ever miss a meal". When I laughed, he looked at me and said "No, seriously...". He's right. I like to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. I love going out to dinner with friends, but when someone suggests a 7:30 PM dinner reservation, I cringe a little on the inside.

5. That Tree Came Out Of Nowhere
I have a small scar under my right eye from walking into a tree when I was younger. And by younger, I mean like middle school aged. I was looking the other way I suppose, and BAM, that tree came out of nowhere. I went to the doctor, and they said they could give me stitches, or I could live with a small scar under my eye for the rest of my life. Stitches under my eye? No thanks. Scar for one, please. 

6. Please, No Pants
I really hate wearing jeans or long pants. Like, really hate it. Shorts are so much more comfortable. I have yet to find a pair of jeans where I think "Man, these are comfortable". It doesn't help that designers are making those suckers skinnier and skinnier by the season. I have been known to wear shorts when it's snowing outside and just grin and bear it. 

7. Can I Try It On?
I don't like online shopping. I am a really standard size and almost the same size at every store (I was actually that 1% that didn't even have to have my wedding dress altered), but I still want to try things on before I buy them. So 20th century. 

8. Crazy Eyes
That's what Parker calls them. I have something called alternating esotropia, which means I alternate fixation between my right and left eye. Either my left eye is fixated and my right eye turns inward or my right eye is fixated and my left eye turns inward. I have had this ever since I can remember, so I have gotten fairly good at controlling it, but you can still see it if you're looking for it. When I focus with my right eye, my left eye barely goes inward and you can hardly tell, so I am always making an effort to look at people with my right eye. However, if I let my left eye be dominant, my right eye goes completely inward. The only time I cannot control it is when I open my eyes as wide as I can. It's also harder to control when I am tired or have been staring at a computer screen all day. Since I only use one eye at a time, my depth perception is off, and I can't appreciate 3D images. We don't go to 3D movies because it would be a waste of money for someone like me who can't see the images popping out at them. It's definitely something I am self-conscious about, but it's just the way it is. 

9. Cover It Up
I don't like wearing a swimsuit around men that I know (other than my husband). I don't so much care about strangers because I know I will never see them again. It's not that I am self-conscious about the way I look, but it makes me uncomfortable thinking about other guys I know looking at me when I am wearing the equivalent of a bra and underwear. Modest is hottest, and I'd rather walk around in shorts and a tank top. 

10. That Made Up Scary Thing Will Get Me
Zombies. I don't do zombies. I know they're not real but they scare the heck out of me. I can't watch The Walking Dead or any of the zombie movies. Just no. 

So those are 10 weird facts about me! What's something weird about you?

Three Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Tacos

My name is Chelsea, and I have a Mexican food addiction. Now that that's out of the way, I can share the latest dish that has graced our dinner table. Seriously though, all I want to make lately is Mexican food. I'm going to go with it's because Mexican food equals a perfectly good excuse to serve chips and guacamole, and Parker and I eat that stuff up like it's our last meal.

These crockpot chicken tacos could not have been easier, and they were a nice twist on the typical taco night. 

Ingredients (serves 6-10):
2 lb chicken breasts
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 cups salsa
tortillas (we used corn)
garnish options: refried beans, Mexican rice, sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, guacamole, cilantro

1. Place chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and salsa in a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before eating, shred chicken with a fork and stir together with salsa/taco seasoning mixture.
2. Load up a tortilla with your chicken and favorite garnishes and eat!

So so simple! The chicken had a great flavor, and it tastes like you are putting much more effort in than you really are!


Anniversary Sailing Trip

Our anniversary was almost a month ago, and we just got around to celebrating it this past weekend. #BuyingAHouseTookOverOurLives. We decided after we got married that we didn't want to exchange gifts on our anniversary. Instead, we wanted to do an experience and make a memory. We went ziplining for year one, did a weekend getaway to Fredericksburg, TX for year two, and did a weekend getaway to Williamsburg, VA for year 3. All have been so much fun! A weekend getaway just didn't seem like it was going to be in the cards this year, so we turned to Groupon to give us a good idea. Parker had mentioned wanting to go sailing, so when I saw the sailing Groupon, I snatched it up! 

We sailed along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk with the sail Nauticus program and had an absolute blast. I had never been sailing, and I will admit that the only sailing terminology I was proficient with I learned from an episode of Friends. Thanks, Rachel Green. 

Our instructor was super cool and actually grew up right down the road from me and went to my high school prom. Small world, right?! Both Parker and I got to drive the boat for a while and managed to keep everyone alive, so that's a sailing win in my book. I was a little worried about getting seasick (we went deep sea fishing for our honeymoon and we both got sick), but the water was thankfully super calm. 

Fun fact: The Sail Nauticus program in Norfolk is a nonprofit created as an after school program for under privileged middle schoolers. I loved that and thought it was such a neat way to teach kids a cool hobby they otherwise may not have the chance to be exposed to. Pretty cool program, so if you're ever in the Norfolk area and want to go sailing, I highly recommend Sail Nauticus!

This little sailing trip was the perfect way to cap off our 4th year of marriage. It was a fun experience and something different. We had a blast, so I foresee future sailing trips in our future!

Just Another Day At The Office

This past Monday was pretty darn cool, so naturally, I'm going to blog about it. Parker had an evening flight and invited me to tag along and watch. Even though he flies all the time, it's quite the rarity that I actually get to see him fly. I think I can count on one hand how many times I have seen him fly in the last three years.

I forgot the nice camera but was excited to take some videos and pictures with the trusty iPhone. The guys in the LSO shack were super cool and all in the same squadron as Parker, so it was fun to pal around with them and get to watch all of the behind the scenes action. When one of them asked if I wanted to talk on the radio while Parker was in the air, my natural response in my head was "Heck yes, mike me!", but thankfully that manifested into a "yes please" by the time it came out of my mouth. It's always a good day when you get to say "Roger Ball" on the radio! Parker laughed and responded to the other guy who was talking before me "Your voice got prettier in the last 5 seconds". Fun times.

Parker got in a few landings, and then one of the pilots that was in the shack offered to take a picture of Parker and I together while he was in the air. I was confused at first but will never say no to a picture, so I went outside and then I figured it out. I stood next to the runway, threw up a Gig 'em (once an Aggie, always an Aggie), and he snapped the picture right as Parker flew by.

Coolest. Shot. Ever.

Seriously, this may be one of my all time favorite pictures (don't mind my excessive slouching). I'm just so proud of that man in the plane.

I snapped a few other pictures of him flying from inside the shack that I was excited to show him when he landed. You can never have too many pictures of airplanes around here!

Getting to watch him fly was an unexpected, fun little gift. For him it was just another day at the office, but for me it was easily the highlight of my week!

Weekly Confessions

Oh hey almost Friday! It's confessing time. 

I confess... Parker and I started a list on my phone called "Places to eat other than Chilis". Sad but true. When we realized we were going to Chilis almost every Friday night, we thought it might be time to branch out a little. Local eating, here we come!

I confess... Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner splitting up was so disappointing. I mean, I know they are celebrities and we have no idea what their lives look like, but I just loved their little family. Ever since the Alias days, I've been a big Jennifer Garner fan.

I confess... Parker and I jumped on the bandwagon and are working our way through the seasons of Parks and Recreation. We are only on season 2, but I think Amy Poehler is so darn funny. 

I confess... Parker and I played tennis for the first time in 2 years and it was simultaneous depressing and so much fun. We were terrible, so that part was depressing, but it was such a blast to get out there and play again. More tennis dates soon for this duo!

I confess... This season of The Bachelorette is a train wreck. In the words of my friend Forrest, that's all I have to say about that. 

I confess... Picking out curtains for the living room is proving to be more difficult than buying a house. That's a stretch, but I feel like we have combed the interwebs and scoured the shelves and have still not found the perfect curtain. I realize this is a ridiculous first world problem.

Happy almost weekend friends! Here's to hoping your day is as happy as this dog and her torn up tennis ball.

Life Lately

Is it really already Wednesday? Not complaining. Here's what life has looked like for us lately...

We finally took our Pinterest-inspired picture-in-a-picture annual anniversary picture for year 4. Thanks to my mom for being our photographer while she was here! We get halfway through pictures and Parker exclaims "I'm wearing the same shirt!" and then looks at me as if somehow I made this happen. I take one look at the picture we are holding and he is, indeed, wearing the same shirt as last year. Here's to hoping year 5 we mix up the wardrobe a little. 

Parker and I have been doing well with our summer fitness goals and I am loving all the running! Typically, Parker runs with Jenny (thank you husband- love that dog but she is hit or miss as a running buddy), but I take her with me on my runs if Parker doesn't go. Seeing that big old tongue hanging out at the end of a nice run is worth her little antics. 

Occasionally if I don't want to run long, I'll just run a mile and see how fast I can do it. I was hoping to break 7:30, but I was pretty tickled anyway when I ran a 7:34! That's the second fastest mile I have ever run, only to be beat out by the time I switched places with my twin at her high school track meet. I ran a 7:11 mile then, but I chalk that one up to pure adrenaline.

We had a couple of friends over last weekend, and I wanted to be a good hostess and have some baked goods accessible, so I quickly whipped up some chocolate chip cookies. I knew something wasn't right when they started melting into one super cookie a minute after being placed in the oven. After saying at least 20 times "How did I screw up chocolate chip cookies?!" and recounting my steps, I figured it out. I forgot a cup of flour. How important is flour? Turns out very. #Failboat. 

Parker is loving having a garage and has been a building machine lately. He designed and built these built-ins for the garage to store some of his tools. I was impressed!

The weather has been so beautiful lately and we are trying to stay outside as much as possible. One of us makes the comment "Man I love summer" at least daily. We are just obsessed and Virginia summers are beautiful. Whether it's working out, going to the pool, or golfing/playing tennis, we just want to be outside! Parker wanted to go golfing this weekend, and I was a-okay with sitting in the sunshine watching him. 

 That's life lately! 

Healthier Blueberry Muffins

I have always loved to bake, but the struggle with finding good baking recipes that aren't terrible for you is real. I really like this recipe for blueberry muffins because it's equal parts delicious and healthier than the typical muffin. The word "healthy" is a relative term, and what's healthy to me may not be healthy to others, but I do think these are a healthier alternative to most blueberry muffins. 

These muffins passed the husband test with flying colors, so much so that he almost ate them all before I got to snap a picture. I was planning on photographing these muffins the next morning, and when I came downstairs, there was only one left! I quickly snapped a picture and the sole remaining muffin was gobbled up soon after. 

Recipe makes about 8 muffins

1 cup white flour (you can also substitute whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup blueberries

1. Take out the egg, measure out your milk, and let them sit on the counter to become room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with muffin cups. 
3. Melt butter in a medium sized bowl and set aside. 
4. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. 
5. In your medium bowl with the melted butter, combine egg, milk, and vanilla with the same whisk. 
6. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine with a whisk until fully incorporated.
7. Do not mix the berries into the batter. Instead, fill each muffin cup about 1/3 of the way with batter. Then, add 5-8 blueberries and fill muffin tin to the top with more batter. 
8. Bake about 15 minutes or until the top and sides are golden brown.


7 Ways We Stopped Wasting Food

When Parker and I moved into our new house, we set a goal to stop wasting food. It's been a struggle since we got married to find the right balance of having enough food around the house without wasting it, and we were ready to take the bull by the horns. 

I've always planned out our meals. I would go to the grocery store once a week (usually every Sunday) and buy stuff for the dinners I planned for the week, lunches, snacks, etc. When we first started out this whole married life adventure, I was planning 5 meals a week. 5! I wanted to be the perfect wife that had a fresh, warm meal on the dinner table every night. 5 may not sound like a lot considering there are 7 days in a week, but almost every meal yielded at least enough for 4 servings, and there are only 2 of us. Our refrigerator was stuffed with leftovers, and we couldn't eat them fast enough. 

4 years into marriage, we realized something had to change. I hated wasting good food and money, and so did Parker. We started talking about ways we could make sure we eat what we buy and came up with 7 strategies to implement going forward. Yall, it has made a world of difference! Not only are we spending way less at the grocery store each week, but we are actually eating what we buy. 

1. Make more frequent grocery trips. I wanted to only go once a week, so I would overbuy just to ensure I didn't have to go back. Only buying the minimum of what we actually need may mean I will have to make another trip later on in the week, but it will also mean less wasted food.

2. Don't plan 5 meals a week. This sounds extreme, but I now only plan 2 meals a week. Most meals make 4 servings or more, and since there are only 2 of us, that will feed us at least 2 nights. Plus, things just come up and life happens. If someone invites us to dinner or we decide to do an impromptu date night, I don't have to feel guilty about all the food we are wasting. If 2 meals isn't enough, I'll just make another quick trip to the grocery store later in the week.

3. Look in your freezer before grocery shopping. I sometimes buy meat in bulk when it's on sale and put it straight in the freezer. That's cool, except then I forget that it's there. I now make a point to look at what meat I have sitting in the freezer and plan meals around that.

4. Buy the smaller milk carton. I used to buy the full gallon each week and we were wasting so much milk. We aren't huge milk drinkers and only use it for cereal or chocolate milk after a workout, so we just couldn't drink it fast enough before it went sour. Plus, I switched to almond milk recently, so Parker doesn't come close to finishing the real milk on his own. I buy the half gallon now, which is the perfect amount to get us through a week.

5. Buy lunch meat from your local deli instead of the prepackaged stuff. The prepackaged lunch meat is fine, but it usually only comes in quantities of a pound or larger. We don't eat enough sandwiches during the week to eat a pound of lunch meat quickly enough. Instead, I started buying meat and cheese from the deli in 1/2 pound or even 1/3 pound quantities. It's fresher, tastes better, is cheaper, and we don't waste it. 

6. When the bread is about to go stale, start serving it as a side of toast with dinner. Another thing we have trouble eating fast enough is a loaf of bread. You can't really buy bread in smaller quantities, so I throw a couple of pieces in the toaster and add butter for a dinner side, or I'll put it under the broiler for a few minutes with some butter/garlic/cheese for variety. Either way, it's a great dinner side and will help you eat the bread before it goes bad. 

7. Leftovers are your friend. I wanted to be superwife when we got married and have a new meal on the table each night. I now see that's not realistic. When we have leftovers, we will eat those before I cook again. You can even use leftovers as part of new meals so you don't have to eat the same thing all week. Last week, I threw some chicken/salsa in the crockpot for chicken tostadas. It made way too much, so I took some of the leftovers and made chicken quesadillas for lunch. Get creative and eat those leftovers. 

These are just the tips that have worked for us! What are some of your tips for not wasting food?

Friday Confessions

This week zoomed by, but I'm not complaining! Friday, thanks for showing your sweet self. Here's what's been going on in our neck of the woods...

I confess... I went to the Dancing With The Stars Perfect 10 tour with a girlfriend a couple of weeks ago and was completely star struck. That crew is so talented and it was surreal seeing Val and Witney, two of my favorites!

I confess... I was at the grocery store this week and the cashier noticed the necklace I wear every day with Taylor's name on it. She asked if it was my name, and I told her no, it is my daughter's name, and then she said "I love that name" and I basically wanted to hug her. We love that name too, nice cashier lady. 

I confess... since our neighborhood has a community pool, we have been doing daily trips to the pool. I actually wanted to buy a new swimsuit at Target but all of the tops look like sports bras. It's an odd cut but I guess it's the new style. Did any other Target frequenters notice this?

I confess... my boss sent our team a picture of this shirt and suggested it be our new team shirt. I completely agree. 

I confess... my parents bought us an ice cream maker as a house warming gift and I am SO excited to start using it! I know absolutely nothing about making ice cream, but I know I like to eat it. 

Hope yall have a great weekend!

Parents In Virginia Is A Beautiful Thing

Last week we hosted our second set of visitors in our new home... my parents! I've decided that nothing beats having your parents come visit you when you live far away. Nothing. It was perfection and I never wanted them to leave. It went by way too quickly, but we had the best time! I'm going to relive the week through the lens of my iphone today, so here it goes!

My parents arrived Monday evening, which happened to be my mom's birthday! I made this lemon bundt cake because it's not every day you get to be with your mom on her birthday around these parts, and that called for a special cake. She is just the cutest. I love my mom... so full of joy. 

I took off work but unfortunately Parker had to go in most of the days they were here, so it was the three of us during the day and Parker joined us in the evening. My dad dubbed this a "foodie vacation", which I was all over, and we ate our way through Norfolk/Virginia Beach. I'm going to do a separate post on all the eats next week because we had a lot of fun planning out our meals.

We started out our mornings with a nice walk through the neighborhood. The weather was perfect the week my parents were here (I'm talking highs in the low-mid 80s), so we took advantage. I've mentioned this before, but one thing that is really fun and unique about our neighborhood are the peacocks. We have 6 peacocks that just hang out every day, and I am always so nervous they will be hiding when we have visitors. Seeing a peacock is so fun, so I was so excited when mom and I spotted one. I took her picture from a safe distance while restraining my dog from eating the darn thing.

Lunch dates with my parents at a few new local places we stumbled upon. Dad was the cameraman.

We spent most of the days shopping for the new house while Parker was at work. My dad is such a trooper and will go shopping with the girls without a second thought. I suppose that's what happens when you have a wife and four daughters. Either way, Dad you rock.

Probably the coolest part of the week was meeting Parker on base and letting my parents fly the simulator. They were excited and loved every minute of it! After showing them the C2 and letting them climb in the plane, we headed over to the simulator for a little hands on training. I loved getting to watch both of them fly, and I think it gave them an appreciation for how hard flying is. I know I could never do it!

On their last day here, we took my parents to the beach so they could stick their toes in the sand. Parker and I admittedly take living near a beach for granted. In the Navy, there is a 95% chance you're going to be stationed near the water, so we have gotten used to the beach thing. We went almost every weekend in Pensacola but we rarely ever go here. We need to get better about that. Anyway, I loved showing them the boardwalk and our little piece of the Atlantic. Mom and I wore our matching dresses, which garnered a few weird looks from the locals. Whatever, I'll match with her any day!

Dad wanted us to get his good side. He was pretty cooperative overall with my picture taking, which I appreciate. Love this dad of mine.

Mom had to get a picture with her granddog before she left! This is about as good as it gets when it comes to Jenny and smiling. She loves her Grammy though!

It was such a memorable, incredibly week. So blessed to have parents who love us so much and made the trip out to Virginia to see us. Please come back soon!


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