Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey day

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been a little MIA. I went home for Thanksgiving and came back to a decent work load and a lot of stuff to do at home. We leave for our trip on Friday and there is still a ton of stuff to take care of between now and then. I actually need to start packing tonight, but until then, how about a little Turkey day recap?!

Harley and I hit the road bright and early last Wednesday. Harley was going to be staying at my Mom's place while we are on our trip, so he was my little co-pilot. And since Matt had duty Thanksgiving day he had to stay behind, but was going to fly up on Friday morning and meet us. And while I want to complain about him having duty on one of my favorite holidays, I am just thankful he is home at all (and not deployed) and was able to fly up for the short amount of time we did have. Overall, the drive was decent, not too much traffic. We got home just in time to unload the car, relax a little, and then enjoy dinner. And Harley sure was excited to see his Grandma and all the pups. They, however, were not as excited to see him. Eh, can't please them all.

Thursday was the big day! We didn't have to be over at my Aunt's house until 2pm, so I got up, lounged around for an hour or so and then took the dog for a run. No, not Harley. Harley hates all exercise unless it involves chasing another dog. Walks = torture to him. I took my fur brother Ryan. He is the youngest golden and has the most energy. I thought he might get a little out of control and I might have to bring him back early, but he was pretty good. We ran over 4 miles together. A little exercise before the big meal. My sister arrived home around 11am and at 2pm we were off for the family gathering. I hadn't been home for Thanksgiving in 2 years so it was nice to see everyone and catch up. I miss living so close to family, and even though I felt like I saw people recently, the little kids had grown so much! My niece is almost walking and talking already. Time sure flies. 

part of the family

After settling in and getting the house tour we hung out and had a lot of girl talk. And somehow, no matter what, we always end up talking about boobs. It's actually pretty funny and an ongoing joke in our family. Even though there was a lot of boob talk, we still managed to watch some football. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I ate a little too much pie (who doesn't) and a whole lotta turkey, so I was ready for bed by 8pm! Gotta love a good meal and a good night's rest....ahhh.

After picking Matt up from the airport on Friday we headed up to our favorite Christmas tree lot in Apple Hill. Its a bit of a drive out in the hills, but its gorgeous, they have great cider, cute crafts, and we get to cut down our own tree. We have been going to the same tree farm, the day after Thanksgiving since I was a teenager (I think). haha. I love it. And it was great to be able to share the experience with Matt. He had never been before and since he was the only guy he got to cut down my Mom's tree!

After getting it all tied down on top of the jeep we headed over to enjoy a picnic lunch with the family and then do a little shopping. I got a cute Christmas gift, a new ornament and some delicious chocolate!!
The Hall girls

Saturday morning Matt and I got up and went for a run together. We took Ryan too since he was such a good dog last time. Working out with Matt is one of may favorite things. It's great to spend time together doing something you love. After our little workout we got ready and went to brunch with Sara, Grandma, and Rachel. I picked out this local restaurant (thank you yelp!) called the Mangy Moose. It had good food and a cute little location. Sara took off after that to finish up some homework, but Matt and I stayed behind and hung out a while longer. We even hit up Grandma's "Cheers" bar, where everybody knows her name. We needed a little quality time with them after spending a few days with my Mom. The time went by too fast, but they will both be coming down to San Diego to visit us over Christmas, so that will be really nice.

Saturday night was our night on the town. We went to see Blue Man group with my Mom, Sara and Aunt Kathy. It was so cool! It was a really great show and actually pretty funny (even though they don't talk at all). All the lighting and music and special effects .....visual overload but so awesome. I highly recommend going to see them if you can.

Unfortunately we had to drive back home on Sunday morning. We had to leave as early as possible so we could hopefully miss the traffic. The drive wasn't as bad as I was imagining, and we made it back before dark. I actually ended up running a few errands and grocery shopping that night! Pretty productive day!

Overall it was a really fun weekend. It was super busy and we had a ton going on but I am so glad we were both able to make it home to see my family. I know they appreciated the fact that Matt flew in, even though it was only for 2 days. I think he just may be the family favorite :). And we hope to make a trip in the spring since we won't be able to make it up for Christmas (Matt has duty Christmas day too). See you soon everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

weekend recap: bootcamp, football and craft day

Our Saturday started off how it usually does, with a little of this....

and lots of this....

A typical Saturday morning and exactly how I love to start my weekend. The workout is over and I can shower and start my day. I feel much more productive and a lot less lazy. I have also convinced Matt to go with me on Saturdays now too. He doesn't love it yet, but he admits it's a great workout and we get to spend more time together, so that's a nice little bonus.

After our sweat session was complete I decided to clean the house (one less thing to do after we get back from our trip) and Matt took Mr H to dog beach. Harley hadn't been out there in a while and needed to run off a little energy too. Plus, it meant I had the house to myself and could get stuff done much faster.

The rest of our Saturday revolved around finishing up some much needed errands for our trip (new camera lens!) and then finally we went to see The Descendants together. Mini date night. It was a pretty good movie and a great way to end the day.

For Sunday, instead of doing chores we decided to take it easy and spend time with friends. We headed up north to Jessica and Joe's place for the day. A bunch of girls came over and we all had "craft day". We each bring a craft to do (everyone was doing something different this time) and we craft and drink and chit chat all day. It was actually my first craft day and I am so glad I went. It was so much fun! I managed to complete my project before we left (yay!), so I got to sit around and watch a little football. A perfect Sunday if you ask me (especially since it was raining). And while the girls were busy being artsy, the guys headed off to the local bar to watch the games and eat some food. They were having so much fun we had to call them and ask them to come back. I figured for sure Matt would be pestering me to leave 2 hours after we got there. Nope, we had to go get them. Worked out pretty well and I know we all had a great time at craft day. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of all of us packed into the Burgess house having fun, maybe next time. And there will definitely be a next time, maybe even at Casa de Clute. Probably should start thinking about my next craft project....hmmmm.....

Hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

p.s. Can you believe it's already Nov 22?? Time is flying by!

Monday, November 21, 2011

pumpkin love

Since Thanksgiving is this week and it's fall (obviously) I decided to post 2 pumpkin inspired recipes I tried over the weekend.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
This delicious beverage is only 97 calories! I saw the recipe on the Hungry Girl website and decided I must try it. I love the ones at Starbucks, but they have a ton of calories in them. This one was pretty easy to make and tasted very pumpkiny...

1 tbsp. sugar-free French vanilla powdered creamer (like the kind by Coffee-mate)
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, or more for topping
2 tbsp. canned pure pumpkin (Libby's is the best)
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup Fat Free Reddi-wip

1. Place powdered creamer, sweetener, coffee granules, and pumpkin pie spice in a tall microwave-safe mug or glass.

2. Add 3/4 cup very hot water and stir until creamer and coffee granules have dissolved.
3. Add canned pumpkin and stir until blended.

4. Add soy milk and mix well.
5. Microwave for 30 - 45 seconds, until hot. Give it a stir, and top with Reddi-wip. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice, if you like, and enjoy!
I did not use any whip cream and I used regular fat free milk, and it still tasted great. I might reduce the amount of pumpkin next time since it was a little sweet for my taste, but overall very yummy and nice to enjoy at home. Saved me $5 too!

Paleo Pumpkin Bread/Muffins

I found the recipe on elana's panty website after googling desserts. mmmmm

1 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin (or canned pumpkin)
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp stevia
3 eggs

1. In a food processor (or mixer) combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
2. Add pumpkin, honey, stevia and eggs. Pulse for 2 minutes.
3. Scoop batter into loaf pan, or muffin tins.
4. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes for the loaf, or 25 minutes for the muffins.

These are sooooo good! I used the canned pumpkin, and did not use stevia (added a little more honey instead). I love them. They are the perfect little after dinner snack when you are looking for something sweet.
Happy baking everyone! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

harley is going back to work

As most of you know, while Sara was living with me she would sometimes take Harley to work with her. He is AKC Canine Good Citizen certified and was able to spend the day working with all the special needs adults. He loved it. A lot. Especially lunch time. And after Sara moved out he was very sad and lonely. Sara was gone, Son was gone, and he was no longer able to go to work. Well that is about to change (the work part). I am taking him to the site tomorrow and he is going to spend all day there. He is going to be soooo happy when I tell him tomorrow morning. And trust me, he knows what going to work is (and he actually likes it!). He goes and sits by the front door to make sure you don't forget him, and his entire body starts shaking from excitement. Boy oh boy tomorrow will be his favorite day of the week.

In fact, the site even put out a little article on their blog about Harley, check it out here.

I will definitely be staying for a little bit so I can see all the clients and how happy they are to see him. I will take some pictures and post them later this week. Here are a few from the last time he went.

Friday, November 11, 2011

to all our veterans....

Just a quick post to say thank you to all our military members, past and present. This country would not be what it is today without their service and sacrifice. Freedom isn't free. A lot of people have given their lives for this country, and many more are willing to do so at any time. I don't think we could ever thank them enough.

Dear Lord,
Today we honor our veterans,
worthy men and women
who gave their best
when they were called upon
... to serve and protect their country.
We pray that you will bless them, Lord,
for their unselfish service
in the continual struggle
to preserve our freedoms, our safety,
and our country’s heritage, for all of us.
Bless them abundantly
for the hardships they faced,
for the sacrifices they made
for their many different contributions
to America’s victories
over tyranny and oppression.
We respect them, we thank them,
we honor them, we are proud of them,
and we pray that you will watch over
these special people
and bless them with peace and happiness.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.


Today, if you see a veteran, please tell them thank you. You can't even imagine how much that means to them. These days people get so caught up in the politics of war, they forget that behind all of that are men and women with families who are willing to go the extra mile so that they have the opportunity to voice those opinions. No matter how you feel about the current war we happen to be fighting, please always support the troops.
And to my hubby, my hero, my best friend....I love you and am so proud of you! Being in the Navy and serving this country is not easy. Being deployed, separated from family has been so hard. But you do it because you love it and because we need you to. Thank you for all you do, in the Navy and even around the house :). I love you and I am so proud to be your wife.
p.s. thanks brandy for posting that awesome prayer on FB.....gave me some inspiration! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

tis the season

As most of you probably know, Matt and I are taking off for 2.5 weeks to Australia and New Zealand around Christmas time. It is going to be the trip of a lifetime and we can't wait to see that part of the world! And going in December means Matt can actually get some time off (yay) and it happens to be summer time over there (double yay). But going in December also means Christmas shopping has to be done in November, aka now!

Since we have been planning this trip for months I was well aware that my shopping would have to be completed before Thanksgiving. I have been thinking of ideas for a while now so I wouldn't be stressed out and trying to do a million things at once. And while I was thinking of gift ideas for family, I was also keeping a wish list for myself. I had it going on a nice little excel spreadsheet, one column listing the item, the other column listing the store that sold it. This way when my Grandma or Mom asked what I wanted it would be easy to give them the list. But then I stumbled upon this awesome website, My Registry. It is just like a wedding registry, except there is no expiration date and you can link stuff from any website you want! You just browse the sites, find what you want, and click "add to my registry". You can add notes and size/color information, etc. It is awesome. In fact Matt has even added a nice guitar and motorcycle to his gift list, just in case someone really wanted to splurge this year. haha.

I highly recommend this site to everyone! You get to choose what you want and don't get stuck with unwanted lame gifts (as long as people stick to the registry). Check it out! Happy shopping everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Due to a small amount of peer pressure I am posting this hilarious (to me) story.....

This last weekend was pretty boring and laid back. Did some shopping on Saturday, and since Matt had to work on Sunday, my day revolved around the grocery store and cleaning the house. You know, fulfilling my domestic duties, which also included laundry. As I was waiting for dinner to finish cooking I pulled the white load out of the dryer. I tossed it on the sofa and Harley immediately climbed right on top (he loves warm laundry). I sat down next to him and began folding while watching TV. Finally I was down to the dreaded sock matching. I was doing pretty good until I couldn't find the matching fuzzy white sock of Matt's. Then I spotted it under Harley (typical). I went to pull it out from under him and quickly realized this was not a sock. It was actually his wiener I pulled on (I gave it quite a tug too). Oopsie. My bad. Harley immediately turned his head and gave me the death stare. I managed to choke out a "sorry buddy" in the middle of my fit of laughter. I even told him how upset Daddy would be with me since that is a very sensitive area. In my defense (in case I am questioned by the authorities) half of his wiener is covered in black fur and the other half white, so what I thought was a white sock was not actually a white sock..... After I finally stopped laughing I gave him a snuggle, washed my hands, and vowed to pay more attention when folding the laundry next time.

....Happy Monday everyone....except Harley who is probably still recovering from his injuries.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

bananas for banana bread

My friend Samyjo over at Hooked on Healthy has been motivating me to eat healthier, less processed foods. I am usually pretty good, but I do have a love for baked goods. Pies, pastries, donuts, etc are my weakness. And those types of foods are definitely not "Paleo" friendly. As I started my transition away from those foods are toward all Paleo type dishes, I found I was constantly craving something sweet. After lunch and dinner I needed something to satisfy that craving, and fruit was just not cutting it. I did a quick google search for Paleo desserts and found this amazing Banana Bread recipe.

2 cups Almond Flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I added sliced almonds but walnuts would be yum!)
4 really ripe bananas (mashed)
2 tbsp honey (local if possible)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl add the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, vanilla, and mix well.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
5. Fill greased muffin tins, baking cups, or loaf pan. Bake muffins 23-25 minutes, loaves for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

The finished product:
gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free! yum!

I will give a word of warning....don't alter the recipe too much. I couldn't find almond flour, but I had coconut at home. I decided to use the coconut flour instead and just reduce the amount since it is drier than the almond flour. It didn't work at all. It didn't bake and was a hot mess. I ended up tossing it (so sad). If you are having a hard time finding the almond flour, try Trader Joe's, Henry's, Sprout's, or a local co-op. Any place that sells all natural foods should have it.
While I was inside slaving away, this is what my boys were doing: