Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy birthday Bug....

5 years ago you made me a mother. It has been a great ride since then. Your birth gave me purpose, gave me joy, and taught me so many lessons. I am a better person because of you. You took the pain of my mistakes in stride. You are so attentive, and funny. You notice everything and never let me forget anything. You are my guard dog.

Your smile light up my days, your sweetness is heart melting. Thank you so much for bringing me breakfast in bed yesterday. You heard it was sweet and you wanted to do it for me. I am sure you will grow up into such a great man and make some woman just as proud and happy as you make me.

We love you so much and thank you for giving us the pleasure to call you our son

Daddy, mommy and Juju.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grabbing life by the horns

Remember this post , well I wasn't kidding. I am tired of waiting until I am skinnier to have the perfect life, I am going to live the perfect life right now while some things are still imperfect.

I have amazing children, great family and a wonderful husband. I am going to live life and enjoy and going Parasailing was just the right thing. I have wanted to do it for a very long time but let the fear of looking like a fat ass stopped me. Not anymore. My groupon had a special for over half off, I booked without thinking twice and today we went to do it.

It was an amazing experience. I was scared shitless not going to lie, but I got over my fears, didn't puke, got nauseous, backed out or even screamed that loud. To be able to share that with my husband was a truly gift and I just regret waiting so long to do it.

I highly recommend it. Its very freeing and gave me a whole new perspective on my life. 800 feet up in the air has a way to clear your head like you wouldn't believe it.

He is always so cool and relaxed. Perfect balance to my insanity

Scared shitless face :)

Going up and up

See how high

They took us all the way up then brought us back down to touch the water than back up again

Love A

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's vacation time ;)

After the amazing emotional homecoming on thursday, friday started with a bang. I slept until 9:30 am and got woken up with breakfast in bed that included pumpkin spice latte. Yep husband is home and its time for me to relax and enjoy it. My husband is pretty good, he will wake up with the kids, take them to school, change diapers like the best of mothers around and he does it with a smile, the kids really enjoy spending time with him. He is funny so everything is more exciting unlike grumpy ol mom. Hey I spent 1 year with them 24/7, I welcome the break and the bonding time they get together.

We ate some yummy lunch, went shopping for some clothes that had absolutely no holes, sand or that horrible Afghanistan smell. That afternoon we packed everyone up and headed to my parents for some bbq. By 7pm we gave everyone lots of kisses, and said goodbye. We hoped and prayed the kids were going to be okay and that his mom was going to get along with my parents. We came home and had a good old time, then got up at 5am. and headed out to the airport. It was a small plane and after many prayers, some tears, lots of turbulence and a husband with a hand that is white as snow from me squeezing we arrived in paradise aka Paradise island, Bahamas more specifically Atlantis.

We are major water park enthusiastic. We have gone to Schlitterbahn in Texas, we had done The Rapids in Florida and many more small ones along the way, ever since I saw the first Atlantis commercial some 6 years ago, I added that to the bucket list and this past weekend we got to experience it.
We haven't taken a vacation that doesn't involve visiting family in 9 years, we were totally overdue for it. Well this place didn't disappoint. Its amazing, caters to everyones need, the customer service is superb. We played the casinos, we got our hotel room upgraded, met so many people, and found out the pina coladas were to die for. $9 a pop but worth every drop.
We indulged, we relaxed, we rode every single ride, some twice and went around the lazy river some 7 times. We didn't think about anything except each other and our love. Our 9th wedding anniversary is next month, and while in the grand scheme of things 9 years is nothing, to us is huge, so we wanted to celebrate that. We were great together and had such a good time.
Atlantis was the place to do it and I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. Everything was truly perfection. With my insane habit to know everything I spent over 5 hrs in the computer right before I booked reading reviews from others that have gone. That helped us really have a good time. I knew where to eat, where to avoid, what to see, at around what times, I learned so much and I will later on make a post just about Atlantis. Its expensive, extremely expensive, but there is ways around the money bleeding and if this cheap ass is telling you its worth it, believe it. I have no regret about any of the money we spent because it was well spent. If you ever want to relax and enjoy, I will highly recommend going there, its the vacation of a lifetime.

I will leave you with some pictures and later one I will write a Atlantis 101.

In front of the royal towers. Gosh we walked so much. This place is huge but so pretty

View from our hotel room. Can you tell how happy I am??

Inside the aquarium playing around

One of the rides, you go down 12 stories with a float, then it drops you into the shark tanks. You go by very slowly just admiring the hungry sharks that are only a glass away from you

So much in love :)

We spent a lot of time around this lazy river. Its not really lazy because it has waves and drops and takes you up a conveyor belt that takes you all the way up to one of the towers that has 4 adrenaline rush rides.

Dh took this picture. That is my shoulder and his leg. He is so jealous I tan and he just

Inside the royal towers lobby. Everything is so pretty and no detail is overlooked

By the dig. The humungous aquarium they have with all kinds of species.

Riding up the conveyor belt that takes you to the top of the towers so you can go down the slides. Its a beautiful view up there

One of the slides that was over 7 stories high, dropped you in this underground pool with aquariums all around:

Can you tell how much he drank and enjoyed himself??

Yep that is the hubby coming down the leap of faith. Don't think I didn't go down. I did twice, but no one looks good in that angle so no pictures from me going down.

Inside the royal towers lobby

I have thousands more pictures but later on, when I do the Atlantis 101 post, I will post some more.

Much love

Monday, September 26, 2011


On Tuesday I picked up my mil from the airport. Together we went crazy with anxiety and butterflies. We ran around cleaning and doing last minute details. I stayed up until late on Wednesday just to make my husband's beloved german chocolate cupcakes, and I also prepped everything so that I would have it ready to make his requested meal : Orange chicken. The children were bouncing off the wall, the excitement was palpable.

Thursday morning everyone woke up extremely early, we ran around like crazies, and got to the airport about 2 hours too early. It was all good. My parents met us there and we waited and waited and waited. We saw his flight land, and when he came through the gates I felt the butterflies. Homecoming was just as amazing as I remembered. I wore a dress like I said I was going to and he loved it. He hasn't seen me in one in 10 years so it was a nice surprised. We are just over the moon to have him home. Still don't know if its for good or temporary, but none of that matters. He is here and we are going to enjoy every second of it.

German chocolate cupcakes. I outdid myself. They came out absolutely amazing asides from the fact I burned my mouth with the coconut. If you would like to make some they came from HERE
The only changes I made is I swiped applesauce instead of oil, toasted the coconut, and used only half the amout of pecans it called for.

Waiting sucks..

Still waiting

Finally Together

First hugs rocks :)

Love A

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just what I was in need of...

I have been on a funk of all times. I had visions of being a size 6 by homecoming and because I am nowhere near that and homecoming is fast approaching, that has put me in a funk.

I have spent the whole week whining to dh and sobbing. I have regretted booking a vacation to Atlantis (no matter that I have wanted to go there since they opened) and instead debating changing to Antarctica so layers would hide my jelly. Instead of being excited about homecoming I have been feeling dread. Stupid fears about my husband being disappointment in me. In my heart I know that is stupid because I weigh the same thing I did when we got married, dh loves me for me and thinks I am gorgeous. He is a catch I know ;).
Well, its just been a personal struggle this past week, until I read what the amazing Nikki at Sanctimomious wrote : .

I had tears streaming down my face. Gosh how stupid have I been. I am going on vacation with my husband to a place that I been dying to go for a long time to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, sans kid. Our first real vacation since our honeymoon. I am healthy, he is healthy and we are celebrating our love. What is the matter with me?? Only excitement should be felt not stupid insecurities.

Well, this whole feeling snowballed and I decided I need to love my body until I either love it or convince dh to allow me to have the gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico ;), until then I am going to get busy living. I am not going to let weight issues bother me or hold me back from doing anything I want to do.

I went out today and bought a dress for homecoming and one to wear on vacation. Asides from wearing a dress when I was invited to a wedding or in a wedding, I haven't worn a dress in 10+ years. This week all that will change because I will wear not only once but twice.

Also for the past couple days my groupon has been offering parasailing for 2 for a cheap cheap price. I have wanted to parasail since I was in hs but never had the courage because well I am fat and thought I was going to look stupid. I have looked at this groupon for 3 days and didn't have the guts. 3 am last night I woke up, grabbed my phone in a hurry and filled with fear that the deal wouldn't be there anymore. Thank God it was. I pressed buy and now in about 3 weeks, I am going to go parasailing. I am going to accomplish another dream. How awesome is that?? Will anyone laugh at me? Probably, but I wont care, because I will be 120 feet up in the air, holding the hand of my other half and having the time of my life.

Love A

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I am not the healthiest person around, by a long shot, but I try. We visit chick fil-A often, my son loves some golden arches, there have been many times where I consumed frozen yogurt for dinner, and we won't even touch on my wine consumption.

At other time, I make extremely healthy meals, everything I try to cook tends to be homemade, I have tried to steer clear of the processed stuff (not completely) but compared to a year or 2 ago, its a lot. Step by step we will get there.

Well for an almost 5 year old (OMG I can't believe he will be 5 before the end of this month, someone pour me pour me a wine shot of whiskey ) that is not good. You see my son eats breakfast twice. I only found that out last week. Every student that arrives on time gets fed breakfast. I was under the impression they asked the kids if they had breakfast and if they did, they wouldn't give them another. Nope. So ever since finding out he eats breakfast at school, I have limited his breakfast at home. Instead of 2 or 3 muffins, he will get 1. Instead of 2 waffles he will only get 1 and so forth. Today he had 1 of those banana muffins I made 2 days ago and I dropped him off.

When I picked him up he was mad. Oh so mad. He let me know. He let me know that this morning they had colorful cereal. The little circles and they had all kinds of colors like a rainbow, not those boring gray ones I have given him before, but the truly colorful ones. So pretty it made his milk look like a rainbow and why have I never bought him those. and how all his friends were laughing and calling him crazy because he never had those before.Why why??? do you explain processed food and food coloring is bad for a kid?? YOu don't. I explained to him its not good for you, he didn't buy it. I told him that mommy doesn't eat that so therefore I don't have the habit to buying it. That didn't help either, he said the first thing he will ask daddy when daddy gets home is to buy those instead of the peanut butter chocolate ones daddy likes.

And yes ladies and gentleman, my almost 5 year old has never had fruit loops before. Oh the shame. He will definitely need therapy.

So see, damned if I try to feed him healthy, damned if I don't and get critiziced. Oh finding this balance without denying my child anything is proving to difficult.

Where is that wine again???

love A

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Material possessions sometimes can make one smile bright!!

Yesterday, at 6pm the Fedex man knocked on my door and delivered a big box. After being bombarded with thousands of questions "What is that??" What did you get me? is that a pony??", I got down to business of opening the box and inside was my mixer. Even the kids let out a couple of "OHHS" and "AHH"S" more than if it were a pony.

I have been waiting for one for 5 years, and after my husband gifting it to me for my 30th, 3 months ago, I had to wait until it went on sale. Sometimes I am way too frugal for my own good, but that is not here nor there. I got an amazing deal at Amazon and got a cinnamon 5qt artisan with the stainless steel bowl and spent a bit more to get the glass bowl. I am so happy with it.

Isn't she so pretty?? I could stare at this picture for hours :)

Last night I needed to try it out, so after wiping it down a couple of times, caressing it some more, washing the bowls, wiping it more, kissing it, hugging it, I needed something to bake.

Now I have spent the whole weekend making cupcakes so I could find the right frosting to use on ds's birthday cake at the end of the this month. Even though I love baking, I was tired, but that didn't deter me. I hopped on allrecipes, found this recipe for muffins :

and got started.

Let me just say that this mixer is amazing. My old sunbeam I had to press a button to lift the head, the button always got stuck it caused a lot of cussing. Not the KA. There is a button that you move it forward or backwards, you can do it with one finger and lift the head with one finger. Also the paddle (just one) its so easy to take it out. The only issue I am having is how to screw the glass bowl in. I can do it but it takes me a couple of minutes to line it up. I am sure I will pick it up soon. But asides from that, it is awesome. Its so quiet, beautiful, easy, life changing really. I might have kissed it some more and hugged it again.

Best purchase in a very long time. If you have been waiting to get one, do it. You will be satisfied.

Now onto the muffins. Delicious and this will be my go to muffin recipe. I subbed apple sauce for oil, splenda for sugar, and I used yoplait strawberry yogurt because that is what I had on hand, gave it to the kids for breakfast and my son pipped up with "OMG mommy these are so good and not dry like the last ones".

Win :)

PS: What kind of attachments you guys have?? What do you recommend??

Love A.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Traveling without leaving your kitchen

If you love other cultures, but can't just drop thousands and hop on a plane to do it, the easiest way to experience that is in your kitchen.

I feel like you need to learn a little bit about brazilian culture (mostly yummy food) so every so often I will post a recipe that you should try because it is a sure hit. I will feel wonderful introducing you new things and you will feel great woing your significant other with a dish so yummy he will think you been jet setting instead of doing your backed up laundry. So lets begin...

Todays dish is brigadeiro (For me to teach people how to pronounce things I like doing it this way : Bri (like Britain)-ga(like gabba-gabba) dei(like day)-ro(like roman). Put it all together and you can pronounce this piece of heaven.
If you ever attend a birthday party, wedding, funeral, baby shower, retirement party, or just a simple get together in Brazil or hosted by Brazillians, brigadeiros will be grazing the tables.

That is a brigadeiro. If you have had the luck to attend a gathering at my house, you have tried one. If not, than you got to make it yourself. Trust me you wont be dissapointed. The best way I can explain its a mixture between fudge and truffles. Not overly sweet and it goes down so smooth. There are 2 ways to make it. If you are just making it for your family and don't want to go through the steps of rolling and dipping, you can make it, freeze it, then hand everyone a spoon, and go to town. That is what we do at my house. If you are making it for a party, then you can't do that.

Okay so to make brigadeiro you need:

1 can of condensed milk (any walmart carries it. Sometimes its by the spanish section sometimes its by the baking section. Keep your eyes open and read the can. Don't confuse it with table cream or evaporated cream),

1/2 cup of nesquick (again by the spanish section. Nesquick is chocolate powder. Sweeten. So the next time you are making chocolate milk, don't use chocolate syrup. Use nesquick. Its 10x better and good for you. My husband who grew up drinking chocolate milk made with chocolate syrup will never touch the stuff again after he had milk made with nesquick)

1 TB of butter

You take a pan, open a can of condensed milk, go ahead lick it, its that good and no one is watching, 1 TB of butter, and nesquick. How ever much you want. I start with half a cup and mix it then add a bit more. Whatever color you want it. Bring everything to a boil then turn the heat down to medium and dont stop stirring. That is the crap part. You have to continue on stirring or it will burn. After a while, you tilt the pan to the side a bit and if everything is moving to the side without sticking to the bottom, its ready. You transfer it to a dish and stick it in the freezer. If sharing with family you are done. You hand everyone a spoon and prepare to meet heaven. If its not, after its rock hard, you put a tiny bit of butter in your hands. Roll it into little balls, roll it on chocolate sprinkles and you are done. Kids love it, adults love it, its sure to be a major hit at your next party.

Also there is something called Brigadeiro cake :

(this is the website I copied this picture from : because I can never take a good enough picture. Its all in portuguese though ;)

This is the easiest dessert you will ever make. Seriously, I don't think it can get easier than this.

1 can of condensed milk
1 can of table cream(without the liquid. Stick the can in the fridge. After 15 minutes, make 2 little holes on each side at the bottom and drain the liquid)
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 TBS of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of chocolate nesquick
3TBS of sugar (the original recipe calls for it. Omit it. I promise you, you wont need it)

Now for the hard part...throw every single ingredient in your blender. No order just toss everything in. Blend it for a couple minutes until everything is mixed together. Take a microwave safe dish. Spray it with cooking spray, dump everything in after its all blended up. Microwave for 8 minutes and you are done. Throw some chocolate sprinkles on top, and put it in the fridge. The colder the better. If you want to transfer it to a plate so serve it, wait until its been in the fridge for a little bit.

That is it. You got a delicious dessert that took you less than 10 minutes. I bet you will spend more time looking for the ingredients that you will putting this together.

Now for my overseas friends, if you want to make this and can't find the ingredients like the condensed milk, table cream or nesquick, let me know. I will be more than glad to ship it to you. Seriously, I want everyone to have a slice of heaven ;)

Another thing because we have been talking about condensed milk. There is a recipe on pinterest saying if you take a can of condensed milk, put it in the crockpot submerged in water, 8 hours later you will get caramel. Don't believe that. If you do that you will get dulce de leche. Now some people will like to say dulce de leche translated to english is caramel. Its not. Its the closest thing you can call it, but its not. Caramel and dulce de leche are two very different distinct tastes. If you don't believe me try it and see. Try it anyways because dulce de leche is better than caramel and that will open a whole new world to you.

Enjoy it

love A

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept 11

People will remember specific dates because of the joy it brought them, or the happiness, or the accomplishment they reached. This date is remembered as a day in which America changed. A day of sadness, a day that rattled and shook us. A date in which heroes were born, heroes were lost and many innocent people got caught in the middle. Everyone will remember where they were today 10 years ago. You might forget what food you ate at your wedding, or what you were wearing when you brought your child home, but you will never forget where you were and what you were feeling 10 years ago on this date. Most important, try to never forget those that lost their lives. The only way to truly honor the dead is by living, living in a way that will make them proud.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My internet friends...

When dh first joined the Army, I needed a place to figure out what the acronyms meant, when we would get paid, where would we move, how to deal with the insanity the military is and just an outlet to vent. I came across a book that took me to a website and there I stayed. Over the years this website has changed and morphed more than possible. The name got changed, new members came in, old members left, the name changed again, the platform changed,the url changed, but through it all the friendship survived.

For a civillian it might make no sense how can I consider these girls friends. Well I will tell you, when your husband just deployed, and its 2 am and you don't want to head to the cold bed alone because after 200 days, you are sick and tired of going to bed alone, or when your are rocking your infant child past 3 am, you can hop on this website and get support and kind words. These girls have done it all. Through our darkest hour; from death of a spouse to the horrible medical diagnoses through the grueling hours of pacing and uncertainty if you will get a knock on your door after some helicopter crash halfway across the world, we supported and consoled each other.

Some of us have even met in real life. Some of us didn't have to give birth alone because our online "friends" were there with us holding our hands while our SO's were thousand of miles away. We have met for coffee and play dates and didn't have to pack our house alone for the 5th time because there were friends there helping us. Some of us are friends on facebook and send each other birth announcements, wedding announcements and christmas cards. While some of us never met in person, the love I feel for these girls are unexplainable.

I have smiled and cried through their trials and accomplishments. When someone got a positive pregnancy test after trying for so long, I have smiled and felt genuinely happy for them. Their homecoming pictures always gets to me even more than any homecoming pictures because through the deployment fears and worry, I was there with them offering a kind word or just a virtual hug, just like it had been done for me many times before.

If I had any grace during my first round of motherhood/deployment was because of their advice and how they kept me sane laughing over "turkey vagina" jokes at 2am.

Oh its not all sad and gloom. I guarantee that anytime a coach bag, cow porn, crab dip, fake pearls and a bob is mentioned, no matter where they are in the world, they will smile because of the memories it will bring them and myself.

Although we are no longer military, we are all still friends, still sharing stories ideas, tips and advice on everything under the sun. I still smile just as much when someone gets a positive on a pregnancy test, and shed just as many tears when a friend looses a child or a husband. I love these girls and am forever thankful for them, even if some of them only live inside my computer screen.

Love A

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The "I don't have an accent" Vlog

Across the blogging world, everyone is posting these videos with them repeating some words and answering some question. I have watched a ton of them and think they are awesome but never had the guts to do it, finally today I got a bug up my ass and decided I was going to do one and post it.

Keep in mind a couple of things:

-I suck at public speaking

-I despise being in front of the camera

-I make funny faces when I talk. I don't know why. I have issues. No serious disseases(that I know) that causes this facial twitching. So please free to make fun of me without guilt.

I am supposed to say these words :

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

I think I missed a word or two. I am not making another video this was was hard enough to gather up the courage :)

Enjoy it, point, laugh, its no biggie. I am and gather up the courage and make your own just to please me :)

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Love A

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A change would do you good!!!!

Yes, I am borrowing lyrics for my title but it fits so we will go with it.

I just got my hair done and I love it. For the first time in a long time I am happy. I had the same style since hs. I been in desperate need of a change and what easier way to do than changing my do.

A couple of posts back you will see I cut it, then I did a DIY home kit and tried a dark red. Didn't work. I ended up with just tinted red hair.

Finally on friday, I had court in the morning (dumping out soda out of my car window just the liquid and getting a ticket for littering and feeling it was unfair so decided to fight and it was the pretrial hearing). Well couldn't take Ju with me. Something about courthouses deeming lighters, matches, weapons and children a nono. Mommy babysat and after I was done, she asked me to give her a ride to the hair saloon. When we got there, she convinced me to go inside. I had no plans to do anything yet because I didn't know what I wanted and I also had baby with me. I can get my nails done with Ju just fine. She will sit on my lap play with my hair and be a good girl. Hair saloon was new territory. I decided to take the risk.

I went inside and told the guy do whatever you think it will look good. I need some highlights and at least shoulder length in order to tie it back but do what you please. This was my first time getting a hair cut by a guy and I was a bit intimidated. Well he said something about a cut, layers, some honey brown highlights, something for the roots and looking like a princess after he was done. He is Puerto Rican and spoke in such an adorable accent, he could have said short and green and I would have nodded yes.

Ju was a trooper. She was sitting with me for a while then started walking around the saloon. All the guys were wrapped around her little finger, giving her toys to play, snacks, and just loving on her. My mom just touched up her gray and 50 minutes later and I was done.

I loved it. He did such a good job and I extremely happy with it. I will go back to him every single time.

So without further ado here are the pictures :

**Please excuse the self portraits. I am um capable of taking a decent picture and a photogenic award will never be in my future.

Before. Besides a little wrinkles around the eyes, it mirrors my yearbook picture.

DIY Attempt at dark red. Never again!

Finally a style I am happy with :) (Please do not judge me by my horrible 1950's cabinet and overhead lighting. I rent and have a very difficult landlord and I refuse to take pictures in the bathroom in front of the toilet like so many people seem to do nowadays!!!!!!!

Through all of this I learned a very important lesson, yes at home is cheaper and easier, but somethings you just can't afford to save money.

Love A