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Category Archives: My Days

The Little Things :: Like BEDDING!

I guess there are some people out there that don’t really care too much about their bedding. I am not one of those people. As a matter or fact, I often joke that if I ever had enough money I would never sleep in the same set of sheets more than twice! There is nothing like laying on fresh, brand new sheets! I know they say you should wash them before your first use, but you want to know a secret? I don’t wash them! Shhhh! I love the crisp cotton on my skin, snuggling up underneath them, and that “new sheet smell”!

I was giddy as a school girl when I came home today and saw this::

Do you know what is in that box, friends? Oh, just some Christmas bedding I happened to score on sale from Pottery Barn- producer of my FAVORITE bedding!

I could just look at it all day! The only thing missing is my red quilt, which will be in a different shipment! I couldn’t wait to get home this afternoon after getting Hubs and just curl up in it! On a side note:: we have a queen bed, but somebody (me) loves to wrap themselves up like a mummy so I order King quilts and duvet covers (as the duvet is King). Yeah, getting the duvet cover on a king size duvet is a work out in it’s own class! Someone needs to come up with a much easier design!

Something as little as bedding is all I need to be one happy chicky! I just hope the month goes by slowly so I can get the full enjoyment out of this Christmas bedding!

and

Feel free to follow me over on Instagram {TheYoungRetiree} for more little things throughout my days that make me giddy and grateful, goofy and genuinely blessed on a daily basis!

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30 Day {Instagram} Photo Challenge :: Day 2, I Can See You Smile

If you are like me, you hate posed smiles. There is something so awkward about the way your eyes crinkle, even if you’re not trying too hard because you are trying. I was none too thrilled that on day two of this challenge I had to face this and get a smile. I thought long and hard about catching a Fiona smile, but she doesn’t like to cooperate when she knows I’m trying for something. Instead, I snapped this on my way to pilates this morning::

I also find it really awkward that Instagram (or is it the iPhone?) flips my pictures! For instance: My house is on my right side and the fence is on my left, which means they should be on the other sides in the picture. Awkward. Maybe there is a way I can fix that.

I hope you all had a reason to smile today, friends! Tomorrow is all about happiness in the challenge!

PS:: Are you on Instagram? Come follow me! I’m TheYoungRetiree!

A Trip To The Vet with my Baby Bosco

Since last week, there has been little change in Bosco, and in fact he has gotten a little worse. He got a hold of my hand pretty badly over the weekend and caused quite the welt to form. It was with a heavy heart but hopeful disposition I took him into the Vet this morning.

My handsome boy!

He was excited to be going for a ride with his momma all by himself and I was so nervous, but he was great… until he proceeded to defecate all over the exam room! My boy is getting big weighing in at a whole 18 pounds! We went through the usual deets about how he doesn’t like his ears touched and I told the tech how he was getting increasingly aggressive over the last month or so. Yada, yada… you know the story.

The Vet took Bosco away from me and the exam room and took him into the back thinking it was mostly protective aggression and she was completely right. He was fine once I was a distant memory in his little doggie mind! They were even able to trim his nails… ALL OF THEM! It’s been forever since we’ve had someone able to get all of them in one sitting!

The diagnosis is that he’s a chihuahua who loves his momma but doesn’t know how to show it. We need to have Hubs feed them, and feed them all in separate spaces. We need to have separate toy area for the boys or no toys at all. We also can’t give them snacks where Bosco can see the others getting them, even if he is getting some too! We are also starting him on a low dose of puppy prozac to see if it helps, which I am hoping beyond hope it will!

Thank you all for your puppy prayers! We are trying our best to make our home his comfortable haven and create a less anxios environment for him! Hopefully we will have great success! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted!

iPhone-atics!

Get it… like “iPhone” mixed with “fanatics”?

Earlier last week I was hanging with Neidy and she was telling me some pretty awesome information about the iPhone and communicating with her husband with it. I tried not to be too rude, but needed to have all the deets about just how much these phones were, as the only person who had ever shared lead me to believe the phone bills were outrageous.

Oh, yeah… we were two of the five people still on the planet who didn’t have iPhones. I talked with Hubs about it and we decided Wednesday we would go out over the weekend and check them out.

Needless to say, this is my first time on the computer since Friday afternoon! We both got the iPhone 4 (not the one that talks to you- we figured we would start a little simpler!) and are addicted to them!

HOW DID PEOPLE LIVE WITHOUT THEM?

We really though we wouldn’t use them very much and that they weren’t worth their cost. Boy, were we WRONG!

Does the lady with the Brostache have an iPhone?

Ok, sure… maybe we’ve gotten some silly apps, but who can resist the BroStache (which was free, and is voice activated to move when you talk!) one? We also are both on “Words With Friends”(come find me, my user name is “TheYoungRetiree”)! We have been playing each other since we got the phones! Oh, and he won our first game of “Hanging with Friends”!

Of course, I am foursquaring my way around town and instagramming like it’s going out of style! I’ve been tweeting, facebooking and mailing from it. I have even been finding my way around in the dark thanks to the flashlight app! I really have no clue how we talked ourselves out of them for so long!

Deployment Goal Two :: Work It Out

While I currently have about 6 things on my deployment goals list, I’d like to talk about the second thing: PILATES! A while back Dr. J suggested I do pilates since it is so easy on the joints while being very beneficial for the body. Well, time and money just “weren’t there” and I never contacted the woman he suggested. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a quick minute. Both time and money were there, I just spent them both on other things.

Time passes and I had all but forgotten about pilates. We had been using the track as our form of exercise and then we fell off even that bandwagon! When I mentioned to him I was thinking of joining a gym during deployment to motivate me to get out of the house he said “No, I don’t want you joining a gym!” I’m sorry, what? I simply figured the financial attachment to something would motivate me more to actually have any kind of follow through! That’s when he brought back up the Pilates and it all came rushing back to me. I thought about it and decided I was not waiting for deployment to come around; I was going to make the call and get the ball moving right now!

I called and left a message yesterday afternoon with a personal instructor/trainer and was pleased to get a call back last night! We set up my introductory appointment for next week! I am thinking of looking into a package that would not only include pilates (and the possibility of yoga, barre or spin classes) but also includes nutrition counseling! Let’s be honest, there was a whole lot of pizza rolls eaten during our last deployment and nutrition counseling could be just the thing to ensure I can stick with eating healthy during deployment!

I am really excited and looking forward to talking with my “Guru” and setting a plan into motion! The best part: It is an in home studio! The pictures I have seen on the website are amazing of her studio. I definitely know I won’t be too nervous since there won’t be tons of “juicing gorillas” all around me!

I can’t wait to tell you all how it goes (and how shattered I am after the first meeting!) and what my definitive plan is!

Take The Last Train To… Boot Camp?

This two months of pre-deployment prep are going by too quickly for my liking. The fun part is spending time with Hubs and of course, documenting this separation in our life with an awesome pre-deployment photo shoot! I have been giddy planning this shoot! Oh, and of course running thoughts through my head for one upon his safe return (which of course is going to be in his Army uniform-duh. We think it will be ACUs?)!

Our engagement pictures were jeans and white button downs. We did the Coronado Ferry Landing last deployment with the San Diego skyline in the background. Hubs in his dress uniform and me in a pretty tweed dress (which was actually my homecoming dress from the previous deployment!). We have our awesome beach pictures from this summer. I wanted something different and reflective of the time of year: AUTUMN! Oh, and a little bit of Christmas since we’ll be doing them in early December. We are going to be taking them in an old train station in San Juan Capistrano! Hello amazing architecture!

This morning with the help of some awesome facebookers I worked my way through our thoughts (argyle sweaters, bright funky colors, peacock accessories, flannel and cowboy boots, among others). I ultimately decided on my go to black dress for me with a red three-quarters length sleeve sweater and some amazing shoes I bought about 4 years ago and just unpacked from our HHGs. I’m thinking gray dress pants for hubs with a black or gray shirt… (or perhaps his really pretty purple one?) with or without tie.

I was at the thrift store today arranging a pick up of some of our old furniture when I saw the most adorable accessory across the room::

Only $3!!!

A lady bug found me taking pictures and definitely gave it her seal of approval! Eeeek! I am so excited! Even more exciting is since we’ll be doing them in early December, we will definitely be doing this to send out with our Christmas cards! The hunt now begins for candy canes that big!

Going out in our Christmas cards! Except... of us!

I can’t wait to have the shoot and show you some of the pictures!

It’s Fall, Y’all :: Pork and Pumpkin Stew!

By now you all know how in love I am with Williams Sonoma. We go to most of their Sunday morning classes, and it was there that I first sampled and fell in love with Pork and Pumpkin Stew… and I don’t even like pumpkin flavored things! Using Pumpkin as a vegetable for this stew (and a pumpkin chicken curry I’m making soon!) has completely changed my outlook on the food! Keep your latte’s and pies, I’ll take mine for dinner! You don’t have to attend their classes to get the goodies! The recipe for this dish can be found on their website (but I’m sharing it here too!)! Did you even know they had recipes? Once you’re done here, you should go browse around!

Here is the recipe::

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes (I had the butcher at Albertson’s do this for me! He cut them a little bigger than that, but he did it for free so I wasn’t complaining!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil (divided)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (I used fresh, and about two cloves because I love me some garlic!)
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (Which I actually got fresh! It was my very first try with it and it was super easy!)
  • 2 tsp. chicken demi-glace (This was the only ingredient I had to buy from Williams-Sonoma directly, because I couldn’t find it anywhere else.)
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. applesauce
  • 9 oz. canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 lb. peeled and diced (3/4-inch dice) pumpkin or winter squash, such as kabocha (I’ll share down below how easy it was to use a baby pumpkin!)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 4 tsp. chicken stock concentrate mixed with 2 cups water, or 2 cups chicken stock
  • Mashed potatoes for serving
  • Sautéed broccoli rabe for serving (We didn’t use this.)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

Season the pork with salt and black pepper. In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, demi-glace, tomato paste, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, applesauce, tomatoes with their juices, pumpkin, sage, stock and pork. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the pork is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Serve the stew over mashed potatoes and pass sautéed broccoli rabe alongside. Serves 6.

So now that you’ve read the recipe, what do you think? I was a little intimidated by it, quite frankly! It just seemed like A LOT of ingredients! I went to a local Spice store and had them give me a Tbsp of each of the spices I would need. They cost about fifty cents by doing it like this and I didn’t have to buy a bunch of spices I might never use again before they go bad. We bought small pumpkins and I used about a 5 incher for this recipe. Here is how easy that it: you cut the top off and scoop out all the seeds and pumpkin guts! I cut a hole in the side (like if I were carving an eye) but next time I think I would carve two or three to let more steam out, because I popped the little fella in the microwave for about ten minutes. I let him cool and the skin was super easy to remove! Some of it fell right off! I quartered the pumpkin and then peeled all the skin off before chopping it into little cubes! Super easy, y’all!

All ready to go in the oven for about 3 hours!

I must warn you that this is not a quick dish. It takes a lot of time and a lot of lovin’! Since you do the pork in batches, it took about 45 minutes. While it was browning though, I used that time to prepare my other ingredients (the onion, the garlic and the ginger). The ginger was super easy to work with. I bought just a little piece, peeled it like a potato and minced it up like garlic! It smelled super delicious and I know is going to be such a great part of the dimension of this stew! I served it with the mashed potatoes on the bottom of the bowl, and the stew on top!

”]”]Let me get real serious for a minute: y’all, this was the best thing I ever prepared with my own two hands! Are you ready?

FEAST!

Have you ever made a stew with pumpkin before? This was my first time cooking with it and I must say, we are heading to the patch tomorrow to try to get a few more so I can freeze some up!