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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Breakfast Sandwiches and Other Stuff

It's officially AUTUMN!  And I feel like I missed summer completely.  Oh well, let's gear up for the holiday season around the corner.

Since my hubby works out for an hour every morning, I want him to have some solid breakfast with his coffee.  Here are a few snapshots of my breakfast sandwich batch for freezing :::



I considered scrambling (instead of frying) the eggs before cooking... maybe next time.  Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper - yummo!  The English muffins are just $1 at my Aldi, making these sandwiches even more cost effective.  Sharp cheddar cheese and black forest ham at the request of my hubby.  But there are so many options, of course!

Straight from the freezer, we nuke them for about 2 minutes.  Soggy bottom buns were a letdown, but it helps to put them on a paper towel when microwaving.  I suppose you could bake them in the oven, but if time crunch is a factor, it would kind of defeat the purpose of all the prep for a fast and filling breakfast.

I love making these breakfast sandwiches, but even with just two people to feed, they're gone before I know it!  Perhaps a double batch is in order...

Just a few more photos from Sydney's nursery... I can't help myself!  Her room is the only one in the house that's really put together.

If you have a nursery in the making, and your changing table is small like mine, I highly recommend a shelf just above for hand sanitizer, wipes, small basket of diaper rash cream, etc.  We picked this one up for a quarter at a yard sale and sprayed it gray.

Time hasn't allowed the spraying of these shelves (Goodwill find), but I decided to lean my canvases on the wall instead of hanging.  Still deciding if I prefer it or not.

Upcoming dinner plans include parmesan crusted tilapia with couscous, my favorite pot of chili (recipe to come), burritos and taco rice, and grilled italian chicken with veggies and garlic bread.  Here's to eating at home!


Liv ;)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A New Home Sweet Home

It's been a long, slow process, but I do believe I can finally say we are all MOVED IN!  Hallelujah, baby!

My latest craze is freezing food.  Trying to save time and money continues to be a top priority around here.  Besides, it makes me feel totally awesome!  So far, we've got corn on the cob, breakfast sandwiches, grapes, homemade baby food, bread, marinated chicken, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and -- next on my to-do-list -- twice baked potatoes!  Follow the links to a couple of the fabulous bloggers who inspired me.


About making homemade baby food (which, let's just say it, is just pure├Ęd fruits and veggies):  in my experience, it is messy and time consuming.  But it does save money, especially if you can get produce on sale.  I love getting my fresh food from Aldi.  Kroger (King Soopers) has great variety and usually several organic options.  I have a friend who is using her own garden harvest to can her baby food.  Genius!  Again, time consuming.  Again, cheaper and healthier.  I'm not anti-store bought baby food, but the bulk of Sydney's meals are from my tiny kitchen, and it makes me a little proud of myself.

I've also recently been introduced to Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.

People.
Go to the store, and get one.  It does take some elbow grease, but MAN does it pick up dirt!

Here is the finished product!  Special thanks to +Kaitlin Hillen for helping me complete my hair bow holder!


This snapshot is already a month old.  I can't keep up with this growing girl!  She's already got two teeth at almost eight months old.  

That's it for now... Thanks for following!

Liv ;)



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On the Road Again

Obviously, I'm the worst blogger EVER.

But I have excellent excuses!  Well, at least one.  My small apartment has grown even smaller.  The kitchen table is in my bedroom, the washer and dryer are in my kitchen, and there are buckets and boxes everywhere!  I'm hoping this packing-little-by-little method will prove to be more organized on the unpacking end of it.  This has been the longest transition to moving time.  


Oh yes, we are moving again!  The joys of being an Army wife.  This will be the fourth time I've got new house keys in less than three years.  But there are advantages, opportunities, and memories.  Advantage: moving frequently discourages hoarding habits.  Opportunity: our next move puts Hubby in position to earn his Master's degree.  Memory: our first child was born here in beautiful Colorado.




I can't believe she's already SIX months old!  Isn't she gorgeous, folks?

My next DIY project is going to organize her growing hairbow collection!  The shoebox shenanigans I've been pulling for half a year are over.  My plan is to custom design a photo collage board of sorts.




My progress so far consists of buying four 12x12 cork squares.  So I'm a slow mover- it's all good.  I promise pictures as soon as I get fabric and ribbons.  And pins.  And time.  Man...

Been trying to get back on the exercise scene.  For a while.  Two apps that have been a big motivation for me are My Fitness Pal and Skimble's Workout Trainer.  With My Fitness Pal, keep track of your calorie intake and output, set goals, connect with friends.  Skimble has so many options!  Workouts from 5 minutes to 60 minutes, choose your target area, difficulty level...  Check them out!

Thanks for reading!  Leave a comment!

Liv ;)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Memory Book Attempt #1

Keep in mind, I am an amateur of the least experience when it comes to... well, most things... but in this case, crafting.  So bear with me as I putter through this project and others to come.

Several, several weeks ago... I began assembling materials for a sweet memory book to celebrate my wonderful relationship with my hubby.  So far it consists mostly of pictures, but I did add a few mementos I had kept from our first year together.  Here is a sampling of my pages:


Wedding Toast

Honeymoon to Montreal, Quebec (space for a photo, "Montreal" and hearts cut from our tour guide map)

Notes, Letters, Poems

Thanks for checking out my blog!  Leave a comment!

Liv ;)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Long Time No Post

It's been a while since my last post!  We started packing for a move to Ohio, enjoyed some gorgeous sunshine at the park, tried a new local photographer, grilled out with friends for Memorial Day...

On moving... My hubby's new favorite thing to do is shrink wrap.  Everything.  It is pretty neat, but I'm pretty sure he would try to shrink wrap our couch if they made big enough bags.  We are trying to pack a little at a time to avoid being overwhelmed in crunch time.

At the park... SWINGS.  I love to swing at the park!  If we ever stay in one place long enough for my kids to get a swingset, it will definitely have to be big enough for mommy too.

The photographer... Hillary Landers.  We're waiting for the rest of our pictures, but the previews she posted on her Facebook page are super!  Check her out.

Memorial Day was fun!  I drove a four wheeler for the first time, and grilled fresh cut pineapple with a brown sugar glaze.  Mmmmmm!  Here is my baby girl lookin patriotic.

Also, I am trying a few new apps: Twitter (finally, I caved) (@livhurst) and Poshmark (very cool so far) (sign up with code HRXDS for a $5 credit) and Path (because you can never have too many social networking tools).  Hope to be posting more soon!

Liv ;)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gulf Coast Getaway

This post will just be a brief recap of my vacation to Mississippi.  It was time for my nieces to meet their new cousin!  So I packed up the diapers and pacifiers and hopped on a plane.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day at the beach!












Two delicious highlights of my Southern week: Tatonuts (the potato doughnut) and authentic shrimp gumbo.














We had a great time, but it's good to be back home with my hubby!



Liv ;)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Got Cow Juice?

When I was a kid, my dad always called milk "cow juice".  His explanation was this: squeeze oranges, get orange juice; squeeze apples, get apple juice; squeeze a cow?  Cow Juice!

So, the rep for cows' milk has become pretty damaged in recent times.  Most popularly due to the increase of hormones and antibiotics injected in cattle today.  Mass production has pros and cons, but cheaper is rarely better.  More on that by Global Healing Center.


We (Hubby, Sydney, et moi) are not allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant, but we recognize the problems with processed cows' milk.  So we are attempting a dairy purge.  Wish us luck - it isn't going to be easy!  I'm sure it will be worth it though.  As awareness grows, so do the alternative options.  Here are a few:

  • ALMOND milk - This one is for the sweet tooth!  Nice and creamy with sweet accents.  You may love this one, you may hate it.  But do try it!  
  • SOY milk - A hearty milk choice, a little thicker.   My favorite in a bowl of cereal!
  • COCONUT milk - My favorite brand is So Delicious.  It doesn't have an overwhelming flavor, and it has a nice medium consistency.  Get a $0.55 cent off coupon on the So Delicious site!
  • RICE milk - Typically pretty thin.  Probably a good choice for those used to skim or 2% (versus Vitamin D or whole milk).  Often found in a box carton, as shown here.
    
 


(Also, hemp milk and goat milk, which I've yet to try.)

Also on my dairy free grocery list: coffee creamer and ice cream!


Thanks for reading!

Liv ;)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Three Apps for Thrifty Folks


Ya gotta spend money. We all do. That's okay, because it's FUN! Feel that cash just slip right through your fingers? Mhhmmm. ;)

But don't those budgets seem to burst at the seams every month? WHY do the things we love cost so much stinking money?! There are many apps and websites offering coupons and deals, not to mention scissors for good, old-fashioned coupon-clippin' fun. In my efforts to pinch some pennies, here are a few apps I have come to appreciate:

ibotta Try ibotta!
A neat spin on the rebate coupon! The coolest factor is that you can use paper coupons at checkout, then go home and use ibotta coupons to save even more. I've actually earned back all the money I paid for some products!



  • This method requires you to have a PayPal account. (You should have one anyways. PayPal is handy!)
  • Ibotta offers coupons from $.50 to $1.50 on popular products from various departments. You earn these coupons by taking polls, watching ads, writing reviews, reading recipes and trivia... Easy Peasy!
  • Once you've bought the item(s) at a participating store (41 options), simply scan the receipt and collect! Transfer the cash to your Paypal account and Ibotta will replace the used offers with new ones!

  • Bookoo Try Bookoo!
    You will never use Craigslist again. This is for those of us who are grateful for affordable, secondhand STUFF. Categories from appliances to clothing to furniture to pets. Posts for items wanted, lost and found, barter, even FREE! Who likes free? Everyone. :) Bookoo is military friendly, but not exclusive. Shop gently loved items here.

    Groupon Try Groupon!
    This is a hugely popular app, so you're probably familiar with the details. But I've gotta give Groupon a pat on the back here. My husband and I have bought groovy gifts, tried new restaurants for half the cost, got discounts at spas and salons... Groupon offers deals on resorts and getaways, concerts, gourmet items...
    Tailor the offers to your preferences.
    Gift Groupons to others.
    Earn great rewards for sharing.
    Get it. Use it. Love it. Groupon. :D

    Happy Saving!

    Liv ;)


    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Nursery for Number One and Related Thoughts



    Now that my Sydney Gray is 3 months old, I finally feel like my nursery is finished! I filled one wall with canvas art (with some help from my girlfriend - Thanks Britt!), one with shelves my hubby put together, and - ta da! - my first shadowbox!

    I'm not a pink hater... exactly... but I wanted something un-pink for my first girl. Enter Pinterest.
    Something tres chic (chevron) but not overdone (yellow and gray) found me. Unfortunately, because of our ever-imminent relocating with the Army, I didn't feel like investing time and $$ in painting the walls. Regardless, I'm satisfied!




    Oh, and elephants. Still looking for an elephant piggy bank. Err... elephant... bank. You know.

    In retrospect:

    • Splurge--- crib, mattress (Your baby will spend most of the first year here, so think quality.)
    • Skimp--- decor (There are sooo many DIY helps out there for the creatively challenged [me!] so don't break the bank to fill space. It's more special when you put your personal touches on it anyways!)
    • Save--- clothes (This borders on personal preference, but unless you know you are done having babies, it usually makes more sense to store the barely used clothes to pull out again.)
    • Stock--- diapers, wipes (They go fast. Fast.)
    There is a lot I have yet to learn, but it's a fun ride! :)

    Thanks for reading!

    Liv ;)

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    Introductions



    Hello Blog World!  Quick bio for my first post:

    My name is Olivia, and I love being an Army wife and a new mommy!  I love God, my family, and coffee.  Originally from Southern Ohio, my hubby and I have lived in Colorado Springs since November 2011.  Our Sydney Gray was born in January.  She is an adorable blessing!

    I'm taking timid steps toward more creative hobbies!  You should be getting a peek at my attempts on scrapbooking, mommying, cooking, et cetera.


    Here are a few tidbits about me:

    Music: gospel, contemporary Christian, opera, occasionally country, jazz, big band... almost anything except rap and screamo.

    Movies: Romantic (not soap opera sleep arounds) Comedy (not vulgar or slapstick).  I also love The Incredibles, Meet the Robinsons, Despicable Me...

    Reading: Classic Lit.  Please read The Count of Monte Cristo immediately.

    Politics: It is a privilege to live in America!  I love being an Army wife, and I am super proud of my husband and the rest of the men and women in uniform.  I vote for the "lesser of two evils", the more conservative view.

    Coffee: Medium to Dark Roast.  It's Folgers at home, Pike Place at Starbucks.

    M&Ms: They're the new Jelly Bellies with all the crazy flavors.  Carrot cake, really?  I prefer the milk chocolate original.  Someone say b-o-r-i-n-g! ;)

    Faith: I'm a Christian!  I attend church, I believe all of the Bible is true, and I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I believe each person has a soul which will spend eternity in either heaven or hell.

    Cereal: Cocoa Puffs, Cap'n Crunch, Honey Bunches of Oats

    Vacation: The mountains or the city.  I'm not a beach fan...  Firstly, I can't swim.  In fact, I have a bit of a phobia of drowning.  Secondly, I don't tan- I burn.  That goes for my hubby as well.  He's whiter than me, if it were possible.  SPF 1,000,000,000,000 please.

    Habits: Coffee, Breakfast, Procrastinating.


    Anything I missed?  Let me know!  This blog is just me, in slippers and stilettos.  Hope you enjoy.

    Liv ;)