Yummy Southwest Soup

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Hi! So, I came across this recipe from another blog after looking through the archives on Pinterest. I was instantly intrigued to try this recipe because the ingredients are all things that I love, and it seemed fairly easy. I tried this yummy soup out on my new Crockpot. 

Why I love this:

-It takes one pot (other than the chicken, which will need to be cooked separately)

-Healthy!

-Pretty inexpensive

-Very quick and easy

-Feeds a family of at least 4

The link for the original recipe is here

I did indeed use parsley, like the recipe calls for, but I wish that I would have had cilantro!

I also added these spices for additional flavor – probably a teaspoon of each

thyme

basil

oregano 

garlic powder  (I may have put a tablespoon)

Another change to the recipe, I felt that 2 lbs of chicken was a lot. I used two LARGE chicken breasts initially, but after I boiled the chicken and shredded, I felt like it was too much. I had about half a chicken breast left, which I stored for later use.

I cooked on high for one hour.

I served this with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and tortilla chips. ACTUALLY, I didn’t have tortilla chips on hand, however I did have taco shells! So, I crumbled and used that instead.

Next time, I think I would add a little bit more heat to the recipe. Possibly a jalapeño? 

Hope you try this out and it makes you and yours very happy!

Amanda

Fort Sam, Here We Are!

Hi, well it’s been a while. 2015 rolled by so quickly and then we blinked and it was 2016. Doesn’t it always feel that way? 2016 brought a lot of changes. We learned a little and a lot about the Army; a little information, and a lot about the lack of communication between the program. We received our orders around the 25th of January, made an appointment with the transportation office, and quickly got a date to move. Between moving, we also went on a cruise to celebrate our last days of freedom! When we got back into port, we quickly finished organizing our house and prepared for our move. The night before the movers came, we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, trying to make sure everything was in order. Little did we know, this would be the cushiest move we’d ever have! A crew of a few men and women came and did an excellent job. They wrapped all of our items, labeled the boxes, and made sure we were satisfied with their work. Jonathan and I pretty much stayed in the backyard trying to stay out of the way. We then traveled to our new home and stayed our first night sleeping in an empty house. The next morning, the movers came and unloaded all of our possessions. Again, their professionalism and hard work were very appreciated. Overall, the move was quickly scheduled, and we were able to have back to back days of packing and moving. Some people experience at least a week between receiving their possessions.

We’ve now lived in our home for a week and a half. Jonathan began in-processing this week and again, it’s been miscommunication left and right through the Army. He went on base to begin paperwork and his orders were wrong on all of the phone numbers to contact, the place of which he was supposed to report, etc. I know that it is frustrating, but I have heard advice from others who have been in the Army for quite a while that you must develop an attitude of go-with-the-flow. Otherwise,  it’ll drive yourself crazy! He ended up finding the right place and a few others that are in his class had the same problems. So, that is just what we have to expect, and we will just have to learn to go with the flow.

Living in SA is so different from living anywhere else that we’ve lived because of the climate and terrain. All of my life, I lived on a farm, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time working with the land. SA is so unique and I am constantly entranced by the beauty of the trees, rocks, hills, and plants. I live for wildflowers and beautiful landscapes! Oh, and we’ve visited a few of the cliche tourist places, like the Tower of Americas, the Alamo, and the Riverwalk. All three were excellent places and I would totally recommend the Tower of Americas bar! The mango mojito was all kinds of amazing!

We also hiked Friedrich Park, where there is a unique feature midway through the hike (see picture!). We will be looking to hike every weekend, so if anyone knows some great hiking trails around SA, we’d love to hike them!

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Viva la Alamo!
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Tower of Americas
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Friedrich Park 

We love living here. I am looking forward to meeting Army spouses, and hopefully some spouses that are supporting their husbands in CRNA school. It would be great to develop a network of individuals that understand what you are going through and can support one another. We’ve heard that CRNA school will be extremely challenging, both mentally and physically. I’ve been told that I will be a bachelorette for the next three years of my life. As much as I’ve mentally prepared myself for this “job” for the next three years, you don’t know the full extent of how challenging something will be until you actually experience it. I am not a very adventurous person. I live very safely, and I am very much comfortable with my surroundings. I know that being “comfortable” is not the healthiest mentally in life because you have to have some level of independence and drive to experience new things. I also rely on my husband a lot. This experience will force me to be more independent. I think it will make me uncomfortable, but it could be exactly what I need!

 

 

Makeup-Fashion Haul

Before I began my blog, I actually tried my hand at youtube. Youtube was the first place that I began sharing my vision of life, advice, makeup and skincare, and maybe some weird videos of me dancing. With encouragement from my husband, I opened myself to a world with which strangers can read, watch, and listen to me. I’m no expert of anything, but I like educating others. I come by that naturally, with a father that educates people on anything and everything. Maybe I have a little bit of over-education in me, but I have the best of intentions.

One trend that I’ve noticed in the women in my life is that most have little to no knowledge of the makeup industry. I grew up buying all of my makeup in the drugstore. I didn’t even know about an Ulta or Sephora until I was in my late teens. I’d never been inside a Sephora until 22. Boy, was I surprised. So, when I talk to people about makeup, sometimes they seem under-confident about their abilities and knowledge about the subject, and I understand what that feels like. Whatever knowledge I have, I want to empower others to help them along the way. Makeup is a journey that is trial and error, completely different for every person, and a real confidence booster. It’s fun! I want women to enjoy their beauty.

As I’ve said many times before, makeup is not about casting an image so that others can look at you and be impressed. Makeup is all about yourself and making yourself feel beautiful. While I love being barefaced, I love being dramatic and using all kinds of makeup “beautifiers” to enhance my natural face. There’s no shame in doing that.

In the spirit of education, I share my newest items recently purchased. Last week Sephora had their annual 20% off sale and that is the best time to stock up on goodies and maybe try some new things. Before buying, I read tons of reviews, plus watch youtubers like Jaclyn Hill, BeautywithEmilyFox,  and Allana Davison to find out their thoughts and opinions.

You can watch the video HERE. As always, thanks for being apart of my day.

 

fall back

Did ya change your clocks back an hour?

It’s that time folks… Pumpkin spiced lattes, leaves cracklin’ with every step; fall is upon us. Fall is my favorite because of the changing of the season. I love when Texas FINALLY cools off and you can go outside without dying of a heatstroke. We tend to spend more time outside, whether we are just sitting enjoying the scenery or being active.

Fall fashion is also one of my favorites. Plaid calls my name. I already wear sweaters every day, even in the summer (#thatteacherlifethough) but I get to wear even fuzzier sweaters! Paired with leggings and some cute boots, and folks, we have an outfit.

Oh, and did I mention the fall makeup? I feel like fall is the season to be bold with your lip color. Pop on a fun color to accompany your outfit and you look like a rockstar. Add a hat and you look like you’re out of a magazine.

I just think fall is fun and should totally be celebrated by looking FAB.

Like this awesome plaid BP Flannel Shirt in the color Green Ultra. [I ordered a medium and it fit perfectly, washed and dried well] [Because of the Army, I can’t stop (won’t stop) having GREEN in my wardrobe. (Currently also looking for a great Army green nail polish.)]

Great pair of leggings Zella Live In Leggings [I ordered a small but they fit pretty snug]

Cozy sweater Cable Boyfriend Sweater [I don’t remember the size but holy goodness, this sweater is comfy]

Majorly bold lips with Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in the color Tumultuous Pink [deep berry red pink] [transfers immediately, but moisturizing]

If you like to SAVE MONEY [ain’t nobody got time for paying full price] use ebates.com, a site that literally pays you to shop. You get cash back for the money that you spend, which comes in super handy during Christmas shopping. My mother in law and I both use ebates religiously and have earned over $300 back in purchases. You can thank me later. Sign up here: Ebates Sign Up

Have fun playing in the leaves!

F A L L

An Oath

Today was the ceremony we had been waiting for. After four long years of prerequisites, applications, waiting, and interviews, finally we have an Army Officer!

It was a beautiful thing to hear Jonathan repeat the words of the Army oath, “To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic… and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” The maturity and determination that I saw in my husband’s eyes was truly amazing. I almost wanted to cry seeing the strength of all of the men and women who were around us in uniform, watching Jonathan repeat the oath so many before him have done. This oath means more than simple words. This oath, for us, means sacrifice.

It’s a bit like marital vows. We stand by each other no matter what evil, goodness or bad comes our way. It’s our contract with God. Our families and friends were there as a testament to seeing us through our marriage. The vows that we took on that day stand true and we have now taken ‘vows’ to the Army. Our lives are forever changed by this decision.

I pray that I will seek God first through all the times that I feel emotional about the changes. I pray that I will meet other women who are involved in the same manner as I am. I pray that I can understand what my husband is going through and that I show strength rather than weakness.

Here’s a few commemorative photos of the occasion.

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Family – the greatest gift of life

Growing up, my parents and I fought all the time. I had a HUGE attitude and a rebellious spirit to match. I honestly don’t know how I ever got through those teenage years with all my limbs intact. My words were as hateful and as nasty as I could make them. I remember knowing what exactly made my parents angry and doing just that. At 22, my parents were more than thrilled to move me out of the house. With a little bit of maturity and independence, slowly my parents and I were able to start missing each other and making the most of our time together. Especially after I moved three hours away, our fights became less and less. The time spent together became more valuable than any grudge one can hold against each other. It became unreasonable to spend time fighting and therefore, more time to enjoy each other’s presence.

Who was that girl? Teenage years suck. I don’t know that girl now. I truly wish that I would have never experienced that time and put my parents through hell. However, would I appreciate them as much as I do now?

Any time my dad and I would get into arguments, he would say, “Family is the most important thing in life. Without family, you have nothing.” I laughed it off and said something sarcastic, or rolled my eyes. The older that I get, the more his words resonate.

Now, I know what he means. Family is everything. My parents are my encouragement, supporters, and would do anything in the world to help me out. They do not enable me, but encourage my growth and development of my character. They see the adult that I have become and they are proud. Their belief in me makes me feel like I can do anything.

Not everyone has the support system that I have. I am very grateful that I have my close-knit family, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I believe the fights that we had and all of the years of struggling in our relationship only made us stronger. Even if you do not have a parent that is your support, I hope and pray that someone in your life fills that role to encourage you each day.

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Humble and Glasses Full

Welcome! I hope you have had a wonderful Columbus Day. I spent the day at the school that I teach at, preparing for another great week with the kiddos. They don’t know it yet, but I’ll be leaving them in the middle of the school year. It truly saddens me and I cannot imagine having to tell them.

It makes me think back on my first student teaching assignment in college. I had been with the same group of second graders for about two months and had to move to another grade to get more experience. The last day with them, I teared up with big alligator tears when leaving the classroom. The kids looked at me like I was crazy; they didn’t understand that I wouldn’t be their teacher anymore and that time period of my teacher preparation was over. Time has passed and those itty bitty second graders are now in sixth grade!

Life is like that… You never realize the chapters in your life that are super important while you are going through them. I am the WORST about being a glass-half-empty person and grumbling about little things that bother me. As I’m preparing to leave my current class and leave the life that I’ve known for almost the entirety of my married life, it’s nostalgic. You never realize how important each moment, each conversation is until you don’t get that anymore.

I don’t think that you should “always” have the end in mind, but maybe it’s okay to let go of the little things. Especially because those little things are common annoyances in your day and can become the master over your emotions. It’s easier said than done, and by no means am I committing to always being a glass-half-full kind of gal. I’m just saying that a dose of reality won’t hurt you. Life is fleeting. And each moment truly does count.

I have to say goodbye to a lot of friends. Some I may never see again. Who knows what life will bring. I hope this experience teaches me to be grateful for the small things, and not so grumbly when things aren’t okay.

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