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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Obsessions - August 2012 Edition!

The end of the month is my Obsession time! This is where I share a few of my favorite things from the past month... Here we go!

As you may have read in a couple of my previous posts, I have started on the Paleo (aka Primal) diet. It's where you cut out processed foods, grains and most sugars from your diet. I started reading about it earlier in the month, and took the plunge a few days ago. I'm still feeling the whole thing out... but it feels like an obsession because I'm constantly researching recipes and talking about it! I'll make sure to post my progress from time to time! 

Ah, cucumbers!  I have been eating them like crazy all month! They make such an awesome, refreshing snack (especially when eaten with a yummy dressing or dip). I think I've been consuming 2-3 per week. Luckily, they are pretty healthy... if I was eating chocolate that much, I'd be in trouble!


Speaking of chocolate, this has been my go-to snack when my sweet tooth kicks in! The Primal Diet doesn't allow for a lot of sugary treats, but it does allow for dark chocolate... and I love these organic 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate bars from Endangered Species Chocolate. I only have 2-3 squares at a time, but it definitely helps with my carb/sweets cravings.... and its even better when paired with raspberries or strawberries. Yum!


This past month, I have also been having problems with my "booze-tooth"... I have been craving cocktails! And no cocktail is more refreshing on a hot summer day than a Gin & Tonic! A friend once introduced me to Tanqueray's Rangpur gin, and it's the gin I prefer the most. It's infused with rangpur limes and it makes the BEST gin & tonics! If you are a gin drinker, I highly recommend giving the Rangpur a try.

What are your obsessions this month? Are there any products you are loving right now?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Took the Plunge: Paleo / Primal, Day 4

I was going to wait until after my birthday to start my Paleo/Primal adventure, but I decided to bite the bullet and start right away. It's definitely been a change, but so far... so good.

I started out by hitting up the Whole Foods in San Antonio to buy a bunch of the Paleo pantry staples and also pick up a lot of organic items (grass-fed meats, organic fruits/veggies, coconut oil, coconut flour, etc.). It was a little bit of a shock to my wallet, as this stuff was a pricier than the non-organic stuff at the Commissary.... but I figured if I buy a $65 night cream to put on my face, I may as well buy quality stuff to put in my body, right?

On my first day, I had bacon & eggs for breakfast, a salad with gluten/dairy-free dressing for lunch, and broiled salmon and a cooked cabbage salad (with apples and bacon!) for dinner. Not bad! Everything was tasty... and I got to cook with real butter! I can't remember the last time I cooked with anything other than Pam. In spite of the lack of carbs, I was full and didn't have any cravings! I did have a bed-time snack of 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate and Raspberries. Overall, my first day was delicious!

Thanks to a couple good websites and the Practical Paleo Cookbook, I have found some amazing recipes! Yesterday, I made a Greek salad for lunch with home made Avo-ziki Dressing (think Tatziki sauce using avocado instead of greek yogurt as the base) that was ridiculously good. This morning, I made these Pumpkin Pancakes (they are grain-free). 

Four days in, I am pleased with the Paleo/Primal way of eating. I feel like I'm doing something good for my body! Everything I have put in my mouth over the past few days has been minimally processed and organic. I can already tell that my digestive system is adapting well to the food I have been eating. I feel less (possibly TMI) gassy and bloated after meals... and did I mention I've already lost a few pounds?

Unfortunately, it hasn't been all wine and roses with my Paleo experiment. For example, I have had a dull, nagging headache for the last two days. I have also been experiencing some serious fatigue. From what I have read, this is to be expected when you cut sugar and grains from your diet. I've got a wicked case of the "Carb-Flu". Paleo folks say this is typical and it shouldn't last more than a couple weeks... I sure hope not! My body is none-too-happy about the change, but I'll make it bend to my will!!

I'm not the only one who embarked on a Paleo journey recently. Elizabeth over at The Young Retiree is also trying out a Paleo lifestyle! She's already featured some great recipes, and I recommend giving her blog a look-see!

The last few days have been interesting, and I'm excited to see how this Paleo-Primal journey goes for me. I'm giving it a full three weeks to decide if this is something I want to turn into a lifestyle. There will be regular updates and posts of some awesome recipes along the way!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Show and Tell Monday Link Up : Marriage Edition

I've been on the hunt for a good link-up, and I think I found one! Thanks to Liz's Diary, I'm on the wagon for the Monday Show and Tell! Head over to From Ms. to Mama and link up!

  1.  Are you married? If so when did you get married, and tell us about your special day. If not? How would you describe your dream wedding?
As most of you know, I am married to the wonderful Mr. Duh. Our wedding day was special, but also came with a lot of strife and drama (thanks to some family members losing their minds). We were married on November 24, 2007. I had always wanted to get married in the Fall, and I thought Thanksgiving weekend would be a great time to get family together for a wedding. We had a beautiful church ceremony that was officiated by my pastor. It was very traditional with an organ, bible readings, etc. The ceremony was my favorite part of the whole day.

The reception was also very beautiful, although we didn't enjoy it as much as the guests did. We had a classy, seven-course meal with wine pairings and a Master Butler announcing the courses. The dinner was followed by dancing, drinks, and desserts. We had beautiful flowers, linens, and a dessert buffet (complete with mini-creme brulees). After the reception, we had a sparkler send-off complete with a horse-drawn carriage. From the outside, it was quite the fairytale! Unfortunately, the day was very stressful for Mr. Duh and myself... we couldn't wait for it to end! Luckily, everyone else had a great time and we got some awesome pictures out of the deal.

If I could do it all over again, it would be an intimate beach wedding with a small number of close friends.

        2. Show us some wedding pictures. Either yours or of some that you love.

       3.  How about the engagement? Tell us your story. If not engaged, what's your dream proposal?

The proposal was a complete surprise! I was in the dark about the whole thing. We had talked about marriage, but I had no idea that Mr. Duh had any plans to propose at the time. He had been home from deployment for a few weeks, and we decided to get a hotel room in the downtown area and have a night out on the town. He got reservations at a great restaurant and we were going to head out for cocktails afterwards. 

Before we went out that night, my family started acting very odd. I was getting phone calls from my parents all day... which was pretty weird.I didn't think much of it, and headed out to meet Mr. Duh for dinner. We went to a great restaurant and he scored a table right by the fireplace. As we were sitting there, another man that was a few tables away proposed to his girlfriend. I pointed it out to Mr. Duh and said "Well, isn't that nice? How exciting!" Then he started acting strange and got very quiet.

We finished our dinner and went back to the hotel room to change to go out for the night. As I was putting on my jeans, I went to adjust the heater in the room... and when I turned around, Mr. Duh was on his knee with a ring in his hand. He asked me to marry him, and (after all the screams and giggles), I said yes! He had planned on proposing in the restaurant, but felt weird after the other couple had gotten engaged at the same time!

We went to the bar that we had planned to go to after dinner, and I saw a ton of my friends and family there waiting to celebrate! Everyone but me knew that we were getting engaged that night! We had a fun, impromptu engagement party with lots of laughs and champagne!

        4. Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo! If not engaged/married, show us your "dream" ring.

     5.  Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many? What can we do to make things last?

Well, our marriage has definitely had it's ups and downs. We have been fortunate to weather the storm and come out stronger for it. I think when things get hard, messy or boring, it just seems easier to get out instead of face the problem head on. In a lot of ways, it is easier. Facing your marital problems can show you a lot of things about yourself that you may not want to know... and our ten months in marriage counseling was pretty hard. I think marriages don't work out for a number of reasons... As a society, we don't always look at marriage as a permanent thing. I think a lot of people are also under the impression that marriage will always be fun and easy. When Mr. Duh and I were preparing to get married, we prepared ourselves that we won't always get along and at one point or another, we may feel like leaving... but we promised each other that we wouldn't leave and we would always work hard to better our marriage. It has worked out well for us so far.

I think honesty, respect, communication, and a willingness to put your marriage before yourself are good ways to make things last. And I know our marriage couldn't survive without a lot of laughs!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guess Where We're Going...

Mr. Duh called me at 6am this morning to let me know he received his orders to McChord AFB, Washington!!! Seattle, here we come!!!!

I am over-the-moon excited about these orders! Ocean, mountains, rain, green grass, and summers under 100 degrees? Yes, please! It's kind of a surprise that we are heading to this base, because we received a rejection last week due to Mr. Duh's career field being over-manned. We put in a Base of Preference list with all new bases yesterday, and ended up with McChord. Apparently, it was meant to be!

This time next year, we will be living in Washington! I can't believe it... and I can't wait for my new misadventures Pacific-Style!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shall We Paleo?

 Since starting my "work-cation" a couple weeks ago, I've done terrible with my eating and working out! I haven't done Crossfit since I got to Utah, and my running has fallen to the wayside. So frustrating! I know I'm the one to blame... I haven't been focusing on myself since I've been back home. I'll get back to my regular life on Friday, and there are going to be changes ahead!

For the last few months, I've been looking into the Paleo Diet. If you haven't heard of it, I'll give you the quick rundown. The basis for the diet is human evolution and our genes. Our caveman ancestors were genetically programmed to hunt and gather. They would only eat what they could kill or pick (think veggies, some fruit and nuts). As humans became more advanced, we started planting/harvesting grains and adding more sugar into our diets.  Although we have access to all of these "new" kinds of carbohydrate-laden foods, Paleo tells us that our genetic code has not advanced beyond our caveman predecessors. Our bodies are not evolved enough to process all of the carbs and sugar that we put into our diets, and this causes weight gain and all kinds of health issues.

You might be thinking the same thing that I'm thinking: NO CARBS? Yikes! I am a self-diagnosed Carbaholic and equal opportunity carb-lover! Pasta, bread, rice, popcorn, potatoes, etc... I love them all! I'd take a giant bowl of pasta over a juicy steak any day of the week! And this is why I have been only thinking about a Paleo lifestyle for the past four months and not actually doing it. I'm kind of scared...

I finished reading the Paleo-based book pictured above, The Primal Blueprint. It gave me some good tips, ideas, and also explained the science behind the diet. Now, I feel like I'm armed with enough knowledge to give this "lifestyle" a try. The author, Mark Sisson, recommends trying it for 21 days. I can do anything for 21 days... right? So, I'm going to kick off my 21-Day Primal Challenge on my birthday next month... and I'm going to use my blog to hold myself accountable! If I can actually see a difference, I might just stick with it!

Do you Paleo? (If so, tips are welcome) If not, would you ever consider it?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Let Down

We got the news yesterday that the four bases we had put in for on our Base of Preference list were all rejected. Can you say, "Disappointed"? I tried really hard not to get my hopes up, but I guess I did... because it was such a let down to hear that we didn't get any of the bases we had put in for. Now, it's back to the drawing board.

I feel very blessed that we are even allowed to put in for a base of preference, because usually you are just at the mercy of the military when it comes to PCS-ing. I'm at a loss on what to do now, because the four bases we put in for are the ONLY places I want to live stateside. Now, Mr. Duh and I are trying to figure out what to do and where we should try to go.

I'm currently researching more bases stateside to see if there is any place worth trying to go to. We also have the option of forgoing the Base of Preference and waiting for the OCONUS listing to come out. While staying stateside would be convenient for me (I'd still be able to continue working from home), I am intrigued at the idea of going overseas. As with anything in the military, it all comes down to what is available!

Ugh... this whole process is feeling a little overwhelming. So, I'm putting a call out to military spouses everywhere. Where are you/have you been stationed? Do you/ did you love it? Any information is welcome! I'm hoping to do some research and get a good game plan together! Wish us luck!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Furry Friday Link-Up!

This is a great link-up from Me and My Soldier Man! If you have fur-babies, write a post and link up!

It's perfect for those of us with fur-babies... and I love talking about my precious fur-children! This will also give me more opportunities to take photos of their cute, little faces!

Since it's super-hot summertime in San Antonio, my puppies mostly hang out inside and enjoy lazy summer days. Here are a few pictures of them... get ready for some cuteness!

 This is Ozzie, my first born. He loves to snuggle up with clothes, and here he is snuggling with Daddy's underwear. He's such a little weirdo!

   This is Floyd, and he's such a Lazy Bones! He loves to nap, especially on pillows and blankets!

See what I mean! This is is also about the only time I can get him to sit still to have a photo taken.

Ozzie is a total Mama's Boy. Wherever I am is where he needs to be. Last week, I was working out on our Elliptical, and I guess Ozzie decided he was going to work out, too... but he still hasn't grasped the concept of the treadmill!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back Home... Again!

Well, I'm back home for another "Work-cation". There is so much to do around the office that I haven't had time to visit with friends or hit up some of my favorite spots. I was getting ready to meet up with some friends last night and... BAM!! I was hit with the worst allergies that I have EVER had.

As if work didn't already put enough of a damper on my social time, now I feel like I have the allergy flu! It's funny that I lived in this town my whole life, and after a little time away I've become totally allergic. So, today I'm working at my mother's home office so I can avoid sneezing and sniffling all over my co-workers.

I can't believe I left Texas to come here to work in the physical office... only to get sick and go to work in a home office. I guess the universe really wants me to be at home in my sweat pants! Luckily, Mr. Duh is flying in tonight to spend a long weekend with me. He always makes me feel better!

Friday, August 3, 2012

My First "Five Question Friday"!

A few bloggers that I follow have been doing Five Question Friday and I wanted to join in on the action... so here it goes:

1. What is a must in a hotel room?

Aside from cleanliness, I'd have to go with a good selection of cable TV channels!

2. What Olympic event would you be best at?

Field Hockey! I loved that game when we used to play it in gym class... Although I'm an all-around terrible athlete, so I'd probably suck at field hockey. 

3. What is your stance on the Chick-fil-a subject?

After the anti-gay comments were released, I decided that I will never give Chick-fil-a another cent. I cannot in good conscience spend my money there knowing it may end up in the hands of an organization with an anti-gay/anti-equality agenda. While the CEO of Chick-fil-a has a right to his own opinion and certainly a right to free speech, I also have the right to take my business elsewhere. 

4. What is one thing you said you'd never to as a parent, but totally have done it?

I'm not a parent, so I may not have much to say on this. I do have two dogs, though. I used to say that I'd never allow them to lick my face, sleep in my bed, or eat human food... now I let them to all of those things. 

5. What is the weirdest thing you have ever found at a yard sale?

I have seen people sell old socks and underwear at a yard sale... Holy Disgusting, Batman!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Military Wife Problems: Far From Ideal...

It's been an interesting couple of days around the Duh house! We are approaching the end of Mr. Duh's MTI tour, and that brought up a lot of questions about what to do next. It has made me realize a few things about myself and about being a military wife.

Mr. Duh has had a dream for awhile now of cross-training into another field. He's not the happiest with his current AFSC and his color-blindness restricts his options in the Air Force. While on the MTI tour, he started researching options for cross-training and found one that he really wanted. We have discussed it on and off over the last year or so, and we have differing opinions when it comes to his cross-training.

As you may know, I have not exactly enjoyed this special duty tour. I have been greatly looking forward to getting back to our "normal" life. I have wanted to go back to where we were before, maybe get to a good base, and look into starting a family (it scares me, but Mr. Duh and I aren't getting any younger). Mr. Duh didn't have much of a desire to get back to his old life and career. He wanted a change and asked me if he could apply for this career field, which would take us to Monterey, California for a couple years. After that, we would be limited in the bases we could go to due to the career choice. I wasn't feeling so good about it, but I couldn't bear to tell him no. I wouldn't want him telling me "no" if I wanted to do something else, right?

A couple of days ago, he was ready to apply for the new AFSC. Being the planner/worry-wart that I am, I began meticulously researching the Monterey Bay area. I looked at housing, cost of living, etc... and then I had a meltdown. Here is how my thought process went: The off-base housing is so expensive! Anything we could afford would be so small! The cost-of-living is ridiculous and there is no COLA! Our only on base option is a two bedroom/one bathroom... how am I supposed to have my home office, room for guests and possibly have a baby? Mr. Duh and I are getting so old... should I make him wait another two years to start a family? Should we over-extend ourselves financially to get a big enough place to live? Dear Lord, I'm the worst military wife in the world...

It went on and on like that in my mind for a day or so. When I expressed my concerns to Mr. Duh, he was very understanding. He saw how freaked out I was and offered to cancel his application. I couldn't let him do that... We talked some more and he reassured me of a few things, and I agreed to have a more positive outlook. I also promised not to freak out until I had a reason to... I mean, he was just applying for the program. It's not like we had actual orders.

It turns out that I panicked for no reason. Due to some issues with the special duty tour, Mr. Duh wasn't able to apply. Part of me was glad, because now we can put in for a Base of Preference and maybe return to the "normal" life I have hoped for. My husband, on the other hand, was very disappointed. He has wanted to cross-train for awhile now, and I want him to pursue his dreams. It's a rough spot to be in when what you want is in contradiction with what your spouse wants.

This situation has made me think a lot about the "Military Wife". Since marrying into the military, I have had this idea in my head of what the perfect military spouse is. She is the woman who always helps to further her husband's career. She never complains. She can PCS blind-folded, with two hands tied behind her back. She has a secret stash of curtains that fit every home. She's a great mother who can shield her kids from the difficulties of military life. She makes awesome care-packages. She volunteers. She can fix things. She makes friends easily. She always puts the needs of her husband and kids before her own. She navigates military life with poise and grace... and she never melts down.

I'm always holding myself to this "standard" and I always fall WAY short. As a military wife, I'm kind of a hot mess. Poise and grace? I wish! I can't fix things... Hell, I can't even mow the lawn. I cry, complain, and have definitely had my share of meltdowns. Maybe one day I'll get closer to being that "Perfect Military Spouse" or maybe I'll learn she just doesn't exist...