Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Goals

So I had this awesome post planned for today's Saw It Pinned It Did It link-up, but I totally forgot to take a picture of the final product. Total Fail. Y'all, this Working/Teaching/FRG'ing/ Dog owner thing is making me a bad blogger. In the spirit of being a better blogger, I have been thinking of some blog goals to shoot for while Lane is deployed. 

1. Do an outfit post 
This terrifies me. I don't claim to be any kind of fashionista, but I believe that is good to push yourself. Do something every day that scares you, right? 

2. Do a complete House tour. 
I partially want to do this because I need to take pictures for my family back home. This will probably be later in the summer when I have made more progress on my DIY projects. 

3. Reach 100 followers. 
Now, I am always amazed at these blogs that start on a Monday and have 500 followers on Friday. I haven't really focused on gaining followers (although those of y'all that do follow; I love ya). This seems like a manageable goal which will keep me focused on communicating with new commenters and participating in link-ups. 

4. Do more guest posting. 
Anyone looking for someone to guest post? 

5. Become more consistent. 
I feel like I fall back on link-ups for consistency. I love link-ups, especially when I am lacking in inspiration. However, I want to try to create more structure within my blog outside of link-ups. My weekly deployment check-ins are my first attempt at this. 

So now the most important part. What do y'all want to see on this little blog? Do you want more pictures of Asha (obviously this is a yes because she is adorable)? Do you want more army stuff? Anyone want a full post on financial aid for military spouses? Y'all rock my world so I would love to hear what you like. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Deployment Is Like

I have had multiple conversations concerning how deployment compares to other absences. Obviously I am pretty early into this whole thing, but I can already notice some significant differences between deployment and other experiences. 

Ranger School was hard, mostly because you never know how much longer it will go on. Your spouse could be gone for another three weeks, or another three months. This was the hardest part for me, the constant change in how long he'd be gone. There is essentially zero communication, which is harder than deployment. However, your husband isn't in a danger zone. Yes he could get hurt, but that is nothing compared to the anxiety associated with your husband being in Afghanistan. My experience with deployment so far has been pretty good on the communication front. Which is much better than Ranger School. I know roughly how long my husband will be gone, which is a huge difference from Ranger School.

Lane and I were long distance for a total of five years before we got married and moved to Fort Benning. This gave us some pretty good experience with digital communication. We were in different countries for almost two years of that. We got pretty good with e-mail and instant messenger. Obviously, being far away in college is very different from deployment. However, getting practice with talking on mediums other than the phone is helpful. 

I don't really know how one prepares for deployment. There are so many variables concerning what your communication will be like. We tried to make sure we knew what each of our ideal communication situations would be. When he arrived, we tried to get a sense of what would be possible. You can almost picture a Venn diagram with what is possible overlapping with what is ideal. For us the ideal situation was constant computer access with daily e-mails and intermittent instant messages. We have been really lucky that our ideal situation has been the reality. I will never take this for granted. I know that this is way more than a lot of military spouses get. 

I think it's dangerous to go into deployment assuming what your communication will be like. If you assume you will have phone access, it's hard to adjust that plan once he is over there. I kept an open mind for the first few weeks, and gave us a chance to develop a routine. 

Now I am not saying that this will work for everyone. We have talked on the phone once since he left, which works perfectly for us. This would be miserable for other military couples. Knowing what is possible and what is ideal are two separate things. Finding where the two meet is pretty much the best you can do. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Unlikely Friendships

I think everyone's day could use more adorable animal pictures, and today I am going to do just that. My coworker offhandedly mentioned that the San Diego zoo was raising cheetahs and puppies together. I immediately jumped on Google Images to find pictures of this impossibly cute combination. Zoos have been raising them together for years, resulting in adorable friendships. The dogs have a calming effect on the cheetahs, and allow them to more easily travel and act as ambassadors for the zoo. Mostly, it's the cutest thing I have ever seen. Here are some pictures from the San Diego zoo, but also other zoos who have run the same program.

Max the 13-week Labrador mix gives Savannah the cheetah cub a wet kiss on her nose as they play together at Cincinnati Zoo in America. The zoo’s Cat Ambassador Programme sees that all their cheetahs have dog companions. Spokesperson Tiffany Barnes explains the idea behind the programme: In Africa, Anatolian Shepherd dogs are being given to farmers to live with their live stock. This breed of dog is unique in that it devotes itself fully to whatever it is raised with, so the pups are given to the farmers at a young age. Cheetahs, being skittish animals, will do as they typically do and hunt the farmers live stock. But, when they hear the dog barking they will run away, which saves the farmer from having to shoot the cheetah. The zoo says Savannah and Max will always live together in the Cheetah Encounter; they are great friends and will help to spread the message of cheetah conservation and saving endangered animals.Picture: Michelle Curley/Cincinnati Zoo
Cutest thing in the entire world? I think yes. You can find more information on the San Diego Zoo website

Sunday, February 24, 2013

One Year Ago

Very dark picture into the cave of our moving truck 
Exactly one year ago, Lane and I arrived in Fort Drum, NY. We drove our Penske truck from Fort Benning, Georgia to our new home in the frozen north. Honestly, I was very nervous about moving up here. Drum doesn't have the best reputation among Army posts. After a year, I can say that I really like it here. Yes, it is cold. Yes, it snows a lot. However, we had gorgeous weather up until pretty much December. The summers are beautiful and honestly, shoveling snow is a great work out. I am very happy here, and hope this blog post might be comforting to any nervous army spouses about to make the move up north

 In celebration of our one year at Drum, here are my top ten (not in any particular order) favorite things about Fort Drum.

Adkins Facebook Page
1. An awesome gym
I absolutely love the Adkins Functional Fitness center. It is the newest gym on post and is a great place to work out. 

2. Mustard Seed
This is the health food store in Watertown. This place has very tasty snacks, and also has a cafe open during peak hours. I love being able to get my paleo snacks here. They have awesome employees and great products. 

3. Coleman's
My favorite restaurant in Watertown. It has Irish pub food, but everything is delicious and it is so much better than all the chain restaurants around town. I am always shocked that not many military families know Coleman's exists. 

4. Gorgeous summers
I don't mind the southern humidity, but the summers here are just about perfect. It is cool enough in the evenings to take walks and enjoy sitting outside. 

5. My huge house
Ok, so clearly this is not going to be the same for everyone. We really lucked out with our house on-post. There is definitely a wait for on-post housing, but it is totally worth it. I absolutely love our house. They come with some problems, but the convenience and size cannot be beat. I love the red door, open floor plan, and massive kitchen. 

6. Multiple dog parks on post
I am lucky to have a dog park two blocks from my house. There are three dog parks on post, and it has been a wonderful resource for me and Asha. 

7. Syracuse is only an hour away
We have driven down to Syracuse a few time and always have a blast. We go down for Lane's tattoos, visits to Barnes and Noble, and trips to Hobby Lobby and Wegmans. You can definitely get the big city feeling and not have to travel that far. 

8. Great yoga classes
This might be the same everywhere, but I never went to the on-post gym at Fort Benning so I don't know. Fort Drum has a lot of different group exercise classes available at the on-post gyms. Monti has yoga both in the morning and in the evenings a few days a week. They have excellent teachers, and I try to go whenever I can. 

9. Thompson Park 
This gorgeous park is in Watertown and not too far away from Fort Drum. They have a small zoo and gorgeous green areas. We took our Christmas Card pictures there. 

10. Awesome people. 
There is a lot to be said for southern hospitality, but I have found wonderful people here in the North Country too. People stop to help strangers who are stuck in the snow. My neighbors have shoveled my driveway for me. People are very helpful and willing to pitch in. Maybe it comes from living somewhere with pretty harsh winters, but there is a sense of community even among strangers. 

So there you have some of my favorite things about Fort Drum. I am happy to talk to anyone PCS'ing up here, and provide any assistance I can. I was scared at first, but it has turned out to be wonderful for Lane and for me. I love my job, my house, and my friends. What more could a girl ask for? 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Deployment Week Five

I couldn't be more thrilled that March is around the corner. I am ready for warmer weather and to put January as far as possible in my rear view mirror. This week was really good. I had a weird schedule because there was no class on Tuesday and I took Wednesday off from work. This threw off my routine, but it also made the week fly by. 
The self defense class was wonderful, and I had a great experience learning to kick some booty. I was feeling positive and strong virtually all week. Then I decided to watch Game of Thrones. Now, a sex and violence HBO show is not necessarily the most romantic thing on the planet. But Game of Thrones is a Molly+Lane thing. Watching it without him felt weird to begin with. Then there was a wedding in the show and I just kinda lost it. I started to think about how much time still has to pass before homecoming is even on my radar. I let myself get sad and overwhelmed. I felt ridiculous that something like a TV show could throw me like that. It passed and I am back to my motivated happy self today. I am focusing on hitting the two months mark, and the 15% mark on my donut of misery. Keeping a short term view is much healthier, and allows me small manageable goals on which to focus. 
It is truly remarkable how fast you can go from feeling positive and strong to totally falling apart. I knew there would be hard times throughout deployment, but I didn't realize how quickly my mood could change.  I am back to focusing on happiness and gratitude. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful that the extra money associated with deployment has allowed us to make tremendous progress with our financial goals. 
We both have student loans, and we have a goal of paying off $20,000 of debt during this deployment. We are already a quarter of the way there and barely a month in. The money has also allowed me to get some serious progress made on house projects. March is all about framing. We have diplomas and art work that has been sitting around for years. I want to have it all finished by the time April rolls around. 

2. Old Navy clearance section. 
I have been searching for an emerald cardigan for months and finally found a great one in Old Navy's clearance section. I love finding that elusive item you have been hoping to add to your closet. The rock bottom price was even better. 

3. Great books. 
I checked out Gone Girl and finished it within a day. I was reading at Starbucks and over two hours passed before I even noticed the time. I absolutely love books than can do that. You feel like you are surfacing from deep water once you stop reading. It was a wonderful escape. I am going to find all of her other books and read them immediately. The story is so very twisted, but I was completely sucked in from the first chapter. 

4. Sweet Words 
I am constantly amazed as Lane's ability to make me feel loved and cherished over internet chat. I can't even hear his voice, and yet he is able to convey his love with perfect clarity. This has been the greatest blessing over the years. We have spent a cumulative of two years in different countries (not counting our current separation). Whether it is actual hand written love letters or just a quick instant message, that boy is good with words. 

5. Short lines at the post office. 
I love mailing off care packages. However, I hate waiting in line at the post office. I have discovered that Saturday mornings are the ideal time to go. S and I have started a weekly routine of GPOT; Gym, Post Office, Town. We send off our care packages, get in a good work out and then head into town for whatever errands we have.

DIY-Ing It Through Deployment
Ha, I actually have something to write this week. I got my canvas and absolutely love it. 

I decided to hang it in our stair case instead of in the kitchen. I moved it around a few times, but I absolutely love where it is now. The size is perfect for that wall. I love that it is still a wedding picture without screaming bride and groom. The focus is the gorgeous North Georgia fall colors.  

I also took my Georgetown diploma to Michael's to get framed. I am taking another huge load next week and can't wait to make some serious progress on my "to-be-framed" pile.

Happy Picture 

This picture is from years ago. We went back to St. Andrews in Scotland to visit some friends who were still there. We went on a picnic and our friend snapped this picture while we were spinning around on the Merry-Go-Round. We had such a wonderful visit. I can't wait to make it back to Scotland again. 

Bring it on week six! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

High Five On Fridays

I have not been the greatest blogger this week. I don't really know if I will improve until this class is over. I gotta say, working and teaching can be a lot. Here are a few of the things I am celebrating this week. I am linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk  for High Five For Friday. 

1. High Five for Season Two of Game of Thrones on Blu ray  I ran into town as soon as I got off work on Tuesday to pick it up. Best Buy has an awesome deal right now, so if you need your Rob Stark fix (which let's be honest, everyone needs a Rob Stark fix) head on over. 

2. Well behaved puppies. Asha has been really good this week ( knock on wood), and I hope we are slowly moving out of the puppy craziness. She will be a year old in a few weeks. You better believe there will be presents and a husky approved cake. 

3. Reminders of Lane. I was finally doing laundry, and found one of Lane's dirty t-shirts from before he left. I threw it on the bed to add to the dirty pile, and Asha decided it was for cuddling. It about broke my heart to see her nosing his shirt, but it makes me happy that she knows his scent and misses him too. 

4. I am already planning surprises for Lane's homecoming. I have already purchased a couple presents, and I can't wait to see him open everything when he gets home. 

5. High Five for waking up to instant messages from my husband. Hearing that little *ding* is so much better than any alarm clock.

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ladies Self Defense Class

Not from the class. I am just proud of my almost handstand 
Yesterday ACS held a Ladies Self Defense class at one of the on post gyms. I was really excited to go, and ended up having a great time. There is a Sergeant on post who also works at the local martial arts studio. He came and taught about twenty women different moves to get away from an attacker. It was a really good work-out, and also taught many useful skills. We went over what to do if someone grabs your arm, tries to choke you, or has you pinned on your back. 
He was extremely respectful, but would actually come up and legitimately try to grab you. This made me feel like what I was learning was actually useful. I was paired up with a good friend, so we went after each other pretty aggressively. I feel much more prepared for living by myself or just being comfortable walking to my car at night. Any Fort Drum ladies, they are going to hold another class in a few months at Adkins. For those of y'all in other cities, I would highly recommend finding a jiu jitsu class or other self defense class. 

Anyone else like Jiu Jitsu or other forms of martial arts? The one in Watertown does a 15 week self-defense program that I am thinking about signing up for. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happiness Check In

icanread on tumblr
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Choosing Happiness. I loved reading your comments and also talking about this idea with friends and family. We hear all the time that we are in control of our happiness, and that our attitude is within our control. But these all talk about modifying our mood in response to an outside event. I  feel like this is too reactive. I want to do things that I know will make me happy, that don't depend on anyone else. Sure, I can wait and see what life brings; adjusting my attitude accordingly. But this doesn't allow me to really be in control of my own happiness. 
It is really important for everyone, but especially for those of us going through deployment to focus on the things that will bring joy into our lives. In particular those things that are in our control. If the only thing determining my happiness is if I can talk to my husband today, that is ceding control to forces outside of myself. 

I have a list of things that I know make me happy. I try to do at least two every day. Here are five of the items currently on rotation this week. 

`1. Raspberry Smoothies 
2. Online shopping for patio furniture. I love imagining the warm days I will spend outside reading and watching the dogs play. 
3. Sun salutations 
4. Reading old love letters 
5. Drinking tea and talking about babies with S. 

What are five things you can do this week to bring some more happiness into your life? 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Birthday Traditions

Starting on my 14th birthday, I have written myself a letter to open the following year. I write about what I hope my life is like the following year. What I hope I am doing. Sometimes I question where I will be living. My first letters were all about starting boarding school and being scared to leave my friends behind. As they continue throughout the years, I start to talk about love, college and eventually marriage. I love having these to look back on. I can look back at the first time I mention Lane, my hopes for college, grad school and the wedding. I am not a great journaler, but I can definitely manage one letter a year. I definitely plan to keep up this tradition throughout the rest of my life. 

This year's letter focused on Lane's return from Afghanistan. I don't know how long we will be at Fort Drum, and it's possible that my 26th birthday will be my last here in the North Country. Will I have another birthday before we start thinking about having kids? Will we have another dog by that point? I love looking back at everything I questioned in each letter. My letter last year was all about finding a job. I was new to Fort Drum, and my every thought focused on finding gainful employment. Now that I am happily employed, the intense worry and stress I felt in February of 2012 seems like a distant memory. 

Does anyone else have a habit like this? It has been over a decade since I began this habit, and it has been very rewarding. I also plan to write letters to our kids throughout my pregnancies and their lives. This is my easy way to look back at my life (and future kids' lives) through my own experiences, hopes and worries. 

Deployment Week Four

This week went by in a blur. I am grateful, and hope the next twenty or so do the same. Work was pretty hectic this week, and I am relieved to be having a wonderfully relaxing weekend. Communication with Lane was pretty good. He makes such an awesome effort to be available at convenient times. I am glad to have a month down. Eight months feels much more manageable than nine. I only have to do this eight more times. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am still grateful for Harry Potter. S and I had another HP date this weekend, and it was wonderful. Y'all might think I'm silly, but it is so familiar and comforting. 

PRODUKT Milk-frother IKEA Frothes milk in 15-20 seconds. Can be used for both cold and hot milk.
2. I am grateful for my nifty Ikea milk frother. This thing is seriously the best three dollars I've ever spent. It makes hot chocolate, coffee and chai lattes even tastier. 

3. I am grateful for snugly mornings with this little cutie. I have been trying to wake up a little earlier to make my mornings more relaxed. Even half an hour makes my whole day seem smoother. I also love that our eyes look so similar in this picture. 
4. I am grateful to feel better. Being sick makes you infinitely more grateful when you finally feel better. 
5. I am grateful to have a job that challenges me. I had some really hard appointments this week. Appointments that made me seek out help and find random pieces of army policy. They left me really frustrated when I had to continually seek assistance, but I truly feel that I learned a great deal in the process. 

DIY-Ing It Through Deployment
Zilch, Nada, Zero this weekend. Since it's way too cold to work in the garage, I am going to add another new category called: 

Deployment Disasters 
My heat stopped working on Friday. I thought it was just because the door swung open while I was at the gym, but the furnace decided to stop working. They came and fixed it Saturday afternoon, but Friday night was pretty chilly. Luckily, no heat in Fort Drum counts as an emergency and they came out on the weekend. 

Happy Picture 
God I love how he looks at me. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day Of Love

I feel like every blog post I write these days has something to with either be grateful, or something I am loving. Either way this fact makes me extremely happy. If my whole life could be about love and gratitude, that would be a pretty good deal.

Valentines Day has never been a big deal to me. My birthday is just a few days earlier, so I was also much more excited about that. However, this year it seems to sting a little bit. The PX is overflowing with soldiers buying presents for their wives and girlfriends. I have been spoiled with love from my family this week, but I am still a little jealous of those who can spend this time together. I try to be grateful that Lane should be back in time for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but my positive mindset doesn't always last.

I meant to publish this earlier, but work got in the way. Valentines Day is officially coming to an end, but I am lucky to have felt an enormous amount of love today. My mailbox was overflowing with notes from sweet friends (Thanks Sarah). I have been able to talk to Lane, and overall it was a wonderful Valentines Day. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love and Honey

I am finally feeling better and finally able to think about something besides my couch and another White Collar episode. I am loving all sorts of things this week, and I am sharing with Jaime for What I Am Loving Wednesday.

1. This adorable honey pot that I got at Target this weekend. It makes my daily tea time that much sweeter. The Threshold collection at Target has been rocking my world. 

2. I am loving husband's who manage to send flowers from Afghanistan. I was so impressed that he was able to be so sweet from so far away. He is a wonderful husband and I am so lucky he's mine =) Also, I framed my TARDIS card and love how it looks on my entry way table. 

3. I am loving the 45 degree weather earlier this week. I know it still sounds freezing to everyone below the Mason Dixon, but after weeks of below freezing, it was very nice. 

FirstSnowFall On Etsy
4. Pretty song lyrics. Every time I hear this song it makes me ridiculously happy. 

5. This sexy sexy man who carries me over snow banks and can take my breath away from 7,000 miles away. 

What are you loving this week? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

State of Chic

There is a local shop on Fort Drum that carries Catstudio pillows and towels. I have seen these a few times on other blogs and Pinterest, but was thrilled to see them in person. I love the New York ones, and I hope to get one from all the states where we have lived. 

How cute would these be on a simple couch or along a window seat. These would make perfect gifts for a housewarming or even wedding presents. Anyone in the Fort Drum area; the shop in the USO carries these along with lots of other adorable gifts and crafts. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Deployment Week Three

Whew I am glad this week is over. I have been trucking through, but being sick and the house falling down around me sucks. Luckily work was awesome this week. That is at least one area of my life which is going ok. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful for rice cakes and peanut butter. That has been my main source of food this week. My stomach has decided that despite two years of eating paleo, anything remotely good for me is not acceptable. Every food rule which normally governs my life is out the window. My appetite finally returned today, and I have been scarfing down soup and apples like it's my job. 

2. I am grateful for Harry Potter. I have been a Harry Potter watching fool this week. Luckily I have wonderful friends who are always down for a HP marathon. 

3. I am grateful for my parents. They sent me gorgeous flowers for my birthday. 

4. I am grateful for excited students. Teaching is so much easier when the students actually care about the material instead of staring at you blankly while you talk. 

5. I am grateful for the local dog park. It is such a wonderful resource for me and Asha. I have made most of my friends from other dog owners.

DIY-Ing It Through Deployment 
One of my deployment projects was to work on the big blank wall in my kitchen. Based on Heather's  recommendation I ordered a 24 x 36 inch canvass from Canvas People. I am so excited for it to get here. I will probably add another few small things to the wall, but I think this canvas will definitely be the focus.

Happy Picture

25 Years Old

Yesterday was my 25th Birthday. I had mixed feelings as this day approached, but it had nothing to do with getting older. The first strike was obviously Lane being gone. It's only been a few weeks, and the urge to have a party is lacking. The second strike was that I was horribly sick all week. Then winter storm Nemo decided to drop two feet of snow on Fort Drum. All of these together made the desire for a low key birthday even stronger. 

I got my wish for a perfectly relaxed 25th birthday. I spent the day stopping by Starbucks, Target, and TJ Maxx, all some of my favorite places. I got some lovely things for my home, and just enjoyed the day out. Saturday evening my friend S and I ordered sushi and watched Harry Potter. Pretty much all I need to be happy. 
Lane sent me gorgeous roses, and he managed to sneak over to the USO for a phone call. He was exhausted, but hearing his voice was wonderful. 

24 was a really great year. We moved to Fort Drum and adopted Asha. We celebrated our first full year of marriage, and settled into our home. I am hoping that 25 will be just as wonderful. While I am 25 I will survive deployment and welcome my husband home. I am excited to see what other adventures this year will bring. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stuff and Things

Things That Suck 
Being horribly ill while your husband is deployed 

Things That Are Awesome 
Harry Potter Marathons while you are sick 
Infinite pots of Lady Grey tea 
The Percy Jackson books 
Sweet notes from blogger friends when I am sick 

So Murphy has arrived to totally wreak my life. In a completely ridiculous twist on expectation, my bed frame broke last week. Apparently all that sleeping alone and reading was too much for it. Luckily I am a master with a screw driver and fixed the darn thing. My dishwasher broke, however that was fixed with a quick call to maintenance. And then I get sick. I pride myself on never getting sick. I have been taking my vitamins and putting tea tree oil on everything trying to prevent any winter sickness. But on Monday morning, boom, I was sick. I am the worst sick person. The few times a decade I am sick, I am miserable. If you have seen The Big Bang Theory, I am the equivalent of Sheldon when he is sick. 

I hope to be back to full strength this weekend for my birthday. I will be turning 25 on Saturday. Fort Drum is supposed to get two feet of snow, so I plan on celebrating by ordering in sushi with friends and watching more Harry Potter. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Time Jeep Made Me Cry

I'm sure tons of y'all watched the Super Bowl and saw this ad. 

I was watching with three other army spouses, all of us with deployed spouses. With the very first screen all of us froze and stared at the T.V. I was crying less than ten seconds in. I have watched it a few more time, and still get a little teary. I think it is pretty accurate for how many of us feel. Life is carrying on, but there is an enduring sense that something is missing. I love that it actually shows the reality of a deployment. So many deployments are characterized by just a few steps. 1) He leaves 2) You cry on the couch and eat cookie dough 3) He comes back and there are dramatic pictures of you jumping into his arms. 
The actually pulling yourself together and carrying on isn't glamorous. It doesn't make for whiny Facebook posts or Instagram pictures. It is slow and steady. It allows that you will be happy while he is gone. Lane hasn't been gone that long, and I have a long time to go before I get my dramatic reunion. But I know that so much will happen in between. I appreciate this ad for that reason alone. 

What did y'all think of the ad? 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Cake In A Mug

There are plenty of nights when I want something sweet. I don't want to make something huge, because let's be honest I would eat the whole thing. This is where my genius invention originated. I found a few recipes for chocolate cake in a mug and modified them to be paleo. Anyone looking for a small (and healthy) treat should definitely give this a try. 

Paleo Chocolate Cake In A Mug 
4 Tablespoons Almond Flour 
4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I prefer Hershey's Special Dark)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
2 Tablespoons Almond Milk 
1 Egg 
Sweetener of Choice: I use two tablespoons of honey, but you could add whatever you feel comfortable with. You could use raw sugar if that is your thing, or just straight sugar for my non-paleo friends. 

One cut up banana
Chunks of dark chocolate

Mix all the ingredients in a large mug. First mix the flour and cocoa powder together. Then add the wet ingredients. It is important to very thoroughly mix the batter. You don't want to end up with chunks of almond flour in your finished cake. Once your batter is mixed, you add whatever extras you want. I usually mix in a cut up banana and a few chunks of dark chocolate. If you want the lava effect like in the picture, add  the dark chocolate. 

Then microwave your cake for 2-3 minutes. My microwave is freakishly powerful so I only let it go for two minutes. I would recommend starting with two minutes, and then adding additional time if your cake fails the clean fork test. 

I make this at least once a week. It is an extremely tasty snack, and so easy to make. 

Happy microwaving =) 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Deployment Week Two

This week went by so much faster than week one. We got our communication pattern down, and I feel really good about the next few months. I get a little overwhelmed if I think about exactly how long this deployment will be. I have to focus on each week as it comes. I stay pretty positive as long as I only think about the short term 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful for friends who like to go the gym. It is much easier to go workout when you know there will be other women you know. I am grateful that I feel strong and have friends who also believe that lifting weights isn't weird for women. 
2. I am grateful for my husband's efforts at maintaining our communication. We went into deployment with a pretty straight forward plan, and it has worked out really well. I am so grateful that he is willing to stay up late  so we can have quality chat time together. 
3. I am grateful for fleece-lined leggings. Anyone moving to Fort Drum, buy pairs upon pairs of these. They are such a life saver in this really cold weather. 
4. I am grateful for new opportunities at work. My boss gave me a whole new area of responsibility. I have a feeling it's actually because he doesn't want to do it any more, but I will take what I can get. 
5. Random 60 degree days in the middle of winter. Wednesday was absolutely gorgeous and offered an awesome break from the north country winter. 

DIY-Ing It Through Deployment 
All right y'all, this week was not a good one in the world of DIY. My garage has really just been too darn cold to work in, so I am stuck on only projects I can do in the house. Maybe next week will be better =) 

Happy Picture 
Goodness my husband is good looking

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