Welcome to Military Mayhem & Miscellaneous, a blog where I will share my new life, thoughts, projects, recipes, photos and adventures as a "rookie" army wife <3

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Slacker Status

I know, I know... My last post was nearly a month ago. Quite a bit has gone on since then. I did get the job at Noodles... however, after almost 2 months working there, I decided it wasn't for me. The food there is great and a lot of the staff is great as well. I just didn't get along with the manager very well and it was taking forever to train me since I was only being scheduled 3-4 hour shifts. It just really wasn't meant to be. The day that I gave my letter of resignation, I was offered a job at a jewelery store in the mall where I currently work. When I first started working at Yankee Candle in October of last year, I met a guy while sitting outside on my break. He was wearing a business suit and also worked at the mall, we had about a 5 minute conversation and that was it. Occasionally when I pass the store and see him working, I wave and say hello, but that's the extent of our relationship. Well, he came into my store on Monday. I greeted him and tried for 15 minutes to sell him a freaking candle before he admitted that he was not in my store to shop, but to hire me. Woah dang. I took my break and went down 5 or 6 stores to the jewelry store and met with him (the assistant manager) and the store manager. The position is 40 hours a week, hourly plus commission. I took the application and brought it back the next day with my resume and letter of recommendation. The manager was very impressed and said I just need to interview with the regional manager so they can decide between me and one other person. It's good to know I'm in the top 2 out of 4. I really hope I get this job, one girl that works there told me that she doubles her paycheck in commission and bonuses. Sweet!

Probably the most exciting news I have to share is that after 9 years of searching, I found my biological father. I called my sister on her birthday, February 25th, and we chatted for a while. I told her I was still looking for my father when she said that she remembered he was a junior. Sure enough, after searching for the name she gave me, I found him. My mother's name was even listed under possible relatives. Crazy. Before my grandmother passed away, she informed me that she had received a letter in 1997 from my father's new wife, along with photos of my younger 2 brothers and 1 sister. I never read the letter and I have no idea where those photos could be, but just knowing that I have a whole other family really motivated me even more to find my father. All of my family members who I have asked about him tell me he's not worth the search, but they have no idea what it's like growing up not knowing their father. I don't know what he looks like, where he's from, what he does, nothing. Anyway, I wrote a 3 page letter to him that same day and sent it out immediately with all of my contact information. I was so excited. But then today, the letter was returned to me saying it was no longer his address. Very discouraging, but I do have 2 phone numbers I could try. I'm just so nervous to call. What do I say? Will he hang up on me? Will he even know who I am? So many things are running through my mind right now, so many possibilities. I guess I'll just have to try. What's the worst that could happen, right? I was really hoping I could find him before Adam and I go to Florida in September. We're planning a trip for the first week of September because my sister-in-law Debra and my half-sister Amanda are both pregnant and due within a week of each other. I'm so excited to be an aunt again. We are planning to go to South Carolina to see my brother Randy, Debra and babyface for a few days, visit our family in Jacksonville and see Amanda's babyface, meet my father and his family (who apparently lives in Callahan, FL), go to Orlando to see Adam's parents and my aunt, uncle and cousins, then go to Tampa to visit Busch Gardens theme park for a day or two since I scored some free tickets. Hopefully it all works out as planned.

Anyway, mine and Adam's one year wedding anniversary was Monday, March 5th. It's so crazy that we've been married for a whole year, I have only seen him for about 3 months all together because of bootcamp, training, field training, more training and even more training. But I'm glad he's back with me until at least May. Since our anniversary was this week and we both had to work, we're taking a trip. Adam's 28th birthday is also this weekend, so that's one more excuse to get away. We both somehow ended up with a 4 day weekend, so we're going to Estes Park, CO, the town where The Shining was filmed. We will be staying there for 2 nights before going to Denver for 1 night. We're both super excited to leave tomorrow and get away from everything. I will be sure to blog one we get back. By that time, I will have the phone call results with my whole dad situation, as well as photos from our vacation.

Hope you all have a glorious weekend (:

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Today's interview at Noodles went exceptionally well. The general manager informed me that the district manager came in after I dropped by yesterday and wanted to hire me on the spot just for having an amazing résumé. I'll have to admit, I did a great job organizing and writing a cover letter and contemporary résumé. I also attached a letter of recommendation that my previous manager from Circuit City wrote for me... and put it all in a special résumé folder. Anyway, the GM was impressed with me and wants to hire me as the assistant manager. I have a second interview with the district manager later this week. If all goes well, I will have to travel to Denver a few times a week for about 3 months for training. I could start as a shift leader and work my way up, but she wants me to train at the district's training store to speed up the process. I'm happy because they're willing to work around my current job at Yankee Candle so I don't have to leave. I'm also happy that I'll be working 40-50 hours a week and making a descent salary... and my uniform shirt will say "Noodles" on it. How freaking cool is that?

Anyway, today was my 2nd day of the raw eating diet. This morning didn't start out too well, as I woke up with noro-like symptoms (probably just from all of the crazy organic herbs I've been taking), but it wore off in a couple of hours and I was able to eat a salad for lunch. I've also been making fruit smoothies with this amazing blender that my awesome friends, Lynn and Megan got Adam and I for a wedding gift. Last night, I made a green smoothie with spinach, banana, apple, orange and ice (full recipe later this week). I used 2 cups of spinach in a 16 oz portion and you couldn't even taste it. Today, I made a smoothie with fresh pineapple, frozen banana and canned coconut milk. I don't think I'm supposed to have coconut milk, but it is a fruit and if I only eat leaves for 2 weeks, I might go insane. Especially cooking for Adam everyday. The hardest part is not knowing what I'm serving him tastes like. I rarely use recipes when cooking, I just taste as I go. He hasn't complained about anything so far, so I'm good.

Thanks for reading, everyone! I know quite a few people read my blog because of the view counter, but not many are subscribed. So if you have a gmail account, you should subscribe! Wish me luck on my second interview!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bean Sprouts!

Hello all. Today was my first day on the raw diet. Not too bad. Because I had the day off, there wasn't a whole lot to keep me distracted from being hungry. Cooking every meal for Adam didn't help, especially the bacon, grits and eggs this morning. However, I was a good girl and started the day off with some fresh fruit, was too busy to eat lunch, then had a big salad for dinner.

I spent the afternoon driving around applying for jobs. I know I already have a job, but I'm not making enough money or getting enough hours. So, I'm getting a second job. I applied to be the assistant general manager at a restaurant here called Noodles. I have an interview tomorrow with the manager, hopefully it goes well. It looks like a fun restaurant to be a part of. I also applied for the graveyard shift at Planet Fitness. I saw an ad on Craigs List for the position today, so I dropped off my resume. The manager will be back in on Monday, so hopefully I can catch her. That would be perfect for me because it wouldn't effect my hours at Yankee Candle and it would give me a free gym membership. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, I promised you directions on how to make your own bean sprouts. Sprouting is super easy, I promise. I always use green lentils when making homemade bean sprouts. Lentils help cleanse and stimulate the kidneys and adrenal system, strengthen the heart and circulation and increase energy and vitality. When lentils are sprouted, their nutrients become more easily digestible, and after just 3-4 days of sprouting, their soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar and regulate insulin levels, increases 300 percent!

I'm lucky enough to have a farmers market right down the road from our apartment, so whenever I stop by, I always dig into the bulk food section. I get about a pound of whole organic green lentils for $1.99 and that makes about 4 to 5 jars packed full of bean sprouts. If you don't shop at a farmers market, check the organic section at your local grocery store. It is very important that you get whole lentils though.

What you'll need:
- Large Mason jar (about 24 ounces)
-Cheese cloth
-tight rubber bands (I used a thick hair tie, see below)
-1/2 cup of organic WHOLE (not split or dahl) lentils

1. First step is to rinse your dry beans (1/2 cup) thoroughly and soak them in a large bowl over night (8-12 hours). Be sure to only use about half a cup of dry beans, you need a lot of room in your jar to allow your beans to sprout. After soaking them over night, they'll be nice and plump in the morning.

2. On day 2, rinse your beans again and pour them into the mason jar. Place enough cheese cloth over the jar to allow you to tie rubber bands around the opening. This cheese cloth will allow you to rinse your beans without having to pour them out every time. Once your cheese cloth is secure, rinse them again and give them a good shake to get all of the water out. You don't want a puddle of water at the bottom of your jar, it will make your beans slimy (If it does happen, though, just rinse and shake them until all of the slime is out). Set your jar in a window or just on the counter. I don't have a window in my kitchen, so my sprouts never get any sunlight. They turn out just fine.

(This isn't what day 2 is going to look like, it's just an example of how the cheese cloth is supposed to cover the jar.)

3. On days 3-6 rinse your beans through the cheesecloth 2- 3 times per day. You want your beans to remain moist, but remember to shake the excess water out so you don't get slimy sprouts. This is what my day 3 looks like:

You'll see the the beans splitting and little white tails start to poke out around day 3. You know they're ready when you see a little green leaf bloom from the tail (like in the first bean sprout photo I posted above). When they're finished sprouting, they're going to be super packed into that mason jar. I just shove a pair of tongs down into the jar and pull out what I can. I usually leave them in the jar so that I can rinse them easily. I also put some in little sandwich bags and give to people at work because 1/2 a cup makes so many. They're amazing on sandwiches, salads, in hummus, soup, stir fry or just by themselves. My cat loves to play with them when I accidentally drop them on the floor. He's a little turd most of the time, but I love him.

Enjoy your sprouts and have a great weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

90 Day Challenge

As you might know from my previous blog entries, one of the things on my priority list is getting into shape. I purchased and received Metamorphosis by Tracy Anderson and my 90 day challenge will begin tomorrow. These 90 days will not only be filled with workouts, but also extreme dieting. Tomorrow, I will start my 2 week total body cleanse by eating only raw foods and taking organic herbal pills. This raw food thing is probably going to be the hardest part, but having a great goal and support from my wonderful husband will get me through it all. Yesterday after work, I stopped by the local farmers market to pick up items for my raw diet and this morning, I prepared all of it by washing and chopping to make things easier. I got organic [raw] sunflower seeds, mixed nuts, green lentils for making bean sprouts [directions to make your own sprouts will be in tomorrow's post!], spinach, romaine, green bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, avocados, oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, pineapples, blackberries, nectarines and raspberries. I also boiled a dozen eggs to make breakfast on the go a bit easier. I know the boiled eggs aren't raw, but they're not processed, so I guess it's okay. No dairy, no meat, no cooked food, no caffeine... this will be a true challenge. Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Only 11 Days Late...

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm so glad 2011 is finally over. A lot of great memories, but a lot of bad ones too. Let's see... In 2011, I moved four times, was a chef at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, got married at the most famous dog race in the world [Iditarod] to my best friend in the world, sent him off to the Army and didn't see him for a total of 7 months [except for a week in July], worked my second year on the train as a tour sales representative and chef, gave over 250 speeches in 5 months, became vegetarian for 4 months, flew over Denali State Park in a helicopter, flew around the tallest mountain in North America in a fixed-wing airplane, kayaked Prince William Sound, hiked Flat Top mountain, touched the North Pole, learned more about Alaska than I know about the state I'm originally from, pet a moose, saw hundreds of wild animals, fell down a set of stairs... twice, stood at the front of the locomotive going over Hurricane Gulch [highest bridge on the Alaska Railroad], saw the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Fairbanks, went halibut fishing on a charter in Seward, saw humpback whales breech, survived my first winter driving in the snow with no accidents, shook hands with a real biker gang, made perfect pancakes going 65 mph on a train, lost a majority of my friends due to the drama of living with 13 people, felt true hatred for the first time, turned 21 [which wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be], got my 5th tattoo, met the mayor of Ferry, became a brunette, went to 5 different zoos, drove the Alcan Highway for the second time, almost hit a wood bison, moved into my first apartment with no roommates except for my husband, got a management position at one of my favorite stores, got licked in the face by a giraffe, adopted a cat from the Humane Society and traveled over 41,000 miles [yeah, fourty-one thousand miles] between working on the train, camping/fishing trips, going to Kentucky for Adam's graduation and moving from Alaska to Colorado.

Now, it's time for the next chapter (and a new scrapbook)...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lazy Dinners

So, even though I was sick last week, I still managed to get a hot dinner on the table every night that I wasn't working. Here are 2 of my husband's favorite lazy dinners that I make. Both of them take less than 20 minutes to prepare and less than 20 minutes in the oven. The first recipe is for french bread pizzas. I don't know about you, but I haven't found my "perfect" pizza crust yet. I've used a few recipes and tried out frozen and packaged doughs. No bueno. The solution? French bread! My grocery store's bakery always has a selection of fresh baked breads for under $2. It's so easy to just keep a loaf or two in the freezer for when you want to make pizzas, special french toast, croutons, baguette for hummus, subs for football parties or just about anything. As far as the pizza sauce goes, you can use your favorite recipe or if you're feeling lazy like I was last week, mix a tablespoon of pesto (which I always have on hand as well, Classico makes the best pesto!) with a small jar of pizza sauce to zest things up a bit. Pizza sauces can be found next to all of the spaghetti sauces at your grocery store. I paid $1 for mine and it turned out great. Use whatever toppings you have on hand. I always have a big jar of roasted red peppers and huge container of fresh baby spinach on hand. I buy both of these items in bulk at Sams Club and use them for salads, sandwiches, omelets, quiches, pasta, casseroles and protein shakes (I'll post my favorite "green" shake next week). The second recipe is for chicken pot pie. In this recipe, I used a can of biscuit dough that I had in the fridge for the crust. I also used just whatever ingredients I had in the pantry/freezer and it turned out better that Marie Calendar's. Haha. Enjoy these lazy dinners & feel free to leave comments and suggestions!


-1 loaf of french bread, halved
-1 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
-1 tbsp pesto
-2 cups shredded mozzarella
-1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
-3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
-1 package of pepperoni
-2 handfuls of fresh spinach
-3 whole roasted red peppers
-4 strips of cooked bacon

1. Preheat oven to 400*
2. Place both french bread halves soft side up on a cookie sheet
3. Mix together the pizza sauce and pesto & spread it onto the bread.
5. Layer cheese and other ingredients (I like to put the fresh parmesan on top)
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.


-2 cans of reduced fat cream of chicken soup
-1 cup of water
-1/4 cup frozen peas
-1/4 cup frozen corn
-2 carrots, peeled and thinly chopped
-2 celery stalks, thinly chopped
-1 large chicken breast, cooked & shredded
-1 tsp ranch seasoning
-1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
-pinch of garlic powder
-pinch of onion powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 can of biscuit dough (I used Pillsbury Grande)

1. Preheat oven to whatever temperature it takes to cook your biscuits.
2. In a large skillet, saute celery and carrots in a tbsp of olive oil. Once the celery and carrots are mostly cooked, add cream of chicken soup, shredded chicken, peas, corn, and seasonings; stir. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with biscuits. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits brown.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Brunch, Oreos & Football

This has been my first (and most likely the last) weekend off since Adam has been back from Ft. Polk. There was hope for a few weekends off since another assistant manager was hired at work, but it only lasted a week before an emergency came up and she had to move back home. At least I get my 40 hour weeks back, I know I'm not going to hate my paycheck. Yesterday was pretty good, Adam and I watched Big Bang Theory and sat around in our pajamas until it was time to go over to his buddy's house. One of his sergeants invited us and a few others over to his house to watch the UFC fight. I brought a big pot of Chicken Taco Chili, which Adam had requested even though I just made it literally 5 days ago, and also some oreo cheesecake truffles. If you haven't already made some of those truffles, I highly recommend them. I found the recipe on Pinterest a couple weeks ago and bookmarked the page. They were so easy to make and everyone loved them. I'll include the recipe at the end of this blog. Anyway, we had a great time hanging out. I finally met some other army wives that aren't psycho! Hopefully I'll get a chance to hang out with them again (:

As for today, we were supposed to watch football, but I'm currently watching Adam play video games & waiting for my quiche to get out of the oven so that Adam and I can have brunch. Usually when I make quiche, I just throw together whatever I have in the fridge. The combination I used today turned out great, so I'll post that recipe as well. Hopefully sometime this week I'll be able to get some poster board, fabric and a clip lamp so that I can set up a backdrop for photographs for my recipes. I'm sure you're tired of my Instagram-edited phone pics. Haha. Well, I hope you all had a great weekend. Enjoy the recipes!

(recipe via Pinterest)
-approx. 1/2 package of Oreos
-1 block of cream cheese (8oz)
-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/4 cup white chocolate chips (for garnish)
-2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp shortening


1. Crush the Oreos (pretty much the whole package, minus a handful, filling & all) until finely ground. A food processor does the best job, but if you don’t have one, throw the cookies in a ziploc bag, grab a rolling pin, and go to town.
2. Transfer 3 cups of the Oreo crumbs to a bowl and add the cream cheese. Using a spoon, press, mix and stir until the cream cheese is completely mixed into the Oreo crumbs and you have a soft, homogeneous mixture. Using a small cookie scoop (or the equivalent of 2 teaspoons), scoop/roll balls of the Oreo/cream cheese mixture and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Once you have scooped out all of the filling, refrigerate the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
3. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and 2 tbsp of shortening in 30 second increments at 50% power, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Working with one Oreo ball at a time, dip it into the melted chocolate, roll it around to cover completely, and then use a fork to remove it from the chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Place the dipped truffle back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all truffles; once finished, return the baking sheet to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
4. Serve the truffles, or garnish with some melted white chocolate (best if melted with 1/2 tsp of shortening to thin) and leftover crushed Oreos. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


-5 eggs
-3 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup ricotta
-1/2 cup shredded cheese
-3 tbsp milk
-1/2 cup cooked sausage
-2 cups uncooked spinach
-2-3 whole roasted red peppers, diced
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 375* and spray 9'' pie plate with cooking spray. Layer the spinach, diced roasted red peppers, cooked sausage and shredded cheese (I used colby jack) in the pie plate.
2. In medium bowl, combine eggs, flour, salt, pepper, sour cream, milk and ricotta. Whisk until blended well. Pour egg mixture into pie plate.
 3. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Enjoy!