wait –wait — wha???

so, if you’re a wordpresser, you know that being “freshly pressed” is kind of a big deal…
or at least it used to be…
i thought they emailed you to let you know that they (or the general public) was choosing your post for a freshly pressed post ((So that you could clean it up maybe?? and make sure it was ready for the world to see it))
well — i was browsing around on freshly pressed, and didn’t really scroll too far down and lo and behold!!!

that's my turkey burger post!!

that’s my turkey burger post!!

i saw that!!!
dude!!! wasn’t i supposed to get an email or something!?!?

so i went and checked my email and found nothing…
but – hey !! i finally was freshly pressed!! and it’s an amazingly delicious recipe — so make it. enjoy it, and yay me!!

Best Turkey Burgers!! Ever!!!

so, I knew tonight I wanted to make some turkey burgers…
I browsed around the internet looking for recipes, and found one that looked pretty delicious…


but… if you know me at all – you know that no recipe is safe from my tweaking…
so here goes:
1 lb ground turkey
1 heaping cup of feta cheese (crumbled)
1 egg white
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp. greek seasoning. that I made. from another site, and of course tweaked… link to follow after this recipe.

mix it all together and make your patties and grill or cook in pan until temperature is 165
(that part is pretty straightforward and non-tweakable)

they. were. DELICIOUS.
omg I took a bite and was in food heaven.
so, the original recipe called for mint, oregano, and pepper… I don’t have any mint.
so I was like… hmmm… greek burgers?
greek seasoning…
(but, of course, I don’t have any of that either… ) SO I MADE SOME!!!
based off this recipe:


I did tweak it a bit.


1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Parsley
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Thyme

really the only thing I changed was that I used Smoked paprika and added 1 tsp of grated lemon peel
and threw it in a spice grinder
pretty yum, and DEFINITELY made the flavor stand out in the turkey burgers

I topped them with some tzatziki style sauce…
but I don’t like cucumbers.
at. all.

so I mixed:
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp. dried dill
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice

mix well and serve on top the burgers.
I also put a tomato slice, some lettuce and some sliced white onion on the bun.
oh man.
I served with a salad that I made a lemon vinaigrette to top!!
Lemon Vinaigrette
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

I put in a mason jar and shook well.
so light and delicious.
it was an amazing dinner that I wolfed down much too quickly to take a picture of the entire thing, but here’s the burgers that I had leftover!! :)


Help a friend out — Equine Therapy

there’s a girl I know who I met when I was stationed in Great Lakes… she’s a pretty cool girl (she helped me move when I got to Virginia!!!)  and I would love to be a fly on the wall for a majority of the things she goes through, she’s very witty, and I’d say friendly — but the stories she tells prove otherwise — to the people she doesn’t know – or that try to mess with her.

anyways, Amanda is getting out of the Navy soon (lucky) and is about to start an Equine Therapy Ranch… however, she needs funding – read about it and then go help her out!!!


Thanks! :)


Here’s Amanda’s story from her GoFundMe page:

Everyone has a dream. Unfortunately, when you grow up, you realize dreams cost more than just good intentions and desire. Currently, I’m serving in the military, due to get out next July or possibly earlier thanks to an injury – there goes that dream.

Now I’ve found a new dream. It’ll be a minute before I get it up and running, but I’m starting off at the bottom. Ultimately, the plan is to get a equine therapy program up and running, specializing in rehab therapy for Wounded Warrior Programs, other veterans, people with PTSD and other mental health concerns. It will also include programs for the Special Olympics, and therapy for children, including ADHD, depression, autism, etc. I’m even hoping to be able for it to be a foster home, and an work with rescue awareness with the animals I intend to have for the programs. I know that in order to succeed at this, I’ll need the right property (The second picture is the one I have my eye on in Vermont), tools and people to help out. That’s the ultimate purpose – the non-profit side of it. In order to continually support this idea, I plan on grants and business partners (I’m sure most people aren’t surprised to find lower tier enlisted military make barely minimum wage), and having what people have started calling “adult summer camp”. The business end of it that would support the charity work are things like: trail rides, riding lessons, horse boarding, vacation cabins, skiing…it will also be some place I hope groups like Venture Crew, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be able to come for space and wilderness experience. There will be home grown vegetables and fruits from the gardens and the orchards, signature foods and drinks (I’m hoping for a vineyard), etc. I have staff, trainers and even maintenance people all lined up. This is the ultimate goal – but not where I’m at now. I’m starting off low down on wish list, which is why I have this posting.

I currently need, and will need in the future, a horse trailer. One, for people who plan on boarding at the facility. Two, to take people to various trail heads at the National Parks in the area (like the Green Mountains and White Mountains). The third reason is so I can use my time now to getting money together for the property, employees, and horses by renting it out to people in the area who can’t afford one on their own. I live near highly horse populated areas – Gloucester County and Virginia Beach, and I know from experience there’s only two people who rent trailers nearby (and by nearby, I mean within 50 miles), and they charge $100 a day, plus gas. I’m hoping to start off with less than that and build a customer base that will start me towards the farm.

Amanda has some great plans already and though this is in the early stages, I’m sure those plans will become a reality with time and some financial help. If you’d like to learn more about some of the specific plans she has, and see some pictures of what she has in mind, check out the White Cardinal Farm Facebook Page. If this seems like something you’d like to support, please ‘like’ the Facebook page and head over to the GoFundMe webpage and donate what you can, every little bit helps get her closer to making this dream a reality.

Doenjang-jjigae – Fermented Soybean Paste Soup — MODIFIED… Deliciously

so a few weeks ago, we made this soup.
it was pretty good.
last night i decided to make it again — with some modifications…
you know how i like to modify things…
so . . . . that’s what i did…


1 sweet potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large chicken breast – cut into bite size pieces
1/2 onion – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup snow peas ((these are the flat peas normally used in asian dishes…not to be confused with snap peas, which are delicious too… but i don’t know if they’d work here))
1 red chili pepper chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced ((roughly 4 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups water
1 – 20 oz can pineapple chunks
5 tbsp soybean paste
1 green onion stalk – chopped
1/2 cup cashew pieces (dry roasted, not salted)
2 inch bundle of rice noodles… i know that’s not very specific, but honestly – i just grabbed a handful, i think it was 2 inches in diameter and then i broke them in half…
1/2 cup chicken broth – or water

combine first 8 ingredients in large pot.
make sure that the water only just covers the ingredients. (if it takes less than 2 1/2 cups that’s fine…)

bring to a boil (should take about 10-15 minutes), add in the soybean paste, green onion, pineapples, and cashews and stir well. cook for another 10-15 minutes… stir occasionally. . . and then add in the rice noodles and broth (or water)… the rice noodles don’t take too long to cook – so let it go for about another 10 minutes so the flavors mix together well

serve and ENJOY!!!

Doenjang-jjigae – Fermented Soybean Paste Soup


^^^ this is where i got my inspiration for dinner tonight…

actually … husband found it last night but it was after we had already eaten … he was just still hungry and he actually almost made it last night… but it was too late and he didn’t feel like cooking…

so we had it tonight.

except. of course. with modifications…

b/c — anchovies and shrimp are just not my thing… no way . .  . no how…

and while i’d be willing to try the tofu – we don’t have any in the house…

but – we do have soybean paste and we have to figure out how to use it … before it goes bad…

so here’s what we did -

1 large chicken breast – cut into small pieces (ours weighed in probably around 12 oz)
1 med/large potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red chili pepper – chopped
1/2 large onion – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 garlic cloves – minced or put through your garlic press
2 1/2 cups water
5 tbsp soybean paste
1 green onion stalk – sliced



put all of the ingredients except the soybean paste & green onions into a large pot – make sure that the water only just covers the ingredients. (if it takes less than 2 1/2 cups that’s fine…)

bring to a boil (should take about 10-15 minutes), add in the soybean paste and stir well. cook for another 20-25 minutes… stir occasionally. . .  ((it might not take this long — ours didn’t and our chicken was cooked all the way through … keep in mind the bites were very small though))

stir in the chopped green onion and serve with rice ! :)

it was pretty good.. husband didn’t like the zucchini aspect — but then again – he never likes zucchini in the first place…

it was kind of mushy.. so next time we make it we were thinking about the following modifications –
it definitely would work with cashews… and we were thinking of adding carrots, snap peas, and possibly pineapple. . .

i’ll let you know how it goes next time!!  but until then — enjoy!!


Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts

growing up – brussel sprouts were definitely on my list of most hated foods…

they were usually boiled or steamed (i think) and generally disgusting…

as you get older – things change, and you begin to explore different ways of cooking things…

brussel sprouts came back into light a few years ago… with all these sites saying — i know you hated them growing up by try them this way!!!

and so we did … a couple years ago… tried them roasted and then tried them grilled… no.

still. no.

then i thought i would give them another try…

i found a few recipes and modified/combined them…

and …. it’s SO good!!! husband doesn’t like it so much — but i’m totally in love!!!

here goes:


1 lb of brussel sprouts – bottoms cut off and cut in half
4 pieces of bacon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup — REAL maple syrup none of that HFCS crap
enough garlic for your liking
salt to taste

(see super simple list!)

pan fry up your bacon and save most of the grease… you’ll know if you have too much… but don’t get rid of it all (I never said this was a healthy recipe)
set bacon aside to drain
throw in your cut up brussel sprouts and stir around a bit to coat them in that deliciously unhealthy grease… let it cook for about 10 minutes… maybe longer depending on how green your brussels are – (how hard they are)
throw in the cranberries and stir around some more
cut up your bacon and throw that in with the garlic and then pour in your maple syrup
taste it… you know you want to — add some salt if you like…
now… this tastes REALLLY good… it really does… but i was thinking ya know… it needs a little kick… something to sass it up a bit…

on my counter i happen to have a bottle of Bragg Organic Unfiltered Raw Apple Cider Vinegar…
it’s zingy… i thought it might give it the kick i was looking for
BEST DECISION EVER!!! i know it’s not listed in the ingredients — b/c the first time i made this – i didn’t use it… you could also probably throw in some balsamic vinegar or another flavored vinegar and have it taste just as good…

stir around and continue to let the flavors meld together and possibly even brown some of the brussels…
cook until desired doneness





ACV & Me


so, a couple weeks ago i read a post that a friend had put on her facebook page touting the benefits of apple cider vinegar.
everyone knows that acv is good for so many different things…
i’m all for trying new things now and again…
i happen to have tried some acv in orange juice a couple times…
it gives it a KICK… but it never really did anything for me…
this friend said that she puts it in her tea…
hmmmmm. i drink tea.
so i decided to start doing that…
unfortunately it wasn’t doing much for me… ((read: anything))
i looked more into it and found that i should be using unfiltered, raw acv… which definitely is NOT the heinz brand that i have a gallon of… so i saw some at the store and picked it up ((see pic above))
and i’ve been drinking it almost every day in tea and today i tried it in some water with a dash of agave nectar & some cinnamon … that is actually pretty damn tasty!!!
and here’s my rundown – i can’t vouch for it boosting your energy levels b/c mine are so wonky b/c of my stupid schedule…
what i CAN vouch for is that it suppresses my appetite…
now any one who knows me knows that i get hungry at ridiculous times … and i’m hungry more often than i’m not… ((which DOES NOT make sense cuz i eat all the damn time!!)) well, since i’ve started this- i’ve noticed that i’m not nearly as hungry as often!! and when i DO eat – i eat considerably less than normal…
this weekend i skipped out on it and both days i was a lot hungrier than normal…
this hasn’t contributed to any significant weight loss as of yet, but… i only got it mid week last week…
so here’s hoping!!! and here’s also hoping that when i’m back on days it definitely boosts my energy!!

if you’re going to try it – make sure you try the unfiltered type – the Bragg’s brand that I got was not very expensive — i’m pretty sure it was less than $4…

good luck!!

9 Years Ago Today…

it’s been 9 years…
9 years since a tragedy happened …
9 years since something that you only see on the news … happened in real life…
9 years ago my best friend was killed in an act of senseless violence.
senseless domestic violence…
a reminder – domestic violence is not always limited to between a husband and a wife (or couple of any sorts)
my best friend was an innocent bystander trying to help a friend out in her time of need.
they both suffered for it.
i’d like to say that i think about you every day, April,
but unfortunately, time has gone on, and life has happened, and so much has changed between the me of then and the me of now…
I do, however, think of you occasionally…
and i wonder how life would be for you and for me…
would i have moved to Florida? (i like to believe so…if only for the fact that if i never did, i never would have met the love of my life)
i really would like to believe that we’d still be great friends.
you helped me through so much in my times of need, and we became quick friends . . . i do sometimes check in with Mark and say hi… your boys have gotten so big, and Jacob looks so much like you… more than he did in earlier years (my opinion) i wonder if they think of you… I know they are happy, and I hope you are looking down and smiling on them from above… and then sometimes I wonder if they remember me… but more than likely they don’t… that isn’t important… it’s important that they remember you and all the great things you did and were…
i hope that someone can visit your grave and put white roses on your grave… i know you didn’t approve of getting flowers, you were always so frugal and the money could have been used for other things that lasted (i came to adopt this sentiment)… but i think it’s the thought that counts… and i am sorry that i can’t do that any longer… and although i honor your memory – i don’t intend to ever inhabit St. Charles again, so i will never be able to continue that tradition (albeit one that i created for myself) …
i want you to know that i kept the coat you bought me for the longest time.. and on it – the ribbon that i made to support you and Kelly… i still have the ribbon, although i don’t wear it, but no longer do i own the coat… sometimes you just have to let go… but it was very hard for me to do…
you will always be in my heart even if i don’t realize it…
Rest In Peace always April Christine Wheeler…

She’s Crafty

Headband for best friend's daughter

Headband for best friend’s daughter

so, i get bored when i’m on night shift.

i do crafts.

i’ve made several things over the last year and a half that i’ve been at this command… i am on night shifts every two months (except this time – for four months straight)

however, i don’t always know what to do with those crafts.

some of them i’ve given away ((kind of a lot actually))

but… i want to try to sell them on etsy and make some money off of them, I mean it did cost me my time & money … more money than time though, b/c it was free time… but i just don’t know if they are high enough quality to sell anywhere…



Tutu for best friend's daughter ((and my kitten))

Tutu for best friend’s daughter ((and my kitten))

unfinished project

unfinished project

tutu for valentine's photo shoot

tutu for valentine’s photo shoot

headband & flower strappies for her feet to go with valentine's tutu

headband & flower strappies for her feet to go with valentine’s tutu

pretty purple headband anyone buyin?  it's for sale

pretty purple headband
anyone buyin?
it’s for sale

recently i’ve gotten into making tutus for little girls and little flower or bow strappy sandal-like things for little babies …

i made a tutu for my best friend’s daughter and a headband to go with it,

i made a tutu for a co-worker friend’s daughter and little headband and foot things to go with it for a valentine’s day photo shoot…

i’ve posted the pictures of the things i’ve made recently…


do you think they are etsy worthy?

i’m excited to make more things, but i’m also very hesitant… what if i invest this money and don’t make it back?

we are trying to save money right now for a multitude of things coming up – and if i don’t make it back, husband will NOT be happy… (not to mention myself)

but i’ve found a couple sites that have tulle available for SUCH GOOD prices!! i want to just buy a bunch!! but shipping is kind of ridiculous :( which puts a damper on my excitement…
and checkout finger…

i can get a 40yd x 54″ wide bolt of tulle for $11


a 6″ spool of 25 yards for ONE DOLLAR

it’s normally $3 at michael’s . . . which isn’t much… but — A DOLLAR

but there’s shipping… so maybe it doesn’t equal out so well for the spools… but for a bolt?!??!

at hancock fabrics a yard of tulle is $1.39 (on sale currently) so i think the bolt is a much better deal even with shipping…

it’s just a lot more work for the tulle not on a spool… i have to cut it down two ways then… which isn’t that difficult, but my working spaces are severely limited…

i don’t know… i’m so conflicted…

*((forgive the scattered pictures, w/p wasn’t playing nicely – or maybe i just don’t know how to align things anymore since the changes have been made to the site))*

Glitter herpes

so a couple random things here and there.

i did the whole juicing cleanse and then diet…

i lost a total of 6 pounds depending on the day.

i have two to three pounds left to lose.

i’m still drinking juices, however, i’m incorporating a lot more food into my diet (and sometimes i feel guilty as hell)

i think for the last two or three pounds though, i’m going to to strict juice again…

i just want to lose it and keep it off.

i’m pretty stoked about the weight loss tho.

i last weighed as much as i do now before i went to florida for my vacation in april of 2012. . .

i then gained 7 pounds back b/c we ate like pigs kings we were on vacation (cuz we were) and i had the WORST time getting it back off.

it was such a struggle and i actually only got to my first goal weight once or twice since april… and now i’m two to three pounds away from my dream goal weight…

i’ve been running a lot lately, but honestly , i think i’m getting worse instead of better… Lovely vegan girl and I did a couch to 5k training program and then we started a 10K training program… i feel like i’m regressing instead of progressing though :(

but i’m registered for my first ever 5k!!! i’m going to run a color run in april!! i’m super excited about it!!

but, i’m sad b/c she’s now getting out, and i’ll have to continue the training alone… it’s such a bummer running alone… ((especially inside!!))

but, i need to maintain my motivation and also get back to regular workouts along with the runs b/c i still need to tone up so that losing the weight i’ve lost actually shows…

i can’t wait to have a toned tummy . . . i know that my legs and booty are more of a problem, but the first thing i see is my stomach . . . and i want it to not be poochy…

i’ve always had a problem with that though… even when i was seeing a personal trainer in st. louis a hundred years ago, my main problem was my stomach . . . the rest of me was smoking hot, but i had a huge issue with my pooch… i felt like it looked like i’d had a child, even though i never had…

((that i’m aware of — i mean i DO have some repressed memories… could i have repressed a whole 9 months?!?!  lol… juuuuuusssssst kidding))

anyways… next subject:


one of the reasons i’m so sick of the military is b/c i don’t feel like a girl… i can’t do what i want with my hair (color wise) and i can’t have pretty girly nails that i want (other than pink… or beige… (((blah!!))) and . . . i don’t have a first name.

i think i hate that most of all… (well other than the uncomfortable uniforms…)
but, one of the things that i do to help me deal with that is call the girls in my section  by their first names… guys are different, and even in the real world — a lot of them go by their last names…

it’s not like that with girls…

the thing is though… while i call all of them by their first names, i’m still called by my last name…

it makes me sad…

sometimes i just get so shocked when i DO hear my first name…

but… it also makes me feel like i read more into their friendship than they do into mine… if that makes sense… like i consider them more a friend than they consider me…

i don’t know if that’s a valid concern at all… it’s just how i feel…

and i know that no one joins the military to make friends — i’ve said that more than my fair share of times, but … at a certain point you do make friends with the people you work with. . . .

but. . . it is what it is… *sigh*


so… i have some girls i work with that have baby girls (or one on the way) and one of them has a registry on etsy and there were these cool looking little feetie flower things . . . and they look SO easy to make!! so i ordered some stuff to make them!! i’m excited to get the stuff in… i tried making a flower out of quilting blocks… but i’m not too pleased with how it started to turn out… i haven’t finished it yet… but… i think i need to figure out a different way to do it…

and while i was researching the flowers, i thought about tutus…

and OMG . . . !!! i decided i needed to make the babies at least one…

so my first one – i made for the little one that’s here for her valentine’s day pics!!

it is SUPER cute!! and it didn’t really take all that long… it did however make the most mess ever!!

i used glitter tulle…

and i think there is more glitter on me and the floor and the desk than stayed on the fabric!!

but holy monkeys it is the cutest thing i’ve ever made!!!! and i can’t wait to get a picture of it!!!!!!!!!

i made it at work (i’m productive) so i can’t take a picture of it… but there is glitter EVERYWHERE…

i’m sure the vacuum isn’t going to suck it all up – so our work center supervisor will feel like a princess when she gets to her desk… lol!!!

have i mentioned how adorable this tutu is!?!?!?

so cute!!!!

i got extra tulle, so i’m going to return the two rolls i didn’t need and get some to make a st patrick’s day one for baby on the way -

um. scratch that… we just realized she’s not due til after SPD, soooo… that’s not going to work… mama to be said she thinks she’ll be here early, but i don’t wanna make one that won’t be used and can’t be sold til after the fact…

i’ve got some fourth of july flowers and bands coming to make the headbands and footie things… so i’ll just focus on the tutu for then… that will be fun :) red white and blue! :)
and non glitter tulle…

learned my lesson on THAT one!!!

but, if these do become successful, which i already think the tutus are — after just my first one, i’ll probably sell them on etsy! :)


next subject:


i pay a shit ton of money for rent.

way more than my bah.

and bah went down for this area . . . so even MORE than what bah would be if i hadn’t already  been making what i was… (thankfully they don’t change your rate unless it goes UP)

and i don’t think i’m getting what i pay for…

so, we’re going to look for a house when our lease comes due…

but, i don’t know when to start looking.

our lease expires in october, but i have to give a two month notice if we are leaving…

but what if i find a place and they don’t want to hold it that long??? i can’t pay extra to get out of my lease early,, and i don’t want to pay more for my rent if i have to extend it a month or two… b/c it’s going to go up – that’s a given… ((which i don’t get — here let me reward your loyalty by raising your rent)) but if i only extend it a month or two it’s going to go up by upwards of $200!!! instead of just the $30ish. . .

that’s not ok.

so… i just don’t know when to start looking, and i don’t know if i find a place i like if they will hold it for two months for me… ((or three if i start looking earlier…which is probably necessary))

i could just stay where we are — but it’s so hard to save money when i’m paying so much in rent…

i already pay for ALL my utilities so there won’t be sticker shock in that, but husband says that our electric will probably be a lot more — but i’m hoping that we can become more aware of our usage…

our bill this month was $181!!!!!

we used TWICE the amount of energy this month vs last january…

that is NOT ok.

so, we’re going to try to figure a way to make things better…

maybe this january was colder than last… but — regardless – not ok.

if anyone has any suggestions about any of the housing issues i’ve stated, please bring them on… my biggest concern is the lease issue… finding a place that will either wait for our lease to end… or finding a place at all…

one of my MAJOR concerns is not being able to find a place after giving notice… but i have to give a two month notice… but i really want out … but what if i don’t find a place that meets all of our criteria… and i know i know — you say – change your criteria — but there are some things that we can’t change.

so… *sigh*  i hope it all works out… granted — it’s january… and i don’t have to start worrying hard core until august?? earlier?? who knows…

it stresses me out… i don’t know what to do…

but i did find out that i can use a realtor to find me rentals for free!! i always thought they’d charge, b/c i know they charge commissions on sales… i figured they’d charge something for finding rentals too!!… don’t judge me if you knew this already… i’ve never used one before, so. . . :-p


moving on.

tomorrow i have labs in the morning for my physical exam.

i tried to explain to my dr that i need to know what time the lab closed b/c i work nights and i can’t really sleep most the day going without food and water and then stop my food and water intake at midnight so that i can do my testing in the morning… obviously she’s not the sharpest crayon in the box, b/c the only thing she told me was the lab opens at 7, don’t drink or eat anything after midnight.

ok. um.

yeah – that’s not what i asked…

but whatever. fine.

I AM SO THIRSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and — some people say i should be able to drink water, but — her email just says NOTHING to eat or drink after midnight…




that’s it.

i think i’m done.



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