Monday, September 30, 2013

Not lazy weekend, then lazy weekend..

For the first time in a month, it was a lazy weekend.

But lets take it back shall we?  To last weekend!

Remember the dress competition for the Battle of Britain?  Well, let me show you the winner (and some other fun photos).

Teh Bear and I representing the 1940s.

Teh Megan, the former VX-1 skipper who dressed as a 40s aviator (WIN!), and Teh Christmas Candy

Das Germans!

Teh Christmas Candy, Mr. W. Churchill, and Teh Megan

At least it's a cute picture of me?

At least this is a cute photo of Teh Bear.

The ladies

There was minimal dancing, and by minimal, I mean we danced to one song at the very end of the night, which killed my feet, so I was glad we only danced to one song.

The next morning, I dropped Roofadoofs off at Greyhound Central (GHC) to get adopted (which still needs to happen), and drove the 5 hours to NJ to become a Godmother to this dude:

Baby Godson

I joined them on Saturday afternoon at an 80th bday party for a family member (yay for huge families and kinda blending in).  That night we decorated the reception hall and at 10:30 I was done with awakeness.  I was obviously pretty pooped since I slept in till 9:30 Sunday morning.

"jail" is tasty.

YAY egg, cheese, and porkroll bagel for breakfast!

This is Lola, she was Teh ZepZep's first love.

It was a non-stressful morning getting ready and heading to the church.  The baptism was easy-peasy and Teh Godson smelled like he'd gotten a massage afterwards which made me really want a massage.

Teh Megan and Mrs. Boomkin

I will shake these balloons and it will make all the people laugh!

Sadly, I needed to leave before the after-party had ended due to my 5 hour commute back to S.MD.  Teh Godson's Pop-Pop was headed back to the house to feed the dogs, so I caught a ride with him after telling everyone bye.  Fortunately, it was an easy Sunday afternoon drive.

Hello and Goodbye Philly.

Phil's cousin wanted to race.
Yurtle showed him.

It freaks me out when road signs question me.
If I wasn't sure before, I'm definitely not sure now!

Rum and coke?  

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

I came home and finished some laundry and crashed and dreaded writing my final paper all week long.  It did get written by Tuesday night.  It had a primary revision by Thursday and Friday I was able to ignore it completely.

This weekend was a lazy weekend, despite Teh Bear having to work.

Friday after work, I took the dogs on a walk with Teh Greyhound Neighbors Wife.  After dinner, I headed to a former neighbor's house to watch her give her speech for her online class.  Teh Bear stayed home and relaxed and did some housework.

Saturday, Teh Bear had to work, but I took the opportunity to get in an early walk with the beasts, do a final revision on my paper, and give the upstairs a thorough cleaning.  After Teh Bear got home, we hung out for a bit then decided to make the plunge and go to a real, non-commissary, grocery store.  We ended up going to Giant, which was a fairly pleasant experience.  The only real complaint I have was that the aisles were SOOO narrow.  It would have been impossible to get 2 carts side by side with the poles in the middle of the aisles.  We came home and watched Wreck It Ralph.  Afterwards, it was time for bed.

Sunday, after church, Teh Bear and I went to Joann's and purchased halloween decorations.  We came home and had lunch and watched Django Unchained (which was a good movie until the Tarentino parts started).  After 3 hours of movie, my head hurt, so Teh Bear decided to let me take a TV break and he washed Lionel Richie and Yurtle while I laid on the couch listening to Roofadoofs whine incessantly.  We made a field trip to CVS to return the movies to the Redbox with the pups then came back home to watch Breaking Bad (and not the finale, I'm only on season 2, so don't ruin it for me, kthx).  I got a call from Teh FL Greyhound Neighbors asking if I could go over and let Buddy and Gracie out and feed them dinner since they weren't going to make it home in time from their adventures due to a traffic jam at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Apparently, fire under the bridge is a big deal?  I arrived back home and we finished another episode of Breaking Bad.  Then it was bedtime.

YAY for a relaxing week.
This week the plan is to start getting ahead on my reading for my TWO upcoming classes and Teh Bear begins his "regular", non-training work schedule.

Linking up with all these ladies:

Mingle 240still being [molly]

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Several weeks ago I made Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (like from Olive Garden) and ZOMGGGG it was deeeellicious. I ate it for breakfast the next day and Teh Bear actually said that he wanted to make sure he had some to bring in for lunch on the next work day to make his coworkers jealous.

The recipe I used was from

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half (yes really)
2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth (if you enjoy a thicker soup, use 1 can)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 cup diced cooked chicken (you can use a rotisserie chicken but chicken thighs would be delicious as well, I feel like chicken breasts aren't going to have the flavor you're looking for)
1 (16-ounce/500g) package ready-to-use gnocchi
Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent (or until you're done dicing all the other things).  Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.  Whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened.  Whisk in the chicken broth.  Simmer until thickened again.  Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, the thyme, parsley, nutmeg, carrots, spinach, chicken, and gnocchi.  Simmer until the soup is heated through.  Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.

Lessons from our experience:
-Use as much of the ingredients as you want, just keep them proportional to the recipe.  I usually an -ish to all the vegetables and I add "enough" of each ingredient.  This could have been part of the pan problem.
-Having all the ingredients ready and chopped prior to starting to cooking probably shouldn't be looked at an inefficient use of time.  The cooking goes faster if everything is reading for adding.
-All of these things will over flow a saucepan.  We ended up switching to a stockpot mid-cooking so I could finish adding all the ingredients and chicken broth.
-This recipe has enough vegetables to cancel out whatever ill effects could happen from adding a quart of half-and-half.  At least that's what I told myself.
-When things are "optional" they aren't.  Just do them.  (The nutmeg step was listed as optional, I removed that for you)
-Don't throw away your chicken carcass (if using rotisserie chicken) when you know your dog is a foodie and will break into your lockable trashcan and eat all the bones, ensuring you worry about his poops for the next 3 days.
-Don't use chicken breasts.  Just trust me, they won't taste as good.  The "healthiest" I'd go would be boneless, skinless, chicken thighs and it would need to be precooked.  Despite the mess (and hassle (for me)) of getting a rotisserie chicken, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.
-NOT eating all the leftover the next day is going to be difficult.  This is the correct point to remember there is a quart of half-and-half in the soup.
-If you prefer more liquidy soup (like standard chicken noodle), make sure to use the max amount of chicken broth.  If you like thick soup, like we do, add 14-16 oz.  I just filled to the spilling point of our glass liquid measuring cup and called it good (I think its the 2 cup one).

Our leftovers, which were delicious!!

I made it a 2nd time!
Using the big pot this time..

The new soup bowls are definitely bigger than the regular bowls.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fashion doesn't agree with me... #24

 Continuing the competition...

PS.  These faces weren't coordinated.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Uh oh..

Dear Gentle Readers,

I have a confession.  I'm in the last week of my class and I've yet to really get started on my paper.  Due to this lack of good judgement, I am self-punishing by not allowing myself to post a real blog until after my paper is completely finished.  The worst part about this is that I really have so much to share from this past weekend!

I'm sorry to disappoint, because I'm sure some of you are biting at the edge to know which dress was the winner from the last post.  I swear I'll tell you...  Once I pump out 15 pages on cyber-radicalism.  I got this.

Piled Higher and Deeper

Why did I ever think starting a Master's was a good idea????

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday #6


Tonight is the Battle of Britain celebration!  If you don't know what that is, don't feel bad, cause I didn't either, but really, its a UK thing.  The Battle of Britain was one of the largest and most sustained aerial bombings in history.  The goal during the battle was for Germany to destroy Britain's air defenses, but Britain was like NO BITCHES!  So Germany didn't win, and it was a significant turning point for the European front of WW2.  Obviously this is a good military campaign to celebrate.  But why is it happening in America?  Because VX-1 hosts several British military personnel and they always like a good reason to have a party!

Honestly, preparing for this party for me has been a significant battle.  It was decided Teh Bear and I would be going a week ago, at which point we had to start finding our "40s costumes."  This was easier for Teh Bear than myself.  After spending an entire day on Ebay searching for the perfect dress, Teh Bear liked one more than the others, and it was approved by others, so I purchased it right before walking out the door to head to DC for last weekend's color run.  It didn't arrive until Thursday afternoon.  STRESSFUL.  When I tried it on, it was a TENT!  I was immediately disappointed, but then went to the closet to see if I owned anything that would suffice.  Teh Bear wasn't a fan of the options, even though I was fine with them and he suggested going shopping to see if there were any options at all. 

After spending 3 hours, we came home successful... more than successful actually.  Now I have 3 options and I have no idea which to choose!  Which is more "40's"??

First world problems.  I know!


This morning I did my best run to date.  Longest time, longest distance, and best average pace.  I was thinking about my running problem, ya know, since I had an hour to think about whatever, and I realized that when I got Phil, my working out abilities have greatly improved.  It used to be hard to just run 1/8th of a mile of the 1 mile trek I used to take Phil on.  Then it wasn't so hard and I made it 1/4 of a mile, and eventually worked up to a 1/2 mile, then I could run the WHOLE MILE!  Yeah, it wasn't my favorite thing, and since I was doing this with Phil, we had specific stopping points we always stopped at for business, so there were breaks, but running a whole mile was a big deal to me. 

Yeah, I'm in the Navy and we have our physical readiness tests, but I always opt to swim mine instead of running, or going the way of using a machine. 

I think the biggest thing that changed for me was when I downloaded the RunKeeper app and it was like all the things clicked.  I could now track my distance, my time, my calories, I could SEE improvement!!!  At first this was a struggle because I wanted to use my iPod, which just wasn't ready to handle that kind of pressure.  Once I just succumbed to using my cell phone, it was easy peasy.

Ok, actually that's a lie.  The biggest thing that changed running for me was buying NEW SHOES.  I purchased new shoes when Teh Sister and I went to the NY wedding in June and it was like a magical healing.  My back stopped hurting all the time!  It was like FREEDOM!  I've been excited to go workout now since I know I'm not going to end up feeling like I've been hit by a car each time I work out.

This morning I ran almost SEVEN MILES.  Last year I was proud that I was running a SINGLE mile.  Yes, sometimes my back still hurts and I power through it.  I definitely believe in mind over body, so even when it hurts I still workout, unless I feel like its only going to hurt me more, then I will probably just do a lighter workout instead of not going (unless I'm feeling particularly unmotivated).  TAKE THAT BODY!  I WIN!


I've felt like a bad blogger recently.  I forgot that last Friday was Friday due to the dress hunt.  Oops.  I really enjoy writing weekend wrap up posts, except that by Sunday night, I'm usually exhausted.  It also doesn't help that Teh Bear's thing is watching TV, which is supppppppper distracting to me.  I blame it on the fact that I didn't watch much TV when I was growing up so when the TV was on, my attention was 100% on the TV.  That habit still continues today, when the TV is on, I struggle to focus on anything other than the TV.  ANDDDDD, more Teh Bear blame, he has me watching Breaking Bad and Sherlock, which are awesome shows (I'm pained to admit), so I actually want to pay attention to those shows.  Additionally, there's the looming paper that I need to write for my class, but haven't even started yet.  Oops.


Speaking of class.  I signed up for my 2nd and 3rd masters classes.  Strategic Intelligence and Human Resources Management.  My first class didn't have a book, which was delightful.  Unfortunately, these classes both have books.  BOO.  I didn't miss textbook prices.  Also, price gouging because the word "management" is in the title should be illegal.

Left: $104 (which didn't come with the 3-ring binder it suggests)
Right: $34 (completely bound)


NJ this weekend for Baby Boomkin-Voices's baptism!  Not only do I get to hang out with Mr. Voices and Mrs. Boomkin, I will obtain a delicious cannoli!!!  WOO!  NOMNOMNOM!  Also this weekend, I have fingers crossed that Roof-a-doofs gets adopted.  Not that she isn't adorable, just we aren't her Forever Family (although Teh Bear would happily foster fail with her I think).


Linking up with these ladies since it's FRRRIIIIIDAY:

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fashion doesn't agree with me... #23

Who pulls these off better??
It's always a competition with me..

Monday, September 16, 2013

Color in Motion 5k

This weekend was my FOURTH color run!  I represented this weekend by wearing a shirt from each brand of run that I have done!  When we picked up our run packets on Friday night, I was wearing The Color Run's shirt, then after we were done Color in Motion-ing, I represented with my Color Me Rad shirt.  It was definitely a colorful weekend!

Teh Greyhound Neighbors (wife and daughter, tGN-w/d) were my accomplices for this run.  Not having Miss Reflective was a change for me, since we always run together.  tGH-w found the Color in Motion 5k, so props to her since I had never heard of it.  She also found us Groupon coupons for the run, which meant that going was definitely happening!

We headed into DC Friday afternoon.  First stop was packet pick up where the line was almost out the door at the Sports Authority (where I've picked up packets before).  Queue unimpressed moment #1.  Not even The Color Run had a line halfway to do the door and I felt like The Color Run was a bigger race?  Maybe I'm wrong.

After packet pickup, we headed towards our hotel to check in, then made for the Metro to get dinner.  I had suggested Serendipity 3 in Georgetown, and since none of us had eaten there before, it was agreed on.  The worst thing about Georgetown in DC is that there's no Metro stop there.  We were reading on our phones about how to get there and we saw "Farragut" and ended up at Farragut north, at which point we learned that there are 2 Farragut stops... on different lines.  DC newb moment #1.  We had to get back on the Metro, switch lines again, and trek 1/2 a mile into Georgetown, but we finally made it to dinner.

Bacon cheeseburger with egg.  Nomnomnom.
Don't hate the egg till you try it.  It's delicious.

NOT a peanut butter frzzen hot chocolate.  I'm not sure what the guy in the kitchen thought he was doing, but this order was incorrect 2x and they actually didn't charge me since I wasn't satisfied, which was a plus for our waitress who had managed to incorrectly put in my entree order.

After giving up on life customer service, we were tired so we started the trek back to the hotel, with a stop at Marshall's since I forgot... underwear.  Seriously, Teh Megan?  Who forgets underwear?  Pretty sure we went into the snazziest Marshall's I've ever been in.  The Pentagon City Marshall's stock and name brand selection was HUGE and high-end.  I wanted to do all the shopping, but they were closing 20 minutes after we arrived and I had to pee so bad I was doing the dance anytime I stopped moving.

After acquiring new undies, we headed back to the hotel to try and figure out where we were going to get on the Metro Saturday morning since there was going to be construction.  After showers and storytime, we all passed out.

Saturday morning, we got up and got ready, had breakfast at the hotel, then headed towards the Pentagon (which was the closest I've ever been btw) to catch the Metro.  We thought we were going to be late, but the after switching trains we found LOTS more of our people!  There were so many people in white shirts at the Armory-Stadium stop that it was like a river flowing out of the ground when we all went up to street level.

The Color in Motion was very interesting.  We walked the whole thing due to tGH-w's "LLD" (light-limited duty for you non-Navy) status.  Not that she's in the Navy, I just like giving things Navy terms.  Whatevs.  The track was in the parking lot of the DC United Stadium.

I forgot to start my RunKeeper at the start line.  Oops.
Then I forgot to turn it off until after we were leaving...  Oops.

Clean photos required!

Being color blasted in your ear?  OUCH.
I still have pink coming out of that ear.
I had to get tGN-d to keep blowing in my ear to get the powder out.

After our first color zone!!

After our 2nd color zone..  That's my not impressed face.  I had barely any green.

The last color zone!

Post last color zone!!

Our fronts.

Our backs!

I looked like Sleeping Beauty's dress when the fairies have the color fight...

Please excuse the awful dutch angle.
A color toss on a gorgeous day!

While waiting on a color toss, we were dancing at the after party.

And there was this guy...

We do it Indian style in America.

tGN-d got the last mustache (yes this mustache might have been in my purse since the last Color Run).

Color happiness.

tGN-d all colored up.

tGN-d accidentially got tGN-w in the face with the green...
I completely understand her pain.

tGN-d also got green in my non-pink ear.  Ouch.
She had to blow some of this out as well.

Waiting on a color toss..

Final product before standing in front of the fans.


On the Metro!  We started getting funny looks after we switched trains.

So spotty!

Can I just give a shoutout to the best camera ever?  I mean, my "new" point and shoot has now been through FOUR of these color runs.  Despite the powder all over the lens and in the buttons, she carries on, faithfully.  I'm sure that this does impact the life of the camera in some way and one day I'll be disappointed when she finally bites the dust (haha dust, like colored powder, get it?), but my last Canon point and shoot lasted almost 10 years.....

As for an assessment of the Color in Motion 5k....  eh.  I didn't leave feeling super impressed.  There were good and bad things.  Let me list them for you.


-It wasn't a dirt track (like Color Me Rad in VA Beach).
-It was in DC, which is close to home.
-At water points, there were hoses hooked up to pipes which were running continuously instead of wasting cups and having to have someone there to man the water station and someone afterwards to clean up all the cups that didn't make it into the trash bins (99.9% of them, it's not a marathon people, its a color run, get your trash in the bin!).
-Lots of open space on the track and the "party" area, so it was easier to avoid running into people and passing walkers was VERY easy for the runners (although we definitely tried to stay to the right).
-LOTS of porta potties at the start/end line (not that I used them because I learned my lesson at the last Color Run when I went in one after the race and ended up gagging myself out of the potty before I could even pull my pants down) and a few scattered around the course.
-They used the cell phone credit card thingies for purchases.
-LOTS of free stuff.  We actually caught: a t-shirt, a sweatband (which I gave away), and a color packet.
-There was security around the track (maybe this was because there was a game later in the day?) and they were motivating the participants!  AWESOME!
-Trash cans set up in the middle of the party areas for water bottles/empty powder packets.
-The concept of a bag check.
-4 powder color zones


-It was in a parking lot so the track was sometimes difficult to navigate if there weren't people in front of you to lead the way via the people in front of them.
-Parking if you drove, but we didn't, so this didn't really apply.
-Wasting water (but this probably isn't as bad as the expense of the cups/cleaners, so this was negated).
-They used the cell phone credit card thingies for purchases and I'm not sure if these people were experts quite yet.
-LINE to pick up registration packets.  When we left Sports Authority, the line was out the door and down the sidewalk.  When picking up packets for The Color Run, we were there around the same time..  I do not remember a line longer than a few people EVER.  NOT impressed.
-People were snarky about NOT winning stuff.  WTF people?  get a grip.
-The cones to mark the track were kind of a hazard.. especially if you're turned around trying to scope out "the girl with the shaved head".....
-The concept of a bag check.  The line was a million years long.  From what it looked like, the bags were just being put in an enclosed area that was going to be supervised.  ALL THE BAGS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE.  There didn't seem to be a very good accounting of where bags were, judging from the folks that were circling inside the enclosure after the race looking for their bag.  The line was too long for us, we were going to check a bag, but instead I carried it around the track instead so we didn't have to wait in the line.
-Not letting waves go at quicker intervals.  We felt like we were ALWAYS waiting.  I understand wanting to get the participants pumped up, but we stood in the start zone for at least 30 minutes.  We did 2 count downs during that time for.. I'm not actually sure what we were counting down to... I was annoyed before we even started the race because of how long we were waiting and we actually jumped to the front of the line so we didn't have to wait so long.  I can't imagine how long we would have had to wait if we hadn't jumped into the starting zone.
-Small children tossing the color at the color zones.  Yes, its cute that your kids want to volunteer, but if I'm paying to get colored, your 3-8 year old probably isn't going to do it for me.  Your 13 year old, yes, definitely.  That's probably that kid who pink-ed my ear... but I was a walking breast cancer ad, that kid did his job WELL.  The orange and green color zones were so weak we didn't even stop to take a photo...
-Short color zones.  I'm used to very looooong color zones so that way you definitely get some color if someone has stepped back to refill their color container-thingy.  Not everyone at the zone would be at the refill station at once (like the green zone).  The zones were maybe 15-25 feet long.  If I had been running, it would have taken me a second to get through this, and that would explain why some people looked like they hadn't even ran the course.
-No color toss after we finished (right at 11ish).  We crossed the finish line right as a toss was going on (see photo above taken at 10:55am).  We waited 45 minutes for another color toss (since we had kept our color packets like you're supposed to).  Nothing.  There were several countdowns, again, for what I'm not sure.  There were people up on stage dancing and throwing out free stuff, but no color toss for 45 minutes?  Unimpressed moment #most significant.  This was Teh Greyhound Neighbor's first color run so I really wanted them to get to experience a toss, but we were getting irritated at waiting and waiting and waiting (and with the wife's prior military experience and my military experience, we're used to waiting...), but this was unreasonable.  Before we finally just tossed our color solo, we had several people come up to us asking for us to sprinkle them with the colors we had, so we obliged.  Then we tossed and left.

Overall, I'm not sure I'd do another Color in Motion run.  Obviously, there was a lot more bad than good for me.  Then again, I know I can be super critical.  We did go and have fun and got colored and we did some dancing and we all got to giggle in the shower when the water was brown and we all had blue boogers.

Linking up with all these ladies:

Mingle 240still being [molly]