Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy 100th Day!

Today is my daughter's school's 100th day of class!
For us, it's not EXACTLY 100 days since we moved here a little later in the school year.
But who cares about details anyway?!
For their 100th day, the Kindergarteners were asked to dress up as a 100 year old person.

Meet "Granny Dannika"
This whole get up cost me less than 20 bucks!
The outfit is just stuff we already had in the closet.
I managed to put something together that looked "grandmotherly".
I spent 5 dollars on the fake pearls, 5 dollars on some cheap reading glasses (popped the lenses out), and 5 dollars on a can of gray hair spray!
 As for her walking stick...
 We found a stick in our yard, and being the Marines that we are, we took 550 cord to wrap the end of it.
550 cord and duct tape...all you really need to survive...

I had so much fun dressing her up!
I can't wait to hear about her day when I pick her up from school!

As for Nick and me, college life has taken over full force.
I haven't had a moment to sit down and relax all week!
We hired a part time nanny to watch Mattis a few days a week so that we could get things done, and she has been a MAJOR weight lifted off my shoulders.
I have noticed that he's been way more clingier when I'm around though...
He misses me :) 

I hope everyone had a fantastic week, and is getting ready for the super bowl!!!!
Since I am forced to pick a team, I'm gonna have to say...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snowpocalypse 2015

People keep talking about this "snowmageddon"/"snowpocalypse" that is going on in New England?!
People up there keep posting pictures and stuff on Facebook about some ridiculous cold weather and massive amounts of snow...

Because meanwhile...

Yep...that's 82 degrees...

Notice my sandals, sleeveless dress....and Dannika's attire...

Oh, and we grilled and had dinner and wine outside on our patio tonight...

I was actually really worried about our friends in New England.
I was watching the news like crazy to get details on the blizzard that hit them yesterday.
I was freaking out about the possibility of some of them losing power for DAYS (according to the news).
But of course, most of our friends are "hardcore New Englanders", and none of them seemed too worried.
I guess if you've lived there long enough, a blizzard every few years is bound to happen, and it's nothing out of the ordinary.
I lived through one of the all time top 10 blizzards of Massachusetts...."Nemo"...

That blizzard pretty much solidified my decision that New England would NEVER be my forever home. 
Some people can hack it during the LONG...COLD...LONG....MISERABLE...LONG...SNOWY...LONG winter months of the northeast.
Did I mention long?
While watching all the news reports about the blizzard, and seeing all my friends post their snow photos, I sat here in good ole sunny Texas thanking the good Lord for bringing us here.
Nick and I grilled on our porch tonight, and ate dinner in our backyard...
We listened to country music, watched the sun set over our fence, and drank wine...
We both kept telling each other how we couldn't believe that we were doing this in January.
All of my close friends and family keep telling me how much more happy, upbeat, and positive I seem since moving down here.
I honestly feel better.
My marriage is relationship with my kids is awesome...
I feel like I am where I belong, and it's gonna be tough when we have to leave here.
I've been making the most of our time here, because I know it's limited.
We drove down to Houston last weekend to take my mama out to lunch for her birthday.
I realized I hadn't spent a single birthday with my mama since I left the house at 18!!!!
She was really happy that we could do little things like go out to lunch on a random weekend. 
School has been taking over my life!
My kids are barely fed!!!!
(OK...just kidding...don't call CPS...)
We hired a part time nanny (an Aggie, of course!), and she's been a HUGE help so far!
I'll try my best to keep up with this blog.
I'll do a post on time management soon...
I feel like I'm an expert on time management (thanks to the Marine Corps), but being a full time mom taking 18 credit hours is a whole different beast!!
I had a nervous breakdown last week, and poor Nick got the brunt of it!!

I hope y'all are having an amazing 2015 so far!!
And to my New England friends...
Stay warm! Our home is always open to y'all!

And some random photos...

Nick's best friend from high school (who lives in Alabama still) is in Texas this week for work!
He stopped by our house for a few hours to hang out!
(disregard the auburn shirt....)

Mattis' bedhead...

Nick set up two computer screens for me in our office so that I could do my school work!
Best hubby ever...

I took some Valentine's Day photos today of the kids....
This one makes me smile...

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Did I forget to tell y'all I started college this week?
It's the reason why this blog has taken a back seat.
Since my husband is a full time active duty Marine/college student, I figured now is better than ever to go ahead use those trusty GI Bill/veterans benefits!
I've been putting it off since I got out, because honestly...when I discharged from the Marine Corps, I was SO OVER LIFE!
I just wanted to relax without a care in the world, take care of my kids, and most importantly enjoy my freedom from Uncle Sam.
I had no intention of being a slave to Uncle Sam for 10 years to immediately becoming a slave to an institution of higher learning.
I needed a breather from Marine Corps life.
But here I am...
I'm done with my "breather", and ready to move on to y next chapter of my life. 
Thankfully, I took a lot of college in my off duty time while active duty, and a lot of my military education also transfers over as credits, so I'm not totally starting from scratch as a freshman!!!

So sorry for neglecting this blog!!!!

So, since I have a few minutes...
Here's an update on my life through photos!!!

We bought his Camaro powerwheels for Dannika for Christmas before she was really even old enough to drive it.
Then of course, we moved to Massachusetts with its' eternal winters (and cheating football team...), so the Camaro didn't get much drive time.
But she's officially back in commission here in good ole Texas!

Mattis loves being Dannika's passenger, and this Camaro has officially made Dannika the coolest kid in the neighborhood.

My favorite photo of the week....ever.
Mattis just got out of the bath, and peed all over the floor. 
The best part was that he's never seen his own pee come out, and he was SO fascinated by it.
Once he was done peeing, he was SO proud of it, and kept smiling and pointing to his little puddle of pee.
He kept pointing to it and screaming, "Wo wo!! wo wo!!" (his word for "water")

Just a sweet moment of my kiddos morning routine...teeth brushing.

We went fishing over the long MLK holiday.
What was supposed to be a relaxing fishing trip by the lake turned out to be less than perfect.
Regardless of how awesome these photos look........
Dannika and I put some Honest Company (deet free) bug repellent on....
Honest Company bug repellent repels bugs.....
Attracts Bees....
Dannika and I got swarmed by bees....
Dannika and I ended up screaming and running around like banshees being chased by swarms of bees...
Dannika and I sat in Nick's truck watching Mattis and Nick fish.......
Mattis stuck his hand in an ant bed....
Ants swarmed Mattis' hand...
everyone freaked out...
we went fish
Oh and poor Mattis has bites ALL over his hand and little ant blisters....poor baby.

The weather was GORG last weekend so I got go on a nice little run with Mattis.

Nick and Dannika planted their winter garden....

I have NO green thumb, so I made the cute signs...

 I decided to layer framed photos on these cool indents in our walls....
This is just a "prototype", and I am planning on painting the inside of those archways a darker color...

I was giving my D some lovins' and Mattis was JEALOUS....

I seriously want Dannika's wardrobe...
Why can't they make adult wardrobes so cute and cheap like hers?!?!

So there's my life so far!!
I won't be blogging as much since school is taking up SO MUCH DANG TIME!!!
But I promise to at least keep it updated once a week, and I PROMISE to keep up with y'all!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Skinny Cheeseburger Casserole

One of my favorite things to do is to take a fattening, hearty dish and make it healthy.
I like to scroll through recipes and figure out ways to make it healthier without losing its deliciousness.
I found an awesome recipe for cheeseburger casserole on (I believe it was Bobby Dean's recipe), but it was loaded with fat.
It used ground beef, rotini pasta noodles, butter, cheese....
I'm salivating thinking about all these delicious fatty ingredients, but like I always say...
Nothing tastes better than being healthy!
I replaced the pasta with sweet potato cubes (Nick and I don't eat refined carbs of any sort after lunch time), I replaced the ground beef with extra lean ground turkey, I replaced the canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes, I replaced the butter with olive oil, and I used a cheddar cheese made with skim milk instead of full fat cheese.
I also halved the amount of cheese the original recipe called for.

I tweaked the recipe and made it healthier, and made it my own.

Ingredients (in absolutely no particular order):
1 1/3 lbs of extra lean ground turkey (I used Jennie O's extra lean)
3 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1/2 a head of chopped iceburg lettuce
1/2 of an onion (finely chopped)
3 roma tomatoes diced (save the juice!)
1 can of low sodium cream of mushroom soup (I prefer low sodium over fat free because frankly, we all need to cut down on salt, and fat free just means a lot of other crap is in it that we don't need in our bodies.)
4 cloves of garlic (finely minced) <---I'm a garlic addict...feel free to use less
black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
2tbsp dijon mustard 
1/2 cup of skim milk cheddar shredded cheese
1 cup of dill pickles (finely chopped)
chopped scallions for garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a 9x12 baking dish/casserole dish and spray with non stick spray (I use Pam olive oil).

2. Get a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, throw your sweet potatoes in just until they get tender. Don't let them overcook, or they'll be mushy and turn more into a mash in your casserole! Once they are done, drain them, and put them aside...they should not be mushy!

3. In a large skillet, heat your olive oil over medium-low heat, and add the onions. Cook until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the ground turkey and cook until browned; season with salt and pepper (I just throw in a big pinch!). Stir in the tomato paste and cream of mushroom soup, then add the diced tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture get bubbly and thicken (just a couple minutes).

4. Gently stir the sweet potatoes into the skillet with the ground turkey, and transfer it to your casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese and diced pickles. Put in the oven for about 20 minutes.

5. To serve, just spoon onto a plate and add iceberg lettuce on top!

My family loved it!
My husband took it to work as leftovers the next day, and couldn't stop talking about how good it was!

I'll try and start posting more recipes soon!
It's been so long since I have, and I have an arsenal of super delicious and healthy recipes that I cook daily for my family!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Favorites Lately...

Not too much to blog about today, but I did manage to go through my iPhone6+ ('s imperative that you know that I have to new
I found some pictures that I had taken over the last week or so that I really liked, but didn't know how to put it all in a coherent blog post.
Instead, I decided to just share them with y'all, and give you a little description on why they are some of my "favorites lately"...
Most of them appear on my Instagram if you follow me on there (@domesticatedcombatboots)

A great selfie..
People can hate on "selfies" all they want, but if you own a smart phone, I can guarantee that 99% of y'all have taken a selfie.
Maybe your make up was on point that day...
You had an awesome outfit on that couldn't go to waste...
Maybe you were just sitting in a car (like I am) excited to be going somewhere.
Like 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny that you've never taken a selfie!
This was taken right before we pulled out of the driveway on Saturday to take an impromptu trip to Houston to see my parents and take our friend out to a birthday dinner...
The ability to take random impromptu trips to visit the grandparents and to take a good friend out for a birthday dinner!
I've said it a million times, but one of my favorite parts about living in Texas is being able to see my family whenever I want!
I know as a military family, chances are unlikely that we get stationed somewhere so close to home (or at home, even!), so I am SO grateful for the opportunity.
Saturday was a rainy day, and we didn't want to sit around the house all day, so we randomly decided to drive down to Houston to see my folks.
My dad was leaving on a business trip that evening so it was perfect timing!

One of Nick's really good friends from the Marine Corps now lives in Houston, and it just so happened to have been his birthday on Saturday!
So we took him out to a birthday dinner!

Every once in a while, Nick and I will bring Dannika lunch to school, and sit and eat with her.
It's a real treat for her because she gets to sit on the stage, and enjoy something delicious (mostly Chick Fil A) with us.
Mattis didn't really care too much about seeing his sister for lunch...

But Dannika was super excited!
I'm a "ride or die" Cowboys fan.
I have been since I was 10 years old.
My entire family are Oilers/Texans fans, and me being the rebellious child that I was, decided I would like the Cowboys.
Although the game against Greenbay did not go in their favor, I am so excited about how the season turned out!
The play offs!!! That was a dream come true!!

This awesome .50 cal bottle opener that Nick got for Christmas from my brother in law and sister!
It was featured on Shark Tank, and you can find them at!
The cool thing about these is that the company is ran by a former Navy Seal, and they are all made my veterans, active duty service members, and reservists.
In other words...they're made in 'Merica!

You can have them personalized!

 He bumped his head, but this face is just so priceless...

Sitting on our neighbor's dog as happy as a clam.

Cuddling together on our neighbor's giant bean bag (it's a Love Sac type thing).

 We put Dannika in gymnastics last year to build her self confidence.
Before gymnastics she was SUCH a scaredy cat...scared of falling, scared of tripping, scared of heights...
It's amazing to see how much confidence she has gained in just a year and a half!
Her favorite thing in gymnastics is the beam!!!
Most gymnasts HATE the beam
 This kid keeps dinner time pretty entertaining, and our dining room floors messy.
Yep, he is balancing a fork in his mouth under his tongue and a lip...talent, I tell ya...talent...
I LOVE this photo of Dannika all dressed up from head to toe in Aggie gear.
I love that she can't wait to be an Aggie one day!