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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mr. L's Chunky Deer Chili

Yesterday Mr. L and I spent a little bit of time in the kitchen making one of his signature recipes -- deer chili.

It's taken him a good bit of effort to hone and perfect this recipe, and after having some for dinner last night, I'm absolutely positive he's hit the nail on the head!  Here is the recipe for all of you to try and enjoy!

Mr. L's Chunky Deer Chili




Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground deer meat (or ground beef, turkey, etc.)
  • 2 tsp garlic, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 packs chili seasoning (your choice of mild or original, keeping in mind original is hotter!)
  • 1 cup water (add more or less as desired)
Directions

Brown meat of your choice and drain.


Add diced onions and garlic over medium heat.


Allow to simmer for around five minutes.  Add diced bell pepper, Rotel, tomatoes, pinto beans, and water.


Let chili simmer uncovered for around 2 hours.  Serve and enjoy!

***

Note:  Most of the time, his chili comes out a little too spicy for my tastes, so if you're like me, don't be afraid to tweak the recipe.  Use the mild chili seasoning and drain the can of Rotel before adding.  Hopefully it comes out a little more tolerable for those like me with bland palates!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh, Baby!

Mr. L and I are thrilled to announce that we are getting a sweet little niece sometime in the fall!

Her name will be Grace, and I am definitely very happy to have another girl in the family.  There can be a little too much testosterone at times!

I'm sad that Mr. L and I will be missing out on the years that I got to spend with Bryant -- newborn to around 3 years old.  There will of course be visits back home (and they'll be visiting us!) and Skype/phone calls in between, but it won't be the same.  I'm trying to stay positive though, so we'll just have to do our best to keep in touch as well as send little goodies here and there to the kids via snail mail.

Unfortunately the baby is due after Mr. L and I are scheduled to be in Hawaii, so I won't be able to be there for the birth like I did with Bryant (unless she decides to come see us early!).  I'm going to try my hardest to come back early though with or without Mr. L to see the precious bundle of joy.  At this point I'm just praying that everything will work out.

Congratulations to the happy family -- we can't wait to meet baby Grace!

Monday, June 27, 2011

What’s Been Going On? Well, I’ll Tell You!


Since it’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned anything more about our upcoming PCS, I figured it was time to give some sort of update on the situation. Finally, after months of waiting and built up anticipation, we are finally beginning the long process of moving to Hawaii!

I'm pretty sure any mention of this beautiful state shall now include beautiful pictures to go along with it!

We have about one month left here in Pensacola before the movers come and box up my and Mr. L’s little life together. Then Buck will be off to Maryland for training while I wait (not-so-patiently!) for him to return. After about a month of leave (pretty much all of October) in which we finish prepping and of course saying goodbye to family, we will be on our way to Honolulu!
I am pretty much still very excited; I’m definitely ready to get going, just like I was months ago haha. I think it’s going to be a really awesome chapter in our lives, and I’m ready for the experience for sure. I’m so nervous about the move though just because there’s still so much I don’t know about a PCS. Hopefully when this is all over I’ll be an expert and I’ll be able to help other wives lost in the dark!
I do know, and I’ve already informed Mr. L of this of course, that one of the very first things we’ll be doing once we get to Hawaii (and check in and all of that other mess of course!) is a helicopter ride over the island of Oahu. We most likely will not have Liam yet, especially before we are out of the hotel lodge and into base housing, so it would be a great opportunity to relax and have some fun. The tours can be expensive, but I’m willing to bet it will be a fabulous way for us to be introduced to this island we’ll be calling home.

We are SO taking a helicopter ride on the Big Island just for amazing views of the volcano!
One company I’m looking at is Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, mainly because I saw them on a Samantha Brown episode, lol. I’ll probably check out the competition though, just to compare and contrast the rides and prices =)

Source
Other than prepping for our big move, we’ve been pretty chill around the Landrum pad. We’re still heading to our hometown most weekends, especially lately since Mr. L’s birthday was just this past weekend (Happy birthday again, my love!). We’re really just trying to squeeze in as much family time as possible.
And I just realized I haven’t really mentioned anything at all about Liam – shame on me! He’s doing wonderfully and fitting in very nicely in our little family. He’s very intelligent, rambunctious, and sweet, and we already love him to death. He’ll be nineteen weeks old at the end of this week, so he’s definitely still in his puppy stage.

Little Liam (who's just over 11 pounds now!) looking tired and cute :)
We’ve completed his rabies vaccinations, and now we’re just waiting to start on the OIE-FAVN blood test so we can officially begin his 120 day quarantine period. I am SO ready to be done with this Hawaii quarantine mess – it’s such a complication and has been the source of multiple migraines.
We’ve also enrolled Liam in an obedience class at Leading Edge Obedience, just north of Pensacola in Cantonment, FL. He’s learning a lot, as am I, and I really do believe it’s helping his behavior so much.
There’s a quick update for you all, and I’m sure I’ll be back soon to update more on other events coming up, like Mr. L’s reenlistment ceremony in mid-July. So stay tuned! ;)

------------------------------

P.S. -- I’ve recently done some rearranging with my other blog, Life as a Landrum Wife in Hawaii, which means that I’ve switched hosts. For various reasons, I’ve decided to try out Blogger this go around, so I won’t be using the Wordpress site I linked earlier in the year. Please make sure you change any bookmarks to the new address below:

Thanks so much! =)

Friday, June 17, 2011

BBQ Country Style Ribs

After a BOGO sale at my local grocery store for Country Style Ribs, I went searching for an appropriate barbeque recipe to add to my arsenal.  I came across this recipe at Allrecipes.com and decided to give it a whirl.

BBQ Country Style Ribs (adapted from Allrecipes.com)




Ingredients [Obviously, feel free to deviate as much as you'd like in this department!]
  • 10 country style pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic [I used garlic powder instead for some reason...not quite sure why to be honest...]
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced [Since I didn't have any fresh lemons on hand, I omitted this and added freshly chopped onion, courtesy of my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law!]
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).  In a shallow baking pan or roaster, place ribs in a single layer; salt if desired. Spread the garlic on the ribs, then place the lemon slices on top.


Bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours - the ribs should be tender. Drain any grease and liquid. Pour BBQ sauce over the ribs. Return to oven and bake one more hour at 200 to 250 degrees F.


Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

Verdict

Delicious!  Mr. L and I both really loved them =)  I can't wait to try them again, but for my other package of ribs, I may go a different route.  We'll see!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Newlywed Map


To commemorate our one year anniversary, also known as the paper anniversary, Mr. L and I decided to do a project I'd seen a few times, mainly here, here, and here.  It's called a Newlywed Map, and the basic premise is that you glue a map onto foam core board and use map tacks to indicate where you've traveled in the world.

Mr. L and I both really liked this idea, especially considering how much traveling he's already done and how much we're going to try to do in the future (Scotland, you're totally next!).  So after gathering our supplies we started on our project!


All three posts explain how to create one of your own pretty well, but I will add that in Heather Drive's post, she comments that she couldn't find a 36"x24" piece of foam core board (or a piece bigger that she could cut down), so she purchased a foam core trifold display version, something I had to end up doing as well.  With that in mind, I'll summarize the list of supplies and the directions below.

Supplies
  • 36"x24" world wall map (we purchased this one)
  • 36"x24" foam core trifold display board
  • Spray adhesive
  • 1 box assorted colored map tacks (specifically these -- red for places I've visited, black for places Mr. L has visited, and white for places we've visited together)
  • 36"x24" black frame (technically this is optional, but I absolutely wanted to display this on a wall in our home)
Directions (taken from Jordan's Project Wedding post)

1)  "Following the directions on the can, spray half of the foam core with spray adhesive."  (Don't forget to cut your foam core board to size if you purchased a trifold board!)

2)  "Wait 15 seconds or so for the adhesive to set then working quickly start on one corner of the map and smooth it out onto the sticky foam core. Repeat with the other half of the map."  (Be careful not to over-apply the adhesive -- it will leave unsightly air bubbles and bumps from getting the map paper too wet.)

3)  [Inserted by me since Jordan didn't use a frame for her map]  Place your dried map into a frame of your choice, and please, don't take after me and purchase a poster frame thinking that of course the map will fit inside of it -- trust me, the frame won't be deep enough.  (I'm counting on Mr. L to rig it up with some duct tape and apply hardware so everything stays together and stays on the wall.)

4)  "Use different colored pins and flags from MapCenter.com to mark trips you've been on together  -- and trips you're dreaming of taking."  (Obviously, you can get map tacks from anywhere, as well as mark trips you've been on separately like we did! )


Overall, we probably spent around the same amount of money Heather did -- around $60 to $65.  I think it's a project well worth it since every time we look over at it, we'll be reminded of the beautiful and interesting places we've been blessed to see, both as a couple and separately.


It will also be such a wonderful family keepsake, especially when we start having kids and begin teaching them about the places we've seen (and will see!) as a family.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Garlic Chicken

Here's another new recipe I found on Allrecipes.com that Mr. L and I were big fans of =)

Garlic Chicken (found here)


 

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • (The pasta and cream sauce is for the alfredo side dish -- tasted great with the chicken, but you can make whatever you'd like!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).  Warm the garlic (obviously I just used minced here!) and olive oil to blend the flavors.


In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.


Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture.  Place in a shallow baking dish.


Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.


Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!  =)


Friday, June 10, 2011

Hello Life as a Landrum Wife Readers!

I set up this blog a while back in order to document my and Mr. L's journey to Honolulu, Hawaii!  


We are scheduled to make a military move towards the end of the year, and I'd love for you all to follow along as we figure out how exactly to PCS to somewhere so far away, and as we experience the many wonderful adventures we hope to have in the three years we'll be there!

For now, I'll be posting on both Life as a Landrum Wife and here, probably double posting most of the time :) After we move, though, I'll be making a permanent shift to this blog, so keep it bookmarked! Until next time, aloha!


BBQ Pork Tenderloin

After having pork tenderloins go on sale at my local grocery store a few times, I decided to use my mother's experiences and make some pulled pork out of it in the crock pot.  Mr. L absolutely loves this recipe, but be prepared -- if you have just two people like us, it makes a LOT of pork, so be prepared to use leftovers in creative ways!  :)

BBQ Pork Tenderloin


Ingredients
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast
  • Chopped onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (you'll probably use only around half of it to cook, and the rest to add to the cooked meat later)

Directions

Place the pork loin in your slow cooker; salt and pepper, and then add the onions and garlic.


Set to low and cook for about five to six hours.  Drain juices from pot and add liberal amounts of barbecue sauce.


Let cook, still on low, for one more hour.


Serve and enjoy!  :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Landrum in Europe: Our Last Days

May 28th, 2010

After many days of shore excursions (including one that involved climbing a volcano!), we finally had a little more rest and relaxation in the form of a sea day.  Mr. L and I were happy to lounge around the ship, eat, and relax.

We’d even seen some dolphins jumping around the bow of the ship from our cabin’s TV, so we rushed out to the deck to watch them play.  I didn’t capture any pictures, unfortunately, but it was still fun to see!

We chose to eat at the ship’s Mexican-themed restaurant that evening, and this was the only time that we decided to eat at one of the “pay” restaurants Norwegian Cruise Line offers.  The food was just alright, and we concluded that after you actually looked at all of the things that aren’t included in your typical cruise ticket, it wasn’t really nice that we opted to pay extra for food from some restaurants on board.  But more on that later in my mini-review of our cruise :)

We did get to experience a Mediterranean sunset that evening though, and it was absolutely gorgeous.






The sunset, the stunningly blue water, and the relaxed atmosphere made for a treasured day amidst the chaos of ports and itineraries.

May 29th, 2010

Unlike the day before, the 29th was not another sea day, but a port day!  That morning we pulled into Palma de Mallorca on an island located off the west coast of Spain.  For what was officially our last full day of our cruise, we chose again to indulge in some relaxation.

We did go up on deck to check out the city of Palma from a distance, and it was so beautiful!






Palma's La Seu Cathedral, built between 1229 and 1346.
Bellver Castle, built in the 14th century, and one of Europe's few round castles
The sunburned Landrums in Palma!
We also roamed around the cruise ship, doing various activities and admiring others, such as:

Giant chess board
Giant checkers
Pool area
Place to practice your golf swing
Jogging track
The ship's main lounge (which I must say isn't nearly as impressive as pictures I've seen of other ships' lounges)
And of course reading on the deck!
That evening, as we pulled away from Palma, we played a little more giant chess while I took some pictures of our ever-changing scenery.

Leaving port
Goodbye, Palma!




We soaked up our last day, in some ways eager to return home, and in other ways, wanting to do it all over again.

May 30th, 2010

After many fun-filled, crazy busy, and also relaxing days on board the Norwegian Jade, it was time to finally debark and spend our last evening in Barcelona.

We had our last breakfast in the buffet and departed relatively early.  We took a taxi to the same hotel we stayed in the first time, the H10 Montcada, and since we were pretty early, we left our luggage with the hotel to wander the streets of Barcelona for a while.

Unfortunately for us, we didn't realize that everything would be closed since it was Sunday!  We did manage to find some coffee in the haven of Starbucks (ironic!) and we mulled over our trip for a bit.  Then we made our way back to the hotel and read newspapers and whatnot until our room, which was pretty much the same as our first room with a slightly different layout, was ready.





We spent the rest of the day reliving our experiences, recovering, and of course going to bed early for our 6AM flight.

May 31st, 2010

Unfortunately for us, the worst happened – we overslept the next morning.  We woke up about ten minutes before we were supposed to leave the hotel, and we barely managed to make it out of the door with all of our belongings.  I’m still amazed we didn't leave behind anything that I know of!

After rushing to the airport via taxi and checking in at the Lufthansa desk, we literally made it to our gate with no time to spare – the flight was already beginning to board.  We said our thank you prayers, boarded the plane, and said goodbye to one of the most beautiful countries I’d ever been in.

We took the same route back through Germany (where we had another pretty ridiculously long layover so we bought presents!) and finally to U.S. soil via Charlotte, NC.  After only a short while in Charlotte to grab a bite to eat, we boarded our final plane to Biloxi, where we were greeted by my parents.  It was definitely good to finally be home – I’d missed seeing signs in English and other little things like that :)

It took a few days for us to fully recover from the trip, but it was absolutely worth it.  Next time, though, I probably wouldn't do the cruise part again.  It was nice being able to hit so many ports in such little time, but Mr. L and I really didn't enjoy the actual boat part of the cruise like we thought we would.  We just felt like anything fun (the casino, eating at the better restaurants, drinking, etc.) would've been additional money that we weren't comfortable spending, so we opted not to participate in those activities, especially after doing the shore excursions we chose.

We may consider taking another cruise in the future, possibly to Alaska or the Caribbean, but we may just decide to vacation on our own.  It could turn out to be more fun that way, and definitely more immersive.

Overall, our honeymoon cruise to the Mediterranean was an amazing experience, and I’m so glad we were able to go.  We got to see so many different, beautiful, and fantastic places, and I wouldn't trade our time there for anything.  I’m looking forward to going back to Europe, but maybe without the cruise ship part :)

*~*~*

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