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Monday, February 9, 2015

School is a tad overwhelming

Man I am really no good at this. 
I have been forever absent again. 
School has taken precedence over blogging, and personal life, and social life, and everything. 
Last week was especially tough. I had a midterm paper to write and I was suffering from some sickness/stress/anxiety/women issues. But I got it done, and turned it in and got an 87%
I am a little over booked this semester. But now that that paper is over I can refocus, until my final paper in 4 weeks.
My classes are weird. It's hard to explain.
I go to 2 schools, one does regular 16 week semesters. The other does 4 sets of 8 week condensed terms per semester.
So I have 2 classes at the community college here, well one regular 3 credit class and one 1 credit class. (both online)
And then I have 3 classes at the university online. In the first second and fourth terms. So my next class will not start until my first class ends. Thank god, because I have a huge ass paper due at the end of this class (History of Japan to 1800) and I don't think I could handle starting another class before this one is over. 
Oh and I found out a class I took for fun, ended up filling a needed requirement, not just an elective! More time for activities! WooT! 

But things are going well.
Evey is doing great. She is getting bigger and bigger every day. She is talking up a storm. She is bossy, and determined. She is super smart too. She can count to 15 (most of the time) and she is working on her ABC's. 

We just had a wonderful visit from Paul's mom. We did so many fun things, beach trips, a trip to the Zoo, shopping. We had a blast. 

So really besides school, not much is going on here. 
I am thinking of doing another Vlog soon. The next Golden Vlog is up in a couple of days, So I need to film that. Plus I was thinking of doing a hair dye one.
I need to color my hair again, so why not film it? 
So that's all, I should be studying, but instead I am helping my sister with a paper, and writing here. 
I suppose I should go to bed, or study. 
So Sayonara! 

Oh and Aiko Says Hello! 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 Instagram Highlights

Started the year off fun
A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

and then there was snow, lots of snow.

A video posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

snow means drinks... of course

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

pink hair !

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

we got our address in California!

then we emptied the house and left Montana

our adventure brought us to Virginia, where we had fun with family and had some yummy beer

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

and we learned some new tricks

A video posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

dogs had fun with Auntie Andrea

we finally moved into our new home

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

we did some exploring

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

found a Coco Curry

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

mama got a new ride!

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

we wrapped up summer with lots of fun outside

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

and a trip to the pumpkin patch!

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

November was the Marine Corps Ball, always a good time

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

then I cut my hair off, and dyed it pink

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

evey had a wonderful second birthday

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

even though she busted her head open a couple days before

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

Santa went about as well as we expected

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

christmas was spent with family, playing inappropriate card games

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

and I ended the year with more fun hair colors!

A photo posted by Alana �� (@alanamarie26) on

Follow me on instagram if you don't already, you can see all the things you miss here and on facebook. I'm looking forward to sharing another wonderful year with you.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap Up

It's the last day of 2014. I guess it's time to visit last years goals.

First of I am very proud to say that we did get rid of our credit card debt, we did end up using our savings. but that is a huge weight gone. And we are saving hundreds in interest charges. I also think I may have forgotten my credit card number... hahaha. 
For the coming year I would like to regrow our savings, and continue to pay of our credit cards each month. 

The fitness was a fail. I think I just need to stop making fitness goals. I think that I may even weigh more than I did at the beginning of the year. Sad. Maybe my goal will be to track 450 miles on my fitness app. That's a little less than 9 miles a week. That sounds totally doable. Another healthy thing I have been working on is a gallon of water a day. I slipped up the last week, but before Christmas I was doing really good on getting almost a whole gallon a day. I would like to continue this. I am really bad about drinking water and have had some issues with it the last year. 

We did travel quite a bit, we got back east to see family, we got to the south west quite a few times to see family. We didn't get much travel done beyond that, but we have been busy. 

I didn't get much photography done. In fact I think it's safe to say I took less than half the pictures I did in 2013. But I got a video camera for Christmas, so I hope to work on both still photography and videography in the next year. 

I'm not really too worried about blog growth anymore. I am here to have fun and share my wisdom, silly stories, and photographs. 

My final goal for 2014 was to minimize. We did get rid of the big bed frame and the big entertainment center when we got here. We also got rid of the couch before we moved, and now we just have a love-seat. We still have some work to do, but I think we made great progress getting rid of stuff and lightening the load before we got here. I hope to unload some more stuff in the coming months and prepare for spring. 

Some new things for next year, I would really like to be more active with Evey. I feel like we have spent a good part of the last few months watching TV. Or rather her watching TV while I do school work, or screw around on the computer. 
I don't just want to work on my walking, but I would like to get her out, walking, playing, just getting exercise and being social. 

I hope to maintain my grades, and continue on with school. Keep on top of my work, and avoid waiting until 2 hours before something is due to do it.

Oh and spend more time at the beach.

Love my little family 

Do you have goals? do you do resolutions? Share 'em!

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Monday, December 22, 2014


I know I talked about trying to blog twice a week until the end of the year, but I got sick with a terrible sinus infection the last week of school. The endless sinus headache, and vertigo I have had has really limited my ability to do anything but watch Gilmore Girls. I am still not up to par, however today is the first day in a week I haven't been eating an enormous ibuprofen with my morning coffee, so that's a plus. 

I decided to do something a little fun this week. I found this last night on Scattered Seashells, and it looks fun! 

4 names people like to call you other than your real name:
1. mom
2. sister (my sister calls me sister, we are weird) 
3. Alana-Banana
4. Banana 

4 jobs you have had:
1. Manager at AAFES
2. Motorcycle sales person (I was terrible at it) 
3. cook in a takeout Italian restaurant
4. Courier for a real-estate company 

4 movies you've seen more than once:
1. Star wars series
2. Indiana Jones series
3. Harry Potter series
4. Strange Brew

Del Mar Beach Camp Pendleton December 2014

4. books you'd recommend:
1. Harry Potter 
2. anything by Chelsea Handler
3. Bitter is the new black - Jen Lancaster 
4. I have read so many books but my mind is blank

4 places you've lived
1. Tucson, Arizona
2. Chicopee, Massachusetts 
3. Okinawa, Japan
4. Helena (and Butte), Montana 

4 places you've visited
1. Washington DC
2. Mexico
3. Glacier National Park
4. Las Vegas, Nevada

4 places you'd rather be right now
1. Okinawa
2. anywhere else in Japan
3. my moms house in Arizona
4. Okinawa

Okinawa, Jp September 2010

4 things you don't eat
1. raw carrots, they are just gross
2. raw onions
3. radishes 
4. natto

4 of your favorite foods
1. Kraft mac and cheese
2. cheeseburgers 
3. french fries 
4. eggs

4 TV shows you watch
1. Gilmore Girls
2. Archer
3. Bobs Burgers
4. South Park
(I don't watch a lot of TV, we don't even have cable, just netflix and hulu)

Okinawa, Comprehensive Park 2010

4 things I am looking forward to this year:
1. making through it in one piece 
2. vacation to NorCal
3. summer 
4. how sad is it that I can't think of anything?

4 things you are always saying:
1. Stop climbing on that!
2. You are not a monkey!
3. I'm tired, is it bed/nap time yet?
4. In or out dogs! in or out! 

Bates Nut Farm 2014

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Lessons I learned going back to school

1. I am really bad at time management
At any given time I can think of about two dozen other things to do, studying always falls low on the list. "Shit! dishes need to be done" or "We have no food, must run to the store" or the most common "oohh look at facebook, so shiny" (You can easily replace facebook with: youtube, pintrest, imgur, or the silly pirate game my sister made me download on my phone)
2. Really, really bad at time management.
I actually frequently end up doing my studying, reading, and especially online school work late at night and on the iPad while laying in bed. More times than I can count I have fallen asleep reading, or having Siri read to me on the iPad. 
3. No matter how hard I try to manage my time, the toddler has other plans.
Then there are days like today, where I am ready and rearing to go. Evey wants nothing to do with watching TV, or eating snacks, she is requiring 100% of my attention. So I stand in the kitchen, she can't reach me beyond the baby gate, but I can see her, she finally decides to play and I am able to stand there and go over my flash cards, while I load the dishwasher.
4. My brain isn't quite the sponge it once was.
I love to learn. But some things, no matter how hard I try I just can't get them to stay in my brain. I am really good at certain parts of Japanese, things you can picture, words associated with tangible things, nouns. But verbs, and parts of speech, are just hard. And without going into a Japanese lesson, Japanese verbs change depending on the use (positive or negative) and that just gets really confusing. 
5. Despite the fact that I know I could be doing better if I tried harder, as of this very second I have an A in both of my classes, and I got a B in my class that ended a few weeks ago (#historyclassfromhell).
I've got to be doing something right. I just hope that next semester I can assert myself better and manage my time at least a little better, and not go into finals fearing for my life.  
6. I am on track to graduate with my BA in History in fall 2016.
Unless I find some magic powers inside me that can push me into taking extra classes. Currently the university I am enrolled in does shortened 8 week courses, which sounds well and fine for someone in a hurry, but my poor brain just can't handle too much info at once. Also some of the classes (at the community college) I am taking are purely for my own enjoyment, exploring things that interest me, I have chosen to take advantage of some great grants offered here, and giving myself a well rounded education. But I don't want to overwhelm myself. Plus I am really in no real hurry. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sister Smarty Pants

I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate my little sister. She received her Associates in History and Anthropology this weekend. 

I am so very proud of her!

You beat me this round sister, now lets race to the BA! 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gin Mule (or Gin-Gin Mule) Recipe

In today's installation of Operation Empty the Pantry, I bring you the gin mule. 
There are lots of recipes for this drink when you google it. If you found me through google I hope you like what you see here. 
It's a pretty simple drink, and quite refreshing. I would call it a summer drink, although I discovered it's parent drink (the Moscow Mule) the winter. 

I got a little artsy with the photography
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/4 squeezed lime

combine in a rocks/higball glass and enjoy

I have seen most recipes add muddled mint and simple syrup, but I think those make it too complex. This is simple, flavorful, and goes down easy. It's not too sweet, the gin is very subtle. 
Maybe without all that shit mine isn't a real Gin Mule, but it's delicious, and I suggest you at least try it before you add more sugar and the mint. 
Just as good (maybe better) thank the vodka drink it's modeled after.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Okinawa Candy

During our time on Okinawa we did lots of sightseeing, and lots of eating candy and treats. One of our favorite places for both was the Nago Pineapple Park (official link). It was a lot of fun for visitors, I have a very brief post of pictures here, but more or less you go through the pineapple farm on a remote driven car and you listen to a short lesson about pineapples, and then you enter into the winery. You walk through the winery and you can taste wine and vinegar all made from fresh pineapple. You follow into a little store with cosmetics and then into a room with fresh pineapple, to buy and eat, and pineapple cakes, candies, all kinds of candies not just pineapple ones, lots of touristy stuff, bags t-shirts, stuffed animals. And that leads me to the point of this post. On of our favorite candies while in Okinawa was Shikuwasa Hi Chew. So shikuwasa is like a key lime, sort of.
Photo Credit: Naturally DIY
They go great on just about anything. They are a bit sweeter than limes. When in season they are used frequently in Okinawa, and even out of season you can find them bottled in juices all over the island. 
But we are here to talk about candy. So back to the Pineapple Park ( OkiHai link), well this was the only place Paul and I ever saw Shikuwasa Hi-Chew, so every time we went we bought enough to last us until the next time.  Hi-Chew is a chewy candy, like starburst.
Photo Credit: Ilubgrub
Since we are not making bi-yearly trips to the pineapple park anymore, it has been YEARS since we have had this candy. I have frequently put feelers out to get some, but not many people frequent the pineapple park, especially long term residents like most of my friends over there. Recently a SoCal blogger and her husband moved over there. Perhaps you have heard of her, Elizabeth over at The Young Retiree, if not go check her out! Well I mentioned the candy to her one night, and she knew what I was talking about, she had picked some up at a local mall! I was so excited! I asked her if she could send me a couple boxes, and she so kindly did!

Happiness doesn't even begin to describe the excitement of having these candies again. Thank you so much Elizabeth, you are awesome! This is truly the best flavor. We are rationing them now. Hopefully when we run out Elizabeth will send me more!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Golden Vlog

Woah! Two blogs today! But only because I found this Vlog and I want to join up and it ends tomorrow.

(click on the little youtube icon on the video to view in youtube!)

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