New Year, New You? Let's Get Real!

Don't set yourself up for failure.  Whether you are going carb free, gluten free, dairy free or wanting to be the best you can be.  You can't just do it cold turkey.  If you cut out all sugar, carbs, wheat, dairy or do 200 sit ups on January 2nd... on January 3rd and 4th you will want to die.  Ok, that might be a little dramatic, however drastically changing your eating habits will give you flu like symptoms.  Your body will go into detox mode, just like going off of a drug.  Because sugar is a drug and most of America is addicted!  You will think this isn't working,  I feel worse!  That is why everything needs to be in moderation.  No shakes, diet pills or gimmicks.  Real whole foods, water, moderate exercise and supplements, a life style change not a 30 day plan.  A lifetime plan.

 
 

For best results slowly cut out all processed food, carbs, ect.  If you eat 3 pieces of bread a day start eating 2, for a couple days.  Then go down to one and then start slowly cutting out other forms of sugar.  If you are drinking soda, slowly cut down.  When you decide to start taking supplements, slowly introduce them to your body.  I started taking a different form of magnesium, a couple of weeks ago.  It said to take 4 a day.  I started taking one a day, then after a week starting taking 2 a day.  Still not taking 4 yet, but as with anything do it slowly and in moderation.  Even good things need to slowly be introduced to your system.  So instead of joining a gym tomorrow, how about a walk or a run.  Remember, this is a lifestyle change not a DIEt.  You can do it!  Just do it, wisely!

 
 

Snooze-Gilbert, AZ

As my much needed, amazing weekend with all three of my girls was coming to an end...we decided to try Snooze for breakfast.  My daughter, Brittney suggested it because she frequents the one in San Diego quite often.  I really do not like to go out to breakfast; I prefer a boiled egg and coffee or spinach and scrambled eggs.  However, after the girls finished their 6:30am photo shoot they were starving.  They also told me the place has Bloody Mary's, and I happen to be on a quest to find the perfect one.  Yes, the wait was a half hour, which I don't do normally.  Now that I am older, I have a no tolerance policy for a lot of things :)  But I am very low maintenance, haha.

The Bloody Mary was awesome, spicy and not thick!  I don't want to feel like I am drinking marinara sauce.  The only thing missing was an olive. 

This is their traditional Eggs Benedict.  It was wonderful!  Remember if you are doing low carb, you can have it on a bed of spinach or arugula, and ask for vegies or tomato slices instead of the hash browns.  I just didn't eat the English muffin or hash browns.  I was too busy talking to remember to do that!  What a surprise ;)

They have six different Eggs Benedict, which are all made with free-range eggs and they are delicious.

For those who like something on the sweet side for breakfast...they have that, also.  Tara, Chloe and Erin said their breakfast was crazy good!

So even though I am not a fan of chain restaurants, Snooze an A.M Eatery, does not feel like one and is so worth checking out.

 Tara and Brittney at Snooze

Tara and Brittney at Snooze

 Photo By Tara pelsue

Photo By Tara pelsue


Farm to Table DinNers

Monthly, we offer delicious Farm to Table Dinners and Brunch.
Directly from our garden and outdoor kitchen to your plate.   Join our Supper Club so you don't miss out on these awesome dinners with live music.

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We also do special events, Office parties, Business meetings, Birthday Parties, Weddings, Anniversaries and Bridal/baby showers.  Reserve that special date now.

Catering

We have been making your special events, extremely delicious for 10 years now! 

 

We love doing wedding, anniversaries, birthdays, showers, business meetings and company parties.

Our most popular menus are... However, we can customize any menu for your special day.

*Chicken Breast with sundried tomatoes and fresh basil.

Alfredo Pasta

Antipasti Salad- romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pepperchinis, olives, salami, shaved parmesan and Romano cheeses.

An Assortment of fresh Italian baked breads

 

*Chicken and beef enchiladas or tacos

Spanish rice and beans

Mexican Salad with Cilantro dressing

Tortilla Chips and two different types of salsa

 

*Roast Beef

Garlic Cheddar Bacon Mashed Potatoes

A mixed green garden salad

and an assortment of breads.

This also includes our chocolate fountain or dessert buffet.

 

It is buffet style, served in chaffing dishes, with an elegant table display.

 

China, silverware, napkins included.

 

$15.95 per person

 

Includes travel fee, set up, clean up and servers.

Ask about our other menus.

 


the farm...

  I love having a farm.  For me it has been a time of peace and healing.  I love that we are surrounded by farms. It never gets old to me. I have to point out every animal to whomever is in the car with me at the time, and I moo at every cow I see.  Yes, I know I am fifty two and I have been doing this since my oldest daughters were little, but I can't help it!  My poor 13 year old daughter gets embarrassed every time I do it.  Although I love animals, I absolutely detest the way they smell. Don't get me wrong, I did my share of cleaning up horse and pig - hum what's a nice way of saying poop?  However, I had to have some wine first, because it kind of dulls your senses. After a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, the animals don't smell so bad. Which brings me to our dog Charlie...

Charlie is our Chocolate Lab, otherwise known as Grandpa, whom I love to death. He is twelve years old, and has arthritis in his back legs, which is very common in Labradors. He is a little on the chubby side, so he's forever on a diet. He loves watermelon, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.  He ate almost all of them out of the garden last year.  We couldn't keep him out. Fortunately, now that we have a pool he swims a lot, which is really good exercise for him.

Charlie is the best dog we have ever had. He is so amazing.   Each day we have with him is a gift.   I talk to Charlie a lot, and give him way too many snacks.  I am constantly trying to move a way from him because he is so slobbery, and loves to lick us.  When he gets out of the pool and shakes, it's a mess. I am sure you can imagine.  Still he brings so much joy to our home.

He is very protective over Chloe.  The second she jumps into the pool, he barks to let me know. I think he also misses the farm.  He loved all of the other animals, especially the chickens.

When you are a city girl from Orange County, you have to drink wine on your farm.

This is Oppie. She was known for busting out of all the fences, and running down the street every time she was in heat. Hmm.. Another reason wine is good on the farm. You never know when you are going to have to chase a pig down the street!  Actually, looking back, I think Oppie was Charlie's favorite.  We were constantly keeping them apart so we didn't have pogs!

Look at that face! Chloe's kind of cute, too ;)

So what am I getting at...Farm + Wine = Happiness!

Thank you, Guacamole!

 I would just like to thank guacamole for all the happiness that is has brought me in my 25 years of life. Thank you for the creamy, chunky, and slightly spicy flavors that you fill my mouth with. Okay... I'm done. I love Guacamole if you can't tell. So today I made the best guac I've ever made. I dipped black bean quinoa chips in it as a healthier alternative to tortilla chips. 

You can make guacamole so many ways, but I decided to stick with the classic ingredients. 

I used...

  • 4 Avocados
  • Half of a Yellow Onion
  • Juice of one Lime
  • Two Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro
  • 1 Tomato
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper to Taste

Recipe by Brittney Hogan    www.virago-fitness.com

Happy First Day of Fall...finally!

So even though the calendar has proclaimed it is here...you are probably still feeling like it is summer.  It's okay, plant some mums, make a wreath and of course a nice celebratory sangria is in order.

Apple Cider Sangria

 serves 4-6 (YA RIGHT)

Ingredients:

1 bottle (standard size) of pinot grigio
2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup ginger brandy
3 honey crisp apples, chopped
3 pears, chopped

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together and stir, stir, stir. Refrigerate for an hour or so (or longer!) before serving.

[Regular brandy can also be used, I simply used ginger brandy to give it more autumn flavor.]

This drink is sure to put you in the Autumn mood.  That, and maybe a couple scarecrows. 

Basil- I love it! Don't you?

If you want to be happy for an hour, get drunk.  If you want to be happy for three days, take a wife.  If you want to be happy for a week, kill your pig and eat it.  But if you want to be happy for a lifetime become a gardener!  Chinese saying

I totally agree with this one.  In the last couple of years I have experienced so much peace and happiness in the garden, watching things grow. 

One of my favorite herbs is Basil, it is so fragrant.  Also, who doesn't love pesto!  I am even successfully growing it in AZ.  Which is know easy task.  Don't forget to prune your basil every one to two weeks for the most favorable leafs. 

 Pesto can be made up to 3 days in advance. To store, place it in a container and press plastic wrap on top of the pesto so that it’s touching the surface. Cover with a lid or another piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Or freeze up to 1 month.

What you will need...

4 cups tightly packed basil leaves

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce)

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (Thank you Trisha for showing me the light 4 yrs ago, Joe bite me, eat all the regular salt and margarine you want.  Only Kosher now!)

1/3 cup olive oil

 Put it all in the blender adding the oil last and slowly

Makes: 1 heaping cup

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Zucchini Turkey Meatballs

Everyone loves a good meatball. However, they are usually pretty heavy.  Well, not this time my friends.  I hope you enjoy these very light, extremely flavorful meatballs.

First, grate 1 cup of zucchini and 3-4 cloves a garlic.

Coarsely chop a bunch of fresh basil. Mine is from my garden.  It is really easy to grow.  If I can grow it in Arizona where it is 500 degrees, you can grow it anywhere.

In a large bowl, add two packages of ground turkey, the grated zucchini, garlic, 2 eggs, parsley, basil, sage, poultry seasoning, oregano, onion powder, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and spicy red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

You can either bake them or you can sauté them in a large skillet with a little olive oil.  I prefer the skillet method, because it adds a little crunch on the outside, yet stays so moist on the inside.

After cooking each side for about 3 minutes on medium to high, add your favorite sauce.  Let it simmer on low for about 15 min.  I add a 1/2 cup of wine. It makes your sauce very rich and full of flavor.  Of course, you might need a glass for you as well.  I call dinner time the bewitching hour, because everyone is starving and everyone is tired.  You can't run away, because you are the mother, so the glass of wine makes everyone seem more pleasant or it makes you just not care.  Whatever works.  Don't forget to sprinkle some parmesan shavings on top.

I eat my meatballs on a bed of fresh spinach. Which is a great alternative to pasta if you are looking for low carb and low fat.  The rest of my family prefers pasta. (Whatever!)

You will absolutely love this. It’s ridiculously good.  The fresh flavors will explode in your mouth!  Yep!

Cowboy Beans

 It is approaching my favorite time of year, Fall time and the holidays.  At least that is what the calendar says.  It is still very warm here and I think we will be bbqing for many more weeks.  This is a really popular recipe with my family and also when we have catered country weddings in the past.  You can have this as a side dish or as a whole meal.  It is loaded with protein and fiber.  I made this adding my families favorite things, you can do the same.   Change it up, add to or take away, make it yours.

First drizzle a little olive oil in your pot.  Then sauté 2-3 cloves of garlic diced very small and 1/2 of an onion.   Cook for two minutes, then add one package of ground pork and one package of ground turkey.  Brown your meat over a med. to high heat.

  

Pour in one large can of tomato sauce.

1/2 cup Bourbon Whiskey

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3-1/2 cup packed brown sugar

a splash or two of liquid smoke

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of mustard

2 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix it all together

Add one large can and one small can of pinto beans

cook on low for 45 min.

 

 

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And now for the best part, cook half of a package of bacon or the whole thing if you want and chop it up and put it on top of the beans.

Last but not least add salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes.  I have a tendency to over salt everything because I love salt and I love everything spicy.  So I will leave that part up to you.

Who doesn't like Baseball and hot dogs!

Nothing says summer like hot dogs and baseball.  The question is how do you like yours? Do you get a little crazy, or are you a mustard and ketchup kind of person?  Check out some yummy ideas.  Also, a fun printable everyone will love. 

If you build it they will come...that also goes for hot dogs.

 Perfect for a party or family night! 

Perfect for a party or family night! 

 I love the Jalapeno and bacon dog.  Especially, since I have so many in my garden right now.  

I love the Jalapeno and bacon dog.  Especially, since I have so many in my garden right now.  

 Of course, the low carb hot dog wrapped in bacon, who needs a bun!

Of course, the low carb hot dog wrapped in bacon, who needs a bun!

Here is the fun printable.  Celebrate Summer and everyday!  Don't forget to check out a baseball game.  Batter up!

Savor the flavor of summer

My family always wants lasagna, but it is so heavy and high in fat.  So I wanted to come up with something healthier and a little lower in fat.  I will also show you how to make it low carb, the way I eat it! 

I am starting with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from my garden and lots of garlic.  Chop cherry tomatoes in half, tear the basil into little pieces and chop garlic into small little pieces.  Nothing compares to ripe produce straight from your garden.  I did this the day before.  Because you can makes tons of this and freeze it.  You can use it for so many different things, instant bruschetta if friends drop by.  Or just as an appetizer to give your family after work and school, because they swear they are starving to death while you make dinner.  It is outrageously yummy and so healthy!   You can add this in the sauce you make or as a base for a soup.  Of course, you can also use this as a pizza topping on top of some fresh mozzarella.The possibilities are endless.

After I chop everything up, I put it on a cookie sheet, drizzle with evo, sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper and dried oregano.  I put it in the oven at 250 degrees for 20 -25 min.  Instant heaven, your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing.

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I sautee 1/2 of an onion and ground turkey.  When they are done I add one bag of spinach, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.  Then just add your favorite sauce and add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and 8oz. of ricotta cheese.  This is not a low fat dish, but it is lower than usual.  I also like to add 1 1/2 cups of chopped zucchini, easy way to get more vegetables into your family.

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Doesn't look to pretty at this point but taste so good! 

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At this point, I take out some sauce and put it over a bed of spinach or zucchini.  If you are eating low carb you will love this.  Actually, my husband likes it this way, also.  He says he does miss the pasta, I don't at all.  Chloe a different story, but she is 11. 

If you are making a regular lasagna, boil your pasta, start layering, add your cheese of choice, you know the routine. 

Time to eat!

Best Mexican Food, so far...

We have been on a quest to find the best Mexican food in AZ.  My husband and I, both cook so we are very hard to please.  We would rather cook at home than go out.  We have had some okay, chips and salsa, with some mediocre food. Friday night we went to a Mexican restaurant in North Scottsdale.   Ajo Ali's did not disappoint, we had great service, high end Mexican food, and amazing chips and salsa.  It is family owned and operated.  Can't wait to go back!

They have happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 3-6,  and all day Monday with drink and appetizer specials.  To top it off they have a great Wine selection and Skinny Margaritas.

http://www.ajoals.com/

Don't slip on one, but...

Even though you don't want to slip on one... the contents can be your best friend. The banana makes a superior skin softener.  The warm summer weather can really take a toll on your feet. Try this mask for weatherworn heels:

Mash half a banana in a bowl

mix in a few drops of honey

then massage into your heels

Wrap your feet in plastic wrap and allow the mixture to soak in for at least 10 minutes.

Rinse, then gently exfoliate the area with a pumice stone.


           

 

 

 

 

Hum...I thought this was a good idea, why???

So sometimes...I do weird/stupid things.  My sister is a shop-online-aholic.   She buys so much stuff she doesn't open it and has no clue to what she even has.  Well, my daughter, Chloe has a field day staying with her aunt because she comes home with $100's of dollars of beauty products.  I, on the other hand, stick to exactly what I need to put on my face so I don't scare anyone. 

Ever so often I will try one of these products, it never works out and I end up wanting to scream.  The other day we were going to dinner in Scottsdale.  I was having an okay hair day.  I decided to use one of the hairsprays, Chloe left in my bathroom, because it was the first thing I grabbed.  Well, I didn't know what was in there but I suddenly, after straightening my hair, had this wet, curly look.  It's okay I told myself, your going to dinner with your husband, child and family, no big deal.  So I sprayed more on and just went with that look.

Not so lucky the next day...So I hate to pluck my eye brows!  It hurts and I get a headache and I can't see.  Because I am 50 now.  So, I saw this pink mini little shaver thing.  I got this bright idea.  I could just shave my eyebrows and give them the perfect arch.  Well, that is not anything close to what happened.  Instead, I had sections missing of my eyebrows.  Oh well, I thought, I think some people just draw them on.  That's it!  I'll just do that! 

Well, I filled in those missing areas quickly because I had to go.   So Chloe and I, were in the store for about 10 minutes.  I guess she finally got a good look at me.  She kind of loudly said, (because 11 yr. olds and men don't know how to whisper)  What is wrong with your eye brow?   I said, "What do you mean?"  I quickly found a mirror, I forgot I had shaved it off, drew it on, then I guess rubbed my face and suddenly...I looked like Mr. Spock!  Chloe's deep concern turned into hysterical laughter.  Glad I could provide her with some entertainment. 

Moral of the story...getting older is hard!  Don't use anything your younger sister sends over, there is a reason she didn't want it.  AND wear your glasses!

Eat Me, Eat Me!

It is perfectly okay to indulge and have a yummy treat once in awhile.  The key is to go out and have that special treat!  Go to your favorite ice cream parlor , donut shop, Sprinkle cupcakes.  You get the message.  Go out and have one piece, one slice, one scoop.  Do not go and get a whole pie, a cake or a box of donuts and bring it home.    Because we all know what happens...they start calling our name, late at night...eat me, eat me, eat me!  Until it is all gone. Practice moderation in all things.  Treat yourself, enjoy it, then walk away.  If you decide to bake something at home, same thing.  Enjoy a piece, then brighten a neighbor's day, share with them.  It will put a smile on both of your faces.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow

This is a very hard story to post, but I am very proud of my daughter for writing this.

I hope it gives someone the strength to carry on after a horrific loss. I also will never know how my oldest daughter, Tara drove Brittney to our house that day, when they were almost 2 hours from our home.

June 23rd, 2012 - What started off as a great day, quickly turned into the worst day of my life.

I woke up that morning so excited. My husband, Hunter, had been deployed for a little over six months, which meant we were one more month away from him coming home. Around this time, my days were filled with 'coming home' preparations for our home and our life. I had all of his favorite beer stalked in the mini fridge in his new man cave, and a stack of weekend newspapers from the time he left to now. I figured he would come home and sit in his man cave with a cigarette, beer and read up on everything he missed while he was in Afghanistan. 

That morning I went straight to a meeting with a client. Hunter had only been gone 6 months, and I booked my fifth wedding that morning. I couldn't wait to tell him. I knew he would be so proud of me. However, the news would have to wait because he was on one last mission, which meant no contact with the outside world for 2-3 days. I was scared for him, but I was hopeful. I knew he would be okay. I mean he made it this far, right? He just had one more mission and then he was on his way home. 

My sister lived with us in North Carolina. Actually, when we got the orders to the east coast, my whole family came with us. Thank goodness, because it kept me sane and busy while he was away. After booking the wedding and getting a check for the deposit, my sister and I decided to drive to Raleigh to celebrate. We usually listened to music while we drove far distances, but instead we talked the whole car ride (2.5 hours). We pretty much spent the whole time planning for when Hunter would get home. We talked about us finally having a wedding, and trying again for a baby. In the midst of dreaming and planning, I checked my phone (every two seconds just to make sure i didn't miss his call) and i saw on Facebook that his platoon was in River City. "River City" is a term the military uses when there has been a casualty, and all communication has been cut off. It is mainly so a wife/husband or parent doesn't hear about the casualty from social media or a friend before hearing it from the Military. 

We finally got to Raleigh and decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We ordered our favorite - Chicken and Biscuits. I took a couple bites of my food and my cell phone rang. The number was one that I didn't recognize. I thought for a split second that it might be Hunter, but the number for the satellite phone always had a Hawaii area code. This one did not. Right at that moment, I had so many thoughts racing through my head. Maybe it's Hunter, and the area code is just different. No, he's on a mission and said he wouldn't be in contact for two or three days. Maybe he got done early. Then it hit me. I remembered something that a fellow military wife told me a few months before. She said that when your loved one is killed in battle, marines go to your house to inform you. If you're not home, or at the address listed on your paperwork, they call you. From that moment, before I even answered the phone, I knew. 

I looked at my sister with a concerned look as I answered the phone. "Hello, is Mrs. Hogan there?" It was a man who was not Hunter. He said his name, but I couldn't hear it. All I heard was "Lieutenant", and that's all it took. I leaped out of the booth and ran outside. The man on the phone asked me where I was. I couldn't even talk at this point. I didn't even know where I was. I fell down on the ground outside and was crying hysterically. He kept asking me where I was, and I kept yelling at him "Tell me what happened!" He wouldn't tell me. He just kept asking me where I was because he was coming to me. He told me to stay where I was and that he would be there. I don't even remember hanging up on him. My sister finally ran outside to find me, and there were several strangers around me trying to figure out why I was screaming, but no words would come out. 

You always hear about people having strange feelings or premonitory dreams when someone close to them passes away. I hadn't heard the words come out of anyone's mouth yet, but I knew that my husband had been killed. My sister was helping me off the ground and I was trying to explain what the man on the phone was saying to me. A very nice man at the mall came to us and tried to calm me down. He said not to worry, and that it could be that he was injured, but no matter what happened, they can't tell you over the phone. They have to tell you in person. Next, Hunter's father called me and he was crying. I screamed at him to tell me what happened, and he said "They didn't tell you?" "Baby, he's dead." Those words will echo in my mind until the day I die. I fell to the ground. All of the life sucked out of me. My poor sister was crying, but trying to lift me up off the ground. Everyone was staring at us. She was so strong. Somehow she managed to get us both to the car and drive us to my mother's house an hour and a half away. That was the longest car ride of our lives. 

The marines were waiting for us at my mother's house when we arrived. I don't know how they even got her address. Almost everything about that day is a blur now. 

The next few hours, days, and weeks are just as hard to write about. My husband of two years, Hunter Hogan, was killed in combat June 23rd, 2012. In the blink of an eye, my whole life changed. All of our lives changed. We lost an amazing man. 21 years old, but the oldest soul you'd ever met. Hunter was everyone's best friend. He was the toughest, meanest cowboy you'd ever meet, but those of us who knew him really well knew a different side to him. He was the most loving, caring, honest man there was. He touched so many people in only 21 years. He lived a life fuller than most fifty year olds have. It didn't make sense...

Marines die. Soldiers die. Seamen die. But not mine. I never in a million years considered that he wouldn't come back. Of course, you try not to think about it. It's always in the back of your mind, but the more you think about it, the more you think it might happen, and the harder it is to get through deployments. So you just don't think about it. You are never prepared for something like this to happen to you. Especially at the age of 21. 

Three years ago today, Hunter was taken from us. It is so strange looking back from the day that we met, and thinking about everything that happened and lead up to June 23rd. So many questions go through your mind on a daily basis. Why did we even meet? What if I didn't go to that wedding on October 16th? How different would my life be? Would it be better? Would it be worse? The answer is, who cares. We did meet. We did get married and I wouldn't change any of it. Even though losing him was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through and will continue to go through for the rest of my life, I wouldn't trade any of the happy moments and happy memories I have just to not feel this pain. That's how life is though, right? You can't look into a crystal ball and see each possible path laid out in front of you and decide from there which way you want to go. Of course not. It's a gamble. 

Life is hard. We all go through pain and suffering. The pain isn't what defines us. It's how we deal with it that defines us and builds our character. After Hunter died, I woke up every morning next to a bottle of Jack Daniels. Can you blame me? It has taken me a long time to get to where I am today. It's taken me a long time to see what Hunter did for me and our family and our country and consider it an honor, or an act of valor. It's hard not to be selfish about something like this. All Hunter wanted to do was join the Marine Corps and fight for his country. And that's what he did. He's a hero. It's because of people like him who are willing to lay down their life for our country, that we are able to live free and safe. I see that now. I never truly knew what it meant to be patriotic until I met him. 

The hardest part of losing someone is realizing that they're not coming back. Realizing that you have a long life ahead of you without them is a harsh reality. However, it's true. I am lucky enough to have found love again. It's very interesting to reflect on how I interacted with Hunter and compare it to how I interact with my Fiance, Graham. I'm still the same person inside, but losing your husband makes you a completely different person in your relationships. I find myself letting a lot of things slide that I typically wouldn't have with Hunter. It's little things that I've come to realize don't matter in the huge scheme of things. I always find myself thinking 'what if I lost Graham tomorrow, would I even remember this little thing that bothered me?' It's a really good way to be in a relationship, but sad that it takes losing someone to be like this. It made me realize that this is how most of us are, and it shouldn't take you losing someone to remember daily that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. 

I wish I could thank him for what he did for us. For being so brave and putting everything he had on the line for his country. I wish I would have known the last time I saw him was going to be the last. I wouldn't have let him go. 

Life is so short, and everyday could be your last. Do amazing things. Live fearlessly. Love fearlessly. Fight for what you believe in. Make each day count. 

http://www.virago-fitness.com/blog/2015/6/22/we-are-not-guaranteed-tomorrow

Please check out Brittney's website www.virago-fitness.com and learn more about this brave woman's journey and to encourage others to "Run for your life"
 

Award Winning Father's Day Ribs

Happy Father's Day to all the Father's out there who are giving it their all! 

My husband, Joe loves to BBQ, and I have never tasted BBQ as good as his!  It is always the perfect combination of grilled on the outside and juicy and tender in the middle.  He never has to drown them in sauce.   We do make our on sauce for dipping but they don't need it!

If you use a dry rub, your favorite or ours, start off on the top rack and slow cook, finish up on the bottom rack for a crispy outside. 

Others have asked how he gets that perfect combination and he doesn't mind sharing his secrets with them. 


Dry Rub

  • Brown Sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Paprika – 1/4 cup
  • Coarse Salt – 3 Tbs
  • Black Pepper – 1 Tbs
  • Garlic Powder – 1 Tbs
  • Onion Powder – 1 Tbs
  • Chili Powder – 1 Tbs Optional
  • Cayenne Pepper – 1 Tbs Optional

The C Spot

It is no secret that I am a wine drinker. I love wine!  I love everything about it: the bottle, the cork, the openers, wine glasses, and of course the beautiful vineyards.  I love the oak barrels!  However, I don't like Chardonnay. I don't like the Oak taste. It gives me a headache.  I really only enjoy very dry white wine.  My poison of choice is Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. 

I love where I live, however, the retail area leaves a lot to be desired.  Very few stores here have a good wine selection.  So I decided I need to do something to make that bottle of Chardonnay a little more desirable.  Well, I did and I love it!  In fact everyone I have made it for really likes it, too.

I don't know about where you live, but where I live summer has arrived.  It is about 500 degrees (give or take a degree or two).

My daughter, Brittney, who is almost 25 year old said we needed to name the drink.  So it became the C Spot. We will leave it at that.  But I am sure you will love the refreshing and light citrus flavor!

Make your own C Spot :

Slice a navel orange and put it in a zip lock bag.  Freeze it for at least one hour.  It will not dilute your wine and it will keep your drink ice cold!  Eating the orange after it has soaked up all the wine flavor is the best part.

Add the frozen orange slice to your glass of Chardonnay

Add a splash of Grand Marnier or Triple Sec

Garnish will a sprig of mint.

Cheers!

Warning: It does go down very smooth.  Drink responsibly.  Walk with caution. Talk with caution!

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