Monthly Archives: November 2013

thanksgiving recap

Most of the dishes for Thanksgiving this year were from a restaurant because everyone in my family is working crazy hours. We bought the turkey this year and it was delicious but somehow it didn’t come with any sauce. What’s up with that?! Anyway, I made mashed potatoes and green beans with tomatoes. I sort of made up my own mashed potato recipe based on what I’ve tried and what I like. This years recipe included sour cream, heavy whipping cream, butter, pepper, and seasoned salt. I made the PW’s green beans with tomatoes. It’s freakin delicious. It smelled really great when I poured them into a bowl. I love the addition of the tomatoes. It’s a bit sour but oh so delicious.
 photo 019_zpsaa78e12f.png
PW Green Beans w/Tomatoes (slightly altered)
2lbs fresh green beans
8 slices turkey bacon, chopped into pieces
1 medium onion, diced
a few splashes of EVOO
1 28oz can organic whole tomatoes

– cook the onions in the EVOO until onions turn a little translucent (medium low to low heat)
– add turkey bacon and coat in EVOO
– pour in green beans
– add the whole tomatoes juice and all
– stir everything to get it all coated and cook on medium low/low heat for about 45 minutes

 photo 021_zps967b1672.png
 photo 020_zps6d1e6c61.png
I started my holiday baking and made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting today 🙂 Recipe coming soon!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Advertisements

Project Give: Christmas Special

Hi all! Hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving full of happiness, family, friends, love, and of course food. I stuffed myself with turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cheesecake.

I’ve finalized my Christmas special for Project Give this year. I’m posting a few days before the giveaway begins to let military spouses know what’s in which giveaway. I tried my best to shop for the appropriate age group. And I also tried to have something for both genders and items that were gender neutral (if that even makes any sense). Everything in these giveaways are funded by me unless otherwise stated.

December Giveaway: Cuisinart Waffle Maker (it’s been featured on my blog during my waffle making frenzies)

Christmas Special:
Toddlers: coloring book, crayons, twin pack elmo books, sticker book, Christmas snowflake glasses, fish card game, & Christmas m&ms in a candy cane shaped plastic container
Young children: washable finger paint, play doh, mini fishing game, crazy 8 card game, Christmas tree glasses, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 1 dvd, & Christmas m&ms in a candy cane shaped plastic container
Preteens: nail polish (blue, red, glitter pink), Pillsbury funfetti cookie mix, Pillsbury funfetti frosting, The Karate Kid dvd (Jaden Smith/Jackie Chan version), Despicable Me dvd, mini red and silver Christmas ornaments, & Christmas m&ms in a candy cane shaped plastic container
Teens: ho ho ho! mini pillow, Marley & Me dvd, poker game cards, mini blue and silver Christmas ornaments, red and silver snowflake ornaments, Pillsbury funfetti brownie mix, & Christmas m&ms in a candy cane shaped plastic container

I will be posting several Rafflecopter links December 1st to kick off the Christmas special! 🙂 Stay tuned for more updates. Have fun shopping today! Or staying in and drinking hot chocolate/coffee like my sister did! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

thanksgiving traditions

Hi all! Sorry for the lack of post. I haven’t been able to blog in awhile due to my work hours. Thanksgiving is next week! Everyone in my house is working this time of year so prepping a turkey would be a bad idea and we’re blotching the tradition of making a turkey ourselves. Of course, no one else in the family would volunteer to make it (or at least I highly doubt they would) so we’re ordering it made this year. My mom said we’re also ordering other “items” whatever that means. I’ve decided to stick with my favorite choice of sides and make mashed potatoes, steamed green beans with tomato, and dinner rolls. My sister and I have decided to take the simple route this year since most of the food will be ordered. I’ve also decided to bake andes mint chip cookies. They’re going to be a test batch so I can see if they’re yummy enough to give out as gifts for Christmas.

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year? Are you blotching traditions? 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Project Give: November Giveaway Winner!!

November Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Nicole of Adventures of a Semper Fi Family for winning the November Giveaway. Please send me your contact information within two days! You have won the awesome SD Sunshine Pick Me Up Pack!

Please remember to come back for the December giveaway as I will be doing a Christmas special for military kids. I have six separate giveaways for December. You don’t want to miss it! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Christmas Project

Apparently I’m a project enthusiast. Christmas is my favorite holiday for those of you new to reading this blog. I LOVE Christmas. It’s like my fairytale happily ever after. Project Give will be having a Christmas special dedicated to goodies for military children. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet but I’d like to get an early start for my Christmas project. I’m looking for non-profit organizations or organizations in general that help veterans/military personnel. I am currently making a list of all the organizations and will be making donations to each of them. If any of you readers know of any organizations, please let me know!

So far my list includes the following..
Team Rubicon
Operation Homefront
Operation Gratitude
Wounded Warriors

Thanks for your help! 🙂 Sorry for the lack of recipes. I’ve been working more hours at work so my blogging time is slowly fading.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Project Give: November Giveaway

Welcome to the third Project Give giveaway! This month’s theme is “pick me up.” I’m sure you’ve all been there. There was that one day where nothing seemed to go right. Sometimes, there’s only so much we can take before we start to wonder “why is this happening to me?” Sometimes we just need someone to care. Someone to listen. Someone to show us kindness in ways that we couldn’t have thought possible.

I’ve gotten some quizzical looks as well as questions about why I’m doing this “project.” I suppose this project was inspired by my friend AND my parents. You see, both of my parents are immigrants from China. When they came to the United States all those years ago, they had no money and didn’t speak a word of English. How did they manage to get by? I have no clue. They worked their tails off to ensure that I had opportunities that they didn’t get. Opportunities like going to college or maintaining a well-paying job. Even opportunities like having enough food to eat. I always tried to make things easier for my parents because I thought they deserved the pick me ups more than I did for their endless hard work and effort.

I’m very thankful for these amazing opportunities. I’m thankful that I have clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, a nice bed to sleep in, carpet on my floors, running water, a stove, a toilet that flushes, a roof over my head, and a car that gets me places. Many of these things I would not have if my parents hadn’t immigrated to the United States (they were from a rural part of China). I want to thank all of the military spouses out there for what they do. Please be sure to thank your husbands or wives as well! I am grateful to have such wonderful people defending our country.

When I posted my first giveaway for Project Give, Heather of Life of a Traveling Navy Wife contacted me and wanted to sponsor one of my giveaways. As you can imagine, I was absolutely thrilled that a military spouse wanted to help me help other military spouses. Like Heather said, the gift is really in the giving. I am so excited to have Heather on board with Project Give. Her blog is like a platform and she’s so inspirational. Her husband is one lucky guy.

Heather will be sponsoring this month’s giveaway. This “pick me up” giveaway includes many goodies. This month’s giveaway has been deemed the San Diego Sunshine Pick Me Up Pack.

The giveaway includes the following:
– A bag of Cream of Earl Grey tea from The San Diego House
– A soup mix from a farmers market vendor in Little Italy Mercato
– A box of sultry sea salt chocolate from Chuao Chocolatier
– 500 Heart Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes Cookbook

To enter the giveaway, you must…
– Be a military spouse
– Have a blog
– Leave a comment in the comment section with a link to your blog
– Live in the U.S. (this giveaway only ships in the U.S.)

I will use rafflecopter to determine a winner. Only rafflecopter entries will be accepted. Please click on the link below. The winner will be announced next Sunday at 8pm via my blog. The winner will have two days to contact me with their shipping information. If I have not been contacted within two days, another winner will be chosen.

November Giveaway

Each giveaway will include a Cherish Every Moment bracelet and card to support The Dax Locke Foundation. Please consider making a donation and help Dax’s mom, Julie reach her goal of raising $1.6 million to run St. Jude’s hospital for one day in his honor.

Project Give will have a giveaway posted the first of every month. Good luck to everyone!

**Please be sure to check back for December’s giveaways. Christmas happens to be my favorite holiday. I absolutely love the hot chocolate, Christmas lights, decorations, and cheer all around. I smother people with it! Because Christmas is my favorite holiday, there will be a Christmas special in addition to the December giveaway. The Christmas special will include toys and goodies for infants, toddlers, young children, pre-teens, and teens. Each age group will be a separate giveaway so SIX GIVEAWAYS total. Don’t forget to come back! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Here is a guest post from Heather!

A big hello, everyone! I am really excited that Justina asked me to guest blog for Fail Sweetly and to help kick-off the November giveaway! My name is Heather and I write about my adventures as a Navy wife, frequent business traveler, pet loving biker babe and new bonus mom at Life of a Traveling Navy Wife.

When I read about the creation of Project Give I knew I wanted to be part of it, and when I saw the theme for November I definitely wanted in!

I think there have been times in all of our lives we have just wanted a pick me up. Whether it’s just one of those days or a very serious challenge we’re facing, we all need to be uplifted at some point. It is part of what makes us human. I think as military spouses we’re sometimes a bit superhuman so we need to remind ourselves to slow down. A book, a cup of tea, some chocolate! Whatever it takes, I say!

It has been almost two years since a night that changed my life and taught me slowing down for some pick me ups is important. Five minutes after arriving at a friend’s home from happy hour with co-workers, I heard a commotion in the hallway of his building. I was waiting alone for him to return from an appointment so we could hang out. His neighbor, known for being particularly quirky, yelled out, “There’s a fire!” I opened my door to scold him. Didn’t he know that was NOT something funny to joke about? But he wasn’t joking. The hall was filled with smoke. I thought there was time and I had thought wrong. I closed the door, put on my friend’s size 14 flip-flops, grabbed my purse and went into the hallway. Then I got lost in the smoke. All electricity was gone. There was no finding the stairs. At the time I did not know the neighbor below had accidentally started a serious fire. I also didn’t know the front stair case was out. I felt my way back inside and ran to the kitchen. I knocked out a window, called 911 and begged for a ladder. I was on the top floor and jumping, though I had thought about it for a few seconds, was not an option. Through the black smoke, I felt my way around the apartment, found a towel and wrapped it around my head. The operator kept telling me to get down, but the floor was too hot. I knew no one could see me. Then somehow, a small flashlight I had just received as a giveaway from a business associate ended up in my hand. I don’t know how it got there, but it did. I stuck my arm out of the window I had just broken and flashed the light on and off, furiously. Finally, a police officer flashed his own light back toward me. We communicated with light signals for what seemed an hour. My lungs were burning and I was fighting to stay awake. I could hear the fire making its way through the wall and I could feel the flip-flops melting into the floor. The operator kept telling me to hold on. Then I heard a bang. I didn’t know what it was. I went into the pitch black living room and saw the reflection of a firemen’s gear. He grabbed my wrist and put me over his shoulder. I know I was dropped during the rescue because visibility was so poor he tripped over a table. I was told that fifty-three seconds after the fireman rescued me, the ceiling collapsed. It makes you realize how precious life really is. I remember being in the back of the ambulance then waking up again in the hospital. I had been taken to the burn unit of the ICU since I had breathed in so much smoke, my lungs were badly burned. I still do breathing therapy all this time later. The ABG showed my carbon monoxide levels were that of someone who smoked for over fifty years. I have never taken a puff of a cigarette in my life.

The following weeks were tough. But the pick me ups helped me through. Sometimes small things we think aren’t a big deal – they mean more than we really know. The flowers, the cards, the soup and little stuffed beanie babies – they brought smiles to my face. I wasn’t always lucid enough to express my gratitude, but it was ever present. These small items allowed me to have time to myself to reflect and heal while still knowing I was not alone. I am doing great now and while I haven’t forgotten that night, I am certainly stronger for it.

As military spouses and families, we face a set of challenges unbeknownst to the civilian world. We worry about our partners coming home to us and making sure our children grow up with both parents. We worry about wars for reasons that reach far beyond politics. There are deployments, cross-country and overseas moves, new schools for the kids, new jobs and new friends to be made and enough paperwork to drive the sanest of persons mad!

Sometimes you just need a little comfort and to know that someone else out there gets it. You don’t need someone to solve everything for you and sometimes you don’t need or want a conversation; you just need a symbolic hug. There are plenty of those for you in November’s giveaway and there is one person, who may be a perfect stranger telling you, “I get it. Slow down. Breathe. You.are.amazing.”

Remember, you’re never alone.

A heartfelt thanks to you and your family for your service to our country, and a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

-Heather