Monday, November 18, 2013


Miss these beautiful ladies!

  The past few weeks it has been a constant battle to remain in high spirits.  The reason?  Well, there are many: 
(1)  I met some truly amazing people in Dubai and I miss them like crazy.  Since it took time for me to adjust to being abroad and to actually feel happy away from the States, I think I missed out on opportunities to get to know some of the people better.  In my last few months, I really started to open up and form stronger bonds with some of the ladies.  Now seeing their Facebook posts about going and doing things together breaks my heart a little bit.  I want to be with them.  AND I miss Naomi.  Again, I feel as though I missed out on experiences we could have had due to me being a mopey idiot.
(2)  I miss the experience of living abroad.  It has always been a fear of mine to lead a hum-drum life and not be able to regale my future children/grandchildren with stories of my amazing life.  While I know it is ridiculous, I feel as though my life lost its interestingness when we moved back to Iowa. I constanly have to remind myself that we have done some amazing things since our return in July.  We have traveled to Minneapolis, traveled throughout Colorado (where I need to eventually live!), purchased our first house, had some amazing experiences with our wonderful friends, gone to Spring Green for another play, enjoyed time in Galena, spent many hours with my beautiful goddaughter, spent time with our family, etc. 
(3)  I keep thinking about what we were doing at this time last year and see what our Dubai/Panama friends are currently doing and feel like I'm missing out.
(4)  I miss doing new, crazy, weird, never would have done it unless I was abroad things.
(5) This gosh darn weather.  Constant cold, rainy weather is not conducive of warm fuzzy happiness, in my opinion.  OR going to work in the dark and getting home at dark.  UGH.
There are more reasons that I could continue to list, but I think those sum it up quite well. I think this time will be a transition, much like when we first moved to Dubai.  It took me about 6 ish months to really start loving it there, and I need to be patient and realize it might take that much time to adjust back to here.  Now if all of the amazing, wonderful people could please just move in next door, that would be fabulous!!!  :)
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Lives in Photographs: Crazy days

It is hard to believe that we have less than 11 weeks left in this calendar year.  What?! Crazy.  Somehow time seems to have sped up.  With that, my posting habits have suffered.  We seem to keep ourselves much more busy these days.  Ben has agreed that we both are more open to doing things than when we were in Dubai.  This is partially due to cost, partially due to convenience and partially due to being in our comfort zone again.
That all being said, here is a quick picture + caption rundown of what we have been up to:
We bought a house!

Welcome to the world Maelynn JoAnn Boggess!
Welcome to the world Maelynn JoAnn Boggess!
Born August 24, 2013

Johnna & Maelynn 

A new kind of tailgating.
Marcus & Maelynn

Evenings filled with snuggly babies. :)
Maintaining a yard. (And pretty mums!)
Work, work, work!
Occassional naps. . 

Perfect fall morning. <3
Cute fluffer butt.
Ridiculous entertainment.
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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Taste of Fall

My mums are finally blooming!
Fall is my most favorite time of the year!  The weather is lovely, the colors are absolutely stunning and food just seems to taste better.  And of course you can't forget Hawkeye football!

I recently found a recipe via that I tweaked a bit and had to share it!  It sounds a little weird to those of us who are steak and potato kind of folks, but by-golly it is damn delicious.  Best part? SO EASY!

Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup


1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 C low-sodium beef stock
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, in juice
2-3 cans black beans, drained
2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1.5 C heavy cream
1 T curry powder
1.5 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper


Heat a soup pot over medium heat.  Add oil and saute onions for five minutes.  Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree.  Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil.  (Be careful - prone to splatter).  Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste.  Simmer five minutes and adjust seasonings as needed.  Serve and garnish with chives (if desired).

I used canned tomatoes from my mother-in-law's garden instead of canned.  The original recipe also only called for 1 can of black beans and that was not near enough in my opinion. I would say use 2 or 3 depending on how much you love fiber.  I served the soup with some homemade biscuits and it was a hit with my hubs. 

This soup is so hearty!  It is excellent reheated and I have received many inquires and compliments on it at work!  

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Puck that!

'Tis the season of disgusting snot and loogies and coughing and everything else that gets clogged up in your head and refuses to come out.  

Solution? Awesome shower pucks that smell like heaven and soothe. . . your soul. :)

Just pop one of these bad boys in the shower and BAM.  You can breathe!  Best part?! They are SO friggin' easy to make!!

Baking Soda
Eucalyptus, Lavender & Rosemary Essential Oils

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add 2 cups of baking soda to a bowl.  Slowly add 2/3 C of water until you have a semi-thick paste.  
Line a muffin tin with some pretty paper liners and spoon in the baking soda/water mixture until about half-full.  Bake for 20 minutes. 
Remove pucks from muffin tin before completely cooled.  
(I used a knife to gently pry them out.)  
Add 15 drops of each essential oil to each puck.
Allow pucks to dry overnight.  
Remove from liners and store in a plastic bag or tub or anything.

You can use each puck for a couple of showers, which is dandy (so long as you don't take hour long showers like a certain brother-in-law. . . ).  

Also, essential oils can be found almost anywhere.  I got mine at HyVee in the Health Market. 

The end and enjoy!!

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sweet Summertime - Part 5: Colorado

 It has become a tradition with Ben and his brothers to go to Steamboat Springs, CO each year for a soccer tournament/good time. We planned with Jon earlier in the year to go and so after MN, it was off to CO!

This was my driving buddy:

I made the 'Grrr' face on the drawing, but really I thought it was kind of hilarious.  Sometimes people ask how I refrain from reaching across and smacking him.  Honestly, I think people underestimate my level of annoyingness.  We both do things that normal people probably wouldn't be able to tolerate.  Be glad you don't live in our home.  :)

Our drive out to Colorado was long.  I forgot my knitting so by hour four I was bored.  Once we arrived, though, it was all worth it! Jon was at soccer practice, so we walked with Bri over to the fields to say hello.  None of us had eaten and it was getting to be fairly late, so we hopped on over to Chili's for a quick bite.  The next day Ben showed me his old stomping grounds and then we did a day date to Boulder.  I had never been and he knew I would love it, so we went for lunch!  It was beautiful!  We went down to the Pearl Street ped-mall and enjoyed the gorgeous day.

Holy bajeezes! Look at that handsome man! :)
Pearl Street!
Later that night we had supper with his Uncle Keith and Aunt Paula.  Since most of Ben's family lives in CO and he was in Dubai for most of the time we were dating and because we had such a small wedding, I have yet to meet much of his side of the family. It was nice to finally be able to put faces with the names.

Lovely Denver sunset.  Didn't Instagram this at all!
Andy and his gf, Tescia, arrived in Denver after us, and in the morning we were off to Steamboat.  We voted to take the long route to Steamboat so we could go through the mountains.  We were able to stop and get some pretty baller shots:

Meet Ginger Snap. (Name courtesy of Jon Jackson)
Here is Ginger Snap again.  

Andy & Tescia

We are incognito.  (Because we're in tree pose.  Get it?)

This one is named Ginger Pop. (My idea)

Naturally, we had to stop and take a picture with the sign.
And Ginger Pop was like 20 yards away. . . 
The Jackson Clan
Me, Ben, Bri, Jon, Andy
A photo w/Rabbit Ears Pass in the background.
Tescia, Andy & Ginger Snap
Me, Ben, Ginger Snap
Is Ginger Snap a manly enough name?

We had a very chill weekend in Steamboat.  We attended Jon's girls' soccer games which were fun to watch. (Not only were they good and won their games, but they won the whole shebang!)  We also had relaxing mornings where we sipped coffee and read on the porch (an activity Tescia and I were especially fond of), we did a bit of hiking, we rode bikes around for a couple of hours, we grilled and enjoyed some company, we indulged in a bit of wine (or a lot bit of wine), and we ended the weekend with some delicious, authentic Mexican food.

View from the porch of the condo. AMAZING.

This waterfall was the inspiration of the Coors mountains.
Fun tid bit of information, for ya.

They are on the lookout for. . . bears? 

'Berry nice' 

Looky what Ben found!


Awesome action photo by Tescia.


Bri & Jon
Ben & me
Tescia & Andy
It was an amazing trip and I am already excited for our next trip out! I wish we lived closer so we could enjoy the company of Jon and Bri more often, as well as enjoying the outdoorsyness.  Sigh. . . 

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