While I’ve Been Away: July Happenings

Once again I have gotten behind in the blogging. The move to Hawaii is coming up soon, however, so I definitely want to start the habit back up.

Independence Day Weekend

Cooper Havanese by the pool

Cooper Havanese in the pool

Visit to IU

Cooper Havanese and Daddy at IU


Documenting Our Stuff Before the Movers Come

PCS Hawaii


Beach Themed July BarkBoxJuly BarkBox Cooper Havanese and Clam ToyCooper Havanese and Whale Toy

Trip to St. Louis

Cooper Havanese and Daddy on Paddle BoatSt Louis Trip

Chris Graduates from AEGD at Fort Campbell

Chris with Residents at AEGD Graduation AEGD Graduation


101 Things in 1001 Days

It is so easy to move some place new and have all of these big plans for things you would like to do and then never get around to doing them. Chris and I have definitely fallen victim to that in pretty much every new place we have moved to. I hate thinking back at our time in Boston and all the fun East Coast things we didn’t end up doing. Now that we are moving to Hawaii in a few short months, we have decided to put together a list of things we definitely want to do in our first few years there. I’ve always wanted to complete a 101 things in 1001 days list and now is a great opportunity!

Start: July 1, 2014

End: March, 28, 2017

101 Things in 1001 Days

Buy kayak
Buy new laptop
Buy a camera
Buy a video camera
Buy snorkel gear
Shop at Hilo Hattie
Shop at Waikele Premium Outlets
Go paddleboarding
Go paddleboarding with Cooper
Go kayaking with Cooper
Go camping
Go golfing
Play tennis
Snorkel at Hanauma Bay
Snorkel at Kailua Beach Park
Snorkel at Malaekahana Beach Park
Snorkel at Shark’s Cove
Snorkel at Kuilima Bay
Charter fishing boat
Go scuba diving
Fly in jet pack
Swim in lagoon at Ko Olina
Go hiking at Ka’ena Point
Play mini golf
Ice skate in Hawaii in December
Hike Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail
Hike Diamond Head
Explore Kane’ohe Bay
Hike the Haʻikū Stairs (Hawaii)
Take helicopter volcano ride
Make Sushi
Host a dinner party
Host of BBQ
Go on catamaran dinner cruise
Visit a Hawaiian Farmer’s Market
Eat at Helena’s Hawaiian Food
Eat at MAC 24-7 at Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio
Eat at Hukilau Cafe
Try Spam
Eat at The Shrimp Shack
Eat at Le Bistro
Eat at La Mer
Eat breakfast at Cinnamon’s Restaurant
Eat lunch at Mariposa
Eat at L&L Hawaiian BBQ
Eat at Arancino
Eat a Chef Mavro Restaurant
Eat breakfast at Bogart’s Cafe
Eat lunch at Nico’s at Pier 38
Eat at Lucky Belly
Visit Maui
Visit Kaua’i
Visit the Big Island
Create list of things to do in Maui
Create list of things to do in Kaua’i
Create list of things to do on the Big Island
Fly the Lowder Parents to Hawaii
Fly the Rohe Parents to Hawaii
Go to the Dole Plantation
Visit volcano
Visit Arizona Memorial
Visit USS Missouri
Visit The National Cemetery of the Pacific (The Punchbowl)
Visit Manoa Falls
Visit Waimea Falls
Visit Waimea Valley
Visit Foster Botanical Garden
Visit Lili’okalani Botanical Garden
Visit Lyon Arboretum
Visit Moanalua Gardens
Visit Ho’omaluhia Botantical Gardens
Visit Haiku Gardens
Visit Senator Fong’s Plantation and Gardens
Visit Honolulu’s Chinatown
Visit the Waikiki Aquarium
Visit The Honolulu Museum of Art
See show at the Hawaii Theatre Center
Visit the Bishop Museum
Visit USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
Visit The Honolulu Zoo
Visit the Honolulu Surfing Museum
Go on ghost tour
Go to Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium
Go to Pro Bowl Game
Go to Maui Invitational and see IU play
Go to Ka’akako last Friday of the month
Go to Honolulu Night Market the third Saturday of the month
Attend event at Fresh Cafe (http://freshcafehi.com/)
Go to Irish Bar for St. Patrick’s Day
See the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound’s Nightly Sunset Torch Lighting Ceremony
Go to Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
Attend First Friday in Chinatown
Complete Venice Shadow Box
Complete Cinque Terre Shadow Box
Complete Florence Shadow Box
Complete Rome Shadow Box
Create Christmas Card Album
Read 30 Books (0/30)
Wear a family Halloween costume
Take Christmas card picture at the beach
Put love lock on a fence

Deep Dish Pizza Cups

Deep Dish Pizza Cups

When I came across this Deep Dish Pizza Cups recipe on Plain Chicken, I knew I had to try it out. The little pizzas were definitely good but I found the crescent rolls difficult to get into the cupcake pan. I didn’t use the recommended seamless crescent rolls, however so that may have helped. I may try making these again with the seamless rolls but, definitely with the seamed rolls, this took way more effort than I like to put into pizza.

Baby Isla’s Birthday Weekend

Since Heidi was due to have Isla on June 13th, her sister, sister’s fiancé and parents came to Clarksville this weekend. Baby Isla wasn’t ready to make her début just yet, and since someone had heard that swinging can help induce labor, on Saturday we went to Liberty Park. It was a beautiful day out and Cael got to enjoy some outside time at the awesome playground area.


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That night, Chris and I went home and to our surprise, woke up with a new baby niece that had been born at 2:48AM on Sunday morning! By the time we woke up, visiting hours were about to start so we got dressed and headed over to hospital to meet Isla.

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Cael was getting a little stir crazy at the hospital so Chris and I took him home with us for a few hours so Heidi and her parents could get a break. We don’t have the most kid-friendly house but we do have a few things that Cael likes to play with.


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Aren’t we a great Aunt and Uncle? :)

Parents’ Visit & Cooper’s Puppy Class Graduation

Since Chris and I will be moving in a few months to Hawaii and will be a lot less accessible, my parents came down for a visit this weekend. They got here Friday afternoon and after Chris got home from work we went to Cheddar’s for dinner. Cael was our extra special guest at dinner since Heidi needed us to watch him for a bit while she went to a meeting on post. I’m pretty sure about 3/4 of the food we got him ended up on the floor. Super fun practice for our future babies :)

On Saturday, we went to Fort Campbell since my parents have never been there before. Chris drove us around so he could give them a little tour of the base. As an added bonus, since it was the 70th anniversary of D-Day, there were some extra events going on including some really cool exhibits at the Pratt Museum. At the museum there were several soldiers sharing great facts about all the historical events making the visit very informative.  Across the street from the museum there are several pieces of military equipment that is available for the public to check out. We took a walk around that area and my parents got some cute pictures with Cooper.14 - 20 14 - 18

By the time afternoon rolled around, we headed back home so we could watch the Belmont Stakes and I could make dinner. Everyone was pretty disappointed after California Chrome lost but by the end of the race I had a yummy Jalapeno Popper Chicken dinner for everyone to enjoy. Chris loves jalapeno so I knew he would like it but I was extremely happy when my parents really enjoyed it as well. This will definitely be a repeat recipe.

On Sunday I convinced my parents to stay a little later than they planned so they could watch Cooper graduated from his puppy class. Before we headed over to PetSmart, however, we took a few pictures of my parents and Cooper with all the gifts they have given him. He is so spoiled!

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At 3pm we got to PetSmart and Cooper had his final test on the skills he learned in the class. He passed with flying colors! Below is a video of Cooper showing off some of his tricks.

Next it was time for Cooper to put on his graduation cap and take some pictures before my parents traveled back home to Indiana.

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Congrats Cooper!


Happy 28th Birthday Chris!

Today, we celebrated Chris’s 28th birthday.  On Friday, Chris drove up to Lexington after work with a few of the other residents to go on a few more Bourbon Trail tours on Saturday (we went to Maker’s Mark last month). While Chris was away, I worked on all the treats for his big day.

Cooper was our birthday gift to each other this year but even though I wasn’t getting Chris a gift, I still wanted to make his day special. On Sunday morning I woke up early and baked the Easy Cheesy Breakfast Casserole I had prepared the day before. Later in the day we invited over Heidi, Cael and a few friends for Slow-Cooker Carne Guisada with chips and salsa. For dessert we had Brownie Bottom Ice Cream Cake and Peanut Butter Gooey Bars. Chris LOVED the gooey bars so I will definitely have to make those for him again.

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris with ice cream birthday cake

Chris with ice cream birthday cake


Cael's birthday gift to Uncle Chris

Cael’s birthday gift to Uncle Chris



While I’ve Been Away From the Blog – May Happenings

It would be a lot easier to keep up with this blog if I wasn’t already on the computer 60+ hours a week for work but oh well. The blog was definitely neglected in May so below are a few things we did during the month:

Kentucky Derby


Maker’s Mark Tour


A Hike at Dunbar Caves After Cooper’s 1st Groomer’s Appointment


Cooper’s 2nd BarkBox



Memorial Day Weekend & Indy 500 in Indiana

Rivers & Spires Festival and PetSmart Puppy Class #2

After a long week, I was definitely ready for a relaxing weekend. Yet again we had wonderful mid-70s weather that had to be enjoyed outside.

On Friday, Chris and I invited a few people over including a fellow resident and his German Short-Haired Pointer puppy named Sawyer. Besides outside in passing, this was Cooper’s first experience with a big dog (~50lbs) that he has had since we got him. Cooper was definitely apprehensive with the bigger dog but after a few minutes got decently comfortable. He even started wagging his tail a bit as if he wanted to play. However, when Sawyer would come bounding towards him, Cooper usually changed his mind and started sprinting toward the closest hiding spot. For most of the evening, Cooper spent his time being passed around on various laps and then around 11pm Mom and Coopie were tired so we went to bed.

Saturday, Chris got up bright and early to attend his first Ruck March. Chris would like to go to Air Assault School before we leave for Hawaii and getting in shape is an important first step.

Chris slept for several hours after getting home from the Ruck March and after he got up, he headed back over to Fort Campbell to play some golf. He had only played golf a handful of times but would really like to get better at it. **Note to self: Golf lesson Christmas gift for Chris.

Chris with Cooper before golfing

Sorry about the blurry image. My cracked phone makes it hard for me to tell when I have a good pic. :(

While Chris was out golfing, Cooper and I took advantage of the nice weather and went on a jog around the neighborhood.

Dog Walk - 4_26_14

I know, pretty sad. I never been much for running but now that I know I am moving to the land of bikinis for the next few years, I better start getting into shape. It is a start!

After Chris got home from golfing, we packed Cooper up in his travel bag and headed over the Clarksville Rivers & Spires Festival.

Rivers & Spires

The festival was supposed to be a good opportunity for Cooper to get some socialization but there were so many people there, he was pretty scared to walk around. Unfortunately we realized this after we left his carry case in the truck so we had to carry him around in our arms.

There was a lot going on at the festival with the normal vendors that you find at these types of events. Chris and I favored the food vendors and pigged out on bratwurst, pizza, funnel cake, nachos and cookie slices. All of that for $20 wasn’t too bad on the wallet but not great for our stomachs.

There were several music performers with most of them being country. The main stage had Randy Houser playing and, although I am not a country fan, I did recognize his song “Anything Goes“. We stayed until close to closing time at 8pm and then headed home for the evening.

On Sunday, we went to church with Heidi and Cael and then went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. I had their hash brown casserole for the first time and it was amazing. I will definitely be ordering that every time we go. (Probably won’t be too often soon, no Cracker Barrels in Hawaii…)

After lunch we picked up Cooper for puppy class. Since he has now had all of his puppy shots we let him walk into PetSmart and not come in his travel case. We got to class a bit earlier than we did last week hoping to give Cooper sometime to get comfortable so we wouldn’t have a similar situation to last week. He started off a little skittish and didn’t want to go into the training area but, soon after class began, he started getting comfortable and sniffing at a few of the other dogs. This week’s lesson was loose leash walking so most of the class was spent practicing the training techniques while walking around the store. This was a great opportunity for Cooper to get used to all the different smells in PetSmart and to interact with other dogs that were walking around.

I’m definitely seeing improvements in Cooper’s social skills so the puppy class is living up to its cost in my book. Next week’s puppy class got pushed out a week but Cooper will be spending part of that weekend with his cousin Adele (a Dachshund) so he will still get some great  socialization in!

Lots to look forward to for next weekend (Derby Day!) but, until then, let’s get through this week!

Cooper’s First BarkBox April 2014

In March, I found a great deal on a 6-month BarkBox subscription for 48% off that I could not resist. I had already been considering purchasing a box for Cooper and this deal was too good to turn down. The boxes don’t ship until later in the month so we didn’t receive our box until April 23rd but it was definitely worth the wait after we opened it up and found all the awesome goodies inside!

Cooper's First BarkBox

Cooper’s ready to dig into his first BarkBox

Oddly enough, it seemed like Cooper knew this package was for him. He was jumping all over the place and kept biting holes in the cardboard which he has never done with any other packages we have recently. Maybe he could smell all the yummy treats inside.

This month’s BarkBox is inspired by Spring, encouraging pups and their humans to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature. Cooper is definitely off to a great start to outside play time, especially with our recent activities this past weekend.

Inside the BarkBox April 2014 (small dog version):

  • Quaker Pet Group – Purple Batty with Chew Guard
    • $15.75 on quakerpergroup.com listed site

BarkBox Description: A wild shape only seems fitting for such wild animals! Quaker Unimals are great for chewing, squeaking, and tugging. For romps in the grass or living room, this plush will ensure good company is kept.

Cooper’s Verdict: This toy is a little bigger than most of Cooper’s other toys so I was a little concerned he wouldn’t like. I was definitely wrong! As soon as I pulled out Batty, Cooper grabbed it and started tossing it around. Even after a few days of having Batty, Cooper is still playing with it more often than with his old toys.

Cooper and Batty

Cooper playing with Batty

  • Complete Natural Nutrition – Off-Leash Smokey Beef
    • $5.99 on completenaturalnutrition.com

BarkBox Description: Soft, chewy, and grain-free! Off-Leash treats are inspired by smoky campfire flavors, and can easily be tucked into a backpack for mid-hike snacking. Each treat contains only 4 calories, making it perfect for portion control and pups on a diet! Corn, soy, wheat and grain-free!

Cooper’s Verdict: Cooper loves small, soft, chewy treats so these were perfect for him. These will make a great addition to the other treats we have purchased for his training classes.

Off-Leash Dog Treats

  • Etta Says – Roasted Duck Meat Treat – Small Dog
    • $9.49 on ettasays.com

BarkBox Description: Another single-source protein to be enjoyed after a day on the trail, Etta Says roasts their USA-sourced duck treats to perfection. They’re great for pups with protein or grain allergies, as well as picky eaters!

Cooper’s Verdict: Unfortunately, our picky eater was not impressed. Whenever we try to give Cooper a dry treat he always snubs it. He threw this one up in the air a couple of times but eventually pushed it away with his nose.

Cooper with Etta Says Treats

Cooper wasn’t a fan of the Etta Says Duck Meat Treats

  • Mr. Barksmith’s - Cool Treats
    • $2.50 on mrbarksmiths.com

BarkBox Description: Cool off and rehydrate with Mr. Barksmith’s Carrot Cake smoothie! Inspired by garden-grown product, this smoothie is made with a blend of apple, bananas, and carrots – that’s it! Pop it in the freezer for an extra chilly treat, or serve as is for a trail treat.

Cooper’s Verdict: Wow, I am going to have to find a place that sells these because Cooper loved it! I wasn’t sure how he would react to something carrot flavored but he was a big fan.

Cooper waiting on his cool treat

Cooper is a blur running around in anticipation of his Cool Treat

  • Barkworthies – Standard 12″ Junior Bully Stick
    • $6.30 on barkworthies.com

BarkBox Description: Made with 100% beef bladder, Barkworthies junior bully sticks are a BarkBox subscriber favorite. Pups find them both long-lasting and delicious! No chemicals or preservatives are used, making them a clear winner over other chews like rawhide.

Cooper’s Verdict: This was absolutely Cooper’s favorite item from this month’s BarkBox. I’m not too sure about the long-lasting part (my little pup devoured this in a matter of a couple of hours) but he obviously loved it so I can’t complain.  They are a little pricey but I will definitely need to get him some as gifts on special occasions. Cooper was moving around way too much for me to get a clear picture of him but below is a video of him enjoying his treat:

BarkBox April 2014 Total Value: $40.03

Overall I was very happy with everything we got in this month’s BarkBox and can’t wait to see what we get next month.

Want to get your own BarkBox subscription? Click here to sign up and get $5 off your first subscription!

Easter Weekend & Our First PetSmart Puppy Class

This past weekend Chris, Cooper and I got to enjoy the beautiful Tennessee weather with lots of outside time (Cooper loved it) and our first PetSmart Puppy Class (Cooper hated it).

On Friday, we all went over to our sister-in-law Heidi’s house. Since Matthew, Chris’s twin brother, is deployed, Chris mowed Heidi’s yard while Heidi, Cael (our nephew), Adele (Cooper’s Dachshund cousin), Cooper and myself stayed in and watched some Disney Jr. Adele plays a little aggressively for Cooper’s taste but on Friday they finally found some common ground and started to play together. Cooper spent most of his time on his back with Adele pinning him to the ground but I still think he was having a good time.

After Chris finished mowing, we let Cooper go out into the fenced in backyard for a bathroom break. We could definitely tell while Cooper was running around that he wished he had a fenced in yard too (fingers crossed we will get one in Hawaii). We let him run around outside for a few minutes and when we let him back in we discovered he had green paws! Too bad it isn’t St. Patrick’s Day!

Cooper with Green Paws

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful with the temperature staying in the high to mid 70s all day. Chris and I definitely wanted to take advantage of the nice weather and go on a walk with Cooper but decided to skip our normal neighborhood routes and instead explore some new Clarksville walking spots. The first place that we went we aren’t sure of the name but it is a great place for kayaking but not that great for hiking/walking. One thing we learned about Cooper while there, however, was that he loves water! Cooper loved splashing around in the mud by the river and almost jumped/fell in several times. Definitely want to come back here and take some kayaks out on the river.

Cooper & Chris by the River

Jen & Cooper by the River

Cooper by the River

Next we went to the Clarksville Greenway where we walked over 5 miles. We really thought we would wear out little Coopie but he kept up with us the entire walk. He loves being outside and I’m sure he didn’t want it to end. As soon as we got in the car on the ride home, however, Cooper passed out. We definitely need to get him out of the house more. He loves it!

Jen & Cooper on the Clarksville Greenway

After we got home from the Greenway, we made Crunchy Baked Taco Casserole via Heather Likes Food. We’ve made these before and loved them. Another plus is that they are easy to make which was welcome after the day’s activity. After dinner and a little tv time, I started working on my tie-dye cupcakes for the Easter pitch in.  Making tie-dye cupcakes is super easy and always fun to eat. One added challenge to making the cupcakes this time, however, was using my new Wilton Dessert Decorator Pro that I got from Chris’s family for my birthday in March. I will have to practice the tricky stuff but even using the decorator for a simple design on top makes frosting cupcakes so much easier!

Tie Dye Cupcakes

Inside a Tie Dye Cupcake

On Sunday, we got up a few hours before church and Chris started working on his biscuits and gravy for the pitch-in. He makes everything from scratch and it is always delicious.

We met Heidi and a few of her friends at church for the Easter service. We have attended the last few Sundays and noticed that this week was a little different because they had a children’s choir throughout the service. They were really good and I enjoyed the addition.

After church we went home, changed, grabbed Cooper and our dishes and headed over to Heidi’s. The food (brunch-style) was great and we had a great time watching the puppies play together and the little kids do an Easter egg hunt in the backyard.

A little before we 3pm, we had to pack up and head to Cooper’s first PetSmart puppy class. Havanese are supposed to be very smart and pick up on new tricks easily so we didn’t expect too much trouble with the class. One thing we didn’t expect was Cooper being extremely timid and refusing to come out from under our chairs! While all the other dogs were running around playing with each, Cooper was cozied up with mom and dad. Even worse, when we were trying to teach one of the tricks, Cooper had a potty accident all over the floor. Definitely showed us that we need to get him out with more people and other animals. Hopefully we will have better luck next week!

PetSmart Logo

We concluded our weekend with a traditional Easter dinner with Heidi…Mexican! Okay, not the most traditional Easter dinner but we are group that enjoys Mexican food so no one had any objections to dining at El Comal for dinner.

It was a great weekend and I am so glad that warm weather is finally here! Definitely plan on having many more fun days to come out in the sun.