Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The {long overdue} J-O-B Update.

Well well well... guess who's back?

Yep, I decided to crawl out of my study hole and say hello.

I've totally left everyone high and dry, I know.
 Let me just tell you, these last 2 months have definitely been
a little on the crazy side...

For starters, my new job is going great- I LOVE it!
We are in week 6 right now of training and I'm only half way there!
I've had 3 tests so far and only have 11 more tests to go...
My brain hurts just thinking about it.
It is SO much information!

Pretty much all I do is study these days.

Here is my trusty little study partner Stella...



Since I'm still in training, I haven't taken any emergency calls just yet
but I have come across some things I thought I'd share...


Ohhh cops & their doughnuts...



Isn't that SO cute?


In between all the studying, I've still been able to try out a few cooking recipes...
And I even popped my Crock Pot cherry!
Yep- I got to use my crock pot for the VERY first time.

I don't know why I haven't jumped on this Crock Pot train before...
I mean, I have been seriously missing out!

So here's the first Cropper Crock Pot success:

Skinny Santa Fe Chicken



Yep... mouth watering....
It's from my favorite SkinnyTaste.com recipe site.
Here's the super delish recipe that your taste buds will be thanking me for.



Amist all the studying business...
I also dragged my best friends into waking up at 4am
to do a Police & Fireman 10K with me last month!

(gotta represent right??)

I {heart} these girls!


Well it's back to studying I go... I'll {hopefully} get to update again soon!



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Friday, July 1, 2011

Life Change {Status}

So I'm about to make a total life change here...
And to be frank, the word change completely scares me.

In the next month I'll be starting an actual career!
(whoaaaa... like official grown up status)

I'm soo blessed, fortunate, & excited to have this opportunity because out of 800 people that tested I am one of the 10 people that were selected to begin training in an academy to be...
a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for the Police Department!

{sorry- I had to toot my own horn for a minute there but I almost feel entitled to because this job took me about 2 years to get while I had to pass 6 intensive tests! So here I go... toot toot!}

Let's just hope I can turn this dream job of mine into reality. See, I say dream job but how do I even know since I've never tried it? I've always wanted to do this since I was a little girl... Remember that show Rescue 911? I watched it religiously. Like gluuuued to the T.V. whenever it came on. I.was.obsessed. But just for arguments sake, I also wanted to be a cowgirl too- I used to practice roping fake bull horns in my front yard!

So what exactly constitutes a "dream job"?

  • Is it the fact that I want this soooo badly that I can almost taste it?
  • Is it the fact that when I've done a sit-along with a current dispatcher and I walk into the call center I get full body chills?
  • Is it the fact that I've dreamed about this job since I can remember??

And then when I tell people about this new job the majority of people say

"Oh I could never do that job"

But why?

To be honest, I've actually never thought twice about not doing this job... so when I hear people say things like that I start to think "Crap! What exactly am I getting myself into??" and "What makes me think I can do this job?" I know I've always wanted to but can I actually do it?? Then I start into this whole mindset thing where I'm second guessing myself... which then leads to thinking of all sorts of insecurities. It just turns into a crazy mumbojumbo cluster F.

The main reason for this crazzzziness is because I'm trying something completely foreign... Putting myself out there in the real world... setting myself up for something I could possibly fail at and to be honest, failure is scary.

You just never know what you can do if you don't try though.
And just for the record I'm not just going to *try*- I'm going to put my whole heart and soul into this... like I'm talkin' everything I've got. So then if I don't succeed, I'll have no regrets knowing that I gave it my all.

So here's to a little bit of celebration (happy dance status!)  plus explanation of what's going to be happening in my life for the next year and a half while I'm in training. There might be less frequest blog posts but I'll make sure to update on the really interesting calls that I hear.

I might even have a few like this one:



Wish me luck!


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

San Francisco *Mini* Date

Remember this post about how I kidnapped my husband
and took him to San Francisco for the weekend??

Well I decided to do a little walk down memory lane with
a mini San Francisco recap date.

Since San Fran has one of the biggest China Town's
in the country I decided to take him to one of the biggest
Chinese Food Chains for dinner... PF Chang's China Bistro. yumm!


This was our dessert... Banana Spring Rolls.
Talk about delishhhh.
I'm pretty sure they serve it with Coconut Ice Cream too.

 Since I strategically planned for us to eat at the PF Chang's in this outdoor shopping mall
called "The District", we were within walking distance for our next adventure.

After dinner we walked across the street to this little sign:

They offer *free* Trolley rides around the District Shopping Mall!
Pretty perfect for San Fran huh??

Waiting at the Trolley Stop.


The Trolley we got to ride on.

A little peak to the inside of the Trolley- they had the cutest little
two seater benches. So romantic right?


Just a fun little date idea!
xoxo

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Monday, June 27, 2011

My Husband.

I needed to give a little shout out to my main squeeze, Grant.
I'm always blogging about me & the things I'm doing, so I figured
I would feature a little highlight on him so you can get to know my other half.
{after all, this blog is called amy&grant}

So here's a little about my husband...


He LOVES to fly.
He'll find any excuse for not keeping his feet on the ground.
{his first paramotor experience}
{his first flight lesson}


He LOVES surprises.

video
{to see what that surprise was see here}


He LOVES surprising me.
{to see more of that surprise see here}


He LOVES his little brother.
...who's 15 years old & officially taller than him.


He LOVES the little things.
{to that little surprise see here}


He LOVES getting dressed up


He LOVES our little kitties.


He LOVES hunting with the boys.


He LOVES playing the piano.
He's got this God-given talent & can play by ear.
{he even played the piano & sang for me at our wedding}


He LOVES fast cars.
video

And last but certainly not least....
He's my best friend.


Grant-
Thank you...
For never letting me take myself too seriously... For being my biggest fan everrr... For always being at all my races to cheer me on while taking tons of videos... For letting me be a brat {sometimes}... For being my little guinea pig & trying all the new recipes I make... For letting me take the "good pillow" at night... For the sweet dance moves you bust out randomly that make me laugh... For teaching me the value of relationships... For letting me see the world through your eyes. What a beautiful world that is too. I can't wait to continue our life adventure together. It's definitely not going to be easy but I know without a doubt it'll be so worth it.

Thank you for being you. I love you.

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WINNER WINNER

And the WINNER of the


is

Chelsea at THREE BIRDS

Comment #3 selected by Random.org

CONGRATS!

My little kitty Rexy is soo excited for you... see?

Well actually she was so excited that she passed out from all the fun. 
Such a party animal!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cupcake Secrets & a Patriotic Giveaway!

Sparklers, BBQs, warm fresh air.... just a few reasons why I love the 4th of July.
And of course I love any excuse to whip up some festive cupcakes too!

Last year we were invited to a neighborhood BBQ to which I immediately
volunteered to bring some of my little creations.
This is what I came up with:

Windmill Cupcakes


Red, White & Blue Flag Cupcakes

 

They were a hit!


This year I plan to make these for any BBQs we're invited to...

Corny Cupcakes


Now aren't these just the cutest thing you've ever seen?!
They're little cupcakes that look like corn on the cob & it even uses
a starburst as the "butter"
I.could.die.

I'll let you in on a few of my little "cupcake secrets" ...

1- My recipe usually calls for 3 large eggs.
To make it a little healthier I substitute the 3 eggs for 4 egg whites.

2- When baking (not cooking) and the recipe calls for vegetable oil,
you can swap the vegetable oil for regular apple sauce 1:1
Example: 1/3 cup vegetable oil is 1/3 cup apple sauce.
This makes a lot less calories and they turn out more moist too!

But shhhh... it's our little secret {wink}

Feel free to start throwing out those invites this way... you know you want
some of those cute corny cupcakes! Kidding. But that'd be cool.


Annnnnd because I'm feeling especially patriotic{and the fact that I made an extra one for fun}
I've decided I'm going to spread the love and do a little giveaway!

Remember that Patriotic Wreath I made last month? You know, like this one...


Well I'm giving it away my friends!
Wouldn't this look fabulous in your kitchen, entry way or front door??

Here's how my {first} little giveaway is going to go:
{leave a separate comment for each item you complete}

1. Follow my blog {amy&grant} and leave a comment saying so.
{check to see if you already follow me so that it counts too}

2. Leave a separate comment of what you love about the 4th of July.

GIVEAWAY closes on June 26th at midnight
WINNER will be announced June 27th, 2011

XOXO

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Triatha-Fun Event

Soo I'm proud to say that Grant did his first triathlon this past Saturday!!
I signed us both up for this Triatha-Fun event hosted by this local tri company the Friday before.

The distances were: 400 meter swim - 13 mile bike - 2.5 mile run

It's a great little starter race where you can work on transition times and just overall fitness.

Minus the 4 times he hurled during the run + the nausea after the race...
My little home skillet didn't really train for it & still survived!
(for the record, 94 degrees is a little too hot for running)

Overall though, he loved it & can't wait for the next one!

Just a few pictures of the event...

Our transition set-up before the race.

Me & the hub before the start.

My cute little friend Dilyana/newbie triathlete decided to join in the Tri-Fun
for her first event too! 

Love this girl. She's such a go-getter!

A last minute picture before we wet-suited it up!


The best part about the race was being able see people that are completely new to triathlons take on the challenge and end up absolutely loving the sport. I'm tellin' ya, it's that feeling of achievement that I talked about in this post that is SO rewarding. It's knowing you tried something new & accomplished a challenging goal that makes it all worth it!

An extra bonus for me was being able to catch up to Grant at the very end of the race
and cross the finishline together.

You can do it too- set a goal & make it happen!
**Great place to look up races/events is Active.com and just do a general search {wink}

Friday, June 17, 2011

i {heart} breakfast.

Actually I just *heart* food in general
...but breakfast is most definitely my favorite meal of the day.
 I even love breakfast food when it's not early morning.
How fun is it to make waffles for dinner? Or eat cereal at midnight?

Not saying that those are the best meal choices but it's fun.

Maybe I'm the only one that gets that excited about breakfast...
and then to add to it, I have a soft spot for all things mini.
(hence the love for cupcakes, smart cars, and my little kitties)

So it's no surprise that when I saw these mini breakfast delights
on my favorite SkinnyTaste.com site, they were calling my name.

Hash Brown & Egg Whites


And what's even better is that you can have little leftovers saved for breakfast the next few days!
Now who doesn't love knowing you've got one less thing to do in the morning?? 

You can find the recipe --> Here


So I'm pretty proud of myself.
Last night I successfully made homemade Chicken Enchiladas from scratch (!!!)
What makes it even better is that they were the skinny version AND Grant loved them!
Double whammy status: cha-ching!
He even said it was one of his Top 2 favorite dinners that I've made!
(extra wife points!)

I picked up a few tips from Gina at SkinnyTaste.com
She suggested that if you're cooking a recipe that only calls
for a few ingredients, use high quality ingredients
to bring out the best taste.

So with that bit of advice I bought Kosher Salt.
That stuff is great for cooking! It has a lot of flavor.
I used it in this recipe & it was fab. Highly suggest!

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas
If you're thinking/craving/loving Mexican food, this dinner is.a.must.
It has a ton of flavor & let me reassure you,
if I can make it anyone can make it.

**Tip: Always remember that you can modify recipes to fit you're taste too.
For example- this recipe called for garlic, cilantro, & oregano.
Since these are not highly favorable in the Cropper home,
I left them out and it still tasted SO yum.

Here's the recipe --> Enchilada Yumminess

PS- Great idea for a Fathers Day dinner too!
Guarentee it'll impress!

Enjoy!
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