Welcome Home Jimmy!!!



It’s been a bit! I know I promised a Game Day recipes post a ways back. But  I had a little bump in the road, where I had a great opportunity with an awesome sponsor..but we just couldn’t agree. I got really hard on myself for a while, and was thinking to myself–where is the blog going? Do I want to stop it all together? Do I want to go full throttle, and make it more of a center piece, and make it a full time income? &The answer is still…I don’t know. I love blogging. It’s my favorite hobby. It keeps me sane, it keeps me excited, and it gives me so much opportunity to connect with people I would have never had the ability to before. It’s such a wonderful creative outlet, and I don’t ever want to hate it. But yeah. So I think maybe later on next week, I might post some more rambles, but for todays post….JMMY IS HOMEEEEEE!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the whole photographer thing, but then I realized…“Who am I kidding? Im Autumn Benson…when do I not go overboard?” I was sooo happy when I had reached out to a lot of talented photographers in the Fort Drum area, and found that Marissa Frederick had an opening! I have been admiring her work since before we moved here, and when she had an opening, I HAD to jump on it.

Marissa did such an amazing job capturing one of the most special moments in our lives. Jimmy came home from his first deployment. Though we were lucky this wasn’t a long one, that didn’t change the worry in my heart, the restless nights, the pit in my stomach..and the absence of my other half weighing on me.


This photo is actually from the photographer for 2-87 ^^^ The rest are all Marissa 🙂 


Wesley realizing it’s BOBO!!!


Since then we have just been enjoying each other and life is back to normal! We went home to MA to visit family. Had dinner at the Wollinger’s in honor of Jim’s coming home.


Jim and his dad give me life:


&Spent some time with the Benson fam, as my Daddy was honored along with all the other Gold Star Families in Massachusetts with a beautiful statue in Taunton, MA. We didn’t end up going to the ceremony, because I just knew it would be too emotional for me right now. But I am so blessed and honored by my Father’s sacrifice for this country. I am so proud to be a part of both the Benson/Wollinger families.

Also, we celebrated this little cuties 2nd birthday!

Oh yeah! &We had our closest friends up here come over for the Pats game, made some yummy food and just hung out 🙂


Wesley booping Sheppy^ So adorable!!

So that is all for now. I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend. I know I will. I am very excited to be spending time with Jimbob and my Cadence. Until next time! ❤

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”


PS–Im a blonde again!!






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Recap/Healthy Stir Fry Recipe



I hope you read that “hello” in a Mrs. Doubtfire voice. 😉 How are you all!? If you’re already a reader, welcome back to my blog–and thank you for coming back, and if not? WELCOME FRIEND. 😀 So..I’m not sure I’m ever going to come back from how awesome my last post was. Emily is so rad that I got the most readers I’ve gotten since I posted that Jimbo joined the Army! 

Thank you again, to each and every one of you who read that piece. I am extremely proud of it, and of my subject. Thank you so much again, Em for being so candid with me, and allowing me to share your story.

So, lets recap! I feel like I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I’m sorry if this post is too wordy. But whatevs.

Lets see….in case you aren’t a Facebook friend of mine, I’ll share with you some exciting news about Jimbo–he is now officially PV2 and is able to wear his rank on his uniform!! He walked into our house with this sh** eating grin on his face, and told me the news. I am soo, so happy and proud. It has been nothing but a pleasure to watch you grow into a confident man, and soldier Jimmy. I love you so much. ❤


This past week has been pretty mundane. I’ve been trying really hard to get back into not only eating healthy, but just eating at home. It’s good for the body, and the wallet. &When I’m cooking for us–I always tend to eat healthier. So that’s a bonus.


&I got this super cute little white board at the Dollar Spot at Target, and it’s been helping me plan out dinners, and stick to cooking!


Last Wednesday I made a healthy stir fry, and I’ll share that recipe at the end of the post 🙂


Thursday we had an unseasonably warm day up here in NY, and I was all excited to go for a nice longggg walk, and cook up some healthy burgers and veggies for dinner for Jimbo and I, but he ended up staying late at work.


I got super lazy, so I stayed in and opened all the windows, and chilled on the couch, watching one of my all time favs, Sweet Home Alabama. It never fails to make me want to move south.


Jim had a four day weekend, and we hung out with one of our besties. Friday night we had Taco Bell, and went bowling on post!


I tried the Quesalupa, and it was actually REALLY good. haha


Bowling was interesting. It was my first time “real bowling.” For those of my non-New England readers; We only have candle pin bowling back home. Smaller balls, and less pins. &Its way easier! I couldn’t figure out how to bowl the ball properly for a while, so I was bowling like this…


I was driving the guys INSANE with this app I found called TouchTunes. It’s actually really cool. It works the Juke Boxes in tons of locations (bars, restaurants, bowling alleys) and it will tell you the ones near you. You can chose the songs that play, see whats next, and basically what I’m getting at–is the fact that I tortured all of the bowling soldiers with Taylor Swift. 😉

I realized half way through bowling that I hadn’t drank ANY water all day! I’ve been way over on my caffeine intake, and wayyyy bad with water.


But I actually didn’t like this water…it had a weird taste to me. Am I the only one that thinks not all water tastes the same?

On Saturday, my door hanger was delivered!


It’s so adorable!! I was looking for something with a summery feel for the months ahead. I had this custom made from Jessica Sanders Keel. She was awesome. Quick with communication, and kept me in the loop! A new fav Etsy shop for me!

Also got a vanilla dip donut from Timmy Hortons, and made those burgers. So, happy day 🙂


&Yesterday Jimmy and I went on a date night! Got a little fancy, grabbed some Starbucks, did some shopping and saw a movie!


I LOVE Starbucks. That might sound strange coming from this Dunkin’s girl. But I do have a soft spot for the Teavanna teas, and the good that our local Starbucks does, like sending coffee to the troops overseas. ❤




-cooking spray

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-1 lb of boneless chicken breast cut into small pieces

-2 cups of chopped onion

-2 cups of broccoli

-2 cups of zucchini (not in photo whoops..)

-1 cup of red bell pepper

-2 tablespoons of water

-1/2 bag of cabbage

Sauce ingredients:

-1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce

-2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce

-2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-1 tablespoon of brown sugar


  1. Prep all veggies and chop up the chicken
  2. Add all sauce ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside

3. In a large pan, coat with cooking spray, and toss in chicken, stirring often, and cooking until white all the way through. Once cooked, set aside on a plate


Oops. Burnt some a little…

4. Coat the pan with more cooking spray, and heat one tablespoon of oil. Add in the onions, broccoli, zucchini, red bell peppers and water. Sauté over med-high heat for 3-5 min until broccoli is soft. Add the cabbage, and sauté for another 2 min or until cabbage is soft.


5. Turn down to medium heat, add cooked chicken and sauce cook for about 2 more min until heated all the way through, and stir consistently to blend it all together


& Voila! Jimmy loved it too, and he’s my picky eater–and we had lots of leftovers for lunch!



“Don’t chase love, money or success. Become the best version of yourself, and those things will chase you.”


PS- I had the sad realization yesterday that I haven’t read a book in over a month. Does anyone have any good book suggestions? Leave them in the comments! I’m a huge romance, biography, and teen fiction novel fan (I’m a loser I know) but I’m open for anything!



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Hey cuties!

Sox Home Opener Selfie

Now that I have your attention….sorry not sorry for the caps lock title…let’s get on with this all over the place post, and start from the beginning.

Imagine 16 year old Autty…naive (ok…still not to far from that one..)

16 year old me.jpg

(What is that pose?^ Good God…)

I thought I had the world all figured out. Bad things only happen to bad people, I’d be with the same, Justin Bieber haired boy forever, (and of course maintain that ever innocent relationship, where I still didnt have a firm grasp on anything really…) and we would graduate high school, go directly to the colleges of our dreams, (which would obviously be the same place…duh) I would continue dancing, and who knows, maybe open up my own studio down the road…I would also go on to be a teacher, and climb my way up to superintendent of Gloucester Public Schools, all while taking the time to travel to 3rd world countries educating their youth, do some real estate on the side, buy a home, travel the world, have my dream car, and three perfect children all by the age of 25. (WHAT?)

Fast forward graduation day. I actually had never been more proud of myself than I had that day.


BUT–I was slowly getting the idea that bad things happen to good people, dreams change, and sometimes, you get a little lost….or a lotta lost, and that’s basically what the next few years would bring. A whole lot of 19, and 20 something year old me, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Changing schools, and majors like it was I was getting paid to (jokes on me, I was paying the price$$$) going through some sh***y relationships, finding out who my true friends (and relatives) are, yo-yoing with my weight, (because some days you feel like a kale salad, and others you want a Wendy’s cheeseburger, chocolate shake, baked potato, and also….Taco Bell, cause YAS)

….and here I am now. I finally met the man of my dreams, found my ground with school, and went back for elementary education, with less than a year till my bachelors is completed, had some incredible adventures with my closest friends and family, got my own apartment, waited for my man to go through OSUT with the US Army, found my haven in blogging, got engaged….and well…you know the rest. Now I reside on an Army base with that hunk in Nowheresville Upstate NY.

I’m happier than a pig in sh*t, for lack of better term. I love my family, I cherish my friends, I’m enjoying acclimating to my new home, spending lots of time with Jimbo and planning trips around the area…and obvs I love decorating our new place! BUT……recently as I was emailing back and fourth with the advisor at my new school…it hit me like a ton of bricks. I DONT KNOW IF TEACHING IS MY NUMBER ONE PASSION ANYMORE. I actually talked about this with a few of my girlfriends recently, one even claiming, she’s never been passionate about anything. I’ve had friends who have said, they don’t have a career oriented mind, but just want a well paying job where they don’t want to die every day on the commute to the office (fair enough) and even the brave souls, who bless their hearts, in this world full of judgy pseudo-feminists–are perfectly happy letting the world know, they want to be stay at home Mom’s. (God bless them, that is a 24/7 job, with no vacation time, and sometimes zero thank yous.)

I’ve spoken with my school advisors, my Mom, my friends, and Jim, and everyone says the same thing. Find your passion, and turn it into a career…but what if you don’t know what your passion is? I love volunteer work, but unfortunately, although I will always continue working for charitable causes that I’m passionate about–being a philanthropist doesn’t pay the bills…and I love blogging–but AGAIN, lets be real. I’m not Lauren Conrad. I love it, and will never give it up, as long as it makes me happy…but–truly, I’m feeling lost. I mean, sometimes I do forget that I’m only 22 years old. &I have LOTS of time to find myself. But I’ve always been a planner. &I get major anxiety when I don’t have a plan…but I’m learning to love my life, and the journey more than just focusing on the next thing–based on the arbitrary idea of the “order” we must do things in.

A huge thank you, to those who aren’t going to judge me based on my “epiphany” if you will, and extra huge thank you, to anyone with suggestions on what YOUVE done, in this type of situation…and (now that I’ve decided to grow some balls) a big f**k you, to those who will feel the need to knock a chick while she’s down.

Question of the day: What are you passionate about? How are you turning your passions into a career? Tell me in the comments below, or Tweet me! @autumnforever12 Because…literally none of my close friends use Twitter other than to stalk celebs, and I want some Tweeter friends. (Yes, Tweeter.)

“We must let go of the life we planned, to accept the one that is waiting for us.”


Be lost with me!

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Just wanted to say a huge thank you to anyone and everyone who reached out to me and my immediate family since the loss of my Gramps. &To all of those friends and family members who came out last Thursday to support him, and our family at his celebration of life. Grandpy became quite the Grumpy in his later years, but that will never take away from the amazing things he has done for myself, and my family. If you want to read his obituary, it was published in the Gloucester Daily Times here, and you can read my eulogy for him, here. (Please do not “edit” the eulogy, as that is on my google docs account. It was the only way I could share it with out posting it all on the blog.)

Grandpy and I

“See you later alligator, after while crocodile..”