Monday, December 30, 2013

My 2013 Recap

2013 was a whirlwind year for our family. We had so much going on, and hardly got a chance to settle. We did some traveling, moved twice, had a couple misfourtunes, but really, I can't complain. After all, Hubster came home from Afghanistan this year.

BTW, our wifi and cable will finally be set up today, so I'll be back to edit and add some photos shortly. 

Hubster came home after a deployment that was far too long. 
I had my first big mommy emergency when Veronica sliced her hand open and had to get stitches. 

The girls went to their first circus. 
We went to Miami and had our best friends baptize Adri at the same church my siblings and I were baptized at. 

We went to New York for our friends' wedding, in which Veronica was the flower girl.
I saw real snow for the first time in my life, at West Point. 
I got a KitchenAid stand mixer (life changing)!

We moved out of our home in Georgia. 
Took a trip down to Florida to hangout with family. 
Hubster and I went on an amazing Caribbean cruise to Mexico, Grand Cayman, Belize, and Honduras. 
Veronica turned three! 
We started the journey to Missouri

Hubster and I celebrated four years of marriage. 
We had a crap load of our belongings stolen from our vehicle almost as soon as we made it to Missouri. 
We house hunted, found a place, and moved in all in a eight-hour period. 

I thought we were all going to die due to tornados in the Midwest. 
The girls and I spent a lot of time outdoors between our backyard and the couple of parks around our house. 
Veronica started taking gymnastics classes. 

We spent 4th of July weekend in St. Louis with our Amry family
I started selling pre-made carepackages on Etsy. 

We bought a Keurig! Another life changing even made possible by a kitchen appliance. 
Hubster started playing on the softball team with his classmates. 
I made friends.  
Hubster and I went to the Military Police Ball at Fort Leonard Wood. 
I rediscovered my second love, Hobby Lobby. 

Hubster and I attended another ball for his class. 
Hubs graduated from the MP Captains Career Course at Fort Leonard Wood with the leadership award. 
We had to pull Veronica out of her awesome preschool, because we were moving. I cried. 
Once again, our stuff was packed up, and we hit the road to Florida. 
We spent two pool and boat-filled weeks with my parents in Miami. 
The girls went trick or treating around my parents' neighborhood. Not a single person on their block opened the door. 

We drove to Orlando to spend a week with Hubster's mom. 
After a far too long day of travel, we made it to Hawaii!
We did lots of beaching and exploring. 
The entire second half of the month was spent living in a hotel. 

The entire first half of the month was spent living in a hotel. 
Adri turn two! She started talking so much and basically mimicking everything that Veronica says or does. 
I had my first blate (kinda. We went to her house) and met Jen and her family. 
We finally got moved into a house.
We learned that our household goods were still in Missuori, and as of right now, they haven't left California on a boat yet. 
Caesar made it to Hawaii with only a minor scare. 
The girls were spoiled for Christmas. Hubster and I both got each other awesome gifts. 

Life is good. 

Love, Alex

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Distance and Death

It was a quiet weekend for us over here. Really not much going on at all and a lot of time spent at home. Yesterday we ran a couple errands around town. We bought this shag rug for the living room that I'm in love with. I just want to lay on it and make carpet angels. 

Saturday was completely a stay at home day. We did consider going to the beach, but some how, we heard about the jelly fish here. Apparently, they like to hang around eight to ten days after a full moon. After reading up on "box jelly fish" I decided I'd rather stay home than risk my life at the beach. Their poison is enough to send you into cardiac arrest, leading to death by drowning. No fun. 

On Friday night, one of Hubster's grand aunts passed away in Miami. Although she was in her 90, it was sad because she was always such a sweet lady. I felt worse for Hubster, because he was extremely close with her. Practically his own grandmother. I can't imagine what it's like, because I don't even know the names of my grandparents' siblings.

The death made me realize that we are far. And there's nothing we can do about it. Aside from the text letting him know that she passed away, there haven't been any updates. The time difference also makes it a tad difficult to catch people when they aren't working or sleeping. 

Before coming to Hawaii, I knew that family would die back home and there would be absolutely nothing we'd be able to do about it. Now that it's happened, the reality sucks. We still have at least three years to go, and plenty of aging family members. It's going to be difficult trying to choose who we can go home for. 

For now, I have to let it go and just deal with life here. We will finally have cable and internet tomorrow. I'm hoping that we can figure out where our household goods are, and maybe be surprised by getting them this week. 

I hope that this week turns out wonderfully for everyone and that you're all able to start 2014 off on a positive note. I'm trying my best to ditch this cloud above my head and enjoy the end of this year and beginning of next. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'm Still Alive

But just barely. We got our house last week, but if feels like we've been camping since then. If I thought the hotel was bad, I obviously didn't realize how bad an empty house would be. Thankfully, housing gives us mattresses to sleep on and a table and seating. 

I should be ecstatic that we're spending our first Christmas in Hawaii, but honestly, all I can focus on is the negatives. The movers lost our stuff for a second time, so even after they said it would be expedited and here last week, it hasn't even left the mainland yet. Normally when we move, we load our cars with the stuff we're going to need to use right away, when moving to Hawaii though, that really isn't an option. The main reason I'm being such a grinch is because I don't want to repurchase so many items that we already own. 

I caved and bought some extra pillows, towels, and sheets so that we could have a little comfort. I couldn't make myself buy more Christmas stuff though. There are two huge bins on their way filled with more lights and decorations than we'll ever need. So, for this year, the Christmas decor is a little lacking. I was really looking forward to moving in here and unpacking those boxes first. 

For now, I'm just going to have to suck it up and be happy with what we have. I have two beautiful babies looking forward to Santa visiting, everyone is healthy, Caesar made over here alive, and we live in Hawaii. For now, we only have three beach towels, because like I said, I'm not buying anymore, but really, how many people get to spend Christmas in Hawaii?

I'll continue to count my blessings, and hope that our household goods arrive in the next few weeks. 

Merry Christmas friends, I hope to catch up with your lives sooner or later. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Luck With Moving

It's relatively safe to say that we haven't had the best luck when it comes to moving. No matter how much I plan and stress, there is always something out of my control that goes horribly wrong. So far, this PCS has only been overly annoying and inconvenient. Just wait until we start opening up our boxes though. I can almost guarantee that 67% of the furniture will be smashed and our most prized possessions will be missing.

Each move has gotten progressively worse, so let's start from the beginning, shall we. When I moved to Georgia, I was totally unaware that I was supposed to keep my jewelry and expensive stuff with me. Naive, I know. Never trust a stranger with your jewelry. Duh. Anyway, I didn't have a lot of furniture or anything, so all of my belongings made it, and in one piece. Except for my jewelry. Oh yeah, and the Christmas cash that I had stashed. I still feel like such an idiot for making that rookie mistake.

The move from Georgia to Missouri actually wasn't all that bad, with one very large exception. All of our boxes and furniture made it without any significant damage and actually, we didn't even unpack the majority of the boxes. Easy peasy. Aside from the part that we were robbed at one of the hotels that we stopped at for the night. The crooks got away with over $12,000 worth of stuff, but we were lucky to have our renter's insurance cover a good chunk of the loss.

And now Hawaii. You may have read last week, that our stuff was still in Missouri, two whole months after we had left. It's supposed to be arriving this week, but it's already Wednesday, and we haven't heard from them, so we'll see. In the meantime, we have some loaner furniture from the housing office. We were supposed to move in yesterday, but the house wasn't ready, so we'll finally be moving in today. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to finally cook my own dinner.

Not long after signing our lease, we also learned that our housing allowance will be going up by $400 dollars next year. Craziness! Since we live on post though, all of that money is automatically deducted by housing.

Tomorrow our sweet puppy will also be here and I'm so excited to have him back! It might be the best thing to happen all week. I can't wait to bring him home. Poor guy is going to have a long day of travel. I need to get some shopping done today so that I can spoil him after he arrives.  Hopefully, since he sleeps a lot, he won't have a hard time adjusting to the time difference.

Do you have any nightmare moving stories?

Love, Alex

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Friday, December 13, 2013

The End is Near

We are so close to finally being out of this hotel! I went to the housing office earlier this week, after not hearing back from our leasing agent, and I got confirmation that we get to move in the 17th! I can not wait to be in my own space. And not have to worry about being woken up by housekeeping. Or the wild little animals that like to scream and run down the halls at night.

We went to dinner off-post last night, and when we were driving back, we saw police cars and a fire truck directly in front of our house. I freaked out thinking that the house had possibly caught fire and we wouldn't be able to move in for even longer. After realizing it was a car accident, I felt pretty guilty. Later on, Hubs got a phone call that it was a lady who had run a red light and hit a motorcycle. Thankfully, the guy on the motorcycle was still alive and transported to the hospital. The speed limit here is 25 mph, so I'm praying there wasn't any major damage to the guy on the bike.

Hopefully, our household goods will also arrive next week. Hubster called again yesterday to try to get an answer as to where our stuff was. It was still in Missouri. Originally, we had cancelled our express shipment because we realized that it would only be a difference of a few days between when our express and regular household goods would arrive. Well, the moving company was confused as to which shipment was cancelled and decided to just hold on to our stuff. FOR TWO MONTHS. No phone call or anything to try and figure it out.

The bright side is that we're still in the hotel and not in an empty house. The moving company said they'd be expediting our shipment and we could expect it next week, but I won't hold my breath. So hopefully, it won't be too much time until we have all of our stuff again. Hopefully.

Today I'll be helping some friends move into their new place. They arrived on the island Tuesday night, and already have a place. I've used several choice words to describe them. Jerks. At least this will be our last weekend, and we already have some plans. After our play blate, Jen invited us over for dinner this weekend. I miss home-cooked food!

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Tag!

This year, I was tagged by one of my blog BFFs, Lanaya of Raising Reagan, for a fun little game of Christmas tag. Lanaya tagged ten friends and asked ten questions. After I answer these questions, I'm going to tag ten of my friends two answer the same questions.

1.       What do you love the most about Christmas time?
There really isn't one specific thing that I like best. I love all of the decorations everywhere. I love how excited the girls get when they see Santa or animals that are dressed up. I love that everyone seems to be in a jolly and more giving mood.
2.       Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is Bah-Humbug for you? 
The jury is still out on this one. Last year I was SO excited to decorate and make everything perfect, because I thought Hubby was going to be home from Afghanistan for Christmas. This year, since we still don't have a home, I'm kinda blah about it. If we managed to get into the house and get our household goods before Christmas, I'd probably go all out unpacking that stuff before anything else..
3.       Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents?
It really just depends on where we are. I am DYING to make Christmas cookies. It won't be happening in the this hotel. If we can get some baked, Santa will definitely be getting a plate. And I'm going to eat them all myself while the kids are in bed.
4.       What is the one gift you are most looking forward to GIVING? {It can be to your kids, another family member, etc – remember to be discreet if they read your blog!}
I am so so so excited for Hubster's gift. It was something that he kind of mentioned in passing. I found the perfect version on Etsy for his office.
5.       What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?
Since I was a kid, I've always really like Miracle on 34th Street. The newer one, not the old one. The ending is my favorite part. 
6.       What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You. I honestly don't even really like Mariah, but I love this song.

7.       If given the opportunity would you participate in an “Ugly Sweater” party and what sweater would you wear?  Peruse one on the internet or even in your own closet and show us!
I would totally do it! I've always wanted to go to one, but have never been a part of the cool group that does it. I don't have an ugly sweater, so I'd have to hit up the thrift shop. No ugly sweater would be complete without the light up earrings and reindeer antlers.

8.       Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward?
As a family, so far the only real tradition is that we drive around on Christmas Eve looking at Christmas lights. Last year, I started making matching pajamas for the four of us, but I don't think I'll have time this year.
9.       It’s Christmas morning … what does it look like outside where you live?
Well, this year, there are lots of palm trees and sunshine. Green grass, green trees and bright flowers. It was very similar around Christmas time in Miami. I've honestly only seen real snow once in my entire life, and that was in March of this year. Prior to that, I had seen flurries maybe three times.
10.   You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe … who comes up to give you a kiss first?
My husband, of course. And knowing him, he'd probably be following me around all day trying to dangle it over me. 

And now for my ten tags. Answer these same questions, tag ten friends of your own, and then come back here and leave the link to your post! Thanks Lanaya!!

Jen - Adventures of Our Army Life
Paulina - Color Me Brave
Love, Alex

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday at the Beach

I'm happy to say that Adri's birthday went much better than planned. Other than Veronica constantly throwing jealous tantrums, everything went perfectly. No scarred children this year!

Hubster had to go into work Saturday morning, which allowed us girls a little time to run some errands. We started out at the post office to finally mail Caesar's quarantine paperwork. Oops. Thankfully, it will make it just in time. I can't wait to have my sweet boy back next week!

From the post office, we headed to the PX for some shopping! Since we didn't buy any gifts for Adri ahead of time, I just took her to the toy section and let her choose her own. We walked out with a couple of new toys for Adri, and of course, one for V.

After all of that, we came back to the hotel to wait for Hubs to finish up with his work stuff. The girls played outside in the grass for a while before we were finally off to the beach! We spent a few hours swimming and building sand castles. We just barely missed Jen, who was there around the same time we were.

We didn't end up having any cake or cupcakes, but either way, everyone was happy. We had a great time at the beach which ensured an easy bed time.

Love, Alex

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Friday, December 6, 2013


This precious little nugget turns two tomorrow, and guess what her parents have done to prepare for it? Not. A. Damn. Thing. I couldn't tell you if it has to do with second child syndrome or the fact that we've been living in a hotel for close to a month, but there are no gifts, no cake, no plans.

With the madness of Christmas shopping, somehow I forgot that I needed birthday gifts also. Thankfully, Adri is still young enough that she won't be permanently scarred. Hopefully next year, I'll plan a little bit better.

Originally, we were planning to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial, since it's Pearl Harbor Day, but it would be a long day and not so pleasant for a little one. I imagine there are probably a ton of visitors that day, so we're better off visiting some other time.

So far, we're thinking that we'll pick up some cupcakes and head over to one of the lagoons. Hubs has been working long hours, so hopefully he'll be home early enough this evening that I can swing over to the PX for a gift. The plastic bag gift wrapping is just going to have to do.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Love, Alex

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Be Your Own Boss [Giveaway]

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Amway. All opinions are 100% my own. 

As a stay at home mom, I used to struggle to find affordable gifts for Hubster for Christmas, his birthday, and our anniversary. To me, it didn't make sense to use the money that he earned to buy him something that he may or may not like. I even resorted to selling old jewelry at those mall kiosks. Eventually, I ran out of jewelry from ex boyfriends, and gifts to Hubster stopped. I could have gone the homemade route, but there really isn't much that could have wowed him.

For the past year and a half, I've actually been able to use this blog to make money, with posts such as this one! I was also able to expand my care package hobby and open up my own Etsy shop, that I've blogged about in the past. My profits now go to my PayPay account, that the husband doesn't have access too. A good amount of money goes back into blogging, but I was also able to afford an amazing Christmas gift this year.

Even with both kiddies around all day, I've been able to pull off half-working from home. Being my own boss allows me to create my own schedule as well as set my own expectation. Although there have been some challenges and many trials and errors, I am very satisfied with the outcome thus far.

Being a work at home mom is something that I would recommend to any mom, or dad for that matter, considering it. There are many ways to become your own boss, one of those being Amway. From their low-cost start up to their exclusive products, Amway makes it easy to start your own business. Being an entrepreneur is a challenging yet extremely fulfilling role. You can obtain more information regarding starting our own Amway business here: -

Additionally, Amway is hosting a fabulous giveaway with $710.00 worth of Amway products.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, Alex

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Home for the Holidays

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Just last year, my family was one of the thousands of military families separated during the holiday season. Since it was towards the very end of the deployment, Christmas was especially emotionally tolling. I know better than to get my hopes up when it comes to the Army, but since Christmas fell on the 364th day of deployment, I really, really, really thought there was a chance that Hubster would be home in time to celebrate. After all, word on the street is that they pay you loads of money if deployment lasts over 365 days. Not entirely true.
Celebrating Christmas without my husband around wasn't easy, but it was totally doable. I was lucky to have a great group of close friends whose husbands were also in Afghanistan. Although part of our Christmas Eve and Christmas day was spent sulking, we were determined to make it a fun experience for the kids. For Christmas Eve, I made my typical fancy dinner and invited some of our military family over. We drove around to look at Christmas lights, watched Christmas movies, and drank hot chocolate.
Since I knew that Hubster would be home soon, the girls were only allowed to open one gift on Christmas. They were young enough to not even notice the difference. I have to admit that I cried when I saw Santa fly over Georgia on the tracking app.
Homecoming Ceremony
Finally, New Years Day came and my love was home! Luckily for the girls, Santa was on the same airplane as Hubster and dropped off all of the presents under the tree while we were picking up Daddy. We went to the welcome home ceremony with our matching Christmas dresses on so that we could start celebrating as soon as we got home. Once we made it home, it felt just like Christmas should. We opened gifts, ate lots of food, and lounged around in pajamas.
Welcome Home!
Thankfully, this year, we'll all be together as a family. Sadly, there are still many many military families still apart. For Giving Tuesday, Walmart has partnered with Operation Homefront and Fisher House to salute military families nationwide. Walmart’s “Holiday Salute to Military Families” hopes to ease the burden of separation with grants totaling $2 million towards toys, meals, and lodging assistance for military families in need. The donation will also go towards helping hundreds of active duty service members return home to be reunited with their loved ones for the holidays.
If you'd like to help support our heroes and their families, you can do so here: Join in our Holiday Salute to Military Families. You may also spread the word by sharing and tagging a service member that you're grateful for.
Have you had to spend the holidays separated from your spouse or loved ones? What did you do to make it a positive experience?
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Wishin' Accomplished

Did everyone have a fabulous weekend?! Aside from still being stuck in this hotel for part of the time, ours was wonderful! I'm so excited that I got all of my Christmas shopping done for the girls without having to set foot in a store.

We spent Thanksgiving in Waikiki at the Hale Koa. During the day, the girls did some swimming, and for dinner they had a nice buffet. We also jumped at the opportunity to spend the night in a different, much nicer hotel. Boy, do I miss that fluffy mattress.

Friday morning, Hubster and I woke up and comfortably browsed the ToysRUs website for gifts for the girls. We got an idea of what we wanted, and then headed down to the pool again. After checking out, we did some shopping around Waikiki and then headed back to our temporary home.

I set a budget of $200 for both girls, and I'm happy to say that we only went over by $25. I'm going to go ahead and blame ToysRUs shipping charges for that. Unfortunately, we learned that those free shipping deals don't apply to Hawaii, plus there was an extra shipping charge. Good thing for my Target REDcard. With it, I got an additional 5% off and actual free shipping.

The weekend brought crappy weather, which led to us staying mostly indoors. Boo. Hubster returns to work today and is taking the car with him, so we'll see if I decided to venture out with the girls in the stroller. I can't wait to finally move into our house and receive our belongings. I'm kinda bummed and jealous that everyone has their decorations out, and it'll still be a little bit until ours are up.

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Don't Take the Leap of Faith

There's this diamond commercial that I've heard a few times recently that just irks me. I don't know if it's just me, or if other moms/wives would agree. Since I can't remember who the commercial is for or what exactly is said, I'm just going to share the version in my head. Hopefully you've already heard it.

This holiday season, you'll ask your wife what she wants for Christmas. She'll tell you that she'd just like for you to watch the kids or make dinner. Now, you can take her word for it, or you can take a leap of faith and buy her this insanely expensive, pretty diamond. Buy her the diamond.

Dear Husband,

No. Please do not take any leaps of faith. I don't need anymore diamonds. I'm scared to wear half the jewelry I already have, because as you know, a vast majority gets broken or goes missing. If you insist on spending ridiculous amounts of money, please purchase items such as kitchen appliances, a deep freezer, crafting materials, or spa certificates. Dinner and a baby sitter would also be nice.
Anyone else agree? I mean really, the fact that your wife isn't asking for diamonds should be enough to detour you. If I'm asking for mom time for Christmas, isn't that evidence enough that I don't have enough time away from my rascals to wear nice jewelry anyway? Or am I just crazy?

Love, Alex

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Beach Days

This week was pretty awesome. Since Hubster has been off from work, we've done a good amount of exploring and lots of beaching. It's a nice change from last week, which consisted mostly of the girls and I staring at each other in the hotel. I'm happy to say that I am slowly developing my sweet tan.

Tuesday we made our way to the Ko'Olina lagoons. We were lucky enough to score the first parking space in the lot. When I took out my camera to snap some photos, I realized I had forgotten the SD card in the computer. Boo. We came back to discover that the memory card wasn't in the computer.

Adri has this little habit of stealing the card from the computer. I'm pretty sure it's long gone by now. We checked the room, so I think it probably got lost in the sheets on the bed and housekeeping took it. I still have to double check with the front desk to see if maybe it turned up in a washing machine.

Yesterday was a North Shore beach day. Even though we went later in the morning, we were able to once again score the first space in the lot at the Waimea Bay Beach Park. It was by-far our best beach day. We were able to watch two sea turtles come up close to the beach, and a whole bunch of whales/dolphins in the distance. SO COOL!

Wednesday was a shopping day. First we made a trip around Aloha Stadium for the Swap Meet. They had a whole bunch of souvenir stuff for cheap! Lots of key chains, magnets, and jewelry. The four of us got kukui necklaces for a total of $12. I've seen them at stores around the island for that much each. I still need to go back to get this awesome Florida one.

We also did some mall-ing and outlet-ing, but unfortunately, nothing really stood out. I picked up a new pair of sandals, but that was really it.

I'm not sure what we'll be doing this weekend, but I'm sure there will be more beaching. As long as there is sun and sand, I don't ever see myself getting sick of this island. How people can hate being stationed here is beyond me. It sure beats being trapped in the snow. ;)

While you're here, be sure to check out my newest in-post sponsor! It's a great blog for other military spouses!

Love, Alex

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Our First Week of Aloha

It's been a week since we've been in Hawaii. Unfortunately, Husbter spent the better part of last week in-processing, so I was stuck in the hotel room while he took the rental car. Being trapped with two toddlers quickly led to a case of cabin fever. This weekend we took some trips that more than made up for everything we missed out on in our first few days.

On Friday, we drove to Honolulu to pick up our own car and return the rental to the airport. I had no idea that there were so many requirements to have a car in Hawaii. We had to update our insurance, and then actually go to the USAA office, because Hawaii doesn't accept insurance cards printed from your computer. They have to have some watermark. Next we attempted to have our car inspected, but it turns out that our tints are too dark. Oops. I knew they were too dark when I put them on ten years ago, but I figured the Florida sun would have dulled the tint a little. Guess not. That'll be another adventure that we have to deal with today.

Saturday we headed east. We started out by heading towards the Marine base, and then just followed the highway along the coast. Our journey led us past some magnificent views of waves crashing upon rocks. It was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately I was driving, so I wasn't able to capture any photos. It will definitely be a location that we'll be visiting again though.

We ended our Saturday drive in Waikiki at the Hale Koa, a resort hotel for the Armed Forces. I was totally surprised by how gorgeous the property was. Definitely not what I'd expect from the military. While we were there, we noticed that they're having a Thanksgiving dinner. Reservations were made, and now we'll have a real meal for Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday, we headed in the opposite direction to the North Shore. It was kind of a long drive until we found a secluded like beach park on the side of the road. There weren't a ton of people there which was wonderful. The four of us got down to check out the water. Since we weren't dressed for swimming, it was just a dip for our feet. I was surprised that the water was pretty warm. The sand was also so so soft.

Even after our bumpy start, and the flight from hell, I'm looking forward to everything else that Hawaii has to offer us. 

Love, Alex

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Also Seen on TV - Flashlight Friend

I received a Flashlight Friend complimentary in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Along with the Pop Chef that I recently received, I also received a blue puppy Flashlight Friend for Veronica. Instantly, she fell in love it with it. V is a bit of a scaredy cat and definitely not a fan of the dark. I figured a Flashlight Friend might be the perfect solution to calm her fears at night.

When we first opened up the box, inserted three AAA batteries, and started playing with the puppy, I was slightly blinded by how bright the light was. I was thinking that it would be a dull-ish nightlight type of thing, but like the name says, it's actually a flashlight. The light is able to illuminate a dark room easily.

The great thing about the Flashlight Friends is that the light doesn't get hot. V used it over and over again and it was still cool to the touch. In order to turn the light on, you're required to tap it twice, which means it's less likely that the light will turn on accidentally with someone rolling over it. After ten minutes, the light automatically shuts off. Although V doesn't get up to use the potty at night, this would be great for a child that does.

Our blue puppy is plush, cuddly, and the perfect addition for bed time. The light stays on for long enough for V to comfortably fall asleep, and is easy for her to turn on in the middle of the night if she happens to wake up.

I'd say that this product was a great addition to our family. Without batteries, it's a soft stuffed animal perfect for cuddling. The addition of batteries makes it the perfect night time tool. The one downside is that these guys aren't machine washable.

There are six different Flashlight Friends characters: Pink Unicorn, Black Penguin, Green Turtle, Green Dragon, Blue Puppy, and Purple Panda. I'm pretty sure I've seen these guys available at Walmart, but you can also purchase one from their website.

Love, Alex

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As Seen On TV - Pop Chef

I received a Pop Chef  complimentary in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

I'm a sucker for infomercials. My parents are lucky that they didn't leave their credit cards lying around when I was a kid or I would have ordered everything I saw on the TV. As an adult, I've become a bit more skeptical, but I'm still intrigued by certain items.

Not too long ago, I saw the Pop Chef on TV. Immediately, I was interested. I've been trying the bento thing, to try to get the girls to eat different foods. Cutting cheeses out with tiny little cookie cutters becomes tedious and starts to bother my fingers after a while. The Pop Chef comes with the perfect shapes to make shaping food fun and easy!

Pop Chef comes with the top bulb, six shaped cutters (heart, star, circle, butterfly, flower, sun), 25 bamboo skewers, and a recipe book. You can use the cutters on hard and soft items up to two inches thick.
The cool part (that I wasn't expecting for some reason) is that there is a pop sound when you squeeze the bulb to pop the food out of the cutter.

I used the Pop Chef to cut out cheese, fruit, and bread for the girls. The nice cut pieces went mostly to V and Adri mostly got scraps. Haha! She's little and doesn't know the difference. I was surprised by how easily the dishwasher friendly plastic shapes were able to cut through anything. I wasn't sure they'd work on an apple, but I had no issues getting through. The one side note would be that even though I was easily able to cut out bread, since it's so porous, it doesn't just pop out, and you kind of have to fish it out.

Overall, I'm very happy with this product. Since we've been moving, I've only been able to use it for snacking purposes for the girls. Once we get into our new home, I'm looking forward to using my Pop Chef along with the skewers to make those beautiful fruit arrangements like the ones from Edible Arrangements. The included recipe book has some awesome ideas on what to use your pop chef for. Some cute ideas include: fondant on cakes, mini sandwiches, meat and/or cheese platters, cookie dough, pizza toppings, salads, fruit platters.

You can snag a Pop Chef of your own for only $10 plus S&H on their website. While you're there, be sure to watch the demo and see how easy Pop Chef is to use.

Love, Alex

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Meals

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away?! It seems as though this year has blown by! We still haven't decided what we'll doing this year. Between trying to find a place to live and waiting for our household goods to arrive, we're not even sure where we'll be. A restaurant is sounding better and better each day. Although I'll be missing out on some Thanksgiving favorites, I feel like it gives me more time to plan for Christmas, which is my real favorite.

Speaking of Thanksgiving favorites though, I can think of one thing that was never my favorite. Stuffing. Up until my parents started making it with sausage, I never touched the stuff. I also never knew that people referred to it as dressing. My blog sponsors: Angel, Ashley, and Kelsey are all on the same page as me with calling it stuffing.

Continuing with the stuffing theme, there's another stuffing related topic that causes a bit of a stir. Do you actually stuff it into the turkey, or is it a made as a dish on the side. Kelsey does both. Ya know, to be sure she has some leftovers. Ashley and Angel both make it seperately, and Angel's family actually makes it from scratch with dried bread.

Since I don't exactly eat everything in the Thanksgiving spread, I was wondering if anyone else was a picky eater life myself. Nope. Occassionally Ashley's grandma will cook beets, which she won't touch, but other than that, it's fair game. Angel and Kelsey eat it all!

Once dinner is done and it's time for dessert, Kelsey and I are totally on the same page. One pumpkin pie for me, and one for everyone else. Ashley's favorite dessert is a chocolate chess pie that she picks up from the fall fest at church each year. Angel's favorite desserts are two homemade treats that are gone by the end of the meal, double double chocolate (YUM!) and a pumpkin/cream cheese pie that is heavenly.

Now that you know what some of my sponsors do for Thanksgiving, what are you most looking forward to eating or doing this Thanksgiving?

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Flight from Hell

If you ever plan on visiting Hawaii. I HIGHLY recommend having a layover in Los Angeles and not Dallas. The eight hour flight from Dallas was almost too much for even me to handle. We started off with a two hour delay due to the navigation system crashing (that's exactly what you want to hear before your eight hour flight!) and then had to deal with head winds which slowed us down a tiny bit.

Half way into the flight, the girls were exhausted and cranky. Of course Adri made a scene by throwing multiple tantrums. If I didn't already know that I had the worst behaved kid on the plane, the lady in front of us with the stink eye, definitely would have clued me in.

I came prepared to buy airplane food, since I knew that kind of stuff isn't free anymore, but they ran out of almost everything before they even got to us, and we were row 25. Aside from being by the toilets, it must have sucked be stuck in the rows way back.

This momma was in dire need of an adult drink, but they were also out of my go-to, amaretto. The next best thing was a half bottle of wine. I'm not sure if the flight attendant noticed that Hubs was military or just saw the look of desperation on our faces, but my mommy juice and Hub's daddy drink were free.

I was a little disappointed that they ran our of just about everything only half way into our flight, so it was a good thing that I was prepared with all sorts of stuff for the kids. It would have been a painful flight if I hadn't been. The gummies are great for helping the little ones clear their ears. Even though they're over 3 oz., TSA allowed us to take fruit pouches though security.

Even after a hellish flight, I can't complain. We landed in paradise. I was a little sad that we weren't able to fly into Honolulu at sunset, but we'll have plenty of opportunities to watch the sun set for the next few years.

Love, Alex

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day! A gigantic thank you to those who have and continue to serve. 

We made it to Hawaii last night after a few hours of delay. It wasn't the most pleasant flight, but I can't complain. So far, what we've seen around Schofield Barracks is absolutely gorgeous. We'll be making our way off post in a little while. Since everything is closed today, we'll be exploring. 

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day! A gigantic thank you to those who have and continue to serve. 

We made it to Hawaii last night after a few hours of delay. It wasn't the most pleasant flight, but I can't complain. So far, what we've seen around Schofield Barracks is absolutely gorgeous. We'll be making our way off post in a little while. Since everything is closed today, we'll be exploring. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Positively Positive

Usually I'm a half glass full type of person, but when it comes to people, I'm a glass half glass empty because some a-hole drank my water. I think it has something to do with being raised in Miami, and the self-centered mindset of everyone down there. Living in the South and Midwest has really opened my eyes. People can be nice!

For as long as I can remember, I've been judging people. It started in school with the nerds and the losers, and it just continued on into adult life. Now, I am by no means a bully or anything. All of these mean guy thoughts stay in my head, but to me that's bad enough.

At the mall I judge the mom sitting at the playground on her phone ignoring her kid. I've been there though. When Hubs was deployed, I was that mom. The mall was my only moment of freedom from the kids. At the grocery store when the person in front of me doesn't have any produce, I judge. I've also been there. It was cheaper for me to buy almost everything at the commissary but get my vegetables from Walmart.

Lately, I've noticed myself being more and more judgmental. I figure it has to do with the stress of moving, but I'd like to start on a more positive path before getting to Hawaii. It's my intention to start new in Hawaii with organization, routine, and fitness. This is just another step in the right direction.

Are you a jerk like me, or do you view strangers in a positive light before getting to know them?

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One Step Closer

It's our last day on the mainland! The four of us are extremely excited for this journey. Not so much the flying part, but the part where we land in Honolulu and get to spend a few years there. 

Today will be spent quadruple checking everything and charging every single electronic device that we own to keep the girls occupied. I'll be making lists upon lists to make sure nothing is forgotten. 

A shopping trip will probably be necessary. I don't think I'll survive without a Welch's 24-pack of gummies. 

Normally I do well traveling with the girls. This time, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't mortified of flying for hours in a tin can with a bunch of toddler hating passengers. Let's just hope that everyone is in the aloha spirit. 

What are your must haves for travelling? I know I'll forget something.

Love, Alex

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