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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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Surprise, PARTY!

Even though they make me crazy, I'm convinced that I have the best family ever. Family also includes my bestest best friend, who also happens to be my sorority sister.

Saturday, before we left Miami, my mom and best friend put together a Hawaiian themed going away party for Hubster and I. They invited our group of mutual friends, which happen to mostly be Hubster's fraternity brothers. These guys have pretty much become part of my parents' family as well, since they're always at the house when we're home.

There was lots of food and TONS to drink. We had planned on going to Texas de Brazil that evening, but scratched those plans since everyone had eaten so much. Normally Texas is one of those things that I must do in Miami, but since there is one in Hawaii, I'm not to sad about missing out on it.

We're in Orlando this week visiting Hubster's mom before we fly to Hawaii over the weekend. We have a few things planned here to keep the time passing quickly. We've got to get our car cleaned out so that we can ship it at the end of the week. Someone also needs a haircut and shave desperately.

Love, Alex

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick or Treat!

How was everyone's Halloween?!

The Hubster and I (mostly him) spent the morning packing up our suitcases to make sure that they were all within the allowed weight limit for the airline. We'll be checking ELEVEN suitcases.

In the afternoon, Veronica, Husbter and my dad went for a swim. She is doing great in the pool. The floaties that we put on her hardly have any air in them, and she's swimming like a little fish. Even in the deep end!

I picked up some Chinese food for dinner. It had been a long long while since I had some good Chinese. I was never able to find the good stuff in Missouri or Georgia. This place by my parents' is delicious, fast, and cheap!

After dinner, the girls got dressed up, and we headed out around the neighborhood. I was so excited since I remember always having huge trick or treating success, but the neighborhood has gone down hill. I guess everyone is like 20 years older now and not about celebrating Halloween. Thankfully, we went a block over and were able to get a bunch of candy. I had a lovely time with my coffee cup of mommy juice.

The girls were so adorable in their costumes! As much as I didn't want to do Disney princesses again, they turned out cute.

How was your Halloween? See any cute costumes?

Love, Alex

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