Monday, September 29, 2014


I'm pleased to report that for the second year in a row, I had a really great time attending the Military Police Ball.

Due to horrendous traffic, we missed the social hour, but made it just in time for the receiving line. When you have an event with 600 people though, it's nearly impossible to get them all through that line. So we skipped it.

Not only was our group of friends lucky enough to manage to all get seated together, but we also got a table with a great location. We were one row of table back and a few to the side of the main stage. Pretty close to the door too, which was nice for running out to the bar and such. 

The formal portion was interesting. People had already started to get rather wild before dinner was even served. There was that guy (or several of them) that responded to the toast to the fallen. A First Sergeant in the crowd got up to yell at Soldiers who were acting like asses during the Commander's speech. Some wife behind us was acting rowdy. 

This year was my first year trying the grog. It tasted fine, but smelled sort of like cigarettes or something along those lines. I don't even know. And I don't know why they always chose Diet Coke to represent the spouse at home during a deployment. I don't know about everyone else, but I drink wine like it's water when John is gone.

Since we got there rather late, we didn't have a chance to take very many pictures. Boo.. ): Thankfully my friend took her big camera and snapped one of us partying. I'm still waiting for the Brigade to post their pictures from the event on Facebook, so that I can steal the ones I'm in.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Whoa. I've definitely been in a blogging slump lately. I open up the laptop to start typing and I have no idea where to start. I haven't stuck to my calendar at all and I still have a bunch of half written posts in my drafts that I haven't gotten around to completing. Instead, I am here with bullets.
  • Our military ball is tomorrow. I''m looking forward to attending and having a good time with friends. The girls are SO excited about having a babysitter, and I'm really excited for them to all have a good time together.
  • I plan on practicing doing my makeup this afternoon. I suck at eyeliner, so things could possibly get scary. Why do I have to suck at being a girl?!
  • We did spinning (spun?) in boot camp on Tuesday. My ass and crotch area still hurt so freaking bad! Holy shit?! Who the hell designed those bike seats?! I'll have to bring a pillow with me next time.
  • I have a cute Halloween activity for the girls. I picked up the materials yesterday and I might try to put it together over the weekend. I'm hoping that it turns out as well as I'm envisioning and that they enjoy it for more than 10 minutes. 
  • Caesar tore down ALL of the blinds on the windows that face our backyard last week. I've pretty much hated him since then. Although, I can't fully blame him. Pretty sure it's a neighbor that he's trying to go after. 
  • I'd be okay with skipping Fall and getting straight into Christmas. Our family hasn't had the chance to celebrate Christmas together for the past two years, so I'm finally looking forward to going all out this year. I still have so many Scentsy scents from two years ago when I though John would be home for Christmas.
  • I'd be lying if I said I didn't totally love Kmart's Not Christmas Commercial.

  • The Pinecone Home picture frame giveaway ends today. Make sure you've entered!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own. 

Domestic violence has become an extremely hot topic in the news lately. It seems like every time you turn the channel, another celebrity is being accused of or arrested on a domestic abuse charge. However, there is one celebrity that is taking a stance against domestic violence. Emmy-nominated actress and domestic violence activist, Kerry Washington, is serving as a Purple Purse ambassador to help raise awareness of financial abuse, a form of domestic abuse.

Domestic violence affects as many as one in four women in their lifetime. Although when most people think about domestic violence, they think only of physical abuse, however financial abuse happens in 98% of these cases, and is one of the most powerful ways that the abuser uses to keep the victim trapped.  Often times, the reason that domestic violence victims are forced to stay is because they don’t have the financial resources to free themselves. For example, if a victim's credit score is ruined by an abuser, she could have a hard time finding a place to live.

To help raise awareness of this serious issue, Kerry Washington designed a limited-edition purple purse (the color of domestic violence awareness). It’s Allstate’s Purple Purse Foundation’s goal to help make it fashionable to speak openly about and bring awareness to this topic.

This year, Allstate Foundation has issued the Purple Purse Challenge, in an effort to fund raise for 145 community partners across the country who provide financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. The Allstate Foundation is also distributing Purple Purse charms to Challenge participants, so that you can turn any purse into a Purple Purse. Along with each charm, comes a card with the inspiring story of a survivor.

You can go to between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to learn more about domestic violence and financial abuse, and to join the Challenge to help a nonprofit near you.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Monday, September 22, 2014


It takes a special person to put up with my shenanigans. Lucky for me, I found and legally bound myself to a person crazy enough to deal with me for the rest of their life. Not only does he deal with me, he also goes along with most of my ridiculous ideas. Like that one time we camped out in Best Buy for three hours to buy a $200 phone.

Yep. Over the weekend I became the proud owner of an iPhone 6. I've had an iPhone since they came out years ago. Although I wasn't overly impressed with this most recent model, I knew I had to have it anyway. Plus, after destroying my iPhone 5 and using John's old 4 for a while, I was in desperate need of a fast phone with a great camera.

So we sat and we waited. And we waited. And waited. And walked around the store for a bit. And waited some more. For three whole hours. And then they finally called me! After a few signatures, a card swipe, and another signature, she was in my hands. My shiny new phone.

There are a few differences that will take some getting used to, like the power button now being located on the side instead of the top, but so far I'm loving my new phone. It is just a tad larger than I would like, but there really isn't much I can do about that. The camera is great and works fantastically for those low-light photos of Juli that I like to take first thing in the morning while she's still sleeping.

Anyone else upgrade over the weekend? Am I crazy for waiting so long?

Thanks bubby for trusting me with a device. I promise never to remove the case again. (:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Juliana - Two Months Old

My sweet baby girl is already two whole months old! While it's exciting that she is finally gaining a personality of her own, I'm constantly reminding myself that she'll never be this little again, and it breaks my heart!

At her two month well-baby check up, everything looked great! They kinda sucked about giving my her measurements, but I did catch that she is now 11 pounds 5 ounces. That's two whole pounds that she's gained in a month.

In the last month, Juli has learned to smile and will smile at us when we speak to her. During tummy time, she uses her arms to push herself up and look around. She's doing great when it comes to sleeping. Most days, I can put her to nap at around 10 am. She'll wake up for lunch and usually fall back asleep until dinner time. At night, she snuggles with me, and manages to sleep for most of the night.

For the next month, I want to try to hopefully get her switched into cloth diapers. I haven't been happy with how they fit up until now, but I think she might finally be big enough for them. I also need to switch out her clothes from the newborn stuff to the 0-3 and 3-6 month stuff. I can't believe my baby is growing so quickly!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Juliana's First Beach Trip

Over the weekend, Juli had her very first beach outing. Up until this point, we've avoided the beach for a couple of reasons. 

For one, I was advised not to swim for four weeks after giving birth. There was no way I was going to sit at the hot beach without a efficient way of cooling myself off. Since my littlest munchkin has been attached to me like a little suckling pig, she wasn't going without me.

There's also the fact that Juli heats up pretty quickly, and I wasn't going to dunk her in the ocean to cool her off. Even though we bought a tent to use at the beach to keep the sun off of her, it can get pretty warm in the shade. 

Juli turns two months old today, so last weekend we figured it would finally be a good time for her to experience the HI life. Her and I snuggled beneath a tent for the majority of our time at the beach, but she did get a chance to dip her tiny toes in the water for a bit. When they're this little, they're not supposed to wear sunscreen, so I also did my best to keep wrapped in a light blanket to avoid the sun's rays.

Baby's first time at the beach

She was much better behaved than I expected her to be, which has me thinking that we'll be back to being beach bums sooner rather than later.

Don't forget to check out both of the great giveaways that I have going on here and here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pinecone Home State-Shaped Picture Frame [Review + Giveaway]

I received this product for review purposes, all opinions are my own. 

After all of the comments on my Instagram post of the state-shaped picture frames, I am so excited to finally introduce you to Pinecone Home! They're a small business that creates quality handmade items for your home. Their Missouri and Georgia picture frames have recently made their way on to my photo wall and I couldn't be happier! Seriously, every time I glance over at the frames on the wall, I smile.

From the moment I opened the large white box from Cincinnati, I was blown away. Not only were the picture frames perfect (and actually about a million times nicer than I was expecting), but the packaging was pretty perfect as well. Each frame came nestled cozily in a cardboard sheet with hanging directions. Included, was also a cardboard template, because honestly, who has the time or patience to figure out where to hammer the nails into the wall?

Once I decided where I wanted each frame to hang, I used the templates to position the nails. From there, the frame literally slid right onto the nails without having to wiggle and fight with it. Veronica could have done it. That simple. Awe.

What I like best about the state-shaped frames, is that they're lightweight, yet sturdy feeling. They're made of MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard), which is not so great for furniture, but relatively wonderful for home decor. Especially when you're moving every few years and need to keep within your weight limits. 

Each frame is precisely cut and holds a 4x6" photo behind a glass pane and comes in your choice of 11 hand-painted colors. Custom colors are available with a surcharge. If a stunning photo wall isn't your thing, picture frame stands are available so that you can show off your state pride on a coffee table or night stand.

The uniqueness of Pinecone Home's state-shaped frames add a special touch to my photo display. As a military wife, they're a fantastic decor piece that highlights where our family has been stationed.  They could also be used as a reminder of "home." Although I'm from Florida, so sometimes I'd prefer to forget. They'd also be a great way to highlight a special family vacation.

Because the people at Pinecone Home are awesome, they're giving two people the chance to win the frame of their choice. Make sure to spread the word and encourage your friends to enter. If the giveaway surpasses 500 entries, we'll add a third winner.

Enter below, and make sure to check out their shop for these state-shaped frames as well as other beautiful handmade items.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US residents, 18 years or older. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Baby Safety Month [+ Giveaway]

I can't think of anything more important than keeping my three little ladies safe. There are the obvious safety precautions, such as blocking off the stairs, covering up electrical outlets, and buckling into a car seat whenever you hit the road. However, did you know that car seats may be ineffective when used improperly? 

As a first time mom, I had no idea that there were car seat rules. I figured if Veronica was buckled in, she would be safe in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, that's not true, and more than 9,000 children age 12 and under died in crashes in the past decade. (Source) For Baby Safety Month, I teamed up with some other fantastic bloggers to bring you some baby safety tips.

Here are a few tips for keeping your little one safe in the car:
  • Use a new(er) car seat: Did you know that car seats have expiration dates? Be sure to check the date on your seat before strapping your little one in. Also, be sure that the seat you're using, has never been in an accident, as this can reduce effectiveness. If you must use an older seat, be sure to check it's recall status
  • Make sure the straps are tight enough: The straps should lie flat against your child. You shouldn't be able to pinch any of the straps between your fingers. If you can, the straps should be tightened. 
  • Remove bulky clothing such as winter coats: In the event of an accident, safety straps may not be able to provide adequate protection over a coat. Instead, layer a blanket over your child after they've been buckled in.
  • The chest clip belongs on the chest. This one might seem obvious, but it's incredible how many children have the clips down near their stomach.  The clips should be flat and aligned with the child's armpits.
  • Make sure that straps are positioned correctly: Double check with the user's manual, but normally, the straps on a rear-facing seat should be at or slightly below the child's shoulders.
Most importantly, make sure that you're actually using a car seat and that it's the appropriate car seat for your child's size.

And now for the giveaway, brought to you by: True Agape, This Ole Mom, Ramblings of a Marine Wife, Krafts and Kiddos, and myself. The giveaway runs from today, September 15, through Monday, September 22. The winner will have until that Friday to respond before a new winner is chosen. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to link up your own baby safety posts below!

Small Business Sunday

This month, I have the pleasure of having a couple small businesses on my side bar. I'm excited to introduce you to Ruth's Military Life's Moments, and Kathleen's Her Joyful Studio.

Ruth is a military spouse who designs greeting cards and other "snail mail" items to help bring families together throughout deployment. Ruth's goal is to help military families build stronger ties through separations and celebrations. Along with greeting cards for all branches, the Military Life's Moments cafe press store features items from home decor to clothing. 

Kathleen started Her Joyful Studio in Spring 2013. She started off selling party decor such as paper garlands and cake toppers. After discovering that she was expecting twin girls, Kathleen dove into the world of headbands. Kathleen's girls are now seven months old, and she has since left her full-time marketing job to focus on creating beautiful accessories with her little ladies by her side.

Friday, September 12, 2014

8 Weeks Postpartum

This is that blog post where I strip down and show off my post-baby body and all of the progress I have or haven't made since giving birth exactly eight weeks ago. Well, it was supposed to be.. I just plugged my SD card into the computer to upload the images, and I'm definitely not sharing. There is plenty of work to be done before that can happen.

Yesterday, I did finally start that process. I joined a friend at a work out group that I've been wanting to join for a while. Sort of like a Stroller Strides, but not. I had seen a flier when I was still pregnant and told myself that I wanted to join. It's a good thing my friend was already going though, or I would have chickened out. The anxiety leading up to my first workout was ridiculous.

Now that my first class is over, I feel much better. Except for my legs. Those are like jello.. Juli cried for a good portion of the class and eventually one of the ladies came over and picked her up. Unless she's sleeping, she hates not being held! It can become a bit of a pain sometimes. I'm hoping that the next class goes a little bit better for her.

So.. For now I won't be posting a body photo. In an effort not to bore you, I only plan on doing these postpartum fitness every four weeks, sort of like my bumpdates. Maybe after I've made some progress, I'll feel comfortable sharing the before picture. For now, enjoy some post-bath baby shots.

my sweet little girl

Baby Juliana

Be sure to come back next week! Bring your baby safety tips, because on Monday, I'm co-hosting a baby safety linkup and giveaway. On Wednesday, I'll be giving away two of those state-shaped picture frames that were awfully popular on Instagram.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014

Never Forget

September 11, 2014 - Never Forget

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Survival Kit

Recently, I was approached by Man Crates and challenged to share the four or five must have items that I would include in my survival kit. What is Man Crates, you ask? Well, they're a company that specializes in creating bad ass gifts for men. The gifts come in a crate with a crowbar to make opening extra manly. You can even have your crate wrapped in duct tape for that special manly touch. I've been wanting to send one of these to John, but unfortunately, shipping to Hawaii is insane. Instead, my dad will likely be receiving one for his birthday later this year.

Anyway, here is what I came up with for my very own survival kit:

  1. iPhone: I am attached to this thing 24/7. From social media to texting, I am almost constantly using my phone. Anyone else super excited for Apple's announcement today?!
  2. EOS Lip Balm: I collect these like a crazy person. I love the fun packaging and the round shape of the balm. 
  3. CoverGirl Mascara: There are days that I go completely makeup-less. Actually, that's most days. I feel naked if I'm not wearing mascara though. The fat tubes of CoverGirl are my absolute favorite!
  4. Sunglasses: I never used to wear sunglasses, but John got me into the habit. Now, if I go out without sunglasses, I can't even open eyes, and when I do, they burn. I'm sure the Hawaiian sun has a little to do with that as well. 
  5. Old Navy Flip Flops: In Hawaii, it's customary to leave your shoes outside of the home. We have a shoe rack out by our door, but usually once I'm outside, I just want the bottom of my feet covered without having to worry about sandal straps or laces. I can easily slip on a pair of slippahs and quickly be on my way.
What are some of your must have items?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Fun

I love the weekends where we all just sit at home together, as a family. The days seem to pass by more slowly when we're not out and about actually doing stuff. This weekend was a nice mix of friend time and family time. 

On Saturday, we went to a friends house to BBQ and watched the Notre Dame/Michigan game. The girls enjoyed some slip n slide time while the grown up played cornhole (or bags as some people refer to it). It was my first time playing, and nowhere near as easy as I thought it was going to be. 

Sunday was a lot more laid back. The morning was consumed by football. By the afternoon, we decided that we needed to get the kids out of the house.. We made a trip to pick up soil to finally get our vegetable garden planted in the ground. From there, we made a quick stop at Chuck E. Cheese. After a birthday party earlier this year, V has been begging to go back. 

Chuck E. Cheese was slightly busy, but not unbearable. Each game/ride is only a coin, and every dollar gets you three coins, so it's actually pretty cheap. Not to mention, everything is rather clean and unlike the grimy Chuck E. Cheese that you picture in your mind.

After being out for less than two hours, we were back home and back to relaxing.

How do you prefer to spend your weekends?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Link Love

I've had a sweet little princess asleep on my chest pretty frequently lately. So what do I do? Browse the interwebz of course! I thought I'd share some links that I'm loving lately and you might love too.

If you're a jerk like me, you might have as much fun playing Cards Against Humanity as I do. You can now play online with total strangers. You're welcome ;)

I'm kinda obsessed with all of these wedding posts. I creeped hard on their hashtag during their wedding weekend, and even accidentally liked strangers' photos. Whoopsies!

This free printable calendar. It's bright and colorful, which helps focus on and actually be interested in jotting down notes and important dates. Best of all, there are all sorts of pages available, including some to help with planning out homeschool lessons.

And speaking of homeschool lessons, this mama shared an entire year's preschool curriculum. It's helped me tremendously with creating a plan for the girls. Mostly V.

Kathleen has an ad on my blog this month, which led me to her adorable Etsy shop: Her Joyful Studio. Yesterday, I ordered a few of the most adorable head bands for Juli! I can't wait to receive them! Come back tomorrow for more on her and her shop.

Have you seen this video?! There are some talented people behind computers out there.. Sadly, I am not one of them.

If you haven't noticed, I happen to be obsessed with Shutterfly lately. Want a free photobook? Promo code: book4free

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I'm Working On

Since the baby was born, it's like I have this extra little burst of enthusiasm to get stuff done around the house. It kinda started with my clean kitchen obsession and has spread to other areas of the house. I even printed out this fantastic planner set to help keep me on track. At the moment, I'm working on a few little projects, to help spruce things up.

In the past, I never really had any interest in keeping up with our yard. We have flowerbeds around  the entire perimeter of the house, but since we live on post and this house isn't really ours, I never took an interest in maintaining them more than I had to. After starting our little vegetable garden, I realized how easy it is to dig up a few weeds and plant something else, which is exactly what we did over the weekend.

The girls planted sunflower seeds in mason jars a while back. We took the spouts from those and planted them along the back wall of our garage. So far, they're thriving. I'd be super happy if they would grow six feet tall with huge bright flowers.

Another little project that I've been working on is my photo wall. Each time my mom has visited, she's helped with it. It's finally getting to the point where it looks close to complete. I got on Shutterfly yesterday and ordered a bunch of free prints (promo code: laborday101 [or click here for 101 free photos from my referral page]). So far, I love how the wall looks. It'll be a work in progress, and I'm sure huge changes will be made each time we move as well as when the girls get older.

This last project isn't really home related, or even a project really.. Actually, I've been attempting to put together a mini homeschool curriculum for the girls for the days that they're not in school. It's taken a lot of Pinterest searching and some creativity on my part, but it's coming along. I've found some great homeschooling resources and have taken little bits and pieces from everywhere. I even fired up the Cricut for some extra fun little projects. Today will be the first day that we'll be following somewhat of a lesson plan instead of just randomness that I print from the internet. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I Just Started Typing

It wasn't that long ago that I was hating Tuesdays. I still have to wake up earlier than usual to get the girls ready for school, but since I'm no longer doing gymnastics after preschool drop off, my day goes much more smoothly. Last week was the first Tuesday since Juliana was born that it was just her and I running the errands. It wasn't perfect, but I'll take whipping a boob out in the middle of the commissary over chasing a cranky toddler between beams and bars.

I wish I could say the boob thing was an exaggeration, but sadly it's not. As we were searching for the perfect tomatoes for BLTs last week, Juli started getting irritated. I tried to calm her in her carrier, but nothing I did seemed to work. In an effort to not be that mom with the screaming kid (although the store was pleasantly empty at 8:30 am) I took her out of the wrap and carried her in my arms. Didn't help. Five aisles later, I decided I was going to have to feed her if I wanted her to be quiet. I slipped her back into the wrap and let her go to town. Surprisingly, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I was expecting. No crazy looks from strangers, and she just nursed while I shopped.

Today, I'll probably nurse in the car before heading in. I spent the weekend planning the menu and putting together the perfect shopping list, so hopefully it's a quick trip. I can only hope.

Speaking of planning, am I totally crazy for already having my Thanksgiving menu planned out? It started with dinner last night. I was stacking dirty dishes and I really looked how one plate looked on top of a larger plate. Which led me to thinking about how the bowl would look on top of that, and how perfect it would be filled with soup for Thanksgiving dinner. From there, my mind took off and the menu was planned. I was even trying to figure out what I would cook extras of so that I could drop off dinner for the MPs working at the gates. And how each gate is going to get their own pie. Yep. I've officially lost it.