Monday, May 28, 2012
Today we are going to the Lowry Zoo as they are offering free admission to military members and their dependents in honor of memorial day. We took another trip to the beach and visited Clearwater Aquarium rescue (home to Winter the dolphin)-pictures will come as soon as I have time to get my laptop out and pictures uploaded.
Thank you to all of those who have so bravely served our country! We especially remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our beautiful Country and our freedom today. I hope you are all doing well and welcome to all of my new followers-I look forward to getting to know you! God bless and have a great rest of your weekend surrounded by those you love the most!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Now onto the news! As I posted about a few days back, Hubby and I have begun the long journey better known as house hunting. We spent Friday evening walking through a few houses...all of which were either dumpy or way too far of a commute for Hubs to make each morning to work (or both!). We were less than impressed with that realtor, so we took the advice of our new friends A and M and got in touch with the realtor they used for their current house. Nick, our realtor, is fantastic...I will go into detail a bit later. Anywho, Nick took us to 6 or 7 houses on Saturday...3 of which we had no interested in even going in (as in way over priced dumps or nasty locations). We saw some decent homes, but they were all near the very highest end of our budget. My amazing friend A took me to the housing office of the very new development that she and M live in and I was informed that there were 2 houses being built...one that would be ready in July and one that would be ready towards October. To be honest, I was doing this all just to make A feel like she had helped - there was not even a tiny, microscopic, minute sprout of an idea in my mind that we could afford a brand new house. But I played along. I listened. I looked. I inquired. I inquired again to make sure my ears weren't playing tricks on me. And I fell in love.
So I dragged Hubs back to the housing office on Saturday morning before we headed out to look at the houses Nick had found for us, and I could immediately see the spark in his eye as we walked through the house. Granted it's only in the sheet rock phase, but even then it has immense potential. Throughout our looking at the resale homes, one thought was always at the front of my mind, keeping me very skeptical of all of the older homes we were walking through: For the same (and even more often) lower price, we could have a brand new home. Rather than moving in to a to-do list of everything that needs TLC, we would be starting this new chapter of our life on a blank slate. Oh how I love this house. It was built with the intentions of becoming an inventory home...as in a house the builders make to show off the floor plan and available features (as well as upgrades) to potential buyers. Needless to say, we hit the jackpot with our timing of stumbling across this house. We are talking granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a lanai, double sinks in the master bath...all of these goodies on top of the it already being a "green" eco-friendly house. And the best part? We will be saving money each month. Our mortgage payment will be less than what we are paying for rent now...significantly less. Seems crazy, right?
I hardly got any sleep Saturday night as we had arranged to meet up with Nick back at the housing office the next afternoon to negotiate and sign the contract. To cut to the chase, Nick got the housing company to throw in an upgraded refrigerator, washer and dryer, blinds (the nice plastic "mock" wood ones), screening in of our lanai, a garage door opener, and, despite the woman in the housing office telling us that her manager no longer would chip in for closing costs, ours would be 100% covered. We got lucky. Very lucky. Now we are just waiting for our official loan approval letter to get here so we can move along with the process.
Hubby and I are ecstatic. We were informed that we are the youngest home buyers the housing office woman had ever assisted in purchasing one of their homes. So anyways, enough of my rambling - here are some pictures and I will keep you guys updated on what happens!
Placing our home on the map in the main office
Our house...closing is scheduled to be by July 15th or earlier
Thursday, May 17, 2012
I noticed my hair was beginning to feel a bit crispy at the ends due to having just died it with box color sooooo I figured today would be a dandy day to deep condition! I've used BioInfusion Olive Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment (about $13 at Walgreens...you can usually catch BioInfusion products in their buy 1 get 1 half off sales pretty regularly, though) for a couple of years now and I love it. If you can get over the rather odd slight hint of olive oil scent, this product is 100% worth your time. This deep conditioner was one of my go-to products back in the day when I was dying my hair on a monthly basis!
It's very simple to use: Apply it to wet hair, preferably after you've already washed with shampoo, put your hair up in a plastic cap (saran wrap is a great alternative if you don't have a shower cap available), and let sit for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once finished, rinse and towel dry.
Today after I had finished putting the conditioner in my hair, I rinsed off my hands and noticed that they were even softer than before. Olive oil is a miracle ingredient: I swear by it! Olive oil can also be used by itself as a great hair revitalizer, as well as a facial skin softner. Now, obviously, if you have oily hair (or skin), the last thing you want to do is apply olive oil to your scalp (or face). If you fall into the oily category, opt out for only applying this product to your mid shaft and ends. If you have oily skin, trade out the olive oil for honey when looking for a great facial softener. So next time your ends are feeling a bit on the crispy side, look no further than your own kitchen pantry for a quick, rejuvenating pick-me-up!
Have you ever tried olive oil as a deep conditioner? What did you think - yay or nay??
It blew me away when I woke up to this hasty message because this woman seemed extremely upset that I had sent her a mass e-mail and invaded her privacy in doing so. Privacy invasion = finding your blog name in a public directory (for which you most likely advertised for on your blog with a button), and copying and pasting your e-mail address (which was also listed on your site)? I'm no super sleuth, nor do I feel the urge to waste my time frivolously scouring your blog for your information. Obviously if you were a recipient of my invitational e-mail, your information was plainly listed. By you. On your site. The site which you have listed in a large, very known, public directory. The same site that is most likely going to pop up when I Google either your or your blog's name. Yet I'm the one invading privacy by collecting what you have willingly put out there. Stuff like this just irks me. It's 6:00 in the freaking morning. I should be sleeping. Rather than closing my eyes, rolling over, and drifting back to sleep after I read that e-mail, I had to get up. I had to reply. I had to say something. So, with a blood-coffee content of big fat ZERO, I rolled myself out of bed and began the composition of my crafty response. Could I have just ignored this e-mail? Yes. Could I have just apologized and been done with it? Yes. But if privacy is a concern, by all means, I do believe this concern needs to be addressed. Don't you agree?
I apologize for any inconveniences and will be sure to remove you from my contacts list. The directory actually only consists of the blog names and URL's - an easy way to navigate through and organize all of the different spouse blogs out there for easier networking. I feel obliged to inform you that I actually found your blog through another military blog directory (as well as every one else's blogs). I did nothing to go out of my way in attempts to find your information, just as anyone else in my situation would have done to acquire your e-mail address.
In addition, the internet is a vast sea of information being inputted and stored. Things you are posting on your blog will be around for years after you believe to have "finished" blogging. I strongly encourage you to reassess what you are sharing via your blog if privacy is a concern for you. Perhaps you could benefit from a blog-based e-mail address.
Once again, I apologize and assure you that you will be removed from all of my e-mail compilations. Thank you for taking the time to e-mail me with your concerns. Have a great rest of your week.
It's things like this that make me think Really? Is this for real? I am being catty-chatted to because I collected a form of contact information that you, yourself put out on the internet? The same internet that people hack computers because of? The same internet that people steal identities through? The same internet that people hunt down and stalk people through? Yet I'm the one invading your privacy? Okay. People are crazy. I'm going back to bed.
Do you think sending a mass e-mail invitation to join a military spouse directory is an invasion of privacy?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Not the greatest picture, but I'm sure you will be seeing plenty of this new hair color in up coming posts :)
In other news, Hubby and I are sick and tired of our landlord. And guess what? We are now officially house shopping. Crazy huh? If you would have asked me my senior year of high school at approximately what age I would be house shopping, I would have said 25 or older. But here I am, a whopping 20 years old, shopping for Hubby and I's first home. So excited and will definitely post pictures as soon as we are narrowing it down!
Monday, May 14, 2012
I love the beach. Even when we would vacation when I was younger, we would always set aside an entire day to spend at the beach. I just feel so calm and relaxed and happy there. I'm oblivious to the hundreds of people around me and go into my own happy place. I was telling Hubby that I would sell all of my belongings in a heartbeat to buy a pop-up tent and just live on the beach. He wasn't too gung-ho about that idea, but maybe when we retire it could become a possibility :)
These are the view from the restaurant we had dinner at called Whisky Joe's. It was literally on the water. So beautiful!
After putting my website watermark on all of these pictures, I couldn't help but thinking about how stinkin' lucky Hubby and I are to have scored this base as our first assignment. I mean, this is a vacation spot - people spend oodles of money to come here each year and we LIVE here! As much as I may miss my family (and believe me, I really really really do) I would be lying if I said that I wasn't 100% in love with this place!
Hope you all had a great weekend! Anybody else live in the Tampa Bay area? What's your favorite beach to go to?
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I've been up to quite a lot this week, and I'm really not exaggerating or talking about a high volume of mundane tasks performed within the confines of my own home...no siree, this week I was social. I know, I know, what has gotten into me? But I ended up meeting up with a lady who I met through the Macdill AFB's ESC Facebook page for coffee at Starbucks on Thursday morning and we have been doing things ever since!
Time traveling back to Thursday morning, I nervously got into my car and blasted the radio in hopes of shaking my socially awkward self from consuming me during my meet up. I self consciously checked my hair, makeup, and teeth (yes, my teeth: kind of a paranoia of mine) umpteen times and slowly pulled into the Starbucks parking lot. There she was: her adorable pearly white Mazda, her cute little black flip flops with flowers on the top, and nothing like I ever would have expected. "A" is also an Air Force wife, but you see, she's married to a Master Sergeant...it was kind of extraordinary to me that the first wife to reach out to me was that of a Master Sergeant. The rest of those wives wouldn't give me the time of day and that's a fact. A treated me to my favorite Starbucks indulgence (Passion Tea Lemonade!) and we sat in that store for near 3 hours just talking about life. Military life, life as relatively newly weds, life away from our families, life away from the places we have spent our entire lives. Just life. And it was wonderful. I can't tell you how ecstatic I was to have finally talked with someone who gets what I'm feeling! She knows because she has been there...heck, she is there!
Somewhere along one of our bunny-trailed conversations, I got onto the topic about what a real stinker our landlord is. How he, essentially, doesn't give us the time of day and has yet to fix our leaky fridge, broken ceiling light in our living room, amongst many other inconveniences. Anyway, I got to talking about how our carpet is absolutely appalling: It's stained, it's coming up in places, it's stinky...upon first moving in, it looked like these carpets had been vacuumed maybe once since the house was built and not anytime close to when we had moved in. They are just nasty. But A, within the first few minutes of meeting me, offered up her carpet steamer's assistance whenever I felt like taking on the chore of cleaning them all. I was all over her offer. As our convo went on, I was explaining to her that our house looks really quite funny: Only our living room is fully furnished since we went through Rooms-To-Go, and the rest of our rooms have little to no furniture. I explained to her how we have been "camping out" in a sense since we have been sleeping on an air mattress since we moved in. She quickly told me about how she and her husband had just invested in a Tempur-Pedic mattress and had their old mattress and box spring just laying around in storage. That night, she and her husband dropped off both the carpet cleaner and the mattress at our house. I was so overwhelmed (to say the least). I'm sure I must have gotten annoying from thanking them so many times, but so far, people here aren't really...I don't know how to put it other than this: They really aren't hospitable. They really aren't nice. They really aren't generous or empathetic. This act of kindness was so out of the norm for me that it truly was overwhelming.
Needless for me to further elaborate, my back is sore and so are my arms. But our carpets are as clean as possible for being neglected and trampled on for so long (sounds like I'm referring to some object that actually has feelings ;-P). I snapped a picture for you all of the muddy murk that was suctioned from them...gives me the heeby-geebies just looking at it! Bleh!
Hubby and I headed over to A's house last night to assist her and her hubby in the building of a swing set for their niece coming to visit on Monday. We ended up doing a whole lot of talking about life, about yard work, about finances, about everything and I really enjoyed it. A and her husband are quite a bit older than Hubs and I, but it isn't awkward in the least. A lot of times I feel so out of place when trying to relate with couples older than myself because I feel like they (sometimes unconsciously) look down on us and treat us like we are children. A and her hubby don't do that: They speak to us like we are adults...like we are equal, which is so awesome to me, especially given the fact that he is a Master Sergeant. So for all of you wives out there who are sadly mistaken that you carry the same rank as your husband, maybe you can learn a thing or two from A: She was the first spouse to reach out to me here. This is what the Air Force community should be like!
We are planning to spend today at the beach...that is if Hubby and I can get along for more than 5 minutes (oh marriage is grand at times). Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
I am taking a break from school (hurray!) to finally convert this post from thoughts floating around in my head to a *hopefully* comprehensible post - it's something that I feel absolutely every military spouse needs to hear as they embark on this journey. The whole concept really hit me yesterday. I'm not meaning to go all depressive and oh being a military spouse is soooooo the toughest job in the military! on you, because I will tell it to you straight: You are just along for the ride, you ain't got nothin' on the soldiers in combat zones overseas. Now kindly sit down and shut up. K thanks bye.
That doesn't make being a military significant other any easier though. To boot, when going through a PCS, you feel like literally nobody really knows how you feel. Sure, your spouse has had to uproot their lives just as you have, but they have the constant stability of getting up and going to work each morning. They are always around people and can always meet and make new friends simply because they are placed in that environment. We, on the other hand, are at home all day every day (sometimes breaking free into the real world for a Starbucks run) and it gets dang lonely! Your spouse has already gone through separating from his or her family through the time spent away at basic training and tech school, but the feelings are all new for us: I feel like my husband really doesn't understand how I feel right now. When I am very snappy and almost bipolar, it isn't because I have mental issues: It's because there are so many different emotions running through my body that I truly believe I can't handle it - or my body can't at least. How do I even start mapping out all of the emotions I feel on a regular basis? Sad because I miss my family. Worried because I wish I could be there during the turmoil they are all facing right now. Frustrated because I have no friends here to vent to. Socially awkward because I can't tell you the last time I struck up a conversation with someone my age other than my husband. Lonely because I feel like Hubby just doesn't get it. Isolated because none of my friends or family are in (or have ever been in) this situation. Overwhelmed because I am supposed to be the adult now and I don't feel ready for that. So where do you turn? When you feel like no one understands you, why not go to a community of people who do get it, people who know exactly how it feels to have every single one of those emotions pulsing through your veins within a matter of a few minutes.
I'm completely convinced that I would be a wreck and a half if it weren't for the military spouse communities out there: Whether it is an ESC Facebook page for the base your spouse works at or a Twitter community of #MilSOsisters. We need that interaction with other women who know exactly what we are feeling. Women who have been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt. Women who are fighting through the same things we are. Women who are struggling, women who are wanting to give up, women who are just as lonely as we are.
There are tons of resources out there to get you plugged into a community of military spouses (maybe even ones in your area), and I strongly encourage everyone to do so. Whether it is through Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, a forum, or even a meeting on base - get involved and participate in these groups on a regular basis: We all have so much to offer each other whether it is support, encouragement, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. No one will understand where you are coming from like the ones who have already been there.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Can you tell that I'm overly excited? Because if you can't, I'd be more than happy to throw some more exclamation marks up in that first line...or here: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But really, I am so pumped. I first began sewing this bag back in February. I finished it in a week, but it was never completely finished. I got off on my measurements so turned to Jennifer Miller of Bragg Bag for assistance with sewing up my last seam. I was just invoiced back on Wednesday and am FINALLY (after what seemed like ages) able to represent with my awesome milso bag!
Obviously Hubby's name tape (the one on the left) has been edited out for OPSEC purposes. If you are interested in purchasing one of these bags, or even making your own like I *attempted* to, check out my post on Jennifer Miller with My Bragg Bag!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
My "method" of recycling before:
Rubbermaid's Hidden Recycler attaches to the inside of a cabinet door to collect recyclables and keep them out of sight. Assembly of the Recycler was a cinch: You don't need any tools and the included instructions pamphlet walks you through it step by step. If I can do it, I know all of you can do it! Rubbermaid's Recycler not only helps us to be green, but the Recycler itself is green. The bag is made out of 65% post-consumer resin and is machine washable, completely eliminating the need for plastic bags to collect your recyclables: Saving you time and money all while being more earth friendly.
The handy hinged lid helps contain the sometimes potent odors produced by our recyclables. This reduces our aversion to hanging onto recyclables simply based upon the unpleasant aroma these containers tend to lead to (despite all efforts to stifle them). The Hidden Recycler turns recycling into more of an act of giving back versus sacrifice.
To be honest, I'm not so sure that I would ever have gone out of my way to purchase this product prior to doing this review, but now that I have tried it out I don't think I will ever look at recycling the same. The Hidden Recycler makes recycling so effortless - it makes me want to be green! This product can be purchased in stores or on Rubbermaid's site for $17.59 (+ shipping if applicable). Rubbermaid wants to help spread being green, so they have provided me with one Hidden Recycler to giveaway. My good friend Cari over at The Palmetto Queen is also giving away a Hidden Recycler unit so we decided to team up (since we love you all so very much) to give you DOUBLE the chances to win! Use the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more information and additional reviews regarding this product, check out Rubbermaid's website, found here.
Disclaimer: The product described above was provided to me for free by Rubbermaid. All opinions stated are my own.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
What is it about a blog that makes you want to "follow" it anyhow? I mean, you could favorite the link or save it to your desktop for easy visiting in the future, and on the real, that's probably a heck of a lot more organized than Blogger's following widget. I'm not so sure about y'all, but I am ready to kick it up a notch (hey, thanks for the awesome cliche catch phrase Emeril!)
I follow blogs because I find either their content or their writer of interest (or both). As humans, we have a broad spectrum of likes and dislikes, but it seems as though almost all of us crave organization - when we are looking for something, we want to go from point A to point B, get the object, and continue on with our business. So this morning I was a little distraught when I wasn't able to find any other military spouse postings. This is simply not okay. One thing led to another, and now here I am, plinking away at my keyboard in attempts to inform you all that I want to take a whack at closing the gaps among each of our blogs. The way I see it, we milSO bloggers have got to stick together. Each of us offers something completely unique and different from everyone else. We are each like an individual square to a quilt. Sure, that block of fabric may be awfully pretty on it's own, but it isn't able to spread it's warmth nearly as far as it would be able to if it were stitched along side other fabric blocks. Hopefully I'm making sense here, and if my attempted analogy above is leaving you confused beyond all reason, please forgive me and allow me to give it to you straight: I'm creating a military spouse blogger directory. That way, when any of us are looking for encouragement or advice, we know exactly where to turn. Please feel free to submit your blog buttons and links by clicking on the ribbon below and remember to share this directory with your fellow milSO blogger friends!