Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Favorite Color is Green! {Snowflake Swap Linkup}

I'm SO sorry that I'm a bit late linking up. I've been trying to spend some much needed time with my parents because I'm home for the holidays. Anyway, I'm not going to bore you with the details - and just hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas where ever you spent the holiday.

I was very excited to participate in this year's Snowflake Swap with sponsors: Jane, Acacia, and Moira!

My awesome Snowflake Swap partner, Sue from As It Seems sent some fabulous gifts my way!

I love, LOVE the color green. So much, that my coat, purse, rain boots, etc. are all green. (I've come to realize that might be a bit too much...) Haha, that didn't stop me from mentioning that my favorite color is green to my partner. I got an absolutely adorable green bracelet and cool necklace. I was told it's from Sue's shop!

I also mentioned that I love writing. I got a very cute journal, so I can document some of my fun goings on in 2014. In addition, some lip-smacking lipgloss!

I'll be taking another brief New Year's hiatus from blogging to spend some more holiday time with my family and to do some work here and there. I'm certainly going to be around scoping out the blogosphere though, so I won't be completely gone!

Happy New Year y'all!! Warm greetings from the state of Texas!!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

A year ago today, I married the man of my dreams.

We quickly put together a courthouse ceremony just weeks before he had to leave for Korea. Although, it all came so fast and at the time, wished we had a "real" wedding (i.e. my dad walking me down the aisle, all my friends and family witnessing, etc.), but when he said that he'll still give me the wedding of my dreams when he gets back, I was ok with everything. :)

I realized now that we'll have TWO anniversaries :)

Before I left work Friday, I got a surprise delivery of flowers from my husband. Happy 1st anniversary to my sweet man!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NextGen’s Christmahanukwanzaakah Gift Exchange 2013

I participated in a couple of gift swaps this year - and had loads of fun! The first one was for NextGen MilSpouse called the Christmahanukwanzaakah Gift Exchange.

It was a special gift swap with other military significant others with the idea to give items that are local or special to the area you are stationed or live. I was pretty excited to share something that's NYC specific. There is a pretty popular housewares store called Fish Eddy. I got my secret Santa a glass container bowl with the NYC skyline on it and coasters to match. It was nice to get a note back from her too! :)

I got a pretty awesome package from a fabulous gifter at Wichita, Kansas.

I immediately opened the chocolate covered sunflower seeds. They are delicious! I've also never seen popcorn still on the cob! I noticed the sunflower-theme, which makes perfect sense for Kansas.I got chap stick called chicken poop. That was doesn't contain any poop or chicken.

I'm looking forward to sharing the items from my other gift swap!!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

My awesome friend took me to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! I've never seen the Rockettes before and I've been meaning to see the show - and now my days living in NYC are numbered - this was the season!

It is a truly adorable show. Aside from the Rockettes kickin' it like nobody's business, there is a precious show that plays throughout the program. Santa comes. There is also an awesome balloon floating thing that really would need to see it to understand.

The last time I was inside Radio City Music Hall was when I graduated college in 2008. Our college graduation took place inside as the venue. That was pretty awesome.

Santa was walking out to the stage (look at the bottom right)

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Blog Fun: Christmas Tag!

Yay for the holidays! I was excited to be Christmas tagged by the fantastic Alex from Munchkins and the Military. In Christmas tag, you have to answer the ten questions asked by your tagger. Then, it's your turn to tag ten more bloggers, so they can share in the festivities!
  1. What do you love the most about Christmas time? Seeing family! I see my parents only a couple times a year, so I really cherish the time I have with them during the holidays. I miss them way too much!
  2. Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is Bah-Humbug for you? I like to think I celebrate in style! This year I'm a little bummed because it's my first holiday apart from my husband since we're been together, but I think I'm handling it well!
  3. Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents? No kiddos for nothing really is going to be left for Santa! :)
  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 can't say anything because my family reads my blog! I can safely say that I'm excited to give my gift to my husband.
  5. What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie? 
  6. What is your all-time favorite Christmas song? Traditional favorite is "Joy to the World!" because it just feels so majestic when you sing it! My mmodern favorite is "I'll be home for Christmas" because it makes me feel sentimental. I ALWAYS make an effort to go home for Christmas.
  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 SO participate in an Ugly Sweater party, in fact, I already have!! I don't think I have any pictures though, so sorry, you'll just have to settle for this one I would definitely wear...
  8. Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward? I would really like to start a tradition once my husband and I actually spend a holiday as husband and wife. Growing up, we would put up a fake tree (and my parents still put up a fake tree). In our home, I would like to get a real tree!
  9. It’s Christmas morning … what does it look like outside where you live? Beautiful and WARM! It's typically nice in Texas...unlike here in NYC, where it's 25 degrees outside right now...BURR!
  10. You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe … who comes up to give you a kiss first? Hmm, I hope it's my husband. He's gone this Christmas, so I'll avoid the mistletoe this year....
Here are my ten tags! If you haven't checked them out yet, you should! :)
Jane from Poppiness

Jackie from City Girl Finding Her Place In the World
Haylee from Jets and a Brunette
Malori from Living a Warrior Life
Lauren from Going Green: Our Army Adventure
Sue from As It Seems
Elizabeth from Army Ever After

Mallory from Mal Smiles
Kym from Red, White & Marine Wife
Samantha from Hooah and Hiccups

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Eleven Months in the Making

December 22, 2012
In a month from now, I'll be getting ready to go to the airport to pick up my husband. I can't believe it.

So far, I've arranged for our apartment to be ready for our arrival. The rental truck is reserved. All we need to do is just show up and get our keys. After that, we'll be set to move in!

Wedding stuff is coming together too! Just two weeks after my husband gets back, we'll be flying to Texas to celebrate our marriage. I'm ecstatic!

When I started my journey as a military spouse just one year ago, I wished I could just fast forward to this moment. Last December at this time, I was getting ready for our civil ceremony and mentally preparing for a yearlong tour away from the man I love. It was a very difficult reality to overcome.

Well, here I am now. I'd be lying to say that we never argued or I never cried. We fought plenty. I cried plenty. I can't tell you how many times I've almost reached my breaking point.

All of it was worth it though - and I wouldn't have it any other way (call me crazy?). We've learned so much about each other during the year we've been apart. Things that wouldn't have surfaced otherwise. It's made us stronger as a couple and ready to take on the countless other challenges in our marriage.

My parents told me that their first year of marriage was the most difficult for them because of the drastic  change and it was a big adjustment. They've never lived with each other and they were also living in an environment that was both foreign to them (Japan). I think my husband and I will endure that at Fort Belvoir. We both never lived with each other and all at once, we are both going to a place that is foreign to us. I'm hoping what we learned during this tour about each other can help with all our challenges that we're going to face. We're going to have to get used to each other again too.

Love gets you through the difficulties and that was the biggest thing I've learned from my parents. Understanding and trust helps too! I'm more excited than anything else about being able to start a new journey with my husband. There is no doubt that I've picked a better life partner.

I'm hoping the next month goes smoothly because not only am I excited, I'm also anxious! :)

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

How to Make Invitations Using PicMonkey!

To save money on my wedding, I'm practically doing everything myself as well as utilizing online deals, etc. Today, I finally reserved a local restaurant for our rehearsal dinner!

In the interest of time (and money of course), I've decided to create the rehearsal invites myself too! If you haven't heard of this awesome photo editor site called PicMonkey, you should  really check it out! I was able to put together an awesome invite for FREE and use my printer at home.

This also comes at a nice time because instead of invites, you can create very cute Holiday cards to print at home or a printing house! Created with love by you!

First, go to and "Edit a Photo."

Next, pick a photo that fits your vision. I used an image that a bridesmaid took of us during our civil ceremony. It had some extra space at the bottom right for text. Also, decide what size you would like to print your invites. I picked 4X6 because I could fit two to a page when I printed it at home. I used the crop feature.
Once I got the image cropped the way I like it, I used the overlay feature (butterfly on the left tool bar) and picked the shape that I liked best.
I filled in the geometric shape to fit the space where I wanted the text to be. After that, I changed the color to be a light shade and also moved the fade up a bit.
Then, I added text. I put down all the information that I wanted to share with the guests. The date, location and time, etc. I'm able to control the font and size.
When I was done, I clicked the save button at the top of the image. I saved it as best quality called "Sean" so when I print it, it will be as clear as possible.
After saving the file, you can print it how ever which way you like! You can take it in to a printer and get it copied or you can do what I did, buy some cardstock paper and use your home printer!

I printed two invites on one cardstock paper, so I needed to cut around the edges. I went to Staples and got a portable straight edge paper cutter for $12 bucks and I could only get a 250 ream of paper for $15 bucks.

Technically speaking, I spent $27 dollars to complete this project, but as a result, I now have a straight edge paper cutter and a whole ton of cardstock paper for upcoming projects!! Don't forget to allocate ink expenses. I had enough in my printer so I didn't have to buy.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Catching Up From Thanksgiving

I'm back after my brief hiatus! A whole lot of stuff went down in the past week! I haven't had any time to digest it all till now!

I left to go home to Texas for Thanksgiving last Wednesday - and practically spent all the time offline. I caught up with my family and did as much wedding preparations as I could do in one long weekend, holiday aside. The most exciting part of the weekend (besides Thanksgiving) was my second dress fitting. I felt amazing with it on and can't wait to walk down the aisle with my dad. It's going to be such a surreal moment to go through everything again!

When I got back to work on Monday, I has SO much catching up to do from the weekend! We're knee deep on (what it seems like) a thousand different campaigns and projects, so I've been burning the midnight oil. It hasn't given me much time to do much else!

Not only that, but WE GOT ORDERS this week! It's official, official that we're going to Fort Belvoir! I've been trying to spend any free time I have to get started on the PCS process from my end. As soon as my husband got his orders, he went down to travel and booked his ticket! I'm OVERLY excited and it's unbelievable that I now have an exact date and time to wait for his arrival!

I've started the countdown y'all! Down to the minute (well, barring any flight delays). I'll be at the airport with bells on!

Needless to say, I've put holiday shopping/everything else holiday-related on hold. Tomorrow is the deadline to send holiday cards to the Red Cross for their "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program! I did manage to get a box of cards at home and for hours after work today, spent time writing in ten different cards. I'm going to put them in the mail tomorrow morning to make sure they get timestamped in time!  I'm all about sharing the holiday spirit, especially to those that are away from home and family during this time.

So, I have to:
  1. Finish all my Christmas shopping and go home for the holidays
  2. Plan and pack for my first official PCS
  3. Pick-up my husband at the airport after a yearlong tour!
  4. Move to Fort Belvoir
  5. Fly to Texas to have our church ceremony with family and friends
  6. Go on our much needed cruise honeymoon to the Caribbean!
  7. Put together my first home with my husband
  8. Get my career back on track!
All this is going to happen in the next month! AHH!

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Food Poisoning and Catching Fire

My weekend sucked.

It started off ok. I intended to stay in Saturday night doing wedding, PCS, writing project-related work. When dinner time rolled around, I ordered Chinese food from the place I've used for years - and got the same exact dish I always get.... After I ate, I started doing my writing work and an hour later, it hit my like a ton of bricks. I felt nauseous and went straight for the bathroom.

Needless to say, I got food poisoning from my Chinese food. The rest of the night was shot and Sunday too. I felt terrible and couldn't eat anything till Sunday night. I've never had food poisoning before and I now can tell you it's one of the most unpleasant things ever.

Before the food poisoning incident, I bought tickets to see Catching Fire with girlfriends Sunday night! I made sure I was ready to see the land of the living by Sunday evening. I'm a girl with priorities!

Anyway, I had a great time at the movies and at least, my crappy weekend ended on a high note. In my opinion, The Hunger Games are a thousand times better than the Twilight series (both in film, so far and books). Reading these young adult Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my biggest guilt pleasure!

Also, I have a girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence. She is so amazingly awkward in real life, more like a real person(!) and a dynamo actress!

What is your guilty pleasure?

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Promotion Time! & Boys Behind the Blog

It was just made official that my husband will be promoted to Staff Sergeant on December 1st! I'm so happy for him and proud of all his hard work in Korea! As of December 1st, I'll have seen him wear three different ranks. It's crazy to think because it feels like just yesterday I met my adorable Specialist. Awe!

I'm a couple days behind in linking up with "The Boys Behind the Blog," but I figured, better late than never! Below are my husband's answers to this month's questions!

1. Who is your favorite band/musician?
I like lots of bands, but Disturbed has the most songs per album that I like.

2. What was your first CD/tape?
The Marshall Mather LP

3. Who was your first concert?
Virtuoso and R.A. The Rugged Man, live at the middle east club in Boston
*Ok, I have no idea what that means. I asked him and apparently they are rappers?

4. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
Turkey with gravy
*He can't be any more predictable!

5. Finish this sentence: I am thankful for...
Everything, especially coming home soon.
*I'm thankful for the end of my husband's yearlong tour!

Mal Smiles

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

**FREE** Photo Book for Deployed Military Members!!

Yes, you heard me! The USO has a fabulous photo book program that family members of deployed military can use! I found out about this through searching on the USO website - and thought that, hey, my husband is considered deployed, I should utilize this great opportunity!

About a month ago, I put together the photo book for him with photos we took together while he was home on leave. I wanted to wait and share it with y'all till my husband got the book (he reads my blog!) because it was a surprise. Well, he got it yesterday and LOVED it.

The photo book program was put together by the USO and RocketLife, a photo project website. Click here to find out more! It's very easy to use.

First, you need to go to this site: - and put in your military member's overseas address (any APO/FPO/MPO address works!). Afterwards, you receive an email with instructions and a special code.

The most time consuming part of this whole project was picking out pictures to upload on the pages! I had a good time looking through all the pictures and it was nice to reminisce.

My husband snapped some pictures (on his phone, so excuse the quality!) of the photo book and shared it with me!

If you have a loved one that is overseas, I would recommend taking advantage!

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