Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ready for Sweater Weather!

I am officially ready for cooler weather! I was going through my closet and looking around online to determine my fall wardrobe. All the stores at the mall are starting to have huge sales, I scored some amazing pieces at Express to work into my fall looks! Of course I have my favorites from last season: 

Tall boots: They go perfect over straight or skinny leg jeans, with skirts & dresses!
A cardigan with a belt! 
 If you are having a fat day, wearing this combo won't make you feel like you are saying "Hey look at my tummy poking out" plus the skinny belt accentuates the smallest part of your midsection: your waist! You can dress this look up or down, wear with jeans or a skirt!
I love sweater dresses, I have like 3 of them! I can dress up or down in these, add cute patterned stockings & statement jewelry! You can pair this one with that skinny belt or even a wider belt. Or go for a dress with a different cut, like empire waist if you are self-conscious about your midsection.  
Lastly, a ladies inspired blazer! I love how it can be thrown over a white tee and jeans (like the pic). I like to dress it up by throwing it over a dress or wearing with a sparkly top underneath. I personally like the longer blazers that hit below the hips, I think it makes for an elongating and slimming effect. 

And of course a MUST have is a basic long sleeved tee. They go with anything, pair with skirts or any color jeans. Wear them under cardigans or any sort of jacket. Also great to wear as layering pieces. I like this tee especially because of the light cotton material, the extra long sleeves, and the detail around the neck so it isn't just a plain boring tee. I love tucking these into skirts like in the photo too!
What I like best about all these pieces: it doesn't matter what your size or shape is, you can make each one work! If you don't like skinny jeans, go for a straight leg cut! Just make sure they fit, baggy jeans don't flatter at all! If you are small chested like myself, you can wear a blazer with wider lapels or a sweater dress with ruffle detail along the neckline. If you were blessed with a larger bust and hips, the belted styles will definitely help accentuate your amazing curves! Don't let style intimidate you because you see it on stick thin models, you can make it work for you. 
I have a few pieces I am dying to try out too, the weather just needs to cooperate so I am not sweaty mess!
I found a pair of AMAZING high waist jeans! Yup, I want to rock the mom jeans. Pros: no worries about muffin top! I found this pair on clearance for $20 at The Limited. Those of you that know me, I have a minor addiction to that store but I never buy anything at full price! They have stellar sales and functional, quality clothing. Anyways, these jeans are a cotton stretch blend so they aren't undesirably clingy on my tummy. Plus they have the flare at the bottom that balances out the way these pants accentuate my hips. I plan on pairing these with this top I bought on super sale from Express:
 This is what I would consider to be a thin sweater tee, but it has these cute ruffle sleeves! It looks super cute tucked into the high waist jeans. And guess what? When it gets even cooler out, I can pair this outfit with a long open cardigan, score!

I have been searching for a while now to find the perfect loose style top that didn't make me look like I was 10 sizes bigger than I actually am. I figured it was a lost cause, I mean how can a baggy shirt make you look skinny? Well I think I finally found my answer with this dolman sleeved sweater from Express (on sale of course!). I like how it is fitted from the waist down to the hips, instead of just at the hips with other shirts like this I have seen. When it gets even cooler outside, I can even put a fitted long sleeved tee underneath. 

I may not be able to wear this skirt much, but I am the MOST excited about this piece. Its a bright coral color underneath the black flowery lace. I am planning on pairing it with a simple black tee (any sleeve length) tucked it, maybe with stockings (no crazy pattern though, it would make the outfit too busy perhaps solid lines?) and black boots or flats. I'll have to work with it, I love the skirt but I don't want to wear too much black if there is such a thing!
 Okay there is one thing I have been wanting to purchase since last season and I am officially on the lookout for a cute leather jacket at a good price:
I absolutely LOVE how they mix this leather jacket with feminine pieces. This outfit would even look great if you swapped out the skirt with jeans, dark wash or even a gray color! I would wear the leather jacket with feminine flowing tops, with lots of color or floral pattern, stripes would look great too. So many options...
What are you most excited about wearing this fall? 



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Deployment #2 on the Horizon

It finally set in the Deployment #2 is coming up fast. I haven't even really had a chance to adjust to Hubs being home; He came home with an inguinal hernia so standing up for long periods of time bothered him, lifting Little Miss hurt, as well as a long list of other things. It definitely limited what we could do once he came home. He finally had the double hernia repaired last week and he's on 2 weeks of bedrest. So yes, he has been home, but his ass has been planted on the couch until he heals. By the time he is fully healed up, it'll be time for him to leave again but hopefully for the last time.

My husband warned me before the deployment that some marriages don't make it. Not that he had any doubts about us, but he wanted me to be prepared for it when I saw friends' marriages break. Seasoned Navy wives told me the same thing. I guess distance doesn't always make the heart grow fonder.

But I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for, was coping with life AFTER deployment. I'm not going to sugar coat things, it isn't easy. I've seen more relationships break after deployment than while the ship was away. This totally blows me away, even though things haven't been all sunshine and rainbows since Hubs has been home it hasn't been anything catastrophic. I don't think a day goes by that we don't argue about something. No major huge fights or anything like that, it generally goes like this: "Did you really not wash off your dish before you put it in the dishwasher?!" or "Why can't you put your dirty clothes IN the laundry basket instead of right outside it?". See nothing too serious. Hubs has actually been super helpful since he came home: He cleans the kitchen every night after I make dinner, he takes out the garbage and takes care of the furry kids without me asking, we wash our cars once a week now, he even volunteers to vacuum or mow the lawn before I even ask. But I do have to admit, life with Hubs home is a different kind of tough then when he was away. 

When he was gone, we missed each other like crazy and the distance was kind of romanticized. I was counting down to the hour to his return. The first week was pretty damn near perfect, minus the whole hernia thing. Then real life started back. I had to share MY space, there was someone snoring in MY bed. There was another mouth to feed. Another person to fight over the TV with. I know there were adjustments on Hubs end too, he was used to being told what to do daily. Then he came home and I wanted him to plan everything because I was tired of planning daily activities for over 6 months. We are getting used to be around one another again. 

I had just assumed life to return to the way it was before he left. But I should have known that would've been impossible. Life happens during deployment. We both had to change and adapt to our new circumstances. I had to become more independent and self-reliant. Hubs experiences on the ship changed him as well. Now its just a matter of embracing the "new us". And I had better do that pretty quick-like before Hubs leaves again!

For those of you out there that are having a hard time adjusting to your sailor being home or if you are having any sort of problems, you have resources available to you for FREE! Please check out Fleet and Family Support, they offer confidential counseling by professional, licensed clinicians that is free of charge to active duty personnel and family members.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I am NOT a doormat!

Anyone else ever feel like that? I am such a people pleaser and you would think that would be a good thing! I like for everyone to be happy except for the times when it comes back to bite me in the ass. It takes a really special person to take advantage of the people that want to help out. Well I am done, over it, time to move on. Time for you to do your own job without me saving you from mistakes and doing the manual labor. Okay I feel better getting that off my chest! Bloggie friends, feel free to rant in the comments section if you need to vent as well :)

I had a pretty good day today, I almost spent our savings on a new Pampered Chef decked out kitchen. I was thisclose I swear (just kidding Hubs if you are reading this!). I am in desperate need of some replacements, most of my kitchen gear was given to us almost 6 years ago when we were married and they are wearing out. I wasn't very kitchen saavy so I didn't register for very high quality items. Like my  cookie sheet will no longer come clean. I have melted several spoons and utensils. I have a few Pampered Chef items so far: pizza stone, apple wedger, spatulas, mixing spoons, silicone scrapers, silicone whisk, 1 cup prep bowl set, dinner plates and coffee cups, mix 'n chop, bamboo salad tongs and I love them. Today I added a mango wedger, hand chopper, cutting board scraper, measure-all cup, and adjustable measuring spoons to my collection. I have plans to purchase a cutting board in the near future, especially since I have friends throwing more Pampered Chef parties next month! I find myself cooking much more now that Hubs is home from deployment and I need the proper gear. I've added to my "When I Win the Lottery" list; I want a kitchen stocked with Pampered Chef gear!

Hubs is doing better today, he tried to not take his pain pill though and he soon regretted it. Luckily for us it has been rainy and chilly this weekend so hanging out at home watching football has been great. Can I tell you how stoked I am Auburn lost to Clemson?! Geaux LSU!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ready For What Lies Ahead!

At this point, it is safe to say that I am used to my hubby being home. I finally have my schedule figured out. Solutions have been found to my stressful situations, now its just a waiting game. I am ready to move on and prepare for the fun stuff ahead!

Rumor has it, the weather is going to cool down tomorrow here. Fall is my FAVORITE time of the year. Today I bought some pumpkin ginger scented goodies from a friends' Partylite party, I can't wait until my house smells yummy! I love being able to walk outside around the block or at the park with my little family without feeling like I am melting. Fall also means FOOTBALL SEASON!! I am not a huge follower of NFL, but I live for college football. Especially my LSU Tigers. I am glued to the TV every Saturday flipping channels from game to game. The game is so much more interesting on the college level, these guys have a real passion for it. Plus you can't beat the atmosphere of a college stadium!

Its birthday party season here for Little Miss, most of her friends (and herself) turn 2 in October. So between birthday and halloween parties, our weekends are booked that month! I am looking forward to hay rides and pumpkin patches.

Hubs finally had his hernia repair surgery. That was the longest day of my life. Hubs has never had surgery so we didn't exactly know how he would react. We narrowly avoided an overnight stay, thankfully they finally were able to control his pain. I am looking forward to him being fully recovered and being able to actually do stuff! He couldn't stand for long periods of time or walk very much because of "Bubbles", now he has no excuse! I definitely want to go to Busch Gardens because Little Miss is overly obsessed with E-L-M-O. She is going to love the Sesame Street area of the park. 

I just submitted an application and if I get accepted, it will bring some new responsibility to my life! It would be an honor to be selected and I will definitely be kept busy during the upcoming deployment. I am just ready for a change of duties and I know I will be satisfied with this new possibility!

Our Command Holiday Party is going to be in 2 months, I can't wait to dress up! We had so much fun last year. I just have to keep in shape so I can wear the dress I have . I know how I want to wear my hair (simple and chic), now I need to find a nice youtube how-to video. I already have it all planned out in my head how we will improve upon last years fun times as well: get to the hotel WAY earlier, byob so we don't have to deal with "drink tickets", and get into the dining room early to save seats so we don't have to eat at the bar!

So many fun things coming up, I am ready for it all. Anyone else have an exciting few months ahead?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just Another 9/11 Post

On this day of remembrance, I will say a prayer for the families that were forever changed. I will honor the men & women that have fought and continue fighting to protect our great nation. One day we will heal and this day will just be one in the history books, but I will never forget where I was when our country's innocence was taken away. I hope everyone hugs their loved ones a little tighter, appreciates what they have a little more, and spends a little more time with their families today.
I can hardly believe it has been 10 years already, although my life has changed drastically it still feels like a fresh wound. It is so hard to believe I was a 17 year old freshman in college and watching it all unfold on the TV while less than 100 miles away a man I hadn't met yet (but soon he would be a major part of my  life) was called to war. 
 Today, I spent time with my family. What did you do today to honor what happened 10 years ago? Did you spend all day watching the programs about 9/11 on TV? Did you watch the NFL games and the special way they commemorated this day? Or did you just try to get through this day like every other day of the week?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hooray Randomness!

 Saw this over at The Ramblings of a Marine Wife and since I am feeling quite random today, I decided to fill it out myself!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:40 a.m.
2. How do you like your steak? Medium Rare
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2!
4. What is your favourite TV show? I have a few: Glee, House, Teen Mom, Real Housewives of OC, NJ, BH (hate ATL and NY)
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I would definitely stay in the US, I would love to try living near the mountains since we've been on the coast for almost 4 years now.
6. What did you have for breakfast? English muffin breakfast sandwich with southwestern style egg beater and slice of cheddar. Can't forget the coffee!
7. What is your favorite food? I miss cajun food
8. Foods you dislike? Pizza with pineapples
9. Favorite place to eat? Right now, in love with Yukai Byuffe
10. Favorite dressing? I love homemade vinaigrette
11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? 2011 RAV4 :)
12. What are your favorite clothes? I will take any chance I get to dress up, so I am usually overdressed but I don't care. Most of the clothes in my closet are from The Limited
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Italy
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Working on being a full time 1/2 full sort of girl, I still have my 1/2 empty days  
15. Where would you want to retire? What is retirement? Way too far off to think about!
16. Favorite time of day? I like the mornings when I still have time to do everything!
17. Where were you born? Baton Rouge, Louisiana  
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? College football, Geaux Tigers!
19. What is your favorite fragrance? Victoria's Secret Bombshell.
20. What is your favorite face cream? Is that like lotion? I use Clinique Dramatically Different Gel Lotion
21. Favorite baby/kids products? Ones that actually work as intended!
22. People watcher? Definitely, and even Little Miss enjoys it!
23. Are you a morning or night person? I can handle either, just not on the same day
24. Do you have any pets? 2 gray & white cats
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I get to see my husband today, no duty!
26. What did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to be a teacher until I realized kids talk back...
27. What is your favorite memory? Christmas at my grandparent's house in WI
28. Are you a cat or dog person? I like pets, but would rather not have any right now
29. Are you married? According to my marriage license and the state of Louisiana
30. Always wear your seat belt? I don't believe that is a question. If it is, its the stupidest one I've heard in a while
31. Been in a car accident? Yes.
32. Any pet peeves? I HATE liars and hypocrites
33. Favorite pizza toppings? Veggies
34. Favorite flower? Pretty ones LOL
35. Favorite ice cream? Ben and Jerry's Red Velvet Cake
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chick-Fil-A or Panda Express
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None
38. From whom did you get your last email? Probably Groupon or LivingSocial hahaha
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? The Limited, hands down
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? My toddler and husband prevent spontaneity
41. Like your job? Of course!
42. Broccoli? Yup
43. What was your favorite vacation? Honeymoon in Europe!
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Probably my husband and kiddo
45. What are you listening to right now? Elmo sing about potty training
46. What is your favorite color? Blue
47. How many tattoos do you have? 1
48. Coffee drinker? Everyday
49. Nicknames? Momma?
50. What are you doing next? Going to the gym

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Focus on the Positive, the Rest Will Fall Into Place

Life sure keeps me on my toes. Things were going by so smoothly and effortlessly, then BAM! life happens. After spending a restless night trying to solve the problems in my head and an interesting morning filled with more drama, I am still no closer to a solution than I was 36 hours ago when this all began. 

To be blunt, it really sucks that there is NOTHING I can do to solve the problems. It sucks that part of my life that used to bring me such fulfillment now hangs over me like a rain cloud. It sucks when people refuse to respect or appreciate the people that would do and give anything to see them succeed. After spending hours trying to find an answer to the problems I am faced with, I've realized there is nothing I can do but pray and stay out of it to let time take its course. There is nothing I can say or do to change the minds of the parties involved, I will just pray and put my energy elsewhere.

Since I can't solve all the problems that will arise in my life, the next best thing is finding a way to deal with it: Its better to focus on the things in life that are going great and put my energy into that rather than waste it on problems with no absolution in sight. 

 Remembering the moment this photo was taken still makes my heart flutter!

I am blessed with an amazing family!

I couldn't have more understanding, patient, and dependable friends!

I wish I had a good picture to post of my parents, but they are included too. I am one lucky girl! I would be wasting my time and energy if I spent one moment worrying about problems that can't be solved. I look at all the things going right in my life and that makes me happy. There will always be problems so why should I spent my time being miserable and stressed?

So right now I am going to spend some time with Little Miss and watch Elmo (her current obsession), go to spin class later today, and enjoy a quiet night at home while Hubs had duty!



Monday, September 5, 2011

Do It Cheaper! My Hairstyle on a Budget

Does anyone else get stupidly excited whenever they manage to save money? Yup, I am one of those people! My latest feat: I usually spend around $120 on my haircut & color every 2 months. This time, I managed to do it for only $46! I am grinning ear to ear right now just thinking about how much money I saved :D

Back in the day before I had much money to spend on my hair, my mom used to color my hair at home. For some reason, I forgot how awesome she was at it! So when she was in town recently, we made a trip to Sally's Beauty Supply and picked up some hair color. We went with Clairol Professional Liquicolor in Lightest Gold Neutral Blonde 10GN/12G2. I was very impressed with the sales person, she made sure we had all the supplies we needed to color at home (gloves, bottle for the haircolor) and even gave us some helpful tips. It was super easy to do especially with my mom here. The smell was rather strong though. My hair turned out PERFECT! It was slightly more red than the box said but I knew that was going to happen, my hair tends to pull red. And that is my only word of caution about coloring your hair at home: be aware the end result may be different than the box depending on your hair. I am not a salon professional nor do I pretend to be, so if you try this at home and your hair turns pink or something please don't blame me I warned you! I think I ended up with a good result because I wasn't trying to lighten my hair too much or do a drastic change, I just wanted to blend in the roots. Anyways, the haircolor and supplies cost me $16 with my Beauty Club Card. As for the haircut, I got lucky! A few months back, I had boudoir photos done (check out her blog she is amazing!) and as part of the photo package, we had someone do our hair and makeup. The hair stylist was super nice and I found out she cut hair here in Virginia Beach. So I went to see her where she worked (check out her fb page and paid $30 for a great haircut, including tip! 

Another thing about coloring your hair at home, make sure you have a good conditioner (NOT Suave!) and possibly a deep conditioning treatment if your hair is on the drier side already. Coloring my hair at home made my hair dryer than usual, so I picked up some Biolage shampoo/conditioner at the suggestion of my stylist. It wasn't pricey, you can get Biolage at Target or Walgreens or Supercuts. 

I know its nice to go to a salon and get pampered, spend some time away from the craziness at home. So I am not bashing or trying to turn people away from the salon experience. If that is how you want to spend your money, then by all means do it and spoil yourself! Everyone deserves to be pampered. For right now, there are other things I'd rather budget my money for (ahem, Christmas is coming up!).


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yes, I am still here!

I know it seems like I have fallen off the face of the earth, but I assure you that I am still here!  Funny thing about life, you sure can't plan for it. I was afraid I wasn't going to be busy enough during deployment and it seems like I overbooked myself, so something had to go. Unfortunately, it was my blogging. 

I didn't just survive my first deployment, we thrived. I mean, it totally sucked that my husband was thousands of miles away from us for half of the year but despite the distance we managed to make our relationship stronger. I also made lots of new friends and became closer to a few as well. Little Miss and I were going on 2-3 play dates a week plus FRG events! My Play Group ladies have to be my saving grace though. I don't know how I would have kept my sanity without them. They watched Little Miss for me whenever stuff came up, they listened to me whenever I needed to vent, and they were like a second family for Little Miss & me. The FRG was also a great way for me to feel connected to the ship and helping out the families. I think my favorite event was the Adult's Halfway Party, I probably had a little too much fun though!

Unfortunately, an especially close friendship didn't make it through the deployment. But what can you do huh? When people show you who they are, you have to believe them. Just as a zebra can't change its stripes, you can't expect people to change either. This deployment also made me miss my parents more. I was able to visit them quite a bit, but it just never seemed long enough. I am hoping that in the next few years we end up living closer to them, VA is just too far from LA!

All is well now that our family is complete. We are having a few growing pains, but from what I understand it is totally normal after a deployment. I think the biggest adjustment for me is having someone else in my personal space! One would think I would be accustomed to that because I have a toddler, but it is a bit different when it is your very affectionate husband. I am not complaining one bit though. We have made the decision to try to have another baby after the next deployment. I know that seems like something kind of silly to talk about since that means it will almost be 2 years from now when I have the next baby if everything goes as planned...but you can never be too prepared right?

We are enjoying what family time we do get. Hubs just started back at work not too long ago but he is about to have alot more time at home...he is having surgery on his hernia this month and will be on bedrest for 2 weeks! I am kind of nervous about the whole thing, not that its a major surgery but anytime a loved one gets knocked out and cut open it can be stressful. Hubs is just happy he is finally getting "Bubbles" taken care of, he's had the hernia since the second month of deployment! 

Have I mentioned that I am spoiled rotten? Hubs traded in his Avalanche and bought us a new Toyota RAV4! I am so excited, I LOVE having an optional 3rd row and the extra space. Also since Hubs has come home, I've re-discovered my inner cooking goddess! I plan on sharing some of my favorite recipes. No worries, they are super easy and cheap to make! Since we bought the new car, I've been seeing how far we can stretch our budget. That is one reason I started cooking again because eating out all the time is not cost effective. I have also traded in a few of my "luxury" items and found cheaper alternatives. That blog post is for another day too :)

So I still have lots to talk about and I look forward to sharing it all with you!