Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend Review

This weekend was my favorite weekend so far for the year!  My dear friend, Kristen (AKA Kerm), came to visit me in Washington.  She flew into town on Friday morning and it was non-stop fun until today at 1:30PM when I had to return her to the airport.  If her hubby and her job didn't mind, I would have kept her for a long time.  Her friendship means the world to me!

So, after I picked her up, we headed to one of our favorite places to eat...The Cheesecake Factory!  We shared our usual dish, the crusted chicken romano, and then we headed to the mall for a short shopping trip.  She helped me find a cute little dress to wear to Hilary's rehearsal dinner next month.  Then, I got to show her around our little house and then we made a stop at the PX for Kerm to check out the latest Coach purse selection...she bought one that is super cute!!!!  Friday night, we went to our other favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot, for dinner.  We left full and happy and went home to snuggle into PJ's and watch a movie.

Saturday was packed full of fun!  We woke up, shopped a little more at the PX, went to see When in Rome, ate lunch at the RAM, hung pictures at my house, worked on her blog...and then finished the night off at Farelli's with some other Army Wife friends.

This morning we finished up her new blog design and had a mini photo shoot outside in my backyard.  Kerm is the proud owner of a new Nikon D5000 and we had to test it out.  Unfortunately, we didn't have any available photographers, so we pulled the trashcan around in the yard and set the camera up on auto.  It worked just great for our needs.  Here are a few of the pics....

I was super sad to take her back to the airport, but hopefully it won't be too long until we see each other again!!!  

Other news:  If you remember a while back, I mentioned that I would like to learn how to redesign my own blog, but I ended up paying someone.  Well, I figured it out.  Check out Kristen's Blog to see my beginner work.  It was lots of fun to make, and I have a few things to tweak and lots to still learn.  Also, my friend Amy talked me into doing a sprint triathlon with her this summer.  It is a 1/2 mile swim in the lake, a 10 mile bike and a 3 mile run.  I'm ok with the run, but the swim and bike I am mildly concerned about.  First off....I don't own a bike!  I'm going to look for one on Craiglist, but hopefully the stationery bike at the gym will do for now.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pondering a Pineapple

Ever since our honeymoon in Maui,  I have been mildly obsessed with pineapples.  Not just any pineapple will do.  It must be fresh and juicy and bright yellow.  I love to eat them, but it is so darn hard to get into them.  I have been searching the internet looking for a kitchen gadget that would be able to help me out.  Here are my findings:

This is the PRO pineapple cutting wizard.  I don't think that is the technical name, but it is around $2,000 .  I am not kidding!  I should hope that this things not only cuts the pineapple, it should also grow the world's finest.  I also found this...


It is only $14.  Definitely more reasonable, but I'm doubting it is as easy as the pictures make it look.  I am such a sucker for the newest gadget, and I am frequently disappointed.  They always look so easy and awesome...like the pedi-egg...that thing is worthless.  And the nicer dicer...not so nice!  I also have an apple corer, that is similar to the pineapple corer, but it doesn't work unless the apple is perfectly straight and symmetrical.

Maybe I should save my money and keep cutting it the old fashioned way that takes forever and makes a gigantic mess.  I could buy the pre-cut ones, but they are twice as expensive and are not nearly as tasty.

This leads me to think about how some people I know are like pineapples...they are prickly and hard on the outside, but once you take the time to get to know them/peel off the yuck...they are really sweet!

Friday, January 22, 2010

No more white envelopes

How great will it feel to be debt free?  Seriously...debt free!  Like no car payments...no credit cards...no student loans.  It will feel simply AMAZING!  After lots of reading, praying and discussing our finances, we have decided that Dave Ramsey has the right idea for making this happen.

One of the key elements in his program is to use cash for anything that you can.  This is still a work in progress, but the idea is that you are more aware of what you are spending if you have cash instead of continually swiping the good 'ole debit card.  We started this little plan in December using plain white envelopes.

I just really don't think that white envelopes are very exciting or motivating to stay on the financial plan.  So...over the past week, I made these...

Much better, don't you think?  I used alphabet stamps with fabric ink and stamped the categories on canvas.  Then I sewed the labels on to the fabric before I sewed the fabric zipper pouches.  They were super easy to make and good practice for sewing zippers, which are still quite a challenge.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1 out of 2 isn't bad

Last week when we got our cable hooked up...well, I only thought it was cable.  It is actually a dish from Directv.  We do have DVR, but unfortunately we don't have On Demand, which I had really grown to love.  I frequently found great movies and would hit select and our account would get charged $4.99 or $5.99 for each movie.  Upon my recent discovery of no On Demand, I had to find a new way to rent movies...because honestly I have no idea where the nearest movie rental store is.  I got a coupon in the mail for a free Netflix trial, so I decided to give it a try.  It is only 2 weeks free and then after that it is $8.99/month for unlimited rentals.  So, if I get at least 2 movies/month it will pay for itself.  In the last week I have received 2 movies...so, it has already paid for itself.  It is really cool.  You just go to the website and pick out movies that you want to see and the very next day it arrives in your mailbox.  Then, when you are done watching it you put it in the envelope they provide with free postage and stick it back in the mail and then the process begins again.

The first movie I got was Food Inc.  It was a documentary on the food industry.  Yuck!  Do not watch this before you eat...because you will probably choose to skip that meal.  I actually enjoyed the movie, but it was very eye opening.  If you are interested in knowing how the food you eats get to the grocery store you should watch this movie.  It mostly talks about the beef and chicken industry, but also touches on a few other foods.  I had already started buying all organic dairy and free range chicken/eggs, but this reinforced my desire to eat organic.

The second movie was 500 days of Summer.  Boring!  That is all I have to say.  I really didn't even understand it, nor did I really try to even pay attention.

Not sure what is next in my little queue of movies.  Hopefully something bright and cheerful and possibly has a pink cover, because everything in pink packaging is good!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Master


Here is the Master bedroom and the amazingly huge closet.  Notice my sewing desk has already made a home in there...now I just need to get the sewing machine out and running.  :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lay it on thick...

Concealer, that is!  I'm pretty sure I have two black eyes from the recycling bin lid attacking my face!!!  Fantastic!  

Side note:  January is shaping up to be a great little month!  I am about to leave to head to the airport and pick up Sara.  I am pretty excited!  She was my little Dupont buddy.  We were frequent visitors of both the gym and Starbucks/Forza.  So, this afternoon should be quite fun...a little lunch, a little coffee, a little chit chat...and then later meeting up with Amy and others to see The Blind Side.  Ok, so this is my third time to view this movie in the theater.  It is that GOOD!!!  Next week will be filled with lots of FRG stuff...getting ready for meeting...starting newsletter and other things.  And then the end of January is going to be AMAZING!  Kerm is coming to WA for her annual visit!  Yay!!!!!  

Alright...back to the concealer!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A few pics of the new house

Mark's Office- All of his military awards and artwork are still in TX...so just one lonely deer on the wall.
The Master Bath- It matches our bedroom...which is not pictured because the bed isn't made.  I'll make the bed tomorrow and then post a picture.

Guest Bath- Red/Blue and Dark Blue...It matches the guest bedroom with my Granny quilt on it.
Guest Room- Super special to me!!!  The quilt was the last quilt my Granny made.  She wasn't able to finish it, so a dear friend put the binding on for her when she was too weak.  The furniture is handmade by my Grandad.  There is a smaller dresser on the other wall with a beautiful mirror that is a replica of his childhood antique furniture.  Love this room! I want to get an old picture of my Granny and Grandad when they were young and frame it in the room.
Dining Area



The living area- I have 10 P's now!!!  I love my P wall!  Check out my new artwork over the fire place!  My mom gave me that for my birthday.  I have been so excited to hang it up!
Kitchen Nook-  I just named it that.  I need to get a little stool or something to put there to do bills and stuff on my computer.



Kitchen

Good with the Bad



Good Things:  -A cookie bouquet of roses from my loving husband..."just because"!  Love him!
-Getting a knock on the door from a friendly neighbor inviting me to a coffee next weekend.
-Successfully unpacking each and every box and putting the extra stuff in the shed.

Bad:  -Having the recycling bin lid fall down on your nose while you are trying to stuff boxes in it.  Ok...I was pretty sure that it broke my nose, but lucky for me I just have a cute little gash on my nose.  Lovely!  I'm sure I will have a little bruise to go along with it...oopsies!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fully Functioning

In case you were all concerned, I made it to my new home and I am somewhat moved in...although, not so much settled yet...but, I am working on that.  So, let me get you caught up...

I arrived here late on Sunday night and then movers showed up at the storage unit on Monday morning first thing.  Notice I said moverS...plural...that is because there were 7 men to move me!!!!  That is a lot.  When we moved from GA, we only had 2 men and it took forever.  They packed up their trucks in record breaking time of only 2 hours!!!  I was shocked!!!  Once they got to my house with my stuff in their truck, they sat on my patio for 2 hours....What the heck??  I think they were trying to kill time, since I am sure they are paid hourly.  Anyway, once they got moving again all my stuff was in my house in 1 hour.  They were a smidge careless and some of our things were broken in the process.  Nothing big this time...just 3 wine glasses, 2 marg. glasses, a pitcher, the wall mirror, a beer mug and the waffle maker.  Also, I had a sheet scare...as in...I couldn't find them for the life of me.  Turns out they were in the cooler.  Odd!  The trick to getting so many movers is to overestimate the weight of your belongings.  I estimated 10K...when we actually only have 4K.  I really had no idea so it was just a random guess.  So...if you say it weighs 10K you get 7 moving men.  Really great!

So, the rest of Monday and most of Tuesday were spent unpacking and unpacking!  Everything is now unpacked.  :)  I also made a Target and PX run to pick up all the basic items to get a house up and running.  And, with the help of 2 sweet friends I got my washer and dryer hooked up.  Unfortunately, it was leaking on the little hose thingy on the back.  Friend 1 suggested I get caulking tape.  I checked Target and the PX and had no luck, so I just bought some regular caulking stuff.  I squirted it back there and smudged it around and then screwed the hose on with a pair of pliers...and VOILA!!!  No more leaks.  I am quite proud.  I have also done a pretty good job of hanging everything on our walls.  You see, this is typically Mark's job and I just stand around and supervise and direct.  Well, now I am quite the little hanger upper of the wall art.  (Pictures will be coming later, but they are only iphone quality.)

Last night, I had a lovely POC dinner with my FRG Ladies.  It was a great time and really enjoyable to spend some time with some wonderful Army wives.

Today...you guessed it...more unpacking and cleaning and hanging.  And...the best part of today was getting cable and internet.  So exciting!!!!!  So right now, I am watching TV and on the internet. :)  For the last 3 days, my only source of entertainment was my ipod music.  Alright, I better get back to work.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

I must say that I am pretty excited to be moving on to 2010.  Looking back, I would say 2009 was a year that brought great challenges, but also was full of blessings.  The tough times were really tough, but the good times were great!  It continues to amaze me how great God is and how much he loves us!  To name a few:
- Rang in the New Year (2009) in Fort Worth...low key, but great!
- Lots of work for Mark that equaled lots of professional success, which equaled lots of lonely nights for me...we made it through and came out stronger on the other side.
- Personal health trials...
- We traveled to Portland a few times.
- I baked a lot of cakes...and practiced sewing.
- Mark turned the big 3-0
- We vacationed in the Dominican Republic.
- Ran a half-marathon!!!!
- Said good-bye to Mark for a year....:(
- Drove back to TX
- Went to Washington DC for Mark's R&R

And now for 2010...
- I get my husband back in about 6 1/2 months....big YAY!!!!!
- Praying for a little Pemberton to come along
- I'd like to go camping...even though I consider myself an "indoor" girl
- Possibly visit Wine Country and hopefully stomp grapes
- My 10 year high school reunion
- My brother graduates from high school
- Learn how to really use my new fancy camera...possibly take a class at a junior college.
- Keep learning more about cakes and sewing.
- Continue to get closer to the Lord and learn to lean on Him for everything...big and small.

I think 2010 is going to be the best year yet!!!!  So far...I rang in the New Year in Phoenix, AZ after driving 17 hours.  Moved into my on-post house...and with the help of my sweet mom-in-law painted 4 rooms in that house, and now...I am on a plane headed back to TX to celebrate with Hilary for her bachelorette party weekend.  I'd say the past 6 days have been pretty productive and busy!

Cheers to a wonderful new year and new decade!