Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Project 52: Week 5

Week 5 Theme: Comfort

Comfort was something I definitely was seeking out this past week, though not necessarily for this project.  I was having a bit of a hard time emotionally during the first part of the week.  The stress of not knowing what's going to happen when hubby graduates in a couple weeks has just really gotten to me, and comforting objects, comfort food, and comforting TV definitely helped guide me through the week and out of my stress induced pity-party.


The majority of my pics are all physical comfort items -- pillows, my super comfy bathrobe, and our plush couch that has a knack for putting me to sleep.  The last image is of my collection of Gilmore Girls DVD's, one of my all-time favorite TV shows that always has a way of putting me at ease when watching and provides great emotional comfort.

Other comforts from the week that didn't make it to camera: a super creamy, cheesy pasta casserole I made that lasted me through most of the second half of the week (creamy alfredo sauce mixed with a cup of sour cream, tossed with veggie pasta & grated parmesan, and topped with melted mozzarella -- YUM!); and the most comforting/relaxing head massage, which I received while getting my hair washed on Saturday morning before getting my hair cut.  I just about fell asleep in the chair during that!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spice Cabinet Organizing: Planning

Last week, someone from the moving company that is supposed to be packing up all of our possessions in the matter of a few weeks from now came out to conduct our pre-move survey and make notes of what all we have that will need to be shipped halfway across the country to our new home in Texas.  This provided excellent motivation for me to work on getting as much unnecessary junk out of our place as humanly possible during the weekend and first part of the week that preceded his visit.

I finally loaded up the trunk of my car till it was packed full with items that I was donating to Goodwill.  I stuffed the backseat of my car with old cardboard boxes we had been saving from when we first moved into our apartment four years ago that we'll now no longer need to bring to the recycling dumpsters in town.  And I had filled my 96-gallon trash and recycling cans as full as humanly possible with other items that either needed to be tossed or could be recycled.  Believe or not, I actually still have some more items to go through and weed out, but thankfully about 80% of it is now done.

Once this guy started going through our pantry and cabinets however, I started to feel slightly embarrassed at how unorganized portions of my home still are.  Lately, kitchen organization has been sitting at the top of my to-do list for things to take care of around the house, probably tied with home office space organization.  After this visit, I quickly decided that a better solution to the mess that is the spice cabinet is first item I want to tackle and cross off of my list.

I had recently seen a lot of images on various blogs as well as Pinterest of people using those round metal containers to hang up their spices on cabinet doors with magnets, and first fell in love with the idea when I saw Alton Brown using them on his show Good Eats.  I love the finished look they give, however I knew that option would not really be the best for me given any organization/home improvement projects I do need to be mobile to assist with our nomadic lifestyle.

I finally decided on another type of container.  While it will not allow me the ease of being able to see all of my spices at a single glance, it will help by making my cabinet look more uniform and hopefully not so cluttered.  Stayed tuned for later this week when I will reveal my before and after pictures and some of the steps I took along the way!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Project 52: Week 4

Week 4 Theme: Love

Obviously, I chose the theme of love for this past week due to Valentine's Day.  I figure I should have realized it earlier, but it didn't hit me until the week actually arrived how depressing it was to have a theme that just reminded me more that I didn't get to spend this day with my husband.  I suppose that's something I will need to learn to get used to though.


This week's images hold a little more significance than ones in weeks' past.  First is the book "1001 Things to Love About Military Life" -- I am slowly working my way through this book reading a couple items a day.  Second is a card I received from my amazingly thoughtful step-mother-in-law.  The third image is of something the hubby bought for me when I was out visiting him over Thanksgiving.  Knowing my love of monkeys, he picked it up to get for me before I even saw it because he knew I would adore it.  Obviously, I still need to print off a little picture to put inside of the heart.  The final picture is of a frame that my hubby's grandma got for me as a wedding present.  She said that she instantly thought of me when she saw it, and I just love it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Get Ready and Wait

Most anyone who has any sort of association with the military has heard of the phrase "hurry up and wait".  I read on a blog post one day not too long ago where someone said rather than "hurry up and wait," she likes to use the phrase "get ready and wait", since it sounds a little more positive and proactive.  Well, that is precisely what my husband and I are doing now concerning our expected move next month.  Getting ready and waiting.

After getting the official orders for our move to Texas just before Christmas, we were excited to start prepping for our move and to finally get out of the town that we've lived in the for the better part of a decade.  I had begun the process of cleaning up and cleaning out our apartment to slim down on things we no longer really need or want so we have less clutter to deal with for the move.  I had started doing research online to scout out places to check out when we arrive there for housing.  And I had cut back dramatically on our debt-reducing plan to save as much money as possible to prepare for having to survive living off of only one income for a period of time post-move until I am able to find a new job.

Turns out, our plans could be changing.  We found out a couple weeks ago that there is a chance that our move could be delayed until the fall, as my husband could possibly end up going on a short-term deployment shortly after he graduates AIT, which would delay our move until his return.  The really sucky part is we won't find out if we'll be moving or he'll be deploying until less than a week before he graduates.  So right now I have to continue preparing as though we'll be moving in just over 4 weeks, while dealing with the fact that we could end up having to cancel it with about a week's notice (as well as then book a very last minute trip for me to fly out to see him for his graduation and extended weekend pass he would then receive as a result of this change so we can get in as much time together pre-deployment as the Army will let us).

Thankfully my job is extremely understanding about my situation and will work with me to where if we don't move when expected, I'll be able to keep my job until we do actually move.  The biggest positive we have found to tell ourselves to help deal with the stress of the uncertainty we're facing is the fact that one way or another, we should be able to be together for our first wedding anniversary on April 1st.  Either we'll be living together again, or he will be at a base back here on the east coast to prep for deployment, close enough to where I'll be able to drive and see him on the weekends he would be there before shipping out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Project 52: Week 3

Week 3 Theme: Animals

My four-legged babies are my world (well, after my husband), so needless to say this week's theme was an enjoyable one for me.  I was really hoping that some of the deer that frequently populate my street would be out for me to get some pictures of, but the only time I managed to see one, I did not have my camera on me and it had taken off before I was able to get inside to grab it.


I wish the image of the dogs playing tug-of-war was sharper, but it is really difficult to get good action shots of the dogs playing because they move so fast, so I do still like that I was able to get this picture.  My only real disappointment is the fact that I had to resort to using my iPhone to take all of these pictures this week as the sound of the shutter clicks on my DSLR get my dogs going to the point where it is difficult to get any pictures of them.  Kiba is not a fan of most objects that make noise and will not sit still when she hears the sound of the lens focusing, and Saki just cannot sit still long for much of anything and instead likes to come and try to smell/lick the camera lens, which always results in me having to jerk the camera up so he doesn't actually touch it.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Overall I've been very pleased with this winter and the mild temps it has brought our way here in the south.  I figured we had manage to escape this winter without me really feeling the need to break out my pea-coat and scarves, especially after General Beauregard Lee, Georgia's weather predicting groundhog, failed to see his shadow and told us we'd have an early spring.

Then this weekend came and brought with it a cold front from our upstairs neighbors in Canada.

I promise, the car was not moving when I took this picture.

Waking up to a temperature of 20° sure does make it difficult to get moving in the morning.  Especially when it's the third day in a row of dealing with these below freezing numbers.

And apparently those wonderful people who get paid to tell us what the weather is supposed to be each day are saying that we have an 80% chance of precipitation tonight/tomorrow that could result in snow.  Lovely.  My only hope is that if it does snow, it is enough to where they decide to cancel school here and the University closes for the day so I can have a free paid day off from work to curl up in bed all day with my pups.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Care Package

Since we're currently in the middle of the largest span of time without seeing each other since basic (two-and-a-half months), I decided to put together a little care package for the hubby for Valentine's Day.  Basically, this is a trial run to help prep me for the day when he gets deployed and I am faced with putting on my creative thinking cap each month to give him little mood lifters and encouragement from home.

I started gathering items for this right after he left home to head back to AIT following Christmas leave.  It was at this time when I discovered how truly awesome the Target $1 Spot is.  I nabbed a small variety of candy from these bins, as well as a couple little toys for him.  Somehow over Christmas, we managed to get on the topic of a classic toy that most of our generation had as a child, the Slinky, and how much better the metal ones are at going down stairs than the plastic ones.  I of course found it very ironic that I then found junior sized versions of this iconic toy at the $1 Spot at Target.  I had a good little chuckle to myself when I saw them and then immediately picked up a metal one to include in the package.  Then right around the corner from the Slinky section was a bin full of Silly Putty, so I decided to nab one of them as well.

Other than these two little toys, I filled the rest of the box with lots of goodies -- tins of freshly baked brownies and white-chocolate macadamia nut cookies, chocolates, Skittles, Warheads, Moon-Pies, gum, and beef jerky -- and topped off with a cute little Valentine's Day card with a "hug from across the miles".

I went ahead and put the package in the mail on Tuesday, since U.S. Mail, as well as mail on post, can be a little unpredictable at times.  I wanted to be sure he definitely received it before Valentine's Day, and surprisingly all mail systems were quick and he received it on Thursday.  His favorite item out of everything in the box was the Slinky, followed by the Silly Putty and the beef jerky.  And apparently the box was man-handled a little bit during transit, as the tin full of macadamia nut cookies was all crumbled into bite size pieces.  But thankfully everything else arrived intact.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Never Let Your Guard Down

Two weeks ago, my dogs were busy playing in the bedroom and things got a little crazy as they were wrestling on the bed and they ripped a huge hole in our comforter.  I got really upset because I really liked this comforter.  It wasn't exactly anything special, it was just really comfy and had been with me for a while.  Eventually I got over it when I realized that this meant I finally had an excuse to go out and purchase new bedding like I had wanted to do for a while.  I had been holding out on doing this in case we decided to finally upgrade to a larger bed once we eventually move, as a full-size bed with two adults, two dogs, and a cat makes for pretty tight quarters at night that usually results in me sleeping on the very edge of the bed.

So I tossed my almost 8-year old comforter and went out for some corgi mandated retail therapy.  The most difficult part of this shopping process is the fact that my husband prefers either just plain or a plaid pattern for his comforters, whereas I'd rather have something with at least a little bit of detail.  This meant that I had to find a couple different ones that I liked, and then text him pictures of them so he could let me know his pick.

This is what we ended up with.  It has the comforting colors I was looking for with at least a little bit of design to it, plus some contrasting textural elements in the stitching in the blue and white blocks, but is simple enough to please the hubby.

For the first several days I had it on the bed, I was very cautious/worried/paranoid about the dogs and if they would take to the new bedding and try to rip the fluff out of the new comforter like they did with the previous one.  They were pretty good and respectful of it after knowing they had done wrong before, so I let my guard down.

Moral of the story -- never let your guard down with dogs who make it their mission to pull stuffing out of anything they can get their paws on.  Two nights ago, I heard Saki playing in the bedroom, but I assumed (also never assume) that he was just playing with one of their rope toys and didn't think anything of it.  A little while later I entered the room, only to discover this:

Needless to say, I was one very upset mommy to see my brand new comforter had been ripped open and filling had been strewn across the floor.  I've been rather stressed over the last few weeks not having my husband around, and I kind of hit my breaking point upon discovering this mess.  I shut the bedroom door, locked Saki up in his crate in timeout for the rest of the night, and sat down at my computer to play a video game in an attempt to de-stress a little.  I was so stressed and upset, I couldn't be bothered to go to bed at my usual time that night and stayed on my computer until almost 1am while talking with my husband.  At that point I decided I should try to do some damage control so I could go to bed with the piece of mind of knowing that the stuffing would no longer be exposed, left to tempt my other dog during the night as she slept in the bed with me.

After an hour of putting my not-so-stellar sewing skills to work, I ended up with this:

Overall it doesn't look too bad, especially when the corner of the comforter is all the way down along the edge of the bed (rather than pulled slightly up as it is here in the picture), as it grazes the floor.  So unless you actually sit there and pick up the corner of it, you'll never know what had happened.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Project 52: Week 2

Week 2 Theme: Architecture

This week I went back to campus to capture the majority of my shots.  There are just so many different and interesting structures around there that have built and renovated over a span of 200+ years, I thought it would be one of the best places to get images other than just ones of restaurants and store fronts.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Winner Is...

My favorite commercial of Super Bowl 2012 is the M&M's "Sexy and I Know It" spot.

I always like to pay attention to the Super Bowl commercials each year, especially considering my marketing & advertising background from college.  As a whole, most commercials have disappointed me over the last several years, but usually there's at least one or two that I enjoy.  In my opinion, M&M's took the top spot this year.

Friday, February 3, 2012

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #68

This is my first time participating in the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In, hosted by Wife of a Sailor.  Starting this week, this link-up will be a once a month survey posted by Wifey @ Wife of a Sailor the first Friday of each month.

1. What is your favorite winter memory?  Seeing my oldest dog's reaction to seeing snow for the first time and how much she loved running/hopping around in it.  We actually made a video of her playing in it because we just loved her reaction so much (our cat also got to experience it as well, even though we never usually let him outside the house).

2. What is your current favorite TV show?  Overall I haven't enjoyed many TV shows as much as I usually do this television season, but I think 2 Broke Girls is one of my currents favs.  Grey's Anatomy has been picking back up and getting a little better again over the last season or two as well.  I'm also excited to see the premiere of Smash on Monday and hope it is as good as it looks like it could be.

3. What was your favorite thing that happened in January?  Getting to start the month off with a few days with my husband before he had to return to finish up AIT.

4. What is the best sound in the world to you?  Hearing my dogs snore when they're sleeping always has a way to make me smile.  It's just so cute!  Even cuter is when Kiba is really sound asleep, she'll chirp.

5. What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a MilSpouse?  Patience.  This is very much still a work in progress, but having to learn to be patient has been the biggest thing I've had to learn thus far (you know, in my whole 6 months of being a MilSpouse).  I'm very much a detail oriented planner-type person who has very little patience when it comes to the unknown.