Monday, July 29, 2013


I love painting. I think it's therapeutic and relaxing. There was a canvas sale at our local art store (66% off - can't beat it) so I picked up a few for some projects I have in mind. I just finished my first project and love how it turned out.

Initial outline

I think the model likes her picture! 
Remember this art project? We finally have it hanging!

My next project is to paint a sunset/beach scene on an 16x20 canvas. If you're feeling inspired, visit an art store and pick up a sketch pad, brushes, and some paint! It's inexpensive, fun, and relaxing.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


This week I've worked more than I ever have in my life. As I said in this post, it started with being called in all night early Sunday morning. My one day off was supposed to be Thursday, but I got a call from my boss asking me to come in that day because two people called off. Because I can't say no, I went in. I ended up working 69 hours this week. I decided to treat myself and buy some new shoes as a reward for all of the overtime I did this week. I got a pair of Toms and a pair of Sperrys.

I finally had today off, and have spent the day relaxing and celebrating with Ryan. We got ice cream to celebrate him completing another college class, as well as his acceptance to IDC school... which is what will bring us to California! His orders have him separating from his current command in June 2014, and starting IDC school is July 2014. Excited is an understatement to describe how I'm feeling about this. I've said it before and I'll say it again that I feel more at peace in California than I do anywhere else. When we leave, I will have exactly 2 years of nursing experience which is generally the amount of time needed to get a job through a travel agency. This is what I'm leaning toward for my career endeavors in SoCal for various reasons.

I'm also thankful we have a full year to look forward to and plan our move. It's just the right amount of time away from now. I will be able to give my employer plenty of notice, as well as have enough time to look for apartments, a new job, etc. Hearing this news has helped me keep a permanent smile on my face. Whenever I'm feeling stressed, I daydream about our move and my worries are whisked away. Ryan and I hoped and prayed for this opportunity, and I am so grateful that He has led us back to the golden state.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Goin' to California

Life is about to get a whole lot sunnier for Ryan and I...

WE HAVE OFFICIAL ORDERS TO SAN DIEGO FOR JULY 2014!!!! More info to come... :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Up All Night

I work as an RN in a recovery room at a large teaching hospital in DC. The "recovery room" is where patients who had surgery pass through immediately after waking up from anesthesia. Once they are awake enough or stable enough to transfer to their floor, they leave me and I get another patient. One of the unique aspects of my job compared to other nurses is that I have to take "call." I actually don't mind call... I get to carry around a little pager and feel like I'm pretty important. Just for being on call, I get paid $10 an hour. Once called in, I make time and a half, plus an extra 25% of my base pay for shift differential. See where I'm headed with this? Call is pretty lucrative.

Most people don't get called in.  I don't know if I'd call it bad luck or maybe good luck (because I get a lot of extra $$$ in my paycheck) but I have a 100% call in rate. Usually I only get called in for a couple hours, but last night I got called in all night. Everytime we were getting ready to leave, a new surgery got added on and we had to stay. We even left at one point around 4am, but got called back in  a half hour later. Needless to say, my sleep schedule is a little off.

So what's the best way to compensate for a night like that? Shopping spree! After coming home at 7 and taking a nap, I made an executive decision and called my best friend Sarah, and the two of us went on a shopping spree. I bought lots of new clothes and jewelry. The best part was that I felt no guilt or buyer's remorse because I feel like I 110% deserved this shopping trip.

New necklace from Nords
I don't know what I was thinking when I signed up for 8 consecutive weeks of overtime, but I can't complain too much. I truly appreciate that I work somewhere where extra help is always needed. I remember working places where I would be sent home early or have hours cut due to budget cuts. This extra money has been such a blessing to Ryan and I, which has helped us save more while being able to splurge occasionally.

That being said, we had a fun weekend as well. We went shopping, out to dinner, and watched a movie. We stopped at an art store and I picked up some new paints and canvases for an art project that I'm working on (will update when I'm finished!) I have off Thursday this week, so I won't see much of hubby til then! It's hard to believe that July is almost over. We officially have less than a year at this duty station. Time flies!!!

He either doesn't smile, or he makes a goofy face

Not a complete post without a Posh picture!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sweet Love

The other day, Ryan and I stayed up late and had a very deep and meaningful conversation about life. We talked about our future career plans and dreams, children, budget, buying a house, our next PCS, and more. The way our schedules are, there are 3-4 days a week that Ryan leaves for work before I wake up, and I come home after he has gone to bed. Therefore, we really treasure evenings where we can eat dinner together and spend time catching up.

Talking with Ryan got me SO excited for our future. During our convo, we discussed in detail the things we like/dislike about DC, and what we want to do while we are here (we have about a year left until our next PCS). Neither of us can stand the humidity on this coast, and so we hope/dream/pray that we can get orders to the west coast. Even if we go somewhere south of here (NC, SC, FL), if we are stationed near an ocean I will be a happy camper. Ryan's in the Navy after all, so that's not too much to ask.

Ryan also helped calm my nerves about some worries I have, namely getting a job at our next duty station. I admit that I am being a little dramatic since I am a nurse, and fortunately that's a career with jobs everywhere. He always knows the right words to say and how to keep me levelheaded. I am so thankful for his patience and love for me. I love being married to him, and am so excited about our future endeavors with the military. We have such a unique lifestyle (pick up and move every few years) that some people would not be able to tolerate, but it's one of my favorite parts of being a milspouse! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and stays cool in this heat!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Art Project

While Ryan was working on his homework today, I decided to go on a mini shopping trip to TJ Maxx and Homegoods. I could visit these stores multiple times a week... I love myself a deal! Today I purchased a beach towel that was priced at $10, but when I got to the register it came up at $1.... Score!! It was the only one I could find too, or I would've purchased more.

I also decided to buy some wall art for my bathroom. I have a fish/seashell shower curtain and blue rugs in it, so I got this piece.

I'm not a huge fan of the washed out/chipped/rustic/not sure exactly how to classify it "look," but it was inexpensive and I figured I could work with it. I came home to show Ryan and he suggested that I paint it. BINGO! I love bright colors that pop out, so I got my paint set and brushes out, and got to work.

After mixing several colors to come up with the right shades, I am loving my finished project. I'm still deciding if I should get some sparkly paint or glitter to add to it (I love shiny things too!!) but I think I am going to keep it as is for now. Ryan has promised to get it hung this week. I'm having trouble believing that the weekend is almost over, but I did have a very relaxing day and suppose I can manage to get through this week at work. I'm already looking forward to my day off Wednesday and to next weekend!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Perfect Day

I love weekends!! I especially love when Ryan and I have zero concrete plans, and end up being spontaneous. Today was one of those days! When I woke up this morning, Ryan had chocolate chip pancakes ready for me. What a love bug. My family from PA FaceTimed with us shortly after, and we talked to them for a little while. We then decided to visit our local humane society to visit and play with the animals.

We then went to lunch at Jettie's, one of my favorite sandwich spots in Georgetown. 

Next stop was to the mall for some shopping and coffee. We both got pedicures. I remember the first time I took Ryan to get a pedicure and he put up a fight. When he finally got one he liked it so much that he's actually suggested we go and get them without me bringing it up! In my opinion, guys need pedicures just as much (if not more) than ladies. 

We came home, made dinner, and now we are watching a movie. I feel  blessed for days like this. I'm hoping to relax tomorrow and maybe visit our pool. Hope y'all are enjoying your weekend!

PS: I felt like I was taking a bit of a fashion risk wearing some hair flair, but judging from the number of compliments I received, I have concluded it was a hit! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Then and Now

About three years ago, Ryan left for a deployment with 1st battalion 4th marines. At the time, we had only been married about 5 months. I was living in Pittsburgh while going to college, and Ryan had just moved out of the barracks and into a tiny apartment in Oceanside. We had almost no money. In fact, when Ryan left for deployment, all of our belongings fit into his car. We had an air mattress as our bed, card table for our dining table, and collapsible camping chairs for furniture. Looking back on it makes me smile. We were living the "simple life" at it's finest.

During and after the deployment, we saved and saved... and saved. After Ryan returned, we slowly bought furniture piece by piece each paycheck. Several pieces were handed down by family or purchased from a fellow military family. We went to navyfederal and took advantage of their resources to help us manage money. We also went to a financial specialist on base who helped us develop a budget. All of this helped contribute to me graduating totally debt free from college. We bought and paid off two cars over a 2 year period. We started retirement funds, vacation and entertainment allotments, and a house savings fund. Having two incomes and no children has really helped us maintain this lifestyle.

Living Room
Dining area
I was cleaning our apartment this weekend and took a minute to appreciate all that we have. Each piece of furniture has a story, whether it be a homemade afghan from my grandmother or a kitchen table we bought out of a moving truck from a military family literally moving off base. We still have a long way to go as far as decorating and coordinating each room, but right now I am just thankful to all of the people who helped us get to where we are. I had such a wonderful and relaxing weekend, and feel very content in this moment of my life. I prayed and prayed that things would fall into place for Ryan and I after I graduated college, and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Too often, I worry about the future and ignorantly forget that God has asked us to hand over ANY worries and fears into his hands. He will process and handle any fear we have. How wonderful is that?! I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend and have a prosperous week!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Growing up, my family always had a pet dog. We never had cats. In fact, my only interactions with cats were negative. However, over the past six months all of that has changed. When hubby and I first moved into our apartment a year ago, we talked about getting a dog. We have a little yard, our own entrance, and the space to accommodate a small dog. With our inconsistent schedules, we decided against getting one because it would be unfair to keep the dog locked in a cage 10-12+ hours a day, home alone. Even though neither of us had any cat parenting experience, we talked about getting a cat. A few days after Christmas, I came home from work to discover that Ryan bought us a cat from the local animal shelter. It was love at first site. He picked out a 4 year old calico female named Posh. He said his decision to buy her was easy: as soon as he walked up to her cage, she walked right up to him and licked his fingers through it. She is such a love bug, even more now, and I continue falling more and more in love with her each day!

Posh at the humane society
The past six months have been a learning experience, but I finally feel confident in my cat knowledge. We've found which toys and treats she likes, how to deal with the occasional hairball, which hairbrushes work best, how she likes to be petted, etc. My sister has always had cats (she currently has three!) and she has been a great resource as well. I know many people who blatantly say that they hate cats, but I believe these people are missing out on the joy that a loving cat can bring to your home!

If you're considering adding a cat (or dog for that matter) to your family, I highly encourage that you check out your local animal shelter! Even looking at cost alone, I feel that we saved money getting Posh. She was already spayed, up to date on her vaccines, microchipped, and declawed (I have mixed feelings on this, but it was already done when we got her). Even though we paid a small fee to purchase her, we would have paid way more had we got a free kitten with none of these things done. I also love the fact that we got an adult kitty. Posh is such a sweetheart and it warms my heart knowing that we have given her a second chance to live with a family who loves and adores her. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I absolutely love her to pieces. I feel so maternal towards her, and my love for her only continues to grow! I cannot imagine life without Posh!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Maxi Dress

Hat: American Eagle. Sunglasses: Coach. Dress: TJ Maxx. Wristlet: Vera Bradley
I love dresses. Whether it be a formal or casual event, there's always a dress that's appropriate for the occasion. I have several sun dresses, but this season I've been eyeing Maxi dresses. At 5 feet 4 inches tall, it's not easy for me to find long dresses that aren't TOO long. I've been trying on Maxi dresses all season, and found one at TJ Maxx  that finally fit and was the right length. I quickly snatched it up and have been wearing it nonstop. At $16.99, it was a steal. It's the right amount of flowy, sexy, and comfortable that can be easily dressed up or dressed down. No doubt it will become a staple outfit for the remainder of summer!

If you're looking for a maxi dress, check here, here, or here. I've even seen pins on Pinterest about how to make a homemade maxi dress if you're feeling creative.

Fourth of July Festivities

Happy 4th y'all!!!

I think our cat hates me.
I am so excited that we were blessed with a beautiful, albeit hot, day in DC!! The humidity was severe as always, so I didn't even bother doing anything fancy with my hair. Today was full of fun and celebrations, making it the perfect lead in to a great weekend. The first bit of good news came yesterday when my manager gave me the option to take tomorrow off and just use some PTO. Random four day weekend? Don't mind if I do.

I woke up early today and met a friend for brunch in Georgetown. I work in Georgetown, so I am there all the time... but I haven't actually explored the waterfront side before so I was excited to do that today. I need to start walking to M street during my lunch break and exploring more often. After brunch (and after almost running out of gas - different story for another day but let me just say, I need to research which gas stations have diesel), Ryan and I met up with my best friend from high school and had a picnic at her house. We played monopoly, watched old SNL episodes, and spent the remainder of the day enjoying one another's company. On our way home, we stopped and watched fireworks over the national harbor. We've spent the past five 4th of Julys (minus a deployment one) celebrating on a military base, so this was a change of pace. I missed our traditional military party atmosphere, but thoroughly enjoyed our festivities today.

Now I'm flipping through TV channels and chilling out while Ryan is sleeping. It's no fun to go to bed early if you don't have to! I am trying to decide what other fun activities we should do this weekend. I hope everyone had an awesome 4th and was able to celebrate our amazing country!!! Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I grew up in a small town, where the closest military base was more than seven hours away. Needless to say, there was not a strong military presence. For whatever reason, I still felt drawn to the military community and was always patriotic, even at a young age. I even wrote a letter to POW Jessica Lynch when I was 13. She responded, and I still have the letter she sent me. Marrying a man in the military has enhanced my patriotism more than I thought possible! At any given time of the year, I wear patriotic clothing. To me, red white and blue are always fashionable. In college, I coordinated three card-making drives to send to deployed marines overseas. Now that I live and work in DC, I'm surrounded by the military community and American pride. Each morning on my drive to work, I pass by the monuments. I hope there never comes a time where I pass by the Washington monument and am not awestruck (even if its covered in scaffolding like it is now).

I truly believe that the US is the best country there is. Our history is so noble. I am so thankful to live in a community that appreciates the military and honors their commitment to freedom. I'm thankful for the opportunities my husband and I have had growing up and now in our adult lives in this country. I'm especially greatful for the many benefits brought to our family through my husband's service. Even though sequestration effects have caused several 4th of July events in our area to be canceled or downsized, I still plan on going all out to recognize and celebrate our Independence. I am so thankful and proud to be an American.