Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat

Halloween season (really fall in general) is one of my favorite times of the year. I especially love handing out candy to trick or treaters. The past few years were disappointing in that matter (college, and then last year we only had 2 kids stop by). This year, I made it a priority and took a personal day so I could travel to my hometown to pass out candy with my mom. She gets over 100 kids on average, so I bought a ton of candy and am excited to see how the night turns out! 


While I'm home, I'm taking care of some appointments (dentist, new drivers license) as well as enjoying the no clothing tax and cheap prices here in PA. I've been working overtime basically every week for months now, so it's nice to set aside time like this where I can get out of town and get my mind off work.

It's crazy to think that tomorrow is November 1st. That puts us at about 8 months until we move to California. I'm still in the "it's too early/depressing for me to talk about moving" stage, so I'm hoping time doesn't pass too quickly. Have a safe and happy Halloween y'all!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love Over Time

After being together 5 years, I think it's normal for the romance in a relationship to come down a little. Now, I'm not saying it should totally disappear, but I've found that it has changed since our early dating stages.

Now that we are living together, both working full time, and have been married almost 4 years, it seems like our relationship has grown in a whole new way. I don't wake up to cute morning text messages, but instead get a kiss goodbye when I'm still sleeping. I get texts throughout the day, but they are generally asking how my day is, which car he should drive tomorrow, what groceries we need, etc. I don't get the ballads saying how much he misses me and all that lovey dovey stuff. I guess you could say we've settled into a routine, which may sound horrible but that's life.

When we first got engaged, we went to marriage classes where they talked about how you go from being "in love" to choosing to love one another. I thought they were crazy and that anyone who wasn't "in love" was headed for divorce. I get it now though. When you live with someone, you learn everything about them. You don't just interact with them for fun, romantic dates. It becomes a whole new stage of love where you have to choose to love them, despite their poor kitchen cleaning habits, cranky demeanor in the morning (me), refusal to put laundry away, and more.

But every now and then, Ryan turns up the heat and surprises me. Sometimes it's flowers, a pandora charm, a handwritten card, surprise breakfast in bed, or like I got this week, a surprise candlelit dinner when I came home after a busy day at work.



It's little things like this that remind me how much I love Ryan and that no matter how long two people have been together, it's always important to keep things fresh and fun. He always keeps me on my toes!! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whenever we have bananas that are overripe, we peel them and throw them into the freezer to make banana bread. We had a few collecting in a bag, so I decided to try something new. I made banana chocolate chip cookies. They are delicious! I love any excuse to use this baby:


 

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup of flour (to start)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup margarine (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 package jello instant pudding (vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
12 oz package chocolate chips
2 bananas (mashed)

Directions:
1. Mix flour and baking soda - set aside
2. Combine softened margarine and the sugars in mixer and mix well until creamy
3. Add vanilla, pudding mix and mix until smooth and creamy
4. Beat in the eggs
5. Gradually add flour mixture
6. Add mashed bananas

At this point I usually add a little more flour depending on how soft the dough is and how big the eggs are. It's usually about 1/4 cup more. The dough should be firm enough to roll a ball in your hand.

7. Add chocolate chips with spoon.
8. Bake 9-12 minutes (until just light brown) at 375 degrees.
9. Place on cooling rack and enjoy!

I really think the pudding mix makes these better than regular cookie recipes, but you'll have to judge that yourself! I doubled the recipe and it made almost 5 dozen cookies, so this recipe is probably about 2.5. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pick Up

My momma always taught me (and still does) that when you're down, you always have to pick yourself back up. Therefore, after my mini whine session in my last post, I'm following up with a more positive post today.

Like I said, Ryan and I always find fun things to do on the weekends. My sleep schedule has been out of whack due to readjusting after my week of night shifts. I slept in until 3pm yesterday! Talk about sleeping the day away! Once I woke up, Ryan and I headed to lunch. We then visited the local humane society where Ryan adopted Posh. People ask me if visiting the animals makes me want another (which I do), but I love just having one baby to spoil and being able to get her everything (like cat strollers and such). They have brushes and treats for the cats and dogs, so we enjoy spending a couple hours giving them some attention. There were so many kittens at the shelter. They are so sweet!




Then we came home and cuddled with our own sweet baby girl, until I got called into work for a few hours.


Today we headed to our favorite sandwich shop in Georgetown, and then we checked out the new TJ Maxx and Homegoods there. Oh my goodness, the store was divine. I'm keeping my eyes open for stocking stuffers for hubby. Unfortunately we are both working around Christmas, so we won't get to come home. It'll be just us!

And just like that, tomorrow is Monday. Back to the grind!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Blues

It's no secret that the DC metro area is densely populated with military members.  When Ryan was in Southern California, it was the same way and we loved it. It's great living in a community where people are familiar with the military lifestyle. I grew up in a small town in PA, and I'm pretty sure there are grown people living there that don't even know there are separate branches; they only know of the army.

Since Ryan and I each commute about 20 miles in opposite directions for work, we don't have any coworkers living close by. In fact, we don't even know our neighbors or anyone in our community. This makes me sad because we literally don't have any friends within a 20 mile radius, so it's nearly impossible to spontaneously do something like we used to in California.

I've made some friends in DC, but we have had no luck finding another military couple around our age who both work and don't have children. Now, we have nothing against kids. We plan on having our own one day, but there is a reason we are waiting. We want to enjoy childless life for a long time, and we find it more enjoyable to spend evenings with other couples who understand this. I know these couples exist because we knew several of them from previous places! I just need to find them here.

I don't like posting things that make me vulnerable, but I'm feeling pretty blue. Hubby and I always end up finding fun things to do on the weekends, but I wish that we could find another military couple (or more) to explore this amazing city. I am hopeful that when we move to San Diego we will have better luck with this. 

I guess this is one of the many realities of military life. Once you find great friends that you click with, someone gets orders to the other side of the globe. You always have to start from scratch. I'm thankful for all of the positives though and I wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wall Hanger

Ryan and I have been hunting for a coat rack for months. We bought an over the door rack with hooks, only to find it didn't fit over our front door. We relocated it to our bedroom door, and have found plenty of hoodies, bathrobes, and hats to hang on it. That, however, didn't solve the problem for our entryway.


After trolling the internet, I found this awesome wall hanger that incorporates a chalkboard and mail carrier as well. Since we usually have mail piled all over, this seemed to be the perfect response to organization that we were looking for. In my recent decorating spree of the living room, we've adopted greens and brown as our main colors. I love how this came out, and how well it goes with the things in our room!

Last but not least, In total evidence of how small the world is, shortly after I ordered ours, I noticed Jordan blogged about buying one as well! She seems equally as excited as I am, and I can totally understand why! Check out Legacy Studio on Etsy! There are tons of different colors and styles!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Netflix


I'm totally in love with Netflix... Have I ever expressed this before? I don't think so. Growing up, my family never had cable. Therefore, I'm used to only watching network TV shows. I've always been a fan of the Bachelor franchise, Survivor, HIMYM, and Grey's, and they are all on network TV so it was never a problem.

In college basic cable was free, and I fell in love with the Kardashians, Client List, and any lifetime movies. When Ryan and I first got married, we did not have a lot of money so we decided to forego getting cable. Now we have enough money to get it, but with Netflix and online sites (Lifetime posts all their shows as well as some movies online) I'm totally content with saving money and not having cable.

Ever since we got Netflix, we've spent less money on renting movies and going to the movie theater. It's so easy to have a movie night at home when there are literally hundreds of movies at your fingertips. I'm able to see movies I've never seen before, like Grease, which I first watched over the weekend. I know, I'm totally living under a rock.

Sometimes I find things on Netflix that I wish I never found, such as the Discovery Killer Whale episode that showed a baby seal being eaten alive. As a HUGE animal lover, that totally traumatized me. All in all, there really is something for everyone on Netflix. Everyone I know who has it loves it, and we are no different!

Sunny Days

After a week of rain, we finally got a day of gorgeous and dry weather in the DC metro area. It was perfect weather, too: in the 60s and 70s, sunny, and no humidity. Hubby and I both had off, but didn't realize each other had off until Saturday. We both work every Monday, but he has off for Columbus Day, and I have off because I am working nights this week. I was super excited to realize we got an extra day together this week.

We decided to be active and went for a bike ride. We brought some bread and stopped at the pond near our house and fed some ducks and geese. We definitely didn't bring enough bread though, because the birds kept on coming! 


I took Posh for a walk in her stroller too. She's such a love bug. She always wants to go outside, but since she was declawed when we adopted her, we don't let her run around. Plus, there are so many feral cats in our neighborhood that could carry diseases. Therefore, walks are the perfect way for her to safely go outside.


I totally love having a day to relax and catch up on laundry and cleaning. When I work nights, I feel like I have so much extra time (since I'm essentially at home all day). I never get on a good sleep schedule though, so by the end I'm exhausted. I'm trying to get on a nocturnal schedule starting tonight; let's see how this goes!

Have a great week y'all! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall Weekends

The past few weekends have had some pretty sporadic weather. Last weekend felt like summer as it was in the 80s and super humid outside. This weekend it's been rainy and cold. We've found fun things to do though, so that's all that matters.

Last weekend we met up with another couple I know from work. The four of us went to a farm for some fall festivities. We picked apples, pumpkins, and shopped in the barn for fresh veggies and apple cider. I picked out a cotton candy pumpkin that I think is just so pretty. I absolutely love the name as well.


I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it, carve it, cook it, or just leave it alone. It's sitting on our coffee table currently. Fall is one of my favorite seasons to decorate for. I love all the funky looking gourds, as well as anything orange, mustard yellow, brown, and red. 


This weekend we ventured to the Tyson's Corner mall. All I have to say is WOW. I thought the Pentagon City Mall was big, but it has nothing on Tyson's. I come from a smaller town, so the big malls here are a little intimidating. We actually carried a map with us today! They had practically any store, and Ryan and I were both able to find new things.

I felt super nostalgic when I passed the American Girl store. Growing up, I had 2 AG dolls that I abosolutely adored. I took great care of them too, and saved every last accessory. I'm hoping to hand them off to our daughters one day. There were a lot of dolls and stories I remembered, but there were several new ones as well. Ryan had never even heard of the dolls and was completely shocked that the store had two levels, including a cafe and saloon for the dolls. 


I'm working tomorrow, but am super excited because Ryan and I both have off Monday. We never have weekdays off together, so it'll be nice to spend an extra day together this week!


Navy Ball 2013


It's hard to believe, but this year marked my 5th military ball. Compared to the marine corps balls we went to in the past, the navy balls the last year years have had a completely different environment. Not in a bad way, either. The setting is smaller, and the age range is very diverse. His current duty station has a school on it, so most of the people are students or instructors. There were several retirees as well. They also have a raffle each year, as well as a professional photographer to take pictures and give them to you for free. I remember the marine balls having this too, but we always had to pay for the pictures. Every year we have a blast, and this year proved no differently. 


Every year I say I am going to fix my hair myself, and then I realize that I can barely straighten my hair, let alone pull off an updo. Once again I got it done. 


Another thing I say I'm going to do each year is splurge for a pricey and fancy dress. As Ryan says, the dresses find me instead and I can't say no. I bought my dress for $25 at Ross. I've never seen formal dresses there before, either.

Next year we will be back in San Diego when the navy birthday rolls around. I'm excited to experience a new spin on their festivities. I abosolutely love getting dressed up and spending a fancy evening with my love. It's an honor to be part of the military family.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meditation

Lately, I've been letting everyday stress get the best of me. I find myself worrying about the littlest things, and I know I need to stop. My sister sent me an email inviting me to join in a free two week meditation with Deepak Chopra. This invite could not have come at a more appropriate time.

I've never meditated before, but after two days I am already feeling more relaxed and at peace. I have used the breathing exercises outlined and feel that I am really able to quiet my mind with them. They are only 15 minutes each day, so it's easy to fit into my schedule. It's not too late to sign up, and I encourage anyone looking for a peaceful outlet to join in this!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October


I know there is a lot going on with people in our area due to the government shutdown, but on a positive note, I am so excited that it's October 1st! October is one of my favorite months. The weather becomes cooler, but not too cold. Sweaters, ugg boots (guilty), and skinny jeans are in full swing. The humidity has decreased, so my hair frizziness problems also diminish. I can safely straighten my hair without fear of showing up at work as a grizzly bear. Some of my favorite colors are shades of brown, mustard, scarlet, and orange, and those colors are 100% in for this season.

The DC area has several pumpkin patches, which is one of my favorite fall activities. This weekend, Ryan and I have plans of visiting one to pick out a pumpkin. They have fun activities for all members of the family. In the past, we've visited haunted houses and hayrides. I still haven't made plans to do that this year, but it's only October 2nd so we have plenty of time to coordinate that.

This Friday is our annual Navy Ball. This is the earliest one I've ever been to. I had grand plans of fixing my own hair for it, but after a horrific failed attempt over the weekend, I decided to make plans to have an updo done. While I'm at it, I'm getting a mani/pedi. I absolutely love being able to get all dressed up and spend an evening with my husband dressed in his uniform. I bought a dress for $25 that had been discounted several times. It's purple, sparkly, and elegant. I will surely share pictures.

It feels nice being back to work and in a schedule after spending time on vacation. We are finally all unpacked and back to our normal lives. I've been researching yummy soup recipes, especially crock pot ones, to make over the weekend. I'm still searching for something Ryan and I will both like (read: I'm a vegetarian and he's a carnivore), but I found this website to have several options. It's all slow cooker recipes, not just soups. It's absolutely perfect for a working wife that wants to have a hot, home cooked meal waiting for her hubby when he gets home from work!

Happy Wednesday, and I hope the rest of the week moves quickly!