Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Moving Day


The wait is over because we got our new orders.  Luckily, they are not TAD orders, but a full PCS move.

We are headed off to Fort Sill in Lawton, OK.  Mike will start work there by the 17th of September, so we hope to be out of our current place by the end of August.  That way we won't have to pay rent in two places for September!

I know OK is not the most glamorous place in the country, but I'm happy to be close to our family and friends.  It is only about 3 hours from DFW and double that to Colorado Springs.    Perhaps, if we stay there for awhile we can purchase a home and start a family!

We will see about that second part though.  We are in no rush! ;)

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Limbo Lady


I wasn't sure about letting the cat out of the bag so soon, but it looks like another military move will happen this year!

Mike has been given PCS orders to attend a course at a base in Lawton, OK beginning in the middle of September.  The course should last about four months.  Yeee- haw!!!

Now, before you either 1) get excited because we are going to be closer to our family and friends or 2) pity us because (let's face it) its Oklahoma, there is a chance this could all change again by then.  Mike will be applying for flight school by May and we will know by early July if he gets it or not. If he gets flight school, we'll be headed to Florida I believe and then possibly hopping around the US for the next two years.

Either way, change is coming!

Once his course is over, it could be highly likely that we are given orders to stay in the same location for the following three years or be moving to a different location soon after.

Lawton is just over three hours away from the DFW metroplex and still within a day's drive to Colorado Springs.

We'll keep you posted!

Until next time,

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things : Beauty Products

I wanted to do a favor for all my lady friends and share my favorite beauty products in which I will never stray from.  Application after application, bottle after bottle, these products have never failed me.  Here they are!


Fekkai Prx Preservatives Shampoo/Conditioner & Mask- $20/each, $25 mask

I received sample sizes of these products with an order I placed at  Within one application, the texture of my hair changed for the better.  My hair was silky and smooth.  The smell is light and refreshing throughout the day.  The products are a little higher end, so I would suggest making the investment and using every other shampoo so it lasts a long time.  The directions for the mask differ and is only to be used 1-2 times a week.  Well worth the investment!

Skincare- (Moisturizer)

Philosophy Hope In A Jar Oil Free- $40

I worked for this brand for over a year and they really opened my eyes about proper skincare.  Again, sometimes the investment is worth the better benefit.  Unlike a lot of drugstore brands, you are getting more working ingredients than water and fillers.  A little bit will go a long way!

Skincare- (Body Wash)

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash- $5

Now before you begin to think that I'm contradicting myself, I realize this product is sold in drugstores.  However, I believe that unless you have severe body acne or other skin conditions, you can use a less concentrated cleanser when cleaning a larger area than your face.  This product has been able to dry out and clear up any problems I have whether it come from sweaty, rubbing sports bra, sticky hot summers or just poor genetics. 


Clinique CC Cream- $30

I don't like to wear a lot of makeup and feel like I have "caked on" face.  I do keep a bottle of foundation on hand for special occasions, but I only wear a BB or CC cream daily.  This CC cream has great coverage and does not feel oily at the end of the day.  I apply each morning over my primer and set with powder.  It really is a great product.
Garnier BB Cream- $13
This brand is another fav and is a cheaper version from above.  It can be found in any drugstore.  I really can't tell the difference between the products, so I'll leave it up to your preference to wear at BB or a CC cream. 
CND Stickey and Super Shinny- $10/each
I interviewed and was awaiting a call back interview with this company when I was offered my current position. Before going on the interview, I bought this product at Ulta to learn more about it.  During my interview process, I learned that CND is a the pioneer of gel manicures and good nail health.  It is mostly that your nail salon buys and uses CND's products.  The products above that I've tried delivered exactly what it claimed to do and I don't do my own manicures without it. 
Lip Care-
EOS Lip Balm- $3
First, I have to give a shout out to my friend, Britni, who told me about these little guys.  I had seen them in store, but didn't think much about "chap stick."  To be honest, I usually buy the black tube of Chap stick because its plain, its cheap and I love the texture and amount of moisture it provides.  I bought my EOS in the strawberry sorbet flavor and it feels just like my chap stick, but with a cool girly flavor.   My only complaint is the "egg" shaped package doesn't fit well in my clutch or wristlet purse.  (I'm one of those girls that never leaves home without my chap stick.) I do know now they make the tube version, however, I've never actually seen them in store.
Happy Shopping!
Until next time,

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shopping Secrets

I always get excited when I get a great deal.  And right now, there are so many great deals to be had! Below I've shared some of my secrets, tips and tricks to help you get more bang for your buck!

Promotional Websites

I know I was so excited about these websites that I've already made mention on my Facebook page.

If you do a lot of online shopping like me, you must sign up for  You sign up by registering your email and right away you get a free $10 gift card from your choice of select retailers. I chose a Target gift card and it came in the mail yesterday.  I've been on the site for a little less than a month and have already earned about $20 in cash back.  Its like what they say - "you get paid to shop!" And there are no catches! About every other month you will receive a hard check in the mail or a deposit to your Paypal account.

Another great website is  This website has a downloadable app that you can access on your phone right at the cash register.  I never shop in store without checking the website for extra deals.  Another great feature about it is that you have your coupons right on your phone.  No more clipping sales ads or looking for your lost mailers.
A Little More About Promo Codes/Sales
Let's face it-- this is not the retailer's first rodeo.  They have spent thousands, if not millions of dollars throughout the duration of their existence to research which promo codes draw customers in and get them to SPEND MONEY.  It's called marketing! You have to know the mathematics of what "deal" you're getting before purchasing. 
Example: A buy one, get one half off sale may sound like a good deal.  Well, it depends.  If you are in need of only one pair of jeans or one pair of shoes, you are going to pay full price for the item you need, and then feel like you need to buy something else to get a good deal.  You've budgeted for buying one pair of jeans and now have gone over budget.  Are those two pairs of jeans really a great deal for $120? Or sometime in the near future when they are on sale, would you be happier with just the one pair at a better price?
Or this one...
What percentage off sale gets your running to the mall? Some retailers are still offering 5%, 10% or even a 15% discounts.  That is not worth the gas for me to get across town.  Even 20% discounts nowadays are not worth it. 
But maybe the sale looks like this instead- "$10 off a purchase of $50". 
It's like getting permission to buy more and but knowing you're spending less.  But take a look:
$10 off $50 --- (is actually just 20% off)
$25 off $100 --- (or 25% off)
$40 off $150 --- (or 26.67% off)
$60 off $200 --- (or 30% off)
$75 off $250 --- (or 30% off)
For the person that just spent $150, you only got a 1.67% better deal on that extra top or purse.  Or to the one that spent $250, you got the same discount as your friend that spent $200.  Unless you're buying an entirely new wardrobe, don't double your total for the extra 5% in discounts.
Now (if you're like most men) you're probably thinking at this point "well you aren't saving money if you're still shopping." Well this will always be a true statement, but you can't buy someone a gift without spending money, right? My point is be a smart shopper, not all sales and promos are bad. 
My Mom asked for a purse from Vera Bradley for her birthday.  The bag was full price and did not qualify for free shipping or a promotional discount.  My final total would have been $78 after taxes, and shipping and handling for the one bag.  I decided to back out of my shopping cart and do a little more browsing.  I also got my Mom a matching checkbook cover and sunglasses case to qualify for the promo/free shipping and my final total was $73. She loved all the items and I paid $5 less than what I was already going to spend. 

Never Pay for Shipping

Most retailers waive shipping if you spend a certain dollar amount.  When I make an order online, the first thing I look for is the qualifier to get "Free Shipping." You will have to judge what it is you need, what you are willing to spend and if you are within the ballpark.  I hate nothing more than going to a retailer's website for a single item only to find I must spend $100 or so to qualify for free shipping.  

Although I am a firm believer that one should "buy more" goods to obtain this qualifier (instead of still spending money shipping), I do not advise this in every situation.  Again, if you do not need or even want the extra item to get free shipping, just wait on your purchase altogether.  Items are going on and off sale so often, I promise within a week or two another good deal will come your way.
But if you have to have it, go see if its in stock in the store or check to see if it can be shipped to the store for free pick-up. 

Hassle Free Return Policies/No Final Sales

Make sure the retailer offers a good, FREE return policy.  I used to order my swimsuits from Victoria Secret and when they didn't work out, I had to spend $7 to return them each time.  Swimsuits for my size weren't sold in stores, and returns weren't allowed in store.  I've spent just about as much in returns as a new swimsuit would have cost.  They finally listened to their customers and made changes to their policies. 
No explanation here- never buy anything that is final sale without trying it on first. 
Store Credit Cards--ARE A GOOD THING!
But use with CAUTION! I repeat, use with CAUTION.  And because I know not everyone can follow that rule, they shouldn't be for everyone. 
My last example- I recently received $10 off in rewards and another $5 off on a mailer for being a card holder.  The mailer also included 20% off (big deal) my entire purchase.  Instead of rushing to the store and finding many things I didn't need and charging up my credit card, I went straight for a gift set containing my favorite hair care products.  The item was sold online only and I didn't qualify for free shipping based off my total only. 
I subtracted $10 off my total, another $5 in rewards, typed in a promo code for free shipping I found just for being a card holder and received my item for $0! Yep, no tax, no shipping-- just me and my hair care products restocked for FREE! 
And that my friends, feels good!
Until next time,

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Refurb - Update!

Hello All- I've been at it again!

About a year ago when my husband and I first moved into together, we decided to use his full size kitchen table.  My husband's table was a hand me down from his family and had spent its time in a few places with other guy roommates and in storage.  The cushions were outdated and stained. 
After moving in, I would hunt all over town for red chair cushions to cover the stains.  I took measurements, but apparently most chair cushions were measured for the standard "one size fits all" chair bottoms.  Not these chairs, they were extra wide.  I actually like them that way, you can just forget finding chair cushions that are large enough to cover. 
Well I don't know why it took me so long to figure it out, but I decided cover the old fabric with a new color. 
And off to the fabric store I went.  I purchased enough for 4 chair bottoms and got to work. 
The labor was actually real easy.  I had to remove 4 screws from the bottom of each chair and placed the cushion on the new fabric.  I few folds and staples later, I had completely new chairs.  Seriously, it took me less than an hour.  Check it out:
And the best part about this project? The total cost for this refurbish was $5.44.  Can't. beat. that.

Well, I'm off to see what else can use an update!

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dance Class Decision

After many months of putting it off, I tried the new dance studio down the street. 
I called last fall to register only to find out their studio was preparing for a large holiday show.  I found it odd that even the adult class would be involved, but I guess they wanted everyone to get the chance to participate.  The owner told me I was more than welcome to join, but I would need to catch up with the rest of the class.  I said that I would wait so not to be in the way and would call back after the new year. 

This studio seems to be the only one in town that offers adult classes, namely hip-hop.  They do offer an adult ballet class, but it does not fit into my work schedule.  And I've come to learn that I am not a graceful ballerina.  Now if they would only offer jazz...
So I  registered online and showed up for my first class (which just happened to be free!) I walk into the studio room at the start of class; our instructor a younger guy in his mid to late twenties and I read online that he was a former Marine.  I asked him if I was in the right place, he confirms and asks me if I've ever dance before.  Nodding my head "yes", he commented that I looked like I've dance before and that I would do just fine. 
After warming up, we begin learning our routine.  And when I say we, I mean "I".  I am not sure how many weeks the class has already met, but I was the new girl being assigned a part.  I was put in the front and center and I get to do my own trick during the routine.  All in all, I held my own when it came to keeping up with the rest of the class.  Then I was told, that just like last semester, there would be a performance in the Spring. 
Hold the phone.  I haven't performed dance in front of an audience in almost 8 years. 

My mind began racing that I had to physically push all the different thoughts running through my mind out until I could finish the class.
After class the instructor gave me a thumbs up and asked if I would be coming back.  I explained to him I was looking for a regular class, but didn't imagine ever performing again.  It is not a huge commitment, but I have to be sure that I want to do it.  I am not one to be unreliable, I just don't do it.

I called Mom right after class because the Spring Showcase falls on the Saturday afternoon when she will come to visit.  I don't want her to feel her vacation will be wasted watching a bunch of other dances at a Spring Showcase.  However, she seem delighted by the thought.  And I guess being right in the middle of a deployment, I don't really have a lot of plans keeping me unavailable other than work.  It might even pass the time, help me make friends or give me something to do with my time.

Luckily, I've learned not to make a decision too quickly.  If I've truly on the fence about something, I need to give it a few days.  Naturally, I will begin to have feelings on which decision I should make.

So I guess I'll keep you posted on what I decide.  I feel a little old for this, but maybe I should just be glad that I still can although I am older. 

Until next time,

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Refurbished & Refurnished On a Budget

Hello friends!

If you know me well, then you know I love to shop.  But actually decorating is my first love.  I would do it for a living if it were not such a competitive, economically based job.  That and I need to grow and explore the talent first.  I don't know everything about the "rules of design" but instead what I like and enjoy creating.  That and my personal budget for it is smaller than desired. 

Most of my home furnishings are items that I've obtained over the last 5-10 years.  Some items were even displayed in my old college dorm room.  To be honest, I get tired of looking at the same things in room after room, house after house.  Bust as you may know that just like the fashion world, trends change quickly.  More quickly than I can afford to keep up. 
A lot of my décor was very traditional, some even a little country and all of it was very dark.  Since I moved to California about a year ago, style and design has become more modern, printed and bright.  I decided to turn a few of my old, paid for things, into newer looking items that will be good for at least a few more years!  Now that's designing on a dime.  

Let me show you - -
Old Item: This was an old display tray that I've had for at least a decade.  Shortly after I bought it, I got the birthday card currently shown because I thought it was so beautiful.  It spent many years on display, but has spent the last 3 or 4 years in a drawer.  In my personal opinion, it was cute for my place when I was 18...but not anymore. 

New Item: I took scrapbook paper I already owned and replaced the bottom design with something more modern and in color tones that would match the rest of my house.  I already owned the blue vase as well, so I bought the two florals shown for less then $8 and added the bird for a little fun.  I'm so into little "love birds" right now. 

So, tah dah! A resign that is completely new for less than $10!
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Now the next item isn't a complete "do over" but I'll show you what I did...

I needed a picture for my front entry way wall.  Now with the holidays over, it was a bit blank.  I thought this picture was the perfect color for my house and said a perfect little message when entering a home.  The probably was that for some reason the browns areas shown were made of cork board and came with push-pins.  I don't know about you, but I didn't really think this was an office piece.  So again, I took scrapbook paper I already owned and cut and covered the two areas.  This picture was $12 total and is now exactly what I wanted for the space.
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So finally comes the big makeover...
Old Item: My sister-in-law actually gave me this piece when she was moving out of her apartment.  She did not have anymore room in the moving van and asked if I wanted it.  Absolutely!! I really like this piece because of all the nooks and crannies it has.  Its been in our guest room at our place in California, but the color was very bold for the rest of that room's décor.  We have beach, coastal theme for the room, so the black stood out! I thought it would be perfect to paint it Tiffany blue seeing it is a jewelry chest. So that's exactly what I did!


New Item: If you came to this blog from my Facebook page, you've probably seen the final product with all the drawers installed.  I wanted to post these photos so you could see how I did it in case it would be something you may want to try. 
This piece was not real wood, but a laminate finish on top like most build-it-yourself furniture is nowadays.  I did my homework and headed to Home Depot.  I picked out my paint color, sand paper, primer and paint base.  You will notice the middle picture looks gray in color.  The clerk told me to add gray to my primer when changing black.  The gray would help hide the black color better, but that it would also be a good undertone since I was painting in the blue family.  He was right.  It did take me many hours to complete and let dry, but I'm very happy with the final product.  The total cost of this project was $33 for supplies.
I have an old beat up laminate dresser that I was going to sell when we move from our current place.  I think I may refurbish it to white and keep it for another 5-10 years!
Until next time,

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Fitness Motivation

I bought a treadmill on January 1st.  After almost three weeks of shipping, it finally arrived one week ago today.
I know my husband was skeptical about spending money on it seeing I wasn't using my active gym membership at the time.  But I had gone over it in my mind time and time again.  It is what would work for me:
It is currently winter and too dark for me to run alone after work.  Call me crazy, I just don't want to ask for that kind of trouble if I can avoid it.  That and the dogs would go mad if they knew I went running without them.  I honestly can't get a good run in if I'm handling two dogs.  And although the gym was a few blocks away from the house, I found it extremely hard to come home late from work, change, let the dogs out just to throw them back in their kennel so I could leave for another hour or two.  I just wouldn't go.  (Membership has now been canceled btw...and there's always the FREE gym on base!)
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In the months leading up, I bought an at-home workout program, but after two weeks of doing the same moves EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT...I just quit.  And I quit hard. 
The Marine Corp Ball was coming up and I bought a dress with a cutout on the side.  Big mistake.  I THOUGHT I wanted something younger looking and my husband found it to be kind of sexy. I had made a plan to get in shape and imagined how I would look in the dress.  But I had quit and I hated the way I looked in it because all I saw was my failed attempt.  I could see the fold of my skin on the side and just really thought it was a bad decision after all and unbecoming for my age.  I'm sure I'm being too hard on myself...but that's what I started to do.  No help was needed from others, I was doing enough of my own self torture. 
The way I felt about myself after giving up on top of already feeling in inadequate shape for my age, I just did more of nothing.  My husband would work out 2-3 times a day if his schedule permitted while I worked my full time job, made sure the house was clean and that dinner was made.  He made his workouts a priority while I saw them as the optional "if there's enough time."  I was jealous.
I got to the point that every time I would see one of my "fitness active" friends post on Facebook or Instagram, I instantly went to a lower place in my mind.  I thought to myself..."Oh, it must be easy when your already tall and lean." "Oh, its easy when you don't have to work all the time." "Oh, its easy when you come from an active family." NO.  I realized most everyone either worked, had multiple children to care for and other adult responsibilities just like me.  So if they can do it, what's my excuse? That's when I decided that if I really wanted something, I needed to make it a PRIORITY.  Who cares if the house wasn't perfect? There was plenty of spare time I was on the couch watching TV that could be spent running on the treadmill...and maybe even still watching TV!
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I have run on my treadmill everyday for the last week I've had it.  I don't find it burdensome to do, I find it refreshing.  I just turn on my iPod that connects right to the treadmill and dance and sing as I get my cardio in for the day.  After that, I've got enough energy to move right into a little weight lifting and other exercises using my mat on the floor.  Some nights, I can't get enough. 
I wake up in the mornings feeling good and ready to start my day.  It urges me to make healthier food choices and its become very easy to say no to fast food or a nightly alcoholic drink. 
But in addition to changing my way of thinking, I believe its also important to set realistic expectations.  Unless your profession is to be a model, personal trainer, professional body builder, etc., your results will vary from their results. It is their job to train HOURS a day, EVERYDAY and to eat on a very regimented routine.  I feel that social media nowadays communications to women especially, that if they are fat they need to be skinny and if they are already lean they need to be more sculpted.  I find it disturbing because yet again, these major corporations have got you feeling inadequate and they can provide you the solution to all your problems.  Heck, I've fallen for it...but in a healthier way now.
Again, my point is not to get a pity party going here.  I would never go around calling myself fat or seeking sympathy from others.  I simply want to express my own battle and what I finally decided to do about it...I wanted to challenge myself to look and feel better for my own personal self esteem.  Maybe that's my own issue, but what's wrong with wanting to feel better about yourself?  My urge to you is that if you are sitting on the sidelines dreaming about getting in shape one day, just get up and do it.  Life and other plans will not get any easier and the time is now.  Make a plan, buy the basic equipment you need, and keep a log after your workouts and it will keep you interested. 
Good luck and I'll keep you posted as to my progress!
Until next time,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lets Try This Again...

Good Morning!

I think this is the second or third attempt at maintaining a blog since moving away from Texas.  I moved here last March, found a place to rent with Mike, got a job and live it up mostly on the weekends.  Its sometimes hard finding other stuff to talk about when all you do is work and take care of "adult" things like the rest of your network connections.  But here's something that might be different about us...
My husband is currently deployed overseas.  This is our second deployment together;  coming only eleven months after the conclusion of the first deployment.  That's a hard working man right there.  The first deployment had its ups and downs.  Mike and I had just married, but I was still in Dallas.  I had all my friends and family around me, but I think I was just ready for something new and exciting.  There were a lot of tough days simply because I didn't understand the lifestyle.  Heck, some days I still feel like don't really "get it."  

But now, I am planted in the middle of a military town with the beach not far from the house.  I've made a handful of military friends who all know and understand what it is like when the military has to take your significant other away for awhile.  Although I know this deployment will have its moments, I think I have a better insight knowing what to expect. 

Like I've told Mike, I'm turning every little task, chore or thing I want to do into an "event."  Just the other night I went over our finances after hearing some good advice, so it was "Thursday Financial Review and Wine Night."  Call it crazy, but it gives you something to look forward too.  That and I think it helps me to try not to rush through everything that needs to get done, but to work at a steady pace.  I have plenty more events to come...

Until next time,