Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trees for Troops

Several weeks ago I was contacted about Trees for Troops. I'd honestly never heard about this and had no idea what it was about, but I think it's a worthy cause and wanted to pass along the word to you guys.

Here is a little about Trees for Troops:

"Trees for Troops helps to make the holidays a little brighter for military families - especially those who are far away from their families. The gift of real Christmas trees bring a touch of home to those who sacrifice in order to preserve our freedom. The trees serve as a token of love and appreciation... Many tell us that the gift of a tree frees up a few dollars to be used on gifts, a nice holiday meal or gas money to go visit family."

The trees are delivered for free by FedEx, and will be given out to thousands of military families at bases all over the country during the holiday season. The Pepsi funding would allow them to reach an additional 5,000 families this year, but we need more votes! Voting for the Pepsi funding ends September 30th, but donations will of course be accepted for the rest of the year."

Please take a few minutes to visit this website and vote and spread the word about Trees for Troops!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's for Dinner?

What's on your dinner list this week?

We're trying to stretch our money until payday, which is thankfully tomorrow, so I tried to find cheap recipes for this week.

Sunday and Monday we had taco soup, which is one of Sean's favorites. I like it because it's super easy to make. Find the recipe here. I've been adding hamburger meat and rice to it, but otherwise I make it the same.

Yesterday I made shredded chicken in the Crock-pot and wound up with some homemade broth to boot. I use Gina's recipe for it over at Find it here.
I used part of the chicken yesterday for my favorite chicken salad recipe EVER. It's addictive, I'm not kidding. Here is the recipe.

Tonight I'm using whole wheat tortillas to make chicken and rice burritos with homemade guacamole. Should be delish!

Next week I'm going to attempt pumpkin chili. I'm eager to see how that turns out.

Share your recipes! I'm always looking for new ones!

Oh and thanks to everyone who's already entered my 8x10 print giveaway! If you haven't entered yet, check the post before this and get your name on the list.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Etsy Shop and a Giveaway!

For the past year I've been saying I was going to open an Etsy shop and I'm pleased to announce that I finally have.

In celebration of the grand opening I'm doing a giveaway for my readers on here.

My shop is called Around the World in 80 Frames (although I had to shorten it to aroundin80frames). You can find my shop on Etsy here.

You can buy the prints I have listed as is, or I'll customize them to the size and apperance you would like. Also, if you don't see a print you want, but have seen something on my blog, Flick or Facebook that you would like, then let me know and I'll order it for you. I can also do notecards if you'd prefer those. Keep checking my store in the upcoming weeks, as I'll be adding new prints to the shop.

Here are just a couple of examples of what is in my shop:

I'm giving away one 8x10 print of your choice and you can customize it however you like. For one entry, leave a comment, for two entries, blog about the giveaway on your blog and then let me know that you did. Entries close on Sunday the 3rd at 12:00(CST) and I'll announce the winner on Monday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snapshot Saturday: Santorini

It's been awhile since I posted an installment in our cruise vacation from this summer, so I thought it was time I posted about Santorini.

Santorini was the third stop on our cruise and my favorite. Eight hours there was not enough, I'd love to go back and spend a few days just relaxing on the island. The town we ended up going to on Santorini was Fira. There are 3 ways up to the top of Fira where the actual town is at. Donkey, cable car or you can walk up a million steps. I chose the cable car. Call me lazy!

I'm a huge fan of the white buildings on Santorini. They really make everything around them "pop".

I loved this bar sign, so naturally I took a picture.

These gates looked out on a spectacular view of the harbor. You can't see it, but I loved the gates just as much.

This is one of my favorite pictures I took on the vacation. Unfortunately the ISO was set high by accident and there is a lot of noise in it. Otherwise, I love it!

Looking back at the town of Fira.

This is on the far side of Fira, looking at one of the churches.

This is what I think of when I think of Santorini. I walked all the way to the far side of Fira just to get pictures of these.

And this:

Looking down at the ships in the harbor.

I didn't take a shore excursion here, my main focus was just to go around and take pictures of the island. Actually, that was my main objective on all the stops on our cruise. Plus shore excursions are expensive and...I'm pretty cheap.

Next up in the installment: Corfu, Greece.

Friday, September 24, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Join in over at Wife of a Sailor!

1.What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse?
I used to be really shy and honestly I sometimes still am, but being a military spouse kind of throws you out there and you either sink or swim at being social. I like to think I've been swimming when it comes to that.

2.What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love to travel so much that I could never pick just one place. I loved London, I loved Slovenia, I loved Cinque Terre. The list goes on and on!

3.If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick?
I'm going to go with Wife of a Sailor and pick Qdoba. I LOVE that place and wish we had one so bad!

4.Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Um...we really didn't have one. We PCS'd to Louisiana, so I guess that could be my pretend honeymoon.

5.If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why?
I'd be a travel photographer, going around the world traveling on someone else's dime and just taking pictures and enjoying life all around the world.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brief Hiatus

I'm taking a brief blogging hiatus this week, as I'm in Germany with Sean.

Be back soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My First 5K

Today was my first 5K and it started off with a bang.

For starters, it had been raining off and on since last night and it was not letting up this morning at all. In fact, when the race started it was pouring and it continued to pour throughout the race.

I had only intented to run for as long as I possibly could. In fact, on my Couch to 5K plan, I was only up to running for 20 minutes straight and I didn't think there was any way I was going to be able to run the whole 5K since I hadn't ever run that far in my life.

I honestly think what helped is that there were two girls running next to me for pretty much the entire race and I didn't want to fall behind them. One of them just happened to be a fellow mil-spouse blogger that I reguarly read, but I've never actually "met" in person.

I ended up running the entire race, but I'm not sure my time. I started my watch at the starting line, but forgot to stop it when I crossed the finish line. My guesstimate is about 35 minutes, which isn't too bad for me.

I'll admit it, I cried a little in my car after the race, just because I was so happy to have done better than I expected and to accomplish a goal I've had for a long time.

I'm excited to run my next 5K!

Friday, September 17, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Join in over at Wife of a Sailor!

1.How do you spend your deployment money, do you save, pay off bills or enjoy the extra money while it is there to buy the things you do not normally have?
Well, this was our first deployment, and as you know Sean ended up being gone only six months. We actually did save a good chunk of it though, but we do use some of it on traveling as well.

2.If you could relive one occasion or moment, what would it be?
Hmm..toughie. I know a lot of people say wedding and although that was a good day, I'd already been married for Sean five months by the time our wedding ceremony rolled around, so I'm going to say the first day we ever spent together.

3.What’s the worst job you ever had and if it was so bad why did you take it?
I worked in the bakery at Sirloin Stockade. I only had the job for about three months before I got sick with mono and quit. It was an AWFUL job. I always smelled like food, the hours sucked and I just hate working in a restaurant, but I was a desperate college student who needed money for rent, so I took the job.

4.If you could play any character on TV, who would you be?
Carrie Bradshaw. She had a crappy love life, but she had great shoes, friends and a rent-controlled apartment in NYC. What's not to like?

5.If you could become the world’s expert in something, what would it be?
Languages. I wish I knew a ton of languages, but I only know English and a smattering of Spanish and Italian.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ch-ch-ch Changes!

To my hair that is.

I have long hair. It hasn't been highlighted since April because I don't trust the Italians with my hair. (No offense to any Italians out there)

I want it cut and highlighted and I'm a teensy bit tired of having long hair. So I want to mix it up. Plus, my hair grows really fast so I figure if I don't like it, I'm not stuck with it for long.

I like both of these styles:

The only thing I'd add to the second picture is a little less bang and a little more length.

However, I don't know my face shape and I have NO idea what hairstyles look good on me. So, I'm taking a picture of my face for you guys to help me out.

Ok, here's the pic I took like 5 minutes ago, please excuse my unkempt hair and crazy eyes. Yes, I put the pic in black and white because I have no make-up on. Don't judge.

Any guesses on face shape?

Yay or nay on the haircut? Suggestions?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Fashion

It's a cool day here in Italy and that makes me think of fall...and fall clothes. So I've done a little browsing today and found some cute things.

I found all of these at Old Navy.

They had these adorable sweaters last year at Old Navy and I missed out on buying one, so I'm thinking I have to get one this year. I love the color of this!

I like this top because it's a boatneck and I don't see those too often, plus this shirt comes in a ton of different colors, so it's easy to pick up one or several!

I'm obsessed with shirts like this. I think they look so comfy and casual and are the perfect shirt to pair with jeans.

I think this hobo bag is so perfect for fall!

This is my favorite item I've found today. I love this color of green and I love the style of the coat.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

As God As My Witness..

I seriously feel like this today:

I'm tired of washing dishes. By hand. Save me the bit about how people in the olden days never had dishwashers or running water inside. We do nowadays and I'm tired of washing an endless amount of dishes by hand.

There's also a lot of drama going on in my circle of friends right now. I know, I know, Army wife drama? So unheard of right? It's just frustrating and stupid and reminds me sometimes of why I don't always like being friends with women.

In good news though, some of the girls and I are considering a trip to Salzburg in October. I admit it, the big draw for me is taking a Sound of Music tour around town. I'm a geek I know, I've embraced this a long time ago.

The only other exciting happenings this week are that my car is finally, somewhat fixed and I get to pick it up AND my first 5K is this Saturday. To say I'm nervous is an understatement.

Friday, September 10, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Join in over at Wife of a Sailor!

1.Do you set goals for yourself during deployment? What are some of them?
I do, in fact I had a whole list somewhere on my blog. My main goals were to learn how to sew, work out 5 days a week,finish my college scrapbook, run a 5K and read 50 books. I've accomplished or nearly accomplished a lot that was on my list. I've still been working on it even though Sean got sent home early from this deployment.

2.What would you say to someone dating a military guy or gal?
If you are a planner or very Type A, you'll never survive military life until you learn how to adapt to change. Find out if they are career or if they are getting out in a few year. I've heard of endless problems where the spouse decides to do career and upsets the non-military spouse.

3.If you have children, how do you prepare them to move to a new place?
I have no children, so I'm obviously going to skip this!

4.Name one hobby that gets you through alone time.
Reading, photography and editing, blogging. Four instead of one. I couldn't help myself.

5.What’s the one food you don’t ever get tired of?
Can I just be generic and say Mexican food? I miss it SO much living in Italy.
There's only so much pasta a girl can eat.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Are You Reading?

I always like to do these posts just to see what everyone out there is reading and to get some good suggestions to add to my list.

Currently I am working on these:

What are you reading?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In the Past 24 Hours

I found out I have one wisdom tooth coming in where I had a molar pulled last year. This explains the pain I've had chewing on that side lately. I just find it odd because I'm older (27) and the dentist told me last year my wisdom teeth were so far up he'd be surprised if they ever came in.

I got a package from my dear friend Kebi. In it were: canned peaches, peach jam, peach butter,a jar of homemade salsa, the soundtrack from Glee and her recipe for peach cobbler. (Which I am so making this weekend) Kebi is such a sweet girl, she always makes the best care packages and I'm very proud to call her my friend.

Got some news that means we probably won't be going back to Oklahoma for Christmas this year. I kind of expected it, just because we weren't sure if Sean would be getting block leave or not since he redeployed in June, but he's told me they are sending him to a school that is the entire month of December so that nixes any travel for us. I'll admit it, I'm sad. My cousin is also getting married around that time and I wanted to be home for that. It's times like these that the Army life is a little difficult.

Finished another Patricia Cornwell book. I'm a little late to her Kay Scarpetta series, but I've been reading them for about a month and I am hooked.

Listened to some kid in our apartment complex play his drums non-stop. Really? You buy your kid a drum-set when you live in an apartment complex? Explain that logic to me please.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Question of the Day

My question of the day stems from this recent article

Ok, let me just say that generally I have no issue with people who have a lot of children, it's their choice and as long as they can support their children and provide for them, then I don't have an issue.

I do however have an issue with the Duggars. After this last child being born early, with several health problems and being in the hospital for six months, I cannot comprehend trying to have another child.

When you put children at risk for complications, birth defects or lasting health problems than I have an issue with you and you continuing to try to have children. I think it's selfish and irresponsible.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

London In Pictures!

I've been editing up a storm since I got home from London and I'm still nowhere close to being done with all my pictures, but I wanted to share some of my favorites from the trip with you. Perhaps sometime in the near future I'll do another photos post.

Most important thing to remember: Mind the Gap

This was at the Tower of London, in the building that houses the Crown Jewels. They don't let you take pictures of the crown jewels, but they are amazing. I've never seen so much gold, jewels and huge diamonds in my life.

A view of the Tower Bridge in London. Many people call it the London Bridge, but it's not. The London Bridge is actually very boring looking.

Typical London sight: The double-decker bus

This is St. Paul's Cathedral. Diana and Charles got married here.

The London Eye

Big Ben

Another angle of Big Ben. I loved taking pictures of the clock tower.

Back view of Buckingham Palace. We toured the staterooms, as the Queen only opens them in August-September, while she is in Scotland. It was amazing to see the inside of the palace. I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.

There was a Carnival in Notting Hill the weekend we were there. Basically it's like Carnevale in Rio. There is caribbean food, dancers, parades, everything. It's really, really interesting. This was one of the girls in the parade.

The Rosetta Stone. It's located in the British Museum, which is one of the best museums I've ever been in. I spent about 2 hours there and could have easily spent 3 more days just looking at everything. We mainly concentrated on the Egyptian section with a little Greek and Americas exhibits thrown in.