Two Ways I’m Setting Realistic Fitness Goals in 2018

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Pensacola
on January 22, 2018

Goals. Goals. Goals.

When I sat down to write about my 2018 fitness goals, I knew that I wanted this year to be different. I wanted to stick with my goals and I wanted them to be as simple as possible. Here is what I came up with:

 

I know myself and I know that if I’m going to stick realistic fitness goals, I need to tailor them in a way that fits my lifestyle. My journey so far has already involved a few “wake up calls”. Example: When you overhear a Grandma bragging that she took more steps in a day than you. You’ll have to keep reading for the full story on that…

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Gift Guide for Home

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Home
on December 20, 2017

I hope my readers are doing well and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Rob and I are preparing to travel to my home in Dallas, Texas. I am so excited to be able to spend Christmas with my family and eat my heart out with tex-mex food.

I recently created a last minute gift guide for the home. These gifts are the perfect way to spruce up your home for the coming new year.



1. GOOGLE HOME MINI – Bring the power of a virtual assistant into your home for the new year. I recently partnered Verizon Wireless to demo the Google Home mini. I will be publishing a more detailed post soon about why I LOVE this nifty device so much. Here are some of the ways I have been using it recently:

Reminding me of the weather outside while I get dressed for work.

– Setting alarms for the morning.

– Making calendar appointments.

– Getting the daily news roundup while I drink my coffee before work. 

– Playing soothing music before I fall asleep at night.

I fell asleep last night listening to the comforting crackle of a winter campfire.

 


Have you been on the lookout for a fantastic last minute gift? Head over to your nearest Verizon store today and pick up one of these nifty devices or purchase it online. P.S. It’s on SALE right now for 40% OFF the regular price!

2. WALL CALENDAR – This wall calendar has been the perfect addition to our home and busy lives. I can’t tell you how many times Robert and I would get each other’s schedule mixed up when we first got married. Now it’s incredibly easy to write out every event for the month and have it hanging in a highly visible area. No more confusion! I fell in love with this gold version. And this one comes in a pretty rose color. 

3. LAVENDER & LEMON CANDLE – I am Yankee Candle® obsessed! I’ve tried so many of their scents, but I have to say that my all-time favorite is the lavender & lemon scent. It is the most calming and relaxing scent after a long day of work. I also buy this scent for winter months. 

4. NINJA COFFEE BAR – There is a reason I keep talking about this contraption because it’s simply AMAZING. Are you looking to upgrade your coffee game in 2018? This coffee bar will forever change the way you drink coffee. Think about how much a regular gourmet coffee cost in stores and multiply that by 15 days per month…

I was averaging $2.80 per order which comes out to around $42 per month. Now I buy a big bag of whole bean coffee for $10 at TJ Maxx, grind the beans myself and voila! I have my morning coffee. This coffee bar is perfect for guests as well because you have the option to make a full pot or a simple cup. It’s on SALE right now at Kohl’s. 

5. MAGNOLIA WREATH – Add a bit of Southern Charm to your doorstep in the Spring and Summer of 2018 with a magnolia wreath. I always get stuck with what to place on my door during the non-holiday months and I think this is the perfect compromise. One Kings Lane is an exquisite online market when it comes to home decor. I’m also obsessed with this citrus wreath from OKL as well. 

6. MONOGRAMMED CHAMPAGNE FLUTES – Every home should have a few adorable champagne glasses for entertainment and celebratory purposes. What better time of year to invest in champagne flutes than right before New Year’s Eve? I think the gold polka dot detailing on these are adorable. I also love these if you’re on a budget. 

7. MARBLE VANITY TRAY – Spruce up your bathroom counter with this beautiful marble tray to hold your morning and night necessities. This has been one of my favorite purchases because it’s (1) It is affordable and (2) It is a beautiful way to make base housing look more luxurious.

8. FAMILY RECIPE BOX – If you’re a newlywed, invest in this cute recipe tin! It will make meal planning easier in those first few months. Rob and I love to write down our favorite recipes so that we can pull them out from our tin at a moment’s notice. It’s actually faster than pulling up a recipe on your phone! When you’re meal planning, pull out all of your favorite recipes to include in your weekly rotation. I have this beautiful blue version but I also love the citrus version which is currently in stock on the Anthropologie® website.  

9. ELEPHANT WINE RACK – I love a good wine rack and this adorable rack from another one of my favorite retailers Joss & Main would add a unique touch to any kitchen. I love the wood finishing and how cute are the elephants?! This budget version is more modern but also extremely versatile for any type of kitchen decor.

Have a beautiful holiday season loves! Feel free to follow me over on Instagram and shoot me a direct message to introduce yourself.

Until Next Time.

-S

This blog post was part of a partnership with Verizon Wireless, however, all opinions stated are my own.
This post does contain affiliate links. 

 

Cathy's Concepts Gold Dot Monogram Champagne Flutes Rifle Paper Co. Citrus Floral Recipe Tin Wayfair Victoria 2 Bottle Wine Rack Google Home Mini Gold and Marble Tray - Project 62™ Yankee Candle Lemon Lavender 14.5-oz. Candle Jar U Brands Magnetic Monthly Calendar 16" Magnolia Wreath - White - Winward Silks Ninja Coffee Bar With Glass Carafe
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Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Holiday
on December 7, 2017

 

1. Swell bottle – I seriously love these water bottles. They always keep my water cold no matter where I am in the dreaded Florida humidity. In the winter they’re great to carry around for that much-needed hydration. Swell bottles come in a variety of patterns and colors so it’s easy to choose the one you love. I personally love this one and this one.  

2. Alex and Ani Wonder Woman Wrap Ring – Who doesn’t love Wonder Woman? Seriously, Gal Gadot is such a badass. When it comes to jewelry, I love dainty gold pieces and this one caught my eye in particular. I swear being a military spouse and trying to juggle a career, household and support your husband can make you feel like a wonder woman most days. I can’t even imagine how the working mothers feel! Shop here

3. Fresh Rosewater Toner – I have always struggled with skin issues and I’ve tried almost every product or service on the market. In my early twenties, I had such bad acne that I had to have scalpel scar removal from a top dermatologist in Dallas. This toner is a lifesaver in the winter for my dry skin. It also doubles perfectly as a makeup setting spray. I love this bottle because it’s large and lasts me forever. Rosewater has incredible benefits for your skin such as balancing your PH and providing hydrating antioxidants. Shop here

4. Alex and Ani Arrow Necklace – I’ve always loved arrow designs in jewelry. Maybe my childhood crush on Legolas in Lord of the Rings has something to do with this (hehe). This necklace is adorable and can be paired with almost ANY outfit. Shop here

5. TopShop Millie Coat – I personally own the Meg version of this coat which is very similar. I purchased this beautiful camel coat in New York City at their Topshop flagship store and have been in love ever since. It’s warm, classic, and polished. You can pair it with almost any Fall or Winter outfit. I recently wore mine in Tennessee for a wedding weekend. Shop here

6. Frye Riding Boots – I got my first pair of Frye boots for Christmas about two years ago. Frye boots are the crown jewel of riding boots. The leather is exceptional and they are well worth the price tag for their durability and craftsmanship. Shop here. (These are on sale right now!) 

7. Ivanka Trump Soho Work Tote – If you’re a working woman, then this bag is for you! I searched EVERYWHERE the summer before my internship in Washington, D.C. for a work tote and this one fits ALL of my requirements. It’s a beautiful design and has plenty of room for your things – plus a plethora of pockets! I love the Soho tote because it was designed with working women in mind. Shop here

8. Nike Air Max Thea shoes – Nike hits the mark again with their Theas! These shoes can easily be paired with casual outfits, yet they offer enough support to be workout shoes as well. I will always keep a pair of these in my closet. They come in plenty of colors too. I happen to love pink. Shop here

9. Joy Mangano travel steamer – If you don’t own a travel steamer, buy one NOW. Even my husband uses this nifty gadget for his military uniforms. It’s so easy to pack in a suitcase and just as easy to store in your closet for last minute outfit changes. Shop here. 

10. Essential Oil Diffuser – I’ve started running a diffuser at night on my nightstand and I love the comforting aroma that it provides before I fall asleep. This one is super cute and stylish! Shop here

11. Korres Greek Yoghurt Cleanser – As I mentioned above, I’ve always struggled with finding a good skincare regimen. The winter tends to dry out my skin and this is one of the ONLY cleansers I’ve found that doesn’t make me break out and is gentle enough for sensitive skin. Korres is an exceptional skin care line and well worth investing in. Shop here

12. Ninja Coffee Bar – I saved holy grail for last. This pretty contraption has not only saved my morning sanity but my wallet as well. Are Rob and I Starbucks addicts? Guilty as charged! We were both spending close to $3 or $4 per day on Starbucks until we bought the Ninja coffee bar. Now we can enjoy a cup whenever we please. It’s also perfect for guests because you have the option to make a full pot or a single serve cup. Shop here. (On sale right now!)

Note: I personally own 9 of these 12 items. 

Until Next Time. 

-S

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Take Your Social Media Content to Another Level with an iPhone 8+

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Pensacola
on December 1, 2017

Hello lovelies,  


I hope everyone is enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. You can catch me over here browsing Pinterest and pinning holiday content to my boards nonstop. If we are not Pinterest friends, let’s change that ASAP.

As we enter the heart of “gift-giving” season, I’m reminded once again that I need to make a Christmas list. Clothing and gift cards have always topped my list in years past, however, 2017 will be a bit different. This Christmas, I am listing items that can improve my blog and social media. Improving my blog photography has been on the top of my “to-do” list for quite awhile now. Almost ALL of my photos on social media and the blog are shot on an iPhone because I hate lugging around a bunch of photography equipment. Maybe that is the minimalist in me? I also don’t have the luxury of an “insta-husband” to lug around said photography equipment because mine is most likely studying or flying. #flightschoolrocks

This past month I was given the incredible opportunity to demo and review the iPhone 8+ courtesy of Verizon Wireless. Not only was using this smartphone an incredible experience, I was amazed at the quality of Verizon service compared to my normal service provider. If you’re in the Pensacola area, I HIGHLY recommend switching to Verizon. I absolutely did not want to go back to my old phone and service provider after this demo. I experienced ZERO dropped calls or the dreaded “searching for bars” at inopportune times. Verizon had me SOLD within the first few days.

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Flight School Update: Selection

Posted in Military Life
on October 19, 2017

I decided it was time that I wrote about selection and our personal experience with this process. Although Rob selected quite a few months ago, I hope that this blog at least provides some clarity for anyone confused about how this funny process works. 


What is selection?

It’s a special day after each Navy / Marine Corps student pilot completes primary flight training and finds out which aircraft platform they will be flying for the rest of their career. It always happens on a Thursday and the student naval aviator will need to have completed all primary events in order to select.


The aircraft options for Marines are helicopters, jets, ospreys or C-130s.

The aircraft options for Navy are helicopters, jets, maritime (P8s / P3s), E2/C2 and E6.

Selection is truly a day of mixed emotions for any person connected to a student naval aviator. This day will provide clarification for many regarding the different places they could be living for the next 10+ years. For some, it is looked back on as one of the happiest days of their lives and for others a day they don’t want to re-live again.

The ironic part about selection is that the student has little control over the outcome no matter how well they performed in primary flight training. There are SO many different outcomes for different students:  Continue Reading

The Easiest Pinterest-Inspired Halloween Decoration EVER

Posted in Holiday, Home
on October 17, 2017

Hello friends,

It feels like Fall in Florida today. The weather dropped into the 60s and out came the boots, sweaters and scarves! If you’re anything like me, maybe you are still putting those last minute touches on your holiday decor. So check out this incredibly easy DIY Halloween decor piece to place on your porch. I do not take credit for this idea because I saw it on Pinterest, but I think the rest of the world needs to be informed of this goodness.

Steps:

1. Order some fake black ravens from Amazon.com. If you have Prime they’ll get to you within 2 days! I bought two packs of these because I want to set up two trees with six birds on each. They were very reasonably priced.

2. Take your kids or your dog for a walk around the neighborhood and find some sticks! The sticks should be large and have enough branches to hold the birds.

Well maybe don’t take your dog because they will think the sticks are snacks. LOL

3. Secure the sticks by placing them in between miniature pumpkins or buy some fishing twine to tie to a secure object on your porch.

 

                My watchful dog keeping a close eye on those birds. (hehe)

4. Place the birds on the branches, wrapping the wire tightly around each branch to secure their placement.

Voila! You have your easy raven Halloween decoration.

Until Next Time.

– S

Click here to order from Amazon.com

 

*This blog post contains affiliate links*

Make Your Fall Wreath Halloween-Themed For Under $6

Posted in Holiday, Home
on October 3, 2017

Hello, friends, we’re in October! Can you believe that? This is one of my favorite times of year as I’m sure every basic gal agrees with me. I’ve already found a new way to drink Pumpkin Spice drinks thanks to one of my fellow military spouse friends. Shoutout to Emily Hanisco!

 

Now onto the good stuff! To give you a bit of a background on this – you must first know that I really didn’t grow up celebrating Halloween. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just wasn’t one of the recognized holidays in my family’s house. In fact, by the time I was fifteen years old I felt so deprived of all those years I didn’t go Trick or Treating that my best friend and I went Trick or Treating ourselves…at 15 years old. I remember being SO excited to go that Halloween and I’ll never forget all of the odd looks from parents as they opened their doors to see two teenagers standing there waiting for candy. Some of them refused us but we had a good laugh and created some awesome memories that night.
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Quick Get-Away to Raleigh, North Carolina

Posted in Military Life, Travel
on September 26, 2017

Before my husband started advanced helicopter school, we knew that we wanted to plan a quick get-away somewhere. We toyed with the idea of going to the mountains because that is ultimately where we want to retire, but in the best interests of our wallets, we settled on Raleigh, North Carolina where we could see our family/friends and stay on budget.

When Robert and I were dating, I would visit him during the summers in North Carolina. However, I never got out of my comfort zone and explored the city. The Raleigh-Durham metro area is one of the largest up and coming cities in the continental U.S., so I knew that I wanted to devote some time exploring all that this wonderful place has to offer!

I like to think of Raleigh as the perfect balance between city and suburbs. It wasn’t too big but still had the alluring sounds of city buses on busy streets and commuters bustling to their offices. 

We spent time exploring the city (which I give recommendations for below), but most of our time was spent with family and cultivating those relationships. We sat around Grandma’s kitchen table for hours some nights talking about life and our dreams. My favorite stories are when Robert’s younger brother talks about his employee’s shenanigans during his stint as a manager at the deli Jersey Mike’s. I about died laughing when he talked about the time they caught an employee eating a honey bun in their freezer section during the lunch rush.

Rob walking down the path to his Grandparent’s house.

When we were not with family, we spend some time in Robert’s hometown of Clayton, North Carolina which is 30 minutes from the city. They have an adorable downtown district that is worth visiting if you’re in the area. During our visit, they were hosting the annual Clayton Harvest Festival. Multiple local vendors lined the street to display their goods to the crowds that passed by. I enjoyed the food and loved the gift that my sweet husband purchased for me from local decor shop Bexley House NC. It goes perfectly with my Fall decorations on my front porch as pictured below:

My WELCOME FALL sign that I got from Bexley House!

Rob’s favorite part was talking to a Vietnam war veteran about the Huey he had brought to display. This was exciting for Rob because he could potentially fly an updated version of the Huey in the Marine Corps. Look at his huge smile sitting in that cockpit!

Our puppo Trigger came along for the ride and he did surprisingly very well in the car for our 12-hour trip. It was so nice to be able to bring him to visit our family and friends who don’t mind watching him for hours at a time when we go explore. Robert and I realize how truly blessed we are to have such a well-behaved dog. Pro tip: Spend time training and working with your dog. You will thank yourself later that for spending those often frustrating hours teaching your dog to respect you. The dividends pay off greatly!

This trip was so heart-warming and I’m extremely grateful for these memories that we will have together before Rob gets into the fleet. Fellow mil-spouses, take advantage of the time that you have now because you never know what tomorrow will bring!

 

Here are my recommendations for Raleigh visitors:

SHOP

  • Cameron VillageThis outdoor shopping complex is a must for anyone visiting Raleigh. Cameron Village has a great combination of local and mass retail shops. It also has an upscale feel and is just around the corner from a Fresh Market.

Cameron Village. In front of the Lilly Pulitzer store that I was gaga over!

I’ve linked a few similar items for my Cameron Village outfit in this scrollbar. Ladies, my shoes are an awesome TJ Maxx find and under $25! The ones I am wearing and a caramel version can be found below:

 

  • Crabtree Valley Mall – This mall has an array of every store imaginable from J.Crew to Pottery Barn. One of my favorite restaurants from back home is also attached to this mall – Brio Tuscan Grille.  If you happen to dine there, get their BRIO sliced steak salad and pasta alla vodka! 
  • Trader Joe’s – We didn’t make a pit stop in during here during our trip, but if you’re visiting from the Coastal Area where many of my military friends are stationed – make a stop here to grab some goodies before your trip home!

TO-DO:

  • Visit the Museums – There are incredible FREE museums in downtown Raleigh. The city boasts fantastic history, art and natural science museums. Rob and I opted for the science museum because we’re both love animals and learning about the natural world. Although I did not love seeing a spider the size of a baseball cap in person.

The government buildings located adjacent to the museums. Beautiful landscaping and great views of the downtown hustle and bustle.

  • Take a walk around the historic Yates Mill Pond and don’t forget to bring your camera. I would recommend visiting this spot in the morning or late evening for the best lighting to take photos. There is a shaded trail that surrounds the perimeter of the large pond that is great for taking a romantic walk with your significant other. You’ll catch glimpses of beautiful NC wildlife in its natural state.

Historic Yates Mill

  • Visit the NC State Campus and nearby Pullen Park – The NC State downtown campus is gorgeous and definitely worth visiting. I am so jealous of all the students that get to soak in such a wonderful location to attend college. Nearby is the popular Pullen Park which also serves a great place for a picnic with your loved one or somewhere to take the kiddos on an inexpensive adventure!

EAT (Lunch Spots):

 Chopt Creative Salad Co. in Cameron Village. Ok, this place isn’t local to Raleigh but I used to be a frequent visitor during my lunch break in Washington, D.C. I was pumped to see a store in Raleigh and couldn’t wait to go in an order my trusty Kale Caesar salad.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar – This burger joint will not disappoint! Our family ate here to celebrate Robert’s brother’s birthday and we all thoroughly enjoyed the comfort food. Rob and I opted to make our own buffalo burger with added on sweet potato fries. We tried the potato chips and bacon queso as appetizers. Fantastic choices! This place would be a great restaurant to grab a beer and watch football on Sunday’s if you’re a diehard sports fan. They also have a location in Charlotte.

 

Neomonde Mediterranean – I personally have not been to this spot, but my husband raves about it and says it’s some of the best Middle Eastern / Mediterranean food he has ever tried. I trust him! Plus, it has great ratings on Tripadvisor!

INDULGE:

Duck Donuts – After seeing this donut shop splashed around my social media for months (hehe *splashed*), I knew we had to try them. What makes Duck Donuts so unique is that they are made-to-order. You can tell the donut chefs exactly what glaze and toppings you want on your donut and then watch them make it right in front of you. They are served hot and delicious! My favorite was the oreo donut. 

Sugarland Bake shop – Located in Cameron Village, we stopped here for coffee and a sweet treat after lunch at Chopt. Their coffee was crisp and bold and the cupcakes were heavenly. I ordered a red velvet with cream cheese icing. This bake shop has been featured in numerous publications such as Martha Stewart and Southern Living.

Red Velvet Cupcake and Americano from Sugarland Bake Shop

Insomnia Cookies – I tasted this deliciousness for the first time in New York City and I was excited to see a storefront in downtown Raleigh. If you have a sweet tooth for cookies, check this place out. You can’t go wrong with the classic chocolate chip!

Until Next Time.

 

– S

 

 

What to Put in Your Purse Emergency Kit and the Story of Ripped Pants

Posted in Career, Fashion & Lifestyle
on September 25, 2017

Disclaimer: If you don’t want to read about things like the importance of good underwear and a pack of Midol, then go ahead and skip this post.

From my days working in the great city of Washington, D.C., I very quickly learned the importance of having a killer purse emergency kit. One too many times I would trek into Union Station to find pain reliever and other small necessity items during my lunch break. It was in one of those moments that I decided that something needed to change. Days later, a purse emergency kit became a staple in my work tote.

Why is this important for busy women?
My commute to my internship near Capitol Hill involved a bus and two metro trains for a combined one-hour journey most mornings. If I forgot something, I never had time to run back to my place to retrieve the needed item. Most busy women and mothers don’t have time to turn back if you forget something. I thanked myself a million times over once I started carrying an emergency kit with me. Since this small item has made such a positive impact in my life, I’d like to share how I built my kit with my fellow readers.

Emergency kits are perfect for work totes, larger purses, and even diaper bags. Ladies, you could have on the most killer outfit one day but an unexpected splash of from your latte on white trousers will have you wishing that there was a tide pen handy. Here is what I pack in my purse emergency kit:

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