Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Care Package: Valentine's Day Edition

I realize it's way past Valentine's day now, but I wanted to start documenting some of my care packages that I have sent over to KC. I absolutely LOVE making care packages for him. It's my way of showing him that I'm thinking about him and that he is loved. I always ask KC before I send a package if there is anything he wants me to put in it. He never gives any suggestions so I end up stocking it full of junk food/baked goods for the most part. At least he works out all the time so it balances itself out ;-)

My favorite care package that I have sent to him thus far is his Valentine's Day package so I figure that would be a good one to start with on my blog.

I used scrapbook sheets to line the bottom and the flaps of the box. I then glued foam convo hearts onto the scrapbook page that lined the bottom of the box. I printed out pictures of myself and KC to add to the flaps. That way when he got the package he could take the pictures off and keep them with him. Michael's Craft Store had the cutest decorations and that's where all these came from. Michael's even has a military pack of stickers which I purchased along with the Valentine's decor. The box was so shiny when you opened it, that I was hoping for a wow factor on his end when he received it :-)
Instead of using kisses, use dove hearts! Too bad when I vacuumed packed them the hearts turned into blobs. Wahh wahh

I filled his package with the following things:
-Shortbread cookies
-PB dove heart cookies
-Pretzel kiss M&M melts
-Coffee beans
-A long sleeve henley shirt from the gap
-Paper Soaps from Pier1 (compact tiny sheets of soap that you work up a lather using water..BRILLIANT for deployed soldiers)
-Love coupons for when he returns ;-)

 I had that box so crammed full of stuff that it hardly shut! 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Productivity

Happy Monday! As usual, the beginning of the week has come too fast. I was really enjoying my weekend so I was sad to go to bed last night :-/

Friday I went out for National Margarita Day (everyone knows about this holiday, right?!), and it worked perfectly because there is a Mexican place in my 'hood that the roommate and I haven't tried yet. A few margaritas later we decided to go out. I don't know why we thought it would be a good idea to hit The Ave, where all the UW college kids hang, but we did. Everyone around us seemed to be 21 or 22. At about 12:30 I was ready to go home and go to bed. When you become an adult and have a full time job it makes it SO hard to go out on Friday nights. I'm cool with sitting at home, drinking red wine, and catching up on my blog reading. I'm old. I know.

Saturday and Sunday was spent relaxing and cleaning. Since I was gone last weekend I really wanted to stay close to home and get my meal planning, and cardio back on track. I also cleaned. For me to feel completely sane and balanced I have to: 1. Have a clean house 2. Have food in my fridge and a plan for said food 3. Get a workout in. This weekend I got all three of those things in, therefore I feel balanced, and that feels amazing.

Sauteing veggies for my breakfast casserole

My main hang buddy this weekend :-)

I tried out two new recipes. A breakfast casserole that will last me the whole week, and a pizza with the crust made of cauliflower! Both turned out awesome!

Linking up with Sami @Sami'sShenanigans

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

A long weekend in San Francisco

Since last weekend was a long one, my friend Kitty (nickname, obvs) suggested that we go down to San Francisco for it a few months back. I hadn't been to San Fran since I was in middle school, and I like having trips to look forward to during this deployment so I thought it would be the perfect getaway. My friend L (who visited Seattle in December) expressed interest in going to San Fran, so I invited her to join us.

Us three ladies on the evening of our arrival to San Francisco
 We flew down on Friday evening, and hopped in this bad boy the next morning and cruised up to wine country to get our vino on.

Cruising up the 101 in a convertible Mustang is the way to do it, folks. There was some really good sights, and the driving was nice and easy once you get out of the hub bub of San Francisco, but not before passing over the massive Golden Gate Bridge. It's one of those landmarks that seems way bigger than you would imagine.

Our ending destination was Hopland, CA. This small town used to be known for it's cultivation of hops for beer. However, a natural mold started spreading among the hops and it wiped them all out. The town ended up just throwing in the towel on the hop growing and switched to wine. The 101 goes right through the little town and it is FULL of tasting rooms and lots of wineries are sprinkled near by as well. I drink a decent amount of wine, specifically red, and this small little town has some of the BEST wine I have ever tasted. On top of the deliciousness of the wine-it's SUPER cheap to purchase bottles. I think the most I paid for a bottle was under $20.

All our wine bottles purchased

My little brother lives in Northern California so he met up with us for wine 'drankin. He hasn't done wine tasting since he moved to California so I was glad he was able to join us. The little broski and I have gotten closer in the last few years so I had a really good time hanging out with him. I believe we made it to four tasting rooms which all (but one) gave free tastings. They were not stingy one bit either! You were always able to try all the wines you were interested in. I think the great part about Mendocino county is that it isn't as well known as Napa or Sonoma Valley is. Therefore you get less people, and better pricing on wine. I definitely could have spent another day or two there checking out all the wineries near by.

After all the wine, we grabbed some delicious pizza and Italian food, fireside, at a restaurant located just steps from where we had been hanging out for the past few hours. We had an early night. Drinking wine all afternoon is always so tiring so we made our way back to the hotel. It was decided that we would get up the next morning, grab breakfast in town, have a champagne tasting, and then drive back south to San Francisco.

 Next up is part two of San Francisco weekend...

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Nail Files!

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 HAPPY FRIDAY!! Here's to another week of Nail files sharing :-)
This week I chose HOT BABE shellac with some sparkles on my ring fingers. The lady who did my nails told me that this is method is becoming more and more popular. She told me it's probably because girls want the sparkle on their finger so it lets their boyfriend no they want to get a big 'ol diamond ring from them. My nail salon always makes me chuckle.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birch Box Brag

 **For some reason I can't get the button to work!!**
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 I signed up for a subscription to Birchbox a few months back but have yet to be able to brag about it on my blog. So far I have enjoyed receiving the little packages of goodies in the mail. My first months box I was really excited about, and felt that I could use almost everything in it. This months box wasn't too bad either I just haven't had the chance to try out most of the products because I flew off on vacation a day or two after I collected it from my mailbox.
Here's what I got this month: (Descriptions taken from the card that was included in the box)

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm
From the brand that brought BB creams to the U.S. this gold-standard formulation has mineral SPF 25 and a satiny, matte finish.

Curly Hair Solutions-RevUp Volumist
Flat, lifeless locks will never be in Vogue. Add this fast-acting conditioner to your shower caddy to give limp curls body and definition.

Juicy Couture-Couture La Lab
Roll out the red carpet for this new scent, a stunning mix of mandarin, red currant, lily, and orange blossom.

theBalm cosmetics-Mary-Lou Manizer
Play up your best features with this three in one highlighter, shadow, and all over shimmer.

A treat from Ghiradelli: You deserve a little sweetness. Try Ghiradelli's milk and caramel square solo or experiment-s'mores or baked into a cookie. Who says you can't riff on decadence?

I thought that this box was pretty good. I LOVE the shimmer from theBalm cosmetics. It's a great highlighting shadow, and I'm always looking for the perfect highlighter when doing eye makeup. I tried the beauty balm once and like the fact that it's tinted and doesn't feel heavy. Anytime a product contains SPF it gets points from this pale skinned red head :-) Jury is still out on whether or not I like the Juicy perfume. I own the original scent, but haven't liked the scents that have been created since. I probably won't use the RevUp! product all that often because I curl my hair like three times a year. I LOVE chocolate (and visited Ghiradelli square this weekend) so of course it was exciting to see a yummy chocolate and caramel square included in my box.

What was your favorite product from this month's box?

Thanks for a fun link up Tara, and Katie!

  Tomorrow entails my weekend recap: wine country and San Francisco!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Pinspiration Project: CAKE IN A JAR

Hello! How about this new blog design?! What do you think? I am really digging it! It is more appealing and put together than that whole "blog design" (I use quotes because let's face it, that wasn't a blog design) I attempted to use a few months back. Like I said previously, Fortune Favors the Brave has a slammin good deal on blog design. She did this whole thing, along with some buttons, for $20! I told her what I wanted and she created it. Even when I complained that the title font color wasn't "minty" enough, she said no problem and fixed it until it was juuuust right. Check her out!

Moving along..

I started thinking about KC's birthday a couple of weeks ago, because I needed to figure out what to send him for his birthday in Afghanistan. KC hates when you mention his birthday. I haven't been able to figure out why, but it's just something he's not stoked on. Doesn't mean I'm not going to be stoked on it :-) Last year we went to this wonderful restaurant in Seattle called The Purple Cafe . They have a great atmosphere. Dark and modern with an amazing spiral staircase that wraps around a circular wine cellar. We had a great bottle of red wine, and yummy food. I made KC a cake and we had that when we got home from dinner. He never had a birthday cake baked for him. I couldn't even believe it. He was so excited for the one I baked up. We even turned down free birthday dessert at Purple so that we could enjoy my Martha Stewart cake.
When I got to thinking about what to send him this year, I knew I wanted it to be cake. For his whole team. I had NO idea how I would even accomplish this though. You can't just send a cake to Afghanistan and expect it to be edible by the time it arrives two weeks later. I scoured the internet and of course Pinterest saved the day. CAKE IN A JAR.

After the cakes were baked and cooled
This is a SUPER easy baking project to take on. No complicated cake recipe. 
1.You literally take a box cake (of your choosing) preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2.Whip it up according to the instructions (a few eggs, some oil),
3.Pour the batter into your mason jars to fill them up about half full.
4.Slide your jars into the oven and leave them there for 30-35 minutes until a tooth pick (you may want to use a wood skewer stick like I did) comes out clean.
When your cakes are almost done boil up some water and throw your mason jar lids in the boiling water. As the cakes are completed, take one jar out at a time and place a lid on it, then screw the outer ring on.When the cakes are all cooled off the lid shouldn't flex when you put pressure on it with your finger. That's when you know it's sealed and good to go!
This is the cake in a jar 1.5 weeks after it was baked and sealed. I wanted to do a test run before I sent a dozen or so jars to Afghanistan. I would feel horrible if they were all gross and moldy when they opened them! I taste tested them and they were pretty good. A little dry at first, but when you get in deeper it gets better. Especially when you put frosting on them. Definitely military care package approved. I'll get the official seal of approval in a couple weeks (fingers crossed) when they reach the soldiers.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Nail Files!

Happy Friday, everyone! I don't know about you but this week seemed to draaaaag on. I'm so happy the weekend is almost upon us!

This is called SMOKY PLUM. I got this Shellac done earlier this week (hence the bit of grow out! boo) at my usual salon, and I didn't get too much flack for not seeing her in forever! I'm also getting better at taking clear pics, probs because I stopped using my phone to take them :-)

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and I hope that next time I do Nail Files I will have a brand new layout to go with it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Changes are a 'comin!

I am really excited because I am in the process of getting a whole new blog design going on here! In the few months that I have been blogging I have noticed that blog appeal is huge. I tend to find myself more drawn to blogs that are pretty and well put together. Also, the blog designer I'm working with is giving a steal of a deal with her designs, and I decided I needed to snatch up her services while she's still such a bargain!

More to follow....


Monday, February 4, 2013

We Wait. We Hope. We Pray.

 Until you're home again.

I was very touched by the Jeep/USO/Oprah super bowl commercial yesterday. It was incredibly unexpected during an event that always tries to out do all other companies in how ridiculous and funny their commercials are. I think what was most touching about it was the fact that it is all so true. All those things that Oprah said, we military folks experience on a daily basis. The every day civilian doesn't understand the pain the we endure on a daily basis, and the strength that we gain from sending our loved ones to the war.
 "Because when you're home we're more than a family, we are a nation that is whole, again."
It has been noted that the US has all but forgotten about the war in Afghanistan, and this commercial is a reminder to those who have forgotten. We are still fighting. We are still sending soldiers to harms way. We are still waiting, hoping, and praying that our soldier will return to us once again. That the end is in sight. We can hardly wait until the troops are pulled, and our nation can start to heal the wounds that have injured our hearts, minds, and bodies for the last decade.

The end is in sight for my soldier. Reaching the double digits was a huge milestone. However, we still have time left, and so I will continue to wait, hope, and pray. Every single day. He will have a favorite meal, and a warm bed waiting for him when he touches back down on US soil.