Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Week four of the 31 day shopping ban.

The last week of no shopping. Here is what I put together. I wish I had a few more pics and more to write. But I am down with this awful bug. My throat is so tore up. I hope the doctor is feeling kind today and prescribes me penicillin. I haven't felt this horrible with a sore throat since I was a kid. It gives me great empathy for my kiddos! I'll be back next week with my followup. Hope you are all enjoying a nice healthy week! Don't take it for granted. If you are down and out, I'm sorry for you. I hope you have some chicken noodle soup within arms reach.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Maybe you've noticed, every once in awhile I post a blogger blate with my milspouse blogger friends. The group is made up of local San Diego area military spouse bloggers. I promise they are just the best bunch of gals. We have all committed to meeting together (nearly) monthly. When I say committed I mean with every ounce of truth. What began as a small group of five has now grown to a group of 11. We all come together with the same energy as the first time. A greater ease with each passing month. I really want to share all the details of our Sunday afternoon blate; however, I putting it off for another day. Right now, I want to share new photos taken (yesterday) by Jes of Bleu Dress Jes. She is such a pro with her camera. You will be seeing these on my sidebar soon... time to update the blogger profile!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Harveston Lake {Temecula}

One thing I miss about living on Camp Pendleton is being so close to nature. Having spent 12 years on Camp Pendleton we lived in nearly every housing area on the south and main side of base. When we lived on the south side, we had the ocean just a mile down the road. There is no negative to having the ocean at your finger tips. When we lived on main side, we had Lake O'Neill in our backyard. We had the best view from our patio. Most weekends started with a hike or bike ride around the trails. I miss that. We most definitely don't have nature in our neighborhood now. We have sidewalks and houses. Not my favorite thing to look at when I'm out walking. Sure we have trails within driving distance but sometimes it's nice to have something nearby and not have to pay for parking.

My husband starts to feel the same way. He starts getting restless for some type of nature. He found this nearby "lake" in the middle of a neighborhood. When I say lake, I mean pond, but Californians are going to call it a lake. What can you do? It's man-made and surrounded by houses. The California way... plow over nature, build houses, make new "nature".  Beggars can't be choosers. It's as close to nature as we are going to get this side of the interstate without paying for it.

We visited Lake Harveston last summer when we took the kids fishing. Would you expect the lake to be stocked with fish? Blue gill, I think. Catch and release. The kids loved it. However, this time we went to walk. Scooters for the boys. We took one lap around the lake and managed to (sorta) crash a wedding. Chase some birds. Tumble off the scooters. We voted against a second lap, for the bride and groom's sake. I can imagine that wedding video with my two hooligans blazing around on their scooters in the background. Classy.

We left instead. But now we have a nearby "nature" walk when we feel like getting out and about.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

California Science Museum {Los Angeles}

As much as I research new things to explore in Southern California, I had never came across the California Science Museum. Being stationed at Camp Pendleton for so long, I thought I knew everything this area had to offer. I actually stumbled across this family friendly outing through Jenny's blog, Creatively Blooming. The thing that most caught my attention about this museum was the space ship on display. I was determined to cross See A Real Life Space Ship off my bucket list. *Not really sure it was on the list but I still wanted to see it.

Yes, I am a nerd. I really am. Things like space ships make me happy. And clap-your-hands excited. I've never seen a space ship before. Have you? I mean really, when do you get a chance? Unless you live in Texas or Florida, they aren't just parked around every corner! May I add the Endeavor did not disappoint. It's pretty amazing to see the whole thing up close and personal. We even got to touch all the materials that made up the body of the shuttle. Most of the stuff feels like housing insulation or packing materials. There is such a small percentage of the body made of actual metal. Which I guess makes sense but doesn't seem very durable when entering the atmosphere and such.

Whatever, the shuttle is made up of, it works. Who am I to say it doesn't make sense? I am not even a small percentage smart enough to begin to fathom how all that space stuff operates! No need though. I saw a space ship. In my book, that is like one step below an astronaut.

The museum is so much more than a space shuttle. Three floors of hands-on exhibits for kids. We rushed through a bit. We even skipped some exhibits. We were still there half of the day. There are IMAX movies and pay-per-play things, like climbing walls and hurricane simulators. Fun kid stuff. The museum itself is free which is pretty cool. There is a Natural History Museum next door which we didn't have time to check out and a big park across the street. The museums are located on the USC campus which is another place you could spend time exploring. I couldn't convince my family of how exciting walking around a college campus with your parents would be. Maybe when they are older?

My middle one loves science. He checks out every exhibit and figures out how it works. He actually gets it too. He is such a smarty. Just like his dad. Engineering minds. I just go around standing in front of the stuff that has big fans and let it whip my hair around. 

My daughter who is also very smart is more into the life sciences. Which works at this particular museum because she steals my camera and takes 142 pictures of rodents and reptiles. My favorite. I wonder what does one do with 142 pictures of mice and rodents?

Then there is the baby. Yes, he is smart but he doesn't care about science. He just wants to climb on stuff and touch everything. Even the untouchables. Grr. So he finds a nice dirty gritty rock outside and rubs every inch of bare skin on it. Just for good measure. He has a very healthy immune system.

Back to the museum, California Science Museum gets a triple stamp of approval!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Week 3 of my month long shopping ban is complete. My busy week left no time for shopping. Or wanting to shop. I am slowly making my way through my closet and find it more difficult to not repeat outfits. The no repeat rule is part of the challenge so I'm trying my best to keep to it.

Here are my outfits of the week.

One more week of styling the closet. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When It's Quiet Around Here

Hello all! I'm popping in for the simple fact that it has been awhile. I haven't felt life blog worthy these days. Life has been busy. Work mostly. Now that we have kids and staff at our site my workload increased. I like my job. It's a good fit. I'm still learning my responsibilities. Mostly about how to lead others and adapt to different learning styles. To stop assuming people know things and communicate expectations clearly. And always always have a backup saved on the computer. This week I've had to learn some tough lessons. I'm thankful for a three day weekend. Just what I need to regroup and start a new week re-energized!

My personal life seems to keep a similar pace. I still haven't figured out the artful balance of work and family. Maybe I will always struggle. I am not feeling quite adequate when it comes to homelife Monday through Thursday. I'm always questioning if dinner is making it to the table quick enough? Is each child getting equal mommy time every night? Am I still fulfilling my daughter duties by checking in? My friend duties by connecting every now and then? I'm trying to keep everything in perspective and not get too down on myself. I'm just hoping one of these days everything will just flow smoothly.

This week has been a mix of positive and negative emotions. My daughter had a particular rough week. She hasn't quite felt like she has found a group of girls she has connected with since our move. I knew she was struggling but I thought things had gotten better. She doesn't really have anyone she spends time out of school with which is a big difference from living on base. The girl has only really known base life surrounded by similar aged kids at any given time. I guess that is the luxury of base living, you  ensure a community of families with children. Tuesday night she got a little sad which in turn made me feel terrible. We made a plan to invite her group of school friends out for a girls day.

They went skating on Saturday. The biggest surprise was talking to a couple of the girls' moms and finding out their daughters had been feeling the exact same as Kyli. New to the community, missing old friends, and not feeling connected with anyone at the new school. I think it made Kyli feel better knowing what she was feeling was shared. I get so fooled by her independence these days. However I think she still needs her mom.

I also put on my big sister hat this week. The hat I wear when I'm giving the best advice I can summon for the particular situation. My little sister is dealing with a breakup. How can your heart not go out to someone in that situation? I think the majority of humans have dealt with a heartbreak or two. It takes me back to my own breakup first year of college and all the great advice I received but didn't know it was great advice. My sister asked me, "How do I get past this feeling of being so sad?" My best advice, Just Keep Swimming. I credit my life as a military wife for that life lesson. Life isn't always easy. Giving up isn't an option. The only thing that works is to keep moving forward no matter how slow going it is. I hate heartbreak. I wish I had the magic words that makes everything better. Does anyone know what they are???

By Friday things lightened up, I went to my first Origami Owl party. It was a much needed night spent with new friends. Saturday was Kyli's skating outing. Saturday night we celebrated the big 4-0 of a friend. Sunday was game day. I managed to slip out for a few hours to catch up with a friend. A friend who is welcoming her husband home today from Afghanistan!! Hurray! Sunday night we decided to go to dinner at a sports bar. A first for our family. We watched the 49ers and Seahawks battle it out with a loud crowd. Our kids thought it was the coolest thing when everyone would hoop and holler at every play.

Now you know why it has been quiet around here. No great adventures. Just life. Today we are venturing out to the California Science Center. I'll be sure to share pictures soon.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Another week sticking to my shopping ban. After wearing my favorites, my wardrobe is beginning to dwindle. I hope my creativity kicks in next week. I will admit I'm ready to shop! I will never know why I choose to not shop in January. My email inbox is blowing up with sale notices. Yet I stick to my goal. This is determination at its finest!

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tenaga Trailhead Hike

Here is another Southern California family friendly hike. We are always looking for quick hikes around  the area. We did so much hiking in San Diego and Orange County when we lived on Camp Pendleton. Riverside County and East San Diego County are new territory for us. The land seems so boring around here. We are finding it's all trial and error when it comes to trails around South Riverside County. Tenaga Trailhead and Falls is one of our latest hikes. This trail is tucked away on the outskirts of Temecula. I can't say the trail is one of our favorites but it was worth a morning to explore. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Not the greatest views but it's a great representation of what the area is like. Lots of desert plants.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Today completes my first week of the Fashion 30. My self inflicted shopping hiatus. For 30 days I am requiring myself to shop the closet, avoid the sales, and get creative restyling what I already own. Not too complicated when I avoid the mall. Sunday we were at the movie at the mall theater. The girls saw Frozen (loved it!) and the boys saw a Hobbit sequel. We were out before the boys with an hour to spare. Nothing else to do but window shop. Luckily I had my daughter who acts like the angel on my shoulder. You aren't made of money is what she likes to tell me. Which is what I tell her when she is begging for a $50 cat sweatshirt at Abercrombie or a fourth pair of Vans shoes. She finds it quite entertaining to turn tables on her mama!

Back to the 30 day Fashion project. These are the outfits I wore this week. The purple scarf and cardigan are going in the donation bin. I noticed the last time I wore the scarf was in 2013 during the first Fashion 30. The purple cardigan is a tad to small for my liking. Off they go to a new home!

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Thank You Obama.

I won't be the first to step up and hate on Obama. First, I am a military wife and I wouldn't think for a second to use a public format to bash my husband's boss. I would hope any spouse regardless of career choice would have the good sense to speak privately about those matters. If you like incomes and jobs and things like that. However, I think one huge misconception of military and military spouses is that we fully support every decision the president/government makes. I think it's fair to say its not true. We are people with individual opinions and values. With as much as parties and agenda changes, I cannot imagine military people agree with every political decision made. Doesn't happen.

I do my fair share of grumbling and nit picking of public figures. With every piece of criticism, we should give an equal amount of energy to good decision making. Like pay raises. Wouldn't anyone praise a boss who gives a pay raise? I think so. And Obama did just sign a 1 percent pay raise for the military for 2014. Yes, it was proposed to be a little higher--1.8 percent--but he shot that down. Win some lose some. At first, 1 percent doesn't seem like a lot but when you do the math (x times .01) it adds up.

On average, military families are going to receive an extra $2000 to $4000 this year. Not a bad increase, right? Sometimes it's easy to forget how much a percent can add up to be over time. I suppose that goes for credit and taxes as well. Those I don't like as well! It would nicer if we got a bonus check on Jan.1 instead of sprinkled over 12 months. On second thought, lump sums would be more dangerous than good. I can think of a few ways to spend a few grand.

I've been wanting to getaway this year. A spa sounds so good right now. Something in the middle of the desert. I hear a lot of good things about Arizona!


Or a shopping spree? Guilt free shopping spree.

Maybe I could finally get that upgrade???

Or a down payment on an upgrade?

Much more fun than say... groceries. Or new tires. Or security lighting on the garage. The things which the extra money typically goes to. A girl can dream! 

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