Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Chart House (Savannah location) Review

So this past weekend, the hubby and I were invited to a birthday dinner for one of his friends from WLC at the Chart House in Savannah. I love to try new restaurants (especially in Savannah) and I'd never been so I was excited to go.

Located on Bay, the Chart House features two entrances, one from Bay Street which enters the third floor and one on River which is the bottom floor. I suppose one should enter through the River Street entrance since that's where the hostess stand is but we'd already come the other way from the parking garage, and I was definitely unprepared for navigating those crazy steep stairs in four inch heels.

The inside was lovely. It's right on the river, so a seat by the window offers a pretty cool view and the inside d├ęcor is inviting and warm. The food was AMAZING. I ordered the pecan-crusted trout (believe it or not, this was my first time having trout and I was impressed) which, no lie, smelled like pralines. Mashed Yukon potatoes for the side and French cut green beans. Both delicious. The hubby had the mixed seafood plate (I'm assuming he enjoyed it; he cleaned his plate completely.) They've got a pretty good wine selection as well, though if you're looking to order by the glass, that list decreases considerably.

Might I suggest the Banfi Rosa Regal Rose which was nice and sweet. I planned to switch to champagne (I mean, it was a birthday dinner after all!) once dinner I arrived, but it was so good I stuck with it. Our waiter, RJ, (you may want to request him, he was attentive and handled our party of nine with ease) told me he'd heard that it was good in sangria. The hubby and I are currently searching for a liquor or wine store in town that stocks it so we can make our own.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience and I'll definitely be back. One interesting touch was the menus themselves. The hubby's friend had made reservations specifically for a birthday dinner so we all got menus wishing her a happy birthday at the top. A small but meaningful and classy gesture.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's So Hard About Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle?

So today marks Day 5 of my healthy-eating/ working out journey. Honestly, this is probably the third or fourth time this year that I've started this journey so here's hoping it sticks. The hardest part for me is consistency. A couple of years ago, I lost about 34 lbs over about five months. I worked out twice a day during the week and ate under a specific amount of calories (I used the Livestrong app to calculate my allowance) and it worked out beautifully. Fast forward to earlier this year; I was back up about 10 lbs and couldn't stick to any kind of plan for longer than a few weeks.

It's important to mention that last time, I didn't really have a lot going on. And I'm not being funny, I had just moved back here so I didn't really know anyone accept my family. Had just gotten my real estate license, but my duties weren't exactly defined so I wasn't nearly as busy as I am now. Today, I've got the new hubby, a fast-paced and demanding (but rewarding!) work load, people to meet up with, you know, the things that constitute an actual life(: So I just don't have the time to dedicate to it like I did a few years ago.

HOWEVER, I feel like being more realistic about my roadblocks and limitations will actually have a positive effect on my overall results. Instead of worrying about calories, I'm focusing on portion sizes and the kind of food I'm eating (trying to cut back on eating out so much and those little frozen meals that I used to love). Working out twice a day is probably not going to happen as often as I'd like it either (I'd much rather spend the evenings drinking wine and watching bad tv with the hubby) so I give it my all in the mornings when I do work out and I keep the wine down to a few glasses a week. Also trying to drink plenty of water and get at least eight hours of sleep at night (now that's a real struggle, who the heck goes to bed before 10?).

As far as my workouts, right now I've got a couple different programs in rotation, the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, random online HIIT workouts, and a new one that just arrived in the mail yesterday, Turbo Fire (HINT: if you're thinking about trying it, DEFINITELY check out the introductory video first. Some of those moves are complicated!). I'm also a member of a private accountability group on Facebook (I figure this blog can help keep me accountable too!).

For anyone looking to start a specific program or just to make a lifestyle change, my advice is to give it time. It takes time to make a big change permanent and sometimes you'll have setbacks (just the other day, I consumed the biggest piece of homemade carrot cake I'd ever seen. I felt bad, but it sure was good!) but you can't let them discourage you. My accountability coach encourages us to go by the 80/20 rule. Eat right and workout 80% of the time; the other 20% give yourself a break. So I'll keep at it, and YOU keep at it and let's keep each other updated. Good luck!

Who the heck is this chick?

Where to eat (HINT: the margaritas are out of this world!)
What to do
Where to live

The Scariest Thing About Being a Real Estate Agent

So my mom is a member of a bunch of different realtor groups on Facebook where they get together, share ideas, swap referrals, etc. Well earlier this week, an agent in one of the groups posted asking for prayers and positive thoughts on behalf of another agent in her market center who had gone missing. The last time anyone had spoken to her was the night before around 5:30 when she told her husband she was heading out to show property. When her husband turned up at said property, they found her car, her purse and the front door of the home open. They still haven't heard from her.

My mom called to tell me about it and it freaked us both out, because, in reality, that could be any of us. As a real estate agent, that's typically one of the main components of the job, showing empty houses to people who are sometimes complete strangers. My profession shows up repeatedly on lists for the most dangerous jobs in America for that very reason.

On our team, we always try to have potential clients meet at the office first and fill out an information sheet, but sometimes that doesn't happen. Sometimes, the client "just wants to see that one house" or they live closer to the home in question than our office and don't want to make the drive. And because we don't want to lose the sale or alienate the client, we meet them. More times than not, everything ends up fine. We establish a relationship with the person, meet the family maybe, and we continue to take them out until we find the perfect home.

But the whole situation with the unfortunate agent in Arkansas got me thinking. Because that's our standard business practice, the odds are against us. If we continue to meet complete strangers in empty homes without first gathering information or even employing the buddy system, sooner or later, we'll run into someone that doesn't have good intentions. Statistically, we have to.

Later this month, my team is getting to together for a safety meeting to talk about implementing safer business practices like making sure someone else on the team has contact information for the person we're meeting, having a husband/ wife or coworker accompany us on a showing, etc.

And I encourage you, when you call to check out a home and the agent wants to meet at the office. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt. We're not trying to trap into a 45 minute presentation you didn't ask for or force you to sign anything you don't want to sign. Nor do we want to inconvenience you. We may ask you questions that feel a little invasive (your lender's contact information, your full name and email address, maybe even your current address, etc.) and that's for our safety. We're trying to do our jobs as safely and efficiently as possible. At the end of the day, your agent has whole life outside of her profession; asking these kinds of questions and taking extra precautions can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

UPDATE: They found her body in a shallow grave. The "client" has pleaded not guilty.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Keep Me Occupied! Fun Things To Do Hinesville/ Fort Stewart

Okay, so I must admit I do my fair share of running to Savannah, Jekyll Island, etc. on the weekends. The hubby and I love the beach (... well, I love it, he just kind of tolerates it) and we also love Savannah's culture and nightlife. But for the weekends/ nights when we just don't feel liking taking that drive, there ARE fun and interesting things to do that are a little closer to home. Behold, my personal experience running around Hinesville.

The Marne Bowling Center
Located on post on Steele Avenue, this place has a super laid-back and family friendly atmosphere. Leaving the kiddos at home? They serve some of the tastiest, cheapest margaritas around. Taking them with you? They've got cute kid-friendly specials, like A+ Games Special where every A received on a report card entitles your kid to a free game.

They apparently have a pro shop that provides ball drilling and resurfacing (whatever the heck that is) along with a full line of pro clothing accessories. I don't know much about this part; as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT a pro bowler. Let's be honest, most balls for me are lucky to not be in the gutter (I try to maintain some pride and not request bumpers).

Farmers Market
Fresh and, in some cases, organic produce available every Thursday from 4-7 in Bradwell Park (right across the street from the Police Station on MLK). This is a time sensitive event though; the market runs from March to October. So if you're reading this outside of that time bracket, check out the Bountiful Baskets program. Similar concept, same healthy goodness(:

Uncommon Grounds
While you're at the Farmers Market, check out Uncommon Grounds! My favorite treat is their BLT (no matter how many times I make these at home, they just don't compare) and a Snickers Latte (hard to explain, just know that it's awesome and you need it in your life). This place is similar to Starbucks without the the crazy high prices and with a cozier, more down-to-earth, less hipstery feel. Everyone's always really sweet and really helpful.

Liberty Cinemas
This one's pretty self-explanatory. It's located off of what we call the main drag (84 or Oglethorpe) adjacent to the Kroger. The high school kids tend to drive me a little nuts so the hubby and I usually try to go earlier in the evening or during the day. In fact, the last time we went, we couldn't decide on a movie, so he saw the Ninja Turtles movie, and I saw The Giver and we met for dinner afterwards. I believe Steven Covey would call that a win-win(;

So these are just a few of my favorite haunts in the area. I've also included a few links below for daily community events to take advantage of both on post and off post. Most are kid-friendly and completely FREE. Brand spanking new to the area and looking for even more info? Check out my Fort Stewart Cheat Sheet! Even more awesome info on the Hinesville and Fort Stewart area.

On Post

Off Post

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Suggestions for little-known spots for fun in Hinesville? Tell me in the comments below!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My First Strong Bonds Retreat Experience: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Okay, so I'll be honest. The title of this post is a tad misleading because there was NO bad or ugly with my experience. First off, let me say, everything is PAID FOR! We stayed at the lovely Sawgrass Marriott Resort and Spa in Jacksonville, Florida, checked in on a Friday and out on Sunday. I almost missed out on the whole thing; the hubby asked me about it about two days before we were supposed to go with absolutely no information (you know how that goes). I told my mom about how we probably weren't going to make it and she goes "Call him back immediately! You need to do this, you'll have a blast!" Sooo glad she did because we did indeed have an awesome time.

 The seminar itself was on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Franklin Covey. Tons of good information on effective communication, problem-solving, and leaving something meaningful behind for your children and/ or future grand-children. I loved the seminar but what really put me over the moon was the time they allowed us to explore Jacksonville and just be a couple. Our teacher had awesome recommendations for good places to eat and even tours to take on the hotel grounds (they would take you around the golf course, give you the background and history, etc). We spent time by the pool, checked out Dave and Busters (hubby had never been so he wanted to check it out) and shopped til we dropped at the nearby Avenues Mall (finally, an H&M closer than Atlanta!)

I've said all this to say, if you ever go to one of these, enjoy it and take it seriously! It really is one of those situations where you'll get out exactly what you put into it. And at the end, when they give you the surveys, be honest and take them seriously as well. That's what the higher-ups use to determine funding for programs like these, and I know tons of couples (whether without kids like us or with them) would find the value in being able to participate in something like this. If you've attended something like this already and would love to see more, when they ask you to fill out the wellness surveys on post do them!! Mention things like the Strong Bonds Retreat; the only way we will continue to have access to these programs is if we continue to request them and show how important they are to us. If we stop caring and putting forth the effort, the higher-ups will stop caring and putting forth the funding and that's a situation none of us wants to be in.

Been on one of these retreats before and want to share experience? Let me know in the comments!
Never gone and want to ask questions? Ask away in the comments!
Hated this blog? Please don't comment! Kidding, I would love suggestions on how to improve(:

Who the heck is this chick?

Where to eat
What to do
Where to live

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Who The Heck Is This Chick?

So I'm a third-generation army brat currently stationed with the hubby at Fort Stewart in Georgia (we've been married for about nine months so far). My dad, grandpas on both sides, and a few uncles are all retired Army (hooah!) so I have a little experience with the military. But this will be the first time experiencing everything first-hand as an army wife(: I started this blog as a way to reach out to other army wives in the Fort Stewart area and share our experiences. I figure we can all use as much help as we can get(:

I currently work as a real estate agent with the Lisa Scales Sales Team (yep, that would be my mom lol) which I love. It's basically another way to meet new people and do and see things that I wouldn't normally experience so I'm having a pretty good time with it. Thanks for reading!

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Hinesville Lifestyle
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