Tuesday, December 16, 2014

B. Tillman Restaurant in Savannah-- My Review(:

**Giveaway closed. But B.Tillman is still awesome!**

So, I'm super excited today because I've got a giveaway! You may be confused because the title says a review, so let me back up.

Last week, I had class at our main office in Savannah, and afterwards, we grabbed lunch at B.Tillman a few blocks away. I've had lunch there a few times; you have to catch them because they close between lunch and dinner and I always enjoy myself. This time, I ordered the Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese, which sounds a little plain, but, believe me, was ANYTHING but. The thing with grilled cheese at restaurants is sometimes, the bread is toasted a little too hard. You know, like when it kind of scratches against the roof of your mouth? (Maybe that's just me). But this bread was toasted perfectly, not too lightly and not too crunchy. And sooo much cheese! And a tomato! Hint: I suggest you try the tomato even if you're not a fan of tomatoes. Had I realized it before ordering, I would have requested they leave the tomato off, but I'm so glad I didn't; it really set the whole sand-which off. The bisque was equally amazing and soo creamy. I haven't been there for dinner yet (it's on my list, trust me!) but I would definitely recommend this spot for lunch. Perfect if you're already in the area for Christmas shopping.


Anyway, so B. Tillman is the restaurant, but they're connected to the cookie shop next door, Byrd's Cookie Company. At the end of our meal, our waitress brought us over a few 15% off tokens to use at any of the Cookie Company locations (there are several in Savannah and Pooler). So I've decided to give them away to you, my readers. The contest will go on for a week. To enter, simply like my new Facebook page and comment on this post to let me know you've done so. Next Tuesday, I'll pick three winners and, if you win, I'll contact you for mailing information and send it right on over. Good luck, everyone! And of course, don't forget to check out B. Tillman's; that place is amazing.

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (B. Tillman, of course!)
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Monday, December 15, 2014

My New Fave Way To Eat Pork Tenderloin!!

Okay, so a few weeks ago, the hubby and I found a recipe online that we wanted to try. And. It. Turned Out. AMAZING! (Excuse me for a few minutes while I pat myself on the back). So here's the recipe, if you want to try it.


You may notice, the recipe mentions pork chops while my title is pork tenderloin. We decided to go with a leaner cut and it turned out just fine. If you decide to go with that option as well, turn the heat down on your oven and note that you may not have to cook each side as long as it calls for in the recipe (we kind of felt it out).

Another piece of advice, when it says stir that sauce for a few minutes, it MEANS stir it for A FEW MINUTES. Otherwise, it will turn out like this:


Which honestly, actually tasted like one of those fruit candies that your grandma always has in her purse. Anyway, we had to scrape the first batch out of that bowl and into the trash; the second batch, you can bet I followed the instructions exactly!

So that's pretty much it. We've made this dish a few times since then, and the last time, I actually made an extra batch of sauce because we liked it so much. The meat always comes out super tender and that raspberry flavoring just sets everything off. Have you tried this recipe before? Tell me about it!

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Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (no need to go out, get to the grocery store and try this dish!)
What to do
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

An Awesome Tip For Those With Septic Systems That Are Hosting Guests This Season (or any time for that matter!)

So it's that time of year again, when the stream of overnight guests seems endless. You've got your parents staying for Christmas, your cousins visiting next weekend and your sister and her husband staying for New Years. My hubby and I, for one, love having people spend a few nights with us every once in a while. This past summer, we had a huge housewarming party a few months after we closed on the house and we were full to the brim. We had a blast.

The biggest thing we always have to remind everyone about is proper care for our septic system. Those of you out there that have septic systems of your own have an idea of what I'm talking about. No running the dishwasher, clothes washer, and shower all at the same time. No garbage disposal, the list goes on and on. But how many times have you caught a guest tossing something in the sink that they shouldn't? And do you secretly worry that someone may use waaay to much toilet paper? (Perhaps, that last one is just me. I am, admittedly, a huge control freak after-all).


Last month, we had my family over for dinner and my mom accidentally burned some butter on the stove. My brother-in-law, trying to be helpful, went to toss the butter down the drain. I think my mom and I probably hollered at the same time. We ended up setting it out on the counter to harden and then scraping it into the trash can. No harm, no foul, but my mom came up with a brilliant idea for letting your guests know about your system, which I'm now sharing with you.

So you know how you may, sometimes, set out a bowl of fresh fruit, or maybe put some snacks and bottled water out if your guests are getting in really late? Along with that, you may want to consider adding a nice note explaining about your system and just listing a few of the big no-no's. Nothing fancy and it doesn't necessarily have to be hand-written, just something that says "Thanks for staying with us, we have a septic system, here are the rules". That way, you don't have to waste time explaining the same thing over and over again and your guests won't end up pouring melted butter down your drain.

Do you have your own ways of handling holiday guests? Tell me all about it, below!

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Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (in Richmond Hill, but worth the drive, TRUST ME)
What to do
Where to live

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Let's Give Thanks on Thankful Thursdays!

Okay, so I've been slacking on the Thankful Thursdays, but I'm back! I've decided to keep it going for a couple of months, so here goes. What am I thankful for this month? My job. Which may seem a weird thing to be thankful for. But the truth is, I love what I do. When I first got my real estate license a few years back, I looked at it as a way to make a little money until I finished school. Fun fact: basically, I was a little spoiled, my mom was ready to cut me off, and I needed a real job to make real money. (Bath and Body works was super fun, but it wasn't going to cut it!) But after I was in the field for a while, I realized that I really liked it! And I'm pretty good at it too, if I must say.

thankful thursdays


Since then, my job has actually evolved. I now work on a team with a few other agents and admin folks and it's my job to keep in contact with everyone in our database. I'm basically a glorified pen-pal. The best thing about my job? That I can do it ANYWHERE. Which means I do a lot of work on my couch in pajamas or leggings. And when I take a few days vacation, I STILL get paid because I can still take calls and send emails if I need to. Another plus: I'll be able to take this position with me whenever we PCS (we're keeping our fingers crossed that won't happen for another few years, but you never know). So, we could be stationed at Fort Polk, and I'll still have a job available. Pretty cool, I think. So that's it for this week. I want to hear from you! What are you thankful for this week?


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Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (review coming soon!)
What to do
Where to live


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Buying a Home in Hinesville & Ft. Stewart: What's The Process (Part II)

Okay, so you already know about getting pre-qualified, right? So you've spoken with your lender and you have a number in mind for both final price and monthly payment. What's the next step in the process of purchasing your home?

Well, this is the fun part: start your search! If you end up working with an agent on our team, we'll bring you in for a consultation at our office before taking you out to check out homes. This may seem like an unnecessary part of the process, but it's actually pretty important. For one, it's a safety measure. Meeting you at the office and getting a copy of some form of ID helps us to make sure you're not an ax murderer of any sort (and vice versa!). Also, it allows us to sit down with you, face-to-face and without distractions and really discuss what exactly you're looking for in a home.

Perhaps you want to be in certain school district or near a specific gate at Fort Stewart. Or maybe a neighborhood with a community pool and golf course is important to you. Perhaps you want land. We like to sit down with our clients and go over their needs and wants in great detail; that way, when you start looking at homes, we can make sure you're looking only at homes that have the greatest potential for being your dream home.

We also like to go over the entire process (which is why I want to add that if you can't wait for the next installment of this series, you can sign in here and request a one-on-one appointment).What to expect when writing up your offer, what up-front costs you can expect to pay, etc. This is also the time to ask any and all questions you may have. Maybe you'd like more information on incentive programs for first-time and military home-buyers (believe me, there are tons!) or perhaps you're just unsure of the process as a whole. As your agent, it's our job to fully educate you, so no question is too small!

One more thing to remember, this is also the time when most agents will go over the difference between a client and customer with you. On our team, we like to go ahead and have you sign the agreement that gives us legal permission to represent you because we want to do our jobs as efficiently as possible from the very beginning. As a customer without the documentation, some advice we're just not legally allowed to give you. And if you're still interviewing agents and haven't made a decision? That's okay! This first appointment is the best possible way for you to decide whether or not you'd like to work with us.

Quick question about the processing of buying a home in Fort Stewart? I'm all ears... or eyes, or whatever.

Hinesville Lifestyle
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Where to live
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Yes, I Use My Military Discount and I Use It With Pride!

So, military discounts. We all know about them. A few of us will ask if one is available when dining at, say, a Ruby Tuesday's or shopping at Old Navy. But how many of us refuse to use military discounts at all?

In one of my Facebook groups, a woman asked a question about whether the military discount at our local movie theater was available for family members or strictly active duty. Apparently the guy working at the counter told her family members or dependents are not eligible. She was simply asking if anyone else had experienced this. The responses that followed were interesting to say the least. Some wondered why she would want to take advantage of a discount that was supposed to be for the "soldier to thank him for his service". Others asserted they didn't even ask about military discounts when out and about because it "made them feel weird". Someone even mentioned how upset it made them when wives tried to use their husband's rank or importance to get their way. (For the record, I go to that theater all the time whether I'm with my husband or not and I've ALWAYS gotten the military discount. And when I had a military ID because my dad was prior military, I received it then as well).

The whole thing was just a little strange to me. On the one hand, I get that some wives can develop an unhealthy sense of entitlement due to what their husbands do; they may feel they deserve special treatment or are better than those whose husbands aren't serving. And that's a little crazy. You definitely won't find me in a "I've Got The Toughest Job In The World" t-shirt or expecting to be "thanked for my service" on Veterans Day or anything like that. But this woman wasn't asking for any of that. She was simply asking a question about a military discount.

And what's so wrong with a wife asking for a military discount? At work, my team leader, for example, is the local affiliate for the Homes for Heroes Program. We offer rebate/ discounts to soldiers and their families purchasing homes in the area. And I can tell you, 99% of the time we're dealing with the wife initially because that's who typically starts the process of buying a home by inquiring online or what have you. Are they asking discounts for military buyers? Sometimes. But even if they aren't you can bet we're telling them about it upfront because  it's an awesome opportunity that we want everyone to be able to take advantage of. Besides being a discount on a larger scale, how is that concept any different from the discount at a store or restaurant?

Most fine print for those discounts will list the eligible parties; i.e, active duty military and/ or their families. And, in my opinion, the discount is a marketing ploy any way! At New York and Company, for example, I can use my military ID to get a 15% discount off of my entire purchase OR I can use one of the many coupons they email me (you know the ones, $100 off of $200, all jeans, Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off) NOT both. Most times, I end up going with the latter because it's a better deal. So the assumption that those discounts are put in place as a way to thank soldiers for their service is probably inaccurate, at least where the bigger name stores are involved.

As the wife of a service member, I do not, by any means expect special recognition or treatment out in the world. I do not suffer from the delusion that my position as his wife is harder or as hard as what he does for a living, nor do I base my entire identity on his job. BUT. Being an army wife does come with its own set of circumstances that can be different from those of other professions. Year long deployments, moving to new places every three or five years, packing your home up for each said move. Just a few of the issues we have to deal with.

And there are also some good things. Getting to meet new people. Getting stationed in bases all over the world and learning about different cultures. Not to mention TRICARE. Say what you will about the system, but the fact is, it's affordable health insurance. I know a ton of my non-military friends who would love that specific benefit. And then you have military discounts. In the grand scale of things, they're pretty small. But they're just one way we can save money whether we're dining out or shopping for a winter coat or even ordering a home inspection. On small perk of either serving yourself or being married to someone who serves. And what is so wrong with accepting that small positive and using it to your advantage?

I want to hear from you! What do you think about using your military discount?

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Obsessions!

What are you excited about this month? Here's what I'm obsessed with:

Savannah Festival of Lights
So by now, I'm sure you know Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. And what better way to celebrate than Savannah's lights festival? From November 28th til December 28th, there'll be over 80 super awesome light displays over on Hutchinson Island (where the Westin hotel is). You can walk or drive through the displays (some are a mile high); then stop at the Westin Savannah Harbor for a ride on the Ferris Wheel or a mug of warm hot chocolate. Oh, and if that's not reason enough to check it out, all proceeds from the event will go to support several local charities. Give back to your community and have a good time all in one night!



Christmas Parties!
The other reason this is my favorite time of year? A chance to get all dolled up, have a few drinks, and dance the night away! Our team is planning a little something for later in the month and right before Christmas, Keller Williams is throwing a huge bash at the Westbrook at Savannah Quarters Country Club. A few days after that, my mom's social club is throwing their annual Christmas party at Club Stewart on post (this one's open to the public, so if you're reading this and want to attend, comment below!)

New Insanity Program
So yesterday, Beachbody released their new Insanity Max 30 program, or, in other words, one more tool to help me fit into all those pretty party dresses I've been pinning. My coach is starting a program in January and I'm super excited. I've never done Insanity before, but the good thing about this new program: the workouts are only 30 minutes! I figure I can do any workout for at least 1/2 an hour even if it is super hard. By the way, the challenge group is open to the public as well. So Facebook either me or my coach, Porcha, if you'd like to join us(:


SpouseBox
Okay, so technically the first SpouseBox won't ship out until the first week in January BUT it's been available to order since earlier this week so that makes it a December obsession in my opinion. SpouseBox is a monthly care package, each $24.99 that will come filled with freebies, samples, and gift certificates from companies that love and support service members. January's box, the Goal Digger Box is already sold out, but you can sign up for updates so you'll be the first to know when February's becomes available!

So that's what's keeping me going this month. What are you guys excited about? Let me hear it!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat
What to do (hello, the Lights Festival! No link necessary)
Where to live

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spring Hill Suites Marriott Review (Pinehurst Location, outside of Raeford NC)

Okay, so, as you know, we were in North Carolina for Thanksgiving with family. My Uncle's house was full so we stayed at the Spring Hill Suites Marriott hotel about 15 minutes outside of Raeford. My review, as promised:

Walking in, the hotel itself was pretty nice. Large, open space, well-decorated. Comfortable couches and chairs in the lounge area and a flat screen T.V. that was turned to the news if I remember correctly. Check-in process was smooth and quick; we requested to all be on the same floor and the guy at the counter was able to accommodate everyone accept for one room (we had four rooms between me, my aunt, my mom and my grandma).

The rooms were HUGE. I wish I had gotten pictures, but by the time we got in that night, we were all too exhausted to do anything but fall into bed. There was a nice little separate area right when you walked into the room with a sofa and little kitchenette. The beds weren't too bad. Normally my hubby and I would have probably gotten a King room which may have been a little more comfortable, but we split with my sister and her husband. So we squeezed into our double beds which was actually kind of hilarious. My brother-in-law swore he hadn't slept in a double bed since before he went away to school. The shower the next morning was piping hot, water pressure was just right. The only real negative with the room was the pillows. Two of ours were kind of stained and gross looking. Again, we were half-sleep at the point, so I simply tossed them on the floor and we slept on one pillow each. Had I noticed it earlier, I would have requested new ones.

Can't comment on the breakfast the next morning, as I had an apple and a cup of juice (had to save room for those leftovers!) but from what I could tell, it was pretty standard stuff; eggs, bagels, cereal, etc. And it was free, which I suppose counts for something.

If you're reading this and considering staying at this hotel, one more thing to consider, they DO add a $30 charge for incidentals which goes away after checkout if you don't charge anything to your room. I don't remember reading this on the website nor was it mentioned to us at check-in. Not necessarily a problem, but we thought it was a tad strange given that there weren't really a lot of "incidentals". The breakfast and parking were free and they don't have room service or anything like that.

Would I stay here again? Probably. There were hotels that were closer to my Uncle's house, but this one was a little nicer, and the drive wasn't too bad once we figured out where we were going. It wasn't my favorite stay but, it definitely served it's purpose.

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (they've got a gigantic Iron Man outside the front entrance!)
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Monday, December 1, 2014

How Was Your Thanksgiving?

Mine was pretty awesome. We visited my uncle in North Carolina for the day and had a blast (we stayed at the Springhill Suites Marriott, check out my review here!). For the first time in what has seemed like forever, my grandma (on my mom's side) had all of her children and all of her grandchildren under one roof which was nice. (and a perfect way to celebrate her and my grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary which is coming next month).

I also got a little Black Friday shopping done. Did I brave the crazy crowds and fight my way into a line to purchase an pair of shoes or some extra makeup? Absolutely not! I ordered online!! It was so easy and painless, I couldn't believe I'd ever even considered leaving the house early Friday morning to grab anything. And I just started shopping through EBATES (I'm super late, I know) so I got cash back on a lot of my purchases. Talk about a score.


We were back home by the weekend, where we celebrated my birthday for the second time (it was on Monday; the hubby and I threw a cocktail party the weekend before and then on Saturday we spent time with the family) and also started working on the tree! I know, I can definitely hear some you going, a Christmas tree? This early? But I COULD NOT resist. We even played Christmas music!


Adding the ornaments tonight, updated pic coming soon!


So I want to hear from you! How did you guys celebrate the holiday?

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat
Where to live
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