Thursday, January 29, 2015

Looking For Something to Do This Weekend In Hinesville? Join Us For Super Saturday 2015!

I know the feeling. It's Thursday, the weekend's almost here, and there are NO plans in site for the next few days. How... blah, right? Enter my new favorite website, (if you don't already know about this site, it connects military families with awesome appreciation events as well as companies that offer perks and discounts for soldiers and their families). They're sponsoring a Super Bowl kick-off this weekend at Liberty Chrysler in Hinesville.
I'm definitely not what you would call the world's biggest football fan, BUT I'll be there with the hubby in tow because there will still be tons on super fun attractions like the Liberty Chrysler obstacle course, Chris's Curbside Grill Insane Hot Wing Eating Contest, and a free bounce house sponsored by the folks at Graceland Bounce. (Okay fine, so that last one will probably for kids only; it still sounds like fun!).
My team-leader, as the local Homes for Heroes affiliate, will also be there offering free Face painting for the kids and handing out balloons, so we hope to see you there!
PS. I don't exactly follow football, but in case anyone asks, I'm rooting for the Seahawks. Can't get enough of that Richard Sherman; he's got chutzpah which I appreciate!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Liebster Award!

So apparently a couple fellow bloggers, Maddy at Media Junkie Jungle and Alyssa at World According to Aly found my blog interesting enough to nominate for the Liebster Award! (thanks ladies!) So, if you're reading this and wondering what the heck the Liebster Award is, here are the rules:

1. Thank/ link the person who nominated you
2. Answer the questions from your nominator
3. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (link them)
4. Create 11 new questions for your nominees
5. Notify your nominees through social media/ blogs

Okay, so first, here are my nominees:
Military Wife & Pug Life
Munchkins and Military
Slowly Turning the Pages
A Pop of Red
Life of an Army Wife
Chrystyn's View
The Hungry Traveller
Marathons and Dog Tags

(I know, that's only 9; I'm working on the last two!!)

Questions from Maddie & Aly along with my answers:

1. What is your favorite thing to blog about? Restaurants! I love trying new places and sharing them with my readers.
2. What is the most difficult thing about blogging? Honestly, the army wife stuff. I try to make my posts more about my opinion then information since I'm brand new and still learning.
3. What else do you do besides blogging? Job wise, I'm a real estate agent with H&S Real Estate Services. As far as hobbies, I read a lot, love to travel and explore new places
4. What is one item you would splurge on? Shoes and bags! Also a nice hotel room when I'm traveling. (yes, this is more than one item, whoops!)
5. What are you looking forward to the most in 2015? Traveling! We're upping our travel plans this year and I'm super excited to get the heck out of Georgia!
6. Who is the person you admire most and why? My mom, for sure. She is super strong, independent and literally takes crap from NO ONE. I feel like if I'm half as confident as she is, I'm doing okay.
7. What do you do to relax after a long day? Normally have my feet propped up (on my husband's lap!) reading a magazine with the dogs on my lap. Sometimes wine is involved!
8. What is your favorite kind of food? ANYTHING sweet; I'm partial to those Pepperidge Farm stick cookies and the White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Belfords.
9. What is your favorite genre of music? R&B
10. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life? Kerry Washington!
11. What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome in the last few years? The real estate thing in general. I'm normally a pretty shy and reserved person, but you have to really put yourself out there to be successful so I've really had to step outside myself and open my mouth and talk to people!

1. What is something you feel strongly about? I wrote a post about this a few days ago, but I really HATE all of the bashing that's out there towards wives and women in general. So much judgement and I'm just over it.
2. Something you always think "what if" about Did yet another post on this, I've been freaking out a little about our next duty station. We're hoping to stay here but you never know. 
3. Five weird things about you Oh, God, do I have to? Okay, 1. I enjoy cleaning out my ears waay too much. I probably clean them out way more often than is required because I like the sensation. 2. Kind of alluded to this earlier, in real life, I'm a lot more shy and reserved than I project. I put myself out there though because I realize no one necessarily wants to interact with the quiet, shy chick that doesn't have much to say. 3. I hate soft and hard textures in my food. It needs to be all soft or all crunchy. 4. I get like crazy, she-Hulk angry when technology doesn't work the way I expect it to. Seriously, it's almost embarrassing! 5. I CANNOT fully relax until I've changed out of my work clothes and put on some pajamas. Seriously, I can come home starving to a plate of hot food and I need to first change out of work take all of my jewelry off; etc. Sometimes I like to light candles too.  
4. How you hope your future will be like Mostly, I want to be happy with the hubby and our four-legged babies. Possibly a few two-legged babies!
5. Something that you miss My first dog, Sarabi. We gave her to a family friend when we PCSd to Germany because my folks were told it was difficult keeping a dog there. We lost touch with the friend and I still wonder what became of her.
6. Something you are proud of Oh, my real estate license for sure. I actually took the class twice BUT I passed my state exam on the first try (most people don't) which I'm super proud of. Hands down, the scariest test I've ever taken!
7. Where you'd like to be in 10 years. Same thing as I noted for #4, but I'd like to add that I hope this blog will be flourishing and maybe making me a little money on the side. 
8. If you had a million dollars what would you do with it? Invest most of it, give to family, and maybe set a little something aside for a fabulous vacation. I've always wanted to go to Fiji or Greece
9. A moment you were most satisfied with your life BESIDES the real estate thing, when I first met my hubby. I actually spoke to him first. which I normally would never have done. Boy was that the smartest decision ever!
10. Hobbies and interests? Reading, shopping, travelling, trying new dishes. And this blog of course
11. Five pet peeves 1. Crappy drivers 2. Judgey people 3. Unsolicited opinions (if I don't ask you, obviously, I don't care!) I'm sure there are more, but those are pretty much the top 3 I can think of right now

Okay, so now, time for my questions:

1. How long have you had your blog?
2. Where do you see your blog going in the future?
3. What's your number one tip for sharing your blog/ gaining more followers?
4. How did you decide to get into blogging?
5. What's your "day job"?
6. What's the most interesting place (state/ country/ city, whatever) that you've visited?
7. Where would you love to visit but have never been?
8. What's your favorite feature/ characteristic about yourself?
9. What article of clothing do you own that you couldn't live without?
10. What was the last thing you splurged on?
11. What advice would you give to your fellow bloggers in general?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Are You Freaking Out About Leaving Your Current Duty Station?

So for the longest, I've been nagging the hubby about next year when his tour here at Ft. Stewart is officially up and he'll get orders to either stay or relocate to a new duty station. I've been asking him for the longest about applying for stabilization (when my dad served, you could apply for stabilization at a specific base for one reason or another and your superior officers would do what they could to honor that request. This helped when you had school-age kids or lived close to family or just really liked your current base). Apparently, now, the process for stabilization is a lot more complicated than it used to be. For one you have to be of higher rank than the hubby currently is to even be considered for the process. So that's off the table, BUT I told him he could at least request to stay here for three more years because the only thing they can say is "No". His response? "I know, but I don't want to get your hopes up".

Okay, so I'm by no means the perfect wife. I'll admit, I snapped back a little bit. I, being 26 not 6 understand that we don't always get what we want and that sometimes when we ask for something, we don't always hear the answer we'd like to hear. That aside, I had to admit one thing. He's kind of right. 

I looove it here at Fort Stewart. If you already live here or you're PCSing here and have looked up our base online, you may have heard a lot of the negative already. But let me be the first to tell you, Fort Stewart is not that bad of a base. We're within an hour and 1/2 of glorious beaches in whichever direction you drive. And we're less than an hour from historic Savannah, known not only for being one of the scariest cities in the country, but also for being one of the most picturesque cities in the southern United States.

For me, though, what makes this base so special is proximity to family. I'm definitely a big family gal and I love that my folks are right up the street, while his are only about two hours away. And we've built a life here! I have my awesome job, great friends, and we actually just bought our first home last year.

I suppose these are thoughts similar to those every military wife has at one particular duty station or another. How do you get through it? I'm reminded of a quote from a book I read while in school, "Women will do whatever they have to do". And I guess that's pretty accurate, not just for us ladies but for humans in general. We'll request to stay here and pray our butts off that its granted, but there's definitely no guarantee. So the only thing left to do is enjoy our time here while we can and prepare ourselves for the possibility that we'll have to leave soon.

I want to hear from you! Which was your hardest base to leave? How did you cope?

Hinesville Lifestyle
What to do (still plenty of time to purchase tickets!)

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Attention Fellow Ludowici Inhabitants! You're Missing Out If You've Not Tried Sybil's Family Restaurant

I remembered to snag a picture! I start my review of Sybil's Family Restaurant in Jesup with this sentence because I realize a fair amount of my reviews, especially the restaurant reviews, are lacking in pictures. And I figure if you're trying to decide which restaurant to visit for the evening, that's what you want to see, right? Bright, colorful illustrations of whatever fare that restaurant has to offer. So this year, I'm promising you all: more pictures!

Okay, so that's out of the way. Let me now say, I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner at Sybil's. Yesterday, the hubby went in for what we're hoping was his last oral surgery, and so the the night before, he wanted to go out for his "last meal" (you know, the whole "can't eat after midnight" thing... Like gremlins!) But I digress. My parents suggested Sybil's; they'd eaten there with their social club just a few weeks before on a seafood night and loved it. So off we went.

If you're reading this and you live in Ludowici like I do, know that the trip to Sybil's is basically the shortest trip you ever wanted to make. Which, in itself, made it a good choice for us. Non-chain, and waay closer than some of our favorites in Savannah. Sybil's is located on the left-had side of 84 just before you go under the overpass. The food was indescribably good. As close to your favorite grandma's southern cooking as you can possibly get. And they have a buffet. I don't typically do buffets because I feel like they tend to be a little expensive since you never eat as much as you pay for, BUT their prices are beyond reasonable. (I believe we paid about 12 bucks a person) and I think that for this kind of food, buffet style works.

I had a few pieces of the juiciest, most perfectly seasoned fried chicken I've ever encountered along with some amazingly cheesy macaroni and cheese and a couple of sweet, moist cornbread muffins. I'm not kidding about the muffins; they were so sweet that I opted for a second one instead of the dessert. Which is definitely saying something, because if you know me in real life, you know I'm NEVER one to turn down dessert.

The hubby's plate was substantially fuller than mine; he had oxtail (which I tried for the first time; they were surprisingly pretty good!), black-eyed peas, collard greens, mac and cheese, and of course the cornbread. And he ate every single drop. Said it was some of the best Southern cooking he'd had in a while and his feelings were hurt over not being able to take home leftovers. Seriously, my mouth is watering as I write this, and I am fully considering dragging the hubby out in the rain for Round 2.

Anyway, if you can't already tell from the review, I would recommend Sybil's Family Restaurant for sure. Nice, comfortable down-home atmosphere and I'd say perfect for kids because they can pick exactly what they want and not a drop more. Also a nice spot for large groups! My folks were with a group the first time they came and noted that the service was just as good with four people as with 20.

Have you tried Sybil's before? What did you think? Tell me below!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (this spot, of course! Sunday dinner, anyone?)
What to do (I've been meaning to try this!)
Where to live

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Army Wives ARE NOT Lazy! Let's Stop The Bashing, Folks!

So I've noticed a disturbing trend lately on social media and online in general. And I'm curious, what is with all the military wife bashing? Seriously, you look up, "Are army wives..." and this is how Google finishes your sentence:

How does that make any sense?? From what I've seen, there seems to be this growing trend of wives being disparaged or looked down on for one reason or another. They have the nerve to (gasp!) express appreciation for perks like military discounts etc. Or they don't work outside of the home.

Here's the thing. Yes, I work. And I love my job. But that doesn't mean it's my right to look down on other wives whose primary jobs are looking after kids and taking care of their households. I feel like more and more, civilian women are encouraged to go after their dreams and do what THEY want, whether it's seeking fabulous jobs at high-powered companies or raising a brood of the cutest children you ever wanted to see.

But military wives (at least, from what I've seen) don't have that luxury. We're called fat (even though we have multiple kids and can't remember when we had time to even look at a treadmill), lazy (even though we put most if not all of our energy into taking care of our families); I could go on and on but I'd rather not.

I'm a member of several support groups online and even in those groups, where you would think one could feel comfortable asking questions or discussing issues; there's this huge fear of the possibility of someone using one of the above adjectives to describe us. There  are entire websites and Facebook groups (I won't name them because I don't want to give them the free publicity) dedicated to making spouses feel like crap over silly photos, questions, or even Facebook profile pictures.

Whether you agree with someone else's lifestyle choice or not, shaming another wife (OR husband for that matter) for the choices they've made is not cool. And some of these "choices" are so inconsequential! I mean, my friend wants to take pictures in her husband's BDU jacket and send them to him. Or there's a new wife online asking how Tricare works and what benefits she should enjoy as a spouse. How does this affect my life? Oh, that's right, it doesn't. So why  should I be so bothered by someone else's life that I feel the need to publicly shame her or insult her? What happened to "judge yet lest ye be judged"? Why are we all of a sudden so hateful towards each other?

I don't know about you guys, but I'm over it. Our differences in opinion, in choices we make, etc. are what makes life interesting. So if you're reading this and maybe you've posted to one of those sites or bashed someone for making a comment or post that you didn't necessarily agree with, I implore you. Next time, maybe just shake your head and then keep it moving? In the end, nothing we do or say can change someone's personal view of the world or who they are at the core, so what's the point in being nasty? Anyway, that's just my two cents.

What do you all think? Have you noticed a lot of spouse bashing online or in real life? Tell me about it!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat
What to do
Where to live

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thankful Thursdays!!!

So, for the first Thankful Thursdays post of 2015, I've been thinking about the past year and everything that happened in 2014. Don't worry, I won't get all mushy, but I have to admit it was definitely a banner year. I married the most amazing man I've ever met, we bought a house, and, of course I started this super-fun-to-write blog. And I've had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the hubby's family as well. I thought my family was big, but I'm telling you, his is HUGE. Sooo many aunts and uncles and cousins; for a while, it was hard to keep the names straight. But everyone is super sweet and pretty much like my family (a little loud and a little crazy).

Sure there were a couple crappy moments a long the way. And it's definitely been an adjustment living with another person. BUT. The bad has never out-weighed the good and I'm thankful for that. So I guess the post is just about looking back fondly at 2014 and being extremely excited about what 2015 holds in store for me.

What about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Darkest Child Report

Well, I'll admit this review/ report is looong over-due. We finished The Darkest Child a while ago (currently reading Big Little Lies) and I actually almost forgot to write this up (I know, bad blogger). Anyway, I think when I first mentioned this book, I thought I'd ready it a few years back in college. And now I know for certain. I DEFINITELY never read this book. I'm sure if I had, I would have remembered.

I checked out a few reviews online; most reviewers felt it read almost like a write-by-numbers account of life in the South. You know, abusive mother/ father, check. Rampant racism and prejudice, check. But I didn't agree with that perspective. I felt like Deloris told a beautiful, if somewhat visceral and hard to read at times, story all the while managing to distinguish her own voice and style from those in similar genres. And I was extremely sad to find that we won't be able to read anything else from her; she passed away last year.

I don't want to give too much away in case your either currently or considering reading this book in the future, but if you're thinking about it, know that it's a pretty good read. I will say that the most interesting (as well as probably the saddest) part of the book was discovering how the mother's behavior affects each of kids. She clearly has her own issues, and each of her children deal with those issues in their own way. I also really felt for and related to the main character, Tangy Mae. She's so young and shows so much promise at the beginning of the book and it was heartbreaking to watch her grow up in the environment that she was forced into. Wendy Williams sometimes refers to people who seem to have been dragged up rather than raised up (yes, I watch Wendy Williams, yes I'm semi-quoting her now, don't judge me!) and Tangy Mae and her siblings were definitely dragged up. 

So those are my thoughts on The Darkest Child. Next up, Big Little Lies (I promise I won't wait this long to share with you!). Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

Hinesville Lifestyle

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

I LOOOVE The Omni! My Review of The Charlotte Location

Okay, so let me first say, I promise, this will be my last hotel review without pics. I swear every time we go away, I walk into the room so exhausted or hungry or whatever that I completely forget about my plan to get pictures or video. I hope to travel a lot this year so I'll be sure to make it up to you guys.

So, on to the review. In case you're just now tuning into my blog, the hubby and I spent a few days in Charlotte to catch a Hornets game and do a little sight-seeing. The last time we were in Charlotte with my sister and brother-in-law, we stayed at the Clarion Conference Center which was a good location for what we were doing, checking out Scarowinds. This time, the hubby and I decided to stay at the Omni Charlotte. I've stayed at a couple different Omni Hotels, the one in Atlanta, for example, as well as in Austin whenever my mom and I go for KW Mega Camp. Each stay has always been exceptionally enjoyable (say that three times fast) so I new it would be a pleasant experience and I was right.

The hotel itself is huge and perfectly located. Right in the middle of the Epicentre so we were within walking distance of the Turner Warner Cable Arena as well as any restaurant we wanted to check out (in case you're wondering, 5Church was my favorite; definitely check it out). The room itself was on the small side; BUT that's not unexpected for a hotel downtown so I wasn't surprised. The bed was soo comfy and there was a mixture of soft and firm pillows (I normally request this, but I forgot to this time, so I appreciated that). Towels were thick, soft, and huge enough to wrap around you twice.

One thing to note if you're considering staying there any time soon, there is no self-parking. So just be prepared for the $20 a day Valet fee (but you get in-and-out privileges!) Another thing to consider (and this advice actually came from my mom when my sister and I drove out to Columbus a few years back). Join the Rewards program! You should really do this with any hotel chain, you build up points and  enjoy perks like complimentary Internet and, in the Omni's case, a free morning beverage and turn-down service.

Now for the only negative: the after 12am room service was... not good. I mean, I get it; it was super late so I know they're limited in what they're prepared to serve. And we could have walked the two blocks to Libretto's and grabbed a slice of New York style pizza (had it the last time we were there and it was epic). But it was raining something fierce and we didn't feel like getting the car from the valet or struggling in the rain so we took a chance and ordered from the late-night menu. I had the club sandwich which was was dry, toasted waay to hard, and STUFFED with ham. (Call me weird; I appreciate a good bread to meat ratio on my sandwiches and burgers). It came with fries that weren't much better; kind of limp and stale.

So definitely a miss for the room-service, but I'd still stay there again and probably order room service again (perhaps during the day). I feel like maybe they just had an off night. And seriously, everything else was awesome.

Ever stayed at this hotel or planning on staying soon? Tell me about it below!

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

January Obsessions

I had so much fun with the monthly obsessions last year, so I'm keeping it going into 2015. Here's what I'm obsessed with this month!

My Anniversary!
Of course, I had to include this as numero uno. (the hubby was low-key upset my October obsessions didn't include his birthday). On the 18th of this month, we'll celebrate a year of marriage and I'm soo excited. What I have I learned so far? Wrote on that a few months ago; check it out. As for what we're doing to celebrate, I'm not quite sure yet. We're still deciding between cooking dinner or going out, but I'm leaning towards checking out my favorite restaurant, Belford's (their White Chocolate Bread Pudding is to. die. for.)

Ludowici's First MLK Parade
So, two days from now, the town where I live (a few minutes outside of Hinesville) will be hosting their first Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Starts at 10 am with the theme: "Living the Dream, Where Do We Go From Here." There will be a program featuring skits and singing directly following at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church. We'll be out of town (visiting for his grandpa's birthday) so the hubby and I won't be attending, but it sounds like it should be a pretty good event. I think this is a good step for Ludowici, and I hope they'll do it again next year.

Forsyth Farmer's Market
So if you've been following my blog, you know I love a good Farmer's Market. The ones closer to me in Hinesville and Richmond Hill are seasonal (I believe, Hinesville's starts back up in March) but I stumbled on the Forsyth Farmer's Market a few days ago online. They'll be open an impressive 48 (FORT-EIGHT!!) weekends this year starting on the 3rd of this month. In our quest to clean up our eating as well as try new dishes, the hubby and I are always searching for new foods and spices to add for dinner or snacks. We'll DEFINITELY be hitting this market up one Saturday very soon.

FREE Online Workouts(:
Okay, so last month, I was obsessed with Sean T's new Insanity Max. But. Having spent a little more than we planned in Charlotte, the hubby and I have agreed to hold off on purchasing for a while. Instead, I've been researching free online workouts, and surprisingly, there is SO MUCH out there. (Seriously, I may never pay for a workout video again) Basically, any part of your body that you want to workout, there's a free routine available. And I don't mean free for a trial and then you have to pay or a preview. Freakin free. No strings attached. Right now my favorites are BodyRock.TV *(they have amazing HIIT workouts) and CosmoFit (first time working out with a stability ball, that was definitely a sight to see).

*Hint: there are pay options on their website, some of them are available for about four bucks. BUT if you sign up for the challenges, you'll get these same workouts sent directly to your email FOR FREE. I'm doing one this morning, in fact.