Saturday, June 30, 2012

One Year

A year ago today, my life changed forever.
But that's okay because I have this, 
Everyone kept telling me, 'It happens so fast,'
and of course I thought they were being ridiculous.
But they weren't.
In no time, she went from a tiny baby that depended on me for everything to a toddler that wants to do everything herself.
She went from being a little bundle of joy to being a spitfire.
I love looking at what she used to be like, and what she's like now.

 She's my pride & joy.
I couldn't have asked for any better gift in life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Toxic Truth

Last night, I was feeling a little sad. I was missing my friends and family, and started looking at old pictures to  flood myself with happy memories.
I saw a picture of myself, and I was shocked!
I don't remember being that thin.
I was sure that it was just a good angle or good lighting.
Me & my nephew, Jax.
But then I saw another, and another.
And then I asked myself, 'Why did I think I was fat?'
Me & my sweet sister, Cas.
So I sat, scrolling through pictures, and wondering why I had such low confidence.
And then it came to me.
I was in a toxic relationship.
A very, very toxic relationship.
The guy constantly brought me down.
He broke up with me once because I cut my hair without asking his permission.
He told me not to come see him unless I put on makeup. If I got a cut or burn on my arm [hello! I was an art major!] he told me I was too manly for him.
The weekend of my sister's wedding, he told me that he usually dated girls that were in shape, but he'd stay with me if I promised to work on it.
Heaven forbid I wear my glasses instead of my contacts, and if I didn't have my nails perfectly manicured? I could definitely expect to get chewed out.
Oh how I wish I wouldn't have been so blind!
But I am so, so glad that [even though I'm pleasantly plump, now] I woke up from that nightmare & moved on to someone who could care less of my appearance. 
He loves me for me! 
He wants me to be happy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Hump Day

Just a week before moving to Oklahoma, I went one last time to my favorite hairdresser ever, had her chop my hair of as much as I could stand, and then hugged her & thanked her for always doing such a good job on my hair. Fast forward to now. My hair is in that awkward stage where it sometimes looks good, but usually doesn't. I've been having an internal battle of whether I should suck it up and trust someone to shape it up, or just let it grow out again. I know this seems so silly, but I have some serious trust issues with hairdressers.
So what do you think?

Let it grow or cut it?

On a completely unrelated note, I'm blogging today over at A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps.

A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corps

Also, have you entered the giveaway?
If not, you should. And while you're at it...get ready to sign up for the

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

I've fallen into a bad habit.
Since Adelei has started sleeping through the night again, and Aaron is going to bed early because he has to be up so early...I'm getting my 'me' time by staying up late at night.
It's not that I'm not tired, because I am...the time just sneaks up on me!
I've just been enjoying the quiet, stress free hours where I can catch up on blogs, catch up on t.v. shows, read, make meal plans, and most of the time? spend WAY too much time on pinterest.
It's a good thing baby girl likes to sleep past 9 am!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Randomosity Take 2

The Oklahoma heat is threatening to make me a recluse for the rest of the summer...
It's just so hard to feel okay about getting the baby out & about in this heat.
I thought Alabama summers were bad, but geez.

Lately, I've gotten quite a few new followers. Hi friends! Although you guys aren't saying much, I see that you're there. I've also noticed that a few of the blogs I follow do a little Q&A when they get several new followers, so I thought I'd try it out, too. So, what would you like to know? Send me an email with your question, and in about a week or so I'll compile them into a post.

Also, I'm sponsoring a give away for Linny @ Linny's Vault for her big Blog-o-versary.
Check out her blog & enter the fun!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kitchen Decor DIY

I've been scouring pinterest for cheap & easy decorating ideas for my kitchen.
I fell in love with this:
Except I don't have enough room for that.
And then I saw this:
Cute & Simple.
So here's what I did...
Bought the letters from Hobby Lobby [less than $3 each] 
 Painted them black, waited 30 minutes for them to dry....
 Added Mod Podge & began w. the glitter..

 A little goes a long way! I used my finger to spread out the glitter.
Once I finished all three letters, I let them dry on a flat surface overnight.
The next day I tapped off the extra glitter & then hung them on the wall!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two on Tuesday

When my sweet blogger friend Erika contacted me about doing a giveaway, I couldn't refuse.
Her blog is so sincere and beautifully written, if you're not following her, you're missing out.
So, while I'm out & about today getting to know some of the Army Wives at our new duty station, take a few minutes to stop by Chambanachik's blog & enter the giveaway. 
Happy Tuesday ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Growing up, we didn't celebrate Father's Day.
I could probably count on my fingers and toes the number of times that my sister and I saw our dad.
He usually showed up for Christmas and our birthdays, and even then, he was always drunk.

So when I found out I was pregnant, I hoped & prayed that Aaron would be the kind of dad that I never had. I'm not going to lie, at first it was rough. And he's still learning [as am I]. But the fact is that he does try and wants to be a good dad. And that is enough for me.
This was our first 'happy' father's day.
[Don't let the face fool you.]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

No More Tears

I really hate the 'cry it out' method.
Really, really.
Adelei was doing so good! 
For a little over a month now, she has been sleeping through the night. 
Around 7:30 I give her an 8 oz bottle. When she finishes it, I put her in her crib, and she drifts off to sleep until morning.
Don't get me wrong, there would be times that she would wake up, whine a few minutes, and then go back to sleep. When we first moved into our new place, for a few nights she would wake up after a few hours because she was scared. I totally understood that. It took some getting used to for all of us.
But that was almost a month ago.
For the past few nights, she's been going down & getting back up after 30-45 minutes. 
Of course I would go get her because that wasn't like her. 
She couldn't possibly be scared again?
I don't know what was up, but after about 3 nights of her getting up several times, I decided it was time to let her 'cry it out'. 
Ugh, I know it's what needs to happen so she can comfort herself and not depend so much on me to do that, but it sucks to listen to.
It's heart breaking, quite frankly, and it takes all of my willpower to not go get her, rock her, sing to her, love on her.
But just when I think I've reached my limit...just when I'm about to run down the hallway and get my baby girl...
And then I knew that I did the right thing.
That letting her cry for 5 minutes was truly for her benefit.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Here I Go Again

I'm happy to say that I'm being featured today over at 
Head on over to Chantal's blog and check out my post!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mom Tips: Baby's Wardrobe

I get a lot of compliments on how I dress Adelei.
The truth is, when we're going to be at home all day, she's either just sporting a diaper or a plain jane onesie.
But when we go places, I like to take the time to fancy her up. We all like to get dressed up from time to time. Back home, one of my friends said, 'She's always dressed so cute, you must spend a fortune!'
[Insert evil laugh here] I've had several 'mommy' friends ask me how I can afford so many clothes for her & where I get them from.

So, here are my secrets.

The biggy:
*If it's not on sale, I don't buy it.
Okay, okay..there have been MAYBE 2 times that I bought her a onesie/shirt that wasn't on sale, but it was already a really great price.

*I buy what's on sale now in sizes for next year. 
For example, last summer, before Adelei was even born, she had a full winter wardrobe [6-9 mo], and half of a summer wardrobe [12-18 mo]. Now, I am buying her clothes for next summer [2T] & I'm not breaking the bank!

*Shop weekly.
Once a week, I make my rounds. No, I don't spend a fortune. I set myself a limit [let's say $20] and go from there. SOME days, there will be more to choose from, therefore I up my limit a little. It's okay because next time there may not be much, so I won't end up spending anything. I've heard friends say that they can't afford to do that. I get it. Times are hard, so don't spend $20, spend $5 or $10. But trust me, it's a lot better to start stocking up NOW than it is to wait until that season comes in & have to buy everything full price. My favorite places to shop for Adelei include: The PX, TJ Maxx, Ross, Burke's Outlet, Target, & Kmart.

*Don't wait until the beginning of a new season to buy last season's markdowns.
Let's take this season, for example. It's summer. Some people think that stores don't start marking down summer clothes until Fall. This is so, so wrong. Most stores do mark downs weekly. This includes clothes that are in season now!

*Don't buy just anything.
I don't get everything in her size that's on sale. I only get the items that I think are really cute! This helps me save money & I don't fill her closet too fast. That may sound silly, but there will be cuter stuff next time!

*Eye the racks that aren't on sale.
Just take a few minutes to look around & see what they have. That way if you see a really cute outfit you like that isn't on sale now, you can keep it in mind for the weeks to come. I've gotten a few great deals this way! That carter's dress that you saw last week for $18 will probably be 25% off in 2 weeks, and 50% off in a month. Just wait & see. Not all stores are like this, but a lot are. Never buy full price!

*Carter's outfits are usually cheaper elsewhere.
I LOVE Carter's. But I also love having money in my bank account, which is why I don't [usually] shop at the actual Carter's store [or online]. If you have access to a PX or BX, you should definitely get your Carter's fix there. They have awesome selections, and if you look on the clearance rack, you can usually find them for 50% or 75% off. My other favorite places to get Carter's outfits are TJ Maxx & Ross. Just last week I got a 5 pack of super cute Carter onesies for just $9.

*Don't be afraid to thrift!
I cannot tell you how many outfits I have gotten from the thrift store that still had the original tags on them! Any thrift store will do, but my favorite ones to go to are the ones on post. You can get a brand new outfit for just a few dollars. Who can pass that up?

*Shop your way rewards.
Burke's Outlet has a great program where, on Friday, you can get 15% off any purchase. Also, anything you buy gives you points. 1 point for every dollar spent. When you get 200 points, you get a $5 off coupon with no spending limit. AKA free $5 to spend! Kmart & Sears also have a shop your way rewards program that you can use every time! It's 1% cashback [which doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up fast!]. Target has a 5% off card. Some people think that it's just a waste of time, but they obviously have more money than they know what to do with.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


My goals this week:
*finish organizing my house
*work out at least 5 days
*take Adelei on walks around the park at least 2 days
*get my craft on
*drink zero sodas/teas

In other news, I am trying to lighten the load on my bookshelf, so I'm selling quite a few of my books. Paperbacks are $2 + shipping & hardbacks & pregnancy/parenting books are $5 + shipping [Shipping will be combined if you want more than one book]

Here's a list of ones that I have left:

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer*
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer*
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer+
Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn*
I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn*
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell+
Smack by Melvin Burgess+
Downtown by Norma Fox Mazer*
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks+
The Road by Cormac McCarthy*
Shopgirl by Steve Martin*
Zoology by Ben Dolnick*
Baby Bargains by Denise & Alan Fields
Pregnany and Childbirth, A Goal Oriented Guide to Prenatal Care
I'm Pregnant! Now What Do I Eat? Nutrition Advice & Recipes
What To Expect When You're Expectiong
The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy, Or Everything Your Doctor Won't Tell You
The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood
What To Expect The First Year

* paperback
+ hardback

If you're interested, please email me at jaksart at rocketmail dot com.

And finally...
the winner of the Father's Day Give Away isssss......

Congratulations, Erika. You should be expecting an email from Holly soon!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baby Pedi Tips

I started painting Adelei's toenails when she was around 9 months old. 
I had been going back and forth about doing it for months, but finally decided to take the plunge one day when I was doing my own.
It was definitely an interesting experience, and I've learned quite a few tricks on how to get a great baby pedicure without unnecessary chemicals.
So many people have asked me 'how do you get her to sit still?' Or 'How do you get to look so good?'
Well, here you go:
I do it while she's in her high chair eating dinner.
This not only keeps her contained so she's not wiggling all over the place, but it also keeps her occupied. She is focusing on the food, not what I'm doing.
I only use professional grade lacquer on her. The main reason for this is because it lasts so long, that I only do her toes every 2-3 weeks.
Another perk to the high chair? It has a foot rest, so I'm not having to hold her foot in my hand. She rests her foot on it, and I hold it steady with one hand & paint with the other.
If you make a mess, it's okay! One coat is cute, but 2-3 looks more vivid and will definitely help it stay on longer.
The main reason I do this at dinner time & not breakfast or lunch is because after dinner, she always gets a bath. So, if she does notice what I'm doing & starts wiggling her toes around while I'm painting, I don't fret. As soon as she's done eating [after her toes have had plenty of dry time!] I put her in the bathtub & let her play [aka let her toes soak]. I almost always get polish on her skin, since her toes are so small! Soaking her feet in the water allows the polish on her skin to loosen & I can then get it off with a wash cloth or very gently with my finger nails. No need for acetone.
And when that is all done...
You have this
Hope these tips help you give your little girl a sweet little pedicure!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wish List

Last night we finalized our 'wish list' for our next duty station.
It took us hours to look over our choices, research them, and decide what to put down.
It's crazy to think that by the end of the year we could be moving again.
But that's the Army, right?
Although it was stressful, trying to decide where we might want to go, it was also fun. 
I like change [most of the time] and I think that moving from time to time is going to keep things fresh.
Where is the best place you've ever lived OR where would you move if you could?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Guest Post

Hey Friends!
I'm guest posting today over at A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps about my favorite summer recipe!
Go by & say hi :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

11 Months

My sassy girl is 11 months old.
Dare I say...she is sleeping through the night finally.
She is standing on her own sometimes.
She is interacting more with her stuffed animals, and 'reading'.
She's still dancing like no one is watching.
She falls down a lot, but rarely cries. She gets back up & keeps going.
I see more of this...
than I do of this...
Okay, not really, but she is always on the go.
So much so that she has just about given up her last nap of the day [yikes!]
& those nights when I'm not blogging, it's because she's done her duty & wore MaMa out.

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Time

Last night my husband and I had a 'talk'.

As most of you know, he has started his training. Which means he's gone pretty much all day.
I stay home with Adelei. I clean house & cater to my daughters every need.
I love it.
But I still need some time to myself every once and a while. So when Aaron got home yesterday, I asked him if he would mind watching the baby for a little while so I could have some time to myself. He agreed.
It just so happened that it was time for her last nap of the day, so he should have no problem.
I put her down, grabbed my purse, & headed out the door.
I had some things on my mind, yes. 
I also needed fresh air, and I wanted to get a few things for the house without having to take the baby. So I multitasked.

After I had only been gone a little over an hour I heard my phone ping...I knew it was a text from Aaron, 'What ya doin?'
*sigh* Here we go...
I responded '@ Hobby Lobby' and within seconds 'coming home soon?'
I wanted to scream! Right then & there in the middle of the store. But I kept it together. I finished browsing, and checked out. When I left there, I went home.

After I put the baby to bed, we talked.
Apparently he thought that because I left when I said I needed 'me' time, that I was upset.
That was not the case. Have I been feeling a little morose lately? Yes. But isn't that to be expected when you move 1,000 miles away from anyone you know for the first time? After explaining this to him, he somehow came to the conclusion that I don't want to stay home with Adelei. Read--this is NOT the case!
But after being home for 7 days, unpacking, cleaning, & catering to everyone else [husband, baby, dog] I just wanted a little bit of time for just me.
I don't think that is too much to ask for.