Anchors Aweigh : September 2015


DIY: 10 Minute Pumpkin Candy Stand

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TrickOrSweet #CollectiveBias

Tomorrow is October 1, which means it's time to start thinking about Halloween! This may be the most excited I have ever been for Halloween. To me personally, Halloween has always been a holiday for the kids. I don't so much love the scary connotations that come along with this day, but I love love love seeing cute kiddos dressed up in costumes and hyped up on sugar. Our new neighborhood is stocked full of tiny humans, and few things sound more fun than passing out candy to all of the ninja turtles and princesses of the evening (we like to count how many Elsa's we see in one night). 

I thought I would take today to share an easy Halloween craft for displaying your candy this year. Enter: My 10 Minute Pumpkin Candy Stand!

This craft was so easy a monkey could do it, but these days, those are my kinds of crafts! These Pumpkin Candy Stands can be placed on your front porch or inside your home. We have ours in our entry way, and it's a great little reminder that Halloween is almost here. If you will be out of the house this year for Halloween but still want to pass out candy, leaving this stand on your porch would be a fun way to do it!

Do you want to make one? This is what you need...

I purchased my 5 plastic pumpkins at Walmart for $1. Pretty hard to beat $1! Before you begin your craft, go ahead and remove the plastic handles on the pumpkins. 

To start, apply a liberal amount of hot glue to the bottom of your pumpkin. Adhere the glued side to the top of another pumpkin and hold together for several seconds. Repeat this step until you have a stack of 5 pumpkins.

Once your pumpkins are glued and securely attached, it's time to spray paint! I chose a metallic silver spray paint to go with our home decor, but choose any color you like! Bronze or gold would also be really pretty, or you could go with traditional Halloween colors like orange, black, or purple. Let you creative juices get to flowin'.

Once spray painted, let your pumpkin stack dry completely outside. Don't get over zealous like I did and bring your stack in prematurely. It could result in you scrubbing paint off of your brand new hardwood floors. Thankfully it comes off, but don't chance it. That wouldn't have been the most enjoyable conversation to have with the husband.

Now for the fun part: fill the top pumpkin with candy! I used the Hershey Goodies Galore Variety Bag and Hershey Kit Kat/Reese's Miniatures Variety Bag, purchased at Walmart. With 145 pieces of candy per bag, I thought these were perfect. It was like Hershey knew about my Pumpkin Candy Stand and created a bag just for me because one of these 145-piece bags fits into a pumpkin perfectly!

This was such a fun, quick craft, and I love seeing this pumpkin candy stand in our entry way. It reminds me that candy season is upon us. It also reminds me that I need to hit the gym, because I cannot stay out of this candy. I may be heading back to Walmart to purchase a few more bags before Halloween at the rate we are going. FYI- these Hershey Variety Bags are located in the Halloween aisle, right here:

What are some of your favorite Halloween crafts? I am on a DIY kick and would love to hear your ideas!

10 Tailgating Recipes For Football Season

Football season is under way! It feels like Christmas to this Aggie-loving girl. One of my favorite aspects of football season is the food. We are all about football food in our house. I thought I would compile 10 of my favorite tailgating recipes that will be perfect for your next tailgate or party. 

These recipes are all easy to throw together and big crowd pleasers. If you're hosting a football party, the last thing you want to do is spend the entire thing in the kitchen. You need to be out there and enjoying the game, so let's make food that allows us such luxuries. 

The Cream Cheese Sausage Balls are my favorite from the group, and my husband could eat the Crescent Roll Jalapeno Poppers every day. Hopefully these recipes will come in handy for your next football party. Enjoy this glorious season, and gig 'em! (I had to.)

Recent Reads: September

It's book day on this little blog! The quest to become a bookworm is going well, and dare I say that I would actually consider myself a reader now? I have a list longer than Santa's naughty list on Goodreads of books I want to read in the future- one fine day I will get to them all! I am excited for some travel days ahead. I've decided that there is really no better time to read than on an airplane!

Okay, so on to my 3 most recent reads...

Perfect Chemistry
by Simone Elkeles

I really enjoyed this one. A lot of books take me several chapters or more to actually get into, but I enjoyed this one from the start. It's basically the high school version of Grease meets How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. It's hardly realistic but would make a fabulously cheesy romantic comedy. It's an easy read and kept me engaged the entire time. There was a twist at the end to keep me on my toes, and I would recommend it to a friend!

by Linda Newbery

Confession: I chose to read this because it was shorter than most novels, and I didn't feel like I had the time to commit to a super long book. That was a mistake. I really should never choose to read something based on the number of pages, and I learned that lesson with this book. I finished all 256 pages and had absolutely no idea what I had just read. It didn't seem like anything happened. It was a documentation of a girl's summer after moving to a new house, but it lacked a single exciting incident in my opinion. The girl did adopt a dog, and I am all about people adopting dogs, so I guess there's that. Other than that, I can't recommend this one for your to-read list.

The Lucky One
by Nicholas Sparks

You really cannot go wrong with Nicholas Sparks. While I did feel like this book took me several chapters to get into, I couldn't stop reading by the end of it. It was sweet and cheesy and the whole time, I didn't know how it was going to end. I have not seen the movie yet, but I am not really sure how Zac Efron was cast as Logan Thiboult. Thiboult is supposed to be a rugged, gruff man with long hair, so that image doesn't really scream Zac Efron to me, but I am excited to watch it nonetheless! I liked this book. If you are late to the party like I was and haven't read it, read it now!

So that's it for September reads! Have you read anything amazing lately?

Friday Confessions

Fri-yay! Happy Friday folks. Here are a few confessions from our neck of the woods as we kick off yet another glorious weekend.

I confess... It's apparently National Twin Week, so shoutout to my favorite twin! I wouldn't want to match faces with anyone else! Also, who comes up with this stuff? It's a new "National This" day every day for something, but I felt that I had to participate in the twin one since I'm fortunate to be part of this exclusive club that only 1 in 250 get to be in.

I'm on the left. Danielle is on the right.
I confess... I just got my semi annual haircut, and it's quite possibly the worst haircut I've ever had. Yall, I am super simple when it comes to my hair. It's never been dyed, and all I want is a trim straight across. I was in a hurry when I was leaving the salon and didn't get a good look at my hair until I got home. Aye yi yi. I am sure the lady would have fixed it had I gone back and asked, but I didn't want her taking any more scissors to my hair. After the first performance, I was worried I would end up bald! I trimmed the pieces she "forgot" myself after I snapped this picture. I suppose that's what I get for purchasing a haircut with a Groupon. Seriously though, how does this even happen??

I confess... I have no problem being at home by myself. I love hanging out with friends but also don't mind vegging on the couch in front of the TV. If I know Parker is going to be gone, I try to schedule a couple of social outings but always leave one night at home to do nothing. When someone asks me to do something on my scheduled "me night", this is what comes to mind...

I confess... I do not remember snacking before energy bites, but it must have been a dark, dark time. I shared this recipe on the blog a few weeks ago and have been making them ever since. I made it about 2 weeks before Parker finally found them in the refrigerator and tried them, and now I am having to make double batches just to get through the week. We love these things!

I confess... Survivor started back up this week! This is hands down our favorite show to watch together. This season is called "Second Chance", where they bring back castaways from previous seasons to give them a second shot at the million bucks. Our Wednesday night obsession is back!

It's the weekend! Yall make it a good one!

Life Lately

Happy Thursday! It's life lately today on this little blog...

Thursday evening, we had the pleasure of hanging out with some family friends from San Diego! Parker gave everyone a tour of the hangar and the C-2 before we grabbed a bite to eat. Pictured below is Parker with Commander Wally MacLeod, who came into town for a reunion. 90 years old and the coolest guy! 

Wally told us he wanted seafood and remembered a great place with picnic benches from the 60s that he used to frequent. While we were fairly certain the place he remembered didn't still exist, we did find a great seafood restaurant with picnic benches- winning!

Saturday, Parker had to fly again (womp womp womp), but I had the best day with some of my favorite girls here! There was a neat wine festival going on with different wine, food, and shopping to sample. While the boys are away...

Saturday evening was a much needed date night! We are the boring old married couple who wants nothing more than to go to dinner and a movie together. We hit up a local sushi house before seeing Black Mass. Honestly, we really didn't care for the movie at all. It was so well cast and well done and will likely win a slew of awards, but I just didn't enjoy it. I need to laugh at movies!

Saturday also happened to be national "Talk-like-a-pirate-and-get-a-free-donut" day at Krispy Kreme. If you dressed like a pirate, you got a free dozen. I rarely eat donuts but would eat them every day if they weren't so terrible for me, so this was such a nice treat. We went to collect our free donut after the movie and practiced our pirate voices on the car ride over. Parker nailed it. Me, not so much. After quite possibly the worst pirate impression that ever was, we got our free donuts!

Sunday was of course the airshow, which ended up being a blast. Blue Angels, C-2s, and sunburns. Minus the sunburn, it was a great day hanging out with my favorite pilot.

Monday evening was spent celebrating the wonderful leader of our squadron spouse group before she leaves. I am really fortunate Parker was assigned to a squadron with such an awesome group of wives!

And of course, it wouldn't be a life lately post without a little update on Jenny. Here she is on one of her daily walks staring at the ducks. I need to bring a book next time because she would sit there and watch them all day if I let her. We let her swim after them on the rare occasion since we know she will never catch them. A great swimmer, she is not.

That's life lately! 

Nutty Yogurt Cups

This dessert just happened by accident, but it was quite tasty and not too hard on the waistline either! I used the crust recipe for my Fruit Pie with a Pecan Crust to make the cup and then used the random ingredients I had on hand to do the rest. If you're short on time and looking for a healthier sweet treat, give these a try!

1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
Vanilla Greek yogurt
The berry of your choice (I used raspberries)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Stir pecans, melted butter, and flour in a medium bowl until soft dough forms.
3. Press mixture into each muffin tin. Leave room for the filling you will add later.
4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until dough is cooked. Let cool completely. 
5. Remove nut cups from muffin tins, drop a spoonful of yogurt into the center of each and top with a berry. 


An Unexpectedly Wonderful Airshow Day

This past weekend was the NAS Oceana Airshow in Virginia Beach! The Blue Angels made their annual appearance along with a variety of other planes. It's really neat and always so fun to watch! The thing is, we had absolutely no plans of attending this year. We've done a string of airshows in the past and were planning on having a chill Sunday. Parker had flown all day Saturday, so we were just ready for a day full of nothing together. 

Long story short, the Navy had a different plan and pulled us in the loop at about 10 PM Saturday evening that Parker would be working the airshow. I was initially a little bummed since that husband of mine has been gone more than he's been home lately, but there's really no use throwing a hissy fit about it. He left early Sunday morning to man the C-2 and be there to answer questions, show people inside the plane, etc. Really, that's not a bad day at all for a pilot. Every so often, he would pop out and say hello!

I drove up a couple of hours later and ended up staying all afternoon. Parker was too busy to really hang out, so I volunteered to work the merchandise table and tried to convince kids that they NEEDED a C-2 patch. The squadron CO and his wife were there, and I loved the company!

We really ended up having the best day. Being at an airshow and seeing so many people excited about the planes is just fun! The only downside of the day was the lack of sunscreen. It's Monday, and boy am I paying for my oversight. But hey, if forgetting sunscreen is the worst thing that happened, then our Sunday wasn't too shabby. Seeing this kid in his element never gets old. 

Finally, it was time for the Blue Angels! We stopped selling and giving tours and got to watch the show. It's no understatement when I say we had the best seats in the house. The CO, Parker, and I climbed on top of the C-2 and watched from there. Yall, I can't even describe how cool that was!

The Blue Angels put on a great show per usual, and nobody crashed, which I am always slightly nervous about. These guys are so good at what they do, but eeesh it makes me nervous. Of all the times we have seen the Blue Angels, this was definitely my favorite. It's not every day they let the wife climb on top of the C-2, so I'll take it when it comes!

Sunday was completely unexpected but also just the best day. We had a blast, and I'm actually kind of glad Parker got that dreaded text at 10 PM Saturday night. Life's what you make it, and the Navy sure is teaching us that lesson lately.

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday! Another weekend is upon us, which means it's time to watch some fightin' Texas Aggie football! Gosh I love college football season. With the weekend kicking off in just a few short hours, here are the thoughts that have been circling my brain this week:

I confess... I have a terrible habit of responding to text messages in my head. I receive a text, respond to it in my head, and then put the phone down. Not the best way to communicate with people, but I'm working on it.

I confess... Last Sunday, Parker told me if I could correctly identify 2 out of 3 planes of his choosing, we could have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and I could pick the movie that afternoon. Yes, this happens fairly often, and yes, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast- winning! The key to my heart is food. The key to his is airplanes. 

I confess... I have been binge watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix and cannot seem to stop! I remember when I used to read books...Pretty Little Liars has put a damper on my inner bookwork.

I confess... My friend Bailey posted this meme on Facebook a few weeks ago and I have been laughing about it ever since. "When you want to throat punch somebody but you gettin' right with the Lord"... I think we have all been there. 

I confess... I count taking my dog on a walk as being social. Getting out in the fresh air with your best girlfriend equals social, right? We'll go with it.

It's the weekend! Yall make it a good one!

Life Lately

Lately, it's been the little moments that have been making us smile. It feels like we are together less and less as the weeks go on, so a night in where we are both free is just about the best gift you could give us right now! I want to remember those fun little moments, so here's life lately...

Thursday night, Parker and I went for a quick date night to our favorite local conglomerate, Chilis. They are doing their annual fundraiser for St. Jude, so we donated $1 and got to color a pepper. I didn't realize it was an art contest and colored to what I thought was satisfactory. Parker proceeded to tell me it was the worst coloring job he had ever seen. Um, rude. I told him I just needed to sign my name and we could go. He was none too thrilled with what I wrote...

Our main man was gone again this past weekend. It's never fun to be without the hubs on the coveted weekend, but I am thankful for amazing girlfriends and community here! I spent almost the entire weekend with friends and had the best time. Of course, I threw some best girlfriend time in there too.

Sunday evening, I watched the US Open finals before picking Parker up at the airport. I am a big Federer fan and really wanted to see him pull out the win, but Djokovic took the title once again. They are both so good! Such a fun match to watch.

I accompanied Parker to the golf course this week so he could practice at the driving range. While he was playing golf, I made a friend. Side note: if any Virginia Beach/Norfolk friends are looking to adopt a cat, the sweetest kitten hangs out at the golf course and needs a home! She was adorable, and if it weren't for the fact that my husband is allergic and my dog would literally kill her, she would have come home with me.

Always love watching this guy play golf. Actually, I probably only saw him hit 5 balls total. I spent the whole time with the cat. #priorities

We couldn't get over the sunset as we drove home. God was definitely showing off with that one!

Parker asked if I wanted to do a date night and go out to eat. I asked if we could order take out and watch a movie on the couch instead. You'd think I would want to get out of the house since I work from home, but this night was absolutely perfect.

That's life lately! It may not be all that glamorous, but I'm loving it :)

House Tour: Home Office Gallery Wall

I've always loved gallery walls. Really, I've just always loved pictures. When I walk into someone's home, the first thing I do is march right over to where the family pictures are displayed. I've noticed people do the same thing when they come to my house. Pictures are just fun!

Like I said, I've always loved gallery walls, but I think they are really hard to do correctly. I've seen gallery walls look amazing and some that look plain junky, so I've been hesitant to try. I don't have the best eye for this stuff, so I figured anything I created would end up on the junky side. 

I elicited a little (read: a lot of) help from my mother-in-law while she was in town to create the perfect gallery wall for my office. Yall, I am obsessed!

Even though there are 11 frames, choosing the pictures was hard! I love the ones that made the wall but would have happily selected 11 more if I had the space. I decided I wanted to do larger pictures with the majority being 8x10 photos. I already had six of the frames already on hand and purchase the remaining 5 from Hobby Lobby. Seriously, what would we do without that place?

After deciding on a layout, I spray painted all of the old brown frames that I had on hand silver. I think having several of the frames one color really helped with the overall look, and I love the shimmery silver against some of the more rustic off-whites. 

Hanging the frames was the hardest part, primarily because it was the only part I had to do by myself. After an average of 3-4 nail holes per picture, I finally got them looking just like I wanted! I even got the husband stamp of approval, which is always a win when it comes to decorating. 

I chose to go with all black and white pictures to give it a classic look. I typically love color pictures, but there is just something about the black and white collage that I find really beautiful. It feels timeless and makes me smile to see so many memories frozen in time.

My office is where I spend the majority of my time during the day since I work from home, so I want it to be a room that I like looking at. This wall of pictures and memories makes me so happy, and I truly love sitting in that little room now!


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