Anchors Aweigh : May 2016


DIY T-Shirt Dog Toy For Summer With My Best Girl

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

Summer has always been my favorite season. There is just something about the sun shining, the smell of freshly cut grass, and tan lines. It is heavenly! Jenny is a girl after my own heart because Summer is her favorite season as well. This pup is all about the sun! We could both sit on the lawn together basking in the sunshine for hours and be perfectly content- and we often do! 

With Summer on the way and so many evenings with my best girl on the horizon, I thought I would share a quick DIY for a t-shirt dog toy. Jenny likes to tear her toys to shreds, so it's hard to stomach spending $10+ on a cute dog toy that's going to become a pile of white fluff in a matter of .5 seconds. This tug toy is made with an old t-shirt and Jenny thinks it's the greatest thing since peanut butter. Winning!

This T-Shirt tug toy is so incredibly simple. All you need is an old t-shirt and a pair of scissors! I grabbed a tank top I have a duplicate of and got to work! When I laid out my supplies, a tennis ball somehow got thrown in the mix. I wonder who could have put it there...

First, lay your t-shirt out flat and cut 1-inch wide strips to the length of the shirt. No need to get out the ruler- just eyeball it! You want the lengths to be somewhat even, but your pup isn't looking for perfection on this one.

Lay out all of your strips and separate them into 3 equal piles. Again, just eyeball it. Simplicity is the name of the game! Reserve 2 strips for tying at the end.

Secure all three piles together at the top with one of the strips you set aside and begin braiding. Braid to the end, and tie off with the remaining strip. That's it! Your dog toy is ready to be used by your favorite furry companion!

This toy has held up so well amidst Jenny's best efforts to completely rip it to shreds. Did I mention this toy was made using an old t-shirt and completely free? Because that little fact bears repeating. Free, yall!

In addition to long afternoons of sunning ourselves and playing with her new t-shirt tug toy, we will also be delighting in many a dinner out on the lawn. Those warm summer nights just have to be enjoyed, and what better way for a pup to enjoy them than with a little kibble?

I'll be treating Jenny to Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Dog Food to give her the nutrition she needs to be at her absolute best. Purina Pro Plan Savor is on the menu for its high quality ingredients and optimal levels of protein and fat to help her maintain her most ideal body condition. That's why I like it, at least. She just thinks it tastes good. Works for me!

To create memorable mealtime moments with your pup this Summer, head to PetSmart and pick up a bag of Purina Pro Plan Savor today. And great news- PetSmart has a promo going on from 5/31-7/15! Spend $15 on any Purina Pro Plan product and save $15 on your next purchase of 10.5 lbs. or larger Purina Pro Plan Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter by 7/31.

Any other dog lovers out there who love spending Summer with their pup?

Pilot Groupie

I am the first to admit that Navy life can be difficult and stressful, but I've tried to convey on this little blog how much I genuinely love this lifestyle. Good and bad, it's such a fun ride, and I can't imagine our story without the military in it. 

Being in the military was Parker's dream long before I was in the picture, and I've never in my life met someone so passionate about what they do. That man loves to fly those planes! Seeing that love and passion he has for what he does has really influenced the way I view military life. He loves it, I love him, so I love it. 

I am Parker's wife, but I also at times feel so much like his little groupie. I think he has the coolest job in the world! I got the opportunity to watch him fly last Friday and loved every minute of it. We took a few obligatory photos "together", and I enjoyed hanging out in the LSO shack watching him fly, hearing him call the ball while other guys flew, and seeing him in his element. 

Military life is what you make it. That husband of mine makes the adventure so worth it and so sweet. I couldn't be more thankful!

Parents In Virginia, 2016 Edition

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of hosting Parker's parents for the long weekend! We really love having people stay with us and were so excited for their visit!

Tim and Leigh are always such awesome visitors. They are easy going and fun, and we just love hosting them in our home here in Virginia! Parker's work schedule has been very unpredictable lately (#Navylife), so we were so thankful he ended up having Saturday and Sunday off to hang out with us!

Saturday morning, we went on a long nature walk with the pup and basked in the glorious sun. When you live in Virginia, you wait a long time for that precious sun to come out after wintertime.

We got cleaned up and headed to downtown Norfolk for the afternoon! It's funny, because when we moved to this area of the country 2 years ago, I really didn't care for it. At all. But the more time I spend here, the more I fall in love with this place. We have a really cool downtown area, and it seems like there is always a festival going on! 

This particular day, we stumbled upon a hole in the wall restaurant that (in my opinion) has the best burgers in Norfolk! Locals, stop in Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint! Parker and I split the Danny Laruso, a burger topped with cream cheese and jalapeno jelly. I'm still thinking about it. So good!

We walked along the water to our afternoon activity... a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk! Tim and Leigh were so sweet to plan this, and we honestly had the best time! It was a 2 hour cruise with dinner and dancing. Pardon my picture of a picture below. 

The food was absolutely delicious (I thought it was better than the food we had on our cruise to The Bahamas!) and the dancing didn't disappoint. Parker and I are the first to admit that we are absolutely terrible dancers. I lack any semblance of rhythm and am one of the worst dance partners you could have, but we absolutely love dancing together. We danced most of the cruise along with Leigh (and Tim at one point too!). The dancing was our favorite part!

The top of the boat made for some pretty sightseeing as well!

The dinner cruise was definitely the highlight of their visit, and I am grateful to them for giving us that fun experience! Their visit was over too quickly, but isn't that how it always goes? Loved our time together!

Military Mondays: Deployment Checklist

It's Monday, which means it's time for another installment of Military Mondays! I thought I would take today to share with you all a great checklist for any upcoming deployments. 

Deployment can feel like you've been dropped into a giant forest without a compass, or speaking to the modern-day reader, without an iPhone. Either way, it's a confusing, scary, and intimidating process. This checklist has been really helpful for me, so hopefully it will be helpful for anyone else about to take on that dreaded D word. 

A lot of this stuff is meant for the one deploying, but we all know they sometimes need a gentle nudge to get going on things. Even though a lot of this was his responsibility, I still found it really helpful to read over and double check him. You can't be too prepared!

Legal Considerations:

1. Do you have a will?
2. Is your record of Emergency Data (page 2) current?
3. Do you need to leave a medical authorization with the person who is caring for your dependent children?
4. Are all ID cards/DEERs enrollments current?

Financial Planning:

1. Do you have a written monthly spending plan?
2. Does you spending plan include amounts for:
         a. port visits (if on a ship)
         b. phone calls
         c. gifts/souvenir purchases
         d. utility bills
         e. savings
3. Does your spending plan include amounts for:
         a. sea pay (if on a ship)
         b. family separation allowance
         c. possible promotion during deployment
         d. re-enlistment bonuses or other special payments
4. Do you/your spouse have access to MyPay?
5. Are you enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan?
6. If married, do you both understand and agree to how finances will be handled during deployment?


1. If you plan to do your taxes while deployed, do you have all the records you will need?
2. Do you have a specific power of attorney if someone else will be doing your taxes?


1. How will you be making payments to your creditors? Do they all have your current address?
2. How will you be paying your rent/mortgage/utilities?
3. Are there any annual expenses due while you are deployed? If so, how will they be paid?
4. If married, have you decided who will be using which credit cards during deployment?
5. Is your renter's/homeowner's insurance current?


1. If single, do you have a safe place to store your vehicle or is someone taking care of it for you?
2. Are vehicle insurance, tags, registration/title, and base/inspection stickers current?
3. Is all routine maintenance current?
4. Have you left the name of a trusted mechanic with your family?

Emergency Plans:

1. Do you have at least one month's pay saved in case of financial emergency?
2. If married, does your spouse know how to access the TRICARE healthcare system?
3. Does your family know your official mailing address, command name, and social security number?
4. Does your family know how to use the American Red Cross in case of emergency?
5. Does your family have the name and number of the command ombudsman?
6. Does your family have a disaster preparedness plan and place to meet/call?

A New Schedule For This Little Blog

Hello friends! I don't have a post planned for today, but I wanted to let you all in on a new routine for Anchors Aweigh Blog. Life has been pretty eventful as of late (hello, pre-deployment phase), and I have been posting sporadically on this blog when I can. I thrive on a schedule and want to keep this blog on one as well, so I have decided to post consistently on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Mondays will still be reserves for Military Mondays, and the other two days will be the usual content (life updates, book reviews, monthly goals, etc). I am sure there will be weeks where a Tuesday or Thursday post sneaks its way in, but for the most part, MWF is the routine I am aiming to keep!

I am excited to start this new schedule and hope to see you all back here Monday! 

XOXO, Chelsea

Because every blog post needs a picture, I give you my all time favorite beach girl ;)

Cruise To The Bahamas: Days 3 & 4

I am back for my final recap of our wonderful cruise to The Bahamas! If you missed the first posts, I blogged about days 1 & 2 here and swimming with the dolphins here

I've already said this about 10 times, but this really was just the most wonderful vacation. Cruises make everything so easy and relaxing yet still make you feel like you went out and experienced new things. It's just the perfect way to travel!

I also joked to Parker that I only want to go on international trips from here on out because turning off our phones and unplugging was heavenly! We didn't check email, texts, Facebook, the news, etc. and it made for the best environment to just soak up the togetherness. 

Day 3 began in Nassau! We docked and were off the ship by 9:00 AM for our excursion. We were ready to swim with those dolphins! We had about a 30 minute boat ride out to the island and tried to stay in the shade as much as possible thanks to the sunburns we incurred the day before. 

Here we are with both our cruise ship and the Disney cruise ship behind us. The Disney cruise ship left with us and was part of every port as well. The two ships basically just followed each other!

Swimming with the dolphins was wonderful and lasted about an hour from start to finish. That's a great way to spend an hour!

After the swim, we grabbed some lunch. Bonus points for remembering our credit card this time! We were pleased to not have a repeat of day 2 where we forgot money and were hungry/thirsty all day.

After lunch, we had about 3 hours on a private island to just chill. Good with us! We laid by the pool for the majority of it and just talked/people watched/napped/loved life.

When we got back to the harbor, we decided to wander into the city just to walk around and get the full Nassau experience. After about 5 minutes and an encounter with a man being handcuffed and escorted into a van, we looked at each other and said "We're good. Time to go back to the boat.". We did buy a $5 oversized shell that looks great on my stairway landing table. ;)

Once we were safely back on the ship, we cleaned up and went to dinner. We skipped dessert in favor of watching the sunset and enjoyed the perfect evening. (I may or may not have visited the dessert buffet after to make up for it). 

The next day was our only full day at sea. The boat was transiting back to Florida, so we stayed on the ship all day. It was so relaxing that I didn't take a single picture during the day. We napped, laid in the sun, and watched the hairy chest competition and other antics happening on the lido deck. 

That night, we went to the Music Through The Decades show and a late night comedy show after. Both were entertaining!

We were up bright and early the next morning to debark the ship. We were so sad our wonderful cruise was over! The debarkation process was smooth and super quick, which was great! 

Coincidentally, my twin and her husband happened to be enjoying their babymoon at Disney World in Orlando, just an hour away from our cruise port. We had a few hours before we had to catch our flight, so we met them at Kona Grill for a little Disney-themed breakfast! To say we were jealous we weren't staying when we drove through the entrance is an understatement. 

We were so beyond excited to get to spend an hour with them! We talked about the baby (us) and Game of Thrones (them). Typical. 

I had to snap a picture of my meal because it was so good it should be illegal. It was called Tonga Toast, and I haven't the slightest idea what it was made of. I just know it was delicious and probably temporarily clogged about 5 arteries. 

We said goodbye to the expecting duo and headed to the airport to fly home. Seeing them was a gift, and we are really glad it worked out!

That's days 3 & 4 (and 5 if you count the Disney day!). The whole thing really was a dream- take us back please!

Cruise To The Bahamas: Swimming With Dolphins

Last week, I blogged about days 1 & 2 of our amazing cruise to The Bahamas! I was going to recap days 3 & 4 today, but our day 3 excursion really deserves its own post. We fulfilled a dream we didn't even know we had when we swam with dolphins!

We were really excited for this excursion but had no idea just how amazing it actually would be. It's definitely an experience we will treasure forever!

The excursion itself was twofold. First, we all put on life jackets and swam into a roped off section of the ocean with three dolphins. The dolphins did tricks for fish and swam around. We got to touch them and feel them swim up against us. We even got to line up and tap the water for the dolphins to swim up to us and then dance with them. We held their fins and spun in circles, and they did the same. There are few things cooler than dancing with a dolphin. In fact, I can't think of anything. Pure joy!

We didn't get any pictures of that part, but thanks to the $75 picture CD for sale at the end, we have pictures of the second part. We posed with the dolphins, got kisses, gave kisses, and just enjoyed touching and loving on these adorable animals. 

We look at these pictures and just can't help but laugh. I love seeing Parker's adorable smile, he loves seeing my big cheesy grin, and we will treasure these pictures for years to come!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...