Anchors Aweigh : July 2016


Happy Summer | A Little Break

Hi friends! Things have been pretty sparse on this little blog and I am excited for that to change, but not quite yet. I miss blogging and am storing up all the things I want to share with you all, but I am going to take a couple of weeks to spend time with loved ones and catch up on life. 

Everyone have a great next couple of weeks, and we will catch up mid-August!

And because I am a firm believer that no blog post is complete without a picture, here's a picture of the pup that makes my little world go around. 

House Tour: Staircase Landing

It's been a while since I did a house tour, so I thought today was as good of a day as any to start that back up again! Rather than do an entire house tour, I am showcasing a specific corner or area of our home that we have worked on or are excited about. Today is the staircase landing!

This is the view when you get to the top of our staircase:

I used mostly pieces I had lying around the house already (cheapo, party of one), the large mirror being one of them! I love that mirror and was so excited to finally find a place to use it in our new home. 

Parker built the table, and I painted it white to match the trim. If I haven't gushed lately about how great it is to have such a handy husband, I'm gushing now. So nice. 

Parker (I think it was Parker) came up with a great idea to display the previous year's Christmas cards across the top. It's so fun to thumb through them and always something guests take a minute to look at. I'll replace them each January so we can enjoy them a full year!

The picture on top of the table is one of our engagement pictures (how was that almost six years ago?!), and the paperweight that says "Anchors Aweigh" was gifted to me by a sweet friend. It's fun to have a little ode to the Navy and to this blog displayed. 

I asked Parker to add a shelf to the bottom of the table so we could display little knick knacks, and the left side holds all items recycled from other areas of our home. The two outside candles were actually lit at our wedding!

The right side of the bottom shelf holds our framed wedding invitation and a shell we purchased for $5 on our cruise this past May in The Bahamas. Other than a Christmas ornament, this was the only souvenir we came home with!

That's about it! It's simple, but this little space makes me so happy. The great thing about Parker building the table was he could build it to whatever specifications we wanted. We didn't want it to feel crowded, so the table is less than a foot wide. It fits the space perfectly and is still wide enough to store a few of our favorite things. 

The picture frames and dark silver decorative stands (what in the world are those things called?) came from Hobby Lobby. Everything else is old or a gift, so I am not sure where it came from!

Previous House Tours:

DIY: New Mama Care Package

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

With my sister expecting her first baby any day now, I wanted to put together a little New Mama Care Package for her to enjoy. She has had 3 baby showers and has more clothes for my precious nephew than she knows what to do with. That kid is set! These gifts focus on mama and are aimed specifically for those first few months as a brand new mama!

I was just on the phone with my sister yesterday as she was busily trying to find a spot for all of the baby's new things, so I tried to keep that in mind when putting together this care package. I didn't want to gift her 20 things that she would have to worry about finding room for, so I stuck to the essentials that will get her through the newborn stage.

1. A good book- I included "I said Yes" by Emily Maynard Johnson because I loved that book oh so much. The new mama will need to keep herself awake during those late night feedings!

2. Coconut oil- This might be one of the most diverse products on the planet, but she can specifically use this to soothe her stretched skin from baby taking up residence the past 9 months.

3. A new tumbler- Hydration is important, and I don't want her to forget to drink water when she's constantly tending to the new baby. I chose a tumbler that fits in a standard cup holder and has a straw for easy drinking!

4. A candle- I chose a candle called "Cozy Nights" because she is in for many cozy evenings with her new little bundle of joy. Hopefully the good smells will keep her calm and relaxed as she transitions to this new phase of life.

5. Body butter- I know personal hygiene takes a back seat when you're caring for a newborn 24/7, but I don't want her to forget to treat herself to the simple luxuries. A good smelling body butter will go a long way!

6. Poise Impressa Sizing Kit- Anyone who has had a baby knows that incontinence is a natural side effect of having babies. I included the Poise Impressa Sizing Kit because they are soft, flexible, and comfortable, and they are the first over-the-counter product cleared by the FDA for the temporary management of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).

I also threw in the Poise Thin Shape Moderate Absorbency Pads to give that ultra-thin protection without the extra bulk! The thin-flex design moves with your body, so it's perfect for the new mama on the go!

Both of these items from Poise, along with so many other goodies that will be perfect for your New Mama Care Package, can be purchased at your local Rite Aid!

What are your must-haves to include in a New Mama Care Package?

Military Mondays: 10 Bible Verses To Pray Over During Deployment

I have always been a big believer in the power of prayer. In good times and bad, prayer has gotten me through it all. I've found that throughout the various stages of my life, different Bible verses have helped give me clarity and peace about whatever I was facing. 

Deployment is one of those times where the power of prayer can be hugely beneficial. When my heart is anxious, I know these verses can help calm me down and give me the perspective I need. The cool thing about the Bible is that it wasn't written for one specific audience. It was written for all. What I find helpful being a military wife, someone else will find helpful for an entirely different reason. Even if you aren't a military wife going through deployment, I encourage you to check out these 10 verses and pray over them this week!

Romans 8:28- For we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 

John 16:33- In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world. 

Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope. 

Matthew 6:34- Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. 

Philippians 4:6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Matthew 11:28- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 

Psalm 55:22- Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken. 

1 Peter 5:6-7- Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 

Psalm 56:3- When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 

Five Ways Military Life Has Changed Me

I'm a big advocate for military life. I know it's not for everyone, and I know it presents challenges that a lot of other couples won't have to face, but I am determined to showcase the good in it. Deployment stinks, separation stinks, but the lifestyle is one heck of a ride that I wouldn't change for anything. 

We've been on this military journey for 4.5 years now, so I thought it was time for some good old-fashioned reflection. I feel like I've learned more in the last 4.5 years about myself than I did in the 20 before. It sounds like a stretch, but military life forces you to fine tune qualities you didn't know you possess and learn an inner strength you may not have thought possible. 

1. I'm more social

I was a social kid in high school and college, but military life has taken that to a whole new level. I have the best friends both here in Virginia and spread throughout the world, and I seriously could not do this crazy life without them. Friends are your stronghold in this life. 

2. I'm more of a sap

I'm sappier than a maple tree on a hot day. If I see a homecoming video or pictures of families being reunited after deployment, I melt into a puddle of butter. The USS Truman just returned home safely after an 8 month deployment, and seeing my friends reunited with their husbands brought me to tears!

3. I'm more independent

Miss Independent, party of me. I was fairly independent before, but that gets kicked up a notch when it's your job to run things by yourself while your husband is away. Military life will either bring out your independence or quickly help you gain it. 

4. I'm more present

I feel like the unpredictable schedules and the long months apart help me be more present in the moment. I feel like I appreciate the little things more, and I'm thankful for that. Complacency is always a fear of mine, and I think military life has taught me to value each moment for the special, unique thing it is. 

5. I've learned more weird words and acronyms than I can count

I don't think this last one really makes me a better person, but man it's the truth! Military lingo is like learning a new language. I'm only semi-fluent and will probably never be up to speed. I learn what a new word means and then hear five more I've never heard. It's a vicious cycle. 

DIY Smooth Legs Peppermint Sugar Scrub

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

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I. Love. Summer. Love it! I love the sun, I love the cute shorts and sundresses, I love the pool... I just love it all. Since we girls find ourselves bare-legged for most of the Summer season, I thought I would share my latest favorite way to keep those legs silky smooth. It's not an expensive lotion or complicated beauty regimen. It's a sugar scrub! This peppermint sugar scrub exfoliates legs, leaving the smoothest finish! My favorite part? This scrub is made in 5 minutes and only has 3 ingredients! That's called winning, my friends. 

First, gather your supplies. You will need:

1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil
small mason jar

Step 1: Pour sugar into your mason jar.

Step 2: Add coconut oil. No need to mix yet!

Step 3: Add Nature's Truth Peppermint Essential Oil drops. I would put in about 10-15 drops, depending on how potent you want the peppermint to be. 

Step 4: Stir together with a spoon until the mixture becomes nice and fluffy. It should be gritty like a sugar scrub but easy to stir and break apart. 

That's it! Rub on your legs and enjoy feeling silky smooth! The secret behind this sugar scrub is the peppermint oil. It is refreshing and stimulating and great for massages. Each time you apply it to your legs, the cool and minty sensation will work with the sugar and coconut oil to help get those legs silky smooth for Summer! I chose Nature's Truth Essential Oils because they are great in DIY projects of many kinds. Soaps, candles, air fresheners... the sky is the limit! 

I used Nature's Truth Peppermint Essential Oil in the sugar scrub, but I also picked up a Tea Tree oil since it is known to be purifying and rejuvenating. I am already thinking about a diffuser with Tea Tree oil for my next DIY project!

This DIY Smooth Legs Peppermint Sugar Scrub makes a fabulous gift for your girlfriends or yourself! It's quick, fun, and effective. To make your own, head to CVS and look for Nature's Truth Essential Oils in the vitamin section. Don't forget to print off the coupon before you go!

What are some of your favorite Summer DIY projects?

Pray For Dallas | Pray For Peace

I wasn't planning on posting today, but waking up to the terrible events that are happening in my own backyard, I feel sick to my stomach. Last night, 2 snipers opened fire on Dallas police officers, killing 5 so far and injuring 8 more. It's sickening, heartbreaking, and everything in between. 

All lives matter. I don't care if you're white, black, blue, red, yellow, or purple. All lives matter. Please pray for peace. We live in a country within a world that so badly needs Jesus. I will be praying for the families of those killed and the officers that are still fighting to survive. Please join me!

Have a blessed Friday, and hug your loved ones tight. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Go spread some love today in a world so full of hate. 

Life Lately

I've been a little absent from the blogging world as of late, but life has been full and very sweet! June was a whirlwind, and as much as I loved how busy it was, I am so excited for a little R&R in July. Here's a look back at life lately. 

Parker and I celebrated our five year anniversary on June 26th! These flowers made my little day!

I dog sat for my friends while they were on vacation, and Jenny loved having an extra playmate around! She has basically decided Dug the dog is her brother and wants him around all the time. Don't mind her unimpressed look here... that's just the way her face is. ;)

As you can see, Dug the dog made himself right at home!

A few of my sweet girlfriends took me to dinner to celebrate my anniversary. I hit the friendship lottery and am oh so thankful for them. We went to Macaroni Grill and ate all the carbs!

My friend Alexa flew in from California to spend 4 days with me, and we had a great time! She was one of my first friends in Virginia, and we loved planning a girls night to get the group together while she was in town. I loved hosting her! 

I spent the better part of this past weekend with friends at the beach. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday! Not pictured is the giant (seriously, giant) swan we floated the day away on. 

In honor of Independence Day, a few friends and I headed to Virginia Beach to watch the fireworks! They were beautiful, and the beach is the perfect atmosphere. I kept telling the girls how peaceful it all was. Looking around the beach and seeing all kinds of people from all walks of life memorized by the fireworks was a sweet sight. Just for a moment, it felt like the world was at peace. On another note, I've determined it's nearly impossible to watch the fireworks and not sing Katy Perry's "Firework". 

Rounding out the week was my best girlfriend's birthday! The Jen pup turned 6 on July 5th (totally made up birthday), so we celebrated with a selfie and a swim in the pond! She is snoozing (what else is new?) as I type this and I just can't get over how great I think she is. Jenny is the bees knees in my book!

That's life lately!

Six Years of Jenny Lovin'

My best girl turned 6 yesterday! If you've read this blog long or follow me on any sort of social media, you know I love the Jen pup something fierce. She lights up our lives and has been my rock through life's hard times. It's all about her on the blog today!

I've blogged about this before, but we like to say Jenny is "the best spontaneous decision we've ever made". We adopted her through God's Little Creatures Rescue in College Station, TX 4 months before we were even married. We weren't living together, so Jenny lived with me and my roommates until Parker and I were married and in our own apartment. Needless to say, nobody really thought our "spontaneous decision" was the best idea. We would go to adoption events on Saturdays to pet the puppies, and you can only go so many times before you actually come home with one. That's what happened to us, anyway! Parker saw Jenny at the event and that was it. He was hook, line, and sinker, and I followed closely behind. We've been obsessed with her ever since!

She was about six months old then and has always had the sweetest disposition. She's calm, loves kids, and just wants to be our buddy. She thinks Parker is the cool one but is attached to my hip during the day. I am a pretty social person and adore my friends here, but I am also perfectly content spending the day with Jenny and count that as social interaction. Crazy dog lady, party of me. She's an excellent listener, sleeps 17 hours a day, and takes 1-2 leisurely strolls per day. I'd like to be her, please. 

And seriously, if I could give unsolicited advice to every military spouse on the secret to surviving deployment... Get a dog. Or a cat. Whatever you want, but adopt a furry companion. Life is sweeter with one around!

Happy birthday Jenny Lou! Six never looked quite so unimpressed! ;)


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