November 26, 2014

I’m Thankful for YOU Jamberry Flash Giveaway!

Hey y’all!

I just noticed that I totally missed my 5 Year Blogaversary (would’ve been April 1st). I can’t believe it! Well, yes I can, things were pretty crazy right about then. (Pregnant. Spouse club. Anticipating PCSing…)

Anyway, 5 years, y’all! Look how far we’ve come!

Normally I have a giveaway to celebrate my blogaversary, but of course, I missed that too. So I thought, why not go ahead and do one over Thanksgiving?

Because it’s true, I am thankful for all of YOU, all my awesome readers who come and comment and share my posts with your friends…and yes, even you lurkers. :) I say that with affection as I do plenty of lurking on my own!

I say it all the time, but blogging changed my life, and I believe the ultimate trajectory of my Army life experience. My first really good Army friends were bloggers. Some of the coolest people I know, and have known for years, are BBs I’ve never met in real life. Shoot, bloggers even sent me baby shower presents, completely unsolicited and unexpected.

Blogging has given me all y’all, and all y’all keep me blogging!

So, to say a heartfelt Thank You this Thanksgiving, I’m having a FLASH (48 hour) giveaway, sponsored by my friend Ashley, a Jamberry consultant.


Jams are all the rage, as I’m sure you know. I personally an looking forward to rocking some Jams when we go home for Christmas, so that my nails can be festive and low-maintenance.

Ashley has vey generously contributed 1 applicator set and 1 half-sheet of wraps (enough for a mani/pedi) of the pictured wrap for this giveaway!

To enter, simple follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below.

Remember: this is a FLASH giveaway! Only a limited time to complete all the entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Prep Schedule

2014-11-20 12.10.11
I mentioned before that Thanksgiving is our holiday – MY holiday, the one I get to do and host for other people. We have our own little Thanksgiving traditions, such as the turkey is always fried, and we watch all the Everybody Loves Raymond Thanksgiving episodes (that’s mostly just me, but I can’t help it, I love Raymond).

Since I do Thanksgiving, in order to make sure everything gets done on time and I don’t lose my mind, I have to write out my baking schedule and plan in advance. We only have one little oven, and even though the turkey is deep fried (I’ll never roast a turkey unless our deep fryer dies, and then we’ll just buy a new deep fryer) pretty much everything else goes through the oven.

This year, it’s just going to be the three of us, so it’s not the most elaborate menu (which is odd, because I always want to try more exotic things – like a pumpkin roll, which in my family is exotic – but never do because no one else would eat it) but we’re keeping things simple this year.

I still need my schedule. And two days worth of work.

How do you handle Thanksgiving prep? Do you get to go to a big family potluck? Or do you do it all yourself?

November 20, 2014

All shiny and new!

Looky! Looky looky! I got a new blog design!

It’s a weird thing, but I get more excited about redecorating the blog than I do redecorating my house.

I’ve been using Fran at Freeborboleta for Blog Design for…what, 2 years? A while anyway. I LOVE working with Fran! She puts up with my vague descriptions (“I like color”) and my indecision (“can we try it both ways, just to see?”) and somehow out of the chaos manages to come up with a design that blows me away and makes me feel happy :)

And it was time for a revamp. I needed to acknowledge the newest member of the SoldierMan household, I wanted to rearrange some things anyway, and I just had the itch. It hits me every year or so.

I couldn’t be happier with the result – the best part is, Fran gives discounts – both a military discount, AND a stackable return customer discount! Um, yes please! Thanks to the discounts I was also able to get coordinating facebook graphics and a contact card design I’m going to get printed…right after Christmas (when I have mo’ money :p).

If you’re in the market for a new blog design (or hey, add it to your Christmas wish list that you give your spouse…everyone does that, right?) you MUST check out Freeborboleta!

Other changes on the blog -

I pared down my title bar up there. You may or may not notice Movie Monday is gone. I loved doing Movie Mondays, but honestly I can’t keep up with it right now. Also, they were my least popular posts (hence my slowly weakening faith in humanity). You can still find them by searching for them. And maybe when I get back into a groove I’ll bring it back.

I’ve updated my Partner Policies. That’s a work in progress.

Biggest change – I’ve added a section of blogs I like to read. Allow me an explanation: When I started blogging, everyone had these really cute blog buttons that we’d all swap and have listed (or scrolling! remember the scrolling blog buttons??) on our sidebars and it was fun.

Then, slowly, people started needing to pay money to have their buttons somewhere. And that’s fine, but, maybe it’s just me, I noticed the blog buttons starting to disappear.

And it just wasn’t as fun anymore.

I was guilty of this. Wanting to do the whole “sponsoring” thing. Not a bad idea, in principle. Monotizing, I mean. But, in retrospect, I think targeting BB friends I’d been swapping buttons with for years was a bad idea.

So, I’ve resurrected the button display section of this blog – up there in the titlebar! It’s a work in progress, as I read and run across blog friends and find their buttons, it will grow. And as I add BBs, it will grow. And there are a couple of blogs that I like that don’t have buttons, but I like them and want them included anyway. Check them out, too.

I’ve updated the Meet Us section. That’s also a work in progress – pictures specifically are coming.

Oh, and I’ve added all my social media linkups on the left – facebook, twitter, bloglovin, all that stuff. If we haven’t linked up that way yet, now’s a great time to!

And new share buttons at the bottom of every post for your convenience :)

So…yeah. I think that’s everything. Welcome to my new space!

November 17, 2014

We Need a Little Christmas Now

(If you aren’t hearing that song in your head in Angela Lansbury’s voice, you’re doing it wrong.)


Full disclosure: I’m the person who usually starts listening to Christmas music around Labor Day. The religious stuff I find very worshipful, and the less-religious stuff are full of whimsy, fun, and optimism. I like that, and I make no apologies for it. In fact, I think any Christmas song worth singing is worth singing any time of year, if the message is correct. (“O Come Let Us Adore Him” – as relevant in February as December, IMO)

But, I do have a hard-and-fast rule that Christmas decorating is a Day After Thanksgiving tradition. Christmas cards don’t get done before then, either.

I fall somewhere in the middle on the “When does ‘Christmastime’ actually start” debate, which is more divisive than the “Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas” wars.