Monday, November 18, 2013


Hi There! Today In honor of my first day of work! Woo hoo for orientation! (jay kay) - I thought I would show a couple of items that I would love to have in my office. 

1. 2. 3. 4.5.

1. I have always loved Pencil Shavings Studio. I have one of her ipad covers and it is great quality, and just about the cutest thing ever. I am a stripes lover, and a color lover- so I thought that a tray like this to corral client files/paperwork would be a cute addition to my office. It also fits my profession too  as an art therapist (or so I tell myself). 

2. My favorite aisle in Tarjay is the Smith and Hawken aisle. I have always loved their things, and used to spend hours walking through the store in my hometown on my breaks from working retail over christmas.  I would love this box to make a terrarium out of in my office. 

3. Coffee. Obviously. I am old school when it comes to coffee. I use a french press or my Bialetti stove top espresso maker to make coffee, and that's it. I utterly refuse to buy a keurig. Handy they are, but I just can't give up my old school ways. Because they take slightly more effort/time to make coffee in, I'll probably be having my first cup at the office. Starbucks is carrying a small 2 or 3 cupper that is made out of recycled plastic. I love the design, AND it is wayyyy cheaper than buying one at Target- surprisingly enough. Target has become proud of their french presses. $30? I mean. 

4. I think every office should have something green. I have collected cacti and succulents since I was itty bitty. I would save up a dollar from my allowance and every few weeks go to the "cactus guy" at our local farmers market and pic out a new plant. I still have a huge aloe vera plant that I'll be taking with me to work, but I'd like to get more, and make a terrarium in that gorgeous Smith and Hawken box from above. 

5. Ever since I was small I've been obsessed with school supplies. I still am, even though I am out of school now (cue angels singing). I LOVE these notepads from Greenroom. Theyre super sassy, and they are just about the perfect size to stow in your purse or keep it on your desk. I take notes all the time for everything, and these make it that much more fun. And you can't get mad at the price tag either. 

What are some of your work/office must-haves? 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Friday Coach's flights got cancelled due to weather and he was home for the day. With Henry at school for a half day, and about to start full time again, I was feeling a little aimless and mopey around the house. We ended up sitting on the sofa, eating lunch, talking, and watching really dumb television on TLC. 


It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. It definitely felt strange to do nothing- not even being on the computer or phone while watching tv or something. I am not good at doing nothing. Watching a movie is a perfect time to fold laundry or blog, right? But it is worth it to train our minds to concentrate on ONE thing at a time- it provides much more rest, and is calming. And de-programming from the glorification of busy is hard to do, but worth it. 

It is so important in our day and age of constant over-stimulation due to the media to really just do NOTHING, or reduce what you do to one thing, and focus solely on that! 


Friday, November 15, 2013


Hey there! I hope everyone is finishing out a great week! I'm finally getting my 5 on Friday up! This week has been busy busy! 


My friend Melanie came in town this past weekend and we had such a great time. We became instant friends when she was assigned to be my "big sister" in grad school. It's not awesome that we don't live down the street from one another anymore but she's taken time to come visit a few times once she moved away and its always so much fun! We explored and ate and shopped and played with H. It also means so much to me when my friends love Henry so much, and she definitely does. She is auntie Mel to him and lets him jump all over her and throw baseballs at her. 


After today started out not on the awesome side, (to include my only travel mug leaking ALL over me ALL morning) I decided to take some of my birthday money and purchase one of these alice and olivia for Starbucks travel mugs. I mean. My coffee now has it's own tutu. the end. 


Henry started at his new school for two half days this week to get used to it before being there full time. To say it is a better fit for him than his old daycare is an understatement. They ADORE him and take SUCH good care of him. They keep them engaged all day long in projects and learning, and he even gets to bring his own lunch. So obviously he had to get his very own special lunch box with his name on it. I know he won't remember it but I love it and it makes his teachers finding his things easier. Also, he loves carrying his lunchbox in to school and feels like such a big boy. 


I FINALLY went to World Market with Mel this weekend. And I was sold. Because, wine y'all. Can I please get a moment of silence? Amen.


Two awesome things in this photo. It was finally cold enough to wear my super comfy uggs the other day. I don't care if they have crud on them or if they are even out of style ( I have no idea if they are or not) they are SO dang comfy. Also, I was waiting for the library to open so I could get my library card in this photo. I got Henry one as well and scored on a ton of books for him and an audio book to listen to for myself while I drive around running errands. Score!

Okay y'all, I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Afternoon lovelies! I hope everyone's Tuesday is going great! Ours is good over here. Getting things checked off that old to do list! Today I want to talk a little bit about simplifying my life.

 As students and new parents Coach and I had to get organized and simplify as a matter of survival while we were in school. My fabulous in-laws gave me this fantastic calendar for my birthday a year or two ago and it was life changing. We were so insanely busy that every day one of us would drop him off one morning, and another would pick him up, and then the next day would be totally different. Using that calendar to schedule both of our days down to the hour was perfect for us.

We did not have to buy a single piece of clothing for the first year of his life because of many gifts of clothing and an extremely generous family friend who gave us ALL of her two sons' clothing. Because of this we splurged and purchased 2 car seats and bases so we never had to think about who had the carseat.

Meal planning was also huge for me.  I did not do crock pot meals because I really adore cooking and that was my way of relaxing and winding down at the end of an intense day of school and internships. I did, however, make quick meals during the week, and fun more involved ones on the weekends. But planning my meals and shopping once made life so much easier.

Having a cleaning schedule also helped a ton. I did not want to spend a ton of time cleaning every day, but wanted a clean house. That was probably the thing that got let go the most- but I did the best I could. Coach and I split the chores pretty much down the middle, and where I did cleaning of the whole house, he did the laundry and dishes (daily). It worked out for both of us. I came up with a basic 30 minute plan for every day so the house would get cleaned entirely by the end of the week. Now I have found a little more in-depth one off apartment therapy now that our house is, ehem, twice the size of our tiny city apartment.

Being a military family, a major way of simplifying our lives is by keeping the "stuff" and "clutter" to the minimum. We constantly got rid of stuff for a good 2 years (we are talking a bag of stuff every week). We really pared down to what we needed and things that served our lives and house. Before we moved, we got rid of even more. I got rid of ALL of the clothes I don't wear- which means about half of them. We don't have unnecesary kitchen appliances or gadgets either. We have items that do double duty, and items that are very high quality that will last forever.  We buy kindle books or get books from the library  so we don't have to move around tons and tons of books. Everything in our house has a place.

I use Emily's simplified planner binder as a household notebook keeping all of our important documents at hand, and have all of our really important documents in a safe that we can grab easily. Her series on simplifying has inspired me to simplify even more so that I can focus on what she says: "what matters most".

I also use Lara's powersheets to keep my goals at hand so that I have no excuses to reach them. Coach and I were both college athletes and have continued with the goal-oriented mind set we picked up from being athletes. We want Henry to believe that he can do anything that he sets his mind to.


Now that I am about to start a job I want to simplify things even more- so I totally organized my closet and picked out any items of work clothing that needed to be cleaned or tailored. I am picking up silver polish to make sure all of my accessories are looking bright and shiny, and I am finishing up some projects around the house.


I want to give this way of cooking a whirl to see if it buys us more family time at the end of the day. As I've said before, family time is THE most important thing to us, as we know that our time is not ours being a military family- so if I can maximize that- then I want to do so. Sitting down as a family and eating healthfully is super important to us AND it does not have to take hours to do. I will let you know how that goes! 

What do you all do to simplify your life? I'd love to hear your ideas! 

Monday, November 11, 2013


Hey sweet friends! I'm sorry I've been a little MIA the past week. I've been getting life back together after going out of town and getting some loose ends tied up because...I GOT A JOB! Thats my #1 on this list today. It was my first choice out of two interviews I had. I'm soo soo thankful for this opportunity- I'm still kind of floored I got this job. Its proof that you have nothing to lose to just go for it.  I start next monday and have lots of things to cross off my to-do list before I start. Hopefully that means getting a couple of super fun home projects done for the blog also!  Here are the rest of the things I'm thankful for:


All the time Henry and I got to spend with family last weekend. Here he is with Marmee (my mom) 


If you saw my instagram recently you already know about this. I stopped for what I expected to be a quick trip to MacDonald's to get a happy meal for H's lunch on our way home from Jacksonville. An older gentleman sat next to us and we struck up a conversation. He was an Army psychiatrist who went back to school to become a lawyer. He then became a law professor and judge, and when he retired he became a minister and Gideon. An hour after he sat down, we had talked about everything from God to Psychology and everything in between. He prayed for me and my family, and was so so uplifting. That was one of those special experiences that I don't think I'll ever forget. 

 We came home from Jacksonville and was sick sick sick with a fever. The hubby forced me ( because I'm terrible about self care) to relax, poured me a glass of wine, and built me a fire. 
Florida does sky well, y'all. 

Got my hairs did! Finally. I got my hair cut about 2.5 months ago and I needed a trim so so bad. I ended up with something shorter than I originally intended, but once she started cutting, I just told her to keep goin'. I haven't had hair this short in a long time but love it! 

I'll be catching up on lots of things that have happened in the past week or two on the blog and like I said, I look forward to sharing a couple of projects I have up my sleeve! 

Friday, November 1, 2013



This one. This one made me a mama. He tests my patience every day. He sanctifies me every day. He made me a better person the second he was born.


He takes me out of my introverted shell every day with his wide and happy and loud "HI!" to complete strangers. He makes those complete strangers light up. I've seen him pull people out of their terrible awful painful days.


Henry James I think and pray and plan and try every day to be the best mama I can be to you. To give you the childhood you deserve. To prepare you for the world. To find the balance between self protection and really giving yourself to the world and serving others. But you've already taught me more about myself and more about the world in these 20 short and long months than I feel that I could ever teach you, son. 


You are full on, wide open, a bruiser. You steamroll everything and everyone. That is something I love about you. You are simultaneously unapologetic and sensitive to the world around you. You are attentive to everyone you meet. You listen. You take in. And you already give to others. You know when I'm sad, you know when someone needs a kiss from you.


You slay me little boy. Every day. I pray every single night that you never for one second doubt the love that I and your father have for you. Because it is deep and wide. and to the moon and stars and back a million times. 


I love you, Henry James.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Hi Loves! Hope you're having the best week! We are truckin' along over here. Yesterday there was a big Trick or Treat event on Palafox street in downtown Pensacola that we took H to. We decided to do our "Halloween" then because its supposed to rain tonight - and we wanted to see other kids and be around a lot of other people. Well it ended up being a HUUUUGE crowd wich was just to much for Coach and I so we lasted about 20 minutes and left. H didn't nap yesterday either so he was really tired but a good sport the whole time. 

Years ago I found a picture of a baby dressed up as the old man from "UP?" and I just had had had to do that for H now that he was walking this Halloween. He was a baby owl last year, another picture I found before I was even married and saved until I had kids. Both costumes were a lot of work to last only about 30 minutes but SO worth it. 


My mom used to make all my costumes when I was little and thats always been something I've wanted to do for my kids. I definitely don't have the sewing chops she has but I am creative enough that I can come up with stuff.


H already had all his clothing items needed, so I just had to buy balloons, foam board, and those glasses. all of which were from the dollar tree. I drew the UP house on the foam board and attached it to a little music-walker H has (with the music turned off). 


He actually kept the glasses on the whole time- surprisingly! I attached some elastic to the sides to hold them on. He LOVES my glasses and always says "GASSES!" when he sees me wearing them. so cute. 


I could not get a single picture of him pushing his house and balloons because he is fast as lighting and all over the place. He loved the balloons too! He calls them "moons!" because he is also obsessed with the moon and I guess "balloon" sounds like "moon" to him. He actually says it like "Moonaa" 


Happy Halloween y'all! I'd love to hear what everyone is/does for halloween and what everyone's babies dress up as too! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Hey lovelies. I hope everyone's tuesday is going well. I'm feeling a little under the weather between catching a cold from H and pulling a muscle pretttttyyyy good the other day while working out. BUT its gorgeous outside and I'm determined today is going to be awesome! 

I'm getting ready to head out the door to take H to a new patient appointment at his new Pediatrician but I wanted to just send some love and encouragement out there today. 

Have a great day, friends!


Monday, October 28, 2013


Saturday Night the Navy Daycare hosted a "date night" which we took advantage of. You can drop your child off and they watch them from 5pm-12am for only $4.00/ hour!  We have not found a babysitter here yet, and I'm a little intense about who I let babysit Henry, so I haven't felt comfortable just finding some random person to do it. And even though R keeps suggesting something like, I have not warmed to that idea yet. This is perfect though because we know the daycare adheres to very strict standards, has cameras, and lots of fun things for Henry to do.

 We could have gone out to eat or something but I have really wanted to just stay home lately and be a homebody. Maybe its the cooler weather? Rather than just staying at home ( in which case we could just save the moolah and have a date night for free after H went to bed) I decided I wanted us to go for a romantic picnic on the beach.

Normally R plans our dates and surprises me, which is always super fun. He comes up with the best stuff! I asked if I could plan this date night and got to work. Even though R knows what we were doing, he didn't know the menu. Saturday morning, R went to the gym and to study and H and I hung out. As soon as H went down for a nap (without a fight!) I got to work. I really wanted everything to be done before R got home. I decided I wanted to do something simple, low fuss and easy to eat/pack up. I also decided I wanted to do a bunch of our favorite foods. I even typed up a cute little menu card. Here is what I planned:


To start

Sparkling Wine
Francis Copola Winery, California

Shrimp Cocktail
Wild-Caught Gulf Shrimp with home-made cocktail sauce

Smoky Sweet Potato Soup
With Smoked sea salt and paprika


Chicken Caesar Salad
All natural lemon-pepper chicken breast on a bed of romaine lettuce
 topped with vegan almond-tahini caesar dressing


Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate

When we were on our honeymoon cruise, I had shrimp cocktail every single night as my appetizer, and it was sooo good. It's the best appetizer to me,  and can be a great simple meal as well. It is easy to whip up, doesn't call for a ton of prep (as long as you get deveined/peeled shrimp), and is elegant. It's also super healthy (always get wild caught shrimp- if it does not say that on the package or at the grocery butcher, then most likely it is from a farm in Thailand). We are lucky that we have a fantastic fish market nearby and its cheaper to get seafood than any other kind of meat there. 


One of Coach's favorite salads is caesar salad, and one of his fave meals is chicken caesar salad. His all time fave fruit is Strawberries. He likes my home made caesar dressing and loves when I make chocolate covered strawberries. 


I originally decided on that particular sparkling wine because it was in these dainty little cans, and because we were going to a beach, we are not supposed to bring glass containers. I then realized after purchasing this wine, that the only food containers we have are glass, so we are going to be rule breakers! Ha! 

This is how I packaged the chicken caesar salad and dressing:


For my chocolate covered strawberries: I followed the same recipe as my chocolate covered pretzels recipe with a few changes. For the strawberries, I did not put the milk in the chocolate. Also, make sure to allow the strawberries to dry completely after washing, and make sure they are not cold. These two things make the chocolate "clutch" when dipping them and does not taste or look as good. Also, once you've dipped the strawberries let them cool for an hour or two on the counter before putting them into the fridge for another hour or two. If chocolate cools too quickly it becomes dull and grainy. And girl, let me tell you, there's nothing less romantic than a grainy chocolate covered strawberry. 
(I jest). 


Coach took me to a new restaurant the other day, he wrote about it on his blog this past week.  I ordered a cup of this AMAZE-FEST sweet potato soup as an appetizer and just about died. It was so simple but so good- it was spicy and smokey and was topped with pumpkin seeds. I dreamt about it all week and decided I had to make my own version for our appetizer. Its super simple. I didn't have pumpkin seeds lying around, so I did omit that. Also, I totally forgot to take a photo of the soup. But... as I'm sure you can imagine, it looks like sweet potato soup. Shocker, I know. 

1 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 medium onion diced 
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 
3-4 cloves garlic, minced 
2-4 Cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup whole milk (or any unsweetened/unflavored milk substitute) 
Smoked Sea Salt
Smoked Paprika
Chili Powder
Salt, Pepper to taste 
Worchestershire sauce

1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large sauce pan
2. saute onion for 1 minute
3. add garlic and saute another minute
4. add stock or water and sweet potatoes, bring to a boil
5. lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender
6. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes (or longer until cool if you are not using a blender/food processor that can handle hot liquid/food)
7. pour most liquid into a cup, set aside
8. blend sweet potato/onion/garlic mixture until smooth
9. Add milk and some of the broth and blend until it reaches the thickness/consistency you desire 
10. Start with 1 tsp of the sea salt, chili powder, and paprika until seasoned to your liking (smoky flavoring is something that people can be very sensitive to- so do the amount you are comfortable with!)
11. Add a few dashes of Worchestershire sauce to brighten the flavor 
12. test and correct seasoning as desired. 
13. Enjoy! 

Yields 4 appetizer-sized servings

We don't have an official picnic basket but we do have a cute sturdy basket with a handle, which will be perfect for us two.
I wanted to make this as special as possible even though its so simple, so i decided to go with real silverware and cloth napkins.




The above photo has a slightly obscured photo of the ever-elusive sweet potato soup. 





Friday, October 25, 2013


Hi there! I hope everyone is finishing out a great week, and looking forward to fun stuff this weekend! We are headed to the fair this weekend and Coach and I have a date night on Saturday. So excited. Today I'm linking up with Casey Leigh for ON YOUR HEART.  I had a somewhat unrelated post already written for today, but this is what was on my heart this week. 

This is not an easy thing to talk about for me, so this is me really putting myself out there. As I've said before I'm famously private as an INTJ, but I really want to share certain struggles in my life in hopes that it may encourage someone else. 

As I mentioned before, since Henry was born, I have dealt with some crazy health stuff.

I could not get my mind and body under control for months and months, and spent an inordinate amount of time going to various doctors, and just plain being miserable. 

I kept going on and off various birth control pills and other medications that left me feeling even more miserable and not feeling myself.

And this was all while I was in the middle of grad school, running a research study, writing my thesis, planning to present my research, running a household, and trying to be a wife and mama. I knew that being under the amount of stress that I was under was certainly not helping anything, and life was just so cray for those two years. 

We are both out of school now (well... R is in flight school now) so things are slightly less crazy, but we did just go through a big move as well. Transitions are hard, and thankfully the Hege family has worked hard to handle the (many) transitions in our life in a positive way. AND- they are still hard. I'm currently unemployed- difficult for me in two ways. I'm always a worry wart about money- wanting to earn a gold star from Suze Orman and do things right. And I don't do "not busy" well.  I know this is 100% God's way of forcing me to slow my roll and trust in Him. He and I have had several conversations [ a day ] about this. 

The other day I was having a rough day, and so I decided to take Henry to the beach on base. Can you believe we had not been to a proper beach since moving here? It was so wonderful. I had to stand in the water with him almost the whole time holding hands with him so he wouldn't run into the water at full speed (no swimming on base).  I said on instagram that the beach is Henry's happy place, but who am I kidding, its totally mine too. (yay he did get one or two of my genes!) It did the trick and as we left I was feeling so much better and at peace, and Henry had the best time! He was so sad about leaving. Every time I said "time to go bye bye" he would lay face down on the sand and pretend to be asleep (which was kind of hysterical).
And P.S. It's not cold at all despite how it looks, H was over dressed to begin with haha.