Snack Attack Blog Hop!

Have y'all missed me? 

I have certainly missed my little blog. I was going back and forth over how to start writing again when my friend Keisha mentioned a blog hop she was hosting. Naturally... it was a call to action. 

So, enjoy Kristen's yummy holiday recipe, and check out all the others', too! 

Hello! I’m Kristin from The Simple Perks and I’m joining Kiesha in the Snack Attack Blog Hop! Today I’m taking over Aleasa’s blog and sharing my favorite go-to snack recipe: Corn Dip!

I absolutely love this recipe—it’s quick, easy, packed with flavor, and it’s always a huge hit at parties! From game days to New Year’s Eve parties, this snack is great for any time of the year!

Let’s get started!

(I grabbed this photo from Google, but this is what the dip looks like)

Here’s what you will need…

1 can regular corn, drained
1 can shoepeg corn, drained
1 can rotel, drained
8 oz cream cheese

Place all of the above in a microwavable bowl, microwave for 3 minutes (or until cream cheese is soft enough to stir)

Add the following to the corn mixture:

1 TBSP chili powder
½ TBSP cumin
½ TBSP garlic powder

Stir until all ingredients are blended well.

*If you want it to be spicier, add a little more of the seasonings. Sometimes I add a dash of cayenne for a little kick.

Serve warm and with tortilla chips or Fritos (Fritos Scoops are the best!).

This recipe is great for whipping up before your guests arrive or you can make it the day before and just heat it up before serving.

Thanks Aleasa for letting me guest post today!

Happy snacking and happy blog hopping!

* * * * * * * * * *

Um, I don't know about y'all... but that sounds so yummy! If you make it, let me know what you think -- It's going on my go-to list for sure. 

Want more? Here are the other lovely ladies participating! 

Kiesha @ Big Pitt Stop
Brittney @ Razorback Britt
Kristin @ the Simple Perks
Ashley @ My Crazy Life

love, me


Top Posts

Well, I was looking back over my blogging life and noticed a post that had an unexpected high number of views. So, I thought I would go back 3 years and see which posts people read the most. The answers were surprising. Here is a walk down memory lane at the happy life blog. 

1. Eat on $25 a week. Well, this one has almost five thousand views, but that's just because of Pinterest! 

3. Praying the Rosary. I actually think this post is popular because of the Anglican rosary image I used. But if you aren't Catholic and have ever given a thought to the rosary, check this post out. I do not always pray the rosary but sometimes I like the ritual.

2. The End of Judas' Story. For the past two years, I have done a mini series of Passion Week reflections. This post got almost a thousand views, which is like 3x more than the next most viewed. I don't know why. No one has ever commented on it, or shared it (that I know about). No one has ever mentioned it. But someone is looking at it. I prayed over each post that week... perhaps someone's life was changed. I LOVE doing these series. I love this post! How amazing and odd. 

4. Bathroom Makeover Reveal. This one only got views because of Pinterest, too. I offered a free printable. But I don't care, because it's my only successful makeover post. Okay, my only makeover post.

5. Days 3-5 from a blog challenge in 2011. I have NO idea why this post got so much love. I mean... it's okay and all. But how random is the internet! :)

Note: Only after I scrolled through ALL my posts did I realize you could just click to look at your top posts. Whoops. Oh well!

Have you ever looked at your most popular posts? Were you shocked to see what tops the list? Also, search terms -- have you looked at those? The Blogger stats are so interesting. Check them out next time you're on your Dashboard!

love, me


Five on Friday!

Man, I have just had a lot to talk about. I don't know what has been up with me. I'm not complaining... I'm just saying I've been a Chatty Cathy!


(Why is this one first?)

This story, Davion Only asking "someone, anyone" to adopt him at a church in Florida... I called about him the night I heard -- Tuesday. I think that's when the original article was published. I had NO idea that this story was going/had gone viral. I'm sure they'll never call me back now, even though I'm just one county over. But if you haven't heard about it, I'm surprised. His story has been ALL over my newsfeed. For me, it was a snap to reality. I keep talking about the right timing for adoption. And it makes sense to be smart and clearly, everyone's situation is different  (like, how dumb would it be for me to try to start the adoption process while The Sarge is deployed, right?). But SO many people shared this, offering their prayers... shaking their heads. But what about action? Not just for him, but in our communities? How did he get to the CHURCH and still has no place to call home (I don't know if there's an update yet). 

Faith is awesome but if it never translates to action, it's dead. I realize not everyone is called to adopt, but it's constantly stated and re-stated in the Bible that we are to take care of widows and orphans. Why do we ignore it? Why do we pick thousands of dollars in fertility treatments over caring for our orphans? I realize this will not make me popular in the blogging world, but it is the truth. Why is adoption considered such a second rate backup plan to having ones own children? Why do we always leave it for a "later" in life option -- after we've had our "own" families? Why is it that I always get a look of condolence when I say we want to adopt? Davion is not the only boy who needs a home. Hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of kids in YOUR state and MY state are released from foster care at 18, never having called one place home. How does the south have a church on every corner and this is STILL happening? Maybe Davion is the wake up call we all needed. He's the wake up call I needed. 

Whew that took a heck of a turn. Sorry about that. If I haven't offended every person reading.. let's move on.

PS -- As if to restore my faith in the church and humanity, Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life link up tomorrow is about adoption. Lord, I need that.


Maybe the BEST part of my week right here. (Maybe.) If y'all have xm and you're an 80 baby like me, you need the 90s channel in your life. Talk about middle school!


Oh, yeah. Yay for the government acting like adults instead of pre-pubescent girls, right? Yeah.


It's festival season and I'm busy busy busy! I LOVE festival season!! So, I realize it's been festival season for at least six weeks, but I was silent in September and I just got my calendar all booked up. Better late than never. I'm still trying to find new people to pamper... comment or email me if you want to try some of our pure pampering. I'm sending out samples this weekend!


Look what I've been doing! I decided to officially take up calligraphy. I'm not that good yet, but eventually I would like to hand letter menus, programs, envelopes and artwork for people. Maybe not anytime soon... but eventually. I just bought my first set of nibs on Wednesday, so give me some time!

What's something random from this week that stands out for you?

love, me


Milk & Cookies Care Package

There are few things my precious Sarge loves more than milk and cookies. Very, very few. Today he received my latest care package -- milk and cookies! I saw a pin on Pinterest, but there was no link attached to the photo. It was just those milk cartons that you buy near the dry milk and cookies. An entire care package. What a stinkin' great  idea!

Those milk cartons aren't cheap at seven bucks (or more) per six pack. It's organic, I suppose, but I think it has something to do with that ultrahigh temperature (UHT) processing myself. People go back and forth over the UHT processing, which kills bacteria, caramelizes some of the milk sugars (making it slightly sweeter than regular milk) and stabilizes the milk for a longer shelf life. It weirds me out, but milk weirds me out so whatever. Anyways, he's in Afghanistan and he'll only get 12 boxes of the stuff so who cares. Everyone gets so uptight these days. 

But I digress. 

The other thing I had to look up was how to ship cookies. I chose to make oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Can we just pause so I can tell you how much I love baking cookies? I'm not a great baker -- mine hardly ever come out the same -- but I love the mixing, and the scooping... and the warm cookies that come out of the oven. And now I'm hungry again.

Sending chocolate chip was taking a risk because we never know what temperatures they'll pass through on the journey to the 'Stan. I sent them anyway. Afghanistan is getting cooler this time of year and I used mini chocolate chips so it wouldn't make too much of a mess. Tos send cookies, you want to pack them snugly and wrap up 3- or 4-cookie bundles so they won't break/stick together/crumble by rubbing up against each other too much. I tucked them in a plastic storage container upright (like oreos) to keep them from moving around. Then I stuffed the box with plastic bags so the container wouldn't move around. 

I know you'll notice it isn't decorated. Well the truth is, I forgot to take a decorated picture of the box anyway. But even if I had, Seargant J never would have seen the decoration because a certain Gracie got to the (taped and sealed) box while we were out. I honestly underestimated my dogs chewing/destruction ability. Never again. 

Like I said, The Sarge got the box today. I asked him if the cookies stayed fresh (it took about a week) and his response? 

Yes. Write home about it. Best ever wife, right here LOL. 

What other edibles have you sent or heard of someone sending? I need some more ideas!

love, me


Tiger Tunes

I thought about making this a rare Saturday post, but decided to wait for the outcome. And then life happened, so I didn't end up posting until today, Tuesday. Eh, whatever. 

In college, there was a thing called Tiger Tunes. Clubs around campus would get together, eight to ten of them, and create a six (now seven) minute show around a theme, using parodies of popular songs. It is a program put on by our student foundation. Ticket sales from all four shows are put toward scholarships and as such, many of the students performing in Tiger Tunes have Tiger Tunes to thank foe being Ouachita students in the first place.  My first semester at Ouachita, one thing stood between me and mostly every student in the audience: I had never heard of, much less been to a show like Tiger Tunes. The clubs and hosts perform and their friends and club-mates scream and cheer for them in a manner than appalled the competitive speech and drama nerd in me. I've always been one of those who sneers at people who make the smallest peep in class -- even clearing their throats LOL! I can't help it, I was raised in church and in church, you just didn't make noise. I passed notes to my mom, never talking. It was unheard of to me that people would go to a fine arts performance and CHEER?! No. No, sir. 

Needless to say, Tiger Tunes kind of turned me off. There were a lot of other factors at play, but back in 2002, I could not understand or appreciate this event. 

Let's fast forward five years. I have since left Ouachita and returned after some time in the "wilderness" as a prodigal child. I have a new perspective and am determined to make Ouachita fun, like I've seen so many people doing. Last time, I was stuck in a rut; this time, I'm going to try not to be so bitter about everything. I decided to pledge a social club (sorority) on campus and I join a then-eighty-two year tradition: I became an EEE. Well, what they DIDN'T tell me was that I had to be a part of Tiger Tunes. I was also selected to be a Lil' Sis for a men's club, and guess what? Yes. Tiger Tunes.

I dreaded it, that's the true story. I was not looking forward to the month of practice, to performing to a crowd that dared to yell and scream over my over-practiced and tired voice, or to seeing my schoolwork suffer as we did run after run of a show and even pulled an all-nighter. And I had TWO in front of me.

But about half-way through that month, I discovered something. 



I loved the hard work, and the alumni out in the audience cheering when they see our twenty-years' strong signature moves. 

I loved performing. 

I loved spending time with my sistEEErs and the sweet boys who had become some of my best and long lasting friends. 

I loved that the whole campus, even the teachers, got excited about Tunes. 

I loved becoming a small time celebrity (OK, that's an exaggeration -- I had a solo in the Kappa show and people said, "hey that's the girl with the afro  -- hey girl, you can sing." (Which, don't worry, was not an uncommon compliment to performers lol.. but I still liked it!)

I loved the club rivalry at that time of year.. so much petty drama that makes my heart smile LOL! 

I just loved it all. 

I still love it, probably forever. Most people don't get to have a Tiger Tunes experience in their lives. The ones that do, might get four shows. I got four of the BEST shows. EEE and Kappa Chi are the two winning-est clubs in Tiger Tunes history (at least according to TigerTunesFan.com) and I was a part of two first place and two second place shows. And yes, I brag about it. Because honestly, when it comes to Tiger Tunes, I will always be a junior in college. 

Even this year, as I cheered for my guys and gals, I felt the same rivalry, the same passion, the same excitement. These kids I don't know, have never seen in person... I felt like they were my sweet friends from five years ago as I watched the performances. I cheered from Florida like I was there in Arkadelphia, in Jones Performing Arts Center, sitting in the audience. And I held my breath as they announced my first place EEEs and my second place Kappa boys. 

October is the best time of year. Fall. Caramel Apple Cider. And Tunes. Always Tunes. 

Even alone in Orlando, this was a great weekend. Here's to you, Tunes!

love, me


FIVE on Friday!

Woohoo! This is three in a row. Y'all, I just might ACTUALLY be back! I've been feeling inspired, since I have a lot of quiet time to think about things (read: I'm bored and filling up my time with anything I can think of, not the least of which is documenting each and every day lol).

This week, I thought I would try a themed Five on Friday list. So I present to you ... my five favorite Facebook shares from this week! There were so many. I typically don't click FB links, but this week it seems like people were just suddenly relevant. Must be something in the water :) 

Head over to The Good Life Blog and link up (once its available) and join the party!


Couple Celebrates 80th Wedding Anniversary, Shares Secrets to Lasting Marriage 
at ABC News
Because I love old people (that aren't belligerent). 


Why You Might Be Attending Too Many Bible Studies
at Called Out
Two college classmates of mine write at youarecalled.org. I love pretty much all of their posts, but Matt shared this one a few days ago and it puts my sentiment into words. Really, I feel like we have too many programs at our churches in general, a problem to Tozer pointed out probably 70 years ago. But that kind of goes beyond the scope of the article. Anyways, check them out for a fresh perspective on faith in action. 


My STYLE!!! 
Okay. I didn't get this from Facebook. But Pinterest is social media and hey, I do what I want. Anyways, do you LOVE this ensemble or what?! I'm obsessed with it. I keep going back and looking at it... So it qualifies as a favorite share. 

I have given up on the Pinterest system of sharing pins, so this picture is from the source, Fun & Fashion Hub.

Okay but seriously I love everything but the clutch. Replace it with a Tory Burch clutch and I dieeee! (I even said that on Pinterest so it's totally true). Or a beloved Modalu. If I could just build this ONE outfit for the season, I would be a happy girl (obviously, I don't shop much!).


this is to you, the military wife 
at ashleigh baker
Don't worry, I cried all the way through this -- even at the parts about children because I know those families. She hit it on the head. I have no idea if she is from a military background, but she hit the nail on the head. If you want to know what it's like, THIS is it.


Willie and Phil Robertson talk about bleeps and praying in Jesus' name 
at Spectrum Sports Magazine.
This is SUCH a great video. There was an article with it, but I have since lost the link. I love the Robertson family because I think they are doing exactly what Christians should do -- participate in the world and reach people by their lives, not by standing on some soapbox preaching to people who have shut them out. People love them, they love them because they're different, and many people, as Phil says in the video, are starting to ask what the difference is.

It is SUCH a good video, I think it shows their heart on the matter. If you have six minutes to spare, watch it. I hope that God continues to use them and their sweet girl Sadie with her and her friends' YouTube Bible studies


at Christianity today.
I came across this article today, and I had to share it, even though many ("many") people have already come by my post. I really liked reading this perspective. I have always wrestled with the idea of homeschooling in general (even though I think there are some cases in which it really is necessary). But at the same time, I'm guilty of wanting to work in a Christian rather than public school. And, with recent "advancements" in public schools, I have come to sympathize more with why parents don't want their children in public schools. A professor of mine challenged our Ministry class to think outside of our bubble to minister to those who need it -- to be a part of the world around us and interact positively (and carefully) with culture.
Where do you fall in Neibuhr's spectrum concerning Christ and culture? (You're welcome for the free seminary class.) Could you use some challenging? I could. And this article nudged me yet again. The fact is, this is something that we have to consider individually: what is God calling US to? For some, that's isolation from culture. And that's great. But I think Christ commissioned us to go into the world and reach people for him. And isn't he our model? 

Yes, Facebook was exciting this week. Have you read or seen anything this week that stuck with you? Are you a Facebook link clicker or avoid-er?

love, me


Future Me

Have you ever written a letter to your future self? I have. I wrote a letter to my 25-year-old self when I was 15. I don't remember everything it said -- it's been lost in one of about a hundred moves -- but I remember how cool it was to remember what 15-year-old me was like. What she cared about, how she wrote, what she thought would be important in the future. I didn't really need to do that, since I wrote in journals almost every day from the time I was 12 until my first year of college. In a way, those kinds of letters are really necessary anymore, especially here in the blogosphere. We document the things that are important to us everyday: here, on Facebook,on twitter, on Instagram and our iPhones (I don't have an iPhone). But, there's something still so personal about thinking about yourself a few years from now and writing to her (or him). I think we all need some time of personal reflection

A college acquaintance of mine recently posted his letter to himself on Facebook. He used a website that would email him in a year called FutureMe. I think that is so COOL! I'm going to write myself a letter pretty soon, too. I love personal reflection. I love seeing what the Lord has done over the years (or reminding myself who has taken care of me in those rough patches). 

How do you reflect on your day, year, or even life? What's your favorite way to keep in touch with the person you are or want to become?


Bloglovin' Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Y'all I seriously thought it was Tuesday night and I was ahead of the game here on the blog. Whoops. My sister in law is in town and I'm all kinds of messed up!Well, a little link up never hurts. 

Join us for bloglovin' wednesday (or thursday) and find a new blog to follow or a new hop. Isn't that what makes this fun?

Bloglovin Wednesday

Welcome to our weekly Wednesday Bloglovin' party!

Since Google Reader closed in July, I thought it would be a good idea to start a way for us to find new blogs to read and find some new Bloglovin' followers reading our blogs! Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

How it Works

  • Follow the hosts and co-hosts.
  • Grab our button and put it on your sidebar or linky list.
  • Link up only your Bloglovin' url. Any links not following this, will be removed.
  • Follow 3-5 new blogs. This will only be of benefit to everyone if everyone follows each other.
  • Use the cute buttons in this post to tweet, share on facebook, pin, and/or Google+ to help spread the word. The more people that know about this hop, the better for all of us.

From Teresa: Thank you to our Co-Hosts

Would you like to help us co-host this each week? Just let me know in a comment below! Special thank you to Heather of Not Everyone's Mama and Aleasa of Happy Life for agreeing to co-host with me. After you leave your link below, you can also add your link to our Bloglovin' Directory! Be sure to also check out our Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter Directory!

PostDiv (2)

You are also invited to join our Society of Socialpreneurs Community!

PostDiv (2) 
 If you are looking for other blog hops to follow today, please visit the ones below. If you are hosting or participate in a Wednesday linky and it is not listed, please feel free to add it!

love, me


Changes coming.

Good morning, all. 

I have some news about the future of the blog. As many of you know, I've been thinking a lot about the direction of the happy life blog. I haven't come to a full conclusion, but I think you can expect to see a massive overhaul in the coming months as I merge my Posh by Aleasa blog with this one. It was a hard decision, as I never want people to feel that my sole purpose is to sell them something. It's not. But, the number of posts I've had on the Posh by Aleasa blog would probably not be considered heavy (1-3 per month). 

Additionally, I am in the process of producing a short e-book, which will also become part of this online persona. This, too, will be featured here in the coming year. Further into the future, the branding may change and possibly even the name. After some reflection, I have concluded that it's a generally good practice to streamline your online presence as much as possible. Even in my case: I would consider myself a jack of many trades and a master of none. I want to write for my Perfectly Posh team as a social media leader; I want to write Bible studies; I want to share recipes; I want to do blog design (WHAT?!); I want to write about random, everyday things. What kind of blog is that? It goes against every suggestion to find a "niche". And perhaps the niche will develop over time, but this is ME. And if this is a blog about me (or by me) then wouldn't it follow that all those things would all be included? I think so. I have the tendency to compartmentalize my life, I always have. But much like faith, these things all touch one another; they shape who I am. 

I am hoping to make these changes here rather than starting from scratch -- though I will not necessarily stick with Blogger. This is all a refreshing process for me, and hopefully also for my readers! I ask that you bear with me as I update design, add content, and learn more about the mechanics of social media in general. As always, I welcome feedback and I hope that you will be open and honest with me about these changes. I can't wait to see what the result will be! 

love, me


Festival of Bacon

I think bacon is amazing. Apparently, A LOT of people think bacon is amazing. And most of them live in Orlando. My sister in law is in town from Arkansas, and we attended a bacon festival on Saturday. It was the first around here it seems, and half of Orlando was there! (At least, the half that wasn't at the Gay Pride Parade... Seriously... Downtown was SO congested.) But the glorious truth is that there are many, many forms of the salty delicious goodness and we had the bacon bucks to try whichever ones we wanted!

There was bacon ice cream, candied bacon, about a hundred varieties of BLT, bacon baklava, bacon tacos and of course, pieces of bacon for everyone. 

Now, the true story is I really didn't eat that much bacon. I never really do. But that doesn't mean I don't savor it! I only ate (most of) a hamburger (featuring bacon jam, bacon mayo, and chunks of bacon cooked into the meat -- yum) and half a hot dog. I would have had some candied bacon, but my sister in law got sick (and by sick I mean she samples a spice rub blend containing GHOST CHILI) and we really had to make our exit a bit early. 

Overall, it was a good time. I thought the festival was overpriced, as most vendors didn't have samples out (except of ghost chili apparently), many of them sold out three and four hours before the event was over, and though our ticket allowed us $10 in bacon bucks, most everything was priced around $4. A water and a food item would set you back six bacon bucks... not a lot of room for sampling. And forget a beer! I tried the Redd's Apple Ale because I've been curious about it. It was okay, but it was $5... which... yeah. 

And, I guess I was a little bitter about leaving early because for dinner I made a quiche with -- you guessed it -- bacon! But it totally had spinach in it too, so that canceled out the bacon... right? 

I hope your weekend was as fun as mine. And as bacon filled (although I doubt that!). Because every weekend should be filled with bacon.

Happy Monday my friends!

love, me


Five on Friday

Hi friends! 

It has been a super week so far. I'm feeling a lot better since I've been blogging actually. I don't think that is the change, but it marks a change. For at least the past five years, the fall has been the hardest time of year for me. And here, in the midst of a deployment, a government shut down, and a few other not-so-positive things going down in the past month, I am actually in a good mood that has lasted longer than a few hours.

It's amazing.

And here are my random five things from the week. Go link up with The Good Life Blog and join the party :)

I am not going to talk about the government shut down (at length). I'm upset at how it affect military families and vets specifically, people who are willing to risk life and limb to protect these government processes. It makes me ashamed. It makes me sad. But, I am so glad that my hope is not in Washington D.C. The Lord is my provider! He may have been using the government to provide for a while, and he probably will continue to do that for a while.. but Barack Hussein and his band of merry thieves do not take care of me and the Sarge. Perspective. I love this country, but I'm also thankful that it is not my home. This little dance is embarrassing.

On a related note, have you heard of the Skimm? I read about it last week on this link up. The Skimmers basically read up on the important news of the day and summarize it for me each morning. Which is about ALL I need. I don't want to seem ignorant, but I could really do without the news, especially the world news. So, I'm avoiding it for the most part. After all, all it does is depress me and why be depressed about things that aren't about the kingdom? But, it's nice to have a little note about the big news. They read. You skimm. And that's good enough for me.

My sister in law is in town! But.... we don't know what our finances look like so we're staying at home and abusing Netflix. I realize that it probably seems like this is all that I do with my time. But it isn't... I promise........... Okay, it is. Don't look at me with those judging eyes! I'm planning to take her to Cocoa Beach, we're going to a bacon festival Saturday and she will be coming to all my fun Posh events coming up (see #4).

I might be a complete loser right now, but not for long! My calendar is filling UP. Fall is a great season to be in business for yourself. Most of my weekends are already filled, and as I do these events I hope to book up some parties as well. I like the Fall for lots of reasons, but I really, really love making money sharing our natural pampering products to people who have never heard of Perfectly Posh. If you want to learn more, corporate is sending out catalogs and samples of our consultant-exclusive Ritual face mask. But they only have so many samples so hurry if you want to learn more about us. Click here to claim yours!

I was so honored and humbled this week. You know how I said I wouldn't talk about the shutdown? Well, that was not the case earlier this week. I commented on a friend's post saying something about how the government needs to get their "shot" together. Yes, I meant the other word. Right after I said, "Shot! My phone is keeping me in line. Silly phone." My friend responded, "Aleasa... I can't believe you even TRIED to type a curse word." I know it seems silly, but I always say that if anyone remembers anything about me, I want them to remember Jesus in me. And in a way.. that's what it was. I smiled that day. This is not to say that I have attained this (and I certainly wouldn't deserve it), but I think it means that in spite of my imperfections, someone notices something different. If anyone notices anything different about me, it's Jesus. And if you don't yet... I'm always tryin' :)

love, me


Military Moves, for the First Timer

A friend of mine is preparing to have the military move her for the first time ever and sent me a message as she was beginning to freak out about the situation. I am not a professional like some of my military wife friends who have been through five or more moves. (And yes... there are some pros out there!) I'm sharing what I shared with her. This is NOT a PCS checklist, or "everything you need to know about PCSing", or anything like that. This is advice. Advice I wish I'd had when we first packed up and moved to San Diego a month into our marriage. I'm just tellin' y'all what I told her (more or less)! I may add some additional resources to this post at a later date.

That being said, here it is: 

1. Don't freak out. You're just nervous because you haven't done it yet. We have been moved twice by the military and I think it went pretty well. 

2. I recommend a mini pre-packing. Anything you want to keep with you, pack and set aside (we just packed it in our car). Don't forget everything you need for your pets. Try to keep vital documents and things that will be hard to replace with you. And anything you really would be devastated to lose. (You probably won't lose anything, but anything smaller than furniture always has potential. They DO reimburse damage and losses, but somethings can't be replaced-- you know what I mean). 

If it may be a while before you have an address and plan on storing your goods, they will empty all your drawers and pack them up. We found that out last time. If you're moving directly to an address or don't anticipate much of a wait, they will just pack the whole dresser, drawers and all. Some people like to pack their scivvies (undies) because they're weirded out by someone touching/seeing/handling them.. I don't really care. These guys are professionals. Last time I packed up my little junk/supply drawers. I actually bought the small strange containers -- like the small rectangle ones from Target or Walmart and put all the "junk" drawer items in there myself. They will pack them fine if you just leave it as is, but it's the unpacking them is usually not fun. They use a LOT of paper, they will wrap up two pens in three sheets of paper (lol!). They will also pack your trash if you don't watch them. But every company is different.

3. The guys will walk you through it, so don't stress but don't be afraid to ask questions. Generally they are super sweet because they are interested in keeping their government contracts! You will have a consultant or counselor or at the very least a contact at the company who will be available from before the packing to after the delivery. They do their job well.

4. One of you should be present at all times. It's weird and awkward, especially the second day when they are loading up the truck. Where do I sit? Why are they loading the couch FIRST?! What do I do? Stare at them? Ignore them? That was always my dilemma. But, be there. Sometimes they'll ask you about something they're packing. And, while you don't want to be a hawk, you want them to know you're there. Not because they'll act up if you're gone.. it's just good practice to make yourself available. I would say avoid being that person who follows them around with a notepad, making your own list of what they're packing in which box. (Except maybe if there is a high value item you need to point out.) But to each his own.

5. Don't freak out! Some people say that they've had awful experiences and I do not doubt that. I'm sure it varies because they use all different companies. I talked to our last crew and they were telling me that sometimes military families are really rude because they have the government standing behind them. (You know, that military entitlement thing?) A lot of the bad stories I hear, I wonder if people aren't complaining about something the right attitude couldn't have fixed! But yes, sometimes I'll bet there are bad crews. Like the trash-packing experience! In fact, we lost a few boxes my first move. But that is part of it. You have to relax -- this life is about rolling with the punches. You begin to realize what is important in your life when they pack it all away in 6 hours!

Finally, I would like to comment on the nature of the move. Military moves are filled with unknowns and often anxiety. Some people will give you a hard time about doing a move yourself and some will give you a hard time about letting the military move you. YOU know what is good for you. Moving yourself is, for our family, not worth the extra money. We are stressed out enough, often not knowing where we're headed (the town or the address, for that matter), and doing it in regular increments. Adding packing, weighing, and arranging move details is too much for us. But WE are not YOU! The military tries to make it as painless as possible, but nothing is perfect. Do. Not. Freak. Out!

Enjoy the ride!

Further Reading:
10 PCS Lessons I Never Learn

love, me


Care Package: Football Season

The Sarge is... "obsessed" with football. He's about the only person I know that would receive the gift of "Hooten's" and use it for reading material from the U.S. to Afghanistan. What is Hooten's? Well it's a 400-some-odd paged guide to Arkansas football, covering every high school and college team in the state. Actually, I think Hooten's is a sports show that produces a guide. Anyway. Of course, the crown jewel is the Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas. The guide is amazing and according to the commercials, other states are jealous because they wish they had one.

Even Gracie is an Arkansas fan. 

His care package for September then, had to include football! Of course... I'd already sent the blanket his mom made for him, and it's on his bed now. And I'm pretty sure it's being defiled by a weapon daily but that's fine.

I didn't take a picture of the full box (whoops), but it had a few fun things. 

-- Razorback cup, playing cards, bandages & boxers. And a spirit pom pom. Yes - a pom pom... lol what? 
-- Tailgating snacks: Chips, packaged chicken and buffalo wing sauce (from a friend), Rice Krispy Treats
-- Gatorade
-- A mini football.
-- Scentsy scent circles to um... 'deodorize' his space (all boys)
-- Candy (as usual)
-- Some things he asked for that aren't interesting.. like toothpaste. Actually, that's it. Toothpaste.

He LOVED it! He sent me a precious message about how much he loved it and how he'll be writing letters all night long because he misses home. So cute.

Let's be honest. We're big Arkansas fans around here. I love the fans in Arkansas and I want to be a tailgating mom/wife when we finally do settle down. I don't know if anyone does it quite like Arkansas does! We had the most fun tailgating at War Memorial last year. If you know any Arkansans who happen to be Razorback fans, you know all about the Hog spirit. Well, here is how I'm calling the Hogs everywhere I go. 

If you live in Central Arkansas and need a sweeeeet place to get all your Razorback gear, go to your local Hogman's Game Day Super Store! It's my favorite :)

And, at the time of this post, Arkansas is sitting at 500, but that's okay with me. Never yield! Go Coach B! 

My favorite season has officially become Fall because.. FOOTBALL!  What do you love about Fall?

love, me