Late Night Struggles

A lot of times, staying up too late yields too much time for thinking about things that I have no control over. 

Tonight, it's being childless. 

The Sarge and I have been trying to conceive for the past four years with not even so much as a glimmer of a chance. We have made the conscious decision NOT to proceed with any fertility treatment. We do want to adopt eventually, but that process won't even start until we begin at our next duty station (at least two years more). 

I swing violently between wanting a child of our own, and hating the idea of having children (which I'm sure is solely because of our trouble conceiving). It's like I'm trying to convince myself that life is better without kids. Most days, that works well and I believe I could live a happy, childfree (rather than childless) life. But some days, like today, it's scary to think that the little life you envisioned is not going to be your life at all. 

My heart hurts for miscarriages and unplanned children ... but deep down inside, it's hurt for myself, and not the families affected. I know that probably makes me a disgusting and horrific person. I can't be sorry about that tonight. 

Anyway. I felt like writing might help. And it has. Comments will be closed for this post, as I have done for all infertility posts. So if you feel like saying something to me, don't. Just pray for me. :)

love, me


Eating on $25 a week: You can!

So, I challenged myself to eating on just one shopping trip while the Sarge is gone. Actually, that's not one hundred percent accurate -- I think I'll be subscribing to an organic produce delivery service but it won't start just yet. And.. well.. sometimes you get down to the last of your food money and the envelope just isn't producing like it used to (Dave Ramsey fans will know what I'm talking about!).

First of all, I blame the sarge, because we went out to eat SO much before he left. He just can't reign me in, and I apparently thought every night was a celebratory dinner. 


Back when we FIRST got married and we were basically runnin' on fumes, I searched the internet for things like, "What to do with your last $20" and "How to stretch $50 to feed 2 for 2 weeks". Didn't everyone? No? Okay, we'll just say that we're the only couple in the world who has ever been broke. (Broke... not poor. Poverty is a state of mind. Some of the "poorest" people I have ever known were rich with something much more valuable..... but this is another post.)

Anyway. I thought I'd dig up some of those old posts for my "single" life. I found this post for a $20 shopping list to feed yourself for a week.. It's where I started. I think this list could feed two people for a week, or me for two weeks. 

A few words about this little experiment. 

1. It is not necessarily a balanced diet, but it is much less unhealthy than fast food and most prepackaged meals (the decent ones are mostly too expensive for this list anyway). But I am taking a multivitamin every day, so.. there's that. 

2. I had somethings on hand. This may not be fully duplicatable (that's a word) but you can surely get close if you have a couple extra dollars, or a few things on hand.

3. Supplement with more fresh fruit or veggies if you have more to spend. I DID have some frozen fruit that I made super simple smoothies from. But hey, we're talking about being BROKE not healthy. 
4. Even if you ate off the dollar menu, you wouldn't have 3 (relatively) square meals for seven days.. and certainly not fourteen days. I know it seems easier. But fast food is REALLY not for the budget conscious.

So here it is. I got the following from Aldi. It cost me just under $23. 
  • 1 loaf of bread 
  • A bag of onions
  • A 5-lb bag of potatoes
  • A jar of peanut butter
  • 16-slice pack of cheese
  • Package of deli ham
  • 6 Roma tomatos (it was $.99)
  • a head of cabbage or lettuce (I prefer cabbage)
  • 1lb 93% lean ground beef
  • Chicken legs -- there were 10 in the package
  • A dozen eggs
You may also need: Spaghetti and sauce ($2 tops from pretty much anywhere)

Day 1
B: Grilled cheese sandwich with a fried egg 
L: PB Toast  2 slices
D: 2 smothered chicken legs & cabbage (or a salad) -- I cooked 4. 
[Minimally, you'll need an onion, some kind of fat (I had butter), flour and seasonings. You could also just pan fry it. If you have it, you can also make some rice]

Day 2
B: Scrambled eggs with a slice of cheese & a piece of toast
L: Leftover chicken
D: Spaghetti (Make half the package)

Day 3
B: PB Toast 2 slices
L: Leftover spaghetti
D: 1/4 lb hamburger on toasted bread with tomato and onion if you want, and lettuce if you have it.

Day 4
B: Cheese Toast (makes me happy)
L: Ham & Cheese sandwich
D: Fried cabbage with tomato and eggs ... Fry your cabbage then push it to one side. Add more oil if the pan is too dry, and add a few beaten eggs to the empty spot. Scramble until firm, then add a chopped tomato and toss together. Drizzle on soy sauce at the end if you have it.
OR salad with tomatoes, cheese, a hard boiled egg, and a piece of toast as croutons. No dressing? Olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar make a great, simple dressing.

Day 5
B: Two egg omelet with diced ham & cheese
L: Fried/braised cabbage OR a small salad
D: From the original plan: Mini Shepherds pie
[Cut up and boil the potato, and brown the ground beef with a diced onion. Layer beef, some cheese slices and smashed potato in a small oven dish (add butter and a splash of milk or cream to the potatoes if you have it.]

Day 6
B: Fried egg and toast
L: Spaghetti
D: Fried or baked chicken with cabbage or salad

Day 7 - Leftover day. You really should have plenty of leftover food.
OR start the week over to go for two weeks :))

Here are a few more tips to making a little food a long way! How to feed yourself for $15 a week

So there you go. What do you do when you're down to your last $20 or so and need to feed yourself ?

love, me


Ipsy Glambag Review: May 2013

Hi friends! 

Have you guys ever heard of those beauty bag/box subscriptions? Birchbox is a popular one, but there's also Ipsy and Glossybox that I've heard of. You pay a subscription fee ($10 for Birchbox and Ipsy, $21 for Glossybox), then they send you some beauty/skincare samples. I decided to sign up for one last month out of curiosity. I was really nervous because it seems like there's never anything appropriate for darker skin tones in these types of things. But... I heard good things about them, and a (black) friend of mine said she loves her subscription, so I bit the bullet and signed up for Ipsy.

Well it came today! I'm excited. Not only is it worth it, but I actually like the stuff in there and (mostly) it's all color-appropriate. 

For $10, I got: 
-full size Zoya nail polish in Jacqueline (.05 Fl. oz., retail $8)
-full size Pacifica rolling perfume in Island Vanilla (.33 oz, retail $12)
-mini Pacifica luminizing body butter in Coconut Crushed Pearl (2 oz tube, retail $7)
-Juice beauty reflecting lip gloss in Fiji (.14 Fl. oz., full size is .28 Fl. oz. and retails at $15)
-yaby concealer in buff. (I think this one is a full size refill - $5)

Well. The concealer I haven't had a chance to use, but I have the feeling that "buff" is not the color for me. I'll try it out tonight... but.. yeah lol. HOWEVER... I have been introduced to yaby! The quality of the concealer is actually very good. It's creamy and a little goes quite a long way. I think I'm going to get one of those empty palettes and fill it up with some colors I CAN use. 

And the "luminizing body butter smells great, but it shimmers just like my Perfectly Posh Pearls for Girls hand creme. I like it, but I LOVE the smell of the Posh. It's almondy. Anyway, I like it but I have something already in that category. I will use it when I run out of the Posh (it's a limited edition)

BUT I really like the rest. Vanilla is not my favorite scent, but I can imagine that at some point I'll feel that it's the appropriate scent for whatever I'm doing. It smells good, and I do like the Pacifica brand. I was worried about the nail polish because white nail polish looks TERRIBLE on my skin tone (or maybe I just hate it), but it isn't white, it's like a very very light beige.. it comes out much creamier and warmer than white, and I really like it! I'm surprised. And.. surprisingly... I also like the lip gloss. It's light and has a little tingle, which is awesome, and the color is fabulous, at least for me. 

The value this month is on point ... about $39 worth of mostly useful stuff AND a cute bag, for just $10. Try out Ipsy in time for the June bag.. I'm already excited :)

I tried the concealer and... as it turns out.. I like it! I feel like it brightens my eye area. I used MAC Skinfinish Natural powder in "Deep" over it and I love it! So, it's an official score for month #1!

love, me


Reflections for for April

So I want to review April's A-to-Z Challenge, which was really a challenge for me.. albeit a fun one. If you've been around any amount of time, you know I love month long challenges. Here are some reflections.

First, I hope you guys enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing the posts. I took on a dual challenge of not only writing the A to Z posts, but writing them on the morning corresponding (as opposed to pre-writing). It was hard because, I mean.. life happens, right? Even though I had a fairly calm month, there were days I couldn't post on time or even at all. I might consider doing some pre-written posts next year. At least for the weekends. I have been known to be an inconsistent blogger (ahem 2012) so it was nice to put my thinking cap on. 

Second, how FUN was it to visit other blogs and see what people came up with for each letter! I have to admit.. some of it carried absolutely no appeal to me, but some posts and blogs were total diamonds in the rough. I wanted to comment and read more (as evidenced by my "favorite 'previous day' posts"). However... with reading and writing on the same day, I wasn't able to do nearly as much as I wanted to do. 

The list is SO big. I'm not sure I have a good idea about how to improve this, sorry. It was just disappointing some days, because I would click on links that really didn't interest me, or didn't write on topic. The moderators do an EXCELLENT job though, so the "off topic" blogs were few. On the other hand, if it were too organized and compartmentalized, I may have missed out on some interesting or funny posts. I'm sure this has been brought up. 

All in all, I think this is a fun challenge and I loved it. I went in looking to actually write consistently, and have come out on the other side with a few new pals in the blogosphere, and a much lengthier Feedly :) 

Here are a few of my favorite posts from the happy life blog this April: 

A is for Aleasa -- it was my first vlog! 
D is for Deployment
H is for Happy Life
I is for I
N is for Never
S is for Submission

love, me



I have to start by saying, I am REALLY sorry. Like, really. 

Sorry because this is so late. Sorry because I'm lame and don't have anything better to do with my days. Sorry I get so caught up in this stuff. 

But what. the heck. is up. with. LOST. 

I know. I know. This was, like, almost a decade ago that people even gave half a crap about this show. I never watched it. Not because I was being a TV snob, but because it was at the beginning of the return of the dramatic TV show. At least, I think so. I didn't watch much TV my first few years of college. 

ANYWAY. I thought I'd write a post about it since, apparently, I'm caught in the craze... retroactively.

I don't watch TV shows for these reasons.

1. I get way too caught up and emotionally involved with the characters. Prime example. I'm still mourning the loss of Will, the Fresh Prince, and I'm already dreading life without Barney and the whole MacClaren crew. 

2. I get fed up with the string-along style of writing with twists and turns that keep people invested. I still watch. 

3. I am kind of snooty. 

There are so many stupid people on this show. 


stupid and disobedient.


stupid and hateful.
extremely stupid.
Though.. none of them were stupid enough for me to stop watching. 

Anyway. Were you guys fans of Lost? I appreciate that all the seasons are available on Netflix. I think I heard the series finale (I'm only on season 4) ruins the whole thing. So I guess I have more to be mad about in the future. 

What shows do you watch? Which should be next on my list?

love, me


There is a Z, and Happy Monday!

Hi friends! I'm sorry I went MIA for the last week. I'm back to my (mostly) regularly scheduled shenanigans, much to your excitement I'm sure. 

This weekend was pretty nice. I always have a hard time sleeping when the Sarge is gone, at least for the first week. I've been waking up extremely late and going to bed extremely early (in the morning) so my days are all wacky. But it was a good weekend, no less.

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

1. I would have made my dear friend Ezzie proud, as I had a mega-Lost marathon. I never watched the show originally and I've been saving it for when we turn off the cable when Sergeant J deploys but.. I couldn't wait lol. I saw the first season before we left San Diego, but the second season hadn't quite drawn me in yet. This show is exhausting and I hate several of the characters.. but I really need to know what's going to happen next. So.. am I trendy yet??

2. This.

3. Our neighbor's son is a college man now, but he's back in town. Apparently, the entire neighborhood is made of BFFs.. so everyone came out last night. The boys were playing basketball in our little pseudo cul-de-sac. The girls were sitting around .. doing girl stuff. And my neighbors, the parents, sat in lawn chairs and petted the dogs. And there I was. Alongside the parents. 

It was bittersweet, being with the adults. I mean, I'm obviously too old to be hanging around a bunch of teenagers -- and even for those who don't think I'm too old, mostly they don't interest me that much anyway. I prefer the conversations of adults these days. But it's weird being this person. I'm not sure when I made that transition. I guess it was slow and unintentional.

4. Some might say my love of Essie nail polish is an obsession. ....It kiiinda is.

5. I wouldn't exactly say that I finished that A to Z challenge with a bang, but there WAS a Z. It's for Zurg. You know. ZURG! Zurg means: I have a 12 year old for a husband (in Toy Story speak). But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Monday, friends!

love, me