About Me

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Fort Benning, GA, United States
I'm an army wife, working mom of 2 kids, and a dancer for fun! My husband Tim works the at the combatives school here on fort benning. I work for MWR at Outdoor Recreation as their admin assistant...I absolutely LOVE my job I couldn't have found anything better! My daughter, Kennedie, was born in January of 04 and our son, Cale, was born June of 09 - that's right they are 5 and a half years apart! Kennedie is VERY involved in dancing. Cale is well on his way to become a fighter - daddy is already working on his punching and kicking techniques! This blog started out as a recipe sharing venture but now it's going to turn into a more "granola" way to live. Cheap recipes more homemade recipes and repurposing things. I'm a crafter at heart so i'm going to throw some of that in their too!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First time Cruising!

WOW 4 weeks ago we booked a Carnival Cruise - abord their Magic ship.  We only had 3 weeks to prepare and I was surprised at how little "first time cruising" information there was out there.  So i'm going to help and give you knowledge that I gained from this experience. 

If you have a chance make sure you buy Faster to the Fun.  It's $59.95 for your entire room, so you only pay it once.  While we didn't need it getting on the boat as the process was pretty quick - it would have been nice for when we were back in Galveston trying to get off the boat and getting back to our car.  People were back home at 8:30 in the morning and we were still stuck on the boat waiting for them to call level 9!

 This is when we first arrived on the boat - this is the lido deck were alot of the action happened.  It was the biggest pool onboard.  (he were living in the back of the boat and right up the stairs and out the door was another smaller pool that was overlooked so we hung out in the chairs watching the waves)
 This is our room.  Right where my left foot is, is where the wardrobe was - three cabinets.  Where my right foot is, is where the bathroom is.  Let me tell you that the toilet seat is rounded and uncomfortable! (the video that was playing was the safety and welcome video - that just happens to be our captain of the ship on the screen,  that wasn't planned!)
 This is the Showtime Theater - it's where all the performances happen, BINGO happened alot here too.
 
 
 A panarama I took while waiting for a game show type of show to start.
 
 We would normally port on a dock and get right off.  In Grand Cayman Islands - you tendered off the boat.  Which means the islands are home to the 2nd largest barrier reef and it's obviously protected.  So the Ship has to anchor at sea and these little boats come and collect passengers and bring you a short way to the dock.  These boats took about 300 passengers at a time!
 This is the main lobby - where you first enter the boat.  There is a bar and you can see the glass elevators.  There is usually a live musician at night performing.
 LONG hallways - this is when we were waiting to exit in Jamaica.
 We read in another blog that people decorate their door so it's easier to spot down the hallway. I'm so glad that we did - because after a while all the doors and hallways look the same and you can get lost pretty easily!  Next time i'll be more elaborate - as some people went ALL OUT!
  This is a panorama of the main dining hall - which is where you could eat dinner.  We chose the my-time dining which means we can choose when we want to eat anytime before 5:45 and 9:30.  I chose this option because I didn't want to feel rushed or STARVING waiting for our time.  You can choose a dinner time and go into another dining room if that is your choosing, that just means you'll sit by the same people and the same table and have the same waiter everytime you dine.
 a panorama of our room.  This was when we were packing to leave!
 
 The buffet hall.  It was a pretty long room - there was two main buffet stations - our room was right below the back end so it was easy to get up go up a short flight of stairs and right into the line.  This is where we ate breakfast and lunch when we were on the ship.
 
the outdoor movie screen.  The only time we were interested in one of the movies playing the screen was broken.

 
This is from right above the lido deck there was a waterpark for the kids and behind me is the adults only section of the boat  that I didn't know about or stumble upon until the last night on the ship.  I went around exploring and taking pictures of everything to show my kids.  Right behind the red carnival fin is an outdoor fitness area.  There is a really nice indoor one too.
 
Ok so you've seen the boat - here are some insider tips that I didn't know or found out DAYS'S before.  First thing I wish I would have known was that there are facebook groups for your specific ship and day you are traveling.  I found it about 2 weeks before we were due to head out.  Ours was called Carnival Magic June 21, 2015.  This way I was able to ask questions - see questions I'd never thought about asking and alot of the people in the group were veteran cruisers and were nothing but gracious with their wisdom!  Also we almost had instant friends once we were onboard!  We met the first day at sea in one of the bars in the afternoon to say hello in person!  It was great!

I was always told by friends that you SHOULDN'T book your excursions through carnival as they are much more expensive and you should just wait and get off the ship and there are people with signs waiting in the port with cheaper prices.  This was ONLY true for us in Grand Caymen.  During the excursion "brief" that James the Cruise director gave during our first day at sea, apparently Carnival has changed how they do excursions and they are guaranteed to be the best price and if you find something cheaper they will give you 110% money back.  Also if you are on a carnival sponsored excursion and something happens that boat will not leave without you.  If you are not on a carnival excursion and you are late - sorry not sorry you're being left at the port.  We had great experience with the two excursions we booked with carnival (and you can book on the boat if you don't want to do it before hand, even the night before and sometimes if it's late enough docking you can do it that morning.)  We learned our lesson in Jamaica - we tried to do that excursion by yourself route and ended up paying double in the end.  The Jamaica people are very convincing and they are known for swindling tourists.  I wanted to get back to the port at 2 (we had to be back on the boat by 3:30) so I could do some touristy shopping - and our hired driver purposefully didn't  get us back until 3:15 and didn't take me seriously when I kept saying "no I don't want to do that because I don't like cutting it so close to departure time" we found out he did that so we couldn't haggle the price he was trying to get from us.  So if ANYTHING always book an excursion THROUGH carnival in Jamaica.

Bring bug spray to Cozumel - we didn't and were itching bad the next day! 

Sea sickness wasn't an issure for me like I thought it would be.  I get horribly car sick when i'm sitting in the back of a car.  Only one night did it effect me when the seas were really bad.  Other than that it wasn't a big deal - the boat is big enough and the seas are calm enough to not even notice sometimes! (I will say that when we were finally back home after getting off the boat - you could feel the swaying it was kinda trippy).

If you are a drinker invest in the CHEERS! program.  It basically is unlimited alcohol during your cruise.  I think it was like $250 for each person (and each person over the age of 21 in your room MUST purchase it - if you are a husband and wife in the room you have to pay $500 for it) I'm not much of a drinker so it wasn't worth that to me - but would have been a great program for my husband.  Basically you are getting your moneys worth if you have like 5 drinks a day.  I went for the "bottomless bubbles" package which is unlimited soda.  I don't know that I got $60 worth of soda but it was nice to not have to pay $1.50 each time I got a soda.  That program can be bought singly.  We did sneak alcohol on the ship but it was only enough to probably save about $150 dollars in alcohol. Which was better for the budget that NOT!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lets Be Honest....

 
Ok so I'm just going to be honest!  I REALLY want to be apart of the silhouette design team.  I was given information that they are "hiring" for their design team and I had to link some of my posts using my Cameo in my submission e-mail.  If there was a way to get my friends and family to "vote me in" I would totally be begging.  But the only way in is the showcase your work.  So I'm doing just that in this post, because I haven't previously shared this amazing machines potential for using the files you can purchase for $.99!!!!
 
 
First up our laundry room door sign!
 I orginally did this as a joke for my husband, he is a grumpy guy in the morning.  You see this on our front door when you walk out every morning!  Aren't these files great!  Ready to cut all you have to do is size them to your liking!
 Now before you laugh at my saying MISSING an important line, isn't it great for a military family who moves all the time?  I bought the plexi glass at Home Depot (seriously my favorite store!) for under $10.  Used command picture hanging strips to attach it to the wall and now I'm able to move it to our next house without having to peel it off the wall and loose all that hard work!
 
(Saying should go wash your hands AND SAY YOUR PRAYERS because Jesus and germs are everywhere!)
 Another great $.99 find!
 I've always wanted to vinyl our small chest deep freezer.  But it's lived in the garage until this house, so I never saw the need.  I wanted to put demask images all over it and I probably will at some point, but this works for now!  Excuse the mess on top!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Organzing on the cheap!

My son has started to move up in his life with more toys, with little pieces.  I needed a better way to organize his do dad's but he is limited on space (unlike his sister who seems to have gotten the massive room again! One day Cale I promise you will have the big room!)  So DUH!  Put some shelving in his room like I have in almost all other rooms!  This shelving is pretty inexpensive, with my military discount at Home Depot I was able to get this for under $40.  I'm sure if you got naked wood and had them cut it into shelves, sanded in painted it, it could be cheaper.  But I don't have time for all that.  Each of the Rubbermaid brand shelves are already painted and will be EASY to clean.  I don't know if you can tell in the picture but I also quickly spray painted the brackets that hold up the shelves for a little pop of color.
Boy loves his transformers.  NOW they have a place for their own.  Complete with an Autobot logo done in vinyl.  (traced an image I found on Google images)
You know how match box cars and Lego's seem to find the bottom of your feet in the middle of the night in most houses?  In our house it's these little super hero squad dudes! OUCH they hurt.  They now have a home, labeled and all!
 He was so excited they were all in one place!
 Of course I used my Cameo to print and cut this label (I saved an image I liked off Google images, added a circle to cut around it) then I laminated that circle, punched a hole with my crop-a-dile big bite, then added a grommet for stability.
 Honestly I would have stopped there for the day, but I didn't want to waste a WHOLE sheet of laminating film, so I added a few things to my daughters drawers.  Which I've been wanting to do for a while anyway.  I typed out what was in each drawer, paint bucket filled it, offset by .17, turned off the cut lines on the word so it would ONLY cut on the offset, and print and cut that bad boy!
(ok so my daughters light in her room isn't working for some reason, and maintenance hasn't come and figured out why yet, sorry for the LAME pictures on this one!)
 My fun little circle claps would work on her knobs.  I didn't have any cute ribbon near (lets face it I was being lazy and it was HOT upstairs this afternoon and the ribbon was ALL THE WAY downstairs :) ) so I improvised and used hair elastics!  Works for me!
 Cute little grommets and hair tie attachments!
 Just a close up!
 They turned out so cute I had to get a better angle in better light!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Avacado Eggs

I've been looking for new ways to send my husband to work with breakfast.  (He can't really eat before we works out!)  I found this recipe on pintrest (imagine that) and since I know he loves avacado's, I knew he would dig this breakfast!
 
First you start out by cutting your avacado in half and taking the seed out.  Scrape out enough avacado for an egg to fit.  I don't know that I originally got big enough avacado's because it didn't seem like there was enough avacado left to make it worth the while.  So you'll notice that some of my egg spilled out.  Which is fine for us I just scraped it off the bottom of the dish and set it on top of them when I put them in containers for the lunch box.
 
Bake them at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (mine had to go a little longer because the yokes were still runny).  You'll notice that I sprinkled on "bacon bacon" seasoning from Tastefully simple.  But I'm sure you can sprinkle on regular bacon bits if you're into that sort of thing! :)
 My husband said they were great!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Got into the bow business!

I did it I took the plunge and started making bows!  I sold my first 7 (to one lady I might add) this week, and got several orders for more!  I'm going to be updating the facebook page with this information, so if this intrigues you stay tuned!
 I've been having so much fun going back into my childhood craft memories with these shrinky dink bow centers.  My daughter wants a my little pony bow for EACH pony their is!  Pinky Pie is next!

 This is one of my favorites!

Friday, July 12, 2013

I love SALES!

I needed to go to hobby lobby for some black removable vinyl and was EXCITED to see that they were having an 80% off clearance on select furniture pieces.  I had been eyeing something for our downstairs that was about $50 last time I saw!  Unfortunatly someone beat me to that piece but my daughter and I found this great pink side table.  Her room is pink and brown.  I got a $169.99 table for THIRTY FOUR DOLLARS!!!!
 It took us 3 days to get my daughters room organized.  But this included going through EVERY piece of clothing, trying on most every pair of pant, short, dress and shoe that she had had for a while.  We also cleaned out her dance wear and had her try on leotards.
 
This is the spot that was intended for the new night stand.  As you can tell my daughter loves to create "art" and decorate her room.
 My daughter and her new night stand.

 I of course couldn't leave this plain!  I got the cameo running and cut out her favorite my little pony character (twilight sparkle for those who don't know!) and applied it to the corner.
 She is obsessed with sleeping masks.  I believe that she has more but I'm sure she "cleaned them up" and some are hiding. Now they have a cozy home.
 Finished area!  Complete with her lovey baby kitty.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Easy weeknight meal!

Pardon my horrible iPhone picture - but I didn't want to eat it before documenting it!  This was a pretty easy meal and didn't cost very much either.  This was a "hmm what can I throw together quickly and make a meal" dish.  No recipe so no real measurements!
 
I used a pound of ground turkey and cooked in the skillet.
I buy my broccoli fresh, cut it, and freezer bag it till I need it.  So in this recipe I used one of those bags that was normally a dinner serving for our family of 4. I added the broccoli frozen to the skillet and placed a lid on it to steam it (opening and stirring every couple of minutes)
In the mean time I'm boiling the water and cooking the macaroni.  Once the macaroni and broccoli is done, I add all three of those in a bowl together.  I toss in one container of Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese cooking sauces - this one was the garlic one.  Mix it all together and serve.  I think start to finish it took me about 20 minutes!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Chore Charts

So my job has me working weird hours.  I currently have two shifts 530 am-0900 am and then again from 2:30 pm -5:00 pm - so I have a friend watching her during those hours and I'll pick her up and she will be with me from the inbetween time (which when she is at school is when I get most of the household chores done).  I don't want her to sit around and watch TV that whole time (which is honestly what she would prefer).  I have been trying to come up with things that she can do to help and to keep her busy and her mind not turning to mush!  In the process of trying to come up with some more idea's to put on her chore list (that I'm creating) I found this cool sight that has several pre-made character charts where all you have to do is type in what chore you would like them to complete.  If they had a character either of my children liked I would totally be using this chart as well!  Here is the link that you can follow if you are wanting to partake in this FREE chart!

http://www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com/chorecharts4-10.htm

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pantry organization

So my husband is gone on a trip right now so I thought I would fill up the time I usually spend with him organizaing things in our house that get overlooked, I started with the pantry.
This when we first signed for the house was just a closet, that top shelf was all that was in there.  My husband had the AWESOME idea of adding shelving.  I love the system that we chose because it can move houses with us, and we can move shelves up and down if we need to, to fit future needs.
 
Here is the before
 
 Here is the after, I was ableto move some things into a cabinet that wasn't full, and put like items together.
 
 I LOVE these new bins I found at target, they were $7.99 but well worth that price, they will last a while and they make me happy when I open that pantry door!
 We love jell-o in our house so I have SOME of our stash (yes there are about 30 boxes more in another location because I hit a sale with some coupons and stocked up!) that is easily accessible in this CUTE bin!  I haven't been able to do any labeling yet but it will be labeled accordingly!