Over the last week or so, I've begun to notice a pattern... Not necessarily a bad pattern, but definitely an expensive one. I can't say I'm really that upset about it other than the fact that it's draining the good 'ole bank account.

Obviously when you're on vacation, you tend to spend more money. I don't think I have to explain that one to anyone. We did quite a bit of shopping while we were on vacation and I am fully aware that my husband likes to spoil me. I don't think I can count on my hands how many times I've said, "Oh, I'd love to have this...but it's expensive..." and he's replied with, "Well, if you want it let's get it." I am soooo not complaining. ;-) But clearly I am spoiled. We bought so much stuff while we were in NC that we had to mail ourselves a box! And our one suitcase was still around 70 lbs. {All I can say about that is 2 people, 1 suitcase. And thank God Delta gives service members a break on luggage!} 

Included in the list of things we bought are tumblers. I don't know why, but all of a sudden I am absolutely loving tumblers! Ok, maybe I do know why - I'm an absolute klutz. Case in point: I broke 3 of our glasses within the first 3 months Joe was deployed last year. From then on I restricted myself to using only our plastic glasses. Oddly enough, my mom made me do the same thing after moving into the new house my senior year in high school. I was responsible for the breaking of around six glasses. Sarah = Klutz. Anyway, I think this is my favorite one so far.

I know it's supposed to be a play on words....but I'll give you one guess what I'm drinking out of it. ;-) Sweet tea. It's really all I drink when I'm at home. As soon as I saw that one, I had to get it. We also got an OU tumbler and a UNC one for Joe. =)

A couple weeks ago, Joe's MacBook just sort of stopped working. We're pretty sure it's the hard drive, but it wouldn't get past the startup screen. We were both sad... Joe more than I, of course. I thought it was interesting that his computer made it through an entire year in Iraq and then it "dies" when he gets home. =P Of all the environments... Anyway, he was complaining... And then he put his username, info and bazillion GB of music on my computer. I wasn't really gracious about letting him use my precious laptop either. What can I say? I'm attached to my Mac. So then we tossed around the idea of getting his fixed - which really wouldn't cost that much - or getting an iMac. We've both wanted one for a while, but didn't have a real need. He uses his iPad {that he got as soon as he got back} more than a computer anyway, so he only really needs a "hub" to sync his iPad and phone with. I, obviously, have a computer but I still thought it would be nice to have a bigger computer..... Long story short, we came home with this yesterday. 

Joe and his new toy.

Well, I guess it's his. I'm using it too, but it's his computer and I just get to play with it I suppose. =P

Even the box looks nice. ;-)

Sitting nice and pretty on our desk. =)

With Macs you can name your hard drive and computer. The iMac is "Mac Daddy." 'Cause he's big and awesome. The "daddy" computer. Haha!

We loaded all our information on it last night and today and also got to download the new OS {Lion} for free. Lion didn't come on this model because we bought it from the NEX and they didn't have the upgrade yet. Luckily Apple offers the download for free for people who have recently bought a new Mac. I've been playing with it today trying to get the feel of it and to see if I want to put it on my laptop. So far I'm loving it. I think my favorite feature might be full screen apps/programs. Check out Mail in full screen:

Eeep! I love it!

I'm also loving Launchpad. It gives you the ability to see all your apps {programs} on your desktop...just like you'd view them on your iPad or iPhone. Awesome! {said in a sing-song voice}

Mission control is pretty sweet too. You can have a bunch of apps open in different desktops and view them all by clicking on Mission Control. Not a big difference from Expose and Spaces, but still pretty cool. I am a huge fan of Spaces. =)

Like I said, I'm loving the new OS. So if you have a Mac and are wondering if it's worth the $30 to upgrade - it is. And don't read the reviews on the App Store. I read a bunch of bad ones and I don't have anything bad to say about it after using it. So there. =P Haters just wanna hate, right!?

In other news, we're on a wait list for a new couch!!!!! See? I told you I was spoiled! We went practically all over the island Monday in search of a new couch. My standards are pretty high and I know exactly what I want. Which is a good thing when there are plenty to choose from and not such a good thing when supplies are limited. This is what we're on the wait list for. I'm not completely in love with it, but it does match exactly what I want. {Minus the non-matching ottoman, which we will not be purchasing.} 

What do you think? Like? Dislike? My only issue is that it's not the exact color I wanted. That said, I think it will hide small amounts of dirt and dog hair nicely so maybe it's not a bad thing after all...

I know I'm getting incredibly spoiled lately. Not just with my husband buying things for me, but with him being home too. I am loving being able to spend so much time with him. I love shopping with him, but I'm not entirely sure he enjoys it that much. ;-) At least he doesn't really fuss about it, though. I'm a lucky girl, and I'm thankful that at least something good is coming out of the deployment. Because we all know that we wouldn't be able to afford these things without that extra deployment money. 

I'm okay with being spoiled after a year of doing without my hubby and the extras. =)


Vacating Life

That's the whole point of vacation, right?! Well, we definitely left the "real world" behind last week. We left last Friday to fly to NC and spend a week with family. We made it there and back again despite Delta's attempts to thwart our plans. Let's just say I'm seriously done with flying for a while. Anyway.

We had a great trip. And by great I mean awesome. =) We started off "beach week" by doing exactly what you're supposed to do on vacation - absolutely nothing. It was fantastic. There's nothing like doing nothing with a whole bunch of other people. Haha! There were two main things I enjoyed about being at Sunset Beach, NC last week. Their names are Harry and Eden. ;-)

I finally got to meet my youngest nephew...who is 3 months old already. *sniff*

And I got some great play time with my niece. =)

As did Uncle Joe. =)
{I love this picture!!!}

We shared a house with Anna and Jason, the kids, and Pete {my BIL} and his wife Caty. I felt like the house was a bit small for 6 adults and 2 small children, but it worked out pretty well. Joe's parents, grandparents, Sarabeth {my other SIL} and Kellan {oldest nephew} all stayed in another house. It's crazy how in such a short time the family has gone from sharing one house two needing 2. And who knows, we could need a bigger one {or even another one} by next year!

We had a pretty relaxed week, with only a few outings planned... Like dinner, shopping and going to a shooting range. The rest was a whole bunch of lounging and hanging out at the beach.

Me, Sarabeth, and Caty at Sunset Beach.

Joe and I. =)

...aaaand me with Anna!
{You only said not on Facebook!!! ;-)}

After a long, hot day of shopping we ate at Joe's Crab Shack with Pete and Caty. I also learned I'm not a huge fan of crab. *sigh* I wish I liked seafood...

And of course we had to take time for a BIG family photo!

One of just us...it's decent enough. =)

Oddly enough, by the end of the week Joe and I were the only ones left in our house. Saturday, Sarabeth and Grammy drove us back up to Wilmington so we could catch our flight out on Sunday morning. We spent the afternoon in our room {a lively bunch we are} and only ventured out for dinner downtown. Which, by the way, was the best dinner we've had in a looooooong time. We took a cab from our hotel down to Front Street and had dinner at a little place called Circa 1922. 

I loved it the minute we stepped in. As most restaurants in the downtown area of an east coast town, this place had a very colonial feel. From the chandeliers to real hardwood floors...it was great. The staff was super nice....and the food was uh.maz.ing. Joe and I both got steaks; he had the filet mingon and I had the New York strip. Best steaks we've ever had. EVER. It was definitely pricey, but I think it was well worth it. I'd totally go back. After dinner we walked around for a bit. I'm a sucker for colonial towns...and I'm fortunate enough to have a husband who enjoys them too. =)

Just so you know, one of the buildings on North Front Street is a fallout shelter. Handy information to have. ;-)

I just love this cute little building!!! If it wasn't for all the people around, I'd love to live in something like this one day.

We took a walk on the boardwalk and saw the USS North Carolina. =)

And of course we had to stop for ice cream. =)
{I had the best rocky road EVER here.} 

I just wish we'd had more time to spend in Wilmington. I would have loved to go to the Cape Fear Museum and the Bellamy Mansion. Oh, and visit the USS North Carolina.... Maybe take a carriage ride... Yeah, we'll definitely be going back there. =) Notice I also said this about Charleston, SC. I think I just have a love for all of the tangible history there is on the east coast. One day I'll live close enough to experience it more often. 

So, that's where I was last week. =) And after many flights and too many hours spent in ATL, we're back on the island enjoying the rest of block leave. 

Hope your week is off to a great start!


Winner, Winner!!!

We interrupt this vacation to bring you a brief message. =)

The winner of the Handmade Giveaway has been chosen! One lucky reader will win this lovely cash/coupon organizer and coin purse made by none other than my bestie, Melissa

The winner has been chosen via random selection {duh}. Without further ado.... The winner is:

Who is number 20, you ask??

Congratulations, Jennifer!!!! =D

I'd say you need to contact me with your address, but... I will see you soon! {For those of you who don't know, Jennifer lives in Hawaii too. =)}

If you like this coupon/cash organizer, you can check out Melissa's Etsy shop and Facebook page. 

I'm still on vacay with my hubby but I promise I'll be back soon! Thanks for sticking with me!


Handmade Giveaway

That's right -- a giveaway!

You may or may not remember me mentioning last week {I think} that my bestie, Melissa, started a Facebook page selling cash/coupon organizers and just about anything else you can think of. Well, as of a couple days ago, she is also on Etsy!! I know I'm her bestie and everything, but she's awesome. I can honestly say I pretty much love whatever she makes. =) Aside from being an awesome crafter and a great bestie, she's also a stay at home mom and blogger. You can check out her crafty, awesome self here:


To publicize opening her shop for business, she asked if I would like to do a giveaway. Um, of course!!! Everyone loves a giveaway, right?! So, Melissa's Custom Sewing is offering one of my followers a cash or coupon organizer and coin purse!

I think they're stinkin' cute!! And for those of you who are starting to coupon or do the envelope cash system, this will be very helpful. In fact, that's why Melissa first started making them. Now, I know you're all wondering what you have to do to win this so I'll stop blabbing. =)

Giveaway Entries:

1. Be a follower of my blog. Leave a comment telling me you follow. {1 entry} As always, please don't just follow because you want to win something.

2. Go "Like" Melissa's Custom Sewing Facebook page. Come back and leave a comment. {1 entry}

3. Go to Melissa's Custom Sewing Etsy shop and pick your favorite fabric. Come back and leave a comment. {1 entry}

4. Tweet it by copying and pasting this: "Check out @gijoeswifeblog to win a cash/coupon wallet! http://gijoeswife.blogspot.com/" {2 entries, one time ONLY.} Come back and leave 2 comments.

5. Blog about it, linking to my blog and Melissa's Etsy. {3 entries} Leave 3 comments.

This giveaway will stay open until Friday, July 22 at 10p.m. ET. Winner will be announced shortly after. Remember, you are responsible for your own entries so make sure you leave enough comments! I will not be checking to make sure you left all that you should have.

Now, go forth and enter!! And spread the word. =) Best of luck!


Craftiness Prevails!

You may {or may not} remember one of the dresses that I bought with my birthday moneys last week. One of them was ever so slightly...revealing. I loved the color and the style, but just couldn't deal with sooo much cleavage just being out there. I'm not the modesty nazi or anything but - call me crazy - I just don't want the entire world seeing all my cleavage. Some things are better left covered up! Anywho. I decided {with help from my hubby} to alter the dress and make it more modest. Today, I tackled that challenge. =)

Rarely do I buy clothes intending to alter them, but I liked this one so much... Plus, it was birthday money. That's what it's for! Well, sort of. So, here is the shot of the dress in its original state.

You probably can't tell that there's a really deep V...but there is! I promise you! So, the task was to cut a small piece of fabric and sew it into the lining of the chest portion of the dress. The hardest part about doing it was that I wanted to make sure not to sew it into the outside of the fabric. That would mean that my stitching would show... As a mostly novice seamstress {who am I kidding? I'm definitely a novice.} my sewing is rarely straight. Not to mention I hadn't really prepared for this project and I didn't have matching thread. I had "well this is mostly the same color" thread. =P

I cut out two pieces of fabric and sewed them right sides together, leaving a little bit open to turn right side out. I sewed up the whole and then attached it to the dress. Luckily, there is elastic right where I needed to attach the bottom part of the "modesty piece." I sewed that part with the machine and did the rest by hand. Yes, by hand. ::pats self on back:: I'm a little proud of myself for that. If you'd like to know how I did it, I used this tutorial for a blind stitch. Worked like a charm! See for yourself. =)

Looks pretty good on the hanger!

And it looks pretty good on the bod too!
{Please excuse my lack of makeup and hairstyle.}

So take that, silly immodest designers!! =P Personally, I think I improved the look of this dress. And, come on, who needs to go around town with their goodies showing? I don't! I also don't need a wardrobe malfunction!! I'd rather be safe than sorry, thank you very much.

Needless to say, I feel pretty good about my crafty side today. Have you altered clothes to make them look/fit better? Or am I the only one who buys things at full price and makes them into something they love even more?

P.S. Stay tuned for a giveaway! =)


Quarter Century

That's how old I am - as of this past Saturday.

It seems odd to say that, but at the same time I'm totally fine with it. 25 doesn't feel so bad. In fact, doesn't feel much different that 24...or 23...or even 22. I even look just about the same! Kudos to my mom for handing down that gene. =)

I had a pretty low-key weekend, and I'm totally fine with that. Friday, Joe and I did a little pre-birthday shopping. I had gotten some gift cards from my family and I really don't like shopping on Saturday. We went to Bed, Bath & Beyond first. Is it sad that I was really excited about that gift card...and my purchases?

Really, I'm most excited about the cookie sheets. My only cookie sheet had seen better days. I jumped for joy when I saw this set of 3 Wilton cookie sheets for $10. Yes, please!!! I also needed some new measuring spoons because one of mine found its way off the loop thing and into my garbage disposal. =( And of course it was the teaspoon. The silicon spatulas are pretty much my favorite thing ever. I use them for cooking on the stove and for baking. I'm pretty excited about them. I don't think I have to explain the chocolate and nail polish. ;-) After spending probably an hour in Bed, Bath & Beyond {Joe still wants to know where the "beyond" is. =P}, we headed over to Charlotte Russe!

This store has slowly become one of my favorites. I'm not sure why because I'm not a huge fan of all of their clothes... Maybe I just like the challenge of finding treasures amongst the junk? That and I really do love their earrings and necklaces. Anyways... My nana gave me a gift certificate to Charlotte Russe and I also had a little bit of cash to spend. So, here's what I wound up with:

2 sets of earrings...that I love.

Dress #1

Dress #2
...which will be getting some fabric to cover cleavage.

I have just recently fallen in love with dresses. Well, summer dresses. I'll attribute that to my sunburn from last week. Having your toosh and the back of your legs burned means finding things to wear that won't hurt you. Hence the dresses. Then I realized how comfortable they were... So I bought more! The second dress above I really wasn't sure I wanted to buy. It's really immodest... Like I wouldn't even be able to wear a strapless with it because it's cut so low. Then Joe suggested I add some fabric to cover that area. Genius! So I bought it. =P I have to figure out how exactly to do it to make it look right, but I'm sure I will. And it will look great!

Saturday {my actual birthday} we hung around the house in the morning...and just kind of lazed around. I got several phone calls so it was probably good that I wasn't out and about. That evening, we went to dinner at Cholo's with a few friends. 

Left, front to back: Joe, Me, Allen
Right, front to back: Kevin, Jennifer, Annie

After dinner, everyone came back over to our house to chill out, eat some yummy dessert and have fun. Annie made me some amazing chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes. Nom nom nom. 

This is how many we had AFTER everyone left.
I'm kind of okay with that. ;-)

After our yummy birthday dessert, we sat down at the table and played a game. What better way to get to know everyone than to play a fun board game?! 

All in all, it was a really fun day and I had a great birthday weekend. I even got to do a little more post-birthday shopping yesterday!

I really thought I'd freak out about being a quarter century old, but so far I'm liking it. I think the main reason is because I know that 25 will be a great year. I have my hubby home and I look forward to doing all kinds of fun things with him! No quarter-life crisis for me; I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride!


Fact of Life

I've realized something over the last few weeks that sort of makes me sad. It first happened when a friend of mine from high school said that she and her husband haven't spent the last 2 summers together because of the Army. I then realized that she's in the same boat I'm in. Or was in until this deployment ended.

In about 2 weeks, my husband will have been in the Army for 2 years. This is the first summer we've spent together since then. In fact, this will be the first time in 2 years that we'll have some sort of normalcy. Let me give you the rundown.

July 21, 2009: Joe shipped out to basic {BCT}. 

October 1, 2009: Joe graduated from BCT.

October 4, 2009: Joe started AIT which was approximately 21 weeks long.

December 2, 2009: I moved to GA, where Joe was at AIT. Joe continued to live in the barracks, only coming home in the evenings for 2-4 hours and staying every weekend.

April 2010: Joe graduated AIT. We PCSed to Hawaii.

May 21, 2010 (ish): Moved into our house.

June 10, 2010 (ish): HHG arrived.

June 26, 2010: Begin deployment #1.

June 21, 2011: End deployment #1.

So, yeah. It's been 2 years of constant changes and adjustments. 2 years of never knowing when we'll actually be together again. Looking back, I'm incredibly thankful that I was able to move to GA when he was in AIT. Though we didn't get a whole lot of time together and I still slept alone on most days, I treasured that time. I treasured it even more after he deployed. I can only imagine how I would have dealt with the deployment if I hadn't gotten to be with him during 6 months of AIT. As hard as it was, I think it would have been much harder if I hadn't had that extra time. 

I'm thankful every day that he's here. He's safe and we get to spend time together. Lots of time. Reverse SRP is good for that kind of thing. =) Going in late, coming home early... I don't know what I'm going to do when he has to really go back to work after block leave!! I know there is a TDY in our near (ish) future, but I'm just happy to have him home. I look forward to finding our "normal" routine and having him home every day. Some days it's like he never left and others I find myself reveling in the fact that he's actually home. 

I know there are going to be changes, TDYs and trainings....but today I'm just glad he's here.



It appears that I have been neglecting my blog as of late. Woops. =P

Apparently this is what happens during reintegration. It's not that haven't been wanting to blog, but it's a mixture of spending lots of time with Joe and also not having much to talk about. Since it's been so long since I blogged, I actually have some things to talk about now!!! =D

We had a great 4th. We got together with 2 other couples and went boating! Annie, Jennifer, their husbands and Joe and I collectively rented a boat from the Marine Corps base on the other side of the island. This was the view we enjoyed:

Gorgeous, right?!

We spent about four hours out on the water chatting, eating, laughing, floating and snorkeling. It was really a great time. It was nice to be able to spend time with other couples for a change!! Don't get me wrong, girl time is awesome, but there's nothing like hanging out with your husband and other couples. =) Although we had a fantastic time, Joe and I ended up with some very painful sunburns. 

As we were heading back...
You can already see my sunburn. *sigh*

Mine is patchy... I have burn patches basically all over my body...including a patch on my forehead. I'm not going anywhere until that sucker has faded!!! Joe isn't burned quite as badly as I am, but he does have one little burn that I find quite hilarious. His belly button. Yep. Belly button! I think we discovered it later that night, and I died laughing. How on earth does that happen!? He let me take a picture, but I'm forbidden to post it anywhere online. Anyway, it was hilarious. =)

In other fun news, Joe let me order my birthday present last week!!! We found it on Overstock for much cheaper and he let me buy it. =) Usually it takes forever to get packages here, but this one arrived just a couple days later! Happy early birthday to me!!!

That's right. I got my very own Silhouette!!! =D I'm so, so excited to start using it!!! But since I ordered it from Overstock, I didn't order anything to go with it. You know, like vinyl or heat transfer stuff. Until I get stuff to make with it it's sitting pretty on my desk.

I have decided, though, that with whatever money I get for my birthday {which is Saturday, by the way *wink, wink*} I'm going to buy some fun Silhouette things. I think that's a pretty good compromise. It's killing me that I can't do anything with it yet!!! It's just sitting there...taunting me with all of the things that it's capable of doing. Lol! 

Speaking of being capable of doing things.... My bestie just opened her own little shop. She makes just about anything you can think of - from crib bedding to coupon/cash wallets. She doesn't have an Etsy shop {yet} but she does have a Facebook page that you can check out. It's called Melissa's Custom Sewing. This weekend, she made a super cute cash wallet with some chevron fabric. It's freakin' adorable!!!

So go check her out!! =) 

Now that I've plugged my bestie, I want to plug another friend. There's been a lot of complaining about the Casey Anthony trial verdict. How she should have been convicted, etc. While I don't really doubt that she did it {who doesn't alert the police that their child is missing?!}, no one had any shred of evidence that proved without a doubt that she did it. Katie, who is also a criminal defense attorney, shared her thoughts on the verdict on her blog. I completely agree with her. While she probably did do it, the prosecution had nothing but circumstantial evidence. That does not a conviction make.

Now, I'm going to go enjoy some more moments like this one:

Hope you guys are sticking with me through yet another one of these Army transition times. =)