July 31, 2013

Counting down the days until Cape Cod.....

Is there a special place that you visit that just makes you feel so happy and warms your heart?

For me, that place is Cape Cod (aka 'the Cape.')

Cape Cod Canal, Sandwich, 2009
left: yours truly - right: mom, me, aunt

Growing up, we would visit the Cape every summer, exploring everywhere from the Cape Cod Canal all the way out to Provincetown.

Cape Cod just has this special charm about it and when I think about New England and the geographic area that I grew up in, the Cape envelops it all.


 Hyannis Port, 2010

Besides my family and friends, of course, Cape Cod is one of the things that I miss most about living up north.

With knowing that there is a pretty good possibility that S and I might have to move west, wayyy west, within the next year; it has me dying to get home for a visit and enjoy some of my favorite places.

S and I will be traveling to Connecticut for two weddings in September and decided that during the week in between, we are going to spend a couple days up on the Cape and Martha's Vineyard.

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you might have figured out that I LOVE to plan things, especially trips, and I have our entire four-day trip planned out already. Hey, I am super excited, and it gives me something to look forward to!

Another super exciting thing is that S has never been to Cape Cod. He has visited Connecticut with me and I've brought him to NYC and snowboarding in Vermont, but this will be his first trip to the shore.

While I am dying to spill all about the trip, I'll be saving that itinerary for another day ;) Until then, here is a little preview of what we can expect to see on our mini-vacay.

Cape Cod Light, North Truro

North Truro, 2008

Mom and I at almost the same spot as above, in North Truro, Summer 2010

Hyannis, 2010

Kennedy Compound, Hyannis Port, 2010

On a little impromptu trip to Hyannis with my mom in March 2010.

Last, but not least, I can't leave out drag queens in P-town! Provincetown, 2010

I can't wait to share our itinerary when it gets closer and the wrap-up of our trip in September!

What are some of your favorite places to visit?? Is there anywhere nostalgic that you would love to bring your significant other to?

PS - If you would love to see some additional [amazing] photos of Cape Cod, check out Jessica's blog, My Baby Birds! She just moved there with her hubby, who's in the Coast Guard, and their four beautiful daughters and it is one of my go-to blog reads.

July 30, 2013

Celebrate EVERYTHING!!

Happy Tuesday y'all! Today I am linking up with the fabulous mommy-to-be, Lindsay, from Domesticated Working Woman for her brand new linkup, Celebrate EVERYTHING. You all might remember Lins from our Fitness Friday linkup, but if not, feel free to join me and her on the last Tuesday of each month for a new one :)

Today, I am celebrating the fact that I have just completed Phase 1 of Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer and as of yesterday, I just started Phase 2 (of 3). I am looking forward to building up even more strength, continuing to eat healthy (pseudo-paleo, but definitely clean!) and seeing even more of a difference.

What are you celebrating???

Weekend Update & Coon Fest! ~

Over the weekend, S and I got together with a couple of our good friends and headed up to the lake for our first Coon Fest.

Q. What is Coon Fest?
A. From what I've gathered, Coon Fest is a gathering of people and boats on the lake, right off of Coon Island. There is a band, drinking, and many other shenanigans.

Girls in the front, boys in the back! On our way up to the lake...

A band on a boat and LOTS of peeps!

Great friends and lots of shenanies..

We had a TON of fun and even survived an impromtu downpour. Luckily the sun came back out and we had another great day on the lake.

Sunday was for relaxation and preparing for the week. Even though the day started out overcast, we headed out to breach inlet for some lounging and fishing.

Hope you all had a great weekend as well! Can you believe this is the last week of July??!

Have a great week!

July 29, 2013

Military Monday ~

Happy Monday y'all! I'm linking up once again with my girl, Ashley, over at Eights on the Move today for Military Monday.

Today's topic is -

What is the most significant moment/event in your life that you're SO thankful your military spouse/significant other WASN'T deployed for?

Perhaps the birth of your child? Graduation? Losing a loved one? Relocating across the country? 

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the things we have to survive alone - but what about something you can't imagine having gone through without your spouse/significant other by your side?

Luckily, this isn't something I've really had to experience yet in our relationship. Since S is on shore duty, he hasn't been deployed since we met and hasn't had to go anywhere for an extended period of time. 

We are thinking about the future though, of course, and I know that he will not always be here for all birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and possibly even the birth of our child(ren).

I am so thankful though that we did have all of this time together (over three years before our first transfer) to work on our relationship before it gets to that point. I think that it will make us that much stronger when we're apart. I know that I won't truly know what it's like until that time comes, but I hope that when it does, I'll not only have S, but family and great friends to lean on. 

So far, we have met some awesome people in the Navy and I hope that we will get to see some of them wherever we go next or at some point in the future. I think that one of the most important things to remember, being a military SO, is that we have to lean on each other and be here for one another when our men our out doing their jobs to keep us all safe.

How do you cope when your SO is away???

July 26, 2013

Escape Monthly Giveaway! ~

Hi friends!  We have been doing a little bit of traveling lately and will continue throughout the fall (more to come on that soon..) although I know not everyone gets to go on frequent vacations. Believe me, I wouldn't call ours very glamorous, but it is nice to get away every once in a while.

When I was contacted recently by Escape Monthly to offer a giveaway for one of their monthly boxes, I jumped at the chance to be able to give one of my readers the opportunity to win a nice little staycation of their own.

Escape Monthly is a subscription service that offers a monthly box full of destination goodies. Each box has a different destination theme and includes lavish treats such as soaps, body scrubs, gourmet snacks, etc.

Life is stressful, and it's hard to schedule the time we all need to relax. But what if you got a care package in the mail every month, designed specifically to help you break away?
Every month, we curate high-quality products to help you slip into bliss—from spa & beauty products, to gourmet snacks & gift certificates. We also give a lucky member (and a guest) a vacation to the destination! 

This giveaway is setup to send one lucky reader their first box for FREE (value of $50!) However, even if you don't win, you can use the code YOURESCAPE to receive 20% off your subscription for life. The 20% off is a great value leaving you with a monthly cost of only $40.

Disclosure: This post and giveaway is in partnership with Escape Monthly.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am not being compensated for this post. Giveaway will end on Friday, August 2 and the winner will be announced/ contacted within 24 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 25, 2013

More Catching Up: Workouts, a "Blate", and Camping!

Long hair, don't care - selfie on the way to the gym..

I've been keeping up with my LiveFit workouts and have been hitting the gym hard every since vacation. I'm currently on Phase 1, Day 23

I had a "blate" this past Friday with Marie from Letters from Carolina aka The Better Belle Project.

We grabbed sushi from Wasabi in Daniel Island and had some amazing desserts. After dinner, we migrated over to her new house and talked for so long, I completely lost track of time.

I'm so happy that she is finally in Charleston for good! Now we just have to wait for her Pilot to get here so they can hurry up and tie the knot :)

After my "blate" on Friday night, I headed up to the lake to meet up with S. He rented a teenie camper on base so we could stay up there for the weekend. It was so cute!!

He had to teach the sailing course on Saturday so I hung out on the beach with Lindsey (from Lounging with Lindsey), her hubby, and baby Liam. They also stuck around to grill out for dinner and whip up some s'mores, my faveeee!

 Last, but not least.. What kind of update would this be without a little shoutout to my two favorite boys.

I can't believe it's already halfway through July, I can't wait to see what another summer weekend brings.

PS - I'll be posting a brand new giveaway tomorrow so stay tuned!!

July 24, 2013

My Brother Visits ~

After our trip to North Carolina, I went back to work for three days and then I got to have a little long-weekend staycation. My brother came in on the Wednesday following the 4th for his first visit to Charleston.
 then and now :p

Wednesday: S picked up my brother up from the airport and when I got home from work, we headed out to Red's for dinner. I couldn't pass up taking my little bro to one of my favorite spots.


Thursday: S had to work on Thursday so in the morning, my brother and I headed downtown.

We had lunch at Lowcountry Bistro then from Market St. to Waterfront Park to the Battery, then looped back up around to Market. It was super hot out so after downtown, we headed out to Folly Beach.

Turns out my brother, who you used to never be able to get out of the water, no longer is a big fan of the beach (I know, whattttt??) He was however, interested in shopping at the outlets, so from Folly we drove to Tanger.

Once S got home from work, we headed home to pick him up. We then drove out to our favorite Mexican place, Rio Grande, in Mt. Pleasant.

Friday:  We encountered more rain (what is it with rain and vacations lately??!) So we decided to head out to Grimaldi's for pizza in Mt. P then to the movies (we saw Pacific Rim, it was okay..kind of cheesy.)

Once the move was over, we went to visit the Westbrook Brewing Co. We got there kind of late so we were unable to do the official tour, but did get to taste some of their brews.

We were still so full from our pizza lunch that we decided to finish out the night at Liberty Taproom with a couple more beers and a little snack.

Saturday: We met up with a few friends of ours at Breach Inlet. It's my new favorite beach spot as it's great for fishing and lounging.

We hung out there most of the day then headed home to get cleaned up to go out for sushi. We took my bro to Bushido, another one of our faves.

Since it was the last weekend night that my brother was going to be in town, we headed out to Park Circle after sushi to bar hop a bit. We started at Madra Rua then headed to DIG.

The boys being silly..

Sunday: We made a quick brunch then headed up to the lake.

We first took the sailboat out, but it was very gusty and not conducive to a nice relaxing day, so that was short-lived.

After cooking out a late lunch, we took one of the pontoon boats to explore the lake and do some swimming.

We were all exhausted from the weekend and from being out in the sun so we headed back home at the end of the day to relax since my brother was heading home the following morning.

Gunner LOVED my brother :)

We had such a great time and I'm sooo glad that my brother finally came down to visit!!

July 23, 2013

Very Belated Vacation Update ~

Sorry I've been so MIA lately! The past few weeks have been very busy and life had just gotten in the way of blogging for a bit.

As I mentioned previously, the week of 4th of July, S and I went on a trip up to NC with his family. It was nice to escape the heat of Charleston, however, I was not anticipating all the cold and rain that we ended up having!

Monday: We didn't get a whole lot in on Monday, as we were mostly just trying to navigate and explore the area that we were staying in (Franklin, NC). We found out that day, that the closest grocery store was no less than 20-30 minutes away. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

Tuesday: We had planned to go tubing at Deep Creek in Bryson City. The sun was out and it was nice and warm. Because you are able to park and hike up to the drop off point, you are free to go down the river as many times as your want. It was such a blast! I wasn't able to take any pictures since we were in the water, but here are a few that I found online.

Wednesday: We originally had reservations to go whitewater rafting down the Nantahala River, however, it ended up pouring rain all day. We pretty much just hung out at the cabin and took advantage of the hot tub. There may have also been lots of reading and napping taking place.

Thursday (4th of July): It was still a little rainy, but a tad warmer so we decided to suck it up and go whitewater rafting since we were going to get wet and cold anyway. I was sooo nervous leading up to the drop-off point, but I stuck it out and went. I'm so glad I did because again, we had such a blast!

After rafting, we headed back to the cabin for a 4th of July cookout and sparklers.

Friday: The boys rented a little fishing boat to go out on the lake and us girls went out to explore Bryson City, which was about 45 minutes away. We walked around downtown then had an awesome lunch at Cork & Bean.

Saturday: We rented a bigger boat that we could all fit on and headed out on the lake. We went snorkeling, S's brother jumped off a cliff (!!), and we did some tubing behind the boat.




As you can see, it was a pretty gloomy week, weather-wise, but all in all it was a great vacation. I'm so glad that we go to go tubing and whitewater rafting, if you ever have to chance to do either, don't pass it up!
Stay tuned for tomorrow, I'll be posting more about my brief absence :p

July 22, 2013

Military Monday ~

Hi friends! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Today I am linking up with Ashley over at Eights on the Move for Military Monday.

I'm super excited for this linkup because this was one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place.

When S and I started to get pretty serious, I thought it would be a good idea to try and get as much information as possible about what I was getting myself into. As you know, S is a Sailor in the US Navy and I recently posted about how our first transfer is coming up next year.

The topic of today's linkup is "Work". I do have to throw out this disclaimer before you read the rest of my post: S has been on shore duty since the beginning of our relationship and we have only ever lived here in Charleston together. I can't speak from a standpoint where my significant other was deployed or after a move, but I can talk about what I would like and what I think might happen.

 In 2009, I completed my MBA and have been working in Higher Education ever since. I have worked [full-time] at several different colleges and universities and I can confidently say that I LOVE what I do. When I get up and go to work in the morning, I don't dread it and I can honestly say that I look forward to being there. This past October, I started a new job at a college in downtown Charleston and I even have my own office with a window! I can't imagine being at a better place right now.

As for the future, I think I will try and find a job once we transfer. I would love to be able to get a job on base or at a college that is close by. I also know that we both want to have kids so I will probably work up until we do and then who knows! I'm really not sure what I'll end up doing so this is going to be great opportunity to see what others have done and what options could work for us.

Looking forward to reading everyone else's posts! Happy Monday!


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