Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall must haves: Vera Bradley Edition

Since Fall is my favorite season, I am wanting to do a series of "Fall Must Haves" showing my favorite Fall products throughout the next three months. Since I live in Alaska, Fall has come quick here, so my brain is all in Fall mode. Pretty soon it will be in Winter mode, and I just might do a "Winter Must Haves" series too! Tonight is all about Vera Bradley! I am in LOVE with the new Fall Vera Bradley patterns! The blue and black pattern is called Canterbury Cobalt, the green and pink pattern is Olivia Pink and the bottom red, yellow and black pattern is Bittersweet. Since getting to Alaska, I started working full time at my local Hallmark store and we have a huge section of Vera Bradley, plus I get 25% off of it all! Score! Besides my awesome discount, I have had the privilege of learning a little more about the Vera Bradley products. I have always owned her purses and wallets, and always had a mind set for them, but now I am learning every single pattern and every single type of purse, cross body bag, wallet, cosmetic bag, duffel bag, etc.! While it is a lot to learn, I love being surrounded by all the beautiful and colorful patterns all day long! I hope you enjoy the new Fall patterns just as I have!
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Five

Okay, I have definitely been slacking on the Friday Five front, but I am back today with a little highlight of my busy week! Hope you all are having a great week! I feel like it flew on by!

1. Snow on Monday. Yes, we had snow on Monday here. In the middle of September. So weird, I know, but that is Alaska for you and I have to get use to it! Although Jarrett and I both love snow, we were very weirded out by the fact of snow in September. The girls at work tell me that the real snow starts in October, so we need to go ahead and prepare ourselves already! Craziness!
2. I upgraded my phone finally and got an iPhone 5! So far I love it and I love the Otter box case I got for it! I hate that those cases cost so much, but they are amazing! The defender series also came with a built in screen protector which I really need since I am always scratching my screen! All together I really like the phone even though it's bigger than my old iPhone and even more bigger with the case on it! I kind of like that it's bigger for some reason!
3. With the iPhone 5 comes panoramic view with pictures! I LOVE it so much! I love being able to fit so much into a picture! This picture of my living room looks so cool being able to fit everything in the whole picture! What's really awesome about panoramic view is that you can get really good pictures of groups of people too! Everyone can fit in the picture without someone getting cut out accidentally! I just love it! I now want to take every picture like this!
4. This week was one of my favorites because all of my Fall shows started up again! Well, with the exception of The Walking Dead which comes back in October! Monday it was Two Broke Girls and How I Met Your Mother, Thursday was Glee and Grey's Anatomy and Sunday Once Upon a Time and Revenge come back with a new show Betrayal premiering afterwards! I cannot wait! I love my Fall shows!
5. Halloween is coming up and Jarrett and I are still thinking about finally getting Leo a costume! Since we actually live in a neighborhood where there are tons of kids that will be trick or treating, we thought about sitting outside to hand out candy and have one of us hold Leo in a costume while the other hands out the candy. I guess you will just have to stay tuned to see if we dress him up or not! Also, see those cute little Halloween pumpkins below? I stepped out to go to the post office real quick and I came home to one of them gone. I then looked all over for it and found it behind the couch! Silly Leo must have taken it! HA!
So, how has your week been? Any favorite Fall shows?
Do you live somewhere like me that may be getting snow soon?
How are you getting ready for Fall and Halloween?

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Friday's letters

Dear hubby, I am so proud of you for working so hard at your new job! I'm so glad that you like it and the people that you work with! It also does my heart good to see you so happy here in Alaska! Seeing you live this dream out makes me so happy and because you love it here, I do too! I love you! Dear Leo, You have been the cutest thing today walking around and following me as I clean the house! Thanks for being such a good boy and not attacking the swifter duster too! Dear iPhone 5, I freaking love you! I hate that Verizon had to be a pain and it took forever to get you activated, but now that you are officially mine, I love you! Dear panoramic picture option, You are so awesome! I keep taking pictures of my house while using you because you make my pictures look so amazing! Plus you fit everything I want in the picture! So cool! Dear moose, Where have y'all been lately? You haven't been visiting our neighborhood and we are starting to become offended! I mean, our neighborhood is called Moose Crossing for a reason, yah know!
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blessings in Alaska

I am having one of those days. Not a bad "one of those days", but a good one. A day where I am at home thinking. Thinking about my life and how it has changed so much over the past few months! When I think about everything, no matter how hard it is to be away from everything and everyone that I love so dearly, I am blessed. We are blessed. Jarrett and I have been so blessed ever since we got here. We were blessed from the beginning. With getting to spend so much time with family and friends and with such a smooth drive to Alaska, God poured his favor over us. Like I've said before, Jarrett and I have had bad luck with trips and road trips in the past, but this 4.000 mile drive worked out better than we could have imagined! It was amazing! Then the day after we got here, we were offered a beautiful home on base. A home much bigger than our old home. A home bigger than we could have dreamed of. Then two days after accepting the housing offer, we moved in. A couple days later Jarrett reported for duty. He absolutely loves his squadron and the people that he works with. Then a week after moving in, I was able to obtain employment at one of the Hallmark stores here for more money an hour and full time hours, plus I've already had some really good interviews for other really good full time careers with wonderful companies. I am feeling good on the career front and hoping for some really good news for you all soon! Maybe my career search will be over once in for all soon!
We also traded my 2007 Impala in for a brand new 2014 Jeep Patriot which is only costing me $100 more than my old car payment and I received a much better rate. This Jeep has everything that Jarrett and I need to get us through the ferocious winters that Alaska has to offer otherwise we would be paying a ton of money to add things to both vehicles that are required in Alaska driving conditions. It felt so awesome to purchase my first new vehicle and for us to do it all on our own without our parents helping us financially or helping us through the car buying process. Other little blessings include being able to Facetime with my mom every day, living right up the street from the BX/commissary, having my own washer and dryer and being able to do laundry whenever I want, having a bigger kitchen so that Jarrett and I can cook together without bumping into each other, the fact that Leo is taking the move so well and adjusting as well as we have, being able to upgrade to a new and better phone, being able to look outside my living room window to big beautiful mountains, the fact that Jarrett is making more money being stationed here therefore we are able to afford a little more, and the list goes on and on. As much as God has blessed us already, I can only imagine how he will bless us in the near future and further into the future!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall decor and new home ramblings

Although this is the same Fall decor that I had last year in our Virginia home, I feel like it is all new stuff when I see it in our new home. I have a much bigger house to decorate now and I feel like I barely have enough stuff to decorate for Fall, but here it is and I still love it! I will probably buy a little more stuff a little at a time to fill the house up with seasonal decorations, but for now this works for me. It has pretty much felt like Fall ever since we got here and I have been dying to put my Fall stuff out ever since we got into the house. Yesterday we also finally finished hanging all of our pictures and although I still have some bare walls, I feel so content knowing that we are fully unpacked, every room except the two empty guest bedrooms and family room is done, all the pictures are hung and the Fall decor is out. Slowly but surely our house is coming together. As soon as we moved in, I knew that we wouldn't have enough stuff to fill it up. That bothered me. We still have tons of furniture and tons more wall art to buy, and it bugs me knowing that it will take time to buy everything and have this house complete. We still have a complete family room to buy furniture for. We have never bought our own furniture. Our furniture now that is in our living room was given down to us from my older brother when he bought his first house and bought all brand new furniture for it. We have been so lucky to have his furniture the last four years, but it has now seen better days. Leo has made holes all over it and chewed up all the pillows to the point we threw them all out. It is reaching its end.
With this being said, we basically need to purchase two living/family room sets. After buying a brand new car, this complicates things. We also need to set up guest bedrooms. Everything in our master bedroom is from my old white wicker bed room set that I basically grew up with. We want to move all of the white wicker furniture into one of the guest bedrooms along with our queen size bed. That takes care of a guest bedroom and then we can buy ourselves a really nice kind size bedroom set. We also have a third bedroom, but I think we are going to leave it empty. You never know what we'll need it for in the future! ;) So basically, furniture wise, we need new living room furniture, family room furniture and master bedroom furniture, not to mention more wall art and accent pieces! Where do we even begin? I have no idea how to buy furniture or where to even begin to put the finance part together! Buying a car seems so much easier! I guess our best bet is to just focus on buying one room at a time. Making a house a home takes time and I need to learn to be more patient with the process. I just think back to when Jarrett and I first got in the town home in Virginia and how little we had at first. We had just gotten married and barely had money to buy home decor. Some how, we made it work. In three years I was able to turn our little adorable town home into a real place to call home. I will continue to do that in this new home too. With patience and guidance from our Lord, this home will become a home.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our drive to Alaska part 4

I think during our last couple of days on the road were where I took the most pictures! During those last two days were where we saw the most beautiful scenes we would ever see on the drive. Mountains with a little bit of snow on top, beautiful lakes and rivers, wildlife just hanging out, the sun shining down on the lakes and rivers, mountains reflecting off of those lakes and rivers and the list goes on. We saw so much during those last two days. My favorite part was actually getting out of Yukon Territory and entering Alaska officially! We of course stopped at the Welcome to Alaska sign and took some pictures. There were other couples and families out there too taking pictures so we were able to get some people to take pictures of us. It was so surreal seeing that sign and knowing that we were actually in Alaska. We had made it to our new state. Not too long after entering Alaska came entering back into the U.S. Yes, technically, when you enter Alaska, you are not in the U.S. yet. It's a little weird, but a tiny part of Alaska is not in the U.S. About twenty minutes after entering Alaska came the U.S border finally. We were hoping that we would not have any problems entering back into our own country. After all the trouble with the Canada border, we came fully prepared a little more. This time was smooth sailing. The border patrol officer was very nice and we went right on through to the rest of Alaska. Whew it felt good to be back in our own country. Although it was an experience driving through Canada, we missed America!
After getting to the border, we had about an hour left until we got to our final stop of the trip. We stayed in a city called Tok, Alaska. It was a very small town and we ended up staying in a hotel in an RV Park. That was definitely an experience too haha! It was a neat little RV park/Motel though and the people that ran it were pretty nice. The only thing I hated about that town is that they had bees everywhere. I mean they were swarming around the truck and the outside of our room like it was nobody's business! If you really know me, you know I HATE bees! I have never been stung by one and I never intend to. Luckily, I didn't get stung of which I am surprised. Jarrett thought it was hilarious too that I was so scared of them. I might have also had a freak out moment outside of the room of which there were people outside that saw it. Jarrett may have also pretended that he didn't know me at that point haha! I wouldn't blame him though! If he had a freak out moment from the bees I would probably walk the other way too! haha! Any who! That night in Tok, Jarrett took me to this awesome restaurant called Fast Eddy’s! It was a nice restaurant for such a small little town. We both enjoyed a huge seafood feast! I got this dinner that included lots of shrimp, fish, clam strips, chicken, hush puppies and a baked potato! Jarrett got the Alaska king crab leg dinner! Oh man were those crab legs big! We had never seen crab legs that big up close. My wonderful hubby was also nice enough to give me some of the meat and oh boy it was good! After dinner we went to this huge gift shop right next to the restaurant. Jarrett bought me a couple of t-shirts and an Alaska key chain with my name on it. He also got a sticker for his truck that has the shape of Alaska on it. So cool!
That night in Tok, we slept like babies and woke the next morning ready to knock the last six hours of our trip out! We were so ready to be done driving! We drove and drove and drove and around 5'oclock in the evening, we had arrived in Anchorage, Alaska! Whew what a relief! We drove around town a little bit and then headed to our hotel for the next three nights! We called our family and friends and told them of the news that we had finally made it. Our families were so proud of us and it made us feel so wonderful to hear that our parents were so proud! The next morning we awoke in our new state. We couldn't wait to get out and drive around. We got up and immediately went winter clothes shopping. We got coats, gloves and hats! We also got some stuff for Leo. We then drove on our new base for the first time. We drove the whole base and found where Jarrett's new work was. We also drove through the neighborhoods to get a feel for the houses and where we could possibly be living. We loved the base automatically! It was our new home for the next 4+ years so how could we not love it? As you know already, on that Monday we got up early and went to the housing office to see where we were on the wait list for a house. About forty-five minutes after getting to the housing office, we were offered a house of which we fell in love with and accepted the offer. We moved in two days later and the rest is history!
Seeing all of those beautiful mountains and lakes made me realize just how lucky we were to be moving to Alaska let alone driving 4,000 miles to get there. We were accomplishing a dream that had been thought of for years. There were many times when Jarrett brought Alaska up to me as a possibility, but I never in a million years thought that it would happen. There we were. Two days away from our new home. We were almost done and we could not believe how far we had come. Till this day I still cannot believe that we did it. Every person I meet here in Alaska, I tell them that we drove here from Virginia and they are completely amazed by the thought. We are still amazed at ourselves and amazed out how much our life has changed over this past month since we got here! We have accomplished so much in such a small amount of time and we have 4+ years to accomplish so much more!
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