Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Guess Where We Are Moving To?

Ever since Gerred put in his preferences a few weeks ago, I have been dying to find out where we will move to. With the week of the winging upon us, my nerves have shot into overdrive in anticipation. See, squadrons HT-8 and HT-18 found out where they'd be stationed on Tuesday. However, Gerred's squadron, HT-28, has a tradition to wait until Wednesday for their soft patch ceremony to deliver the news.

There were five wingers in Gerred's squadron awaiting their news at Ace's Bar tonight. Gerred was the first up. His On-Wing got up and gave a funny little speech about Gerred and his nickname "King Spider." He mentioned that Gerred opened a lot of doors when he talked on and on in briefs and that it was time he took the keys and kept his mouth shut. So his On-Wings gift to him was a set of baby keys. 

After his story. the On Wing asked Gerred where he wanted to go. "Japan, sir," he replied. His On-Wing responded that there were no overseas positions available this time, but that Gerred would be receiving his first choice, HSC-3 West


That means Gerred and I will soon be packing our bags for a cross-country trip to our new home in San Diego, California! 


Let us know if you'd like to try to see us on our way out there. We're looking at you middle of America. Also if you have any fun tips of what to do in San Diego I'd love to know and we're both very excited for the future ahead of us.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014


After four years, Gerred and I finally spent Halloween together. That meant we were ready to break out the couples costume. I had a million ideas and Gerred only had one. He would be Doctor Who, in particular the 11th doctor. That gave me the option of dressing as a companion, and since my hair only leaves me the option of Rose I nixed the idea. If people couldn't figure out who I was on my own in shorts and a hoodie, I wouldn't go as Rose. 

In 2008, I'd made the mistake of going as Mary Jane Parker. Without Spiderman, I was just wearing a Chinese dress. Then I'd have to explain myself, "No I'm not Chinese, I am dressed as Mary Jane from the Thanksgiving Parade in the first Spider-Man film." It was lost on everyone.

In the end, I went as the iconic time traveling police call box, The TARDIS. Together we looked pretty spiffy. Gerred had the whole outfit down and actually had to choose which Sonic Screwdriver he'd be taking with him to the party. Yes, he's a huge Whovian. Who'd have thought? 

We rolled up to the party with pumpkin beer, cider, and one of Gerred's pumpkin pies. Indy's house was decorated to Pinterest Halloween perfection. There were bats on the walls, a jack-o-lantern vomiting delicious guacamole, and the bathroom was a real treat. Moaning myrtle was in the toilet, and the towels and shower curtains had blood everywhere.

Everyone went full on out with their costumes. With a combination of good thrifting and finite sewing they had some real numbers. Did I mention there was a dog party too? All the dogs dressed up with their owners and it was the cutest.

Gerred and I had a great time meeting new people. It was my first postgrad/married couples party and I really enjoyed it. I almost felt like an adult. I met a bunch of girls with husbands in the aviation community. On Sunday, we all hung out again for a day of thrift shopping and I was so happy. I knew that I was moving in two weeks, but I held onto the fact that I'd most likely see them again since they're in the same military community. 

P.S. We may not have a dog, but we sure have one hell of a cat. For Halloween we gave Fergus Mardi Gras beads. He instantly assumed the position of a girl with low morals on Bourbon Street. Follow #fergustheweecat on Instagram to see more of this cool cat.

I hope you all had a happy Halloween! What did you dress up as this year?
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Never Stop Learning

Just about everyone from my graduating class has winded down their job searches and landed that entry level position. I, on the other hand, got married and moved down to Florida. I'm ready to move on with my life and start my career once we've settled down into our new home (wherever that might be.) Without a job, I'm left with a lot of free time and it's slowly driving me insane because playing The Sims 4 can only get you so far in life. 

I've realized that if I were back in college right now I'd be in class, discussing last night's reading, and probably getting ready to write a midterm paper. As stressful as that sounds, I miss assigned reading and discussion. I want to be able to keep my brain active and learn something new, not because it's a requirement for my major, but because I truly want to learn the material. So here are 10 ways to keep your brain learning and active so that it doesn't turn into a Florida swamp.

1. Read // When I majored in English I was asked about my opinion or interpretation of a plethora of books I'd never read. Each time I'd have to answer with "I have yet to read that book, but I have been meaning to." Now's the time to read the books you've been putting off. Pick up classics, poetry, biographies, fiction, how-tos, non-fiction, histories, mysteries, and maybe even some Irish literature (I'm a little biased), or anything you can get your hands on. If what you're reading inspires you and has you asking bigger questions, you've picked a good book. In the future, I may just join a book club, but for now my goal is to read 50 pages a day.

       [via]                                              [via]                                                  [via]

2. Documentaries // I'm a self-proclaimed Netflix documentary binger lover. In my last semester of college, I  spent my weeknights either going out, working on my thesis, or watching documentaries with Danny and a bottle of wine. I never thought I could get so excited about documentaries, but it turns out I was laughing, learning, and crying along with these films. Three documentaries I recommend and can say I definitely walked away learning something new are Terms and Conditions May ApplyIt's A Girland Secrets: Richard III Revealed.

A postcard I received in 2012 from a woman in France

3. Languages // I began learning French in Kindergarten in an Immersion program. I continued learning the language up until my sophomore year of college. I may have retained some fluency throughout the years, but my grammar is appalling. In college I visited my professor on Tuesdays to go over verb tenses and it really helped in the end. I can still go that extra mile now by playing Duolingo, watching French films (with French subtitles because reading subtitles in English won't help me) and writing to French pen pals from Postcrossing or with the friends I made at college who won't have any problem pointing out how bad I am at writing. I may use the Rosetta Stone-like program the Navy provides to learn a new language like Spanish, Japanese, or Arabic.

4. Computer Literacy // I know how a computer works. I took keyboarding in high school, I can use Microsoft Office, I know what do with most Adobe products, I took advanced computers in college and I can design a website and a database. But when was the last time I revisited those skills? I probably can't type as fast anymore, Photoshop and Microsoft Office have since updated, and I cannot for the life of me remember how to code. I need to keep these skills fresh and take a course and dive more in depth into a program or even learn web design fully. Gerred's offered me a few books he still has from USNA on C++ and I may enroll in one of these classes: Treehouse,, Learn to Code HTML and CSS, Codecademy, or Mozilla Developer Network.


5. Fleet and Family Classes // I always pass the Fleet and Family Services sign on my way to the gym on base. I see they offer tons of classes and plan to attend a few myself such as Holiday Spending and How to Move since both of these are coming up.


6. Fitness Classes // I love taking a variety of fitness classes. On Thursdays, I like to go to Spinning class at the gym, but I've noticed there are a few other classes out in town I'd like to give a try. Pure Pilates in Downtown Pensacola offers one free session for your first class. Gerred and I are thinking of just trying it out for a day. I've also heard a lot of buzz about Purre Barre. There's one coming soon to Pensacola, but it won't be built until after I'm long gone. I do plan on trying this at least once to get a feel for what it is. I'm most excited to try a running form clinic. I know Running Wild offers them every 4th Thursday. I would love to work on proper running technique someday.


7. Museums and Tours // There's no greater way to discover a place than learning it's history and culture. In the remaining time I have in Pensacola, I would like to visit the Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola Mess Hall (Is this for kids? Possibly. But it might be super fun too,) West Florida Railroad Museum, National Aviation Museum, and take a Historic Pensacola tour. Two years ago I visited the Pensacola Light House and Fort Barrancas when I came to visit Katie, Phoenix, and Gerred. Now that it's Halloween, I may revisit the light house for the Pensacola Light House Ghost Hunt. There's a lot of history in this area and I'd like to absorb as much as I can.

Here we are with our 3rd place winnings: $15 gift card to Mellow Mushroom

8. Trivia // Trivia is my thing. In high school, I participated in It's Academic, a Jeopardy-like game show in which high school teams to compete against one another. So far, I've gone to two trivia nights down here with Gerred and James and each time we've won 3rd place! We may not always know the answers, but it's always fun to have the thought on the tip of your tongue. Then there are times when the answer comes rushing out in the last second when I finally write down "turnip" or "Robert Louis Stevenson." Trivia is a great way to test all the miscellaneous tidbits you've picked up in life and to learn more.

My latest attempt at watercolor

9. Art // I love art and am sad I did not pursue it as much as I would have liked. Consequently, it's been awhile since I've picked up a camera, pencil, charcoal, or paint brush. I'd love to get back to it and keep an art journal, learn to watercolor, experiment with my camera, or even take an art class (that doesn't just talk about shapes and lines.) I also may take another wine and paint class some day.

10. Cooking Classes // I have the creativity to cook, but I'm lacking the skills. Ask me to cut vegetables? It'll roll around the board and I may lose a finger. But I can certainly combine some random things and hope for the best. Will it taste good? 25% of the time it does. Basically, I'd love to take a cooking class, like the ones offered at SO Gourmet in Pensacola. Hopefully, by the end of the class I won't just have a recipe, but a few techniques as well. Plus, it makes for a fun girls night or date night.

I'll be trying these from here on out, trying to keep my brain alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic. Know of any other opportunities to learn? Are you learning anything new at the moment? And what do you want to learn?
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Pensacola Beach Day

I made a decision last week to finally embrace the 81 degree weather here in Florida (only after complaining about my need for Fall of course.) This weekend, Gerred and I packed towels, sunscreen, and snacks, and made our way over to Pensacola Beach.

When it comes to the beach, I conjure up the shores of Bethany Beach or OBX. I see yellow sands and waves of dark green water. But, the Gulf is a completely different beach from that of my memories. Pensacola's sands are white and the water is inexplicably clear. I thought I was on a tropical island with how blue the water was.

The days we spent at the beach were so relaxing. We napped in the sun, Gerred played with his new iPhone 6, and I read The Old Man and the Sea. Reading Hemingway's novella by the same Gulf Coast where the book takes place was really something. I heard the waves crashing, felt the sun, and saw the sands in the book. I felt I was there in the boat alongside Santiago as he tried to catch the Marlin. Reading the book in a place I could truly imagine the setting really made the book pop for me more than it would if I read it, say, in bed.

It's these little relaxing days that change my view of the beach. I think I am getting used to this permanent beach life.
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Bringing Fall to Florida

How am I supposed to feel the seasons change around me if the leaves won't even change color? The trees have held tight onto all their green leaves. They won't let go or turn to shades of red, orange, or yellow. There's no chance of even a yellow-green and it's troubling. I guess I never really paid much thought to the autumn season when I knew that it was a standard part of the year. But now that it's gone I'm desperately trying to incorporate this lost season into my life as much as possible.

I'm bringing back fall primarily with the taste of Pumpkin. Yes, it's what we'd like to call basic, but I'd like to say I've exceeded this descriptor as I've tried everything under the sun that's pumpkin flavored including pancakes, oatmeal, donuts, and certain Starbucks drinks and I don't even drink coffee. Gerred also made 8 pumpkin pies to give to friends before we move because we want to share Fall that much.Word of advice, do not try the pumpkin Oreos. They taste like yankee candle play-dough. Just pick up a fall candle instead. I've got Autumn Wreath burning right now and it is both heavenly and autumnal. 

Ever since we moved here I've been asking to go to an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch. Well, there are no apple orchards in Florida, so we set our sights on the pumpkin patch. We visited Sweet Season Farms in Milton and I discovered just how Florida does their version of Fall.

Sweet Season Farms had a corn cannon, an animal barn, and a hay ride. They also served a corn cob dunked a gazillion times into butter, seasoned in either salt, ranch, parmesan or old bay if you're me and handed out on on a foil stake. Gerred and I shared one but felt we were slowly dying of Paula Deen poisoning.

I will say Sweet Farms did have a fantastic corn maze. This year's maze was styled after the local masters champion, Bubba Watson. Do I know he is? No. But, what made the maze ah-mazing was that they gave us trivia passports to take with us into the maze. I took Girl Scouts and Gerred took Scripture. Good thing I love trivia games because throughout the maze we reached several marking points that would have you answer questions about either the Girl Scouts or the Bible and it would tell you whether to turn left, right, or turn around depending on which answer you gave. Luckily I was a Daisy, Brownie, and a Junior Girl Scout and knew how to direct us through the maze with my answers. For the record, I helped Gerred with the Bible answers as well and have Foundations of Western Lit I: The Bible to thank for that.

Where the maze was over the charts, the pumpkin patch was a different story. It was a joke and Gerred and I kept laughing at the fact that Florida's version of a pumpkin patch is a field with placed pumpkins probably from the grocery store. But Gerred had never been to a pumpkin patch and was happy with the one we visited. 

So even when I can't see "Fall" I can still seek it. In the meantime, however, instead of fighting the seasons I've decided to just accept I'm having an extended summer. So I'm off to the beach today.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014


It's October, but it's somehow 70 degrees. I've got a military ID and a new last name.  Stuck in an empty house in the South, I'm ready to share with you all the musings that are currently going on during this changing time in my life.

Trying to revive this blog. It's been awhile and a whirlwind of things have happened between the last time I posted and now. I finished my thesis, graduated college, planned a wedding, spent time with friends and family, got married, and moved down to Florida. Now that all the thesis writing and wedding planning are over, I'm finally finding the time to breathe again. I'm ready to come back to this blog and share with you my life as it happens right now. Where have I been while I wasn't blogging? Instagram. I'm always instagramming my life.

Living in an empty house. The day after Gerred and I got married, we packed my car with only a few summer clothes and headed down to Milton, Florida. At the time, Gerred's two other roommates were living with us (every newlywed's dream.) But they've since moved and the house is completely empty of all furniture. No tables, chairs, couch, plates, or cookware. All the furniture we have is still at my house in Maryland and we won't have that until our next move. In the meantime we like to pretend we're urban camping while we use paper plates and plastic forks for our meals.

Proud of Gerred for finishing his last flight of flight school. After 2 years, he's gone from API to Helicopter School with his nose in the books and his head in the sky. He's studied hard and tackled some difficult tests and flights. Well done Gerred, can't wait for your winging on November 7.

Moving to God knows where? Seriously, it's killing me. I'm so ready to move, find a job and a home, and finally settle in. Gerred put in his preferences yesterday so it's not even in our hands anymore. It'll only be another 2 weeks to find out where we're going, but oh do I want that time to hurry on by.

Missing my house, family, friends. I miss the familiarity of waking up in my own room. But love that I get to share this one with Gerred. I miss walking around the house and seeing my Mom, Dad, and Grandma downstairs. I love that they all call, text, and Facetime me as much as possible. I miss a furnished home one with chairs and pots and pans. I keep tell myself I've only a month before I'll have everything moved into our new home. I miss Danny coming over for wine and documentaries. But I'm glad we still Skype in for our movies. I miss Katie since we're in the same boat with all this Navy business. I am grateful she calls me everyday to make me laugh and reassure me that everything will be ok.

Forgetting what Fall is like. The Florida Panhandle is a hot swampy place. This week the temperature is clocking in the high 70s and I can't even fathom it. I'm sorry, but October to me is supposed to be cold enough that I shouldn't be wearing shorts and flip flops any more. What even is Fall? Pumpkin Spice? Leaves? Cool weather? I don't recall.

Working on my fitness. I may have neglected working out after the wedding was over so I'm ready to run again (It's not ungodly hot anymore,) lift weights, and try some classes at the gym. Like tonight Gerred and I are going to try the spin class. I'd also like to add that I love that the gym on base is free. It's a great transition from the free (well it's included with tutition) gym at Washington College.

Exploring as much of Florida and it's surrounding areas as I can. Despite my distrust of the weather and lack of stability between moves, I do actually like Florida. Gerred and I try to spend our nights out in Pensacola at Gerred's staple bar, World of Beer or visiting different restaurants for our food passport (more on that later.) We've even been able to take weekend trips to Disney World and New Orleans that have been absolutely fun. I cannot wait to continue to explore more exciting spots and events during our limited time left in the Florida Panhandle. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Loving the time I get to spend with him. It's great to finally spend more than just a weekend with him again. We cook dinners, do chores, cuddle, watch shows, and go on dates and it's wonderful. I love the comfort of knowing that he's next to me and not on the other end of the phone. I love that my long distance relationship is over with my cat. Oh, did you think I was talking Gerred. Oh yeah I love Gerred too.

There you have it, my Florida life up to the minute. Get ready for this blog to explode again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Food & Texas

Visiting Gerred in Texas for Spring Break was absolutely fantastic. It was so nice to spend time with my fiancé again, running, beaching, and exploring. We tried our own hand at cooking new recipes and enjoyed all the fun and food Texas had to offer on nights out.

From the moment I stepped off the plane, I was greeted by a big hug followed by, "There's this Bar-B-Q place in San Antonio we have to try!" Now, I never was a huge BBQ fan, until my southern road trip with Danny and Sam back in December. After pone trip down south and my tastebuds got hooked on all things BBQ. And OMG BBQ was Augies Barbed Wire Smoke House good. Sloppy. Meaty. Everything. I kept joking, that I couldn't be happier to share BBQ with my BBQ-T.

The first night of Spring Break we picked out a few recipes to try over the week. We started off with a Quick Lime Cilantro Chicken that neither of us were too thrilled with and we think it had to do with the bottled lime juice instead of actual limes as well as the overpowering cayenne powder. We learned that we won't be making that again. At least we had a side of honeyed brussels sprouts (we are wild about brussels sprouts) and wine followed by Disney's Frozen. My takeaway was that the film was cute, but overall did not deserve all the hype surrounding it.

The next day Gerred and I headed to the beach across the street from his house for a picnic. Essentially, it was super chilly in Texas, but the sun came out at one point and we enjoyed sandwiches, chips, and fruit. After that I feel like I'm 100% ready for beach life when we get married and that everyone should take more picnics.

Gerred and I went shopping in the only mall in Corpus Christi so I could get cheap disposable running clothes for the Jailbreak 5K. Well when we went out I saw sale upon sale and realized I had a gift card at Victoria's Secrets. Basically, I snagged a Union Jack sweater and necklace from Forever 21, a cute Brooks running shirt from Dick's Sporting Goods, and a bikini that actually fit me from Victoria's Secrets all for under $50. In short, I'd say it was a good haul. After returning from our shopping, we cooked up some delicious Hawaiian Chicken. Delicious and Paleo!

When I think Texas, I think cowboy boots. So Gerred and I had to stop at Cavender's Boots to witness the seriously Texas boots that lined all the shelves. We got a kick out of just how cowboy the place was. Then we made the most delicious Rustic Tomato Kale Stew ever. We had so much we wound up having it for lunch over and over. I'll be making this again, I can tell you that.

Another night, we decided to venture away from the kitchen and explore downtown Corpus Christi. It all seemed very deserted, but clean and safe. It looked like there was a ton of renovation going on and I hope to see some great things from the city. My favorite part of downtown, was this robot mural that I proceeded to dance in front of. 

"There's only one kind of dance,
The robot
Well, the robo boogie
Oh yes, the robo-
Two kinds of dances."
- Flight of the Concords

Once we sufficiently explored the town we headed to this small Thai restaurant called Thai Spice. I ordered the Red Curry and it came out in an actual coconut. Let me tell you, they weren't kidding around when they called it Thai Spice. My mouth was on fire and I was so confused, but it turned out that the whole restaurant was made sure everything that was in the curry was natural. So the curry's I've had before at Lemongrass had never amounted to the spice I witnessed that day.

Before Gerred and I visited the Alamo Draft House to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, we stopped by this perfectly hip restaurant in downtown Austin, Second Bar and Kitchen. I highly recommend it! We sipped out blood and stone cocktails up on the balcony overlooking all the South by Southwesters. Ah we absolutely loved it and even better, we shared some of the most mouth watering brussels sprouts ever. Brussels sprouts + mint +goat cheese + bacon = Yum.

That night we watched the sunset over Lake Travis and in the morning we found waffles in the shape of Texas. We gave it a chocolate center so we could say "Deep in the heart of a texas waffle is a chocolate center."

Loved the trip. Loved the food. Loved the company.
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