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It’s Gonna Be A Party, Y’all… Tomorrow!

That is correct, tomorrow there is going to be a party, but I wanted to get the word out today (for all you weekend bloggers)! The weekend is almost over and we are getting into a really rushed time of year. There are so many things for us to be Grumpkins about. Yes, Grumpkins (this is what Hubs and I call each other when we’re being grumpy)! Fear not though, Skinnie has come up with a perfect opportunity for us to put our Grumpkiness away and start the week with inspiration to have a positive week!



Deployment Goal Uno:: COOKIES!

I don’t know if I have ever shared this tid bit of information with you, but my husband is a Cookie Monster! Well, sweets in general. We laughed so hard this week watching “New Girl” when Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Schmidt (Max Greenfiel) were talking to Nick (Jake M. Johnson) about his date and Schmidt said to just suck in his gut. Nick asked what gut and Jess said:

“The little pooch where you keep your extra cookies!”

That is my Hubs! Yeah, he has a little pooch and it is all cookies… cookies and brownies and sweets. (Hence weigh-in issues every six months!)

The first goal I am firmly setting for this deployment is: LEARNING TO MAKE AWESOME COOKIES! I plan on doing this with the help of one very amazing blog: Bake at 350*! If you have never checked her out, she has amazing tutorials on cookie decorating!

Some of the amazing cookies created on Bake at 350!

I thought I would start off with something simple like her Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookie recipe, and just getting the recipe down – no decorating or anything. I figured I could send them to Hubs even if they aren’t the best I’ve ever made. You have to learn somehow! Then I thought I would work my way to decorating. I mean, I’m not going to learn that overnight, but I should be able to get good enough to have a nice homecoming treat for him!

If you love cookies, check out Bridget’s blog Bake at 350, even if you don’t want to bake them! I love just looking at everything she creates! She also is not just a cookies girl! There are recipes for other things like:: bread, bars, tarts, pies, icing, cakes… hundreds of recipes waiting to be discovered with pictures waiting to be drooled over!

I will let you all know my progress, but can’t promise anything as amazing as hers! PS: I will definitely be attempting the soldier boys for my “saildier” (get it, since he’s a sailor deploying with the Army?)!

Ever Just Want To Be Dramatic?

Sweet, sweet friends:: a huge, HUGE thank you for all of the prayers, love, and support showered over me and Hubs the last few days! The shell-shock of the news is slowly fading and reality is setting in!

I was able to share my feelings with Hubs yesterday and luckily, he was able to share his with a reservist at the hospital who once had the same billet we think Hubs is going to fill. Let’s just say there will be no foxholes, no semi-automatic machinery strapped to his body at all times, and most likely no need for a battle buddy.

I will of course still worry every minute of every day, but we are able to face this upcoming deployment with a much better outlook than we previously thought.

Now we can focus on the fun things… we’ve been talking about a nice vacation when he gets back (Um, yeah- we’re talking 2013!), our awkward airport homecoming for one, and all the vendors they bring onto base over there.

Maybe I put the location in the back of my mind and just think of it as an extended Navy deployment.

On an unrelated note I’ve taken to blogging outside on the patio! From our little table with God all around me in the greenery of our yard. I find it awkwardly refreshing to get in the fresh air and just be. The dogs enjoy playing in the yard instead of sitting on the computer on my lap as well.

Gotta love an awkward webcam shot!

We can officially begin all of our pre-deployment goodness from the mistakes we made last time… like adding my name to the accounts of every single company we pay a bill to! We only faced a few battles and the representative asking if my husband could call them back. Sure, let me get right on that! Of course we will have a POA, but do any of you ladies know how that works for a year-long deployment? Since, aren’t they only good for one year? Of course there are the little things like calling our credit cards and having the interest rates lowered! That’s right: Did you know if you (or in our case, your husband) has a credit card, they will lower the interest rate during a deployment and in some cases stop interest!? That was a nice way to add to the pay-off of some of our (and by our I mean the debt I married into! Ugh!) debt last deployment!

The next big thing we have to deal with is the phone! Oh good Lord, what a headache that was! We saved about $40 a month when we suspended his phone last deployment. Then we struggled with them not reconnecting it and international charges from Hawaii for at least one month. A few $400 phone bills later we just got it straightened out! A huge part of me wants to just cancel his phone and get him a new one when he comes back home. My fear is he could call me on his way home through various airports if we just kept his phone on and paid the darn bill! I just hate throwing that kind of money right down the drain since he won’t be able to use it over there!

Then of course there is the daunting task of updating his will. That is the worst part of pre-deployment in my opinion! I just don’t like having to talk about it. Nothing has really changed since we did it last year though, so I am thinking maybe we just leave it.

ANY OTHER PRE-DEPLOYMENT ADVICE? Anything you can think of we have to get in order? We won’t have a pre-deployment briefing like we did on the ship, and even with two under my belt, I feel like there is so much I’m just not thinking of! Maybe we will go down to the pre-deployment briefing for the ship since they’ll be going out again soon! (I’m kidding- we’re not PDB crashers!)

Once again:: Thank you ever so much for all your support, prayers, and words of wisdom. I think I got the tantrum and pity party out of the way and can focus on the task at hand- loving my husband with all my heart over the course of the next few months as we prepare to be separated once more. I know with all of the outpouring of love I have already received, you all will be the best rock I could ever ask for!

Spreadin’ Some Etsy Lovin’ :: Toaster’s Transformations!

Hello friends! I am coming to you today with another awesome shop I have discovered over on Etsy! Not only is it a great shop, but the owner, Amanda, is a beautiful woman who I’ve gotten to know over the last few weeks! She is a fellow ETSYpreneur and owns the shop:

I have fallen in love with her shop, her blog, and her faith! I have asked her a few questions as a little spotlight and would love to share her beauty with you! Head on over to her shop afterwards and check out her beautiful creations! (Pssst… there might even be a coupon code for my lovely readers! You’ll have to read through and see!)

Tell us a little about yourself, Amanda:

Hello there Young Retiree Readers! My name is Amanda, but when I got to college I received the nickname Toaster.  I hated it at first and fought it with my very being however, it stuck.  Then I learned to embrace it.  And that’s why my Etsy Shop is Toaster’s Transformations.   I’m a 25-year-old disciple of Jesus, wife, and soon to be momma.  (Is it January yet? Can’t wait to snuggle our little one.)  I opened up my shop Toaster’s Transformations in June and it’s been quite the adventure!

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?

I can’t really pick a favorite item that I’ve created, but I think the most satisfying items for me have been all of the upcycled sweater creations, whether it be purses or coupon holders, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making those items.  I love transforming something unwanted into something new!

What is your inspiration to create?

My inspiration comes often from the thrift store.  Yup, the thrift store.  I love going to Salvation Army and looking at all the beautiful sweaters just waiting to be turned into new items! 

What is the best part of being an ETSYpreneur?

My favorite part of owning my Etsy shop is getting involved in the handmade community.  There have been a few people who are just super encouraging and that I’ve developed friendships with.  It’s been such a blessing. 

How did you decide to create things by upcycling?

Upcycling for me was an easy choice.  Right now my husband and I both do not have full-time jobs, so if I wanted to create crafts it was going to have to be with things I’ve had on hand.  More importantly than that though, is that God has called us to be stewards of this earth.  I couldn’t see myself going out and spending money on brand new fabric when there are so many beautiful things out there right now just waiting to be transformed into something new.   Old sweaters, vintage sheets, scraps of fabric, old t-shirts, when I look at them, I start to think, ok, how can I transform this into something beautiful.  I’m so glad I’ve made this choice as it’s been very rewarding to me.
I’m also inspired by God’s creation.  He is the best artist EVER.  I love all of the colors he’s created and my plumeria line is inspired by those beautiful tropical flowers.

Amanda is a beautiful soul and creates amazing things! What is even more fantastic is that she can make things with your stuff! How awesome would that argyle sweater be if it could be transformed into a tote for the Farmer’s Market? Since being home I know I have been scouting my old closet for some good finds for Amanda to transform!

If you head over to her shop she is giving you a 20% off coupon code:: Youngretiree20!

****FROM OCTOBER 15th – DECEMBER 15th 10% OF ALL SALES WILL BE DONATED TO PROJECT HOPE. Project Hope is meant to reach out to and minister to other moms in the moments of their greatest loss. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PROJECT HOPE PLEASE VISIT here!****

You can visit her shop Toaster’s Transformations or her blog: And They Will Become One Flesh!

Work Out Jams

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Hubs and I got sweet little iPod shuffles to enhance our workout experience and get me past my “good enough” mile and a half. I found pretty sweet podcasts for the C25K where a guy tells you when to run vs walk. Sweet. The only disadvantage is there is nothing in the meantime. Would it be weird if I took and put it on hubs’ iPod, with my music on mine, and had his in one ear and mine in the other? The description says there is a way to overlap them… I’m not that tech-savvy! If you are and want to send me a cd with the C25K mix and some music behind it, that’d be super!

Hers and His: musical companions for workout buddies 😀

Oh, so you want to know what’s on my shuffle? Sure… as long as you let me know of some rocking music you jam out to when you walk, run, or workout as well 😀 Mind you, this list might be slightly embarrassing for me… but without further ado, my track companions:

  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO [man, what a great song to just get PUMPED to!]
  • Last Friday Night – Katy Perry
  • Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
  • Love Drunk – Boys Like Girls
  • That’s Not My Name – The Tings Tings
  • If You’re Wondering (If I Want You To) – Weezer
  • Tonight, Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae (oh, such a great tune!)
  • It’s Tricky – Run DMC
  • Glamorous – Fergie (Yep.)
  • Good Girls Go Bad – Cobra Starship feat. Leighton Meester
  • Supermodel (You Better Work) – RuPaul yelling at me to work as I workout.
  • I’m On A Boat – The Lonely Island (there is something about “angry”/yelling music that motivates me)
  • Booty City – Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears (he’s taking me to booty city, and my booty is gonna look good!)
  • Shake It – Metro Station
  • Stronger – Kanye West (I think this should be the official PT song for everybody. It truly will make me harder, faster and stronger!)
  • Dynamite – Taio Cruz
  • Blow – Ke$ha
  • Hustlin’ – Rick Ross (well, because everyday I’m out there hustlin’)
  • The Way You Move – Outkast
  • Magic – B.O.B. feat Rivers Cuomo (ummm, you know I seriously want to name a son Rivers, right? Hubs isn’t going for it. However, he can motivate me and give me some of his magic!)
  • Pon De Replay – Rihanna
  • Wild World – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  • Poker Face – Lady Gaga
  • The Girl Got Hot – Weezer (obviously Rivers is shocked by my fitness goals and how hot I’m gonna be!)
  • I’m Awesome – S’pose (I just repeat it around that next to last lap when I’m close to giving in. I keep going, because I’m awesome.)
  • Get Some – Lykke Li
  • S&M – Rihanna

For the most part I keep the BPM up around 130. I have some more over on that I need to download, like “Evacuate the Dance Floor”. I have more already on the shuffle, but seriously, do you want the whole list? [Naturally, yes: “Eye of the Tiger” is on there.]

Your turn: what gets your heart pumping?