{Ten On Tuesday} Life Lately

I am already loving the heck out of 2011. Both Joshua and I have been so productive already this year. It feels great! Since right now is a BUSY time for us, here is a quick “10 on Tuesday” list of what’s been up!

  1. I can’t believe it, but GraphicGrace.com is launched! I got so much positive feedback from both family and friends (real life and blog life) and it just felt so good to finally do it! Now I’m looking forward to finding new clients and hopefully making this my full-time job for years to come.
  2. But not until we pack & move. Today, we started packing. It’s not going to be too huge of an ordeal since the place we’re living in is furnished, but it’s still taking some time and organization. We’ve lived here since September!
  3. Once we finish packing up here in North Carolina this week, we’re moving up north to Virginia! Our new apartment is gorgeous, and I am SO excited to move in!
  4. When we get to Virginia, we have to unpack our U-Haul and then go up to New York to get our furniture. All of my things as well as the things my mom is giving us is at the house. Couches, beds, dining room tables, the whole nine yards. Then we’re U-Hauling it back down to Virginia.
  5. I took our friends Felice & Christian’s engagement photos yesterday! They came out great and I cannot wait to share them!
  6. I scrapbooked the first two pages of our Christmas 2010 album, also part of the December Daily bit I was supposed to be working on last month, but never did. Will also be sharing these soon!
  7. Joshua and I have been obsessed with TV on DVD lately. We finished Season 1 of Spartacus, Season 1 of True Blood, and we’re currently watching Season 1 of Dexter. They’re our late night guilty pleasure. Love, love, love!
  8. Speaking of TV, tonight is the premiere of the Biggest Loser! I hear it’s Jillian Michael’s last season, so I will probably be watching! She’s my favorite.
  9. I’m seeing all my close friends this week before we move. I’m going to miss these gals!
  10. My biggest, hugest, happiest obsession right now is PROJECT LIFE. Ohmygod, I’m so obsessed. I ordered it on a whim and told Joshua WE HAD TO HAVE IT to document all the important moments of our lives in 2011, since it’s going to be SUCH an incredible year for us. It arrived late last night and we stayed up all night setting it up and filling in the first 3 days of the year! I love that he’s into this with me, for me! Finally, an easy way to scrapbook that let’s me be creative but is also fast. Perfect for my busy life!

{Ten On Tuesday} RETAIL THERAPY edition

As the deployment gets closer, I’ve turned to retail therapy to help me through this last stretch of it before I move. Not good for my wallet, I agree… but I’ve hit some really good sales AND I keep telling myself that very soon, I won’t have the money to buy these things anymore… so I’m stocking up now!

1 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Aldo Accessories
One of my best friends, Sue, said I needed a new “statement bracelet.” She helped me find this pretty thing at Aldo Accessories… I had store credit from a recent return, so I didn’t have to pay full price! Nice.

2 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Gap Outlet
These are my favorite ever T-shirts from the Gap. They’re stretch… the few I’ve had, I’ve had for years and they wash really well and never shrink. I got a new black, white, royal blue, and deep teal one this past weekend. I also got two dresses a few weeks ago, also at the Gap Outlet… one was only $5!

3 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ JCPenney
This is one of my favorite purchases this summer from JCPenney. I wore it to both weddings I went to in July & August, and I’ll mostly likely wear it to the October wedding I’m going to. Different crowds, so why not re-wear? P.S.— It kills me that this dress is now on sale for only $35. I definitely paid more!

4 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ DSW
I bought these lovely heels at DSW to wear with the above dress. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the dress has little splashes of purple throughout. I wanted to bring out the color.

5 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Pampered Chef
My friend Alison from work invited me to her sister’s Pampered Chef party a few weeks ago. I love Pampered Chef! I can’t wait for my order to come in. I got my first piece of stoneware… a bar pan so I can make pizza, coffee cake, and a bunch of other recipes I want to try that require a pan like this. Yay! I also got my favorite spatula my mom has, a cooling rack for all the cookies I intend to make for Joshua, and a recipe book.

6 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Le Gourmet Chef
For my birthday this past May, mom’s boyfriend Allen gave me a gift card to Le Gourmet Chef to put toward the KitchenAid I really, really want. Since they’re so expensive though, I’ll have to wait for that purchase. Until then I picked up this neat cookie scoop. You know, for all the cookies I’m making for Joshua, to fatten him up after his 20+ pound weight loss this deployment. Sneaky, sneaky! I also got a great cutting board and a lemon zester!

7 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Victoria’s Secret
In my quest to find the perfect dress to wear to Joshua’s homecoming (which I DID find at VS, but I’m not sharing until after homecoming!)… I got this pretty red sundress. I also discovered the bandeau… SO awesome to wear under low-neck tops. I got it in black lace. Bandeaus are awesome! Note to friends— if you ever order from VS, be sure to Google coupons. There are always tons online and I got a great deal!
8 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Pandora
I’m seriously loving the latest lion bead I got for my Pandora bracelet. Joshua has a lion tattoo on his chest, and my favorite quote ever is, “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.” Yeah yeah, it’s from Twilight. But anyway, my co-worker showed me this bead and told me it was retiring and so I just had to have it. Adore!

9 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ American Eagle
I need more casual, warm weather clothes for the big move to NC, so when I found this pink sweetheart neckline strapless top at AE, I got it. With a coupon, of course!

10 ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Barnes & Noble
For my long road trips to North Carolina, I started reading books on tape. I’ve been collecting each of the books in Nora Robert’s Bride Quartet series. I was so excited when the third book was published on audio, and I’ve waited all summer to buy it so I could save it for the move south. Then, a new book called Creative Inc. that I saw on a few blogs I read came out for freelancers… perfect timing for my next big adventure!
Okay… no more shopping for me! For awhile! For real!

{Ten On Tuesday}

It’s halfway through August, and I’m back from my blogging hiatus! Here are ten quick updates to help get myself back into blogging. I never know where to begin, so here we go!

1 ♥ As of 8:30am tomorrow this will now be public knowledge and I can post it online: I GAVE MY NOTICE AND I’M RESIGNING FROM MY JOB AND MOVING TO NORTH CAROLINA! Eeeeee!!!

2 ♥ I’m moving to the Camp Lejeune area for several months before we’re restationed to the Marine Corps base in Quantico, VA. I can’t wait for both moves! So much to look forward to.

3 ♥ My plan is to freelance as a designer for the time I’m in North Carolina, then when we’re restationed I’m going to look for another full-time gig in the DC area. This will be such a nice break from the corporate conundrum and time to relax and refresh myself for all our future plans!

4 ♥ I spent a week in North Carolina visiting several girls from Joshua’s battalion that I originally met via Facebook. I learned what “chicken & biscuits” are, drove through TMO on a golf cart, and signed a lease for a condo. But not in that order. Or maybe it was.

5 ♥ Since we’ll only be in NC for a short time, I found a gorgeous furnished condo in Emerald Isle, our most favoritest place ever, for us to live in! Check out the view from the balcony… and it’s just a short walk to the beach!

6 ♥ This coming weekend, three of my best girlfriends (bridesmaids & maid-of-honor) are coming to visit and go dress shopping with my cousin (also a bridesmaid) and I for their dresses and shoes! We have a day of fun planned up north in Saratoga. I’d also like to find a veil to wear with my dress.

7 ♥ I’ve been shopping around for the perfect homecoming dress for several weeks now. I’ve searched five malls and countless websites, along with any TJ Maxx or Mashalls I pass. Finally, I ended up ordering a few dresses to try on from my favorite catalog… Victoria’s Secret. Now I have several options!

8 ♥ My cousin Eric got married two weekends ago to his beautiful bride, Melissa. The wedding was a blast and made me even more excited for my own!

9 ♥ We received a flight window for Advon today, and the mail stop day has already passed. You know what that means… homecoming it getting closer! I’m so very impatient. So is Joshua. He recently told me he feels like a little kid on Christmas, so excited to come home. He said he paces back and forth and can’t sit still at all. Awwwww.

10 ♥ While shopping at Target for bins to begin packing my belongings into, I came across the greatest bargain ever… these adorable Converse sneakers for only $8.74!

{Ten On Tuesday}

I’m following the lead of my lovely maid-of-honor (Sue)’s Tuesday idea today. I started writing a “dish” session on the random things I had going on lately, then realized it amounted to 10 things and that it’s also Tuesday. Love ya, Susie-Q!

1 ♥ This week at work, I’m art directing a photo shoot for a new dessert program at the company I work for. We’re photographing cakes, cupcakes, brownies, pie, cannolis, fruit tarts, tuxedo strawberries, and other assorted desserts for the next three weeks. Yum!

2 ♥ Interestingly enough, the only reason I became involved with this dessert program (as it falls outside my role as packaging designer for the company) was because of my interest in cakes after the cake decorating class I took last spring! Well, that and the fact that I’m particularly good at coming up with names for products, and they wanted my help naming all the new desserts.

3 ♥ I was given the responsibility to design the entire brochure for the program (I volunteered for it). Not only will it be a lovely addition to my portfolio, but who doesn’t want to work with cakes and sweets all day?!

4 ♥ My incredible/amazing/generous/kick-ass fiancé helped me buy a new computer by giving me permission to dip into our wedding savings to purchase it. He knows that I’m preparing to leave my job to start my freelance career when he returns home, and my six-year old Apple Powerbook G4 (yes, I’m a Mac) recently became the s.l.o.w.e.s.t computer ever, stopped playing graphics/video, gave me the spinning beach ball every 5 minutes, and made an hour project take 3 hours. Not to mention, loading blogs was the slowest thing ever AND I didn’t have a webcam. Six years in Apple laptop years is like… ancient. Like dinosaur ancient. So now, I’m the proud owner of a 27″ iMac with 4GB memory and a 1TB hard drive! I can’t wait for him to call home again so I can inform him of our latest investment.

5 ♥ Speaking of calling home, it’s been a week since I last heard from my beloved. Helmand is still blowing up and the deployment has still been really rough on our battalion. I’m worried and I just want to hear his voice to know that he’s okay.

6 ♥ Whenever Joshua calls from Afghanistan, these are the first things I say to him:

  • “I love you!” (because it is imminent that our call will be cut short before I am able to say this at the end of the conversation… damn satellite phones) 
  • “Are you okay?!”
  • “Do you have all of your body parts?!”
  • “How is your head, is your head okay? Any concussions I should know about?!” (after what happened to Codey, I want every single detail, and I will continue to ask even though I know he isn’t allowed to tell me about the small incidents that happen) 

 Depending on how he is actually doing, he’ll answer in one of the following ways:

  • “Well, I’m alive.” (this means it’s been bad since we last talked)
  • “Yes baby, I’m okay.” (this is what we like to hear)
  • “I’m doing better now.” (this means he’s happy to finally be able to call me)

7 ♥ My list of books to-be-read and books in progress is outrageous. I have to come up with a plan to get them all read. I’ve started a few but I haven’t finished them, and I really just have to stick to one and get it done. First up on the list?

Married to the Military by Meredith Leyva. To all my mil•spouse friends: read it! It’s so informative and is an easy read. I started it back in February before Joshua deployed, but I stopped reading it and just picked it up again to finish. I’m about halfway through, right around the chapter called Personal Finances: Military Style. Very good tips.

8 ♥ Meredith Leyva is also the founder of CinCHouse.com, which she mentions a lot in the book. The website has a military pay estimator that I have to say was RIGHT on target. I’ve been handling all of Joshua and my finances since he left, and it really helped me create a budget for us to go by (based on his pay) for when we’re living together in NC. Definitely helpful in this economy!

9 ♥ I am in absolute lust over these beauties in black/gray:

10 ♥ P90X and I took a break for a bit (we’re just finishing up week 2 over a two-week time period), but I’m leaving now to do my workout for the day and get some more work done for my up&coming business. Have a good night!