Vitamin Sea Detox | Strength Through an Overseas PCS

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What a week!  Two of my girlfriends from Indiana visited me and we hit up a bunch of different beaches and drove around the island like tourists–so much fun.  Although I am not one to spend more than and hour or so at a beach, I do love the relaxing vibe that the cool water, blue skies and soft sand put out….ahhh…so peaceful.  It was just what I needed!
My husband and I have gotten a lot done in preparation for our trip to Michigan and then our move from there to Korea.  The best part of the whole process has been how much God has been stretching me.  Turns out, being stretched as thin as a piece of paper doesn’t feel so good.  And there are some days when you wonder why you even woke up. haha  But to use a word I heard today that summed everything up…it’s been sanctifying.  To sanctify means to “make holy”, to “set apart”, or “consecrate”.  Funny thing, but my name (Beth) actually means “pledged (or) consecrated to God”.  Mind blown!  What an amazing reminder in the middle of our busy lives, whether they are chaotic, fast-paced, or both, that we belong to the King of Kings and that He is working on us to set us apart and make us more holy through our trials.  It’s important not to miss that.  We can choose to be made stronger through them, or bitter and weak.
I am thankful for this time in my life right now.  This time of change, of stretching, of challenges…it only serves to make me stronger and to help me grow.  I ask God to make me more like him and a woman after his own heart, and He gives me challenges to strengthen me.  It’s funny how we forget that and assume that challenges must not be from God because they are hard and difficult and sometimes we suffer during them.  God knows what is best for us and He will never walk away when we need Him.  Just something to remember as you PCS this summer, or as you are going through your own challenges and changes this year.
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How I Organize My Diaper Bag

My number one tip for streamlining the process for switching out diaper bags, or even handbags, and keeping my bags orderly is to keep everything in pouches/zippered bags.  It also saves me a lot of headache when I need something immediately (Umm fussy toddler at the grocery store anyone?  “Where on earth are the snacks honey??  I need them stat!”).  When I need to run an errand, and enjoy some mommy-alone-time, all I have to do is remove a couple pouches to lighten up my bag and I am good to go!
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I always keep a travel-sized rash cream with me–shouldn’t have to explain that one. 😉 At least 2-3 diapers and plenty of wipes are always kept in my diaper pouch
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Snack pouch!  I try to steer towards less-sugary snacks (heaven knows children don’t need that extra energy from the sugar), such as dried fruits and veggies.  The fruit snacks are for myself. 😉
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My little toy pouch is perfect for using at a restaurant when trying to kill a little time as you wait on your food, or to use as a distraction at a doctors appointment.  I only keep small toys in here–sometimes I toss my daughters lovey in my bag when it’s getting close to her nap and she needs to wind down in the car.
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Coupons!  I think I found this cute polka-dotted accordion container at Walmart a few years ago–it’s perfect for keeping my coupons alphabetically arranged.
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I really love my Ju Ju Be Be Rich in the Queen of the Nile print.  I bought it because I wanted a wallet that opened up completely so I can easily view all the contents inside and not have to go digging through my wallet to find hidden loyalty cards and such.  You know exactly what I am talking about, don’t you… Should I also mention that this wallet can be safely tossed directly into the washing machine for a good cleaning??  I mean, does it get any better than that?  All Ju Ju Be products are washable, in fact.  And no, this post is not sponsored, I just love Ju Ju Be! 😉
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Ta-da!  Easy access.
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This clear pouch keeps some of my makeup products, as well as miscellaneous items such as eye drops, teething gel for the baby, and some feminine products.  Tip: also keep a few feminine items in your diaper pouch for convenience.
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My Ju Ju Be Be Light Tote has two deep from pockets that I keep a few more random items in (my rosebud salve and earplugs for exams and plane rides could probably be kept in my misc. pouch…).  I always have a pair of sunglasses with me, a small medical pouch, gum, a mini Fiber One snack bar and a travel-size brush.
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And that’s it, the full contents of my diaper bag–minus the pacifier pod hanging from the straps. 😉  It seems like a ton of stuff (and I have not even mentioned the milk and water sippy cups you bring for each trip haha) but it really is so nicely organized that my bag still has space to spare!  What are your top tips for keeping your diaper bags and/or purses organized?

My Simple Makeup Routine

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Hello ladies!  I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start.  I just finished a yummy cup of coffee and a dark chocolate square so I’m ready to face the rest of the week head on!  Okay, maybe after two full days of more sleep…I wish.  And that’s where my makeup routine comes in, ha-ha, to give me that extra lift and hide those dark circles when the reality of not being able to have your pre-baby sleep life back fully hits you! 😉  What did we do before concealer??  And coffee… Seriously…
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I like to keep my routine simple, but I have no problem adding a couple products to my routine time if it means my makeup will last longer during the day.  A couple extra minutes is worth it to not have to reapply a couple times a day, amiright?
To start…
I begin with a clean, moisturized face (of course) and apply a primer–right now I am using E.L.F Tone Adjusting Primer to hide and even out the redness in my face and to keep my makeup on longer.
I use different foundations but for now I am using Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation because my skin has been oily lately and this has helped balance out the oils in my skin.  NYX Dark Circle Concealer goes on next, to cover tell-tale signs below my eyes and then I cover that over with a tiny bit of NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer.  Airspun Loose Face Powder sets everything in place and then I go ahead and add my Too Face the Bronzed and the Beautiful bronzer in Chocolate and Anastasia Duobrow Powder (although in the photo I am not wearing any and sometimes skip this step if I am just not feelin’ it).  Dab a little Stila Cream Blush to the cheeks (cream blush gives a better glow and lasts longer than powder blush in the summer, in my opinion), and a few spritzes of Wet n’ Wild PhotoFocus Setting Spray and voila!  All finished!
The main goal with this look is to keep it natural, but glowy and awake.  I like that this makeup look gives me decent coverage but doesn’t look too made up or like I spent a ton of time on it.  Natural, but put together.  Perfect. 😉
What are your favorite products for a natural, easy makeup look?

Life Lately: PCS-Prep | Leaving Hawaii in 2 Months

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Hey everyone!  So you already know that we are moving from Hawaii to Korea, but we leave the island within 2 months and we still need our orders!  I know, I know…you’re going to say “that’s just typical Military life, hon” haha and while that is true, it doesn’t do anything to make a big move less stressful–especially an OCONUS (Outside Continental United States) move!  But you’re right, that is life and we do what we can in the meantime, right!? 😉
So in the meantime…
I’ve had a doctor’s checkup for my 17 month old to qualify as a EFMP Screening, a “well-woman” checkup for myself and also had to have the EFMP screening and paperwork signed-off at Tripler Army Medical Center.
I’ve never had to be screened for EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) before, but I assume it’s because of where we are moving to (didn’t need it for Hawaii but that is still in the US although not in the continental US).  There is more limited healthcare available to Americans abroad and the Army would need to know if they are not able to meet our needs (and potential disabilities) in Korea.  If that was the case, my daughter and I would not be approved to move to Korea with my husband.  Thankfully, that is not an issue and all of our medical records are clear and in order and the necessary paperwork signed.  Oh…still need to go to Medical Records and get a copy of my daughters and my records!  Note to self. 😉
The next thing I had to do, was to go to Waimanalo Post Office (after printing off the paperwork and getting a notary since my husband could not be there) and apply for a Tourist Passport for Ava–isn’t is crazy that a 17 month old would need a passport? 🙂  I took her passport picture at a Walgreens and brought that to the Post Office with my paperwork.  The passport cost about $105 and we had it sent to our home of record in MI so that we would have plenty of time to retrieve it before going to Korea (we are taking leave for a couple weeks to see family before the official flight to Korea!).  The tourist passport is mainly just so we can travel to other places from Korea (such as Japan) and I’ve heard it’s easier to just get it in the US where you are familiar with then to have to apply for it in Korea.
I’m still not 100% positive if Ava and I also need Government passports (I’ve gotten different answers from other military spouses and soldiers) so we will see!  That would be a 2-month wait though…ugh.
I also went ahead (since I can cancel at anytime if need be) and booked a weeks stay at a hotel in Seoul for when we arrive in July and overlapped the bookings with a potential month’s stay (yikes!) at a military lodge near my husbands next duty station.
Other than the yucky paperwork and appointments we have had to make to prepare for the move, I’ve been sorting through junk drawers and downsizing the closet wardrobes of things we don’t need and throwing out things we never use–it’s so liberating. haha
All of this while still trying to study for college CLEPs… 😛 I hope to squeeze one or two more exams out before we leave the island.
Well there you have it!  My life lately. 😉  Is anyone else making a big move this summer?  Or do you have any favorite moving/packing tips you’d like to share!  Please let me know!  I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Well I just finished my apple fritter and coffee so I think that means it’s time to say goodbye until my next post–
Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

Kaua’i Weekend Vacay | Part 2 | Little Town of Hanapepe

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My favorite morning of our vacation was spent in Hanapepe, Kauai’s Biggest Little Town (it’s tiiinnyy) where I discovered an adorable called, “Little Fish”.  Pro tip: try the Dragon-fruit lemonade–you won’t regret it!  So delicious and refreshing.  Ahhh.  Wishing I was sipping on one right now…
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How amazing does this Dragon-fruit lemonade look??
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Don’t miss the chance to walk across the swinging bridge!  One of my favorite things that I did on the whole trip.  Probably because there was no one else around when we walked across it so it felt like a newly-discovered novelty for us.  Definitely fun for kids too. 🙂
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There was an art gallery on the other side…we didn’t go inside.
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My husband as such a love for cats and can never resist stopping to pet them.  He likes to watch Ava get excited when she spots one. 😉
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The Talk Story bookstore claims the western-most independent bookstore of the U.S.!  It’s fun to peruse.  The prices though, unless otherwise marked, are very similar to Barnes and Noble.
I only wish we had been able to check out the Brown Bear Bakery, across the street for some yummy desserts, but it was closed the morning we were visiting.
Lemonade, swinging bridge, bookstore, kitten–a full morning for little Ava! 😉

It’s PCS Season! | We’re Moving to…

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Korea!
We are moving in just under 3 short months and it’s honestly all I can think about.  It’s a combination of the usual PCS excitement (I’ve actually wanted to move to Korea so I’m looking forward to it), and the dread of flying SO many hours with a toddler. Help! Thankfully my 16 month old is a pretty good flyer but that doesn’t mean any child wants to sit in one place for 15+ hours!  How can you blame them?  Confession: I have already been brainstorming toy and snack ideas for the trip…yes, I always plan way in advance. 😉
It will be one busy summer this year!  But we will really miss Hawaii. 😦 I remember hearing a lot of negative things from other Milspouse bloggers about Hawaii before we moved and that made me nervous, but my family and I couldn’t have been more happy here.  Yes, it is an island but there is much more to do here than you might think.  We feel incredibly blessed to have experienced “HI Life” and to have met so many kind people that have truly embodied the spirit of “Aloha”.  So, while it will be hard to leave, that it just one part of our lives and our lives are full of change.  I’ve learned to embrace change and I’ve discovered that some of the most beautiful things can come out of it.

Kaua’i Weekend Vacay | Barking Sands Naval Base | Part 1

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Waiting for our flight!  Had my bags packed with snacks and goodies for Ava. 😉
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Always love drinking the complimentary “POG” on the interisland flights. ❤
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Got our rental car and we’re ready to see some of the island on our way to our beach cottage!  Oddly enough, it was a hunter green Kia that we unknowingly rented–except for the seats not be comfortable for long drives, it was fun to drive around the island in our little toaster car. 😉
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Beachfront view?  Not bad!
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An exciting day with an early morning flight, a new island, and new house for Ava to explore… We enjoyed a few scenic lookout stops on our way to our rental and just relaxed for the rest of the day at the cottage and on the beach.  MWR had free sand toys that they let us borrow for Ava–she loved that. 🙂
Part 2 of our Kaua’i vacay coming next…
Stay tuned!