29 September 2014

Black Tie 2014


This is always such a fun event. I love getting all dressed up and raising money for scholarships.




The event is always beautifully decorated, the food created by the culinary department is top notch, lots of great items to bid on, and you get to socialize, and check out every one's fancy outfits.

This year was no exception, another great night at the Black Tie. Thank you to the committee for putting on this event - all the volunteers are truly what makes the fundraiser such a success every year.

And there is usually a bonus after party that is just as much fun as the event itself.

24 September 2014

Wednesday Scripture






"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive."  Acts 20:35



These photos are all from my mission trip to Mali in February as every post needs pictures I feel. Plus this is a reminder that I really need to take time to post photos and talk about the mission, it was without a doubt my favorite one to date.

Montreal, Canada for a Weekend

Last weekend included a fun short trip to Montreal, Canada. Can't say Montreal was ever on my bucket list of places to visit but it was actually gorgeous and quite fun. We kicked the trip off with Absinthe cocktails at our amazing hotel. I loved the design of the hotel.
 
 
 
 
Then woke up the next morning and headed out for a leisurely jog to stretch our legs and also explore the city a bit more. I absolutely love running when on vacation as it gives me a chance to see things I normally wouldn't. We scored on this run as we were only a few cobblestone streets away from the waterfront.
 
 

 
 

Sadly it was pretty overcast the entire day but at least the rain more or less held off so we were able to get out and explore the Old Town of Montreal. The architecture won me over without a doubt. I loved the intricate details and the copper tops. Gorgeous!


 

There were super pretty flowers and plants everywhere which was a win in my books.





 

We ate several amazing meals, one was at this super cool old stable made into an uber fancy but delicious restaurant called Gibby's. My parents actually ate at this same place when they were in Montreal several years ago.

 
We also had the famous smoked meat. I'm not a huge smoked meat fan but it wasn't bad.  I even ended up with a Diet Coke that had my name in French - win!


18 September 2014

14 Day Clean Eating Challenge

Life keeps getting in the way of loosing weight or just being healthy. I have been trying hard to make healthy choices lately and recently signed up to sell Arbonne. I love the company, love their products, and the teamwork that comes with being a consultant. I first heard about Arbonne when my friend hosted a 14 day Clean Eating Challenge.




I am going to host a challenge starting September 29th and would love to have more people join in the fun. The larger our team the more we can encourage and inspire each other to make healthy choices for our mind and body. Contact me for more information if you want to join the Challenge.

17 September 2014

Be Kind and Compassionate to One Another

Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me.

 
 
 
Who remembers this nursery rhyme from childhood? I do for some crazy reason and right now trying to keep repeating it in my head.
 
Please people be kind and nice to each other. Don't judge and don't speak poorly of others. You never know what that person may be dealing with or the circumstances surrounding their actions.

"Brothers and sisters, stop slandering each other. Those who slander and judge other believers slander and judge God's teachings. If you judge God's teachings, you are no longer following them. Instead, you are judging them." James 4:11

11 September 2014

9.11


Today we look back on one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history and the nearly 3,000 lives lost.  However, today is also a reminder that under terrible circumstances, Americans came together with a new sense of purpose, pride, and understanding. 
 
 
 
On this Patriot Day, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims of 9/11, and of the Soldiers and Civilians who have given their lives since to preserve our freedom.  May we never forget their sacrifice. 

09 September 2014

Army Dine Out



I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Battalion Dine Out this last Saturday. I had been to a few Dine Out's in Iraq but none were the full fledged fancy ceremony. It was so much fun. I loved the traditions and history and the honoring of those who serve. Plus any chance I get to get all fancied up is a win if you ask me. Thanks Justin for taking me and for being such a great date.

08 September 2014

Sunday Al Fresco Dining




We had gorgeous gorgeous weather Sunday so it seemed the perfect opportunity to fire up the grill and dine al fresco. I love evenings like this!


No matter what you're eating it seems to always taste better when dining outdoors or on a patio. I don't do it nearly often enough and really need to take advantage of this final month or two of perfect patio dining weather! Bonus in that my garden is full of goodies to harvest for a healthy and delicous meal.




03 September 2014

Our new Vieques Hideaway - Las Iguanas

This was the winning house from our Vieques Beach House Hunt. It isn't our dream house but it's cozy, feels Islandy, and is walking distance to town and beaches which seems like  a win. I honestly fell in love with it when we saw it. My parents want to keep searching for a home on the water or with views of the water but we just couldn't pass this little beauty up in the meantime.

 



You truly could move in today and be comfortable and happy. It's clean, its nice, and the decorations don't hurt my eyes. However, since we ended up on the low end of our budget we are blessed to be able to do some major rennovations right away to make it perfect. One huge bonus of a small less expensive home.



The orange has to go - I want something lighter and brighter. The kitchen and dinning room will be opened up so they feel more spacious and so you can interact with those slaving away in the kitchen. When we open it up the wood will become a cool cement kitchen and a better layout.


The bathroom is lacking true hot water (well hot water by our standards, it has this electric hot water situation at the moment) so it will also get a major overhaul to include an outdoor shower (trust me these are a must on the island), new cement vanity and shower, and again updated color and tile.




Other than that we just need a/c units in the bedrooms, fresh paint, some new fans/fixtures, and a little sprucing of the furnishings and we should be good to go for your dream affordable island rental. As soon as we are ready for rentals I will publish the link and information. Can't wait to close on this oasis and start making it ours (or yours for a week).



All these photos are from the BravosBoyz listing and were not taken by me.

29 August 2014

Vieques House Search

In July we traveled to Vieques, Puerto Rico in search of the perfect Island vacation home to also use as a rental. We went with a price range in mind and an ideal size. Figured I will show you the homes we viewed with details and then next week share which home we ended up picking (some of you already know as I announced it on FB)....This island is gorgeous y'all and a must visit if you are in the market for a tropical low key beach vacation.

Casa Magnolia - In Esperanza (the more touristy side of the island). The neighborhood was just somewhat junky for our liking (lots  of trash, noisy dogs, etc...) and the yard felt very small and cramped. No privacy. House had potential but didn't win us over.



3 bedrooms, 2 bath, 7 rooms total, 343 sqm lot. $269,000.

La Chata Beach Cottage - In Bravos de Boston. Based on listing photos and info only this was my favorite going into the house search. Loved this one, the house was very nice open and airy feeling, seemed move in ready, loved the bonus shed as could be a private bedroom, and the lot was large with potential. Also loved Bravos de Boston neighborhood in general.






2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 6 rooms total, bonus "shed", 1,408 sf living, 1,164 sqm lot size. $249.000.

Olga's House - also Bravos de Boston. This one is a fixers upper. Super close to the water, great views, the lot was really pretty and landscaped well, the house needed a major overhaul.


2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 6 rooms total, 750 sf living, 616 sqm lot, slight water views. $259,000

Mike's Place - . I will admit we didn't even get out of the car at this one. Location wasn't hitting it for my mom and my dad felt it was too small.

2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 6 total rooms,  776 sf living, 365 sqm lot size, water views. $179.000.

The Beach House - this one was untitled but we looked anyway. The lot was very spacious and nice, the house was interesting. No actual windows and doors (a lot of it was open air), needed a lot of maintenance and updating. There was a really cool bedroom/bathroom on the upper level.


3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 8 rooms total, 1,255 sqm lot size. $249,000 (not titled land)

Tangerine Dream - Bonus home we ended up viewing slightly over our initial price cap. The pool was gorgeous and really had the "wow" factor we had wanted, the views were also really pretty but somewhat obstructed, you had a lot of privacy so a bonus, the house was average (really ugly kitchen) and unfortunately only one bedroom so would have to build immediately. It did have an outdoor shower which is always  a win I feel.






1 bedroom, 1 bath (with outdoor shower), 4 rooms total, 1000+ sqm lot , pool, water views. $365,000

Las Iguanas - Bonus home number two we visited when we stumbled upon it by accident one day while lost, way under our price and size expectation. In town which wasn't at all what we had in mind, however seemed really private as your side and backyard are more or less a jungle, small but a workable layout, needs updating of the kitchen and bathroom. Had a cool screen porch off the back.


 




2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 6 rooms, 800 sf living, 172 sqm lot. $139,000.

All pictures are mine but please click on the links to see the realtor site with lots more pics and info of each house.

We used Bravos Boyz for all of our home searching and we LOVED them. I can't say enough about their impeccable taste, customer service (they stopped for "refreshments" halfway through our search one day), and just overall fun factor. You can watch them this Sunday night on HGTV Beach Front Bargain Hunters show. Crossing my fingers maybe we can be on this show as that would be the cherry on top.