Sunday, December 30, 2012

Packing For a Month Using Only Carry On Luggage - Part 1

***This is a forewarning that this is a VERY LONG POST!***

With the rising cost of airfare and checking bags, I have decided to take on the challenge of packing for our month long Wedding/Disneyland/Wedding/Disney World/Cruise/Disney World trip in September-October 2013 using only carry on luggage. I consider carry on luggage for us as one carry on suitcase per person plus a backpack and large purse.

I don't know how well this undertaking will turn out, but I am up for the challenge. I am giving myself nine months to conquer this challenge.

Here is what our schedule looks like as of now.

9/7-9/10 - Wedding #1 in California
9/10-9/19 - Disneyland
9/19-9/22 - Wedding #2 in Virginia
9/22-10/3 - Walt Disney World
10/3-10/6 - Disney Cruise
10/6-10/9 - Walt Disney World

I know that the hotels in Disneyland and Walt Disney World have laundry facilities so that basically cuts our packing requirements in half.

I do have to be rather careful about packing my husband's suit and my dresses without using a garment bag since most airlines consider your garment bag to be your carry on luggage.

I am planning on bringing soap nuts and our dryer balls to do laundry with since 5 soap nuts will last about 5-7 loads. They also take up a lot less room than Purex 3-In-One and I don't have to worry about putting chemicals in our clothes that shouldn't be there. I was thinking of bringing our homemade laundry detergent but I don't want to run the risk of having it spill in our luggage.

Originally this is what our packing lists looked like:

Dress Shirts
Sports Coat
Dinner Dress
Tennis Shoes
Dress Shoes
Panty Hose
Rain Jackets
Lightweight Sweaters
Toiletry Bag
Miscellaneous Bag
First Aid Bag
Small Wallet

Walt Disney World:
Dress Shirts
Sports Coat
Dinner Dress
Tennis Shoes
Dress Shoes
Flip Flops
Panty Hose
Rain Jackets
Lightweight Sweaters
Athletic Shorts
Sports Bras
Toiletry Bag
Miscellaneous Bag
First Aid Bag
Small Wallet

Disney Cruise:
Dress Shirts
Bathing Suits
Cover Ups
Gym Shirts
Gym Shorts
Sports Bras
Sports Coat
Dinner Dress
Sun Dresses
Tennis Shoes
Dress Shoes
Panty Hose
Rain Jackets
Lightweight Sweaters
Toiletry Bag
Miscellaneous Bag
First Aid Bag
Beach/Pool Bag
Small Wallet

Miscellaneous Bag:
Address Book
Credit Cards
Sewing Kit
Copy of Passports and Identification
Night Light
Over The Door Storage Bag
Highlighter Pens
Rubber Bands
Baby Wipes
Safety Pins
Health Insurance Cards
Travel Information Binder
Laundry Bag
Room Key Lanyards
Playing Cards
Waterproof Watches
List of Medications
Emergency Doctor Phone Numbers
Phone Chargers
iPads and Chargers
Kindle and Charger
Camera, Cards, and Charger
Ziplock Baggies
Brita Water Bottles
Extra Filters
Hair Straightener
Curling Iron
Drink Packets
Tip Envelopes
Water Spray Fan
Video Camera and Batteries
Media Cards

First Aid Bag:
Band Aids
Antibiotic Ointment
Foot Powder
Eye Drops
Swimmer's Ear Drops
Anti-Itch Gel
Headache Medication
Jelly Fish Sting Medication
Pepto Bismol
Sinus Medication

Toiletry Bag:
Razors and Refills
Face Lotion
Body Lotion
Face Wash
Body Wash
Shower Puffs
Toothbrushes and Refills
Nail Clippers
Cotton Swabs
Feminine Products
Body Spray
Foot Spray
Hair Ties
Hair Brushes
Hair Pins
Anti-Chafing Stick
Nail File
Nail Polish
nail Polish Remover
Cotton Pads
Makeup Brushes
Makeup Remover Wipes
Bug Spray
Sun Screen
After Sun Care
Face Toner and Pads

If I am going to meet this challenge I am going to have to find a way to trim these lists significantly. I know that most of the toiletry items are small in individually sizes, but cumulatively they equal a lot of products.

Well, next up will be the importance of quality luggage and TSA safety regulations.

Until next time - Toodles!

Monday, July 2, 2012


I know it seems like I have been away for like 823691283 years and trust me, I feel that way too. But life is a little hectic right now.

Hubby recently got a job offer to head over to Afghanistan for 12 months. 12 months of sleeping by ourselves. 12 months of waking up with the pups every morning by myself. 12 months of grocery shopping for one. 12 months of lonely road trips. Plus not having him here for our Anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, our Birthdays, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, or Independence Day.

Although, once I really sat down and thought about it I came to the conclusion that although it would be a very lonely 12 months for us, I would have 12 months to pay off all our debt. 12 months to look at buying or even possibly building a new home. 12 months to get into shape and be prepared for a homecoming. Plus a good friend from Hawaii and her family will be here at the end of the month so that should make things a little easier to bear.

So I told Hubby to take the job. Of course, if he wanted to. ;) But seriously, how often does a really well paying job come along right when you need it? How often does God give you an opportunity to get to a stable financial place before you buy a home and have children? It has been my dream for years to be completely debt free before I turn 25. How amazing would it be to do it before the end of the year?!?! Plus we are planning to take a nice long vacation when he gets back. I am taking over a MONTH! Silver lining! :)

We still don't know when he will leave, but I am doing whatever I can to make sure he is ready. To help him feel like he has a say in all the day to day life once he is gone. Even though we haven't gotten pre-approved for a loan, we are already looking at paint colors and light fixtures so when it comes time for the decisions to be made, he will have helped pick them out in person, not over a computer monitor.

I am really really going to miss him though. I can't even lie to myself and say it will fly by. There are going to be lots of lonely nights. Lots of tears. Lots of missing him. But there will also be lots of cards, lots of care packages, and lots of hugs and kisses waiting for his return. I just have to keep my chin up and be brave. I will be very busy packing and looking at houses. Picking out furniture and decorating welcome home banners.

I have been spoiled rotten these last 4 months. I have gotten to spend every single day with the man I love more than anything. After having both served in the U.S. Navy, being able to just be together without having to wake up early and be at work all day has been an enormous blessing. I think that is why I am more okay with him going now. We don't have any children (besides our fur babies), we don't own our own home, and I am going to school online. This is the best time for him to go. If we were in a different place in our lives, I would have definitely said no, but we aren't. This is the right thing for our family right now. So it's what we are going with. Plus, if he hates it, he can always come home.

So I am sorry that I haven't been posting as much as I would like to, but please be mindful that we are trying to spend as much time together as we can while we still can. I will be posting a lot more once he leaves with updates, craft projects, care packages, and hopefully updates on the home search/building experience so he can see them too.

Thank you and God Bless.

Until next time - Toodles!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Guest Post - For the Love of Pinterest

So I will be guest blogging over at For the Love of Pinterest today, so you should definitely go check it out! I am going to be making the most absolutely fabulous Chocolate Chips Cookies!

See you there! - Toodles! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


So I started a new skin care regime and I must say that it is working fabulously! To say the least, I am seeing results that I never saw when I was on ProActiv or when I was on a prescription drug. PLUS, this skincare line is available at Wal-Mart! I am super excited! No - I am not being endorsed by YesToCarrots or being reimbursed. All products were purchased by me.

It all started when I saw a to get $30 of product for $15. Plus they had a Mother's Day promotion for 25% off the $15. So I basically got $30 of product for $11.25. When I went the YesToCarrots website, they were running a promotion for 30% off your total order so that took my order from $44.96 down to $9.96! A savings of $23.05!!!

Well, I am off to finish our night with another episode of Smallville with the Hubby and the puppies!

Until next time - Toodles! :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Okay. So welcome to May. This year has been going by insanely fast. I can't believe that in just a few short months a very dear friend of mine from Hawaii will be joining us on the East Coast! I am so anxious! So I will have her new baby boy to spoil rotten. Oh and her precious daughter too! :)

We are planning to have Craft Night once a week and hopefully that will come with a weekly dinner too. I am looking to start trying some new recipes and to actually get some crafting done instead of just pinning hundreds of crafts and feeling "productive."

I am also really looking forward to my friend Ariel's son's FIRST Birthday! I have no idea of what to do for a gift, but I know that it has to be something spectacular. Even though I know he won't remember getting it on the day, I want him to see it later and think about how awesome it is.

Well, we haven't really done anything productive lately. I did make my own powder laundry detergent using this blog post, but I was too lazy to take pictures so if you want to see what to do go check out her blog. I did double to recipe since we do TONS of laundry for only being a family of 2 humans and 2 pups. It works fantastic so you should definitely check it out! When I am finally finished with catching up with laundry I will try to take pictures of my laundry process. I am totally digging our whole system. Not so much our stacked washer/dryer, but DEFINITELY the system.

Oh, last but not least, I am getting my braces off in about 5 weeks!! So I will definitely be updating pictures and showing myself in blog posts. So keep an eye out!

Until next time - Toodles! :)

Monday, April 30, 2012


I know I know. I have been really sucky at keeping up this blog lately, but things are pretty crazy around here lately. Hopefully I will be able to get a real update soon. I have lots of laundry to get done and TONS of organizing and cleaning out to do. Spring cleaning is my worst nightmare at this point. Until I have something better to post, head on over to Ariel's blog, For the Love of Pinterest.

Until next time - Toodles!

Monday, April 16, 2012


So last night, in the middle of an episode of Stargate Atlantis with the hubby, I decided that I wanted to completely overhaul my closet. The only thing I haven't been able to do is get the rest of my dresses and sweaters out of moving boxes. I purged at least half of my hanging clothes and a pair of shoes. Considering that I am a borderline "hoarder" (I still have wedding magazines from 3 years ago) I am pretty proud of myself. 

When the hubby and I were at Bed Bath & Beyond a few months ago we picked up 100 of those "velvet" hangers to replace all our cheap plastic-always-snapping-at-inconvenient-times white hangers and split them between our 2 closets. We have enacted a 1-in-1-out rule now. Even with the laundry that desperately needs to get done, I still have spare hangers and an empty shelf!

So without further adieu...

the shelves before

purging clothes 

all the clothes and hangers I am donating to GoodWill 

 my shoes after

my boots after!

extra hangers! 

my overflowing laundry hamper lol

Hopefully once we get the rest of the boxes unpacked, we will be able to get the hubby's closet cleaned out  and organized too!

Tomorrow we will be tackling some more boxes and getting my linen cabinet put together. Then we can get our DVDs and sheet sets put away. I will hopefully get some pictures to put up so be on the look out!

Well, until next time - Toodles!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I know it has been a while and you have my most sincere apologies. We are still trying to get everything unpacked and as soon as we get 5 boxes unpacked, it's like 10 more appear. I honestly had NO idea we had this much stuff. Most of the boxes are filled with paper though. When we got the final weight of our household goods (6,300 pounds!) I about lost it, but when everything got here I can fully attest that about 4,000 of that is packing paper! We didn't really bring any furniture with us either. Just our bed, dining room table and chairs, TV and stand, and my sewing table. So where did the other weight come from?

We have unpacked at least 30 boxes and it doesn't seem to have made any difference. I swear. The photo above was taken right after the movers left. Pardon our lunch and classy dining arrangements. We could barely get into the kitchen.

Onto other things. I finally found bedroom lamps that I am in love with! They are about a shade darker than the wallpaper so they don't blend in too much. I still have to pick up new light bulbs so everything is still wrapped up.

So I am going to go give the hubby a hand with some more boxes and hopefully we will be able to see some actual progress. We still haven't gotten the rest of our IKEA furniture since there is currently no place to put them together. Everything will come together in due time though. 

I did want to send out a GIANT thank you to Ariel for guest posting last week. Things have been beyond crazy here and I am just dying to get everything done so I can start sorting through things and organizing what I want to keep. Make sure you go check out her blog For the Love of Pinterest! It is beyond amazing and you HAVE to try her rib recipe!

Until next time - Toodles!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guest Post - For the Love of Pinterest

Hello everyone! My name is Ariel, and I write For the Love of Pinterest. I want to thank Rebecca for giving me the opportunity to be a guest blogger today :] 
Today, I'm going to show you how I made a key chain  [that I found on pinterest!] After attempting this tutorial once, and failing...I changed some of the steps, which made it look more professional...well at least I think so. 
Anyways, let's get to it!

What you'll need:
-2 pieces of matching fabric
-fusible interfacing [I grabbed lightweight interfacing on accident...but try to get a medium weight]
-a swivel ring [I got mine here]
-4 inch piece of 7/8" ribbon

First, cut your two fabric pieces to 2 3/4x11
and cut your interfacing to 1x10 3/4 [you need two of these]

Iron the interfacing in the middle of your two pieces of fabric [on the wrong sides]

Pin your fabric together with right sides facing.

Sew along the side about 1/8" away from your interfacing.

Repeat along the other side.

Turn right side out.

Pull your fabric through your swivel ring, and sew the edges together...go over it several time [I did six]

Cut the extra fabric off.

Now get your piece of ribbon ready.

I cheated and glued the ribbon on...because I wanted to [I used a little bit of 3M Super 77]

Wrap the ribbon around the key chain, starting on the inside of the front, and ending by folding it back around the other side. Make you you place it over the ugly seam.

And you're done :]

I hope you enjoyed my guest post today :] This lovely key chain is getting sent to Rebecca as a thank you for letting me do this, so hopefully she can test it out and let you know how durable it is :] Anyways, for more tutorials come over to For the Love of Pinterest!

Thanks for reading,
<3 Ariel

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So we actually got productive yesterday and put up our bedroom wallpaper. Its only been about 347 years since I first said we were going to put it up, but life got in the way.

If you want to check out where we got our temporary wallpaper go check it out here. For new customers, you can get $5 off your first order with the coupon code NEWCUSTOMER.

As you walk in, this is what you see!

The whole wall is done!

Rosie laying on Daddy's pillows.

The two most amazing pups in the world!

The only things left to do right now include making our headboard, having our bed arrive (TOMORROW!!) and getting some art on the wall to break up all the color. I absolutely love this wallpaper, but since the walls in this apartments are not square in any sense of the word, there are some imperfections. Luckily they will be covered by nightstands, a headboard, and some art. As long as I can't see them on an everyday basis I will be fine.

Well the rest of today will be filled with final loads of laundry and making sure that there is plenty of room for all 6 crates worth of moving boxes. Hopefully I will be able to get some decent pictures to show you guys just how much stuff we actually have compared to the bare minimum amount of stuff we are living with now. Like real plates and cups, an actual dining room table and chairs, and an actual bed for us and the pups instead of an air mattress for us and travel carriers for them. I will keep you all updated on the unpacking process and I will be hosting my beautiful friend Ariel hopefully in the next couple of days so keep an eye out for that.

So until next time - Toodles!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I know. I know. It has been quite a while since I have posted anything, but things have been getting more and more hectic as the days go on. This past weekend was spent visiting with my In Laws, who are amazing by the way, in Pennsylvania and attended a fantastic craft fair. The weekend before that was spent with my Grandparents, also fantastic people, at their camp site. We had a blast during both of our trips and can't wait for our own guests!

So here is the actual update. On our way up to Pennsylvania this past Friday, I received a call that our Household Goods had arrived! It has been a very long 4 weeks and 5 days of living with just the basics of everything and not having any of our real belongings. I cannot wait to have my vacuum back! Well, since we didn't get back until yesterday afternoon, I scheduled the movers to come on Thursday so as to not interrupt the goings-on of our apartment complex (maintenance workers, lawn care schedules, etc) as well as to give me time to clean and FINALLY install our bedroom wallpaper. (We had to order another roll..I had only ordered half of what I actually need)

Hopefully, if things don't get to out of hand today, I will finally be able to get it all up. I still have to order some for the living and dining room. I am finally posting pictures of what we are living with right now. Its a mess, but don't judge. Like I said, we won't have any of the rest of our things fully unpacked until the weekend.

Now once everything is delivered, unpacked, and clean I will post a new post with the final results. We are going to try to get to IKEA on Wednesday to pick up some more furniture before the movers arrive (i.e. a linen cabinet, a sideboard, and my desk). I have been eyeing a certain pull-out sofa for almost a year and I thought it would fit in our second bedroom AKA Median Room/Guest Room/Office/Craft Room, but the measurements on the IKEA website just don't match up to the size we looked at in the store so I need to double and triple check the dimensions in person before we buy it and drive it all the way back home. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Oh, one more thing. My dear friend, Ariel from For the Love of Pinterest will be making a special guest appearance this week so make sure to stop by and check it out!

Until next time - Toodles!

P.S. The new Doctor Who trailer came out yesterday so you HAVE to go check it out here! It looks AMAZING! I hate that we have to wait another 6 months though. I am dying inside with anticipation!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Laundry Day

Okay, my Google+ account decided to log out instead of uploading all the photos from putting our furniture together and with all the suitcases and boxes and I ended up deleting them. I promise though, there will be pictures up soon. We are installing our bedroom Tempaper today. It is beyond gorgeous and will finally give me a sense of putting down roots. Pictures will follow. 

So for now I am just going to start with a little project I am tackling with some incentive from Ariel over at For the Love of Pinterest and Jillee over at "One Good Thing" By Jillee. I have been dying to make my own all-homemade-to-save-us-money laundry system. So here we go...

Laundry Stain Pre-Treater

2/3 cups Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
2/3 cups Ammonia
6 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 cups Warm Water

Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
Step 2: Pour into a spray bottle. I bought mine at the Dollar Tree.. I found the recipe on Jillee's Blog here.

Laundry Detergent

This is a newer recipe that Jillee posted and I have yet to try it, but hopefully I will get through the rest of our store bought bottle so I can use what I made.

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
4 Cups Boiling Water

Step 1: Mix the Borax, Washing Soda, and Dawn in a separate container while the water comes to a boil.
Step 2: Add all ingredients into your designated gallon container. *Be careful not to burn yourself like I did!*
Step 3: Let mixture cool.
Step 4: Fill the remainder of the container with cool water. Its okay if the suds overflow the container. Just don't lose the liquid itself.

To Use: Put in about 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

Laundry Freshener

I took the advice of Jillee again and am currently obsessed with the Downy Unstopables. My absolutely favorite scent is Lush. I even tried to match our laundry detergent scent to help keep our laundry smelling amazing longer.

Dryer Sheets

I actually got this idea from Ariel over at For the Love of Pinterest. I love this idea and I can't wait to try it!

Your favorite fabric softener (I love this Snuggle Exhilaration White Lavender & Sandalwood)
Container with a screw on lid (I love to drop things so plastic made more sense than glass)
Hand towels/t-shirts or whatever you have

Step 1: Cut up your towels/shirts into dryer sheets sized pieces
Step 2: Make a mixture of 1 part Softener to 2 parts water
Step 3: Shove the pieces down into your container and shake to get everything covered. 

To use: Just pull one out, wring it out a little, and throw it in the dryer. When you are done with the load, just throw it back in the container to be used again.

P.S. - Since we have a stacked washer/dryer in our new place, I made about twice as many dryer sheets as I normally would since we are doing twice as many loads of laundry.

I know this took FOREVER to post this, but I hope it helped at least 1 person out. It is going to save us so much money instead of using store bought products. I am also glad to be getting rid of so many chemicals from our house.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Countdown - 10 days

So today is the day. Today we hit exactly 5 days until the movers arrive to pick up our accumulations from the last 3 years of our lives together. 6 days until the carpet cleaners will arrive. 7 days until we move out of our wonderful 2 bedroom Navy-issued housing. 8 days until I am out of the Navy. 10 days until we get on a plane to head back to the East Coast. 11 days until we land and will be welcomed into the arms of my most beloved friend, Mindy and my wonderful grandparents. 11 days until I get to once again call Virginia my home. 11 days until our new lives have started. I don't think anyone could understand just how excited I am.

Walls are bare now. All the linens are getting washed for the movers. Clothes that don't fit any more are getting taken to Good Will. Our massive yard sale is getting planned. Our wonderful, comfy couch is getting sold next week. Everything is happening so fast.

So here are the ideas I am hoping to accomplish in our new apartment. I will provide links to the items under each photo if you are interested.


^I can't find a source for this one^

Living Room



Our Bathroom

Media/Craft/Guest Room

Well, I don't think this post could get any longer, but I think I have covered a lot of the basics. I just hope that we can actually get everything done in a timely manner. I am planning on taking a trip up North to Ikea. It probably won't happen until we get our rental car or have someone take us up there. I hate that Ikea will be a 3 hour drive away. I can't wait to get into the new place and start making it our own. I will keep you up to date as things get closer and then once we get there. There will be a whole post on what our new apartment looks like and where we plan to put everything.

Thank you all for sticking with us through this journey and I look forward to all our future endeavors.