Wedding Gift Tips!

So last year I got married and received many gifts from my registry and many that were not. So I thought I’d give some suggestions on what to buy for someone. (And what not to give someone).

First here are 4 tips to follow when deciding on what to buy. 

1. If the couple has a registry find something directly from it that is in your price range. 

2. If there isn’t something on the registry that you feel you’d like to buy or nothing is in your price range get a visa gift card or gift card to where they are registered at. 

3. Don’t try to find a gift that doesn’t match what their asking for. For example don’t buy a dish set from a totally different store especially if it’s not the one they are wanting. 

4. Personal special gifts from the heart are always amazing. 

5. If giving a gift card PLEASE make sure you actually put money on it. I got 3 that said there was $25 on it but actually had nothing. And I got one that said there was $100 on it but actually only had $1.48. 
Here are great gift ideas to think about!

1. Quilts (I usually say these a great if you make them personally. My grandma figure from church made us one and so did an aunt of min).  

2. Dishes and/or glasses (Everyone needs these and not often do people start off with having them. I know I didn’t).

3. Monogrammed bath towels (Not all people think about this but it is a fun and great gift to get). In fact towels in general are a great gift ideas. (My husband came with 1 towel that he uses on the ship and I had 4 random towels).

4. My favorite was honestly gift cards. The best was one to Walmart for $50. It covered our first week of simple groceries in our new home. It helped because we found that week we were busy with unpacking that we needed easy meals. Even more it helped when we realized we had no dishes to cook in yet or dishes to eat off. Plus who doesn’t want extra help on groceries once in a while?

*These last two are more expensive and based on affordability. For those who like to give more expensive gifts or those who like to help people get the “harder” gifts. 

5. Electronics like blue ray players, video cameras, go pros, cameras, or even a tv. Some are more expensive than others. I totally get also not paying for an entire camera. A suggestion would be to give the couple however much money you want and telling them you’d like to HELP them buy a camera to capture memories for the rest of their lives. Or a tv so they have something to do on a rainy day. 

6. Kitchen appliances like a toaster, blender, microwave, rice machine, etc. those are always nice some are more needed than others but all are nice and handy. 

I hope these ideas helped. These were all my favorite things to receive and it’s nice that they come In a variety of price ranges. My biggest reminder is try to stick with their registry because then you know you’re definitely getting something the person actually wants or needs. 

What were the best and worst gifts you received? What do you like to give at weddings? Do you have a go to item?

Talk soon,

Marena

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Home for Just a Visit. 

Every time I head home to Michigan to visit (or back when Thomas used to make visits home to me) I find it’s always very busy. I do feel like it’s a vacation but often it also has a little stress to it. 

Let me state right now I love visits home and id never give them up even if it can be a little stressful.

I find then stressful because of how much we have to do and many people we need to see. We have 3 sets of families my parents, Thomas’mom, and Thomas’ dad. Plus you have the immediate family. Then the friends you miss dearly. Trust me you miss friends almost as much as missing family. I mean who else made Chinese food runs, random Walmart trips, drives because your board, and listened to you talk about your crushes and your heart breaks? And don’t forget 8 hours of school 5 days a week for many weeks and many years. Now if you ask me that’s a lot to do with someone to never miss them when you leave. 

This trip alone we have 3 weddings, a graduation open house, family photos, church, and like I stated before visits with family and friends. Goodness I worry we won’t have to time to see and do everything. That is probably what stresses me out most. Not getting everything done or seeing everyone we want to before we leave. 

But something I find amazing is how supportive my husband is and how great our families are with letting me work the schedule as best I can without trying to force a lot on us. Having family who makes my life easier is great. Now don’t get me wrong they tell me what they’d like to do with us but from there they let me plan the time frames as best I can. They also understand when I say I’m not sure we’ll have time for that. Something else that’s great is when I say we might be able to fit that is but it would have to be a last minute decision none of them bother me with questions like “Have you decided?, “Will it work?” “Huh huh huh?” And many other questions I’m sure I couldn’t think of. Yeah that makes things easier.  

Anyways I know I’ve rambled but what I really wanted to talk about was 3 helpful tips when planning a visit home. Especially if it’s anywhere as near as busy as mine is. 

1. Ask in advance. That’s right. Ask everyone if they have anything they’d really like to do. But mostly what’s most important. For our family most important is they want to have dinner 1 or 2 times while we are home. So ask family first then ask any friends if they want to get together. (Bonus tip. See if you can plan a group thing with multiple friends. Do more than one group lunch if needed. This helps with condensing the time frame from maybe 20 coffee dates to maybe 3 coffee dates.)

2. Schedule. Now I personally like mini calendars with a pencil because I can easily change my plan. I’m also a visual/hands on person so this helps me remember what’s going on along with being able to update. I also use my phone to set a noise reminder 30 minutes to an hour before my event so I don’t forget. Honestly if you’re good with your phone you can totally do everything on your phone. I’m just not that great and I enjoy old school style. 

3. Be open to change. Try giving yourself some leeway every day in case there needs to be a change. Kids have accidents, pets get lose, and cars break down. Sometimes there needs to be a change and just be willing to go with the flow. (And honestly even if you’re open to change it still just might not work out. Bonus tip. Be understanding that things happen. If that means you can’t see a friend give them love and plan to make them a bigger priority next visit home. This trip specifically I had a friend who jut didn’t have time to meet up with me so I got a hold of her a few days ago and she put a request in for a day off and I have a special time slot just for her. And with my planning I was able to put our lunch date on a day where even if something goes wrong we’ll still have time to meet.)

I hope these 3 quick tips help!

What are some of your tips for going home and visiting?

Talk soon,

Marena

P.S We are also young and have no kids so that makes it a tad easier to fit a busy schedule in. As time goes schedules evolve and so will yours!

Cleaning Day or Lazy Day

Today is a perfect cleaning day. I have no plans, my husband is on duty, but more importantly my dad is coming for a visit in just two short days. The problem is I’m going through a moment of I just don’t want to clean. I want to lay around watch tv and maybe take Marco to the dog park. It’s also pretty warm and that doesn’t help my lazy mood. When it’s warm enough I debate turning on the air it usually means it’s hot enough out to make me tired. Do any of you get tired when it’s warm out? Or is that just me?

Anyways today is cleaning day and no matter how I’m feeling I can’t be lazy. I actually don’t even have that much to do. I need to do a load of dishes, do laundry, sweep/mop and make sure the guest  bedroom and bathroom are clean. 

So how do I get the energy do the cleaning?

Being s little lazy is okay!

Well I allow myself to sleep in or be lazy till noon. (Because honestly I know by the time I wake up if I’m going to want to be lazy or not). It’s alright to give in as long as you set a time to stop being lazy. I also don’t always let myself be lazy till noon. When I wake up to take my husband to work I think of all the things I need to do and I determine how long it’ll take me to do my chores. From there I can decide how long I can be lazy. 

Water is a good thing. 

Then while I’m being lazy I drink as much water as I can. That always perks me up. I’ve been told water helps with energy and I can honestly feel a difference after I drink as much water as I can. 
Small snacks. 

I LOVE snacking. It’s a regular occurrence in my life. On cleaning days I try eating little healthy snacks like fruit or carrots. As much as I love salty and sugary snacks they aren’t very good for me. Especially if I eat a lot of it and on cleaning days I do eat much more. The reason I like snacks is it keeps me full as I’m walking up and down the stair to do laundry and crawling around cleaning floors and toilets. This way I don’t get in my mind oh I need to sit and watch tv and eat a full meal (after I’ve already had breakfast and lunch and it is t dinner yet).  

One chore at a time. 

It can be crazy getting all the chores done if you jump around and don’t stick with one thing. I like going to a room and doing one chore at a time. So in the bedroom I pick up all the laundry. Then making bed. Then cleaning my hair/makeup products. Then I head to the next room and do the next thing. If I try running around making beds, gathering laundry and what not I get lost in what I’m doing. Then I feel nothing is getting done. And maybe that’s just me. 

Set a goal. 

Setting goals also helps. So I make a goal to have all dishes clean in 1 hour or laundry clean and taken care of by dinner. Those are just examples. As long as the goal is feasible. 
These my just be simple or silly ways to get chores done but they really help me. 

How do you get chores done?

Talk soon,

Marena

Navylife(your region).com

Navylife (your region).com is a great way to get involved with other spouses and families on base. This is the Navy Fleet & Readiness Programs. It’s similar to the MWR. MWR means Moral, Welfare, Recreation. The difference I’ve found is the MWR is more of a ticketing office for places like Sea World and Disney. However, they do also do other things that’s just the biggest thing I look at it doing.

As spring and Easter are coming most every base will be starting their Easter egg hunts and other fun spring activities. Here in San Diego we are doing an even called Spring Fling on March 19th with an Easter egg hunt. Many events on base that are family oriented will have games, crafts, movies, and many other fun family activities.

As my husband and I do not have children yet we chose not to go to the Spring Fling event even though they encouraged families with no children to come out as well. Now truthfully we have more than one reason not to come since it’s also held on my husbands birthday.

Some of the other fun things are meant for non families with children as well. Not to say parents of children can’t come. It’s just meant for the adult rage. I’m getting ready to go to a painting night. Where I will get to have fun meeting others  and learn to paint a specific painting. Plus I get to take it home! And here in a few weeks there is a date night event that my husband and I will be going to.

Here in Sand Diego they have bowling nights, dance classes, 5k run/walks, we even have an air show. This month is also Military kids month so I’ve seen a lot of fun contests for the kids to be involved in.

*Many events will be free or at a reasonable price.

I definitely suggest you take use of the different activities you can do  on base. Especially if you don’t have friends in your area yet. It’s a great way to make friends. Just remember to be your self. Also no one likes a person who uses their spouses ranks to get what they want. That’s his rank he earned not yours. Earn respect the old fashion way. By being nice, friendly, and even by knowing how things work in military life. That may seem strange but if you  know what your talking about and you are nice (not trying to show off) I and others probably appreciate it more. (Sorry that was extra but I felt the need to say it.)

If you live in the South West such as I do in San Diego the website in

navylifesw.com from there you pick your installation.

As for other regions you will just have to replace the SW with your region. Unfortunately I’m not sure of how all the regions are set up.   If I had to guess they would all be simple such as Midwest would be MW, Northwest would be NW, and so on. However , I’m sure there are other regions I wouldn’t be able to think of. Especially if you live in another country outside of the USA.

I found the best way to find out the area you are in if you don’t already is to either ask your spouse. Or the way I found it was by looking at the different signs as you drive off the main gate for base. I was able to fine the website I use to find all the events for base. I already knew the region I was in I just didn’t know how to find the event page. (Did all that make sense? I’m sorry if it was rambled.)

 

Talk soon,

Marena

P.S. I’m sure all military branches have something similar. I suggest finding it and taking use of the different events.

 

Anniversary Gifts Through the Years!

*Tip to my husband on anniversary gift ideas. Or to any of you needing help!

So have you ever been told by someone older “Oh it’s your first anniversary? That’s the year of a paper gift.” Well I have and I am not even at my first wedding anniversary. I decided it’d be fun to look anniversary gift themes through out the years of someones marriage. I then realized I had no idea what I would get my husband or even what I’d want him to get me that would follow along with the gift list.  Now obviously this is a traditional gift list probably made before we had new modern things like DVD’s, video games, and expensive jewelry. So for paper they probably gave just that paper to write on, and for tin maybe they forged a nice cup to drink out of. As years when by the gifts became more extravagant.

So today I will make a list of gift themes from 1st anniversary to 10th anniversary. To help out all you men and women struggling for ideas I also thought I’d give an example of what to buy. My hope is also to make the gifts 50$ or less because in my opinion a gift shouldn’t need to be expensive for it to be meaningful. I think that’s why these gift themes are so basic because they didn’t need to be expensive.

1st Anniversary Paper

 

Male & Female: Book

*This can be christian, fantasy, non-fiction whatever you think he/she would love the most. Maybe go into it together and get a book to read together.

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2nd Anniversary Cotton

Male: Find them a nice comfy shirt. Or Dress Shirt.

Female: Fuzzy Socks. (I know maybe this isn’t cotton but in my opinion it’s pretty close.)

3rd Anniversary Leather

Male & Female: Hey maybe get a little kinky? 😉

*Obviously think about what your spouse would want. If they don’t like kink do a new wallet.

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4th Anniversary Linen or Silk

Male: Comfy PJ’s

Female: Silky lingerie

5th Anniversary Wood

Male & Female: Carve your own little wooden trinket that represents your love.

*Not crafty you can always find little wooden trinkets carved in native american shops (my favorite place) and crafty stores.

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6th Anniversary Iron

*This was a very hard idea for me to come up with a gift suggestion. I talked with my husband and he also had no clue what to get. So I did what anyone of our time would do, I went online.

Male: Iron grilling utensils or iron tools for the handyman in your husband.

Female: Cast iron skillet or iron candlestick holders.

*After talking with my husband I’d rather go somewhere like Iron Ore Bay in Michigan or Iron Mountain in California.

7th Anniversary Wool or Copper

Male & Female: Wool socks

Male: Copper mug (this also works well for women)

Female: Picture frame of 7 pennies formed into a 7. (Think of what your women would want. This is cheese sure but it’s totally something that would make me melt with happiness.)

8th Anniversary Bronze 

Male: Bronze specialty pen or Watch

*May be more than 50$

Female: Bronze ring/Necklace or Bronze Him&Her statue

9th Anniversary Pottery

 

Male & Female: Go to a pottery making class where you get to spend a few hours making your own piece of work.

*This way you make what you’d want for yourself.

10th Anniversary Tin or Aluminum 

Male: Pocket Knife

Female:Wind Chimes

 

Now these are just ideas.

This is also just a traditional themed list. I saw while doing research there is also a modern list. If you go with the modern list it may be easier. I’m a traditional kind of person so I like the old kind of list.

 

Do any of you have ideas?

 

Talk soon,

Marena

P.S Anyone who knows my husband and I they’d know that the macaroni photo fits perfect with us!

 

*Photos are not mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips to Relax

I find I can get stressed out so easily. Especially lately as I’m trying to unpack, make new friends, understand my life as a wife to someone in the military, and getting a new dog. Sometimes I could just sit her and feel like nothing is going on and it stresses me out to get board. So I decided to find 5 ways that true;y help me relax.

1. Unwind and Disconnect  

I find that if at the end of every day usually as I’m about to fall asleep, I put my phone down, shut my computer down, shut off my tv. I like to lay in complete silence for the last 30 minutes of my night. It’s a perfect time to let my body disconnect from social media and constant movement. Now truthfully I have days where I can’t do silence, so in those cases I use Pandora, set it to a timer, and play calming music. The biggest is to have no words.

2. Activity

I find for em the best way to relax is to take a nice warm bubbly bath with candles and usually a cup of tea. I usually find a box that says relaxation that usually means chamomile. Or I also paint. Those two are my favorite ways to relax. For others it may be to go on a run, sing, dance, or anything else. It may take time to find what activity relaxes you and that’s okay, make it enjoyable as you try thing, have fun!

3. Reflection

I love to reflect on my day and my life. I like to learn from my mistakes and be greatfull for everything I have. It’d easy to make a mistake and let it pass without seeing how I could make it better. It’s also easy to forget all the good things you have in life. Such as parents, siblings, food, and shelter. It’s so easy to forget even the little things. Reflection is always good but it may not be a relaxation method for you, but I hope you try it out.

4. Meditatin

I know unwind and disconnect is similar but this is something I like to do for just a few short minutes half way through my day. Like 5 minutes at lunch. It’s just time to break away from any stress I may be going through. This is usually something I do on a 12 hour work day. Especially where I’m go go go constantly.

5. Snuggle Time

This may sound strange but it’s something I find to be perfect. I like to spend a few minutes holding onto my hubby. Or sometimes my dog when my husband is on duty. Before getting a dog when my husband was on duty I snuggled a pillow or stuffed animal. These are moments I enjoy because I feel like it brings in a bunch of happy emotions.

6. Wash my Face

I love to wash my face with cool water. I feel when I’m stressed I get hot so cool water I feel washes the stress away. Plus a bonus my face is clean.

I know I said 5 tips but the last one clicked right as I was done writing and I thought “how could you forget that?” So I decided to add it in.

What are some of your stress relieving tips? I’m always up for new ideas!

Talk soon,

Marena

DIY Art

Have you ever been to store found beautiful art but it’s way to expensive?

Well I have and I HATE it. So I decided I’d make my own art.

All you have to do is get paint (I prefer acrylic), canvases, brushes, and don’t forget the inspiration.

For inspiration look online, pintrest, stores. Find a picture and make the art your own. It’s okay to copy as long as you make it your own. I do suggest making an outline on your canvas.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun. I found painting is relaxing. Even if it turns out looking awful.

My next suggesting is if your painting comes out not how you’d like paint over it. Make a pretty grey or black and cover the canvas. After it dries it’s easy enough to paint over again. It’s alright to mess up.

Her was my art masterpiece.

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It’s not amazing but it’s still pretty and I enjoy it.

My last thought to think about is to hang it up and be proud. Who cares if someone hates it? It’s only important that YOU love it

Talk soon,
Marena