Thursday, December 29, 2016

Looking to the Future

It's the end of the year, which means it's the perfect time to reflect and set new goals for the future. With a little one on the way, next year is going to be extremely unpredictable. That doesn't mean we can't aim for a few small changes here and there alongside the major change. Let's face it - we really could just make our goal "survive the first year of parenthood" but where's the fun in that?

So, let's get into those goals for the New Year and what changes you might see coming to the blog as well!

Each PCS move brings new adjustments to money as living situations and housing allowance change. It also brings adjustments to work schedules, cost of living, and a variety of other things. We're slowly figuring out what our new normal is for this area which is where this first focus comes in. I would like to see us rebuild our savings and incorporate more day to day savings into our lives.

We have so many goals for the house that I can't even name them all. It's been a constant project since we moved in! A few of the projects on the list for next year include a new deck on the back of the house and a garden in the springtime. Beyond that, you'll have to keep checking back to the blog for updates!

PCS and travel took a bit of a toll on our health. It's really hard to eat healthy and at home when you're on the road and living in temporary quarters. Now that we have our own kitchen and items to work with, we've started back to eating at home. We're also slowly making changes to the items that are brought into our house to make sure that they are healthy. This doesn't mean we're perfect all of the time. It means we make conscious efforts everyday to do better. You can follow along with our healthy adventure on the wife's absandanchors Instagram account.

We don't really have a "goal" to go along with this one. It's more a matter of maintaining a healthy marriage. We'll also be working on adjusting to life as a family of 3 (5 if you count the dogs) instead of 2.

Honestly? I think do our best in our first year of parenthood should suffice for this category. Since baby boy isn't due until February, we'll be spending the beginning of the year getting prepared for his arrival. (P.S. Anything you'd like to us to share about our process?)

You'll be seeing a few updates to the blog over the course of 2017 and I'm excited to share them below:

He Said, She Said
This is a new series coming to the blog for the first part of the year. This series will serve a few functions - it will allow us to bring in some guests while we adjust to our lives as parents and it'll allow you to read some of the funny answers that come from a couple answering the same questions. Here's an example of a past He Said, She Said post. Normally, we answer various questions ourselves. For this one, we're inviting guests to join us and we'll be sharing their answers with you! In fact if you'd like to be a featured guest on the series, please email me at with He Said, She Said as the title.

More Posts from the Husband
As I mentioned on Tuesday, you'll be seeing more posts from the husband in the near future! He's always been a part of this blog (coming up with ideas, recipes, taking pictures, etc) but he'll be getting back to writing posts. In fact, he has a DIY post that he's excited about for January.

More Home Posts & Less Deployment Posts
Now that we're home owners, you're likely to see more home posts sprinkled through the blog. In the same effect, the husband is no longer attached to a boat that deploys often so you'll see few posts about that topic as well. Don't forget that we have some great ones in the archives though! Simply click the military tab on our sidebar to get there.

We'll be getting back to weekly recipes later this year. Each recipe will come with a nice printable as well. In fact, you could start building a cookbook from our recipes later this year.

And so much more!
I'm going to leave this section pretty open-ended because we're still making plans and the blog is still evolving as we do. It truly is an extension of our little family and I'd love to keep it that way.

So, here's to the New Year - may it be filled with baby snuggles, wet dog kisses, and lots of new adventures!

And because we're always curious - what are you planning for 2017?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Self Reflection

Healthy communication is a huge part of a strong relationship. With that being said, I love the new link up I found from Belle Brita and plan to participate in each month. Each month, her husband and her interview each other and post the answers on their blog. They're now inviting others to join in and we'll definitely be participating in the future.

Normally, the husband would be answering these questions as well. It's taken us a few months to get past the humdrum of deployments, moving, buying a house, pregnancy, and him settling in at a new station. We're finally starting to settle in and he'll be rejoining me more here on the blog. (Seriously - he already has a post he's excited to write about a DIY project.) In the meantime, I'm going to be answering the questions for December. He'll be joining me in January for those questions.

You can expect a few new things from us in 2017 as our lives take a new direction as homeowners, pet owners, and parents. We'll still be sharing lots of great content, just with a new perspective on things. I'll be talking more about these changes in our next post though. This one is all about reflecting through the questions for the month.

1) How have you become a better person this year?
I have grown a lot as a person this year. I have learned to be me in all situations. I've spent this past year doing a lot of self reflection on my values and what I want out of life. Along with this has been many conversations about the same topics with my husband. After buying our house in the country, many people told me they were surprised by our choice. For me though, the choice feels exactly right. I grew up near a city but I'm quickly learning to be more of a country girl and I love that.

I'm not going to lie - the prospect of being a mother has also made me reevaluate my values and what I want to be passing on. This is an area that I'm constantly working on lately. I'm sure it's one that I'll continue to work on in the future. Making decisions for someone else is twice as difficult as making hard decisions for yourself.

2) What do you think about creative outlets? Do you have one, and if so, what is it? 
I love creative outlets and I have several different ones. The blogs that I run (Hodge Podge Moments, The Coastie Couple, and a new one coming in January) are a major creative outlet for me. In addition to the blogs, I also enjoy photography, crafting, cooking, and writing. I tend to be happiest when I'm being creative.

3) In a perfect world, what would be your top 5 priorities in life? 
I would like to think that my top 5 priorities are the same regardless of how perfect the world is - family, friends, happiness, helping others, and staying true to my values. These are values that I feel would be with me regardless of the condition of the world. I'm a strong believer in putting your community (family and friends) and happiness towards the top of your list.  (P.S. The dogs are included in my definition of family.)

4) What do you want to improve about your life in 2017?
I'll be talking more about exact goals in the next post, but I can give an overview now. The things I want to improve in my life are all centered around the way I live my life - the products I use, the choices I make, and the way I live my life. Check back Thursday for more details on each of these areas!

How was your 2016? We'd love to hear the highlights in the comments below!

Until next time, happy living and we hope you make the most of your day!

Oh and go link up at Belle Brita with your own answers!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Holiday Blogging Challenge

Last year, we teamed up with The Petite Mrs to bring you the 12 Days of Blogmas. This year, we're changing the challenge just a bit to be the Holiday Blogging Challenge. This is a challenge that we hope to make an annual challenge, with each year being themed around a different song. Read on below for all of the fun and how you can be involved!

Each year, we'll be hosting the Holiday Blogging Challenge with The Petite Mrs. This challenge is an interactive challenge built around holiday writing prompts and a link up. Each year, we pick a different song to inspire the challenge. Last year, we used "The 12 Days of Christmas" to inspire our prompts. This year, we went in a different direction and chose "The Christmas Song."(If you're not familiar with the song, you can watch this video or read the lyrics.)

Now that you know which song inspired our prompts, let's get on to them! You'll notice that the prompts are grouped by the song lyrics that inspired them.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire"
What is your favorite food during the holiday?
Do you have a favorite holiday recipe?
What are your favorite holiday activities to do by firelight?

"Jack Frost nipping at your nose"
What's your favorite holiday movie?
What does it mean to you?
Which movies make your must see list every year? 

"Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir"
Do you sing carols?
What are your favorite holiday songs?

"And folks dressed up like Eskimos."
What's the weather like where you live? 
What are your winter weather clothing essentials?
Share your favorite winter fashion accessories.

"Everybody knows a turkey and some miseltoe
Help to make the season bright"
How and when do you decorate?
Do you have a theme for your decorating?
Do you prefer a real tree or a fake tree?

"Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow."
How do you make the season festive for your kids?
What do your kids look forward to every year?

"Will find it hard to sleep tonight."
Do you have a nightly routine?
How do you sleep when you're excited?
What do you do when you can't sleep?

"They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh."
What's on your wishlist?
What are some favorite gifts you've received?
What are some favorite gifts you've given?

"And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly."
What is your Christmas Eve tradition?
Did you write a letter to Santa? 
Will you leave treats for Santa?
What did you believe as a child?

"And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two"
What are your favorite holiday memories?
Do you have any traditions left from childhood?
What new traditions have you started as an adult?

"Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you."
What holiday or holidays do you celebrate?
How do you wish people a Merry Christmas?

*Lyrics to this song are credited to Nat King Cole. 
Lyrics have been included in quotes and italics*

Now that you have the prompts to work with, I bet you're wondering about the rules. We've kept them pretty simple. The focus of this challenge is spreading holiday cheer in the blogging world - not creating unnecessary rules and guidelines to follow.

The Super Simple Rules

1. You are free to link up any holiday related posts, even if they don't fit perfectly with the prompts. The prompts are merely guidelines to help you out.

2. Please select a badge from those below and include it on your post with a link back to The Petite Mrs & The Coastie Couple.

3. You may link up one post per day on the link up. The link up is open December 1-25. This post is the one you should come back to each day to link up. We've kept it simple - there is not a new link up every day.

4. Please do not link drop and run! For each link that you add, please spread the love to two other bloggers in the link up.

5. Share this post with your blogging buddies! The more people that participate, the more fun and interaction we'll have!

P.S. You can do one holiday post or twenty five holiday posts. It's entirely up to you! This challenge is designed to work with your normal blogging schedule. (For example, we will be posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays like we have for the past few months.)

Snag a badge for your blog or post:

Now it's time to link up!
Don't forget to return to this post from December 1-25 to link up all your holiday posts!