Monday, April 28, 2014

The Week Ahead - April 28

Outside my window...temperatures fairly consistent this week, mid-60s to mid-70s range but it looks like we are in for a whole lot of rain.  That's ok as long as I don't have to be out in it!
 
I am STILL thinking...about moving - when, where, how?  Still no orders and even with that, it doesn't look like blogging every day is going to happen anytime soon...bear with me.

I am thankful...for a safe arrival for Vic at his current destination...and no matter how much I moan about the weather getting warmer, it's still cooler here than at his location.

From the kitchen...fish.  I bought a big bag of tilapia so it will be breaded, fried, grilled.

I am hearing...nothing.
 
One of my favorite things...the discovery of things thought lost when you come to start the clean-out before moving.

I am STILL reading...Navy Wife by Debbie Macomber...quick and easy.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...turnover meeting for one of my volunteer positions on Tuesday, lunch and shopping with the spouses' group on Wednesday, Little Black Dress: Styles and Stages leadership event on Thursday, training a new volunteer at the Tidewater Collection on Friday and the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament event on Saturday.  Yes, it's only May but the Premiere Weekend is still scheduled for July.  This Saturday's event is billed as a Dream Book Party - sounds like they are making an event of the availability of the ornament catalog.  I had my event last week - I'm such a good customer that my Hallmark retailer gave me the book early!

College Update...no change - still waiting for housing deposit due date - sometime after May 1 - and FIGs (First-Year Interest Groups) application date - May 19. 

Volunteer Update...one turnover scheduled, will discuss the status of the second position at the board meeting on May 7th.

Travel and Family Field Trips Update...working on a weekend in DC for the European Union Embassies' Open House and a visit to the Holocaust Museum as a getaway for Vic and I when he gets home.


Closing out the Month of the Military Child with this throwback to our Florida days.  So proud that despite all the moving, deployments, separations, and other trials of military life, Sophia grew up into a lovely, well-rounded young woman.  And extra BZs to my amazing hubby, seen here as a lowly junior enlisted sailor (only a few steps up from the deck-swabbing stage) who has accomplished so much.  Ok, bragging over!

Leave a comment below if you'd like to share your Week Ahead.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Week Ahead - April 21

Outside my window...the weather is all over the place this week...partly cloudy, partly sunny, high 50s, low 70s.
 
I am thinking...about moving - when, where, how?

I am thankful...for a lovely Easter with my family - church, brunch, chocolate.

From the kitchen...something Chinese.

I am hearing...the heater.
 
One of my favorite things...new books on my iPad.

I am reading...Navy Wife by Debbie Macomber...quick and easy.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...TOSA board meeting this morning, taking Vic to the airport tomorrow, dropping more things at the consignment shop on Wednesday, CORE planning meeting followed by riding for Sophia on Thursday, and Mustang Spouses lunch on Friday.  Sophia has a mixture of babysitting and pet sitting woven in there.

College Update...waiting for housing deposit due date - sometime after May 1 - and FIGs (First-Year Interest Groups) application date - May 19. 

Volunteer Update...will most likely split my current position between two volunteers.

Travel and Family Field Trips Update...the trip to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum didn't happen because Vic had to work but I'm still working on a weekend in DC for the European Union Embassies' Open House and a visit to the Holocaust Museum.

Our tenants are interested in buying our house - stay tuned for more on this.

Leave a comment below if you'd like to share your Week Ahead.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites


We haven't had a Friday Favorites post since the end of February but there has been a lot of favorite activity going on in the last week - the Royal Tour.  Let's just say that one of my favorite things is beautiful clothes, worn by someone who has the figure and bank balance to make the most of them!

Here are just a few of the Duchess of Cambridge's outfits from the New Zealand leg of the tour, courtesy of Hello!:


So much symbolism - the red Catherine Walker (one of Diana's favorite designers) and the fern brooch and the fern detail on the shoulder of the black dress (New Zealand = fern).  Striking colors and a longer hemline in some cases to cope with crouching down to greet small children.  I have to say that What Kate Wore has the most amazing coverage - all the details to pick up your own "just like the Duchess wore" outfit, if you can get on the websites fast enough.  We're working our way through Australia now and the clothes are just as stunning.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Travelling on Thursday - Sites around Kettlewell

Two places that I really hope will be on our agenda while we are in Kettlewell are a return visit to Skipton Castle and a trip to Bettys in Harrogate.

Skipton Castle is an amazingly well-preserved medieval castle.  The tour is self-guided with the help of a map and placards on the walls of the various rooms to tell you where you are and how the room was used.  Vic and I really enjoyed our visit here last time we were in Skipton and I hope Sophia, Marc and Alex are up for a visit this time.  We plan to spend the day in Skipton, visiting the castle and, weather permitting, having a browse through the market.  That will no doubt be followed by something delicious at a local tea room.

A new trip this time will be to Bettys in Harrogate.  This is an excellent post from Emma over at Awkward Magazine and I've borrowed a photo from the post to tempt you to head over there to read all about Bettys Afternoon Tea.

"the most magical of places, a real traditional elegance that is rarely found anymore" - Perfectly said, Emma!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Snickers Cupcakes

Sophia had to give a demonstration speech in her Public Speaking class today and she decided to show the class how to make Snickers Cupcakes and give them all a sample.  She did a super job of making the cupcakes, photographing each step so that she could put together a PowerPoint presentation to show as part of her speech.  The final photo is from this site, which is where you will find the recipe.

 Assemble all of your ingredients and tools
 Line the cupcake pan
Combine your ingredients
Make sure the candy bars have been frozen overnight
 Preheat the oven
 Mix well
 Fill liners and press candy into batter, covering completely
Cool thoroughly and then frost.  Sophia frosted hers with a ready-made chocolate frosting and omitted the caramel drizzle shown below but she did garnish each one with a piece of Snickers.  Everyone in her class took one and loved them.  I met her after class to pick up the cupcake carrier and three of her classmates who were walking with her to their next classes all asked if they could have another one.


Good job, honey!  I hereby name you Cupcake Queen of the Day and I hope you get an A+ for your demonstration.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If this is Tuesday it must be England #12


With all of the coverage of the Royal Tour, and the number of posts about the Duchess of Cambridge's clothes, I thought I would dig into my England bookmarks to see what I had listed in the folder marked "Fashion".

By Appointment to HM The Queen, Bespoke Shoe Manufacturers

By Appointment to HM The Queen, Glove Manufacturer

By Appointment to HM The Queen, Manufacturers of Handbags and Leathergoods

I must have squirreled these away during the Diamond Jubilee coverage last year.   They are definitely places to shop if you have some (ok, lots) of spare cash!

Import/Export

I have a couple of blogs out there in the blogsphere and I've decided to combine them, in as much as that is possible.  I discovered the import/export option after Googling "how to transfer posts from one blog to another in blogger" and found it a rather painless process.  All of the posts from the former All Wrapped Up in Each Other Christmas blog are now here on this blog.  I have to create a bridging post in a moment as all of the Christmas posts are dated prior to setting up this blog so you will see the last Christmas entry on August 28, 2013 Christmas Card Exchange 2013 followed immediately by the Welcome post of November 11, 2013.  It just makes the line-up a little odd.

So, now that everything is in one place, I'm going to make a sincere effort to get back to blogging every day and hopefully pick up some followers as I love to make new blog friends.

And since I've imported all my Christmas posts, it just seems the right thing to do to import my countdown banner as well!

Christmas countdown banner

I hope that our moving plans, when they are finally settled, are not going to interfere with Christmas in July!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Week Ahead - April 14

Outside my window...hot, hot and wet, cooler, cooler, cooler...an interesting week.
 
I am thinking...about the great British triple-header last night, Call the Midwife followed by Mr. Selfridge followed by The Bletchley Circle.

I am thankful...for allergy medication!

From the kitchen...leftovers from the yummy pot roast last night.

I am hearing...the dryer.
 
One of my favorite things...seeing the results of Sophia's hard work at school.

I am reading...still nothing.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...dropping more things at the consignment shop today then off to the dentist for Sophia after school, dropping her off tomorrow so she can go riding with a friend and then going with Vic to his eye appointment, Sophia has her demonstration speech "How to Make Snickers Cupcakes" on Wednesday, riding on Thursday and then off on a Date Day adventure with Vic on Friday if he remembers to request the day off.  Easter Sunday this weekend.

College Update...Sophia submitted her enrollment paperwork and chose her roommate - they are so excited, texts are flying back and forth about dorm room decor and such. 

Volunteer Update...will most likely split my current position between two volunteers.

Travel and Family Field Trips Update...tentative plans for a visit to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum on Friday and I'm working on a weekend in DC for the European Union Embassies' Open House and a visit to the Holocaust Museum.

Sophia on her way to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Induction Ceremony

Leave a comment below if you'd like to share your Week Ahead.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SOPC Luncheon

Last Wednesday, members of the Tidewater Officers' Spouses' Association (TOSA) board attended the SOPC monthly luncheon (see the previous post for more on the SOPC).  This month's luncheon was hosted by Spain and OlĂ©, did they ever put on a show!  It was awesome.

We were greeted by a gentleman in uniform and I didn't catch his name or title through his heavily-accented English but I think he might have been associated with the Spanish Embassy.  Also as official greeters were these two ladies at the entrance to the banquet room.


We wandered around inside for a bit, looking at the gorgeous displays, such vibrant colors!




There were lots of raffle baskets, all tied with the festive colors of Spain.  The SOPC has several charities that they support and the proceeds from the raffle tickets go to these charities.


It was time to find our seats where the waiters had already placed the appetizer plates on the tables.


Those purple flyers are from the Tidewater Collection - a great promotion for our shop.  We would later find out that two programs were marked for the table raffles - one lucky guest received the bottle and the other, the potted arrangement.  Three guesses who took home the bottle - me, me, me!


The appetizer was Queso Manchego y Aceitunas Rellenas (Cured sheep milk cheese and stuffed olives) which was delicious.



It was closely followed by the main dish, Pollo al Chilindron (Stewed Chicken with onions, peppers and tomatoes) and dessert, Crema Catalana (like creme brulee but a softer texture).  During the meal, we were treated to a video presentation of the sights of Spain and then the program began.  The Spanish ladies had chosen a dance routine, the servillanas, which are a type of folk music and dance of Seville and its region. They were derived from the Seguidilla, an old Castilian folk music and dance genre. In the nineteenth century they were influenced by Flamenco. They have a relatively limited musical pattern but are rich in lyrics based on country life, virgins, country towns, neighborhoods, pilgrimage, and love themes. (Thank you, Wikipedia).  It was lovely to watch because it's very lively and the ladies were singing along as they danced.  Added to that was the swirl of their flounced dresses and the stamping of feet.  Very entertaining!


TOSA is hosting the luncheon in November with a Thanksgiving theme.  Wish I could be a part of it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Week Ahead - April 7

Outside my window...rain for the first couple of days this week, then temperatures heading up into the high 60s.
 
I am thinking...about how much I'm loving the posts following the Royal Tour of New Zealand and Australia and it's only Day One!

I am thankful...for a great Date Day outing with Vic yesterday - Berkeley Plantation was beautiful.

From the kitchen...Vic's underway for a few days so it will be girly favorites - chips and gravy, British telly, and sleepovers.

I am hearing...the heater, the washer, the dryer.
 
One of my favorite things...a rainy day outside when I have lots of things to do inside.

I am reading...still nothing.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...getting my bangs trimmed tomorrow in preparation for Wednesday's SOPC luncheon (see below), riding lesson on Thursday, and Sophia is being inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on Sunday.

An acronym within an acronym - SOPC is the SACT (Supreme Allied Commander Transformation) Officers' Partners' Club, a social group for spouses/partners (how very European!).  The HQ SACT is the only permanent NATO Headquarters outside of Europe and the sole NATO Headquarters in North America.  The SOPC is very organized (how I wish I could belong to a group like that - it's right up my alley!); they hold a monthly luncheon which is sponsored by a different nation each month.  The luncheon includes food from that nation, displays and raffles that are relevant, and some sort of presentation to educate the other members about the nation of the month.  It's held at a ritzy country club and let's just say that the dress code wouldn't be out of place on a Paris street.  Ugh, what am I going to wear?  The SOPC also has a lot to offer someone living outside of their native country for a couple of years - 20 social clubs!  They have a book club, cooking clubs, conversation clubs in various languages, bridge, mah jongg, horseback riding, tennis, bowling, quilting, scrapbbooking, Mom and Tots club, as well as field trips near and far.  Your could fill your whole calendar with SOPC events - SO jealous!

So, the Tidewater Officers' Spouses' Association (TOSA) board members have been invited to attend the April luncheon which is hosted by Spain.  Can we say paella?  I hope so!  Our main purpose is to snoop - TOSA is  hosting the November SOPC luncheon with a Thanksgiving theme.  We're doing a recce to see what will be expected of us.  As much as I am excited about moving to Washington, I will be very sorry not be a part of this event.

Here's a photo of the tables at the UK Luncheon last May - the theme was Royal Ascot and the tables were labeled England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall, and Isle of Man.  The centerpieces were teapots with a variety of teas (which one lucky person at each table got to take home) and there were a variety of printed materials about the UK.  On the menu was Coronation Chicken.

Their presentation, along the horse-racing line, was a Chutes and Ladders (Snakes and Ladders here in the US) game - you can see there is a player from each of the six countries/areas with a hobby horse and a grid on the floor.  They would roll two dice, one to select the player and one to determine how many places to move along the grid.  You can see all the Royal Ascot-hatted ladies in the background.  I asked the TOSA ladies if they were going to dress up for the November luncheon but I got a thumbs-down for Pilgrim attire!

College Update...sent off the financial aid paperwork...still no orders but we're signing the enrollment papers today anyway.  There are three people in  Vic's office waiting for orders...one got theirs on Wednesday, one on Thursday, so I was hoping Friday was going to be our lucky day.  No such luck but they have to be coming SOON!!

Volunteer Update...still need to narrow down my replacement and start training with her.

Travel and Family Field Trips Update...Vic and I have a couple of Date Day trips in the works, can't make them Family Field Trips because Sophia is booked solid with babysitting and petsitting commitments - 23 days out of the 30 in April and more on the calendar for May.  It's all going into the car fund - at this rate, she's going to be driving a Ferrari.


Didn't see this until after I started the laundry but I'm planning to apply it to everything else that needs to be done around here!






Vic and I with Lake Erie behind us, July 2008





Vic and I with the James River behind us, April 2014 (my goodness, we've gotten chubby!)




Leave a comment below if you'd like to share your Week Ahead.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If this is Tuesday it must be England #11


Less than a week to go until the Royal Tour kicks off!  Can't wait to see all the photos.

If you want to follow along, here are a couple of my favorite sites (although I really loathe the use of "Kate"):



March Minimalism Wrap-Up

I wish I had thought to pop everything on the scale daily - would have been interesting to the impact on our Household Goods Weight Allowance!