Monday, November 24, 2014

Deja Vu!

The second port call for the second half of deployment was suppose to be the Philippines, however, it was also right after the incident of a sailor killing someone. So days before hitting port they canceled it and decided to head back to Guam. Once official word was out that left us with a week exactly to book everything. I was smart and bought travelers insurance just in case.. what a waste of money, they wouldn't refund a thing. There was the option of going to Manila with whomever didn't want to lose out on their money... but I could honestly care less to go to Manila. I would love to visit PI one day, that just wouldn't be my first choice.
 
With this being our last vacation just the two of us for awhile it was decided pretty quickly I would still go to Guam. I also found out I do my best research for deals at the last minute while sleep deprived in the middle of the night ha. One downfall was that the only hotel on the beach that had availabilities in our price range was The Pacific Star. If you remember from my last Guam post we didn't have the best of luck when it came to our room situation with them. This time around I just went with the standard two double beds and/or queen. I triple checked to make sure it wasn't a twin room since that would be a huge no go.
 
Fast forward a week, I get to the hotel around 1:30 in the morning. As I'm checking in the lady tells me I have two beds, so my first thought is.. double beds again. I can deal with that. As soon as I walked into the room all I could do was laugh.....
 
 
They didn't even try to make it look like a queen :) (imagine that smiley face laughing hysterically)
I sent Frank this picture as soon as I walked in, he told me to go switch right away. I was tired, my stomach hurt and I was really not in the mood to argue over yet another messed up room. I told him we could make it work, 1950's style ha.
 
The next morning I was rolling over and put one arm on the opposite bed and they rolled apart from each other (insert another hysterical laugh). At that point I was rested and ready to see about getting a new room. I went down with my game face on thinking I was going to have another battle with them. Nope! They were very friendly and apologized that I was in fact in the wrong room. They told me I would be upgraded to a king (Finally getting what I paid for on the first visit!). Talk about a surprise when I went to my new room only to find it was a suit!
 
I figured I would leave that as a surprise for Frank. Talk about having a hard time keeping a straight face! He kept asking about our room while eating lunch. Needless to say he approved ha.
 
 
 
 
 
I have no idea.. I told him I was taking pictures and this is what he did.
 
 
 
 
After dinner we decided to head down to the beach for a little bit. We just wadded out a little and sat in the shallow water. It ended up being a good thing we went out when we did... it rained the entire time I was there.
 
We only had two things we wanted to do our second time around in Guam. One was cliff jumping for Frank but with all the rain he wasn't up for the mile hike out to the cliffs. The second was checking out two lovers point. We got a lucky break in the weather one morning so we headed up to the point.
 
We decided our love wasn't worth purchasing over priced locks ha
 
 
 
 
This is how we spent almost all of our time.. sleeping :) Being able to lay in bed being lazy watching TV and look out the window at the view was perfect.
 
Our neighbor who was watching the girls would send us picture updates. This was a favorite :)
 
 My last day in Guam (I left in the late afternoon a day before Frank) the sun came out and it was beautiful... of course ha. We decided to use that time for a photo shoot!



 
Since the rental car was in my name I had to drop Frank off on base before I left. After buying him food for the boat we went and checked out the beaches on base. Gab Gab Beach is very popular, great for snorkeling as well, so we had to stop by and see it for ourselves. Of course it made us both miss living by white sandy beaches... sigh..
This is the, do I really have to go back?? look ha

 


And with that our last mini vacation was over... 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fall pictures

I absolutely love having Natalija take my pictures! Not only does she do amazing work, but she is professional and fast. I seriously couldn't say enough good things about her :) I'm sad she can't do my actual maternity pictures and possibly newborn shots [she's due right after me] so being able to do this mini session made me very happy. You should definitely check her out if you are in the kanto plains area of Japan.
 
 







Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stitch Fix goods

Stitch Fix day! My favorite day of the month :)
 
Last month I asked that they send cardigans/jackets and accessories since I really don't need more maternity clothes. Jackets I need bad though! I was a bit curious of what they would end up sending honestly. Of course they did not disappoint.
 
First up, an infinity scarf. Kept

This pea coat was AMAZING! I was really wanting one and not only was it in the price range I would spend, it was so soft. Only problem was it would fit for maybe a few more weeks. I thought it was maternity at first but realized later it was just a regular Large. A thought that was brought up was that I could continue wearing it after I have little man.. but my concern is that I am not normally a Large. Spending a good amount of money on something I would only get a small use out of seems silly to me. Oh how I loved it though. I ended up sending it back and may have wanted to shed a tear ha.

This cardigan made up for not getting to keep the pea coat :) Kept

This one isn't really a winter item, but I still kept it since it can be worn practically year round.

Last item.. at first when I saw this necklace my first thought was  "this is not me!". After wearing it for a little while I started to like it, its something different which is a reason I use Stitch Fix. The major draw back was that it was 4 pieces and they kept clanging together. It got annoying fast! It ended up going back with the pea coat.

All in all this was an awesome Fix! I asked for more accessories in my next box so I can't wait to see what I get :) 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Autumn Home Tour

I figure with Christmas fast approaching I should put up my Fall pictures. Besides the fact that I hate the weather this time of year, I do love getting to decorate for the holidays :)



I love this wreath (I can't remember the actual name), but it covers the peep hole so I never know who is at the door :/
 
Very much in love with my new scentsy warmer!



 
I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new by mixing and matching colors. It took me awhile to get used to the placemats not matching.. but it's finally grown on me.
 
And this is what my table normally looks like ha. The pictures have been moved to a chair (still not hung), but the computer is still at the table. We had to get rid of the desk when switching the spare room over to a nursery so I bought a laptop for myself to use. Nothing fancy, just something to use for the time being. The plan was to upload all the pictures from the desktop to an external hard drive then pack the desk top up. In the process of setting up my laptop I spammed myself :( even Frank couldn't get rid of it. So for now this has been the set up.. I am very much ready to have my table back!

And that my friends was a tour of our Autumn décor. I have some decorative towels on the stove and a scentsy wrap in the kitchen. I just forgot to take a picture. Hope you enjoyed, make sure to come back for my Christmas update!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chocolate banana muffins

I've been in the baking mood the last few days and knew it had to be something with banana since I had some to use. And for those who know me, yes pumpkin would have been included but I was out. Shocking I know ha.

I was planning to go with a basic banana muffin recipe but came across this from www.texanerin.com/2014/03/chocolate-banana-muffins.html (I'm on my phone so I can't put it in a more visually appealing link). I did have to change it a little to work with what I had.. But they still turned okay. 

This is the original recipe, with my notes included. It makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium super ripe bananas (each banana was 185 grams with the peel and 143 grams without) **I would add a third banana next time, couldn't really taste it at all**
  • ⅓ cup (106 grams) honey **I am out of honey so I used a half cup of coconut sugar. Worked just fine for flavor but the moistness of the honey is definitely missing**
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs 
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) refined coconut oil, melted1
  • 200 grams (~2 cups but please weigh!) blanched almond flour **Whole wheat flour**
  • 3 tablespoons (27 grams) coconut flour **Unbleached white**
  • ⅓ cup (42 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup (180 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life chocolate chips for dairy-free) **Cocoa nibs**
  • additional mini chocolate chips for sprinkling, if desired
Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the bottom of a glass. They should almost be like a puree.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla and stir.
  4. Add in the eggs and oil and stir until well combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Stir just until combined and then stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin liners and sprinkle on additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  8. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful not to confuse a melted chocolate chip with the batter.
  9. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stitch Fix Goodies

Who doesn't love Stitch Fix day!?
 
All my items this go round were maternity, which is awesome.. if it didn't all cost so much! I don't know why but all of the maternity items they send me are WAY over my budget. The way I decide on a box is to try everything on, separate them into Yes, No or Maybe piles. Then I look at how much each cost and decide what I want. I had 3 items in my Yes pile until I saw the prices.
 
This shirt was one of those I had in my Yes pile. LOVED it! Too bad it was double what I would pay for a shirt. Sad times. The leggings were a big no (in everyway). They were very uncomfortable in the fit and the material didn't feel that great either. Both items were sent packing.

Infinity scarf. Love, perfect for Fall :) Kept.

Of course this jacket was in my price range yet it was not my style at all ha. Had the sleeves been the same color and material as the rest of the jacket I would have kept it since I am in need of maternity jackets. This was a no as well. I did ask for more jackets/sweaters in my next Fix so hopefully one will work out!

There was also a dress I kept (Frank's favorite to date) but you will have to wait until after my shower to see that one :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guam part II

What's the best way to celebrate no longer working? Going on a tropical paradise vacation with the bonus of it being a port call and getting to see your husband! Last year I couldn't do any port calls because I was working and we were saving for our cruise. First half of this deployment I was also working and we had just gotten back from our cruise so taking time off right away probably wasn't the best of ideas ha. Timing wise worked out perfect, I knew I wanted to stop working when the outdoor pool closed and the boat was hitting Guam a few days after. It was meant to be :]

When you book for a port call you have to be open to things changing last minute. I mean that is our life with the military after all ha. Thankfully the date only changed one day forward. A friend and I who were flying down together decided to do stand by the day before we were suppose to leave since that was now the day the boat was getting in. It was really easy and we both ended up with either our own row (Sarah) or one person at the other end of our row (me). It was a night flight so we didn't get into Guam until about 2:00-2:30 in the morning (Guam is a 3 1/2 hour flight from Tokyo), had to take a short cab ride to get my first rental car (since we got in a day early I couldn't pick up my other car until later in the day), then went through some hoopla to  get checked in at Sarah's hotel for the night. By the time this was all said and done we were finally in bed by 4:30 in the morning and had to be up in 3 hours.

Not a bad view to be waking up to though...

 
After grabbing something to munch on and figuring out how to get to base we were off to pick up our men!
 
Once we got to base we had no idea where to go to meet the guys. We ended up going down a dead end but got to see the nice beaches they have one base. As we were taking this road (above) to see where it lead us we saw a bunch of cars parked and people we knew waiting at this parking lot. Found out from them that the pier was down the road but we couldn't go down, instead we had to wait up top. Doesn't help that we have no way to communicate with anyone ha. We did find out that they had two different types of buses taking everyone off the boat. One school buses were going to the Exchange and the charter buses were going to a hotel out in town (central drop off/pick up for town). The white school buses would go slow and randomly stop as someone on them would see their spouse, but the charter buses were flying by. At this point Sarah and I weren't too sure what to do but figured we could go hang out at the NEX if need be and find our husbands there.

After a little while one of the charter buses stopped.. which was odd since they weren't dropping off on base. Some guy got off the bus waving his arms (it was pretty far down the road by the time the bus stopped) and then started yelling. It was Franklyn :] I asked if he knew he was on a bus heading out in town.. nope had no idea ha. Needless to say he was pretty lucky to have spotted me on the side of the road. After waiting some more for Sarah's husband we decided to just go to the NEX. Sure enough he was on the buses behind us!

At this point it was time for me (nobody else was hungry) and thousands of others to squeeze into the food court and eat!

Since we were taking Sarah and her husband to pick up their car we decided to see if our original rental was available yet. It was ready but of course it couldn't be easy! They didn't want to run our card because it is a debit/check card. Things is, I never set up the debit part so the card won't even work as debit. Because of this they kept telling me they would have to put a huge hold on the card. Being the budgeter that I am I had already budgeted for vacation and that amount was not included. With no wifi to check our account it was making for a very stressful time. I would say it took a good hour, but everything worked out and shocker they weren't able to put a hold on our card because they couldn't run it as debit.

We figured that was the last of our worries and we would check into our room and go relax. Not so much. First off I have never seen so many people check into a hotel at once. I really wish I had a picture, there was well over a 100 people in line. At least 45 minutes later we were heading up to our room. I had been told the hotel was outdated  compared to the pictures, but that's pretty much typical on Guam I guess. So that part didn't bother us, what bothered me was that I paid extra for an upgraded king and we had two doubles. I would have even been okay with two queens as least. I already knew that they had upgraded others who were not satisfied with their rooms, so my room that I paid in full for was pretty much given away. And with the hotel being completely booked at this point we were stuck. Not happy! The only thing that made it manageable was the fact that the AC was really cold on average and we could turn it down even lower at night so we could squeeze into a small bed and not sweat like crazy. A bonus, we got a military discount of free wifi and a discount at breakfast! After that whole day I was physically and emotional spent. I decided to end the night with a bath (it was only 7:00.. maybe haha) and then we just laid in bed watching TV.

Off to explore the island while rocking my $14 sunglasses ; ]
 






 
 
Love this sign!
 
No idea what is with these.. but it was fun coming up on them.





All of those pictures were taken on the South/West sides of the island on our drive. It was so beautiful on that end. You could easily go to Guam and not need to venture to the other side.

*The rest of the pictures were taken on my phone so they are in the previous post.*
 
Our third day together was also our last. Frank had duty the next day so he had to be back to the boat that night, but that morning we found out they might be recalled the next day due to a typhoon that was heading our way. We spent our last day together relaxing at the beach and snorkeling. Very much appreciated.
 
The next day the boat left early and it turned into a girls weekend our last few days in rainy paradise. Made a stop at Ross (much larger than we thought it would be!) but were overwhelmed with how busy it was so we checked out the mall in hopes of finding maternity stuff. Come to find out Ross and the Exchanges are the only place you can get maternity stuff! The next day myself and two friends headed up to the air base to check out their Exchange. Stephanie and I hit the jackpot on maternity clothes. After we were done shopping we headed down the other side of the island and stopped and had lunch at Jeff's Pirate Cove before heading back to my hotel for a lazy night. 
 
My wifi wouldn't let me connect so I called the front desk to get it figured out only to find out I had been checked out. Umm strange since I had one night left and I was still very much there. They figured it out but my only guess is that because so many people checked out early due to the typhoon my paperwork was accidently included due to someone not paying much attention. The next day when I went to check out for good it made for a headache because they were telling me I had to pay for one extra night. After 30 minutes it was all straightened out, however, it would have been nice if they put a note on my paperwork explaining what happened so I didn't have to go through it twice.
 
All in all it was a nice little (almost) week long get-a-way. Of course it would have been nice to have more time with Frank but 3 days was much better than nothing.