Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day reflection

Every year, up until recently, Memorial day was a time that we got extra days off.  Time to spend with family or friends.  Go to BBQs.  Enjoy the weather.  This year, it became insanely real to me.  Like a ton of bricks.  I am not spending the day mourning but rather appreciating and celebrating our brave heroes' lives.  We will never forget you...  I am also thanking those who proudly serve our country.  Thank you.

If somebody is enjoying Memorial day too much, just remind them, gently, what this day stands for.  Let's educate people rather than assuming the worst in them... Some honestly just don't know.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Help!!! I need you to...

I need to come up with a name for my "dating a service member advice column" stuff!  I currently feel lovely, like a Carrie Bradshaw type, with the finding girls to dole out the advice.  But before I can become a stiletto-ed Carrie, I need a cool, fun sassy-spectacular name! So put your thinking caps on, ladies! Help a girl out!

So, the whole point of these blogs will be to meet a MilGirl (Milgirlfriend, Milfiancee, and Milspouse) to learn about their time while dating their service member.  The decisions that you have to make because the military sometimes takes over your life; what you learn because of the military; how your life changed when you went from civilian to MilGirl.  This is a resource to help navigate the uncertainty that is the military, uncertainty that sometimes is a volatile relationship due to the military (for example: I met this guy 4 months ago, we're in love but his unit is getting ready to deploy for the next 13 months and I don't know if I'm ready or what I'm getting myself into)...

Please help me come up with a name! 

(If you're interested in being interviewed, I'd love to have ya! Just email me!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kick off... Any takers?

I blogged about my Twitter name, @DateAMarine before and I've been brainstorming the ways I can learn about other MilGirls' experiences.  I want to do weekly interviews (get to know you sessions) to learn about you and your love while you were dating!

Initially when I started tweeting, I was dating my Marine and I felt like I was flailing in the information and acronyms he was spitting at me.  Frankly, I think a lot of us feel that way.  My Marine still speaks Marine not English.  So, I wanted to have a support system or a way of learning how to deal with all of the changes from being a civilian to a Marine girlfriend.

I'm sure we've all learned some tid-bits along the way - whether it's been through blogging or meeting other MilGirls or watching documentaries, etc.  I think it's a great opportunity for us who have lived through it to pass it along as useful advice for MilGirlfriends and MilFiancees who aren't yet in the DEERS system (don't know what DEERS is? It's the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, basically a way of saying that you are officially attached to your service member).

But all technicality aside, when you're not married to your service member, it sometimes feel like a whole new foreign world.  I hate not knowing so I do research.  The more you know, the better you're able to make decisions, right?  What if you're thinking about marrying your soldier? How about wanting to learn more about the Airforce?  How about how to get through a deployment with your sailor?  Or did you know that your Marine could get orders to go on a 2 year unaccompanied tour (meaning he gets stationed somewhere like Kuwait, Korea, Japan, MSG Duty... without YOU!)?

Things I'd like to know are (just as starters):
  • What are the differences between civilian life and being a MilGirl?
  • Did you know your man before he was a Service Member? How was getting through basic training?
  • How do you feel about him being in the military?
  • What attracted you to your Service Member? Was it the SEXY uniform?
  • Does the SEXY uniform make up for the crap you put up with sacrifices you make?
  • Have your plans been messed up because of the military? Tell me your horror stories!
  • How does your family feel about you dating a Service Member? How do they feel about you MARRYING a Service Member?
  • Does it motivate you as a couple to get married sooner if he is slated to leave (have orders to get stationed elsewhere, getting ready to deploy)? Did you elope?

So, we're all here to learn or offer advice.  I'm here for both.  I'd love to interview you if you don't mind me picking your brain!

Also, if you're a MilGirlfriend or MilFiancee, what do YOU want to know?

What do you think about this idea? Helpful? Dumb and not useful?

EDITED: Leave a comment if you think I should add any questions or email me at (dateamarine [at] gmail [dot] com) if you would like to be interviewed!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Best Meatloaf EVER

As a child, I hated Meatloaf.  A mountain of ground beef was not appealing to me.  I am over that fear since hearing from Miss Mango Hands that this recipe makes the BEST MEATLOAF EVER.

So, I did it. And I fell in love.  In fact, I'm making it today, so I can take pictures for Trying our Best's Recipe Blog Hop!  Amazing. Go hop over to her blog and check out all the amazing recipes!!

Without further ado, here is the recipe, modified from Miss Mango Hands' recipe!

Best Meatloaf EVER

Ingredients For the Meatloaf:
1 1/4 lb. ground beef
1 package crimini or baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), find it this is what makes it amazing!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or (a little less than 1/4 teaspoon) cayenne pepper, divided - half for meatloaf, half for sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Ingredients For the Sauce:
1/2 cup tomato sauce
half of the hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


1) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, onions 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, and half of red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper and cook until mushrooms have softened. Let it cool.
2) Dump the ground meat, eggs, panko, salt and pepper (to taste) in a large bowl.  Add mushroom mixture and add.  VERY GENTLY, using your fingers (yep, you gotta touch the meat), combine everything together (but don't you go squeezing the meat like crazy, because that makes for very tough icky meatloaf, the kind I used to despise!).  Dump all of this on a sheet pan, then form a loaf-like shape in the middle.  Cook for 30 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of tomato sauce with remaining hot pepper flakes in a small bowl.
4) Remove the loaf from the oven and cover the top with the tomato sauce mixture.  Cook for another 20 minutes.  Let it rest before you enjoy the BEST MEATLOAF EVER. 

Thanks Miss Mango Hands!

I'll take pictures tonight of my meatloaf!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My First Air Show!

This Saturday, they called for rain.  Instead, it was 84 degrees and BEAUTIFUL.

We decided to go to the Cherry Point Air Show... OH SO FUN!! I didn't know what I was getting myself into but it was such a good date with my Marine.  He got to show off how much he knew about all the planes and Marine Corps things! Fun Fun!

Here are just some pictures from my adventure!
On our way!

He did not want to pose for this photo.  
I think what he said was "Hurry, hurry! they are blowing s*** up! I gotta go see this!" 
 Note the cloud of smoke to the right of his head.

Choppers flying through the smoke.

Me and my friend Brian.
I knew him before he was a Marine. This is the first time I saw him since he got back from Iraq!

Dave says "this is a Black Hawk"
I respond "Oh like the movie?" 
Dave shakes his head... "yes like the movie."

A child with an enormous weapon.


We got to go inside!!

Waiting for the Blue Angels to start performing.

PS. They were INCREDIBLE! I felt so lucky to get to see them!!

I have lots of video of them performing but I can't get it to upload. BUMMER.

But it was SUCH a FUN DAY at the AirShow!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

You're a Coward!

Dear DUMB Anonymous commenters and my LOVELY fellow MilSpouse readership,

I know I shouldn't be this upset but this shenanigans has GOT to stop!

My lovely friend Tiffanie over at My Domestic Niche posted a blog yesterday about how she was upset that one of the Jonas Brothers had worn a Dress Blues blouse disrespectfully.  Ok you can make the argument that his stylist should be fired, that they didn't know that they were doing anything wrong... blah blah blah.  However, this isn't what got me riled up.

This has happened to SEVERAL other milspouses and I wanted to say how annoyed I am...

I am PISSED because of these cowards that keep TROLLING military websites, commenting anonymously  to"speak their mind" and also "correct [our] spelling and grammar." How juvenile must you be? If you don't appreciate or want to know about the military lifestyle, our struggles, our sense of honor and pride, then please don't read our blogs. Well, I guess I can only speak for myself.  Please don't read my blog.  Please unfollow me.  Because my 50 readers so far have been nothing but AWESOME (I just reached 50 readers today, YIPPEEE!!).  I don't want readers who don't want to try to understand.  I don't care if you disagree.  Heck, I disagree with many things that other MilSpouses say but we can still be civil and comment by disclosing ourselves.


Thank you, I'll be hopping off my soapbox now.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ask the MILIES!

I know I blogged already today but I just wanted to let y'all know about this amazing blog that these two EXPERT MilSpouses have put together!!

This is an excerpt from the site.
This site is set up to provide information and answer whatever questions you may have regarding being a Military Wife. No question is off limits! No matter what the question is, our goal is to make sure you’re comfortable asking it...Sometimes the greatest therapy is just knowing someone else is going through the same situation.

EEP I'm so excited to see what people are going to ask!

Mrs. G. I. Joe from ACU, Stiletto Shoes and Pretty Pink Tutus is one of the two awesome women who started this ingenious website. 

Super Secret! Wedding plans!!!

I have been hush-hush about the details of our wedding so far but a few AMAZING things have happened recently so I'm excited to share them with my fellow wedding-planning brides to be as well as with people like me who just love to look at wedding stuff!
Amazing thing #1 
I ran into a new wedding magazine that I did not know existed.  I seriously thought I had every single one that hit the stands, I was WRONG! Take a look at this! I love that they have great invitations for much less than most places. Their decorating ideas are FAB-o!  Go hop over and visit GetMarried NOW!

Amazing thing #2
I've been looking for a place to get glass/acrylic garlands so I can have this:

I'm sorry that I can't remember where I pulled this picture from!! YIKES!
But isn't it GORGEOUS???

So I've been searching high and low where I can find such a pretty back drop and lo and behold! Shop Wild Things has exactly what I want! And the big pieces dangling at the bottom are named after the Sex and the City girls!!! How amazing!? So, naturally, I ordered the garlands AND a set of the "Carrie's"!!!!!!!! So stinkin' excited!! WOOT WOOT!

Amazing Thing #3
I ordered some awesome 2 foot, decal version of our wedding logo (created by Molly DST) from Wonderful Graffiti! I plan to put those decals on a painted canvas and display them around the wedding and reception!


Have you heard of the SoleMates? Have you sunk into the grass wearing cute high heels? No longer!!

Did I mention that I'm SUPER excited right now?

Yippeee! Let me know whatcha think, k?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday (ModCloth)

This is my first Wishlist Wednesday! What I really want is a BEAUTIFUL looking blog so that I can enjoy blogging every day!  That is in the works folks, so that's my #1 item on my Wishlist wednesday... however, I have pretty things to share as well!

I want to add these to my Wishlist Wednesday! It's all ModCloth!
Oh isn't it beautiful? This is the Blush and Bashful dress from Modcloth. I've contemplated getting it about 6 separate times! I want to wear this to our wedding after party!

If you want something though, you need to snatch it up, or else somebody else will and it will be GONE!

This is the Fashion Democracy Dress. Oh how I love the bow! I think it would be a perfect 4th of July or Homecoming dress!

Thoughts?? Any other ones you love from Modcloth?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Random Ramblings Blog Hop!

Random Ramblings of A Military Wife

I love blog hops, I get to meet all kinds of new people and read their awesome-tastic bloggies! Reading my bloggy friends' words is something I really love, it's like my requisite morning coffee!!

So, I'm not a MilSpouse but I will be one soon. I'm a Marine Fiance, currently planning our wedding.

A little bit about me.
  • I am a 20-something Marine Fiance who has moved so much you'd think she was a military brat (I'm not...).
  • I love traveling.  I've lived in Vienna, Austria; Tokyo, Japan; Kyoto, Japan; Dakar, Senegal...I truly love seeing how SIMILAR we humans are, while being SO different.
  • I am a foodie. Not the kind that writes all about her experiences but I really like good food. (but who doesn't?)
  • I'm a Psychology major (the very nerdy kind)... I'm going back to school for my Master's in Social work. HOORAY! I heart school.
  • I have more guy friends than girl friends. I REALLY want to change that. I think it's because I have an aversion to DRAMA.
  • Philadelphia Phillies Fan. The end.
  • I love candy, fried food and sunday brunch. It kills me.
  • My favorite word is "Empower." I also think "compassion" is pretty useful too.
  • I smile constantly. My life is happy. It is filled with profound, beautiful love.
  • I'm always scared to admit my beliefs in the Military Community.  I feel like politics and beliefs can be a deal breaker, when in reality, I think it just makes us different.  I guarantee you, that if we talked through it, we could come to an agreement.  I'm not as liberal as you would assume me to be. However, I will not back down from being a feminist.
  • I played kick-ass waterpolo back in the day.  I take pride in the fact that I'm a fish.
  • I have been in choirs most days of my life. I love singing.
  • I'm always looking for yummy recipes, cute clothes and CUTE SHOES!
Please leave me love to let me know you found me from the bloghop! I'll be sure to follow your blog too :D

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My lungs hurt...

We ran for the Wounded Warriors today. It felt good to see so many people out in support of this cause.

I woke up really early this morning to the daunting task of completing my first 5K.
3.2 miles.  That might not seem like a lot to most of you.  I am, however, a fish. I do not like land sports. But I actually ran today.  It actually felt good... Here is some proof!
I'm smiley but I'm not exactly happy.

The crowd gearing up to start the 10k and 5k!

 Me and the girls (all pics courtesy of Aleigha, L)

Sweaty gross and smiling!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2 Bloggy Awards! (Double Celebrity!)

Man oh man do I love getting awards! It just puts me in an instant good mood! However, trying to figure out who doesn't already have the award is a pain in my Asian behind so I apologize if you didn't or did already get these awards as I rattle off your names!!

My first bloggy award today is from my bloggy friend, Tiffanie at My Domestic Niche!!  She is the mommy of two precious munchkins that I have the pleasure of looking at (only in pictures).  She is a new blogger like me so please show her some LOVES! 
She has given me the Sunshine Award!

The rules of this one says I gotta:
  1. To put the logo on your blog or within your post.
  2. Pass the award onto 12 bloggers. (I'm only doing 10, mmmk thanks)
  3. Let the awardees know they have received the award by commenting on their blog.
  4. Share the love and link the person who gave you the award.
So I would like to pass this honor on to: (I'm supposed to do 12...whoopsies)
  1. Star at Star Spangled Stockings
  2. Jordan at Southern Hospitality
  3. Skinnie Piggie at Skinny Piggy
  4. Brandi at Excess Baggage
  5. Elizabeth at Love and Marriage and Baby Carriage
  6. NoelBelle at Devil Dog & Litigation Love
  7. Amber at Goodnight Moon
  8. Hellcat Betty at Hellcat Betty
  9. Expat Girl at The Sand is Different Here
  10. Cheryl at Boots in the Doorway

My second bloggy award is from Star over at the new and improved (so cute!) Star Spangled Stockings!! She is a like-minded independent woman who enjoys traveling and cute clothes, just like me!  She is funny and loves other people's opinions so hop on over to see what she's talking about today! 
Star has given me the Sweet Blog Award!

For this one, I have to pass it on to 10 sweet bloggy friends!

So here are 10 sweeties:
  1.  Tiffanie at My Domestic Niche
  2. Jordan at Southern Hospitality
  3. Skinnie Piggie at Skinny Piggy
  4. Brandi at Excess Baggage
  5. Elizabeth at Love and Marriage and Baby Carriage
  6. NoelBelle at Devil Dog & Litigation Love
  7. Amber at Goodnight Moon
  8. Hellcat Betty at Hellcat Betty
  9. Expat Girl at The Sand is Different Here
  10. Cheryl at Boots in the Doorway
Lots'o LOVES!

Monday, May 10, 2010

DC Interns (the stupidity continues...)

From time to time, I blog about something completely unrelated to military life.  This time it's about something I love in a city that I adore.  Spotted: DC Interns, the blog This is a blog I came across while interning for a non-profit in DC.  People talk about this blog in DC.  It's amazing because the stupidity of some of these interns is unbelievable!  I have seen some myself.  You would expect some humility and humble attitudes from these "kids" but that ain't so (I am aware that there are amazing interns who get hired by the organizations that they intern for or go and do other spectacular things... but the stories you will find on this blog are not the tales of said interns).  Especially those who intern on the Hill. They literally wave their obnoxious red badges at bars (on Saturday night! really?), and other fun-tastic shenanigans.

Please, if you want some humor in your life... here you go. Remember,  interns, humility goes quite a long way.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy MilSpouse Day!!

I can't wait to put this on my blog but, it's not me yet!!

It's Military Spouse Appreciation day.  I don't know yet how the rest of the world or various military installations appreciate their spouses but for me, on my blog, I want to take the time to say thank you.  Thank you to all of you fabulous bloggy friends who are part of this bizarre yet rewarding lifestyle.  Thank you for your encouragement and support.  Thank you for just reading, just listening as I learn my way around.  Thank you for YOUR often unacknowledged service and great sacrifice.

How do you think MilSpouse Day should be celebrated? How would you feel appreciated?


I blogged a while back when I went to visit my sister at the birth of her precious babe.  This quiet newborn that I met in October is now 7 months old!!! UNBELIEVABLE.  She looks as though she is 12. I swear it. But since I live across a big wide ocean and a large body of land, it's hard for me to visit her and touch her big puffy baby cheeks.  Swoon.

Hi Peanut!

Whenever my sister sends me pictures, I always find myself touching the screen of my phone... creepo! Haha, but here is the latest picture that I received.  (She's wearing the gumdrop machine shirt I sent her!! Loves my little niecey girl!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I heart LINKS and MCCS!

This blog is pretty specific to the Marine Corps services (and more specifically to Camp Lejeune).  I'm not familiar with the other branches but I'm sure that there are similar things available!

I know, I've yet to become a MilSpouse (Sept 2011 here I come!), but I am not one to sit at home and wait until my Marine comes home.  I am fearless when it comes to going out and getting the information I need.  And I NEED this information to survive the Military life!!

I moved to Jacksonville, NC in December 2009 after a long year of battling unemployment/underemployment in my beloved Washington DC.  I felt sad and mopey that I would be facing the same thing here in the Jax/Camp Lejeune (CL) area.  My options for staying busy were working (at Target, which I would have loved) or volunteering.  I ended up getting a job I really love and am passionate about (that's a different story entirely)...  Suffice it to say, unless you have a network, it's hard to know how to adjust to the military lifestyle.

My Marine came home late, left at the butt-crack of dawn, and over again.  I had my house, my car, and my puppy to fill my time in the first few days.

One day, I was sick of feeling sad for myself so I made some calls and tried to get on base to get some information.  I was SO excited about what I learned that day.  I met the Family Readiness Officer (FRO), learned about Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) and the Lifestyle, Insight, Knowledge and Skills (LINKS) classes!

There is a LOT to talk about when I say MCCS but basically, from what I know, it houses a majority of the services offered on a MC base.  Think... Fitness centers, the Exchange, MC Family Team Building, and much much more!!

I want to focus on LINKS, however, because this is where I felt most welcomed.  A lot of services on base are targeted toward military family and spouses.  So as a non-spouse, it's hard to feel like you fit in anywhere... but you still want the information.  Here's where LINKS saved me!

LINKS offers workshops for:
  • Spouses, fiancees AND girlfriends/boyfriends
  • Parents
  • Teens, tweens and kids
  • Navy
I got to learn about the structure of the Corps, a little bit about what the heck all those crazy acronyms mean (they give you a Marine to English dictionary!!), learned out to read an LES (Leave and Earning Statement, essentially his pay stub), and how to navigate the base for resources that are available, and more... I ate this information up!!!

The best part about LINKS is the "N" of their name.  It stands for Networking.  You get to meet other people who live the same sort of lifestyle.  I have learned so much from these women.  These are the women who live by these things which I absolutely adore... I shall adopt them henceforth on my blog!!

"Semper Gumby (always flexible)"
There is no rank between non-service members.
You might disagree with me on this but I didn't earn my FH's rank, so I won't wear it.
It makes no difference to me if I am friends with a LCpl's wife or a Captain's wife...
*obviously, use discretion... this is real life not "Army Wives"
I know this is a HEATED topic but I feel strongly about this.  I don't need to find out your husband's rank or last name to decide if we can be friends!
and this is my blog so I can do what I want!

I know they have LINKS at each of the major MC installations. I hope that if you are intimately involved (hehe) with the Marine Corps, you'll take the time to learn about it!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I was going to do a little ditty about HeroBracelets because I just got mine in the mail yesterday but I wanted to add this funny story that I found through NoelBelle's blog about a saving a life with a Tampon!

Anyway, I found out about HeroBracelets through NoelBelle originally.  I thought it was touching that she wears it everyday (with pearls and all! :D) to remind her and her world about her Marine who is currently deployed.

So the day I read about it, I hopped over to and ordered my own "deployed HeroBracelet" and also let some of my MilSpouse friends on Facebook know about it. What a response it got from their families and friends!  "We should all get them" was a resounding response.  I was touched, as I am often, now that I am surrounded by the military family; this is one that takes great pride and joy in the accomplishments and sacrifices our men and women of this country make... I was just touched.

But I digress... I ordered one for my Marine, even though he isn't deployed. 

Mine arrived yesterday and I'm stoked!

Since I come from a liberal-ish (don't hate me!) background, it helps me educate other liberal-ish people about the military and its people.  I loved it when Hellcat Betty said that she realized that the "military isn't just an accessory to war."  If people ask about my HeroBracelet, it will be a conversation starter about this awesome bracelet or about our lovely, proud, strong military, or my Marine.

Awesome things about HeroBracelets:
  1. You can wear it all the time! Show off your service member proudly!
  2. You can contribute $2 per bracelet that you order to a Military Friendly program.
  3. You can educate people about the bracelet or the military when you wear it out!
  4. It's just awesome (duh!)!!
Leave me a message about what you think if you've ordered one before... or if you decide to order one because of this blog! mmk Thanks!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

MilSpouse Blog Hop!

I'm a MilSpouse in training so getting to read about other people who already live this CRAZY lifestyle is inspiring.  I was SO excited to find out about Riding the Rollercoaster's MilSpouse Blog Hop!

I'm a 20-something Marine Fiancee. I recently moved to the Camp Lejeune area and am learning a TON of great information about the military lifestyle.  My Marine, Dave, is the most loyal, patient and understanding person I know.  It takes a lot to be him and still love me.  He is finishing his enlistment and he is planning on going back to school so he can become an officer.  It's his goal in life and I am so proud. We are planning our Sept 2011 wedding and trying not to stresssssss out about any of it.  I'm truly trying to avoid the bridezilla! I cannot wait until August when we will be moving back to the DC area.  I'll be a student again (first time in 3 years, YAAAAY!!!) working toward my Master's in Social Work and Master's in Public Health. Can't wait to join the ranks of some awesome milspouse bloggies!!

Thanks for reading! Please comment so I can read your bloggy too! :D

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