{November 23, 2015}   Finding Christmas

Remember the song from the Grinch “where are you Christmas?” I feel like I just lived out the chorus with an all day adventure looking for the Christmas Market in Seoul.

It all started when a spouse posted pictures on Facebook that the market was back again this year.

Well of course, I am even more desperate for the Christmas season now than ever. So I set out on adventure with a couple other spouse to “find Christmas.” We asked for directions, but the fact that we’d never been to this part of Seoul coupled with the fact that many spouses refuse to take public transportation, getting accurate and easy to find directions, proved difficult. We did eventually find the market and I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t Christmas like in the states but it felt more rustic and maybe even more traditional, less commercialized. I’m not sure if this is representative of Christmas in Korea but I found it interesting.

On our way to finding Christmas we also found the Seoul Lantern festival.

A high end mall…
A Johnny Rockets…

And we learned how to take the bus back home, rather than the subway…

 Not a bad adventure if I do say so myself.


{November 9, 2015}   How Military is Your House?

I was going through some old Military Spouse magazines when I found an article listing the 50 things you’ll find in “every military home.” Though my husband bleeds the U.S. Military and I am a through and through military brat, I was skeptical that our home is a “traditional (stereotypical)” military house. We live off base and really don’t decorate with flags and red, white, and blue (in large part because we have the military running through our veins so we understand the flag code, but that’s a different post). For one reason my husband likes our home to be a kind of rank-free sanctuary. All military items have a specific closet where they are stored until needed. Anyway as I read through the the list, I started checking it off like a little test to see exactly how military our home is, if at all. Here are the results:

  1. We have tan socks and protein powder — Check.
  2. We have bedroom furniture in the living room. — No, first of all how passe. But I must admit I do have my clothes drying in the living room because that’s where the best air flow exists and Korean dryers take up too much energy.
  3. Black shoe wax and spray starch — Check on the starch. No on the wax. How old is this article. Military dress shoes no longer require black shoe wax, but if they did my husband would have the best in the squadron. Thanks dad for making me wax your shoes as a kid. Lol.
  4. Customs forms and flat rate boxes. — Check and Check.
  5. A countdown poster, paper chain, or calendar.  — No. Do people really do that?
  6. Boxes of clothing from a completely different climate. — Check.
  7. An unlimited supply of Motrin. — Check. Assuming any pain reliever in general counts.
  8. Magnets and takeout menus from places you no longer live. — Check to the magnets. No on the takeout menus.
  9. 23 bottles of shampoo from the case lot sale. — Not from the case lot sale, but from several hotels! So kind of Check.
  10. Baggies full of dammits, pins, patches, ribbons, and medals. — Check! Definitely guilty on that one. And check to knowing what dammits are: 
  11. Canteen and waterproof notebooks. — Check… I think. I’ll have to check the military closet. But for sure in storage.
  12. Someone else’s dish from a cookout. — Not exactly, but other people’s dishes passed down or randomly left in old quarters? Check!
  13. Spices or dry goods from six months ago. — Actually no. TMO wouldn’t let me take open food containers, but if they had…lol.
  14. Flat white sheets and paint for welcome home banners. — Again, people  actually do that?
  15. Daddy dolls.  — No kids, so that would be weird. But I did get my husband a female body pillow as a gag gift for deployment. 🙂 … He still has it (side eye).
  16. Sports team memorabilia for a team thousands of miles away. — Check! Especially now since they make inexpensive jerseys here in Korea.
  17. Beautiful furniture that won’t fit in this house, but fit in the last. –No. We don’t even bother buying nice furniture.
  18. Frogs (pin backings) on every counter. — No. The military closet… Wait isn’t that the same thing as a dammit?
  19. Sports gear inappropriate for the area (ex: Ski gear in Hawaii). Nope. TMO weight limits.
  20. Cars with license plates from different states. No. It’s a walking base and we register our cars in state. It actually makes you less conspicuous.
  21. CamelBaks — Check. Like seriously why do we have so many?!
  22. White walls — Yep. I never understood the MilSpouse who paints a wall only to have to repaint it upon departure.
  23. Piles of pens and chicken scratch notes from uniform pockets – Definitely. Especially by the washer, I’ve already ruined my fair share of ABU’s with pens in the most obscurely located pockets.
  24. Brand New Cleaning Supplies — Yes and used cleaning supplies from the neighbors because the movers can’t pack them.
  25. Little black clicky pens — Check. Seriously government issued pens are the best. People like me are probably why the government is in debt, because squadrons keep having to replace missing pens. :/
  26. Blankets – Yes, but not just any blankets. More blankets than one family could ever use. Good for packing, making pallets, extreme changes in weather, and flights on military cargo planes (which are not insulated like commercial planes).
  27. A few bad formal gowns — By bad do you mean great! Well check either way, sometimes you have to get a gown at the last minute.
  28. MREs – Not in this house, but boy do I remember them fondly.
  29. A Tuff Box – Actually yes! Several, they’re great for moving. Lol.
  30. Red, yellow, and blue stickers from the movers — No because we didn’t move furniture this time.
  31. Unit Challenge Coins  – Check, complete with their own display case.
  32. Alcohol Glasses from Different Balls — Wait! What! They used to do that?! Budget cuts…
  33. An unpacked box that follows you around the world – I plead the fifth.. fine Check!
  34. Curtains not currently being used – Check.
  35. Boots, boots, and more boots… YES! They just seem to multiply. ABU T-shirts keep disappearing. Why am I always buying a new pack?
  36. Red, White and Blue clothes — No! See above.
  37. Wedding Pictures Involving Swords – No. It’s the tragedy of my wedding being away from my husband’s unit. But there are plenty of uniformed shots.
  38. Duffle Bags or Sea Bags  — Yep, also great for packing.
  39. Two People Deeply in Love Despite the Distance — Is that exclusive to the military? I think a better one would be ‘two people who have made a commitment to each other despite the distance’ because trust me its no walk in the park. It takes more than romantic feelings to stick it out when you haven’t seen each other in almost a year.
  40. Stacks of Old Love Letters — Yes! We do, we actually made a scrap book of them.
  41. An empty chair at the dining room table —  Is this for the deployed service member or the MIA service members?
  42. Outlet adapters – Yes, despite the fact that I have nearly burned my house down a couple times using them.
  43. An address book with friends from all over the world (written in pencil) — No but I really should, you can’t always depend on technology.
  44. Dogs that lived in more places than most people — We used to have one. Maybe one day soon…
  45. Children who are a product of a homecoming — Not Yet LOL.
  46. Dog Tags  – You better believe it.
  47. Cribbage Set and Cigars — Seriously?! How old is this list for real!
  48. Sand … Even if you don’t live near a beach — Actually yes. What’s that about?
  49. Chem Lights and Gas Masks — Yes! I have my very own gas mask as well… Welcome to Korea!
  50. An American Flag — Cute sentiment, but no. We live overseas, you don’t draw attention to yourself like that.

All in all, I think we might be the most non-military “military” home in the world! But considering that my husband joined before he could vote and still loves it and I’ve been a military dependent twice, I’m going to go ahead and say we’re very patriotic at heart… if not in throw pillows with flags on them.

I love two seasons summer and fall. They just seem to be the happiest times of the year. Fall is leading into the holiday season and summer is just relaxing (if not hot). So it should be no surprise that fall is actually when my family plans for summer. I’m starting to get excited.  We are planning a big and long weekend by the ocean with my family, my in-laws, and my sister and her in-laws. To say I’m excited is an understatement.  So as I made some arrangements today I logically started thinking about the menu for our long weekend 8 months in advance. So tonight for dinner we had one of my go to summer dishes and a new healthier spin on my all time favorite summer cocktail.

One of my favorite easy meals to make especially for a large crowd is to make my famous chicken salad wraps. People love my chicken salad and often ask for the recipe, but the truth is there is no recipe. Lol. Rather there are same basic rules of chicken salad I always stick to, when I do, I can’t go wrong. I call my chicken salad “all-good” because the ingredients are always different but the salad is always good.

All-Good Chicken Salad


  • 1 1/2c of roasted chicken breast (usually leftover from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2c of crunch vegetable (this stretches the quantity of the salad) – celery or carrots or both
  • 1/4c of leafy vegetable either red cabbage shredded or hearts of romaine
  • 1/4c of dill pickles chopped (you can sub with relish, but I prefer plain old pickles)
  • 1/4c of crunchy goodness (meaning nuts – pecans, cashews, or almonds. In that order of preference)
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1/4c mayonnaise
  • 1/4c Greek yogurt or sour cream (it gives it a creamy texture and tangy flavor)
  • 1/8c Dijon mustard (non-negotiable)
  • 1/4c of sweet and tangy (slightly tart apples like pink ladies, craisins, or red grapes)


  1. Shred chicken breast. I do this by hand, it doesn’t have to be pretty.
  2. Add vegetables first and mix. Then add each ingredient one at a time to ensure it is evenly mixed.
  3. Add eggs, mayo, yogurt, and mustard.
  4. Add fruit last so as not to crush it and cause it to bleed.  Gently toss.
  5. Serve with croissants or wraps for a healthier choice.


This recipe serves 8 with two tablespoons as a serving. I calculated the most caloric ingredients for the nutrition facts.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g 8 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 69 mg 23 %
Sodium 113 mg 5 %
Potassium 145 mg 4 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 3 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 11 g 22 %
Vitamin A 19 %
Vitamin C 4 %
Calcium 3 %
Iron 3 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Berry Skinny Mojito (like what I did with the name?)


  • 2 Tsp. Raw Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Boiling hot water
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Concentrate
  • 1/4 C Frozen Berries
  • 1/2 C Cold Water
  • 1 1/2 oz White Rum
  • 4 Mint Leaves


  1. Dissolve sugar in hot water for a quick simple syrup
  2. Pour over Frozen Berries and let sit if you have time (it’s not necessary it just makes the drink sweeter)
  3. Add the Lime Concentrate, Water (and ice if you’d like), Rum, and Mint
  4. Mix in a blender until the berries are pureed.
  5. Garnish with additional mint if you’d like. And Enjoy!

This drink is delicious and refreshing, plus it’s less than 75 calories a serving! It also pairs well with the chicken salad anytime of year, but particularly on a hot summer day.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 74
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0 g 0 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 4 mg 0 %
Potassium 0 mg 0 %
Total Carbohydrate 6 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 3 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 0 g 0 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 3 %
Calcium 1 %
Iron 1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

et cetera