saditycents











{February 1, 2017}  

You know that time where life is happening so fast and all of its blog worthy but you can’t seem to keep up with it all? Yea, me too. The last six months have been a blur of blogable events and yet I haven’t really blogged. So I figured maybe if I just list everything that’s been going on then I can organize my thoughts and pump out some posts. So here we go:

  1. Husband and I developed a fertility diet for me after weeks of research based on some great books and blogs. 
  2. We found out we were pregnant after one cycle on the diet. Which was wonderful because we’d been trying for awhile and had received really distressing news from the doctor. I attribute a lot of this to faith in action. I had faith God would make a way, but I didn’t sit on my laurels either. 
  3. We celebrated a milestone birthday for hubby with a trip to Yellowstone National Park. It was amazing and we loved it. 
  4. Then I went about finding the right care provider by of course researching. Who would have know this sadity girl is crunchy when it comes to her baby. I wasn’t impressed with the apathetic or overly medical options I was being offered with traditional medicine so we picked a midwife. What! It’s actually becoming more common but mine is not associated with a hospital so for me that meant I could seek the care I want and not the treatments dictated to me. 
  5. I have had to do a lot of traveling for work and family in the last few months. Which has helped me come up with a pretty stellar travel “must haves” list for the pregnant woman. 
  6. I also switched my fertility diet and exercise routine to a prenatal one. I didn’t follow one particular plan but rather I took practice options from several to create a plan for a real pregnant person. You know one who is has a  below average fitness commitment and likes food (even if it does make her sick right now).
  7. I put together a registry early on based on great advice from my sister and mother, two vets in the game. It’s also gender neutral!
  8. I’ve resisted the new mom stereotype of everything must be new and instead opted for a Sadity Cents type nursery and baby preparation. 
  9. I’m prepping for taxes because organization and life don’t stop with a baby. 
  10. And of course cooking! I will say that’s fewer and far between because standing and smelling for too long just aren’t working right now. 
  11. As a bonus I figured out the man I married is awesome! And really is the best daddy-to-be. He’s consistently take on a number of chores and pampering techniques to make this a wonderful pregnancy. 

Follow the links, which I will add as I write the relevant posts. Said posts will be written in between naps, so please be patient. ūüôā



{December 19, 2016}   Let’s Play Catch Up

It’s nearing the end of the year and I’m in a reflective mood.  I was looking at all of the photos on my camera and all of the blog posts that I started and didn’t finish. Some don’t even seem relevant, but that is the beauty of blogging. Someone may read this years from now and my blogs are completely relevant. to them. So I decided why not finish up some of the vacation series and other topics series I never finished so at least for posterity there will be a complete set and the timeline of my life won’t be missing large chunks.  So over the next few weeks you may see several posts that are linked to older posts. I’m just playing catch up and then I can write about all of the current and amazing things that are going on in my life. See you next year my friends!



Hubby and I made some bbq after church and packed up a picnic one Sunday afternoon. We went to a local dam where Lewis and Clark traveled during their trek to the Pacific Northwest. It was absolutely beautiful!

One of the things I hope people get from my blog whether you are in a military or civilian family. Find the fun where you are at. My husband and I aren’t stationed where we want to be, we weren’t previously when we were in Korea. But we have purposed to embrace the adventure…



Today was by far one of our best days if not the best day in NYC so far. We started off kind of late, choosing to sleep in since we knew we’d have a relative late night. We did the most quintessential thing you can do in New York… Broadway! Then we went to our favorite part of Manhattan… Harlem and at the famous soul food restaurant¬†Sylvia’s.¬†Finally, we ended the evening at the Apollo, which was an amazing experience. But the best part of it all was doing it all without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for plays and performances in NYC:

1) Broadway on a Budget. Finding reasonably priced Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets really isn’t that difficult, even if you are not military. First, let me define “Broadway” v. “Off-Broadway.” I heard a woman say she didn’t want and off-Broadway show because they’re amateurs. Not true! Broadway v. Off- Broadway has very little to do with the caliber of the performance or its location (there are off-Broadway shows on the street known as “Broadway”). In practical terms the difference between the two is the seat capacity of the theater in which the performance takes place.¬†Broadway theaters¬†all have at least 500 seats, while Off-Broadway theaters have 100 to 499 seats. Theaters with 99 and below are considered Off Off- Broadway. There are few exceptions to this rule and only¬†Broadway shows are eligible for Tony Awards, but that’s the most important difference for the lay person.

With that said there are a few great resources for cheap tickets to live shows. First the USO for military travelers. They often have tickets to free shows and/ or access to discount codes you can use for tickets. While we were in NYC we watched the musical Trip of Love courtesy of the USO.  The tickets range from $45-107. We were in the $107 section which is Front Orchestra and our tickets were FREE! We also received free tickets to a sketch comedy show free, but the theater had a 2 drink minimum. Still, both great deals and greatly appreciated.

IMG_0153

Next, is the TKTS booth run by the Theater Development Fund. Same day and next-day matinee tickets are made available at a 40-50% off discount. The website is a live-action website so you always know exactly which tickets are available.  

I was told to prepare to stand in line for an hour to 2 hours, but the trick is to go to one of the two booths outside Time Square. I went to the one near Battery Park and spent maybe 15 minutes in line and received my first choice of tickets.¬†We chose the matinee so we wouldn’t have to change plans for that day. We saw The Color Purple¬†and it was truly transformative. I’ve read the book, watched the movie, and seen the musical. But this particular Broadway performance was amazing!

    

Finally, a little know tip about theaters is that they like to fill there seats. Artists hate performing to empty chairs. So if you know what you want to see, check the TKTS website, because if they are selling tickets, that means there are empty seats. Then wait until about 15 minutes before the performance walk up to the ticket counter. They will often sell the tickets for even steeper discounts that the TKTS booth and you avoid the fees. If you have a student ID they have $25 last minute tickets at some theaters and some even do military discount, but the TKTS rate is usually better than the military discount.

2) Beyond Broadway.  There are also other performance beyond Broadway. I already mentioned the sketch comedy. But go outside the traditional tourist activities. We went to the Apollo for Amateur Night.
Apollo2

The historic theater goes out of its way to make sure you get your money’s worth. Regular priced tickets range from $20-33 dollars, so its a good deal no matter what. However their student and military discount tickets are probably the best deal I saw in NYC. $12 dollars gets you the best seats they have open with ID. We sat in the second row, so seats that should have costs us $66 total, for two people, were $24. For that price we got a lively pre-show with great music, a hilarious DJ and MC, and interactive dancing and fun. Then they always have a musical guest who is a great profession and often a recognizable face. The night we went Deborah Cox was the performer and as lover of 90’s music that was a big deal for me. We were even able to meet her and get autographs during the intermission. IMG_0383¬†It was nice knowing you could be viewing the next big artist with the amateur performers. Let me tell you, most performers may not have made it big yet, but they are anything but second rate. The performances were amazing and even when they weren’t we had the¬†fun of “booing” people¬†of stage in the tradition of the¬†Apollo As they say, “Be good or be gone!”

Movies and more. If movies are more your style, then the New York Parks offers free movie night just about every day of the week and at several different parks. The one I was interested in was the HBO movie series at Byrant Park every Monday, but they have just about every genre and kid-friendly nights as well. Pack food and a blanket and have fun.

We didn’t attend, but there is also a free concert series and theater series through New York Parks.

3. Other Discount Venders. There are also websites that have tickets allotted specifically for military and vets, such as: VetTix; GovX; and Veterans Advantage

We signed up for one before our trip but they didn’t seem to have tickets to any major attractions, rather minor league baseball and small venue rock concerts, but it’s always worth a shot.

All in all, we had a great time and there’s even more tips to come…

 

 



We are on our 30 day leave in between South Korea and our next base. Yay!!! These next thirty days are going to be whirlwind. We plan to visit my family, his family, New York for our anniversary, and finally road trip to the next duty station. Yep, we’re crazy. LOL

  1. Airplane Tickets.¬†Anyways the first big stop on our tour is New York. We found cheap seats to NY on travelocity.com and booked to red eyes to NY for less than $650. We were pretty flexible with our dates and times so that helped. From the airport we took the subway to our hotel. A little note about the subway. I read online that Military ID holders can receive 25% of off passes if you buy them from an MTA office. But the clerk there said there was no such thing, but did say showing ID would let you on buses and subways free. This seems like a big hassle because we would have to stand in a long line in front of the MTA counter, then show our ID and then the clerk would push a button to let us in free. I’ll probably ask a couple more people to make sure this guy knows what he’s talking about.
  2. ¬†Accommodations.¬†Then because we are military we booked rooms at the¬†Soldiers‚Äô, Sailors‚Äô, Marines, & Airmen‚Äôs Club. It’s an old hostel for service members turned hostel for service members and dependents. The accommodations are spectacular but the draw is that they are located on Lexington Ave. and within walking distance of midtown Manhattan. The price is also a draw $130-$165 for a room. Just don’t expect a smiling staff or warm and fuzzy feelings. But considering the next closest hotel runs about$400 a night and we don’t plan to spend much time in the room anyways, it’s a good deal for us.
  3. Manhattan¬†USO. We flew in to the JFK airport and attempted to visit their USO, but it was locked and no one seemed to be scheduled to man the facility. It’s a shame because a few people came by looking for assistance. However, I did find the best help at the Manhatten USO which is located a couple blocks from time square in the Port Authority Building on the second floor (43 Street & 8th Ave.). They have free tickets to shows, discounts on tours, helpful tips from New Yorkers. We met the sweetest woman named Emma and she was amazing, telling us how to get places free, and where the best discounts were. It’s almost too much to describe. So here is a link to them and they have an entire booklet of discounts offered for Active Duty ID holders. Here is a link to the discount booklet.

 

 

 



{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.



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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Method 

  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.

Notes

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?)

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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.


My parents came to visit my husband and I in South Korea! They are our first, and probably only, houseguests. Needles

Because South Korea takes some getting used to, I think a hostess should plan in advance for her guests. 

In preparation of their visit I did a deep cleaning of the house. I thought that this would be a good time to exclaim my love of all things essential oils. Right now my staples are: lavender, tea tree oil, and peppermint. Peppermint is an old southern trick to rid farmhouse kitchens and pantries of rodents. For me, my kitchen just doesn’t feel thoroughly cleaned unless it has the smell of real peppermint. It’s also great for killing drain and sink oder. In my bathrooms and bedrooms I used lavender. For the toilets in particular I combine borax, lavender, and tea tree oil and let it sit after cleaning to fill the bathroom with a clean and calming fragrance.  I use tea tree oil for almost every cleaning combination whether peppermint or lavender or orange oil (for my wood and leather furniture). I don’t support any particular company as I have found I have different fragrances from different companies. Maybe one day I’ll do a review of all the brands I’ve tried. 

After the thorough cleaning I fixed up the master bedroom for my parents. The heat has definitely broken in the last week or so but its still pretty warm at night. The apartments don’t have central air so I decided my parents, who aren’t used to even this cooled down version of heat, should stay in the bedroom with an air conditioner. 

I also prepared a “Korea Kit,” some basic essentials for life in Korea, especially in the more rural area where the majority of military bases are located. The kit consisted of a t-money travel card for subway and bus travel, a reflector belt for after dark travel on roads without sidewalks and speeding cars, a water bottle and towel for walking the everyday heat and humidity, a subway map – map of the base, and contact information sheet complete with instructions to find their way home or to our Seoul hotel if they get lost, a phrase card with basic phases, and an itinerary for the next two weeks. 

South Korea is confusing, even for seasoned travelers like my parents. So I did my best to provide them with the tools they would need to enjoy all that Korea has to offer without feeling completely dependent on me for assistance. My parents loved the kits and found them to be quite useful. I think this is a good idea anytime a first time visitor stays I your area but particularly when you are living overseas. 

Here’s a generic checklist of things to have prepared for them:

  • Basic phrases in the local language.
  • Itinerary for their time in the area.
  • Easy to follow instructions to your (the host’s) home.
  • Basic map of the area.
  • Subway or bus map with important landmarks highlighted. 
  • Subway or bus card with a small amount on it. 
  • Reflecting belt (if they will have to walk from public transportation spots at night). 
  • Items to combat the elements of your particular region that your guests might not be prepared for. We included a towel, hand sanitizer, wipes (check out my bathroom post), a water bottle, and a small umbrella. In hindsight I would have also included sunscreen. I am happy to say that almost all of the items were needed at one point or another and I was proud that I had accurately anticipated the needs of my guests. 

Are there any other suggestions for future kits?



I have to say this last weekend was pretty amazing. My husband and I definitely needed it. While many brag about how fun South Korea is and all the benefits of being stationed here, what they sometimes over look is how stressful it can be. Being stationed in South Korea has unique challenges. For one you are technically still in a war zone and there is a layer of stress that never really goes away while you’re here. I had one seasoned wife say that Korea will either make your marriage or break your marriage. I didn’t understand until I started to see almost weekly postings on the local flea market Facebook page of spouses looking to sell large amounts of household goods quickly because they were unexpectedly moving back to the states early due to separation. I have my theories of why this occurs (long hours, tons of rules and regulations, always on call, too many bars, too many women), but the point is it occurs. And even if you aren’t on the brink of divorce just the fact that you, as the spouse, spend large amounts of time alone (welcome to military life in general) can add a layer of stress. For us there really hasn’t been too much tension but as a newlywed couple I wouldn’t mind seeing my husband more than the almost weekly schedule we’re on. I try to keep a brave face because, one, I have it better than many spouses who came here only to find that their service member was being sent to neighboring countries  for an undetermined amount of time, and two, I’ve used the time to develop my own adventures. Still sometimes you don’t realize how much you’ve missed someone until you are actually back with them. This week my husband had four days off resulting in a long weekend, yay! So far it’s been one of our best weekends yet. 

First, I’ve been taki cooking courses at the Airmen Family & Readiness Center. I fancy myself a pretty good cook but the spouse teaching the courses is a graduate of the Cordon Blue cooking school, so there’s always more to learn. I used our first night together to practice an Italian meal we made in class. The dish received reviews. 

Anti-pasta with bruschetta and grilled pineapples with mozzarella. I even bought a nice bottle of wine for the occasion. 

  
The next day we were up early to join the chapel on a trip to the seaside city of Busan. I highly recommend couples taking trips through the chapels on their bases. It really cuts the cost and it was nice to have travel and hotel arranged for us. We only spent one night in Busan but it was a really nice trip, I hope to go back soon. 

We followed up our trip to Busan with date night! We tried out a wine bar we’d been looking at for a while I  was a little disappointed in the food selection but not by the cocktails. It’s such a cute and cosy atmosphere but you should probably have dinner before hand. 

Afterwards we went to one of our favorite sushi restaurants where I tried the fabled drink soju. I enjoyed it but couldn’t finish the tall glass. Probably because it isn’t a dive bar, I didn’t find the drink as potent as some claim. Either that or I can really hold my liquor which is also true. 

Finally we finished the weekend up with a free bowling, the bowling alley on base offers free bowling during lunch. It was fun just to do something silly and carefree. 

It was a great weekend which ended with the great news that my husband’s schedule might be stabilizing soon and that he’ll actually get to sleep at home! Yay!



{August 31, 2015}   A Night Out in Seoul

Honey and I went up to Seoul for our first marriage retreat. Yay! It was really nice. Part of the retreat was to go out together for an evening alone. While we’ve visited Seoul before we’ve never been out at night because we had to get back to the base by curfew (yep, there’s a curfew). This time, the Chapel hosting the retreat provided a hotel room. First, let me say, I am seriously dealing jealousy issues being that we are not stationed in Seoul. After going to that base, I am questioning everyone who said our base was the best. I would love to live in Seoul rather than the rural area we live in, but I am thankful I am at least close enough to visit every other weekend. So here are some pictures from our night out. I loved Seoul before, but it has my heart now that I’ve seen it at night.

3 towers -1 3 towers 2 4 religions 1 Aug 29 -1 Cross in the night 1 Dragon Hill 1



et cetera