Sunday, January 13, 2019

Military Double Bun Hair Tutorial

Military Hair Tutorial, Double Bun Tutorial, Slicked Back Bun Tutorial, Easy Hairstyles, Military Bun

It's been two years since I shared a beauty tutorial, but I've received a lot of questions recently about how to achieve a slicked-back, simple bun with no fly-aways. This is my go-to option during the week, taking less than 3-minutes to fix up and with a secure hold that will stay all day. I love this bun style because it can be used and modified for (almost) all hair lengths (as long as you can get your hair into a bun).

Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Love ♥ The Rowes and all of our adventures

Past Christmas cards: 2011 │ 201220132014201520162017

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Oregon Coast Friendcation November 2018

And back to Oregon we go! We had gone back in May with our friends Jason and Andi, and we were so excited to make another trip back to Florence. We piled into their car in the middle of November (sorry, didn't get a chance to publish it until now--work and school are are crazy these days). We sang, told stories, made each other laugh with family oddities, and played weird car-travel games on the 10-hour trip to the coast.

Our first stop was in Bend, Oregon. We Yelped the best breakfast spots and found ourselves at the McKay Cottage. Oh my goodness--it was good. I had the cottage potatoes and a buttermilk biscuit and was in complete heaven.

After our short pit-stop in Bend, we traveled on to the coast, heading straight for the beach. On our last trip to Florence, Daniel and I found 718 agates. We were itching to get back out to the beach to see if that was a one-off beginner's luck agate-finding spree or if we were going to be that lucky yet again. To our elation, the agates were again out in full force (along with the sun!) during our weekend voyage. It didn't take long to fill our fanny packs with some sweet finds at Bob Creek outside Yachats, and while we didn't count the agates this trip, we sure found quite a haul.

We poked around Bob Creek and Strawberry Hill that first evening until our stomachs were telling us it was time for dinner! We wound up at Luna Sea Fish House in Yachats, and ordered the only thing you order when you're on the Oregon Coast--fish and chips. Man oh man, they were delicious! From the agate hunting to the fish and chips, our first day on the coast was worth the trip in itself.

Our second day on the coast was an adventure. We began the morning doing homework (oh, the joys of pursuing a Masters degree and having to write research papers), and then drove down to Coos Bay for some fresh oysters. We pondered around a gift shop and headed back to Florence, loving the time we spent down there (gift shop, food, drive), but the weather down south from Florence was in the low 40's, cloudy, and drizzly, while it was back up in the 60's and sunny where we were staying. So after our tour of Coos Bay and surrounding towns, we headed back north for some more adventures.

That evening, we found ourselves at the Stillwagon Distillery in Florence, sampling all of the delicious rums that Devil's Own had to offer. Of all the flavors, I loved the cranberry rum (to mix with soda or gingerale!) and cinnamon rum the most. We sampled quite a few of the flavors (or almost all, to be frank) and headed home to grill up some of those fresh oysters we purchased in Coos Bay.

After getting our fill of seafood, we gallivanted off to the Three Rivers Casino to lose a bit (truly only a bit!) of money. It was only my third time gambling ever--the first had been with Jason & Andrea back in May--so I didn't have high expectations for my gambling skills. After ups and downs and slots and lots of triple butterflies, we headed home and--despite gambling losses--rejoiced in a successful day.

I began the third morning with a quiet before-the-sunrise run along Siuslaw river. The way the dunes creep along the coastline is really majestic (how else do you describe it?) and since I couldn't sleep in any longer, a peaceful run around Florence was just the ticket to start my day off right.

After my run and a visit to the local coffee shop, we took the short drive to Stonefield beach. While we didn't have much luck with agates, the beach was beautiful, serene, and totally empty. We simply couldn't believe our luck with the weather that weekend, it was nicer than it was when we were there in May--in late fall!

As you can see, our agate hunting on the third day proved to be successful. We visited Bob Creek again and realized that Mondays on the beach are the best because everyone else was at work and we had the agates all to ourselves. In fact, Daniel and I found a huge rock that was pretty magical indeed, because every time the waves hit it, new agates seemed to wash up alongside it. We stood there for at least 20 minutes and gathered one to two agates with each new wave. Daniel's were all really amazing; mine were just OK. But it was still a pretty surreal thing to just watch these little (or big, in Daniel's case) agates wash up at our feet time and time again.

After everyone hauled in a giant load of agates (Daniel, Andrea, and Jason found some REALLY big ones!--mine in the photo above do not do theirs justice!), we shopped around Yachats for a while before grabbing drinks, eating delicious Mexican food, and watching Monday Night Football (go Chiefs!!!) at Traveler's Cove in Florence. And how better to spend the rest of our evening than at the casino (again!)--except this time we went home with money, unlike previous adventures. Now, we didn't really WIN anything, we just didn't LOSE anything either. In fact, I played slots for about two hours and walked away with what I came in with... I'd consider that a win after all!

None of us were particularly excited to head home to Boise the next day, but alas--work was calling and our turtle needed to be fed, so off we went. It always seems like our trips to the coast are not long enough, and they keep getting better each time we go back. We didn't count our agates this trip, but this time it wasn't so much about that. It was a great trip with our friends, and we made some fun memories along the way.

I know I've been posting a lot of travels lately, but that's been our life these days. Why not, right? I'm just so grateful for my job, for weekends off, for good friends, and for people who I get to spend my life with (Daniel, friends and family), who like to adventure as much as I do! Stay tuned for more adventures to come.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Our Sixth Anniversary

Goodness gracious, Daniel. Six years. I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am for you and everything we get to share together... I couldn't ask for a better friend to be there with me through thick and thin.

In looking at the last year, our sixth year was the year of travel. Why not, right? No kids yet, finances in decent order, trips and dreams and travels on our mind... so we just went for it!

Palm Desert in April, Oregon Coast in May, Washington in July, Orlando in September, San Diego in October, Oregon Coast in November, and soon to be Hawaii this month. AAAAAnnnndddd not to mention my other trips to Montana, Mississippi, Oregon, Alabama, and all those weekends up in McCall. Jeez, that's a lot of traveling--it's been a great year to do it!

This is the first year that we haven't had to spend more than a week or so apart for military training stuff and it's been a memorable, amazing year. I love spending time with you, and if I'm going to be away from home--I want you to be there with me! So that's exactly what we did this year. We just explored and loved every minute of it--mostly the time spent together. 

I just love the adventures we take. We are always going, always working, always doing schoolwork, always giving of our time in so many different areas--traveling is the one thing we do just for us and I wouldn't trade a day of it. Between travel, golf league, both being in school, fantasy football, family, church group, friends, and our date nights--every day with you is exciting.

You're my road trip buddy, my airplane copilot, my snorkeling companion, my beach walk agate-hunter, my golf teammate, my snake-hunting hiker, my game-day co-fanatic, my prayer partner, and my absolute best friend. I love you. Happy Sixth Anniversary, sweetheart.

Past Anniversary Posts: Year OneYear TwoYear ThreeYear FourYear Five

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Montgomery TDY

187th Figher Wing, F16 Red Tails

I guess I haven't talked about my job lately--but boy, I've sure seen a lot of different states traveling with my job in the last year. No, I haven't deployed yet (I want to!) but I have been to Great Falls, MT, Gulfport, MS and Orlando, FL. This work trip to Mongtomery, AL was highly anticipated and was worth the wait.

As you know, I'm a member of the Security Forces Squadron here in Boise, Idaho with the Idaho Air National Guard. I worked as a temp from June 2016 - Feb 2018 with the squadron (there's not a full-time position available for me within the squadron). Temp work is hard and comes without any benefits (leave, pension, health benefits, etc), so when I was offered something different (and for a lot more pay!) this past March, I jumped on it! From March - October, I was full-time in our Inspector General office as the Wing Planner. Concurrently, I also served unofficially as our Wing's Chief of Information Protection (CIP) (classified info, security clearances, etc). In October, I was offered the full-time, permanent job as our Wing's CIP, and I am so grateful to be able to have that position within our Wing! I still get to work with Security Forces on drill weekends, but during the week I work for the Wing and really enjoy the job that I get to do there because I get to work with everyone! It's a great opportunity for career broadening and enhancement, and will significantly help me down the road when I hope (fingers crossed!) to someday be in Command.

Anyway, this work trip was part SF and part CIP related. It was a week-long training course and I was able to travel down with my SF boss, so that made the trip very enjoyable. I had been to Montgomery once before for Officer Training School, and I was so excited to go back this time and explore Montgomery more than I had been able to before. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't too cooperative while we were down there, but I still was able to enjoy many of the local eateries and get my fill of BBQ and seafood.

Montgomery Alabama

It's not that the weather was bad, by any means, but it was just cloudy, drizzly, and a bit chilly. But t was a nice break from the 30's and 40's in Boise!

Our training took place at the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field in Montgomery. It was a very nice facility to spend the week in. During lunches, my boss and I explored Montgomery and sampled foods from the infamous eateries there, including Dreamland BBQ, Fatman's BBQ, Baumhauers, and the Montgomery Stockyards.

After our lectures each day, we'd hit the gym at Dannelly Field (it was the perfect size to get in and out for a workout without it being too crowded) and then we'd go watch football and eat delicious food in the evenings. We were pretty predictable on this trip--eat, lecture, eat, gym, then counteract the gym and drink, football, eat, sleep.

Below are some of the photos of all of the above!

Wintzells Montgomery Alabama

I liked Wintzell's Oyster House in downtown Montgomery. I was able to get in some good Monday Night Football at the bar all to myself, and chowed down on charbroiled oysters, grits, and collard greens. It felt like a true, southern, authentic meal!

Dreamland BBQ Montgomery Alabama

We ate at Dreamland BBQ twice. I didn't love the stew I got the first time, but the BBQ pulled pork sandwich I ordered the second time was incredible. Plus, their restaurant is set up for some awesome football-watching!

Jalapenos Mexican Food Mongtomery, Pollo Fundido

So, I know it's not BBQ, but the meal above, the Pollo Fundido, from Jalapenos at The Alley in downtown Montgomery was so so so good. I could eat that every week along with a side of chips and salsa and a large margarita for the rest of my life.

Aviator Bar Montgomery Alabama

One of the coolest (well, I guess the ONLY) bar I visited was the Aviator Bar in downtown Montgomery. I loved all the different aircraft they had on display, and while I didn't order a cocktail, all the ones I saw being made looked really good!

Hank Williams Statue Montgomery Alabama

Standing alongside the Hank Williams statue in downtown Montgomery.

Capitol Oyster Bar Montgomery Alabama, Gumbo

The gumbo at Capitol Oyster Bar was to die for. I'm a big gumbo and jambalaya fan, and as most places don't serve it in Idaho, I almost always order it when I'm in the south. My favorite part about that spot wasn't only the food, but the service was amazing!

Candied brown sugar pecan bacon

The 187th's Security Forces Squadron hosted our training, and they were such gracious hosts. One of the guys made this incredible candied pecan bacon that was insanely yummy. I got the recipe and made it for my family for Thanksgiving. It was gone quick!

Firebirds Montgomery Alabama

Ok, I know they're a chain but Firebirds Wood Fired Grill makes some of the darned best salads I've ever had. We don't have them in Idaho, so I always enjoy eating their food when I can. The BLT salad with cheese and shrimp was SO good. In fact, I ate there twice that week and ordered the same thing both times. It was THAT good.

Montgomery Stockyards, Alabama

One of the most interesting places I visited was the Montgomery Stockyards. Yes, it's a stockyard, but it's also a restaurant. The food wasn't super impressive (I ordered a steak sandwich and it was literally a piece of steak on a plain bun...), but the stockyard display was awesome. I'd love to go back for some live action (and maybe to try something... else).

187th Figher Wing, F16 Red Tails

I got an up-close-and-personal look at the F-16 Red Tails. I think the heritage there with the history behind the Tuskegee Airmen is really cool. In addition, if you click back up to the first picture in this post, I also got to see one of my teammates from the Air Force Marathon's MAJCOM Challenge Team. He and I ran on the team together in 2016 and 2017. I hadn't realized he was stationed at Dannelly Field. As soon as we put two and two together, we scheduled a run for after my classes one day and he absolutely kicked my butt. I was grateful to catch up with him!

Oyster House Mobile Alabama

Another highlight of my trip was catching up with another friend who I met at the AF Marathon in 2015, and then went to Officer Training School with in 2016 (it was a coincidence), and then ran with him at the AF Marathon again in 2017. Our military travels keep leading us to the same spots (I was TDY at the same spot as him in Montana earlier this year), so each time we get to catch up it's always a good time!

So... I promise I actually worked on this trip. I don't talk too much about what I actually do at work mostly because I can't (that's legit). I'm very fortunate to have an awesome job, but a lot of what I do is sensitive stuff, so I don't share much about it. But if you have questions--you can always ask!

The entire week spent in Montgomery, Alabama, minus the 20-hour trip home (delays, awful!) was so fun, relaxing, enjoyable, and quite tasty! Thanks for sharing in my love of all-things-food-and-travel... it seems that's all I do these days!