IM BACK IN MA!?!?!?

HI GUYSSSSSS

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&haha to the readers I got with that click bait 😉 I am actually REwriting this post. This was due to be posted on Tuesday. I was having technical difficulties, and decided today would be the day…and I ended up losing the whole post. I was attempting to upload it on my new domain, that I have been working on for so long now..but alas it was a fail. But I drank a cup of coffee in hopes it would give me the energy to put away my mountain of laundry, but it didn’t. It did motivate me to get this rewritten and put on Netflix in the background! SO–where have I been? Where am I? Whats new?

There’s been lots of rumors going around that I moved back home, and one creepy app in particular had some nasty individuals speaking about me being “back home, and broken up with the Army guy.” Not sure where all that craziness got started, but I did not move home, and “Army guy” and I are still happily together. Well, in heart, not distance. But we’ll get there.

I DID GO HOME FOR A QUICK MINUTE THOUGH! It was rough timing with Jim, but I drove home for the weekend a couple weeks back with the pup for my family’s 6th Annual BBQ Reunion, and my best friend Mariah’s bridal shower! I had a blast, and also came back to Fort Drum an exhausted mess. I swear Im only now getting back to normal, and getting Cadence and I back into a good routine.

The morning of the BBQ started off a bit rough. I got into MA around 1am, after working all day, and then hopping in the car with my pup.

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I headed to my brother’s house to help him out with some cooking and run errands–but the morning ended up being me stuck in tourist trap beach traffic, and then having to tend to my frantic Momma B who took Cadence to the carwash. My crazy rescue pup got a little nervous and went “cray cray” as Momma B would say, chewing on the dashboard of her brand new car, and biting at the water on the windshield. Traumatizing for Momma and Cade. But alas, after all the craziness, the show went on!

I didnt get a TON of photos (unlike me) but I was really just enjoying my time, and trying not to get to sad with all the “Where is Jimmy?” questions. Even some of the Wollinger fam, and even their super awesome neighbors, The Palen’s came by!

Cadence had a pretty overwhelming day and had to have a nice nap with baby Levi.

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Later on my adorable big brother had his coworkers that were on duty come by for some food and brought all the children at the BBQ out to see the fire truck!

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The night ended with lots of laughs with old friends, a couple rounds of beer pong, and this epic Momma who couldn’t let Levi who thought it was still party time, cramp her style!

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The next morning was the morning of my best friend Mariah’s bridal shower!!! I am her maid of honor, and I have to say, that with the crazy distance, and mess that was planning this, us bridesmaids did a pretty banging job with the partayyy.

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&Of course before Cadence and I headed home (with lots of technical difficulties..) I had to show this pup the ocean, and what she gets to look forward to every time we visit, and when we finally do get to bring her back to our home. She couldn’t stop sniffing the air. Neither could I. Miss that salt air..

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But back to reality, and Cadence and I are home in Fort Drum! Had a crazy past few weeks in the office, and finally got the house picked up and things back in order this weekend. Aside from that mountain of laundry… But things are a little different in the Benson/Wollinger household….because Jimbob is DEPLOYED. Yep the D word has finally become reality and it sucks. We’re being told this shouldn’t be a long one. But I won’t say too much more in the name of OPSEC. But I can tell you, that I miss that dude like crazy. Things have been all over the place lately, but I am settling in and getting into a routine, and crazy office life/preparing to finish my bachelors has been keeping me busy. But getting into bed, and having his side be empty is not easy. This house being so quiet…is strange.

I wasn’t sure how I would do with him leaving this time. After all, the first week after he left for OSUT I was a MESS. That was our first time being separated. But I was at home, with my friends and family, in familiar territory.

But honestly…this time around I’ve been more “okay.” If that is the right way to say it. It’s scarier because I know my man is now in a dangerous place. But..I’m holding it together. Not crying in my room and thinking the world is ending, and all that teenage angsty stuff. Because life goes on. Living on post has given me the opportunity to be surrounded by all of these Army families. Might not be my family…but it’s inspiring to see all of these families, with small children keep on going, when their husbands and wives are deployed. Because if my Dad taught me anything, it’s that life does go on. Whether you chose to be present or not. &This time, I chose to be okay. Because my life will continue to move. I will continue to hustle and build my own career, and take care of my baby Cade. &Hold the fort down until my handsome man is back by my side farting and stinking the place out, and making strange noises, and whistling the Hunger Games whistle when he’s hungry.

So here’s to all the military families KILLIN it with keeping it together when life hands you orders.

 

Until next time.

 

“Im gonna put my body first, and love me so hard till it hurts….gonna love myself and I don’t need anybody else.”–Hailee Steinfeld (This song is my jam)

//xo

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What I’ve Been Up To/Rambles

Hi guys.

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Things have been pretty mundane in the Benson/Wollinger household. But I haven’t blogged in a while, and I felt inspired to write. So, I apologize if this post becomes wordy, all over the place and maybe a semi recap/spill my guts session.

So, lets start with the recap…here’s what I’ve been up to:

Jim and I went back to my home town a couple of weekends ago for my Uncle Jim’s service. That service has a whole lot to do with things that have been running through my mind lately, but we’ll get there later. I didnt take too many photos while in my hometown, but we had a really good time spending the day with my brother and old friends out on the boat. Made some memories I certainly will never forget.

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Before we headed back on Sunday, we took Jim’s Dad out to breakfast for Father’s Day, at our favorite spot, Red’s in Salem, MA. His little brother Andrew, sisters Karla and Amber and brother in law Rob were there too, so obviously we had to do a photo shoot.

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THEN, my BFF Caroline who is the best person ever introduced us to the North Country’s version of a beach. Wasn’t half bad…still no comparison to the beaches back home….but the “lake beach” off Lake Ontario was pretty awesome. Any day is a good day when Caroline and the little dude are involved. ❤

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Jim’s sisters, and brother and law made a surprise visit too just for a night last weekend! We had SO MUCH FUN. We had a family dinner together, with our friend Sean as well–Jim and I were freaking out we were so excited…we’ve never had that many people at our table. Jimbo may or may not have been our “DJ” for the night while we had drinks and played Cards Against Humanity…. and this is actually the only picture I got of the entire trip….caption it in the comments:

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Sunday we went to Old Forge! For those of you who don’t know what/where that is–it’s a beautiful place in Upstate NY….basically what I imagined it would be like when I moved up here…but alas…you have to go about an hour and a half from post to see the true beauty of this place. We drove up jamming out to some classic rap songs until we lost service..and once we finally got there (Jimmy yells at me for not following the GPS….this kid took us like 20 min out of the way…don’t let him tell you any different..) we stopped for lunch at Walt’s Diner. We didn’t have too much planned, so we just walked around all the shops, and acted like the tourists we are.  I definitely got a cute little ice-cream shaped treat for my pup in honor of National Ice Cream Day! I actually didn’t have any ice-cream though! 😦

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The banker side of me got REAL excited when seeing the Life is Good store had an old vault…though they did fill it with Crocs…haha

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OH! That brings me to this! One last thing to catch you up on…..drum roll please….(for those of you that follow me on ANY social media, you already know)…BUT, let’s give an official blog fam welcome to CADENCE WOLLINGER!

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Don’t mind my pants covered in fur..we had JUST picked her up, so the cats in the humane society were all OVER ME. 

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We have been searching and searching for months for our forever pup, and we rescued this sweet girl from the Steven Swan Humane Society in Utica, NY. Her name was Candy (not quite sure if that was her name originally) and she was lovingly renamed Cadence. She has acclimated to the name very well…and as some of you know, back home we have a family dog named Lola..

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She’s on the left, that sweetie on the right was her pup Cadence….so it was a tribute to her, as well as a tribute to our love for the US military. ❤ Cadence is a boxer mix, and she was a boney wreck when we got her. She had kennel cough and her nipples were basically dragging on the floor. We think she may have been used as a breeding machine, and dumped at the shelter…but she is in her happy forever home now..and boy does she feel it!

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Ok…now that you’re caught up on some of the goings on around here…ramble time. I’ve had so much on my mind lately. So many things are coming up in my life that are pretty exciting/scary/just all the emotions. Some of those things include me going back to school at night to finish up my bachelors….that’s super exciting to me, but scary, because it’s going to be a lot with working full time, but ya gotta do what you gotta do as an adult–I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again! 🙂 My best friend Mariah has her wedding coming up, and I’m her Maid of Honor–so we’ve got lots of planning, and bridal showering, and things to get done before I fly to Savannah in December. THAT being said, there has been a lot going on personally that have been weighing on my mind. I won’t go into too much detail, but I can tell you that its making my heart hurt. I’ve seen some people I love recently just do things and say things…that just aren’t ok. It’s hard growing up and thinking that the world is one way, and believing in people so much, only to have your eyes opened to realize that people you thought you knew…aren’t who you thought they were. True, genuine, kind, loyal people, family members, aren’t very common. &The ones that are, need to be cherished. When I love you, as a family member, as a friend, as a significant other–I love with everything. I was raised that way. I love you with all my might, defend you till the end, but let you know when you are wrong, and expect you to do the same for me. Every big moment in your life, is a big moment in mine. Since my Grandpy and my Uncle’s passing…it’s been way too much. Because you see…Grandpy and Uncle Jim were two of those people that I loved so fiercely. &Seeing others agendas play out during a time of grieving is hard. But it’s a part of life, and another thing I’ve learned in this crazy journey as a 20 something. Life is short, spend time with those you love, celebrate the happiness, and smile through the darkness.

That’s all for now. &If you made it all this way…thank you for letting me ramble. I needed this writing session more than you could imagine. &I promise to get back to happy blogging. I’ve had enough moping around for a lifetime.

 

“You and your girlfriends need to stop calling each other ‘bi*ch,’ there is enough hate in this world, you young ladies don’t need to be talking like that.”-My Daddy

//xo

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RECENT FAVORITES

HELLO FRIENDS!

How are you all!? I apologize for the lack of post the last few weeks! I just started a new job, and it’s pretty intense with training, so by the time I got home and cooked dinner, and ate…I was pretty much ready to hit the sheets. Also, Jim’s parents and my little brother-in-law Andrew came to visit Memorial Day weekend!

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Had a perfect bun till the humidity got to it…. 😦

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This post though I want to go over some of my recent favorite items/products/things. I definitely haven’t done a favorites post in quite some time. I thought about doing a monthly favorites type of thing, but I don’t switch it up too much with products and things like that. I’m a bit of a creature of habit. BUT–before I dive in, I just want to take a quick moment to appreciate my hubs. You all know how obsessed we are with one another, but I think he just deserves a shoutout. I’m forever in awe of him. &I know that is why God placed us in each others lives. I am in just awe of his selflessness, his ability to make me laugh every single day, and his constant need to protect. Myself, his family and his country. I know some of you might be reading this and silently (or not so silently) yaking. But I just wanted to take a moment to shout out my favorite hunka burnin love.

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OKAY–lets get back to business, and talk about a few of my favorite things…

  1. AMLACTIN

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This stuff is AMAZING. I hyperlinked it, so if you want to buy it, it’s all yours! So…some of you may know what I’m talking about right now, and some of you may not. I have a “rash” that’s basically permanent on my upper arms, thats referred to as “chicken skin.” The scientific term for it is, keratosis pilaris. Basically red, bumps. &They get a little splotchy sometimes. They don’t itch or burn or anything..they’re just kind of there. They say this is a common thing, and that it can be hereditary, and I know my Mom has it, though not as severe as myself. It just makes me super self conscious about wearing anything short sleeved. BUT–a good friend of mine suggested this lotion. It says to apply it twice daily, and IT SERIOUSLY WORKED. It’s not gone completely, but it has dulled so much of the redness and smoothed it out. I’ve tried SO MANY products to do the job, and this is the one that’s worked for me. I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t take before and afters…but if any of you try it, please share your before and afters with me, if you’re comfortable!

2) My Paula Dean pan.

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When I moved into my first apartment, I totally snagged this pan from my Momma. She’s had it FOREVER and it’s seriously my best pan. It’s such a pretty blue, and aside from that–it just holds up and does the job. All of our other pots and pans are kind of just cheap crap we picked up at Walmart when we first moved out on our own. They do the job too, and we just make food for the two of us, but I seriously love having such a nice, good quality, heavy duty pan. I want to get more from her line. I couldn’t find a link for just the pan, but here is one to the whole set!

3) MY KEDS

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Yes, I’m aware of how gross they are. But I wear them ALL THE TIME. Keds are just such classics and you can wear them so many different ways. I love them with simple outfits like jeans/shorts and a plain tee, but they even look cute to dress down an outfit and make it more casual. I like to wear them with skater skirts and breezy tops too, for a comfortable shoe choice when we go walking around on date nights.

4) The 30 minute power clean

Now this idea I got from Amber Fillerup  If you haven’t checked out her blog before, you have to. She’s the queen of braids, such a sweet down to earth Momma/wifey, and not to mention, her blog is just so atheistically pleasing. &She’ll make you get the travel bug REAL quick. BUT–the 30 min power clean is just 30 quick minutes at night where before heading to bed (or to binge watch Quantico) you clean up some area of your house. Whether it be just mopping the kitchen floors, wood polishing your furniture, or picking up the cyclone you made while getting ready for work after your first six alarms wouldn’t get you out of bed…it’s a great way to keep things in order during the week when you just don’t have that motivation to “clean as you go.” &If you have a roommate or spouse or what have you to power clean with–it’s a fun way to be competitive with who can get more done in the 30 minutes! So set your timers, and GO MOMMA B CRAY CRAY on those dishes!

5) My dinner chart, which I referenced before in a post.

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I’ve really been trying to get us to eat in more. Better for the wallet, and we tend to cook healthy..and when eating out we view it as a treat, even if we’re eating dinner our six nights/week… So this chart just helps me keep track of what I need to get at the grocery store, and helps us plan some yummy meals that we WANT to stay home and cook! Found it at the Dollar Spot at Target!

6) THIS SONG 

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You know sometimes when you randomly hear a song in a tv show or movie, and you HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IT IS? Well I heard the song Pumpin Blood by NONONO when watching the adorable romance movie (duh) Endless Love. &I. Am. Obsessed. I listen to it when doing my 30 minute power cleans 😉 &It’s definitely one of my favorite songs to run to. It just pumps you up. For lack of better ANYTHING, “it’s lit.”

7) THESE HEADWRAPS

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photos courtesy of Google

I love these…but I’ve yet to actually venture out and purchase them, because head wraps and head bands NEVER stay on my head unless I pierce my skull with a billion bobby pins. But I need these in my life.

8) So…I will never get too old to fan girl. I just think that people who aren’t excitable, just must have the most boring lives. Like–at what age do we decide that jumping up and down and clapping, and scream laughing about things wasn’t acceptable? I mean, just look at this lady with her Chewbacca mask. HAS ANYTHING ever made you that happy!? But anyways, fan girling. Yes. Taylor Swift. It’s a thing. It’s my thing. She is my life, my idol, and my musical Godess since I was 13 years old. However, I haven’t escalated to the point where I made an Instagram fan page…and that’s because I worry that people might judge me at 22 for doing so…but that doesn’t mean I don’t follow copious amounts of them. My absolute fav is seeherwiththelightsout  If you’re a crazy Tay fan girl like me, CHECK HER OUT.

9) ASIDE from the Chewy loving lady, some of my other favorite viral videos I’m loving include this one of this adorable little girl wanting a boyfriend, and her Daddy insisting that she is “gonna work for God.” (Their accents just MAKE this vid) This one on how to store veggies. SO many necessary tips. I even started storing my asparagus properly! &This English bulldog vid. YAS.

10) My new drug store mascara obsession, is this one by Maybelline. I’m normally a Two Faced, Better Than Sex mascara kinda girl, but this one is awesome too. &A lot more affordable. It’s brush is flexible, which works for me, bc my lashes tend to grow downward, &it really helps to brush them out. &The black is REALLY carbon black. My lashes are also super light blonde, so I look like I have none with out any mascara. I went with my Wollinger fam to Alexandria Bay up here in NY over the long weekend, and knew I’d sweat my make up off in the heat, so I just threw on this mascara and was good to go! My lashes were nice and thick and dark, and it woke my eyes right up!

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11) &Last but not least….my copper mug. You all know of my sick obsession with mugs. Grabbed this baby at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I’m OBSESSED with this. If I ever have a kitchen with an island, and one of those things up above to hang pots and pans with, I’m doing all copper. So beautiful, and minimalist.

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ALSO, here is a sneak peak of some of the things I’ve gotten for my new cubicle! (&A random face wash I picked up…couldn’t find my usual Yes To Tomatoes exfoliating scrub.) You know I have the most fab cube in the office. I’ll soon have the full Nate Berkus collection of all the gold office supplies.

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QOTD: What would you like next weeks blog to be about? My weekly office eats? Or cubicle decor? If I get an equal amount of votes on both, I’ll do both! Let me know in the comments down below, or on any of my social medias!

“The secret to happiness, is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be.”

//xo

 

~Rest in peace my sweet, and silly Uncle Jim…may our good Lord heal you of all you pain and suffering. I love you very much.~

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WHY I RELAY//RELAY FOR LIFE

 

HEY GUYS

I’m sorry for the lack of post last week! I had so much going on personally, I even wanted to get this post up sooner! &Momma B came up to visit! We’ve been having such a nice time. That’s been the best part about being at a base so close to home. It’s not super close, but close enough that it’s less than a half a days drive if any friends or family want to come and visit, or we want to go back home. So, yeah! I hope all the Mommas out there had a lovely Mother’s Day, and got at least a few minutes of pampering and special treatment! Because Lord knows how difficult and selfless the job of being a Mom is.

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I’m lookin scrub-a-licious in this photo….^^^ But we got jelly spa pedicures! 🙂

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PS–I didn’t buy that MK purse for my Momma^^ (wish I could afford that! It’s hers…It just looked nice in the photo with all the pink! 😉 But we did get her another nice little gift ❤ )

But, I promise, I’m going to keep posting at least once per week! I actually had a reader DM me on Insta asking why I didn’t post last week. (To say she made me feel awesome was an understatement!) Comment below if you’re an avid reader! I have my go-to blogs, that I have to check up on at least weekly, and I know how sad it can be when I don’t see any new posts, so it’s a pretty amazing feeling that someone enjoys my content that much! Also…stay tuned! Because I have a little giveaway coming real soon!!!

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SO! This post, is SO SO SO SOOOOO important to me. Although I hope that this post inspires all of my readers to participate in their local Relay for Life events, I’m REALLY hoping that this post reaches my readers from my home town. I’m going to tell you all a little story about why I Relay in a moment, but first, I want to let my local readers be aware of something.

RELAY FOR LIFE OF CAPE ANN IS IN TROUBLE. I know, SO MANY of you that would be an incredible asset to the leadership team for our local Relay. I wish I could be there, but as you know–I’m currently living in Upstate NY. SO RELAY NEEDS YOU. CAPE ANN NEEDS YOU. THE ABILITY TO KICK CANCERS A$$ NEEDS YOU. There is a possibility, that–despite the incredible efforts of the small, yet enthusiastic team of leaders, Cape Ann’s Relay has currently–it MIGHT NOT HAPPEN. If you, or someone you know has been affected by cancer, (because Lord knows, sadly at this point, all of us have at least known someone who has been affected) and would make a great addition to this team–PLEASE attend this event. You can click that hyperlink for more info; But it is tonight, at the First Baptist Church in Gloucester. That’s 38 Gloucester Ave, and it begins at 6:30pm. Even if you can’t attend, and want to volunteer, you may contact any of the leaders, or myself–and we can point you in the right direction. (All of the info will be at the bottom of this post.)

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WHY I RELAY:

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Growing up, I have dealt with a whole lot of loss. Uncles, my Nana, my Dad, and most recently, my Grandpy. But two of those deaths, were what opened my eyes to so many things–and they are the reason I Relay.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I thought I had the world at my feet. I was a good kid, got good grades, had a lot of friends, and an incredible family. Some of my favorite memories include Sunday morning brunch over at my Uncle Tommy’s, and rides around the Backshore with my Dad, and him. Uncle Tommy and my Dad were BEST FRIENDS. I mean, inseparable. These are two men, who grew up in foster care, were separated so much of the time, both went to Vietnam, and came back ALIVE..and remained so close through it all. When Uncle Tommy got sick, he didn’t broadcast it. He was so brave, and so selfless. One day after school..my Mom came to pick me up. Now, I knew something was off, because she never picked me up from school. That was my Dad’s thing. I got in the car, and she (as she was in such shock) just announced to me that Uncle Tommy had passed. I didn’t even know the severity of what was wrong, and I was in so much shock. This was the first time of my life, that I lost someone who was pretty much a part of my daily life. I’ll never forget coming home, and going to the stairs, to walk up to my room, only to be met with a closed door, and my Dad inside it, crying SO LOUDLY..I had only seen him (and I’m not exaggerating) shed tears one other time, and that was at his Mother’s funeral. Many of his brothers had passed before, but I was so young. My heart was broken. My family fell apart. My Dad had literally lost his other half. Nothing was ever the same. My Uncle Tommy was a man who dedicated his life to his family, his children and his community. He coached Gloucester peewee football for so many years. Not only did my family lose a key player, but so did our community.

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Then, two years and three days later..my Dad passed away from cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. My Dad was absolutely, with out a doubt, my best friend in the entire world. We had a relationship unlike any other. He was my Father when I needed it…constantly on my case to get up for school, get to dance class on time, get off the computer and get my homework done. He was my chauffeur–driving me to and from school, work, dance etc, giving my friends and I rides to the mall, the beach and constantly to Dunks and around the Backshore, having to endure our music blasting. &He was my friend always. My Dad was always the chaperone anywhere we went, but he felt like just another piece of our friend group. One time I had invited a couple of my friends over, and I went up to my room, and realizing an HOUR went by that they didn’t make their way up the stairs, so I headed down, and there they were all congregated on the couch watching some movie that he had told them was “a classic.” (One of his favorite phrases.)

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Now, it’s 2016. I’ve moved to Upstate NY to live with my soldier, and so much has changed within my family dynamic. But I can promise you, not a day goes by that I don’t think of BOTH  of those men. My heart breaks knowing, Jimmy will never have the chance of meeting either one of them. My father won’t walk me down the aisle. This whole weekend that my Momma has been here, neither one of us could stop saying how much he would’ve enjoyed this trip. Visiting an Army post, hanging out with the family. But I know they have one another up in Heaven.

But that is why I Relay. So other nieces and daughters, and families don’t have to lose their loved ones too soon. So they don’t have to go through the absolute agony, of watching someone who was once SO STRONG, wilt away. So they won’t have sleepless nights in hospital chairs, weekly chemo sessions, praying to our great Lord that maybe, this will be the cure.

&That is why, all of my readers should Relay. Relay until there is a cure, and this horrible disease is abolished.

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CAPE ANN READERS–If you have an hour, or 40 hours to volunteer your time, it’s so important that we preserve the ability to have this event in our home. This event allows thousands of dollars to go towards research to find a cure. It goes towards services that allow those families financially struggling to make ends meet during costly treatments to make it through. If you want to know where your money goes, just do a quick Google search, or watch this video.

This money helps your family, your community, your loved ones fight the battle against cancer. Please consider volunteering even an hour to your local event.

//xo

“When someone has cancer, the whole family, and everyone who loves them, does too.”-Terri Clark

INFO FOR TONIGHTS RELAY EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/857394654371522/

WHO TO CONTACT FOR MORE INFO ON GETTING INVOLVED IN CAPE ANN’S RELAY:

Myself– autumnelizebeth@yahoo.com

OR–

Pastor Cindy– pastorcindya@gmail.com

 

 

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Recap/Healthy Stir Fry Recipe

Heeeeeelllllloooooooo

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I hope you read that “hello” in a Mrs. Doubtfire voice. 😉 How are you all!? If you’re already a reader, welcome back to my blog–and thank you for coming back, and if not? WELCOME FRIEND. 😀 So..I’m not sure I’m ever going to come back from how awesome my last post was. Emily is so rad that I got the most readers I’ve gotten since I posted that Jimbo joined the Army! 

Thank you again, to each and every one of you who read that piece. I am extremely proud of it, and of my subject. Thank you so much again, Em for being so candid with me, and allowing me to share your story.

So, lets recap! I feel like I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I’m sorry if this post is too wordy. But whatevs.

Lets see….in case you aren’t a Facebook friend of mine, I’ll share with you some exciting news about Jimbo–he is now officially PV2 and is able to wear his rank on his uniform!! He walked into our house with this sh** eating grin on his face, and told me the news. I am soo, so happy and proud. It has been nothing but a pleasure to watch you grow into a confident man, and soldier Jimmy. I love you so much. ❤

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This past week has been pretty mundane. I’ve been trying really hard to get back into not only eating healthy, but just eating at home. It’s good for the body, and the wallet. &When I’m cooking for us–I always tend to eat healthier. So that’s a bonus.

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&I got this super cute little white board at the Dollar Spot at Target, and it’s been helping me plan out dinners, and stick to cooking!

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Last Wednesday I made a healthy stir fry, and I’ll share that recipe at the end of the post 🙂

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Thursday we had an unseasonably warm day up here in NY, and I was all excited to go for a nice longggg walk, and cook up some healthy burgers and veggies for dinner for Jimbo and I, but he ended up staying late at work.

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I got super lazy, so I stayed in and opened all the windows, and chilled on the couch, watching one of my all time favs, Sweet Home Alabama. It never fails to make me want to move south.

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Jim had a four day weekend, and we hung out with one of our besties. Friday night we had Taco Bell, and went bowling on post!

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I tried the Quesalupa, and it was actually REALLY good. haha

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Bowling was interesting. It was my first time “real bowling.” For those of my non-New England readers; We only have candle pin bowling back home. Smaller balls, and less pins. &Its way easier! I couldn’t figure out how to bowl the ball properly for a while, so I was bowling like this…

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I was driving the guys INSANE with this app I found called TouchTunes. It’s actually really cool. It works the Juke Boxes in tons of locations (bars, restaurants, bowling alleys) and it will tell you the ones near you. You can chose the songs that play, see whats next, and basically what I’m getting at–is the fact that I tortured all of the bowling soldiers with Taylor Swift. 😉

I realized half way through bowling that I hadn’t drank ANY water all day! I’ve been way over on my caffeine intake, and wayyyy bad with water.

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But I actually didn’t like this water…it had a weird taste to me. Am I the only one that thinks not all water tastes the same?

On Saturday, my door hanger was delivered!

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It’s so adorable!! I was looking for something with a summery feel for the months ahead. I had this custom made from Jessica Sanders Keel. She was awesome. Quick with communication, and kept me in the loop! A new fav Etsy shop for me!

Also got a vanilla dip donut from Timmy Hortons, and made those burgers. So, happy day 🙂

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&Yesterday Jimmy and I went on a date night! Got a little fancy, grabbed some Starbucks, did some shopping and saw a movie!

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I LOVE Starbucks. That might sound strange coming from this Dunkin’s girl. But I do have a soft spot for the Teavanna teas, and the good that our local Starbucks does, like sending coffee to the troops overseas. ❤


HEALTHY STIR FRY

Ingredients:

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-cooking spray

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-1 lb of boneless chicken breast cut into small pieces

-2 cups of chopped onion

-2 cups of broccoli

-2 cups of zucchini (not in photo whoops..)

-1 cup of red bell pepper

-2 tablespoons of water

-1/2 bag of cabbage

Sauce ingredients:

-1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce

-2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce

-2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-1 tablespoon of brown sugar

—–

  1. Prep all veggies and chop up the chicken
  2. Add all sauce ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside

3. In a large pan, coat with cooking spray, and toss in chicken, stirring often, and cooking until white all the way through. Once cooked, set aside on a plate

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Oops. Burnt some a little…

4. Coat the pan with more cooking spray, and heat one tablespoon of oil. Add in the onions, broccoli, zucchini, red bell peppers and water. Sauté over med-high heat for 3-5 min until broccoli is soft. Add the cabbage, and sauté for another 2 min or until cabbage is soft.

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5. Turn down to medium heat, add cooked chicken and sauce cook for about 2 more min until heated all the way through, and stir consistently to blend it all together

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& Voila! Jimmy loved it too, and he’s my picky eater–and we had lots of leftovers for lunch!

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HOTTIE ALERT ^^^

“Don’t chase love, money or success. Become the best version of yourself, and those things will chase you.”

//xo

PS- I had the sad realization yesterday that I haven’t read a book in over a month. Does anyone have any good book suggestions? Leave them in the comments! I’m a huge romance, biography, and teen fiction novel fan (I’m a loser I know) but I’m open for anything!

 

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I DONT HAVE A PASSION

Hey cuties!

Sox Home Opener Selfie

Now that I have your attention….sorry not sorry for the caps lock title…let’s get on with this all over the place post, and start from the beginning.

Imagine 16 year old Autty…naive (ok…still not to far from that one..)

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(What is that pose?^ Good God…)

I thought I had the world all figured out. Bad things only happen to bad people, I’d be with the same, Justin Bieber haired boy forever, (and of course maintain that ever innocent relationship, where I still didnt have a firm grasp on anything really…) and we would graduate high school, go directly to the colleges of our dreams, (which would obviously be the same place…duh) I would continue dancing, and who knows, maybe open up my own studio down the road…I would also go on to be a teacher, and climb my way up to superintendent of Gloucester Public Schools, all while taking the time to travel to 3rd world countries educating their youth, do some real estate on the side, buy a home, travel the world, have my dream car, and three perfect children all by the age of 25. (WHAT?)

Fast forward graduation day. I actually had never been more proud of myself than I had that day.

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BUT–I was slowly getting the idea that bad things happen to good people, dreams change, and sometimes, you get a little lost….or a lotta lost, and that’s basically what the next few years would bring. A whole lot of 19, and 20 something year old me, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Changing schools, and majors like it was I was getting paid to (jokes on me, I was paying the price$$$) going through some sh***y relationships, finding out who my true friends (and relatives) are, yo-yoing with my weight, (because some days you feel like a kale salad, and others you want a Wendy’s cheeseburger, chocolate shake, baked potato, and also….Taco Bell, cause YAS)

….and here I am now. I finally met the man of my dreams, found my ground with school, and went back for elementary education, with less than a year till my bachelors is completed, had some incredible adventures with my closest friends and family, got my own apartment, waited for my man to go through OSUT with the US Army, found my haven in blogging, got engaged….and well…you know the rest. Now I reside on an Army base with that hunk in Nowheresville Upstate NY.

I’m happier than a pig in sh*t, for lack of better term. I love my family, I cherish my friends, I’m enjoying acclimating to my new home, spending lots of time with Jimbo and planning trips around the area…and obvs I love decorating our new place! BUT……recently as I was emailing back and fourth with the advisor at my new school…it hit me like a ton of bricks. I DONT KNOW IF TEACHING IS MY NUMBER ONE PASSION ANYMORE. I actually talked about this with a few of my girlfriends recently, one even claiming, she’s never been passionate about anything. I’ve had friends who have said, they don’t have a career oriented mind, but just want a well paying job where they don’t want to die every day on the commute to the office (fair enough) and even the brave souls, who bless their hearts, in this world full of judgy pseudo-feminists–are perfectly happy letting the world know, they want to be stay at home Mom’s. (God bless them, that is a 24/7 job, with no vacation time, and sometimes zero thank yous.)

I’ve spoken with my school advisors, my Mom, my friends, and Jim, and everyone says the same thing. Find your passion, and turn it into a career…but what if you don’t know what your passion is? I love volunteer work, but unfortunately, although I will always continue working for charitable causes that I’m passionate about–being a philanthropist doesn’t pay the bills…and I love blogging–but AGAIN, lets be real. I’m not Lauren Conrad. I love it, and will never give it up, as long as it makes me happy…but–truly, I’m feeling lost. I mean, sometimes I do forget that I’m only 22 years old. &I have LOTS of time to find myself. But I’ve always been a planner. &I get major anxiety when I don’t have a plan…but I’m learning to love my life, and the journey more than just focusing on the next thing–based on the arbitrary idea of the “order” we must do things in.

A huge thank you, to those who aren’t going to judge me based on my “epiphany” if you will, and extra huge thank you, to anyone with suggestions on what YOUVE done, in this type of situation…and (now that I’ve decided to grow some balls) a big f**k you, to those who will feel the need to knock a chick while she’s down.

Question of the day: What are you passionate about? How are you turning your passions into a career? Tell me in the comments below, or Tweet me! @autumnforever12 Because…literally none of my close friends use Twitter other than to stalk celebs, and I want some Tweeter friends. (Yes, Tweeter.)

“We must let go of the life we planned, to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

xo

Be lost with me!

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PS-

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to anyone and everyone who reached out to me and my immediate family since the loss of my Gramps. &To all of those friends and family members who came out last Thursday to support him, and our family at his celebration of life. Grandpy became quite the Grumpy in his later years, but that will never take away from the amazing things he has done for myself, and my family. If you want to read his obituary, it was published in the Gloucester Daily Times here, and you can read my eulogy for him, here. (Please do not “edit” the eulogy, as that is on my google docs account. It was the only way I could share it with out posting it all on the blog.)

Grandpy and I

“See you later alligator, after while crocodile..”

I MOVED/Supah Long Catch Up Post

HELLLLLOOO FRIENDS

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Long time, no wifi! I can’t even describe to you the excitement I had when the Time Warner Cable guy was blocking my garage yesterday morning! We got cable just in time for Opening Day, and now I can finally catch everybody up!

Hi, hello, hola! If this is your first time reading my blog, welcome! If you’re a long time reader…YOU DA BEST BBY. Okay…so, down to business..I moved! Jim finally finished all of his training, as I’m sure you gathered from my last post, and we emptied our storage unit, and made the move to upstate NY! I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle such a huge move. I went from being in my hometown I grew up in, two minutes from the beach and just 45 minutes from the city of Boston, to a very rural area, and of course, living on a military base is a whole separate ball game in itself, for someone who has no experience with it. I’ve gotten a tad homesick, but so far–I actually really like it! Mostly I just really like being around Jimbo all the time again..but the area is super pretty. Yay North Country!

Jim came home to help me pack up, and although we didn’t have as much time as we thought he did to spend in MA, we got to see some of our fam, but we’re lucky enough that he didn’t get stationed too far, and we can head back home for visits, and it’s not too far of a trek for our family and friends to visit us!

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I did also have a super cute photo of Jim and his parents, but they were half asleep, so I promised not to post it 😉 I’m the paparazzi queen when it comes to pictures.

We haven’t done too many exciting things, because we’ve spent the past few weeks, unpacking, getting settled, I’ve been job hunting,  nesting like crazy–but some of the “super exciting” things we’ve done so far:

-Tried Tim Hortons

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This may not seem like a big deal to most, but we don’t have Tim Hortons where we’re from, and How I Met Your Mother really hyped us up about it. It was ok….still prefer my Dunkies (and Heavenly Donuts) coffee. But my doughnut was pretty good!

-Popped our friend Shep’s Chipotle cherry

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Yes! We have a friend! Well, for the sake of honesty, he was Jim’s friend first…they met during OSUT and both got stationed at the same place. But now this little sarcastic f***er is my friend by default! &Obviously as soon as we heard he never tried Chipotle, we HAD to take him to get a burrito.

-Jim’s first day of the “Big Army.”

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Sorry Jim, I know I promised I wouldn’t show any one this “first day of kindergarten” photo, but I’m just so proud! Be lucky I didn’t make you hold a chalk board stating it was your first day. 😉 haha

-Visited the 3rd Largest Mall in the U.S in Syracuse! &Ate at Margaritaville!

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I actually didn’t do too much damage here, although I’m sure that won’t hold truth for long. I never realized how large of a city Syracuse was. Still nothing compared to Boston and NYC, but definitely more Spankee fans there. *puke.*

-Bought some new home decor (although the house is still a work in progress)

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-Actually did some damage at the smaller, much more pathetic Salomon Run Mall

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Not sure if the sales are still going, but Pac Sun had adorable shirts 3 for $20 &Charlotte Russe had a sale buy one get one for $10 for dresses and shoes. I bought two dresses and a pair of shoes, and screwed myself. Bc I though the dresses would’ve been the buy one get one. If I purchased the shoes separate, I would’ve saved $20, or if I got another pair of shoes, I would’ve saved $10. Be wary when you see those deals!

-First Easter away from the fam!

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It was very weird, and kind of didn’t feel like it was a holiday, but we had our first Easter away from home! We did get to FaceTime with everyone back home, so that helped. &I have to say, it was fun decorating and cooking (even though I almost burnt the house down a couple of times) but it would’ve been nicer to host the whole family. NEVER FEAR, I did have two very hungry, and VERY critical guys to feed.

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Had to force them into this photo.

Also HOW ADORABLE IS MY NIECE!? I’m so obsessed with her, it’s ridiculous.

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STEPPING AWAY FROM THE HIGHLIGHT REEL

I was talking with a family member of mine yesterday about how social media can be used for many different things. Sometimes it tends to create drama. You see lots of political rants, cyber bullying, dirty laundry being aired out..but for me–I like to use social media as a tool to connect with family and friends I do not always see, and to socialize via inter webs with others who have similar interests, as well as most of us; I use social media to share my highlight reel. I like to keep my feeds positive. Showcase the happiness, the smiles…but sometimes, sad things happen. &I want to try to keep things real too. Recently I posted on my Facebook page, where all of my friends, are a bit more personal than on my other social media–asking for prayers for my Grandpy. He had a mild stroke. Things were looking dim, then they were looking up a little..but then the news was brought to me yesterday, that he is being sent to Hospice and will likely pass in the next few days. For most of my young adult life, I have been dealing with death. Friends, Uncles, my Nana, and my Dad. It doesn’t make this any easier. I made the decision not to go home until his service, because I do not want to see him in the state he is in now. I’m sure with sharing this on the internet, I will hear a lot of opinions on this. But for me, after seeing my Dad slowly get sicker and sicker, and saying my final goodbye to him, where he couldn’t respond..it’s not something I think I can mentally handle at this time. I want to keep it, that the last time I was with my Grumpy Grandpy–he was out to dinner with his family; my Momma, Jim, my brother and his girlfriend. He was happy spending time with the people who love and care for him. He was joking with the waitress in his Grandpy manner…and he knew he was in the presence of love. Grief plays out differently for everyone. In my fathers passing–it brought so much closeness within my family. It brought out people by the hundreds at his service. All of the lives he touched. You see who truly cares, when standing in the face of darkness. &That much has been true in this situation as well. I’ve been able to see everyone’s true nature. I’ve been reached out to, from those who truly care. My immediate family has banded together; Mom, brothers, in laws. Its a sad, and wonderful thing to see.

I will forever hold on to my memories with Grump. Running into his house as a little girl, to sit on his lap and read the comics in the paper. Tending to his tomato garden together. Endless trips to playgrounds, and lots of dollar bills snuck to me. My Grandparents taught me to read, taught me my times tables at age 5. As I got older, my Grandfather was always the first one to jump when I needed a ride, money, advice, help with homework…ANYTHING. I’m so happy that I had that relationship with him. &I am so happy, that he will no longer suffer. He will be with our maker..and our savior, Jesus Christ. I love you Grandpy. Now, and forever.

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“Hey Aut–smile will ya?”-Grumpy Grandpy Shields

xo

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