Tips for Visiting Patriot’s Point

Last weekend, Travis surprised me with a trip to Charleston, South Carolina to celebrate my birthday. I’ll be writing a full recap post on that soon! But first, I want to tell you about Patriot’s Point.

Patriot’s Point is a naval and maritime museum where you can walk through the USS Yorktown, an air-craft carrier known as “The Fighting Lady,” as well as the USS Laffey, a battleship, and the USS Clamagore, a submarine.

This was Travis’ favorite part of our trip, not surprisingly. I really enjoyed it too!

For those of you thinking about visiting, I want to share some photos and some tips with you!

Tips for Visiting Patriot's Point

During the tour of the air-craft carrier, there is an information desk at the main entrance. Be sure to stop by here to get a tour guide — a piece of paper that shows you what you’ll see on each floor and how to follow the arrows for a self-guided tour through the many decks of this ship.

During our tour of the ship, we were able to see the dentist offices, a butcher shop, where the seamen did their laundry, the mess hall, the sick bay, the pilot’s quarters, the radar rooms, the barbershop and so much more. It was really neat to see how the military members of WWII lived on this air-craft carrier. I hadn’t thought about how they would need a place to do laundry or how many ingredients it would take to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies for everyone on board!

Patriot’s Point could be an all-day visit, especially if you take the ferry or helicopter ride over to Fort Sumter. However, it could also be just a couple hours of entertainment — it’s up to you!

One of my favorite parts was getting to be up on the flight deck and imagining all those planes and helicopters landing up there. They had so many different planes and helicopters to look at it. You could walk all around them and touch them even! You were even able to get inside one of the planes on the hangar deck.

Here are some photos from our trip to give you a better idea of the things you’ll see.


Inside F9F Cougar

Here I’m inside the F9F Cougar.


Now that’s a lot of food!

Captain's Chair

Land ahoy! You get to sit in the captain’s chair and imagine yourself out on the open waters.

Flight Deck


Just imagine all those guys standing around these sinks shaving every morning.


The Destroyer USS Laffey


Tips for Your Trip

Let me be clear — if you can’t handle stairs for whatever reason, this might not be the best place to visit. We walked up and down an estimated 17 flights of stairs to see all of the rooms on this ship. Granted, these aren’t long staircases, but they are steep. Be sure to hold onto the hand rails and watch your head when going up and down. If you cannot handle the staircases, the Yorktown has limited handicap accessibility to the 3rd deck, the hangar deck, and the flight deck. You would still be able to see many of the neat things about this air-craft carrier, but not all of it.

Steep Stairs

On that note, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of walking.

Bring a sweatshirt or jacket. And definitely a hair tie! Of all the days I could forget to throw a hair tie on my wrist, it had to be the day we climbed on board an air-craft carrier. The flight deck is windy! You may want a sweatshirt if you are there in the winter months and especially if it’s raining. For anyone with long hair, I recommend you throw your hair up in a ponytail. My hair was whipping all around and was very tangled afterward.

Bring a water bottle or snacks. If this is an all-day excursion, be sure to bring a water bottle so you can re-hydrate after all those stairs! A snack is a good idea too. However, they do have two different restaurants on the hangar deck of the air-craft carrier and vending machines too.

If you have children, please keep them supervised. I was unhappily surprised by all the children we saw running around this ship by themselves. Please remind your children to show respect considering this is a part of our military’s history.

Thankful Thursday 0122

Thankful Thursday

I haven’t wrote a Thankful Thursday post since September! But just because I wasn’t writing a post about it, doesn’t mean I haven’t been thankful. There have been tons of things to be thankful for. We have really been in a season of joy.

Seasons change though. I do feel like we are transitioning into a new season. It doesn’t mean we can’t be joyful in this new season, but it’s going to be different. I feel like it may be more challenging. That means it’s even more important to see the sunshine, remember your blessings, write down what you are thankful for, and be grateful for the little things. That’s how you can keep joy in the hard seasons, friends.

Here are five random things I’m thankful for this week:

1. Lists. If you know me, you know I love list-making. It’s true. And in these weeks before our move all the to-dos are overwhelming! I feel so much better when I can just write down a list of everything that needs to get down and then pick one thing, do it, and mark it off. I am definitely thankful for the feeling of marking off one of those list items! And for the feeling of that list getting smaller!

2. For the south. And that I got to live here. I think I was meant to be a southern woman. If I could get my whole family to move down here to the south, I would live here for the rest of my life. I love the weather, the beach, the accents, the sweet tea, the history, the live oak trees, the seafood, and on and on… I always thought I wanted to live in Indiana for the rest of my life, never wanting to move. I still want to settle down there someday, but I am very thankful that I got the chance to move to Georgia with my husband. I’m thankful I was open to it and that we got to make this our home, even if it was for just two years.

3. Cameras. I love photos. I love taking them, I love looking at them, I love framing them or keeping them in photo albums. I love putting them on Facebook and scrapbooking them. I love the way a photo can bring back so many memories or how it can show you how much time has changed things. And we wouldn’t have any of those photos if it weren’t for cameras!

4. For a washer and dryer. Do I enjoy doing laundry? No. Does it feel like it takes forever to get through the never-ending loads of dirty clothes? Yes. But without a washer and dryer, think how much longer it would take! We would probably enjoy this chore a whole lot less without our machines. I, for one, am thankful I don’t have to go out to the cold river to scrub my clothes.

5. For using the Internet to connect. I’ve always realized what a blessing the Internet is — how it lets me connect with my loved ones who don’t live near, or helps me see what’s happening with old friends. But lately, I’ve realized how thankful I am for it in the way it lets me connect to people I have never even met.

With our upcoming move and with all the unknowns that come along with South Korea, I’m so thankful I have been able to connect with other wives who have had the Army move them and other wives who’s husbands are in South Korea. My blogging friend Amanda, who I’ve never met, just had all her household goods moved by the Army and it was such a relief being able to ask her some of the specifics that go with it.

Then there are tons of questions I have about South Korea, and the ladies in a Facebook group specifically for those who have a military family member living in South Korea have been a blessing. Even if I don’t have a question, it’s so nice to read what others are saying, having a place to vent, or just knowing there are so many others who get it.

Tell us in the comments one random thing you are thankful for this week.

How To Determine Your Freelance Rates

Recently, a fellow freelance writer was offered an opportunity for another freelance job. She came to me asking how she should determine her freelance rates. We discussed what a daunting process this can be. You don’t want to oversell yourself, but you also want to get paid what you deserve.

When I first started freelance writing, I had no idea what to expect as far as payment. But now, with a few years under my belt and several jobs on my resume, I have a better idea of how to determine my freelance rates. And I’m here to help you do the same!

How To Determine Your Freelance Rates

Whether you are freelance writing, designing, photographing, or the like, these questions will help you. I am a freelance writer, so some of these questions pertain to the freelance writer more than others. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself to determine your freelance rates.

1. Where do you live?

Your location can make a difference on how much you can charge. Big cities like Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and the like will expect your rates to be higher. Take advantage of that. But little towns or small cities might not be able to pay you what those in Chicago can. Keep that in mind when determining your own rates. My rates were different in Indiana than when I lived in Georgia.

2. What company or business are you working for?

This goes along with the first question. Let’s say you are working for a small local newspaper — they probably aren’t going to be able to pay you a ton of money. However, a large college may have a much bigger budget for hiring freelancers and may be able to pay you a better rate. You can always set your rates, and if a company can’t pay you your normal rates, you can negotiate with them to determine a payment you are both happy with.

3. Do you have a degree?

If you don’t have a degree in your field of work, you will probably want to start your rates low and work your way up with time. If you have a journalism degree and are a freelance writer, you’re more likely to be hired and more likely to be taken seriously — thus you can charge more.

4. How much experience do you have?

If you just graduated college, you’ll want to set your rates lower than someone who has been freelancing for several years. It’s just like when working full-time for a company, you get promotions or raises the longer you’ve worked there. If you have been working as a freelancer for a few years, be sure to check back into your rates and raise them if you feel you have more experience and better skills than when you first started.

5. Do you want to charge per word, per hour, or per project?

Obviously, this question is for the writers. But you can modify it to work with whatever field you are freelancing in. This may change with each job you get. Some companies will only pay per word, others like to pay a flat rate for each project. Other times, you can decide how you will be paid. You should have a preference. If you are a really fast writer, you may want to choose per word rather than per hour. However, sometimes interviews and research can take a lot longer than writing itself and perhaps you’d like to get paid per hour. It also depends on how well you can track your time. I’ve been paid per word and per project before. Very seldom do I choose per hour, but that’s just my preference.

After you’ve asked yourself these five questions, you can better determine your freelance rates. Be sure not to undersell yourself — freelance writing or other work might not be a full-time job, but you are a professional and deserve to be paid as one. At the same time, if you overcharge for your work, you won’t be hired as often and may miss out on some great job opportunities. It all boils down to negotiation. Now, go get em’ tiger!

Be sure to check out this post too– Things You Need to be a Freelance Writer.

Freelance Writer

Chili Soup

I have shared a recipe for chili before, but it was more Chili Mac than Chili Soup. This recipe is more of a soup. It’s the way I like chili best. It’s my mom’s recipe. You know how moms and grandmas often don’t have recipes? Like they just know them by heart and throw things in without measuring and it turns out great every time? That’s how my mom makes her delicious chili. So it took me several trial runs before I got this recipe right.

Chili Soup

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tomato juice
  • Diced tomatoes (chili ready with onions)
  • Tomato paste
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Chili seasoning mix
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Spaghetti
  • Ground beef

Chili Soup Recipe

Start by browning your hamburger. Drain any grease out of it.

Then, it’s really simple — put all your ingredients into one pot. Everything except the spaghetti. Turn it on low-medium heat. Let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Making Chili Soup

Add in a hand-full of spaghetti, breaking it into smaller pieces. I break the spaghetti into thirds. Add that in and let it continue to cook on medium until the noodles are soft.

Add spaghetti to chili

Serve with Tabasco sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, crackers, chopped green onions, and sour cream — whatever your family likes.

Chili Soup
Recipe type: Entree
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 large can tomato juice (46 oz)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can (chili ready with onions) diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can kidney beans (15 oz)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz)
  • 1 McCormick chili seasoning mix
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 hand full spaghetti
  1. Brown ground beef
  2. Drain beef
  3. Combine tomato juice, tomatoes, paste, beef, beans, and seasonings into one pot
  4. Cook on low for 20 min
  5. Break spaghetti into thirds and add in pot
  6. Cook for another 10-20 min on medium
  7. Serve with crackers, cheese, or other toppings

If you are looking for Chili Mac, check this post out. Or maybe you’d rather have White Chicken Chili — then click here!

For more recipes, check out my Pinterest board!


Favorite Friday: Flirty Aprons

Favorite Friday Logo

This post includes affiliate links. But these aprons really are my favorite!

Boy, has it been awhile since I shared one of my favorite things with ya’ll! I think it’s time for another Favorite Friday — especially since there’s a sale going on!

I honestly don’t remember how I found out about Flirty Aprons. I think I just saw one somewhere and loved it. I put one of them on my wedding registry, but never received it. So I bought it for myself!

Since then, I’ve fallen in love with some other aprons from this company. I’ve bought two more for myself just because!

Here’s the first one I bought. They don’t sell this one anymore, but it gives you an idea of how cute they are!

Red Apron

Here’s the next one I bought. You’d think my husband was in the Navy thanks to how much I’m into the nautical look. But nope, I just love those navy blue and white stripes! I might even be a little obsessed with it! Seriously, notice what colors I’m wearing under that apron? :) So I had to get this one — Nautical Navy.

Nautical Apron

The last one I bought for myself was this grey and yellow one. It reminded me too much of Seeing Sunshine. Sometimes when you’re cooking you need to be reminded to see the sunshine — like when you burn the casserole or forget to thaw the chicken. It happens! Check out Chevron Yellow Bow!

Chevron Yellow Apron

Since I just couldn’t pass up the great sales this company has, I ended up buying four more — but not for myself. I bought them for friends and family who will be getting married soon. I thought these would be such cute bridal shower gifts! But I’ll be honest with you, I’d like to keep them for myself! :)

Here are the other ones I bought for friends:

Apron Sale

Now, I have to share this sale with you! I’m so excited that they are having another sale for you guys!

First of all, they are having a huge sale on their holiday aprons! They are only $9.95 — that’s an amazing deal in case you didn’t know! That’s only through Jan. 19, so don’t wait too long to take advantage of it! These are seriously just so cute!

Holiday Apron Sale

If you are wanting one of the other aprons, you can use code NEWYEAR30 for 30% off AND FREE shipping! That code is good for all of their aprons except the Daily Deal, and it will expire at the end of the month.

Most of their aprons are one-size-fits-all and 100% cotton. Each apron has all its details listed before you purchase.

They have the adorable aprons for women, but they also have aprons for men and for children — so be sure to go check them out. I can’t get enough of this company!