October 3, 2023

Deployment Diaries | Part 1

Pre-deployment: We are currently a month away from deployment, and my mind is spinning... 

I keep thinking about this deployment checklist that needs to be completed (mostly by my husband), but somehow it makes me feel like we are going to forget about a very important detail and he is going to be long gone.

How I'm feeling: today I'm feeling knots in my stomach (just like the day Daniel told me about a possible deployment). I'm thinking that the main reason is due to the fact that we found out some pretty amazing news today. But we aren't ready to share it with the world yet.

There is so much to do around the house before he leaves. I have a CVS receipt for a growing list...

I talked to my mama today, and we both laughed and cried thinking about her last deployments with my dad. She reassured me that everything would be alright and that Daniel was doing something amazing for our little family. Just like my dad did...

During my dad's last deployment before he retired, on a late Friday night, my mom frantically called me and told me that I needed to take her to the emergency room because something was wrong (she lived only 40 minutes from me). I remember dropping everything and telling Daniel that I would not be able to go out with him and his friends to celebrate his birthday. I'm sure he was a little sad but completely understood the situation. It turns out my mom had a crazy allergic reaction, and after a few shots and some medication, we were on our way back to her house. I stayed the night and laughed and chatted all night on her bed!

The only difference now is that my parents live four hours away, so I can't just drop everything and run off to their place for dinner or a sleepover during Daniel's deployment, but I'm still going to figure out a way to make my way over to their place as much as possible!

Pre-deployment: We've got this! There are only three more things to complete on our checklist!

April 21, 2022

Sweet Hazel & Co | SLC Bakery Reviews

Have you tried VEGAN chocolate before? 

Vegan chocolate is any chocolate that is made without ingredients that come from animals.

This girl had never tried vegan desserts before finding Sweet Hazel so I went in not knowing what to expect...

The bakery owner was so friendly and helped me chose. OMG! this will not be my last time at Sweet Hazel. Everything I have tried so far is delicious and if she didn't tell me they were vegan I would not believe her. I can't wait to come back and try the other sweets. The flavors are very robust in every bite. The peanut butter chocolate bar one was 10/10. 

They have a variety of chocolate bars to choose from that resemble the non-vegan ones (such as butterfinger, almond joy, snickers and so on). The size is huge for the price per bar and you can tell how good the quality of each ingredient is. Everything is listed so you exactly what to expect.  The list is usually five ingredients or less!

Sweet Hazel also offers vegan cakes, caramel, tarts and other delicious vegan desserts. 

If you are in Murray, UT go check them out! 

SWEET HAZEL & CO: 167 W 4500 S, Murray, UT 84107

Review: 5/5



April 5, 2022

Gourmandise Bakery | SLC Restaurant reviews

Avocado toast (gourmandise bakery)

Gourmandise is our go-to restaurant here in SLC for desserts and yummy breakfast! 

Rating: 5/5 

We always have a great experience and I have never had a bad pastry (trust me, we’ve tried lots of them). My avocado toast and chips are always delicious and the tiramisu is to die for. The cannoli, tarts, and coffee drinks are all delicious. Lastly, the Oatmeal is so delicitous and super filling! 

The staff is always so friendly and knowledgeable. The restaurant itself makes you feel like you're out of town.  Its really cute and clean. Next time you’re in SLC stop by and try them out! 

They have two locations! One in downtown SLC 250 S 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 and one in Draper 725 E 12300 S, Draper, UT 84020


March 1, 2022

My Postpartum Depression Story | How to feel like yourself again

My Postpartum Depression Story | How to feel like yourself again

It's no secret that postpartum depression plays mind tricks with you and makes you feel like a stranger in your own body. With my third baby I didn't experience PPD until almost a year later. It honestly took me a while to realize that's what was going on. 

What are the most common Postpartum Depression symptoms? According to the Mayo Clinic here they are: 

Mood: anger, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or panic attack
Behavioral: crying, irritability, or restlessness
Whole body: fatigue or loss of appetite
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Cognitive: lack of concentration or unwanted thoughts
Psychological: depression or fear
Also common: insomnia or repeatedly going over thoughts

After scheduling an appointment with my OBGYNs office this mama had so many thoughts: Am I going crazy? Is this really PPD? My baby is almost 13 months? What's going on? My life is amazing and I have the most supportive husband but why do these thoughts keep me up at night?

After waiting for what it seemed to be like the longest week of my life (so dramatic I know) my appointment day was finally here!

Now, I distinctly remember that as soon as my OBGYN walked into my room I started bawling my eyes out like a baby... Right there and then she diagnosed me with postpartum depression and anxiety. All of my symptoms were suddenly making sense to me. 

You see for my two previous pregnancies I was never officially diagnosed because one: the situation I was in was different and honestly thought it was just regular depression because of the events happening in my life/relationship at the time and two: because no one really talked about it back then and there was this stigma surrounding this topic. It really was an embarrassment to me. (Crazy I know)

What my OBGYN told me at that appointment instantly changed the way I felt ( and of course the medicine she prescribed me did too) I figured I would share it with other moms that might be going through this too! 

1. You need to spend time by yourself doing things that you truly enjoy ( go for a walk, learn a new hobby, try a new recipe, read a book, go thrifting, start a journal) really anything to keep your mind busy.

2. Ask for help! This has always been a hard one for me because I would rather do something twice and fail before I ask for help. I promise you that your loved ones want to help you but they just don't it. 

3. THERAPY! I can't express this enough! Go to therapy! It's good to talk to someone that's on the outside. You'll feel so much better. 

4. Aim for atleast 8/9 hours of sleep. You will wake up feeling well rested and ready to take on the day. ( I suggest getting off your phone once you lay in bed and maybe just listen to some calming music) 

5. After you have worked on all of the above you can start to focus on your physical health and nutrition. Try to eat a healthy meal at least once a day and drink plenty of water. You can also start working out from your own home or go to your local gym. 

When I started focusing on those things above (on top of taking my medicine daily) my mood instantly changed! 

You can check out Betterhelp.com and postpartum.net for expert help. 


May 10, 2021

How To Survive Military Life as a Significant Other

Salt Lake City, UT, USA


Relationships are based on four principles: respect, understanding, acceptance, and appreciation. ~Mahatma Gandhi

When you and your significant other make the decision to join the military there is a lot of behind the scene decisions that others looking from the outside in aren't aware of. Most people think of the military as easy, the president is in charge of you, you make a lot of money, lots of deployments, marrying young, multiple kids, and PCSing to the most amazing destinations. While some of these things might be true, there is a lot more to unpack. So today's blog post is about how to survive military life as a MILSO. 

Before we became an official military family I got to live the lifestyle through my mom. My dad went through multiple deployments and I was lucky enough to live close to my mom during those times and get to drop everything and be there for her when needed. Deployments teach spouses to be independent. To be strong, to learn things they never knew they would need to, to be smart with money, and to really be okay with being "by yourself" for multiple months out of the year. My husband went to basic and tech school while I was pregnant and just barely made it before our baby was born so I've lived through the experiences I'm sharing today. 

How To Survive Military Life as a Significant Other

1. Learn the acronyms

Aka all the "military lingo" If there is one funny thing I have learned from this military life is that Military officials love using acronyms for literally EVERYTHING. Each branch has its own specific abbreviation that you will have to learn. For us, the Air Force acronyms were what we needed to learn (Such as AFB "Air Force Base") There are also abbreviations that all branches use which is what I'm going to list down below:

MILSO: Military Significant Other
PCS: Permanent Change of Station
BAH: Basic Allowance for Housing
ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
BAS: Basic Allowance for Subsistence
DITY: Do-it-yourself (move)
DEERS: Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
DFAS: Defense Finance and Accounting Service
BX & PX: Base Exchange & Post Exchange (tax-free stores inside the military base)

For more acronyms, you can go to the military benefits website for a huge list. Knowing these abbreviations will help you communicate with different departments within your military branch and commanders and such (especially if your significant other is deployed). 

2. Find yourself a new hobby

When it comes to being a MILSO, as we previously explained, life can get a little lonely. Your spouse might be deployed for 90 days to a couple of years at a time. Or it could just be the long hours that your spouse is working at their base and you only really get to spend quality time with them during the weekend. Finding something that you are passionate about is going to keep you sane. Some people have always been "creative" since they were born. While others have to really dig deep and see what hobbies they could try and be passionate about. Me for example, I enjoy baking, blogging, thrifting, organizing, crafting, and doing research ( I know that this is a random hobby but I truly enjoy researching different topics my favorite being: Nutrition)

So next time your spouse is gone for a little while finding something that you have been wanting to try and giving it a go should be on top of your list! Here are a few ideas for you to add to your list: 

  • Blogging/Youtuber (so many possibilities here)
  • Social Media Influencer (same for this one, you can be a fashion or fitness influencer)
  • Crocheting
  • Learn how to play an instrument
  • Start an Etsy Store
  • Deep Clean your entire home and sell things on eBay
  • Learn how to cook
  • Learn how to bake
  • Learn a new language
  • Learn how to dance
  • Learn how to play a sport
  • Go on a thrifting adventure
  • Take a class on Skillshare
  • Learn a new workout routine
  • Take a photography class
  • Make a list of books to read for the year and complete it
  • Start a small business from your home
  • Explore your town 

Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. ~Kahil Gibran

3. Keep a Journal

A journal is a place to clear your mind. To write down what’s clouding your thoughts and keeping you up at night. To help with conflict resolution and to give you solutions. It also helps with memories for years to come. There has been plenty of research on how journaling helps those with anxiety and depression. It helps people write down things that they might not want to say or someone face to face. One study specifically mentioned how older adults with ongoing medical conditions and anxiety found that journaling helped to decrease their mental stress load and increase their overall well-being. Just like one of my favorite songs, a journal is thinking aloud. It makes you more self-aware. It helps to fight your inner demons. To face your fears! (taken from my blog post on why you should keep a journal in 2021).

Keeping a journal while your significant other is also a great idea to look back at how you were feeling while they were gone and what memories you might have made. 

4. Make Traditions

Keeping traditions is one of our favorite things to do as a military family! There are so many fun ideas on Pinterest that you can find and create your own version for your family. Here in the Bertelli household, we love to spend time at home, making food, playing board games, watching movies, or going for adventures in our town. Here is a list of ideas for traditions:

  • Create a "bucket list" and complete it as a family
  • take a picture as a family in every new location you PCS to then save it as a digital scrapbook
  • buy a few of your favorite board games and have a game night with treats every week (or however many times a month you would like)
  • volunteer for a great cause as a family
  • create holiday traditions, whether it be for Christmas, Halloween, or the 4th of July, create some fun traditions that go with those holidays. 

5. Family Support

Having family there for you during the most difficult times of your deployment will make such a difference! There a few memories that come to mind when it comes to my family. My dad was deployed one year and my mom called me late a night saying that she was not feeling good and that I need to take her to the doctors. I dropped everything and drove 45 minutes to her house to help her out... My mama has always been there for me throughout the many stages of my life so I have to be there for her as much as I can. The same goes for when I was pregnant last year and my husband was gone for tech school. I had to get IVs quite often and luckily my brother-in-law lives next to me and was able to take me to the emergency room so I could feel better. 

So yes, family support is so so important! There are times that you might be PCSing to a different state and far away from family but I cannot express this enough: communicate and keep in touch with your family members! It will help with your insanity as well. 

God chose the strongest, the bravest, and the most courageous… and He made them military spouses.

There you have it, if you have found this information useful I encourage you to share it with others or even pin it on your Pinterest for future reference. You can follow some of my military-related Pinterest boards for more ideas.