Saturday, August 29, 2015

#CammoStyleLoveTravels to LegoLand!

The Cammo Style Love family recently had an amazing family vacation, and visit "home" Our first stop was Legoland in Carlsbad, California. We were so lucky to have two complimentary tickets as well as our military discount. It wasn't as hot as it had previously been, and since you are only a hop, skip and a jump from the Ocean it keeps things a lot cooler than inland. Plus, there is the whole no humidity thing that is just heavenly. We enjoyed this time as a little family before we met up with my In-Laws at Disneyland. I'm working on a tips and tricks/review post about Legoland, but I'd love to  hear what you thought about Legoland if you've ever been. Let me know!







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Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Thoughts Every MilSpouse Has ~ guest post ~

Blogging here at Cammo Style Love has brought some amazing people into my life. So many wonderful military spouses, writers, advocates and just plain ole amazing human beings! Today I am excited to share Hope you enjoy this wonderful post that I personally felt a connection to and was so happy to be able to share.   

“It’s just a month, Mom,” my almost 7 year old son tells me as I’m going through the ridiculous and unexplained emotional meltdown of preparing for (yet another) separation from my husband. I know his words sound callous, but it was, in fact, what I needed to hear. It is just a month. Of all the times my son has been without his father, this is one of the shortest. If he could see that, why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t I be as adaptable and ok with it as my kids were?

Was it because I knew what went on behind the scenes? The last three weeks of “go, no-go” that we endured with a final decision coming down 3 days before the departure date? A plan that had been set in motion over 6 months ago was slowly unraveling because of a lost piece of paper. A school that had been on his wish list for years was within grasp, but was being held up by some inability to communicate effectively between others. The hurry up and wait, the last minute packing, the anticipation were all compounding the fact that he was leaving, again.

Was it because I knew what he was going to miss? My kids are 5 and 6. While they understand how long a month is, how many weeks, how many days. They can see the big bold words, “Daddy Home” on the calendar and count down, but they don’t see what comes between. They don’t see that he’s going to miss a birthday and the first day of school - my daughter’s first day of kindergarten. All the fun things about preparing for school. All the hard things about this transition from one kid at home all the time to none.

Was it because I know what lies ahead? It took us a good two weeks to transition last time he left, and another solid two weeks when he came home. Pretty much we’ve been transitioning and struggling to find our balance since mid-April. He’s coming home to a new job with longer, often times more frustrating hours. He’s coming home to two kids in school, to homework, to extracurricular activities, to new friends, and a new schedule. And we’re fully expecting him to arrive on Saturday and be back at work in full-force on Monday before dawn.

Was it because this one is different? There are few guarantees in the military, but separations are one of them. With this being the 9th separation in our 8 year marriage, you’d think I’d just be over it. But as we change and grow together, these things feel different. And while I’ve gotten more used to doing somethings alone, the last few years have spoiled me. He’s been on a pretty easy schedule for a while and I’ve gotten used to relying on him being home in the evenings and helping out on the weekends. So when he leaves, it’s a bigger adjustment for us all.

But, no matter the difference, the emotions, the transition, it’s a part of our life. It always has been and it always will. And the best part about this one? It’s just a month. 

Rebecca Alwine has been a military spouse for over 8 years, traveling the world and learning about herself. She’s discovered she enjoys running, loves lifting weights, is a voracious reader, and actually enjoys most of the menial tasks of motherhood. She is an avid volunteer, most recently as President of the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club and has worked as a career counselor for transitioning service members. She has a Masters in Emergency Management from American Military University and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Mary Washington. Her writing has been published both in AUSA’s ARMY Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine, on Many Kind Regards, and multiple digital magazines and blogs. You can follow her on Twitter and on her website.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Shop Small Spotlight : Ladyburg

I couldn't quite decide when to do my spotlight on this fabulous 'Local', NoVA store. However, with Ladyburg getting ready to open a second location I thought this would be the perfect time to do a little spotlight. Not only do I love this store in general - the atmosphere and the product, but I love the owners. They truly believe in the product they are making and selling. Yes, making! Almost all of the products sold in the Ladyburg store are made in the Ladyburg store. Natural products, lots of vegan options, essential oils, local...I mean, it really doesn't get better than that. I wouldn't call myself all-natural or crunchy by any stretch of the imagination. However, I see the value and their place in the world. As my children get older, and frankly, as I get older and wiser the value becomes higher. The biggest selling point for me though was the price point. You can satisfy all your natural needs and desires for a reasonable price. That is truly unique. So lets take a look at some of the products.


They had me at 'Ladybug' with this little adorable bar. I love ladybugs. So much so that that is my daughter's nickname, her room was like that until she was 6, birthdays, Halloween costumes, and any clothing I can find.....still. These little bars are like a compact, uber lotion. I have the gardenia scent and its a fairly strong sent; although that isn't the only option. I've been using this fairly consistently for almost a month now and haven't seen much of a change in its size and its doing wonders for the dry patches on my knees and elbows I tend to get in the summer time.


 2. Shaving

Beer and shaving! Beer and shaving people. Seriously.....Beer. A very cool and kitschy addition to the Ladyburg shelves. Hubby is a shaving snob - we're talking fancy badger hair brush and wooden handle single blade razor. We have yet to use the Ladyburg product because he still has his "Not to be named" other brand that he has to use up. Otherwise it would be a waste. Isn't he cute? *sarcasm* But never fear, I'll have this stuff investigated and checked out well within Christmas gift buying time. The aftershave can be scented on-site from one of Ladyburg's many Essential Oils.



Nature's Neosporin, as I've been told. Calendula is a gentle and mild oil that does wonders for burns, scrapes, dry or chapped skin, rashes and the like. It's perfect for those with sensitive skin as well. Crystal, Ladyburg's resident skin expert and proprietor, recommended this lotion for my son's eczema. Love it! It doesn't hurt him if he suddenly gets a flare up, and it has kept it from getting worse. I use this baby on my legs, which are so crazy dry right now. This is a whipped creme and a little goes a really long way. Yet another product that really gets a lot of bang for your buck. 
 


 So the picture is of the kid version (which I spoiled by daughter with and bought a ton of them!!), but the link is to the full-size adult bath bombs. Either way, these things are amazing, super fragrant and leave your skin feeling soft. The kids absolutely go nuts over them because they bubble and fizz, as well as spin around the tub. Literally my kids fight over them, so I will be making a trip back to stock up on some more.


5. The Raw Bar 

Now this is a super cool thing that I've only ever seen at Ladyburg. Now, you can get all your stuff made here, and I'd be surprised if you didn't find what you wanted. However, there are those of us {myself included} who spend countless hours scanning Pinterest, and just really really want to make our own. All those ingredients can be expensive, so Ladyburg buys it in bulk so that you can buy it smaller and make your own stuff. How cool is that?!!


Here's a few shots of a recent party for NoVA blogger we had over at the Fredricksburg location! It was such a fun time. Crystal and the whole Ladyburg family are absolutely wonderful and took the best care of all of us! Make sure to check out the Ladyburg shop, one of my fabulous sponsors, by clicking their link on my sidebar.












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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Must See Sites in Delaware City, Delaware {Kid Tips Too!}

Everyone once in awhile you find yourself in cool little town. And if you're like me you have your own little "Gilmore Girls" moment, while in said town. That's what happened to me when I visited Delaware City, Delaware! I fell in love with this small town, with his big history, adorable shops, white gazebo and amazing food! Here are some must see sites and things to do in Delaware City!

1. Fort Delaware - of course its at the top of the list because I would venture to say its the main tourist attraction here in the town. You come for the history, but stay for so much more. This fort was probably the coolest of all the ones I've ever been to {and I've been to a ton, and on both coasts!}. The docents and actors were amazing. The kids were super involved. There were areas to run around, stairs to climb and crevices to peak into. They saw a cannon, blast, rifle demonstrations, and actually got to blacksmith. NO JOKE! I've never ever seen that before anywhere. With the assistance of some docents my two oldest got to make an "S" hook and a spoon. For five dollars my eight year old got to actually have a dream, wish type of experience. Ever since he was six and went to Coloma (Northern California) for the first time he's been absolutely obsessed with blacksmithing. Plus, riding a ferry to get there was pretty cool.







~ Parent note: you can pack a lunch and bring it on the island with you. There are picnic tables and grassy areas (watch out for the goose poop!). Souvenirs and snacks are also ridiculously reasonable in prices! I snagged a bonnet and two civil war hats for $6.00 each. They are awesome!

2. GeoCaching and Boat Watching in the Square - As a geocaching family we, of course, had to see what was what! Unfortunately it started to pour rain on us the first day so we could only snag one; but there is one right in the square.  Huge boats come right by the square and the kids had a marvelous time watching the boats and laughing as the water splashed up on them!!! They could have stayed longer but we had to skidaddle.

3. Lewinsky's On Clinton  - Yup, you read that right! A restaurant that cleverly uses the name of the main street in town, 'Clinton Street' in its name. It was a must-see place that we didn't have time for. Since the hubby was only able to be with us on one of the days there we had to make the most of our time. We didn't get a chance to swing in and check it out, but you better believe it is on my bucket list. I don't even care if the food sucks, I want to go just so that I can say that we ate there!

4. Cordelia's Bakery and Cafe - This adorable Cafe and Bakery would be the place I would be hanging out, or going to every day if I lived in Delaware City. With bread and desserts made fresh daily and the sweetest staff ever, Cordelia's is the perfect stop for lunch during your visit here.



5. Ice Cream Parlor - its simply called 'Ice Cream Parlor' and is located at the end of Clinton Street near the water. This is a no-frills, old fashioned ice cream shop. They have lots of fun flavors and the servings are huge. There are some places to sit, but this is a take and go, walk around the square, go sit in the grass type of area. 
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Attractions Come to Baltimore's Ripley's Believe it or Not!!


If you've never been to a Ripley's Believe it or Not you are definitely missing out. Mr. Air Force and I have been to several over the years, and across the country. They are some of the coolest museums to visit. We have a Ripley's in our own backyard, and starting June 19th there are some special exhibits coming that will be the visit that much more cool. Coming soon are the legendary Ripley's Fertility Statues, which will be on display as part of world tour. The statues will be available to look at and touch!

 

The statues were hand-carved by the Baule, who live on the Ivory Coast in West Africa and probably date back to the 1930s. In 1993 they made their debut in the Ripley's Orlando headquarters. The legend started there when within months 13 staffers and office visitors became pregnant. The story sparked the curiosity of many and the Wall Street Journal picked it up in 1995. The statues became an international phenomenon, with women everywhere wanting to see and touch the statues. Now, I'm not sure if I believe in legend of the fertility statues; however, in one of my MOPS groups we had a fertility statute that made the rounds and we all swore by it!! Regardless of whether you believe the legend it's pretty darn fun!


Ripley's is making the statues available in the lobby during regular business hours {m-th 10-9pm, Fri 10-10pm and Sun 10-8pm}. There is NO CHARGE to see the statues, but you will need a ticket to tour the rest of the Odditorium.

Not gonna lie, but I think I'll be giving the statues a rub - Don't tell Mr. Air Force!!

As a special treat for Cammo Style Love readers I have a discount for you!
Come see over 15,000 sq feet of weird and crazy stuff! There's a marvelous mirror maze and a 
4D movie theater as well! So buy two attractions and get the third one free by clicking here, and entering 
the code USFAM

*this post is part of a my partnership with UsFamilyGuide Mom Bloggers. I was compensated for my post, but I picked it
because I love Ripley's!! My thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When Honor Comes Unexpectedly ~ Meeting Taya Kyle

On two separate occassions this year I had the tremendous honor to meet Taya Kayle, the wife of the late Chris Kyle {American Sniper}. Although talking with her you would have thought she had the tremendous honor of meeting me. I still can't quite put into words how I felt to be there, hear her speak, thank my husband and just take in the whole experience. I decided to write about it at Homefront United.


Recently, I had the honor of attending two events that were also attended by a recent 
icon in the military spouse community. Thrust into the spotlight by circumstance 
beyond her control, in a unique but unfortunately not unique position. 
Military spouses as a collective group are smart, compassionate, resilient, caring, 
understanding and some of the strongest women I know. The ‘Millies’ in my life, as
 I affectionately refer to them, are the backbone of my life, second only to my 
civilian church family. There is no one else in the world that I could go to and not have 
to explain my feelings or what I’m going through. There is however, a group of 
spouses that I couldn’t even classify myself as being on the same level with. They are 
the caregivers and widows of the military spouse community. 

~continue reading at Homefront United Network

{photo courtesy of Sandboxx}
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Friday, May 22, 2015

The 2:30 AM Phone Call {Do You Know What SCAD Is?}

Its not something that you ever want to experience, and its been years since I remember purposefully keeping my phone on and up load through the night. Its something that I did because I wanted to be the person that people could call in the middle of the night if they ever needed anything. And, I was. With my husband gone frequently I wanted to always be available to him. Who knew when he'd be able to call. Inevitably it would ring again, and last week it did. I flung myself out of bed and checked the caller id. It was one of my girlfriends, so my first thought was something had happened to her husband. But, when I answered it wasn't her....it was her husband. My friend had suffered a heart attack, mere weeks after having a baby.

 I totally agree. I could say that about my friendship with my cousins.


After those words came out of his mouth I could feel myself shifting into "milspouse survival mode". Its something I'm familiar with, that feeling. Its like an out of body of experience and you start moving about checking off things from an invisible check-list that floats around in your brain. There was no time to processing anything other than getting through. The baby was coming here and I had to take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand. I called one of our other close friends, because I knew her phone would also be on. She was also in survival mode and we made a plan. The next day my two other close friends, and their husbands also swooped in - brought me coffee (because of all the days to only have decaf in your house!!) and breakfast for all my kids and their own kids, and then proceeded to spend the day with me until my husband could get home. It was exactly what I needed, but didn't fully realize.

During events like these you realize the amazingness of humanity, but also realize the crappy side. The crappy side isn't what is important but its worth mentioning. People are human and it it what it is, but its not what we should hold onto. Its the people that care for each other that matters most. I don't know how one would go through life without their faith. Despite everything there was this sense of peace that had enveloped me and going through experiences like this without it may very well be the worst thing ever. I was in this mode of silent prayer and thought all day, as I was trying to fumble through the day, keeping it together. Going over verses in my head that have always given me comfort. Jeremiah 29:11-14 is my life motto. Its what I break out in times of good and bad. It was our wedding verse and just always seems to apply no matter what the situation is. Boy, was it in my head over the weekend.

The point though of this post isn't really to talk about what happened, but to educate. If I have even the slightest opportunity to share something that could save someone else I will do it. One of the amazing blessings about this blog is having the platform to talk about things that matter to me. Even if it only reaches one person, that is one more person that knows about whatever it is that I'm sharing. What I want to share with you is this short video about SCAD from the Mayo Clinic. SCAD, stands for Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. This is something that occurs mostly in woman, typically with no other health issues at all, with 20% of cases happening to woman who have recently given birth. Please take the time to watch this video, read about SCAD in the link above and share this with at least one other person. It is incredibly important that we use what experiences we have in life to do good and this is what I'm doing. I'm doing this for my friend, who I could have lost. I'm doing this for myself and for anything that I might come in contact with during my life. Take a moment and do the same.



Have you ever experienced, or know someone who has experienced SCAD?
Share your stories! 




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