Cammo Style Love: December 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013 {The.Book.Chat} w/ The Tangerine

I am happy to say that this year I completed my Goodreads Book Challenge for the year!  I think I had set my sights a little high the last two years I did it...although being extremely sick while pregnant with little #3 and then moving across country the next year probably stacked the odds against me a bit.  This year I found a nice number and went with it, fifty.  I'm actually over it at fifty-three, which is awesome.  There are actually several books I didn't submit on the list, like a ton of little novellas that I read over the course of the year as well.  Suffice it say I'm pretty proud of myself and now I just need to decide what my number for next year will be.  The Book Chat link up question for this time around was your favorite books of the year.  I'm not sure how I can narrow it down through fifty-three books.  There are so many that stick out in my head, but I'm going to give it a try here.

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This was new author for me, and a whole series of books that I'm still working on.  These books are from quite awhile ago, but were re-published with new covers recently.  I wasn't quite sure how I would like it, or if I would get into it because at first the fact that it was slighty "dated" was pretty apparent.  In the book the emails and computers are still relatively new - with chatrooms and all that as well.  But I ended up absolutely loving it, and so far all the books that I've read in the series.  You can find my review here.

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This year I accidentally became obsessed with military-themed romance novels.  It seriously was an accident, but now I'm hooked.  When I was roaming the aisles of the books store I came across a books cover with a fighter plane and a guy in a flight suit on it.  I had never seen a fiction book that was military-themed like that.  Crazy right?  So I snagged it up and then became obsessed, in a good way I promise.  This was also the time I discovered that Romance novels weren't really what I had thought they were.  I had this whole milk-maiden, Fabio, gross sex stuff in my head....but it really wasn't that at all.  Although I am sure that is out there.  It really was about romance, and the story.  I didn't do a review of this one, but here is the Goodreads page for it.


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I swore I would never read another Nicholas Sparks book after A Walk to Remember, and I didn't until Safe Haven.  Frankly I just didn't want to read a sad book.  It wasn't the year for them.   I blame the movie....I saw the previews and wanted to read the book before I saw it.  I'm glad I did.  Great book, great movie.  And it wasn't ridiculously tragic as far as the main characters go (which is usually Mr. Sparks style).

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Another new thing for me this year were Amish novels.  Never read them, never really had any interest to either.  However, some of the publishing houses I work with have an abundance of Amish novels to review.  So I thought, "why not, I'm not paying for it."  Again, super surprised that I liked them.  Cindy Woodsmall has definitely jumped to the top of my favorite authors list.  Amish Vines and Orchards is a series that I have barreled through and am trying to patiently wait for the next book to come out *not until Spring of next year, ahhhhh!!!*.  This is book one and I think my favorite.  You can find my review here.

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Debbie Macomber is also a new author on my list.  I've read all six Navy series books, and I'm going through the Cedar Cove series (because I watched the tv series on Hallmark!).  This is probably one of my favorite of the six, but they are all really good.  These are definitely romantic, and they all have a great story line so its not just fluff.  Debbie is a great author, and I would highly recommend trying any of her books.

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I had the extreme pleasure of being able to read and review the 25th Anniversary edition of this book.  When I first announced that I was doing it, my facebook page was flooded with people who had their lives greatly affected by this book and were in shock that I had never read it.  It is an absolutely amazing story of love, of love between a man and a woman; and about the redeeming love of Christ (hence the title).  The book is basically a metaphor.  Even if you are not one to read "Christian" books this is still a great read and I would recommend it especially to young woman in the older highschool/college age range.  I will definitely be giving this to my daughter when she gets older.  You can find my review here.

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This is a cool series that I started reading mainly because we live where they are written.  How cool is that?  I can actually go to the places that are talked about in the books.  Another cool little tidbit is that the author, Margaret Truman, is President Truman's daughter.  Pretty neat.  Murder in the Supreme Court is probably my favorite so far, but I've only read four of them.  There are a ton!  I'm excited to continue you on with this series and visit all the places talked about.


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Apparently this book series is supposed to be a movie soon, although I haven't really done the research on that.  It popped up on my free book deals notice for Amazon, although I don't know if it is still free.  It is classified as a Young Adult, and is very Twilightesque...although they aren't Vampires.  Similar but different.  I thought it was written really well, probably a little better than Twilight.  It was a decent story, with some twists and turns.  It was a nice, easy and fun read, especially after some of the heavy books I read this past year.  

Can't wait to read what other people on the linky have as their favs of the year.  I'll probably be adding them to my cue.   Did anyone else participate in a book challenge this year?  Did you finish?  Did you have a favorite book for this year?
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Military Monday - Communication is Magic with #VonageBox

 Communication in the military world can be a tricky thing, however modern technology is continually making things easier and easier.  And grand entrance stage right - the Vonage Box!  When Vonage approached me I didn't know much about them.  I mean I understood the general idea but not much more than that.  When I heard more about them and that they were specifically hoping to reach out to Military members and their families it was thrilling for me!



So let's take a look at what Vonage has to offer for service members and those that are military-connected.

It's clear to me that most obvious benefit to a service like this would be most deployment situations and overseas pcs'.  The ability to chose a local number to where a majority of your friends and family are and then keep said number no matter where you go and how many times you move is priceless.  There are definitely other options out there.  Most of us have used Skype, and there's Google+.  If you have an Iphone you've got facetime.  There are also other internet compatible phone services out there like MagicJack.  What they don't have is the reliability and customer service.  Granted you might not be able to see each others faces like on some of the other products I mentioned; but sometimes a simple and reliable phone call is exactly what you need to breathe a sigh of relief.  You made the connection with your loved one, across states or maybe even continents.  Let's break down and look at some visual comparisons (I'm always better at those anyway).   These are what really got me excited about sharing this with you guys!



Do you see all those orange checkmarks? That is the sign of an amazing product.  Vonage World gives you the ability to call over 60 countries!  All of the major duty stations are covered - Italy, United Kingdom and Germany.  Even unusual locations you might find yourself sent to for things like Embassy duty are covered - Turkey, Mexico.  While there are only 10 countries covered with the mobile plan, my guess is that will be growing; plus, with the ease and price of the VonageBox it would be easy to go that way if you needed.





I'm excited to use the Vonage Box more.  I'm rather lucky to have lots of friends across the world and I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to speak with them more and without the cost I would usually incur to do so.  I think that not only is this a wonderful aid for Military-connected people all over the world, but for friends and family separated by country for other reasons.  These days it is incredible how global our society has become.  If anyone had told me that I would have friends living in Spain or England I would have probably thought you were nuts; and those people aren't even military.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rhe's Bookshelf - Love and Respect in the Family


Summary:
Children need love.  Parents need respect.
 It is as simple and complex as that!
When frustrated with an unresponsive child, a parent doesn’t declare, “You don’t love me.” Instead the parent asserts, “You are being disrespectful right now.” A parent needs to feel respected, especially during conflicts. When upset a child does not whine, “You don’t respect me.” Instead, a child pouts, “You don’t love me.” A child needs to feel loved, especially during disputes.
 But here’s the rub: An unloved child (or teen) negatively reacts in a way that feels disrespectful to a parent. A disrespected parent negatively reacts in a way that feels unloving to the child.  This dynamic gives birth to the FAMILY CRAZY CYCLE.
 So how is one to break out of this cycle? Best-selling author Emerson Eggerichs has studied the family dynamic for more than 30 years, having his Ph.D. in Child and Family Ecology. As a senior pastor for nearly two decades, Eggerichs builds on a foundation of strong biblical principles, walking the reader through an entirely new way to approach the family dynamic. For instance, God reveals ways to defuse the craziness with our children from preschooler to teen, plus how to motivate them to obey and how to deal with them when they don’t. In the Bible, God has spoken specifically to parents on how to parent. This book is about that revelation.

Review:  Another book in the Love and Respect series by Dr. Eggerichs.  I enjoyed the book and the stories were great.  The stories shared about the Eggerichs' family, the differences in the kids and how they felt about how they were raised.  I appreciated the honesty in the pages of this book.  Although not completely earth shattering, Eggerichs' brings to the table reassurance and hope for the Christian parent.  Sometimes you don't need complicated rules or lengthy antidotes to have an impression on someone.  In particular I find that these days, simplicity is the actual key.  Sometimes its whats right in front of you that ends up making the most sense.  Sometimes you just don't see it.  And as the summary stated in the beginning, "it is as simple and complex as that."  I will be the first one to tell you that parenting books drive me nuts, but I've come to realize that in particular parenting books for babies and toddlers are really my vice.  It's the real-life parenting books, with real stories and basic principles *and most importantly honesty* that I am finding that I can't get enough of.  We are always second-guessing ourselves as parents, especially as our kids get older, rely on us less, and are out of our immediate instruction zone.  I'm not sure that that will ever change really, but finding reassurance that what you believe and are trying to accomplish is one of the keys to success.

4 out of 5 stars

You can find this book on Amazon and on loveandrespect.com

**I received this book in partnership with Booksneeze.  I was provided no other compensation.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

CVS, Pampers and the Holiday Season.....



If you've read my blog for any length of time you might know that I cloth diaper.  Its true I do.  But there is occasions when I use disposables.  I'm not perfect and I don't pretend to be.  I really enjoy cloth diapering and I will be the first one in line to tell you to give it a try and that it isn't as hard as it seems.  But sometimes it doesn't work for everyone and sometimes it just doesn't work for me!  Because lets be real....sometimes as moms we don't have it all together.  Sometimes we leave the house and we wonder if the curling iron is still on.  Many times I've gone to the store, come home with a pile of groceries, only to discover that I didn't even look in my refrigerator or freezer and discover that not only do I now have two of almost everything, but there is absolutely no where to stick anything into my freezer...whoops!!!  You know what's awesome though...that's okay.

 A healthy supply of Pampers at our local CVS


The Holiday season is prime "not having it all together" time.  Presents to wrap, cookies and pies to bake, grocery shopping and large meals to make.  We had some guests coming over so I was making sure I had enough of my fancy plates (I love using my wedding china) and enough chairs for everyone.  What I don't want to be worrying about is my diapers, and what if the stores are open, or I have clean ones (my cloth ones).  I know my friendly neighborhood CVS will be open on those major holidays for any emergency that might pop up.  Why?  Because life happens and you gotta be real yo!  I also happen to love CVS because they are the ONLY place that has USAA atms.

Pampers are not diapers I'm super familiar with, other than the Swaddlers newborn size that the hospital uses and I used when my littles were their tiniest.  Recently I have been seeing the commercials for Swaddlers being carried in larger sizes, which I have to say is pretty cool.  Those are nifty diapers.  Name brand diapers are really expensive, but usually you get what you pay for.  I have been pretty impressed with the ones I've used so far.  I feel like they are brand new to me since its been forever since I used them.  You will usually find me skimping on the diapers....however you will never find me skimping on wipes.  I always shell out the big dough for wipes.  I love the Pampers Sensitive wipes....love love love them!  I snagged up the small pack with the adorable Giraffe's on them.  What I appreciate about smaller stores like CVS is that its easy.  Its not a humongous parking lot, teeny tiny aisles packed with people.  I can run in and out with relative ease if facing the Commissary or my local grocery store is just too much for my fragile mom-mind to handle.  They may not have every single type of every single brand...but they will have the basics of what I need, and that is something I'm thankful for!

Make sure to enter to win a coupon so you can snag up your own free diapers and wipes from Pampers!!!

also, if you get a moment could you please go and like a new organization I am a getting behind.  They are doing their part to help clothe children in need in the VA/MD/DC area!  We need to help spread the word and get them some likes on Facebook!!! Thank you so much!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Sunday Social, Week 80

Sunday Social



Welcome to my little portion of the Sunday Social link-up.  If you happen to stumble upon my blog and you've never done a Sunday Social, you are missing out!  Go, quick and join in the fun!  If you are a regular and you made your way here, yay! Thank you!  Please check things out, let me know what you think, leave me your info so that I can follow you (if I don't already).  I also have an awesome giveaway going on - a digital copy of this amazing fitness book, as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. 

Now, onto the good stuff!

1.  What is your favorite holiday season tradition? I don't even know how to pick just one.  If you were to ask some of my closest friends and family they would probably tell you that I am crazy nuts over tradition.  I love old things, things that have been done before...passed down.  They are warm and comfy, like sitting in front of a fireplace with hot cocoa and a good book (you know the paper kind, not the digital kind).  I would be willing to bet that anyone that can't be with their families around a holiday feels the same way.  Traditions are like home...and now that I've wandered down this rambling path...its probably a safe bet that there are too many to name.



parades, gingerbread houses, making and decorating cookies, decorating the tree together with Christmas music playing, Santa Claus, Nativity..and the list goes on.

2. Do you have a certain holiday movie you watch more than others? This would probably fall under the tradition question, at least with  my family.  White Christmas, Holiday Inn, The Bishop's Wife and Miracle on 34th Street are the top ones.

3. Show us your favorite decoration, or Pinterest decoration, you wish you could have. I really really really want a beautiful wooden advent.  I always scour the shelves after Christmas to see if any are on super clearance.  




4. What is your favorite holiday song?  Hands down The Carol of the Bells...oh man, I love it. 

 this is obviously a crazy rockin' version, but I love it!

5. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I'm not really sure if it's really a holiday dessert..although I'm not sure what that means...but I like my good ole fashioned Apple and Pumpkin Pies.

6. What is on your wish list this year? This year I didn't really think about it.  Hubby and I plan on getting a tv for our bedroom finally.  It is supposed to be our gift to each other things year for Christmas, but knowing him there will probably be something else under the tree, while I'm all good and behave *evil laugh* and not get him anything.

Thanks for stopping by!  I can't wait to see what you all have to say and maybe find some new blogs!!


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Fitness Confidential - It's not About Fitness

"This is a sponsored post.  Cammo Style Love received the products mentioned in this post as well as compensation.  I still strive to provide honest and open opinions and commentaries for my readers.  All of this is in accordance with FTC guidelines 16 CFR , Part 255 set up to define the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising."


America’s Angriest Trainer, Vinnie Tortorich, exposes the nasty underbelly of the fitness industry while getting you into the best shape of your life. For over 20 years, Vinnie has been Hollywood’s go-to guy for celebrities and athletes looking to get fit fast. Now, in this hilarious and often r-rated memoir, he holds nothing back. What’s the best piece of fitness equipment money can buy? What’s the fastest way to lose weight: diet or exercise? Why are health clubs worse than used car lots? In FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL, Vinnie tells all. So get ready to get fit, get inspired and get the dirt with Hollywood’s most outrageous personal trainer!


Summary: When I was asked to review this book, there was a couple seconds that I almost hesitated.  I'm not really into to fitness books and dieting books.  In fact they kind of scare me.  They do one of two things, set me up for failure or make me want to throw things.  This book didn't do either of those things.   I know right?!  This is not a fitness book, and this is not a diet book either.  One of the main things that I loved about it was the fact that he spent a good amount of time talking about how all those diet and fitness crazes don't work and how celebrities are like us, and just all these amazing little tidbits that I'm dying to share with you but I don't want to give away.  His totally "I'm calling you on your BS" way of laying it all out there and the realness of him makes you absolutely love love love him.  I've been perusing his website and listening to some of his pod casts. I don't do New Year's Resolutions, and I probably won't start now.  However I will continue to work on the things I've been working on, with maybe a little more focus.  There were thoughts and ideas that I already had, and he confirmed them.  Instead of trying to make me believe in some health myth, he actually reinforced practical ideas that I had already!  Since when does any fitness or health guru do that?   Vinnie delivers practical advice with practical application.  Seriously, anyone can do this!  

Make sure to check out Vinnie's website, listen to some of his podcasts, check out some of the things he's got to say.

You can purchase Vinnie's Book on Amazon in paperback or kindle formats.

One of my lucky readers has a chance to win their own digital copy of the book (yay!!!) and a $25 Amazon gift card.  Good luck!!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

ICE! at Gaylord National Harbor

This year the hubby and I took the kids to see ICE! at the National Harbor.  Normally this is a pricey event, but we were able to snag a special deal on LivingSocial.  It was a truly fun event and the kid's had a blast.  Although I don't know that it is necessarily worth the full price.  It's a really hefty price tag for a couple rooms of ice, even if it is truly spectacular to look at.  They do offer a military discount, and Phillip was free!

This year's theme was Twas the Night Before Christams














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Friday, December 13, 2013

5 on Friday!

Happy Friday ya'll!  I'm excited because I'm hanging out with some new bloggy discoveries today.   Jess, over at Being Mrs. Beer clued me on this fun little link-up. 

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG 
 

Make sure to check out the lovely ladies over at a. Liz adventures, carolina charm, hello! happiness and the good life blog

Happy Friday Everyone!!

{one} Hubby has finally had more than one day off in a row.  Thank the Lord!  We have had such a wonderful time together and we still have a few more days of fun in store - some Christmas fun, volunteering and even a date night.  Check back next week for the low-down on all the fun.

{two} After this week I think I'll be ready for Christmas.  Christmas cards are addressed and mailed, Gift shopping is almost done and will soon be shipped off.  I didn't realize that when I moved away from most of our friends and family we would have to factor in shipping for all the gifts.  And it isn't just the cost, its the timing.  I have to make sure all those gifts get to where they are going before Christmas!

{three} Tis the season for Christmas nails.  I'm obsessed with nail polish.  I have way too much of it.  One of these days I'm going to have to show off my collection.  The fun thing about it is that I can be creative.  For the next couple weeks I have a feeling they will be all about Christmas nails.  Here is this weeks - featuring mostly Julep. 



Ruby Red - Sinful  Colors Professional
the silver - Rebel by Julep
the green glitter - Esmeralda by Julep
the gold glitter - Oscar by Julep
top coat is Sally Hansen Miracle Cure - love it!




{Four} It's time for Christmas Movies!  I just started pulling them out.  I'm all about the Classics.  What movies do you like to pull out for Christmas?



{five} I'm still stalking my bloggy pal and fellow milspouse's blog, Chambanachik, for her Christmas Giveaway Series!  There's so much I want to win!!!  Top of my list is the Erin Condrin GC and the Boot socks from Mil*Spec Couture.  Check out the giveaways for yourself.

chambanachik


thanks for stopping by, and I can't wait to meet some of you all that are participating.  TGIF!




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