Cammo Style Love: 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - The Year of Books #FF

 Welcome to #FF, Feature and Follow, with Parajunkee and Allison Can Read! If you love to read, blog about books, or want to start...come join the fun!

Again people I failed to meet my challenge! Oiy!!! I didn't realize how many novellas I read this year, ones that I didn't really think qualified so I didn't add them on my Goodreads. Boo Hoo people! But some good things happened, with me and books - I read some movie books before I saw the movies (and then realized how much I hate Nicholas Sparks - read the post here) , I read some really amazing books that I really loved, and I started a book club with some local military spouses. So, although I didn't meet my challenge, I read a lot of books and I continued my love affair with books.  More books were read then last year, and we did a lot of kid book reading this year too.

Murder in the CIA by Margaret Truman 

I continued reading the Capitol Crimes series by Margaret Truman. Loving this series, and its particularly amazing because we live here, and I've been to a ton of the places mentioned in the books. That is pretty darn cool. This is a great series and I would recommend it to any mystery book lover.


Split Second by Alex Kava 
This is the second book in a new series that I started reading, at the suggestion of my mother. The subject of the book is a female FBI agent, and most of the books take place in the Virginia area. 


Steel Will by Shilo Harris 

Absolutely amazing book to read! A must read.


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I delved into my YA book reading side. Yes, I read twilight, yes I liked them. Don't judge me! I knew that they had made a movie out of this book and I had always wanted to see it. So I read the book and then watched the movie with one of my girlfriends. They didn't do a bad job. If they had really tried to do it justice the movie would have had to have been a million hours long. It is an extremely long book, but really good. I was going to read the second book, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Its on my list of to-dos for 2015!

Seasons of Tomorrow (Amish Vines and Orchards #4) 

The last in one my favorite Amish Series! I almost don't want it to be over, and I'm not actually sure if it is. There would be some good spinoffs in there. Cindy was my first foray into Amish books, as I'd been hesitant because it didn't really seem all that interesting. However, Cindy sucked me in and I became an addict.

So those were some of my favorite books of 2014! You can check out all the books on my challenge list by friending me on Goodreads. I'd love to check out all the books you are reading.

Did you have a favorite book of 2014? 

 

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Give your child gift of Math this festive season, Kindergarten to Grade 5! *Discount and Review*






Splash Math is an award winning math program for kids of ages 5-10 which can be used both at homes and in schools. Splash Math has benefited over 9 million kids and has been used in over 50,000 classrooms. Available on iPads, Android tablets and web, Splash Math works across multiple platforms and devices.

Splash Math is an adaptive program. It personalizes math practice depending upon the child's level of mastery and covers all math skills for all grades - Kindergarten through 5. Splash Math collects the practice data and shares analytical reports with the parents/teachers.

Splash Math combines the best of both worlds. For a child, Splash Math appears to be like a game which rewards on getting answers correct, keeping them engaged all the time. For a parent, Splash Math covers all necessary math skills for their grade levels and provides crucial insight on the child's performance.







Review: 

So, there is a limited access free version of the apps (both for elementary age level, and preschool ages) so we downloaded it and I had my oldest check it out. School can be rough for him. He's a wiggly, easily distractable boy that definitely struggles. He's also extremely bright and does well when focused. He gave this app two thumbs up. As a parent I also liked it. The problems were right on with what he is learning at school, he was excited with the reward system and it appeared to be very easy for him to follow (instruction wise). I would like to see long-term what it does for him, and how effectively it aids his math skills. But all in all, it seems like a great app. Pricing is affordable, especially if you are looking for just math help. It does one thing and does it well, sort of like Chick-Fil-A you know? There are other learning games out there, that also cost money, but they cost more because they are covering more areas of learning. So if math is where you need help this might be a good alternative for you.





























Special 20% discount - This holiday season, Splash Math is offering a Special 20% discount. Go to Save 20% Off Splash Math to access the discount.

Here's a little video preview of the app



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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Idina Menzel "Holiday Wishes" Christmas Album

I received a copy of the Idina Menzel holiday album “Holiday Wishes” as a member of One2One Network. As always, my views and opinions are my own.

I'm a succor for a good Christmas album. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, that's it. My Pandora, my Songza, the CDs in my car, Itunes, you name it I've got it. That also includes an actual Bing Crosby Christmas recond....I'm serious about my Christmas music people.




It is full of your classic Christmas songs, including a duet with Michael Buble. Hello people, swoon! Sign me up for whatever album he is singing on. While Idina's voice is definitely a Broadway type voice (clearly that is where she is most at home), and not a classic, more pop-sounding voice the album is still good. I'm not sure that everyone would notice or care about something like that. But its like watching classic Broadway actors in on-screen movies. Its just different. For your little ones that love Frozen, this might be fun for them. "Hey, its Elsa and she's singing Christmas music!

Songs Included

  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • The Christmas Song
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Michael BublĂ©)
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • All I Want For Christmas
  • What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  • December Prayer
  • When You Wish Upon A Star
  • Silent Night
  • River
  • Holly Jolly Christmas
  • White Christmas


It is definitely an album to add to your Christmas Music collection. Very rarely does one come out that adds something new or different to the season. Frequently albums are just the same old songs being sung in the same old way. Idina adds something a little fresh and new; and while her voice might not be everyone's favorite and might be a little too "Broadwayish (I swear that's a thing", it is sure to add a little holiday cheer to your day.

available at Target and on Amazon

**this post contains affiliate links**

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MakeUp by 1D - Mascara, Lip Gloss and Nail Polish Oh MY! *WIN*

Make-up by 1D Haul! OMG, I'm in make-up heaven!!! 


It's so much that I'm planning a couple review posts and videos for you all, but I wanted to share the haul first; as well as giving you the chance to win some of your very own Make-Up by 1D.
What I will say is that so far I'm loving it. These are all new sets so let me update you on what they have now. Again, the different make-up items are named after 1D songs.



 ELECTRO GLAM MASCARA -  ($16.50) this is a tri of colored mascara for your lashes (or HAIR). This, along with a lot of the other make-up in this collection, will react to UV light. This is probably good for all that clubbing we do right? LOL. Although my first thought was the next time I do a Glow Run I'm going to be set! I wore the pink the other day for fun and I got tons of compliments on it. People totally thought it was cute! It isn't overly bold when not worn in a UV setting. Haven't tried it yet in my hair, so we'll see when I give it a go.

LIQUILIGHTS GLOW GLOSS - Liquilights Glow Gloss sparkles brilliantly during the day and illuminates under UV black light after dark. Enriched with natural oils and vitamin E to keep your lips soft and hydrated all day and all night.

ROCK ME NAIL KIT, featuring NEON UV-REACTIVE Nail Varnish and UV-REACTIVE GLITTER nail toppings that add even more sizzle to your mani. Sprinkle the glitter over wet polish for a subtle accent, or go for the glitz and dip your entire wet mani in mega-watt sparkle!

 

These glitter pods are interesting, because it is literally loose glitter sitting in a little pot. you sprinkle it over your wet nails. It's basically like elementary school all over again where you have to pour the glitter on over a piece of paper. Then you have to bend the paper and dump it back in the pot. So, its not easy and a little time consuming but its pretty cute. It covers really evenly but you definitely have to put clear polish over the top because it will come right off. I forgot about this and within the hour the glitter was gone.

The actual glitter polish is really awesome though, it has great coverage and can be worn alone, instead of as an overlay. The blue polish is kind of watery so it takes several coats (probably close to four) to get a solid color. These are heavy polishes at all. I'm not really sure how I feel about that considering most of the polish I like and use is the complete opposite of that. This set will run you about $16.50 at Macy's.

Makeup by One Direction arrived in stores November 15th! and can be found in Macy's, Dillards, Lord & Taylor, Boscov's, Stage Stores and Beauty Brands.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Military Monday: This Land, supporting American Made Products *2014 Holiday Gift Guide*

Boy, its been a long time since I've done a #MilitaryMonday post. Since Christmas is upon us I thought I 'd do some combining and share a possible gift guide item with everyone. I just recently came across this company on the page of a friend of mine. And while I don't know a ton of the details of where the proceeds that do go to Veteran's go to, I will do some digging around and find out more. What I do know is that the owner comes recommended, and it is a veteran owned business and I can get behind that. Plus, when you're talking about support American-made products, that's even better!  So lets get on with it.


What is This Land

A clearinghouse of amazing American Made products for you home and your body! All made here in this beautiful country of ours by local craftsmen. How cool is that? And a lot of this stuff is really affordable. Usually I'm scared of buying American Made, because even though I know the price is worth it, its still terrifying. But this stuff isn't scary one bit.

Some of my favorite items




They even have toys!!


Check this link for gifts under $50

"Inspired to reconnect with America's spirit of craftmanship...." I love that! If you want something hand-made, with love and passion...sometime to be treasured check out This Land and support local artisans and this great country of ours.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lemony, Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

When I started getting The Farm Table boxes I was so excited to get all these new and interesting vegetables to try out. I also experienced my first White Sweet Potato. Since sweet potatoes aren't something that we usually partake of I was really at a loss of what to do with them....so I stood and stared at my pantry for a little while and eventually came up with this! This was also my first time using my Lemon Olive Oil that I got from a friend in Italy. OH man! I wish I had used it earlier, but I was totally nervous.



- cut up your sweet potatoes (after washing and drying) and lay them out on your cookie sheet

- drizzle Lemon Olive Oil and stir around to coat (doesn't have to be perfect)

- salt and pepper to taste

- for 3 cut-up sweet potatoes I used 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of rosemary

- bake on 375 for about 30 minutes

- half-way through go in, stir them around and flip some over

- done when they are golden

If you try it let me know what you think? Does your family love sweet potatoes? If you live in the Northern Virginia area and want to check out The Farm Table, use my code RheannaTFT for $15 off or ask me about about a trial box by emailing me!

play around with it, but this combination is absolutely magical! Baking the sweet potatoes really brings out their flavor and the mix of sweet and savory on this is epic!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cammo Style Love Gift Guide 2014 - Space Scouts

The Holiday Season is upon us ya'll and while some of us may have gotten a jump start on shopping, there may be some of us that are still searching for the perfect gift. This year I really wanted to focus on unique and not necessarily "toy" type gifts for the family. Things that might be more educationally driven, practical, but still able to grab the attention of the recipient. That's why I'm especially excited to present the first item on the 2014 Gift Guide. This one is targeted for your children, and especially your space-loving children.


Space Scouts monthly subscription club for kids is a delightful learning adventure aimed at discovering the wonders of the universe! Each month your child will explore a new place in space -- stepping into the worlds of space exploration, space science, and astronomy. Join Roxy and Jett as they scout about the galaxy engaging your child in fun learning activities, hands-on discovery, and exciting challenges. Packages arrive each month filled with fun additions to your collection -- magnets, stickers, toys, and more!

Space Scouts is a stellar vehicle for launching your child's interest in science & technology! This is not your typical grab-bag subscription box. Space Scouts is a fun, educational experience where each month builds upon the previous. It's a great way to learn! Price is affordable at $11.95 per month + $3.00 shipping. Discounts for multi-month purchase. Space Scouts is designed for kids age 6+. Visit our website to learn more! 20% discount - Use promo code USFAMILY20 at checkout to receive 20% discount on initial purchase of any Space Scouts subscription plan.


Visit USFamilyGuide for coupon information


**this post is brought to you in partnership with USFamilyGuide and Space Scouts - I received product in exchange for my post, but was not compensated in any other way. As always my views and opinions are my own, and I don't present a product to my audience unless I believe it will be of interest to my readers.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day Thoughts

When I think of Veteran's Day my mind goes to the inevitable online wars where people go back and forth about Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. When do you thank a Veteran, when do you honor the fallen, and how dare you say "Happy Memorial Day!" While the intentions may be good and honorable, its the loudest and the most intense that tend to be heard, and you are left with a bad taste in your mouth. For the record, saying "Happy Memorial Day," rubs me the wrong way; and yes, I believe people have lost sight of what these "holidays" mean. But after so many years of war we are weary, and sad and unlike previous wars we can live that all out on the internet for everyone to see. So, lets stop and get a little education.....

What is Veteran's Day?

Said simply, Veteran's Day is an official US holiday that honors all of those that have served in the armed forces, Veterans. Around the world you will find holidays such as Remembrance Day and Armistice Day, which are a celebration of the end of WWI. In 1956 it was officially moved to November 11 (the original armistice day after further prodding after WWII.



Think about what it was like then? You might have seen some of the documentaries or videos after WWII ended. The sheer exuberance of people, the ticker-tape parades, boys in uniform running around, girls kissing every one they came across. This had really impacted Americans. They had lost so many young lives, 20+ million military members. There was a great cry for a day to remembers those that had served. Memorial Day however was not formally created (although Decoration Day had been sporadically practiced since the civil war) until 1967.

Veterans day.jpg
This picture and story is probably the most beautiful I've seen. On Veterans Day 1982, WWI survivor Joseph Ambrose, honors his son who had perished in the Korean War, by attending a dedication of a VietNam Veterans Memorial. I highly doubt anyone was explaining to anyone in attendance here the difference between the holidays.

So take time today to think about Veterans, all of them - those of the Greatest Generation that are still among us, their fellow service members who they lost. Buy a dinner or a beer for a Veteran and his family, even take the time to honor those that are no longer with us, for they are Veterans too. We don't need a holiday to do any of that really. If we get all wrapped up in arguing with each other (even if someone is right) we lose sight of what is really important. Our anger takes hold of us and that is not honoring anyone.



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Monday, November 10, 2014

Mommy and Me Monday w/ Really, Are you Serious?

I haven't linked up with Krystyn in awhile over at Really, Are You Serious? and I thought my efforts to blog as much as possible in November (I fear my original plans to blog every day might have been to lofty a goal) would be the perfect time to resurrect my participation in the Mommy and Me Monday link-up. We as moms are almost always behind the camera and this link-up forces you to think about getting in front of that camera with your littles, making those memories right alongside them. So here's some of my most recent "Mommy and Me Moments".

 me and my lady bug, during our family vaca to Williamsburg, VA

 Yorktown Beach, a pleasant locals beach that we spent the day at

Phil-Phil and I in front of the West Virginia State Capital. 
Photo courtesy of my oldest

stop by and link up with Krystyn and pay a visit to some of the other mommies
getting in front of the camera today

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Visiting Busch Gardens with Kids *Williamsburg* #BGMomAmbassador2014

 

This year I am so honored to be a MomCentral Ambassador for Busch Gardens here in Williamsburg, Virginia for the 2014-2015 year. We have never has the pleasure of visiting the park, although I had heard from many people (including my mom) how wonderful it is. Having not been on a "family" vacation for almost eight years - you know, the kind where you are just going away as a family and not going to visit family - we thought that this was the perfect time to do it. Our summer was rather crazy so we settled on an "End of Season" getaway to Williamsburg. We stayed at the lovely Williamsburg La Quinta with our Military Gold Card and set out on our adventure to the park.

Before I get on to my tips for visiting with kids, lets start with talking about the theme park itself. Its a beautiful park, with probably the most amazing customer service/attendants I have seen since first discovering Chick-Fil-A. They were wonderfully kind to my children, helpful and fun. One of the most surprising parts was the carnival games sections. We never felt cheated or taken advantage of and the pricing wasn't overkill. The attendant even switched out our winnings when some of the kids realized they had a different kind or color they wanted, no questions asked.

The park is extremely clean, the food areas great (although the bees, sheesh, so many bees in one place), and even the cost of the on-site food wasn't absolutely terrifying. There were enough rides to keep everyone happy and the rentable strollers were pretty cool. We also happened to be in the park just at the beginning of their Hall-O-Scream! *scary!* It was actually really cool and made me wish that hubby and I could have stayed for that part. It was obviously meant for adults, but again we were pleasantly surprised how the actors curbed their behaviors when small children were around. A+++ job Busch Gardens!

 on the tram from parking to the park

 getting our heights checked for the rides - BG's color guide makes it so easy

 the kids' first ride in Seasame Street Place


 Can't believe my cautious first-born went on this!

 yet another ride I'm amazed he went on!

 the park is sectioned into "Country" themes. They are beautiful to look at.

 some of the gardens in England. Beautifully designed and decorated


some of the fall/Halloween decorations

Tips for Visiting Busch Gardens with Kids and On a Budget

1. Stroller rental, while convenient is kind of expensive. With lots of scheduled breaks even my two-year old 
walked around for the eight hours we were there. So bring your own or chance it. If you are economizing the rest of your trip, springing for the rental could fit into your budget.

2. While food is available, I love that Busch Gardens has taken into consideration budgeting for families. In each of the parking structures there are picnic tables that are lovely. These are easily accessed with the tram system. So bring your cooler and take a break from the park to eat your homemade meals.

3. Visit on a Sunday. While we went at the very end of the season, after Labor Day, apparently Sunday is
a great day to go. The park isn't quite as busy as it is Saturday, and we didn't really have to deal with lines. So attending in the off season, and on Sunday will be our MO from now on, at least until the kids are older.

4. Study the park map and circle all the rides you will be able to go on. We didn't do this ahead of time and we walked around to some locations where there really weren't any rides for us to go on. The park is great
and measures the kids, bands them, and then gives you a color-coded paper with the names of the rides you can go on. Save walking time by figuring this out before-hand.

5. Take advantage of some of the built-in rest areas! Through-out the day we took advantage of the play areas, with benches, or places for us to watch the kids get out some energy and hang out. There's a air tram that goes between the different countries and a climbing area in the Sesame Street Place. There is also a splash park in Sesame Place that we didn't know about. Bring a swimsuit and towel for the kids and take a splash break!
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Halloween and Motherhood

You ever have one of those holidays where try as you might things are just off. You have a great time and the kids seem to be happy but your little mom dreams of perfection are dashed in an instant. First off, it serves me right for having one of those "Pottery Barn Kids" dreams. You know the kind. Everyone is perfectly dressed, smiling and organized for the one picture that will end up in the scrapbook or facebook. You think that somehow that picture is the memory and you want it so desperately? Yeah, that was me. It was the craziest of days. My parents had been here for almost two weeks at that point, I had to figure out two birthdays and Halloween. I know the kids don't care, but for some crazy reason I do. I mean seriously, its so ridiculous. Please tell me I'm not alone in this? I mean, look at them. They are so happy, and had a wonderful time. Me on the other hand I let it drive me crazy. We never went to the pumpkin patch (sickness plagued us), we got our pumpkins on the 30th at like 8pm.

But yet, in spite of my crazy my children were happy and had fun. We were blessed with wonderful friends, and lucky enough to have our family here to spend the time with us. Yet, there I was being crazy mom, wanting everything to be perfect and look perfect. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy as mother. We compete against each other, what we think we should be, say and do. But yet, our own insecurities and self-doubt wage the strongest war against us.

All I have to do is look at my children, and remind myself that they are happy and that is truly all that matters.








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