Cammo Style Love: January 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day Trip Tips - Baltimore, Maryland

When you live in a large tri-state type area, the possibilities for day trips are endless! And if you're an adventurous family the opportunities are endless. The Cammo Style Love family was able to head on out to Baltimore a family get away. We experienced three of Baltimore's attractions that I would highly recommend to all of you. It was such a wonderful experienced for Mr. Air Force and I, and the kids.

First stop - Ripley's Believe it Or Not!

We were kind of concerned about how the kid's would do. Would they be interested in it? Would they run around and not pay attention to any of it? In fact, they loved it! We all had a fabulous time. They were interested in things, we got to look around and actually enjoy ourselves. I think all the years of taking our littles everywhere are really paying off for us. They still talk about going and want to go back. It's just the right amount of weird, gross, fun, hands on stuff. My daughter's favorite part was the piano stairs. But I think the guy that looks like a snake was a close second. But I'm not going to give away much more. You'll just have to check out. And if you aren't in Baltimore see if there's a Ripley's near you! Make sure you stop by to grab a wax hand. It was well worth the wait (on the weekend there's birthday parties!) and my kids just love looking at their little hands.

Second stop - Historic Ships of Baltimore

These amazing ships that sit in the harbor are just beautiful. It's been awhile since my kids have seen ships like this, and I'm almost positive that none of them really remember going on them. We figured we could squeeze in a couple of them to finish out our day before it got too dark. We ended up seeing three of the four; and FYI to my military readers, there is an amazing discount for military families (Guard and Reserve included). You can visit a Civil War Vessel, a Coast Guard ship, a submarine and a lighthouse vessel. The experience, especially on the USS Constitution was incredible. Our four year old did extremely well on all the ships.

Last Stop - Brick Oven Pizza in Baltimore

Seriously guys, the best gluten free restaurant pizza I have ever ever had! Great atmosphere, amazing staff and seriously good pizza. Plus, it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so you know it's gonna be goo.
Final Tips

We stayed outside the city, in Linthicum, MD near the airport. It was not trouble to hop right over to the city, and there are tons of nice hotels to stay at all right here in that area. We stayed at the Westin BWI, which was a lovely hotel. Customer service was impeccable, the bed was amazing. However, I don't know that I would stay there again. It didn't really fit our needs. There's a cooling station, for drinks, and not an actual refrigerator. The wifi isn't free and there is no continental breakfast unless you upgrade to the executive suite. Then you can access their club. We got a wonderful deal so that went into the decision, and I did want a more fancy experience for Mr. Air Force, since this was a "return from deployment" family getaway.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Top Posts of 2015

I really can't believe that January is half-way done. Why must time fly so fast? I feel like when I was kid..even when we were first married without kids, that time went by much slower. And now that I want it to slow down it feels faster than ever. What is that about?! I was looking through some of my past posts and was noticing all the love and I wanted to look back over the last year and some of my favorite posts, and the ones that have been really popular. Getting sappy a little bit here, but I just want to thank all of you for reading my words and making it what it is. It is something that I really enjoy doing and its just such a blessing.

So lets look back at some of my favorite posts!!

1. Halloween Care Package with kids - having just completed a deployment, we of course had to work on a care package or two. This one was really fun for the kids, and we wanted to also bless the mates of my hubby and threw in a couple fun things for them. We included treats and Halloween decorations.

I loved writing this post because I was able to share with you all what books have really blessed
my life as a Military Spouse. Its not always easy, but gaining comfort from the stories of others is 
really what gets you through the rough times. This list will only continue to grow; and if you have books to add I'd love to hear about them!!

This was part of a sponsored post series I did, and I loved doing it because finding ways to thank Veterans is so important to our family. I loved sharing ways that we have taken time out to thank them, and ways that we have been blessed by others thanking us! This was my most popular post of the year!!!

A guest post from milspouse and bloggy pal, Rebecca, from What Rebecca Thinks!
You guys loved this post, and so did I! Sometimes you just need a little dose of real, and Rebecca gives it us here. Make sure to take the time to check out her blog. You won't be sorry.

This was a little trip I took with the kiddos once while Mr. Air Force was off doing his thing.
It was such a beautiful little town and I really really want to go back!

I was really excited about partnering with Lifelock last year to talk about identity theft. 
It was really great and I learned a couple things. This was a really popular post packed with great stuff so share this!!!!!!

Thanks for giving so much love to these posts, making them some of my favorites of last year!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

What the New Year Brings.....

As I walk through the aisles of Target, binge buying planner accessories, I realized that it was actually a new year. I mean, I already knew it was a new year...but I realized what that actually means. Or, to be more precise what social media wants that mean. I need goals and word that defines what I want my year to mean. But listen guys, my Christmas decorations are still, you know, there goes that.

It's the pressure you know? And I've always been the kind of person that puts pressure on myself, I want people to like me, be happy, not hurt their feelings, make them proud and all those things that really have nothing to do with me. I'm not sure if I'm the only one that does this but I shove those feelings down while trying to be everything to everyone and end up cracking like a glass sitting next to an Opera singer. So I'm putting all this pressure on myself and now what?!! I think time management is going to crucial for me this year, that and knowing and accepting my limits. I want to help and I really feel called to, but I definitely thing that putting all my time into things like that isn't good. It's only a quick jaunt till you reach the road to resentment, where you feel like you have no time to recharge. When things like my writing, reading for fun, working out and crafting get taken out of my life because I've filled it up with other things I start to feel that crabbiness. It is this feeling of being out sorts and not knowing why. It wasn't until recently that I realized what that was. I stopped and looking around and realized that  There has to be maybe I do have word!!

Its the never-ending struggle of life - whether you are a mom, not a mom, staying at home or working full time. I really want to strive for that and I think the crucial part of that is not filling your life with too much stuff. Not saying yes to everything, prioritizing my family, recognizing my limitations, and taking time out for me. As a military spouse I have to realize the limitations that can impose on my life. I have to say no to things that I really don't want to say no too, and it kills me. But its a season. A season in my life and I know God is blessing me and using me right where I am at. He can help with those feelings of anger and resentment if I just let him. That is why one of the first steps I took for structure and planning the new year was a scripture-writing challenge. Finding quiet time has always been difficult for me and this really struck me as an amazing opportunity. You should check it out on the Sweet Blessings blog. The next was organizing a reading list for the year. And finally I purchased my new planner and got all sorts of goodies to use for decorating and writing in it.

They are small steps, but are profound for me. Getting centered and prioritizing my quiet time in a way that fits me, and also prioritizing and organizing something that is just for me ( my reading challenge). It's a good start and I'm feeling refreshed and excited about the possibilities for this new year.

what about you? are you overwhelmed with the new year and that means for you? how do you fight that feeling?

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Thanking our Military During the Holiday Season #MetLifeTDP

This post was sponsored by the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central

As a military family being thankful for our military community is something that usually on our minds all time. We are right in the thick of things. During the holidays though, especially when we are fortunate enough to have our loved one home, we think about those that don't. We know the pain and sadness of the empty chair. Its something that can be hard to deal with. But you make your own way. You fill your house with other people that also have empty chairs, or sometimes you just put your daddy pillow in that chair and power through. Sometimes thanking the Military isn't actually thanking the service member. Sometimes its acknowledging the family that is left behind.

Checking in on our fellow Homefront people, inviting them over for dinner, game night, offering to watch the kids so the spouse that is at home can have some time to themselves. These are all ways that anyone can be a part of acknowledging their military community during the holidays, and anytime of the year. Because while the holidays may be some of the hardest times to not be with your family, service members are overseas and away from their families all year long. I make sure to send care packages as much as possible, and if my husband learns of someone he is with that is having a particularly difficult time, they get a care package too. Even a small letter is appreciated! Getting your whole family involved shows your children that they can make a difference, even in a small way. It helps us us cope in our own way,

Organizations and companies, like Metlife TRICARE Dental, also want to wish military families well during the holiday season. The Winter season can be rough when it comes to taking care of yourself. Sickness is going around, sometimes weather makes it difficult to get out, and you just want to stay holed up and cozy in your home. .,.

Metlife TRICARE Dental has some great winter health messages and ideas for us,
 to get us through, not only the holiday season, but the winter season as well.

It's important during Pregnancy, to take of your teeth. In TRICARE's Winter Dental Health Matters issue, they discuss this very thing. "According to the American Dental Association, the hormonal risk of developing gum disease, which can affect your health and the health of your baby." Dental health during pregnancy is so important that TRICARE includes a third cleaning during a consecutive 12-month period at no extra cost. The fact that TRICARE sees the importance and backs it up by encouraging you to take care of your teeth without causing financial difficulties shows me what a great organization they really are.

Another important message this Winter is that of survivor benefits. This is another area in which TRICARE has seen a very real issue and is doing what they can to help during what is a very difficult time. There is no requirement to have been previously enrolled in TDP to utilize the benefit. Premiums are covered in full. And what really hits home for me is that Metlife TRICARE Dental extends this same benefit to those on Guard and Reserve duty, regardless of whether or not they were activated at the time of death. This coverage is made available for three years, and then surviving family is able to enroll in the Retiree Dental Program. This is what is so wonderful about the Military community. Even though things are never perfect, there are so many organizations, for profit, and non-profit, that are supporting you during your worst times.  And for that I'm very thankful. You can read more from their 2015 Winter Health Matters newsletter here.

And perhaps the most important thing to me, as an Air Guard spouse, is the quality of care that we receive from the dental program. I am thankful for the ability to get decent care and I really encourage any National Guard and Reserve family that doesn't have dental, or perhaps only uses civilian, to either sign up for Metlife TRICARE dental or add it as an additional service as we do in our home. Then you will have access to a provider network of over 250,000 dental locations worldwide! And as a National Guard or Reserve service member, who is enrolled in TDP, you can have your network provider fill out the Department of Defense Active Duty/Reserve Forces Dental Examination Form (DD form 2813) at no cost. Hubby does this all time, at a dentist of his own choosing, without having to go on base. Its really awesome!

connect with them on social media!

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Making the Most Of Winter Break

"This post was provided by SpouseLink. SpouseLink is a free website for Military Spouses that was created to support, inform and inspire users with a variety of content–anything from pop culture to important Military information. was created by AAFMAA, a non-profit, membership association that supports the American Armed Forces community with affordable insurance and widow survivor assistance services."

What to do, what to do? The holidays are here and so are your kids, thanks to school closures over Winter Break. For some families, this is a very welcome time of togetherness that they look forward to all year long, especially for military spouses if it includes time spent with loved ones who are usually not at arm’s length. For others, having the kids home and constantly under foot — and possibly trapped indoors after a snowfall — can make cold, gray winter days seem unending.

So, how can all of you fill your time without driving each other crazy? Here are ten ideas to help you inspire minds, both young and old, when you’re all together.

·         Enjoy the splendor of winter. Bundle up and go outside for a walk, sledding or to build a snowman. While you’re out there, take in all the sights, sounds and scents of the winter season — the bright colors of winter birds, the homespun smell of smoke from a crackling fireplace, the twinkling of holiday lights on houses, and the subtle, heartwarming scent of pine trees.

·         Make holiday ornaments. Salt dough ornaments are classically kid-friendly and can be shaped with cookie cutters or by hand, capturing handprints for the years to come. Leave them as is for a natural look, paint them to match your d├ęcor, or apply glue and sprinkle them with glitter. You can even think ahead to the next holiday by making heart-shaped ornaments to hang in Febrary.

·         Watch a holiday movie marathon. Choose your favorite movies (they don’t have to be holiday-related), whip up some hot cocoa, gather a plate of fresh-baked cookies from the kitchen, snuggle up under a warm blanket on the couch, and press “Play”.

·         Write thank-you notes. Remember all those gifts you’ve just received? Even if you opened them in the presence of the gift-giver, think how special they will feel opening their mailbox to find a handwritten (or at least a hand-packaged) thank-you note from you — not to mention, if you live far away from the person you’re thanking, they will have fun seeing the postmark and stamp on the envelop. And your kids will be admired for their good habit of gratefulness.

·         Clean the house. No, it’s not the most “fun” thing on this list, but just think how you’ll feel in the New Year knowing your house is clean! Everyone can be responsible for de-cluttering their own space on Day 1. On Day 2, tackle any other rooms that need a touch-up — working individually or as a team. On Day 3, reward yourself with a meal made by all… or just kick back and relax, enjoying the refreshed space you’ve created!

·         Shop the after-holiday sales. Yes, heading off to the stores with kids in tow can be an adventure in itself, but if you plan to make a day of it, you can come out in the end with a smiles on everyone’s faces. First, decide where you want to shop and agree to only purchase items you really need. Pre-purchase movie tickets so you have a shopping deadline and scheduled chill-out time. Afterward, get back out in the shops again, if everyone’s still game, or head home to review your new treasures.

·         Snap photos of each other. Catch the moments that usually get missed. Hand off your camera or cell phone or tablet to each member of the household for a few minutes at a time. It will be interesting to see what their individual perspectives are: Mom cooking from the point of view of the floor; Baby crawling from the point of view of standing on top of a chair; Dad shoveling snow from the upside-down point of view of a sled. Etc.

·         Let the kids plan and make dinner. Have your little one choose a cuisine (e.g., Italian), make up a menu and decorate the kitchen table as though it’s a restaurant. No need to buy anything special for these activities. Use what you have or make it with supplies on-hand. It’s a great way to inspire kids in the kitchen, help them learn to cook, encourage their crafty creativity, and practice their handwriting skills. (And they will just think it’s for fun.)

·         Sort clothes and shoes. Wintertime is a great time to go through drawers and closets to determine which summer clothes no longer fit — or won’t fit when summer comes around again. Drop the ones you no longer need or want into a donation box for the nearest thrift store and throw away anything that isn’t in good condition. You’ll feel good knowing you’ve gotten rid of things that can no longer be used, and create space for new ones.

·         Keep in touch. Haven’t seen your best friend in a while? Are your kids longing to see their school buddies? Set up a lunch date, phone call, or Skype chat for yourself, and play dates for them. It will give all of you the one-on-one “me” time you’re looking for at a time when everyone, just like you, is wondering how to fill up their Winter Break days.

connect with spouselink!

AAFMAA's social media handles are as follows as well:

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