Cammo Style Love: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

On this Day, We Remember {And Teach Our Children}

     "The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that                        freedom to their children" - William Harvard

Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day that I try to remain fairly silent. I usually don't post a blog post or post on social media. But I wanted to share about our weekend with you all. It is the culmination of Military Appreciation Month, Military Spouse Appreciation and remembering those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I think its tough for those with not a lot of experience with the loss of a military loved one. They have been surrounded by Memorial Day sales, and marketing of BBQ supplies, and Happy Memorial Day's and meme's featuring service members. When someone does thank my husband or myself we graciously accept while politely including the real reason for this day. We know what loss is, but we also realize that those that haven't faced it first hand won't be as acutely aware of it. Something I say every year and I'll say it again ~ If Memorial Day is the reason they remember to go out of their way to thank a service member or reach out to a military family, I'll take it. But I will also take the opportunity to politely educate. I have been forever changed by the experiences in my life, and I am incredibly blessed by what I have. I will not forsake those blessings, and will live my life as a witness for those that can not be here.

We are so fortunate to be so close to Arlington National Cemetery, and it is a place that we go often. We feel the opportunity can not be missed, for our children to see and be a part of all that happens. Going to Arlington on Memorial Day is one of those such opportunities. Today was particularly important to me, as we were visiting to grave of Staff Sgt Florich from the Louisiana National Guard. I had previously written an article about him after being moved by the story of his remain being denied burial rites in Arlington. It just so happened that I had had another small connection to the same event that took his life. I had previously met one of the Marine's involved, and his wife, as he was being honored as Marine of the Year for the USO. My short encounter with them touched me and I was so affected by his death. I am continually in awe of his beautiful wife and the whole MARSOC Raider community. Last memorial day SSGT Florich was not yet in Arlington, but this time he was and I was able to spend some time with him today.

If you have the opportunity to expose your children to this I strongly encourage you to do so. My mother has been taking me and my sister to visit various graves of friends and families since we were small. We have both continued this tradition with our own families. No military connection needed. Don't let a lack of military connection stop you. Many of us have some sort of connection to the military these days, and even if you don't and you're reading this, you have me!! Please feel free to contact me anytime and ask me anything. Attend a Memorial Day Parade, a local military museum, look into volunteer opportunities at the USO or other local military non-profits in your area.

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his
life for his friends." ~ John 15:13 

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened." ~ Billy Graham

I am so blessed

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

9 of My Favorite True Crime Books {Genre Lovers Should Read}

*this post contains affiliate links*

7b19a1ac0f1dc41fa6ae1fbe96f9ce742284a615170155e786 Maybe a couple weeks ago Buzzfeed had an article with eighteen true crime books listed. Of course being a self-appointed "True Crime Buff" I clicked. A lot of the books I agreed with, but there were some that were missing that are SO good!!!! So, if you happen to be a fan of the genre you should definitely check some of these books out.

1. The Bone Garden - This one makes me particularly excited because it took place in my home town. I've been to the house, my mom took a tour, and it was a part of my growing up. Dorthea Puente was a female serial killer, one of the rarest of types and completely fascinating to me. She killed people, took their welfare and buried them in their yard. FASCINATING or creepy depending on who you ask.

2. A Sniper in the Tower - This one is both heartbreaking and fascinating. The story of Charles Whitman is almost a curious case. He killed his wife, mother, and decided to go up into the tower at the University of Texas and pick people off. In a very interesting time of police work, where there were no radios like today, they were outgunned, and so much more.

3. Body Parts - Wayne Adam Ford killed four women in Humboldt County, and walked into the Sheriff's office and confessed it. Caitlin Rother is a fantastic author and has written several other crime books. This may not be the most memorable of crime stories, but I just find it particularly fascinating. Ford was sentenced to death. 

4. Fatal Vision - probably my favorite crime book. So much so that my one of my besties gave me a first edition for my birthday and wrote me a note in it. Is that weird? For two people going to school for Crime related things its not so weird, trust me. This is one of those kind of unsolved, but not really unsolved cases. Jeffery McDonald was in the Army, when his entire family was horribly murdered in base housing. While there was enough evidence to convict, the question has always remained. Joe Guinness is the author of this and he spent a significant amount of time with Jeffery during the trial. Fascinating stuff. There's also a really good tv movie.

5. Hush Little Babies - Another argued "unsolved" where you so desperately want to believe its untrue, and you are conflicted by reading it. It's crazy to think about how many of these types of cases are around like this. This one in particular is creepy because it involves a mother killing her children. But the mystery involved, the time it took, the fact that her husband was also in the house. Its a really good book and an intriguing story. There have been several good shows on the story.

6. From Cradle to Grave - This book needs very little introduction other than what is on the book cover. I mean, she was caught almost red-handed smothering her child. Then you realize she had eight other children who died. And THEN you realize she was a nurse with suspicious deaths in her wake. Whoa!

7. The Night Stalker - This particular book is probably one of the most creepy and scary true crime books I've ever read, and I've read a lot. Whenever I talk about this book I tell the story of my mom who couldn't even finish it, it was so creepy. Richard Ramirez is one freaky dude. I mean, the way he just looked over at the cameras during his trial, his smile, his almost rock star persona. Totally creepy. Also, as a little aside, the dude totally got married in prison. Someone married this guy! There is no question that he committed these crimes people. Nonetheless, its up there as one of my favorite true crime books.

8. Most Evil - So this is a very interesting book because Steve Hodel believes his father to be the perpetrator of many unsolved, or "uncertain" crimes, including the Zodiac murders and the Black Dahlia. It is extremely fascinating and I finished the book definitely seeing how what he was saying could definitely be true. As a side note, the two Zodiac books are really good to read before this one. 

9. Women Who Kill - Women Who Kill is a complication book, incorporating stories of female serial killers, and one-shot killers as well. In college female serial killers, and just female murderers, were very particular fascinating to me. At the time it wasn't talked about much; and in fact I had a paper that was going to be submitted to a journal but was turned down because talking about women in such a way was deemed too controversial. You will find a ton of good stories like Lizzie Borden, Aileen Wuornos and even Agrippina. 

Are you a true-crime buff, or a just a fan of non-fiction, and have 
a favorite book in this genre? Tell me about it.
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Monday, May 23, 2016

10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To {and I dream of being a guest on}

Podcasts are my new addiction. I've always been the kind of person that needed to have 'noise' around me, whether that be the tv, music or just sitting out in the middle of the house while the kids are running around. Silence drives me nuts! So really, listening to podcasts are the perfect way to have 'noise' going on around me. There's no reason for me to look up at the tv, and a smaller chance of getting distracted - oh look, something shiny!!! There is also this little part of me that loves the concept of listening to my entertainment. I remember as a kid listening to the radio with my parents. Talk radio, Adventures in Odyssey, and an A.M. station that used to recreate old-time radio shows. Love!! Podcasts to me are as close as we can get to the days of radio entertainment right? So grab a cup of coffee and sit back and listen to some amazing podcasts.

podcasts to listen to

Not only have I fallen in love with so many podcasts, I have secret dreams of being on all of them as a guest star. And if perhaps, some of these amazing podcast would love to a fan-girl segment I'd be okay with that. But no, seriously.....I could figure out something to say, maybe. I have, in fact, been on one podcast and it was such a lovely experience, and really put a bee in my bonnet. All right, so on to the list!!

1. Gilmore Guys

I'm a Gilmore Girls addict, and you might frequently hear me quote lines from it even if I'm talking to people who are not GG fans. You can catch my post about GG, where I talk about how it may or not may not affect how I raise my daughter. This is a longer podcast, one of the longer ones on the list. So just be ready for that. You'll love it and the time will fly by!{language}

2. The Lively Show

Jess Lively is just so fun to listen to. Her podcast really is a lively, uplifting and positive podcast for women. There is so much fun and good discussion. I just love it and almost don't want to go into any more detail because you just have to listen to it.

3. Elise Gets Crafty

The woman behind the Get To Work Book (for all you paper planner nerds like me) podcasts here. This is a great podcast because it talks a lot of what real entrepreneurship  and success looks like - which is so subjective. And that's kind of the point. There are so many different kinds of things that can make you an entrepreneur, and many more things that make someone successful. You can find podcasts about authors, blogging, travel photographers, finding your passions and more.

4. Real Crime Profile

So this is where my true crime nerdiness comes out. Most of the people that are currently in my life {post DC Metro Area move} do not know about my schooling and my life pre-kids. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology, focus of Criminal Psychology and dreamed of snagging an internship at the BAU. I had a cat named Luminol. This show is headed by Jim Clemente, who is a retired FBI profiler. Also on the show is the casting director for Criminal Minds (who works with Jim - he's a writer on the show) and Laura Richards, who worked with Scotland Yard and founded an international stalking advocacy group. So, its some amazing people. {intense topics}

5. Lifegiver: A Military Spouse podcast

This podcast is hosted by Corie Weathers (and a lot of the times her sweet sweet hubby), who was the 2015 Armed Force Insurance Military Spouse of the Year. This has been such a wonderful podcast for me, and if I had to rate the podcasts this might rate pretty close to being the top.  I have been so encouraged and moved to tears during this podcast. It has offered perspectives on marriage, words of advice and validation. It has challenged me in my faith. I'm feeling emotional just writing this description. Even if you aren't a military spouse I feel like this would be an excellent podcast. Corie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is married to an Army Chaplain.

6. The Way I heard It, with Mike Rowe

This is the shortest podcast on the list. Running on an average of 8 minutes you will hear about stories in politics, pop culture and entertainment from a different perspective with the words of the amazing Mike Rowe. And, its Mike Rowe, so I'm not really sure what else you need to know.

7. Probably Wrong Podcast

Two dudes talking about music, culture, faith and the description of this podcast...and its about accurate. Although its way less formal sounding than it is. I'm biased on this one only because I know these guys and they have a special plate in my heart. Its really funny, thought provoking, maybe a little hot topic like. But the best part about it is they're "Probably wrong!" See what I did there? {language}

8. Pulp: the podcast based on a true story

This is an interesting podcast. It started out talking about The People Vs. OJ Simpson, then they've talked about other crime related things like Anita Hill, The Bling crime, but through a pop culture young Millennials? I'm not really sure how else to describe it. They know their stuff, they read, they watch, and somehow it works. There's been a couple times that I've laughed because they don't remember the OJ Simpson trial like I do. Its a fun listen. {language}{intense topics}

9. A Purpose Driven Wife Podcast

So this is one of the podcasts on my list that I have actually been on! Yay! So make sure you find my episode and listen. But Trista is so lovely. Its uplifting, its real, its funny. She is such an encouragement to women, whether that be by faith, by her drive in entrepreneurship avenues, blogging. She's even written a book. You can find topics relating to motherhood, military life, business and faith.

10. She Percolates

This is THE first podcast I ever listened to. I am lucky enough to have met one of the lovely ladies on this podcast {plus she's my go to fashion guru - because of her I now am confident in my pattern mixing ability!} way before podcasting. We worked together in the military non-profit world, her working/me volunteering, for the same organization. So when she announced this whole podcast thing I was fascinated. And its amazing. The description describes it as a podcast, "serving up a fresh perspective on success" and its true. Its empowering and encouraging, uplifting and fun. The hosts personalities really come out through their conversations and its a fun listen.

bonus podcasts!!!!

so i added two bonus podcasts to my list, because, well....I can!!
When I was making my list I just found that I couldn't narrow things down like I had originally wanted to. So I just thought, well this is how its happening now! So I have two bonus podcast choices for you. 

1.  NextGen Milspouse - This is a military driven podcast that talks about issues in and around the military community. There are tips and advice and so much more. what I really love about this podcast and what I think really makes it unique is that it isn't just about being a milspouse. And I think that is something that is true for the NextGen brand as a whole. They have a great online magazine/blog format, and that really translates well into podcast form.

2.  We Are the Mighty Podcast - They have had some really good interviews - Noah Galloway and Bryan Anderson, and I just think the guys are funny. The episodes about POWs and the best characters in military movies were pretty good as well.  I'm pretty sure talking to a lame Air Force military spouse would be low on their list...but I think they are hilarious. Their podcast can run a bit long sometimes, but they are just starting out. {language}

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Giveaway!

Guys! I'm so excited! I haven't had a giveaway in forever, and what better way to bring it back then with an awesome one from the people at Old Spice. Last week I had such a fun time talking about Mr. Air Force and how even if he doesn't ride on the back of a whale he's pretty awesome!

So we've been using the Old Spice Hardest Working Collection for a little while now and I'm still loving the scent. So my military man is definitely living up to the #Smellegendary challenge!!

What do you win?

  • Old Spice Toolkit
  • Oder Blocker/Sweat Defense Anti-Persiprants and Dirt Destroyer Body Wash
  • Entry into a 2016 Tough Mudder event
  • Old Spice T-shirt (this is the best fabric too! Its the amazing soft cotton)
  • A special gift from Merrell - a Tough Mudder partner
  • An autograph from the Legendary man himself, Bob Giovanni (have you seen the infomercials?!! check out my original post for one of my favorites)
  • the ultimate recognition as a Legendary man, with a customizable trophy 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Old Spice (P&G). The opinions and text are all mine.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

My Military Man Smells Legendary....Does Yours? {Sponsored by Old Spice}

I'm one lucky girl, this I know. My man is one hardworking dude, traveling all the time and then coming home to us. As a military spouse I've learned to take care of a lot of things myself - I've put together bunk beds and various other items of furniture, made repairs and put oil in the car. But as much as I'd like to say that I can do all and be all, its just not true. That's why I'm so thankful I've got one of the hardest working men in my house! And my hardest working man deserves a legendary smell. You know what I'm talking about ladies...especially my fellow know you do it...after a little while of them being gone. You sneak into their closet and bury your nose in their clothes don't you ? You wear their sweatshirt when you're snuggled up alone in bed. And, I have a slight confession to make. Mr. Air Force knows that I love his smell so much when he's deployed he sends me one of his shirts in a double plastic bag. Yup, that happened.

We both loved what came in the package and were surprised to learn of Old Spice's partnership with Tough Mudder. I can't think of anything more perfect for a Legendary man than participating in a Tough Mudder. Old Spice might just have been known for his classic smell, but it will be remembered for its kick butt odor blocking and dirt-destroying technology!  Combine the hardest working collection with the legendary smell of Old Spice and you've got magic. {At least in my book} The smell of the bodywash is amazing, and he definitely passed my #smellegendary test.

 see what happens when you use Old Spice? You can ride onthe back whales?!

Mr. Air Force, might not be giving tours on the back of a giant whale, but he works so hard providing for our family and doing his part to keep our country safe. And I couldn't be prouder. So, that's kind of like riding on the back of a whale right? If your man is riding on the back of whales, juggling tools, or just wrestling on the floor with your kiddos, take the Old Spice Smellegendary challenge with me!

Old Spice's #Smellegendary line of products is just what you are looking for, and would make an amazing gift for your Legendary man's birthday or Father's Day. Go out and snatch some up for your man with one of these coupons, or stay tuned for an amazing giveaway next week!!

You'll have a chance to win your very old Old Spice Hardest Working Collection toolkit! 

And just because I love all my readers I'm going to make sure you've seen the 1-800-ProveIt Infomercials! You're welcome...

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Old Spice (P&G). The opinions and text are all mine.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Peter and the Wolf Comes to the Hylton Performing Arts Center {Academy of Russian Ballet}

I'm so very excited to share with you the Northern Virginia Youth Ballet and the Academy of Russian Ballet's perfomance of Peter and the Wolf. We were privileged to see these amazing performers in The Nutcracker this past winter, and were thoroughly impressed. The NVYB is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for young dancers to perform and grow as dancers. One of the things that particularly struck me about this ballet company was the dancers themselves, after they done with the Ballet. My daughter, who is by nature more introverted, was bound and determined to meet some of the dancers. So, we went up to them. They bent down and spoke to her and took pictures. They were completely comfortable with that and it really touched me deeply. The talent in this company for the young age of the dancers is wonderful, and you can tell that there is extreme dedication happening. As someone who has ballet in their blood, these are all things that I look for, and I just can't help it. I find myself look at the small details that most people wouldn't notice. Is there a sickled foot, is it winged up in arabesque? I know I know, I realize I might just have lost you there, but I'm a ballet geek what can I say!


If you are looking for something to do this Friday consider snagging tickets for this excellent production. Bonus: Military families are provided a discount. Just makes me love this organization more. That's not something that they are required to do or even have to do. But it is a window into generosity that makes me want to patronize a company or organization more.  

Peter and the Wolf features Australian guest dancer Victor Leo Smith in the title role. He will wow the audience with his huge jumps and multiple turns.
Paquita has Melissa Zoebisch and Alexandru Glusacov from the Colorado Ballet in the Principal roles.
Very family friendly production and a fun way to spend the evening together! 
Supporting roles performed by members of NVYB and ARB, many of whom just competed at the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix international finals against over 1200 dancers from 36 countries.
Purchase your tickets here! {tickets are also available at the door - subject to availability}
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