8 Mother’s Day Gifts for the MilSpouse in Your Life

Whether you are looking for a gift for your mom, wife, something you can hint to the hubby or even for one of your best friends, the idea of supporting military spouse and/or veteran businesses while I’m gift giving makes me so happy! We have so many creative military spouses and veterans in our space that we can support. The list is probably extensive, but these are some of my favorites! Share yours in the comments below!

Designs by Katie Leigh ~ I met Katie just recently and I was so excited because this girls knows how to make jewelry! It’s affordable, well made and her customer service is stellar. If you have an questions or an issue she’s there and will do her best to answer or fix. You have probably seen her stuff all over my feed since I am a brand ambassador for her, but I can’t go anywhere in her stuff without someone commenting on it. Enter “Rheanna” on your checkout for a little surprise


Sword and Plough –  I had the extreme pleasure of meeting the ladies behind this brand last year. Their motivation and company in general is so inspiring and I think that what they are doing is amazing. They have a commitment to donating a portion of their profits to support service members and their families through various organizations. They employ military veterans and spouses in every stage of their design and manufacturing. S&P uses recycled materials and packaging and have a goal to maintain a low carbon footprint, as well as manufacturing their bags in the good ‘ole USA!

This is the bag currently on my wish list!

Hope Designs Ltd – Lauren from HDL combines two of my favorite things jewelry and vintage brooches. You guys, seriously this stuff is so beautiful. I’ve been a brooch fan for a long time. Well before I had kids I would ask for brooches and wear them on my wool jackets in the winter time. Even now you will find a brooch on my nicer jackets. Its my thing and I love it. But Hope Designs is much more than just your grandma’s brooches. You can find earrings, bracelets and even men’s accessories, all celebrating our military lives of then and now. The items below are some of my favorite.


MasonChix – founded by a military spouse and special needs mom, purchasing from MasonChix will get you two things. First, it will get you an amazingly comfy and cute shirt (I have several), and second, you will be contributing to the purchase of special needs swings for playgrounds! You guys, if that doesn’t make you feel good about your purchase I’m not sure what will!


Daisy Fae Designs –  I can’t remember where I first stumbled upon this shop. On one of my many late night Etsy rabbit holes most likely. But the bright colors and fun designs drew me in to this wonderful lady her company. I feel like the picture will say it all! You can find all sorts of fun designs including the adorable prickly pear and lemon prints in her Desert Collection! And don’t forget about the super adorable skinny scarf trend that is making a comeback! Adorable prints in that and traditional cowl scarf designs are available as well.

Bottle Breacher – One part self-defense, one part bottle opener? Put it on a keychain and color it pink?! I’m sold! I love my bottle breacher!! Plus, this isn’t just for mother’s day guys. Bookmark this one for promotion, retirement, birthday, wedding gifts, whatever! Full size bottle openers, Shirts, wine bottle openers, coolers. They’ve got it all.

Combat Flip Flops – Also someone I was so grateful to have spoken to and met last year was the founder of Combat Flip Flops. He and his wife are pretty amazing people, and the purpose of this company makes my heart melt. Buy any product and you are funding a day of education for an Afghan Woman. Buy any Peacemaker (Jewelry from their Peacemaker, be a better human line) and fund the clearance of 3sq meters of landmines. Buy a Perfect Circle (beautiful lapis lazuli bracelet – currently sold out) and employ American Gold Star families and Afghan war widows. Plus, their flip flops are just comfy…got mine in pink (are we surprised?) The ones pictured below are the ones I have. Super comfy and made with a combat boot outsole! Recycle and reuse my friends.


The Rosie Company – Founded by MilSpouses, The Rosie Company started out with these adorable planners – “The Rosie” and have branched out into so much more. They have apparel, accessories, cute pens and a ton more. I haven’t seen the planner up close and personal, but I have a lot of good things, especially for newer military spouses or new to paper planning. There are a ton of reviews out there for those interested in delving into the paper planner world (trust me, we know we are crazy). Check out all their products by clicking the link.



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MilSpouse Summit 2013: Will You Be There?

         In the world of blogging I still fill like a newbie.  It’s only been about two and a half years.  It was one of those things where I just jumped in, all in, without really thinking much of it.  From there it has just evolved…and kept on evolving.  About a year ago I attended my first blogging conference, a military blogging conference.  There were several of us “Spouse Bloggers” there and it was one of those celebrity kind of moments for me.  So many bloggers that  I had been following were now all of the sudden right there in front of me.  It’s how I started writing for Homefront United Network, how I met some amazing supporters of the community and how I met one special lady who totally got me, who understood my life and me (secretly snarky and all).  The only down side to this thing is that I spent that weekend being spoiled only to watch us be spread back all over the United States.  What it made me realize is the importance of being in the same space.  Yes, many of us live on base and have that community.  I don’t, so to be surrounded by like women, with similar goals and very similar backgrounds was priceless.  The people that I met and the experiences that I had were far beyond my wildest expectations. 

 The Mil-Blogging Gals!

Me and Angela (Founder of The HUN) and Heather (now Associate Editor @ Military.com)

So, of course I was looking forward to this year’s events.  However, this is going to be a whole different format, not necessarily a blogger thing, and pretty darn awesome if you ask me.  If you are or are going to be in around the DC/VA area April 11-12 then this is the place to be my friends.  Its as close to a once in a lifetime experience that I can think of.  The friendships you will make, the connections you will experience are 1000% worth it.

Me and Jacey (Director of Spouse and Family Programs at Military.com)
Here’s what you can expect from the Military.com Spouse Summit 2013
  • No Power Point (although I’m that nerd that wishes she was still in school…but I have a feeling I won’t be disapaointed)
  • No Panels
  • Representatives from the Center for Deployment Psychology, The Warrior and Family Support Center, USC’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and some pretty awesome speakers…perhaps one of the coolest is Sal Giunta – Medal of Honor Recipient.

        This will be the place for you to network, make friends and discover all the amazing things that will truly help you succeed and go forward in your military life.  Whatever is important to you I’m will to be that there will be focus on it, or you will meet someone that is in your position and can help you.  I know that is exactly what happened to me last year.

Visit the Spouse Summit website to learn more and register today!  Can’t wait to see you there.

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Military Monday – The Toughest Job

I’ve been debating on whether I would eventually write about this topic.  Its one of those things where certain cliche sayings come to mind like, letting sleeping dogs lie or some things are better left unsaid.  However, everyone is talking about it and so why not jump on the bandwagon…since my view is, from what I can gather, the opposing viewpoint.  The issue at hand is that little phrase, ” (insert military branch here) wife, toughest job in the (insert branch again.”   The prevailing thought seems to be that this is highly offensive, although the idea of it being highly offensive is news to me.  In the 10 years that I’ve been a gf/fiance/spouse, it wasn’t until recently that I even thought of it negatively.  Lots of things have been coming up recently that I had never thought of before, that I’ve all of the sudden head people getting upset about.  I wonder how much of it is social media, or just people’s need to be mad, or pick a fight.  My husband tells me all the time I like to be angry, so I’m trying to make a concerted effort not to be.

Before I heard all the negative thoughts I always thought of this phrase as cute, as a way for military spouses to show support to each other, to lift one another up, and just a cute silly thing to put on a bumper sticker or t-shirt.  Literally – its not the hardest.  I get that, I really do.  Being the wife that stays home when her EOD, or Special Forces husband is deployed clearly is the toughest part of being in whatever branch of service they are in.  I’m not a complete idiot.

I asked my husband what he thought.  Its what I usually do when I want to get a grasp of something in reality.  He’s super grounded, and my anchor on emotional topics.  He looked at me and laughed and was like, “I don’t care.”  There you go people, straight from the horses mouth.  Mr. Air Force is pretty even keeled.   Not much of anything bothers him, and I’ve rarely seen him upset in the 14 years that I’ve known him.  However, if he feels strongly about something he’ll tell me.  When the whole hullaballoo over thanking current serving military people on Memorial Day came out he had an opinion.  People mean well, calmly say thank you and let them know what the day is really remembering, but don’t get all upset.  People are less apt to listen when you get angry and overly emotional.  That’s not to say that just because someone is well intentioned we should just let them do and say whatever they want.  But you get my drift.

So, there you have it.  It doesn’t bother me and when you take it for what it is, a support for wives, a little fun, that really truly isn’t hurting anyone, then why would you spend the time getting upset about it.  Now if you are the kind of person that wears that shirt or has that bumper sticker, or if you know someone like this, and you ACTUALLY think you have the hardest job and you act like you are the shizz that’s a whole different story.  I would wager a bit of money that it wouldn’t take a little saying to make that person act that way.  There will always be people like that, its the nature of the beast.

Maybe I have a little bit of a glass too full kind of attitude about it.  I mean, I just don’t get upset about it, and the hubby doesn’t get upset about it so I guess that is all that matters.

What do you think?  Am I crazy or do people seem to be reading too much into it then necessary?  Are we making a mountain out of a mole hill or should we be gathering signatures to abolish this saying?

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Military Monday on a tuesday: It’s Ball Season….so poo on you

So this was supposed to be my normal military themed monday post. But, my little guy turned one so I thought I would push this out a day and celebrate my little man!! You can see him over one year here. thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

My facebook news feed is littered with pictures of my friends all decked out in beautiful dresses for their respective military balls.  They are talking about it, posting pictures of what they might wear, sending me texts to ask my opinion; I even went shopping with one of my friends to look at some pretty dangly earrings to compliment her dress.  Don’t get me wrong, its exciting…that is…if you’re going.  If you’re not, well, lets just say it kinda sucks.  When you’re a military spouse the Ball is like the payback, the redeeming factor, the thank you let’s pretend we’re back in high school, sans kids, and get all gussied up and have fun.  It’s definitely worth a run-on sentence or two.  You might see some fun posts about what not to wear to military balls, like this one on Spouse Buzz..one of my favorites.

 Waiting for that beautiful invite to come in the mail inviting us to the ball, going shopping for the dress, the shoes and the jewelry, its all part of the fun.  I love it!  The hubby on the other hand can’t stand it.  I mean, he goes, for me really.  He’s not the most out-going type of guy, which might be completely surprising if you met him.  He’s not a hermit or anything, but spending all event schmoozing it up probably isn’t on the top of his bucket list.  He goes, for me.  This year, circumstances being what they are, we aren’t going.  I thought we might have a chance to attend another one…but, again, circumstances being what they are, we aren’t.

 I’m really sad about it.  More so then I would have thought, if you had asked me about not going awhile ago.  I’m not gonna like, I got a little teary about it.  It sounds silly as I’m writing about it now, but that’s my thing!  That’s the like the thing….you know, my big ‘ole military spouse thank you.  In all honesty, when do I really get to dress up like that?  I’m not really attending any operas or ballets, or Broadway.  Dinner’s out, even on date nights, aren’t usually super fancy.  I probably would have dug out one of my old dresses and worn them again, since ball gowns typically don’t go out of style.  I might have gotten some new shoes and some new jewelry…probably would have gotten my nails done, but would have done my hair myself.  So, here I am, not going this year and its kinda a bummer.  I have had plenty of times to dress up and dance with the hubby.  We started dating in highschool, so we had several school dances, our wedding, and a couple military balls.  So I’m not totally deprived.  This year has been hard though.  Moving across the country only a couple of months after having a baby, and a surgery…to a job where he’s hardly around, has been really rough.  I was sort of looking forward to this nice mirage in my little desert. 

Maybe just maybe I can talk the hubby into a fancy date here soon.

Anyone else missing their military ball this year?

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Military Monday week 61

            Hello, hopefully all my still awesomely wonderful readers. I’ve reached that point in motherhood where I think my kids are devouring my life. Phillip is busy busy busy, and hello is apparently obsessed with cell phones, remote controls and laptops. Brian is an emotional six year old; and thankfully I have an amazing friend (who happens to make beautiful purses here)  and told this is normal. *hallelujah*  I also have an amazing three, almost four year old, who is either going through her terrible two’s now (which she didn’t really when she was actually two and way more controllable) or she apparently is a 13 year old trapped in a 3 year old’s body.    All of that to say, my great blogging plans have gone awry.  But I really want to thank everyone who is still there, and those that read my MOM post and commented.  It was a really emotional post for me and all the comments were amazing.

         So onto Military Monday.  I’d love to get more questions from you guys to answer on these days.  I get asked so many all the time, sometimes I forget them, but if you guys have any let me know and I’d love to tackle it.  But for today I’d like to talk about Deployments, or any type of separation you may have.  Me and the huzz have quite a few.  You’d think we’d be pros at it but we are still learning.  This is a pretty hot topic in the military world, so why not tackle it myself.  What do you tell your significant other when they are away?  Do you try to keep intense information to yourself?  For me I try to keep it together as much as possible when we do get to talk.  I try not to pester him with the stressful stuff that happen around here if I can help it. We sort of work on a need to know basis.  One particular incident came up where a far removed family member had passed away.  I was notified of it and made the decision not to track down my husband, which was at the time almost impossible.  It wasn’t a close family member, someone my husband had met as a young person maybe once.  I had to handle it myself, and protected him from what could have been a potentially been an extremely high stress situation for him for various reasons.  If I get a flat tire, get locked out, the car has a multitude of things go wrong, the kids go nutso, and about a million other things that do go wrong as soon as those boots leave my house, I choose to keep as much of that as quiet as possible.  Although sometimes I wonder if me trying to be all happiness and sunshine and rainbows will only truly be successful if I’ve got a strong support system.  I think when we were only two hours from my family and a lot of my closest friends all of that was easier for me.  Now that we are across the country I’m finding that it is harder for me to keep a lid on my emotions.  I have less of a support system here, I haven’t found steady babysitters for mom time, and now that we are technically on guard status, many programs that were previously available to me aren’t.    With the stress of moving, getting settled, and children at three very different and very demanding stages in life, throw in a mom and many close friends that happen to be three hours ahead of me and very busy themselves, it makes for a very tough time had by all in Cammo Love house.

          If you asked me on any day of the week I would tell you that in my most humble, ten year military significant other opinion, trying to keep things as stress free when your guy or gal is gone is probably the way to go.  Of course, this doesn’t mean one should bottle up every emotion you might have for however long they might be gone.  Recently I’ve discovered that that is a rather horrible idea and it only leads to complete emotional overflow and word vomit on your poor unsuspecting husband *ahem..me*  Finding balance in all aspects of life is important, and this common military conundrum s/o’s face is no different.  Find your balance, talk about what you expect during a separation and what your deployed spouse, boyfriend or fiance expects.  Find your support system whoever, and wherever they might be.  Take lots of deep breaths and find your way to breathe.  Mine is crocheting and knitting, finding a good book to read and sometimes eating a pint of ice cream and having a good cry.

How do you handle separations?  What do choose to tell your deployed significant other and what do you decide can wait until later?

And to get in a little mommy and me monday photo op here ya go!!!!

Marine Parents

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

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