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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Eight things ‘Gilmore Girls’ Taught Me About Raising a Daughter

1. Making up phrases together creates a bond Don’t worry, I’m waiting for the perfect moment to bring out my ‘Copper Boom!’ and my ‘Oiy with the poodles already,’ in a perfect synchronization that only an amazing mother/daughter duo can have.

2. When your daughter is the reason two boys get into a fight…sing. If there’s anything we’ve learned from watching Gilmore Girls all these years its that sometimes you have deal with things with a little quip or two. One of my favorite instances of this is when Lorelei finds out that Rory was the cause of the big fight at Kyle’s house. Instead of pushing her, reprimanding her, she simply breaks out into a Bette Middler tune. I mean, come on guys….its epic!

3. Even if you make a mistake, you gotta be honest with your kids. We have only a couple real times in the life of Gilmore Girls that we saw Lorelei let Rory know what was what. When she decided to sleep with a married Dean and when she got drunk on Miss Patty’s Founder’s Day Punch because of Logan. I hope with all that is in me that I never have to face those types of situations with my daughter, but if I do, I hope I’m able to say whats needed to be said. She may not hear me, and may need to figure it out on her own, but if I do it right she’ll know I’ll always be there for her no matter what.

4. A little embarrassment never hurt anyone. Not much to add here…because you know, what parent didn’t embarrass us? Lorelei did it flair….

5. Know where to get college memorabilia in a hurry. When your kid has had their heart set on one college for their entire lives, and suddenly through a hilarious and not so hilarious set up circumstances you know that they really belong elsewhere…..well, lets just say its time to put aside your own feelings and back your kid 100%. So make sure you live with in driving distance or a store that sells that kind of stuff, so even before you have the actual “I changed my mind” conversation you deck their room out with all new stuff. Instant bonding right? And this is applicable to so much in life right? Sometimes our kids are going to do things that maybe we didn’t have in mind. Play a sport we never wanted them to play, go to a school far away from us. But its up to us to encourage that. I only hope when push comes to shove I can do that.

6. If you’re going to throw your life away, make sure there’s a motorcycle involved. In the pilot episode Rory all of the sudden could care less about going to Chilton, something she’d wanted to for awhile {we can only assume}. But that adorable boy with the flippy hair came swooping in from Chicago and almost muddled up the whole plans. But Lorelei pulls her mom card and says there’s no way that’s happening. Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder how things would have turned out; and we wouldn’t have had the joy of knowing Paris!

7. The importance of acting like a lady. 

8. You really can be best friend’s with your daughter. I didn’t really need Gilmore Girls to teach me this because my own mama and I are really close! It’s possible and I’m so grateful that it is. I really hope that I’m able to have that with my daughter. 
And because I’m so sad….but hopefully all will be redeemed with the reboot right? One can only hope.

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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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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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The Art of Saying No

This has been a long long lesson in my life, a lesson that I think I’ve had to relearn as I’ve gone through different stages of my life.  Sometimes I have a really hard time saying no.  I want to be and am often the person that gets brought in on things because I’m reliable and I do things right the first time.  Its not even about tooting my own horn, you probably are that person too.  Its part of who you are right?  You might also be the person that cares what people think of you, in the sense that you don’t want people to be disappointed with you and it eats away at you.  Sometimes I still feel like that girl, and I know when its happening to me.  I call one of my bff’s in particular (she’s like me) and we talk about what we’re thinking and about how ridiculous we are.  Its kind of like a mini therapy session and I love her for it.  Where’s this all going?  Well, Sunday during our small group I was having a conversation with a mom about saying no.  A light went off behind her eyes and I knew….I knew she was just like me.

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keeping this smile on his face is priority #1!

I said before that I go through stages of relearning, but it was about 6 years ago when I had my biggest revelation.  My oldest wasn’t very old and if you’ve read my blog before you would have read about my struggle with PPD after his birth.  It was during this time that I was struggling with finding the balance in my life.  I knew that I was doing too much but I was hugely conflicted about what my role was, is, should be.  It was a disaster.  A group of us were discussing the different ways we use our gifts and how we are working in the church.  One person flat out told me that what I was doing wasn’t enough and I needed to be doing more.  I was crushed and I turned to another friend and poured my heart out.  It was then that my revelation was on its way, in the voice of my friend.

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Friends get you through the toughest times!

We need to find the best way to use our gifts so we don’t go crazy.  I believe that we are called to serve. Yes!  But I also believe that we are all called to serve in different ways, at different times, and to use our gifts to serve.  There is no way that I believe that God would want me to sacrifice my children, my home and my husband to put myself in every job out there.  At the time I was part of the worship team, serving as a table leader for MOPS and pregnant with my second.  My husband was never home and I was pushing myself too hard.  I wasn’t succeeding at anything and it was taking its toll.  I needed to be able to say no and be okay with that.  It didn’t matter what anyone else thought.  It only mattered what was in my heart and in my home, and my relationship with God.  Once I centered myself a huge burden was taken from me.  So, I decided to go where I thought I was best suited, the nursery.  My kids were with me, I could do it whether the hubby was around or not and I had fun.  The ladies that were in there were so wonderful to me and my children.  
Find your gift, find how to use it in a way that fits into the stage of life your in.  It doesn’t have to be the same all the time.  It might work for you forever.  And guess what, that’s okay!!!  Being a mom can be hard enough without us putting this immense pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone all the time.  Its not physically healthy, mentally healthy or spiritually healthy.  We have to find our role in life, in the home and in our life of service.
Do you struggle with this as I do?  How has saying no been beneficial in your life?!

Thursday Favorite Things weekly Blog Hop 

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