There is just something special about being a military spouse. I have no frame of reference, as I’ve never been a civilian spouse…in fact, I’ve never been a civilian period. Military spouses are some of the most thoughtful, caring and GIVING individuals. My mother, also a military spouse, had a gift closet. I have had a gift closet for years. Yes, I buy things on sale just to be added to the closet, along with giftbags, tissue paper, wrapping paper and tape. I don’t go anywhere or get invited anywhere without bringing some kind of gift with me….whether it’s an edible or a keepsake…just like most military spouses I know. Now that my husband is in his third command position, I feel it is important to hand over something tangible to someone as a thank you, a welcome, a farewell and at other opportunities along the way. I had a Navy officer tell me the Navy actually has “special pay” for being a commander. What? In the Army, you get nothing special. Everything comes out of your own paycheck. Even unit pins, which I like to give out to guests of the unit and outside volunteers along with new command spouses, the funds come out of our own pockets. It’s just important to acknowledge their service AND to make them feel like they are a part of a team. I thought I would collect the websites where I like to purchase military spouse specific gifts.
It’s now been almost two years since my husband was stationed in SHAPE, Belgium. It was definitely a unique assignment. There was a US Army base at Chievres and then a NATO base with soldiers and servicemembers from dozens of different European nationalities only 30 minutes away. It was an adjustment to say the least adapting to a NATO environment. There were different rules. There were different ways of doing things not only because of the NATO environment but also because it was Belgium, which was so unlike Germany, our previous assignment. I did enjoy my time there. So much that I still frequent a Facebook page dedicated to SHAPE where someone recently asked what the best thing was about being there. Here are their answers along with what I thought was unique about being there.
Okay, so not really…but, I was recently given a chance to try these skincare products. At first I thought, “how many different skincare products can I actually try out and why?”. Then I went to the website and read a little bit about this product line and read that their products all are formulated without parabens, synthetic dyes, or sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, plus they try to use the most high quality ingredients. Well that got me thinking that I would give them a try. Here’s how I fared.
I don’t know where it’s been but certainly not here! I’ve been dutifully bookmarking and noting all my favorite posts…and then not writing about them! Here are my latest helpful favorites!
I used to envy my two friends who lived in Waldenbuch, Germany. You see, when the wind was just right chocolatey heaven would float into their open windows! They lived within aroma distance of the famous Rittersport Chocolate Factory…in my opinion the best chocolate anywhere in Germany, possibly the world! I grew up with it as a child, as my grandfather who had a candy, cookie, coffee and alcohol (yeah, weird huh) wholesale business in Germany…okay, can you say dream job for Opa to have….I used to literally crawl around the huge warehouse shelves and pick out my favorites, count the varieties at inventory time and accompany my grandpa in his van as he distributed the goodies to local stores and restaurants (this was in the days before supermarkets). But I digress. We used to have all the Rittersport favorites, and I’m pleased to say they still have my favorites today and then some. If you want an absolute fun outgoing and chocolate experience, let me tell you all the things you can do at Rittersport, both for adults and children! And it’s only about 15 minutes from Panzer Kaserne in Boeblingen.
They’ve told us for a few months now that ahrn.com will be going away due to budget cuts. But the good news, is IMCOM has come up with a new site that is very user friendly the overseas housing offices are using to upload their housing inventory.
The other day, a friend asked me how I save money on our family travels. Yeah, I have already talked about some of the websites and resources I use to book cheap stuff to begin with but what about when you’re on the road and want to save some more or find some more ways to squeeze money out of that deal? How does your family save then? Let’s see if we can come up with a big list!
Apparently all the spammers commenting on my blog shut it down…yet again! Why they bother with my little blog, I just don’t know! Thankfully, tech support at my hosting site helped me to wade thru all the traffic. I think I have it fixed. I hope I have it fixed. I’d like to spend more time on the blog in the new year:-) Sorry you couldn’t access my blog the last few days:-( I’m off skiing but when I’m back, I’m sure I’ll have more to say about Army life, the life of a spouse and my favorite subject…traveling….along with all the other life lessons life has to offer! I want to wish my readers all the best and if you have Facebook, be sure to visit this blog’s Facebook page as there is more activity there than here!
I’m going to start out by saying I highly recommend this event….both for families and for people wanting to party New Year’s Day in the Garmisch area. People are bused in from all over Germany and Austria to attend this fun event, and if you’ve never watched ski jumping live in person (no it’s not like anything on TV), then I’d go for that reason alone! Here are my recommendations.
I like to review books from other mil authors. I was recently asked to review “Soldier of Finance” by Jeff Rose, CFP. I have read tons of finance and money saving books…mostly by Ric Edelman, Suze Orman…even Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard….none are prior service but they say great things. Every once in awhile it’s interesting to see how a servicemember looks on finance, saving money for your goals, paying bills and staying out of debt. Here’s what I have to say about the book.