I know. It’s already Monday. That’s what I get for running off this weekend. I can’t believe I drove four hours to go to KMCC Mall…to shop…But wait, I was lucky enough to visit with some of my blog readers and a very good friend of mine who happened to be in town for a conference. That made it all worthwhile! While I was there, I looked over my usual favorite blog reading, and this is what I have come up with for this week.
Chore Charts – Not only does Jamie have some great ideas (and photos) on chore charts you can use for your kids, but I wanted to take the time to introduce a wonderful new blog from another military wife blogging in Europe! Be sure to check her out! Jamie is in the Kaiserslautern Military Community and like me…loves to write and share! Check her out please! I am working on a LIST of military spouse bloggers in Europe, along with Facebook support pages. Send them this way if you’ve got ‘em!
Use the 10 second rule to curb impulse purchases – My goal is usually the 10 MINUTE rule. I will actually walk through the store, talking to myself, trying to determine if I really need the thing or not. Most times, I am able to walk away. Get some great insight on how you can learn to exercise some self control in your own life.
Sgt Ripples Report for Deployed Kids – This site I believe was written up for UK citizens and their children of deployed parents but still….there are some great resources here.
Where to stay for free around the world – I already mentioned some of these before, but one thing I never thought about was house sitting. I remember recently staying at a friend’s house, when my friend wasn’t home, and I just realized…hey, I was house sitting. I did save hotel money for that night, cause we were going to stay in the area regardless. How about a network of friends who housesit for each other? Always think outside that box!
What’s in your electronics bag – We can either over or underdo it when we travel. Have you stopped to think about all the different electronic products you bring along on your trip? Do you need them all? Can one serve more than one purpose? Is there a way to have some kind of universal charger thing? I finally invested in a wall plug-in USB charger (here’s a world-wide one; mine only has a 220 volt plug but can be changed with an adapter). As long as you pay attention to the power level and make sure your electronics don’t go OVER the limit on the plug, you can plug any device that charges with a USB cord into this charger. I love it, and it really cuts down on the electronic junk I carry.
First Timer’s Cookbook (free Kindle book) – I want to mention this blog, because the owner does a great job of alerting us to deals all over the internet. Get on her newsletter mailing list. I know I keep repeating myself, but you do not need a kindle to read kindle books! You can download the free smartphone app or the free computer program and read all these books on your computer or smartphone.
Bare Minimum Packing – This is so not me. For me, the bare minimum is a carry-on. I don’t think I’ve ever backpacked thru anywhere, but I know some of you do and are always looking for ways to lighten your load! Plus, I was curious and had to see what really is in each backpack…both the one on your back…and on your front!
How do I handle a damage claim on my rental car? – You’ve probably heard about insurance on your rental car, and if you need it or not. Not all credit cards will cover you. I suggest you read your credit card user’s agreement…you may be surprised that they don’t cover CDW! The Insider gives you in-depth coverage of what you should be doing when you pick up that next rental car besides plopping your butt down into the seat and driving off.
Rojadirecta - I have not used this service and can’t say if it is good or bad. I have had people tell me that if you are a sports fanatic and like to watch streaming sports coverage of your favorite games over the internet, this is the place to be. This also includes American football and other sports. Let me know if it works for you!
Taking a Pet to Belgium – This is straight from the horse’s mouth, the Belgian Embassy! Ha! I get asked this question about once a week, “what do I need to do to take my pet to Belgium?”. I have never flown a pet to Belgium. I have flown a cat and a dog to Germany from the US. I have driven same animals across the border from Germany to Belgium. That is it, and that is all I know. I do know from what friends and other Shapians tell me, there are no straight answers here in Belgium. For some, it is easy with minimal hassle and no extra money to pay out. For others, it is a nightmare of undisclosed costs going way over budget and animals not being handed back promptly. It seems that if you have your paperwork in order and your pet accompanies you on the same plane (rather than shipped separately) the least amount of problems will be encountered.
Free FICO scores for military servicemembers and their spouses – I mentioned this before on Facebook and Twitter. You will need the special code from your onbase financial assistance officer (or check by ACS) to get the score, but this is your true FICO score, why it is what it is and the many resources to figure out how the law protects you as a servicemember. This site is well worth the visit!
Financial transactions in Italy over 1,000 euro must be done electronically – So much for walking around with wads of cash! Something to think about and plan for if you are one of those people who usually pays your rent with cash.
20 Free Things to do in Amsterdam – You’ve probably heard of some of these but not all! Know where to go for free boat rides, free coffee and free internet especially!
Sleeping with Germans – No, not that kind of sleeping. I’m talking bedding material and such. I’ve talked before about how the Germans make their beds (and why I do it too out of sheer laziness on my part). Keep this in mind too when you want to try to buy sheets in Germany for your American mattress…..things don’t exactly match up. Bring plenty of American sheets with your American mattress, and if you want a German bed, know that it will be different. With that being said, there are a few European furniture stores that cater to Americans and will have our size beds. The largest of these, with their big store in Belgium, is called MK.
Ultra Mercerie – I had a reader a few months ago ask me about a place in Paris to purchase buttons and cloth. Too bad I didn’t know about this goody of a store, until now! And what history this cute store has! This looks like an awesome place to dig around in. If you’re still out there, this one’s for you!
Robbed in Barcelona – This is what happened…and what he did about it. Yes, we all let our guard down…and boy did I sure feel ill reading this…and just the sense of feeling absolutely violated…and he is a TRAVEL BLOGGER and felt he should’ve known better! I know I beat this horse to death, but we can always learn from someone else’s experience!
Partnachklamm – When I am down in Garmisch, regardless of the season, we always pack up our family, drive over to the old Olympic ski stadium, park and do our little hike up the gorge…and then ride down the little cable car after having a refreshing snack at the gasthaus on the mountain…every, single time we go the exact same route. If you haven’t done it yet, this blogger tells you exactly where to go…..and includes her pretty pictures to boot! As a tip, if you are staying at any lodging outside of the Edelweiss, you’ll get a “Kurkarte” from your host or reception desk. It’ll give you a reduction on many of the venues in the area. Always flash it before you pay. It’ll give you a discount going thru the gorge among other things. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong and the Edelweiss DOES give out “Kurkartes”!
And with that, I will close. Do you have any favorites this week? And since I don’t think I said a darn thing today about military life, I’d better include one from the archives, Best ways to communicate during deployment. Even though we have a few different options to communicate right now with each other, my DH and I….. he STILL loves to write letters on paper!