Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rewind 365 April 22nd - NoVA/DC Adventures

WELCOME TO REWIND 365!  

 LETS GO DOWN MEMORY LANE!
Every third tuesday come join us in 'Rewind 365'!
It can be something you posted on your blog a year ago, a memory, a photo or even a video taken  a year ago!
This is what was going on with me a year ago:
So What Happened With You A Year Ago Today? Join in and "Rewind 365" days and tell us what you were up to A Year Ago Today!
It's all simple:



1. Follow me!  2.Tweet your post and tag me @RheChristine #rewind365 3. Create a Post with a picture, a memory, or even a previous blog post from 1 year ago, make sure you include our button so we have more people joining every week. 4. Leave your link below!

Hopefully I'll be able to resurrect this little post here.  I always think its fun to look back on where you were the last year, how big the kids have gotten.  Occasionally I'll even come across a really sweet memory that I haven't thought about in awhile.  So, the point is its really fun and you know you wanna!!

About this time last year we made our way to the National Harbor on the DC/VA/MD border.  It was our first time in the Harbor and it was lots of fun.  There is definitely a lot to do with kids.  There are lots of stores to visit, but be prepared for the "I want this" game, which will inevitably follow.  Am I right?!  After we hit up a couple of the stores, the Peep Store (which if you've never been, go now!!) and frozen yogurt, we made our way to the little beach/sand type area.  There is a really cool sculpture there called "The Awakening".  Apparently it used to be by the Jefferson Memorial, but was purchased by the developers of the Harbor.  We went on a weekend and it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded, but I'm not totally averse to crowded places so keep that in mind. 







If you want to share your memories from last year sometime this week come back and leave me the link!  Want to share your post from last year on this date (ish) leave me the link to that!

My post last year was one of my post popular posts ever.  It was entitled, "Let's Make a Readiness Folder."  I wanted to help other spouses like myself.  After having been stationed remotely for so many years, having gone through deployments and separations without the supports one would find on a base, or with a larger unit, I wanted to pass on what I had.  Having a basic Readiness Folder is really important to your piece of mind while your spouse is gone.  Even if you have one, just take a look at the post, see if you're missing something, or pass it on to a friend.

have a great week everyone!


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Military Monday - Warrior and Family Center opens in Bethesda

The USO recently opened their second Warrior and Family Center in the DC area.  This particular one has opened its doors steps from the National Medical Center Walter Reed.  It couldn't be a more perfect location for one to open, and trust me it has been a long time coming.  When I had the pleasure to speak with then President of the USO, Sloan Gibson, he was bursting at the seams to talk about these facilities.  It was one of my first interviews with someone like that and I was a littler nervous.  But to hear him speak about his dream of opening these immediately put me at ease.  There was a lot of thought that went into designing and building these two buildings, which started to be discussed way back in 2009.  Warriors and their families were interviewed concerning design, and the number one request (which was granted) was a learning center of sorts for transitioning.  Within these walls you can music therapy, recording area, playing area, art classes and fly fishing.  TVs, computers, quiet areas and game rooms.



And while the name Warrior and Family Center implies that this is specifically for our nation's wounded, however this is not the case.  The USOs doors are open to all military, and I have experienced the building myself.  They are both truly beautiful and feel like home, which is the whole purpose I'm sure.


The second facility is beautiful, and I almost like the design of the second better.  It is a much more open facility, as far as the feel.  Lots of windows with very wide hallways, sort of an open great room if you will.  The ribbon cutting was a wonderful time, hearing the words of those that designed and constructed it.  How it affected them, and how many of the construction and design team have signed on to become to volunteers themselves.  It affects people and hearing that is really touching.

 

The excitement over the building was electric, everyone was smiling and they all spoke of the same things.  They were beyond thrilled to see this building in action, so close to where it is most needed.  I will say this, we are in desperate need of an overhaul in the way we are treating the wounded.  And we aren't speaking of just the physical wounds.  There was a Forbes article that discussed some of the startling numbers of "Invisible Wounds" as they are referred to.  The numbers were listed as reported on the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.  The total number of TBI diagnosis by the DoD is over 290,000.  It is important to note that not all of the injuries are deployment related.  In fact 80% are the result of a non-deployment injury (ex: car accident).  But the injury is there, regardless of how it was required, and should be treated.  When broken down the study doesn't reveal how the injuries were received, just the severity of them; however according to the Rand Corporation in a 2008 press release 20 percent of those have returned report symptoms of TBI and depression.  Most, as we are all aware, do not receive treatment because of the stigma attached to physiological issues; but for those that do, only half of them receive treatment considered "minimally adequate".  This is one of the reasons why I believe what the USO has to offer is extremely valuable.  This is a chance to make things right.  To operate off the concept that I heard repeated over and over that day - a 360 degree concept of care.  I wish there was one of these centers at every single base.

 

With the President of the USO DC Metro                  My total geek moment with Miss America!!!!

It's a step in the right direction; and when you hear those in power express understanding and an actual concern for what is happening it helps.  I wish they would talk about it more, all the time, every day.  This will change, I know it will.  Soon, the stigma will be less and less.  It won't happen overnight, because it took longer than that for the problem to happen.  But this is an opportunity for those in power, either at the National Level of the military and individual unit leaders, to really effect change.  I'm excited at the possibilities for our military members.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Social Week 98! Five Things....

You guys, it's almost Week 100 of Sunday Social!  How cool is that?!  I hope everyone has had a lovely Spring Break and you had, or are having a fabulous Easter!  This is by far in my top three favorite link-ups and I have found so many amazing blogs and bloggers through it.  Plus, how could you not love Ashley and Neely, our amazing hosts.  Make sure you check out theirs and at least a few other lovely bloggers on the list.  Comeback on Tuesday for my Rewind 365 Link-up.  I'm trying to resurrect it since I let it fall by the wayside.  Now, onto the fun....

This week's link up is all about five things


1. 5 songs you'll listen to the rest of your life
This is super hard because I love music.  There are so many songs that are attached to significant memories in my life. Turn on music, any kind of music, and it will be guaranteed to pull me out of a bad mood.
a. Journey's Faithfully - my mom sang it to me as a baby/kid, I sang it to my kids..it's a family thing.
b. Angel of Mine - its the hubby's and mine song, all the way back from high school and we danced to it at our wedding


c. The Killers - Mr. Brightside -  I just love it (PS: they are amazing in concert)
d. All American Rejects - Swing Swing
 e. The Minstrel's Prayer

2. 5 things on your bucket list
a. Mt. Rushmore
b. Any place in Europe, I'm seriously not picky
c. Empire State Building
d. Meet a Backstreet Boy (I'm so silly I know)
e. See Three Doors Down - their music also holds a lot of sentimental value for me and the hubby, so seeing them would be super awesome.
3. 5 celeb you'd love to hang out with for a day
a. Kate Middleton - she counts right?
b. Zoey Deschanel
c. Angie Harmon (I've always loved her)
d. Sean Astin (Rudy best knows as)
e. Harry Connick Jr. - so he can sing to me all day :) LOL
4. 5 things you always carry in your purse
I always care a notebook, pen, lipgloss, chapstick and a nail file
5. 5 books on your reading list
I'm not kidding you when I say that my list is probably about 200+ book long.  I just started a series by Alex Kava - the first one is A Perfect Evil.  The next one is Split Second.  Then I want to continue on with my Capitol Crimes series by Margaret Truman (President Truman's Daughter).  They all take place here in DC and I've been to many of the places, which is pretty cool.  The next three in the series are Murder at the FBI, Murder in Georgetown and Murder in the CIA.

6. Share the last 5 pictures on your phone 

Part of my military family, this little lady is the newest addition to my friend's family.  They are leaving (see mama below and in the middle) and I'm so sad.  I watched her twins while she was in the hospital having this beauty!


These silly little kids are best pals!  I love everything about them and their silliness

An Easter Preview.  I decided to dress them up to see the Easter Bunny this year.  I just couldn't wait to
see them all dressed up!

My grandmother passed away last month, and I wasn't there.  It was very difficult for me.
The engagement ring she gave to me when I got married as my something blue.  My grandfather designed it for her.  My mother sent me the matching band after she died.  I've been wearing it for the last couple days, just for sentimental reasons.  Maybe someday one  of my sons will marry a super sentimental gal and he can surprise her with it.  I know I would have loved it and thought an heirloom was cool.  So we'll see.

What a great list of questions this month.  I'm excited to see what everyone else has to say.

Have a great week everyone!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sing Into Spring with Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas from Disney!

Having small children in my house it would only stand to reason that Disney would have a significant place in my house.  Disney Soundtracks are a rather new addition to the repertoire, but a very pleasant one.  For as long as I can remember music has been a huge part of my life.  Music is attached to memories, sometimes in a very emotional way.  Music is the way I connect with a lot of things, places and people; and as silly as it sounds, it speaks to me.  Thankfully Disney always has good music, because it really makes the movies, and the tv shows.  You can't go wrong with good music.


These great Disney Soundtracks would be a great addition to your Easter Baskets!  Bringing music into your home is wonderful for you and your kids.  We get up in the morning and instead of turning on the TV we turn on some music!  Get our blood pumping and start the day off on the happy side of the bed.


These are some of the best albums and my kids love all of them!  On the top of their list would be the Frozen soundtrack and the DJ Shuffle.  The Disney Jr, DJ Shuffle album has the perfect mix of all your favorite Disney Jr songs, including two songs: a new Disney Jr. Anthem and a song performed by Sofia The First cast, Sofia and Clover; and who doesn't love Doc McStuffins or Jake and the Neverland Pirates!

If your Easter Basket is already full, definitely keep this in the back of your mind for your stocking stuffers (don't worry I'll remind you!!!).

You can purchase all of these albums on Disney's music site right now!

Disclosure: I received this "Sing into Spring" Disney CD pack in exchange for my honest opinion, review and product statement.  I was not compensated in any other way.  This is in partnership with Entertainment New Media Network.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BA Star Make-up ~ Two Looks *Review*

BA Star Make-Up is professional make-up designed to stand out and stay put; specifically targeted towards dancers and cheerleaders.  Why, you ask, am I talking about it with you, as I am neither a dancer or a cheerleader.  However I once was a dancer, regularly performing and sometimes competing.  Having the proper make-up and making sure you don't have to continuously reapply it is very important.  No one has time for that nonsense.  Cameras, whether video or still, have a remarkable effect on what people look like, especially if a professional flash is used.  This is a huge goal for those of us that have spent any amount of time in theater, competitive dance and any performance arts.  Recently however I have begun to appreciate the value of this type of make-up and application.  Occasionally I have the opportunity to spend the day at press events, either behind or in front of the camera.  I meet a variety of people and I want to look my best.  Having quality make-up that lasts is important.  So, I was curious whether or not this make-up would work with an everyday look as well. 



BA Star make-up gets that; and by providing deeply pigmented make-up and a eye-shadow glue accomplish that.  BA Star has everything you could need for competition kits to create a uniform look that judges like.  You can order from them in bulk and create custom kits that include all you need, including mascara, eyelashes and bronzers.


The colors in this palette is remarkable, especially the blue.  They are bright and deep, and frankly I couldn't resist trying them out for everyday.  The perfect colors to create a smoky eye.


I decided to create the look recommended for a competition look, created by the BA Star team and uploaded on YouTube.  How easy would their suggestion be to recreate without having a professional make-up artist on hand to do it.  The look was very easy to recreate with the brushes I had on hand, aside from the glitter, which I didn't have.  I decided to use the shadow glue on one eye so that you could see the difference.  


The glue was used on the left-side.  You can see that the color is remarkably different with just one swipe of the glue.  The color, regardless of using the glue, is beautiful and bright.  

And here's your everyday look, which lasted remarkably well, and looked good over a period of time.


it's going on five hours and still going strong

~stay tuned for this tutorial on YouTube soon! (you can subscribe to my channel by clicking the link)

**I received this product in partnership with BrandBacker.  I was not compensated in any other way.  As always my opinions are my own.
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Rhe's Bookshelf - Lean Body, Fat Wallet

Summary - What would you do if you finally lost all your excess weight or had energy to burn? How different would your life be if you were completely out of debt and in control of your finances? And what if you could do both at the same time with just a few simple and sustainable lifestyle changes?
Ellie Kay and Danna Demetre are life experts in two seemingly different fields—finance and fitness. Working together, they have made a remarkable discovery—the principles and habits that are good for your wallet are equally good for your body.
The simple and practical teaching in this “two for one” bargain of a book will help you put those principles and habits to work in your life and create a sustainable and satisfying lifestyle.

                                      

Review - You might look at this book think, "what the what?! How could these two things possibly work together in a book."  I sort of thought the same thing, but was intrigued enough to want to read it.  Another thing that grabbed me was the fact that Ellie Kay is a military spouse, succeeding financially, getting out of debt, all on a military paycheck.  If you ask many milspouses they will probably say finances are hard.  There are a myriad of factors that play into this for sure - moving, difficulting getting jobs and uncertainty.  And for women this means stress.  I know for me this is true.  Struggling with whether or not to get a job, is it worth it?  Staying home with my children is really important to me.  So, what do I do?  Believe me finances and my journey in weight loss are probably some of the most stressful things in my life.  And for the most part fiances has always been.  Being scared to spend, struggling with the prospect of saving, buying a car, buying a house.  Who knew they were so related.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that not only does it talk about both of these things, that they are related and that you can change it; but the book actually tells you how to do this.  It does this with helpful tips and tricks that one can actually accomplish.  These are things you, I mean we, can do.  It's not easy and it isn't an overnight change.  It takes dedication and commitment, but it can be done.  This book can also be a pick me up, a recharge, when you need it.  It's also a book that you will probably find yourself passing along to your friends.

5 out 5 stars

**I received this book in partnership with Booksneeze/BookLook.  I was not compensated for this post.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Deployment Cycle....

Faced with more time separated from my Airman I began noticing patterns in my behavior.  My extreme highs and lows are finally under semi-control.  What I can tell you about that is if you are at all feeling even the slightest bit out of control, if you decide to be truly honest with yourself, get help.  There's no shame in it.  This life is hard enough without feeling extra out of control.  But I've noticed I go along a specific pattern each time.  The first week or two is spent keeping myself ridiciulously busy. On any given day you can find me cleaning, organizing, throwing/give away bags and bags of junk.  I might even make a trip or two to Ikea in an effort to please my Deployment OCD self.  Each time he leaves this is my pattern.  No matter the length of trip and each time he goes this is what I do.  The next week or two is spent not sleeping, which inevitably leads to me becoming sick.  I've become too busy taking care of everything and everyone but myself, no wonder I get sick.  My body be like, "woman, slow down!!! Do I have to make you sick to slow you down because I'll do it!"  And it does, so there you go.



Recognizing something and admiting it is a problem is the first step in recovery right?  I mean, I realize in the grand scheme of things this isn't a huge problem, or an addiction, but it is affecting me for sure.  My body is telling me something, and whether I want to pay attention or not its going to do what it wants.  And like most moms and women I never ask for help.  I'm the first to offer it or give it (totally not tooting my own horn here, but you get what I mean), but asking for it is hard.  Its almost as if I equate it with weakness, with not being able to handle all the things in my life I feel like I"m supposed to.  But we are designed to have a help-mate, someone who stands by us and lifts us up.  Mine just happens to not be here all the dang time.  So I need to fill that in with people who clearly love and care about me, who offer help.  I need to take it when its offerred.  So after going back in my mind I've come up with a possible solution (or at least a new path to try) to the current cycle I go through.

1. Take it easy!

this has to be important!  This time setst the tone for the entire separation (at least for me).  Don't try to organize or purge the whole house in the first week.  Do leave the house every day, dragging your kids everywhere.  Just be!  Read a book, paint your nails, doing silly things with the kids.  Get out that craft box and play!  There are more fun and relaxing things to do that can keep you busy after they leave then things that will run down your body

 
2. Stay healthy!

While you can't predict what horrible plague like death your child will bring home from school, you can do your part to stay healthy while you endure this separation. Keep up on those vitamins, echinacia or whatever! Get that coldeeze in there if you feel something going on. Eat healthy and find that time (see 1) to exercise. Leave the dishes in the sink and do a quick workout (find my favorite quick YouTube workouts here).

 

 

3. It's okay to feel

Typically I like to mask my feelings.  I know, so completely healthy right?  Since I went so long without getting help, my emotions were crazy out of wack.  So there is a part of me that wants to swing the pendulum the other way.  Any emotion is bad emotion.  It means I'm crazy and out of control.  No way man!!!  It's okay to sad.  Your parnter in crime is gone and you're alone.  This is for real and it sucks.  This all goes back to number one.  Keep busy so you don't feel is my interpretaion of Keep Calm and Solider On; although I don't think that's what it means.  It doesn't say Keep Calm and shove your feelings so far down that eventually you crack!

Now its time to Keep Calm and Soldier On....I have to totally rewire my brain to follow a road less traveled.  The one where I don't freak out, stay healthy and enjoy some me time.

Do you do the same thing?  How do you stop yourself for heading down the wrong path when you are by yourself?

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