Saturday, April 28, 2012

Month of the Military Child Giveaway!

Well April is almost over, how did you show your appreciation to the Military child in your life? We did a lot of family tim with the kids, which we try to do anyway when Daddy's home. I think once the kids are older we'll really be able to do something specifically special for them in relationship to their military service. Its kind of hard I found when they are five, three and six months old. LOL! I never really thought much about it, but their concept of our military life is fairly innocent and my three year old has no concept of it really - other than recognizing the "army men" walking around her everywhere (Yes, all uniforms are Army men). If you would like more information or to search for ways to assist the military child in your life please check out my 'Military Resources' tab. As a close to the month of April I have a wonderful review and giveaway of two wonderful products geared toward the military child. And let me just say, first off, that was so honored to be a part of these two items and, now, share them with you.
 
 The first item is Cooper and Me and The Military. I absolutely love this book, but I love the story behind Cooper and Me almost more. Here's a little bit about the Cooper and Me books. In 2010, 11-year-old Alexa Peters, along with her mother Monique Peters, found a meaningful way to turn her passion and love for writing and drawing into an opportunity to “give back” to other kids. Starting at a very young age, Alexa created illustrated stories about her daily experiences, and from the pages of her sketchbooks came the idea for her first book, Cooper and Me. The story of a little girl’s fears about starting school evolved into a timeless tale about overcoming separation anxiety and trying new things – basic emotions all people experience throughout their lives – but this time, written by a child, for children. As retold in Cooper and Me, Alexa’s own story had a “happy ending” – a clever, compassionate solution that involved taking a small replica of her beloved pet to school with her. The first book introduced the family’s real-life dog, Cooper the Labrador Retriever, and the mother-daughter team began imagining a series of stories featuring Cooper that would engage little kids while guiding them through the ups and downs of daily life. In addition to the original Cooper and Me, four more story books are set to publish throughout the next twelve months, all containing relatable life lessons inspired by Alexa’s experiences, with illustrations based on her drawings of Cooper. To enhance the fun and learning potential of the series, each Cooper and Me story is accompanied by three original, infectiously upbeat songs and narration. The music is written and performed by Bridget Mason Doran, a music educator and founder/owner of Tiny Tunes. Team Cooper was further expanded with Jennifer Scarpa, who brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience from public school programs that address social/emotional learning. Jennifer and Monique met while collaborating on other education projects and soon realized they shared a vision for helping children develop the skills and resilience to handle various life experiences. To ensure the series reflected Cooper and Me’s core mission, Monique and Jennifer set up an educational advisory panel to oversee the development of the books’ supplemental learning components for children and adults. The panel consists of Karen Lunny, who also serves as editor, Ann Mele, and Carolyn Olivier, all educators with a passion for early childhood learning. The Team Cooper creative team is rounded out by Nicolette Pappas, a contributing writer to the Cooper and Me series, and Christie Holmes, our art director, also known as the Iconista. Christie has retained the charm and spirit of Alexa’s original drawings as she has extended their use to the website and other graphic applications.

What an amazing story. Cooper and Me is also dedicated to Philanthropy and that is another amazing part of the Cooper and Me Story. This is a sweet little story that is great for lots of ages. My five and three year old sat and listened to the story and both were able to understand what they story meant and how it related to them. They recognized the uniforms and both commented on how that was like Daddy. The drawings are simple and sweet, with great colors. I love this book and its a great addition to our military books for children. I highly recommend you add this book to your collection. One reader will have the chance to win this book below. Buy it: You can buy a copy of Cooper and Me and the Military here for $12.95


The next it is a new item from a company called Troop Paws. I was contacted by Troop Paws to review a new product aimed at Military Children. Here's a little bit about Marlene and the Troop Paws company.


 I understand the importance of giving back, which is why for years now I have been baking cookies for the troops as a sign of support for our servicemen and women. My passion for our brave troops led me to a factory that manufactures uniforms for the military. It gave me the idea to create a stuffed animal for military families and friends. The courage of family members left behind is so admirable that my hope is that loved ones find strength and comfort in this personalized keepsake. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Folds of Honor Foundation and Treat The Troops.org.

For years Marlene has been devoting her time to making life for our men and women serving overseas, a little sweeter! I really love that not only is this company is devoted to Military members and their families, but it doesn't stop there. She just keeps paying it forward by donating a portion of the proceeds to Treat the Troops and Folds of Honor. Please check them out as well. Here is what I received from Troop Paws:




This is an alternative to some of the other similar items out there for kids. I've seen lots of things that are like this, but NOTHING like it. I love that it is a dog first off! My kids thought it was pretty darn cool - a dog with daddy's uniform. And the little place to put a picture is the perfect height for my little guy on the floor. Its a great size, perfectly huggable, and way bigger than similar items on the market. It come with a collar and its own dogtag, with the Troop Paws logo on it. It is really super cute, amazingly made and it truly is a great product. It is available in Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine camouflage. Each one with an clear pocket for your Troops picture. Buy it: You can head to Troop Paws and order one for $29.95. If you are Navy you may be able to find yours at your local Naval Exchange.

But it:  If you don't win or would like to go ahead and buy one for you or a friend TroopPaws have offerend a special discounted price to my readers but clicking here!

Win it: One lucky Cammo Style Love reader will be able to win a Troop Paws puppy in their respective branch camouflage. Good Luck!!

Mother's Day Event Spotlight "Fashion Bums" #ClothDiaperHop

Hi everyone, here is my last sponsor spotlight for the event! I'm pretty excited about this one because not only is she a WAHM but she's also a fellow Military Spouse, and I love that!! I've also had the great honor of meeting Victoria and it's safe to say she's pretty awesome. Victoria started Fashion Bums in. She was interested in cloth diapering and thought, "Hey, maybe I can make those." Now she's has this amazing business and makes everything from diapers, liners, inserts and wipes! She makes custom diapers, including my favorite that I got to review, the military cammie diaper. She can also fix some of your name brand diapers! She's repaired some aplix on mine before. I was able to test out her Camouflage diaper cover, with a fleece inner.



 

It is a one-size diaper with aplix.  It is a 100% waterproof cover withsome great soft fleece on the inside.  These diapers are available with snap closures as well.  Now, before i continue...."yes, I know its Army digi!!"  LOL!!!  Now, onto the review.  I really like this diaper.  Its a great cover, it was totally waterproof.  I wouldn't have minded an extra rise option because I felt like it could have gone one size smaller for my little guy specifically, but that of course is in a perfect world.  There are four rise options and I have it on the smallest setting here.  The Prince here is 6 months and probably about 15lbs now.  There was a nice and comfortable fit around the legs, and they successfully kept in what the little man was happy to give it.  I used it during the day and a nap.  Victoria actually makes her own adorable inserts, with the cutest patterns.  I happened to try this cover out with one of my Gro-Via inserts and also one of my Best Bottom inserts.  Both fit very well and did their job.  They didn't slide around or anything inside.  What i really like about this diaper is that it has a really nice narrow fit through the legs, which makes this a very trim diaper.  One of the diapers that I have used that I thought I would love and ended up not, was the Flip Diaper.  Its a great diaper, but its a bit wide for my little guy, in the crotch area.  I don't have that bulk problem with these diapers.  But just the fact that I found a diaper that I can have my little Prince wear, and show off support for his daddy is really enough for me to buy these diapers.  I love that its made by a fellow mil-spouse and wahm.  I love that she is hands on, knows a lot about all sorts of diapers and is willing to help out with anything cloth diaper related.  I also was able to try out one of her contour diapers (which one lucky reader here at CSL will win).  Seriously the cutest diaper!




 I've never used this kind of diaper and I was actually nervous!  One of the reasons why I was so scared to cloth diaper a newborn, was the thought of figuring out the whole snappi situation.  Well, now I wish I had met Victoria and tried out these!  It was so easy.  I simply folded it up and across my little guy and put the Snappi on.  I got it on the first try.  I show it above pictured next to a Best Bottom (on its largest rise setting), and then underneath my Gro-Via cover (can you tell I love Gro-Via).  These contour inserts are a nice soft cotton flannel and three layers of fleece inside.  This was able to withstand a normal duration during the day, didn't bother baby's sensitive skin and I didn't have any problems with it underneath my Gro-Via cover on the smallest rise setting.

After trying some of her products I actually purchased something new that she added to her line, cloth wipes.  That was one thing that I didn't start doing when I began to cloth my son.  I just didn't, and its honestly because I still really consider myself a newbie and hadn't heard of them until not that long ago.  I'm glad I did.  It honestly makes things really easy.  Just wipe, toss it with the diaper, toss it in the wetbag, there you go.  Loved them!!

Here's some more of her stuff.

 Inserts - newborn and one size
 cute prints with aplix
 snap diaper
Re-usable wipes

Fashion Bums has graciously offered to include one of her contour/insert diapers into the Mother's Day package.  Check out this adorable monkey print!  Also, Snappi was wonderful enough to contribute one snappi in purple for the event as well!  I got to say I'm a new fan of the Snappi!  This ain't your mama's cloth diapering!!!

Make sure to come back May 1st for the Mother's Day event!!  In the meantime, check out Fashion Bums on Facebook and Etsy!

We stand behind them, but we are NOT silent!!

I wanted to add something to my post, after the fact.....things apparently got out of control. I made my initial post in response to a fellow mil-spouse, who I 100% support in her feelings...but apparently it got crazy and now Military Wives are going after each other. Why are we so divisive? If you agree, great. If you don't agree, that's great too. But in the midst of all this it has become about so much more than what it originally was. So I guess I feel like I want to clarify myself. I speak for me, and me alone. What originally had me so angry was the repeated emails to someone who didn't want them. The emails to someone who shouldn't have received emails, repeated emails! I do reviews, I've been pitched. I would expect respect and if I decline that should be it. I guess that was my problem with the situation. That's what got me so mad! Its reality tv, it wouldn't be there if there wasn't an interest. Clearly someone is watching these things, otherwise they wouldn't be around. Someone somewhere expressed an interest in this show, and more power to them if that's what they want to do. I personally wouldn't be involved, but that's me. I feel like there's a difference between doing your job and needlessly bothering people who clearly don't want to be involved. Some people just need to learn tact. That was my original message and I just want to make sure that gets across. Its a free country, people can do whatever they want to do. That's what our men are fighting for. There are so many ways to be divisive and I've seen them all, especially in the military world. From My branch is better than yours, to my husband deploys longer than yours....we are experiencing this so that means our experience is worse than yours. Its just sad and ridiculous. While some situations do deserve a certain amount of reverence and respect and far beyond my fairly normal military life, it looses its importance and respect when it is cheapened by "one-uping". If I was being harassed by someone I would hope that someone would stand up for me.

< I had originally written this out probably about a week ago, I was mad about something but didn't know what to do with what I was feeling. Its a complicated situation, but a fellow mil-spouse bloggy friend got the ball rolling and I'm jumping on there with her. Before I present my own personal rant let me share hers. Please check it out, and you can read the email and more. Thanks girl!! I'm sure now you're wondering what's got me so upset...because I can't even remember the last time I posted so much as a negative review of anything. I just usually don't. It was brought to my attention by my fellow blogger than an email has been appearing in the inboxes of many mil-spouse bloggers. The gist of the email is that a certain broadcast company (CBS) is contacting widowed mil-spouses about a tv show, basically a dating show. Let me first state that Erika is not a widow. So clearly this person is not doing their homework. In my mind I'm thinking "how the heck can you not tell that she's not a widow." Did they not event take a second to look? Next I'm thinking, I don't even know if I could figure out how to even approach someone about something like this that I didn't know. I mean, this is beyond disgusting. I wanted to respond to this news that I heard, so I began frantically searching the internet to verify this (not that I didn't believe Erika, but the fact that it seemed so ridiculous in my head that I had to see it with my own eyes). Its a real thing people and I just can't even begin to tell you how red and how hot my face got. I recently was touched in an indirect way by a mil-spouse who lost her husband. I remember getting the news and it was horrible. I instantly just couldn't breathe. All these thoughts just started swirling around in my head, "is she okay, I hope she's not alone, why did this have to happen," and the like. I have thought to myself, "what if this happened to me?" Its safe to say that this is a regular thought in the life of a mil-spouse, or anyone with a loved one serving in the military. I know it sounds morbid to civilians, but there are times when I think and pray about that specifically every day. I've actually thought in my head, "what would I do," "how would I tell my children." I have been fortunate to be able to read and hear the stories of amazing military spouses who are widows. There strength and amazing ability to stand strong and write about what they've experienced is beyond words to me. I could only hope that if I found myself in this situation that I could be even remotely like them. My struggle with talking about this and getting mad about it was that I haven't walked in their shoes, I don't know. I imagine people saying, "who the heck are you, you don't know." No, I don't, but I call these women my friends. Not because Ive actually ever met them, or talked to them. They don't even know me. But there is a bond, an instant bond, so strong between military-spouses. I have recently become part of a group of blogging spouses. I haven't met any of these ladies but talking to them is like talking to someone that I've known for forever. There is so much that is shared experience between us, that there's no need for explanations, or questions. So, as Erika, and many others of us have said, "you mess with one of us, you mess with us all." It's a bond unlike any other. This show, and CBS, absolutely disgust me. If they don't want to be involved leave them alone. Incessantly bothering them is disrespectful and rude. This hits a little too close to home and you are sorely mistaken if you don't think they we aren't a force to be reckoned with! We will stand up, and we will speak up! I urge you to please read Erika's post and take action yourselves. I have never met Erika in person either, but I count her among one of my mil-spouse blogging buddies, someone I would drop anything for. That's what we do and that's what I'm doing now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Juppy Walker Review and Giveaway

Hi everyone!! In the spirit of the our Month's focus, the Military Child, I have a great child giveaway. This is a pretty cool product and I am so luck to have been able to review it. The Juppy Baby Walker teaches your baby stability and assists in walking while saving your back. One of the things that's hard about that in-between stage,of wanting to walk and not walking by themselves is it can be crazy for your back. I mean, let's be honest.....hunching over all the time...especially if you have busy little guy or girl, can wreak havoc on your back. My first born was Mr. Independent. From the time he figured, "oh, if I stand up right then I can go go go!" I would have loved to have had this product with him. The Juppy was invented in 2008 by a grandfather who happened to notice a mommy bending over while helping her little one to walk at his granddaughter's soccer game. It is a 100% cotton walker, that is easy to use and easy to care for. Another thing about the Juppy Walker company that I absolutely love is that they work with hospitals and parents to assist Special Needs Children. There are a few testimonials on the site about this. This is a great thing, and in my opinion says a lot about the company and their focus. Visit their website and blog to find out some information about the walker, the company, and to read other testimonials.  Also, please visit their twitter and facebook.

Here's a great video so you can see this Juppy Walker in action

We received the Juppy Walker in blue, with my son's name embroidered on it. The quality of this item is wonderful and I felt totally confident having my little guy in it. For the review my nephew tried this product out for me. He fit right in it and it was just as easy to use as the website talked about.
What I think: All in all its a pretty ingenius product. One that you could live without, but why would you want to. I think its pretty darn cool. Its made well so I could see it being passed around and shared with many kids. Love it! Buy it: You can buy it on Juppy's website right now on sale. The one with full lining is 29.95 (embroidering is 6.95). Its available in blue, pink and black. The original with no lining (don't see how this would make a huge difference) in black is 19.95. US standard shipping is 4.95, Canada is 9.95 and worldwide is 12.95! Win it: One lucky person is going to win a lined Juppy in their choice of blue or pink with their child's name embroidered on it! good luck!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Event sponsor spotlight! *The Cloth Nook*



Hello everyone! Time for another spotlight. This event is coming up soon and I'm super excited about it. This sponsor spotlight is The Cloth Nook and I'm so happy to be partnering with them. It is also even more wonderful because they are this years Northern Virginia host for The Great Cloth Diaper Change, which I am soooooooooo excited about. Its my first year participating and its going to be super excited. If you've never heard about this please do check it out. If you live in or near Northern Virginia please check out The Cloth Nook's "Change" page. Its already full up here but please check it out because its going to be a great event whether you are taking part in the change or not.

I'm excited to announce that they are graciously sponsoring a portion of my Mother's Day Cloth package. So come back here for a chance to win a Gro-Via AIO from them. Before I get to my wonderful review let me tell you a little bit about The Cloth Nook.


Photobucket


Our names are Gabriel and Hannah and we are the proud parents of two. We wanted to try cloth diapering when our first son was born, but were unsure of where to start. We tried old-fashioned pre-folds, pins and plastic pants with our son, but became discouraged after one too many pokes and red rings around his chubby thighs. We had given up on cloth when Kim Coffield (the previous owner of The Cloth Nook) came to speak to a childbirth class we were teaching. She opened our eyes to the modern world of cloth diapering and we haven't looked back since. The education Kim gave us coupled with our existing passion for natural baby care has inspired us to share all these wonderful products to help make caring for your baby in a natural way easy, affordable, and even fun!

We carry a wide variety of cloth diapers and accessories, baby carriers, natural feeding and baby care products, blankets, and much more. If there is something else that you would like to see us carry, please let us know!


I have had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful family. Hannah is a pretty neat lady. Not only does she do cloth but she's also a great natural child birth educator. Seriously, the lady is amazing.


I was given the opportunity to review a wonderful new product that they are carrying called OrganicKidz. This is the world's first stainless steel bottle. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Stainless steel, that's weird." It totally is, but they are really cool. You can check out OrganicKids here for a full run down. These bottles are BPA free, scratch proof, break-proof - no bacteria can get in there and they couldn't have said it better when they said, "Stainless Steel is the first choice of hospitals, kitchens and food processing plants because of its easy cleaning ability. You do not need to use strong chemical cleaners to ensure that the product is clean and it is not prone to increased wear and tear from repeated washing." And even better, 100% recyclable! Its lightweight which is awesome. Perhaps the coolest thing about this bottle is the fact that it grows with your child. ORganicKidz has come out with screw on handles and sippy cup lids so that when you're bottle free, this becomes a great sippy cup your child can carry around and you won't have to worry about anything happening to it, or it being too heavy. Super amazing invention if you ask me.







I was given one of their bottles to use, and while I haven't tested the sippy cup version, its on my list of purchases. If you can't wait to win it, you can head over to The Cloth Nook and pick up an OrganicKidz bottle for your little guy or gal.

A neat aspect of the bottle are the measuring cup lid. I have used that several times when in a rush to measure and I can't look inside the bottle. As you can see in the pics it is notched inside the bottle, and it does take a bit of getting used to, but its nothing that I couldn't live with. There are so many great aspects to this bottle that that one annoying part isn't really a big deal at all. I did end up switching out the nipple for one of my own standard nipples because of the flow. I am using the 9oz bottle and its just a bit too much for my breastfed guy. They do have a slow flow available with the 4oz bottle. I was able to easily switch it out from what I had on hand, which I loved! It won't work with some specialized bottle nipples like Tommee Tippee or Soothie though. The bottle also carries quite a hefty pricetag at 17.99. But for mamas that are looking for a natural type product, BPA free, no plastics, but don't want glass this is a great alternative. And the fact that you can buy sippy cup adapters makes the price not quite so staggering. The sippy spouts and handles come in two packs for around 6 and 8 bucks respectively. One other aspect I liked was the fact that it kept heat and cold extremely well, and my portable car bottle warmer warmed it up amazingly fast! Thank you stainless steel. It's like a little thermos!


So Breakdown is as follows:

What I like:

100% recyclable
thermos like qualities
its light and easy to carry
grows with your child
measuring cup lid

What I don't like:

kinda hard to get used to reading the measuring inside the bottle
hefty pricetag
fast flow nipples

All in all, its a great bottle and the good qualities definitely outshine anything that I didn't like in the bottle. The not so great qualities were also easily altered or worked with and the fact that it can grow with the kid makes the pricetag a little easier to swallow.

So head on over to the Cloth Nook on facebook, and then swing by their shop page. Let them know I sent you and spread the love, which we cloth diapering mamas are very good at. Make sure to come back for the Mother's Day Event here at Cammo Style Love to win an amazing item from The Cloth Nook!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MilBloggies and MilBlogging Conference 2012!!

Well voting is open and I'm pretty excited about it. I didn't get a nomination this year but I am nothing compared to the amazing ladies that have been nominated in the Military Spouse category. I mean, seriously, these ladies are wonderful and something to aspire to. However, I am super excited about attending the conference this year in Arlington! One of the super amazing perks of our new local...amazing things like this happen where I live! Whoooohooooo!!! All right, now I think I've used too many exclamation points (is that even possible?). I can't wait to go and report back on all the amazingness that I am sure to particpate in and watch. Perhaps the most exciting part is meeting and being around other military people who love to blog. I haven't even gone yet and I am already inspired to become more serious about my blogging. I sort of need to break of out my blogging shell as it were. I kinda like to be behind the scenes, especially when it comes to military stuff. That's sort of how we roll here in the Cammo Love house. So here's to breaking out! Cheers!

Before I head off to prepare some more posts let me share some wonderful bloggers that I love in particular!

My fav Military Veteran Blog is the BurnPit...love love love this site.  The name,  inspired by the Burn Pits is just fabulous and its great.  Definitely worth your time and I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the articles I've read and their take on things.





This great site really is your one stop shop, in my ever humble opinion, if you interested at all in the Air Force, especially if you want to join the Air Force...and as an Air Force household I would think that might mean something (LOL). At any rate, it has full huzzy approval! I've known Erin for about
five years now. She is a women of many interests (totally rides a motorcycle, which in my extremely plain and normal life is pretty freaking awesome) and is a spouse turned enlisted! Love love love it!

Another blog I love is Homefront United. It really is the mother of all support blogs for the military and spouses! Its a place to go for support and knowledge for any branch. Its full of so many wonderful articles written by great ladies. It is a wonderful resource!

But you don't have to take my word for it! Check out these blogs and other nominees for all the branches, for parents of the military and the Spouse category, which has too many amazing blogs that I just don't know if I could pick just one!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Military Life....

I started this blog to blog about us.  To blog about what I like, what I don't like and whatever else I felt like talking about.  It was then I realized that I had gone so long without really talking about my military life, that when the time came to talk about it I wasn't sure what to say.  You start to feel disconnected from your Military Life when you don't have a military community.  We are going on 10 years in the military....wow, I can't believe it....and I've never lived on our less than 2 hours away from a base, fort, post or anything else for that matter.  Now I have done an occasional TDY where we lived on base for a couple months.  I loved every second ot it.  I loved the reveille in the morning (our TLC was near the barracks) and the National Anthem at night.  I loved all the things that I didn't have....the commissary, the exchange, the thrift store, the library and my list could go on and on.  I wasn't really on there long enough to make friends, and I was pregnant with our first child, so I didn't a child to participate in any programs in or have an immediate connection to anyone...but nonetheless I loved it.  I imagined what it would be like to do all those things.  I imagined that I would love it. 

Military life can be hard, it is a lot of the time.  There are days when I'm over it.  But it is also a great honor to serve my country by standing behind my husband and the rest of the men and women that protect us and keep us safe.  I'm proud to be a Military Wife for sure.  Now, being a National Guard wife is a special thing in and of itself.  Then you add the fact that you are full-time National Guardsman's wife...well, throw me for a loop!  Its kind of like when talking to someone and you say that your husband is in the Air Force and they say, "Oh, what kind of plane does he fly?"  Or, when you say your husband is in the Navy and they say, "oh does he go on a ship or a submarine all the time?"  People say those things and I chuckle a little bit inside.  I have a friend whose husband is in the Navy and he is in no way shape or form associated with a ship or submarine.  And it wasn't until recently that my husband was involved with planes.  Oh, he's gone a lot but no plane flying here.  My husband gets up every day and goes to work in his uniform and twelve (if I'm lucky, lol) hours later comes home.  You know those bumper stickers that say, "One weekend a month, two weeks in the summer my a**;" yeah, that's my life.  It has been for almost 10 years.  I have a great series coming up in the next month talking about the usual lives of Military s/o's and I'm so excited to talk about the less than ordinary in the already really unordinary.  But the real purpose of this for now is to tie together with the Month of the Military Child.  There are so many amazing things that the military does for children, and I mentioned them in another post that I made that you should check out here

I think its been more hard form me then it is for them. They are pretty young still and have a minimal understanding of the "Military Life".  Their friends are whoever is at the playground,with a few exceptions of course.  But like I said, its harder on me then it is them.  No military kids to play with, no kids to experience deployment with, no family programs to put on events for us, no mommy's night. I'm sure you can see that all these things can apply to me.  But, like I said, harder for me then them.  As a result I've become creative, but I've also been blessed with a great group of girlfriends at our last duty station.  The girls at my church and my mom's group were my Family Programs and my mommy's night out.  They were my shoulder to cry on.  On top of that there are so many online resources.  Our Military Kids provides amazing things for National Guard families in similar situations, with family members deployed.  Sometimes I wish there was a little more available to us, especially within the Air National Guard.  For some reason we just aren't up on that kind of stuff like the Army National Guard, with the Yellow Ribbon Programs and stuff.  They are available but you have to hunt for them more.

What are you experiences with your kids and the military?  Are you on or near a base?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rhe's Bookshelf #5 : The Parsifal Pursuit

Haven't done a book review in awhile and I'm happy to bring you a good one.  This one is right up my alley and I devoured every page of it.

Title: The Parsifal Pursuit
Authors: Michael and Patrick McMenamin
Published in 2011
This book is number two in the Winston Churchill Thrillers

What's it about:


By the spring of 1931 a conspiracy is underway in Germany to assassinate President Hindenburg and restore the Kaiser's son to the throne, threatening the peace of Europe. At the behest of her godfather Winston Churchill, the adventurous journalist Mattie McGary, a rising star in William Randolph Hearst's press empire, and her lover, Bourke Cockran Jr., a New York law school professor and former Army counterintelligence agent, get involved.
A brutal struggle opposes the old Germany and the new; the reactionary industrialists backing Kaiser Wilhelm II versus the racist radicals behind the Nazis and their leader, Adolf Hitler. Winston Churchill is drawn into the fray.
An epic quest to recover an ancient Christian artifact, the Spear of Destiny, is underway! The spear was used by Roman centurion Longinus to pierce the side of Christ to end His suffering on the cross. But the spear—long on display at Vienna's Hofburg Museum—is suddenly missing. Hitler wants it every bit as much as the Kaiser and Winston Churchill.
Mattie travels to the Austrian Alps on a danger-filled search for the spear. When Cockran joins her, both their lives and their romance are in jeopardy because of the handsome and mysterious leader of her expedition who saves her life and seeks to seduce her. Will she find the spear and retain Cockran's love?

My Thoughts:

This book is right up my alley.  I usually prefer a good true crime or historical non-fiction.  Every once in awhile I'll pick up a historical fiction in the hopes it will satisfy my weird "I miss school" sometimes feeling.  I really enjoyed this book.  The characters were interesting and I ended up wanting to know more.  It drew me in with its excitement and intensity.  The history, the inclusion of Hitler and Churchill, and everything that went wtih 1930s America and Germany was so great.  I think the authors did a great job of casually including that.  When I first began reading it and realized that they were going to include Hitler in it, I got to admit I was a little taken aback.  I was kinda wondering how that was going to work and how I would feel reading it in such a casual way.  But it was done well, with tact and historical integrity.  That is perhaps what I loved most about the book.  The authors clearly know what they are talking about, and great time and care was taken to weave these created characters in with a real time and place.  To put them side by side with real people in a real time.

The characters of Mattie and Cochran I just loved.  I loved that Mattie was strong and a real heroine.  She's strong-willed and independent.  Cochran was a guy I could love.

The story was interesting and kept me intrigued and I definitely want to continue reading the series, and now I got to go back and read the first one.

This book definitely gets the Cammo Style Love Combat Boot stamp of approval.  And i would recommend this book to someone that I know liked this type of book.  It seems like a niche type of book and it might be hard for someone not interested in this era or in a strong historical book.

4/5 Stars


If you are interested in learning more about this book you can check out the website here.

Disclosure: I received this book in a partnership with Business 2 Blogger.  I received a copy of this book, but the was not paid for a positive review.  These opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Summer Lovin' Baby Basics Event!

Summer Lovin' by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers


Hi everyone, I'm very happy to announce my participation in another amazing giveaway event! June will bring lots of awesome and great stuff to Cammo Style Love and this event is sure to be pretty awesome. The event is hosted by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers and Amy's Craft Bucket. Here's a little bit to look forward as far as the grandprize goes :

There will be a grand prize given away on Booty Buns Cloth Diapers. So far the prize is valued at over  $500!!

Sponsors Include:

* Booty Buns Cloth Diapers
* Raw Organics
* Rockin' Green Soap
* Fashion Bums
* Mamma's Milk Slings
* Boob Toob Nursing Covers
* Boba
* Bobee
* Balboa Baby

And there is so much more to come thanks to the awesome ladies at Booty Buns and Amy's Craft Bucket.

Here on Cammo Style Love I'm working hard to line up some great sponsors so please stay tuned for this event and Sponsor Spotlights from me, featuring some awesome prizes! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Event *Sponsor Spotlight*

mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop Event


Hi everyone!!  April is a busy month here at Cammo Style Love!  I've got some great giveaways going on right now, so please check those out.  This is a whole month of Mama and Baby giveaways and reviews and I'm so excited about that.  It is also the Month of the Military Child and I'm hoping to do some more posts about that, and I have a review and giveaway coming up specifically for the military child.  So keep a look out for that.  Perhaps one of the most exciting things about this month is The Great Cloth Diaper Change!  This is my first year participating in this event, and I am so excited about it.  More on that to come.

Now, onto the spotlight!  I am so excited for this Mother's Day Event hosted by Daily Mothering.  This is sure to be another wonderful event and I'm exited about it.  Lots of great gifts and I promise to deliver here at Cammo Style Love.  For my first sponsor I would like to introduce you to Bippy Diapers!  Tessa, at Bippy Diapers  has been kind enough to offer my readers a $20 gift card!  They are an actual store in Sarasota, Fl (Lucky guys down there!), but also sell online.  They sell all your typical cloth diapering supplies - fitteds, pockets, AI0, AI2s, prefolds and the list goes on.  You can get your soaps and detergents, like Rockin' Green and Eco Nuts!  They also carry Amber Teething Necklaces, as well as some WAHM wares.  They are your one stop cloth diapering shop.  You can even attend a Cloth 101 class.

Here's a little bit about Bippy Diapers -

Bippy Diapers was founded in 2010 by a simple mom with a dream.  With two children under two, a full time job and earning her master's, she decided that enough was enough and it was time to work for herself.  Thus, Bippy Diapers was born. 

In 2012 Bippy Diapers was passed into the loving, caring hands of a family who believes wholeheartedly in cloth diapering and natural parenting.  They have raised their first child in the natural lifestyle since birth and plan to continue the traditions with any future children.  The Smiths look forward to educating and spreading the joys of cloth diapering and natural childrearing with the rest of the world.

Bippy Diapers is a one stop shop for all your cloth diapering needs in the Tampa/Sarasota area.  We have everything from all-in-ones to prefolds.  If we don't have what you are looking for let us know.  We will work hard to bring you the natural products you need.  It only takes a mom with a dream to start a snowball effect.  Please email us with any comments, questions or concerns and I hope you have a happy cloth experience like we have.

I'm so excited to have Bippy Diapers as one of my newest sponsors!  Check out their website and their facebook as well.  Stayed tuned for more surprises from them in June!!  And please come back in on May 1st for a chance to win a gift card.  In the meantime please support this mama and her wonderful business.

Thanks and happy cloth-ing!!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My three Military Children.....

April is the Month of the Military Child and for me that's particularly important because I have three!  There are over one million children with a parent or parents and at least 900,000 with one or both parents deployed multiple times.  There are lots of people writing about this this month, a few that I've read that I recommend are one written by the deputy secretery of defense for military community and family policy, Robery L. Gorden III can be found here.  Another one was actually a guest post on one of my favorite military blogs "Wife of a Sailor" and that can be found here.  And I'm sure, if you are a military blogger that you've run across your own posts about the topic.

April was designated Month of the the Military Child by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in 1986!  Recognizing the importance and uniqueness of a child with a parent(s) that serve is quite important and I'm glad someone recognized it.  We, as the parents that are home with the child when the Military Parent is not, face unique challenges that ordinary families do not face.  To deal with a parent that is constantly in and out is really hard.  Children, especially my kids age, have a really hard time understanding that.  My five year old is just really beginning to become fully aware of daddy being gone.  Its not that he didn't understand before that daddy wasn't around, but he's become old enough for us to really explain it.  One of the last time's my hubby was gone, like two times ago really, was probably the hardest one that we have ever been through.  I think that Brian was just at that right age where he was just become aware but he didn't know how to handle or communicate his feelings.  He didn't want me to leave him,  he would burst into tears, he was acting out really really bad.  It was horrible and I was trying to keep it all together.  That is one of the harder parts about being a military wife, that's different than before you have kids.  You have to keep your emotions more in check when you're a mom.  That's not to say that you aren't allowed to be sad, or cry or any of that stuff.  But you just have to do it differently when you have kids around, even small ones.  They are acutely aware of emotions, even if they can't talk.  They can sense these emotions.  That particularly time we were fairly isolated which made it harder for me.  No family programs, no frg type stuff, no base community, and not a lot of people who were also gone had kids, or were even married.  That was hard.


Thankfully there are so many programs and other things available to assist you in this time in your life.  One thing that I utilized and loved was Sesame Street's Listen, Talk, Connect.  Amazing stuff.  The people at Sesame Street Workshop did an absolutely wonderful job with that.  You can get some more information about that here.  

Operation Military Kids is another great thing to help out parents during hard times.  They have a great map and you can click on your state to find out specific things that are happening and that are available to you right close to home.  There's great ways for older children to get involved, creating community awareness of specific issues they face, while also gaining leadership and public speaking skills.  There is information of summer camps available for Military children.  You can find out about Hero Packs, which is a great program that distributes backpacks in appreciation for military kids.  Lots of states involve non-military kids youths in that and each backpack contains a letter from someone their own age expressing thanks for their sacrifice during their parent's deployment or service.  Programs like Ready, Set, Go! increase awareness and education and eventually lead to wonderful programs in schools.  One school actually initiated a support group, created by the School counselor after he went through Ready, Set, Go! training.

There are so many resources out there that its impossible to list them all but here's a couple more to help out small children, Operation Top Knot - providing assistance to pregnant and new mommies whose husbands are deployed, and Operation Hug a Hero. I'm also a great fan of Hugs to Go dolls

In celebration of Military Kids, I've some special stuff planned!  First up is a review and giveaway of a great book called "Cooper and Me and the Military".  You can find out more information about Cooper and Me on their website.  Check back for that coming up.  And who knows, maybe a couple other surprises along the way!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mil-Spouse Friday Fill-in #70

Well April is here and in full swing! Easter is coming up and I'm rather excited about it. We've recently moved away from our family and friends and are alone this year. Well, not really alone - we were quickly adopted by our amazing neighbors in the spirit of good 'ole fashioned southern sensibility (yes, I know I'm not in the south but they have that down home southern sensibility that I've grown to love and was raised with myself). The point really is that this is our first Easter where I'm taking care of things! We aren't going to family's house and don't have to juggle the schedule of my in-laws, my parents, my sister and her hubby and their kids, which always works out well. This year I'm making the Ham, the dessert, all the fix-ins. I'm excited but kinda sad. I'm excited but also not because my house is still in "the ridiculousness" as I call it. Boxes everywhere, I have no table to eat at, and its frustrating! But I'm basically doing the unpacking by myself, while taking care of three kids, one of which is breastfeeding...so yeah, that's some fun right there. But I'm going to try to make the best of it. It's Phillip's first Easter and boy I'm super excited about that. I'm such a succor for tradition. I hope your Easter is wonderful, whatever it is you might be doing, wherever you might be..whether near family or far ( like us ). I hope its a blessed one wherever you are.

Now, onto the fill-in!

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?
Gosh, I think if one thing could have been different it would be to have my house magically be all unpacked and organized before Easter!  Boy, ain't that wishful thinking.  Other than that, its been a pretty amazing and fun month.

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in March?
Seeing the Cherry Blossoms, going to Arlington, seeing the Washing Monument up close, attending church at the National Cathedral.  I mean, the list goes on and on!

3. Check your phone… who was the last person you called and what is your favorite thing about them?
My mom!!  we talk pretty much every day in some form or fashion.  Yeah, she's pretty awesome :)

4. If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?
I'd probably be pink or purple, cuz I'm kinda a girl like that

5. What are you looking forward to in April?
I'm looking forward to be finally settled in and unpacked and semi-organized.  I'm looking forward to more Ikea trips and settling into life here.  Meeting new friends, finding a church, MOPs group and all that fun stuff!  and of course, continuing the amazing sight seeing!

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