Finding The Perfect Holiday Outfit: New Years Edition

Good morning readers! I don’t know about you, but it seems that the pre-Christmas rush ended way quicker than it began. Now we’re thrown into a whole new countdown for my favorite day of the year: New Years Eve! Continue reading

Christmas Recap

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families. I was really lucky this year, and was able to spend it with Kyle and his family, along with my parents and my brother. I went a little bit overboard this year with my gift-giving, but it was so much fun watching my family and friends open their presents. I definitely found the perfect gifts for everyone this year.

Thursday morning Kyle and I woke up and got an early work out in, then headed back to the condo to get ready for all the festivities! Since we knew we were going to eat a ton, the workout was definitely needed. I loaded all of our gifts into our cars, and we headed off to our houses. Kyle and I agreed a long time ago that we would never make eachother spend all of Christmas Eve/Christmas with only one of our families. So we split up, and reunite on Christmas day to see both families. It’s a little different, and as the years go on I’m sure we’ll have to change it, but it works for now.

I got to my house around 1:30 after running some last minute errands and having Christmas Eve lunch with Kyle. Immediately, it was time to wrap everything, a.k.a. it was time to help my dad wrap everything he got for my mom and brother because he always saves it for Christmas Eve. This is one of my favorite traditions, and I truly look forward to it every Christmas Eve. So we spent about 3 hours wrapping gifts and writing out cards together, then we moved it all under the tree. By then, my mom was home, so it was time to help her with her wrapping!

My brother got there around 4, and we all joined downstairs to sit by the fire and watch some corny holiday movies. We ate a late dinner, which is something different every year, and relaxed until it was time for bed. I ended up staying up really late, of course, so that I could put out all of the stocking stuffers that I bought for everyone. I finished the night just relaxing by myself and talking to friends who are in all parts of the country for the holidays.   This year was very different for all of us for many reasons. 1. My parents have officially sold our house, which I had lived in for the past 14 years. It closes in May, so this is the last Christmas there. 2. My brother will be deploying in 2016. and 3. Kyle has an upcoming deployment as well. It’s a lot of change all at once, some good and some bad, but we were all really grateful to be spending one last Christmas in the house we truly grew up in. And from the way things are looking, Kyle and my brother won’t be here next Christmas to celebrate, so it was an important memory to hold on to.

Christmas morning was extremely busy, but I loved it! My brother and I spent the night at my parent’s house, and woke up to open presents (like we were still 12). My mom made her usual cinnamon rolls, a tradition that has gone on for as long as I can remember, and we all exchanged cards. This has always been my favorite part, besides opening stockings, because it really captures the fact that, although we spent the entire month running around buying things, that’s not what’s important. The important part is how we show our gratitude, appreciation, and love for each other. So we buy these simple little cards, and we write out something special for each person. Someone always cries, happy tears of course, but it’s a tradition I definitely want to carry into my own family someday.   After exchanging all of our gifts, we sat around and tried on/used everything we got. This happens every year, mostly between my brother and my dad with any tools or gadgets that they got. No matter how old they get, they’ve always done this. My mom and I usually try on clothes and eat chocolate or something. What other day is it acceptable to eat chocolate at 10am?! 

Some of my fav stocking stuffers!

  Once things were finished up, Kyle came from his house to get me and we headed over there to give his parents their gifts. I’ve always been one of those people who loves to watch people open a gift I bought, but gets extremely anxious when I’m the one opening the gifts. Especially since it’s Kyle’s parents, and they always go way overboard and spend too much on us.   

 We finished the day at my house for some champagne and Christmas dinner, which was a nice relaxing end to the day. Afterwards, we cleaned things up and headed back to the apartment so that we would be ready to wake up early and do some shopping for ourselves! 

How did you spend your holiday week/weekend?
 

How To Make Your Holiday Cards Memorable During Deployment

The biggest thing on my to-do list this each year (besides getting my gift shopping done early) is to take a Christmas card “photo shoot” with Kyle. I’m happy to announce (atleast for this year), we finally did it! Continue reading

5 Misconceptions About Following Operational Security

A major part of becoming informed about the military lifestyle involves the subject of Operational Security, also known as OPSEC. The goal of OPSEC is to ensure that our service members across each branch are safe. That means creating “rules” on what can and can’t be discussed in group setting or in an online forum. Continue reading

My Shoe Wish List

The holidays, including all of that holiday shopping, have me doing a little bit of window shopping for myself. All the sequins and sparkles on everything have me a bit obsessed with some fancier looks, which I don’t get to wear often. And at the top of my list: shoes shoes shoes! Continue reading

7 Tips For Conquering Reintegration After Deployment

Once a deployment or major separation is coming to a close, we fantasize endlessly about being reunited with our loved one. We think about all the fun things we can do, and all that lost time we have to make up for. Continue reading

Holiday Gifts For Your Military Man: Stocking Stuffer Edition 


1. Funny Patches | 2. Stanley Water Bottle | 3. Blood Type Key Rings | 4. Z-Rex Multi-Tool | 5. Bullet Bottle Opener | 6. United States Army Mug

Stocking stuffers are my absolute favorite part of my Christmas shopping, and usually they’re the last thing I get. Continue reading

5 Holiday Gifts For Your Military Man 

 1. Dollar Shave Club | 2. Standard Issue Ballistic M-Frame 2.0 | 3. Combat Pack Tees | 4. Leatherman MUT Multi-Tool | 5. United States Army Zippo

It can be really tricky to get creative with holiday gifts, especially when you’re shopping for someone who’s in the military. We all want to find that special surprise that pertains to their service and every day life. Here are 5 ideas that they’ll be loving all year long!

1. | DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB

Shaving is a large part of military requirements, meaning no beards and no hair that touches the ears. As part of their daily routine, it’s important to have the right products! Dollar Shave Club keeps it nice and simple, with 5 razors to choose from and one (inexpensive) payment each month. They deliver right to your door, and you can add other products such as shaving creams and hair gels. It saves time and money, giving him less to worry about. Great for stocking stuffer ideas too!

2. | SI BALLISTIC M-FRAME SUNGLASSES

There are quite a few limitations as far as what can be worn while in uniform, so it can be tricky when it comes to sunglasses. But this pair (currently) is allowed! As part of the Standard Issue Series from Oakley, they offer eye protection for range days, as well as comfort for regular use. They also have interchangeable lenses with a clear option if they’re just being used as safety glasses. Although they’re pretty pricey, they’re a great investment for a gift that would be used all year.

3. | Grunt Style Combat Pack

These come in various assorted colors, and can be purchased separately as well. I’ve bought these packs a couple of times now, and they definitely get plenty of use. Kyle usually uses the tan under his uniform, and uses the others for the gym and daily wear. They’re extremely soft and simple, making them a great gift for anyone! And the best part? They guarantee their products for life, whether it’s holes, tears, stains, etc. Read more about their guarantee here.

4. | LEATHERMAN MUT EOD MULTI-TOOL

Everything but the kitchen sink. This multi-tool “MUT” (military utility tool) was created for those who work in EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) but it could really be useful for anything. The MUT features some of your basic tools for everyday use, as well as specialized tools like wire shears and cleaning rod/brush adapters. It has everything you may need, all wrapped into one handheld tool. And you can even add an engraving and make it customized!

5. | MILITARY ENGRAVED ZIPPO

Zippo has always had some great engraved options, and the military ones are definitely a favorite. You can choose anything from the simple style to the more intricate designs, and some of them even pertain to a certain MOS. And if you don’t find one you like, grab a plain silver one and get it engraved with their name, branch, or unit. It can be a very personal gift, while still being affordable for everyone!

It’s always tough finding the perfect gift, while still trying to save some money. So just keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a lot to get creative and personal with your gift-giving. And stay tuned for my gift guide to stocking stuffers!

What are your Christmas gift ideas for the military man in your life? Have you given any of these?