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Book Review: 15 Years of War + Giveaway

Growing up, each summer I would visit the library weekly and walk out with a huge stack of books taller than my head.  I would curl up on my window seat and read hours upon hours each day taking myself to far off fantasy worlds that only existed in the books I read.

My daughter, now 13, is a mirror image of me.  She begs me to take her to the library weekly because the 12 books she checked out last week have all been read through at a speed record pace.  It’s incredible to see her enthusiasm for reading is stronger than mine ever was.

As I got older, though, those fantasies were substituted for the real world, and my time for reading books was given up for dishes, laundry and all of the other “real fun” things that keep a family in working order.  I began to live Cinderella’s lifestyle, without the glass slipper.

But I still enjoy picking up a book or two each summer, though I now carefully select them, instead of grabbing stacks off the shelves like my former youthful self once did.

I was extremely excited to read 15 Years of War, not because I have a penchant for military novels, but because Kristine Schellhaas‘ life mirrored mine, but in a parallel dimension sort of way.  Kristine and her husband Ross, are a military family, as are we, but they are Marine (unlike our alternate universe of being an Air Force family).  They, like us, were married in 2003 (see the similarities).  Another interesting quirk about our two families was I spent 5 years of my childhood in Boise, Idaho, as did Kristine.  That window seat where I found my love of reading was in the same town that Kristine and Ross fell in love.

There is a saying that the military is a small world, and I truly believe that.  There are 318 million people in the United States, yet, at one point in my life, Kristine and I may have actually been at the same grocery store when I was nine years old.  And nearly 25 years later, here I am reading the story of how two people endured two wars, countless moves, training exercises, loss and love.  It was an incredible story, but that’s not the half of it.

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Patriotic M&M’s® Monster Cookie Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebrateWithM #CollectiveBias

Memorial Day is coming up quickly!  Are you ready to kick off summer!?!  I sure am!

Typically, we spend the weekend at BBQs and then our neighborhood pool opens so there’s always the first dip to start our summer off right.  But being a military family, we also take a moment to honor WHY we celebrate Memorial Day.

It isn’t about the great sales on a new grill, or [finally] getting a 3-day weekend to spend with the family.  It’s about honoring those men and women who gave their lives to serve our great nation in the Armed Services.

One way I like to show my appreciation during Memorial Day is to give back to those troops still serving.  Whether it’s by providing meals to those who are working on the holiday, or just swinging by with some cookies to say, “thanks.” I know it isn’t easy for them to see the rest of us enjoy our holiday while they are still serving and protecting. (more…)

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A Visit to a Strawberry Patch: Organic Berry Smoothie Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShoutSolutions #CollectiveBias

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It is strawberry season in California, one of my favorite times of the year. A few weeks ago, Mini Me and I took a trip to a locally-grown, organic strawberry farm located in the Santa Ynez Hills. The Farmstead is the area’s source for organic produce, and its farm stand environment is quaint and perfectly trendy. (more…)

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[Giveaway] Old Spice Hardest Working Man Collection

Last week, I shared how my husband and I are putting sweat equity into our newest home in California.  It was so much fun to show off some of our hard work, and certainly, show off my own Old Spice Hardest Working Man.

 

Now its your turn!  Today, I am giving away a full Hardest Working Man Collection Kit, complete with a toolbox, new Old Spice products, and more.  Want to win one for your own Hardest Working Man?  Keep reading!

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Upcycled DIY Nautical Headband Shows Off AcneFree Face

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #acnefree123 #CollectiveBias

Happy Monday everyone!  Today, I am pleased to hand over the reins of my blog to Mini Me.  She will be 13 next month (oh.em.gee, I have a teenager in my house…)  so independence is huge for her.  I’ve backed off from the morning nagging and she’s taken on a lot more responsibility in her self care.  Just like most teenagers, she’s going through that awkward acne stage where pimples and zits just keep coming at her.  Thankfully, we recently tried a great new 3-Step line from AcneFree  available now at Walmart that helps re-balance acne-prone skin!

Today, she is sharing her thoughts on AcneFree and its ability to improve her morning acne treatment routine, and even created a tutorial on a beautiful, easy DIY nautical headband that helps her show off her AcneFree face.

So take it away, Mini Me!

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