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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anheuser Busch Free Theme Park Admission Is Back for 2010!


Army Wife 101 & The Family @ SeaWorld in 2007


I am sure a good percentage of the military community is aware that for the past few years Amheuser Busch has graciously given military families the opportunity to visit several of their theme parks for FREE.

This upcoming year the good folks over at Anheuser are doing it again and service members and their dependents will have the opportunity to visit any one of the listed parks below free once during the 2010 year.

* Seaworld(Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio)

* Sesame Place

*Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, Tampa)

*Water Country USA

* Adventure Island

We have had the opportunity to go to SeaWorld twice and what fun we had. I also was appreciative of the fact that my mom and brother received a 10% discount on their admission tickets since they were with us.

So I've given you a quick run down and I am pretty sure you want more info so head on over to Hero Salute and register for your free tickets.

Thanks Anheuser!

Hooah & Smooches

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The R&R Dress Diaries...Part 1

Last year when my husband was deployed I spent countless days at the mall buying a shirt their or a skirt here in hopes of finding the perfect outfit to greet my husband in for his R&R (Rest & Recooperation). I always thought it meant Rest & Relaxation , but whatever back to the story hehe.

I admit from the start of the deployment I said "Eh I'm not gonna go crazy over what to wear for meeting him at the airport for R&R" but I got sucked into the hype of it all and here I am again at a crossroads of choosing that eye popping outfit. You know the outfit that you dream when he sees you he will run to you and you will run to him like Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca" or Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in "The Bodyguard". In reality (at least in my case and some of my friends)the fact of the matter is hubby is so happy to arrive home that yea you give that infamous homecoming hug/kiss and then usually your little rugrats are running towards him to give their welcome home hugs and that outfit that you just spent countless days or weeks shopping for officially just kind of unintentionally gets glossed over.

Lest not forget I am plus sized and heels aren't always my best friend, so in essence this tends to ruin alot of my outfit choices. You see when going to the airport, you never know how far your going to have to park. The idea of me having to do anything other then get out of a car at the curb and walk into the airport,without having to actually walk through a airport parking lot(in heels)is a nightmare.

Ok I have to be fair and say this definitely doesn't happen in everyone's situation but I'll be damned if it doesn't always happen to me. With that said I am on a mission to find the perfect outfit because I miss being sexy and cute. I miss having someone to dress up for besides myself so this is what I am most looking forward to . I doubt it will happen but can't I dream :)

So far I have 3 different outfits picked out:

1. The Yeah Right: This is the outfit that I actually think I could pull off as far as wearing goes but how in the hell do I look showing up at the airport like this


2.The Maybe: Ok this dress doesn't look to out of the ordinary. I find it to be very class comfy and can definitely dressed up with some cute costume jewelry. It also is a convertible dress which means it can be turned into 22 different dresses. The price tag of a hefty $188.00 makes me go mmmm maybe...NOT. Yeah I admit I'm queen of cheapism (is that even a word?)


3.The Let's Get Realistic: This is what I am pretty sure I'll wind up wearing because I know that I am just set in my ways and just refuse to sacrifice comfort for fashion(even though I am a pretty fashionable plus size chickie). It also doesn't help that I live here in Hawaii where it can be warm randomly and if their is one thing I can't stand it's being hot and cooped up with to much clothing on like stockings, a girdle, heels...omg it all gives me a instant anxiety attack thinking about it. Ok so here is the last pic of what I will probably wear jeans a shirt and flipflops a far cry from the outfits above. For the record it won't be this outfit persay, but you get the idea.


As you can see I entitled this blog the R&R Dress diaries...reason being I can be a pretty indecisive person and I have a few weeks before I have to come to a final decision. I figured it would be fun for my awesome readers to get a chance to tune into the decision making process.

Any suggestions or stories of what you wore for your R&R , homecoming, or partners graduation feel free to share them in the comments section.

Hooah & Smooches

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ask Army Wife 101: Housing Question

Q.This question relates to: Housing

What is your Question? well my husband is going to the army and my question to you is...is it for sure that myself and our kids will live on base? im nervous and thankful for your website it will be my personel bible through this journey thank you hope to hear from you soon


A. Hi Alexis,

Thank you for writing Army Wife 101!

Your question is a simple and easy one and I hope my answer will give you some insight.

Simply put you can always live onpost but that is contingent on if housing is available at the time to fit your family size. What you will want to do is as soon as your husband graduates AIT and receives his orders with you and your children listed on them, you will want to contact the housing office at your new duty station and see what the protocol is for placing your name on the housing list.

Many Army housing offices will require you to actually arrive at the duty station first and then place your name on the list, while others will allow you to fax your orders and other documentation and place your name on the list before you arrive.

In the mean time if you would like to see how Army housing at any Army post looks you can visit One Stop Army
Here you will be able to view actual pictures of housing.

Once again I hope the above information is of help to you and be sure to check out my video tutorials on Understanding Military Pay, PCS Moves Etc here at Army Wife 101.

Hooah & Smooches

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sweets Sweets and More Sweets!

In the spirit of Christmas and the holidays I decided to step away from the Army realm of things for a minute and talk about one of my favorite topics FOOD!!!!!

Yes I admit my addiction to food has got me in alittle bit of trouble. Alittle extra hip here alittle hip their, but hey it's the holidays and I consider this my time to shine(and eat) when it comes to food.

Of course I have been blessed to meet some great friends here in Hawaii whom I want to give something special to and have found that one of the best and least expensive items to give is food.

This year my food gift list is as follows:

Black & White Chocolate Lollipops (If I can find my candy molds..you know how PCS moves cause you to lose everything)

Sugar Cookies with Homemade Icing...Check out last years cookies a friend and I made below.


Sugar Cookie with Sprinkles


This is my full size pic of "Hershey's Chocolate Cake" but I plan on making small personal size ones as gifts.



Last but not least my famous "Bacon Onion Spinach Quiche" is on the gift menu this year as well.


Of course I couldn't leave this post without remembering our soldiers...With that said my favorite recipe site Allrecipes is holding an awesome contest for the 25 days of Christmas.

Each day they will pick a nominated soldier to receive four dozen cookies specially baked from the Allrecipes kitchen. Visit here to enter your soldier.

Feel free to share your favorite sweets and treats for the holidays and be sure to visit the DFAC for more recipes from yours truly!

Hooah & Smooches

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Care Packages

Whewww weeee it seems like I had just put up a post on Halloween care packages and Thanksgiving ones and now Christmas!

Well truth be told you hardly have as much time as you think. December 8th is the last day to send out packages to family members overseas in hopes of it getting there on time for Christmas. You have until December 15th if your willing to pay express shipping fees but (IMO) those fees tend to be alittle crazy.

In any event some wonderful ladies have given me the opportunity to show off their Christmas care packages. I put these pics up simply so that you can get a visual idea of what a care package (for Christmas) could possibly look like. I hope you enjoy and find these examples helpful.






Thank You Mare & Shasta for allowing me to share these. They look great!

Before I go I need to apologize for not putting up pics of my care package. I honestly forgot and was in a hurry to send them. My hubby mainly got tons and tons of extra snacks plus three of his favorite tv show series on dvd which I wrapped and requested he not open until Christmas.

I hope you ladies enjoy these and feel free to click here to learn more about sending packages overseas.

Hooah & Smooches

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blahhh....The Holidays!



I admit it I haven't heavily blogged because I have a somewhat severe case of the holiday blues.

I fully intended on making a huge Thanksgiving post but I got caught up in cooking and then my blues kicked in and that post never came to be. In any event this past Thursday was my second Thanksgiving without the hubby here and in comparison to the previous one without him, this one was relatively quiet. I cooked a small meal which didn't consist of turkey because I wasn't going to spend $32 on a huge bird since that's all the commissary seemed to have left. I did however bake a nice whole chicken with all the traditional Thanksgiving sides.

I honestly can't see why my blues were so heavy I mean my neighbors came over to partake in sampling each others dishes which was fun. Who am I kidding? My husband wasn't here nothing could make up for that.

As of lately I have been trying real hard to get into the Christmas spirit and for the most part I think I have done really well, until I see the other husbands outside hanging lights with staple guns and my poor lights were hung with tape no wonder those suckers fell out the window.

The kids and I did manage to get the tree up see...


Well my great readers I wish I did have some great advice on how to get through the holidays, but quite honestly I don't. I can however tell you what I've been doing:

1.Indulging in online Christmas Card Exchanges ( This will definitely kill some time writing a ton of cards out)

2.I started Xmas shopping early mainly because I usually try to get my kids more when dad is gone (call it spoiling them if you will) because I admit I tend to feel guilty that they don't have their dad around all year and especially for the holidays.

3.Completely screwing up my diet by trying new cookie recipes from All Recipes. That site is addictive if you love to cook and try new foods.

4. Going overboard on care packages for the hubs, putting together a Christmas care package can be hard work.

Hopefully one of the above can be helpful to you *smile*.

Well everyone I thank you for letting me go off on a tangent and torment you with one of my 3AM all over the place blog entries.

Stay tuned for one of Army Wife 101's regularly scheduled post!

Hooah & Smooches

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

"It's About Time" Giveaway/Contest

Army Wife 101 is honored to participate in the "It's About Time" sponsored by 3A Watch Group as a way to show their support and appreciation for America's service members and their families.

We are looking for military spouses to share their stories of community service, deployment stories, or how you helped another spouse in a time of need.

Each week Army Wife 101 will choose a winner to receive a new watch for them and their spouse from 3A's new line of watches inspired by our own military.

The Us Army Watch line makes it's official debut November 20th at your nearest AAFES and participating Macy's retailers along with several boutiques nationwide.

Visit US Army Watches to check out these awesome watches. I have checked them out personally and the creators of these watches really went out of their way to design watches that are masculine , durable and stylish for men but also chic and stylish watches for women.

You can enter by simply leaving a comment below sharing a story of community service , a deployment story , or how you helped another spouse in need.

Look forward to hearing from all of you!

Hooah & Smooches

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Army Wife 101: Living Onpost

Hey everyone I apologize in advance for the quality of this video.

Sometimes I just like uploading my video directly without having to use the webcam.

In any event enjoy the video lot's of good information and I am sure that I will answer a few of your onpost questions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...Happy Veteran's Day

Thinking of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you to my husband and all the other service members who are selfless and humble and serve our country. You men and women are brave and have my utmost respect & support. Happy Veteran's Day!

THIS PICTURE IS MY ABSOLUTE FAV...IT IS THE DAY MY HUSBAND RETURNED FROM IRAQ AFTER 15 MONTHS. THE SYMBOLISM OF THE FLAG IN FRONT OF HIM AND MY SON IS THE MOST AMAZING THING.
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THE LOOK ON MY SON'S FACE ALWAYS BRING ME TO TEARS...HE MIGHT NOT LOOK TO EXCITED BUT HE WAS THRILLED AND BEING SO YOUNG OVERWHELMED WITH ALL THAT WAS GOING ON LOL!
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Hooah & Smooches

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Care Packages

Yes ladies believe it or not Halloween just passed and Turkey Day is rapidly clucking it's way around the corner.

For those of us with deployed spouses a good portion of us will probably be trying to concoct a package to put together for our soldiers. If your anything like me then you admit that your creatively challenged when it comes to making cute care packages.

Thanks to a sweet lady named Jess on one of the military spouse forums I visit, I have the pleasure of showing you her "Thanksgiving Care Package" which I absolutely thought was so adorable and creative. I am sure the lucky recipient will enjoy.








Thanks Jess for allowing me to share pictures of your care package!

So next I know your thinking well what the heck can I put in this Thanksgiving care package?

I found a cool article with some great tips. Check it out here.

I also came across this list of ideas:
Thanksgiving box

* turkey spam
* cans for veggies
* can of cranberry
* Paper Plates
* cups
* Thanksgiving decorations from the dollar stores
* cute paper pumpkins from Halloween
The idea listed below comes from Bella Online

"Thanksgiving: This is always the hardest holiday for me to send packages since it mainly revolves around food. One idea that I’ve heard of others doing that I love is celebrating Thanksgiving early and placing a video camera in the chair where he would sit if he was there. Record the dinner, send him the tape and he can play the tape while he eats his own Thanksgiving dinner. Last Thanksgiving, I sent my soldier substitutes for the traditional dinner. For turkey, he received jerky; for rice, rice cakes; for corn, candy corn; for potatoes, potato chips; the list goes on. It was definitely the most creative package I have put together."

Now that we got the care package ideas out of the way I wanted to put up a reminder about sending care packages overseas. I know I personally have had to give myself a little tutorial on how to fill out customs forms several times. If you need a reminder check out Filling Out Customs Form For Care Packages

Lastly I wanted to post the information to get your FREE Military Care Package Shipping Kit:

Military Care Package Mailing Kit
Since Priority Mail service supplies are the packaging of choice for families preparing care packages for service members overseas, the USPS has created a "Mili-kit" based on the items most frequently requested by the military.
The kit contains:

* Three (3) each of flat rate boxes O-FRB1 and O-FRB2
* Two (2) each of Cube boxes OBOX7
* Address labels - Label # 228: 8 each
* Address labels - Label # 106-A: 1 each
* Customs FORM 2976-A: 8 EA.
* Customs FORM Envelope 2976-E: 8 EA.
To order your kit and have it delivered straight to your door call 1-800-610-8734 (Packing Supply)

* Choose your language (“1” is English, “2” is Spanish).
* Choose option 1 (it states it is for Express Mail service, Priority Mail or Global Express Guaranteed).
* When you reach a live agent, request “CAREKIT04.”
* Please allow 7-10 days for delivery.

Note: These are free supplies, postage must be affixed.
Also keep in mind FREE APO and FPO boxes can always be ordered by visiting the USPS site. The boxes will be delivered straight to your door.

I hope these Thanksgiving Care Package ideas are helpful to you and that you will share your ideas in the comments below.

Stay tuned for ideas on Christmas care packages which by the way need to be sent out soon to be received in time for Christmas.

Hooah & Smooches

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Updates & Announcements

Helloooo to all my wonderful readers!

I know it seems like I have been MIA and kinda slacking and you would be right *smile*.
Ok ok ...actually I have just been extremely busy outside of the house as well as working on some really great things for Army Wife 101 and for you my loyal readers.

As for updates their are quite a few:

* First Congratulation to our winners of "The 50th Follower Visa GC Contest" and the "Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway".
Jennifer at
Vanessa atA Military Wife's Mayhem


*Army Wife 101 has joined in to help spread the word about Vets Prevail, a program for Vets and service members returning from combat zones who may need help getting readjusted to life after deployment. You can read my blog entry about it.
If you know someone who you feel this program can be of help to contact me and I will give you a code to access Vets Prevail before the official Veteran's Day Launch of the program.

* Can't say to much about it yet but Army Wife 101 has been asked to join onto an awesome campaign for us military spouses for a new product launching. This includes several giveaways. I am going to need some of you to share your deployment stories, and just everyday stories on how you survive the sometimes tough life as a military spouse. You can start emailing them to Army Wife 101 at Krystel@armywife101.com or Sherrill@armywife101.com
Please put "My Story" in the Subject Line.

*Army Wife 101 will be doing a series on several topics relating to military life. these include PCS moves, Pay, Life Onpost etc. They will be exciting and easy to understand , I am also sure they will address the FAQ's that alot of us spouses have.

* Don't forget to check out The DFAC I added a new video today and have another appetizer video I'll be adding shortly.

* Don't forget to check out Army Wife 101's Freebie Of the Day. I try to update daily but as of lately unless I find absolutely decent freebies I won't list them but I will be updating them today.

*For all my new readers don't forget to check out the video tutorials which can be found here.

* Lastly please feel free to contact Army Wife 101 with your questions by clicking "Ask Army Wife 101" at the top of your screen.


Oh no one more thing I want to thank a wonderful blog buddy named Angela. She awarded me A Best Blog Award and I just want to THANK her. She has been so sweet to me and not to mention has an awesome blog where she shares tidbits of her daily life...witty advice and all around interesting information. She is a great writer and I want you to stop by and show her some blog love by visiting Angela's Soliloquy

I know this particular entry was painfully (ok not really) long but it's great info that I needed to share!

Whew wee glad I got that done...now it's off for some coffee!

Hooah & Smooches

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vets Prevail


As a military spouse with a husband currently on a second tour to Iraq, I am a strong advocate and committed to helping our returning service members seek help for issues that may arise due to the emotional toll being in a combat zone can take on one.

With that said I was honored to be contacted to help spread the word about "Vets Prevail" a six week ,program which service members can access from the privacy of their own home. The sessions are delivered via Instant Message chat sessions and interactive videos along with licensed professionals.

Vets Prevail is developed by Vets for Vets and current service members. Service members and vets can take full comfort in knowing this program was developed by people who have been exactly where they are. I was recently given the opportunity to take a look at the program and can say that it is easy to use and very well put together.

Please take a look at the Vets Prevail Viral Video below. If you have a spouse or a family member who you feel the Vets Prevail program could help , please send an email to krystel@armywife101.com.

Army Wife 101 has been given 15 access codes to share before the official Veteran's Day launch of Vet's Prevail.

Your information shall and will remain confidential and once ,I issue you a code I will no longer have access to your information.

Visit Vets Prevail to learn more.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

$50 Visa Giftcard Winner Issssssss.......




Drum Rolllllllllllllllllllll..........................

Is Simply_Unique from It's Just Simply Unique

Life


Thanks for entering the "50th Follower Contest".

Thanks to everyone who participated!!!!

Hooah & Smooches

Monday, October 26, 2009

And The Winner Is..........



The winner of the Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway is Vanessa from Military Wife Mayhem.

Winner was picked via Random.org

Vanessa enjoy your dress and don't be afraid to show it off :) !!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sears Heroes @ Home Holiday Program (CLOSED)

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Last year my family had the opportunity to participate in the Sears Heroes @ Home Holiday Program.

We received a Sears Gift card (which can also be used at Kmart) and a voucher to purchase a Christmas tree and decorations.

This program fulfills wishes of Military families through generous donations from customers just like you and I. With the struggling economy this is a great opportunity for some make to the holidays a little more brighter for their loved ones. I know for us personally it couldn't have come at a better time with a upcoming PCS and all the financial toll moving can bring at times.

To apply for the Sears Heroes at Home Holiday Program you or your spouse must be active duty.

To give everyone a fair chance at signing up the application opens at certain time periods of the day and closes at a specific time each day.
Today as of Wednesday Oct 21, 2009 the application is open from Wednesday October 21 2009,06:00 CST through Wednesday October 21 2009,13:45 CST.

The same will happen tomorrow.

Emails informing you if you have been selected for the Sears Heroes Holiday Program will be sent out the last week of October.

You can find out more about the program as well as apply Here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ask Army Wife 101: Coupon Question?

Coupons Pictures, Images and Photos

Name: Grandma Bee
This question relates to: Other

Q. I operate a small coupon clipping service and would like to donate my unused coupons to our military families as my "thank you" for all you sacrifice for us. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I have been told the Commissary and PX overseas will accept them for up to six months past their expiration date. Is this correct? Also, can they be used in the same fashion within the U.S.? Can you please provide me with information on how to donate coupons, even those expired, to our military families? An address and contact would be great. Thanks for your help.

Grandma Bee

A. Hi Grandma Bee! First let me say thank you for writing Army Wife 101 and for your kindness in wanting to help military families.

You have definitely heard correctly. Expired coupons can be used up to 6 months after their expiration date at overseas military installations. The coupons will be used in the same fashion as they would in the US. Military families will use them at their local commissary.

I have found the following places and tips where you can donate and send unused and expired coupons:

The below tips are from :About.com Expired Coupons For Military
- Tips -

* Cut and trim the sides of the coupons. This is not only helpful to the receiving centers, but you do not want to pay postage on dead weight.
* Separate the coupons into two major categories - Food (for humans) and Non-Food (pet food would be non-food). Place them in large sealed freezer bags and label.
* Attach a dollar total of the coupons onto the bag.
* Prior to sending your coupons, you may want to touch base with whom you are sending them to, to make certain that they do not have any other preferences for you to follow.

To send your coupons to a Military Coupon Co-op please visit the following sites:
Overseas Coupon Program
OCP will help you to forward your coupons to Military installations overseas.

Coupons To Troops

Thank you again for you kindness I think I can speak for all military families when I say Thank You!!!

Hooah & Smooches

Monday, October 19, 2009

Review : Movie Night With Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs ....Diamond Edition



On occasion I like to switch things up on here and help us remember that we do have a life outside the Army so I decided to bring us back to our childhood just for a moment, on top of the fact that anyone who knows me knows I am a total Disney junkie.

With hubby being deployed the kids and I try to have movie night at least once a week. Thanks to the One to One Network I was recently sent a copy of the Disney classic "Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs" the Diamond Edition to review.

Let me just say the packaging for this DVD is awesome, it is definitely worthy of being a collector's item.


The combo pack includes your basic DVD plus the Blu Ray DVD. The kids and I opted to watch the Blu Ray DVD and what fun it was. The colors were bold, fun and looked like they were popping right out of the screen. The sound was extremely clear and I imagine it would be since it was High Definition sound. The audio and graphics made for an awesome viewing experience. This made watching the wicked queen, Snow White, and those lovable dwarfs even more exciting. My son who initially said he wasn't watching a girly movie enjoyed it as well.

One thing those of you with kids who love to just touch dvd's and refuse to handle them properly will love, is that the Blu ray DVD's are scratch proof. How great is that?
Oh and don't fret if you don't have a Blu- Ray DVD player because the Show White Blu Ray DVD will play on Playstation 3 also.

The Diamond Edition Package not only came with the two dvd's ,but it also comes with three games to play via your tv screen, behind the scenes footage with the movie creators, a sing along video with the karaoke version of Heigh-Ho and last but not least (IMO) one of the best goodies was you will get to view an Exclusive sneak peek of Disney's new movie " The Princess & The Frog".

My family really enjoyed this movie and everything it came with and look forward to keeping it in our DVD collection for years to come.



See a trailer of the Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Movie Here or visit the Diamond Edition DVD site here for more details.

* This review was written in part with One2One Network for a Disney campaign. Disney supplied Army Wife 101 with the DVD but no monetary compensation was received.

Hooah & Smooches

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homecoming Dress Giveaway From Shabby Apple!!!!!!!

The lovely folks over at Shabby Apple Dresses have given Army Wife 101 the pleasure of giving away one of their awesome dresses to an Army Wife to welcome her soldier home in .

If you are looking to go back to simplicity while still being sexy and chic definitely check their site out. They have quality affordable dresses to cater to every size.

This giveaway is for the "90 Words Per Minute Dress".
Available in sizes XXS-XL
ARV $64



Entry Rules: To enter leave a comment with your name and email.


Bonus Entries:
Twitter this contest: Military Wives Win a Homecoming Dress to Greet Your Man In from Shabby Apple http://moourl.com/0qdnj @ armywives101

Follow me on Twitter @ armywives101 and leave a comment letting me know.

Become a follower on my blog and leave a comment letting me know.

This contest will end on October 26, 2009 at 11:59 pm EST
A winner will be chosen from a Random Number Generator from random.org
The winner will be listed and contacted within 3 days.
Make sure to leave a valid email so I may contact should you win.
Winner must claim prize within 3 days or new winner will be chosen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Army Wives Season 3 Finale Vlog Recap 10/12/09

This is Part 1 ...Part 2 is uploading enjoy!


Part 2: What I Didn't Like About the Season Finale and the Armywives Book!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Do I Need To Make Friends & How Do I at My Duty Station?


MY CRAZY CLOSE FRIENDS FROM HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD.
HEY THAT'S "Ask Rell" ON THE LEFT!

HAWAII FRIENDS





Do you have to make new friends at your new home ...No!

Should you make friends at your new duty station....My answer is YES!

I will be the first to admit that I don't like having too many friends. It is not a military thing, it is just how I have always been. At the same time I am the coolest person and don't mind being friends (associates) with people just as long as their halfway normal and not "drama queens".

Unfortunately in the military life sometimes we have to step out of our normal everyday realm and put ourselves out there. With the constant moves , and deployments it is extremely important to make a friend or two who lives where you live and that you can talk to when needed.

During my husband's last deployment I always was worried about what if I were to pass out in this house and no one knows, or who would watch my kids in an emergency. Besides emergencies I thought about less worse things such as being in my house for 15 months alone in another state and not knowing a soul, no matter how much of a loner you are the thought of not knowing a single sole is pretty depressing.

So I am here to tell you yes their is literally a way to make friends at your next duty station before you get there. When I arrived in Hawaii I had already made some great friends...who gave me time to get settled and then a chance to get to know them more.

Ok ok I know your like well damn it tell us how already *smile*

1. Visit the sites listed below. Each of these sites has a separate message board community for each Army post.
*Married To The Army
*Military SOS

2. Visit Meetup and see if their is a Military Wives meetup group in your area, or a local group which meets one of your interest. This could include scrapbooking, playgroups etc.

3. When I PCS'ed here to Hawaii I searched out military wives groups on Myspace and I even used the search feature to find spouses in this area and then sent them messages privately.

4. Visit your Army post ACS building and get a list of different spouse groups available on and offpost. PWOC is just an example of one of the different programs on bases worldwide available to spouses. In this case PWOC is a women's ministry on military installations. If that isn't your cup of tea check out the Enlisted Spouses Club on your base.

Word of advice don't be persuaded by other views of groups such as Spouses clubs. Everyone has varying opinions and you don't want to lose out on a potential great support system just because of one person's opinion.


Moral of the story make a friend ...trust me you will definitely need one!

Hooah & Smooches

Krystel

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award!!!!



I received some awesome news a few days ago that I had been awarded a "One Lovely Blog Award"
by Angela's Soliloquy. She is an awesome writer who always has witty stories and cool facts and I am just honored that she took the time to nominate Army Wife 101. Thank You Angela.

I love all my Blog Buddies , FB Fans and subscribers and I am glad to know that I am able to help someone every so often.

In the spirit of receiving the "One Lovely Blog Award" I now need to pass the award onto a few other bloggers who I have newly discovered. Choosing a few people to receive this award will be hard to do as I have truly met some great people on here and think each of my blog buddies are unique and different in their own way.

Without further ado the awesome bloggers I present this award to (in no particular order) are:

1.
Bessie is an awesome writer who gives great motivational advice which we can all use at times. She is a women of all trades and I look forward to reading more from her.

2.Ask Wifey Lorraine doesn't know this but she is one of the main reasons I chose to blog again. She put the fun in blogging with her witty and down to earth commentary on everyday aspects of life. Thanks Lorraine!

3.Confessions from Household six
I don't know Amanda well but what I can say is her blog is funny and oh so real. She has alot to say and definitely tells it like it is, while sharing some great information in relation to life and the military.

4. Mom Files
OMG Shellie! I absolutely adore her she is the most sweetest person and has truly encouraged me every step of the way when it comes to blogging. She shares her very real & everyday family experiences plus always has some great giveaways. Her husband is the funniest guy too check out her "Vent Day Wednesdays".

5. World's Worst Military Spouse
Plain and simple Enchante is hilariously funny and she is just real... she says it just like it is. She is new to the blogging scene and does not know I have been following her blog every step of the way.


6. Bethany from Army Wife In Training
I love her blog because not only does she speak about the life of a future Army Wife but her recaps of tv shows are great :) She is such a sweetheart and I really look forward to getting to know her. She has is counting down to seeing the love of her life and this is such an awesome experience to share with people.

7. execumama online

Akilah was the first person who really helped me with a load of questions I had because I was clueless . She is an awesome woman and her blog will wow you. She is very knowledgable in so many areas.

Congratulations to you all and I look forward to reading more great post from you.
Thanks again Angela this means alot to me.

Hooah & Smooches

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...Don't Leave Daddy!



I admit I am a sucker for these kinds of photos.
This one comes via NBC Philadelphia. This little girl did not want to let her daddy go and apparently no one had the heart to force her to move her away from him.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ask Army Wife 101: BootCamp/AIT Question

Q.So, here goes, I hope I can get this out right...
My soldier has 3 weeks of boot camp left. I am going to his boot camp graduation in SC. Then he ships right to his AIT in AL. I will be moving at my own expense there, one week after he is set to get there. I have an apartment already, etc. I can swing it on my own.
We wish to be married right away and get me on his orders. He is only at phase 1 of AIT for 10 weeks, then he moves from Huntsville, AL to Pensacola, FL to phase 2. I wish to move with him, but at that point I will need spouse/dependent assistance for the second move.
How long does it take for me to be successfully added to his orders and receive the help a spouse gets? Also, do we need to be married BEFORE he gets to his AIT destination for phase 1 in order for me to get the spouse assistance at all through AIT?
Do we need to quick get married at graduation, or right before he leaves his boot camp station? He is in Ft. Jackson, SC, they only have a 1 day waiting period in between the license and ceremony, we are not religious and don't care about anything fancy at this time. If we can make it work, we will do it there.
We just want me to be near him, and get help, and be on his orders, and stick with him.
I believe that we need to turn in the marriage certificate and fill out some other papers, but I cannot find specifically from the Army what we need to fill out, where, who to give it to, and how long it will take, etc. I want to know now so I can prepare, then write him and prepare him, and make sure it goes off without a hitch.
I appreciate any help you can give me. This is scary! I am NOT scared to marry the love of my life, he is my soul mate, I have no doubt. He enlisted before he met me unfortunately, and now we just have to roll with it.
Thank you very much.



A. Hi Sara and thanks for writing Army Wife 101!

I will admit you have alot that needs to be answered so I will do my best to answer and hopefully some of my wonderful followers can jump in and offer you some more advice.

Let's start in order:

I would like to give you an opinion in regards to you moving to where his AIT duty station is. It is important for you to know that while he is in AIT he is still considered in training and will likely not be able to see you 90% of the time. When in AIT they go through certain Phases and a Pass System. For instance in the beginning he might be able to go to the commi or px...phase 2 might allow the soldiers to leave post but only for a few hours and of course phase 3 would let them put in for a pass to leave post overnight. One soldier's mess up can mean weekend passes being reneged for everyone. I just wanted you to know that, so you don't move down there with hopes of seeing your significant other daily.

As far as moving with him to the second part of AIT, his AIT will need to be 20 weeks or over for a SPOUSE to go with him. For a spouse to go to AIT with her husband the command at his training duty station would have to approve that. In your case you would have to be MARRIED and until you are MARRIED you are not eligible for any type of financial incentives the Army would normally provide a service member with dependents.

Honestly (and this is just my opinion) as I stated above you most likely will hardly see your soldier, so I would not rush to hurry and get married since he is already set to go to AIT , I don't see his orders being amended for you to go with him. If you wish to get married by all means do so but always be prepared for whatever the Army throws your way and definitely be prepared to possibly not be near him. You can tell your spouse that he can check into getting his orders amended but that nothing is guaranteed.

Once you do get married , he can take the marriage license and social security cards to the Deers Office and have you placed on Page Two. This will get you entered into the system to receive Medical Benefits and basically shows the Army you exist. Your spouse could then take you to get your military ID which would enable you to use the commissary ,PX and go to the Dr.

My advice would be to wait for him finish to AIT since he won't have much time to do anything outside of training. Once he graduates AIT he will report to his first duty station where he will have alittle more freedom and time to take care of the necessary paperwork and make arrangements to enable your family to be together.

Marrying into the military is definitely exciting and scary at the time, but with proper planning and researching you will be absolutely fine.

I hope I have given you some better insight on what he will need to do and if you need anymore information feel free to email me at Krystel@armywife101.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Halloween Care Packages....What To Send In Them


The picture above is from a sweet lady on a military wives forum I visit who let me have the privilege of showing off her wonder creative care package.


I have no shame in saying that I am beyond creatively challenged. With that said while I enjoy making (attempting) creative and fun packages, I for the most part suck at doing that. I love sending my husband care packages when he is deployed though and making them special for him , while still sending him things he can use.

I have been on the hunt for great Halloween care package ideas that are practical and useful. We all have different taste but the one thing we have in common is that eventually our spouses will return home along with those items. Toys and items of that nature are fine, but I always try to make sure it is something my spouse can pass on to incoming soldiers when he leaves.

I would love to have a great list of Martha Stewart like tips for you but as I mentioned above that won't happen :)

I can't leave you all hanging so here are some great Halloween care packages tips I have come across.

1. Making Halloween Care Packages For Soldiers

2.Loving A Soldier...Halloween Tips

3.This site is a forum I go to that has a care package section. A member of the board posted some awesome pictures of a care package she made. See the care package by click here.

Below are some important mailing tips to keep in mind when sending any type of care package.

* Always remember that Flat Rate/Priority boxes are free and be even be ordered in bulk for free on the USPS

*Be sure to send packages out in time. In my experience the average time for a care package to reach my spouse was 2 weeks from the Southeast part of the US.

* If you send homemade baked goods be sure to wrap them securely in plastic wrap , then nestle securely in a tightly sealed plastic container.

* If baked good contain icing...send the icing in a separate container.

* Check out The USPS Mailing Restrictions for important tips you should know when mailing packages overseas.

If you have some cool Halloween care package tips please feel free to post them in the comments section.

I hope you find the info useful...Stay tuned for pictures of my Halloween care package.

Hooah & Smooches

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just One of Them Days....Blah (Journey Through A Deployment)

Shika stamp Pictures, Images and Photos
Come on deployment ladies I know you have them...just one of those mornings where you wake up and your miserable. Your cranky, you don't want to do anything in relation to motherhood that day and you just want your husband.

Yup well that would be me today, I miss my darn husband. It's 4:14am and I am up because I am lonely. Yes I can say I might be longing for him intimately but it goes beyond that. I am longing for him for those strange noises in the middle of the night that I make him get out the bed to check, I am longing for him when I awaken at the most inopportune time in the middle of the night when I have to tinkle and I have to get out from under his warmth and step onto cold floors, but then I happily return to nice warm blankets and his arm to snuggle in.

Beyond the sappy stuff I miss not having to take out that ridiculously heavy garbage can (housing demands you use) every Friday. I wouldn't have to if I my 10 year old would remember...she only does one chore anyway *hehe*. I miss pretending my back hurts alittle more then normal just so I can get an extra long back massage. I really miss him coming in from PT and taking the kids to school. Someone here at Schofield Barracks got the bright idea to not have buses because they figured every person wanted to be healthy and walk or drive in what is comparable to rush hour traffic in NYC. Lastly I miss him being able to break up a fight with the two youngins over something as minute as a crayon or a marker or because someone had a sheet of printer paper to draw on but the other didn't. I mean geesh their's only a THOUSAND sheets of paper in the pack ...go get a sheet.

Really what I need is a break just one day!
I honestly don't need a major day out at the spa or anything or some big shopping day. Nahhh I just want to sit home and be a total lazy slob just for one day with no interruptions.

Yes yes ladies even my poor excuse for a Army wife stories have some kind of a moral.
Today's moral of the story is do not be afraid to vent or whine for a minute. We are all entitled to it. It shows great strength to be strong through everything, but it shows even greater strength to let your guard down and say "hey I can't be Superwoman today".

Until Then
Hooah & Smooches

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

50th Follower Contest WOOOOOOT...ENTER NOW!!!!!

Photobucket

Ok so if your part of the Army Wife 101 Fan Page you should have gotten the word that once ARMY WIFE 101 had reached it's 50th Follower that we would have a great little contest to celebrate.

Well thanks to my faithful followers and fans we reached the big 5-0 and, in celebration of that one lucky winner will receive $50 bucks in the form of a VISA GIFTCARD!!!!.

Check out our past contest here to see the great response we had.


HOW TO ENTER
Leave a Comment that says I want $50 bucks!

Bonus Entries:(Bonus entries are NOT Mandatory You do not have to complete these to enter the contest.)

*Tweet this giveaway- Make sure to post the link to your tweet in your comment.
*Subscribe via email to Army Wife 101
*Become a follower here on Army Wife 101
*Join the Army Wife 101 Fan Club
*Follow me on Twitter @ Armywives101

Leave a comment here on informing Army Wife 101 of each additional entry you complete.


Not completing the Mandatory entry will disqualify any bonus entries.
US APO and FPO addresses only. Contest ends October 31, 2009 at 11:59PM EST.

Winner will be notified via email so don't forget to list an email so that I may contact you if your the lucky winner. Winner will have 3 days to reply to email informing them of their prize.

HOOAH SMOOCHES & GOODLUCK!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ask Army Wife 101: BootCamp/AIT Question

Q. My husband is in basic right but he will be heading to Fort Lee VA for his AIT and I was wondering if he will be able to leave base on the weekends or if I would be able to visit him on the base??? My husband want me to move there if I can see him so thats why I am trying to find out.... Please Help?

First thank you for writing Ask Army Wife 101 and it is my pleasure to answer your question. If any readers have more information to add please post a comment.

When soldiers are in AIT they are still in training and they are usually on a pass system. This means that for the first few weeks of schooling soldiers might only be able to visit the PX and Commissary , later on they may be able to leave post but not overnight and eventually in the final phases they may (or may not) be able to have over night privileges to stay offpost. Based on my husband's own accounts and other soldiers we have spoke to... one soldier in the platoon's mess up can cause privileges to be reneged therefore spoiling a spouse's planned weekend trip to visit her soldier at AIT.

As far as living with your husband...spouses may live with their service member during AIT if the training is over 20 weeks if approved by the command at your spouse AIT school. Let me make clear that you can choose to move near your husband if his schooling is under 20 weeks but it will be at your own expense and because he is still in training I would not count on spending quality time with him. To get approval for you to be placed on the orders and move with him at the Army's expense he will have to file all the paperwork and get the command's approval.

I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck!

You can read about other spouses who have dealt with the same situation by clicking below:
Living With Spouse During AIT

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making the Best of Your New Duty Station...My Story

Ever arrived at a new duty station , took one look and said how in the hell am I gonna live here for the next 2-3 years?

When we first arrived at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah GA, I was not impressed by any means. This probably had to do with the fact that we had to inprocess and check in at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, GA which was nothing short of being in the sticks. I mean their was absolutely nothing to do there except what was available onpost, because of this I assumed Savannah, GA was going to be the same way.

For my first few months of living in Savannah I hated it and I really didn't know why. I assumed it could have been the fact that before we came to Savannah we were in Fayetteville NC aka Fort Bragg which was much more military friendly and relied heavily on the military financially so in a since it was a different atmosphere. In Savannah while the military gets great respect they don't make or break the city money wise.

In any event as much as me and my hubby love to explore culture ,history and take road trips, we constantly sat around at home because would you believe me the internet queen didn't bother to research her surrounding area and we never ventured out.

It wasn't until right before my husband deployed that we ventured out and OMG would you believe what we found, we lived in one of the most visited, toured and historical cities in the country. Paula Deen lived here and you know if she lives here it has to be good *hehe*. Right then and their I knew we had wasted so much time that we would never get a chance to explore all their was to see here before he had to deploy and before we PCS'ed to our next duty station. While he was gone my BFF and also neighbor ventured out downtown to just take pictures , we would watch Paula Deen shows and then head to all her great recommendations. We ran down the Oak lined Road where Forrest Gump ran hence the famous "run Forrest run" line.
I saw the Forrest Gump bench that was before they moved it.
I visited the house where "Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil" was filmed.

Lest not forget the great food opportunities I had visiting a bakery called "Back In the Day Bakery" Paula Deen visited on her show (can you tell I'm a foodie?) and enjoying the best cupcakes in the world.
Lastly I had the great privilege of being only a hop, skip and jump away from Florida and Charleston SC, making several Disney trips (Shades of Green for Military only & Tax free on the grounds of Disney) possible , even graciously visited Seaworld thanks to Amheuser Busch's Free Promotion for Soldiers and their familiesas well as getting a chance to drive onto the set of one of my favorite shows Army Wives.
Did I mention I got to visit the house where Queen with Halle Berry and one of my favorite movies of all time "The Notebook" was filmed along with the North & South series starring the late great Patrick Swayze .


By the time we got orders to Hawaii we truly were shaking our heads in pisstivity (not a real word, but it describes what I feel lol)that we did not venture out soon and probably would not get a chance to live here again.

This is us on our last visit down to River St.


We were so sad we would never get to see or eat these things anymore...Take a look below...







Ok so I know your saying is their a moral to this lonnnnng story of course (I think cause sometimes I just ramble lol):

When you arrive at your next duty station take the time to recognize the positive in it no matter where you are. It is understandable that you are far away from family and you will miss them but hey if your in Europe head on down to the travel office and see what bus trips are offered to Paris. If your in the middle of nowhere Fort Irwin CA make plans to take a four hour roadtrip trip to Hollywood on a weekend. Sounds crazy but with the right planning it can be done.

I openly admit that I hate being here in Hawaii but at the end of the day I know people pay thousands to come and visit a place that I get to live for almost nothing and at given time my kids are exposed to what some people consider paradise. Every place has a famous historical site or landmark , so take the time to visit it and expose your kids to things that other families only wish they could have the opportunity to do. Here are my kids visiting Pearl Harbor If their's nothing in your area or state head on to a state you would never think to visit that's close on one of your spouse's four day weekends.

Just enjoy whatever is thrown your way!
Hooah & Smooches
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