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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Army Wife 101 Comes To You From The Hale Koa

If you don't know by now the DOD (Dept of Defense) has special resorts set up for Active Duty military and their dependents as well as Reserves , Retirees and their families. I've had the opportunity to stay at Shades of Green and currently I am staying here at the famous Hale Koa Resort as a special gift from the hubby.

Check out my video below on how DOD hotels and resorts work and stay tuned for picture and video footage from my stay here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Almost Over So Here's Where I'm Going ...

Well reality has set in I have been having so much fun with the hubby that it hit me , just that quickly R&R is almost over. Just alittle over a week ago I was prepping and making plans for his highly anticipated arrival and now I have to prepare myself to send him back.

Unlike last time I am not going to fret and drive myself crazy thinking about the day he leaves again, instead I have set a list of goals for myself to focus on . I won't bore you with my long list of goals but I will share two that are very important to me.

1. I have not told many people but since I pride myself on being open I will share. I am planning on having Lapband surgery within the next year. Before I make that leap and completely follow through with it, I have made a commitment to see how much weight I can lose in the next six months on my own. My goal right now is 50 pounds and it is right here on "Army Wife 101" that I am going to blogument my weight loss. More details to come about that.

2. Army Wife 101 has become my place to share me , be free and help others. With that said I want to take "Army Wife 101" to a whole new level. Again I won't bother you with a whole lifestory on my plans for this blog but I have revamped my "About Me" page and would love for you to take a look at it to see what I have in store for my wonderful , supportive readers and learn alittle about who Army Wife 101 is too.

So please join me in my journey and together let's see how far I get!

Hooah & Smooches

Army Wife 101 R&R Diaries: Journey With Me Through The North Shore of Hawaii

Join me on a date while the kids are at school through the rainy North Shores of Hawaii....Enjoy!!!!



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ask Army Wife 101: PCS Question?

Q.
Hi I am Erika
MY husband and I were just informed where our first duty station will be. It will be at Fort Richardson, Alaska. I know its considered overseas and my question is,
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
How do I set up a move I never did this before and my husband is right now in AIT..
..then he will be going to airborne in March..so it wont be till about April that we move. Can you give my a heads up on what I going to need to do for when we move?
ERIKA

A. Hi Erika,


Thank you for writing Army Wife 101!


Moving overseas is very exciting but can also be somewhat confusing but you can make it simple by staying one step ahead.


The first step for you will be to look into getting your EFMP screenings. EFMP is the acronym for Exceptional Family Member Program. The Army needs to make sure you and any other dependents in your family do not have any health conditions that cannot be treated where you will be moving to. You will need to call your local base and speak to someone in the EFMP office and they will be able to give you detailed information on this. Your husband might need to fill out a specific form first before they can began any paperwork so be prepared to be told that as well. Once you have had your medical screening the paperwork will sent from your local EFMP office to the EFMP office in Ft Richardson where it will be reviewed for approval. Approval wait time can take a few weeks or longer.


This approval is very important because in order to PCS on the Army's dime you need to be command sponsored. This is the process you will need to go through to be listed on your spouse's orders. If for some reason he is issued orders before your command sponsorship is approved then he usually can have his orders amended to include you and any other dependents.


As far as setting up the actual move , none of this can be done until orders are actually issued. It is at this point your husband will visit the transportation office and set up for pickup for your HouseHold Goods.


Their are things you can do early to make the PCS less of a hassle such as:


* Sorting through house hold items and getting rid of items you do not want to bring with you (There is a weight limit on household goods).


* Making sure all important documents are stored together in a file ( you will come to learn to carry this with you in the military ...They always seem to need a copy of something.)


* If you are renting a house or an apartment make sure to notify your landlords that you will be moving if you have to break your lease. In most cases you should be protected under the military clause but if you don't have one it will make it easier to prepare financially should you incur any early termination of lease fees.


*Lastly prepare financially in general. The Army does a good job of helping you out financially with PCS moves. You should receive DLA ( Dislocation Allowance) which is for the setup of your new home and TLE/TLA which is lodging and food allowances while you are waiting for housing. you also should receive COLA (Cost of Living Allowance). Other items you should set aside funds for are rental car expenses and ultimately deposit money in the event onpost housing is not available right away. It can take alittle longer then expected sometimes for BAH to switch over to the correct amount for your zipcode so being prepared is essential.


Before your hubby leaves AIT he will go through a series of briefings prepping him for your move overseas and alot of the paperwork will be on him to handle. It is important to pass on information to him so that he can stay on top of the PCS move as well.


I hope I have given you a general understanding of what to expect. Feel free to email me again.


Best of Luck on your move!


Hooah & Smooches

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Lied...I'm Back

Ok ok ok I know I know...I said I was going away for alittle R&R but come on you know I'm addicted to the internet so why in the Hawaiian ocean would I do that?

I know my hubbies home we should basking in each other's eyes and doing the deed but it's time for me to come up for air because I missed you guys and wanted to fill you in on my "interesting life" dripping sarcasm Pictures, Images and Photos

In any event R&R is going over well and we are making it go by slow by just doing every day slow paced activities. You see last R&R the hubby came home and 2 days later we were making our way to New York to visit my family and then a pit stop in NC to visit his on the way back. He never got to rest and hell neither did I. We decided this time that we would just kick back and relax. The kids are in school full time during the day which has given us much time to hit up some of Oahu's cool eclectic coffee shops and midday lunches at places we normally wouldn't want to bring the kids...(They would ruin the atmosphere haaa). Don't get me wrong I love my kids and all but it has been great playing single couple during the day, we both admit to almost forgetting what that felt like.





With the kids being in school we have felt alittle guilty about us not getting to spend as much time with them as a family but education first. With this guilt weighing on us we decided to do a good ole classic family dinner and a movie night this past Friday. We ran alittle late and did not get a chance to have a nice sit down dinner, so the little rascals chose Taco Bell which we scarfed down in the car and raced on over to the movie theatre to catch Avatar in 3D which by the way was an AMAZING movie. James Cameron director of Titanic directed this movie and I must say considering I'm not really a Sci-Fi chick this is probably one of the best movies of the last 10 years...just saying!

I won't bore you with any more details but I will be back to blogument the last 10 or so days left of R&R and also with a great indepth post on the Disney World Military specials and a great little contest from the people over at Destinations In Florida.

Army Wife 101 also knows how tough times can be in this economy and will be reviewing some of her favorite products that she uses to save a penny here and there.

Until Then
Hooah & Smooches

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm On R&R...But I'll Be Back!


Hey all the day finally came this past Tuesday that the love of my life arrived home on R&R from Iraq. We all know as much as we look forward to R&R they are short lived. In order for me to make the best of this one, I probably will not post another blog up until sometime next week.

If you don't know I am the first to admit that (all jokes aside) I am completely addicted to the net so chances are their will probably be another blog from me earlier then anticipated. In any event enjoy your week and if you want to track Army Wife 101 on her R&R to find out what I'm up to you can follow and read my tweets here, follow the Army Wife 101 Facebook Fan page and lastly look out for the new 12 seconds video clips I will be adding to the blog.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Working From Home Part 2

As some of you may know I am a work at home mom. I started working from home in 2004 first as a dispatcher and then as a customer service agent for WEST taking inbound phone calls to process customer orders. I loved the idea that I could work from home when I wanted and (NO) I did not have to pay to get hired.

What people must know is that when you are seeking a work at home JOB you should never ever have to pay to work. Think about it like this...when you work outside the home do you have to pay someone to hire you?

Those envelope stuffing jobs you see in the back of magazines or tabloids are not legit. If they were don't you think everyone including myself would be working for them :) I decided to discuss working from home again so that I could give you all an update on some work at home jobs that are hiring. I have always said I should start a virtual work at home agency as I have been helping people find WAH jobs for the last five years and I enjoy showing this side of the work world to people.

If you want to see my previous indepth blog post about working from home along with actual proof of payment screenshots visit here

Now on to the finds:

Note* The jobs listed below will definitely not pay your mortgage but I can safely assure you that getting a $20-$50 check here or there in this tough economy will come in handy. If you are looking to make a few hundred or more a month refer above to my earlier indepth blog post.

KGB is first up and if you not new to the WAH world I am sure you have heard of it , but for those who are you basically answer people's questions and do directory assistance via the computer . This is not a phone job. I have to tell you in order to obtain this position you do have to pass a series of test searching for info on the net within a time limit and I have had a heck of time doing that. I will say they are partners in the "Army Spouse Employment Partnership" and I have heard great things about them. You can apply here.

Associated Content is great for those of us with an inner writer inside. In a nutshell you create an account , write an article on anything you desire and submit it. The topic of your article, grammar,and punctuation will determine how much you paid for it. I pinned a a four page article that took me about an hour to write and was paid $16.00 for it, so you can see the money potential. If you've got an article and want to try your hand at submitting it visit here.

Lastly is Ask Mars Venus is hiring again...here is the info as per WAHM
Ask Mars Venus is hiring telephone coaches to add to our team of dating and relationship specialists. Coaches help callers from all over the world who are seeking support and advice about their love lives.

Coaches receive calls anonymously at the location of their choice and Ask Mars Venus brings clients directly to the coaches through various marketing methods. There is no charge for training and no payment to you during the training process. Once training is complete, coaches will enjoy the convenience of a work-from-home job.
If you are interested in this position, please visit: here

If you have questions about working from home don't hesitate to post them in the comments below and I will be sure to answer. I also plan to add work at home jobs that are legit as I find them. Good luck on your WAH job search.

Hooah & Smooches

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quick Dessert For Girls Night (The DFAC)

One of the ways I keep my sanity while the hubs is deployed is to have girls night once or twice a month at a friends house or my own. Each person brings an appetizer and a beverage of choice and we pig out and laugh it up while the kids play games upstairs.

Last night in addition to my Sausage Con Queso Dip I wanted a sweet treat that I could make quick. I decided to do a quick video for "Easy Cake Cookies".

Sorry about the video being kinda half arsed I was in a rush :)



Hooah & Smooches

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Tiny Treat For My Army Wives Tv Show Fans



Autographed Picture Hubby Saw



The Backstory.....

It's the summer of 2008 hubby has just returned from Iraq and is on block leave. I am a nut about the tv show Army Wives and I knew hubby was a closet fan (he doesn't want his boys to know that he has teared up on a few episodes)so I logged online and begin my search to find out where in SC the show was filmed. I eventually land a street name and a few days later we begin our three day trip to Charleston SC from Savannah GA to take in the historic sites and if possible get onto the "Army Wives" set. We searched and drive all around that damn Charleston and to no avail could we find the set.

Fast forward to February 2009 Mr. Army Wife 101 heads on down to the ports in Charleston to began the shipping of our vehicle in preparation for our upcoming PCS to Hawaii. In the front office of the shipping port he notices all the "Army Wives" memorabilia and apparently the agent behind the counter noticed him excitingly taking pictures (We tend to carry a camera everywhere for moments like these). She says to hubby "big fan huh"? Hubby looks at her (alittle embarrassed that someone knows his secret *hehe*)and says nah not really my wife is. I was just taking a pic of the autographed posters for her. The worker at the front desk says well today is your lucky day...look behind you. Hubby turns and this is what he saw.





Betty's Bar & Grill



That's right mil wifey's the darn Army Wives set is right across the street from the shipping port. Can you believe that we went down this street but passed right by it in our quest the first time to find it. When hubby came home from the port later on that day I begged him to drive me to Charleston one last time before we PCS'ed so that I could see the set for myself. At the time I didn't care if I got thrown off the set by security or not , but I was determined that I was going to at least drive onto the set and take a sneak peek.

The following weekend that is exactly what we did. As we approached the street leading to the set I got nervous. What if they were shooting? What if I seen my in my head best friend Roxy or even better that cutie Trevor or the delicious Roland..just what would I do?

We cautiously drove into the parking lot we see lot's of trailers and then I seen parking spot's labeled with the actresses names on them.



Joan's Parking Spot aka Wendy Davis








Yes Roxy drives a Toyota Hybrid...How green and cool is that!





We drove around aimlessly for a few then finally seen what we assumed was an important person since she had a walkie talkie and a clipboard. We nervously stopped her and I began to blab about how I too am an Army wife and how I love the show and blahh blahh blahh...basically I admit I was hoping that being an Army wife grant me some kind of sneak peak access (And no I am not one of the wives who thinks I am entitled to everything just because I'm an armywife). Needless to say that did not happen, but she did give me the information and number to be an extra on the show (if I hadn't of lost it in the move, I would gladly place it here). Once again that did not happen because we moved the following week. She was very sweet. We even met the payroll person for the show haaaa.

In any event I proceeded to ask her were any of the cast members there and she said that Roxy was inside filming a scene, hence why her car was the only one there.

She told us that the area below was where all the Iraq scenes were filmed. Can you believe it those Iraq scenes are filmed in a parking lot in SC. Now I know some might not understand my fascination but I am a tv & film buff. I am obsessed with visiting places where shows were filmed so you can understand what it must be like to watch a show and then recognize the particular set where certain scenes were filmed.


At the end of the day I did not see anyone from the show and only caught a few pics because I admit I was alittle scared that if some security guard so a car full of people driving around the lot they might become suspicious. In any event here are a few more pics that I snapped.




Army Wives premieres Sunday April 11, 2010 at 10PM EST on Lifetime.

So come on ladies share...what do you love about Armywives?

Hooah & Smooches

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How To Make Sausage Con Queso Dip aka Rotel

Hey everyone!
If some of you don't know Army Wife 101 has what I affectionately titled "The DFAC". You can also look at the categories on the left side of this blog and find it. This is a separate blog which displays different recipes I make on video and recipes that "Ask Rell" displays on her blog also. I hope you enjoy them.

Their are different variations of this dip, feel free to share how you like yours in the comments section below.



Here's one I made last night:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ask Army Wife 101: Housing Question

Hi MsCorp,

Q. My fiancee is stationed at schofield Barracks,hawaii after NTC we will be getting married I want to be moved in before he leaves for deployment in August. We have four kids,how long do you think it'll take for us to be able to move down there and do you think it'll be in time?

A. Thanks for writing Army Wife 101!

Their are many factors you will need to take into consideration. First if I am reading your question correctly it appears that your fiance is already here in Hawaii. This usually means that since you will have gotten married after he has already moved here that the Army will not pay for you to come here. He may be able to get his orders amended though to include you and his other dependents.He will need to look into that with his command

The next thing you will need to do is get your EFMP (Exceptional Family Member) screenings. These are medical screenings to make sure you and your children don't have any medical issues that cannot be treated over here. This is how you will be command sponsored to come here. Once the EFMP screenings are complete the paperwork will be sent to Hawaii for approval. You will need to be in the DEERS system to get this done. You can come here without command sponsorship but you will not be able to get housing onpost and essentially will be footing the bill for everything out of pocket.

I mention these things above because each of them will be major factors in how fast you move here. Your soon to be husband will need to complete alot of these task himself and unfortunately nothing can be done until you are married.

The good part is that once you do get here housing should be a piece of cake since in Hawaii you can live on any branch's installation. I also live here at Schofield Barracks and had a house within a week. With the soldiers deploying many spouses tend to go home leaving many home opened up for moving in. You also mentioned you have 4 children so chances are depending on the children's ages you will receive a nice brand new 4 bedroom home.

I hope that my answer to your question was of some help too you, and feel free to write again if you have any more questions.

Hooah & Smooches

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

R&R:This Blog Entry is Rated R ...I Think !



Okay let me start by saying I apologize in advance if the below post is alittle to "risque" for anyone's taste. I pride myself on just being a down to earth kind of lady who with limitations likes to share whatever is on my mind and I am hoping that's what my readers will enjoy and grow to love about me. With that said continue on below and by the way that is not me or my husband in the picture above :)


I titled this entry that above only because I decided to go in depth alittle about some normal but intimate thoughts that I'm sure alot of us spouses go through when our partners are deployed. Although I know the vast majority of us don't enjoy deployments TDY's etc, I do find these separations a chance to try new things and I also have fun preparing for that first night of their return.

So after all those long drawn out thoughts I sit here with 8 tabs open on my browser, three of them include Frederick's Of Hollywood,Victoria Secret and Hips & Curves. In my deepest fantasies I want to be quite erotic with 6 inch red pumps , a garter belt , and pinned up hair that falls into a cascade of curls when I shake it out .

Haaaaaa writing that last sentence above made me bust out laughing because while it could happen ummm no! I mean I'm no prude but I am accident prone and spending a romantic night at the onpost Acute Care Clinic with a sprained ankle isn't exactly on my list of plans.

In any event anytime the hubby is deployed I find myself always day dreaming about him coming home and how we are gonna have this whole new improved intimate life (Not that their is anything wrong with it but after a few months of not doing it, their is always something to improve). I am currently working on making those fantasies reality and have created a list below of things I am working on for the first night he is home which I have entitled *ahem) The Grand Opening (go on and laugh...I am).

1. Making a Playlist
Yeah I am not the greatest downloader( Yea I know that's probably not even a real word) so I headed on over to Youtube and started searching for some of my favorite romantic songs.

2. New Candles
I am going to head on over to Ross and restock my candle supply. Their are some great "get the mood going" candles and Ross always has the best ones, you just have to really search through their stuff.

3. Comforter Set
Yup along with those candles I am getting a brand new comforter set. I figure hubby has been sleeping on a piece of metal for the last few months , the least I can do is have a nice plush bed waiting for him.

4. Night time Attire
Last but not least is the "evening attire" it's not necessarily a must...but why the heck not?
As I mentioned I am working on that part and I am sure it will be a winner hehe!

So ladies I want to know when hubby is away for any reason do you try to make his "homecoming" special? Feel free to share in the comments portion below.

Again I hope no one finds this post offensive :)

Hooah and Smooches

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Reason # 865 Why I Love Life As An Army Wife



First and foremost HAPPY BELATED NEW YEARS to all my wonderful readers!

I have to say I thought New Year's would be a total bust since hubby was not here to ring in 2010 with me.

Thursday night made me realize even more why I enjoy this life. I was invited by one of my close friends who is also my neighbor to her friends house down the street from me. Close to 15 Army spouses and soldiers who did not know made me feel at home and helped me celebrate what I consider to be a personal holiday since many people experience so many emotions ringing in a new year.

We exchanged hugs , laughs, plenty of drinks of course but most of all we exchanged the gift of new found friendship.

Thanks to all the great people I rang in 2010 with.

Hooah & Smooches
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