Find us at our new location http://www.mymilitarylife.com
See you at the new place!
Just an FYI that the 2010 BAH rates are out.
Take a look to see if yours went up or down. Remember if it goes down, your safe, you still maintain the rate you have.
If it goes up then come January 1 enjoy!
You just have to put in your zip code.
cross posted over at mymillife.com
USAA has done it again. They continue to raise the bar in service and their support of military families. Do you know a veteran who served honorably? Well, now they are eligible for USAA services.
Check out the details and if you are a member of USAA, by sharing the news, you’re eligible to win a trip to the Army-Navy game.
SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–More than 18 million U.S. military veterans and their 17 million family members who are looking for competitive alternatives to their current insurance, banking and investment providers now can take advantage of USAA and its 87-year record of strength, stability and performance in service to the military community.
Citing steady growth in financial strength and operational capacity, USAA announced that effective immediately, membership now is open to all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who served honorably, regardless of years of service.
The change expands USAA’s potential customer by an estimated 35 million, including 18 million veterans, and 17 million spouses and children who also would be able to access USAA services after their veteran relative becomes a member.
“We believe everyone who served honorably in the armed forces should be able to manage their financial well-being with USAA, a company committed to caring more about the unique needs of the military community than any other,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Joe Robles, USAA’s President and CEO. “Today, USAA is stronger than at any time in our 87-year history, and we are thrilled to open our doors wider to offer the benefits of USAA membership to more military families than ever before.”
USAA began as an officer-only association in 1922, opened to enlisted personnel in 1996, and today serves 7.3 million current and former military members and their families. Throughout its history, USAA has played an important role in helping military families with their financial security, providing them with insurance, investments and banking products as well as financial planning and advice.
Operating without commissioned sales agents, the company has earned numerous customer service accolades, including winning BusinessWeek’s #1 Customer Service Champs award in 2008 and 2007. USAA is the only company to be ranked in the top two each year since the list’s inception in 2007.
More recently, through innovations such as the banking industry’s first mobile check deposit service, USAA Deposit@Mobile™, USAA is leveraging technology to enable its eligible customers to manage their finances anytime and from anywhere a mobile signal is available.
“Having served as an Army private and many ranks along the way to major general, it gives me great personal satisfaction to know that another 35 million former service members, their spouses and children now have access to all that USAA offers,” said Robles.
Who is eligible for USAA P&C Group membership?
* All current members of the U.S. Armed Forces, active duty, Guard and reserve, as well as those who retired or honorably separated in the past, regardless of dates or branch of service (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard).
* Cadets, midshipmen, and officer or warrant officer candidates in government-sponsored programs leading to a commission.
* Adult children, widow(er)s, and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members.
* Widow(er)s of officer and enlisted personnel who were killed in action while eligible.
Additionally, USAA life insurance, investment, retirement and deposit products are also available to members’ extended families and others who are not eligible for USAA membership.
Today, with heightened concerns about the economy and the solvency of financial institutions, USAA is recognized for its conservative approach to financial management. In 2008, the company’s net worth increased to $14.6 billion, and USAA earned $423 million in net income. In addition, USAA’s Property & Casualty Insurance Group maintains the highest ratings for financial strength from Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best and Moody’s rating agencies, making USAA one of a small, elite group of companies to retain the highest possible ratings. More current mid-year 2009 results are available on usaa.com.
USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies, is among the leading providers of financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families. For the past three years, BusinessWeek magazine ranked USAA among the top two “Customer Service Champs,” highlighting its legendary commitment of providing highly competitive financial products for 7.3 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit usaa.com.
Thursday- May 7th, 2009- – Join us for a special episode of Navy Wife Radio as we welcome MCPON (Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy) Rick West. We’ll be chatting about his thoughts on the service and sacrifice of military spouses. It’s going to be a fun show, so don’t miss it! HOOYAH!
We invite you to join the conversation!
May 7th, 2009 – Thursday 230pm ET
Yahoo IM: Navy Wife Radio
You don’t want to miss this show LIVE!
To listen live go to: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/navywiferadio or
How to Create a Dream / Inspiration Board
On last weeks radio show we highlighted a unique idea to help us focus on our goals and priorities. This project can guide our efforts and help keep us on track. Creating a dream board, or sometimes called vision or inspiration board can also be great for stress relief!
Here are some basic project details:
Tacks, Tape or Glue
Bulletin or foam board
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time needed: as little as 15 min
Here are 5 steps to creating your own Dream Board / Inspiration Board:
1. Time to brainstorm. Think about areas of your life that you want to improve or plan. I’ve seen inspiration boards to plan weddings, to get into shape, eat healthy, saving for that car or vacation….the possibilities are endless. The point is to think about what you would really love to do, what big event in your life is coming up that you need to plan for, or maybe highlighting your priorities like spending more time with your family. These are just ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Think about these questions:
What do I want to do, have, be, get or give?
Where do I want to go?
2. Next start looking for photographs that match your vision. You can look through old magazines, even online at websites like istockphoto.com. If you are an artist, sketch your ideas. You can scan photographs you already have and print them out on your printer if you don’t want to cut an original photo. Get your camera out and take your own photos even!
3. Now that you have a pile of photographs you can start placing them on your board, you can even create a digital board. Turn on some of your favorite music, make your favorite coffee or cold beverage and begin. Consider adding quotes that inspire and give perspective. Feel free to add or remove photos as you go along. You can use any type of board, or even a picture frame. If you want something to carry along with you, use a small journal book. This would be helpful for party planning, brides, decorating projects and if you want to keep your board private. Don’t get hung up on how perfectly you should align the photos. They can be random or orderly, whatever suits your personality. The goal is to have fun with it and let your creativity roam.
4. Now that you have placed all your pictures on your board don’t hide it in your closet! Place it somewhere prominent in your home. Pick a high traffic visible area, like your bedroom dresser, on a wall in your kitchen or near your computer. Viewing your board frequently will remind you of your priorities, goals and dreams.
5. Chances are your board is an organic thing, meaning it is ever changing. As you find photos of another new decorating idea, that business suit, that photo of someone doing what you want to do, a favorite swimsuit or cool photo of another street in Paris you want to visit add it to your board!
This is also a great project to do with your girlfriends and/or your kids!
If this sounds interesting to you and you’d like to try it along with me, I’m looking for some volunteers to share their creations. You can post your in progress creations on the website and we can all have a little creative fun!!
Doing a little project like this can help us all to follow our heart and Live Our Dreams!!
Check out some examples of Dream / Inspiration boards:
I’m going to end this post by an excerpt of a speech by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, addressing the 2004 Stanford graduates and I recently came across, I hope it moves you and much as it has moved me…..
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
You can view the whole speech below….
When getting a fancy coffee, I usually opt for this yummy treat. Since I prefer it iced, I haven’t had one in awhile. ….another reason why I can’t wait for warmer weather!
Well, if you are like me and you LOVE the caramel macchiato, you are going to love this recipe.
Caramel macchiato recipe
In my obsession to save money and be as thrifty as possible I decided there’s not much out there we can’t do ourselves or make ourselves so why not apply that to our fru-fru coffee? I got to the bottom of my new fave – the caramel macchiato. Turns out there’s not much caramel in it. They should probably call it a vanilla macchiato but oh well. So here’s what I’ve found, and after a few attempts my husband even agrees the taste is spot-on. You should try it for yourself…
double shot of espresso (or a really strong cup of coffee)
4 pumps of Vanilla flavored syrup
hot frothy milk or cream
Caramel macchiato recipe
Step by step method without having a big fancy machine:
1) make espresso using a french press or you can make a really strong cup of coffee
2) add 4 pumps Torani (or any other brand) vanilla syrup
3) pour about 1/4 cup of milk or cream into a separate cup and microwave it for about a minute or until hot
4) use a nifty gadget like the aerolatte to froth your milk
5) pour frothed milk on top and drizzle with caramel sauce
This movie recently came across my radar and it looks like something worth paying attention to and venturing out to see. It is coming to my area at the end of month and I’m making plans to attend.
Share this information with your friends. The executive producer is Gary Sinise.
Check out the website for movie locations:
Tonight at about a quarter after eleven I was sitting on my friend’s couch petting her adorable kitten and downing a second Bacardi Silver Strawberry (I went straight for the hard stuff). Molly is only a month or two old and her mommy is out of town this week, so we are hanging out together for a few hours every evening. Today is my 21st birthday. It wasn’t the worst birthday by far, but I did make my first legal toast to better birthdays to come.
My phone rang and when the number registered I wondered what kind of crazy telemarket phonecall I was about to take. That’s the danger in taking all calls when your man is gone, you never know what kind of wacko person you will end up talking to when you just want to make sure you don’t miss his call. But to my surprise my hello was answered by a pleasantly familiar, “Hey, you!” I was a little confused because it sounded like he was calling me from work or something, not like the phonecalls I’d gotten before during an underway. There was no delay in between our sentences and it was very clear and I didn’t hear anyone talking in the background. I asked where he was calling from and he told me he was in port. “Oh its so good to hear yo-” Then it cut off. And I cried while sending a text message to my best friend, “HE CALLED and it CUT OFF!! :”(‘ .” And then he called back! He told me happy birthday and we talked for a minute about wishing he was here and what a pretty day it was here today. We talked about the animals and some pictures of them I had sent him. I briefly brought up his in-port budget and he said he didn’t plan on spending much this time around anyway (sigh of relief). He told me he’d try to call tomorrow so I shouldn’t cry when I get off the phone and I told him I wouldn’t but I think we both knew that was silly. He doesn’t do well when it comes to me crying. When he is watching me cry he has this ridiculously helpless look on his face, offers to do anything he can to make it better and then gets mad when I tell him there isn’t anything he can do. I can’t imagine how it must feel for him to hear me sniffle through the phone.
It was good to hear his voice and hear him say, “I love you.” There is so much more emotion in a voice than in an email. You can connect when you are on the phone, instantly and simultaneously. When I connect with an email, his fingers have long been gone from the keys and the emotions he put into the words have faded into black and white and its up to me to put feeling back into them. But a phonecall masks no emotions. Every inflection of his voice said “I love you” even when the words he spoke didn’t.
The call ended much the way all the others end. “Don’t cry okay? I love you and I’ll see you soon.” Another silly statement.. “soon.” We both know its not soon, but I think it makes him feel better to say it. And now I feel.. empty. His voice carries so much emotion and triggers too many memories to even begin to detail. “I’ll be home soon.” That was the last thing he said to me when I gave him the last hug and kiss for six months. Standing in the middle of the terminal parkinglot holding on to him like Charlie did his golden ticket. I felt at a loss. And that is how I feel now. I’ll sit in this vegetative state until the tears start to make my cheeks itch. Deep breaths help ease away the lump in my throat as I type up a synopsis of why I love to get phonecalls but hate them immediately after wards. And then I will go to sleep and hope that the fresh memories of his voice will bring me a vivid picture of his face while I close my eyes tightly and pretend he is sleeping next to me. And he will be.. soon.
I am highly frusrated. The security drills are this week and it is ruining my birthday!! I can’t even have friends over because non-dependant civilians are not allowed on base!! HOW LAME IS THAT!! I’m going out this weekend with some girlfriends but my actual birthday is on Thursday.
Speaking of my birthday, my husband and his behind the scenes shopping team got together and sent me the most amazing bag I have ever seen in my life (okay except for a red Rafe New York bag that I will probably never own due to its not so fabulous price tag of $300). Exhibit A:
Its almost MARCH! Which means I am coming up on TWO MONTHS! Which means I am getting closer to the halfway point of our first deployment. My parents and brother are visiting me from Georgia in April. I think it will be fun, they get to see my house and I can show them around base (you know because its so fabulous and cool to live on a military base). My mom is such a civilian. She gets excited when I come home because she wants me to take her to the Nex. My dad is going to be hanging curtains for me and I think it will be bulk pickup time so they are going to help me get rid of some crap I have stuffed in a storage closet. And the ever-growing pile of cardboard boxes in my garage. Its one of those things your husband keeps telling you he’s going to do and then he conveniently deploys. “OH! I totally forgot, with the deployment and all.” Uh huh.. likely story. So in celebration of March, I have updated my page with a few St. Patties type graphics (if you are ever curious as to where I get these adorable graphics, please visit MR LAYOUTS and tell her Hilly sent you ). My husband’s family is Irish and born in March (my husband, not his whole family..), so his birthday package is all St. Patties Day themed. I drew shamrocks all over it in green and white paint markers (these are the best for decorating cardboard boxes) and put confettie in it and green tissue paper. My family (well the half I claim) is Italian. Why don’t we have an Italian holiday??
Grif has discovered shoes. As I sit here there is black flipflop rubber covering my livingroom. He looks so sad when I tell him “NO!” Maverick even joined in and helped him tear up one of my silver ones. I am still having trouble getting him to understand that just because I am not at the door when he is there that does not mean he should pee in front of the door. But I hardly ever catch him in the act so punishment is futile. I am so sick of cleaning it up and I can’t even begin to tell you how quickly I go through paper towels. I need those ShamWOW things. I just love that comercial! “We can’t do this all day!” Neither can I Vince, neither can I.
I don’t know whether it was hormones, Valentines day for the fact that tomorrow will be one month since I hugged my husband, but this past week was a rough one. I was sad and a little depressed, but mostly just angry and frustrated. Frustrated with myself for not working harder at the gym, frustrated that its only been a month and it feels like its been three. Angry that we don’t get to spend our 21st birthdays together (we are ten days apart.. I am older!). And really angry that we are missing our one year anniversary, but being together and being married. Its the kind of thing you knew about ahead of time but it doesn’t really make you angry until it happens. And then I just got sad that I couldn’t do anything about it.
This week is already turning out to be better though. I had a group workout tonight and it started out really rough becuase I haven’t pushed myself enough lately, and because I had to do a lot of arm stuff .. and because I had to jump rope and I kept tripping myself!! But once we got doing other stuff it got better and I actually did a lot of situps, which I didn’t even know I could do.. that right there tells you how pathetic I was. I could do a situp and didn’t even know it! I could do several situps! I updated my workout blog so you will have to check it out for some more info on my progess.
My husband sent me an email and let me know he got his pacakge from me. He loved it, and that just made me so happy! Like the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I’m already working on his birthday package (his birthday is March 8!) and I’m stirring up ideas for his anniversary package. So when I think about it in packages, things seem to be going quickly.
My parents and brother are also flying out to see me in April. I was going there but with my furry children its easier for them to come here.. and besides, I’ve been there before. Nothing interesting about that! My husband is bummed because he wanted to be here to take them to the hangar and other things that seem mundane to him but are cool to other people.
So that’s an update on me! I’ve been so bad about getting on here, I’m sorry about that! I’m seriously going to try harder!!