Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Make me pretty.

I am the definition of a stay-at-home mom.  Makeup is a special occasion, sweatpants are the uniform and somedays my contacts don't even reach my eyeballs.

But when I DO smear some gunk on it's typically only mascara, concealer and lipgloss.

So when my very best friend courtesy of the United States Army, Abigail, offered to send me some makeup goodies to try out from Younique, I was all like "suuuuuuure! But don't expect it to be all professional, because clearly I don't know all that much".

She sent anyway though, because again... best friend status.  So here is what showed up...


Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+

It took me two tries before I figured out what I was doing with this fancy stuff.  But the end results definitely give that va-va-voom effect you didn't know your eyelashes were in need of.  It was like I put on some false eyelashes... only I didn't, because clearly that would be a tapeable moment.  You put on one coat of transplanting gel, one coat of fibers and another coat of gel.  So all the hype stands up once you know what you are doing.


Royalty Detoxifying Mask

I'M IN LOVE.  Let me shout it from the rooftops.  All it takes is 5 minutes, several times a week... and your skin will feel divine.  Definitely going to keep this in my regular routine.  I've always struggled with large pores, so it's nice when something does some cleaning up and makes things smooth again.


Two of my best girl friends from my time in the military are Younique ladies.  For so long I've watched them do their thing and rock it.  Plus they can do some pretty amazing things with makeup and I am constantly in awe.  And now... I am clearly on the same level.  ;)

At the end of it I'm still Amanda, the stay-at-home mom.  I use mascara, concealer and lipgloss... but now I'm going to use Younique mascara when I want to feel like Amanda, the WOMAN.



Click here to order the products in this post.



always,
amanda
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thoughts on motherhood.


Mother's Day weekend is always the weekend that gets me pondering about life as a mama.  I've been a mother now for 3 years and while it hasn't always been easy... it is definitely the most rewarding "job" I've ever held the title of.

There are days, like today, where my kids are finally sleeping (WAY too late at night... GRACE.) and I am so glad.  It was a rough one.  Lots of "no" moments, tantrums and an especially hard day for the littlest lady.  And you can't forget the fur-child who just loves to build on stressful days in every way possible.  On days like today I am digging for those moments from the day that make motherhood such a joy.

It's not always perfectly captured Instagram moments.  It's not always making it to bedtime without feeling a strong need for a stiff one.  It is just plain not always easy.

Motherhood is my greatest challenge but it is also my greatest accomplishment.

I am raising two very strong willed girls.  I know that because my blood runs through their veins we are destined for some fun teenage years.  But because these little people are who they are I find some solace in the fact that they will never be walked all over.  They will never take no for an answer (literally).  And it is my hope that they will always know mommy loves them.  There is no mountain too high and no roadblock to big.

I learned these things from my mom after all.  I know how capable one is to love another because I saw it firsthand.  I know what it means to be a mom because my mother has been the greatest example.

This year I was excited to spend Mother's Day with my mom.  Being just 30 minutes away from my family makes spending holidays together possible after years of us being just too far away. And I could not be more thankful.


My husband treated us all to tickets for the Mother's Day Royals game.  We tailgated before the game with some hot dogs, beers and sunshine.  Then made it into the game in time for the first pitch.  Our seats were in the shade (thankfully!) and we won the game!  Unfortunately Brooke missed her morning and afternoon nap, so she wasn't a happy camper by the time the game wrapped up.  So we headed back home with the girls for a pizza night in.

It may not have been the brunch, day off, full of presents day some people expect.  But it was great in that I got to spend it with my mom and my children.  My mom and the ones that made me a mom.

That is something I plan to never take for granted.

Happy Mother's Day (a few days late) friends!

***[Huge thank you to all of the bloggers that linked up with Jen and I on Friday!  We had a blast and truly hope you did as well.  I can't wait to hopefully get back into reading blogs so I can learn more about so many of you!]***


always,
amanda
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Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 Military Spouse Appreciation Day [Link-Up]

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day, friends!

I am blessed to know so many wonderful spouses and even though my journey as a military spouse is over after 7 years... I am still so thankful to call so many of you friends and even family. So today... I am celebrating you all. Your strength, courage and determination is something to be appreciated.  Your friendship is something I am forever grateful for.. and don't even get me started on all the memories made over the last 7 years.

To celebrate today, Jen and I are once again hosting a Military Spouse Appreciation Day Link-Up for all you military related bloggers.  I am HONORED to host all of you this year.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Link-Up

To join us... just answer the following questions and add your link!  Don't forget to visit some new blogs and leave some comments for others!  For extra credit, use the hashtag #2017MilSpoDayLinkup on social media!

//Tell us about yourself and your blog.
//What branch of military are you affiliated with?
//What is one thing you enjoy about the military lifestyle?
//What advice would you give other spouses who are new?
//Where have you been stationed?
//Do you work, go to school, volunteer, or stay home? 


//My name is Amanda.  I am a natural redhead that is addicted to Target, my new house and my family.  I mainly blog about that stuff these days... when I do.  Buying a house is for real time consuming y'all.  And when I'm not working on the house... we are always always busy.  But I would not have it any other way. We are near family and friends.  We are establishing ourselves in my favorite state ever, KANSAS.  And above all else, we are happy where life post-Army has taken us!

//My husband was a Warrant Officer in the United States Army.  After almost 9 years he medically separated this last January.

//I LOVED meeting new people from all over the nation and world.  I have friends from Massachusetts, Canada, Georgia, Minnesota.. just to name a few.  Our paths NEVER would have crossed had it not been for the military.

//Get out there.  I've said it before and I will say it again.  If you do not put yourself out there (whether it be a spouse club, unit functions or a group of spouses getting together) you will be very lonely.  And unfortunately you will have no one to blame but yourself.  It's hard.  Making friends as an adult is STUPID hard.  But it can be done.  Just not from your couch or behind your Facebook screen.

//I spent a year in Maryland while my husband was stationed at Fort Meade.  Then moved back to Kansas (my home!) while he spent a year in Kuwait.  Then we spent 3 years in Augusta, Georgia at Fort Gordon.  Our final duty station was Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  Also the worst.  I do miss getting to live places my Kansas loving self would not otherwise live though.  I experienced a lot of life outside these state lines.

//I currently stay home with our two beautiful baby girls.  I hope to get back into volunteering as they get into school and other activities.  I love volunteering and miss it.

Now it is YOUR turn.  Tell us about yourself and don't forget to add your link!


always,
amanda
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

These days.

These days it is has been cloudy and rainy more often than not.
These days things seem to go by in a blink of an eye.  Time is moving quickly.  Each day faster than the last.  Since becoming a family of 4 over a year ago time has sped up and I finally know what everyone meant when they said "it goes quickly, so enjoy it".  I scoffed then, pretended like I knew what they were talking about... but I had no idea what I was in for.

These days are full of gymnastics classes, speech therapy appointments, doctors appointments, trips to and from Kansas City and more errands than I ever dreamed possible.

These days are busy with family and friends and making countless new memories for our memory banks.  We are not taking one single second for granted.

These days are filled with vacuuming, sweeping, picking up five thousand toys five thousand times a day, loading the dishwasher, staying behind on laundry and filling up the dogs food bowl.

These days are filled slowly counting numbers, identifying colors, answering "what's that" every minute of every day, showing how to use scissors, taking stickers off of paper and impromptu dance parties.

These days are filled hosting playdates for new friends, trying new restaurants downtown, checking out new playgrounds and parks, learning back ways into the new neighborhood and joining new church groups and activities.

These days seem to roll smoothly and we are hands down enjoying these days.

But I'm also still trying to find my place in this new chapter.  I've always identified this blog as one written from a military spouse perspective.  However... since Rob transitioned out earlier this year, I'm no longer a military spouse.  So where does that leave this blog?  A lifestyle blog?  A parenting blog?  A whatever I want to blog about blog?  Who knows.  The name will stay the same.  After all... Somewhere Over the Camo makes PERFECT sense.  This is life, somewhere over the camo.. but for now the identity is somewhere in limbo.

So when Jen approached me to host the Military Spouse Appreciation Day link-up with her again this year, I briefly hesitated before saying yes.  I may not be a military spouse, but y'all... I have and always will have so much dang respect for all of YOU that currently are... and I love bringing spouses together.  So you should join us next Friday, May 12th for our annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day Link-Up.  You can find the questions over here on Jen's blog.  Come back next Friday, add your link and find some new blogs to follow.  I am honored to host all of you wonderful ladies!

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Link-Up
#2017MilSpoDayLinkUp


always,
amanda
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Catered Curriculum

Last month we finally made the leap to get Grace into a preschool starting this fall.  I did research and asked around and finally settled on a local religion based two-day a week morning preschool program.  We are SO excited!  It's a huge step for our smart little lady.  She still has some language issues and has only spent a handful of times away from mama with anyone other than family, but we saw it as an opportunity we just could not pass up.

That's why I was SO excited when we got our Catered Curriculum subscription box in the mail.


What is Catered Curriculum, you ask?  "Everything you need to provide high quality, educational experiences for your 3-5 year old, with the convenience of home delivery."  This subscription box service provides an art, science, math and reading activity, including all the supplies and an easy to follow lesson plan.

In a nutshell you open the box and immediately feel like you are in an elementary school art class again.


This month was the April Showers box.  We made an umbrella for the art activity, made it rain for the science activity, matched the numbers on the dice to the numbers on our worksheet for the math activity and traced, sang and learned letters for the reading activity.


Grace LOVED this and repeatedly thanked me.  I'm a mom who pins away on Pinterest but rarely gets around to following through, so having it all delivered to my door is definitely the way to go for me.  A few of the activities were a little advanced for Grace's current learning level.  But I plan on keeping the neatly bagged (!!!!) activities for learning at a later date.


Catered Curriculum is a great addition to any household whether you are the mom making crafts and lesson plans for your kids everyday or the mom just trying to keep your kids alive (me).

I know just how much love and dedication is going into each box.  One of Catered Curriculum's owners and co-founders is someone I have known since high school.  Delta and I have experienced a lot of life together and I know first hand just how great she is with children.  This is most definitely the perfect venture for her.

To top it all off, I've got a special code just for you Somewhere Over the Camo readers.  20% off your order when you use the code somewhereoverthecamo at checkout.

So parents of preschoolers... go.. try it, you will not be disappointed!

Disclaimer --- I received the April Showers Catered Curriculum box in exchange for this honest review.


always,
amanda
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter

(just to clarify... my hubs wore dress shoes to church and then changed to finish smoking the ham.  He's a business professional these days after all.)

Easter time last year was a bit chaotic as we were about to welcome Brooke the very next day.  It was on a Sunday and the day before was the day I fell belly first trying to pick Grace up from the road.  Grace and I spent the day cleaning the house and doing as little as possible while Rob spent most of the day driving to and from St. Louis to pick my sister up.  We didn't do an egg hunt at home for Grace.  We briefly saw the Easter bunny but didn't have our cute Easter outfit on.  There was no Easter feast.  For all intents and purposes it was just another day.

This year though?  It was our first holiday in our new home.  My parents and sister joined us for mass, a feast, an egg hunt and a small celebration for my Mom's recent birthday.  We ate, laughed, took pictures, watched a movie and overall just enjoyed the day together.

Every holiday is special when you have kids, but I will say Easter is always one of my favorites.  The holiday in and of itself is a special one.  After all, he is risen!  But all of the fun details that go with it make my mama heart swoon.  Special Easter dresses, sweet little baskets assembled with care.  Watching my husband scatter eggs and my babies marvel at the eggs actually holding something.  And don't even get me started on the food.  Rob smoked a ham this year, and Easter will never be the same.

Our fireplace hearth is still scattered with Easter baskets and little trinkets and goodies.  The day after Easter sales were hit up (only 50% off at Hobby Lobby... what say you HL?!).  The ham is still the meat of choice three meals later.

And my heart is still swooning at all things Easter.

I hope all you wonderful readers had a glorious Easter holiday as well.



always,
amanda
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We bought a house.

Rob and I have been married for 7 years and I never thought that at 27 we would own our own home and be settling in Kansas, for good.  In the Army you never know what the next year may bring you.  The end of last year we didn't know what this next journey was going to be like.  We were cautiously optimistic to say the least.


Y'all, life after the military has been really good to us.

My husband landed a really good job with a really great company that treats their employees really well.  We were able to pay off some debt.  Move back to Kansas.  And now we have finally closed on our dream home.


We are making this little college town in this great state our forever home, and we could not be more excited.

So that's where I've been and why it has been so quiet around these parts.  Please forgive me.  Now that we are finally in the last stretch of unpacking, I am hoping to find a new normal and get settled back into all things blogging.  Which will HOPEFULLY include getting back to reading my favorite blogs.

Any advice for homeownership?  I'm open to ALL your suggestions..


always,
amanda
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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy birthday Brooklyn!


It's the end of a very long day... there's a lot going on in our neck of the woods these days.  But today was extra special as our baby turned one.  It went so incredibly fast with Grace.  Ten times faster with Brooklyn.

As I sit in the (almost) quiet (Diesel doesn't know the word quiet..) night, I can't help but think back to a year ago at this time as we were being moved out of the labor and delivery ward to the recovery wing.  It was the beginning of a very long night of parenting alone.  Little sleep and lots of tears.  I struggled, a lot.  Back then I was about to feel run down and scared that having two was not going to be an easy transition.

But now?  Now I marvel everyday at my sweet second baby.  The ornery one in our family.  The one who knows that one look that will let her get away with just about everything.  She cuddles at just the right time. And already shows such an amazing personality.  God without a doubt knew what he was doing.

I'm not sure where the last year went.
Today you are one...
Happy birthday my baby girl!


always,
amanda
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Monday, March 20, 2017

7 years married, and the makeup equivalent.

2010 was 7 years ago y'all.  Please raise your hand if you also find that hard to believe.

Why is this significant?

It means Rob and I have been married for 7 years.  On March 17, 2010 we went to the cutest courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland and said our vows.  It was us and the Justice, jeans and rings.

Now every year on St. Patrick's Day we celebrate.

Obligatory cute picture of my kids on St. Patrick's Day.
LipSense color // Bravo

This year Rob took the day off of work and we made a day of it.  Our first adventure was the parade here in our little town.  We happen to live in a college town... and apparently no one had school or work.  So that was chaos.  As I expected, my husband however did not expect such chaos.  As a result there was no way for us to get close enough for the girls to really see.  So we ducked into a pizza place and grabbed some lunch.  Grace was able to see some horses through a break in the crowd and she was perfectly content.  Now we know what to do different next year.  After that we headed for KC.  A 30-45 minute drive depending on where you are headed.  Rob rented a corvette for the day so after picking that up and a swing by the golf store on that side of town we were headed to my parents to drop the minions off with gaga.

Let's take a break here because it is IMPORTANT to note that this is our first date in over 3 years.  Except for a military ball shortly after we had Grace... this was the first time we were out without our kids for fun.

LipSense color // Pumpkin Spice

Our evening without kids included TopGolf (kind of like bowling, except with golf), tons of great food and a stop by the jewelry store, where my husband let me pick out a new pair of diamond stud earrings.  We cruised town in the corvette and took lots of pictures of just the two of us.  It is possible my husband may be a believer again in leaving the kids for an evening of just us time.

That's how you celebrate 7 years.

7 years...

Wow.

I felt impossibly good all evening.. and thanks to THIS new found makeup lip obsession... I made it through the entire day with color in one place.

Maybe you've heard of it?  LipSense.

Y'all.  You MUST try this.  The color lasts all day.  You only have to apply once.  The gloss layer has completely replaced my chapstick regime and my lips have never felt better.  Plus I get to support one of my closest friends from high school and her sweet little family (we both have 2 girls and we were both pregnant at the same time with both... our youngest even share a birthday!).


Anyway... Chelsea is offering a special 10% off discount to Somewhere Over the Camo readers.  Just go here and tell her Amanda sent you and she will hook you up.

If a redhead can pull it off... you can too!

Here's to 70 more years with my love and another day of long lasting lip color.



always,
amanda
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Transitioning out of the military - what YOU need to know.



So your spouse came home with news you may or may not have been prepared to hear... your adventure as a military spouse is coming to an end.

My husband came home with that news less than a year ago.  He was being medically discharged from the Army.  Officially he has now been separated from the Army for almost two months.  But he signed out on terminal leave at the end of October.

Here's my best advice for you, the spouse, on how to handle the transitioning period that comes with leaving one world and entering another.

---DON'T PANIC.  Easier said than done, I know.  But if you can keep your panic instincts under lock and key the whole situation will go a lot smoother.  I confess, I panicked at one point.  I didn't feel we were getting the answers we needed in a timely manner and one day I just lost it.  It's natural, but it also doesn't help.  You are still at the mercies of the military.  Their timeline will always satisfy their needs, not yours.

--BE PATIENT.  Also easier said than done.  The answers will come.  One week you may be waiting on word and the next week you may be out.  The last two weeks went absurdly fast but up until then we were playing the waiting game.  Patience is not always an easy thing to come by, especially when it comes to your life... I get it.  So find whatever solace you can and stick to it.  For me, God has a plan worked wonders in talking myself off of the ledge.

--DON'T FIXATE ON ESTIMATES AND DATES PROVIDED.  The Army may say terminal leave will not start until February.  Suddenly it's the end of October and your husband just signed out 4 months early.  They have no idea.  Which leads me to...

--HAVE A PLAN A, B AND C.  If you only make a plan for the initial time period given... you'll be super stressed when you have two weeks notice of your last day in.  Try and keep an open mind and an open end game going.  If plan A doesn't work out, have a plan B  and C... just in case.  The last thing you want is to be done with no idea of what is next.

--NETWORK.  This helped my husband immensely.  He was able to land a job months before his official end date with the Army.  He had a great network of people sending him job suggestions and advice for the next steps.  Also, LinkedIn worked WONDERS.  Use it.  It's free!

--GO SOMEWHERE YOU KNOW.  It's tempting to just start over somewhere fresh... but I definitely think the best thing we did was come back to Kansas.  We have a built in support system already and it was easy to figure out Rob's job situation and our living situation since we were familiar with the area.  We've even decided to make our current town our forever home.  Who would have thought?!

--BE THANKFUL.  It's easy to be mad when the military decides to unexpectedly give you the boot. But if you can be thankful, it will help with the moving on part.  The Army provided my husband years of experience in his field and gave him an amazing starting point for his career.  I am and forever will be thankful for that.

I spent 6 and a half years living the military life alongside my husband.  I left Kansas and my eyes were opened to all that the rest of the country has to offer.  I loved most of our adventures and hated some too.  Now that we are in the civilian world, I am grateful for the tough times that we went through, because it made us appreciate all that we have now even more.

As always, if you face this unexpected road, don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail!  I can give you an idea of what to expect and help prop you up in times of uncertainty.  Just remember, you got this.



always,
amanda
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Monday, March 6, 2017

27.


Two weeks ago Wednesday I turned 27.  The last year has gone by in the blink of an eye (like I say in basically every single one of my monthly updates for Brooke).  My 26th year of life was a crazy one... as every other year for the last 8 plus years have been.

I had my second baby.  Lost our first fur-child.  Welcomed another fur-child.  Moved back home.  Said goodbye to the Army world... the only world my marriage and most of my adult life had ever known.  Baptized our second baby.  Celebrated a third birthday.  Hosted our first holiday for family.  Caught up with old friends.  And truly started to settle into our new normal.

And now I'm 27.

One of my best friends celebrates her 27th birthday in just under two weeks.  She asked me on the morning of my birthday if I felt any older.  I don't.  At all.  I'm another year closer to 30.  Which doesn't scare me.  It scares me how quickly time is flying by.  Sometimes I feel like we just graduated high school and were so excited at college and what it was going to bring and do for us.  Now we are all grown up with marriages, engagements, kids of our own.  We live across the country and are all on our own paths.

But when do we truly start to feel like adults and grown ups?

I was lucky in that my 3 closest friends from high school were all able to be in town the weekend after my birthday.  I had won a gift card to a local spa (thanks to this here blog!) and was able to treat myself and 5 others to an afternoon at the spa.  So we rounded up my mom and sister and all made the drive out to the spa.  We learned quickly we aren't grown up enough to follow the "quiet please" rules.  And when they tell you to stay hydrated, that clearly means with alcohol, right?  It was nice to get away from our new normals and just be us for an afternoon.  Be pampered, relax and chow down on some amazing food.  It was a really good welcome to 27.

Elms Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri | AMAZING.  WORTH THE TRIP.

I'm hoping 27 is good to me.  Lots of good things are in the works and I am still loving every minute of being back in the sunflower state.  We are happy and healthy (finally after a week plus long bout of crud) and spring is rolling in.  All things that make the days just a little bit better.



always,
amanda
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