Thursday, October 31, 2013


What would you do with an extra $1000 to spend this holiday season? How about I make the answer to that question a little easier with your chance to win $1000 cash in the Christmas Cash Giveaway event! Thanks to some amazing supporters of Raising Reagan and some all around awesome bloggers and shops, we were able to come together collectively with a CASH PRIZE of $1000!

Raising Reagan | Win $1000 in the Christmas Cash Giveaway Event

And who do we have to thank for this amazing cash prize? Meet your phenomenal co-hosts!

Raising Reagan | Win $1000 in the Christmas Cash Giveaway Event

From Top Left:

Sara | Confessions of a Redheaded Mama ♥ Angel | Sew Crafty Angel
Sarah | Life in a Break Down ♥ Krystal | My Life of Travels and Adventures
Dara | Not in Jersey ♥ Anna | Cuddlebug Cuties
Alex | Munchkins and the Military ♥ Rebecca | A Day in the Life of Calleigh Emma
Josi | That Suburban Momma ♥ Dawn | Dawn's Disaster
Kera | Nugget on a Budget ♥ Debra | Deliciously Inspired
Janine | Confessions of a Mommyaholic ♥ Cathy | A Peek into My Paradise

And let's not forget to thank the other blogs and shops that have sponsored this giveaway! Please be sure and stop by and thank them for such a phenomenal giveaway.

Raising Reagan | Win $1000 CASH in the Christmas Cash Giveaway Event

Our amazing participants:

Holly | Back Home Again Blog ♥ Rachel | Sultry Indulgences ♥ Sandy | Mother of Imperfection ♥ Katie | He Calls Me Grace ♥ Anyonita | Anyonita Nibbles ♥ Tiffani | Tiffani Goff at Home ♥ Natasha | Serenity You ♥ Natalie | At Home with the Hinkleys ♥ Renee | Getting Fit Fab ♥ Noel | High Heeled Mama ♥ Alison | NYC Recessionista ♥ {Enjoy the View} ♥ Brittnei | Homemaking with Style2 Crochet Hooks ♥ Jamie | Handling with Grace ♥ Leslie | Violet Imperfection ♥ Jamie | Love Bakes Good Cakes ♥ Lisa | Chronically Content ♥ Jenn | Bad Luck Jenn ♥ Jodi | The Noise of Boys ♥ Monica | Redefining Mom ♥ Ann Marie | Growing Up Madison ♥ Michelle | A Little Moore From My Kitchen ♥ Wanda Ann | Memories By the Mile ♥ Angie | God's Growing Garden ♥ Nichi | The Mandatory Mooch ♥ Deb | Kneaded Creations ♥ Jeanie |Create and Babble ♥ Kristin | Dizzy Busy and Hungry ♥ Tina | Classic Children's BooksWest Street Story ♥ Betty | Losing My Gut and Gaining My Insanity ♥ Natasha | Lovely You Blog ♥ Evelyn | My Turn for Us ♥ Laura | The Rookie CookParenting With Parents ♥ Beth | The First Year Blog ♥ Ida | Second Chances Girl ♥ Glenneth | Let's Talk and Walk ♥ Katy |Experienced Bad Mom ♥ Melissa | Dreams and ColoursLearn Like a Mom ♥ Sarah | Girlfriends Are Like Shoes ♥ Andi | The Weary Chef ♥ Tamara | Tamara (Like) Camera ♥ Melissa | Deliciously Savvy ♥ Brooke | Wide Open Spaces ♥ Barb | Second Chance to Dream ♥ Koren | My Full Time Fit LifeSpit and Sparkles ♥ Tiffany | Daydreaming Realist ♥ April | 100lb Countdown ♥ Monica | Happy and Blessed HomeReagan's Toy Chest

Now you know the players! Are you ready to win some CASH? It's the kickoff of Holiday Season and we are celebrating with a

$1000 Giveaway!

Please read the official rules of all sweepstakes and contests held at Raising Reagan.
Giveaway is open worldwide to participants with a verified PayPal account.
All entries will be verified. In the event an entry can not be verified participant chooses to forfeit that entry and another winner will be chosen.
Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email.
Giveaway will run from November 1st, 12 AM Eastern Time to November 22nd, 12 AM Eastern Time
Any taxes or fees associated with the winnings of this contest are the sole responsibility of the winner according to their county, state and/or country laws.
CASH prize is in US Dollars and will not be converted to any foreign currency.
Void where prohibited by law.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Visit to the Firestation

I've been wanting to take Veronica to visit my dad at work. After the fire department visited her at school a while back, she's been all about fire fighters and their dogs. He visits the house during his shift sometimes, but he drives his own little personal truck, which isn't nearly as exciting as the real big fire trucks.

I'm pretty sure yesterday was the first time I've taken the girls to visit my dad at the station. It's a totally different experience when you get to tour the station. There were a few guys having lunch, but my dad showed us around the sleeping areas and offices.

The girls climbed up in the truck and tried on some gear. Adri wasn't a huge fan and mostly clung to me. The guys unloaded some of the big gear along with an ax pick thing and a ladder from the side of the truck.

Although I wasn't all that excited about spending so much time at home, I'm glad that we've gotten out and explored some while we've been in Miami. As much as I don't like this big city feel, it totally beats being stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Have a happy hump day!

Love, Alex

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Monday, October 28, 2013

What We've Been Up To

One week down, one week to go, in Miami. We've been having a really great time hanging out with the family. Somewhere along the way, we all got a little sick, but it passed over the weekend.

Last Friday we headed to the Miami Children's Museum with the girls. After reading some negative reviews on Yelp, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had. Although it wasn't exactly what I think of when I think museum, it was a great place for the kids. It was a million times more museum like than the museum we visited in St. Louis. V was able to dress up in all sorts of fun little outfits and shop at Publix, direct highway traffic, and take care of me in the ER. Adri kind of just followed along.

The Miami Children's Museum also offered a military discount, which was great! Hubster got in free, and four family members were half off .

On Saturday night we went to this salsa concert, where Hubster's uncle's band was playing. We had fun, but I was a little annoyed that the music didn't start until midnight, when we were told that the band would start playing at 10:30. I'd hate to have been one of the people who arrived when the doors opened at 9:00.

Sunday was spent with family. My dad grilled some burgers, and some of Hubster's family came over. We met his brother's girlfriend, who was very nice. She had a daughter who was about seven, and got along great with Veronica.

We've already got a pretty packed schedule for the rest of the week. We're going to have to take a day or two to repack our suitcases, and make sure they're not too heavy. It'll be like a giant mean mind game puzzle to get everything within the weight limit.

Love, Alex

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Window Cord Safety

October is Window Cord Safety month. Earlier this month, I put together a video with a fellow military wife that illustrates the importance of safety within the home and some of the potential dangers.

The video, along with two others are competing for a chance to win a Smith + Noble gift certificate. You can go here to view the videos and vote!

Love, Alex

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Costume Ideas

After much deliberation, we finally got the girls Halloween costumes. Had I realized that Halloween was just around the corned, I probably would have purchased sooner, but things have been busy. I'm just glad that we were able to get what we wanted and in everyone's sizes.

Although the girls were Disney princesses last year, and I wanted to avoid the same theme this year, it's what we settled on. I was really hoping to have a purple minion and a yellow minion, from Despicable Me, but V is really into princesses lately. So V will be Ariel, and Adri will be Sofia.

Since I'm a tiny bit OCD, I insisted that the costumes follow a theme. Just like with their outfits, I like the girls to match, but not be in the exact same outfit. It's going to hurt when both of them are old enough to choose their own costumes, and they decided to be total opposites.

For the time being, I'm putting together a list of sibling costumes. I went insane trying to think of something at the last minute last year. Hopefully, I'll be able to look back at this in the future for ideas.

Monkey & Banana
Ketchup & Mustard
Cowgirl & Indian
Mario & Luigi/Wario
Rabbit & Magician
Little Red Riding Hood & Wolf/Grandmother
Dorothy & Lion/Scarecrow/Tinman
Curious George & Man in the Yellow Hat
Pacman & Ghost
Dog & Cat
Bull & Bull Fighter
Thing 1 & 2
Pooh & Piglet/ Tigger
Bumble Bee & Ladybug
Angel & Devil
Yo Gabba Gabba characters
Chicken & Egg
Cop & Robber
Caterpillar & Butterfly
Bo Peep & Sheep
Cat & Mouse
Care Bears
Mickey & Minnie
Strawberry Shortcake & friends
Monsters Inc.
Spongebob & Patrick
Woody & Jesse/Buzz Lightyear
Sesame Street characters
Maggie & Lisa Simpson
Spoon & Fork

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Out in Miami

The girls have been having a blast for the past few days! Yesterday we spent the day out on the boat. We visited two different island beaches, before heading out to the club house for the group that my dad belongs to.


Everything has been going great except for the fact that Caesar hates my brother. We have no idea why, because they were fine last time we visited, but he goes insane barking every time my brother makes a noise. It should make for an interesting two months, before he goes to Hawaii.

Love, Alex

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We Made It

We are in Miami! After three long days of travel, we arrived at my parents' house.

After our final walk through on Friday, we went and picked V up from school. Her teacher made her the sweetest little book, with hand prints from all of her classmates. I broke down in tears in the middle of a preschool. Go me!

From Fort Leonard Wood, we drove until we were in Tennessee. We spent the night around Fort Campbell, and then hit the road once again towards Fort Stewart. I've always hated driving, but these seven and eight hour driving days didn't seem to bother me as much.

At Fort Stewart, we spent the night at my battle buddy's house. Our husbands deployed together, and so for the second half of the deployment, one of us was always sleeping at the other's house. It was just like old times.

While in Georgia, we also passed by our house. Hubster was horrified to see that our tenants installed a satellite dish on our roof. Gasp! I get it though. Some guy that works for a TV company, came and drilled holes into our roof. Hopefully there is no leaking or water damaged caused. We're almost positive it violates the lease agreement, but we're waiting on the property manager to get back to us on that one. Either way, I'd say a good chunk of their security deposit is going to be put towards repairing the roof.

So far, our time in Miami has been spent catching up. The girls are having a blast with my parents, I've spent a considerable amount of time with my best friend, and Hubster has made a calendar full of plans with his fraternity brothers.

They just opened a HUGE Target about two minutes from where my parents live, which I expect to occupy plenty of time at. Not having easy access to a Target for the past six months has been damaging. This new Target has EOS balls in colors that I've never seen. I had to stock up since I'm trying to grow my rainbow collection.

The remained of our Miami time will be pretty low-key. We're trying not to spend too much money, since we had to pay our entire way down here. Today we'll be heading out on the boat, to one of Veronica's favorite spots. The rest of the time? I have no clue.

Love, Alex

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Military Mom Guilt

It's Veronica's last day of preschool today. I've been dreading this day for weeks. Although I'm pretty sure she doesn't care that she won't be going back, I'm completely torn up about it. So much so, that I've been crying about it. Just ask my husband how crazy I was in the Walmart parking lot on Wednesday.

We were completely blessed to have two of the best teachers at the preschool. At first I was upset that she was being put into the class with the younger three year olds, but it's been a fantastic experience and she's still learned so much. She's still pretty young and extremely resilient, but I feel awful about having to take V out of school. It's really even more of a daycare than school, but she's grown to love attending every other day.

I'm always shocked when V starts singing a song with all of the days of the week or the months of the year. She even knows what month we're in. I barely even know what month it is. She's made a best friend who she shares bracelets with and naps next to.

Having to pull her our of school for the first time made me realize that this will have to happen again several time over the next decade. This time I'm the one who is all depressed about it, but in the future it will be the kids. They're the ones leaving their friends and the classes that they've grown comfortable in. It sucks, but it's the reality of bring a military kid.

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World Food Day 2013

One in eight people suffer from chronic hunger on this planet. It's a sad truth that there are approximately 842 million hungry people around the world. World Food Day, October 16, aims to draw attention to the malnutrition and poverty across the world. The theme for this year's World Food Day 2013 is Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.

There are plenty of ways for everyday people to get involved in this growing movement. On their website, World Food Day USA, maps out events happening in your area. If you are unable to locate an event or attend one in your vicinity, there is always the option to create your own! If you're feeling uninspired, the website has some suggestions to help you out.

In this day and age, it's a tragedy that anyone should have to go hungry. Obviously we are the lucky ones, and I feel like it's our duty to help the less fortunate. As we were cleaning out our house these past few days, I set aside some unopened food items that will be making their way to a local food pantry.

Recently, I was selected as a Happy Blogger, for Happy Family Brands. I'm ecstatic to be working with this brand, because not only do the girls love their healthy organic snacks, but the company is dedicated to helping the community. Happy Family Brands has partnered with Project Peanut Butter and the Feed Foundation to help end hunger.

What can you do to help end world hunger?

Love, Alex

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Preparing for the Moving Company

The packers are coming today!! I'm nervous and excited! We had a really great moving experience when we left Fort Stewart and came here, so I'm hoping that this move is equally successful.

Before marrying my husband, I had never moved in my life. Actually, that's a lie. Back when I was a baby, we moved a few times, I believe. After my parents bought their house when I was around three though, I never left. Even for college, I lived at home. I never had any idea how much work it was to move. 

Even when a moving company is involved, there is a ton of work that goes into moving your belongings. There are certain things you have to do before the packers/mover arrive and certain things that they won't transport for you. Hopefully these tips from Allied Van Lines can help military wives, old and new when it comes time to PCS, or anyone else who is moving.

How to Prepare Your Belongings for the Moving Company

Moving Day is almost here! Moving on your own can be stressful, which is why many people decide to hire a moving company to pack and ship their belongings. But if you’ve decided to hire a moving company, don’t expect the movers to show up and simply do all the work for you – it takes a little preparation before they arrive.

It’s important to understand that a moving company cannot pack or transport everything you own. While movers can transport numerous items – even rare or hard-to-transport items like custom artwork, vehicles, etc. – there are some they will not take and some they do not recommend you ship:
  • Hazardous materials. A moving company cannot move hazardous materials such as explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. You may not think you have any such items, but they’re more common than you might think. Common examples include lighter fluid, nail polish remover, propane cylinders, matches, gasoline, paints, paint thinners and automotive repair chemicals. Instead of attempting to transport them yourself – a potentially dangerous act – it’s a good idea to simply re-purchase these items once arriving at your new location.
  • Valuables. It’s typically a good idea to keep certain items with you in order to protect them, or in case you have need of them. For example, don’t ship valuables, family photos, heirlooms, important personal papers (like wills and deeds) or jewelry – essentially, anything that is irreplaceable or highly special to you. Instead, keep them with you as you travel to your new home.
  • Other items. A moving company typically will not transport firearms or perishable food items, including wine. They also will not move your pets for you. Furthermore, most moving companies recommend you keep any necessary prescription drugs with you at all times.
In addition to understanding exactly which items the moving company will not pack and transport, you need to prepare your other belongings for packing and shipment. Consider this checklist when making your preparations:
  • Unplug all of your electronics.
  • Remove all items affixed to the wall or ceiling – such as ceiling fans, light fixtures, drapery rods, etc. – that you want taken with you.
  • Empty lawn mowers and other gasoline-powered engines of oil and gas.
  • Drain your garden hose of as much water as possible and connect the two ends together.
  • Bring anything from your attic or overhead storage area to the floor level.
  • Empty and defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Strip beds and wash sheets for packing.
  • Bring rugs to the cleaners and leave in packaging for transport.
By preparing before your moving company even arrives, your move will be off to a smooth start. Have fun and good luck!


David Shapiro is a relocation specialist working with Allied Van Lines, realtors and other relocation service providers. He lives in Arizona and enjoys hiking, golfing, baseball and biking.

Love, Alex

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Our STL Weekend

Since we were in St. Louis on Friday to drop off our car, we decided to make a weekend out of it. St. Louis is about a two hour drive from Fort Leonard Wood, which makes it a bit much of a trip to do back and forth in a day. At least for me. I hate driving.

Luckily for us, one of our best friends from Georgia had to be in town for business, so we made it a whole Army family reunion. It was our second time getting together in St. Louis, the first being the 4th of July. This time we were determined to visit all of the hot touristy spots that we didn't make it to the first time.

Saturday morning was spent at the City Museum and Aquarium. I was disappointed, because it ended up only being a giant indoor/outdoor playground, rather than an actual museum. Had I known, we wouldn't have spent $17 a person. V doesn't like slides or caves, and Adri is too small to do that sort of thing. For older kids, it would have been a blast, but a children's museum is what I was hoping for, and this certainly wasn't it.

In the afternoon we had a late lunch, followed by nap time, and some drinking by the adults in the evening. We switched our original rooms to adjoining ones, which ended up being SO much fun.

On Sunday everyone met up at the Zoo after breakfast. Visiting the St. Louis zoo was one of my summer bucket list items, so I guess we can cross that one off now. Everyone raves about the zoo, and I have to say I agree with all of the hype. We spent the entire day there without getting bored or running out of things to look at. The girls were able to pet bunnies and brush goats. Unlike the zoo back home in Miami, all of the animal exhibits were close to one another, and the animals all looked alive.

Today will be spent cleaning like a mad woman! There is tons of laundry that needs to be done before they come to take everything away tomorrow. I can't believe we'll be leaving Missouri on Friday!

I apologize for not keeping up with your blogs, once everything calms down this weekend, and we make it to Florida, I'll get back on track!

Love, Alex

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bye Bye Ashley!

Ashley Accord is on her way to Hawaii today! How exciting is that?! Even with the government shutdown, and the Army suspending PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves, we were lucky to not be affected.

Since we're only authorized to ship one vehicle at the Army's expense, we're paying out of pocket for this one, and lets just say that it's a pretty penny. It was a difficult decision for us to make, but ultimately, it makes the most financial sense for us.

We don't want to sell the Accord any time soon, and we need the Tahoe to help us shuffle all of our suitcases and belonging around the country. We aren't ready to buy a new car yet, and we figured that the $4000 that we'll spend on shipping the Honda to Hawaii and back is probably less than what we would spend on a clunker and it's associated repair costs.

So.. The car is on it's way. We'll probably still beat it there, but it would be nice to have our own vehicle and not have to worry about the cost of a rental.

Love, Alex

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fancy Schmancy

The hubs and I had another formal Army event last night. This time it was the end of year banquet for his MP Captain's Career Course class. The end is near!

The event was held on post at the Pershing Club. It was a much nicer event than I was expecting, complete with a grog. For those of you who aren't familiar with the military, the grog is a tradition of various types of alcohol mixed together in a large bowl, and occasionally, other weird crap. Thankfully last night, there was no weird crap. Other than half of some drunk woman's rum and Coke. Gross. But not as gross as socks or dirt.

Apparently, my phone creates GIFs now..

Hubster won the class leadership award and I was beyond proud!

Now, we're exactly one week away from graduation. Yayy! And in a month, we'll be on the beautiful island of Oahu.

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Throwing Ish Together

We are nearing the end of our time in Missouri. Hallelujah! As time ticks down though, I find myself struggling to prepare for the packers to come box everything up. In the past, it hasn't been a huge deal. We always drove to the next duty station, so anything that the movers couldn't take, ended up in the back of a car.

Since we're flying to the next duty station though, we really don't have that option. American Airlines allows Hubster to  check five bags for free, and each dependent (the girls and I) gets two. In these bags will be the majority of our clothes, and a lot of the liquid items that the movers won't take such as lotion and perfume/cologne. We've learned that each set of packers does things differently, so we're setting aside a few empty bags for whatever they decide they won't take. We've been told yes and no on items such as candles, light bulbs, and batteries.

One thing that no one takes is food. You're good with unopened nonperishable items, but lets face it, almost every box in this house it open. Plus, I've got a freezer full of food that needs to be eaten. And that's where the fun comes in! The next few dinners in this house will be a lovely combination of anything and everything in the house.

Last night's dinner was a "Mexican Slop", as Hubster refers to it. It was actually quite tasty. I fried up most of the tortillas in the house, shredded up some chicken from the freezer, threw in a bag of cheese, and combined a whole bunch of "Mexican" ingredients in a pan. Success! The husband was skeptical, but it was really good. Something I would make again.

Now I've got more fresh fruits and vegetables to get rid of, probably in some sort of Sheppard's pie tonight.

Is there a strange combination of food that you really enjoy?

Love, Alex

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Short & Sweet

Hello friends! I apologize for neglecting you lately! It's been a tad crazy in our house for the past few days.

Hubs and I spent most of yesterday packing up all of our clothes into suitcases. During the week, I'll have to focus on the rest of the stuff that the movers won't take, like ALL of my Scentsy or our liquor collection.

Today I'm heading to Hobby Lobby once again. I've gotta pick up some last minute care package supplies. The Etsy shop has been doing surprisingly well. The holiday themes seem to be pretty popular, so I'd like to knock out some Thanksgiving and Christmas ones before my machine gets packed away next week. Who knows when I'll get it back.

My friend is driving today, so hopefully I'll be able to at least visit a few blogs. Once life slows down a little bit, I hope to be more active in Blogland. I should have plenty of time for that while we're in Florida.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and your week is off to a great start! I'll recap our weekend later on this week.

Love, Alex

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Mail From Mommy

When she's not raising hell, Veronica can actually be pretty cute. One of the cute little habits that she has is insisting on checking the mail every time we come home. Normally it happens when I pick her up after school, but really, it could be after the park or shopping as well. She gets SO excited if there's something inside. Normally it's something that is going to go straight into the trash, but either way, she's excited.

Since we don't get mail often though, there tends to be a sad little face, followed by a depressing statement. "No mail today. No one likes us." To which I follow up by saying, "Aww, baby, that's not true, everyone loves us!" not true.

Since I can easily make envelopes with my Cricut, I decided to make V some mail. I cut out an envelope with her name on it, put a little message inside, and stuck it in the empty mailbox on my way to pick her up from school. Probably a federal crime, but I'm a bad ass mom like that.

When we got back from school, and she popped the mail box open, there was a look of pure joy on her face. She knows that her name starts with V, and more or less what it looks like spelled out, so she knew this was for her.

I'm going to cut out a few more envelopes and maybe some cute stuff to stick inside before the movers pack up my machine. Periodically I'll surprise her. I'm really looking forward to her being old enough to have an actual pen pal.

This weekend is our major packing and cleaning weekend! We'll be packing up everything that we don't want the movers to take, and starting on a deep cleaning for our move out inspection. Only two weeks left at Ft. Leonard Wood! Yay!

Have a great weekend!

Love, Alex

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