Have a closet stuffed with old military ball dresses? Donate them!

How many old ball gowns do you have in your closet? Tired of moving them in each PCS? Tired of hoping you’ll fit back into them after your last pregnancy?

Donate them! There are prom gown collections happening across the nation this spring to make sure high school girls who cannot afford a dress can still have the gown of her dreams.


Night owl? You might want to start going to bed earlier

Who else out there felt like a rock star when scientists reported last year that people who swear more and are messier are generally smarter?

Yep, I was suddenly awesome.

Soon after, researchers in Belgium and Miami conducted studies that concluded that people who stayed up late and slept in were generally smarter, more productive and more creative than their early to bed early to rise counterparts.

Heck ya, all my most bothersome traits were suddenly a goldmine of success.

Until now.


Ready to leave military housing behind and buy your very own house? Not so fast

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

It’s also one of the things many soon-to-be military retiree families look forward to the most. We want to buy curtains and rugs that actually fit and match, paint the walls and replace the flooring and install whatever countertops we like best.

We want a place of our own. Or, as many call it, a “forever home.”

But is buying a house a wise choice when in the midst of leaving the military?


Change to maternity leave rules long overdue

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, made headlines earlier this year for announcing that she vowed to change senate rules to make it easier for future senators to take maternity leave.

In fact she told CNN, it was ridiculous that these types of changes were still making headlines in 2018.

She’s right. The U.S. lags far behind the rest of the developed world in granting workers not just maternity leave, but also any guaranteed paid leave of any kind. The U.S., in fact is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid sick or maternity leave.


New Dynamics - juggling childcare in multiple states

By Amy Nielsen

Next week I add a new dynamic to this already crazy life. My younger daughter starts weekly medical treatment at a hospital three hours from home.

Normally this would not be a huge addition to our week as it is really just a day trip and easily done. We’ve been doing it for years almost like clockwork in the early part of the year. Because of the nature of her treatments our appointments are conveniently always on Monday.


Finding the perfect home studio space

By Amy Nielsen

I have a horrible habit of stalking the local real estate market. I love the house we live in. The property is beautiful. We have great neighbors and dear friends who live just a few miles away. The town has it’s quirks to say the least. But it’s the house we bought. As I have developed my path and envision my future and intertwined with that, my family’s trajectory, I know that we will not be in this house long.


Financial Security After a Retired Spouse Dies

Will you have financial security if your retired spouse dies before you?

Nobody likes to talk about the worst-case scenario. But when it comes to retirement, it is a conversation that every couple should definitely have.

Most of us are familiar with life insurance. There are several different types, but in general a life insurance policy pays a lump sum amount upon the insured person’s death.


When everything is an option, nothing makes sense

I am at a crossroads. I am in that strange space where I feel the need to determine where all this living and learning is leading. I find myself searching job boards collecting all manner of interesting looking posts. I’m searching Zillow for new houses in markets closer to far flung friends. I can’t decide if I am in exactly the right academic program for what I want to do when I grow up.

 Am I going to end up with the right alphabet soup at the end of my name?

Will anyone hire me to do what I am passionate about?

What exactly is it that I am passionate about?


Tricare benefits are changing

On Jan. 1, 2018 the three current Tricare regions will combine to form just two regions, meaning military families may face delays in enrollment or be assigned new primary care managers.

Tricare members in the north and south regions will become part of the new Tricare East Region, managed by Humana Military. Members currently west region will remain in the west region, managed by Health Net Federal Services, LLC.


Memory Lane in a little black book

By Amy Nielsen

I have the little black book that I started in culinary school. Get your head out of the gutter. It is my master recipe book. It’s a black heavy cardboard spiral bound thing, four inches by six inches with thick textured paper inside – like those sketch books angst-ridden teens carry around. This one has graph paper inside it and a sticker of the conch republic on the cover. That alone should tell you something about me.

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