Friday, January 27, 2012

Hope for Soldiers who may have severe facial disfiguration - (a bit from Mitch Hunter -guest blogger)

Here is what Mitch shared with me:

"Our Government is doing what they can to help. Right now face transplants are being funded by the Military/Government mainly for injured soldiers but also for civilians as well. I just hope it doesn't become a procedure that is done to help a person look younger. I hope only gets given to the people who actually need it for a better quality of life. Burn victims aren't the only ones with facial deformities. Cancer patients with massive tumors on their face can benefit as well. The full transplant done after mine was Charla Nash, the woman who was mauled by her friends chimpanzee. So any type of accident or condition that causes facial deformity can be fixed now and give a person back a normal appearance and a better quality of life.

It was hard over the last 10 years, seeing all the stares and hearing comments you wouldn't expect any human being to say, but I did what I was trained to do and soldiered on! Now I'm in a position to be an advocate for people who are in similar situations like I was before the transplant, give them that hope. I have a very big heart and love helping people in anyway I can."

For a little info on Mitch Hunter -
A whole new face: Transplant joy for hero soldier whose face was destroyed in car crash
Indiana Man Receives Nation's Third Full Face Transplant
Mitch Hunter: Second Full Face Transplant in U.S

Read here ---> Guest Bloggers ✦ <---- if you'd like to be a guest blogger =)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Staying Healthy and Active: A Great Stress Reliever (By: Kristin Wells - guest blogger)

As a military wife, it is hard to live your life as usual while having to deal with the knowledge that your husband is thousands of miles away in a foreign and dangerous country. It is common for women in this situation to suffer from problems with depression, anxiety and stress. However, leaving negative emotions unaddressed is well known to lead to things like heart problems, cancer, increased susceptibility to infection, weight gain, emotional eating habits and chronic fatigue.

Fortunately, keeping these negative feelings at bay is as simple as being physically active. Numerous scientific studies have found that people who exercise daily tend to be emotionally better adjusted and have fewer health problems than those who did no exercise at all. Besides making you feel better, physical activity will transform your appearance and give you something to surprise your husband with when he comes home! Here are some great exercises you can do to prevent negative feelings and how they help.

Weight-Bearing Exercise

Although the fitness world still has a way to go in regards to its opinions on women and weight lifting, it is a very beneficial type of exercise for several reasons. Primarily, it drives up levels of testosterone and dopamine, which promote feelings of confidence, relaxation and resilience. Growth hormone levels also increase, which helps your body burn fat and gain muscle more efficiently. A study by the AAOS has shown that women are more susceptible to bone loss than men and often times have to work harder to keep the bone density they currently have. Weight training can even make certain tasks easier to perform without a man's help by significantly increasing strength, stamina and energy.


Walking is a leisurely and relaxing way to exercise. If you route your walks through attractive areas, they can be a very therapeutic and soothing experience. Another great of walking is that it serves to boost your metabolism, which causes your body to burn fat even while you're resting. Going for a walk after meals is also very beneficial to mood and health. It stimulates digestion, which prevents heartburn as well as improving nutrient absorption. Having poor digestion could exacerbate a current stomach conditions, such as Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The more nutrients you absorb from food, the better you will feel because many of them are heavily involved in the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.


My personal favorite. Yoga could easily qualify as the best form of exercise to enhance your mood and benefit your health. It focuses on concentration and deep breathing, which help to soothe stress and anxiety. Many Mesothelioma cancer patients find Yoga to be an invaluable therapy in relieving anxiety associated with Chemo. Yoga also helps to keep you limber, as well as improving blood flow and muscle tone. It is also a low impact activity. Yoga was great for me because I hurt my knee on uneven payment when running last year, so Yoga was an activity I could still do regularly without exacerbating the problem. It was also great to stretch that area with Yoga regularly, which I believed cut my rehab time down considerably.

~Kristin Wells

Kristin Wells is a recent college graduate from The University of Georgia and an aspiring writer. She wants to make a difference in people's lives through her writing. Kristin also enjoys competitive cycling, running, and traveling as much as possible.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

WINNER of American Hero Clothing Giveaway for AWDIWH **Kandi Althouse**

Please excuse my sloppy handwriting..I was kinda scribbling lol

Congrats!! I will contact Kandi via FB ((So please make sure you check your "other" messages)) & I will let American Hero Clothing know as well =)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today is the day!! (weight loss/health)

Over the weekend I went and bought a treadmill. I was contemplating between a treadmill or elliptical, but I look at the elliptical in the gym and want to cry a friend (Thanks Kevin!) told me that I should pick what I enjoy doing and will keep me motivated. So, the treadmill won. =)

Yesterday, Darrell put it together for me (thanks babe!). Today will be the day I start using it =)

Last night, Darrell gave me an iPod touch and this morning I loaded some music on it so I can "get my jam on" while on the treadmill.

My daily goals for now:
*get on the treadmill for at least an hour a day
*keep track of my calories (between 1200 & 1600 a day) with my "lose it" app
*keep track of my exercise on the "lose it" app too
*I'll be doing sit-ups, push-ups, and weight/resistant exercises with the stuff I have at home. Once I make up my schedule, I will share it =)
*I will start using my Zumba fitness for the wii but this will be every other day

That's all for now lol

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Military Spouse of the Year - Vote for El Brown!

First El Brown had to win Army Spouse of the she has moved on to the Military Spouse of the year! There is a spouse from each branch - VOTE FOR MRS. EL BROWN =)

I now have the link for voting!

Dear Friends and Family!!!

I am in the running for 2012 Military Spouse of the Year. Anyone can vote, military affiliation is not required. Your vote and the votes of the people in your networks would help me tremendously in this rewarding personal and professional endeavor.

Please, visit my profile at , click "Vote", and register as a user. After you have created an account, you can visit my profile and vote once every 60 minutes.

Thank you in advance for your support. Your help will allow me to expand my efforts in advocating Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, and Parent Education in the military community.

My Campaign Video

With Gratitude,

El Brown, M.S.Ed., Chief Founding Mom
phone | vm: 831.383.9818

Friday, January 13, 2012

From El Brown - Nominee for Army Spouse of the Year 2012

Dear Fellow Military Spouses,

I am excited to announce that I am a top 5 finalist for Military Spouse Magazine’s Army Spouse of the Year. It is an honor to be recognized for my work in the military community and with military spouses and families. In addition to being a personal honor, this opportunity would provide a national platform to further the work that KinderJam is doing with military families with young children. KinderJam seeks to empower parents with the tools and resources needed to become their children’s first educator and greatest advocate. This skill set is especially important for military parents as we move frequently from duty station to duty station, with our children. These frequent moves require changes in pediatricians, teachers, counselors, therapists, and other service providers. Military parents would benefit greatly from additional training and access to training in the art of working with their young children at home and confidently articulating their children’s needs and progress while effective advocating for their children’s educationally and developmentally needs. A child’s time to learn is precious and should be maximized.

I have first hand experience on the importance of knowing a child’s needs and advocating effectively to ensure he has every opportunity for success. My precious son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I had to be skilled in keeping personal records and speaking confidently on my observations in order to quickly get my son the assistance he needed to maximize his personal potential. To God be the glory, he is flourishing!

Because I have been so open about my son’s diagnosis and the work my husband and I do with him, I have had tens of military parents reach out to me with concerns of their own about their children’s development. The concerns have ranged from ASD to separation anxieties. All the parents shared one common bond; they wanted to know how to best assist their child. I know with the utmost certainty based on the number of military parents who have reached out to me personally that there is a definite need for additional parent education in our community. The national platform of Military Spouse of the Year would further my reach as I continue to advocate for Early Childhood Education and Parent Education.

On Tuesday, voting will begin for the Army Spouse of the Year. If I receive the most votes from the public. I will move on the compete for Military Spouse of the Year. Anyone can vote and I need as many votes as possible. I will forward the link to vote, once it becomes available. I am asking for each of you to please pass on that link to your friends, family, and social network contacts.

I have found my passion and purpose in life. I will continue to advocate for Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, and Parent Education in the Military community, with or without a title. However, I recognize the potential of good that could be done for families outside of my immediate reach with the title of Military Spouse of the Year. Please help me by campaigning for votes for El Brown starting Tuesday, January 17th.

2012 Military Spouse of the Year

Please note I will provide the link for voting once Mrs. Brown sends it to me. Good luck El!

I now have the link for voting!

Dear Friends and Family!!!

I am in the running for 2012 Military Spouse of the Year. Anyone can vote, military affiliation is not required. Your vote and the votes of the people in your networks would help me tremendously in this rewarding personal and professional endeavor.

Please, visit my profile at , click "Vote", and register as a user. After you have created an account, you can visit my profile and vote once every 60 minutes.

Thank you in advance for your support. Your help will allow me to expand my efforts in advocating Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, and Parent Education in the military community.

My Campaign Video

With Gratitude,

El Brown, M.S.Ed., Chief Founding Mom
phone | vm: 831.383.9818

American Hero Clothing - a give-a-way for AWDIWH members!

American Hero Clothing is doing a give-a-way for the members of my page - AWDIWH - American Hero Clothing is looking to get the members of their Facebook Fan Page up to get the word out on their site.

Here is how the give-a-way will work...a few simple steps:

1. Go "like" American Hero Clothing
2. Write on the wall of American Hero Clothing - "AWDIWH sent me"
3. On Jan. 18, 2012, I will use "" to choose the winner of the give-a-way and the winner will receive any one clothing item in the "rhinestone in stock" of their choice.

I will keep track of who posts on American Hero Clothing's wall myself by writing the names down in the order they post and assigning them a number as I write them down... I will take a pic of the names with their number and I will take a pic of the drawing as well so everyone can see it for themselves.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Every woman should have a power tool!!

Reading the title, if you're anything like me, you might be thinking a little on the dirty side. Sadly, I'm not being perverted...not today lol

By power tools, I mean the kind you use to put things together around the house! Two days ago I decided I wanted a lamp in the front room, only I had no table to put it on. So when I went to Walmart, I saw a table/lamp and grabbed it. That was easy to put together. It took me about 20 minutes between doing the actual work and drinking my coffee.

While in Walmart, I also picked up a little "3 drawer chest"/dresser for Alexis. I was feeling kind of good that I put my first thing together so easily. Naturally, I'm thinking in my head, "I got this. When Darrell comes home I'll have it in Pookie's room and I can brag that I didn't need his help." know, all smug like in my head lol...well, putting that thing together was hell. It took me HOURS!! I started early in the day, like before noon... I didn't finish it completely until after dinner!

Let me be a baby for a second and say, "whaaaaaaaaaaaaa my frikkin' hands hurt!!" Okay, I got that out. LOL.. After only having the screws in the two sides, I had a blister on my middle finger...which my daughter doctored up with an "angry birds" band-aid.

I plan on getting the boys the 4 drawer ones, but this time I will have a power tool. I want to go buy it today but Darrell won't let me. He insists that he picks out the power tool because "you won't know what to get! and how's it look that you got a man at home and you're buying a power tool...that's a mans department"... okay hon, you be the big bad man and go get my damn power tool =) I'll just buy the furniture =)

My "masterpiece" -

((after the first step is when I needed my band-aid))

Side Note - I'm proud of myself!! I did it without asking Darrell to help me. I may be a "spoiled princess", as he said when I complained about my hands, but this "spoiled princess" got the job done! =)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Military Wives" reality show? Please say it ain't so!!

The headline is - ‘Military Wives’ seeks aspiring reality TV stars - on Army Times (click the title to read the article)

Now, I'm not totally against a reality show for military wives, but this one in particular, I am. From the article it says this will be from the "star maker" of MTV's "Jersey Shore"... need I say more? That show is full of so much crap and I can only imagine what he would do to a military wives show... Every single woman would fill a stereotype and make us look even worse...

...the cute young newlywed who cheats as soon as her husband deploys...
...the wife who spends all the deployment money on hair, nails, clothes and makeup while sending nothing to her husband...
...the catty nosey-body who is in everyone's business in the neighborhood and can tell you all the gossip from a 5 block radius...
...the wife in her mid twenties who is on her third military relationship...

I can just see it now. Military wives won't be looked at as strong, selfless and faithful ((which I believe the majority are)), but they will looked at as money grubbing floozies who talk too much and work too little... we will be the new joke.

If they follow through with making this show, I won't watch it. I refuse. /rant

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas Vacation 2011 - part 2 - New Jersey

The second part of our Christmas Vacation was spent in New Jersey with family. The kids had fun for the most part, but Richie was sick for about 3 days...poor kid. I got to briefly see my brother and I spent a few hours with my oldest bestie, Dawn (and her adorable kids). Besides my husbands parents, we also got to see my grandma, my Aunt and my cousin.

We ate out, played pool, jammed to some music on the record player...yes, records... my MIL played all kinds of old hits. Great music.

For New Years we went to the Country Club like we did last year. Had a wonderful time again with the hubs. He tried to get me to dance, but it didn't work out so well LOL

Now, I need a vacation from my vacation!! ((Sorry, no pics this time lol))

January - Thyroid Awareness Month - Fundraiser

Thyroid awareness is very important to me because I suffer from hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed about 3yrs ago and I don't know what's worse - not knowing what was wrong with me, or now knowing and struggling to get it under control.

Some signs I had (that I thought were just depression)-
*sleeping ALL THE TIME (like 18hrs a day)
*not eating
*freezing (think 90s in Texas and I'm wearing sweatshirts)
*really bad dry skin
*puffy face
*weight gain
*thinning hair
*brittle nails
*very low blood pressure
*low body temp

I didn't know that your thyroid controls every thing in your body. When my thyroid shut down, my body began to shut down with it.

To learn more about hypothyroidism (also search hyperthyroidism, the other spectrum) go here ---> Hypothyroidism, WebMD

Now, since I sell Scentsy, I'm going to use this to donate to the American Thyroid Association ---> American Thyroid Association

All of the money I make from the "Jan Thyroid Awareness Party" party I'm going to donate to the American Thyroid Association.

What's Scentsy you ask?
Basically, Scentsy is a wickless, flameless "candle". We have warmers in several sizes and designs to fit anyone and any decor with scented wax that is warmed in the top. We also have stick perfume, that I personally love, and Stuffed animals called Scentsy Buddies that kids love, including my own. So, if you love Scentsy and want to help the cause, now is a good time to order =) Plus we have the Bring Back my Bar this month for some awesome discontinued scents.

If you are interested in helping me raise money for thyroid awareness, order here:

If you would like to help but aren't interested in buying Scentsy, you can donate directly at - American Thyroid Association

Or...If you'd like the donation to go under my army wives site when I do the donation next month when I get paid, you can pay pal me personally with ""

I will keep records and keep track of everything and show proof of it all when I make the donation so that everyone can see what I did and know it was legit. =)