The Things That I Didn’t Expect

When I started up the blog again last summer I told myself that I wouldn’t let it fall to the wayside but I did. And there is one big reason that dictated it all and that is….

Yep - we're expecting - really soon! Photo by J. Hall

Yep – we’re expecting – really soon! Photo by J. Hall

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Making it through a screen-free week

As part of NextGen MilSpouse’s Make 2016 Your Bitch Challenge week nine was having a week of no screen evenings. Full disclosure: I wrote the article and took it on as a personal challenge since I may have a problem with FOMO and screen addiction. So James and I started our no screen week and here’s what we did…

I participated in the NextGen MilSpouse weekly podcast to talk about going screen-free. Let's just say this: the struggle was real. Listen now: http://bit.ly/1LLY5Kr

I participated in the NextGen MilSpouse weekly podcast to talk about going screen-free. Let’s just say this: the struggle was real. Listen now: http://bit.ly/1LLY5Kr

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Tips for Being Productive When You Work from Home

I have worked on and off from home for a few years. The first time I was telecommuting to a job across the country, the second I had flexibility at my job and worked from home to avoid traffic a few days a week, and for the last 7 months or so I’ve been doing freelance work, so my home is my office. I’ve talked about it a bit here when I reference my lack of writing on the blog – but it’s easy to get distracted at home. You’ve got your TV, chores, errands, bed…and I will admit that I am by no means an expert on this nor mastered the art of working from home – it’s a constant work in progress. But there are some things that help me be productive, so here we go!

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Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Tricare Benefits

So I have to say that one of my favorite benefits of this military life is the medical insurance aka Tricare. Care aside, because that varies by provider, it’s an absolutely amazing deal as an active duty family. Most companies charge far more for family members to be covered by insurance than we do as an Army family (we only pay for dental and that’s a very low price), so it’s a great benefit! But it can be tricky to manage aka what makes it not so great as the dependent. I have had some ups and downs with Tricare and I wanted to share what I’ve learned in these few years in hopes that it can help you!

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On the Presidential Debates

So we’re barely into February and we’ve had ohhhh a gagillion debates. Okay not that many but it’s a lot. The total is actually 13, not including town halls. And I’ve watched as many as I can. Admittedly, I’ve watched more of the republican debates because there have been more and they’ve been at times that I could watch. The democratic debates have largely been on weekends, and with only three candidates until this week running, they are not nearly as exciting. Anyway, after watching the debates as of lately I have noticed some major differences between the two parties and a lot of the candidates. Here are my thoughts:

My debate night bingo card is ready – is yours? Get yours at nextgenmilspouse.com #gopdebate #ngmsvote16

A photo posted by Jessica Hall (@jessicanicolehall) on

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Surviving 2 PCS moves in one year

Well last year was…fun. And again, sorry for the lack of posts, again life got crazy. Or maybe I love Netflix too much. I was doing some freelance work too though! And we moved…again. Yes, we moved twice in one year. I learned so much on these two moves that I really want to share with you some tips for success – and dealing with not-so-great outcomes (let’s just say move #2 did not go smoothly).

Us embarking on PCS #1 in 2015 with a packed car. Photo by J. Hall.

Us embarking on PCS #1 in 2015 with a packed car. Photo by J. Hall.

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Register today for the Military Spouse Wellness Summit

In just two weeks the first ever Military Spouse Wellness Summit will be happening online and you should attend! Here’s the scoop”

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My Take: The 2nd Republican Debate

The Presidential election is more than a year away but we’ve already had two debates for the Republicans. Only one of the 16 candidates seems to have dropped out so far (Rick Perry), but the others, well we’ll see who drops next. I was able to watch all of the early debate (with the bottom 4 candidates) and about half of the full debate. We had dinner plans with friends from out of town so couldn’t cancel, and while I at first wanted to push it back to later in the night to catch the whole debate, I’m glad I didn’t since it lasted another 1.5 hours after I turned it off (in the parking lot of the restaurant).

Anyway, a reader and fellow liberal milspouse asked me what my thoughts were, so I thought I would share with you!

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A semi-DIY Bridal Shower

Last month I celebrated my best friend’s impending nuptials with a bridal shower and bachelorette party in our hometown of Phoenix. We had a great time! My mom and I co-hosted the shower and when we started planning, I took to Pinterest to find ideas for decor and game ideas. I looked into buying a few of the ideas but it was expensive so instead I got crafty.

The completed tassel garland

The completed tassel garland

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My Favorite At-Home Workouts

I have never enjoyed working out. I grew up dancing, so my favorite work outs involve a class of people and a teacher motivating me. When I walk into the gym the various machines intimidate me. The weight room scares me. When I have successfully worked out for long periods of time as an adult, I have had friends to push me to go. Or I really loved the work out, which was the case for the last year or so in Washington – I LOVED my barre and Pilates classes at a local studio. I was really sad to leave it when we moved, and even more upset when I realized that there were no barre or Pilates classes in the area around Fort Huachuca. The closest studio was an hour away. So it was time to research what I could do at home or the local gym on my own.

My at-home gym. Photo by J. Hall.

My at-home gym. Photo by J. Hall.

Here are my favorites so far:

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