Monday, November 7, 2016

New Store Alert!

Looking for cool places to shop in Hinesville and Fort Stewart? Searching for fun options are that on trend but won't kill your wallet? You're in the right spot, because I'm SUPER excited to announce that the B. Effortless Holiday Pop Up Shop is HERE!

Hinesville places to shop

Throughout the upcoming holiday season, we'll be hosting several pop ups and participating in local events throughout the community. You'll get a chance to preview new inventory (that means you'll get to shop new pieces BEFORE my online customers) and participate in our giveaway (we're giving away a B. Effortless gift certificate. Our first pop up shop is this Saturday and Sunday from 12-4pm and will feature our brand new Tis The Season Gift Wall (fun, unique gifts for the fashionista in your life. Or... you know, yourself!). With beautiful pieces in sizes up to 3X, I promise you'll find something you love. Don't forget to RSVP and if you can't make it? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Check our website and Instagram page where pieces will go live the week after each pop up(:

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (super yummy buffet and located just off post!)
What to do (that's easy! Come see me at the Pop Up!)
Where to live

Friday, May 20, 2016

4 Ways to Celebrate Military Appreciation Month

In my last post, I mentioned I was working on a post suggesting ways to celebrate military appreciation month. Well, here it is! I realize that the month of May is just about over, but I think these suggestions are still timely, as it's always nice to celebrate and recognize our armed forces whether the month is designated for it or not. So, here goes:

Visit A Local Museum or Monument
Why not express your appreciation by educating yourself on the history surrounding the military or remembering our Veterans and soldiers who have lost their lives? We're not, by any means, what you'd call a "super military" family, but I'd still like my kid to be aware of what her dad fights and stands for as she grows up. If you're stationed at Fort Stewart or at Hunter Army Airfield, you can check out Old Fort Jackson near Savannah or The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler. Up for a road trip? Why not visit the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning (about four hours from Fort Stewart) which features the live Last 100 Yards exhibit that pays homage to infantry soldiers?

Date Night/ Couples Time With Your Soldier
On a more personal level, you could take this time to show appreciation to your own soldier and spend time together, just the two of you. I am, admittedly, a little obsessed with date night at this time in my life; we're lucky enough to live close to my folks so we try to spend time together without little mama at least once a month. Suggestions for a great date night in Savannah? Belford's on City Market (looove their bread pudding) or Treylor Park on River Street (interesting, unique dishes and yummy cocktails).

Adopt a Soldier
Let's not forget about our soldiers who are serving overseas away from their families. I went to create a link for this section and realized there are TONS of sites dedicated to showing a little love to our armed forces serving outside the country and even those single soldiers serving right here in the U.S. Awesome! Check it out HERE, HERE, HERE or HERE.

How WE'RE Celebrating
My team is celebrating the month by giving away mugs, t-shirts, and other swag to soldiers and their families this weekend. If you live in the area, come on out to Hartford Estates (off of Shaw Road on the right-hand side) this weekend from 1pm to 3pm. Check out our Facebook page for more info!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat
What to do
Where to live
Where to shop

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May Obsessions!

I'm a little late, but there's still time to enjoy everything the month of May has to offer!

National Military Appreciation Month!
Last week was the month of the military child, this month, it's all about the soldier! Confession time: this is the first I've ever heard of this month BUT it's apparently not a new thing. In 1999, the U.S. Senate passed legislation designating May as the month to appreciate currently serving soldiers as well as Veterans. So basically, it's as official as it gets, folks. I'm working on a post right now about how to celebrate the month with your own soldier; (watch this space!) in the meantime, check out these posted in 2014 (still very relevant!)
Confession time part two: I am the world's biggest shop-a-holic! So when my cousin sent me an invite to her online pop-up boutique for Lularoe leggings, dresses, and skirts, I jumped at the chance to indulge in some good old retail therapy. I grabbed a pair of leggings and an awesome dress, and let me tell you, those leggings are some of the softest, most comfortable pairs around (even better than my Victoria's Secret which are basically my standbys). You can't shop Lularoe through their website (though you can read up on the company's creator, DeAnne Stidham; her story is super inspiring) so if you're interested in purchasing, you'll want to catch a pop-up boutique either on Facebook or in person. PS: I am not a company spokesperson of any kind, wasn't paid for this mention, but, you know, if they want to send me free clothes, I'll gladly accept(;
(photo courtesy of
This Friday from 7-10pm at the Foxy Loxy Café (LOOVE that name!) FREE! Aspiring comics, it's a little late to submit your bit, but stand-up lovers, you're just in time for a fun night. Sounds like a great idea for Girls Night, right?
Outdoor Pools are Open On Post!
For anyone looking to cool off without having to drive out to Hilton Head or Tybee, the outdoor pools on Fort Stewart and Hunter will be open starting this Saturday, the 28th. Both Corkan here at Fort Stewart and the Hunter Outdoor Pool on Hunter Army Airfield will be open Thursdays through Mondays from 11am-6pm. Admission is $3 a person (kids under 4 are FREE) and guests are allowed as long as they're accompanied by an ID card holder.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

In Celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week

teacher recognition

So you may have heard that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Designated in 1953 by the National Parent Teacher Asssociation with the first Tuesday set aside for Teacher Day, this week is all about recognizing and appreciating the hard work that goes into educating our children every day. Little mama is only three months old, so we're a ways away from personally recognizing teachers (if you're looking for ways to show your appreciation, check HERE or HERE) but I wanted to take the time to remember my favorite teacher, Ms. Cowles.

Ms. Cowles taught sixth grade English at Wuerzburg American Middle School when we were stationed in Germany and she was AMAZING! You know that teacher that helped you learn to appreciate Math or nurtured your love for science experiments? Mrs. Cowles was that teacher for me. I was this shy kid who loved to read, loved to write, and once she discovered that, she strongly encouraged both passions. She would suggest books for me to read and even helped me submit a short story I'd written for class in a writing competition for kids at Wuerzburg and the surrounding bases. Though it was a super fun experience (they had workshops that you could attend for creative writing) I didn't win and I remember my Mom told me Ms. Cowles was genuinely upset on my behalf; she swore with an almost maternal intensity that mine had been the best short story submitted.

We were assigned an especially memorable project that year; we had to create a scrapbook with pictures and stories detailing our lives up to that point. I think everyone else was crying about how much work it would be, but my Mom and I had so much fun with that project! We gathered tons of pictures and she regaled me with hilarious stories about me and my siblings that she thought might be fun to put in the book. I think that was most enjoyable homework assignment I've had. And later, during my Senior year when my AP English teacher assigned a similar project for our class, I was already prepared and knew what to expect!

Several years ago, I reconnected with Ms. Cowles on Facebook. I can tell from her Facebook posts that she's still the kind of teacher that makes learning fun and encourages her students to explore their interests and widen their horizons. Now, with a kid of my own, I appreciate my sixth grade experience even more and fervently hope that my little lady will have similar teachers throughout her scholastic experience. Remember to take the time to appreciate your kids' teachers not just during this week, but throughout the year, ESPECIALLY if they're anything like Ms. Cowles. Having had the pleasure myself, I can tell you that a teacher that good is not only a rarity but definitely a game-changer as far as how your kids view learning and teachers in general. 

Do you have a positive teacher-student experience you'd like to share? Sound off below!

Hinesville Lifestyle

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April Obsessions

april events hinesville fort stewart

Without further ado, what I'm obsessing over this month:

Military Kids!
So you probably already know by now, April is the Month of The Military Child. As a former military brat and the mother of a newly minted military brat, I love that April is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating military kids! Navigating adolescence and puberty is hard enough but when you add moving around every 3-5 years? You're definitely bound to have some growing pains. Luckily for me and my siblings, my parents were awesome and understanding and we came out okay. Looking for ways to celebrate your own military child? Check out seventeen super cool ideas HERE.

No Pass Needed
If you're new to the blog and stationed here at Fort Stewart, you may want to check out my previous post, the first installment of my No Pass Needed series. Several times a month, I see questions on the Fort Stewart Facebook groups from wives looking for ways to spend last-minute four-days or day trips with visiting family members. So I thought it'd be fun (as well as an excuse to travel, which I love) to check out a new city/ town every few weeks and detail our experiences. Suggestions for new places to visit or want to share your own experiences? Comment below!
Wine. Slushies.
I didn't even know these were a thing until we visited The Winey Wench at the mall in Jacksonville. I am currently obsessed, so, naturally, I had to research where I could get them here at home. Turns out you can make your own; super yummy recipes HERE and HERE. I haven't yet discovered a spot in Savannah to purchase one, so if you know of a shop or restaurant, please share!

#NoFilterNeeded Kids Photo Contest
Speaking of ways to celebrate your military kid, why not encourage him or her to enter Liberty County's current kids only photo contest? Pics must be taken here in Liberty County and submitted by the 6th of May so there's still plenty of time! 1st place will win a $100 Walmart gift card while 2nd and 3rd runners-up will receive goody bags from the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau (LCCVB).

The Carnival is Here!
In the mood for junk food and fun rides? Look no further than the Fort Stewart Carnival, running this coming Thursday through Sunday (check Facebook page for times). If you're reading this and not affiliated with the military, you can still enjoy! Just enter through the main gate (the one by Wok n Roll and Baldinos) and have your photo ID, registration, and proof of insurance ready. Pets, coolers, outside food, and glass bottles are prohibited.

So there you have it, everything I'm excited about this month. What are you freaking out over? Share below!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (the ultimate remedy for even the sweetest of teeth)
What to do (look no further than this post!)
Where to live

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

No Pass Needed Series-- Jacksonville

So if you follow this blog regularly, you've probably noticed that I've been missing in action for a few months. Well, I was busy creating life; this February, we welcomed an adorable baby girl to our family. She's our first as well as the first grandbaby on both sides, so you can imagine how spoiled she is already! Anyway, so that leads me to the subject of this post: Jacksonville. We never got the chance to go on what they call a "babymoon", so we decided to spend the little lady's first Easter in Jacksonville. A few times a week, a new wife in one of my Facebook groups asks about things to do near Fort Stewart besides in Hinesville and Savannah. And since Jacksonville is about 115 miles away and, therefore, on the list of cities that don't require the soldiers here at Fort Stewart to request a pass, I thought it might be fun to detail our experience as part of my "No Pass Needed" series.

So, first things first, where we stayed. It came down to a choice between the Sawgrass Marriott (where we attended a marriage retreat the year before last) and the Omni Hotel in downtown Jacksonville (where we spent our honeymoon). Both hotels are beautiful and both offer a military discount, but the Omni's discount beat out the Marriott's so that's where we decided to stay. The Omni is located right across the way from Jacksonville Landing and just a few blocks from the San Marco neighborhood which is home to some amazing restaurants. Our stay was awesome; all of the hotel staff was friendly and extremely helpful. The room was nice-sized, and the food was pretty good too (our first morning there, we ordered room-service instead of venturing out to find breakfast; a nice healthy serving of omelet and the biggest, fluffiest, sweetest pancakes I've had in a while). Everyone, from the guy at the front desk to the valet had suggestions for fun things to do in the area as well as great places to eat without even asking which I thought was a nice.

budweiser brewery tour
Taking a look at the HUGE assembly line behind the scenes. It took up the entire room!!
Okay, so what we did. Like I said, we've been to Jacksonville before, but with a newborn joining us we weren't able to enjoy the nightlife like we normally would. So, we had to find other things to entertain us that were still baby friendly. (turns out, there's a lot; she was only seven weeks at the time, and a pretty easy guest). Friday after breakfast, we wondered around Jacksonville Landing for a few hours. I think it's more of a nighttime area; it was pretty quiet and sparsely populated accept for a few other families with young kids like us. But a nice walk, nonetheless. After that, we headed over to the Budweiser Brewery (I didn't even know there was a Budweiser brewery in Jacksonville until I looked it up!) for a tour. Unfortunately, the guided tour ($10 for adults, $5 for kids) was cancelled for the day BUT turns out you can take your own unguided tour for FREE! Who knew? So, after accepting a complimentary plastic cup of beer upon entering, we wondered around the brewery, read the various plaques posted throughout the building detailing Budweiser's brewing process and just enjoyed the afternoon. By the way, I feel like Budweiser gets a lot of flack from so-called beer aficionados but their brewing process is actually pretty involved. I've never had a can of Bud but, straight from the tap, it was pretty good!

Note: if you're planning a trip to the brewery and want the whole experience, consider taking the Brewmaster Tour. These are $30 a person and have to be booked a few days in advance, but they're way more behind-the-scenes then the free version.

moxie appetizers
Super yummy app at Moxie: pimiento cheese toast!
Planning a trip to Jacksonville and wondering where to eat? Oh my God, where to even start! My favorite spot was Moxie, located in the St. Johns Town Center (an awesome spot with great shopping and unique, fun restaurants). Be sure to make reservations; they're apparently a really popular restaurant and we only got in by the skin of our teeth. It was a nice afternoon so we agreed to sit at their downstairs patio. It. Was. Amazing. I had the chicken and waffles (which I never order, but the waiter made it sound so yummy!) which featured dollops of a kind of mousse made from maple syrup and cream and a crazy good sweet pepper drizzle. The hubby enjoyed the croissant bread pudding at BB's (a cute little place just blocks from our hotel in the San Marco neighborhood.)

A few other attractions to keep in mind if you're visiting Jacksonville:

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
We didn't get a chance to visit because it was raining (we checked out The Avenues mall instead where I tasted my first pink moscato slushie) but we'll get to it one of these days. $18 for adults, $13 for kids with a 10% military discount. Upcoming events include the Party For the Planet and Citizen Science Day on the 16th of April and the 2016 Garden and Wine Festival on April 30th and May 1st.

Jacksonville "Hands On" Children's Museum
We can't wait until the little lady is old enough to enjoy this museum! Tickets are super cheap: $4 ages 1-3, $5.50 for everyone else.

St. Augustine!
Basically a weekend trip all by itself. If you don't mind the 30-45 minute drive outside the city, St. Augustine is a lovely, historic town (kind of reminds me of downtown Savannah) featuring cute little shops, interesting eateries and, of course, ghost tours for those brave enough to partake. You can take a sunrise or moonrise tour at the Saint Augustine Lighthouse and Museum (enjoy hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and breathtaking views). Or you can visit Marineland Dolphin Adventures for a look at the dolphins doing what they do (basically being adorable). General admission is $13 for adults, $8 for kids. For a more up close and personal experience, $35 will buy an opportunity to feed and pet the dolphins (sign me up!!)

Have you visited Jacksonville? Share your favorite haunts below!

Hinesville Lifestyle (the Jacksonville Edition)
Where to eat (Dude. Salted caramel pancakes. Need I say more?)
What to do (Beside what's mentioned in this post? Check out the city's calendar of events)
Where to live
Where to shop (in case you need new clothes for your upcoming trip)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Transitioning and Retired Soldiers: How to Take Advantage of Your Benefits!

Unless you're new to the blog, you already know that I'm a real estate agent who works with a ton of soldiers because of our proximity to Fort Stewart. Some of those soldiers are retired or transitioning and it might surprise you to know just how many of them are completely clueless on how to take advantage of their retirement benefits. That's why I'm super excited to inform you guys on a class we're sponsoring this Saturday, basically everything a soldier in the Army could think of to ask about veteran benefits and how they work.

If you're stationed here at Fort Stewart or even out at Hunter you're in luck; the class will be this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Savannah Technical College. Stationed somewhere else or reading this from overseas? Read on because I got to meet with the guy actually teaching the class, Charles Ivory, for a little sneak peek!

retirement benefits getting out of the Army

So a little background on Charles: he retired from the Army in 2012 and currently works on post as an advisor to those looking to maximize they're benefits (so basically, he knows what he's talking about). Charles' number one piece of advice? Take advantage of what's available to you as a current OR retired soldier. Meaning, take the time to meet with advisors like him, (they're at every base, not just here at Fort Stewart) to get the skinny on what benefits are available for you specifically. A few more tips Charles shared with me:

Benefits Are Available For Most Soldiers Whether You're Doing The Full Twenty Or Not
Don't think that just because you're getting out of the Army before putting in the "full twenty" that there are no benefits for you take advantage of. While twenty years earns you the most benefits, there are a few that are available after putting in just a few years of service.

You CAN Still Share Your Educational Benefits With Your Kids
This one was especially important to me, since my husband is still considering when to get out and we just had a baby girl. Charles says it's called a Retention Tool; those interested in this option must have a minimum of six years in and be willing to do an additional four.

You Don't Have To Wait Until You're Officially Retired Or On Terminal Leave To Start The Process
You can take advantage of a number of perks, like DoD Skill Bridge (assists with entering or re-entering the civilian workforce), and career and education benefits and apply for Disability as early as six months before you begin your transition. Others, like using your zero-down home loan, you can take advantage of whether you're transitioning or not.

Have I piqued your interest? Meet us at Savannah Tech (Liberty Campus, here in Hinesville) this Saturday and see what Charles has to say. If you've got specific questions, Charles is bringing along a few other advisors for one-on-one's as well. See you there!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (recently discovered this place; their seafood nachos will change your life!)
What to do ($30 before April 11, $40 after)
Where to live