Friday, May 29, 2015

What Exactly Is Homes For Heroes?

If you've been following the blog, you might have seen me mention the Homes For Heroes Program a few times. This year, my team leader (and Mom), Lisa Scales was recognized as the #1 Homes for Heroes Affiliate for 2014. Basically, that means she gave away a butt-load of money to our Military, Clergy, First Responder, Medical, and Teacher clients!

So what is Homes For Heroes? We did a super fun interview a few weeks ago to explain just that, which I've embedded below.


Interested in taking advantage of this awesome program? Contact me below! Or register with us on www.LisaScalesTeam.com.

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat
What to do
Where to live

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Not Another "How To Stay Busy" Blog Post!


Okay. So this was supposed to be another one of those "ten ways to stay occupied while your Soldier is away" posts. Mine was recently in the field for about three weeks and he'll have to be gone for another few weeks towards the end of this year. There were several things I did specifically to keep myself from going crazy with boredom and I was going to recount them for you here. I seriously got about three paragraphs in and then I just stopped. Why? I guess I decided the Internet does not need another "ways to keep busy" post.

Not that I'm hating on those types of blog posts and articles. I've read a few and probably posted a few on the Live Love Military Life Facebook page. But something about actually sitting down to write this one gave me pause. It just seems like, sometimes, those posts make it seem like, we, as military wives have nothing else going on in our lives except our husbands. Many of us have full-time jobs (inside and outside of the home) are raising kids, have social lives, hobbies and all the other things that constitute an actual life. Though well-intentioned, posts like that always seem to assume that when hubby's away, we're completely lost and need activities to keep us from going crazy or getting into trouble. What my grade school teachers used to call "busy work".

If you're a wife (or husband!) that finds these articles helpful, please don't take this the wrong way. I am by no means trying to insult you or make you feel silly for enjoying reading them. And I know some of the ideas can be helpful or inspiring when you're six months into a year and 1/2 long deployment and feeling a little nuts. Perhaps it's just me and the fact that my post was going to be based largely on my experience with the hubby being away for only up to about 3 or 4 weeks at a time (we haven't yet jumped the deployment hurdle). It almost came off condescending, like I was writing for a small child. The whole, "how to cope while Mommy and Daddy are gone" thing. So I'd love to hear from my readers? Do you find the "ways to keep busy" posts helpful? Irritating? Sound off below!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (I tried Caviar for the first time here!)
What to do
Where to live
Where to eat

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Fort Stewart Cheat Sheet!

tips for those moving to fort stewart

So a few weeks ago, I posted about the six things you need to do/ locate at all new duty stations. It occurred to me that it might be helpful to point out those things for anyone new or PCSing to Fort Stewart. (If you're reading this and you're already here, I encourage you to add your own tips!) So here goes:

Available Housing
That's an easy one. You can check out our website for a comprehensive and ever-current list of homes available both for sale and for rent (higher BAH rates mean most folks opt for off-post living). If you're planning on sticking around a while and have time to build, consider new construction. You can pick out your plan and neighborhood and you won't start your monthly payments until the home is actually complete and you've closed.

Shopping
As far as grocery shopping, Hinesville features the usual suspects; Walmart, Kroger, and a relatively new Food Lion off of E.G. Miles Pkwy. We also have a small (but awesome!) health food store, Farmers Natural Foods. And, there's a Parks Korean Grocery which is located right outside of Gate 1 next to Pizza Hut.

Looking to improve your Summer wardrobe? (Or Winter or Spring or whenever you're reading this). We do have a well-stocked Cato in the Walmart plaza. Other than that, you'll want to check out the two malls in Savannah, Oglethorpe and the Savannah Mall (both off the main drag, Abercorn). You'll also find a Marshall's, Kohls, and TJ Maxx. When you're ready, venture down town for even more shopping, including a Free People, Urban Outfitters, Kate Spade, and Marc Jacobs. And of course, can't forget our newest addition, the Tanger Outlet Mall located about 40 minutes out, right off of I-16. (I'm kind of a shopping addict. Can you tell?)

Trustworthy Service Providers
An awesome reason to check out the area Facebook groups. You can easily get opinions on any car repair shop, handyman, photographer, etc. Also check out our Chamber of Commerce. And feel free to request a Welcome Packet on our website. We always include information about local businesses; restaurants, service providers, etc.

Hospital, Police Station, and other Important Locations
If you're Military, you'll know the easiest access hospital would be Winn Army Community Hospital, located on Fort Stewart just a few blocks from the main gate. There's also the Liberty Regional Medical Center which they tell me has plans to expand throughout Hinesville. Check out our city website for information on our police and fire stations (you'll need to know the location of the latter if you're purchasing a home and applying for Homeowner's Insurance).

School Research
Greatschools.org is a super helpful website to check out the ratings for the schools in Hinesville as well as surrounding areas you may be considering for your family like Ludowici, Midway, and Richmond Hill. And some of the wives groups on Facebook are perfect forums to get others' experiences and opinions.

Fun Stuff to Do!
Okay, so I feel like Hinesville gets a bad rap as far as the whole "nothing to do" thing. In my opinion, there are always events, festivals, etc.; you just have to know where to look. Check out the Hinesville Public Relations Facebook page for up-to-date info on area invents. And watch this blog too, I always try to post about upcoming events. If you're into the whole nature thing, we've got the beautiful Holbrook Pond right off of Hwy 144, perfect for picnicking, taking the dogs for a walk, or just a few hours in the sun. There's also the recently opened Bryant Commons which features tons of walking trails, a gazebo for shade, and a dog park which they'll be expanding in the next few months. We also have the Farmer's Market which convenes every Thursday from 4-7pm in Bradwell Park (across the street from the Police Department) during the Spring and Summer months.

If you don't mind a bit of a drive, there are beaches (Tybee, Hilton Head, and Jekyll Island to name a few), countless festivals, tours, and events most weekends in Savannah. My favorite thing about being stationed here is how centrally located Hinesville is. We're relatively close to Jacksonville, Atlanta, Charleston, etc.

So there you are. Everything you ever wanted to know about Fort Stewart. More questions? Feel free to ask below!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat (the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth!)
What to do
Where to live
Where to shop

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

So, What's The Deal With Personal Trainers?

choose the right trainer for your needs

Brace yourselves, folks. Bikini season is coming. In my quest to get rid of the lb's I gained from my indulgence over the holidays (and, let's face it, probably a few 'happy wife' pounds in there as well!) I've been considering working with a personal trainer. The hook? Personal trainers are, well, personal. They work specifically with you at your fitness level and can design programs around where you are currently and where you want to be. Some even help with nutrition and meal planning. And all will give you that extra kick in the butt a few times a week, hold you accountable, and make you stick with the plan even when you're ready to give in and swing by McDonalds. I figure I could use a little "tough love" now a days. But how to even go about finding the right trainer?



That's where Will, Savannah and Richmond Hill based trainer at 24 Seven Fitness comes in. I met with him a few days ago to get the skinny (no pun intended!) on what to look for in the perfect personal trainer (yep, that's a tongue twister).


The most important thing? Certification! Will, who has been working in gyms since the age of 18 and has been certified for last 17 years tells me asking about your trainer's certifications are the best way to know if they actually know enough to help you. And how your trainer has achieved that certification may matter as well. While you can get most of the necessary credentials online; there is sometimes a difference between the online versions and multi-day seminars where you meet with other professionals and actually put what you're learning into practice. Some good ones to look out for? Any ACE (American Council on Exercise) or AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates) certs are good. Will recommends a good CrossFit certification as well.


You'll also want to meet with your trainer for a trial interview before agreeing to work with him or her full time. You want to make sure your personalities will mesh well and your trainer will also want to get a feel for what you're hoping to get out of a specific session. It's also good to establish schedules, payment plans, etc. Will, for example, is a take-no-prisoners, hardcore trainer. He DOESN'T sugarcoat anything and will call out any client whom he feels is not pushing towards his or her true potential. He acknowledges, though, that some clients will require a softer touch, which is why he has several other trainers that work on his team each to meet a different set of needs and work with specific personalities. (I note that I, for one, have what the old folks call a 'thin skin' and would most certainly need someone to sugarcoat!)

So, I know what you're thinking. Just a few months ago, I was all excited about home training systems and free online workouts. And I still am. I love the flexibility of getting up in the mornings, throwing on a sports bra and going to town. Will isn't necessarily against using training videos at home as "homework". But let's be real, there isn't a whole lot of accountability when you're training by yourself. The beauty of working with a personal trainer is having someone to answer to at least a few times a week. Knowing I'll have to explain why I skipped yesterday's workout for an extra hour of sleep would certainly get me out of bed in the mornings! If you're reading this and you've been mulling over the idea of working with a trainer, I say take the plunge! And if you're already working with one or have worked with one in the past, tell me about it below!

Hinesville Lifestyle
Where to eat
Where to live
What to do (perfect way to get in some exercise and learn about the city's history all at once!)

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