Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

May 25, 2017

This post is brought to you by Walmart and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

America has a great respect for its servicemembers, whether active or veterans.
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And rightfully so. They fought for our country and should be treated like the heroes they are. Those who are active get scra military benefits to help them get interest rate reduction on home mortgages, eviction prevention, and many other things. Veterans also get certain perks to be thanked for their service. However, not everyone makes it back which is why it’s important to celebrate Memorial Day.

Millions of American’s each year celebrate Memorial Day, and too often people forget the real reason why they get the day off. It is often confused with Veteran’s Day or some people find it difficult to think about losing a loved one during military conflict. Unfortunately, since 2001 almost 7,000 military service members have died in military service. Over 1 million servicemembers in total have died during U.S. military conflicts. Memorial Day was meant to honor all of the servicemembers who died during active military service. I’m sharing just a few of the many ways to celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who have lost their lives during military service.

Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

What are your plans for Memorial Day this year? Many people hold holiday cookouts or get-togethers. I’ll be honest; despite the fact that I’m a veteran and I come large family of veterans, often we don’t celebrate Memorial Day like we should.
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My family has been exceptionally fortunate that we haven’t lost any immediate family members during military service.

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Here are a few important facts that I would like to share about veterans:

  • Each year nearly 400,000 military servicemembers will be discharged and return to civilian life, according to the Department of Defense. Many of those individuals will have difficulty transitioning back to civilian life and utilizing services that are meant to help them find work.
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  • There were nearly 450,ooo unemployed veterans in the United States according to the Department of Labor. The majority of those individuals were between 18 and 44 years of age. Unfortunately, not all military training is relevant in the civilian world, and veterans have to return to school or seek vocational education before finding gainful employment.

Here are a few ways to celebrate Memorial Day:

  • Consider a donation to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). The TAPS organization offers assistance to families who lost a loved one on active military duty. This year Walmart is giving a $100,000 donation to the TAPS organization so that they can help surviving family members through Casework and Emergency Assistance Programs.
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  • Consider donating your time or financial assistance to another organization that supports surviving family members of military members who died in the line of duty.
  • Visit a wounded veteran, veterans hospital, or veterans nursing home (always ask any Veterans facility about their visitation or volunteer policy). I’ve taken my son to the local veterans nursing home to help pass out fresh flowers and flags. Some veterans receive very few visitors and appreciate something as simple as conversation. We’ve played checkers or other board games, and I enjoyed it as much as the veteran did. It’s important that we care for our elder veterans who may be in a vulnerable state while in a nursing home and could even be subject to neglect if their situation is not monitored by loved ones. If there does appear to be a breach of the standard of care then relatives may want to reach out to lawyers in their area to see what steps to follow in light of this. Regardless of whether they are a veteran or not, elder neglect is something that should be called out and combatted at every given opportunity.
  • Make a care package for a military service member or veteran that you know.
  • Consider donating time or financial assistance to one of the following organizations that assist military members, military families, or veterans:

One of the simplest ways to support a veteran farmer is to look for the Homegrown by Heroes label on locally grown produce. Several products from our farm carry the Homegrown by Heroes label, and veterans need to have applied to the program and have their military service verified to be part of the program.

You can help military families find resources available to them.

Here are a few programs that Walmart has to offer:

  • Walmart’s Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store or Club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by Walmart and Sam’s Club who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the United States military.
  • In 2014, Walmart doubled a $20 million commitment to support veterans and their families with assistance for programs that provide job training, transition help, and education, through 2019.
  • Walmart seeks to support veterans and showcase the value they bring to the workforce and our communities through initiatives such as Hiring our Heroes, Greenlight A Vet, and the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business.
  • Four years ago, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, which guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty, with a goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020.
  • As of now, Walmart has hired more than 170,000 veterans, and more than 22,000 have been promoted to jobs with greater responsibility.

Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

What do you have planned for Memorial Day? Does your family celebrate the same way each year? I hope that you’ve found these suggestions for ways to celebrate Memorial Day helpful and I’d love to know if you have any suggestions of your own.

Tips for Choosing Healthier Snack Options

January 20, 2017
healthier snack options

“This post was sponsored by Weight Watchers as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

In honesty, this was the first New Year that began for me without a diet. I’m pregnant; the only goals that I set for myself was to gain a healthy amount of weight for my pregnancy and to eat less processed, more nutritious foods. Finding healthier snack options can be tricky. It’s easy to run to a vending machine or to a box in the cabinet to grab a snack when you’re hungry. It takes planning and forethought to snack intentionally. Today I’m sharing some tips for choosing healthier snack options such as Weight Watchers Light Mozzarella String Cheese, and how I’m eating with more intention.

healthier snack options Continue reading Tips for Choosing Healthier Snack Options

Less Of A Data Dilemma With Walmart Family Mobile

January 29, 2016
less of a data dilemma with walmart family mobile

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

We’re almost always on the go. Gabe participates in theatre, basketball, baseball, and two seasons a year of soccer. One day I started to calculate the amount of time we spend waiting on a practice to start, and it quickly adds up. I’ve been trying to maximize my time, by working and helping Gabe get his homework done. If you don’t have an available Wi-Fi connection, do you have a data dilemma? When you’re away from Wi-Fi and you don’t have a large data plan, cellphone bills can quickly add up. You can have less of a data dilemma with Walmart Family Mobile’s latest plan which includes unlimited talk, text, and data with 10G of 4G LTE data.

Continue reading Less Of A Data Dilemma With Walmart Family Mobile

Chicken Cashew Salad with Orange Sesame Ginger Dressing

January 25, 2016
chicken cashew salad with orange sesame ginger dressing

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc.
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and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#FrozenFromScratch #CollectiveBias

We’re currently still buried under nearly two feet of snow in southern Kentucky, which is pretty crippling for southerners. We got a decent amount of snow on Wednesday, but early Friday morning we were slammed by winter storm Jonas. In preparation for hibernation, we made an obligatory run to our local Walmart on Thursday night; the parking lot looked like it did on Black Friday. If I didn’t desperately need a few things, I wouldn’t have gone in.
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I really wanted to make Chicken Cashew Salad with Orange Sesame Ginger Dressing to share with my readers, since the Chinese New Year is quickly approaching. When we arrived the store had about 4 loaves of a bread left, and in the midst of the chaos I forgot to get chicken breast. I’m not entirely sure there was any fresh chicken left. I convinced myself on the ride back home that I had a bag of frozen chicken, but instead I had 3 frozen whole chickens. I decided to forego the chicken altogether, and share the recipe anyhow; just remember–you can always put the chicken back in. The highlight of the Chicken Cashew Salad with Orange Sesame Ginger Dressing, is the homemade dressing. It also makes a lovely dipping sauce, and chicken is delicious marinated in it. My leftover dressing is going on a whole roasted chicken later today.  Continue reading Chicken Cashew Salad with Orange Sesame Ginger Dressing

Cowboy Cookies Recipe

December 16, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiftingAMemory #CollectiveBias

Santa’s Little Helper, aka my son Gabe, has been helping me Christmas shop for Christmas presents this year. He had a few people on his list that he wanted to “buy” his own presents for. Two of those people were my grandparents. Gabe and I stayed with them briefly following my divorce, and he thinks they hung the moon. We ran to Walmart to get supplies for Christmas cookies and pick up a few gifts for him to wrap. My future chef loves to help me in the kitchen and to create his own recipes. He said he wanted to make caramel and chocolate cookies to put in treat boxes to go with his gifts, so I happily obliged. When I asked him what he wanted to call them, he said Cowboy Cookies because they look like cowboy hats. I’m not sure they look that much like cowboy hats, but they’re definitely delicious. I caught his back turned, and sprinkled some sea salt on the tops of each one.

cowboy cookies

Continue reading Cowboy Cookies Recipe

Homemade Tomato Soup

November 18, 2015

This post is sponsored by Acorn Influence, however all opinions are entirely my own. #TheHolidayBox 

Each year we put out an abundance of tomato plants in our garden, with several unique varieties. I’ll nearly founder on them when they get ripe, and when I’ve had all I can take, I start to can them. I generally process our tomatoes whole, and I can then use them to create a variety of dishes during the winter time. I love tomatoes and I’ll never turn my nose up to them, unless they’re in canned tomato soup.
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I will eat some store-bought canned tomato soups, but there is something about most of them that turns my stomach. Among the many uses I find for our homegrown canned tomatoes (salsa, pasta sauce, chili, etc.), one of my favorite things to make is homemade tomato soup. You can really savor the tomatoes in homemade tomato soup, and you’re free to add as little or as much spice as you personally prefer. It’s perfect paired with a grilled cheese sandwich on a cool fall or winter day.

Continue reading Homemade Tomato Soup

The Fragrance Of Homemade Banana Bread

July 17, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveAmericanHome #CollectiveBias

Fragrances have the to ability to spark a memory or evoke an emotion. They can be a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled real estate agent. There are fragrances that remind me of my childhood, and baking with my great grandmother.
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The aroma of fresh banana bread makes me happy because it reminds me of time well spent with her. Today, I’m sharing my favorite recipe for Banana Bread, and a way to keep your home filled with your favorite fragrances with the help of American Home™ by Yankee Candle®.

banana bread recipe

Continue reading The Fragrance Of Homemade Banana Bread