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The Mills Mall Near Your New Duty Station

militarybyowner, military families, travel

When we PCS, I like to quickly familiarize myself with the everyday essentials when it comes to the retail outlets in the area. This familiarity makes my new city feel like home much more quickly! It’s common for military families to understand how many trips to Target or Home Depot it takes to get the new house settled within the first month or two. After the necessities are handled, I like to dive in a little further and check out what mall options are available.

Donor’s Guide to Veteran Charities


Veteran’s charities can be emotionally charged because most U.S. citizens believe the cause is well justified and deserved. However, this leads to the rapid and often inadequate startups of veterans' based charitable organizations. It is estimated that, during the last five years, the number of these new organizations have surged quickly--growing by 41% since 2008, according to The Urban Institute. But, although funding may pour in, the inability to execute programs sensibly leaves many veterans uncared for.

Getting Through the Holidays During Deployment

deployment, military spouses, militarybyowner

Let’s face it, holidays during deployment can be anything but cheerful. During one holiday season while my husband was deployed, I remember wishing I could pull the covers over my head in November and wake up magically in January so I could skip the whole thing!

Will a Home-Based Business Get You Kicked Off Base?

home office resized 600

Senior spouses will recall a time when operating a home-based business on a military installation was an illicit activity that could result in having you and your family kicked off base. While you wouldn’t want your neighbor to receive an eviction notice for selling jewelry, regulations that would prohibit home-based businesses on base would put a convenient stop to the endless stream of shopping party invitations! For as long as most junior spouses have been alive, however, operating a home-based business on a military installation has been not only legal, but encouraged as a means of helping military families supplement their income. As with anything in the military, though, running your business from your dining room table (or spare-bedroom-turned-office if you’re lucky enough to score a larger house on your installation) comes with its own set of regulations.

10 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe During Holiday Travel

military home owner, military rental, militarybyowner

You’ve probably seen the well-intended Facebook posts warning family and friends to avoid sharing information about their vacations and holiday travels. For those with a public social media profile, sharing a picture of yourself in the Bahamas with a quick note about how you’re escaping the snow is akin to laying out a welcome mat for would-be burglars. It doesn’t matter that your address isn’t listed on your Facebook profile; you’d be surprised what someone with limited hacking skills can find. 

Curb Appeal: Make a Good First Impression!

curb appeal photo resized 600

Admit it, you’ve done it! When a “For Sale” sign is posted in your neighborhood, you take a second look at the property if the seller has spruced up the front entry or added pleasing new landscaping. Even with a drive-by, your eye is automatically drawn to the positive changes. Yay for curb appeal! 

Holiday Grocery Shopping Made Easy!

military rental,

When hosting a holiday in your home, it is inevitable that shopping in all of its various forms will need to be done well in advance and, unfortunately, sometimes up to the moment of when your guests arrive. Get ahead of the stress and prepare now with lists...and lists of your lists! In fact, take pictures of your lists with that handy smart phone. I leave my lists on the counter as I walk out the door all the time. 

5 Ways to Survive a Move During the Holidays

military move, holidays,

Moving boxes...cranky kids...more unpacking in front of me than behind me...exhaustion.

A Quick Guide for Choosing a Charity

military rental,

There are an overwhelming amount of organizations claiming to work for disadvantaged groups such as veterans, children, and animals. Some are legitimate, some are not, and some just don’t do it well. How do military families decide where to spend the money they've allotted for charitable giving? 

Are You a Military Slumlord?

military rental,

Over coffee last year, a friend joked about her desire to leave the Marines to focus on establishing her slumlord empire as a retirement plan. As with many military families who own rental properties, she also bought her rentals as owner-occupied homes; she lived in them at each duty station, and turned them into rentals upon relocating to her next duty station. While she jokes about being a slumlord, she doesn’t mean it. I can’t imagine any Marine letting her standards drop enough to have subpar housing associated with her name. Can you?

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