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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Arrghhhh......Where's my purse???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Arrghhhh......Where's my purse???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland - me & my vest
I am a creature of habit..most of us are I think.  You know how when you make that decision to do something completely different?  How it REALLY throws you off and into a panic, over and over again....after the first day, I hit a moment of enlightenment and never turned back!  Here's what I did.

I have a relative who works for an airline.  Every time I see him, he brings up the darn jacket.  This magical jacket has something like 20 pockets, and he breezes through security among other things...not having to take off his "no metal" belt, slipping out of his smooth-as-butter slip-on shoes and not having to worry about any kind of bag going through the gauntlet.  You see, he has this special SEV all-weather jacket....that has been around the world I would least three times.

I finally broke down and bought one about a month ago.  I got tired of him bragging about his and frankly, I got tired of being a packhorse every time we went on vacation or on some day trip somewhere.  I just hate having something in my hands, especially now that I have a digital camera and an IFlip camcorder.

After the initial panic, thinking I had lost my purse...unfortunately it took my brain a bit to wrap itself around this new concept...I noticed a definite change.  Once I had myself convinced that there really was NO purse or bag, something strange happened.  I felt free, became more relaxed and could focus more on my surroundings....I took more photos and videos than I ever had!  I held my kids' hands and skipped down the sidewalk.  I could shop using BOTH hands and didn't get paranoid when strangers stood close to me.  Freeing...there's that word again and the perfect description!

I am positively sold on the lightweight travel vest. I chose the vest (order one or two sizes larger), because I figured I could wear it in the winter under a coat (which is what I did this last time around to Ireland)...or in the summer over a short sleeved shirt.  My particular model vest has 22 pockets.  I admit, the first day, I had trouble remembering where I put what...and caught myself digging a few times when I tried to find my camera or wallet.  The manufacturer puts a little laminated card in EACH pocket, giving you ideas of what to put in there.  I initially left the cards in there, so I would know their recommendations...they designed it after all.  In a few of the pockets there are also hidden inner pockets as well as keyrings, clips and snaps.  I also liked the see-through pockets with side zippers and that most of the zippers are on the inside of the vest for safekeeping.  The vest also has perfect velcro snaps and openings to run your earphone cords or any other kind of cord.  There is even a strap that will hold your waterbottle upright in either side pocket. >

I went through airport security with only my suitcase...without a carry-on bag or anything else.  It was freeing to just whip off the vest and put it in the bin.  The guy behind the machine even asked if he could look at my vest, cause he had never seen anything quite like that:-)  He ran it through the machine again just to show his buddy how everything was laid all out.

The best part is that you don't feel like a packhorse.  I was amazed that it wasn't heavier with all my necessary crap in there.  Speaking of crap, here's what I carried around on my trip.  I think anyone would've been shocked had I emptied all my pockets and lined it all up!

I carried:

  • wallet
  • cell phone
  • collection of pens & pencil
  • walking map and brochures
  • Kindle (a HUGE pocket in the back that hangs just right)
  • magazine
  • two packs travel Kleenex
  • small bottle hand sanitizer
  • sunglasses
  • small bottle of lotion
  • small first aid kit
  • sandwich; energy bars
  • bottle of water
  • mp3 player w/headphones
  • passport; plane tickets
  • digital camera in case
  • IFlip camcorder in case
  • small stuffable shopping bag
  • GPS in case



Blogger Ms. Sarah said...

that is one awesome jacket. I may just have to look into one of those.

March 18, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh my goodness! What a great idea! We are stationed in Germany and with all of the space limitations on the RyanAir flights, this jacket will be perfect! Thanks for the info - the ergonomic, minimalist nerd in me is super excited :)

March 18, 2011 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger edith said...

AWESOME. I want one!

March 18, 2011 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Mary R. said...

Great idea!

March 18, 2011 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Martina said...

How cool is that?? :-D

March 18, 2011 at 5:04 PM  

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