Hello, week № 37.
This week I wanted to talk about some of my favorite things as a military spouse. Don’t worry, it’s not Spouse Club stuff or anything organizational – they are little things that make my home life marginally easier when I am adulting for two.
For reference (to those trying to gauge how much they can relate) my husband is currently instructing at a school that normally TDYs several times a year, but doesn’t deploy as a unit. Sometimes he’s gone for a few days, sometimes he’s gone for a month – depends on the time of year.
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Here are five favorites as a military spouse:
- Stitcher (App)
- Bota Box Wine
- First Class Stamps
- Zippered Document Organizer
- Apollo Neuro Wellness Device
— Stitcher (a podcast player available for iPhone and Android)
I’ve been using Stitcher almost daily since July 2012. Really.
Back then; before everyone and their mom was podcasting (hey!), I was drawn to Stitcher because it enabled me to build my own on-demand radio station. It sounds silly to refer to a podcatcher in such a way, but it’s true! I used to commute and I still love talk radio (but not Dave Ramsey who was often on during my commute), so Stitcher helped expose me to other voices that I love. When I started podcasting I was super happy to get Stitcher because they have been such a big part of my life for so long. When Mister Jupiter is away I spend my nights listening to podcasts while enjoying late leisurely meals after the Kid goes down to bed. I get adult conversation while staying abreast on current events and topics that I’m interested in.
☞ Related: Lady Jupiter Podcast
- Here’s the link to Stitcher
- The image above shows that I listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class, Dr. Berg’s Healthy Keto & Intermittent Fasting Podcast, Buzzcast, Global News Podcast, Grammar Girl, Moving Forward with John Lin, Stuff You Should Know, Cabinet of Curiosities, and Savor.
- I have listened to 4500+ hours of podcasts on Stitcher, and was on a 40 day streak in the photo. It may surprise you that the podcasts listed above are only…a quarter of what I normally listen to. I can’t listen to my ENTIRE lineup daily, but I try!
— Bota Box Wine
Say what you will, but I like it.
Usually I’m a Nighthawk Black Cab Sauv gal, but one weekend I tried Bota’s Old Vine Zinfandel and I was hooked. Yes, I am aware of the clean wine companies, and yes, I’m sure that this wine probably is full of all sorts of crap…but I still like it.
This is a military spouse favorite because it’s easy to find. If you’re in the states you can buy Bota Boxes nearly anywhere that
cheap fine wine is sold, and if you’re OCONUS it’s definitely sold by AAFES – so it’s available in the Class VI and some Exchanges.
— First Class Stamps
Support the post office AND make your loved ones smile!
I definitely don’t send as much snail mail as I used to (rather, I often use Postagram App – you build a postcard in their app and they print and ship for about $2-$3 each card). BUT! When Mister Jupiter is away from home long enough to actually receive a postcard I send one. I have a stack of blank postcards (because I’m exciting like that) and am happy to draw and send cards, even if it’s just to him in Colorado.
📌 100 blank postcards, ready to draw or print on
Be advised that postcard postage is a lesser rate that regular mail, but I slap a first class stamp instead. Part of this is because I don’t mind paying more than the minimum, but also I buy a book of stamps almost every time that I go to the post office (which isn’t very often). I have a lot of fun picking stamps that match or contrast my postcard. My favorite recent stamp purchase is the art of Ellsworth Kelly. So even though Mister Jupiter doesn’t deploy right now, doesn’t mean that he hasn’t in the past and won’t in the future! When he’s actually deployed I send at least one postcard a month – just so he has fresh bookmarks, or new photos to keep in his pocket for a few days.
📌 Here’s a link to USPS so you can buy stamps online RIGHT MEOW.
— Zippered Document Organizer
This organizer is great for anybody who loves being (or trying to be) organized!
☞ Related: My Key Spouse Folio
I found this when looking for something to wrangle up my Key Spouse stuff, and I only wish that I had found it sooner. I know I definitely could have used it in college to contain projects or just class materials (instead I had a MWF backpack and a TR bag – each with materials for those days & classes).
Right now I have two. One is my Key Spouse Archive, and the other is Traveling Blog Stuff – so if I am traveling and intend to blog, I can easily zip up my laptop, tablet, editorial calendar, and a few pens. The full wrap around zipper is sturdy, and the dividers make it easy to separate and organize your things.
These slim cases are great for the flat things, but not-so-great for chargers or other bulky items. So I just keep my chargers together in a smaller bag and that works for me. Luckily there are a lot of nearly-identical Amazon sellers for these organizers, so if you just click around the similar sponsored products and you’ll find hundreds of same-shape-different-print versions. I prefer plain colors, but that’s just me – the functionality is the real star here.
📌 Here’s a link to one such organizer – this category has so many options!
— Apollo Neuro Wellness Device
Warning! This isn’t a budget bracelet, nor an ankle monitor. It’s a device that uses sound waves on your body to change your mood by affecting your parasympathetic (fight or flight) response.
Some days I just have a short fuse and I will be in a bad mood from dawn to dusk. When Mister Jupiter is home we can talk it out and get to the cause, or he can at least take over and I can get out of the house. But when he’s not home? I slap this on my ankle and it really does help me calm the hell down. It has different routines (mood modes) and my favorite to use at any time is Social & Open. It feels like a purring cat is leaning on me, and it works; it brings down my heart rate and helps me relax. There are other modes of course, and I wish I could buy one for every milso that I know! It’s an amazing addition to any calming routine.
Looking for something specific? Scan the Picks of the Week, Index.
Otherwise, here are some previous picks if you’re feeling clicky: