By Jennifer Mullen, 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Coast Guard Spouse of the Year

On Veterans Day 2016, Amazon celebrated military spouses on “Style Code Live,” one of its streaming shows. The company solicited nominations for a military spouse who had had a challenging year who deserved a trip to NYC for a fun and relaxing day, capped with a style makeover given by former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karolina Kurková. Jennifer Mullen, the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Coast Guard Spouse of the Year, was the lucky recipient. Check out Jennifer’s recap of her day:

As a Coast Guard wife and mom of two who works at least 40 hours a week in the corporate world, my days are filled with addressing everyone else’s needs. Most people understand the struggle: preparing lunches, wrestling clothes on a child that has transformed into an alligator, practicing basketball skills by throwing homework into backpacks and being a race car driver to get to the bus stop all before 8 a.m.! Caffeine anyone?

Then it is onto work with six to seven hours of meetings in front of a computer, getting the kids at 5 p.m. for dinners no one will eat, wrestling now two alligators into baths and showers, then reading, and hide and seek for bedtime. Then I have adult time before crashing into bed to start all over again. Let’s be real; I have been at the point where I am just glad I am making it through the day semi-unscathed.

My husband is gone more than he is home, so to say I needed a break was an understatement. I was thrilled to have the opportunity for a makeover in New York City with Amazon’s Style Code Live. No kids and no husband?! Uninterrupted sleep time? Count me in!

My whirlwind trip to New York started by being chauffeured from the airport. After arriving and checking into the hotel at the Gregory, I made a trip to walk around Midtown and spend some time in Macy’s stirring my holiday spirit. And when in New York, you do what New Yorkers do…eat a dirty water dog and shop. Perfect!

After an amazing adult dinner and some sleep, I was picked up and taken to the Style Code Live studios, and we quickly started work. Throughout the day, I met with some amazing people that have some amazing stories. Two of those people are Karolina Kurková and Rachel Smith, both of whom have military ties. Karolina is married to a Marine veteran and Rachel grew up as a military child. It was wonderful to hear their stories and understand there are more of us out there; you just have to ask!

As part of my makeover, my hair was cut and styled and my makeup done. At one point I had three people in my hair! Talk about the quick, full treatment. The most amazing surprise was that we Skyped with my husband so he could see the big reveal, including a new outfit. As much as I was enjoying having a little time away, it was wonderful to have him behind me, and so supportive of having “me” time!

Jennifer’s hair in progress

The finished hair product!

After interviews, I was whisked away to lunch with models, show and magazine editors, and then whisked again away to add hair color! Needless to say, I had some great adult time and pictures as if I was a model (as if). By the time I hit the airport to fly home, I grabbed a much-needed burger and walked like I was a model, but more importantly reflected on what just happened.


Before (left) and after (right)

In 24 hours, I was forced to relax, have quiet time, and change myself physically. But I realized this: I was so happy to go home and be with my family. It is perfect to take a mini vacation, but the skin and who I am is not going to change, and I love it. I love the fact as a military spouse I have been conditioned to be solid in my person.

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