All Posts By

Rachel

Military

Why Military Spouses Make Great Friends

June 22, 2017

Dear civilian readers,

Please become friends with a military spouse. I know it may seem like we have a lot of drama in our lives, but that’s all Hollywood nonsense. You may think that we would make cruddy friends because of all the extra stuff going on. But that’s so not true! In fact, we make really good friends thanks to the lessons we’ve learned as military spouses.

We’re flexible.

I’m not sure you could find a more flexible friend than a military spouse. Have to change plans 15 times because of your work/kids/in-laws/hot water heater? No worries, the military just changed where we were moving 16 times so you’re still coming out on top.

We won’t be clingy. 

Our spouses leave for months at a time. We move halfway across the world where we know no one. We’ll be ok if you have a busy week at work and don’t return our text.

We have a pretty good sense of humor.

You don’t survive life as a military spouse without a sense of humor. When Murphy’s Law comes knocking during deployment, you have to laugh or you’ll straight up cry. We can find humor in every day situations, even when it seems like everything stinks.

We have random skills that could come in handy. 

Need something fixed around the house? Call us! Odds are we’ve had to fix it ourselves or know exactly who to call.  We’re resourceful, independent and most of us are fairly familiar with the contents of a toolbox.

If you don’t like us, no worries. We’ll move in a few years. 

Sometimes friendships run their course, but the person is still in your life every single day. You don’t have to worry about this with military spouses. Every few years, we pack up and move to a new spot, giving both of us chances to let the friendship fizzle out.

We’re good at maintaining relationships, even long distance.

But on the flip side of that, take comfort in knowing that we are very good at maintaining relationships, even when they are long distance. We’ve had plenty of practice staying in touch with people far and wide and will stick by you no matter how far apart we are.

So to all of my civilian readers: find that military spouse in your life and become friends! We may just be the best friend you’ve ever had.

What makes the military spouses in your life such good people to have as friends?

Care Packages

BBQ Care Package

June 21, 2017
BBQ care package inspiration

Happy first day of summer, everyone! While today may officially mark the start of the summer season, we have been in full on BBQ mode for weeks now. And can you really blame us? For me, cookouts are one of the best parts of summer, something that I know my husband hates missing when he’s deployed. That got me thinking about how I would send a BBQ care package and this inspiration post was born!

BBQ Care Package Decor

To really sell this box as a BBQ care package, it needs to look like a BBQ! The easiest way to do that is to decorate the box with paper that looks like a tablecloth (or use an actual tablecloth!) I’m a big fan of this gingham paper I found online.

You could a cutout grill, hamburger, hotdogs or any sort of grilling tools. You can find some really cute stickers to go along with your BBQ care package online as well.  Possible wording could include “can’t wait for you to be all up in my grill”, “license to grill”, “you know how to turn this grill on” or “I’d PIC-nic you every time.”

If you wanted to turn this BBQ care package into a full-on picnic theme, you could package all the contents in a small picnic basket and put that in the box. How stinking cute would that be?!

BBQ Care Package Contents

Of course, the second step to a perfect BBQ care package involves having the right contents! Sending a grill and raw hamburgers is out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the theme going with the help of a little creativity.

  • BBQ sauces: during the summer, BBQ sauce is everywhere. If you are able to find miniature sizes, you could send a few different varieties for your loved one to try.
  • BBQ flavored foods: you can find chips, snack mixes and even beef jerky that has a BBQ flavor.
  • Soda: while I think we all know that beer and BBQ goes hand-in-hand, you can’t send actual beer in your BBQ care package. Root beer may be a good substitute, just make sure to put each can in a plastic bag and cushion them well.
  • BBQ magazine or cookbook.
  • Bugspray
  • Picnic tablecloth
  • Lemonade mix
  • Summer sausage, mustard and buns: summer sausage is shelf stable and a great way to add a little meat to your BBQ care package.  A loves getting these in his care packages; just make sure that they don’t violate any rules where you’re sending them.
  • Plastic plates, cups and silverware: now, I’m partial to these plastic baskets, but you could find great options wherever you shop.
  • Supplies for S’mores: I really love these s’mores cakes in a jar, but shipping may take a toll on them. You can certainly send stuff to make s’mores or send these from Russell Stover’s.

Have you ever sent a BBQ care package? What did you put in it?

Check out more care package inspiration here. If you like this post, I’d love it if you heart it on Bloglovin’ or pin it on Pinterest

Travel

Isle of Palms Getaway

June 20, 2017

Hello all! It’s been a bit quiet here on the blog lately because I’ve been on vacation (like real honest to goodness vacation) with A’s family. We ditched the real world for a few days just outside of Charleston on Isle of Palms and oh my word, was it pretty!

We had quite a few action packed days, but I will just hit the highlights for you and let the pictured do the talking.

Favorite tourist trap: horse-drawn carriage tours of Charleston. Our tour guides John and Dakota did a fantastic job showing us around Charleston in style. The route was beautiful and the commentary was both informative and entertaining. I know it’s totally cliche, but I so recommend doing one if you haven’t already! Honorable mention goes to the sunset dolphin tour from Barrier Island Eco Tours.

Favorite restaurant: High Thyme Cuisine on Sullivan’s Island. We stumbled upon this place after our first choice was closed, but oh my gosh am I glad we did! Everything was phenomenal, but the special appetizer of crab risotto was beyond good. If it had just been A and I, I likely would have licked the plate.

Favorite nature views: This is a tough one because we had such gorgeous views throughout our trip, but the beach on Caper’s Island was breathtaking, especially the boneyard of giant dead trees.  We were there at sunset and everything had the most beautiful glow to it. I could have stayed there for hours photographing everything.

Favorite activity: While we did the beach and other resort-living activities, my favorite was definitely our inshore fishing trip with Capt. Chuck of Charleston Sport Fishing. A and his brother purchased the trip as a Father’s Day present for their dad and I got to tag along! It was so much fun: I’d never been on a boat like this one and had never seen fish that big in person. Of course it didn’t hurt that I caught a giant fish! The winner of the day was definitely A who caught a 20-pound red drum as well as a huge black tip reef shark (although the shark got away before A got him to the boat).

And some more photos, because I just can’t resist! We had such a great time that none of us wanted to come home.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blog posts tomorrow so make sure to come back then!

Care Packages

Patriotic Care Package Contents

June 14, 2017
Patriotic Care Package Contents

Putting together a care package is a three-part process: pick a theme, decorate your box and then fill it with goodies that fit the theme and that your loved one enjoys. Luckily for all of us, the 4th of July comes with a pretty perfect built-in theme for military care packages. Steps two and three are pretty easy as well: I have the perfect 4th of July care package in my shop and have put together a list of patriotic care package contents so you can send the perfect care package!

There are lots of patriotic care package contents in stores right now, but if you’re interested in sending something a little more personal, I highly recommend the patriotic rice krispie treats! They are so festive and easy to make. Just make sure to add a slice of bread in with them and wrap them well so they don’t get stale!

I linked two options and can’t decide which ones I like best, but the flag cookies make take the cake, so to speak. They are definitely more complicated, but really fit the theme! And last, but certainly not least, I can’t wait to help little ones create the handprint flag art to send. It looks like such an easy project, but would mean so much to folks overseas.

Baking and crafting not your thing? That’s totally ok! You can find patriotic care package contents everywhere right now and they are perfect! The three I have here are specific for 4th of July, but there are so many other red, white and blue items that exist year-round.

Patriotic care package contents don’t necessarily have to be food. There are plenty of apparel items that you could send, including non-holiday ones.  For example, my husband loves UnderArmour shirts for working out and one in red, white and blue would be perfect.

Other items could include red or blue Gatorade, gum in red or blue packages and fun patriotic decorations. Just remember that you cannot send alcohol or fireworks/sparklers. What are your favorite patriotic care package contents?

Lifestyle

Easy Summer Date Ideas

June 13, 2017
Easy Summer Date Ideas

Alright, ladies and gentlemen: it’s summertime! Schools are out, the temperatures are high and the days are long. And you know what that means, don’t you? It’s time to fill that extra time with lots of fun summer dates! I’ve shared a few ideas previously, but am back with even more easy summer date ideas. The best part of these summer date ideas is that they are easily adjusted to accommodate other couples, pets or little ones for a full family experience.

Summer Date Ideas

Eat ice cream in the park. 

It’s hot. Ice cream is cold. If you eat it while walking through the park, it negates the calories. Right?

Backyard puppy pool party. 

I know what you’re thinking: a pool party for dogs doesn’t necessarily sound like the perfect summer date. Trust me though, there is nothing more entertaining than watching your four-legged family members have the time of their lives in a $5 kiddie pool. It’s even more entertaining if you mix in an adult beverage or two.

Spend a day at the lake. 

Nothing sounds more refreshing in the summer than a swim so make a whole day (and date) out of it! Bring some pool floats, some snacks and drinks and spend the day floating and relaxing.

Go for an early morning walk (or run)

Beat the heat by getting your outdoor exercise done early in the day. I really enjoy running with my husband in the morning before the day gets crazy and we get pulled in opposite directions.  You get the fun of a date while doing something good for your body. If you’d like to add a little reward at the end of it, plan your route to end at a coffee shop or your favorite breakfast spot.

Living room campout. 

The heat of summer can make traditional camping a little more uncomfortable than fun, so add an indoor twist to it. Move the furniture out of the living room and pull all of the pillows and blankets onto the floor. Spend the night watching movies 0r binging on your new favorite Netflix show. Make popcorn or s’mores and sleep in your living room.

Put on your own fireworks show! 

What says summer better than fireworks? Leading up to July 4th, you can get them almost anywhere for relatively low prices. Put on a small fireworks show for your family and friends. Disclaimer: you need to check your town’s rules on fireworks-they are illegal in many spots! Always follow the law and be safe!

What are your favorite summer date ideas?

If you like this post, I’d love it if you heart it on Bloglovin’ or pin it on Pinterest.