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Black Friday Guide: Military Spouse Owned Businesses

November 24, 2017

Raise your hand if you’re having leftover pie for breakfast this morning! Yeah, me too. But it has apples in it so it’s not THAT bad. While I have dessert for breakfast, I’m probably going to knock out some Christmas shopping from the comfort of my own sofa. While shopping at any time of the year, but especially for Christmas, I like to purchase products or from stores that I believe in and there is no one I believe in more than military spouses. So as you’re doing your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday shopping, consider supporting some of these fantastic military spouse owned businesses!

I’ve selected an item from each of my featured military spouse owned businesses that I would love to give or receive as a gift this year, but each shop has so many fantastic products that I think you’ll find something for just about everyone on your list. Plus so many of these shops have great sales over the next few days so you’ll save money and support some wonderful people.

Isn’t it amazing and kind of ridiculously awesome that all of these products are made by military spouses? The wide variety of different military spouse owned businesses is almost as broad as the wide variety of people in the military community. I hope you consider supporting as many of them as possible!

“Kind is the new cool” kids’ shirt: I absolutely love this shirt for a little one! It’s so much better than another toy and has a good message to it.

“Bless your heart” pillow: Growing up in Texas makes one very familiar with this saying so I chuckled when I scrolled past this pillow. This shop has so many designs that you could certainly find something for just about every person on your list, Southern or not!

Infinity scarf: This is a great girlfriend gift because it’s on sale right now for only $12! You don’t have to worry about sizing, it comes in a variety of colors and looks so dang cozy.

Wine bottle candle: I’m a big scented candle fan, especially during the holidays. These holiday-scented candles would add a little extra festivity to a home and they come in recycled wine bottle!

“15 Years of War”: I have heard so many wonderful things about this book! It’s on my own list and is currently $16.95 instead of $19.95. P.S. This link is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase through the link, I receive a small commission for your purchase.

Gemstone bangle: I’m a huge fan of these rough gemstones lately. They’re pretty and feminine, but not too sparkly. This one is currently only $10.50 making it a great stocking stuffer or friend present.

“Behind the Scenes” book: I genuinely enjoy reading books by and about military spouses and this one meets both criteria! I’m adding this to my own Christmas list and hope to share more about it soon. P.S. This link is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase through the link, I receive a small commission for your purchase.

Custom coasters: I’ve followed Nomadic Nation for quite some time and absolutely love their stuff! The custom cuff links almost made the list, but the coasters are a great gift for guys and gals. I could definitely see these as a stocking stuffer for my husband.

Filthy animal onesie: There’s something about a baby that makes me want to buy all the funny onesies and this one is no exception! If you have a new baby (or a soon-to-be new baby) in your life, I think I’ve got you covered with this bad boy.

Dog collar: You can’t forget your four-legged family members at Christmas time and this shop won’t let you! I love the orange gingham collar and could see both Roogie and B rocking one. And with them being 25% off this week, I could easily snag two.

Grant tote bag: Ok, I have to gush about this bag. I met the R.Riveter ladies at the Military Influencers Conference and immediately wanted my own bag! I got this style (in a slightly different color) for my birthday and cannot get over how well made it is! It holds everything I need for work and still has room left over. Right now, they’re offering tiered savings based on how much you spend. This bag would get $75 off and free shipping through 11/26.

Insulated wine tumbler: So this bad boy comes in a huge variety of colors, but of course, I chose the orange one! You can get these monogrammed at no extra cost, which would be so stinking cute! I’m not sure you can beat this for the wine enthusiast in your life.

Knot bangle: If you’re not into the gemstone look, this knot bangle is also very pretty! I think it’s intended to be a bridesmaid’s gift, but for close girlfriends or maybe sisters/sisters-in-law? Perfection.

Lavender bath bomb: Here’s another great girlfriend gift because of the wallet-friendly price point! Plus who doesn’t need a little extra relaxation?

“Together is our favorite place to be” sign: The military lifestyle sends you to all corners of the earth, so home quickly becomes where your people are. This sign perfectly captures that in my opinion. It would look beautiful in any home and could even be a nice housewarming present.

Two additional gift ideas are courtesy of the Six Box and Rosie Planner. Both companies are military spouse owned businesses and create products specifically for military spouses.

There you have it! This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to military spouse owned businesses that are ready to help you complete your Christmas shopping. Consider supporting one (or more then one) of these fantastic entrepreneurs this year.

Gift Guides Marriage

Traditional 3rd Anniversary Gifts

November 8, 2017

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

I like the idea of giving traditional wedding anniversary gifts, mainly because they usually require a little creativity to make them useful in the modern day. Things like paper and cotton don’t immediately scream great gift idea to me. But traditional 3rd anniversary gifts may be the easiest year I’ve done yet because there are so many leather options!

Leather is the perfect traditional 3rd anniversary gift material because it’s strong, but subject to change over the years, just like a marriage. Think about it: leather is made to withstand a lot of things, but will also show signs of surviving the years. Hopefully, a marriage withstands everything, but it will certainly be changed by events, both good and bad.

The past two years, I’ve shared traditional wedding anniversary gifts for guys, but this year, I decided to throw some suggestions for ladies into the mix as well. There are so many ways to give traditional 3rd anniversary gifts to both genders that finding suggestions was very easy!

Traditional 3rd Anniversary Gifts

Passport Holder: this would be a perfect traditional 3rd anniversary gift for a guy or a girl who loves to travel, especially if you added a plane ticket in there as an added surprise!

Baseball Art: this baseball art is such a neat idea for a sports fan! If you’re super crafty, you may be able to put this together on your own, but the Etsy shop I’ve linked has them at a very reasonable price.  Another idea would be giving a collector’s item, like a signed baseball. This would likely get far more expensive, but is a nice idea if your loved one isn’t into super sentimental things.

Earrings: Joanna Gaines strikes again with these leather earrings.  They are simple, made using ethically sourced leather and help employ at-risk women in the Waco community.  I think we can all get behind a gift that gives back!

Watch: my husband would probably want a watch with a leather band for his traditional 3rd anniversary gift. I really like the simple look of this one (and its reasonable price tag), but there are styles and price points to fit just about anyone.

Valet Tray: raise your hand if your loved one comes to bed every night and empties his or her pockets onto the dresser or night stand. Keys, coins, receipts, a random pen cap or two all pile up and almost NEVER make it back in their pocket. This valet tray keeps all those bits contained while still looking nice. Plus this particular one has an Irish wedding blessing on it which adds a bit of sweetness to its functionality.

Messenger Bag: I love this messenger bag! It’s stylish and would be perfect for your loved one to take to and from the office. It’s also a great travel bag for business trips and works for men or women.

Luggage Tag: you could easily combine this with the passport holder for the travel enthusiast in your life.  These two items make a nice gift if you’ve planned a trip for the future, but would still like a tangible way for your loved one to find out.

Bookmark: customizable bookmarkis your loved one an avid reader? Well then this would be a perfect traditional 3rd anniversary gift. You could add your own sweet message so every time they read a book, they’re reminded of your love.

Dopp Kit: my husband currently uses his military-issued Dopp kit for travel, which is fine, but this one is so nice that I think he’d love the replacement.  Plus this Dopp kit is made by R.Riveter, a military-spouse owned company that uses a business model that allows them to employ as many military spouses as possible.

Keychain: I love that you can have both the outside and inside of this keychain engraved. It’s a reminder of your love that will be seen and used every single day.

Now, if you’re not into leather or are vegan, you could certainly give something that’s synthetic or one of these leather-scented candles instead.

Traditional 3rd anniversary gifts made of leather are easily customizable to your loved one’s unique tastes.  Between all the different items and the variety in leather color, there is truly something for everyone.  Do you give traditional wedding anniversary gifts? What did you give for your 3rd anniversary?

Check out my traditional first and second anniversary gift ideas.

Gift Guides

Stocking Stuffers

December 21, 2016

Ok, y’all, have you seen the Hallmark Channel’s all-day Christmas rom coms? I know almost every movie is the same plot with slightly different characters, but they’re so dang addicting! I could easily spend an entire day doing nothing but watching one after the other and eating cookies.

Luckily, most of my shopping is done, but I still need to pick up a few stocking stuffers. While working on ideas, I pulled some of my favorites to share with you. This way you can get everyone checked off your list and enjoy as many Hallmark movies as possible

The Hydro Flask water bottle is hands down the best water bottle I’ve ever owned. It keeps water cold (and ice frozen) for well over 24 hours and doesn’t sweat. I have it in two sizes and use it when I’m camping or outside all day for work events.

The nail polish I’ve linked is my favorite brand and that shade is so pretty. I prefer lighter shades because they don’t show chips as easily and this color (Sheer Ecstasy) is gorgeous.  A has multiple pairs of those Cole Haan socks and loves them. They’re super soft and really affordable.

Other options include gift cards, chapstick, mini packs of tissues and small bottles of lotion or booze!

What are your favorite stocking stuffers?

Gift Guides

Dog Gift Guide

December 16, 2016
Dog gift guide

Since putting gift guides together is almost as exhausting as Christmas shopping, I’ve turned the blog over to B and Ruger today. They put together their (very extensive) Christmas wishlist and hope it helps you shop for your four-legged family members.  

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s B and Ruger here and boy are we excited for Christmas! We love everything about this holiday: sniffing the tree, knocking ornaments off the lower branches, drinking the tree water and rustling all the presents Rachel has carefully wrapped.

But most of all, we love all the fun new things we get! That must be why they call it the most wonderful time of year.  Rachel says that if we aren’t good, Santa won’t bring us anything so we’ve worked really hard to be good dogs. Ruger has (almost) stopped peeing in the house and B tries really hard to not bark at every little noise. Sometimes we mess up, but we should really be on the nice list.

Odds are so should your dog! And they would love Santa to bring any of these fun new toys and treats.

Rachel will tell you that we love toys, especially ones we can chew and destroy. Because we do that in record time, we’re only allowed to have inexpensive toys or antlers. But there are so many good options out there that we don’t even mind too much! We have chewed on (and chewed up) antlers, tennis balls, the rope toy, the green stick and the frisbee shown here. So this year we asked Santa for something new and the all-natural rope chew sounds awesome! Plus Rachel likes that it’s easily digested which will be easy on our tummies and her sleep schedule.

The only thing we love more than toys are treats and the Blue Buffalo blueberry and yogurt are our favorite! They’re yummy and we guilt everyone into giving us as many as possible. And then we snuggle up with our favorite fleece blankets for a nice long nap.

And since we like looking stylish, a new collar and dog tag would be great stocking stuffers.

We can’t wait to see what’s under the tree for us! Happy howl-idays, everyone!

Gift Guides

Military Spouse Gift Guide

December 9, 2016
Military Spouse Gift Guide

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but we’re only three Fridays away from Christmas, two if you don’t count today. AHHHHHHHHHH! I am significantly alarmed! *deep breaths* If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few people still to shop for. Some of them may be parents or siblings or spouses or co-workers or military spouses. Or maybe some of them are literally all of the people on your list. While I can’t necessarily help with all of those, I can help with the military spouses on your list thanks to my military spouse gift guide!

Some of these are suggestions from fellow military spouses while others are items that I’ve loved for many years.

Military spouses juggle a lot of things every single day, especially when their spouse is away from home. For me, a planner is necessary when A’s at home and a freaking lifeline when he’s gone. I need to write down everything or somewhere in between work, the housework, the dogs, getting his car serviced, mailing a care package and dinner, I will forget to swap the laundry over. A planner is a must for a military spouse. I have a Day Designer from Target and would probably lose my mind if I ever lost it.

On the flip side of that same equation is the truth that military spouses can easily forget to right down the good stuff because they’re too busy writing down the to-dos.  The “One Line A Day” journal is a sweet way to help them do that. It lasts for five years and you can start it whenever you want. It’s a perfect way for military spouses to keep track of the sweet everyday moments.

The pillow and charm bracelet (and picture frame) are all from military spouse-owned companies, which is reason enough to shop there.  Military families move so much that sometimes it’s hard to remember where home actually is; this pillow would be a great way to keep track.  You could pair it with one of the super cool Homesick Candles for a great gift.

I really like the wine box for a couple’s gift to help a military couple celebrate their time together. But for when they’re on their own, merlot-infused coffee sounds like it has real potential! And the relaxing lavender shampoo is something everyone needs because if you show me a military spouse without stress, I will show you a unicorn that sneezes confetti.

Other great ideas are a day at the spa, a few hours of babysitting so he or she can get stuff done or even a date night with their spouse. For more options, check out 10 ways to support a military spouse.

What would you add to my military spouse gift guide?

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