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Care Packages

Care Packages

Mini July 4th Care Package

July 5, 2017
Mini July 4th Care Pacakge

Happy 5th of July, y’all! Hopefully you all had a wonderful day with your family and friends. I know things were quiet around here yesterday, but I’d like to think that I’m making it up to you today by sharing my mini July 4th care package.  I had to get creative with this care package since it would be traveling with A instead of getting shipped to him.

I’ve done mini care packages before and really like how they pack so much fun into such a tiny package. The challenge is of course finding items that fit into mini care packages.  This July 4th care package gave me a very tough time because the box was so tiny and almost every July 4th item I found was too large to fit.

Mini July 4th Care Package

I did find peanut butter cups and Hershey’s kisses that were festively wrapped so they worked perfectly in my July 4th care package. I also squished a red, white and blue drink koozie in the bottom of the box. But I wanted to send something more than just candy and a koozie. So I kept shopping and got a little creative.

And that’s how my patriotic trail mix was created! I combined yogurt-covered craisins, yogurt-covered blueberries, regular craisins, cashews, banana chips and red, white and blue M&Ms.  I packaged it in plastic baggies and jammed a very solid portion into the box.

I capped off my mini July 4th care package with some cute stars cutouts (left over from previous care packages) and a little message. While this care package isn’t as extravagant as many of my others, I think it still gets the job done while not taking up a lot of space.

Care Packages

Care Package Freebies

June 28, 2017
Care package freebies

Care packages can get downright expensive. Between the contents, the decorations and the shipping, the total can really start adding up. While there are plenty of ways to save money on care packages, I think we can all agree that the best way is to get things for free. Luckily, there are quite a few companies and organizations that offer care package freebies to military personnel.

Where to find care package freebies

Hershey’s: Hershey’s support of the military dates back to WWII when they worked to create heat-resistant chocolate to add to troops’ rations. And now they want to send a little chocolate to your loved one! You’ll need to fill out the online application and they will ship something out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Chick-fil-A: many fellow military spouses have had success in getting local stores to donate care package freebies just by asking the manager. Sauces from Chick-fil-A and similar stores seem to be a popular choice and one that stores are very willing to donate.

StarKist Tuna: the company will send pouch tuna products to deployed troops with overseas addresses. You will need to email consumeraffairs@starkist.com with your request, as well as your loved one’s name and full address. These care package freebies will be mailed directly to the service member.

Dunkin’ Donuts: I don’t know about y’all but my husband runs on coffee when he’s deployed, so why not make it Dunkin’? You can enter your service member into a monthly lottery to win an entire case of coffee here.

Books for Soldiers: in my opinion, this may be the coolest of all the care package freebies. Troops can request a free book by filling out the online form. And it’s not just books! Volunteers donate CDs, DVDs and games that can be sent overseas.

Treat the Troops: if you’re looking to send your loved one something that’s homemade, Treat the Troops cookie donation may be just the way to go. Since 1990, the entirely volunteer-driven group has shipped out over 5 million cookies. You can request a package of cookies here.

These are just a few of the many opportunities to score care package freebies, but don’t overlook opportunities right in your backyard. So many people are willing to donate to folks in the armed forces that you could easily fill multiple care packages with donated items from friends and family.

Where have you found care package freebies?

Disclaimer: I have not taken advantage of any of these care package freebies, but am basing my recommendations off word of mouth from other military spouses.

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

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?

Care Packages Countdowns & Cupcakes Store

Float My Boat Care Package

June 12, 2017
Boat Care Package

Full confession: my husband is in the Navy so I’m a bit biased when it comes to all things nautical. But I can’t not love my newest care package! This boat care package is the perfect way to celebrate the start of summer, because who doesn’t want to be out on the lake during the hot summer months?

And while I may have drawn some inspiration from my sailor husband for this boat care package, it doesn’t have to go just to sailors! Once you fill it with items like water bottles, flip flops and sunglasses, it would brighten anyone’s day.

I love how this box turned out. It’s fun and has all the best parts of summer depicted on the flaps. Everything from the palm trees to the dolphins makes me wish I was on a tropical island somewhere.  The bottom piece is a little tribute to my husband, but is a sweet sentiment to share with someone in any branch of service.

This boat care package is now available in my shop and, as always, ships free. Plus 10% of the total will be donated to an organization that supports military families so you’re really giving twice!