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Care Packages

Care Package Inspiration

June 7, 2017
Pinterest Care Package Inspiration

I remember the first time I discovered Pinterest. I was in college and it was dangerously close to finals week, but I just had to pin ALL the things. If I had known how important Pinterest would be for me in the future, I may not have ever studied for my exams! But now Pinterest is a great source of care package inspiration and a place I regularly turn when I’m stuck for ideas.

To save you hours of browsing (and falling into the Pinterest rabbit hole), I’ve pulled together a roundup of my favorite Pinterest care package inspiration and linked sources when I could find them. Feel free to shop around or work with me on a custom order!

Pinterest Care Package Inspiration

I love both of these designs from One Day Closer Design. The superhero one is perfect to send from a group; maybe from little ones for Father’s Day. And then the pirate one hits just the right note between funny and naughty without being (too) embarrassing.

Pinterest Care Package Inspiration

These two beauties came from Creative Care Packages. Their Instagram is full of great care package inspiration, both for the design and care package contents. I love the romance of the Lady and Tramp one and it shows that you don’t necessarily have to own a fancy machine to create gorgeous care packages.  I love how well the contents of the movie night care package fit the theme; you could use this as a long distance date!

Pinterest Care Package Inspiration

Unfortunately, these four didn’t have sources linked on Pinterest, but they were so cute I had to include them. (If they’re yours, let me know in the comments!) I’m just in love with the camping one and think the words as a constellation are one of the most creative ideas I’ve seen. And the tissues on the flap for the prescription box? Perfection!

If you’re looking for more care package inspiration, check out my blog posts or Pinterest.

Care Packages Countdowns & Cupcakes Store

Custom Care Packages

June 5, 2017
Custom Care Packages

Care packages are a great way to tell someone you love them, no matter how far away they are. So shouldn’t there be a care package that’s as unique as your relationship? I thought so too which is why I’m now accepting orders for custom care packages in my shop!

That’s right! You can now order custom care packages and send your loved one a one-of-a-kind box decorated just for them. Just visit my shop and click the “Request Custom Order” button on the left hand side of the page. It will start a conversation where we can figure out exactly what you want and then I will create the custom listing for you to purchase. Each custom order is $15, ships for free and will be custom designed to fit your request.

Custom Care Packages

Tips for ordering custom care packages

Be specific. 

When ordering custom care packages, it’s really important to be as specific as possible. If you know your loved one hates glitter or loves the color purple, share that with me. The more specific you can be, the better shot I have of making exactly what you’re looking for.

Send ideas or examples. 

Another great way to make sure your custom care packages turn out the way you want is to send examples. Pinterest is a great source of care package inspiration (check out some of my favorites here) and sending photos of care packages you like helps me narrow down the design.

Allow for creativity. 

Part of the beauty of ordering custom care packages is that you get something no one else has. If you want me to copy someone else’s design exactly, that benefit is lost. Send inspiration, but also allow me to make some creative choices that make your design unique.

Custom Care Packages

Interested in custom care packages? Send me a message on Etsy along with some of your ideas and we’ll get something started!

Military

Military Spouse Profile: Amanda From Airman To Mom

June 1, 2017

There are so many amazing military spouses out there kicking butt on a daily basis that deserve to be recognized and I’m excited to feature one of them each month with my Military Spouse Profile series. If you’re interested in sharing your story (or know someone who might), please send me an email!

Introduce yourself to my readers! Tell us a little bit about who you are.

I’m Amanda, former Air Force member and now military spouse and stay at home mom. I have two boys, ages 3 and 1. We currently live in Southern California, enjoying the beautiful weather and frequent trips to Disneyland. I blog about thriving in the transition from military to motherhood. I love finding way to inspire others through the transition.

What inspired you to start blogging?

The transition from military to motherhood was rough. My husband had to go to 8 weeks of training about 8 weeks after my first son was born. Those eight weeks were so hard and I was so lonely and pretty sure I was failing at motherhood. Through it I found blogs, the most influential being Lisa Jo Baker’s blog. I ended up joining her launch team for her first book, Surprised by Motherhood and by the time her book was released I joined the blogging world and started sharing my story. I wanted to encourage other moms.

What’s the main message you hope your blog shares with your readers?

You can do it. It doesn’t matter what you have done or what you are going through now. You can do it and you can thrive in the transition. It is going to be hard and you may fail a few times, but when you come out the other end you will be stronger from what you have gone through.

What is your favorite part of being a military spouse?

Getting to live in so many different places. Moving is a good and bad thing because you don’t really get to put down roots and when you do you have to move again. But I have made some amazing friends and I have loved learning and traveling this great nation of ours. I am dreading the next move, since we will be leaving my home state, but excited about what new friends and experience we will have for the rest of our military life adventure.

Tell us a little bit about your journey as a military spouse-the ups and downs, lessons learned, etc.

I started out as military spouse who was also serving in the military. I had a hard time finding my way between being a spouse and being in the service. Luckily my first base had a great spouse club and they loved me just the way I was. My second assignment I transitioned from military to motherhood and it was a really hard experience. I was so lonely. I knew people, but most of them knew me as military Amanda and not mom Amanda. And apparently the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. When we moved to LA, I was determined to make friends and fill the void I had felt. I got lucky and found friends quickly and have had so many amazing experiences at this assignment. It will be hard to leave and go on to the next adventure, but that’s the military way.

It has been hard to be on the other side of the military, when you are in your job is easy and you know a lot of the why and so you just do what you have to do. But I have realized how much harder it is to be a spouse to support your spouse when you don’t know the why and often have a harder job being left behind to take care of little humans who sometimes can suck the life right out of you. There isn’t a lot of hoopla for the spouses and they deserve so much gratitude and respect.

What’s the number one piece of advice you would give a new military spouse?

Be ready for the adventure and try to enjoy it. My husband keeps asking me where he should try to get the military to send us next, but I have realized it doesn’t matter where we go, but that we are together, which is one of the main reasons I didn’t stay in. Each base, small or big, in the middle of nowhere or in a big city all have things you can learn and see. I have made friends and seen so much at each assignment.

What or who has been the biggest help or source of support to you in your role as a military spouse?

One of my friends who served with me in Afghanistan got out a few years before me. Her husband was also in the military so she was similar to me. I feel like she paved the way and gave me the confidence to actually get out. I have enjoyed talking to her now that we are both moms and have gone through so many similar experiences.

Do you have a favorite place the military has taken you? What is it and why?

When I was deployed to Afghanistan I got a mid-tour break and my husband decided to meet me in New Zealand instead of having me go back stateside. It was an amazing vacation and one I hope we can do again with the boys when they are older.

Just for fun:

  • Favorite Netflix binge-worthy watch? I don’t watch a lot of tv, but I do currently like Scorpion and I used to watch Agents of Shield until it got a little weird.
  • What’s your favorite hobby? I love to run. I have run a handful of half marathons the past few years. I’m planning on doing three in 2017. I completed the first one in January at Disneyland.
  • Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate for sure!!
  • Tell us a random fact about yourself. Man, I used up all my go to facts in the interview. I normally say I was in the military. But I guess I will go with the fact I have been converted to a crazy Disney person since we moved to LA. Last month we went every weekend so we could get special buttons. Only crazy people do that and I am one of them.

Many thanks to Amanda for sharing her story! People often forget that you can be a military spouse and a member of the military at the same time.  I’m glad folks like Amanda are sharing their stories. You can find Amanda on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Military

Dear New Military Spouse

May 25, 2017

Dear new military spouse,

First off, welcome to the club! You are now part of a diverse group of men and women from all different walks of life who do amazing things every day. Second, how are you feeling? Maybe a little overwhelmed? Excited? Scared? Flat out confused? All of that is 100% normal and something most of us feel on a regular basis no matter how long we’ve been married to the military.

You’re going to hear a lot of ideas and opinions from seasoned military spouses about how to survive in this crazy world. It’s completely up to you to choose what you advice you take and what advice you leave behind. It may begin to get a little overwhelming so I won’t give you advice today. Instead I’ll share a few of my hopes for you in this new role.

My hope is that you will make the most of this life. There are sure to be some ups and downs, which is just about the only thing that is certain in military life. Because you never know what will be around the next bend (or in the next set of orders), I hope that you embrace each new situation, smile when it’s raining and say “I love you” often.

My hope is that you will support and encourage your fellow military spouses. The unique challenges of being a military spouse should bring us together and we should take every opportunity to build each other up. Be a champion for your neighbor, celebrate each other’s accomplishments and act as an advocate for military spouses’ education and employment opportunities.

My hope is that you will educate civilians about the military lifestyle. We all have a responsibility as military spouses to educate others, dispel myths and be solid ambassadors for our group. You can do that by remaining authentic to who you are and speaking up when you hear misinformation. People can’t understand this lifestyle if we don’t teach them about it.

Being a new military spouse can be scary, overwhelming and nerve wracking, but it can also be wonderful and so much fun if you allow it to be. Head into this new stage of life full of hope and be open to the world of possibilities stretching out in front of you.

What advice would you give a new military spouse?

Care Packages

Cover Your Flaps: How To Cover Your Care Package

May 24, 2017

I’ve shared a lot of care package ideas on this blog, everything from what to put in them to keeping costs down. But no matter what tips or tricks you use, care packages usually start in the same spot: covering the flaps. For many military spouses, it’s a way to say “I love you” when our loved ones are so far away. Luckily there are as many ways to cover your care packages as there are versions of “I love you”.

Ways to cover care package flaps

Maps

Maps are fairly cheap and you can get them just about anywhere. This would be a lot of fun for a travel care package or even one with a hometown theme. I used a map for my North Carolina care package and one full-sized road map covered a medium flat rate box perfectly, including the interior sides. I cut it into 12×12 sheets and then used my Silhouette to cut it to the right size for the flaps.

Pictures

My husband always raves about any photos I send him so why not take this to the next level and cover your care package flaps with pictures? You could enlarge them so they entirely cover each flap or make a collage with multiple photos. Places like Walgreens and Wal-Mart offer relatively inexpensive enlargements and collage printing, plus Walgreens will ship them to you!

Children’s artwork

What do little kids love more than anything else? Well maybe not anything else, but drawing has to be in the top 5 for sure. Have them get creative with crayons (or paint if you’re really adventurous) and get them to decorate the care package flaps. You could also have them use stickers, markers or just about any other craft supply.

Scrapbook paper

Scrapbook paper is probably the go-to care package flap cover because of how versatile it is. You can purchase them in just about every color and pattern for any holiday, theme or occasion you can imagine. Two 12×12 pieces will cover the four flaps and you’ll need another 12×12 piece for the bottom of the box; medium or large flat boxes both take the same number of sheets.

Newspapers

Did something big happen in your hometown recently? Did your loved one’s favorite team win the championship? Grab a newspaper and use the relevant sections to cover your flaps. You could also use the funnies to give your loved one a much needed laugh.

Posters

Do you want to send a music or movie themed box? Use a poster to cover the flaps! You can get posters for just about any popular movie, TV show or musician these days and one poster should cover the entire box. You may need to do a bit of measuring to make sure you make the right cuts, but it will look so cool once you’re done!

Wrapping paper

Similar to scrapbook paper, wrapping paper comes in every patter and style imaginable. You can treat it just like the map: cut it into smaller sections and then trim it to fit your box.

There are almost as many care package flap cover ideas as there are themes to decorate for. What are some of your favorite things to cover care package flaps?