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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.

Care Packages

Anniversary Pun Care Package

September 13, 2017
Anniversary Pun Care Package

Some of you may remember that last month A and I celebrated our five year dating anniversary. Well technically, we’re waiting to celebrate it because A is currently deployed, but I made sure he was still feeling the love thanks to my anniversary pun care package.

Even before A left, I knew that I wanted this box to be food themed, mainly because there are so many cute food puns out there! I chose four of my favorites and started cutting out all the pieces. This is probably the most labor intensive box I’ve sent him so far because each flap had multiple layers, but the end result is so worth it!

Anniversary Pun Care Package

I picked a dark blue as the background for this anniversary pun care package so that everything would pop against it. Plus dark blue is my husband’s favorite color so I couldn’t really go wrong! This was the rare care package that I opted to not wrap all of its contents and instead covered the top with a layer of tissue paper. Truth be told I was running a bit short on time and couldn’t find the right color paper to go with everything. I ended up really liking the blank slate the white tissue paper gave me; it made sure your attention went right to the box’s flaps!

Anniversary Pun Care Package

I packed this box full of goodies, including a microwavable mac and cheese dinner to remind him of our first date, but my favorite was definitely the personalized book I made! I used a company called LoveBook and it could not have been easier! The website has a bunch of pre-made templates, but you can edit them to fit your relationship. I put together a paperback story of our relationship and absolutely loved the way it turned out.  If you haven’t given LoveBook a try, definitely give it a shot. (P.S. this is totally not a sponsored post. I just really loved my book!)

I know I say this a lot, but this anniversary pun care package may be my favorite one yet! I so wish we could have celebrated five years as a couple together, but this care package was a nice placeholder under we can be together again.


Five Years Later

August 14, 2017

Five years ago today, I nervously picked at mac and cheese while trying to convince myself that I did not like the guy sitting next to me. He was older, in the military and basically everything I didn’t want in a guy.

Spoiler: he turned out to be everything I wanted in a guy and now we’re married and I write cheesy blog posts on our dateaversary.

It’s a little hard to believe that five years have gone by this quickly. In the time since that (slightly awkward) first date, we’ve built a life together: making it through multiple deployments, getting married, moving into our dream home, adding four-legged members of our family and traveling to new places.

Looking back at five years of memories, all I can think is: boy have we been busy! Seriously, so much has happened in the last 1,826 days. We’ve had so many adventures and our relationship has become so much a part of who I am that I cannot imagine my life without A.

I wouldn’t say that being with A has made me a different person, but over the past five years, I’ve grown as a person, largely because of him. He makes me brave enough to try new things, strong enough to face my fears and confident enough to pursue my biggest dreams.

Whether it’s quiet nights in or nights out on the town, I’ve loved dating my husband over the past five years. I still get butterflies every time he smiles at me and look forward to him coming home each night. Each deployment homecoming makes me feel like I’m back on that first date all over again.

So here’s to five years since that first date and the many more dates to come. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!

Care Packages

Anniversary Care Package Inspiration

July 26, 2017
Anniversary care package inspiration

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that anniversaries have a lot of meaning to me and that I really enjoy celebrating them. I certainly don’t let something as small as my husband being deployed stop me! As our dating anniversary approaches, I’ve started thinking about the anniversary care package I will send him.  I pulled together some of my favorite ideas for you all!

Anniversary Care Package Decor


You could print a photo collage and cut it to fit each flap or even create one with individual photos on the flap itself. Depending on the resolution of your photo, you could blow it up and use one photo to cover the entire inside of the box. Imagine how cool that would look!

Maps of significant locations

Pick a map of where you met, where you fell in love, where you live, where you got engaged/married and you’ve already covered the entire box! I used maps for a care package during our last deployment and loved how it turned out.

Handwritten love letters

People don’t write love letters enough anymore; email and texts just aren’t the same. There’s something inherently more romantic about handwritten letters and what better time to use them than an anniversary care package? You would need to write them on large enough paper to cover the entire flap, but the effect would be so sweet.

Reasons you love him/her

This could go hand-in-hand with handwritten love letters, but covering all four flaps with reasons you love your service member works perfectly for an anniversary.  You could write out a long list or place a few reasons in little envelopes attached to the flaps.

Anniversary Care Package Contents

Photo album or scrapbook

You can find small photo albums for a few dollars and once you fill them with pictures, they make the perfect gift. Since most albums have those plastic photo protectors, you could also slip in a few love notes or include small mementos of your relationship.


No, this isn’t something dirty. LoveBook is this super cute illustrated version of life with your loved one. The characters are super cute and they have so many different pages, you will definitely find something that applies to your relationship.

Deployment-friendly take on traditional gift

Did you know that there are traditional wedding anniversary gifts? See if you can come with a deployment-friendly version of the traditional anniversary gift to send your loved one. Creative gifts are often the best because of the extra thought that goes into them.

Puzzle letter

I just found this idea and so want to try my hand at a puzzle letter! This would be so cute if you used a photo of the two of you as the picture and then wrote a sweet note on the back.  It’s something interactive and handmade for your loved one with a sentimental twist.

Do you celebrate all of your anniversaries? What would you put in an anniversary care package?

Care Packages

Anniversary Care Package

November 17, 2016
Anniversary Care Package

Monday was our two year wedding anniversary and A and I had to celebrate it apart. Bummer, I know. But every deployment cloud has a silver lining and right now, this anniversary care package is mine! I have never sent a small box like this before so I was excited for the challenge of decorating and filling it.


I kept the decoration for this anniversary care package fairly simple because I knew I was sending it along with a much more elaborate box. But I also wanted it to be very personal and obvious that it was for our wedding anniversary.

I found really pretty scrapbook paper that had a faint lace-like pattern on it, which is reminiscent of my wedding dress. I measured and cut paper for the top flap, middle part and then the bottom of the box, using two pieces total.  I wrote a sappy love note on the bottom of the box and added lyrics from our first dance song to the top flap.

But I needed something more! And that’s when it hit me-I still had wedding wands left over from our wedding. Suddenly being a sentimental hoarder was paying off! I took the wand apart and attached the ribbons to the top flap. I think it took my anniversary care package to the next level!

Anniversary Care Package

The contents for this anniversary care package were also fairly simple, but still very personal. I filled the box with some blue package filler to keep things cushioned. There are some snacks and a small card at the bottom. On top, I place a copy of our wedding video with my super easy custom CD cover (it’s literally just a photo cut to size) and then the jingle bells from our bell wands.

Yes the box jingles when you move it. Yes the post office worker mentioned it. Yes A will likely be embarrassed. Yes I’m ok with all of that.

This anniversary care package is definitely simple, but very heartfelt and I think that’s an important lesson. You don’t have to have the flashiest, craziest box to make it mean something to the recipient!