With just over a week until Valentine’s Day, if you don’t have your Valentine’s Care Package in the mail you’d better copy this idea, quick! 😉 (And in case you didn’t know, Flat Rate boxes only take a couple of days to reach their destination.)
Naw, you’re probably all on top of things like that already, right? Goodness knows I was last year. At the time, my husband had just left on a six month deployment and one of the things that made all of us feel better was putting together care packages.
What I wasn’t great at during deployment – blogging regularly. Most of the care package ideas never made it onto the blog and we all get to have some fun revisiting them this year.
The husband left on deployment two days before his birthday in January. This may have been the very first care package the kids and I put together last year. Getting input from the kiddos and having them shop for things to go in the box – fun, fun!
I have to admit, I purposely kicked up my Care Package Game with this last deployment. Sure, I’ve sent care packages before, but this time around I was determined the husband would get at least a couple of envious glances from the other guys when he opened them. I wanted that wow factor as soon as the box was opened, so I made sure to decorate the inside of each box.
According to Pinterest one of the easiest ways to decorate the box is using wrapping paper. (And yes, I have an entire board devoted to Care Packages if you want more ideas.) I used THIS tutorial for that, which basically instructs you to diassemble the box, glue the wrapping paper on to the flattened box, trim the paper, and reassemble. It worked pretty well (don’t judge that one crazy edge on the bottom) though my personal preference for the *easiest* way to decorate the inside of the box is to use patterned scrapbook paper and double stick tape.
As soon as the husband reached his destination he was requesting flavorings for water. Those were a constant for every care package. For everything else, I went for sentimental or fun.
One of the big trends in care packages for deployment or other long distance relationships seems to be Open When envelopes. I thought these were a great idea, especially since it would help spread out the fun of the care package a while past the initial opening of the box. (More details on those in another post soon!)
Did you notice the envelope marked Date Night? My goal was to send a care package every couple of weeks. I also wanted to send a specific Date Night envelope at least once a month. Inside each one was a different idea for a faux long distance date night – movies, a TV show we followed together, hiking. (I’ll give this one its own post as well. Check back soon!)
No Valentine’s Care Package is complete without something sweet so we included a few treats.
These oversized Kisses became a constant in each care package as well. I thought it would be a nice touch to have something the husband knew he could look forward to in every box. Plus, well they’re kisses. Read into that any way you like 😉
One of the Open When Envelopes was, of course, dedicated to Valentine’s Day. The kids each made their Dad a card and I found funny printable cards and sent a few of those. (Sorry, I’ll include the link for the printable when I find it. It was a year ago, after all.) Plus, a box of chocolates tiny enough to fit in the envelope.
The kids also helped me write messages on balloons. We blew them up, wrote on them, and deflated them for easy shipping. That way, the husband got his own little DIY balloon bouquet.
I love those Sharpie Fine Point pens, don’t you? I used them for everything lately. (You can purchase some HERE).
Anyway, back to the package.
Every deployment needs at least one stuffed animal, right? (preferably covered in perfume. Trust me on this one.)
Kaitlyn picked this cute little guy out and wrote the tag. I’m sure her dad loved it, and everything else in his Valentine’s Care Package.
As much fun as it was to put together this Valentine’s Care Package, I’m much happier to have him home with us this year. For those of you celebrating Valentine’s Day apart from your loved one, I wish you a good one.
In search of more Care Package Ideas? I have more great themes like Beat the Heat and Half-Way There care packages. (I still got compliments on that last one at the squadron Christmas party!) Or for that spouse that is holding down the fort at home during deployment, a Deployment Survival Kit care package.
Linking to: Home Matters Party, BFF Open House, Pretty Pintastic Party, Pin Me Party, What to Do Weekends, Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make, Saturday Sharefest, Creativity Unleashed,
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It has been a snow-filled couple of weeks here and we’re almost to the end of January. That must mean Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.
Has anyone come up with good gift ideas yet?
The husband and I decided to forego gifts this year and spend the money on something to do together. I ran across this great cooking class for couples on the 14th – five courses of fancy food, plus chocolates and flowers. It sounded great. Sadly, it was sold out.
I may have thrown a little temper tantrum because I really wanted to go. And because now I have to come up with Plan B.
But. At least the kids’ gifts were easy. The little guy’s teacher and classmate Valentine’s gifts came together no problem as well. Want to see?
My little guy has a planner that he brings home every day in which his teacher has him write anything he needs to do for homework, reminders, and so on. Every day they also have a motivational quote.
I thought it would be fun to give her a way to display some of those quotes thus – the Quote Clipboard.
The base for the quote clipboard is just a 12″ x 12″ piece of wood that I stained and coated with poly. (Link to my favorite poly)
To make it stand up, I drilled a hole on the back and inserted a 3″ dowel. Silly me left the stain down at the shop, so I ended up painting the dowel black. In a perfect world, the dowel gets its own coat of stain too.
You could glue the dowel in, but I left it loose and just taped it to the back of the board so it would be easier to gift wrap.
Adding a clip to the front completes the assembly process.
See? Totally easy.
I have a whole box of clips but I know that they can be hard to find. So (nice person that I am!) I’ll save you the trouble of hunting them down – the clips are generally referred to as Bulldog Clips and can be purchased HERE.
Tyler helped me select three of his teacher’s most-used quotes from his planner and we found a few new ones for her as well. The top row of quotes in the photo came from HERE.
I loved the rainbow colors on the printables, so I used a similar style on our quotes (bottom row).
Not bad, if I do say so myself.
I like my kids to be involved in the process when they give gifts. So after a quick review of my Pinterest Boards I gave my little guy a short list of ideas he could give to his classmates. He chose bouncy balls. Nice.
It was a simple matter to come up with a “punny” saying for the tag. It reads: “I have a BALL with you Valentine.”
As luck would have it, we had these bags leftover from some of my husband’s pre-Christmas baking. Easy peasy.
Tyler stuffed the bouncy balls into the bags and I stapled on the tags. Teamwork, people. Teamwork.
Now we’re all set for Valentines – more than two full weeks ahead of schedule! (I get a high five for that, right?)
Now back to figuring out what to do with the husband on Valentine’s Day. Any suggestions?! Please?
If you are still in search of more Valentine’s gift ideas feel free to check out my Pinterest Board or some of my ideas from previous years like my Crazy Cool Valentines last year or Teacher Gifts in a Cup.
And as always, if you make your own DIY Quote Clipboard or anything else you see on the blog – pease share!
Happy Veteran’s Day!
Yes, I do know it was yesterday and that is when I started this post but sometimes life gets in the way. I got interrupted, then distracted, then had to take care of a bunch of things so we could make it to the Veteran’s Day assembly at the elementary school (which was really well done. Very glad we went), then well, I just didn’t finish but I didn’t want to just let it go at that as I was reminded time and time again yesterday how important the day was to a lot of people.
When I was young I didn’t think much about Veteran’s Day – it was just something the school taught about and seemed to only apply to guys that were in Vietnam or something. That is no longer how I view Veteran’s Day or the military. In fact, the military is now a huge part of my life and that of my friends and family. The photo above was taken at the airport when my husband returned from his second deployment to Iraq, almost 8 years ago (my kids were so little!). My husband says he knew he wanted to be in the military since he was around 9 years old. There are some people that are drawn to that life, and while I may not still fully understand the calling, I am behind them 100%. It is a hard life for those in the military (and their family and friends), but it’s an important one.
With that in mind, this felt like the perfect time to share the Deployment Survival Kit
Though he is back now, it doesn’t seem that long ago that the husband of a good friend deployed. The day he left we knew she would have a hard time, so another friend and I went over to her house for a Girl’s Night of hanging out. We didn’t go empty-handed either. My friend and I had a lot of fun putting together a Deployment Survival Kit for her.
Seriously, we went overboard. It’s all my friend’s fault for picking a giant bucket for the container 😉
We decorated the container (yes, it’s vinyl lettering) and whipped up some fun tags for all the items in the basket.
Inside the basket:
-wine glass that reads “Deployment Survival, One Sip at a Time”
-tissues “to wipe away the tears”
-gourmet chocolate “because chocolate just makes everything better”
-decorative toothpicks “to help you pick out the good in every situation you encounter”
-flashlight “to remind you there is a light at the end of the tunnel”
-margarita “for when you just need a DRINK”
-duct tape “to fix whatever is broken”
-lollipop “because deployments suck”
-hand sanitizer/soap “to clean your hands after doing all the manly work”
-paperclip/binder clip “to help you keep it together”
-bottle of wine “for when you feel like wine-ing”
(some of you that know me are probably thinking, “wait, what?” No I don’t drink, but some of my friends do and I’m ok with that)
-cute pens “to sign your Xs and Os”
-nail polish “remember to take care or even better pamper yourself”
-yellow ribbon “to show the world you support your soldier”
-disguise (I did printable photo prop but it would have been cute with those eye glasses w/ mustache ones too) “for when you just want to hide out”
-coffee drink (energy drink would work well too) “for when you need the energy to make it through the day”
-flag “to remind you what the sacrifice is for”
-notebook/magnetic To Do list notebook “to keep your To Dos in order”
-nuts/trail mix “for when you feel like you’re going nuts”
-bubble wrap “to help relieve some stress”
-sewing kit “for when things are falling apart at the seams”
-rope “for when you reach the end of yours, this will keep you going a bit longer”
-Hershey Kisses “until you can kiss your soldier again”
-yo-yo “to remind you there will be ups and downs and it’s OK”
-manicure/pedicure kit (or just nail clippers/file) “for when you hit a snag”
-funny/motivational quote (excuse the language – it’s not how I usually express myself but it fits her perfectly)
Rather extensive list, right? Completely over the top. (no surprise – that’s how I often do things!) Five to ten items would have been plenty. For any of you that want to use the idea, now you have plenty to pick and choose from! And, as always, if you are inspired by this idea I would love to hear about it.
Again, to all of our military and the family and friends who make it all possible, we thank you on Veteran’s Day and every day. Keep up the good work!
We are mid-way through June and well-entrenched in all things summer – mostly swimming (both kids at swim team practice 4 days a week – whose ideas was that?!) and spending time outside now that all the unusual raininess of May has turned into warmer, sunnier days of June. I can’t wait for our first trip to the lake and to take the kids hiking in the mountains. What hadn’t really entered into my summer planning (until last week) was the fact that summer is also popular for weddings – and the need for gifts for said weddings. And I was just patting myself on the back that I had Father’s Day all planned for and could take a break from the gift giving for a few weeks! *sigh* But as luck would have it, my cousin’s bridal shower was on Saturday and I needed a gift. So we left the kids home and I drug my mom out shopping on afternoon last week. And wouldn’t you know it – we actually had fun!
Not wanting to have to drive too far, I had decided that the first store we would visit should be World Market. I hadn’t been in for a while and they always have some fun things to look at. They have the most adorable fun, bright summer stuff out right now. (they aren’t the only store that does – I love all seeing all the summer things everywhere I go) It didn’t take long for us to get inspired to put together a great Date Night Picnic Gift Basket for the bride-to-be. (And nope, this post is not sponsored by World Market, though maybe I should hit them up for that since 90% of the items in the basket were purchased there 😉 )
So what’s in the basket?
-wine glasses: which were just nice plastic ones – don’t want them breaking! – which I took home and added the Mr. and Mrs. to (using my silhouette machine and vinyl) to give it a more personalized touch.
-shelf stable gourmet cheese and fancy crackers
-yummy looking cookies (and chocolate truffels, but those didn’t make it into the photo)
-napkins to coordinate with the colors of the blanket and basket
all packed into a great striped insulated picnic basket.
Fun, fun! I almost wish I could have kept it. But I am happy to report that it got many compliments at the bridal shower and will give the happy couple something fun to do this summer.
I know of at least one more family wedding coming up so I will need to start shopping (or crafting!) for that one soon. What is your favorite gift to give for weddings/bridal showers? Or what was the best gift(s) you received for your wedding?