I love care packages so much and want to start sharing some of my favorite ones! These milsos work so hard on these packages, so they deserve some extra recognition! I realize it is too late to send out Fourth of July care packages, but I thought it would be fun to still look at them and ogle at their creativity. You can still get ideas for the rest of the summer and for a patriotic care package for your significant other.
I hope these ideas help you in some way for future care packages, or that you just enjoyed seeing different ideas! Has your loved one gone overseas? Care packages are a great way to show you love them AND it is a great opportunity to keep you busy and take your mind of their deployment. If you have ever sent a care package, I'd love to hear your favorite one you made! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Friday's post, it is all about military ball dresses.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HonoringOurHeroes #CollectiveBias
Probably one of the top worst things a military couple could go through, but at the same time it is one of the best. I have only briefly discussed James’ deployment and the story of it so I thought it would be a great time to tell the full story.
November 2013, James and I met for the first time. There was an instant spark and while we just started off being friends, I quickly knew I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. The reason our lives even crossed paths though, was because James was predeployment training in Ft. Hood. I saw him only a handful of times before we had to say goodbye. To say this was challenging would be an understatement! Who would have thought I would meet my future husband, who I’ve waited to find all my life, and have to wait another year before I could be with him?
When he first left, I felt so heartbroken. It felt like a huge part of me was missing, which was strange since we had only just met each other. It was a blessing that his location had pretty great internet and we were able to talk and Skype more than I had expected.
Since we were still in the stages of getting to know each other, we had tons to talk about and it was a lot of fun getting to know him. I’ll be the first to admit, relationships during deployments aren’t all lovey-dovey and sweet talk. Nor are they completely filled with feeling down and alone. It is more of a perfect harmony between the two, although I wish I could tell y’all its all sunshine and rainbows!
Towards more of the middle and end of the deployment we got into the routine of things and had each other’s schedules down. He would wake up early to talk to me in the afternoon and vice versa. It is kind of funny to remember this now, but we would leave Skype open and have each other sleeping on the other end next to us. I would open Skype on my phone and lay it next to me while I slept, or when I’d get home from school he would wake up briefly and open Skype and go back to sleep. It sounds odd I know, but I really cherished those times together and it brought me such peace knowing he was just on the other end.
Now, while he was gone I went into crazy Army girlfriend mode. I knew nothing about the military, so I was bound and determined to figure this life out. I did a ton of research, trying to remember what exactly he did, figuring out what exactly base was and had there, and I loved finding companies that supported our troops. I found a plethora of businesses and companies who love to support our troops; I seriously found myself being drawn to them. Any company I found who showed military appreciation, I wanted to buy more things through them!
As of recent, I discovered that the Kleenex® Brand and Kroger stores are huge supporters of our armed forces. In fact, when going on our usual grocery shopping trip I walked past a display in King Soopers that reminded me how much Kleenex® Brand and Kroger love our troops.
They are currently doing a campaign, Honoring Our Heroes, where any four pack KLEENEX® BUNDLE PACK® Tissues box bought at a Kroger store, they will donate one to the USO. They are so handy for when you are feeling down, which is bound to happen, you have a Kleenex® Brand box you can reach for. And, you could send a pack to your loved one in a care package!
The USO is a huge blessing to military families, and I remember James going to one while he was waiting for his flight to leave. I thought that was such a cool unknown thing that existed in airports and now after being in some, I know what a great thing the Kleenex® Brand and Kroger stores are doing. I’ve seen a ton of armed forces men and women in the USO hubs, and to have brands like Kleenex showing their support warms my heart!
James is absolutely my hero, and I cannot imagine my life without him. There is such a cute quote that says “Some Heroes Wear Capes… Mine Wears Combat Boots”. And it is so true! I am so inspired and amazed by James and what he has done for our country.
Thank you to everyone who supports our troops, because without such a supportive community, I don’t know if they could do what they do! So, when you buy a Kleenex® Facial Tissue 4-pack bundle from your local King Soopers and other Kroger stores; they and Kleenex® Brand will donate one pocket pack to the USO! If you need help finding a store near you, or the products, I have them linked below! Since 2010, Kroger stores has donated more than $14 million to help USO programs, which is a lot of suppport for our 23 million veterans. If you have a hero story, Kroger is doing 13 giveaways if you socially share and tag it with #honoringourheroes. I love reading stories like this, so I really hope you share if you can! (and you can win a prize for it, so that's a great incentive!) I hope you all have a blessed day and enjoyed this post.
While the move has ended, the worst part has begun. We are now entering into long distance relationship territory, and it has definitely not been easy this time around. My heart has been aching to be by his side again and watching these vlogs back just bring a smile to my face all over again! I have broken them up into three vlogs, so you aren't watching an hour worth of James and I haha.
Thank you to Walmart and Acorn Influence for sponsoring this post. All opinions and content are my own.
It’s no secret that having a spouse in the military means you will be moving… A lot. Being an army spouse I have learned how to pack quickly and efficiently. Whether you are a military spouse or someone who is moving soon, I have some tips and tricks to make the moving process easier. Thankfully, Walmart makes preparing for a big move easier by having everything I need and having it at an affordable price. Walmart is my one stop shop for everything and they've proven that moving and packing can be made simpler.
2. Bag Your Clothes. Speaking of clothes, I discovered this was the easiest way to move clothing. Leave all your clothes on their hangers and slip a trash bag on over them. Then use the bag drawstrings to loop over your hangers. This helps free up more box space because when you not only pack the clothes, but you end up having to box up all of your hangers too. This eliminates that problem and you can just throw your clothes up on top of everything in your moving truck.
I have my clothes color coordinated and so I keep them organized even when packing them. It keeps me organized, and while I’m at it I toss all of the clothes I plan on packing up into the laundry. Tide pods come in handy, because I just toss in a pod with my load and not have to worry about perfectly measuring out each load. Not only is it a detergent, but also a stain remover and brightener; which makes me feel better about packing up my closet and knowing they will still look good and smell clean when I get to my new place.
3. Consolidate Rooms. This may be harder with kids, but try to move in everything you’ll need for the next month into one or two rooms. This way you can get a head start on cleaning the other rooms, and not have to worry about all of them on your move out day.
Bounty paper towels are great for cleaning any room of your house and because they are so absorbent; you can use less than you would with the other brands. I love using Bounty paper towels to clean bathrooms and kitchens, rather than rags because I feel they do a better job and don’t leave any lint.
4. Do One Final Clean. Your apartment manager or future home owner will greatly appreciate this and it will increase the chances of getting your deposit back. After everything has been moved out, I vacuum the carpeted areas and then load it up in the truck. Then I turn my attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have ever moved, you know how much of a pain it is to have to leave out the mop, cleaner, and bucket. And then after you’re done cleaning you have to rinse out the bucket, pack up the cleaner, and debate on whether you really want to drag this dirty mop to your new home.
I then discovered the beauty of Swiffer Wetjet Mop. The Swiffer does an amazing job at trapping and locking the dirt, as for a mop it kind of just gets moved around. Another bonus of this, is after you have cleaned the rooms one last time, you can just take off the mop base and throw it away. No more waiting for mops to dry, or tossing them away before moving! The Swiffer Wetjet mop is a life saver and I can just put it in the back of the car to take to our new home.
5. Have a First Day Bag. A lot of people forget this and move into their new place with everything in boxes leading to a stressful and disastrous first day in their new place. I like to use cloth bags for this, as they are easy to just grab and go. Put together items that you will need for the first day or two in your new home. Pack toiletries like your toothbrushes and toothpaste and possibly some travel size shampoo and conditioner. A huge forgotten thing: Toilet paper. My favorite is Charmin because they are ultra-soft and they come in packs big enough to place in all bathrooms for you and your guests! This is such a commonly overlooked thing and you'll thank me later when you have this packed and don't have to make a quick run to the store in the middle of unpacking at the new place.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I first move into a new place I have to clean the kitchen that day. I don’t know how well the previous owners or cleaners cleaned this area and I just want to really scrub it down. I pack a cleaner and some of my Bounty paper towels which usually does the task. Also, if you are moving into base housing, or any house that may have a funky smell I’ll give you a huge secret to fixing this: Unstopables air freshener. I could probably spend all day in the fragrance spray aisle, but I’ll save you the trouble and tell you this is the one you need! The smell can last up to 6 hours and make any home, even base housing, smell luxurious.
That's all folks! 5 not so commonly known packing hacks that will make any move stress free and easier. I have come to love moving around, and with Walmart's unbeatable prices and great products; I can pack up with the help of some great cleaning products. Comment down below what has been your favorite place to move, or where you would like to move! If you are moving in the near future, I hope these tips helped you and you are looking forward to your upcoming move now.
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A few weeks ago, I found a post on Facebook that made me roll my eyes. I am a huge sucker for the page Dear Dependa II and they shared a post from a woman who states how annoying it is for National Guard wives to complain about how tough it is. She is under the impression that National Guard is only a one weekend a month thing and we don’t understand their husband’s working 12+ hours, deployments, etc.
I was absolutely floored when I read this, and I almost couldn’t believe how oblivious she was about the National Guard. But then I realized, there are a lot of people who don’t understand what it is and what differences National Guard has versus Active Duty. Also, I’m not saying one is better than the other but there are definitely misconceptions I hope to debunk.
So, fellow National Guard wives and I came up with this list.
National Guard does deploy. Not sure where this myth came from, but I promise they deploy and sometimes even more often than AD.
They have Civilian jobs on top of NG. That’s right, they work every day at a normal job (or like my husband who works Guard full time) on top of deployments and the weekend drills.
Difficult Adjustment Periods. Since our spouses have civilian and Army duties, it’s hard to adjust between the two. AD you are on military mode at all times, and for most NG it’s hard to adjust between their day job and then National Guard time.
On Call for Emergencies. National Guards work for the state. Because of this, they can be called at an instant for state of emergency responses, natural disaster relief, etc.
Lag of Family Support Groups. I don’t want to use the word lack, because there are family support groups out there. But, because NG don’t live on base you miss out on the closeness of an FRG and other company functions that are more popular and easily accessible with the AD side.
Distance. Unlike AD where most live on base or very close by, National Guard can be the whole state distance away from where you live. Some live 4 hours away from where they drill, and with an early drill time this can definitely take a toll on the soldier.
Benefits. Yeah, I’m definitely envious of those with Tricare! NG doesn’t get this automatically (but you can apply and pay for it) so we have to find our own means of insurance. There are great insurance companies out there though, don't be discouraged.
You are more self-reliant. You don’t have the daily routine Active Duty has. With the National Guard you are more on your own and have to be accountable for keeping up with your diet and passing your PT tests. It requires a little more responsibility because you don’t have that everyday routine.
Conflicts with Civilian World. While it is very illegal to fire a soldier for military duties (drill, deployments, training) it does happen. NG soldiers have to be extra careful and cross their fingers they have a good boss who understands, because there have been cases where soldiers lost their civilian jobs due to required military duties.
Lack of Community. You are of the military community, but not in it if that makes sense. Yes, your spouse is in the military but you don’t have that same sense of community that Active Duty has. Some spouses aren’t surrounded by other military families that understand the struggles and aren’t close enough to a base and the benefits it offers.
Now I’m not saying the National Guard is worse, or even better, than Active Duty. I’m pointing out all of the misconceptions or little known quirks of the NG life. One is not better than the other, but it is definitely not just a “one weekend a month thing”. Just please remember, whatever status a soldier is in, they are serving our country. Support all troops and hopefully I enlightened you on the differences and similarities of the Army National Guard & Active Duty.
Special thanks to Vanessa (guard wife of 3 years), Rachel (guard wife of 3 years), Kristina (guard wife of 5.5 years), Stephanie, Sarah (guard wife of 6 years), Kim, Megan (USMC wife for 12 years, guard wife of 2 years), Ashley, Erin (guard wife less than a year), Raquel (guard wife 4 years), Christine (guard wife of 16 years), Morgan, Crystal, & Alisha.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!