James has captured so many great sights while visiting Prague, Czech Republic. Here are a few of my favorites! I have little insight on exact names and locations, I just have short descriptions that James gave me. So sorry this is less informative and more just beautiful photos haha.
Overlook of old city of Prague
Katedrala Svateho Vita
Astronomical clock- the images represent the days.
View from Petrin Lookout tower
I think any military spouse can tell you: deployments suck, plain and simple. Not only does it take a toll on you emotionally, but physically too. I love having things around my home to serve as daily reminders and encouragement while my husband is gone. Whether your significant other is deployed, overseas, or in training for the military; here are 3 ways you can remember him in your home.
Photo via @hollynmerritt
1. Kisses Jar
I learned this from the sweetest family back in High School, actually around the time I first met James, and I fell in love with this idea! You get a jar and put however many days until your husband is back home, and put that many kisses in there. I love this idea and did it for James' first deployment and now for this overseas thing he is doing. I found the cutest hershey's kisses at Wal-Mart and I had to have them! (Also, they are on sale and I got them for 70 cents!)
2. Year Round Tree
Now this one is a little bit out there, but after seeing other people having a year round tree, I thought this would be a great way to remember my husband! With the military, some members are gone for the majority of the year, so we are left coping and going through the holidays alone. I was kindly sent a Christmas tree from Tree Classics, and it is so beautiful! Since it is the summertime, and Fourth of July just occurred, I did this season patriotic themed. I love that the tree is white, giving me more of a blank canvas to work on and decorate. I love and chose this particular style because of the glitter!
I bought my decorations from Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby. I decided I wanted the main focus to be the pictures I hung and it is a great daily reminder of my sweet husband.
3. Deployment Wall
I have seen so many families do a deployment wall, and I think it's the sweetest idea ever! Since I don't have kids, I did my own little version of it, and I keep my kisses jar and my DIY flag nearby. I am keeping it a bit more simple since I do have my giant tree right next to this, and I think it all balances perfectly. I think keeping countdowns is a great way to stay strong, since you are looking forward to eating a kiss and marking down the days. I like keeping a chalkboard and chalkboard markers here and letting my little sister write the numbers, because she gets a kick out of it haha.
If you are looking for more inspiration, Emily Simmons is such a strong military spouse and mother of two (she's expecting!!) She made the cutest deployment wall for her and her little girl to enjoy. I love the idea of keeping the two time zones and a little mailbox for her husband.
Special thanks again to Tree Classics for providing me with this beautiful tree. I am so grateful they reached out to me, as they are supporters of the military community and families.
To all those going through a deployment, or any sort of long distance relationship, I hope to give you strength and motivation through this post. You are so strong, and just take one day at a time! I'd love to know down below, have you ever put something up in your home to remember your husband? I'd love to hear your ideas and tips. Thank you so much for reading!
I hope you all are having a great Wednesday! Where the heck did this week go?? haha. I am so sorry these vlogs are so far apart and from a little bit ago, I've just been super busy pushing out other content, and being featured on Military One Click which you can find here, so my vlogs have taken the back seat. I hope you have a great rest of your week and I'll have a post up this Friday. Enjoy moving part two, it makes me miss James even more so than I already do!
First things first: Happy Fourth of July! Next to Christmas, this is probably my favorite holiday. I love the whole atmosphere of the Fourth, with fireworks, parades, and flags being flown everywhere. I have such pride for our country and such love knowing how many people have fought, and are fighting, for our freedom. I love how this time of the year brings family and friends close together, all celebrating our country's independence day. I wanted to post today about a very cute DIY you and your family can make together to hang proudly in your home. I have seen this flag DIY floating around Pinterest and wanted to try it out for myself!
What you need:
-Glue-all (works on wood & crafts, hot glue gun would probably work better!)
-Wooden Dowel (I couldn't find the perfect length, so I glued two smaller ones together)
Everything I bought at Wal-Mart, because as you might know, it's my favorite place to shop! No, this isn't sponsored, if you have ever read my blog you'd know my love for this store haha. also, my entire outfit in this post is from Wal-Mart, just in case you were wondering. The ribbon costs varied from $1-$4. I would suggest not buying the pom pom ribbon, as adorable as it is, from here because it only ended up giving me one strand for this entire project!
this DIY is so simple, my little sister was even helping me on it! We just started with the red ribbon and would put the glue down, lay the ribbon on the wooden dowel, and press down firmly.
To make less of a mess, I used the glue bottle to press down, which was great for the lace ribbon strips. I wanted them all to be slightly different lengths so I just sort of eyeballed the measurements. Also, how cute is that star ribbon? ($1 at Wal-Mart!)
I then just cut a rectangle out of the blue bandanna. The bandanna had fold lines in it, so I just cut along that!
Lastly, I attached some twine so I can hang the flag on the wall. I love how it looks and adds in a more rustic feel.
Happy Fourth of July + thanks for reading!
If you end up doing this DIY, PLEASE tag me in it on Instagram @thestrattons! I would love to see your recreation of it. Also, if you'd like to see my inspiration, follow me on Pinterest and check them out too!
Military Balls. It has been a dream of mine to go to one, but until then I will just obsess over other girl's pictures and help you ladies out the best I can! I had a sweet girl comment on an Instagram photo where I asked for blog post ideas and she gave me this one. I love online shopping and finding the best deals, so I hope this post helps you find the perfect dress for you and your upcoming Military Ball. They are all under $100 because why on earth would we spend more than that! (hello, have you seen a military paycheck? haha)
Pay Attention to Color
You'll want to try and avoid bright neon colors and instead try and find a dress that compliments his dress blues or uniform. The most popular colors are black, off-white, blues, reds, and other jewel tones that would look nice with what your significant other is wearing.
Now you don't have to cover up everything, but just keep in mind you are a representation of your SO. This isn't a time to show off all your goods and have very revealing dresses on. Examples of what not to wear would be extreme plunging necklines, backs that go down to your lower waist, and dresses that are short and leave little to the imagination. You will be meeting and being around your significant other's bosses and higher up service members so keep that in mind.
Don't be Afraid of Bling!
Embellishments, sparkles, rhinestones can all be worn, tastefully. Just remember this is not prom so don't get a dress that is way over the top, but go for something more subtle. This will keep things more classic and timeless and while it is perfectly okay to wear prom dresses, there is a fine line between too much and just right. (think toddlers & tiaras style cupcake dresses haha) Also, keep in mind if you are planning on having photos taken of the two of you at the ball, rhinestones tend to go crazy with flash!
While I mentioned above that you want to keep things modest, that does not mean it has to be floor length! If you do want a shorter dress I'd suggest a tea length dress or something that is at least to your finger tips.
What better way to get an idea about what to wear, than from military spouses who have gone? A great source could be Instagram and just searching through hashtags. You can get a good idea on what other people are wearing and find some that are more recent, rather than Google searching and getting out of date dress ideas.
Online Stores Mentioned or Other Recommendations:
David's Bridal: ~$12.95 Shipping, does not ship to PO Boxes or APO addresses (my recommendation is to find the dress you want, and see if your nearest store has it in your size).
Prom Girl: Free Shipping and APO
Lulu's: Free Shipping US only, APO and PO Box shipping $5