As a military wife, you learn very soon that never every holiday will be spent with your loved one. What I didn't really take into account, is I will also miss out on celebrating holidays with my family, especially my parents. This Mother's Day I wanted to do something special for my mom, because she is always sending me packages for every holiday! It's time we celebrate our moms! Whether that is your mom, sister, wife, friend, etc.; giving that mom in your life a gift will show them how much we love and appreciate all they do.
Now, I am no stranger to care packages and I thought this would be a perfect way to send my mom a gift even though she is thousands of miles away. I went to my AAFES on base and found the cutest American Greetings Mother's Day cards and gift essentials. They had an adorable stand and a huge selection of cards and gift supplies! It helped me establish the theme and I took the floral and bright colors into account when picking out her presents. This is an easy way to establish cohesiveness in your gift and act as an aid when finding the perfect gifts for mom!
This American Greetings wrapping paper was the first thing that caught my eye and was my inspiration when designing this care package! I decided to measure my box flaps and cover them in the wrapping paper, so when she opened it, she had a bright floral welcoming! Also, if you buy 3 cards, you can save $2 from 4/17-5/14. This is perfect to show the appreciation and love to all of the mom's in your life! Being on an Army or Air Force base means we are away from our families, so this is a perfect way to give the mom in your life a nice pick me up and gift for this holiday.
I found this little wall art piece and a light scarf that she can wear for the summertime. I added in a photo of me and J because she has been asking for one for awhile now (great and easy gift for any mom, they love pictures!). I then filled a cute Mom mug with chocolate that I will be bubble wrapping at the post office to keep it safe in shipping. I wrapped all of the gifts in this American Greetings tissue paper and gift wrap! I also found an adorable women's devotional, that just so happened to go with the theme extremely well, and a floral lotion.
While shopping for the perfect Mother's Day card, I stumbled upon this grandma one, and it was too perfect! This is my mom's first Mother's Day as a grandma and I wanted to throw in something special that would remind her of this special year and add in an ultrasound picture of her granddaughter. Adding special touches like this will give that personal feel and be great keepsakes for years to come. I love that American Greetings has a card for every mom out there, there are plenty of personal to you and unique cards to choose from.
For more Mother's Day inspiration and to
find the perfect card for the mothers in your life, check out
Sometimes the smallest acts can make the biggest impacts. I cannot wait for my mom to receive her care package! I posted this early enough for y'all to go out and buy the mother in your life some adorable American Greetings goodies and be able to recreate a care package too. I know how tough it can be to be states away from your mom, but never feel like you can't still treat her as you would if you were there with her.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there, we wouldn't be here without you.
I am sure I'm not the only one who has a Pinterest board full of marble countertops in my "dream home" board! Something about the look just feels so clean, sophisticated, and fancy. When we moved into our home I immediately wanted to cover the not-so-appealing bathroom counter tops and remembered seeing a few video tutorials of people using contact paper to take their counters from drab to fab. I thought I would give it a shot and here is how it really went down!
First off, I pawned my project off on my husband. With cutting in a straight line being a requirement, I figured this project would have better luck in his hands haha! We picked up this peel and stick shelf liner from Lowe's and it was about $5. We also bought a box cutter but I luckily found my Xacto knife and it was more precise and easier to control.
He did a few measurements of the width and length of the counter tops and did the main surface in two pieces. Our counter is a little tricky because of the curved back and square side but he just did the side in a different take and you can't even tell the separation!
This paper is just peel and stick so once you peel of the backing you can get started! He lined it up with the edge of the counter and had it a little longer than the length to compensate for the curved top. He roughly cut out the sink so he could move the liner easier. The only thing about this liner is it is very prone to air bubbles! Make sure you go slow and have the patience to pick it up and smooth it out several times haha.
Using the Xacto knife, he cut along the sink's rim and did the same for the wall portion. Go slow to prevent ripping the paper and press down and let the knife lead the way along the edges.
And that's it! Now we have a Pinterest- worthy bathroom and I am so in love with it! I feel like it looks a thousand times better and it's such an inexpensive change, I highly recommend! This would be a great project for those renting or living in base housing because you can remove it when you are moving out! I'm excited to see how it holds up and am super proud of my husband for tackling this project haha Good thing this is The Stratton's blog and I get to rope him into helpful posts like this!
Thank you for reading and I would love to know if you give this a try!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreMomentsWithExcedrin #CollectiveBias
I think most college students can relate: classes, tests and finals all bring so much stress as you strive to do your best. I was in the heat of college classes and finals and I started getting the worst migraines I've ever experienced. I was studying for my math final and was suddenly hit with the worst migraine. Now, math is my worst subject and it is just so hard for me to comprehend- please tell me I'm not alone! I knew that if I failed this exam, I would fail the whole class and that alone stressed me out even more! On account of being mostly feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I knew I needed a remedy and when I spotted the Excedrin® Migraine in the Walmart pain reliever aisle, it was just what I needed!
I found that taking the Excedrin® in the morning was a great migraine relief so I could face my classes head on with a clear head. In 30 minutes, my migraine was gone and I could focus on studying and doing well! I wanted something that could help remedy my migraines more, which is when my husband told me about his mom making rice packs for herself when she suffered from migraines. I thought that was genius, did some research and made my own!
I ended up passing my math final, doing a lot better than I thought I would, and it was all thanks to my power duo of a team: my rice pack and Excedrin® Migraine! This was a major moment for me, because all semester I experienced terrible migraines and finally I had a remedy that worked for me. Excedrin® Migraine starts to relieve migraine pain in 30 minutes. It is even #1 Neurologist Recommended*!
*Among OTC medicine for migraines. Symphony Health Solutions, 2016
I wanted to share this quick and easy DIY with you all, because if you suffer from migraines, muscle pains, or even cramps, this will be a great solution in addition to using Excedrin® as directed!
Consult your doctor if you think you are suffering from migraines, that way you can ensure you are taking the right medicine for you.
You will need…
string: if you want to do no sew
essential oils optional
I begin by filling my sock with the rice. I decided to use a Christmas sock just because it was fun, colorful, and it is a bit longer so I could use it on my neck if I wanted to.
I stopped at this point, because as you can see the toe part is very full. I wanted to leave extra room at the top so when it was closed off it would be more evenly distributed. Also, this is the step you can add in essential oils by dropping in about 3 drops. Great migraine relievers are lavender, peppermint, and rosemary.
If you are wanting to do no sew, start tying it off at about santas hat. I have a few that are just tied with string, or just knotted off, and it works great! For the sake of this tutorial, I wanted to sew it off so it would look better. I am new expert at sewing, but I just did a simple line and went back over it to make sure it was secure.
How to Use…
Now that you've made your super handy rice pack, how do you use it?
Place your rice pack in the microwave and heat it for 30 second intervals. Do not go over that time, because the rice will start to burn and it will smell awful (yes I know from experience!)
For best migraine or headache relief, lay down in a dark room and place the rice pack on your forehead. I like using this extra long sock, because it fits perfectly around my neck which is great for when I'm stressed! But if you are just wanting to use it for headaches, a normal sock will perfectly lay across your forehead. Store your rice pack on your night stand or in your medicine cabinet, just make sure it is in a cool, dry place.
If you suffer from migraines too, having your DIY rice pack + Excedrin® Migraine will help you combat those pesky migraines. Ultimately, allowing you to focus more on being productive and acing your next test!
Excedrin® products deliver fast relief for different types of headaches. And, your headache demands a headache solution so here is where you can find Excedrin® products at Walmart!
Are you going to make your own rice pack?
I would love to know if you do down below! Thanks for reading!
I'll be the first to admit I am not a fan of Halloween decor. But, I love fall decor and had a great time decorating for the season!
I like to do everything on a budget, because that's just how I am haha. My husband and I took a trip over to Target and I got everything from the dollar(s) spot there! This entire shopping trip was under $20- which is hard to accomplish in that store, amiright?
Here is everything I purchased. I fell in love with this wooden box and thought it'd be fun to decorate it. So I put that in my basket and was inspired to decorate it and make it the center focus. Everything was $3 each! Grand total: $18!
I started with mapping out how I wanted to decorate the box. 'Thankful' happened to fit on it perfectly! I then decorated the sides with the leaves and pumpkins. I love these stickers because they are wooden and added an extra dimension to the space.
So I will be the first to admit I hate the smell of spices (ginger, cinammon, etc.). BUT, I love the smell of Holiday Spices! It reminds me so much of Christmas, which I am so ready for already, and it looks adorable surrounded by these cool fairy lights. I like that the light string is copper as it goes along with the theme and vibe of the entry way!
I put down one of the cloth napkins because I loved how simple, yet pretty they were! They aren't holiday specified, so I like that I could use it year round if I wanted to. Last but not least, I hung this Friendsgiving banner and it just so happened to have all the colors I used in it, it was fate y'all!
And that is how you decorate your entry way for fall, under $20! I don't like a ton of clutter, so this space is very fitting to my style, but adding pumpkins and other decorations would be very cute if you would like! I like entry tables just for keeping things like my keys, sunglasses, and anything I want to grab when I'm on the go; so the simpler the better!
Today's post is by our very first guest blogger, Claire! She is a military wife, an avid homemaker & is budget savvy.
I've always felt my super power was the ability to find or create great financial deals! Since becoming a stay at home wife, my day-to-day goal has been to be extra picky about my tiny families finances!
I grew up around budget-savvy parents, who taught me the value of the dollar and how "living within your means" was the key to staying financially afloat. However, I've come to my own conclusion that living below your means is how to stay afloat.
To quote Henry David Thoreau, "I make myself rich, by making my wants few." He's inspirational, isn't he? I sure think so. Lessening our wants is a great way to avoid breaking even every month, (on top of a beautiful way to practice contentment and gratitude) but wouldn't it be better if we could lessen the cost of our needs? Nobody wants to spend their hard earned money on toothpaste, dryer sheets or toilet paper, right? I can think of a million other purchases I'd rather make. I'm sure you could too.
What if I told you I made my own five gallon bucket of laundry detergent for less than two dollars? I can bet your first question would be, "How?!"
Well, welcome to my DIY laundry detergent tutorial!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
STEP ONE: grate the fels-naptha soap
Have you ever grated cheese before? I'm sure you have. Same task, just with soap! Grab your cheese grater and gate the soap! Easy-peasy.
STEP TWO: fill a pot with 4 cups of warm water & add grated soap!
STEP THREE: on medium to high heat, watch the soap dissolve!
Note: This process takes about 10 minutes! Set your timer and stir every once in a while
STEP FOUR: fill a five gallon bucket halfway with hot water and add soap mixture!
(I always use our bathtub!)
STEP FIVE: add one cup of borax and one cup of washing soda
STEP SIX: (OPTIONAL) go ahead and add in two table spoons of your preferred essential oil!
So far I have used tea tree oil, sweet orange, lemon and lavender- but the choice is yours!
STEP SEVEN: fill the rest of the bucket up with warm water & attach the lid and let it sit for 24 hours.
By this time you have finished creating your laundry detergent! Job well done, sweet friends! Once the 24 hours is complete, you can remove the lid and check it out!
Although it's VERY important to note that your detergent will be gloppy! The reason we wait 24 hours is to allow the detergent to gel. Which is exactly what you will find once the wait is over. Do not panic, this is supposed to happen!
Personally, I find this last step fun! Grab a pair of gloves (or feel free to use your bare hands) and mix the gel into a more liquid consistency. Some people prefer a completely liquid state detergent (much like store bought) So they add the extra step of blending the gel with an immersion blender. This is completely optional and does not change the effectiveness.
As a homemaker, I am always looking for unconventional ways to store ordinary items. There are woven baskets in our pantry and I store our Q-tips in old candle jars! I will do anything to display household items in a pretty fashion!
The laundry detergent was no exception!
If you want to fancy-up your detergent, Walmart sells the super cute drink dispenser photographed above- which works fabulously for soap display! Lastly but surely not least, if you would like the free "Homemade laundry soap" printable I used, a quick visit to Pinterest will do the trick!
Remember y'all, a penny saved is a penny earned and you won't pay taxes on a saved penny!
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!