Deployments, training, TDY: suck. Not only dealing with everything that comes with the distance, but for most families it is a huge change and adjustment period.
When J was deployed, I loved putting together care packages! I quickly learned the do's and don'ts of what to pack and wanted to share some ideas of what to send to overseas to your other half.
First, getting the supplies is a must need. USPS is amazing and has a military care kit put together for our servicemembers, and it's free! Also, it is commonly asked what to pack in a care package. Environmental stipulations can vary, depending on if there is a microwave, internet, or kitchen appliances available. Make sure you find out these details from your spouse so you can verify everything sent can be used.
What to include:
-mac n cheese
-ramen in cup
- protein powder or shake mix
-Sudoku or word games
-Cards Against Humanity (email them to get a free set sent overseas!)
-Game system game
-iTunes gift card
-Amazon gift card (download movies and games and they ship to APO!)
-date night movies
-flash drive with movies and music already downloaded
-twin size sheets
-pictures from home
-4th of July - patriotic
-"Orange you glad it's summer?" -have an orange color or flavored theme
- Stay cool - have a mint flavored or blue theme
-Hello Sunshine -yellow theme
-Summer Bod - send work out gear and healthy options
-Summer Date Night - date night essentials
Baby showers are all about showering the mom with love, playing funny games, and good food! I am having two baby showers in the next few months (perks of living away from family!) and I have been looking at ideas and different themes like crazy. What I've realized is no matter what theme you go with, the food is so important and man do I have the perfect recipe for you!
Baby in a blanket. Adorable right?! Coming from Texas, kolaches are a staple. They are basically glorified pigs in a blanket, and I love making this quick snack, so why not share it with family and friends! This appetizer recipe is only 3 ingredients, it's literally that easy and it will definitely be the talk of the party!
Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, sesame seeds, and hot dogs with cheese inside. Normally pigs in a blanket are made with sausage, but I love these hot dogs because the cheese is already in them and it's less of a mess when baking them. The puff pastry sheets are such a great alternative as opposed to the standard crescent rolls because they get super fluffy and taste delicious.
Check outthis Pinterest board for more springtime recipe ideas!
I let the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheets sit out for 40 minutes to defrost. This gave me time to prep the oven for 375 and get the hot dogs cut in half. When they have defrosted enough, I cut each sheet into halves, and then triangles. I started rolling up the hot dog in it, leaving a good portion of the top of the "head" out so it could resemble a baby wrapped in a blanket. I have a video tutorial that will be linked below for better demonstration!
The sesame seeds bring these little babies to life! I just placed two seeds to look like eyes and then lined them up on a cookie sheet, baking them about 10-15 minutes until the pastry had puffed up. And that's IT! These are ready to serve, or you can store them in a container to freeze until your baby shower! These are so yummy on their own, but can pair great with your favorite dipping sauce.
Seriously, how adorable are these babies in a blanket?! If you are hosting a baby shower, or need to bring a yummy treat, these are the perfect solution! If you want to get inspiration for other appetizer or dessert ideas, check them out below!
Gender reveals are the reason I get up in the morning. Okay, totally kidding but I LOVE seeing the creative ways parents have been announcing their newest family member! While there are so many ways you can announce this special moment, I have found 8 creative gender reveals that will make your announcement stand out.
If you are planning on announcing soon and are still stuck on how to do it, check out these creative ways expecting parents have announced and revealed!
Team Pink or Blue
This is how we announced we are having a GIRL! My husband told me when we first found out I was pregnant, that I have full control of announcing the baby, and he gets to choose how we announce the gender. We are huge Utah Jazz fans and had a custom made jazz jersey made to announce our little one! The back has her name and her jersey number. We teased our family and friends by first showing it in black and white and having them guess. This is a great and creative way to incorporate you and your husband's favorite team, revealing if it's team pink or blue!
We also were featured on Utah Jazz's instagram page, so that pretty much made our day too!
Involving older siblings can be such a fun twist as opposed to just the two of you, and can really show your family's personality! Elisa M. had the creative idea of having her boys blast her with the color of what their new sibling will be.
Smoke Bomb Surprise
This is probably the most on trend gender reveal at the moment, but seriously it's so cute, how could it not be?! Ambrel D. and her mister were smoked with their little one's announcement and that color is just gorgeous! This could be a fun twist and having your family members find out before you and surprise you as well as the rest of the party. I personally didn't have the self control to be surprised, but if you can do it I would find a friend or two you trust with the secret and be shocked with everyone else.
If you are more of a simple gal and don't want to go over the top, a minimalist announcement may be for you! Emily C. shared her little boy's gender by adding a bow tie and prince crown to a flat lay of her baby. Such a simple yet impactful photo, and can be customized for either gender and your personal style and taste!
What's more thrilling then being splattered with paint on the beach? Such a fun surprise while getting a little messy! Trust a friend or family member to splatter you with paint and get splattered! You can find out more on this from Pinterest!
Don't want it to just be you two enjoying all the fun? Involve the whole family! You can get creative by using a covered jar and having everyone throw the revealed powder, or switch it out for silly string. This one is super fun and the options are limitless, and the whole family can enjoy the fun and surprise together.
Reveal the baby's gender with some colored confetti and crack open the pinata to reveal the surprise! You can find out how to make this yourself here.
Want to announce during a certain holiday? This is the perfect way to do so! Eggs for Easter, pumpkin for Halloween, small present for Christmas, etc. This one you can get super creative with and it will surely stand out and make the holiday so memorable!
This spring has been so revolutionary fashion wise! So many great trends, both old and new, have emerged and I'm all about it. I have been inspired by so many current trends: and these are styles you don't want to miss out on.
Cold Shoulder Tops
The cold shoulder trend is so fun and can be found in dresses, rompers, and tops. I love the look of the shoulder cut out and I found this adorable top that has some ruffle accents to it as well.
Pink Blush to the rescue, as always! I have been avoiding wearing shirts because I only have a select few that cover my belly and don't look like crop tops. It's been a struggle covering this beachball you guys (mamas understand!). I have seen the cold shoulder trend all over the internet and in public, and I wanted in on it.
This is a fun spring trend that can be easily transformed into any personal style.
You can shop this top here: Ivory Ruffle Cold Shoulder Top
Previously, dainty simple earrings were the must have, but statement earrings are making a huge comeback this spring! I love these tassel ones that provide an extra flair to any spring look, and also are super fun and eye catching! Adding a set of in-your-face earrings will turn some heads this season.
Bold colors and prints are back and I am so happy about it! Even with this being a trend and can be easily overwhelming, incorporating this style in a subtle way will go very far in your looks you put together! I have striped, colorful sandals that aren't overpowering and at the same time are very spring and cheerful.
Going hand in hand with dainty, small jewelry being the high demand, long necklaces will ensure you fit in this season! I love this one in particular because it ties in with my tassel earrings, but isn't too matchy. Adding a long necklace will draw the eye in and you'll be fashion forward: win win!
What spring trend are you most excited for?! I have been loving shopping lately and can't wait to buy more clothes that not only are cute and on trend, but will also fit these next few months!
So I am basically smuggling a small watermelon at this point. I am 24 weeks (in normal people terms, 6 months) along and I am just getting bigger and bigger! I have been loving flowy, loose clothing for this pregnancy not only because it looks cute with the bump, but also for major comfort! We just had a doctor's appointment yesterday and she is weighing at a whopping one pound nine ounces. During our first anatomy scan, it was hard for the technician to see a few things so they had us do a redo... Which I'm totally okay with because that means we got to walk away with more pictures of baby girl and see her precious face!
I am loving every second of this pregnancy and I feel like my outfits are so much cuter now as crazy as that sounds. I adore the look of graphic tees paired with flowy, maxi skirts it has the perfect balance of care-free yet put togetherness I love. Also tying shirts up over the belly is a helpful way to show you are pregnant and not like you just ate a few too many slices of pizza. (Totally did, but now I have an excuse!)
Also, I never thought I would be able to find a romper fit this belly! I love rompers for the summertime and I'm so happy I found one that has plenty of room to grow. J and I had a date night to celebrate me finishing my Pharmacy Technician program. I love getting dressed up for our date nights together, and throwing on a printed romper is an easy way to look cute with minimal effort.
My current cravings are: water (yes, still iced cold!), applesauce, Cran Grape juice, milk, and chocolate. I've gained 15 pounds since getting pregnant, which totally makes sense because I'm so weak when it comes to eating! haha The nurse wasn't worried and said I am gaining a perfect amount, but still future Amy is cursing me now for all the sweets I'll have to work off.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!