We have had more fun this weekend enjoying Easter themed activities together. It is so easy and requires very little additional effort to Google local events in your own area. But, if your family is more home-oriented, or you have guests in town, there are several at-home activities to choose from as well. Whether you choose local or home events this Holiday season, just be sure to include fun Easter celebrations for the family as a whole, in addition to activities geared towards different age groups. Do not forget that this weekend is for everyone’s enjoyment and spiritual well-being. Continue reading
I received a batch of Oreo Cookie Balls from a dear friend for Christmas a couple years ago and that same day I asked for the recipe! I’ve changed it up a bit, added a few more steps and punched up the decor for an extra-chocolatey kick. You can eat these at home (they will not last long), share with friends and neighbors, or take to a work party. Everyone loves this dessert. If giving as a gift, dress it up on a festive plate or in a paper dessert box. These do get a little ‘melty’, so keep them refrigerated until ready to be devoured! I think the best way to serve these is to have a combination of flavors in a batch (mint, chocolate, strawberry) and different finishing decorations (crumbs, sugar, chocolate, sprinkles, etc.) so that everyone can enjoy the many flavors that are packed into one dessert. Continue reading
My daughter is nearly two and over the last few months at daycare she has begun finger-painting, sponge-painting and coloring with crayons. I am not yet brave enough to venture into the realm of toddler-painting at my home, but crayons do not seem nearly as daunting. The regular crayons at the PX here at JBLM are too small and fragile for her sweet, chubby little hands to grasp and use effectively. I saw some chunky toddler crayons online for a pretty penny. So, I spent an afternoon creating some star-shaped homemade toddler crayons. These crayons are great for regular, home-use but they also make fantastic party favors. Continue reading
If you want to keep up with special events in the military, you really have to plan ahead. Easter may be a month away, but if your soldier is deployed then you need to HOP TO and get your Happy Easter Themed Care Package packed and shipped as soon as possible so that it will arrive at his/her APO in time for the Holiday.
There are so many ways to pack a Military Care Package. You can buy a bunch of junk food and pack it all up, send some much-needed personal care items or other hard-to-find sundries, you can be romantic or kid-friendly-fun. In some ways, a theme – like Easter – makes it so much easier to find goodies and pack a flat rate box to the gills. There are some months when bags of chips, gum, and chapstick are all that is called for. But, for a family-oriented Holiday like Easter, it is especially hard for deployed soldiers to miss out on family time and traditions, so I like to make Holiday Care Packages as special and personalized as possible.
For Easter, there are so many fun ideas you can imagineer yourself or HUNT for on the internet.
The first step is to get your package. For APO deliveries, you may want to ‘shop around’ for shipping prices at USPS. In general, shipping within the USA is cheapest for bulky/heavy packages if you use flat rate boxes. But oftentimes, when shipping to an APO, you will save money by using your own box and shipping ground with USPS; the box charge is for the distance to the nearest military postal distribution center. Keep in mind that you will have to fill out a customs form for any APO package. My care packages typically fit into the Medium or Large flat rate boxes. This really allows you to pack in a lot of goodies. Ensure that you double-check your APO address is correct and still in effect during the timeline you plan to ship your care package.
Next, choose your theme. I chose a fun, Spring and Easter Rabbit inspired theme for my box. I purchased some blue and green tissue paper and adhered it to the insides of my box with some Spray Adhesive (this is MUCH easier than tape or glue! Just make sure you are in a ventilated space and that you cover your counters to protect from over-spray). The blue paper I adhered to the box flaps for my spring blue sky, and the green tissue paper I adhered to the box bottom and sides, just slightly overlapping the box flaps. Next, I cut slivers into the overlapping green tissue paper for the ‘grass’. This makes the box a little less boring and more Easter-themed.
I decided to send an Easter themed box this month so most of the candy and goodies I purchased are Easter things. However, my deployed spouse has a few favorite things that I included that are not Easter-y, so I ‘hid’ those in the bottom of the box beneath Easter grass so as not to ruin the box aesthetic when it is first opened. I included trail mix, multi-vitamins, chapped hand lotion and gummy oranges.
Nestled in the ‘grass’ are plastic eggs filled with Maltball easter eggs and chapstick, Cadbury creme eggs, and a chocolate bunny. The box did not seem quite full enough so on top, I packed in a couple boxes of Peeps and a bag of mixed chocolates.
To finish off the box, I hand painted a fun phrase on the inside box flaps. I chose “We Can’t Wait to Spring into Your Arms.” Some other ideas include “Have a Hoppy Easter!” and “Some Bunny Loves You!” For inside the Easter card, I painted my toddler’s hand (after covering her head to toe in a smock) with white and gold paint and placed her hand print on one side, and then I traced its outline with a sharpie to give it bunny characteristics, eyes, whiskers, etc.
If you have kiddos, it’s always a good idea to include artwork, cards, and/or photos of them in every care package. When I’m feeling particularly well-organized, I include iMovies too. Deployed soldiers miss out on so much at home; try to do every little thing you can to bring everyone closer, especially during the holidays.
What do you include in YOUR Easter Care Packages? I’d love to hear from you!
What school-age child doesn’t look forward to Winter Break with exasperated impatience? The last day of school, they sit on the edge of their seat, watching the clock second hand wind its way around until the final bell rings and they win their freedom. The reprieve only lasts for a couple of weeks, but to kids, it’s a time of endless possibilities (and presents)! On the other hand, to parents, who suddenly have a house full of children again and in need of entertaining, Winter Break brings a slew of challenges. Working parents must rearrange schedules, childcare, or vacation plans, and homemakers experience a drastic interruption in their daily schedule. Do not let your kids’ boisterous energy over the holidays overwhelm you. Rather, funnel that energy into some fun and frugal activities to engage your children and create lasting memories.
With the holidays quickly approaching, I am getting a head start on my decorating and wrapping projects. This fun Melted Snowman makes a fantastic tree ornament or as a present from your child to your spouse, or as a quirky gift tag for your wrapping projects. Making it is very simple and is great for kids aged five and up. Note: It does involve a low-heat glue gun, so adult supervision is required! Continue reading
Around the holidays I am always looking for a creative and engaging way to spend time with my niece. The smells of fir-tree and cocoa in the room, the twinkle of Christmas lights, and the strong sense of tradition and family make this a very special time of year. As she loves being read to and getting messy with glue, markers and baking supplies, I was hunting for a Christmas activity that embodied all these things, and I came across this creative and engaging list with a Christmas book and activity for every day leading up to Advent by The Crafty Crow, which includes 24 classic books and step-by-step tutorials. Continue reading