Friday, October 25, 2013

The First Care Package

I have been dying to put up this post for weeks now, but I was waiting for FM to receive the package before I blew all of the surprises for him.


I love doing crafty things, when I have the time to do them, which is not all that often these days I admit! Anyway, when FM enlisted and started his journey of living all over the place, it opened up a ton of new doors for me to express my crafty side.  Since he went overseas I have been saving up things to send him in a GIANT first care package, and with Halloween approaching, I thought it was the perfect time to stretch those crafty muscles and get together an absolutely stunning box of surprises to make his day.

So I did my research, and apparently there’s a huge science behind sending these things, how to pack them, what to pack, boxes to use, etc.  I also pulled a ton of design tips and tricks off of Pinterest since that site is like drugs to an addict. So for the new military wives like myself, or perhaps for those thinking about adopting a soldier for the holiday season (which I absolutely advocate for), here’s a few of the most useful things that I learned outside of everyone else’s helpful hints, as well as what I sent to FM, because it came out awesome!!

Order the Priority Mail APO/FPO boxes online
The USPS will send them right to your door, and you pay the same rate for a large flat rate box to go to any APO/FPO address as you would sending it in the US, just $14.95 for 70lbs.  (BUT WAIT, there’s more! No just kidding, but it is a great deal!)

But they’re just bare cardboard inside, so give it a little flair and add some decoration to it!

Pack Smart
Put like things together (food with food, health and beauty aids with h&ba, etc.)  Nobody wants their Tootsie Rolls tasting like Dove for Men deodorant!

And remember, this box is about to go on an epic world journey where the people transporting it will likely treat it like a football in the hands of the opposing team on its way to the end zone, so pack things in double bags if necessary to make sure it doesn’t leak, pack it tight so that things don’t bounce around in there, and don’t send anything that’s going to be under pressure (soda cans, shaving cream, etc.)

Send something personal
Like you read on Monday, we went apple picking, and FM LOVESSSS apples, so I did the best I could to pick a few super under ripe apples to send over there.  I wrapped them in newspaper (another helpful internet suggestion), and made sure that they had plastic surrounding them so they wouldn’t leak juices all over the place if they got smashed around.

I also know that FM didn’t go over there with too many pictures.  Of course he can see them on Facebook or I can text them to him, but having a physical picture frame to look at now and again is good for morale.  So I made this one from simple materials I picked up at Michael’s on the cheap, check out how super easy it was...

And of course remember these
No pornography, tobacco products, firearms, or alcohol.
Baked goods are okay (and appreciated), but realize they may spoil if it’s too hot.
The same goes for candy/chocolate products; melted chocolate pumpkins = not fun!
Know how to fill out the customs forms, here’s a helpful guide (with pictures, SCORE!)
Find out what they want or have been craving long before you put the package together.
Look up what may be banned in the particular country the soldier is in so you don’t send something off.

There’s a ton of other tricks and tips, and I’m sure if you’re looking for ideas to make up a care package then you’ll find these plus some, but these were the biggest things that I learned and helped me make the big awesome package below!

It was a blast and it made FM incredibly happy to get something from home, and me crazy excited to send it.  Can't wait for the next one which will be full of some other great stuff I'm already accumulating as well as FM's birthday gift! Stay tuned for more adventures in care package land!

Have a great Friday all, and don't forget to link up with Whit!

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