Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An UPDATE to the SOLDIER SWAP.

Thank you girls so much for joining me in sending love to the soldiers in Kuwait!
Sign-up is still open HERE! 
I wanted to clarify a couple things.
 
1. You don't have to use a shoe box. That was just a suggestion. But feel free to use any box! Smaller than a shoe box is fine! A padded envelope is fine. Anything that you can contribute will be appreciated!
 
2. So far, I think we have 14 of us. So $6.00 (not $10.00) is what you can include in your package. This will go towards our shipping cost and a donation to the program.
 
3. Shirley said that she's going to send some DVD's that she has. This is great! If you have books, magazines, or DVD's that aren't getting used at home then by all means, send those things.
 
4. Any Valentine's Cards that we send can't be in sealed envelopes. So just tuck them in your package as is. I think I'll put each one in a plain white envelope, stamp a heart on the outside, and write "To Any Soldier" on the front. If the card looks like it's for a girl, I'll be sure to put "To Any Girl Soldier". Feel free to write your name and email address on any card that you send. The site says that many soldiers like to send emails of thanks, but that we shouldn't expect them to...which of course we wouldn't. :)
 
5. I hate to rush anyone, but the sooner the better as far as sending your package to me.
It would be great if I could ship the large boxes to Kuwait by January 12th. So I'd need to receive them by the 10th at the latest. I know this is tough! I'm sorry! 
 
6. Email me if you don't have my mailing address or have any questions at all!
I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you girls signed up to do this with me.
I want 2015 to be less about myself, and more about helping others...so we are all off to a great start!
 
Hugs- Erica :)
 
 
 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sending LOVE to Soldiers: A Very Different Kind of Swap!

I was thinking about a Valentine's Swap for 2015, and then I started thinking about my huge Rubbermaid container of Valentine's Day d├ęcor, crafting supplies, and vintage cards. I can't fit the lid on it anymore because it's overflowing.
I love swapping with my bloggy pals, but what if we did something different this year? What if we sent Love (and Gratitude) to a group of soldiers overseas?
 

I went to AnySolider.com and chose a group of  U.S soldiers of the Army who are stationed in Kuwait. I purposely chose a unit that was full of junior enlisted soldiers who are on their first deployment, and away from their families for the first time. The soldier's name who represents this unit is Brandon S. He has contact with 75 male, and 10 female soldiers.
 
The site has tons of helpful information about what to send. It's so interesting to read all the requests from the soldiers too. It's mind blowing to me that our country pays it's professional sports team players millions of dollars a year, when our soldiers have to buy their own soap and gloves!
 
Here's what I'm thinking, but please give your opinions and advice!
I haven't done anything like this before. :)
I want to fill four, large, Priority USPS boxes with things for this army unit in Kuwait.
The boxes will contain dozens of things that the soldiers need, including personal hygiene items, and snacks. These things aren't expensive. Dehydrated noodle bowls, jerky, razors, lotion, magazines, candy, etc.
 
 
Because we are vintage loving, crafty girls, we will send handmade Valentine's for every solider. Another thing I kept coming across on the site was the fact that they don't have access to greeting cards to send home to family and friends. If any of you are especially good at making cards (not me), and could send handmade Easter, Fourth of July, Birthday, and blank cards for the soldiers to send back home, that would be wonderful!
 
Once I get some feedback and know how many of you are on board with me, I'll post more details. I'm a little nervous that I bit off more than I can chew, but it shouldn't take long to fill four boxes. I believe that it will cost $53.00 to send 4 large, flat rate priority boxes.  I'm hoping that (if you choose to participate) each gal will send ME a shoebox filled with a mix of items, and $5 to $10  to cover shipping, plus the small monetary donation to "Any Soldier" itself. I'll open the shoe boxes, do some rearranging, and then everything will go into the 4 larger boxes. We must ship edible things separate from things like soap and deodorant.
 
Because Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, we need to get this moving FAST!
I think it can take 3 to 4 weeks for packages to be received.
Let's show the soldiers that they are loved!
Erica :)
 
 
p.s  You don't need to have a blog to participate, and of course
 "The More The Merrier"!
We will send as many boxes as we can!
 
Here is a list of things that are needed.
Many of them can be found at your local Dollar Store! I *stared the ones that are asked for the most.
 
*Baby Wipes
Hair Ties and Bobby Pins
Tampons
Dryer Sheets
*Easy Mac n Cheese/Noodles
*Tuna/Cracker packs
*Nuts and Trail Mix
*Granola and Protein Bars
***Beef Jerky
Cheese
Chex Mix
Oreos/Cookies
Cheetos and Doritos
Sugar Free Gum
Mints
*Candy, Gummy Candy
Hacky Sacks
Crossword and Sudoku Puzzles
*MIO or Gatorade Water Flavoring
*Deodorant
Shaving Cream
*Razors
Batteries
Dried Fruit
Blank Greeting Cards
*Travel Sized Items
Card Games
Small Games and Puzzles
Pillowcases
Books and Magazines
*Shampoo and Conditioner
*Body Wash/Spray
*Coffee/Instant Creamers
DVD's
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas In The Kitchen Swap Goodies!

 This was such a fun swap! I really enjoyed seeing what everyone made, especially because we each received such different things! My partner was Jennifer of "Adventures in Mixed Media, from Canada. I hope you'll visit her blog! She has a house full of beautiful things, an art studio, a dog named Odelia, and even some chickens!
 
 Instead of sending just one recipe, she made this little book for me! Darling!
 
 Doesn't this sound good?
 
And these "Chocolate Bumps" ARE good! I know because I made them!
 
 The tart mold is an old one! And so is the Santa paper she used. I love the mica around the edges!
I'm sure many of you will recognize the ornament on the right. Jennifer opened the vintage ornament and added a bottle brush tree. Can you believe that she made those teeny tiny cookies and candy canes out of clay? I love the little sugar bells on top too!
 
 Look at the gingerbread ornament! It's made out of puzzle pieces!
Isn't that neat? You probably want to go make one now, don't you?
 
My things came in this wonderful Pillsbury tin. And then this little cookbook and two of the most perfect ornaments for a kitchen x-mas tree ever!
Next year, next year! :)
 
There was one more thing but it got inhaled eaten within minutes of opening the box! I did share it with Angie though. It was this amazing fancy Canadian candy bar. WOW is all I can say!
See below for the description of a Maple Syrup Butter Crunch Bar!
This is a Canadian classic. A Butter Crunch toffee middle made with demerera and maple covered in a white chocolate and almond bark .
 
Jennifer, thank you so much for this wonderful package of kitchen themed things! It was a delight to get to know you and be your partner!
Erica :)
 
Here are a few pics of what I sent to Jennifer. But please visit her blog! You'll love it!
 




 
See you soon!
 
 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

A little late in the day, but we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Love- Erica and Wellie
p.s. We will be back tomorrow to share what we received in the kitchen swap!


Friday, December 19, 2014

My Holiday Hoosier!

Hi Friends! I hope everyone has been well! I'm sorry that my posts have been a bit few and far between. You know how that goes though. I got halfway through my decorating and then I just sort of lost steam. So I decided to just accept it, and not pressure myself to decorate every single inch of the house. I'm liking it! Plus there will be way less to put away. :)
 
 Here's how the Hoosier turned out though. Last year it had snowmen in it, so I wanted to switch it up.
 
The little metal doll cupboard up top was at an antique store this fall. It was only $5.00 "as is" because it's kind of banged up. But we don't care, right?
 
 That's my sister's polka dot pitcher...one of only a few vintage things she owns...so of course I stole it for my display! lol
 
 That vintage candy cane box at the top is one of my favorites. And it's funny because it was a "bonus" buy. I bought the box for a couple bucks because it had dozens of vintage hankies in it. And then when I got home I realized how cute the box itself was!
Deb gave me the snowflake space-saver (under the box) and the Santa mug with the red hat in front. So generous of her!
 
I love this vintage apron so much! Pam sent it to me last year! And the Santa mug in the top left corner (with the red nose) is from Susie! I adore it!
This year, as I pulled things out of boxes, I realized just how fortunate I am for all of my sweet blogging friends. You've gifted me with some really special things! And while the "things" themselves are great, your friendship has been invaluable to me! And I really mean that!
Happy Holidays-
Love, Erica :)


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Vintage Stuff I Haven't Told You About!

This post will only make it seem like I've been buying tons of stuff. But I really haven't been. lol
These things are from that chunk of time a few months ago when I didn't have a computer. The flea market was still going on. And I went to a few estate sales. Here's what I found!
 
Actually these were at Goodwill. I didn't own a single thermos. Wasn't going to jump on that bandwagon. But there they were...all three of them sitting together like that. An instant collection. So of course I HAD to.
 
 This guy is a major score for me! I've wanted a Santa Candy container like this for years. I went to an estate sale that was a total bust. And just as I was leaving (empty handed) I looked up and there He sat, up high on a shelf in the dining room. He wasn't priced. So I asked how much and was told $1.00.
He's German and in such great shape!
 
 Ok, What do you think? Is she holding a mitten? And He's trying to go deliver toys without his mittens, but She's saying "Wait Dear, You better put your mitten's on".
Or is She holding an oven mitt? A squirt gun? lol.
 
 Flea Market finds, and a couple things from a good sale at an antique store. My favorite thing here is the box that the Tree Top came in!
 
This large Santa table cloth is not old. But I was thrilled to find it at the flea for only $2.00!
 
 Another Tree Topper with Santa this time. And one teeny knee hugger.
 
 The little turquoise Santa is one that I didn't have. Harder to find I think.
 
 I want to do something fun with these two reindeer. I might have to get a little "Magpie Ethel" with them.
 
Nice to find tear drops instead of the same old round ones.
 
Whew! Ok, now I feel a little better. I felt like a had a dirty little secret that I had to share with you guys. Had to confess and come clean. Now I have nothing more to hide.
Oh! Well...maybe a couple (little) things. :)
Thanks for listening! I hope you're all having a great week!
Erica :)