On Point Care Package Tips

Since I have lived in the Midwest my whole life, I have noticed that this is about the time I am over Winter. I like the hot beverages, and snuggling, and snow days. However, I start longing for some outdoor time. I am aching to put away the boots, get my garden going, go for a walk that doesn’t require me to put on a dozen layers of clothing, or just sit outside and soak in some rays.

I want to take a deep breath of fresh air and not feel my lungs freeze and my eyes sting.
Then, I thought if I am sick of Winter, I cannot imagine how my niece (god-daughter) away at college feels. Walking to class is just the worst in weather like this.
So, I decided to send her a care package.
Here are some tips for sending an on point care package.
Food: Send a little treat or something you know will last a few days. Perhaps some cookies, a favorite nut butter, or even some candy. You can even try and send something homemade. However, keep in mind the weather. If it the weather is extremely cold, or very warm it might not hold up, so make sure to keep that in mind.
Thoughtful: Try and send something that you know the person will especially like or need. Perhaps a favorite movie on DVD to watch for a study break, a good book, a few photos, some fancy pens for school work, or their favorite brand of coffee.
Small but Sturdy: Whatever you send make sure it is small, light, and sturdy. Remember you had to send these things through the mail so make sure it can hold up through the mail, isn’t too fragile, and  make sure it is light enough so that if it has to be carried to a class or two before headed back to the dorms it isn’t a burden. Items like snuggly socks, a favorite lip balm, new gloves would do nicely.
Note: A note is always a perfect way to tell someone you’re thinking of them and hope things are going well. Also, a few kid drawings to brighten someone’s day are nice too.
Packaging: A small box packed tightly and stuffed with tissue is perfect. Make sure to slip a piece of paper with the recipients address inside the box too. Seal it up with packing tape, label it and ship it off.
What would be in your ideal care package?If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Tips for Last Minute Gifting Solutions

Here we are! One week away from Christmas Eve? Do you have your shopping finished? It’s ok, me either! I have a few things left to get for the people on my list.

Now that we are in crunch time, and as part of this Holiday Miniseries happening here (check out last week’s crafts here, here, and here). I thought I would share my favorite last minute gift ideas from the internet to help with those last minute gifts.
1. Check out this awesome host, hostess, or colleague gift from Formal Fringe! We all need wine, we all need socks. Ta Da!
2. Manicure/Pedicure Mason Jars would be awesome for all the Tween and Teen gals in your life or even a gal pal. Just put some polish, cotton, a nail file and other supplies in a mason jar. Thanks for the idea Thriving Wives.
3. If baking cookies for neighbors and friends is your thing (as it is mine), check out these festive and gorgeous ways to wrap them up from Better Homes and Gardens.
4. A book. Weather it be an e-book or hard copy, I have never felt like you could go wrong with a good book for a friend. Buy a copy of your latest read and pass it on to someone who would enjoy it. Check out this adorable cookbook wrapped in a dishtowel for the cook in your life from The Kitchn (PS In case you are wondering I really want this cookbook for Christmas this year).
5. For the past few years, I have given this gift to many people, and it is always greatly appreciated. There is nothing more fun than getting a new set of jammies and some tea, hot cocoa, or a gift card to Starbucks for a cozy holiday season. Who doesn’t love jammies and hot beverages?
What are some of your favorite last minute gift ideas this year?
Keep reading this week and next for the Home Everyday Holiday MiniSeries for more ideas on holiday decor, holiday recipes, and last minute gift ideas.Psssst, today is my birthday, check out 33 lessons I’ve learned over at ChicagoNow.

For more about DIY, gardening, cooking, baking or all other things domestic, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Just a Reminder: It’s Better to Give Than to Receive

With the week that we have all had, I thought it might be nice to remember there is good in this world. Sometimes, we just need a reminder.

A few months ago, Russell turned 5. As part of his birthday celebration, he asked to collect glasses for those that cannot get glasses themselves. You can read more about Russell’s birthday and collecting glasses here.

Over the past few months we have been collecting glasses from everyone we know. We got the word out to our parish in the city, and even the kids’ babysitter asked her sorority sisters to help out. Meema was able to gather quite a few pairs from her friends.

Well, over the course of 4 months, Russell (with the help of our wonderful family and friends) was able to collect hundreds of pairs of glasses (if I could guess it would be in the 200 to 300 pair range). Every time we wanted to send them on there way, people would give us more and more glasses. It was amazing to us how many people wanted to help. It was also so wonderful to see Russell get so excited to put the glasses in the box every time he received a pair.

A few weeks ago, we thought it would be a good time to box them all up and get them ready to send to New Eyes for the Needy.

The kids were so happy to help.



The kids very carefully put them in some boxes with bubble wrap.


These two HUGE boxes are ready to go, and give so many people the opportunity to see.

I’m so proud of my children I cannot even explain. I am always proud of them and their accomplishments in school, sports, and as they achieve developmental and personal milestones, but I have to say to see my kids willingly and excitedly showing compassion and wanting to help people has been the most rewarding accomplishment of all.

Sometimes we just need a reminder of all the good there is in this world.


Countdown Book Style: Advent Calendar

Can you name anything better than reading in front of the glow of the Christmas Tree? There are very few things that I enjoy more. There is just something about the light of the tree being the only light in the room. Everything is gorgeous. I don’t even notice the baskets of clothes to be folded or the toys and sippy cups everywhere. It is like a little miracle. Even on our honeymoon which Brian and I took on our Winter Break, we spent a lot of time reading by the plethora of Christmas trees.

Now that we have children, this wonderful thing is even more fun. Kids in footie jammies, the soft glow of the tree, snuggly blankets, hot cocoa, and a wonderful Christmas story cannot be beat.

Over the past month or so, I have collected 25 Children’s Christmas Books. Some were mine from when I was a kid, some were Brian’s, some were gifts, and some I found at book sales and Half Price Books.

Last week, I wrapped each book and put in a bright red bin. Each night, the kids choose a book, we unwrap and read right before bed (and count the remaining books which represents how many days are left til C-Day). This is so much better than any chocolate, paper chain, or ornament Advent calendar. We are making time to enjoy each other and our Christmas tree each night. Isn’t that what this is all about anyway?

Oh yeah, and the footie jammies.

Wine Included: Clever Shower Gift

This past weekend was a bridal shower for my soon to be cousin, Lindsey. I have always been a big believer in adhering strictly to bridal registries, but this time I couldn’t resist adding a little something extra.

They couple has asked for a small wine fridge, but when I saw this on the side of the box…


I realized I needed to remedy that situation as soon as possible.

So, of course I started brainstorming ideas for how to fill the wine fridge creatively. After some searching, I found these FREE printable tags on Libby James’ Blog. The tags mark certain milestones in the first year or two of marriage, including first fight, wedding night, Christmas Eve, first baby, first dinner party, and the couple’s first anniversary. On the blog, there are also instructions on what kinds of wine to buy. After printing the tags, I cut them out and tied them to the bottles using a little twine I had on hand.


I then put them in a box with a little tissue paper and wrapped the wine fridge in coordinating paper.


Thank goodness I solved the empty wine fridge dilemma! I hope the Bride and Groom commemorate all the important moments of their first year of marriage.