Support Our Troops!

Saturday, May 17th is 2014’s Armed Forces Day.  Take a few moments to salute our soldiers and veterans for their hard work and sacrifice.  Keep reading to check out ideas for care packages, celebration decorations and other unique ways to Support Our Troops!

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Care Packages are a wonderful way to let your soldier or veteran know they are in your thoughts.  I love the idea of personalizing it to let them know how special they are.  If you don’t know someone, click here for a list of organizations that can help you get a Care Package to active and retired Armed Forces personnel.

A quick hint list for packing your care box:

  • Travel sized toiletries are a must.  Small containers are easier for them to carry around.
  • Baby wipes, acetaminophen packets, eye drops, foot powder, beef jerky, gum/mints, condiment packets, soap, tissues, toilet paper, lip balm, sunscreen, lotion, crossword puzzles/word searches/Soduku, travel packs of laundry soap, toothbrushes/toothpaste/floss, ear plugs, q-tips,  socks, t-shirts, underwear, shampoo/conditioner, paper, pens, manicure kit, magazines, books, coffee/tea/cocoa, protein powder/bars, snacks (chips/candy bars/pretzels/salsa/pop tarts/nuts/cereal/peanut butter), dry soup, hard candy, envelopes, frisbee/ball/hacky sack, shoe laces, vitamins, sewing kit, can opener,  travel sized games, deck of cards/dice/dominoes, memory cards, phone cards, sunscreen, sports drink/kool-aid/flavored water powder/drops, gloves/mittens/hats, AA batteries, and calling cards are always a sight for sore eyes. Don’t forget your makeup/hair/menstrual supplies for women (hair bands and tampons can be a commodity in some locations).  Keep all food items to anything that does not require refrigeration and will not expire within the next  (reminder that many forms of chocolate melt so pay attention to the weather ).
  • Put everything in zipper baggies.  This protects the items while being shipped (and from water or sand) plus they can be reused.
  • If you plan on sending something with an odor (example: dryer sheets, scented lotion/shampoo/conditioner/soap, perfume/cologne-even on a letter or t-shirt) you might want to consider sending it in a separate package so that their favorite snack doesn’t smell and taste like their favorite body spray.
  • Shipping to military personnel overseas is reduced or free, depending on your circumstances.  Make sure you check into it!
  • Pack using a sturdy box, lots of protective padding, and extra tape.  You’ll thank me!

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Sew some bandanas together for a table cloth, paint a couple bricks and build a simple center piece (which would look awesome filled with pinwheels), decorate some fruit, throw no-flame candles in some tissue paper decorated jars (more pinwheels), and follow Sarah Lipoff‘s instructions on creating decorative Bug Away Candleholders and you’ve got yourself a Red, White and Blue themed party that you can use again for 4th of July or any patriotic holiday.

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Don’t forget the flag wreath!  Take a wreath form (foam is usually easier) and stick miniature flags in until you can’t see the mold.

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If you’d rather stick with a green theme, you can use army men, plastic helmets and camouflage to decorate.

Don’t forget to save these ideas for other events!  Speaking of other events, get your orders in for supplies at the PartyFetti shop before it’s too late!

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For a wide variety of pinwheels, check out PinwheelPretties!

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It’s Fiesta Time!

There’s plenty of time to throw a few quick and easy items together in time for Cinco de Mayo.  Better yet, get the fiesta started early and throw a party this weekend!  Many of these items can be used for other parties and themes, so keep the results handy for another day.

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This Paper Umbrella Wreath by Jaderbomb is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, luau, Tiki, beach and many other decorative themes.  Definitely a keeper!

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Try a new take on and old classic by making these Pull String Piñatas by Kara’s Party Ideas (includes free printables!).

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These Festive Tissue Candles are an easy-peasy way to use items in your home for a quick decoration that can be used for any theme, requires little skill and is temporary.  I’ve seen a variation of these on many sites.  Simply take a glass candle and decorate the outside with tissue paper.  If you don’t have glass candles, you can use a mason jar, vase, wide glass, etc and use a tea candle.  A plastic container and battery operated light would be pretty neat also!

cdm mustaches

Mustaches are everywhere!  Cinco de Mayo is a great way to stretch the coverage of your decorative mustaches.  Try making your own and use a hole punch for straws, or glue/tape/staple them to a stick to use like a mask.  Better yet, save time by heading over to PartyFetti to order your own so you can take a siesta after getting ready for your fiesta!

cdm maracas

You can dress up these Easter Egg Maracas by Made, or keep it simple and easy.  I love the fact that we’re re-using the plastic Easter Eggs that are rolling around the house!  I plan on switching up the fillings (like sea salt, sand and lentils) for different sounds.

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How About Orange can lead you to directions for these Fiesta Tissue Banners.

~You could also order reusable banners from PartyFetti!

Throw a summery "Fiesta" party with margaritas, taco bar and colorful piñata.

I love recycling, so it’s a sure bet that I would be excited by this idea by Camille Styles!  When shopping for catering ingredients, buy from the ethnic section of your grocery store and re-use the containers for planting Succulents in a Can.  These would be great as favors or decorations to keep for yourself!

New products are rolling out regularly, so keep your eyes out at the PartyFetti Store for your decorating needs!

CDM Product Collage

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Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

I was shopping at my local big box store and, in the spirit of getting ready for Easter, decided to pick up some plastic eggs. They are such a cheap and easy decoration, and definitely more versatile (and less of a choking hazard) than the plastic grass!  Looking for ideas beyond hiding them under the couch or turning them into a rattle, I went to “the net” and found a blog post on PopSugar that is perfect for keeping both big and little hands busy.

12 Ways to Upcycle Your Easter Eggs

12 Ways to Upcycle Your Easter Eggs
Once all the colorful plastic Easter eggs are found and opened, what do you do with them? If you’re not keen on keeping them in storage till next year, check out these 12 fantastic ideas from Circle of Moms Facebook members on ways to reuse plastic Easter eggs — from teacups and cupcakes for pretend play to a bird feeder you and your child can create together. Click through to see them all!

Source: Shutterstock
Snack Containers

Second to storing your eggs for use again next year, one of the easiest ways to reuse plastic Easter eggs is to turn them into holders for small snacks. The eggs are portable and a perfect on-the-go snack container for toddlers or preschoolers.

Bird Feeders

“You can also use the part that has a tiny pinhole (or make one) and tie fishing line through them about 6 inches apart, then tie [a] small knot under each egg to keep in place. [Put] birdseed inside and hang from [the] porch or trees for the little birdies. Each of my grandkids make their own bird feeders every year.” — Vicki E.

Wreaths

“I use my plastic eggs for crafts. They are glued onto wreaths with spring flowers.” — Rose W.

“Make wreaths out of old plastic eggs and give as gifts.” — Laurie B.

Pretend Cupcakes

“When Costco used to sell mini Play-Doh for cheap, I used to make cupcakes with halves of plastic Easter eggs [for the tops].” — Sunghee C. of Creativity in Progress

Playtime Teacups

“I got the idea of making teacups after I used the round halves of Easter eggs for [pretend] cupcakes and trying to figure out what to do with the pointy halves. Tea and cupcakes — yum!” — Sunghee C. of Creativity in Progress

Eggs For a Play Kitchen

“I tried to save the plastic eggs to reuse, but my daughter wanted them all to play with! So they’re now her ‘eggs’ for her kitchen, and she ‘cooks’ them for us!” — Jennifer K.

“As for plastic eggs, [my 4-year-old daughter] plays with them in her toy kitchen and she leaves them out for the bunny to fill on Easter Eve.” — Amanda F.

Bath Toys

“My kids use their plastic eggs in the bathtub — great bath toys for the whole year.” — Amber L.

Alphabet and Spelling Toys

“Put capital letters on one side and lower case on the other, match them up. Or two letters per side and use for spelling.” — Allison S.

Tiny Treasure Keepers

“My kids love to keep their plastic eggs and use them for jewelry, small parts for cars, and such.” — Cathi F.

Color-Matching Games

“We use the plastic eggs that are all different colors and patterns to play matching games throughout the year. Just take them all apart and allow your child to match them up. [It’s] good for small motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and noticing similarities/differences.” — Crystal D.

Egg-Shaped Treats

“My children are making fun-shaped foods. Rice Krispies eggs and Jello eggs are some of the fun things we’ve done.” — Lee A G.

“Use the eggs for Jello!” — Samantha P.

Tree Decorations

“My mom used old plastic eggs as decorations in the tree out in front of her house. She tied a knot at the end of a long piece of string, snapped the egg on at the knot, and tied it to the tree. I always loved going over there and seeing them.” — Hilary H.

Source: Shutterstock

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