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Pump Up Your Box Spring – Just Add Legs to It!

Our Bed.

We FINALLY got our memory foam bed in… It took forever to get here, but all I can say is that patience is a virtue – and we definitely got to practice it while we eagerly awaited the mattress’s arrival!

Our originally idea and inspiration... Maybe someday! Either way, I can't wait to get that beautiful comforter below it on the bed!

Our original idea and inspiration… Maybe someday! Either way, I can’t wait to get that beautiful comforter below it on the bed!

Originally, I had grand ideas on what we would do for the bed frame. I wanted a beautiful solid wood platform bed so badly; I even found a free plan online and everything. But I had to stop and be practical… It didn’t make sense for us to make that right now. We are in Washington, in an apartment, and will likely be moving within the next two years or so. The more I thought about it the more it became a bad idea for us to make the platform bed. Then I was simply lost on where to go next. We had a King size bed on it’s way – just no bed frame… So, I went to Pinterest! 🙂

The next plan of attack? Simply add legs to your box spring! *Thank goodness for Pinterest!* The bummer though was that original pin went to a dead site, so it made me brain storm somewhat. I thought it would be easy – that’s usually where I run into trouble and see Blair rolling his eyes at me (lovingly, of course!) – and in the end, it was in fact quite easy. Yay for a Pinterest idea going easily! 😀

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Our bed is finally in!

We bought our box springs off of Craigslist… sounds shady, trust me I know… but I found someone who was selling their’s for only $60 still in it’s original packaging – never opened! Score! And, honestly, you’d be surprised at how many people are selling their brand new box springs on Craigslist. Most of them seem to buy platform beds and no longer need them. Just make sure they come from a smoke and pet free home!

Click on the photos below give for some more details, but basically all we did was:

  • Screw Heavy Duty Top Plates to each of the box spring’s corners. *We have a split box spring so we used eight of these.*
  • Twist the Legs into the plates. *Make sure you use sturdy legs that can hold weight. The ones we used can hold 200 lbs. each.*
  • Put your bed on top!

*If you have a King sized bed, you consider getting a block of wood to place in between the center of the two box springs to support the middle section of the bed.*

Since we were kind of rushing when we put this together, I didn’t paint or stain the legs. At the moment, it doesn’t bother me that they are unfinished, but I’ll probably paint them down the road.

In the end, it cost us around $110 to do this project and about 30 minutes from start to finish. I’m in love with it and can’t wait till Blair is home from the field to be able to enjoy it too! Until then, I’m sure I’ll try to take up the entire king size bed – if that is even possible!

The next To Do on the bed is to cover the box springs with fabric so they can’t be seen! I’m using canvas drop cloths, so stay tuned for that post!

Lauren

P.S. Check out Pretty Pegs for cute furniture legs too! They are a little bit expensive for my taste, but definitely gave me some ideas for what I could do to our’s later on!

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How to Make a Care Package + Some Cute Ideas!

Hello! This post is all about care packages and what you’ll need!

These were seriously so fun to make and I loved putting them together for Taylor. I would try to make them as great as I could and would put a personal touch on all of them to make them special for him!

Care packages can be anywhere from really basic to really extravagant. Because I was a full time student, whenever I had a chance to send a package I would always try to make it as extravagant as I could.

Care packages took exactly a week if not a day or two less to make it to Afghanistan from Reno, Nevada. The best thing to do to find out how long your packages will take is to go to your local post office and ask them!

Things you will need from the post office: 

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Care Package and the white forms.

All these items are absolutely free! 

You will need to get a large flat rate box. When I was sending care packages they were $16 and because I was sending it to an APO address (overseas military base, which could also be FPO or DPO) I was given $2 off—score! You can fit a lot in a large flat rate box so don’t be fooled by how small it may appear. The only thing you have to make sure of is that your box is not over 50 pounds. Once it bounces over 50 pounds they will ask you to take some stuff out of the box. Then you can decide whether you want to pack it in another box, or just wait to send it in the next care package. However, it is hard to reach that 50 mark. I think the heaviest one of mine was almost 20 pounds and that was because I packed a cake in a Kerr jar.

* The address label to stick on the box. The first time I sent a care package Taylor’s mom and I didn’t get this sticker and they just gave it to us when we brought the package to the post office, but the next couple times I sent a care package I asked if I could have the sticker. I liked getting it all done before getting to the post office to save time.

* You will also need to get the white customs forms. To make sure you get the right forms just ask them for the ones that are for sending care packages to your deployed significant other. I always had them give me a lot of these forms because you have to list every item that you are packing in the care package along with how much it weighs. These forms take a lot of time to fill out, so I would always do them before going to the post office.

The first time I tried to fill out this form with Taylor’s mom, she and I were reading the instructions that come with the form and we were completely confused on how to put in the address because it is different than a normal address. The link below will take you to the website that specifically shows you how to fill it out. This was a huge help for me and cleared up all the confusion I had!

http://www.skipcares.org/228/care-packages/customs-form/

When you take care packages to the post office they will weigh them and go through everything in your form to make sure you are not sending anything you are not supposed to like weapons and alcohol. So it takes some time. This is why I like to have all the forms and the sticker for the front of the care package filled out before even getting to the post office. There is also less room for error if you take the time to do them at home.

Taylor’s Care Packages 

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Valentine’s Day Care Package!

The first care package Taylor’s mom and I sent to him wasn’t until we knew he was in Afghanistan. We waited until he told us that he was there because we didn’t want the package to beat him there. Your significant other deploys on a certain date, but that does not mean they will be to the base they are going to overseas that day. It takes a few days for them to actually get there. So wait to send anything until you know for a fact they are there.

We really didn’t send much of anything in this first care package…because we really didn’t know what to send. So, we sent him his favorite candy, snacks, magazines and a roll of Copenhagen. Tobacco products are more expensive overseas and they are not good quality, so if your significant other smokes or chews you may want to consider sending them a couple packs, or a roll in every care package you send. I never really had to worry about this because his parents would send him care packages and his dad would always make sure to pack a roll of Copenhagen, so I would just send a can or two in mine.

The second care package I sent was a Valentines Day themed package. I did the 14 days of Valentines Day and had a present for every day leading up to February 14th.  I wrote a letter explaining that he was allowed to open one present every day and I numbered each present so he knew what order to open them in. Then there was a letter to go with every gift, which explained why I got him the gift and then wrote something cute and cheesy about the gift and what it represented in our relationship. There were 14 presents and 14 letters. The first present I had him open was homemade Rice Krispies, which sent really well! I got a Ziplock tupperware from Walmart that I wouldn’t care if he just threw away in Afghanistan. I got one that was small enough to fit in the large flat rate box, but big enough to fit enough Rice Krispies in. I then put a sheet of wax paper between each layer of Rice Krispies and Taylor said they were still perfect and chewy by the time they got to him, which I was glad to hear because I was not sure how well they were going to send.

I also sent him a can of Copenhagen, gum, a hand warmer, Chapstick, a blender ball (which he wanted to mix his workout shakes), toothbrushes, peanut m&m’s, Kit Kats, an iPod charger, and his big Valentines present was a photo book I made on Shutterfly of every year leading up to the day he deployed. I combined all of our best pictures from each year into a book and wrote little blurbs about every year. It turned out really great and it was something I knew he would really enjoy. There were other presents too, but I just can’t remember them all!

The next and final care package I sent him was his birthday one. Taylor turned 21 in Afghanistan and I wanted to make sure it was as special as possible. He had about a month left there and so I wanted to send things that I knew he would like and be able to use or eat in that time. I sent him cashews, almonds, beef jerky, pop tarts, peanut m&m’s, Copenhagen, buffalo wing pretzels, birthday cake Oreos, and some other snacks. Then I also made him a cake in a jar, which is super easy and sends really well! I saw it on Pinterest and made one for a friend for her birthday and knew it could be something I could send Taylor in a care package.

The link on how to make a cake in a jar is below:

http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/rainbow-cake-in-a-jar/

You don’t have to make it a rainbow cake you can use whatever kind of cake you want! Then I didn’t send frosting, but if you wanted to I would recommend buying the frosting in those small tubs at the store and packing one of those.

Decorating the Inside of Care Packages: 

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Taylor’s Birthday Care Package!

Taylor’s mom and I did not decorate the inside of his first box, but after seeing all the neat things people have done with care packages on Pinterest I knew that I wanted to do something more on the next ones I sent.

In his Valentines Day box, I wrapped all the presents in red wrapping paper and then bought stickers, tissue paper and construction paper to decorate the inside of the box. I also printed out some pictures, which I just scotch taped to the inside of the box because I knew that Taylor would want to keep them, but not the whole box.

I did the same thing for his birthday box and bought birthday decorations to decorate the box. I also bought a bag of confetti and pretty much confetti blasted the box, but he thought it was fun and I was glad because I wanted him to feel like it was his birthday. Then instead of wrapping everything in this box, I just put tissue paper in the little to no space that was left.

The best place to buy decorations for care packages is Dollar Tree or whatever dollar store you have in your area. These decorations do not have to be top notch. Your significant other is going to get the care package, take all the goodies out of it and then  throw the box away, so don’t waste your money on the things you don’t have to. Buying cheap tissue paper, stickers and confetti allowed me to be able to buy him more goodies for his care packages.

Care Package Wrap Up

I really thought that I was going to go off of what I had seen on Pinterest, which by the way is an awesome place to start! However, I ended up really getting creative and making each box have a little personal touch of my own. You are sending these to your significant other, so use Pinterest to get some ideas and then put your own creative, personal spin on them!

As far as knowing what to pack you really need to ask your significant other what things they would like to have. Taylor’s mom would send him lots of candy, so he always asked me for more snack type foods, which is why I started sending him almonds, pop tarts, jerky and cashews. Then his dad sent him tuna packets, which he really liked just in case there was a day or night he didn’t feel like going to get food. Snacks like those are perfect to send!

You can also send things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant. It is really all up to your significant other’s preference. Taylor was fine with just running and getting that stuff on base, so I never really had to send anything like that….except toothbrushes because he complained about how terrible the ones were that they sold there, so I sent him some nice Oral-B ones.

Some other good ideas are things like iTunes and Amazon gift cards, or other cards they can use to buy things online while they are overseas. Because hey have Wi-Fi they are able to shop online and have things delivered to them. So, if you have family or friends who want to send them something, but don’t know what have them get them gift cards for iTunes, Amazon, or even regular Visa gift cards that they can use to purchase things online.

Care Packages from Tay

cakepops

St. Patrick’s Day cake pops Taylor sent me!

You are not the only one who can send things. Your significant other can order things online, or buy you things at the base they are stationed at that they can send you. While Taylor was deployed I got a few packages from him. He bought me a pair of Dre Beat ear buds that he found on base and mailed to me. He sent me a quilted deployment heart wreath along with a bouquet of flowers for Valentines Day. Then for St. Patrick’s Day he sent me some cake pops. It was really neat to get things from him as well because it felt even more like we were really connected even though we were a whole world apart.

Kaitlin

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Part 1 – Redoing our Bedroom!

King Size Bed.

That’s where it all began. A Living Social deal too good to pass up came our way and we jumped on top of it. A memory foam mattress – king size- for $394? SCORE! And since then my mind has just been filled with endless ideas to make our bedroom some place we both truly love to be in!

Enter the inspiration – a platform bed inspired by Pottery Barn’s Teen Hampton Planked Platform Bed. When originally looking for ideas, I found this bed on the wonderful blog Crab & Fish and fell in love! And once I realized that the amazing Ana White had actually written up FREE in-depth plans for the bed, I knew Blair and I were in for a full on bedroom makeover!

bedroom redo

Below are some additional things I’ve gotten and done already in anticipation of the arrival of our mattress and making the platform bed.The bedroom makeover probably could have come at a better time, especially considering finals and block leave are coming up within the next week… But hey, a little procrastination never hurts!

bedroom redo color frame bedroom redo accentsbedroom redo before and after

Already Home Depot, Big Lots and The Dollar Store have helped me spruce up our bedroom so much!

And the costs so far for our bedroom makeover have been:

  • Redoing the nesting tables: $20.21 not including our Home Depot Military Discount (which, by the way, is 10% off)
  • Curtains and Curtain Rods: $15
  • DIY Bedside Flowers and Accent Pillows: $$3.50
  • King Size Comforter: $70 from Big Lots
  • Spruced up Frame: $3.70 for the spray paint
  • King Size Memory Foam Mattress: $394
  • Platform Bed: TBA – thinking $100 or less!

Grand total including the platform bed project: $602.91

Not too bad in my books! Check out the beautiful DIY Bedside Flowers I’ve already done and stay tuned for updates on this little adventure!

Lauren

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DIY Bedside Flowers

Fresh Flowers.

There is nothing quite like getting beautiful fresh flowers. And then again, there is nothing quite like the smell and mess dead flowers make. So to be able to have them for a long time, I made a bedside flower arrangement to wake up to and enjoy!

If you’re a crafty girl like me, this project will only cost you about a dollar. The only thing I bought were the fake flowers from The Dollar Store – everything else I had on hand! Find the steps under the photo below!flowerdiy3

What You’ll Need:

  1. A Container *I used an old silver gravy boat I had hiding in a storage closet.
  2. Fake Flowers *I only needed one bunch! I found mine at The Dollar Store. Most of them are cheesy… but dig around! There are some good ones in there!
  3. Hot Glue Gun with Glue
  4. Wire Cutters *Way easier to cut the flowers this way!

What You Need to Do:

  • Prep your flowers by cutting them out of the bunch – make sure to leave the stems!
  • Bend and play with the flowers to get how you want them to look in the container. *This may take a while to get perfect – don’t worry! Once you like it, take a picture so you can duplicate it in the next step!
  • Take your hot glue, cover the stem of the flower and connect it to the container. Repeat this for the rest of the flowers. *Great thing about hot glue is that it’s super easy to pull up if you don’t like a flower’s placement!

And that’s it! Super easy, cheap and cute project to spruce up your bedside table!

Lauren

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Month of PCS – Who Moves Our Things?

The Big Move.

moving

Let the packing begin!

Not going to lie – this post is a biggie. So let’s get started!

When it came to Blair and I making our first PCS up to Fort Lewis, we instantly knew how we wanted to move – DITY Style. 😉 That being said, doing your own move isn’t the only option and isn’t meant for everyone; you can do it yourself (DITY), kind of do it yourself (Partial DITY) or let the military move you!

First thing first is to evaluate your current life situation and personality before deciding though! So:

  1. Do you have children or a dog?
  2. Are you moving over 700 miles with this PCS?
  3. Are you able to spend $1000+ out of pocket right now?
  4. Do you have multiple cars?
  5. PCS-ing during Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?
  6. Are you a “road tripper”?
  7. Are you able to live without your belongings for possibly a month or longer?

Some of these questions may seem weird for newbie military wives to ask themselves, but trust me when I tell you that answering these are a must to happily PCS-ing stress free!

If you answered YES to Questions 1, 2, 4 and Fall/Winter for 5, having the Military move you may be the best bet!

If you answered YES to Questions 3 & 6, NO to 7 and Spring/Summer for 5, DITY moves may be for you!

It’s vital to sit down with your sweetheart after answering these and talk it out. PCS-ing is a team effort, so make sure you are on the same mind-track when it comes to how you’ll be moving!

Now onto the next step – setting up your move!

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Which move did you pick?

This section is split into 3 parts: DITY Move, Partial DITY Move and Military Move. While some of the steps may vary, the basics and key steps are included!

DITY Move:

  • As soon as the Official Orders are in, contact your apartment office, landlord, etc. and notify them of the move. *The Official Orders will have the report date for your Active Duty spouse on it, so make sure to give enough notice keeping the actual move in mind.
  • Do research and book your rental truck. *We saved so much by using Penske (Hertz). Our 1-way 5 day rental cost was about $600 for a 26 foot truck. Pretty good considering the same for a Uhaul was way over $1000! Also, the point of booking ahead is to ensure they have that truck on the date you want.
  • Plan out the drive and make day goals. *For instance, we drove from Nevada to Washington – a 722 mile drive. Day 1 was used to pick up the rental truck and load it. On Day 2, we set a goal of leaving and making it to Southern Oregon and staying with family to help out with the expenses. For Day 3, we set the goal of making it to Fort Lewis. And Day 4 to unpack and return the rental truck.

Partial DITY Move:

  • Notify your apartment office, landlord, etc. of the move.
  • Set up the move with a Private Moving Company – Do research first for the best rate!
  • Plan accordingly with the Moving Company – are you going to follow them? Are you going to drive straight there and have them meet up with you? Are they going to leave before you?
  • Still make Driving Goals for yourself. *Obviously if your family is flying you don’t need to make these goals.

*Still consider the notes from the previous section – DITY move – when planning a Partial DITY Move.

Military Move:

  • Notify your apartment office, landlord, etc. of the move.
  • Contact your military branch’s nearest base’s Transportation Office. *If you aren’t near a base, this may cause some problems with the military moving your things. Never hurts to try and call though! Blair and I ran into this seeing as though the nearest base was Navy and we are Army. That is one of the reasons why we ended up moving ourselves!
  • Pack your things beyond super well! *The military is notorious for being rough with boxes and furniture!
  • Plan your drive or flight time accordingly. *Give yourself enough time to get to your new Duty Station and mentally prepare for the days ahead. You won’t want to plan on following the military movers – military movers can take up to a month, if not more, to arrive with your belongings.

*Despite this move not being a DITY, previous notes are still good to consider!

STOP HERE – IMPORTANT INFO! If your landlord tries to tell you that you are breaking the lease by moving out before the end date and that you have to pay extra fees due to that, pull out your Military Lease Clause knowledge! You are protected! To learn more, check out Military OneSource’s page on this here.

Alright- next section is some tips on how you DITY movers can actually make money during this move! Let’s go!

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moneymoneymoneyTips and Tricks on Making $$$ off of your DITY Move:

*I actually just sent these to a newbie wife I’ve been talking to the past couple of weeks, and I think it fits perfectly into this post! So a shout out to Melanie and her family! Her husband gets home from AIT very soon (Yay!) and then it’s moving time!

  • Rent smart. Like I said, we used Penske (Hertz) and it was by far the cheapest. And they have a military discount!
  • Weigh the rental truck after it’s been completely loaded and is completely full with gas. You have to provide weight tickets to get reimbursed, so why not make it weigh the most it can! *You have to use weighing stations at truck gas stations like Love’s. The state weigh stations won’t help you.
  • That goes for the final weight ticket too. Weigh it when you have completely unloaded and gas isn’t full!
  • Keep every single moving receipt in a Manila Folder. You get reimbursed for a certain amount of lodging and food a day. *If you want to make a little more money in the long run, just buy lunch meats, snack foods, etc. for food to stay away from paying out of pocket for full on meals at restaurants.
  • Mark mileage!

Something to note is that ranks have different weight limit amounts you’ll be reimbursed for during a DITY move. Make sure to look for your spouse’s rank weight limit when it comes to moving things! *For the most part, I’m pretty sure you all will be fine when it comes to your stuff though. We moved a lot in a 26 foot truck, including a TON of heavy heavy furniture and still met the weight limits! But better to be safe than sorry!

Phew! That was long, but I hope it gave some of you newbie wives a place to get started! If you’re a military wife and have some PCS tips, tricks or recommendations of your own make sure to send them my way by emailing therealsweetheartblog@gmail.com or commenting below!

Happy PCS-ing!

Lauren

Other Posts for *A Month of PCS*

Week 1 – The Basics to a PCS!

Week 2 – On or Off Post?

Week 4 – Making the Move!

Week 5 – How to Relax During a PCS!

Step 6. Add your jewelry!

DIY: Chic Jewelry Holder out of a Old Window Frame!

My New Jewelry Holder.

Here it is! I love it and it covers up the breaker switch box!

Here it is! I love it and it covers up the breaker switch box!

A couple of weeks ago when Blair and I were organizing our apartment, he broke the news to me about a newfound addiction of mine.

Apparently I have a lot of costume jewelry… and keeping it in a brown cardboard box was no longer appropriate.

So being the awesome man and husband he is, he decided to help me out on creating a totally adorable and chic jewelry holder made out of an old window frame!

Using an old window frame we had on hand (Thank you, Black family!), an old pillow case with a rad print and some newly purchased chicken wire from Home Depot, we both finished this project with a huge smile on both of our faces. We LOVED the finished product!

So I want to share it with all of you! The steps are below in a new photo format I’m trying out! *Fingers Crossed* Just click on the first photo on the left to get started!

Enjoy and happy crafting!

Lauren

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A Newbie’s Guide to their First Duty Station Move + a Moving Tip to Know!

PCS.

As a newbie military wife that little acronym may sound intimidating. But relax! There’s no need to worry about making the move to a new duty station.

To help out more, we are doing *A Month of PCS* here at The Real Sweetheart! Influenced by questions asked by newbie military wives, the site will have a month of tricks, tips, funny PCS stories and more!

Check out the schedule below to see what the month of May will consist of! We’re excited and hope you are too – Stay tuned every Friday!

Click on the photo below to see an enlarged version of the schedule!

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The Posts for *A Month of PCS*

Week 1 – The Basics to a PCS!

Week 2 – On or Off Post?

Week 3 – Who Moves Our Things?

Week 4 – Making the Move!

Week 5 – How to Relax During a PCS!

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movingtip1Moving Tip of the Day!

Tired of unpacking your things to find the box or bag soaked in shampoo, face wash, etc.?

Try placing plastic wrap over the opening of the container and replacing the cap over it! Creating a seal, the bottle is essentially leak-proof. SCORE. 🙂

Lauren