12 High School Graduation Gift Ideas

June 1, 2017 2:50 pm

Summer is the season of graduation parties, so whether your loved ones are graduating from high school or college, you'll likely need to buy them a gift to celebrate their accomplishments. Here are some great graduation gift ideas that new graduates will actually use.

  • A camera. If a loved one is jetting off on some European travels or getting ready to make new friends at college, he or she will likely love to receive a camera to help document the memories.
  • An inspiring book. If you're looking for a budget gift, you can't go wrong with a book that will instill some knowledge in a recent grad. Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go! is always a great option, but if you have a book that was particularly inspiring to you, that's even better.
  • A customized bobble head doll. Yep, you read that right — you can have a bobble head made with the recent grad's face on it! What better way to start some conversations in a college dorm?
  • A beautiful pen. There's something elegant and timeless about receiving a truly high-quality pen.
  • An Amazon Echo. In this fast-paced, tech-savvy world, there are tons of new gadgets to give as gifts. The Amazon Echo is this year's standout, and it makes a great addition to a college dorm room or first apartment.
  • A piece of jewelry. Whether it's a monogrammed necklace or an engraved bracelet, many graduates would love to receive a piece of quality jewelry to commemorate the occasion.

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Make Deployment Easier With These Sweet DIY Care Packages

January 25, 2017 1:01 pm

When your loved one is deployed, it's hard not to wonder how he or she is doing. One of the best ways to raise spirits during deployment is by creating care packages for deployed troops full of essentials, tastes of home and even a few fun things to boost morale overseas. Here's what to include in a DIY care package to send to your deployed loved one.

  • Favorite foods, such as chips, granola bars, candy and cereals
  • Drinks that don't need refrigerated, such as Gatorade, protein powders, or Kool Aid
  • Condiments, like ketchup, mustard and hot sauce
  • Toiletries such as sunscreen, lotion and lip balm
  • Shower essentials, like shampoo, soap and deoderant
  • Books and magazines
  • Batteries
  • Headphones
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Socks and underwear
  • Fresh T-shirts
  • Games, like dominos, cards or board games
  • Phone cards
  • Flashlights
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Towels

Here are some other tips for sending off your completed care package:

  • Pack everything securely and use padding for anything breakable, such as glass jars or electronics.
  • Secure the box with sturdy tape made especially for packing.
  • Learn how to fill out a customs form through UPS or USPS. Your package won't do its job if it never gets to its destination, so be sure to learn how to properly fill out the paperwork before sending it off!

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Winter Family Nights In

January 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Stuck inside due to snowy weather? No worries! Snow days can be fun as long as you have a bit of creativity and a few simple, common craft supplies to get you through. Here are a few fun ideas for winter family nights in.

  • Make your own homemade popcorn seasonings for a movie night on the couch. From cheesy garlic to cinnamon sugar, these unique flavors will make your basic microwave popcorn much more exciting.
  • Transform your home into a dance club by turning down the lights, cranking up the fun music and even breaking open some glow sticks. The kids will love to let loose and show off their best moves, and you'll love to see the smiles on everyone's faces!
  • Create your own family tree and turn it into artwork. Use a site like Ancestry.com to teach your kids about your family history, and then sketch it out on a large sheet of paper and let them go to work painting and decorating the tree.
  • Make up your own scavenger hunt with clues designed for your kids' ages. This is a great family activity because you can make it very challenging for older kids, or keep things pared down to one room for the little ones.
  • On a chilly weekend morning, make breakfast more fun with a waffle bar. Set out a variety of toppings, from chocolate syrup to whipped cream and fresh fruit, and let your kids create their own waffles however they like.

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