When AwesomeBox approached me telling me that they had the most awesome gift idea for those touching holidays and life-happenings such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduations, milestone birthdays, wedding showers, anniversaries…well, you get the idea, I wasn’t completely sold. I wasn’t even sold after using the service complimentary, until I heard EVERYONE exclaim about just how AWESOME this gift was when I recently gave it to a friend for her graduation and 30th birthday. I received an AwesomeBox and shipping in exchange for sharing my experience with you, my readers. All opinions are my own. Please check out my policies for more information on A Well Crafted Party’s sponsored content. Note: Personal images/ last names have been blurred/removed. Print quality is crystal clear and beautifully done!
“Wow, it’s really awesome,” said my husband after looking through the gift that myself and 9 other people worked together to create for a dear friend and family member’s 30th birthday and graduation party.
It wasn’t the first time that day that I heard those words strung together and I couldn’t help but think that they certainly named the “Awesome Box” well. Recently I had the opportunity to set up and order an AwesomeBox for a friend.
What’s an AwesomeBox? Well, it really is a box full of awesome. Okay, I’ll try to refrain from using that word for the rest of the post. This neat little gift is a collaborative box of images and quotes put together in a well-designed package. The cards are 5 1/4 inches square with rounded corners. There are cards describing how many people contributed and then cards with images on one side and quotes on the other. Collaborators each upload images and quotes to build the box.
Creating this easy, sentimental and fun gift is super easy. You simply visit www.AwesomeBox.com, create an account and select “Start a Box.” You can then upload images and quotes for the AwsomeBox. You will also have the opportunity to invite collaborators to upload images and quotes.
The one draw back to the AwesomeBox in my opinion was that I didn’t get to choose the background images that were used with the photos. I like the extra control of designing an item to look a certain way. However, to be honest, I might have never finished if I chose all the extra items. This made the whole process straightforward. And, when it arrived, I was so pleased with how the box came together and looked as a whole package that I didn’t even care that I didn’t select the backgrounds.
I liked working with AwesomeBox’s website as it was easy to understand, emailed reminders out so that the box would be delivered on time and it made it fun to collaborate with others. Once it was printed and delivered I liked it even more as the quality was really top-notch and there were added cards in the box that explained what the box was and how many people came together to create the gift.
I really feel like the uses for this gift idea are sort of endless. Here are some ideas I came up with:
Thank you to AwesomeBox for letting me experience your services. Thanks to readers for supporting the companies that help make this blog happen!
That is a bold statement— Changing the World. But, I believe it. I don’t believe it is just working moms that are doing the changing either. I feel like a lot of mothers right now are changing the world for (hopefully) the better. Today is EarthDay—which, I know, is all about recycling and being a better citizen of the planet— and it got me thinking about other ways in which we are bettering our planet.
The moms in this series have been sharing what they want their kids to look back and think of when they look back on life with a working mother. I don’t know that many of the answers are any different that what our mothers, those that worked, might have hoped for us growing up.
We are half-way through my series on working mothers. If you’ve missed any of it then you should absolutely check it out. A big thank you to the volunteers that let me ask them a ton of questions and get photos of them. Also a huge thank you to the women that helped make this possible Mary Boyden of Mama Bear Mag took all the photos from the photoshoot and Madeline Roosevelt offered hair and make-up services to those who wanted it. These women are seriously kick-ass with what they are doing in their own worlds at this moment in time:
There are about a thousand different reasons why working mothers work. For some people—which I didn’t really encounter as I was getting volunteers for this series but I KNOW exist and have shared their stories with me— they work because they have no other choice. They WISH they could stay home with their child and be the full-time caregiver, but they simply can’t afford it. Some mothers work, even though they wish to stay home with their children during the baby years, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have a job to come back to once they felt that their caregiving can be shared. And, then, there are some mothers who love work and feel that they are better versions of themselves, and thereby better mothers for their children, when they do work.
Whether it is a dream job or a job that it is out of necessity I feel that todays working mothers are beginning a conversation that will change the future of working mothers for our children.
There are so many things that I want for my children that me, my mother and certainly my grandmother didn’t have as an option. I’d like for these conversations about working mothers can help normalize the issues that we are all dealing with just a tad more. I want for my kids to have family leave that is PAID for—whether by their companies or the government I don’t know— so they don’t have to go back to work before they are ready. I want the mommy wars to die down a bit so that whether someone chooses to stay home with their children (for financial or child care reasons) or to go to work everyone stops judging these decisions and starts helping out the mommas in their circle. I want mom guilt to stop being about not getting to be in the lives of their children because they are stuck in an office and more about that extra scoop of ice cream that caused way too much energy. You know?
It is going to take a lot more conversations. It is going to take some changes in our government. And it is going to take a whole bunch of women supporting other women to make these things happen.
“I also hope [seeing me work] helps them become more independent and creative. When I grew up, both my parents worked. Having a lot of free time on our own made me and my siblings invent fun for ourselves. We spent hours imagining ourselves as fairies or orphans or alligator wrestlers. We dedicated weeks to turning our play room into a haunted house. We made up songs and ran around outside and skinned our knees and broke windows (though not too often, thankfully). I want my girls to have a similar childhood – one that’s not micromanaged by me.” — Catherine, Writer & Mother of Two
“I really, really hope my son will understand that I work not because I didn’t like being around him- I actually like it quite a bit, certainly way more than I thought I would- but because it’s what’s right for me. The classic, “It’s not you, it’s me,” bit. I hope it shows him that you can live the life you want, even if it’s hard, as long as you’re willing to (forgive the pun) work for it. And I hope he internalizes the lesson that you should not make anyone but yourself the center of your Universe: it’s an unfair amount of pressure to expect someone else to give your life meaning and worth. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t devote any (or even a lot!) of your time and energy to someone you love, just that you shouldn’t let them take more than is healthy for you to give.” — Jenny, Office Manager & mother of one
“This is an old one, and you hear it a lot. But I want my children to see that women do not have to walk away from their dreams, goals, and position in the marketplace to become a mother. Yes, you CAN do and have it all. But you have to wake up every day with intention. Clear and focused intention.” — Missy, Radio Host, Regional Sales Director & Mother to Twins
This photo pretty much sums up how me and the family felt about stealing away to the Oregon coast for a family vacation this past weekend. We were all smiles! Family vacations can be difficult, costly and tiresome sometimes… and, while this trip had a tinge of those things at times, it was mostly AMAZING. We have a favorite spot out on the coast that is affordable, comfortable and just perfect for families and it seems that every year around this time when itching to get out of town we are always able to snag a room! Our whole family piled in the van and met up with friends who also got a room at the hotel. We enjoyed most of our meals in the rooms (complete with great kitchens) and spent our time on the beach and soaking in the sea air.
I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to share about this place because right now it feels like an unfound secret getaway venue… but, that isn’t fair to the amazing people that run this place. We like to vacation at Proposal Rock Inn a great inexpensive hotel in Neskowin, Oregon. Now, this is not a super swanky hotel, but rather a unique, family-friendly and inexpensive getaway option. Each of the rooms at this Inn are actually condos owned by different people. Each one is decorated and stocked differently. The one we stayed in this weekend was a three bedroom, slightly dated, room that had a full kitchen stocked with supplies and tons of seating. It also had a VHS/DVD player with a ton of old movies. The beds were extremely comfortable and the price was so right for the weekend.
In addition to the inn there is a great little restaurant and store. The Neskowin Trading Company is actually stocked with pretty high-end items including a great wine and beer selection along with the perfect picnic snack foods.
Vacations for us are partially about getting away and mostly about eating great food. I’m lucky to have friends who love good food as much as I do and we never skimp on our food selections. Our lunch spread after a morning on the beach was perfect for adults and kids alike because it was a build your own sandwich bar! The sundried tomato bread was purchased at Panera and made for a really fantastic sandwich. It all paired perfectly with the chips that were sent to me by Tim’s Cascade Snacks in honor of their 30th Anniversary. We tried both new limited edition flavors of Coney Island and Hawaiian Island Lemon Chips. The lemon were so refreshing and just tart enough.
We can’t go to the coast and NOT get fresh seafood. Because we had great kitchens in our rooms we decided to hop on out to Lincoln City to Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market to grab some fresh seafood for dinner. My friends are amazing cooks so I did nothing more than drool and supply a tasty wine for this meal. They picked up half a pound of Dungeness crab to make a sundried tomato cream crab & linguine pasta and a bunch of big beautiful shrimp for shrimp cocktails.
I didn’t have to lift a finger… well, until I lifted my fork!
A recharge this weekend was totally needed. The drive home was a little tiring as both kiddos were entirely worn out and all of the adults were tired as well. But, it was just the thing needed to get through the next couple of crazy busy months. I am already planning my next trip to Neskowin!
Note: This was not a sponsored post and I paid for all of my Neskowin adventure. However, Tim’s Cascade Snacks did complimentary bags of chips in celebration of their 30th Anniversary. All opinions are my own. See my policies for more information about sponsored posts on this blog.
More about Tim’s Cascade Snacks: “For over three decades, Tim’s Cascade Snacks has stayed true to its mission. Just like when they started in 1986, Tim’s still supports local farms and businesses, many of whom started out with the company from its inception, 30 years ago. Additionally, Tim’s has supported the sustainable movement well before it was the thing to do. The Association of Washington business announced Tim’s Cascade Chips as the recipient of their Environmental Excellence Award of the Decade. Tim’s was also recognized for water conservation, packaging reduction and a 10 year continuing Environmental Commitment Award in May 2001.In honor of their 30th anniversary, Tim’s Cascade Snacks, producer of Tim’s(r) Cascade Style Potato Chips, Hawaiian(r) Kettle Style Potato Chips and Erin’s(r) Popcorn is offering Special Batches of Potato Chipflavors from the past and new flavors for the future. These new limited edition flavors will be in stores for a limited time and will launch a new tradition. Every year, Tim’s Cascade Snacks will now offer Special Batch items for Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips and Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips with unique flavor trends. ”