Hello hello! It’s just me (and, well, my featured blogger!) popping in this week for the umpteenth time thanks to all of these crazy gift guides. 🙂 I love putting them together and sharing them, so thanks for your positive feedback and humoring me by checking them out day after day. 🙂 Y’all rock!
There are two things about this week’s featured Saturday Sit-Down blogger that make her a ton of fun. First, she’s a navy wife, and I have always thoroughly enjoyed learning about other branches of the military and how our experiences compare and contrast. Also, in addition to being a blogger, she’s also an Etsy shop owner! I don’t want to steal her thunder, so I’ll let her tell you about these things herself in the interview below.
Meet Rachel! <3
Q: Hey Rachel! Please introduce yourself in three sentences or less.
A: Hi y’all, I’m Rachel, a proud Navy wife, dog mom and Clemson graduate. Ever since meeting my sweet husband 5+ years ago, I’ve been learning the ropes of the military spouse lifestyle and am blown away by the strength of this community on a regular basis. When I’m not blogging, making care packages, or working, I love to travel, read, try new food, especially ALL the baked goods!
Q: When and why did you start your blog, and how did you come up with your blog name?
A: I’ve blogged on and off about a variety of topics since I was in college, but only started Countdowns and Cupcakes when I married my husband in 2014. I was thrown into the world of being a military spouse, seemingly overnight, and didn’t really have anywhere to turn for support from people who got it. The Internet quickly became my online support system and as I learned about the military lifestyle, I desperately wanted to connect with others who were in a similar position. My goal has always been to create a community for military spouses where they can celebrate each homecoming, thrive during deployment and support each other.
To me, “countdowns and cupcakes” represents the life of a military spouse perfectly. We are constantly in countdown mode: counting down the days until a deployment is over or until new orders come through or until we finally get to see extended family again. But through all that waiting, we should still focus on living our lives to the fullest, making friends, pursuing our dreams and thriving no matter what the military throws at us. In other words, we should eat the cupcake when we have the chance!
Q: What do you enjoy blogging about?
A: I absolutely love sharing care package ideas, tips and tricks. Since meeting my husband, I’ve sent A LOT of care packages around the world and really enjoy sharing the creativity that goes into each one with my readers. Other topics you may see on Countdowns and Cupcakes include our travels, a recipe or two and of course, an occasional guest post from our two dogs.
Q: Your care package ideas are so creative! Would you mind telling us a little bit about what you create?
A: Aw, thank you! When someone you love is deployed, care packages are a great way to express your love and I have taken so much joy in decorating my husband’s boxes over the years. As much as I enjoy the times when he’s home, I still want to continue creating care packages. It was a natural step to begin decorating them for other military families as well.
Each one of my care package sets is designed by me, put together by hand and made with a lot of love. My designs include four decorated flaps as well as paper for the bottom of the box. Plus they all come with suggestions for what to put in your care package!
The other side of my business is custom care packages, where I design something exclusively for each customer. I love getting those orders because of the connection I find with each customer and their story. There’s something really heartwarming knowing that I am a small part of brightening the day of a deployed service member.
Q: If readers want to buy some of your creations, where can they shop?
A: I have an Etsy shop here.
Q: What are some of your favorite things about being a Navy spouse? What are some of the hardest?
A: I love being a Navy spouse because of the fantastic community I’ve found through fellow military spouses. I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of support everyone is so willing to give. Most importantly, I am so incredibly grateful for how happy the Navy makes my husband. He is truly passionate about his job and enjoys doing it. That’s not something everyone can say.
The worst part is definitely the large amount of time I have to spend apart from my husband. He deploys a lot (sometimes multiple times a year), and while they are relatively short, the seemingly endless cycle of deployments can be exhausting. I’m sure just about every military spouse can relate to that! Another hard part is being a Navy family in a primarily Army community. Everything is just different enough that I know I will have to re-learn everything military-related when we PCS to a base that’s heavier on the Navy side.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
A: Oh I have a pretty long travel wish list, but would love to spend an entire month traveling all throughout Italy. We visited Rome on our honeymoon and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I’d love to explore the entire country.
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
Advice for a first deployment: http://countdownsandcupcakes.com/2016/05/first-deployment-advice/
165+ care package ideas (plus what to put in them!): http://countdownsandcupcakes.com/2017/01/care-package-ideas/
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
And just for fun…
- Mac or PC? Mac!
- Ice cream or cookies? Definitely cookies, especially fresh out of the oven.
- Cable or Netflix? Netflix, unless it’s time for cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies.
- Diet or regular soda? Neither. I actually don’t drink soda.
Thank you so much, Rachel!
Is this your first time to Whimsical September? Welcome!
Hello! I’m Erica, the blogger behind Whimsical September. I created the “The Saturday Sit-Down” series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured on “The Saturday Sit-Down”. I promise you – there’s some GREAT ones!
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in the spring of 2018 and would love to feature you! Please fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch with you.
Whimsical September Email List
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!