Valentine’s Day crafts in 4 steps or less!

Written by Jessy Howe

DIY Valentine's Day Door wreath
Show your love this Valentine’s Day by creating easy homemade crafts and decorations! Making homemade crafts can be a fun and inexpensive family activity. These crafts are all upcycled from old moving boxes, meaning all you really need is craft paper, glue and stickers, and you’re ready to go. If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be purchased at a location near you!

Below are four easy, do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day craft tutorials!

Kid’s Valentine’s Day card box

DIY Valentine's Day kids card box
Personalize your child’s Valentine’s Day card box for their school party by using one of our Truckie’s Treasure Chest boxes. These boxes are simple to assemble and have handles to make for easy transportation to and from school. You can purchase this at any TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location or order one online for just a few bucks!

Supplies: Kid's Valentine's Day craft box supplies

1 Truckie’s Treasure Chest box
Craft paper
Stickers
Hot glue gun
Box cutter
Scissors

Step 1: Assemble your box and place the handles into the open spaces on the side. Next, use a box cutter to make a slot on the top for Valentines to be dropped in.

Step 2: Have your child cover the box in craft paper of their choice. Use a hot glue gun or tape to secure the paper to the box.

Step 3: It’s time to personalize! Let your child personalize their card box with stickers, paper hearts, ribbon, and anything else they wish.

 

Sweetheart garland

Valentine's Day sweetheart garland
Spruce up your home by creating a classic conversation heart garland to hang in your home. I’m in love with how this turned out!

Supplies:

1 small TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® box
Acrylic craft paint
Sponge paint brushes
Red stickers or a red marker
Ribbon
Box cutter
Hole punch
Heart stencils
Pencil

Step 1: To make this simple, we decided to do a quick online search and print heart stencils. Trace as many hearts as you’d like to have on your garland and use your box cutter to carefully cut them out.

Step 2: Now that your cardboard hearts are cut out, it’s time to paint. We stuck to the classic candy heart colors but your options are endless! Also, I would recommend doing two coats of paint for the best results.

Step 3: After the paint is fully dry, use your hole punch on each side of the heart. String your ribbon through the holes and behind each heart to put your garland together. At the back of the first and last heart, tie a knot in the ribbon to keep them from slipping off.

Step 4: Use your creativity and think of fun sayings to put on each heart! We used red stickers for accuracy and to save time but a red permanent market can work just as well.

 

Valentine’s Day door wreath
DIY Valentine's Day door wreath

Greet your guests with love by creating a paper heart door wreath!

Supplies:Valentine's Day door wreath supplies

1 small box
Craft paper
Sticker letters
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Pencil
Scissors
Box cutter

Step 1: Trace a large circle onto your box with a second circle inside it. Use your box cutter to cut out the inside circle as well as the large circle, leaving you with a base for your wreath. Keep in mind this does not have to be perfectly shaped and it is okay to have jagged edges as you will be covering it up.

Step 2: Cut out various sized hearts from your craft paper and begin gluing them down to your cut out circle. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with your wreath.

Step 3: We added a “LOVE” banner to the top to make it extra festive. After you are happy with the look of your wreath, use your hot glue gun to secure ribbon to the back of your wreath.

 

Tic-tac-toe board

DIY Valentine's Day tic -tac-toe board

A fun twist on a classic game can entertain your kids for hours … okay, maybe 15 minutes but you have to admit, it is fun!

Supplies:

1 small box (Or a remaining side from the box used in previous crafts)
Colored paper
Glue
Marker
Scissors

Step 1: Cut a large heart out to act as your tic-tac-toe game board. Cover this heart in colored paper.

Step 2: Cut smaller hearts out of craft paper in two separate colors. You will want to cut 5 hearts in each color.

Step 3: Draw your board game lines onto the heart and play!

 

We hope we’ve given you some fun DIY ideas to create this February! For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

 

Let TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® take the stress out of holiday preparation

Written by Jessy Howe

DSC_0523_edited

It’s time to venture to the attic and bring out holiday decorations, make room for the Christmas tree, and deck the halls in preparation for the entire family gathering to celebrate the holidays. You want everything to be perfect, after all, you’ve been hosting for the past 30 years! Though you won’t admit it, it is becoming more difficult to climb the stairs, move the couch to make room for your beloved grandchildren to play, and let’s not forget packing it all back up once January arrives.

We follow THE GRANDMA RULE®, one of our key core values, which is to treat everyone the way you would want your grandma to be treated. And as the “Movers Who Care®”, we help a number of retirees with their holiday preparation each year, making the season easier than ever!

“Many people think of using our services when moving to a new home, but in reality, we can provide other services such as rearranging furniture or moving items up from a basement to make the holiday season much less stressful,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Move Execution Specialist Jeremy King.

We’ve compiled the top holiday services we can provide to you and your loved ones during the most wonderful time of year!

Bringing decorations out of storage DSC_0516_edited

Multiple trips to the attic or basement can be downright difficult, so let us bring out the Christmas decorations for you! If you have downsized and these items are in a storage unit, we can also transport them from the unit to your home.

Rearranging furniture 

If you’re like most and need to rearrange your home in order to make space for the Christmas tree and other seasonal items, we are happy to move your furniture so you don’t have to. Whether the couch is moving two feet to the left or two flights up, we will accommodate your needs.

Picking up presents

Holiday shopping deals are a wonderful thing. However, getting the heavier gifts home and through the front door is another story. Our movers frequently pick up large purchases, such as safes and appliances, and deliver them right to you, taking the hassle out of gift giving.

Bringing in extra furniture

As many friends and family arrive for Christmas, make sure everyone has a comfortable place to enjoy the day! We will bring in any extra tables and chairs from your basement, garage, or storage unit that you may need.

Provide boxes

Whether you need extra storage for your holiday decorations or are transporting holiday gifts, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs!

We realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a plan to provide the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed with care and efficiency.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

5 simple tutorials for DIY cardboard holiday crafts

Written by Jessy Howe

Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive… or difficult! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take some time to unwind and create simple DIY holiday crafts on a little or no budget! Plan an evening with the girls to make fun holiday décor or set aside time with your children and make it a family night. Our 5 DIY holiday crafts are the perfect addition to your home or can be gifted away. Yes, they look that good!

Holiday card holder

IMG_9565

Rather than let your holiday cards stack up on the counter among your mail, display them beautifully on a tree-shaped card holder!

Supplies:

1 large box
Green and brown felt squares (we bought the ones with adhesive on the back!)
Ribbon
Mini clothes pins
Box cutter
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Draw out the shape of your tree in pencil and use your box cutter to cut it out. I’d recommend working on carpet to avoid scratching any surfaces or tile.

Step 2: Use your green adhesive felt squares to cover your tree, trimming off the areas that overhang. Use your brown felt square to cover the tree trunk.

Step 3: Wrap your ribbon across the tree so it looks like garland, gluing the ends to the backside of the cut out. Be sure the ribbon is not too loose or your cards will weigh it down causing it to sag. You will also want to attach ribbon on the back to easily hang your card holder.

Step 4: Use your mini clothes pins to begin attaching your cards!

 

Modern tree display

Light trees cropped

Let me just start with this: even for the “not-so-crafters” it is impossible to fail at this project and it takes all of 20 minutes to complete. Boom, crafting win!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Box cutter
Christmas lights

Step 1: Draw various-sized triangles on your box to resemble trees. Use your box cutter to cut them out.

Step 2: Poke holes through the cardboard, but be sure they aren’t too large.

Step 3: Poke the ends of your Christmas lights through the holes and display in your home! You can include other elements to set a scene or place it with some greenery in front of a fireplace, get creative!

 

JOY door hang

Welcome your holiday visitors with a festive door! The beauty of this is you can spell anything you want, for example your last name. However I will warn, although this is by no means difficult, it is more time consuming than I thought it would be. But being greeted by it each time I arrive home makes it well worth it.

Supplies:

1 small box
Box cutter
One bundle of yarn (depending on the length of your word)
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
Any other accents you want to add
Step 1: Trace and cut out the letters of what you would like to spell.

Step 2: Begin wrapping your letters in yarn occasionally using hot glue on the front and back to ensure it is secure.

Step 3: Add any accents you would like. I couldn’t resist these metallic snowflakes!

Step 4: Attach ribbon to the back of your letters and hang on your doorway! I also think these letters would be great to sit on top of a mantle if you prefer to display them in your home.

 

Holiday garland

IMG_20151123_151703.jpg

This DIY is great because it is so versatile. It is perfect to string around your tree, hang across your window, or incorporate into your holiday tablescape.

Supplies:

1 small box OR the remaining box flaps from any of the crafts above
Scissors
Glitter
Ribbon
Hot glue gun

Step 1: Trace and cut out the shapes you wish to have on your garland. To help, you can either print images from your home computer and cut around them or use cookie cutters to trace the shapes.

Step 2: After you cut your shapes out, poke small holes through them to string your ribbon through. I decided to double up on the ribbon to get a little more colorful.

Step 3: Use your hot glue gun to dot your shapes and cover with glitter and you’re finished. I chose to add the glitter accent to both sides of my cut outs.

 

Glitter snowflakes

Giant glittered snowflakes hanging from your ceiling, what could be better? These make a beautiful addition above your tree, dinner table, and really anywhere in your home!

Supplies:

1 medium box
Box cutter
Spray adhesive
Glitter
Clear elastic

Step 1: Trace a snowflake pattern or create your own and cut out.

Step 2: Spray your cutout with spray adhesive from 6-8 inches away. It is best to do this in a well ventilated or outside area.

Step 3: Cover your snowflake in glitter! Repeat this on the other side and let them dry.

Step 4: Hang your snowflakes using clear elastic to give them a floating effect.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun DIY holiday crafts! If you are in need of boxes, we are here to help! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs that can be picked up at a location near you.

For more box inspiration, follow us on Pinterest! If you create any of these crafts, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Eight tips to prepare your home for the holidays

Written by Jessy Howe

Christmas Porch

Planning the holidays can cause two emotions: absolute joy or complete stress! Whether you are hosting dinner or opening your home to out-of-town guests, don’t let this joyous season get the best of you. We’ve gathered our top eight tips on preparing your home (and saving your sanity!) for the holidays!

Get into the holiday spirit
Fill your home with a little holiday cheer by hanging a festive wreath on the door, lighting seasonal candles, and putting up the tree. Decorating doesn’t have to be an expensive task, there are plenty of quick and easy DIY projects to create one-of-a-kind décor. Take a peek on Pinterest for a little holiday inspiration!

Make your guests feel welcome
If you are hosting guests in your home this holiday season, remember to tidy the areas where they will be staying, pull out extra towels and linens, and freshen up the guest room with magazines, a plant, tissues, or even a little chocolate candy on their pillow. These simple amenities will be sure to make guests feel like they have a comfortable place to stay.

Avoid accidents
Clear all walkways and porch areas so they are free of snow and ice to ensure there are no slips. If you have exceptionally wintry weather, it’s best to have salt on hand. Be sure to also check that all outdoor lighting is functioning properly.

Stock the bathroom with essentials
Set a little basket of essentials in the bathroom with toiletries your holiday visitors may need. Include perfume, lotion, a lint roller, travel sized shampoo and conditioner… You get the idea!

Clean the house
This is usually a chore that ranks low on the list of priorities with all the other work to be done this season. Where will you find the time? Dedicate at least an hour to focus on your main cleaning duties! Vacuum, dust, clean the bathrooms, whatever you need to do —this is your hour to accomplish it. If finding an hour is hard, try setting aside 15 minutes each work day to focus on tidying just one room. This way it isn’t overwhelming but each room gets a spruce. Bonus: If you have little ones, include them by assigning simple tasks they can help with!

Keep your home safe
If you will be going out of town for the holidays, make sure your home is protected to avoid any break-ins. Set an automatic light timer in multiple rooms to make your home seem lived in, double check your entryway and window locks, and be cautious of what you post online. Try to stay away from the “I’m going on vacation” post to social media, and post your vacation pictures once you have returned home. If you have a trusted neighbor, it is a good idea to have them keep an eye on your home during your travels. Take time to deliver a homemade pie or Christmas cookies when dropping off your spare key, we guarantee they will appreciate it!

Utilize boxesIMG_9579
Whether you’re trying to organize the garage or store away those holiday decorations, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has a variety of boxes tailored to your needs. Pick up a wardrobe box to fill with old coats and donate to your local shelter or grab a small box to easily transport the desserts you’ve baked to family Christmas. Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered!

Break out the tunes
Finally, turn on those beloved holiday songs! After all, nothing says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” better than the song itself!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Step-by-step tutorial for fun and inexpensive DIY Halloween costumes

Written by Jessy Howe

Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to make lasting memories and spend quality time having fun with your family. In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve created a few simple and inexpensive DIY Halloween costumes you can make out of old moving boxes to stand out in the crowd!

Check out the supplies we used and how we created these unique “boxtumes” with our step-by-step video tutorial below.

Read more about these costumes on our “Use your old moving boxes as Halloween costume inspiration!” blog post.

For more box inspiration, visit us on Pinterest!

Keep safety in mind as your little ghouls trick-or-treat

Posted by Jessy Howe

Most kids would agree that Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year! You get to dress up as anyone you want for the night, stay out late, and go trick-or-treating for loads of free candy! But as parents know, accidents can and do happen. With increased foot and vehicle traffic to kids excitedly running ahead of you, we are sharing our top tips to prepare the whole family for a fun, safe Halloween.

Halloween saftey infographic-01

For more tips and inspiration to prepare for the best Halloween yet, follow us on Pinterest!

Use your old moving boxes as Halloween costume inspiration!

Written by Jessy Howe

The pumpkins have been carved, seeds have been cooked, the house décor could be featured in a magazine, and the family is ready for Halloween. Well, almost! You still need to figure out the costumes!

We’ve created some fun and inexpensive DIY costumes out of moving boxes for you and your family to try this Halloween.

Jeopardy Contestant

Who doesn’t wish they won big bucks on a game show? Create this easily recognizable Jeopardy contestant stand in six simple steps!Jeopardy Box

Supplies:

  • 1 Dish pack box
  • Black spray paint
  • Blue construction paper
  • Red construction paper
  • White printer paper
  • Elastic or string
  • White craft marker
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • Box cutter or scissors

Step 1: Use a box cutter to remove the flaps from both the top and the bottom of the box.

Step 2: Spray paint the box black and let fully dry.

Step 3: Use your red construction paper to create a dashed line across the top front of your box to act as your buzzer light.

Step 4: Next, print out the dollar amount you’ve won! Cut out the numbers and tape them on blue construction paper. Use tape to place your winning amount under your red buzzer lights.

Step 5: Use your white craft marker to write your name on a sheet of blue construction paper. Tape this below your winning amount.

Step 6: Lastly, use a stapler to attach elastic to the front and back of the box to rest your contestant stand comfortably over your shoulders.

House from the movie “Up”

If you are looking for a unique costume this Halloween, you’ve found it. We paired a bunch of balloons with a large box to create the house from the popular Disney Pixar film, “Up”. If you have a group who will be going together, you can play off of this theme and dress others up as characters from the film.UP House Boxtume

Supplies:

  • 1 Large box
  • Craft paint in variety of colors
  • Paint brushes or craft sponge brushes
  • Ribbon
  • Multicolored balloons
  • Box cutter or scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Markers
  • Elastic or string

Step 1: Use a box cutter to remove the flaps from both the top and the bottom of your box.UP costume 4

Step 2: Use your pencil and ruler to section off the different areas that will need to be painted. You can also draw out your windows and door at this time to making painting easier.

Step 3: Using craft paint, begin painting your house. We used an image of the Up house for reference. Once the paint is fully dry, use markers to draw the details on the house such as the lines of the siding, roof, and door knob.

Step 4: Use one of the removed box flaps and attach it to the front of your box with a hot glue gun to act as the roof of the house. Lean the flap slightly toward your body to replicate the look of a roof.

Step 5: Next cut a triangle with extended bottom edges to become the top right yellow portion of the house. Cut a strip of cardboard from the leftover flaps and fold it in half to create the roof for this section.

Step 6: Repeat step 3 a second time but much smaller to create the top left space of the house. Hot glue this to the left side of the roof.

Step 7: Cut one rectangle panel from a leftover box flap and trifold it. This will become the front green area of the house. Glue the panel to the bottom right of the house. Then attach the yellow portion of the house you created in step 3 on top of this.

Step 8: Use a stapler to attach elastic to the front and back of the box to rest your costume comfortably over your shoulders.

Step 9: Lastly, attach a bundle of helium filled balloons to the back and off you go!

Presidential Candidate Stand

With the 2016 Presidential election fast approaching, a popular Halloween costume is sure to include the candidates. IMG_9044Prepare to debate about who took home the best Halloween loot in this DIY presidential candidate stand.

Supplies:

  • 1 Large box
  • Black spray paint
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Black craft pom pom
  • Elastic
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Hot glue gun
  • Box cutter
  • Presidential party logo printed out

Step 1: Use a box cutter to remove the flaps from both the top and bottom of your Democrat stand 6box to create your podium.

Step 2: Spray paint the box black and let it fully dry.

Step 3: Print the logo of your presidential party and tape it to the front of your podium.

Step 4: Create your microphone using the pipe cleaners and pom pom. Use a hot glue gun to attach this to the inside front of your box and position it toward yourself.

Step 5: Use a stapler to attach elastic to the front and back of the box to rest your costume comfortably over your shoulders.

Step 6: Top it off by wearing a suit (and wig if needed!). And don’t forget your flag pin!

Beanie Baby Pet

If your furry family member will be joining you for the Halloween fun, we also have a costume idea for them! This classic costume takes no time to make and avoids small pieces, making it safe for pets.Pet costume 3

Supplies:

  • 1 small box or leftover box flap
  • Box cutter
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or tape
  • Ribbon or string
  • Hole punch
  • Print out of the Ty Beanie Baby logo

Step 1: Print out the Ty Beanie Baby logo at a size that best fits your pet.

Step 2: Cut out the logo and lay it on your cardboard. Trace around the heart with a pencil.

Step 3: Next cut out the heart you’ve just traced on the cardboard.

Step 4: Use a glue stick or tape to put your printed out logo onto the cardboard heart

Step 5: Use a hole punch near the top of the heart. Loop ribbon or string through and tie a knot at the end. Slip comfortably over your pet’s head and you’re done!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun DIY box costumes! If you decide to create any, we’d love to see them! You can tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #TMTHalloween.

For more box inspiration, visit us on Pinterest!

2015 Box Costumes

Throw a rockin’ Fourth of July party your guests will never forget!

Written by Nicole Harrison

The Fourth of July is one of the most anticipated days of the summer. Fireworks, sparklers, hotdogs, swimming, and special time with friends and family are some highlights. Whether you are heading to the lake, or staying home, we have a few pointers to make your Fourth of July bash a blow out!

Food

Luckily, almost every year on the Fourth of July, the sun is shining, there are blue skies and beautiful weather. It’s the epitome of the summer season. The food menu can be one of the most stressful aspects of party planning. Whe n you Memorial-Day-Partythink about the Fourth of July, you think about grilling or cooking over a campfire. Both options are perfect for the summer season and being outside with friends and family! Hot dogs, brats, and hamburgers are delicious meal options, and relatively inexpensive. Popular side dishes can include: baked beans, fruit and vegetable trays, potato salad, potato chips, the list could go on and on! Pinterest is also a great resource for festive displays of foods and fun recipes.

Beverages

It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re spending it outside in the warmer temps! Consider purchasing metal or plastic buckets to hold the drinks you are serving. All you have to do is fill them up with ice and bury the drinks in the ice. You can also fill beverage dispensers with homemade punch, various lemonades, water, tea, etc. Most likely, it’s going to be a hot day, make sure you have plenty of ice to keep your drinks cool and refreshing!

Yard Games

My favorite part of the Fourth of July! If you’re competitive like me, plan out fun yard games and make a friendly contest out of it. Here are a few popular games everyone will enjoy: corn hole, water balloon fight/toss, scavenger hunt, bad mitten, 4-square, kickball, etc. The Fourth of July is all about celebrating our independence as a country and enjoying fellowship. Plan fun activities for everyone to take part in!

Musicmemorial day

Pump up the tunes! If you have a stereo or speakers, turn on the summer jams! Pandora and Spotify have energizing playlists you can spend the day rocking out to. Some of our favorites: summer hits of the 2000’s, Classic Rock, throwback, beach vibes, and Fourth of July party playlists.

Sparklers/Fireworks

Leave the fireworks for the professionals. If you have never had your own firework display, we recommend going to a local show. If you’re set on lighting off your own fireworks, do enough research beforehand and make sure you are a large distance from the observers. Fireworks are fun, but can be very dangerous. No matter what you decide to do, have fun! Sparklers are an easy way for the kids (and adults) to have fun and express themselves. See who can spell their name in the air before their sparklers burn out, or encourage the kiddos to wave them in the air or twirl in circles.

We hope you have a rockin’ Fourth of July party! As always, be smart and safe out there!

Cherishing moments with your children this Father’s Day

Written by Mike Bowers, Sales Development Specialist

My father was raised on a potato farm in Croswell, Michigan. He was a model student who won cross-country championships, and went on to the Marine Corps at the age of 18 where he continued to excel and receive accolades. He was always busy and worked 60-hour weeks as an automation electrician at a metal stamping plant, working side jobs and at one point also taking Father's Daynight classes to obtain more certifications for his job. The majority of our family photos include my father in the background still dressed in his dark navy work uniform. I can still smell the bearing grease and hydraulic fluid his boots emitted if I close my eyes and concentrate hard enough.

I spent a good portion of my childhood playing in sports tournaments and school events and I was often disappointed as I looked into the audience to see if my dad was there to watch. I frequently participated in dinner table discussions about how I need to apply myself more and always give my best attempt at everything I do. If there was room for improvement, the Sergeant oozed out of my father and squeezed out every ounce of effort I had. Like most young adults, I always thought I had it worse off than most kids. I used to say to myself, “What could he possibly know about being a teenager in the 90s?” and “When I have kids …!”

Fast forward to today. I am an adult with two children and wrapped up in “life”. I came to the realization that my dad’s seven-day work weeks paid for my karate lessons and moved us out of a declining Father's Day 2neighborhood and into a blue-ribbon school district. The long hours he devoted to his job (he still works at the same plant seven days a week!) has shown me how to endure sacrifice. I hear all of the parental guidance and speeches of tough-love echo through my head as I find myself sputtering the exact same advice to my children – verbatim! There we have it … I have become my FATHER — it must be hardwired into my DNA. I have been told that I walk like him and I have the same mannerisms. Ironically, I have transformed into the parent I insisted I would never resemble.

It was Father’s Day 2012, I went to visit my dad and found him in the garage tinkering with his generator. Out of nowhere he said words that I never expected to hear from him. Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “Michael, I have worked my entire life away and I missed all of you kids growing up.” We stood in silence for a few seconds and I assured him he has done an incredible job. As I have admitted many times before, he molded me into the man I am today and I could not thank him enough! Is it possible to be a great father and still feel like you failed? I could only be so lucky to have the positive impact on my children as he did on me.

Father's Day 5The words, “Cherish Every Moment” are now tattooed on my shoulder to remind me that we only go around this life once. As an adult, it is very easy to get lost in work and other responsibilities, unfortunately taking away precious time of watching your children growing up. Live without regrets and be thankful for all you are given. Once you are done reading this, call your dad or your child and take the time to tell them how much you appreciate them! I could not be happier to be just like my hero, my role model, my FATHER.

I wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

A mother’s influence and never ending love

Written by Dawn Kroeger

In celebration of Mother’s Day and support of moms who work outside the home, I’ve come up with five simple tips to simplify and improve quality of life for you and your family.

  1. Hire a cleaning person to keep your home in tip-top shape, but not one that requires you actually pick up the house before they come and clean
  2. Hire a full-time nanny to help out, especially at dreaded bath and bed time
  3. Have all food delivered by a grocery service and make sure it is healthy and balanced – NO TRANSFAT!
  4. Sign up for one of those online style services that just sends you clothes that match your personality
  5. Hire a trainer to come and shake you out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and drive you to the gym

Excellent. Once those items are complete, your life will be smooth sailing and stress-free. Oh, wait. What? You can’t afford all of that? You can’t find a trainer who makes wakeup calls? Yeah, me neither.

Like most women I have many roles in life – wife, sister, daughter, friend, team member, employee, 424959_10150520067426637_1617488211_nmentor, volunteer, and mother. While I am not defined by any single role, the most challenging and rewarding is that of mother. I don’t have a cleaning person, or a nanny. Laundry piles up and sometimes my kids end up on the bus accidently when they are supposed to be picked up from school. I try hard to plan the healthiest meals I can for my family but sometimes they eat Ramen noodles and McDonalds drive through.

Yet, I am a fantastic mom. I know this is boastful, but I am. I have been blessed to grow up both personally and professionally with extraordinary role models. I have learned so much by watching and understanding what makes a balanced, healthy, successful working mom.

My mo400516_10151015465666637_198613670_nm: While my mom, Jo, worked my entire life, most of it full-time, it never felt like she wasn’t there. She was always present. She practiced lines for school musicals, was there for sporting events, field trips, class parties, and even after a full week of work, would plan fun weekend road trips to the beach, zoo, or to visit friends. We always had clean clothes (she was better at this than I am) and she balanced our lives with focus and fun. I recall several fish stick dinners on the run, but this was part of the fun! Her actions taught me not to feel guilty over a fish stick dinner here and there – these quick fix meals allowed us to embrace life and spend more time on family bike rides and playground adventures. In turn, I don’t feel bad when I ignore my messy house, or surprise my kids with ice cream for dinner on the way to the children’s garden after work.  After all, spring is here – who needs clean socks? She must have been overwhelmed with balancing it all, at some point, like each mom is, but in true rock star mom fashion, we never knew if that was the case. We just knew she loved us, worked hard, and provided a fun and balanced life for us. My dad helped too, but this is not about dads today. You get your honor next month!

My grandmother: My grandma Mary worked full-time while raising six children. Let’s just say, maybe I am a great mom because I have two children. Most days three would push me over the edge into medium mom mode. But somehow, Mary got it done. She too, like my mom, worked full-time yet planned weekend trips to the beach for her brood each Sunday. I’ve seen pictures. The joy on the faces of the kids, the relaxed looks on Grandma and Grandpa. Clearly, she knew the importance of balance and it shows in the six hard-working children she raised.

Mother of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®: Mary Ellen Sheets, the founder of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, has led by example and been an important influence in my life and career. As a single mom, leaving her secure job with the State of Michigan, she invested $350 in an old truck and took over the business her two young sons started. Her drive, faith, and commitment to supporting her family through entrepreneurship is inspiring. Mary Ellen’s stories of the early days of working hard, not having much money at the time, but donating her first $1000 profit to charity is a remarkably generous and humbling act. Knowing Mary Ellen and understanding the deep love she has for her children, and seeing the pride on her face when she talks about how far the business has come, is humbling. It was not always easy. I can only imagine the stress and heartache as she worked hard, as a single mom, to grow the business and conversely, the joy of watching this labor of love become the family business which provides for her children and now grandchildren. It is an honor to know Mary Ellen and her commitment first and foremost to her children as she worked to make TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® what it is today is something all moms can both appreciate and use as a source of inspiration.

On Mother’s Day, I reflect on the many moms who have influenced my life and I aspire to be as positive of an influence in my daughters’ lives. My Mother’s Day wish for all moms is to be blessed with strong, encouraging, role models who teach the importance of balancing work and career so you, too, can boast being a fantastic mom. Oh, and I wish you all the ability to provide your children with clean socks, even if it means picking up an extra pack at the grocery store when time doesn’t permit doing a load of laundry.