School is now in session! It’s a wonderful feeling to be back on a schedule. It’s also a surreal feeling that another one of my children is living away from home and enjoying the college life. We successfully navigated purchasing dorm supplies, paying tuition and getting our college boy moved into his new space. Whether your college kid moves into a dorm, goes away on an internship, or just moves out it’s a big deal! I’ll try not to get too emotional, but I hate when they leave. I thoroughly enjoy my children and love having them around. I also love having my house full of kids and friends. It fills my heart. I have two left at home, so I’m really going to try to take it slow and enjoy each moment with them.
Note about the Nester
When I was accepted to a college in Southern Utah I was so excited to go! I packed up everything in my room and loaded my car to the top. I had a friend moving down there too and we decided to caravan the 300 mile distance on the same day. I turned up the volume on my stereo and stepped on the gas! Needless to say, I got a speeding ticket and a tailgating ticket because I was in such a hurry to get there. One hard life lesson right from the start, but it didn’t get me down.
|He’s so excited to have his photo taken. Ha ha!|
My college boy lives 600 miles away, so I can’t just hop in the car (no more speeding tickets for me I’d like to add) and see him without some planning. However, I did get to spend some time with him last week, and he showed me his campus, I met his roommates, and he took me on a tour of the town. I can see that he will love this adventure! One of our neighbors goes to the same University, so we stopped at her dorm room to visit as well. We sat down and visited in the common area with her roommates and some of their friends. I asked these amazing college kids “If your parents sent you a care package or a little something in the mail, what would you want or need?” The first response surprised me, one girl said, “Nothing that makes me cry, I’m already homesick.” The girls explained that some of them had received packages that immediately started the water works. They all agreed they would love to receive candy, treats from home, money, gift cards, and movies. When I got home, I immediately got to work listing some of my college kid’s favorites and some items you can only get in our town in California.
beef jerky (protein)
nuts (brain food)
dried fruit (because it’s his favorite, and it will last a while)
Nutella (who doesn’t want hazelnut and chocolate?!)
Subway gift card (it’s a healthy meal option off campus)
Starbucks card (for a caffeine pick me up)
Nalgene water bottle (he lost his, and it’s his favorite)
candy (it’s the perfect time to stock up on bite-size candy due to Halloween around the corner)
- iTunes card (for cruising town or homework background music)
- rain coat (he left his home, oops!)
- a framed photo of our college kid’s dog, “Ranger”
- a stylus for his iPhone or iPad
- a silly quote or cartoon to make him smile
- cookie butter from Trader Joe’s
|Favorites I buy locally: caramel corn from Danville Chocolates and cookie butter from Trader Joe’s!|
|Gifts cards I know he will use. Most of these cards have apps to scan and store the value! #awesome|
|Beef jerky and nuts are easy to ship! I also filled his water bottle with bite-size Halloween candy!|
|I managed to fit everything on my list into this standard shipping box, even his raincoat! Plus Janine and I decorated it in his University school colors!! #goAggies|
|I couldn’t forget to make a care package for my favorite neighbor who is at the same University.
I was able to dehydrate a dozen bananas and pears in my food dehydrator and packaged them in reusable ziploc containers. He can repurpose the containers for leftovers or other items. Dried fruit is light-weight and easy to ship. Dried fruit can last a little longer in transit or his backpack.
Last, but not least. I’ve included a photo of my college kid’s trusty side-kick, Ranger. I hope he gets good use out of all of these items, but mostly I hope this care package makes him happy. We are so proud of his hard work and efforts, and I know he’s going to love the college experience.
I checked with the United States Postal Service and they have flat rate boxes for one easy shipping fee. The smallest box (5 x 8 x 2 approximately) starts at $5.95, this would be an easy and inexpensive way to send your college kid a care package also. Link to more info here.
Happy Happy Nester would love to give away some “heaven in a jar” aka Cookie Butter, to three randomly picked readers who leave a comment below. For added fun, tell us your favorite treat you had to have when you were at college or when you first moved out. We can only ship to U.S. residents. Winners will be drawn Wednesday, September 30 by midnight.
From Ranger and myself, we hope your day is happy!
Hope your day is happy,
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I loved reading your blog today. I feel the exact same way, love when my children are home and their friends are over. I too am trying to enjoy and soak every moment with my kids. For me, I didn't leave home to attend college. So I don't have a favorite treat to share. But my kids love my baked banana bread with Nutella in the middle. It is yummy. Found the recipe on Pinterest.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading the blog today. Ummm… I think we need your delicious banana bread recipe? You had me at Nutella!! Hopefully, I'll find it on Pinterest. Thank you again for your comment. ~marci
Becky! You've won a jar of cookie butter! Please email us at happyhappynester.com with your mailing address. ~marci & janine
I have never had Cookie Butter nor heard of it. We do not having a Trader Joe's around these parts! It sounds fabulous. I am not a Nutella fan (sorry folks), so perhaps Cookie Butter would hit a high note with me. I never left home for college so no special treats were sent my way! I love to bake so kids have gotten lots of cookies and other morsels,of goodness to take back to school! So enjoy your blog!
Never had cookie butter? Well, I hope that I can remedy that. 🙂 I love to bake too and cookies around the house are the opposite of a bad thing. 😉 Cookies = happiness in my opinion. Thank you so much for your comment! It really means a lot. ~marci
babs! You've won a jar of cookie butter! Please email us at [email protected] with your mailing address. Yay! ~marci & janine
I read your blog today right after talking to my youngest child who is in her first year of college. We were both teary as we hung up, so reading your blog was just what I need! Talk about timing. Fortunately she's only 3 hours away, and parents weekend is this weekend. So I'm going to take her a care package with some of your suggestions. I love them nuts and dried fruit idea.
When I was in college, I didn't care for the dining hall food,so I lived on popcorn! I made it every day and munched while studying.
Thanks for the chance to win the cookie butter. I've never had it as we don't have a Trader Joes near us. I may need to find some to take to my daughter!
Love your blog!
I'm so glad the timing was right! I think we could start a club of "Moms who miss their college kids but are super duper proud of them!" Ha ha ha!! I love your popcorn suggestion. I'm adding it to the list for the next care package! Great idea! My son's University isn't having parent weekend until Halloween. That's in 37 days, but who's counting. 😉 Thank you so much for your comment and congratulations to your daughter! College is an awesome time and we hope she loves it! ~marci
Karen! You've won a jar of cookie butter! Please email us your mailing address at [email protected]. ~marci & janine
Oh boy… College. ???? My son is preparing to go next spring. Fortunately, he'll be close. I definitely think that a college goody box needs to include something of their favorite hobby, just for those need to get away moments (with a nutella & banana sandwhich ). So, for my son, he LOVES fishing. I'd include: a fly or 2, powerbait, and hooks. I've never heard of Trader Joe's cookie butter, but maybe I don't get out here enough in Utah. Marci… you're such a doll and I love your insta 🙂 @m3_28
I love your ideas of adding things related to their hobby!! Brilliant idea! I'm so excited to hear your son is attending college in the spring! I hope our boys get to hang out soon now that they are in the same state again. 😉 Thank you so much for your suggestion and comment, you are the sweetest! I also think I'm going to have a Nutella and banana sandwich for breakfast! Ha ha! I can't forget the cookie butter!! ~marci xoxo
A Anderson! You've won a jar of cookie butter! Thank you for forwarding your mailing address to us! Thank you for all of your sweet comments! ~marci & janine
Loi Thai, Tone on Tone
Y'all are such awesome moms, Marci and Janine!! Makes me want to go back to college so I can get these goodies 🙂 Seriously, this is really cool. And thoughtful. Cheers, L
Loi!! You've won a jar of cookie butter! Please email us at [email protected] and send us your mailing address so we can mail you a jar of yumminess!!! ~marci & janine
Awww! Loi, that is the greatest compliment ever. Thank you. We sure love our kiddos. I had so much fun putting together this care package I might be sending them out to everyone for birthdays, new additions, housewarmings, etc. The possibilities are limitless. Thank you, as always, for your comment. We adore you! ~marci
You must be so proud! Love everything in the package. What a sweet mom you are!
PS-Ranger is adorable.
Colette, thank you!! I really am proud. Ranger is adorable and misses his boy. Thank you, as always, for your sweet comments. ~marci
Colette! You've won a jar of cookie butter! Please email us at [email protected] and send us your mailing address! Yay! ~marci & janine
Unfortunately, I didn't go off to college. So I never needed a care package. But for my kids, who were smart and are off at college, they always love when I send them Nutella, cookie butter, and peanut butter!
Hi Jules! I didn't stay at college due to homesickness, but I think Nutella, cookie butter and peanut butter could have helped! You're an awesome mom! Ha ha. Thank you so much for comment.
jules! You've won a jar of cookie butter!!! Please email us at [email protected] and send us your mailing address! Yippee!!! ~marci & janine
I wasn't fortunate enough to go away to college but attended a local community college. When my friends same over we made those nasty Chefboyarde pizzas from a box that had powdered Parmesan cheese as the topping. They smelled so bad while baking. I reflect back on that and laugh. I don't think they even sell those anymore. Anyway, congrats to your son and good luck to you. I know you will miss him. Keep inspiring me with your beautiful blog posts.
I remember those Chef Boyardee pizzas!! Ha ha ha! They were so cheap, we ate them all the time too. I haven't seen them in the freezer sections for a long time. I think pizza is a college staple! Thank you so much for your comment. I ~marci
Mimi! You've won a jar of cookie butter!! Please send us your mailing address to [email protected]! Yay! ~marci & janine
Congrats to your son and good luck to you. I know this is a bittersweet time.
I was not fortunate enough to go away to school but attended a local community college. When my friends came over we made those nasty Chefboyarde pizzas with powdered Parmesan cheese. LOL I still laugh when I think about that.
I was not fortunate to go away to college but attended a local community college. When my friends came over we ate those Chefboyarde pizzas with powdered Parmesan cheese. They smelled so bad. LOL I still laugh when I think about that. I doubt they are even sold now.
Your blog is so pretty! Love all the fall ideas!
Thank you for your sweet comment! We have been working really hard on the blog. We have decided to send all the readers who left comments a jar of cookie butter! We are so happy to share! Please email us at [email protected] and send us your mailing address. ~marci & janine