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How to Spring Clean Your Bags

Posted on March 24, 2019 by Alex Wells | 0 Comments

How to Spring Clean Your Bags

Let’s get real, you can clean out your bags any time of the year, but for the most part, we tend to wait until it’s spring clean time (or never). Cleaning out your bags is a quick and easy fix, so starting your Spring Cleaning with your bags is an easy way to get immediate gratification and get the ball rolling on your annual cleaning takeover.

This spring cleaning is going to be a little different. Instead of me going through all my bags and deciding what I want to donate or keep I’m going to teach you how to utilize the bags you already have, and maximize the space inside of it, so you don’t feel cluttered. We are going to turn the Sword and Plough Camo Signature Zip Top Tote Bag into an organized dream.

 

Step 1 - Toss it: Always start with the trash. Throw out receipts, movie stubs, parking receipts, gum wrappers, anything that is clearly trash. Trust me… you are not the only one who has 20 receipts laying around in your bag. We always tell ourselves to save it just in case, but let’s be honest, when has saving the receipt from your Venti Black Iced Tea from Starbucks ever done anything for you? It hasn’t!

 

Step 2 - Return it: Put back what doesn’t belong. Meaning, anything that has a different home needs to go back to that home. For example, I had an earrings box in my purse, but the home to that is in my jewelry vanity. I never used the earring box while it was in my bag, so it was adding to the clutter.

 

Step 3 - Organize it: This is my favorite step because it allows me to utilize small and medium pouches that I don’t have a purpose for, but can’t seem to get rid of. Small pouches are a great organizational tool you can use, and you probably don’t even have to buy them, because they always just seem to be around (if you are looking for a good pouch, Sword and Plough Travel Kits or The Essential Leather Clutch are a perfect size, and match your Sword and Plough Tote Bag ☺). Group the items in your bag into different categories, each category gets their own pouch. 

 

Step 4 - Love it: Enjoy your bag!

 

Helpful Tip: Keeping your wallet and keys on the same key chain is a great way to minimize clutter. Due to having a smaller wallet, it helps me to not feel the urge to keep receipts due to the lack of unneeded clutter. I have also found it extremely helpful that my keys and wallet are in the same place because I don’t ever lose my keys, and I never forget my wallet when I go out.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emma Rooney is a student at the University of Arkansas pursuing a degree in Hospitality. She discovered Sword and Plough when her eldest brother joined West Point Military Academy and fell in love with their company. She wanted to help by becoming a brand champion so she could spread the word and knowledge about the company and what they have to offer.







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Posted in Military, repurposed bags, urban bags, Veteran, Veteran Owned, Veteran Owned Business

Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Posted on March 17, 2019 by Holly Taylor | 0 Comments


Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Nearly six years since our thrilling Kickstarter campaign launched in the Spring of 2013, we at Sword & Plough continue to be amazed at the generous outpouring of support furthering our mission and goals. Through our backers, our crowd-funding campaign secured over fifteen times our stated funding goal from over 1,500 individual supporters in just one month. Our continued growth and charitable impact would not have been possible without our initial donors’ belief in our mission and generous contributions. With gratitude, we reflect back on our beginnings and are pleased to offer a few tips on how to create a successful crowd-funding campaign.


  1. Engage the power of a story

In his acclaimed reflection, The Things They Carried, Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien writes, “The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you…” Sword & Plough’s origin story, our mission of promoting civilian and military understanding, as well as veteran-supporting impact goals, combined to shape an authentic narrative that we are thankful has encouraged others to “dream along with us” in our endeavors.  

Whether a supporter was touched by our environmental sustainability, charitable commitments, mission-driven focus, or the true tale of two sisters from a military family, Sword & Plough’s story undeniably resonated with many of our backers’ closest-held values. Jim Logrando, a Kickstarter-verified consultant and founder of crowd-funding strategy firm Craft Services, comments on Sword & Plough’s epic 2013 campaign, “They raised roughly 4 times what the average campaign does. To do that, the two things you need for success are a good story that makes people care and see that you are authentic, and a receptive audience to receive the resonating message.” Building a community of support as our audience was the most critical piece of Sword & Plough’s crowd-funding success.  

  1. Gather your community

Sword & Plough’s community of supporters has been the backbone of our mission’s momentum from the start. Comprised of family, friends, colleagues, veteran advocates and eco-conscious fashion fans of our very first travel bags, our community has always been enthusiastically engaged with our charitable, environmental, and veteran employment impact goals. Ensuring that our Kickstarter had a strong basis for support for expanded outreach required clearly framing those goals, reaching out, and communicating the specifics of how we would achieve them prior to launch.


  1. Plan & Prepare

Creating a deeply considered blueprint for a socially conscious business, as well as having ready inventory, and a committed team in place, were essential steps towards preparing for our big day. Part of that groundwork involved seeking out opportunities to learn more about running a successful business and how to plan for contingencies. Preparing for a competition held by the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, followed by Emily’s participation in an intensive incubator program at Dell Social Innovation Lab were both opportunities that fostered a knowledge base in business development and expanded Sword & Plough’s supportive community.


Upon winning the Center for Social Entrepreneurship competition and participating in the Dell Lab, S&P was thrilled to receive coverage from Bloomberg in the Spring of 2013, which shared the S&P story to a wider audience. Once the Kickstarter was “live,” we were thrilled and gratified by how the S&P community came through for us, amplifying and championing our message far beyond typical crowd-funding expectations through the generosity of their support.


  1. Continue the Mission

Now that the hard work leading up to a successful launch has been completed, the perspective must be to consider the beginning of a new kind of business rather than simply the ending of a crowd-funding campaign. With that in mind, six years onward, Sword & Plough continues to strive to honor the trust of our earliest, as well as newest, supporters through expanding our veteran hiring and partnerships, growing our charitable impact, and rigorously committing to environmental sustainability through our B Corp certification. As ever, our community has been our center, whether it’s through listening to our loyal customers regarding what might fine-tune our tote bags, seeking out partnerships with veteran organizations, collaborating with other brands that share our values, or by expanding the reach of our message and story through our Brand Champion program, Sword & Plough’s community has always been the driving force of our mission.

About the author

Holly Taylor is a Sword & Plough Brand Champion and early childhood educator living outside of Philadelphia.  Coming from a large military family and having a U.S. Marine for a father, Sword & Plough’s commitment to veteran advocacy, environmental sustainability, women in business leadership, and charitable impact continue to inspire her.


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Posted in female entrepreneur, women in business

3 Things to Carry in Your Bag to Make Your Day Greener

Posted on March 10, 2019 by Alex Wells | 0 Comments

3 Things to Carry in Your Bag to Make Your Day Greener

Living a minimal, green life is all the rage right now. Sword & Plough has been living this way for years, by repurposing military materials to make their tote bags and other products. By using one of their bags, you’re already on the way to living a greener life. Take it to another level by keeping these three things in your favorite S&P bag.

  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Do you always remember your reusable bags when going to the grocery store? Some people leave them in the car or in the same place so as not to forget. But all the little trips you take to the store can result in just as many plastic bags used as one big trip. Reduce the number of times you have to use just one plastic bag by keeping a reusable shopping bag in your Sword & Plough tote.

    1. Reusable water bottle

    Skip asking for a “cup for water” when eating out or grabbing take out next time. Bring along your water bottle and ask them to fill it up for you. The glass, silicone surrounded water bottles are a perfect addition to your day, and most can fit into the side pockets of your bags. Bring it through security – empty of course – and fill it up in the airport or at any major event venue. Even the coffee shop will fill up your water bottle to save you from having to use another plastic cup.

    1. Bamboo utensils

    You packed your lunch in your glass container, you’re drinking water from your reusable water bottle, and you’re excited about how you’re getting through your day with zero waste. Until you realize you don’t have any utensils. Those little plastic forks and knives are always wrapped individually, in more plastic. With a set of reusable, bamboo utensils, you can be prepared for any meal. Our favorite set comes with a knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks. You can even slide a stainless-steel straw in the container with it and be set!

    Keep the momentum going in your effort to live a “greener” life. What other things can you replace with reusable products? Maybe switch from buying paper napkins to using cloth. Perhaps you can ditch the dryer sheets for dryer balls. We’d love to hear your favorite ways of living a greener life.



    Rebecca Alwine is an army wife, mother of three, and lover of her adorable pirate dog. Over the past 12 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her days consist of CrossFit workouts, listening to audiobooks, and pretending to cook while her Instant Pot does all the work. Her motto: work smarter, not harder. www.whatrebeccathinks.com




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    Posted in Military, repurposed, repurposed bags, social mission, urban bags, urban handbags, Veteran, Veteran Owned, Veteran Owned Business, Veteran-Owned Clothing Company, women in business

    THE RIPPLE EFFECT: MILITARY SPOUSE EDITION

    Posted on March 03, 2019 by Jamie Sheaffer | 0 Comments

    THE RIPPLE EFFECT: MILITARY SPOUSE EDITION


    Sword & Plough utilizes military surplus fabric and veteran-owned and operated manufacturers to make eco-friendly fashionable bags.  Then, they donate 10% of profits back to veteran organizations.


    Once purchased, the impact of your Sword & Plough product creates a ripple effect that supports veteran employment, sustainability, and veterans in need of assistance.  The impact continues on to the Brand Champions which is a team that consists of military spouses, veterans, military family members, and loyal customers. Sword & Plough purchases support relatable, real people. Today, we hear from a military spouse Brand Champion, Jamie Sheaffer.


    Tell us about yourself: My name is Jamie and I am an active duty military spouse and mother to a young, active little boy.  My family and I currently live in Texas. I am attending graduate school to earn my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and love the idea of working with veterans someday.


    What is the biggest lesson learned from being a military spouse?:  The first time my husband deployed to Afghanistan, I had a very difficult time adjusting.  I was depressed and rarely would go outside of my apartment. Life became a boring, monotonous cycle and I was just clinging on for the moment my husband would return.  This was no way to live; I had only just survived the deployment.

    The second deployment drew close and I cringed at the idea of another round of that depressive, unrecognizable state of being.  Upon doing some real, intuitive thinking, I had my greatest realization to date. I have a choice. For deployment #2, I could choose to let depression control my life once again or I could consciously turn negative thoughts into deployment perks. The inevitable flat tire was an opportunity to try something new and use fix a flat for the first time. This lesson has profoundly impacted my ability to raise my son, PCS, attend and excel in graduate school, and thrive in challenging situations.  I will be implementing this approach throughout my education and my career.



    “I had my greatest realization to date. I have a choice. For deployment #2, I could choose to let depression control my life once again or I could consciously turn negative thoughts into deployment perks.”



    What is one thing you wish more people knew about being a military spouse?: I wish more people knew about the struggles military spouses face when trying to earn higher education degrees or find employment.


    Typically, it is not possible to complete an in-person higher education program before many families have to move again.  To overcome this obstacle, I decided to complete the hybrid program at Grand Valley State University. I attend full-time course loads online and fly to Michigan monthly to partake in hands-on learning experiences.  To achieve this unique approach, and to reduce costs of childcare, I travel to Michigan with my 1-year-old son and he visits with my family while I attend courses. This non-traditional approach allows me to complete a program without having to worry about graduating prior to our next move.  


    Other military spouses may find this to be a viable option and I hope my experience will encourage them to seek alternative paths to earning a higher education. I am striving to make a positive impact to promote military spouse employment and higher education.  


    Why did you want to be a Sword & Plough Brand Champion?: Initially, I wanted to be a Brand Champion to support veteran employment.  After a while, I realized that the community of Brand Champions was exactly what I needed.  


    How has being a Sword & Plough Brand Champion impacted you?: Juggling all of my roles and moving to new places makes it difficult to make new friends and have a sense of community.  The Brand Champion program is a community of supportive and passionate members who share common interests. Plus, I get to hear stories from veterans and their spouses when I do events- all truly inspiring and motivating.


    What is your absolute favorite Sword & Plough product?: I love my Camo Signature Zip Top Tote!  Being as busy as I am, I can fit everything I need into it.  Plus, it is super durable- my son had spilled a bottle inside and I was just able to wipe it clean! The durability of our products is exactly what parents need.


    Where can people connect with you?: @swordandploughbyjamie.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Jamie Sheaffer is an active duty military spouse.  She is attending a hybrid graduate school program at Grand Valley State University to earn her Master’s in Occupational Therapy.  For her school program, she travels from Texas to Michigan once a month with her 1-year-old son and considers herself to be a travel expert.  Of course, she uses her Sword & Plough bags for her trips because they are so durable and practical. She loves being a Lead Brand Champion because she gets to use her creativity to support veteran employment and outreach.


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    Posted in canvas and leather tote, Military, Military Spouse, repurposed bags, Veteran Owned

    How to Build a More “Friendly” Wardrobe

    Posted on February 24, 2019 by Shelby Black | 0 Comments

    How to Build a More “Friendly” Wardrobe

    One unassuming day I turned on “The True Cost” on Netflix and everything changed. If you haven’t seen it, close down this tab and start watching it right away (ok, finish reading this blog first). It’s all about how the fashion industry affects the lives of others, the environment, and more. Up until that point, I was completely unaware of how my fashion decisions affected others. I had never considered where my clothes came from.


    The truth I found was, whether I knew it or not, my style made a huge impact on others. Scary, but also inspiring. I could make a world of difference by changing my shirt? Game on! I decided it was important for me to make my closet as friendly as I could.  


    By “friendly” I mean building a closet that’s filled with pieces with the biggest and best social and environmental impact as possible.  I like this term because it seems easier to digest and covers multiple bases. Considering factors like environmental sustainability, ethical standards, and community impact before purchasing a new addition for your wardrobe will ensure that you are doing your part to use your dollars to look good AND to do good.


    Admittedly, I was enthusiastic about the project--TOO enthusiastic perhaps. I started following all of the sustainable Instagrammers, and watched even more documentaries, I read books about fashion and the environment and was ready to change everything I knew and swap my entire wardrobe overnight. It was….overwhelming.


    As inspiring as a completely sustainable wardrobe may be, trying to build your personal wardrobe can also be confusing and daunting.  Where do you start? How can you afford a completely sustainable wardrobe? How can you be sure that the company is sustainable or ethical in their practices?


    I realized I had to get realistic and take a bite-by-bite approach to build a friendlier wardrobe. Here is what I’ve learned.


    These are the 5 guidelines I use when aiming to make my closet a little friendlier.

    1. Streamline Your Closet & Define Your Style

    According to Business Insider, Americans only use 20% of the clothes in their closet regularly. The first step in building a sustainable wardrobe is to get rid of what you don’t actually wear. Get honest with yourself. If you need help, look to Marie Kondo’s “The Magical Art of Tidying Up” for inspiration or watch her new Netflix show that everyone is raving about. (That’s two Netflix shows I’ve already given you as homework).


    Before clearing out my closet, I would spend entire weekends just doing laundry. JUST MY LAUNDRY. This is not an exaggeration. I had to get rid of the clutter. Whether you are aiming to build a more sustainable wardrobe or just get your weekends back, I encourage you to do this first step.


    Streamlining your closet is also an essential first step because, if your closet is anything like mine was, it’s daunting to think about having to replace every item in your closet with something more ethically sourced. Cut yourself a break and figure out what you really love, so you know exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to finding a new item. Plus, you’ll be surprised by what you rediscover in your closet.


    Streamlining your closet naturally helps you define your personal style. Once you know what you love to wear, you can look for styles that fit your taste with ease. No more buying 10 shirts because they’re all $5, and you will figure out what works when you get home. That isn’t environmentally friendly, nor is it space-saving.


    Lastly, cutting down your closet to only the things you love will make you feel great about what you own. You will end up wanting to invest in more quality pieces if you know they are contributing to your closet.


    Ok, have I sold you on decluttering your closet, rediscovering what you have, and defining your own style? Let’s move to the next step.


    Pro-tip: Find out how you can use what you already own in a variety of ways. A piece like Sword & Plough’s Limited Edition Uniform Tote (made from donated military uniforms) can transition from a fashionable purse to a gym bag, to a reusable shopping bag. One bag, many uses. This rule can be applied to many items in your closet.

    2. Repair What You Have

    This idea seemed archaic to me. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I had to google how to sew a simple stitch and had to buy a needle and thread to fix my favorite jacket, but I knew that repairing my wardrobe is the key to keeping my closet intact.


    Knowing how to repair your clothing will give you the confidence to invest in pieces that you will have for a lifetime.


    Pro-tip: Not into sewing? Look for companies that offer repairs on their products like Patagonia and Sword & Plough

    3. Raid Your Best Friend’s Closet

    The key to an environmentally friendly closet is using things that are already manufactured. Clothing swaps and thrift stores are goldmines for a new wardrobe.


    Thrifting & upcycling is the smartest thing you can do for an eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) wardrobe! By thrifting, you are using materials that are already produced, which is reducing the impact that the environment takes to make a new item of clothing. If you're looking to shop in store, check out your local Buffalo Exchange (linked).  I've had great luck with online stores like Poshmark (linked) for gently used, awesome finds.


    You can also opt-in for clothing rental programs like Rent The Runway if you want something trendy but returnable.


    3. Shop Sustainable & Ethical

    It’s more common nowadays to see a company’sABOUT US story before you even see their products. This is great! This means that companies know that consumers care about who makes their items and under what conditions.


    Check out a company’s story before you buy. If you can find a comparable company with better values & standards, go with them. You vote with your dollar. Make sure companies know that you care about where your clothes come from. Extra points if the company is B Corp certified.


    Pro-tip: Buying Made in America products typically ensures that the items were made under the guidance U.S. labor laws and also decreases the number of emissions during the transport of your order.

    4. Shop Local

    Finally, you won’t always be able to shop a sustainable brand that boasts it’s moral values and green production practices, and that’s ok! Building a friendly wardrobe is about doing the best you can and making sustainable choices when you can.


    Shopping small business or local ensures that your support means that your dollar is used to impact those in your immediate community.

    5. Give Yourself a Break

    Your closet isn’t going to be perfectly zero-footprint, and you can’t always be certain of the ethics and source of every thread you put on. However, just one of these steps can make a huge difference.


    Do what you can, shop with purpose and understanding, and the world will be a little bit better for it.



    Shelby Black is a passionate fan & team member at Sword & Plough. Her love for sustainable fashion started early when she realized that everyone can make a difference with something as fun as fashion. She has been honored to build the Sword & Plough community as the Community & Programs Director. @shelby.black


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    Posted in Environmental Education, Fashion, lifestyle

    Starting Over- Tips for Meeting People and Getting Involved in a New Place

    Posted on February 17, 2019 by Alex Wells | 0 Comments


    Starting Over:
    Tips for Meeting People and Getting Involved in a New Place


    Picture this: A few months into the year, you pull up to a government-issued house, with an eighteen-wheeler in tow and a couple of movers ready to unload your belongings. You have no idea how the furniture will be arranged or if all of your paintings will fit on the walls because you have never seen the house before. Though the neighborhood seems lovely, you don’t know anyone. You will eventually get settled, arrange your new home the best you can, and meet people that will become close friends. Then, months later, you receive news that you’re moving...again.


    This is the norm for many military members and their families, and a task that can teach anyone, military or not, a few pieces of advice for getting settled in a new area. While moving somewhere new can be intimidating, moving to a place in which you have no control can be even more difficult. The last thing you want to do is put on your widest smile and go door to door, introducing yourself to your new neighbors, knowing that the time will come when you will eventually leave them.

    On the contrary, you wonder what would happen if you did. What if this new place is full of opportunities? What if you embrace this move as if you are never going to leave? Will you make the most of it, or will you barricade yourself inside, away from others? Whether or not the move is a choice of your own accord, there are several ways to put yourself out there, get involved, and meet new people, without stepping too far out of your comfort zone.


    1. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and attend events in the neighborhood.

    This tip is at the top of the list for a reason. Your neighbors are the people you will interact with daily, so, it works in your favor to jumpstart the introductions. Yes, it might require putting on that smile and knocking on front doors. Luckily, if you live on a military installation, your neighbors have been “new” at one point, too. More often than not, your neighbors might actually come to you, first. Want to beat them to it? Arrive at their house with a small gift, or card. If you’ve just moved in, you most likely won’t have ingredients to make cookies or other treats. However, a card with your contact information and a sweet message explaining how excited you are to join the neighborhood will immediately show your eagerness and willingness to get involved in the neighborhood happenings.

    In many neighborhoods, families take turns hosting game nights, such as Bunco, or outdoor cookouts or get-togethers. During the initial meeting, ask your neighbors if they do something similar. If not, now is the perfect opportunity to suggest the idea! Invite some of your new neighbors over to your house for dinner or games and start a weekly tradition.


    1. Check out the rec center and take group exercise classes.
      Most military installations have a recreation center open to families, and some even have group fitness classes available at no cost. Check the website or ask the front desk for a schedule of fitness classes. If you have prior experience teaching classes, you might even ask if they are looking for other instructors. After attending a few classes regularly, you will surely get to know people who have similar schedules and goals.

    2. Get a part-time job.
      You might be relocating because of your job, which, in that case, your network of people has probably already begun to expand. However, while you wait for your new job to start, or if you do not have one, consider getting a part-time job doing something that interests you. This way you will stay busy, earn extra income, and meet new people. Find a retailer that is hiring, or consider nannying, babysitting, or tutoring for a local family.

    If you have a hobby like card making, painting, sewing, or monogramming, look for artisan shows and pop-up vendors in your area. Not crafty? Become a Sword & Plough Brand Champion and share Sword & Plough’s story and products at pop-up events within your area.  This is a fun way to show off your talents and meet other artists in your community.




    1. Become a member of a church or other organization.
      Another simple (and free!) way to get involved is by joining a church or organization that matches your beliefs. There are usually several churches on post designed to incorporate a variety of denominations. If you’re not military, or you aren’t living on post, this might require some research. However, once you try out a few places and find one you feel comfortable with you will realize that there are more ways to get involved that go beyond the actual service once a week. Most churches have several events happening throughout the week and on weekends such as potluck dinners, study groups, children’s groups, and more. Ask about volunteering for a drive, becoming a member of the choir, or attending a small group. The greater your involvement, the larger your circle of trusted friends will become.

      5. Volunteer at school, an animal shelter, or a food pantry.
      If you have kids, a super easy way to get involved is by volunteering in their classroom. Most teachers frequently request volunteers and appreciate the help you have to offer. This is also a quick way to meet other parents of your child’s classmates. There are tons of events happening at school throughout the year, like class parties, after-school events, dances, and fundraisers. Be sure to sign up as a classroom or school volunteer at Back to School or Meet the Teacher Night.

      Other places to volunteer are at the local animal shelter, food pantry, or homeless shelter. Not only will you feel good helping others and giving back to the community, but you will also meet a variety of people, including local residents, that share the same passions as you. Most shelters and pantries offer a range of days and times during the week that you can go in and help, which allows you to volunteer according to your own schedule.
    2. Accessorize thoughtfully when running errands.
      This one may sound silly, but think about how many times you have been stopped in the grocery store and complimented on your shoes, necklace, or handbag. An easy way to strike up a conversation is by talking about things that matter to you and that have a story. One of my favorite items to talk about when I run errands is Sword and Plough’s Grey Wool Handbag. The unique design is an instant eye-catcher to strangers. Whenever I receive a compliment on the bag, I immediately begin talking about Sword and Plough and the mission behind it, as well as the giving partner that the bag is associated with. The Bar Necklace is another simple way to draw others’ attention and share a story. Any small-business item that you sport while out and about is sure to be a conversation starter.

    Moving can be a daunting task. On top of the physical aspects, like packing, lifting, loading, and redecorating, the thought of having to start over in a brand new place surrounded by people you don’t know can be exhausting. However, getting involved in the community can be easier than you think. Many of the activities that are already sketched into your daily schedule offer wonderful opportunities to explore your interests, put your talents to use, give back to others, and make friends. Whether relocating because of the military, a new job, or a change of heart, know that moving to a new place is more than just starting over. It’s a new adventure full of people ready to experience it with you.




    About the Author:
    Shurden Garrett is the daughter of a retired Col. in the U.S. Army. She moved twelve times growing up which allowed her to see much of the country and many parts of the world. She resides in Northern Virginia where she teaches elementary school. Her experiences as a military child and her passion for giving back to the veteran community that helped shape her childhood now draw her to Sword and Plough’s mission. She is excited to be a Brand Champion and share Sword and Plough’s story with other like-minded Champs.


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    Posted in lifestyle, military education

    Date-in-a-bag: 5 things to pack to make this Valentine's Day the best one yet

    Posted on February 11, 2019 by Alex Wells | 0 Comments

    We all want to have a special Valentine’s Day, but with how quick you have to get out the door for that sought after restaurant reservation, you have to be prepared to pack just a few essentials in your bag!




    1. Your Wallet

    First off, you’ll need your wallet, of course! How else will you pay for that perfect night out? Now, your honey may want to cover the whole night, but maybe treat them to a sweet little dessert for making your night so special. An awesome option is a minimal card holder like this Sword and Plough  option with just enough room for the necessities.

    1. A Love Note

    You’ll also want to bring a little something for your date, like a nice card or candy, as it is Valentine’s Day after all. People I've Loved is a company run by a woman named Carissa Potter in a little farmhouse in Oakland, California. It’s run completely by women, which is certainly something to feel empowered by in today’s society. You’ll want to go with something simple if you’ve only been dating for a short while. A great option is this simplistic but adorable card which you can customize your own handwritten note.


    1. Your favorite game

    Next, you may want to continue the date after dinner, but you might wonder what the best way to do that might be. Well, I say what better way to continue the fun than a good old fashioned board game. Personally, my husband and I love to play Trouble.


    If you don’t happen to own any games at home, you can always opt to shop for one on Amazon Smile, which is the same as Amazon, but instead of just shopping like any customer, it allows you to donate 0.5% of the price to a charity of your choice. There are hundreds of charities and non-profits that support veterans on Amazon Smile - Just take your pick! Sounds like an awesome way to get that fun board game and give back to your community at the same time, right?

    1. Instant Camera

    Now, let’s not forget you’ll want to remember this romantic Valentine’s Day, so you may want to bring along an old Polaroid camera or the modern equivalent, like a  Fujifilm Instax Camera. They’re mini and adorable, so it’s quick and easy to pack in your bag for the night! Not to mention, you and your date will get the photos right away! It makes for a really great memory rather than just having digital photos on your cell phone. Later, you can hang the photos on your wall commemorating the night.


    1. The gift

    Finally, the very last thing you’ll need for that perfect Valentine’s Day date night is a gift for that special person in your life. Now, as I said before, you may not want to go too crazy if you haven’t been together long, but a nice staple item they can use often will do just the trick! If he is a fancy guy who dresses up often, you might consider a nice tie bar like this one from Sword and Plough. Or maybe they like to travel and you’re always seeing them off on a new adventure somewhere up in the mountains or across the ocean. In this case, a stylish travel kit would satisfy your honey. You can stick with Sword and Plough for shopping convenience and check out different styles of travel kits like this one. Whatever you decide, I’m sure they’ll love it. We’re all happy to receive a little something on such a love filled day!



    Pack it up

    I almost forgot! You’ll need a stylish bag to pack everything in, and of course, it has to be a good size considering all you’ll need for the night. A great option is a signature tote bag, which has plenty of pockets and zippers to store everything away. Now you now have everything you need for that perfect Valentine’s Day!



    About the Author:


    Cianna Boswell is a military spouse who currently resides in Arizona near Luke AFB, where her husband is stationed. She was drawn to the mission of Sword & Plough as soon as she saw it as she has always had a passion for the military, even long before meeting her husband. She loves being a Sword & Plough Brand Champion because it allows her to stay connected to the military community outside of Luke AFB as well as bring more attention to those that serve. She is so looking forward to writing more blogs as a brand champion to bring attention to this amazing mission. She is hopeful that more people will appreciate the military daily for all that they do!




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