We're blessed to have so many awesome people in our lives who care about us and are looking out for us, and we appreciate every single one of you!
Quite a few people have asked us to post what sorts of things we would like/could use in a care package if one was being put together, so here is a list of things that we can always use/need/would like/miss from home (we will likely add to/edit the post as time goes on):
1. Brita filters - we have the pitcher and the portable water bottle and filters are hard to come by/they're expensive. The pitcher filters are about $30, and the water bottle ones are nowhere to be found (this is what they look like). We can *always* use more filters.
2. Lozenges - Halls have been a lifesaver up here. The Breezers or the Refresh ones are ones we enjoy almost daily, and of course, the regular ones when we're sick (I hear there are even warm/cool ones now!)
3. "Specialty" sauces and spices - there's not much in the way of "exotic" food up here, so having special sauces (butter chicken, pad thai seasoning, etc.) help make dinner feel a little different every now and then.
4. Books - we're both avid readers, and there's not much to do sometimes when you're stuck indoors. We also have a Kobo, and if you're at a loss for what books to send, Kobo eBooks is an option for gift certificates as well.
5. Photos - something to remind us of you and home
6. Games - again, we need ways to entertain ourselves if we're faced with lots of blizzards!
7. Stationary - for us to write home with (I've always wished for personalized stationary but could never find one with "Lily" on it. Boo.)
8. Healthy snacks & treats - nuts, seeds, fruits...we always ask for these because the shelf life is long and they also work well in baking, etc. I also like that we can make healthier choices for snacks so we don't feel guilty...but if you want to throw in a Twix bar, who are we to complain! ;)
9. Non-perishable food items - if it's shelf stable, it's perfect to go in a care package. Likely, we're paying 2-4 times more here for any groceries, so we're happy with anything. (Crackers, cans of tuna, instant oatmeal, etc. We're not picky!)
10. Stamps - sometimes when the planes can't come in, stock in the stores get depleted. The post office is no exception and I've been told they may run out of stamps for long periods of time as winter drags on.
11. (Really strong/intensive) Hand cream and body lotion - it gets SO cold up here that we're already getting incredibly dry skin.
12. Anything to make our water taste different - syrups for our SodaStream machine, Mio flavours, Crystal Lite, teas, coffees...we drink mostly water because everything else is so expensive. To change it up once in a while, it's nice to add a different flavour here and there.
13. Any "indulgence" we can't get here - nail polish, cologne/perfume, sparkly lip gloss, luxurious shaving cream, gourmet vinegars and oils, artisan chocolate, pretty costume jewellery etc. Something that is worthy of a "special occasion" when we need a pick-me-up kind of day.
14. "Fold up" shoes - because of the dirt/snow/wetness outside, everywhere we go we are supposed to take our shoes off at the door (strange practice that we weren't used to when we first noticed it - but if you go to any public space like the school or a restaurant, you're supposed to take your shoes off) - as we're not used to it, we plan on carrying our slippers or something portable with us since walking around in socks everywhere is...odd to us. You know those Dr. Scholl's fold-up ballet flats? Something like that would be great because I can keep them in my pocket until we get to where we're going!
15. Gift cards to online stores - with no shopping here other than the grocery store, we've been resourceful and trying to find online retailers with minimal or free shipping and returns. Our favourites so far have been: Well.ca, Amazon, Chapters, Old Navy, Best Buy
Anything you think to send would be greatly appreciated, so we hope you're creative and put a bit of yourself in it! We've been so lucky to have received some amazing packages already since we've been up here, and we're thankful for every single item in each box! It really does mean so much to us to know that even though we're incredibly far apart you are still thinking of us and sending your love and best wishes.
I imagine the homesickness will intensify the longer we are away from home, but just knowing we're loved gets us through each day. Makes us feel like we're closer than we are...and that's a very good thing.