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It’s amazing how your life changes when you begin to “live” for phone calls. Even short few minute long phone calls. You walk around with your phone glued to your hand, checking it any time it buzzes to see if it is the loved one… the loved one who is deployed overseas. It makes your Stateside time with them so precious. You’ll want to soak up any moment, even if it is just grabbing a quick cup of coffee with them to chat.
As some of my readers already know, I live right outside of our Nation’s capitol and within close proximity to some of our country’s top-notch bases, stations, and federal agencies. Growing up and over recent years I’ve been able to connect and form relationships with military and operative personnel who very often spend their time overseas defending our country. They have some of the toughest and most courageous jobs hands down. They do so many great things for our country, and we’ll never know about it, as it will never be public. Then again, they didn’t get into the service for medals and recognition. They did it to defend and protect the people of the United States. That is EXACTLY why I try to honor them in any way that I can.
When I think of a particular hero, one of the first things that pops in my mind is our Sunday routine. Coffee and donuts. Whoever wakes up first, must bring the other coffee and a doughnut. While it is something so simple, there is still a feeling of sadness when he’s not here for me to bring him coffee, or him to bring me my coffee. Deployment does that. It takes your loved ones elsewhere to fight and defend this nation. I know what he does overseas is far from a walk in the park, and I have nothing but gratitude and respect for those who serve our country. This is why whenever he returns home from missions, I want to give him more than just “coffee and a doughnut” during our Sundays mornings together.
While browsing the aisles of Walmart, I couldn’t help but notice that Nestle Coffee-mate featured a patriotic stars and stripes. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Nestle is partnering with Operation Homefront to help support military families in honor of the 4th of July. If you aren’t familiar with Operation Homefront, they provide both emergency financial and emotional support to wounded warriors and their families. As I’ve volunteered with the DC chapter of this nonprofit, I can not tell you enough how amazing they are!
Staring at the creamers, seeing the American flag, it triggered something in me that I knew I just had to make a delicious Sunday breakfast for the brave individual mentioned above. Though this couldn’t be just ANY breakfast… this had to be AMERICAN style! Think bacon, eggs, hash, toast, and of course… coffee. So I quickly grabbed Coffee-mate’s patriotic French Vanilla and Hazelnut liquid creamer bottles (patriotic Original powder creamer available as well) and headed out to start planning my menu.
Now I know my buddy is a man with an appetite. Now I’m 5’6″, and even when we are out and I’m wearing 4 inch heels, I still feel tiny around him! I knew this had to be a filling breakfast for sure. Once breakfast was made, it was nice to just sit and chat over a warm meal.
Relaxing in our pajamas, we chatted about movies we wanted to see, summer vacations plans, how our favorite baseball teams were doing this season… He had been gone for over a week due to work and had just returned two days prior to our morning breakfast.
Catching up and chatting wasn’t the only special treat though that morning! During breakfast we actually received a call request and my son was able to face to face chat on my phone with a loved one whose line of work for America has them currently out of the area and at times overseas. It warmed my heart to watch my son be able to chat with them and enjoy some time with another special hero in his life.
A warm cup of coffee and an American style breakfast is exactly what we needed to help wake us up that morning and enjoy each others company. Of course once we finished, he smiled and asked “What’s for dessert?” Now after a filling breakfast I couldn’t imagine that he wanted to then devour a dessert… but I know this man too well. I had a Sweet Berry Pudding with fresh fruit waiting for him. I have to say the French Vanilla creamer came quite in handy when creating the pudding. I was short on milk, so I simply substitute one of the cups for the creamer. I used strawberries and blueberries to give the patriotic vibe sporting the colors of red, white, and blue! I’ve included the recipe at the bottom for inquiring minds…
Needless to say, he enjoyed the meal! Very often here on the Stateside we forget what our military and operative personnel go through while fighting for our country overseas. They can’t talk to us about their day, they can’t reveal to us what they go through, and at times we are over here wondering if they are even okay! As I mentioned in the opening of my post, THIS is what makes times with them so precious.
So the next time you find yourself in the company of the military, express your appreciation. Chat with them, and let them know how grateful you are for their service.
Don’t know any military or federal personnel? Why not consider volunteering with organizations such as Operation Homefront? There are plenty of volunteer opportunities such as manning a table at various events, while you hand out literature and explain what Operation Homefront does, and how others can help. One of my favorite opportunities is with Operation Homecoming, where you can simply collect toiletries and pre-packaged snacks for distribution to single service members who live in barracks when they return from deployment. Or you could volunteer one of their special programs such as the Back to School Brigade™, to help prepare children of military service members for a successful school year. Especially around the holidays there are many opportunities to help out our military! You can adopt a military family or assist with OH’s Dollar Tree Christmas Giving Program. Be sure to check out the Operation Homefront website to see how you can show your appreciation to our service members.
Sweet Berry Pudding
1 box of Instant Jello vanilla pudding mix
1 cup of milk
1 cup of Coffee-mate French Vanilla liquid Creamer
Mix the instant pudding with the milk and French Vanilla creamer. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes to help the pudding set.
Now I like to serve my pudding in mason jars, but feel free to serve in whatever dish you like! Place a few wafer cookies at the bottom of the jar. Then add a layer of sliced strawberries on top, and then add a layer of pudding on top of that. Next comes a layer of blueberries, and then top that off with a scoop of your pudding! Add another layer of strawberries, and then another scoop of pudding. Feel free to add more blueberries on top along with some cookie crumble! Looking for more recipes? Feel free to browse!
Thanks to Coffee-mate I was able to “serve” a delightful breakfast to one of my favorite loved ones who makes a living serving our country.
Want to learn more about how you can use Coffee-mate to honor our military heroes and support Operation Homefront? Simply check out the #CMSalutingHeroes and #CollectiveBias hashtags!
Don’t forget to connect with Coffee-mate on Facebook and Twitter! You can also connect with Operation Homefront on Facebook and Twitter.
Buy It: Coffee-mate French Vanilla and Hazelnut liquid creamer bottles and Original powder creamer are available in patriotic stars and stripes only at Walmart from Memorial Day through Independence Day (while supplies last).
How would use you Coffee-mate to honor your favorite military heroes?
Stacey - Seattle Mom Blog says
It is great that Nestle is partnering with Operation Homefront to help support military families in honor of the 4th of July! And that Sweet Berry Pudding sounds great!
Thanks for sharing your family with us and for protecting our country. The pudding looked delicious.
That is good to know about Operation Homefront and Nestle. I love the packaging on the creamers – I want to put a hostess basket together for the July weekend, and I want to include this – super!
How awesome! I’d never thought of using Coffee Mate in desserts, brilliant!
I love Coffee Mate but never thought to use it in a recipe. Love the packaging as well
That sweet berry pudding sounds so delicious!
Serving the pudding in mason jars is a great idea!
My stepfather was active military until last year. I remember the hard times when he was deployed; we sent care packages and crowded around the phone whenever he called. It’s very important to support those men and women (and families!) who sacrifice so much for us! I’m glad that Coffee Mate showed their patriotism with the new packaging.
That is pretty awesome. A definite must in baking and I absolutely love your pudding
Jennifer Medeiros says
What a great summer recipe! I think the Coffee-mate would add a layer of richness milk could not.
Kelly Hutchinson says
I love Coffee-mate, especially the Hazelnut flavor! I think you have some great tips, especially donating your time like manning a table at an event.
Liz Mays says
What a delicious flavor addition to the pudding. It all sounds incredible!
Silvie Armas says
This pudding looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it out! I saw it on Instagram and had to come pin it. :)
Lavende & Lemonade says
I love when corporations give back, even when it is just a little bit. I’d never have thought to substitute creamer in a recipe, interesting tip!
I have never heard of using creamer in a recipe! That’s amazing!! Love that CoffeeMate is supporting our troops!
I have never thought to use creamer in a recipe. I love french vanilla coffee mate it is so good.
Samantha K says
What a great way to salute your hero! Operation Homefront does amazing things! #client