The Strength Behind the Strong website. Proudly supporting our friends and family in the U.S. military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


The Strength Behind The Strong was founded by Christine Hofmann-Bourque, who is proud to have a husband in the Army, three brothers in the Navy and Army, and a sister-in-law in the Army. Christine is also a professional journalist. Read our first post to find out why this website is so close to her heart. More >>

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Entries in Parties (3)


Hey, sweet thing: Dress cupcakes in camo or join a cupcake club with military spouses. (Or both!)

When it comes to baking cupcakes, the question isn’t “Why?” it’s “Why not?” After these cute camouflage cupcake liners arrived in my mailbox, the question became “Why not right now?” Use them for a soldier’s welcome home party or a child’s birthday — or because it’s Friday and they’ll make you smile. These green lovelies (below) came from The Cupcake Social, which sells mini, standard, and jumbo camo liners; cost is $7 to $8 for a box of 20.

Homemade cupcakes in green camo liners. From

Want a great excuse to bake cupcakes once a month? Join the online L&S Cupcake Club, which was started by two Army spouses and bloggers: Lola at Alis Volat Propriis and Samantha at A League of Her Own. The concept is simple and delicious: Everyone is invited to join the two friends as they bake their way through the cookbook  Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat. You don’t need to be a military spouse to participate; you just need a sweet tooth.

L&S Cupcake club logo.Here’s how it works. On the 20th of each month, Lola and Samantha post the new cupcake choice (and recipes) on their blogs; this October it’s pumpkin or applesauce spice. Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to bake a batch of sweet treats by the 30th of the month. Then either leave a comment on Lola or Samantha’s blog about your baking adventures or — if you have your own blog — do a cupcake posting and link up to all the other L&S Cupcake Club bloggers. There is still plenty of time to join in the October fun, so grab your spatulas, meet some new online friends, and get your sugar fix. 


Cookies with a Message (and five tricks you need to know to avoid baking disaster)

I’ve never liked to eat my own words, until now. But when I spotted the adorable, customizable ‘Message in a Cookie’ Cookie Cutters in the Williams-Sonoma catalog, I had to have them. Right away. And since we’re gearing up to make care packages for our Adopt an MP effort, this week seemed like an excellent time to try them out. (Join us! We still need volunteers.) So what could go wrong? Let me spell it out for you: P-L-E-N-T-Y. But if you avoid my mistakes, these cookies will become your new favorites — and a clever addition to an R&R or good-luck-in-boot-camp party.

These make-your-own-message cookie cutters are $19.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

The cookie cutter kit includes three cookie cutters: one heart, one star, and one scalloped rectangle. It also includes three full sets of alphabet letters, plus extras of popular letters, such as “s.” You can use those individual letters to make custom messages like “We missed u Private” or “Hooah CPT More.” Aren’t these cookies the cutest things ever? 

The tinted dough is fun and festive, but uncolored dough would be pretty too.

For perfectly pretty cookies the first time, follow these five tips.
#1. Watch your ABCs—and Es. Trouble can ensue because the individual letters must be slid into place backward and in reverse — essentially their mirror image — so that when they are stamped into cookies they read like English, not Pig Latin. Can you spot the two errors below? 

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Fortune cookies bring good luck to military welcome-home parties

Here’s one trick for getting through loved ones’ deployments: Don’t count up how many days they’ve been gone. Instead count down the days until you can throw a welcome-home party. (During my husband’s first deployment, I spent the four months before his return obsessing over handmade party programs, bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizers, and the 100-person guest list. Yes, I went a bit overboard. But it was all for a good cause!) A fabulous party favor? Fortune cookies with personalized, military-theme messages. 

Custom fortune cookies can be filled with your own military-specific messages. You'll garner a few chuckles when you write “Confucius says” in front of just about any message.

Shop for these sweet treats online. A Google search for “custom fortune cookies” will locate dozens of online cookie companies. We are partial to Good Fortunes, Inc. (; we ordered cookies from them for a big bash, and they were a huge hit. They only make vanilla cookies, but they’re tasty and the traditional color works well with red-white-and-blue party schemes. Get 300 cookies with up to 17 different you-write-them fortunes for $40 plus shipping. (Want to try them first? They’ll send samples for $6, which includes shipping.)

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