I Give You My Heart- Organ Donors Needed on Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day, Friends! Isn’t it nice to know folks are gathered around the world sharing their hearts and love with others today?

(Click the <3 pic for a fun surprise) 

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BUTTTT…what if you could LITERALLY SHARE YOUR HEART with a stranger?

Did you know? There are over 120,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the United States alone.

What if your 1 life could save 8 lives? Would you be willing to give up the ‘goods’ for the sake of others once your life was completed?

Here is a quick crash course for your consideration:

Well, what is stopping you? Sign up and BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR today! GO OUT IN STYLE: GIVING BACK!

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I Give You My Heart- Organ Donors Needed on Valentines

The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide List for BSB Couples

We’re often been asked for recommendations for planning guides, magazines, publications that help engaged couples plan INTENTIONAL wedding days. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite wedding planning guides that are sure to help you in your journeys. Our goal is to provide you with all available resources to plan your day without fuss, without wastes, and with BIG PURPOSE.
Below you will find books and magazines that are either 1. Eco-Friendly/Zero Waste Friendly 2. Budget Friendly 3. Everyone Friendly. (Disclosure: Affiliate links included below)
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If you’d like to add to this list, please feel free to share your recommendations to hello@blacksheepbride.com for consideration!

How to Combat Christmas Card Chaos and Holiday Waste!

PSA: If you send Christmas/Holiday Cards each year to all of your amazing friends, family, and clients (if you’re a business) this is by no means a deter your efforts, I am actually quite jealous of your organizational skills, and postage stamp marketing budgets. This post is intended to educate the masses on how to be less wasteful in the holiday card process, so you know your options and also know your cards are eternally welcomed in my mailbox.

With that said, let’s take a moment … and think about Christmas’s past… Where did all of your gorgeous cards land after the first of the year. I am not much of a betting woman, but I have a feeling, they went in one of three places: 1. A Kitchen Drawer, 2. A Box stashed away to live its days in darkness for the rest of eternity, 3. The trash.

Photo Robin Hammond/iconphotos ph 07866 489 959 Debora Stevenson Recycling London. 05.12.06

(Photo Credit: The Big Lunchers)

Today we want to chat about #3: ‘The Trash’. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day household waste increases by nearly 25% in the US alone, this adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week in our cities landfills. With wrapping paper, dead spruce trees, and ribbon leftovers galore… We know how to make one heck of a nasty mess! American’s spend over 7 billion dollars on greeting cards each year. With an estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards purchased in the US, that is enough to fill a football field 10 stories high and harvest over 300,000 trees. *

But there is good news, you have options and here they are:

1. Eco-friendly cards are becoming more and more popular as conscious consumers speak out for sustainable alternatives. However it is too late for Christmas, jot these 3 awesome companies down, not only do they utilize eco-friendly paper options, they also have a strong business foundation on giving back to the community/planet.

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1. Paper Culture
2. Caroline Creates
3. Artifact Uprising

2. You could also go paperless, waste-less, with a fun e-card this season, you still have a few hours left to get them sent out before Santa arrives. Care2 has a great selection of e-card options and every card sent a donation is made to charity.

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3. You can also recycle your cards through St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s Recycled Card Program here.

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So that is why I will leave this here for all of you to enjoy… From our crazy, imperfect, work-in-progress family to yours… Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Belated Happy Diwali and Happy Eid (and all the other holidays your amazing family might celebrate throughout the new year). Hope 2018 brings you many happy memories and much success.

Thank you all for giving me a reason to do what I love and write about my passions for change, in and out of the wedding industry!

You are all loved so BIG in my book!

Eternally Yours,

Danielle | Leading Lady of BSB

Sources: Greeting Card Association 2015 |  Cal Recycle | Recycle Works 

The Wedding Registry Haze via So Kind Registry

When my sister-in-law got engaged, she asked me if she should register for a stand mixer. I was baffled because she really isn’t a big fan of cooking anything, much less anything from scratch. When I asked her why she wanted one, she said that it was on every registry starter checklist that she had seen. Plus her best friend had registered for one.

 

I told her that I thought the mixer was just going to take up valuable real estate in her small kitchen and that, if she ever got the baking bug, she could save for one then. Or everybody could pitch in and get her one for her birthday or for Christmas. So, she decided to leave it off her registry, and she hasn’t regretted the decision once. And those springform pans she decided to leave on her registry are still collecting dust in her cabinets.

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I think my sister-in-law was tempted to add the stand mixer because, in the midst of all the many decisions she was making in preparation of her wedding day, it was so much easier to simply follow a registry checklist than to think about what she and her fiancé truly wanted.

 

But I also think that sometimes people register for items because they have these fantasy versions of themselves. Maybe you never bake now, but the fantasy version of yourself would have freshly baked cookies for your family every night after dinner. Or you register for fine china because your fantasy self is going to host elegant dinner parties every weekend once you’re married…even though you’ve never hosted anything other than a take-out pizza party.

Elegant Restaurant Table Setting Service for Reception

And I don’t mean to imply that stretching to create a fantasy self is a bad idea. But the key is knowing whether the fantasy self you have in mind would actually make you happier. On their podcast Happier, Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, often talk about how they have to stop themselves and try to discern whether they want something because they actually want it or whether they just wish they were the type of person who wanted such a thing.

 

So, for example, Liz declared one year that this was the year that she was going to learn how to make soups. She was going to make soup all the time for herself and for her family. She went on about it so much that one of her friends got her a big soup cookbook as a gift. And, as soon as she had it in her hands, she realized that she didn’t really want to make soup. She just wished she were the kind of person who enjoyed making a pot of homemade soup.

 

Through her happiness research and projects, Gretchen has come to the conclusion that the first happiness commandment is to be yourself. So when she wishes that she liked music more, she reminds herself to “Be Gretchen” and pursue the interests that she actually likes. Being Liz means that, rather than spend time reading recipes and chopping vegetables, she really should spend her time eating out, writing, and catching up with reality television.

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So go ahead and create the registry that will launch your fantasy life. But make sure that it’s the fantasy life that would make you and your partner happy…not the fantasy life laid out by a standard registry checklist or by your best friend or by the advertising companies.

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Unlike other registries, SoKind is totally customizable, so you can be as quirky and authentic as you would like. Amanda and Asher, for example, love learning together, so, on their SoKind Registry, they’ve requested glass blowing, cooking, surfing, singing, piano, pottery, and welding lessons. Mark and Lorelei, both parents being intentional about smoothly blending their families together, registered for a “Movie night for us +  the kid of our choice.” Adrienne added a “Get Adrienne out of the Doghouse” request on her wedding registry. Her fiancé was a professional chef, and she had ruined one of his pots. So she requested a replacement (new or used). They had a lot of fun waiting to see who would take pity on Adrienne.

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Rather than another item that needs to be checked off your long to-do list, creating a registry can be a fun opportunity to dream together about the kind of life you actually want to create together. Take the time to think about what matters most to you and your partner. If it’s music, register for concert tickets, lessons, or iTunes gift cards. If you want to spend more time with friends, register for double dates. And, if you actually love to bake and have always dreamed of a stand mixer, go ahead and put it on there as well. Someone who has a secondhand mixer that they received as a wedding gift would probably be very happy to pass it on to you!

For more information and/or if you’d like to sign-up for your So Kind Registry today, visit their site HERE.