More of What Matters, Featuring: SoKind Registry

More of What Matters, Featuring: So Kind Registry

**Editor Note: Thank you SoKind Registry for your ongoing support as a National Partner and believer in the BSB Mission!**

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Friends and family. That’s what wedding receptions boil down to, right? It would be a lot less work and cost if a wedding consisted solely of a ceremony. No need to worry about finding a venue or coordinating entertainment. No need to worry about menus or seating arrangements. Yet despite the hassle, many people still choose to commemorate one of life’s biggest events with a celebration.

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Why? Because, as humans, we’re hardwired for connection. Connection is what gives our lives purpose and meaning. And connection is what we crave when we celebrate momentous occasions. We want our loved ones to share in our joy and to support us with their presence.

Yet U.S. consumer culture has created an expectation in this country that weddings must be extravagant affairs in order to be special, thereby distorting some of the most important milestones of our lives. Celebrations that should be joyful and meaningful are now often occasions that generate stress, waste, and debt.

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SoKind Registry is a registry service designed to provide options for those of us who want to plan celebrations that reflect our lifestyles, promote our values, and enhance our lives. SoKind is for people who want to host more environmentally friendly celebrations, as well as for folks who simply refuse to start a new chapter in their lives with a mountain of debt. It’s for people who don’t view their wedding as an opportunity to impress, but rather as an opportunity to involve their friends and family in one of the most important occasions of their lives.

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So go ahead, be creative. What gifts do you truly want? Donations to your favorite charity? Home renovation help? Catering help for the big day? A museum membership? Through SoKind, you can register for gifts of time, experience, and skill, as well as traditional material gifts and secondhand items. The registry is entirely customizable, so the possibilities are endless!

Here’s to more fun and less stuff… to more joy and less stress… and to more love and less waste!

For more information about setting up your wedding, or milestone, registry visit SoKind Registry today! 

Your Honeymoon Could Save Someone’s life- TraffickCam App

The best part of wedding planning, hands down, is the honeymoon. It’s a time to grow closer together, relax and renew your relationship for the new marriage journey ahead of you. What if I told you, you could quite literally save someone’s life within the first few minutes of your honeymoon arrival, and it would literally take you less than 2 minutes to do so.

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Did you know: Among couples that plan a formal/traditional wedding ceremony and reception (excluding elopements and courthouse ceremonies) 99% of them go on a honeymoon, estimated around $4000 for an average of 7 days long. With over 1.2 million couples traveling domestically and internationally 78.3% of those honeymooners are spending their first wedded days in Hotels, Motels, and Resorts. The growing (social media obsessed) honeymoon industry brings in over 12 billion dollars annually. (Source: Wedding Clickers)

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TraffickCam is a web app that uses crowdsourced images of hotel images across the world to compare and identify where sex-traffickers are holding their victims.

Traffickers regularly post photographs of their victims posed in hotel rooms for online advertisements. These photographs are evidence that can be used to find and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes. In order to use these photos, however, investigators must be able to determine where the photos were taken. The purpose of TraffickCam is to create a crowd-sourced database of hotel room images that an investigator can efficiently search, in order to find other images that were taken in the same location as an image that is part of an investigation. You check into your room, open the app, identify the hotel name, room number and snap 4 images of the room’s interior and surroundings and submit.

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TraffickCam was created in 2015 by the Exchange Initiative. The Exchange Initiative is committed to combating commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Their mission is to provide resources, information and networking solutions to combat sex trafficking in the United States.

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Download the free app today:

TraffickCam for iPhone and iPad at the App Store

TraffickCam for Android devices at Google Play

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Let’s start actively using our privilege and engaged/newly married love to start loving others!

40+ Easy Ways To Give Back

40+ Easy Ways To Show LOVE To Others 

In honor of Valentine’s we wanted to take a moment and recycle one of our all time favorite posts, devoted to easy ways to GIVE BACK and love others!

{If you’d like to add to the this list, please feel free to email me at hello@blacksheepbride.com with your awesome suggestions!}

Here are some ideas, just in time for the new year!

Teach someone your trade, craft, knowledge, skill

Volunteer at a food bank – Feeding America

Feed the homeless

Share your birthday presents or organize a birthday party for homeless children with The Birthday Party Project 

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(Photo below : Chloe Austin Photography, Surprise Proposal of the Founders of Cup of Love – a Jax based homeless outreach charity)

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Mentor a child at your local school

Sign up for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Clean up trash at the beach, or around your community

Make furry friends at the Humane Society

Help out at a nursing home, VA Hospital, retirement community

Share your own story of obstacles, brokenness with others… Help people see they aren’t alone in their battles.

Volunteer at a hospital, Cancer Center, Ronald McDonald House

Run in a charity race

Invite a refugee family, foreign exchange student, veteran, to your holiday dinner.

Donate your hair, so child with illness and disease, that causes baldness, can have a wig- Wigs for Kids

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Make sweet encouragement cards and leave them in random places around town, like my friends at Hello Happiness Card Company

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Go on a mission trip/humanitarian trip (locally or internationally)

Help fix up/build a home – Habitat for Humanity, like my friend Angie from Pop Goes The Party.

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Deliver for Meals of Wheels

Collect left over wedding flowers and deliver them to hospitals, nursing homes, etc- Floranthropy, Petals with Purpose,

Random Acts of Flowers or Repeat Roses (Photo below courtesy of Repeat Roses)

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Organize a food/shoe/clothes drive

Go to a charity concert

Babysit for a single mom

Go to a public place and gift strangers with balloons or flowers

Serve at a Horse/Animal Rescue

Join a Surfers for Autism event

Help give people clean laundry, with Current

Serve at an organic garden (Photo credit: Beyond the Ordinary Photography)

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Go grocery shopping for someone in need

Participate at a silent auction

Volunteer together at the Great American Teach In

Go Flea’ing (Flea Market) and decorate your home with some recycled swag

Make baked goods and deliver them to your neighbors, or donate a cake to someone in need of a pick me up with Icing Smiles

Clean someone else’s yard, that might not be able to.

And there you have it…

Want to share the ways your give back with us? Tag us on Instagram : @theblacksheepbride !!!

5 Gifts That Give Back: Love Others This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s is upon us, friends. In honor of this day of Love, we decided to do something a little different and highlight a few select gifts that give back, as well as charity opportunities, to honor your loved ones in this time of great global need.

 

1. One Hope Wine Gift Crate, $79:

Glitter, bubbles, candle and chocolate – need we say more? Oh yes, they also donate half their profits to WhyHunger – feeding children. Sip for fun, Cheers to charity. Shop the event exclusives for the crate.

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2. Trades of Hope, Rosalie Necklace, $38:

These Blush colored beauties are empowering women and families in India to be the heroes of their owe stories. 💕
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3. Heartful.ly’s Valentines Giving Campaign.:

Honor those you love with the most thoughtful gift available. Provide comfort and support to a Syrian Refugee family with a donation in their honor, via Heartful.ly’s Valentines Giving Campaign.

Donation levels:

$10: basic hygiene and baby kits for Syrian refugee family, for a week.

$15: clean drinking water for Syrian refugee family, for a month

$20: basic mattress for Syrian refugee family

$30: Comfort-for-Kids workbooks for a class of 12 Syrian children

$40: basic hygiene and baby kits for Syrian refugee family, for a month.

$50: three blankets to say safe from the cold for Syrian refugee family

$75: kit of warm clothing for one Syrian refugee, including a coat, sweater, hat, poncho and rubber boots.

$100: Art supplies for 100 Syrian children, that will assist them in healing from their trauma.

$250: supplies and warm winter clothing for a Syrian family of five.

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4. We Belong to Each Other T-Shirt, $25

Every shirt you buy helps fund Preemptive Love’s peacemaking work on the front lines of conflict—in Syria, Iraq, and in your community.

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5. Lifesaving Heart Surgery for Children in Conflict Zones, $1000 *GROUP GIFT IDEA*

For nearly a decade, Preemptive Love Coalition has provided urgent medical care, including nearly 2,000 heart surgeries for children in war-torn Iraq, Libya, and beyond. Your gift brings lifesaving care to families disrupted by war—equipping medical clinics, rushing emergency aid to the front lines, and providing heart surgeries for kids who have no other way of getting the care they need.

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We wish you all a special Valentine’s Day and hope that you use your love to uplift and impact those around you.

Lab-Grown Love: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Valentine’s Day

**Editor Note: Thank you MiaDonna & Co. for your ongoing support of our BSB Mission, as a National BSB Partner! **

Lab-Grown Love: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Valentine’s Day

Give and go green this Valentine’s day with MiaDonna & Co.’s ethical, beautiful and affordable conflict-free jewelry.

 

Get this! Their diamonds are made in a LABORATORY and are optically, chemically and physically identical to earth-mined diamonds! This lab-grown process guarantees that no product purchased from MiaDonna will support the conflict-diamond industry. In fact, for each product they sell, 5% of the proceeds are invested back into diamond mining communities where locals are taught to farm rather than mine for diamonds.

 

As if that’s not enough, these stunning lab-grown diamonds can cost up to 40% less than traditional earth-mined diamonds, making them the more affordable diamond option! Learn more about these man-made diamonds here.

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Diamond Halo Earrings, 14K White Gold

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 Hope Wedding Band, Willow Wedding Band, Drew Wedding Band, all in 14K White Gold (top to bottom)

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Amore Text Necklace, 14K Rose Gold

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Diamond Hybrid® Eternity Bands, 14K White and Yellow Gold *Contact MiaDonna if interested*

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Antique Halo Pendant, 14K White Gold

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Basket Earrings set with Lab-Grown Diamonds, Platinum

 

Check out some more of their most popular ringspendants and earrings during the season of love.