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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. baker 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. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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. bridal-son-in-law-marriage-wedding-38569 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. Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 1.05.04 PM 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.  

Off Grid Adventure: Elaine & Kaleb-South Island, New Zealand

As we’re dwindling down in our National Park Week Festivities this week, there are a few fun extras we wanted wanted to share with you. We wanted to highlight not only the weddings in national parks, but the couples that valued going off grid and into nature… so when we saw this video shared on Elaine’s (of KEJ Productions) FB this week, we knew it needed to be shared! However this a few bazillion miles away from an American National Park, we bent the rules for this share, because …. Just look at this glorious natural EARTH wonderfulness! Do you not agree!? BSB asked Elaine one question: Why? Why was this trip across the globe and off-grid so important to her marriage!? Here was her reply: Processed with VSCO with m5 preset ‘Oh gosh. I think so many people live through life wishing they could do a or b. Since Kaleb and I got married we decided we weren’t just going to “wish” but “do”. So we aggressively saved the money and traveled to New Zealand, and it was worth every sacrifice. We were in NZ for almost a month and for 17 days we lived in a motorhome – being off the grid was the most refreshing thing we’ve ever done. It was a true vacation and definitely revealed what we value most and what we do not. We didn’t miss a single thing except our family and cat. Lol. When we got home, we minimalised our possessions immediately.’ Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset IMG_4938Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset Videography/Photography: KEJ Productions | Motorhome Rental Company: Wilderness Motorhomes NZ

5 Reasons You Should Skip Black Friday Shopping

Did you know more people die by shopping on Black Friday than by shark attacks each year (according to the Black Friday Death Count)? One of the most materialist days of the year we have decided to compile a list of reasons you should skip the chaos of Black Friday and enjoy your Post-Turkey Day hangover in peace. 5 Reasons You Should Skip Black Friday Shopping: 1. Naps are underrated (and you need one… today.)  Self care, is the best way to care for others. When we step back and give ourselves grace for rest and relaxation, we are more equipped to love others fully charged! __Elizabeth_Cryan_Photography_5417ecryanphotography1191 Photo Elizabeth Cryan Photography   2. Volunteer  Here are a few areas in most need during the holidays for you to check out, in your own hometowns: Homeless Shelters Food Banks Half Way/Transitional Home Rehab Clinics Suicide Hotline Children’s Homes Children’s Hospitals Veteran’s Hospitals Nursing Homes Retiremenent Centers Check out Volunteer Match for more opportunities in your local areas. 15078987_10154810469092764_4851930905209630218_n 3. Create a Holiday/Christmas Presence List, with your family.  My wonderful friend Ida and her mister, of A Kind Place and The Lakeland Pallet Company, recently posted her family’s annual Thanksgiving tradition and we just think it is brilliant in so many ways! What would you have on your Presence List? 15128998_10210123560779001_8580122557645556741_o   4. If you do buy something today…. Consider The Buyerarchy of Needs, By Sarah L.  Instead of aimlessly purchasing things to wrap this holiday season, consider ways to show your love with what you have: experiences, crafts, or if you are going to buy something make sure it is ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly, locally owned, or fair trade. Better to invest in people that are getting paid a fair wage and impacting the environment and humanity positively, then shopping that dollar bin. Visit our BSB Marketplace to check out some of our amazing social enterprise brands! ct-3rdparty-holiday-fashion-books-sarah-lazarovic-20141118 My husband and I have close friends that we celebrate the holidays with annually and we started a tradition where we issue a Gift Giving Challenge that changes from year to year. In the past we’ve only bought gifts from either Pawn Shops, Flea Markets, Craig’s List, Yard Sales and this year is my favorite one so far…. We can only find gifts that are FREE. These presents are easily my favorite gifts of the year, because they are incredibly creatively sought out. I’ve scored a whole set of California Raisin, a Macaulay Culkin drawstring Home Alone doll and a myriad of other treasures. It has completely changed the purpose and fun in celebrating the holidays with them!   5. Gift a stranger, behind you in the drive thru line.  There is no better feeling than rolling up to the drive thru window and being told that the person in front of you purchased your coffee, meal, etc.. Be a part of making someone else’s day a little less burdensome and treat them with a little act of kindness they never expected! _8vc3dybqgc-maria-vernigora     And with that, we wish you all a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON! Don’t forget to #BeIntentional !