Your Online Business

Most businesses are shifting to an online business model. It seems like brick and mortar storefronts are on the decline more and more in every town. People enjoy searching for a product at home, filtering through thousands of options, reading reviews, and then making a final decision all while they are sitting on their couch at home. This means marketing has also started to shift. More and more advertisements for online stores are popping up all over social media. Influencers are even being sponsored by these online businesses to show off their products.

One thing that most of these influencers have hit on is the packaging of their products they are receiving. Plain, cardboard boxes seem to be a thing of the past when it comes to these popular millennial and Gen Z websites. Almost any box is colorful or has a cute little logo from the company. It may just seem like novelty, but it really seems to get the attention of buyers.

Aesthetic has really seemed to be the word of the decade. Everyone is focused on how something looks and if it matches their personality or their style. Cardboard boxes are just another way companies can appeal to consumers. If there are cute ads of a model holding their beautifully decorated box, then more people are likely to check out that website. Amazon uses this with their “smile” packages. Everyone associates these boxes with Amazon, which is just a marketing scheme for them. Some companies even change up their design depending on the season or the holiday. So the boxes then become sort of a collectors item, and people are more inclined to buy at certain times of the year.

Even the size of the box is something companies have to consider. Are they just going to have one medium size box that every item(s) gets shipped in. Or will they have multiple sizes with multiple different designs? These are things to think about when thinking of marketing or branding.

Next, companies need to decide how these are going to get stuffed. They could look into fun, colored shredded paper. Or they could choose packing peanuts or maybe even inflatable fillers. Maybe each item could be wrapped in pretty tissue paper. The same amount of thought that goes into the outside of the package should go on the inside. Companies should always consider adding extra inside the boxes. A little friend referral of 10% off your next purchase really keeps the customer coming back to their site.

Holiday Decoration

As spring is upon us there are a lot of people starting to prepare for Easter. Easter is nice because it is another big holiday that is seperate from Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving and Christms can be stressful because they are back-to-back. Easter is a few months later and a much more relaxed time for families to get together. The best part about Easter? Not having to scramble to find gifts for every family member! Families can really just get together to enjoy the food and the company.

My family has also had this tradition of making beautiful foods to display for the arrangement. Like I said previously, Thanksgiving and Christmas just seem to be rushed. We put together great food, but don’t think much about presentation. The pretty pastels are our favorite thing to highlight. The placemats, napkins, plates, and all of the decor are a light pink, purple, blue, or yellow. It is all a part of the art of the feast. LIttle candy eggs and candles throughout the spread.

One of our favorite decorations we have thought of over the years are candy boxes. This centerpiece has been such again for multiple reasons. First, we have the children decorate their candy boxes with all sorts of pastel paint. They always choose to draw such happy pictures to display. Then, the boxes are filled with candy and displayed on the tables and counters for guests to eat at will! It is so nice to grab little treats while waiting for the main course.

The best part about candy boxes is they are perfect for little to-go containers. The thing about large family gatherings is that everyone brings so much food! My family in particular loves to bring sweets, pastries, cakes, and cookies. These type of boxes are perfect to put leftover treats in. All of the treats are separate and will stay intact. Just remember to pop the whole box in the fridge when you get home! It’ll keep for a few days. I always love to enjoy my leftovers for at least a few days. Reward myself for having to prepare for the Easter celebration!

If you haven’t before, think about going outside the box for your decorations. These boxes are durable and will cost you next to nothing. They are fun, interactive little pieces and you can use them even after the celebration is over!

Dealing with Stress

This past summer I was feeling extremely stressed, overwhelmed, and generally hating on my job. I wondered if remodeling my office would help? So I pondered the idea and decided to give it a try.

I first started by sketching out different floor layouts of the items in my office, a desk five filing cabinets, two sets of drawers, and tons of computer components. Considering there are two entry doors and one wall of floor to ceiling windows the options were quite limited, But I did manage to come up with a couple of new options. So with those options I began measuring things to see if the options would really work. Of the two only one was truly feasible when it came to the computer components and not having to reroute Internet wire (and dig through my supply of cardboard boxes hoping to find more supplies that would help out).

Once I had the layout chosen and was sure it would work I began decluttering. I boxed up files that were potential purge items and move them to the storage room to deal with later. I went through filing cabinets and purged many things that I could with minimal effort, in other words I could toss at one glance. Then I had to unload some of the filing cabinets and a three-tier shelving unit so that they could easily be moved around to the new location. Unfortunately, my desk is a metal desk from the 1950s that weighs approximately 500 pounds so it had to be moved into the center of the room and left until it was time to relocate it to a new wall.

Next on the agenda was new window blinds. I couldn’t afford to get new blinds so I opted to buy paper shades and hoped they might work. Unfortunately they did not last and had to be replaced with the old existing blinds. I wouldn’t have minded so much for the money I was out if I had invested so much time installing the paper shades that faded within three months. I will chalk that one up to lesson learned.

Once everything was moved to its new location, the floors cleaned, the personal touches of family photos, cardboard boxes put away in storage, grand dog photos, mottos and core beliefs displayed I truly felt accomplished. I do feel it gave me a new hope for a brighter future, ad I do feel it relieved a little bit of stress. Truly, I do feel it helped me to move on to a new season leading to retirement very soon. So I say to you, if you are feeling the blues and longing for spring a little more than you should, maybe you need an office makeover? Happy remodeling at the job site!

Holiday Candy Sales

I absolutely love sales, and we all know there are no sales like after Christmas Day sales. As much as I love sales, I equally hate marketing ploys that increase prices only to mark them down, so the true mark down price is not actually as good as one might think. When shopping for sales don’t forget those online sales too. Two years ago I was searching online sales and found some really nice evergreen wreaths for nearly free! The original price was over $50 a piece and I got six wreaths for $48. Needless to say I was ecstatic when the arrived and they were quite nice in quality. This experience helps me to remember to check online sales every year.

Now think about the savings I made on candy boxes! It was immeasurable how much joy I got out of the candy that I found for extremely cheap.

And guess what? I was able to put all that candy to use by making specific holiday wreaths for my friends and family and inserting their favorite candy boxes into the garland. Talk about everyone being pleased! The latest projects coming from the Wreath Shoppe are two wreaths, one is being donated to a fund raiser for a small Christian School called Miss Holly’s House and the second is a wreath for a friend who’s young daughter passed away, leaving a husband and three small children. And what’s cool is that everyone wins when it comes to this sort of stuff, because it cost me next to nothing to buy and produce.

It only takes looking on the bright side of things, letting your hands do the work when crafting, and trying to spread good cheer to everyone in your life. Without positivity and love, where would we be? Absolutely in a darker place than even some seem to think we’re currently in. Whether your hobby is wreaths like mine or you enjoy making other things with your hands (or brain!), try to incorporate it into your holiday experiences. You’ll be surprised at what you find you can do for yourself and for others.

So to you and your post-holiday shopping, I say “good luck and Merry Christmas.” May you enjoy all aspects of your Christmas shopping, both before and after! And may you welcome others into your home with open arms and most importantly may you find the holidays spiritually exciting and grounding.

Preparing Your Decorating for the Winter Holidays

Let me tell you how I start my Christmas decorating. You may be surprised when I tell you many times I start decorating for next Christmas before this Christmas is even over. I always have my eyes open for neat ideas, for clearance sales and for tweaking this year’s decorating ideas (by reusing my plan in a slightly different way or even a totally different way.)

So when you are out and about Christmas shopping, attending those Christmas parties and generally running errands don’t forget to keep your eyes open for neat ideas to implement into your own Christmas decorating. Bust out the cardboard boxes and get to work!

One year I drove past a house at night that had so many unusual things light up with Christmas lights that it gave me the idea to light up my boys basketball whoop for a two fold reason. One reason, because no one else was lighting up basketball whoops and two, because my boys’ team was doing extremely well and ended up making it to the State Finals. I use ten to fifteen stands of 100 green lights and simply ran the strand around the pole, then drooped the lights over the basketball rim. I even wrapped lights around a ball and sat it in the grass as if the ball had just rolled off once the boys finished playing. It was so neat and one of my fondest memories of an unusual idea turning out extremely well.

Tweaking ideas from past years is also a great way to decorate. I love tweaking my ideas because I’m bound and determined to not ever decorate the same way twice.  Oh I know, many people have had the exact same tree, sitting in the exact same spot, decorated with the exact same 25 ornaments for years and years. That is just not me! And by no means am I disrespecting anyone that wouldn’t consider deviating from duplicating the same tree year after year.

But that’s definitely not my style! I have so many ideas running through my head that I don’t believe I will ever use up all my ideas. So whether it’s simply putting the tree in a different spot than last year, or decorating the small tree the way the big tree was last year, I’m always able to find ways to improve upon what was done in the past. And when January comes around, all the trees go back in my cardboard boxes.