The Importance of Video Games in My Life

There’s no one thing that has tied in to almost every aspect of my life better than my horby of video games. While I know there are a lot of kids out there in the here and now that would agree with this sentiment, for someone in their upper 20s to state this, it’s not nearly as common as the youth now.

Gaming didn’t always exist as the norm. In fact, just a decade ago you were still seen as a “nerd” if you logged anymore than a handful of hours of gaming in a week. (Little did most people in high school and early college know I logged no less than 30 hours a week religiously.) The thing is, though, that I wasn’t any more unsocial than my peers at the time. Perhaps from a normative point of view, you could argue. But I had a blooming social life on a much different medium than most kids my age were accustomed to in the mid 2000s: the Internet.

The Internet is directly responsible for fostering my sense of critical thinking. It also helped me to navigate human interaction from a textual standpoint, something that I later applied to my life when in college and developing a lot of new in person relationships. I recall it all being so new in college, yet I was able to gain a lot of friends quickly that had similar interests, something we went on to share about each other the more time went on.

So it’s no surprise to hear that I get a bit emotional when digging through some old cardboard boxes filled with video games from my childhood. Those games were responsible for teaching me about different types of people, different ideologies, different worlds, and different narratives. Without them, I would have led a much different life, one that may have left me much more devoid of knowledge, of kindness, of patience, of intrigue. I don’t think I would change a thing about how I grew up and what I was interested in, because if things changed, I wouldn’t be who I am now. And I’m not sure about you, but I’m extremely happy with who I’ve become.

I challenge you to go digging through some of your own cardboard boxes full of old mementos that you’ve forgotten about. Think about who you are now, but really focus on who you were back then. Did it influence the current self you know and love? You obviously kept those boxes for a reason. It’s good to take the time to reflect on the past from time to time, if only to humble your present self.

Wedding Gifts Given and Received

I made my way (alongside my fiancee) to a friend’s wedding this past weekend, and it was held at a pretty big brewery. As a lover of beer, it’s safe to say that I had lofty expectations that were met and exceeded once all was said and done.

Despite being excited for such plans, I know my fiancee was a little nervous for the weekend’s festivities since she was a part of the bridal party, her first time being in one to boot. She was first worried about what I would do the day before and day of while she was doing her bridal duties (which I told her not to worry about at all). And more so than that, she was a bit anxious about what was expected of her and trying to do her all to be there for the bride.

When all was said and done, things went swimmingly. I enjoyed my own alone time relaxing back at our AirBNB and doing my own thing while she was busy. And her other uncertainties were just fine when it came to doing what she could for the bride and the whole bridal party.

One of the coolest things I didn’t realize was so standard nowadays with wedding parties was the gifts my fiancee received from the bride as a thanks for being part of her special day. She got a brand new tote bag that was super cute, some makeup and toiletries to celebrate the occasion, and a few candy boxes that were elegant and “fancy” for candy. (I’ll try not to mention how I ate one of the two candy boxes the day of since my fiancee isn’t a huge fan of candy haha!)

wedding gift for guest; Shutterstock ID 414452338

I’m a big fan of weddings because of the celebratory nature of the events, especially considering how once in a lifetime they can truly be. Of course, not always do weddings turn out to be the only one someone has in their life, but that doesn’t mean the occasions should be any less heralded as an amazing time to unwind and have fun.

I look forward to all of the weddings we have lined up in the next year, especially considering that ours is on the horizon, just 13 months away. There’s nothing quite as exciting in life as a huge life event such as this, especially one where all of your friends and family can be there with you to celebrate you.

The Need to Recycle

I remember as a kid seeing the recycling logo (the 3 arrows, specifically) for the first time. I was in grade school, if I’m not mistaken. I never used to know what it meant until we had a representative for some environmental agency show up and teach us about how important the three Rs (recycle, reduce, reuse) were.

Fast forward to my late 20s, and here I sit watching a precious part of the world burn uncontrollably, all for our ridiculous consumption of meat.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, it’s that the Earth matters far more than anyone is willing to believe. And those who believe that it matters are often derided as blindly believing things. It’s a weird and twisted cycle that honestly makes no sense considering the scientific evidence of what’s all going on.

Outside of drastically overhauling your diet, though, we really can take the appropriate steps to help reverse some of the damage we’ve done to the environment. Restoring our planet may take a long time, but it’s possible with the right help from everyone.

And one of the biggest things that needs to happen now is recycling. If the majority of people got on board with recycling, which is honestly such a simple task to carry out on a daily basis, the world would be in a much healthier state within a year. It’s honestly so simple to toss your cardboard boxes and paper waste into one bin, all your plastics into another, and then your glass into a third.

But for whatever reason, people act like it’s some incredibly tough and time consuming chore. All because it’s a little easier to just throw everything in a bin that gets taken out once or twice a week.

In reality, recycling takes little to no extra time, since it’s easy to visually spot which bin you want to throw your waste in. And if it’s food waste, which doesn’t belong in any of the three aforementioned categories, then you should be composting! Composting can even handle the likes of cardboard boxes, too, which can save your paper bin much more room than if you included both.

We need to start making this change here and now. No more putting it off. No more acting like our landfills are an endless abyss. No more being okay with plastics making their way into our oceans to the point of killing all sorts of species, both endangered and otherwise. We have to make a stand by making a change.

Surprise Snacks for Your Kid’s Lunchbox

I was always a big fan of my mom surprising me with little things in my lunchbox when I went to school as a kid. Sometimes it would be positive notes attached to the inside of my lunchbox, whereas others I may find a little treat that wouldn’t imbalance my diet by any means. And even others, there was a dollar or a trinket just to make me smile.

If there’s any situation that the phrase “It’s the thought that counts” applies to, I’d say it’s this one right here. But coming up with interesting and fun ideas to surprise your kids isn’t always the easiest, and we all know how simple it is to forget little acts of kindness.

So, instead of you doing all the legwork in brainstorming things you can do to surprise your kids at school, we’ve come up with the perfect way to let them know you care: candy boxes.

Okay, so initially those words scream “unhealthy!” Especially if you let them eat an entire box of candies. But there do happen to be some pretty popular candies that are lot healthier than you ever would have thought, and we’ve compiled a few to lessen your stress about the sugars your child is getting in a day. Let’s see what’s out there.

Reese’s cup minis.

Did you know that chocolate and peanut butter is actually one of the healthier candies out there? We all know Reese’s dominates that market, but it doesn’t have to be dominant since it’s unhealthy like so many other candies. Peanut butter is a wildly understated health food, and since it’s 50% of Reese’s recipe, your kids are actually benefiting from them. Just make sure they don’t eat the entire box in one go. Perhaps that means you need to send them along with a quarter of the box’s contents instead of trusting them not to clear the box out!

Yogurt covered raisins/nuts.

I’m sure you know the magic of these treats yourself. Unfortunately, they get a bad reputation for being “adult candies”. But that doesn’t have to be the case with these candy boxes. Once you let your kids try them, they’ll be hooked. It helps to hide the box’s name from them, so pouring some into plastic bags or tupperware may surprise them even more. They’ll give them a go and be hooked. That’s one snack that any parent wouldn’t mind their kids being hooked on!

Shipping Makes Eating Easier

The more I get into eating healthier, planning out my meals, learning about my diet and how it interacts with my ideals, and purchasing cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable food, I feel like I owe it to myself and to what I believe in to keep pushing forward.

The latest push forward I’ve been wanting to make finally took place this past weekend: purchasing shares from a community supported fishery (CSF). Basically, by paying a certain amount of money per month, you’re guaranteed a certain amount of fish by the pound in that given month. This is huge for fisheries considering that you’re paying them more money up front for their product (which allows them to expand, do better in their practices fishing, and pay more towards other causes). It’s also huge for the customer because they’re guaranteed a particular product that is unmatched by any competitors out there. Why is that?

Because there really aren’t many other competitors at the moment that matter. CSFs are basically competing with bigger stores (like Meijer or Walmart or Kroger) that sell fish at cheaper prices. The thing with their fish, though, is that it’s more often than not farmed, it’s not as healthy, it’s been frozen twice, and the methods of obtaining the fish are bad for the environment, bad for the ecosystem from which the fish came, and bad for the fish themselves.

So while you’ll be paying a little more for your food, the efforts that these CSFs go to in order to give you the best experience possible is outstanding. What’s cool for the consumer, too, is that once you’ve ordered your share, you’ll receive cardboard boxes full of your flash frozen fish (with dry ice to keep them frozen in transit!) on a monthly or bimonthly basis. All that you need will be sitting right there on your doorstep once you get home.

Even better, there’s no better way to get the freshest, most environmentally friendly and sustainable fish out there if you’re landlocked and don’t have access to truly fresh, wild caught fish. For example, I live in the Midwest and there’s no way I could find anything else as good as the product which I’m now buying in on.

CSFs made their model based around community supported agriculture (CSAs) that are becoming more and more frequent. Now that I’ve made the leap to a CSF, I know I’m extremely interested to be a part of a CSA around me. After all, I do live in the Midwest.