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.

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.

Memorial Day

Early summer marks a time of the year when some important holidays fall on the calendar. While most of us may start to think of Memorial Day when I say this, I’m talking about two equivalent holidays that are some of the most celebrated throughout the summer only behind Memorial Day and the 4th of July: those days would be Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

As a kid, I never quite understood why moms and dads everywhere got their own specific holiday to have celebrated for them, yet there was nothing along the lines of son’s day or daughter’s day. Or just a children’s day in general. I always, always thought it was unfair that my parents had dedicated days for them on top of their birthdays.

That’s because I was naive and never really noticed how geared towards kids Halloween, Christma, and Easter are. I was a selfish little kid for thinking my parents didn’t deserve their own holiday.

As I grew older, I started realizing what the days meant for them, and for our family in general, it almost always meant spending the day doing whatever my mom or dad wanted and eating the food they loved most. Sometimes we’d buy them some little gifts, but for the most part it was more about being there for them and spending time with them (as that’s one of the best gifts a parent can think of from their children).

Now that I’m older and live alone in a different state from my parents, though, it won’t be as easy to make it home twice within a month’s span to celebrate both holidays with my parents. So things have become a little more challenging, especially when my partner’s parents live in the same city as us, so we’ll probably be spending time with them at their place.

Luckily, though, my parents don’t care too much about it and realize that we all have our limitations as adults now with separate lives. That’s why I’m planning on getting a few things for my mom and dad, wrapping it all up in a few cardboard boxes, and having them shipped to their home as gifts for their respective days. I don’t think there’s anything my parents would mind about some gifts in cardboard boxes, so I’m all about doing something as a gesture to show them I still care and I just can’t be there.

No matter what happens, though, I’ve learned to see the holidays for what they are. Parents put up with so much stuff throughout the year that they deserve to have at least a single day each year where everyone else tends to them. (And I say this in full confidence knowing I’ll enjoy the heck out of my Father’s Days in the future when I have kids.)

Crafting a Box with Compartments

Most things you’re finished with end up in the trash. That’s the nature of things in modern society, right? Outside of trying to recycle materials and different food wastes, there’s not as many options out there but to trash it. Candy boxes (like chocolate boxes) really aren’t any different. But there’s something unique about these boxes that make them more than trash and that’s their small compartments in the tray.

How else would you repurpose such a box, though? Well, to start, the small divided sections could be used for jewelry or even as a sewing kit. Just think about it: with 10 or more sectioned off compartments, you could put anything from earrings to necklaces and spools of thread to needles in each.

First, remove the tray from the box.

While the tray itself is very useful and the centerpoint of this project, you won’t want to be putting your jewelry in a box of candy. Rather, you’ll want to put the tray in something else homemade that you can call your own.

Spray paint tray preferred color.

Most of these trays are white when you purchase candy boxes. For the most part, that’s not a color that will make your jewelry look great or offset their multiple hues. Instead, think about spray painting the tray a matte black, purple, or even turquoise. These are all colors that set off the luster of precious metals and can allow gems to shine even brighter.

Craft a small wooden box to fit the tray.

Here’s where a little bit of actual work may need to be done outside of the tray itself. You’ll want to measure the dimensions of the plastic tray to make sure it fits in whatever wooden box you choose or make. The best part about this box is that you can customize it till your heart’s content.

Place everything within!

Whether you place earrings near each other or scatter your various spools of thread out in the different compartments, do it in a way that each piece has its own snug place to sit. This also helps you to keep everything in order and easily located for when you’re choosing an item. Again, you can feel free to include any type of jewelry you want, or you can go a different route like using sewing materials or anything else you may be able to store. Your mind is the limit here, so long as the items are able to fit in the container’s trays.

What to Do with Your Collection of Cardboard Over Time

Over the past 10 months, I’ve accumulated quite the collection of large cardboard boxes. The funny thing is, I thought we had all the furniture and other amenities we needed upon moving in.

Yet here we are with multiple large boxes from random things as time has gone on. It just goes to show how you never really realize how much you add to your home on a yearly basis. Things just sort of add up over time and you never actually think you’re adding much to your place.

TV.

We had to have a new television for the basement (i.e., our hang out spot) when we moved in. While I opted to get a cheaper and smaller TV since it wouldn’t be our primary one, the box it came in actually has taken up quite a bit of space the past half year. While I’ve been keeping it behind our couch, I finally pulled it out recently to recycle it. It felt good to get that out of the basement!

Dartboard.

Ahhh, the true entertainment of the basement. We enjoy playing darts, especially steel tip. Well, we mounted a dartboard and cabinet in our basement after receiving it as a Christmas gift. Guess where its box ended up? Yep, right there in the basement alongside the other TV box that we had neglected to recycle. Just as we made sure to recycle our TV box, though, we did the same with the dartboard’s housing box.

Fire pit.

Well, it’s not an actual fire pit that we built from scratch (otherwise it wouldn’t have its own box). For Easter we just received a nice little porch fire pit with its own basin and dome cage on top of it. It’ll be the perfect addition to summer evenings with friends and family. It’s quite a large box itself, and since we haven’t been able to get it out to assemble it yet, the box itself likely will hang around our place for another month or so before I decide to get it along to the recycling center.

Ultimately, we’ve come into possession of quite a bit of cardboard boxes since we moved in last June. I’m just glad we’ve done our part in recycling all the material over time (even if it’s been sitting around in our place, making a mess all the while waiting to be recycled). Heck, we even used one of the cardboard boxes as our cardboard recycling container. O the irony.