blogmas, Minimalism, Minimalism

5 Intentional Gifts To Give Your Valentine

Valentines Day is quickly approaching! Whether you have that special someone or you simply want to show your love to family & friends, I feel like we all tend to focus on the love language of gift giving this season. And although I find gifts to be one way to show love & appreciation, I also know there are more intentional ways to go about it. You don’t need to be spending tons of money trying to impress that special person in your life. And I think it’s important to not let consumerism dictate any holiday. Today, I wanted to share five intentional & more practical ways to shower that special someone with love.

You Might Also Like: How To Gift More Practically

The Gift of Time

One of the most underrated ways to show appreciation is the gift of time. We tend to forget how fast time flies & how priceless time can be. This time of year especially, place effort in making that phone call to a friend or family member. Plan a fun activity to do with someone you really care about. And prioritize your energy on the right ones too. Really ask yourself who truly adds brightness to your life & showcase that by carving out time for them. When you weed out the ones who don’t deserve it, you realize how much time you really have to give to those who do.

DIY Greeting Cards

The greeting card industry is a hot commodity. I swear there’s a card for pretty much any occasion. And I personally think cards are a great way to show someone you care or are thinking of them. What makes a card even better though, is putting little extra love & effort by letting those creative juices flow. Collect some construction paper, scissors, markers or even print out images or prints to really personalize it. I think when we make a card more personal, it holds a lot more meaning. Don’t forget to add a heartfelt message as well.

A Photo Jar or Album

I love reminiscing on specific memories or moments & photos are a great way to capture them. One of my favorite gifts my husband gave me when we were dating was a photo jar filled with rolled up prints. To this day, I love looking through them & thinking back on a few of our most memorable times. Scrapbooks or photo books are easy ways to showcase times that you enjoyed with a specific person & it lets that person know it meant something to you. Not only this, but it’s a great way to look back fondly on experiences that allows you to want to make more in the future.

Give The Gift of Adventure

Experiences are my favorite types of gifts because they are clutter free & allow a person to make new memories. You can either plan a day of activities to do together or you can surprise them with an event or activity for a future date. Some of my favorite experience gifts include hiking trips, movie dates, bookstore trips, weekend getaways, Topgolf or mani/pedis.

You Might Also Like: 50 Clutter Free Gift Ideas

Help Them Out With Something

Is there something they’ve needed help with? Or is there something that could make their life easier? In some instances, it could simply be accompanying them while they run errands or help them with a project. The love language of acts of service, when done right & with good intentions can be very meaningful to a person.

You Might Also Like: How To Truly Love Yourself

Conclusion

Regardless if Valentines is coming up or not – I believe thinking more intentionally with gift giving is a better mindset to practice. I also believe these acts of appreciation can be done any day of the year. It’s always nice to show someone you love & care about them. I hope this list of intentional gifts sparks inspiration for you. let me know some ways you are celebrating love this month / self care

sending so much love & appreciation to all my readers. you brighten my day with all your comments & am so grateful for all of you.

-B

Lifestyle, wedding series

Why Spending Money on Travel is Worth it: Honeymoon in Maui

It sounds a bit dramatic when I say our honeymoon in Maui changed my life. But I’m a Leo, & we are rather dramatic individuals, so I stand by this statement. Anytime I feel like I’m in a rut or need to make a change, I always know some form of traveling will be that cure. This past year has been one of the most trying years with the loss of my dad in the fall & planning a wedding in the middle of said grief & healing. But now that phase of my life is over [ the wedding planning part] , I’m looking ahead to a summer of continued healing & focusing on what I want my life to be moving forward. I strongly believe in the idea of immersing yourself into experiences to grow as individuals. When we simply remain in our bubble, thats when ignorance develops & the perception of believing our lives are only tied to what’s right outside our front door. We are so much more than that & a 10 day trip on island time showed me the type of person I want to strive to be which is more adventurous, tied to nature & one who continues to focus on the more simple aspects of life like experiences.

Focus on What Truly Matters

I’ve been following the minimalism lifestyle for around 5 years now. It’s been a slow journey & in no way am I a perfect minimalist [ i don’t think there ever is]. But I definitely strive to focus on the bigger pictures & refrain from putting my attention on frivolous material things. It’s not to say I don’t spend hours putting together outfits for my travels, but I also let go of the notion in thinking I constantly need new or better items to have a good time. I’ve learned through packing light, you can actually enjoy more of your surroundings & prioritize the connections & memories you make. While on our honeymoon, we did a lot of adventurous activities that lead to ruined clothing, muddy shoes & losing my $5 pair of sunglasses on the beach. I don’t focus on that because through those instances, we drove ATV’s up a mountain, we went 10,000 feet past the clouds on top of a mountain & star gazed. We snorkeled with motorized scooters. My husband jumped off rocks into the ocean, while I casually soaked under a few waterfalls. We hiked for miles, trudging through mud, rock & bamboo forests. We saw an array of sea life including two sea turtles while snorkeling. We also ate tons of different foods & visited local gems. It was truly an experience & memory I will hold onto forever.

Capture Those Moments & Stay Present

We took countless photos & videos during our travels, but we made sure to make the conscious effort to go off the grind for these 10 days. Not answering calls or texts [ unless they were true emergencies ] & staying off social media. It was truly refreshing. And I want to make the habit of doing this during our mundane days. Leaving your life a mystery is actually a powerful thing.

Reminiscing the Memories

I’m not the hugest fan of gifts or souvenirs. If I do bring something home from a trip, it usually holds some form of purpose or I know I will have it for a long time. One of the fun things we did was collect stickers during our trip. We plan to display said stickers as a collage & hang it up on the wall of our home. I love displaying photos or DIY projects like these because it showcases what we love to do as a couple – travel. I did find a few other souvenirs along the way including a Maui hook t-shirt [ I’m a sucker for a new graphic tee] & a sun hat [ which I plan to wear all summer long ].

I feel like this post is a little all over the place, but the bottom line is traveling to Maui reminded me of my love for travel. And I want to continue to make the effort to travel more often [ locally or across the world ]. There are so many times where a holiday comes up & we choose to do the same boring routine when we could be experiencing someplace new. For instance, I would love to visit Chicago during St. Patricks Day. Or going to Disney World or NYC around Christmas time. My side of the family is choosing to gift experiences over wrapped gifts under the tree this year. I think the pandemic taught us to enjoy the simple moments in life but it also ignited the urge to see more than what’s out your front door.

Where would you love to travel to next?

-B

Lifestyle

How To Have a Minimalist Wedding

Our wedding was held on a “heat wave” of a day in Oklahoma surrounded by 75 of our friends & family. What started out as a rather large affair of inviting over 200 guests, slowly turned into the more intimate event I had always pictured for myself. Now, if you are unaware – we actually officially tied the knot on February 25th at our local courthouse. But on May 14th, we exchanged our own vows & hosted a much larger occasion which turned out to be a beautiful day!

As I’ve said before, I’m someone who had always pictured myself eloping to Vegas or some tropical destination, but of course – within all relationships, you need to compromise a bit & when my grandmother agreed to host the wedding at her estate, [ during a time where finding venues was rather hard thanks to the pandemic era we are still in], I felt it was the perfect sentimental way to bring together two families. Personally, I always thought I was going to be the type of bride who would love wedding planning since of my Type A nature & love for organization. But boy was I wrong! To be completely transparent with you, I’m so glad the wedding planning process is over. And although there are definitely many things we could have done differently, I couldn’t be happier with our wedding day. And I’m so grateful how intentional we remained throughout the process. Here’s how we kept our wedding minimal & ways you can implement minimalism into your special day.

Check out this blog post: How to Remain an Intentional Bride

Keep The Guest List Small

The fact we had a destination wedding & one during a pandemic definitely helped us keep our guest list to a low roar [ although we didn’t necessarily plan it that way]. By having less guests, it was easier to visit each table & have conversation with most of them. It’s so important to acknowledge those who have traveled all this way to celebrate you, & having a smaller guest list helped with this factor. A great way to keep the guest list smaller is limiting the number of guests per person. Really take into consideration the history you have with said guests, whether you know them well enough or if you’ve stayed in touch.

Only Family in Wedding Party

We decided early on to simply have family in the wedding party [ siblings, SIL’s & BIL’s ] because it was a lot easier in coordinating with everyone in terms of fittings & other wedding details along the way. We still invited all our closest friends & got awesome photos together. But this way, the stress of contacting more than seven people made the process a lot smoother. We knew family formals was a huge part the photography session, so having everyone match seemed like the smart move.

No Guest Favors

We nixed the concept of favors completely because I feel like most people leave them behind. Instead, we focused on items for the wedding party or family members with guitar themed socks for the guys, getting ready robes for the girls & my mom as well as matching earrings for the bridesmaids. My husband also chose to gift decanters to the groomsmen & his college friends [ which quite honestly was a TSA nightmare ]. We tried to have the mindset of choosing gifts they could use after the wedding.

No Kids Allowed

A tradition we completely ditched was not having a ring bearer or flower girl. We actually had a no young children policy because of the travel aspect. Although we love our nieces & nephews very much, we felt this was the better option for our situation. It allowed us to have a shorter ceremony & to party all night long.

Personal Sized Cake

Instead of a large wedding cake, we opted for a personalized red velvet cake & an array of favored cupcakes for the guests. This is such a perfect idea because you rarely eat the entire cake anyway. And I think we had tons of cupcakes leftover.

Simple Florals

I chose to have lots of greenery, babies breath as well as flowers in the shades of white, blush pink & burgundy. Our sweetheart table for example had merely greenery & a few candles over this white tablecloth. The yard itself with it’s natural landscapes were beautiful on there own, so there was very little to add. My favorite feature was our wedding arch or arbor. It gave an elegant yet rustic feel.

Sentimental Touches

One of the commonalities my husband and I share is the importance of sentimental value. Having the wedding at my grandparent’s home was a huge sentiment of course. But we also honored my dad through a bouquet locket of his photo, peonies in my bouquet in honor of my husband’s late grandfather, songs that represented loved ones who were with us in spirit, as well as writing our own vows. As you know, the loss of my father this past year has been a level of grief I’ve never experienced before. But the way he was honored this day was a beautiful thing with my brother & uncle giving the welcome speech & them along with my father’s surgical group walking me down the aisle was something for the books.

The Big Picture

Weddings are all about two families coming together as one & pronouncing your love for one another to the world. To find a love like we have found in each other is something I’m so grateful to have. Like part of our first dance goes, “somethings just go better together & probably always will.” I always knew Todd & I were destined for each other & would tie the knot eventually. And I’m so excited to finally announce I’m a whole damn wife! Here’s to the next chapter of our lives & all the adventures to come.

I’d love to keep the wedding series going, so please let me know what you’d like to see from me. I already have a few ideas in the works including a recap of our honeymoon in Maui as well as a “Wedding Things I Regret” or “Things That Wen’t Wrong” post. Be sure you are following me on social media to see photos from the wedding & Hawaii.

I’m so glad to be back on the blogging grind.

-B