Wedding gifts we still use and like: brightly colored dinnerware

wedding gifts

Wedding season is coming to a close, but I bet you till have some weddings to attend. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the wedding gifts we still use and love, in case you need some inspiration for what to bring to those upcoming nuptials.

I tried to keep things pretty simple on our wedding gift registry. We picked the simple flatware, the white dishes set, and we added some purple dinner plates and cereal bowls because TCU. And normally I would tell you to just stick to their registry, but one of our wedding guests bought us a beautiful multi-colored striped pitcher and chip and dip serving set. It was the perfect punch of color to add to our dinnerware. I have it on display in my kitchen year-round and love using it for parties.

If you have no idea the taste of the bride and groom, then stick to the registry. But if you know them a bit, or if you can come up with an item in a complementary color or pattern that will go with the rest of their kitchen items on the registry, then I think that’s a great option!

For example:

A super awesome Rachael Ray serving bowl, but only if they like orange.

If they like abstract florals in warm colors, here are some awesome items to choose from in this inexpensive dinnerware set.

Some amazing patterns and colors in this set.

A kind of weird and artsy serving platter, but I love the colors.

On sale from Crate & Barrell, a set of lime mixing bowls.

And the most famous of all the colored dinnerware sets… FIESTAWARE!

Would you love this as a wedding gift?

My real friends

I recently read a blog post that I wholeheartedly agreed with. This is rare. But of course, it was on Donald Miller’s Storyline blog, which makes it a little less odd. Anyway, the post talks about not identifying/introducing friends based on their occupation, but based on who they are. Because what if someone isn’t proud of their job, or if others don’t know what their job is it might stunt conversation.

I don’t necessarily need to do this. I count among my friends movement trainers, professional dancers, medical residents, dance teachers, production assistants, school teachers and counselors, future social workers, stand up comics, staff members for ballet companies, and people who are generally renowned in their fields.

My point is, all my friends should be proud of their work. But as someone who has had a litany of odd jobs and work that is often misunderstood, I can relate, and I appreciate the effort to value who a person is rather than what they do. So I thought I would say right here, who my friends are:

Laura is an amazing mother and is a friend who will always be honest with me and who mirrors me in a fantastically dry and sarcastic way to remind me that most of the time it’s in my head.

Josie prayed that I would become my husband’s wife, and is the friend I call when I need a positive outlook and can’t seem to find one on my own. She also will always tell me to go ahead and buy the amazing dress.

Ashanti is my greatest encourager. She believes I can do anything and she tells me so. And she’s an amazing dancer. Just try to keep up with her on the dance floor at a wedding. You will not succeed.

Jason is the kindest, most loving, and also most exhausting person you’ll ever meet.. and I mean that in the best way possible. He wants to talk to you to find out what you have to offer, what’s special about you, and then he’ll tailor all his jokes so that you will laugh til you pass out.

Emily is the friend I call when I feel insane. If I ever own a business she will be my partner and I will text her at 3am with ideas and questions about what we should do next. We will have more inside jokes than you and your friends.

Hollis is my friend who taught me what friendship really is. That sometimes it’s difficult but it’s always worth it, and she taught me not to give up when things get uncomfortable. She also taught me how to get a bartender to take my order and how to do most of the country line dances that I know.

Natalie is my sunshine friend. I think of her and smile because I just can’t help it. I admire her independence and unabashed way of being herself and knowing what she loves (dance, friends, and Harry Potter).

Petrina is my friend who will let me yammer on until I’m through talking, and then quietly drop life-changing news about moving to Singapore or getting married. She’s selfless that way, always wanting to know your story rather than sharing hers, though it’s incredibly interesting and you should listen.

Julia is the smartest, most mature person I know. She is loyal and faithful and the kind of friend who remembers minute details. I’m amazed she counts me as a friend. She’s also the perfect friend to take shopping or to help you through a break up because she’s an enabler. “Yes! BUY IT!” and also “this sucks, you should definitely eat all the ice cream and then take a Tylenol PM to sleep through the night, no you won’t become addicted.”

Jacob is my husband, my love, and the most loyal person I know. He’s also the only person with whom I can be 100% myself, and that is why we’re married.

Rachel is my oldest friend. She would do anything for you and is another great encourager that I’m lucky to have in my life.

Keri is my second oldest friend. She values our friendship though states and political and religious beliefs separate us. I’d trust her with my life. We have shared many late nights together, and also many weddings. I would give her 10 million points if I had them.

Lauren is also my second oldest friend. She is strong and honest and true. She paves her own way and takes chances when most people wouldn’t. When I need a laugh I think about us at 14 in Destin re-enacting scenes from Center Stage on the beach.

Sara is my friend who I never doubt… because she could never lie, even if she tried. She is hilarious and her sense of humor drier than the Sahara (or something equally as dry). She’s also my friend who cares the most about community, organizing dinners, parties, and get-togethers weekly because that’s what she values most.

Laura is a newer friend, but her kindness, humor, and love make me hope she’ll be in my circle for a long time.

Susan is my most trusted advisor, a wonderfully thoughtful person, and is creative in a way I never knew possible. I call her when I’m confused and she challenges me to move forward, and though she wears many hats she always answers my emails.

Who are your friends, really?

Advice for Brides: no mind reading

advice for brides

With wedding season finishing up for this year, I thought I’d give some advice for brides and future wives periodically here on the blog.

Hey there, bride. Your groom is pretty great, isn’t he? He is going to be an amazing husband. He has crazy super powers like making you feel loved, finding ways to provide for you, finding ways to surprise you, and generally being an awesome human being that you actually want to hang out with for the next 50 years.

But there is one superhero trait that he does not have: mind-reading.

I don’t care how long you’ve been together, how long you’ve known each other, or how often you finish each other’s sentences. He can’t read your mind.

And yet, we all act like our husbands, boyfriends, and fiances can. We say things like “he should just know what I wanted for a birthday gift.” Or “I said that it was ok for him to stay out super late with his friends, but he should know that I’m not really ok with it.”

Nope, sorry. This is just a bad habit, and it’s really, at least in my experience, just an excuse to avoid a difficult conversation. Or it’s just an excuse to get mad about something silly. Of course you don’t want to actually tell him what you want as a gift, and of course you don’t want to be the big, bad, mean wife who doesn’t want her husband to have any fun… but being a little more open is a lot more productive than just hoping he’ll read your mind and then resenting him when he interprets your hints incorrectly.

Most of the time, if you’re just up front with how you feel, he may not agree, but he’ll respond well and be willing to talk about it.

But the perfect way to frustrate your husband and yourself is to say one thing, mean something else, and then get mad when there’s confusion.

Just go ahead and decide that neither one of you is going to be a mind-reader (not even Harry Potter was good at that, so why should we be?), and you’ll be about 5 years ahead of most newlyweds.

Agree or disagree?

Honest Greeting Cards

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For our 5 year anniversary I didn’t get The Guns anything because we agreed that we wouldn’t. Instead we bought a bedroom set (yay, we’re adults now) and went to San Antonio for the weekend. But I couldn’t resist the card above. I wasn’t even looking for it, I was just at Target buying thank you cards and Father’s Day cards when I came across this lovely hedgehog card, read it, and said “yep.” I mean, there is no other card for The Guns from me. All other greeting cards will be measured against this one.

Because, in case you haven’t noticed, It’s not easy to find a card that is cute, maybe a little honest or snarky, and perfectly encapsulates the message you’re trying to convey.

Unless you go on Etsy, and then it’s really easy. Just search for “honest cards,” “sassy cards,” or “snarky cards,” and some great options will pop up. In case you don’t have time to do that, though, here are some classic ones that I found.

Psst… no affiliate links here, just sharing and not getting paid for it. I should see about changing that…

An honest graduation card (no more drinking abnormally large mixed drinks)

An honest Mother’s Day card and apology

Compare someone special to an oddly shaped vegetable and get them to cry

Not exactly a greeting card, but honest place cards for your next dinner party (I would be the snoozer… I sometimes fall asleep at parties. Sorry)

Abraham Lincoln honesty cards for whatever you need to be honest about

Short and simple apologies

Calling out the vain people in your life

A very common sentiment in relationships

Here are some greeting cards I’d like to see show up on shelves…

“I’m sorry… I watched the next episode without you.”

“My biggest regret in life is not inviting you to my wedding. Why are we just now best friends?”

“I’m so proud of you, you are so great at life, and I want to be just like you.”

“I’m really sorry you didn’t get that thing, let’s go egg some houses”

“I wish I could pay you money for all the great things you’ve done for me, but if I did I’d be in extreme debt. So is this note enough?”

Any ideas for greeting cards you’d like to share?

I’m only going to say this once … aka my abridged thoughts on feminism

I’m only going to say this once.

Feminism is NOT about women being more valuable or more powerful than men or putting men down.

Feminism is NOT about shaming women who choose to work in the home.

Feminism is NOT about proving that women don’t need men or marriage or children.

And yet, there’s a lot of people out there who seem to think that’s what feminism is. They say “well, I’m not a feminist because I believe women are empowered and should be able to choose their lives, to be moms, to be wives, to work or not.”

Well congratulations, you’re a feminist.

I know, I know, you’ve had some bad experiences with people who seem to just hate men.

But that doesn’t mean you hate feminism. That’s kind of like saying “I’m not a Christian because I really hate what Westboro Baptist is doing”

Some of you just don’t like the label.

Here’s why it’s called feminism.

For THOUSANDS of years women were considered property.

Property. Like cattle or a house or a stable of horses.

This is not some imagined slight. It happened (and still happens in some families, cultures, and countries). And the female property was valued by things like marrying and having children. No marriage? no Children? no value.

So it’s called feminism because of the need to bring attention to issues related to women. To bring their rights (voting, owning property, choosing who to marry, choosing to work or not, choosing to have children or not) up at the same level as men.

It’s not about saying that the sexes are the same or that women who take on traditional roles are ruining it for the rest of us (not true).

Feminism is just about women not being property.

I mean, it’s about more than that, sure, but can we all agree that women are not property? And that they should get the same choices in life that men do?

If so, then congratulations, you’re a feminist.

Women: Did you vote? Do you own property? Did you choose your own job? Do you choose who you’re dating or did you choose who you married? Did you decide along with your husband to work at home? Did you decide along with your husband to continue working outside the home after having kids? Do you express your opinions in public? If you’re not married or don’t have kids, do you believe you still have value as a woman? Do you think you have the right  not to be raped or coerced into sex that’s not consensual? Do you think you have the right to an education?

Men: Do you think of your wife or girlfriend as a human, not as property? Do you believe she should be valued on her merit and spirit rather than her fertility or sexuality? Are you willing to work for a female boss? Do you believe that women should have the same opportunities as men for career and education? Do you listen and make decisions for your family along with your wife? Do you believe women should be able to vote, work, raise a family if they choose, marry whom they choose, and own property?

Yes? Then I think you might like feminism.

How I evaluate talent

If you got here and thought I was going to tell you how to evaluate the people you want to hire… errr, sorry, this title is misleading.

Here’s what I AM talking about: I see someone doing something they’re good at. A professional dancer, singer, actor, stand-up comic, writer whatever. And even if I don’t know much about their field, here’s how I know if it’s good.

Am I inspired to try my hand at their talent, and I am CONVINCED that I would be good at doing exactly what they’re doing. Because they make it look so fun and so easy.

So after watching that video I’m sure I could be a prima ballerina. It’s really just a matter of practice. Also, after watching Aziz Ansari’s stand-up special, I’m POSITIVE I could be the next great female comic. I only have to read an excerpt of Anne Lamott’s work to be convinced that writing a memoir is as simple as writing my thoughts down every moment of the day. I watch The Voice and I’m pretty sure I could be on it, and I have completely convinced myself that if Emma Stone met me, we would not only be best friends but she would also convince the director of her next movie that she’s found the perfect co-star (um, me, are you not following?) to play her scrappy sidekick best friend in the upcoming romantic comedy.

Anyway, that’s how I know that someone’s good at what they do. If I decide that I could probably do it. Yes, this is remarkably self-centered. Welcome to my blog.