Ever wondered how the positioning of your furniture affects how you live? Uma Campbell, a home decor and home design expert, explains the importance of feng shui in home decor in her creative infographic!
About the Author
Uma Campbell is a freelance writer from Southern California. She specializes in home decor and home design trends, but also enjoys writing about natural medicine, crafting and meditation. To view more her writing, please visit her website. When she’s not writing you can find her doing yoga and trying out DIY jewelry and home improvement projects.
Let’s face it. Weddings, as sweet and lovely and full of gush and romance as they are, can be a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. Whether it be the work of outside forces (the dreaded stepmonster!) or internal itches (did I do all that could be done? Really?), stress does have a way of sneaking in to your pre-nuptial head and stirring the pot. Sometimes, there’s no way around a little stress on your big day, but thankfully, there are PLENTY of ways to keep it largely at bay. So, to help you keep peace of mind without losing your mind, here are 8 tricks from Dana LaRue of The Broke-Ass Bride to help save sanity and keep the party hoppin’!
1. Ditch your cell.
Whut?, you’re saying. But Dana, there’s nooooo wayyyyyy I could let my precious phone away from my death grip, especially not on my wedding day! Stop. No. Seriously, stop. Unplug. Power off. And hand it to a trusted friend who knows the inner workings of your wedding day or who is like Olivia Pope, but you know, your own personal Olivia Pope. Let her field the calls from the florist, who dropped the bouquets off in the garage – which is why no one can find them. Let her give Aunt Milly the encouragement she needs that there will indeed be a good spot for her to sit during the ceremony and yes, we did get her favorite bottle of brandy so she can drink during the reception. Let her hit ignore on the hundreds of phone calls wishing you well, so you can get your hairs all did up in peace. Just let the phone go and feel your sanity trickle back.
2. If it isn’t done by the week before, eff it.
Oh, DIY. You sneaky little nix nux. You have us convinced with your shiny Pinterest tutorials and 1-2-3 instructions that you will be oh, soooo easy and anyone, including our completely uncrafty selves, can have you mastered in just a moment’s notice! HA! DIY can be a great, fantastic and even cathartic way to save some skrilla for your big day, but sometimes its sanity-blowing properties will leave you seeing red. And so often, DIY projects are left for week-of projects, which, um, can be a huge mistake. I’ve heard many a horror story of brides tying twine and cutting confetti as guests are arriving for rehearsal dinners or as they are supposed to get ready. Yikes! Let built-in stress of families and logistics be your only worries the week of your wedding and make sure you get your DIY done well in advance. If it’s not, then it’s likely you don’t really need it and you should go ahead and spare yourself.
3. Make sure you do a hair/makeup trial.
Yes, even if you’re doing it yourself … maybe especially if you’re doing it yourself! You’ll want to take those locks for a road test to make sure the style holds, your veil or headpiece look rockin’ and you’re comfortable. Same with makeup. If you’re trying something new or daring, you’ll want to test it out ahead of time to make sure it’s not such a high-maintenance look that you’ll be staring in a mirror all night making adjustments instead of smoochin’ on your spouse.
4. Have a timeline.
And not just for the photographer or the evening’s events. Have one that includes the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and the morning of your wedding day. Break it down to when you’re going to eat (psst! This will actually help you remember to eat!), when you’re getting into your dress, when your bridesmaids are arriving, etc. Anything you think you’ll need any amount of time for – you can exclude bathroom visits, because, well … really?!? – have it on the list. Obviously, it may not be followed to the T when it comes down to it, but it serves not only as a good guideline, but a reminder of what needs to be done and may help get those things done efficiently.
5. Accept help.
Before Aunt Milly digs into that brandy, she may well be breathing down your neck to see what she can do to help you. Point her to the bridesmaid in charge of centerpieces and send her on her merry way. Dad constantly popping in to see if you need anything? Tell him a turkey sandwich would be awesome. People will offer to help you, and they will be doing so almost nonstop. So, let them. Give them something, anything, to do. It doesn’t matter if it really, truly needs to be done, but it will get them out of your hair and will make them feel like they are contributing.
6. Give yourself time.
Have an idea how long it will take you and your gaggle of bridesmaids to get from your hotel room to your venue? Double it. Then add this time to your working timeline. People always think it’ll “only take 15 minutes,” but when you add in a flock of females, shoes, dresses, accessories, emergency kits, tampons, purses … well, then your 15 has easily become 20. Allow yourself more time than you actually think you’ll need, and if you don’t use all those extra minutes? Awesome. You now have time for a glass of champagne!
7. But don’t underestimate your guests.
Under no circumstances, whatsoever, EVER, should you tell your guests to arrive early. Write what time the ceremony actually starts on the invitation and leave it at that. They’re big kids, they can handle the responsibility of punctuality. Telling them to arrive early only results in confusion, boredom and agitation. And no one wants that.
8. Have a back-up plan.
Shoes killing your feet after the photo sesh? Make sure you have your trusted flats or favorite flip-flops to swap those killer heels for. Those ominous clouds threatening to bring rain on your wedding day (Whaddup, Alanis!)? Grab umbrellas to set out during the ceremony, if a tent or inside option aren’t available. Slideshow’s audio system isn’t working? Have the music on a CD or flash drive you can hand to the DJ so the show can continue. If there is anything you’re having a niggling of a doubt about and it’s important to you, have a back-up plan. And share it with the necessary parties.
About the Author
Dana LaRue is the creator of The Broke-Ass Bride, helping brides use creativity as currency to rock bad-ass weddings without breaking the bank. Her sassy, savvy approach to weddings and money delivers entertaining and informative outside-the-box planning inspiration. Because it’s not about how much you spend, its how you spend it!
Pre-order The Broke Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide for more tips and tricks for hitting your budget!
We’ve got Thanksgiving desserts to lighten up your Holiday! Say goodbye to the holiday belly-bulge. You can finally have your cake, and eat it too! Here are your favorite thanksgiving flavors made into healthier dessert versions that will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your waist.
Pumpkin Pie Pudding
There’s nothing better on Thanksgiving than a great Pumpkin Pie; but just one slice can be filled with so many unnecessary calories. Try this delicious pudding! It not only saves you prep time but also cuts out the fat-filled crust.
Turkey Day Rice Crispy Treats
Rice Crispy Treats are already a healthier choice since they can be made fat-free very easily. Take a box of Rice Krispies (choose chocolate if you’re feeling adventurous!) On a hot stove, melt in a container of naturally fat free marshmallows. Once the marshmallows melt evenly, add a box of Rice Krispies cereal (grab a chocolate-flavored box if you’re feeling adventurous!) and stir until the ingredients combine. Place everything into a pan and let it cool. When it is fully cooled, cut out shapes and decorate the treats into adorable turkeys!
Gingered Butternut Squash Pie
This pie replaces the classic pumpkin with some healthier butternut squash while using ground-up ginger snap cookies in lieu of traditional pie crust. Although there’s a major ingredient change in the pie, this dessert will still have the classic orange color that is characteristic of Thanksgiving. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised by this healthy pie alternative!
Pear Upside Down Cake
This recipe contains walnut oil which contains omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy component that will help this recipe contain less fat and maintain all the moisture. Although made of fruit, this treat is still incredibly rich and indulgent and tastes as beautiful as it looks.
Apple Date and Ginger Crisp
The dates and apples contain fiber which help keep you full while ginger complements these ingredients as a noted anti-inflammatory and digestion aid. This dessert is one of the more creative but still delicious ways to end your Thanksgiving feast.
For more inspiration, check out Deposit a Gift’s Pinterest Page!
Let’s make bonding time with the kids fun for both of you. No TV family dinners sound like a drag. Get creative, active and maybe even a little competitive! Here are some of our favorite family activities for National Family Week during November 18-22.
Camping. We love this one because it’s so versatile! Can’t make it out of town? Use the backyard. Don’t have one? Build a fort in the living room. Turn off all the lights and “roast” marsh mellows in front of a fire.
Spend a day at the park. Get active with a game of Frisbee or freeze tag. Then reward your little one with some ice cream.
Game night. Beforehand, make some fun snacks together with the family. Get some ideas here! Then head to the living room and dive into a game of charades or Pictionary.
Never fear, brides-to-be! Morgan Gray, a writer based in New York, is here to save the day when it comes to wedding registry stress! As her sister’s maid of honor, she’s been helping her make some major decisions when it comes to her registry for her upcoming wedding, and I’m pretty much a pro now. Here are tips from Morgan that will help you and your soon-to-be-spouse create the right registry.
5 Steps to Registry Success
1. First thing’s first. Do you even want to register? It’s possible to have a lovely wedding, and to receive very thoughtful gifts, without even creating a registry. Couples are increasingly choosing to simply put up a website offering guests the opportunity to contribute to various items for their new shared life. A site like Deposit a Gift makes this kind of effort easy! It’s customizable, and you can connect it with all your various social networks.
For example, my cousin recently got married, and she and her husband used a site where family and friends could contribute towards their honeymoon. They put up items like airfare, hotel nights, and romantic dinners, and guests could designate which event or item they wanted their funds to go towards. It’s a nice way for guests to feel like they are a part of the newly wedding couple’s life together.
2. The next big question is: where do you want to register? It’s not easy to pick a store—or even a handful of stores! Do you and your fiancé love cooking? Hiking? Are you wine connoisseurs? Do you like to entertain? Thinking about these simple questions can help you to determine if you’d like to a) register at any specialty stores (like this one, my sister’s favorite) and b) focus on particular departments. Will you want basic, traditional gifts that you can use in your home day-to-day, like dishware or pots and pans? Do you prefer
more customized and unique presents? That’s another factor to consider when crafting your registry.
3. Now you have to think about how many places you want to register. It should definitely be no more than three. You risk confusing both yourself and your guests if you are registered at too many places—it’s hard to keep track of! Pick two or three and stick to it, even if guests nag you to register at another store! If they want to shop elsewhere, they’re welcome to. Just recommend they get a gift receipt to be safe.
4. What’s the best medium for your registry? Do you want guests to be shopping for you online or in the store? If they’re in-store, they’re more apt to see something else that catches their eye and go off-registry. On the other hand, if they’re shopping online, returns may be more difficult and involve shipping if the store isn’t in the area. Consider if you prefer one method over the other, and if not, go for both. Convenience and personal preference both come into play here.
5. Finally, once you’re all registered, how are you going to share the registry with your guests? My recommendation would be to send out the names of the places where you’re registered with the invitation—that’s what we did for my sister, and it’s been super effective so far. Of course, you’ll always have the grandmothers and aunts calling months in advance asking where you’re registered, but you can field those questions as they come.
All in all, don’t overthink it. Yes, these are items you will have in your home for years to come, but at the same time, have fun with it! It’s not meant to be high pressure. Remember, these are gifts. You’re not buying them, just enjoying them. Get what you want! With a bit of thought and care you’ll have a rockin’ registry that’s good to go!
About the Author
Morgan Gray is a writer from New York whose sister recently asked her to be the maid of honor to her wedding. The experience has left Morgan so inspired and all the more knowledgeable on everything wedding planning, which is why she is reaching out to the Deposit a Gift community. You can find her on her blog, Gray & Gabbana.
For American Education Week (November 18-22, 2013), we’ve compiled easy lunch ideas that work for everyone, from the working parent to the stay-at-home caretaker. While your time may be limited, that doesn’t mean your child needs to eat the same, mundane lunches day after day. Since these lunches can be made easily in under 20 minutes, you can say goodbye to the days of scrounging through containers of leftovers–your child’s brown bag lunches will look like they’ve been arranged by a pro!
The PB&J Puzzle
Your child will be so excited to dig into this treat that you’ll be lucky if it even makes it to the lunchroom! The classic PB&J sandwich can be a little more exciting when cut into fun shapes. The taste has always been a childhood favorite; now it can look as good as it tastes.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Surprise
This sandwich will be a burst of flavor once your child takes a bite into its delicious strawberries! The cream cheese adds depth to this meal by providing the necessary calcium and protein to keep your child going throughout the day.
Summer Pasta Salad
This is the perfect dish to brighten anyone’s day! To create a perfect pasta salad, choose your child’s three favorite colorful vegetables. The best thing about this dish is that any vegetable will work. To top it off, crumble some cheese around and you’ve got a perfectly-balanced lunch.
Super Star Sandwich with Side Salad
This dish works with any sandwich your kid loves. Turn a plain sandwich into a fun treat by cutting it out like a star! You can also try to encourage your little one to eat vegetables by packing a small bag filled with romaine lettuce or mixed greens and a plastic container filled with dressing.
Protein Power Lunch
Cheese, eggs, and avocado will keep your kid fueled for a long day ahead. The mix of calcium, protein, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids will ensure your child is satisfied and full!
Recipe Redo: Leftover Chicken Salad Sandwich
Turn last night’s leftover chicken into a chicken salad sandwich that your child will be sure to love! First, cut up the chicken very finely, add a bit of mayo and spices, mix in some celery for crunch, and spread on the condiment of choice.
For more inspiration, check out Deposit a Gift’s Pinterest Page!
There’s no better time to jet set to a new country to learn the language and explore the culture than when you’re in college. Studying abroad is one of the most exciting things you will do! Unfortunately, packing is one of the least. Here are a few tips to keep you happy abroad.
What to Keep in Mind
- Resist the urge to pack everything. We know it’s hard but paying an additional $125 for overweight luggage is even harder. The general rule is if you haven’t worn it in 2 months, chances are you’re not going to wear it abroad. Plus, you’ll want to leave room for all the souvenirs you’ll bring back!
- Huge rain jackets protect you, but they also eat up valuable luggage space. Tank tops and long sleeve shirts are easy to layer and provide several more outfit options.
- No one likes doing laundry, especially 20 year olds exploring exotic new countries. Extra underwear and socks go a long way.
- Don’t forget the basics! A good pair of walking shoes, a hat, flip flops (for hostel showers or lounge wear), sunglasses, and a phrase book will save you on many occasions.
- You may have a special occasion you don’t know about yet: a date, networking event, party, etc. There’s always room in your luggage for at least one snazzy outfit.
- Your carry-on luggage should have a week’s worth of clothing. Just because you’re headed to Italy, doesn’t mean so is your luggage. Embrace your inner boy scout. Always be prepared.
Do Your Research
- What’s the weather like this time of year? Do you need an umbrella or sunscreen? Aside from weather, researching the culture is crucial. What’s considered inappropriate or unacceptable? What’ll make you stand out (not always in a good way)? Reading about behavioral norms and social situations will prove incredibly helpful. However, the first impression you give is heavily influenced by how you dress.
- Sweat pants are not an acceptable form of daily wear at college campuses in China. Men’s swimsuits are considered strange at many of France’s beaches, sometimes even banned. Every country has its own set of style rules. Avoid stares and awkward situations by doing research.
Things to Ditch
- Shampoo and conditioner. They weigh a lot and are relatively easy to purchase.
- Expensive jewelry. By the end of the trip, they’ll be broken, lost, or stolen.
- Your hair dryer/electric razor that doesn’t have a dual voltage. Converters, adapters, and transformers will become your best friends.
- Anything dry-clean only!
Now off you go! An exciting new world awaits. You just need to get through the next 12 or so hours. Luckily, you can kill time reading your awesome new phrase book.
Has your organization or school been talking about utilizing crowdfunding to take their fundraising efforts to a new level, engage more people and raise more than ever before? But maybe your team isn’t sure where to start, how to set it up, or what features to include. This printable flyer may help move the conversation forward to learn how to make it work for you!
Also, listen to this podcast of our founder, Dana, talking about crowdfunding on Nonprofit Radio. She offers concrete tips for the best ways to set up your fundraising site, as well as how to market it to success. If you need support or have questions, please write us for personal assistance.
Are you always scrambling to meet deadlines? Or struggling to find the time to study and do so effectively? If so, you are not alone! It’s easy to feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.
While making the best use of your time is extremely important, it can be a challenge in today’s world. We are exposed to so many distractions and sometimes it’s just plain hard to say no to those. Friends, TV and the Internet are just a few examples of stuff that can get in the way. Improving your time management and study skills can help you gain control over those distractions and make your life a lot less stressful.
Good time management is the ability to manage your time effectively. That’s simple enough right? Not really! Mastering this simple concept is often easier said than done. Here are 5 helpful tips on how to improve your time management:
Get a planner- A planner can be tremendously helpful in getting you organized.
Make lists- Making lists in your planner will help you to see everything that needs to be done.
Prioritize- As you make lists, you will want to prioritize. Do the most important work first.
Limit distractions- If you have something that needs to be done, keep the phone and TV off so those distractions can’t hinder you.
Get enough sleep- Don’t overdo it! Make sure you are sleeping enough so that you don’t have to work on low energy levels.
Study skills are the capabilities and methods used in learning. While good study skills are essential to success, it is often hard to practice these skills. Here are 3 easy tips on how to improve your study skills:
Have the proper study environment.- Let’s be honest, we all love to study while sitting on the couch with the TV on. However, that’s probably not the best way to study effectively. You will want to make sure you have a quiet study environment with no distractions.
Don’t just memorize- Have you ever studied and then within a few hours can’t remember anything you went over? That’s because you just memorized everything, which is what most of us tend to do. It is important to take the time to actually learn and apply the material you study.
Take breaks- It is essential to take frequent breaks so that you don’t get burned out. Studying for hours and hours without a break can make it harder to focus and absorb the material. If you start feeling like you need a break, take one!
These tips on how to improve your time management and study skills are easy and effective. Putting these helpful suggestions into practice can lead you to great success and a more stress free life.
Crowdfunding is all about engagement. What better way to engage your supporters than by offering them something in exchange for their contribution? We provide a great tool that allows you to create a list of rewards (sometimes referred to as perks!) or sponsorship levels on your campaign site as a way to thank contributors for their support.
Rewards are a fantastic way to show supporters your appreciation, and they can also act as an incentive for them to give since they are promised something in return. Here is a guide on how to offer rewards for your campaign.
Tips for Rewards
- You want to offer rewards that are relevant to your campaign.
- Make sure the reward is something that you will be able to follow-through with.
- Offer rewards at various contribution levels.
Step-By-Step: Add Rewards or Sponsorships To Your Campaign:
Step 1: Click the ‘Edit Site’ link on your dashboard. This takes you to your Site Manager.
Step 2: Once on your Site Manager, click ‘Contribute’ to access the ‘Edit Contribute’ page.
Step 3: On the ‘Edit Contribute’ page, scroll down and click the ‘Add New Sponsorship/Reward’ button.
Step 4: This triggers the Image Bank where you can either choose an image or upload your own. Make sure to choose the image that best represents the reward or sponsorship you are offering. Once you decide on an image, click the ‘Add Image(s) To Fundraiser’ button.
Step 5: Once the image has been added to your list of sponsorships/rewards, you will want to fill out the Name and Description fields. This is where you name your reward and offer more detail about what they will receive. For example, a free t-shirt or signed copy of your new book. Next, check the ‘Create Sponsor/Reward’ box; this will trigger fields for the price of the reward and the quantity that you want to make available Finally, you will want to click the ‘Save’ button. That is a very important step that you don’t want to forget!
After you hit save, you can add more rewards by clicking the ‘Add New Sponsorship/Reward’ button again, repeating the process explained in Step 5.
Once you have added all the rewards you want to offer, you can see them live on your site! They will be visible as a list on your homepage as well as on the Contribute page under the ‘Contribute’ box as shown below.
Taking advantage of our rewards and sponsorships tool can be very beneficial for your campaign to add extra motivation, so have fun dreaming up what you can offer! If you would like assistance using our rewards tool, feel free to contact the Deposit a Gift team. We’re happy to help in any way we can.