13 Gifts For Travelers That Give Back

Traveling is all I ever want to be doing. To have a constant stream of flights and itineraries to keep up with is my dream. Alas, the holiday season is upon us and while I’m one to advocate for donating to charitable causes over buying crap for folks, I guess doing both is OK too. But even better is finding fun travel-related gifts that give back!

Continue reading “13 Gifts For Travelers That Give Back”

Embrace Life

With all the tragedies hitting our news feeds lately, it’s easy to get caught up in all the sadness in this world. We must remember to band together and fight fear and anger with love and love and love and love and…puppies.

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How can that not make you smile? Pups have so much pure happiness, it’s so freakin’ heartwarming.

Embrace your friends.

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Get a tattoo.

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Recreate a childhood photo.

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Laugh at how awkward prom was.

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Send some snail mail.

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Give back to charity.

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Express your true feelings.

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And EMBRACE LIFE!

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Even if you fall down…

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…someone is always there to lift you back up.

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Spread kindness and cheer, xo

Jackie

Thursday’s Thoughts: Marriage

Update: This piece was featured on Thought Catalog! Click here to share!


Planning a wedding was something I never dreamed about. I never spent days as a youngster pining over what my dress would look like or where my wedding would be or WHO, if anyone, I would actually be marrying. Marriage just isn’t on my list of things to do before I inevitably croak. Partially because I have never wanted kids (still don’t) and so I’m like, what’s the point and, also, I would just absolutely hate a huge, crazy wedding. And yet as I approach my mid-twenties and find friends getting engaged and married, I’ve found myself thinking about the big M.

And while a lot of folks have lists of things they NEED for a wedding, I present to you a list of things I absolutely don’t want if and when I say, ‘I do.’

1. I don’t want a diamond ring.

A princess-cut diamond ring doesn’t mean anything to me. I’m not a cookie cutter kind of a girl (though I do LOVE cookies) and a big, fat diamond isn’t going to make me happy. The fact that men are encouraged to spend thousands on a ring is absurd. Did y’all hear about the guy who proposed with his wisdom tooth set in a ring?! That shit is my jam. I think that’s amazing. I’m not saying I want my future fiancé to yank a tooth just for me…but I think it’d be nice to have something more meaningful. A ring to look at and know that it couldn’t have been given to me by anyone else. Something symbolic and quirky. The size of the ring does not equal the size of the love.

2. I don’t want a public engagement.

Let me re-phrase. I do want people to know we’re engaged, I just don’t want to be proposed to in front of others. I think it’s utterly unromantic. Pop the question in bed, without a ring, just spur of the moment.

3. I don’t want your last name.

A marriage is an equal partnership. You fell in love with me, not my name (hopefully). So it shouldn’t be a huge deal that I want to keep it. I’m an only child and my dad doesn’t have brothers. I’m the last limb on my family tree and I refuse to drop my identity. I wouldn’t ask the man I marry to change his name. That’d be so weird! Plus, I hear the whole name-change process involves a lot of paperwork and I just don’t have time for that. Sorry! (But not really.)

4. I don’t want a registry.

Since when does getting married also involve your guests furnishing your home with an abundance of toasters and duvet covers? Registries seriously make me laugh. And then make me ‘grrrr’ with frustration. Oh, you want a set of coasters and some knives and a welcome mat and a $700 mirror that you can look in together and see how adorable of a couple you make? Eeek! Since when did marriage become so materialistic? I vow to never, ever have a registry. Luckily, more couples are choosing to request charitable donations over gifts which I think is absolutely awesome. Isn’t that a great way to start a life together? By choosing a cause you can both get behind and encouraging others to give back, it sets a super positive tone for not just the day, but for the rest of your married life. Yay!

5. I don’t want a conventional wedding or marriage ceremony.

Shocker, right? I’m weird, quirky and spontaneous and I want my wedding to reflect that. I think people often get too caught up with the wedding part that they forget the whole point of it is to celebrate a marriage. The flowers, the cake, the dress, the DJ vs band debate — all of it is madness! Remember to KISS! Keep it simple, stupid! Nobody likes a bridezilla anyway. Get married in a romper, standing in a field of daisies, with a random hitchhiker you picked up to be the witness! Be unconventional! It’s more memorable, less stressful, and probably way more fun.

Also, the idea of having an actual marriage ceremony in front of a group of onlookers, who are probably just counting down the minutes until the open bar (let’s be real), makes me want to run away, elope and have a [small!!!] celebration weeks later. I hate the idea of rushing from having just been married to immediately celebrating with everyone. It’s too much! We need to give ourselves time to reflect and really take in these special moments.

Of course, every person should have the wedding they want. If that’s a big bash, go for it. But the media tends to cultivate and highlight the flashy, extravagant, crazy engagements and weddings that people have and it’s not fair for these to become the normal expectations.

Let’s celebrate the different ways we do things and not all aspire to become carbon copies of everyone else!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie