Gratitude for Beginners · How to's · The Street · Weddings & Receptions

Your Wedding Day Time Capsule Awaits

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” -Dr. Suess

We all know Dr. Suess is right, we just don’t necessarily act on this knowing, especially when in the midst of wedding planning.  And while beautiful wedding day photos and a professionally edited video are wonderful to look back on too, they do not re-connect us emotionally in the same way as a personal message tucked inside a wedding day time capsule does.

I’ve collected a few ideas to help you incorporate some type of time capsule into your wedding day.  Confession, we did not do this on our wedding day – not because we decided against it, but because we were not aware of it.  [And I absolutely am sufficiently cornball/romantic to have included this.] So heads-up, David. I am thinking of including some version of this into our lives now – almost 2 years post wedding day.

There are two ways couples usually incorporate the time capsule idea into their wedding day:  “Day of” ceremony time capsule or a Guestbook time capsule.

“Day of” Time Capsule

Supplies:  A box & paper.

Really, the supplies required do not create too high a bar, even for those of us who are DIY-averse or flat-out-of-time.  We have some options on Taylor Street for boxes & stationery that will not only add symbolic significance to the occasion, but also create a true wedding day keepsake.  A shoebox with blank paper or note cards, however, will do just fine.

Boxes:  Both of these keepsake boxes could first be used for your wedding reception, so they would not only be pulling double duty, they would have the added significance of having been a part of your wedding day itself.


Tin Box with Blackboard Panel Display


Vintage Inspired Wood Case with Hinged Lid

Paper:  There are many awesome stationery alternatives available for you to consider.  We have a few for that would work well, like these:

Dandelion Wishes Note Card
Fleur De Lis Note Card

The directions are straightforward. You each write a love letter to your soon-to-be spouse, expressing your feelings on this day — your wedding day — what you are most excited about, your hopes, what is most important to you about this day, and why & when you fell in love with him/her. You know, the emotional kind of “stuff”.

[And this idea is really awesome for a blended family ceremony – including your children in on the time capsule by adding their own notes makes it even more memorable.  And, it creates a potential family tradition with the opening of the time capsule and its periodic updating.]



Guestbook time capsule

This version has you asking guests to write you a note on a postcard you provide and drop it in your “time capsule” to be opened on your 1st anniversary.  This invites your guests to participate in a way that a guest book signature does not.  Here are a couple of ideas for collecting your postcards.

Acrylic Box Card Holder




Wine Barrel Card Holder


Kick it up a notch:  So a year has passed and you’ve opened up your time capsule on your one year anniversary.  You’ve read your letters over a glass of wine and eaten what remains of your wedding cake.  So now what?! Here are a few ideas for what to add for “the next time” — regardless of what time capsule option you decided on — for your 5 year anniversary, 10 year, … or whatever year you agree to re-open it.

  1. Take a picture of the two of you with the time capsule the day you open it up & include it for the next time;
  2. Include that day’s front page from your local paper or print-out from your favorite news source;
  3. Write about:
    1. The hardest moments you faced as a couple your first year;
    2. Your favorite memory of year one;
    3. A goal or prediction for the next time you open your time capsule;
  4. Write another personal note to each other.

You get the idea, there are lots of things you could include.  Just don’t make this list so long that it gets tedious.

Close it up, store it somewhere safe.  Done.

This may become a ritual that you continue the rest of your lives or it may be something you enjoy once and set aside. Regardless, your notes to each other or notes from your friends & family will become something you will be able to look back on, reflect & reminisce when you do happen upon it – especially after it has gathered dust for years.  Your children may also enjoy the opportunity to glimpse a bit more about you as well, in your own writing and in your own words … “when you were young”.

Life goes by pretty fast and if you are like me, unless we force some pauses along the way to reflect and reconnect, we miss some awesome & inspiring moments, unique opportunities to really connect with each other.

Your time capsule may help you both re-connect, to a younger you and to each other.  Sweet.


Gratitude for Beginners · holidays · The Street

All American Family

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Tired of the SEO-optimized click-bait titles and bored by breathless Black Friday pre-sale announcements?

Me too. 

Add in 24/7 race-to-the-bottom political news and it’s tempting to just give-in to the sky-is-falling-so-might-as-well-get-used-to-it voice in my head and trudge silently toward December.  Tempting, but that’s an excuse to not do this Thanksgiving post I’ve committed to.  And I absolutely believe in Yoda’s “do or do not, there is no try” attitude-is-everything philosophy.  So I write.  My topic — giving thanks this Thanksgiving.

I am giving thanks to family – my family.

This year, Thanksgiving itself will be a very small gathering.  The reasons are many.  The larger local family is adjusting to a new marriage and the restructuring this brings.  With new additions to guest lists and newlywed hosts at the helm, we could sense the anxiety and ambivalence of having a really large group for dinner and graciously excused ourselves.

Our parents are also not joining us this year. My father’s worsening dementia makes it difficult for him to enjoy gatherings.  The disease makes it increasingly hard for him to have a conversation, and that plus the noise and unfamiliar surroundings causes him to withdraw. I will instead have a Thanksgiving lunch with him at his facility.  David’s mom is unable to travel by air, is unable to drive herself here, and is too far away for us to drive her to us and back.  FaceTime will have to do.

So it will be David and me, our son and one other adult, someone who consistently and passionately works (and it can be work) to remain involved in our 12 year old’s life.  He will be with us for a few days over Thanksgiving, and we are so glad that he will be here.  He is family.

He is as family as it gets in my world.  He continues to choose by his actions to be involved, to listen, to make spending time with us a priority.  He wants to.  Not many adults show that dedication and loyalty.

What defines your family?

David’s and my family is not defined by blood, it is defined by commitment.  Our family is defined by trust and support.  We care about, care for and look out for each other.

Big picture — families, however they form, are a reflection of the effort its members put into maintaining and encouraging them.  Their spirit and relevance are a direct result of a concerted effort.  Most importantly, families are worth celebrating, especially those families that do not fit neatly into a traditional definition, are seldom acknowledged, and sometimes marginalized.  These diverse & modern families are American families too.

Who will your family include this Thanksgiving? Will there be new members, whether because of relationship or circumstance changes?  Or, are you about to “be that newbie” in someone else’s family? Either way, let’s all plan to not just try, but to do — and take one definite action step that will demonstrate the importance of your family to you and how glad you are to be a part of your family this year.  Someday, they might be all the family you’ve got — and, as it turns out, all the family you’ll need.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude for Beginners · LGBTQ · The Street

Why We Love June (and you should, too!)

It’s our wedding anniversary month (!),

It’s Father’s Day & I have two amazing sons (!!),  and…

…it’s Pride month!   Happy Pride!


Plenty to celebrate, and since Taylor Street is all about celebrating, we love June!

There is a common thread to these celebrations, and to all celebrations — and that is the sense of community each promotes.   There is a sense of belonging and acceptance — and love — that is created when you and I take time to honor tradition, our families, our respect for one-another.  And while modern families are increasingly diverse, at their core they remain much the same…



So we are going to share stories of people and their celebrations — of all types — this next year.  Why?  We will support the sense of community, celebrate its members, and strengthen our collective bond.  Because, as Lin -Manuel Miranda said in his amazing acceptance speech, “Love is love”, nothing here is promised – not one day.


#loveislove #NoH8 #lovewins #LGBTPride #Pride



Gratitude for Beginners · The Street

A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way



I haven’t written a post in awhile  — since November 8 I haven’t felt inspired, honestly — not an okay space to set up shop and wallow in for long.  So, just in case you too find yourself motivation-challenged, I’ve linked to three recent posts from a few of my favorite sources that are helping me to get up and go — to work.

Parisian Walkways:  Passage du Grand-Cerf, by Jeffrey T Iverson


I love reading this online magazine.  I mean – it’s Paris!  But more than the city itself, this article’s inspiration comes from the small shop owners, who have taken a chance, focused on their trade, and believe in the value of a well-made item.  These artisans take pride in their work and the master-craft traditions they preserve. Many of them also set up shop originally when this passage was a neglected eye-sore and stuck with it.  These stories helped to reenergize my passion for Taylor Street Favors, our wedding favors and gift business, whose inclusive message may become less accepted, making it ever more important for us to stick with it and promote.  


 What I’ve Learned In 38 Years Of Surrounding Myself With Confident People


This inspiring article, from Fast Company contributor, Michael Thompson, ticks off 7 qualities he’s picked up from the confident people who have been a part of his life.  I was nodding in agreement as I read.

Finding joy in others success, and celebrating it with friends and family, is so important – both to your friend [duh!], and to your well-being as well.  The act of celebrating is empowering – doing so makes you, your friends, and family happier and stronger.  

As Michael quoted in his piece from Kareem Abdul Jabbar, truly confident people just want “to play the game well and go home”.  In the wedding industry, trend spotting and trend-following are omnipresent, so Kareem’s notion of not requiring other people’s approval really resonates with me, which connects me to my third inspirational piece, on…

 The 17 Hottest Wedding Trends for 2017


Articles pertaining to trends in this industry are  e v e r y w h e r e, and not surprisingly  often repeat the same tedious do’s and dont’s of the season. David and I believe strongly in helping you create a ceremony, a reception, or a party that feels authentic to you. We believe that just because some look, color or theme is trending does not mean it is worthy of following or repeating. However, we don’t live under a rock. We do like, and need to have, an awareness of what is going on in this industry to be able to keep our store fresh and relevant.  I think this article does a good job of providing an overview without gushing or selling you on any particular view.  Most importantly for me – these trends are not a surprise, and I am realizing David and I are getting quite adept at hand-selecting items that are well made, a good value, and will be interesting to our customers.  Woo hoo!

Here’s to confidence in all you — and we — do. 

Let’s aim high and do this.

Gratitude for Beginners · The Street

Gratitude For Beginners Post #2: Simple Pleasures


This practicing gratitude exercise is much more difficult than I had anticipated. In my effort to find a rhythm, a framework, topics, [anything!], I’ve scoured the internet (and my own well-intentioned collection of self-help, self-actualization and positivity books…).  I eventually found Marelisa Fabrega and her Daring to Live Fully site.  Maybe because her message is not too ooey-wooey, or maybe because she and I share an interest in Reiki, her writing voice and attitude clicked with me, and helped me to get unstuck.  She posted a series of gratitude prompts, and I plan to use some as a jumping off point — starting with today.  

I Am Grateful for These 3 Simple Pleasures

1. quiet time at 4:30 a.m.

Shout-out to my fellow 4:30 a.m.’ers.  I do not spring from bed at this hour.  It is not without a struggle that I slowly pull myself up and out.  Sometimes I am not successful and wait for a later 6 a.m. call-to-action.  But I am, nevertheless truly grateful for this quiet time of the day – often my only quiet time of the day.  I miss it when I don’t have it – and it shows…ask David.


2. morning walks with David and our dogs

As daily chores go, this one is complicated — involving multiple steps even before leaving the house.  It centers around a ritualized routine that I’ve given up trying to summarize for you as it is just too complicated and, I realize now, makes us sound batshit crazy.  Ultimately, David and I and the dogs end up on one of a few close-by routes.  Though sometimes David and I walk mostly in silence, more often we talk about the website, our son, wedding plans, aging parent issues, presidential elections — stuff.  What I am grateful for is the time together.  Time to enjoy our dogs.  Time that we are not distracted by our phones or our son.  Time that helps us to reconnect with each other, appreciate central California, and just talk.   A time that encourages us to slow down and be present.


3. right to marry the person I love

Just a few months ago we, and many inclusive, fair-minded adults around the U.S., were celebrating this giant step toward full equality as anything but a “simple pleasure.”  But really — when separated from the long and difficult struggle to achieve it — this right is the simplest of pleasures; one that most couples have not ever had to even think about not having.  It is so basic a right that it does not register as something to be grateful for being able to do.  I look forward to a time when same-sex couples need to be reminded to list the right to marry on their gratitude lists because it will have become so unsurprising and so unremarkable that it will be just as overlooked and taken-for-granted.

Next-up — finding three life lessons I am grateful to have already learned, I think.  

Gratitude for Beginners · The Street

Gratitude for beginners: 52 weeks of non-cheesy gratitude.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.57.42 PM

I promise to never use the word “blessed”.  The goal:  be more aware of all I have in my life to celebrate and be grateful for and keep it interesting for you and me.  Can I focus sufficiently to make this happen for a full year?  There are always reasons to not write, and some of them sound pretty good to me as a Friday deadline approaches. There is a risk.  I also know that changing behavior is more successful, and usually more fun, when you do it with a buddy, so I am asking you to participate.  Comment, question, share…add a link to a resource you’ve found helpful.

This won’t be just about weddings or favors and gifts either.  David or I will at least once each week use this space to celebrate something – some big things but many small ones — that we are grateful for in our lives.   It might be an amazing experience with a customer or someone we work with or just a personal reflection.

Why gratitude?  Why not just journal these privately and be done with it?  Because I know me well enough to head directly into those tasks that make me squirm.  That’s where the growth is.  I am squirming at the thought of sharing all of this.  I also know that gratitude is a key ingredient — maybe THE key ingredient — to success in business and life.  Intellectually I get it.  Emotionally, it still feels cornball.  As David and I push to grow this business while managing our family responsibilities, plan our wedding and find time for ourselves and each other, it is far too easy to focus on the problems and set backs — a [very] common dilemma. And there is the SECOND BIG reason to do this… I am skeptical.  Can I make writing about my experience interesting even though Google says there are at least 5.5 million results out there discussing this gratitude stuff.  I know that just because I am not the first to this topic does not make it less worthy of my attention, but can I make it worthy of your attention?

Here we go.

This Week’s Shout-out  — our California CoastlineScreen Shot 2016-01-08 at 2.04.37 PM

David’s mom stayed with us over the holiday and we decided to drive to a couple of coastal tourist destinations that we never seem to get to unless guests are visiting — Santa Barbara and Hearst Castle.  I never, ever, ever get tired of the view from Hearst Castle!  Sparkling blue water, big blue sky and rolling hills in all directions. It certainly helped that it was 60 degrees and sunny too.   And while our day in Santa Barbara was more overcast, we still were able to eat lunch on the pier outside and people/boat/seagull watch.  There is a vibe that is unmistakeable around piers, especially ones along the California coast.  They all feel a bit different, but share a laid back, touristy energy that makes me want to go walk out to the end of the pier every time.

We miss our Portland friends and Belmont neighborhood, but are so glad to be back in California near the amazing Pacific.   We plan to create a central coast theme for our wedding & reception as well — looking to recreate this unique central coast feeling.  Clever huh!  We will focus on local artisans, local wines and California style barbecue and food related items.  We also are creating [or should I say “curating” since so many people do that these days…] a central coast wedding theme section for Taylor Street Favors for you to explore.  Let us know if you’ve got any product suggests for this section too.

First week done.  Gotta go.