The Street

Totally Totes

The absolute-must-have bridesmaid gift this fall is totes.  Now, we all know, the tote does not have to be just for the bridal party – even though they do make great bridesmaids gifts. You should have one, your mom should have one, even your awesome gay BFF should have one! Taylor Street has all kinds of totes to choose from that can make exceptional birthday, anniversary and baby shower gifts. To start you off here are a few I think you will tote-ally love.

41042-45-w_annie-stripe-tote-in-goldb72772ee68f0259cc3b2237c98c292a1__46252.1498088627.jpg
Annie Stripe Tote – Metallic Gold

Starting with the Annie Stripe Tote. This is a beautiful and stylish bag that comes in Metallic Gold or Metallic Black. Fitting everything from gym shoes to a weekend getaway outfit. With a couple of books and a bottle of wine tucked into the interior pocket it’s the perfect I’m so getting out of town this weekend. bag. It can be personalized with a single initial to make it totally you. Built with burnished grommets and leather handles  the gold stripes on natural canvas make this a stylish yet practical bag to have.

4493-10-w_dalmation-dot-tote-black-on-whitef5b6b46ebd6328c9d9ad71fa68ec408a__82097.1472235552.jpg
Dalmatian Dot Tote – Black on White

You can say a lot about the politics of Cruella Deville, but she rocked fashion. This black and white bag has all the markings of a 101 Dalmatian inspired tote. This on point canvas and lightweight bag with rope handles makes a great gift for the lover of all things black and white. It’s distinctive, comfortable and stylish. You’ll love being spotted with this Dalmatian tote at your side.

4492-10-w_geo-prism-tote-black-on-whitec0d379e766582fbba2c1775725677336__10987.1472249823.jpg
Geo Prism Tote – Black on White

Another Black and White favorite – the Geo Prism Tote – Black on White. Personalized with a modern monogram this tote, with it’s rope handle, is tote-ally styling! This distinctive, lightweight canvas tote features a snap magnet closure and soft dual rope handles that provide comfort for the hands and the shoulders. Why get one just for the bridesmaids – you deserve something this beautiful too!

111490__86807.1473789369.jpg
Personalized Brown Striped Faux Leather Oversized Weekender Tote

Everyone wants to get away for that weekend “up north” or “down south” trip, right? So, why not give a gift that suggests Grab me and go! This weekender tote features a removable cross-body strap, a zippered inner pocket with two open pockets, and faux leather accents. Perfect for causal and sophisticated travel plans. A versatile accessory that you, and your gift-y, will absolutely love.

We have many totes to choose from – Personalized, Black or Grey, Striped Canvas Oversized Weekender Tote, Tropical Beach Tote BagsGold Foil Team Bride Canvas Tote, Personalized Brown Faux Leather Weekender Tote and so many more. Here’s a quick search link to get you started. Whatever direction you choose to tote it will be totally totes. Yes, Yes I did just tote-ally do that.

Life Planning · The Street

Your FIRST MONEY meeting

the-power-of-imagination-1

This is advice “for the rest of your life” – ah yes…that part…the part after your wedding.  And as important as your wedding is (or was), this topic is so much more critical to your long term happiness.  I promise, stick with me through my “Money Meetings” blog posts and you will:

  • create a basic money management system
  • create & implement a realistic budget, and
  • set some longer term goals along with a plan to fund them.

Most of what’s written for recently engaged and newlywed couples is so generic and overly-simplified that you’ll forget about it the moment you are done reading.  Not mine – I suggest specific action steps to get you started. And, though obviously not the only way to approach these financial challenges, I provide what I believe to be “a good way”, and a proven way.  Also, everyone’s personal situation is unique, and your specifics are obviously not a part of this “one-way” communication. So, take what you need, modify if you want, but DO IT.

As a Registered Life Planner, I’ve had an opportunity to work with many couples entering, modifying and exiting relationships of varying types – and never has a person said that the time spent discussing shared and individual goals, finances and budgets was not time well spent.

STEP ONE:  Please forward this or print it out and hand it to your significant other as a way of introducing the meeting and making sure you both start with a shared understanding.  You must both be open to the idea of discussing your financial future.  If you can not agree to discuss, I suggest hiring a counselor / CFP / Registered Life Planner to provide guidance to get you started.

And no, it is not “too late” if you have been living together for awhile already, or if you married one or more years ago and are now just getting around to this.  Now is always a good time. 

STEP TWO:   Agree on a specific day/time/location to discuss your finances for one hour.

This can be over a glass (bottle) of wine, coffee, tea — probably on a weekend, with privacy, and few distractions [cell phones and pets are uninvited].  Planning to discuss  while laying in bed just before going to sleep is bad.  Why an hour?  Having a specific amount of time will keep the meeting from creating too much anxiety and will, hopefully, keep you more-or-less on task.

STEP THREE:  You are going to write some stuff down — you need a dedicated resource to document these meetings.  Flip a coin for who takes notes first [there are 6 meetings, so you’ll get equal turns].  You are writing down, at a minimum:  date & time of meeting, agreements reached, commitments made (to each other and to yourselves), unanswered questions to research, to-do’s for next meeting & date and time of next meeting.  Yes, this is old school – I am requesting a college ruled, bound binder, not your phone’s note taking app.  No need to go get a “budget binder” or some overly-structured pre-formatted “system”.  You can do that later if you decide together that you want one.

The goal of meeting #1:  Agree on the framework you will use to manage your finances as a couple for the next year.  

joker_money_burn

Why a year?  First, the topic of money may be emotionally charged for one or the both of you, and agreeing on an open ended commitment to an arrangement that may be both new, and a bit unnerving, makes it less likely you will reach agreement.  Keeping the door open to change by placing a one-year deadline on this will help.  And it is a good pattern to begin now regardless — by that I mean having regularly scheduled times to discuss & modify family “stuff” like money, budgets & long term goals that otherwise often don’t ever get discussed.  [Annual financial reviews are a great idea, and regular mini-meetings can help to course-correct before issues get too big, but I will address in meeting 6.]

I also am providing three basic “framework” options from which you will choose (though there are many variations that could work just fine):

Option A.  “Individual Account Option”  You each maintain separate checking/savings accounts into which paychecks are deposited.  You each fund a “joint account” with a specific amount on a recurring basis to pay “joint” expenses, paying individual expenses from your individual accounts

Option B.  “Joint Account Option”  You create joint checking & savings accounts into which all paychecks are deposited.  All expenses are paid from these accounts.

Option C.  “Hybrid Account Option”  You create joint checking & savings accounts into which all paychecks are deposited.  Joint expenses are paid from this account, as well as individual “allowances” you each receive from which you pay individual expenses and personal expenditures of your choosing.

Now notice – you are not discussing individual expense items right now – that’s a future meeting.  Your goal is to agree on and create just the framework that you both will use, for the next year, for transactingmonitoring and reviewing family income and expenses.

Now that you know the primary goal of this first meeting, here are important details:

Start your meeting by expressing to each other:

1.  your biggest fears about money;

2.  your aspirations for you as a couple regarding financial goals – 5 to 10 years out;

3.  what you believe you do well when it comes to managing money;

4.  what is the first weakness/past mistake that comes to mind when it comes to money and budgets.

This may or may not provide some previously unknown information, but it is intended to help you focus your thoughts and connect with each other.  There is no one “in charge” of this process – it is a shared responsibility at this point.  Listen with an intent to understand, not to reply, and no interrupting.

Then outline together what is happening with your cash now right now.  Just a quick summary of what happens currently with the money coming into the “family unit” [paychecks] & how bills are paid — both bills that may have both of your names on them as well as bills that have only one name on them — ALL bills. This is to make sure you both have the same mental picture of the “flow of things”.  Discuss “the why” of this arrangement, and your individual thoughts on how it is working and what could be done to improve this. This might provide some insight into why you each prefer one of the three checking account options over the other two, and may help create a shared vision as a couple.

Now you may (happily) find that you can easily agree on option A, B, or C, but often there will be some disagreement, particularly if talking about money is new to one or both of you or if there is a large difference in individual incomes and/or expenses (student loans, health related expenses, extended family obligations).

NOTE:  If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable during this — or any — money meeting:  Immediately announce that you are feeling this way & remind each other that neither of you [ and none of us – N O N E ! ]  is without issues when it comes to money.  {see points #1 & 4 above} Whether difficult or not, it is beyond important to know each other’s financial situation and pain-points when it comes to money.  Just get your “stuff” on the table – knowing it will be received with kindness and handled with care.

IMG_5736

That is it for meeting #1!  Next up – figuring out a budget.  Don’t let this meeting end without making sure you’ve agreed on what needs to be done next — your personal action steps.  New accounts need to be opened? Names added to existing ones? New checks ordered/debit cards requested (or destroyed!).  What information do you each need to bring to the next [budget] meeting?  And just when is the next meeting anyway?  And since it is all written down in your Money Meetings Binder, you both know just where to look if you forget… .

And remember – the goal of marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.

Questions or comments, please send them to me at derek@tsfavors.com.

 

Gifts · The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials

Raise Your Glass-ware

Choosing glassware for your wedding table, reception or bar can feel like a daunting task. There are many types and styles out there to choose from and wedding glassware is an item that you, and your guests, will hold onto long after. Remember, as with all things wedding, have some fun and don’t over think it.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Champagne Flutes.

When it comes to toasting with your significant someone, select something unique just for the two of you. Stemless or stemmed, champagne flutes are the crown jewel of toasting. You will bring these beautiful glasses out every year on your anniversary and reminisce about that amazing day you first raised your glass as a married couple.

modern-stemless-flutes-with-silver-ombre-fade-cheers-2__46462.1500941970.jpg
Modern Stemless Champagne Flutes Silver Ombre Cheers Etched

Gold rimmed.

Gold rimmed is a nice choice because of its elegance and simplicity. From flutes to wine glasses, gold rims make a statement – and a little goes a long way. Gold works with everything and if you decide to get it personalized, go for something simple and specific to the two of you. A quote or nicknames works well.

TS-G9542-T026-LOVE-WINS-P__68473.1496254525.jpg
“LOVE WINS” Stemless Wine Glass with Gold Rim – 21oz

Vintage.

Vintage glassware is great when you want a pop of bohemian or an eclectic vibe. The awesome thing with vintage is that it feels romantic without trying too hard, and if you can get toasting flutes in some awesome vintage color – all the better!

9763_92_i_vintage_inspired_pressed_glass_goblet_in_blush_pink14378c382ffd3aa92e7cc64a731336cd__59087.1503359263.jpg
Vintage Inspired Pressed Glass Goblet – Blush Pink

Stemless.

Stemless glassware is all the rage, it feels modern, and there are so many choices available for personalization. You can have logos with names and dates or some quotes that express your love.

41008-PAD_r00001_p001__18489.1500849889.jpg
Small Personalized Stemless Wine Glass – 9oz

Pint.

Pint glassware is perfect for younger guests as well as the married couple. The below age soda-sipping guests can feel like they are part of the grown up beer-guzzling crowd with pint glasses. There are some really fun designs that can be added to personalize your pints. And the awesome thing is that you can get gold rimmed pint glasses as well.

3845_main__77757.1472074275.jpg
Rustic Farmhouse™ Gold Rimmed Cheers Pint Glasses (set of 2)

Shot Glasses.

Toward the end of the night the bridal party should have a chance to shoot back a couple of shots to the newly married couple.

4324_main__95653.1478719359.jpg
Belmont™ Hammered Brass Shot Glasses by Viski

Personalized shot glasses are a perfect takeaway for your besties who stood by you at [and probably helped you get to] the alter.

41006-PAD_r00001_p001-4.jpg
Personalized Shot Glass, Candle Holder Favor – Wedding Theme

Beer Stein.

Be unconventional! Beer Steins are a perfect throw-tradition-out-the-door glassware, without actually throwing tradition out the door at all. This ingenious Moscow Mule Stein with Stacked Monogram Etching makes a great gift for dad, and mom too! We say, go for it — it’s your wedding! And… they also make awesome groomsmen or bridesmaid gifts!

7261-p-8945-106-w_stacked-monogram-personalized-moscow-mule-stein6ae8bdb0eb45e13691daba11502295f8.jpg
Moscow Mule Stein Stacked Monogram Etching

Mason Jar Mugs.

Personalized Glass Mason Drinking Jars are the perfect “go-to” glass for rustic barn weddings. They have a super casual feel — they are mason jars after all. Fun for daytime garden weddings filled with strawberry lemonade or winter weddings filled with hot chocolate! With lids, they can be filled with sangria and kept in a large bucket during the summer evening reception.

1190_popup_5__59673.1458237802.jpg
Personalized Glass Mason Drinking Jars (Set of 4)

No matter the glassware you choose for your wedding, it will be perfect. Cheers!

DIY · The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

Wedding Favor Table Ideas

Barn Wedding

Welcome guests with a charming outdoor display and stack personalized jam favors beneath an amazing floral arrangement.

4210e9a4f9e8fd41ad62998782510986.jpg

Beach Wedding

Send your guests home with a personal thank you message in a bottle.

dd07e36a5d200239241c73044f875d11.jpg

Rustic Wedding

Find an vintage dresser and fill it with jars of candy or kettle corn.

760e31cbf84e32baebbfadf172530145.jpg

Garden Wedding

Stack personalized handmade craft beer soaps wrapped
with a thank you message from the couple.

7d7b05ca62cb97771cb33ca756112a3a.jpg

Winter Wedding

Cover the table with a light dusting of “snow” and set out nests of Jordan Almonds.     Festive and fun.

3e5842cd56287e7a624b7d45821be152.jpg

Vintage Wedding

Stacked suitcases topped with warm throws
for the guests to grab as the evening gets cooler.

82fc8eb6e4a934be5771a654b5466645.jpg

Bend the rules!

There is nothing wrong with sticking to traditions, just as there is also nothing wrong with bending the rules — just a little bit!

When planning a wedding it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your expectations that some details slip your mind. Just remember keep it simple and easy. An elegant visual of easy to grab favors is a sure bet and your guests will love the effort. This is your day. Have fun!

Your guests will leave feeling like it really was the best day ever!

 

How to's · The Street · Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

3 Tips for selecting favors your guests will take home.

cropped-IMG_5621
Classic Baby Blue Gumball Dispenser | Taylor Street Favors

There are way too many party favors.  [We feel your pain every day]. Determining good value for the money is difficult, and even some of the better known industry names have wide variances in the quality of their products (we will not mention names).  And while some couples choose to go DIY, skill levels vary (!) and not everyone has the time or desire.

If you don’t want to make your wedding favors, we at Taylor Street want you know it is absolutely possible for you to purchase interesting or fun, well made, wedding favors.


Here are 3 tips to help make your favor selection process a success.

Tip #1:  Ask yourself the right question

Don’t start your favor search with the question: What gift would my guests be so impressed with / like enough to want to take home?

The mindset behind this question — that you must thrill your guests — is guaranteed to frustrate your efforts because:

1. you will never please everyone, and

2. you are allowing your decision to be dictated by guest preferences you can not influence and can not possibly guess correctly.

Better question:  What small gift/memento would I enjoy giving to my guests — a gift to thank them for coming that might remind them of my wedding day or make them laugh, and that I can afford — without stressing me/us out more than we already are?

Or turn it around — what small gift would I enjoy receiving if I were attending my own wedding?

9752-77-i_xoxo-rectangular-tin-box-with-lid6486308e992dfc4d80c09c86e79fbcdf__16787.1501529275.1280.1280

Tip #2:  Incorporate your Theme…

Since most guest favors are placed on individual tables or displayed on a reception table, incorporating your theme into the favor can help you narrow your focus.   One of the simplest, and often more successful, ways to to do this is with color, and/or texture.  Every wedding or celebration has one or a few predominant recurring colors or textures.  Use something you’ve already decided on as your inspiration, and you will have streamlined your decision making process.

Tip #3:  …But don’t replicate your entire theme.

Take elements from your theme and deconstruct them.  Do not recreate your entire event theme in miniature with your favor, but rather, take just one part of it.  If your wedding reception theme is the Great Gatsby roaring twenties – repeat a deco print or black and gold color combination with your favor or tag.

white-layout-IMG_4952__92299.1492553199
Gatsby Matte White Chair Favor Box | Taylor Street Favors

…and a warning about Pinterest. It is invaluable, but it can overwhelm — too many ideas will have you second guessing yourself in no time.  Your objective is not to make your gift or favor “pin” worthy.  When you go to Pinterest – and you know you will – first set a goal and a time limit.  Get in, get out.

Your favor lets your guests know how much you appreciate them making time to celebrate with you.  It does not have to be a lasting souvenir, and it does not have to be handmade to be appreciated.  Keep it sincere, affordable – and have some fun.

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…

 

chvkeqywyaapyne

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.

5x7_magnet

#loveislove #NoH8 #lovewins #LGBTPride #Pride

 

 

The Street

“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” -The Wizard of Oz –

Awwwh – always have loved that quote!  To celebrate Father’s Day, we have pulled together a few gift ideas for you.  Some are DIY, some are more affordable than others, and a few are available personalized.  We carry a number of these, and I’ve provided links to those we don’t.  Gift, card, or hug (or all three!) – go spread some love this Father’s Day.

FATHER’S DAY PICNIC

picnic-1208229_1920

$ – up to you  Pack a picnic lunch using whatever you have at home, include a frisbee or a football, and head out to one of Dad’s favorite locations — or maybe it’s just into the back yard!

SUPER HERO SOCKSMV-CAS-GRY-SC__24822.1474580927

$21.60   Do you know Dad’s favorite super hero?  We’ve got an awesome selection so dad can be even more super than he already is…

DARTH VADER & SON 

513H576FsgL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_

$9-hardcover, $2 – Kindle   My favorite part of this re-imagining of the Dark Lord as involved parent – Take your child to work day…on the Death Star.  Available on Amazon here.  Books that are fun for both kids and adults are hard to find…Jeffrey Brown did it with this.

PERSONALIZED PHOTO KEEPSAKE BOX

wholesalepersonalizedlastingmemorieskeepsakebox-1__83331-1425408759

$27.00   This keepsake box lid holds a 3 X 5 photo and purchase includes engraving. Keeps treasures safe & sound.

WALL MOUNT BOTTLE OPENER 

fd16-4917-popup_4__51079-1462211467

$29.95   Useful, well-made, and a great addition to basement pub.

FAMILY PORTRAIT

img_1096

$ – varies  I found this project by Alexandra Hedin on Design Sponge.  It is amazing.  We are going to try this at our home, following the directions she has provided here.  I will take some pictures as we go and show you the end product.

Wishing all the dads a Happy Father’s Day!

 

The Street

Inspiration is not a four letter word

This word inspiration just keeps beating at my brain. There are days when those eleven letters feel like they add up to nothing but a four letter word. I’ve been spending the week looking for it everywhere. Yesterday, I was hoping a drive through the rolling blooming hills of California Highway 58 would propel me to that moment of inspirational clarity. It did not. It was a beautiful drive though, but I am biased towards the California landscape. There’s nothing like it and this year the “Cal-scape” is green and full of color. I wanted something to just pop out at me, make me stop and feel inspired. Something to bring on moment of WOW.

The thing is, inspiration comes when it comes. It can’t be pushed to just shout out “Hey dude, I’m over here!”. Actually, since I am fantasizing about it, I’d like to have seen Julie Andrews running through the mustard yellow hills in her light blue dress singing out “The hills are alive with the sound of music…”. Now that would be inspirational! Nice color combination too. Hmmmm…

Though at this moment I’d even take Ewan Mcgregor’s version from Moulin Rouge. That would have set all my Gay inspirational bells ringing. Inspiration check box: Checked.

Anyway, here it is Friday and I’m still working out my inspirational dilemma for the week. I’m searching and searching for that idea, that color, that texture that says create me, shape me, mold me into something grand. My mind explodes “Oh wow that is the coolest thing ever…”.

So far, I’ve got nothing. It didn’t come this week so I’m telling you about the idea of wanting it to come instead. I suppose the hunt in itself is based on inspiration so…

What am I hoping will happen here? Here’s the thing. I don’t want to write another 10 best list, or the top 5 something, or the cutest moments of this or that event. I’m kinda over those lists. It’s all regurgitation of something or someone and frankly we’ve all heard it before. So let’s be real here. Inspiration is going to have to come when it comes and I’ll make it as original as I can. It just won’t be in some repurposed top 100 something or another. It may just be me writing to tell you “Today, I’ve got nothing.”.

Inspiration is not a four letter word. It’s more like an eleven letter nuisance that I drive myself crazy with, and similar to other self imposed afflictions that cause a moment of insecurity now and then. Inspiration is my eleven letters of hell this week. It will pass. There is always another Monday that points toward Friday.

Gratitude for Beginners · The Street

A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way

bake-1838364_1920

 

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

img_8820_terraceofpassagerestaurant_passagedugrandcerfjtiverson

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

bremen-town-musicians-1651945_1920

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

drone-1080844_1920

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.