You’re doing the right thing if you’ve self-quarantined during this trying time. Even if you aren’t sick you are still helping your community “flatten the curve” by staying at home. And, you are keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
Since everything from salons to gyms, concerts, and theaters are all shut down it’s up to you to entertain yourself!
So, we’ve compiled 50 Wonderful Ways To Pass The Time During Self-Isolation while you are homebound during this global pandemic. Keep the cabin fever at bay and the stir crazies in check!
Watch all the shows and movies you haven’t had time for. But limit your couch time so you don’t become comatose.
Take a daily walk outside. Say “hello” to anyone you pass. We all need a little kindness right now.
In case of rain, dance indoors like no one is watching. (They aren’t.)
Host a family talent contest.
Play an instrument. Or listen to some really good music.
Have a theme day. Dress and eat accordingly.
You’ve got time to finish a puzzle. Spread one out on the dining room table and let everyone work on it at their leisure.
Work on learning a foreign language. (Download Duolingo.)
Read a book. Or books.
Write letters to the people you love.
Spa day! Face masks, scrubs, eye creams, teeth whitener, hair color. Emerge from isolation looking good!
Deep clean something each day. The oven, the windows, or your carpets. Your house will be sparkling in no time.
Organize a little of your home each day. Tackle one drawer a day or do your entire closet.
Reflect on your blessings and remember to be grateful.
Get out and work in the yard if you have one.
Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee. Have board game Olympics.
Bake! Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Bread.
FaceTime with friends and relatives, especially those who might be especially lonely.
Spend 30 minutes a day exercising. You literally have no excuse at this point.
Establish a dress-up day. Everyone must put on their very best. Set the table with a cloth and stemware. Serve dinner on the best china. Affect British accents and hold your pinkies just so as you drink. Do a family photo shoot in the yard.
Get all the hardest things on your to-do list done: taxes, writing a will, financial planning.
Make a huge production out of anything and everything. Movie night? Make a concession stand with popcorn and candy. Rearrange the den with theater type seating. Turn out all the lights. Turn up the volume. Pizza night? Make your own dough and try to toss it in the air. Have a toppings station where everyone can make their own pizza. Play Italian opera.
Take everything out of your garage. Clean the dickens out of it. Put all the things back in a nicely organized manner. Watch WhatsUpMoms video for inspiration.
Go through your makeup and throw out anything expired. Clean your brushes. Same for under your sinks. Chuck out any old toiletries or medications.
Plan your dream vacation. Research locations, resorts, restaurants and things to do.
Support small businesses in your area by purchasing gift cards to use after the quarantine.
If you don’t have TikTok, add the app and see what everyone is talking about. Make complicated TikToks.
Spend an over-the-top amount of time playing with your pets.
Get crafty even if you aren’t crafty. Glue some macaroni onto paper in interesting shapes. Crochet. Paint. Knit. YouTube tutorials can help.
Sleep in. Sleep late. Take naps. This is your chance.
Consider ways in which to help society. Be a light in a time of darkness.
Take some time to simply be. In our formerly hectic busy lives, how often did we have the chance to just sit in stillness? Try it. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Namaste.
Take stock of your pantry and plan out your meals.
Make a list of things you want to do when the world comes back online. Museums to visit, people to see, concerts to attend, etc.
Put out some Christmas lights to cheer up your neighbors.
Organize your photos on your phone. Try Amazon Photos.
Organize your actual photographs.
Clean your baseboards and air vents.
Change your air filter.
Paint a room a fresh color.
Start a Pinterest. Or fine-tune the one you already have.
Take down all your curtains and wash them. Might as well open all your windows and let in some fresh air too.
Clean your windows. Vinegar and newspaper.
Decorate your house like you’re hosting a party. Then have a party for your household.
Develop some new hairstyles for yourself. Master some braiding techniques with help from Instagram Influencers or YouTubers.
They’re Back! Dried Flowers Are Trending for Weddings in 2020
This old school floral trend from the 70s is making its return in elegantly rustic arrangements. Lots of couples are decorating their wedding venues with free-spirited and affordable dried flower arrangements using the traditional flowers they’ve always loved — just dried instead of fresh. Brides are walking down the aisle with unique dried bouquets and grooms are adorning themselves with darling dried boutonnieres. We are 100 percent on board with this old is new again trend.
This trend is something completely different from the traditional fresh flower-filled wedding. But more and more engaged couples are turning to dried florals for their nuptial centerpieces and bouquets. They are in search of something unique, rustic, a little bit nostalgic, and chic.
Dried bouquets have a wild and free boho vibe. And, we just love the color stories that dried arrangments deliver. They are a soothing blend of neutrals, and they bring an earthy, natural feel to a wedding.
BOUQUET BY ANTHEIA FLOWERS | PHOTO BY MARIA SUNDIN PHOTOGRAPHY VIA JUNEBUG WEDDINGS
And they are breathtakingly beautiful.
Dried florals work well for site decor as well. Look how perfectly this mix of fresh and dried flowers works for a beach wedding:
And can we please stop and swoon over this achingly romantic dried floral swag for a minute?
Dried flowers keep, too. So your beautiful wedding florals can live on in your home decor.
Carry the theme through to your favors with individually packaged dried flowers for your guests:
Preserved blooms bring a fresh perspective to weddings indoors or out.
They also work well in any season. This summertime bride carries an armload of uncomplicated long stem flowers.
PHOTO: JAYE KOGUT
Surprisingly chic, dried flowers provide punch to place settings.
And table arrangments are understated yet elevated with the addition of preserved blooms such as off-white hydrangeas, loose greens, branches, and berries.
This bouquet is a showstopper in shades of beige, brown and blue.
The beauty of nature is apparent in a multi-textured grouping of flora and fauna.
This wedding day aisle is made magical with the addition of tall dried grasses and flowers and loads of white candles.
Dried arrangments can be simple or elaborate, but either way, they are generally more affordable than fresh blooms.
This decadent arch is lavishly swagged with dried flowers, ferns, and branches.
If you are into this really cool, retro floral trend we’ve gathered a little intel on the subject from the web. Type in “dried floral arrangements” in Pinterest and you will be rewarded with loads of eye candy. If you’d like to purchase some ready-made goodies for your wedding, one amazing place to order your preserved blooms is driedflowersforever.com.
We found several amazing blog posts about dried arrangments, too, if you’d like to see more.
Wedding Dresses 101: A Guide to Choosing The Best Bridal Silhouette
Chances are if you are searching for your wedding dress you have visited your local bridal boutique to try on gowns. While you are shopping and trying on, you might hear lots of terms you’ve never heard before. Something along the lines of, “This is a Trumpet Gown, with a basque waist and a Plunging-V neckline embellished with Alencon Lace.” If sentences like that leave you wondering, “Ummm…what was that? Something, something…Lace????” we are here to help.
We launched our Wedding Dresses 101 series just to keep you informed about all the bridal terminology. This handy guide will help you familiarize yourself with all the different dress silhouettes. And if you are thinking to yourself, “Okay great, but I don’t even know what a silhouette is.” It’s simple, in basic terms a dress silhouette is what you see as you take your first glance at a dress – the outline of the dress. Silhouettes dictate how gowns fit and flatter a body, so it will be super beneficial to know which shape will look best on you. That said, we think you should try any silhouette gown you are drawn too. After all, it’s your day and your dress. And, rules are meant to be broken!
Alluring A-Line dresses are one of the most flattering gown silhouettes. This style is extremely popular since it looks great on just about anyone, no matter what their body type. And, it is by far the best choice for pear shapes since it accentuates the top half of the body while camouflaging the lower half. Since the cut is narrow at the top and widens towards the hem in a gradual manner it smooths out any awkward lines and curves of the body. So named because A-Line gowns look like the letter “A” with their fitted bodices and skirts that widen out from the waist in a line to the hem.
This A-Line gown flows softly from the waist:
Lace cascades down this A-Line gown by Venus Bridal with a slightly more structured skirt. This one is prettily accented with a deep V neckline and beaded waist.
Beautiful ballgowns are the most traditional of all bridal gown silhouettes. They are characterized by fitted bodices (and waistlines) that lead to voluminously full skirts. The flare of the skirt is achieved by layers upon layers of fabric. This classic and elegant look is very popular because it flatters most figures and is especially good at hiding large hips. But it is also good for brides with narrow hips, as it can give a curvier look. However, there is a risk of getting swallowed up in the volume of the dress if you are rather petite. For a large bust, the Ballgown style will help create an hourglass look. We love this one by Sincerity Bridal which will make you feel just like a Princess:
This lovely Ballgown (Style 11070 by Sweetheart) features an illusion V-neckline accented with lattice beaded lace. The tulle circular cut skirt with a chapel length train completes the look perfectly.
Column or Sheath
The Column (or Sheath) style has slim lines that mimic the shape of an actual column. Simple and elegant a Column Silhouette can run straight from the neckline to the hemline, or it can hug your curves closely. Either way, a Column gown does not hide any problem areas, like a bigger lower body. And, this fit tends to make pear-shapes look off-balanced. Although flattering for several body types, depending on the fabric chosen, the Column Silhouette looks best on brides with sleek figures. It’s also a great choice for petite brides as the long lean lines add height.
Empire silhouette dresses have fitted bodices that stop just below the bust, giving the appearance of a high waist. These gowns feature skirts that fall with a slight flare and loosely skim the body, or they can be a bit more fitted. Like the A-line, the Empire Waist style fits well on most body types. And, it’s especially flattering for those brides with a smaller bust since it draws attention to the neckline. This style is a good choice for those with thicker waists as it can sweep softly over curves. If you want to hide your hips, however, this look is not for you.
Fit and Flare or Trumpet
Perfect for showcasing your shape, Fit and Flare gowns present an especially enchanting silhouette. Fit and Flare bridal gowns are also known as Trumpet because their skirts subtly flare from the hip toward the hem in a trumpet shape. This silhouette is form-fitting through the torso and hips and then begins to widen around mid-thigh. Easier to wear than the similarly silhouetted Mermaid, this option is roomy enough around the legs to allow you to walk comfortably. This is a nice option for curvy brides who are looking for a formfitting dress. Athletically built brides might feel boxy in this cut.
The playful High Low cut features a full circle skirt with a length that varies from short in front to long in back. The style originated in Victorian era dresses, when the hem style was known as the “fishtail.” This silhouette is flattering to most shapes and highlights the legs.
Bridal jumpsuits are a chic one-piece option for brides who want to avoid a skirt altogether. This can look fantastic on almost any size and shape. And jumpsuits are comfortable to wear all the way through the ceremony to the reception.
Curvaceous and very form-fitting, this wedding dress style is typically for the very confident bride. Mermaid gowns hug the body all the way down to the knees, where the dress flares out. This cut shows off ALL of a bride’s curves and is terrific for brides with hourglass figures. If you don’t want something tight, the mermaid is not for you.
Midi Silhouettes refer to dresses with hemlines that hit at mid-calf – halfway between the knee and ankle. These sweet dresses are universally flattering.
A Romper is a cute little short jumpsuit. This flirty and fun silhouette works adorably for destination weddings. If you want to show off your pretty legs, this might be your look.
We recommend starting out by trying gowns especially suited to your body type. However, definitely try on other silhouettes as well. It’s your day and you might just find your dream dress in another cut.
If are not feeling a big wedding consider having a micro wedding instead! Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a major production with hundreds of guests to manage on your special day? Imagine a smaller, more intimate celebration, with just the people closest to you in attendance. If a tiny wedding sounds like a dream then this trend in nuptials might be right for you. They’re the perfect antidote to excess and overwork. These days lots of people are deciding against the effort and expense of a full-scale wedding. Typically micro weddings are just like regular weddings with a beautiful venue, cake, photographer, food and flowers but just on a smaller scale with way fewer guests. Micro weddings usually include 50 or fewer guests, often limited to those most important to you, like family and very close friends. Having fewer guests means you can focus your budget on all the details you care about (while saving money), and provide a more meaningful experience for everyone.
This micro wedding plan accommodates 16 people and includes personalized assistance in planning your event. The staff at Storybrook Farm will also make sure your wedding runs smoothly with your very own ceremony coordinator. You can choose from the picturesque ceremony and reception locations on their beautiful property. An onsite officiant is available if needed — AND they can even legalize a union if your preferred officiant isn’t ordained. Floral elements are included for the bride and groom. Plus, they throw in a beautiful, mouth-watering wedding cake from one of the area’s best bakers. To sweeten the deal they even provide a Pinterest-worthy decorating service for your ceremony and reception. Finally, they include a delicious reception meal in one of their romantic gardens to end your event.
And Tiny Chapel Weddings, has a sweetly petite mobile chapel that comes to you. They will bring this adorable venue to you in any state with very reasonable rates starting at $1500:
While a micro wedding is definitely a money-saver, it doesn’t have to be a minimalistic affair. According to The Knot, the average overall guest count for weddings is trending downward, while the average cost per guest is going up. “Couples can certainly save money by going the route of micro weddings, though many decide to actually spend their full budget. Only on fewer people,” Cove explains. “Some couples will even take their budget and host the hotel rooms for their guests, along with transportation and other items that may not normally be affordable for a larger-size wedding.”
Some couples who decide to host micro weddings will splurge on goodies like a savory sit-down dinner and/or a top-shelf open bar. They are able to provide a more decadent event while keeping intimacy in mind. With a guest list of just your nearest and dearest, wonderful things become more feasible and affordable. Splurging on a sun-drenched destination weekend wedding, a gorgeous wedding dress or a delicious meal at a five-star restaurant is much more manageable when your guest list is tiny.
Is a Micro Wedding Right for You?
Planning your wedding is a personal experience, and only you will know if a micro wedding is right for you. We do know that big things can come in small packages, though, and a tiny wedding will provide just as much joy and heartfelt memories as any big event will. What’s most important is that you and your spouse are happy on your big day!
We made an appointment to look at the dress I saw on The Gilded Gown’s facebook page. I got there and tried it on and it was almost perfect. (I had to make alterations after I lost 30 pounds but it was still everything that I wanted.) My sister, sister in law, best friend, and nieces were with me. Everyone encouraged me to try on others but I knew from the time I saw it on your Facebook post it was the one I wanted. The sweet girl that helped us, her name was Darby. She was so patient. My appointment had 3 future brides there including myself. It was close to closing time and she did a wonderful job taking care of us. My niece also found her wedding dress that day. It was perfect. —Krystle
I wanted to share a couple of my favorite wedding pictures in the dress of my dreams! I’m so thankful I had Tequila to help me find this perfect dress for my special day. It was so comfortable and so easy to dance in! Thank you again to everyone at Gilded Gown who helped me find this dress (and especially Tequila for being so sweet and helpful). I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do! —Rachael
Kimberly and Tyler’s Perfectly Romantic Fall Wedding
Precious Tennessee couple Kimberly and Tyler married on October 26th at The Reserve at Bluebird Hill! The beautiful setting provided the perfect backdrop for all their romantic moments. Luckily Jess and Joe Photography was on hand to capture every detail! Their day was filled with love and laughter, family and friends, pumpkins and pine cones, and a signature Dunkin Donuts drink! They chose to marry in the fall since it’s their very favorite season.
We were thrilled when Kimberly shared her sweet story with us:
My husband and I met while he was in school at UT and serving downtown at Balter Beerworks. I went in to have brunch with two of my friends (who ended up being bridesmaids at our wedding). They left my number on the top of my check! We connected immediately and it was kind of a whirlwind after that. We got engaged on September 21, 2018 and we actually left our ceremony to September by Earth Wind and Fire. (Our string quartet learned it just for our wedding) After dating for almost a year and a half, Tyler proposed on my parents back porch. This was after I ruined multiple attempts on his part to surprise me. He finally did it and it was a surprise since I got engaged in my pajamas with no makeup on! It was the perfect proposal.
We were married at The Reserve at Bluebird Hill on October 26, 2019. We picked October because it’s our favorite time of year! The rain stayed away long enough for us to have our ceremony outside!
We had a burgundy, blush, and rose gold wedding with lots of pumpkins and pine cones!
One of our groomsman sang our first dance song live.
Our signature drink was the Dunkin Donuts Coffee Porter, because we are obsessed with Dunkin Donuts! My mom made pumpkin shaped mints in our wedding colors as favors along with cat and dog treats for our friends to take home to their pets.
We danced all night until our sparkler exit. It was a magical day! We left that night for our honeymoon in Jamaica!
We asked Kimberly about her dress shopping experience, and she was kind enough to share that with us as well:
The Gilded Gown was the only store I went in to try on dresses. I brought my mom, one of my future mother-in-laws, and two of my bridesmaids! I tried on several dresses that I thought were exactly what I was looking for, but they weren’t right. Miranda had me pick a dress that I never thought I would be interested in. A “for sure no” is what she called it. I never thought a mermaid style would be flattering and I was very against sleeves. But it was the only dress I kept going back to and comparing all the others to. Then when we put a veil on, it was the one! It is actually like a modern version of my mom’s wedding dress! It was the perfect experience! Thank you so much! The dress was absolutely perfect!! I got sooo many compliments on it. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful dress. I took it to one of your recommended alterations places, The Perfect Fit, and she was incredible!! Thank you so much for making me feel so beautiful on my special day!
We are absolutely wild for this stylish new trend in the floral world. Florists are using spray paint to transform ordinary floral designs into something out of this world and spectacular. They are taking the natural beauty of flowers, leaves, and branches and elevating them to dizzying new heights. We’re pretty sure this trend will be taking the wedding world by storm in 2020. Brides looking for something a little “extra” and unique will gravitate to these striking arrangments. We’ve found some of the most brilliant floral designers embracing this style and are happy to share them with you all:
Krissy Price uses her massive artistic talents to create amazing works of flower art. She’s known around Boston for her amazing “flowerbombs” whereby she installs surprise floral moments with leftover blooms from weddings and events. “As an artist, it’s an opportunity to do something truly special and I hope that a lot of people can enjoy it. Instead of it being something that’s done for a corporation or a wedding, it’s truly giving back to the community,” she says.
She also is a master of this year’s trend, with works like this one, which incorporates subtle hints of light blue and pink spray paint:
She makes the most glamorous tablescapes and hanging installations, as well, like this boho dream pampas grass and palm creation:
Manu Torres, a Portland-based florist, is gaining international attention for his expressive, otherworldly floral styling. His energetic, eclectic and bright arrangements are truly works of art. Torres combines natural elements like flowers, grasses, feathers, fans, and leaves, and accentuates them with custom spray-painted accents and DIY elements.
His Monstera leaf installation would make a stunning backdrop for a tropical-inspired wedding:
His arrangements are both exotic and softly romantic at the same time. We love the delicacy of the babies breath mixed with the vibrantly painted leaves:
Pretty pastel colors elevate this arrangement to the extraordinary:
Manu’s creations are intoxicating! How gorgeous would this be as a bouquet?
New York City florist Bridget Vizoso is using paint to bring her unique floral visions to life. Carefully hand-painted designs and Jackson Pollock-inspired splatters are her work’s signatures, resulting in florals “unlike anything you have ever seen before,” she said.
Bridget crafted this amazing ceiling arrangement with a rainbow of pretty colors:
Even her more traditional work is insanely beautiful:
How to Incorporate The Trend
It’s easy to incorporate this look for your wedding day. Search out inspirational pics on Instagram and Pinterest. Find a local florist with loads of artistic flair and show them your vision. They’ll love the opportunity to do something so creative and exciting.
This bold bridal bouquet from Weddingomania: delivers major tropical style with pink blooms, orange touches, and a pineapple spray-painted pink:
Since we are facing a brand new year and a shiny new decade it is a common time to take stock of ourselves and make resolutions to improve our health, and well being. But in 2020 it is also a wonderful time to work on helping our planet. Did you happen to see the documentary Blue Planet? It certainly is a wake-up call for all of us about the unsustainable way we humans are living. In fact, 97% of climate scientists agree we are facing a global warming emergency. But there’s hope for our planet. If we all do our part to make ourselves a little bit greener, then we can drastically reduce the issues our planet is facing. And, luckily there is a super-easy way to start. All you have to do is switch out a few products you use now for their eco-friendly counterparts! Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice style to be green.
Read on for our Top Ten Easy Ways to Go Green For 2020!
1. Switch from Plastic Bags To Reusable Bags
Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every single year. And only 1% of these bags are ever returned for recycling. The rest end up in landfills or in our waterways. Luckily, switching to reusable bags is the easiest plastic swap you can make and it comes with a set of benefits. In the long run, using reusable bags is more cost-effective. Many stores are introducing charges for single-use plastic bags to encourage people to bring their own, or they are scrapping single-use plastic bags altogether. Reusable bags are durable, useful and also help to save on resources. To produce the 100 billion plastic bags Americans use each year, it takes a staggering 12 million barrels of oil. This is having an immediate effect on the environment as fossil fuels contribute to global warming. Plus, by using reusable bags you will gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are not contributing towards the growing state of our environment. A single set of reusable bags could save up to 20,000 single-use bags being disposed of over a lifetime. Plus, with so many designs and styles to choose from, it’s easy to find beautiful bags that show off your personality.
And, how stinking cute are these reusable fruit bags? They fold up into the sweetest little fruit shapes. A set of ten runs about $15.
2. BYOS: Bring Your Own Straw
Instead of using plastic or paper straws, make the switch to steel or bamboo straws.
Plastic straws are a buzzword in many bars and cafes today. It’s estimated that 500 million straws are used in the US every day. As a result, many eco-conscious establishments are moving away from plastic and are trying to use paper straws instead. Although this is a step in the right direction, these single-use alternatives actually take more energy and resources to make than plastic. Instead, invest in your own straw made from metal or bamboo and help the environment and push away from our dependence on single-use plastic.
There are many benefits to investing in a reusable straw. First of all, they are safer and easier to use. Stainless steel straws are easy to clean, unbreakable and stay rigid. This means they are great to give to adults and children alike and can be used and transported with ease and without fear of damage. They are easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel straws are dishwasher safe and will often come with a little brush, allowing you to deep clean the inside if the need arises. Because they are yours you also have the added benefit of knowing that they are clean and no one has touched the straw you are using.
As a society, we love to use food wraps. It’s a convenient way to keep our sandwiches fresh and our food covered. One study estimated that in a 6-month period, Americans use 10 million boxes of plastic food wrap. The bad news is this film is adding to the mounting plastic pollution crisis. The good news is there is a great eco-friendly alternative. Beeswax wraps are coverings made by combining beeswax and a natural cloth like cotton or hemp. These have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties as well as keeping the food inside moist. Something that plastic wraps simply cannot do. Because the wraps act as a natural barrier like a fruit’s skin, they also offer the food inside more protection. They can be used to cover food such as cheese, sandwiches, and uncovered bowls of food. All you have to do is use your hands to mold the wrap to whatever it is you are wrapping and it will naturally cling just like the plastic alternative.
We love that they are affordable and readily available, like these bright patterned beeswax wraps, from Amazon:
Beeswax wraps can be washed and reused again and again. Then, once they reach the end of their life, they are biodegradable, meaning that they can be composted or disposed of ethically. These innovative alternatives to plastic wrap are great for the environment as they can drastically reduce waste of plastic or foil wrappings. Also, because they save a great deal of wasted product, they will also save you money in the long run.
Did you know that most of our sponges are made from plastic? And, that means microplastics from sponges come off every time you clean the dishes and are washed straight down the drain. These then have a direct line to our waterways and oceans, contributing to the trillions of microplastics floating in the seas. An easy way to stop this problem is to switch to plant-based sponges. These natural alternatives are just as good as the plastic ones (if not better) without impacting on the environment.
As with all sponges, they vary in size and texture so you will need to find one that suits your needs:
Cellulose sponges are soft and easy to find online. They are great for cleaning surfaces and washing dishes.
Loofahs are dried out with a spongy texture and are great for exfoliating skin. They also make a great replacement for scourers.
Sea sponges are super soft and really absorbent making them great for cleaning up spills or washing cars.
Silicon sponges are durable and recyclable. Perfect for those looking for something a little more hard-wearing.
Silicon aside, these sponges will all biodegrade over time and as long as they are untreated, they will leave no mark on the environment. They are just as cheap and readily available as plastic sponges which is a bonus and they are extremely versatile. They can do all the jobs your regular sponge does, so there is no reason not to switch really.
5. Start Using Reusable Coffee Cups (and Lids)
One of the most talked-about single-use plastic items currently on the market is the coffee cup. This is in part due to the incredible volume that we go through daily as a population. In fact, 16 billion coffee cups are used and disposed of each year. Because they are made from mixed materials they are not widely recycled, meaning they are thrown away and dumped in landfills. In this case, there is an easy, cost-effective alternative – reusable coffee cups. Perhaps the best part is they don’t have to break the budget with the cheapest being around the $5 mark. Of course, there are more expensive options with heatproof walls, gorgeous designs, and flexible silicone lids. There are also some great benefits to reusable coffee cups. Firstly, they will be cost-effective in the long run. Many coffee places will actually charge you less for using your own reusable cup as an incentive to ditch the plastic.
Because they are made out of durable materials such as stainless steel, bamboo or even glass, they are far better at keeping your coffee warm for longer as well as being more customizable. The bamboo ones are fairly cheap and come in a whole host of patterns. This makes your coffee drinking experience far more stylish. The stainless-steel ones are effective for the outdoors, are durable and often have a handle, meaning no need for a heatproof sleeve and no burnt fingers. Reusable cups usually have a silicon lid too, meaning that there is no plastic involved. It also means that the whole cup is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, as well as lightweight and durable.
Finally, the most important benefit of all is that they are eco-friendly. You can have a sense of satisfaction knowing that you are helping to keep the environment safe and reducing single-use product usage.
6. Swap Out Your Plastic Ear Swabs
Change out your plastic swabs for the paper versions! These tiny plastic sticks wreak havoc on wildlife as well as your ears. In fact, the UK has plans to ban the sale of plastic cotton swabs by 2020. Thankfully there are now many brands that make compostable, paper-based earbuds. These also have all-natural cotton on the bud themselves. These are far better for the environment than traditional ones are because they will degrade quickly without damaging wildlife. The plastic counterparts have been found as a major cause of the fatberg issue that has plagued major cities sewers. Because the paper versions biodegrade, they will not pose such a threat. They are comparable in price to traditional ones and as this trend rises, it will likely bring the cost down even more as brands are forced to compete. We found these organic cotton buds, by Bambaw, on Amazon:
7. Recycled Toilet Paper
Hold on a sec, toilet paper isn’t plastic, is it? No, actually toilet paper is just that – paper. It biodegrades when it’s flushed away and doesn’t contribute to the plastic crisis. But toilet paper is still a major cause of the climate crisis because thousands of trees are cut down yearly to meet the demand for toilet roll. 84 million rolls of toilet paper are used in the US every single day. What’s more, with the focus on plastic pollution getting stronger, fewer and fewer companies are concerned with finding recycled alternatives to toilet roll. We need to shift the focus and find alternatives to this growing issue. We suggest trying Seventh Generation 100% recycled bath tissue:
It is so much better for the environment than the alternative. Recycled paper means that not only are fewer trees cut down to fuel the demand but also thousands of species homes and natural habitats are left intact. The recycled toilet paper also uses far less energy to make as well – 50% less energy in its creation and 90% less water. This means that there are far fewer fossil fuels going into the atmosphere than with regular paper. Finally, you’ll be surprised how similar it feels to regular toilet paper. You won’t even notice you have made a change for the better.
8. Bring Your Own Reusable Utensils
This might seem like a no brainer. Most of us don’t throw away our utensils after they have been used once, right? But how many times have you used a plastic set of cutlery when you’re at a cafe or used takeaway containers? Reusable dishware uses far less energy and resources over its lifetime as well as leaving a far smaller footprint on the environment. We sourced this adorable Zero Wate Utensil Set on Etsy:
You can feel great about using this super cute utensil set! Simply toss in your bag, purse or lunch box and forget about using disposable utensils again! Each and every time you use this set you are keeping plastic, single-use utensils out of the landfill:
9. Stop Tossing Those Rounds, Use Reusable Makeup Pads
One easy change is to stop purchasing disposable cotton rounds. These pose a similar issue to the use of cotton swabs. Makeup pads clog up drains, landfills or worse, the oceans. Most store-bought makeup pads are actually made with plastic, meaning they don’t break down naturally. There are some great alternatives on the market to replace the ones you currently use. They are reusable and washable and made from a bamboo cloth fiber that is eco-friendly. Because they are washable, they are essentially a zero-waste product and are currently top sellers on Amazon.
They are easy to use and are more environmentally conscious than single-use pads. They are also usually a little larger than regular pads meaning that you can do more with less before needing to wash them. They are compatible with makeup removers as well such as micellar water. They are easy to clean and can be hand washed or put into the washing machine in a mesh bag. They are also good for your skin because they are gentler than regular pads and also do not contain any chemicals or bleaching agents, which many single-use pads do. We love this reusable set from Beauty Heros:
10. Carry Your Own Sustainable Water Bottle
Globally, humans use 1 million plastic bottles every minute. It’s easy to think that plastic bottles aren’t an issue because they are recycled. But perhaps a more shocking fact is around 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled. Instead, it is incinerated, sent to landfill, or washed into our oceans. Thankfully, we are waking up to the problem of plastic bottles. The public is demanding corporations and governments make significant changes to current policies. But while plastic producing companies have a pivotal role to play, we as individuals can help to direct them by changing our habits.
There are many benefits when it comes to switching to reusable drinks containers. The biggest is obviously the environmental impact that the industry has. By using reusable water or drink bottles, you can help stop thousands of plastic bottles ending up in landfills or the ocean. Another benefit is the cost savings for you, especially if you have a larger family. With more and more cities installing drinking fountains and cafes filling up bottles for free, you can save a chunk of change on buying water bottles by taking your own and refilling.
Reusable water bottles that are not made from plastic are also healthier for you and the environment. A lot of fossil fuel goes into the production of plastic, increasing the amount of greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere. The less plastic we use the fewer gases that are released.
Not only that but research shows plastic bottles can harbor harmful bacteria. As the bottles break down, bacteria find its way into the micro-tears and cracks of the bottle, eventually finding its way into your system. A great advantage of stainless steel or glass reusable bottles is that they are easy to transport around as they are generally lightweight. They are durable, really easy to clean, and they will also be able to go into the dishwasher. It’s a no-brainer!
Please read more about helping save our planet below:
Creating a Sustainable Future
If you ask people why they think we need to become more environmentally friendly as a society, you’ll hear a variety of answers. Some want to stop the mass extinction of hundreds of endangered species. Others want to clean the oceans of the millions of tons of plastic.
But in a recent survey by sustainable earth, the number one reason given for changing our ways was to make sure that future generations had just that – a future.
Now, you may ask what difference can we make as individuals? And there are indeed just 20 firms responsible for a third of all carbon emissions today. But the choices we make as individuals in our day to day life do play a part in forging a sustainable future.
If as a collective we all made some simple lifestyle changes, those small impacts can start to add up and make a difference. It causes the government and large corporations to sit up and take notice. These changes can be as simple as swapping one product on your next trip to the supermarket, choosing a responsible eco-friendly company over an oil-guzzling conglomerate, or simply reusing that coffee cup.
There are many cheap and easy ways that we as individuals can make a change for the better. Below, we will explore some of the different ways we can make a sustainable future possible for the next generation.
The Problem with Disposable and Single-use Products
First of all, what are single-use products and why are they such a problem? These are products intended for one use and one use only. They are usually made of plastic and are a huge cause for concern.
Examples of single-use products include:
Food containers and packaging
Coffee cups and lids
Originally created to make our lives easier, these single-use items are wreaking havoc on our environment. It can take thousands of years for a single plastic bag to degrade. Now, there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic clogging our oceans. And this issue isn’t going away. As the plastic degrades or breaks down, it leaches chemicals into the waterways and air, causing untold issues scientists are still trying to measure.
This pervasive problem is spreading to every corner of the planet. Alarming new studies have even found microplastics deep in the arctic snow. Scientists now believe we will be labeled the age of plastic.
Luckily, we are waking up to this issue and changing our ways. Every day, new and innovative solutions are found to reduce our reliance on plastic. Giving us eco-friendly alternatives that will help save our planet.
Let’s take a look at some eco-friendly alternatives to the most damaging single-use plastic items. By making the easy swap to these eco-friendly products, you’ll drastically reduce your reliance on single-use plastic.
What Can Companies Do?
It’s important we all make these easy swaps to more environmentally alternatives. But there is also so much that companies can do to make a difference.
Let’s take a look at what some companies are doing to lead the way in fighting climate change.
This is Google’s parent company and has recently taken the number one spot of publicly traded companies making clean energy a priority. This company is fully powered by renewable energy.
We’ve already seen the huge impact plastic bottles are having on the environment. But water company Evian are doing their part to rectify it. By 2025, they aim to use 100% recycled water bottles. Most water bottle companies use only 7-8% recycled plastic, so this is a huge statement by the water giant. Hopefully, many others will follow suit.
This billion-dollar company is beginning to make strides to fight the war on plastic and climate change. In the UK, they’ve pledged to remove all plastic toys from happy meals, saving 320 tons of plastic each year. They’ve also reported that by 2025, all packaging (including straws) will be sourced from recycled, renewable, or sustainable sources.
This company has already stopped using plastic straws on its flights in response to the plastic crisis. But now they are also phasing out single-use plastics in their lounges around the world. Their new initiative will save over 32 tonnes of plastic each year.
IKEA has been at the forefront of the environmental policy of all retail stores for years. In 2008, IKEA removed single-use plastic bags from their stores with great success. Now, they aim to use only renewable or recycled materials in the entire store by 2030. That means all products available at IKEA, from sofas to kid’s toys, will be made with 100% recycled or renewable materials. This is a massive statement to make and hopefully will encourage other major retailers to follow suit.
Supply and Demand
At the end of the day, all major companies are driven by profit. And although many companies are making strides to help the environment, much more could still be done. It is up to us as consumers to show major retailers and corporations that there is a thriving market for environmentally friendly alternatives.
If more people made eco-friendly switches, there would be a larger market for these products and more companies would get on board. It’s now our job to use our buying power wisely and invest in companies that are doing the most to fight the climate crisis.
Where Are We Heading?
If we don’t make significant changes, it’s tough to see a bright future ahead of us if we continue on this unsustainable trend. We are polluting the ocean and the air and killing wildlife with our throw-away culture.
The good news is that we are not beyond saving yet and it really couldn’t be any easier to make a positive change for ourselves and the planet.
When it all seems a little overwhelming and like you can’t make a difference, remember this famous quote from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Wedding cakes are no longer just three tiers of white with some fondant on top. These days bakers are crafting amazing works of art in edible form. And, we are absolutely wowed by the latest trend to come along. Hand-painted wedding cakes are artistic, custom, heartfelt and happy.
Since each and every hand-painted cake is custom-made they are adaptable to any style. In fact, cakes can be painted with the same techniques artists use on an actual canvas. For example, this lovely yellow cake awash with delicate pastel flowers delivers Impressionist vibes:
Like the breathtaking work of Claude Monet:
Cake as the Canvas
These days confectioners are hand-detailing a dazzling array of items like garlands, portraits, monograms, flourishes, flowers, trees, and birds. But our favorite trend is painted copies of actual handwritten love notes from the bride to the groom or vice versa.
Also, hand-painted cakes are versatile because anything is possible. If you can dream it, somebody can paint it. Include a hand-painted cake at any style wedding, whether you are planning a casual beach soiree or a more formal event.
Small Brushstrokes = Major Style
First of all, even the simplest details, when hand-done, deliver major impact.
Anything is Possible!
Secondly, your wedding day vision can be fulfilled because any design is possible (from flamingos to family crests) with the deft artistry of a cake maker.
For example, cakes can be softly romantic. The addition of a few well-chosen words painted on the bottom layer of this cake makes it so special. And the top layer is hand speckled like a robin’s egg:
Or, you can go for a pop of color. This classy cake features gorgeous sapphire brushstrokes:
Or, if you are searching for a copper cake, consider this one. The crisp outlines in black look like an ink drawing:
Or, if you are into a burgundy color palette, take a look at this pair of cakes:
The artistry of handwork on cakes pairs perfectly with three-dimensional elements like flowers.
Confectioners can use different painting techniques to create amazing works of cake art. We love this gouache style cake.
Delicate watercolor flowers adorn this sweet cake:
Certainly, birds and branches are a popular theme on tiered wedding cakes for 2020:
This vintage-inspired single layer cake by the award-winning British bakers at Juniper Cakery is very pretty. Fashion-forward and youthful this cutie features a monogram in a gilded frame.
We love this soft pastel pink dress. It is giving us fairy, woodsy vibes with a chic twist.
This spectacular cake is like a slice of stained leaded glass heaven. Inspired by Art Nouveau designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and his famous lamps.
Full of whimsy this cake has adorable portraits of the bride and groom and a cute scalloped edge first layer.
Even a simple splash of handiwork in gold provides drama on this cake:
Next, this bohemian masterpiece which combines Geometric shapes with free-form gilding by Gateaux Inc. This beauty was featured on The Cake Blog.
Last up we have this dramatic cake, with a profusion of gorgeous flowers attached to a matte black two-layer confection.
To conclude, whatever cake you decide on for your wedding day, we hope you consider using some lovely, hand-painted elements.
We’re gearing up for PROM 2020 at The Gilded Gown! We are so super pumped and excited for this year’s Prom Season! And, we can’t wait to show you ALL of the gorgeous gowns our team found for you at the markets in Chicago, New York, and Atlanta! You’re going to love our exclusive selection of beautiful dresses in all sizes, styles, and at all price points.
This year we have more exclusive designers than ever before! We have more styles on the floor! We have all sizes from 000-36! And we have the best staff of stylists who love to help you find your dream dress! We also have easy layaway terms, a fun atmosphere, and the most gorgeous gowns we’ve ever had in the store! We are in our beautiful, brand new location at 8435 Kingston Pike. There are plenty of spacious dressing rooms too (22 of them)! For your convenience we are open every single day: Monday through Saturday our hours are 11 am to 7 pm and on Sundays, we are open from Noon to 6 pm.
This season is all about neutrals, pops of bold color, off-shoulder looks, deep plunging necklines, spaghetti straps, cutaway skirts, slits, and sparkle.
In order to give you all a sneak peek into this year’s looks, we recently held a styled shoot at the swanky and hip Hyatt Place on Gay Street. We rolled rack after rack of dresses into the hotel and carted in boxes of jewelry past onlookers in the lobby. We set up a giant dressing area in one of the hotel’s huge conference rooms. Team GG got the dresses all lined up for the models.
and a ton of accessories.
Here’s most of our crew. It takes a lot of people to run a shoot! (Snacks help!)
Local photographer and voice over artist Todd Ethridge was on hand to capture images of the gorgeous models, Alex, Savannah, Joshalyn, Chardonai, and Katelyn who are all represented by Gage Talent; plus Jailyn and Joshalyn who are free agents.