How to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.

 

“This event is unprecedented,” the National Weather Service said on Sunday. “All impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”

Here is how you can help!

The Salvation Army and American Red Cross currently are taking donations to help with hurricane relief efforts. The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group is also seeking donations to help those hit the hardest in the coastal region.

Don’t forget about all the pets affected by Hurricane Harvey! Austin Pets Alive has transported over 200 animals and are expecting an influx of animals as flooding get worse. They are currently looking for financial donations to help take care of the new animals, looking for volunteers and looking for people willing to adopt pets to help alleviate crowding in the shelters. Austin Pets Alive also needs the following things donated ASAP to help with the several hundred displaced pets:

  • Donated (not loaned) Medium & Large Wire Dog Crates
  • Sheets (can be used)
  • Bath & Beach Towels (can be used)
  • Aluminum Food Bowls
  • Styrofoam Bowls
  • Dog & Cat Food (meat as 1st ingredient),
  • Wet Canned Cat Food
  • Litter (clumping and non-clumping)
  • Aluminum Baking Pans for litter boxes,
  • Cleaning Supplies: trash bags, bleach, paper towels, dog poop bags, Clorox wipes, sponges, hand brooms/dust pans, litter scoopers, mops, mop buckets, and push brooms
  • Leashes (all size- flat)
  • Martingale Colors (all size)
    Please bring donations INSIDE do not leave items outside.

Want to do more to help? Check out these amazing charities to find out more ways to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

  • You Caring – Compassionate Crowdfunding organized by JJ Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans.
  • Samaritan’s Purse – Two Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief units are now in Texas to help residents as they continue to struggle with rain, flooding, and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Charity Navigator – Charity Navigator has compiled a list of highly-rated charities responding in the wake of the Hurricane Harvey devastation. Our list includes both national and local organizations that are providing food, shelter, and medical support.

 

 

How to Set a Proper Dinner Table

Setting a proper dinner table is always one of those adulting tasks that seem far more daunting than it actually is. While you might be stressing out wondering if you need to buy all new china, or where exactly the soup spoons should go, no need to worry. With a few key serving pieces in your arsenal and our setting instructions, you’ll be prepared to host a dinner party in no time!

 

how to set a proper dinner table

Image via Pinterest

 

Tableware:

The first step in setting a proper table is having the right china. China is often the centerpiece of your wedding registry, so if you’re married or engaged, you’re likely familiar with adding these pieces to your registry. When it comes to china, you’re either talking about formal or causal dinnerware dishes. Formal or fine china includes bone china and porcelain, whereas casual china is usually earthenware or stoneware and is a less expensive option. Many sources will tell you that couples should buy two sets, one set of formal and one set of casual for everyday use. This really depends on your plans. If you plan on hosting formal dinner parties often, it’s a good idea to invest in some high quality china, whereas if you tend to lean on the more casual side of things and plan on only having friends over for a small gathering every once and awhile, there’s no need to invest in formal china.

Key Pieces:

Place settings usually come in four- or five- piece sets. The four-piece is usually a casual china set and includes a dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, soup/cereal bowl, and mug. The five-piece set, typically for formal china, includes a dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, bread plate, and a cup and saucer. Some additional serving items you might want to consider are a large and small platter, two to three serving bowls of various sizes, a gravy boat, a cream pitcher and sugar bowl, a teapot, some small serving dishes of various sizes and shapes, soup bowls, and chargers. You’ll also want to make sure you have the appropriate water and wine glasses, as well as flatware to go with your set.

Setting the Table

Informal:

When it comes to actually setting the table, the dinner plate is positioned in the center of the place setting, with the napkin placed over it. The napkin can actually be placed anywhere in an informal setting, either on the plate, to the left of the plate under the forks, or on its own to the left of the forks. The flatware is arranged around the plate in the order it will be used. Two forks are places to the left of the plate with the small fork on the outside and the dinner fork on the inside. The dinner fork (the larger of the two) is used for the main course, whereas the small fork is used for a salad or appetizer. The dinner knife is placed to the right of the plate, the cutting edge facing inward. Spoons then go to the right of the knife, again following the outwards-in rule by which is used first. If soup is served first, it would be placed outside the dinner knife and the dessert spoon would go to the left of the soup soon. Any drink glasses or stemware should be placed to the right of the setting, above the knife.

Formal:

For a formal event such as a dinner party or holiday meal, your formal place setting is just the informal place setting taken to the next level. You can decorate the table with floral centerpieces, candles, etc. This is your chance to have fun with it! A few things to remember: no more than 3 of any utensils are to be placed on the table at a time, except when an oyster fork is used in addition to the other three forks. If you are serving more than 3 courses before dessert, the utensils for the fourth are brought in with the food. Dessert spoons and forks are brought in on the desert plate before dinner is served as well as the cup and saucer for coffee and tea. Overall, the setting follows the same outside-in order as the informal setting did above. The glasses follow this same order, and the water glass should remain on the table from the beginning to the end, typically placed closest to the plates. The only additional differences are the salad plate atop the dinner plate, the place card addition, and the bread plate and butter knife. 

Happy entertaining!!

A Guide to Registering for Sterling Silver Flatware

Image via

Sterling silver flatware has a classic, timeless appeal that makes it a go-to item for brides to add to their registry. With countless patterns to choose from, you and your future husband will be able to choose a set that fits with your lifestyle. If you’re planning on registering for sterling silver flatware any time soon, read on for some tips on durability, care, and the advantages and disadvantages of adding it to your registry.

Cost

Many brides are weary of adding a sterling silver set to their registry because of the high cost. It is much more expensive than stainless steel, with sets running well into the thousands of dollar range. While this may be a costly investment, you have to remember you are paying for the quality. Your set will retain value over the years and is something that can be passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom. You can always build upon your set too, so you might choose to only register for a few pieces and then add to your set later on. If you are missing any pieces either from a set you have been passed down or from your registry, you can purchase replacement pieces through Replacements.com.

Durability

While sterling silver flatware is known for its quality, it does tarnish with use. The copper alloy oxidizes over time as it comes in contact with air, sulfur, and water. To counter this, silverware should be immediately washed and dried after use. 

Care

When it comes to caring for your sterling silver flatware, there are a few different options. Sterling silver made after the 1950s is completely dishwasher safe. Although, most experts do advise hand washing and hand drying to retain quality. If you do plan on washing in the dishwasher, it’s best to remove your silver before the drying cycle and dry with a soft, cotton cloth.

The more you use your silverware, the less it will tarnish. The finish on sterling silver actually improves with daily use, unlike many other metals. There are countless sprays, liquids, and pastes out there that you can purchase to help you clean your pieces. Be sure to avoid citrus detergents as these can cause rust spots. If you’re a DIY kind of person, you can also create your own paste by mixing baking soda and water. In addition to cleaning after use, you’ll also want to polish your set once a year, either professionally or with a polish made for sterling silver.

Storage

You’ll want to keep your silver in a clean, dry place. For silver you use daily, keep in a lined chest or drawer. If you’re only using your silver periodically, a tarnish preventive bag or chest is recommended.

Beautiful Beach Wedding Dresses for Guests

Beach weddings are like a mini vacation… who doesn’t want to watch a friend or a loved one tie the knot in front of a beautiful seascape? While this pending beach ceremony might be exciting, there’s always the question of what to wear? After all, your stiletto heels will inevitably sink right into the sand, and there’s nothing worse than a thick fabric in 90-degree sun! If you’re headed to a beach wedding this summer, here are a few simple rules to follow:

1. Be sure to check on the dress code

Beach weddings can range anywhere from uber casual where a simple sundress or a cotton maxi dress will do, to a formal ceremony where a long, elegant gown is called for. Knowing what kind of dress you’ll need to wear will take most of the stress out of planning your outfit.

2. How casual is casual?

If you’re headed to a casual beach wedding, make sure to dress light and easy. Most times a cute cotton or chiffon sundress in a pretty print or bright color is your best bet. Light fabrics that aren’t clingy like linen, chiffon, cotton, or thin lace are your best friend. When in doubt, just think of what you would wear to a summer get-together and pair with a cute pair of sandals or wedges and you’re set!

3. When it’s a formal affair

If you’re headed to a formal or semi-formal beach wedding a tea length dress or a ankle length gown are your go-tos. You’ll want to make sure if you do wear a long dress that it isn’t dragging in the sand.

4. Color is everything

While it may be tempting to opt for your go-to LBD (little black dress), remember darker colors conduct heat. For a beach wedding lighter colors like pinks, nudes, and light blues are best to keep you cool. Of course if it’s a formal affair that starts later, black is always a safe and sophisticated option.

5. Don’t forget to pack the essentials

This might go without saying, but make sure you pack some beach essentials with you. If the wedding is during the day you’ll want to put on some sunscreen and bring extra deodorant. You’ll also want to pack some sunglasses and a hair tie (unless you’re going for that wind-swept hair look)! Lastly, bring a shawl or light cardigan for when the sun goes down. It’s always a little chillier by the water at night, and you’ll be happy you brought an extra layer.

Our Picks for Beautiful Beach Wedding Dresses for Guests:

Anthropologie Sienna Dress

J Crew Ruffle Shoulder Sheath


J Crew Double Strap Mini Dress in Eyelet

Eliza J Floral Print Dress

Asos Closet Tie-Front Dress

Ali Jay Flower Frolicking Midi Dress

 

Betsey Johnson Fit & Flare Dress

Lastly, for a formal affair:

Asilio Exclusive Cross the Fader Dress

Monogram Etiquette: What Newlyweds Need to Know

Whether you’re looking to personalize something with your new last name (ek!) or are looking to give an extra special gift to the bride and groom, there are a few monogramming “rules” to follow. So before you go adding a monogram to a set of towels or go gifting the bride with a monogrammed robe for her wedding day, be sure to read on!

Chances are you’re familiar with monogramming from back in your elementary school days when you had a backpack emblazoned with your initials on it. Now that you (or a friend) are getting married you have to take into account whether they’ll be changing their name.

Couple Monogramming:

 

Traditionally women either take their husband’s last name, only changing their last initial, or shift their maiden name to the middle name slot, taking their husband’s last name in place of their own. Many women also keep their maiden name professionally and take their husband’s last name socially. Men on the other hand don’t usually change their initials unless he and his spouse opt for a hyphenated last name. When it comes to couple monogramming, we outlined a few options above. If the bride and groom decide to share a hyphenated last name, a hyphen is also used in the monogram.

If the bride keeps her maiden name, the couple’s monogram would be dual initials, having the two last name initials separated by a dot, asterisk, etc. This will help to differentiate the monogram from a hyphenated last name monogram. In the example above, Elizabeth Grace Brown and Charles William Smith would use B*S as their combined monogram.

Types:

Most monograms can be divided into two main categories: monograms where letters are all the same size (block) and monograms where the center initial is larger. The larger center initial style is mostly used for couple monograms.

Style:

When it comes to the actual typography, the sky is the limit! If you’re gifting a monogrammed item, it’s best to stick with basic block lettering. If you’re personalizing something for yourself, you can go as intricate or as simple as you would like. Some people even have a custom illustration or crest drawn for them. This is your chance to really let your own or your couple personality show.

What to Monogram:

If you’re trying to decide what exactly to mongoram, the options are endless. The most commonly monogrammed items are linens, towels, china, and stationery. A lot of couples will already have these items picked out on their wedding registry with their chosen monogram, so you won’t have to worry about which to chose. 

*All photos via The Knot

7 Wedding Day Mishaps Mojuba Can Handle

Don’t even think about it, Bud. Image via Pinterest (If you know the original source please let us know!)

If you’re a bride, you’ve probably had that dream. The one where you’re walking down the aisle, and everybody is starting at you, ooh-ing and aah-ing in delight, when suddenly, a snap-happy guest steps into the aisle and right on top of your train, ripping your dress. 

Or some variation of it, at least. 

The fact is, your wedding day is one of the biggest of your whole life, so it’s no wonder you’re a little worried (even when you’re sleeping!) that something is going to go wrong and derail the entire event. 

The only way we know to ease your fears of wedding day mishaps is to be prepared. Our founder, Jackie James, is a long-time wedding planner that’s literally seen–and fixed–it all on a wedding day. It’s how she decided what to put into our wedding day emergency kits! Here are just a few of the wedding day blunders Mojuba is equipped to handle.

The ripped dress.

You’ll probably be walking around in a long white dress for at least eight hours on your wedding day. That might include time spent traipsing through the woods or climbing out onto a jetty to pose for the perfect photo, AKA plenty of opportunity for rips and tears. Our bags have professional sewing kits from Gilchrist and Soames® with pre-threaded needles to make it a cinch to fix a snag and move on with your big day. 

The stained dress.

Ditto to stains, because you have to eat (really, you do!) at some point on your wedding day. If you happen to spill pizza on your gown mid-day (we’re not judging!) you’ll have a Madame Paulette™ couture stain removal kits in the bag. 

The sweats. 

Even the driest, daintiest woman in the world can break a shvitz on her wedding day. If you start to sweat, we’ve got you covered with deodorant, plus oil-blotting papers to keep your makeup intact. 

The blister.

The only thing that can take away from the magic of your first dance with your new hubby is a mega-blister from your just-as-new shoes. Not to worry! You’ll be light as air with Dancin’ Feet® cushions and a box of band-aids at your disposal. 

The hangover. 

No one means to be hungover on their wedding day, but with all of the rehearsal dinner festivities and toasts the night before, headaches can happen. Get your bliss back (or your bridesmaids back) with Advil. 

The Aunt Flo.

Who invited HER?! Sometimes, unexpected guests show up, and you can’t have that ol’ B wrecking your moment. Mojuba kits are packed with Advil and the girly-products you need to show her the door (or at least hide her out sight for the remainder of the evening). 

The limp hair-do.

Like we said, your wedding day is a long eight, ten or twelve (even longer, sometimes!) hours, and no matter who did your hair, any combination of sun, humidity, wind, your veil, and plenty of dancing and smooching can mean that come time for introductions at your reception, your hair looks like it was styled by your flower girl. No worries, wifey, we’ve got you covered with bobby pins, a comb, and hairspray (now here’s hoping one of your bridesmaids spends a lot of time watching beauty tutorials on YouTube). 

For a full list of how Mojuba can save your big day, check out our Bride Bag page here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique Bridal Shower Gift Ideas the Bride Will Actually Use

Technically, there are few events in life when it is easier to give a gift than for a bridal shower. If the bride is traditional, then you probably have an entire list of very specific gift ideas to choose from in the form of a wedding registry. But sometimes, giving a couple a pair of salad tongs can just feel impersonal, especially if the bride is someone close to you. If you’re considering “going off registry,” you’re also probably wanting to be certain you get something the bride and groom will love. Here are a few of our favorite ideas. 

bridal shower gift ideas

Think outside the Le Creuset.

A luxe throw blanket. Encourage the newlyweds to cuddle up during movie night with a super-soft throw blanket in a luxurious material like cashmere or rich wool. Bonus if it’s stylish enough to leave out on the sofa when it’s not in use. 

A night on the town, on you. The months leading up to a wedding can be incredibly stressful as the couple finalizes dozens of details and pays the outstanding balance on all of their vendors. Give them a chance to unwind on you with a gift card to a favorite restaurant, or two tickets to a sporting event, theater performance, or museum.

A pretty silk robe to get ready in. Give the bride something special to wear on the morning of her wedding while she gets glam for the day. Not only will it make her feel special from the moment she wakes up, but it will look great in photos, too. 

A ring holder. Get the bride a beautiful spot to store her bling with a ring holder she can keep a alongside her bed. Kate Spade, Waterford, and Lenox all make beautiful versions. 

Something monogrammed. To add a personal touch to something already on their registry, get it monogrammed with the couple’s new initials. Wine glasses, cutting boards, serving pieces and towels are all easy contenders for monogramming. 

A wedding emergency kit from Mojuba! Of course, we couldn’t forget the ultimate bridal shower gift (ahem!)…one of our wedding day emergency kits for the bride! Consider it doing your part to ensure that the biggest day of her life goes off without a hitch (and if there does happen to be a hitch, that it’ll be handled, pronto).  Check out our bride bags here

What are your favorite unique shower gifts for the bride? 

A Wedding Emergency Kit for the Groom

Why does a groom need an emergency kit?

Well, let’s be honest for a minute: Even though weddings are about a couple being joined together in holy matrimony for the rest of their lives, a lot of the Big Day is focused around the bride. It takes longer for her to get ready, she’s the one everyone oohs and ahhs over when she walks down the aisle, and she probably chose most elements of the reception. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; we’ve found that most grooms are happy to let their leading lady take the spotlight, but at the same time, the groom shouldn’t be relegated to second fiddle, either!

Not only is gifting him with a groom’s emergency kit a great way to ensure that he feels thought of on the wedding day … it’s also a small insurance policy to guarantee the groom has everything he needs on a day when everyone is paying attention to her. It’ll give him peace of mind and the ability to handle anything that comes his way. 

So what’s in the Groom’s Emergency Kit?

It’s basically a selection of everything our founder, Jackier James, most commonly needed during her days as a wedding planner. It covers everything from rehearsal-dinner hangover curing Advil, to a sewing kit, a shoe horn, and more….

Tux-saving Shout® Wipes (2)
Shave Kit with Gilette® Shave Cream
Styptic Pencil for shaving nicks
Hair Comb

Right Guard® deodorant so you never let em see you sweat
Listerine PocketMist® for close encounters

Cavallini & Co. ® file folders
Advil® for splitting headaches (2)

Kodak® camera for photos with your buddies
Mojuba® pen & notepad
Mojuba® pocket-size playing cards for fun

Colgate® toothbrush & toothpaste
Scope® mouthwash

Shoe horn to slip into your new shoes

Shoe shine wipes (2)

La Fresh® hand sanitizer (2)

Carmex® lip balm for kissing
Lint brush
Gilchrist & Sommes® sewing kit

Band-aids® for your aching feet (8)
Sniff® tissues (10)
Pepcid Complete® for a nervous stomach (2)
Eye drops

Of course, we truly hope the groom doesn’t need everything in this kit on his wedding day, and the good news is that what’s left over makes an ideal travel kit for the honeymoon afterwards! 

To shop the groom wedding kit, click here

12 Stylish Bridal Shower Invitations You Can Order Online

Hosting a bridal shower? Once you pick a date and lock down a venue, it’s time to send out the invitations. The invites may seem like a minor detail in the planning process, but don’t give in to the temptation to overlook them. Invitations are the first impression guests will have of the event before the date of the shower. The version you choose will send subtle clues about the formality and style of the affair. 

Luckily, there are plenty of options (you could argue maybe too many) for stylish bridal shower invitations these days, all of which can be ordered online through sites like Minted, Etsy, and TinyPrints. Here are a few of our favorites:

For a Bridal Brunch

Minted Blushing Brunch

TinyPrints: Bridal Florals Linen

Etsy, Bridal Shower Invitation by Design on Paper

For a Co-Ed Couples Shower

Minted, I Do Brew

Clean Cut, Minted

For an Evening Affair

TinyPrints Bridal Lights in Slate

TinyPrints Simply Mrs. in Slate

Minted, Engraved floral invitation

For a Casual Gathering

Minted, Summer Sippin’

Etsy, Bridal Shower Invitation by Paper Heart Company 

For a Vineyard Party

Minted, Winery

Etsy, Bridal Shower Invitation by Noted Occasions 

Happy hostessing, and don’t forget to surprise the bride with a Mojuba Emergency Kit for the big day!

Modern Wedding Registry Ideas We Love

In the beginning, the wedding registry was a way for new couples to start their married (and cohabitating) lives together on a well-stocked foot. After their bridal shower, they’d have all of the crystal and china they’d need to host years of family holidays, brand new linens for the bed they’d start sharing, and lots of bakeware and gadgets for the wife to put to good use in the kitchen.

It’s not hard to see why the traditional registry concept is now a bit outdated. More couples are living together before marriage (and thus have all the plates and serving bowls they need already), and gender roles are changing, meaning there are plenty of women out there that have absolutely zero use or desire for a KitchenAid mixer. 

The good news is that the modern wedding registry is changing, and fast. More couples are forgoing lists of housewares and linens and asking for things they need and want more than new towels. If you’re one of these couples, here are a few modern registry ideas we think you’ll love.

modern wedding registry ideas - travel registry

Take the honeymoon of your dreams with a travel registry! Image via TheKnot.com

Zola.com, the registry for anything and everything 

If you and your sweetie have plans to buy your first place and really need a new sofa, but you also would love it if family and friends could chip in for your honeymoon, Zola is the registry for you. The site lets you put literally anything on your registry, from furniture to experiences to money. It also has a group gifting option which makes it easy for guests to go in on one big gift together. One of our favorite ideas? Add a Mojuba wedding emergency kit to your registry to make sure you’re covered on the big day!

Traveler’s Joy, the registry for your honeymoon.

Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime reason to go anywhere and do anything you want…as long as you can afford it. Traveler’s Joy helps take care of the latter, allowing guests to chip in for almost any and every part of your trip. 

Feather the Nest

Saving up for a house? Renovating your dream home together? Need a new kitchen before you can fill it cooking gadgets? Feather the Nest can help. The sit allows you to set up your real estate goal or project and lets friends and family contribute. 

A Charity Registry

Already have everything you could ever need? Instead of gathering gifts you may or may not use, why not put the generosity of your guests to good use with a charity registry? There are lots to choose from, including The Good Beginning and ZankYou

Heard of any other great modern registry ideas? Tell us about ’em in the comments section!