Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.
I have a confession to make. I’ve been known to plug a generic name into a store’s website to view random people’s wedding registries.
I know, I’m totally weird. But, it’s really fascinating! (And really creepy, but mostly fascinating.) It’s an oddly personal glimpse into a stranger’s life. What do they want to fill their home? What’s most important to them? I think my fascination with registries started when I realized you could view celebrity registries…like Tony Romo’s Pottery Barn picks that were totally normal and Kim Kardashian’s “I-think-I-might-need-this-million-dollar-mirror” picks.
I read an article recently about registry trends and the surge in “registry regret.” Long gone are the days of fine china and ten different kinds of stemware. Brides and grooms of yesteryear who may have been a bit clicker-happy are suddenly swimming in boxes of unused, unwanted gifts–even years later. Couples are registering for the life they want, rather than the life they have.
This really struck me. Had I done that, too?
When Joe and I moved to China, we got rid of 90% of our belongings and stored the rest in various parent’s basements and storage units. When we returned, we used hand-me-down kitchen items and my towels from college, so registering for (and receiving) new items felt like a major graduation into adulthood. And because we lived in the teeniest of tiny apartments in Miami, most of the items we didn’t unpack or use until we moved into our house in Virginia, which felt like Christmas.
Maybe it’s because our anniversary just passed (and today is our dating anniversary! #nineyears), or maybe because the season of weddings is upon us, but I started to think–as best I could–of our registry and what our life looks like now. A lot of people went off our registry and surprised us with fabulous gifts, like furniture and plane tickets, and I was surprised that we did follow the article’s registry survival guide of timeless white dishes (not too formal, will go with any decor through the ages) and flatware. For the most part, we love our gifts and were/are grateful for them, but there are definitely a few regrets, a few what-were-we-thinkings, a few wish-I’d-thought-of-thats.
For today’s Friday Five, here are the things we couldn’t live without, the things we’ve been living without, and what we wish we’d thought to live with, along with some of YOUR loves and regrets. Let’s talk registries — readygo! (links to our exact products included if item still available)
5. Four years later, still swooning
*coffee mugs from Anthropologie — as non-coffee drinkers, we didn’t even register for any mugs, but our dear friend Ica went rogue and surprised us with a set of beautiful mugs that we use for cocoa, tea, soup and guest compliments. Everyone that visits us goes crazy for them! (Pardon the bad phone pic, but I had to show these off.)
*pyrex bakeware set — use it every week for enchiladas, cakes, brownies, mixing bowls, you name it.
*these sheets — which will make you never get out of bed..coincidentally, not a bad gift for newlyweds (sorry)
*my pillow — side-sleepers should have side-sleeper pillows. This changed my life.
*noise-cancelling earbuds — a must for planes or when your husband is practicing and you’re trying to read
*ice-cream maker — my favorite only-does-one-thing appliance of all time. And thank you to all who voted in my poll last week….Coffee and Doughnuts Ice Cream for the win.
*these cake plates — they look like fragile glass, but so sturdy, and three sizes you can stack together or use individually. We used the small one for scones at Easter and the large one for Joe’s birthday cake last year. So pretty.
*stand mixer — by far my favorite gift, this gets used constantly in our house. con-stant-ly. Here’s the day we received it from Memaw and Pops. I was skinnier back then. You can thank the stand mixer for that too.
4. Collecting dust and taking up space
*huge decorative glass bowl — I had visions of this gorgeous bowl sitting on an entryway table. News flash — we don’t have an entryway table and we’re soooo not this fancy. It’s been sitting in a box ever since. Registering for the life you imagine? GUILTY.
*napkin rings — despite me picking napkin rings that look IDENTICAL to Joe’s wedding ring (before he picked it out, no less), their novelty stops there. I can’t imagine when we’d ever use them.
*nice beer glasses — we love beer! but we’re lazy and drink from the bottle. If we had more room, we’d put these out, but we don’t so in the attic they’ve stayed. <insert sad face here>
*bread maker — I would love to use this, but I’ve never had real counter space for it, and then I just forget we have it.
*mini food processor — something I thought I’d want someday, but turns out I’m okay with a knife (I’m sure by publishing this I am dooming myself to a severe cut this week).
*ice bucket — if we were throwing parties, I’m sure this would come in handy, but we’re not.
3. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
*immersion blender — we received one a few years ago and use it almost every week. I absolutely love how versatile it is and how compact it is for storage
*Le Creuset dutch oven — I received one as a going-away gift when we moved from Florida and it’s the best pot I own, would have made an awesome wedding gift
*nice cutting board — Food Network shows have me swooning for those beautiful Boos wooden boards
*charity — a lot of people are now asking for donations to charities they love or that support research in passed loved ones’ honor. Such a wonderful idea. Would have loved to do this to honor Joe’s dad.
*honeymoon fund — another great idea. We went on a cruise, so it was pretty all-inclusive, but we could have listed a few excursions or something
2. Your Favorite Registry Gifts
Bryan and Robbi (married almost three months): electric kettle for french press on the weekends, TV Trays, throw blanket, plateware. We can’t wait to use our Kitchen Aid mixer and home brewing kit. (awesome gift!)
Kim and Grant (married 7 1/2 years): The thing I love and use the most has got to be our stand mixer.
Krista and Tim (married 14 years): silverware!!!!!!!! (she does have the best silverware), everyday dishes, bakeware, cooking stuffs/gadgets, and, of course, our stand mixer.
Amy and Bobby (married almost two months): I love how easy it is, walk around the store with a scanner gun and scan anything that strikes your fancy! That part was fun! It is also fun to be able to register at places like Sears, where Bobby could register for the stuff he cared about (a drill, tools, leaf blower, etc), that definitely helped him be more invested in the process. He doesn’t care too much about towels or kitchen gadgets. I also LOVED the honeymoon registry. Being able to offer it as an option in addition to Bed, Bath and Beyond and Sears made me feel like it was less “offensive” I guess, asking for honeymoon help but also offered a way for people to learn a little about where we were going and what we were doing there so they could feel included, that was really nice! And we were able to use that money to upgrade our room and go on fun excursions and make the trip extra special. (I agree, great idea!)
1. Your Registry Regrets
Bryan and Robbi: Hasn’t been out of the box: food processor, toaster oven, and wall clock. Wish we had asked for: a bigger kitchen (haha), a vacuum, rug and wall decor
Kim and Grant: The only thing I regret is that we didn’t ask for nicer dishes. I didn’t want china, so we asked for some everyday dishes, but the ones we asked for were really cheap. I liked them a lot, but they were cracked, chipped, and broken pretty much beyond usefulness inside five years.
Krista and Tim: formal china – used 1 time in 14 years and stemware – we don’t drink
Amy and Bobby: I kind of regret being so plugged into it, checking it all the time to see what had been purchased and what was left. In some ways, you don’t have a choice, you have to make sure you have enough stuff or have other options if you didn’t register for enough the first time, but I’m definitely an “open your gifts on Christmas morning” kind of girl, so it took the surprise out of gift opening at showers and after the wedding. I also found the registering process kind of overwhelming. Even though the scanner gun was fun, by the end of the 2 or 3 hours I didn’t care anymore which flatware I chose or whatever. I probably should have split it up over a couple trips to refresh. Though ultimately I’m happy with what we selected! I checked the registries a lot on my phone and the mobile apps were lacking for certain. Definitely not super user friendly, especially for deleting items.
What do you think? Stand mixers for the win? Did you feel obligated to register for something? Or have something sitting in a closet since your wedding? Any weddings to attend this summer? What will you be gifting them? Any registries you think I should stalk?