Our home was built a little more than a hundred years ago. Our neighborhood is full of these craftsmans - in fact one of our neighbors has lived in her home for more than 90 years.
Rarely does a day go by where I don’t appreciate some details about our house. Not because it’s perfect - nothing is. What’s so amazing to me is realizing that the house I’m living in was built as much for me - a stranger in the future! - as it was for the initial occupants.
It’s not an accident that a hundred years later our home is in great shape - better than many of the newer paces I’ve lived. That's because longevity was a feature - in fact, an integral design - in both the architecture and construction of this home.
What are you building? Who are you building it for? Homes built just to serve one generation don’t last much longer. Sometimes they don't even last that long.
Dreams and ideas are like houses. Build them just to serve your needs and there's a good chance you'll outlive them. But build your dreams for more than just yourself and you might find they last for generations to come.
A friend shared a list of the 10 most influential people in his life over the last year. What a remarkable practice. But even more, what remarkable vision to see the influence people bear on his life.
It’s a habit we’d all do well to adopt, because we never shape the world alone. In fact, we are dependent on the influence of the people around us to find our own shape. As John Donne wrote:
"No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main"
There’s not one of us who can find our way in life alone. Not a one of us, not matter how great our gifts may be, that isn’t lacking in some area. The magic of community is that one person’s weaknesses are so often perfectly complemented by the strengths of another.
Who is building in to your life? Do they know how much meaning their gifts bring to you? Do you know?
How does your favorite story start?
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
"The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house.
All that cold, cold, wet day."
This week is the opening line of this year of your life. What story will you write? How are you starting that story now?
Sometimes the way a story starts tell you a lot about how the story ends. But plenty of stories with great endings have humble beginnings. What’s most important to remember is that without a beginning you can’t have a story at all.
So if you’ve got pockets lined with goals and a heart full of resolve, don’t forget to start at the beginning. Even if the best start you can muster is a small one.
“Wonder” usually means one of two things.
“Awe and wonder” is probably what most people think of when they hear “wonder". That’s the feeling you get when you encounter something greater than you thought possible. Awe and wonder is what you experience when you see Starry Night in person. It's what happens when you see your first starry night in rural Africa. That sort of wonder is a child’s first steps, a volleyed goal in extra time, a perfect kiss.
That sort of wonder comes in a moment of fully realized potential that blows past our expectations.
Funny enough, the other way we usually experience wonder is when we’re first settings expectations. “I wonder” is the first step on so many journeys. I wonder what’s over there? I wonder what would happen if I tried this idea? …If I asked her out? …Started my own business? Took the road less travelled?
The thing is, without someone thinking “I wonder” none of us get to experience awe and wonder. Without someone acting on their curiosity - without someone taking practical steps to chase an idea - nothing wonderful ever happens.
Living a life of wonder isn’t just about experiencing someone else's ideas come to pass. Life is more than watching someone else’s dreams come true.
The new year lays before you. What are you wondering about? What possibilities can you chase? What potential can you realize? And what wonder can you create this year?
We're celebrating 12 days of Christmas with giveaways and deals. Subscribe to our email list, follow us on Instagram or like us on Facebook for an entry. Share any of our recent posts on your own timeline or mention a friend for a bonus entry.
We're shipping out gifts to the winners today - our last giveaway is a Christmas Set so you've still got one more chance to win!
Orlando's claims to fame is the Magic Kingdom. But the Disney experience isn't all Orlando has to offer. In fact the creative culture has birthed a number of awesome companies that make it easy to put together this guide to "Made in Orlando" gifting.
1. Rifle Paper Co
Travel to any fun or beautiful boutique across America and there's a good chance you'll run into paper goods from Rifle. Whether it's note cards or calendar or even book covers Rifle's design is up there with Orlando's most significant current Orlando exports. We're going with a Wonderfam staple - the Rifle wall calendar which keeps us sorted between date nights and school event nights. [ Rifle Paper Co. | Paradise Gardens Wall Calendar - $26 ]
2. Lineage Coffee
The guys at Lineage are as obsessed with coffee as we are with marshmallows. We've stocked them in our shop and marveled at how well they roast beans even here in humid Orlando. They've got a subscription service to make sure the best beans around show up straight to your door, weekly. [ Lineage | Weekly Coffee Subscription - $16 ]
Makr designs incredible carry goods, furniture and even eyewear from their studio in Winter Park. They've got some pricier (and wonderful!) leather goods but we're head over heels in love with their bottle opener key. [ Makr | Bottle Key in Antique Brass - $11 ]
4. Orlando Shirts
Love Orlando and want to tell the world? Orlando Shirts has you covered with dozens of 407-specific ways to wear your love. [ Orlando Shirts | Orlando Baseball Tee - $22 ]
5. Secret Society Goods
Looking for a gift for the person who has everything? Enter the ghost-themed loop keychain: The utility of keeping keys plus the whimsy of a hand-stained ghost bead offers a unique win-win. [ Secret Society Goods | Florida Insignia Pin - $8 ]
6. 12 Degrees West
12°W crafts exceptional leather goods. While many craftsman do stellar work with bags, wallets or even furniture, 12°W won us over with this beautifully crafted leather baseball. [ 12°W | Custom Leather Baseball - $40 ]
7. Project Pop
Food makes a great gift and who doesn't love great popcorn? For those few non-popcorn lovers maybe part of the problem is that they haven't tried Project Pop's premium organic popcorn. [ Project Pop's Organic Kettle Corn 2-Pack - $18.50 ]
8. 9th Letter Press
Still a handwritten grocery list household? (Don't worry, so are we!) Thoughtfully designed grocery list stationary is the first step to thoughtfully made meal plans. [ 9th Letter Press Grocery List - $9 ]
9. Hellcats Inc
Pins and patches brighten up even the drabbest lapel or backpack. Plus they may for great stocking stuffers or office gifts. So call out the sweet tooth-ed friend in your life with Hellcat's lovingly designed pin. [ Hellcats Inc | Sweet Tooth Lapel Pin - $10 ]
We're definitely biased when it comes to ourselves! But one of our favorites things about Wondermade is hearing from Orlando transplants who find us in local shops and feel a connection back to home. So we included our most popular and widely stocked marshmallows to round out the list. And besides - who doesn't love a good bourbon marshmallow? [ Wondermade | Bourbon Marshmallows - $8 ]
This isn't a complete list of the Orlando-made awesome you can gift this year. But it's our start! If you think we missed something drop us a line and we'll keep adding to our made-in-Orlando gift guide.