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What Exactly Is An Occasions Bin™?

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Party lovers - we're in for a real treat today with guest blogger Shakira as she explains how to build an Occasions Bin™ for everyday magic making!

Hi, friends!

My name is Shakira (pronounced shuh-KY-rah), and I am the mama of three behind OccasionsbyShakira.com, a motherhood lifestyle blog that is all about tangible ways to be intentional in our memory making. My hope is that we can stir up a little magic to take with us along the way. To make big memories within the not-so-big days. To be intentional with our joy. You can follow along with all of the fun on Instagram. I would love to have you as a part of our community of magic makers. I’m also a 2022 Pinterest Resident Creator, so don’t forget to connect with me on Pinterest.

I am a proud active duty military spouse currently stationed with my husband Mark, and our three babes, Raegan (7), Zarie (5), and Xander (2), in Monterey, California–though we will be moving to Fort Bragg, NC at the end of the year. During one of my husband’s deployments, I decided to focus some of that lonely energy into finally putting my creative projects up in a way that could help other moms. I started in August of 2018, and here we are, four years later, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the work I’ve gotten to do and the community I’ve been blessed to build.

This brings me to our Occasions Bin™ tradition, which, as an Ellie and Piper lover, you’re probably somewhat familiar with. They have grown into such a wildly popular tradition, and I believe they’re popping up on kitchen counters worldwide because we’re all trying our best to find enormous joy in small moments. So, what exactly is an Occasions Bin™? Simply put, I keep a bin on my kitchen counter full of seasonal items to make daily meals or snacks a bit more magical.

Remember those cute Halloween plates you ordered from Ellie and Piper, then stashed away and never actually got used? Well, that kind of thing was happening more often than I’d like to admit. I would harbor all of these items in a cabinet or closet, waiting for “the right time” to use them…and the day would never come. I love celebrating, and these items would still get forgotten. So I’d store them away for the next year, and the same thing would happen. Around this time in 2019, I thought, why not quit waiting for a reason to celebrate and use the dang bunny plates for lunchtime—now—-on a Wednesday—for no reason. It made my kids light up. 

I continued to intentionally place it all out so that we use those items to make things like movie night or snack time a special occasion. Everything is handy right in the heart of our home, and I love the little reminder to soak in the fun leading up to the holiday. Who knew that Goldfish would be so much more fun served in a tiny snack cup covered in valentines day hearts?

Having my things on display instantly sparks joy and intentionality during the season. We pull from it to add a little magic to everyday moments like snack time and lunch box packing. It’s my little reminder to find joy in between the big celebrations. If you search the #OccasionsBin hashtag on IG, you’ll find thousands of examples of folks who have made our tradition their own. I think that’s been one of my biggest joys! Tag me in your bins so that I can share them within our community.

How do you create your own?

Step One: Snag a Bin

I always say to search your home for what you already have. I will always 100% be a proponent of saving by sourcing anything you can from home—pantry baskets, storage bins, and Easter baskets that aren’t in use.

Whatever works. I personally really like wire bins and ones with open fronts. This allows my girls to reach and grab things when they want to get themselves water or a snack. There are many cute options at Target, Amazon, or any craft store. I’ve linked my five favs from Target here.

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Step Two: Fill With Favorites

When it comes to filling the bin, there are zero rules. Put in whatever fun, festive items bring you joy and feel free to swap them out seasonally or as often as you like. I store holiday/seasonal items in bins in our garage. My first step when setting up a new bin is to see what I already have–because I save EVERYTHING that doesn’t get used! Then I’ll add in some new things as I see fit.

Staples you’ll find in my bins:

  • PLATES
  • NAPKINS
  • STRAWS
  • SPRINKLES
  • COFFEE STIRRERS
  • COOKIE CUTTERS (PERFECT FOR JAZZING UP SANDWICHES AND FRUIT SLICES)
  • CUPS
  • FESTIVE PICKS (THINK CUPCAKE TOPPERS)
  • SEASONAL WAFFLE MAKERS
  • SNACK BOARDS

You don’t have to limit your bin to food-related items either. Add anything that you want to be intentional with during the season–I love to add things like our July 4th sparklers and New Years Eve horns. It’s all about making the tradition your own.

Step Three: Create Magic Moments.

There are no rules with these bins; use them in whatever way best serves your family. Don’t celebrate holidays? Create seasonal, sports, or birthday Occasions Bins™!

Learn more about Occasions Bins™and browse some frequently asked questions on the blog.

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to curate these bins. I love all of the spooky party lines, colors and vibes. Here is my most recent Occasions Bin™ and I was able to snag so many gorgeous finds from Ellie and Piper. My personal favorites are the witch’s broomstick cutlery, purple checkered dinner plates, and the spider surprise balls. I have been an Ellie and Piper customer since 2019. You can tell that Tina takes special care to curate nothing but the best quality and most creative options for us party lovers. I love the breadth of offerings and exceptional customer service.

As a matter of fact, I am super excited to share that you’ll see my name and logo in the Ellie and Piper shop soon! I am working together with My Mind’s Eye on Occasions Bin collections that will span through 2023. The first collection will launch this holiday season, and I think you’re going to LOVE it as much as I do. Every single detail has been created with intention and memory making in mind. Be sure to sign up HERE for my monthly newsletter for a first look and drop updates!

Xoxo

Shakira

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