Monday, November 24, 2014

Give Back Shopping!

As we all shop for the holidays, with Black Friday, and Cyber Monday coming up, I believe it's important to shop with meaning and purpose. All of the sites and products below give back to the community in some way with each purchase, and where applicable, I have denoted how. 

Do you have a favorite give back shopping site?

Noonday Collection was started as a way to raise money for adoption fees and is based here in Austin. It's primarily jewelry and it's reasonably priced! The items in the picture below range from $12-$30 and are made by artisans involved with the Fair Trade Federation.

TOMS is the original "one for one" company. I recently read his book, Start Something That Matters, and was impressed. He was honest (or so it seemed) and passionate. Purchase shoes, they give shoes. Purchase eyewear, they help restore sight to someone in need. Also, right now if you pay with PayPal, you get free two day shipping.

Beyond Beanie is one I haven't shopped at yet but I am planning to for the holidays. Each purchase, a beanie, bag, and other accessories gives back to the community a certain amount. 1 beanie gives 5 meals, 1 bag gives a set of school supplies.

Sevenly is one of my favorites! I own a couple of shirts from this organization. Each week they focus on a different charity or organization and donate $7 from each purchase.

Warby Parker also operates on the buy one, we give one, business model but with eyewear.

MudLOVE is mostly jewelry. I actually own one of the bracelets and love it! The band is my favorite part; it stays exactly where you put it which is amazing for an adjustable band. Each purchase donates a week of clean water to someone in need in the Central African Republic.

Wear Figs is a newer one I have found. Each set of scrubs sold, they give one to someone who can't afford them; Threads for Threads. Prices are $25-$32 for women, and $25-40 for men. They also have scrub caps and v-neck tees.

FEED Project has been one that has gotten some attention lately! The bags seem kind of expensive, at $100 the first tote below, but once you read the fine print, you see that one purchase will feed a student for a year! That's amazing. Most of them only feed a person for a week, or a month, but this helps even longer. There are also bracelets that are $18 that gives 5 meals. The bags all contain inside pockets and they note in the description that the larger pocket will fit an iPad.
$80, provides 1 year worth of meals to a student. Image from the FeedProjects website.
$125, gives 100 school meals. Image from FeedProjects website.

Faucet Face are thick, glass water bottles with interesting designs. You can even custom design them with your own, uploaded image which might be neat for Christmas gifts for a family! Free shipping with 4 or more.
Through its 1 for 100 program, Faucet Face donates 5% of ALL sales of hose water, tap is terrific and hummingbird feeder glass water bottles, PLUS, a complete filter for each sale of 5 or more individual bottles to the clean drinking water charity Third Millennium Awakening (TMA).
Infographic from
Soap Box Soaps sells soap, body wash, and liquid soaps. A lot of us give soap related gifts at Christmas (like Bath and Body Works) so maybe something like this would be good gifts as well.

This is part of a Make a Difference post I'm doing as part of a link up with She Lives Free. Originally posted on my faith blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goal & life planning: Part 1

I'm one of those annoying people that thrives on organization but typically seems spacey due to my brain never shutting up. I'm starting to take more risks, and set more goals and I'm really excited to kill them! 

So I'm going to do a few posts about how I plan to accomplish some goals I have in mind, and some soul searching on what I really am passionate about and want to do with my life. I feel like I'm a little late on this, but better late than never right?

I'm one of those weirdos who still prefers a paper planner, though I do keep meetings and appointments on my phone as well (yea Outlook at work!) I use one called Passion Planner. I originally backed her on Kickstarter and absolutely love my planner. Right now she is doing a Kickstarter to fund a smaller one, and I have already backed that one as well. It's great! If you want to try it, she has free printable pages on her website as well, or you can back the new Kickstarter here. It has 14 days left.  

Each week starts on Monday (the new one starts on Sunday, but this is the original one). Has a place to put a weekly focus, write down good things that happened, a quote, and a small goal or task to do each week. Below is a section for a Personal To-Do List, a Work on, and a blank space to get creative. This is a week I haven't written on yet but I enjoy this planner. 

Goal Planning
Another thing I am going to be using to get organized and set goals is something called PowerSheets from Lara Casey Shop. Information from the site:

Picture is copyright of Lara Casey
105 PowerSheets™ last for 6 full months and include: 
  • 2014 Goal Setting and Action Plan Sheets 
  • Monthly/Weekly/Daily Tending Lists 
  • Monthly PowerSheets Checklist
  • Great Things That Happened This Month
  • This is My Year Goal Sheet
  • Big Dreams Page for big ideas
  • What Fires Me Up
  • Things I Want to Learn/Things I Learned
  • My Vision
  • Access to exclusive PowerSheets Facebook Group
NEW in the 2015 PowerSheets™:
  • Streamlined beautiful design
  • Set of 8 tabs, in tan and gold foil
  • Three-Month Goal Refresh 
  • Words of Inspiration
  • New motivating quotes and notes from Lara
I heard about this from Val Marie Paper  when I was looking for a prayer and/or gratitude journal. I'm excited because for some reason, having it written down makes me more motivated than just jotting it down on a post it, or telling myself I'll do it.

I also keep a Moleskine or small notebook with me at almost all times. I like writing and I also use the Notes application on my iPhone to jot down things, such as grocery lists. I'm more likely to forget a paper one but having it on my phone, I have no excuse.

For budgeting, I've always use Mint, but I'm looking into others as well. I like it because it keeps everything together, and emails me updates if I want them. I can add my credit cards, loans, bank account information, and it's all there in one place instead of me logging into each site individually.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2014 books as of November 8

1Q84 (Vintage International)
After Dead: What came next
Alias Grace
An Unquenchable Thirst
And the Mountains Echoed
Bearing an Hourglass * -Reread
Being a Green Mother - Reread
Beloved Disciple
Big Little Lies
Bloody Bones
Blue Moon
Burnt Offerings
Chasing God
Circus of the Damned
Crazy Love
Dead Ever After
Dexter's Final Cut
Everything I Never Told You
Fast Food Nation
Freefall To Fly
Girl Meets God
Good Omens
Help, Thanks, Wow
Her Dark Curiosity
Hollow City
I Am Malala
I'd know you anywhere
If I Stay
Interpreter of Maladies
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Jamaica Inn
Lean In
Let's All Be Brave
Love Does
Lucia, Lucia
The Lunatic Cafe
Maya's Notebook
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War
The Moonlight Palace
Narcissus in Chains
No Other Gods
Obsidian Butterfly
On a Pale Horse -Reread
One Lavender Ribbon
One Thousand Gifts
Orange is the New Black
Paper Towns
Perfectly unique
Real Murders
Self-Inflicted  Wounds
Serena *
Spiritual Misfit
Start Something That Matters
The Aviary
The Aviator's Wife
The Birds
The Glass Castle
The Glass Magician
The Goldfinch
The Golem and the Jinni (P.S.)
The Handmaid's Tale *
The Historian
The Husband's Secret
The Invention of Wings
The Killing Dance
The Light in the Ruins
The Madman's Daughter
The Night Circus
The Paper Magician
The Paris Wife
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Poisonwood Bible *
The Reason I Jump
The Shack
The Silent Wife
The Snowball: Warren Buffett
The Woman in the Photograph
Unnatural Creatures
War Brides
We Were Liars
What Alice Forgot
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
With a Tangled Skein - Reread
Wielding a Red Sword - Reread
Winter of the World
World Without End
Yellow Crocus: A Novel
Yes Please

The reread are all part of a series called the Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony. I'm pretty sure I've read other books as well, just forgot to note it somewhere!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quiet around here

This blog is somewhat at a standstill, though I do have a couple of things in the works for regular posting soon. I am out on a medical leave due a chronic pain condition (mentioned previously) so haven't been that great at doing much other than trying to sleep when I can, making dr's appointments, talking to insurance (that is NOT fun), worrying about the work I am missing, and spending time with my family. Things are a little nuts around here! I rarely even leave my apartment.

Posts I'm thinking of doing:

Lifting sets I enjoy

Links to workout ideas that I use


Favorite workout clothes (I have lots!)

How to fit it all in working and with a kid

Debating with CPT program to do

Grad School contemplation