Thursday, March 20, 2014

next time you shop, make a difference.

Looking for gift ideas or new decorations for your home? Why not benefit others with your purchase by shopping fair trade? Check out Partners in Development's brand new Etsy shop

PID works in impoverished communities in Haiti, Guatemala, and the U.S. Their goal is community transformation through medical care, adequate housing, small business loans, education, and child sponsorships. The new Etsy shop features beautiful, handmade arts and crafts from the areas where PID works, and each purchase provides a fair wage to the artist who created it. In areas where unemployment is incredibly high and wages are incredibly low, this is a BIG DEAL.

So, next time you're in need of a bowl, purse, cards, jewelry, or a wooden rooster, save yourself a trip to the mall and shop here first. Your purchase helps someone put food on the table.

[Oil drum bowl made from recycled steel in Haiti]
[Wooden roosters from Guatemala. Who can resist these guys?]
[Oil drum bowl made from recycled steel in Haiti]
[Beaded earrings made from rolled magazines]
Learn more about PID.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

dear neighbors who love my shoes,

can i tell you something? you crack me up.

your little comments about my shoes as i pass by...they tickle me, make me laugh a little inside each time. you all seem quite enthralled with my shoes and their wild colors. that neon yellow sole that strikes the ground like a flash (like lightening? i wish.) when my heel hits the pavement and rises again. those highlighter pink and orange stripes that dance along the sides, pulsing rhythmically with my stride.

i pass you and you comment. you like them. they're fun. they're crazy. i agree, neighbors. i'm glad you said so as you walked out of your front door and tended to your garden, as you walked past on the other side of the street, as you took your dog for a stroll and launched your boat into the river.

and to the middle aged woman sitting on your beach chair in front of your garage, just watching the cars roll by: i'm glad we carried on that conversation about my shoes. you told me you loved them and i said thanks. made some comment about how i do, too. how they are great motivation to hit the pavement. and then we talked about clouds. how my shoes must make me feel like i'm running on clouds. i wish i could tell you they did. in fact, i might have. but the truth is, woman in your beach chair, the pavement is always relentlessly hard, no matter what shoes you're wearing. it sits heavy and solid, holding up the world around it; carrying runners and walkers, strollers and dogs; letting stray furniture and overstuffed trashcans rest until they're claimed; keeping entire cars and parking lots afloat; and, sometimes, holding beach chairs and traffic watchers. the pavement isn't always kind to my shoes, or my muscles. but, neighbors, your funny little comments...they make me forget the pavement for a moment. and maybe, hopefully, my crazy, colorful shoes grab you, stun you, and make you momentarily forget your cares, too.

can i tell you something else? i retired those crazy shoes this week. the pavement had done its number on them. it tore 'em up good. those shoes endured icy snowstorms and out-of-nowhere-mid-run downpours and steamy hot pavement in the dripping heat of summer afternoons. they dipped in the stinging salt water with me after beach runs. they carried me through a half marathon and through runs that sucked so bad i walked home. i didn't know how broken and bent and tired they were until that crisp new pair came arrived in the mail, their bright white, pristine soles glimmering, not yet touched, tainted, scarred by the pavement. they are sturdy and solid and ready to do this all over again. hope you like these ones, too.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

spicing up life

my handy husband made a spice rack for me for christmas last year. he's a pro at converting pallet boards and recycled wood into unique furniture pieces (like this coffee table and record stand). he even incorporated a chalk board into this piece (and if you haven't heard about my love for chalk board, look here and here and here and here). it's fantastic! unfortunately, mccormick plastic spice jars are just not cute enough to display, so i headed over to this container supply site for some cute, matchy spice jars (for a really reasonable price) and got some labels from the container store. with two moves in the span of seven months, we hadn't had a chance to put everything together until recently. i love how it turned out. have a look...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a step up

one day, we went looking for supplies to make a bookcase...and we found this great, old ladder in the $5 pile at a local antique shop. one week later, still no bookcase, but we have a sweet record stand now!

Friday, June 28, 2013

the power of a paintbrush, round two

here's round two of remedying screaming walls! (if you missed round one, see it here.)
[i have to admit, that's a pretty good red sox logo]
[trying to redeem myself]

Sunday, June 23, 2013

the power of a paintbrush

as part of our last living situation, we agreed to do some painting (aka cover up screaming walls). check out the progress:
[before: neon green and charcoal grey]
[another angle: neon green and charcoal grey]
[another angle: mid-primer]
[after: did you feel your blood pressure go down?]
[after: the finished (calmer) product]

Monday, June 17, 2013

all grown up

two weeks ago, my baby sister went to senior prom and graduated from high school. the same girl who showered with the bathroom door open until she was 12 because she hated being alone is growing up to become a beautiful, smart, capable young woman (who still hates being alone, but that's another post for another time). the confusing part about all this is that i still think she's seven. and probably always will, even when she graduates from college, gets a big girl job, gets married and has kids (who eventually turn seven). she'll always be my baby sister, but i'm proud of her and look forward to watching her grow even more over the next four years of college.

love you, la!