Sunday, May 29, 2011

Favorite Things--May

I've been meaning to do this for a while but never got around to it! The idea is simple, just a few of my current favorite things :) The only thing better thant loving something is sharing it so others can love it, too!

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#1 Printables :: they are wonderful! My roomie Kristin introduced me to them. She found this one at Kind Over Matter (an amazing blog!!). The concept is simple--something (could be a card, a note, or in this case, something to hang on a bulliten board) that is FREE and all you have to do is print it out :) I also made some Mother's Day Cards with printables this year. I spiced them up a litte by hot gluing buttons on them. I love cards, but now that i have found printables i can have cards that are precious AND save lots of $ ! It's easy, start by going to google and searching "printables blog."

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#2 My Preserve Toothbrush :: made from recycled yogurt cups! It even comes with s package that you can send it back in so it can be re-recylced (<- that was fun to type). The best part? It's a dang good toothbrush!!! Found at Target.

#3 Coupons:: My mammaw taught me many lessons before she passed and a good bargain was near the top. She was a great steward of what she'd been given and even took the time to cut coupons out for each person in my family weekly. Each stack was personalized to the products or places we liked :) I miss those stacks and miss her even more, but lately the Bailey in me is really coming out. Kristin introduced me to Krazy Coupon Lady and my sister to Southern Savers. Both are great sites to find printable coupons. Also, Borders and A.C. Moore are great to sign up for rewards. I get a 50% off one item email nearly every week. This can really save on an expensive book or art project :) Also, CVS extra bucks is totally worth signing up for! Finally, check out this twitter page, every day something free!!! Remember: a key to food or tolietries coupons/deals is often buying in advance. For instance, if CVS has buy one get one on shampoo, go ahead and get it, you know you'll need it eventually :)

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#4 Cucumbers, tomatos and balsamic vinegar:: will sent me to the farmer's market to get salad stuff but...there was no lettuce. We improvised with this little trio and it was so delicious. Be sure to add salt and pepper too! Healthy, refreshing, delicious, and easy to buy aaaand help support your local famrers:)

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#5 This I Believe:: Now that i have NPR's "This I Believe" on podcast i can't stop listening! I've always loved this program but never had access to it so easily. For those of you unfamilar with it, listeners write essays on something they believe, a core value, moral or mantra if you will. They read their essay and it's typically only about 5 minutes. These essays can be quite emotional or maybe light hearted, regardless though, there is always a beautiful message. They really are pint-sized jewels; short enough for my attention span but packed with truth. Check them out :)

...i think i'm going to try to do one of these for each month! i know, i know...try to contain your excitement :P :P

Saturday, May 28, 2011

speak up. reach out.

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sometimes i feel a little cynical. it's hard for me to pass places that i know have sweatshop tendencies and not feel uneasy. it's hard for me to go on a cruise once i hear that the workers don't have fair wages. it's hard for me to eat Tyson chicken when i know they don't treat their chickens well. it's hard for me to consume so very much when my brothers and sisters around the world have so little. it's hard for me to watch SO much food be thrown away And sometimes this worldview can lead to guilt, frustration, and bitterness. I expressed my struggles with this to a friend the other day and this was her response:

"I know it would be easier to be ignorant, and I will be honest with you: i think that i would prefer ignorance over awareness, but we have both been given hearts of compassion and sympathy and minds that seek justice and love for all, and when i look at it in that way, I realize if even in that moment...that these harsh truths I have about the world are not intended to be crippling, but they are intended to allow me a taste into what our God has when he looks at us. I truly think our viewpoint of the bitter as it makes us, as negative as it is, is a gift. Because after you identify a problem, you can give a solution. So this problem identifying is a gift because from that we offer our solution of hope, peace, and most of all joy. Do not be discouraged; though you are few, you are needed.

....and that 4 page text message refreshed my soul so very much. i want to be broken in the way that God breaks for those who are hurting. I want to be aware so i can act. I want to view the harsh realities as not paralyzing but fuel for a passionate fire. I want to know the pain, the hurt, the heartache because even though it may not lead to a life of bliss, it will certainly lead to a life of meaning. and that, that, is what i desire. And in deep in my heart, i really beleive we all desire this. We all desire this meaning, justice, this love. And when presented with an injustice clearly, most folks will cry out. but the problem is--so many times we don't know of the injustice. it's swept under the rug. or it's taboo and propaganda has warped our view of it. it's whispered about, not yelled about. but my dream is that my voice will speak out and make someone aware who will use their voice. and then they will use theirs. and then the voices will echo. and as they echo all will notice, and all will realize that equality, love, peace, and hope are really the best options in this thing called life.

here's to seeking truth even when it hurts.
here's to looking in the eyes of pain and letting it break you.
here's to a better world.
here's to remembering all life starts with death--so let that piece of you die, let that injustice rip your heart out, and then, let a sprout of justice grow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here's to...

Found this on the Freedom Experiment and loved it :) Check out this whole blog for some inspiration for the soul!