This holiday season I’m being more aware of where my money is going. My intent is buy only from local (made in America) vendors and socially conscious companies. This post is about the gifts that give back! Those gifts that a portion of the purchase will be going towards a charity, organization, or a person in a developing country to better their life. I haven’t decided on the different sites, charities, and fair trade projects that I will be going through for my gift shopping. I’m looking at other full time bloggers more comprehensive list for suggestions. But I wanted to share two sites that you might not know about, and after the jump are two sites you probably have.
My sister purchased gifts a few years ago from The Women’s Bean Project, an organization that helps break the cycle of poverty and chronic unemployment for women. She put a chili making kit in a white elephant gift exchange which landed with my mom, who made the chili and it was yummers. Definitely a great gift idea for the people in your life that don’t have room for more possessions. Also it’s a Colorado based organization, and I like that its helping its community in the States.
For the less kitchen friendly friends, maybe some jewelry from The Giving Keys a company that employs the homeless and provides hope. My former coworker and I got in a heated argument about these keys last year I will not rehash, but I think its a cool company.
“when I want to run away – I drive off in my car – but whichever way I go – I come back to the place you are” – Peter Gabriel
I have a love of the open road like an *inexperienced traveler dreaming of fresh air, good tunes, and friendly faces at every stop along the way. So when Bowerbird’s band was booked for a show in Phoenix , I decided to use this opportunity as a weekend retreat for the two of us. The band was o.k. with my band-aid habits. I became emotional as we headed East on the 10 realizing I was going out of state. I want to drive across the country more than I can express, so when I get little morsels of that feeling it inspires and fuels me to skip my Starbucks, not buy 50% off dresses, and continue to save.
I booked our accommodations with Airbnb. It was my first time and I was respectfully filled with a bit of nerves. I’m not sure if it was an ad or a magazine article that turned me onto AirBnb but I went to the website and found the perfect place to stay. Only a mile away from the venue, it was a totally adorable converted garage/back house decorated impeccably with 72 good reviews. Our host Sky never seemed annoyed by my laundry list of questions, and even welcomed us to park in their driveway behind a gate to protect the band gear.
We left around 6am, stopping in Palm Springs for a delicious breakfast at Lulu’s. The same café I stopped at last year on my way back from Coachella. [Amazing that was only last year] Bower ordered the California Eggs Benedict, avocado, smoked salmon, caviar covered in hollandaise. And I went for a strawberry Crepe. I had already been buzzing from my earlier Starbucks, but added 3 more cups of coffee to my morning addiction while at Lulus.
On the road again, we made some pretty good time getting to Phoenix by noon. We grabbed lunch at a café in walking distance of our Airbnb stay. It was a converted house and we enjoyed a simple grilled cheese. We continued to explore after lunch walking down the same street and found the holy grail of window shopping, a vintage store/soda shop, MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain. There was fantastic bistro chairs and tables lined up outside for sale, inviting us two hipsters to step inside and check out the rest of the goods. The soda shop was decorated with kitschy collectable toys, which easily could be an excuse to indulge the owners hoarding habit. It also had a funny smell of old French fries and stale cheeseburgers, but when you walked into the Vintage part of this joint venture the weird smell went away. They had the best selection of vintage furniture I’ve seen in a long time. My favorite piece being a stereo record console that I wish could fit in my small Yaris. The best take away find was a Life magazine from 1966 with French actor Jean-Paul Bermondo on the cover, which is now framed and will be hanging up in Bowerbird and I’s bedroom.
Retiring to our home away from home until the show; Bowebird worked on music and I studied up on Social Media management. Two happy dorks retreating into our AC pumping Airbnb little cottage. The bar their band was playing at was a mid-level dive, so not terrible enough to be cool in its divines. Performance was great, but afterwards an 80’s club filled with Madonna and Bangle tunes ignited. It was an odd crowd to say the least, but kind none-the-less.
The next day we wanted to extend our trip a little further by grabbing lunch at a new place, which lead to a serendipitous art excursion. Please visit My Favorite MAOI for the rest of the art adventure story.
Side note: My favorite part of the drive home was when the following song came on Pandora and narrated my own version of a 90’s romance movie; a woman just learning to trust again and can she really fall in love while finding herself.
It’s technically still Friday in California and I have 1 hour and 30 minutes to post my Friday Favorites.
I used to be against ribbon hair ties. My hair is thick and I always felt they didn’t hold, and lacked the right tension. But I met the sweet husband of Perfect Hair Ties creator/owner Marlo, at the Renegade Craft Fair and he was quite the sales man. Giving me a glitter hair tie as they have more “hold”, little did he know I am a huge glitter fiend. I’ve loved my little turquoise hair tie ever since, even using it to cheer up a glum day. I love this colorful Kaleidoscope set and can’t wait to get my own! $24.00 on Perfect Ties Etsy Site
I came across the Fancy Tree House blog through a Beautiful Mess post and recognized the featured model (store owner/ blog writer), I felt strangely familiar with her features and then her husband as well looked incredibly familiar. How did I know their faces? Maybe it’s because they were both in my favorite 2009 band, and first My Favorite MAOI band interview Castledoor.
Cory and her husband Gabe moved to Tennessee and she took her amazing sense of style off stage and into an online vintage store. I loved looking through the outfit of the day post, and its one of the better curated e-vintage stores as well. Haven’t found anything I MUST have yet, but I’m sure I will.
My coworker showed me this video, and I quickly knew it was a joke based on the VERY simple lyrics. Then with the line “What does the fox say”…well I knew this was my kind of ridiculous humor. It just makes me smile and made my mom completely crack up. Laughing out loud is not something she does often. “I loved it” – MOM
Lastly today was the end of Forty Days of Dating. It ended how I thought it would, Jess and Tim didn’t seem like a perfect fit. Dan and I have talked about how we think a lot of people settle for the “almost but not quite” partner. They aren’t “the one” but are close enough. I don’t want to say anymore about it, but Tim sort of is dead on in his explanation. Except I could kick him in the shins for saying he’s “in love” with Jessica. Really dude? No you aren’t, wrong words!
READ: 30 UNDER 30 – Refinery 29
I read about every person instead of skimming over it and picking the ones I auto-liked. I’m really glad I took the time to learn about all of them.
favorite quote from article: What’s the best professional lesson you’ve learned?
“Probably the most useful lesson I have learned is one I taught myself the hard way: Don’t work with people you don’t respect or people who don’t respect you, no matter what the incentive. It’s better to be surrounded by authentic support and intellectual stimulation and be broke than to make more money through situations that are a drag.”
I have this second Aunt, my father’s Aunt. Aunt Alice, she is the most divine woman. I love/d my grandma, but she had nothing on Aunt Alice’s style. Always posh, she always wears s skirt suits (she made) that could give Miss Coco herself a run for her money. I admire her style and wish to possess that kind of elegance at her age (which is 91). Right now I wear jeans and hoodies etc, but after 80 it’s all about Aunt Alice class and Iris Apfel creativity.
Anyway, one day I told Aunt Alice how I just thought she was the most posh woman I have ever met. I love everything she wears and wish to possess that same grace. She then told me that her mother told her once, that whether it is to the market or out to dinner always leave your house looking your best and putting her best foot forward. With Aunt Alice’s mother in my head, I have noticed the world is different with your best face forward.
I might not always dress to the nines, but now whenever I leave the house I make sure my hair and makeup are “done” (I put done in quotations because I think a messy bun or wavy hair includes my hair being done). Mostly my makeup has to be done, foundation and blush since I have bad acne. Maybe I am more chipper with my face done up and less insecure so I don’t avoid eye contact; but I’ve noticed when I go out and have makeup on, I get better customer service. The cashier giving me 15% off discount meant only for card holders, or my billion questions are answered with a smile (this includes men and women), I basically receive better service.
At first I thought of calling this post “Privileges of the Pretty”. But I don’t think it’s about the fact I have makeup on or not I look prettier that is getting the positive results. It’s me leaving my house with my best face forward, following Aunt Alice’s advice and just putting the best of me out there. Not to say I HAVE TO HAVE makeup on at all time. There are plenty of quick errands I make with no makeup on, but if I want a little extra care, I put a little extra care into myself first.