Short and So Sweet

Trying to get better about having little baby blogs so it doesn’t take up 20 minutes of your afternoon.

Welcome, the new love of my life:

AHH! I can blog on my iPad now.  Amazing.  So excited to have it.

 

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Nor Here, Nor There – Dublin & Paris 2012

This blog has been a long time coming.  I didn’t want to forget a single moment of the trip, so I took my time.

When I told people I was heading to Europe, their first sentiment was, “WOW, be careful.”  Do I look like the type of girl who often endangers herself?  Although we did end up in ghetto of EACH city we visited, I made it home alive.  I’d love to share with you my findings from each city.

D U B L I N

My impression of what Dublin would be like:  A bunch of drunk red-headed happy folk jigging to Irish tunes and rolling hills of green.

What Dublin actually is:  A bunch of drunk multi-colored haired happy folk drinking pints to the background music of Katy Perry and Oasis covers in pubs that look like Kildaires.

Ireland is the greatest place on earth.  The pubs are filled with the nicest people and the Guinness is certainly flowing.  People named Paddy Desmond, Katie Murphy, Brian Joyce, come out of the woodwork to greet you and ask you where you are from and how you are enjoying Dublin.  Everyone wants to hear your story.

Although we didn’t make it out of the city center of Dublin, (our day trips to Galway and the west coast were canned by our 5am binge drinking), the city itself is really not all that different from a city in the states.  There was one distinguishing feature of the city that I couldn’t take enough pictures of, and that was the doors of Dublin!  Below is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.  I made Lisa and Tory feel like touristy dorks while taking these pictures, but well worth the embarrassment.  No single door is the same along the streets.  The cab driver told us “American girls love the doors” and he was right.  He said that they used to be homes (mostly for the Guinness children since there were 21 of them), but now most of the buildings are used for commercial office space.

We also made tons of friends while in Dublin.  People were actually interested in where you from, and what you were all about.  Each night for dinner, we got in a cab and said “take us somewhere delicious and not touristy” and it worked out EVERY single time.  We had amazing food in Ireland — comfort foods like braised beef stew, Guinness and beef pie, gnocchi, amazing brunches with mimosa’s and cappuccinos.

One thing that Europe really has down that America is sincerely lacking: outdoor seating.  Let me start by saying, Dublin weather is not beautiful in April.  It was on and off rainy and lingering between 40 and 50 degrees every day, but we ate outside quite often.  They had outdoor spaces that were covered, had HEATERS, and blankets/pillows so dining outside was very pleasant.  The pictures below are from our brunch spot “The Kitchen”.

Europeans also don’t use ice in their drinks.  Water was served with wine glasses and a big jug of water was brought to the table.  But we had ice in our glasses zero times in BOTH countries.  Even at the McDonalds in Paris, diet Coke with no ice.  I work at a restaurant where they stress 100% ice so the drinks would be ice cold when they hit the table, so this really is a foreign concept to me.

Below is the picture of our FIRST Guinness at one of the little pub’s in Temple Bar.  So delish.  I had a quick Guinness at the airport so I could remember the difference in taste.  But at the end of the day, everything tastes better on vacation.

We spent the next few days exploring the Dublin Castle, and ending up at places called Flannery’s or Copper Face Jacks.  Sleep was not really part of the first leg of this vacation.  Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

This guy was on Grafton Street.  This was one of the most lively places in Dublin.  Lots of shops, live music, people on unicycles etc.

Genius Drinking Cap:

We also thought it was hilarious that all the FOR RENT signs said TO LET.  That is one i away from being a TOILET.

Below is Dublin Castle — Honestly kind of unimpressed, but it was a free attraction so, I guess worth seeing!

We also went to the Guinness Storehouse even though the cab driver instructed us not to.  We bought T-Shirts and watched videos of barley churning.  Then we went up to the Gravity Bar to get our “Free” pint.   The view of Dublin is below.  The city itself doesn’t have a ton of high buildings.  The coolest part of the Storehouse was seeing all the old designs of Guinness bottles/packaging.  They laid them all out behind a glass wall with some fun facts — I really like this picture:

We also went to Trinity Sweaters later on that afternoon and bought merino wool sweaters.  Most amazing purchase ever.  They were so warm and I’m secretly mad it’s summerish weather here in PA because I didn’t get as much wear out of it as I had hoped upon my return.

Speaking of Trinity — We swing by the Trinity College and attempted to see the oldest book in history, but we were so exhausted and it was unreasonable priced.  So we took some pictures of the bikes in front of the main campus and called it a day!

On our last day in Dublin, we traveled over to the Kilmainham Gaol which was a jail that held the leaders of the Rebellions over the years.  The jail opened in 1764 and closed its doors in 1924.  This hour tour made us miss our train to Galway, but it was pretty cool to see!  We locked ourselves in the jail and took some pictures.  Literally couldn’t stand to stay in there for longer than 1 minute.

I cannot wait to go back to Dublin.  It’s just such a comfortable city.  I want to explore Cork, Galway, Belfast and other places around the country.  I want to pee on kiss the Blarney Stone.  Next time, because there will certainly be one!

P A R I S

We arrived in Paris on a Tuesday night and immediately hit up Angelina’s.  Every person that we spoke with told us we MUST go there, so we did.  The waiter was the stereotypically rude French waiter with a chip on his shoulder.  We kept ordering different pastries/desserts and he would just say “we don’t have that.”  After 3-4 attempts we ended on hot chocolate and some treats.  It was def worth the two second walk from our hotel — amazing hot choc!

For dinner, Lindsay found us a nice little French place with no menus, just a chalkboard written in French.  I stayed safe and ordered salmon, while the rest of the girls got some sort of beef kabob.  Turns out, we lucked out since they did, in fact, offer BRAINS as an option.  Three bottles of wine later — we were ready to hit the hay.  I would certainly recommend this place — great food and casual atmosphere!  Chez Denise!

The next few pictures are just a series of “The Things You’re Supposed To See While in Paris.”  Enjoy:

The Eiffel Tower — no we did not walk the 1400 stairs, we rode in an elevator and it was equally terrifying.

Yes, we went to the Louvre — For 1.5 hours.  You could spend a week in there.  But here is my summary:  The Mona Lisa is small, Venus De Milo looks like a broken statue, the ceilings are really neat, Starry Night is in NY, and the outside pool around the pyramid is filled with trash.  You’re welcome.

The top of the Arc De Triomphe was one of my favorite part of the trip.  Maybe it’s because we spent an hour + in the Monoprix (Target of Paris) buying red lipstick and Bourjois mascara, or because we enjoyed some salted caramel crepes at an outdoor cafe in the one true day of of sunshine we had on our vacation; BUT, here are my pics from that excursion.  We did climb all 284 steps of the Arc which helped us make the decision NOT to climb the Eiffel Tower because we were beat afterwards.  One thing I noticed in both countries was the love of spiral staircases.  Everywhere we went, spiral staircases.  Anyway, this spot had a great view of the Eiffel Tower, so we spent a lot of time taking pictures of that.  It also had a great view of how terrible the traffic is around this traffic circle.  Treacherous!

After this we traveled thru St. Germaine to THE CUTEST chocolate shop in the world and got some treats for family/friends.  We also swung by Berthillon for their famous ice cream.  Although the actual store was closed until April 27th, we were able to grab some at another local shop that carried the brand!

We stopped by Notre Dame, the Musee D’Orsay, and the Shakespeare Book Company as well!  We weren’t really supposed to take pictures in the book store, but I snuck a few.

We also swung by the Moulin Rouge — which was a terrifying experience.  There were sex shops lining the streets and some shady characters.  We were the only white, American, female tourists on the street.  We left Montemarte in a hot minute and went back to St. Germaine to dine at a little Italian spot.

And last but not least, the Tulleries with our hotel behind them! Oh and a pretty shot of the bridge from Sex and the City.

And that is my European extravaganza in a few words.

Today’s music comes from my new faveeee band The Lumineers!  I know some of you probably don’t have Spotify and cannot click on the links I offer at the end of my blogs.  May I just say, “get a clue” because Spotify is the best thing since……whatever the most awesome thing you thought existed.

The song is called Flowers In Your Hair

Enjoy!

xoxo

shu

Jobs

Howdy.

I was thinking today about how much I would hate to work for a credit card company.  People call to complain, to tell you they’ve lost their card, or to complain.  I have had a series of jobs and they were all so great for various reasons.

My first job was at TCBY when I was 15.  Earning a sweet 5.25 an hour, I handed out assorted frozen treats for the community.  My boss was a total donkey.  I had Orioles tickets (yes.  Orioles.  Which seemed extremely important to me at the time) and he wouldn’t let me off from work.  He said, “If you’re going to do this to me, then I’m going to have to let you go, I’m just too short staffed.”  Oh, I see.  You’re too much of a donkey to hire enough staff to run your ice cream parlour, so I, the poor little 15 year old gal should suffer?  Needless to say, I didn’t get to go to that game, and as soon as I turnd 16, I quit.  He went out of business shortly after and the building has since been turned into 4 chinese restaurants, a greek place, and now I don’t know.

My next job was at Issac’s.  It was a cute little deli in Frazer that sold sandwiches named after birds.  The management was mega creepy and felon-infested.  Somewhere down the line, friends came in to visit.  I may or may not have offered them a free Fudgy Wudgy.  And Carol, came all the way down from the trailer park, to put me in my place.  I was terminated at the end of my shift.  All the fuss over a delicious $4 fudge indulgence.  This remains the one and only job that I have ever been “terminated” from.  I’m pretty sure I still have my pink termination slip.  I also received an oversized card from my friends that said “You know what’s worse than getting fired?” (open card)  “Getting your best friend fired, sorry!”  I still have that card too.  What ever happened to Carol, you say?  Turns out Carol was stealing money from the restaurant.  She got canned and the place went out of business shortly after.  Seeing a trend?

Next, I headed over to Anthony’s.  A sweet Ma and Pa Italian restaurant in Malvern.  When I say a Ma and Pa, I really mean there were grandmothers rolling meatballs in the basement.  The food was phenom.  My parents still order pizza from there most Friday nights.  Here, I fell in love.  I think I was about 17 at the time and there was a boy named Jason who was like well into his 20’s — maybe 24.  Which at the time seemed mega old and now seems like the glory days.  I followed this boy around like a lost puppy dog with hopes that the fact that he could drive, drink beer and get a real job would go unnoticed.  At the end of my time at Anthony’s, Jason moved off to California and I never saw him again. HEARTBREAK HOTEL!  I don’t even know his last name, but Jason/tall boy/wears glasses/I think I saw you at the YMCA last year — CALL ME!

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

After that I had a few brief stints with a small CD shoppe and a catering company.  All in all, I just really think that everyone should spend a year of their life in the restaurant business.  If you haven’t had the opportunity — I just wanted to share some learnings with you:

  • Don’t think that we don’t recognize YOU as the 12% tipper and give you service accordingly.
  • Don’t walk in and say “are you still serving” at 9:58p.  We post the hours on the door for your convenience.
  • Don’t eat your entire dinner, but tell me it was too salty.  Because I’m going to ask you why you ate it and failed to mention until now.
  • Don’t ever act like you know the menu better than I do by saying things like “you guys used to have this.”  I work here, you just come here too often.
  • Don’t get sassy with me.  I won’t be any more efficient with your condescending suggestions or snotty tude.

Hope these tips help!

If it wasn’t for the need to make money, what job would you choose?

Me? Professional blogger, concert reviewer, and doggie daycare specialist.

Don’t forget to keep up with my FlickR as I photograph a year!  Honestly, this forces me to do something interesting everyday and really pay attention to my surroundings to ensure I get a good shot every time!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shueyface/

Today’s music comes from Edward Sharpe (who will be in PHILLY May 11th)

#NowPlaying Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home on #Spotify

Enjoy!

xoxo

shu

2012 projections

I really feel a lot of pressure to make this year a great one, mainly because it’s our last on earth.  Right?  Isn’t that what people are saying?  Some sort of life altering change is going to occur because our planet is over populated, we are running out of natural resources, and there are far too many stupid people on Earth.

Don’t get me wrong, 2011 was one of my best years.  I adopted a puppy dawg, got a promotion, had an amazing summer full of live music, friends and cold beers!  But people say age 27 is a pinnacle year.  You start to find your way in your career, start to settle down and figure out exactly who you are.

I’ve always said happiness is having something to look forward to, and I’m definitely in for a happy year.  Now that I have my 2012 desk calendar fully marked and ready to go, I can share my future endeavors with you all. 

February – Dia Frampton at the Note (from THE VOICE, Blake’s lil protegé), visiting Colleen, Jenni and Matt in DC to eat jumbo pizza slices on the everlasting escalator’s in the metro, Allison Wenger’s birthday, and the last three-day weekend until summer.

March – St. Patrick’s Day! Green beer, irish potatoes and drunk firefighters.  Also Shannon Colley’s bridal shower!

April – Traveling to Paris and Dublin for 10 days with two of my best friends!!!! AH even writing it I’m freaking out with excitement.

May – A fun filled month for sure.  Shannon’s bachelorette party in AC is over CINCO DE MAYO followed my Channon Lucas’s bdizzle at the end of the month, a bar crawl, and … oh yea …. THE FIRST BEACH WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER!

June – Kicking off the month with Shannon’s wedding in CT followed by a “mico” wedding the very next Saturday!

July – 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays and since graduation, I’ve been splitting my time between our beach house and Rhode Island.  I’ve taken a few years hiatus from RI/Chris/Courtney, but now that they have Lenny, I think I’ll resume the tradition.  HA, but really it’s like a wonderland of summer fun.  I’m gunna let Bentley run in the lake and he’ll be “ruined for the rest of the day.”  I will have to save some time for the beach because my mom and g-mom have the same birthday, and it also falls in this gloriously humid month.

August – Always a solid month since it’s my BIRTHDAY!  I may be a planner, but this is where my planning stops.  I think I have some time to figure it out 😉

Now that I’ve outlined my social calendar, mainly for me so I have it writing, I can focus on other things.

Today’s music comes from … the 90’s.  During my ride to Hershey PA this weekend, we revisited some great tunes that got me all nostalgic

Listening to Stay by Lisa Loeb #nowplaying #tunesday http://tinysong.com/of3y

Listening to Father of Mine by Everclear #nowplaying #tunesday http://tinysong.com/HECh

Listening to Torn by Natalie Imbruglia #nowplaying #tunesday http://tinysong.com/TToo

Don’t forget to keep up with my Flickr page as I photograph the year.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shueyface/

xoxo

shu

Places Traveled, attempt 2.

I consider myself a very lucky 27-year-old.  In my lifetime, I have been surrounded by good friends, good family and good fortune.

One of the questions that came up in Start Something That Matters really resonated with me.  If you didn’t have to worry about money, how would you spend your time?  Without hesitation I thought to myself, I would travel.  To anywhere and everywhere.  I want to see the hick towns in northern Texas.  I want to see the biggest brightest cities, the festivals, the monuments, the museums, and the sports games.  I want to have a conversation with the homeless wizard that sits on Venice beach in California.

I was speaking with my father one afternoon, and he told me that he had been to EVERY state in the U.S. except for Arkansas.  So when he planned his cross-country bicycle trip, he made sure to pass thru just to check it off the list.  He had one rule to this travel game, you must spend the night there in order for it to count.  So layovers, train stations, pit stops are all out of the game.

I printed out a map and I keep it handy to check off the places as I go along.  I’d like to remember one specific thing about each place, but as anyone that knows me can tell you, my memory never serves me right.

I found these really cool maps on a few sites.  They are scratch off maps!  Much like lottery tickets, you scratch off each location and the color underneath is in contrast the original map color.  I’ve included links below for purchasing in case you are interested.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/scratch-map

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=19391663

This really beats my blank Word document with a list of places I’ve been, and a list of places I want to be at some point.

Going by my father’s rules of travel, I’ve been to 19 out of the 50 states.  Not too shabby.  (They are California, Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Tennessee, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Florida and Virginia in case you were curious). Last year my college roommates and I went to Chicago to knock it off the list, great city, highly recommended (especially the Wiener Circle around 1:30am).  We’ve vowed to take these small trips here and there to places we’ve never been.

In Europe, I’ve seen Italy, Spain, England, and Belgium.  I just booked my trip to Dublin and Paris for this April!! 

Planned excursions:  Greece Summer of 2013 in the Colley/Rountos estate haha and perhaps a trip over to Brazil for the World Cup 2014.

With unlimited time off and unlimited funds, I’d be a well-traveled cookie.

Where would you go?

Don’t forget to follow my photography blog as I chronicle a year in my life:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shueyface/

Today’s music comes from the new Black Keys album El Camino.  This is the new single off the album called Little Black Submarines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_JvY9xeVNM&noredirect=1

Enjoy!

xoxo

shu

TOMs shoes

Shoes have never really been a big thing for me.  I’m not the girl who spends $400 on discounted Louie Vuitton heels.  Or the girl that wears heels at all.  I choose to spend my money on concerts, vacations, concerts, dinners out with friends, and concerts.  So spending $50 on a pair of flat canvas shoes seems excessive to those unfamiliar with this company.

I love TOMS shoes.  It’s a one for one, for-profit shoe company that produces fashion forward shoes for the US, while supplying necessary footwear for kids all over the world.  For every shoe you buy, a child in need will receive a pair.  This genius business model has developed a product that people want, and are in turn, funding Blake’s movement.  The elimination of fundraising allows the company to focus on it’s main goal, which is generating enough income to support the staff, who then supports the philanthropic movement of the business.

The feeling I got when I received my first pair of TOMS shoes was unlike any other pair of shoes I’ve purchased in the past.  In a way, it’s a selfish purchase.  I get a pair of shoes that I love to wear, and I’ve provided a pair of shoes to someone who has maybe never owned a pair in their lifetime.  It baffles me that some people are missing something as simple as a shoe.  Whenever I’m feeling particularly dramatic about my issues with money, or the grumpy cashier at the CVS giving me ‘tude, or the pizza shoppe messing up my order, I try to remember that these problems are so trivial in comparison to the issues that others around the world are facing.

The feel of the shoe is organic and earthy.  I am up to four pairs now.  Army green, red, tweed with yellow soles and grey with white stripes.  I’ve included pictures below for your reference.

The reason I’m writing this blog is to make sure you’re aware of the company, but to also promote Blake’s book.

His inspiring tales of entrepreneurship and philanthropic endeavors leave you wanting to be a better person.  I’m sure we all imagine ways we can help, and maybe we even donate our time or extra cash here and there.  But to build something out of nothing in 9 months time is unheard of and truly inspirational.

Follow his lead and start something worth doing.  I’ve included the link below to the AMAZON page for purchasing.  50% of the profits from the book will be going towards the Start Something That Matters fund.  Blake will be sponsoring start up projects geared towards making a difference.  I cannot type enough pleasantries about this book or this guy.  We should all be so gracious to put our brain’s toward helping others in a true definition of success.

http://www.amazon.com/Start-Something-Matters-Blake-Mycoskie/dp/1400069181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325800864&sr=8-1

You can follow his blog:

http://www.toms.com/blog/blog-entries

SHOP:

http://www.toms.com/womens?view=all

Today’s music comes from my new fav band Fitz and the Tantrums:

Listening to Don’t Gotta Work It Out by Fitz and the Tantrums #nowplaying http://tinysong.com/Dx7U

Listening to Winds Of Change by Fitz and the Tantrums #nowplaying http://tinysong.com/Dx7T

Listening to Breakin’ The Chains Of Love by Fitz and the Tantrums #nowplaying http://tinysong.com/HY8w

Enjoy!

xoxo

shu

Hot topics of 2011

So as 2011 comes to a close, I got to thinking about all the major events that happened this year.  With smart phones, social networking sites and the internet, it has become easier than ever to get news from point A to point B.  I’d say that I find out more big news thru Twitter or Facebook, than I do from television or (ancient) radio.  Bar arguments can be settled within seconds with smart phones and Wikipedia to prove everyone wrong (or right in my case…always).  Our generation has grown up with technology at its peak.  In 5th grade, we were playing the Oregon Trail video game in the computer lab.  In 8th grade, we were told that our book report could only have one “online” source in the bibliography (tragic).  Spelling errors in Word documents are a thing of the past.  In college, Facebook took over the world and has remained a huge part in the social networking movement.  Advertisers have coveted this new outlet to personalize their ads, reach their effective target market, and seek out niche groups.  Twitter has narrowed the gap between public figures and celebrities to the everyday social networker.  Stars are able to break news, respond to fans, and market themselves in a whole new way.  Just when you think they have thought of everything, they think of something else, and I LOVE IT.

I did a little time line here of what I would consider major events of 2011.  I put some pop culture stuff in here, and some historical events.  Fun for everyone!

Feb. 10 — Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” is uploaded to YouTube and now has over 15 million views to date.  There are several parodies circulating YouTube as well.

March 7 — After a public spat with creator of Two and a Half Men, lead actor Charlie Sheen got fired from the show.  Then went absolutely insane and everyone, myself included, loved it.

March 11 — A massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake strikes northern Japan, triggering an even more devastating tsunami. More than 10,000 people are killed or missing and the Fukushima nuclear reactors are damaged causing radiation leaks and long-term evacuations.  This picture is courtesy of National Geographic.

April 29 — An estimated 2 billion people watch the wedding of Price William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.  Also, Pippa’s caboose was revealed to the world in a hip hugging white dress.

May 1 — After a nine-and-a-half year manhunt, American commandos find and kill Osama Bin Laden in a compound north of Islamabad, Pakistan.

July 5 — Casey Anthony’s verdict comes back NOT guilty causing mutiny amongst case followers.

July 13 — Harry Potter releases it FINAL movie from the 8 part series, ending over a decade of hype.  The films generated $7,706,147,978 in box offices worldwide.  I went, and then felt empty inside when it was all over.

July 23 — Amy Winehouse is found dead in her apartment due to a drug overdose at age 27.

Aug. 5th — One of my best friends Christy gets married!

Aug. 20 — Kim Kardashian gets married and chronicles the entire experience on her reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians….then gets divorced 72 days later.  I hadn’t even had a chance to watch the wedding on my TiVo before it was announced that they were splitting.

Sept. 11 — Family members of 9/11’s approximately 3,000 victims finally see the official memorial — two reflecting pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers — in New York City on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Oct. 3 — American student Amanda Knox is released from an Italian prison after being acquitted of the murder and sexual assault of British student Meredith Kercher, ending her four-year legal battle to prove her innocence.

Oct. 5 — Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., and its long-time CEO, dies at age 56 from pancreatic cancer.

Oct. 21 — President Barack Obama announces all remaining U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011, ending a war that deeply divided the nation, left almost 4,500 American soldiers dead and cost more than 800 billion dollars.

Nov. 18 — Demi and Ashton split

Now I’m sure some will be disappointed with this list.  I know I missed a few events, but I have a job.  I can’t just be making a timeline of every event of this year.  That is what WIKI is for — go look it up, you bum.

I leave you pondering this; when the world ends next December, will there still be internet?  I hope so, otherwise things could get weird.

Today’s music comes from R.E.M.

Seems appropriate:

listening to It’s The End Of The World As We Know It … by R.E.M. #nowplaying http://tinysong.com/AtA5

Enjoy,

xoxo

shu

Flex Watches and Talented Friends

So I was thinking about all of my talented friends.  I think I have a friend who is really good at just about everything.  Some are photographers, some videographers, some craft geniuses, some great shoppers, a few rocket scientists, a fitness guru here or there.  Leaves me thinking, what is my true talent?  I’ve dabbled with crochet, pottery, and cake baking classes, but nothing really sticks as my ONE thing.  After little thought, I realized, that’s kind of what I like about myself.  Being able to be half decent at several things, instead of being an absolute pro at just one. 

Just a few quick shameless plugs to showcase my amazeballs friends:

Read is a Rhode Island born and bred photographer with an amazing eye for rural beauty.  Check out his blog and website below:

http://readmckendree.blogspot.com/

http://www.readmckendree.com/

Courtney is pretty great at pretty much anything she tries.  Her latest project has been sewing.  She is currently taking a much needed breather, but check back in case she posts some other glorious DIY projects:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LennyOnRhode

And, naturally, I’m obsessed with her blog:

http://mystrawisglass.wordpress.com/

And if you need fitness tips, one of my dearest friends Shannon has a FB site set up for her amazing fitness regime.  She also offers classes in CT:

http://www.facebook.com/Fitnesse

And for special occasions, cakes, cookies or cupcakes, My friend Amy does amazing work – here is her website for all things baked:

http://www.thepetitecupcake.webs.com/

Phew, the talent.  MAROON.

SOOOO Charities.  I’ve been meaning to blog about them, and just got inspired yesterday when I discovered a new organization that targets younger folks. I feel like everyone sort of has a tie to some charity based on their life experiences.  My dad, for instance, dedicates a vast majority of his time to the National Arthritis Foundation because his mom had the disease and he watched it debilitate the later portion of her adulthood.  Some people show loyalties to breast cancer, ALS, clean water projects, etc etc.   I do consider myself a charitable person, but haven’t been able to find just one charity that warrants my devotion.  There are SO many amazing organizations out there spreading relief both locally and internationally.

My feature charity today is FLEX!  http://flexwatches.com/

I’m sure you’ve seen some of the ads on MTV, but the organization is targeting the 18-24 year old range by selling these colorful watches.  Their gig is 10/10/10.  10 colors, 10 charities, 10 percent.

Each color watch represents a certain charity.  Below is a brief explanation of each color:

 

(Orange)

The mission of the St. Bernard Project is to create housing opportunities so that Hurricane Katrina survivors can return to their homes and communities.

(Yellow)

The country’s largest grass roots organization serving the Parkinson’s community. It is a 501 © (3) not-for-profit organization and receives no governmental or public funding. Each year APDA contributes more than $2.5 million for research and another $2 million for direct patient and caregiver support through the generous support of individual and corporate donations. 

Flexwatches | Be Perfect

(Green)

The Be Perfect Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by the Hargrave family to assist Spinal Cord Injury victims that do not have the financial means to cover the cost of recovery. Within its first 20 months the foundation has been able to keep SCI friends in recovery, purchase wheel chairs. 

(Blue)

Nika water brings a voice to the worlds poor who suffer without clean water and simple sanitation. 100% of all profits are donated to support clean water projects in impoverished countries. Nika Water strives to end the cycle of poverty and create awareness and knowledge to get people involved in bringing clean water to poverty-stricken countries. http://www.nikawater.org/

 

(Pink)

Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 22.9% of all cancers in women. In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7% of cancer deaths in women). Breast cancer is more than 100 times more common in women than breast cancer in men although males tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.

 

(Purple)

It is our hope that we can improve the lives of young adults with cancer by offering whitewater kayaking and other outdoor adventure sports. These experiences significantly increase self confidence. Self-confidence empowers people affected by cancer to regain control of their lives. First Descents is not just giving young adults with cancer their self confidence back, we’re also connecting a largely disconnected population.

 

(Grey)

Imerman Angels carefully matches and individually pairs a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. 

(White)

Life Rolls On Foundation is dedicated to assisting and inspiring young people affected by spinal cord injury and uses action sports as a platform to demonstrate infinite possibilities despite paralysis. Its signature program, They Will Surf Again, empowers paraplegics and quadriplegics to surf with the assistance of adaptive equipment and dedicated volunteers. In addition to providing unique quality of life programs. 

(Black)

Imagine being around 20 years old and suddenly waking up one morning and realizing you’ve lost your central vision in one eye. Then in a month or two losing central vision in the other eye. You’re now legally blind, and you’re told there’s no treatment and no cure for the rare genetic disorder that has taken your sight.

(Red)

Rojo Gomez is a small community in Mexico where Mariners Church as partnered with Lo Mejor Del Trigo church to help serve the physical and spiritual needs of the poor in Mexico. The statistics prove the need: 40% of the population in Mexico lives below the poverty line. The average income per family is $80 a week.

 

I think it’s very cool that MTV has teamed up with this company to try to get young people to get involved and start to find their cause early on.

I just ordered the white watch.  It was tough to pick a color because all the charities are so great, so I just went based off of color, and color alone!

My 10% will be going towards:

 

Life Rolls On

866-We Will Walk | 400 Corporate Pointe Suite 525, Culver City, CA 90230

www.liferollson.org

Life Rolls On Foundation is dedicated to assisting and inspiring young people affected by spinal cord injury and uses action sports as a platform to demonstrate infinite possibilities despite paralysis. Its signature program, They Will Surf Again, empowers paraplegics and quadriplegics to surf with the assistance of adaptive equipment and dedicated volunteers. In addition to providing unique quality of life programs, Life Rolls On fosters spinal cord injury awareness and offers outreach to individuals and their families at the onset of injury.

What have you done today to help someone else?  Boom, that’s deep.

Today’s music comes from my girl Dia Frampton.  She will be at The Note in WC on Feb 8th — tickets are $15 on ticketfly — get there!

#NowPlaying Dia Frampton – Don’t Kick The Chair on @Spotify Feat Kid Kudi
http://open.spotify.com/track/6YCAhzuOqzDk9fBHE06AyB

Enjoy,

xoxo

shu

Life on Other Planets

A co-worker passed along this article the other day, and it really got me thinking.
 
 
 The possibility of moving to another planet, once we’ve utilized all the resources on Earth, is BLOWING MY MIND.  Imagine if Kepler 22-B wasn’t 600 light years away.  Imagine they do a lottery and choose a million people to go populate another planet.  What would you be able to bring?  Would it be like Lost with “others” already living on the planet?  What if we get sucked into a black hole on the way there? Would Bentley be able to come?  To start fresh in a place with no electricity, no animals, no cars, no roads, no maps, no fruit snacks, no homes, no trees, and no stores.  As exciting as this all seems, it would take decades to get the planet up to speed with what we’re working with here on Earth.  I’ve seen the construction workers on 202.  There are ten of them that have been watching ONE guy do work for the past year and a half. 
 
Ever since we learned about the solar system in 5th grade, it really makes your world so small….and confusing.  To think that each little thing about the way the Earth functions is dependent on everything else functioning the way it should.  Did I just become an astronaut?  But in all seriousness, I think I’ll just ride it out here on Earth.  Kepler 22-b sounds great and all, but this isnt 1492, and I’m not Christopher Columbus.
 
With the holiday’s approaching, I did a little reading in my FAVE magazine — FOOD.
The Christmas issue is my absolute favorite, so I wanted to share some great websites that have cute, unique and fun gifts!  Get serious — you only have 12 days left, so you better finish up!
 
WestElm.com
Ikea.com
ModCloth.com
Vat19.com
ModernTribe.com
OliveandCocoa.com
RedEnvelope.com
FredFlare.com
 
Happy Shopping Everyone!
 
Today’s music comes from Bon Iver — because you peeps need to relax while you’re reading.  Sometimes it’s nice not to know the words to the music so you don’t get distracted singing and dancing at your desk (guilty).
 
#NowPlaying Bon Iver – Skinny Love on @Spotify
http://open.spotify.com/track/0zP8BJOamm7Q9aNMwCby55
 
#NowPlaying Bon Iver – Holocene on @Spotify
http://open.spotify.com/track/5bGd0OxvxZSATIf2eEkmTD
 
Enjoy!
 
xoxo
 
shu