After a difficult weekend, I find myself looking forward to seeing The Paramour. His voice, his eagerness to make me smile, the way he remembers the little things are like a tonic for my soul. It’s a delightful kind of sleeplessness, a rush of anticipation followed by the quiet awareness of him, of us.
During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is equally blessed in regards to finances, education, freedom and opportunity. There are so many different charities that all seem to crop up at this time of year and it can be really hard to determine who should get your valuable charitable donation. You can research most charities, which can be time-consuming, frustrating and confusing. I’m not going to provide you with a list of ideal charities/gifts because it’s just too exhausting and it’s been done by countless blogs before. I will instead explain why I chose the two charities I donated to this year.
The first charity I donated to was Heifer.org. They provide so so much it’s impossible to explain in a single sentence. Everything from animals to education, access to clean water, sustainable farming resources, Heifer covers a wide range of opportunities to help impoverished countries. This donation was a no-brainer. I like the fact that they explain what the gift will entail, rather than an ambiguous statement about financial donations. Your gift has a direct, positive and lasting impact on the recipient. I donated a gift of honeybees and the recipient will not only be able to feed their own families using the honey, but provide a source of income through selling the honey, pollen and wax. At a very low $30, this donation will also help local agriculture by introducing a pollinator. Gifts with Heifer can be a one time gift, a monthly donation or through funding a project. It’s a great option if you don’t have a lot to give but you want to make the most impact for your dollar.
My next donation is a little closer to home for me, literally and figuratively, what with my paramour being a firefighter. (I’m a sucker for the turnout gear.)
The second non-profit I donated to is the Leary Firefighters Foundation. Founded in 2000 by actor/comedian/writer/producer Denis Leary, the foundation provides equipment, training materials, new vehicles and new facilities to firefighting crews across the United States. As we’ve heard on the news, massive cuts are being made to public safety departments across the U.S. as we struggle under the economic turmoil. As a result, crews either don’t have what they need or the equipment they use is old or broken. (I will expound on this topic in an upcoming post). The donations you make will go towards repairing and replacing the equipment, as well as funding valuable training for crews. As Mr. Leary states, their one ultimate goal is to make sure everyone gets home safely.
When it comes to charitable donations, make sure the cause you’re contributing to is important to you. That’s really the best advice regarding donations that I can possibly give. If there’s a cause/organization you’d like people to know about, please share the information in the comments!
Super quick post to say whooo!! I got a promotion at work!! A little nervous about the added responsibility, but glad my hard work is appreciated!
I love having versatile decorating pieces and being able to reconfigure things for a new purpose. Today’s DIY was easy and can be used year round.
I had an outdoor lantern, made of wood and glass. I wasn’t thrilled with the color, but did love the weathered finish.
The color was a sort of aqua, which looked nice, but I wanted a color that would transition between seasons and work with more than just blues or greens. I used a sanding block to remove most of the paint. I brushed off the dust and mixed up some white paint with a few drops of black to make a light grey. I applied one quick coat of the paint as I wanted to keep a weathered, antique look. I let the paint dry about 90 minutes. I placed a wax flickering “candle”, then added in some faux pine branches adorned with pine cones, berries and glistening snow.
The lantern turned out nicely, I may sand a bit more to really give it the rustic look I love. Painting the lantern grey allows me to change the look for all seasons, simply by changing the flowers/decorations inside. This was a great way to repurpose a “summer” outdoor decoration into an all season decorating piece.
This is a great time to try this project as most stores have outdoor patio accessories on clearance, so you can get a great piece at a great price! Please share your version of this DIY in the comments!
It’s Black Friday and I did not join the frenzy of early bird shoppers, I instead headed in to work. I am thankful for my job and the opportunities to grow mentally and spiritually daily. As I’ve mentioned before, I work in an emergency room. The people I encounter are sometimes having the absolute worst day of their lives, or at least a really bad day. On days when my head hurts or I’m emotionally frazzled from the bipolar, finding empathy can be difficult. But then I go in to work, I realize my day could be much worse and I find that warmth, I find my heart and try to help make the situation better or at least more positive. I get to end my day knowing I had a direct, positive impact on someone’s life, rather than just being an observer.
My job is obviously stressful, with me seeing/hearing/smelling things I wish I never had. I make sure to decompress as compartmentalizing the feelings starts to backfire after so long. Making crafts helps me to de-stress ( if you read my blog regularly this is not at all surprising) and one project is luxurious, clever and green! The project is making my own coffee scrub. It’s a huge help in the winter for getting rid of dry skin and moisturizing. Here’s the recipe:
1 cup of coffee grounds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup room temperature EV coconut oil
Mix coffee grounds and sugar together until well blended. Add to coconut oil and mix. Store in jar.
Coconut oil is liquid once it reaches 73 degrees, so if it is too soupy, pop the container into your fridge for a short spell. If it’s too solid, either place in bathroom while you’re showering (the steam will soften the coconut oil) or place closed container under stream of warm water for a few minutes. Take care when using in shower as the coconut oil can make your tub/shower slippery. This is a great, quick project that’s a good gift idea. It’s also great to use up those coffee grounds from your morning pot of coffee. I use it on my hands to combat the dryness of my constant handwashing and winter cold.
Have you found an interesting or clever way to reuse something that would otherwise have gone in the trash? Share your projects in the comments!
It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. and most families are wrapping up or have wrapped up their big holiday dinners. I had to work today, so I didn’t get to spend time with my family and had a quiet evening at home instead. I couldn’t bear to read any more of my PHTLS (pre hospital trauma training stuff) book and was honestly having some blogger’s block. I have no “green” portion for today, so I figured I’d tell you about what I’m most thankful for today:
You’ve seen this adorable little fluffball in pictures of my DIY’s. This is Fluffernutter, or Fluff for short. She’s the quintessential cat: curious, playful, manipulative and adorable. I adopted her at a very low point in my life, when I didn’t know where my life was going. I didn’t want a pet as I was having trouble even taking care of myself, let alone a living creature beyond myself. My mother’s friend found her outside her home, apparently the victim of abandonment. She asked if I wanted a cat as she couldn’t keep her and initially I said no. Then I went to go see her, and look at her- She’s so cute your head wants to implode. I took her home that same night. It hasn’t been easy. I wasn’t prepared for how playful/kittenish she was at the time. Fluff is very, very curious and sassy and it caused a lot of chewed/damaged items, lots of lost sleep and frustration. She’s a bit calmer now, and I realize God put this little furball into my life for a reason. We were both abandoned, without a real home or place in the world. Her frustrating traits serve to remind me that I have my own faults but still deserve love, just like her. She loves me and is always so happy when I come home from work. Fluff has several little quirks that I love, like the way her meows sound like she’s saying “Ma”, the fact that she comes running when I call her, and that she stops running to stretch out like she’s practicing yoga. Fluff is my second chance cat, my feline mirror. We’re both cute but frustrating, mischievous yet good-hearted, sassy but sweet. So today, as we relax in the cozy warmth of our urban farmstead, I’m especially thankful for my crazy and cute kitty roommate.
Today I’m especially thankful for my friends. There’s quite a few people I am blessed with who stick out the rough spots and enjoy the good times. I’m also especially thankful for one friendship that was rekindled after a couple years of silence. Apologies were made, forgiveness was granted and one of my pillars of support is once again there.
I think new beginnings are grand. I love to see new life crop up in previously dormant things. Today’s DIY craft reveal is a quick recycle/upcycle that is really going to help me in the kitchen.
I hate to throw away a useful container, it’s got a good seal and helpful handle. Perfect for storing my gluten free flour, my sugar as well as lots of other things. So I put a couple coats of paint on it (spray paint probably would have worked better, FYI) and applied a “chalkboard” label.
Voila! A new but not new storage container, perfect for kitchen, pantry, laundry, etc.
Have you ever rehabbed an item to give it a new life? Please share your DIY’s!!