The Changing of the Seasons

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Fall.

I can’t go half a day without hearing someone screaming the merits of fall from the rooftops. 

I’m not ready.

It can’t be real. This undying love for Fall. It must be a marketing ploy, right? All these people are just brainwashed by Starbucks and the fashion industry to go out and consume and promote everything related to Fall and cooler weather. Right?

Are these fall fans the equivalent of an insecure teenager that has to defend every choice they make? Are they so depressed that summer is over and rather than wallow in self-pity as they pack away their bathing suits and sunscreen while they prepare their souls to battle another cold winter they make over the top lists of what they LOVE most about fall?

They must have good therapists. 

The changing of the seasons.

I can’t get into it. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer.

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We spent the long holiday weekend at a lake in north-east PA. We spent the whole time boating, swimming, eating, and drinking. I’m still exhausted. It was perfect.

On the drive up through the mountains I couldn’t help but notice that a small amount of leaves were already changing colors.

Ryan jokingly asked if he should pull over the car so I could go give those leaves a piece of my mind. That wouldn’t be a stretch, me being the crazy woman on the side of the turnpike yelling “Don’t change! It’s not allowed!” 

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Yes, that’s what it really comes down to.

Change.

I’m not good with change.

 I’m terrified of what lies ahead, of the unknown. We are all just blind people. Not knowing where life will take us. 

The changing of the season’s reminds us of that. We’re never in control.  

No matter how much we praise the warm full sun it will still descend into the horizon, off to play with the other side of the world. We can admire the soft green grass and the vibrant trees but the grass will still turn brown and stiff and the leaves will die and fall to the ground.

Nature, it has some humor doesn’t? Making us work hard and rake up those dead leaves while we mourn them. 

Spring and Summer are full of hope, of new birth, and a chance to dream and live with a little more freedom. Summer days are full of leisure, even though our schedules are generally more full in the summer than the winter. The warm sun greets us with open arms, making it easy to make hopeful plans for the future while in her company.

And then the sun abandons us. Our hopes prove to be silly little ideas.

In Fall I often feel like a hung over college student, cringing while looking back at the previous night’s events. Summer made us so young and naive. So free. Those dreams looked so promising through our big Ray Bans but in September, as the sun sets earlier and earlier each night,  they look like childhood fantasies. 

Seasons are a reminder that nothing is permanent. 

Like always, I’ll fight change for a bit until I realize I’m wasting time fighting when I could be living.

Soon enough I’ll be burning pumpkin candles and living in infinity scarves, but this girl has always needed a little bit of time to sort things out her way. (I hope you know I’m not just talking about the seasons anymore.)

Change. She sure sneaks up and knows how to ruin a good party. But she’s  been playing this game for far longer than my mind can even comprehend. I’ll try to trust her a little bit better.

Not only with this whole changing of the season’s thing, but with everything. 

xoxo Katie

Use Your Voice (vlogging like a boss)

Well, I did it! I did my very first video vlog. I really wanted to take on this challenge because I like to think of this blog as a personal wine or coffee date with friends. I wanted to share my voice and for you to see more of the  “real life” me.

Like I imagined, it was terribly awkward talking to myself on my webcam and I sound VERY serious. I managed to only have one mind blank, so laugh your way through that one. YouTube will always get the last laugh and pick the worst screenshot possible to use. But, I did it, and it really wasn’t as bad as it seemed after I started talking.

I decided to vlog about the power of using our own personal voices. If you don’t show respect and confidence in yourself and your own thoughts, why would should anyone else? Check it out and then enter to win an inspirational bracelet below!

I wear my “Be The Change” bangle from The Shine Project: Threads to remind me that I am in control of my own story, that I hold the power to make the changes I want to see in my world. I love Threads (they help at risk youths attain their goals of going to college and establishing careers and being who they want to be!) so much that I decided to giveaway one of their “Be The Change” bangles to one of you!

Threads giveaway

Enter below and remember to tell me what YOU want to change in your personal life in your comment!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xoxo Katie

5 Friday Favorites – Gifts that Give Back

Five Friday Favorites

gifts that give back

It’s November 1, and do you know what that means? It’s officially okay to start thinking about Christmas! It’s been trying to push its way to the forefront of our minds since early October. Which even I can agree is a little to early. Give pumpkins a chance! But now that Halloween is over – it’s time to get ready for the most magical time of the year!

Halloween into Christmas

We love Christmas around here. In fact, I caught Ryan listening to Christmas music last Sunday while prepping dinner and lately every time I trek down into our basement, I swear I can hear the Christmas decorations begging me to take them out to play!

I’ve already started my Christmas shopping and thought I’d share some of my finds from stores that give back to charitable organizations. You’re going to be buying gifts anyways – why not give a gift that also gives support to those desperately in need? The benefits are three-fold – you’ll feel good about purchasing the gift, the receiver will receive a unique gift, and someone in need will be receiving support and motivation. Spread the love this holiday season!

There are SO many charitable organizations that sell gifts whose proceeds benefit their cause. It was hard to select my top 5. I based them all on the level of their donation. All of the products below donate at least 50% of the proceeds to their cause.  Here are 5 amazing organizations to add to your holiday shopping list!

1. Haiti Babi

 Baby Blankets – Perfect for the new mother

haiti babi blanket

Did you know that 1 in 10 children in Haiti live in an orphanage? Each purchase of a baby blanket employs a woman in Haiti in order for her to care for and educate her own children so they do not have to be sent to an orphanage. Help empower women whose empowerement will impact their family and community.  

2. Caring Cowls

Beautiful homemade  and fashionable acrylic scarves

caring cowls scarf

Caring Cowls is a small Etsy shop that made trendy and made to order scarves. All proceeds go to a charity. Currently, Caring Cowls is funding for Action Against Hunger. (A different charity is selected each year) I’ve ordered a scarf for myself and can’t wait to receive it!

3. One Hope Wine

Moderately priced wine

one hope wine

The perfect hostess gift of item to buy for that hard to shop for boss or friend who has it all – wine! One Hope sells a plethora of moderately priced wine and donates 50% of the proceeds go to charitable organizations and causes including:  breast cancer prevention and treatment, pediatric AIDS prevention and treatment, Autism research and treatment , US forest preservation and protection, and ending childhood hunger.  Since 2007, 1 million dollars have been raised. Drink up!

4. The Giving Keys

Motivational jewelry

The Giving KeysThe Giving Key is a organziation who employs and aids those who are looking to transition out of homelessness. They collect used keys and hand stamp them with motivational words, like Fearless, Believe, Hope, Love, and Breathe. When the wearer of the key encounters someone else who needs the message on the key, they give it away and then send us the story of their key being paid forward.

Founder Caitlin Crosby sums it up best, “I think its fascinating that pounding out positive words, over and over for hours can improve a persons well-being, hope and motivation. And when you know that each unique key is being paid forward and passed around the world to people who need a little inspiration… well, that makes all of us feel so grateful; makes us understand that we are part of a love movement.”

5. Threads by The Shine Project 

The Shine Project Threads by The Shine Project sells trendy and beautiful jewelry hand-made by at risk youths. 1 in 5 American children live in poverty. The Shine Project focus is on education. They employ at risk youth that wish to break the cycle and to attend college. Your purchase will directly impact a student. Each purchase helps to fund a young adult’s college education and empowers them to have hope and strive to accomplish their dreams.

Together, we can bring change! What other charitable organizations do you love to shop at? Please share and happy holidays.

Love each other.

xoxo katie