Weekend Wrap Up – 11.18.13

This past weekend was the last relaxing weekend before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season sets in. I love my relaxation time but I’m so excited for the holidays! My enthusiasm caused me to get some of the holiday decor out. I ordered new monogrammed stockings and can’t wait for them to arrive tomorrow. There is nothing like a home decorated for Christmas…

On Saturday we were babysitting my parents dog, Bonnie. She and Maggie are best friends for life and are so cute and happy together.   bestfriends maggieandkt   ryanandbonnie

Saturday afternoon we worked on cleaning out the closets and managed to fill up more bags of clothes for donation. This has been an ongoing project since September – and by the sheer mass of clothes that both Ryan and I have donated it is obvious that it was long over due.

Back in September I donated a huge stack of gently worn clothes to an amazing online consignment company, thredUP, and made $28!

ThredUp-Logo

Here is how it works:

1. Create an online account with thredUP.

2. Send away for a “Clean Out Bag” (which ships to you for FREE)

3. Fill the bag with you gently worn clothes and ship it back to thredUP for FREE

4. thredUP combs through your items and pays you up to 40% of the resale value in cash!

What is there to lose? I was so happy with my $28 and can’t wait to see what my new donation brings in! Try it out today! 

After doing some major clean out we headed out for dinner.

katie and ryan

Later on Saturday evening I forced Ryan to watch one of my favorite movies of all time, Gone With the Wind. He’d never seen it, and because he’s such a good sport, he said yes. This was my go to movie when I was at home sick from school as a tween. I remember going to the video rental store and seeing the huge record size display case holding all FOUR VHS tapes. It was so beautiful and I looked forward to renting it during every  bout of middle school strep throat. I’d cry my eyes out and memorize all of Scarlet’s monologues. I know way too many facts about this movie and felt like Ryan needed to watch it with me as it is such a part of who I am.

I also proceeded to drink cheap red wine throughout the movie and of course ended the night in a puddle of my own tears. On the other hand, Ryan fell asleep a few times and couldn’t believe how bitchy Scarlet was and that it was about 2.5 hours too long. Oh well.

Sunday was spent doing some work at home and preparing for the last full work week of November! My social calendar is full this week too, and then we are off to Asheville, NC for Thanksgiving, and come back home on December 1 ready to celebrate Christmas!

I hope you had a great November weekend!

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