Worth Writing Home About

Last fall I had the privilege of taking a class at my alma mater that focused on social change, and human trafficking (specifically, the eradication of human trafficking). Not so coincidentally, that semester the school launched a crowdfunding campaign to jump start a scholarship program so that survivors of human trafficking could attend our university. Our class got involved and used the results of our efforts to write end-of-semester papers.

I had such a great experience helping launch the crowdfunding campaign, and have watched other crowdfunding campaigns wildly, insanely succeed (or not succeed, which breaks my heart) in the days since my direct involvement.

Today I want to share one that my favorite designer Emily Henderson has announced on her blog– the goal is to rebuild a homeless family shelter. The original shelter burned down but the loss turned into an opportunity as the organization was able to buy a vacant school building and enlarge capacity. The new home will help families get back onto their feet and save them from living in cars or on the street. The kids will perform better in school and the parents will be assisted in job hunting or occupational training.

The goal you’ll see on the indiegogo page is 35k, but Henderson writes in her blog post (where she announced the campaign) that they realistically need more like 200k. Considering 200k is below the average home price in Southern California, and the mega-house they are building is 8x the size of a normal family home, the dollar amount seems to make sense.

Anyway, please go over to Emily’s post where you can tell she is writing from the heart. I am in love with this plan of hers. I plan to donate… perhaps you will consider donating too!

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Treat Yo Self

September is here, and that means it’s my birthday month! I couldn’t come up with much for my birthday list because I’ve been getting in the habit of getting myself small treats here and there.

Mast Bros Chocolate

First up, I have to sing the praises of Mast Brothers chocolate. This chocolate is so dark and potent that a small piece, smaller than a square inch, satisfies my chocolate craving (okay, maybe two pieces). I keep a bar of this in my drawer at work and it helps me get through the afternoon stretch! After becoming so accustomed to Mast Brothers, eating Hershey’s milk chocolate seems like a waste. As a result, I eat less sweets of a better quality. A win-win in my book! You’ve got to get a bar and you’ll see what I mean.

Julep Maven

Second, after I got my new job back in March, I signed up for Julep Maven, a monthly nail polish (and other beauty items) subscription box. I thought getting nail polish month after month would get boring, but each month has new and exciting colors, and I can also swap items out for other things like lotion, lipstick, or restock on base coat (their base coat is seriously amazing) or topcoat. I’ve been pleased with the durability of the polish too, since I was disappointed with the other trendy brand, Essie.

Julep Maven

My first box, last April

My July box got lost in the mail, so customer service credited my account. To make up for the lost box I added on three colors of nail polish. Since I selected three add-ons, they gifted me with two more! So, I got eight colors this month–definitely an early “me-gift” for my birthday! Usually subscribers receive two colors plus another beauty item, or three colors. I look forward to selecting my box each month and have been having so much fun doing my nails before work each week. Something I never dreamed would become part of my routine but I really enjoy it!

If you want to subscribe, click my referral link & use code FREEBOX for your first month free.

Dollar Shave Club

Lastly, I didn’t want Doug to feel left out, and we are constantly out of razors around here (therefore either not shaving or using seriously unhygienic borderline rusty old blades, don’t tell anyone). So I signed him us up for Dollar Shave Club. Each month for $6 they will send us four fresh 4-blade razors. Win! We can select more or less as needed.

I forgot to add on an extra handle so this month Doug gets to be the first to try out the system, but next month I’ll get another handle. Ever since Julep Maven I have been getting on the subscription box train. So convenient and DSC is super affordable, too. Much cheaper than the Schick Quattro’s Doug had been picking up–super expensive even at Costco! If you want to give it a try (you can cancel anytime), use my referral link, and thank me later ;)

Note: The Julep and Dollar Shave Club links earn me a credit to apply to my own subscription. However, I’m only sharing because I’m a true convert, not because I was asked or paid to. 

Slow Down

Last week was this crazy, dissonant mixture of fast and slow. With my main blogging machine out of commission, it forced me to unplug, more or less, and focus on life around me. I had a light work schedule so I took the opportunity to piggyback on my sister’s spring break!

Remember Spring Break? Don’t you wish you were back in college? 

Anyway, I spent Monday and Tuesday up in my hometown of Temecula making major strides towards wedding preparedness with my sis and my mom. Then, Steph came down to San Diego to hang out and unwind a bit. Then, it was back to Temecula on Thursday to celebrate an early Easter and my dad’s birthday, then it was back to SD for two good work days. Being on the freeway that much (two round trips, an hour each direction) can make any week seem harried, I think.

This week, back to reality.  I know I’m going to want to blog so I’m going to have to call around and get some quotes for a mac repair. For now, though I have my laptop and iPhone, and I shall press onward using what I’ve got!

CD Changer

Saturday, as I loaded my CD player’s five-disc changer, I remember feeling like that was a task that took forever! Then I snapped myself out of it. Ejecting 5 CDs and inserting 5 new ones must have taken two minutes– 120 seconds– tops. If I’m so rushed and harried that that seems like forever, I need to stop and smell the roses! I am surrounded by instant. I can listen to almost anything I want to on Spotify instantly. Our three-year streak sans microwave has ended since the apartment came with one installed. My iPhone can instantly Google any trivia tidbit that I need to know, anytime, anywhere.

What do I lose with each of these instances of instant gratification? Sound fidelity (I mean really. Nobody should listen to music on laptop speakers, ever). Nutrients (I still try not to microwave things, if I can help it). The pursuit of wondering and learning organically.

Siri, can you get me a couple synonyms for “slow down?”