Double Duty Monday.. 13/14

04/11/2012 § Leave a comment

DONATE BOOKS ..... & .... APPRECIATE, CREATE, SUPPORT ART


Hello, Hello!

I’m going to declare these last 2 weeks my “Easter Vacay” and call it a day.

It has been busy, busy, busy around here lately and I have so much I want to talk about (I fear this may be a long one so grab a cup of coffee… or a beer!)

Well for starters there are no worries, just because I’ve been out of posting sorts doesn’t mean I have been slacking on my Every Monday Matter’s tasks. These two tasks in particular are the bee’s knees for me… seriously, reading and art? I couldn’t ask for a better vacay week(s). The two of these things go hand in hand for me… I am SUPER passionate about both and only hope in my craziest dreams that everyone else is as well.

Let's start with books:

Reading is ridiculously important. If you don’t think so then I suggest you change your tune. How about the obvious: reading enhances your vocabulary.. sparks imagination.. provides peace and privacy when needed most.. and can supply a wealth of knowledge while shaping a well-rounded individual. I mean seriously, I am not even joking when I say this but… I have already started a library for my future children!… Yes, children that do not even exist yet. I have even suggested Barnes and Noble’s for my future baby registry, Ha!

“55% of children have an increased interest in reading when given books at an early age” – EMM

I am that ridiculous girl that will spend an entire day in a bookstore if you let me… and spend WAAAAY too much money!

Now… donating the books, actually letting go of a book.. this is a bit harder for me. Due to my intense love of reading and my slight case of OCD… donating books is something that makes my heart race. I enjoy having my bookshelves organized and designating a particular home for every book and genre,… and it just makes me melt seeing them all there ready to be read or re-read! However I have a magnitude of gently used books donated to me in my quest to open my own store… not all of the books are stellar for what my intentions are so I have been filing through the numerous boxes and weeding out the ones that don’t particularly serve my future bookstore needs. Off they go, because even if you aren’t as psychotic about reading as me..everyone deserves a chance to read a great book.. and the sad truth is that some people aren’t able to due to lack of resources.

“61% of low-income families have no books in their homes.” – EMM

 
Now how about some art?


My passion for reading is only rivaled by my passion for all things art… When I was 16 and I decided that I wanted to go to college and study Fine Art my entire world changed. I spent a decent portion of my high school career shacked up in the art room working on my portfolio day in and day out. I remember December of my senior year… my mom driving me out to Kutztown in a blizzard, my pajama-clad self in the back seat strewn with blankets and tissues fighting off a fever and the flu… all to get my portfolio in for the early admittance deadline. I spent all of winter break on the edge of my seat waiting for some sign of life from Kutztown…I called once, if not twice, a day… just waiting for them to put me out of my misery! When the sweet (and only slightly annoyed) secretary finally came back with a “Yes, Kelly.. your portfolio has been reviewed and I am pleased to inform you that  you have been accepted into the Fine Arts Program.”… I could have hit the floor.

When I finally got to Kutztown and started on my Fine Art adventure I quickly learned how inexperienced I was in comparison to the rest of my classmates. Not to say that I didn’t have what it took, but the tiny town I originated from just didn’t have the means/cares to provide an outstanding art program. I was one of the only graduating art majors for my class… my advanced art class in high school during my senior year had 3 children in it (myself included.)

Now the story goes on from there in a quite unorthodox manner, but never-the-less I am still passionate about art to this day.

“93% of people believe that the arts are vital to a well-rounded education. Regardless only 29% of schools have been able to maintain time and funding for art programs.” – EMM

Take some time to create something. Even if you aren’t a phenomenal artist… to the people who love you most, a homemade something may be the best gift of all. Art doesn’t have to be about how great of a painter you are… or how many pieces you’ve sold. Art is about the emotions and creativity that are brought out from creating something from your heart. Don’t let the little things.. that are really the big things… go unnoticed.

“Art is a reflection of people and cultures since the beginning of time.” – EMM

So once again… here’s to passion, all forms of it.

(I had to dig this piece out of the wreckage that is now my portfolio!)

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Monday Eleven:

03/19/2012 § 2 Comments

REGISTER TO VOTE

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Soo.. I’m going to apologize right now for the fact that most of my posts lately (including this one) are of the short-n-sweet-n-rushed variety. The thing is, I’m busy. I know, I know, everyone is busy… so I am by no means complaining… more just trying to find myself some sort of groove where I’m not lacking in any part of my day-to-day. I’m working on it, I really am… so just stick with me and I promise I will be getting the ball of awesomeness rolling again soon.

Anyway, this week my task is register to vote. Lucky for me I’m already registered to vote.

However… I registered to vote back when I was barely 18, as it was sort of, kind of, a requirement in my senior year Government class. Who the heck knows what you want to be at 18? I don’t even know what I want to be now! Like I’ve said before though as you get older and your life starts to shift, priorities start to change, and responsibilities get bigger…. you slowly begin to care about things more. Like taxes… I couldn’t give two hoots about taxes at 18, but as a 25 year old homeowner who’s taxes are going up about $700 next year.. I’d say I’m starting to care. I watch the news now, I read *scan* the paper now, sometimes I even have political conversations… out in public… with real people. Who am I? Well I guess I should just call a spade a spade…. I’m and adult!

Another adult-esque thing… St. Patty’s Day!!
Okay, worst transition ever right there… but so be it.
I had an absolutely wonderful holiday…. decked out in green, baked cupcakes, and enjoyed some good beer with some good friends on the back porch, in the best weather possible!
And the dogs weren’t complaining either!

Good Friends...

Good Friends...

Good Cupcakes

...

Aaannd......

Good Pups 🙂

Bring on Easter!

Monday Ten:

03/12/2012 § Leave a comment

CHANGE YOUR LIGHTBULBS

Well, this week, for me, was super easy. We already use CFL bulbs throughout our house… this is one of those weeks where I go “Really? How is it that everyone doesn’t already do this?”  Let’s make a list of why you are seriously missing out if you haven’t already changed your bulbs.

#1. It’s better for the environment:

“The amount of pollution equivalent to the emissions of two million cars can be removed from the atmosphere if every household in America replaces ONE lightbulb with an Energy Star qualified CFL bulb.” -EMM

“Replacing 1 bulb prevents the release of 300 pounds of carbon dioxide in just 1 year.” – EMM

#2. It’s cheaper for YOU:

“CFL’s last up to 10 times longer and save $30.00 over the life of the bulb.” – EMM … Yea that’s just ONE bulb.

“If every home replaces 5 frequently used lightbulbs with CFLs,close to $8 billion a year in energy costs could be saved.” – EMM

That’s it… the end of my list, but isn’t it pretty impressive? I mean EMM did all the work… but facts are facts, and those facts speak pretty loudly.

Those saving the environment facts are the ones that drive me nuts, because if when it’s that easy and it saves YOU money as well, it drives me crazy that everyone in the world doesn’t do it. I don’t even care which reason people do it for, because in the end you’re getting both benefits… zero downfalls.

Imagine where all that money could go???…. cue dream bubble… vacations to Ireland, a food processor, yarn, books! Okay, that’s just my dream bubble, yours could be of anything!

That’s all for today, short and sweet.. I’m off to shoot some pool… and then home to do some crocheting!

Here’s to lots of scarves in my future!

Monday Nine:

03/05/2012 § Leave a comment

PROTECT YOURSELF WITH INTERNET SAFETY

Well well my friends… it’s Monday again. It was BEAUTIFUL out today, believe me the last thing I want to be doing right now is sitting at my computer, not because I don’t love writing this every week… but with this sporadic weather lately, I like soaking up every nice day I can get in the middle of winter! This week’s task is pretty self-explanatory… I mean seriously who doesn’t use pretty good internet safety habits? Half of our internet habits are already forced upon us by the computer itself or they are just so beyond second nature that you don’t even really consider it “internet safety.” In our home we have a Mac (she’s my baby and I love her… yep)…. and with said Mac, you can set up a password for just about anything… you need one to even get ON the computer at all, which I think is pretty rad. Passwords are prompted for 99.9999% of websites you go on (yea that’s totally made up)… and on some they even give you a little strength indicator now, so it’s pretty hard to mess up.

Unfortunately though, identity theft is a real thing… and it happens daily all over the world.

In this day and age I would call it pretty gosh darn irresponsible if you didn’t protect yourself while on the web. Just about everyone I know does their banking online, shares photos online, blogs online, or plain old shares their entire life online (via facebook, twitter, and the like)… we essentially turn ourselves into sitting ducks for identity theft. Don’t get me wrong… I mean, I blog don’t I? Sure, but I’m not putting my social security number on little cupcakes for the world to see or anything… all is good if practiced with safety.

Okay.. onto something a bit more fun (’cause as you can tell… some of these task don’t really inspire your inner writer)…

What I DO find inspiring however is homemade anything. If you’ve been around me lately I’m sure you’re going to be like “really, I’ve heard this a thousand times already”… because I’ll tell just about anyone who’ll listen (and even those who aren’t listening) about all the crafty things I’ve been making/plan to make and why they have such high degrees of awesomeness. So on I go to tell the whole world, or just the few readers I have… either way here’s to everything homemade.

Laundry Detergent : for us it’s about $15 for an entire year’s worth of laundry

… oh yea, you read that right.

Recipie: 1 c. Borax, 1 c. Washing Soda, 1 bar Fels Naptha grated

Hearty home-cooked meals with good friends: Priceless
AKA: Cheeseburger Soup and Black Bottom Cupcakes
Last but certainly not least… 12 prepaid/preplanned date nights for the soon-to-be hubby
…worth every penny, and some.
In the upcoming days I’m trying out a recipe for homemade fabric softener, a homemade citrus facial refresher spray, and homemade eye make-up removers… and I am beyond excited!
Until next week… see ya bye.

Monday Eight:

02/27/2012 § Leave a comment

HELP THE HUNGRY

Today sucks.

I don’t mean this week’s task, I just mean this day in general. I forewarned everyone in my first post that days like this would come.. and here it is. I’m sure it will pass, bad days always do.. but in the midst of one it never seems like it will. It’s one of those days where one bad thing triggers your mind to dwell on every bad thing… things that aren’t even bad, but because it’s that kind of day, become yet another thing to berate yourself over. I’m feeling crappy to the extent of crappiness…. I feel as though my goals are slipping away, my insecurities at their peak, and like one loose thread could unravel me completely right now. I’m fully aware that I’m being melodramatic, but that’s what you do when you’re having a day like this.

This week’s post will be short and sweet, because i”m in such a mood I’d hate to become lost in my words and end up bringing down everyone’s morale. I probably shouldn’t even be allowed in front of the keyboard right now… oh yes. Maybe once I’m feeling in better spirits I’ll update during the week… but for now, short and sweet it shall be.  It’s such a sad thing, because this week’s task is mighty important.

Help the hungry.

That's Chad.

We practically have a bomb shelter in our house… at least thats what my future brother-in-law, Chad, would tell youI stock up on food… and supplies; and I get it from my family, no doubt about that. My parents, nay.. my Dad, stocks up as well (it’s frowned upon when my Mom does the grocery shopping…) and my grandparents too. Seriously, if you every need coffee… stop by my Pop Jeep’s house… he’s got it, I’m tellin’ ya. I’m not insinuating that it is a bad thing to be prepared, but it should be dually noted that sharing is just as important.

“35.1 million Americans have limited access to enough food due to a lack of money and other resources. 12.4 million of those are children.” – EMM

Sadly follwed by…

“96 billion pounds of food are wasted each year.” – EMM

We try are hardest not to waste food in our home, for the simple fact that it’s a waste. It’s money in the garbage, food out of someone else’s mouth, and an unmerited sacrifice of livestock or the environment. In short (because I promised it so) we’ve gathered up some of our canned goods, as well as some canned food for the animal shelter (because I’m sure they’re hungry too) and are set to deliver in the next few days. Below is a picture of my beautiful puppy niece, yep I said it, Loretta. She was a shelter pup and relied on the charitable donations of others to feed her until she found her forever home with my other future brother-in-law. It all matters,… even the little things.

I had a hell of a time trying to find a soup kitchen of some sort to volunteer at in our community, so if anyone has any suggestions please feel free to help me out with that… but with our donation I’d like to make it a habit to trim up our “bomb shelter” every few weeks… and share with those who need it more.

Loretta and Jay

Loretta and Jay

 

I don’t have video capabilities on here just yet (that comes with an upgrade…which costs money… and I’m still pretty new around here, so I’d like to see where my little slice of the internet goes before shelling out some serious dough on it)… however if I DID have video.. you’d be watching one right now… it’s a great piece by the people from Every Monday Matters. They show you how simple, and cheap it really is to do some good for those less fortunate… head on over and check it out here Muffins for the Hungry. The one I’m referring to would be the second one from the top. While you’re at it feel free to take some time and check out some of the other great videos they have about the movement and specific weeks.

With all that said and done, I’m heading downstairs to cook some dinner (healthy zucchini boats, I might add)… and try to get this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day back on track.

Monday Seven:

02/19/2012 § 2 Comments

WRITE A LETTER TO A U.S. MILITARY HERO

4th of July

When I first read my goal for this week I immediately thought of my childhood friend Annie. Annie in a nutshell is a funny, vivacious, kind-hearted, joy of a person… and she is currently serving our country overseas. I asked her a bit ago if she could help me out with this upcoming week’s task and put me in contact with someone she knows overseas that may not receive too many letters from home themselves… and she came through! So I wrote out my letter (as well as one for my dear Annie) and they are going out in the mail today! I’ll keep the details of the letters private,… but in general I just wanted to openly express my gratitude to someone… so that they know at least from someone other than their own loved ones… that what they’re doing is appreciated. Even in our day-to-day with the little things in our life it is important to sometimes give a simple “thank you” to let your loved ones, or a stranger, know that you care.  Don’t ever underestimate kindness.

I couldn’t do what these people do. I have high admiration for anyone serving, for the simple fact that they have more courage and, in ways they may not even be aware of, are far more selfless than most. Contrary to what you may think… this week’s task has nothing to do with politics. I do not care what you think of the wars, I do not care if you think our soldiers are misplaced in the stations they’re at, I certainly don’t care if you approve or disapprove of the way our government and militaries are run; what I do care about, right now, is that we, as a nation, appreciate the fact that these men and women are here for us when we need them. They put their lives on hold, they leave loved ones behind, they brave the unknown and they do it because they believe in it. This is not about the bigger picture, this is about the individuals that are making a sacrifice that you or I may not be willing to make. This is about respecting that simple fact. That’s that.

Red, White, and Blue Cake Sharing ❤

Cake covered faces for Independence Day!

A Great Lightshow!

So, here’s to our soldiers, our veterans, and all the future protectors of our freedom… and here’s to the celebration of our Independence, which would cease to exist had it not been for these brave individuals.

Monday Six:

02/12/2012 § 2 Comments

GET RID OF JUNK MAIL

Go Go Green….If I’ve really got to explain this one, I’ll be thoroughly disappointed in humanity.

It may just be because I try my hardest to be as eco-friendly as I can in my day-to-day, but even still I think on some level everyone should understand the simple fact of output vs. resources when it comes to our paper production.

If I was going off on one of my rants (which I won’t) I could go on forever about the various reasons that recycling and being eco-friendly is the way to go…. not always just because of the environment either. Instead I’ll do a small re-cap on how I got to this point of “Go Go Green Awesomeness.” When my Uncle passed a few years ago it was really hard on our family, and everyone had their different ways, different stages, different depths of grieving… as well as different methods of coping; and the thing I’ve learned about death is that everyone deals with things in their own ways… one is not better than the other, it’s a process unique to that person and unique to that death. I won’t get into too much detail, as to not bring down the morale of the post, but my personal method of coping was anger and avoidance. It certainly wasn’t the most healthy of outlets, but it was mine…. and it got me through a lot in the beginning. Years down the road I have slowly, piece by piece, let go of the anger and replaced it with something more along the lines of acceptance. Okay, okay… anyway, when I was in my anger and avoidance stage… I THREW myself headfirst into being somewhat of a self-induced humanitarian/philanthropist/environmentalist…. whatever it was to get my mind off of our tragic reality… I was avoiding. As the years went on and the coping continued, my new philosophies were still hanging around… in short it was my own personal silver lining out of such a horrible event; because I believe whole-heartedly that everyone needs to find a silver lining… it’s a little piece of good to get you through. I’m not happy for how it started, but I am happy about where it’s ended… as a lifestyle. It has certainly been a process, but so is every lifestyle change you make whether it’s eating healthier or working out more often or volunteering (all of which I’d like to adopt)… it’s all a process, and they’re all worth it once you get there.

So in short, get rid of your junk mail; I have. The stuff you can’t get rid of… at least recycle, even if your town doesn’t recycle… take it upon yourself to get a pile going and drive it to the nearest recycling place…. because it’s worth it.

“5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct-mail advertisements end up in landfills annually.” – EMM

Seriously, it’s worth it.

Oh that’s not it people, I figure since this was a fairly simple week and there are many more environmental tasks in weeks to come (that I’ll probably babble on during) I’ll finish up this post with some V-day awesomeness! I don’t care how commercialized you think it is, because seriously… every holiday is over commercialized anymore. You should love to your max every day of every year, but Valentine’s Day to me is an extra celebration of it… and it doesn’t have to be expensive!

Jeff and I planned on just a nice night at home, him cooking (whaaaat???) and me making dessert.

Chocolate Pudding for Two

Courtesy of Thefauxmartha.com

Doesn’t that look delicious? If you said no… just go away. Something else I’m planning on for V-day are these awesome heart bird feeders I stumbled upon during a Pinterest marathon.

Courtesy of http://www.notimeforflashcards.com

Thats officially it, aside from the need for me to plug Pinterest.com even more because I love it that much. I’ve never been a huge fan of Facebook, and probably never will… but Pinterest is my internet equivalent of the stack of magazine clippings I rip out at every chance I get; AND I actually make use of it which is far more than I could ever say about Facebook.

That is it, so here’s to going green… and loving love.

P.s. I totally ate AWESOME this week, in lieu of my fail last Monday, and have a pretty rad menu planned for next week too!… aaaand Sundays are my new posting days.

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