Tag Archives: world

Buy a Gift and Do Some Good!

lb_feed_200802_wfp-rein_skulleruddsc_2186When I am buying a holiday gift for someone, I am always looking for a way that it can be meaningful or creative. Now, of course there are some times that an occasion just calls for a practical gift — if the man needs pants, then get him pants!

But here is a good one for you — this gift is not only meaningful, but it benefits 100 children who cannot afford to eat every day. What is it? The FEED Bag! By spending just $30.00 you will be purchasing a gift that provides 100 school lunches for children in Rwanda.

Pretty amazing, huh? First of all, it’s almost unfathomable that a mere $30 can feed 100 children. It makes you wonder about the ways in which we can sometimes be so glutonous when it comes to needing more and more food.

And it’s also so cool because not only is it a cool gift for someone, — it is such a sturdy bag! — but you and your gift-ee can feel good about the present because it is helping other people in the process.

I love my FEED bag, and Dan and I have already purchased them as gifts for other people. His sister and mine both adore theirs!

You can also purchase the bag at your local Whole Foods store. And, hey, don’t forget to sneak a peak at the FEED One bag.

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Filed under December 2008, Eat, Pray, Run

Trying to Bee Positive

I have been a bit frustrated lately.

I try very hard not to subscribe to a negative way of thinking, but the difficult part is that I am not naturally a positive thinker; many of my instincts do in fact point toward initially focusing on the bad of a situation.

Instead, I have had to learn how to do the exact opposite of what my brain and feelings are otherwise urging me to do. My parents and other fabulous teachers throughout my life have always taught me to live with positive intention, and I work every day to do just that.

But sometimes that slips through the cracks. Sometimes I allow the negative thoughts to eek their way into my world.

This week has been rough. And while I hate — absolutely hate — any thoughts of the universe crashing down on me, sometimes, it feel like exactly that; like the universe is going to smack me in the face at any moment.

And I hate that. I know there are worse things, worse situations, worse collisions with the universe happening in this world at this very moment. When you are stuck in that place, however, where only your world feels like the only one that is being affected, it is hard for anyone to tell you to think differently.

But that’s not fair. It’s not fair for me to waste my precious time feeling bad about the, really, very minor — so small in this very large scheme of things — things that are happening in my life.

I am so fortunate.

My mom, my dad, my sister, my brothers, my fiancé, my extended family. How could I ask to be anymore blessed?

I have a job I love and a healthy body and the cutest kittens in the world . . . my life is really quite fabulous.

And when I am feeling moments of such a great “Poor me!” attitude, I try to remind myself of all of those things. I think of my health and the important people in my life and people who are in much more drastic situations than me, like Bekah, and still manage to think positively.

I recently watched A Bee Movie with my family, and I absolutely loved this introduction to the film:

“According to all laws of aviation,
there is no way that a bee should be able to fly.

Its wings are too small to get its fat little body
off the ground.

The bee, of course, flies anyway.

Because bees don’t care what humans think
is impossible.”

When I am feeling like I am this morning, I remind myself of the little bees and I smile. If a chubby bee can persevere, can do the “impossible,” then why can’t I?

There is no reason why I cannot, except for, of course, if I pay attention to the human being in me who tries to convince me that my world is falling apart or that everything really has become quite “impossible.”

And to that, I have no reply except …. buzz off.

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Filed under April 2008, Pray

No Jokes Here — Let’s Get Serious About Our Planet!

earth21.jpg The beginning of a new month always presents to me an opportunity to start anew. And while I would like to kick April off by playing the world’s most fabulous April Fools’ Day prank on all of you, I decided to, instead, acknowledge this day as the beginning of the month in which we celebrate Earth Day. What a better time than now to talk about a few things that each one of us can be doing to save our planet?
Now, I know we have been inundated with thoughts of global warming, and “green” talk may be the last thing you want to hear about. But if you are anything like me, than I have confidence that each one of you would like to be doing your part to save the good Earth that lies at our feet. Right?
I read this article today and I found it quite interesting. Some of the tips I cannot yet adhere to, — I don’t think my landlord would appreciate solar panels — but it is nice to know that I can do something as small as change a light bulb and know that I am making a difference!
Read on for more tips:

A Green Truth: 5 Things to Buy

From The Oprah Winfrey Show Global Warming 101 with Al Gorealgore.jpg

For the past 20 years, former Vice President Al Gore has been traveling the world speaking about global warming, a passion of his since college. In 2006, his lecture was made into the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Now available on DVD, this is the third highest grossing documentary of all time. Gore will donate 100 percent of his profits from his movie and book to a non-partisan effort to continue education on global warming.

In his lectures, book and documentary, Gore explains that if we continue to ignore what we are doing to our planet, we risk destroying the very future of our civilization. And the former vice president says that we must act before it’s too late.”Some of the leading scientists are now saying we may have as little as 10 years before we cross a kind of point-of-no-return, beyond which it’s much more difficult to save the habitability of the planet in the future,” Gore says.You are not helpless in the fight against global warming. Gore goes inside a Lowe’s Home Improvement store outside Nashville, Tennessee, to show you the five things you can buy that will help solve the climate crisis…and save you a few bucks!
Compact fluorescent light bulbs: These energy-efficient bulbs cost less than $4 and are produced by major corporations like GE. If every household in America switched five regular light bulbs for five fluorescent bulbs, it would be the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the highways for a full year.
Outdoor solar lighting: These yard or patio lights cost less than $20, and they don’t burn any electricity or produce any CO2.
Programmable thermostats: Though these thermostats cost from $50 to $100, they can actually cut your heating and cooling costs. Set the setting so it’s a little bit cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer when you’re not in the house. A difference of 2 degrees can reduce a home’s CO2 emissions by up to 9 percent over the course of a year.
Air filters: Changing the air filters in your heating and cooling systems regularly can knock 2 percent off of your CO2 output each year.
Electric hot water heater blanket: Hot water heaters use a lot of energy and generate a lot of CO2. A blanket costs less than $18 and can cut your home’s CO2 emissions by almost 4 1/2 percent.Gore says that when you’re shopping for major home appliances, look for the Energy Star label. “This is a signal that you’re getting an environmentally efficient appliance that’s going to save you money at the same time,” he says.
A few other small (but HUGE!) ways to go green:

  • Use pure beeswax candles which are naturally aromatic and infused with the sweet, subtle scent of honey. Check out 3RLiving.greenandgorgeous.jpg
  • Try a cute tote as an alternative to shopping bags. I love the Green & Gorgeous tote by Scoop NYC. And it’s only 28 bucks! (Hey, mom, my birthday is coming up . . . hint, hint! )
  • Use cleaning products that do not contain chemicals that can cause harm to the planet and your home. Try Shaklee’sbiojkleen.jpg Get Clean Fresh Laundry detergent or a vinegar-based, ammonia-free window cleaner, like biokleen.
  • Invest in a power strip. According to an article in the March 2008 issue of domino magazine, a computer that has been urned off still drains the lifeblood from outlets, accounting for up to 10 percent of home electricity use. The new-generation strip actually stops the current saving money and energy. Check out this one for $30.95 at Smart Home USA.
I cannot wait to research these and many more products — in addition to green efforts around the globe — during the month of April. It is exciting to know that each one of us can make small changes to make a huge difference in our world.
Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find.” — Quote from Time magazine

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Filed under April 2008, Pray

Thought for the Day!

sundaysun2.jpgIf God hadn’t rested on Sunday, He would have had time to finish the world.Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I found this quote quite interesting, and one that fits perfectly into this glorious Sunday. Marquez’s words make me feel a whole bunch of different things — is he saying Sunday should not be a day of rest? Does he think the world is better or worse off for not being “finished?” I am stuck as to what to think of this quote . . . I would like to hear your thoughts.

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Filed under March 2008, Pray

Quote for the Day!

mountainsunrise.jpg“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. — E. B. White

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Filed under March 2008

Apologies and Thought for the Day

globe.jpgI apologize that I never got back to y’all yesterday to tell you about my interesting (?) weekend. Life just really got busy yesterday! I am off to the dentist right now — a result of my fabulous weekend — and then I will be back to chat about my adventure.

For now, a quote to get you thinking:

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.— Mark Twain

I love this quote!♥ 

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Filed under March 2008, Pray

It’s Not the World’s Fault You Wanted to Be … You.

One of the greatest difficulties about doing what you love is doing just that — doing what you love.

Now, I know that sounds crazy, but let me explain.

My mother and I were talking today about some of my recent writing endeavors, and she asked, “So, how do you feel about that? Like, how do you feel about continually motivating yourself to do that work?”

This is such a great question because it is one that I often struggle to answer.

Here is an attempt:

I am motivated because it is what I love to do. I really do love, love, love it.

I am sometimes unmotivated because, like anything, it is tough for a job or relationship or anything to consistently feel fresh and exciting. What’s more, being a creative artist is, at times, completely draining to the brain. You think and you think and you create and you create and … you burnout.

But I am not complaining. Please don’t think this is a hear-Caroline-whine-about-her-life post.

It is not.

What I am trying express to you is that, — next to my family, significant other, friends, future children and maybe a good run — there is nothing except for writing that would be worth the sacrifice of sometimes feeling a little bit tired or void of motivation.

In Some Thoughts on Writing, Elizabeth Gilbert (the oh-so-talented writer of which this blog is inspired by) shares a story about her artist friend who begins to become uninspired, and even depressed, about his craft. She says:

“I have a friend who’s an Italian filmmaker of great artistic sensibility. After years of struggling to get his films made, he sent an anguished letter to his hero, the brilliant (and perhaps half-insane) German filmmaker Werner Herzog. My friend complained about how difficult it is these days to be an independent filmmaker, how hard it is to find government arts grants, how the audiences have all been ruined by Hollywood and how the world has lost its taste…etc, etc. Herzog wrote back a personal letter to my friend that essentially ran along these lines: “Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.” I repeat those words back to myself whenever I start to feel resentful, entitled, competitive or unappreciated with regard to my writing: “It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.” Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.”

I love those words: “It’s not the world’s fault you wanted to be an artist … now get back to work.”

How vital it is for anyone — not just the artist — to keep those words in mind?!

Nobody asked you to be the person you have become. Stop whining. If you can’t stop, do something else. You should not always feel the urge to complain, and the person you have chosen to be should never make you unhappy. If he or she does … FIND ANOTHER YOU.

And that’s it. That is how I answered my mother’s question — not in those exact words, but you know what I mean.

I don’t want to be another me. And when I feel — for even a glimmer of a second — like I might, I get back to work.

Because this is what I love to do.

It hasn’t always been that way, but it is now.

So, now, getting back to work, well, … I’m OK with that.

And that feels pretty darn good.

cooper-and-pg-exercise.jpg

My kitten, Cooper, stretching with me this morning. He is perfectly happy with the kitten he has become. (:

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Filed under January 2008, Pray