Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Bits and Pieces October 5, 2011

Filed under: Life,Miscellany,Shopping — Lulu @ 6:51 pm

One of the things I love about the internet is learning about things I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I have learned about new restaurants, cool websites and online shops just from reading other people’s blogs and perusing Pinterest and Tumblr. One blog that I read regularly is Nora Griffin’s “Just Make Stuff.” It’s a super-cute blog full of great crafting ideas, personal stories and links to other inspiring and creative sites. Last month Nora featured a site called 31Bits, which immediately caught my interest.

 

31Bits is a company that sells jewelry handmade by women in Gulu, Uganda. It was started in 2007 by Kallie Dovel as a way to help the women overcome poverty by helping them sell their handcrafted jewelry. From their site:

 

Kallie Dovel, traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2007, getting a first-hand look at life in Northern Uganda. While she was there, she met women making paper beads but who lacked a plan to market and sell them. After spending time in their homes and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities to her new friends. She brought a box of jewelry back to the U.S., and spent the next year finishing her degree and dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis. Since then, we have grown to 99 women; each with a unique story of suffering that has been overcome with joy and liberation.

31Bits currently works with over 60 women in Gulu, empowering them to rise above poverty. The company purchases jewelry from each woman on a monthly basis, providing them with a consistent income. In addition, they also provide English lessons, finance training, AIDS and health education, vocational training, and a community group dedicated to giving the women counseling and leadership,

 

The jewelry is handmade using 100% recycled paper and other local materials. The pieces are really beautiful and Nora Griffin hosted a giveaway on her site where a commenter would be picked at random to win one of the bracelets.

 

Guess who won?

 

YEP! Winner winner, chicken dinner! That would be me. So I received this gorgeous colorful bracelet from Nora.

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Believe it or not, those beautiful beads are all made of recycled paper! I know, right??

 

Anyway, I was so inspired by 31 Bits’ mission statement that I ordered a few bracelets. They arrived just a few short days later and I am really pleased with them. I ordered several colors of the same style so that I could mix and match them with different outfits. They arrived packaged in a handsewn, fabric pouch, which I love. I can’t wait to start wearing them all the time. =)

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They have many different styles and gorgeous necklaces also. I encourage you to check out their site and maybe you’ll find something special for yourself or a loved one, and you can help out some deserving women in the process.

 

That’s it for now. Peace out, yo!

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TJ Maxx Haul March 7, 2011

Filed under: Shopping — Lulu @ 2:21 am

Just sharing some fun items I found at the TJ Maxx on 5th and Alton on Miami Beach.

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The super cute Cynthia Rowley clipboard and pad were just $5.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (from the same author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) was a total score at $3!

The scrapbooking supplies were a steal! The Anna Griffin 4-in-1 tab punch was $3.99. The American Crafts precision pens were also $3.99. And the Amy Butler Lotus chipboard letters and clear stamp set were just $1.99 each!! Awesome!! (Who knew TJ Maxx had scrapbooking supplies?? Granted, these were the only ones I found at that particular location. But still!)

 

Anyway, that’s all for now. Peace out, yo!

 

Wish List: 2010 Edition November 18, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Shopping — Lulu @ 11:23 pm

I’m home. I’m bored. I’m watching “Outsourced.” I decided to indulge in some online window shopping. For Christmas! I swear, I’m just trying to make it easy for y’all to indulge me (totally kidding). Anyway, let’s get this show on the road.

 

Fuji Instax Camera

Yes. Again. Every year I say “I want this!”  I never get it.

 

Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens

I love pens. And Jetpens has this great set from Japan that I really want.

Pilot FriXion Color-Pencil-Like Erasable Gel Ink Pen - 0.7 mm - 24 Color Set

 

Making Memories Carousel

 

Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 collection

 

Glaze by Adi boots

In black or brown, from Overstock.com. (Hmm… actually, I might get these right now. Only $30!)

Glaze by Adi Microsuede Flat Mid-Calf Boots

 

 

HP Netbook

A teeny, tiny (under 3lbs.!) netbook, which is perfect for traveling, without the weight and bulk of a laptop.

 

That’s it. Peace out, yo!

 

Exactly One Month… June 17, 2010

Filed under: Life,Miscellany,Random Thoughts,Shopping — Lulu @ 2:06 am

Until my birthday! You know what that means… Wish List Time! (And as always, I don’t actually expect to receive any of these items. This is purely for fun.)

 

Books:

The Madonnas of Echo Park’ by Brando Skyhorse

The Madonnas of Echo Park

 

 

The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ books by Sara Shepard

(I had never heard of these books until I started watching the new ABC Family tv show based on the series. The show is pretty good, so I want to read the books in order to have the complete back story. Even though they fall under the YA category, the show is pretty racy.)
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The remaining Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) novels

(I have books 1-3, but I still need 4-10.)

 

sstb

 

 

 

Crafty Stuff

Martha Stewart Doily Lace border punch

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Stickles All That Glitters trio pack

 

Maya Road Dress Form chipboard book

Dress Form Chipboard Book

 

 

Girls Paperie Paper Girl clear stamp set

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Girly Stuff

Vintage Estate Earrings in white (from Vintageandglam on Etsy)

Vintage Estate Earrings White  (Old Hollywood)

 

Madelyn earrings in red (from onceuponapeony on Etsy)

Madelyn Earrings in Red Licorice - BUY 3 GET 1 FREE

 

 

Tech-related Stuff

Silicone cases for my (new!!) Blackberry Curve 8530 (because I know myself well enough to know that I will drop it or something, and it WILL get effed up), These are all from Amazon and they are really inexpensive (under $2 each compared to $15.99 each at Best Buy!) and I pretty much want one in every one of these colors. So then I can be all Paris Hilton-like and change them to coordinate with my outfits… Just kidding. Maybe.

Orange Silicone Case / Skin / Cover for RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 / 8530Green Silicone Case / Skin / Cover for RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 / 8530Yellow Silicone Case / Skin / Cover for RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 / 8530White Silicone Case / Skin / Cover for RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 / 8530Blue Silicone Case / Skin / Cover for RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 / 8530

 

Digital Concepts TR-60N Camera Tripod

 

And, of course, gift cards from Target, Starbucks or Barnes and Noble are always welcome.

 

That’s pretty much it, I guess. Not too bad, right?

 

Peace out, yo!

 

Product Share November 29, 2009

Filed under: Miscellany,Shopping — Lulu @ 2:27 am

I certainly do not claim to be any kind of beauty guru, but I have always loved fashion and beauty magazines, makeover shows, trying out new and different products. Because I always rave about great new finds to friends, I thought this would be as good a place as any to share my finds. So here are my four current beauty “must haves.”

 

Two amazing hair products that I’m completely in love with are the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment spray and Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Weightless Mousse. Both are leave-in conditioners, and they are fantastic. My hair is color-treated and naturally curly – but I typically blow it out straight – which means that it tends to be on the dry side. These products are meant to be applied to towel-dried hair prior to heat styling or air drying. Both of these products leave my hair much softer to the touch, with a nice, natural (non-greasy) sheen to it. Bonus: They both also smell really good. I used the coconut milk mousse earlier today and I keep sniffing my hair, it’s that good.

 

 

Working from home means that I don’t have to deal with getting dressed up and applying makeup every day. But I do like to look at least a little bit groomed when I have to step out and run an errand. Usually a swipe of mascara and a dab of lipgloss do the trick. My current favorite mascara is Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Color Enhancing Mascara. The brush is a perfect shape for getting coverage on all of your lashes – even the very short ones in the inner corners – and keeping them separated. The formulation allows this mascara to go on smoothly and evenly. It is great at thickening and darkening lashes without clumps or “spidering.” I don’t know about the other shades, but I use the Black Ruby shade, and it has a touch of burgundy shimmer which really contrasts nicely with my green eyes.

 

My lips tend to chap a lot because I always chew on them absent-mindedly. Because of this, I keep tubes of Chapstick in every purse, in my car, on my desk… But my absolute favorite lip balm is Rosebud Strawberry Lip Salve. This product really helps relieve the dryness and chapping, but it’s not heavy or waxy. You really only need a tiny dab to do the trick, so a tin lasts forever (I’ve had mine for about two years, and only now is it getting close to needing replacement). It also smells really nice, which is always a plus in my book.

 

If you are using any of these products, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

 

Peace out, yo.

 

Ho Ho Ho! October 12, 2009

Filed under: Life,Miscellany,Random Thoughts,Shopping — Lulu @ 11:26 am

I know it seems early, but Christmas is only 10 weeks away (as evident by the Christmas decorations sharing an aisle with the Halloween decorations at Target yesterday). I figured this is as good a time as any to post my yearly wish list.*

 

1. How cute is this ring? I love my birthstone (ruby) in a white gold or silver setting and this cute ring from Gordon’s is only $40! (I might have to make this my gift to myself.)

 Lab-Created Ruby and White Sapphire Ring in Sterling Silver - Gordon's Jewelers

 

2. We-R-Memory Keepers’ Corner Chomper – Lord knows I love a rounded corner on my scrap layouts and cards. This is the Crop-O-Dile version of a corner rounder. Supposedly it can go through several layers of paper, chipboard, metal, drywall, granite… (okay, I might be wrong on those last two, but still – awesome!)

 

3. This one puts the “wish” in wish list: a Canon EOS Rebel XS Digital SLR camera. I would sell a kidney to own one of these. Seriously. No, SERIOUSLY!

 

4. I love make-up brushes, and mine have definitely seen better days. This set from Sephora includes every makeup brush you could possibly need. Bonus: cute pink travel case!

Perfect Ten Brush Set ($150 Value)

 

5. American Crafts Cloth D-ring Binder Albums. Any of them. In any color. 12×12. WANT!

 

6. Pink Cowgirl pajamas from Nick & Nora. I love pajamas. LOVE them. And these are just too cute for words.

 

Product Image Nick & Nora® Pajama Set - Pink Cowgirls

 

 

7. Photo paper. Lots and lots of photo paper.

Epson Glossy Photo Paper Borderless - 4x6" - 50 Sheets

 

 

8. Gift cards to any of the following: Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, StopandScrap.com, Books & Books, or Best Buy. Never say I’m not flexible!

 

 

* As always, my wish list is just that: a wish, for fun. Just to be clear, I don’t actually expect anyone to purchase any of the above items.

 

Angel Eyes? September 21, 2009

Filed under: Random Thoughts,Shopping — Lulu @ 12:23 pm

I love sunglasses. I really do. I currently own somewhere around 15 pairs. Last week 6pm.com had a great sale on sunglasses and I ordered these two from Angel for only $9.99 each (they typically retail for $75 each)! (I have to tell you I am super-impressed with the shipping from 6pm.com. I literally ordered them on Thursday night, and at 11:47AM today, the UPS guy was knocking on my door!)

And yes, this is me in my “no-makeup-messy-hair-still-in-PJs-photos-in-the-bathroom-mirror” all natural state. Sorry!

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Love that little heart!

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These say “angel” in translucent purple on the sides.

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Sorry I don’t have anything more exciting to share. It is what it is, people.

Peace out, yo!