Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!



Have a happy, safe, and healthy 2012! 

Happy New Year!!!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Honest Tea / Honest Ade

“Nobody deserves to be lonely, nobody deserves to be lonely!”


The first time my co-worker and I had to go to New York for work, we anticipated running into a few different people. After a week in the city, we were somewhat relieved to find that we didn’t have any unwanted encounters.


The next time that we went back, it was a little more interesting. We had stopped in a pharmacy on our way to the hotel after a long day at the office. As we were in line to check out there was a woman at the ATM machine in the corner of the store who just kept repeating “Nobody deserves to be lonely, nobody deserves to be lonely”. We think that she may have had a few drinks…but we weren’t quite sure.

We just sort of looked at each other and went along our way.


It has been over a year since that trip and the one really good thing that has come from it was the drink that I tried while we were there.

I’m not someone who really enjoys super sweet drinks so I’m always on the lookout for juices with less sugar or flavored water that does not have artificial sweeteners. While we were in that pharmacy one of the things that I had picked up to try was this:

*Honest Ade – Orange Mango






It was amazing! Not too sweet – not too much sugar – just great flavor.


I have read into the company a little further and have learned that they stand for great things as well as making a great product.

“A commitment to social responsibility is central to Honest Tea's identity and purpose. The company strives for authenticity, integrity and purity, in our products and in the way we do business. In addition to creating a healthy alternative beverage with a lot less sugar than most bottled drinks, Honest Tea seeks to create honest relationships with our employees, suppliers, customers and with the communities in which we do business.”

 “Our Philosophy
Antioxidants * Fair Trade * Less Sugar * Organic Certification * Packaging”

They believe in making tea with real leaves; unsweetened or use much smaller amounts of sugar, honey, or agave syrup than other bottled beverages; and all products are certified as meeting the USDA’s organic standards.

They are also the 1st to make a Fair Trade Certified bottled tea; and more than ½ of their products are Fair Trade Certified.

The bottles that they use are fully recyclable and require less energy to produce and ship, and they do not contain BPA. This is the same for all children’s drinks also.

The next time you are looking for something with a great taste, less sugar, and good overall – reach for an Honest drink – an Honest Tea or Honest Ade. You can find them in local grocery stores, convenience stores, and online. All of the ones that I have tried so far are just as good as the 1st one that I tried in New York.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Emi-Jay


Let’s talk hair…

I’ve had some pretty bad haircuts in my time. I have been blessed with strawberry-blonde, straight hair that people swear I color. I really don’t!




There was the time that my step-mom got my hair cut really short and I looked like a boy. That was rough…I went from having pencil-straight hair down my back to really short above my shoulders hair.

Of course I can’t forget the 3rd grade picture where my mom claims that I slept on my bangs wrong…uh yeah, pretty sure to this day that she had cut them really crooked!

Then there was the bad perm when I was in elementary school. Come on – it was the eighties and expected! (No, I’m not THAT old!)

I also had the stress haircuts in college when I didn’t know what else to do to deal with my stress so I would get my hair cut. No kidding…I did that. A lot! But it normally stayed around shoulder length.

I have never dyed my hair, have only had it highlighted twice, and typically seem to follow Jennifer Aniston’s haircuts. Come on – admit it – you know she has great hair! The latest and greatest great idea I had was about 6 months ago when I decided to chop my hair again (it was pretty much in the middle of my back) because Jen had a really cute bob that I NEEDED to have. I came home to work out, tried to pull my hair back, and started to cry! But I have lived to tell the tail tale. J

I’ve played with the wavy hair idea too –











Where is all of this hair stuff going you ask? I am trying somewhat unsuccessfully to get to the company of the day – Emi-Jay.            www.emi-jay.com





“Once upon a time lived two girls who were meant to design
Hair accessories that were very unique, and one of a kind
Emi + Jay are normal teens who reside in L.A.
They decided to create something special that could make your day
They have a passion for all things related to fashion
Teen Vogue subscriptions, satin bows & more
Those are just a few things that the girls adore”


They make some of the greatest hair ties I have ever seen – and they make cute bracelets when you put your hair tie on your wrist like so many of us do. They also have great headbands, bows, and even some accessories too.

And speaking of Jennifer Aniston, she has been spotted wearing the Emi-Jay hair ties. What other celebs are fans of them? Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, Heidi Kium, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Demi Lovato, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Dakota Fanning just to name a few.

“A portion of our proceeds are donated to charity
So know when buying an Emi Jay creation, you are helping someone in need”.
Some of the charities that they support include: Operation Smile, Susan G. Komen, Locks of Love, and Toys for Tots.

I think this quote from their site says it best:
“Why so impressed? These hair ties are the brainchild of L.A. teens, who are donating the proceeds to Locks of Love” Marie Claire Magazine.

To get more information about the girls and what they do –check out www.emi-jay.com. I’m sure you will be just as impressed as I am too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

LUSH



Lust
Naked
Sex Bomb
Dirty
Big Blue
Friends with Benefits

Oh come on now! Where is your mind!?!?! Ha! Okay, so I might have led you down that path.

I would have never thought that way!

Yeah, right!

Anyone that knows me understands that my mind is usually working like that of a 12 year old boy’s.

“That’s what she said!” Anyone? Come on, you know you want to laugh when someone drops it at the right moment. Yeah, I think that is hysterical. J Juvenile - absolutely, cracks me up – always! I can’t help it.  Hey! I work in an office every day, for over 40 hours a week. I need to do something to amuse myself!  

The Office - Season 2: Episode 2- Sexual Harassment
Michael comes under fire from boss Jan Levinson and the corporate office for his sexist and offensive behavior. Things get even better after he announces his "retirement from comedy."

Michael: "And in the future if I want to say something funny, or witty, or do an impression, I will no longer, ever do any of those things."
Jim: "Does that include 'That's What She Said?'
Michael: "Mmhmm. Yes."
Jim: "Wow. That is really hard. You really think you can go all day long? Well, you always left me satisfied and smiling, so..."
Michael: "That's what she said!" (Bursts into laughter).

*Quote taken from:   http://www.aoltv.com/2010/06/06/best-the-office-thats-what-she-said-quotes/

And now you have lost all respect for me I bet. I’m sorry.

In my defense – a good laugh is always needed. So next time you get the chance, make sure you break out the “That’s what she said” and make sure you giggle about it. J

But moving along…The words above all come from a wonderful company’s site called LUSH.


I don’t know if you have heard of them before, but the company makes “Fresh Handmade Cosmetics”. They have everything from perfumes to hair care to skin care to bath and shower gels and scrubs and so much more that I could spend tons of time listing for you – but really it would be better for you to just go to their site (or find a local store) than listening to me ramble on!


The things that they believe in really fit perfectly in the types of products/stores/companies that I am looking to tell you about:

“We believe in making effective products from fresh, organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.
We invent our own products and fragrances. We make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients, and tell you when they were made.
We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans.
We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.”

 “Our beliefs are at the heart of everything we do. LUSH firmly believes in the ethical treatment of animals and we have always taken a strong stance against animal cruelty.

LUSH has multiple ethical campaigns that they support. Again – check out their site to get more information about what they support and more of what they believe in.


Purchase a limited edition Shark Fin Soap and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Shark Savers’ efforts to ban the shark fin trade. A refreshing blend of lime, lavender and seaweed, Shark Fin Soap is the perfect way to cool down this summer!





I have been to their store downtown and their products are awesome. I bet you won’t be disappointed if you give them a try yourself!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So-Me Designs

Today I had the chance to spend a wonderful evening with some great friends and their amazing baby girl - she is so cute! She is about  3 ½ months and is growing so quickly! It is amazing how a little smile from her can make their entire day better.

I spent a good portion of our evening together holding and rocking her – to which I quickly discovered how out of shape I am right now.  I was finally able to rock her to sleep – amazing how the baby bounce seems to come so naturally! :)  I put her in her crib and then watched as my arms started to quiver and hands shake once I put her down.  I think I will survive and I got a great workout in tonight anyway!

While I was doing my research on the company that I am featuring today I came across this which made me think of her:

*Love your mother onesie
How cute is this!?










The company that makes these onesie is called So-Me Designs.







A few other shirts that I really like are:
Love Wins t-shirt
Music is color blind t-shirt




“So-Me was founded with two goals in mind. First, to raise awareness about social issues through fashion and second to raise money for global humanitarian causes.”




A percentage of your purchase of any of their merchandise goes to support their non-profit No More Tears as well as a few other non-profits that carry ideals that are very dear to So-Me.

“No More Tears is a non-for profit organization with a focus on helping immigrant women in the United States who are victims of spousal abuse. Many of these women are brought to America via arranged marriages and are scared to speak out against their oppressor due to the ramifications they will face in their home country or for the fear of being sent back. No More Tears works with these women in helping to provide them with legal counsel, financial assistance and psychotherapy. We work with these women in not only wiping away the tears, but also making sure that there are No More Tears!”

If you are looking for a cute little onsie for that special little one in your life or even a t-shirt for you please take a look at the selection at So-Me Designs. You might find something that you like and will be able to help someone in need. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

FEED Projects


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays all! I hope you had a great Christmas yesterday and enjoyed your holiday weekend!


I don’t know about everyone else, but I know that I have had way more than my share of food of the past few weeks. It started with my cookie extravaganza and that included these:
*Chocolate fudge s’mores thumbprint cookies – AhMaZing!!!






And then it turned into preparing for our holiday party where of course I made way too much food.  Then on Christmas Eve I decided that I was going to bake homemade cranberry nut bread and banana nut bread to share with our families over the next few days.




And guess who is now stuck with too many sweets in the house? My husband loves me (he’s going to end up eating most of it since I of course can’t eat the way that he can and not gain 10 pounds just by looking at it)! HA!



All of this food talk brings me to my feature of the day – FEED Projects.



They really have some great bags and accessories and in addition to those they also sell teddy bears to support their cause.



“FEED Projects' mission is to create good products that help FEED the world. We do this through the sale of FEED bags, bears, t-shirts, and other accessories by building a set donation into the cost of each product. Thus the impact of each product, signified by a stenciled number, is understandable, tangible, and meaningful. 

We take great pride in using environmentally-friendly and artisan-made materials, along with fair-labor production, in creating all FEED products.

We stand behind our brand and the organizations and humanitarian programs each FEED product supports. Ultimately, we believe that everyone has the right to basic human necessities, such as healthy and nutritious food. FEED is proud to help FEED the world, one bag at a time.”

Next time you are looking for a great tote bag that is cute and can help feed someone else – make sure you look at these ones first. You might find something you like and someone will thank you for it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to you and your family! 

I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

TOMS Shoes

I like shoes. Have I mentioned that?
You are getting to know a lot about me…first I tell you a bunch of things in the “Getting to Know Me” post, then the travel, and now shoes. I don’t know if this is fair.
The problem I have is this – I like shoes, therefore, I buy shoes. That might not seem like a huge problem, that is, until your closet looks like mine and you have them in multiple locations in your house.
Or until you accidentally wear 2 different similar looking shoes that happen to be different colors. Yep – I’ve done that. I am not proud to say that. And want to know what made it worse? I wore them to work that way. Needless to say I kept my feet under my desk for more than a majority of the day! J
Here are today’s – and yes, they match!

I wish I could say that every pair of shoes I own have helped someone, but I can tell you that they most likely haven’t. Unless you count the fact that they are cute and may have brightened someone’s day by looking at them…oh wait, I don’t count for that, do I? Oh well, I tried!
But the next pair that I am going to buy are these:
And I have to admit – I think I really need this hoodie! 

I am the same person that is still wearing my gray hoodie from college to the gym…what can I say – it is so comfy!
The shoes and the hoodie are both from TOMS. www.toms.com
I love this company! For every pair of shoes that are bought they donate a pair to a child in need.
“TOMS – With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One”.  The same goes for the hoodie – they will donate a pair of shoes with each one that is purchased.
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.”
I think it is pretty amazing that a company does something like this. So next time you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes, stop by www.toms.com and maybe you will see something you like and you can help put shoes on someone else’s feet at the same time.


 Some extra info:

Why Shoes?


Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:
•A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
•Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.
•Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.”

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ten Thousand Villages

I mentioned that I like to travel, right? Yeah, love to actually. I have been to about 10 different states, Canada, Mexico, and have done a little island hopping along the way also. And there have been a few cruises too.
I wish this could be a funny post, but unfortunately I don’t think it can be…
My husband and I went on a cruise with a few of our close friends early in 2010. It was right after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. At first, like many people probably would, we wondered if it would affect our cruise stops since we were scheduled to go to the Dominican Republic.
*Domican Republic*

The cruise proceeded as scheduled, and we had a blast…okay I guess I can entertain you for a bit before it gets back to the serious part! One of the highlights of the trip was when us youngsters (and by that I mean most of the people on this particular ship were old enough to be our parents – at least, but more likely our grandparents. No kidding – they served prunes after dinner!!! *I wish I were making this up!)…but I digress…
We are SCUBA divers and of course had our diving gear with us on the ship.  So one of our afternoons at sea we had decided that we needed to find something to do. So we decided, why not?! We got our fins, masks, and snorkels, and the 4 of us split up – 2 on each side of the pool, and yes, took a giant stride in. I think it is pretty safe to say that we got A LOT of funny looks from the other cruisers, but the staff was pretty amused; and I’m pretty sure we cleared the pool out too. J

So anyway, for our stop in the Dominican Republic the cruise ship was a tendered stop (meaning we needed to take a boat to the dock). Anyone wanting to get off here lined up down the stairs to board the boats. This was taking a little longer than people liked though because the various cruise lines that were stopping here were also bringing supplies for the people in Haiti.
Would you believe that people had the audacity to complain about waiting to get off?! When has it become okay to complain about helping people who were desperately in need getting help?  Of course I had to make my own comments to these selfish people about their “precious vacation time being ruined for the greater good of other people”. Did I happen to mention how sarcastic I can be when I’m upset? Yeah, that’s what I do.
This brings me to my featured store for today called “Ten Thousand Villages”. This is for my Pittsburgh readers (or anyone that might be in the area; the store is located in Squirrel Hill, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh).


*Update on 1/1/12 - I have to apologize - I just found out that there are MANY locations of Ten Thousand Villages and they are not only in Pittsburgh, PA. Please check their site and look for a location near you. I just stopped in the local one yesterday and they have so many wonderful things - crafts, jewelry, home-wares, trinkets, teas and coffees, and so much more! 



“Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. Ten Thousand Villages accomplishes this by establishing a sustainable market for handmade products in North America, and building long term buying relationships in places where skilled artisan partners lack opportunities for stable income. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.”
http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/
Next time you are in the area and looking for some fun crafts or jewelry be sure to stop in…not only will you find something fun or a perfect gift, but you will also be helping someone that can use it!

Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Lotion

Scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch
“Stop it…”
Scratch scratch scratch
“Stop it!”
Scratch scratch scratch scratch
“If you don’t quit, I’m going to duct tape oven mitts to your hands!”

Yep, that’s me scratching my itchy, winter legs…attractive, right?! And the oven mitt comment…that would be from my husband. J It makes him crazy, rightfully so. We have gone through this every year since (and before) we have been together.
I’m sure it isn’t fun to watch. I will actually scratch so much and so hard that I have given myself bruises. It’s that bad. Yet another reason to move where it is warm and sunny and have white sand beaches and clear, turquoise blue water.

There are few things that I can actually use on my skin during the dry months. Perfumes are limited, body wash – beware! And lotions…proceed with caution. But I need something!

And this is where my most favorite lotion comes in – I use it every morning after I shave:
Yep, Burt’s Bees. J Specifically the Milk & Honey lotion.
I like the company too and what they stand for. They have been around since 1984 in Maine. See their site for more of their history: www.burtsbees.com/c/story/history/
Burt’s Bees: "We believe in preserving the rights of both humans and animals. We commit to the highest standards of free trade and working conditions in the sourcing of our products. We also pledge to never test our ingredients or products on animals."
Please check out their products if you haven’t already! www.burtsbees.com and they are in many local retailers as well.
They are good for you, the environment, and animals – win, win, win all around!

Monday, December 19, 2011

What's this all about??

What’s this all about?

So this year I decided that I was pulling the Scrooge card on my family and not buying Christmas presents…everyone has everything we need and if there is something that any of us want or need, we buy it. Besides, Christmas isn’t about the gifts you get but the time you get to spend with those you love, right?
With that being said, for the few things that I needed to get I wanted it in some way to be something really good. Yeah, I could have donated to a cause on behalf of someone, or bought a star (really? People do that??).  But I started to think…how can I help someone with something that I bought? Where can I find some places that I can do some “good shopping”? And surprisingly, I couldn’t really find much of anything unless I was doing specific searches.  That isn’t easy to do when you don’t know what you are looking for!
And that’s where this whole idea came from. I want to help people (or animals) with purchases that I make. I understand that it isn’t possible to always shop this way (or maybe it is, but I don’t think I’m THAT good yet), but for the times that you can, to be able to help someone, even in a little way….that might make a big difference in their lives.
I am looking to feature stores/products/companies that do something “good” – maybe they contribute to a specific cause, or it is a company that does not test on animals, or it is good for the environment, or something like that.  That is the goal of this – as well as entertaining you! I like to be entertained too so I will do what I can to make that happen! J
If I know that I was able to help someone, it will make this all worthwhile!
If there is a store/company/product that you would like me to feature, please let me know. I will do the best that I can to find out information about them and to put them on the site.

Getting to know me!

About me:
My name is Kelly and I am many things…I am a lover, a friend, a wife, a mommy to my pets. I am friendly and easy-going, smart and a smart-@ss, kind, and hopefully fun to be around! J  I am married to a great man, have 3 cats, a fluffy big dog (no, her name isn’t Clifford and she’s not red!), and live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA.  I work as an accountant…not the worst job in the world, but not the most glorious either. 
I enjoy fashion, but am a little special when it comes to putting together super trendy outfits, so I tend to stay on the safe side of things. That seems to explain what my husband would probably call my obsession of shoes.
I love food and would be a vegetarian if only I enjoyed more veggies, but it’s a work in progress. I have finally conquered my need to like broccoli and am now can’t get enough!
 I also love to travel and am an Advanced Certified SCUBA diver.  I have traveled to many places throughout the U.S. but am a sucker when it comes to a white sand beach with clear turquoise water – can’t get enough!
I have a wedding/event planning business called Ever Ever After Events that I never seem to have enough time to really get off the ground – but if you are in the need for a wedding/event planner, please give me a call! I have great ideas, am super organized, and can help you with your budget!
I have always had a soft spot for animals and love to help people, and as you can imagine, working for a financial institution in one of the many accounting/finance areas, I don’t always have that opportunity.  I have developed this blog as my way of helping the world in any way that I can which is why the stores/companies/products you will see somehow contribute to people who can use some help, or don’t test on animals, or good for the environment, or gives back in some way. I am in no way an expert but I am someone who would like to help out.
Please feel free to leave comments or email me with any questions that you have and I will try to get back to you as quickly as possible.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy! J