Thursday, November 25, 2010

GIVE WATER! Today I'm Thankful for the Things I Take for Granted

Today I'm thankful for the things that I often take for granted. What do I mean by this? Reliable electricity, the roof over my head, available (yet perhaps still working on affordable) health care, & running water. (Click on the top right of my blog to donate clean water now!) None of these things were commonplace in Bolpur India. I traveled there with Operation Smile. My part on the team was to take before and after cleft lip/pallet surgery photographs.


American kids (as I consider myself to have been 4 years ago when I traveled to India) think that they "get" it and understand that they're privileged. After visiting India  I realized that I didn't have a clue. Did you know that in parts of rural India cow waste is gathered and pressed (by hand) to dry on walls to use as cooking fuel?


This dried fuel is burned on small cooking fires like this one.


To make chai many local people boil water in this way. Where does that water come from? It it often gathered at public pumping stations and carried, sometimes extremely long distances, to the homes. I was invited as a guest into strangers' homes for chai prepared on fires like these. Although they purchased bottled water for me knowing that the local water would likely make an American like me sick. When I was there I gave away my backpack, some flip flops, clothing, and granola bars...but I was given such a more important gift in return. True kindness and generosity without expectation and the profound meaning of gratitude and the ability to truly feel it.


So today I urge you to give thanks by not taking what you have for granted. From your comfortable home all that you have to do is click the give water button on the top right corner of my blog to donate a day's worth of clean water. An email address is required to verify individual clicks, but P&G emails are opt-in! Meaning, unless you click "yes" to receive emails from them -- you won't receive anything other than one email to verify your unique email address and donate water. NO further emails! Couldn't you spare 60 seconds?

 Learn more about the clean water bloivation here. P&G is providing a day of clean drinking water (2L) to a person in a developing country through P&G's Children's Safe Drinking Water Program ( for every click on the "Click to Donate Water" button and click on the "share" buttons in the GIVE HEALTH widget. --- look up at the TOP RIGHT of my blog for my Give Health Widget.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wedding Tip #36 - Registering Part 2

A while ago I wrote Wedding Tip #20: What to Know Before You Register.

I thought that I was so smart when I said: "Make sure you register for enough items! You will break a few plates and wine glasses. We all do. So, if you're hoping to have a set of 10, get 12 just in case."

To this tip I need to add:

- Wine glasses are fragile! You need to be very careful when you wash them and you will need extras....several extras.

- Save a printed copy of your registry. Three years later (now for me) when you want to replace the broken glasses because you've run out of spares you'll know exactly what style to get.  Crate & Barrel has many wine glasses. And, guess what, many different styles look similar online!

What? Three years later I still have a copy of my wedding registry? Um...yeah. I can't believe that I'm admitting that I have such OCD tenancies. The truth is that I had an entire wedding binder. Everything that had to do with wedding planning lived in that giant 3 ring binder. After the wedding, it was like a scrapbook to me. I couldn't bear to part with it. So I saved it. Luckily, now it still contains our registry to tell me that our wine glasses are the "Elite" collection from Crate & Barrel. (Photo above) Technically they're Chardonnay glasses, but they are so nice, full, and large that they work well for most red & white wines. This time I am going to buy 4 extras and hope that Anthony & I become less clumsy as we get older.

I'm also buying some of these stemless wine glasses. Now, when we have a glass of wine with dinner we can just throw the glasses in the dishwasher. Have I told you how much I LOVE my dishwasher?

I'd brag about the other things that we've managed not to break...but I don't want to jinx myself! Speaking of Crate & Barrel, they are currently having a 25% off wine & dine sale. So, if you need anything, or know someone who is registered there, now would be a good time to shop!

*This is not a paid advertisement. I just love Crate & Barrel as much as I love a good sale! The wedding registry photo is (somewhat obviously) my own - but glassware photos are from

Monday, November 15, 2010

Veggies at the Common Ground Fair

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While wandering around the Common Ground Fair I met mid-coast Mainers Bill and Lauren. They had the prettiest veggies, and they were nice enough to let me hang out for a while with my camera. They call what they create "Edible Landscape Design" -- don't you just love that concept? I do! Looking back at these shots makes me want to plant veggies in our tiny condo garden! Is it May yet?

And now, on to the beautiful (if I do say so myself) veggie photos. Ahem, yes the Common Ground Fair was 6 weeks ago...better late than never?

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Want to find out more about Bill & Lauren and their veggies? Check out their site:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedding Tip #35 - Sensible Shoes!

On your wedding day, just like any other very special event, you'll want to have the perfect shoes. So, go ahead and pick out whatever shoes that your little heart desires for your wedding ceremony. Just make sure that you're able to make it down the aisle and stand for photos! As we all know, adorable shoes are not always comfortable shoes! So, if this is the case for you...have a back-up plan! At my wedding I had a big basket of flip-flops in the ladies room (an idea I stole from my cousin-in-law Cay). My bridesmaids loved this, but so did other high-heeled-shoe-loving guests!

For your own shoes, you may want special shoes, not just one out of the basket. May I suggest these crystal Havaianas from Rue la la?

Or, you may also want to look into a platform wedge white flip flop if you've having your dress hemmed to your height+ a few inches from a high heeled shoe. Are you looking for a more special bridesmaid gift, or perhaps a closed-toed shoe for cooler weather? In that case, try footzyrolls! My co-worker Mel was wearing these at a wedding we both went to. How great are they?

Adorable ballet flats that roll up to fit in your purse! What could be better? Order these in white or silver for yourself, and in black or a color that matches your bridesmaids dresses for them. You'll both be sure to get more use out of them, because who doesn't want to wear cute shoes but worry if they can last all night in them?

The moral of this story? Fashion isn't always comfortable. So, go for it...just have a good back-up plan!

Note: all photos from this post are from vendor websites. I was not paid or given free samples...I just love these shoes and have purchased my our Havaianas & footzy rolls.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Kids' Portraits

I've been photographing more children lately. How adorable are these sweet little girls? You've gotta love something a bit favorite has got to be big sister sticking out her tongue.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the winner is...

And the winner is...commenter #5, Krista of Krista Photography. Congratulations! I hope your friend in Texas enjoys the flowers. Look our for an email from 1-800-Flowers about your $40 credit.