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Heartwarming Holidays

21 Dec

It’s Christmas week! And you know what that means, a glut of feel good stories that will make you bawl your eyes out. Why? Why do the news outlets do this to us? It’s supposed to be a happy time, and yeah, they’re happy tears, but maybe give us a break.

At any rate, I’d hate to miss out on this time honored tradition, so here are a few holiday news stories to make you cry. You’re welcome.

LeBron James

At a Celtics game the team honored a Special Olympics athlete. LeBron made sure to go over and congratulation the young man, and give him the shoes LeBron wore during the game. I think that sounds gross, but I guess it’s a nice thing for a fan. Read the full story.

The Scientist

NBC News followed The Scientist, of Humans of New York fame, to his new home in Michigan. Please listen to his words and read his story. He’s suffered so much loss, is currently fighting cancer, and still only wants to help others. Read the full story.

Taylor Swift

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Taylor Swift made a detour on her way home for Christmas to spend some time with a young cancer patient, because that’s just the kind of person Tswift is. P.S. You don’t have to be famous to volunteer your time and talents to helping sick kids – check with your local children’s hospital to see what you can do. Read the full story.


Okay, this one isn’t a story, but it still makes me weepy every time I see it. Then I have to go find Teddy and wake him up to hug him and he’s all confused. But it’s so sweet! The dog is buying gifts for the family! I don’t know why, but it gets me every time.

Shop Like You Mean It

8 Dec

We are frighteningly close to Christmas. Have you finished your shopping? If not, I’ve got you covered, with gift guides for some tough to shop for people on your list.

I used Shopswell to create these gift guides, and you should totally be using it too. Because it’s awesome. It’s like Pinterest, but dedicated to shopping. You can create lists of things you want, furnish a room, compare winter jackets, and so much more. Plus, you can set price alerts so you know when something you want goes on sale. #Winning Oh, and this isn’t even sponsored. I’m just having a lot of fun using the site.

If you need a gift for basically any woman in your life, this list is full of safe bets. If the woman you’re shopping for is a beauty aficionado, then you’re really in luck because this list is full of can’t miss products. They’re all some of my personal favorites, and I wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Who loves caffeine? Everyone! No matter how you get your buzz, this list will help keep you on your toes for the holidays and all year long. Even if you’re the kind of person who, for reasons that will never make sense to me, prefers decaf.

Don’t even front like you don’t buy gifts for the dogs in your family. Because there is nothing cuter than watching an excited and confused dog open gifts on Christmas morning. This list has you covered for dogs and their people. I’ve included some of Teddy’s favorites, and a few of mine too.

Are you shopping for someone who loves TV, books, movies, or pop culture? More specifically, the same TV, books, movies, and pop culture that I do? Well then step right up! From Sleeping Beauty to The Big Bang Theory, this list is sure to please a very weird and specific niche of people.

I’m going to put a warning on this list: Only buy these things for people who have clearly and explicitly expressed an enjoyment for working out and physical fitness. Otherwise you’re just asking for a Christmas fight. But if you have someone who you know for a fact beyond a shadow of a doubt enjoys working out, this list has some great finds at all kinds of price points. Again, it’s full of my favorites.

Has the college student on your list recently upgraded from dorm to apartment? Or do you have pretty much any other 20-something you need to buy for? Skip the iTunes gift cards and get them something they actually need. Because they might scoff at a bathroom organizer now, but they will love you when all of their junk is organized and easy to find.

#NaBloPoMo Or, I Have Lost My Mind

2 Nov

Today I was casually scrolling through Facebook and saw my friend Kerri’s post about #NaBloPoMo. For those of you who aren’t up on your crazy blog hashtag acronyms, it’s a lot like NaNoWriMo. That’s the one where you write a novel in 30 days by committing to write every day. Only in #NaBloPoMo you commit to posting every week.

As you may remember, I just finished Write 31 Days, where I posted every day in October. So yes, I have officially lost my mind. But this time I’ll only be posting once a day instead do doing my crazy October thing where I did my Write 31 Days posts and still did other posts too.

So yeah, let’s see how this goes? I’m already a day behind, so I’d say it’s off to a rockin’ start.

One Good Life – Book Review and Giveaway

5 May

I was so excited when I got an advance copy of One Good Life by Jill Nystul. I sat down on Sunday morning, intending to read a few chapters and then do some vacuuming. I ended up reading the whole thing without getting up once. As soon as I started reading I was hooked and the time flew by.

Jill’s story is touching and inspiring, and she tells it with a humor and grace that make you want to spend a few hours standing in her kitchen drinking tea and chatting. That’s what reading her book felt like – talking with an old friend. Jill doesn’t hit you over the head with things you “must do” and overarching dictates on the way you should live. She just shares her perspective, things that have worked and helped her, and it’s so refreshing to read something with such a gentle tone.

Interspersed with her story are the tips, tricks, and recipes that have made Jill such an amazing resource for so many people over the years. She even has tips for quick ways to get a boost of energy. I loved this section because I’ve been trying to cut back on caffeine. I know, I never thought I would say that either, but I really have been sleeping better since cutting back. And maybe I’m just old, but energy drinks upset my stomach now in a way they never did before.

You can buy One Good Life now, or you can enter below to win a prize pack including a copy of the book, plus some extra good things. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You Can Help Nepal

27 Apr

The damage is still being assessed after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, and death tolls continue to rise. This region is in desperate need of help right now, but they will need continued help in the weeks and months to come. In times of disaster, we often see the best of humanity as the entire world comes together to offer aid. Unfortunately, we can also see the worst as opportunists seize on the good nature of others to scam money. So I’ve gathered a list of reputable organizations that you can support to help Nepal. Before donating to any group, you should check them out on Charity Navigator and GuideStar.

American Jewish World Service

AJWS Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund will ensure that thousands of people affected by this earthquake receive the support they desperately need. AJWS has been involved in disaster response in the developing world for many years.


An emergency response team from the AmeriCares India office in Mumbai is headed to the impact zone and relief workers are preparing shipments of medical aid and relief supplies for survivors. You can support their efforts in Nepal.

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is responding with emergency relief materials such as tarpaulins/shelter kits and water, sanitation and hygiene materials.

Direct Relief

Since 2008, Direct Relief has delivered over $1,000,000 worth of medicines and supplies to its charitable healthcare provider partners in Nepal, and they are continuing that work with their earthquake relief efforts.


Oxfam aid workers are on the ground, preparing to launch a rapid response to ensure food and water reaches those in need. You can donate here.

Save the Children

Save the Children has worked in Nepal since 1976 and has extensive programs throughout the country. You can help support their aid workers on the ground.


In Nepal, nearly 1 million children require humanitarian assistance, and UNICEF is on the ground working to provide critical aid to children and families. You can make a donation towards Nepal earthquake relief.