Friday, October 17, 2008

Sculpted Grace

I haven't yet admitted this, but I have a bit of an obsession with Anthropologie. My obsession began a number of years ago, and it just doesn't seem to be going away! Truly, their catalogs do me in every time.

While I could post almost an endless number of pieces I am loving at Anthropologie right now, I'm limiting myself to these three pieces from their Sculpted Grace selections. I really like the visual interest that the tucks and folds bring to these pieces.

Can Can Pencil Skirt

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Three Elements {Cal-a-Vie}

Since I didn't post an entry for Wedding Wednesday yesterday, I thought I'd post a Three Elements today.

A few days ago, Joni posted about Cal-a-Vie, a spa in southern California. Looking through the photos, I was struck by how lovely the Chapel was, and I immediately wanted to incorporate it into an inspiration board.

The first inspiration board is lush with shades of yellow, orange, and green and features lemons (and some oranges) in the decor. As I said before, I love fruit incorporated into a wedding!

The second board is more muted than the first and features natural linen accented by chocolate brown and lavender. While I can't say that lavender is my most favorite color, when I saw the agapanthus in the photo of the entry to Cal-a-Vie, I knew that it would be a perfect shade for one board.

The three elements incorporated this week are:

Cal-a-Vie Inspiration Board 1
Row 1: L to R- Cal-a-Vie via Cote de Texas, Adrienne Page via Snippet & Ink, KT Merry Photography via Southern Weddings
Row 2: Fete, Gentl & Hyers, Blue Nalu Photography via Southern Weddings, John Partridge
Row 3: The Paper Pony, Jamie Hammond via Snippet & Ink, Mark Lund
Row 4: Kristi Blunt, Wedding Style Guide, Ariella Chezar, KT Merry Photography via Southern Weddings

Cal-a-Vie Inspiration Board 2
Row 1: L to R- Cal-a-Vie via Cote de Texas, Mark Lund, Our Labor of Love
Row 2: Ashely Garmon, Nicolangela, Marisa Holmes via The Bride's Cafe, Gentl & Hyers
Row 3: Cal-a-Vie via Cote de Texas, Pia Jane Bijkerk, Ashley Garmon
Row 4: A Desert Fete via Once Wed, Ryan Phillips, Sherman Chu via The Bride's Cafe, John Partridge

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let the Work Not End Today

I have been truly inspired by all of the posts I read today for Blog Action Day. There have been so many amazing stories and organizations shared by bloggers around the world.

*Pia, who made me aware of this day, posted about poverty here and here, and she also posted links to a number of other posts, which you should definitely check out.

In addition to the links posted by Pia, below are some of the other bloggers who posted on poverty today.

*Oliveaux is donating two dollars to the Nakuru Baby Orphanage in Kenya for every comment left on her post about Blog Action Day.

*Kimberlee of Brown Button and Emma of White & Wander are also donating two dollars for every comment left on their Blog Action Day posts here and here. Kim's money will be going to World Vision and Emma's to Hesperian Foundation.

*Deborah shared memories of her first encounters with extreme poverty in India on Your Destiny is Stone Golden, and she challenged everyone to think what they could do without in order to help others in need.

*Kouji Haiku wrote haikus about the poverty in his homeland of the Philippines, and he also offered a number of easy ways to help fight poverty including Free Rice (a rather addictive website!), Goodsearch and Kiva.

*Miscellany of Me has two very informative posts here and here both offering easy ways to help fight poverty.

And let us remember to not let the work end today!

Teach and Inspire

I received a lovely email from the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence informing me of their Teach and Inspire Scholarship Program. The program recruits individuals to teach in high-need schools and subject areas, including 14 school districts in Mississippi (with a number of those districts located in the Delta.)

Blog Action Day 2008- Poverty

In America, we often hear about poverty in third world countries, but we don't always hear enough about the poverty that exists at home.

One of the poorest states in the U.S. is Mississippi, and the Delta is the poorest region of the state. I've talked about the Delta before. I talked of it's culture and beauty and, briefly, touched on the poverty that reigns in the region.

Here are more in-depth facts about poverty in the Delta.

In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau showed 18 counties in Mississippi had over 30 percent of the population living below poverty level

Of the 100 U.S Counties with the highest child poverty levels, 17 counties are in Mississippi. Most of those 17 are in the Delta.

31 percent of Mississippi children live below poverty level according to data at the National Center for Children in Poverty.

Flickr: jwinfred here and here

One of the greatest challenges facing children in the Delta is a receiving a quality education.

Mississippi consistently ranks among the lowest states in regards to educational spending. The Census Bureau reported in the 2005-2006 school year, in "Per Pupil Spending" Mississippi ranked 45th of 50 states.

In addition to low funding, schools in the Delta have also faced teacher shortages. To help address the critical teacher shortage, in 1989, the Mississippi Teacher Corps was founded.

Run through The University of Mississippi, the Mississippi Teacher Corps is a two-year program, designed for non-education majors, placing teachers in classrooms in the Delta.

In addition to receiving a salary, benefits, and teaching experience, participants receive full scholarship for a master's degree in education from the university (the coursework is completed over the two year period of teaching, so that when they graduate from the program, the participants also receive their degree.)

Here is a video that tells more about the program and the work they do.

Teach for America also serves the Mississippi Delta through its program. With the commitment of these organizations, the gap in education is closing, but there is still a long road ahead for children in the Delta to make the climb out of poverty.

Donations can be made to the Mississippi Teacher Corps or to Teach for America specifically for their Mississippi Delta program.

Thank you, Pia, for making me aware of this day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The City of Lights

I can't stop staring at this incredibly beautiful photo, Lights of Paris, made up of three overlapping images by mkendall.

It strikes me as Paris glistening in the rain, and I love that the overlapping images in the photograph are actually her parent's drapes, the Eiffel tower at night, and blurred Christmas lights.

I also love this photo, this photo, and this photo, although she has so many beautiful works in her Etsy store.

even*cleveland {Clothes Swap Party}

If you haven't seen Stephanie's posts about her Clothes Swap, run, don't walk (err, or click on the link really fast) to check it out!

The party looks and sounds like it was fabulous, and what an especially wonderful way to do a little "shopping" during this time of economic restraint.

The Clothes Swap

The Invitations

I absolutely adore these invitations. Stephanie made 4 to 5 outfits for each paper dress form (seen above) and sent a bundle with each invite. How perfect!

You have to check out the quote that inspired her invitations too; I'm not sure there could be anything more fitting. Love.

Read all the great details and see more photos of her invitations here.

*Of course, for the swap, she also put together one of her wonderful imaginary outfits.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

S'more Brownies

I normally don't love brownies all that much (besides the ones I mentioned here!) but, oh my goodness, these look insanely delicious! It might be the perfectly golden brown marshmallow topping that is doing it for me, but all I know is when I looked at this photo I thought, "YUM!"

Image from Food Network