Live. Learn. Love.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Break Time

I'm taking a break.

Monday, April 19, 2010

HandCrafting Justice

I went to a HandCrafting Justice (HCJ) sale this weekend, and I was really impressed with the variety of high quality products. My mom bought a few brightly colored scarves, and I got a really cute kid's apron. The mission of the organization is to empower women in developing countries. The women make goods, and HCJ promotes them to customers. The mission of fair trade is a powerful way to help the women build confidence, sustain themselves, and retain their traditions. HCJ allows women to rise above violence and poverty.

There were a lot of great accessories that aren't featured on the website. I really liked the beautiful handpainted scarves from Madagascar.

Yoga hemp bags handmade from Thailand: stylish yet useful

Handwoven bags from Kenya

Handmade cards from Madagascar

Doesn't it feel good to know that your purchase helps women build confidence?

Photo credits:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break Reads

Currently I am reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. It's an easy read, and I enjoy learning about Rubin's year long project to improve her happiness. Some of the information is common sense such as: exercise, sleep 7-9 hours, do what you love to do. However, Rubin also mentioned facts that are easily forgotten. One of the issues that she struggled with was: it's easy to be heavy, hard to be light. I can relate to that. It's a challenge to let go and lighten up. I feel like I have improved over the years, and I don't consider myself a control freak anymore. But there is always room for improvement.

P.S. I feel like Rubin is friends with the authors of some of my favorite novels. She mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) and Anne Lamott (Travelling Mercies) in her book.

P.P.S What is up with authors trying to do year long projects?

No Impact Man

Being eco-friendly is not just a fad -- it's a mission to live out a lifestyle that contributes rather than damages our environment. Colin Beavan set out to do just that. He committed himself and his family to a year without toilet paper, restaurant take-outs, and carbon emitting transportation. Amidst the absence of daily comforts, the family found happiness in the simple pleasures. The wife learned to cook dinner with vegetables from the local farmer's market. They had game nights and took bike rides to the beach.

I followed Beavan's blog during his one year project, and I learned a lot about various ways to help the environment. His blog made me more aware of my personal actions. When I go buy groceries, I try to use reusable bags so I won't waste plastic bags. Sometimes I feel out of place when I am the only shopper with a reusable bag. Watching No Impact Man: The Documentary, I realized that doing something counter-culture comes with pressure. Beavan faced a lot of criticism from sceptics and even environmentalists for his project. Acting on a radical idea will raise questions and concerns, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it. Beavan set out to bring more benefits than harm to our environment, and his efforts have inspired others to rethink their own actions.