Saturday, November 29, 2014

Giving Tuesday

You're likely very familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Perhaps you even decided to opt out of them.) But are you familiar with Giving Tuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2nd, people around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. This initiative was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and has already engaged more than 10,000 organizations worldwide.

In a recent InStyle magazine, Usher (Yup, that Usher) was quoted as saying: "Charity is the rent we pay to occupy this space on the planet."

Pretty powerful. And if, like me, you found it resonated with you, you might want to consider participating in Giving Tuesday.

If you already have charitable organizations that you like to volunteer with or support financially, by all means, donate to them! If not, please consider making a donation to the Junior League of Ann Arbor (JLAA). 

The Junior League is a non-profit organization, and it's one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing more than 150,000 women in 292 Leagues in four countries. 

On Dec. 2, there will be a “Give” button on the JLAA homepage ( that will walk you through making a tax-deductible contribution to the Junior League of Ann Arbor. Any amount you can give is appreciated and will help the Junior League of Ann Arbor fulfill its mission of developing the potential of women, improving our community, and promoting volunteerism.

The JLAA's current initiative is Healthy Living -- which has the goal of decreasing hunger and increasing the quality of life and the lifespan of the most vulnerable women and children in in our community.

These are few of the programs that the JLAA is currently focusing its attention and resources on:
  • Produce Distribution partnership with Food Gatherers, helping to provide the neediest families in the Ypsilanti and Lincoln school districts with free, healthy foods as well as nutrition education. We also volunteer as box packers at the Food Gatherers warehouse and serve meals at the Delonis Center Community Kitchen in Ann Arbor.
  • Kids in the Kitchen programming, teaching children across Washtenaw and western Wayne counties about the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity in a fun and relaxed setting.
  • Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor, providing and serving meals at least four times a year. The Junior League of Ann Arbor’s funding helped open RMH of Ann Arbor in 1985.
  • Warm the Children, helping needy families from southeastern Michigan shop for clothes and winter outerwear for their children.
Thank you for giving back.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 47

Look! Lots of stuff. Three big things full of stuff! (Ignore the cruddy photo and scary ghost dog.) Last week really lit a fire underneath my bum, and I'm going to make up for my half-hearted weeks of purging only an item or two of clothing -- starting now.

The items, backstory, and method of expulsion: Loads of stuff. A pot with a rusted pot, a Cocomotion machine (RIP frothy hot chocolate -- oh wait, no, I have a whisk!), napkins, some clothes, a coat that's better left in the 80's (sorry Mom), a bird feeder, lots of mismatched miscellaneous glasses, serving pieces that aren't my style. Etc etc. All packed up and dropped off at the Salvation Army.
Monetary impact: $0
YTD monetary impact: $469.13

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 46

Are you reading The Mimimalists yet? There was a great post recently on the minimalism paradox:
"Minimalists don’t avoid material possessions; we avoid excess. Paradoxically, by owning less, the things we own bring greater joy to our lives.
In other words, all of our things are our favorite things. Otherwise they are in the way."
So good, right? I immediately thought about how we don't have a ton of knick-knacks lying around the house, and the ones that we do, I really love. I don't know why I haven't fully applied this theory to other areas of my house.

I've purged a lot of clothes, but I certainly have kept a great deal of items that I don't really love, and thus rarely wear. I have a big plastic bin full of "work" clothes in the attic. Does it make sense to keep a bunch of things for an office-type job that I don't have (or want)? Especially if they don't work into my everyday style at all? Do I really need 5 winter hats that I don't like enough to actually wear?

I love books. I love the feel of crisp pages, I love the smell of them, I love the weight of a hardcover book in my hands. I look forward to having space for more of our books to be out and enjoyed like artwork someday. But do I need all of the books we have in the basement? All of the mediocre paperbacks that I won't want to read again or cradle in my hands?

I love to cook. I have large collection of kitchen and dining things -- probably more than average -- and I put the vast majority of them to good use. But do I use everything?

The answer to most of these questions is "No." I have more work to do than I thought.

The items, backstory, and method of expulsion: Clothing. Some clothing of my daughter's that she'd outgrown -- some went into a bag to donate once the bag fills up and some went into a bag to share with her cousin once it fills up. Also a handful of items of mine went into my first (nearly full!) bag of clothing for my annual clothing swap.
Monetary impact: $0
YTD monetary impact: $469.13

Sunday Stuff (on a Monday)

Image of sticker from Zazzle, found via Design Mom

Don't ask how to feed the 9 billion. Bittman rules.

No, you are not ‘running late,’ you are rude and selfish. (Mike, you're going to love the dentist part of this.)

A Single Infographic Reveals Just How Insane the Gender Gap Is. via Sassy Radish

Inequality really is rising, no matter how you fuss with the datavia Sassy Radish

How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Partiesvia Sassy Radish

Rehearsing for death: A pre-K teacher on the trouble with lockdown drillsvia Design Mom

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Stuff

Photo by Alpha Smoot, from Food52

I wrote about sage.

First date snacks.

The 6 biggest mistakes of managing an introvert. Oh my gosh this is so good. Anyone who manages anyone should read this.

17 things to know about people who like to be alone.

19 things every over-analyzer can relate to. Sadly, yes. via How Sweet It Is

Women Rejecting Marriage Proposals in Western Art History.

Stop Making Excuses and Finish That Book. via Ann Friedman

Is a Less Rooted Life Inherently Less Deepvia Ann Friedman

Week 45

The items, backstory, and method of expulsion: A small bag of clothing. These were items that my daughter had outgrown, so we passed them on to her younger cousin.
Monetary impact: $0
YTD monetary impact: $469.13

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Week 44

And I'm almost an entire week late with sharing! But last week was completed!

The items, backstory, and method of expulsion: A book. It's a favorite, but I had a duplicate copy, so I mailed it off to a friend who I thought might enjoy it.
Monetary impact: $0 (okay, technically it's a negative number since I paid to mail it, but I shipped it off along with something else that was heavier, and I have no idea how much just the book would have cost to ship, so we're just going to stick with $0.)
YTD monetary impact: $469.13