Monday, May 30, 2011

True heroism


"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. 
It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, 
but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." 
(Arthur Ashe)

While we all enjoy today's events, let's not forget the sacrifice that countless brave men and women have made for our freedom.  Thank you for serving our country.  We honor you today and always.  Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Simply fascinating!




For my friend Erin's recent wedding, I knew I needed something special to add to the ensemble I've worn to countless weddings over the past few years.  I've been wearing feathered and flowered headbands and headpieces for the past few years and was recently re-inspired by the amazing fascinators and hats at the royal wedding.  I browsed www.etsy.com for something unique.  After hours of looking through hundreds (literally) of amazing fascinators, I stumbled upon this shop: www.etsy.com/shop/huiish87.  


I was blown away by her absolutely gorgeous designs.  The colors, variety of feathers and flowers, and her precise attention to detail make her pieces stand out.  I found one that I really liked but needed in a different color scheme.  So, I contacted Hui, and we decided that she would custom design a fascinator for me.  We went back and forth for awhile since I am extremely particular (i.e. anal) about this sort of thing.  


After several versions, we finally found a winner.  As an avid email scanner, I failed to see that the piece was a bit short of 7 inches (she clearly stated this in an email).  When it arrived, I decided that I wanted it to be bigger (my fault, not hers).  I went to Michael's and found two beautiful burgundy feathers to add to it.  I pinned them to my head using a few bobby pins, and then clipped in the fascinator.  Et, voila!  I had a custom designed fascinator to complete my wedding look.  


I received tons of compliments on it and can't wait to wear it again soon.  Hui was an absolute delight to work with...she was very patient with me and gave me exactly what I wanted.  If you are looking for a beautiful piece of your own, go to her site immediately or email her at hui@huiexpressions.com.  She has a wide variety of fascinators in many different colors and styles.  If you don't see what you're looking for, she can customize a piece for you.  


Trust me, you will look fascinating!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Will you join me?

As some of you know, I will be going on another mission trip with Buckhead Church to Haiti in July.  I am extremely excited about it and feel very blessed to have been given such an amazing opportunity once again.  My mission trips to Cape Town, South Africa in June 2008 and May 2009 absolutely changed my life, and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for our team in Haiti.

I will be leading a team of 12 adults to Bohoc, Haiti where we will be working alongside the leadership council in the town. The purpose of our trip will be to serve Bohoc through 410 Bridge (www.410bridge.com) water and sanitation projects.  We will also be spending time at an orphanage in the community.  Located approximately 100 miles north of Port-au-Prince, most community members in Bohoc are farmers or craftsman who work very hard for meager wages.  The needs in Bohoc are great.  Access to clean water is a challenge, and the education system is broken.  While there is a church presence in the community, many pastors lack the training and coaching to effectively reach their community with the Gospel.

With a (roughly) 66% unemployment rate, a turbulent political climate, and devastation from the January 2010 earthquake, violent crime and extreme poverty are a part of many Haitian’s daily lives.  Our team hopes to bring healing and comfort to the people of Bohoc and its' surrounding areas using God's mercy and amazing grace.  On a personal level, I hope to have the chance to share with the people there what my faith has done in my life, and the joy one can feel from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I am honored that God chose me to lead this team and will do all that I can to honor Him throughout this experience.

I would like to present you with the opportunity to be an integral part of our team by asking for your financial donation and/or gifts of prayer for our team.  Please prayerfully consider what you can give at this time.  No gift, be it financial or an act of prayer, is too small.  To make a financial contribution to our trip, you can send me a check (made to The 410 Bridge-please do not write my name in the For/Memo blank) or you can donate online at https://my410bridge.org/Elle1231.)  410 Bridge prefers online donations if possible.  With your donation, I promise to use the gifts and opportunities God has given me to further His kingdom and share His love.

Thank you in advance for your time and whatever gifts you can give.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the trip, or if you want to learn more about 410 Bridge and Haiti.  I truly believe that with God on our side our team can help bring healing to the people of Haiti through God's amazing love and compassion.

"...each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:10)https://my410bridge.org/Elle1231

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Congratulations Erin & Taylor!

Congratulations Erin & Taylor!  Erin is a friend of mine from high school, and she got married last night.  It was a very fun night complete with yummy food, dancing, and lots of laughs.  I know that she and Taylor will be very happy together.


Check out my video about the night:
video

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A cut above the rest



Tired of paying a ton of money for a simple trim? Look no further than the Aveda Institute. Haircuts are just $15! I went on Wednesday and had a wonderful experience. Your stylist is a student at the Aveda Institute, a 12-month program that trains students in the Aveda style.

My stylist was Tai Carter, and she did a great job (see pictures above). She was friendly, professional, and talented. Her supervisor Beth made sure she was doing everything correctly which put me at ease. Since it is an additional $18 for the stylist to use a curling iron or flat iron when they style your hair, Tai used a round brush to blow my hair dry. Then, she used pins to curl my hair. At first, I looked like Martha Washington while I waited for the curls to set. However, the end result was beautiful, smooth curls. I was blown away (pun intended) at the finished product.

Go see Tai today. She is a cut above the rest.

For more information on the Aveda Institute, go to http://www.avedainstitutesbb.com/atlanta-services.php or call 404-649-7119.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

(Pla)...with a Purpose

I had the privilege of meeting (Pla) Beauty Founder Stephanie Green Bass at Woo Cosmetics and Skincare last week.  Not only is her line absolutely amazing, but Stephanie is a truly lovely woman.  Having lost her first daughter Bella when she was just 18 days old, Stephanie decided to give back to a cause near and dear to her heart.  A portion of all proceeds goes to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), the place where Stephanie, her husband, and Bella stayed during Bella's short life.  Stephanie and her husband are now the proud parents of their daughter Ava, but Bella's memory will live on through their lives and Stephanie's work.    


Stephanie describes the purpose and mission for (Pla-pronounced "Play"-my computer won't type the accent mark in the name) Beauty: "(Plā) beauty is a high fashion, customizable cosmetic line, designed for the woman on the go. It contains paraben free products, infused with antioxidants and hydrating properties. I also wanted to incorporate an eco-conscious aspect to the line so that, by using refillable products, magnetic compacts and cutting down on wasteful packaging, we can be kind to the planet while still looking and feeling great!"


Sounds like a winning combination to me.  You can find (Pla) Beauty products at Woo Skincare and Cosmetics in Atlanta and Nashville.  I went to the Atlanta location for the first time last week and fell in love.  Woo is every product junkie's heaven.  It's filled to the brim with fun products that Woo's friendly, talented staff show you how to use.  


Stephanie did my makeup (see above for the results), and I was incredibly pleased with the results.  I've spent the past week testing out the line, and I am sold.  The products don't feel heavy but provide full coverage.  My favorite is (Pla) Beauty's lipgloss "Hottie," a shiny ginger red shade.  I love wearing it because it looks good and makes me feel good knowing that a portion of my sale went to CHOA.  


Go see Stephanie today...and (Pla) with a Purpose.  


To learn more about Stephanie and (Pla) Beauty, go to http://www.plabeauty.com/index.htm.  You can also get more information at www.facebook.com/plabeauty and @plabeauty.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Living on the edge

Lately, I have felt like partying like this:


Or doing this:


Or even going crazy Black Swan style:

Fortunately, my happiness does not rest in the situations I find myself in. Instead, my joy and happiness lie in my faith...faith that can move mountains, part seas, and save someone from going over the edge.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

True strength

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Compost it!



My first exposure to composting was at my friend Katie's house.  I would watch in amazement as her parents threw food scraps and other compostible items into a container that they would dump in their backyard compost pile.  It always fascinated me for some reason.  


Being that I live on the 20th floor of a high rise condo building, it is a bit hard for me to compost.  If and when I live in a house one day, I can't wait to start composting.  Since I have never done so before, I don't have any go green tips to offer on the subject.  


However, check out this site for some great information on how composting works: http://www.thegardenofoz.org/composting101.asp.  Do you compost?  If so, what are some tips and/or best practices? 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy trails


I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE trail mix! It's sweet, salty, and always satisfying. The thing I don't like about it is that it is often high in fat, salt, and calories. And, it can get a bit expensive at the store.

So, I thought, why not make your own? It's easy and fun to make, and it's relatively inexpensive to do so. I love being able to put exactly what I want in my trail mix. All you need is some sort of dried fruit (I like cranberries and cherries), a few kinds of nuts (almonds and peanuts do the trick), and something sweet. I use dark chocolate (the darker the better/healthier) because it tastes great and is better for you than milk chocolate.

Once you have your ingredients, mix them together in a container, et voila! Instant, custom trail mix just for you. It's great to eat on the go and will last for months when stored properly. Happy trails!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Proud as a peacock

Many of you know that I am very into yoga.  I started practicing it over three years ago and have fallen in love.  My main teacher, Miss Judith, is the sweetest, most encouraging teacher ever.  I love her so much.  Going to her class makes my entire week...that and church of course :)

Recently, she told me about the peacock pose.  She told me to look it up online to see how to do it.  Wow...it is quite impressive.  Since I don't ever like to say I can't do something, I've decided that it's my new goal to learn how to master this pose.  One day, I too, will be proud as a peacock.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do you walk or bike each day?



Work was a bit crazy yesterday, so I didn't have time to blog.  Today, I want to talk about walking or biking when you can.  What a great way to go green!  I've been wanting to get a bike (a bicycle not a motorcycle) for the past few years and have finally picked one out.  I'm going to use it to bike to MARTA, so I can ride it to work.  I'll also use my bike to run errands around town and to go see friends who live close by. 

Since I don't have my bike yet, I've been trying to walk places when I can.  Trust me, it definitely makes you second guess if you really need to go somewhere or go get something when you have to walk in very humid, 85 degree weather. 

I am beyond excited to get my bike and can't wait to save money, get more exercise, and drive less.  It's a win-win situation for everyone.  Do you ride your bike or walk to do errands?  If so, do you have any tips for me?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to the best mom in the world!

Happy Mother's Day to the best mom in the world!  My mom is THE sweetest, kindest, and most patient person I have ever met.  She also has the biggest servant heart of anyone I know.  I love her and hope to become more like her every day.  Thank you for giving me life.  I love you Mommy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Walk with the dreamers




"Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it..."

(Wilfred Peterson)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Long live McQueen!

I'm a day late in posting this, but the annual Met Ball was Monday night in NYC.  As usual, the ladies brought their A-game.  The evening honored the late British designer, Alexander McQueen.

My favorite looks of the night are as follows:

Blake Lively glowed on the red carpet in a very interesting blush colored, jewel encrusted Chanel gown.  I am loving her new red locks!

Eva Mendes heats up the red carpet in a royal blue,
asymmetrical Stella McCartney gown.
I absolutely love the accordian pleats and the belt.
(photo courtesy of www.justjared.com)

Lastly, I loved Diane Kruger's sparkly Jason Wu dress and bold red lips.
Work those stems girl!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hug-A-Hero

In lieu of my usual go green Monday posting, I want to honor those who serve our military today.  Operation Hug-A-Hero does just this.  The organization creates a huggable doll with the photo of a child's deployed parent printed on it. 

"Our goal is to be able to provide comfort to every child whose parent or significant caregiver is deployed, working to protect us, or fallen in the line of duty.  In recent years there have been hundreds of thousands of children in these circumstances at any given time." (http://www.operationhugahero.org/about/founders-message/)

The mission of Operation Hug-A-Hero® (OHAH) is to help comfort the children of our American Heroes working valiantly in support of our nation’s homeland security by providing them with a free Hug-A-Hero® doll.

For a donation of just $25, you can provide a doll for a child. 


What a small price to pay to comfort a child while their mom or dad serves our country. 

If you see a member of our armed forces today, please take the time to thank them for their service.  It's because of their courage (and that of the many government organizations designed to help ensure our safety) that yesterday's historic news broke across the world.  We salute you today!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happily ever after

Happy May friends!  I don't know about you, but I always love the start of a new month.  It bursts with hope, happiness, and a fresh attitude.  Check out my latest video to see my new hat inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge.


video


Because it's my blog, here are photos of my three favorite looks from the royal wedding.  I promise that this is the end of royal wedding coverage...until my wedding with Prince Harry of course! 

 There was an audible gasp at the announcer's first glimpse 
of David and Victoria Beckham.
The couple (he in Ralph Lauren and she in her own S/S '11 collection 
and Philip Treacy hat) could not have looked more stunning.


 At 85, the Queen Mother looked quite lovely in an Angela Kelly canary yellow 
dress and matching hat.  God save the queen!

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson looked every bit the socialite (i.e. crazy party girl) that she is. Her Philip Treacy hat and matching Kingfisher electric blue dress was one of my favorite wedding guest looks of the day.

Let's not forget Prince Harry.  He is dashing and handsome, and I would not mind being his Princess Bride.


I still can't get over how lovely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looked, and I wish them all the best.

And they lived happily ever after...

(photos courtesy of www.instyle.com and www.FashionNews.com)