Texas Rally for Life (January 28, 2012)

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MEND

So I have this bag.

My bag and a beautiful women named Collines who introduced me to it.

I use it everyday to carry books, binders, my laptop, pens and pencils, and whatever else I decide to throw in it. Everyday when I pick up this bag, I feel as if borders are being erased, and I am holding hands with a women named Aber Rose who lives and works in Gulu, Uganda. Rose made my bag.

When she was only 12 years old, she was abducted into the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and given to a man to be his wife. After nine years, she was able to escape with her children. Coming home to persecution and judgement, she was able to find hope with a organization called Mend. According to their website, “Mend is a social enterprise geared toward facilitating financial independence and development for vulnerable women in northern Uganda.”

Because of Mend, Rose and many other women are able to support themselves and their children, have an education, and have hope.

I will never be able to understand what Rose went through during her nine years in the LRA, but I can say because of this bag, I understand more of what it means to be of one human race, one family. I might be a Texan, an American, a Catholic, a student, but first and foremost I am a human, and Rose is my sister.

elfa elfa elfa!

If my obsession with organization was not bad enough, I applied to work at The Container Store over Christmas break. It took everything in me to not spend my whole pay check there. I spent most of my days straightening aisles and taking mental notes on everything I thought I needed, which was ultimately everything. My favorite product to not only buy, but sell, was elfa. What is elfa you ask? It is customizable shelving and drawer systems…and so much more.

Every day I learned something new about elfa and became more and more obsessed with it. Unfortunately for my family, they got to constantly hear all about it every 15 minutes. Fortunately for my parents, it convinced them to think about getting elfa for their master closet.

Gross right?

A few weeks ago, I was  hanging out with my mom in her studio, and my dad came in looking for the tape measure. When he said he was measuring the closet, I immediately went into elfa selling mode. By the end of the day, we had a custom design for my dad’s side of the closet with everything we needed to install it.

Two weeks later, my dad and I finally found a day that we had time to clean out the closet and install the elfa. It was a great day! Not only did we add more space and organization with the elfa system, but we were able to get rid of clothes and other things he hasn’t touched in ages. I even gained a few old comfy sweaters :)

You can get efla installed by a professional, but it’s really not that hard to install with two people.

The installation took only about an hour or so with 2 people who had never installed elfa before.

We did have a little help from this guy.

My nephew Toby

Out of all the features elfa has, my favorite is the gliding shoe rack/shelf. We got my dad two shelves since the racks are for heels. The shelves are supposed to hold only 6 pairs of men’s shoes, but we were able to fit 10 pairs on each.

love love love!

In the end, it visually looks a little crowded, but his hanging space doubled allowing his clothes to not be jammed together and easy to find. He is also able to match suits, shirts, and ties together with his valet rod and gliding tie rack closer to the closet light.

As I was writing this post, I got a call from my mom to inform me she went into The Container Store today to get her side of the closet designed. This is a great service by The Container Store. Anyone can drop in or schedule an appointment with a designer for a free custom design and consultation with no obligation to purchase.

Now is actually the best time to purchase elfa though. The Container Store’s huge annual efla sale is going on  through February 13th. Everything is 30% off!

If you don’t have a closet that needs organization, elfa can also help you organize laundry rooms, offices, kitchens, and even entertainment centers. Learn more about these options here!

Genuine Words

The other day I received a one line email from a friend that had me smiling all day long. It was 26 simple genuine words of affirmation. Nothing fancy. No explanation. Completely out of the blue. This friend had no obligation to send this email. I don’t think I had said or done anything to spark it. It was just a person authentically speaking from the heart.

This gift is the kind that is not given enough: the gift of genuine words. Looking at all the gifts I have receive over the years, the best ones are not the ones I touch, but the ones I hear and read. Words of affirmation, letters of feelings, notes of encouragement. These are the gifts I cherish the most.

Let’s stop worrying about being cheesy and build each other up!

New Semester, New Chapter

With a week of Christmas break to go, I guess it’s time to start thinking about this upcoming semester and re-evaluate some things. This blog was started as an ongoing assignment for a Public Relations class. I spun it as a career hunt. Last semester and the last few weeks have taught me, I don’t want to career hunt anymore.

When people ask about my major I say “Communication.” It is usually almost always followed by either “What is that?” or “What are you going to do with that?” I then feel obligated to tell them I am in the PR and Advertising track. This statement is always followed by a disclaimer that says, “I know I don’t want to do advertising, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to do traditional PR. This is just the closest track to what I might want to do.” Then questions like, “What DO you want to do?” are asked. Well, I want to do a lot! Who says you have to pick one career (at least right now)?

This realization is the basis for my new life chapter/blog. I am going to spend this semester doing what I love to do and blogging about it. Why blog? Because everyone has something to say and whether a million people want to hear it or just your mom we should say it because we is kind, we is smart, and we is important.

***I do owe a good friend a shout out and thank you for partly inspiring this blog. She has a really cool blog called Whale You Be My Friend? that you should check out. Kayla is a talented graphic designer who posts so many great ideas from crafting and DIY to entertainment and food and more!***

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