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Our Socially Conscious Christmas Haul

For the past two years we have strived to find more purpose and impact in our Christmas consumerism and each year we get better and better and it’s such an encouragement for the future holidays to come. It may seem like a small haul of goodies (mind you these were mainly for the grown-ups), but these small gifts make a huge impact in others lives, so I am honored to be a part of the solution. 2015-12-25_0001 For my coffee loving husband : 2 bags of Social Grounds Coffee (empowering coffee growers across the globe, and uplifting Downtown Jacksonville’s homeless population one bag of coffee at a time). He also received a myriad of other coffee making goodies that have nothing to do with helping others, so they won’t be listed. HA! For my teenage brother: A pair of high top TOMS (One for One). For myself (courtesy of my husband) : 1. A replacement Sseko Designs Crossbody Purse, mine got stolen last month and my life has been a blur ever since, no joke, this purse is the real deal, 2. A gorgeously ethical EOS RING set courtesy of Vena Amoris 3. A Day Designer for 2016, this will help me stay on task with my countless meetings, tasks, trips in the upcoming future (2016 is stacking up to be a busy year). A portion of each of their sales goes to Restore International, which leads us tooooo… 4. An iTunes gift card, for my long list of amazing books I’ve been meaning to add to my library: Love Does, by Bob Goff, founder of Restore International; The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst, More or Less, by Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People; and People Over Profit, by Dale Partridge, founder of Sevenly. 5. Malaria is a Buzzkill Tshirt, providing mosquito nets to remote villages in Africa, via Heartful.ly 2015-12-25_0002 And last but not least… For my amazing mom! Let me tell you about my mom briefly, she is one of the most humble, simple, selfless ladies I know and she has been my BIGGEST supporter, encourager, helper and never expects anything in return, so this Christmas was special for many reasons, as you will soon find out. Last year, my parents went down to The Keys, few hours south of us, for their 30-something’th anniversary, and while they were there my mom took a picture with a parrot. This parrot was no cute attraction, it was a well trained con-furry and snatched my mom’s diamond from her wedding ring without her realizing it, until it was too late. With that said, she has lived lost without a wedding ring for a year now. For some, like myself, this would be no big thing, but for my traditional/sentimental/tender-hearted, mother it was a pretty big deal. FullSizeRender-11 >>>> Fast Forward to October>>>> Black Sheep Bride organized a super fun, collaborative stylized wedding shoot and had product contributions from around the globe sent in to be incorporated, one of which was this gorgeous MiaDonna wedding ring set (Photographed by: Jordan Weiland Photography). When my mom helped me unpack all of the goodies for the photo shoot, she was instantly awe-struct by this set, but didn’t say a word. I watched her slip it on her finger, to my amazement it fit (I must get my fat knuckles from my dad’s side) and her eyes filled with joy. I noted this interaction, went to work with our National Sponsor, MiaDonna, to fulfill her unspoken wish for Christmas. BSBStyledShoot-17 This morning while my children tore through wrapping paper like F10 tornados, my mother gracefully opened her presents with meek contentment and Nana-joy. There was only one little box left to unwrap and when she opened it, she found a note that said: ‘Nothing can compare to your first, but hopefully this will be your treasured last.’ She opened the ring box and looked up at me and my dad, completely confused. Once she saw the ring her jaw dropped and she quietly slipped it on her finger… PERFECT FIT! Although she despises getting her photo taken, this afternoon she let me snag this pic of her new eco-friendly bling and it makes my heart explode to see her feel like she was noticed, appreciated and loved in such a big way this year. For all the quick 3-4 day trips I take, the random speaking engagements, and international travels in third world countries that kept her nights sleepless and her days busy watching my kids, I wanted her to know how crazy grateful I am for her selfless service in my life and I think I succeeded. Thank you MiaDonna for helping make today possible for myself and my mom. FullSizeRender-12 Here is to a super amazing Holiday Season for you and yours! Thank you all for your amazing support!

October Challenge: One Month to Give

There is this pretty awesome initiative going down in the month of October called One Month to Give that we wanted to share with you all.  The goal is to connect as many portrait sessions with participating photographers across the nation, in the month of October, that will donate their session fees to help empower and assist in providing education to over 100 little girls in Somalia, just by having your photos taken. 10460839_806392412736378_7547078703194237174_o (Photo, snagged from their Facebook, of the Founder, Perry Smith, and friends at last year’s celebration!) Check out the video and website for more details. One Month to Give & Bob Goff from One Month to Give on Vimeo.