Recapping the City of Refuge Hygiene Kit Drive!

City of Refuge.jpg
City of Refuge2.jpg

Hi Friends! I hope you are having the HAPPIEST day!

I want to share a few photos and say a big THANK YOU to all of you who were a part of The City of Refuge drive we did at the end of 2017. I know it's taken me a while to share about this, but I actually kept receiving items for the kits through January, so the final set was finally delivered this week. Hooray! This drive was really close to my heart, and I am so excited that you guys were so connected to this initiative as well. I am honestly STILL overwhelmed by how many of you gave, especially in the midst of the busiest and most expensive time of the year - you guys are rock stars!!

34E9AEFF-DD4D-4FFD-A2F6-10454E6A6DA0.JPG
D4242745-7AA4-4521-8EF5-FCAFE643C6FA.JPG
IMG_2529.JPG
2B009D9D-F236-4D3D-98A9-0B9B64B760F6.JPG

Behind the "Why":
I originally read about The City of Refuge drive in my church bulletin back in late November. My church, Bethel Atlanta, was collecting items to be compiled into hygiene kits for mothers who were coming out of crisis situations - either abuse or sex trafficking.

I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved and leverage my online friends (YOU!!!) because I've seen how powerful and wonderful and kind-hearted everyone is in this community is. My first thought was to collect enough items to fulfill 20 kits, but I immediately felt God nudging me out of that "comfort zone" and pushing me to to do something that felt impossible. Something that required faith, and not just my own ability. So I said, alright, let's try for 25!

The "What":
Each kit needed to contain the following: 2 in 1 shampoo + conditioner, deodorant, lotion, lip balm, tampons + pads, toothpaste and a toothbrush. I created a Target registry for these items because I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to give. Based on my estimations, each kit cost just under $25, so I knew going in that I was going to have to cover some portion of the $625 investment if I couldn't get enough items donated. Hence the leap of faith.

The Execution!
I shared about the initiative here on the blog and also on my Instagram, and I was so thrilled at how excited you all were to get involved and make a difference! After several weeks of many Target deliveries, I was flabbergasted to receive enough items to compile 35 kits - 10 more than my original goal! Seriously, you guys are heroes. I wish I could send you all DoTerra oils aplenty (aka some of my favorite things) as a thank you!!

My sis-in-law Lauren was kind enough to help me deliver the kits on Dec. 20 to The City of Refuge. Lauren, thank you for taking the trek with me! While we were unloading the boxes, I couldn't help but be completely amazed (and distracted!) by the incredible scale of the operation itself. City of Refuge is HUGE, and not only provides a roof for immediate needs to be met through safe housing and meals, but it also provides ongoing education and avenues for self-sufficiency. You can read more about everything City of Refuge does here.

A Story.
The night before I delivered all the kits, I was checking out at Target at around 9pm. The cashier started asking me questions about the items I was purchasing (it was multiples of more deodorant and toothpaste), and I shared with her about the drive and the mission of City of Refuge. She welled up with tears and asked me for the name and number of the shelter. Then she went on to share with me that her daughter had been caught up in sex trafficking and she has only recently gotten back in touch with her - and that her daughter is only 15 years old. She wept as she told me that her daughter was caught up in a really rough crowd, but she hoped that City of Refuge could provide her with the kind of resources that could help turn her life around. I was stunned. For as much as I hear about the ongoing efforts in Atlanta to address this issue of human trafficking, I just never had a touch point with someone who had been affected by it or who had a family member entangled in it. Her mama heart was broken for her little girl and I stood there in line with her, weeping for her daughter's safety. She held my hands at the end of our check out time and she looked me in the eyes and said, "God is good. I know he is good. What you people are doing is good."

The look in her eyes is burned into my memory.

I want to tell you, friends, what you did in assisting with these kits isn't some far-off distant charity work. It impacts the lives of daughters, mothers, sisters and all of their friends and families. It impacts people around you, even if you don't have an immediate touch point. Just know that what you are doing is so, so SO good, and I am proud to have partnered with you in this incredible endeavor. It was my first drive of this kind, but it certainly won't be the last!

Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement and gifts! Your investment, no matter how big or small, made an enormous impact! All my love to you, friends! xx

D4358736-F3FA-4FFF-B8BD-02870DD3B7C2.JPG

Pregnancy Presents + a Giveaway with That Glow Co.!

Today I'm teaming up with That Glow Co. to share some pregnancy gift ideas and to giveaway a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Trimester Gift Box to one lucky reader! Details below :)

Pregnancy is such a special, insane whirlwind of a time. Especially in the first few months, when you might feel sick (really sick), but you're not really telling people yet. I shared the news with my family and best friends early on, but chose to wait until 14ish weeks to really start telling others.

A few of my dear friends were really thoughtful during those early days of this particular pregnancy. My friend Liz hand delivered some 1st-trimester-friendly snacks right to my door, including her favorite popcorn snack and organic ginger ale. Just a few things that she had grown to love along the way of having her own children. My sweet friend Natalie mailed me a slew of Preggie Pops, because someone had told her those help with early nausea. These little gestures made me feel so loved during a time when I could barely move or take good care of myself. I am so grateful to these sweethearts for taking the extra time to think of me and make me feel special. We all need that during pregnancy!

That Glow Co. curates gift boxes especially with the pregnant mama in mind. Based on which stage you are in your pregnancy, the boxes are tailored for the needs and desires of that particular trimester. They kindly sent me a 2nd-Trimester box, which was stocked with pregnancy essentials, including snack goodies, beauty treats, survival must-haves, even a mocktail! It is packaged so pretty and really would make the perfect gift for that friend, sister, cousin or loved one who is going through the exciting and sometimes challenging season of pregnancy.

A few photos below of our own unboxing situation. P.S. Lately, when anything comes in the mail for me, suddenly my toddler thinks it's a gift for him, too. Repercussions from birthday month. Kid ate all my treats!

This was THE BEST tasting cookie. And it was loaded with folic acid and a slew of other vitamins and minerals, making it a "healthy" cookie?!

For some reason the nail file and nail polish aren't pictured here, but it looked the same shade as what's already on my nails :) Meaning, I love it.

This one made me laugh. A little compact mirror that says, "Objects in mirror are sexier than they appear".

Wine!!! Okay, it's fake wine. But it tasted delish and it was at least from wine country.

See? Kid totally consumed all my treats. It's a good thing I like him so much.


Now for a giveaway! One lucky reader will win a That Glow pregnancy box, in the trimester of your choice. You can choose to send it to yourself (if you're pregnant!) or you can have it mailed as a gift to a loved one who is expectant! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Please note, you must leave a comment on this post in order to be entered for the giveaway :)


Many thanks to That Glow Co. for sending me this gift and sponsoring this giveaway. You can find That Glow Co. on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Father's Day Gift Guide.

Fatherhood. It impacts the whole world, doesn't it?

While gifts might seem like a trite way to honor the men who have poured their lives into their families, it's still fun to give something that shows our appreciation for their investment. I rounded up this gift guide with a wide variety of good guys in mind. My dad, my husband, my father-in-law and bros-in law - these are all gifts that suit their tastes and needs (in my opinion, ha.) Hope this helps if you're stumped on what to give this weekend! Don't make it another year of socks and a tie!


Williams Sonoma Himalayan Salt Plate
Yum. This little contraption adds flavor to anything you throw on the grill, and can be used over and over again.

Dapper Desk Leather Planner
What dude doesn't need a manly planner? Made of supple leather and small enough to not be annoying, this little book can be kept on the desk or thrown into the briefcase and never again will an appointment be lost :) I have the feminine version of this planner and it's been a lifesaver for me this year.

Lindbergh Company Candle in Atlas Scent
My friend Savannah and her hubby make these ridiculously chic candles, and the Atlas scent is by far the manliest smelling candle I've ever whiffed. If you live in the Atlanta area, you can snag one of these bad boys at Citizens Supply in Ponce City Market like I did (this is my favorite of their collection!)

Chatbooks Mini Photo Book
So easy to make - just upload your favorite Instagrams, click "print" and in two days you have an adorable little book in your mail box! Such a great way to immortalize your favorite Insta snaps. We may or may not have done one of these...

Banana Republic Luxe-Touch Polo
This is by far Stevie's favorite polo shirt. The material and the tailoring are just perfect. This is a surefire gift idea, and also - they're on sale right now! We are such a Banana family.

Saints of Old Florida Lifestyle Book
I can't talk about this book too much because I'll cry again, but my friend Emily co-authored this gorgeous piece of coastal-inspired literature and I'm so proud of her. It strikes home for me because it's about a place in Florida that my family AND Stevie's family has vacationed for over twenty years. Needless to say, this is also being gifted in our family this year!

Williams Sonoma Grill Set
Necessary man tools. Need I say more?

Eno Hammock
If your man is outdoorsy, this hammock should be in his arsenal of camp gear. It's lightweight and apparently "the hammock to have", according to my bro-in-law.

Scoutmob Pine Tree Print
If your dad/husband spend a lot of time in their office, why not dress it up with some earth prints? I thought these were super cool.

Dollar Shave Club Membership
Apparently this is a gift box that guys will actually thinkis cool. Because Stevie told me so. And he isn't into cutesy stuff.

Klein Tools Pocket Knife
Klein is a legit brand for man tools because my dad says so. And he grew up on a horse farm. And what man doesn't need a good pocket knife for whatever they need pocket knives for? #manessentials

Titliest Pro V1 Golf Balls
This is the king of golf balls. So if your man is like mine (or like my dad!) and loves to get out there on Saturday morning and goof off on the course, definitely some of these his way.



Happy gifting and celebrating this weekend, friends! Comment below with any other gift ideas!
 

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him (+ a Giveaway with Droolbox!)

// 1. Nashville Field Guide by Wildsam // 2. Stainless Steel and Soapstone Whiskey Stones by HomEco // 3. Cherry Twin Wallet by Droolbox // 4. Long Branch Wingtip Boots by Allen Edmonds // 5. Pro-V1 Golf Balls by Titleist // 6. Diamonds by Johnnyswim // 7. Aeronaut 45 Backpack by Tom Bihn // 8. Hammock by Eagles Nest Outfitters // 9. 175g Ultra Sport Star Disc by Discraft //

I really love this men's gift guide this year. Like, I kind of want half the stuff on it. But have no fear, this entire list was husband scrutinized and approved. I hope you have the happiest time shopping for that dude in your world.

Now Win Something for HIM.
I couldn't be more excited about this giveaway, because the maker is a good friend of mine and the product is just plain excellent. All the men in my family have been using this Droolbox Twin Wallet for years, so I know from experience that it's reliant in quality and unmatched in style. The simple design consists of reclaimed cherry wood and recycled bicycle inner tube components to keep cards and cash secure. And Droolbox offers laser engraving, so when I got Stevie's, I threw his initials on there too. For funsies.

I'm excited to partner with Droolbox to give away one of these Twin Cherrywood Wallets! Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway! (Hint hint, don't forget to leave a blog comment, I think people have been forgetting to do that with my giveaways :) Winner will be notified on Dec. 17. Also, Droolbox is offering a $5-off promo with the code OY5OFF (shipping within the U.S. is always free), so make sure to snag one with this great deal just in time for Christmas. Ah, I love presents. And promo codes. And super trendy men's wallets made in America by ridiculously cool people :) Get yours! Happy gifting!