calling all pink ladies

image via tatielle.tumblr.com
well, folks...it's the last one! i can't believe how october has flown by. i am finally back from being sick and excited about my last pink post - i've really enjoyed doing them! this week, instead of highlighting a breast cancer organization i just wanted to sum up a few things from the past month. so here's a little pink listy for you:
  1. dear all ladies: it doesn't matter if you're 18 or 78, if you have boobs (which, if you're a lady i certainly hope is the case) you are at risk for breast cancer!!! it doesn't matter if they're huge knockers, tiny bumps, or anything in between, you, too, can develop breast cancer. it's not up to your doctor to keep you healthy here - it's up to you! and it doesn't matter how old you are - it can affect every age! so here's the story: monthly self-exams are vital to your breast health. click here for a free guide on how to perform a self exam but basically the gist is the cute little saying at left: feel your boobies. the more often you do it, the more you'll know if a lump or abnormality is present. the earlier breast cancer is detected, the higher your chances of survival so if you ever have a questionable anything, you're much better safe than sorry! and ladies, if you're over forty, you should be getting annual mammograms!
  2. i've been highlighting a lot of products this month that help support breast cancer organizations across the board. october is almost over so the pink craze will be dying down soon but i want to caution you to know where your funds (and how much of them) are going. also, i would encourage you to use these great pink products if you need to find a gift for someone (or if needed, yourself) but otherwise if you feel passionate about an organization, why not just donate the funds directly to them? do you really need another scarf/candle/keychain/piece of jewelry? as much as i often think i do, my money can frequently be better spent, wouldn't you agree? i'm refraining from posting more cute products that i've found for this reason.
  3. if you're into reading (or even if you're not - there's lots of pictures in this one) i would encourage you to check out marisa acocella marchetto's book "cancer vixen". in stores just this fall, it's a very bright-colored, very candid, very humorous look at the author's own fight with breast cancer. most of the book is written in a comic strip style so if you happen to get a kick out of the funny pages, you'll like this one a lot. i know this is technically another "product", which i said above i wasn't going to talk about, but i think if you're buying a book, that means you're reading it, and reading is always good. i myself have not read the entire book but have flipped through it and it is totally cute and very interesting. additionally, the author is donating part of her profits to comprehensive cancer center (affiliated with st. vincent's hospital manhattan) to provide healthcare to women in need, and to the breast cancer research foundation. check out her website for a cute promo and if you're really interested you can also buy the book (and matching yummy wild berry-scented body products) at bath and body works. now i am seriously done talking about products. i get so excited about shopping i can't stop myself.
  4. okay i know you probably don't want to hear this one, but i was surprised to hear it myself: did you know that regularly consuming even half a glass of wine per day can increase your risk for breast cancer? (or beer or spirits or whatever you fancy.) a few drinks a week or less is not a problem - in fact, if you're drinking red wine the antioxidants you're receiving are certainly not hurting anything (this is only red wine by the way - no antioxidants in your riesling, girls) but new findings have proven that women who consume one or more drinks per day are at a greater risk for cancer.
  5. this is interesting and not very well known but boys can get breast cancer, too. true, boys don't have "breasts" the way we think of them, but because they are mammals they have mammory glands the same way that we do and their mammory glands are also suceptible to cancer cells. breast cancer in men is much less common than it is in women (1,990 new cases are expected this year according to the bcrf), but it does exist and the more people that know that the better.
  6. tell a friend. now that breast cancer is becoming more and more widespread, more women do know about it. unfortunately, however, not everyone knows how to prevent it. so make sure your mom/sister/aunt/grandma/daughter/cousin/bestfriend, etc. is saving her second base by getting regular breast exams and mammograms, performing regular self-exams, etc. the more we know, hopefully the less women will die from the disease.
image via gentlepurespace.com

well, i have certainly enjoyed writing these pink posts (and i have learned a lot myself!) and i hope you have as well. take care of yourself, your boobies, and the women that you love and hopefully one day with our help, they will find a cure for this disease!


outift envy

image via chictopia.com
sorry for the lack of posting today. i've been feeling a bit under the weather. the colder temperatures, which i love, also bring colds, which i don't love. while i've spent the day looking fairly disgusting, instead, i'd like to look like the cute cute girl above - i totally want her fantastic outfit! hopefully more tomorrow!


passionately pink for a cure

image via flickr

october is wrapping up quickly and i have really enjoyed researching for my breast cancer posts. as i mentioned at the beginning of the month, i don't really know anyone that is fighting or has fought this disease, but as women it's important that we all recognize the risk and support the brave women for whom this cancer is a reality.

i had no idea how much i would enjoy the research i've done for this post on susan g. komen for the cure. as it is the largest provider of private funds for breast cancer research and the largest and most progressive grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, i sort of expected a very impersonal website with an overwhelming amount of information and ways to get involved. instead i found an intensely effective organization inspired by a dying woman whose concern as cancer ravaged through her body was making a change for the future and other women. i usually begin my research reading about each organization and how it was founded and i started today in the same fashion. i was surprised to find, however, as i read founder nancy g. brinker's account of her sister's (susan g. komen) battle with and death from breast cancer, that i was crying. sad movies usually make me cry. and sometimes extreme home makeover makes me tear up on sundays, but never things that i read. i was shocked. but nancy's words were so powerful and heartbreaking. and the worst thing about it is that this didn't just happen to one woman, but hundreds of thousands of women every day! i can't imagine being the one receiving treatment or watching someone i love receive it and i suppose it's the unimaginable, heart-wrenching frustration and sadness that gave nancy the passion required to create such an inspiring foundation.

susan g. komen for the cure, as i mentioned earlier, is the largest worldwide provider of private funds for research and education. it created the "komen race for the cure" which has become the most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer, ever. and they don't simply "dump the funds and run", as nancy puts it. they create activists in communities throughout the united states who carry out susan g. komen's wishes for women, keeping breast cancer awareness high on the list of public consciousness, and saving lives as a result. the foundation has invested 1.2 billion in breast cancer over the past 25 years and has plans for 2 billion more over the next 10. unlike other organizations (or at least in my research), komen for the cure also works to affect funding and public policy, advocating more government funds for research and education. i could write a novel about all of the things offered and ways to get involved. summits, conferences, races, campaigns, etc. the best way to find information if you're interested is to check out the website yourself!

naturally, with susan g. komen for the cure being the largest of the breast cancer foundations, the products you can buy to support them are endless. thankfully, i've done some research for you and chosen my three favorites. first, if i receive nothing else when i get married (besides a giant diamond and an amazing party, of course), it will be a kitchenaid stand mixer. in case you have been living under a rock for the past ten years (or aren't too interested in cooking), kitchenaid mixers are top of the line (martha uses them), feature endless attachments that can do everything but clean the kitchen, and come in a variety of yummy colors, including pink. the good news is, kitchenaid will donate $50 for every pink stand mixer sold and varying amounts for other pink products (toasters, blenders, aprons, etc. i want them all!) from their cook for the cure campaign. and if you want some perfect recipies with which to use your new pink mixer, better homes and gardens will make a minimum donation of $250,000 up to $550,000 from the sales of their limited edition pink plaid cookbook. if you aren't too confident about your cooking skills, this is a great book to have - i own the regular red plaid edition (mine's vintage, but the new ones are just as cool) and it has tons of basic recipes, conversion charts, instructions on cooking techniques, etc. finally, to (sort of) fit in with my cooking theme, one of my favorite meals to cook is a big, delicious breakfast. what better thing to wear while flipping blueberry pancakes than these cute needham lane pajamas? a small, family owned company, they were recently featured in O magazine and through the end of this month (hurry!) 15% of any purchase will be donated with promo code "THINK PINK" at checkout.

i'll admit i expected to feel the least passionate about susan g. komen for the cure, but instead i found i feel the most passionate. while each organization i have outlined this month is helping the cause, i so admire nancy brinker's committment to her sister and to curing this disease and all of the women she has strengthened along the way. stay tuned next week for my final pink post!


happy (birthday!) weekend!

image via dorthe alstrup photography
it's friday! and it's my beautiful friend blair's 26th! blair is the author of the other sister, a laugh-out-loud, honest, and lovely blog about living life in the middle. check her out! blair informed me that she didn't want to do anything "fancy" for her birthday this year, which is a new development for her, but i couldn't resist posting this gorgeously fancy room of balloons! happy birthday, blair! i love you!

as for the rest of you, have a beautiful weekend and be sure to check in tomorrow for my second-to-last breast cancer post! take time to enjoy the chilly weather and the leaves, as they are quickly passing me by!


today i love...

ah! these images are both so beautiful i want to jump into them like they do the chalk drawings in mary poppins. in the first image, i love the framed cloth and the color combinations are fantastic (light pink, mauve, black, ivory, gold and orange. so gorgeous for autumn!) the second image i almost posted alone because i love it so much. i think the fireplace is so different (i've never seen one like this before but i want it!) and i would love to curl up here in front of the fire to drink red wine and eat that chocolate cake! looks like a perfect evening at home to me!
images: 1. weheartit.com 2. tina tinslay photography


delicious wrappers

image via thedieline.com
i know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but i'm totally a sucker for packaging. aesthetics are important to me and i buy lots of things based on the way they're presented to me, the customer. i know what kind of wine i like in general but there are so many varieties it usually comes down to region first (I usually like wines made abroad over domestic ones), and then, well, I choose based on the label. this isn't even always true of just products but stores, restaurants, etc. presentation and atmosphere are important. i don't like shopping at food lion or walmart as much as i prefer kroger, target, or harris teeter, even though generally prices for the same merchandise are a few cents higher. it's sad but true: i'd rather spend a little more to be somewhere that looks nicer. and of course, the same is true with a lot of food: there are so many different brands out there, what's a girl to do besides pick the pretty one? anyways, check out the photos below of the cute cute chocolate packaging i've found - who doesn't love chocolate, especially when it's wrapped up so deliciously?

these chocolates, from 100% chocolate cafe, are numbered by flavor/type.i know you're not supposed to play with your food but how can you resist?

i generally feel like a fat pig while eating chocolate anyway - i might as well buy the kind with the cute piggy wrapper.

like converstaion hearts but much cuter and i'm certain more delicious.

i think these might be my favorite. gorgeous!

these chocolates (pronouced like chocolate-y) have ground up tea leaves in them. interesting (and cute!).this chocolate is available in only certain stores. it's deemed "luxury" chocolate and made with only the finest ingredients. while checking out the website, i came across the "price upon request" part for this package of chocolate. gucci and prada usually do that for their more expensive and special items, but chocolate? i'm very curious how much this costs (and how yum it is as well).

images: 1. thedieline.com 2. richardalanroberts.co.uk 3. elitalice.com 4. coxandcox.co.uk 5. thedieline.com 6. dagroselha.blogspot.com 7. thedieline.com 8. alicechocolate.com

red (high heels), white and blue

let's be honest. whether or not you like sarah palin you have to admit she's done very well for herself since she was chosen as mccain's running mate. she has completely transformed the politician stereotype from stuffy, old and out of touch to hot, young and fairly normal. some people love her, some people hate her and some people are really good at impersonating her (tina fey). if you didn't watch this past week's saturday night live you should definitely check out amy pohler's rap about sarah on weekend update. sarah appeared twice on the show (and was such a good sport!) alongside tina's character, giving snl it's highest ratings in fourteen years.
i don't really want to use my blog to make political statments but i do have to say that regardless of what i think about her qualifications, governor palin is probably the cutest ever. laura bush has certainly been one of the classier first ladies since jackie o, but otherwise there really aren't too many attractive women in washington. (have you seen nancy pelosi lately? hello botox overload.) i just love governor palin's pouffy hair, classy suits, and trendy glasses and i think her sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself has helped her and senator mccain's campaign tremendously. i had to post this picture from palin's recent visit to elon university in burlington, nc. when complimented regarding her super-cute red heels, she replied "well i couldn't wear all black." i know a strong fashion sense doesn't really guarantee success in washington but seriously what other politician wears red pumps with her suit? love it.


happy first frost!

image via flickr
this morning was the first frost and i can't think of a better way to wake up on a monday! (yay for fall and cold weather!) i got up early early this morning which is not something i do often since i've been looking for a job - you can tell from my post times that i'm more of a night owl; but i needed to get some things done and get a jump start on my day. and i'm so glad i did! i ran outside in my pj's around seven to put something in the mailbox and the morning was so crisp and gorgeous i decided i just had to be out in it. so i put on my puffy vest (if you don't know, i'm obsessed with them) and my asics and took a four mile power walk all through downtown. i think i smiled the whole time. i crunched through all the leaves that had fallen on the sidewalk, enjoyed looking at the ones that still remain on the trees and listened to the new david archuleta single more than once on my ipod. i love seeing cities/towns wake up in the morning - it was so calm and quiet when i started but by the end stores were opening, firemen were out jogging, moms were walking their terribly cute bundled up toddlers to preschool, and the garbage men were trucking down the street. although cheesy, it was just a perfect morning and i had to share. happy first fall frost!


paint the world pink!

image via paint with passion.blogspot.com

it's a new day and a new organization. next up: the breast cancer research foundation, who focuses mainly on funding vital cancer research to find more effective treatment options, wellness and prevention plans, and in a best case scenario, a cure once and for all. the foundation was started by one woman named evelyn h. lauder in 1992 and has grown into an organization that funds research not just in the united states, but all over the world. this year alone they plan to donate $35 million to 150 of the world's leading researchers. the best thing about the bcrf is that their overhead costs are lower than that of any other breast cancer organization, which really makes you think, considering they are funding expensive research. because of that, you know exactly where your dollars are going - the foundation guarantees that 85 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to research funding. that's a pretty high percentage compared to a lot of other non-profits! additionally, they have launched a bunco for breast cancer campaign, which i think is quite possibly the cutest thing ever. (they even have a bunco cruise, which is happening as i write this!)

the bcrf is cool too because they have taken a global approach to this disease rather than just focusing on it in the united states. researchers suggest that by the year 2020, 70% of all breast cancer cases will occur in developing countries. can you imagine!? i guess i never really thought much of breast cancer from a global perspective, but thanks to grants from the bcrf, women worldwide are receiving care and pink is being spread throughout the globe! click here to see a map of all the places bcrf funds are making an impact!

i'm sure you're wondering, other than rolling some dice with your girlfriends, what you can do to help. aside from donating or volunteering, you can always purchase fun things with proceeds to benefit the foundation. and in this case, you can stock your beauty closet with all sorts of goods and look hot while helping save lives. several cosmetic companies have partnered with the bcrf including estee lauder and clinique, who will donate $10 per their (ever popular) dramatically different moisturizing lotion sold. clinique is also sponsoring a fun contest with the bcrf to share a survival story, inspire others, and win a day of pampering. conair has also joined, donating fifteen percent of their power of pink line (hair appliances) and bobbi brown will donate up to $35,ooo from the sales of her pink quartz lip glitter and tulle lipstick duo. and last but certainly not least (i had to include this because who doesn't love coach?) coach has a slew of products available through december that will support the bcrf including a super cute pink lexington watch ($100 from each $398 watch sold) and 20% from several unbearably cute scarves and keychains (27x27" love scarf shown here) if a $400 watch is a little extravagant for you.

so if you're like me and only passed some hazardous chemistry labs in school because your professor was too afraid to let you try them again, you probably aren't planning to become a famous research scientist in your lifetime. but thanks to the bcrf and it's affiliates, we can all hold a pink paintbrush in this project, even if it is only a lipstick applicator!


every girl deserves a little pink

image via health-news.org

well, i'm not entirely certain why i decided to start a breast cancer series on thursdays. as you might have noticed, i've only managed one post so far, although there have been three thursdays in the month of october. thursdays are the busiest day of the week for me and i would have been better off starting this series on a tuesday when the excitement of the weekend has worn away and i'm not always itching with creative post ideas.
to make up for my blogging neglect, i'm going to get caught up on breast cancer posts this weekend, as it is (thankfully!) a rather slow and relaxing one. so, introducing today's organization:

the national breast cancer foundation, inc., founded in 1991 by an extraordinary woman named janelle hail. at just thirty four years old, janelle was faced with this disease despite a healthy lifestyle and no family history of breast cancer. as she fought (and beat!) her disease, she began to have a vision for a foundation that supports, educates and assists women and from that small idea, the national breast cancer foundation, inc. was born! i really like this foundation because it really focuses on every woman's risk of developing breast cancer, not just women with health insurance or access to educational materials and quality OBGYNs. And it's true: every woman is at risk for breast cancer, and it is important that those without the privileges and luxuries (never really thought having yearly OBGYN appointments was much of a luxury until now!) to which we are used are also properly cared for.

with this in mind, janelle set out to develop a way to provide free mammograms to women who otherwise would be going without, and this is still one of the main missions of the foundation today. the foundation has valuable partnerships with a number of hospitals and clinics (including the mayo clinic!) that helps provide excellent breast cancer research, education and treatment for women in the united states. the foundation has a number of different celebrity partners and spokespeople including reba mcintire, donny osmond, amy grant, bon jovi and jim brickman (love!) and has various campaigns including "casual up for breast cancer" - a way to use casual fridays at work as a means of raising money for the foundation.

okay and this is really fun: janelle has her own blog! most of her posts refer to survival, strength and finding a positive body image in the face of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. i'm impressed that such a busy CEO can keep a successful blog running (if she can do it, i certainly can!) and i'm sure if you know anyone fighting breast cancer they would be encouraged by janel's thoughts.

and finally, i'm sure you're wondering other than volunteering or directly donating, what you can do to help this cause. and here's the great part: you can help the nbcf, inc. AND support the green movement (um, hello!). to begin, planet green spot, an online site for the green lawn and garden enthusiast, has created a line of "garden for the cause" products including adorable pink garden tools that actually make me want to go dig in the dirt (i'm not much of a fan of gardening). additionally, the sundance catalog, which was created by robert redford and connected with sundance cinema and film festival, features clothes and household goods created by environmentally friendly processes and using organic materials. they are offering a medallion courage tee (organic cotton!) until october 31st with proceeds going to the ncbf, inc. and if you're into this cause but aren't totally in to growing things or organic clothes (i'm afraid i'm not!) - try shopping at thebreastcancersite.com, which is chock full of products (many fair-trade and hand-crafted) that don't go directly to the national breast cancer research foundation, inc., but that fund free mammograms for women in need. one of my favorites is this cool sterling silver ring, made in peru and modeled and named after the maca root, an andean medicinal plant. even if you're not into buying anything, go to this site and click so that sponsors will donate to free mammograms (at no cost to you!). does lending a hand (especially a hand wearing this fantastic ring) get any easier than that!?


mirror mirror on the wall...

loved this cute display at a shop in downton fairport, ny when i was there this weekend. some very clever person took cute vintage plates (and actually a bowl as well) and replaced the middle with a mirror (in fact, they just glued a mirror to the center part of the plate). most old china is so inexpensive i always want to buy it but i never know what to do with it. i love this idea for either a bunch of cute plates in different shapes and sizes (a group on a wall like this would be fun somewhere) or just one over a pretty dresser. you could even get a large charger and use it over a sink in a small powder room. the possibilities are endless!


bird brain

this is my new wallpaper on my computer. i came across the image recently while clicking through stuff on weheartit.com and it made me so happy. real birds kind of creep me out, especially in large numbers (my sixth grade teacher made us read the short story "the birds" and then watch alfred hitchcock's creepy film adaptation) but i think they're really beautiful. recently i've become obsessed with bird motifs in decorating, fashion, basically everything, and i completely love vintage paintings of birds (they're everywhere!). i will most likely be posting more on this in the future, but for tonight, think about what this cute little picture suggests. birds are notoriously unintelligent (hence the term "bird brain"), but wouldn't it be nice to be so simple-minded sometimes? to be so happy about something so small? unfortunately i find myself overlooking simple joys in order to fret about the bigger things. i know french fries always make me happy, but hopefully this little photo will be a reminder everytime i sit at my computer to thank god more for tiny bits of happy in my day.


autumn in new york

happy tuesday! i apologize for being mia on the blogging lately. things have been really busy. the good thing, about that, however, is i have lots of fun new things about which to blog. starting with something really exciting: this past weekend, i traveled with my parents up to rochester, new york where my parents grew up and where i spent my first five and a half years on this earth. most of my dad's family still lives there, and this past weekend we celebrated my grandmother's 70th with a big family surprise party. (side note: the most entertaining part of this party was that my uncle ordered a ton of pulled pork barbeque. i didn't even know that existed so far north!) anyways, after the party we spent the rest of the weekend visiting with family and enjoying the fall.

growing up in concord/charlotte has been quite a different experience than i would have probably had were my family to have stayed in the rochester area. although rochester is the home of eastman kodak, it's otherwise a small, humble city that doesn't really feel much like a city at all compared to charlotte. we spent most of our time in penfield and ontario, suburbs of rochester, and much more rural and beautiful than any suburb i've seen here. i'll probably always want to live in a suburb of a large city - i can't imagine having to drive more than a few minutes to target or tjmaxx when boredom sets in, but the nice thing about the penfield/ontario area is that you get both the feel of living in the country, with target, tjmaxx and most everything else you could wish for just a short drive away. also, the rochester area boasts some of the best schools in the country and some of the lowest prices on homes i've ever seen (even before this housing crisis kicked in).

one of my favorite pastimes is to visit new york in the fall. everything is unbelivably beautiful there - i've never seen such brilliant fall colors or gorgeous produce. i can even tell from the airplane before landing that the area is so different from the south. our fall visits there seem to be something out of a country magazine, with beautiful homes, foliage, farmers markets, crisp weather, and golden rolling fields. as a child, my parents always took my brother and i to herman's, a small farmers market near my grandmothers with a pumpkin patch, and the most amazing fresh pressed apple cider and homemade doughnuts (you can watch both being made behind large glass windows) i have ever tasted. it's not fall without a visit to this market, which, hasn't changed in the twenty or so years since we've been gone. it's been a couple of years since i've made it up there this time of year and i was just going crazy taking pictures of all the beautiful sights. the leaves weren't quite peak yet, but they were still gorgeous! i love my life here in concord but i think i could get excited about living somewhere as beautiful as upstate new york in the future. enjoy some of my favorite shots from the trip!

some lovely things at bauman's, another farmer's market where we stopped to pick up some sweet corn. herman's is more nostalgic but bauman's has the better photo ops.

the annual corn-husk tee-pee at bauman's (you can go inside!):pumpkins at hermans: the most delicious doughnuts in the world:look at all the apples!! fall colors on both sides of the canal bridge:
beautiful downtown fairport:


happy weekend!

image via flickr
so i didn't have any time yesterday to post so i'll be updating my weekly breast cancer awareness series next week. enjoy the beautiful fall weekend!


rainy wednesday

image via weheartit.com

it's been such a dreary rainy day i have sort of dropped the ball on blogging and instead spent a lazy evening on the couch with the windows open listening to the rain. i love love rainy days!


hello, yellow!

perhaps it's all the lovely fall colors, but i can't seem to get enough of yellow lately. here are a few photos to inspire you!

image via weheartit.com

image via design sponge

image via this is glamorous

image via flickr

image via this is glamorous

image via design sponge online

image via desire to inspire

i had to include this last one, painted by an artist who displays her simply beautiful watercolors on flickr. check her out here! i love bird paintings anyway, but how unbearably cute is this!?

image via miss capricho