Sea Glass Miracles

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I woke up earlier than expected this morning, so I decided to be better about taking advantage of living in this beautiful coastal town.  I took our dog Sadie for a walk on the beach (I forget that it means an automatic bath for my furry friend) and found the ocean to be very generous with its gift of sea glass today. Continue reading

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A different kind of Ugly Cry

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I feel ya, Blair.

My kids think I’m a little off because I’m regularly brought to tears by any number of things like:  children’s books, empowered overcomers, and (obviously) American Ninja Warrior.  (One of my pet peeves, though, is when people apologize when they cry as if it’s wrong or weird, so I have made a commitment to never apologize for my Leaky Gene.)  Over the years my heart has been tenderized into a pulpy, beautiful mess of compassion and empathy.  (And apparently peri-menopause is now an ingredient in my soul cocktail.  So that’s fun…)

But recently I’ve experienced tears of a different kind.  There are tears of joy, rage, sadness, and even gratitude, but lately, I have shed tears that come from a place of appreciating PASSION. Continue reading

Inspire 2017

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This “word girl” is having a hard time putting into words the incredibly inspiring time I had at the Trades of Hope retreat last weekend. But you knew I would push through 😉 so here are ten brief “word highlights,” because it is truly my heart for as many people as possible to learn about and partner with us in our effective mission and unique world-changing mojo. 😉 Let me know which one resonates with you:
14269402_10154049064693198_961792299_nEMPOWER – In 2016, we grew to empower 13,340 artisans in 17 countries (including the US) around the world! The ripple effect of sustainable business is impacting 42,884 people(!) in their communities – and counting…

Continue reading

Brokenness & Beauty in Costa Rica

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The beautiful view of Alajuelita marred by iron bars and barbed wire.

It is difficult to put into words the experience you have when God drops you into another country and starts showing off.  But those who know me well, know that this “word girl” will certainly give it her best shot – and attempt to do so with brevity.   #lordhavemercy

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Our logo painted on the wall of the ministry house we stayed in by talented artist, CE and my new friend, Erica!

I just returned from a week long Trades of Hope Vision Trip with 9 other Compassionate Entrepreneurs from around the country (and 2 staffers – love you, Julie and Mary Ann!) to the beautiful nation of Costa Rica.  We partner worldwide with underprivileged artisans (and related ministries) by selling their beautiful handmade accessories and decor here in the states to empower them out of poverty.

It is specifically called a Vision Trip, because we are going to SEE with our own eyes: the need, the people, and the redemption.  And as I met our artisans, toured the ministry sites, soaked in the beauty, and even connected with my fellow sisters, I began to observe a weaving theme of CONTRAST.  It’s true everywhere, but I had the privilege of getting close to the brokenness and beauty of Costa Rica.   Continue reading

A Vision Trip to COSTA RICA!

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I am thrilled to announce that – after a 16 year hiatus from overseas travel – I have been selected to go on Trades of Hope vision trip! I will be traveling with 10 other Compassionate Entrepreneurs from around the country between June 23rd and 29th to visit our artisan group in COSTA RICA!
Despite being a wonderful travel destination, many of the Costa Rican families that we partner with have been rescued and redeemed from the growing sex-tourism industry.  (We will also be meeting with the ministries that we support through our Gifts of Hope program – Seeds of Hope for at-risk girls, the sustainable gardens of Vida Raiz, and some of the local churches.)

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Trades of Hope Retreat 2016

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In March of 2015, I learned through a dear friend about a missional business called Trades of Hope.  It was started in 2010 by 2 mother/daughter pairs from Florida to empower women out of poverty and sex trafficking through a sustainable business model.  A sister-army of Compassionate Entrepreneurs (best job title ever?) market and sell the beautiful handiwork (jewelry, scarves, bags, decor, gifts, etc.) of women from 16 countries around the world including the US.

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I researched the organization in March, hosted my first party in April, signed up to be a Compassionate Entrepreneur at the beginning of May, and have been on fire ever since!  Well at the end of January, I had the pleasure of flying to Daytona Beach, Florida to attend the annual retreat with 300+ other Compassionate Entrepreneurs.  I learned, I cried, I laughed, I danced, I listened and I met new sisters from all over the country. Continue reading

RECIPE: Nourishing Citrus Smoothies

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Before we lived on the East Coast for eight years, I was a California girl for eleven.  And yet during that initial residency in the Sunshine State, I was never much of a citrus person. Now that we are back, however, I’m all over the citrus.  We even lived on Citrus Street at one point.

We’ve inherited a (sad) orange tree that I plan on not neglecting soon, friends with bags of lemons to give away, an intrastate gift of delicious grapefruits from my parents tree and a recent glut of limes from my favorite farm stand’s dollar table.  With this overabundance of vibrant spheres of Vitamin C sourness (#overthetopeuphemisms), I have been forced to find ways to consume them.  

Enter our friend, Vita-Mix.   Continue reading