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When All Else Fails – Talk Dumb Movies.

It’s another night before bed and I realized I hadn’t written my blog post for the day yet. This is the blessing and the curse of NaBloPoMo. I have to force myself to write but sometimes I’m just not focused enough to write anything coherent.

This is one of those days.

I’ve been really busy trying to catch up at work and try to organize a calendar and newsletter for our local Progressives (I know?! RIGHT!) and I’ve been trying to think a lot about faith and religion and how it relates to the future and fear (I had a good lunch with a friend today which got my brain traveling down that path) and I’ve been thinking about activism and complacency and I’ve been thinking about friendship and family and all of these ideas are just nuggets of blog posts but nothing really hashed out and I’m basically just staring at the screen and thinking: Maybe I’ll tell them about the amazing movie I watched last night?

The kids and I had a movie night since I didn’t see them at all over the weekend. We decided to watch the critically acclaimed: Central Intelligence.

AND IT WAS SO FUNNY. It was PG-13 – so it had a little bit of “adult” humor but it was basically mindless and goofy and it made me laugh and that’s what I needed. To laugh.

Anyway – I have a lot of seeds of profound blog posts, but nothing sprouting yet…so you just get my 5-star review of the dumbest, most awesome movie ever: Central Intelligence.

In The Nick Of Time…

I almost forgot to do a blog post today. I’m in bed and suddenly remembered Nablopomo – and I would hate to ruin my streak just because of an exhausting day. So here is my post for today letting you know I survived my weekend. 57.2 miles, two races, two states. I couldn’t of done it without my wonderful friends. I’m doing this entire post as voice to text in praying there are no horrific typos. I am also doing it from my phone and have no idea if this photo is gonna look OK. Thanks for sending me positive thoughts I will write more tomorrow !

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Phoning It In With A Post Bragging About Myself

I’ve done really well posting some quality content in the last week, don’t you think? Well…let’s keep that in mind because today I’m up at 3am (again) to try to catch up on life (again) and today’s entry is going to take minimal time and minimal effort and absolutely zero brain power. I haven’t even had time in the last week to run or do boot camp and that sucks because I have a big race weekend coming up! Totally unprepared! Woo! I do want to share something with you guys though…I was given an award!

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I’m on the board of our local track club and I was elected to the position last year and my primarily job has been to work to get the new website launched…which we did! I worked alongside our President who is one of those people who I’m convinced has a deal with the devil to get more hours in a day than I do. The award I got was one chosen for and given by him. It was awesome. He gave the best speech and I wish I had known he was talking about ME in the early parts of it because it took awhile for things to started clicking in my brain (I think I perked up when he said, “She’s not the fastest runner…” hee) but I know that once I tuned in thinking WAIT. THIS SOUNDS LIKE ME everything was so complimentary. I cried, of course. That’s how I roll.

Anyway…I have put in a lot of hours (still so much more to do – one of the million obligations I’m behind on this week) and would do it again even without the award. BUT STILL. So cool.

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Mindful Holiday Spending Guide For Everyone Who Hates Leaving Their House

No matter who you voted for, you can not deny that there are people in need in your community and all over the world. I’ve been trying to think of a way to make my holiday spending have a charitable quality to it so I can feel like I’m making a difference for those who aren’t as blessed as I am this holiday season. I’m going to do two more “Mindful Spending” pieces – one for Gifts That Teach and one for Mindful Spending in the Rocket City. But today? It’s for people like me…who do all of their shopping from behind their computer.

Keep Doing What You’re Doing
I spent no less than HALF of my Christmas dollars at Amazon.com last year as I hate going to stores during the holidays. If you’re like m? Why don’t you make a stop at Amazon Smile first and find a charity that can benefit your spending. I choose to benefit the Food Bank of North Alabama because with every dollar of donation they can give out 5 meals. But make sure if you use this program you always start your shopping by going to smile.amazon.com first. I would recommend choosing a LOCAL benefactor as they tend to be able to do more with one dollar than bigger organizations.

There are other “charity mall” type sites that allow you to choose a charity and then shop where you’d normally shop. There’s a section in this article that mentions them, but let’s be honest: That’s not the most impactful way to be mindful on the holidays so I’m going to focus on ways that give you a little bit more charity bang for your buck.

Simply Make A Donation To Their Favorite Charity In Their Name
The easiest way to give a mindful gift is to make a donation to your friend’s favorite charity in their name. If you are worried your friend may be bummed by this gift, then you now know not to keep that person on your shopping list next year!

Just kidding!

Kinda. Because seriously, anyone disappointed in a gift of a charitable donation in their name? Is not someone who is probably adding the best kind of energy to your life. Come be friends with me instead! And then donate to The Trevor Project in my name. I’ll totally appreciate it unlike your selfish friend.

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-4-21-44-am Instead Of an iTunes Gift Card
My wonderful friend Jennifer introduced me to Kiva.org gift cards. Kiva is a crowd lending marketplace where you help people around the world start fund their own businesses with micro-loans. If you give a gift card the recipient can choose who to lend the money to, and then when it gets paid back, they can lend it out again! Look at the impact of these loans!

One for One
TOMS popularized the idea of giving an item in to someone in need for every one item purchased. They started it with shoes but they also now sell sunglasses AND they sell coffee and give the gift of clean water on the flip side. And with their lead, you can now buy one, give one socks and buy one, give one Warby Parker eyeglasses and my favorite…buy one give one BOOKS.

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Exit At The Charity Gift Shop
Did you know a lot of your favorite charities have gift shops? While a cash donation allows them to make more of an impact, shopping from their stores allows you to help them out AND still give a gift to a person you love. I mean some NPR swag. Maybe you have a loved one who would like a bracelet that represents their support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital? I’m personally a big fan of the Love Conquers Hate collection at the HRC. Find your loved one’s favorite charity and just see if they have a gift shop.

Fair Trade

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MetoWe Shop – allows you to buy some really cute and unique gifts and then choose a way to contribute to a partner community (like giving school supplies) and then you can track your impact. I especially like the Rafiki which are made with Fair Trade practices.

Punjammies – We have entered a fashion era where we’re all trying to figure out how to wear pajamas all day. Whether it’s yoga pants or fancy leggings, we’re upping our PJ game so we can be comfy all day. Why not do that and support women in India who have escaped human trafficking?

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-4-25-29-amGlobal Goods – Global Goods Partners (GGP) is a nonprofit that creates economic opportunity for women in some of the world’s poorest communities by providing access to the US market for the fair trade, handmade products they produce. They work with communities all over the globe and there is a HUGE range of products from Stuffed Narwhals to gorgeous totes to embossed leather journals. If you can’t find a good gift from someone at Global Goods? I can’t help you.

Do you have any ways you like to Spend Mindfully from the comfort of your own home?

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It’s going to be a day.

So I got added to the secret Pantsuit Nation group when it was about 200,000 members and I was BLOWN AWAY and euphoric by the numbers. At breakfast with Donnie on Sunday I was looking at Facebook and saw the first media piece about the group as it had just hit 1 million.

“Oh my god. That Facebook group I was telling you about? It just hit ONE MILLION members! They’re writing pieces about it!”

As I was reading the article I started crying. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, this election has had me very emotional and raw.

“Uh. Are you crying? I didn’t think that article was a sad.”
“It’s not! It’s just so nice to see so many supporting voices and stories in a landscape of criticism and hate.”

I have also cried every time I watched her final campaign video. And I’ve watched it 5 times now.

I was going to sit down today and do one final post about why I’m voting but you know what? I’ve said all I can say. Today, we do the thing. I’m sure I’ll be crying all day, hopefully in joy. It’s hard being a blue dot in a vocal red family and community. Especially when you’re a fragile flower like myself. I’ve taken a lot of things personally I should have just ignored. My views of a lot of people have changed, some for the better, some for the worse…for how they’ve presented themselves over this election. But I stand by my own behavior and am proud that I stood my ground and supported my candidate instead of openly trashing the other guy. I researched dozens of media sources and follow-up on stories that prickled my spine. I didn’t take anything at face value and I learned so much about HRC that I went for apathetically voting for her in the Primaries to buying a blazer to wear to the polls today so I can try to look like a proud member of Pantsuit Nation.

Let’s do this thing.

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