Thursday, February 6, 2014

Justice For All

As many of you know, I'm very passionate about social justice and I'm so excited about a conference I'll be attending in just two weeks!!  The Justice Conference is an international conference that takes place in Los Angeles.  Unfortunately, I won't be making the trek out to beautiful, sunny California, but instead I'll be attending at a partner site.  

This year, the conference is being simulcasted live to various partner sites across the United States.  You'll get to hear from not only the actual speakers at the event but also local speakers from your own hometown.

  I can't wait for the opportunity to connect with others in my area who are also passionate about social justice.  I'm attending the Greater Philadelphia Partner Site at Calvary Church of Souderton (to see if there are any partner sites near you, click here).  Check out this video about the conference to learn more:

The Justice Conference Souderton from The Justice Conference on Vimeo.

Hope to see you at this awesome conference...whether it be at the Philadelphia site or over the simulcast :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

rainy days are for...

Rainy days are for puggle snuggles, online shopping, catching up on all your favorite blogs, remembering that you, too, used to blog and then resurrecting that old blog.  So here's a little update about what's been going on since I stopped blogging, a short list of posts for the new followers and a promise to myself to not go so long without blogging.

The biggest change since I stopped blogging...I GRADUATED COLLEGE!

I had the best experience student teaching in the School District of Philadelphia and walked across the graduation stage on one of the snowiest days of all my time at Mansfield.  Graduating with my Music Ed. degree lists among my proudest achievements and I had such a special day celebrating with friends and family.  

I chose to live at home while I completed my student teaching and I think that has made this transition easier.  It's a bittersweet feeling being done with school but I'm so excited about what is in store for the next season of my life!  

For those of you who are new to the blog, I figured I'd post a few links back to some of my favorite "old" posts.  There's this post about a student who taught me about the beauty of music, and then this post about changing perspectives. You can read about three little girls who changed my life forever here and about that time I played sousaphone in the London olympics here

Monday, August 19, 2013

Worthwhile Wear

I am so excited to share a little about Worthwhile Wear today on the blog.  I started doing some volunteer work for them this summer and I'm so passionate about the mission and goals of this organization.  Here's a little blurb from the website about Worthwhile Wear:

" Worthwhile Wear exists to rescue and restore girls from forced prostitution, and more importantly help prevent girls from ever entering it. We target highly trafficked areas both internationally and domestically, and offer women the opportunity to overcome two primary factors which are at the root of sex trafficking; poverty and lack of education.
This solution is offered through vocational training centers which teach women how to make wears, such as jewelry, handbags, and clothing, which are sold to provide them employment. Additionally, the women are offered free education, a safe place to stay, and restorative programs geared toward encouraging personal growth and reestablishing self-worth."

All the products in the Worthwhile Wear shop are made by the formerly enslaved. Most of the products are made in India. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, but I'd recommend clicking here and checking out the shop for yourself as well.

This Worthwhile Wear bag is not only really cute but also super sturdy.  The handles are made out of old sari's that are washed and then braided together. It comes in four different colors as well!

I'm obsessed with this green African jade copper multi-strand necklace.  It's absolutely gorgeous and is the perfect addition to any outfit!

I just had to share these special bangles with you all as well.  They are made of pieces of broken glass bangles that the girls save. They are so colorful and beautiful!

There are other ways that YOU can get involved and help put an end to slavery. Worthwhile Wear produces shirts for businesses interested in showing they're socially aware.  Each Worthwhile Wear shirt is sewn by the hands of those once enslaved.  The shirts are custom made and printed with your company's logo, name or whatever else you would like displayed.  If you are interested in purchasing t-shirts through Worthwhile Wear, you can send an email over to

 "Like" Worthwhile Wear on Facebook here
Follow Worthwhile Wear on Twitter here
Shop to Stop Slavery here
Learn more about Worthwhile Wear here

Sunday, August 18, 2013

a summer sneak peek

I took a nice, long blogging break this summer but now I'm back with tons to blog about and share! Below you'll find some sneak peek pictures from this lovely season. It was jam packed with fun, beautiful weather, music festivals, reconnecting with old friends and spending time with the new.  

I'm so excited to share with you all about Worthwhile Wear, a non-profit organization I've been doing some work for (you're gonna LOVE their beautiful jewelry!).  Keep an out for some more primal posts, an update on the little addition to our family I posted about below, and many more.  Oh! And I'll be student teaching starting next week, so I'll be posting what I can about that experience as well!

Along with taking a break from writing blog posts, I also took a break from reading blog posts.  I'd love to catch up on that as well, so feel free to comment below with some of your favorite summer posts!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Lil Bits!
(or just Bits...or Betsy if you ask Alex)

We picked up Lil Bits to foster for a week from a shelter nearby called Operation Ava.  We couldn't resist that underbite of hers and ended up adopting her. She's the sweetest little thing and a great addition to our family.

Monday, April 22, 2013

fight on

I've heard it said that everyone is either beginning a hard time in their life, in the middle of a hard time or just coming out of a hard time.  I think that's a persepective that we often lose when others hurt us or wrong us.  We forget that they too are suffering, that they too are lonely, depressed, hurting - facing a trial in life.

I have a friend who went through a hard time a year or two ago and I can't tell you why he had to go through it.  What I can tell you is that because he went through this trial in his life, he is now able to help me (and who knows how many others) face a similar trial in my life and for that I am so thankful. 

So often in life, when I am wronged, hurt or facing a trial, my first reaction is that of anger, sadness or fear.  There is a time and a place for these emotions but they aren't what we should aspire to.  In every situation life throws at us, we should aspire after joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion, gentleness, grace and above all those - love.  How different the world would be if instead of fighting over power, money, people, land, etc., we fought for goodness. If everyday we woke up and approached the new day thankful for our struggles, thankful for the moments that grew us, showed us who we are, who are friends are.

And so today, I'm challenging myself (and you!) to live a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime, filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion, gentleness and grace.   

fight on, friends, fight on.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a 'thank you' of sorts...

"One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful"
- Sigmund Freud

Without going into too many personal details, I'll preface this post by saying that the past few weeks haven't been the easiest ever.  I'm also sure the next couple weeks will only come with their own set of struggles attached.  With that being said, this isn't a "pity me" post or a post to make you worry about my well being.   


Because I am certain there are so many beautiful things coming out of this season of my life.
and I am certain that there is a reason for everything.

I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for the friends I have made at Mansfield.  Our band director has this saying that goes something like this: "when you start to feel like you don't have any strength left, look to your right, and look to your left, and borrow some from those on either side of you".  This past week I found myself looking to my left and looking to my right, but instead found myself completely surrounded by so many caring people. Friends willing to listen, comfort, give advice and just be there.  To all of you, I thank you so much.  You have no idea how much you all mean to me and how much I appreciate your continuing support. You all inspire me to be a better friend and I'm sure that years from now, when I look back on this time, your love and support will be part of what strikes me as most beautiful.