Links to encourage you. Plus, this abstract art painting by Bill Gerton called "Double Parked" is one I can't stop thinking about. Learn more in this post.Read More
Happy Friday, friends. I don't think I'm the only one looking for a dose of happy online these days. Here are some articles that I've come across this week that I found encouraging and/or thought provoking.Read More
Wondering what the #ShaysGive30 Campaign is about? I'm celebrating my 30th birthday by asking friends and family to support an incredible nonprofit organization called Connecting City to Farm.
And if you want to shop on Amazon for some really cool products, you can do that below. They're Amazon affiliate links, and if anything is purchased through the links (even if you just use the link to navigate to Amazon and don't buy any of the following products), I will donate the proceeds made from those sales to Connecting City to Farm this month.
Here are items that caught my eye, and other products that I've deemed to be "Game Changers" for me this past year.
Great Gifts and Game Changers that I Love
Letter Boards are all the rage right now! This 10x10 Letter board seems like a great size for a little quote or saying.
Fotostrap gives 10% of their proceeds back to their nonprofit, and I really like this well-made brand. You should check their camera straps out, as well as their new line of other genuine leather products. The monogram option is always a great little add-on, too!
Ok, so putting snacks on a wish list may seem odd, but I have to tell you about the Subscribe & Save option available on Amazon.
Without doing anything, I now receive 2 boxes of KIND bars mid-month, right to my door step.
It's cheaper than buying them at the grocery store, and it's one less thing to add to my list. Winning!
Voluspa Candles are delicious. You my recognize them in Anthropologie, as they sell several different scents there.
This makes a great housewarming, hostess or "just because" gift.
I've not tried this robot vacuum yet, but the reviews say that it works great, and it is a high priority on my list this year!
With our Chocolate lab shedding so much, we should vacuum every day. It looks more like every two days right now, and I'm always astounded by the fur.
We have friends with two Huskies who also have a robot vacuum, and they love it. I'm watching this closely!
Do you ski? We love to ski, and my ski jacket has been in use since 2000, I think. It works fine - keeps me warm - but as you can imagine, it's 15 years old and looks dated. I've been on the hunt for a new ski jacket, and Roxy has several different options, like this one on Amazon.
We don't have cable, but we get to watch all the shows we want. How? We use the Amazon Fire Stick ($40). With it, we can access our Netflix account, major TV stations and watch TV on demand (Hello, This is Us and Madam Secretary.)
I also stream Spotify through it and SlingTV ($20/month), which means we can get HGTV and ESPN. Very important channels in our house!
I love these shoes. My husband enjoys hiking, and I've not ever had a pair of trail shoes until this past summer, and they were a game changer.
I just enjoyed having the extra "grippiness" of these shoes, plus the fact that they came up higher on my ankle helped make me feel more confident and sturdy.
As silly as it sounds, these shoes gave me a confidence boost to tackle some trails and really enjoy our vacation. Plus my husband enjoyed my willingness to try the trails too!
Seriously - this shampoo system was a game-changer for me.
I tried this very pack last December and immediately noticed a difference in my hair. It was shiner, had more body and just looked so healthy. I was getting compliments all the time!
Plus, I only had to wash my hair every three or four days, which was so different than the every-other-day regiment I've used my whole life. Again - another game changer.
Find out about Farm Camp and how I'm celebrating my 30th birthday with a "Give30" campaign.Read More
I intended to launch this website with a different post, but the goal is definitely the same: To connect people, causes and ideas, and what better way to do that than to start with Hurricane Matthew relief opportunities.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of opportunities, I felt compelled to start the list. I welcome additions and will do my best to vet them to make sure we're sharing ways to help with integrity.
Jacksonville experienced very high winds, many people were without power, and there were downed trees on roofs, in roadways and more. Our neighborhood and most everyone around us has piles of brush neatly lining the sides of the road, waiting for pickup now. Almost all of our city has power back, but there are some of the more wooded areas in the Mandarin area that are still without power. The City of Jacksonville leadership has done a great job communicating progress and has brought in countless additional teams to help with this large task. It's been amazing to see our church friends rally around one another, offering hot showers, laundry services and just all around good care.
Hurricane Matthew's Impact Further South in St. Augustine, Florida
Hurricane Matthew flooded many homes along the coast line, but it was not a wide-spread occurrence, from what I understand. This doesn't make it any less tragic for the families impacted, but it contrasts drastically in comparison to 30 miles South of us in St. Augustine. This ancient city fared much, much worse.
As we prepped for the hurricane, we had so many resources available to us to prepare. I couldn't help but become more heartbroken for Haiti and the devastation they experienced again, many of the issues not fixed after the earthquake six years ago.
I've pulled together some resources where you can give locally and globally and help those affected in Haiti. If you know of other relief efforts, please leave them in the comments or contact me so that I can add to this list.
Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts in Jacksonville & St. Augustine, Florida
To aid in local efforts, you can join the Facebook group "St. Augustine Hurricane Recovery," where there are people banding together to help their city. According to the St. Augustine Register, local resident & musician Corey Peterson began the group.
Anastasia Baptist Church has started a separate Facebook Page to coordinate relief efforts. Follow along and find out ways to get involved, here. Their food kitchen was in need of food for delivery yesterday and those needs have been met at this time. What a beautiful way to see community coming together.
Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts in Haiti
I have a friend from Baylor who moved to Haiti right before the earthquake to teach school with her husband. They lived there several years and made trustworthy, long-lasting friendships and contacts within the community of Port-Au-Prince. I've kept in contact with her and she has a good pulse on what is needed in that area of Haiti at this time.
TeacHaiti is one such non-profit she worked closely with, and has recommended donating to the Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund here. Founder Miquette Denie McMahon says there is a long list of current needs. Miquette would like to help families replace the roofs to their homes that were destroyed by the storm, and you can help contribute.
New roofs vary in cost, but are estimated between $1200-$1900 per home. They are hoping to provide between $50-$80 in food and necessities for every family they help. Thank you for helping the people of Haiti! Donate online here and add a note "Hurricane Matthew Help."
The How & Why about the start of this site, ShayMPaulson.comRead More
I've mentioned that I love sharing tips and hacks that have made my life simpler, so here's my first one --it's about self-employment. Here's my biggest tip for entrepreneurs who want to be able to start a business and pay themselves.Read More
Results of the first Birthday Initiative - 2015's Give29 CampaignRead More