Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves See Jane Drill April 21, 2016

janeA few weeks ago, my brother asked for my help with a project he was working on: building a chicken coop. Yup, you read that right, a chicken coop. Why is my brother getting chickens in the suburbs? That’s a story for another day. My first response was, “Chickens??” And my second one was “Um, I’m not sure how I can help because I’ve never built anything from scratch…” But my brother tends to make most things fun, so I said, “Sure, what the heck?” I’m pretty good at putting things together with (or without) directions, but this would be a whole new adventure.

As we were measuring, sawing, and nailing, I suddenly realized I had some relevant small talk to make! I chatted with my brother about some cool facts I learned about all the “hidden” features on a tape measure that I discovered on a very cool YouTube channel called “See Jane Drill,” a DIY home improvement video series hosted by Leah Bolden, a journeyman and certified building trades instructor with more than 20 years experience. Leah’s videos include repairs and improvements, with guidance that leaves people thinking, “Hmm ok, I could do that!” She’s a badass, but super nice and down-to-earth.

For now, I will continue to call the super if I need things fixed around my place, but once I own my own home…or build another animal enclosure, I will definitely be hitting Leah up for some tips!  Her toolbelt status gives a whole new meaning to girl power 🙂

Are you a handy woman? What’s the last thing you built? 

 

LizzLoves Breast Cancer Charities October 30, 2013

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This month, it’s likely that you have been bombarded with events, products and requests for donations from several organizations, especially the biggest ones, Susan G. Komen and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. But before this month is over, I’d like to put the spotlight on a few smaller organizations that are making a difference and deserve your support. DailyWorth recently put together a great round-up of 8 breast cancer charities that you may not know. Here are a few of them:

  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer: Founded by radiation oncologist Marisa C. Weiss, M.D., this organization provides education and support to breast cancer fighters and survivors. LBBC’s outreach includes patients’ family members, friends and health care providers.
  • My Hope Chest: Alisa Savoretti, a breast cancer survivor, knows firsthand how daunting the cost of breast reconstruction can be. In order address the needs of uninsured or underprivileged women who cannot afford the surgery, Savoretti started this organization to help pay for their procedures.
  • Young Survival Coalition: This organization caters to those who are diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, with the awareness of their unique challenges of higher mortality rates, fertility issues and early menopause. This one hit home for me since I have two young women in my life who were diagnosed this year (and they both kicked cancer’s butt!).
  • Casting for Recovery: Using nature retreats (that include fly fishing) as a healing tool, CFR brings cancer patients to the outdoors for exercise and support from fellow fighters through group discussions and spiritual connection.

Hats off to these small organizations that are finding specialized ways to support fighters and survivors. To read about some more organizations on DailyWorth’s list, click here for the full article, “8 Great Little-Known Breast Cancer Charities.”

 

LizzLoves Girl Rising October 15, 2013

Girl Rising t-shirt

I used to have a t-shirt collection. I had ones about music, Latino culture, and ones with random cool graphics or witty sayings. But, eventually, I realized that my drawers (and my budget) wouldn’t support the plethora of t-shirts that I had accumulated. So now, I try to resist buying too many shirts that I know I can only wear casually.

Today, though, I knew I had to make an exception. Girl Rising posted a picture on Facebook of actress Freida Pinto rocking this awesome t-shirt (pictured above). The message immediately spoke to me, so with a few quick clicks, I bought one on their online store. As a bonus for buying this stylish tee, part of the proceeds go to Girl Rising’s 10×10 Fund for Girls’ Education.

If Girl Rising is new to you, this organization believes that if you educate a girl, you can change the world. It defines itself as a:

“…grassroots global action campaign for girls’ education, powered by girls, women, boys and men around the world who stand for equality…Girl Rising partners with established nonprofit organizations that drive donations to programs that help girls get in school and stay in school.”

One of the most buzzed-about ways that they spread their message is through their film by the same name, “Girl Rising,” which makes their movement even more personal by telling the stories of nine girls from across the globe.  Check out the trailer here.

Unfortunately, I missed out on a chance to see this film in NYC last week. But, if anyone is interested, perhaps we can join forces and organize a screening of the film in the near future! In the meantime, I’m going to be proud and happy to spread the message of Girl Rising by wearing my t-shirt as often as possible!

girlrising

 

LizzLoves Sarah Kay’s TED Talk July 19, 2013

Sarah Kay TED 2011

Sarah Kay at TED 2011

TGIF! It’s blazing hot here in New Jersey, so I’m cooling off with an inspirational TED Talk that features spoken word poet Sarah Kay performing her poem “If I Should Have a Daughter.” I’m going to let the video speak for itself, but going in you should know how awesome Sarah is: not only is she a talented wordsmith who has been speaking her mind through poetry since she was 14, but she is also the founder of Project V.O.I.C.E (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), an organization that uses spoken word to educate, inspire and entertain.

 

I think that moms with daughters will especially enjoy this talk. Sarah shares a poem about inspiring young girls to face the world with courage, love and wonder, all while knowing their mothers are behind them the whole way. She also talks about her beginnings with poetry and how she’s passing it on to young, budding—and sometimes skeptical—writers.

 

If you’re having a slow summer Friday at work, I recommend you watch the whole video. If you only have a stolen moment, then just watch her perform one of her poems for the first 3:37 minutes of the video.

 

To learn more about Sarah and where you can see her perform next, check out her website here.

 

LizzLoves Janelle Monaé on Essence’s Cover April 9, 2013

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Photo courtesy of Essence

If you haven’t peeped it yet, you HAVE to see this month’s Essence cover girl…the super-talented singer, Janelle Monaé. As a fan for about 4 years now, it’s been so great for me to see such an incredible artist getting the shine she deserves.

I’ve never read any press on her before, so I was intrigued to learn more about her in the article by Lola Ogunnaike in the May 2013 issue. I was delighted by Janelle’s quirkiness and creativity, but also by her grace and humility. It was also refreshing to hear how she sees her fame as an opportunity to share a positive message with young women and girls.

One thing you may notice about Ms. Monaé is her unique sense of style. She rocks strictly black and white, mostly in the form of suits or cleverly coupled pants and blouses. “I’ve never wanted to look like anybody else. I made a decision to be unique and now it’s part of my DNA,” she says. Her sharp look aside, this style is more than a fashion choice. She sees the way she presents herself as conscious decision. She wants to:

 “…redefine what it means to be sexy and what it means to be a woman. Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy. I like skirts and dresses just like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there. It was up to me to show people and young girls there was another way.”

She says that her next album, Electric Lady, is a very personal work. With the authenticity, Monaé also sees her music as an opportunity to flex the power and influence of being yourself and sticking to your beliefs:

“You’ve got to do the hard work, do and say the things that you aren’t seeing [and hearing]. If there isn’t a voice for young African-American women with your same morals and values, then you have to do it.”

Thank you, Janelle, for being an original and providing a positive role model for young women!

 

LizzLoves Cook For Your Life November 26, 2012

cookforyourlife.orgAs I feasted on my 3rd installment of Thanksgiving leftovers tonight, I was thankful for the mix of flavors, from the tangy sweetness of cranberry sauce to the salty, peppery meat stuffing. This year, however, I had to be extra grateful for something simple: the ability to taste.

Lately, taste and the ability to enjoy food has been on my mind a lot. As a bit of a foodie, I can’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly lose my sense of taste or to not be excited about a delicious meal. Unfortunately, that’s what my very best friend in the world, who is fighting breast cancer, has been going through. As if chemotherapy didn’t already suck, one of the crappy side effects can be a loss or change in your ability to taste. Imagine having a strong craving and then when you get that supposedly yummy item…it tastes weird, awful, or worse, like nothing?

Well, Ann Ogden, founder of the nonprofit, Cook For Your Life, knows a lot about how that feels. As a cook, Ann loves food, but as a two-time cancer survivor, she also knows what it’s like to have chemo give your taste buds a one-two punch. As she told DailyWorth, “After recovering from treatment, I started to crave hot, spicy foods to knock the taste of chemo out of my mouth: Indian, Korean, Mexican.”

So, Ann found healthy and delicious ways to work with her struggling taste buds during chemo. But that wasn’t enough. She realized that there must be people everywhere who shared a need for this culinary comfort, and she wanted to pass it on. Ann left behind a career in the fashion industry to launch her site, Cook For Your Life, which teaches healthy cooking to people touched by cancer. The recipe search gives options for people who are going through chemotherapy and radiation, and even gives some food remedies for combatting symptoms like nausea and fatigue.

I hope that I can visit my friend again soon so we can cook up something from the Cook For Your Life collection together. Thank you, Ann Ogden, for spreading your knowledge, love and compassion for your fellow fighters and survivors!

 

LizzLoves Saudi Women to Compete in 2012 Olympics July 13, 2012

Saudi Women in Olympics

Photo courtesy of CSM

Today history was made: for the first time ever, Saudi Arabia will be sending female athletes to the Olympics. Hooray!

 

I can’t imagine how excited the two women must be! Judo competitor Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani and runner Sarah Attar will not only be representing their homeland, but they will be breaking ground for all of their Saudi sisters who have Olympic dreams.

 

If that weren’t enough, Qatar and Brunei will also be sending women to the Olympics for the first time as well!

 

Read the details in this Christian Science Monitor article.

 

Now that’s what I call a way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX! 🙂