Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spotlight: The Passport Party Project

Today I'd like to spotlight a fun and informative global awareness initiative called The Passport Party Project. It's a wonderful opportunity for underserved American teenage girls, 11 to 15 years of age, to get their first passports and step into the experience of international travel. I am a great believer in the power of travel and the influence that it can have on everyone's life, but I'm especially drawn to encouraging young people to travel.

I didn't get the chance to travel much when I was at this age and didn't travel internationally until I was a grown-up. So I absolutely love that these young ladies are having the possibilities of international travel presented to them at an early point in their lives. I know how travel has enriched my life and now I want to help pass along that experience to these young ladies.

The Passport Party Project was launched by Tracey Friley in 2011. She is a woman who is very passionate about travel and giving our girls the chance to see the world and learn about other cultures.

Recently, The Passport Party Project has opened for applications to the next phase of the program. The submission period is now open and will continue until October 1, 2014 at 11:59pm PST.

If you know of an American girl who is between the ages of 11 and 15 who is interested in seeing the world through international travel, why not help her apply for The Passport Party Project? You can find out more here. It's such a great opportunity to help give a girl the gift of travel!

Sending Love

I just wanted to check in and say that I hope that everyone has a good weekend. 



Monday, August 18, 2014

Spotlight: Atlantic Impact

Today I'm excited to share something wonderful that I've been given the opportunity to be a part of recently. It's a program that's offered through a great non-profit group called Atlantic Impact. Their objective is to support youth and introduce them to traveling internationally in order to broaden their horizons. Their goal is to provide each high school student in their district from the city of Detroit with a postcard.

I think that this is a fantastic program because it will expose the students to other parts of the world outside of their neighborhoods. When I was contacted by the organization I was so happy to help. I am getting ready to send the postcards pictured above to Detroit with short messages on each. As I wrote each one I thought about myself at their age and how I would have loved to receive a postcard or a letter from elsewhere. I didn't get to do much traveling when I was a child or teenager and I certainly didn't get to go abroad. I was a grown woman when I took my first trip outside of the United States. So I'm very excited for these young people because they are having the seed of international travel planted in their minds early. This makes me so happy! :-)

In addition to the postcard project, the organization offers students a well-rounded experience that teaches them valuable skills to use in their own communities and as they travel throughout their lives. Atlantic Impact says it best on their website when they highlight the skills that can be acquired through completion of the program. Some of those skills are:

 *Adaptability   *Leadership   *Responsibility   *Determination   *Patience
*Initiative   *Intellectual curiosity   *Critical thinking
*Understanding of global and cultural matters...and so much more
(from Atlantic Impact)

If you'd like to learn more about Atlantic Impact or if you'd like to get involved in helping, please visit their website at . You can also follow them on Twitter here .

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This Hard Week

This is a simple post because there is nothing that I can add to all that has been said this week. It's been a sad week and a hard week. In my personal everyday life, things are fine, but some of the events of this past week have been on my mind a lot. I am not naive though. I know that horrible things are happening all over the world every single day and I don't overlook them at all. And if I tried to write about all of those terrible things I would never be away from this keyboard. This blog has never really had a heavy tone to it and it's by design. I am not a blogger who can write well about things like that because frankly I might go off way too much. It's good to speak one's mind and I do that in my life more and more as I mature, but I try to keep heavy things at a minimum here. Believe me, this is not a cop out and I am not afraid, but I know that writing about things like this are not my strength. Plus, there are MANY people who are excellent at tackling heavier issues in their writing and I've read a lot of that this week. We all have our roles and I know mine at this point in my life. There may be a day when I can funnel my turmoil about the heavier things into my writing, but this is not the place. That time will come.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pens and Writing Things

As you can see in the picture above, I have a lot of pens. Pssst! This only scratches the surface. I LOVE PENS! I love pens in the way that some love shoes ;-) I like shoes, but I LOVE pens!

As I've been mentioned in my previous post here, I'm currently working on my first book. I have a laptop and I write on it, but I've always been able to get my words out better when I write them out by hand first. After I write things out in longhand, I type everything into my laptop. I used to think that this was just a quirk that I had, but over the years I've heard of others who write this way. And of course there are those who type directly into their computers. To me that 's what makes it interesting though. Everyone writes in their own way and it works for them.

So back to my pens...

I do have quite a collection of pens in many colors. Some get used for specific things and others share duties as I scribble away. The green one on the left is actually a pencil that my cousin sent to me. She sent me several and I'm so grateful. I never have to sharpen them and they write great.

It's interesting when I look at this picture right now and think about the fact that I've had some of those pens for years. Some came across the Atlantic Ocean with me and they're still serving me well after all this time :-)  The fifth one on the left is a fountain pen and I use it for a variety of things. This fountain pen reminds me of my dad. This isn't his pen, but he used to sit at the kitchen table and jot down notes and he always used a fountain pen. My dad was beautifully old school and he had the handwriting to match. Even as a young child I was aware that his signature was awesome. He wrote with a flourish as he signed his name. The "W" at the beginning of his name was so elegant. He was a normal hardworking man who worked with his hands as a carpenter, but those same hands wrote the most beautiful cursive W that I've ever seen :-)

Pens are one of my favorite things in this world. They've served me well as I've written short stories, essays for school, and my most revealing journal entries. It's amazing to think that our thoughts can travel to our hands and out through our pens no matter what we are writing. I think that's cool. Maybe I'm a pen geek...but I'm fine with that. Lol  ;-)

Until next time...

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Super Moon and a Rainbow

Happy Monday! I just wanted to share a couple of quick pictures from my weekend...well actually from yesterday. It was a wonderful evening and I saw two miraculous things in the sky at the end of the day. First of all, we had rain off and on all day, along with lots of wind. It felt very much like fall is on our doorstep again. 

When I looked out at one point I saw this beautiful rainbow across the way. I took the picture below at the window so that's why there are dark edges in the upper corners. I thought that it might move along quickly before I could get outside, so I just took it from inside. It was glorious!


I knew that there was going to be a super moon last night, but I wasn't sure if we would be able to see it here since it had been so cloudy all day. Thankfully though, the clouds parted and that big beautiful moon showed up for us. My battery on my phone was dying when I took this so I'm so glad that I got this quick picture :-) 

As I watched the super moon I got a wonderful feeling of how this was something that many were sharing and seeing all across the world, wherever there were no clouds. The moon is amazing.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Bookish Weekends

It's going to be a rather bookish weekend about here this weekend. I have a few plans, but as we all know it's hard to get to everything and that's okay...because it's the weekend and weekends are to be enjoyed however we want. So even though I have a list in my head, I may veer off and I'm cool with that :-)

I'm hopefully going to finish reading this book below, The Cuckoo's Calling.

I've been reading it for a while but as I said in this post my mind wanders and I stop and start sometimes. That's just how I am ;-)  But I'm nearing the end of the 500-ish page book and it's been interesting. As I mentioned before, I'll share my thoughts on it once I've finished so watch this space.

Also, I'm going to start reading through a book on home decorating called House Proud that was sent to me yesterday for review. It's a beautiful book and features some gorgeous Louisiana homes. I'll be sharing my thoughts on it in the near future also. I LOVE books that show how people live so this should be intriguing.

And finally, I'm going to put some work into my book that I'm writing. As I mentioned in this post, I'm writing my first book and I'm so excited. It's been on the backburner for a while, but now it's right up front in my day to day thoughts. It's interesting to look back at parts of it that I've written a few years ago. I can sort of chart what was happening in my life when I wrote certain bits by looking at my handwritten notes, because I'm a person who is always writing in the margins about lists, things I want to remember, you name it. Lol. I'm a note-taking, list-making person so I guess that I leave an autobiographical trail of my life in my various notes. So alongside the writing of this book, I'm getting a look at myself as a human being. I love that.

Well, I guess that's all for today. I'll definitely be sharing more about my writing because I am finding it so freeing as I mentioned in my other post :-)

What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever you do I hope that you have fun!

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Taking a Look at My Pictures #6

If you're a regular reader of my site, you know that I love taking pictures. I must admit that I took more of them in the past, but lately I'm getting back into it. My picture taking kind of suffered like my writing did during the time when I was completing my degree. But now I'm getting back into my pattern of documenting things through photographs. 

Sometimes over the years my pictures have been really wonderful and sometimes they've been kind of lackluster, but for me that's the fun of it. I never know how they'll turn out. I'm no professional as you can see, but I love capturing a moment :-)  

Today I'd like to share a few of my recent pictures. These were taken back in June. The sky was looking stormy and we ended up having a thunderstorm. It reminded me so much of summer evenings back home in Georgia. I'm not crazy about the lightning, but I love how the sky churns and puts on a show of various shades of grey. I took these in black and white, but even if they'd been taken in color they would've been very similar. It got so dark. These are kinda blurry, but I still love them...imperfection is real and it's cool :-) 

 I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my pictures. More to come!

Until next time... ;-))