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I met the most amazing craftspeople when I was in Portland last week. Read my USA Today piece, 10 Portland makers who will make you say, “Please take my money!” and get all your holiday shopping done early!

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dove real beauty sketches

Posted on April 16, 2013

Why is it that when we compliment a friend on her glowing skin or beautiful eyes, she usually has to point out, “Oh, but look at these brown spots” or “I wish I could get rid of these lines?”

This disconnect between what women see in the mirror and what others see in them is made shockingly clear in a fantastic new campaign from Dove.

According to Dove, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. That means more than three billion women don’t.

To prove to women that they’re more beautiful than they think, Dove conducted a fascinating social experiment. They asked seven women to sit on one side of a curtain and describe themselves to FBI-trained forensic artist, Gil Zamora, who sat on the other side, sketching them from their own description. Before the session, they were asked to spend time with a stranger. Zamora then sketched each woman using the strangers’ descriptions.

Acknowledging the discrepancy between the two sketches is life-changing for these women, and just may change the way you look at yourself.


why i traveled 3000 miles to advocate for children who aren’t mine

Posted on February 21, 2013

Shot at Life

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Ramson

Every 20 seconds, a child around the world dies from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. Annually, that number equals almost half the children entering kindergarten in the United States alone this year.

As a mother, I find that devastating.

As a human being, I find it inexcusable. more »

I’ve Been Named a Delegate for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Champion Summit!

Posted on February 8, 2013

I’m so proud to announce that I’ve been chosen as a delegate for the United Nations Foundation’s 2013 Shot@Life Champion Summit, February 10 to 12, in Washington, DC.

Representing 37 states, the delegates include bloggers, parents, students, professionals and activists who believe in the importance of global vaccines.

Shot at Life

more »

put a cork on cancer!

Posted on November 25, 2012

Don’t throw out the corks from all those wine bottles you went through on Thanksgiving! We’ve told you before about how to recycle them, but here’s an even better way to use them to do good this holiday season.

I saw this on Dawn Carroll’s Facebook page. Dawn is the co-founder of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a media-based project with a goal of increasing participation in mentoring both cross-culturally and cross-generationally. I “met” her through my dear friend, Amy Wise (and can’t wait to meet her in real life!).

Here is what Dawn re-posted from her friend, Johanna Leigh:

Johanna LeighSo next week I am launching Put A Cork On Cancer. If you are interested in participating, please email me at shelovesvino@gmail.com. Here is my story, my plan, my legacy. My new endeavor. more »

#pinittogiveit – elizabeth arden, pinterest and look good feel better

Posted on October 22, 2012

There’s nothing like being able to do good by just clicking.

Elizabeth Arden shares this philosophy and has launched #PinItToGiveIt, a charitable effort involving my favorite obsession – Pinterest! Instead of clicking, you’re now pinning!

For every image repinned from the #PinItToGiveIt board using the #PinItToGiveIt hashtag, Elizabeth Arden will donate one eyeliner to Look Good Feel Better, a fantastic group that empowers women by helping them deal with the appearance-related effects of cancer and its treatments.

I will be repinning on to my Midlife at the Oasis board. Where will you repin?

Read more about Look Good Feel Better here.

 Look Good Feel Better

We’re required to disclose a relationship between our site and LGFB . This could include the LGFB providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.com.

The Dior Auction for Look Good Feel Better

Posted on October 18, 2012

I told you yesterday about Look Good Feel Better, a fantastic group that empowers women by helping them deal with the appearance-related effects of cancer and its treatments.

Dior AuctionOne of their most exciting annual fundraisers is the online Dior LGFB Auction, which just went live on Tuesday. Yes, it’s that Dior, and, yes, you’re going to want one of each item! The auction is divided into three categories: Luxe Trips, Elite Experiences and Shop Now. These are exclusive luxury items that may get your bidding finger twitching more than Christian Grey’s palm.

Some of the items up for bid include a trip to the Dior Haute Couture Salon in Paris, a “Dior Secret Admirer” monthly delivery and – what would have been my dream come true at a different point in my life – an internship at Dior.

There are also one of a kind experiences like attending a Hollywood premiere or a Marie Claire photo shoot, having lunch with Dior CEO Pamela Baxter and getting a makeover from Allure.

The auction closes on October 29 so log on now and start drooling shopping. Because 100% of proceeds benefit Look Good Feel Better, this is the time to splurge without guilt, knowing you’re doing a really good deed!

Flip Flop Recycling

Posted on June 10, 2012

On my former blog, we featured a story about UniquEco – an award-winning African company that transforms discarded flip flops into innovative pieces of art and jewelry. It was a story that resonated so strongly with our readers, we decided to become UniquEco’s first collection source in the U.S.

Thanks to your generosity, we received hundreds and hundreds of pairs of flip flops. We were overwhelmed by your support, and proud to have helped keep this potential trash from clogging up landfills, to see it upcycled into useful and beautiful items and to help create a sustainable economy in the ancient civilization of Lamu.

Thousands of flip flops wash up on the beach on the northeast coast of Kenya from beaches all over the world.

Unfortunately, due to new regulations, shipping all of these flip flops to Africa had become cost-prohibitive for us. I know how important this project is, though, and am looking for angels who can help sponsor shipping. If you know any individuals or corporations who may be able to help, please send them my way. Meanwhile, we are asking you to please continue to collect flip flops – and send them directly to:


P.O. Box 15565-00503

Nairobi, Kenya

For you, the cost to ship a box to Africa will only be a couple of dollars more than it is to ship to us. We thank you for understanding and hope you will continue this easy way to do good.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.com.

donate pillowcases to little dresses for africa

Posted on April 23, 2012

Since our amazing trip to Australia with Oprah, our group of 302 Ultimate Viewers has made the commitment to participate in an annual Ultimate Day “O” Service in order to give back in any way we can.

For example, in Chicago, a group volunteered at PAWStwice! – and Atlanta viewers painted a gorgeous mural for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and spent the day with the elderly residents at Nursecare. Here, in San Diego, we started working with the Girl Scouts to help 11-year-old Miriam Mendoza spread the word about preventing domestic violence. more »

"Bully" — The Controversy and the Bottom Line

Posted on April 9, 2012

Bully by Lee HirschThe powerful new documentary, Bully, by award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, continues to be surrounded by controversy. First, the profanity spewed by some of the bullies in the film caused the MPAA to give it an R rating, taking away its accessibility to the kids who really need to see it (a decision which has since been overturned and the rating changed to a more accurate PG-13). Most recently, the movie has been accused of oversimplifying and distorting the problem. more »

KONY 2012 and Invisible Children — Changing the World Through Social Media?

Posted on March 9, 2012

Video about making Kony visibleI feel I would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the KONY 2012 video which has gone viral over the past couple of days – and the criticism of Invisible Children, the organization behind it.

So, first, here is the video. It’s received more than 50 million views on YouTube and Vimeo alone, and has pretty much taken over Facebook. If you haven’t seen it, please watch it now. It’s 29 minutes long, and more gripping than any half hour TV show.

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