Thursday, April 15, 2010

You guys keep rubbing off on me - A Giveaway

I have to tell you, you fellow bloggers will keep making me a better person.  I mean really.  First my friend Emilie started a blog and she wrote such beautiful things about being pregnant, and her family and I wanted to write too.   So I started writing and more of my friends did too.  Then I started meeting new bloggers who taught me all sorts of things.

Like Missy who organizes bloggers to give back for Haiti, or Molly who arranges to have us blog to stomp out childhood hunger in America.  Or Trish who reminds me of the importance to buy locally.

Bloggers like Jen whose story and ideas got in my head and gave me this *crazy* idea to run a 5k in the fall.  Or in fact Matt whose story inspired me to run this specific 5k.

And so many many more.

In the last week people have said how proud and inspired they are by me and I think to myself, "Me? You should meet some of these bloggers I know.  They are inspiring!"  And I'm a little in awe at the power of the blog to connect, share and inspire others.

Today I was at lunch and noticed across the way a Ten Thousand Villages.  They specialized in fair trade goods from around the world.  If you go in you find textiles, jewelry, stationary, pottery and various gorgeous hand-crafted pieces.  They buy items from under and unemployed artisans giving people around the world a real chance at earning a living.  They pay fair prices for both the cost of supplies and labor and seek to improve both the standard of living and sustainablity of underpriviledge communities.

I went in and found a partial store (at Lyndale and 76th St in Bloomington, by Potbelly).  It turns out that they are working to raise money to bring a second store to the Metro - something on the Minneapolis side of things.  I found out that all the small profits they are earning are going toward a new store right now and that all the store clerks who work there are volunteers.  They volunteer because they believe in the empowerment of fair trade around the world.

I knew then that I had to pick something up and maybe it was time for a little giveaway to show you all how much you have been inspiring me lately.  As it turns out, since it is a partial store they don't take credit cards yet but I had a little cash on me. 

I confess I spent more time than I intended searching the beautiful items for the perfect giveaway.  I'd almost decided on a great pair of earrings when I saw these:
These are handmade paper cards made in Bangledesh.  They are beautiful sea greens with cream and gold marbled together.  They are a lovely set of cards that can be used for any occasion.  And they were familar.

You see I bought this same set almost 4 years ago while visiting my sister in Ann Arbor, MI at another Ten Thousand Villages.  I was taken with them then and bought them for a gift for a yet undecided person.  In January of 2008 I gave them to my friend Emilie at her 40th birthday.  The same Emilie who started this blogging journey for me.  The same Emilie I've written about before who died too soon from a sarcoma cancer leaving behind her husband, her two sons and a blogging community who loved her.

She was the recipient of these cards years ago because I knew she'd appreciate their beauty and their support of women around the world.  Today I found another set and knew they were perfect for one of you blogland.  In honor of Emilie and the way you ALL inspire me daily I purchased another set to share with you.

A comment gets you an entry.  Just let me know: "What blogger inspires you?" and leave an email or other way to get ahold of you if you win.  I'll do a random number generator next Wednesday - April 21st.  You can follow me on Facebook for an extra entry (leave another comment).  Or you can follow me on twitter for an extra one too.

This is a giveaway simply because I felt moved to share this with you.  No one gave me anything to talk about Ten Thousand Villages or even anything to talk about the people who inspire me.  I am inspired and so I want to share that with you tangibly. 

I am honored to be a blogger.  Most people don't understand what we are, and we are so much more than any blogger label.  In the end we are simply people choosing to share the startlingly beautiful everyday-ness of our lives.  And occasionally give back in honor of those who help us see the beauty.

18 comments:

JM said...

Such a lovely and thoughtful gift! I love that it is such a full circle as well. There is a whole list of fellow bloggers who inspire me on so many levels. Pick one? The Spohr family (http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/) in particular continues to remind me to cherish each little bit of my life.

darcie said...

I too find inspiration in blogland....truthfully-in too many places to list...We sort of run in the same circle though - Emilie - oh, what an inspiration she was...Missy, Jen, Matt...my list is endless...
I will be forever grateful for this village and family I have found via these here interwebs...

darcie said...

already follow you on twitter...

darcie said...

& facebook

Hyacynth said...

How nice of you to want to share. Corinne from Trains, Tutus and Tea Time (www.trainstutusandteatime.com) inspires me to find beauty in the ordinary.
Megan at Sorta Crunchy (www.sortacrunchy.typepad.com) inspires me to think outside of the box and stretch my thoughts.

The Marketing Mama said...

Beautiful post Liz. You inspire me today. :)

Alexa said...

Lindsey at "Another Prior Fat Girl" inspires me. She tells true stories about her struggle to lose weight and her frustrations when she isn't making strides and her victories when she does. I also feel her pains as a dog mom with leaving her puppy during work and for a work out, but I just love how she really puts herself out there.

I hope you are having a great Friday Liz. =)

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's hard to pick one. You inspire me Liz to be a better writer. Kate in the Kitchen inspires me by her writing and to be brave in the kitchen. Molly at Tastebud inspires me be bold with ingredients and make what I cook look pretty. Liz, the Kitchen Pantry Scientist, inspires me not to be afraid of science, which I always have been. Jen, the Prior Fat Girl inspires me when she's open about her feelings about losing her mom because I lost mine a few years back. I still find it hard to write about. The other Jen from Unplanned Cooking, inspires me cuz she's so darned clever and funny. Darcie's inspired me to try to figure out how to put video on my blog. Come one, I'm in TV, why is it so hard for me? Plus, if I could just be as warm and nice as her I'd have it made. I can't name everyone without hijacking Liz's site, but, you get the idea, I'm inspired daily by these amazing women.

But here: I'll introduce you to one out of our circle. I met a blogger at Missy's event (Missy inspires me, too. How does she do it all?) at the Baby Expo. Her name is Amy at www.crazyboyfarm.com. She has me totally inspired me on the issue of organic farming and eating. My fam has a small farm in Iowa...long term fantasy...convert to organic. Amy makes me think it's possible. Thanks Amy.
And thanks Liz for this generous giveaway.
So sorry for the world's longest entry.
Good bye.

Kristie said...

Those are lovely Liz! I am inspired by a lot of bloggers, Emilie, Missy,Jen at Prior Fat girl and you!

Kristie said...

I follow you on Facebook! :)

fritzfacts said...

So many bloggers inspire me. Your honesty inspires me, Liz at Pink Vanilla does for her honesty as well. Kim at Minivan for her openness with her fears about her boys and missing her mother. So many wonderful bloggers, it is hard to pick one.

Thanks!

Beth said...

Hi there, new reader here - friend of Simplicity from Simplicity in the Suburbs - she inspires me by her honest words of blended family life, it's beautiful. I'm also inspired by Matt Logelin whose story and journey as a widowed father is just wow..can't put it into words!

Kate1024 said...

I'm inspired every time i read blog posts because i am less consistent, i think, than i should be in my own blogging. so i truly enjoy yours! but i have a few outside of your network. One is now on wordpress.com, but started here, and that's Jenn at The Whole Kitchen (whole foods cooking with a gluten-free twist)-- it's good stuff and it's inspiring to have good, wholesome cooking with reasonably simple recipes and good-for-you foods. (and occasional indulgences like oatmeal cookies!)
i'm also following a blog of a former professor of ours now undergoing chemo- and how an experience like that really puts life in perspective- about appreciating some of the things you take for granted when you're healthy enough to enjoy them all the time.
I LOVE Ten Thousand Villages- we have one nearby me in Evanston. and our church does LWR fair-trade "sales" every other month. and my, do they have wonderful dark chocolate!

Rebecca said...

I love Ten Thousand Villages - thanks for supporting them!

kristine said...

This is such a nice and thoughtful giveaway. I'm actually not entering, but just wanted to tell you that.

trishatfox said...

What I dork I am. I did not mean to leave an anonymous comment. It's just like me to assume everyone knows who I am. Actually, I must have goofed when I posted my extremely long comment. I am Trish, also known as TVP, also known as mom, also known as very computer challenged.

andreaberg said...

Liz - what a beautiful post. You inspire me. You inspired me to start the c25k and your honesty inspires with each post.

MamaBear said...

how special to see those same cards again!

A blogger that inspires me? That would be Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing. She is just as lovely in person as on her blog. I find myself being more aware of my surroundings after reading her posts and feeling empowered to stand up for what I believe in - even if it doesn't fit the norm.