Love Makes the World Go Round

The world is such a wonderful place and a loving heart can make it beyond beautiful. Here  are just three things giving me a loving heart this week:

1. Thistle Farms

While we were in Nashville, we visited the Adagio Spa. In the bathrooms of the spa, they used Thistle Farms products. They were wonderful.

And here’s the best part. The products are produced through Magdalene. Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. By hand, these women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women by whom they were made.

I wanted to take some home but with security, the sizes were too large. Luckily, they have online shopping! You must check this out. You’re getting a great product while helping an unbelievably brilliant cause.

2. Wegmans

Not as profound as my first one, but I do love Wegmans. It’s such an amazing grocery store. They always have everything I need. The food is fresh, the store is clean, and the employees are nice. Now, if I could only get a better parking space 🙂

3. Dyson Blade Hand Dryers

This one is really on the other spectrum of my first loving topic but I do love these. These hand dryers are awesome. They dry your hands quickly without dripping water all over everything.

Don’t you hate when you use a hand dryer that is higher than your elbows and then you drip water down your arms. Who thought of putting the dryer up so high? My only guess is someone who doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom.

Of course, I also love it because it uses less paper and keeps public bathrooms looking tidy. What’s not to love?

Aren’t these three…beyond beautiful?

What are you loving this week?

l

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Now That You Have an E-Reader, Here’s What to Do With Your Newspaper

Somewhere, somehow I’d seen the art of making beads from newspaper. Once the beads are complete, you can make a necklace or bracelet or whatever! Check these out:

From Recycle, Eh

From Mia Cronan at Kaboose

Totally awesome, right? Of course, I thought, “What a great craft idea for Leah and me.” So, off I went to find some newspaper in our recycle can, the glue, a small stick, and yarn.

We were ready to go. I made a practice one to figure out how big to cut the newspaper. Then I drew lines on the paper for Leah to cut.

Then I put glue on the paper and started to twirl it around the stick (which by the way was a glow stick bracelet…with the glow no longer glowing).

I made a bunch while Leah measured the yarn length for her neck and cut it all by herself (and cut up a bunch of the newspaper into small pieces, which I should have saved for confetti for New Year’s Eve).

Oh, also while I was finishing making the beads, she proceeded to take about 400 pictures (and a video). Here’s two of her top shots:

It didn’t take long before we were done her necklace!

Awesome! Awesome, if I wanted to do the project. This is not really a project for a four year-old. Oh, what – you looked at the directions from Kaboose and it suggests this project for five and up…interesting. Well, they’re right!

Guess what else? After I took a few pictures of her with the necklace, she took it off and immediately forgot it! Awesome! No, I’m not being sarcastic at all.

I do, however, still think this is cool. What a cheap way to get some great looking jewelry while feeling good about saving the planet!

Are you going to try it with your kids or just by yourself?
I’d love to hear your results! 

l

Beauty and Romance: Visit Ladera, St. Lucia

Last week, I mentioned getting away without the kids is mandatory! Well, I want you to know I practice what I preach.

For our honeymoon, my husband and I went to St. Lucia. We loved it so much and had such a great time, we committed to coming back for our fifth anniversary. It took a lot of planning and help from our family (with babysitting) but we made it happen.

We not only went back to St. Lucia, we went back to the same place we originally stayed, Ladera!

St. Lucia is a fantastic volcanic island in the Caribbean. It is very mountainous with two famous landmark mountains call the Pitons (Gros and Petit). Ladera is situated between these two mountains providing picturesque views (as proven from the shots below).

But the best part of Ladera is their three-wall suites. Yes, all the suites have only three walls. One wall is completely open to allow for the best views of the Pitons and the water.

It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

You can also book a room with a plunge pool (not heated) or a pool (heated). The first time we opted for the plunge pool, which was freezing cold. This time we opted for the heated pool, which was awesome. Here’s a picture as you entered our room.

Yep, that’s a swing you can sit on with your feet in the heated pool and yes, those are cup holders (perfect for a glass of wine)!

This is looking back from the pool. The netted bed is at the top of the steps along with a huge bathroom.

Here’s Michael swimming and hanging out with the great view behind him.

You can also take a short ride down to the beach and check out the Pitons from the bottom.

During our first visit, we did a lot of touristy type things. We visited the drive through volcano. We took a dip in the hot springs, which are said to have medicinal powers! We visited waterfalls and snorkeled at private beaches.

On this trip, we didn’t do much and it was perfect. We relaxed, swam in our pool, stopped by the beach, and just at a great time at one of the best rooms I’ve ever stayed.

The one thing we did do was take a chocolate tour at Fond Doux Estate. They give you some history of the estate and show you the most amazing grounds with all types of things growing. I learned so much on the trip about a variety of plants and especially chocolate! Yum! We had lunch there too, which was delicious.

Speaking of food, the food at Ladera’s Dasheene restaurant is amazing. The staff is very friendly and it seems they are always making improvements to the property. 

If you are looking for a beautiful, romantic retreat for your “no-kids” get-away, please check out St. Lucia and specifically Ladera! I promise, you will love it!

l