Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ain't No Party Like a Noonday Party

Monday night I gathered with friends to view and try on the new Fall line from Noonday Collection.  Last February was my first Noonday Trunk Show and I have fallen in love with this company and their beautiful, hand-made accessories.

It was a perfect night to catch up, play dress up and indulge in some sweets all while learning more about how our purchase has power.  Companies with a conscience, like Noonday, are popping up all over making it easier for consumers to purchase ethically.

Noonday uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.  They are currently working with 28 different artisan groups in 10 different countries.  They employ 2,000 artisans and consequently are impacting 8,800 family members.  They provide the dignity of work and a fair wage, no-interest loans, scholarships, emergency assistance and long term trade for their artisans.  They do this by creating a marketplace for artisans allowing them a sustainable income and the ability to not only survive but to thrive!

Some party pics to showcase our evening:

 Cheese plate and desserts galore.
 Molly loving up on the Rustic Leather Tote.
 Molly thinking about having to set the Rustic Tote down and walk away from it.  DEVASTATED.
 Jen's enthusiasm is hard to match.
 Rachel trying on the Minted necklace (and rocking it like a boss).
 Some serious perusing of the goods.
 Cathy checking out the Helena necklace.  Too many pretties to choose from?
 Jennifer organized pieces based on the country of origin.  So lovely to see the different styles from each part of the world.
 Beautiful Marti is already a champion for women's rights.  She has founded Hope for Cambodia where people can shop local artisans to raise money for Cambodian teens to attend school, essentially keeping them off streets and out of brothels.  I was delighted to introduce her to Noonday since purchasing with purpose is clearly her jam.


 A reminder of the talented artisans who make Noonday happen.
 Love these women! Ellen, Casey, Molly and Sara


 Jennifer was showing a sneak peek of the upcoming Winter line - a first for Noonday.  Oct 9th all Minnesotans can get their warmth on while supporting Noonday. Mark those calendars.



 Carli came sporting her past Noonday purchases.
 Geri fell in love with the luxury line.
 An epic photo bomb from Casey.
 My ridiculously gorgeous friend, Erica, checking out the catalog.
 Decisions, decisions.
 Cara and Lucie studying the Look Book.
Alisa and Stephanie catch up during the party.

Thank you to all who were able to make it Monday!  It was a huge win to spend the evening with each of you.  Special thanks to my Ambassador, Jennifer Jensen, who perfectly articulated the mission of Noonday and reminded us that once we begin purchasing ethically we will have a hard time going back.

This trunk show will close Sunday.  If you weren't able to make it or live far away, no trouble, you can still check out Noonday online at www.jenniferjensen.noondaycollection.com.

Oh, and in case you're curious... I'm debating between all these pieces.


How will I choose?  Open to input.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Bennett!

Bennett turns two today!  Chris and I are out of town on a work trip.  Here's hoping you don't hold our absence against us, Bennett.  Although, when I told you last week that your birthday was coming up, you looked at me, blinked a few times, and said, "Oh." So, I'm thinking this birthday is totally fine to be a bit low key.

Look at you, such a little boy!  There's no baby left in you.  You seem to be afraid of nothing.  This summer you conquered swimming, water slides, and the climbing wall at the park.  You were slightly conquered by the coffee table... and thankfully your Dad was able to fix your wound with a little surgical bond.  Your scar is hardly noticeable.  I am assuming it's the first of many scars.  I'm thinking it's a good thing Dad works at a hospital.  It might be handy from time to time.



These last couple of months you've started speaking an intelligible language.  You call your sister Lakes and love to follow her around.  The first question you ask each morning is, "Where's Lakes?"  You're speaking in sentences and making so much more sense.  However, you do occasionally baby curse us in a string of unrecognizable words when you're frustrated.  It's been fun watching you learn new words and your favorite thing to say is, "No," "Stop" and "Why."  



You certainly know what you like and don't like and have the most expressive faces to let us know just what you think about different situations.  We tease that you have two modes of operation: happy and really irritated.  Luckily, you're happy most of the time.



We're nowhere near ready to potty train.  Your sister has attempted to potty train you a couple of times now by taking your diaper off and leading you to a toilet - she's a helpful one.  But since you daily cry wolf about poop in your diaper, we know it's not something we're going to attempt anytime soon.



You love trains, cars and anything outside.  You like to play on the iPad when you get the chance but haven't quite mastered the touch screen.  Gentle touches are not your specialty.  Neither is graceful walking, table manners or flexibility... but in time.



You bring so much joy and laughter to our life.  We are so thankful to be your mom and dad and to watch you continue to grow into a little man.  We love you, Bennett Brand.  Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Makeshift Birthday Celebration

It's my tradition to make second birthdays sub par.  It's what we do in our family.  Since Chris and I will be in Chicago on Ben's actual birthday we celebrated a couple days early.  Bennett is under the weather and has spent the good part of his days moping, randomly falling asleep on the couch and being grouchy.  So, naturally, we felt it a perfect opportunity to do our impromptu celebration.  Papa and Gigi saved the mediocre day with some Lighting McQueen cupcakes and in the end I think Ben perked up and enjoyed the moment.

Here are just a "few" photos of our elaborate party.

 Bennett's sentiment for most of the day.
 Upset about opening gifts.
 And realizing that gifts may not be too bad.


 Hugs for a new Kristoff doll.
 Mator and Queen bring an instant smile to his face.
 Monster machines coloring book for a quiet intermission.
 "Triens!  Triens!"



 Major love for Lightening McQueen.

 I think Ben was requesting that we open this.  Open!  Open!  Open!
 My parents sent along a gift for Lakin too.  A purple princess doll, which she loved.

 Can't even tell this boy was under the weather.  Give him some cake and gifts and he perks right up!

His very own Lightening McQueen cupcake.  Just what the doctor ordered.  


video

To see Lakin's mediocre 2nd birthday and for some uncanny similarities between our two at two years of age, click here.