Noonday Collection {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

I recently learned about an organization called Noonday Collection and got immediately excited about it.  Their mission is  
"to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable" by partnering with artisans around the world and creating a marketplace for their goods.  Noonday empowers their artisans by offering no interest loans to help get their businesses off the ground, making advance payments on orders, and of course paying fair living wages.  In addition to creating a sustainable marketplace for underprivileged artisans, Noonday donates a portion of sales to help place orphans with forever families.
Beadwork from Guatemala 

With the spirit of Thanksgiving still ringing in our ears, I thought now would be the perfect time to encourage you to "purchase with purpose" this gift giving season!  Supporting organizations, like Noonday Collection, that make a greater impact in the global marketplace and in the lives of everyday people in a real tangible way is something I try my best to support whenever I can.  I encourage you to go into this shopping season with a similar goal in mind.

Artillery beads from Ethiopia

To help you get in the gift giving spirit, Noonday is kindly giving away one $50 gift certificate to shop this holiday season!  All you have to do to enter is visit their website, and leave a comment below telling me what you would buy for yourself and one thing you'd gift to someone special (I'm eyeing this bangle, this scarf, and this leather tote.)   I will randomly draw a winner on Friday, December 5.

Embroidery from Peru

If you are in the Denver area and are interested in learning more about Noonday Collection (while eating, drinking, and shopping their winter collection, maybe with your new gift certificate!), I will be hosting a Holiday Trunk Show on Sunday, December 7.  Let me know in your comment below if you are interested in attending and I will send you more details!

If you are not in the area, no worries!  Just visit Noonday's website and fill up your shopping cart, then when you check out choose 'Dawn Post' as your ambassador, and type 'Megan Lombardo' in for the trunk show you are supporting.

Thanks in advance for supporting artisans from developing countries around the world this holiday season!  Now, get to shopping!


**Congratulations Eirin!**


Happy Thanksgiving

Lately there's been a meme floating around the internet that says something along the lines of "Only in America will people trample each other to buy new stuff the day after celebrating everything they already have."  When I first came across this image, my initial reaction was, "God, this is so on point.  {laugh laugh laugh giggle giggle giggle snort snort}."  But then my next immediate thought was, "God, this is so on point.  {waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.  i'm such a piece of shit.}"  

Every year I think about how the holiday season brings out the best, and often times the worst, in people.  And it's hard for me to understand it all because Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite times of the year.  What does that mean about me?  Am I just like that meme?  Do I sit at the table one day and give thanks and the next go buy a bunch of stuff I absolutely don't need?  Do I give gifts only because I expect to receive them?  If I was really thankful for what I have, wouldn't I opt out of celebrating a holiday that has become almost single handedly about flaunting our wealth and finding reasons that we justify to ourselves why we "need" that new TV or "need" another pair of shoes?

I'm not going to bore you with my mental ramblings about the "reason for the season" here because goodness it will turn into an avalanche pretty quick.  The only real thing I know is that most of the time, I feel so thankful and so happy and so blessed and so filled up with love and appreciation and excitement about life that it literally hurts.  Like I can actually feel my insides start to tense up and I start to squirm because I can feel myself about to burst into tears because I've never felt as much gratitude for life as I do in this very moment.  No, this is not a typical hyperbole moment that so many of you have come to expect from me.  This is literally how I feel a lot of the time.  But do I show it? 

This year, I want to focus more on trying to ensure that others feel the same sort of gratitude that I feel so much of the time.  I want to try and direct my energy toward trying to give others a reason to feel grateful or a reason to feel needed, wanted, loved.  I suppose this year, as I sit around a table filled with more than I could ever want and need, I want to take a moment to prepare for the continuation of the season of giving by vowing to take my thankfulness and pay it forward.  I want to take more time to expand the celebration of thankfulness to include the rest of the year, not just the end of November.

My hope for each of you is that you feel thankful this holiday season.  That you have something in your life that you feel so happy about that you could literally burst at the seams.  Because I think that thankfulness is perhaps the best gift that we can give to others and to ourselves.  That feeling is incomparable, and worth more than any gift that will be under your tree in a few weeks.

This year, instead of focusing on the Christmas season, let's make the season of Thanksgiving last through to the last gift under the tree and to when we are welcoming in a new year.  Through it all, let us give and receive the gift of gratitude.   


(Gratitude image from here.)



Do you send out holiday cards?  I grew up in a family with the best of intentions that just could never get it together enough to send them out.  However, we always had a fridge full of cards from friends and family around the country who were so much more organized than us.

Anyway, the Mr. & I have been sending them out almost every year since we moved in together and definitely more militantly since welcoming our daughter to the family.  I think we are especially good about it now because it is still somewhat of a novelty this whole "being an adult with a family" thing.  Christmas cards kind of feel like that one last thing you need to make it official:  you're a grown up.

This year we used Tiny Prints to design our holiday cards and the process could not have been simpler.  It was definitely a hard choice (we ended up using this design) because there are a million great options for card designs.  Here are some of my other favorites:

If you haven't ordered your holiday cards yet, now is the time.  Bonus: get 10 FREE CARDS when you order from Tiny Prints!  Hurry, this offer ends December 3.

Tis' the season to buy more magnets for your fridge!  


(card designs, top to bottom:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4)


Podcasts: A Beginner's Guide

The other day I read an article on Hello Giggles that described their "beginner's guide to amazing podcasts".   Their list included 5 addicting, interesting, easily accessible podcasts, including This American Life and Radiolab, two of my all time favorites.  Of course, being the complete public radio addict that I am, I immediately felt the need to add a few of my personal favorites to the list as well.

If you are not already a consumer of podcasts, now's the time to jump on the bandwagon.  There are countless different types and genres of podcasts to choose from and therefore truly something for everyone.  I tend to ascribe to the more heady, academic, story-telling types. Some may refer to this as "nerdy"; I call it "awesome".

So if you tend to swim in my pond of over-analyzing, emotional, random fish, I think you will love this round up of podcasts as well.  Like I said above, my list would never be complete without This American Life and Radiolab--as far as I'm concerned, they set the bar for podcasts.  But in the spirit of collaboration, here are a few that were not included on the Hello Giggles list:

image via
1- Serial.

Here's a brief synopsis, from Serial's website:  "On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared.  A month later, her body turned up in a city park.  She'd been strangled.  Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.  The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan's friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body.  But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae's death.  Some people believe he's telling the truth.  Many others don't."

While I think the overview of this crime is enough to get anyone hooked, the style of storytelling only adds to it's appeal.  Every week a new chapter of this story is released.  Host and Executive Director Sarah Koenig is researching the story and discovering and unearthing mounds of information and details about the case almost at the same time that you are listening to the chapter.  She still isn't sure exactly how the season will end, which makes it all the more addictive.

You can get caught up on all the episodes thus far on their website, or subscribe to have the podcast delivered to you directly every week.

image via
2- Meet The Composer.

Let me stop you right there before you scroll past this one because you're not a musician and therefore think it does not apply to you.  This is a podcast for non-musicians and musicians alike.  Host Nadia Sirota introduces the listener to a new composer every week and leads engaging and intriguing discussions with the composers that make you feel like you're getting a backstage pass to the music.  Even if you have no experience with or interest in classical music, I bet you will leave feeling engaged and mesmerized by what you hear.

Start with the first episode on John Luther Adams and his beautiful, haunting, vivid impressionist compositions that evoke the simplest of birdsongs to the unbelievably terrifying landscapes of the Alaskan wilderness.  Trust me:  If you have ever fallen asleep and dreamed, you will be able to appreciate this music.

Catch up on all of the episodes thus far, subscribe directly to the podcast, and check out special "bonus tracks" from the featured composers on their website.

image via
3- Death, Sex, & Money.

There was an episode of This American Life that included a version of a story about Death, Sex, & Money host Anna Sale and her totally unconventional love-and-relationship gurus, former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson and his wife, Ann.  I listened to it, and immediately subscribed.  I was hooked.

This podcast discusses, as Anna describes at the beginning of every episode, "the things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more".  Every episode explores one or all of the title topics with wonderfully relatable and totally relevant people from all walks of life.  Like I said, I started with "This Senator Saved My Life" about Anna and her now-fiancĂ©'s quirky relationship with Al & Ann Simpson.  But I think my very favorite episode to date is "How to be a Man with Bill Withers", probably because I already thought that Bill Withers was a total badass, but this episode just totally confirmed that assumption.

You can catch up on all the episodes on their website, or subscribe on iTunes.

Tell me, my dear internet cosmos, what podcasts did I miss?

Happy listening!