♥ goods

valentime’s day. yes, i said valentime. sue me. (please don’t sue me though, i am scared of courts). it can be an awful time or a time of delicious smelling, overpriced roses. BUT! what if we just called it a love month, and perhaps gave gifts all month long to those we love? and if it happens to be the 14th or the 18th or 29th when you give that gift, then who cares? 🙂

so gifts ::  for anyone. old or young. hairy or otherwise.

for the lovelies in your life:

I have curated a few ideas that are handmade, and some even do good.  so, double win.  or win squared. either way, win. you get it.

the ladies 

need a gift for a fashionable lady? think scarf. always fun, super chic.

a bit audrey hepburn, yes? 🙂

Mulu-cranberry-766x1024

the company that provides these scarves is super cool.  i mean it.  they are helping women in africa who make these scarves, gain employment and change their lives. i happen to be able to listen to the genius of the ceo of this company, at the influence conference in 2012, bought my own scarf while i was there, and it is my FAVORITE.  i have really sensitive skin, and it does not make me even scratch. each scarf comes with its own handwritten note with the name of the woman who made it, and what you helped her be ABLE to do.  love this.

so, to learn more, you can find the fashionABLE scarves and other Mocha Club stuff here:  fashionABLE

the mens

for the dudes…hmmm, what to get them right? SO hard to choose between this belt sander, and that turkey call, or that football jersey, and this home brew kit. well? how about a handmade wooden wallet. the company is called Bound Tight Wallets, and I heard they are making rings too!  made of wood! HOW COOL!

BOUND TIGHT WITH LOGO

bound tight

great idea, amazing design. win/win.

these are made in the u.s. of a. by a family owned company. wins all around if you ask me.

the princesses

next up, your little girl. with hair like rapunzel or sometimes more like medusa? 🙂

trying to tame some crazy hair? look at these lovelies! they are handmade, and they give hope! this company gives back to a new cause each month. whoohoo for hair & hope!!!

meow_turban_1024x1024

also, i don’t know if you can tell, but those are little kitty cats on the headbands. sweetness. ♥

find these mini fashion statements here:  she does justice

smaller dudes

for the spunky, rambunctious, awesome little tinkerer:

you want something that let’s them stay still, while letting them soar creatively.

i seem to have a woodsy theme going on for the masculine peeps on your list.

i will not apologize. i love nature!

enter a michigan based company that repurposes wood for kids toys:

Stackaroofind these beauties here: McGregor Custom Inlay and Crafts.

furry, fuzzy or otherwise

of course i don’t want to leave out any furry pals you may have:

these monkeez and friends squeaker toy (how cute is this octopus!) would make any wiggly pet super happy, and the best part?

they give back, and you get to choose which charity! yay for giving back! find this one and others here: monkeez and friends

Monkeez

so friends, neighbors, generous folk of everywhere, let’s spread some love, and make every day this month a kind of love extravaganza!

p.s. i was not paid anything to promote these companies, they did not know i was doing so. i just kinda LOVE handmade companies, and I LOVE giving. it’s my favorite.

happy love month to you all!

sigggggg22

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what i’m packing, (extra too, j.i.c.)

in case you need to be filled in, please see this to know where i’m going for the next four days.

okay, you back? good.

i’m packing these,

i’ve wanted another pair for years! yipeeeeee!

which were cheaper than normal because they are kids’ size – BONUS! 🙂

i’m packing my big girl pants, (& no, that was not a rip on myself, i’m SUPER nervous, so bgp’s are necessary)

i’m packing my altoids (you know, just in case i need to speak to people closely, close talkers run in our family)

i’m packing the faith that the good Lord will have my anxiety & stress at bay to meet fabulous women, & learn TONS about this here blogging passion of mine.

(and, i know i don’t need to really pack my faith, it is ALWAYS in my heart)  🙂

i’m perhaps packing extra socks & such (just like my madre taught me…you just never know)

i’m packing music (in particular, my new Mumford & Sons CD – that’s right, i’m OLDDDDD school).

i’ll have accessories, of course, which i always wear “too many” of – whatever that means.

perhaps some pens, paper & a definitely, a super grateful heart.

this opportunity could have come without rl & my parent’s help.  i know WHO they got the help from (it’s who we get everything from), but it was them who insisted i go.

well, rl insisted.  he is a blessing like no other.

SO…am i ready?  you betcha.  am i scared?  you BETCHA.  am i worthy?  i think so.  am i incredibly lucky to have this type of opportunity to spread the love, hear the stories, & share the hugs of women from all across the globe that love blogging, love people, and most importantly love God?

AB-SO-FREAKIN-TOOTLY.  🙂

see you on the other side!  YAHOOOSKIIIIISSSSS!

xo

Babs

on my way to

where to?

i’m not sure yet. i know that there is a purpose for me feeling so purposeless. not in a depressed way, but in a professional, life mission way. like, where the heebies am i going?

i wish i were….this is the quote that starts many conversations that i have inside my head.
wondering, what if, and “if i must, then maybe…”. i’m not quite sure what this trip around the sun will bring me. but i’m hopeful that i will find out soon.
try to become a permanent member at this job? 

onward.

start my etsy shop & intentionally work every day on lovely things to remind others of goodness? 

onward.

commute for a purpose? or change the location of the end point?

i feel wasteful with my day and life when i just drive.

onward.

the purpose of this drive (both physical, and mental)  is not to make my life hopeless.  i know that.  but responsibility keeps me going. 

onward.

so what is happening? i am leaning HARD on God in these moments, and He hasn’t decided that I need to know yet.

onward child, He says.

i’m a little bit worn, a LOT bit excited, and just a wee bit scared.

but change is here, and embrace it i must!

i know that i want to have the heart of an artist, whose purpose is to create art, and to obtain the grace of a poet, to know when to edit that art.

onward!

“For so, surely you will cast a light of gladness upon his onward journey, and contribute your past towards the building of that kingdom of love which links our earth to heaven.”  Edward Carpenter

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”  Henry Ford

stay lovely my friends,
blf

words of the mother – give away – WINNER

 

 

** this giveaway is now closed.  the winner is amanda! since i will be seeing you in a few days friend, i’ll bring it with me.  i was not sure how to get the little random.org generator on here, but amanda was number 1 literally, and as the winner!  🙂  hopefully some new giveaways will happen in the near future, so stay tuned – it’s so fun to give gifts away!  **

 

 

 

before i thought up of be forever lovely, there was a super cool chick that loved people, and loved peace.

she said this:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Mother Teresa

and every day since my idea for this be forever lovely movement began, i’ve wanted to do just that. leave it all lovelier. the people, the places, the situations.

i don’t have all the answers like most mothers do, and i don’t have all the words for the answer to what my mother and the other mothers i love mean to me.

sure, i’ve messed up.  some may be able to call me a hypocrite.  (myself included).  i may not always be able to be forever lovely all the time.

but, no matter the hour, nor the location, nor the stresses or joys, i will seek to LIVE this statement that the eloquent mother of us all has spoken.

Mother Teresa, you had it right.

Better, Happier.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.

and as a gift from me to you, please leave a comment below for your chance to win this:

a handmade typewriter change purse from Aubrey Plays, that i was supposed to give away for my 2 year blogiversary. (whoops it’s already May!)

also, because Aubrey is a kind blogger and handmade shop owner, she said my readers can use the code MRSFRIDAY for 20% off in her shop!

consider it a gift for Mother’s Day, for being happier, and being better.  the only rule is that you leave me your email address.  OH!  and that you try to abide by Mother Teresa’s words above.  thanks.

(if you want to earn one extra entry, mention this on twitter, or facebook, and share it with me on twitter (@beforeverlovely) , or be forever lovely fb page, and you will earn another chance to win this beauty).  and let me know if you do, okay?  🙂

**this was something i purchased to give away.  this giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  the giveaway ends on 5/15 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  the winner will be announced here on the blog.**

it’s always better with candy

i ♥ the handmade/blogging community.  the group of people putting creativity to work.  the belief in themselves that they can accomplish a goal, a dream, a handmade something.

a lovely, industrious place on this scary, complicated interwebs thing.

sometimes i even comment on their lovely, inspiring blogs.

&,  i LOVE giveaways.  LOVE THEM.  although, frankly, throughout my life, i’ve yet to be very lucky at winning much that i didn’t work for or put in a lot of effort first.

enter:  I BLOG 4 ME.  coolest lady ever that just loves blogs, and made a site where fellow bloggers could come and meet, share stories, and encourage each other, for no other reason, than she is nice, & she likes blogs.

she gives away stuff sometimes:  drumroll please…..i WON!

a nifty, neat-o, colorful, really well made GUMBALL MACHINE.

you know alex reese and rl are overtheMOON about this one!  🙂

(and let’s pretend like i’m all sophisticated and didn’t jump for joy when i found out and didn’t squeal…..)

it came with two bags of 2 lbs of gumballs, so we should be set for at least a few months weeks.  🙂

so this is my official thank you to Vic  check her out here  & BJ here.

& if you have the time, check out some of the blogs featured, fantastic time, i tell ya!

i really appreciate it, and in some strange way, it seems like i finally belong to this community that i read/stalk/drool over daily.  you really have helped encourage me to keep blogging!

ps.  this winning thing just happened again, & is just another hint, that i need to get my shop up and running.  what do you want me to make, or better yet, what is your favorite handmade thing to buy?

xo,

barbie