Rebuilding Haiti, One Gift At A Time

My favorite gifts to give and get are those that have a story behind them. Something that makes the present thoughtful and special beyond “I picked this up at a department store.” That’s why I love Etsy, where everything is handmade, so much.

This weekend while in Miami for the Blogalicious Conference I learned about a wonderful campaign Macy’s is doing called Heart of Haiti, which is bringing beautiful, hand-made Haitian art to the US.

Despite the horrific earthquake that devastated Haiti this year, many of the countries most talented artists are using raw materials to create beautiful works of art.

Macy’s recognized the potential these artists have and purchased 20,000 products up front, with help from Fair Winds Trading and the BRANDAID Project, to effectively get money into the hands of the artists quickly.

Check out some of the amazing gifts including items made from recycled scrap metal:

These hand-painted, pieces of art.

And even gifts made from old recycled oil drums.

You can browse all the Heart of Haiti gift items on Macy’s website.

With gift-giving season just on the horizon, I can’t think of any other practical, unique gifts that tell such a compelling story than the items for sale through Heart of Haiti. Even better- they’re cheap! Nothing on featured above is more than $60.

How amazing would it be to be able to tell someone that the gift you bought them was hand-made by a Haitian artist who is using his/her artistic ability to help rebuild their country?

I hope you’ll consider making some of your holiday purchases from the Heart of Haiti collection!

Wired Home Decorations

This weekend Luke and I high-tailed it out of Chicago to visit our families in Indiana and Ohio. This meant I had plenty of time on the train or in the car to check out what’s new on my favorite site: Etsy!

I came across these unique and sweet wire decorations. They are very shabby chic and whimsical. I could see them fitting perfectly into any girlie decor.

I thought all of these wire creations were so one-of-a-kind! They’d sure spark conversation in any room. The prices are great too, with most pieces costing below $50.

I am especially digging the birdcage wall hanging. I think I’d use it to hang key on near the front door. :)

Check out the artist behind these creations at Bird From a Wire’s Facebook page.

A Rant About Wedding Veils

For some reason when you put the words “wedding” or “bridal” in front of anything – cake, dress, flowers – the cost automatically jumps 100%. This is especially true for veils.

A few weeks ago I had a dress fitting at the bridal salon. I decided I wanted a veil, so I had the sales lady pull some chapel-length, ivory options with no trim or embellishments. I found one I really liked…until I asked the price…

$250!! WOWZA! Seriously?? $250 for 72″ of netting fixed to a plastic comb??

I was floored.

Needless to say, I  handed the veil back like I was playing a game of hot potato and decided to look online for cheaper options.

Once again my old friend Etsy came to the rescue. Within 10 minutes of searching I came across a shop that sold gorgeous veils for $20-$30. Phew- that was MUCH better.

My veil arrived in the mail this morning and it’s exactly what I wanted- a simple, ivory, chapel-length veil. The netting is really soft and not stiff at all. It came fixed to a clear hair comb (for TWENTY DOLLARS!).


So if you’re looking for a veil, please, please, PLEASE do not spend more than $50. Visit A Busy Mom’s shop on Etsy and have yours hand-made at any length, with options for embellishment, for a reasonable price.

Okay, veil rant is over. I’m glad I got that off my chest!

Happy Monday!

Keeping the Bride Warm with Style

With just one month to go until my wedding, I’ve starting thinking about the little details, including what I will wear with my dress to keep me warm.

One of the downsides of an April wedding is that the weather is completely hit or miss. It could be 65 and sunny or 30 and snowy, so a girl’s got to be prepared to be COLD!

Once again I’ve turned to my trusty friend Miss Etsy to scope what’s out there in the world of bridal shawls, wraps and shrugs. Per usual, there were so many amazing options:

French Vanilla Bridal Wrap –

French Vanilla Bridal Wrap -

French Lace Ivory Bridal Butterfly Shrug –

French Lace Ivory Bridal Butterfly Shrug -

Silk Blossom Wrap –

Silk Blossom Wrap -

Silk Bridal Capelet Wrap –

Silk Bridal Capelet Wrap -

I don’t know if any of these will work with my dress since I’m looking for something a bit more understated, but I still had to share with you guys. Any of these would be GORGEOUS with the right dress. 

Which is your favorite? Any styles of shawls/shrugs you’ve seen on brides that you’ve loved? I need some more ideas!