Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Man, I feel like a Woman!

One of my very best friends from my study abroad program grew up going to Catholic school.  I was homeschooled.  We both had prudish tendencies, and how could we not?  We got the S-E-X talks from nuns, or in my case, my mother.  My friend said they used to call their class, "In God's Image." 

This post is a little, "In God's Image," in that it deals with bodies and the fact that we were created to fit together.  Seriously, I'm blushing and typing.  I'm blyping. 

All of this to say, that what was once taboo in the future Mr. Palindrome's and my relationship, will soon be wonderfully free.  I've been considering what to wear for the occasion and I cautiously looked all over the internet because I wanted to avoid carrying my purchase all over the store or risk the embarrassment of having to ask for different sizes than what is out on the floor.

My two main requirements for my outfit were comfort and identity.  I knew that the last thing I wanted was to feel overly exposed or like I was playing dress up.  I wanted to be me, with a little dash of something special.  As a flannel jammies kind of girl, the world of lingerie was overwhelming at first.

In the end, I didn't consult anyone else.  I didn't gather opinions or take a poll.  I just went to the sale section of VS online and I clicked to order.  I received the garments and couldn't be more thrilled.  Only one person will be seeing what I chose, but I will show you the bonus I threw in the cart for me:

It's sooooo soft!  Move over flannel jammies and make room for your sophisticated cousin, the sweater robe!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Winter Wraps

Outside of off season discounts, one of the perks of being a winter bride is wearing an amazing wrap. I love this in particular because I know that in regular day to day life, I just can't pull off faux fur in the same way. PalindroMother sent me this list of winter wraps shortly after we had booked our venue.

Faux Fur Mink Wrap/Stole from Advantage Bridal.  I can't actually show you the picture because all of the images are copyrighted.  If you click on the link, it may be obvious why.  Or maybe not.  Either way, the stole itself is lovely and quite large.

Faux Fur Caplet with Ribbon Tie from Perfect Details:

Faux Fur Caplet with Brooch from Silk and Sable:

I suppose a wrap comes in handy especially if the rest of your bodice is see through.

Bridal Caplet with Muff, also from Silk and Sable:

Ivory Faux Fox Fur Bridal Shawl by Mega Faux Furs:

I also found quite a few options through a variety of Etsy sellers.

Ivory Faux Fur Bridal Shrug by SpAZooie:

Ivory Mid Length Faux Fur Trim Satin Bridal Wedding Cloak, also by SpAZooie:

White Mink Faux Fur Cape by Vladana:

Victorian Inspired Felted Wedding Bolero by Tiana Che:

Since then, I've decided to go in a completely different direction for my winter cover up, but I still think about these glorious fur options too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

DIY Cake Plate

Back when I pitched this idea, many of you were worried that if I didn't permanently glue to the plates to the candlesticks that we would end up with cake on the table and the floors - or basically anywhere opposite of the place we want the cake (in our tummehs!).  I considered the options and while I still like the idea of being able to take them apart and reuse the pieces separately, I decided to test the gluing option.

I had a tube of E-6000 and decided to just go for it.  I'm pretty happy with the results, so I decided to show you how it turned out and how I plan to make 13 more cake plates for our tables.

This cake plate was as easy as pie cake.  You need the follow supplies:
1. Candlestick (mine is a pressed glass one from the thrift store)
2. Plate (mine is a pressed glass one from the thrift store)
3. Tube of E-6000 glue (I bought mine at either Michael's or JoAnn's)

Once you've gathered your supplies, follow these simple steps:
1. Squirt the glue onto the top of the candlestick where it is the flattest.
2. Looking through the plate, align the candlestick with the middle of the plate and gently set it in place. (If you goof, you'll have time to reposition it.)
3. Leave the plate to rest on the candlestick overnight. (Seriously, don't try to test the strength of the glue while it's still wet.  Just let it do its adhesive magic overnight.)

You can see the glue a little bit where I'm pointing.  This is no big deal.  Why? Because it's going to be covered in cake.  That's why.

Here's a look at the finished product:

Would you like to know the grand total for the project?  Raise your hand if you like a bargain like me!

Candlestick: $0.56
Plate: $2.38
Total: $2.94

Yeah . . . I'll let you catch the breath that you lost in wonder of my mad skills (both bargaining and glue-wise).  I'm going to finish the rest a week or so before the wedding because they're easier to store separately for the moment.  I'm also really excited to pass these along after the wedding, but I may just keep the showstopper above!

Friday Finds - Geekery!

TGIF!  Just think of this post as the ThinkGeek of of the wedding world.  Need a fun guest book alternative? How about having them sign the pencil print?  Want kitschy favors? How about smooching buttons? Need a creative way to accept the proposal?  How about gifting the Scrabble print to make it a keepsake?  Need a fabulously fun wedding card? How about you send him this card to pay homage to the reason you love him?  See!  Geekery applied to weddings.  Go forth and be nerdy!

Counter-clockwise from top L:
Weber Photography: Can't Erase My Love
button empire: I'd rather be smooching my nerdy wife
Persisting Stars: And I Said Yes
Mermaid Garden Party: Nerd Card

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Palindromaid L gives her look the one, two punch

Palindromaid L shopped til she dropped this past weekend and has found a complete look!  I think it's a jaw dropper if I do say so myself.  Look out boys! L is in the house and she's looking fine :)

Clockwise starting from the L:
White House - Black Market: Two Tone Silk Organza Dress
Earrings from L's personal collection
Nine West: Fluffy

Monday, September 21, 2009

***Sale Alert - Mason Jars***

If you like the looks of this:

or this:

Source and Tutorial

Then you might be interested in the two Craigslist Mason Jar listings I ran across over the weekend. 

Canning Supplies in VA Beach - 19 jars:

Aqua Mason Jars in Frederick, MD:

And just think, you could make jam  or tomato sauce and reuse them after the wedding.  JK. If I were you, I'd resell them to the next sucker who falls for this beautiful countrified look.

Any Craiglist jack pot stories to share?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just call me Mini-Deb

We celebrated the future Mr. Palindrome's birthday over the weekend and I stretched my culinary expertise to its limits. I'd been admiring Deb and her Smitten Kitchen for a few months, but hadn't taken the plunge to actually make anything. The mMister's birthday was the perfect excuse to give some recipes a whirl.

First up? Apple pancakes!

I didn't have a cast iron skillet though, so mine didn't have the gorgeous crust that Deb's  have in the picture above.  I also struggled with our electric chopper to get the apples uniformly chopped.  Oh food processor how I want thee!  Good thing I put one on our registry.  :)

For dinner I made some gorgeously glazed sirloin kabobs. Deb used the garlic-mustard glaze on chicken, but the mustard held up so well to the beef!

The whole grain mustard adds amazing texture to this glaze, but it also leaves evidence in between your teeth so that when you're in the Target, your fiance laughs at you for trying to get him to try on a hat while you look so silly with mustard grains all up in your grill. 

As delicious as our day had been thus far, dessert quite literally took the cake.  I made my first cake from scratch and I have to say that I think I was highly successful.  The espresso chiffon cake with fudge frosting will certainly be a staple in the Palindrome household.  Behold!  I actually remembered to take a picture of this portion of the culinary extravaganza:

Yep, that smile gives away that I had just licked my fingers and gotten a big old taste of fudge frosting.  It might clog your arteries (3 sticks of butter! Paula Dean would be proud), but I'd much rather live three years fewer with this icing in my life.

Have you stretched yourself in the kitchen for your love?  Were you successful in your endeavors?

Hi Bandwagon, I'm Palindrome Bride

and I've jumped on you.

I've added Twitter to my list of technology conquests.  Check it out on the right side bar.  If you can't get enough of me online, now you can download me to your phone.  How nuts is that?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Finds - I {heart} Nuts!

TGIF!  Enjoy some squirrely love!

Clockwise from the Top Right:
Sunshine and Ravioli: Oh Nuts Squirrel Gift Tags
Middleburg Folk Art Studio: Squirrel Love Wedding Cake Topper
Modern Art Stamps: Custom Squirrel in Love Address Rubber Stamp
Cicuska: Squirrel Love Cards

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stinkin' cute and perfect for weddings

If you're in the mood to die from a cute overload this morning, head on over to Jellybeans.   The artist behind Jellybeans, Angela, creates these watercolor paintings full of whimsy and joy.  Her main motif, the tree, is so symbolic for love and child rearing.  It's like a little colorful dose of "The Giving Tree."

I couldn't decide what to show you, so I made a collage of the love themed trees:

Top Row L-R: Forever and Always, A Spring of Love, Love Flourishes, Stand by Me
Bottom Row L-R: Romance is in the Air, All You Need is Love, Amour DArbre

Any one of these would be adorable as a guest book/matted print.  And check out the sweet daughter trees below!

L-R: Daddy's Little Girl, Mother's Daughter

At $15 for a large print (and $8 for a small one!), these are delightfully affordable and thoughtful gifts.  With a Michael's coupon in hand, you could easily mat and frame these darlings as gifts of appreciation for your parents.  Below are two prints that I thought would easily translate into Save-the-Dates or Thank You's:

R-L: Love Song, 2010 16 Month Desk Calendar

All images are sourced from Jellybeans Etsy Store.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A nice surprise

I'm not usually a fan of surprises.  I would rather know about whatever it is, and then have it to look forward to.  I was given a nice surprise the other day though, and hopefully it's a nice surprise for y'all too.  I've been accepted to blog as a Bee on Weddingbee.  If you've followed me as Miss Palindrome from the beginning, you'll know that I had applied before.  I decided to try again with nothing to lose.  The gamble paid off.

Today I was introduced as Miss Lamb over on the main site at Weddingbee (link on my sidebar).  For you readers, nothing will change here on Palindrome Bride.  I'll still be posting all my palindrome goodness, and you'll be seeing my blog posts published in real time.  For those who'd like to follow me on Weddingbee please feel free to do so on that site as well.  Just know that for a little while, they'll be posting some of my archived posts to catch their readers up on my journey.  Also, they won't be posting some of my posts - for example Friday Finds or anything that I might post that's not directly wedding related.  So if you're a faithful Palindrome reader, you'll still get the full scoop with a cherry on top right here.

Palindrome love,

Pro Blogs

For my readers currently planning weddings, I think there are two resources you should know about.

1. Wedding Aces: The wedding professionals blog associated with Wedding Wire. (Also check out their recently added functionality - Ask the Aces - a forum where you can ask the pros questions.)
2. Weddingbee Pro: The wedding professionals blog associated with Weddingbee.

These Pro blogs are really helpful because they give you an inside look at the industry.  You can see how much work goes into certain products and services.  You can see the current trends as they're being done at weddings across the country.  You can get tips from pros that you can incorporate into your DIY projects.  I probably went to these sites about once a week when I was in the middle of vendor booking.  I'm still visiting about every other week for inspiration and tips.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

*Giveaway Alert* - Jewelry Rental

Head on over to PreOwned Wedding Dresses and check out their fantastic jewelry rental giveaway.

The prize is a $2500 rental certificate from Adorn Brides.  I browsed the collection and was so smitten by some pieces!  In fact, if I won, I would have to consider a dress change for the reception just so I could wear one of the gorgeous necklaces!  Like this Budding Necklace:
Or maybe this Riley Bracelet? 
The 2500 is a very generous amount and would most likely be enough to adorn your mom or bridesmaids as well! 
What would you choose?

Palindromaid S and the Photoshop Gauntlet

Palindromaid S sent me an email shortly after this post.

She said that this piece of ghetto fabulous spray paint editing made her :( She also said that she was a photoshop genius and could help out. I saw her throw that Photoshop gauntlet down and I told her to give it her best shot.
I've been woefully upstaged! And Palindromaid S has earned her new job as my "Chief Wedding Photoshop Editor."  There will come a day when she'll rue ever having thrown the Photoshop gauntlet!

Until then, enjoy my lovely shower invite sans the electric pink graffiti!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I was so excited, I almost died

I say the title of this post a lot.  I don't think it's ever been literally true.  For the woman below, it almost was:

My home town news brought me this story of a woman who excitedly accepted a proposal and then promptly fell into a gorge.  You can't make this stuff up.

I sent it to my mom to see if we knew the couple and she emailed me back:

I saw footage of this on Fox News. Very glad that Jason proposed on the ski slopes and not beside the rapids. :)


I love her response for two reasons.  1. She saw it on Fox News, not our local station.  She probably caught it right before the Sean Hannity show.  2. I think she might have thought the ski slopes were safer than the rapids, but I had the exact opposite thought:  "Holy Moly!  I could have fallen down the mountain and had this woman's story!"  Well, maybe not on the bunny slope.  But still.
Anybody else have a dangerous or potentially dangerous proposal?  Were you so excited you almost died????

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Finds - Winter Texture

TGIF!  This one is for my winter bride sisters!
Counter clockwise starting at the top left:
Paperhill: Something Old Something New Ring Bearer Pillow 2
Star of the East: Wild Bride
A Alicia Wedding:  Long White Blossom Corsage
Las Lopez Las: Oversize Shawl

Thursday, September 10, 2009

August showers bring October showers?

If you're in the Tidewater area, and I mean water with capital W, then you may have had the same idea as me. Build an ark and start the gathering the animals by twosies. For real, the rain has come down, the inlets have gone up, and it I don't know when it'll stop. I'll blame it on me not having a TV, although I could easily spend the next 30 seconds looking it up on But that would take all the fun out of waking up each morning to see what the weather will be like. No thank you, I'll just keep building my ark and abide by the "How menacing do those clouds look out there?" method.

Anydeluge, I'm also prepping for a shower of another sort. My lovely Palindromaid of Honor and my motherdrome have planned their little hearts out to throw me a Bridal Shower. I just received this darling invitation*:
Well, in person it's darling.  The ghetto fabulous neon graffiti privacy paint doesn't really go with the whole tea theme, but  in this day and age, it's sadly necessary.  Just enjoy the sweet pink damask, the little tea pot that I want to tip over and pour out, and the bridal rhyme.  If this doesn't say, "Come to momma tea and crumpets!" I don't know what does.  Now this is the kind of shower that I could get in to. 
Oh! and if you're in attendance, fatherdrome has informed me that motherdrome has made him clean the house in places he didn't even know existed.  The Palindrome pad is spruced up and tea party ready! 
One lump or two?
*The invites were done by a great Etsy seller, Black and White Adventures.


Me: Hi Mom! It's 9/09/09!  How crazy is that?  Did you know this won't happen for another trillion years?  Yeah, I read that on wikipedia.  Anyways, know what else is special?  It's your anniversary!  Congratulations!

Motherdrome: Uh, our anniversary was yesterday.

Riiiiiiight. Anyversary, yesterday (note to self, write that down somewhere), my parents celebrated their 30th anniversary.  In this day and age, it's a mighty proud accomplishment and I couldn't be happier for them. 

The future Mr. Palindrome's parents are also happily married.  And all four sets of our grandparents have honored their vows as well.  It's a huge blessing to us to have so many role models in our lives.  People who have stuck it out for better for worse.  People who have been through sickness and health.  People who have seen richer and poorer.  Some who have seen their vows through as long as they both lived.

It's also a big legacy to live up to.  On the heels of my parents' celebration, I want to give them props for teaching me so many things about marriage.  The following is just a sampling of my favorites:

1. Love continues to grow deeper even when you thought it couldn't get any deeper.
2. The adventure is in the journey together.
3. The vows, committed before God, are life changing.
4. You know it's love when you can toot in front of them and they laugh.

To my parents, to my future in laws, to our grandparents - Thank you.  You all are my marriage heroes.

Share with me your marriage heroes!  Who's inspired you?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

DIY UnItY Candles

When I added DIY to the front of Unity, all I could think of removing the n and t - DIY UIY.  I'm pronouncing it Dooey Yooey in my head.  Carry on.

I've seen the tradition at most weddings I've been to and didn't question keeping it for a moment.  The future Mr. Palindrome likes to say that my favorite wedding planning is "breaking the mold."  However, in this tradition, I've decided to let my little light shine.  The symbolism is just, well the essence of what marriage means, the joining of two into one.  Amen.

AnyDIY, these are the supplies that I collected for this project:
2 taper candles (I used pearlescent ones from JoAnn's)
1 pillar candle (also pearlescent from JoAnn's with a 40% off coupon)
Satin ribbon (various that I had already purchased for the bouts and bouquets)
Vintage clip on earrings (Etsy)
Vintage brooch (I found the matching one on Etsy from a different seller!)
Hot glue gun
Pillar candle holder (from Michael's with a 40% off coupon)
Pair of candlesticks (from Michael's with an extra 20% off entire purchase coupon)

The DIY to this is so insanely easy, it's almost not fair. 
1. Cut a length of ribbon that will overlap itself around the candle plus .5"
2. Clip the earrings or brooch slightly to either side of the middle of the length of ribbon. I decided not to glue the jewelry at all so that I can either reuse them or sell them later.
3. Hot glue the backside of one side of the ribbon to the candle.
4. Tuck the loose end slightly underneath itself to form a crease and hot glue to the back of the candle as well.

See? Overlapping and folded into a nice edge.  No rocket science here.
5. Repeat with each candle.
6. Stick them into or on their holders. I plan on using this after the wedding in my home.

5 and 6 are really just common sense.  If you can pull a trigger, you can do this project!

And here's the finished product:

Holy overexposed unity candle, Batman!  Sadly, this is what happens in my apartment after dark.  The ole point'n'shoot wants to use a flash.  Boo.  But you get the idea. 

PS - if you need a good laugh, look up "Unity Candle" on Wikipedia.  My favorite line is: "The lighting ceremony may be accompanied by special music, an explanation of the symbolism, or just some period of mutual gazing by the happy couple."  Happy "mutual gazing!"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pulling it together

If you saw this picture from this post:

And was wondering how I would make these into some kind of sense for a centerpiece, you weren't the only one.  I decided to mock up a table since I had unwrapped all this stuff from newspaper.  After washing my hands for 9 hours to remove the newsprint, I came up with this line up:

I included a cake plate, a large candle holder, a medium candle holder and two small tea light holders.  I'm digging the vintage eclectic.  Here's the view from the back side:

I may stagger these a little bit more, instead of being such a straight line, and I'm also considering maybe some fresh greenery to lay on the table.  Since the long tables won't be very wide, I think with the china settings, the favors, salt/pepper shakers, and the serving platters for family style serving will fill the table. 

The tablecloth won't be so "I'm Damask Baby!" on the tables either.  We're going with a silver pintuck tablecloth that I think will help keep the focus on the sparkle of the glassware.  You'll be seeing this damask again though!  Start looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Slow is the New Fast

Today I ran the Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon here in Virginia Beach (along with the other 20,000 runners).  I had heard it was a fun race and Holy 13.1 Miles, Batman! it was everything I thought it would be.  So here I sit, after a nap and a shower, with my sore feet and knees, wondering why I signed up for this kind of punishment.

The long and short of it is that I wanted to eat chocolate cake guilt free be healthy and fit.  I never set out to "be a smaller size," or to "lose a few pounds."  I was happy and healthy before running.  After two half-marathons this year and a handful of other races, I'm in the best shape of my life.  Coincidentally, I'm also getting married this year.  I joke about it and lots of others do too, about how I'm "trying to fit into a wedding dress."  It may be a nice side effect of running, but the main benefits to me are that my heart that loves the mister is stronger, when he takes my breath away my lungs are stronger, and the feet that will walk beside his for the rest our lives are stronger.  Amen.

Everybody wants to know about the time . . . Read my title again.  You don't have to run fast to gain the benefits.  Let's just say that I'm technically a jogger.  :)

Oh look - here I am!

I may have a doofus grin, crazy hair, and limpo arms - but look at those feet go.  See the other feet?  They're walking!  I'm mistride as a lean, mean, jogging machine!  Oh, you want to see the action shot?

At about 24 seconds in, you'll see my friend go nuts and wave at me. Then the future Mr. Palindrome wakes up and realizes it's not 5 am anymore and I'm almost across the finish line. Just kidding. He had been cheering at 3 other points of race course - can you hear his military trained cheer for me?? Love it. I even muster a smile and a wave. In my head, I was thinking, "Come to Momma, popsicles and beer!"

Shake that wedding stress off and lace up a pair! If for nothing else, for the free food at the end of a race. :) What? *shrug* Homegirl likes to eat!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Finds - Turquoise and Blushed Coral

TGIF!  And have a happy long weekend!

Clockwise from top right:
 Tryst: Aurora
Sweet Plume: Blush with Feathers
pixelimpress: Aqua Butterfly Personalized Notecards
Horticopia: Sempervivum - Hens and Chicks Succulent

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Handy Dandy Thrift Store Tips

Just get out your handy dandy notebook (anybody else nanny or babysit and OD on Blue's Clues?), and your jumbo pencil, then lean real close and I'll let you in on my centerpiece secrets.


Hahahaha, I wanted to do a fake out whisper until you leaned closer, but I don't think it's translating in type.  Riiiight.

Anydandy, I've pulled together the majority of the glassware that I will be using for centerpieces.  Here are all the pieces that I've collected so far:

Cool huh?  I've collected most of it from various thrift stores in the area.  The larger candle holders in the back are from Home Goods and averaged $7.00 each.  The total for everything I have on the table is a whopping $160.  I'm proud of how much I've bought for so little, but I've also learned some lessons the hard way.  Feel free to either repeat or learn from my mistakes - whichever way you learn best.

1. Visit several thrift stores regularly - choose 3-4 that are on your grocery store or bank circuit and then drop in whenever you're running errands. This way you'll be seeing good items as they come in.
2. If you think the price is too high, come back next week.  At the CHKD Thrift Stores in the Hampton Roads area, they keep marking down the prices each week.
3. If you or your fiance or one of your parents is military, see if they give military discounts.  The Goodwill Family Store on Virginia Beach Blvd. gives 25% off to military members on Tuesdays. 
4. Bring a box or bags and newspaper with you - sometimes if you're buying a large number of glass items, they have limited supplies of packing supplies.

If you haven't tried Thrift Store shopping, just be prepared that you'll have to sort through things.  You will get an eclectic assortment - which is just the look I'm going for, but if you're going for matchy matchy, it might not be the place for you.  Also, don't be disappointed if, every once in a while, you come up empty.  We all strike out on occasion.  Then again, we all strike gold on occasion.  See my two cake plates up front?  $3.99 each!  Booyah Target, booyah!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I wanna bite of those Hotcakes

Our great caterer, Kathy over at East Beach Catering, was chatting us up while I was devouring yeast rolls like it was my job. She found out that we were looking for a band and highly suggested a local band called Hotcakes. She was so impressed with them at a wedding she catered a few months ago that she booked them for her daughter's wedding this fall.

The future Mr. Palindrome and I have been haphazardly trying to audition bands when we're in town together. Hotcakes happened to be playing at the Chesapeake Seafood Festival at the Shedive Temple.

Hahahahaha - It's like a joke that just writes itself. A Hotcake, a shrimp and a Jew walk into a bar . . .

The crowd was a healthy mix of elderly temple goers and Harley Davidson riders that had driven straight from the tattoo parlor. We fit right in.

With plates full of every seafood imaginable fried to heartclogging perfection, the mister and I settled in to see the band in action.

For whatever reason, every wedding band in a 500 mile radius touts Brick House as a part of their repetoir. Enjoy their rendition below (and note the "guest" singer that jumps on stage about half way through):

In the mood for a ballad?

I was excited for this one! A little country!

Now, the price of the Seafood Festival included free *beverages.* I imbibed in a little Yeungling to wash my fried treats of the sea down. Some of these ladies . . . let's just say them and their mom jeans probably don't get out too much. Note the future Mr. Palindrome asking "Are you getting this?" around 36 seconds in:

I think Hotcakes may have dug their wedding grave with this one. I don't think you can hear the future Mr. Palindrome, but as soon as the lead female vocalist started singing "Hoo" and raising her hands in the air, he turned to me and said, "They're butchering my favorite Michael Jackson song."

I'm just happy to have a band, but the future Mr. Palindrome has discriminating music taste and I don't know if he got over the liberty they took with Billie Jean. I think Hotcakes was fun and had the perfect name for a wedding - hehehehe, Hotcakes - but maybe for a less formal event than at the opera house. So our search goes on . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Win Win Win

Buying your jewelry from a store where it's manufactured is a win situation.  You get what you want. (I frequently do this.)

Buying your jewelry from someone who hand made it is a win win situation.  You get what you want and the artisan gets to create what they love.  (Yay!  I do this sometimes and sometimes I get to be the artisan!)

Buying your jewelry from someone who hand made it and the money directly assists them in raising their standard of living is a win win win.  (Winning all around in a much more meaningful way than wearing a tuba playing baby t-shirt.)

The following organizations are two organizations which either my mom or I have personally shopped.  They both help women in desperate situations build their lives - a win win win situation for sure.  Not only do I love wearing my jewelry, but I get so many compliments that I'm able to share the cause.

Night Light International
Check out these beauts that would be awesome for a beach wedding, a shower, or with jeans!

Amani Ya Juu
This necklace from Amani would be a great option for a casual wedding or event.
Or how about these as shower gifts and wedding presents?!
The whimsical napkin rings are hand carved and the banana leaf box is hand constructed.  The apron is hand batiked!
Have a win win win kind of day!