Thursday, February 28, 2008

the perfect size

I was listening to the news yesterday evening when a story came on about a mayor from Oregon who had recently been recalled from her position due to some photos of her posted to MySpace. The photos were of her in her swimwear (and other lingerie-like attire) posing on fire engines.
Now, there is speculation that these photos were not the real reason she was recalled--something about a development deal that had certain townspeople upset. Regardless, I couldn't help but think about an article I had just written that morning about how important it is to pay attention to our online footprint--you know, the photos and emails and messages we upload to the internet.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More on Being Adornable

I know I've been making vague references to "be adornable" since launching this blog earlier this year.  I thought I'd take a quick minute, then, to write a little more detail about what "being adornable" means, and what you can expect from topics on this blog in the future.

Be adornable is a clever phrase invented to inspire women in our modern era to embrace (and/or "adorn" themselves with) the following five qualities:

1.  knowledge.  specifically knowledge about current affairs, global trends, and what is going on in the world in general.  

2.  appreciation for values.  modern values. family values.  political values.  etc. etc.  the bottom line is that the convictions we hold in our hearts inform our decisions, and the decisions of others.  

3.  resourcefulness.  kind of like being green, only more broad.  essentially it is being mindful of how we consume, and where we invest our resources.

4.  enterprising.  all hail the entrepreneur!  enterprising people are always coming up with clever ideas that benefit both the market (aka where the money flows) and the community.

5.  engaged.  not to be married, although that might be a good analogy.  Engaged means to be involved and active in your community and for causes that are important to you.

So, these "adornable" qualities essentially "frame" the content for this blog.  You can expect to read about enterprising and entrepreneurial ideas, particularly if they come from women.  You will certainly see posts on current affairs (hopefully they'll be a little less dry than what is normally out there!).  You'll read about budgeting and sustainability and consumption.  You'll encounter stories about men and women who are making positive changes in the world through their creativity and time.  And you'll see how "worldviews" (aka values) influence events and ideas today.

For more information on "be adornable," I also invite you to visit me at  Look to April for more articles and ideas!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Multi-Use Movement

Sunset magazine's March 2008 issue featured an article ("Green Like Us") on three families residing in Portland, OR (above pic) who exemplify sustainable living.
Now, I am the first to admit that this whole "sustainable, green movement" has gotten a little trendy and commercial (more on that topic another time).  However, I always appreciate stories about people who are choosing to live in community and sharing their lives with others.
One particular idea that grabbed my attention and sparked thought was a brief look into the value of multi-use development plans.  This is a trend in urban planning that I have been very interested in, and find inspiring.  
In a nutshell, multi-use developments are neighborhoods that combine uses, like residential, retail, and dining, in close proximity to each other, sometimes even sharing buildings.  The multi-use plan is in direct contrast to the type of neighborhood I live in, which is zoned only for residences and does not permit other uses.  
I think there is a lot of potential to foster community and nurture civil society through these multi-use neighborhoods, and I hope they catch on in communities around the country.  Of course, for people like me, who live in standard suburban neighborhoods, we will have to try a little harder to create the kind of community that more easily thrives in closer quarters.  But I think that it can be done by taking some cues from families like these featured in Sunset.  Again...more on that to come in the future! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Homework Assignment

With all of the media buzz circulating about the presidential primaries, it is no wonder that I feel as if I have a "political hangover."  I realize that there are some people who live and breathe for constant updates on the campaigns.  And it is true that the process does pull you in, sort of like a good football game or sitcom (politics being much more important than sports or tv, of course).  
Still, after listening for days on end to morning and night talk shows (my husband is addicted), I decided to dig a little deeper into the three front runners (Clinton, McCain, and Obama) to see what they felt on a subject I am particularly interested in: foreign policy.  I turned to Foreign Affairs, and found these three articles, written by the candidates themselves:
1.  Clinton
2.  McCain
3.  Obama
Admittedly the articles are long ones, but easily skimmed if you're short on time.  I highly recommend reading all of them, asking yourself these questions in the process:
--what is the tone of the article?  is it positive, negative, aggressive, passive...
--what role does the candidate see the US playing in the world?  a leader, a patron, a protector, an arbiter...
--what do the candidates seem to all have in common?  on what points do they differ? 
--what role does the candidate see themselves playing?  a negotiator, diplomat, military chief, innovator...
Investing a half-hour to skim these articles and ponder the questions will give you more information and insight into the candidates than five hours of television coverage, I promise!  And that information and insight will go a long way in choosing, or confirming, who you feel would make the best next president.  
All part of being adornable!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Black and White Valentine

Okay, I'm an Etsy Evangelist.   I just had to send this link out to show the great skill, variety, and style that many of the etsy sellers exhibit.  

Click here to read the full post, or better yet, to buy a Valentine for yourself!

Daily Dose

I confess that after reviewing today's headlines, I am at a bit of a loss on what to post about.  I could talk about yesterday's Super Bowl, but I doubt an audience of primarily female readers would appreciate that (although the end really was spectacular to watch).  I could discuss Super Tuesday (certainly everyone else is), but I have to confess that though I do follow politics, I'm not prone to writing about them.  I could write about the economy, since January's employment numbers are coming in (hiring is apparently slipping), but even I'm a little bored by the coverage on it.  
So, I guess instead of covering the news, I'll just encourage you to get a dose of it yourself, by visiting some of my favorite links for staying informed.  
Christian Science Monitor: some people might be turned off by the name, and it is true that there are some religious aspects to this newspaper.  However, I first learned about the paper attending Colorado State University from my political science teacher, and quickly learned why she was a fan: the news coverage is exceptional, particularly from the international correspondents.  Plus, a lot of their stories are written by staffers as opposed to the AP Wire, which makes them a little more independent than a lot of other sources.
The New York Times: I confess I'm a little overwhelmed by the vastness of their site, but the NYTimes does offer a little bit of everything.  One top reason to check them out would be their blogs--and there are many of them--written by some well-respected intellectuals and commentators.  I personally like Thomas Friedman (who is apparently on assignment currently) and the fellows from Freakonomics.
National Public Radio: probably my all-time favorite source for news, probably because you can catch it in the car running errands or on the way to work.  I even listen to it while I'm working out (I's a little strange).  I love Marketplace report and Talk of the Nation "Science Friday."  And their podcasts are highly revered in the news community.

So, when you have some time, check them out.  Part of being "adornable" is knowing what is going on in the world, so I try to treat the headlines like they are my daily multivitamin, and invite you to do the same.  

Friday, February 1, 2008

I have little doubt that this will be the first among a plethora of posts I dedicate to going forward into the future.
New to Etsy as both a buyer and seller, I am just getting acquainted with the rapidly growing online company.  And I must say, my first impressions are all good ones. 
For those of you who don't know, is an online community of buyers and sellers peddling every kind of hand-crafted item imaginable.  Here are few stats I've recently learned about them (click here for a recent letter from the founder):
Etsy is thirty-three months old (that's 2 and 3/4 years old), and in that time have grown from a company of 4 to one of 50.  They have a community with 650,000 members, and a marketplace of over 120,000 sellers in 127 different countries!  Needless to say, they recently announced that they will be receiving some venture capital to support further growth.  Obviously someone sees the potential!

That said, here are my top 5 reasons to love
1. Competition: Etsy creates a place for entrepreneurial artisans to turn their talents and skills into a marketable venture.  In a world of ever-growing Huge Box Stores, Etsy provides a place for the teeny, small-time seller to set up shop (virtually, that is) and compete.
2.  Community:  buyers and sellers have the opportunity to interact with each other in a way that is infinitely more personal than shopping at the proverbial mega-mall, including teams, forums, labs, and more!
3.  two words: Handmade and Local.  if Etsy helps sellers compete in a global marketplace, it also help buyers invest their money into quality products that are often produced in people's homes or small studios.  it gives purchasers an opportunity to support small, locally-owned businesses in an easy and affordable way.
4.  it's Fun!  ten minutes of surfing Etsy's inventory is like walking through your favorite boutique.  there is a lot of talent out there, and some pretty cool, extremely unique, stuff to buy.
5.  it's Easy!  well designed and easy to navigate, Etsy buyers can find what they're looking for and more without the headache.  true, the system isn't perfected, but look forward to advances in efficiency as Etsy continue to grow.
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