Archive for November, 2011


I’m keeping it simple this week. I just wanted to list some of the things I’m grateful for this year.

– friends, old and new

– our house and the happiness it brings us

– my job that both makes me happy and also challenges me

– my parents, for instilling confidence and direction in me at an early age; even now when I get lost, I always manage to find myself again

– Ryan and the fact that we’re still having fun and we’re not sick of each other yet, and he did all the laundry and cleaning this weekend!

– mornings like today, with a big mug of tea and cream and a pen and paper

– this town we live in and the kind, funny, intelligent people that fill it and the small role we’re able to play in it

– a kind person that went out of her way to help me last week and the faith and trust she showed me

– the time we’re going to spend later this week with Ryan’s parents, his brother and sister-in-law, and our niece and nephew

– and, let’s be honest— I’m grateful that this week is a TWO DAY WORK WEEK!

Happy Thanksgiving.

PS- For those wondering, the holiday shopping is off to a good start. It definitely requires a little more planning, but so far I’ve been able to stick to my local and/ or USA-made criteria. Two gifts down… so many to go!



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Ryan and I have been talking non-stop about american manufacturing after recently watching The Last Truck, a documentary about the closing of a GM auto plant in Morraine, OH. What can I say? I am my father’s daughter.

Living in Charlottesville, Ryan and I think about, talk about and probably buy locally more often than the average American. We live in small town with a lot of high-quality, family-owned businesses and we’re surrounded by farm country, which provides us with good, local food options. But this documentary opened our eyes and made us realize that we need to go one step further and not only buy local (supporting local shops) but also buy products that have been manufactured in America (which could be at a local shop or a big box store).

It’s rare that I pick up a piece of clothing, for instance, and look at where it’s made. I was surprised, then, after watching the documentary and inspecting my wardrobe, to pick up the level 99 jeans I’d recently bought at Bittersweet, a clothing boutique on the Downtown Mall, and find that they were made in the usa!

Doesn’t my ass look good here? JK, that’s not my ass.

I was pretty elated: supporting a local business- check; buying American-made products- check! level 99 is also available at Nordstrom and Anthropologie— who both also carry AG jeans which are made in the USA.

Ryan and I can’t afford to buy everything local/ USA starting today— we’d be the best dressed, most well fed Cvillians with no dinero— but we can make little steps and changes gradually. And, you know we won’t be throwing out our Chinese-assembled iphones anytime soon in protest!

Christmas is coming up and, like most families, Ryan and I will spend a nice chunk of our disposable income over the next two months. I’m going to challenge myself this year to make sure that all of my gifts are either purchased locally or made in the USA. Yikes! This could be tough, but I’m up for it! I hope I can share some of my good finds over the next few months. And, if you’re on my Christmas list, it looks like you’ll be having a very, merry American Christmas!

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