An African Adventure!

Usually I use this space to blog about home design and garden landscaping, with the occasional travel post thrown in.  Design is one of my passions…it is what inspires me, allows me to be creative and create beautiful spaces.

But today I’d like to share with you another passion of mine.  While in college, I spent a summer in Uganda, Africa.  I went with a team of college students and together we worked at various orphanages.  These beautiful children, with their huge smiles and even bigger hearts, radiated joy and captured my heart.  
It’s been twenty years since I’ve seen them, but they have remained in my heart all this time. I’ve always said one day I will go back.  Over the years I have contributed to various organizations who do work in Uganda and currently I am sponsoring a little boy from there.  But earlier this fall, I got to partner with a truly amazing organization, Beauty For Ashes Uganda. 

Beauty For Ashes Uganda

Beauty For Ashes Uganda is a non-profit organization that helps single mamas & widows of the Teso region of Uganda. By forming cooperatives, BFA gathers women in a village together to support one another, carry each other's burdens & pool their resources. These mamas contribute approximately $0.20 each week to create a fund to help each mama & to work towards sustainability. These "lady banks" (as they call them) grow each week. They are able to draw from these banks as a loan or sometimes distributing evenly among the women a certain amount to better their families and to work towards sustainable options.

 With the global measure of extreme poverty being an income of $37.50/month ($1.25/day), our mamas are struggling to support their families and community on just $23/month ($0.76/day). Despite the ashes they've seen, these mamas fight for beauty in their lives and their community. Their commitment to help one another is nothing short of remarkable. However, the needs still remain too much for them to be able to meet, either alone or together. The needs are just too great!
This fall I became an advocate for the village of Ojemoru, Uganda. I am stepping up to be a voice for Ojemoru and the women in the cooperative.  My role as an advocate is first to understand this village and get to know the women (and their children) who are a part of it. Working with founder Brandi McElheny, we determine the village’s needs- it could be school fees, mosquito nets, medical needs, etc.  From there, I spearhead fundraising efforts to meet these needs.

This week, the advocates of the 29 villages are excited to launch “Join Our Village”, a unique opportunity for YOU to be a part of this African adventure! 

I am looking for 30+ individuals on this side of the world to support the village of Ojemoru. Each of us will match what one mama makes a month by donating $23 each month. Together, we will create pools of resources for our village. Our pool of resources can send their children to school, provide emergency medical care, buy nets, fund water projects and so much more!  Together, with the beautiful mamas who are already doing so much, we could make a difference!

Once you sign up to join Ojemoru, we will add you to our private Facebook group! This is where we will post photos, pictures, updates, stories and more for YOUR village!
I assure you, you will fall in love with your village, your mamas and their kiddos. They are absolutely precious. Wait until you see their faces and hear their stories! I'm excited for you to be a part of this!
Your $23/month will have a huge impact on these womens' lives. But as we choose to love the poor, YOU will be changed as well. You will be inspired, your perspective will change and you will learn and grow and love more because of the mamas you are honored to know.

If we each give a little, together we can give a lot!
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
Click here to sign up today!  And don't forget to enter your village, Ojemoru.

Click here to learn more about the cooperatives and how we are empowering these women to build long-term sustainability for their families.

Click here to see the projects we fund.

Click here to watch a video about joining our village!

As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask questions in the comments section below.

Need help creating a home you love? Contact me about our design services.

Charish Design Board

A happy Monday morning to everyone!

Recently, Charish reached out to me and asked me to design a room using some of their furniture pieces that are currently listed.  Have you visited their site?  They are an online marketplace offering unique vintage furniture and accessories.  It's here you can find a Mid-Century nightstand, Herman Miller Rocking Chair, Saarinen style dining table or an antique French Chandelier (just to name a few!)  After "shopping" their inventory, here's what I picked...

A rattan armless chair (I used four)

Danish Modern Vintage Zebra Wood Dresser

I imagined a relaxed sitting area in a casual beach house, with lots of windows bringing in the ocean view, and white, wood-planked walls.


Malibu Real Estate Agent | Luxury Beach Homes in Malibu | Chris Cortazzo

I would use four of the rattan chairs positioned around a driftwood and glass coffee table.
The coffee table I feature on my board was available at Charish, but has since sold-  you need to be quick as items go fast!

I brightened up the neutral palette with this colorful piece of art by Michelle Armas and some blue and orange throw pillows.  Those colors are echoed in the framed poster.  The simple lines of the Danish Modern dresser makes it an easy stand-in as a console table while providing plenty of storage. And I love the wooden beaded chandelier from Boston Interiors!

Charish also has some fabulous accessories, and I went a bit overboard at first as there were so many to choose from! But after some careful editing, I ended up with these to add some layers to my room.
Faded Blues And Reds Hmong Blanket

Palm Hand-Woven Black & Natural BasketPalm Hand-woven Red & Natural Basket

Mussel Shell Box1940 New England Clamming Basket
New England clamming basket

Take a few minutes to check out Charish and start imagining your own space with some of their one-of-a-kind finds!

As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask questions in the comments section below.

Need help creating a home you love? Contact me about our design services.

Weekend on Martha's Vineyard

Back in September my husband and I enjoyed a long weekend on Martha's Vineyard.  A short ferry ride from Cape Cod, "The Vineyard" is a laid back island with quaint towns, beautiful beaches and farmlands.  We had a relaxing three days exploring the island, bike riding on Chappaquiddick Island, hitting the beaches and eating our way through each of the towns! We had blue skies and sunshine the whole time, making it a picture perfect weekend.

The Gay Head Cliffs

Edgartown, known for its rich whaling tradition, is hands down my favorite town. The homes there are GORGEOUS.  Pretty much every single one of them!  White homes with dark green shutters line the streets, along with weathered gray shingles, white picket fences, overflowing window boxes and American flags. We spent two afternoons there, just walking along the quaint streets (and trying not to drool!)

 Love this carriage house and all the details.

Close up of the herringbone brick and mixed stone.

This beauty overlooks the harbor in Edgartown. Boxwoods (my favorite!) seem to be found on every property. 

Love the grass strip in the driveway! & white pots with hydrangea...oh my!

This home and garden reminded me of our time in Provence, France.  

Boxwoods galore!

Fantastic entry way!

The Harbor View Hotel overlooks the lighthouse and harbor.  I would highly recommend staying here. The interior is beautifully decorated with white planking, dark wood floors,  coastal inspired colors and furnishings and  nautical lanterns.

A pint-size wicker chair in the lobby.

Harbor View Hotel & Resort, Martha's Vineyard (Robin Kirk, COO)

Harbor View Hotel (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts) - #Jetsetter

Harbor View Hotel & Resort (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts) - #Jetsetter

Some more peeks of private gardens in Edgartown.

This was my favorite house in Vineyard Haven...

 On the ferry heading home on Sunday night.  We'll be back soon! 

Have you been to Martha's Vineyard?  Which town is your favorite?

As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask questions in the comments section below.

Need help creating a home you love? Contact me about our design services.