My ONE Bracelets and Ending Global Poverty


ONEWhenever I decide to go for a run I always wear my husband’s Ironman (which he sets for me because LOOK at all of those buttons! I have no idea what to do with them! Start, Split, Mode, What??) and, of course, I wear my beautiful ONE bracelets. Until this weekend I only wore my white ONE bracelets, but Saturday I received two new (RED) bracelets I ordered last week to round out my wrist ensemble.

I love wearing my ONE bracelets! They remind me every day that there is still so much to do to eradicate poverty on this planet. So much! But working together we can make change.

The wonderful thing about these ONE and (RED) bracelets is they are $5 each and $1 from every bracelet sold goes to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which saves 100,000 lives every month. See how your small contribution can literally save lives?

Want a few ONE or (RED) bracelets of your own? Visit the ONE store. And while you’re clicking around, be sure to check out the ONE Moms, of which I am a proud member, and the ONE Moms Facebook page!

Also starting June 1 – 10 (RED) will be launching (RED)Rush where there will be 10 days and 10 ways to fight AIDS.  Buying a (RED) product including their bracelets definitely counts among the 10 ways to fight AIDS.

On the Net: www.redrush.com

Photo: Michael James

Beautiful Jewelry and Textiles from Uganda


Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat forever. 

This is so true for all of us, isn’t it? As soon as we learn a skill, a profession, or a trade, or foster one of our passions we use what we have learned and love to do to earn a living. That is why I love what The Shanti Uganda Society does for women’s economic empowerment in the Luweero District of Uganda.

A partner of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, the Shanti Uganda Society improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. In addition, they have helped form a Women’s Income Generating group where Ugandan women make beads, jewelry, and textiles to earn an income.

The Shanti Uganda Society sent me some of the women’s products and I adore them! Check out the gorgeous Katula necklace, Nabutono bracelet, and patch shoulder bag below.

All money from the sale of the women’s products go back into running the Shanti Uganda Society birth house. If you are looking to buy products for a cause I highly recommend these!

Photos: Michael James

Weekly Reflection: Traveling is Good for the Soul


The busier I become the more I need to stop and reflect on my life. Now that I have started Mom Bloggers for Social Good I am busier than I have ever been in the last eight years I’ve worked online not because it is another web site that I own; rather it is because global issues like food security, maternal health, and communicable disease require a great deal of critical thinking, and reading and exploration and learning and research. It’s a discipline I love, but requires a massive amount of my brain power.

That said, I am beginning a new weekly practice where I reflect on the things I love to do and that have fueled me over the years. One of the things I love to do is travel. Although traveling can become a bit much at times – that’s why I haven’t traveled nearly as much this year — there is nothing like hopping on a plane, checking into a new-to-me hotel and relaxing even if for thirty minutes or so before starting off to work. Hotels fuel me. Planes fuel me. In fact, the more I travel the more I find that flying is one of the only times I can truly relax. I put all of my gadgets away and don’t pull them out until I land. Flying gives me the tech detox I should be able to replicate when I’m on the ground, but never do. And when it’s a flight to another country - absolute bliss!

The second half of the year I will be traveling a lot. I am bracing myself for the rigors of being on a plane more times than I will be able to count. More than that I am looking forward to the energy I feel when I arrive in a new city whether here in the States or abroad or a city I’ve traveled to a million times.

Traveling is good for my soul. How about you?

The Perfect Mother’s Day


I knew my daughters have been secretly creating something all week for me for Mother’s Day, but I had no idea their gift would be so lovely.

They made me a 3-D card with flowers, mountains, forests and la pièce de résistance: a dragonfly with lips no less.

There is nothing more special than a gift created by your children. This touched me deeply.

Wishing you a happy and love-filled Mother’s Day! 

Why I Am Loving Every Moment of the Time Cover Debate


On Monday during an interview with Billboard about moms and radio listening habits the reporter asked me why I started blogging and my answer was clear and concise: In 2004 I wanted to be a part of the robust, smart conversations women were having online.

That was true then and it is still true now.

I started blogging eight years ago because I was reading really smart mothers who blogged about everything from their families and children to work-life balance and, yes, the mommy wars. In those days it seems like a mommy wars controversy erupted weekly and lit up the blogosphere. I wanted to be a part of that conversation and started my first blog. That blog is long gone, but I used to write about my daughters and family life. I also blogged about breastfeeding for Mothering magazine and motherhood for Literary Mama. As my daughters have grown older I write about other things now like the mom blogging industry and pressing global issues. As I have watched the mom blogging community form and shape itself over the years I am proud that mothers are still voicing their opinions about major issues of the day like the provocative Time magazine cover that hit the Web yesterday.

As the cover gained traction within the mom blogging community I followed links to fantastic moms’ posts about the Time cover and the mommy wars like Fact: Mommy Wars Do Not Exist by Susan of 5 Minutes for Mom and Where is the Mommy War for the Motherless Child? by Kristen of Rage Against the Minivan, I am Mom Enough by Kelly of Mocha Momma and It’s Time to Stop Fighting the Mommy Wars by Katherine of  Postpartum Progress. I followed the barrage of tweets and the slew of status update opinions on Facebook and smiled. This morning I read Ciaran’s post Are Mom Bloggers a Bunch of Boobs? It’s really deep and worth a read or two. In fact, I’m going to have to give it a re-read!

These posts and others reminded me of the good ol’ days when we used to blog heavily and freely about key issues that shape our society and motherhood. We wrote from a variety of perspectives and opinions – some popular, others not – and together it was this swelling cacophony of good writing.

I’m really happy that cacophony is still here and banging loudly throughout the mom blogging community!

Reflecting on My Year So Far


It’s already May (I know, how did that happen?) and so much has already happened this year that I wanted to take stock of them and write them down for posterity.

So often I work so fast and all of the time that I tend to forget things I have done and don’t congratulate myself on the goals I have accomplished. It’s actually sad that my husband has to remind me of some of the amazing things that have happened in my life but because my mind is always moving 100 miles per hour I don’t give them the attention they deserve.  So today, I am writing down the big milestones that have happened in my life so far this year so I can have something to come back to whenever I feel things aren’t falling into place as perfectly as I want them to.

January 

In January I launched Mom Bloggers for Social Good which is a global coalition of mom bloggers who spread the word through their networks about pressing global issues. I am most proud that I actually started it instead of keeping the idea in my brain as I so often do. And I am also proud that I have been able to forge relationships with some of the largest nonprofits and NGOs on the planet. It has been an amazing ride so far. I can’t imagine what else is on the horizon.

February 

In early February I walked in the Strut Moms Fashion Show with other moms which was amazing, phenomenal, and awe-inspiring. I couldn’t believe that I was walking in a show in Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and still can’t believe it.

April 

I was invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attend TedxChange in Berlin. Again, I still can’t believe I was in Germany for a few days last month with a quick stop in Brussels on my way back home. It was an inspiring trip. I can’t wait to use my passport again this year!

In April I also received a National Press Foundation Global Vaccines Fellowship. During the Global Vaccines program in Atlanta a few weeks ago I was the only new media journalist there among journalists from CNN, the Baltimore Sun, the Financial Times, and a freelancer who just won a Fulbright among others! I think I am most proud of this moment.

I have always considered myself a writer and wanted to attend journalism school while at UNC-Chapel Hill. Instead of going to J-school I decided to go into International Studies instead. This press fellowship was validation that although I knew J-school wasn’t a perfect fit for me, I have always been a writer and journalist in my own way. And even more validation this month I also started writing for the Gates foundation.

Disney Social Media Moms

I am always thankful to be a part of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration every year. As a co-host blogger along with 5 Minutes for Mom and Resourceful Mommy for three straight years I am always humbled by this experience and grateful that my family gets to enjoy this amazing conference with me each year.

There are some more amazing things coming up that I will share as they near. 2012 is definitely going to be a wonderful year.

Have you taken stock of great things that have happened in your life thus far this year?