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Fresh Squeezed Friday :: 1000+ Coffees

Friday, October 3, 2014  ::  Written by:

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For those of you on Facebook: how many of your “friends” are actually your friends in real life? How many do you actually speak to or interact with? How many would you actually want to sit down and have coffee with?

Described as:

A project by Matt Kulesza started in September 2014.

I plan to have a one-on-one coffee with every single one of my 1000+ Facebook “friends” over the space of the next three years, or as long as it takes to complete.

An exercise in remembering to socialise with and get to know people outside of the ‘book.

 

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Friends, I can’t tell you how inspired I am by this project. Matt has stated that one of his ways to keep his friends list in check was to say ask himself if he could have coffee with that person. If the answer was no, they would be deleted. Such a smart way to keep the list in check and also a very easy transition to keeping the reason behind our “friends” list true. Granted, there are a lot of my online friends that live nowhere near me so actually having a coffee date would be a bit troublesome. (Although there is always Skype…hmmm.) Regardless, I’m looking forward to following Matt’s journey and learning more about the relationships behind the screen and watching them unfold in real life.

Follow 1000+ COFFEES on Facebook here. 

You can also follow 1000+ COFFEES on Tumblr here.

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Category: Fresh Squeezed Friday

Giveaway :: Natalie Wargin

Thursday, October 2, 2014  ::  Written by:

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Art is one of the greatest sources of healing we, as humans, have. From the creation to the display of, the role of art in our lives is one of beauty, of grace, of peace. It incites us to feel more and to check in with our hearts and our feelings while reflecting the way in which we view the world. Art is, unequivocally, the single most important source of the fundamental definition of what it means to be human.

Natalie Wargin is a graphic designer and artist with a serious resume. After a brief hiatus, Wargin pulled out her watercolors and started journaling her environment. The result was an astonishingly beautiful homage to the natural world around her. I won’t pretend the Snowy Owl print isn’t my favorite. Any long time reader knows of my deep seated love for owls and Natalie Wargin captures the magic with every stroke. Also be sure to check out her paper mache pieces and you will find yourself swimming in the heart of the matter. That’s the power of art, friends.

Natalie Wargin is giving away one 14 x 11″ print of “Snowy Flight” to one lucky winner. To enter to win, please answer the following question no later than Thursday, October 9th. *Open to US residents only.*
Please visit Natalie Wargin and tell us: What piece of art speaks to you the most and why? It could be a famous painting, a song, something in your home…we just want to know what means the most to you.
Start checking the winner’s box on Tuesday, October 14th, to see if you’ve won!

 

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Category: Art

Sunshine Post :: Natalie Wargin

Thursday, October 2, 2014  ::  Written by:

Today we are honored to introduce you to Natalie Wargin.

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Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

I’m an artist and graphic designer living in the Hudson Valley, chronicling in my paintings my transition from city mouse to country mouse. Until six years ago I had lived all my life in Chicago — I moved east to be closer to my sister. Last year I pulled out my watercolors, which I haven’t done in years, and started painting. My watercolors and prints are a journal of the rural woodland and the many new birds and animals that I now see everyday, so different from life in a big city. This past April I decided to take a chance and I added some of my paintings and prints of my paintings to my Etsy shop. I have been surprised by the response. People tell me my images are calming and reminiscent of places they’ve visited.

 

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We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

This has always been my philosophy about the work I do. It was my philosophy about what I studied in school. I was so very lucky to have parents who encouraged me to pursue the things I enjoyed, the things I was good at.

 

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Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

I find them in my new surroundings and in my family and friends.

 

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On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I love a dreary day! It’s the best time to escape into a painting or a good mystery.

 

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What are you most grateful for?

My family and friends.

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Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Natalie Wargin!

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Category: Sunshine Posts

Giveaway :: The Organic Project

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  ::  Written by:

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The last few years have been quite telling as far as my skin is concerned. It has always been with joy and gusto that I find new beauty products and look for a new favorite. In fact, as a young girl, “spa” parties were a particular favorite way to spend a Saturday. Over time, however, my skin has begun the inevitable trek toward age and I am happily embracing it. To that end, I have now begun to focus my attention on a more natural approach to loving my skin. And my skin has started to reap the benefits.

The Organic Project is a labor of love founded by Josh Culnane and Matt Mitchener so that they could bring natural, organic beauty projects to Australia (and the world.) Their philanthropic nature is an inspired look at how the marriage between the way we live our lives directly translates into how we view ourselves in the world. Their many brands share this philosophy and you can trust that any product featured by The Organic Project is something worthy of your very best asset: your skin.

The Organic Project is giving away one $100 gift certificate to one lucky winner! To enter to win, please answer the following question no later than Wednesday, October 8th. 
Please visit The Organic Project and tell us: What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Start checking the winner’s box on Tuesday, October 14th, to see if you’ve won!
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Category: Beauty

Sunshine Post :: The Organic Project

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  ::  Written by:

Today we are honored to introduce you to Josh from The Organic Project.

 

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Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

Josh Culnane – founder of TOP – after travelling around and living in the U.S. I realised that Australia needed a sophisticated health & beauty destination that brings together all the best organic and natural products in one place, but more importantly a place where people could purchase amazing products whilst helping those less fortunate. Empowering consumers to help others.

 

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We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

I live and breath this philosophy and it’s what keeps me going. I wanted to create a socially conscious business, whilst being able to work from anywhere in the world. Everyday I get to do what I love and I love what I do.

 

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Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

I find beauty and inspiration in the people that I meet and the places that I travel to. Everyday we cross paths with amazing and inspiring people and we just need to take the time to listen to their stories. Everyone has a unique story.

 

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On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I remind myself why I started in the first place: to empower people to help others and to create an honest and passionate life.

 

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What are you most grateful for?

I’m most grateful being given the opportunity to build an amazing business and life. Not a day goes by (the bad ones too) that I don’t think just how grateful I am to be here living the life that I do.

 

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Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from The Organic Project!

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Category: Sunshine Posts

Giveaway :: RELM Studios

Tuesday, September 30, 2014  ::  Written by:

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As we wrap up September’s foray into the “Art of Beauty” let’s take a moment to celebrate a deep seated love of the BSP, shall we? Ceramics is one of those art forms we have always admired and the love has only grown over the years. It is always such an honor to share artists with you who create perfect examples of beauty and sculpture and today is no different. In fact, today’s contributor brings the cream to the surface.

Ariel Zimman fell in love with clay in the third grade and turned that love into a life filled with art, beauty, love. RELM STUDIOS houses unique and beautiful handmade goods that speak of a brightness, a simplicity, a perspective that adds a brightness to the world. There is no exaggeration when I say I want every single one of these jars in every color of the rainbow. Look through the RELM STUDIOS catalog and find your own piece of brightness to hold onto.

RELM STUDIOS is giving away two ceramic mason jars (one will be a Pint and the other a half pint) to one lucky winner! To enter to win, please answer the following question no later than Tuesday, October 7th.

Please visit RELM STUDIOS and tell us: What is the best piece of advice you have been given about happiness?

Start checking the winner’s box on Tuesday, October 14th, to see if you’ve won!
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Category: Art Decor

Sunshine Post :: RELM STUDIOS

Tuesday, September 30, 2014  ::  Written by:

Today we are honored to introduce you to Ariel from RELM STUDIOS.

 

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Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

In the third grade I took my first pottery class, from then on I was hooked. Clay had a hold on me, a material from the earth, capable of so many forms and textures, shapes and sizes, all created and manipulated with direct hand contact. Constantly I am fascinated by the transfer of energy felt between the material, and myself, which for me, is unlike any other method of sculpting. After 17 years of creating, shaping and manipulating clay I decided to start my own business designing, producing and selling ceramic décor for home and garden. In 2013 RELM STUDIOS was born. I have fun in the studio, designing and making products that make me smile, items I would want in my home.

 

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We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2009 I tried working different jobs, from retail to customer service, all somehow kind of relating to art, but I was never satisfied, I wasn’t creating anything, I felt I had gone adrift from my passion. In 2012 I took steps to setting up my own ceramic studio, establishing my business and testing the waters of being my own boss. I now feel I am on the road to turning my passion into my job, and I feel so lucky that I get to create for a living – I don’t know another job I could have where that would be the case.

 

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Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

I draw inspiration from bright bold colors, patterns and organic shapes, modern design and of course life under the sea. Nature plays a huge part in my design aesthetic, from underwater coral to moss on forrest trees, I love it all.

 

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On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I live in Portland OR, so there are many dreary days, typically you’ll find me bundled up in the studio or on a long walk with some tall boots and my dog Bernadette. Being outside and taking deep breaths of fresh air makes me feel at peace, though I will always take a sunny beach day whenever the opportunity presents itself!

 

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What are you most grateful for?

Super supportive friends and family. I would not be able to create without so many loving people in my life rooting for me.

 

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Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from RELM STUDIOS!

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Category: Sunshine Posts

The Lemonade Stand :: Revisiting

Monday, September 29, 2014  ::  Written by:

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Every now and then, I like to look back to who I once was. Do you ever do this? Go through photo albums, old journals, long lost relationships and think about who you were then versus who you are now? I think the greatest thing that can be taken from such things is the ability to monitor change. To measure where you came from and see if you ended up where you wanted to.

A few years ago, I started to write articles for a parenting column online. It was my first step into writing as a professional while also being a mother. While I always considered myself a writer, I had a hard time reconciling that with the fact that I was now this other woman. I recently re-read some of these articles and it was so interesting to me to hear a voice that sounded so different than mine now. I recognize the words I wrote, but I was altogether another human at that time. Here is one of the articles that struck me the most. Partly because it still resonated as true, partly because I read it and feel a sense of nostalgia that is a bit surprising. Regardless, I find comfort in the past and use it to inspire me for the future.

 

“It is 8:00 am on a Saturday morning, Los Angeles. It is summer and the deceivingly cool temperatures force a sweater over arms and change the latte order from iced to hot. As any resident of the valley knows, the low hanging clouds are tricky and temperamental: they will vanish in the blink of an eye and you will be left wilting in the unforgiving sun and cursing the very reason out-of-towners flock here in droves. Yet, you continue on, pushing your jogging stroller across blocks of concrete, through intersection after intersection, passing chain coffee shops and all-natural grocery stores, ignoring the stick of fabric on the sides of your torso. You are on a mission. You will not be deterred. It is, after all, garage sale day.

There is one piece of advice rarely given to new parents: shop secondhand. Aside from a handful of essentials, most baby items can be bought at thrift stores, consignment shops and, yes, garage sales. Don’t me wrong, I love the fancy designer sheets and I have been known to lose hours on such websites as ohdeedoh, poring over the latest and greatest in children’s design. However, I can guarantee you will not find the same satisfaction as you do when you come upon a house where the retired first grade teachers are selling their outdated workbooks and flashcards. There is a slight heart palpitation that occurs only upon learning that the tiny working cash register with a scanner (!) is only fifty cents. FIFTY CENTS.

The greatest achievement of shopping secondhand, however, has nothing to do with monetary value. When you bring your toddler with you on such an adventure, you are teaching them an irreplaceable life lesson: respect. It takes tact to comb through another person’s belongings and decide what you think it is worth. There is grace in learning how to politely decline when you feel that their asking price is too much and beauty in the repurposing of something useful. There is an inherent sense of community in walking up to a person’s house and having them smile at your toddler while she learns what to touch, what to treasure, what to love. And you cannot put a price on the smile of an 18 month old girl hugging a fuzzy Christmas stocking with a teddy bear sewn haphazardly on top in the middle of August.

This is the pot of gold.”

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Category: The Lemonade Stand

Weekly Wisdom :: Hafiz

Sunday, September 28, 2014  ::  Written by:

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To download, click on the image to open it full size and select file “save as” for your own personal use.

 

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Category: Weekly Wisdom

Fresh Squeezed Friday :: Nature Wins

Friday, September 26, 2014  ::  Written by:

fsf (2)

Happy Friday, dear Bright Siders! I recently stumbled across this collection of photos of “Nature Winning the Battle Against Civilization” and smiled because I live in a neighborhood full of trees overtaking fences and older residences still showing the evidence of long ago planted trees that have decided they wanted to stake their claim. There is something incredibly beautiful about it. Also slightly confusing, don’t you think? I mean, a tree through a piano? How does that even happen?

Pics found via Earth Porm.

 

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Category: Fresh Squeezed Friday