My New Year’s Wish For Less

My New Year's Wish for Less

Five email address and over 100,000 emails were in my inboxes. Tech clutter. I didn’t even know they were a burden until they had been deleted.  This year, 2017, my wish is for less, starting with emails. Less clutter, less stuff, less scheduled activities and more freedom.

I hate to use the word minimalism because it is dramatically overused. However, my desire for less and realization for how much room is left for happiness when there isn’t so much “stuff” is thanks to the minimalism gurus.  One of my favorites is Allie Casazza. She keeps it real and is a mom as well so she understands the struggle when comes to the clutter our dear little ones bring along. I highly recommend her free Periscope videos on getting started with the decluttering process.

With Christmas came loads of new “things” and to prevent too much from entering the house I placed all of the new items on the dining room table, grabbed a garbage bag and for each new item put in its place, another item went in the garbage bag for the Goodwill.

It is a start, and I encourage you to also seek out a little less this year!

 

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March Favorites | What I am Loving Right Now

favorite products positively glamorous

      1.  This Himalayn Salt Lamp is being used as a night light for middle of the night baby feedings. Himalayn Salt purifies the air and there is even a place at the top for your favorite essential oil.
      2. This cardigan from Forever 21 is super cozy yet very trendy! I love pairing it with a nursing tank top and jeans.
      3. This song always takes me to a place of peace and happiness. I first heard it in a yoga class, it has been part of my playlist ever since!
      4. These fruit roll ups are the perfect grab and go snack for any mom on the run.
      5. These shoes from Payless look vintage but they are brand-new and bonus-part of Payless’s comfort collection!
      6. This book, The Magnolia Story is available for pre-order and I cannot wait to read it!
      7. Since becoming a new mother it is time to switch up my wardrobe! Check out the items I am selling.
      8. The 5 S’s from this book are an absolute lifesaver for fussy infants.
      9. I really want these Preston Maraschino glasses from Warby Parker’s new collection, they remind me of ripe cherries!
      10. This tea from the Tea Haus was so lovely and flavorful. Thanks to the Jess Lively Show for this recommendation.
      11. This bag  from the Positively Glamorous shop is a customer favorite this month!
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What I am Reading Right Now & Great Books for New Moms

Great Books for New Moms

Since nursing our first child, I have had lots of time to read! Here are some of my favorites that are great books for new moms…

This book is wonderful for new mothers, honestly, it has really brought me a lot of comfort. This is an easy, entertaining read that explains the differences in parenting between Americans and the French. It is extremely interesting to learn how much Americans make a big deal out of every detail of parenting, whereas the French take everything in stride, and do not loose their identities in the process. Whether you are new mom or have been one for years, you are sure to find this book very amusing and educational at the same time!

Another great read for moms, or anyone juggling a heavy load and feeling overwhelmed. This book teaches you the importance of making time for yourself and guides you through the process of carving out bits of your day to do things YOU love. It is a refreshing read that reminds the reader that no one “has it all together.” Personally, as a new mom, it is important for me to remember that I need to take care of myself and my passions to ensure I am 100% whole for my daughter and family.

I am breastfeeding, and still trying to maintain a somewhat healthy diet as I did in my pregnancy. This cookbook is great to get your children to get their veggies in as well as adults! Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook is full of delicious yet amazingly healthy recipes that squeeze items such as squash into mac and cheese and even veggies into brownies! The best part? You won’t be able to tell the difference between the healthy versions and the original!

I absolutely LOVE Tara Brach’s free podcasts, so I knew I would enjoy her book as well. Tara’s soothing words of comfort help us understand what is truly important in life as well as how to live in the moment, even in the most difficult of situations.

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Meet Annie! Entrepreneur, New Mother and Creator of “Knittedhome”

Knitted Home on Etsy

Every once in a blue moon you are randomly connected to an incredible person by fate. That is what happened when a mutual friend Mark,  introduced me to Annie expressing that we both have similar passions and should definitely connect. (By similar passions, Mark meant we are both creative people. If you put knitting needles in my hand, I honestly would not even know how to hold them!)

Annie loves handcrafts, gardening, film/photography among other things, sells on her Knittedhome on Etsy shop, is a new(er) mother, and…..drum roll for Annie, just launched a brand new, super-amazing website! As you can see she is a very busy lady! Before you head over and shop til’ you drop, get to know Annie a little more and how her dream came to fruition below.

knitted home pot holders

1. How long have you been knitting for?

“I have been knitting for nearly 14 years + crocheting for almost 21 years!”

2. When did you realize knitting was your passion?

“I have loved knitting + crocheting for (honestly) as long as I can remember. I have always loved the ability to be able to make something with my hands from “nothing.” In grade school, I would dream up what I wanted to make for my Beanie Babies (anyone else out there?) and then I would proceed to create it through trial and error crocheting. It was a lot like sculpting; constantly reshaping and rethinking how to construct the finished product.

I started knitting at 14 because I grew bored of crocheting. I knitted tons of scarfs (like most beginners) + only realized after every family member was outfitted with too many scarves that it was time to find a new pattern to master. Knitting felt very intuitive that I almost feel more at ease with knitting needles than a crochet hook. Almost. ;-)”

knittedhome

3. What made you decide to open an etsy shop?

“I realized I wanted to make this passion a “job” when I was in high school and a whopping 80 freshmen peers wanted me to make them a crocheted purse just like mine. I wish I could remember when I heard of Etsy – perhaps from another blogging friend whom I met via sustainable living groups.

The idea that people would actually pay for something I love to make – even itch to spend all my free time doing – and that others were doing this exact dream of mine – was such an epiphany for me! I haven’t been able to stop going forward toward this Crazy Dream since!”

 

4. Have friends and family been supportive of your shop?

“Nearly all my friends + family are so supportive of my Etsy shop, even if they truly believe I should “just get a real job already.” The best part is when friends share my Facebook Page posts unsolicited or comment on my blog posts. I do a happy dance every time.

I still feel like a fledging shop owner (5 years in!) but I’ve found that owning and being proud of my shop is the best marketing tool to get the word out to my friends + family + their networks through them. If I don’t take my business seriously, why should they?

P.S. If any readers want to start an Etsy shop, they can get 40 free listings when they use this link.

knittedhome pot holders
5. What has been your biggest challenge this far with the shop?

“So far I’d say my biggest challenge has been building my brand. I’m definitely not a designer by any means (interior/graphic) so this has been a struggle from the beginning. But this year I’m focusing on rebranding Knittedhome + creating a cohesive look across all things Knittedhome (from the etsy shop to the show table). I’ve even hired a few friends to lend their talents + know-how to improve Knittedhome and I can’t wait to finally unveil the new look!”

knitted home baby accessories

 

6. How do you juggle being a new mother and your shop?

“Being a new mom while managing Knittedhome has definitely been an eye opener (what did I do when I was just a stay at home WIFE?) but also an incredible motivator.

With only nap times to truly focus on my business (2-4 hours a day) I have quickly learned the art of scheduling top priorities + minimizing distractions. Each day I ask myself, “what am I going to do today that will create an income?” And I focus at least some time each day on answering this. Whether it is working on my next ePattern, photographing items, promoting my shop or next craft fair or simply crafting a new item for my shop, I focus on one of these tasks before allowing myself to indulge in other areas (i.e. reading my favorite blogs, watching Homesteading videos on YouTube, cleaning out my email subscriptions or watching an episode on Netflix while mindlessly crafting).

I also dedicate at least a few days a week to sit down + focus on email marketing. Which includes composing email newsletter updates, personal outreach for future collaborations, and answering any inquiries I’ve received.

As for the rest of the housework that comes with being a WAHM, so far I try to get most of it done during my daughter’s awake hours (washing dishes after breakfast; folding laundry “together”; swapping laundry loads during nap times; and general small tasks that I can model for my daughter/encourage her participation at her skill level).

And of course there are days when nothing gets accomplished but lots of play + field trips to the zoo or a friend’s house.
It certainly isn’t perfect or a well picked-up home, but we’re making progress and tweaking our systems as we learn.”

 

7. What has been your most rewarding experience so far?

“So far the most rewarding experience has been participating in + helping to plan the Naturally Crafty Trunk Show earlier this year. I admit I was a bit skeptical that a small (7) collection of home-based businesses hosted in a small home could draw a decent crowd + return on investment – but I was SO amazed + pleased at how wrong I was! In fact, I think our hostess may be on to a new niche market that has long been underserved in our area: the Crunchy Mama!

I’ve always seen the Expensive Art show, the Granny’s Church craft show + bake sale, the Church Rummage sale, and just recently the “Etsy-in-real-life” art show has started on the scene, but the Organic/Naturally Living was surprisingly absent. And I hadn’t even known it was missing until I was approached about joining this amazing collection of women!

Getting to collaborate + meet so many knowledgeable women has definitely been a highlight of my creative career. I’m so excited to continue building on this niche market and see where it takes us.

The Downtown Toledo Art Walks is a pretty close second that I’d also like to mention. I get to set up shop along the sidewalks in the reviving Warehouse district with my family + close friend (who also just started a home business + has been a wonderful supporter + enabler) and meet my customers in person! This is huge compared to guessing everything about them when it comes to selling online. I love the personal connection I get to make with each person who stops by. Even when they don’t make a purchase, I get to know what draws them to my work and connect with them on a different level (new mama/baby wearer/knitter/crocheter/sustainable living fanatic/or a prospective new knit+crochet student). My daughter + hubby are great salesmen and it’s so refreshing to work as a team in short bursts like this. I always pack up feeling refreshed + energized to tackle the world!

Every year I look forward to these once-a-month summer shows and this year I’m finally stretching my comfort zone to add more Art Fairs to the mix. It’s so addicting to meet customers in the flesh. Wish me luck!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to get to meet you + your readers. Please let me know if anyone has any other questions either in the comments or via email knittedhome@gmail.com

I’ve got a lot of exciting exclusive content in the works for my email subscribers. You can sign up here to stay in the loop.”

knittedhome winter collection

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*Photography by JP Photography

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Empathy The Human Connection a Video Based on Henry David Thoreau’s Quote

Henry David Thoreau Quote

Sorry everyone, I know it has been awhile since I have updated the blog, but this is just way to good not to share. Please take a moment out of your busy life to reflect and watch this video. I promise it is well worth it….Enjoy!

 

Empathy – The human connection…(A beautiful, touching video)

Please WATCH and SHARE with others…

Posted by Janaki Sooriyarachchi – Author on Tuesday, October 8, 2013

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Dreamy Garden Escapes

Wicker Furniture with Chevron Pillows

Last weekend we had the opportunity to participate in Wilmington Garden Day. Guests go around to view The Brandywine Valley’s most spectacular homes and gardens.

“Proceeds of the tour benefit charities that address educational and social needs of under-served children. This year’s beneficiaries are St. Michael’s School and Nursery, which has been affiliated with Wilmington Garden Day for the last 68 years, and offers early-childhood education and educational daycare services to babies and young learners in the city. Also benefitting is Friendship House, a comprehensive service to homeless people, for programs providing safe and stable transitional housing to women with young children.

Over the last seven years, Wilmington Garden Day has supported its beneficiaries with donations of nearly $350,000.”

Each garden and home was unique and reflected their owner’s personality. Below are some of my favorite spots!

Design Studio in Shed Positively Glamorous
This design studio was inside of the outdoor shed below!

 

Design Studio in Shed Positively Glamorous

Outdoor Hideaway
This was an adorable hideaway with a reading nook and space for a bed in a loft area.

 

Kitchen Table Orange Walls
I just love the color of the walls, and this handmade table is gorgeous!

 

Three Season Room with Swing
This three seasons room was extraordinary with cathedral ceilings and a large swinging day bed.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

outdoor garden
Everything at this property had a very natural feel to it including this waterfall.

 

Outdoor landscaping

indoor outdoor bar
This basement bar opens up to the outdoor patio space.

 

balcony off master bedroom
Take a look at the copper fencing on this balcony.

 

pond and landscaping

outdoor glass table
A “living” table.

 

succulents

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Taking Business to A Whole New Level with The Sarahs from Heart & Dash

Heart & Dash Sarah Kudlack and Sarah zero

Apparently naming your child Sarah means they will be independent, creative and very strong willed. At least, all of the Sarahs I have met so far in my life seem to be this way. The Sarahs of Heart & Dash are absolutely no different. These two are taking the East Coast by storm with their exquisite events and super savvy “Boss Lady” skills. Their events are nothing short of Vogue-worthy and if you have a business- these ladies have a plan for you! Read on to learn about their journey, friendship and how it all began…

Key: SK= Sarah Kudlack and SZ=Sarah Zero

 

  • That is so awesome that you two met on Instagram and your business stemmed from there! How did you two know you would be.. As the song goes, “better together?”

    1. SK: In the beginning you never really “know”. It does take a certain leap of faith. We also were really realistic about getting to know each other or “dating” per se before we made it truly official. Our first meeting lasted almost 3 hours so that was a really good sign. 🙂  Then after that, just collaborating together, learning how the other works, having fun…. the decision to shack up became a natural one.

    2. SZ: That’s funny, because I definitely “knew” after just a couple of months of working alongside each other. We were getting together one or two days a week just to have a friend around while working on separate clients. As soon as I noticed I was getting twice as much accomplished for my clients on the days I worked with SK in the room {and vice versa}, I started convincing her to take that leap.

    3. SK: Haha – she likes to point out that she “knew” before me so she sounds smarter 😉

    4. SZ: …Or more desperate.

 

  • You both are obviously extremely talented! What experience does each of you bring to the table?

    1. SK: people always ask who’s the Heart and who is the Dash. We always find this amusing because that perception was never our initial intention, but now has sorta become how we are recognized. We each definitely have our own backgrounds and experience… mine being weddings, events, marketing and Zero’s being branding, visual communications, design. But what we love about this new partnership is realizing how beneficial we each are to one another. Zero’s input on weddings, and her perspective not coming from the industry is amazing. And I love nothing more when she turns her computer around to show me a logo she’s working on that I can help with. It’s so nice having someone there to bounce ideas off of or give you a boost when it’s needed.

    2. SZ: Thank you, I was born with it. Heh, just kidding. SK answered this one beautifully 🙂

    3. SK: You would never guess from this interview that SZ is incredibly humble… haha 🙂

 

 

Sarah Kudlack and Sarah Zero Heart & Dash

 

 

  • What inspires each of you and where do you go for inspiration?

    1. SK: Where don’t I get ideas? I LOVE talking to people and one of my favorite things is just chatting it up with someone and seeing where our minds can go.

    2. SZ: I find inspiration in getting to know our clients. I was recently working on a branding project for an artist down in Baltimore, and I realized that I needed to go down to visit her studio to see her process first-hand. As she was walking me through her sketches and showing me her portfolio and I got to touch the paper and see her light up as she talked about her work, my ideas started pouring out. I also find inspiration in podcasts, news, and blogs when I make the time to keep up with them! I often try to keep away from Pinterest — it has a way of making you compare yourself to others in a negative way, and once you see a great idea sometimes it’s hard to come up with your own. Lastly — nothing is more refreshing than a good walk with the pup to clear your mind and make room for new ideas.

 

  • Your events are Stunning with a capital S… What is your favorite event you have planned together thus far?

    1. SK: Thus far I think our Harvest Dinner series at Faunbrook has been my fave. However, we have some great weddings on the books for this year and I’m so excited to work on those together.

    2. SZ: The Harvest Dinner series will always have a special spot in my heart — they are just simply magic. We also have a pretty awesome event this year on Sept. 19th in Philly. Can’t wait to share 🙂

 

  • Helping a business grow by marketing them can be an extremely rewarding process. Is there any business in particular that has really touched you in the journey from taking them to a new level?

    1. SK: all of our businesses are our babies. We are drawn to clients that we really make a connection with and that trust us with their baby! Sometimes we think it’d be easier if we didn’t connect just so much, or didn’t feel as connected with them as much as we do, but in reality that’s just who we are. We want to be a part of the team!

    2. SZ: Yes! Extremely Rewarding! And I know this is like the least interesting answer ever, but I feel like every client we have right now is an absolute dream client. We look for clients that we consider to be ‘hidden gems,’ meaning, they have a fantastic product/service/space and they just need help polishing up that shine.

 

  • I absolutely love your idea for Lady Boss events, how did that begin?

    1. SK: We like to surround ourselves with strong, talented women who are determined to succeed because they make us better! A few folks have asked if it came from the book Girl Boss — which we read shortly after deciding to launch Lady Boss (awesome book!) — and it just reaffirmed how much we wanted to pursue it.

    2. SZ: We are constantly collaborating with other vendors, and it just so happens that the majority of them are female entrepreneurs. In the midst of an event or a photo shoot, we always find ourselves saying, “I really like you! Let’s get coffee so I can ask you about this and you can ask me about that!” But of course, even with the best intentions, getting together for coffee often takes a back seat to client work. So rather than scheduling a bunch of different coffee dates, we thought it’d be cool to set this up so you can get to know lots of other Lady Bosses all at the same time. One of our business values is to build our community by supporting other small businesses, so it was important to us to figure out a Lady Boss format that would be free for attendees. We’re so excited with the interest and turnout so far!

 

  • What advice would you give other young entrepreneurs that you have learned through creating Heart & Dash?

    1. SK: Well Heart & Dash is neither of our first businesses so I’m sure Zero would say something similar… but it takes hard work. And not the normal hard work, the realllyyy hard work. Haha. You go into it knowing it’s going to be hard, prepared for it, but until you’re knee deep you don’t’ realize what it entails. The fuel to stay up late nights, working weekends, missing your girlfriends, forgetting what your husband looks like, is truly loving what you’re doing. You might not love every second, but the love is there.

    2. SZ: Starting a business is iterative. You have to start somewhere, and it will not be perfect at first. So if you’re a perfectionist, learn to use your perfectionism in a new way. Use it to fuel revision, but don’t ever let your perfectionism hold you back from starting.

 

 

To learn more about these beautiful ladies check out the Heart & Dash Website.

 

 

Heart & Dash

 

Photo Credits: Black and White Photograph of the Sarah’s: Ampersander Studios
Event Photos: Alexandra Whitney Photography

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Meet The Creator and Illustrator of Moon Bound Girl

Leigh Ann Agee Author of Moon Bound Girl

I’m all about girl-power and Leigh Ann Agee simply radiates girl power! Leigh Ann is both an extraordinarily talented illustrator and creator of the children’s book, Moon Bound Girl. Leigh Ann’s whimsical art work not only captures the hearts of children and adults alike, but inspires all of us to dream big. After all, when you shoot for the stars…you may just land on the moon.

Here is how Leigh Ann brought her talent to life:

 

 Your illustrations are stunning! When did you first discover your passion for artwork?

Thank You! I knew I LOVED drawing and anything art from a very early age. It was my favorite subject, my favorite pass time and all I ever wanted to do. I get it honest, my mother is very artistic as well. I fell into a mural career nearly 30 years ago, and its still hard to believe that I have painted over 1000 murals in six states for commercial companies, hospitals, schools, and private residents, even for some celebrity homes. I realized my knack was really illustration. What made you start focusing your illustrations on women and girl power? 

 

What made you start focusing your illustrations on women and girl power?

I moved to Nashville because I wanted to follow my passion for music and songwriting. I ended up falling in love with all the creativity but knew Id never quit my day job of being a visual artist. I know so many singers, songwriters, and artists that are willing to starve in order to chase their dreams… So I decided I wanted to illustrate a girl elated with her passion. So I began to think of what she would look like. The first Moon Bound Girl I painted was a girl, floating over the moon, playing guitar, with her hair in the air. I still have that first painting. Because she’s faceless, people would say….”she looks like me!” or …”OMG, thats my sister…”. So, because I LOVE what I do, I know exactly what it feels like to be elated while working towards your dream, so I created Melody. She represents all girls, who dare to dream big, no matter what their passion is.

 

 

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by colors and shapes and love finding ways to put them all together in a painting that tells a story. I love making happy art that inspires and makes you feel good when you look at it. I LOVE to paint the hair. I like all the curls and tiny line, lights and darks, etc….

 

 

 

What made you decide to create and illustrate Melody’s Music?

Since my faceless character and her hair raising passion seemed to be resonating with people, I started envisioning her all over the world and created “The World Tour Series” of original paintings. At that art show, I ended up getting a book deal (with no book). So, I created Melody as one of my Moon Bound Girls. The concept of finding what makes your hair stand on end, opens the world up for my brand. So I have many products featuring my artwork. such as notecards, tees, posters, metal prints, and of course original paintings. Marathon Village is very busy with tourists. I believe the books have sold so well there since it has a very “Nashville” look with Melody’s red boots and guitar. It gets a few tears now and then from parents of girls that are big dreamers…oh I just love when that happens.

 

 

I see you are starting a brick and mortar shop! That is so exciting, has it opened?

We are open! At Marathon Village! Suite 34…. I have actually been there for about six months but just decided to share the space with Izzyru Boutique. We are excited for them to join us!!!

(The shop is located at 1200 Clinton St Suite 34, Nashville, TN 37203 Marathon Village)

 

 

What are some of your future goals with your illustrations, do you plan on creating more books?

I have so many plans that my hair is standing on end!!! I can’t wait to show everyone what all is in store! It will include more books, yes, and some very exciting things that I can’t announce yet! So keep your eyes on it! We’re shooting for the moon for sure! Thank you so much for talking about my Moon Bound Girl, Melody. Im so excited and feel very blessed that Im the one that gets to bring her to life. She’s a joy to paint. Im a lucky girl.

 

 

Click here to visit the official Moon Bound Girl website and online shop and here to follow them on Facebook. 

 

 

Leigh Ann Agee Author of Moon Bound Girl

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Open Your Heart and Your Mind: Meet Justyna, Founder of “Coffee with The Homeless”

Justyana czekaj coffee with the homeless

Some pictures have the ability to reach right into your soul. As I browsed through Coffee With the Homeless’ Instagram account and the gripping photography of some of New York City’s needy, I wanted to know more. Who were these people- and what an incredible idea to reach out to them…which led me to Justyna.

As you will read in the interview below, Justyna is beautiful from the inside out and she has a wonderful gift to share with the world, some insight to the souls less fortunate, and why it is important that we help them ….and possibly even more importantly… pay attention.

 

What made you start Coffee with the Homeless?

Curiosity was the reason why I started Coffee with the Homeless.  I work in luxury real estate rentals and sales in New York City.  Around from buildings where I’ll rent $4000 a month one bedrooms, will be a cluster of homeless people that can’t afford regular meals.  I just couldn’t understand how in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, we could have a homelessness problem that is increasing exponentially year over year.  I wanted to understand how these people have become homeless and how I could help.

 

I also feel that as a City, we’ve grown accustomed to ignoring the problem and averting our eyes when we walk by a homeless person.  I refuse to believe that it’s because New Yorkers lack empathy.  Perhaps it’s because many New Yorkers don’t understand the problem or hold incorrect prejudices that prevent them from helping.  By telling the stories of homeless individuals, I want to eliminate those prejudices and inspire people to help and give back.  

 

Was it difficult to start? Have you had any hurdles? 

I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” towards the end of last year.  One of the things she wrote about was conquering fear.  So I wrote a question on my whiteboard, “What would you do today if you had no fear?”  The answer every morning is still “go out and talk to the homeless.”  With that question in mind, I just got up one day, took my Canon camera with me, downloaded a voice app, and went to Madison Square Park to speak to the homeless there.  So I can’t say it was very difficult to start, but that’s with most things in life:  they’re so much easier to begin than the feats we build up in our minds.  

 

The only hurdle I have really faced comes after the interview.  The people I speak to open up their hearts, relive traumatic stories with me so I can learn more about them, and give me so much inspiration to continue Coffee with the Homeless, that often I’m faced with the feeling that I haven’t done enough.  There is always so much more we can do on an individual level to help other humans that I feel like I can spend months and years working with just one person to bring their life to the ideal vision they have for themselves.  

 Justyana czekaj coffee with the homeless

How have you personally changed since starting this project?

Since starting Coffee with the Homeless I’ve become less judgmental because I’ve realized, “Who am I to judge?”  We’re all at these places that we have arrived at because of various decisions we’ve made and honestly we’re all trying our best, so rather than approaching people with judgment, I now approach them with love.  I’ve come to understand that love in not a scarce resource; the more of it I give, the more of it arises in my heart.  

 

What sort of feedback have you received on Coffee with the Homeless?

The feedback Coffee with the Homeless has received has blown me away.  I’m overwhelmed with how many people want to help or collaborate or use their specific skills to make someone’s life better.  I think that many people often want to help and give back, but don’t have the outlet for it.  In terms of homelessness, there are so many stigmas and biases that people are scared to help or feel like their donations are going to be spent on money or alcohol.  It’s so untrue!  By reading the stories of the homeless, people are beginning to comprehend that the homeless are just like us and often have found themselves in this situation because of abuse, mental trauma, or a horrific incident that would be difficult for anyone to handle.

 

Which story so far has touched you the most?

I can’t say that one story has touched me more than another.  Every one that I have interviewed has had a complex and harrowing life and I’ve walked away from each interview taking away something very different from the last.  One day I may hear a quote that sticks with me for weeks, another day I may hear a love story that’s enviable, and sometimes I’ll hear about rapes and abuses that make me want to huddle in bed and stay away from the world, but all of these stories deserve to be told. The homeless population has become so dehumanized that each story brings a touch of humanity back to them.

 

What is your ultimate goal for this project?

The ultimate goal of the project is to be able to help every homeless person I interview on an individual level with what they need the most, whether it be learning to read, job placement, home placement, or health needs.

 

Where do you hope this project leads you?

I hope that this project allows me to help people and be able to document their stories in book form.  Eventually, I want to create an army of people that go out there and help on a grand scale.  One person can create a lot of positive change, but a group of open-hearted and giving people can revolutionize the world and create a lasting difference.  

 

To learn more about “Coffee with the Homeless,” click here. 

 

Justyana czekaj coffee with the homeless

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Inspiration and Favorite Spots in the Big Apple- A New York City Guide

Chelsea market nyc

Oh New York how I love you! Last weekend we had an incredible time exploring the city! Here were some of our favorite spots for reference for your next trip (In no particular order!)

1. Chelsea Market- For the best food you have ever had in your entire life, and I am not exaggerating! Specific restaurants we checked out below:

2. The Highline– A park in the sky with all of the perks of NYC.

3. The Brooklyn Flea– If heaven was a flea market, this is exactly what it would look like.

4. Canal Street Shops- No words…just incredible shopping.

5. Bergn– Good food, good beer, hipster-cafeteria style and adjacent to the heavenly flea market mentioned above. What more can you ask for?

6. Brooklyn Botanical Garden– Complimentary on Saturday mornings and even stunning in the Winter. A perfect break from the chaos.

7. Two Hands– Smooth coffee and delicious food in a lovely atmosphere.

8. Kobrick Coffee Co.– Best coffee ever! Yelp did not dissapoint with this one.

9. Kida NYC– The adorable logo on the window is just the beginning, these folks are Talented with a capital “T.”

10.  Warm– Eclectic boutique with wonderful one-of-a-kind gifts.

11. Epistrophy– Just check out their website, and trust me, you’ll want to go.

12. Little Cup Cake Bake Shop– Just yum..

13. Macbar– If you are a Mac & Cheese fanatic..this is your happy place.

14. Dean & DeLuca– The crown jewel of grocery stores in my opinion, why can’t they all be this amazing!

15. Warby Parker– Need some new spectacles, or if you just like to try them on… stop here.

 

Have some favorite spaces of choice in NYC? Comment below, I would love to check them out!
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES barbershop nyc warm nyc little cupcake cake shop nyc brooklyn flea bergn bergn SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES chelsea market
Kobrick coffee Co

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gotham market nyc

gotham market nyc

gotham market nyc

gotham market nyc

brooklyn flea nyc

brooklyn flea nyc

Bergn brooklyn

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chelsea market nyc

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doughnuttery

doughnuttery

gotham market nyc

gotham market nyc

Washington square park nyc

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Brooklyn Flea Market NYC

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