Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Help

Like I am sure most of you have been, we've been heartbroken by what we have seen and heard about in Haiti. It gives us this helpless and overhwhelming feeling that we don't know what to do with something so catastrophic. How do we make sense of it all? How can we help?

If you live in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area, you can help more with the Haiti cause then giving money. Our friend Holly Lewis is down at the Dominican Republican right now (neighbors of Haiti) and has passed along some information on what is most needed there right now. Here is her blog post below, and you can read more about it here:

You can help Haiti

We have a plane leaving Winston-Salem within the next week headed to the DR bringing medical supplies. If you'd like to donate anything toward our efforts in Haiti, here's what you can do:

Start a medical supply drive and/or take up money to buy supplies.

Here is a rough list of what is needed. I will let you know what to do with it as soon as I can. But go ahead and start collecting!
All and any first aid supplies… ie bandages, splints, braces adhesives etc
Antibiotics, pain meds…. etc

We need antibiotics, sutures, casting materials, ACE bandages, gauze, antibiotic cream, IV fluids, water purification tablets, Band Aids, Diabetic and hypertensive medications, protein powders, milk, vitamins, baby formula, baby bottles, pain medications, tape, IV tubing, angiocaths, syringes, needles, glucometers and strips, sterile and non sterile gloves, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, recharable otoscopes, iodine, betadine, alcohol, peroxide, acid reflux meds.

If you have items to donate or questions, contact Myra Phillips.

You can bring items to First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem on Sunday. Building B.

There are a lot of organizations that are providing relief right now. I feel as though we need to give to the ones who have the biggest interest in Haiti: before, now and after. If you want to give money, think about the groups who have plans to stay in Haiti for a while. They are the ones who will need the most support.

If you can't donate money or give items, then my suggestion would be to pray. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have right now. Pray for restoration and pray for healing. Pray for God to use this horrible tragedy to bring good to a place that was suffering so much before the earthquake. Pray for the hearts of those leaders who need to make decisions on how to move forward. And pray that God mobilizes the right people with the right skills to help. And if you are able to, think about going there after the initial relief has passed. Haiti is going to need a lot of help in the future, in addition to right now. Think about going. We are.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fair Trade Music

When I was in the grocery store with Lynn on Sunday, I found myself spending the majority of my time where I usually do when I am in the grocery store – on the coffee aisle. As a thoughtful consumer, I am drawn as usual to the small label that reads fair trade coffee. This little label settles my conscious to pay a little more to those who put hard work in to the product. But what if there was a way to not have to pay more for fair trade? This is essentially what you get with NoiseTrade, an online music distribution service connecting musicians directly to fans.

In the music business, we have seen many companies getting creative in selling music to listeners through digital download. The most popular option, ITunes, which is to no surprise the #1 music download store, offers songs for 99 cents to $1.29 per song. NoiseTrade however, allows fans to immediately download music (from musicians who have uploaded their music into an embeddable widget on the NoiseTrade website) by simply telling five friends about the artist via email or paying what they want. Fans also provide their name, email and postal code upon download which allows musicians to email newsletters to fans and also get an idea of where their fans are around the country for touring purposes.

NoiseTrade founder Derek Webb says, “Who needs peer-to-peer when you can have artist-to-fan? If artists and fans realized how they could help each other and started making direct connections, without a middleman, the whole industry would change overnight. It would start a revolution.”

For more, visit

- MB

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We'll Take It!

The Appalachian Athletics department just announced the 2010 Football schedule for our Mountaineers...and guess who rounds out the season as our last foe? None other than the Florida Gators. On November 20. And we aren't scared! Well, maybe just a little.

Read more about the schedule here.

It's quite the lineup of games this year (and a little odd, too). We start off with a conference game at Chattanooga, followed by 2 non-conference games. We play Elon on homecoming (which makes me a little nervous) and Western in October (and not the last game of the season). And the most fun game at all will be when we snap those gator mouths shut in Jacksonville, Florida!

I'm ready now...but we are 8 months away!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Year One of Bliss

One year ago today I married my best friend, the man of my dreams. And he made 2009 my best year yet.

After our dreamy honeymoon in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, we've moved to 2 port cities (Boston and Charleston) and I worked in one (Portsmouth, NH). We experienced New England in the winter and trucked through a few fun snow storms. We shared a car for six months and I wish we could do it again. We traveled to Maine (Kennebunkport and Portland), Vermont, Connecticut, Cape Cod, and visited NYC 4 times (thanks Joe & Kerry!). We hosted family and friends in our tiny Massachusetts apartment but it made everything more cozy. We watched as our country ushered in its first black President. We became Celtics fans and watched as they beat the Bobcats in triple overtime in the TD Banknorth Garden. We attended 7 weddings in North Carolina, one in New Jersey and welcomed the birth of 2 more beautiful neices (Lucy and Geneva). We praised when Michael got a job at Blackbaud and I started my fifth year with Arcadia. We drove from Charleston to Boston in 20 hours and almost considered a separation (no, not really!). We watched our Tarheels win another National Championship and mourned as our Mountaineers lost their chance at one in those final blizzardy seconds. We celebrated the engagement of my sister to her prince charming, Josh. We worshiped and rejoiced in another holiday season. And we excitedly move into our second year of marriage to see what the Lord has in store for us next...


Friday, January 1, 2010

Got Milk?

As if my work cookie exchange wasn't enough a few weeks ago, when we got home to Greensboro for Christmas I helped my mom by baking the cookies she wanted for our holiday gatherings. Mom made the pizzelles and Kerry made the red velvet cake balls (more on that deliciousness in a minute!). 6 cookies and 1 pie later, you would think I wouldn't want to see sweets for a year...well, I just needed some milk. :)

Here is the list of what I made: chocolate meringue cookies, coconut snow balls, chocolate truffles, oatmeal lace cookies, peanut butter cup chocolate chip cookies, pecan shortbread cookies and a cranberry walnut pie. Evidence:

Now, I mentioned red velvet cake balls earlier, and if you haven't had them before, go and make them right now, seriously. What an invention. And you can do this with any cake combination (ie yellow cake with chocolate frosting, or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, or german chocolate cake with chocolate frosting- its endless!). Here's how it goes:

Bake a cake (red velvet in this case) according to the directions/ingredients on the box. When it is done cooking and while it is still warm, crumble up the cake right in the pan. Then pour an entire can of frosting (cream cheese frosting here) into the crumbles and mix together. Form the mixture into bite size balls and place them on a baking pan with parchment paper. Freeze until hard. Once they harden, dip them into melted chocolate (white chocolate here). Refreeze until hard again. Voila! DELICIOUS. You might become addicted, and then you can thank me later.

And don't forget your glass of milk!