Charity & Event Recap! #YellowForSeth @bethematch & @lushcosmetics #freshlypicked Scavenger Hunt! 

Hey all!
I have a couple things to talk about today. Today I went out to San Francisco to participate in the Lush Cosmetics “Freshly Picked” Scavenger Hunt. More on that below…

My mom & I with the Lush Cosmetics Bunny  wearing Yellow For Seth during the LUSH Freshly Picked Scavenger Hunt!

My mom & I with the Lush Cosmetics Bunny wearing Yellow For Seth during the LUSH Freshly Picked Scavenger Hunt!

I also participated in another activity that hopefully some of you participated in as well. Today was “Wear Yellow For Seth”, a day of support for a 5 year old boy named Seth. He was born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID), which basically means he has no immune system – no way to fight off infections. His only chance of survival is a successful bone marrow transplant. He had his first transplant at 7 months old, but his body rejected it. He’s now preparing for Round 2.  I’ve heard different stories but I was under the impression that Seth and his parents made a video asking his friends and family to wear yellow (his favorite color) today and send him the pictures so he can see how many people support him as he prepares for this next set of procedures. The video became viral and the hashtags WearYellowForSeth & YellowForSeth started popping up everywhere! I’ve also heard that the family made the video with the intention for it to go viral and spread awareness of SCID and the need for bone marrow donors. Either way, I think it’s a really sweet gesture we can all take the time to make for a sick little boy. They aren’t asking for any money or donations of any kind. They just want to see how far their message will spread and show Seth some support!

I’ve always been a big supporter of spreading awareness for the need for more bone marrow donors. I’m a registered bone marrow donor – although unfortunately I’ve never been called upon to donate. As soon as I turned 18, I signed up with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS & they added me to the Be the Match national bone marrow donor registry  – click here to read Be the Match’s FAQ & see if donating bone marrow is something you’d be interested in!

So today, in honor of Seth, because he is so brave in the face of so much adversity, my mom & I traipsed around San Francisco to participate in the Lush Cosmetic’s Freshly Picked Scavenger Hunt while wearing bright yellow shirts! The Lush Scavenger Hunt was really cute – I only wish it had been more of an adventure! They posted a pic on their Instagram: @lushcosmetics of their employees in an unnamed location somewhere in San Francisco & a secret code. If you figured out the location, you met up with the employees, told them the code, and they gave you the next clue which eventually led to a Lush goodie bag! I’ve been a fan of Lush Cosmetics for easily, about 10 years. I don’t shop there as much as I should or want to, but I have a feeling that’s about to change! For those that don’t know, Lush Cosmetics makes fresh, organic, hand made, 100% vegetarian, bath, body, and makeup products. Some of the products are completely vegan. They believe in packaging that can be recycled, no animal testing, and ethical buying of ingredients. The packaging and products are extremely creative and unique. I really feel like they sell something for everyone. Anyway, my mom & I figured out pretty quickly that the location was Union Square, so we headed out there to grab the next clue. In a kind of disappointing turn, the next clue wasn’t really a clue so much as a thank you note for participating. I was looking forward to figuring out clues and hunting around the city a bit, but it simply directed us to the nearest Lush store to pick up our goodie bag. This is where my disappointment turned around…

Peace Massage Bar, Miranda soap, Karma Komba Shampoo Bar + tin, American Cream conditioner

Peace Massage Bar, Miranda soap, Karma Komba Shampoo Bar + tin, American Cream conditioner

After a quick chat with a really sweet employee about the Lush products we already owned and what kind of scents we liked, we were given our goodie bags. These goodie bags were SUPER GENEROUS! I received a 3.3 oz bottle of American Cream hair conditioner and a Karma Komba shampoo bar PLUS a tin to keep the bar in. The Shampoo Bar & tin cost $12 & $4, respectively, I was extremely grateful to receive these amazing products basically for free! My mom received a healthy chunk of Miranda soap and a FULL SIZED Peace Massage bar – which retails for $14!! All in all, while I was slightly disappointed about the lack of adventure, Lush more than made up for it with their wonderful goodie bags. Thank you Lush Cosmetics!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Friday! If you didn’t wear yellow, there’s still time! Before you head out tonight, add something yellow to your outfit – it doesn’t have to be big! Snap a pic, tag me or mention me, @missal_leigh (on Twitter, Snapchat, & Instagram), and don’t forget to hashtag #WearYellowForSeth and/or #YellowForSeth. Also, let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite Lush products are – I need to start a shopping list! 😉 Thanks for reading, until next time!

Charity: Be Better Movement!

Hello all!
Today I wanted to showcase a Charity Challenge I’m participating in, the 52 Week Be Better Challenge, part of the Be Better Movement. You sign up for a 52 week (1 year) program & each week they offer up a Challenge to help improve your Health/Well Being in some way. For each weekly Challenge you participate in, Be Better donates $1 to the Charity of the month – March & April is the UNICEF Tap Project. If you post a picture of yourself participating in the challenge to any of your Social Media, they’ll donate $2! Check my Instagram: @missal_leigh & theirs: @mybebetter for pictures of previous Challenges such as Phone Time-Outs & drinking Herbal Tea!

Sugar/Calorie free Strawberry Green Tea flavored water...drink up! I aim to drink a gallon of water a day - that's only 2 of these adorable jugs!

Sugar/Calorie free Strawberry Green Tea flavored water…drink up! I aim to drink a gallon of water a day – that’s only 2 of these adorable jugs!

Have you ever participated in a Challenge like this? What do you think of this one? If you’d like more information or are considering signing up please let me know. One of my best friends is an Intern with this company (how I found out about this) – so I might be able to use my “inside connections” to your benefit, or maybe I’ll send you a little thank you for participating in such a great cause 😉

Veteran’s Day: Shirts to show your Support!

TL;DR: I support the troops. Here’s some merch that donates money to that cause. Serious stuff and a funny video at the bottom.

For the most part, I keep this blog very light hearted. However, today I will be discussing a cause very near and dear to my heart that may rile some of you up – supporting the United States military. Military support can be controversial as it is tied to many other aspects of our political and cultural landscape such as war, mental health, domestic violence, and 2nd Amendment rights – to name a few.

I’m a huge supporter of the members of our military despite the fact that there are those that give the military a bad name – I  would know – however, I think there’s a bigger calling at work here. Bad apples shouldn’t be the poster children for the whole tree. We shouldn’t allow negative perceptions of those “bad apples” to turn us away from everyone else. If anything, we should allow that negativity to motivate us to learn more about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries), the transition process for those coming home from overseas, and what’s being done by our government and military leaders to help our veterans – and how we can get involved too!

While I encourage showing support everyday, most causes have special days to go all out – in this case, Veteran’s Day. It’s a day to say thank you to those – past and present- that have been a crucial part of American history. What I’m showing you today are charities I think you should check out and my favorite piece of merchandise from their store. I wanted to get this post out so there will be time for you to buy something and wear it this Veteran’s Day. I want to buy it all, but realistically that’s not in my budget, so I plan to buy one or two, then add the rest to a wish list (*cough cough* Christmas is coming 🙂 )

*Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with these groups in terms of profit, so please don’t think clicking these links will earn me anything. These are genuinely good organizations that I support and want to promote, you can check their rating on Charity Navigator,
Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 4.49.07 PM

1.$24.99 and 2. $32.99 The front says “The greatest casualty is being forgotten”
Both shirts are part of the Wounded Warriors Project & Under Armor collection. “Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families.” (from their website) WWP was one of the first Veteran’s programs I became involved with when I volunteered at one of their Tough Mudder events. Along with their BackPack Program and merchandise, they also coordinate 8K events and several other programs designed to cater to veteran’s “mind, body, economic empowerment, and engagement”.

3. $20
I find this design a little hard to read at first glance, but I think that’s the point. If you are familiar with the group, you recognize the design. IAVA stands for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America. IAVA began as a joint project with the Ad Council, but is now a 4 Star Charity geared towards supporting our most recent generation of veterans. It was started in 2004 by an Iraq veteran to assist veterans in various ways in their communities, in politics, and creating a connection with civilians to get them involved as well. This organization is well known for creating “Community of Veterans”, the first online social network exclusively available for veterans of  the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a purely veteran’s only community designed to help with the transition back to civilian life.

4.$28 – act quickly – read below to see why!
Sevenly is not specifically a military charity, however, I think they’re an important organization. Every week Sevenly teams up with a different charity and creates “cause art” merchandise and donates at least $7 of each item back to the specific charity of the week. The reason I say you must act quickly if you like one of their items is because most are exclusive, limited editions. The shirt shown above supports a charity called “4 Paws 4 Ability“, which trains and provides service dogs to those in need, including veterans. While there are service dogs to assist with PTSD related needs and a host of other veteran’s needs, this charity is focused on mobility issues and hearing loss associated with combat

5. $24
Last but not least is a charity I’ve been interested in for some time now, Got Your 6. I figure most will know this, but just in case…saying “got your 6” is another way of saying “I’ve got your back”. This group works with the entertainment industry and other non-profit groups to bridge the veteran-civilian gap. They aim to do this through an awareness campaign across TV, print, radio, and social media. 100% of their donations go back to the non-profits that support this campaign.

So there ya have it, which shirt do you like best? Had you heard of any of these charities before? Please let me know of any other charities you like to support that you think I should look into, or any other thoughts in the comments below – thanks for reading! Check my Instagram: @missal_leigh on November 11th to see which shirt I end up wearing!

On a way more serious note: This is an issue I’m currently following/supporting to the best of my ability, please read: Free the Marine: SGT Andrew Tahmooressi

On a way more light hearted note:
This artist creates a series of comics based on his time in the USMC. He’s very talented, and provides commentary so civilians can understand the context/military humor. Great insight to the military presented in a hilarious way: Terminal Lance
One of my favorite military related videos: MOMMA DOG

Holiday Model - Gift Sephora