Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hard & Cold Truth...I wish the scale was wrong

OK folks. Now I know that I promised you that I would post this number and I am not one to go back on my word. But let me tell you something- I almost choked when I saw it. Things to note:


1. I was exactly 200 lbs when I went into labor for both of my kids. Nice, neat numbers.


2. I had only gained 15 lbs with Olivia, but 27 with Jackson (coincidentally, Jackson was 3 oz. and 3 inches smaller than Olivia. Obviously, the extra weight went to my ass)


But before I show you "The Number", I am going to post a pic of me, taken today, so you can see where the weight is:
um, side note? this shirt is Awesome. I love it. I love the colors and how freaking comfortable it is. I feel practically naked it's all swingy and cute. :)





OK, folks- now here it is. Try not to snicker like, out loud:

183.6

I'm not kidding. If my camera wasn't being an absolute bitch right now I'd actually post a picture. But since it is, that's what it is. My goal- lose 15 pounds. Yes- 15. I can do that. And you know what? I'd like to lose the double chin that somehow managed to hang onto my face. So gross.

So your job is to basically keep me going and keep reminding me to post the new weight figures...even if it goes up. Because yesterday I was 183.2 so yah- not such a fab start.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Jennifer/Blog Contest

I got your box today.


um- yeah, you used a LOT of tape. :) Thank god I have a 4 and 16 month old to help me. Except then Jackson (the 16 month old) got it stuck on his face, and so his sister, (the 4 year old) ever so helpful ripped it off, and crying/screaming ensued. Then he pushed her and pulled her hair. I don't know what really happened next because I was too busy looking inside of the box. :)


Holy Shit!!! 5 Books?! You are a ROCKSTAR and my new favorite person.


Now some of you are probably wondering who the fuck is Jen and why are you getting books? Free ones? In a box with a lot of tape on it? Which turned you into a horrible mother for about 10 minutes while drooling over the new books?

um, yeah- I'm cool enough to get a handwritten note. No need to bow down- but yah- admire it. Be all jealous. And Jen?? LOVE your handwriting!


Well Jennifer works in an office...in New York.. doesn't William Morrow & Harper Collins Publishing mean anything to you? No? Well then you are a freaking loser and you should just school yourself. But if you do, you are awesome (not as much as me right now) and you should just be jealous. I was actually contacted via email by Jennifer because of this post about a fantastic book that I still believe EVERYONE needs to read because it is that good. I promise. Anyways, so she found my blog (which really? Is bizarre and random, but awesome) and it totally made my day. OK, let's just be honest here- made my last two months. She gave me some really cool starting points since I'm writing my first book which is going to be a memoir about my 30/30 list and my slow but scary progression towards aging.

And for those who say, "Hey Sara, um, yeah? Your list isn't finished"- I say be patient bitch. I'm working on it. I've got 3 more spots to fill on my handwritten list which WILL BE DONE AND POSTED THIS WEEKEND. But if you have any really fun/scary activities that you think would be fun to watch me do and document- leave me a comment, I just might add it. (And let me just state right now, that something like "streaking down the street" is not going to happen. Because really? NOBODY wants to see that happen. Not even my husband I'm sure)

So anyways- Because she found my blog, loved/appreciated my review I got some really cool bonus books for which I am THRILLED about. And no, I'm not giving out her name or email address. Or anyway to contact her. I am going to be completely freaking selfish. :)

CONTEST!!!!

OK, so you all are really here for the contest, aren't you?? Well luckily I'm a giver (see, I can be something other than a bitch..really I can) so I decided that I can't rightfully hoard everything. So if you want to win one of these books- you must do the following:

1. Post a Comment

2. Become a follower (if you aren't already)

3. Post a link on your blog back to mine about the contest

I will randomly pick a winner on September 15 (because I'll probably get most of them done by then).

And thank you Jennifer for being awesome at your job, actually responding to my emails which probably made you question my sanity, and for literally making my July & August. You are awesome!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Bits & Baubles..Happenings..What Have You..

Hey yall! (Don't I totally sound like Paula Deen here?? I love her!) Anyways- not much happening this week. OK- that is a flat out lie but not much that I have to post anyways.

But let's recap some stuff I totally forgot to post about like last week:

1. My NEW Haircut! Yes- I got my hair cut. OK, so it was a trim up of what I had but I've done this 4 times now and I totally and completely love it. Why? Um...because I do NOTHING to it. Like I roll out of bed and it looks fan-fucking-tastic messy. If I feel like I really wanna do something, I can mash it up more. OR, I can flatten it and be all professional looking and shit. Not that I'm into that. I much prefer mashy and messy...so much easier.

Side View..longer in front/shorter in back. And yes- my hair is natually that color and wavy.
Front and Fabulous (And Kate N- totally wearing my Urban Decay eyeliner...did I do it right??)

And hey- isn't my shower curtain nice? Random sidebar there. :)

OK, so the 5K Training is still happening, I will post on that later this week/weekend when I post (GASP!!!!) pictures of me on a scale. YES! I will show you the for real number, and now I'm thinking of (seriously...someone stop me..) taking measurements. I'm going to lose weight if it kills me and let's be honest it probably will. I'm so unfit and out of shape I'm absolutely shameless. SO..I'm hoping by posting these horribly embarrassing numbers that you all will shame me publicly into losing weight. Think of it like a flogging. I'm ready yall!

Oh yeah- and driving home from work today I saw this baby:
Is it strange that this beauty was parked outside the State Public Defender office??

How freaking fun would THIS be to travel to Florida in?? Matt would literally kill himself if I brought something like this home. But we're traveling to Florida (and back, god willing) in October with 4 adults and two kids (4 and 18 months) in a minivan. It's been suggested that I get some kind of web cam for the dashboard which Nikki says could be called a "Crazy Car Cam" and I think that is a FABULOUS idea. BUT, we're broke, don't own a camera so I have no idea how I would pull that off. But nothing says entertainment like a husband/wife screaming at each other about whether or not the GPS is right (I say it is..and hey- I'm usually right. Coincidence??), two kids screaming at each other for breathing, and god only knows what might happen. Oh yes, this will be the road trip from hell most assuredly but god dammit- NOBODY is ruining my vacation. I will dump your asses at a roadside stand. Please believe that.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dear Lenny

Dear Lenny,

Yes, mom?

I would really appreciate it if you could just stop licking yourself all of the time. Your fur is always so clean and soft but I don't think that it requires you to lick for 40-60 minutes in one sitting. Doesn't your tongue get tired? Don't you cramp up from holding this pose?
Do I look sexy?
I get the dedication that it takes but let's be real here. The slurping noises you make while intensely licking? Prety fucking disgusting. I shouldn't have to move myself because you can't stop licking. Is this a form of masturbation for cats? Because the fact that you resorted to this is your own fault. I found a female cat ready and willing and instead of doing the cat thing and going at it, you shit yourself and hid under a bed. Nice. Instead, you prefer knitted blankets and licking yourself. You are weird. I love you, but you are weird.
And to be honest with you, I'm beginning to suspect all of your licking is what is causing the random puke piles you produce. That and eating 1/3 pound of raw hamburger while it's cooking probably isn't good either. I don't know why you do these things but let me tell you- momma is at her wit's end. Yesterday really was a banner day for puke- four piles. And for whatever reason, you chose to puke AFTER I cleaned the floor. Why? Why must you do these things? Do you enjoy watching mom gag while I clean it? Do you get off on that? Because I don't think it's cute OR funny. Shape up buster.
Love, Momma

Friday, August 21, 2009

Some days I wish I were a Hooker

No, not really because let's face it- I can't even balance in flat shoes let alone heels. BUT, I will own a pair of hooker heels one day just because I can.

But no, this post is not about my freakish dreams and aspirations, it's about a really fun blog by another chick named Sara (who let's be honest- anyone who spells it without the ridiculous "h" at the end- automatically fan-fucking-tastic in my opinion)- and in celebration of her 100th post over at Handy Hooker (I'd love to see what kind of freak emails SHE's getting). She's got a really fun giveaway and if you can read, you can enter. :) Actually- there is more to it than that, but you need to read the instructions. And then follow them. And hope, pray, and wish you are cool enough to win. I'm on such a winning role lately that if I actually win anything from this- I'm going to a god damn casino ASAP. Momma's got bills to pay 'yo.

TPE & Get Sketchy Challenges

Once again, I'm in a rush but figured I had time to do one project- so in order to get two challenges done quickly (under 5 minutes, natch!) so I can get to bed and hopefully get rid of the headache I've had for 4 days... I combined the challenge requests this week. AND, because I'm so awesome I decided not to do a card like I always do, but a layout. Since hello- I'm incredibly behind. You may see more of this in the future...



I'm super excited that I not only used a crap load of letter stickers, but I'm using my incredibly ridiculous stash of brads. It's really a damn shame and you'd think the people at Michaels would stop selling me these things since hello? I never get around to using them. Go me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

5K Training- Day One

So eventually I will get my fat lazy ass around to posting my 30/30 list, but one of the items on there is to run/walk/drag myself/hitch a ride on someone else across the line of a 5K. Now, my runner neighbor Amy tells me this is easy and totally doable. Those who actually know me really well (and by that I mean those who know the non-athletic ability that I have) actually laugh so hard they are on the verge of peeing their pants upon hearing this.

I try not to be offended. It's ok- I'm sure the rest of you want to get a chuckle in. I'll stand and take it. Just this once.

And I happen to read a blog (one of my absolute favorites) where Finny likes to run. OK- so she might not like to run- but she's a mother fucking pro marathoner compared to me. The fact she considers a 10 mile "shortish long"....REDONKULOUS. I think running a full city block is really- big news for me. I emailed her last week to tell her about my progress. Which was running 2 blocks (non consecutive...have to walk off the horrible cramping...) but that was only happening because I was being chased by a dog who I'm sure mistakening thought my bouncing ass was a large ball. I can't say I blame him, I also think "Holy shit- why is there a ball on my ass?!" when I walk past mirrors. Happens all the time. But being bitten by a dog is a GREAT incentive, unfortunately everyone had their dogs on leashes today.

So today I set out to at least do some speed walking, which means walking as fast as I can without dying. I did it. I walked 16 blocks and felt like my legs were going to fall off. AND, of those 16 blocks, THREE were me running.

(Side Note: Dear residents of 55th block of Oakes, 53rd block of Banks, and 59th block of Banks- I apologize for obscene jiggling you had to watch. And I'm sorry about the singing- next time I'll try not to sing "40 oz. to Freedom" (great sublime song btw) quite as loud. BUT, for those living on 59th and Banks- you heard "All Apologies" and frankly- that was probably more appropriate. Nonetheless- you should be thankful it was only my ass and thighs swinging every where. I found a bra that holds the girls in. I will continue to wear that even though it cuts off circulation to my armpits. Because I'm a giver like that. Cheers!-Sara Strand)

Anyways... So Finny if I lived closer to you (I'm in WI 'yo) I would personally deliver you a monster box or artichokes and some wine. Since I obviously don't *do* veggies or drinks... you could totally have double. Again, I'm a giver like that. Why? Because your posts make me think I could actually run for more than a few blocks. And not totally die. BUT, just in case (and really- it's totally normal and practical) I'm going to get a will in place. You know- because I could totally die while running. I'm sure it's very common. Thank god I don't smoke.

OH- and let's just give me an EXTRA kudos...I started my exercising in the rain, bitches. With no umbrella...because I don't own one, but that is so not the point. I am sure my neighbors thought I was drunk or totally delusional, but fuck them. I'm getting fit. So this weekend...I'm buying a scale....and I am going to take a picture (of me on the scale AND the number). Why? Pretty much in the hopes that thousands of you out there tell me I'm such a fat ass and the sheer humilation makes me actually exercise. Aw yeah. OK- off to take a shower since Lenny (the cat) is making it very clear he wants no cuddles until I shower. Will do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

3 Challenges DONE in 15 minutes. :)

Oh- I am on a mother fucking ROLL tonight lambs! I just finished 3 challenges in 15 minutes. They may not be my best work, but you know what? I like them, I have plans to use them (they are all going in the mail tomorrow to some adoring audience members). On Sunday (barring my crops don't need to be harvested) I am going to be posting a new item into Etsy which I will debut here of course.
For those who are visiting my blog for the first time- please keep reading. The good posts follow this one. I promise. :)

Must use: old paper, eyelets, old stamp, AND a non-scrappy item. Phew! So I used some old Chatterbox paper, one eyelet, an old stamp (a virgin one, too!!), and my non-scrappy item are pearls from a handle of a giftbag. Talk about random.



This challenge blog is doing it's virgin run, so I figured I would participate. Thanks Ann for introducing this one. It obviously had a sketch involved- but here is my result:
and finally, but certainly not the least- The Pink Elephant had a color challenge using brown/turquoise/neutral. This meant I got to drag out the scraps of SEI's Grandma's Kitchen paper that I covet and absolutely love. I'm down to two more pieces of 3x3 squares. AHH!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is what happens when FarmTown takes over your life

Hi, my name is Sara and I'm a FarmTown Addict. I should also mention that I give in to peer pressure easily, which is why I'm a FarmTown Addict. (Greg- sole responsibility for this is on you. FYI). In case you live under a rock and don't know the fabulousness and stupidity that is FarmTown, consider yourself lucky. FarmTown is an application on FaceBook (find me "Sara Koceja Strand") in which you plant and harvest crops. Stupid, huh? Yah, well when you start raking in the dough and you expand your farm- it takes over your life. Suddenly, I can't do anything without checking my crops. GOD FOR FUCKING BID my crops "go to waste". That has happened once to my 3 fields of grapes and I was kicking myself for days. It will never happen again. I will alter my sleep schedule, ignore breaks at work all so I can harvest and/or plant.


Which is how this little "situation" happened. This was like two weekends ago now, Saturday night, and I'm home harvesting my crops because I'm a badass mo' fo' like that. I hear Matt dicking around in the back porch which is literally is big piece of shit and I get angry just being out there. It's a useless sack what with the door not really shutting, the single pane glass window (original to the 100+ y.o. house yall- this bitch is "vintage") and the closets that some idiot "handmade". OH- let's not forget the purple paint and the newspaper shoved into a hole in the wall which was then painted over. LIKE WE WOULDN'T NOTICE THAT.


Anyways- so he's banging away and installing the new door that someone generously gave to us. We've had that thing in the garage for a few weeks and he's just now doing it. So I'm thinking, "Jesus H. Christ- it takes a long time to put on a door." I'm harvesting- he's banging. About 4 hours later, after discovering I can make even MORE money buy working on other people's farm (to which I did for 4 hours. Again, I'm the coolest bitch you'll ever know), I decide to inspect his work because we all know husbands work MUCH better under intense micromanagement and "what the fuck are you doing" accusations. At least mine does. You should try it- work HAPPENS.

So I go out to the porch and immediately, I'm like, "What the fuck????". Matt is obviously nowhere to be seen. Nope- no new door just massive destruction. The ugly peel and stick tile is gone, so the floor is sticky, and an entire wall was ripped down to the studs. For no reason other than he felt like it. Need proof??

No more tile...just sticky floor
This is where the newspaper was. It's now gone, but you'll notice our new peep hole. I can stick my hand through the hole to shake people's hands BEFORE the come in. Nice.

Really, who needs a wall?

Look! Another peep hole. Wow- people could probably get a decent hand job through this one.

THEN, after witnessing the unconceivable destruction of my back porch with no plans or money to renovate it, I decide to go back to FarmTown. But then.... holy shit lambs!!! There are two massive piles of cake puke in the middle of my living room. At some point my cat decided to throw up a lot of stuff, and Matt made an attempt to clean it. You'll notice this attempt is code for "We just sprinkle some stuff on top, leave the jug there, and hope the puke fairies come to finish it up." Yah, guess what? I left it for him. I don't do puke. Not cat or kid puke. Neither. I'd hire out if I were alone. I've actually been known to call Matt at work to handle a puke situation.

And then here comes the mother fucking culprit trying to be all cute. Fuck you, Lenny. WHY must you eat everything??? There is not enough carpet cleaner in the world to keep up with you. YOU are the reason I can't have new carpet. Your puke is so toxic it bleaches the damn color out of everything. Are you some kind of freak??? I'm already spending $25 every two weeks on your prescription food. He apparently has allergies therefore we have to feed him special kibbles that smell puke ironically. This has led, I believe, to Lenny becoming bulimic. He binges and obviously purges. Frequently.
(Side Note: Is it just me or does it look like Lenny is bracing for a beating? I would never do that, but let me assure you- no cuddles for HIM that night. No sir. That punk had to sleep on the floor of my room. That's right- the floor with no carpet. Also- I totally dig the fact his front paws have thumbs. Creepy, but cute)


So in the end, my back porch is tore up and will be forever at this rate. The new back door is in which looks like shit since it's painted hunter green and it obviously clashes with the purple walls. Lenny still pukes, but at least he has the decency to not flaunt it in front of me now. And Matt did clean up the puke. After I "gently" reminded him after he got all settled and was almost asleep. That was strategic, believe me.

Book Review: IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Man, you people are going to think I only read. But, I assure you my kids are still alive and well, my cats are being fed, and my husband is around. I think. But anyways- on with the review!

I started this book at 9 pm last night, just thinking I can get in a few pages before bed. Nope- finished the entire thing in just under two hours. FANTASTIC.

IF I STAY



The book is about Mia, who is 17 years old and is faced with really, an unspeakable tragedy and then an even more difficult decision. In the front of the book Mia and her family are in a horrendous car accident and Mia must decide whether to die or to fight and continue to live. The entire book is about choices- and how they can affect the rest of your life and others as well. I recommend this book to EVERYONE. I am a firm believer that you, whether you know it or not, make the decision whether you will die or not. I don't believe that you just die. You may do it subconsciously, but I believe you make the decision to die when it's time for you. Granted, others may think you died too soon, or held on too long, but at the end of the day- that's your path and I think you know your path and in the end, you follow it. What is more amazing about this book is the way it's written. One section you are with Mia and she's watching loved ones talk to her and watch the medical staff intervene with things go wrong, and then the next section you are walking down memory lane with her.

The most powerful part of the book, for me, was when Mia's grandfather tells her that it's ok to die. She'd be missed, but if she wanted to go he'd understand. BUT, if she wanted to stay that they are waiting and rooting for her. OK- ball like a baby!! But it was a great book and I think it's enlightening for anyone who's held vigil next to someone dying, I believe that it gives comfort to you. I see my Uncle David's death in a different way and although I know he heard our prayers and messages to him, this book kind of reaffirmed it for me. :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: SECOND HAND by Michael Zadoorian

Hey everyone- time for yet another book review. Sorry I've been such a slacker in the reading department. I've been reading but so far I haven't had anything really worth reviewing. All kind of blah. But THANK YOU Michael Zadoorian for writing yet another terrific book, I must say- I hope you continue to write for a very long time because I am in love with your writing. A few weeks ago I reviewed his other book, The Leisure Seeker, and it was fabulous. So here's the other book (his first, actually):

SECOND HAND


Basically, the jist of the story is about Richard, who is a self proclaimed "junker" and he owns a thrift/junk store in Detroit, MI. He's not really a loner, but is fairly unlucky in love, and has a strained relationship with his family. At the very beginning of the book his mother dies which sends him into somewhat of a spiral into depression, but at the same time, he meets a woman named Theresa who is a perfect match for him. Well, aside from the fact she has serious depression issues among other things. But you root for Richard and Theresa together and separately because you like them. The great thing about Michael's writing? It's like you are having a conversation with an old friend- the characters are speaking to you and it really is like talking to a good friend on the phone. Throughout the book you hear his theories on life and junk, and how both are really just the same. Here's a part of the book to give you a taste:
"Think of all the things we touch every day, the million tiny linchpins that hold our lives together-the coffee mugs, the tie clasps, the alarm clocks, the sunglasses, the key fobs, the beanbag ashtrays. What if they absorbed some scintilla of you, as if the oil from your fingers carried the essence of your soul? Then think of all the stuff you've ever owned, that's ever passed through your hands, where it all might be right now. Think of the million other lives you've touched through those things that you've owned, that carry the essence of you. Amazing, huh?
Oh shit. You're right. Most of t is probably in a landfill in New Jersey. But I do think that when you own something that once belonged to someone else, it's like some secret contact with them, with their past. A way to touch people without having things get all messy and emotional.
That's what secondhand is. But then there are always people who worry about whether those hands were properly washed."
Anyways. I highly recommend this book. And I will tell you that as soon as I finished reading it, I had this unexplainable urge to hit up some thrift stores. Of course, I'm broke (as usual) so that's on hold until this weekend. But then? It is ON. I look at junk in a whole new light. Oh! But I did find a free dresser that needs on a little touch up free on the side of the road. I totally had Matt pick it up. :) I swear to you- it was a sign. Thank you, Michael, for being such an amazing writer.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm A Winner, Elena's A Winner, and The Rest Of You Wish You Were A Winner

So yes! Let's talk about some fun winnerish type stuff because really? I'm all about winning. Except that I don't do it much so when it happens I invite you to drink up. And because I don't drink, that means you can have two. At least.

Big THANKS to my kindred blogger buddy Ann, who has pronounced me a winner. Oh yes, she has a fabulous weekly blog candy thing going on, so if you aren't a loser- you should go check it out because she makes FANTABULOUS (and it should be noted here that "fantabulous" is definitely my word so don't be hatin yo') cards. If you want the deets on her blog candy giveway you must go here . And to be even cooler- she put up a link to my blog- so MAYBE I'll get some cool kids over here. Not that yall aren't cool, but come on- you can't have too many cool kids in one space.

AND, since Elena was the big winner of my "Be A Follower" contest, I'm just now getting around to mailing her package. I know- I'm such a fucking loser. I swear to you, it's been done, it's been packaged, and it's been lounging on my dining room table since. Ugh. But you know what? It's going in the mail TOMORROW because I'm making Matt do it. I figure it has a better chance of getting mailed if I make him do it. So what did she win? (Elena, close your eyes!) Well here it is:

I want you to know I was thisclose to keeping the frame because I have a pic that matches it perfectly. But I didn't- it's in the mail because I'm a giver like that.

OK- so check back tomorrow to read and see Matt's inexplicable back porch destruction for absolutely no reason. Till then- night lambs!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Detour

This picture creeps me out. Just sayin.
But if you like it, you can buy it here

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

SoapBox Edition: Why My Library Sucks

Have you ever gotten really excited over hearing about a new book and thinking "YES!! Another fabulous read to be distracted by and forget that I have mounds of clothing to be washed!"? Well I had such a day.

And when I got home the first thing I did was get on my computer, log into the website for the Northern Waters Library System for WI and start reserving books. Oh, but my glory was totally squashed when the library didn't have any and I mean ANY OF THE 15 BOOKS I tried to reserve. Really? Not one library in the entire state has these books? These are bestsellers- very exciting things, getting rave reviews. Bastards. Absolute bastards.

*Good News*
I was able to reserve a few and when they come I'll be all happy and excited. So here's what has been reserved:

1. The Shell Seekers- Rosamunde Pilcher (I'm not super excited about this- the cover was kind of blah)
2. At Least In The City Someone Would Hear Me Scream- Wade Rouse (the title alone makes me happy)
3. Knit Two- Kate Jacobs (the sequel to Friday Night Knitting Club, I'm VERY excited to read this one!)
4. Second Hand- Michael Zadoorian (another book by the guy who wrote The Leisure Seeker- I am very excited to read this- I hope the library gets this one first)
5. Hope In A Jar- Beth Harbison (I have no idea what it is about but I hope it's not a loser book)

Spreading The Word For Charity

Some of you might know that I work for a non-profit organization (which I love and totally support) and because of my experience in the non-profit world I support a multitude of other causes and organizations. I got an email from Hotels Combined who brought this charity to my attention. So, in my good deed of the day I am blogging about the charity in the hopes that $20 will actually go to the charity of my choice. :)

Hotels Combined is a company wanting to donate money to charity. The bonus is that it’s totally free - you choose the charity, they donate the money! In order to spread the word about the company, Hotels Combined are currently donating money to one of three charities when you mention them on your blog or become a fan on Facebook.

So, here’s how you can help charity of your choice.
Mention them on your blog and Hotels Combined will donate $20 USD to your chosen charity (just email them with the URL and your chosen charity)
OR
Become a fan on Facebook and Hotels Combined will donate $5 USD to your chosen charity (simply sign into Facebook, become a fan, then post a comment on their Facebook profile indicating your choice)
Donating to charity couldn’t get much simpler (or cheaper) than that!

Hotels Combined are currently donating to the following worthwhile charities:
WWF - the global conservation charity dedicated to stopping the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and building a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
World Vision - Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice
Make a Wish Foundation - Granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Hotels Combined is a search engine that searches over 900,000 hotel deals worldwide for the best price possible.
The hotel deals are retrieved from multiple hotel reservation websites around the world, enabling you to compare prices and availability across all major acommodation providers on a single screen.
This company says that they are always looking for ethical and environmentally friendly ways of doing business.
The aim of this promotion is to help spread the word about the company in an ethical and environmentally friendly way.