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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Philanthropy (4)


Dishing for Dana!

OK, so Dana might be one of the nicest bloggers I've never met. Y'all for sure know her as The Broke-Ass Bride, but in case you don't - you need to read her story below and help a sister-blogger out!

This is Dana.

Here's the skinny on Dana:

The problem
♥  When I was 19 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Uveitis.
♥  My immune system doggedly attacks my eyes causing inflammation, visual disturbances and blurriness. It is incurable and will cause blindness if left untreated.
♥  I also have a very rare deep-tissue form of a disease called Granuloma Annulare, causing a different type of inflammation in my foot, for which I had surgery last year. It is so rare, I am unable to find a doctor who knows how to treat it moving forward.
♥  I’ve had 11 surgeries (at least one, each year, for the past 5 years), to control my diseases and their side effects.
♥  Last month my left eye came out of remission and I’ll be having a 12th surgery.

My surgeries and ongoing care (even with health insurance) have left piles of bills in their wake, and I am now at a point where, without help, I cannot pay for my medical care.

The solution
Our (amazing) friends in the online community have encouraged us to hold an online fundraiser, but receiving without giving isn’t really our jam. To that end…
♥  We’re compiling beloved comfort food recipes and the stories behind them from the most bad-ass bloggers and beyond… available in varying forms, in exchange for donations to my medical care.
♥  There are incentives for varying levels of donation, which you can learn about here.
♥  The recipes, photos and stories will be teased here on our Dishing for Dana blog, and once a donation is processed, a password to access the full recipes will be released to each donor.

The Goal
♥  $13,000 to cover my current medical bills
♥  $6,032 to cover our health insurance premiums for the remainder of 2011
♥  $2,000 to donate to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association toward helping others with autoimmune disease
For a total minimum of $22,000.

Note that this does not include the costs that will be related to my upcoming surger(ies) and ongoing care, nor for prescriptions or post-surgical supplies such as gauze and tape for my eye patch, or prescribed drugs to aid the healing process and protect from further inflammation and prevent infection, etc.

The Details
♥  You can donate any amount you choose, no minimum, no rules. Because every quarter is a quarter more than we had yesterday. It all adds up.
♥  We will donate 10% of all proceeds up to our goal, to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, so every dollar contributed not only goes toward my medical care, but also toward researching a cure to benefit everyone with autoimmune disease.
♥  Anything raised in excess of the goal will be split 50/50 with the AARDA – our portion of which will be saved in a dedicated, interest-bearing account toward any future surgeries and ongoing medical care.

So, please take a look through the site, learn about the recipes (and the stories behind them) that our amazing friends in the blog community have shared… and please consider making a donation to our cause. Having this autoimmune disease has formed me into the creative, ambitious and irrepressible woman I am today, and it inspired the birth of The Broke-Ass Bride. While no one can yet cure me, the idea that my online community could rally up to ease my condition’s painful and limiting financial side effects… well that gives me hope beyond expression.

Thank you!

So now, you can just click here and donate. And to throw in my 2-cents: if you need an example for a revised health-care system, this here is what you need.


For Japan with Love

As a child, I spent a year living off-base (meaning: amongst the locals) in Iwakuni, Japan, from 1977 to 1978. I remember coming home in the summer of '78, pit-stopping in Hawaii to visit family. My aunt asked my brother and I what we wanted to do now that we were back in the states. I remember my brain nearing implosion because I couldn't decide if my desire for French fries was greater than my desire to see "Star Wars" (all the cool kids had totally already seen it). Happily, we stopped at McDonald's (amazingly, they didn't yet exist in Japan back then!) and took our fries and our chocolate shakes into the theater with us (you could do that too) and watched in awe as Obi Wan battled it out with Darth Vader, happily slurping away. It was a fabulous day, being home in America.

But we had many fabulous days in Japan. We did things and saw things and ate things that no one had EVER heard of before. You ate RAW FISH? You sat on the FLOOR to eat dinner? You had rice paper DOORS? In your HOUSE? What is that thing - a microwave? What's THAT? And you say this VHS thing records your TV? What?"

Yes, to all those wonderful things.  My dad still asks for things and says thank you in Japanese, you know, just when we're hanging around the house (keeps the ol' guy sharp, I guess). My family? We're elitist sushi snobs. We knew sushi before sushi had anything to do with America! So this tsunami and the death and destruction that have followed in it's wake is crushing in a very personal way. It's hard to see a place you once called home get annihilated.

So guess what? You can help. It's easy. The folks who bring you Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours have teamed up with Shelter Box USA for donations to help the victims of Japan. Click on the banner below to donate today! And keep reading because you can help in more ways than one!

Via Utterly Engaged:

For Japan With Love has a direct link on the website to the fundraising page for ShelterBox. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake.  Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

Please check it out and whatever you can contribute will be so appreciated.

Bloggers Day of Silence:

Anyone that has a blog can help out with this one.

The aim is just raise awareness and respect and acknowledge the devastation going on in Japan.

The guidelines are simple.
1.  This coming Friday, March 18th, no posts at all on your blog.
2.  Please post a blog post about what you will be doing this Friday whenever possible in hopes to spread the word and whoever else would like to join in
3. Tweet and Re-Tweet the shiznit out of the link to http://www.forjapanwithlove.com please.
4. Encourage your readers to contribute to donate shelter to Japan.
Whatever anyone can contribute will be appreciated.
Every little helps.

Feel free to ask other bloggers you like to join in on this.  Whatever impact we can make will be so awesome.

Whether you write or read blogs, or just happened to fall onto this website today, so something great and donate!


The Sunday Edition

I normally don't post on the weekends (even The Thirty-Something Bride needs an effin' break), but I had to thank everyone who came out yesterday to donate dresses and accessories for The Fairy Godmother Project of Music City! It was a great success! We collected over 150 dresses! Folks donated shoes and clutches, wraps and make-up. We had a ton of jewelry donated as well. It really was a feel good experience for everyone!

The view of the backseat of my car: satin and tulle and silk - OH MY!

Props to Wedding 101 for help in spreading the word. Amazing ladies: Beth Glascock and her team at Vanderbilt Orthopaedics for following through on their New Year's resolutions to get more involved in philanthropic endeavors. A big ol' round of applause to Blush Boutique, J.S. Fields & Co. and Faccio Bridal for their amazing donations! Thank you so much! I had such a great time meeting all these new people!

Ooooooooh. Sparkly.

Shoes as far as the eye can see! 

Gobs of dresses.

We even had a dad show up with his daughters dresses! Methinks that perhaps they might have been stored in his closet and he wanted them gone! I'm wondering how long it will be before the girls notice....

And of course, we have a winner of the $50 gift certificate toFrugal MacDoogal! That would be my very own Tabitha (yes, she belongs to me) who donated the dress she wore to her reception in Singapore! So cool.

Thanks again to everyone!

And guess what? It's not too late to donate! We can take donations right up until boutique day. We'll even arrange a pick up if you need it. Just contact me, or go to The Fairy Godmother Project of Music City and contact Beth. Either way.



The Fairy Godmother Project of Music City

When I lived in Chicago, every year I'd hear about this wonderful non-profit group that collected and distributed prom dresses for teenage girls in financially challenged communities. I always wanted to be a part of it, but always heard about it after the fact. Not so great for a would-be philanthropist, right? So what did I do? I raised $3700 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago instead. I collected donations and support from friends, family members and complete strangers! To get these donations, all I had to do was run The Chicago Marathon. Piece of cake. Um, yeah.

So I haven't done a whole lot of fundraising since then and I really miss it. It makes you feel good. It makes you a nicer person all around and Lord knows, I need all of the niceness I can get. It's a good balance to the snarkiness. That's why I was so jazzed when I saw that Wedding 101 was a part of The Fairy Godmother Project of Music City! I've jumped in with both feet and am just so happy to be helping with this amazing adventure! This is the first time the event has been held in Nashville, so the goal is to make it a fabulous time for a group of incredible girls!

The Project is set up in two big phases. First, the collection of all things prom needs. Second, the distribution of all things prom! What fun!

So, how can you help? Here's how to get involved with phase one:

Hello, local ladies? I had better see you on Saturday, March 13th between 11am-3pm at The Factory in Franklin. I do not give a rat's ass if you think it's too far to drive if you live downtown. You'd drive to Franklin for you wedding gown, wouldn't you? Think about how awesome a girl is going to feel (as well as you) if she picks one of your dresses to wear for prom. Do not deny a girl her chance at prom fabulousness! Bring your honey along and check out The Factory, drop in on Wedding 101 for some fabulous bridal assistance, or hit up downtown Franklin for some fun shopping. There are two (yes TWO!) cupcake shops you can visit to contrast and compare cake/icing ratios. And if you can't make it to The Factory, you'd better have a damn good reason. Even if you can't make it, you can mail any of the appropriate goodies (see the list below) here:

The Fairly Godmother Project of Music City

c/o Beth Glascock

1737 Red Jacket Drive

Antioch, TN 37013

Another option is to email me and I'll come pick the stuff up. Seriously.

Here are the donation guidelines: 

  • Dresses/cocktail style shoes fewer than 5 years old
  • Dresses and shoes should be cleaned prior to donating
  • Dresses and shoes should be in good condition
  • Dresses can be long or short in length
  • For health and safety reasons, makeup, perfume, and lotion must be unused
  • Formal jewelry and purses
  • Shawls & wraps must be in good condition

The point is we want these girls to feel and look like a million bucks!

And, because I want you ladies to get involved, there is a contest.  Oh yes there is. Any woman who comes to The Factory in Franklin (I'm planning on being there all day) and donates the most usable merchandise and mentions The Thirty-Something Bride will win herself a $50 gift certificate to Frugal MacDoogal. That's right, ladies BOOZE. Of course, you must be 21 years of age in order to win that little nuggets of happiness. ID's will be checked. I really don't need ABC gettin' all up in my grill for supplying liquor to minors.

The second phase of The Project is the distribution of the dresses to the girls. We want to make it as boutique-like as possible so that's it an actual shopping experience. Chappy's on Church has generously donated their entire restaurant for Boutique Day on March 27th! How amazing is that?

We're working on another sort of contest for non-local folks who want to participate too. Or, you could just mail some darn dresses. It's for a good cause - who needs a prize for the award of a philanthropy, right?

*Have I guilted you into it yet?*

Oh, and all you local vendors? Expect some phone calls. I'm going to be hitting you up and holding you to your offers of kindness made at the HER Nashville brunch. Oh yes, I am! That's right, I'm talking to you Faccio Bridal and I'm talking to you Eye Candy Salon! Y'all were dope enough (and totally not snooty) to offer some awesome goodies. THANK YOU!

So, hop to it ladies. Go dig through your closet. Pull at the dresses that are too big/small. Those shoes that kill your feet might fit another like Cinderella's glass slipper. Seriously, are you going to wear that black shrug again? You know you'll but something else if you can get away with it. And that lipstick gift with purchase from Clinique that you know is a heinous color on you without even trying it on? Bring that stuff too.

Do you want to just get involved and donate you time? Well, we need that too. Go here and volunteer. And guess what? All donation are tax deductible. Booya.

And in a show of good faith and charity, I'm going to post my own prom picture. This is actually from my junior prom. And yes, me and my high school BFF totally planned the black/white thing. I have to dig and try to find my senior prom picture. There are black lace fingerless gloves involved. Oh yes. In the meantime, enjoy at my expense.


Oh, I was still totally in my slouching phase. It's just no fun to be 16 and taller than EVERYONE.  And for the record, my hair wasn't pulled back on the sides or pulled up. It was totally Flock of Seagulls/Robert Smith-esque. Nice.....