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Martin Luther King Jr Day has me thinking even more about things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

Our government is corrupt. I’m not singling out Trump here. I’m talking about years of corruption, congressmen being bought and paid for, systematic oppression and scapegoating that goes back for years and crosses all parties.

You can look at any department, any situation, any level of government and it is clear, the person with the most influence (power, money) will pass laws that have their best interest in mind or the interest of their friends or the people lining their pockets.

In some ways, this is just human nature, we want to help people who help us. We care about the things we care about and don’t have space in our brains to care about everything.

But watch any movie (or, you know, read a book) from the last few years: Selma, the Big Short, War Dogs, 13th documentary, Snowden, etc and you’ll see how the government doesn’t play by its own rules…and we’re paying for it.

That’s why people have to keep calling it out. That’s why people can’t just say, “I’m cool with this.” Because it’s not cool. My hope is that we would look past sides, parties, and individual leaders and call out corruption wherever we see it and most of all, not participate in it ourselves. In government, business, and everyday life, honesty and goodness could take us very far if we all decided together we believed in those things and didn’t let people who are dishonest and shady keep moving up. It’s only human nature to keep doing what works.

So since the government is useless (channeling my inner Ron Swanson here) I’ve decided to ask myself over and over what can I do?

Work within your sphere of influence. We are all connected to something somehow. Encourage local businesses to pay living wages, to hire, promote, and train minorities and women and to provide healthcare. When the government tried to enforce this, people just found ways around it. Support businesses who pay for their employees to go to school or receive other training. Tell them you like what they’re doing.

Tell your local police force you want to connect with them. Volunteer at an organization that needs help and see how you can help. Support teachers, be a good role model for children. Some people just need one good influence in their life to get them on the right track.

The government defunds Planned Parenthood, and look at all the people who stepped up and donated. Those people were out there the whole time. What else could we support/fund if we decided to take it into our own hands?

I just believe that the average person might have better ideas on how to solve problems…Good people don’t seem to end up in politics very often, or at least they don’t seem to get very far.

Bill Gates, and many other people, are putting people through college. People have developed apps GoodRx and Blink Health so people can find cheaper prescriptions and healthshare organizations that are cheaper than insurance. People are tutoring kids so they can get to college. People are taking in and feeding the homeless. People are starting businesses that hire veterans. People are funding initiatives to hear more minority voices in cinema and the arts. Run for office and if you don’t win, do what you would’ve done if you had won.

We can’t wait for the government to change because it takes too long.

You have to push for your issue, because it’s not going to be everyone else’s issue, we’re all busy dealing with our own stuff and there are so many things to care about. Don’t expect everyone to care about the same things you care about. Don’t get discouraged if people don’t seem to care, your passion will be contagious and you can find like-minded people and you can make a change.

On the flip, try and respect that people are fighting for what they believe in and try and understand rather than push against. We are all connected.

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s a bit overwhelming, but I’m starting by just making a habit to say “yes” to small opportunities that come my way and to come up with small ways I can help using the skills I have. There are so many places to help, they’re not hard to find.

“Justice for all just ain’t specific enough.”

Not for Sale

Did you know January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month? President Obama has declared it so and this year I wanted to do something so I’ve started a t-shirt sale fundraiser that will go through the end of the month.

“Our Nation wrestled with the issue of slavery in a way that nearly tore us apart — its fundamental notion in direct contradiction with our founding premise that we are all created equal. The courageous individuals who rejected such cruelty helped us overcome one of the most painful chapters in our history as we worked to realize the promise of equality and justice for all. But today, in too many places around the world — including right here in the United States — the injustice of modern slavery and human trafficking still tears at our social fabric. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we resolve to shine a light on every dark corner where human trafficking still threatens the basic rights and freedoms of others.

From factories and brothels to farms and mines, millions of men, women, and children in the United States and around the world are exploited for their bodies and their labor. Whether through violence, deceit, or the promises of a better life, some of the most vulnerable populations among us — including migrants and refugees fleeing conflict or disaster, homeless LGBT youth, Alaska Native and American Indian women and girls, and children in poverty — are preyed upon by human traffickers. In order to rid the world of modern slavery we must do everything in our power to combat these violations of human decency.

As leaders in the global undertaking to end the exploitation of human beings for profit, we must always remember that our freedom is bound to the freedom of others. This month, let us find inspiration in America’s progress toward justice, opportunity, and prosperity for all and reaffirm our pledge to continue fighting for human rights around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2017 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1.”

Barack Obama

There are many great organizations that fight for this cause. I decided to raise funds for Polaris. They have several initiatives that attack human trafficking from different sides.

One thing I love is that they have a national hotline that is available 24/7 to help victims of human trafficking.

“The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages. The Hotline’s mission is to connect human trafficking victims and survivors to critical support and services to get help and stay safe, and to equip the anti-trafficking community with the tools to effectively combat all forms of human trafficking. The Hotline offers round-the-clock access to a safe space to report tips, seek services, and ask for help.

Learn more at”

There is also a textline available.

Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE): To get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking or to connect with local service

Hours of operation: 3:00pm -11:00pm EST

Polaris has resources for victims to restart their lives. It’s not easy to start a new life with nothing. Here’s a breakdown for some of the ways donations are used:

  • $25 supports operation of the national hotline for 2 hours
  • $50 provides food for a survivor and her children for 1 week
  • $120 or $10/month purchases basic supplies for a survivor receiving crisis services
  • $240 or $20/month houses, clothes and feeds a survivor for 1 week
  • $600 or $50/month provides one month of transitional housing for one victim
  • $1,200 or $100/month supports on-the-ground advocacy efforts to improve legislation in one state for six months

The more shirts that sell the higher the percentage of sales that go to Polaris from each item will be. Check them out here and please feel free to share this fundraiser.

If t-shirts aren’t your thing you can donate directly to Polaris right here.

If there is a demand for it I can also order kid’s shirts and onesies through another site. Let me know if you’d be interested in any.


Since people all around the country are snowed-in today or experience large amounts of snow and cold I want to talk about a little term I just learned but have always believed in.

Hygge, which is pronounced “hoo-ga” is the art of Danish coziness. Here’s a New Yorker article about what it means. Here’s a Denmark Tourism take on what it is.

Read those if you want some facts, but here’s my interpretation of articles I’ve read about it:

If you live in a country that is dark and cold a lot you need to find joy and comfort in darkness and methods of staying warm and cozy.

I noticed this when I spent a few days in Hungary in the winter. It was cold and got dark early but there were meat and potatoes you could buy on just about any corner and big furry hats to keep you warm. In Italy people would be roasting nuts on the side of the road.

I think in American culture we are kind of good at this around Christmas.

Hot cocoa and watching Hallmark movies. Only in dark, coldness do we crave the cheesy, predictable endings of Hallmark Christmas movies.

Comfort foods and desserts and gathering with friends and family.

Candles. If you’re afraid of burning your house down Christmas lights have a similar effect, which is why I took the ornaments off our tree but have left our tree up because we need that subtle, warm glow…also we don’t have overhead lights in all the rooms of our 1948 home. Also using lamps instead of bright lights can create some nice atmosphere.

Fire. If you don’t have a real fire you can look one up on Netflix or YouTube and play it off your laptop. It surprisingly has a similar affect.

Here’s a little example of how coming inside from the cold to a Netflix fire changes everything from the only YouTube video I’ve made that broke 1,000 views.

Chestnuts roasting on an open-fire…if people actually did this it would be very hygge. Chestnuts are a total comfort food, they’re like nutty potatoes, what more could you want? Pro-tip: Skip the open fire and just bake them.

But after Christmas for some reason we seem to pack up all the coziness, stop watching movies and listening to jazzy music, and get on with our lives…Worse, we focus on eating healthy and watch Awards Shows. Comfort and Joy doesn’t have to stop after the Christmas season ends.

I’ve spent the last week making soup and adding to my Pinterest dream board of all the blankets I hope to own one day. (Don’t worry I added some you can buy on Amazon from the comfort of your own hygge home–online shopping’s pretty hygge). I’ve also made sure we’ve stocked up on comfort food like pizza bites and potatoes in case we’re snowed in one of these days. But hygge is also about spending time with family and friends and about taking time to make meals or a cup of something hot. Human connection can warm your soul in the darkest times. Hold a mug in your hands and breath in and just enjoy a moment of focusing on just the one thing at hand (bad pun intended).

I think, through the spirit of hygge that we keep the Spirit of Christmas alive all year long (Tiny Tim said we should, ever heard of him?)

Invite friends over.
Make delicious baked things.
Drink hot drinks…I enjoy what I like to call “hot juice” and Jeff likes to call, “no thanks.”
Order your coffee to stay…coffee shops have some of the best atmospheres.
Rescue a dog and force it to sleep in your bed so you don’t freeze at night.
Light candles and set fires…in the fireplace.
Put so many blankets on your bed that you can’t move.
Tuck your pants/leggings into your socks so the cold can’t get you.
Wear flannel and other things that are soft and fuzzy.
Eat delicious food that is warm and fills you up.

Have meaningful conversations and keep friends and family close who might suffer from seasonal (or otherwise) depression. Feed them comfort food and hot juice and watch movies or play games by the fire.

Get yourself the following warm articles of clothing (click on the photo to buy):



Fleece-lined leggings:
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Wear a blanket by adding safety pins to fashion it into a cape:

Or scrap it all and buy this body suit that covers everything, (heels not recommended for snowy or icy terrain):

How do you keep Hygge-Cozy during the winter months? I’ll be sharing more of my hygee-ness later. Cheers!