Wednesday, March 31, 2010

remembering paris

(august 2009)

i love vacation. excited for summer trips and weddings!


it is no secret that i love weddings. all things wedding.

so much, in fact, that i've been working for the last few months with mariemerin productions, a new event planning and production company started by two fabulous young women in new york city!

one of my favorite parts of working with MMP is getting to surf wedding blogs all day, finding the latest and greatest in wedding and party planning ideas.

we want to get the word out about MMP, and have therefore started a giveaway(!) on their website! the randomly selected winner will get a year's subscription to either the knot or the nest magazine--awesome for all you engaged and married couples out there!

so check out their site, share the link to the giveaway on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc. and link back to it in a comment on the MMP page!

happy giveaway-ing!

Monday, March 29, 2010

small pleasures!

yahoo recently posted this list of 101 small pleasures we can all enjoy every day.

it's nice to be reminded of these simple, beautiful things in life which always are sure to make us smile.

below are some of my faves from the list.



crisp cotton sheets
sleeping in
a genuine compliment (giving or receiving)
a handwritten letter

movie theater popcorn


an afternoon nap (do we see a trend here, people? i like to sleep)
inspiring blogs

a bear hug


staying in your pjs all day

finding the perfect piece of clothing...on sale


really great advice
green lights all the way home

the sound of rain hitting the windows


holding hands
love letters

sitting at the counter of an old-fashioned diner


girl scout cookies


kissing someone you love

a spoonful (or 2 or 3) of peanut butter straight from the jar
your softest t-shirt
bacon and pancakes cooking on a saturday morning.

did i miss anything? do you have your own small pleasures? see the full list here and add your faves in the comments!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

rainy days happy surprises

while i'm not all about this rainy weather nyc seems to be having (which, of course, started as soon as i got back from texas), i am all about the quirkiness of this great city.

i mean really, where else will you find dog shaped bike racks (laguardia place)?

or a randomly painted heart (bleecker street)?

only in nyc!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

my man's idea: playlist roundup

one of my man and my favorite things to do is drive around and listen to music.

we don't have to be going anywhere. in fact, it's better if we're not. we just listen and talk and talk and listen and enjoy having nothing to do but be in each other's company.

since we can rarely agree on the music we listen to, i decided to make him a playlist with music we BOTH like, or that has some meaning to each/both of us. HE suggested i make it a blog post to see if yall love/hate any of the songs. what a blogger-to-be he is becoming!

check it out below:

1. fireflies by owl city
2. lovely tonight by joshua radin
3. small town kid by eli young band
4. lollipop remix by framing hanley
5. say hey (i love you) by michael franti
6. aint no sunshine by bill withers
7. trouble by ray lamontagne
8. she is love by parachute
9. normal life by july for kings
10. just the same by big dismal
11. hearts burst into fire by bullet for my valentine
12. hallelujah by jeff buckley
13. haven't met you yet by michael buble
14. handlebars by flobots
15. taps by justin king
16. bottom of the barrel by amos lee
17. guinevere by eli young band
18. float away by july for kings
19. today was a fairytale by taylor swift
20. you said by shane and shane

so there it is. what do you think of this playlist? love/hate any of the songs?

are you out there? i know people read this (i have my ways), so come out and play...comment and share with me!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

crazy girl (houston rodeo)

tonight my boo and i went to the houston livestock show and rodeo.

fun and {lots of really bad} food were had by all.

a giant hot dog

an equally giant corn dog + the largest plate of fries ever
(*insert obligatory "everything's bigger in texas" comment here)

inside we watched some crazies bull and horse ride, as well as some little kids chase cattle and ride sheep for money.

oh texas.

best of all, the eli young band played some great songs, including this new one, which i love:

(video not mine, not even taken at the rodeo)

'twas a night of good ol' texan fun before heading back to nyc in a few days!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

happy spring!!

it's time for a happy post!

i am home for spring break and wanted to post a few pictures to welcome in spring!

boy am i welcoming this season with open arms. it's the perfect weather here in texas, and from what i'm hearing, it's great in NYC too!

me and my man walking his puppies today (LOVE wearing tank tops!)!

and here are just a few lovely spring images found here

thank you for continuing to pray for the moroccan orphans
and enjoy your first days of spring!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MOROCCO media contact list

Thank you all for your overwhelming support! We are receiving good news that perhaps because of the backlash Morocco is facing they have slowed down or halted the expulsion of other children's home's workers in the area!

PLEASE take time and continue to reach out to your local news, as well as your congressmen and Moroccan and US embassies here and abroad.

Here is a great list of media contacts. Let's bombard these inboxes with our concerns. There's strength in numbers and someone has to listen! CLICK HERE FOR MEDIA CONTACTS.

Keep praying over these children and these homes. Not only VoH but all over Morocco.


It has been over 24 hours since 20 workers (most, parents) at the Village of Hope were taken from their children, unexpectedly by Moroccan officials. They were given thirty minutes to pack their belongings and leave the country, with no guarantee of ever seeing their Moroccan children again. The Village of Hope has been in compliance and worked with the Moroccan government for ten years. As of January 4th, Morocco has a new Minister of Justice (ironic) Mohammad Naciri, one who feels he must exercise his power in order to shut down the Village of Hope because he believes "Christians are proselytizing."

Chris Broadbent (a New Zealander), one of the expelled Village of Hope workers and their primary media contact, sent out the following email yesterday, Monday March 8th. It is also posted on their website (Save Village of Hope):

March 08, 2010 17:27 GMT
Dear friends

We have just been called together by the authorities and told that all 20 foreigners at VoH must leave the country. They have not told us how long we have left, but it will be between 1 and 3 days. The reason given is that the abandoned children in the care of VoH have been proselytised to by us, that we are trying to make them Christian. This is despite the fact that we have always been open about our faith to the authorities, and for 10 years they have allowed VoH to take in and foster children abandoned by this society, children who would otherwise be killed or placed in state run ‘mega’ orphanages.
For us we leave friends, memories, hard work, but we leave with our children William and Samuel. For others it is not so easy. 33 children have just been abandoned again by the actions of the Moroccan state. Their foster mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers, must now leave them in Morocco and return to their home countries. These 33 children have never known another mother. Some of them have been here for 10 years, since the start of VoH. One of the older children just said to Tina, ‘Why couldn’t I have real parents’. Watching the children be told by their parents that they had to leave, that they would maybe never see them again, is the most painful thing I have ever witnessed.

Please pray for the children of Village of Hope, and for their parents and foster siblings who they must now farewell. 

And underneath are the everlasting arms.

Yours faithfully

Chris Broadbent

We are blessed with such a large and diverse community who cares for the Village of Hope. Many of the people that went with me on my mission trip to VoH in March 2009 live in New York and L.A., but are from all over the globe. This is amazing, as we have a unique opportunity to reach out to our home communities and spread the word!

As of today, we have new updates on the children, as well as progress on our efforts to get this story to the media, and most importantly, to government officials who can take action.

Tina Broadbent, Chris' wife, spoke to us, letting us know the children are being kept by some of their teachers, which is good news as it means they are with people who care for them. This, however, will only last for ten days, after which they will likely be put back into orphanages. Tina is concerned the Moroccan government will break up family groups (groups of orphans who are siblings under the same family) when they are put into orphanages. Pray that this does not happen.

Our team is working to reach our contacts at the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the State Department, The Vice Consulary General of Morocco here in NY, the UN, the Moroccan embassy in D.C., members of Capitol Hill, the Department of Justice in DC (specifically OPDAT), as well as our local representatives. A member of our team is in India for a year with International Justice Mission (IJM), and is working hard to gain press coverage on that side of the globe. We are literally working around the clock and around the world to gain as much coverage and attention to this terrible injustice as we can.

Things to pray for:

-The children, who are undoubtedly terrified and scared. That they would not feel a sense of abandonment. That they would know their parents love them so much and would never, ever leave them by their own will. That they would be able to remain together in family units if placed back in orphanages. That those with disabilities or medical conditions would get the proper care (care that often their parents only knew how to give them), and that their health and safety would not be neglected.

-The parents, who are gut-wrenchingly torn away from their children indefinitely. Many of their children have been with them since birth (children who are now 10), and their hearts are broken. Pray for their guidance as they figure out what to do next and how to deal with the Moroccan government moving forward. Pray they get to see their children again.

-The Moroccan Government, including the King and Minister of Justice Naciri, that God would move in their hearts and change them. That they would see what they have done and repent, and bring these parents back home to their children. These people need grace just like us, please pray for them.

-Our government, that they would take the necessary steps in doing their part to correct this wrongdoing. That our president and leaders would have guidance and discernment led by God to move forward as appropriate.

-The people of Morocco as a whole. We just got news this might be happening to other children's homes there as well as Christians in general there. Please pray for an immediate change in the heart of Narcisi.

-For our team, who is working tirelessly for these children. We will not give up. We will not.

What you can do:

SPREAD THE WORD. You have my full permission to repost to anyone and everyone you know, as well as give them my contact information below. I am willing to talk to press, officials, anyone, anytime day or night, to bring awareness to this issue. The press release in the last post can also be forwarded to media outlets, congressmen, whomever.

Frequently Asked Questions (answers from Chris Broadbent):

What do they think will happen to the kids, and how did they leave them? In someone's care or alone at the facility? We asked this time and again, and were simply told that the ‘state’ would take care of them. When the parents left the site under guard at 10.30pm, there was, to my knowledge, no one with the children apart from a group of about 20 male police (gendarmerie royale) who were just standing around outside or going through files in the admin office. We have heard nothing since. All of the employees have been told by the police that they are sacked. **We now have more info, as stated above.

What is the nature of their expulsion? Permanent or "pending charges." No ‘charges’ as such, they simply read out a formal declaration to us saying that we had been proselytising, and therefore were breaking the law, so our residency was revoked on the spot meaning we were now illegally in the country, and would be deported.

Will charges be filed? Not that I’m aware of, and all foreigners are now out of the country.

Will funds/facility be seized? Yes. At our reckoning there was about 260,000dh in the accounts, and about 30,000dh in the cash box on site. This is all money donated to VoH by overseas donors for use to operate the organisation or fund specific projects.

These very children I'm hugging in the pictures in the previous post no longer have parents, wow. Feel free to print and forward these as well.

Many thanks and blessings,

Elizabeth Shelby

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Dear friends,

Last spring break (09) I went to Ain Leuh, Morocco to spend a week working with a non-profit called The Village of Hope (, along with 20 students from the Navigators Christian fellowship at NYU. Please see my blog entry on my time in Morocco here: How He Loves Us. The mission of the Village of Hope is "to establish a home for orphaned and unwanted children up to the age of 18 years. The facility will become a permanent home for the children. We will seek to provide these children with food, clothing, shelter, and personal care by adult foster parents." These foster parents, ten couples who come from all over the world, commit to spending 18 years at this small village in the Atlas Mountains, raising these 33 children as their own. As of today, they have been kicked out of the village and the country by the Moroccan government, leaving these children parentless, indefinitely.

Please review the press release below.


On Monday, March 8th, Moroccan authorities raided Village of Hope (VOH), a children’s home in the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco, originally founded by two Americans in 1957 as a home for orphaned children. The authorities arrived during the school day, entered the classrooms and told the adopted children their parents are being told to leave the country and will be leaving the children behind.

In the ensuing chaos, officials told the parents at VOH that they are being expelled from the country because they have been talking to their children about Christianity.

In 2002, the Village of Hope registered with the Moroccan government as an official Christian organization and received permission to talk about Christianity to the children in their care. Under the Moroccan government, it is illegal for anyone to talk about their Christian faith without first being asked. In the case of these parents, they had gotten permission to do so from the government.

As the secret police raided VOH, children cried out hysterically for their parents who were being forced to board a bus to the airport 30 minutes after receiving this news. The authorities are not allowing the parents to take any of the children with them which leaves behind 33 children who were in their care.

The staff at Village of Hope had moved there to dedicate their lives to adopting unwanted and orphaned children. In Morocco, it is only legal for Muslims to adopt children so the parents were acting as “foster parents” but in actuality the children considered them to be their parents.

The staff were told this directive came from the new Minister of Justice for Morocco, Mohammed Naciri.

Contact from Village of Hope: Chris Broadbent, 212 650 731 307

These children's parents have been taken away from them by the Moroccan government. Please, please do your part to spread the word about this injustice. Feel free to link to my blog, copy my post or the press release, and get the word out HOWEVER you can. We cannot let these precious children become orphans, again.

Please email me day or night for more information on how you can get involved or if you want to be signed up on an email update list. Thank you:

Friday, March 5, 2010

happy friday!

is anyone else SO glad it's friday?

i am!

here are a few lovelies that i've found online the last few days. i love all.

i could totally rock this moxie necklace during the summertime:

and then sleep in this bed alllllll day:

{via anthropologie}

oh how i wish i knew what street these flags are on:

{via 20X200}

can't wait to fill in the blanks with this custom made planner i won(!) in a giveaway from julia bender photography!

what are your plans this weekend? i'm celebrating three of my dearest friends' birthdays! let the festivities begin!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

water, and much prettier things

hello my followers! after a LONG hiatus from this blog, i am back!

in case you were wondering (i don't think you were, since i'm pretty sure the only people who read this are my mom, grandmother and boyfriend, who all already of know the saga i'm about to tell) where i've been since my last post, which was from our first night in boston 2 weeks ago, well...our apartment got a little waterlogged.

and by a little, i mean a lot. while i was in boston and my roommate wasn't home, the apartment two floors above us caught fire, causing the fire department to come and spray, like firemen do, that entire apartment with gallons and gallons of water. which meant the apartment below them (above me) got that water coming in from their ceiling. there was so much, it even came down through their floor into OUR ceiling...and yes...onto and through our floors. since neither my roomie nor i were home, and weren't aware of the fire until at least 6 hours after it happened (thanks, super) most all our stuff got soaked. long story short, we have been relocated to another apartment while ours is being torn up and remodeled. this is a blog about things i love. and i do NOT love this. but here's a picture to get your sympathy vote:

BUT, on to MUCH prettier things.

these past few weeks have been stressful, no doubt, and new york often drives me crazy. but i cannot deny i love this city so much, and am so fortunate to live here. sometimes i just need a little reminder.

like this! a short film by sam o'hare, this video is made to look like a miniature version of a day of life in new york city. but in fact, this is not shot on film but with a series of still snapshots, using some fancy schmancy lenses. and these are actual images of the city made to look like a miniature version of nyc!

how absolutely beautiful is this?

do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing from start to finish.

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

mmmm. i just love it.

and if that weren't enough to feed my "i love new york" mindset today, the union square subway station had the BEST subway guitar player ever down on the L platform. i see him occasionally on my way home from work or school, but he especially caught my attention today because he was playing an amos lee song. amos holds a special place in my heart, because my man and i went to an amos concert for christmas three years ago, and it was by far one of the best shows i've ever been to.

amos makes me smile. and so does this guy's rendition of amos' song "seen it all before."(excuse the intermittent subway lady giving updates over the loud speaker, and the poor cell phone quality.) and don't worry, i gave this guy some money because frankly, he really deserved it.

that is all, friends! glad to be back. :)