Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Homeless not Helpless or Hopeless....

In the morning when I first get up for work, I make my coffee first! Then relax on the sofa, of course drinking my coffee, and watch the morning news. This morning they had a great story on about a clothes designer.

She is just 25. You may be thinking a fashion designer, oh no, not another one! But this gal is different and a very special person indeed. Her name is Veronika Scott. It was her idea for a school project that started it all.

(from http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/detroit-nonprofit-hires-homeless-make-coatssleeping-bags-29686451)

Veronika Scott simply wanted to get an "A'' on her product design project. And she did — with an idea that has changed her life and those of countless others. Now, the coat she created that can transform into a sleeping bag is providing warmth to homeless people and jobs for many who used to be so themselves.

Scott, 25, built a nonprofit, the Empowerment Plan, which employs and trains homeless single parents to manufacture the coats that were her project for a class at Detroit's College for Creative Studies four years ago. She believed the coat could help the city's sizable homeless population during the brutal winters.

"If I get stuck out in the cold, I can stay warm," said Timothy Harrington, 34, who recently received one at a shelter in the northern suburb of Pontiac. "(Now) I've got something to sleep in, something comfortable."

Scott employs 19 women as full-time seamstresses and one man, who works in shipping and inventory.

"Homelessness is not a defining characteristic. It is not a permanent state of being," said Scott, who's looking to hire additional seamstresses to manufacture even more coats as interest in the product grows.

Arnetta Smith, one of the longest-tenured seamstresses, had been homeless for more than a year and had lost her job and car when she met Scott at a Detroit shelter.

"I'm independent now. I pay my own bills. I have a vehicle. I don't rely on the state for help anymore," said Smith, 38, who said she also helps support her son, a college student.

It costs $100 to sponsor one of the water-resistant and self-heating coats, which are distributed locally and also shipped across North America. The Empowerment Plan hopes to produce 6,500 coats this year. It made 4,500 a year ago.

"We get thousands of requests every year from people that want to purchase it for themselves — everybody from hunting/camping/fishing to doomsday prepping," said Scott, who would like to start a retail arm as part of an effort to help the organization become sustainable. It currently relies on donations from corporations, civic groups and individuals.

"If we have a whole arm that's based on producing a retail product, that is even more jobs," Scott said.

Here is a link to her nonprofit site.

your dose of inspiration for the week

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Facebook and Recipies!

Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. The site is available in 37 different languages. 

Originally designed for college students, Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was enrolled at Harvard University. By 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address could join Facebook. Today, Facebook is the World's largest social network, with more than 1 billion users Worldwide.

I will admit I like Facebook and use it often. Sometimes just to browse, see what friends or family are doing, what is new, and also recipes. I have gotten many great recipes off Facebook. Who knew?? 

Today, yes today, I made Banana Bread Brownies. A recipe I got from a Facebook post. (from a friend) I just happen to have three rotten (or should I say very very ripe) bananas on hand, so this is the perfect recipe for today.

Banana Bread Brownies

1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. grease and flour 15x10 inch jelly roll pan. for the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter and eggs until creamy. blend in bananas and vanilla extract. add flour, baking soda, salt and blend for 1 minute. stir in walnuts.

spread batter evenly into pan. bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately. 

add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting) using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars. (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm.)

enjoy the yum warm!!

I used a 13' x 9' pan. And although the recipe calls for "sour cream", I read it as sour milk,  like you add to banana bread when you make it. (to make sour milk just add a bit of vinegar to milk, let set and it will sour) It all came out good and was so delicious warm out of the oven! 

So see bloglings, there are many uses for Facebook. I have found a lot of high school classmates, keep in touch with family and get to see all of my nieces and nephews children grow. And don't forget the great food!!

Do you Facebook? 

Always fun to meet new friends and people from around the World.
Have a great week bloglings!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter's Beauty

A Winter Memory

Fresh-fallen snow, untouched by man, tops bushes fence and tree;
The strong, gusty wind, whirling it 'round, improves and enriches its beauty.
It sauntered down in the silence of night, leaving a scenic delight;
Now, in the sun, it dances and winks as we drink in the wondrous sight.
This is a picture-post-card scene - winter at its best;
It leaves a mark etched in our heart of when winter was our guest.

Winter Beauty

Oh yes, it is Winter in Michigan!
Roads are mushy and slippery.
You have to leave much earlier to get where you are going, to be on time that is.
Every year it is a big thing on the news here in Michigan. Oh no! There is snow out there! Ha, like that is news? We live in Michigan after all.
But the kids do so enjoy it and can't wait after the first snow fall to get right out there in it and play. The sleds emerge from their resting place from over the Summer and are loved once again. 
It is a beautiful sight, no matter of all the bad things you may hear.

Winter driving in Michigan

The official first day of Winter is December 21st. I am thinking we may be totally buried by then!! I have been hearing people predicting that we are going to have a horrendous Winter like we had last year............ they may be on to something!

(the colors and size of test went crazy in this post! can't figure it out! haha, Winter joke on me.)