Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How It Works

The Etue Adoption Fundraiser
Ends May 12, 2014 at midnight CST

The auction is now closed! Thank you so much for helping us raise $3,320 for our adoption. This is amazing!!!

You can still order our "You are part of something beautiful" t-shirts through 5/13
and 147 Million Orphans gear can be ordered any time!

We'll contact the winners by email or with a PayPal invoice. 

Thank you so much to everyone to bid on items. We couldn't do this without you. We'll plan to keep you updated here on our plans as we go along. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Our adoption t-shirts. Yay!

We are so excited about these t-shirts (designed by the fantastic Natalina Marlow) that communicate exactly how we feel about everyone who has helped us in one way or another as we work through the process of adoption. We hope you love them too!

Any money that comes in beyond what we need to cover our expenses will be donated to Show Hope, an amazing organization that gives grants for adoption, runs special needs orphanages in China, and helps families with post-adoption counseling and training. They're fantastic!

The shirts are unisex, but apparently the models are not. Nevertheless, order the military green or light aqua shirts at our Booster page for $20.

Girls and boys shirts are also available for $17 each. (Note: the boys' style goes up to adult sizes as well.)

Yay. Just yay!

While you're here, check out the rest of our silent auction, which ends May 12!

147 Million Orphans gear

We are able to sell some 147 Million Orphans gear as well with our auction, so if you'd like any of the following items please put the item name, size (if applicable), and your contact info in the comment below. This isn't an auction item; everyone can win! (However, reserve quantities have to be met. We'll be in touch with everyone who comments.)

Unisex Love + 1 t-shirt, in adult sizes ($24.99) and kids sizes ($21.99). 

Beauty from Ashes earrings ($14.99)

Purple magazine bead necklace ($19.99)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Auction Item 1: Long Weekend at Mountain Air Resort near Asheville, NC

A view from Mountain Air Drive

Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, about 30 minutes north of Asheville, is the Mountain Air community. This beautiful golf resort has amazing mountain views, two golf courses, swimming and tennis, a lodge with both casual and formal restaurants (and a small market), a Nature Center, spa services, and hiking trails. This is the perfect location for a relaxing long-weekend away from home.

Nearby you can hike mountain trails, fish, or ski at one of the nearby ski resorts during the winter months (best skiing seems to be February-March).

The condo up for auction is two bedrooms (1 king, 2 twins) and two full bathrooms, a living and dining area, and a kitchen. A porch overlooks the mountains, and there is a gas fireplace. It comfortably sleeps 4, but there is a blow-up mattress and a pack & play crib if you have more in your family.

Mountain Air Community Clubhouse

You're invited to stay 5 days/4 nights and need to confirm your travel dates within 6 months of this auction.

Starting bid: $350
Location: Burnsville, NC

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you, thank you to John & Ellen Anderson for donating this amazing getaway. Love you guys!

Auction Item 2: Custom Address Stamp from Hardink Calligraphy

Elizabeth Hardin from Hardink Calligraphy is super-talented, and just as sweet. She has graciously offered not one, but two, amazing custom address stamps for auction. These make any handwritten note even that much more special. And hey, it even seems fun to mail in your bills when you get to use this pretty stamp.

While you're at her shop, check out some of her gorgeous prints too. Love this stuff!

Starting bid: $35
There will be two winners for this item, so you may bid the same amount as the current winning bid. 

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Big, big thanks to Elizabeth Hardin for donating this item. 

Auction Item 3: $80 Gift Card to The Crag

A few months ago, Todd and I went on a rock climbing date to The Crag. It was part of this year-long experiment we were doing, where we went on one date each month that was something we don't normally think to do. And it was so fun. I mean, so fun. We haven't laughed that hard in a while.

We've also taken our kids to climb, and they adore it. Great family day out. Or, if you're not up for it yourself, $80 will get you pretty far toward paying for a birthday party. Just sayin'.

Starting bid: $20
Location: Franklin, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Super huge thanks to The Crag for donating this gift card. Y'all rock. (ha, get it?)

Auction Item 4: A Week at the Beach. Ahhhhh.

Oh how I wish I could bid on this item. A week at the beach in SanDestin, Florida, sounds perfect right now. Blue skies and endless water. Total relaxation. Not to mention, margaritas.

This is your chance, people, to get a great getaway. This is the chance to have a week at a beautiful, newly renovated four bedroom, three bath house at the SanDestin resort. (There's an extra room with a futon too, if you need a fifth sleeping space.) They have a pack & play and high chair for any babies, and bikes so you can live the beach life while you're there. This sounds a-maz-ing.

(Note: The house is booked up through this summer, so plan for a trip over the fall or spring months. We'll put you in touch with the owners to find a time that will work with your schedule.)

Starting bid: $700
Location: SanDestin, Florida

Please leave your email address with your bid!

A tremendous thank you to Billy & Pauline Taaffe for this wonderful gift. 

Auction Item 5: Personal Pie Baking Class for 5 by Nutmeg

Let me tell you, if you haven't had one of Meg Ashworth's pies, you're missing out. And I'm kind of an expert because she's my sister, so I've had a lot of them. These are yummy, yummy treats. And she's so very kindly offered to reveal her secrets in a private pie-baking class for five. How fun would this be?

Get five of your friends together along with a couple bottles of wine or grape juice or whatever you like to drink, and spend a couple hours learning how to make the perfect pie crust and filling (one savory and one sweet). When the pies are done baking, you get to eat them too! Yum. Seriously, yum. (And the best part--it's at your house, so you don't even have to leave. Wear your yoga pants if you want. We won't judge.)

Starting bid: $30
Location: Greater Nashville, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you, Nutmeg, for offering this sweet and really fun experience!

Auction Item 6: Voice Lessons with (the Incomparable) Fleming McWilliams

Fleming and John are just the coolest. For real. Delusions of Grandeur is one of my favorite albums of my college years. And I'm so, so excited that Fleming has offered us two private voice lesson sessions for our auction. Fleming...that hair...that voice!

So, if you want to learn to sing from a professional with an amazing talent and a really, really kind heart, bid on this item. She's giving away four voice-lesson sessions, so we'll take the top four bidders. (Note: Minimum age for lessons is nine years old.)

Starting bid: $35
Location: East Nashville, TN
There will be four winners for this item, unless you specify that you'd like more than one session. (The amount you bid will be per session.)

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you, Fleming! You're the best. 

Auction Item 7: Studio Tenn tickets

Studio Tenn is quickly becoming Nashville's favorite theatre company, and for good reason. They're led by the amazing, amazing Jake Speck & Matt Logan who are brilliant, creative men with incredible talent. And we've been honored to be their friends for the better part of twenty years, which is pretty amazing too (for us, at least). 

I've been to see their production of Our Town, My Fair Lady, and now Les Miserables. This is first-class production value with lots of talent out of NYC, but a lot of homegrown Nashville talent too. Which is top-notch. I'm kicking myself that I missed Twelve Angry Men and Into the Woods last year, but there's only so much a busy mom can get to. 

Now you can bid on two tickets to see the show of your choice from the 2014-2015 season at Studio Tenn. Fiddler, Steel Magnolias, Johnny Cash... It's going to be amazing. Don't miss it!

Starting bid: $35
Location: Nashville/Franklin, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you, Matt & Jake. We appreciate you!

Auction Item 8: Summer Sports Camp at CPA

Our kids have absolutely loved attending sports camps at CPA over the summer. In fact, they've talked about it all year long. They made great friendships, had wonderful high school counselors who made each day really fun, and learned a lot about sports and friendly competition. Not to mention the snack bar. One of the highlights of each day.

Mike Ellson, the CPA Athletic Director, was so great to find a donor to contribute one session at CPA All-Sports Camp for our auction. The camp runs from June 16-20 at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Brentwood, TN and is a $250 value. This is a really fantastic opportunity for your kids this summer. And a one-week break during the long summer months isn't so bad for mom either.

Starting bid: $100
Location: Brentwood, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so much to the anonymous donor who made this item possible, and to Coach Ellson for making it happen!

Auction Item 9: Freshie & Zero Love Necklace

I have loved the hand crafted jewelry from Freshie & Zero for a long time, so I'm thrilled to be able to include one of these beautiful necklaces in our auction. Beth, the artist behind Freshie & Zero, suggested this piece because it was inspired by the birth of her first child. So sweet. (Check out the rest of her shop too—really great stuff there.)

Bid on this Freshie & Zero love necklace for the mother (or daughter) you want to celebrate this Mother's Day. She'll treasure it forever.

Starting bid: $25

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you, thank you to Beth Lawrence for your sweet donation of this necklace. 

Auction Item 10: Blue Coast Burrito gift basket

Blue Coast Burrito is easily our most frequent go-to spot for quick and delicious family meals. If you haven't tried it, you must. Made-to-order tacos, burritos, salads, and even soup. (If you haven't tried the soup, try it. It's sooo good.) 

Well, our friends at Blue Coast are big adoption advocates, and they have put together a great package for our auction! This basket includes five $10 Blue Coast gift cards, a Blue Coast t-shirt, 2 Blue Coast water bottles, three hot sauce bottles, and a cookie tin all in a cute blue bucket. Delish!

Starting bid: $25
Location: Nashville, Knoxville

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks so much, Jenny and the rest of the BCB team. See you soon, I'm sure!

Auction Item 11: Four studio passes to Third Coast Clay

I don't know about you, but our kids love to go paint pottery. Our favorite place to go lately has been Third Coast Clay in The Factory down in Franklin. We went and did this as part of our Spring Break vacation at home and it was really fun to take the whole family and do it together. 

The way it works at any paint-your-own pottery place, pretty much, is that you pay a studio fee per person (which covers the cost of the glazes and kiln firing) and then you choose which item you want to paint, and those are all priced individually. With this auction item, you don't have to worry about that studio fee cost! Bid on this gift certificate for four studio fees for you to paint pottery (a $24 value).

Starting bid: $10
Location: Franklin, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks so much to Deb at Third Coast Clay for donating this gift certificate!

Auction Item 12: Custom party invitations by (the uh-maz-ing) Natalina Marlow

Some of the most special and important events in my life, my kids' lives, and my friends' lives have been made even more special by the thoughtful, exquisite, handcrafted invitations by the one-and-only Natalina Marlow. She is truly a talent like no other.

See that little library card up there on the top right? That's for a literary-themed baby shower for a dear friend of ours. She took classic books that were headed for the dump and repurposed their covers into baby shower invitations. And those glass bottles with the vintage maps attached? Those were for my son's pirate-themed third birthday. When she showed up with a box of bottles stuffed with the invitations, sand, and treasure, my son's eyes were so full of happiness.

If you have a birthday party, wedding shower, going away party, baby shower, or even a Flag Day party coming up in the next year, bid on this item! Here's the rub: Natalina doesn't have a business doing this. She does this for fun, only making these out of the goodness of her really, really good heart for friends and loved-ones. As in, this is your only chance to get in on some Natalina amazingness. (Unless you know her too.) Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Here's what's included: up to 25 custom designed invitations or announcements for your special event. It includes all design, printing, supplies, and assembly. Even the envelopes (and take a look at her Curious and Pirate birthday parties for the amazing ways in which she interprets "envelope"). Winner will need to give Natalina at least two weeks to create your masterpieces. And it's good until May 12, 2015.

Starting bid: $35

Please leave your email address with your bid!

I cannot thank Natalina enough for this incredibly generous gift of time and talent.

Auction Item 13: Feather necklace by Katie Lewis

I love this item, and here's why. I've never met the artist behind this gorgeous piece. She donated it to our auction because she knows my mom and loves adoption and just wanted to help. I think that's beautiful, and I'm so thankful!

Now, the necklace itself is stunning. It's called Voto, which is a Native American word for feather. The chain is 30 inches long and the feather is another 1.75 inches, which is a really pretty length over a tank top with jeans and a cardigan in the summer. Or doubled up with a short one over a pretty dress, like she has it in this picture. Check out her shop: Dear Mushka. There's a lot more pretty, pretty where this came from. 

And in the meantime, bid on this lovely Voto necklace

Starting bid: $15

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so much to Katie Lewis! I really appreciate your support.

Auction Item 14: Leather Journal handmade by Rev. Ken Leggett

These heirloom journals are made by Ken Leggett, a minister in Franklin, TN. He started making them as a means of personal therapy—he felt the need to make something with his hands and see a finished result. And if you know Ken, you know how much he loves story. So that's what these are all about for him as well. 

This auction item is for one handmade leather journal. It is rustic and soft and has so much character. It holds a 5 x 7 notebook. It would make a great Father's Day gift for a special dad or teacher appreciation gift, right here at the end of the school year. Personally, I'd keep it for myself. But that's just me. 

(Ken's Etsy shop is closed right now, but similar journals sell for around $65. That said, this is your best chance to get an authentic Ken Leggett journal!)

Starting bid: $20

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Ken, you're the best. Thanks so much for this donation!

Auction Item 15: Crochet bag and pot holders

How sweet are these crocheted items from Cotton Crochet Shoppe on Etsy? Christy Beard, the artist behind these pieces, is another friend of my mom's who has never met our family but just wants to support adoption. Yay!

This listing is for one crocheted shopping bag and two crocheted pot holders. Note: The potholders we have are in orange and white, not yellow! They're really pretty and very sturdy. I feel like lots of crocheted items can be flimsy, but not these! I could definitely tote fresh fruit and veggies home from the farmer's market with that shopping bag.

Starting bid: $10

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks so much, Christy, for donating these items!

Auction Item 16: $25 Bread & Company gift card

If you know me at all, you know that I love Bread & Company's fruit tea. (For those of you who don't live in Nashville and are wondering, What in the world is fruit tea?, it's a delicious combo of sweet tea, orange juice, lemon juice and occasionally pineapple juice or ginger ale, depending on where you order it from.) But I digress.

Bread & Company is one of my favorite go-to spots to sit and work, with their yummy deli sandwiches and delicious salads. And the cookies. And the soup. It's all good.

If you're a fan too, bid on this $25 Bread & Company gift card, good at any of their locations. Hey, I'll probably see you there.

Starting bid: $10
Location: Nashville, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks so much to Evan and the team at the Belle Meade Bread & Company for this donation!

Auction Item 17: Mayvall Bag from 147 Million Orphans

147 Million Orphans is a fantastic non-profit started by a couple of moms who have huge hearts for orphans. Our kids are in school and sports together, and Suzanne is the one who hooked us up with our social worker doing our home study. So we're kind of hugely thankful to her for her help and guidance through the adoption process. Couldn't have gotten this far without you!

This burlap tote bag is a really popular item on their site, and we're excited to include one in this auction! It has thick leather straps and is lined in cute floral fabric. And it's big—you could easily fit your laptop, a good book, and a few other things in there. 

Starting bid: $30

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so much Suzanne and Gwen, for all your help and advice!

Auction Item 18: Burger Up gift card

Are you drooling yet? Burger Up is a favorite date-night location for us. Great atmosphere, really yummy food, and the best Blood-Orange Sangria anywhere. You've got to try the fried pickles and the lamb burger. And now that it's getting to be warmer weather, their porch sounds like a great place to spend the evening.

This item is a $25 gift card to Burger Up. You won't regret this at all.

Starting bid: $10
Location: 12th South, Nashville, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you to Brandon at Community Hospitality for working this out for us!

Auction Item 19: A bicycle from Regions Bank

How fun is this? A green Regions bicycle, and you don't even have to put on a sumo outfit and wrestle someone at halftime to win it! 

This is a brand-new bicycle from Regions Bank, perfect for summer rides with the family to the pool or to get ice cream. We can't wait. So fun.

Starting bid: $50

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks to Steve Goodin, All-City Second Baseman and Mortgage Guy to the Stars, for his help in this fun donation from Regions! Call him if you're buying a house!

Auction item 20: Set of three prints by Wendy Leonard

This gorgeous set of prints are by Wendy Leonard, a wonderful water-color artist from Franklin, TN. Also, an excellent maker of beignets at first snow, but that's another story.

This series of three prints of a red poppy field are about 5 x 10 inches, signed and numbered, and are unframed. They're stunning!

Starting bid: $20

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you to the wonderful Wendy Leonard! We appreciate you.

Auction item 21: Four rounds of golf at Spencer Creek Golf Course

It's golf weather in Franklin now, so if you love to play check out this great auction item! A round of golf for four (or four rounds of golf for one) at The Fairways at Spencer Creek off Mac Hatcher Pkwy in Franklin, TN. Great Father's Day gift!

Starting bid: $20
Location: Franklin, TN

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Big thanks to Terry Jackson at Spencer Creek for donating this item.

Auction Item 22: Frehiwot scarf from Live FashionABLE

The scarves at Live FashionABLE are my very favorite ever. The weight is perfect, the length is perfect, the colors are perfect. 

But the thing I really love about FashionABLE scarves is their mission—creating micro enterprise opportunities for women in the developing world. When I say that they're saving lives, I'm not exaggerating. These women now have the resources to feed their babies, send their kids to school, and grow their local economies. It's a really big deal, and I'm so excited about them!

So I'm really excited to include their red and green Frehiwot scarf in our auction. You will love this. I promise.

Starting bid: $10

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Big thanks to Barrett and Marisa at Live FashionABLE for donating this scarf!

Auction item 23: Carve Designs rash guard for women

Surfer ladies, this one's for you. If you're the type who's out on the water all summer, bid on this cute rash guard from Carve Designs. Size medium and UPF 50+. So you can be protected from UV rays and look hot all at once. 

Starting bid: $10

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so much to SwellWomen for donating this. 

Auction Item 23: Stella and Dot Jewelry, Lot 1

Ooh, I just love Stella & Dot jewelry, and this is an amazing chance to get three pieces (or six if you bid on the next lot too) at a great price! 'Cause we all know Stella & Dot isn't cheap. But it's so pretty!

This lot is for a set of gold and quartz drop earrings that are fancy enough for a date night but would also look great with jeans and a leather jacket. This pretty gold "renegade" necklace, which is long but can be doubled for a shorter necklace. And last, the leather cuff, which is so cool.

Starting bid: $30

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so much, Wheat Teller. You make us happy all the time!

Auction Item 24: Stella & Dot Jewelry, lot 2

Well, if the last lot of Stella & Dot didn't inspire you, check out this bold, colorful collection. I love these bright colors for spring. Just, wow.

This lot includes the large blue ring, turquoise dangle earrings, and the green and gold bracelet. Perfect for a trip to the beach, don't you think?

Starting bid: $30

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks again, Wheat Teller. Love!

Auction Item 25: Home Decorating consult with Rachel Phillips of Rachel Phillips Design

We're at that weird place in life where most of our furniture is hand-me-down from family members, and it's probably time to start really investing in our own things and get a coherent look. Not that "Garage Sale Chic" isn't a valid decor style, just . . . it's time.

So, the person I'd call for home decorating advice is Rachel Phillips. She has excellent taste and can help you put together the home you really want on the budget you really have. Just a minor detail, right?

This auction item is for 2 hours of in-home decorating advice from Rachel Phillips. Trust me, this is totally worth it.

Starting bid: $25

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so much, Rachel! We appreciate you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Auction item 26: Original art piece by Evie Coates. Stunning.

I love, love, love the unique artwork that Evie Coates makes. These pieces are so interesting and beautiful and rustic and honest. I just love them.

Now's your chance to own your own piece. This one up for bid is valued at $250. I'm already jealous of the lucky winner!

Starting bid: $75

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thank you so, so much to Evie Coates for this amazing piece.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Auction item 27: Books and CD for kids! (and mama)

Mamas, here's a fun grab bag of items for your little ones to enjoy, and a little something for Mama too. 

Laurie Berkner's new album, Lullabies. Great stuff.

Signed copy of Flotsam by David Wiesner, donated by Parnassus Books

Signed copy of My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young, donated by Parnassus Books

and $10 gift card and a t-shirt from The Good Cup, for mom.

Starting bid: $15

Please leave your email address with your bid!

Thanks to Parnassus and The Good Cup for these great items!