Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ways to Support the Gulf Coast!

I just returned from a week on the Gulf Coast visiting my family. I spent time at my parent's home on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay in Alabama and I spent time at our beach house in Perdido Key, Florida. While I've watched the nightly news and read the articles online, nothing is quite like being in the midst of the oil disaster. Signs in downtown Fairhope, AL are up in restaurant windows advertising benefits and suggesting items for people to donate. To see the orange boom floating on the blue waters is surreal. It lines the waters and you can't help but remember it's purpose to collect OIL in the blue waters of Ole River and the Gulf. They might have a cap on the well for now, but so much damage has already been done to our coast.

We drove down to the beach on a Saturday. Normally in the summer, you don't want to go near Highway 59 leading into Gulf Shores due to the bumper to bumper traffic. This Saturday, it was eerily quiet. The parking lots of the condos lining the sugary white sands of Orange Beach, Alabama were almost empty. As we reached the peak of the Perdido Pass Bridge, I could see the first signs that things were not as I had left them only months prior. Large barges and ships lined the horizon of the Gulf. Strange contraptions dotted the coastline. Large dumpsters and tented staging areas filled the parking lots of the public beaches. Men in strange outfits walk up and down the beaches. It looks like a war zone.

A sign on one restaurant tried to remain lighthearted saying "We serve our oysters stewed and nude, but we promise no crude." During one of our lunches out at Hub Stacey's we were surrounded by people that were hired by BP to patrol the local waters spotting and recovering oil. My Mom's favorite fish market has remained open, but the owner said she's not sure how long their family owned business will last at this rate. Business is slow. They said the people are nervous to eat seafood, despite the highest amount of testing ever. Can you blame them? Even if they say the oil isn't there, fear is killing our Gulf Coast.

Our beach house is on the Intercoastal Waterway so we have been fortunate that the oil has not (yet) reached our beach and water. But, I couldn't help but think if maybe they had missed some as I hesitantly allowed my 18 month old son to walk the sandy shore for the first time. I panicked a little as the warm salt water touched his precious little toes and he reached down to touch the white sand. Was it safe? It looked the same, but what lies beneath the surface? Tears filled up in my eyes as I watched a dolphin emerge in the distance to take a breath. I prayed it would stay far from harm. Emotions overcame me as I spent extra time scrubbing my little one that evening, just to be careful. Will he ever know the beach as I do? Will it always be tainted?

In the meantime, I want to do everything in my power to help MY Gulf Coast. I am only a Southern born Mommy living in NYC, but I am going to do my best to convince you to do your best to help out in some way. Do something, anything!

Sometimes you've got to lift your head up and keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other!

Please, take your family to the Gulf for a vacation. If you have never been, I promise, you'll love it! You can swim in the pools if you are nervous. Play in the hose or the bring a kiddy pool! Eat at the local restaurants, ask questions if you are nervous. Support our community. You can still have fun! They need you right now.

Don't know where to go? Need some suggestions? Later this week I'll be posting a link list so that you can have the opportunity to share your favorite Gulf Coast vacation spot with everyone. Start working on your post so it will be ready to share! Email me if you have questions or suggestions to help spread the word! magnoliasmarriageandmanhattan at gmail dot com

Can't make it down to the coast, then buy a t-shirt or a hat. Donate to the charity of your choice. Please, do something. This is YOUR Gulf Coast too.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
– Theodore Roosevelt

If you are looking for a way to support our Gulf Coast, I'm going to make it easy for you. In addition to giving funds to your favorite local or national charity, how about buying some merchandise!

Consider this your own little Save Our Gulf Coast One Stop Shop for all things related to helping out in one way or another. Now, pick something out. Go ahead...I know you like to shop! Support the Gulf Coast, a portion of ALL of the below products go to various charities that offer support to the Gulf Coast.

I posted about these before, but you can buy the 4 pictured items below:
I have the t-shirt and A has been sporting his hat all over NYC!





 Toddler T-shirt

Now, I know you ALL would probably love to support the Gulf by drinking a cold beer. Right? Next time your out at the bar, see if they are carrying Abita's SOS.

Get Abita's SOS t-shirt or the Abita hat

Switch your dish washing soap to Dawn, we did. It's such a simple gesture and why not support an amazing company who is supporting our wildlife in a major way. Don't forget you have to enter the code on your bottle online to donate! Become their fan on Facebook.

You should be able to find at least ONE t-shirt or hat you like! =)

Did you watch Jimmy Buffett's benefit concert? Buy the tshirt he was wearing from his sister Lucy's restaurant, LuLu's. Check out all the One Love, One Ocean merchandise here.

Listen to Music:

Write a Note:

Shop Amazon and donate to the oil relief fund:

Frame a little reminder for your desk:

 Even a little monogrammed something for us preppy girls to drink our SOS beers in:

Is your store offering a product that will give a portion of sales to a a Gulf Coast relief fund or wildlife organization? Let me know and I'll be sure to post it here! If you aren't, why don't you consider doing something like that!

Thank you for your time and your support...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Gift Recomendations for a New NYC Mommy

A reader recently emailed me to get baby gift recommendations for her UES Aunt. I thought I would share in case anyone else needed these recommendations!

Hi S,

Thanks for writing! As for classic keepsakes, there are so many different options. Not sure what kind of price range you are looking for, but you could do everything from a monogrammed Tiffany rattle, to a silver baby cup with initials, to a monogrammed brush set, to a monogrammed linen pillow. There are so many great keepsake options.

If you go the gift certificate route, my favorite local UES stores are:

Giggle (kinda like a trendy babies r us)
Planet Kids (kinda like a local babies r us)
Magic Windows (smocked and beautiful clothes, also carry my favorite Kissy Kissy pjs)

You could shop online and pick something out yourself or just send a gift certificate. I think either one would be most appreciated! 

I think another great idea would be to give a gift certificate for "a night out" to dinner to a local restaurant. If you like this idea, I can send you a few suggestions in whatever price range you want.

Or, you could do a gift certificate to Fresh Direct. That is always appreciated!

When I had J, my friends from out of town sent us dinner each night via seamless web. It was so amazing to not have to worry about dinner for an entire week! 
Hope this helps!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stella and Dot Online Show

Hi ladies, I was approached about doing an online Stella & Dot Trunk show and thought, sure why not! I know you ladies love to shop so here is an opportunity to get some really cute jewels for a discount! Happy Shopping! Here are a few of my favorite things that I would love to add to my collection!


You’re invited to a Stella & Dot Online Trunk Show hosted by Magnolias, Marriage and Manhattan from 7/7 to 7/14. Join the online party, shop fabulous styles and enjoy a great sale that ends 7/9. There is an extra 20% off already discounted items from July 2nd – July 9th, PLUS new markdowns on summer ready styles! Some gorgeous styles are now up to 60% off original prices! By shopping online, you’ll receive discounted trunk show shipping.


Go to

At the top right of the page click: Can't make it to the trunk show? find your hostess

Enter Host First Name: MMM
Host Last Name: Blog

And remember, good friends share their best style secrets with friends, so forward this along!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin