Eyeglasses Matter + DIFF Eyewear Giveaway

My son, Aiden, has always had terrible eyesight.

The first time we were with him in Grenada (where he was born), he didn’t have glasses on and we realized he could not see anything.

We would hand him a book and he would bury his face in it to see even one thing on the page.

We were walking down the beach one night trying to point out some crabs scurrying on the sand to him and he nearly fell over trying to bend down close enough to see them.

Aiden wearing my DIFF sunglasses over his regular glasses. 🙂

My Mommy heart broke when I saw this, yet I understand it so much as I suffer from terrible eyesight as well – but not near as bad as my son does.

He has a couple of issues fighting against his vision that we have been working on over the course of his two years home with us.

If you get me to talking at all about his eyes, you will know right away how important it is to me that we take care of his vision and have him in the perfect glasses.

This summer, after a year and a half of researching on my part and doctor visit after doctor visit after doctor visit, Aiden is having surgery on his eyes. The story of how I came to this and what is being done is too long for this post, however, as nervous as I am about this, I am so excited for him to have better sight.

You say smile and he sticks his tongue out. Go figure.

Even after his surgery, he will need glasses. I will always be an advocate for his eyes and remember how helpless I felt when he needed them in the orphanage and I could do nothing about it.

When I came across DIFF Eyewear, there was something within this mama’s heart that fluttered a bit. Not only do I love their sunglasses, but they give eye glasses to people in need with every purchase of sunglasses. 

Among the eye care they are able to help fund are eye exams, vision assistance, and eye care treatment to those who would otherwise not receive it.

Go to their website to read more about the wonderful work they are doing : www.diffeyewear.com

I have the Bella Motley Frame sunglasses with blue mirrored & polarized lenses. I LOVE them! They are so clear when you look through them, they do not fatigue my eyes at all, and the frames are super comfortable. I am certain to be purchasing another pair in the near future.

I spend a lot of my time these days gazing at two little boys who have my whole heart 🙂

Now for the good part – DIFF and I have partnered together to do a great giveaway today and offer an amazing discount to my readers.

I am giving away ONE PAIR of sunglasses to one of my readers. Follow the instructions below to enter and win. 

However, ALL of my readers get a special 25% discount on your own pair of DIFFS from now until the end of the month when you use the code KRYSTAL25 at checkout. SWEET!

To Enter:

1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @diffeyewear on Instagram

2. Tag two friends in a comment on my Instagram contest photo who would love my mission and @diffeyewear’s mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world

3.{optional for a second entry} Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page OR pop up on home page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway

4. {optional for a second/third entry} repost this photo with #krgiveaway and tag both @krystalribble and @diffeyewear

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday night June 21, 2017 and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram (Giveaway not sponsored by IG. Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what DIFF Eyewear is doing with their sunglasses and I want you all to join me in supporting their cause!)

{KR’s Book Club} Red Notice by Bill Browder {Review}

Book Club

To the normal person who sees this book and picks it up to read it, it is a book about high finance in both the United States and Russia with a story line to keep you on your toes. Its good. Really good.

I am not normally one to read a true thriller like this, but I had one particular mission to accomplish.
This book is the story about the circumstances that led to Russia banning Americans from adopting Russian children. This book is about what really happened to our little Alina. This is why she couldn’t come home to us.

Red Notice

If you want to read about finance and taking big risks, this is an awesome story about that. {I actually learned a ton of things that I never knew about high finance} However, if you are an adoptive parent and you have adopted internationally, you NEED to read this. Even if you never had a thing to do with Russian adoptions, you NEED to read this.

Why?

When you lose an international adoption due to government policies, problems, and red tape you often have no idea why. It is so difficult to understand what back door meeting happened that caused you to lose an adoption of a specific child. Just reading one example can lessen the burden of the unknown. {And even if you haven’t lost an adoption internationally, this is a good book to give you insight into how foreign governments work together on issues pertaining to your foreign-born child}

Browder’s book did just this for me. Being a part of a Congressional family has always given me a little better perspective on what actually happened to us all those years ago in Russia, but nothing could give me clarity like Browder’s depiction of the moments.

While reading this book I found myself cheering Browder on in his quest to seek justice for those Russia treats poorly; not only poorly… for those Russia kills. I applaud Mr. Browder.
I am sure there are a lot of families who lost their children in the Russia ban that would hate for me to say this; but this is what I have learned through attempting to adopt from three different countries : Sometimes, our passion to bring a child home is one of the fuels to the instability in their country’s current political and economic environment. Sometimes we are harming our children and ourselves more when we walk into a situation like this. When you go into another country to bring a child home to our country, there are so many moving parts that are defining how the process will go for you. Most of these moving parts you know nothing about and will never see, but they are vital to the health of your adoption process.

I have always been a firm believer that we can tell our relationship (As the United States) with another country not only by our trade agreements with them, but by how they handle adoptions with us. There were signs for many years that Russia was not working with us well. Mr. Browder’s book was able to shine so much light on the situation our family went through a couple of years ago.

As a girl who now spends time in DC helping families navigate our Congressional system to be advocates for the orphans they seek to help, I am so proud of Mr. Browder’s work to bring justice to his corner of this vast world. Isn’t that what we all want to do when we face injustice? 

Mr. Browder, if you ever read this, I hope we get to meet one day. I want to shake your hand as a mom who had a broken heart from losing a little one in Russia and instead of being upset with you, I want to thank you for standing up for what is right. Thank you for advocating for Mr. Magnitsky and his family. We all need to be a voice for the voiceless, no matter HOW they lost their voice.

-KR

**You guys and gals need to read this book. Like pronto. It’s so good.**

Buy it here : 

Greenola Style Giveaway

I came across this company on Instagram when I was scrolling through a bunch of other ethical companies.

Because it was winter when I first discovered them, I fell in love with their hats and headbands. My first item from Greenola was one of their Maria hats {made in Bolivia} that is so cute and comfy.

Greenola Style is known for its accessories and jewelry. As a Noonday Collection Ambassador, I normally do not purchase jewelry from other ethical jewelry companies simply because I wear a lot of Noonday, however, Greenola has a lot of other styles and unique designs that I love. They also partner with some countries that Noonday does not yet and that is intriguing to me. For instance, I did not own anything from Bolivia and thus this hat was a great addition to my collection.

Greenola Style
Since it has warmed up in a few places across the US since I first discovered Greenola, I decided to add a couple more pieces to my collection before I offered this giveaway.

I bought some of their Acai seed bracelets made in Bolivia and Baga Horn Stud earrings made in Kenya.

I have fallen IN LOVE with the Acai seed bracelets. At a minimum I wear three of them at a time. Yesterday I wore 7 of them. Ha!

The Baga Horn Studs are so classic and they go with everything. I mean everything. If I don’t know what earrings to wear, they are my go to.

One of my amazing readers is going to win a $50 gift card to Greenola Style to purchase your own amazing pieces. I am so excited for this giveaway!

To Enter :

1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @greenolastyle on Instagram

2. Tag two friends in a comment on my Instagram contest photo who would love my mission and @greenolastyle‘s mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world

3.{optional for a second entry} Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway

4. {optional for a second/third entry} repost this photo with #krgiveaway and tag both @krystalribble and @greenolastyle

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Friday night April 22, 2016 and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram (Giveaway not sponsored by IG. Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what Greenola Style is doing and I want you all to join me in supporting their cause!)

Local + Lejos Bowl Giveaway

I think I stumbled upon this company on Instagram, but to be honest, I am not certain the exact moment I discovered them. No matter; I immediately fell in love with the exquisite design of their products and I became a customer because of their impact on artisans around the world.

I had the wonderful privilege of speaking with Sheeva, the amazing founder of this company, on the phone and talking through her business as well as opportunities to spread the word about Local + Lejos. I knew that I should do a giveaway with her and this one has been in the works for a while.

Local + Lejos is a company birthed out of Sheeva’s desire to “connect discerning consumers with world class goods, while creating lasting social impact.” I LOVE that. These artisans around the world who make these incredible items are not only people who can do a lot with our “little,” but their handmade goods are IMPECCABLE.

Local + Lejos carries many items, including pillows, baskets, bowls, rugs, linens, etc. I ordered some bowls and while I knew they would be amazing, I had no idea HOW amazing.

I opened the box and when I picked up the bowls I realized the hefty quality of them. I thought they would be lighter and maybe flimsier, but NO, they were solid and so beautiful. I could not wait to find a place to put them in my home. Truthfully, they will probably travel all around my home at different times because I love them so much.

The Akazi Bowl (shown on my kitchen table here) allows the purchaser to fund one year of health insurance for one member of the artisan’s family. What?!?! Every single day that I see this bowl, I realize that someone in Rwanda has healthcare this year because of my purchase. That fact makes this the best bowl decision I ever made. 🙂

Akazi Bowl
Akazi Bowl 2

The Muhanga Nesting Bowl set (shown here on my mantle) is created in Rwanda over three and half days of work. Most of the women who make these bowls do so as a side job to their daily farming and home tending. In between feeding their animals and families, they weave these bowls. By purchasing this set of bowls, the artisan who makes them is able to add one chicken and one rabbit to their farm. How amazing.

Muhanga Nesting Bowls
Muhanga Nesting Bowls 2

I love that Local + Lejos tells you right up front what this purchase allows their artisans to achieve in their personal lives.

Because I love Sheeva so much and I love the vision she has given to Local + Lejos, I am giving away one of the Akazi Bowls to one of my amazing readers. I want your giveaway win to afford someone else healthcare for a year.

To Enter:

1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @localandlejos on Instagram.

2. Tag two friends in a comment below who would love my mission and @localandlejos’ mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world.

3.{optional for a second entry} Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway.

4. {optional for a second/third entry} repost this photo with #krgiveaway and tag both @krystalribble and @localandlejos

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Tuesday night February 2, 2016 and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram.

(Giveaway not sponsored by IG. Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what Local + Lejos is doing and I want you all to join me in their cause!)

Much Love My Lovelies,

-KR

 

YouWood Necklace Giveaway

I discovered YouWood through some advertisements they did on Instagram before they officially launched as a company. I love anything that is a combination of wood and metal. My house has a lot of those elements in it : earth and industry together. I love it.

Naturally, once I saw this necklace, I loved the look of it. But it was more than that.

You Wood Necklace
This necklace is a necklace that Sadie Robertson {Duck Dynasty} helped design for YouWood. This necklace is assembled by women saved from the sex trafficking industry and proceeds from the sales go to the cost of saving these women as well as giving them jobs.

The diamond shape is a way to say that these precious women are “diamonds in the rough.”

YouWood sent me a necklace to try out and see how much I liked it. I am telling you, it is such a beautiful and classic piece. I can layer this necklace with many other styles and looks. And the best part is the meaning I am carrying around my neck the entire time.

I am able to look at this necklace and think of these incredibly brave women who have been saved from such an awful place and now have the strength to move on in this world. What courage this takes.

KR YouWood Necklace

One of my lucky readers will be getting one of these necklaces shipped straight to them 🙂
Enter by doing these things below and one winner will be chosen for YouWood to send this necklace to.

I have partnered with YouWood to share the message of this necklace and get my readers excited about this cause. If nothing else dear friends, remember these women and pray for them.

To Enter :
1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @youwoodorg on Instagram.
2. Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway.
3. Tag two friends who would love my mission and @youwoodorg’s mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world and give them the tools to be successful.

**You must do all of these things to be entered to win. We will be checking each entry.**

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Friday night November 6,2015, and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram. (Giveaway not sponsored by IG, must be 13+ old and US or Canadian resident to enter.)

Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what YouWood is doing and I want you all to join me in their cause!

“When no one else would, YOUWOOD.”

You Wood Necklace 2

The Trait Project : # 2 Part B {Haley Marie}

Yesterday, I introduced you to my friend Haley. I told you about her impeccable gift of affirmation.

Haley 1{my beautiful friend Haley}

I wanted to expound upon this notion of affirming people. Affirmation can be a million different things. It is not just words. Sometimes it is touch.

When Haley and I were working together, I was in an interesting time of my young adult life.
I worked a job from 12 pm to 9 pm where I worked in a room full of people, but I had my own little cubicle.
After work I would go home, eat dinner, and then work on my online graduate classes from about 10 pm to 3 am.
I would sleep from 4 am to 9 am or 10 am. Then I would repeat my day all over again.

This would be the schedule I kept most days until I finished my Masters degree.

At one point I had been really digging in to my schedule and school work for about a month straight. I had little human contact for a while other than seeing people at work and saying hello, because I lived alone.

One day, as I walked towards my cubicle, Haley approached me. She had just grabbed a cup of coffee to begin her day and she swung by to say hello. She reached out and touched my arm.

A literal surge of energy ran through my body. I had never in my life felt what I felt at that moment. When she touched me just to say hello, I realized not one single human being had touched me or hugged me in over one month.

Until this moment in my life, I never understood the importance of actual human contact.

Haley gave me a gift that day. The gift of human connection.

As I mentioned yesterday, Haley has the gift of seeing people where they are and meeting them there. She has the incredible ability to reach out and let you know you are not alone in this world. I am sure if you were to ask her about this, she wouldn’t see it as something she does consciously. She simply has the tremendous gift of noticing people.

The English novelist Martin Amis said in his book Money, “My theory is-we don’t really go that far into other people, even when we think we do. We hardly ever go in and bring them out. We just stand at the jaws of the cave, and strike a match, and quickly as if nobody’s there.”

I feel that what Amis mentions is what we all do in human connection. We get close, we see if someone happens to be alive in that cave of life, and then we move on. If the life in the cave is moving, they must be ok. But as we all know, that is not the truth.

What I love about Haley is that she is the kind of person who strikes a match to light the cave, but then she wanders in to help bring us out.

That day so long ago, when my skin had not been touched by anyone, Haley brought me out of a cave I wasn’t sure I was in. I had no idea I would be a healthier person if I had human contact.

As much as I am an extrovert, if left to my own devices, I forget to be around people. It’s not a way to live. In fact, you can’t live that way. Physically, you can’t.

God designed us FOR each other.

We were not meant to walk this earth alone or independent of one another. We survive best when we are connected.

I want my son to see people’s needs and not have to be asked to meet them.
I want him to instinctively know when someone needs a touch of humanity.
I want my son to be a Haley to everyone he meets.
Wanting my son to be a Haley, starts with me.

I love you Hales. I love that you are my friend.
The proof of how many people have read this blog, and commented on your Facebook because of it, is a testament to your innate goodness.

Thank you Jesus for Haley.

 

 

The Trait Project : # 2 Part A {Haley Marie}

In February of 2008, I moved to Lynchburg, VA to accept a job that would help me complete my Masters degree debt free. This job afforded me the opportunity to work alongside a lot of people in the same time of life as myself. One such individual was named Haley.

Haley Trait{Yes. That is a large shoe in Haley’s face. I won this at a party from a 6’8″ basketball player. Don’t hate.}

Haley Marie Carr Bodine.
She was Haley Marie Carr when I met her. Her boyfriend at the time, Adam, would soon make her a Bodine.

Haley is stunning.
She has this radiance about her that only comes from fighting for grace.
Haley fought for every inch of ground she gained in life and you can tell by the shine in her eyes that God has carried her a long way.

Haley{Isn’t she lovely? :)}

If I am being completely honest, The Trait Project exists all because of Haley.

Since meeting Haley, I have taken more time to notice traits in people. Traits that are good for me to possess and pass along to my children.
This started with Haley because she has two traits about her that have profoundly impacted my life for the better. (They both are so great that I am giving you one today, and one tomorrow.)

Haley has the gift of affirmation.

I believe this is one of the best gifts for a girl to possess.
We as women are often bombarded with propaganda about how we should look, sound, exist, etc. This type of inundation can cause extreme stress and negative views of ourselves. This is horribly exhausting.

Want to know the worst part about being all things to all people? When we actually achieve this goal, no one usually notices.
We may have hit the jackpot one morning in the beautiful face department and no one says anything. We may have woken up in a state perfectly suited for the Paris runway and not one single person will comment on our outfit.

The absolute best thing that can happen is for another woman to notice our victories. Why? Because it diminishes the competition the world places between us and gives us a bridge of grace into sisterhood.

Haley is the exact picture of this. She is a noticer of victories. She notices beautiful face day and Paris runway clothing. Not only does she notice it, she comments on it.

There were many days when I would walk into work very tired and disheveled. As soon as I would be getting ready to sit down in my cubicle, Haley would walk by and compliment my hair or my clothing. I would then smile and my whole day would change. I suddenly felt better about myself.

I believe we as women forget, and choose not, to give affirmation because somewhere deep down inside of us, we believe giving affirmation takes something from us personally. Haley would compliment me and she lost nothing. Haley would compliment me and she gained one more person with a better outlook on the day in her workplace. What little sacrifice that is.

My first admittance is that I am terrible at this. Terrible. Affirmation often sits on the tip of my tongue and sadly, it too often stays there.

I long to be a Haley. I believe the world’s women need more Haleys.

Haley sees people where they are and meets them there.
It’s a true gift and one that I want to emulate in my own life. I also want my son to know how to be this type of person.
I want him to be able to see people where they are and affirm their greatness.

We all need this. We all need a Haley every single day.
I’m so glad my Haley is only a phone call away.

I love you Hales. More than I can ever put into words. You are such a God send to a million people, but especially to me.

{Tune in tomorrow for more Haley}