Shop Happy: Siriusly Smiling + Bead for Life

Two recommendations, while you're in the midst of holiday shopping...

Numero Uno:

Do you like music? Do you like Harry Potter? Do you like helping children?

Of course you do.

Which is perfect, because my wonderful, thoughtful, kind husband has spent the last few months putting together something that I am VERY excited about -- Siriusly Smiling, a compilation to raise money for the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction.

To paraphrase their mission statement: The NFFR helps children with facial disfigurements by supporting treatment, research, psychosocial support and medical training. They founded the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, which diagnoses and provides medical treatment and psychosocial services for over 1,700 patients every year, regardless of the severity of their condition, the length of treatment or the family's ability to afford care (72% of the patients seen at the Institute are uninsured, Medicaid recipients or clinic care patients).

Pretty incredible, right?

And what would you get? Well. I'm glad you asked.

For $9.99 on iTunes, you get NINETEEN NEW SONGS (!!!) by the funniest, smartest, cleverest, most talented wizard rock bands out there -- bands like Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, The Remus Lupins, and The Whomping Willows. (For my wizard rock primer, read this.)

So if you have a Potter fan in your life -- no doubt depressed by the delayed release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (as I am) -- cheer them up by downloading Siriusly Smiling! They'll LOVE it, and you'll feel good about where your money is going.

Plus, it's funny.

Really really funny.

Funny like this is funny. But with slightly less blood.

I mean, how can you NOT love a song called "Werewolves > Zombies"? Or "Creepy Mustache," a rap about Lupin's John Waters-esque facial hair? And Oliver Boyd & the Remembrall's "Give It Up" is just. plain. good. You'll happily hum this for the rest of December.

Plus you MUST hear my husband -- Gred and Forge -- take a very naughty joke waaaaay too far in "Brotherly Love" ("I saw them there by the light of the moon/Bill was riding something but it wasn't his broom").

I'm so proud of Jarrod for creating and organizing this charity album, and we're both thankful for all of the amazing musicians who contributed.

So. Siriusly Smiling! On iTunes! YAY!

(And how great is that cover art, by the way? Made by the fab Frak Franco.)

***On a related note, Jingle Spells 2 -- a wizard rock holiday compilation raising money for Book Aid International and the HP Alliance -- is on sale now too. Last year they raised more than thirty-five THOUSAND dollars for literacy!

Numero Dos:

See these beautiful women? Do you want to know why they're so joyful?

They're the ladies of Bead for Life, a group that's working to (and I quote their website): "[eradicate] extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads.

The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees -- and hope. All profits from Bead for Life are invested in community development projects that generate income and help people work their way out of poverty."

Pretty amazing, no?

I went to a Bead for Life party (think Tupperware, but a billion times cooler) this week and was blown away by the gorgeous jewelry. Look at these colors!

I bought sooooo many gifts for my friends, family, and myself.

(I, um, bought a LOT for myself.)

But unlike shopping at the mall, there's no guilt. Because look who you're supporting!

The jewelry -- and there is SO MUCH TO CHOOSE from -- is very affordable and available online here, along with more beautiful photography and music and videos.

Happy shopping, everyone!


  1. Hello there,

    It's Matt, of "Amber and Matt". I know we've not been formally introduced, but Amber and I are sitting at my desk, drinking clear spirits and playing online poker; Amber said, "Let's check out Stephanie's blog." (Incidentally, by "clear spirits", I mean Gin and by "playing online poker", I mean developing sophisticated algorithms to cure both global sadness AND male-pattern baldness.) Anyway, I've been hearing all sorts of interesting stories about you and Jarrod, his band, your writing, Asheville, the Dalai Llama, the letter L, and sock-darning. So, being slightly drunk, I proposed to Amber that I send a message. Heretofore, please find said message. And, as we're listening to a bunch of Nick Cave, we're pensive, so allow me the opportunity to say, "It's been nice typing to you" and "I do hope the four of us can develop a lovely, scone-infused relationship, albeit long-distance."


  2. Ooooo, that jewelry is so colorful and pretty! And they have a store in Boulder, CO. That's where I live! OMG, totally meant to be. And here I thought I was done with my holiday shopping.

    Thanks for sharing that info. I've been enjoying your blog for a while now (found it via Laini Taylor's) but I don't think I've commented before. Happy writing!

  3. Your husband does Wizard Rock?! You guys are too cool. I'm off to go buy Siriusly Smiling, because I just read Beedle the Bard and now I'm having some MAJOR HP withdrawals.

  4. Two wonderful things! I must go and do a leetle shopping. . .

  5. Matt -- Hey! It's nice to finally meet you! Sort of ;) I'm totally down for a scone-infused relationship. I'll bring the Earl Grey, Jarrod will bring the sugar lumps.

    Jennifer -- Thank you! (And thanks for commenting!) Bead for Life has a STORE??? Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my.

    Gretchen -- YAY! Thanks for supporting the album! Now, I'm only admitting this to you in the SECRECY OF FRIENDSHIP, but shockingly, I have not read Beedle yet. (What's wrong with me?!)

    Mistress Laini -- You know, they sell these puuurrty red bracelets (quite affordable!) that would look gorgeous attached to the top of red-and-white packages. Not that I know anyone ONLY wrapping in red-and-white this year...

  6. Nooooo! (Accidentally typed "mooo" and had to edit.) But seriously, stop posting things like this. Because then I want to go out and buy them.

  7. That stuff is the epitome of greatness.
    Yay wrock! And yay Nerdfighters! Yay pretty, pretty jewelry!

  8. Anonymous8:06 PM GMT-5

    Wizard Rock and Bead for Life FTW :) lol

  9. Okay, so I have recently started following your blog and tonight I decided to go look through your old post. . . Wow! After I saw that snowman ripped out heart picture, I burst out laughing! Literally BURST! My family was wondering if I had finally cracked. But after I had been laughing for almost a whole five minutes straight I grabbed my computer, met my sister half way down the stairs, she asked what I was laughing at and I just showed her my laptop, because you know I couldn't articulately answer, I was still laughing. She started laughing, grabbed my laptop and ran to the kitchen to show my mom, where followed where I tried to recover but only ended up laughing for another ten minutes! :)
    You have made my entire week! Actually, probably my whole life, because I'll never be able to look at a snowman the same way again. . . or read Calvin and Hobbes. . . :) Love you blog!