brands I love | banago

banagobear with me while I proudly wave the Philippine flag…today’s post features a new-to-me brand that happens to hail from my home country: banago. you can read more about banago‘s story here, but they offer bags, totes, & accessories handmade in the Philippines by local artisan communities. this specific portion of their narrative really caught my eye:

“here at BANAGO we aim to support sustainable livelihoods and preserve ailing arts and crafts with various products that span a work force from the farmer of the natural materials the products are made from to the artisans. we teach them the importance of quality work and entrepreneurship in hopes of empowering these women. so far we have been successful because we have stayed true to our beliefs that true luxury is having the ability to help.”

true luxury is having the ability to help. that’s going to rattle around in my brain for quite some time.

I’m a lover of beautiful things. all of their products are beautiful, but what makes them even more lovely is the good they do in helping those who are responsible for creating such beauty. if you’re on the market for a summer tote or clutch, may I point you in banago‘s direction? I for one have a couple of pieces on my summer wishlist (this one & this one).

*this is not a sponsored post. I just love sharing the love, especially for a good cause.

what’s in a name?

hesI was listening to npr on the way to work the other day, and I happened to catch an interview about a young man who felt that his name had led others to make assumptions about him in general and about his race specifically (his name is Jamal, and he is white). it got me thinking about my own name, and as I thought about it more & more, I realized I wanted to let you all in on my thoughts on it.

most people call me Hes, but my full first name is Hesed. it’s a Hebrew name that means “loving kindness” or “God’s covenant love for humankind”. my parents were in seminary school when I was born, and they were inspired by their studies of the Bible in Hebrew when it came time to name me.

like a lot of kids who had unusual first names, I wasn’t very fond of my name as a child. no one in my family aside from my parents were familiar with it. in fact, a lot of my dad’s family found the name difficult to pronounce because in our language, the letter ‘h’ is not a part of the alphabet, so all members of that side of the family call me “Esed” (pronounced as in blessed) or, even shorter, “Sed” (rhymes with Ted). at least these nicknames were at least related to my real name. sometimes I would just get called Hazel or Heather or some other H-name that was more familiar to other people.

when I came to the US, my situation didn’t improve very much. no one knew how to pronounce Hesed either. no one, except my Jewish friends, of course, who all pronounced it with its original guttural H at the beginning (my name can also be transliterated to English as “Chesed”). though my name wasn’t foreign to them at all, they were a little bit amused to find that a short, Filipino girl had such a Hebrew name. once, a package for my office was mistakenly delivered to the Jewish student center down the street from us. The rabbi emailed me to ask that I come pick it up. when I did and I introduced myself, he said with a chuckle, “I didn’t expect you to be Hesed”.

now that I’m older, I’ve become really proud of my name. it’s aspirational, and I try to live up to it every day, although I inevitably fall short. I used to be mortified when people would mispronounce my name; I would be so self-conscious and embarrassed. but now, I love that it’s unique. if I ever get a tattoo, I’d want it to be a very small one of my name in Hebrew script.

do you have a unique name? do you love it/hate it? have you always felt that way?

words for the week

wftwI ran across this quote and was completely arrested by it. it’s made me think about what & whom I value, and why. it’s always good to ask oneself these questions every now and then, like a recalibration of sorts.

I hope your week is off to a lovely start.

things I love | may

maytilhow is it may?! not that I’m complaining. the trees are blooming, the weather is warmer…I’m going to tempt fate and say that winter is truly over. today’s post is a round-up of things I’ve been loving lately. as I’ve transitioned in the past couple months to a more pared back lifestyle, I haven’t felt the need to compile wishlists. that’s not to say I’ve suddenly found myself beyond wanting things (I’m not that good), but I just haven’t felt the urge to compile all of it together into something I could share. so, this isn’t a wishlist per se (although I may want to buy some of these things), but more of a collage of the things I love, find beautiful, and make me happy right now. what’s been really lovely to experience with this capsule wardrobe thing is really being able to appreciate the things I have and admire that which I find beautiful & would love to have without actually owning it. sometimes, the pleasure I get from seeing it or being inspired by it is enough.

ok…enough schmaltz. thanks for stopping by & hanging around, even with the infrequent posting. I’m working on getting my ish together…promise!

happy wednesday!

links

earrings (on sale through 5/7 with the code fiesta 30) | towel | book | flats | dress

things that made my week

 happy friday! this weekend is looking to be a busy one. on saturday, I have my final in the morning, followed by a memorial service in the early afternoon, followed by a wedding in the late afternoon, and then a Pacquiao-Mayweather viewing party at our friends’ house later in the evening. just typing that out makes me tired! needless to say, after all that, sunday will be super chill. it’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend with warm weather and sunlight aplenty. have a good one!

the things that made my week:

  leisurely walking around southport

  wedding venue viewing 

  a little shoe shopping 

 finally got a chance to visit here
 poached eggs & a perfectly cooked steak a good breakfast make (see what I did there?)