Miss A Columnist

Lisa Beth Miller is the Entertaining & Weddings Editor for Miss A. She has been involved in the wedding industry for several years. Lisa is a bridal consultant and director of marketing and public relations for Blush Bridal Boutique and an event designer at Main Street Weddings, both local wedding businesses. In this capacity, Lisa writes the blog, website copy, and promotional materials for these businesses and assists with event planning. She was formerly a bridal consultant and did marketing and public relations work for A Formal Affair Bridal and Formalwear Boutique and was the creator of their Bridal University workshops. Additionally, Lisa teaches English, journalism, and photojournalism classes at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. She advises the school's award-winning publications, Talon yearbook and Patriot Press newspaper. As junior class sponsor, she also assists in planning Liberty's prom. Lisa has written several published articles. These include an article about advising student publications for Accents (Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s journal),an article about the royal wedding for Northern Virginia Magazine, an article about local proms for Warrenton Lifestyle magazine, and four stories about wedding planning and wedding fashion for the 2012 Northern Virginia Bridal Guide. Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in English and journalism education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree in education and library science from Longwood University.

Valentine’s Day Gifts For A Cause From The Joyful Heart Foundation

Everyone loves Valentine’s Day, right? When shopping for gifts for this beloved holiday, why not have a heart and buy gifts that will benefit a fabulous cause, The Joyful Heart Foundation?

So what exactly is this cause all about?

According to the organization’s website, “When Mariska Hargitay started playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit over a decade ago, the content of the scripts, as well as the work she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. What she learned was staggering:

  • One in three women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
  • Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.
  • Nearly four children die every day in this country as a result of child abuse and neglect.
  • Up to ten million children witness domestic violence each year.

But what really opened her eyes—and subsequently, her heart—was the fan mail she received. The letters didn’t say, ‘I love your show. Can you send me an autographed picture?’  They said, ‘I was raped when I was fifteen. I’m forty now and I’ve never told anyone.’ Victims were disclosing their stories to her, many for the first time.

Mariska founded Joyful Heart in 2004 with the intention of helping survivors heal and reclaim their lives. Today, Joyful Heart’s mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

Since 2004, over 2,000 survivors have participated in Joyful Heart’s pioneering retreat and wellness programs, thousands more have taken that first important step to get help through our website, and our participation in national educational and media awareness campaigns has planted the seeds of a changed awareness in the lives of millions. This year alone, the Foundation will directly serve over 2,000 survivors and the professionals who care for them.”

So how exactly can you help?

Conveniently, Joyful Heart Foundation has partnered with a variety of companies, to offer traditional Valentine’s Day gifts: jewelry and chocolate.

For him: the Me&Ro Men’s Fearlessness Tube Bracelet

Photo credit: Joyful Heart Foundation

Photo credit: Joyful Heart Foundation

The Men’s Fearlessness Tube Bracelet is the first product designed specifically for and in support of men.

The recycled sterling silver tube, engraved with “Fearlessness,” measures approximately ¾” in length and 1/8” in width. It is available for men in 8” natural or black cord. Retails for $100.100% of the net proceeds from the sale of each pendant will go directly to the Joyful Heart Foundation.

For her: Fran’s Chocolates “Box of Joy”

Photo credit: Joyful Heart Foundation

(Photo Credit: Joyful Heart Foundation)

The “Box of Joy” features the award-winning Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels from Seattle based artisan chocolatier, Fran’s Chocolates. The Salted Caramels are made with organic ingredients and offer a delicious mingling of complex flavors—rich smooth chocolate, soft buttery caramel and the unexpected boldness of the gray and smoked salt.

The “Box of Joy” includes an assortment of 19 Gray Salt Caramels in dark chocolate, 19 Smoked Salt Caramels in milk chocolate and two Red Foil Wrapped 65% Dark Chocolate Hearts—all of which arrive in a brown linen box finished with a hand-tied satin ribbon. Retails for $50.

50% of the net proceeds from each “Box of Joy” will benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation.

For him OR her: The unisex “Fearlessness” pendant

Photo credit: Joyful Heart Foundation

(Photo Credit: Joyful Heart Foundation)

Worn by Mariska herself on every episode of Law and Order: SVU, this unisex, beautifully-crafted pendant is available in 10K gold or sterling silver, on either a chain or a cotton cord. 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of each pendant will go directly to the Joyful Heart Foundation. The pendant is made in the USA, from 100 % recycled materials.

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