…halloween @ the store…

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There were so many fun halloween festivities this year we’re still reminiscing…

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Its a Halloween tradition to pass out candy from our flagship store front, on Main Street in Huntington Beach. All of the local business partake in this huge event that brings the community together and allows the little kiddos to come out dressed up to trick or treat!

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We saw some of the cutest little tots strolling for candy. This itty bitty crew composed of snow white, the evil queen and their monkey friend was one of our absolute favorites. They were so sweet and excited.

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The kids weren’t the only ones having the fun. Our next door neighbor from the salon came as a head turning ‘Marge’ from the Simpsons. It was quite the get-up! She had everyone smiling and laughing

hall5…and of course it wouldn’t have been a true family holiday with out grandma Sheila and our furry kids. Bonnie was sneaking up from behind to steal some candy (the usual).

It was another wonderful holiday spent as an Island Cowgirl family.

…giving back & getting more…

trott-rescue1A few weeks ago we attended a fundraising event at the Peacock Hill Equestrian Center for Trott Rescue. It was such an amazing day…

I know we were there to help and raise money for a good cause and we did a great job. We sold a ton of jewelry and helped spread the word about the wonderful work that Trott does.

trott-rescue2But I feel like we got the better end of the deal. Simone & I arrived early and it was a gorgeous warm day. There were peacocks prancing all around with their feathers spread wide…the horses were just waking up and being fed. After we set up…I was able to attend some of the clinics they had…A natural horsemanship clinic and a wonderfully informative question and answer session from two equine veterinarians. And don’t get me started on the Tacos they had there…amazing.

It was a magical day…we spread some good in the world, I got to snuggle all the horses I could possibly handle, I learned a lot and we raised money for a good cause. What could be better than that?

If you want to read more about Trott or make a donation please visit their website.

XOXO
~h

…a H.O.R.S.E. rescue update…

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Have you seen our featured ‘H.O.R.S.E. Rescue’ page on our website?

We have been featuring horses from an organization called ‘H.O.R.S.E. Rescue’ for the past several months. These horses were all up for adoption to good homes and/or sanctuaries. The Organization was founded by a man and wife who had a serious goal to find care and compassion for these beautiful creatures… These horses were all in desperate need of a big heart, willing to take on the responsibility of a special needs horse. In early 2012 they received news that would change their ability to run this amazing rescue…this was Mike’s final statement released to their website…

“It is now August 2012 and has been almost a year since my cancer diagnosis. Since my last ct scan last month things are still going. My lung cancer is still stable and the only thing that’s changed is a tumor on the adrenal gland. That one has doubled in size and I start radiation on August 21 with five treatments. We’ll see how that goes.”

“We still have 12 horses here in Pavilion and five in foster care. Cali and Betty are in Pike undergoing training and Blue, Mykala, and Maverick are in Spencerport. It looks like Makayla and Maverick may have found new homes with Marial in their foster home.”

“We still need your help. I don’t know about my health right now. I am still trying to get things done but I don’t have the strength to do what I did before so vounteers are needed especially doing yard work. We need help taking care of the horses with feeding and grooming. We’re not able to do much fundraising because of physical limitations. We also need help with maintaining the facility such as painting, mowing and weed whacking. If you can help in any way please let us know.”

Mike and Chris Dodge
Founders

Mikes wife could not manage the rescue by her self and they would be forced to close once he passed. His final wish was that all of the horses that remained in their care would find forever homes before he passed. With the help of a lot of word of mouth in the horse community all of the horses have been taken in to new homes and/or sanctuaries.

Mike recently passed away after his long battle with cancer.

He was able to hear the good news before his passing, and left this world at peace.

Here are pictures of the horses that were at the rescue during its final days…the last horses Mike cared for… all of these horses were adopted and now have new care takers.

horserescue1We feel so blessed to have been able to help support this amazing program for horses. Mikes story will always be in our hearts. We will forever remember his selfless love for these majestic animals.

Rest in Peace Mike. We will miss you greatly.

 

…postcards from hilton head…

Island Cowgirl Hilton headWe have the best customers. Yesterday I received a beautiful, heartfelt email from someone just reaching out to me in a random act of kindness. To let me know what Island Cowgirl means to her…and I am reminded again why I do what I do.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day chores of running a business and everything that goes into it…that sometimes we feel disconnected from what really matters. This is a common theme among my artist friends & I. We talk about this a lot. A LOT.

It meant the world to me that she took a tiny piece out of her day to write such a sweet email…and it pulled me back into the now, the present & reminded me that living in the moment is ever so infinitely important…so much so that I could almost smell the salt air and sun on my toes on that beach in Hilton Head.

Here is her letter:

Hi Gals! 
I feel like we’re old friends now!
Thank you for ALL the wonderful jewelry; it makes me happy, everyday, to pick out my outfits based on the Island Cowgirl bling I’m wearing;) (and inspires me in my own work). I feel genuninely uplifted and joyful, wearing your pieces.  They are truly filled with VERY beautiful energy…thank you!  Enjoy the photo, taken from Hilton Head Beach, my neck of the woods on the opposite coast;) (starfish anklet). Peace & Blessings.

Thank you Sherry! You made my day.
~heather

…we made up something special for TROTT…

Trott FlyerSome special jewelry that we made up for our TROTT USA rescue event that we are proud to be participating in this weekend in Orange CA. at the Peacock Hill Equestrian center…Saturday May 18th from 10-4pm…Proceeds from the days sales will go to help these wonderful retired OTTB horses that TROTT works so hard to retrain and rehome.

Lucky Horseshoe Necklace and earring combo…$98.
Please phone the store if you would like to order…714-580-9909.

Or if you are in the area stop by and say howdy! We will have all of our jewelry there and would love to see you there.

Peace, love & horses,
~heather

…come join us and help the horses….

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As you all know we love horses. And we love people that help horses.
Trott Rescue is pretty special…they take retired racehorses off the track, retrain them and find them homes…all before they become rescues. We love this. Give them a chance at a great life before the damage is done.

This Saturday, May 18th from 10am-4pm they are holding a fundraising event. We would love to have you all come out and join the fun! There will be a Natural Horsemanship Demo, Western Demo, Food Tastings and of course Island Cowgirl Jewelry!

We will be donating 30% of our proceeds to TROTT USA.

Peacock Hill Equestrian Center
1 Irvine Park Road, Orange CA. 92869
Saturaday May 18th   10-4PM

…mother’s love…

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We’re quickly approaching Mother’s day, the ultimate Thanksgiving for our favorite women.

It is one of the few constant truths in life that nothing can be brought into this world with out a Mother. They are not only the giver of our life, but also our original mentor, caregiver, and guide in this world.

We have the perfect gift to help you say, “thanks” to Mom this Mother’s day.

Our “Love Always Bracelet” is the perfect representation for the unconditional type of love between mother and child.

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Everything we are, would cease to exist without our Mother’s who brought us into this world.

XoXo

…and then it was winter…

My mom sent this to me the other day…and after I read it…it really hit me hard.

For so many reasons…not the least of which is that my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer last August. She is a twelve year breast cancer survivor…and proud of it. Cancer is rampant in my family. It took my Great Grandmother at 72 and my Grandmother at 52. My Mom has always had a fear that she would die young.

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AND THEN IT IS WINTER

“You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is… the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey…they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me…but, I see the great change…Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be. Each day now, I find that just getting
a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so…now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did.

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last…this I know, that when it’s over on this earth…it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not in your winter yet…let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember…and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!”

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No matter how many times we hear “life is short“, “live life to the fullest” and all that jazz we always kind of blow it off…and we push things, ideas, people, hopes & dreams  aside to care for later.  When we have more time.

Time is now. And there will come a day when that is all the time we have. And there will be no more. And we never can say exactly when that will be.

So…in the spirit of my Mom…go out and do something bold today. Do something you were putting off…or something that scares you. Half to death. Do it while you still have time.

Because not all of us do.

XOXO

~h

 

…update on sam…

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For those who have been following along and whose heart strings were tugged on by Sam just like mine were here is an update on our bold soul…Sam. (To read the story of Sam…you can read our previous post here.)

Lori, the owner of Sunkissed Acres Equine Rescue had been planning on turning out Sam with the herd. She felt he had gained a bit of strength in the last week and wanted him to begin to bond with the other horses.

Sam had other ideas.

From Lori…”He came out of his paddock and just hung over my shoulders. He refused to leave my side and when I went into the barn, he stood at the gate and whinnied like crazy. So, I brought him in for another meal thinking he is scared of starving out there. Then I turned him out agan. Long story short, Sam is back up in his paddock, stall. Unlike every other horse, its too much for Sam yet. He needs the safety of food delivery. A lot of horses that I have gotten in starved behave in much the same way except they generally join the herd for at least a bit and then come back in for more food.”

Poor little soul. Or just a smart old man…he knows where the groceries are and has no intention of getting too far from food, water or safety again.

She tried again the next day. Oh, Sam went along with the ruse…but he would not let her out of his sight.

I took Sam out again today. Oh, he went willingly…from one paddock to the next lol.

So, this time I went walking out with him to the pasture. He followed very, very closely behind me. I walked out to the other horses, to the grass and stood there with him while he looked cautiously around.

One of the old guys came over and extended his nose in a hello. Sam sniffed him and then pulled back frightened. The old guy just turned and walked off. Sam took a few cautios steps towards the herd and at that time I tried to sneak away.

Hahahaha, not a chance. Sam caught up to me quickly and came back in. I took him to the round bale and he happily played and explored there. Then followed me back to the barn. Sam is not ready, his eyes tell the story. He is afraid and needs to be where he feels safe yet. And thats ok by me. We will take a walk each day until he feels safe enough with the herd, until then, I am his herd.”

And what a good herd you are Lori.  We can see why Sam loves you so.

Island Cowgirl Jewelry is sponsoring Sam on his road to recovery…we are all rooting for you Sam. If you would like to help Sam or Sunkissed Acres Equine Rescue you may make a charitable donation on their website.  Even if it is $1, $2 or $100…it all is put to good use. Nothing is too small or goes unnoticed.

…whats sweet for spring…

butterfly braceletWhats sweet for spring? Well we are all about soft pastels & butterflies. Here is our Butterfly Boho Wrap on buttery soft rose suede.

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Love charm bracelets but want a new twist? Check out our super cool Island Cowgirl charm bracelets…a different take on a classic theme. Shown is our Garden of Love Bracelet, Our Bravery & Peace Bracelet and our Live with Strength Bracelet

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(Oh, this is just some random artwork that Nigel & I saw at the dog park this morning…but we thought it was real pretty…and we thought we would share..ok back to jewelry…)

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Our Ray of Sunshine Necklace which has a beautiful briolette of citrine dangling from it…and our Twisted Boho Wrap Bracelet on pretty soft suede which is shown here being worn as a necklace! So it’s like getting two for one!

…unlikely friendships…

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We form friendships in some of the most unlikely places….with the strangest circumstances. Yet, those bonds hold just as strong and true as any.

Let your heart be open to the kindness it has to share, it will be more open to receiving it as well.

Sometimes all we need to get the ball rolling is a genuine smile, or unexpected hello….a random act of kindness…

You never know what kind of relationship that could be sparked by a little bit of heart-to-heart.

Today we seem so busy with our virtual world, that I think that sometimes we miss out on actually connecting with compassion and consideration.

And I think that maybe perhaps animals have it right…

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XoXo,

Island Cowgirl

 

…and then there was Sam…

As you all know if you have been hanging around that we support a lot of horse rescues & sanctuaries.  I would like to share a story that came my way and tore my heart into a million pieces this weekend.

Sunkissed Animal Rescue is run out of Georgia. The owners give relentlessly and selflessly to the horses that come their way…and are truly unsung heros in my book. Their horses are not “seen as the old and disabled they might have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be…”

Here is a chronicle of what took place via their Facebook page on Sunday…and how we all came to know Sam.

Saturday Morning
“Bizarre day yesterday. At 8:15 I got a call to help a horse who was down. In fact, she was dead. Then I was told of a dead horse on old 27 who in fact was still alive. Meet Sam. We got Sam up and on a trailer and to SKA, fed him everyfour hours during the night but this morning he is down. The vet is coming out very shortly and hopefully we can help this old man. Nothing about 500 pounds and ten years of youth wouldnt make easier but alas, this poor guy has seen his better days. He needs your good vibes. ”

sunkissed acres horse rescue

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“None of this would have been possible without the help of Jen and Lisa who made countless trips back and forth to the farm. This guys owner was not willing to relenquish him and so they drove back and forth for meds, feed and finally the trailer when Sams owner accepted that he was unable to do anything for this guy.”

Sunday Morningsamcollage3 And this is Sam this morning. Down but alert. He has had bowel movements and was excited about his alfalfa hay, drinking well but unable to get up. There are certainly some underlying issues going on here and so we are now awaiting the vet. Nothing like a huge emergency Sunday vet bill for a horse I was not even able to take ownership of but…………………..the owner did not give me any contact information whatsoever and so, I am sincerely hoping he doesnt contact me at all. Like honestly, how will he get this guy home when he is lying down here.”

“The vet was here, I love that lady. Sam has been given some vitamins and is resting well. He is not in the least bit stressed, he is eating and drinking well, has good guteral sounds and color. So, we have decided to leave him down to simply rest. He is tired from fighting to stay alive for a while now. He is at ease and can now rest safely and he knows it. If he decides he wants to live, there is enough of him left to do just that. If he decides he does not want to, then we will accept that and help him in the kindest way possible. At this moment, rest is his best hope. Lets see if he can pull the miracle that Miracle did.”

Sunday Afternoon

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SCREAMING FROM THE ROOFTOP, HE IS UP. SAM IS UP. Way beyond my or your call or knowledge is the will to survive. Be it for today or for the remainder, Sam said his life is worth fighting for. He is up, peed varociously, drank a good couple gallons of warm water, nibbled a bit and then introduced himself to the kids next door. Four legged ones. Its one step closer to seeing another day and if Sam says life is worth living, then no human being has the right to take that away from him. Welcome home Sam”

“OK I am crying stupid cry baby. Sam is up. There is nothing so heartbreaking as fighting like the devil for ones life only to lose it. Sam said not today.”

Monday Morning
“Close to the best news of all, Sams owner showed up this morning and decided he really couldnt look after Sam so he signed him over to Sunkissed Acres. Sam is safe.

“He was down again this morning and had clearly struggled but he whinnied his old whinny when he saw the groceries and warm water coming. Smart boy, he humped himself into the large run in area and used the wall to get himself up. Old horses are so smart. Another great day coming. Thankyou to everyone who made a donation to help this guy out. We paid his first vet bill thanks to the generous followers.”

And there you have it.
Sam.

And if you do not have tears streaming down your face right now you better check for a heart like the Tin man in the Wizard of Oz because if you ain’t crying by now you may not have one…

Island Cowgirl has offered to become Sams sponser on his road to recovery…so that he will never, ever be starved and left for dead again.

So buy more jewelry. Or give a donation to SunKissed Acres. There are lots more like Sam.

~XOXO

heather

…heart 2 heart…

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It’s that time of year again…

The time when it seems all you see are happy couples strolling the streets hand in hand, the stores have unleashed masses of candy, cards and stuffed animals. Love appears everywhere your turn and whether you are in a relationship or not you tend to reflect on your own love life.

You usually hear at least once around this time of year that this is just another holiday pushed by the card and candy companies, another holiday for people to spend and that it has no real importance. In a sense, i suppose, it really doesn’t matter whether you choose to celebrate or not. It is just another day of the year after all…

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That is one approach. However, wouldn’t it be amazing if we took a look at the real meaning of this holiday. The original meaning that involves no spending at all, and celebrated the concept of LOVE. Not the mushy kind but the kind that breeds compassion and consideration for your fellow man.

The holiday its self originated from the Catholic Saint Valentine’s good works. Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. The king during his time decided single men were better soldiers then married men and outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine continued to preformed marriages in secret. Until his actions were discovered and he was put to death.

Valentine gave his life to preserve the right to love and marry. This example of his sacrifice for love, and his passion for this cause is how we should reflect on this holiday.The true purpose of this holiday shouldn’t be forgotten or ignored. We should always remember to love and fight for love, just as Saint Valentine did.

So next time you hear someone talking negatively, bashing this holiday, don’t fall into the trap of bitterness, know that this day is a reminder to spread love and joy in the lives of others and any excuse to bring love and joy into the lives of others is a good one.

“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.”
– Leo Tolstoy

Happy Valentine’s Day!