The Women’s Movement – A Guide


Artwork by Rosaura Unangst of Pigment & Parchment

I don’t know much about politics, so I tend to stay away from writing about it. But, there is one thing that I’m very passionate about, and that is women’s rights and empowerment. I think that these issue transcend political parties and play such a huge role in our community. So, I wrote a guide for taking action on women’s causes in Sacramento News and Review, and I would like to elaborate on that some more here.

While the guide was focused on the Sacramento area, there are so many different nonprofits, businesses and groups that have given so much to these causes, and deserve all the support that you can give. I will update this guide as much as possible, and will try to make it as diverse as I can.

Local Nonprofits

  1. Women’s Empowerment – Their mission is to “educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and necessary to get a job, maintain a healthy lifestyle and regain a home for themselves and their children.” Help by volunteering, donating, hosting an event, hiring a graduate and more.
  2. Women’s Wisdom Art – This creative organization is comprised of women artists who use art as a way to better and empower their own lives and the lives of their community members. Volunteer as a class assistant, donate art supplies, attend art shows and purchase the art, and much more.
  3. Wellspring Women’s Center – Recently, this nonprofit was mentioned across social media channels as citizens and local businesses were collecting donations of dry cereal and feminine hygiene products to this drop-in center for women and children, which provides a nutritious breakfast and provides social services. They accept both online and in-person donations and also welcome volunteers.
  4. St. John’s Charity for Real Change – St. John’s helps women who are homeless, living in poverty or are in an abusive relationship. They offer shelter, food, readiness for employment and self-sustainability. Donate, volunteer, host an event or visit Plates Midtown, a chapter of St. John’s, to eat or to have an event catered. and
  5. My Sister’s House and My Sister’s Cafe – This organization offers resources and assistance for Asian and Pacific Islander women and children who are escaping domestic violence or human trafficking. Donate, volunteer or visit at My Sister’s Cafe on 455 Capitol Mall, Ste. 110, a program of My Sister’s House. and

Local Small Businesses

  1. Ana Apple – Quirky apparel for infants and children. Also home to The Greenhouse – a children’s creative space. Although the storefront for Ana Apple has closed, the Greenhouse is still functioning. Founder Ana Manzano donates $1 from each workshop to Sacramento children’s nonprofits and works with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento, Mustard Seed School and more. The Greenhouse is also host to The Henhouse Mamas, a meetup for local moms.
  2. Coffee & Crumbs – “A collaborative blog about motherhood.” There is an online store linked with the blog that is also a collaborative effort. The Coffee & Crumbs Care Collective has been set up to help mothers and children across the globe.
  3. Uptown Studios – A creative design studio that focuses on web design, graphic design, branding and marketing, and more. Their slogan is “design for social change” and they recently hosted a Second Saturday fundraiser for Women Wisdom Arts.
  4. Oak Park Brewery – Not only do they serve great beer, Oak Park Brewery has hosted several fundraisers benefitting local organizations and causes. In September, they hosted a benefit for the Community Against Sexual Harm.
  5. Compliment – Inspiring jewelry and home decor. Melissa Camilleri Anicich started this company when she was working as a teacher and has since taken it on as her full-time career. She donates 5% from every purchase to her Compliment Scholarship Program to help #smartgirls in need.
  6. Pigment and Parchment – Sacramento artist Rosaura Unangst creates gorgeous wedding invitation suites that are totally cusotmizable for each couple. She also holds local workshops for creative lettering and more, and has used her voice (and wallet) to make a stand for local causes, donating funds from her business to support Planned Parenthood and other organizations. She recently held a donation drive for the Wellspring Women’s Center and has created beautiful posters in the spirit of the march in Sacramento.

“Back when I was teaching full-time, I saw first-hand the opportunity gap that many of our local students face, despite their potential for success…Compliment started as a fundraiser to serve my own students.  It’s grown now and has helped 11 girls from our greater Sacramento region be able to afford college.  My dream is to be able to support the deserving young men and women in our community in a greater way, covering full tuition expenses, hopefully making college a reality for more kids in our community.” – Melissa Camilleri Ancich, founder of Compliment

Local Events

  1. Women’s March on Sacramento – A sister of Women’s March on Washington D.C. and many other cities, the mission of this march is to “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”  Jan 21, 10am – 5pm at California State Building, 1315 10th St, Sacramento 95814
  2. Celebrate Choice – Organized by the Women’s Health Specialists, this fundraiser is an annual celebration of the Roe v Wade decision. There will be music, food, feminist friends and cocktails. Jan 25, 5:30 – 7:30pm at Women’s Health Specialists, 1442 Ethan Way #100, Sacramento 95825
  3. Indivisible – A night of protest songs, speakers, and information about how to resist the Trump agenda. Featuring Kevin Seconds, Jonah Matranga, Dinorah Klinger and Jeanine Howell. Feb 12, 6-10pm at Jerry Perry Presents, 2708 J St, Sacramento 95816
  4. Annual Human Trafficking Conference – Hosted by My Sister’s House “to increase knowledge and awareness of, and response to, labor and sex trafficking in the Greater Sacramento area.” Feb 24, 9am – 2pm at California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J St, Sacramento 95819
  5. Loving La Vida Local – A fundraiser for The Nest Family Resources that features local food and music. March 4, 6 – 9pm at The Stone House, 107 Sacramento St, Nevada City 95959


A Collected and Made Wedding: Archway Inspiration


When I got proposed to last year, I spent the first couple of weeks retelling how he asked me, showing off my ring to anyone who would ask and just feeling really excited about what was to come. We already have two kids together, so we have felt like family for the last four years, but something about having the same last name as him and my kids just made it feel different. Also, I’m really excited that my initials are going to be ASS.

Once the idea that I was going to get married in a couple of years and that I was going to  throw the biggest party I have ever thrown to celebrate marrying the man I love set in, it was time to get planning! Since the decor and gifts will be all DIY and vintage, I have been scouring the web to find inspiration, and have made multiple stops at the venue (a beautiful winery in Sacramento) to get the idea of what we will need. Fortunately, it’s such a beautiful setting that we won’t need much, but there are a few spots that could use our personal touch.


While the venue does have a laid-back setting, this archway is just not our style. And since we wanted to infuse as much of us in this as we could, we’ll turn this archway into something that’s matches our lifestyle.

And this is what I like so far:

This is so gorgeous! I would keep the iron, but I love the idea of putting a floral centerpiece on top and having the leaves on either side, and putting crates of flowers at the bottom. Those crates could definitely be reused during the reception, and the guests would be welcome to them after the wedding. Also, I discovered that Emmaline Bride is a handmade bridal resource, good to know!


Photo by Alyssa Maloof  | found through Wedding Party App

I think this one is so simple and yet, so beautiful. Perhaps the beauty is in the simplicity of it. We are using mason jars as our flower vases, so I would probably use those. Not sure if it would be too bulky though, so we would have to test it.


Since I have lace curtains, I love this idea of using them on the archway, and it would be really pretty to see the vineyards through the middle. I was also drawn to the asymmetrical flower arrangements; I think it makes it more interesting and is still beautiful.

I haven’t decided which route I’m going, but this is definitely a good starting point. If you have any ideas or tips, please feel free to share! I would love to hear them. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

MADE: Oatmeal cookies and simplicity

By the time the kids and I packed up for the mountains last weekend, I was due for a meltdown. I was beyond stressed and it felt like any little thing could push me over the edge. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to spend a couple days with my dad and family at a cabin near Tahoe. There was no service or TV – just some good ol fashioned card games and conversation. We took walks and the kids explored for frogs and threw rocks in the creek.


There was no fighting over nap time or bedtime because the kids were so worn out from running around and playing that they had no trouble falling asleep. I had no idea how much I needed that time off until we got back. Since then, I’ve tried to keep that idea of simplicity going now that I’m headed back into another semester of school and things are going to get even crazier around here.

That held true when I made some cookies today. I wanted to make some oatmeal raisin cookies and instead of pulling out my old standby – the America’s Test Kitchen Baking Book – I used the recipe on the back of the oatmeal container. My mom, who is still the best baker I know, often uses recipes on the packaging (like the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back on the Nestle Chocolate Chips bag, which is one of her best crowd pleasers) and I realized something about them – they’re simple.

cookies1All it takes to make these cookies is:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar – firmly packed
  • egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c raisins

cookies2You heat the oven to 375 and start the mixing. First, it’s the butter and sugars. Then you bring the egg, vanilla, oats, flour, baking soda and salt to the party. Add the raisins and you’re done! The recipe makes about 24 cookies, and if you’re feeling like I did today, you can even add some cinnamon sugar to the top of each cookie before baking. It called for an ungreased pan but my mama taught me to use parchment paper every time to save my pans.

That’s it! If you have some time and want to have a good laugh, pull out an old cookbook and compare it to the cookbooks now. It’s crazy how complicated the recipes have gotten.

IMG_2804Another thing I have done to keep things simple and easygoing around here is to make a routine and to stick to it, but to not freak out if it doesn’t go accordingly every day of the week.Oh, and naps. Lots of naps. And lots of these cookies.

How do you keep things simple? Comment here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!