Monday, May 2, 2016

Jammies... at work...

Sudara Bahara full Punjammies, Swallow's Heart turquoise horn necklace, Sudara Bengal bangle cuff, Marisa Diane Designs turquoise howelite wrapped ring, casual outfit, fair trade outfit, sustainable outfit, fair trade fashion

I can think of few things that are better to roll out of bed and put on to go to work on Monday than a pair of PJ pants that are so incredibly chic that they can pass as work-appropriate attire.  Yes,  friends,  if you haven't already heard of Punjammies through any one of their numerous magazine write ups or product features, please let me be the one to tell you to check them out.  

The name is a bit different, but these trousers are perfect as work-wear or pajamas (and you'd better believe that I'm planning on wearing these on my next international flight) and they've all been made by women rescued from modern day sex slavery.  The seamstresses who stitch these beautiful Punjammies together are paid a fair wage and are able to support themselves and live a better life through their work with Sudara (formerly known as the International Princess Project).   

So really... even though it's Monday, when the sun is shining, you know you can be chic and comfy and have a sense of who made your clothes... things are pretty good! 

#SustainableSunday natural health and beauty...

sustainable sunday, sustainable health and beauty products, make your own beauty products, make your own toiletries

I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that I am really trying to make huge strides towards living a more sustainable life, but I have received lots of feedback that going green is hard, it's too difficult to change an entire lifestyle, and that people just don't know where to start.

Never fear!  It's #SustainableSunday and this week, I'd love to share with you some of the easiest possible ways for you to start living a more ecological (and chemical-free) lifestyle!  Yes, friends, I'm talking about your health and beauty routine.

About 6 weeks ago, I accompanied my mum on some weekend errands and found myself perusing the aisles of various drug and grocery stores.  It was on this adventure that I decided to probe a bit into what actually goes into the products that are being marketed as "natural," "organic," or "eco-friendly."  What I found, totally astounded me.  I couldn't pronounce over half of the ingredients in any of the shampoos, lotions, or face washes that I examined.  What the heck, right?  This, of course, lead to my getting sucked in to the black hole that I know as Pinterest, to find the best homemade, totally natural bath and beauty products that are not only chemical free, but are also totally sustainable (and work!)!  After months of searching, creating, and testing, I've rounded up my faves for you here:

: Coconut oil : Obviously, I have to start with coconut oil.  Social media over the last year or so has been huge on giving us all the benefits of using coconut oil, not just for cooking, but as part of your health routine.  I've given oil pulling a chance and I'm not totally convinced by it yet, but I will say that I love to use coconut oil in place of a body lotion, it's great to condition your hair, and it's a key ingredient in the face wash that I've also listed here.

: Essential oils : I won't say too much about these, since there is information all over the place about how wonderful essential oils are.  All I can tell you is that since I got my diffuser, I've been sleeping a lot better. Click on the link up there ^ for a handy chart on some easy ways to use essential oils instead of a ton of medications and chemical products.

: Natural luffa/sea sponges : It's no secret that sponges are useful, but can get to be downright nasty... and the once we buy the most often are made out of plastic polymers.  Ick.  Swap out your old shower loofahs (and kitchen sponges) for natural luffa or sea sponges.  They are a natural way to exfoliate as luffa/loofah is actually a plant, as are sea sponges.  Be sure to let your luffa/sea sponge air dry so they don't get moldy, and you're all set with a simple and sustainable lifestyle swap.

: Face wash :  When I returned to the states from Germany, I had to restock all of my toiletries and ended up just grabbing something random off the drugstore shelves.  It was one of those face washes with the little plastic balls that are used as an exfoliator and has now been discontinued, because ewww... (I never realized that they were made of plastic... sorry Earth!).  I got rid of that junk, went on a search for a natural face wash, and after a few trials, found something that I love!  This face wash is a simple blend of coconut oil, honey, baking soda, and a few drops of lavender essential oil for scent.  This is a gentle face wash that makes my skin absolutely glow!  The baking soda exfoliates and clears out pores, the honey makes skin super soft, and the coconut oil is great for removing excess oil from your skin (counterintuitive, but oil removes oil...).

: Apple Cider Vinegar toner :  Just like with my face wash, when I realized how many unpronounceable chemicals were in my toner, I knew that something had to change.  As luck would have it, Homegrown Collective was kind enough to send me some natural and organic goodies to use to make home cleaning products, so I had some fabulous, pure apple cider vinegar on hand when I found this crazy simple recipe for toner.  All you need is equal parts ACV and water (though you can start with more water while your skin adjusts).  These two totally natural ingredients work together to clear out the bad stuff, shrink pores, and leave skin looking and feeling fresh.

: Coffee scrub :  Yes, friends, this one is my guilty pleasure... this recipe is a dupe on the famous Frank coffee body scrub, which I have never tried, but I can tell you that I love this recipe.  All you need are coffee grounds, brown sugar, and olive oil!  It's kind of messy and your shower might need a little rinse post-shower, but the grounds are crazy exfoliating, the caffeine in them will wake up your skin and can help improve the look of cellulite.  I don't know about ya'll, but I'm totally sold on this one!

: Reusable Pads :  Ok, ladies, this one is for you... Never did I ever think I'd be openly discussing Aunt Flo in a universally public forum, but here I go... I recently read that that average woman goes through 300-400 tampons/pads in a year and not only does all that waste end up in landfills, these things are hella expensive!  Cue reusable pads.  There are tons of people who make and sell them on etsy, but if you click through that link up there ^, it will take you to my new main gal, Tikva's shop.  She makes the most adorable (once again... not a word I ever thought I'd use to describe feminine hygiene) reusable pads in all sorts of sizes, colours, and thicknesses.  They are made of hemp and organic cotton, filled with a waterproof membrane, and covered in adorable Indonesian batik fabric.  They're comfortable, much softer than their disposable cousins, and can be soaked and tossed in the washing machine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Old haunts...

Maurice's ivory tank, Deb asymmetrical hem kimono, Soko porcupine quill earrings, AMI Clubwear booties, boho outfit, bohemian outfit, casual outfit, cemetery

Here I am rock me like a hurricane in a cemetery...  

Yes, friends, I've been back in America for just over three months and I'm still trying to reconnect with some of my old haunts (*snorts at cemetery joke*).  

While you may find it a bit odd to take outfit photos in a cemetery, let me tell you that the Victorians enjoyed having picnics in cemeteries with their deceased.  And they brought the whole kit and caboodle: silver candlesticks, wine, they wore hats, etc.  

Sometimes, I just find it refreshing to step out of the norm.  It's nice to get out of the proverbial box (I guess that means not a cemetery in this case) and look at something different.  I don't have any ghost stories to share like I did the last time I posted pics from this spot, but I will say that while a bit strange, a walk in an old cemetery is pretty cool... it makes one think and there's never anything wrong with that! 

Monday, April 25, 2016


thredUP consigned J.Crew embroidered, Emerson & Oliver Dia bracelets, Zero UV silver aviator sunglasses, Goldie's kimono, boho outfit, casual outfit

Do you believe in coincidences?  I recently read the quote, "Coincidences mean you're on the right track" (Simon Van Booy) and it made me seriously wonder.  In a phone conversation about a month ago with a friend that, at the time, I hadn't seen in almost a decade and hadn't spoken to on the phone for almost 3 years, he commented that there must be some reason... plan... coincidence that caused us to re-connect. 

I've always been a fan of the ideas of kismet, fate, and pre-destination as these things tend to make me feel a bit better about the riskier choices I've made in my life (i.e. packing up and moving to Germany, getting knee surgery, etc.).  On the flip side, I'm a huge fan of free will (hey... I'm a libra... I'm not a walking contradiction, I just have really balanced beliefs!).  

Tonight, however, I'm leaning more towards the idea that coincidences truly do mean that one is on the right track.  Why, you ask? Well, I've been meandering between two very different careers: apparel merchandising and special education, for the last 8 years.  I love both fields equally, but now that I'm in the states, am on my own, and am looking to take the next step in my life and (gasp) possibly settle down, I'm considering all the options.  

I spent last weekend working on teaching applications and have just spent the last few hours looking at jobs in sustainable fashion when it happened: I discovered that thredUP has a distribution center in my home town and is hiring!  In the last two weeks, I've gone from not having heard of the company, to teaming up with them for a #SustainableSunday post to knowing that I can drop in on the company at just about any time of day because they're all of a 10 minute drive from my house!  

Coincidence?  Heck, the shirt I'm wearing in these snaps was from their San Francisco warehouse.   

What do you think?  Does this absolutely, overwhelmingly, random coincidence mean that I'm on the right track? 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It's a good day to have a good day...

Swallow's Heart turquoise horn necklace, ART Designs gold ear pins, Scarlett Fashion tie dye dress, Charlotte Russe denim jacket, casual outfit, teacher outfit, school outfit, southern outfit

The sun is out.  The sky is blue.  The trees are beginning to look like confetti-filled balloons. 

It's a good day to have a good day... and with so many big changes on the horizon, it's a good thing to keep in mind... 

Friday, April 22, 2016

: Greenvelope $100 giveaway...

freebie friday, free stuff, contest, sweepstakes, giveaway, win free stuff, greenvelope

What could be better than #FreebieFriday, but an eco-friendly freebie on Earth Day?  That's right, pals!  This week, I'd like to introduce you to Greenvelope, another one of my fabulous Instagram finds that I just have to share with the world! This Seattle-based online company started as a way to help people emulate the experience of sending paper stationary but without the paper.  This method of electronic invitations saves tons of trees, cuts down on waste, and also saves a ton of cash! They've got a team of wonderful designers and they want to give you $100 to spend on their site on invitations!  All you have to do is: 

: Hop over to Instagram and like the giveaway image (click HERE to do so)
: Tag some of the pals that you're looking forward to celebrating summer with (you get an extra entry for each tagged friend)

The winner will be notified by direct message on Instagram on 2-May-2016! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Fair trade fringe for the win...

thredUP consigned dress, Ixchel Triangle fringe backpack, ART Designs gold ear pins, Emerson & Oliver turquoise tusk necklace, AMI Clubwear fringe boots, boho outfit, bohemian outfit, fair trade fashion, conscious closet, shop for a cause, shop for good, fashion for good

Oh jeepers... is it just me or has this week been exceptionally intense?  What with the realization that I only have 34 more paid days of work ahead of me and NO clue where I'm going to go next, it seems like the time I spend at work has slowed down and my free time has sped up so fast that accomplishing anything productive (you know... like making career plans and figuring out where to live next while maintaining an etsy shop, blog, and trying to save the world...) is near impossible.  

All I can say is thank GOODNESS for adorable coffee houses, fringe, and the current motivator in my life (no... it's actually not coffee, despite it having become a bit of a crutch)... sustainable fashion.  

Yes my friends, while the work day was extraordinarily difficult, I think it was my fabulous dress (a fab find from thredUP), these fringe boots, and gorgeous new handmade backpack from Ixchel Triangle that really gave me a boost.  Even if I felt exhausted, I got a ton of compliments on my outfit and that kept me going!  

For real... with a backpack like this (handmade in Guatemala... I'll share some more deets in an upcoming #SustainableSunday post)...  how could  you not feel like a bohemian goddess/rockstar?