Thursday, December 1, 2016

Beach life...

Song Yee Designs turquoise dot ring, Skar Designs white bead bracelets, Kisii brass prayer bead bracelets, AMI Clubwear fringe boots, boho outfit, hippie outfit, beach outfit

It's hard to believe that this time last week, it was Thanksgiving and today, it's 1-December and I still don't need to have the heat on!  I keep pondering the difference in my lifestyle from this year to every other year of my life and it's made me realize how many places I've lived in the last decade.  From Chicago, to the middle of nowhere Iowa, to Indiana, to Paris, to NYC, back to Chicago, to Germany, back to Chicago, and now to Las Vegas, I think I've done a decent job of covering the globe.  

I've had the city, the country, a village, and the suburbs, but I've never lived near the beach, but since we're now midway through the season of thankfulness, I will be happy that my dad lives on the beach and that I can go and visit whenever I like! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ethical Cyber Monday Roundup...

Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year again: 'tis the season of holiday shopping.  I'd been hoping to post this on Black Friday, but ended up going several days without any internet access, so this shall be an ethical Cyber Monday roundup!  As always, we are being bombarded with advertisements, special offers, and freebies from all angles, and while I don't want to add to all of that grey noise, I do want to urge you to think twice about the gifts you are purchasing this year.  I absolutely recommend taking the time to make ethical, conscious, and sustainable choices... and to help you do so, I've gathered up a list of places (and specific gifts) that may be just the thing you're looking for!

Ethic Goods- Ethic Goods is a fabulous online fair trade boutique that I happened upon on Instagram.    Everything you'll find in their shop has been handmade by women (and sometimes men) who are trying to escape a life of poverty.  They are paid a fair working wage and educated on how to break the cycle of poverty.  I absolutely love the Half Circle necklace that they sent me!  It came from Ethiopia and the metal beads were fashioned from melted down bullet casings, collected from former conflict areas in East Africa. I just love the idea of something so lovely being made out of something that once was so dark and I think that this necklace would make a rather fabulous gift!

GlobeIn-  I'm not usually all that into subscription boxes, but GlobeIn is one that I can definitely get behind!  They put together monthly themed baskets and stock them with handmade and fair trade goodies from around the world! I loved their "Jewelry Box" and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the "Cozy Box."  If you don't want to make a huge splurge, they've recently started a $10/month subscription through the GlobeIn Club.  This will get you the Artisan Item of the month! Also, just as a little perk, you can snag yourself a deal with coupon code DAILYSAVANT!

Heshima Kenya- I've got to show a bit of hometown love this holiday season, and I want to share with you, once again, Heshima Kenya.  This Chicago-based company has set out on a mission to support unaccompanied minors and women who are victims of the sex trade by giving them shelter, medical help, and an education.  They work and earn a living wage by making beautiful hand-dyed scarves.  These scarves are totally unique and all proceeds go to help women in need!

Mata Traders- Once again, I've got to send some hometown love out to Chicago-based Mata Traders. This fabulous company is the brainchild of three BFFs who traveled to India and fell in love with the country and decided to start a design-driven, fair trade brand that focuses on helping both to end global poverty and inspire other ethical companies.  If you're looking for an ethically-made, reasonably-priced piece of jewelry for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list, consider the Concerto NecklaceReverse Drop Necklace, or the Chain Drop Earrings!

Nomads Clothing- Since I'm sending all sorts of fair trade love to companies based in places that I'm from, I have got to take this opportunity to give Nomads Clothing a quick shoutout.  This fair trade company is based in Cornwall (another place where, you guessed it, I'm from!).  This company was also born from travels to far-away places and a need to share things from the far corners of the earth with people who would otherwise not cross paths with them.  Since 1989, Nomads has been promoting ethical and sustainable fashion and employs people in India who work in a safe place and are paid a fair wage.  They are super excited to share their 6-way poncho with the world this holiday season (and I am equally as excited to share with you all the ways I can style the one they sent to me)!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

#SustainableSunday with Ethic Goods...

Ethic Goods Half Circle necklace, Old Navy grey ripped jeans, AMI Clubwear booties, New Histories skull ring, grey monochromatic outfit, casual outfit, Santa Barbara, ethical jewelry, fair trade jewelry, sustainable fashion

Happy #SustainableSunday, ya'll!  It's hard to believe that these snaps were taken in sunny Santa Barbara, California just a few days ago when today, we drove back to Vegas and saw snow on the ground!    I kind of fell off the grid there for the last 4 days or so (post-Thanksgiving) and so I do apologize, but  I am back and ready to go!  

This week for #SustainableSunday, I am really excited to present to you: Ethic Goods.  This company is the brainchild of Meagan Hawley, who is a firm believer in providing great economic opportunities for women who are at risk or living in poverty.  With this belief in mind, Meagan founded Ethic to give these women the opportunity to rise above their circumstances. She's partnered with organizations in both Ethiopia and in Thailand and employs over 100 women to hand-make beautiful ranges of jewelry (that are designed in Washington D.C.).  

This holiday season, they have created an amazing line of Ethiopian jewelry, like the Half Circle necklace I was proud to wear (and receive compliments on) with my monochromatic outfit in Santa Barbara.  Believe it or not, this necklace was made from beads that were created from melted down bullet casings sourced from former conflict areas in Eastern Africa.  I just think that there is something so beautiful about digging up a raw material that was once used to inflict harm and turning it into something gorgeous (while also employing someone who wouldn't otherwise have a source of income... especially because they've been diagnosed as HIV positive)!  

It really doesn't get much better than this!  

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the necklace is fair trade and handmade from re-purposed bullet casings
: the sweater was thrifted


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Live Infinitely infuser water bottle giveaway...

Live Infinitely, giveaway, freebie

Hey, pals!  Guess what?  #FreebieFriday is happening on a Wednesday this week!  I am super happy to announce that I'll be giving away a Live Infinitely infuser water bottle in the colour of your choice!  I love mine!  Like I said the other day, I think it's the one thing that may actually convince me to interact with fruit on a semi-regular basis (yes, I am aware that there are cucumbers i.e. a vegetable in this photo).  

All you have to do to enter is: 

: tag a friend in the comments section (You get an extra entry for each comment/tagged friend!)

This contest will run until 2-December-2016 and is open to the US and Canada! 

Bonne chance! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Life Infinitely... in the desert...

Life Infinitely infuser water bottle, Live Infinitely foam roller, Live Infinitely leggings, Tule Springs Fossil Beds, fitness post, workout post, yoga, natarajasana

Happy Monday!  I am overjoyed to say that I have this whole entire week off to go out out and play in the great big, wide open world... and what better way to explore in style than by supporting an independently-owned small business?  

The lovely Alicia from Live Infinitely dropped me a line and asked me if I wanted to give their products a go, and knowing that I was going to have lots of outside and fitness time coming up, I jumped at the chance.  She and her boyfriend (the two-pal team behind the brand) were kind enough to send me some leggings, an infuser water bottle, and a foam roller (i.e. everything I could possibly need).  

SB and I hit the road to explore some of the area and found ourselves at the Tule Springs Fossil Beds (a local spot where lots of people like to bring their guns and target shoot).  While I was saddened by the magnificent quantity of junk (old TVs, picture frames, shotgun shells) that were strewn all about, once we wandered a bit deeper into the fossil beds, we found a nice spot to play!  

It was crazy windy, so finding (and keeping my balance) was crazy tough, but I finally nailed my Natarajasana and I may have to credit some of it to the magnificence of these leggings and the epic cucumber hydration I received from my fancy new infuser bottle!  I think the bottle may actually (finally) convince me to interact more regularly with fruit.  Vegetables are really more my thing.  After a quick attempt at climbing these chalky canyon walls, a good foam roll at home put me right!  

Stay tuned for a Live Infinitely giveaway... coming soon... 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

#SustainableSunday and thrifting...

Happiness Boutique statement necklace, Swallow's Heart stud earrings, Deb slingback booties, thrifted outfit, conscious closet, ethical fashion

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy to say that thrifting has re-entered my life!  When I moved to Vegas, I pared down my wardrobe and took a bit of a break from blogging and boy, did I get bored quickly with my wardrobe.  Despite attempting to restyle things (i.e. wear a skirt as a scarf, a scarf as a shirt, or a dress as a blouse), I was still bored and wanted to update my wardrobe without spending a ton of cash.  I tried the local thrift store and came up empty handed.  I hit a few consignment stores and was blown away by the high price tags.  

Enter: Ventura. 

My dad's town is the seriously adorable.  Between the little beach houses, independently-owned restaurants and fun boutiques, Main Street Venture is a hot bed for thrifting.  I've been there three times in the last 9 months (and am heading there again soon) and I've always been blown away by the sheer number of thrift shops that line Main Street once you pass the mission, but on the last trip, I finally carved out some time to do some exploring.  Sustainable fashionistas, for less than $15, I walked away with a tee from Banana Republic, a long-sleeved tee from Ann Taylor, a tie dye sweater from C&C California, another sweater from American Eagle and this super cute top!  Suffice it to say that I will be making another thrifting mission soon!  

If you're new to thrifting and you're not sure how to take it on, leave me a note in the comments and I'll whip up a new thrifting post (I had one years and years ago, but it seems to have disappeared)! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the top was thrifted
: the jeans were inherited from my mum
: the earrings are handmade
: the skull ring is handmade

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#WanderlustWednesday at Aviation Nation...

Amy Waltz Designs ocean jasper leather cuff, Jessica Ricci Jewelry Buddha amulet ring, GlobeIn gold bar ring, Manos Zapotecas purple Gloria tote, handmade jewelry, fair trade outfit, ethical fashion, conscious closet, aviation nation, nellies thunderbirds

Do you know what I've found to be one of the weirdest things about living back in America? 

It's living a civilian lifestyle.  

While in Germany, SB and I lived off base, we both worked on base, so showing ID, going through guarded gates, and being surrounded by people in  uniform was totally normal.  Now that I'm back in America, don't live with SB (or see him in uniform on a daily basis), or work on a base, I kind of forget that I ever really had a lifestyle that had anything to do with the military, and so, for this week's #WanderlustWednesday post, I'm going back to my military roots! 

Last weekend, SB girlfriend-napped me and took me to the Aviation Nation air show at Nellis AFB.  It was my first time on an American base and it totally gave me flashbacks to my first trip to the base in Germany.  I was terrified to show an ID while driving through a gate that was guarded by tons of people un uniform, but going to Nellis felt a bit like a homecoming to me. 

Combine this "home" feeling with the adventure of taking in my first air show and I was totally good to go.  SB absolutely, totally, and completely nerded out over all of the different aircraft that were on display.  I was immensely impressed with his knowledge of all the different planes and, while I tried to soak up some of his knowledge, I walked away from this event simply with the ability to identify cargo planes (C) and fighter planes (F).  

No matter.  It was totally epic and often stressed me out to watch all of the planes, especially the Thunderbirds, flying in formations, narrowly flying past one another, and sneaking up on us while our attention was turned to other displays of airborne wonder.  All in all, this was a great (and free) way to reconnect with the military life I've come to miss while watching some total badass-ery (yes, that's a word now) in the sky! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the top was thrifted
: the bag is fair trade and handmade
: the bracelet is handmade
: the band ring is fair trade and handmade
: the Buddha ring is handmade
... and SB's shirt was thrifted!