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Friday, March 29

Beauty Find Friday: Spring Fashion Trends, Fair Trade Edition

Spring Trends



Massimo Dutti striped dress / Zara embroidered dress / Zara long dress / Zara organic cotton t shirt / Zara printed shirt / Zara top / Zara top / Zara blouse / Zara see through top / Zara lace top / Massimo Dutti long sleeve shirt / Zara boat neck top

By now, you've probably seen a few dozen blog posts/magazine articles about the spring fashion trends. I'm a little late to the party, but here's my spin on it: ethical ways to wear the trends.

1. Lace

You'll see lots of lace this spring, and since my style is a mix of classic and romantic, I'm super happy about it. The light and airy lacy tops shown above by Zara and Massimo Dutti are perfect for spring.

2. Black and White

A back to basics trend, black and white is everywhere. The good news is, it's classic, and will always be in style. Black and white polka dots or stripes are a great way to go.

3. Stripes

Speaking of stripes, this is another major trend this spring. A classic boat neck top or sheath dress are easy to accessorize, and add some nautical flair.

4. Peekaboo Pieces

I have mixed feelings about this trend. Peekaboo pieces like the white Zara top in the lower left corner, cutouts, and sheer panels are going to be popular for the warmer months this year.

5. Tribal Prints and Patterns

This trend is perfect for fair trade pieces. Local artisans employ the native techniques of their regions and provide the world with beautiful, unique artwork to wear.

6. Florals and Pastels

What's spring without florals and pastels? Punch it up this season with some neon accessories!

Why Zara and Massimo Dutti? This post isn't sponsored, but I discovered while searching the internet for ethical fashion that was actually trendy was hard to find. Zara and Massimo Dutti have Free2Work grades of A-, which means they're just a step behind fair trade companies like Good and Fair. Another great place to shop right now is H&M. They have launched a line of sustainable clothing and are encouraging shoppers to donate their old clothes at their stores to be recycled. Very cool! And for trendy fair trade accessories, you can't go wrong with Noonday Collection.

Where are you shopping this spring? For tons of other ideas, follow my Fashion for Freedom Pinterest board! Share any great finds with us in the comments!

P.S. This is your last chance to subscribe to the Scribbles Newsletter to get your free birthday card printable! The newsletter will go out this evening!



Wednesday, March 27

Fair Trade Fashion: Changing the World

The issues surrounding human trafficking and ethical fashion can be overwhelming at times. It's so important to remember the "why," that where you shop really does make a difference.

Today I'm excited to share my story about how I discovered fair trade fashion, and four tips for shopping ethically at A New Kind Of Normal! Check out the full post.

Also, Jamee had a blog series about endometriosis this past month. If you or someone you know deals with endo, you'll definitely want to read it! You can find all the posts here.

In other news, the first edition of Scribbles Newsletter was supposed to launch today, but I think I'll wait until the end of the week to give you a few more days to subscribe. Remember, if you subscribe via that little box on the sidebar, you'll get a code for 15% off your first purchase right away, and then in this edition of the newsletter, you'll also get a free printable birthday card. What are you waiting for?! Subscribe!


Tuesday, March 26

Lately



Restless + Exhausted.

That pretty much sums it up. Every day Brian and I rush from one thing to the next, work, painting, laundry, groceries, youth group, birthday parties, weddings, blogging, planning, emailing, baseball coaching, and then by five my brain is fried, and I scrape together dinner with whatever I can find,  before zoning out on the couch, falling asleep, then going to bed. And then Brian falls instantly to sleep, and I lay awake for a few hours. Then we get up and go-go-go the next day.

"We're busy," Brian responds to inquiries. We are busy, too busy. And yet, nothing seems to get done.

It seems like we never have anything to eat, we forgot to send that youth group email, we still need to plan for our trip to Iowa in a week, I didn't have time to blog, there's still a long list of to-dos not crossed off. It feels like some kind of twighlight zone/Narnia thing, always busy but never productive.

And always tired. We drag ourselves out of bed, and collapse at night. Some of it, for Brian at least, is physical exhaustion, now that he's getting up earlier, working a full day, then coaching baseball afterwards. I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted.

Work has been hard lately; anxiety inducing stress overload. On top of that, I didn't get a job I applied for that I really wanted. And I still haven't had any sales from Scribbles Shoppe.

I've been refusing rest, constantly driving myself on, or filling my time with distractions. I think the real reason I'm so busy is that I'm trying to run. I don't want to slow down, because then I'll feel it. Disappointment. Fear.

And I am afraid. Afraid of being stuck in a job I don't enjoy. Afraid of quitting, and then failing at having my own business. Afraid of the future, afraid of what's next, afraid of not knowing. Afraid that there isn't a next. Afraid of selling myself short, afraid of setting my sights too high. Afraid of wasting time, and afraid of not doing anything worthwhile with my life.

Deep breath.

Is it any coincidence I read this yesterday morning?
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalms 46: 10-11 
I keep reading it, over and over, and it hushes the fears with the whisper: Be still. And know that I am God.




Friday, March 22

New Spring Stationery Collection, +15% Off!

Break out the confetti and cookies! The vintage floral collection is LAUNCHED, baby!


Inspired by actual wedding bouquets, these hand painted floral wreaths add a touch of vintage romance to your correspondence. This collection celebrates life's lovely moments with cards that will be cherished for years to come.

The floral elements are handpainted, then digitally converted into this card design. 
Each card is printed on white card stock and accompanied by a white envelope, packaged in a rigid cardboard mailer. 



Each design is available as an individual card, and as a pack of six.


In addition to the floral cards, I'm also selling two designs of custom monogram notecards. 


 And if you like them all, you can purchase the variety pack!


To get 15% off, just subscribe to my newsletter via the widget in the sidebar, and your coupon code should arrive in your inbox once your subscription is confirmed!

Also, by receiving the newsletter, you'll be the first to know of upcoming sales, new products, AND you'll get a free download from each collection, for newsletter subscribers only! The newsletter with this collection's freebie will be going out next Wednesday, so you have until then to subscribe and get your free card!

Check out the whole collection here: Scribbles Shoppe. What do you think of the new collection?

Monday, March 18

How to Thrift for Spring Trends

I'm planning a more in-depth post about this Spring's trends and where you can shop for fair trade and ethical clothing to fit the trends, but Saturday I went thrift store shopping with a couple friends, and I'm super excited about what I found! Using Pinterest for inspiration and to narrow my focus, I came home with two tops that are exactly what I wanted.


Stripes

Stripes are a major trend this spring! As you know, I'm addicted to stripes, so I'm looking forward to seeing them everywhere. After my last closet clean out and reading The No Brainer Wardrobe e-book, I've been hunting for a black and white striped top. I pinned these to my style boards, and kept my eyes peeled for something similar:




Source: arielleeliseblog.com via Emily on Pinterest


When I saw this BCBC tee on the rack at Savers, I snatched it up.


However, after trying it on and debating with myself for some time, I decided not to get it. Mainly because then I saw this:


It's a little too big, unfortunately, but nothing I can't fix. I'm going to use a similar alteration method I used on my bridesmaid dress last summer, and use a well fitting tee as a guide.

The fabric is in perfect shape, and although it's a little thick, I think I'll be able to wear it a few times before summer, and then all through fall and winter. I'm positive it will become my new favorite top.

Lace

Another popular trend that I LOVE this spring is lace. I've been pinning lacy dresses and tops like crazy, which was the inspiration behind this DIY Embellished Lace Dolman.


I also pinned these lacy items on my boards that I wanted to find something similar at Savers:



Source: etsy.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: rstyle.me via Emily on Pinterest


This gorgeous New York & Company sweater caught my eye:


I loved the color and the lace right away, but I was a little unsure about the puffed sleeves. In the end, I decided they didn't bother me enough to not get it. It will be perfect for a date night with skinny jeans and my blue ballet flats, or adding a pop of color to a little black dress.


Totally unrelated to spring trends, I also found these:


Total spent: $19.54. I call that a success!

To recap:

  1. Use Pinterest to save your style inspiration. Identify aspects of your pins that you like, such as color, sleeve length, pattern, fabric, etc. 
  2. Shop your thrift stores with an open mind. Does this fit some of the aspects of your pins? Does it fit well enough to be worth it, or will it just sit in your closet unworn? If it needs minor alterations, are you willing to do it yourself or take it to someone who will? Ask yourself these questions to avoid bringing home something that might be a good deal, but you won't actually wear.

What spring trends are you excited about? What have you recently scored at your thrift store? Share it in the comments!

Friday, March 15

Beauty Find Friday: A Sale, A Sneak Peek, and A Winner

One of the hardest things about being a grown up is not getting a Spring Break. I realized this week that I totally took Spring Break for granted. I mean, it always came at just the right time, when Christmas break was a distant memory, the weather warmed up enough to make studying impossible, and your brains were turned to mush anyway from seven to eight months of school. Plus, there was the opportunity to escape to every midwest girl's fantasy: THE BEACH.

Instead of laying on the sand, I've been hard at work this week. I'm almost ready to launch a new spring collection of stationery in Scribbles Shoppe. This collection is hand painted by yours truly, then I scan each painting, design the cards, print and assemble them into lovely little packages in my apartment. Here's a little sneak peek:



If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed that I've been very inspired by flowers lately. These paintings are based on actual wedding bouquets I've seen on Pinterest. So, sending these cards is almost as good as sending flowers! My goal with this collection is to celebrate life's lovely moments, and to make something that will be cherished.

To celebrate the coming launch, I'm having a sale on everything in my shop! Take $5 off any designs currently in my shop with the code: 50FFSALE

P.S. If you really don't have any use for wedding invites, I'm happy to alter the design to fit your special occasion. Just hit the "contact" button on the sidebar of the listing and fill me in on your request, or add a note to seller when checking out, and we'll make it happen!

In other news, thank you for entering the Noonday Collection Giveaway! The winner of the $50 to Noonday Collection is: Victoria Andrews! Congrats! I've already emailed you, so be sure to respond in 24 hrs to claim your prize!



Wednesday, March 13

DIY Kate Spade Book Clutch for $5

A few months ago, I discovered Kate Spade's ingenius book clutches: book on the outside, clutch on the inside! As a bibliophile (book-lover) who often carries a book around in my purse anyway, I really loved this idea. It's nerd meets chic! 

However, I didn't love the price: $325! So, I set about making my own own, which I'm going to share with you today!

You'll need:

  • A book
  • A wallet that zips closed or snaps at the top, that will fit inside your book
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft knife

I found these books at Savers a while back, and fell in love with their patterned covers.


I paid $1 for each of them. Then, I found these wallets at Target on clearance for $4.48 each! I bought all I could find, in gray and green.


Let's get started! As you can see, the book pages are glued into the spine. We need to cut right along where the pages meet the spine to detach the pages. Using your craft knife, cut (carefully!) along where the pages meet the spine. Be careful not to cut through the spine.


Alright! Now you've removed the book innards, it's time to add the wallet.


 My book is quite wide, but I love the cover too much to just pick a smaller book. So, I'm going to add two wallets to the inside.


Using your hot glue gun, glue the two wallets together (if you're only using one wallet, you can obviously skip that step). 



Apply glue to the inside of the book spine where the back of the wallet will be attached. Don't overdo it; the glue holds well, and it dries fast, so work quickly!


Next, apply glue to the side of the wallet, and attach the side of the book cover, like so: 


Repeat on the other side, so that now you have a book-wallet sandwich.


Voila! Your own book clutch!


If you're going to Blissdom, Snap, or some other blog conference, wouldn't this be an awesome way to keep track of all those business cards? If you try this, I'd love to see your version! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter with pictures of your DIY clutch. 

P.S. Enter the $50 giveaway to Noonday Collection if you haven't already!!!


Linking up with: 


Friday, March 8

Beauty Find Friday: Spring Giveaway!

Today the sun's peeking in an out of rain clouds, and right now the wind is whistling around the apartment. This definitely feels like spring! On Sunday afternoon, Brian and I enjoyed the weather with a stroll 'round the park. 


lipstick c/o Radiant Cosmetics, necklace c/o Noonday Collection, tee:Lof,  sweater: old, Forever21
The main reason we were at this particular park is to check out the field. Brian got the job of head coach for the baseball team of a local Christian school! I couldn't be more proud. I know he's going to do a great job, and he'll really love it. I also asked Brian to take a few pictures of me modeling my new necklace. 

jeans: Old Navy, shoes: GAP



From looking at it, you would never guess that this necklace is made from paper beads! The beads are rolled and painted by hand by artisans in Uganda. Because of the opportunity to work for Noonday Collection, these artistans are earning enough to provide for their families, send their kids to school, and leave lives of exploitation on the streets. 

I was thrilled to receive a hard copy version of Noonday's lookbook along with this Shalom necklace, which also comes in yellow. As you know from the Fashion for Freedom series, this is a company I absolutely love.

Noonday Collection's Spring Lookbook features stunning photos of their trendy, stylish fair trade products, but also intersperses true stories of how fair trade employment has changed the lives of the artisans. I was especially touched by Ruth's story. 
One of our artisans, Ruth, is resilient and full of joy. She was orphaned at age 6 and sent to be a servant in her oldest stepsister's home. Her step sister died when Ruth was 10, and Ruth became the caretaker of her sister's three small children. After several years, she left for the city to try and find a new life. Sadly, she met a life of exploitation. Her reality changed when she went to church for the first time and the pastor told Ruth she could come live with their family. This same pastoer helped solidify her new job with our Ugandan group.  
This necklace might have been made by Ruth.


If you really want to get choked up, look at the back page of the lookbook. Pictures of some of the families' whose adoptions have been aided through the 10% of trunk show sales from Noonday cover the back! Noonday advocates for orphans by: 
  • "Providing jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.
  • Help families raise money for their own adoptions. We give 10% of trunk show sales directly to the adoptive family when they host a trunk show.
  • Aside from donating 10% towards qualified adoptive families, Noonday Collection also gives towards orphan care and prevention. Watch the video to see one of our beneficiaries.
  • The dream: Take YOU on a trip to visit artisans and visit orphans in their distress."

Giveaway

Noonday Collection is a fair trade company with a passion for style and people. I'm so excited to be able to give away $50 toward any Noonday products today!

Here's a few of their products on my wishlist: 

Many Ways bag. Clutch, cross body, and reversible!



Are you ready to win?! Enter using the raffelcopter widget below (email subscribers, you'll have to click over to the blog to enter). 




This giveaway ends next Friday. I'll contact the winner by email, and they'll have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. 

Check out the entire gorgeous lookbook for ideas for that spending money!

Wednesday, March 6

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: In-Just-



[in Just-]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS
in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's
spring
and

         the

                  goat-footed

balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee


The first Wednesday of the month, I indulge my English Literature minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!

What are you most looking forward to about spring?

Tuesday, March 5

DIY: Lace Embellished Dolman

It gets awkward when you fire your photographer, and your photographer is your husband. Especially when it turns out he was right.


More on that later, but here's what you'll need to make this lacy dolman:


  • Lace (mine is from Wholeport)
  • Dolman top 
  • Spray adhesive
  • Glue for touchups
  • Chill pill

Let's just say, this wasn't the smoothest project I've ever done. First, I needed a three-quarter length sleeve, because that's all the lace I had, but I couldn't find one. I got this top from Target, and decided to roll up the sleeves.


First, measure and cut the lace, then prep your sleeves by inserting a long tube, like a rolling pin or roll of paper. Then, take the lace outside spray the backside of your lace with the spray adhesive. Carefully apply it to the sleeve, starting at the shoulder (leaving extra to fold over the top edge, as shown in the bottom left picture) and smooth as you go.

Repeat on the other side. It won't take long to dry, and then you can try it on. Pay no attention when your photographer says it looks weird.

Unfortunately, the lace wasn't sticking around the edges where it's thicker. So I did what any self-respecting seamstress would do in a hurry... I glued it.


Now that it's finished, all that's left is to take the "after" pics. I coud not find a single decent background or angle in our apartment that I thought the lighting would also work. With the blog post deadline looming, this is when you can't afford to fire your photographer.

Who knows what started it, but suddenly we found ourselves in the midst of one of those explosive fight about nothing that happen from time to time in marriage. It ended with me telling him I didn't need his help and I'd take the pictures myself.

After he stormed out to go back to work, I quickly realized I actually couldn't do it by myself. Whoops. While I was looking at tripods on Amazon, he came back. He's a good man. We worked it out, and he offered to take pictures for me after work and baseball practice. "There won't be enough light then," was on the tip on my tongue, but I swallowed and decided to go along. Good thing, because the light was totally fine. Better than fine.






Yeah, I think I'll keep him around for awhile :) 

By the way, do you like my necklace? I'll tell you more about it Friday, and there will also be a giveaway you won't want to miss!