Category Social Justice

My Experience with Dressember 2014

This past December, I participated in Dressember, where I pledged to wear a dress each day of the month to raise money for International Justice Mission to stop human trafficking and end sexual slavery in the world. Far more women and girls are shipped into brothels annually now, in the early 21st century, than African slaves were shipped into slave plantations each year in the 18th century. (Half the Sky) And this isn’t something that just happens overseas. I know of 3 brothels within a 5 miles radius of my home. Dressember was my small way to begin to take action.

I set a goal of $500 and raised $900 $1000 – double my goal! A big thank you to the 28 29 people that contributed to my campaign. (Although you can give through the end of January if the desire strikes you.) I find myself pondering each person’s small decision to contribute what they can towards the greater cause of fighting injustice. It makes me think about how the little things really do add up to something that matters. And it reminds me that our lives are thousands of these small, seemingly unimportant decisions strung together. The small decisions make us who we really are and can cause positive change in someone else’s life if you choose to do it. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” (Arthur Ashe)

Each day I spent time thinking about the injustices of human trafficking. It did bring about my age old struggle with the ‘cosmic lottery’ – why was I born to a life of privilege when so many don’t have access to clean water, food, jobs, education, healthcare? And I don’t know that I will every find peace here because I doubt that there is an answer to this terrible question, but I know that taking action helps quell the tumult that the question brings about. I can choose to use my privilege to help.

I recognize that fashion seems an unlikely way to create action and provoke change, as it has its own fair share of injustices. But it also offers its own special solutions. This is where my love of Noonday Collection enters – they use fashion and style to empower. They pull people out of injustice – with a focus on those that society deems unloveable, incapable, worthless. People’s lives are changing for good because of their model. And below, you can see I donned my dresses, wore my Noonday, took selfies (ugh, that word), and learned many things, two of which are 1) I love wearing dresses and 2) I have a dress thrifting problem! I hadn’t realized the extent of my dress collection until I began this challenge… But I was inspired by the founder of Dressember – Blythe – who wore the same gray, ethically sourced dress from Fair Indigo all month long, styled 31 different ways. Maybe next year?

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thank you

Y’all. Thank you.

Since I entered the contest with Noonday Collection and IJM last week, I have seen so much support from my friends, family and complete strangers. I have felt loved and grateful for the people in my life that are willing to help me try to win a chance to do something amazing. To even break the top 20, even for a short time, was nothing short of amazing.

Thank you.

I’ve been watching the contest and my rankings have dropped from 17th to 26th even with my best efforts to grow my voting base. The top 7 are pretty static, I haven’t seen anyone outside of the top 10 break into it. I think it’s time to throw in the towel. I am not sad about this – I know that the woman they select will be the right person and the story will be told and I am looking forward to watching it unfold.

But really, I want to communicate to all of you that have supported me – thank you. I am lucky to know that I have the support of so many wonderful people in my life. Y’all are marvelous.

 

There are different reliable online pharmacies. But others aren’t pharmacies at all. Online is a cost effective way to buy medicines. Without fail, you have to check with your pharmacist to see whether one of these medications is a appropriate choice for you. Viagra is a drug used to treat varied infections. What do you think about “vardenafil vs sildenafil“? What could patients tell a soundness care professional before taking Viagra? What is the most important information you have to know about “http://rootinfonline.com/cialis-for-daily-use.html“? The very substantial question you must look for is “cialis for daily use“. Remember to diagnose a man’s erectile problem, the soundness care purveyor likely will begin with a thorough history of symptoms. There are side effects possible with any type of remedy.

#Style For Justice Update

It is with much excitement that I tell you that I am #17 in the running for the contest to win a trip to Rwanda to meet the Noonday Collection sewing co-op artisans (out of over 500 entries). I am blown away by your love and support – thank you, thank you, thank you. We have until May 28th to vote once daily to move me up to one of the top 7 spots. The rankings will not be updated until May 29th. Once the top 7 are announced, Noonday will select the top 3 entries and the voting will begin again! You can read my first blog entry about the contest and watch the entry video here.

You can VOTE FOR ME (fill out or click ‘X’ on the popup and scroll to the bottom of the page) once everyday through May 28th!

And even more, will you ask your friends and family to do the same? Feel free to forward this blog post, share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I know many of you have already done this, and I can’t thank you enough!

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#StyleForJustice

Y’all, I just took a risk and entered a contest to go to Rwanda and meet the artisans there that sell to Noonday Collection. You guys have heard me speak loads about this company and the good they are doing in the world. Here’s the thing – I need you guys to vote to get me to the second round, only the top 7 entries get to move on! Will you please help? You can vote once every day! Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 8.11.27 PM

Please vote for me here (you have to scroll all the way to the bottom) and take it one step further and ask your friends and family to vote for me as well? You don’t have to like any pages, you don’t have to give your e-mail, just click the vote button. You can even watch my video explaining ‘why me’ for to go on the trip!

Please vote for me (once every day)! 

 

There are varied reliable online pharmacies. But others aren’t pharmacies at all. Online is a cost efficient way to buy medicines. Without fail, you have to check with your pharmacist to see whether one of these medications is a appropriate choice for you. Viagra is a drug used to treat varied infections. What do you think about “vardenafil vs sildenafil“? What could patients tell a soundness care professional before taking Viagra? What is the most great info you must know about “http://rootinfonline.com/cialis-for-daily-use.html“? The very substantial matter you must look for is “cialis for daily use“. Remember to diagnose a man’s erectile problem, the soundness care purveyor likely will begin with a thorough history of symptoms. There are side effects possible with any type of remedy.

My First Stitch Fix!

OK, y’all, this was so much fun! If you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix (referral link, I get $25 if you sign up!) it’s a mom’s best friend. Because really, who wants to bring their kids to a store? A personal stylist picks clothing out based on a style profile you fill out! In addition to the style profile, you make a pinterest board with items that you like and they send you a box full of goodies. You go through the items they send you and keep what you like, send back what you don’t and only pay for what you keep!

I asked my stylist to pick items made in the USA so that it is much more likely that the items were made by folks 1) not in slavery 2) paid a fair wage for their hard work 3) not children. I also asked her to pick clothing that would transition between the work world and mom world, but with a sense of style and adventure. It is pricey, but since I only thrift the rest of my clothing, I feel ok support companies that make stylish clothing in the USA. Voting with your money and all that jazz.

Well look what showed up today:

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I was beyond excited to open it up. I have been itching to get my first fix! And to see houndstooth as the first item! Squeee!

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I opened up the styling tips and got to work trying on the items they sent me. I decided to try on the items doing my best to match some of the tips they sent me. Every single clothing thing I paired with my Stitch Fix clothing items were purchased at the thrift store (the shoes were not). 🙂 And of course, the majority of the jewelry I’m wearing is Noonday… Because I <3 Noonday.

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This first item I tried on was the 41Hawthorn Montgomery Solid Belted Shift Dress. This is a Stitch Fix Brand but is made in China. I like the neckline, it is super comfy, versatile, lightweight (which is perfect for working during our hot Austin summers) but it does feel a little plain… I haven’t made up my mind if I’m keeping it yet. I have three days to decide! 😉

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Next up was the Kut From the Kloth Simmons Bootcut Jean, also made in the USA. They fit perfectly, super comfortable, but are a little long. I just don’t wear heels any longer. I will likely be sending these back.

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On to the Pomelo Ivy Tulip Print Tab Sleeve Blouse which appears to be another Stitch Fix Brand, which hopefully means it is also made in the US. Super comfy! I’ve been trying to purge out some of the pink in my closet (there is SO MUCH PINK at the thrift stores) but I dig this pink with the cobalt tulips. Makes it feel less ‘girly’.

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Another way the style guide suggested to style the shirt – with a black pencil skirt. Makes it pretty versatile, eh? I’m pretty sure I’m keeping this one.

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Next up, Kut from the Kloth Marquis Slub Knit Dolman Sweater. Generally speaking, I tuck shirts into my maxi skirts, but I thought I’d give it a try untucked and I think I like it. It feels very hippy and it would make the maxi skirt a little more wearable during Austin’s ‘colder’ months.

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And here it is again with something a little more in my comfort zone. I’m thinking about keeping this one too, but I’m a little worried because white + being a mom = often ends in disaster.

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And finally, the item that made me excited to tear into the box, the Pomelo Jay Houndstooth Print Swing Skirt. I love the print so very much, but it gathers a bit unflatteringly (is that a word?) in the belly area and I can’t seem to escape the feeling that I could quickly sew up a very similar item myself. Undecided on whether I will keep this one.

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If you have feedback for me on what you think I should keep, I’m all ears! I haven’t made up my mind on a couple of items and I have a couple days to decide before I have to commit to sending back or purchasing.

I’m totally scheduling my next fix after this great first experience! If you are undecided about whether it would be good for you, check out some more about it on their website. And I would totally love it if you used my referral link. 😉

 

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Christmas ponderings

Christmas. Santa. Ornaments. Presents. My head spins every year and then I get caught up in the chaos and spit out the other side wondering how it all went by so fast.

There are several great articles I have read on Christmas. One I read last year about redeeming Santa Claus. This year, I read an article about how Christmas has been hijacked. If you have the time, please read both, they say it better than I ever could.

We are making changes to how we focus on Christmas.

No traditional Santa – he won’t be giving gifts in our house. He’s too much about consumerism and ‘me, me, me!’ And really, if a toddler has to pick between Santa and baby Jesus, let’s be honest, he’ll pick Santa. We’ll talk about Saint Nicholas, the real person who once lived and sought to show Jesus’ love to those around him. If Jude wants to sit on Santa’s lap, no biggie. But he will know that ‘Santa’ is just a man dressing up as a fictional character.

We have already been doing our little advent activity. We are reading one verse a day in the story leading to Jesus’ birth. Each verse is on simple Christmas card stock so once we finished reading, we chain it together with velcro. Simple and reusable. But it keeps us focused daily. I hope this tradition sticks.

We are simplifying gift giving. I love this little pneumonic for gifts during the holidays: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read, and additionally (something to give).  We are also going to do small gifts in stockings – gum, candy, markers, etc. We haven’t bought much for Jude the past two Christmas seasons because, well, he doesn’t really get it. But he certainly understands presents now. And we are going to focus in and keep it small. The season will first be about Jesus and second, spending time with family. Gifts will just be a little extra benefit.

And my on-going struggle. Buying items that do not support slave labor (top 13 items most likely made by slave labor). For awhile, I will keep this at the front of my mind and will resist buying that cute whatever that’s on sale. And then I cave. I want to look cute. I want to be trendy. And then I buy that thing that’s on sale without questioning whether I am wearing (or eating) someone else’s mistreatment. Is looking cute ever worth abusing someone’s basic human rights? What is my faith if I am not caring for others in every way possible? That’s worth refocusing how to spend our money. Oh forgive me because I fail in this over and over again.

In case you are wondering about a few good websites for items that are made without slave labor (in addition to the ones listed in this post), these are some of my favorites:

And lastly, focusing on simplifying. The holidays are busy, that’s no new news to any of us. So this season, regardless of how busy we get, I am trying to make things simple. Nothing needs to be overly complex this season. That includes cooking, gifting, schedules . . . simplifying it all!

What have you been pondering as this holiday season approaches?

There are varied reliable online pharmacies. But others aren’t pharmacies at all. Online is a cost effective way to buy medicines. Without fail, you have to check with your dispenser to see whether one of these medications is a appropriate choice for you. Viagra is a drug used to treat varied infections. What do you think about “vardenafil vs sildenafil“? What could patients tell a health care professional before grab Viagra? What is the most significant information you should know about “http://rootinfonline.com/cialis-for-daily-use.html“? The very essential question you must look for is “cialis for daily use“. Remember to diagnose a man’s erectile problem, the health care provider likely will begin with a thorough history of symptoms. There are side effects possible with any type of remedy.