Lavender - Oil of the Week!

Lavender is probably the easiest and most practical oil to use. 

My favorite uses are:

  • Combine with FCO (fractionated coconut oil) to aid with basically any skin issue - bug bites, itchy skin, eczema, ingrown hairs, scars, sunburn, or even on-the-go perfume!
  • Creating a lovely calming environment by diffusing it in a room, especially before bed
  • Bug spray ingredient along with purification, lemongrass, peppermint and distilled water
  • A couple drops in my face lotion (calming, healing), mascara (lengthening, strengthening), or conditioner (supports new hair growth)
  • Pillow spray or air freshener with lavender and distilled water

Other ways it can be uses: 

  • Apply with FCO to your dog's paws 
  • Cook with it - make lavender brownies or lemonade. Combine in a smoothies or milkshake

Do you use lavender? What are your favorite uses? 

Ethical + Sustainable Places to Shop

FINALLY. My promised follow-up to why I started caring who made my clothes blog post with my new favorite ethical places to get clothes and shoes. There are manyyyyyyy other ethical and sustainable companies that you can find, but these are companies that I have actually bought something from. 

  1. Nisolo, for leather shoes and goods. I love their mission, their materials, the way they treat their employees, and the fact that I could walk in my leather wedges all day long.  

    “To push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction--where success is based on more than just offering the cheapest price--a direction that not only values exceptional design but the producer and the planet just as much as the end consumer.”
     
  2. Veja, for tennis shoes. They have tons of cute styles that sort of mimic all the trendy shoes out there right now. True story, they are so much more comfortable compared to my Nike Internationalists that I used to wear!! And similar in price as well. They’re based in France so shipping could be tricky, but there are stores in the US that sell them, so google that! They use sustainable materials and they care about their factory workers. 
     
  3. Girlfriend Collective, for women’s activewear! They made my yoga pants out of recycled water bottles! Seriously, so comfy (comfort is obviously a big deal to me, if you haven’t figured out by now) AND I feel stylish and skinny in them. They are working on an entire line coming out soon so get on their email list. 
     
  4. L.A. Relaxed, for women’s clothing. I’m not a huge fan of all of their items, but I have gotten a few things from them and they are SO SOFT.

    "Where it’s made, who’s making it, and what it’s made of is at the heart of LA Relaxed."
     
  5. Noonday, for jewelry. They are fashionable - always coming out with fun new styles and ethical - partnering with 29 artisan business in 12 countries around the world. 
     
  6. Melt Goods, for minimal modern jewelry. They employee refugees in Dallas! The Rozeh stud earrings are one of my staple jewelry pieces. Bonus, my friend Meredith started this company and I love supporting my friends, especially when they're supporting others. 

    "We believe one of the best ways to alleviate poverty is through employment. Employment provides hope, purpose and dignity." 
     
  7. Everlane had been a huge staple for me when I came across it a few years ago. I really liked their transparency about pricing (not marking up products to the consumer) and factories. But after researching more, I wish they gave more information about their employment wages and conditions. Also, they don't use organic cotton, which is actually a bigger deal than I used to think. Maybe I'll write on that next. For quick info on the impact of non-organic fabrics, I still recommend watching The True Cost
     
  8. Thrift shops and resale shops! By not buying brand new clothes, you are slowing down the demand for new clothes and new styles (fast fashion). Also, this is an inexpensive option to finding new clothes! Especially because old trends come back in style! Thrift stores are classics, but my go to online resale shop right now is Poshmark. The Reserve is my favorite little vintage leather shop to keep my eyes on. Want the best of best of both worlds? Slowre sells secondhand ethical clothing!! There's also ThredUP and Swap for online resale shops. 
     
  9. Also, swapping with your friends is fun! Trade a few pieces for a couple or weeks. Or, ask to borrow a special occasion dress from a friend and be willing to share your own clothes. :) I started to realize I don't need as many new things as I thought I did. 

There are SO many more companies that I want to try but haven’t gotten to yet (like Allbirds, Accompany, Symbology, 31 Bits, Gaia and more). You know, budget. And that shopping pause I agreed to a few months ago ((taking a pause from buying clothes, shoes and accessories until July 23)). 

When I come across something ethical or sustainable that's CUTE, I save it on my Pinterest board, so follow along if you are interested! 

Do you have an ethical or sustainable place I should shop? Let me knowwwww. 

And thanks for reading this!!! 

Veja shoes and Girlfriend Collective leggings

Veja shoes and Girlfriend Collective leggings

Photo by Nisolo. 

Photo by Nisolo. 

Melt Goods Earrings, Everlane denim shirt, thrifted funky sweater and honorable mention Linea Jewelry necklace! 

Melt Goods Earrings, Everlane denim shirt, thrifted funky sweater and honorable mention Linea Jewelry necklace! 

Photo by Gaia

Photo by Gaia

Why I Started Caring About Who Made My Clothes

Why I Started Caring About #whomademyclothes

It’s Fashion Revolution Week, so I thought I would take a minute to share why I started caring about who made my clothes. 

A little over a year ago, my eyes were opened to the fast fashion industry. One documentary (The True Cost - Netflix!) and tons of articles later, I couldn’t ignore it. It has affected so many of my decisions since then. 

Here are 3 reasons that why I started caring about who made my clothes and where they came from. 

  1. The realization that somewhere in the world, there are real people making my clothes. What are their lives like? Are they getting paid fairly? Do they work reasonable hours? There is a reason why you can get clothes so cheap. Costs have been cut somewhere. As the fashion revolution website describes it, “The majority of the people who makes clothes live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay.” These are real people.
  2. Fashion is the second highest polluting industry in the world, second only to oil. The details are vast and difficult for me to explain. But, as the demand for faster fashion increases, the bigger the problem is becoming. This isn't just damaging the earth but the people that are involved in creating all of the materials as well. You can read more details about it here.
  3. What I spend my money on is what I choose to invest in. I get to choose where I spend my money! What a crazy thought! No one says I have to shop at certain places. If I’m going to buy something, I want to further companies that I believe in, not the other way around. It’s not just what items I choose to purchase, but what companies I choose to support. 

I know I'm just one person but I realized that by participating in the fast fashion industry, I was feeding the ugly monster. 

I love this quote from Simon Parry in his article written just last June, “You [we] are supporting the culture of cheap products. When customers say, 'I will only buy a sustainable product that has been made responsibly,' the entire supply chain will change, because the market rules. It is the customer who is the king.

It hasn’t been easy to only shop at stores that I can back or buy clothes that have been made responsibly. Of course I haven’t done it 100% of the time. But it has changed the way I view shopping entirely. In my next blog post, I’ll share a few of my new favorite ethical companies that I like to shop at now. I encourage everyone to take time to think about how your purchases go beyond just buying something - that they effect real people's lives.  

Fashion Revolution Week was started after the Rana Plaza incident to shed light on the fashion industry. “Much of the global fashion industry is opaque, exploitative and environmentally damaging and desperately needs revolutionary change. We love fashion, but we don’t want our clothes to come at the cost of people or the planet.”  Other articles around the Rana Plaza incident: here and here

New York City Anniversary Trip RECAP

It's our one-year anniversary and sweet Husband Chris half surprised me months in advance by starting to plan a trip to NYC to celebrate! He told me about it early so that I could get in on the excitement and we could finish planning it together. We knew we wanted to visit Cooper Hewitt Museum and rent row boats in Central Park. A few restaurant reservations and coffees tops were also on our list but the rest was up for last minute decisions.

DAY 1:

We landed Friday morning at 11am, made a quick stop at our air b&b on the Upper West side to drop our bags off and refresh, then out the door!

Let the adventures begin!!  

First stop, FOOD. Whenever I say I'm up for burgers, Husband Chris jumps on the opportunity. Shake Shack was around the corner so off we went! We'd heard great reviews and the line was crazy busy so we thought it would satisfy all of our burger dreams. Spoiler alert, it was your average burger and fries.  

Now to the real adventures! Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, one of the main pit stops we had planned. 

The building was so beautiful & the Immersion Room was super cool and other rooms not pictured. 

That evening we chose to eat at The Smith, the one reservation we picked out on our own. The atmosphere was awesome but the food was like whatever and the noise level was crazy and I'm old for caring about the noise level.

After The Smith we went to CVS and bought tums, socks for Chris' blistered feet and ice cream because again, old. Happy Anniversary!

DAY 2 : We start off of course with coffee at Box Kite Coffee. Yum. 

Then our second big activity: ROW BOATS in Central Park. It was romantic and 99 degrees hot outside. 

On a whim we decided to rent Citi bikes and travel south. Good thing we've been working out the last few months - we have been preparing for this!! 

We rode all the way down 5th Ave. The goal was to make it to Il Buca Alimente, a recommendation from my friend, Molly, and then to some SoHo shopping. 

We popped into this clothing store, "Don't Ask Why." It was cool until we realized they were actually a brand made by American Eagle. Sneaky AE!! No wonder they don't want you to ask why. WE OUT!

Sweaty and so hungry at 3pm,  we arrived at Il Buca Alimente. This was one of the highlights of our trip - so lovely and so cozy - it felt like you were in a little cove of another world. 

After some shopping and a bathroom break in the most amazing art store (where I bought llama stickers and "face pencils"), we ended up at The Standard Hotel, another happy accident, catching up with Chris' old friend, Nick. That place is full of mid-mod style everywhere and white rocks that matched my shoes,  so I wasn't mad. 

For dinner that evening, we ate at BOBO, a recommendation from my sister-in-law, Amy, who used to live in the city. The waiter brought us champagne when he found out it was our anniversary and then he kissed my hand and gave Chris a handshake - what a sweet, French gentleman!  I got a little OCD on that second photo and was wanting all of the liquid levels in the glasses to match.

DAY 3: 

Sunday we had a lovely brunch at the place next to Sara Beth's called Barley & Grain. I'm sure all of their business comes from the line at Sara Beth's being too long. But honestly, it was delicious and I don't feel like I missed out on anything. We preceded to ride more bikes, drop in to shops that are $$$$$ out of our price range, wander around Chelsea market and enjoy a bier and people watch at the beirgarten. One last sandwich from Num Pang (we will never forget you) in Chelsea Market and we hopped into our last cab for a sad trip to the airport.

 

Thanks for the adventures, Chris. Until next time, NYC. ❤️

What is a local spot you've been to in NYC that you've enjoyed? Or any other city for that matter!  

 

All photos were edited with VSCO.  

What I'm Newly Obsessing Over...

5MinJournal.jpg

So I'm always excited about some new thing that I found or something I am trying out. I thought I would share a few of my favorites here. This may or may not become a regular thing. We shall see. ENJOY!  

  1. The Five Minute Journal… I love the science behind learning to be grateful everyday. My husband and I have started to do this (almost) every morning and we have noticed a mental change. Check it out. Give it a shot.

  2. Foot Cardigan emails… I don’t need any new socks but seriously, their emails are the most clever, trendy and laughable way to communicate information. I read it twice. Who reads promotional emails twice through? They are also Dallas based! 

  3. The new Bethel album. My friend walked down the isle at her wedding to the song "Pieces" and since then I have been listening to it on repeat.

  4. Alima Pure makeup! I love that their products are pure, honest (free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, dimethicone, petroleum, talc, bismuth oxychloride, and nanoparticles). Also, their foundation brush - so soft. 

  5. My Chvrches Pandora station. Dance and work and dance and work. 

  6. I might be in love with dirty chai lattes (a chai latte with 2 shots of espresso) from Weekend Coffee. I must restrain myself.

  7. Marie Kondo’s tidying method. Our whole house has almost been completely tidied! Although, I haven't started talking to my clothes. 

  8. And yes, I thought I would never say, Snapchat. How fun are the daily filters?! I'm on there as @rachaelcreative. You'll mostly just see pictures of my dog, #charliegirlthepup. 

 

What new thing have you been into? I love hearing about new fun things! I hope everyone has a great week! 

- Rachael