Friday, September 23, 2016

: 22 Stars giveaway...

22 Stars, fair trade jewelry, handmade jewelry, paper beads jewelry, jewelry made in Uganda, giveaway, freebie, free jewelry, freebie friday

Hip hip, hooray!  It's the triumphant return of #FreebieFriday (and it should have happened earlier, but I got stuck on a plane on my way home for a family emergency).  That aside, I am very happy to introduce you to 22 Stars, a fair trade company that has paired up with women in displaced refugee camps in Kampala and Jinja, Uganda. 22 Stars founder, Stella visited Uganda to do research for her international law thesis about girl child soldiers, but was so impressed by the ability of the women in these refugee camps to make beautiful jewelry from recycled paper, that she decided to help these ladies improve their lives and started 22 Stars.  

The women who are now earring a fair wage for making this beautiful jewelry once had almost no education, many were sick (with HIV/AIDS), had fled from war zones and were displaced and/or cold not read or write.  Now, a portion of the net profit from 22 Stars sales go straight to providing education, medical care, and leisure classes.  

Stella was kind enough to send me a ton of beautiful jewelry all made by the wonderful ladies in Uganda from recycled paper and she wants to share some of it with one lucky : the daily savant : reader.  This jewelry set includes a lovely necklace (the red beads kind of remind me of chili peppers) and two matching bracelets.  One bracelet has a charm that reads "Trust in your dreams" and the other reads "All we need is love" and they are all things of beauty! 

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Big Cottonwood Canyon...

What's up world!  On this wonderful Wednesday, I am thinking about all of the fabulous things in life.  Something that tops that list is whiskey the opportunity to step back from the busy crush of humanity that we know as civilization to get back to nature.  

I am thoroughly enjoying this look back at some snaps taken at Big Cottonwood Canyon from our Utah trip several weeks ago.  The canyon was gorgeous, even though many of the trails were still super populated.  I was actually pretty happy to see how many people were out hiking because it meant that SB and I were among many like-minded people.  When the trails got too crowded, we were bad and pulled out the phone to geocache a bit off the beaten path.  I'm not actually sure that we really found any real caches, because we never encountered a log book, but there was one point when we'd scaled the side of a cliff, discovered a few dead animals, and each nearly wiped out several times, I found a pipe buried in the leaves in roughly the geographic region that the cache was supposed to be.  

In any case, we had a lovely wander.  While climate change is often on my mind, I was happy to see that the leaves were already beginning to change, as I've been worrying about how I'll deal with my first  autumn without change-y leaves in Las Vegas. 

Also, sometimes, a gal just needs a day with no makeup.  This was that day! 

Can you spot SB^? 

Monday, September 19, 2016

A few of my favourite things...

Deb print tunic dress (worn as a top), AMI Clubwear ankle booties, Skar Designs necklace, GlobeIn handmade fair trade earrings, fall outfit, travel outfit, casual outfit

Want to know what one of my favourite things about blogging is?  

Give up? 

It's the photoshoots.  Growing up with a photographer for a father meant that, for the majority of my childhood, I had a camera lens pointed in my general direction.  Combine this with an adolescent love of fashion magazines and a grown up love of travel and my head is often full of crazy Tim Walker-esque photo shoot ideas.  

While I very rarely get to go all out with props and wild outfits, taking a walk in a new city with someone to play photographer always brings me immense joy.  Here are a few more snaps from my trip with SB to Salt Lake City.  

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the sweater was a hand-me-down
: the necklace is handmade 
: the earrings are handmade and fair trade
: the top is actually a tunic dress that I've re-styled to get more wear out of


Sunday, September 18, 2016

#SustainableSunday and Pretty Little Liars style...

It's #SustainableSunday and I am so excited!  I fell off the #SustainableSunday bandwagon there for a while, but I couldn't be happier to be sharing with you how fabulous sustainable and fair trade fashion can be.  

Last week, I had to take a few days out of school to attend a really awesome training and since I was out of school, I was able to get a bit more extravagant with my outfits.  Seriously, I felt like Aria from #PLL in these threads... speaking of which... I need to get caught up on PLL!  

Anyway, get this: At least half of this outfit is fair trade! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the pants are fair trade
: the earrings are handmade/fair trade
: the necklace is handmade/fair trade
: the other jewelry is handmade

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Silver Reef ghost town...

Mint Julep Boutique tie dye tank top, Emerson & Oliver Dia bracelets, Vespe Studio Hamsa hand necklace, Zero UV aviator sunglasses, casual outfit, travel, silver reef ghost town, mining town

If you've been following my journey on Instagram lately, you'll know that I recently had a few days to escape the teacher life and recharge by doing a bit of exploring.  SB and I had planned on visiting the Grand Canyon, but it was super last minute and apparently it is impossible to find lodging anywhere near the canyon (even for $400 a night!!!) last minute, so we ended up in Salt Lake City.  

Why, you ask?  Well, years ago I saw the Bonneville Salt Flats on a travel show and SLC has been on my to-see list for years.  On the drive from Chicago to Las Vegas, we skirted right around SLC, totally missed the salt flats and skipped a bunch of quirky roadside attractions that I seriously needed to check out.  

SB and I packed up the car and headed to Utah, stopping in Saint George to look at dinosaur footprints (check those out on Instagram) and then headed along to the Silver Reef ghost town, because I'll basically go anywhere that has "ghost" in the name.  There wasn't a whole lot out there, but it was pretty awesome, nonetheless.  We arrived close to sunset and had the whole place to ourselves.  

I had to laugh a bit at a few of the signs asking people not to climb on the 100-year old structures when in Europe, we were climbing all over 600+ year old castles.  

There is a museum at this site, but it was closed when we arrived.  We were able to pick up a map with information about each of the sites and walk along the guided trail and felt perfectly happy doing just that!  This stop was not bad for my first real Wild West ghost town, but I am definitely looking forward to exploring more out here in the near future (Virginia Settlement in Bodie, California, I'm lookin' at you!).  Stay tuned for more Utah travels! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 
: the jeans are second-hand
: the jewelry is handmade

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Feelin' good on a Wednesday...

22 Stars bead necklace, 22 stars bead bracelets, embroidered kimono, tie dye tank, casual outfit

Feelin' good on a Wednesday... (Ever seen that episode of "South Park?"  I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have... but it's a cartoon... and it's politically funny, sooooo....).  After a few weeks of mucking through trying to write curriculum and re-invent the wheel, today I was lucky enough to get a brief reprieve and went to a training.  Usually, these work trainings are cheesy and overwhelming and are hard to pay attention to, but today was actually kind of awesome.  

It's always nice to get a surprise like that.  

At my last training, all of the speakers shared memories from their first year of teaching.  Many of them centered on how as young teachers, they started their first years thinking that they knew everything.  I'm the total opposite.  I walked in knowing that I knew very little and would require lots of support to do my job well.  I've really been feeling clueless lately and have even let a few tears slip out over the course of the week, but after my training today, we had open house and I got some seriously awesome feedback from the parents who came.  

Apparently, I do have a clue!  Who knew?