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My Favorites of December

I’ve seen a few bloggers and YouTubers dedicate a post or video to some of their favorite things from the previous month, and I decided it was time to do it myself. I know January is halfway done and I wish I got this post out earlier in the month but there’s only so much one person can do. For this blog post, I will be talking about some of my favorite things I bought, made, and experience in the month of December, so let’s get into it, shall we…

My Favorites of December

Sseko x Dressember Event

The first week of December, one of the team members from Dressember, Marissa Peden, came to visit Portland and planned an event with Sseko (a fair trade company local to Portland, Oregon). The purpose of the event was to share the story of both Dressember and Sseko and to encourage one another. I’ve talked about both Sseko and Dressember in two separate blog post. Sseko is an ethical company that helps employ women in Uganda so they can earn money for college. Dressember helps bring more awareness about human trafficking through the month-long style challenge of wearing a dress in December. It was nice to meet other women who care both about ethical living and human trafficking (they do go hand-in-hand). I got to meet some Sseko Fellows (women telling the Sseko story by events and selling products) and other Dressember advocates in the Portland area. I felt encouraged to consider becoming a Sseko Fellow myself, to continue on blogging about ethical living, to learn and talk more about human trafficking, and to remember there is something we can do to stop modern-day slavery.

Sseko’s Carryall Travel Bag in Oiled Black

During the Sseko x Dressember event, Sseko was selling their products and donated a portion of their proceeds of the sales they made that night to the Dressember campaign. Before I went to the event, I knew I wanted to buy something from Sseko’s and one item I knew I needed was a weekend bag. I’ve been wanting a travel bag for a long time and thought about making my own. However, I don’t trust my ability in sewing a bag strong enough for how I tend to pack. I knew buying a good bag would be a better idea because it will be more sturdy and will last much longer. I knew a weekend bag from Sseko would last almost forever. When I was at the event, I saw the Carryall travel bag in oiled black and knew that was the bag I had in mind. It was a pricy purchase and I don’t recommend anyone buying it if they are struggling with money. Before I made my purchase, I knew the proceeds were going to a cause I love and I also was supporting women globally with my purchase.

Fuchsia Ballet Flats

Ethically made in a remote town in Pakistan called Sangla Hill, I first learned about the brand from Megan Forbes (YouTuber and ethical fashionista known as Too Cool for Middle School). Each pair of Fuchsia shoes are handmade by artisans in Sangla Hill in the traditional Pakistan way. The shoes are made by locally sources leather and when you purchase a pair of shoes, you will be surprised that there is no left or right shoe. The shoes will mold into the particular shape of your feet after a few wears. I only wore my flats a few times but from some reviews I look up, these shoes will last for a while.

I bought two pairs of ballet flats (classic black and these orange Zinnia design photograph above) on Cyber Monday and I didn’t receive my shoes unlit a month later. Before my shoes arrived, I was afraid they got lost in the mail but I discovered that when you place an order from Fuchsia, unless the shoes you ordered are already in stock, the shoes are made after your order is made. That’s why it took some time for my shoes to arrive. When I was notified my shoes came in on Christmas Eve, I look at it as my own personal gift.

This is the Gospel by She Reads Truth

This children book was one of the first children books to be published by the She Reads Truth community. They are a community that encourages individuals to read scripture through their paperback Bible studies, on their app (which is what I use), or on their website. This is the Gospel study was an overview of the story of creation, the fall, and Jesus coming to save us. The story was designed to help young children understand that. I was excited when they had a special 12 days of Christmas salt so I could buy it for my niece as a Christmas gift.

“Ask Me About My Dress” Button

This button is one of the ways a Dressember advocate can talk about the cause of Dressember. I’ve been wanting this button since last December (2017) but wasn’t able to get it in time. The button was helpful to get some conservations started. Wearing the dress is making a statement and I would talk about Dressember if someone made a comment about my dress but that wasn’t happening too often. Most people thought I was wearing a dress just because I felt like wearing one. The button was needed for me to share why my dress was about something bigger.

Homemade Face Lotion

I’ve been needing face lotion for almost a year now and yes it took me that long to get myself to make my own. I was using beauty oils like jojoba, sweet almond oil, and my homemade sunblock as a lotion. I found this lotion recipe from Pinterest. The original recipe was created by Coco’s Well, who is a mommy blogger who shares her DIYs.

Disclaimer: I did not follow the recipe a 100%. I was not going to buy aloe vera juice just for one project. I did replace the juice for argan oil because I actually use that oil in most my homemade beauty products.

Here’s how I made the lotion: http://cocoswell.com/homemade-face-lotion/

4 tablespoons of shea butter

1 tablespoon of jojoba oil

1 tablespoon of argan oil

1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil

A few drops of lavender essential oils

I melted all the ingredients but the essential oil in a melting pot. I let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Once chilled, I whip it with a hand-mixer as I was adding essential oils to it and it was ready to go šŸ™‚

CauseBox Siizu Winter Poncho in Cream

Every season I receive a box filled with eco-friendly and ethical goodies from Cause Box. Similarly to FitFabFun, you recieve the box every season and you get to enjoy some items that helps promote your self-style, looking good, and feeling good. Every item in the Cause Box is from a company with a story that wants to give back to their community and to help the world to become a better place. One of the favorite items I got this season was the Siizu winter poncho in cream. The company’s founder wanted to start a company that would help people realize that sustainable and fair fashion can be stylish. The poncho proves it can be true. The poncho is made of renewable source wood and is biodegradable when ready to be discarded- no landfill needed! Also according to Siizu Instagram, when you make purchase, 10% of proceeds goes into planting trees. So much good this company is doing. Cause Box was giving away three different colors: charcoal, careberry, and cream. I was hoping get the cream color because I would be able to pair it with many colors and outfits. I was happy to open my box this season to see I got my preferred color.

Donuts from Doe’s

One fine day, I was really anxious with my Do-List. It was 5 days before Christmas and my anxiety was getting high. I ask my friend to go get me Doe Donuts because I needed a pick-me-up. Doe Donuts is an all vegan donut shop in Portland. They are known for their unique and delicious favors. My friend got both a sweet and savory donut. The savory one was the Buffalo Bleu and Cheese. If you are into meat and cheese alternatives like me, this is a great small meal to have. It’s similar to eating a HotPocket because of the cheese, meat taste, and texture. I felt like I was eating a slice of pizza and the donut hit me in the right spot. The sweet donut is probably one of my favorite’s and would get again before they discard them. I was a fan of the thin layers the covers the middle part of the donut and the pistachio nuts sprinkled on top the sweet almond glaze. I hope my description makes you want to try it šŸ˜‰

Vanilla Body Butter from 100% Pure

I’m in-love with a lot of the 100% Pure products. I discovered them when I was curious about clean makeup and beauty products and they do live up to their name. I’ve brought their vanilla scented hand-lotion two times and I enjoy the nice warm smell. I decided when they had a special sale for the holiday’s, I wanted to buy myself some items. I was close to buying the lotion in the squeezy tube container because it was cheaper but I was thinking about the environmental impact. The body butter is packaged in a plastic tube but I can reuse the tube for a DIY project and decided the body butter was the better option. I tend to put this body butter on any chance I get, especially if I’m getting ready to go out- I do want to smell like vanilla.

My Dressember team raising over $1,000!

This was my 4th year of participating in Dressmeber and this was the first time I was apart of a team, in general. I ended up co-starting my team with a friend who was doing it also. We named our team Beauty For Change and we set our fundraising goal at $500. Seven ladies joined our team.  Within 5 days we were less than $6 away from your $500. I was amazed and extended the amount to $850. By Christmas Eve, you were at $934. I was blown away but did not extend the amount right away. After a few days, the amount we raised was above $1,000. I extended the amount to $1,400 and I’m happy to that my is team less than $100 away from our recent goal. If you want to donate, I’ll leave the link below šŸ™‚

https://dressember-2018.funraise.org/team/beauty-for-change

There you have it folks, my favorites of the month of December. With Christmas, Advent, Dressember and other gatherings, there was a lot to choose from. We’ll see what ends up being my favorite in January.

Miss. Jackie

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2019: My Goals, Hopes, and What Iā€™m Letting Go

It’s the second week of 2019, and I know a mix of people are either going strong with their New Year’s Resolution or slowly giving up on them. For 2019 I have a few things I want to improve on for the year ahead. Instead of doing the traditional New Year’s Resolutions, I set goals to become more mindful of certain practices I want to do in the coming year. I use to make clique resolutions such as, “I want to lose weight.  Be a better Christian” (whatever that means. Insist eye-roll emoji here). Making New Year’s Resolutions was setting me up to not succeed, but thinking through what I want to improve on has been something I’ve been able to do more successfully.

I started to slowly set goals I knew I could manage and reach. I started off with a reading list for 2015. I didn’t reach my goal for that year so I didn’t allow myself to buy new books for 2016 unlit I read those books. It did work for the most part. Bought a few books here and there but I got through my 2015 reading list a year later.

For the next year, 2017, I decided to do something I was already doing but do it more often, and that was to make more of own stuff. That included beauty products, nut milk, and food in general. I’m always inspired to create my own stuff for the fact of knowing what’s in my items and just for the fun and creative aspect of it.  The next year (2018), I told myself to create less waste. I was more mindful of not buying single-use items and stop buying produces in plastic unless there were no other places I could buy it without plastic (cauliflower for example). I also started this blog in 2018 and still going strong! šŸ™‚

For this coming year, I have decided to set a few goals and hopes in my life to improve myself by being more creative and more “adult.”

My goals for 2019 are:

  • To buy no books this year. If I want to read a book I don’t have, I must to go to the library or borrow it from someone else.
  • Create clothing I know I have the ability to make. If I’m shopping around for clothes and think, “that looks like something I can make…”  then I’ll make it. I want to be a better seamstress and that only way to be better is to keep practicing.
  • Write once a week. 2018 was the year I wrote the most since leaving college. I’m counting all the blog post I wrote in 2018. So for 2019, I want to write more. I’ll write a personal essay, short story, blog post, anything. Doesn’t have to be shared if I don’t want to share it. I just have to write once a week.
  • Buy less plastic. Last year I focus on reducing my waste and for this year I will try to buy as many items as possible without being stored in plastic. I know it’s not realistic to be 100% plastic free but before buying something I will think, “Can I buy this item without plastic? Can I reuse the plastic if I buy it? Can I recycle the plastic?”
  • Understand what it means to invest and do it. I’m not a money wizard and want to understand how to manage money better.
  • Experiment with lotion recipes to find a good one to sell. I love lotions and been more of a lotion enthusiast within the last few months. I always wanted to own an Esty shop and selling lotion through that platform seems like a good fit.

Hopes for 2019

When I talk about my hopes, they are not as focused on my goals. I don’t have a strong desire to create a plan to achieve my hopes, but it is something I want to be more mindful of. So if that being said, my hope for 2019 is:

  • Read from a book once a day. Doesn’t have to be much. Just any book.
  • Learn to go to bed at a decent time and wake up earlier. For Lent season, I want to wake up early and have a quiet/devotional time and I need to build myself up to do that now. I’m terrible at waking up and struggle with falling asleep. Wish me luck.
  • Continue to add more ethically source items in my closest. I would love everything to be ethically made and I budget allows I will look shop at an ethical store first.

One thing I’m giving up

One thing for 2019 I decided to give up is my personal expectation of baking more. Here’s the thing with my relationship with baking. I love to bake but I rarely do it. I’m usually telling myself I should bake more because I had ingredients I got just to bake. If I bake, I want to give my baked goods away but I tend to fail to find the right place and time do it. I’ve discarded many ingredients I collected over time (may I add they were needed to thrown awhile back). I had to throw away the different types of ingredients I collected in the compost. I would have felt bad if I did that a few years ago but I felt freer letting go of those ingredients and thinking, “I don’t have to plan a baking session that still hasn’t happened any longer.” I  freed myself from my guilt of collecting ingredient for baking and not baking enough. And honestly, I would rather have a donut or ice cream if I want something sweet. Fewer food items will be collected that will not be eaten and I will have one less thing to worry about.

There you have folks, my 2019 goals, hopes, and what I’m letting go. I’m looking forward to seeing how the year turns out and what I end up finding to be an important commitment to keep. Happy New Year’s everyone!

Goodies With Miss. Jackie