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Transition

It’s been a whole four months since I posted on this perform. I haven’t been the most active of bloggers and I do get anxious and worried about others thoughts on what I post.

Breath Jackie. You are okay.

From my social media, I have been sharing updates: I was in transition to moving to Seattle, my grandfather passed away, my second niece came to this world, and these last few months, I wanted to have the headspace to write and blog and thought maybe blogging for me would be done. I don’t want that to be the case. So here I am writing this blog post at a random coffee shop in Seattle because I don’t have access to Wifi in my current apartment. How did this transition happen? Let me explain:

7 Year Desire:

One day when I was 19 years old, just a freshman at Mt. Hood Community College, I did wake up and thought, “I want to move to Seattle.” I would tell people that and they would ask why. “just because.” Was the only answer I could give them. I visited a few times and always enjoyed my visits. My weekend trip to Bellingham constant of me going to Seattle for the day and when my friend and I also didn’t go, I was bummed. Seattle has been my favorite city to visit. Was joyful I got the chance to make it happen.

Change in the Horizon:

I knew a change was on the horizon for me back in September. I knew turning 26 meant something. I wasn’t sure what that meant yet. Move out of my comfortable home in SE Portland? Move back with my parents? Move out of Portland? Move out of Oregon in general? I did do the Nashville trip for that purpose- and discovered it was not my city but I wouldn’t have known unless I went. I was happy with my current living situation and didn’t want to leave. However, I knew by 2019 something was going to be different. February came and the first month of the year was the longest month (January usually is) and my roommates told me that they were going to put the house up for sale in April. I was not surprised because they have been experiencing their own transition and I saw it coming that they would sell the house to move back to their hometown. I was not being active with my transition unlit the retailer came to see the house and my roommates were getting ready to begin the process of prepping and staging the house. I wanted to act fast so I decided to check out if I could move up to Bellingham Washington. I looked on Craigslist and was trying to find a space I felt that would be ideal for me and I found one. I also contacted a nanny agency in the area to see what opportunities I had to be a nanny up there. The people I message about the room didn’t get back to me. I was placing all my eggs in this one basket but when I didn’t hear back from and saw the same place on a Facebook for renting rooms in Bellingham and the room was sold after I gave the message the same people again. I wasn’t disappointed though. I decided to see it as “Bellingham was meant to be. At least for now.”

As my roommates were starting on the process of getting the house ready for staging by buying new items and fixing up things they have been postponing for a while, I was thinking about another place I knew I could always move to and be welcomed, Medford Oregon. I have family that lives down there, I know what church I would go to and I did know some other people outside of my family there also. I was feeling this peace about moving down to Medford and I felt I should go it and move down. I was sleeking nanny agencies in the Medford area and I wanted to it to work out but I felt like I was making this choice to quickly. I was just thinking of moving to Bellingham then Medford. I was unsure what my transition was going to be like, so upon Lent season (six-and-a-half weeks prepping for Easter), I told me myself I will pray and disrim what my next step will be. I felt good about using the Lent season to have God and His spirit guild me in what do next.

One Week Later: 

A week later after thinking, I’ll take time to decide what I wanted to do I was on my laptop watching YouTube and Seattle popped in my mind. I was remembering about my desire to move up to Seattle and how I always wanted to move up for a while. I decided to look up nanny agencies in the area and I applied to two in the Seattle area. I was not expecting to hear back from the agencies until the next day both contacted me right away. One called me and was super excited to work with because my resume looked great. That got me excited to work with the agencies and I really hope to find the right job. Next step was to look for a room to live in. I needed to live with people who shared my same faith but I was desperate to find a place. I did find some random website called Roomies and Roomster which was a mistake. I didn’t deactivate my account on Roomster but I made the mistake of leaving my phone number. I was receiving a text message at the middle of the night from strangers who didn’t even have an area code in the Seattle area. I know they probably were people who moved to Seattle but the fact that every number was someone from the East Coast and I was receiving some messages such as, “Hi how are you?” at 3 am. My high functioning anxiety and worst-case scenario mind were being active. I was not going to take my chances.

The following week, I did get a phone screening with the other agency and I planned to go down to Seattle for the last week of March. The plan to move down was becoming more of a reality. My anxiety was also going up. I needed a place and the 2 roommate finding performs I found were terrible. I needed to find a place and I found two Facebook groups, one was a typical group for sublease and rooms for rent, and the other was from a church located in Seattle that post listing for rooms, and other things people are trying to sell. I message about a handful of people about me moving up to Seattle and my goal to start life anew more up north and there were a few people who messaged me in a reasonable time. I stayed in touch with them and I was still needing to do a few more things before heading up to Seattle for a week to figure things out.

My roommates were staging the house and I agreed to move to the upstairs room and have a majority of things packed and put away in storage. They were going to stage my room which was a basement was an “Air BnB” for marketing reasons.  I was in the start of packing up my things, still needing to fill out a nanny application for one of the agencies I applied to. I also ended up working 5 days that week before my trip to Seattle. I felt like I handling a lot and for someone who doesn’t manage stress well, I knew that week was going to busy. I did find time for self-care and I was making time for packing and filling out the nanny application. I was feeling the pressure of needing to get everything. My roommates needed my room clear for they can start working on my room and I was figuring out what should I do to make with a lot of my things. I was feeling overwhelmed by the time pressure and items I had yet to pack and my roommates were kind enough and wanted to help me finish packing. I was relieved and almost cried because I was thankful for their kindness. We worked together and I got all my stuff packed. I was filling less pressure on my shoulders when I turned in my nanny application that night. Or so I thought. Something went wrong with the nanny application and the agency got a blanketed application. I was embarrassed and that’s when I started to feel like things were finally falling apart. I was trying to figure out how I was going to find a place and a job in Seattle, I was trying to do my best to “adult” and be responsible but I couldn’t handle the stress I was feeling and wanted clarity that everything was going to be okay.

The nanny application wasn’t a dealbreaker for the agency and I told them what went wrong and they were understanding and just needed my application in before my interview in person. I was not going to work on the application right away. I needed to care for myself. I decided to go to a local coffee shop and journal and read for a bit there so that way I could feel more at peace with this transition. As I was writing down my stress I realized I was feeling scared. I was scared that my plan to move to Seattle will fall apart. I was worried things were not going to the way I hoped. Then I realized I was having issues with trust. I felt like I was not able to trust God with this transition and I felt like I was taking this matter into my own hands. With hot tears in the corner of a coffee shop, I wrote down in my journal “God I feel like I can’t trust you.” That’s when the tears started to come down more. I didn’t want to feel that way. I really wanted to trust God with this transition and I felt guilty to even say that I couldn’t trust Him. I know I keep saying that God is good in this season but I realized that I was a liar. I didn’t know why God wanted me when I couldn’t trust Him. Somehow though I was realizing that I can trust God. That meltdown was probably needed. I felt the spirit was starting to tell me that everything was going to be okay. I had to trust that and I was more comfortable to put my trust in God.

A few days went by and I was up in Seattle! A friend of mine had a family friend I could stay in Auburn Washington (30-40 minutes away from Seattle). The people I stayed with were the kindness and most welcoming people I have encountered as a visitor and just someone who needed a place to crash. They were open to having my help myself to their food and coffee and were aware of some of my allergies. They were owners of two cats, and… you can see where this is going. The room I stayed in had a door that wasn’t closing too well and my first night, I was chasing cats out of my room. The ladies told me that the cats are used to going into the room I was staying in and that’s why they ended playing in that room. My allergies were acting up from the cats. I was sneezing and my eyes were itchly and I couldn’t help BUT touch my eyes. I know that was a terrible idea. What made my night worse was I rubbed digize esstisal oils from Young Living on my tummy and the oils are crytisilies and touch my face while having the oils on my hands. My face was burning and my breathing was heavy. Somehow I fell asleep and I woke to a puffy face with eyes that could barely open. Also, here’s the kicker, that morning I woke up, I had a nanny interview with the agency I sent the blank application too in less then 3 hours. I put on EVERY SINGLE FACE MAKEUP I OWNED. Tint moisture, my homdmade BB cream, concluer, and foundation. Thank the Lord for makeup at the moment. I still felt like a mess but I had to get out and I was driving up to the interview that happened to be in Kirkland Washington which is right outside Seattle.  I was about a 40-minute drive and I was puffy faced and I knew my drive there would probably be stressful… which it was correct. I also had trouble finding the location. I called the agency and told them I was in the area but couldn’t find the office. I was gently directed where to go and I found it! Now time for the interview. Was I nervous? Yes. I was asked questions about working under surveillance, my driving history, allergies (I said pollen. I never tell families I’m allergic to their pets. I fear I’ll receive fewer jobs so I just take an allergy pill and suck it up). I also forgot to have my passport and car insurance card with me ready to be photocopied  (I can’t remember if they ask me to have that ready). I was able to calm down as the interview was going on and they were aware I had another nanny interview with another agency the next day. They informed me to let them know if I’ll carry on with them or not. It does take the time to create a profile for their nannies so if I continue on with another agency, they were taking up their resources helping me. I did feel bad because from my phone conservation with the first agency I applied to, they were excited to have me on board and I felt I was a shoo-in.

After my interview, I headed to check out my first apartment which was located in Capitol Hill. It’s a cool and trendy area, with a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and local shops all around. The apartment had enough space but the living situation was unique. I was a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom that had a good with a bunk bed and 2 women per room. The living situation didn’t sound like something I’ll go for in the first place but I was feeling this peace about the apartment and the vibe. The person I was taking the sublease from confirmed that because of the fact that we have to share a room and the space others, we all understand that privacy and respect it a must. I didn’t want to say “yes” because I knew I had to check out at least 2 other places.

The next day I was calmer and ready for my next nanny interview. The area was in Green Lake which was the original place I was looking to live in until I realized the cost of living in Green Lake, I clicked on the back button with my head as if I was shamefully walking away from an embarrassing situation. I finally found some parking and found the place for my interview. I realized on my way up I should have a check-in with the agency to confirm I was still coming but the owner and I were in communication and planned for it. I walked for my interview and told the people working that I was here for my interview and they were confessed. They told me there was no interview scheduled for today. I was worried and the other employees including the owner I spoken with came to check-in to see what the issue was. I did tell them I was in contacted with the owner and scheduled an interview in advance because I was coming from Portland Oregon. The employees felt bad and did ask if I could give them 30 minutes to get the interview set up. I walked around and got some coffee and came back. My interview lasts for 5 minutes and that was it. They did tell me they’ll reach out to me by next week. I was surprised by that interview fast pace and not giving me enough time to really get to know me.

After my interview, I hung out around Green Lake and was getting last minute details and references to the first agency I meant. I checked out two other places to live. One was a condo in Queen Annes and the other was an extra room in Kirkland. I was not too excited about the idea of living outside of Seattle. I do want to live in Seattle at least starting off and getting my feet wet. I checked the place in Queen Annes first. The place was a 3 bedroom, one bathroom. I would have had my own room and the could-be roommate who was the place was super kind and sweet. We both had a background in working with children. She was a teacher and did babysitting on the side, I, of course, am a nanny with experience working with children in group care and preschool. I really did like her and enjoyed my time talking with her. I did tell her I was going to check out one last place and will let her know what I decided by the end of the week.

The last location on my list was Kirkland and it was stressful trying getting that the location of Kirkland. I did miss th

 

 

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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 🙂

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 😉

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 🙂

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 I’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! 🙂

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

 

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Nashville: The Trip I Didn’t Expect

On November 1st, I headed out on a solo adventure to Nashville. Some questions I know people are going to ask “Why Nashville? Why a solo trip? Was it Worth it? Recommendations?”

(This is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. I didn’t go in, however. I just needed this photo to happen)

Why Nashville?

My travel history is pretty light compared to some people I know. I did travel to Europe as a child but my memory is vague and I didn’t appreciate it as much as I would if I went there now. I wanted to visit a city that was different from the culture of my hometown (Portland Oregon) but still had a similar vibe. Nashville sounded like the ideal place to visit.

(South Nashville)

Why a Solo Trip?

I felt like being on a solo trip would be the best option for a few reasons. One of them was not having to wait for someone to go on this trip with me. I don’t usually wait for others. I also thought a solo vacation would be fun because I don’t have to make decisions around someone else. Also, I’m a strong introvert and thought I would enjoy the long solitude.

Was it Worth It?

Yes, but that was not a quick answer.

There were some good moments. I got to go to the Capital State Museum, went to a free art show, learned the history of Nashville and a little bit of Tennessee itself. I was amazed by the beauty of the state of Tennessee and I did get to check out a few local shops and restaurants. However, with Nashville being known as a music city, there was a bar/party scene I was not aware of until my first night. My hope for the trip was to find the Portland inside Nashville, and there were parts of it that reminded me of home- not their coffee, however (I’m spoiled with good coffee in Portland). I will say that the party and bar scene made me feel out of place and I did question whether or not the trip was a mistake.

(Pieces I found at the art show)

The Loneliness of a Solo Trip

Before leaving for my trip my mom asked, “why do you want to go alone? You have no one to talk to.” I did hope that a solo trip would be refreshing and give me the recharge I needed to come back but I was mistaken. Being by myself for five days was making me feel lonely. I was not expecting to feel that way. On my second to last day of the trip was when that lonely feeling was creeping in.

By my last day, I was sitting alone at a restaurant wanting to talk to someone I know in person. I’m not one to start a conversation with strangers and question how some people feel so comfortable doing that right away. I didn’t want to bother strangers. I notice a sign across from me saying, “Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” After reading that sign I felt an overwhelming amount of loneliness. I was questioning my motivation for doing this trip solo and allowed myself to think no one wanted to go on this trip with me in the first place, which is why I went on the trip by myself. I know that’s not true, however at that moment it felt like the truth and those thoughts took some time to go away when I got back to Portland.

The Portland Inside Nashville

After I left that restaurant I went to a donut shop and was asking the employees about the city of Nashville. To my surprise, they were not happy with the amount of tourist and party animals Nashville brings in. I learned that Nashville was not the greatest with safety and didn’t use to be as trendy as it is now. It surprised the employees how people would hang out and visit certain parts of Nashville (East Nashville) which was known to be an unsafe area when they were growing up. That was the Portland inside Nashville, becoming more of a cool place to visit and live at the cost of the goodwill of some (or most… maybe all) locals. I was informed of some local coffee shops that do live music but I remember being told some of them were outside of Nashville. I knew there had to be a Portland vibe but not having a specific location made it challenging to find unless I was a local.

Would I Go Back?

Tennessee itself is a beautiful state and many locals told me about other cities such as Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Franklin. I would go back to Nashville but I don’t want to limit myself to that city.

Recommendation

Of course, if someone I know wants to go visit Nashville, I will pass along some of my favorite spots.

  • Thistle Farms- an ethical cafe and boutique employing women who were survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. (The yellow mustard scarf is from Thistle Farm)
  • Wild Cow & Sunflower Cafe- two vegan restaurants that have a plant-based twist on southern favorites. (Sunflower Cafe’s veggie wrap and chickpea salad 😋)(This was the Wild Cow special for that day I went)
  • The Well Coffee House- a coffee shop providing clean drinking water with every purchase of coffee you buy.
  • The Five Daughters Bakery- a Nashville local donut shop that makes their own unique donuts and they even have donuts for special diets (vegan and paleo donuts!!!).
  • Mikes- I went there twice! It’s an ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream and they have multiple flavors.(Firework show outside of Mikes)
  • The Americano Lounge- This was the last coffee I went to in Nashville. I sadly miss a chance to watch a live jazz concert but they do give tourist and maybe some locals a break from the loud party sense of Nashville and just enjoy some coffee, food, and jazz music.
  • Tennessee State Museum- it’s a free museum so no excuse in not go. It’s a good way to learn about the history of Tennessee
  • Old Town Trolley- the trolley bus is designed for tourist but it’s a good way to know downtown and be inner-city Nashville. Also, you discover a little about some local shops and eaters.

(Downtown Nashville. This is a historical building that’s also a hotel)

Uncategorized

A Day To Remember To Always Be Thankful

We remember to be thankfully for one day a year,

often we forget to be thankfully throughout the year.

This year really is no different I will admit,

however, I’m reminded of the things I have forgotten.

I’ve taken for granted of my security,

forgetting of those who live in fear for their safety and dignity.

I’ve taken for granted of my basic needs,

forgetting those who worked hard to create them for me.

I’ve taken for granted of my freedom,

forgetting of those who fought the good fight.

I’ve taken for granted of those of showed me care and kindness,

forgetting those moments when I feel forgotten.

This year, I remember those who live in fear,

being thankful for my security and praying for theirs.

This year I remember those who created my goodies,

being thankful for their hard work for my needs and wants.

This year I remember those before me,

being thankful for their hard work for my freedom today.

This year I remember those who showed me kindness,

being thankful that I am never forgotten.

This year I remember these things and remember to be thankful every day.

Slow Fashion, Uncategorized

First Month of No New Clothes Challenge.

My thoughts, research, and one minor new item in my closet. 

One thing I personally like to do is participate in a challenge. I challenge myself to eat plant-based and avoid sugar for a period of time (normally a month). I’ve also given up listening to music and social media for spiritual reasons. Giving up certain things and learning to live without them can bring some clarity and helps you to refocus on some things. For three months starting June 2018, I decided to not purchase any new clothing items.

This challenge was started by Fashion for Good, a company that is using their platform to promote good fashion practices. On their website they talk about the 5 Goods: Good Materials, Good Economy, Good Energy, Good Water and Good Lives. For the summer months, they challenge consumers to not pay new clothing items. No new first-hand clothing; use up what you have, borrow, swap, thrift, and refashion.

This challenge was not the hardest to participant in because it’s easy to not buy new clothes. The times I was upset about participating in this challenge was when some of my favorite Fair Trade clothing companies were having a special holiday sale. I did buy one new item from Susi Studio. Susi Studio is a vegan shoe company that makes their shoes from recycled water bottles and their shoes retail for $115-$135. They had a rare sale were a few items were only $24 and let me repeat that.

$135 PAIRS OF SHOES FOR $24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(These shoes were $135)

It was a no-brainer I had to get these pair of shoes. I only own one other pair and I got them for around $40 because it was a one-day sale for Cyber Monday.

Some reading and research: 

During this no new clothes challenge, I promise myself to study more on fast fashion and the impact it has by reading Overdress: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. In Cline’s book, she travels to the Dominican Republic to check out Alta Gracia, a garment factory owned and operated by an American company called Knights Apparel a producer of college logo clothing sold at universities. I did look up Knight Apparel and to see if they have references to their ethics and the website wasn’t allowing me to go anywhere but the homepage. Cline did say that “Knight supports the factory’s labor union and Worker Rights Consortium” (pg. 140).

  • Side note: I look up Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) and discovered it’s an independent labor rights monitoring organization to combat sweatshops and protect workers who work in garment factories and produce others goods. The organization was founded in 2000 when university administrators, students, and international labor rights experts discovered the truth of overseas factory workers. They wanted something better for clothing items that bear any university logo. WRC had 44 universities supports since starting and now they work 190 universities and are still growing! 🙂

Cline asks the production manager, Gemma Castro if huge brands such as Gap, Old Navy, American Eagle, and Calvin Klein would order from Alta Gracia’s. Castro said, “I don’t think so. This is a very different factory” (pg. 141). Castro said that big brands are strict about health and safety codes, local labor, and wage laws but these brands do not pay more than the legal minimum for the country they are in. “And most countries minimum wage is not enough for people to live decently.” (pg. 141).  This fact I knew for a while now. I knew big brands were using sweatshops and factories overseas because they want to pay the factory workers the legal but lowest cost possible. Sadly these companies are not held responsible for the conditions of the workers because they are far removed from the factory workers.

Big brand companies do send auditors to monitor the working condition of overseas factories but I personally believe it’s to help the individual company look like they are trying and from more research, I’m not totally wrong. According to Dara O’ Rourke (global supply chain expert at the University of California, Berkeley) said little has improved in monitoring factories overseas within the past 20 years. It’s an auditors job to check the safety of the factories and know the reports of employees being harassed.  Due to the pressures of monitoring many factories, auditors are checking off the boxes and ensuring the building is safe but are not fully aware of what is happening to the employees.

Conclusion

As I continue with my second month of this no new clothing challenge, I want to explode on my knowledge on understanding how factory workers are being treated, the harm fast fashion has on the environment, and also do some refashion projects to freshen up my wardrobe. Also, I will be sending some old clothing pieces to ThredUp and be looking into Postmark. Will I try to find some new second-hand goodies from a thrift store? Maybe… for now I will be wearing what I have, give away what I don’t want, and refashion what I want to keep. Here’s to a new month!

References:

Overdress: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

Fashion For Good: What Is Good? https://fashionforgood.com/who-we-are/what-is-good/

Workers Rights Consortium https://www.workersrights.org/

Fast and Flawed Inspections of Factories Abroad by By Stephanie Clifford and Steven Greenhouse.

Uncategorized

My Faith and Living Sustainably

How my faith has inspired me to live a sustainable and eco-caution life.

Growing up in a conservative faith-based home, caring for the environment was not a focus or really a thing. I knew the importance of keeping trash out of the highway because it’s gross and I knew from school to recycle paper but that was it. I was not too worried about environmental care but something happened in my late teens/early adulthood- I was realizing caring for the environment was caring for God’s creation. My thought was always, “you go into someone’s home, you don’t make a mess because that’s rude. We shouldn’t make a mess of God’s creation and damage it because He created it and that’s rude.” I started to recycle more, brought my own coffee cup to coffee shops, learned about the environmental impact food has and stayed a vegetarian for that reason, and I slowly transitioned myself to consume less waste.

Why do Christians not care about environmental issues? At least Conservative Evangelicals? Most would say “Because the earth will end so why bother?” I’ve also heard from others that said, “People are more important than environmental issues.” However, Scripture talks about God’s love for His creations and commands His people to be stewards of this earth and God gave us enough means to live off of. In Genesis 1, God calls His creation good seven times and in Genesis 2:15, God commands Adam in the Garden of Eden to take care of it. Within the first two chapters of the Bible, it was God’s original plan to care for His creation.

God even commanded the Israelites to care for land in Leviticus 25 by sowing the field, pruning the vineyards, and letting the land rest for a year. The Psalms are also filled with God’s love for the environment. All of Psalms 104 is about His love for the foundation of the earth, the process of the grass growing, the trees being flourishing, and so much more.

There are many more verses about God’s love for the environment and I believe God loves His land as much as His people because He created both. Sadly, with the rise of trash and chemicals being used, we as a culture have not been mindful of the environmental impact. This has caused the air to become more toxic, water has become unclean, the soil is becoming less healthy, and individuals are becoming sick because of these results. Do I believe the earth will end? Yes. Is caring for the environment still important? Yes. Like issues such feeding the hungry, caring for the widow and orphan, care for the environment is caring for God’s people. If you want to give your neighbor food or water, shouldn’t it be clean? Shouldn’t your neighbor have clean air to beath?

Living sustainably is living with less waste and it includes using natural material from the earth (the goodies God created). It is also living within our means like the Israelites were doing in Exodus 16:4, “”I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.” I know I am not living 100% sustainable and “zero waste” lifestyle and I do not believe that lifestyle is always possible. However, I know I can reduce my waste and carbon footprint by using the items I have, using natural materials and products, and choosing to buy less stuff that will be thrown away later. I can also produce less carbon emission by driving less, turning off the water faucet, and knowing the environmental impact of my daily items.

Some of the ways I live sustainably:

  • Bringing my own reusable cup and bottle
  • Skipping the plastic bag (I use paper bags and reuse them, I bring my own, or just go without a bag at all)
  • Bring a cloth towel as a napkin
  • Bring my own silverware into the staff room
  • Reuse plastic baggies (I do clean it and I don’t have to use as many plastic bags, therefore, the plastic bag will go in the landfill slower)
  • Walk or bus if possible
  • Creating my own products with little waste as possible
  • Reuse containers from food or beauty products (I clean them and I reuse food containers with food and beauty containers with beauty products)
  • If I want a food order to-go, I’ll work to order the food for “here” and transfer my food into my own Tupperware or containers
  • Buy upcycle
  • Buy second-hand
  • Buy clothing that is ethically sourced (the materials they use have to use energy used to make it).

Conclusion

God wants us to live off His land and care for His creation (Genesis 2:15 reference again). If you encounter comments like, “God can destroy the earth if He wants” or “People are more important than the environment.” don’t get into a debate but turn the conversations to wanting clean air and water for everyone. We all want clean air, water, soil, and a healthy earth. That is a basic human right that everyone deserves and I don’t believe most people will disagree.

Educate yourself and take action to reduces carbon emission, reduce waste, and find ways you can help the environment as one person and as a community. There are a lot of ways to go about this issue. Ride your bike, drive less, bring a reusable cup, buy second-hand, buy eco-friendly/natural products, have your church plant trees, etc. There are more things I can list off but I will let you decide how you want to go about this issue.

Lastly do not feel shameful about past waste and carbon emission you produced. I was not aware and caring about my waste and living sustainably for most of my life. Know that the small things can make a difference and it can help inspire others in your community to do the same.

We have done our damage to this earth that God has given us but does not mean the damage can’t be reversed and we should just give up and not think to care. Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,” (Matthew 7:12). I will interpret that to also mean caring for the environment is caring for your brothers and sisters health and well being. If you want clean air, water, and food, why shouldn’t others have the same thing?