OOTD - In the Mix

We have some random little visitors in our neighborhood.  Some are cuddly:

Some, not so much:

Yes, that's a giant snapping turtle walking down my street....
It's a nice little mix of wildlife.  So, I decided to do some mixing of my own:

Stripes and polka dots seem to go together a lot better than kittens and snapping turtles.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: JC Penney, $5
Skirt: Gap Outlet, $11 (clearance)
Necklace: Body Central, $4
Shoes: Charlotte Russe, $10 (old)
Headband: don't recall

Grand Total: $30

Fair Trade Friday - Red Thread Movement

I'm about to make your morning a little harder, and I'm sorry about that.  But, there's a huge issue in our modern world today, one that I've mentioned before.  It's so glaringly huge, and impossible to keep silent once you know about it, yet it receives little to no media attention.  Human Trafficking and modern day slavery is a horrible fact, and as a professing Christian, I am compelled to share that fact with you.  I cannot let people trapped in a voiceless position just suffer while I keep silent.  Here are 10 facts from a great company's website (more on them in a second!) about trafficking in our world today:

More people are in slavery today than at the height of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Kevin Bales; Free the Slaves).
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (United States Department of Health and Human Resources).

Human trafficking is the world's 2nd largest criminal enterprise behind narcotics (U.S. State Department).

There are 20.9 million people in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world (Trafficking in Persons Report, 2012).

Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are female... up to 50% are minors  (U.S. State Department).

Child trafficking is an over $12 billion a year industry, with over 2 million victims (UNICEF).

The average age of entry into the sex trade industry is 13 years old  (U.S. Department of Justice).

There are nearly 300,000 children at risk every year  for commercial sexual exploitation (U.S. Department of Justice).

An estimated 100,000 minors are in the commercial sex trade in the United States alone (Polaris Project).

By age 16, approximately 60% of Nepalese girls in the brothels in Mumbai have contracted HIV (K.I.NEPAL).

The numbers are staggering.  I am at a loss as to how to process some of these figures through my mind.  And it almost seems like too big an injustice to take on.  But thankfully, God is working through so many amazing people and companies to combat this evil.  The company I'd like to share with you today is called the Red Thread Movement, and they are doing amazing things.  On top of that, they're offering some amazing products for sale on their website, the proceeds of which help to support girls in Nepal that have been rescued from this life.

RTM Red Thread Bracelet

This is the original bracelet.  This little red woven bracelet serves three functions:

1. Provides a Fair Trade income for the rescued girls who weave the bracelets.

2. Additional proceeds fund anti-trafficking border units and safe houses through the work of a Nepalese NGO, K.I. NEPAL.

3. Wearing the bracelet generates awareness and proclaims sex trafficking as a human rights' crime.

I really love this photo from the company's website showing how they're woven:

There's more than just bracelets available too!  This next one's my favorite:

RTM Chiffon/Cotton Tank
I swear, I am always on the hunt for a great drapey tank top, and this one is perfect.  It's a nice light cotton, with a great chiffon back available in three different prints.  Plus, it's only $18!  If you ever want to get me a present... ahem, *cough cough, mr. hubby* this would be a good idea.

RTM Free Her necklace
This last little necklace is actually made by girls in another country, Mongolia, that have likewise been rescued from a life they most likely didn't choose for themselves.  And the simple phrase on the pendant, "Free Her," speaks volumes to what Red Thread Movement's products are trying to do!

There are even more lovely products available in RTM's shop, so the next time the shopping bug hits (and for me, that's all the time!), check out their products!

For more information and resources concerning human trafficking, try these other organizations:

Thrifted Peplum - A little DIY

So, after working on my sewing skills lately, I've decided to try my hand at a little DIY tutorial for you guys!  If you're like me and loving the peplum trend lately (check out this pin), why not try your hand at making yourself a top out of a $5 thrift store dress?  The end result may end up looking something like this:

Excuse the angry look on my face, I completely forgot how hard it is to keep my balance in these shoes!  Plus, I had a small audience distracting me:

Anyways, here's what you'll need:

1 fitted sheath dress with a back zipper.  It needs to fit through the bust area, since that will remain intact.

Coordinating thread, scissors, and a sewing machine.  You know, sewin' stuff.

1. Pick out a dress to use.  Like I said, the top is going to stay intact, so make sure that fits.  This one is just a drawing, since I didn't think ahead to take pictures of the original project!

The dress I chose was too tight in the hip area, which was perfect, since I was going to be cutting that part off anyways.

2. Before you start cutting, you're going to want to shorten the zipper so it doesn't come undone when you cut off the bottom.  Find your natural waist and mark on the back zipper where that hits.  Then forward and back stitch right over that mark on the zipper, making sure to use a longer stitch so you don't break your needle on the zipper!

3. Next, you're going to start cutting!  Measure 1" below the natural waist to allow for a seam allowance, and cut off the bottom portion of the dress.

4. Use your seam ripper to take out any stitching left in the skirts (i.e. darts, side seams, hem), and then cut the skirt in half widthwise.

5. Take those rectangles of fabric, and sew them together on the shorter sides, right sides together, into a 'tube'.

6. Take your 'tube' and pin it to your bodice, right sides together.  Be sure to line up the side seams of the bodice with the two side seams of the 'tube.' 

7. Now take all that extra fabric and start pleating from the middle until the extra fabric is all lined up with the bodice.  Once it's all pinned, sew along the pleated side.  Go slow to ensure the pleats stay flat and you don't sew over a pin!

8. Turn it right side out, press the pleats, press and hem the bottom, and you're done (just like the picture says!).  And then, enjoy your new peplum top!

Outfit Details:
Top: DIY'ed from thrifted dress, $5
Skirt: DIY, tutorials here
Shoes: thrifted, $6
Necklace and Earrings: DIY, $3 for materials (similar ones for sale here)
Bracelet: $1 Jewelry Galore (old)

Grand Total: $15

Feel free to comment or e-mail me with any questions!

Kidlet Style - Girlie Girls

One of my girls' favorite places is their Gramma and Poppop's house, so we headed over there a few days ago for a little summer fun.  I'm pretty sure they enjoyed themselves.


There's only one baby allowed in this house!

I think she's about done for today....
And what got her all tuckered out?  Here's a guess:

Outfit Details for Big A:
Dress: Xhiliaration, $4.50
Shoes: M.I.A., $5.50

Outfit Details for Little A:
Dress: Genuine Kids, $1.00 (clearance)

Grand Total: $11

The Dollar Clearance sale has officially started up at our local Once Upon a Child, so come in and take advantage of the great deals.  I mean, come on, it's all a dollar!!

OOTD - Goin' Green

Can I just say, I love centering an outfit around one accessory?  The only thing more fun than that is centering it around TWO accessories!  The post title definitely references the pants (I mean, they're hard to miss!), but also calls attention to my earrings and sandals, from the socially conscious companies Greenola and Sseko Designs, respectively.  Not only are they doing great things across the globe, but their items are super cute as well!

Outfit Details:
Top: JC Penney, $5 (clearance)
Jeans: JC Penney, $15 (clearance)
Necklace: $1 Jewelry Galore (old)
Earrings: Greenola, won in giveaway
Sandals: Sseko Designs, feat. the Arrowhead Tie, $49
Nails: Sinful Colors in Midnight Blue (105), $2

Grand Total: $71