OOTD - Style Imitating Art has returned!

...actually, SIA never left.  The other bloggers that participate have just continued blogging even while I took that first trimester hiatus, as they should have.  But, since I've returned to documenting my outfits every so often, I thought I'd jump back in with an SIA post of my own.  Jess of Animated Cardigan chose a beautiful piece for this round:

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, by John William Waterhouse 
Oil on canvas, 1905 
To go along with this amazing piece of art is a stanza of a poem that the piece takes its name from:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a'flying,
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

I honestly wish I could copy this outfit piece for piece, from the floral embellished gown and golden arm cuffs, to the bejeweled hairpiece above her shoulders.  I also wanted to play on that poem, and that idea of youth's transience and fading beauty.  In a way, I did what I could with my limited wardrobe choices!

And, this outfit did make me think of other transient things, namely fashion trends (I know, I'm so deep, right?).  But really, when my children grow up, and find out that their mommy had a fashion blog, they'll look back on all these outfits I picked out and either love them or hate them.  "Geez, mom.  A maxi dress, really?  With a vest?  How 2010's could you have been?"  This is, of course, right before they take off on their hoverboards while wearing their futuristic silver plastic jackets and levitating shoes!  Good thing I love the clothes I pick for myself, and besides, who wouldn't love the floral detail on this vintage vest from the 70's?

OMG, flowers!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Old Navy Maternity, $12 (clearance)
Vest: vintage via Cheap Thrills, $3 (clearance)
Earrings: Greenola Style, free via giveaway
Shoes: thrifted, $3
Grand Total: $18

Be sure to visit Jess's blog tomorrow!  There'll be a whole group of ladies putting their own take on the chosen piece of art, and you won't want to miss it!

Fair Trade Friday - Link Round-Up

Happy Friday, everybody!  After yesterday's musings, I thought I'd follow up by sharing some companies that are spreading light and love in our world, or are otherwise good for this globe that we live on.  Ready?  Here goes!

Noonday Collection - Noonday Collection is awesome!  They began as a way for their founder, Jessica Honegger, to raise funds to adopt their son from Uganda, and the support and demand for her lovely products grew way beyond just one fundraiser!  After her son, Jack, came home in 2011, she continued growing this business with a partner offering ambassador opportunities.  Her vision was "The desire for women in the US to earn an income while creating pathways out of poverty for the vulnerable"  (from their about page).  And what accomplishment this company has become!  They offer beautiful accessories, as evidenced by their fall lookbook that was just released yesterday, while giving you the opportunity to support people in need in Ethiopia, Ecuador, and Uganda.  Plus, they offer the opportunity for you to host your own trunk shows, so you can tell all your friends about this amazing company while having the opportunity to either earn free merchandise, or donate a portion of your sales to financially help a family going through the adoption process.  I'd have hard time deciding what I'd like to bring home, with these items being my favorites:

Kampala Necklace
Rushing Waters Necklace
Peruvian Bangle
Johari Creations - I've been following Lindsy's blog, Light Breaks Forth, for a while now.  She writes about family, her adoption journey, and her Savior, and is always a great addition to my reading list.  She's also the co-founder of Johari Creations, an online store that offers handcrafted products made by artisans in developing countries around the world.   She recently wrote a great blog post, introducing their new Urban Bengali Collection of jewelry and also highlighting so many reasons why supporting fair trade commerce is so great.  In her words: "...the women who make it….These women have my a piece of my heart.  They have left prostitution and escaped trafficking to seek a new way of life. Through the dignified work of our Bangladeshi partner Basha, the women gain job skills and the opportunity to develop into leaders and entrepreneurs in a healthy, healing environment.  Do you remember when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh last year killing 1,133 people? Rana Plaza is only miles away from our artisans, yet the working conditions could not be more different.  With this juxtaposition so geographically close, I have to ask, which are we supporting? Which am I supporting? Because each of us has not only a choice but a powerful voteAs the richest women on the planet, our wallets  are megaphones for the type of working conditions we desire for our sisters around the world."  Plus, the jewelry is as beautiful as the women that make it.  Be sure to check out all of Johari Creation's other products as well!

Urban Bengali Earrings
Urban Bengali Bracelet
Urban Bengali Necklace
(Also, as I said, Lindsy is a prospective adoptive parent.  She is in the process of adopting a beautiful little girl, Glory, from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  However, the president of the DRC has halted all international adoptions, leaving Glory and 800 other children in 'stuck' adoptions.  They have families waiting for them, but can't come home, and could be at risk for sickness or death from preventable causes such as malaria and malnutrition while they're in limbo.  There is a White House petition available to ask our President to confer with President Kabila of the DRC and ask him to lift this ban on international adoptions. I'd like to ask you to consider adding your support and signature to the petition before August 23rd, as you feel led!  I'd love to see these children have a chance to be united with these families eagerly waiting for them.)

Online Maternity Consignment - Okay, so this is not actually a fair trade category.  However, a very large portion of our waste in this country is textile waste.  The average American discards about 65 pounds of textiles each year, which translates to 11 million TONS of waste (source).  That can't be good for the current or future living conditions on this globe we call home.  All that trash has to go somewhere!  If you've ever wondered why I love shopping thrift and consignment stores, this is it!  Not to mention you can find items for dramatically less than the retail price.  The higher the demand for resale clothing, and the more people that know about the opportunity to donate or consign their clothes, the less waste.  And since I've been in the market for maternity clothes, which I'll really only wear for a few months, finding items at a low cost has been a priority in my shopping habits lately.  Here's a few resources I've found while scanning the web:

ThredUP - I've talked about ThredUP before.  They offer resale children's and women's clothes in like-new condition for dramatically less than you'd pay in the store.  And while they do have a great selection of maternity clothes, that's not all they offer!  They have a whole section dedicated to high-end brands, as well as designer handbags and shoes.  Plus, if you're a first time customer, they offer a $10 shopping credit to get you started.  Just follow the link I provided to get that credit.  (Another great non-maternity site for brand-name resale is Twice, who also offers a $10 credit to first-time shoppers.  They're also offering 20% off through the 10th with the code BACK2SCHOOL!)

Swap.com - Swap is awesome!  They have a bunch of kid's items, such as clothes, equipment, movies, sports equipment, and toys, all for way less than retail.  Items start at about $3, and will always be a better deal than buying that same item new.  In fact, as I was browsing their site, it looked like a lot of the toys were actually brand new in the box, so you're really getting a chance to find new items for a steal!  Plus, they have a great selection of maternity clothes at very reasonable prices.  They even offer free shipping for your first order!

Motherhood Closet - I actually ran across this site while browsing through a 'Maternity Outfits' search on Pinterest.  A few lovely bloggers had posted about these beautiful maternity clothes they had found for a bargain, and I had to check out the site!  They offer brands on any end of the spectrum, whether Gap and Old Navy, or Japanese Weekend and True Religion.  They also have a few different shopping options right now, whether buying by piece, or with a Grab Bag sale that offers 5 maternity pieces starting at $50 for all of them.  Or, you even have the option to borrow clothes!  Since you really only wear maternity for a short time anyways, this is a great way to temporarily expand your wardrobe and save a bit of money in the process.  All in all, this site is a great resource for anyone expecting.  Even if you personally aren't, be sure to pass the word along to friends!

Are there any fair trade companies you'd like to see featured?  Or even categories, i.e. companies carrying kid's clothes, formal dresses, cute shoes, or even fair trade foods?  Let me know in the comments, and I'll feature a blog post with fair trade items per your requests!

OOTD - Black and White, and other musings

I really want to talk about something more than clothes today.  For some reason, my brain has decided that everything important that I'm usually too busy and preoccupied to think about needs to come to the surface right now.  For example: this morning, when woken up by thunderstorms at 4 am, my mind decided to mull over the links between the rape culture that's so prevalent in our world, and especially our country, and how that ties into misogyny, objectification of women, and an article I read about casual sex where one is putting physical wants above that of your partner's needs, along with the human trafficking epidemic.  That's a lot to have swirling around in a noggin in the wee hours of the morning!  Top that off with a conversation with a friend today where we discussed how she has such a hard time believing there's a God when such horrible things are allowed to happen in our world, and my not having any better answer than, "I don't know, even though I believe in a good God, I don't understand that, and struggle with it too.  People can just be evil, and our world is broken."  As amazing as conversations like that are, they leave me exhausted.  I wish I understood why evil exists, but I don't.  I wish I had the answers, energy, and resources that could stop human beings from being sold as a commodity.  I wish for heaven, and for God to restore our world.

Romans 8:20-23New Living Translation (NLT)

"20 Against its will {thanks to Satan's deceiving Adam and Eve (my words)} , all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us."
I don't have all the answers today, and won't until either I reach heaven or Christ comes back (whichever happens first!), but even if I can't make everything clear-cut like I want it to be, I can pick out my clothes. At least one thing today is in black and white.

21 Weeks!
Outfit Details:
Shirt: JC Penney, $5 (clearance)
Blue Tank (underneath): Motherhood Maternity, $8
Skirt: maternity, free via clothing swap
Earrings: gifted
Necklace: free via clothing swap
Shoes: Michael Kors, thrifted, $4
Grand Total: $17

It's Official!