Ah, Spring. Fresh flowers, birds singing, actually leaving the house and going outside (because it’s not freezing cold).. what’s not to love?!
I love the turn of seasons that Spring brings, and I love another tradition about this time of year- Spring Cleaning! Not only is it a great way to get organized- it’s a great way to detox.
When it comes to shopping for a formal occasion like a friend’s wedding, a gala (if you’re about that life), or even just a birthday dinner, it’s a little hard to find ethical options. This is why I’m so excited to share Lace & Scone with you- a truly unique brand that makes being ethical and giving back fun and luxurious.
The Detox Series is a project that focuses on detoxing a different aspect of life each month of 2017. It was born out of a desire to actually follow through on my resolutions this year by aligning around one goal- Detox. January’s topic? Detoxing your mind.
I have a lot of stuff. It’s no secret. My closet is overflowing, and I have a really hard time getting rid of kitchen and beauty products that I’m honestly never going to use – the “just in case” mindset. Since switching toward a sustainable lifestyle last year, I’ve found I am incorporating more and more minimalist approaches and mindset into my routines.
That’s why I was super excited when I got the opportunity to review “The Art of Simple Living,” Minimalist Lifestyle Blogger Olivia Young’s brainchild. It’s a course on simple living- aka minimalism. I love that Liv focuses on the benefits simplicity has brought to her own life. It makes minimalism seem much more approachable and attainable.
This year, I’m doing resolutions differently. Instead of a list I probably won’t follow through on, I’m focusing on one goal for the year- Detox. In all different aspects of my life. With the holiday stress and new year craziness, I've decided to first start with detoxifying my mind.
It's no secret that stress can have a big impact on so many parts of our lives, notably our health. High, uncontrolled stress can be linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Plus, it affects our every day. I have a lot of trouble managing stress, so it manifests in headaches, stomach aches, fatigue, sleep problems and more.
It's so easy for me to feel completely overwhelmed with everything going around me, and in the past I've tried all the common stress-management techniques. And though a good workout or yoga session or getting more sleep do absolutely help a ton, it was always hard for me to stick with these solutions as I didn't always see a direct, lasting impact on my stress level.
Enter mindfulness and meditation. Like many others, I didn't always think these two m-words were for me. They conjured up images of pretending to escape (or actually escaping) to a remote mountain, emptying your mind of anything and everything to somehow be spiritually elevated past the craziness and unnecessary stress of the world. And though that sounded great in theory, I could never- and still can't- see my overactive brain becoming completely empty of thought.
I now know my perception of meditation and mindfulness was dead wrong. It's not about emptying your mind and escaping. I would argue it's about doing the opposite- being fully aware and present in your world.
I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I’ve got a list rattling around my brain with a common green theme. Before I tell you what my specific resolutions are, I want to share why I’m going in a direction of sustainability so intentionally this year…
I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t always been interested in sustainability or the environment. In fact, as a high school student I went out of my way to not be identified with anything too “green.” I had this misconception that environmental advocates must always care more for the planet than for people. I thought there was some sort of gap between social justice and environmental care and that I could only care about one of those two issues.
Oh was I wrong.
Looking for unique gifts and out of ideas? Last minute shopper that can’t be bothered with the crowds and craziness of actually leaving your house to holiday shop? Want to feel good about the gifts you're giving?
Look no further- this curated gift guide is for you! I’ve combed through Amazon and handpicked prime eligible items you can order from your couch and get with two day shipping! #ProcrastinatorsUnite
Haven’t tried Prime yet? Check out free two day shipping on all items, access to a ton of video content, and more with Prime here!
Stars like Jennifer Aniston (favorite color Bombshell) and Christina Aguilera swear by LipSense, a waterproof, cruelty free, and vegan lipstick. I'm pretty low maintenance with make-up- I definitely love getting dolled up every now and then, but on a typical day, my style shines through my outfits rather than my lippy. I used to find pretty much any lip product I tried messy and drying. They would smear, get on my teeth, and my lips would get dry and chapped within 30 minutes of applying. I also hated keeping up with constantly reapplying!
Enter LipSense. This lipstick claimed to be smudge free, but I was skeptical. As I saw more and more people I knew try and love this product, I got curious. So, when I was invited to a trial party to munch on cheese and crackers and try on this elusive lippy, I naturally had to go! (and drag my beauty guru roomie with me ;) ).
Something for Everyone on Your List (featuring 14 Local, Sustainable, and Ethical Small Businesses to Love)
We’ve got some big days coming up. Tomorrow, we don the stretchiest waistbands we own, spend some quality time with family and friends (and food), and reflect on our blessings.
But starting Friday, we enter the biggest shopping weekend of the year. In 2015, 74.2 million shoppers shopped on Friday (35 million shopped on Thanksgiving itself), spending over $100 million- and that’s just in store. Not to mention that there have been 7 DEATHS and 98 injuries from the craziness that ensues around the same holiday that is all about gratitude.
Let’s be honest- who doesn’t love the feeling of scoring a great deal this season?! Especially when you’ve got a huge gift list to fill. And while the stats I just mentioned are truly alarming and saddening, there is another way to participate in this weekend while doing some good- conscious consumerism.
We all know about the incredible deals big brands will have this weekend – but they don’t always have the best ethical record. What if we use the power or our dollars to support local, ethical, small businesses that are doing their part to make a positive impact on their community and the world? I’ve connected with some really great people in Minnesota to bring you this shopping guide, full of local, small businesses, and deals that you won’t want to miss- all in one place!
Try eShakti for yourself and get 10% off your purchase 11/21/2016 – 12/29/2016 with promo code “sameenabemat.”
Combine with $30 + free customization with your first purchase by signing up via eShakti’s website, and their current Thanksgiving site wide coupon for $15 off ending 11/24 for more savings!
Have you ever fallen in love with a dress at your favorite store or snagged an amazing tee online, only to realize it doesn’t fit quite right at home?? I’m really bad at talking myself into buying or keeping these pieces, thinking “I’ll make it work!” But more often than not, the piece ends up at the back of my closet, never worn, taunting me with my bad decision every time I do catch a glimpse of it. #rude
And when it can take more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture ONE cotton t-shirt and a pair of jeans, not to mention the additional footprint of shipping, washing, and chemicals used to dye clothes, an unused piece of clothing doesn’t seem so harmless – and is definitely not sustainable.
Definitely the biggest change that comes from shopping conventional, fast fashion to sustainable style is the STICKER SHOCK. Makes sense, since fast fashion has driven the cost of our favorite trends way down. But, as you read on my intro post, the true cost is much greater.
Why cheap fashion has a deadlier cost
To be honest, though the price tags were really low, my fast fashion habit was making me go broke!
Shopping was my hobby. I always clicked on the offers in my inbox, and used my “loyal customer” discounts religiously. Of course, I had to keep adding to cart to make the shipping minimum… and go over it. I got such a rush from my multiple steals in the clearance sections at the mall, but those small purchases added up. Plus, I can now admit that I didn’t come home always loving everything I bought in my frenzy to not pass up on a good deal.
I had equated browsing, shopping, and buying constantly with fashion. Now, I’m doing things a little differently. Fashion is once again about versatility, story, and art for me- it’s once again about style.