Fashion Friday: What to Wear to a Record Shop

Happy Friday!

While I posted for Black Friday and Giving Tuesday, it’s been a while since I’ve really written anything. This semester has been unusually difficult both academically and in my personal life but I’m excited to be approaching break and to celebrate the holidays with my family.

Last month I had the opportunity to shoot with Caitlin Verette. She was a blast to shoot with and I loved getting to chat with her about life and running a small business. Caitlin is based in Colorado Springs and also does wedding photography so if you are looking for a photographer, I can’t recommend her work enough!

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The first half of our shoot took place at the cutest local record shop. It was so fun to browse the music in between taking photos. I found some original DC Talk CDs and now I’m kind of regretting not getting them…but not really because I have no way to play CDs.

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My bag is from Wilder Bag, the most amazing vintage shop owned by another awesome female entrepreneur, Stephanie Yu. She has collections at Pikes Peak Market and Eclectic Company which are both in Downtown Colorado Springs.

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Sweater: Local thrift shop, Skirt: *ThredUp, Purse Wilder Bag

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Giving Tuesday: 4 Great Places to Give if you Live in Colorado (Or Anywhere)

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to kicking off the holiday season by giving. You’ve probably seen various organizations’ campaigns asking for donations or heard that Facebook is matching donations up to 7 million (which they hit by 7am this morning). Everyone has causes that are near to their heart and today I’m sharing mine.  If you connect with any of them feel free to give or share the causes you are giving to today in the comments!

The Exodus Road I have had the privilege of interning for The Exodus Road for the past year. They work to find and free slaves in SE Asia, Latin America, and the USA. Today they are trying to raise $165,000 and all gifts given today will be TRIPLED. Another great way to give to TER is through their store which is full of beautiful fair trade products that not only help their mission but also provided dignified employment to either survivors or individuals at risk of trafficking.

Unite Ministries is a new ministry dedicated to uniting churches across Colorado Springs. They host quarterly worship nights (the next one is on November 30 at the World Prayer Center). I am so excited about how God will use this ministry and the young people who founded it in my city.

Life Network provides support, resources, and education to young parents, counseling to parents who are grieving after an abortion, and education on healthy relationships and safe sex to highschool students in the Pikes Peak region. I love their holistic approach to being pro-life and that they fight for the health of the whole family and whole community.

Dressember is a month-long advocacy and fundraising challenge that officially kicks off on December 1. 2018 is the second year that I will be wearing a dress every day of December and I can’t wait. All of the money donated to Dressember will be given in grants to their partners. This year they are partnering with IJM, A21, McMahon-Ryan, Restore, Pathfinders, Best, Youth Spark, Cast, and Olive Crest, Thorn, Love146, and Saving Innocence.

Are you giving today? What organizations are you passionate about? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Make Thanksgiving Weekend Count: Where I’m Shopping this Year

Black Friday has been getting a bad rap in the past few years and for good reason. As a nation we devote an entire day to excessive consumption immediately after spending a day (supposedly) practicing gratitude and at the beginning of an entire season that should be centered around community, generosity, and gratitude. That said, Black Friday isn’t all bad. Businesses have to make a profit and my family has benefitted from the opportunity to save a lot of money on both necessary and enjoyable things. The key to doing Black Friday well is our attitude and purpose going into it. Are we mindful of the things that we truly need and will bring joy to our lives? Or are we just shopping because everything’s cheap? Black Friday is no different from any other day of the year in that we need to be mindful of the impact our consumption has on others and the ways we can either honor or further marginalize the people involved in creating the life we are accustomed to in the western world.

This Black Friday I challenge you to shop some sales but also try to do good with your shopping. To help you with that I’ve compiled a list of companies that are working to change consumption culture, including Black Friday. Some have sales, some don’t but all have amazing products that are guaranteed to be huge hits as Christmas gifts or super fun for yourself.

REI: Love the outdoors? Rei has amazing products for every outdoor activity. Don’t try shopping there the day after Thanksgiving though because their #OptOutside campaign is designed to encourage people to get out of consumerism and into nature.

Everlane: Ethically made, high-quality basics abound at Everlane. I’ve been drooling over their #damngooddenim. The best part? All of their profits from Black Friday will be used to start a farm that will provide two meals every day to the workers who create that denim as part of their Black Friday Fund.

Able: Stylish shoes and to-die-for leather bags made with ethical leather and beautiful jewelry made by individuals overcoming poverty in Nashville. This Friday their entire site is 30% off with the code ABLE30 and they offer free shipping for purchases over $49.

The Exodus Road: Beautiful gifts and products that are helping to fight human trafficking? Not only is everything in The Exodus Road’s shop made by people rescued from or at risk for HT it is supporting TER’s fight against trafficking by helping them fund nights of investigation to rescue trafficking victims. On Black Friday-Cyber Monday they have free shipping on all orders using the code shippingfreedom

*ThredUp: Y’all, I’m obsessed with ThredUp. Everything is in super great shape, and way cheaper than buying it new. It’s my favorite. There are no sales specifically for Black Friday but be sure to check them out for gifts or holiday clothes!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

What I Brought Back from El Salvador

Every piece of clothing has a story. From the farm where the fibers are grown to the factory where the clothing is sewn together to the retail store where you buy it so many hands and lives have touched and been touched by the clothes you wear. That’s why I love slow fashion. I love knowing that the clothes I wear benefitted the people who came in contact with them and I love knowing those people’s stories. On our last day in El Salvador, we went to a local market to do some shopping. While the experience was a bit overshadowed by meeting my sponsored child earlier in the day, that didn’t totally cancel out how cool the experience was.

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I got to speak to the woman who hand embroidered this blouse. Knowing the stories of the people who made my clothes is amazing, actually getting to talk to them even more so.

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These shoes were made in one of Compassion El Salvador’s income generation projects. Income generation is part of how the Youth Development Program is replacing the Leadership Development Program so that more students are able to continue their education after highschool. You can read more about it in my post Compassion El Salvador 2018 Day 1: The Country Office and Home Visits. Currently, the students are making the shoes entirely by hand which isn’t very scalable. If the centers could scale the production of the shoes they could break into wholesale markets, and sell internationally but to do that they need two machines that cost $20,000 each. When I visited the country office I was inspired to fundraise and help them buy these machines. It’s been a little while but it’s finally ready! I worked with the awesome Grace Rouse to design a tshirt and it’s available on Bonfire. I don’t know if we can get to $20,000 or $40,000 but I do know that I serve an amazing God who can do anything He wants.

I would so so appreciate if you would share this and buy one if the shirts and/or the mission strike your fancy! You can get to the campaign page right here!

Much love,

Maizy

 

 

The Dress I Couldn’t Wait to Post About

I bought this dress in May. When I roadtripped to visit my best friend in Dallas we decided to go to Waco and Houston together and visited Mercy House Global’s Big Red Barn. Y’all they had some really cute stuff (and still do, the fall line is to die for) including some dresses from Elegantees. I ended up getting the Riley dress from their kid’s line because I’m basically the size of a child and it was $20 cheaper (keepin it real). And then I got home and realized it was really short so I decided to just put it away and wait until I could wear it with tights in the fall. 3.5 months is a long time to wait when you’re really excited about the dress you just bought but fall is finally here and I can’t wait to live in this outfit until next May.

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Dress: Eden by Elegantees, shop their dresses in adult sizes here, Shoes: Target (Sold out) similarsimilar

Have you every bought something you had to wait months for the right season to wear? Or am I crazy? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

 

DIY Floral Applique Skirt

I love love love the floral embroidery trend. Skirts, jeans, jackets, it’s all super cute. The best part about the trend is that it is a super easy way to upcycle something you already have in your closet. I recently upcycled a pair of jeans using *these appliques so I’ve decided to show you the process on a skirt I’ve been wanting to change up.

For this project you will need:

  • Floral appliques or patches I used *these ones
  • Needle and thread to match your appliques
  • scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • *Fabric glue would also be useful. I didn’t have any when I did this project but I would recommend it.

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Step 1. Gather and prep your supplies

The floral appliques I bought come in a pack of two but I cut them apart so I had four.

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Step 2. Lay the appliques out and make sure you like how it looks.

Play around with this, look up inspiration pictures and make sure you really love it.

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Step 3. Pin (and/or glue) everything down.

Once you have everything how you want it, make sure it won’t move around using pins or fabric glue.

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Step 4. Sew it all onto the skirt.

Depending on the type of appliques you might be able to use a sewing machine or you might just opt to use permanent fabric glue. Personally, I trust needle and thread more than glue so I sewed mine down. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use my machine on the applique I chose. If you end up in the same boat as me, I recommend spreading this out, and watching a movie because it is a long, tedious, process to make sure you have it stitched down in enough spots to make sure it won’t gape or move around.

What do you think of the floral applique trend? Are you going to try this DIY? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Compassion El Salvador 2018 Day 1: The Country Office and Home Visits

Out of the three-ish days we spent exploring the country of El Salvador and learning about Compassion programs, the most impactful for me was the day we visited the national office and a new center in San Salvador. The national office is full of passionate, intelligent people who are using their gifts to break cycles of poverty, exploitation, and marginalization that have been affecting their communities for generations. We had the opportunity to hear from several directors of various programs but listening to the directors of the youth development and income generation programs was especially exciting to me because those are already areas that I am passionate about and pursuing a career in.

The youth development program (YDP) was developed by Compassion in conjunction with closing down the leadership development program (LDP). Formerly, students would graduate from the child development program (CDP) at 18 years old and only those who showed the most potential would have the opportunity to enter the LDP and be matched with a sponsor to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher. The YDP extends the benefits of the LDP to more students, allowing them to stay in the CDP until the age of 22 (except in a few countries where military service is mandatory at 18). Students in the YDP receive discipleship, mentorship, and opportunities to be involved in sports, music training, as well as higher education whether that be in a trade or a university degree. The YDP benefits students starting at the age of 12 until they graduate from the program. All but one of my sponsored children is over the age of 15 so it is exciting for me to see Compassion working to provide opportunities to more students than would have been possible with the LDP.

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These shoes were made in one of Compassion’s income-generation workshops. I bought the pink pair!

One of the downfalls of the LDP was the high cost of sponsorship. LDP sponsorship is significantly more than the $38 to sponsor a child in the CDP and so significantly fewer people could afford to sponsor a leadership development student. The cost of higher education hasn’t gone down so in order to cover the difference between what sponsorship pays for and what education costs for YDP students many centers have started income generation workshops. In El Salvador, the workshops range from bakeries to shoemaking factories. Students set their own hours around their school schedule and can work up to 20 hours a week to earn income that helps them pay for their education. Not only are students learning useful skills like breadmaking but they are also learning entrepreneurship and how to run a business which will help them earn sustainable income no matter where they go in life. I firmly believe that dignified employment is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and so I am thrilled to see Compassion begin incorporating that into their ministry.

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After leaving the national office we visited a center located in San Salvador where we split into groups to visit families involved in the Compassion program and eat lunch in their homes. I visited the home of Maria and her granddaughter Lucero. Lucero has been involved in the Compassion program since her center opened a year ago. She and her brother love soccer and after lunch, they challenged us to a match…needless to say they won that game and the one after it. Lucero’s grandmother, Maria supports her family by selling tortillas. She taught us how to make authentic Salvadoran tortillas and they were delicious! During our visit to the center, I was struck by how amazing the tutors and center staff are. Many of them are not paid and live in the same neighborhoods as the kids they serve but they still work tirelessly to help those kids break out of poverty. Thinking about the Compassion tutors gives me a whole new perspective on sacrificial giving!

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I’ll have another post about my trip up soon but I hope what I have shared in this post has made you as excited about Compassion’s ministry as I am! If you are interested in sponsoring a child send me an email or message me on insta or facebook! I would love to help you get started on what is truly an amazing journey!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

 

 

Fashion Friday: Rescue is Coming A Casual Look for Summer

Happy Friday!

Today I have a super casual tank top and shorts look for you. During the summer I have a few go-to pairs of shorts and a rotation of t-shirts that I basically live in. This tank top is a pretty new addition to my closet from the store I’ve been running for my internship. I do e-commerce for a counter-human trafficking organization called The Exodus Road and I love the message of this shirt and that it supports rescue for people caught in modern slavery.

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I don’t think I own a pair of shorts that didn’t start out as jeans or long pants. When I shop for shorts the fit is always awkward and they are either too short or too long. For the past couple of years, I’ve just been buying jeans at thrift stores and cut them into shorts that way I have total control over the length.

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Top: The Exodus Road (black is sold out but they also have it in mint!) 

What is your go to summer outfit? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

She is Priceless

According to Sheryl WuDunn in her book Half the Sky, there are an estimated 107 million missing girls and women in the world. 107 million women who should be present and identifiable in the population but are not. 107 million babies who were killed in the womb or abandoned after birth, 107 million children who were married off way to young, 107 million adults who were trafficked or murdered.

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that every person is created by God with value and that that is very clear in the Bible.

Genesis 1:27 says “God created man (meaning mankind) in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

And in Psalm 139:13-14 King David of Israel says “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well.”

From the story of Hagar, to Esther and Ruth, to Mary, and the woman at the well, and Mary Magdalene God shows how He loves women and that He values them enough to use them in His plan of redemption for the world. Despite that for all of history women have been marginalized, abused, treated as property, and told that they were less valuable, capable, and intelligent than men.

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That is why I love the work that Mercy House is doing in Kenya. They are providing a safe home, medical care, counseling, and education to young mothers in dangerous situations and loving on their babies.

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That’s why when Elizabeth, the young woman I sponsor through Compassion wrote me a letter and told me that she had graduated from secondary school and would be attending college soon, I almost cried. I was more excited for her than I was when I graduated. (Also, we’re both business majors and I’m super excited about that too)

Women are priceless and when they are empowered to reach their potential they have the ability to transform the world.

At this point you might be asking yourself “what can I do?” and I strongly encourage you to find a way to lift up the women in your life and community. That might mean encouraging a high school girl in your church and letting her know you see her hard work and potential, saying thank you to your mom or another woman in your life. It could also mean donating a few hours of your time volunteering at your local women’s shelter or pregnancy crisis center.

Want to take it a step further? Sponsor a girl or woman in poverty. I love Compassion International because they work through the local church and empower people to care for children in their own communities. I also love that you are able to write letters and build a relationship with the child you sponsor. Other organizations that offer sponsorship are Indigenous Ministries, who work with refugees in Iraq and Mercy House who offer the opportunity to sponsor a woman in their transition home in Kenya.

Another option? Buy fairtrade products. Women in poverty don’t want a handout, they want a job. When you buy a product that was made by a woman rising out of poverty the empowerment you are supporting is incredible. This rug and these bracelets are made by the Grandmas of the Mercy House babies, enabling all of them to move out of the slum into clean, safe homes, send their other kids to school, and even in some cases bring kids home from indentured servitude.

 

The Five Year Anniversary of Rana Plaza and 3 Ways You can Fight Fast Fashion

5 years ago, on April 24, 2013 1,138 people died and 2500 people were injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The building was structurally unsound and the retail and office space on the lower floors were evacuated months before the collapse leaving only factory workers producing garments for the fast fashion industry. Between 1960 and 2015 the US went from producing 95% of our clothing to 5% of our clothing and outsourcing to developing countries where wages are low and regulations are suggestions at best. The result has been an industry which, in the words of Orsola de Castro in the film The True Cost, “is moving ruthlessly towards a way of producing which only really looks after big business interest.” On the fifth anniversary of the deadliest fashion disaster in history, let’s take a look at why fast fashion is so bad and some easy ways to go back to a fashion culture that honors both the people who wear the clothes and the people who make them.

Fast fashion has its roots in the globalization of supply chains. The cost of living in developing countries is significantly lower than it is in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. and so companies moved production to countries where wages were lower and they could make their products more cheaply. The problem is that once prices began dropping, the pressure for them to keep dropping only grew. Adjusted for inflation, clothes cost less now than they did 30 years ago. According to minimumwage.org, minimum wage in Bangladesh, the largest exporter of clothing in the world is 5,300 Taka or $63.86 USD per month. The global poverty line is $1.90 per day or roughly $57 per month but I have yet to find a place in the US where it is possible to pay rent and buy groceries on less than $100 per month let alone afford transportation, healthcare, and other essentials. If we look farther down the supply chain, leather production is extremely toxic and is notorious for using slave labor. The region in India where most of their cotton is grown is also known as the suicide belt. It is very difficult for organic cotton farmers to compete with conventional cotton farming, their yields are much smaller in comparison to the amount of land they need but it is very expensive to buy GMO cotton seed, fertilizer, and pesticide, so farmers often have to go deeply into debt for their initial investment. A bad year or two, a medical emergency or a wedding in the family and often farmers are forced to choose between slavery or suicide. In addition, the chemicals involved in conventional cotton farming are being linked to birth defects and brain cancer in the people exposed to them.

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after the oil industry. Lead based dyes, toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and plastic are pumped into our water and atmosphere every day. Polyester, spandex, and other synthetic fibers shed microscopic plastic particles every time you wash them, in fact according to a study published by Orb Media, 94% of American tap water is contaminated with plastic particles which at best will never break down and clutter our world and at worst leach hormone disrupting and cancer-causing chemicals.

So what can you do? The plastic is already in your water and fair-trade clothes are too expensive. It’s probably best to just give up.

NOOO!!!

You can make a difference, and fashion is not a lost cause. I’m a college student who has been slowly transitioning from fast fashion to slow fashion for about two years and it’s not easy, it’s definitely less convenient than just shopping the way everyone else does, but it’s also not impossible so here are three easy steps to quitting fast fashion today.

1 Stop buying new stuff unless you absolutely need it.

I love shopping, it’s enjoyable to browse the racks, try on clothes, and it’s so exciting when you score a great deal on something you love. But instead of mindlessly or impulsively shopping, buy things intentionally that will actually add value to your life and style. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to wear a piece with more than half of the clothes you already own and you should be able to foreseeably wear the piece 30 times before you are done with it.

2 Thrift

If possible, when you do buy “new” clothes try to find them used. I’ve talked about how much I love *ThredUP, local consignment stores are also a great place to look and if you are into sewing, lots of indie fabric stores like Indiesew.com offer deadstock fabric that has been purchased by brands and then discarded.

3 Invest in quality.

Paying more upfront for clothes that will last will actually save you money in the long term. I have a pair of jeans that were handed down to me by my sister. I’m not sure how old they are but I’ve had them for about three years, they were probably about $70 originally. They’ve faded a bit but the fabric is still in great shape and I’ll be able to keep wearing them for years to come. I have another pair of jeans that I bought for $30 and they lasted 6 months before they were too stretched out to wear. Timeless styles, ethical manufacturing, and good quality are worth the investment and are way cheaper over time.

What are your thoughts on the fashion industry? Are you inspired to start making the switch to slow fashion? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.