Movie Review: Priceless

Starring: Joel Smallbone, Bianca Santos, Amber Midthunder, Jim Parrack, David Koechner

Directed by: Ben Smallbone

Rated: PG-13

“We’re all on a journey but it seems somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn.”

James’ life fell apart when his wife died. He can’t keep a job, he lost his young daughter, and desperation has led him to a cross country, for cash, trucking job. Don’t ask, don’t tell, and drive straight through. It’s all fine until, in the aftermath of being run off the road, James hears a person crying the the back of the truck. James breaks the lock and starts down a path that he never imagined.

“If you’re hearing a little voice that’s telling you to stay, that there’s a larger hand at play here. Then you might want to listen to that voice.” 

Priceless is a movie about human trafficking and as such it dives deep into its horrors without making a graphic display. After opening the back of the truck, James chooses rather than to look the other way, to step into that world to rescue a young woman and her sister from its grip.

In the world of “Christian” movies, I am often disappointed by the lack of quality in acting and cinematography but I was very impressed by Priceless. The story was well developed despite the short length of the movie. My only complaint is that I felt that the romance between two of the characters was not developed as well as it could have been.

Priceless was starred in and produced by Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King and Country, one of my favorite bands, and it was directed by their brother Ben Smallbone. Joel and Luke for years have been spreading the message that women are priceless and worthy of respect and honor and I think that this movie was an excellent application of that. It’s not a fun movie, I wouldn’t recommend it for a cozy girls night and it is definitely not entertainment but it is a story that needs to be told and a it shares a reality that desperately needs people to be aware of its horrors. I highly recommend watching Priceless, sharing it with your community, and when you’re done, seriously thinking about what you can do to fight human trafficking.

~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.

Exploring Local Coffee Shops: Mission Coffee Roasters

 

Happy Monday! In an effort to hang out together more, explore our community and try out some tasty food and hot drinks, my mom Michelle from By Quiet Waters and I are starting a blog series of reviews of local coffee shops in our town. I don’t like coffee so I mostly drink tea and my mom enjoys tea and coffee so we will be writing the reviews from the perspectives of a tea drinker and a mostly-coffee drinker. Sometimes the posts will be on my blog and sometimes they will show up on my mom’s blog. The first coffee shop we reviewed is called Mission Coffee Roasters.

Mission Coffee is located on Ridgeline Dr. near New Life Church and the TCA east campus. Their coffee and tea is fairtrade certified and they serve espresso orders in reusable mugs. The atmosphere is casual and there are usually several people working on computers at their central table or in one of the easy chairs in the main area. Upstairs they have group working space available for a fee. They roast their coffee in house and if you come at the right time you can watch the roasters at work.

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Michelle’s review:

While most of the time I drink Cafe Mocha, at Mission I have found another favorite, the Vanilla Lavender Latte, with soy milk.  The Vanilla flavor is full and smooth, and the lavender add a little something that makes the drink delicious as well as interesting.  I don’t recommend the Lavender Latte almond milk though.  The almond milk and the lavender by itself made for a bitter drink.

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Amy’s review:

Mission Coffee has the best chai latte I’ve ever tried. It’s creamy and sweet enough to smooth out the black pepper taste but it doesn’t overpower the spices. They also have a really good selection of teas any of which can be made into a latte. I realized that this is the same order as the tea latte I mentioned in my Coffee Exchange review but the english breakfast latte with lavender is quite delightful.

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 use all the time and 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.

Ethical Formal Dress Shopping tips

Homecoming season is upon us so today I’m sharing some tips and ideas for anyone who is looking for an ethical alternative to the standard glittery formal dress that you wear once and then throw/give away.

My first tip is to buy second hand or thrift. This is a great idea if you still want a fancier dress but at a lower price point or as an ethical alternative. You can visit your local thrift and consignment stores or shop at an online resale and second hand shop. I personall haven’t bought anything from ThredUp but I have visited their website and looked around a few times and they have some great options! Because their stock is always changing its best to plan ahead if you want to get your dress from a second hand store. My mom and I pop into a Goodwill that is on our normal route every couple of months just to see what they have with the next event/dance in mind. Once we found a beautiful new with tags David’s Bridal bridesmaid dress for $25. It fit me perfectly except that it needed to be hemmed. We didn’t end up getting it because the color wasn’t right for me but that is the kind of thing you can sometimes find at thrift stores if you keep hunting.

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I went dress shopping at the same store recently and found this adorable green strapless dress.

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And this cute purple one. This one was a little too big for me but the great thing about thrift stores is that all of the dresses I found that day were $7.99! At that price I could have bought the dress and paid to get it tailored for possibly less than what I would spend paying full price for a new dress somewhere else.

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My second tip is to buy from an ethical brand. This can be pricier but it doesn’t have to be depending on the brand you buy from and how you time your purchase with sales. You probably won’t find many fancy dresses but you can find a lot of gorgeous simple ones that can be dressed up or down which I will go into in my next tip. I love this body con dressand this convertible one from Synergy; Threads for Thought has this gorgeous white mini dress.

My last tip is to buy a dress that you can wear again. My sister and I found our dresses for homecoming this yeat at Francesca’s. My sister chose off the shoulder dress and I chose this green cutout dress with this grey bralette. Neither of these dresses are fair trade but they are both dresses that we would wear over and over and maybe borrow and lend between ourselves. This dress is another one that could be worn in a broad range of occasions. This is a sustainable and ethical option if you find a dress that you can see yourself wearing for years into the future. The #thirtywears movement which was started by Livia Firth encourages consumers to be mindful about the clothes that they buy and to ask themselves “will I wear this 30 times?” to determine if this is truly a worthwhile purchase. She talks about it in this interview with The True Cost Movie.

I hope these tips give you some ideas as you shop for your homecoming dress! I’d love to see your dress! Share it on Instagram with #amaizylife so I can see it!

~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 use all the time and 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 pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Redeeming Consumerism: Fair Trade Friday

Today’s Redeeming Consumerism post is about Fair Trade Friday. Fair Trade Friday is a subscription service that provides support to impoverished women by providing you with adorable fair trade products every month. They have three different subscription options. The Original Box for $31.99/month is a box full of various fair trade goodies that range from skin care products to luxury fair trade fashion. The Bracelet of the Month for $13.99/month is a beautiful fair trade bracelet. The Earring of the Month for $11.99/month is a fun fair trade earring. I have subscribed to the Earring of the Month in the past and I have posted about some of my favorites herehere, and here. Many people love subscription boxes because everyone loves getting fun mail each month to liven up the bills and junk mail. Fair Trade Friday is an awesome way to do that as well as find out about ethical brands you may never have heard about and to support impoverished artisans.

August’s earring of the month is so cute!

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And now for some fun!

I am giving away two pairs of the August Fair Trade Friday earring of the month!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please enter only one giveaway. If you enter one you will not be eligible to win the second pair.

~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 use all the time and 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 pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Fashion Friday: Soaking up the Last of Summer

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Who’s ready for autumn? This morning (the day I wrote this) I woke up and the air felt decidedly fall-like. In a couple of weeks or so I think I’ll be excited for autumn, especially when the aspens start changing colors up in the mountains, it’s probably the prettiest thing ever. Right now, though I’m still enjoying summer and don’t want it to end.

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I got this tshirt recently from REI I love the camping and mountain symbols on it. It is made in the USA out of organic cottons so its an awesome ethical fashion choice. I paired with some skinny jeans and a pair of black and white tribal print sandals.

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My bracelets were both gifts so I’m not sure where they are from but I’ll link some similar ones down below.

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top REI jeans aeropostale shoes Target bracelets similar  earrings Fair Trade Friday

Are you excited for fall? Or do you want summer to stay a little longer? 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 use all the time and 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 pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Redeeming Consumerism: American Eagle

Today’s post is a continuation of my Redeeming Consumerism series. Today I am evaluating a mainstream brand’s labor and manufacturing policies. The brand I have chosen is American Eagle Outfitters.

My four categories are Wages, Worker Safety, Forced and Child Labor, and Enforcement

Wages: Suppliers are required to comply with all compensation laws including wages, overtime hours, piece rates and benefits. Workers may not be required to work more than 60 hours a week and are entitled to at least one day off in a seven day period. Suppliers are required to provide all benefits that are required by law including meals, transportation, health care, child care, and leave for family, medical, or religious reasons. As required by law suppliers must contribute to workers’ social security or insurance programs.

Worker Safety: Suppliers must comply with all laws regulating worker safety. In addition, workers must have access to potable water and sanitary facilities and workplaces and housing facilities, if provided for workers, must have adequate fire safety, lighting, and ventilation.

Forced and Child Labor: Suppliers are prohibited from using child labor as defined by law, in addition suppliers are prohibited from employing workers under the age of 15, or the compulsory age to attend school. Forced labor of any kind is prohibited including prisoners, bonded, or indentured workers.

Enforcement: All suppliers must contractually agree to American Eagle Outfitters Vendor Code of Conduct and are subject to inspections including inspection of all records and documentation and private worker interviews at least once a year. AEO inspections are unannounced and private party inspections are semi-unannounced.

I was pleasantly surprised by American Eagle Outfitters’ policies for vendor conduct, especially the fact that their code of conduct is a contractual agreement. Many companies have a voluntary code of conduct which means that suppliers are not required to comply with it in order to do business with the company. I think that American Eagle is a good choice for consumers desiring to shop consciously and ethically.

All of my information is directly from American Eagle’s website here. If you want more information you can go there, or send AE an email  or message on social media.

Have a great day!

~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 use all the time and 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 pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Fashion Friday: Work Appropriate

I recently got a new job at a custom sewing/tailoring business in my city. I’m super excited to start and not least because I will actually need to get dressed for work now rather than just throwing something on over my swim suit. I’ve been putting together some work outfits and chose my favorites to share on the blog.

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For the first outfit, I paired a white crop top with black birds all over it with a high waisted black maxi skirt and a denim vest. Of course, I’m wearing my *brown Sseko ribbon sandals. They have pretty much become a staple in my wardrobe.

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top sold out, skirt Target, vest sold out similar similar, shoes *Sseko

For the second outfit, I started with a light green button down and tucked the front into a pair of skinny jeans. I added a pair of earrings from Clothed in Hope that I got from the Fair Trade Friday earring of the month subscription, and some tan oxfords.

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top sold out, jeans American Eagle Outfitters, shoes sold out, earrings Clothed in Hope

~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 use all the time and 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 pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Fair Trade Friday: June Earring of the Month + Giveaway!!

Hello!

I am in LOVE with the June earrings of the month from Fair Trade Friday. They were made by women employed by Village Artisan, a company based in North India that seeks to empower men and women by giving them dignified employment. The March earring of the monthwas also made by Village Artisan. This month’s earrings are beautiful brass double coined earrings. It took me some time to get used to the weight of these earrings because I don’t usually wear big earrings but I love wearing them and they go with so much.

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Here they are being modeled by my lovely sister.

And now for some exciting news! I’m giving away a pair of these earrings!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also buy them on the Village Artisan website. If you want more cute earrings coming to your mailbox every month, sign up for Fair Trade Friday.

Have a great day!

~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 use all the time and 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 pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

 

Fashion Friday: Coffee Date

Hello!

Today I’m sharing a casual-cute look that would be perfect for meeting a friend for coffee or lunch. I paired a pale pink tank top  with some skinny jeans and a denim vest. In the photos I’m wearing black flip flops but I originally wore my black ribbon sandals from *Sseko Designs.

I met a girlfriend for coffee (just kidding, I don’t drink coffee, I got iced tea) at a cute local coffee shop. They are all fair trade (which I love) and they roast their own coffee so it always smells so good. I got a blackberry lavender iced tea (It was my first time trying it and Oh. My. Gosh. it was so good.) and an almond scone.

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The vest I’m wearing is a recent purchase and I really like it. I try not to buy things that I don’t really love and won’t wear over and over. Some things are appropriate to wear just once but it is really a waste of money and resources to buy things that you won’t wear more than once or twice, plus, shopping purposefully is the easiest and most economical way to shop ethically whether you buy fair trade, conventional, or thrift.

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 use all the time and think are really great; you know I’m classier than that;). However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

All photos marked with By Quiet Waters Photography were taken by my mom at By Quiet Waters.