: Green Chic Life :

: exploring sustainable fashion, the great outdoors, and an eco-friendly lifestyle :

#SustainableSunday with Ten Thousand Villages...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Babies need a lot of stuff.  

Ok... maybe they don't NEED it all, but it is absolutely certain that there is a ton of stuff out there that is made just for tiny humans.  The downside is that much of that stuff isn't made with the environment or with the well being of the makers in mind, and that is something that I really think needs to change. 

One brand that is working towards making that shift is Ten Thousand Villages.  They work with fair trade cooperatives around the world to produce home goods, clothing, and accessories for every member of your family in a fair trade setting.  Ten Thousand Villages believes strongly in the maker-to-market process in a way that breaks the cycle of poverty and creates beautiful goods while putting people and the planet ahead of profit.  

... and they are super generous.  They sent Stellan all sorts of absolutely stunning recycled sari products from Bangladesh.  Stelly is the proud new owner of a sari blanket, a set of sari bibs, and my favorite: an up-cycled sari elephant!  The blanket and elephant were made in the traditional Kantha method, in which old saris are laundered and then hand-stitched to create a really gorgeous texture.  The makers of these goodies are all women who work for a co-op called Prokritee (which means "nature" in Bengali).  Through their employment, they are paid a fair living wage, which helps to pull them out of poverty and help to send their children to school.  As always, when incorporating fair trade products into my home and into my family's life, I appreciate the peace of mind I get in knowing that they've made a minimal impact on the planet, but have made a huge impact for the better on someone's quality of life! 

^ Am I mean for including this photo?  Also... am I mean because I sometimes find Stellan's crying pictures hilarious? #badmom

#FreebieFriday with Coco & Souls...

Friday, January 24, 2020

Y'all know that I love a good statement piece, but when said statement piece is handmade from natural materials, I'm on Cloud 9!  Last weekend, I teamed up with Coco & Souls for a #SustainableSunday post featuring these groovy earrings and today, I'm stoked to let y'all know that we will be giving a pair away! 

These earrings are made out of coconut shells that were picked up on the Salvadorian Pacific seashore.  Those coconut shells were then hand cut, polished to let the natural grains really shine through, and tassels are added to jazz them up a bit more!  This giveaway is for a pair of these snazzy earrings with tassels in the color of the winner's choice: white, pink, or turquoise.

To enter: 

: like the giveaway post on Instagram

: follow @cocoandsouls

: follow @greenchiclife

: tag at friends in separate comments 
(You get an entry per tag, so feel free to tag lots and lots of pals!)

This giveaway is open to US entrants and will end at 23:59 PST on 31-January-2020.  The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via direct message on Instagram.  This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.  By entering this contest, you are confirming that you're at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's terms of use. 

Good luck! 

Simple Coffee...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I love long weekends.  There.  I said it.  I truly wish that we could simplify our lives and work 4 days a week and have a 3-day weekend every weekend.  That extra time allows for rest, relaxation, exploration, and getting out of the daily grind.

... and speaking of grind, we used our bonus day to get out of our typical daily grind and tried out a new grind... literally! 

I've been Instagram pals with Olivia (@simplyliveandco) for a few years and when I saw that she had opened a coffee shop within driving distance of where I live, I knew that we had to experience it in real life and not just in a series of tiny squares on my phone.  SunStars, Stellan, and I piled into the car and after a lovely drive through the mountains, we arrived at Simple Coffee Co.  Olivia's sweet little shop lives in a slanty old building that is also home to a consignment shop and several apartments.  The front door is yellow.  There is an unfinished wooden plank wall.  The space is bright.  

Basically, it's a wonderful and unexpected space to stop and have a conversation and a really good cup of coffee.  

Her menu manages to be simple, but complex at the same time.  From using cardamum and rose enhance a mocha to a plain old really good shot of espresso, Olivia has found ways to enhance the natural flavors of coffee.  She also has several non-coffee drinks and several food items.  She sources her flavors locally wherever possible, but what I really love is that there is not a single single-use paper cup or straw in sight! 

Instead of these typical coffee-house items, she serves all of her drinks in mason jars with metal lids.  If you bring your jar back again, you get a $.25 discount on your drink.  Of course, you are also welcome to bring your own thermos or cup, as well! 

I really enjoyed being able to meet another Instagram friend in person.  We got to spend some time chatting, our kiddos got to meet one another, and it was really just an afternoon full of good vibes!  I think that the world needs a bit more of that, so I am quite grateful to Olivia for creating a space in which people can connect (and get a buzz)! 

Up-cycled art and new friends...

Monday, January 20, 2020

Sometimes, social media does what it is supposed to do and it connects you to real people who are really doing some really awesome things.  I connected with @themoorefamilyfolkart on Instagram a few weeks ago because I appreciated their up-cycled art.  When we realized that we lived about 20 minutes away from one another, SunStars, Stellan and I were invited over to their home studio where we got to meet Alan and two of his 5 children, all of whom contribute to the process of creating these works of art. 

Their studio is set up in the garage, which has been split in half by a partition wall.  On one side of the wall are shelves filled with bits of wood that they have largely found on the side of the road.  There is a planer and other tools that are used to create the bases, backings, and frames for their art.  When you go through the door; however, it is seriously a whole new world.  

The entire wall is embellished with vintage pop and beer cans and it is nothing short of a masterpiece.  What's even cooler about it is that it evolves as cans are employed and worked into art pieces.  On either end of the studio are organization systems for holding scraps of cans, bottle caps, and other found supplies to be turned into masterpieces.  There are two separate workstations, upon which all of the members of the Moore family have contributed in some way to the works that are in-progress.  From the youngest son sorting bottle caps to the oldest daughter using pieces of cans (sorted and cut by other family members) to make her very first longhorn, everyone plays a role in the creative process. 

In speaking with daughter Emma about if she'd ever want to create and sell her own pieces, she said that she could and dad, Alan, would definitely let her use the materials, she enjoys the collaborative feeling that goes along with their art.  Because everyone contributes, seeing the finished work always feels truly rewarding.  As a middle school teacher who does not often encounter this work ethic or appreciation for collaboration, it was an absolute breath of fresh air. 

It was really cool to see how the kids know about all of the steps in the process of creating art.  They know about their dad finding these cans through swaps with other artists or collectors, they know about how everything is stored, they even go out on day-long excursions to drop off finished art to all of the shops in which their pieces are sold.  Son, Aiden, told me that when he talks to his friends about how they earn money, his way of earning cash is definitely the coolest. 

I have to agree!  The creative process and degree of teamwork here makes me happy and the fact that the majority of the materials used are up-cycled truly causes my heart to smile! 

#SustainableSunday with Coco & Souls...

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sooooo... I kind of feel like coconuts are all the rage right now.  Coconut water seems to be kind of a huge deal, though I've never tried it myself.  I've seen some coconut prints popping up in stores as I've been out with the hubby and the baby (practicing getting out of the house with a tiny human), but did you realize that coconut shells are also kind of awesome for jewelry? 

This week, I've teamed up with Ana who is the owner and crafter behind the etsy shop: Coco & Souls.  She's found her niche by hand-making a line of pretty fabulous earrings and home accessories from coconut shells picked up Salvadorean Pacific seashore.  She cuts and polishes each piece so the natural grains and colors of the coconut shells really shine through and then adds a bit more with fun tassels. 

I truly appreciate her aesthetic because her designs make a statement and I can only imagine that when my maternity leave ends and I'm back at work, my middle school students are going to want to know about these earrings.  I always love telling the kids about my slow fashion finds in the hopes that it will inspire them to think again when they are strolling through big box retailers, especially since at this age, they really are the consumers of tomorrow, and wearing pieces that spark conversation is a great way to help turn the tide from fast fashion to slow fashion. 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 

: the earrings are handmade from eco-friendly materials
: the tee is thrifted
: the cami under the tee was a hand-me-down
: the scarf is fair trade and handmade
: the jeans were thrifted
: the boots are fair trade and handmade
: the bracelets are fair trade and handmade from recycled paper

#FreebieFriday with Wooden Journey...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Golly, it feels like forever since I've hosted a sustainable #FreebieFriday giveaway!  Where does the time go? 

Speaking of time, this week's giveaway is for this absolutely beautiful bamboo Trailblazer watch from Wooden Journey!  This piece has a large watch face with their fun tree logo, which definitely makes it a statement piece.  The watch will ship in a bamboo box and comes with all of the tools you would need to resize it!  If that isn't awesome enough, the wonderful people at Wooden Journey will be planting trees, offsetting carbon, and helping to clean up the oceans simply because this stellar time piece will be making its way out into the world! 

To get hip with the time: 

: like the giveaway post on Instagram
: follow @woodenjourney
: follow @greenchiclife
: tag at friends in separate comments 
(You get an entry per tag, so feel free to tag lots and lots of pals!)

This giveaway is open to US entrants and will end at 23:59 PST on 24-January-2020.  The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via direct message on Instagram.  This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.  By entering this contest, you are confirming that you're at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's terms of use. 

Good luck! 

Oops, they did it again...

Monday, January 13, 2020

Oops, they did it again!  Yes, Green Bees, my pals over at Goodfair sent us a few surprise boxes from their second-hand inventory and as before, the hubby and I had a bit too much fun trying things on! 

Just a quick reminder: Goodfair is an online thrift store.  Their mission is to decrease the demand for new clothes by collecting an inventory of second hand clothing with some really great character.  Then, to up the fun factor a bit, they send surprise bundles to buyers, so if you know that you want some plaid shirts, they've got a surprise bundle for that.  If you're looking for graphic tees, they've got a surprise bundle for that.  If your whole wardrobe needs a quick update, no worries!  GoodFair has you covered!  They've got a bundle for that too!  It's called the "Green Heart" bundle and it includes: 2 flannels, 1 denim shirt, 1 sweatshirt, 3 tees, 3 solid tees, and 1 denim jacket.  They also just introduced their "Netflix and Chill" bundle, which totally made me giggle to see and comes with: 2 pairs of sweatpants, 2 flannels, and 2 ugly Christmas sweaters.  

Literally, every time I check out their site, Goodfair has updated their inventory and increased the number of different bundles on offer.  Both the first time we teamed up and I was pregnant and when these recent super surprise boxes arrived, SunStars and I got a little bit carried away with digging through the goodies, coordinating our picks so that our outfits kind of matched, and just kind of being silly while taking pictures together.  

Oh, and because everything is pre-loved, we can feel extra groovy about updating our wardrobes!