Archive | July, 2013

The Invitations

Brittany’s shower is less than a month away!  Clearly the first step planning a shower is choosing and sending the invitations.

Britta's shower invite

Since Birtt’s wedding is going to be in the winter, she knew she wanted her bridal shower to be in the summer so she could incorporate fresh flowers and lots of color.  With that in mind, we started searching for the perfect invitations.  We wanted to find something fresh, fun, colorful, and preferably handmade.  We started by looking at and talking with some of producers from the Consumers in Christ Shopping Directory, but unfortunately our turn-around time was too quick for them to be able to customize something for us.  Next, we turned Etsy .  WOW, there were so many great options, it was hard to choose!  We ended up going with the lovely design above by Blakely at:

SummerRaine

Blakely, was a wonderful person to work with she was responsive and fast!   A little more about Blakely – She opened her etsy shop in 2010, is a self taught graphic designer who likes to keep it simple and original, and she gets most of her inspiration from God! She is our kind of girl and we would definitely recommend her and her products. :)

We had  the cards printed at Green Printer Online.  They were a great company to work with; very personable and responsive.

We knew we wanted to use paper that was Made in America, made of over  %50 recycled materials, and was recyclable. We were also hoping to use soy based or eco-friendly dies.

It was harder than I thought it would be to find a company that could meet these requirements but Green Printer was able to meet and exceed them!  In fact, they even included this  little factoid sheet – showing us the real environmental savings. It was a small order so the savings don’t seem huge BUT every little thing helps right?

Invite Environmental Savings

The end result was this beautiful eco-friendly invitation:

Eco-friendly bridal shower invitations

If you want to see more of the ideas and inspiration behind Britta’s Bridal Shower, take peak below and/or follow our Pinterst board:

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Little Britt is Getting Married

My youngest sister is getting married!!!! I can’t believe it, lil’ Britt getting hitched.  It is so hard to imagine my  young, sweet, quiet, fun, bug & adventure lovin’ little sister is getting married.  Even though she has blossomed into a beautiful, charming, smart young woman, a part of her will always be little Britt to me and I just can’t imagine little Britt getting married.

0-2

But she is! I am so excited to get to be a part of her wedding and help my other sisters plan the bridal shower.  No matter what type of Bridal Shower Britt wanted to have I would have been happy to be a part of it, but I must confess that I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be a part of this one, specifically because she wants to have a:

A BB Shower

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I can hardly contain my excitement.  So what does a Bought Beautifully Shower mean? Well, let me explain.  It  will still be a typical shower with fun decor, delicious food, great company, a game or two, and gifts but while we are planning all the details we will be purposeful and strategic in thinking about the impact (social & environmental) of our choices, and how we can choose to use our purchases for the shower to have the most positive impacts.

As we plan her shower the Key points we will be considering, in addition to color scheme and loveliness, will be:

1. A gift registry that has positive impacts.  Read more about her registry here & watch for next week’s post with more details.

2. A menu that features fair trade, organic, and local ingredients when and where possible.

3.  Decor that is hand made, recycled, reusable, and/or eco-friendly. This will not be too much of a challenge for us as my mother is the queen of Garage Sale challenges  and owns a little business, 100 Chairs, which features amazing wedding/party vintage rentals that fit perfectly into this category.  The only hard part will be deciding what to use…

4. A clear understanding of where all of the products that we purchase come from, how they were made, or who they were made by.

In the coming weeks I will be sharing all the shower details here; invitations, recipes, decorations, and how it all comes together!  I hope you are excited! I know I am. You can sign up below to receive our posts via email so you don’t miss a single detail.

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What They Wore Wednesday – Friends Forever

Wednesday! It is Wednesday, which means I get to share yet another awesome post about a great product/organization, and share about some amazing women!

Fab 5

Today, I would like you to meet my mother (quiet possibly the best woman to ever live) and her besties (Andrea, Terri, Cathee, and Marilyn)!  These ladies are the prime example of true BFF’s.  They, a.k.a  The Fab 5, have known each other since JUNIOR HIGH!  They have stuck by each other and loved each other through thick and thin, first loves and hates, good times and bad times, marriages and babies, and now grand babies!

Fab 5

They are committed to maintaining and prioritizing their friendship, so despite the distance between them and their busy lives, they promised to get together annually.  For the past 18 years they have met for a weekend for what they affectionately call the “Hormonic Convergence“.   This year their “Convergence” happened to coincide with their 40 year high school reunion.

Noonday Collection bracelet

In honor of this special occurrence, my mom wanted to get her girls all a little gift.

She didn’t want just anything but something that had meaning and represented their friendship.

When she saw this bracelet on Noonday she knew it was perfect; it was super stylish yet versatile enough for their 5 distinct fashion tastes. But the best part of the bracelet was how it was made, who it was made by and the fact that by purchasing these bracelets she was helping empower women and supporting a great business!  Read below for the story of the bracelet –

Great choice mama! Writing about the Fab 5 has been a good reminder for me that I need to keep up my special friendships like these.

Do you have a dear friend that you have known forever?

Want to join me today in prioritizing these relationships?  Let’s show our long time friends how much we love them with a call, a text, an email, or anything  that lets them know how special they are to us!

Thanks, mom, for the reminder of how precious good friends truly are! Happy Wednesday!

Don’t forget to check out all the other what I wore Wednesdays over at the PleatedPoppy.

 

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What She Wore Wednesday – A Garage Sale Success

Hello

Hello

Well, hello!  Aren’t you happy it is Wednesday? I know I am and it would appear that this week’s model, little miss Elliott Rose is too!  Isn’t she adorable?  She is my one and only sweetest, most precious thing EVER, little niece.

Elliott is not only our “What I Wore Wednesday” model but she is also an inspiration for the Garage Sale Challenge as everything she is wearing is from a garage sale!

Sweet lil' Elle

Elliott’s Grandma found all her clothes at a garage sale (and not just this cute dress but even more clothes)!  Can you believe it? The fun doesn’t stop there, she also bought the little toy car and the red swing you see in the background at a sale.  Nice work!

Lovely little lady

Lovely little lady

After, Lala (Elliott’s Grandma) had been shopping, the Garage Sale Challenge was on her mind, so she was on the look out for some way to have an impact…And wouldn’t you know the answer was right there on her street corner!  As she was driving,  she spotted a needy man on the side of the road with a sign asking for money.  She decided that right then and there was the perfect time to pull over and share her blessings. She gave him some of the money she had saved by shopping at the garage sales.  Isn’t it awesome how God always provides?!   Way to go LALA!

Meg & E

I think I know where she gets her beauty and style from…her mother, Meg. Meg is looking lovely in 31 Bits necklace, another wonderful organization to check out, click here to read more about 31 Bits.

Little Elle

Little Elle

If you are noticing the wonderful backyard that Elliott is playing in, stayed tuned, it will be featured soon, as quite possibly the most successful garage sale challenge EVER!!!! Are you excited? I hope so!

If you have a garage sale challenge that you would like to share with us, please do!  Send me an email at happy@boughtbeautifully.com  with the details or post pictures on our facebook page  www.facebook.com/BoughtBeautifully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I Wore Wednesday – Jewelry Made in America

It is Wednesday again. No special guest feature today, just me…however, stay tuned for next week when we will be back with quite possibly the most precious model ever, my sweet little niece Elliott!!!

Sticking with the current series today’s focus is Made in America.  So here I am sporting a few made in America duds. Please excuse the extremely awkward “selfie”, I really need to get my butt dressed before my husband leaves in the mornings, didn’t make it this morning, so here we go –

Jewelry Made in America

My shirt is actually from Nordstroms, made by a company called H.I.P. I bought it a few years ago, I love it and have worn it a ton.  I wasn’t able to find any other relevant information on the company, nothing on their policies or practices, or even if all their clothing is made in America.  This shirt was but I would double check their tags before assuming that all their products are.

I want to highlight my two favorite parts of the outfit; the necklace and earrings.  They were both handmade by artists in the U.S.  I bought the earrings over two years ago, I knew they were handmade in America but I had to do a little searching to re-discover the artist behind them.  I am so glad I did, as I love these earrings, they are the lightest earrings in the world, they are so easy to wear, you forget you are wearing them.  They are made by a company called Willow Organic Jewelry, they don’t have their own website and it looks like they sell to smaller boutiques and galleries but the link gives you an idea of their products and contact information if you are interested in finding a pair for yourself.

Handmade Earings

Handmade Earrings

I also just bought this necklace from Marjorie Baer another amazing artist making great jewelry in America! Isn’t it great? Unique yet classy and so versatile.

Made in America necklace Made in America necklace

I love supporting and encouraging artists of all forms and buying handmade jewelry happens to be one of my personal favorite ways to do this. Apparently, I am not alone!  There are several people who think that jewelry made in America rocks.  There are actually several sites with lists and links to tons of producers.  So rather than repeat the work they have already done, check out a few of these sites for more Made in America jewelry –

1. Ecolustre – This is the best place I found where you can find a variety of jewelry from different producers all made in America and all eco friendly.

2. Americans Working – This is a long list of companies making jewelry in the U.S.A (these are not all handmade).

3. Made in America Challenge – This website has several resources. This list includes jewelry and accessories made in the U.S.A. But don’t stop here, keep scrolling for a comprehensive list of great companies making products in America.

There are so many great local artists making beautiful jewelry.

Do you have a favorite in your community?

If so, please share them with us in the comments below. I know we would all love to see and wear their work!

Don’t forget to check out ThePleatedPoppy for more what I Wore Wednesdays!

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Made in America – Children’s products

The next post in our “Made in America” series focuses on companies that make products for our precious little children. It seems like buying/acquiring things for our children is inevitable as they grow and change so fast and are involved in so many activities.  The good news is there are a surprising number of ways to come about these products in a beautiful way.

One additional reason it is nice to seek out products for our children that were made in America is because these products are subject to more stringent safety standards and testing. Which should mean no/or less BPA, other poisons and toxins.

Today, I will share a few companies that are making awesome products right here in the United States. YAY! The added bonus is that all of these companies  have additional virtues such as being “green” and policies on “giving back” which makes them even better  organizations to support.

1.) Bed Head Pajama’s – Sells really cute PJ’s that are locally cut and sewn. In addition, Bed Head works closely with a local community program, Esperanza, to provide jobs and other types of support.

BedHeadPJ's

BedHeadPJ’s

2.) Earth Creations – Earth Creations makes eco-friendly clothing in a way that  positively impact the lives of everyone involved in their production process. The have adorable products for kids of all ages that are “eco-friendly”. They didn’t specify how on their site but they also claim to “give back to our community in meaningful ways, helping out good causes and supporting environmental efforts.”

EARTH CREATIONS

EARTH CREATIONS

3.) Wild Dill – Not everything on this site is Made in America, but they have a great search mechanism so you can find the products that are for each category.  The have a  great selection of children’s products that are made in America and the products aren’t made in America are organic, fair trade, and/or recycled (so they have re-deeming qualities as well).

Wild Dill

Wild Dill

4.) Rockin’ Baby – This could quite possibly be the perfect baby shower gift. These baby slings and carriers are bright, fun, functional, and made in America!  BUT their impact extends our country’s boarders, for every sling you buy one is giving to a mother in Haiti.

Rockin'Baby

Rockin’Baby

5.) Green Toys – Green Toys are made in America and are super eco-friendly.  Not only are the products made from mostly recycled milk bottles but all their packaging is made from recycled materials. And they have so many great options to choose from! My son has the cooking set and he loves it.  We also use their sippy-cups and plates and they are some of the best we have tried!

GreenToys

GreenToys

Well, hopefully, you have found a new company or product that you might enjoy supporting. Check out this post to read about more why buying Made in America is such a good thing!

Have a great Monday.

 

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American Flags

Just a quick post today to say:

Flag&smores

Hope you have a wonderful celebration!

If you are in need of a little holiday decor for you celebration tonight, check out these great little “Made in America” American flags!  I got them at the local Ace Hardware for about a dollar each!  You can stick them just about anywhere to add a fun “truly” American festive touch to your home.

American Flags

American Flags

Or if you are in a more playful mood, you could opt for a Made in America Pinwheel:

Pinwheel

Pinwheel

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America the Beautiful – Made in the U.S.A

I have been feeling a bit patriotic lately, with the 4th of July around the corner and the recent tragedy in my home town, where 19 firemen/HEROS bravely gave their lives for the sake of others.  My heart is heavy and grieving for the families who are hurting right now. I am so sorry for your losses.   The loss of your sons, husbands and friends is a loss for everyone as they ARE what makes our country so special.

As Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Your men did this, they gave it all for others.  I know I speak for many by saying THANK YOU.

Thank you to the heroes who have given their lives for others and our country and to the men and women who serve  us everyday, these sacrifices are what makes this a truly special place to live .   America the Beautiful, indeed! So in honor of our great country and the wonderful men and women who make it great, we are going to have a serious of posts on products that are made in the good ol’ U.S.A!!  To kick of the series, I’ll start by answering the basic question –

WHY BUY “MADE in AMERICA’?

woodleywonderworks / Love Photos / CC BY

The answer could be quite long and detailed, but I am going to answer as succinctly as possible. So, here we go, Bought.Beautifully’s top 4 reasons to buy made in the U.S.A.

Why MADE IN AMERICA

1. Support Local Economies – When we buy local we put money directly back into our economy.  Estimates show that for every $1 billion in goods exported, the economy creates 5,000 jobs. This statistic goes both ways, data from the Economic Policy Institute shows that for every $1 billion in goods imported, the economy loses 9,000 jobs.

2. Support Environmental Protection –  Many of the countries that produce the products we import have little or no environmental regulations.  Although there is still room for the United States to improve when it comes to Environmental policies, we are far ahead of many countries and the companies that are manufacturing products here are subject to EPA regulations.

3. Support Fair Working Conditions – The United States has done a great job of setting and enforcing labor standards.  The U.S. Department of Labor enforces over 180 laws that help make the U.S. a safe and more fair place to work.  They enforce laws that regulate health and safety standards, minimum wages and overtime compensation, worker exploitation and child protection, and provide additional benefits like workmen’s comp, disability, and some retirement.  Again, the system isn’t perfect but does offer many protections that are lacking in other countries.

4. Support Local Artisans and Creativity – This is my personal favorite because I love unique products, products that are created not manufactured, products that are made with a little heart and a little soul.  I would much rather have 1 hand crafted item, than 3 mass produced ones (which is often the choice I have  to make as they tend to be more expensive but it always seems worth it).

The sum of these reasons is really why I want to buy made in the U.S.A whenever possible. I love to imagine and support a world where more work can be a creative process, producing less but producing quality, and doing so in safe, positive, enjoyable working conditions, while keeping the health of the environment in mind.   I may be being a little utopistic here but that is ok – it is almost the 4th of July – I can’t think of a better time to talk about and work toward the type of world that we want to live in.

For your  Made in America shopping inspiration and 4th of July festivities, here are a few of my favorite Made in America outdoor finds:

Also, for those readers who are the more Political Science types here are four more reasons to consider buying made in the U.S.A-

1. In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million.

2. The United States has the largest trade imbalance than any other nation.

3. The U.S.trade deficit with China was $295.5 billion in 2011.

4. Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.

 

 Photo credit woodleywonderworks / Foter.com / CC BY

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