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DIY – Hand painted Wooden Eggs

Happy Friday friends! I hope you’re ready for more Easter egg inspiration.  I am honored to share today’s guest post from AshleyAnn at Under the Sycamore.   It’s such a treat to share her words here, I have been following Ashley’s blog for years (she was the first blog I ever read!), and I am constantly inspired by her heart, her perspective, her parenting and her photography!
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My family relishes traditions – the sentimental, the peculiar, the significant, the funny and the meaningful. With every holiday I am editing our traditions – adding new ones and letting go of others. I like to keep our holidays simple and full of meaning. You won’t find the pinterest-worthy decorations at my house for celebrations, but you will find us gathered and present with each other. I’ll take meaningful over beautiful any day. If I can get meaningful and beautiful, well, that would be the jackpot!
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Easter is my favorite holiday. Everything is springing up new. The grass is green. The sky is blue. Unlike other holidays, there isn’t all the extra stuff competing to distract from WHY we are celebrating. This year I wanted to try something new. A package of gorgeous hand carved wood eggs arrived on my doorstep. I gathered the kids (by the way, I have 5) and began sharing with them the stories of the artisans, who made the eggs. We talked about how the purchase of the eggs provides employment for the deaf, disabled and disadvantaged artists who make them. The eggs are from olive trees that grow in the hills of Gilead – less than 50 miles from the Mount of Olives where the Easter story begins. Immediately my kids were excited and interested in what we would do with the eggs.
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I shared with the kids the reasons eggs are significant to many cultures and the symbolism of new life emerging. After a quick history lesson (#homeschoolmom) regarding Easter celebrations, I pulled up images on my computer of how various cultures have painted eggs over centuries.
When it comes to art and creativity, I give my kids free reign to be themselves. Armed with paintbrushes and paint, I set them loose to turn their eggs into something they found meaningful. The colors may not have been ones I would choose, but in many ways that was the point. We gathered around the paint to celebrate the coming of Easter in a meaningful way, not simply create perfectly decorated eggs for decor. 
 
The kids are deciding where we should display our eggs. I voted for a bowl in the living room, but I think I’m outnumbered by those that want the eggs in their rooms!
For more information on some of the resources we used:

Painted eggs cultural resources – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/easter-eggs-history-origin-symbolism-tradition_n_1392054.html

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A huge thank you to Ashley for sharing her post with us!  Check out her blog if you don’t follow her already.
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Everyday Ethics: May Must-Haves

Everyday Ethics: May Must-Haves

Everyday ethics are here just in time for sunny-day musings! Check out our top picks, and kick off your summer style with a bang!

Keep Company Tennies

Keep Company shoes are made with love in ethical working conditions. Built with the help and support of our extended families, colleagues, friends, neighbors and customers, Keep works with people they respect and love.

Ethical Fashion

Unlock Hope Tees

Looking for a new favorite tee? Unlock Hope has you covered. Not only are these tees cute and comfy, they also make a difference! When you purchase from Unlock Hope, you provide food, shelter, tuition, healthcare and more for girls in Uganda.

Ethical fashion

Sseko Slide Sandals

Favorite summer shoes = Sseko slide sandals! Suit up in style this summer with these gold slides from one of our newest vendors!

Ethical fashion

 

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Everyday Ethics At Home

Everyday Ethics At Home

Spring fever has us dreaming of new ethical essentials for our homes. Take a peek at our March must haves, and step into a new season of beautifully made home-decor!

Rebekah’s Favorite Four

Whether you’re looking for a new piece for your living room, or just a change in throw pillows, these ethical options will have your home feeling new in no time! Hurd & Honey’s handcrafted furniture is one of a kind and oh so beautiful (we are loving this bench and triangle shelf!). Next? Add an accent pillow to your favorite arm chair for a new look, or spruce up your classic coffee table with a beautiful hand woven basket!

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Hanna’s Favorite Three

Spring into color with these great finds! Looking for cute ways to acquire more storage? These printed canvas totes make de-cluttering adorable. Next, add a new light fixture and a handmade, reclaimed chalkboard for a natural touch.

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Emily’s Favorite Four

I have been dreaming about a living room re-do for a year now! From pillows to art to chairs to candles, there are so many ethical pieces that I am saving for and can’t wait to incorporate into my home. The pillows and chairs come from big name brands that are now carrying Fair Trade items, while I love and prefer to shop locally and in small shops, it is so exciting to see the ever increasing ethical options.

Fair Trade Pillows

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P.S.  Stay tuned our real ethical living room re-do series coming this summer!  Until keep up with all our favorites on our pinterest board.

 

 

 

Want more Spring decor? Shop BB now!

Do you have tips for spring styling at home? Share them with us!

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TuesDIY: Closet Challenge

Happy TuesDIY!

A few weeks ago, we shared a few easy tips on how to jump-start your ethical wardrobe. This week, we challenged one of our own BB team members to put those tips into practice using her own closet!

 

Tip 1: Use what you already have!

Our first and most basic tip – using the old classics in new ways to liven up your closet! This adorable red dress is timeless, and is a great staple for any season! By adding new (Bought Beautifully) accessories like this necklace from Haiti, you can give your classic clothing a fresh trendy look and while supporting entrepreneurs in Haiti!

closet makeover closet makeover

Tip 2: Thrift, Thrift, Thrift!

Purchasing a new-to-you piece from your favorite thrift store is an excellent way to find fresh pieces for your sustainable wardrobe. Hanna found this olive jacket (and the hat in the picture above) at one of our favorite local consignment shops – we instantly fell in love!

Closet Makeover closet makeover

Tip 3: Swap & Share

Next on our list for an easy and ethical closet makeover? Swap a piece with one of your besties! Sharing old favorites with friends is an AWESOME way to keep your closet fresh. This cozy sweater was swapped between BB team members last fall!

closet makeover

Tip 4: Re-purpose

Re-purposing puts a fresh twist on an old piece. Like this floral headband? It was re-purposed from an old dress made by Hanna’s mother!! (It doesn’t get any better than that!). We are smitten!

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Tip 5: Ethical Accessories

Last but not least on our list? Bring in NEW ethical accessories from Bought Beautifully! When you choose to shop Bought Beautifully, your pieces make a difference around the world!

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What ways are you making your closet more ethical?

Share your tips with us!

 

 

For other outfit inspirations, check out The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday.

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How to: Ethical Easter

How to: Ethical Easter Gifts

On the hunt for ethical Easter gifts to fill your baskets?

Keep scrolling to check out a few of our spring favorites

from Bought Beautifully!

Ethical Easter

Badala baskets

Tired of the typical Easter basket? These adorable, handmade baskets make for the perfect, stylish alternative! Stuff them full of our favorite goodies, and you’ll have an ethical Easter from start to finish!

Ethical Easter

Equal Exchange Coffee

This year, instead of going for the M&M’s, opt for fair trade coffee and chocolate from Equal Exchange. This Proud Mama blend is beautifully packaged and has an even more beautiful impact! One more reason to snag this Easter gift? It’s on sale!

 

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Giving a journal this Easter? Give one that gives back! Each Flora journal supports college scholarships for young women in Kosovo.  The sale of 25 journals, supports a young woman for an entire year of college.

 

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Rooted Beauty Essentials: Lip Butter & Facial Wipes

We LOVE these natural and ethical beauty products. The best part? Each product gives back to a specific woman working her way out of poverty. Give the gift of a mini facial with this empowering Rooted Beauty duo!

Ethical Easter

We think Easter is the perfect occasion to think outside the basket (hehehe)!  While it would be easy to fill your Easter baskets with the traditional Easter gifts, wouldn’t it align better with the meaning and spirit of Easter to fill your basket with gifts that tell the story of God’s sacrificial love and redemption?

Live out love this Easter with ethical gifts from Bought Beautifully.

Shop these products and many others NOW.

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Valentine’s Day is near, fair trade chocolate is here

Valentine’s Day is near, and fair trade chocolate is here!

Give true love to your valentine this year with

chocolate that is making world-wide impacts.

Fair trade chocolate

While we love to enjoy delicious chocolate, it’s important

to know who’s producing it.

In recent years, the widespread use of child labor, and in some cases slavery in the chocolate industry has been exposed.  We shared about some of the issues here and here, and you can find even more up to date information at: Food is Power.org

fair trade chocolate

Fortunately, we don’t have to dwell on the problems of the chocolate industry when so many great ethical options exist.

Here are our top chocolate picks for this valentines day:

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1.) We think Barefoot and Chocolate sounds heavenly.  They use fair trade chocolate and DO NOT use any GMO’s, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated and solvent extracted oils in their chocolate sauce. Our V-day pick: Dark Chocolate Almond

2.) We love that Equal Exchange works hard to ensure a fair trade production model that benefits each of their employees while also creating tasty chocolate!  Our V-day pick = Organic Dark Chocolate with Raspberries

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3.) Riot Bars are fair trade and organic, making it a delicious option when you’re looking to make a difference this Valentine’s day. Our favorite? Dark chocolate with a bit of Kickin’ Coconut.

4.) We are swooning over Divine Chocolate‘s worker owned philosophy that gives workers  a share in the profits, a say in the company, and a voice in the global marketplace. Our V-day pick, a classic: The Belgian Chocolate collection.

P.S. We also love their 3 minute guide to Mindfulness and the Art of eating chocolate

This Valentine’s day, purchase ethically made treats, and give love to more than just your sweetheart.

Want more fair trade love? Try this sweet treat from our friends at Equal Exchange!

Spiced Chocolate Oat Cookies

fair trade chocolate recipe

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Equal Exchange Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or demerarra sugar (regular white will do in a pinch)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oats

Directions 

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

In the bowl of a double boiler, melt butter and water together. When butter has mostly melted, add sugar, brown sugar, molasses and chopped chocolate. Stir just until everything is melted you don’t want the butter to separate or the chocolate to get chunky, so remove the bowl from the heat when everything has melted, even if the sugar granules haven’t fully dissolved.

Off the heat, whisk in the eggs one at a time, whisking each time to incorporate. The mixture will start to look shiny. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until they disappear. Add oats and mix just to incorporate. Scoop your cookies (by the tablespoon) onto parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheets, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to several days. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes until just done (they’ll still look quite soft when you pull them out). Use a wide spatula to transfer cookies onto a rack, and cool to room temperature.

 

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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics: The January Collection

Living consciously is an everyday commitment.  The BB team has been striving to live out everyday ethics for quite some time now.  This journey is becoming easier and more exciting as the demand for ethical products increases.  We want to bring you all on our journey and share the items we love, use and are dreaming about every month.

We’re bidding January farewell with our favorite ethical finds!

 

Rebekah’s Picks:

Parker Clay leather tote

This bag is handmade in Ethiopia, transforming communities with social and economic empowerment.

I had been dreaming about this bag for a while when it appeared under the Christmas tree this year. Everyone needs an everyday leather tote, and this is one of my favorites.

Everyday ethical tote

The tassel

Our tassel necklace is handmade by artisans who are receiving dignified work and education in Costa Rica and Rwanda.

This necklace is my go-to accessory. It pairs well with both black and brown, while also adding a pop of color to any outfit.

Everyday ethical accessories

Fair Trade Footwear: Fortress of Inca

Footwear and accessories ethically produced in Peru.

I love the unique detail in Fortress of Inca’s booties. This pair is definitely on my wishlist.

 

Everyday ethical footwear

Hanna’s Picks:

Sasa Designs by the Deaf Wraps

Handmade bracelets by deaf artisans in Kenya

These bracelets have quickly become a favorite BB item for everyday wear, special occasions, and gifts.

everyday ethical jewelry

Everlane Tee’s

Ethically produced apparel from Peru

Your must-have striped shirt just got better with Everlane’s ethical production model.

Everyday ethical clothing

Jacob’s Hat

Accessories from Jacob’s Scarves support education for children around the world.

With its style and grace, this plum colored hat has stolen Hanna’s heart.

Everyday ethics accessories

Emily’s Picks:

FashionAble  Ring Bar

Customizable rings from Fashionable invest in women around the world.

I’m drooling over the customizable ring bar from Fashionable. So many rings, so little time.

Everyday Ethical Accessories

Etiko Shoes

Fairtrade footwear, YES please!

I finally found a pair of casual fair trade sneakers! I am dreaming about chasing my kids around this summer in these adorable tennies.

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Rooted Beauty Moisturizer

Empowering women to escape extreme poverty and trafficking through natural skincare

Winter moisturizing is a must in my book. I can’t say enough about Rooted Beauty’s organic line of beauty products. This moisturizer is lightweight, non-greasy, and the perfect way to keep my skin hydrated.

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What Ethical Products are you loving?

Let us know in the comment section.

We love finding new brands to support!

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Real Women, Real Beauty, Real Impact

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Phew! Thank goodness for January with cold temps, dark nights and slower paced living, we are finally getting to a few things that went undone during the last few months of holiday craziness…like this blog post which was originally  planned to share in October!

When Bought Beautifully was still in the dreaming and planning phases, I would spend hours thinking about the more subjective aspects of the organization: how it would be and feel, what our guiding philosophies would be, etc.

One of the few thing we knew from the beginning was that we wanted to be about the things God was about (faith in action, justice, mercy, and LOVE), and we wanted to celebrate the things He loves and creates…like you, in all of your everyday, un-Photoshopped glory!

No Photoshop. No reshaping. No conformity.

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Based on our belief that we are all “marvelously made“, and our desire to celebrate and honor real people, making real differences, through our seemingly ordinary lives:

Bought Beautifully is committed to featuring real women.

We want you to know that we love your real natural beauty. The beauty that comes from your soul and radiates out. The beauty that is a result of your life story – scars, stretchmarks, imperfections and all!  We will not reshape or Photoshop (unless a model requests something like a small blemish to be adjusted so that she feels a little more comfortable …because we all know acne can still be hard!). We want to celebrate the real deal!

Last September, we had the opportunity to do a photo shoot with 7  amazing women from our community:

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Instead of embracing the world of editing and air brushing, we embraced THEM.

There were no professional hair dressers or make up artists on site – just real real women!

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We are each a unique creation – the handy work of the creator God himself – and we love showing off his work!

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So cheers to you, real women with the power to impact others around the world with your beauty, your lives and your purchases!

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Fall Style Guide – Ethical Essentials

Fall Style Guide

Looking for ethical essentials?

Follow this week’s style guide to compare your favorite brand name pieces with BB products that are actively making an impact around the world!

 

BB AnthropologieAnthropologie $108

BB Kaia BB Kaia necklace $24. Shop here.

Buy your fall statement necklace beautifully, and give back to artisans in Costa Rica.

BB UO Urban Outfitters $18

BB DruzyBB Druzy earrings $18. Shop here.

Add some sparkle to your wardrobe with earrings that support education and vocational training for women in Africa.

 BB NordstromNordstrom $100

BB TuliBB crescent necklace $20. Shop here.

This pop of color makes a lasting impact in Uganda.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 1.27.08 PMNordstrom $48

Tiger eye Tassel necklaceBB Tiger Eye Tassel Necklace $31. Shop here.

Trendy tassels are a must have this fall. Buy yours beautifully, and create sustainable income for a family in New Delhi.

 

Use your purchases to empower others this season!

Shop on Bought Beautifully now.

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CAUSEGEAR – Accessories for Human Justice

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Tell us about the history of your organization?

CAUSEGEAR began in 2011 as a vision of Brad Jeffery. Beginning with a mission trip to Mexico, Brad became increasingly aware of global poverty. In the fall Brad visited with pastors and business leaders in Ethiopia and Kenya. He noticed that many living in poverty had skills, but lacked access to a sustainable marketplace. While walking through the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Brad had a vision:

What if a one to one relationship could be created between the fortunate few and the marginalized many in the poorest regions of the world through the purchase of high-quality, handmade, market-relevant fashion supporting dignified jobs for poorest on the planet? And what if each “crafter” was paid enough to take control of their lives and provide essential family needs (shelter, food, clean water, clothing, and medical)? Creating a relationship that provides tangible, sustainable life change, and a chance to break the cycle of poverty and slavery.  Not a hand-out, but an investment in the well being of others who don’t have the same opportunities we enjoy in the U.S.

After sharing his vision with friends, Brad moved forward with founding CAUSEGEAR.

Since 2011, the CAUSEGEAR brand has grown and faced many unique challenges. God has constantly provided the needed resources, as well as answers to the difficult questions that arise within a social enterprise.

What are some of the trials and triumphs you have faced in bringing your organization to where it is today?

One of CAUSEGEAR’s goals is to show others a sustainable business model that provides dignified wages and high-quality products. CAUSEGEAR has faced many challenges with respect to logistics. This year in particular, we have been faced with production and shipment delays. CAUSEGEAR and our partners in India are committed not only to providing quality jobs, but also ethical business practices. In many contexts bribery is a tempting shortcut that we must combat.

With regards to the big-picture, we are working to change an industry that has become comfortable with low prices at the cost of cheap labor. This is not an easy task.

Causegear infographic

How have you seen God provide/move/blow your mind? Any testimony to His greatness would be perfect here.

God has continued to provide opportunities to partner with other businesses and organizations that share our vision. It is through our partnership with The JUSTICE Conference that we developed a relationship with Bought Beautifully.

As a social enterprise, we are constantly reminded that we cannot do everything on our own. God has reminded us at many points that He is in control of all things.

As an organization what are you excited about right now?

We are excited to see a growing awareness among Western consumers. Many are realizing that low prices in the store often trace back to low wages and inhumane working conditions in the factory. We believe this growing awareness will eventually lead to lasting changes within the industry as consumers demand better working conditions.

Causegear Canvas Tote

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. What are some of your hopes and goals for 2015? The next three years?

We are excited to be adding a new team of crafters this year. As CAUSEGEAR grows, we are able to provide more opportunities for our crafting teams. We hope to reach a level of production that allows for more full-time positions to be made available to our current crafters.

We are also excited to expand the variety of products we offer.

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We have been exponentially blessed by CAUSEGEAR’S heart to see justice brought to life around the world. What an honor it is to work with such amazing men and women of God!

You can support CAUSEGEAR in their mission to create sustainable, dignified work by purchasing their products here.

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