This week, we visited with friends and enjoyed the final days before school is out for summer. I can’t believe another year has come and gone, and Tuesday marks the boys’ last day! We’re planning to visit with family and enjoy the three day weekend, after tonight’s brew session, of course. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week.
I enjoy this blog on Kate Middleton’s style, and this article about the necessity of maternity clothes interested me. I couldn’t have gone without them.
And speaking of royalty, Helen Mirren took it upon herself to grant a dying boy’s wish when the Queen could not.
This article on clothing factories in Bangladesh was re-tweeted this week.
I’ll never climb a mountain, but I truly admire people who do, and this man, at the age of 80, is no exception.
An interesting post about the misconceptions parents hold about non-parents.
“Call the Midwife” has been renewed for a third season, and I am thrilled. The second season ended last week and left me in a puddle of tears. I’m currently making my way through the first of Jennifer Worth’s memoirs (the basis for the show), and hope to share them with you soon.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Last summer, I showed you a few of the tiny creatures often found outside our house. This spring, two of my hanging geraniums were briefly taken over by birds as they built their nests, laid eggs, and cared for their little ones. I didn’t want to disturb the nests, so I didn’t photograph them, though I did have to get creative when my plants needed watering. The birds have since left, but we are often visited by this small one, who sits on our fence whenever the boys play outside.
He is very sweet-natured, and when we come close to him, he hops into the tree and sings. Then, he’ll fly back to his perch on the fence and chirp and chirp while we talk to him. Ryan thought the bird might be protecting his (or her) young, but I think he’s not that old himself and doesn’t realize he’s not supposed to talk to humans.
And Sunday, right before Ryan photographed my fair trade dresses, he accidentally discovered a small rabbit hole with two young rabbits inside!
I did a bit of quick research and discovered that it’s normal for wild rabbits to build their nests in the middle of yards or open fields, and the mother will often leave the babies unattended for long stretches. This has been the case with our little guys, and I’ve been keeping a close watch on them. They’re healthy and well-fed, so I’m not worried that they were orphaned.
Tuesday night, we were supposed to have a storm, so I lined a small box with grass and dirt, hoping to protect the rabbits from possible hail and high winds. As I tried to catch them, they ran away from me, so I knew they were old enough to care for themselves. As cute as they are, I really didn’t want to care for a pair of rabbits when I can barely keep up with my own boys these days!
I’ve been in search of a few dresses for summer, and since I shared my thoughts on fair trade clothing yesterday, I thought it would be fun to show you three new summer looks I’m hoping to wear often. All three items are by reputable fair trade stores and are also 100% cotton, so they will work quite nicely through the summer heat that arrived last weekend.
My first outfit is the “Frida Loves Diego” Dress by Mata Traders, and I think this is my favorite piece among the three. The dress was slightly large on me, so I cinched it with a gold, beaded belt and added my old staples from last summer, red espadrilles and my recycled necklace of painted beads, which I paired with each of the three looks. This outfit is incredibly feminine and extremely cool, and I’m planning to wear it to parties this summer.
Ryan snapped these photos of me while the boys played in their pool, and though the temperature was climbing into the upper 90s, I was kept cool, largely thanks to the mist drifting from their hose!
The “Jin Ju Red Ruffle Dress” is incredibly lightweight and vintage-inspired, and it reminds me of something straight from the set of “Bomb Girls.” This piece is a faux-wrap style with a lovely ruffled peplum, and I added the belt again for a bit of definition at my waist. I especially love the red pattern, which is screen printed on the fabric. The dress also comes in another pattern, and I had a hard time choosing between them!
My final look features a skirt by Fair Indigo, that is incredibly soft and comfortable. I’ve been on the hunt for a navy skirt, and I love that this piece is classic and can be paired with a casual tee or a more formal blouse. Though I no longer have an office job, I couldn’t help thinking that this skirt would be a perfect staple for a work wardrobe.
I’ve incorporated some fair trade garments into my closet, pairing them with pieces I already wear regularly, and I’m really thrilled with the quality and construction of my new dresses and skirt.
When I was growing up in San Antonio, the local Levi’s Jeans factory closed and relocated to Costa Rica, putting thousands of San Antonians out of work. My family, along with most of the city, boycotted Levi’s for years afterwards.
During that same time period, my sisters and I became friends with two neighbor girls who lived down the street from us. Their mother worked long hours in her garage, sewing blouses for a local clothing factory. I remember playing in their house while she worked at her sewing machine, and we would sometimes take a peek at the things she produced. I can remember seeing the product labels lying in a neat pile, ready for my friend’s mom to sew them into each blouse, just below the collar. When she met her quota, she would bundle up the blouses and drop them off at the clothing factory. I think I even got to ride along a time or two.
In college, I worked for a large department store, and occasionally, I was assigned to the warehouse, where I unloaded clothing directly from trucks, shipped straight from the factories where it was made. Many items were wrapped in plastic, which had to be removed, but some were simply packed in boxes.
I’ve always had an interest in clothing and fashion, and my early experiences helped me realize that, though we never see them, our clothes are made by real people somewhere. I love to shop and I pay attention to fabrics, but it was my search for cotton clothing that marked the beginning of my entry into the fair trade market, something I’m still learning about every day.
October Rebel, one of my favorite fashion bloggers, is on a quest to purchase only thrifted and fair trade clothing, and through her blog, I’m learning more about the industry, which works to provide clean, safe work environments and fair market wages for the employees of clothing manufacturers. Around the time I wrote about cotton, a clothing factory in Bangladesh literally collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. After that, I really started paying attention to where my clothing comes from.
Though I consider myself a frugal shopper and I’m not particularly attached to my clothing, I’m guilty of buying a cheap top or skirt on a whim, just for fun. I’ve often glanced at the label, wincing with a tinge of guilt when the item was made in some far off place. But now, I’m actively trying to be conscientious about my purchases, and I’m thinking about the people who make them. As I’m learning about fair trade clothing and buying it periodically, I’ll be sure to share it with you, too.
One of my hopes for my boys is that they will grow up to be caring and compassionate men, and I want to set a better example for them when it comes to purchasing things we use every day, like clothing. In our house, we’re pretty good about buying local foods when we can, and this just seems like the next step for me. I won’t say it’s become my mission, but it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so I will write about it from time to time and share resources with you as I find them.
I hope you’ll enjoy these posts and maybe learn a thing or two. Please also feel free to share your own information about fair trade products.
Today’s question is: Do You Think You Will Keep Blogging 5, 10, 15, 20 Years From Now?
I’m not very good at predicting the future, and I never would have pegged myself for a blogger a year ago, but I can honestly say I hope I will be blogging then! Who knows how social media and the internet will change, but as I’ve said in earlier posts, I love connecting with new people, both online and in real life, and I’ve found a good writing rhythm, so I hope I can keep that up for years to come.
I’ve been writing here for almost a year, and I still feel excited and inspired each day. One of my goals is to keep up the momentum, and I’d love for my blog to become a possible springboard for writing gigs, maybe as my boys get older. I also realize I’ll soon assume the position of their chauffeur, and my quiet time in the afternoons and evenings will become limited, too. I guess that’s all part of motherhood, but hopefully it will also provide some interesting fodder for my blog.
I think my current place in life is pretty common among bloggers, and it will be interesting to see how we all change and grow as we get older. Maybe one day, I’ll be writing about the awesome trips I’m taking, or even about my grandchildren, but we’ll just have to see!
Shayla’s life is going to change in a few months when her first baby arrives, so check out her response to today’s question at Northern Exposure, and be sure to share your experiences, too!