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Our Journey Towards an Ethical Wardrobe

Over the past two years, our little family has become much more aware of how our choices as a consumer impact us and the world around us. First I started with food, then household and beauty products. We aren’t 100% clean and organic, but I am much more conscious of what we are putting IN and ON our bodies. What we choose to wear is my current topic of research.

I have known about “fast fashion” for a while now, and personally have tried to make better choices when it comes to my wardrobe. Essentially fast fashion promotes a very unethical way of making clothes to keep prices down and people buying constantly. The companies listed below use sweatshops, some child labor and the list of icky business practices goes on and on. (Just go google it yourself and be enlightened!) Now that we have 2 little girls to clothe for the many years of their childhood I see just how great my impact as a consumer can be for good or bad. I really don’t want all those years of purchasing clothes and shoes to go to companies employ practices that (if I’m honest) I’m not comfortable supporting. This list hits me hard, especially Anthro, Zara and Old Navy! It’s easier for me to purchase sporadically from these companies and to be careful to only purchase what I need (a relative term) and will fit my life for at least a few years. But kids? They grow so quickly that we will inevitably spend a good chunk of change clothing them.

So what do we do about it? Well, herein comes my research lately. I’d love to start moving towards an ethical wardrobe for myself and my girls. Fortunately Elle and baby #2 will be born in the same season, so I can utilize her handmedowns. For now I’m compiling a list of all the ethical clothing companies I can find so I know where to go from here, instead of just being sad about where I’m *trying by best* not to shop. (I’m allowing a cave in every now and then! Gotta wean off slowly!)

Whats my plan? For now, wear the crap out of what we have. I have a good amount of Elle’s things all set for baby so we will utilize it all! For future purchases I’m trying to go with a “capsule wardrobe” for the seasons Fall/Winter & Spring/Summer. I’m making a list of what I like and what type of clothes works for our lifestyle. We will just have to purchase less since the ethical companies are more expensive (you know, since they pay their workers a fair wage) and take good care of what I do purchase for the girls. Kids are messy and get dirty when they play! I don’t want to get in the way of that, so my plan is to thrift and buy secondhand for things that will be more likely to get ruined. Any tips from you guys? I’m all ears.

So what are some of the ethical clothing companies? Well, they are harder to find because they’re smaller. There’s a reason the big chains use less than wonderful practices – it enables them to make more money and sell more stuff to consumers. Therefore, they are large companies! Here are the few I’ve found thus far:

Shoes:
– Saltwater Sandals (we already live in these for spring and summer. We almost wear nothing else, so why have much else? Plus, they last FOREVER. Elle’s are still in great shape and we did everything in our matching pairs!)
– Sweedish Hasbeens (women’s – also similar Lotta From Stockholm)
– FRYE (men’s, women’s & some kids)
Zuzii Footwear (mostly kids, some women’s)
Nisolo (adult sizes)

Clothes: (I haven’t even begun to research much for adults, so this is just kids)
Yoli & Otis
Daughter Co
Mabo Kids
– Etsy (you can find handmade clothes from ethically sourced fabrics with lots of searching)
Mini Mioche
– La Queue De Chat
Little Green Radicals
Wildly Co

Do you guys know of any others? I’m really just starting our journey. All ears!

 

Baby #2 | 19 Week Update

I’ve finally popped a bit! There’s not much hiding the bump (at least to me) now. I really love seeing it, and having the reminder of the sweet little girl inside. I’m so thrilled to have this girl join us soon! We moved Eleanora’s bedroom to our old guest room. When we first found out about baby, I went into an organizing/ cleaning out frenzy. Our closets are pretty small and there is no garage or extra closet to speak of, so we had to clean out an entire room of winter clothes, coats, my wedding dress and all the other things you don’t quite know what to do with. It took me a few weeks, but now all our storage is much more efficient and organized…or at least about as good as it’s going to get without a garage! I knew I’d probably get super sick so I wanted to get a head start. (Um, glad I did!) Now that we can keep our guest bed and Elle’s room is mostly done we can move on to the new nursery! Making a sweet space for these girls is one of my favorite things. It’s so special for me to create something just for them, something beautiful that they can grow into. Elle’s room is more colorful, with french blue and flowers – just like she loves. Now her room overlooks the backyard where she can see Luna and the birds in the trees outside her window. I can’t wait to make baby girl #2 a sweet space too and adapt it to her personality. It’s a small, silly thing really but part of my love language. Even if it’s just rearranging, it’s so fun for me to make things better for them.

How big is baby: the size of an heirloom tomato

How I’m feeling: Well, my hopes of morning sickness subsiding were quickly dashed after my last update. I am still battling nausea almost all day, and it is especially bad at night. Headaches and lightheadedness are almost constant as well. The past 5-6 weeks have been one sickness after the next. After the poison ivy went away I started breaking out in hives from some unknown allergies. Then I had an allergic reaction to mangos (which is in the poison ivy family if you didn’t know!) Apparently if you’re highly allergic to poison ivy, you’ll break out terribly if you touch the skin or pit of the mango. Well, glad I can never to go through that again. THEN I got flu like symptoms with a super bad head cold, cough and aches. I still have a cold but at least it isn’t as bad. Maybe the nausea is going away soon.

Weight gain/ clothes: 5 lbs. Pretty much stayed the same for the last 5-ish weeks, but I think that’s because I’ve been so sick. I did order one pair of maternity jeans this week, but alas they didn’t work. I’m hanging on with the rubber band trick but I think I’ll need the stretchiness soon. I basically wore dresses the whole time with E, but I wear pants so much more now – especially since we are still in winter. Hopefully I can make do if I find a pair of jeans along with what I already have.

Symptoms: Exhaustion, nausea and headaches

Sleep: Man, I could still sleep all day. I usually have to find some time for a catnap during the day.

Diet/ cravings/ aversions: Where do I even start? Gosh, my body has been all over the place. It really depends on the day what it decides it will tolerate. I was on Whole30 to try and clear up my hives, but with no nuts. I’ve added dairy and some wheat back, but overall I don’t seem to do well with much besides veggies.

Movement: I really started feeling her move around the other night. I’m still trying to wear my regular pants and I don’t think she liked it! Haha! She made it known she wasn’t comfy, which neither was I but my stretchy pants haven’t come in the mail yet! Ha. Excited to feel her move some more. It’s so fun – until they get big and stomp on my bladder.

Exercise: Still LOL LOL LOL LOL! I hope I can do more of this soon. We went on a family walk the other day and I try to do a few squats here and there, but I really need to get well first.

What I’m looking forward to/ best moment this week: Well, I felt pretty great on Sunday. It was a nice break. Elle has been especially crazy but also sweet lately. It’s been warm the past few days and that has really lifted my spirits! It makes me look forward to Spring and all its fun! I’m looking forward to my 20 week ultrasound next week and seeing little lady again! Also – HALF WAY! All the praise hands. We can make it.

Mood: I’m trying to stay positive. My mom came to help out since I’ve fallen a bit behind lately on life/ work/ etc and that was such a huge blessing. I’m trying to be joyful and keep a quiet heart. The Lord has taught me a lot lately. I’m trying to use feeling bad as a reminder to desire Him. The ick of nausea and the constant bad taste in my mouth is a reminder that my sin and self-centeredness should taste the same way to me. He has been with me. And I see just how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband who has taken on so much while I’ve been sick. I can’t control my life – shocker. This is just another area to rely on the Lord for His strength. We’ll survive.

My Little Girls

My girls. I really couldn’t have imagined a life with two little girls in it when I dreamed about having kids. I always thought I’d be more of a boy-mom, which is probably due to my love of blues, outdoor adventures and making things. Growing up I was always the girl in a dress, with unkempt hair climbing a tree or skinning my knees. I had more hickory nut wars with the neighborhood boys than barbie doll dress up parties. I’m not a very outwardly emotional person (it channels into writing and music for me) so girl emotions and pinks and princesses kind of scared me. Then came our Eleanora Rose and I fell in love with my little girl. I suppose you could say I’m a baby girl convert. She’s all the best things about a girl – ballerina dancing, ribbon loving, Frozen adoring, nail painting – but also so adventurous and explorative. If I turn by back on her for one minute outside she will be in a pile of dirt. She talks about wanting to climb a mountain one day and loves running “the fastest I’ve ever seen!” I won’t lie and say we don’t hope for a boy one day, but I am so excited to have two sweet girls to raise and take on adventures. Plus from experience, having a sister is the best thing ever. I am excited to lean on Jesus and we seek to raise strong, confident girls who exude kindness and grace – beautifully unique in their own ways. That is my hope for these two!

I cannot wait to meet this sweet new baby and watch her grow into who God has already designed her to be. Perhaps the most exciting thing to me about parenting is watching their unique personhood unfold and ask for God’s wisdom in how to shape these precious lives for His glory. Nothing is a mistake. Strengths and weaknesses are there for a purpose. Each of these girls have a reason for being on this earth, in our home, and to live at this point in time. As do I – and am often reminded as I pray for them. It is incredible to know that God created every part of them, knows each of their days and loves them far beyond the capacity of my human heart. Their lives, however long, are in His hands. I’m the lucky one that gets to be a witness to the story He is unfolding in them, and to point them always to the gospel. I’m not a perfect mother. In fact, I often find myself at a complete loss or in need of apologizing. There are more times than I can count that I don’t know how to discipline other than to have us both pray that God will help us. But therein lies the gospel and the need for Jesus. I can’t parent perfectly. They won’t obey perfectly. We’ll all mess up. That’s ok because it just shows us our desperate need for grace, and the vast, unconditional love of the Father.

Sweet baby girl #2, I cannot wait to meet you and stumble to Jesus with you.

Love, your Mama

Baby #2 | 13 week update

Well, I did these with Eleanora so I figured I’d like to look back on this pregnancy too. I definitely feel much more chill about it all this time around. I don’t get on the scale. I don’t worry about fitting into clothes because my wardrobe is already more forgiving since E and styles are much more flowy – yay! I guess since I’ve done it before I know how amazing my body is and how much it’s capable of doing. I don’t always look at my stomach like I did before to see if it’s bigger or smaller. It just is what it is and my body knows what to do. And I have a 2 year old to keep me plenty distracted!

Even so, I still cherish this sweet life. All the sickness of the last few months has been tempered by my extreme thankfulness. I longed and hoped for this precious life for almost a year before I saw those two pink lines. It feels like even more of a miracle this time. I’m less worried about all the changes my body will go through and simply overflowing with thankfulness that I have this privilege again. Our lives are a little crazier and things aren’t as quiet, but even so I feel our daily flow of life is simple. I know more of what it really important and what I’m willing to sacrifice personally, professionally and in ministry to raise these kids. I don’t feel as much of a “death” to who I was before, because I’m so thankful for who (the Lord through) motherhood has made me. I think less about the future, and focus more on what is right in front of me. So if I do a little fewer of these sweet baby #2, it’s because I’m living in the moment and I’m really not thinking about how you’re changing me. I’m praying over your miracle of a life (however it will look) and preparing my heart and your big sister for when you come. We’ve been ready and waiting for you.

How big is baby: the size of a kiwi

How I’m feeling: I *hope* most of my morning sickness has passed with the first trimester. I haven’t thrown up like I did with E. (Looking back I didn’t talk about it much because I think I was trying to be mostly positive. Ha!) So it wasn’t puking at stop lights like last time, but I was definitely nauseated all day long. The smell of everything (almost) made me gag. I couldn’t open our fridge or go in the kitchen without holding my breath, and definitely couldn’t cook. Then I got poison ivy! Ha! So glamorous. (Sarcasm) It was all over my entire body for over 2 weeks. The doc put me on some meds after it just kept getting worse and I feel human again. It’s hard not to worry, but I know that God hold my life and the life of this babe in His hands – regardless of what happens. I can do my best to be healthy but ultimately the health of this life is not in my control. I still feel a bit queasy, but it’s nothing compared to the constant nausea and exhaustion I have known for the past 2 months.

Weight gain/ clothes: 5 lbs. Yep – I’m already bigger than last time but I’m not going to even think about that this time. It is what it is. The bump is mostly bloat, so I try not to think about it. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s my second, but pants don’t feel as uncomfortable. I still have some room (hello beautiful boyfriend jeans!) so I’m just glad I can still get into all my clothes. I feel the need for the hairband loop trick coming soon though…

Symptoms: Less headaches, nausea and exhaustion so yay! Still a good bit of bloating, but I’m used to that from last time.

Sleep: Well, I wasn’t sleeping much at all since Thanksgiving due to my poison ivy. Eek. But I have finally only woken up once or twice the last few nights! Hallelujah! Before that I was just tired all the time and needed as much sleep as I could get.

Diet/ cravings/ aversions: My appetite seems to be back for the most part! Hooray! Everything tasted disgusting – even Chick-fil-A! So sad! Salt was gross. Sweets, ick. All I wanted was salads with good protein. And I had to eat every 2-3 hours to keep the nausea at bay, which was so annoying, especially when nothing tasted good anyway. Glad that seems to be subsiding for now. We ate 5 Guys this weekend and it felt like heaven! I’ve indulged a bit these past few days simply because food tasted better again!

Movement: Nothing I can feel yet.

Exercise: LOL LOL LOL LOL! Yeah right! That has not happened since week 8! Ha! I hope to get back to something soon-ish now that my skin isn’t on fire and I’m not out of commission on the couch.

What I’m looking forward to/ best moment this week: We find out if baby is a boy or a girl a week from Thursday!!! What! I cannot wait. I have a better boy nursery idea than girl, but I have more girl names than boys. Either way, I’ll be so excited. I just want to know! I also love that Elle talks about the “baby in mommy’s tummy” all the time. She has a name picked out too! She calls it, Milky Slinky Blair! Ha! She’s cray.

Mood: I can’t say I’ve been at my best the last oh, 2 months or so. I’ve tried to keep my spirits up, but the last 2 weeks especially have been pretty miserable. I felt guilty for not cooking or being able to take care of E like I wanted to, but tried to remind myself that it won’t last forever and I’d be better soon. I also hated eating out for most meals. I hated that I was so exhausted and things didn’t get done. I hated trying to pretend I felt ok so I didn’t have an “I hate life right now” look on my face 24/7. But if I have learned anything in motherhood is that sometimes you just do what you have to do to make it through. Nothing lasts forever and it WILL be ok. It’s ok to give yourself grace, especially hard for my perfectionistic tendencies. It’s ok to let others pick up your slack for a while. And to simply be grateful for amazing people in your life that care and let you know it’s ok for you to not be ok for a while. As for this week, it’s hard not to feel ALIVE and joyful over the fact of feeling even just ok! I feel the energy for life coming back to me and I will relish it for however long it lasts. (Because I also remember how the last bit of pregnancy was last time too. Ha!)