Monday, February 4, 2019

Moon Cycle Meditation Challenge


Ladies & Gentleman, it's been a minute since my last post, but I'm back in action with some wonderful content... or at least I think it's wonderful.

As some of you may know, I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in November of 2018 and it opened up an entirely new world to me. A world of connection, of spirituality and community. Through this community, I have had the pleasure of working with Kris Jones of @FindYourHealing.

Kris put together an AWESOME Moon Meditation Challenge, and asked if Little Pieces of Hope wanted to be a part of it. Funny enough, I have just started re-connecting with meditation as my body has been craving the feeling of grounding and slowing down. So as you can imagine, when Kris told me about this challenge I immediately hopped on board as I think it was the Universe nudging me to continue on with my new morning routine of focusing on my breath and grounding down.

Meditation has SO many unbelievable benefits. It brings me clarity. It brings me connection. It brings me peace. The list can seriously go on, and on. However if you're meditation curious and more interested with the scientific/biological benefits of meditation, check out this post of mine from a few years back.



Alrighty, so here is more information regarding this Moon Cycle Meditation Challenge.

For a full moon cycle (28 days) we are hosting a meditation challenge, beginning February 4th, and ending March 5th. 

Most people we know struggle keeping up a consistent meditation practice, when it's in truly our lifeblood. So this is our space to keep each other accountable with a chance to win some prizes at the end of this challenge from ethical, uplifting brands & healers. 

Hosts 
@FindYourHealing

Sponsors


Guidelines

1. Like & Repost this post (it can be in your social media story or feed)

2. Sit in meditation connecting with, and honoring the current phase of the moon every day of this upcoming moon cycle

3. Write a Post of any size, of your daily experiences and tag all hosts + sponsors


5. Must use hashtags #MoonCycleMeditation, #MoonCycleMeditationChallenge

6. Follow all of the guidelines above & you will be entered to win

-A Mala from Malas with a Mission
-A Palo Santo Bundle & Crystal Infused Essential Oil blend from Little Pieces of Hope
- 30 Minute Reading using the Moon Deck with Kris from Find Your Healing

   Photo found on Pinterest          
                                              
If social media isn't really your thing, I still invite you to follow along with our challenge. You won't be eligible for the prizes, however I would love to see how you meditate, or connect on a daily basis. You can send me a DM privately or just post a quick snapshot on your story. Either way, we all would love for you to join, and raise the Universal Vibration 


Last thing, if you have no idea behind the symbolism of each moon phase...which let's be real, I don't really either, here is a quick "cheat sheet" I found here, to explain some of the affirmations that are linked with the different phases of La Luna. 



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2 Years of No Drinking



 I have questioned whether or not to share my anniversary this year for fear I would come across as too braggy, or pompous. But when I really sat down to reflect, I remembered how much came from sharing my story last year with anxiety, so I figured...what the hell, let's do this.

Last week, I celebrated 2 years of no drinking. And to tell you the truth, it was a much easier celebration than my first year. The first anniversary, I was still very scared. When I took the time to reflect last year, everything still felt too close. Like not enough time had passed since the darkness of anxiety consumed me. I was constantly scared I was going to "relapse" and not in the drinking sense, but in the sense of allowing the beast that is anxiety to take over again without any say from me.



But this year, things felt and looked much differently than the first anniversary. I felt excited this year, as if it was actually something to celebrate. With me, I don't necessarily feel as if I am celebrating the sobriety part as much as I am celebrating the "holy shit, I came a long way from two years ago of living with my mom, and not being able to sleep or be alone due to fear of panic attacks." Of course, the no drinking thing is quite the accomplishment, but what I am most proud of is how far I have come overall. 

Two years ago I decided to stop drinking because I realized that alcohol was just temporarily calming me down from anxiety, or covering up the fact that I was single and very much alone. I didn't have a problem with drinking, in fact, I was always known as someone who didn't drink that much, however I was trying to use alcohol as a quick fix for a big problem. Then when the buzz would wear off, I was back to square one. Still had anxiety. Still single. Still sad. 



Whenever I decided to take the leap and try anxiety medication, my psychiatrist told me that in order for the medication to work its best, I needed to stop drinking, and stop smoking, especially at the beginning when my body/mind was getting used to everything. Meanwhile, I was still very much struggling with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms, and one of the many ways to help heal your body naturally from this, is to eliminate drinking. Plus I HATED the feeling of being hung over. I mean I don't know one person who likes the feeling of being hung over, but I would bitch and moan the entire time I was hung over. And to top that off, I didn't like how I would waste my whole next day in bed sleeping everything off. 


Then, I met my fiance, Maxwell. My sobriety, and life guru. Talk about divine intervention here. Never did I ever think I would find someone so intellectual and insightful as him. His approach to sobriety is something like I have never seen before. He is disciplined, humble, and radiantly proud of his lifestyle change. I remember on our first date I was thankful he was sober since I newly was on medication and still kind of embarrassed to not be drinking. (Isn't it funny how alcohol is the only "drug" where you have to have an excuse NOT to do) Anyways, I was thankful he was sober as I wouldn't feel pressured to drink on our first date. His sobriety journey is a little different than mine, but I can't tell you how nice it is to have a teammate who is also on the no-drinking, no-drugs bandwagon. 



When I first stopped drinking, I was so nervous what people would think of me. Thankfully my friends and family were super supportive, especially seeing the transition I underwent from being an anxiety riddled recluse in bed to someone who smiles again, answers phone calls, and appears in social settings from time to time. But as I got more adventurous with who I hung out with, I found myself having to answer to other people outside of my friend group as to why I stopped drinking. 

Still to this day, I am sometimes unsure how to answer this question, simply because there are a handful of reasons. 

No, I am not drinking due to religion. 
No, I am not drinking simply because my fiance is sober. 
No, I don't judge others who drink. 
No, I don't mind when people drink in front of me. 


I stopped drinking because I have crazy anxiety. 
I stopped drinking because my health was declining due to PCOS.
 I stopped drinking because alcohol wasn't serving me anymore. 
I stopped drinking because I wanted to learn how to handle my anxiety head on rather than with a temporary fix. 
I stopped drinking because my fiance gave me the confidence to realize that I don't need alcohol to be or have fun. 

Yes, I still worry about not being "fun", but then I look back to the wedding I just attended last week, and my wicked dance moves, and I realize that no wet blanket would dance like that. (I don't know why, but when I get on the dance floor something takes over me. My friends call it DDS (dirty dancing syndrome) All I need to hear is Toxic by Britney Spears, or Pony by Ginuwine...GAME OVER PEOPLE)



Now I know this is a long post, but I think it's important to talk about mental health and connect with others who are struggling or who have struggled in the past. I also think it's important to talk about sobriety as there tends to be a lot of shame that come with both addiction and mental health.

 I remember my one friend, who is also a wonderful, smart and beautiful therapist (I'm talking about you Whitney), told me in the beginning of my anxiety journey, that it's crucial to "normalize anxiety". Hallelujah, and amen. If only we normalized anxiety, depression, or mental health maybe people wouldn't feel so alone or ashamed. I don't know about you, but hearing about Anthony Bourdain's death absolutely crushed me. Someone who "had it all" yet still struggled. Might I mention, he also struggled with addiction in the past.


So here it is, my reflection of my two years of no drinking. 

No, I don't have it all figured out. 
Yes, I still have anxiety. 
Yes, I still worry what others think about me. 

But when I sit down a realize how far I have come, all those fears and negative self-talk fall to the side. 

I have a life again. A life that's fuller than I ever could've imagined. 
I have grown, challenged myself, and healed along the way. 
Something I will forever be proud of.

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So, Maxwell mentioned it may be nice to write a little list of things, activities, or books that have helped me on days when I'm on the struggle bus. Because what's a blog post bragging about how good I feel, without sharing a few tips and tricks I have used along the way on days where I feel like shit?

Feel free to also check out this older post I wrote last year with info on self-help books, and meditation apps.

1. TALK TO SOMEONE - I know it's scary to admit you're not feeling "normal" - Whether that means you struggle with alcohol, addiction, anxiety or other mental health issues. But guess what, the more you keep it a secret the more you will struggle. I tried so hard to white knuckle my way through anxiety, and guess what..it didn't work. I felt totally out of control, and keeping it a secret made me feel even MORE out of control. First step to recovery, admitting something's up, talking to someone about it, and potentially asking for help.

Even if you have received help, and are just having an off day - talk to someone. Talking to someone takes the power out of your fears and helps the healing process. Call up your friend after work, talk to your partner, or even your Mom. If one doesn't answer, keep on trying. Talking to someone gets you out of your own head.

2. It's okay to ask for help - After months of seeing a therapist, there was a day where I was just so tired of fighting, I finally accepted the idea of asking for help. Help getting my life back. Help feeling happy again. Help gaining my independence. So guess what...I got some help and got on anxiety medication. But before that, I asked for help from my Mom and asked if I could move into her house so she could take care of me.

I still ask for help. Asking for help doesn't mean you're weak. In fact, it's the total opposite. To me asking for help is STRONG AF, and shows a sense of confidence. It means you're wanting to grow, and expand in a way, and you're unsure how to start on your own. So in some cases help may mean treatment, or therapy, or even asking for support from your friends. But just because you're asking for help, in no way is a sign of weakness. Your friends and family WANT to help you. Imagine if your best friend was going through what you are going through, and they asked for your help. What would you do?...If you're anything like me, you would do whatever you could in order to get your friend back to his/her best self.

3. Therapy - Man oh man, I can't ever say enough wonderful things about therapy. I freakin' love it, and seriously wish it was affordable for everyone to attend. It's my one time a week where I am forced to sit down, be present and take care of myself.

4. Journaling - Now if therapy isn't your cup of tea (which I truly think it's everyone's cup of tea they just need to find the right therapist) journaling is a great alternative. I love to journal about my fears, about my dreams, what I've accomplished in a day, what I'm grateful for, etc. Whenever I'm having a moment of panic, or feeling uncomfortable about something, I sit and journal. Something about getting out your thoughts on paper (or saying them out loud to a friend) takes the power away from them.

5. Be active! - I am a big fan of physical activity and the power it can do to heal your body and mind. That doesn't mean I am working out every single day, or even 1x a week, but guess what, it's a good tool to have in your tool belt for days you're in a funk. Even if it's just a 10 minute walk outside, do it! It'll help. And that vitamin D doesn't hurt either.

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(picture pulled from Pinterest)

As for the no drinking part of this all - that's the easy part for me. Anxiety is the hard part, which is why my tips are focused on healing from that. However, the no drinking part wasn't easy at first. And I think the fact my doctor told me "DO NOT DRINK" made me follow those rules that much more.

 So my tips for if you are sober curious, and need a little assistance.

-Find fun drinks that don't have alcohol and stock your fridge. I have been on multiple bachelorette parties where I just bring my own Kombucha or LaCroix and I am good to go. Because let's be real, sometimes drinking water is boring.

-Substitute drinking alcohol at bars/restaurants with a nice club soda and lime. No one can tell the difference.

-Tell your friends about your sober journey. If they give you a hard time, it's most likely because they themselves aren't happy with their own drinking habits and now they don't have you to get kray kray with.

-Just because you're sober, doesn't mean you have to stay home and miss out on the fun. Instead of meeting your friends for drinks, meet them for coffee, or ice cream or for a nice evening/morning walk. Schedule time for an activity such as rock climbing, or swimming, instead of heading to a happy hour.

-Find your tribe - Having Maxwell as my partner in sobriety has made things a lot easier. I have had my ups and downs with worrying whether or not I was still fun, and in a sense grieving that old part of me that did party. But having a friend that is also on your same journey, or a similar one, makes it so much easier. Yes, there will be a time where you miss your old self, but guess what having a friend that has also gone through the same thing makes you feel understood and comfortable.

-Plus I have found that when I miss my old self, I am usually glorifying the past, and in complete denial. When I am wanting to drink/or smoke, I sit and think - why do I really want to drink? It's usually because I am so stressed out in that moment that I just want a quick fix to de-stress, relax and have no responsibilities. And that's what I used drinking and smoking for. A way to escape my current reality. Instead, refer back to some of my tips above and find another healthier way to relax.

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See this Instagram photo by @doyoutravel รข€¢ 53.8k likes
(picture found on Pinterest)

As always, this post is very raw and straight from the heart. Please be kind when reading, and commenting. As for anyone who is also on the struggle bus, or sober curious, send me a message! I would love to connect and learn more about you.






Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jade Rolling



Recently, I partnered up with Fun House to try out their beautiful Jade Rollers. I have heard about Jade Rollers for months and months now, but never made the dive to actually try them out. I would see cute Etsy shops carrying them, beauty bloggers using them on the reg, and still I just didn't even bother to get one...and honestly, I don't know why I waited so long.



Jade Rollers are amazing for so many different reasons. First of all, it just FEELS good. It's like a delicate, soothing massage for your face. Plus it has a multitude of health benefits.

-Relieves Tension-

When the muscles on your face tense up, they are more likely to create wrinkles. Yeah I'm talking about you furrowed eyebrow wrinkle.

-Increases Blood & Oxygen Flow-

By rolling your face, you are increasing blood and oxygen flow to your beautiful face, which will naturally bring a luminous and radiant glow to your skin

-Detoxifies-

Just like dry brushing, jade rolling massages your face, and stimulates your lymphatic system, and when we give our lymphatic vessels a work out, we are naturally helping our body eliminate toxins. 

-Increases Collagen-

You know how everyone is drinking Collagen these days? Collagen helps repair the small damages to the skin, that we aren't necessarily even aware of. Jade rolling helps increase collagen through facial massage, which ultimately helps tighten and firm the skin. 

-Decrease Eye Puffiness-

Pulled an all-nighter? Not to fear. Massage your eye area with the smaller jade roller, and it will naturally drain the lymph out and give you a significant de-puffing effect. For a double whammy, throw your jade roller in the fridge and roll under eyes. The colder temperature will do wonders for your puffy, tired eyes.



How to use

It's really simple. All you need to do is, wash your face, and apply your favorite serum. My favorites include the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil for daytime, and the Skin Owl Maqui Berry Drops for nighttime. 


All these goodies are linked in my Amazon Influencer Page, riiiight here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Earth Day





You guys, I am obsessed with Earth Day. You know, now thinking about it, I wish everyday was Earth Day.

Over the last few months I have actively tried to reduce my carbon footprint, and I have learned a lot along the way. So I thought I would share some fun, easy ways to help nurture and take care of our beautiful Planet. 


1. Sponges

One quick and relatively inexpensive fix - swap out your grungy old sponges with these beautiful wood dish brushes. Not only will they up your kitchen game, they are made with natural bristles (aka no stinky sponge) and you can compost them when they have reached their final days of cleaning. Isn't that so cool? 

I bought mine at the Wild Minimalist.

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Instead of using plastic bags, try swapping them out with these cool Stasher bags. I love using mine to freeze fruit for my morning smoothies. These are also great to use for packing your lunches, or even while traveling to carry your knick-knacks.

They come in all different sizes, colors and can easily be thrown in the dishwasher to be cleaned. I absolutely love the feeling when I use mine. I feel responsible, and like such an adult ;)

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3. Dryer Balls

Dryer Sheets are FILLED with toxic ingredients. Ingredients that can cause asthma, headaches, and even dizzy spells. Plus when you're done using them they are just thrown away, and left to leach chemicals into the earth.

Wool Dryer Balls on the other hand are an awesome chemical free, and zero waste option! Plus you can even add a few drops of essential oils to these to make your laundry smell like lavender, or lemon.

Wool Dryer balls are reusable, reduce your drying time by 25%, reduces static, eliminates wrinkles, and of course...are chemical free!

I bought my Dryer Balls from Whole Foods, but I'm sure you can snag them from Amazon.


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4. DIY Beauty

Another great way to reduce your trash production is to make your own beauty products. As you may know, I am a big fan of DIY projects, so making my own skincare products is like a home run for me. I use recycled glass bottles or jars (sometimes store bought, too!) and fill them up with natural, chemical free products. This option is also a little friendlier on your wallet, too! 

I love to make my own facial toner, body butter, toothpaste, and even acne spot treatment. Follow @CleanLiving.LPOH to find recipes
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(Photo from @simply.living.well instagram)

5. Reuse

I am a glass jar hoarder - anything that has a lid, and the potential to be used again goes into my dish washer, and then right into my glass cabinet. So far I have saved cute kombucha bottles, spice jars,  coconut oil jars, and even some spaghetti sauce containers. I then reuse them for bath salts, collecting my own dried herbs from my garden, making my own reed diffusers with essential oils,  and even some homemade candles. 

Another great idea for reusable products
-Paper Towels
-Cotton Rounds
-To-go Containers
-Produce Bags

I love the options that Marleys Monsters offer for reusable Paper Towels, and Cotton Rounds. For To-Go Containers, check out the Wild Minimalist, or Package Free shop.

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(Photo from Package Free Shop Instagram)


6. Say no to straws!

This seems to be a big one right now, and something I am not always the best at remembering. I LOVE straws, so I really need to get myself one of these cuties from the Wild Minimalist.

Straws make the list of top 10 marine pollutants. This single use plastic never fully biodegrades, making this 20 minute utensil, have a forever lasting impact.

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7. Feminine Hygiene 

Okay, my true hippie ways may show in this post, but....tampon applicators are one of the biggest forms of ocean pollution. Isn't that so wild? But then again, it totally makes sense. One way to show our oceans some love is to switch to something a little more environmentally friendly. Yep, I'm talking about a menstrual cup.

I personally use the Diva Cup, and am a BIG fan. Yes I sometimes get grief for using this, but I really do prefer this over tampons anyways. I can go 12 hours with a menstrual cup, and it's nice to know I'm not producing as much waste as I once did. There is a little learning curve when it comes to starting out with something like the Diva cup, or Lunette, but it's worth it in the end.

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8. Shop Responsibly 

Before I studied Apparel Design & Merchandising, I was actually an Environmental Science major at University of Colorado. One summer, I sat down and thought, "How can I make Little Pieces of Hope be more environmentally friendly?" From then on, I have made it my mission to make LPOH as green as possible. 

For example, when you order from LPOH, you will receive a,

-Charity Info Card - Made from seeded paper - meaning you can plant it if you'd like and wildflowers will bloom! Even if it ends up in a landfill, nature will take it's course and allow it to biodegrade (pictured above)

-Business card - Made from Recycled Cotton T-Shirts - Can be recycled

-Jewelry Pouch - No plastic here! Just a reusable canvas bag

-Necklace Card - Made from Recycled Paper, with plant based ink. Recyclable.

-Padded Mailer - Recycled Material, that can be recycled again, or if it ends up in the trash it can biodegrade easy peasy.

-Tape- Plant Based tape! Can you believe that. So this can be recycled, or biodegradable. 



Some of my favorite stores that are making an environment impact for the better include
-Jungmaven
-Package Free 
-Elate Cosmetics
-The Wild Minimalist
-Tree House - Austin, Texas

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9. Windows

I know this one isn't something everyone can do - but my boyfriend and I just splurged to get new windows in our house. We did this for many reasons - yes the additional sound "proofing" will be nice so I won't hear my neighbors dang dog barking in all hours of the night, but this will also save on our energy bill. These windows keep in heat in the winter, and block the heat in the Summer. Living in Texas, this is a MUST in the Summer. Plus, we won't be using as much A/C in the hotter months, which really does the City of Austin some favors, too.

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10. Plant your own Garden

I am a newbie when it comes to plants. Just recently, my boyfriend made me a garden and I have fallen madly in love. 

I love the idea of growing my own produce, and potentially growing so much that I have enough to give away to friends. Gardening has a plethora of benefits that range from mental health to environmental perks. 

Now you may be thinking how can my little garden make a difference? But it actually can!

Commercial production of fruits and veggies produce a lot of pollution - harmful chemicals/pesticides, air pollution due to transportation to grocery stores, and even plastic. When you produce your own veggies, you won't ever forget your reusable bag, nor will you have to put your produce in plastic veggie bags. It's a win, win! 

Planting your own garden also helps our efforts to reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. When plants undergo their natural process of photosynthesis, plants take in the carbon dioxide and turn it into valuable oxygen molecules. 

I love knowing my little garden is making a difference (yes, even if i can't seem to keep my damn cucumbers alive) 

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What are your favorite ways to reduce your carbon footprint?!



Monday, January 29, 2018

Vegan Brunch Recipe - Chia Seed Pudding



This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a little DIY day with my friend, Helen. We both got into using Essential Oils a few months ago, and wanted to have a get together with all of our girlfriends so we could make roller bottles of oils, and really just share the wealth of all things essential oils.

Of course, I managed to procrastinate to the very last minute, but I was able to throw a few things together for everyone to snack on.

Also, shout out to @earthyandy for sharing these recipes in the first place. If you don't follow her already, I highly recommend doing so. She lives in Hawaii, and has a life full of surfing, healthy eating and family fun. 


Maple Chia Seed Pudding
Ingredients
2 cups coconut milk (homemade or natural, other nut milks are great too!)
    ½ cup Organic Chia Seeds
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
    ¼ cup maple syrup

*This recipe makes 4 servings*

                                                                   Video from Earthy Andy

Directions

Basically, all you do is dump these 4 ingredients into a bowl, and then stir. 

Once everything is mixed, pour mixture into a glass container. I used 4 little mason jars, with plenty of space for toppings later. 

Once your mason jars are filled to your liking, put the lid on, and place in the fridge. 

Make sure to refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I like to leave mine in the fridge overnight, so I have a quick and healthy breakfast option for me in the morning.

I definitely recommend topping this pudding with some fruit, or nut butter. 

*Original Recipe found here on Earthy Andy's site*

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"Caramel" Coconut Balls

Ingredients

(2) 8 oz. Pitted Dates
2 Tablespoons Water
1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
(The original recipe calls for 1 cup of coconut sugar but I found that 1/3 - 1/2 cup was plenty)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1.5 Cups Oats
1/4 Cup Coconut Shreds


Directions

If you didn't buy pitted dates, start by removing pits from the dates. 

Next chop up all your dates, and put them in a frying pan with your water and coconut sugar. 

Cook down for about 10 minutes on medium-low. Chop and Stir while cooking down.

Once it bubbles, and is almost paste-like, turn off heat and stir in vanilla.

Let it cool for a few minutes.

Next, stir in your oats and coconut shreds. (This may take some arm strength, since the dates are super sticky)

Now, once the mixture is cool enough to handle, start rolling your mixture into bite-sized balls and place on parchment paper

You can also roll in additional coconut shreds if you really like da coconut.

My friends said these tasted like the Girl Scout Samoa Cookies (Caramel Delight Cookies)

*Original Recipe can be found here, on Earthy Andy's blog*

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I then store these Caramel Bites in the fridge and let them firm up a bit. Then in the morning, I crumble them up and put them on top of my chia seed pudding, along with bananas, berries and nut butter. It's so delish.

They are also great to eat alone as a snack!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Whipped Body Butter - DIY



As some of you may know, I started selling Young Living a few months back and I am having SO much fun making new beauty products with my essential oils. I wanted to share a fun recipe I whipped up (pun intended) the other day that I am really loving. Plus it's super easy and chemical free. Right up my alley.

I found the original DIY recipe on Lauren Singer's Instagram/Youtube Page - Trash is for Tossers. (Check out her Instagram here - you won't regret it) One of my monthly goals for January is to produce less waste. So naturally, I went on Lauren's page and tried to find a few things I could do to help me reach my goal. Another goal of mine this month is to eliminate some clutter in my makeup/beauty routine.

I am a total and complete product junkie. I love finding new chemical free companies, and trying out their stuff. Unfortunately it has left me with a lot of products. Some I don't even really need. Hence why I am trying to organize and eliminate a few things from my beauty cabinet.

As always I love to use simple, and natural ingredients on my body since I have preached loud and clear about the dangers of using synthetic fragrances. (If you missed it, read this) What I love most about this DIY recipe is, it uses 4 organic ingredients. All which you can find from the grocery store. Thankfully I had 2 of these in my drawers already, which made things a little less expensive. 


The items in this Whipped Body Butter include

- Organic Coconut Oil - super moisturizing

- Organic Shea Butter - Helps stimulate collagen production, which smooths fine lines and wrinkles

- Organic Cocoa Butter - Rich in Antioxidants

- Organic Sweet Almond Oil - Rich in Vitamins E & B (helps repair sun damage)

*Optional Ingredient* - Essential Oils

I used Valor & Lavender, because why the heck not! Valor is a favorite Young Living blend of mine, that is made up of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense. I like to call this my courage oil. I wear it in times where I need to be calm, or even brave. Lavender is known for relaxation, so I try to use this whenever I can. It can also help with bug bites/rashes too! 

Next up, watch Lauren's video below. She will teach you how to mix up these ingredients and whip it into a luxurious body butter.

*Helpful Tip: I recommend doing this with friends, so you can split the cost of all the supplies! Or purchasing your items on Amazon or Thrive Market online to save some money. I bought some big containers of cocoa butter, and shea butter from Whole Foods which led me to spend $40. Just on those two items. Granted, I will probably have these items for life because the jars are so big, but it was shocking to see the prices of everything*

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Another fun idea, is to make these for gifts! I am not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day (mainly because one time I got broken up with two days after Valentine's day, LOL), but I always try to treat my girlfriends to a little something so they all know how loved they are. Thankfully, I found some leftover tins in my craft drawer, and I plan to wrap these up with twine and give them away to my girlfriends. That way they feel the love over Valentine's Day, and I know they are using products that are non-toxic and actually help support their body in their everyday life. It's a win, win!



Other great Essential Oil combos for this Whipped Body Butter would be...

-Copaiba & Frankincense: Copaiba helps lock in moisture, and frankincense is a very grounding oil. It also helps restore that youthful looking glow!

-Lavender & Frankincense: Great for sleep support!

-Panaway & Peppermint: This would be great for sore muscles. Peppermint leaves your skin feeling a little tingly, and helps with aches and pains. Make sure to keep away from your eyes





Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy SIXTH Birthday, Little Pieces of Hope!


By golly, we have done it! Little Pieces of Hope is SIX years old today!

Most years I forget to celebrate the anniversary of Little Pieces of Hope, but somehow I was able to catch it early on the calendar and actually remember. So naturally, I am sitting down and reflecting on how crazy this jewelry journey has been for me.

As some of you may know, Little Pieces of Hope started as a hobby when I was back in college studying Apparel Merchandising at Colorado State University. My roomie (oh heeeey, Mel!!) and I were all about that Colorado music scene, and I was constantly trying to refine my dirty (yet somewhat put together) hippie look...cue the feather earrings. 

Yup, you heard me....feather earrings. Don't worry there are some pictures down below with some AWESOME instagram filters. Joking, these are the worst filters you have ever seen. And believe it or not, I actually posted pictures like this on the Etsy shop. I know, palm to the face.



While feather earrings sparked the jewelry maker inside me, the company slowly transitioned to carry necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even paintings at one point.  It's been fun, and somewhat embarrassing, looking back at pictures this week and seeing what I sold back in college versus now. 


Now, don't get me wrong. Little Pieces of Hope has been fun, but not always a breeze. It's been a lot of trial and error. Feast & famine if you will. But no matter how many people told me "Maybe it's time you get another job", it's always been my number 1. My little jewelry sanctuary.

The best part about reflecting and looking back at photos today, is realizing that Little Pieces of Hope has accompanied me throughout all my chapters of life. Break ups, health scares, traveling across the world. It's been right there beside me, growing as I do. It's been my outlet to heal, to create and to express myself.





I am beyond thankful for your love & support along this fun little journey of mine. Throughout the years we have been able to donate over $10,000 to over 10 different non-profits. How cool is that?! I am still trying to figure out the exact number we have donated. College Ceci didn't really ever feel the need to document how much we donated so that's been fun trying to search emails and find receipts from 2012-2013.


All in all, if you have made it this far in reading, I want to say thank you. From the very bottom of my heart. Thank you for supporting me and my dream, and watching Little Pieces of Hope grow while I do too. 

Thank you.

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Now the good stuff. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos throughout the year. Now like I said, some may have terrible instagram filters, but they show off a memory nonetheless.


 

These are the infamous feather earrings that started it all. My sweet Mom was kind enough to let me sell these in her shop in Spicewood, Texas.

 

Then came the long necklaces. Here are a few of my first pieces that I sold in college. 


 

This was one of my very first trunk shows in Colorado - I had my friends over and we raised funds for the local chapter of Red Cross - This was during the High Park Wildfire of 2012




These are a few style shots from the very first store that made a wholesale purchase from me! Thank you Cotone!


Over time trunkshows became a regular thing for me - Here is one of me at Langford Market by UT Campus in Austin, TX. Either from 2013, or 2014.


Fast forward a few months, and soon bloggers were wearing my stuff and featuring Little Pieces of Hope on their social media outlets. Ivana Revic (pictured above) was one of the most influential people who wore LPOH. She made the LPOH buffalo skull ring the "it" item for over a year! There are more bloggers photos over here (although I have to admit I haven't updated this page in years!)


After college, I decided to make LPOH my full time job. Meaning I had to HUSTLE for that money. Thankfully, Jensen (pictured on the left) helped get me into a few boutiques around Fort Collins, Colorado. This is me and her meeting for the first time!


The WISHBONE bangle that helped connect me to the dreamers over at Free People where I was able to be a part of a few photo shoots and even photograph a few things of theirs myself. Probably the thing I am most proud of!

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Of course, I could share about a hundred more photos, but I thought I would attempt to pump the breaks. 



Thank you again for all the love and support over these last six years. I am beyond grateful and feeling blessed beyond belief. As a way to show my appreciation, I have made everything in the Little Pieces of Hope shop 30% off for the weekend. ENJOY!!