Saturday, December 21, 2013

Eco Rise Youth Innovations

This past week I had the opportunity to work with Eco Rise Youth Innovations. Eco Rise is a nonprofit organization based out of Austin, that inspires youth to tackle real-world challenges by teaching environmental literacy, innovation and hands-on design skills. My job this week was to be a guest judge for the Fulmore Middle School 6th grade class where they presented their final projects. Their teacher taught an Environmental Science class where all the students learned all about environmental issues and the importance of recycling. As a result their final projects were a test to see how much the students learned and how creative they could get with their resources. 

 I honestly had no idea what I was getting into when I first agreed to be a judge, but right once I walked in the class I knew this was going to be a blast. Basically the idea of this final project was for the kids to create a environmentally conscious product, and then develop an elevator pitch in hopes that a company (aka us judges) would buy into their product. It was absolutely adorable, and so very awesome. I was able to talk to just about every kid in the class and brainstorm about their products. It was so cool to toss around ideas with them and see how smart and creative they all really are. 

Here are a few pictures below of the kid's projects. Compliments to Eco Rise's facebook page.

The "Piggy Can" - A piggy bank created with the two ends of recycled coke cans

"Retired" - a plant holder made completely from recycled tires!

This lil' guy created a chess board from cardboard scraps. 

"T-Koozie" - these boys created Koozies from recycled t-shirts! Not to mention their elevator pitch was absolutely awesome. They were definitely one of my favorites!

"Bows to Wear" - 2 girls came up with the idea to create hair bows and bow-ties out of recycled t-shirts

I had so much fun this week that I decided I am sending my January proceeds to Eco Rise in order for them to continue to do what they do! Such a great company, and so many nice people. Can't wait to team up with them :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

g i v e a w a y

Pssst...there is a giveaway going on over at The Darling Detail for this Pink Tibetan Horn Necklace! To find out more information on how to enter click here

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide

1. Teysha // Teysha boots are the perfect gift for the fashionista of the family. This awesome company is based out of Austin, Texas and their mission is to preserve, embrace and celebrate the cultural and natural treasures of this world. By purchasing a pair of Teysha boots, you are helping empower artisans, and creating an opportunity for them to improve their lives and alleviate poverty throughout their community. 
Find Teysha on Facebook // Instagram and create your own custom boots here!

2. Charity: Water // Soma Water Filter // I am such a fan of Charity: Water and all that they do I couldn't help but share one of their items. This fancy water filter is perfect for a friend who loves to host parties. It's easy-to-hold and has a 100% biodegradable filter. With every purchase proceeds go to help fund BioSand Filters in Cambodia.

3. TOMS // Bellevue Black & White Floral // Did you know TOMS doesn't only make shoes!?  When you buy TOMS Eyewear you are helping restore sight to someone in need, which can include prescription glasses, sight-saving surgery, or even other medical treatments. When sight is restored it will restore independence, economic potential and educational opportunities throughout. How wonderful is that? Learn more about their One for One movement here

4. Kahina // Argan Oil // This organic and fair trade oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, which is said to improve skin tone, soothe irritation, protect the skin from harmful agents, absorb oil, and instantly give skin a radiant glow. Sounds almost too good to be true, right?! Not to mention each bottle is made with raw sustainable materials, and recycled packaging. Kahina donates to the women who work to provide the raw materials. Perfect gift for your friends or family who love their nightly beauty routines!

5. Little Pieces of Hope // Crosley Necklace // I wanted to make sure to include gifts for every price point on this guide. This Crosley Necklace is from my own jewelry line, where proceeds are going to help build water wells in Orissa, India with the help of Charity: Water. The Crosley Necklace is one of the most popular items in the Etsy shop as has been seen on bloggers such as Amberli Jahn, and even Beauty Glam Now. Great item for a stocking stuffer, or Secret Santa gift.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Charity: Water

Thanks to all you beautiful people I was able to donate another $200 to Charity: Water. Now Little Pieces of Hope has raised a total of $1000 for their September Campaign, which will provide clean water for 100 villages in Orissa, India. My goal this time around is to raise $1,500, so we are $500 away from reaching it! I can't thank you all enough for all the support. You are helping give a little piece of hope towards those in need.
To help reach my goal feel free to donate directly to the cause, or give a gift that gives this holiday season and shop around at the Little Pieces of Hope Etsy shop.
All pictures found on the Charity: Water Facebook page

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tunesday // Beach House

This week I have been listening to Beach House, more specifically their dreamy pop album, Teen Dream. I've been a fan of Beach House ever since I saw them open for Vampire Weekend at Red Rocks a few summers ago. Every time I hear "Zebra" it brings me right back to that crisp Colorado night. 

Some of my Teen Dream favorites include... 

All pictures were pulled from Google Images

Monday, November 18, 2013

H O P E Farmers Market - Weekend 1

This Sunday I had the pleasure to sell my jewelry at Hope Farmers Market in Austin, Texas. I was a bit nervous at first since I haven't ever participated in an actual Farmers Market. Luckily, the vendors and employees of Hope Farmers Market were so friendly I was put at ease in a instant. 

The morning started off with a Kids Shakespeare play, Hamlet, put on by The ImprovEd Shakespeare Company. The day then followed with friends and family. I couldn't believe how many of my loved ones stopped by to hang out with me for the day. I couldn't have done ANY of the setting up or taking down without them. Not to mention, they all continued to stay and help even though it was 91 degrees outside! Yes, 91 degrees in NOVEMBER. I couldn't believe it. 

I was able to meet so many new people, and get a glimpse of how tight-knit this community really is. In this industry I have definitely experienced competition among other small business vendors, but at HOPE it is a completely different story. Each of the vendors made sure to do a loop of the market to see and introduce themselves to all the new booths. At the end of the day during the meeting, it was so clear that all of the vendors were rooting each other on. They genuinely want to see everyone succeed within the farmers market, in order to continue to do what we each love so much. To see how close they really were was absolutely heart warming. 

Some of my favorite vendors included...

Austin Honey Co - When we first began to set up my family was having a bit trouble with the tent. Without even hesitating Raul, the owner of Austin Honey Co, quickly came over to assist us and teach us the tricks of the trade. We definitely made sure to stop over to his booth once the market began to pick up some of his local pure honey. Austin Honey Company takes a nourishing blend of local pollens and nectars to create their delicious honey. Austin is known to have terrible allergy seasons, so I am very thankful to have some local honey to help put my allergies at ease. Take a peek at their Facebook here.

Healthy Hound - This booth definitely seemed like a customer favorite. So many of the Sunday shoppers brought along their furry friends. Healthy Hound made sure to provide tasty treats to these cute pups. My sister even bought her 2 little dogs some of the Healthy Hound Chicken Breast Treats. They use 100% natural ingredients, no preservatives and no corn. 

Curious Confections - If you have a sweet tooth Curious Confections is the place for you. This booth had some of the best marshmallows I have ever eaten. They were so good we even left the market with a few packages of them. We brought home the Honey Marshmallows, and the Maple Melts, aka the "Marshmallow's Canadian Cousin". And let me tell you, these are absolutely divine. Just as the name says, they literally will melt right on your tongue. 

Find more of the Hope Farmers Market vendors here.

If you missed this Sunday's farmers market you are not to worry, I will be there again this Sunday, November 24th, from 11am-3pm. So all you Austinites should definitely swing by. There are so many lovely people to meet and not to mention fresh produce. Supporting local businesses is so very important. You keep the money you spend in your community. Helping farmers and artists continue to live their dream and provide the best quality food and crafts to you. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tunesday // Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, a musician, singer-songwriter, artist and writer. This American legend has been a influential figure in music and culture for more than 5 decades. His lyrics changed the world, as he wrote about social unrest, and anti-war movements. His music brought people together, and helped shape America's counterculture as we know it.

From what I have noticed you either love Bob Dylan, or you can't stand Bob Dylan. Lucky for me I grew up in a high school that just about worshiped him. Every school year we had "Dylan Day". A day where the entire school would gather in the library, sit on the floor, and take turns singing his infamous tunes. It really was one of the most memorable days of the year for me. It was almost required that every English teacher had to take their class to the library for this occasion...and if the teachers didn't bring you, it was almost certain students would skip class to be a part of the circle. One thing I will never forget, is Mrs. Craig. Mrs. Craig was the government teacher who was the most kind southern woman I have ever met. Every year she would take a student from her class, and serenade them to Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight'. I can't help but think of her every time I hear this song, as I'm sure most student's do. Even the Golf Coach/English Teacher, would play his guitar the entire day along with his harmonica. Students were even encouraged to get up and sing their own rendition of Dylan's songs. It was truly a beautiful day, where everyone came together to sing. No judgement. No drama. Just music. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tunesday // The Head and The Heart

The Head and The Heart is an indie folk-rock band from Seattle, Washington. Just recently they released their newest album "Let's Be Still." I for one, am a huge fan of The Head & The Heart. I have seen them a few times live and they are always so full of energy...or maybe that's me. Either way, their shows are a damn good time. Not to mention I absolutely love Charity, the vocalist, violinist and occasional percussionist. She always comes out on stage with messy hair, and stylish outfits. My kind of girl right there. 

Take a listen to their newest single, "Shake" as well as some of my other favorites from their first self-titled album.

Other favorites include 

Pictures found from Pinterest.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday Treats

This Sunday I was in the mood to do some baking. I found a recipe on Pinterest that looked absolutely delicious.

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (this is optional, but highly recommended)
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey Bars
1-2 packages graham crackers


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream butter, and the white and brown sugar together with an electric mixer. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Slowly, add flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on a low speed.

Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (The original recipe said they only chilled for an hour and couldn't tell a difference compared to another batched she chilled overnight. I on the other hand threw the bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes and began to cook afterwards...they were still delicious)

Now you can preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans, as close as possible (they should be touching). Then place tablespoons of the chilled dough on the center of each graham cracker. Press the dough down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven. Now, break up the Hershey's bar and place a piece on top of the melted dough.

Proceed to bake for an additional 5-7 minutes (or more if your cookies are thicker) They will be done when the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Once the cookies are done, let them cool for about 5 minutes. Now pour yourself a glass of milk and ENJOY!

This recipe came from the girl who ate everything

Monday, October 21, 2013

s t y l e

This weekend was an absolutely beautiful one. My Sunday was spent with my friends and family, as we soaked up the Austin sun. My go-to outfit these days are jeans and a plain shirt. Never underestimate the power of a plain white tee. As for my go-to music it definitely is, and always will be, Mumford & Sons. If you're bored and have a few minutes to waste, watch the interview montage below with the band. It made me fall in love with them even more. Not only are they music geniuses in my mind, but they also seem so down-to-earth and funny! 

Outfit includes >> White Tee from Nasty Gal // Just USA High Rise Pants from Beehive // Rehab Bra from Beehive // Sandals from Target // Midnight Wild necklace from Little Pieces of Hope // Thrifted Sunglasses // Feather Journal from Mockingbird Domestics

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bright Pink

For the month of October, Little Pieces of Hope is teaming up with Bright Pink. Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while also providing support for high-risk individuals. "Bright Pink is more than just a color. It is a movement, a community, a way of life. It is the belief that being proactive is better than being reactive, that prevention is better than treatment. Educate yourself, take action, and join us in Being Bright Pink."

For more information on Bright Pink take a peek at their Website // Facebook // Instagram // 

Little Pieces of Hope proceeds from the following items will be donated to Bright Pink