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!!